Archive for May, 2010

Germany is Beautiful – Aggertalsperre

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 | Misc, Reviews, Sites | 5 Comments

As some of you might know I’ve been abroad for 7 month, visiting various places and getting to know a lot of interesting spots far far away countries have to offer. Though talking about Germany’s sites doesn’t ring a bell. This is quite a pity and about to change, because me and my wife a.) want to get to know local picturesque places (1-3h driving perimeter) and b.) we are test-driving our new camping gear.

First location: Aggertalsperre Oberbergisches Land, NRW

I “found” this location playing around with Google Earth. First I wanted to visit the Brucher Talsperre, but me and wify couldn’t find a suitable camping ground there. After trying a few more locations (Lingesetalsperre, Kerspetalsperre) I fell back to old habits and googled “kierspe camping”. On of the results was “Campingplatz Stubenrauch“, residing just at the shore of the Aggertalsperre. We decided to drive there, check it out and stay if it was okay, head back home otherwise. We decided to stay and had a fun afternoon, got visited by Rob and Myri, had a pretty good dinner, received great hospitality, used clean and working facilities and popped our tent’s cherry.

Now we are back, the tent is dry and clean, stowed away in the cellar and I can’t wait to get back couching to enjoy some quality PS3 time. 😛

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Building a 1337 Kitteh Loo

Monday, May 17th, 2010 | Gadgets, Misc, Tech-savvy | 3 Comments

I tend to like building stuff. Even though I never thought I was especially skilled my projects quite often succeed.

My latest home furniture improvement was a top notch luxury cat litter pan. First, I didn’t like the look of the old plastic boxes, second my kittens have big paws, big enough to carry quite some litter spreading it all over the bathroom floor. You can’t keep the area clean, even if you clean it on a daily basis – the evil cat will soil the floor just before your mother in law comes ’round for an unannounced visit. 😈

So I though of a way to keep them paws clean. Or at least assure that they are clean as soon as they touch the bathroom floor. The solution is quite simple: use a doormat 🙂 The cheap green plastic mats would do just fine. Now I only had to convince my beloved fur bundles to use it. I thought of a box that has a single entrance and a designated path to the pan. This path had to be carpeted by cut doormat parts thus cleaning the cat’s paws on their way out of the contraption. I was sure I could build such a thing, even though I got quite some mockery along the way (“Yeah, right, a doormat.” “Your kittehs will use your laundry basket rather than accept a maze for a loo”) – but I proved them all wrong 😛

First I tried to draw a sketch of the thing I wanted to build, but I just couldn’t get it done. Too many details, too many options that made me want to experiment on sizing and positioning I could not accomplish the task using only pen and paper (or whiteboard respectively). So I thought about a 3d modelling tool. Asked Google and found SketchUp – developed and provided by Google 🙂 I like Google software, even if Google is becoming the big brother of modern times they provide frickin’ kewl software for free (remember the first time you played with Google Earth?). So I downloaded SketchUp and tried playing around with it. I miserably failed. It felt like the first time I opened Photoshop or Gimp. I just wasn’t able to handle the tool. I did so one more time before I actually decided to watch some tutorials. After watching only the 4 basic tutorial videos (~15min) I was good to go and create the first blueprint of my development proposal. Hmm, felt like the first time I used the brush tool to retouch a pimple in Photoshop – a convincing outcome with minimal effort 🙂

From here it was only a short way. I watched a few more tutorials, built the model, wrote down the shelves sizes, went to a big do-it-yourself store and put my 1337 Kitteh Loo together.

We were quite happy to hear the first scratching noises from inside the box. Jack and Lily used it right away and the litter-floor problem is pretty much solved as well. 😎

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Review: Guitar Hero Metallica

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 | Games, Reviews | 3 Comments

Tonight, I played one of the greatest games ever.

Guitar Hero Metallica.

If you ask me about my favourite game of all frickin’ time it would be Turrican (Part 1 and 2 🙂 ) The second place is occupied by a dozen games, such as almost every Mario instalment, the Monkey Island series, Zelda, GTA 4 ++, Midnight Club L.A., Blockout, Eye of the Beholder, Ultima, Faery Tale Adventure, Parasite Eve, you name it.

When I came home from work tonight my wife had to leave for a babysitting session. So I took the chance to chuck in Guitar Hero Metallica for the first time ever. It’s been 6 hours since, I had a hell lot of fun and I am pretty pissed right now (5 bottles o’ brew and aching fingertips to my account).

Wow, I’ve been James Hetfield! I’ve been Kirk Hammett. I’ve been live on stage (my kittehs complained or cheered, I dunno)! You may think I am crazy, but if you are into Metal, 30+ o’ age and willing to pay a dazzling 20 bucks you are in! The game is very well done and after the disappointing Guitar Hero 4 and 5 (from a technical point of view) this release is finally something you can just jump into playing. It just works. Once I calibrated the lag (25ms audio and video) I was rocking my shiny metal ass off!

6 out of 5 stars! – if you are into the genre go get it right away and donate to the creators!

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