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 :-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

geek stuff – feeding my e-reader

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Once in a while or precisely once a year (i.e. not often enough) even a geek has birthday and sometimes, especially when her girlfriend knows her well enough, she’ll receive geek stuff for her birthday.

The last days I’ve been busy getting acquainted with my newest gadget, the Sony e-reader prs-505.

Installation was easy enough, but I had to start the difficult quest for acceptable reading material. Acceptable for me. Thanks to tedoe’s euRgeek column on eurOut, I already knew where to look.

The only problem was and still is that those sites have thousands of categories for real books, but only one category for their thousands of ebooks – called “ebooks”. *sigh

Then I remembered Bold Strokes Books, a fabulous source for lesbian books, who have their entire catalogue available as ebooks. It got even better once I checked some books; since my last visit they had added the format epub for the Sony e-reader.

The rest turned into a perfect Sunday spent outside, in my newly purchased hammock chair and reading away with my e-reader.

I’m sure I’ll come around and order ebooks from other bookstores too, especially the non-lesbian books, but it’s kind of difficult to browse when the selection is not broken down into further categories.

I’ll probably borrow ideas from my goodread friends :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

favorite music - duets

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Going through older posts, I came across a post where I had linked to video with Sarah McLachlan and Pink performing together.

This video has been unfortunately removed, but I got lucky and found another video of the same performance which I don’t want to withhold ;-)

I still think that Pink does look as she was wearing drag and she has had much better hair, too. Thankfully, this doesn’t have any influence on her singing.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thoughts on the women's finale - Wimbledon

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My last post on the matches Wimbledon 2009 and I must say, I'm glad it's over. While the first post were lots of fun to write, the last one took it's time to get written.

I had seriously hoped for a three-set match, but soon after Serena won the tie-break and thus the first set, Venus crumbled and the second set was over way too soon.

I knew they were to play the doubles final later (which they won too) and though I had heard the name of their opponents once or twice throughout the tournament. This might come as a surprise to some of you, I do have a good memory of names, but need to be linked to some event.

From now on, I’ll never forget Stosur/Stubbs and will look specifically for them ;)

(Samantha Stosur)

(Rennae Stubbs)

Did you see those arms?

I also wrote another article for eurOut on this topic, exploring the gayness of Wimbledon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday - ???

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Happy (belated) Birthday to Bettina Böttinger, with a portrait on eurout.

Happy Birthday to Amélie Mauresmo! Turning 30 today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

more Wimbledon, part II

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While writing the Wimbledon posts is lots of fun, watching the matches and confirming facts is a bit time consuming. That's why you get yet another blogpost about the women's singles at Wimbledon.

The finale will be on Saturday, and looking at the draw, the tableaux and recent performances it comes as no surprise that we'll get to see another all Williams finale.
Read my account of the semi finale once again at

Thursday, July 2, 2009

more Wimbledon

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It's still Wimbledon time and for once two things come together, some matches are shown on free TV and my schedule allows for me to see them.

I'm not that much interested in the guys matches, tennis is not only a power sports - it also needs an extremely good technique, brains and a good oversight.
While DSF, a German sports broadcaster, shows the matches on Centre Court and Court 1, I prefer to watch, respectively listen to, SF2. This is a Swiss TV-station that shows every match national hero Federer is playing in, plus other top matches.

Both channels often show the same matches, but the commentators at SF2 sound more professional and give more background information, not about the private lifes of the players but about the technique and match itself.

Most interesting was their detailed dissection of Dinara Safina’s serves and why so many of them ended in faults (striking most of them blind, cause her head goes down too early)

Today are the semi-finals of the women’s singles, head over to eurOut to read my account of the quarter-finals.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reaching the quarterfinals - Wimbledon

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Following up eurout's article Halftime at Wimbledon, we now take a look at the women who made it into the next round.

It was hot yesterday at and in Wimbledon, everybody complained about the heat and some players really suffered. Just like Nadia Petrova who had to seek for medical attention several times and still lost to Victoria Azarenka in the one of the two women’s matches that needed three sets.

Desperate was Ana Ivanovic who had to declare defeat in her match against Venus Williams due to an injury.

Head over to eurOut to read the entire article.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

photo blog: from the garden

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- or playing with pol filters.

These pictures where taken the same day and while the clouds looked quite dangerous at same point and it st
ayed windy, the thunderstorm never came.

the marguerite waving at me ;)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Halftime at Wimbledon

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Serena and Venus Williams Sisters made it both safely into the 4th round (remaining 16), just like Amélie Mauresmo who was only seeded 17th.

Dinara Safina, who lost the finale of the French Open to Svetlana Kuznetsova, also made it safely to the fourth round. Will the current number 1 in women’s tennis pull through and win her first big tournament?

Head over to eurOut to read the entire article.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

my non particular reason crush - Amelie Mauresmo

3 Kommentare
Ok, I lied, there is a reason. Amélie made it to the fourth round in Wimbledon, and while you can look at pictures from recent matches - incl. some with her doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova, on her homepage, I wanted to share the following ones with you. I directly admit,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Favorite Songs - Eurythmics with a hint of Sharleen

2 Kommentare
While I was picking gooseberries and struggeling with their dangerous thorns, I had to think of the Eurythmics. I've tolerated Dave Stewart but the one I've only ever really liked of the Eurythmics, is Annie Lennox.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a good live video, which gives the song, their performance and Annies singing proper respect.
I know they must be out there, I own the DVD's.

While I was looking for a video where Annie is wearing leather pants, like in this one

- cause I had something very specific in mind. I also wrote the title of this post before I had found all the videos. So while I was looking for videos I came across this one, a performance at the Grammy Awards

The original end I had in mind for this post went like this "around that time, there was only one singer who wore leather pants as well as Annie Lennox". Now I have to end it like this

Now, Annie, Sharleen did this way better!

And a live version

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 25th – RIP

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June 25th 2009 will be marked in my book (I don't have a diary or write one and this blog isn't one) as one of the weirdest days ever. I know things happened before 5pm (GMT +1 on summertime), but that's when this day turned for worse.

Natazzz informed us that news had broken on Belgium TV that tv-presenter Yasmine had died. A suicide, a measure I've never really understood but this is not the right place to engross these thoughts.

News of the death of Farrah Fawcett followed shortly afterwards. Though it didn't surprise me, I was still shocked that it happened so quickly. The news that she and her longtime partner Ryan O'Neal thought of getting married told me that they had run out of hope. That she died only a couple of days later is still a blow in the guts.

This morning, while catching up, I learned of the death of Michael Jackson. The news broke on twitter, but everybody was thoughtful and waiting for confirmation from serious sources.

They were right in doing so, cause only shortly afterwards news of the death of an actor made the rounds – this one was a hoax. How horrible is that? Playing with the emotions and empathy of people is just downright awful.

I know that Ed McMahon died too, but I've never really heard of him before. Whereas Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson accompanied my youth; before Michael went totally crazy – and sometimes even then – he made some really good, extremely awesome music.

And Farrah Fawcett – show me the lesbian who was not a fan of Charlie's Angels? I should give this some thought, if these three Angels weren't at the source of my still ongoing love for crime serious with women detectives?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

treasures from the interwebs

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more writing, more surfing, more pictures, more findings. I found the following creations on a mexican gay site, I really want to learn how to do this!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

music – interpretations and cover versions

0 Kommentare
Those with a good memory will remember that I already posted the following song once, back then I didn't know how to include videos into blogposts.
And I simply don't need any reason to post videos showing Ina Müller any time ;)

or by Pink

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

tech talk

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Yesterday felt like xmas in summer.

The reason for that was not really funny and gave me a fright on Saturday and much work on Sunday. Saturday morning I realized that the NAS wasn't running, at first I wasn't that surprised cause there was a power outage on Friday evening, and because those happen frequently and sometimes repeatedly I've programmed all computers not to reboot when the power comes back.

After rebooting though the NAS still wasn't available and that's when the trouble started. The system said "no disk" and G said "oh no, where's my data?!" Most the files we need to use both were stored on that disk. The rest – pictures, movies and music where just backupped there for easier access.

The rest of the weekend turned out to be very technical. Removing HDD from NAS, inserting it into PC, understanding the file format and finding a program to make the disk readable.

I learned everything I never wanted to know about ext3 partitions but all that counts was that I was able to recover all of the data. Because those programs couldn't find any errors on the disk, but the NAS was still insisting that the disk was broken, I decided that it was in the fact the NAS that was broken and quickly got G to agree to buy a new one asap.

I found one from Linksys but a visit to their forums convinced me to wait some more time to get their newest media hub. It's very tempting, but has only been available for a couple of months and is still suffering from minor problems.

We headed out to a huge electronics store yesterday morning, and though I had in mind to get a NAS with two HDD's I settled on a model with only one (Buffalo Link Station 1 TB). Those models which allowed the installation of several HDD's didn't have the media-options. I decided to go with more functionality and need to rethink and seriously setup a backup-system for the rest of our data.

The rest of what we bought falls into the category "do you really need that?"e.g. yet another satellite receiver, a power cable for an internal SATA-disk, and many many dvd's that were on sale. Oh and a case for G's iPhone, cause the one I ordered was to be delivered around mid june. Yesterday evening I received an e-mail that it has been shipped :-)

After the exhausting shopping we both had our first Subway-Sandwich – yummy :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Better smoke than kiss a girl?

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A couple of weeks ago, on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day on March 31st, the European Commission launched version 2.0 of their campaign For a life without Tobacco. This campaign is scheduled to run through 2009-2010 and focuses this time primarily on young persons and young adults.

An interesting aspect of this campaign is the fact that the target group was asked to help with its development

“This campaign is being fully developed with the help and advice of the target group: both individuals and youth organizations. For example, the idea for one of the new TV spots has come directly from an Internet consultation with young people.”

I didn’t know all of this when I saw the first short-movie of this campaign. I didn’t even know that it belonged to campaign urging people to think to stop smoking or not to start at all. The first time I saw it, I was that upset, that I even didn’t remember the internet-address shown at the end.

I was too busy complaining and thinking “WTF, that’s totally homophobic!”

The campaign includes three short movies, and it’s the first one I want to mention here. You can watch all three of them on the website accompanying the campaign. The site is available in 22 languages.

“As this is an EU-wide campaign, the strategy will be fine-tuned at national or even regional levels according the cultural and social needs”

The movie shows a girl, who whenever being offered a cigarette jumps on the guy next to her to kiss him.

The last scene shows her with two other girls and when being offered a cigarette by one girl she starts turning to other girl and stops.

And the off-voice says “Nice try, Anna, but for an advice that really works, visit”

It’s okay for a girl to kiss boys to avoid smoking, but not to kiss girls? There must be another way to follow through with the idea of this movie.

Please leave your suggestions or other “strange” advices – as requested - on their website.

The idea behind the campaign is highly innovative and I simply can’t believe that advisors let this go through. After all this is an initiation of the European Union!

As far as this short-movie is concerned, thumbs-down from eurOut.

Originally written for and published at eurout

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