Archive for the ‘non-technical’ Category

The life of others

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Besides the usual paperwork there wasn’t much to do when my grandmother passed away one year ago. She only had a few belongings in her flat in the house of my family and they were quick to sort out. She was a clear family leader with quite some principles. While I agree with some of them, others were unintentionally funny to me. For example she once went for a walk in this small town where everybody knows each other and passed a person she knew without saying “Good afternoon” or at least nodding. So her daughter asked her “Why didn’t you greet her? You know her”. My grandmother answered “She is two years younger than me! She has to greet me first!”. Both ladies were in their late 80es already.
Same with using a walking stick. Unimaginable. It would have been a sign of weakness towards anybody who would have seen her.

My other grandmother was quite the opposite. No strict rules especially in the late years, at least from my limited grandson’s view. Probably the nightmare of parents when it comes to television and sweets consumption of their child, but great as I could stay up late and spend hours of watching MTV Europe back in those days when they were still playing music clips and speaking British English only. Neither my grandmother nor me understood a single word, but it was cool.

Until a few years ago she still rode the bike to get to the supermarket. At the beginning of this year we had to realize that everything comes to end though. The funeral took place one week ago.

This grandmother never threw away anything. Though her flat in our house wasn’t that big, we found lots of stuff. Lots. Imagine you buy everything twice because the first one could break, or that you always have lots of food in the storage room because you have seen two world wars, the huge inflation of 1923 and four currencies in your life. She knew well what “bad times” can really mean.

Though I’m sad (I have lost the person that I always went for dinner to whenever I was home, every evening) it was also kind of fun to go through clothes from the 60es that are trendy again nowadays. It was interesting to find old stuff like handwritten cookbooks written in Sütterlin or some personal documents from a long time ago. You really dive into the life of another person.

Still, going through all this felt weird as I care about privacy but went through all the belongings of another person. On the other hand there’s no other option anyway – You cannot simply put the complete flat into a big bag and throw it away.

I am very proud that both my grandmothers passed away at home, in the environment that they had lived in for decades, in their beds, while sleeping, most likely without pain, and that my family took care of them in the last months, sometimes to an extend that is hard to imagine (like getting up 13 times per night). I wonder if I can also be that strong and caring once my parents might need some help in the future, nor do I know if I will live nearby. Our time makes it way easier to leave the village that you grew up in and offers you more opportunities, but for example this also destroys the traditional family advantages like grandparents taking care of their grandchildren from time to time so the parents have some time for themselves.

My sincere and deepest respect to those who care about family.

“Compassion, loving, brotherhood, loyalty /
This is friendship and all its meaning is worth to me /
Patience, kindness, intensity, all about /
Never turn your back on your friends and family.”

(Ignite: “Call on my brothers”)


Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Kleiner Hinweis für Auslandsdeutsche

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Gegenwärtige Anschrift: Kein Wohnsitz im Inland

Wer als deutscher Staatsbürger im Ausland lebt in welchem ein deutscher Personalausweis als Identifikation anerkannt/geduldet wird und wer genauso wie ich kein Interesse daran besitzt, dem deutschen Regime zwei seiner Fingerabdrücke für einen deutschen Reisepass zu geben, der kann sich als Adresse “kein Wohnsitz im Inland” auf seinen Personalausweis eintragen lassen. Wohl am einfachsten in der deutschen Gemeinde in welcher man als letztes gemeldet war (und für die verwirrten Mitarbeiter der Stadtverwaltung am besten zuvor den einschlägigen Paragraphen im jeweiligen Landesgesetz nachschauen), sollte aber auch in jeder anderen deutschen Gemeinde funktionieren.

A blast from the (German) past

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Spend a day at my parents’ place this weekend and cleaned up a bit. Found this old application for Western German citizens to enter East Germany. Interesting to see all the stuff that was asked for. Also wondering why it’s also in English and French, but not Russian…

Application for entering the GDRApplication for entering the GDR

2009: Music.

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Like last year my private soundtrack for 2009 in alphabetic order. (Warning: Explicit lyrics and/or video content.)

Röyksopp and The Dø to mention separately, because both albums are just marvelous. Quite unfair to pick just one song here.

Miou Miou – À l’été de la Saint-Martin ’68 / School of Seven Bells – Connjur / Depeche Mode – Everything counts (Oliver Huntemann & Stephan Bodzin Dub remix) / Paul Kalkbrenner – Gebrünn Gebrünn (Berlin Calling Edit) / N.A.S.A. ft. Kanye West, Santogold, Lykke Li – Gifted / Dear Reader – Great white bear / Unkle – Heaven / Dragonette – I go around (Midnight Juggernauts remix) / Black Eyed Peas – I got a feeling / Yarn:moor – It’s blooming / London Elektricity – Just one second / Friendly Fires ft. Au Revoir Simone – Paris (Aeroplane Remix) / Lady GaGa – Pokerface / Metric – Sick muse / Lady Sovereign: So Human / IAMX – Spit It Out (Designer Drugs Remix) / Hell – U can dance / David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland – When love takes over / 2raumwohnung – Wir werden sehen (Paul Kalkbrenner Remix)


Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

(violating copyright as I don’t know the creator of this painting)

“Die Debatte über das Internet muss raus aus dem digitalen Ghetto.”

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Auch das Internet ist kein Thema im deutschen Bundestagswahlkampf.
Dazu gib es lesenswerte Beiträge im Tagesspiegel und in der FAZ.


Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Themen, die mich im deutschen Wahlkampf interessieren würden, aber ignoriert werden:

Stattdessen: Weiter so. Merkel sagt ja noch nicht einmal, wer in einer zukünftigen CDU-geführten Regierung das Personal sein soll.

In Tschechien hingegen dürfte sich der Hass der jungen Leute auf die Sozialdemokraten zurecht noch einmal vergrößert haben (ich kenne zumindest niemanden, der hier freiwillig Sozialdemokraten, Grüne oder Kommunisten wählen würde). Ich sollte wieder Eier kaufen gehen.

Alles ein Trauerspiel. Wenigstens am Katzentisch sieht es gut aus.

The N900 & Maemo 5

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

It’s announced.
And I’m proud to be part of it.
See it in action.

GNOME Bugsquad policy changes

Monday, August 10th, 2009

One week ago the GNOME Bugsquad had an IRC meeting initiated by Javier Jardón. The log can be found here.

To summarize the important decisions:

  • Bug reports in GNOME Bugzilla (not: enhancement requests) with 1 year without any activity will be set to NEEDINFO state and reporters will be asked to update the report’s status by testing again on a recent GNOME version. After 6 weeks without response these reports can be closed as RESOLVED INCOMPLETE. A new stock answer will be made available for this.
  • There are many modules in GNOME Bugzilla that have not seen any code changes for years (except for translation updates). Bugsquad members will try to identify those obsolete/unmaintained modules and contact the maintainers. We expect a response within four weeks from the maintainers. Without a response the remaining reports will probably be closed as WONTFIX while explaining to the reporter that the module is not maintained anymore and will not receive any updates. I must admit that I have done this already before and complaints were fairly low (2 people when I mass-closed open gnome-vfs enhancement requests) or non-existing (e.g. when closing all open Scaffold bugs).
  • The “FIXED” stock answers will kindly ask bug reporters to verify the fix once it has landed in their distribution and if they have some time. The specific stock answers will be updated accordingly.

It was nice to discuss best practices and policies to have a less messy GNOME Bugzilla. Looking forward to our next meeting.

And PS: Hi to the Planet Fedora desktop readers.