The secret Bruce

» Ja bisd du depperd, is des Gwand billig in Deitschland! «
– Dominic Rottermanner, 2011/08/11

And exactly for this reason, I want to take the opportunity and raise my glass to the three new shirts in town (aka the mindzoo shirt shop):

Random encounters

Last night, we’ve been out to the Südstraßenfestival in Aachen. After some beers there, we went on to the Kiste, where we met up with some other people.

During a random encounter at the bar, I learned that Aachen misses a music scene. Having said this myself quite often (about Germany in general, that is), I was tempted to agree. But not this time! I rather told the lady that we actually do have a band and a rehearsal room in the basement of our house. In almost no time, we, she, her going-to-be-husband, and a friend of them decided to come with us for a late night jam session. So, off we went for some funky noise ’til half past five! Yay!


NP: The Pixies – Cecilia Ann

From the Eastcoast to the Westcoast…

… gotta gotta go!

I’ve been able to witness two most superb hardcore (as in punk rock) concerts. The first was Evergreen Terrace at MTC in Cologne, the other one was Agnostic Front at Musikbunker in Aachen. I really start to become a great fan of this kind of music. Even more so, as I really like the kind of dancing in the mosh pit, that the audience gets going every time. Rock’n’Roll rulez!

BBQ and range finding code

The other day we had a very nice oriental-style BBQ at my place. Susi made a Couscous salad, while I made some hummus, a bell pepper salad, a salsa with Habanero chilis, and some marinated olives. On the meaty side, we had lamb chops and chicken wings. Very nice food indeed!

The evening ended with us all sitting still in the semi-dark of my terrace watching out for shooting stars. And we even saw some. Even one, which we will remember forever 😉

In the other life (work), I’ve written an algorithm for finding the bordering elements of contiguous ranges in a given array of ordered values. I’ve used rapid prototyping in Python before transferring the solution to C++. The Python code goes like this:

n = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,    9, 10, 11, 12,      14, 15, 16]
end = len(n) - 1

ranges = []

def get_right(left, step):
    if left == end:
        return left
    leftmost_r = None
    i = last_i = end
    while True:
        match = n[i] - n[left] == i - left
        if (i == end and match) or i == leftmost_r:
            return last_i
        last_i = i 
        if match:
            i += step
            leftmost_r = i
            i -= step
        if step != 1:
            step /= 2

left = 0
while True:
    right = get_right(left, (len(n) - left) / 2)
    ranges.append((n[left], n[right]))
    if right == end:
        left = right + 1

The basic assumption for the algorithm to work is that n contains sorted values. This allows us to do a kind of binary search, if the currently looked at range (from left to i) does not fit the criterion for a match (namely that n[i] - n[left] != i - left). Maybe this is useful for someone!


NP: Agnostic Front – Gotta go

My hobby: night-time cycling

A dear friend of mine told me the other day that he started to do night-time cycling tours through the empty city of Munich. I liked the idea a lot and have starting to do the same. I’m just back from my latest tour through Aachen. 12.7 km in 41 minutes. This is an average of 18.5 km/h. Not too bad for the hilly terrain, Aachen is built on. Yay!

Now Erdinger Alkoholfrei, shower, and off to bed!

Pain Pickles

This is just a quick update to the pain harvest post. Meanwhile, I prepared a nice bottle of chili-garlic oil from some of them and pickled most of the remaining chili in brine, made from vinegar and salt, sugar, juniper berries, and bay leaves. Please also note, how nicely my kitchen counter supports AppleTM-style reflections 😉

The rest of my harvest now lays in the kitchen to dry. I’m really looking forward to use them during the winter! Now off to Freiburg.

Harvester of sorrow pain

Today, I harvested the chili from my garden and am quite happy with the result of almost 1kg 🙂 This year, I had 7 different breeds: Red and Green Spanish Peppers, two different plants of Fire Kiss, Turkish Peppers, Pinocchio’s Nose, and Jalapeños.

Pain Harvest 2011Unfortunately, I only started growing in June, when I finally arrived here. This means that some of the chili did not get completely ripe. For example Pinocchio’s nose should have become purple. They are still hot, though 😉

To conserve my harvest, I will dry some of them, make garlic-chili oil of some, and try to pickle the rest in a salt-vinegar mixture, I read about on the web. I am already looking forward to cooking with them. Maybe I’ll post some follow-ups to this post with recipes and pictures…


500g Mehl
50g Zucker
1 Kaffeelöffel Salz
1/4 l Milch
80g Margarine
1 Würfel Hefe
2 Eier

Alle Zutaten zu einem festen Teig verkneten. Eine Stunde gehen lassen, dann ausrollen und in Rauten schneiden. Die Rauten in reichlich heißem Distelöl ausbacken und auf einem Küchenkrepp abtropfen lassen. Anschließend mit Zimt und Zucker oder Puderzucker bestreuen oder einfach so genießen.

Ade, Tante Honhanna!

Tomorrow, maybe

I’ve been to the theater last night. They played a very interesting piece, which was spun around living and surviving in dictatorships. It was called Tomorrow maybe – Über-Leben in Diktaturen.

Every time I visit an event like this, or a museum, or if I experience some other kind of art, I realize that I should do this much more often. Culture can be such an inspiration for the rusted mind. It can influence the thoughts and give way to new directions of thinking in such a wonderful way.