#weeklyreview 24/23

What a week … my work project is in its final phase of hopefully successful completion. But it’s taking a few over hours to push it over the finish line. Not because I’m forced to, but because I like the technical challenges and also working with people and solve their problems.

I also get to write some Python code again. Not that I’m good at it. But I love automating tedious tasks with code. Thats what computers were made for – take over jobs that can be automated, so you’re free to do stuff that the computer can’t do.

Lunch break

spontaneous in-person lunch with @moellus on Wednesday. Forgot to take picture as the distracted me with conversation (I know, quite unusual for him)

K2 odyssee

K2 got an invite to the university of Saarbrücken and the Max-Planck-Institute for Computer Science to attend the “Forschungstage Informatik”. This was his first (almost) solo trip by train across the country. The journey to Saarbrücken went, apart from a hour delay on the last leg, OK. The event itself was apparently quite interesting for him. Finally meeting a bunch of likeminded nerds to converse about math and computer science problems….

The journey back but gave him the full dose of german railway incompetence. The first train had to stop at a rather rural train station as the way ahead was blocked by some accident. So they (fortunately there was another kid from Berlin that attended the same event and was traveling together with K2) had to find and alternative route. Since trains were not operating anymore on this station, they had to take a bus to the next bigger city. There they tried to catch the next train to Mainz and Frankfurt/Main. But of course these trains were overloaded and delayed as well. Getting much too late into Frankfurt that evening, there was no fast train going to Berlin anymore. Instead they were parked with an overcrowded train a bit outside Frankfurt for half the night. Just to get back into Frankfurt very early morning and then try to head east towards Berlin. But of course that route didn’t go smooth either. Train had issues and got cancelled to continue to Berlin in Leipzig. Another change. Eventually after almost 24hrs he safely arrive at home.


On Thursday evening two ex-colleagues had organised a reunion of our teams at Nokia/HERE in a beer garden. It was quite a large turn up and heartfelt meeting with all the good friends we made over the last almost 20 years.

It was really nice to see all those folks again and chat about the good old times. I’m tempted to say this was one of the most competent and powerful teams I’ve met in my professional career. And the other folks seem to agree as well, now that they have moved on to other companies. Many realise that despite the complaints we had back in days together as a team, we were rather advanced and at the forefront of technology and witchcraft. In their new companies they stepped back several years and have to start all over again to convince people about certain technology and ways of working advantages.

Roofing ceremony

On Saturday our neighbours invited us to the roofing ceremony of their barn building. That was lovely and funny. Their property is like a fairytale garden with so much stuff laying around and being collected and arranged. Chicken pens and gardens, wood carvings, playgrounds, herbs and flowers etc.

One native guy got drunk and excited about a new drink he “invented”. Eventually he had too much of it and we had to carry him home. As he’s in his 70s already, we wanted to make sure he makes it back safely to his bad although it was just across the street.

Random Pictures

#weeklyreview 23/23

Oh, magic week number 23/23

Last weekend I attempted my normal swimming distance on the local lake. The lake is small, about 250 m – 300 m in diameter, and got 3 beaches. My usual track is to start at one beach and swim a triangle across the other two beaches. The total distance is usually around 800 m due to some drift etc.

During the winter swimming the distance is too much for me to cover in freestyle. And since I didn’t manage to go to indoor pools for longer distance training over the winter, I lost my condition to some extend and have to build it again.

But on the weekend I managed to cover the full distance two days in a row at around 22 minutes. Getting back into it feels great.

I’m swimming longer distances with these swim pads on the hands. They keep my hands relaxed as I otherwise tend to get cramps in the hands on longer distances.

The work week was rather busy. Monday we had a „surprise“ doctors visit with the kid. Surprise only in that way that we messed up our calendar almost forgot about this appointment which we had waited for for almost half a year.

Did quite some overhours this week as the migration project I‘m working on is in its final phase. Unraveling technical challenges and dealing with users finally waking up to do the needed changes on their side despite several weeks of notifications and announcement about the upcoming changes. As our company has office around the world, there is always someone awake and pinging me with question.

Also experiencing they „joy“ of outsourcing and different levels of competence. Some services affected by the migration are outsourced to a large service provider with their main workforce in India. They are supposed to operate those services on our behalf. Many of them really have no clue what they are doing there. They neither know the service, nor the basics of operations or network. They just follow instructions and some short notes someone provided. There is absolutely no sense of ownership or understanding for the systems. If just a single character in their notes deviates from what they find on the systems, they throw their hands up and can’t figure out how to continue.

I‘m not blaming the individuals. They are all friendly and try to work with the conditions they find and they hired for. This is some dudes renting bodies for cheap to other companies that don‘t want to have people on their payroll. It is super inefficient and I can‘t imagine that it is cheaper then doing this yourself with competent people.

But the situation reminds me a little to what Reed Hastings wrote in his book about Netflix hiring and operations strategy. In knowledge work (and I consider the majority of IT work as knowledge work) the difference between an average person and a good person is orders of magnitudes larger than in other professions. A really good engineer will do the work of not just 2 or 3 average engineers, no they might be able to replace 10 or 20 average engineers. But companies usually have a hard time admitting that.

And you also need to make sure that those high potential engineers are working on the proper problems. Of course you can keep them busy with mundane tasks like creating PowerPoints and filling out reports. But maybe thats not the best use of their powers.


On Tuesday I tried what my friend Assbach does on a more regular basis and captured what I did the whole day as a blog post. Apparently there is a whole community.

But of course I did it slightly wrong as there are apparently rules for (of course there are rules, this is Germany. There are rules for everything). Somehow the day for is the 5th of every month.

Well ….

Pizza steel

This week i finally got myself a pizza steel. That’s an 8mm think slate of steel to put in the oven for making pizzas and other dough things like bread and rolls.

The tip came from my friend Ali who doesn‘t mess around with stuff but always takes serious science based approach. He of course had lot of evidence that steel just has the better heat capacity and transmission features to produce the proper crust etc.

Steel also has the advantage that you can heat it up really high and it’s almost indestructible with your normal kitchen equipment. You don‘t need to worry about it when using a knife or other sharp tools. But it’s rather heavy, you wanna watch to not drop that somewhere. It will for sure damage your floor and limbs.

Will take it to a test drive on the Weber grill on the weekend.

Random Pictures

#WMDEDGT – 06.06.2023

OK, let’s try this because my friend @assbach seems to be really excited about it 😉

The hashtag stands for the german phrase “Was machst Du eigentlich den ganzen Tag?”. Read for yourself …

06:00 Uhr wake up

06:10 shower, toothbrush, towel, hair

06:25 tidying kitchen from day before

06:30 making coffee, bake rolls for kids breakfast

06:40 writing, printing, signing excuse letters for kids school 

06:50 tidying up kitchen and other rooms in preparation for cleaning person

07:00 drinking coffee, chatting with kiddo about the day ahead

07:10 ironing shirt for office 

07:20 discuss new medication with second kid

07:30 more tidying up

07:40 writing, printing, signing another letter for school for other kiddo

07:50 commuting to the office by bike

08:10 arrive at office, get keyboard and mouse out of the locker

08:15 first ping from a colleague, meeting via WebEx to go over some tickets and code I wrote

09:00 putting some code into GitLab to share with colleagues, tidying up the files, updating/adding documentation, writing .gitignore to exclude logs and config

10:00 having a short tea break with a colleague, chatting about getting old and feeling broken joints everywhere. Went for Jasmin green tea and forgot the bag in the cup. Now it’s tasting a little strong

10:10 further code cleanup and push to GitLab

10:20 debugging Splunk logging issues with colleagues from India

10:30 Putting first batch of entries on the blog

10:40 Screenshare session with a colleague to explain a Jupyter Notebook to him
11:30 Reworking some code, trying to ignore all the contact attempts from colleagues
14:00 call from boss, escalation about some technical issue I need to get involved in

14:10 updating an internal wiki page with some vendor information
14:15 getting pizza from a shop around the corner
14:25 devouring the pizza in the office kitchen
14:40 reading up on support tickets for an upcoming call

15:00 VideoConf with a vendor
15:30 discussing with team about call
15:40 call with colleague
16:00 colleague disappointed about our call ;), start working on the code again I tried to write earlier
17:50 oh fuck that late already, need to get back home and take care of the kids I guess.

18:23 oh fuck… still in the office. Really need to head off now

18:30 finally on the bike on my way home
18:50 grocery shopping for dinner. Kiddo demanded pasta with champignon cream sauce
19:20 cooking dinner
19:45 dinner with the kids
20:10 half hour TV with the kid and a phone call with mum, printing some papers for the kid, of course does the printer run out of ink and need replacement
20:50 grocery shopping again as I need some fresh yeast for the pizza dough I need to prepare for tomorrow
21:20 making pizza dough and tidying up the kitchen
21:45 some more emails with tax office stuff

22:45 debugging some issues with some enterprise software

23:19 I should really go to bed now … maybe just one more look at the open issues …

23:35 really considering turning off the computer now

will probably exchange a few more messages with my wife and then call it a day …

#weeklyreview 22/23

This was a rather short workweek. Somehow. Monday was an official holiday in Germany. So we could stay one day longer in the countryside. And since the kids in Berlin also had Tuesday off, we could prolong our stay until Tuesday. Although I had to work in Tuesday, its still nicer than working in Berlin 😉

Due to the prolonged Weekend we had two swimming sessions with the ice swimming crew. Of course it’s nowhere near to ice swimming anymore. But we enjoy the company and there is some sort of “competition” going on. Who’s got the best gear (swim pads, buoy etc.) and who brings the best cake and tea. Water temperature is well over 15ºC now the beach almost gets crowded with people taking a bath.

On Sunday my wife had some old friends from school over. People she hadn’t seen in person for almost 30 years. It was wonderful to see them immediately get back into their old vibes and enjoy their company. One person brought a dog which apparently felt comfy rather quick and slumbered under the table.

Back in Berlin I finally got my car tires changed to the summer tires. While its rather sunny since about 2 weeks. The nights were still rather cold. Sunday morning started with 3.6ºC at end of May. I guess some days before we might even had frost over night. So, good I stuck with my winter tires until now 😉


The second Peter Fox solo album got released this Friday. I like it. Doesn’t sound much at first maybe, but it gets better and catchier with every play. He definitely still got it and is a league of his own in my eyes.

Favorites so far:

  • Celebration
  • Toskana Fanboy
  • Zukunft Pink

but really the whole album is good.


Finished watching all 4 seasons of “Killing Eve” and I liked it very much. Go watch it on ZDF Mediathek while its still available.

#weeklyreview 21/23

phew week 21 is already almost 2 weeks ago. So I’m definitely late with this post. Again. And admittedly its hard to remember what happened. Because I’m old and because so much stuff is happening all the time.

I refreshed my nail polish

Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to make it proper. Since I’m working a lot with my hands, the normal nail polish wears off rather quickly.


A very nice vegetarian dish I recently discovered: Zucchini/Aubergine lasagna. Dunno wether its actually called like that. But its relatively simply and very delicious:

Cut Zucchini and Aubergine into 3-4mm think slices along the long side. Put in a bowl and season with salt and let them rest for about 10 minutes. That will get some water out. Then fry them in a pan with oil until they show signs of brown frying marks.

In a bowl mix some canned tomatoes squash with salt, pepper and garlic (shredded, squeezed etc.). Now alternating layers of tomato sauce and fried veggie stripes in a cooking pan (must be good for oven use) like a lasagna.

Grate some cheese on top and put into the over at 200ºC for about 25min.