Want to see the temperature on my balkony: Here we go – powered by Ninja blocks:
Have you ever read the book The 4-hour week by Timothy Ferriss? I read it a couple of years ago, and it made me think very hard about the way I do my job. Is there anything that I should not do? Are there tasks that I could outsource? I ended up asking my employee to hire an assistent for me, which he did. It has helped me to do my job better and in less time.
With friends, I have often discusses if there’s more that could be outsourced, even if I had to pay for the service myself. While we liked the idea in principle, none of us , at least to my knowledge, has followed up on that idea.
Now today I read this blog (for the German readers: You can find an article in Zeit Online as well). A guy named Bob really took the 4-Hour-Week lessons to the extreme and outsourced his entire activities as a developer to an Chinese company. And not only this: It looks like he took on a couple of other jobs in addition!
So while he was still spending the day in the office, surfing and watching cat videos, somebody in China was developing away for a small percentage of Bob’s salary. The Chinese logged in to the company VPN and delivered code that led to Bob being elected as the best developer of the company for years!
Hell, I have to read the book again and rethink this approach! And I have to investigate outsourcing to India in more detail!
One problem might be that I really don’t like cat videos
It’s rainy, and it has been rainy for a couple of days. And it’s too warm. We should have snow! But oh well, we’re heading out to Austria for some skiing. Or swimming – that’s actually more likely.
So I went to my favorite Turkish store to buy some stuff. And then I was in the kitchen for a couple of hours, preparing all these delicious appetizers that I will take with me tomorrow!
The source of the inspiration is – and has been for a while now – a German website run by a few people that just seem to love Turkish cooking. And from the first time I ended up there I visit again and agin.
Just recently they have published a great cook book. Too bad for all you guys that it’s in German.But if you happen to read German, go get it. It not only helps us over the rainy days, it also gives us Turkish delight!
And off I go, to make a couple more Meze, if you don’t mind. If you are with me in Austria in the next couple of days, you can taste them
Are you tired of hotel breakfast? And paying for WiFi? WiFi that might not even exist in your room, because it’s only available in the lobby? Well, I am.
Think about a standard hotel like the Holiday Inn at Gare de’l Est in Paris. You pay 15 € for the breakfast (scrambled eggs from powder, bread that would need some more baking, sweet stuff all over …) and you pay 10 € per day for the WiFi access. WiFi really works only in the lobby and bar area, in your room you have to buy cable access, which adds extra cost. And if you own an nice computer like I do, it won’t even feature an ethernet plug anymore …
The alternative is really simple:
In the morning, step out of the hotel, go around the corner. Here you find bars and brasseries with excellent breakfast offers (2 * coffe, omelette with ham and cheese) for 9 €. And the WiFi is free and fast.
Same is true for the evenings. Rather than staying in your hotel room, hang out in the bars and restaurants. Work and eat for less, and sometimes it even happens that people start talking to you. In any case, while doing your email you can take a break and watch the crowd.
So here we are in Istanbul again. First time no biz trip, just pleasure and a couple of hours of work every day (Link: The 4 hour week). We chose a hotel in the middle of the bazaar district. Kind of funny place. They really tried hard to get the 5 stars or so by building with as electronics into the place. But they pretty much screwed up: Their door opening system doesn’t allow for programming more cars, so you get only one.
So it is kind of cool. I get most of my work done – if not all. I enjoy the Turkish food, and I get pretty inspired (admittedly). Is this the new way? Does it matter where I work? Is location still important? Or has the WWW enabled us to chose location and community we want to be in / live with?
One of the major revolutions in terms of communication took place when Gutenberg invented the printing press. People were able to share information without close proximity. They wrote / read printed materials. Information started to be available. Time still was an issue.
The WWW has empowered us even more. Location is not issue anymore. Time is not an issue anymore. Information is accessible from everywhere and can be made available within a split second.
I love it.
Was played last weekend in our club. As always, 2 rounds had to be played, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. And there’s a cut after Saturday’s round.
The weather was murderous. We really chose the 2 hottest days of the year. On Saturday the temperature went up to 26°C, on Sunday it got even hotter and we ended up playing at 38°C.
I closed the first day with a reasonable 83. Within my handicap buffer, this got me to the shared first place with 3 other guys after the first round. My game was ok, but not good: I made quite a few putting mistakes and lost 3-4 stroked.
Next day we started in the heat as the last flight. How wonderful had it been on Saturday, when we were out as the first flight and could go with a good pace. Now we were trolling after the slow players, and the heat got obnoxious! I got really luck on the first couple of holes, where my erratic drives were close to OB a few times. But it stabilized after a while and I was playing the first 9 in bogey, and the second nine started with a few bogey as well. Not good, not bad, but not too bad.
Meanwhile one of the guys in my flight had established a 3 stroke lead, and the other competitor in our flight and myself though we can pack and go. But then on 15 he made his first mistake, while he ket it together on 16. On the par 3 17 my tee shot landed really close to the pin, and the leader gut really nervous: He changed clubs, tried to play it save and ended up to pull his shot into the bush where we didn’t find it anymore. So he and I ended up sharing the lead after 17, the 3rd guy one behind. Had I played birdie on that hole, I might have sealed a victory already.
Last hole I had the honors and played a wonderful tee shot down the fairway. Actually, it was the best tee shot I ever had on this hole. The former leader whacked his ball way right and ended up behing some high trees, and the 3rd guy had a reasonable tee shot as well, but quite a few meters short of my ball.
Tree shot ended in a bunker close to the green, 3rd guy was short of the green, and then it was my turn: I pulled a 6-iron a little to the left and ended up pin-high in the rough, about 15 meters to the left.
And then it happend. My concentration went to hell and I played a most stupid little pitch, getting the ball forward just a few meters! The other guys finished with 5 and 6 (I ended up with a 6 as well after my putt lipped out), and off we went to a sudden-death play-off.
I had lost my focus, and ended up on 3rd place. Happy to get out of the heat, but sad that I had let this opportunity slip away. Hope it will be a lesson for my next championship event.
Interview at Bitkom Open Source event in Berlin, June 2012. I’m talking with Wolfgang Dorst about platforms, eco systems and open innovation.
For the past couple of years, I enjoy at least one visit to the canton of Appenzell.
Located in the eastern region of Switzerland, it is one of my favorite spots to come to. As there is many areas in Switzerland that are incredibly beautiful, the Appenzeller Land continues to attract me more than any other place in Switzerland.
One of the reasons may be it’s accessibility. It’s easy to get to. And once you are there, it’s approachable. I don’t need to be an alpine expert to find exciting walks in the beautiful setting. People are friendly, and the prices are actually quite reasonable (as far as this goes for a visitor to Switzerland). And all my favorite activities are supported: I can play golf here, go hiking and ride my bicycle as well. Or I can learn about cheese making if I don’t feel like sweating too much.
And then there is the tranquility. While there are tourists around, Appenzell appears a lot less overrun than other parts of the Alps.
This time we stayed at small mountain hotel called Gasthaus Lehmen. While the rooms are small, it is a perfect place to start your hikes towards the Säntis or other points of interest. And if the weather plays along (what it did for us), it is wonderful to sit outside in the evening and enjoy the evening with the good food the folks prepare and a good Appenzell beer.
The last day of the short break we spent on the Waldkirch golf course. It is a nice hilly course, and you have a great few to the Säntis. And for me it was a really nice day: It was the first time that I shot par on 9 holes.
So tonight I was heading to northern France, to present at the Java User Group in Lille. My idea was to fly into Bruessels and take a car from there to meet the folks around 18:00 at the meeting location of the Ch’ti Jug to talk about Eclipse and such.
Now it turns out that this was a really bad idea. The plane I took from Berlin to Bruessels: Well it started late. The excuse the pilot made was that his cabin people had miscounted the number of people on the plane. So they unloaded some luggage, then they found out that the people were actually on the plane, then they re-loaded the luggage.
Execution cost some time, so we started about 45 minutes after the planned departure time. Oh wee, I thought, good that I had planned for some extra time.
Turns out that the traffic jams around Brussels were not in my calculation. They ate up all the buffer that I had planned. But there was a chance! My little TomTom navigation app on the iPhone was telling me that I will be only 3 minutes late. Little did it know!
Just 20 kilometers before Lille my For rental car gave up. No comment, it said.
So what’s left: I can only apologize to folks in Lille. If they still want me, I’ll be back!