Europe goes Green

I am very happy about voter turnout in Sunday’s European Elections and even more happy about the strong support for the Greens!

Many people have understood that we need to take urgent action to protect our climate and our environment, and that we cannot do it alone – it needs a regional and global approach.

With their newfound power, the Greens can now affect change in Europe and work with S&D, ALDE and EPP to protect our climate for future generations!

I’m also quite happy that in Cologne the Greens came in first, with almost 33% of votes – in the city center the Greens were almost at 43%. Yay!

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(Screenshot from Tagesschau, during election night)

Speed limit? Speed limit!

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity again to drive long distance in the US.

Speed limits are now at 65 to 75 mph on most highways, which makes for very smooth and relaxed driving; it’s much easier and less stressful to drive 600 miles in the US than to drive 600 kilometers in Germany.

Speeding doesn’t really benefit anyone:

  • The environment suffers a lot due to much higher consumption
  • The risk for fatal accidents increases greatly
  • You arrive a lot less relaxed (if at all)
  • You won’t save time overall

Then why are we so obsessed in Germany with having no speed limit on our motorways? I have no idea.

Or, as Virginia signposts it:

“Speeding over 80 mph (130 km/h) is considered reckless driving – Fines will be higher”

There you have it.

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(I-81)

Nissan Rogue

During our last trip we had a Nissan Rogue (Nissan X-Trail outside of the US) from Hertz; according to Wikipedia it’s a compact crossover SUV.

It’s a pretty comfortable car, with a roomy interior, good suspension and reasonable maneuverability.

Even on long drives of a couple of hundred miles, the Rogue handled well and kept us safe.

The online downside was the engine, which was still old style using fossil fuel – I hope Hertz will move to more modern electric vehicles soon!

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(Outside of our hotel, near Charlotte airport)

Rancher 2.2 User Meetup

This week we had a Rancher User Meetup in Cologne, and Jan Bruder of Rancher introduced us to the new features in 2.2:

  • Built-in cluster and application monitoring
  • Global DNS
  • Multi-tenant catalogs
  • Backup and Restore for Kubernetes configuration (etcd)
  • Bitbucket support for pipelines

It was a great session and many thanks to Jan (and Rancher) for coming!

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(Taken at location: Gute Botschafter GmbH, Cologne)

European election

This is a crucial election for Europe – if you care about our online and offline worlds and want to support Europe, make sure to vote!

There’s still ample time to participate through postal ballot, if you cannot make it on election day – don’t let your vote go to waste!

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(Public mail box)

Elyas M’Barek

During the weekend, we saw “Der Fall Collini” by Marco Kreuzpaintner, based on a novel by Ferdinand von Schirach.

The film paints a very accurate picture of West Germany in the time after the war and before the 68 unrests, a time when a lot of Nazis were still in positions of power and used their positions to escape prosecution for their war crimes.

Der Fall Collini is most definitely a very important film, especially given the rise of the new Right in parts of Germany and Europe, but most striking is the lead actor – Elyas M’Barek in the role of the lawyer Caspar Leinen.

Elyas handled the transition from comedy to drama really well and excels in his role, torn between family, law and justice.

I believe he’s probably the best young German-speaking actor in the moment and am very much looking forward to seeing him again on the big screen!

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(Movie poster at Rex am Ring Lichtspiele, Cologne)

Last Day Worked (LDW +1)

A year ago today was my last day at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. As part of the many reorganizations, HPE were offering very generous redundancy packages at that time and I decided to take them up on their offer and go back to University (FOM), to study Computer Science in Cologne.

I’m now at the end of the first year, and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s such an enormous privilege to be able to concentrate just on learning, given my age and the fact that I have two (almost grown-up) kids.

To stay on top of all the developments around cloud computing I also work part-time at a small Cloud Consultancy, supporting customers on their journey to cloud; by now I’ve become pretty experienced on all things related to Containers and Security too. Serverless will be next!

In the process I’ve also lost over 40lbs – can’t complain! There’re still a couple of pounds to go, though …

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(At FOM, looking out from our lecture hall)

Endgame (No spoilers)

Last night we went to the Avengers – Endgame opening night (actually an Infinity War / Endgame double feature).

Three hours of good fun, solid action and no boring parts!

This movie is indeed the grand conclusion of the Avengers saga, very much befitting its epic, world- and time-spanning scope, and opens a lot of roads ahead for Marvel to build on that foundation, and develop the surviving protagonists, old and new.

Highly recommended!

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(Poster on display at Metropolis, Cologne)

Max and Harvey

A week after Bars and Melody, Max and Harvey came for their first ever concert to Cologne, as part of the Coming Soon tour; support was Jenna Raine and I believe it was her first time in Cologne as well. I’m so glad to see so many talented artists coming to my home town!

The venue, Luxor, wasn’t as packed as it was the week before, but the concert was really enjoyable and I hope they’ll return soon

It’s the second video I created with Adobe Premiere – I might have a closer look at Adobe’s Creative Cloud. And a music subscription.

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(Max and Harvey stage, Luxor)

Bars & Melody

On their Choke Tour 2019, Bars & Melody had a concert in Cologne!

As always, it was great fun to see them perform; this time they had Iggy Kelly with them for support.

The club they played in (Luxor) is unfortunately not well lit, so the video did not turn out as good as I hoped it to be, but I’m still quite happy with it.

For the video I changed my editing tool, from Shotcut to Premiere Rush by Adobe – it’s not Open Source, but very comfortable; I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be keeping it, or going back to Shotcut.

I’m still behind on my videos, I hope to catch up during spring break though.

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(Queue outside Luxor)