Archive for December, 2009

The road till December

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I’m back in Biarritz with the grandparents of Raphaelle.

I find myself remembering the last time I was here quite vividly. As a matter of fact it seems mere weeks ago that I was here.
How is that possible, it has been over 3 months since I last set foot here.

Thinking about it I can think of a couple of things that have happened since I last came here. I got my BSc, I went to Vienna . . .  but most of all I have been at school. Lots of school. Apart from a couple of sections of day where the network of school was out and some weekends absolutely necessary to maintain sanity I have been at school every day for that last 3 months and more. Not just limited to weekdays either. I have spent a fair number of Saturdays and Sundays there as well. It started as regular 9 – 5 work but has since then grown into 8:30 to often past 19:00. And it is starting to frighten me. I am not done with schoolwork yet and have months to go yet on my thesis even after my final assignments have been handed in. I am feeling the strain and I can see where the cracks are appearing.

I have mentioned the weekends absolutely necessary to maintain sanity. They have been filled with anything to take my mind of the unfinished workload I have sitting at school. No watching TV, because it leaves too much time to think. I engage 2 or 3 different forms of entertainment simultaneously in order to relax. A book will have to be very well written indeed not to let my mind wander to my work these days. What I want to do is come home and switch off my brain to coast, but I need to keep myself busy in order not to regress to my MATLAB code. And despite all of that I find myself doing lit research more often after 21:00 than I care to admit.

A lot has happened in since I last was here, but I can’t feel it. It’s been one long haul, and while I have tried to relax I have to conclude I can’t. I need to finish this, need to finish school. I need to get this over and done with so I can dial back the pace of my life. After school there’s a career, which is obviously not the best time to dial back. What the hell am I supposed to do about this crap? Screwed if I do, screwed if I don’t.

Besides the Vienna thing and closing off the BSc another thing has happened in these last few months. I seem to have lost a good friend. Though I don’t know why, he hasn’t told me. One day he didn’t come to my birthday and I haven’t heard from him since. I think that was significant. I need more social interaction than I am getting, and Raph can’t fill that hole due to the whole Long-Distance thing. I am trying to hold on to my other dear friend, but I am not giving myself the time to do it properly. I will need to change before I tear myself apart.

But for now I will try to truly relax. I have tried this before so I have my doubts about it working, but I will try. So far I am too obsessed with trying to get the verification for my new version of MATLAB done though. For some reason it won’t verify which means I can’t do my work here. And I definitely can’t voluntarily not do the work if it isn’t even possible to do the work if I wanted to. That doesn’t mean I’m relaxing, that means I’m forced to do nothing. Which is something completely different.

Now I know it’s been a long time since I was here because last time I was here I got a sunburn while surfing. A notable difference with the frozen wasteland I just behind. Clear indicator of time past. It is, however, not the only indicator. People are celebrating Christmas all around me, indeed I have my first gifts in my possession already. But I can’t help but not feel the actual Christmas spirit. I am stuck in Emotional October. It can’t nearly be December yet. When I pulled out of my studies long enough to take stock last week I found it was already far too late to plan anything efficiently. Thanks to my girlfriend I am here though, someone around me is rooted in the correct time-frame that can steer me a little bit.

Hell, it is now even possible to see my mental pre-occupation now. Due to 6 days of not getting around to shaving I now sport a beard. I could just shave it, but that requires time and I’m not prepared to use time for that.

Now, it is not to say that I am here wholly lost and overworked. I would not be myself if I couldn’t draw back from my current predicament to know I am in a pretty good state. School is drawing to an end, I have the love of a beautiful woman and I’m not nuts/sick/schizophrenic/etc.

But right now I’m just so tired. And I can’t go to sleep till I say so.

So while I don’t really fully comprehend what is happening around me I will leave you with a “Merry Christmas”/”Happy Chanukah”/”Happy Solstice”/”Happy Isaac Newton Day”/”God Jul”/”Happy Holidays” and an alcohol soaked new year to you all.



Quote of the day:

Too fucking busy, and vice versa

– Dorothy Parker

The weather outside is AWESOME

Monday, December 21st, 2009



Oh man, it’s gorgeous outside. Absolutely breathtaking.
Sure, it’s cold. And with the wind the way it tends to be it’s worse than that, fucking freezing comes to mind. But in the right light it’s breathtaking.

And lets face it, what is more fun than snow. I felt like a little schoolboy outside today. And I know that doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that I was going to school. It all has to do with what I saw and what I felt.

It started fairly tame yesterday with only the white view . . .

Today was worse though . . . snow flying about quite vigorously withe impressive wind speeds

snow was coming into my arboretum as well

Now, considering that has a roof over it I knew outside would be worse

You can even see the snowsweeps on the ice

Not easily deterred it was ON TO SCHOOL
You can tell the snow was having fun by the way it strove to represent a racewheel

and when it stopped trying

School was suffering equal onslaught though

and getting through the untouched snow of the last few meters where noone in their right mind would be (though there were at least 4 other people at school later in the afternoon)

Now follows a slower part of my day. It included noodles, 6 cups of hot cocoa (and a trip to the bathroom to pee)- and can I just say “Thank you for the free cocoa machines” to my school- and 5-6 hours of crunching numbers. So I won’t bore you with that. I certainly didn’t photograph any of it.

On the way back I picked a time with no snow falling to head back. And karma rewarded me with a grand total of 10 snow-free seconds before starting the rain, hail and after 30-or-so seconds: Snow.

The trip back also had me pausing for pictures:

and after a bit more snow tried to force itself through my derailleur

You can see the poor thing being detached. I had to lug the thing back the rest of the way

my own snowangel (though not very visible)

And finally

Eventhough I had nothing to do with that one.

For more pictures go here

Bonus picture:


Quote of the day:

Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottory

– Bill Watterson

Japan Nostalgia #1

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I miss a lot of things about Japan. In an online game I play at my LARP forum I reconnected with Shibuya Crossing.

In case you forgot just how populous Tokyo could be. This one is for you