Sunday, December 31, 2017

End Of Year Post 2017

This year it's gone by really fast. It didn't really feel like there was a lot of 2017.

Let me sum up what happened this year:

  • Made one trip to Ireland (first time ever) in May
  • Another trip to Singapore, early July
  • Amrum (North Sea) late July
Three major vacations in one year were great. It's something to keep up, especially with one country being a new one.

We also got a cat, Akasha, in November. She must have been born in early September, maybe even September first, we don't know for sure. This cat was very shy at first but turned out to be very social, loving and playful.

On a wider scale, 2017 was a very political year. Not only was it the year right after a big American election, which Trump won (we will remember how misleading the media reports were, considering it was not unlike the Brexit vote), there was also a German election. It is not the election itself that was really the milestone in a negative way, but in some way I feel that the election represented the changes that Germany has gone through. It all leads back to the "refugee" crisis of 2015. Most people in other countries won't understand what this means for Germany, because in other countries, laws are different. Here, whenever people come, they stay. It's that simple. And the people we got in 2015 were, even if they were real refugees, very different people who, let's say it mildly, are at odds with the German culture. To put it even more friendly, it's the German system who doesn't fit to them, if you won't put it the other way around.

To be more clear: I believe we will look back one day and say: 2015 was the year it was decided that Germany will be changed forever. It doesn't matter that it was changed genetically. What matters is that freedom of religion, safety and especially freedom of speech will be affected because of very conservative islamic communities building up in the future.

Back to 2017: Even though the elections politized a lot of people and had a shocking result to some, things stayed the same basically. The reason is that there has been a stalemate for some years. There were two big political parties, one of which has been suffering losses for over 10 years now. The other big party is also losing, but stays the strongest party, and that means that the chancellor who got us into all this trouble will stay in power for another 4 years.

Away from politics... what else happened? Not much, I think. I would mention terrorist attacks, but now is the time to acknowledge they have become a boring *yawn* part of our lives. But I do remember they were new and unheard of in the early 2000s. I will not forget that. And whenever a politician comes and tells me otherwise, I will slap them in the face (in my mind).

2017 was in some way a standstill. My other blog I use to generate income has been standing still. I only write when I have to and I don't put much effort into it any more. But in some way I feel that's okay because I'm looking at the stock market again, it has some potential perhaps.

What is there to expect in 2018? Let's see:

  • Turning a childfree life into a permanent reality
  • A trip to Tenerife (first time in Spain at the same time)
  • small trip to Switzerland to visit a cousin
  • Probably many retirements in my main job, which will bring changes
  • Weight loss (there have been many ups and downs in 2017 and now I have to start at a very high weight)
So far, not that much is planned. I'll see how it goes. Bye!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Why Do Websites Change Design All The Time?

Before I start: Last month I forgot to post something. First time in the history of my blog that I don't have a post for one month of the year! This is not good for my obsessive compulsive disorder.

Why do websites constantly change their design? Here is an example:

Hey, are you still using the "classic" yahoo mail design? Do you want to change to the new design?


Why does everything have to change every year? And why does it have to change to the worse?

In the last 12 months or so, the amazon associate program, google adsense, xanox affiliate network, my online broker and yahoo mail have all changed their design. And I liked all of them the way they were (except for yahoo mail, because that's a piece of shit anyways).

Especially when money is concerned (affiliate programs), you just wanna create your monthly reports and print them out for tax reasons. You don't want to get involved in new fancy designs, find where the hid the buttons you used to find easily, or even rename things.

I don't mind if websites get better, but can we just decide to stick to one design for 5 years maybe? It's really mentally exhausting, and on top of that, I am in favor of a slick design that doesn't need a lot of text and many on-screen elements or scripts in the background. Can we just have a simple design and keep it? Please?

Here is how I like a design:

Everything that does not have a purpose: Keep it white (no racism here).
Buttons: One colour (corporate design stuff)
Tabs: The other corporate design colour
Number of tabs, buttons, menus: Start with a small number, then spread it out when you hover over some of the fewer options... then it can get a little more complex, because it's not all on one screen from the beginning and at all times.

Just like in all areas of life: If you want something to be done, you have to do it yourself. Well, I can't, and I won't. Just let me do my stuff, okay?

Friday, September 29, 2017

AFD: Useless political drama

There have been elections in Germany recently. And oh, my god, there was so much political drama because for the first time, a right wing party called AFD entered the parliament.

In Germany, this is seen as a big issue, because Germans can't distinguish between right wing parties and nazis. Basically, everyone who is "right" is automatically a nazi. And when you take Germany's history into consideration, everyone is afraid that history will repeat itself.

Now, to be fair, this party has some representatives who have uttered ambiguous (whatever the spelling is) messages. You could say that they are fishing for votes from nazis. Yes. But that doesn't mean that the whole party (or all the voters) are nazis.

Funny enough, most people who are against the AFD, bring up all kinds of reasons why it is stupid (yes, "stupid) to vote for them. They bring up all kinds of elaborate reasons. For example:

  • The AFD does not even have a concept for pensions and retirement benefits
  • The AFD has financial / tax plans that benefit rich people more than poor people (the supposed target group)
  • The AFD can't provide solutions to the problems they complain about

All of this may sound like legitimate critisism, there is just one problem. Voters in favor of the AFD vote for the AFD for very, very simple and straight forward reasons:

  • To veto Angela Merkel's 2015 decision to let 1 million immigrants (labelled as "refugees") enter the country on a permanent basis
  • To protest against the rising influence of Islam in Germany
  • Most AFD voters don't believe the AFD will solve problems, they simply mistrust ALL other parties

On top of that, you should note that there are virtually no other alternatives to vote for if that is your political position. Let me walk you through the options:

CDU: The party of chancellor Merkel. She decided to take in refugees. You vote for the CDU, you support Merkel's decisions
CSU: A party that has a strong position against the intake of refugees, asking for an upper limit of refugees per year. The only problem: They can only be voted for in one state (Bavaria) and are in a union with CDU, making them basically the same party in effect!
SPD: The social democrats. They were in a government coalition with the CDU, making them Angie's partners in crime (or in a brave act of humanitarian efforts, if that's your point of view). Voting for them basically means you still support the intake of refugees. It is a social party after all.
Green party: They are very much in favor of refugees
Left party: They are in favor of all poor people and therefore not opposed to taking in refugees
FDP: A liberal party. They are in favor of a Canadian model immigration program, meaning they want qualified immigrants who are given points depending on how qualifiied, suitable etc. they are. The only problem with them: They share similar views on other political topics with the CDU, making them a frequent coalition candidate in the past. In other words: Voting for the FDP will extend Angie's chances of being a chancellor in a CDU-FDP government.

When you go through all these options, you quickly realise that you can either vote for a party that wants to have many refugees from Africa, the Middle East and whereever, or you can vote for a party that technically is against taking in too many refugees, but then you directly support Angela Merkel who will then claim "the electorate is on our side".

So this is why 12.6 per cent of all people voted for the AFD, the only party that is clearly against Merkel and her choice to flood Germany with mostly uneducated and sometimes criminal nincompoops.

I should note at this point that Germany has a tendency to mix humanitarian acts with "we need highly qualified foreign workers". This argument does not work in reality, however, politicians use it to fool the public into thinking that bringing in ANY foreigners is better than not bringing in foreigners at all. The reality is that many poor foreigners would love to enter Germany to seek asylum and gain easy financial benefits, while few highly qualified Chinese, Indians and other specialized workers feel attracted to a country with a complicated language that is kind of isolated culturally.

It's as simple as that.

The next thing on the list is the alleged nazi problem with the AFD. I see two options here: Either, the AFD radicalize themselves further and further until they are basically unvoteable by the German public (12.6 per cent is not the amount of nazis in Germany... it's people giving them the benefit of the doubt) or they democratize (?) themselves to the point where they become a right wing, but not radical hater party. Then, they can continue to attract people who have conservative views within what's acceptable in a democracy.

And I think that's what we will see.... it's all not too dramatic.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stuck in limbo

Man, life is really annoying right now.

I notice that something is wrong with my neurotransmitters. I'm constantly unhappy, easily angry, often stressed out and never satisfied. At the same time, I'm trying to lose weight, which seemed so much easier a couple of months ago.

When I go home from work everyday at 11:30 (I'm a part time worker), people say "man, wish I had your life". Then I wonder: why is it that everyone feels this way but I can't even be happy about it, even though I KNOW that I'm lucky?

I'm walking through a goal-less and meaningless life right now. I make video game achievements and saving money my priorities so that I have anything to live for. The bad thing is that the video game achievements are shallow and without long-term reward, and saving money doesn't work because life always takes money away anyway. Crazy dentist costs, unexpected bills, being screwed over financially, wasting money because you can't find time to look for cheaper contracts. Whatever I do, I've been stuck at my current balance for a year now.

I would like to be happier. I don't want to say "I'll be happy later" or "I'll be happy as soon as X happens". I know it doesn't work that way.

Other people seem to be happy. At least they have this ability of laughing when small things are good, pleasing or funny. It takes me more things to enjoy myself.

I still get thoughts like "I'm falling back into a depression" sometimes. I can't escape it completely, I guess.

Sometimes I keep a "to do" list, but I can't work all these things off because I'm suffocating with the daily tasks. Too much time is wasted doing housework or paperwork or paying off another bill and stuff.

I also waste too much time with the cheap thrills I need. I need youtube and video games. No longer do I have a hobby. I'm tired all the time and not interested in doing anything. My weekends are so boring that I do housework to keep myself busy and get the workload done for the week. I would rather do housework on weekends because I'm bored and I prefer having more time to myself when I get home from work.

What would have to change to make things better?

  • I need to go to a doctor and get my amino acids checked. More money down the drain, but I'm tired of conventional "take this pill" medicine. It's on my list of things to do, but I lack courage to explain myself.
  • I need to get some long-term "things to do" done so that I can return to a life where I don't stand in my own way.
  • I need to lose weight to the point where I can finally focus on healthy nutrition without having to constantly anger myself over too little weight loss
  • I need balance... just don't know how to feel more balanced. But I've been wanting to really be alone for a couple of weeks. When people speak of this "lonely island" and what to take there, it always sounds like an emergency situation. But I really want to go there.

The only good thing I take from my current situation is a very strong confirmation that having kids is not ever going to work for me. I'm too overwhelmed with life as it is. I'm not even that much attached to life. Even though I might be pessimistic about my parenting abilities, and can't speak of experience, I know in my heart that not ever having kids is the right thing, the "rightest" thing to do. It really, really wouldn't be a good idea otherwise. But it still makes me furious to imagine that I would have to justify myself in front of family members.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Unbelievable coincidences

I have a tendency to be paranoid. Sometimes I think that things that happen to me are so unlikely that, if I was insane, it would be understandable if I really believed that someone is setting me up.

I know that it's not real. There isn't REALLY someone trying to mess with me, like a Truman Show or something. But I keep making these sarcastic remarks about when weird stuff happens because it IS really weird.

In short, unlikely and unbelievable things happen that just seem as if they are there to annoy and outrage me.

For example: Today, I wanted to write in my other blog. For each blog post, I need a picture, and I already had a picture in my phone. The thing is: In order to move that picture from my phone to my PC, I have to do all sorts of things. I could either use a cable (but before that, I need to remove the outer casing etc.), or I could send the picture to myself from my email and then access the picture from my email again on the PC.

It sounds like a stone age way of accessing a picture, and that's because it is. My PC doesn't have blue tooth and all that shit. I think there should be an easy way nowadays, but apparantly, not yet.

Well, let's fast forward a little: Usually, sending myself a picture like that is possible, even though it's tedious and annoying. But today, it got worse. I sent myself the picture without a problem: I opened my yahoo mail app, sent the picture to the same yahoo mail account, then opened yahoo mail on my PC's internet. The email arrived with the attachment, but yahoo mail is so slow that it simply didn't open the mail.

I thought: "Hmmm... maybe the internet connection is weak". But no, the internet on other pages worked fine. I googled the problem and found out that many people have problems with yahoo mail because "yahoo mail has 1000 scripts running in the background". I agree with that assumption because I noticed this before. The problem is: I have many important things running on yahoo mail. Not only all of my private and professional contacts, also some of my accounts like Amazon run with this email. So in order to change my email address, not only would I have to let everyone know, I would have to make sure I also change my email account with all the logins I have for other websites!

Back to the main issue: I tried sending the picture to myself on ANOTHER email account I have, this time with Gmail. Gmail is totally different, loads quickly and doesn't take ages. The problem here was that when I tried to download the picture on my PC, the download only STARTED, but NEVER completed. It was at one point stuck at 1,7 MB out of 2,3 MB, another time at 2,0 MB out of 2,3 MB. Whenever I tried, the download always "got stuck" at some point and I had to cancel.

So, let's recap: 
  • Because my technology is super old, I have to resort to ridiculous means of tranferring a picture from my phone to my PC, both of which are centimeters apart from each other
  • Using a cable is too difficult because my phone has protective casing around it, I can't remove the card, I can promise you that I would scratch the phone screen to death
  • Sending an email to myself is the only option, however...
  • 2 SEPARATE email accounts fail to provide me with the file because either, the mails can't be opened or the download doesn't work in the most "almost there" way possible
  • We are talking about 2,3 MB!!! In the year 2017!!! That is so embarrassing that I even blush and feel ashamed for my own PC.
This drives me insane, especially when you consider that getting that picture is just a very small part of writing that blog post. It's not even worth mentioning. It's as if I want to leave a house, drive a car to the petrol station and refuel it, but when I try to leave the house, I get stuck in the doorway because.... some technicality... Some urgent repair in the stairway or something. Then I try to jump out the window, but the window won't open, even though it used to open just fine. And the same with all the windows.
Yeah... that kind of analogy. Oh yeah, and one of the windows ALMOST opens, but just to the point where I can't squeeze through.

So... yeah, I get the idea, if I really believe that someone wants to annoy me, I can go straight to the mental hospital. But at the same time, I have to somehow be content with the fact that this is just a REALLLLLY strange way of life that I have with REALLLLLY strange and unusual things that keep on happening again and again. I could write a book with all the strange, unusual, unfair and unbelievable things that happen.

And I'm not talking about things that just happen without a reason and don't ask for suspicion. For example, on the way to Singapore, I missed the connecting flight and was stuck in Switzerland. The consequences were unpleasent. I lost the seat reservation for the next flight, was stuck in the middle seat, couldn't sit next to my wife, had to stay at a hotel, didn't sleep much. But here is the thing: I ACCEPT that this is a normal incident. It's not extremely unusual. Some things happen. Missing a flight, or missing the bus, or having ONE thing at a time go wrong, doesn't make me paranoid. What MAKES me paranoid is when several things happen at the same time that LOOK LIKE they are scripted reality. When things that go wrong look orchestrated... to the point where, even if I try different things, it's NOT SUPPOSED to work out for me.

Just to make it clear: I don't mind bad luck once in a while. But it should be realistic. Singular occurences, not chain reactions of things going as if to screw over my plans. It's really a bad sign when I think about my own life as "this is unrealistic".

Today, the message was: YOU DO NOT WRITE THAT BLOG ARTICLE. I got it... and gave up for today.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Escalator People

When you find yourself on the magically moving stairs of an escalator, you don't want the situation to escalate (get it? escalate? because it's an escalator? Lol... I'm so awesome).

However, here are some idiots you will encounter in real life who turn your relaxing times of effortless movement into some serious stair wars.

Escalator People

#1 The Sneeze Master

The bible said it best when it said "may he who is free of sneezing cast the first stone". People everywhere sneeze, especially in the western world where everyone has to be clean and germ-free, and as soon as germs appear, everyone's defense is totally down and unprepared.

The sneeze master is a person who will sneeze in all directions while standing on the escalator stairs. What is the worst scenario for you? Slowly drifting into the sneeze cloud a person in front of you created, or not knowing whether someone from behind sneezed onto you or held his hand in front of his face. Either way, you will spend the next hours of your life wondering if your head is full of crap (not from the inside, on the outside) - until you find a sink to wash your whole head.

#2 The complete moron

This is the kind of person who always stands on the wrong side of the escalator. In most civilized countries, there will be a side for people standing and a side for people walking along the escalator. If the escalator is crowded, no problem. If you can't move, you can't move. But some people seem to make it their hobby to just stand there, wrong side of the escalator, and chill.

These people are dreamers who are completely carefree of everything that happens around them. There is only one excuse, although this excuse applies only to some's the...

#3 The Traveller

The traveller has an excuse for standing on the wrong side of the escalator stairs. He or she is used to standing on the other side. It's the same as with road traffic. Some cars drive on the right side, some on the left (also known as the wrong side, because it's the opposite of the right side).

Escalator people who would like to just stand are supposed to stand on the normal driving side. It's just the general side of all traffic, whether it's by car or by foot. If you drive on the left side of the road, you also walk or cycle on the left side, and if you're slow, you stay on that side and let others overtake on the other side.

Travellers are not complete morons (see item #2). The main difference between complete morons and travellers is that travellers cause stress to themselves more than anything else. They will often recognize their mistake, turn red and explode with embarrassment, while complete morons just don't care.

#4 The Safety Fanatic

Do you ever notice how some people get on the stairs of the escalator, but their movement is as clumsy and careful as you'd imagine an elephant getting on the escalator for the first time?

It looks like this: Foot reaches out for stairs, then pulls back, then goes back out again, then the rest of the body follows in a very hectic and unbalanced fashion.

The safety fanatic looks like a village person who has never been on a train, car or plane before. The worst part is that they disrupt the flow. And they confuse you. If you think the person in front of you is taking the usual step forward, you might even bump into them because they like to leave an EXTRA space in front of them free. Extra extra, not just one empty step in between them and the person in front of them. No. Two empty steps.

#5 The Creep

The creep is a person who doesn't leave ANY space free. He or she (no, actually mostly he) will enter the escalator so damn close to you that you can usually feel his facial textures on your butt. It also raises your pickpocket alarm because their body parts will be all over your belongings because they are just standing so close to you that everything you OWN is in some way being touched by this person.

On another note, you can sense their breath, smell, obesity, whatever else there is.

#6 The Inseparable Couple

When I talk about people in public, I often refer to some kind of "blood clot", and this one is certainly the one in terms of escalator people. An inseparable couple is when a man and woman (boy and girl, girl and girl, boy and boy, transgender and nongender, bla bla bla) are standing next to each other.

Standing next to each other on an escalator is not a bad thing as long as one of the following criteria are met:

  • The escalator is crowded anyway
  • The person standing on the "no standing" side is staying alert and moving out of the way if necessary
  • The escalator is situated in a place that doesn't need people to be in a hurry

Usually, however, the typical scenario is that the couple doesn't care. The two people are either so much in love, or so involved in a conversation, or so self-centered that they just accept that blocking other people's way is part of life. And I hate them.

#7 The Awkward Companion

Sometimes, when the escalator is crowded, people stand next to each other. Usually, that's tolerable, but sometimes, the escalator isn't even fully crowded and still, strange people are standing next to you. A catholic nun might be standing next to a punk rocker, a pedophile priest might be standing next to a little child, a drunk football fan might be standing next to a millionaire golfer, and so on.

It's just awkward when people stop walking and decide to wait NEXT TO YOU on an otherwise relatively empty escalator. I guess some people just enjoy the awkward company.

#8 The Wrong-Way Walker

Believe it or not, there are people who decide to walk up a down-moving escalator. In about 90 per cent of the cases, it's children who think they're really smart.

Sometimes, it's grown adults. Once at an airport, where the escalators are flat, there was a grown woman coming towards me, and I was wondering why. I was really, really wondering why. It was so damn obvious that my feet were not moving, yet she was totally focussed on getting on the escalator line that I was moving on towards her. It was only when her feet already touched the line that she realised that this was a worse idea than moonwalking the floor next to the machinery. So she eventually got it and walked past on the normal floor.

#9 The Staircase Competitor

This one isn't especially annoying, but I'll include him anyway. Some people are so much in a hurry that they would rather take the stairs because it's quicker than taking the escalator next to it.

While this is often the case, it's also relatively funny to see someone struggle so hard to get up the stairs, yet when we both arrive on the next level, we're still next to each other and the other person is out of breath. Pretty, pointless, huh?

#10 The Irresponsible Acrobatic

One of my favorites. This person likes to use things that are forbidden on an elevator. Like bycicles, or especially lovely, a pram with a baby in it. Lovely. Then they have to keep the balance and perform all kinds of acrobatics. The great thing is that, while it goes well most of the time, there is probably a certain percentage of fatal freak accidents every year, but I don't really wanna know.

So...which idiotic escalator person are you?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Total Confusion

Currently my life is a mess. I have lost track of almost everything that is important. I have two bank accounts, one of which I need to close, and in order to do so, I need to move all the in and outs of the account into the other. I also need to change the PIN because I can't remember two PINs.

I have lots of documents lying around. I can't remember how to log into the online banking because of the two accounts. I'm so confused with passwords and PINs I think I might need a PIN for my passport.

Then there is shit I wanted to do a year ago, like open a message board for my commercial blog. Haven't done that and all the comments from half a year ago until now are unprocessed (not public, not denied, nothing) so people must be wondering what's wrong.

I've lost track of everything to the point where I might even forget very important things. Even to-do lists keep piling up.

The problem is: I can't breathe. I'm so stuck with everyday housework like ironing that I can't get the "one time tasks" done.

It's not that I don't have time. I have plenty of it. But I'm exhausted to the point where I don't WANT to do anything any more. When I get home (which is around 1pm already), I can be glad if I can get ONE small thing done, like taking out the trash.

I don't know what exactly the problem is. It started getting impossible about a year ago when we had a water leak in our house and we were moving from one place to another at the same time. It was just too much stress, and since then I've always been in the "just get me out of here" mode. Not referring to the place. I'm referring to the situation of wanting to be past something... getting it behind me without having to do anything anymore.

It's like I have a mountain to climb, but I don't even know where to start. I also notice a phenomenon called "vom Hundertsten ins Tausendste kommen", which roughly means that when you say or do something, you divert or digress into smaller and smaller things.

A fictional example to explain this: I want to take out the trash. A task so simple. But then, I notice that I'm out of bags. So I need to go to the grocery where they sell bags. But then it rains and I need to spend 10 minutes looking for an umbrella. Then I notice I'm out of money and need to withdraw cash. Then I notice the ATM broke down. Etc. etc.

This is what life feels like. It is especially terrible when I want to cook, because then I need to clean stuff, find stuff, sort stuff, and then I can basically tear my own stomach out before I can eat.

Going on vacation only temporarily helps... in fact, I think the whole planning makes things worse, because you find yourself doing more and more paperwork, tasks and chores.