Sunday, July 19, 2009

pet talk – cat language

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“How cats manipulate their owners”, that’s the title of an article recently published on Spiegel Online. While it told nothing really new and the title promised more which the article did not deliver, the title was also wrong. We all know that “cats don’t have owners, they have employees”.

The article focused on the purring and meowing and that cats include some whining sounds which trigger our “someone small needs help” syndrome ;)

I’m not sure if that’s true, but it’s a fact that our cats have trained me well. Though I think that’s more through non verbal communication.

Maxi, our male cat, simply stares me into action. Whether it’s in the morning when he tries – and often succeeds – to stare me awake or in the evening, when he places himself somewhere where he can observe me and stares at me until I notice him.

Wölkchen, his sister, is completely different. Contrary to Maxi she is not constantly begging for food. She’s also a very talkative cat and has many different sounds for ordering me around. A very deep meowing though means “cradle my head, now!”

When she stares at me, it often means I did something wrong, e.g. her pillow is not on the spot on the couch, where she expects it.

Both cats have trained us to open the doors for them, why use the cat door when a human gives access to the shorter way, with less steps? ;)

Blackie is yet a different story. She can’t meow, she always chirps like a bird and that extremely loud. When she’s running around and chirping like crazy on the upper floor, she means “you forgot to refill my water”. Unless she wants to play or cuddle ;)

After all – I don’t care if there’s a scientific explanation why my cats (or pets) always know what to do to get me doing what they want me do. Each of them has their own character and we get along just fine :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Testing the straight factor

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There’s a new “how hetero are you”-test that made the rounds of twitter this week. But don’t worry, it’s nothing homophobic, it’s a joke made available via Stockholm Pride. The query analyzes your twitter feed and gives out a percentage plus an evaluation of your character. But no matter the result, you’re still welcome to participate in their pride event.

I’m just baffled at how they new about my secret passion ;) Vanilla ice-cream with chocolate chips and half baked cookie dough.




62%? Way too much, there’s work to be done ;)

What’s your score?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

music – interpretations and cover versions – Hallelujah!

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There are hundreds and hundreds of versions of “Hallelujah!” out there, some better, many worse. Even Leonhard Cohen, who wrote the original version, covered himself.



There’s no discussion that this is a wonderful song and either you perform it in the unpretentious ways of Leonhard Cohen or you need to be a terrific singer.


Annie Lennox even moved her translator to tears, when she performed this song while being in the studios of a French radio station.



Annie Lennox again, this time it looks as if this was taken from tarata



one of the best versions is – undeniably – by k.d. lang


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

tv-series: Chuck and others

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What’s the fascination about Chuck? I’ve got no idea and yet I’ve been watching it religiously since the first episode aired some weeks ago. I could do with half of the idiot characters and I don’t really get the hype about Agent Warner but I can’t wait until this evening when the next episode airs.

Yes, I’m that old fashioned (sometimes) to watch series and movies on tv. This time it helps that it runs without any commercial breaks, the torture is over soon enough.

Would I choose it over any other preferred series of mine? No. But this won’t probably ever happen cause it airs in the early evening program.

Let’s see how this one develops ;)

Btw, my first thought when I heard the title?  “Why would anyone make a series about trainers?”


The Mentalist is a completely different topic. I didn’t like it - even hated it in the beginning. That has changed completely, I like it that much, that I even manage to stay awake until it’s finished.

The characters work better now and while Jane was in the center from the beginning, the others have had their time too. And Agent Lisbon is quite adorable ;)


But I seriously wouldn’t mind if the reruns of CSI stopped and we got some new episodes. What happened to all that talk about summer not being neglected by networks anymore, seems only to apply to the US and not to Europe.

The only highlight in the next weeks? Mistresses starts airing on German channel WDR this Thursday and can thus be seen via satellite almost everywhere in Europe. I only hope they didn’t synch it.

I just read that Arte will air Mistresses too, from August on. They’ll definitely stream the English audio too.

Monday, July 13, 2009

favorite music – old time favorites

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There is something about Cock Robin, it’s not only the songs but also those lines when both sing together, not really harmonizing but it’s got something to it. Songs like “Thought you were on my side” still give me goosebumps.

“When you heart is weak” is one of their greatest successes, don’t laugh at the video, the song is from 1985 and so is the video – high season of the eighties bad taste and fashion ;)



Sunday, July 12, 2009

geek stuff – learning more about blogging

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I love learning new things and about them. There’s a lot of truth behind this phrase on my profile “I want to know how things work and why they work, how they work”.

There are lots of things I’ll probably never learn, among them are punctuation and proper quoting. It’s so difficult and why does every country has to have its own rules? Well, that was a rhetorical question and i don’t really care to know ;)

It’s the technical, the geeky aspects of things that spark my interest. My current adventure is “blogging”. Nothing too complicated about this, but once I’ve understood something I’m always interested in taking this to the next level.

Ever since I set up my blog with blogger I’ve been at odds with the pages “behind the front”. The editor doesn’t include a spellchecker, inserting pictures is very tedious, especially as they never go where they are supposed to go.

In the end, I started refreshing my html knowledge but also looked for offline blog editors. Word 2007 includes the possibility to directly publish to your blog, but blogger ignores the picture settings and it’s impossible to add any tags/categories.

Scribefire is a terrific Firefox addon – when it works, half of my posts just don’t get published, displaying a quite non-descriptive error message.

The I discovered the Windows Live Writer, which apparently just got into it’s first official version. Actually I don’t care, but it’s easy, have had no problems so far. It’s not that different from Scribefire, except for the live-preview. Live Writer downloads your blog settings and writing is as if you were writing directly into the design. Very nice feature.

What’s keeping me really busy though is not yet for show, but I’m hoping to move to a self-hosted blog soon. It’s already up and running, but I’m totally geeking out over all the possible designs and even more about the plugins.

I even managed – with the help of the corresponding tutorials – to install a local version on my laptop, which really helps if you want to try out templates or plugins first.

Let’s see where this will take me ;-)



Friday, July 10, 2009

treasures from the interwebs – colorful world

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While surfing and searching geeky stuff I came across this fantastic site call tag galaxy.

It looks quite boring when you start it but shows its geek factor soon enough. Start by entering a tag of your choice, and the software shows you (in the form of planets) what other tags are connected to your choice.

Click on any planet to add this tag to your selection, I haven’t tested the maximum of tags, it probably ends when you’ve run out of possible connections.

When you think you’re done, click on the planet in the middle and the software starts adding pictures from flickr, compliant to the selected tags, and adds them to an object shaped as a globe.

They didn’t issue a warning “Addictive”, though I think they should have.

I started out with some obvious selections like sunset, which gave me this:

sunsets_2 Next was something for my girlfriend:

dogsAnd it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can create your own rainbow-world, by playing with the tags lgbt, pride, lesbian and others :-)

rainbowWorld3rainbowWorld4  or going by colors – red, yellow, pink, orange etc.


Wonderful idea :-)


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