The grey flap

Always talking about changing gets quite odd and is simply not the bottom line I actually want to drop here. I’m saying this, because I just wanted to start this very post with words like “Something has to change” or “It’s time for a change”. But that’s basically wrong, after rethinking the choice of my words. A correct term would be something like “I’ve to continue following and influencing evolution”

So, what does that basically include. First of all, it will include a change, but for certain reasons I won’t and can’t mention it here. Details will follow in a couple of month, when everything is safe and secure to talk about here. Period.

On the other hand, I will start doing sports again, no matter what. My spare time shrunk to a minimum, which is still pissing me off, because most of the time that it has finally gotten that way is because of the incompetence of others. I’m a person that don’t like to fail because of the mistakes of others. The only fail I can accept, is when it’s based on my own faults. Messing up, just because of anybody else, is completely unacceptable.

But back to the actual point – sports. I gained an overweight that became badass dead serious. It’s like 25 to 30 kg too much and it’s getting more and more the more weeks do pass by. I’m not having a detailed and completely scheduled plan at the moment, but the basic rules are set. It’s the ban of sweets again. Nutrition has to change as a whole in my life again. Even though there’s a lot of seduction going on with commercials and ads in the supermarket popping your eyes like a needle. I simply have to learn to resist again. I pretty often think back to those days where I lived straight edge. And then I remember how lucky and happy I actually was.

It wasn’t only a thing because of the endorphins that were pumped through my body and brain in this sports period. It was also a thing that all the poisons that I once ingested were gone and my whole body fell back to its basics. This sounds pretty much like the words of an odd and creepy philosophy professor, but that’s what describes it the best. More than ever do I feel like I’ve to get back to this way of life again. I’m probably go to make certain rules again, but not that strict like I did back in the days.

The other thing that I’m currently try to improve on is my creative eye. I revisited my photo collection and reviewed all the pictures I’ve done on several journeys and it’s terrible. Apart from all the technical mistakes I made, it’s a creative disaster. Seriously, out of around 7,000 pictures I took, only a handful is actually worth using and editing. It has improved during the last couple of month, because I took a lot of effort by studying workflows of other photographers, their techniques and composing pictures itself. I underestimated how much wrong camera settings can do, to actually destroy your vision of a certain picture you have in mind.

I have tons and tons of examples in my collection to prove that particular fact and I will continue working on getting better and drift as far away as I possibly can from these terrible results. I’ve recently ordered some books to give me more theoretical understanding in the field of composing and simply seeing things creatively. One of the reasons I’m doing this, I’m tired of only working with computers and networks, they bore me to death.

These are the things for now, my plans on how to influence my own personal evolution and give certain things a flap and improve. Because improvement is what makes lives worth living.

Deviant improvement

As some of you may know, I’m an active member of the deviant Art community. I had an interest in photography, did not have any equipment, except my cam on my mobile phone and some crappy HP Photosmart that still seem to run on steam.

Back in the days, I wanted to see, if my interest for photography is actually real. I wanted to see if I stick with it, or if it’s just a mayfly. It turned out, after a couple of month, that this romance with photography was for real. In the meantime did I start doing some research on photo equipment, because I wanted to take decent pictures, too. As a fellow reader of this blog, you may remember that my final choice was a Canon EOS 500D with a standard 18-55mm lens.

My first pictures were taken with the creative programs that came with the camera. But after a very short period of trial and error I decided to switch the program wheel to the ‘M’ position and take control of every single aspect of the picture. It was a very steep learning curve that I took and without a doubt, the first pictures I took were absolutely horrible. Overexposed, underexposed, terrible f-stop, horrible composition, you name it.

I’m still in a learning progress, and hopefully will always be, when it comes to photography. Simply, because the curiosity, that drives you and the will to experience and learn something new, is the gasoline that keeps your creative engine up and running. I don’t say that the pictures I take these days are greater art, but compared to the shots I took two years ago, I would say, I’ve improved.

I’ve recently upgraded to a new camera, a Canon EOS 60D. Very, very recently, to be exact. Next step is to save some money for my first Canon L-lens. The lens that I currently use for the everyday situations starts to have more and more issues, I can no longer live with on a daily basis. Manufacturing wise and also in picture quality. But the main issue is definitely its slow focus response time and the weird focus itself. Well, we’ll see what lens the future brings.

After over two years of being a “deviant”, I can say, that it’s still fun to watch, what so many other people all around the earth create in photography. The community is still a very polite one and it’s mainly the new and unexperienced user that offends from time to time. But the community is aware of that as well and most of these newbies leave as fast as they came.

The only thing that bothers me a little, is that the quality deviant Art once stood for has turned more into a matter of quantity. Unfortunately do a lot of people put out so much rubbish and crap on deviant Art, that it’s almost close to be declared as spam. I mean, why so many pencil sketches of anime characters that no one actually cares about? But nevertheless, it’s still fun to be deviant.

Turning the facebook page

I’m experimenting these days. Well, I’m always experimenting with something, but these days it’s something with a kind of a public interest. It’s Facebook. What I recently did was to deactivate my account to see if there’s some loss in my everyday life.

For a sample purpose do I reactivate the account very early in the morning. To get absolutely sure, I also deactivated the chat and I’m not visible to anyone. I’m doing this to see, if there’s any kind of information with any true importance that I could have missed.

To be honest, the standard that Facebook’s reached baffles all descriptions. I’m aware that some friends of mine that I currently have on Facebook find this offensive, but it’s a matter of fact that this platform that was intended to stay in contact with friends turns more and more into a hilarious website like Reddit oder Imgur.

by strany

Most of the posts that I read on Facebook are about funny vids someone has found on YouTube or stupid pictures of whatever. I also started posting cute cat pictures everyday because it simply draws more attention than a post about my current mental state or something truly important.

Another thing that displeases me is that some people mistake Facebook for a group ware. And their circle of friends is a giant office that needs to be managed. I don’t have a problem with information about interesting upcoming events, but when it comes to invitations for such things I still prefer the old fashioned way like getting a call similar. But it seriously makes me disgruntled when I get receive invitations on for several events on Facebook. What is it? Am I at work and anyone else manages my schedule? For Christ’s sake, NO.

When it comes to such things, Facebook is a toy application. It’s good to make people get to know several things, but it’s a giant, epic fail when it comes to managing dates and events. Even Google fails on this and I personally believe that this deserves no attention in someone’s spare time. If there’s someone I care about I contact this person in a more personal way and not in such an anonymous way like Facebook does.

Did people truly become that pathetic that they interact with each other these days by using “Like”-buttons and “share” certain (meaningless) interests. I find it seriously frightening to see, how many waste their evenings on Facebook, even when it’s just running in the background. The amount of information that gets actually shared shrunk to such a minimum that it’s not even worth to boot up your computer for that or waste battery capacity of your smart phone.

by strany

On the other side, some people offer so much information about themselves on Facebook that you basically know more about them than you know about your own person. And this makes turns a lot of people into something that I use to call “discounted friends”. It was once part of an add that was running on TV, “We’ve got so many friends that we don’t even know how to call our real friends.”

The most disappointing thing about these whole modern social networking is, that a lot of people actually believe that these people in their friends list are truly friends. But when they would think for like five minutes and try to remember who their real friends are and how they once used to interact with each other, they hopefully find back to the path of the righteous.

I’m not sure if this is the right way that modern society has currently chosen, but I believe, that we turn more and more into these recently mentioned “discounted friends” and it’s getting harder with every day that passes by to find some real friends. Facebook did not make interacting with friends easier, it just made you care less. It turned communication into a one button solution. And it’s the perfect vindication for a society that spins faster each and every day.

Blurring lines

The dog gets a dry nose when he’s not doing well. Common people get fever or feel odd when they’re not doing well, too. Me, I stop playing video games and almost every other activity that basically used to entertain me. Something is currently terribly wrong and I can’t exactly tell what it actually is.

It starts with the alarm clock in the morning and ends with the toothbrush in the evening. I feel totally uncomfortable with everything. Everything bothers me. Everything gets on my nerves. Everything bores me. Everything gives me enough arguments to hate it. I’m always tired, which is one of the reasons for everything previously mentioned. And I feel exhausted as well.

The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that I can’t locate the origin of this disease. It’s easy to say, “I’m don’t feel right because of, …”

That is the crux. If you ask me what is wrong, I wouldn’t be able to answer. One thing I could guess, the traveling each and every day. A couple of month ago I felt happy about the fact that there’s a period in my schedule that allows me to relax and come down and turn the switch. That’s a problem I suffer from for many years. When you’re into a job that includes activities that are also a part of your spare time activities, you barely have the chance to completely get rid of such things. The lines between job and hobby blur and finally lead to a stress factor that in reverse cause this kind of burn out.

I first noticed this issue almost a decade ago, where I agreed to make a long term test with a psychologist we had in my company back in the days. I ran through different written tests that were set on specific dates over a period of something like two month. I’m not certain how long the tests actually went.

After running through these tests and several conversations with our psychologists I received the result. Conclusion of all this was, I’ve got a serious problem with making a straight cut between work and spare time. The reasonable fact that my hobby does not really differ from the things I had to do at work increased the degree of my problem. I always suffered from burn out like symptoms in almost every job that stood in any relationship with IT.

To be honest, I considered changing my occupational field for years. The wish for a change repeats in time intervals tending to be quite shorter than the one before. In other words, I feel like I’ve reached a dead end street not sure for how long I can push myself to do what I currently do. On the other hand, this is the only thing I’ve learned. And my own comic book store or video game store, for instance, would lead to the same problem. A hobby turned into a job.

I’m so jealous about those people doing something for living that has nothing in common with things they use to do in their spare time. Meanwhile, I always feel terribly annoyed when someone asks me about computer related things or wants some help. Years ago, I was starving for opportunities like these. Nowadays I just feel bored to death. It’s only a handful of people receiving help. Seriously, my “talent” disgusts me and in the meantime a lot of people noticed this and my generic aversion. Without a doubt, my entity’s changed and my sodding work has a lot of proportion on that.

The Commuter

Another theory of mine what it could be, that bothers and puts me down. My current location. It’s not a problem with the location where I live, I feel depressed by the village I work at. When you’re a person who lives in bigger cities for quite major part of your life, you’re used to several conveniences the “big city” brings with. I literally work at the edge of an abandoned field, a duck pond in sight and utility poles on the horizon. No infrastructure around. And that’s the point.

It’s not that I’m the kind of a guy permanently being off office and enjoying an extended lunch break, but I’m the kind of guy who seems to get terribly disturbed by the fact, that his infrastructure he was used to is gone. Seriously, I hate the fact that even my way home wastes like one hour and a half and that I can no longer do some private business whenever I want, because I simply don’t have the opportunities right here. Meanwhile, I doubt that I’m a commuter. It sickens me. It’s fun for several weeks, but I can barely imagine doing this for years.

That kind of luxury I once had and which is currently lost seems to be part of my desolate condition I’m currently in. In these very few moments that I have to wander around in my hometown, I walk around with eyes wide open and my chops fall down. Like one of these village people that have a great experience to get when they “visit the city”. For f#$k’s sake. I bloody miss this, and it chokes my throat every morning where I leave my city by train. I’m a Sissy in this special case, but I seriously feel like handcuffed at the moment.

To get the facts straight, I got myself into this and sooner or later I’ll get rid of this. Currently I’m saying to myself that I have to get through this and take this as an experience. Maybe, just maybe, my mind and my attitude will change on this whole suspect. Maybe I should take a long vacation somewhere far away to recharge. Maybe I should ignore all this and live kind of sad into each new day, wearing a mask with a grin. Actually, a lot of people will get confused seeing me with a grin on my face. Most of this emotional baggage is a result of years living a luxurious way of live which does not depend on money.

Now, more than ever, I’m aware of the preciousness to have time. One or two hours can make such a big difference these days.

Time to waste

Changes, man, changes! I’ve got two days left at work and then I’ll enter a longer period of free time. Almost the whole August is free. I’ve got a job offer that I finally couldn’t resist in a company that captured my entire sympathy within a couple of moments and that looks very promising. My new life starts on 1st September. In the meantime I’ll try to use my free time to get a little bit more time with photography and learn my new lenses. On the other hand I plan to get back to sports. As mentioned before, I’ve got a lot of free time and want to use it as useful as I possibly can.

I gained several pounds during the last few weeks and I want to get rid of them as soon as I can. The answer is simple, lots of sports is the solution. I’m really excited about this, because I never had a training period like this before. It’s just me and my free time without getting distracted by work issues or everything else that might bother you in daily life. Right now, my weight is something around 108kg and I want to push it down to at least 100kg. I personally think that this is possible within four weeks and a half.

Besides this stands my second ego, the gamer. I’ve got so many games that I haven’t already that deserve a play through that I’ll jump on these, too. My fave at the moment is the absolutely brilliant “DiRT 3”. One of the best racing games for years and as addictive as the all time classic “Colin McRae Rally 2.0”

“Colin McRae Rally 2.0” sucked hours and hours of my weekends and free time and there wasn’t a single moment where I got bored. “DiRT 3” is actually the same, very motivating and entertaining for every single moment. The only thing that bothers me a little are the DLCs. I bought Monte Carlo and Japan, but they could have made into the final retail game, too. These two DLCs cost me around 15 Euros and you have to keep in your mind, that you can get a great budget title for that money, too. Hopefully, this rip off will have an end in the near future.

Finally, and I hope the weather god is good to me. I’ll go out in my town and probably Berlin and do some photos. I’ve got this new fish eye lens that deserves a little more attention. Anyhow, I wanted to go out for pictures for such a long time, but I felt really exhausted and stressed by nearly everything over the last few weeks that I actually haven’t found the time and intention to do so.

Whatever the case, a new job starts on September and I’ve got a lot of free time in the meantime. I’ll try to use it to recharge and to get back into shape. I’ll keep you informed.

What’s happening…?

A short update of what happened and is actually happening right now. First of, I was off to the countryside, the forest to be exact and got a little rest. I’ve been there with my parents and my grand-mother and it was a weekend with simply doing nothing. I took the time to take some pictures of some flowers and the nearby lake. And I also tried to clean my tent, with tiny success.

On the next weekend I’ll be off for a small festival that is going on pretty nearby and I’m going to see bands like Sodom, Vader and the Excrementory Grindfuckers. I haven’t been to a festival for years now and I’m totally longing for that. It’s a very small festival, but my experience tells, this is going to be one hell of a show. Maybe, but just maybe, I’ll do some headbanging. It also depends on my level of alcohol consumption.

Games, I play Tropico 3 and some Crysis 1+2. More Crysis 1 because of the summer I feel more like jungle jungle than city jungle. One side effect of Tropico 3 is, that the music in this game is very intriguing and as soon as my girl-friend enters the room it affects me to dance some merenge or salsa or whatever these latin american dances are called like. Embarrassing, but hey… I’m also a little ashamed that the three year old Crysis 1 still manages it, to bring my system down on its knees. Kudos for that Crytek.

There’ll be some bigger changes in my life coming in September, approved subscribers will get some details on this particular situation in another private post.

The game of the week is off and missing, I know. As soon as I got little bit more into indie gaming again, I’ll give another recommendation.


PS: I’m looking for some nice headphones at the moment and I focused several models made by AKG, anything you would recommend? Or maybe a totally different manufacturer?

The games, the jobs, the moves

Haven’t wrote a while for quite some reasons. First of all nothing special actually happened. Secondly, too much happened that I haven’t found time for writing.

For those of you interested in my impressions according several games I have to apologize, I seriously have such a lack of time over last days that there wasn’t any gaming worth writing about. I can tell you that I played a lot DiRT 3 and I started playing Crysis 2, since the release of patch 1.9, including DX11 and HiRes textures and all this kind of stuff. These are AAA titles and I’m still not sure if I should write about games that get reviewed on every other single website.

I also started playing Duke Nukem Forever and all I can say till now, it’s a giant disappointment. I will, yes, I promise, I will give an impressions review on this particular title because the Duke is a phenomenon that simply deserves a review or just a gaming field report.

Another important thing that was going on, I’m still stuck between enemy lines. I’ve recently got an offer for a company that looks pretty promising according that point potential and development. As far as I know, it’s a network infrastructure that is pretty basic right now, that wants to grow to something, I actually do not know. Anyhow, it should get bigger and better and I shall be the man for it.

On the other side, there’s this job in this advanced technical college that wasn’t approved till now, but I also was not rejected till now. It’s another job that is very promising, also differs from what I’m doing at the moment and simply interests me very much. It’s more an operator job in some multimedia stuff, things I’ve recently done a lot, because I did some internet streaming and had to do some video editing, too (even though I hate this creative things).

The third candidate is my current company. It’s for sure that I’m not leaving without asking for a price to keep me in. And you can bet your mother that I’m going to be expensive, I mean, reeeaally expensive. I’ve taught myself so much during the last 5-6 years and I got skills in so many different areas that I want to get paid for this and receive the graditute I deserve. I decided to stay in my company, if none of the current opportunities fits my requirements in any way. I waited for such a long time to get a new job opportunity, I still have some breath left to wait a little bit more in the case that nothing gets rolling.

That’s the status for now. Plan for the weekend is to help out on a move of some friends of mine. I’m not uber excited about that, but hey, sometimes you help friends, you know?

A little exception

Today’s the first day of my recently started training period where I decided to stay in bed instead of hitting the to road to the gym. Actually, I was really tired and additionally will I meet up with a couple of friends this very evening to watch a movie at the cinema. It would be a waste of money getting there and just falling asleep only because I forced myself to get up too early.

I want to keep a little comfort for myself and I don’t want to get to a point where I start hating sports just because I can’t find time for anything else. Or I’m too exhausting to do anything else. I’m glad to be a person who’s totally fine with six hours of sleep per day (or night) and I don’t want to bend it to the limits too much. There’s still my gaming hobby. Photography plays a big role, too. And of course do I want to meet up with some friends even during the week. Not to forget my girl also deserves a lot of time.

Well, anyhow, I just wanted to mention that this is not going to be the end of the road and I’ll stick to my sports plan, but you sometimes have to make some exceptions. I assure you that you’ll find me in the gym tomorrow morning training my ass off once again.

The mystical cat report

Hello out there, it’s been a while since my last update on what’s going so far. First of all, fitness is still existing and starts kicking ass again. I cannot deny that I had some serious difficulty to get back on the track, but with this week, everything seems to be on a satisfying level. My stamina feels like it was the day I let the whole fitness thing fade away, for say, it’s still on a high level. For my circumstances. Actually, I still have like 15kg of weight too much on my bones, but like I said, I’m not facing any serious trouble during training. I’m running solid 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by 30-40 minutes on the cross-trainer.

I decided to take no prisoners and I also increased the weight on many exercise machines. I’m doing very well with this and I’m making a lot of progress in this particular area of my training. Besides losing weight is gaining muscles one of my main goals for now. I know, it sounds weird, losing weight and gaining muscle mass on the other side but according to the serious amount of overweight at the moment a goal that can be reached. Like losing at least 15kg of fat and getting like 5-6kg of muscle mass.

What else happened? Well, I got a little bit more into photo editing and developing of RAW pictures. I’m not making great progress but it finally is some progress to be found. I also joined a couple of new groups on deviant Art to get a little bit more feedback on my works. And of course a few eyes more watching my stuff. I’m also looking for a new camera, not for now but for the end of this year. I’m thinking about buying a Canon 7D, this camera got all the features I want and is not that expensive as the Canon 5D MarkII. At least, it would be a total waste of money according to the fact that photography is just a hobby mine. It’s like 1,500 bucks that ring on the bill, but I’m sure it’s totally worth it.

Gaming, another passion of mine. If the days has like 36 hours I would definitely play some games, but currently I don’t really have time to play some more story based games. I play a lot of “Bad Company 2” these days, for like one hour a day. There are still some games in queue that I need to play. There are plenty of games, as there are “Medal of Honor”, it can’t be more worth than “Homefront”. The “Dead Space” games, I started “Dead Space 1” several times, but never managed to finish or do any larger progress. Several LEGO games are waiting and so on. Most importantly, “Portal 2” is hopefully in my mailbox these days and I’ll definitely play this game as soon as possible.

Last game I played through was “Homefront” which was a kind of disappointing. Weird performance issues. Weird story and pace of the game. I can’t say that I didn’t like it, but, well, I don’t know. They whole concept was promising but the presentation was a big and epic fail on the whole line. I instantly switched back to my beloved “Borderlands” after finishing the four hour campaign. I barely had any interest in the multi player mode.

Bring me the guts!!!

Finally my conclusion was made that all my colleagues are braindead zombies and remote controlled. Maybe this conclusion was made because the amount of oxygen in my bureau reached a point far beyond point zero and my brain’s dead, too. It’s a heck to share a room with a bunch of freaks that are afraid of opening the fucking window wide open to get the mentioned oxygen. Damn it, my head hurts. So whatever, I wanted to talk about something completely different.

Over the past few years the genre of zombie games gained much popularity and me too is a big fan boy when it comes to brainless hordes of human being that wants to be hacked and slayed and get their bloody head chopped off. A liked “Stubbs the zombie” a lot though the gameplay was a little bit boring but the sense of humor in this game was totally mine. Right after this “Left 4 Dead” got released by Valve and I fell in love with a game for the bazillions time. Yap, I am getting pretty emotional when it comes to games sometimes. Sooo, hopefully my new love will come to visit me by the end of this month, which is called “Dead Rising 2”. Unfortunately did they not release part one for the PC and I don’t want to buy a stupid Xbox 360 for just one game. I’ve seen nearly every trailer, preview and developer diary that was released over the past few month. Yaaaaaarrrrr, zombies, come get some!!!


Which leads me to my next topic and reason for a lot of excitement. The Duke’s acoming!!!! I couldn’t actually believe it when I read the first announcement made by the new publisher Gearbox Software. I’ve heard a lot of yelling in the forums and comments of different articles that this is not going to be a real Duke Nukem because it’s not a 3D Realms game, but who the hell cares? Those whiners are simply a good inspiration for birth control. For me personally it’s so glad and nice to see that another vaporware is finally going to be released and that it’s hopefully not wasted. If anyone remembers “Prey” it was declared to be dead too but then it finally returned, got released and was a great game, though. I bet on Duke.

One little foot note at last, after playing a paladin to level 80 in WoW I’m currently working on a death knight which at level 65 at the moment and will hopefully enter Northrend.