The owls are not what they seem.

“I love Twin Peaks and it’s world.” (David Lynch )

I remember way back in 1991, my sister had this sudden affection for Twin Peaks – the more or less famous mystery serial drama by David Lynch/Mark Frost.

The Log Lady

While growing up in Nairobi, living more or less under a rock when it came to video entertainment (which, by that time, consisted of a) renting videos from the various video libraries in Nairobi as well as b) asking visitors from abroad to record MTV’s Alternative Nation for my special music needs), I never really got into this Twin Peaks thingy back in 1991 & 1992 during a holiday trip to Germany.

Years later on I watched with great pleasures his other works such as Mulholland Drive or Blue Velvet . Little did I know by that time that I would one day engage to a woman who is some sort of a REAL fan of David Lynch’s work.

[edit: video removed!]

My fiancée LOVES Twin Peaks, has all of it on DVDs and VHS, heck she even has this special Dale Cooper diary on tape. Needless to mention she initially fell for me because I apparently reminded her of (the main character) FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (14yrs ago, maybe).

So, after about 20 years of its creation, I eventually spoiled my Twin Peaks virginity and started my video trip into the world of Twin Peaks and its characters about a week ago. And although I’ve so far only enjoyed 22 of the available 29 episodes (+ the prequel film called “Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me” ), I can already tell you that Twin Peaks really is some of the finest mystery/drama stories on film.

In 2007 Twin Peaks was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.” (src)

Sure, we’re in 2010 now and there may be other – also popular – mystery series available on TV, and Twin Peaks may have started this off back in the days, but as opposed to Fringe, Lost or even the X-Files, there’s already sooooo much more to Twin Peaks a fan will love about it that imo will never happen to most other series:

Damn good acting, coupled with a timeless beauty and some weird stuff only a freak like David Lynch can make up (and find a producer who secures the funding for it).

“The owls are not what they seem.” is a quote from Twin Peaks – and much like most other characters, sceneries and items mentioned on Twin Peaks, everyone and everything has at least two different sides. I like that because there’s no single truth out there. Something like that makes you think about it – and lets you compile a blog post on it 20 years after it was first mentioned on TV.

The internet seems to be full of tributes to Twin Peaks. The following may be a bit different. Enjoy!

I’ll Be There in Twin Peaks from Mashed in Plastic on Vimeo.

Ubuntu, my 6930p and me

I am a Windows XP user.*

Please excuse the following rant, but I will try to explain why I’ve stayed with Windows XP – until now, that is. Feel free to comment further down below and convince me of something else.

The hardware setup: HP Elitebook 6930p notebook with HP docking station, external USB keyboard + mouse combo, 2.1 Creative Speakers, 22″ LG Flatron W2242T monitor + Terratec Cinergy Piranha DVB-T stick (with Sineo 1000 chipset). Extras on the notebook: internal Chicony webcam, internal HP UMTS modem (HP un2400 wwan adapter, as mentioned earlier).

Operating system: As long as it works fine, doesn’t require broadband connections due to frequent updates, won’t become infected by malware and on top of that also runs my favourite applications, I will make do with anything. I know that Windows XP is very prone to malware, but it does the job for me. At least compared to the following OS:

Windows Vista: nein, nein, nein, nein, nein, nein….

Windows 7: I actually have a fresh copy of Windows 7 which arrived via snail mail a few month after the purchase of my HP Elitebook 6930p notebook. Installed it in a VirtualBox, didn’t like the new menu, couldn’t find a way to switch it off, saw some external solutions to retain the old school menu. *May* switch to using Win7 one day. Not yet convinced why I should, though. I am the kind of guy that switches of Compiz in Ubuntu.

Apple OSX: doesn’t run on my machine, too expensive hardware + I am a typical Windows user = maximizing all windows + some things on Apple machines that I don’t like (even though I’ve understood that a smaller choice of available software tools isn’t necessarily a bad option as it saves you valuable trial & error time). I’d switch to Apple for Final Cut (Pro), though.

GNU/Linux: first experience with it ~SuSe 5.1 in 1998?, tried different distros over the years (like everyone else), eventually settled with Ubuntu because ….well, I am a Windows XP user! Also: I’ve accepted Gnome as my desktop.

You see, I am currently writing* this blog post inside an out-of-the-box Ubuntu 9.10. Firefox 3.5.7 is installed and deletes the complete row of characters (inside the WP’s tinyMCE editor) if I don’t pay attention. Already frustrating enough when an OS doesn’t do what I want it do – or worse: does more than expected. Not a good start. And then there’s this screen issue I am having: I just can’t figure out why this ATI Catalyst Control Center won’t start in admin mode. I urgently need to turn the 22″ monitor into the main screen (with taskbars on it). How do I do that? Sure, I could consult one of the many Wikis on Ubuntu and get it to work (Update: it is “sudo amdcccle”). Another issue: the DVB-T usb stick which doesn’t work at all within this Ubuntu 9.10 (I remember it used to run in 8.04 on my older HP nx8220 notebook but not really sure about it now. I do have another, older DVB-T stick which worked with Me-TV in 8.04). Or the internal UMTS modem which is kinda tricky because it requires extra firmware, presumably because it can adjust to local 3g networks (the trick is to have a tool which extracts its firmware from the Windows (!) driver and then loads all required settings). All of these things make me want to reboot my PC in Windows XP right now.

Heck, I couldn’t even switch to using Ubuntu all the time and would always have to run WinXP (full or in a virtual box) because my clients (!) also use WinXP. E-Mail clients and the browsing experience are adjusted to my clients (aka typical corporate IT setup). The other day Mzeecedric and I worked on a blog, and then we had to start all over again because it just didn’t look good on MSIE 7.x (while it shined like a beauty in FF 3.x @ Ubuntu 9.04).

Power management is also one of the reasons why I am using WinXP HOME (which otherwise is a no-go) on my Asus eee PC 1000HG netbook. The netbook also runs an Ubuntu distro with eee control applet, but it’s not the same power management as when running on WinXP with all Asus drivers and so on. Power management is a crucial issue on mobile devices though.

What I am asking for: a GNU/Linux distro, specifically adjusted to this HP Elitebook 6930p. Put it in my DVD drive, boot it up, install and have it ready to go. No further adjustments necessary and everything (EVERYTHING) just working out of the box. I’d be willing to cough up money for such a CD as I think it would be a good investment. And yes, I do understand that part of this Ubuntu experience is to find answers and check Wikis on my own, but then: I just want to work with my computer and have it ready to run, even in offline environments where there is no broadband or stable inet connection. Plus I am getting older and don’t want to waste time on my machine for stuff that I am taking for granted on my Windows XP installation. And I am saying this as a WinXP user, not a Mac user (most of my Mac friends aren’t geeks).


I never really understood why ppl would publish boring cat (lolcat) content online – until we got to take care of one ourselves.


As far as I am informed, sterlizied cats kill mice and birds because they want to teach you – the dumb human being – how to properly hunt them.

This one survived and was released to the garden….

…while others didn’t make it….(killed a few minutes ago).

“Look, that’s how it’s done, JKE”.

“Must Kill All Humans”

Who needs hunting skills if the cat can do the job?

16. July 1945


64 years, 2 months and 19 days after my father’s family was evicted from the ground floor of this building in Liberec, Czech Republic under a Russian influence, I took a chance and paid a visit to the house, the city and the (beautiful) surroundings. It now accommodates a Kindergarten and still has the same green colour it obtained when it was built in 1938.

My aunt informed me the other day that my grandfather had plans of buying this house, but later on dismissed them as he got transfered to another place & the war came in-between, but still – isn’t it interesting to know where your ancestors lived before and what they did for a living?

The irony and my reason for blogging this is: you can travel the world and fall in love with many places, but in the end you become engaged to someone whose family actually hails from the same small town that your family is from. Both their houses where just 400m away.

64 years, 2 months and 19 days later on, it’s just an ironic little detail that deserves a blogpost, I think.

Estamos en España, part 2


What you see in the picture above is a huge sign-board put up by (the supermarket chain) Mercadona in Cartaya, Spain, directly in front of the exit (“salida”) from their car park. Hmm….looks like a Eurofail to me. Ama?


A wide variety of Spanish pastries / cookies and mainly different variations of what’s otherwise called a donut. Took this picture in reference to the following from Embu (as seen in this post):


…because there actually isn’t much difference between the Spanish and Kenyan pastries you’ll get. Both countries have all it takes to produce tasty & different cakes, and the Spanish ones even come in different packagings. But still, most of these cakes just go down with a good tea or coffee because they are too dry. Or they are like those BlueBand “butter” cakes you’ll get for birthdays and weddings that look appealing but all taste the same in the end.

If I could start again, I’d probably open up a bakery for German cake in Nairobi or start selling Leberkäse to Nairobi commuters.


As I just can’t remember the correct Spanish names for the different kinds of squids and octopus (cephalopods), I took this snapshot at another local supermarket to remind me of what to order at a Tapas Bar where you’ll get huge plates of fresh fish every evening for a relatively low price.

As mentioned in my last post, we also spent a day in Portugal as it’s just a ~2h drive away from the place we’re currently staying in Spain.


40°C on the way back from Portugal.


Vertical cliffs in Sagres, Portugal.

I have to admit that I am such a geek that I was equally fascinated by these huge antennas:


In Sagres we also visited the Fortaleza de Sagres, a national monument from the 15th century:




It really is a huge fortress but well worth a visit. We later on discovered that the Reggae festival taking place (the same day) in front of the fortress in Sagres actually included 2manyDJs (my fav. mashup DJs from Belgium!).


So we continued our excursion to the next destination: Cabo de São Vicente …..only to find this German snackbar on the parking lot:


Anyone in for a German Bratwurst at Cape St. Vincent in Portugal? Me neither.

The trip to Portugal was very nice and an easy drive with our ugly rental car. Enjoying the luxury of a rental car is just very, very convenient as it enables you to see places you’d probably miss out otherwise. It also enables you to take snapshots like the following I took for my solar friends – showing a solar farm somewhere between Jerez de la Frontera and Seville:


For the remaining days here in El Rompido, I shall enjoy the following view from the very balcony I am currently sitting on, editing this blog post via a free wireless inet connection here (with pre-Seacom-speeds).


Huku ni kuzuri…. the hotel room is even bigger than our humble flat in Frankfurt.

Estamos en España, part 1

Einfach mal 9 Tage lang an gar nichts denken, die Sonne auf den vom üppigen Frühstück gut gefüllten Bauch scheinen lassen, nachher mit dem hässlichen, froschgrünen Mietwagen durch die Gegend cruisen und am Abend dann gebratenen Tintenfisch mit frischem Salat und einem kühlen cerveza genießen.

Die Liegen am Pool befinden sich in idealer Handtuchwurfweite vom Balkon.

9 Tage lang die vielen baulichen Mängel eines solch typisch spanischen Hotels versuchen zu verdrängen (sorry, Technikmensch) und das Netbook trotz relativ guter & kostenloser Inetanbindung (LAN & WiFi, ungesichert) nur für 2h statt 24h auspacken.

This actually is supposed to be an English blog post – but! you quickly realize how German you actually are, even if it’s just Spain (where there are a lot of Germans). The fancy hotel we’d chosen for our much-awaited holiday (first since 2006) is located close to the Portuguese border, so we actually get two countries for one price plus a rented car which enables us to be mobile and tour the area. Great!

The Empire State Building and me

Going home-home for an extended weekend actually means I can waste spend some time on my old computer and enjoy the following (Kenyan) sticker on the keyboard:


This computer urgently needs to be fixed (Ubuntu on a USB key is a wonderful life saviour), but I was actually much more interested in rummaging in those drawers under the table.

Continue reading “The Empire State Building and me”