#weeklyreview 07/24

11.02. – 17.02.2024

Due to some scheduling mishap I went swimming two times that Sunday. We originally had an appointment for 11:00 am but the guys didn’t show up (of course I still went for a swim). Then the other half of the group agreed on a 1pm meet up. So I took a second round. The lake also gained quite some water over the last weeks of rain. We seem to be back at the level were we’ve been last year this time.

Traefik config voodoo

If you ever need to configure your container in a way that Traefik will allow traffic coming from specific IPs, but require HTTP Basic Authentication from all other IPs … this is how you’d configure this:

    labels:
       - "traefik.enable=true"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman-internal.rule=( Host(`spooly.example.com`) && ClientIP(`192.168.75.0/24` ))"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman-internal.entrypoints=websecure"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman.rule=Host(`spooly.example.com`) && !ClientIP(`192.168.75.0/24` )"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman.entrypoints=websecure"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman.tls=true"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman.tls.certresolver=letsencrypt"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman-internal.tls.certresolver=letsencrypt"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman.middlewares=auth-users"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman-internal.tls=true"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman.service=svc-spoolman"
       - "traefik.http.routers.spoolman-internal.service=svc-spoolman"
       - "traefik.http.services.svc-spoolman.loadbalancer.server.port=8000"
       - "traefik.http.middlewares.auth-users.basicauth.users=admin:$$2y$$05$$K5HviqYOC3ScWoRqUIQ80elXe.QByrAvpvmaDp9yj0oaA4L0LiCE6"

You basically have to define two separate Routers for the same service. Each Router has its own matching rules and own middlewares.

Mind that the ClientIP in the routers matching rule only matches on the ClientIP, not on IPs in the X-Forwared-For HTTP Header.

new T-Shirts \o/

QWertee had a special offer where you’d get a free T-Shirt every one you order. Even on the discounted ones … so I ended up with a whole bunch of new nerdy t-shirts 😀

Of course one was already occupied by kiddo

Birthday

another birthday in da house. The kids … they grow up so fast.

Elections

This is the big year of elections. On Saturday our village society elected a new board. That was formal but still fun. Especially as we there was another instance of our “Dorfdisco” afterwards \o/

From the camera roll

#weeklyreview 06/24

This week there were winter holidays for the kids. They got their report cards on the last school day. Both kids still in school doing rather good. So we can’t be happier about their achievements. 🎉

Of course we spent the week in the countryside. Didn’t felt for skiing holidays this year as there doesn’t seem to be much snow in the areas we used to go to anyway – due to climate catastrophe of course!

So I just spend the week working from the countryside doing some light activities with the kids.

Wednesday we went to the cinema with a friends kid to watch the new Studio Ghibli move “The boy and the heron“.

still frame from the movie, provided for personal use by Studio Ghibli, all rights reserved

As expected this was a colourful adventure. Some scenes might be a bit drastic (scary) for young kids, but overall this goes well in line with the previous Studio Ghibli movies.

Much richer, deeper and more fantastic than your Disney movies.


A friend started a blog about 3D printing and asked me whether I’d want to contribute. Of course I want. Even had a small topic to write about: the Z-Offset mystery.

On Saturday we did a day trip to Szczecin, Poland again. Plan was to see the city during daylight, as last time we’ve been there it was already pitch black night.

This plan only worked out partially. The day started very misty in our area. So we checked the weather forecast for Szczecin and that predicted at least partial sunshine for the afternoon. Turned out that was wrong. It stayed misty and foggy and maybe only got worse in the afternoon. We went to the Cafe 22, which is on the 22nd floor of a hotel. Theoretically a nice panoramic view over the whole city. Not on that Saturday. We could barely see the city right down to our feet. The rest was just inside clouds.

this was all we could see from the Autobahn

But we still managed to walk the city a bit a take a look at some beautiful old houses in the city.

#weeklyreview 04/24

Ice Skating

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.

Lautten Compagney

Sunday afternoon we’ve been at the lovely “Gutshaus Friedenfelde” for a little concert of the Lautten Compagney. We’ve seen this ensemble before in July 2023 at the Joachimthalsche Gymnasium Templin. This time there were presenting their new program “Nunmehr soll Frieden sein” as a new year concert. The material was collected from the time of the 30 Years war and following peace negotiations of the “Westfälische Frieden“. The music was enriched by acting and recitation of texts and poems from the time but also new material to glue it all together and build a connection to our own crazy times of wars all over the world.

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.

Office Move

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.

Links:

here are the links I’ve collected over the last few weeks. Maybe there is something interesting in there for you:

#weeklyreview 03/24

On Monday it was the birthday for one of our kids. As that kid absolutely isn’t into gifts we had to come up with something else. As a surprise my wife came to Berlin and payed us a visit and we had fancy donuts and a cheese fondue for dinner. That was great fun.

Got myself a Nintendo Switch for a few weeks. Just to try whether it might entertain me and the kids for a while. And it’s surprisingly good so far. I like the fact that you can play on the go or on the big screen in multi-player mode. Also their controller concept is pretty versatile. In two month I’m checking whether I’ll keep it or not.

Got an Xbox 360 with Kinect collecting dust here since years. The concept was great. But then again we didn’t really made use of it.

I finally managed to get Klipper working on my 3D printer. Klipper is an alternative firmware to control the printer. The original firmware for my Creality Ender 3 V2 is based on the popular Marlin Firmware. That sits directly on the controller board (MCU) of the printer and controls all the hardware component and executes the printing of G-Code files.

Klipper in contrast is modular. Only a very basic firmware is flashed onto the controller board of the printer and acts as counterpart to the more complex Klipper Host process that sits on a computer. In my case a RaspberryPi 4. The computer hosting the Klipper host process is usually more powerful than the MCU of the printer and can perform more stuff to make for a smooth print. The Raspberry Pi is connected via USB-Serial to the printer to connect Klipper host process and Klipper firmware.

The downside is, that one has to configure Klipper properly for the printer. There are readymade profiles for popular printers available that should give a good start. But I have modified my Ender quite a bit and thus had to do a whole lot of calibrations for the Dual Z-Axes, the direct drive Extruder, Filament sensor, CR-Touch probe etc.

This process was what ticked me off last time I tried. I just couldn’t get a reliable print out with Klipper. And I didn’t had issues with my Marlin Firmware to begin with. So back then, I switched back to Marlin. This time I wanted to get it working to be able to support a friend who just recently got a used Ender 3 V2 with Klipper firmware.

Eventually I got it all running and even installed “Klipper Advanced Mesh & Purging” (KAMPS) and configured Input Shaping thanks to some helpful articles. KAMPS will analyse the G-Code files and then do the bed calibration with the probe just on the area of the bed where the model will be printed. This gives much more accurate information because it just probes the small printing area with the same amount of probe points. Makes for a better 1st layer.

Input Shaping is voodoo where you measure the printers vibrations during movements and calculate resonance frequencies and the best way to compensate these vibrations during print. I had to solder a sensor and cable to connect the motion sensor to the raspberry pi and then conduct the measuring (fortunately that only needs to be done on hardware changes on the printer).

Finally I was able to produce some acceptable prints that I promised to a friend.

On Saturday we did a day trip to Binz. First time since 2017 that my wife had been there. It was great. The weather was OK and we had good lunch in the famous “Strandhalle” and took a walk on the beach. It wasn’t too crowded as its really off-season at the moment and the weather wasn’t inviting for a long walk.

The lake had ice last weekend already. But it was just 5cm and a friend took the effort to make a hole so we could at least dip in.

#weeklyreview 02/24

Second week of the year was the first full work week. Got a new task to set up program management for our organisation (again). We had this before in various shapes and forms. Last round of layoffs cut all the program managers away. Now the lack of program management has been identified as a gap. No shit Sherlock.

So I’m reading up on all sorts of material around program management. There is still plenty of material around in the Intranet from previous attempts. Thats good. So I can just copy & paste a whole bunch of material.

What came to my mind during looking at our past and current way to handle projects and programs is, that often times even the projects are not properly or at least explicitly set up. That of course makes it hard to facility program management when the projects you’re supposed to integrate into the program are not properly set up.

This is going to be interesting …

Sport

Last Sunday I went running with a friend. Slightly hilly in the forest and -3ºC outside for about 14km … boy didn’t had sore muscles on Monday 😉

We also went swimming again despite a thin layer of ice at the shore. We managed to push that away with gloves to get into the open water. It was rather cold …

Tuesday was good enough already that I went for a shorter run with my friend here in Berlin. Temperature was at around -8º C in Berlin. I had to wear long trousers and a long shirt …

On the countryside the thermometer hit a low of -16º C … bit chilly.

Tinkering

Started to fiddle with the Klipper Firmware for my 3D-Printer because I want to be able to provide support for @saumselig and his new toy 😀

Thats causing some headache as a lot of the configuration has to be tweaked from the stock printer profile. I hope I’ll manage this time.

Social & Politics

On Saturday we attended the “Dorfgespräch” of “Die Grünen” Uckermark in Buchenhain. That was a good discussion about current politics and issues. The audience was mixed ( not only “Die Grünen” members) and brought a lively but very respectful discussion. It was good to see that people are still able to listen and argue in civilised form – even if they don’t agree on the matter.

Self-Hosting

I also finally tried out Immich – an open source image hosting software that can probably best be described as a replacement for Google Photos or Apple iCloud Photos. The server side hosts the images and makes them available via a decent web interface. One can group photos and videos into albums and share them with others as well. An interesting feature is the face recognition. One can choose from various ML models to do the recognition on your machine and then be able to find the people by name.

There is also a client for iOS which uploads and backs up your photos from the mobile phone. It can upload the photos in the background and will also reflect the albums you might create and also allows to specify and search for peoples faces in the picture.

Overall this seems a viable replacement for evil corp services.

#weeklyreview 01/24

Started the year with an unexpected long NYE party. We hadn’t planned anything spectacular for NYE and just visited the church in Templin for the fireworks. Coming back home the neighbours had their party going and we went over with a bottle of sparkling wine to wish each other a good new year. That of course escalated quickly and we stayed until 05:00 am – ignoring my running appointment at 09:30am.

So with just a little bit of sleep I started the new year running. That went much better than I expected given the circumstances.

I skipped the new years swimming as I was running already with just 3 hours of sleep. And it was raining the whole day.

Tuesday we took a trip to Neubrandenburg. A city that I visited quite a lot as a kid. Actually – not the city so much, but rather the sports school facilities near the Tollense Lake.

First time I have been in the city centre in fact. And boy … this city really needs you to be a hardcore GDR fan. It looks like all buildings outside the historic inner city core are built from GDR plate tectonics concrete. The whole city seems to be made in Minecraft. Everything is cubic and apparently from GDR time.

Back then the approach was probably of rather practical nature. Provide affordable living space and social infrastructure. All the apartment buildings were also supplied with little shops and child care centres. But still… rather not so pleasing for the eye nowadays.

The worst building in the city centre was actually the high-rise from the Nordkurier. The dominant local newspaper that has a tendency to spread right-wing fake news and conspiracy shit.

Maybe I know why that is… look what they turned the “house of art and education” into:

On the upside … I found snack garlic 🙂

Last three working days of the week I already had to work again. Fortunately is was relatively quite as most of the colleagues still had the week off.

So I had a little bit of spare time to finally fix my InfluxDB server. I set the data retention policy to indefinitely on the original setup and of course after about 5 years the disk eventually filled up. This can’t be changed after the initial setup… so I just created a fresh setup. The data wasn’t very valuable anyway. This time I configured a year of retention and now have some days to read up on the aggregation functions …

Watched the second seasons of Loki on Disney+. Hated the fact that despite the payed subscription I’m getting to see advertisement. The series itself was rather “meh”, now that the time travel thing isn’t new anymore. The actors gave their best and are lovely. But overall not as good as the first season.

And of course we finished the week off with swimming. The night had a low of about -5º C and there was a rather thin layer if ice on the lake shore. But that didn’t stop us. I prevented us from swimming for more than 2 minutes … but it didn’t stop us 😉

#weeklyreview 52/23

So this was the final week of 2023. And I managed to create all weekly blog posts … not always in time, but 52 entries. One could almost say it became a habit.

I like it and will keep doing this in 2024.

Christmas

Of course there was the inevitable Christmas holidays last week. We had our whole family together in our house in the countryside and it was lovely. The preparations didn’t felt as stressful as the previous years. I guess because the kids are much more relaxed about the event as they grow up and we also didn’t had too much family duties outside our own family. Large parts of the relatives were not in the country. So no visiting duties this year 😉

Instead we had time to attend some of the last advent gatherings in the village. The Christmas mess in the church was with the largest attendance in years.

I attribute this partially to our successful attempts of improving the village community bonding with the “newly” founded society. It’s now two years old but became quite an institution already.

Our goal was to bring the people closer together again by means of various low level events and communication. The village has a mix of people who live here in the 2nd or 3rd generation, but also quite many people who only use it as a vacation place on the weekends or as a retirement home. One can imagine that these people naturally have rather different expectations (and also backgrounds) to their life in the countryside. This can lead to tensions. Our theory was that once people causally get to know each other over a nice dinner and some drinks for example, they’d start respecting each other a little bit more and develop some more empathy again.

We had several events organised over the course of the year and openly invited everyone. Not just by a poster on the central pinboard, but also by putting flyers into everyone’s mailbox and approaching people on an individual basis. Our emphasis was to make the contact and communication as human and personal as possible. One hardly resists kindness 😉

And I think we already see the positive effects. The tone in the central village WhatsApp group is much more respectful and calm meanwhile. Where we had heated arguments about almost everything in previous years, people now focus on the topic and seem to assume good intentions. As we also meet in person on a regular basis, new acquaintances have been made and I’m tempted so say even new friendships. People discovered their common ground rather than pondering about their differences.

The rest of the Holiday week was calm and relaxing with good food, sauna, reading, swimming in the lake etc.

As last action of the fading year I tried to graph the water level in the local lake. There is a water level gauge that I’m taking pictures of whenever we go swimming. I tried to put the readings in Excel and create a graph to show the changing water level. We’re not back yet at where we’ve been in the begin of 2023. But there is hope as it’s raining a lot lately.

New Years Eve

This year we tried Cheese Fondue but partially failed. I think didn’t had the correct cheese and also missing an essential step: the starch plus the cherry liquor. Anyway… I still enjoyed it.

At around 11pm we drove to Templin to attend the “Orgelknaller” at the Maria-Magdalenen-Kirche. That was a short organ concert after which we climbed up the church tower to watch the fireworks over the city. That was quite spectacular. It’s amazing how much money people still pour into this shit. Yeah it’s looks cool. But seriously … it’s stupid.

#weeklyreview 51/23

Sunday – Double advent

Last weekend we had the double advent pleasure in our part of the village. Saturday was our turn of the living advent calendar and Sunday ours neighbours 50m down the street. Lovely afternoon with good food, open fire and music.

In the morning the usual suspect had a swim in the lake – as every Sunday 🙂

Monday

Starting the week with a workout session seems to become a habit. I usually do 30min of rowing, ~ 30 min cycling and another 20min strength training. The gym machines usually show a much higher calorie burn than my watch. 16 min of cycling for the watch at indoor training session was 177 Cal while the bike computer showed 500 Cal.

30min on the rowing machine at max resistance got me 242 Cal on the Apple Watch but 403 Cal on the rowing machine computer.

But there seems to be a clear trend in the right direct at the weight scale. Coming 96,4kg at the begin of November I’m down to 92kg at the mid of December.

In the evening Kiddo and me went to the Christmas market at the Kulturbrauerei again. She hadn’t been at one of the larger Christmas markets in Berlin so far as in the last years the pandemic and also the illness of my wife didn’t leave much time for such events. Fortunately she picked one of the smaller and quieter markets and not the one with all the Ferris wheel and other fancy stuff that are even more overcrowded and loud.

And of course we even met a few people there by chance. Even some from our small village in the countryside. What a coincidence.

Thursday

On Thursday I had the pleasure to host a friend from the Fediverse. He was looking for a bed to stay for one night in Berlin. He managed to make his way by train despite all the disruptions due to mismanagement and weather.

The last formal work week had some last minute challenges. Again due to mismanagement and especially lack of communication several teams had to improvise and rush to the occasion. My job was to get these teams together and coordinate across teams and especially time zones. But eventually we delivered thanks to people on the ground taking ownership and commitment.

Friday

Finally we took off for the countryside. Ready for the holidays and Christmas. In the evening I attended another event of the living advent calendar in the nearby village. Fortunately the storm and rain had subsided enough that a partial outdoor event was possible.

Saturday

The last event of the living advent calendar. It was meant to have a fire show. But unfortunately the hosts were sick. So we improvised and printed out some traditional Christmas songs to sing together around the fire at the central place by the church. Some people brought food and beverages and so the it was a lovely evening again.

Especially after some Glühwein the elderly people start to tell stories from the past village live. That’s always funny.

#weeklyreview 50/23

Monday – Workout

good start into the week with an 90 min gym session. Winter is gone in Berlin, so was able to ride the bike into the office.

Tuesday – Enpal Solar

Had to drive to the countryside to meet an engineer from Enpal Solar for onsite inspection of our house. They are supposed to make an offer for a PV with storage and Wallbox. The good thing about their offer seems to be it’s really all inklusive. one doesn’t have to worry about permissions, craftsmen etc.

On the backside … their offer sounds really expensive compared to the mere bill of materials. We’ll see.

Later in the day iOS 17.2 was released with the new Journal app. A direct competition to apps like “Day One” I’d say. But after playing around for a bit I’m rather underwhelmed. The automatic suggestions are nice, but the UI over all seems uninspired. Also the app is only available on iOS. Not on the desktop or web (yet). Makes it less useful for me really. But I guess Apple will evolve it over time and eventually push other journaling apps out of business. Bad monopoly move.

Wednesday – Weihnachtsmarkt Kulturbrauerei

A small group of colleagues met at the Christmas market at Kulturbrauerei. Since our teams are now mostly scattered all over the world, the team spirit is a bit trickier to maintain than in the good old days. The remainder of the Berlin systems engineering force got together to enjoy a few Glühwein and Bratwurst at the Christmas market. Kulturbrauerei was only food and crafts stuff. No loud music and other fancy stuff. Still too many people for my taste.

Thursday – Corporate Christmas Party

Our Berlin office Christmas party took place in the office this year. OK with me. What I liked was the fact that the company offered voluntary company sponsored COVID tests upfront for all participants. I hope that many people took the chance and tested themselves. As usual, I came out negative. Which is positive I guess.

Metas microblogging/fediverse network Threads.net is now available in EU. People in Europe can now download the app and turn their Instagram Account into a mastodon-like account with Threads.net.

And of course, no day on the internet without drama. So immediately some instances where shouting out that they will block threads.net on their instances because Meta is evil.

I’ll not (yet) block threads.net on the instance level. I’ll let the individual users decide. I had myself a look at the app. One can read without creating an account. Thats good. But for me it also made it clear at the first glimpse that it’s not even remotely interesting. It seems the same capitalistic shitshow that Twitter was and Instagram is to some extend.

In more exciting new the new Hipstamatic V10 was released. Thats one of my earlier iOS apps at all. I like their visual design and the idea of just combining lenses and films to get digital image effects instead of working with filters. Effectively it’s the same, but I like the skeuomorphism of the app.

Saturday – Living Advents Calendar

The second year in a row our little village community organised what we call a living advent calendar. The idea is to bring the people together for some cosy winter evening. Every day in advent a different household hosts a session and treats the guests with warm beverages, food and all sorts of entertainment. This way you get to know the neighbours better and hopefully make new friends as well.

This Saturday was our turn again and we performed some house music with the accordion and piano. Of course there was Glühwein, Schmalzstullen and fire pits.

#weeklyreview 48/23

Sheeessh, the year is almost over… time flies.

This week I looked into possible alternatives for Evernote. I pump all my documents into Evernote since decades. It’s a trusty store for all my admin stuff and some notes and has saved my bacon several times when traveling. Whenever I needed some official documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.), I was able to pull them out of Evernote and unlock the things like immigration into South Africa or getting temporary passports at the embassy.

But it’s always good to have alternatives in case the enshittification of services spreads to further tools I use. I also like (and dislike) being in complete control of my own data. So looking at services that would keep notes in a durable format, sync across devices via my own facilities and can possibly import Evernote data.

This time I took a deeper look at Obsidian. A free for personal use note editor that stores in MarkDown files. Sync can be done via file sync services like iCloud Drive, DropBox etc.

Obsidian also offers their own paid sync service.

Using iCloud Sync isn’t optimal as iCloud now has this on-demand sync. If files are not needed for a while, they’ll be deleted from the device and downloaded on demand once needed again. This however will mess with Obsidian as it expects files to be there.

I found a community plugin for Obsidian which offers a live sync capability via a CouchDB. That I can host myself and thus have all the data location and syncing under my control.

But it turned out that plugin is still under heavy development and changes features rapidly. At least the E2E encryption was replaced while I was testing. That requires a re-sync of the whole database.

I had exported all my Evernote notebooks into the ENEX format. Obsidian is able to read this and import the notes including their attachments and some metadata. So far so good. But turns out that almost 6GB of data seems a bit too chunky for my CouchDB setup. Syncing one device took several days. Given that the plugin changed and I had to re-do the syncing several times … too much hassle for the moment.

I eventually decided to not put the heavy Evernote archive into Obsidian. The app is more for note taking, not so much for storing Documents (as in PDFs and other attachments). Notes are much smaller and sync almost instantly via the CouchDB backend.

Spotify Wrapped

This week the famous Spotify year review came out. Not much surprise in there. I also believe that the stats are wrong. I do like Queens of the Stone Age. But now way I was listening to “Feed don’t fail me now” more often than songs from one of the other top artists in the list. Anyway..

And I know that people keep complaining how Spotify is not paying the artists fairly. For me Spotify is almost the exclusive way to consume music nowadays. They run the infrastructure and pay for the network bandwidth to deliver the music as well as providing clients and integration into a lot of appliances. A hear nobody complain about the major records labels anymore. What value do they provide these days in getting the music to the fans?

Winter

Winter finally arrived and brought a whole bunch of snow. In Berlin especially black ice. Monday I still managed to bike into work. But it was dangerously slippery. Of course the pedestrian and bike paths were mostly not cleared or gritted.

Keto diet

I’ve finally started to seriously try and loose some weight. My approach is a mix of special diet and more exercise.

On the diet side I’m trying a no-carb diet. Simply means avoid any carbohydrates in my diet. No other restrictions. No carbs is almost impossible as almost any food contains some of them. But I’m trying to stay well below 50g/day. Idea is that the body metabolism is adapting from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fat for energy.

The effect is already visible on the scale 😉