Sunday, April 29, 2012

From Poland to Russia with ice cold Wodka

According to google the country with the largest readership of this blog is Russia. I have no idea why this is so. However to celibate this I have switched from drinking Polish Vodka to Russian Vodka. I found the Polish Vodka to be really tasty, because it is blended with herbs. The one time I did try Vodka in Poland I ended up drinking something that looked and tasty like cough medicine.

When I looked at the bottle I saw Julich -- a nearby German town. This made me think that it wasn't really a Russian Vodka at all, but the web site claims that the Vodka is made in Russia but bottled in Germany. I personally keep the Vodka bottle in the fridge or freezer box. In English pubs the Vodka is kept in bottles on the wall and that means it is not so cold. I don't like adding ice to Vodka.

Perhaps my Russian readers will be unhappy that I think of Vodka when I think of Russia. I have never seen a Russian friend drink Vodka.

facebook friends

I am not a very sociable person. Sometimes I need to alone. I am also not very good at keeping up with friends and there are many people I have lost contact with. I am always worrying about some deadline.

Technology has made friendship some how simpler with facebook and the friend linking system. One of my old friends in the US added me as friend. I was just thinking last week, that I should ask why she was not posting stuff. I then found we were no longer friends. There could be many reasons why we are no longer friends on facebook, from me having pissed her off to her account being closed.

Anyway this will not help with my stalled physics  calculations.

Spring time for Dracula

Today it was just warm enough to sit on my balcony and read. I have so much work to do, but I have been so stressed and burnt out recently, that today my body went "no work", and I gave myself to the joys of my kindle. Actually the leaves are starting to finally appear on the trees, so the view will slowly improve from the flat. I feel as though the forest ordered me to be lazy today.

Now that the warm weather is here (for perhaps a day only), now is the time to read a novel about
The book I choose to finish was: Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. This was an alternative "history" novel where Dracula had defeated Van Helsing and the count had gone on to marry Queen Victoria.
The main plot is the hunt for Jack the Ripper who is attacking vampire whores. There are other subplots and a hidden main plots. It was fun to read about a society where the vampires were taking over. The author had included a number of characters from other novels and real life. Before reading the book I had assumed that most people wanted to become vampires so that they could live forever, but the book showed me the error of my ways.

Kim Newman has some interesting things tp say about vampires and zombies in this guardian web chat.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Warmth and some heat

Before dinner I went for a short walk through the wood behind my flat. As I got out of the front door, the air felt very wrong. Has there been some kind of accident I thought. After I had walked a couple of steps, I realized that it was warm. It has been cold or chilly for such a long time that I had forgotten how a warm drowsy day felt like.

The shops in Germany are starting to open later. One of the local supermarkets near me is now opening until 22:00. I just went there to buy some beer. There were a number of attractive women there. Late night shopping is clearly a better place to meet women than bars.

A mouse invades theoretical physics group

I was walking from my office to the mail cabinet. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a little brown shape run into a room. I am a twenty first century guy, so I knew what to do. I went back to my office to get my phone so I could take a picture or video. You see the result below. Unfortunately I think the mouse escaped and I actually just took a picture of piece of card.

I was actually rather brave. If you read a lot of science fiction then you know that things that scuttle around in the corner of a persons vision can be very dangerous indeed. Another person at work also saw the mouse,  so I didn't dream it up.

The Tournemant

When I was at school I studied English literature until I was 16. I achieved the might result of C grade for learning about one Shakespeare play and one Dickens novel. So as I watched the film "The Tournament", I thought the attempts at my school to teach me some culture has totally failed, because the film was just people shooting each other in some dumb competition for hit men.

If I would have written the script I would have got the police to sponsor the competition as way to get rid of hit men. There can't be some many hit men that they killing 30 of them every 7 years, but my problem might be using logic to such a film. But I enjoyed the film..

Fake beer and bad eye sight

I think I need new glasses. I purchased some beer from the kiosk that is on my way home. When I got home I found that two of the bottles were alcohol free. I was going to go back to the store and exchange them, but that might have made me look like a sad alcoholic, so I went to another store to get new and real beer.

As it happened I enjoyed the Jever fun beer. I drank one bottle on my balcony after work, while I read my book. It tasted OK and made a change to drinking tea. It is still a bit cold to read on my balcony and there are still not enough leaves on the trees, so the view is not restful, but still the summer is coming...

My phone is my boss

I think I am down to 88kg this weekend. My goal for weight loss was to be this weight on my birthday in the middle of March. I have started to use a fitness application on my phone. It records where I am and how fast I am walking. The phone tells me how fast I am walking. This can be embarrassing, because at some stage I thought it told me that I was walking at a speed less than 1 mile per hour.
Even without wikipedia I knew that the average walking speed was 3 Miles per hour.
My phone calls out how slow I am which raised a few eyebrows with attractive women walking their dogs.

I have always wanted to be controlled by a machine. My phone is trying to make me want to run quicker.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy St Georges day

So today is St George's day. I was in Liverpool one time and I was sitting in McDonalds for breakfast on St Georges day. A server asked whether he got a day off, because of our patron saints day. The answer was no, so he lost interest.

Being English I know nothing of English history. I did read in Gibbon's Decline and fall of the Roman Empire that St George was a crook Bishop who sold bad bacon to the people. Then he was  killed by the people. The church made him a Saint, because  you can't have Bishops being killed. This seemed very symbolic of the Tory myth of England. But wikepedia claims that this story is not true. But do I believe wikipedia on this?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My nightmare with Will Smith

Before I went to sleep last night I watched in German a bit of  "The Dark Night" on TV. Somehow I think this was the reason I had really bad dreams last night.

I dreamed I was watching a Will Smith comedy.  It was based on him being a new father. he would sleep in his bed with his baby (in a normal way), but he would always hold documents. The baby would accidently modify the documents and fun things would happen.

One time the baby modified some papers and Will went to the wrong graduation day. On the correct day, it was raining and there were a few people there. People were ringing up to try and find out wher he was. Also somehow someone added a picture of his mother to a tree with the pictures of women who had died of cancer. Note his mother was not dead. Fun fun, fun.

Also the baby changed some documents so that Will promised to buy a house. Also some of his friends also ended up promising to buy houses without their knowledge, because of Will's baby's scripplings.
The situation was being discovered when I woke up.

On on hand I am bitter that Hollywood has brainwashed me so that I dream of Will Smith.
On the other hand it looks that I have the basis of a typical Hollywood romantic comedy. Perhaps I should move out there to make my fortune?

The biggest losers

Today I went for a quick walk through the forest close to my flat. I then did a small amount of weight training. I put on the TV and watched part of "The biggest Losers". This is a TV program where a bunch of fat people try to lose weight. I am watching the German version.

The show had the contestants walking up some steps about 6 times as fitness training. Many of the contestants huffed and puffed to walk up these steps outside. OK fine, good for them. However at the end of the show, everybody gets weighted and there is some dramatic music to check whether they have lost weight. Most people lost over 1kg, but a couple of people lost 5 kg. I am not sure what the length of time was, but it looked although they lost 5 kgs in a week.

What? Why can I lose 5 kgs in 1 week?

Why are modern tin openers so complicated

I am not a hardware person! In my old German class we were discussing how some people have problems learning about new computer technology. I was not sympathetic, and my view was that they were just being lazy, and people should be FORCED to learn about twitter and facebook.

I was humiliated to find that some hardware is too complicated for me. Most tins now come with a pull off top, but sometimes a tin opener is still required. The two in my flat didn't work very well. I understood how they work, but they wouldn't open any cans, unless there was a huge amount of swearing and the tin being battered to death.

So I got a new tin opener -- the one with the white handle. It has some fancy design, but I am not sure  how to open a can with it. It is a problem with geometry. I am not sure which way the can opener is meant to attach to the can.

I even searched on youtube for a tutorial....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Templeton prize 2012

On the Templeton prize. It was becoming clear that I wasn't going to win the Templeton prize for subverting science with religion this year.  The prize money is over 1 million pounds, so I could do a lot with that kind of cash.

I was getting ready to write a really nasty piece about the prize winner, whoever that might of been. I wanted to congratulate Prof Blowjob for his or her political and sucking up skills. I would not have been bitter and warmly congratulated the shit for having no dignity.

However this year they gave the prize to The Dalai Lama, I am too bitter to find out why. Perhaps he is an expert on quantum mechanics. I don't see his name as having published any papers on inspire.

On the other hand, if a non-scientist can win the Templeton prize for just taking an interest in science, perhaps an physicist can win the prize for being a little bit interested in religon. When I lived in the UK, I used to listen to "prayer for the day". Will that count?

A week of burgers

I have been a bad boy. In fact I have been a very bad boy. In the University Mensa (cafe) they have a station that serves up market food. Normally it serves fish or some nice meat and rice, but this last week was Burger Woche.  Everyday there was  1/2 Lb burger on sale in a different style.

I ate a burger very day, much to the disgust of my co-workers, who wanted to go to other places on the campus. I would gobble down 1/2 LB of meat, then feel ill for the rest of day, until about 18:00, when I would start ti get hungry again.

This is what I ate

  • Hamburger Greek-Style" mit Zwiebeln, Feta, Oliven, Salat
  •  Burger "Nacho Macho" mit knusprigen Nacho-Strips, Sour Cream
  •  Giant Burger - Mexican Feeling mit Guacamole Jalapenos
  • "Farmerburger" mit Bacon, lauwarmem Kartoffelsalat, Sour Cream
I think I ate the Nacho burger twice. Eating a burger on Friday was a struggle, but as it had bacon as well -- it had to be done.

my favourite burger is Greek style!

I was worried that after my gluttony I would gain weight, but I was still 89 kgs, when I weighed myself yesterday. I decided that I would eat mostly fish over the weekend. I am all burgered out....

Mystery of the Hansom cab

I have just listened to The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume. This was a famous Victorian novel that apparently inspired Conan Doyle to write about Sherlock Holmes -- although he was not so impressed by the novel.

I don't want to give away the plot -- but someone is murdered in a cab.

These Victorian crime novels always seem very complicated. Everyone worries about their reputation.
After reading the wikipedia entry about it, I see that the Victorian readers liked that the story involved both the poor and wealthy. This seems normal to me.

I think the detective in the story was treated poorly, because although he solved the crime and was competent, he was made to look vain.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Philip K. Dick, the Exegesis, and me

Ok I admit it, I like to sometimes read science fiction. Some people think that readers of science fiction are nerds who can't relate to normal people, because they dream more about spaceships, than buying a bigger car.

The Philip K. Dick fans are  an even stranger  breed, for they are surely mad, paranoid, like drugs and weapons.  WHY ARE YOU WATCHING ME? Even with the tin foil of the soul I am still naked to your eyes.

I was amused to see that there is a book about a robot head of Philip K Dick. Of course at the end it was stolen, but that is not insane enough for me. Where is the robot head of Philip K. Dick. Perhaps if I find it, it will spin me takes of untold riches, or the ultimate equations of the Universe. Perhaps t
should dedicate my life to finding this robot head.

On the BBC there is currently a great adaptation of do androids dreams of electric sheep, the Dick novel that was the basis of blade runner. You really see Decker breaking down.

I read an introduction to a set of stories of Philip K. Dick, that was written by Spielberg. He rightly said that one of the reasons that there are many films of Dick novels and stories was because the hero in many of his stories were all regular Joes.

In the end perhaps he went a bit crazy, he spent a lot of time writing The Exegesis. This was a series of writings where he tried to make sense of a religious experience he had in 1974. I am not sure that I am interested enough to try and read The Exegesis, particularly after listening to the video clip  below, that is thought provoking but mostly insane.

Lady from nowhere

I like to listen to stories while i hack code. So I love the BBC Iplayer that has a lot of drama. However, there  a lot of repeats. So sometimes I listen to LibriVox that is a collection of human read novels in the public domain.

Over the weekend I listened to The Lady from Nowhere by  Fergus Hume. This was a  very confusing (in a good way) murder mystery. A woman was murdered -- from this a vast plot was built.. Thanks to wikipedia I found that one of the authors earlier books had influenced Conan Doyle to write about Sherlock Holmes,

Saturday, April 14, 2012


While I tried to digest all the meat in ,my stomach I thought I would try another band/singer from Germany. So I tried Bushido a hip-hop dude based around Berlin.
I liked the video below, but one of the later ones was a bit slow for me. Of course it could be that I like the video below because there are a lot of fist fights. This is German gangsta rap, plenty of fist fights, but no guns (unlike the US version).

I am 1 kg less fat

I think my scales are playing weird mind games with me. Although I have been walking up and down stairs and steps all week -- I still feel fairly bloated. I also ate some chocolate as well, that I had got in Bruges.

I was trying to remember when I could fit into trousers with 34 inch waist. I think it must have been in Liverpool. When I first lived in Liverpool I was doing a lot of martial arts (although very poorly) so I was fairly fit for me at least. When I broke my ankle I stopped working out as much and started to get fatter. I used to get Tesco to deliver food. The nice ladies who answered the phone and took my order were very good at selling me two for one beer and cakes deals. When I started teaching at Liverpool I was under such stress that I stopped going to the gym or doing boxercise. I sort of wish I had done something about my weight when it was starting to increase. What I have discovered is that all the junk food I was eating was not good mr.

Anyway I am now finally 89 kgs. My goal at the start of year was to be 88 kgs in mid March, but I clearly didn't make that goal. I am not sure how I lost weight in the last week, but I am more motivated to climb more steps and hills next week.

To celebrate I will have a couple of beers later.

On Tuna

Although I may have the reputation as someone who only eats chips (French Fries), the food I most eat is Tuna. And I love it. I usually just buy the most expensive tins. (When I am out at restaurant I like it grilled of course -- which I like the best, but I am not good enough cook to do that at home.) Tuna is best as part of Sushi.

But I find I am a bad person because I eat a lot of Tuna. I do occasionally eat sardines, but I don't really enjoy them. Perhaps now I will bloody Mary my sardines after reading the article.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An evening with my phone

I was so tired yesterday that in the evening I just played with my phone and then went to bed early (for me at least), so I was ready to dream. I also read in the guardian about an I phone app that claims to be able to influence your dreams.

I suddenly though if I combined a quark propagator with peroidic boundary fields with a quark field with anitperoidic boundary conditions in time, I would get some kind of SUSY meson. I then woke up to real world and decided this idea was clearly wrong. So I am not going to get any ideas that will win any Nobel prizes.

Last I dreamed about a guy who wanted to get rid of his cat. I suggested taking the cat to someone who works with cats and let them give it away. He was very suspicious of me, as if it was just a way for mee to sleep with the woman who works with cats.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Fear Institute

I went to Regensburg last week. On the train I finished reading: Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute:
by Jonathan L. Howard.  The Cabal character is a Necromancer. In this novel he is exploring a  dreamland, as a guide. What is fun about the character is that he is sociopath, but is slowly learning  to be a better human being. I wasn't expecting the eending.

Liver and depression

I fucking love liver. I am not much of a cook, so I have rarely tried to cook it. I tried it once in Glasgow, but somehow it ended up white. So I didn't try again. I am slightly more confident on cooking now that I can watch stuff on Itunes.

After viewing  a couple of videos I thought I would try to cook liver again.  Some of the videos were not of great quality. One had a woman with a hand held camcorder. She found it difficult to cook and hold the camcorder at the same time. Another video told me that eating liver was good to reduce depression.

In the UK many people don't like liver. It used to be served at lunch times in schools, so many people associate liver with being forced to stay in school.. Anyway below is my stir fry liver that I ate for dinner.

The Cosmic Computer

I like to listen the BBC Iplayer while I work. However, they repeat a lot o stuff, so sometimes I need a new source of spoken words. Over the last couple of days I have been listening to the cosmic computer from LibriVox.  Librivox has volunteer people reading aloud books in the public domain.

The cosmic computer was about a search for a big military computer hidden on a world. It was interesting book -- mostly because it explored macro economic ideas (a little bit) anyway.

The Barmenia scandal in Wuppertal

One of the Germans at work sometimes taunts me by saying "what does the UK make". This is actually a difficult question to answer, particularly as I can  never remember which companies are still owned or controlled by people in the UK. (Don't worry dear readers, I am planning on an England wine tasting session after I have imported some wine from the UK. Punishment with style!).

Near where I live is a big office block for Barmenia. I thought great, perhaps the German manufacturing success will rub off on me, because I live so close. However when I  look on the web, I see it is just a company providing services such as insurance.

So the Germans are hiding their manufacturing plants. One day the UK will be the "workshop of the world" again. Well OK, it is not clear how that is going to happen.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Celebrate Easter by stealing booze in Germany

It seems like a tradition in Germany to try and steal from supermarkets over the Easter period. I was waiting to pay for my purchases. I let one woman go infron of me, because she was only only buying a bottle of booze. I saw that the man behind me had no stuff to buy. He waited patiently. When I was paying, he walked past me to the door. The cashier, who I believe is the manager didn't notice. On Thursday, the same person jumped up and caught someone who walked out of the store with a backpack after not paying for any goods.

Of course I don't know whether they guy on Saturday was actually stealing anything, but the lesson I have learned is that it is better to wait patiently -- rather than to push though the cashier area.

I have read steal this book  but this didn't contain any tips for stealing booze from supermarkets.

I have always thought that after speaking with beggars in the street, that they are all using the same technique Perhaps there is some secret book that that they all read.  Amazon don't sell it though. And typing "begging" into the search box, I just found a book "begging for demon cock". So perhaps I should write my own book on "how to beg" as this will surely be popular in Tory England. And given the way my career is going ....

Friday, April 06, 2012

Warehouse 13

Boohoo, I have run out of episodes. I got from Itunes a series called "Warehouse 13". This is an American TV series about a team of agents who work at a warehouse that contains artifacts, that have dangerous magical powers. The job of the agents is to hunt down new artifacts and store them safely in the warehouse.

It is light stuff, but it is inventive enough to have me watch 3 series of episodes. Being an American series there is a lot of sharing of feelings -- normally this would turn me off, but did I mention there were magical artifacts.

There was a great mini series called "the lost room" with a similar idea. However, that series was darker. It was a pity they never made a longer series.

Cyber Puppets

I have just finished reading Cyber Puppets by Angus McAllister. This was a great story about a strange soap opera that is software generated. It did remind me of Philip K. Dick writings, except much more Scottish. I am sure that Angus gets annoyed by the Dick references, but Dick is way more paranoid . The characters in this book were rationally paranoid in a weird situation.

I got the book after reading about it on the White screen of Despair blog. I am finding that I am enjoying reading books recommended by humans, rather than just relying on Amazon's automatic suggestions. Perhaps I should look for other sources of book reviews.


When there used to be bookshops, I used to wander around the science fiction section. There always used to be a lot Dr Who spin off books. What sad losers read this books I used to think. My nickname at school was (in my own mind) was "hard man stud", I would not be seen dead reading such nerdy books.

Well 25 years later I seemed to have read  Doctor Who: Shada on my kindle. With a kindle no one can see what you are reading. Why did I read this? It was a book based on a script by Douglas Adams. before the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy,  Adams was involved in Dr Who. The book had been finished off by another writer.

The story was enjoyable and I think I detected some of the comedy from Adams.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Beer and dieting

Sorry another tedious post about dieting and body sculpting.  Last week I went out and purchased jeans with a waist of 34 inches -- rather than 36 inches that I have had to buy for maybe the last 10 years. When I was a student I used to wear trousers with a waist of 32 inches, so perhaps that is my goal. Last weekend I was back at 90 kg, but what will the scales say on Saturday?

Although I have cut down the amount of food I am eating -- I still need to work on reducing my liquid intake (and we are not talking about tea). According to the Guardian newspaper drinking beer may not be the cause of my beer belly. Umm?

I am obviously keeping up to date with the most recent scientific ways of dieting.


I watched a film called "Needle" last week on Itunes. It was an Australian horror movie, based on some sinister device that a dead Father had left his son. A number of University students were killed by the machine. It wasn't clear why some of the students were killed, because the killing spree was for a specific reason. This was probably explained in the film, but perhaps I had drunk too much beer and missed that important point.

Note the picture is not from the film, but I felt like a mash up....

Night out in Wuppertal

Last weekend I went to the Pavillion club in Wuppertal to hear some live music. The event was called "the sounds of mass destruction". I didn't know any of the bands, but I assumed that it was going to be an evening of metal music.

I had been to the bar in this venue to hear some hard core punk bands, but this gig was my first in the main building.  When I got there i found the music was mostly techno. I am not sure what the correct tag for the music. Most of the music came from laptops. The people working the laptops had various techniques to make their sets interesting. One group had a lot of dancers. The dancers had to be very fit, because their arms were moving very fast.

I didn't dance of course -- I just propped up the bar.

Almost everyone was wearing black (including me I might add). To stand out perhaps I should wear white, but then I would only spill beer on my clothes.

I had a great time and got the bus back. I discovered that they don't open the front bus door in Germany -- you have to exit from the middle or end doors. This was new to me. Hopefully this will not will be my only gig of the year.

On being ugly

I was walking home with my clothes in a big rucksack, after washing my clothes in the Laundrette.
I saw an attractive woman walk my way, but when she saw me, she looked away in a kind of I am not interested in you in way.

Perhaps I was staring at her in a too lustful way and she doesn't find men who limp attractive (when did that happen?). Also it had hard to be cool, if you are unfit and you have just walked up a big hill.
Of course perhaps she was just thinking how she was going to feed her children for tea.

Stealing from a supermarket

 The thief

The shops were very busy today. I was buying some food after work, but there were many big queues in all the stores. I mostly shop in the Kaufpark supermarket that is close to the University.  While I was waiting to pay for my stuff. A man was trying to get pass me pass the cashier. I politely let the guy by. Suddenly another cashier jumps up and grabs the guy trying to get out. He then asked to look in his bag, after seeing the contents of the bag he took the guy into his office.

Wow there is crime in Germany I thought. If I had been grabbed I might have struggled, but this guy just calmly was led into the office.

It reminded me of the time in Liverpool, when two guys left a supermarket to have a fight over who was going to take the last shopping basket.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A few dreams

Fragments of dreams

I started with restless forgotten dreams. I then saw a man in my room with a leather S&M face mask. He reminded me of one the old people with a wrinkly face in the department. I started to get out of bed to go and fight him, when I work up.

Later I was in a car with a very old friend (who I don't see very often) and his new girl friend. We were driving around trying to find a place to eat. I suggested one place, but they didn't like it. We went someplace else. In  the bar we sat down. My friends girl friend told me to stop staring at her. It wasn't clear whether she was talking to me or someone else. I went to the bar to get drinks. I was starting to buy a round, but friend wanted to buy his own drinks. He got some weird green drinks.

I ordered a beer, but it took a long time to come. The staff at the bar started talking that a prostitute was in the bar. It wasn't clear, but perhaps it was my friends new girl friend. Because of the long wait for me my beer, I went for a walk outside, so I could think. I came back into the bar and my beer was ready. I woke up to the morning.

Judge Dee novel

Yesterday I read "The Haunted Monastery: A Judge Dee Mystery". Thus was a great book about a detective, well actually a magistrate in Ancient China. When he is travelling home with his family, there is a problem that causes them to stay in an old Monastery.

It is interesting to read about the rituals and life in Ancient China. Also there were tensions between the Taoists and the Confucians. Judge Dee is a proper detective, because he drinks a lot of tea.



I rent films via Itunes, but sometimes I end of watching them very
close to the end of the month after the film was downloaded.
I started watching the Drive film. I found the start of the film
a bit boring, because there was this driver and this woman with
her husband in jail. She started to fall in love with the driver,
but then her husband out out of jail.

Dear reader, you may think me a slob but I thought this
is like a soap opera. Where are the explosions? I am a person
who complains when there is no character development in the films and
the actors are wooden and boring, still .... Things started to happen
in the film, but then Itunes told me the rental period had ended. So I
will never know about the last half of the film, where a frantic car
chase had just started.