|Path: Eric's Site / Eric / Travel / Germany / Journal 10||Related: Germany, Journal 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, Visits (Site Map)|
The Guardian had a distressing news story today, about US forces recklessly killing civilians in Iraq. I looked for other information about the events in other news sources briefly but did did not find anything.
On a happier note, I am going to plug a computer game called Slay at Sean O'Connor's Windows Games. I have had it for a while on the PocketPC and just got the Windows version. It could use a little more documentation about how to use the program, but the game is very nice. It has an elegant design with a small number of rules but gives rise to a great variety of situations. In the course of trying to win against the computer opponents, I have been compelled to employ a number of strategies at different times:
The mall also changed the opening times and the weekday closing times, with the net effect of reducing the total time by 9½ hours per week. That is a lot, so maybe it is a money-saving thing.
I read an interesting paper today, Privacy, Economics, and Price Discrimination on the Internet by Andrew Odlyzko. The paper's basic thesis is that the financial benefits of being able to charge customers more if they will pay more create a huge incentive to collect information about customers. However, it includes other interesting points, among them the history of price discrimination and subsequent regulation in railroads. I suspect the factors Odlyzko mentions contribute to Deutsche Bahn's complicated pricing. In fact, it could be worse. One estimate is that there were 43 trillion railroad and trucking rates on file with the US Interstate Commerce Commission in the 1960s!
I have most of the C code for the encryption work done. The encryption and decryption are running, and all of the test programs are running. I need a timing program, and I may make the C code a little faster even though that is not in the contract, and I have to get the assembly code running. That is all the software, and then there is some documentation to write and an assessment of optimization possibilities.
It won't take all of August. However, I do need to get to the point where I can say I will definitely be done in August, so I can buy plane tickets. That will probably be when I have assembly code running on EADS' target system.
I also saw another new Straßenbahn. This one is numbered 48 and has no name. Are there only seven Ulmers worth decorating a Straßenbahn for? (The other Straßenbahnen were numbered beginning with 41.)
The carnival at the fairgrounds has been replaced by some französisch (French) food thing. There is a mini Eiffel Tower, a bunch of food stands painted like French buildings, and picnic tables with red tableclothes, white tableclothes, and blue tableclothes. (Note that französisch is not capitalized—German capitalizes all nouns but does not capitalize proper adjectives.) Some of the stands are selling things that resemble French food on the outside, like baguettes and crêpes. Some of them are selling German food described in French. A few may actually be selling French wine or cheese. Several are selling beer.
|Rohrspatz (Pipe Sparrow).|
Below-left shows the setting from another point of view. The big image (click
on small image) shows the Brezman in Ulm (Pretzelman in Ulm) poster
pretty well, as well as a sign for the Bread Museum. I think the door is
actually around that corner. I must not have come around this side, because you
would think I would notice a brightly colored sparrow like that.
|Bread Museum behind sparrow.|
Amazon.de says the Deutsche Post returned the package they sent me. It was addressed correctly, so the delivery guy made a mistake. I think the letter carrier is different from the person or people who deliver packages, which is good, because at least I have not had problems getting letters. But even if the delivery guy did not see my door (which is on the street), he should still have been able to find the other door on this building, which is for my landlady, and she would have given me the package.
I need those books, because I will go nuts with nothing to read on the
plane on the flight back. Maybe I will reorder them and change the
address to insert a line saying in German, "Address is correct!
Near the tree in the street."
Work was fun today. Actually, the morning was a nuisance, fighting tools that were not working properly. But in the afternoon, I found unexpected ways to improve the encryption routine. I do not have to do that; it is not part of the contract, but it is fun, and I have time (although I should get the grunt work done so I can be sure), and it will make EADS happy.
Martin asked me to consider doing more work for EADS. This time he said working from New Hampshire is a possibility.
|Ein Stein für Einstein.|
Many of the water features in Ulm and elsewhere in Germany are open. That is, there is no distinct barrier between the viewer and the water. This one has a basin, but its sides slope continuously from the pavement, with no curb or rim. Other fountains spill water onto the pavement before it runs into a drain.
The second fountain to the right is not one of those, but it is a bit
Work has been a bit of a pain this week. I have been fighting all of the tools. I want my assembly code to work in both the GNU assembler and the Diab assembler, but they require different syntax. Cygwin is reading a file in text mode (mangling newline characters) even though I open it with the binary flag. GNU C fails to align vector variables on the stack. Embedded assembly code breaks in GNU C if optimization is changed. Diab's simulator reports AltiVec instructions as illegal.
I have been dealing with it, and all the assembly code is running. Most of what I have left is (or ought to be) documentation, but I may have to fight the tools some more. If things were working now, I would be buying a plane ticket.
Meanwhile, one of the engineers at EADS asked me to change the IIR code, which is finished, accepted, and signed for. My code works according to the specification, so I could say no. The change actually removes an aspect of the code that was a misfit in the first place and that was annoying to work around, so it would have been simpler to write it that way in the first place. But now it will take work to remove it. If it only takes a few hours, I may do it for free.
|Building under construction on Einsteinstraße.|
In the supermarket, I noticed they are selling tuna in foil packs, as they started doing some time ago in the US. I do not recall seeing them here before.
At the farmer's market today, I noticed there were at least 15 varieties
of potatoes on sale. I didn't even know there were 15 varieties of potatoes.
That leaves a couple of weeks in case work drags on. If the work finishes cleanly, I will have some time for vacation and maybe a little final travel.
It cost €14.80. I do not know yet what that pays for—letters, certainly, but it couldn't be enough for packages, and one would think there is some limit on how many letters. I have to look through the 58-page booklet she gave me and figure it out. Fortunately, I can skip much of it—pages on moving tips and advertisements—and just read about the forwarding service. There is even one page in English.
I bought a train ticket to the airport for the flight home. Arranging for forwarding and buying the ticket set me to thinking about returning home and some of the things I will miss in Ulm. I'm not nostalgic yet, but I'm planning on it.
That web site about
the sparrow sculptures offers a book, Die Spatzeninvasion in
lm/Neu-Ulm. [2021: Link is dead.] The page is old and not maintained,
because the price is in Deutschmarks. I ordered a copy anyway, and the computer
sent me an acknowledgement, but probably somebody just left the computer
It is difficult to photograph a glossy poster without diffuse light sources
away from the camera. You have to choose between photographing straight on
(and getting glare) or at an angle (and getting distortion). I chose glare
this time, and the image to the left is the best I could do. You cannot see
the sparrows very well even in the full image, but you get the idea.
There is a highway bridge with a helical bicycle ramp connected to the middle of it. I suppose they needed 2½ loops to get the gradient they wanted. It says something about how much bicycle riding is valued here that they built that massive a structure just for bicycles, especially when there are alternate paths to either end of the bridge.
More pictures from the walk follow.
|Approaching a train bridge.||Under the train bridge.||Swan flapping its wings.|
|Pond with ducks and swans.||Ducks and swans in the shade.||Swan preening.|
Hmm, well, I looked through the Deutsche Post's moving brochure, and I do not see anything limiting what or how much will be forwarded, except a mention about the destination country's rules. I think I have learned enough German to know what things I can safely ignore, so I am not going to read the rest. Much of the booklet is filled with useful tips like Umzugshilfsmittel besorgen: tolle Kiste!, which means "Get moving remedies: crazy box!"
I am not expecting any packages, just a few final account statements, but I am
tempted to mail a package to myself to see what happens. Perhaps things will
arrive in the US with postage due?
I told EADS the encryption work is essentially done, and I am waiting for their review. I asked the phone company to terminate service on the 17th, and they will, but I think they require longer notice. Actually, I think they do not have any problem shutting off service whenever I want, but they have a problem shutting off the money.
Tomorrow I will go to the Einwohnermeldeamt and tell them I am leaving, and Thursday I will return my gym access card, and that finishes up all the notices I have to give before leaving. I will close my bank account after I am home and the account receives my apartment deposit refund and pays my final phone bill.
I went to the Einwohnermeldeamt today to deregister. I have been here so long I can say and spell Einwohnermeldeamt without stumbling. It has also been so long I forgot where the office is. (It is just south of the high school, which I went to twice a week for months.)
I added a feature for EADS today that was not in the contract and that I probably could have gotten a little money for, but it has been on my mind and was easy enough to do, so I did it. They will probably have other things for me.
Oh, this is freaky, there are pictures of other people living in my apartment. With the same furniture! [2021: Link is dead.]
I saw two people in different parts of the city wearing shirts that said "BOSTON" today.
Galeria Kaufhof lengthened its Saturday hours, so it is open until 6, like the mall.
Two copies of Spatzeninvasion in Ulm/Neu-Ulm arrived. Parts of it are in English and clear up the question of how some businesses ended up with their own theme sparrows, given that the sparrows were auctioned off. Each sparrow blank cost DM 1500, had a sponsor who put up DM 2000, and was decorated by an artist (possibly the sponsor). After the sparrows were decorated, they were auctioned off, with a starting bid of DM 2500. If the sparrow sold, DM 1500 was returned to the sponsor (whose net DM 500 payment counted as charity and advertising), 20% went to the artist (DM 500 at the minimum bid), and the rest went to the Münster renovation fund (DM 500 at the minimum bid and 80% of any excess). If the sparrow did not sell, the sponsor kept it and did not recover any of their DM 2000 stake.
The book has the names of all the sparrows, and some of the names clear up questions about what the sculptures are supposed to be. I have entered the names on the sparrow page. That black sparrow in a wire-frame is named Faraday. A frame made of conducting wires is a Faraday cage—it blocks electromagnetic radiation (at certain frequencies) from passing in or out of the cage.
The book seems to have been published too early to report the amount raised for the restoration fund, but I found a web page that says it was DM 260,000, about $145,000. That is about DM 1020 per sparrow. If all of them sold, the average winning bid was DM 3150, about $1750.
Meanwhile, Martin is talking about me doing the next project in the remaining two weeks I am here. I don't think so! We do not have a proper specification yet, I would need to prepare new test and timing programs, there are only eleven weekdays left, I already plan to travel on at least three of them, and I have to spend some time shopping and packing and shipping.
I have not seen Mohnstreizel in the bakeries for a while. Is it seasonal?
I bought most of the games that were finalists in this year's
Spiel des Jahres. The few I did
not buy are available in the US in English versions. In addition to being fun
games, these will be souvenirs of my life in Germany. It may be hard to be
nostalgic about them, though, because I have been buying German games for
years. They get imported because German publishers are making good, interesting
games, while the US publishers have been weak.
|The Münster with an ICE train.||The Münster with a regional train.||Ulm an der Donau (Ulm on the Danube).|
|Danube with willow tree.||Danube with fisherman.|
There is a memorial to Hans and Sophie Scholl in Münsterplatz:
Im Haus Münsterplatz 33 lebten von 1939-1942 Hans und Sophie Scholl mit
ihren Eltern und Geschwistern.
Mit ihrem Freundeskreis "Die Weiße Rose" widersetzten sie sich dem Terror des Nationalsozialismus und wurden am 22. Februar 1943 vom Volksgerichtshof zum Tode verurteilt und hingerichtet.
In the house at Münsterplatz 33 lived from 1939 to 1942 Hans and Sophie Scholl
with their parents and siblings.
With their circle of friends "The White Rose," they opposed the terror of the National Socialism and, on the 22nd of February 1943 by the People's Court, were sentenced to death and executed.
While I was in town, I also bought round-trip tickets to München next Tuesday.
The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial is near the city, and I will visit it.
It is kind of neat to revisit cities where I know my way around. It's like I live here or something. No pictures today, because you have seen the Frankfurt and Heidelberg before.
In Frankfurt, I visited the Jüdisches Museum. The museum tells the history of Jews in Frankfurt. It is fairly detailed in the century before Nazism, including descriptions of specific people in the community. It also covers Medieval history. The museum has a thorough English translation of all panels and displays in a loose-leaf binder they give you at the desk.
One thing the history shows is that nothing new happened in the 1940s. It had all happened before in one form or another. The museum relates incidents of persecution dating back hundreds of years, even more than a thousand. At some times people were required to wear insignia. There were long-lasting limitations on where in the city people could live and how many there could be. There were laws regulating the number of marriages each year and regulating what occupations people could have. Ghetto gates were closed at night. There was organized killing by burning people to death.
The Holocaust is sometimes related as an exceptional incident in history. But that loses sight of the fact that it is not an aberration, it is long-standing human nature, and people could act that way again. The degree may be exceptional, but that is largely a consequence of ephemeral events. The underlying forces are enduring. Events elsewhere in the world with other groups over the past decade show those forces are still with us.
There were several school groups in the museum. I wonder what learning about Jewish history is like from the German students' perspectives?
I spent the rest of the time in Frankfurt doing some shopping. I got a sixth Hard Rock Cafe shot glass for Cathleen. This is the first one from a "renegade" restaurant. Some of the Hard Rock Cafe restaurants are not part of the chain that includes the original London store. I do not know what their relationship to the chain is or whether they are truly "renegade" in any historic or legal sense. They use the Hard Rock Cafe logo and sell Hard Rock Cafe merchandise, and they are well known yet are not shut down by the chain. I suspect some rights or licenses got sold in the past, and the chain might regret it but has no say in the matter now. That is just a guess, though.
One store in Kleinmarkthalle had a scary-looking vegetable. The sign near it said Löwenzahn, but that is dandelion. This looked related to broccoli, but the crowns were arranged in protruding spirals and were pointy.
Then I went to Heidelberg. My first stop, since it was nearest the Hauptbahnhof, was a vegetarian restaurant named Waves. It is only open for lunch, and I got there just about half an hour before its 4 p.m. closing. The menu is mostly Mexican, and I had a burrito that was nice.
I got the seventh and last shot glass for Cathleen. The Heidelberg Hard Rock Cafe is also a renegade, and it is a hole in the wall, and neither of the two renegades stores put the shot glass in a box, as the chain stores do.
Next I went to the funicular to ride to the top. Unfortunately, most of the route is closed. Taxi service is available to get you to the top, where there is a fairy-tale park, but that is not the same as riding the train, so I passed.
Instead, I spent the time shopping and wandering. That worked out well for Dad, because he was looking for plays by Nestroy, and I found Nestroy's complete works in six volumes. I also found Buffy im Bann der Dämonen: Die Angel Chroniken 1. I will never be able to read it, because German class did not teach us important words like "vampire," "fang," and "undead." However, the book will be a fun memory of Heidelberg, and it was cheap.
If any game players visit Heidelberg, you must go to Heidelbär at Unterestraße 28. It has a large selection of games, including all of this year's Spiel des Jahres finalists in the front window.
Oh, I have to get out of Germany. I laughed at a couple of postcards with humor drawn from German culture.
I returned to Ulm to find advertising defacing the new Straßenbahnen. Oh, well.
The new Straßenbahnen doors do not open until the computer is satisfied that the Straßenbahn has fully stopped. That is a couple of seconds after the riders at the doors are ready to get off, so many of them push the buttons a few times. I experimented a bit, and you only have to press the button once, and then the computer will open the door when it is good and ready. The thing is, you have to press the button sometime after it switches from its in-motion function of signaling the driver to stop to its stopped function of opening the nearby door. There is no indication of when that occurs, so you have to estimate.
The Ulm City Autumn festival begins tomorrow. That lasts ten days and will probably be my last festival here. Even Germany would be pressed to start another festival before I leave on the 17th.
There are some compound words in German that suggest a very old connection to English. One is Teilnehmer, which means a participant or partaker. Teil is part, and Nehmer is taker. If "partaker" and Teilnehmer were the same word at one time, there must have been a lot of change over the ages.
I mailed a box home Tuesday and another today. They contained a lot of souvenirs, books, some kitchen equipment, and some clothing. I have a box of games mostly packed. After that, I have to send my printer and maybe one other box. So, I am starting to close up shop here.
The last envelope of forwarded mail is on its way to me from New Hampshire.
So at the moment I have mail traveling both ways across the Atlantic.
I saw two parking inspectors writing tickets today. A long time ago, I mentioned the cardboard clock faces—you set the clock to the time you park and put it on your dashboard. When the inspectors come by, if the clock shows you have been there longer than the allowed duration (which is posted), they give you a ticket. If you park before the business day begins, while there is no limit, you can set the clock to the start of the regulated period.
I went to the office to talk to Ottmar about the acceptance test. We will do that on Wednesday. If all goes well, I will return EADS' badge and key Thursday.
I talked to Martin about scheduling the next routines he would like me to work
on. I cannot give a schedule now, because I have to return home and look into
buying the computer I will need for the work and setting up a development
environment, and I do not know how long that will take. But he would like the
routines finished by the beginning of November. That is not a lot of time to
squeeze in another project.
|Site of Berblinger's hang-glide.||Plaque.|
Our tour guide was a native English speaker who has been in Germany over a decade and professes not to speak much German and has not taken a course in it!
Dachau is near München, so I did a few things in München after Dachau. Lonely Planet suggests visiting the Zentrum für Aussergewöhnliche Museen, the Center for Unusual Museums. [Closed in 2005.] It contains the Pedal-Car Museum, the Sisi Museum (in memory of Empress Elisabeth of Austria), the Chamber Pot Museum, the Bourdalou Museum, the Museum of Scent (perfume flasks), the Easter Bunny Museum, and temporary special exhibits. It used to contain the Padlock Museum too. For the most part, each museum is a single room, and I did not find them interesting. They have a great number of perfume flasks and more chamber pots than anybody ever needs to see.
I did some shopping. I surveyed a model train store for Alex. I visited a game store (much more interesting here than in the United States). I restocked at two known chocolate stores and happened across a third store. I looked for t-shirts with German writing for Cathleen. Finally, I ate at Buxs Restaurant-Cafe, a pretty good vegetarian restaurant. Vegetarian dishes are served in a buffet and charged by mass, €1.85 per 100 grams. I learned of it from Lonely Planet. It is at Frauenstraße 9, immediately adjacent to Viktualienmarkt, so I passed by or near it on at least three previous trips to München. And now that I have learned where the good stuff is, it is time to go home.
Tonight I had the opportunity to join a local games group for the evening. It meets every second Wednesday, and, for many months, I was in class Wednesday evenings. Other times, I was traveling or occupied. The group meets at a local game store, Spieleladen Morgenland. We played Robo Rally, which I have played before, and then Vinci, which I have not. Everybody understood English well enough that the basic rules were read aloud in English (translated on the fly). Still, most of the discussion after that was in German, except when I asked a question.
The game has a number of tiles with symbols on them, and there is a reference card with a key to what effects each of the tiles has. The reference card is of course in German. I was getting along somewhat okay with the German reference card, figuring out what the German tiles did. Then I tried to find a "Ports" tile in the key, but it was not on the reference card. For some reason, they printed the English word "Ports" on the tile (it was actually French, but it is the same word) instead of the German Häfen. Häfen is on the reference card. So, I was doing okay in a foreign language but the English confused me!
That was a fun four hours. It is a shame I wasn't able to go earlier in my stay and get to know the people in the group.
I just got email from Wai Chu, who operated el Eden Handcrafted Chocolates. He tells me the store is closed, and he is on to other projects. Foo, it was a good store. He also told me that many people who visited the store mentioned my web site. That's fun, there are people who read my chocolate store reviews and act based on what I say.
I was supposed to go to EADS today just to say good-bye and turn in my badge and key. However, Martin called and said he had a problem with the FFT (which I finished four months ago). So, I helped debug that while I was at EADS. The problem appeared on a system inside their secure area, so Martin had to shuttle back and forth. In addition, the system had no significant debugging support. We had to probe what was happening by inducing different errors to occur. It turned out to be a problem in a Sky Computers routine—it was altering registers we had been told it did not. So, that is fixed, and I do not have to spend my final days here working. I returned the badge and key and am all signed out.
I said good-bye to folks, and Herr Rabel, the manager, was enthusiastic about how much they appreciated my work and about opportunties for working with them in the future. So, if nothing turns up in the US, I may be able to get more contracts here. Negotiating the first contract was a tremendous effort largely because of how much money I wanted, but, now that they have seen how much work I produce, they think I am cheap.
Andreas told me about two locations with three more sparrows, so I will try to get to those before I go. Two of the sparrows are out of town, so I do not know.
Deutsche Telekom is being obstinant. They require three months notice to close an account, apparently including terminating service. I might have been willing to write off the few months loss if they would terminate service but still bill me. But they refuse to terminate service, which exposes me to the possibility of the next tenant running up my phone bill. Their three-month notice period is not required by any technical, administrative, or labor issues, because they were able to start my service with less than three weeks notice. The notice requirement is purely for their financial gain. So, perhaps I will close my German bank account as soon as Frau Moser returns my apartment security deposit and the last phone bill Deutsche Telekom deserves is paid, and I will send Deutsche Telekom a letter asking how they would like me to pay them.
Frau Moser just showed the apartment to a prospective tenant. He probably will not take it because he was looking for an unfurnished apartment and may need more room to put in a computer desk and other furniture. He could miss out on a good deal—I got lucky with this apartment. It is comfortable, furnished, and conveniently located, and the rent includes power, water, heat, and trash service. Frau Moser did raise the rent; I am paying €540 per month, and she is asking €600. That is about $660.
Lars told me the age of the building when we first inspected it, but I had many other things on my mind and forgot. I have been meaning to ask Frau Moser again and took tonight's opportunity. The building is about 300 years old, maybe 360. The United States was not a country when this house was built. It was not even a country when two or more generations had passed through the house.
Frau Moser gave me a gift and a postcard with a note. Not only can I read large parts of the German note by sight, I am much more able to deduce ambiguous letters. You might recall I had trouble reading her first note in January. To be sure, I think she took more care with her handwriting in this note. Also, Frau Moser has used more English recently. I suspect she has been brushing up. The note is very nice, and it seems I was a good tenant. The book is Zeit zum Träumen (Time for Dreaming)—also in German, but it is short sayings by various authors presented with pictures of paintings. I can read some of it, but I will need to go through the book with a dictionary.
Oh, I just remembered. At the office today, I was typing something Andreas was dictating into Outlook, and I typed ö, and Martin and Andreas asked how I did that. They didn't know the key combinations for accented letters. So I got to show Germans how to type German. (German keyboards have separate keys for the accented characters, so they do not need combinations except when using English keyboards.)
Today was also busier than expected. I set out to photograph three new sparrows
Andreas told me about. One is in Neu-Ulm and two are at a car wash in Senden,
a town about 10 kilometers south of Neu-Ulm.
The train to Senden costs €2.35 and takes six minutes, so that is an average speed of 100 kilometers per hour, about 63 miles per hour. It does not feel that fast on the train. It is a nice way to travel.
The Neu-Ulm Bahnhof is a small station without a ticket counter, but the schedule says the Orient Express stops there! Sure enough, the EN 263 from Paris to Vienna stops in Neu-Ulm, but I am not sure that is really the Orient Express.
I am getting bolder; I went to Senden with no dictionary and no map of the city. Actually, my Ulm area map includes part of Senden, but not the Bahnhof. However, Senden is a small town, and I knew my destination was north of the Bahnhof. There was a map posted at the Bahnhof and another at the place I had to turn, so that worked out. The north side of town is a big Einkauf Zentrum (shopping center).
I found the car wash and went in, and the attendant let me take some
photographs. Andreas was wrong; they do not have two sparrows, they have three.
They are standing in a row with some fake trees, so you see a forest scene as
your car comes around a turn in the carwash.
|Blue Sparrow.||Flower Sparrow with Heart.||Spectral Colored Sparrow.|
Now that I have the Spatzeninvasion book, I am able to give you the numbers and titles of almost all of the sparrows. They are in my sparrow page. The "Spectral Colored Sparrow" above is one of the exceptions. It is similar to the four Spektralfarben sparrows in the book but not the same as any of them. I do not know if it is an extra made after the book was prepared or is a modification of one of the Spektralfarben. (Update: Checking the online pages shows it is Spektralfarben 3. It looks purple in the book.)
I started walking back to the Bahnhof and changed to running when I realized I might make the next train back and not have to wait an hour. As I approached the Bahnhof, a train pulled in, and I ran into Agnesé, from the German class. Not literally, but I was running. We greeted each other, but she asked if I were running for the train, and I said yes and had to go. I started for the Ding machine, but a train station attendant commented about getting on the train, so I ran to the conductor and asked if I could pay aboard. Some trains you can, some you cannot. This one you can, so I got aboard.
That was the first time I bought a ticket aboard the train, and it was the
second new ticketing thing I did today. I am still learning the ins and outs of
the system. The Deutsche Bahn machine would not sell me a ticket to Senden. It
said there was a local tariff, and tickets were available from the local
transit machine. So I had to use a Ding machine to get a ticket for a Deutsche
Bahn train. I bet there are politicians and lawyers mixed up in that.
|Small blue sparrow sculpture.||Small white sparrow sculpture.|
Then it was lunchtime. All that before noon! I got home to find email from Martin, who had discovered two more problems. Then Martin called, and I arranged to go in later that afternoon. However, I did more important things first (eat lunch and watch Buffy).
At EADS, we found one problem was a recurrence of something discovered before, a bug in Sky Computers' cos routine. Martin had misremembered the routine involved and inserted a replacement tan routine, but the program needs a replacement cos routine. We have not figured out the second problem yet. We got the program working by changing some things, but we do not know why the changes worked around the problem. So there is probably some error lurking in the software, and I may go in Monday to work on it more. After I pack.
EADS is going to have a hard time maintaining my assembly-language code. I know of nobody there who knows PowerPC assembly language. My code is likely to have few bugs, but bugs will appear in the software around it, and they will have to work with my code to find those other bugs.
I left a loose end a while ago with regard to the sand reservoirs in the Straßenbahnen. I had seen the reservoirs in the back but not at the front. There are indeed reservoirs at the front.
The weather was better today, so I got slightly better pictures of the place where Albrecht Berblinger tried his hang-glider. Those replace the originals under September 8.
Tonight, I am finishing my fourth viewing of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I have been here, and then I am packing it for shipping. The last few days, I will watch Angel episodes.
I bought four more Spatzeninvasion posters from Bücher-Stube Jastram for gifts. Since I bought the first six, they brought the posters down from storage and put them on display.
Martin and I exchanged email this morning, and he just called. We figured out the problems, and I do not have to go in. Except I have Spatzeninvasion posters for him and Andreas. Well, that leaves me mostly free. Tomorrow I back up my computer and make sure that everything fits in my luggage. Then I either run to the store for one more box to mail or I walk around town for the day.
|Doorway of Im Baindtle 21.|
I lugged my 130 pounds of luggage to the Straßenbahn, into and through the Hauptbahnhof, on and off the train, through the München Hauptbahnhof, on and off the S-Bahn, and through the München Flughafen. Next trip, I get luggage with wheels.
München airport is now my favorite airport. I came up from the S-Bahn to see no lines, just a row of self-service check-in stations available and a Lufthansa employee desperate to help people use them. Elsewhere in the airport, there were some attended counters with short lines. The self-service machines even let you check in luggage. The only complaint I have is that they are slow to respond to user input. The rest of screening and boarding proceeded well too. The security screening personnel appear efficient and competent, unlike US screeners.
My apartment is unfamiliar. More specifically, the contents are unfamiliar. I moved a bunch of stuff out of the way before subletting to Kathy, and Kathy moved stuff more, and I don't remember exactly where everything was. Also, for the first few hours, I was reaching for a light switch on the left in the bedroom, but it's not there. The door lock feels unfamiliar because the locking and unlocking motions are different (turn part of a rotation and back instead of turning two whole rotations). Driving is still familiar, including the feel for the clutch on my car. English may take a little practice—in the grocery store, I turned and almost bumped into somebody and habitually said Entschuldigen.
I expect to enter a few more reports about wrapping up my German adventure,
such as closing my German bank account, but this should end the regular journal
I suspected theft since some of the missing items were pretty, new games, but other items, like a power outlet splitter were also missing, and I am leaning toward an accident followed by negligence. The box is torn along a seam as if caught in a machine, and one of the mugs is more thoroughly destroyed than dropping would account for, so it may be the result of a machine. But the proper procedure for accidental opening or damage includes at least putting a note in the box. In addition, my detailed packing list would have made it easy to sort out my box's contents from those of other boxes. Anyway, now I have to report it to the Postal Service so they can have their computer generate a letter telling me there's nothing they can do.
The US soy milk called Silk is thinner than the soy milk I was using in Ulm—it feels more watery. I don't like what I used to like before I left! Maybe I will readjust in a few days.
|The t-shirt at home.|
This would be another great souvenir of Ulm—pictures of the city in a game. After seeing it in class, I looked for it in stores, but it was out of print. One turned up recently in ebay.de. The seller was only shipping within Germany, but I offered to pay more to have it sent to the US. We finished negotiations and closed an auction today, and Ulmer City Memory should be on its way to me soon. I will post pictures after it arrives.
|Ulmer City Memory.|
Oddly, I remember other pictures from the class. I wonder if there is more than one edition.
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