In no particular ordering:

  • Dima Ovtcharov winning bronze in the table tennis singles. Great matches against Zhang Jike and that Taiwanese guy.

  • The fencing bout Japan v Germany in the men's team epée. Especially the final round between Ōta and Kleibrink. Controversial decision after judging the video, but still nail-biting.

  • The pole vault final — both Holzdeppe and Otto surpassing 5,91m right after another — Holzdeppe for the first time! And then Lavillenie besting them in his last attempt. This guy is legendary!

  • Men's football: Japan v Spain 1-0. Nuff said :)

  • Rūta Meilutytė winning the 100m breaststroke.

  • Marcel Nguyen on the parallel bars.

  • Andy Murray beating Federer in the tennis final. He played the match of his life.

  • The opening ceremony: "Jerusalem", "Abide with me", the torch lighting, …

  • Jessica Ennis winning the heptathlon.

  • Bradley Wiggins getting first and Tony Martin getting second in the cycling time trials. Wiggo, you're the man!

  • London and GB really showing their best side as hosts. My Anglophile sense is tickling!

Still don't know about the closing ceremony. Liked the Kate Bush though :)

Next thing coming up: TOKYO 2020 頑張ろう!

Tokyo 2020

Posted Sunday night, August 12th, 2012 Tags:

Now that the German team has — deservedly — bottled it against the Italians, the Euro is dead for me. But there are a lot of highlights until the next big tournament in 2014. So let's look forward to next season. I hope for:

  1. Rot-Weiß Erfurt playing for promotion in the German 3rd Division

  2. Huddersfield Town staying in the Championship after their surprise promotion

  3. Liverpool finally utilising their potential and returning to the Champions League

  4. Dortmund getting far in Europe

Posted Thursday night, June 28th, 2012 Tags:

I just returned from a one-week holiday in southern Spain, visiting among others Sevilla, Cádiz and Córdoba. I'm a big fan of fish and seafood, and Andalucía as a maritime region is obviously great for getting the stuff really fresh and well-prepared, which I often miss in Dresden. So I feasted on different tapas mariscos, ate some great fresh gambas (had to peel them myself, which was double the fun), and in Cádiz I came upon the rather plain, but very tasty bacalao con tomate — codfish in a tomato sauce with some added vegetables like potatoes, onions or olives. Apparently a traditional common people dish of the area.

When returning home, I was plundering the fridge and came upon some deep-frozen mackerels, which were looking quite good for frozen fish - so I decided to cook my own variation of the above-mentioned bacalao con tomate. In fact, I actually prefer the oily, savoury of the mackerel to the rather bland codfish in the original recipe.

For vegetables, I added eggplant and potatoes and left out the olives, but I guess you could follow your own creativity and common sense here.

Caballa con tomate

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 2 large mackerels
  • 4-5 tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3-4 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • flour
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • bay leaf
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon juice


  1. Clean and prepare the mackerels. If necessary, remove the guts and the head. Wash carefully. Either cut them into fillets or just into sections through the spine.

  2. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Dust the mackerel pieces with a little flour and fry for 1-2 minutes (not too long, as they will be cooked in the sauce later anyway) at good heat.

  3. Cut the eggplant into sections and put these into saltwater (as you would use for boiling potatoes or pasta). This will the dissolve most of the bitter substances from the fruit.

  4. Peel and cut the potatoes, peel and cut the onion. Heat some olive oil in another, larger pan. Fry the potatoes and onions until slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Wash and dice the tomatoes. (Shortly boil in hot water and peel if you don't like the skin). Add to potatoes and onions and stir fry.

  6. Cut the garlic into dices of your preferred size and add to the pan.

  7. Remove the eggplant sections from the water, dry and cut into slices. Add to the pan. Again, season with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme. Add a bay leaf.

  8. Leave cooking for 5-10 minutes, add some water to get a bit more sauce.

  9. Finally add the fried fish. Season with lemon juice. Leave cooking for 5-10 minutes more.

  10. Sprinkle with freshly cut parsley and serve.

Posted at lunch time on Sunday, September 25th, 2011 Tags:

Or should it be soli? Well, I can play the guitar a bit, but I didn't have much practice in the last months, or years. On some of them, I've tried myself, on others not. Anyway, here's an unsorted list.

  • Kate Bush / "Wuthering Heights"
  • Dinosaur Jr. / "Feel the Pain"
  • Yumi Arai / "Cobalt Hour" (actually, the whole instrumental interlude)
  • Queen / "Brighton Rock"
  • Jimi Hendrix / "Little Wing"
  • Dire Straits / "Lady Writer"
  • The Smiths / "William, It Was Really Nothing" (no real solo, but it's full of awesome melodious licks)
  • The Beatles / "And Your Bird Can Sing"
  • Steely Dan / "Don't Take Me Alive"
  • Nirvana / "In Bloom"
Posted Wednesday night, November 17th, 2010 Tags:

I own a Terratec DMX 6fire (ICE1712 chipset), which has for 12 analog channels (6 input / 6 output), but requires a quite complicated ALSA setup - read: manual fiddling with configuration files - for access to all channels and a usable dmix setup. Same for Pulseaudio, although I thought this was developed with the promise of doing away with such messy fiddling. In both cases I was disappointed either by low mixing quality, latencies, clicking / popping. Additionally, Pulse is only really intended for the per-user per-session use case, which was quite a problem for me as I use a system-wide MPD (Music Player Daemon) running independently of my current X / console logins.


Fortunately, Debian Squeeze has included a port of OSS4, which not only detected my card, but also provided exactly the controls — mixers, i/o routing, rate settings — that I needed and nothing superfluous (see screenshot), plus a virtual mixer running in kernel space with no need for manual multi-user setup. The ugly clicks and pops I experienced with ALSA / Pulse under high system load are gone — at least I didn't experience them in the last 3-4 days since switching, despite playing Football Manager 2011 via Wine…


  1. Some applications, e.g. Chromium, only provide a ALSA sound backend. Thus, I had to (re)install libasound2-plugins and a rudimentary /etc/asound.conf:

        type oss
        device /dev/dsp
        type oss
        device /dev/dsp
  2. Driver modules reside outside the kernel and have to be compiled. With the Debian packages, this is done automatically using DKMS.

  3. Recording with Audacity doesn't really work. But the included CLI tool ossrecord works just as well. In fact, I recorded some vinyl with 32bit/96kHz sampling, something I never achieved with ALSA without major configuration fiddling. And vinyl recording was one of the main reason why I bought such a "high-end" card.

Posted Wednesday night, November 17th, 2010 Tags:

So i wrote of late that I'm not much into anime — well, I have seen a few, mostly for getting better listening comprehension. For me, the "watching anime" -> "learning Japanese" thing has been the other way round.

So here are some short notes:

  • Planetes: great sci-fi show. The every-day life of space debris collectors. No shiny space battles, no obvious transgression of physical laws. Nice ensemble comedy touch. Fully recommended.
  • Ghost in the Shell: seen the 1995 movie and the first season of the Stand Alone Complex, 2nd season still in queue.
Posted late Monday night, April 20th, 2010 Tags:



  1. red moon
  2. 光の旋律 (hikari no senritsu, Melody of Light)
  3. テトテトメトメ (te to te to me to me)
  4. fantasia
  5. 春は黄金の夢の中 (haru ha ougon no yume no naka, The Spring is in a Golden Dream)
  6. Kyrie
  7. 闇の唄 (yami no uta, Song of Darkness)
  8. 星の謡 (hoshi no utai, Chant of the Stars)
  9. storia
  10. intermezzo
  11. progressive
  12. Lacrimosa
  13. I have a dream

So again, after quite a while, a record review. This time, it is by a Japanese group, so you might have to wait for a release in your country or, alternatively, use one of "the usual channels"…

That being said, this is not your usual collection of otaku bubble-gum pop anime theme songs. Well actually… I found this album via an anime theme song, namingly of the rather moe Sora no woto. While I found the show mediocre, mostly derivative and existing rather for the purpose of fanservice — though I rather liked the European style and the slow pace — the opening theme grew on me, so I looked for the artist and lo! behold, found this longer version of "Hikari no Senritsu".

Normally, I'm neither into J-Pop, nor that Renaissance-fair folksy style. But I found quite a bit more on this album, owing not the least to the fact that Kalafina's mastermind Kajiura Yuki is actually a studied composer. There are chorals inspired by sacral music, classical instrumentation, electronic beats, middle-eastern influences, gothic drama — an eclectic mix, but well-balanced by obvious arranging and composing skills.

Favourite tracks: "red moon", "hikari no senritsu", "storia", "Lacrimosa"

(Note: I heard — as I'm quite interested in contemporary Japanese culture, but not particularly in anime — that quite a few of these songs have already been used as theme songs, as Kajiura mostly composes for these. Well, I guess anime are for the Japanese music industry what MTV was in Europe and America 10-20 years ago… So you might already know some of these tracks if you are an anime fan. If you liked them, this album is a clear recommendation.)

Posted at midnight, April 20th, 2010 Tags:

This blog (and the whole underlying) site is powered by Ikiwiki, a very flexible Wiki engine. Following the unix principles of flexible configuration, only doing what is necessary and relying on tried and tested tools, I recommend it to anyone with a little unix coding experience to setup a blog or wiki with minimum overhead.

At it's core, Ikiwiki is a wiki compiler, a set of interlinked static html pages from wiki markup source files created in a local hierarchy with your favourite text editor. Any other wiki or blog features, like editing via web interface, revision control, etc. are purely optional.

For example, my webspace contract does not include CGI or database access, so I compile this site completely on my local machine before uploading it. No dynamic content, no hassle, no extra pricing...

Sadly, no comments or discussion pages either. But as this is just a starting point and I might get new ideas for content from mail feedback or my own mind, this might change in the future...

Posted late Monday afternoon, November 2nd, 2009 Tags:



  1. 24-25
  2. Mrs. Cold
  3. Me in You
  4. Boat Behind
  5. Rule My World
  6. My Ship Isn't Pretty
  7. Renegade
  8. Power of Not Knowing
  9. Peacetime Resistance
  10. Freedom and Its Owner
  11. Riot on an Empty Street
  12. Second to Numb
  13. Scars on Land

The quiet, acoustic approach has been driven to the extreme on the new album. If you're looking for new electronic escapades by Erlend Øye or at least danceable tunes like “I'd Rather Dance with you”, you're at the wrong adress. In fact, there is no percussion in the conventional sense on this album, no guest stars — nothing but Øye amd Bøe, their guitars and some subdued strings and piano.

The recording benefits from the sparse instrumentation and feels positively “handmade”: the voices and instrumentation have texture, spatial positioning and balance — from an engineering standpoint it's very well crafted, it really captures the band playing.

If you're asking yourself: “So why is this more than a simple copy of Simon & Garfunkel?” Well, they somehow manage to tread the thin line and never actually drift into bland and shallow waters — could be owing to the lyrics and their avoidance of over-sugared melodies.

Clear standout tracks are hard to identify, even after listening to the record 4-5 times. Currently I favor “Rule my World” with it's clever interaction of rhythm and lead guitar. On the positive side, the album makes for a great listen at a stretch.

So, no surprises from Kings of Convenience, but a perfection of the well-known formula.

Posted Sunday evening, November 1st, 2009 Tags: