Tuesday, September 29, 2009

this morning I got a ride from Ashley to the airport at 4am and after an uneventful flight of 1.15 minutes I managed to arrive in Los Angeles. Which is the worst airport I have ever been too. It has barley signs, it's complicated. The service unfriendly and the food is just plain awful.

And the worst is that I got to spend 9h here reading/working/watching movies and people are coming and going and I just keep staying. I can't even find people to talk to, since my gate is completely empty.

Short I'm bored out of my mind and pondering since 2 hours the idea to just get a beer or two. I also bought my first time ever internet access pass at an airport.

We shall see...

But I can't leave my spot, since I occupy the only working powerplug in this area...

Picture on the side is me after only 2-3h of sleep in the last 24 hours and being proud owner of a new fedora and haircut...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

well after a pleasant breakfast with my visiting friend Kim I decided to spend the rest of the day relax downtown or so.

Mhm but my car did not joined me into this and stopped working again. For some reason the speed sensor died yet again. So it's going to be parked for the rest of the month on the ramps till I find more money to put into. But what can kill a speed sensor in 60 miles. I'm running out of ideas and so does Dr. Google...
I mean last night the car was working fine without any flaws. Starting and stopping and over night it stops. I swear somebody is sabotaging me...
I'm so close to put the car in INOP and sell it as is for 1500-2000 as project.

The only thing which makes me happy if, is there is something blowing the speedsensors. It would had done the same if I brought it to a garage...

I was kinda undecided to go clubbing tonight, but it actually turned into a lot of fun and was nice to get out of dancing tonight and leave davis/troubles behind for a night.

Actually it was really fun, to begin it was Kim, Laure, Steven and me. Later we got joined by Kitty. Kitty is a glamor model I met last Thursday and can maybe introduce me to some people for possible shots. We sadly didn't make an even six as we planned, since she left her boyfriend at home. She said he doesn't really like togo out much.

club one: Social

it's more or less my favorite club in sacramento rigth now and was a lot of fun. Specially since we accidentally crashed a wedding and were happily dancing till we noticed that the average age was around 40 and people had smokings on, there were pictures of a couple displayed at every wall and the women had just stunning dresses. One in white...

club two: Dream Lounge

this was not so much fun since the DJ was rather bad and it was a touch to crowded. The highlight of this club was me chatting with a couple of Russian girls which thought it would had been funny to ask me in Russian for my name and that I was actually able to answer in Russian and politely asked them to speak English or German to me. Yes my first real world application of the 3 sentences of Russian I know.

club three: The Park

I'm not a huge fan of this club, since it's always to crowded. Because the dance floor is a touch small, but at least the DJ was good and we danced there for 2 hours or so. Well at least it was fun till some idiot decided it's cool to punch me in the ribs, because he felt like I'm invaded the space of him and his girlfriend.
I still don't know why I just walked away instead of doing something about it. Guess I have my smart moments and don't see the point of fighting in bars. Or maybe I just don't hit shorter people?


the best part of the evening was defiantly crushing the wedding. Which was a total accident. At least we were nice and didn't take advantage of the open bar.

Once we came back to Davis we had a couple of panninis at my place and called it a night. Now getting up in 5 hours is going to be a pain. Since I'm supposed to have with Kim, my former neighbor, some breakfast.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

well since my car is finally running again I decided to go shopping and buy some casual clothes for events, conferences and going out again. Since my wardrobe was not perfect anymore... Well it's never been.

So after driving 60 miles it looks like

  • no starting issues or funny noises
  • no leaking oil anymore
  • no burned oil smell
So seems it paid off that I worked on it a bit.

The big question left over is just, why can I fix this oil leak issue and diagnose it right, when a VW mechanic who works on VWs and Audis since 20 years is not able to find the cause for it? I mean I never touched a car prior to 4 month and still don't know what I'm doing. I just type the symptons into google and find possible causes.
Yes he fixed the leaking gasket, but he did not fix the actual reason for the gasket leaking. So frustrating...

About me and clothes,

Now why is it not possible to get 36 length pants at calvin klein anymore. They had gorgeous needle striped pants, which were 2 inches to short.

Well guess I have now a new pair of dress shoes, 2 new dress shirts and some normal shirts more. But I still need pants...

because my spare part finally arrived last night I could attempt fixing my car again this morning and it took....

12 minutes in total, slight an improvement to the last time, when it took 5+ hours.

What did I do different?

  • I knew where the part was located, 4 hours saved
  • I cut the old sensor in the middle instead of fideling with it for an hour, 59 minutes saved
  • I did not remove the coolant reservoir this time, 10 minutes saved
now the bill in total come out to:
  • wrong part 80$ - thanks ECS for providing this, you send me the part for a 1.8T...
  • comfirming diagnostic 90$
  • right part 40$
  • so 230$ total
compared to the quoted 360$ of the shop

Tonight I was kinda wondering what todo and so a friend invited me to join him playing settlers of catan, with the knights extension.

Well for some reason I was not really focused on the game and lost with having a total of...

3 Points

and we started with 3 points.

Short it was the worst game I ever played in my live.  Afterward we went to a local bar and played a couple of rounds of pool. Didn't do much better there.

Well at least I got out and relaxed a bit.

last night I went the second time to the davis firedance and took the camera with me this time.

And have to say I got some awesome pictures which were incredible hard to take. Why? Well you want to have the motion of the fire without it blowing out the picture and to have the body sharp and not blurry of the fire dances.

Ok let's think about it.

We have fast moving people - fast shutter speed
It is pitch black - low shutter speed
we have a an extremely bright fire - fast shutter speed
we don't know where the dances is going to move - small aperture
we want to capture the motion of the dancer moving the fire around him - slow shutter speed

short It's an impossible combination to take a picture off...

Is it?

well we can roughly predict where the dancer is going, so we can shoot at F5 - F8 and get him somewhat in focus

we can us an exposure which puts the flames nicely into the picture and don't overexpose it. And to capture the motion.

So after some test I ended up with 1s at F/5 to get a nice pictures of the flames, but the dancer was totally underexposed. So I fired a flash at him, next time bring a grid so it's only on him. But now we have a ghost, since the flash fires to early. At this point I remembered something about rear sync flash. So we capture the motion of the fire and the dance is underexposed. Now before the shutter closes we fire a quick burst of the flash and tada, we expose the dancer now.



now why are all these pictures black and white?
cause they look great like this!

Friday, September 18, 2009

the bright side is that my hands are finally ok enough that I can climb a bit and workout again.
But without my favorite rock climbing partner there is just not much fun in it, since nobody is there who motivates you or shares your accomplishes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

well today my new scale arrived, since I wanted to start to monitor my weight and live healthier. Including eating less meat, working out more and keeping balanced diet.

So first thing I noticed that I finally hit a BMI of 20, so I'm officially not longer underweight.
The second is that I'm getting fat in an unhealthy way. 19% Body fat content is way to much for me and I want to get it down to about 10%, without loosing mass.

I also listened to my best friend about my eating habits and will take my daily Dosis 'ensure' even if it taste awfully and is disgusting, but I can keep it in the office for a quick snack.

This stuff if basically a replacement meal and should help me to get the required amount of calories without taking to much fat to me, as I did lately.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

since the first speed sensor blew up, thanks for being the wrong part, I order now the hopefully right part and got it even on sale for 35$
Sometimes it's worth to shop around.

Disadvantage is that it needs a week to be delivered. But at least I can now write my first how to fix the internal of your car tutorial, if you have 2 left hands!

And it's never wrong to spend more time learning to write or to use your hands. Who knows maybe I learn enough, that I can sometimes even fix cars, if all other backup jobs fail.

Now I just need to borrow a car to get some new stylish clothes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

another uneventful sunday spend with trying the fix the car and watching the second rain in the year.

This time I only needed 45 minutes to replace the suction pump and the only hassle was to figure out how to cut the brass connectors without a tin clip. Turned out massive tree cutter do this rather well...

In total I saved around 400$ this weekend doing all the work my self. Which is nice and I start to get more confident with fixing my car. The big question is, does it fix the oil leak? The suction pump i took out was completely stuck and so responsible for the overpressure in the pvc system, which blew my gaskets. Now I just hope that the gaskets are not that shot that I really have to replace them. We will see in 1000 miles...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Last night I decided to grab some frozen yogurt with a new friend and were joined by a couple of other friends for a rock climbing session afterward. Which turned into a lot of fun and hope to repeat this soon.

Well besides the part that my car refused to start and we walked afterward to a bar for a refreshing beer. The rest of the night I ended up watching a very strange movie, but happily I don't remember much of it. What shall I say, some kind of early Tarrantino.

Now the 'fun' project was to get my car going again and a job which was supposed to take 50-60 minutes turned into a 6 hour project. Five hours of this were spend with actually locating the damn speed sensor. Which is located at the bell housing of the transmission at not at engine block as it was written down in the manual.

The good part is that the car is starting now and the bad part is that it sounds really strange and the noise seems to come from the serpentine belt, which is really tight. I didn't even work in this area of the car... Guess I do this tomorrow and replacing also the suction pump. Which I have laying around since a while.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

just a pretty area we passed while driving back to davis from twain harte

Thanks to the labor day weekend we had enough time todo three day long, nothing but climbing (saturday), hiking (sunday,monday) and barbequing in twain harte. At the cabin. Short it was great to have enough time read some books again and to not have any forms of communications nearby.
Since there were several request to provide a picture of the cabin, here it is.

Friday, September 04, 2009

I was this time at the 17 mile drive during a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky so I decide to take some pictures which are not that common. I mean every one has a picture of the lone cypress these days...

The first picture is off a beautiful young artist who tries to show off the USA with big cowboy boots, sitting in the back of a truck and painting. Hell dog was running around somewhere and refused to get in the picture...

The second picture is just a couple of waves breaking on the shore

now since I'm back from germany since a week and even got a new visa (just another year, grummel) it's time to update this little blog.

So I arrived after a 'fun' 18h flight in san francisco and got picked up by Ashley and continue driving to Carmel. Where we spend the weekend with her family barbecuing, hitting balls on the driving range and driving down the 17 miles drive and next time I will take the bike with me.

Yes I was playing golf in carmel and It's impressive how bad I am at this sport. Just as a teaser here is a picture taken from her grandmothers patio.

The rest of this week I spend with working, studying some development techniques and rock climbing. Currently I basically go every day during lunch to the gym and climb for 40-50 minutes one and the same route in the hope to able to master it sometime soon. Now I'm only missing 10 inches till I reach the top, damn slanted walls and gravity.

Tomorrow morning we will go to twain hart and spend the weekend there reading and maybe hiking a bit. Not sure yet. I just want to relax.