The 4th Assessment Report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) is ready. And politics from all over the world, from Bush to Chiraq, are talking about how important it is to protect the environment and lower the emissions into the air.
I really hope that people are catching up to the necessary actions which are needed to minimize the impacts our anti-environmental behavior has already caused.
The new Assessment Report results are almost in all aspects worse than from the last one in 2001. Temperatures will rise faster, impacts will be greater and all such sorts of bad news. A summary of the report can be found here.
I hope that the changes needed are now more possible to happen and happen fast after this report is out now...
My sweetheart became more independent yesterday. She has got a car of her own now. A small nice Renault Clio, white.
Although we'll still try to use only one car as much as possible, it'll ease the cases where we both depend on a car during the day. Some less car-swapping-action-just-10-minutes-before-that-urgent-meeting stuff now :)
That makes now a total of four cars parking in front of our house....
Today the holiday is over and I'm back at work. Everything is as I have left it and I could seamlessly step back into productive-mode. Christmas brought another Wii-game, "Rayman Ravin' Rabbids". Fun. Fun. Fun.
And our storage room has been equipped, thanks to all supporters :)
Sylvester was a not-so-easy decision because we had invitations to three locations where we had to choose one to be on that evening. And all locations were equally promising, so it almost boiled down to roll a dice. I hope that we didn't disappoint the other two hosts too much when we had to reject their invitation...
In the first week of January my sweetheart and I also celebrated or 5th anniversary and we had another invitation to a small birthday party. All in all in that week I attended to three fondues and on every single one I surprised all others by being the last one to stop eating. Next time they'll not underestimate my appetite again :) I think I have heard the suggestion to "eat more to gain weight" from them the last time.
On other news, our TV died and I organized a used one as replacement but it has some drawbacks. We're currently thinking of buying a completely new one, a bigger and more modern one but not LCD or plasma. Too expensive and energy-hungry for me.
But we still have to think on that...
Ok, it's Monday and I had a few hours on the weekend to play around with the Wii and Zelda. Currently I'm having sore muscles around my neck and shoulders from playing tennis, bowling and boxing in the Wii Sports bundle but it's been worth it so far.
Zelda has been also quite satisfying until now and there has been just one downturn. About 15 minutes after the beginning where you get your horse and have to roundup the goats. After bringing in the goats there is a chance to practice showjumping where you can finish the practice by jumping over the exit doors. During practicing I saved the game and then left the room with the game inside a menu. When I came back the Wiimote has turned itself off because of inactivity and the game said that it has lost connection to the controller. I reactivated the Wiimote and the game found it again but the button to continue playing stayed disabled. No problem so far I thought, resetted and reloaded my savegame. Surprisingly I again got the duty to roundup the goats but they refused to enter their stable. And also the fence of the area was opened opposed to it's state when I saved the game so I couldn't leap over it with my horse.
In the end I was completely unable to finish this quest and had to dump this savegame. It wasn't a large drawback because I just needed 10 minutes to reach this spot again but I hope such errors don't pop up later in the gameplay again.
In the future I'll have to look out not to be inside an active quest while saving.
Picked up my Wii yesterday, added a bit of Zelda: Twilight Princess and placed it in the place between TV and shelf. At first the controllers were smaller than I expected but then I found it unbelievable how easy its usage is.
Previously when you had to enter a name in a game you had to tinker around for minutes using up and down on your limited controllers but now it's just point and click on the screen and you're done within seconds.
Today I went to the city to visit some toy stores and in the end I paid a pre-order for a Wii package. Super Mario Galaxy and Zelda Twilight Princess are quite likely to follow when I'm about to pick this small gem up next week. Although, I'm not personally picking it up because on that day, despite being a holiday, I'm attending a Java training at my workplace.
Yeah, finally I'm jumping into Java full-scale. 5-day training lessons. Hopefully it'll have some effect on my current position or unintentional "project affinity" at work. Some new challenges would really be nice.
Last week was a really memorable one. It's been a week where everyone(!) in our family had been either in hospital or experienced serious pain with their body.
My sweetheart and my granny were (grandma still is) in hospital, my dad and I had serious difficulties with our spine and my mother with her knee.
Aside from that I tried to get more info on modding my new digital PVR and thought about continuing my experiments with modding my wireless router but it isn't missing any functionality I'd really like to have. I think if I do some work on that again in the future, it'll be just some minor updates. Or perhaps something in the direction of OpenWrt.
Yesterday I made the switch from analogous reception of satellite programs to the new digital world. It has been a somewhat forced switch because there was a cheap offer of a digital receiver including a harddisk for recording. Forced also because we had to make the digital leap as DVB-T is causing the analog terrestrial channels to be turned of in less than half a year. Since we had to do something digital in that timeframe I decided to jump onto the DVB-S train.
Now I'm owner of a "Grand Prix PVR 500 CI" or "ZapMaster PVR CI" as it's original brand is called. It has everything we need so far and there is even a Yahoo discussion forum where you can get in touch directly with the developers and get beta firmware.
The whole switch to digital equipment (LNB change, two more cables from it to the "exchange point" in the roof, rewiring everything to exclude the now obsolete multipier, installation of the new receiver) took around three hours but was preceded by lots of preparations, information gathering and price comparisons on my side.
Ok, now one out of five TV sets has been converted to digital and four still to go. I think the rest will be equipped with a combination of cheapest-of-the-cheap DVB-T or DVB-S tuners.
Yeah I know, I've been silent for two weeks again. But (as always) I've got reasons.
The main reason is that last week in the night from Monday to Tuesday, my darlings grandpa has left us forever. He's been an impressive and great man for many people and we all will miss him and keep him in our hearts. Dedicating his whole life for others, he wouldn't have agreed to what was organized for his inhumation but everyone thinks he deserved it more than many other people. I do so.
Then my darling has also continued playing her instrument but just with another band. She likes the new people much better than the ones in her old band and I think that she'll have much fun there.
And some other small things which in sum lower the stress-level a bit compared to the last few weeks.
I'm feeling as if I'm tearing apart. Personal, private and job-related issues and commitments are lifting my stress-level quite a bit.
Add a nuance of financial pressure and irritation with government and you have a nice recipe of how to get rid of any relaxation for quite some time.
Well, it's not easy at the moment but it's nothing which can't be coped with over time. I just have to keep up.
The last few days I'm feeling as if I had assimilated all of Despair, Inc.. I'm completely demotivated, tired and physically exhausted. My back still hurts altough a bit less, seems the physiotherapy has some positive effect.
One of the few positive things around is, that there have been a few situations and developments recently which made me feel more connected to some of the people around me. Thanks, you know who you are!
Back at work. After relaxing for two weeks (altough not as much as expected/wished) I'm aligning my mind again in business thinking and maintenance procedures.
Not as much relaxing as wished because we grilled four times which meant that four days were filled with preparations, grilling, eating and cleaning up everything again. But it was nice to have friends and relatives around.
What's bad is that my laptops harddisk seems to give up. Last Friday I recognized strange noises from it and on Saturday I wasn't able to shutdown without bluescreen (something about page-in-error). Currently I'm avoiding to turn it on except for backup purposes which haven't been so successful yet. Trying to make an HDD-image over network on a Samba-share but always hitting a 2GB filesize limitation... Next thing to try is to use a NFS share.
And I've been to hospital and doctors to check out the state of my back and my strange 'allergy'. This evening I have my first appointment with the physiotherapist. As for the allergy I have to take notes under which circumstances I show which symtoms, diary-like, because the allergy-tests have been all negative and no one can currently make out a trigger for my inconveniences. Not that they bother me that much but I just have to know what's up with that...
Ok, one week behind me and one still ahead. Besides a bit of timeout we tried to clean up some of our rooms (more or less successfully, depending on the room), doing laundry, making some visits, building a wall to back our terrace and hang out once or twice in the evenings (and mornings) with our friends. We didn't manage to make a visit to the open air bath because either of the weather or of the other stuff taking the time for it.
I also made some visits to my doctor because of my pains in the back and it seems that I have a harm in one of my intervertebral discs. If it's a permanent damage or not... the doctor couldn't (or didn't) tell. Nevertheless, I'll have to do gymnastics and take massages to build up the supporting muscles around my spine. Well, I always wanted to do some more sports but now I'm forced to it.
In the upcoming week, we'll have to take care of my grandmother at home because my parents took a week complete off from here and headed to an alp.