Learning

For the first time in 36 years, I’m at home, learning for a written exam in business information systems.

Not that I ever stopped learning or sitting exams, for Novell Netware, Cisco or more recently for Suse, but this was all related to my daily work; if you’ve ever sat a Novell or Cisco exam, you’ll know that there’s a lot of memorizing and intense preparation involved.

This time though, I need to memorize content from the 90s, and I’m having a hard time …

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Hatsune Miku

Yesterday we went to a concert by Hatsune Miku, a quite famous Japanese singer; she’s on her first tour in Europe and it was her first concert in Germany. Luckily for us, she chose the LANXESS Arena in Cologne as the venue, which made it quite easy for us.

Hatsune came with a couple of her friends for support, Kaito, Meiko, Megurine Luka and the Kagamine twins.

Almost everybody in the arena had her signature Glowsticks, so the colors from stage spread throughout – very special.

The concert itself was great, wonderful song selection and a stellar stage show – I really hope she’ll come back to Cologne soon!

Needless to say that she made a very nice attempt to welcome us in German . Smile

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The Caravan

It’s not my country, and I only watch from afar – but I cannot understand how one can earnestly condone shooting tear gas at refugee families. Or sending troops and militias.

I also cannot understand how one can stand by while people chase refugees through the streets (in Chemnitz), or advocate to let them drown (in the Mediterranean Sea).

To me, this goes way beyond (party) politics, for me that touches the core of what I believe being human actually means – to have compassion.

We know that every living creature has the same desire: to be happy and content, and to avoid suffering

We’re one, on one planet, and there’s only one way forward: together

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Black Friday

The concept of Black Friday does not really work if the Thursday is not a big, or perhaps the biggest, family holiday of the year; same for Cyber Monday. My personal black Friday used to be the Friday after Weiberfastnacht, the official start of street Carnival in Cologne .

But, as Halloween has spread across the world, so do Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

And who doesn’t like a good deal?

This year my spending was quite subdued, but I used the ever-present rebates to get a toner cartridge at 15% off.

And for next year, as we’re in the process of incorporating Halloween into our culture anyway, maybe we could add Dia de Muertos as well? And make All Saints a joyous occasion rather than a solemn one? Me gusta mucho!

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St Johann im Pongau

This week we had the opportunity to be in St. Johann, a small city in the state of Salzburg in Austria and a prime skiing destination, to deliver a small workshop on Kubernetes and Rancher.

Although St. Johann is a very touristy destination, even outside of winter, prices were surprisingly low and the food was exceptionally good.

We’ll definitely try to come back!

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Low Carb

After my recent fallout with my dietician I was lucky enough to find a trustworthy new one in a rather short time frame, and I can say I’m quite happy.

I really enjoy if someone takes me seriously and explains the background details of a diet and change of lifestyle, and slowly but surely I’m incorporating the diet (and some exercise) into my daily life.

To put it with Cody Wanner: Let’s do this thing!

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Weekend 11/9 – 11/11

A weekend full of extreme contrasts, for me at least – and I’m not done with it yet

Friday, 11/9

  • marks the 80th anniversary of the “Reichsprogromnacht” or “Kristallnacht” that signaled the begin of the industrial annihilation of 6 Million people and a whole culture. To date, this is the most heinous crime against humanity ever committed, and the enormous loss and guilt will be felt for generations to come. Being born into the country of perpetrators for me is a responsibility to ensure that such crime will never occur again, and I thus have zero understanding for neo-Nazis, alt-rights, AfDler, white supremacists or whatever they might call themselves – never again!
  • is also my birthday, and I had a very good evening out with friends to celebrate (with a slight pang of guilt)

Sunday, 11/11

  • “Armistice Day” or “Remembrance Day” marks the 100 year anniversary of the end of the first World War, the great seminal catastrophe of last century, where again millions of lives were lost at the whim of the German Emperor, for a totally pointless cause – lest we forget!
  • All around us, this is a rather solemn affair, not so at home – here, 11/11 at 11:11 marks the beginning of Carnival and is a rambunctious party on all public places and streets

Oh well. Quiet day for me.

 

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Copyright 1971markus@wikipedia.de / Cc-by-sa-4.0

Article 13

There’s a lot of hype and clickbait around the EU’s revised copyright directive – a well balanced summary on the subject can be found here.

Let’s take a step back – the new copyright directive is not aimed against the freedom of speech or small creators; quite the opposite, it’s aim is to protect creators, big and small, from theft. All it does is shifting the burden from the creator to the publishing platforms, in case a piece of art gets misappropriated, and it specifically only targets big publishing platforms (in the latest amendment at the time of writing).

Of course do YouTube and Instagram/Facebook dislike that – even though it’s not a new responsibility, just a new means of enforcement, it might negatively impact their bottom line.

Will Article 13 ban memes in YouTube videos? From my point of view, memes are covered by the “Fair Use” clause, but I’m not a legal expert.

What it will finally ban though, is the use of copyrighted music in YouTube videos, monetized or not.

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New Dietician

A couple of weeks ago I started a medically supervised diet of the low-carb variety, or least that was what I thought.

The initial diet protocol looked to me like a slightly modified Keto or New-Atkins plan, however, I got a little bit suspicious when I found out about the added (costly) Ozone therapy and (even more costly) daily injections; after I felt really ill for a couple of days I started to research on Google – definitely something I should have done earlier.

It turned out that the good doctor was using the highly controversial hCG diet protocol, as documented on hcgdietinfo.com and hCG-Diet respectively, without telling me; and I really don’t want to know what the injections were …

Needless to say that we parted ways immediately.

Luckily for me I found a respected Keto practitioner nearby, so I will be able to continue.

Lesson learned:

  • Don’t ever skimp on background checks