Posts tagged: work

Still alive

Yes, I am still alive, I just took a small break from the blog for a while but I have not forgotten it.

We are still waiting for the real spring to finally come. The weather got a little better in the meanwhile but there are still quite a lot of days with temperatures below 10C.  Still, there were nice days too and we tried to take advantage of them. The best thing is though, when we come home from work is no longer dark outside, that’s a big plus.

As far as work goes, things are so and so. The so called crisis is affecting everyone and our company is no exception it seems. They are trying to cut costs from everywhere and while I can’t really say I blame them in a way, I definitely don’t enjoy it. I am currently still working in the “lovely” town of Rheinbach but there might be signs that I could be working again in München. That’s still not that close to home but it’s definitely better than now. It’s quite a bit closer (around 2h drive as opposed to 3-4h drive to Rheinbach)  and it’s a real city for a change, much more to do there.

Otherwise I enjoyed my new hobby and I took advantage of the longer days and better weather and went to all kind of places to make pictures. Among other things I tried my hand a bit at street photography (that points to a Deviantart group on the subject) but I am still not that comfortable with it. I find it a bit awkward to just go to people and ask them if I can take a picture :) So my attempts so far were from the distance or when nobody was looking. Sometimes it just works to walk around with the camera in my hand and snap shots while I pass people. Later on I usually have to trash quite a lot of them but a few are decent and worth keeping. Need more practice I guess :)

Below some pictures I took in the past month. As usual, a click on the image takes you to its page when you can view a bigger version.

[Picture Upload] Enough Work!

Enough Work

Clicking the image takes you to its Deviantart page. There you can see the full view or hit the Download link for a big version.

Back in the fray

Unfortunately my vacation days are over and I am back at work. After 4 weeks at home (the longest vacation/time off I ever had) it takes a while to get used to being at the office again, but I am getting there.

In the meantime in The Cave, the kitchen renovation is almost done and it looks MUCH better now. Still, my wish to make pictures and post them has been denied because it does not look “perfect”, there are some thing left to be painted. So maybe this coming weekend.

The bathroom upstairs is almost ready too and in the last weekend we cleaned and renovated the small room downstairs where we have the washer and the dryer. Before it was yucky and ugly, now it’s clean and with gypsum on the walls instead of wallpaper. It also has a new floor and the room is properly sealed. The previous owners were pigs, no other way to say it.

I started doing more stuff with my new Canon. First of all I was a bit surprised to find out it does not come with any kind of memory card so I got a 16GB SD Card from Amazon and now everything is fine. Most of the time I shoot in RAW format and I do the post-processing in Lightroom or RawTherapee if I am in Linux, so the extra space on the SD card is welcomed because one RAW file can take up to 20MB.

I still have a lot to learn but I have reactivated my Flickr and Deviantart accounts and I started posting there my first attempts. I have also updated the blog with a small widget which displays the latest flickr Deviantart uploads (the flickr widget looked crappy).

I wish I would have some faster lenses, even something cheap like the Canon EF 50mm/ 1,8/ Objektiv II for a start, but that’s really not a priority right now so it’ll have to wait I guess. 

Summer is gone, life goes on

Unfortunately the warm days of the summer are gone. I still see sunny days every now and then but it’s cold and we’re starting here to have temperatures below 0 during the night. We didn’t even have much of an autumn, it kinda jumped directly to winter. Don’t know if I should be happy or not about that, I am not crazy about autumn either, at least not about the rainy part anyway.

At work it’s still kinda ok. Besides the fact that I  have to go back and forth each week, the project is interesting, challenging and gives me the chance to work with technologies not easily available in most other places. It’s a great place to learn things and I would say it’s the perfect working environment to be in if you’re studying for CCIE, the Holy Grail of Cisco Certifications (Service Provider part).

Which is exactly what a couple of my colleagues are doing but it’s not easy at all. This is one exam (a 8-hour lab actually) where it’s not enough to just know stuff, you have to know it perfectly and be able to work fast because you are constantly under time pressure. And trust me, it’s not cheap at all, you end up with thousands and thousands of euros invested in books, rack rentals, boot camps, the lab itself, etc.  Needless to say, this is hardly doable without the support of your company. And on top of that, the pass rate is very low. It is said that less than 10% of people taking the lab pass it the first time. On average, one needs 3-4 attempts to pass it. Kinda bad, eh ?

I am probably at the stage where I could attempt it but I really have no time for it, not when I am gone most of the time. Maybe later. I will just focus on other professional certification in the meanwhile.

Vacation is coming at the end of the year, which is something I am looking forward to. Probably we won’t go anywhere but some time at home is not bad either. Speaking of vacation, there is one thing that annoys me at my company. They ask us to give a vacation plan for the whole next year. I have 28 days of vacation and I have to plan them ALL one year in advance. I can understand their point of view in a way, that they need some kind of overview when people are gonna be gone, but I still think it’s very weird. How am I supposed to know what I will do in one year ? Something might come up and you might need to change the dates but you can be shit out of luck if someone else in your team has it planned in that time.

They say that this is just for “planning purposes” and that you can change it but we all know that once you turn it in, it’s pretty much fixed, there is no change because you most likely conflict with someone else. I didn’t use to have this in my former company but it was a bit easier there I guess, less people in our department so less chances of conflicts.

And at the end, something unrelated. I came upon a very interesting article from cracked.com: “7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable” (via). It’s a bit long’ish but it’s well worth it.