#weeklyreview 36/23

Was mostly a work-week, still trying to find the optimal setup with my new work device. Running the corporate VPN inside a VM together with a Dante proxy. First tried this on Linux x86_64 (because the legacy VPN software is not available for ARM Linux). Then realised while talking to Moellus that I could possibly use a macOS VM which uses ARM CPU and got the VPN client and might be able to compile Dante SOCKS. Guest VMs which use ARM CPU are much much faster on the M2 CPUs.

So quickly installed macOS in a VM and compiled Dante. Worked OKish. Unfortunately there is some tcp session issue with Dante and macOS. So back to Linux x86.

Next networking challenge was the Name Resolution. I usually us my personal PiHole as DNS-Resolver to block Ads and Youtube and so on. The PiHole sits outside my home networks so it’s reachable from any location I’m working in. That results in my laptop inability to resolve local network names properly as it would query the PiHole first. But fortunately there is a way to teach the macOS DNS resolver to use different DNS Servers for certain domains.

You’ll have to create a directory /etc/resolver and place file with your special resolver settings in there. Mine is called fritz.box and has the following content:

domain fritz.box
search fritz.box
nameserver 192.168.175.1

This tells the macOS DNS resolver to use this IP address for the domain fritz.box.

Wednesday

On Wednesday I finally met with Daniel again for a run in the Tiergarten. Early morning meeting at the Brandenburger Tor.

3D-Printing

after not using the 3D-Printer for many weeks over the summer I fired up the trusty OctoPi and the printer to print out a case for my new RaspberryPi 4. And everything just worked. I didn’t even had to level the bed or something. It just worked at the first attempt.

Power saving

I have an old PC serving as a Jenkins server to regularly update some docker images for me. The upstream projects don’t change that often and a build about once a day seems sufficient for me. Having the PC running all day long seems like a waste of resources.

I’ve another old PC running continuously to serve S3-compatible object storage for my Mastodon instances. So there is already a machine running 24/7. I used this machine to send a Wake-On-LAN signal at a specific time each day. Waking up that Jenkins PC to let it check its repositories and execute the builds. The PC will shutdown at a fixed time as well and thus run only a fraction of the time for roughly the same result. I’ll have daily new images of my Docker stuff if need be.

Fediverse

I asked the “Volkshochschule (adult education centre) whether they think a social media course with focus on the Fediverse would be something that their audience would be interested in. They seem to like the idea and now I have to come up with a plan and course material. Fortunately the new semester for them starts only next years. So will be only February 2024 or so.

Barbie

On Saturday we decided to spontaneously go an watch the “Barbie” movie in the local cinema. As it was a super hot summer day, the cinema was rather empty. We had cosy lounge seats and coffee was served at the table.

The movie itself was quite good. Really good acting by the main characters and some funny quirks.

This movie is certainly not for weak masculine egos. Thats why I like it 😀

#weeklyreview 35/23

Monday

Finally back in the office after 6 weeks of vacation and working from the countryside. Not too bad actually. Good to see the colleagues in person again.

Tuesday – long drive

K1 is spending a semester in Leuven, Belgium. So we drove there to pick up the “apartment” keys and bring some stuff over. Total of 1500km trip and two times 8 hrs drive.

Leuven is a nice city with a beautiful old town. The old city center is largely blocked from car traffic and only pedestrians and bikes are allowed.

We were lucky on our way there and passed Magdeburg much earlier than a devastating truck accident happened there. Had to take a large detour in the middle of the night on our way back.

Wednesday

We came back only at around 2:30am from our long trip to Leuven. That was obviously a rather short night as I had to make sure the younger kids get out to school.

Thursday

Eventually got a proper haircut again. The last one I got in the countryside and apparently the hairdresser wasn’t up to his game that day. Went again the “Schicke Friese” in the hood and am very satisfied with the results.

Found an issue in my Pixelfed instance. I tried to use a private Account as a replacement for WhatsApp stories. Was wondering whether there was almost no interaction on the photos and started to debug a bit. Turns out that replies from other Fediverse accounts which have their reply privacy settings set to “followers only” (which should be the correct reply type for followers only posts) will just be ignored by Pixelfed.

Filed this as bug on Github.

Friday

Picked up running with a friend from our house again. Still a bit rusty, but getting back into it again.

Saturday – Dorffest

Our village turned 275 years old this year. So it was our duty to organise and host the yearly “Dorffest” of the municipality. The whole village got involved and helped preparing the event. I did a Photo Booth were people could have a picture taken in front of a decorative banner. Either dressed up with fancy costumes or plain.

We had quite some fun and good conversations with neighbours and acquaintances from around the village. Adding colour to already known stories and getting to know new stories. Always rather entertaining.

There was also a flea market where I’ve got a special device from my youth. An original GDR “Allesschneider” (cutter for everything) including the original packaging.

We had this thing when I was a kid. It was donated to the flea market by the oldest inhabitant of the village. A 91 year old lady who is still rather fit and lovely.

#weeklyreview 34/23

The last week in the countryside before school begins again and the kids and me move back to Berlin.

Monday

Final step of dismantling the old Verein. It was good while it lasted. But it’s also good to finally be done with all these formalities.

Wednesday

Despite me usually grumbling about ChatGTP generated code I gave it another try and actually got some working python code out of it that didn’t needed much correction.

Trying to use my Pixelfed instance like I’d use the Story feature in WhatsApp and Signal. I’m sharing there only with selected people. So I’ve created a new account @falko@pxl.mxhdr.net which is followers only and every follower needs to be “approved” first. Feel free to apply, but don’t feel offended if I don’t accept your request. This account is for people I know in person to a good extent. Not necessarily have met in person yet but you know. Not just your random internet acquaintance.

My Pixelfed instance still seems to have some issues with federation. Comments or likes don’t seem to make it to my instance at the moment. I’m debugging that. But the main functionality of just seeing my personal photo stream is working.

Friday – China Restaurant

As we had enjoyed the visit to the China restaurant in Prenzlau a week ago so much but were a bit in a hurry, we chose to go there again for the all-you-can-eat buffet 😀
Boy was I stuffed after that …

And for a serendipity moment … just a few moments after we sat down and pondered over the buffet, my parents showed up. They were just stopping by for lunch on their way back from vacation on the Baltic Sea.

Saturday – Gundermann

On Saturday our yearly village summer cinema evening took place again behind the church. This year we saw “Gundermann” – a film by filmmaker Andreas Dresen. I’ve heard about the movie quite a bit already, but never could be bother to actually watch it. I thought it’s about that singer songwriter from the GDR and his band “Die Seilschaft“. But it turned out it was more about him being an informant for the GDR internal intelligence service (Stasi). The movie was really good. Really well casted and played by all the actors. I like especially that movie looked like it was filmed in the GDR with GDR equipment and that there was so much attention on GDR details. As a former GDR inhabitant I recognised so many details as typical and genuine GDR. Really appreciate that effort and level of detail.

There have been quite a few movies about or taking place in the former GDR. But you can tell pretty easy if the producers knew anything about the GDR or not. Just having a few Trabant and Wartburg drive around is absolutely not sufficient to portray the country. I’ll watch the documentary “Gundermanns Revier” by Grit Lemke about Gundermann as well. Found that in the Wikipedia and apparently is very good.

#weeklyreview 33/23

Sunday

Last day at the Baltic Sea. This time we really stayed until the last day. Sometimes we skip the last night just to drive back home during the night when the roads are empty. Occasionally I like that better than getting up earlier on the last day, pack and leave in time. That days is anyway lost as a vacation day then. Rather be home earlier and have a full day to recover from the drive.

But not this time. Weather was good and we hit the road around 09:30am back to our house in the .

#ruegenleaks

Monday

Only on Monday I realised that I actually still had vacation. Was almost prepared to start into the work week again after two weeks of vacation. But this Monday we took the chance to do a little road trip in the and meet some friends.

First stop was the “Naturseifen Manufaktur Uckermark” of Anke Thoma. The owner is a long time friend of my wife and they both were rather excited to meet again after a long time of not seeing each other. The shop but first and foremost her products are really beautiful.

After meeting another friend just around the corner from the soap shop we went on to Prenzlau for a special lunch. Special for us, as we used to go to that asian restaurant decades ago. They have an all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch and it is as dodgy as you imagine. But still we like it every once in a while. Also, because this was the first time in more than 5 years that my wife attended a restaurant visit and had a dish actually.

She even felt strong enough to give the St. Marien church in Prenzlau a visit. That church is special as it’s still being refurbished. It was almost completely demolished during the WW2 and not rebuild really during GDR time. The two massive towers are already accessible for a climb and beautiful view over Prenzlau.

Of course there was a dude atop complaining about the sight of wind turbines on the horizon.

Tuesday – new MacBook

After 6 years of using my trusty MacBook Pro I thought its about time to get a new one. The old one got slow to a point it was annoying. On Tuesday the new device could finally be picked up from local IT in the office. Took a short trip there and picked up the device. Apparently two weeks of vacation were long enough for me to forget my account password. I locked my account by repeatedly typing in the wrong password. I guess that means the vacation were effective.

The new device is a MacBook Pro 14 inch with the M2 Max CPU and 64GB RAM. I already fanboyed hard on Mastodon about this device. It’s so incredibly fast …. this must be alien technology.

I witnessed the jump in performance of adding more RAM to a machine and then the switch from HDDs to SSD. But this new CPU architecture seems to be another level. Everything is so snappy, you don’t even see the app icon jump in the Dock. The apps just open.

I immediately created two virtual machines using UTM to test performance of virtualisation. Both VMs were using the ARM CPU and got 4 CPU cores and 12GB RAM.

Each of these VMs (one macOS, one Debian Linux) were faster than my old laptop. And they bother ran in parallel while the main OS was still snappy.

And now the best part. I get over a whole work day with one battery charge. Even when running these VMs in parallel and have my 2 browser with many tabs open. This is just crazy magic.

Am I drooling again?

The keyboard got a physical ESC key eventually and feels rather solid.

Wednesday

spend the whole day playing with the new macBook. Still in total awe about the performance. Had to switch the Linux VM to an x86_64 arch though as some essential proprietary packages were not available for ARM.

Thursday

We tried to bring the sailboat of my in-laws into the water. Turns out the wooden planks have dried out too much over winter and the boat would just have sunk if we had just pushed it off the trailer. Lessons learned…

there shouldn’t be that much water leaking out of the hull

Friday

We had a nice party in the evening with some friends from around the villages. Just a small gathering this time, but all the more intense and interesting conversations.

Saturday – AnnenMayKantereit

Saturday evening our two boys and I attended the #AnnenMayKantereit concert in Berlin. It took place in the Parkbühne Wuhlheide and was just wonderful. They’re easily the best band in Germany right now. Everything was well prepared and although we had to wait for quite some time for the band to appear, there was enough catering in the Parkbühne with lots of drinks and food etc.

The concert itself of course was awesome. They just take their thing very serious and give their best and enjoy themselves and the audience. So much that even early on in the concert you could feel something like “standing ovations” to the band. I mean we were standing from the moment they entered the stage anyway because the dudes in front of us stood up… But they really engaged and amazed the crowed. Have rarely seen this with a German audience.

#weeklyreview 32/23

Sunday – Driving to the Baltic Sea

Our yearly family vacation time has arrived. Since about 20 years we‘re spending a week during the summer at the Baltic Sea on Rügen island. That’s the largest German island and a popular place for vacation just laying on the beach.

Looks this year it will be slightly different. The weather is somewhat off this year. It‘s raining heavily and is also quite stormy. Temperature seems to be as low as a 14,5° C during the day.

Usually we‘d be just baking in the sun or slowly cooking in the shade of our beach tent. Apparently not so this year. Weather forecast looks like rain and storm the whole week. Maybe a bit better towards the next weekend.

As a frequent reader you might have already figured that weather doesn’t bother me 🙂 The more weather, the better.

As a first call to action after arrival I got my trusty bright yellow rain jacket out a took a walk on the beach. Lovely weather!

Me being really excited about the weather

Monday – too many people

It’s still raining quite heavily and still stormy. That didn’t stop us from going jogging and swimming this morning. My little tough cookie K3 and I had a nice run on the beach and hopped into the too warm Baltic Sea after that. As the wind had changed direction during the night the beach was now in lee and thus the water was much quieter and save to swim in.

We entertained the idea of finally giving the Ozeaneum in Stralsund a visit. That’s quite a drive from were our apartment is, but due to the weather there wasn’t really anything better we could possibly due over here anyway.

Bad idea as it turned out. Looks like too many people had the same idea. That’s bad enough to get off the peninsula we’re at with many people trying to do the same. But apparently most of them also had the idea to go to Stralsund. I can’t explain otherwise why the city was so crowded. We circled around the Ozeaneum place a few times. But there wasn’t any parking spot closer than at least 2km away. That distance usually wouldn’t stop us. But at heavy rain we considered this too much.

Instead we drove back an payed a visit to Binz to get us some famous “Franzbrötchen” and visited the Seebrücke.

Defective by design

In the recent weeks more and more people wrote about the very bad idea that is Googles “Web Environment Integrity“ (WEI). It’s an attempt by Google to convince websites to query a special API (of course provided by Google) whether the requesting browsing client is OK (according to googles idea of “OK”) to serve.

Greg Farough wrote an in depth article why this is destroying the very idea of an open internet:

Compared to its staggering potential effects, the technical means through which WEI will accomplish its ends is relatively simple. Before serving a web page, a server can ask a third-party “verification” service to make sure that the user’s browsing environment has not been “tampered” with. A translation of the policy’s terminology will help us here: this Google-owned server will be asked to make sure that the browser does not deviate in any way from Google’s accepted browser configuration, precluding any meaningful use of the four freedoms. It is not far-fetched to imagine a future in which sites simply refuse to serve pages to users running free browsers or free operating systems. If WEI isn’t stopped now, that future will come sooner than we think.

Greg Farough – https://www.defectivebydesign.org/blog/web_environment_integrity_is_an_all_out_attack_on_free_internet

402 – Payment required

ChatGPT bot blocked from scraping my websites as training material. Thanks for the hint and code to Franz.

Wednesday – long walks

First thing in the morning was 6 km jogging barefoot on the beach. As usual, I overdid this slightly as I got some blisters under my feet from running. That wouldn’t be too much of a problem if we hadn’t planned to walk in the beach to the next village for lunch. That was also two times a roughly 5 km walk and didn’t make those blisters smaller.

I guess no more jogging this vacation then.

Thursday- Karls Erdbeerhof

Also a Tradition when we’re here: going to Karl’s Erdbeerhof. That’s a barn/farm style kids amusement park themed around strawberries. They have a large barn building turned into a restaurant, indoor playground and shopping area. They build their own sweets and manufacture them right in front of your eyes. In the outside area are a whole bunch of kids attractions like slides, climbing thingies, petting zoo etc.

I like that as it’s a local brand that has built it’s credibility over several years now. They managed to expand the concept and opened up more of these facilities in the north of Germany and even one close to Berlin. Kids love it their and their stuff is very friendly ( something unheard of in Germany).

Friday – Beach Day

Finally the weather was good enough to spent the day on the beach just chillin as we usually do during this summer vacation.

The Baltic Sea was very calm and I took a little swim straight out from the beach. Just about 200m out and then turned around to get back to the beach. The kind guys from the DLRG (German lifeguards) payed me a visit with their shiny read boat to check whether everything is OK. Apparently I was a little too far out of the formal swimming zone for their taste.

I thanked them for checking and confirmed I’m just happily paddling along back to the beach.

Earlier the day we hiked up the little hill and on top of the pilot tower to take the obligatory pictures from atop over the peninsula.

Saturday – Choo choo

Weather was good enough before lunch for beach. Wind direction has turned a bit so that we had a light breeze from the sea. Took a swim, this time properly with my buoy and parallel to the beach. No visit from the lifeguards 😉

In the afternoon kiddo and me too the traditional steam engine train from Göhren to Binz and back. Always a bit of an adventure for the steam engine nerd. The air was rather smokey and reminded me of the winters in GDR time.

#weeklyreview 31/23

Sunday – Festung Königstein

On Sunday we had to pick up the kid from its vacation camp in Saxony. Since the place wasn’t too far away from castle “Festung Königstein“, we took a little detour and had a visit.

Been there several times as a kid with my parents on vacation. Now my wife wanted to pay a visit as while we were close by anyway.

I wasn’t sure that it would be doable with the wheelchair of my wife. But we gave it a try.

Turned out it was doable. The hardest part was pushing her the approximately 600m from the parking area to the base of the castle. From there we took the elevator to the top.

On the actual castle it was comparatively easy to push her around. We almost made the whole round and took many pictures. Even had a snack at one of the many eating places.

Overall a really great trip. And again we had been very lucky with the weather. It had apparently rained heavily earlier the day. But when we were atop it was just dramatic clouds but with occasional sunshine. After we left another round of heavy rain set in.

Tuesday

Got rid of a whole bunch of old scraps at the local recycling yard. That’s quite a good service that’s included in our yearly waste treatment fee: one can drop off most of household garbage like old furniture, reasonable amounts of construction material leftovers, electronics etc. for free.

Today I’m feeling the pushing of the wheelchair up the hill on Sunday. Shins and arms are hurting a bit.

Also gave the final signature today to officially decommission our old “Verein”. That closes an era.

Wednesday – Finally Internet

Today the final connection of our new DSL landline in the countryside was activated. A Telekom technician showed up at 8am and mumbled something about wrong house number. In his documents it said just the number. While our house has a number and an additional letter.

Fortunately he was able to connect it nevertheless and measures about 100 Mbit/a DSL line capacity. So far so good.

But our Router didn’t want to connect and he thought that’s a problem with the router or actual internet provider.

Turned out the FritzBox just needed a round of calibration and then everything worked. Yay – finally our own internet connection.

Our neighbors where so kind to share their WiFi with us for the last couple of years. I had quite and adventurous setup to pickup their signal near the fence with a WiFi repeater and feed it into a LAN cable. The cable ends in the shed in an old switch from where it runs further to my trusty container office. And also into a power line adapter to get the signal inside the house. In the house a Powerline WiFi bridge provides us with wireless network.

Several trucks almost ran over the bucket that covered the WiFi Pickup near the fence. The lawnmower had close encounters with the power cable for the WiFi pickup. Also summer, winter and all sorts of insect battle tested that poor WiFi repeater. But it did its job for several years. It will get some rest now.

Took the time before lunch to rearrange and reconfigure the network devices. Almost done.

Now that I’m in control of my own router and firewall I might start hosting stuff from here as well 😉

In the afternoon I built a new bed upstairs. The old sleep sofa had its days and was a torture to get down and out. Now we went with something more simplistic and just build a raised bed from construction wood.

Thursday – rainy day

Today was again a very rainy day for this area and season. I finally cleaned up my rain gauge after I saw a toot from David de Groot

H

After the cleaning the sensor recorded about 6,5l/sqm for the day. It was surely more than that as it rained earlier in the day before the cleaning.

Friday

Got rid of even more old furniture and scraps at the local scrap yard. Of course forgot some bits as well.

The village church hosts some summer concerts. Mostly organ music. While I’m totally not a (traditional) religious person (but ask me about Unix text editors), but when there is an event in the village, you show up. Just to show your appreciation of the effort.

This time an old acquaintance of mine played the organ. He is meanwhile the priest of the church my parents go to. Of course he played some classic from Bach and Händel. But he also played “Über sieben Brücken musst du gehen” from Karat. Which is one of the most famous rock songs of the former GDR.

Saturday – too much driving

In the afternoon I planned to pick up the kid in Berlin for we are driving to the Baltic Sea vacation on Sunday.

My wife felt good enough to join me and pay a visit to our flat in Berlin for the first time in over a year. It went well and nobody was harmed 🤣

On the way back to the countryside, about 2/3 of the way we realized she had forgotten her purse with all her cash and cards. Essential items. So we did a U-turn and drove back again to Berlin 🤷‍♂️

No really looking forward for some vacation at the sea. The weather might be not the best for just laying on the beach. But I can also perfectly lay on the couch and be reading 😉 Just hope the kids will also find something to keep themselves quietly busy and occupied.

#weeklyreview 30/23

road trip

On Sunday we took a road trip to the north around the “Feldberger Seenlandschaft” and northern .

Unbelievably beautiful landscape. A lot of forests and lakes. Some vast fields in rolling hills.

Quite a few cyclists on the roads, but far from crowded. Of course there are tourist hot spots like Carwitz which are almost bursting of tourists.

#RegEx

Had to write a parser for some config files which don’t seem to adhere to any common standard. That involved fiddling with a lot of regular expressions. Still amazed how powerful they are and bow towards the setting sun to worship the work of Stephen C. Kleene, the inventor of regular expressions and of course Noam Chomsky who formalized the concept of regular languages a little later.

A tool thats very handy for dealing with RegExs is https://regexr.com

The code I’m writing is to automate some tasks on a production system for which we don’t have a test system. It’s a little bit “open heart surgery” and thus requires extra careful handling to not fuck things up for thousands of users. 🙈

Friday – Surprise

On Friday my wife organized a surprise birthday party for me. I usually don’t party at my birthday as in summer most friends are usually on vacation anyway and other reasons.

But this year my wife took the effort to secretly organize a party with our friends from the village. That was really nice and the last guests left at 4am 🙈

We were really lucky with the weather as it was rainy all week and also the forecast for Friday wasn’t that good. But the rain perfectly stopped Friday morning and it was sunny with just a few clouds the whole day and even Saturday until after lunch.

Saturday we took a little slower as we didn’t had much sleep. Cleaned up and consumed left overs and chilled the afternoon when the rain set in.

Got a very cool pouch made by @cole@wandzeitung.xyz filled for colorful nail polish from my besties @stulli@wandzeitung.xyz and @b30@wandzeitung.xyz 🫶

#weeklyreview 29/23

Monday – long drive

Delivered kiddo to his WWF summer camp to the south of Saxony. Saw a burning truck trailer on our way down. Pretty spectacular. Fortunately the firefighters got it under control before it took over to the nearby forest. On my way back that whole side of the autobahn was blocked for cleanup.

A burning truck trailer on the autobahn

Tuesday – we have a signal

Finally the construction company was there to connect our house to the telephone network. Eventually we’ll get our own DSL line in the . Just a few more weeks until it’s finally working I hope …

technician seals the connected cables to bury them under the road again

Wednesday – car maintenance

The bloody car demands oil check. Next contractual garage is about 50km away. That means loosing half a day with driving and waiting. At least I was able to work during the waiting time. Still annoying.

My password Manager 1Password lost a password. I’m 100% sure it was there last week as I used this item a lot in the last few weeks. Today it’s nowhere to be found. Very mysterious. Opened a support case.

Our painted ceramics arrived from “Paint your style” shop. I like my new shiny cup a lot

Thursday – Forest

maybe we bought a piece of forest

A slice of forest with an almost dried out pond

Saturday – meeting of the locals society

Living in the countryside also means there are more activities with the local community. To say that everyone knows each other would be an exaggeration. But it’s close to that. You know your neighbors and usually have regular chats over the fence. And our local village also has at least two organized communities (Verein) where we’re member of.

Every once in a while there are meeting to discuss the upcoming community projects. Everyone bring some food or beverages to these gatherings and it’s usually a lot of fun. Despite occasional heated discussions

#weeklyreview 27/23

Kids had their last full week of their school year. K2 on a class trip to Hamburg and K3 had “project week” with various activities.

On Monday the infamous Beer & Burger crew met. We gave “Five Guys” burger a try. Good burger, but less than stellar ambience. We were so focused on the burgers and complaining about the surroundings that we forgot to take pictures 😉

The drinks afterwards in “Schalander” were good. Nice venue with a beach like sand pit and deck chairs.

night view of Warschauer Straße Berlin

Also in Monday we had the first attempt to get our phone landline connected in our house in the countryside. When we originally built the house we installed a cable for phone and DSL but didn’t connect it to the grid actually. Back the house was meant as a mere vacation home and not having a phone or internet was a feature.

But that we spent more time here our own internet connection seems to be appropriate. Our neighbors were nice enough to let us use their WiFi for many years now. But at some point we wanted to have something ourselves that we also have a little more control over.

Thought it should be pretty easy to install. The cable on the outside comes out of ground near the garden gate fence post. Inside the house it’s hanging out the wall in a small storage room.

But the Telekom technicians eventually said that those two loose ends do not belong to the same cable.

I was slightly puzzled as that was the only cable I knew since a decade laying there. But it turns out that we actually had two cables installed. One for the DSL line and one for the doorbell. The latter hanging off the garden gate pole but not visible inside the house. The phone cable hanging off the wall inside the house but must be buried somewhere near the street at the gardens gate.

So the Telekom technicians had to leave the site unfinished and I had to find that other end and make a new appointment.

Fortunately I took me not too long to find the buried spool of cable we were looking for. Now hoping to get a new appointment with those technicians again soon.

Tuesday in the office I tried another coffee fanciness : Espresso+Tonic Water

Looked weird, tasted weird (as expected) but not enough of the good weird to have it again.

A small Glas of Espresso + Tonic Water

Wednesday I took a trip to the other side of the city to pick up a new recipe from a doctor. Always a bit of a trip. At least gives some nice views over parts of Berlin from the Ringbahn.

View towards Berlin Mitte from Ringbahn crossing a bridge in Treptow

Slowly but surely getting rid of old stuff in the flat. Thursday I gave away an old VHS video tape recorder to a guy apparently still using those.

Kiddo created a funny Simson poster during her project week

Simpson gender swap

#weeklyreview 26/23

On Monday we had a proper thunderstorm here in Berlin. Of course at a time when kiddo and me had to get somewhere outside. We hoped we started early enough with our bikes to be at the destination without getting too wet … but that was futile. It started to downpour about when we were about 100m from our destination. But it was raining so heavily that these few meters were enough to soak us completely. But it’s just water and it was anyway too hot that day. Fortunately our area didn’t had too much damage. Across the street a branch of a tree came down and touched some parked cars. That wasn’t too bad from what I’ve seen.

On Tuesday however there was again thunderstorm and took out a whole tree. That tree decided to lay down on a power distribution box on the curbs. Our whole apartment block was without power for a few hours. Still not really a tragedy in my eyes. Nobody was hurt from what I could see and just a few parked cars slightly damaged.

reunion

On Thursday I met with a friend I hadn’t seen in more than 24 years. He was my flatmate during my apprenticeship at SIEMENS back in the late 1990s. He’s occasionally working Berlin and now we took the chance to meet over burgers and drinks while he was in Berlin for a few days.

Crazy to meet someone you haven’t seen for such a long time. But it felt a bit like not much time has passed since then. Still the same funny guy.

Charity concert for est Templin

On Saturday my wife got us tickets for a charity concert in Templin. A special orchestra played baroque and classic songs from the archives of the “Joachimthalsche Gymnsasium”. While admittedly that kind of music isn’t my favorite music, I did enjoy the concert very much. The ambience in the old auditorium of that old school was appropriate for the occasion and the musicians performed with a lot of passion, enthusiasm and a very high level of professionallism.

There was a narrator who explained each song and provided historical context. This was really well prepared and delivered and enriched the whole experience.

I didn’t know that this school was more than 350 years old. While originally founded in 1607 in Joachimsthal near Templin, it moved to various locations in Berlin before this ensemble of buildings in Templin were built in 1912 for the school.

There are plans to turn it into a public school again and this concert was raising funds to renovate the clock tower of the school. The area is really beautiful and the buildings will make a wonderful place to learn.

The full concert will be aired in Deutschlandfunk radio station on 27. August 2023 at 21:05 CEST. I can wholeheartedly recommend the session.