Last week was cold enough to get our local lake frozen. Frozen thick enough to do some ice skating. I measured the ice and got 10cm. Considered that safe enough for us to walk across the lake and the kids do some skating. Obviously no swimming/bathing this weekend then.
We liked this new program very much. They are not only good musicians but the whole program with the historic information and play provides entertainment and education at the same time. Can highly recommend.
As a bonus we met an old acquaintance who used to be a rather famous politician. We hadn’t met him in a while but always wanted to catch up. Had a good chat with him and were delighted to see that he’s doing well.
On Monday we did an office move. But just inside the building. The new space is a little closer to the other colleagues. So will hopefully bump into colleagues more often again when I’m in the office.
Gym game still going strong. Trying to hit the gym 2-3 days a week for 30min of rowing and 30 min cycling and 20 min strength training. Really enjoying the workout.
here are the links I’ve collected over the last few weeks. Maybe there is something interesting in there for you:
Infinite Mac – All classic MacOS systems as in-browser simulations
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 #uckermark.
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 #uckermark 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The interpretation of the song “Bring mich nach Hause” from the german group “Wir sind Helden” by former Alphaville lead singer Marian Gold was one of my favorite songs in 2018.
Most powerfull and moving song in 2018
If you don’t know story around this, it might not sound anything special. But I’ve seen the episode of that TV Show where he played that song and I’m a big Alphaville fan.
So there is this legend of a singer. He had one of the most iconic bands and songs of the 1980s. A rather powerfull voice and also a powerfull posture. The songs he sang so far in that TV show almost seemed to small for his power. As if there is not enough song for him to put is talent in.
And next he was about the present his version of a balad written by Judith Holofernes, lead singer of “Wir sind Helden”. She told why she wrote that song and what it means to her. That she was so super exhausted from all the touring with the band and would almost sleep standing.
To my surprise he delivered a most sensitive and yet powerful interpretation of that song. He almost sounds as fragile as she looks. His voice gives me shivers and he also touched Judith Holofernes during that show. Amazing and amazing how context can change the perception of a song.
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