Sunday, December 08, 2013

End of year post 2013

I managed to comply with my compulsion to always write at least one post every month, and this year I also wrote no more than the necessary single post per month. Which makes this year seem very boring. But that's not true. But I would rather not talk about myself, instead I would like to talk about some things to get them out of the way.

Here are 4 things:

  • Girls taking pictures of their feet
  • Natascha Kampusch's book
  • Yet another Ralf Schumacher Syndrom
  • How my computer annoyed and degraded me

1. Girls taking pictures of their Feet

This seemed like a cliche reserved for uninspired photographers when I heard about it in Lost in Translation. But I'm scared to realize that this is actually true. Recently, I have been visiting a sort of blog promotion website to make my german dieting website popular (Du kannst es! - no need for you to click), and as a part of getting other people to visit my site, I clicked through their blogs as well - knowing that everyone on this promotion page only sat there like a spider waiting for other people to come into their webs. Instead of making an effort to attract views from visiting pages themselves.

So I visited others, and got visits from other people because they knew I had visited them instead of sitting on my ass waiting. But what was shocking: Most people with blogs are girls who are either into make up, fashion+spending money , or taking pictures of their feet.

I don't know what this whole "I am going to take a picture of my feet" craze is about. Is there an equivalent for guys? Something that guys do, only guys do, and they always do it on blogs? I don't know. If there is such a thing, it would be quite likely I do the same as all the other guys, whatever it may be.

I just find it kind of...poor. Useless. I mean, if there was a word for this sensation of watching another person's "foot picture", I think this word would be a new niche word for "underwhelming" or being strangely disappointed when all you see is someone trying to entertain himself in vain - while letting the whole world know about it.

2. Natascha Kampusch's book

I recently got my first E-book reader, which quickly raised the academical question in me whether a muslim woman would have to clean herself before reading the E-quran on it, or whether the E-reader would become holy, only the E-quran, or even the other books that are in the reader, and what effect that would have if other religious books from other religions were in that reader - but I digress...

...what I was going to say: I read the book 3096 days by Natascha Kampusch. I still remember being in Singapore and reading on about the case the day she escaped.

It's one of these events where, when people ask you about it, you still know where you were when it happened. Like 9/11 or when Diana died.

Well, Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped as a child of 10 years and only escaped from the stranger who kidnapped her when she was 18. That's the story in a very small nutshell.

What fascinated me about the book was not so much the story by itself. It was the fact how I could mentally "play" my life on an inner dvd player while reading through the book, kind of like comparing my life to hers. The places I went to between 1998 and 2006, the things I did, and considering that everything she did was being locked in a prison or having to renovate houses for her kidnapper while being beaten all the time.

When I was in hospital in 1999, she was in a basement prison. When I witnessed the turn of the millennium, she was in prison. When the planes flew into the WTC towers, I sat in front of live TV and she heard about it in her prison. When I graduated from school, she was in prison. When I met Marit Larsen, she was in prison. When I watched the three world cups of 1998, 2002 and 2006, she was in prison. I watched more than 100 formula one races while she was in prison and had no way of telling her family she was still alive and suffering. And she had no idea that she would escape, how, or when.

Even the stories about nearly escaping, about nearly finding the courage to talk to someone in a store where the kidnapper took her, only to lose that courage by thinking "he is going to say i'm his insane niece and walk away with me again" - that was thrilling and shocking. Shocking because it's a true story.
And even scarier: While I read this story of a martyrdom that's over, another story of that kind, somewhere in the world, is still evolving, and has been evolving for probably longer than her story and me reading her story together.

So that was a humbling experience. Sort of like acknowledging that people have lived and died before you, and will live and die after you. I think it's always good to bring yourself back to solid ground by reading stories by and about people like Kampusch or Aron Ralston, the guy who cut off his arm.

3. Another possible Ralf Schumacher Syndrome

It may soon happen again. As you may know as a frequent reader (those two or three of you who are), RSS is the syndrome that shows symptoms of arrogance and over-confidence that are totally out of place.

I have this uneasy feeling that another formula one driver might be affected by it: Adrian Sutil. He had an average season and towards the end of it, he said that he will definitely be in formula one next year, that he had a contract, that he just wasn't allowed to announce anything yet.

Well, I think there are reasons why teams don't want you to announce anything, and mostly that's because nothing is set in stone yet!

Well, formula one has been changing a lot lately and next season with new engines and cars might even see Sebastian Vettel possibly losing his title if only one of the other teams adapts faster and better to the new rules.

But as for Adrian Sutil, the financial problems for the teams may cause them to hire pay drivers from now on, and he might be the one to not get a cockpit. We will have to see about that. I just find it very suspicious when someone is totally confident, but can't seem to make his team announce with pride that he will drive for them. His current team, Force India, already confirmed H├╝lkenberg as one of their drivers, and it's not very likely that the other driver will also be German, as teams usually try to attract sponsors from different countries to get more money options.

If I'm wrong about Sutil, hey, that would be great. One more German driver to stay with us. We will see.

4. My computer making me his little bitch

Don't you just love it when your computer makes fun of you, degrades you and knows perfectly that you can't do anything about it, not even blame it because "it's only a machine"? It's like the Truman show telling you that your whole life is just a game, but you know what? You can't prove that it's just a show. These are the times when I secretly need some medication before I go insane. Muhaha.

This is how I feel about computers sometimes. They break down in ways that defy all logic. Then, you think that there must be conscience in them, but on the other hand, you can't prove it and you'd be put into a mental hospital sooner than you can say "Bill Gates".

Here is the most recent story of my digital adventures: I wanted to record music on my computer, something I had done before in the exact same way, with the exact same computer and the exact same recording device, a synthesizer with MIDI USB connection.

I plugged in everything and started the computer. The only thing against me was that this connection had not been used for some time. It's basically the same as saying I wanted to play a game I had not played for some months but had never deleted from my PC anyway.

But then came the obvious catch. My computer denied any knowledge of the device. The good news was that it was "willing" to install the foreign body that was leeching like a tick on the USB cable.

So it already said stuff like "yeah, I know you have this Midi USB thing going on... I need some drivers".

That was already some good information for me as I knew that the computer was not only aware of the hardware (thank God) but also knew what kind of device it was, so it was definitely not talking about some other USB device that might have been plugged in at the same time - a camera, a memory stick, or even a fondue set.

Then came the situation I like to call the "macho moment".

The computer told me that "he" needed some files as drivers. I can't recall "his" exact words, instead I will list them here they way I recall them from my emotional memory.

Computer: Hey, you know what? I need this Emuk17.dll file.

Me: Okay... But it should be on the computer, I mean, I never deleted anything and certainly you shouldn't either since I wouldn't allow that.

Computer: Just go with it. I really need it. And arguing with me won't help.

Me: Okay. I suppose that it's not on the computer any more, so I will check online.

***checks online***

Me: Excuse me, dear computer. I just read that "the Emuk17.dll file can usually be found at C:/windows, C:/windows/system32 or other similar places". Could it be that you actually HAVE that file already???

Computer: I never said I didn't have it. I only said I need it.

Me: What? You want ME to look for it?

Computer: What's the problem? You want me to look for it with my personal logic? You want me to browse through your last summer vacation pictures to look for it there? Through your music files, your chat log files, your temporary internet files? You want me to search through your computer games to see if a driver for a music USB device may accidentally end up there? Come on, it's faster if you look for yourself.

Me: This should be your job!

Computer: Then ask the dog.

Me: You mean this little fucker?

Computer: Yeah, he is responsible for that kind of shit.

Me: Okay.... search dog, please come here

Dog (after minutes of loading): Do you want me to search for anything?

Me: No, I want you to wash my car. Of course I want you to search for something, you idiot!

Dog: What do you want me to search for?

Me: It's this file, Emuk17.dll - I need it.

Dog: Do you want me to search for files, music, audio files, video files, do you want me to search in folder, pictures, hard drive, connected USB devices, what exactly do you want to do?

Me: Uhmm... can you just... okay, whatever. It's probably somewhere in C:/ and it's a file. Okay?

Dog: Yeah, let me check *starts searching*

Computer: You know, I would have done it for you too, but then you'd have to make me a sandwich first *claps my ass virtually*

Me: Fuck. You.

*minutes pass*

Dog: Hey, I am back. I found nothing.

Me: What do you mean?

Dog: I searched through C:/ just like you asked me to. I found a lot of things there, mostly folders. Some of them had names like "windows" or "system32", but there was no such file as you requested.

Me: Did you check these folders you just mentioned?

Dog: No....

Me: Why... not...?

Dog: You only said I should check C:/ and I did that. If you tell me to check the cupboard for your car keys, I expect them to be on top of it, not in one of the drawers. You have to be specific. You didn't say check C:/windows or C:/windows/system32

Me: So you are saying I need to specify every little thing about the search in order to find my file?

Dog: Yes.

Me: Tell me one thing, you little fucker. Who is more useless? You or that paper clip guy from Microsoft Word?

Dog: I don't know, but I could look for him. Do you want me to check C:/ or D:/ for him?

Me: Fuck you

Dog: Is that a file or a piece of music?

Me: It's a piece of shit coming out of your ass.

Computer: So, can we go on now with the driver? I think I might fall asleep soon and then you have to restart me.

Me: No, please don't freeze now. *clicks "search for file manually"*

Computer: I could search for it myself, but my programmers found it better if the user has to click the file himself to degrade and humiliate himself.

Me: Yeah, I got it.... what the fuck? It was there all along? The file was in the system32 folder in C:/, right there, and all I had to do was open the folder, search with my eyes through the files and find it. There you have it? Can I use this device now?

Computer: Oh no, not yet. I also need the Emuk28.dll and the Fuckmuck22.dll please. I think their location since last time hasn't changed at all, but please find them for me because the .dll files are not in the same folder as the device itself.

Me: Oh guess what, they are all in the same stupid folder! How easy can it get! Come on. The dog should have done this, and you too!

Computer: Okay, we're finished, do whatever you like now *freezes*

Me: Yeah, thanks for nothing. Freezing is a computer's way of turning their back on you. *restarts computer*

Happy new year to everyone in advance! Signing out for this year.