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Saturday, December 31, 2005

The end is nigh revisited

So it's only a bit less than six hours until the New Year . Well, at least where I'm from, and where I am at the moment, which is at a LAM in Holland.


So far I've only been drinking a bit of my coke beer, but the other people here are pretty wasted after having been attending this LAM for quite some time now.

Suppose I won't be able to be blogging the LAM as [c]oma suspected I'd be doing, but I hope I'll be able to share some of the fun here at least.


Wow, suddenly there's a bag of weed on my mouse pad........

*just remembers...*

Happy New Year to everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The end is nigh!!!!!

So only a few more days left of this year.

The fireworks sale starts tomorrow. Hooray. Not. Tomorrow we'll have to start at 8:00. And our storage room from which we sell 'em is so cooooooooooooold!!!
Oh well. I hope I will survive the two days to come. Stress, stress, stress, aaaaaaah!!

But then! Hahah! I'll join the end of the annual LAM in Holland. Don't fret, dear fans, even should I decide to not take my computer with me after all, I'm sure I will be able to use the host's laptop.

Good night.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!!

This is what things looked like exactly one week ago. Yes, the weird blotches are falling snow. So let us all imagine that's what it looks like today as well. ;)

Ah, well, who cares if it doesn't?! The tree is decorated, the presents are all wrapped.... Now only the unwrapping part is still missing yet. ;)

No, folks, I'm not confused about the day; I'm German. We exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve already. Traditionally after church (and possibly dinner, depending on the greediness/patience of the family), but nothing compells me to go there anymore. Still we keep to the approximate time.

Oh heck, blah, whatever.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

*hugs everyone who doesn't run away in time*

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Life sign

Yes, dear fans, I'm still around (and listening to "Steelrose" by Project Pitchfork right now, hhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm).

I've been busy with:
- lack of motivation
- watching the first three episodes of Alien Nation
- having a nervous breakdown cos there'll be no Lost before January
- reading old books again in lack of new ones
- reading blogs, and commenting on those blogs
- starting my private convo with David in this blog's archives ;)
- playing cards on the comp
- work of course
- and any old crap

I'm looking forward to:
- presents (BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- devouring all the vegan goodies I ordered online
- actually being able to make it to this year's LAM, if only for a short weekend
- the days getting longer again

I'm not looking forward to:
- the stress and freezing of the annual fireworks sale next week

I made a few pictures a couple of days ago when it had been snowing again. Maybe I should upload them for Christmas, considering that the forcast for this region is: rain and drizzle. Buh.

Oh, by the way, A. is "fit" (still has a few stones, but apparently passed the most evil one) and back at work again, silly man. I should tell him to drink more beer to get rid of the rest quickly. ;)

Aargh, sorry, folks, that's it for today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bear with me, dear fans...

..... for I have nothing much to say at the moment.

A. is in hospital with kidney stones, work is stressing me out, and on top of it I seem to have developed a weird allergy - apparently to work.
If there I break out in itchy welts and rashes, at home they disappear and I'm fine. Hm. And considering how the boss's wife getting angry at me for taking off sick the afternoon (doctor's orders....) stressed me out as well I suppose I'd rather vote for something at work being the cause (buggered if I know what though) than work itself, as much as I hate it these days.
(If you're new to this here blog just read up on posts like "Damn them filthy thieving Arabs", and you'll get why I don't like my boss's... huh... policy much...)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Whoops, it's winter!

You’ll all remember my whining about the weather from last week I am sure. Well, for all my unhappiness about the temps and the snow we were very lucky.
To the west and north of us, in an estimated (by geographically challenged me) distance from 40 km to 80 km people had reason to be even less happy.

Groaning and creaking under the weight of the ice and snow (in some regions up to 20 cm on the ground) around 50 electricity masts gave. You can see some of the wreckage in the pictures. Thus 250,000 people were without electricity for up to five days. The economic losses are estimated at 100 million Euros, not counting the damages that freak surges caused in private households.

The initial explanation by electricity supplier RWE was that their masts had been built according to scientific data concerning average snow, ice and wind levels of each region, and that even after this disaster they would not put up stronger masts because this region is usually not subject to stresses like the ones experienced now.
Still, RWE arranged a relief fund of 5 million Euros to help special hardship cases.

I may be a lay person here, but I’ve been wondering. The more snowy regions in the mountains down south sure have a lot more snow. But winter temperatures there are always lower than here. So what they get is a lot of snow, but doesn’t snow reach a point when piling up on masts and wires where it just starts to slide off?
While this is the region of not very much snow and lots of rain at temperatures around the point of freezing. So what we get in autumn/winter and winter/spring is rain that starts to freeze on things, often magically transforming bare trees to delicate works of art, coated in ice. (Much to the trees’ owners dismay because more often than not, what makes the trees look like they’ve been wrought of coloured glass is so heavy that a lot of branches snap under the weight.) Likewise electricity masts and wires get coated. And that stuff does not drop off unless the weather gets warm enough to melt it.
I remember going to school by train, and every year you’d see the wires along the track coated in ice, sagging sometimes so much that they almost touched the ground. And why did they use the opportunity to put the cables into the ground when the new train company dug everything up to rebuild the tracks a few years ago?

Well, anyway, according to a consumer organisation, the owners of a wind power station and people living close to the masts RWE was well aware that their masts would not hold against much stress, due to old material and lack of repair. Apparently some masts were 40 to 50 years old and thus built of low quality steel that has become brittle by now. Fact is that there is a lot of rust to be seen in all that wreckage.

RWE countered those accusations by saying that on the contrary those masts had been checked and repaired regularly. Also the stresses put upon the masts and wires now had been 15 times higher than average, which no masts in Europe could have withstood.

Investigations are continuing.

If RWE is truly found to be at fault this will become rather expensive for them….