More pictures of Linz

September 29, 2006

Here are a few more pictures I took…

View from one of the ICLab's windows The Taubenmarkt A street somewhere in Linz A church near the Strom The Poestlingberg viewed from the Linz Castle The Nibelungen Brucke viewed from SkyLoft A tram arriving a Taubenmarkt

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I think I won’t get the keys to the lab today. The office where I was supposed to pick them up has been closed ever since I got here today.

Meanwhile I’ve been editing my profile in the Interactive Multimedia Group homepage and messin’ about with my blog’s theme.

Also my former homepage was officially pronounced obsolete. I’ll be moving most of it’s contents to the blog, in time.

Oh, and guess what I had for lunch today?

Sushi

I had lunch at Nordsee many times during the Ars Electronica Festival this year. One of those times I came across something which strongly triggered remebrances of my dear homeland. Here’s a picture, worth a thousand words (ou apenas uns tostõezinhos, talvez*):

Toni - an icon of transnationality

Those of you out there that aren’t versed in the mysterious ways of the Portuguese – those many of you, if I may add – will probably not understand what this is all about. It’s all about that name behind the windshield. I jumped to the conclusion that maybe the driver would be the typical Portuguese immigrant, called António (which in Portugal is colloquialy reduced to Toni). For me the concept of the modern Portuguese truck driver would never be complete without a licence plate mockup with the driver’s nickname on it.

However there are a couple of elements missing: first and foremost, the typical Portuguese truck driver would have spelled it “Tony” because the Y, officialy unexisting in Portuguese names, would make it look cooler; second, the 80’s style calendar portraying a blond girl using too much hairspray and exhibiting impossibly huge, round, voluptuous, succulent breasts (sorry, got carried off there) is missing from the booth.

I’m pretty sure that there’s lots of details that are missing for this to be the typical Portuguese trucker’s vehicle. Any comments on that?

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* roughly translated it should mean or just some small change, maybe; actually tostõezinhos refers to one of the smallest monetary units used in Portugal long before the Euro.

Handyman

September 28, 2006

So here I sit at the Interface Culture Lab. Before you start asking “so why aren’t you working”, well…

If I were working you surely wouldn’t be reading this, because I’d never have written it, and thus you would probably be working. So let’s just not work together for a while and not ask any stupid questions, OK? Yes I know, I started it, my bad!

Well I’m almost getting my keys to the Lab. Isn’t that great? I’m just waiting for the guys who’re giving me the keys to get back to their office. Anyway, as I sit and wait I think of the deposit I had to pay for each key, roughly 22€. Since I’m having not one, not two nor even three but – yes, you got it quickly enough – four keys, I had to pay an 88€ deposit. Ouch! I thought they had already understood that I’m Poor-tuguese…

Asides from that I’ve been meeting lots of nice people around here. Great opportunities arise to meet (or at the very least merely observe) other people when you propose to help them out. So I’ve already lent a small hand in packing somethings after the exhibition at the Ars Electronica Festival, assembling some furniture for (what I hope will be) my future workspace and installing Windows on several brand-new computers – yes, it’s true, they don’t have only Mac’s here. Now maybe I should consider getting myself a freelance job as a handyman 🙂
I’ve also been starting up some background research on my work. I found someone who seems to be doing some work which has some similar points with mine. Her name (yes, of course it’s a “she”) is Jennica Falk, and I’m very curious about meeting her one day.

Move along…

September 26, 2006

I’m starting to consider changing the blog’s title to “Yesterday’s News” on account of having so many posts about “yesterday”. Any votes on that?

Now that I have been here in Linz for almost a month, time is coming to look back and feel glad that everything is going along fine. Except for one or two things. Or mabe three… no, four. Well nevermind me, I’m just paranoid about perfection sometimes.

To all of my friends who actually read my blog, I’m terribly sorry for not having taken many pictures already! I wanted to add a category called “people” to group all posts about social interactions here in Linz. Maybe I’ll start doing it right away.

I also wanted to post some pictures of me at the Ars Electronica Festival 2006 but I only have but a few. I’m still waiting to get my hands on all those pictures that Rute Frias and Prof. Nuno Correia took!

Well to make this blog a bit more colorful, here are some pics of Linz…

At the Linz Castle A street somewhere in Linz A street somewhere in Linz View from the Strom The Hauptplatz during Ars Electronica Festival 2006

 

It was Sunday and I got up late. Late for me now means 11am. My life has changed.

I didn’t want to take too much time cooking lunch; on the other hand I didn’t want to cook one of those quick soups (just add water and let cook for ten minutes) because I had a craving for something more… substantial. So I though about practicing on my rice and cooking some chicken legs, which had to be defrosted first.

Anyway, defrosting the legs was no biggie. The problem was that sweet Anja was also making her lunch and I really didn’t want to bother her (too much). Let me explain: last time, I tried frying the chicken legs using my trustworthy Tefal frying-pan and some oil; I made quite a mess because the oil kept popping and splashing around, risking to burn anyone in a 6 feet radius. Luckily it only burned me, no one else was using the stove then.

Now I didn’t want to make sweet Anja suffer such an atrocity. Being Sunday meant my patience for problem-solving was at a minimum so I opted by cooking the legs using the microwave.

I actually think  it might have come out right, if I hadn’t overdone it. Result: the chicken legs were overcooked (no pictures, sorry) and still I ate them. In spite of all that, the rice was yummy 😉 Next time I’ll throw in a whole chicken, some integrated circuits and let them cook even longer. If I actually create a monster, then I won’t feel compelled to eat it…

…will I?

The Theremin guy

September 25, 2006

Last Saturday night I went out with a couple of German girls who’re also staying at the Kolpinghaus – Anja and Beate (I hope I got it right). Walking down the Landstrasse on our way to the bars, we heard this ghostly melody. There was a street performer, playing theremin. If you don’t know what it is, here’s the Wikipedia page for it.

Once you travelled a bit you get used to all kinds of street performances. Still, I never conceived that the first time I’d see someone playing this instrument in front of me would be at the Landstrasse, Linz. It was a nice prelude for a nice night.

The theremin

I haven’t improved that much. At least not my cooking skills anyway.

Also, I still had three pork chops to go and I shouldn’t be eating too much. So luckily (both for her and for me) my Polish friend asked me if she could partake of the meal. Naturally I said yes.

I move out of Portugal, start eating sushi, doing laundry, eating soup and now… cooking for a girl? Isn’t that just sweet? Maybe I should buy a nice little apron! LOL

A nice little apron

Yesterday I went back to the supermarket to buy more food. I’d publish my shopping list but I don’t have the time. One of the things I bought was rice.

So I tried cooking some rice. Nervously watching it cook, stirring it from time to time, I was perfectly convinced it wouldn’t come out right. For my astonishment, it actually did 😀

Of course I didn’t eat just the rice – I already did that a couple of days ago with “10-minute” sweet-and-sour rice that came packed because I thought it was a complete meal.

I had some pork chops with the rice; or was it the other way around? The problem with cooking meat isn’t actually the cooking, it’s buying it. Namely, knowing what you’re buying when you are an inexperienced cook such as I am and everything is in German.

This may sound stupid, but I’m going to cook the exact same thing again today. This is that part of learning where you improve rapidly (and also hungrily in my case) 🙂

Botanischer Garten Linz

September 18, 2006

So yesterday was Sunday and all the shops were closed. I was considering dropping by the Interface Culture Lab to send some mails and write a post on my blog and, if I felt bold enough, read a couple or more papers.

Before leaving, I went to the residence kitchen to fix myself a sandwich. I was very pleased to meet this girl who actually spoke English very well. So it comes out that she’s from Poland, and a very nice person too (no giggling out there, I can hear you). It turns out that Sunday wasn’t so boring after all ’cause I found myself some company to go to the Botanischer Garten Linz (the city’s botanical garden) 😀
Now that I actually know someone who’s living there, the Kolpighaus doesn’t seem so bad.