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wintertime

2007-12-20

I was more than happy about all the reactions I got on my new website. Without telling anyone I received first response just a few hours after I launched it and everyone agreed it was an unusual approach to navigation and site-design. That was actually the reaction I had hoped for. But I am most thankful and happy about the constructive thoughts I received considering the coding and its improvement. With everything I know about writing sourcecode I know I can do better, but I was under pressure to finally get my site online and somehow rushed into quirks though I prefer standards mode as I use it on this site.

Do I bore you when I mention my lack of time and a tight schedule on several projects at work. I never expected it to be this busy towards the end of the year and it will take me some more time to find out the reason why the code on my aczentum site refuses to work the way I want. But I've found several sites that might help solving this problem =)

Life has been crazy in the past weeks. I've worked throughout three or four weeks in a row now - long evenings included and I'm pretty fed up with working like this. There'll be a client update on my work site with the result of those recent projects. A nice interception however was the creation of christmas cards for my clients. I took some pictures while I was working on them and some of the photos turned out very nice so I decided to use them as a christmas greeting for this site as well. I worked with a rubber stamp and a special kind of rosin that melts under the heat from a special heating tool. The effect is rather nice and considering the number of cards I had to make, it was not extremely time consuming.

A second break last week was also both work and pleasure. I went to the christmas market at Castle Moyland where a client I had never met before, had a booth with beautiful handmade scarves. I went during the week and at daytime because evenings and weekends are totally crammed there. You may remember pictures I posted here two years ago from the same market. Now you can look at photos of it in daylight. A lot of the atmosphere is missing, but it was a clear, frosty day and I totally enjoyed some hours outside in the cold at that charming place. Very soon I understood it was a fault to leave my gloves at home, but a bag of hot sugared almonds was my saviour that afternoon =)

You may ask yourself - hey, what happened to her camera? Well, I can tell you it's still working ... somehow. It happily beeps while turning itself on and off spontaneously when I put it in my bag *frowns*, and today I noticed, that the flashlight is stuck and nearly impossible to use. I think, I'll try to find a new one this weekend in an onlineshop - whereas I think I'll postpone buying a MacBook until next year. I'm quite curious, what Apple is going to present at the Macworld Expo in January. It's probably going to be a new Mini-Notebook line, but whatever it is, it will show me the way Apple is going to go from there on and I can decide if I want to stick to the older versions or follow the new way - whatever it will be.

I've also had the chance to hold an iPhone in my hands in the local T-Online Shop. What an amazing toy. You may think about it what you want, but if you hold it and use it with your fingertips it is an incredible piece of technique. I want to own one one day.

Tonight I sit here with candlelight and watch my newly bought Sigur Rós DVD "Heima" for the first time, while typing these lines and editing my pictures, trying to forget about the work behind me and not thinking about the work that is about to come. There will always be a lot to do and whatever it is to await you and me next year I'm sure we'll manage everything. I think of you and wish you a Merry Christmas. May your heart be warm and filled with joy and may some snow fall for you ... =)

"Drugs" for this update:
Sigur Rós - Heima

take an evening walk with me

2007-11-13

It's good to see you're back and I hope you liked my Halloween pumpkin =)
... do you want to take a walk with me? Come. Aczentum is online.

I will probably do some changes to the sourcecode in the next weeks and try to improve it. When I first had the idea of this layout and did my first tests, I was very surprised to see, that the Internet Explorer didn't accept the DTD I defined. After a while I came up with a working DTD, but ended up with a hybrid sourcecode I'm not yet satisfied with. So there will be some testing in the weeks to come and I hope to win this battle. Enjoy the site and I'd love to hear from you! I'll write more later. Goodbye for now and take care - Namarië

"Drugs" for this update:
Enya - May it be

happy halloween

2007-11-1

November 1st is a holiday, but not in all states of Germany. Some clients in those states needed an update of their website today and though I didn't plan to work right now - I am ... and since my Mac is awake already I also want to update my site with new information - not much though, but a bit.

There are some hardware and software issues I'm trying to decide on in these days. First of all I am using the new wired keyboard from Apple for about a week now and I love it. When I unpacked it I was surprised about the size and the way it looked in general. I had seen it on pictures, but never had it right in front of my eyes. It is so small and thin with the aluminium board that my old keyboard, which I always cosidered as being a milestone better than the normal pc-keyoards, looks like an old fashioned lump now. The keys make almost no sound when my fingers touch them and I think it can be compared to a laptop keyboard if I had to describe the overall look and feel. To my surprise I can even type better on it. Not faster in my opinion, but I noticed I make less mistakes - at least when I type in German. When I write in English I concentrate a lot more and keep on re-reading and correcting what I type, so mistakes here are made for other reasons.

I can only recommend this keyboard, but there are some things that attracted my attention. First: the printed Apple on the apple key is gone. One more step to the mainstream pc-world I don't like. It's replaced by the usual CMD. The letters are placed in the middle of the keys instead of the left bottom corner, which is pretty unusual. I kept on looking at both keyboards for quite a while before I noticed what distracted me when I was typing. You wouldn't say the position of the lettering makes a difference, but it does to me. The USB ports are on the left and right side instead of the top middle backside and gave me some trouble in the first days. I kept on entangling my fingers in the mouse chord because it is now longer on my right handside, but after some days it settled on the new position. The biggest problem was - and in a way still is - the use of my F-keys in different programs. It took me three days to figure out how to regain the functionality for my layout programs, but now I can't control the volume of the speakers with them, which is so handy when a call comes in and I have to turn down the volume. I will have to search some forums and hope to find a solution for that last problem!

What is really giving me a headache is my camera. It's no fun to take pictures with it anymore. The on/off button seems to develop a life of its own now and then and it really gets on my nerves. I nevertheless took some pictures recently and invite you to have a look at them - you'll get some impressions of my autumn over here. I've found some new models of my fuji finepix that are interesting for me like the S5800, S9699 or S8000fd. I've really become used to the shape of my fuji and I love the square compact appearance. These models in black look like the big brother of my silver camera.

The final item I have taken a close look upon is a MacBook pro. I am determined to buy one, but I haven't made up my mind about a glossy or normal screen. I have no experience about how it will work in the garden in sunlight, so that's something I have to find out soon. I also would like to have it to test Leopard (OS 10.5) on it. It seems to be a really good new OS (from what I've heard and seen so far) but there seem to be problems with several programs I need for my daily work. I'd rather wait for an update before I install it on my Mac, but I'd like to test it on the Intel MacBook. And it will also be my first real step into Windows XP and I have no idea how I will be able to handle that, but we'll see =) I've also read about the possibility of Apple to redo their MacBook series. On the one hand there's talk they are going to equip a new line with flash memory, but that's not interesting for me. On the other hand there may be a complete new line of aluminium notebooks which will be intersting for me. But noone knows when that'll be and I want to buy one this year for tax reasons *sigh* I can't decide whether to wait or not.

Finally there still is my website ... I had planned to tell you in this update to head over there to look at it, but it's not finished. I will probably always have "design issues" with it, but I've decided to go online though it will not be to my final satisfaction. There will probably be some remodelling and adding of new visuals for some time in the beginning, but at least it will be online. Right now it's mostly the Flash animation in it that needs more time - and I haven't asked all clients yet if I could put them into my list of references. I've already signed my site on to several directories last year and the most recent step was to add my office to Google Maps. I received a postcard from Google last week (that was interesting) that they accepted my application and told me I had to wait up to six weeks for my entry to be listed. I just checked Google ... it's already there =) I uploaded a picture a minute ago that should be available there soon as well. You see - I'm taking small steps, but they should get me, where I want to be.

I hope you took interest in these lines =) and Happy Halloween to you, if you haven't celebrated it yet. Have a good day =)

"Drugs" for this update:
The Fray - How to save a life , dried apples covered with dark chocolate

I'm walking

2007-09-30

For the first time ever I seem to have found a form of sport that's to my satisfaction - Nordic Walking. I still think it looks a bit stupid - walking around with the poles, but the effect they have on my arm muscles is just amazing. When I contacted the trainer for the first time he told me a) a lot about technique and b) almost no weather could stop a Nordic Walker. The local Nordic Walking group also walks when it's dark in autumn and winter by using small head lamps. He said he was used to be greeted with "Hi ho, Hi ho ..." (from the fairytale Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs) and nothing could shock him anymore. The group has two walking routes - the town forest and the Aasee - so I told him I'd be at the Aasee the next day.

The weather was really bad all day, but I went to the course thought it was raining, with the result of being the only one with the trainer who dedicated one hour into teaching me some basics until I was soaken wet. He of course wore decent sportswear to face the rain. That night my triceps muscles burnt like hell from almost no sports and I was not amused. The second time we met I walked around the lake for the first time (about 2.5 kilometers) and I was afraid of more armpain, but there was nothing. All that was left that evening was a really good warm feeling inside. I felt a natural high and was really happy. You might say, that 2.5 kilometers are nothing, but to someone who usually does no sports it's a lot.

The technique is the most interesting part of it, because that's what effects your arms as well as your legs. I think I'm slowly getting used to the movement and specific coordination of arms, hands and poles. But still I have to "think a lot" when I walk and correct myself. Therefore I couldn't implement my original intention of letting my thoughts flow while walking yet. Nonetheless I do enjoy the nature. Many geese have already arrived at the lake, which is my current main walking route. There are always plenty of rabbits, seagulls and colorful ducks around. My early evening walking time also let's me enjoy wonderful sunsets. I just don't know yet how to handle the autumn and winter weather, because I've seen now, how much good and functional activewear costs. I'll probably use layers of shirts to stay warm and won't buy new stuff.

The last time I walked I took my camera with me to the lake and took some pictures for you. Four years ago I lived just two streets away from the lake and hardly went there - to my regret. I haven't really checked out the paths around my new home. The river Aa is not so far away and the way next to it is not made of asphalt which will be more comfortable to walk. But right now I invite you to take a tour around the lake and enjoy the pictures.

While following some design links a couple of weeks ago I found something very interesting. The short film "solar". A very simple and straight idea resulting in a both mysterious and atmospheric movie. The work of Ian Wharton and Edward Shires is unbelievably inspiring for me, and I think you'll like it also. The film shows how things and people depend on each other and how goals can be achieved by working together. Don't hesitate to ask for help when in doubt or when something is wrong (even when the moon has to be repaired). You can download the movie from the guys' website and I also recommend watching the making of and listening to the music (for the making of) by Molia Falls as well =) For now I say good night to you - hope to see you again.

"Drugs" for this update:
Natasha Bedingfield - Soulmate

love is everywhere - at a new location

2007-08-31

Those of you, who know me a little better, might have an idea about where I was last weekend. Let me digress just for a moment. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the garden. It was late in the evening and the only illumination were candles on the table and some torches near the fence. My garden radio (which is actually a plush rabbit from McDonalds with a radio inside) doesn't offer the widest variety of radio programs. After a while I tuned into BFBS that was broadcasting from Nature One and though the sound was very poor my feet started twitching. I had followed the discussion about relocating the Loveparade from Berlin to wherever. The final discussion was between the Ruhrgebiet and München. Hmmm. I was torn ... Finally the decision came to the Ruhrgebiet with Essen as the first city from five to host the event. *silently* Yay

Until about a week before I wasn't sure whether to go or not. I was busy, friends were busy and I didn't really know how to get there. But finally everything was settled. A very good friend who had already come to the Mayday with me was just as determined to go there as I was, others had to work or had a study group. My friend had unfortunately an invitation for a party later that evening around 9 o'clock so we couldn't stay too long. But we had two people to drive us to Essen and pick us up in the evening and I was satisfied with it. Especially when I heard about the train chaos at night and Moby who didn't show up, I was even more ok with the situation.

Never ever have I seen the motorway to Essen as deserted as last Saturday. There was a warning on a board across the street to take motorway 2 to a Park+Ride in Gelsenkirchen, but we ignored it and took the usual way I take when I go to IKEA. Even in Essen, at a point where I am usually stuck in a traffic jam on a regular Saturday - nothing. We looked at each other and asked ourselves what was going wrong. It seemed that really every other person had used public transport except us. We arrived in Essen around 1:30 PM at the IKEA parking lot which is just across the Berliner Platz where the final manifestation took place.

We didn't have the slightest idea about the procedure at all and had to ask our way around. A guy at a prezel booth told us where to find the main street where all Floats were waiting to parade around. Everything seemed very calm though some people had obviously already started excessive drinking. And I was in a haze. It was so silent everywhere like in the eye of a storm. Noone seemed to know what was about to happen and kept waiting. We walked down the street where all Floats stood waiting to be released. Silence. We walked past them ... some honked occasionally ... one driver let the engines roar ... cheers and heat were in the air.

2 o'clock ... I could feel the tension. On one inaudible signal all Floats started playing the Loveparade Hymn "Love is Everywhere" at the same time. One endless cheer started, basses made their way to my tummy and resultes in goose bumps like I haven't had them for a long time. It was unique and I still lack words to describe that moment. I wish you had been there to feel it yourself. I took many pictures that can be found in the seasonal section - and to give you the feeling of being there I also included some high-res pictures for download. With all the dancing going on and being one in a million-people crowd it was particularly difficult to take satisfying pictures. Unfortunately I also have problems with my camera these days. When I changed its batteries several weeks ago, it refused to turn on again properly. I doubt the batteries were the reason for this problem. I think that one small plastic piece that snaps in when you turn the camera on, off or into viewing mode, simply broke.

The camera is not under warranty anymore and I doubt one of the local shops will resolve the problem instantly without sending my camera in to Fuji. So I decided to use it and struggled with the broken on-off-button for the Loveparade, which was still better than taking cellphone pictures. But after all I think it's time to look around for a new camera. Any hint on this topic is welcome =)

Allow me to return to one more impression on the Loveparade. When my friend and me lined up for using the toilet in a pub, a girl walked up to the end of the queue. She was obviously upset because she had lost someone and asked loudly if anyone had seen a girl with long blond hair and a sequined bra. A girl at the end of the queue looked at her wih a totally serious expression on her face and said to her: "Honey, look around - everyone here looks like this today." Everyone was smirking and laughing and finally the girl also recognized the absurd in her question and smiled.

All in all I have to say it was one of the best days of my life. I had a lot of fun, the weather was exceptionally good and - except for the water, coke and apple juice we had to hydrate - it was free. I hope I'll have the chance to visit one or more Loveparades in the years to come. It was simply great! Whether you followed the event personally, on TV or with one of the live streams - I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did. I hope to see you soon again - take care ... and until the next time. Goodbye =)

"Drugs" for this update:
Westbam - Love is Everywhere, red wine

blå

2007-07-31

... was the color I saw first when the plane started its landing approach towards Oslo. The mountains around the city glowed in many shades of dark blue and the deep green ground lay down in smooth waves, white and red farmhouses like freckles completed the scene. It was so, so pretty. During the flight there was not much to see except clouds. I was a bit surprised because I left Germany in bright sunlight and arrived in medium darkness with soon to start rain. This rain was actually going to stay in Oslo almost every day of the following week, so I was tuned in on it perfectly that evening. Walking from Oslo Central to the hotel got me soaken wet, but I nevertheless went out to a pub and had a beer, because the hotel was situated at the rim of Grünerløkka (one of my favourite parts of Oslo) and nice pubs ad clubs were everywhere just around the corner.

This evening introduced me to a totally new feeling of going to a pub and not smelling like an ash try when leaving. In the beginning I was wondering why glasses with (rather expensive) beer stood on tables and people had hardly taken a sip. After a couple of minutes pondering about the whereabouts of the beer owners I figured out that they were standing outside smoking. At that moment I knew what was different about the pub I sat in - the air was fresh. I really hope Germany will follow up to this and forbid smoking in restaurants and pubs. The people didn't seem to have a problem with standing outside to smoke.

While sitting there and trying to actually "arrive" in Oslo I looked down the street at some clubs I passed. It was the very first evening and I didn't really know my way around. Though everyone in "my" pub was having a good time and the place looked rather friendly, I was wondering about the area I was about to spend my next week in, because I had passed some not so nice looking places on my way to the pub. I remembered Norway having a very low rate of criminality when I saw a police car passing by and felt rather safe. But while I watched the people on the other side of the street smoking outside the "Little Monk", they started a discussion that finally led to two guys fighting and finally one ended up lying on the street. Within a minute the police car was back and soon accompanied by two more. Didn't I say I was feeling safe ...? Thank God nothing similar happened during my stay and I was very glad that everything remained peaceful!

The next day made it perfectly clear what I was about to expect for my holiday. The weather forecast on TV and what I understood from reading the Aftenposten made it very clear that a week of rain was ahead of me. The people of Oslo seemed to be very well prepared and never in my life before have I spotted girls wearing rubber boots with a really pretty casual outfit, and I almost wanted to buy a pair myself. Considering my suitcase and the luggage allowance of the airline, I decided not to by rubber boots but stuck to my umbrella and wet jeans for the week =)

I decided to make the best out of the weather and planned many museum visits. A couple of years ago I visited the Resistance Museum in Akershus Castle which was very interesting, so that wasn't an option at that point. But I had never payed a visit to the other parts of the castle. I really liked it and learned a lot about the Scandinavian history and how all countries were involved with each others' history. Inside the castle I was walking through very narrow and low hallways when some really loud thundering interupted the silence, but I couldn't find the origin of it immediately. The solution of it was the salute to the queen's 70th birthday. It's a different "thing" when you live in a country like Germany and are suddenly confronted with a monarchy, though on a rather dispensable level.

Being in Oslo put my wake/sleep rhythm a little bit upside down. If the weather hadn't been so bad I surely had blaimed my lacking sleep on the light at night, but I tried to live up to the phrase of "I can sleep at home!" and stayed up long strolling through the nightlife. The place I loved most was "BLÅ" which is located next to the river Akerselva that was partly flooded. It was of course raining but not cold, so I preferred to enjoy the outside atmosphere. The music was a bit amusing and switched from Jazz to pure Electronic, from odd sixties tunes to Björk. Veeery strange. I had a lot of fun watching the DJ who was using Vinyl, which - for years - I have only seen at the Mayday. But he was not treating his records too good. He had a run of three jumping records in a row. And while he was talking to a girl, I noticed a record he had just pulled out of a box falling on the ground ... raw, wet asphalt. But his choice of tunes surely showed he was dedicated to being a DJ.

Another place that was special was "Mir" - also located in Grünerløkka. If you only have the address of this place you can easily get lost since it is located in a backyard called Grünerløkka Lufthavn. The place has a very funny decoration with fake spaceship parts and plane seats. I also fell in love with Lekter'n on a barge by Akerbrygge. A perfect place in the summer with a great view over the Oslofjord to watch boats and ferries pass. When I walked by this place at day I didn't get the meaning of the wooden banks on the swimming platform. In the late afternoon they put giant cushions with black and white flowerpatterns onto the banks and created a perfect chillout zone there. It was wonderful to lie there under the starry sky, watching the boats and people pass by and listen to soft chillout music =)

Despite late bedtime hours I had to get up early to get breakfast in the hotel. On my way to the breakfast room I passed by the guest computer which was usually occupied. I only once took the chance to use it. But to be honest - I avoided computers though there were many internet cafes around. Once I was weak and went into a Mac store and looked at some MacBooks =) What made me curse a little, when I used the hotel's computer, was the QWERTY keyboard. I had never used one before, missed some German umlauts the Norwegian language doesn't offer and I wondered, how long it would take me to get used to it if I had to use it every day.

I hope I didn't bore you with all my holiday impressions. It was simply great to get away from here for a week and I enjoyed that city so much. You'll be able to follow my paths around by looking at some pictures I added to the seasonal sectin. With the help of my iPod I brought 650 MB of pictures home and I hope you enjoy my selection.

I know from several people who visit my aczentum website and who are disappointed that I still haven't managed to finish it. *sigh* I know, I'm sorry and I am totally unhappy with it, believe me. And actually there's something that might make this process even worse - or better, I don't know yet. Last week I came up with a totally new concept for the site. I started scribbling and became more and more enthusiastic about the idea. On the other hand I hesitated ... and still do because the idea might be too - well ... modern or even experimental ... and I don't know if my potential clients will be able to handle it. The idea is fascinating though. I decided to sleep over it but even after some days I am still not 100% sure that I'll do it. Why are some things so complicated. It's worth a try however and I think I'll start layouting and do a basic programming to see how it actually feels to navigate through and then I'll decide whether to take it online or not. But for now I think I should go to bed, it is late now. Good night to you - I hope you're doing fine.

"Drugs" for this update:
SR, coke zero

summervibes ...

2007-06-24

are in the air these days ... sometimes so intense that it feels like a warm and fond touch. Warm breezes from the south give me all I need these days =)

And so it is summer again ... I ment to write this entry earlier, but when I thought at the beginning of June to accept no more projects, some people managed to squeeze their wishes into my already crammed schedule. At least I try and keep my saturday free, but free in this case does not mean I am sitting in the garden reading a book, which is on the other hand nearly impossible with this screwed up weather changing from humid heat to rain and thunderstorms. The weather also messed up my plans for a little midsummer inspired dinner yesterday that was served inside the house instead of outside. For the first time I tried to make a summer cake with a variety of berries and a pretty nice result in my opinion. When I made the cake I got more and more enthusiastic and started taking some pictures because it looked so good. They can be found amongst some others in the seasonal section.

When I was in the garden yesterday - just before it started to rain again - my neighbour joined me after a while to weed his garden as well. A few minutes later a dragonfly came by and sat down on a leaf of my Gingko tree. Not so much a gardener himself my neighbour had started taking pictures of dragonflies when he got a new camera earlier this year. So he ran inside his house fetching his camera to capture the little brown dragonfly in my front garden. He also gave me a cd with pictures he took during spring and I decided to upload some of them because they are really nice. One is especially funny and I just have to present it here. But all the credits for these pictures go to my neighbour.

I've spent hours yesterday cutting the box hedge of the front garden that had somehow exploded with fresh slips during the past months. Working with a hedge trimmer involved rather unusual aspects of motion for my arms and resulted in heavy wristpain this morning. Especially my right wrist could use a gentle massage right now since I almost couldn't manage opening the can with coffee this morning. This is just one more hint for me to get away from my desk and computer moreoften and do sports again. I actually bought OneWay nordic walking poles and Salomon walking shoes this week. Now I still have to find a decent nordic walking class to teach me how to do it. Though I'm looking very forward to it, I just hope my enthusiasm will last longer than one week. I've never done sports outside and hope for nature to give me a little kick =)

I also want to mention something that applies a little more to my introversive side. As I mentioned in an entry several months ago, a big bookchain planned to open a new store in my town. On June 8th it finally opened its doors. Allthough I had a busy friday I took an hour in the early evening to pay a visit to the new two storey bookstore. In a press release they said they wanted to bring a relaxing coffeelounge atmosphere to town so my expectations were high. They were partly fulfilled by the number of booktitles I found there. No other bookstore in town has a range this big. But I had hoped for a more comfy atmosphere. I had found out earlier, that Starbucks wouldn't come together with this chainstore and I was already a bit disappointed. You know those amazing plush armchairs in deep green and violet where you just want to sink into with your coffee and never ever come out again. But of course Starbucks has also a lot to offer when you're into chocolate and hot cocoa treats =) In combination with a boockstore it's unbeatable. All in all the bookstore is nice but no gemstone. However I bought yet another book on CSS that evening ... but don't ask me, why it has a dragonfly on the cover.

Tomorrow I'll start my last week of work before my one-week-trip to Oslo. It will be a week full of work that has to be finished before July and I'm not fond of unexpected things happening these days. On Friday I was really peeved when I looked for magazines in the bookstore at the train station when a guy came in and asked if a red Opel Kadett belonged to anyone. I looked up and said that if that car was actually an Opel Astra the probability of it being my car was extremely high. He asked me to come to the car with him, because he had bumped into it. I rolled my eyes, sighed and followed him outside. Since I wasn't there when he tried to leave his parking space, I have no idea how hard he hit the front bumper. To be honest I couldn't even see a thing except some enamel chips that didn't belong to my car. But a girl stood right next to us and had watched the scene so he couldn't just drive away without a note. He gave me his business card, made a joke about a new way of getting to know each other, showed me his ID and told me to call him if any damaged had to be covered by his insurance. When I drove home everything seemed to be fine with my car, but I was told yesterday that the steerance made funny sounds, so I'll drive it to the dealer tomorrow to have it checked. Keep your fingers cross that everything is ok because it is unbelievably time consuming to deal with insurances and that is a thing I really don't need right now.

However my free week will come inevitably. The moments before sleep these days are spent with three brand new travel books covering various aspects of my Norway trip. I'm planning to visit all the places I've missed so far and take many, many pictures. I also plan to take the right cable for my iPod this time to transfer the photos! You won't believe how much I look forward to breathing northern air again. Just one week after midsummer I think nights with unique light await me. I'll leave on Monday evening from Düsseldorf to Gardermoen, Oslo with Norwegian and return on Monday a week from that. Thank you for your time tonight, enjoy the new pictures and have a relaxed sunbath now and then =)

"Drugs" for this update:
Xerox & Illumination - Oranda, a piece of berry cake

reading and writing

2007-05-27

Whitsun ... I've never used this word before and had to look it up in a dictionary. But today is Whitsun, an official holiday ... and I'm working. Not anymore actually. I'm fighting a mean headache that sticks with me since yesterday, but I had to catch up on some work that arrived late on friday - corrections for a website, english translations for another website and on top of it all: texts for a mailing that is due next week arrived in my mailbox just after midnight. Awesome :( Now I think I'm done with most of it and can turn to more pleasant activities, read a little and work on my latest photos. I feel I have even more to catch up on other topics. It's almost unbelievable how things speed up everywhere =)

It's not dark outside yet, the moon shines through my windows from a sky that slowly blushes with sunset-colors. I don't really know where to start my writing tonight so I simpy begin with mentioning my new mobile and see how this entry develops it's own usual dynamic. So ... my mobile phone. After weeks of discussing different solutions with people suggesting to do this or that or simply wait getting a new one, I finally was so fed up that I went nearly unprepared into a local store and left it about 15 minutes later with my new phone - and I'm happy with it. It's not the one I wanted (I wanted one that flips open), but I think it's not bad either. It's the anthracite K610i from Sony Ericsson. After years with a monochrome display and the simple chirping cricketsound (which I actually miss a lot) when someone called me, I'm now prepared with a full color display, a camera and jukebox feeling when a call comes in. I haven't yet checked out the first pictures I took with it, but I will do that later and probably upload one. (Later ... here it is.) What I actually thought of, if I could make my own ringtone from one of my favourite songs with Garage Band, a pre-installed music program on my Mac that I haven't tested so far. I'll see ...

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a book on web standards I bought. At the bookstore I was sure it was a good book but it failed in my opinion. The topics are good, but the author is a lot too wordy and fills the text with witty (from his point of view) notes. What he tells about standards and how to achieve them is so interesting and I discovered many new aspects, but he should've left out all the stuffing - it had made the book a lot thinner and cheaper and the translator would have had less chances to put in all those mistakes in writing. When I finished my diploma and started working I had not much knowledge on computers or the internet. All I know about programming I tought myself, learned from friends or the internet - and I still do and love sharing my favourite sources with you.

If you're insecure about other operation systems and how they handle your data or newly installed methods - don't worry, it all works just fine =) So here are some links you should visit if you have time and like to dig in a bit deeper into CSS. I however would like to learn more on security before I'll open my FTP-Server for client-data to the internet. Anyhow these are the interesting places to visit http://www.happycog.com, http://www.zeldman.com, http://www.simplebits.com, http://www.alistapart.com These sites are all somehow connected with each other through the people working on them and I earned a lot there.

Besides learning I also did something to relax my mind and went on a nice cycle tour on May 1st. Over the last three years I wasn't really capable of celebrating May 1st as most people do in the region I live in, which means getting on your bike, grab some music and fresh birch leaves for your bike and hit the road. On that day you'll find "pit stops" everywhere by the streets where you can stop and have a beer and eat something. As you know from earlier entries, I've been raving away on the Mayday three years in a row but this year my best friend had her final huntress exam and she didn't know how long she'd be away or if she was in the mood for dancing at all so we skipped this year. I also finally wanted to take pictures of the Mayday and still didn't have my mobile with a camera to that date since cameras are not allowed there. I worked long on April 30th and it was really painful to think of all the others starting to celebrate. My friend's sister who joined us for the first time last year was also disappointed and we all agreed to be there again next year ... and I finally can take some pictures!

What I did this year was a cycle tour to places near my hometown. All in all the tour was about 25 km long - not too long, but for somebody who doesn't regularly ride a bike it is a lot. And once again I learned how bad my bike is. My butt hurt from an imperfect saddle and my legs hurt due to a bad drive unit from pedal to wheel, not to talk about the skipping gears. I came to the conclusion, that it wouldn't be a bad idea to start working out again. My ongoing problem is the lack of stamina. I can walk on beaches for hours, I can walk through cities for hours but I can't jog or swim longer distance (besides there is no good swimming pool in this area). When I open the curtains in the morning these days and see the early rising sun, I think to myself how great it would be to just go out there and do some sports outside - if only for twenty minutes, but it would be good to do. So I thought of doing Nordic Walking though I think it looks totally stupid to walk through the streets with those sticks. Most people I see doing this seem to do it without any technique and I think that's the most important thing with it or it will show no effect. I also fear, that my ambition will leave as soon as autumn and winter come and the morning light will cease. But it's still spring and maybe I should just give it a try and not give up before even starting.

Before I finish tonight's entry I want to add some words that came to my mind, while I was typing this. I wonder what people think about me when they read my updates. I wonder if they like my pictures and my thoughts written down here. My site is like a never ending story ... or a short story with an open beginning and an open end. The difference to a short story is - there always will be another chapter. I can't say how it is going to develop though I should be in control of it. There are many factors playing a role here and it's hard to take the step to the new chapter I want to write. I don't dare to take it ... yet ... but now I wish you a good night =) sweet dreams and enjoy the new pictures.

"Drugs" for this update:
Secret Garden - Nocturne, strawberries

warmth

2007-04-22

There is so much to do for me recently that I hardly spend time with anything different but work and some basic things to keep me alive - like food-shopping, cooking and sleeping. It's not as harsh, as it might sound. Actually I like the new routines I found, but it's always good to take some time out and do something else. Like Easter for example. I know your days were different than mine but nonetheless nice and a bit relaxed =)

I had planned to keep Easter free from both work and my computer and I almost succeeded for one exception. On the Saturday before Easter I started (re-)organising music on my computer and my iPod and when I suddenly looked at the clock in the upper right corner of my monitor, it was one o'clock in the morning - and I still wasn't completely satisfied with the result. I went to bed then however. There'll be other hours spent with organizing music in the weeks to come. My schedule is pretty busy and I have to work longer in the evenings, also this and next weekend to finish jobs that have been waiting too long already to find their final state - a little bit of music in between is more than welcome.

The Easter weekend was pretty warm, but not as beautiful as the last weekend, when I enjoyed this year's first BBQ and even sat outside in the garden until about eleven at night without freezing too much. I loved watching all the butterflies and bumblebees that were already outside and busy with the flowers. I caught myself being lost in daydreams when I was sitting in my chair watching the sky and the airplaines passing by, wondering which airport they were heading for. In a couple of weeks I'll be up there in the sky myself once again - leaving for Norway for a week - to be more precise - Oslo. I'm looking forward to that vacation in the first week of July. But it's also a tough deadline for me to finish some projects.

The weather was too good to be inside on my attic in front of the computer that weekend and I really wished I had a laptop to work from the garden. I assume I'll be travelling around the porch with the sunshade to keep the reflections within limits. But I think I could at least do some programming and writing outside. Also most of my layout-software will probably be very hard to handle with a touchpad - anyway a 17" MacBook Pro would be a dream. Perhaps I'll lease one and add it to my Apple-colection ;). I've already bought two external harddrives recently - one for backup purposes and the second one will work as an FTP-server in the near future and can then be accessed via the new website.

That site is actually online already under a hidden address and I still struggle a bit with the texts I have to write for it. Althought it's changed a bit for the better recently because I write a lot more these days - even sales letters and texts for brochures that had been written by a texter in the agencies I worked before. I think my writing ambitions are a mixture of experience and intuition, but I know, why I've become a designer and not a writer. Some people truely have a gift for writing vivid descriptions, stimulating me to imagine a scene in my mind. Sometimes those lines conjure a big smile on my face even when the situation is a very ordinary one from my point of view - suddenly you see things from a different perspective =) But those people are hard to find. They truely are ...

I'd like to add some more thougts on several other things I've been doing recently. You might agree to the fact, that fairs of all kind can be a pleasant pastime now and then. Almost four weeks ago I more or less spontaneously drove to Dortmund and visited the "Creativa" in the Westfalenhallen - a fair I had heard a lot about, but never went to before. To get there took me almost two hours in combination with several traffic jams due to builing sites or accidents. When I finally was in Dortmund I had to take a major detour to find a parking lot because the one in front of the main entrance was closed. I was also surprised to see many cars from German TV stations and police. After a really long walk from the place I finally found for my car back to the Westfalenhalle, I discovered the reason for the commotion - a party congress for the left wing party PDS that was scheduled for that day in the main hall. My biggest interest for the fair actually was to visit some bookbinding companies and exhibitors presenting paper art, but the fair itself is basically a fair about arts and handicraft. However there was a lot more to see, than I expected.

To my surprise one of the first booths I came across was a poi booth =) They offered lots of information and all kinds of comet- and glow pois. Unfortunately everybody there was extremely busy and I just had the chance to look at their stuff but I didn't try it. I've seen fire poi on some festivals in combination with awesome music - and I loved it. Another really breath-taking view opened up in front of my eyes when I walked further around - a giant dragonfly made of copper. I'm not good at guessing the size of objects and can't tell you exactly how tall it was (about a meter wing size I assume), but you might be able to visualize it if you look at some of the pictures I took. The guy's website isn't too informative, but you can pay a visit if you like to art-insect. When I saw the smaller versions of the dragonfly I thought I could perhaps acquire one ... but the price of 200 Euro was beyond my budget. So I simply stood there for a while and enjoyed looking at the artwork.

For tonight I leave you with the new pictures in the seasonal section - I hope you like them =) May you have some lazy days with the spring sun keeping the cold away and let the warmth inside ...

"Drugs" for this update:
PsyRadio, Studentenfutter

feelings

2007-03-11

The birds sang cheerfully this morning, the air smells like spring, a warm breeze drifts by ... it's the feeling of a special day =) so be my special guest for this update.

The snowdrops peaked out of the soil mid December, the tulips and crocuses followed in January and now the probably smallest forget-me-nots opened their perfect blue blossoms to the sun in my garden. A spring-like warm feeling floats slowly through the garden and fills my heart with warmth. I don't recall a march with green hue in the trees and I assume it's your first march with these wonderful warm temperatures as well. I walked through the garden with my camera and welcome you to colourful early spring flowerpictures in the seasonal section.

There you'll also find pictures I took while I visited the carnival in town. I hadn't gone to the carnival parade for ages. Mostly because I don't like carnival that much. I'm glad when it's over and I look forward to Easter and springtime. But this year I went to town and captured some impressions. What I learned rather soon was - don't try to catch candy, take pictures and drink at the same time. Candies hurt when they hit you, fall into your drink and the camera might break from uncontrolled movement when trying to avoide being hit by candies. But the cam and me survived, I had a nice afternoon all in all and met some friends I hadn't seen in a while.

I had also loved to present pictures from last week's lunar eclipse to you, but my camera simply hasn't the options for such ambitious pictures. Due to the clouded sky there was nothing for me to see when the eclipse began, but after a while the weather changed and I had a perfect view. I hope you were just as lucky!

My schedule is pretty busy - that's no big news, but I won some very interesting new clients recently and they caused even more workload. Amongst them - my first international client. I also spent an incredible amount of time for a design-competition from the Becks brewery. It was interesting to see, that I finally brought my Mac to it's limits with working on a multi-layered picture of more than 400 MB. But between the "creative jobs" I took some hours off during the past two weeks for some "personal creativity". I bought Swarovski crystals and sequins to create individual t-shirt designs. My first attempt was pretty successfull so I tried to put an idea into practise that had been in my head for some time now.

Dance like nobody's watching
Love like you've never been hurt
Work like you don't need the money
Live like it's heaven on earth.

A while ago I discovered these lines of a wonderful poem - or saying to be more specific. Once heard, those lines just wouldn't leave me alone. I heard them in a song on the radio but I never found out the name of the song. Deciding to get to the bottom of things I finally googled it. Soon I had a thousand webpages where at least one of the phrases I remembered occurred. I never came to a complete conclusion.

"However, the saying with the simple concept has taken on its own life and wanders the minds, adding or losing a sentence or two, always reminding us to live life while we have it. What this flittering little poem says to me is this: Yes, you do need the money. You are being watched. You have been hurt. In order to cope with this you can become bitter and cynical. But please don't, the poem says. Please don't ..." Those lines were amongst the websites I found, when looking for this Mark Twain quote. I can't even confirm that those words were actually written by him. Anyway, I created a layout for this quote and transfered it to a t-shirt in a copyshop. I'd rather wanted it on a grey or black shirt, but they only had white ones. I tried to give the design a more or less neutral touch and finished it with some Swarovskis for a more glittering look.

I want to share this "creation" with you tonight. Maybe you like it and want to turn it into a shirt of your own. Many copyshops can transfer designs to t-shirts, I think there's even special paper available to simply iron a print on a shirt. I added a PDF of the layout to the seasonal section. There you'll also find some pictures of how my shirt turned out. I hope you like it - along with all the other stuff from this update. May the quote make you smile when you think of it ... and may you have a very happy day =)

"Drugs" for this update:
Enya - If I could be where you are - Amarantine, Lanson

expectations

2007-02-13

Just one day after my last entry a massive storm hit most parts of central Europe. When I watched the news those days, meteorologists said, that a similar storm hit Europe in the late nineties. Actually I didn't recall that and I still believe I never, ever experienced a storm like "Kyrill". It was anounced at the beginning of the third week in January and I kept on thinking for days about things that could fly away outside in the garden or fall off from the roof - and secured everything I found. When the storm finally arrived I was sure I had prepared everything well and all that was left to do was waiting.

My biggest concern actually was the neighbours wooden fence. He had built it last summer but he had problems with the metal construction to make the fence stay in its fundament. Last December I went out into a stormy night and massively pouring rain with some other neighbours to secure the fence with wooden posts and ropes. Those post and ropes stayed there until mid-January. On the day of the storm I kept on watching that fence from a window and I couldn't help smiling. The neighbour - who luckily had a day off - kept on adding posts and ropes to his fence during the day, the number of them grew from hour to hour. In the end he managed to keep his fence where it was ment to be, but damage affected the inner metal construction and I think he has to rebuild his fence this summer.

Luckily nothing major happened to my place except one tree in the garden that had to be set upright again. But just a few hundred metres away a roof took off from a primary school and a lot of damage happened in town. Pantiles fell from roofs, trees had to be cut down and this barn wasn't on the lucky side as well. One wall broke down and is secured since then by a tractor to stop the building from collapsing. The saddest fact in my opinion is the number of trees that were struck down by the storm: 25 Million trees were disrooted in my county North Rhein-Westphalia. I don't know how many trees suffered from this storm alltogether, but it makes me sad. I assume you can see a lot of the damage if you'd cross Germany by a plane these days that's not too high in the sky.

But that storm was just one of the weather escapades these days. The temperatures went up to 10 degrees and more and I could already hear many birds singing outside when my windows were open. I bought fresh flowers and pink candles - then it started to freeze again and last thursday a lot of snow fell (please visit the seasonal section for some new pictures) ... to last for just one day. Some highlands and of course the Alps still have snow and I enjoyed watching wintersports on TV over the past weeks. But that's enough information on weather for now =)

The first two weeks in January were filled with only few jobs and I even had time to work on my website again, but the situation changed from one day to another and many new jobs were kicked off. Amongst them also new webprojects, which I haven't started programming yet. But I keep on reading that Web Standards book I bought in Münster. Halfway through it I keep on asking myself when I'll find the time to teach myself XML and XSLT. I don't think they're hard to learn and I really want to move on with what I'm doing to gather a more professional level.

I see the need in using those technologies every day. You wouldn't believe how many websites don't run on my Mac and my browser of choice "Safari", or look very funny. But I switch between five Mac-Browsers and one of them usually shows me, what I want to see. This fact also tells me, how other designers test their sites and sourcecode - not at all in some cases. But I will make progress and teach myself those new techniques and I am looking forward to using them!

I'll finish this entry with a warm hug ... Happy Valentine. Have an amazing next week =)

"Drugs" for this update:
Javier Navarrete from Pan's Labyrinth - Hace mucho, mucho tiempo

PS: I'd like to add something, that didn't really fit in tonights post. I still don't go to the cinema as often as I'd like to, but one reason is also that I'm very picky in choosing the movies I want to see. You might like this one - Pan's Labyrinth. In my eyes the movie was different from what I expected. It is not one of those "easy going" Fantasy Movies, it has a deeper background and lingers between historic events, brutality and magical images created by a childs mind. I also think it was helpful to watch it in Spanish with English subtitles. A lot of the mood would have gone lost if I had watched a synchronized, dubbed version. If you have the chance to see it - go and watch it.

expectations

2007-01-17

Today's night is a special one - for several reasons. One of them is that I "celebrate" the six months anniversary of my graphic-studio. It is a day like many other days, I didn't open a bottle of Champagne, but I feel a little different. The government's financial support stops today and now I have to see, whether I've learned enough to take care of everything myself - or not. When I started last summer I never expected this half year to fly by so fast and I never realized today's date, but here it is ...

I expect a lot to happen this year and I really look forward to it, but I know I am not the only one. It's amazing to see what some of my friends are up to this year and I wish them luck with everything. Whatever your plans are - I hope your dreams come true =) A lot of work lies ahead of us - let's make the best out of it! I'll be careful with what I'm doing and apart from all enthusiasm I doubt I'll dare too much. Right now it feels good, that new options are open to me and I could use them if I wanted to - but not yet =)

And no - my other website is still uncompleted. Last week I looked at it from a Windows Computer for the first time and had to make several changes to the sourcecode - but those problems are solved now. I also put these stickers onto my car to add more pressure upon myself to finally finish it. However I do have a problem with layouts I developed and put aside for a while. Usually I want to go over everything once again, but I won't do it this time.

My desk(top) faced an update a week ago. Finally a really nice monitor is in my possession. The other monitor had problems with my G5 from the beginning and I never managed to solve them. The picture was blurry and the Hz-frequency hurt my eyes. Working with the new 20" Apple Cinema Display doesn't only mean brilliant colors and sharpness but also a lot of free space on my desk - giving me one more reason to keep my desk tidy and stop sticking those little yellow adhesive papers to the monitor ;)

Speaking of Apple ... did you follow the reports on the Macworld last week? Some years ago Apple stopped streaming the Keynote live via the Internet but published it a little later. I was able to follow the event via a ticker written by a reporter from the German MacLife magazine who sat in the Moscone auditorium. They had taken their website off the internet and replaced it with a newsticker. It was kind of funny reading how enthusiastic the reporter became during Steve Jobs' presentation. He twisted letters and didn't try to hide how much he was involved emotionally. Anyway, the site was hard to reach and provided no real constant flow of information. The expected iPhone was presented and I thought - well, nice ... and that's all?

The other day I watched the keynote and the phone really caught me. Not only is Steve Jobs a brilliant presenter who knows how to catch the audience with his visions, but the phone seems to be an incredible piece of hardware. You have to see how it works smoothly - almost floating - under fingertips. The only aspect that made me cough is the price of 499 US-Dollar for the small 4GB modell. What will it cost in Euro? I totally think it is worth it, but I don't see myself laying hands upon it in the near future, but I thought that as well, when I first saw a G5 or the Cinema Displays.

Since I still use my cloud green Nokia I thought it would be great for me to buy the iPhone the moment it comes out, but I am not so sure about that nowadays. I've been looking for a new mobile for quite a while now, but never came to a satisfying result. Mostly because I don't know too much about the technical details that make a real good mobile, but also because of the price of the phones I liked and opted for. Now I think I'll stick to a "normal" mobile for a while longer before I switch to the iPhone one other day. I'll take a closer look on different models and see, what my provider has in store for me if I extend my contract - from what I know now the desired cell phone is not within the options :( ... we'll see. Perhaps I should wait for the soon to be due first balance sheet and hope for some tax refund.

Besides the fact that I am back at work I also want to share some thoughts and images of my holiday with you. The weather was pretty harsh, but I didn't mind. The claim of many villages at the coast is "Der Norden tut gut" which can be translated figguratively "The north makes you feel good". I need a bandeau to cover my ears from the cold and the wind, but I don't need gloves when I'm there because my hands are always warm. Most of the time the sky was covered with clouds and a constant heavy wind came from the sea. The night before New Year's Eve brought a massive storm and I could hardly sleep, but the morning started with a bright blue sky and the storm had brought plenty sea shells to the shore and I spent several hours walking around, enjoying the wonderful salty air and collecting sea shells as memento.

Unfortunately I had brought the wrong cable with me to transfer the pictures of my camera to the iPod. I'm usually taking pictures at the highest resolution possible since I have the still too small 256MB card. With only two days left on the island I had to reduce the pictures' resolution to be able to take some more. Back home I immediately looked at the photos and was very happy with some of them. Therefore I want once again to share some of the high-res images with you and hope you like them. I still have to free the sea shells from the sand - they're still in the bag in which I collected them, waiting to be washed. I'll probably do that at the weekend and arrange them in a bowl up here on the attic.

I think it's time to finish this entry now. I hope you enjoyed reading these lines and looking at the new material. I think I'll add some more pics to the photography section in a while. Take care of yourself, have a good night and may the weeks ahead bring new impressions und fulfill your expectations ... =)

"Drugs" for this update:
psyradio, tangerines

2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004

christmas market

christmas market

november

november

lake

lake

loveparade

loveparade

vacation

vacation

midsummer

midsummer

may

may

creativa

creativa

carnival

carnival

winter

winter

spiekeroog

Spiekeroog