izard: (Default)
I am back from Russia. I don't come there often, so each time I notice a visual difference.
For example, advertisements change a lot between my visits. 2 years ago, there were many
grafitti tags "dial 8-9xxxx to buy cheap viagra/cialis". Now the very first ad I've seen upon
arriving to Sheremetievo airport was "buy pills ZZZ, to make your male orgasm brighter and
more colorful.". I hope those in double blind controlled clinical trials for this substance had some fun.
And I wonder how they measured. Oh, I guess there was no clinical trials.. The pills are made in Nizhny Novgorod,
it was written in the ad btw. Also this time I seen more tags like "dial 8-9xxxx to buy salt/pepper/nutmeg" (for those who don't know, they don't mean salt/pepper). Sad.
izard: (Default)
I can share some personal statistics on these 3 airlines I use the most in last ~10 years.

It is about economy, I never flown business with Aeroflot or Turkish.
10 years ago:
Food: 1. LH, 2. Turkish, 3. Aeroflot
Service: 1. LH, 2. Turkish, 3. Aeroflot
5 years ago:
Food: 1. Turkish, 2. Aeroflot, 3. LH
Service: 1. LH, 2. Turkish, 3. Aeroflot
now:
Food: 1. Aeroflot, 2. Turkish, LH (Still big plus for Turkish - they have Ayran!)
Service: 1. LH, 2. Aeroflot, 3. Turkish

Its a pity Turkish airline's food is now just good, not fabulous as it was just a few years ago..
izard: (Default)
Going to Portland from Munich in winter, I think Denver airport is a very nice hub.

It is my second time there, and this time I even was the only person in a passport control queue :), so everything was quick and smooth. No customs control either this time. And no risk of airport closure due to snow like in midwest or northeast.

Another nice connect option is now Reykjavik - Iceland air flies to Portland, and they have nice price tag recently. Perfect place for a "free" long layover, I guess. Will explore this option next time, better in summer.
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I am back, that was a very busy week. The only issue was that Oregon trail was closed because of a land slide, and we could only make it about 2 kilometers

until we had to turn back because debris became too hard to traverse.
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I use Istanbul frequently as a convenient hub (and Turkish airlines serve great food in economy), but usually Istanbul airport approach is not very interesting.
But once recently I got a very nice view all the way to the airport.

The plane went at a low altitude across black see, the strait and Hagia Sophia. Unfortunately I did not get my camera back then. I wonder if it is possible to check if my next flight will use same approach in advance..
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I am travelling to customers as usual, but since Jacob was born I no longer have extra time to explore, and trying to schedule trips to the minimum. This time I had slightly more time than usual and spent couple of hours walking around Torino.

I like a walkable city center very much. It is huge (bigger than in Milano and not as crowded as in Rome) but nice and comfortable. All these small shops selling different types of weird stuff. Like one in front of my hotel sells only tableware for pets.

And food was good too:
Read more... )
izard: (Default)
The weather was terrible and I caught cold, so I was only able to go freediving 3 times during last week in Pula.

Ppl were having fun. I was just passing this place on my way to reefs and caves.
Read more... )
All pics are in the album, not many this time.
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It is very difficult to get close to this crab. It spots me from several meters, quickly runs to its burrow and hides there.

However I managed to make this picture using a macro lens from about 30cm. And this was a great experience. Because of jet lag, I woke up at 6AM, and went outside at 6.20, while Yulia and Jacob were both still sleeping. At 6.25, sun started rising, and all crabs that were lurking around a beach suddenly stopped moving and started staring at sun.

That looked amazing! I just went to this one, and it did not run and hide as usual. It was too busy watching the sunrise... I read somewhere before that crabs do enjoy sunrise, but I never checked as I never woke up early enough in my previous trips to tropical islands.

Hermit crabs watch sunrise too: Read more... )
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Most reviews of our hotel I read on tripadvisor indicated "bad snorkelling". Let's see...

This unicornfish and a small shark swam just ~30 meters from our room door. (20 meters to the shore, then 10 meters towards the reef). But there was a small trick.. I actually chased these two buddies towards the coast from deeper waters :)

Some more sea life under cut.
Read more... )
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Now charging my laptop in PDX before departure, then go PDX->PHX->1day->SFO->PDX-SFO-MUC.

The loop in a leg PHX->SFO-PDX->SFO bothers me a lot, but airlines do not have an interface to fix that for free. They'd rather lose money (waitlists) and me loose time :(
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I am in US now, just arrived. I like this conference, it is my 6th time now. And first as an organizer.
When getting here, noticed that Canadians are still pumping oil in the north:


Also TSA's computer hanged when reading my boarding pass (and it was reproducible, they even made a picture of a pass). So they decided to make a more thorough check on my stuff. Good thing: they let me pass through all the queue. Bad thing: after all, I did not save any time.

Some smart ppl think TSA is a security theater. I don't: I think when performing normal checks they would catch 99.9999% of stupid terrorists and 10% of smart terrorists, and on detailed checks they would catch 100% of stupid terrorists and 50% of smart terrorists. I strongly believe there is no such thing as a smart terrorists, so TSA wins. (Smart people go learn VHDL, C++ or Scala, or at least are working on M&A ;)
izard: (Default)
This time I failed to find any interesting creatures in the sea - no turtles, no stingrays. So I was mostly taking pictures of simply fish in coral reefs.

Actually not only very simple fish, there was a crocodile fish, roaming mooray eel, snake eel, and a lot of tropical fish - surgeons, groupers, clown fish pairs with their anemone, parrotfish, cleaner wraths and bigger wraths.

Some more pics under cut.
Read more... )
All pics are in a picasa album
izard: (Default)
A demo I was preparing for a customer involved some location specifics. I thought it should work the same way in Germany and German Switzerland, but it was not entirely the case, so in the evening before the meeting I had to work on it a bit in a hotel room.

Technically, one of the challenges was that when in roaming, Deutschetelekom deliberately dropped my UDP SIP packets, so I had to configure a VPN :)
Read more... )
izard: (Default)
I spent almost five days in Rome recently.

Read more... )
picasa album
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Usually I fly to US directly from Germany, but this time I had a connection in Heathrow. New Gordon Ramsey restaraunt in Terminal 5 - very good food (and not too expensive), but very expensive drinks.
I've added a new picture to my collection of blue screens:

departure monitors in Heathrow run Windows. Flying to US with BA was not worse than with Lufthansa. On a short leg between Munich and London they even given passengers very good potato chips as snack - the first time in my long frequent flyer experience. Usually any potato/corn chips/snacks airlines provides to passengers of economy class is junk food rubbish.

This Thursday I fly back to Munich, after 2.5 days of intense meetings.
izard: (Default)
I am back home, finally. That was a long trip - originally planned just for two days, but I had to stay for four more and to travel from Shannon to Dublin. Many times I've been to Chandler and Hillsboro. I've seen Intel fabs there, but never from a close distance.
Read more... )

At Intel Dublin, the R&D office and the fab share a building, so finally I've seen some fab equipment baking chips very close. Unfortunately taking pictures is not permitted, so all I could do is this selfie:


The weather was typical Irish:
Read more... )

As usual, in the evening we went to pubs at Temple bar.
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In the pubs, I found that I like Beamish more than Guiness.
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With a little help of this Irish Wolpertinger. Way cuter than a German one

All pics are in a picasa album
izard: (Default)
I've just returned from SPS/Drives 2013, the factory machinery fair.
There are not many women in our field, I would like the percentage of women in IT to be bigger. Even more so in factory machinery industry. So you may guess there were very few women within exhibitors and visitors. However, as at the most fairs, there were many women in the booths.

I decided that this time I will only make pictures of machinery. I realized that I should not support a practice of attracting visitors to the booth by hiring girls who dress in mini-skirts, etc.

When I approach a lady on the booth with a technical conversation, she always tells me that she will call an engineer. So it would be easier just to ask if I could speak with an engineer, except that it might happen that _she_ is an engineer. That would have been very embarrassing. You may argue that I should be able to tell an engineer from a girl hired to decorate a booth, but it is not always so. For example when I was watching this Read more... )
beer brewing imitation I was approached by a young lady who I thought was there for a show, but in fact she was an engineer!
izard: (Default)
I am in LA until this Friday, attending a conference. This is the first time at this conference when my presentation was ready one month in advance (thanks a lot organizers!). So I had more time to prepare for a freediving trip I planned for this Sunday.

These days the waters of Pacific near LA are extremely calm:

The ocean waves are coming from south, so to make it even better I selected north facing beaches for our trip: Malaga cove and Bluff cove. Now I recommend Bluff cove, my experience shows that it is reasonably safe to ignore danger signs there.

In Bluff cove, there are two juvenile sharks (each about 1 meter long) hunting on a sand bank.

They were very afraid of me and it took me some time to take a picture where they are somewhat visible. Now I am processing other photos. I have a lot of time in early morning because of a jet lag :)
izard: (Default)
Most of the people you see in Venice are tourists. What do they do there?

Most of the tourists eventually come to St Mark's Square.

And take a pic or two with pigeons :)

Most tourists (including myself) are running around with cameras and are constantly taking pictures.
Read more... )
The only thing I don't like about it is that many use flash... On distant objects or landscapes :)

When tourists get thirsty, they buy a bottle of water on the street (expensive!)Read more... )
or find some smaller square with a public drinking fountain.

As a normal European country, Venice is gay-friendly. Don't open the following cut if you are in Russia, it may be illegal there (propaganda?).
Read more... )
Also it may be not safe for work.

Sometimes it is not very easy to tell tourists from locals.
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I reckon the girls are not tourists, or are they?

These two are probably tourists.
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And those most certainly are locals.
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When the visit is over, the tourists rush to high speed trains.Read more... )
Unfortunately there is no high speed train that goes north through the Alps. Venice to Rome and Venice to Munich are both 530km, but it takes 3.5 hours on a train to Rome and 7 to Munich.
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