Saturday, September 23, 2017

German Elections 2107

Disclaimer: I cannot vote in Germany. I do not follow German media. I live in relatively affluent area of Germany (the Bodensee)
I do not know how most of my freinds will vote. Unlike the US, where who you vote for is generally pretty obvious, it is something much harder to determine (for me at least)
I know one guy at work is voting SPD and one of my bosses hates Merkel (nothing to do with immigrants BTW)
I did listen to a rant by a mom of one of the kids that my son play's soccer with about refugees who are refusing to learn German, but that still did not give me any sense of which way she would vote.
Voting for a right wing party (AfD) still feels like quite a hard step for many in this area, regardless of how they feel about the refugee situation. I do not see the AfD getting a lot of support here.
I took the Wahl-o-mat (which is survey of around 30 questions that tells you what party most aligns with your views) and it had me supporting 'Die Partei' followed rather closely by SPD or CDU (don't remember) Suprisingly, 47% of my answers matched the AfDs stances on issues.
The AfD are an out there party but I assume their stances on some issues are surprisingly main stream. Or I am a rascist.
I do find it surprising that the AfD are doing so well in such a good economic climate. The real estate market is booming. I am getting multiple unsolicited mails from real estate agents trying not just to sell me places but also trying to get me to put my place on the market. People feel cash rich and bullish about the future (There is somewhat of a supply side issue to cause prices to be increasing but prices are inordinately high. There's a bubble there). Job growth is kinda crazy as well. The company I work for is hiring and finding nobody. I hear the same story from friends are other companies.
In these conditions, the AfD vote feels like a peremptory protest vote. There's some project management approach where at the beginning of a project, you lay out how the project will fail. It says fuck you if you think things are going well. This is going to end badly.
On the one hand, the vote says too many are succeeding in Germany who are not German. Too many have absorbed the mantra of learning the language, getting an education, and playing by the German rules. The German economy rewards those people. Its a market economy regardless of how much Germans want to not accept that. But that is not what was supposed to happen. Immigrants were supposed to listen to the mantra and ignore it. Germans were supposed to be exasperated at the lack of success despite a bunch of taxpayer money spent. AfD support is about reframing immigrant success. Material success of immigrants is not a success for German. It is rather ruining this country. It is allowing them to change Germany. They're in office, they're starting businesses, they're affectng the culture of this country, which is totally inappropriate. Fuck them is the aspect of this support.
On the other hand, there is a percentage of people who are not learning the language and who are not appreciative of the largesse that the German taxpayer is sending their way. Fuck them is the aspect of this support.
AfD support comes from both the successes and failures of integration. It boils down in both cases to "Fuck them". An easy message to get out.
I am a bit apprehensive about the results. Trump's victory has me ready for anything though.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ERROR: new collation (en_US.UTF-8) is incompatible with the collation of the template database (C)

I was getting this error when installing postgresql:
ERROR: new collation (en_US.UTF-8) is incompatible with the collation of the template database (C)
HINT: Use the same collation as in the template database, or use template0 as template.

The situation was I was trying to install packages automatically (via script) after a machine boots.
The problem was the locale that is set is POSIX and the database needed en_US.UTF-8.

I need to do the following prior to package installation:
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
export LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8
export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8

Thursday, April 21, 2016

iPXE pxe could not find kernel image

In addition to making sure the image is in the correct location, make sure the image has the correct permissions:
-rw-r--r-- 1 root   root     6568848 Apr 21 13:36 vmlinuz-3.19.0-28-generic*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root   root    20753184 Apr 21 13:46 initrd.img-3.19.0-28-generic*

The files cannot be a link. They must be the actual files.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

I review stuff: Snow @ Bödele - February 5, 2016

There is literally no snow on the ground in Dornborn. On the drive up to Bödele, there is very little snow until about 2/3rds of the way up and then all of a sudden, there is just oodles of it just before you arrive at the parking lot.
In general, it has been raining as well as snowing. Plus on February 5, it was unseasonably warm. Close to 5 C when the sun peeked through the fog. There was plenty of snow of the ground, but it was thick, not at all light and feathery. I don't want to say slushy because it didn't feel wet but it felt heavy and I had a tough time picking up speed where I would normally not.
It was good for the pull lifts though and it fell more stable,

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Bike trip on the Bodensee with kids

I have 2 smallish kids (9 and 7) who I am trying to get excited about bike touring. They like to ride their bicycles but in moderation and only if their a destination. The idea of riding a bicycle just for the joy of riding is crazy talk.  Two years ago we did a 20 km ride to Mainau with tents/sleeping bags etc, camped and came home. This was kind of the limit of their endurance at that point.

Ever since then my wife and I have been trying to talk up another bike trip, this time maybe a few days more, and ho much fun it was going to be.

This past week turned out to be the second week of Pfingstferien (Pentecost vacation) in Germany and the weather at the end of the week turned out brilliant. Sunny and warm (turned out to actually be hot and humid on top of that)

The plan a 4 day trip with 20-30 km of riding every day and camping every night. On the first day, we headed from Meersburg over to Konstanz with the car ferry and then rode the bikes over to Berlingen.

The ride from Konstanz to Berlingen is really nice. Heading out of Konstanz, you ride out directly on the shore of the Rhine, where the roads are really wide and the traffic is really light. There is a diversion to cross the border into Switzerland and then at Tägerwill, there is a really nice area to hang out by the lake (We made lots of stops to break up the tediousness of riding and to keep the kids happy. My wife's motto is to stop early and frequently. If you wait to stop till the kids start complaining, you've already lost) Then there are uninteresting stretches on dusty roads through farmland, but also jaunts through small swiss towns with really great modernist houses. I was really impressed with the adventurousness of the architecture. German towns are much more dressed down.

At Berlingen we caught a ferry across to Gaelingen (which is back in Germany) and then cycled 2 km to the camping ground at Horn. Its big, the facilities are really nice and they have a lot of activities for the kids. The lake shore though is not at the camping ground though it did not make a difference for us as we just went there, spent the rest of the day there and came back when it was time to hit the sack.

On day 2, we did a ride towards Stein am Rhein but it was really up and down. The kids did not enjoy the climbing and so we cut the bike ride short. We spent the day at the lake and the night in Horn again.

On day 3, we rode from Horn to Allensbach. This was a completely awesome bike ride.
The trails are flat, far from traffic for the most part, and through gorgeous country side. I couldn't help thinking of the French expressionists going to Arles to paint its gorgeous vistas when riding through this stretch. It was just as beautiful.

We camped in Allensbach. The campground is smaller and more crowded that the one at Horn but it is directly at the lake. The lake area is, I think, nicer than at Horn. You look out at Mainau, the areas to hang out are kept up better and the restaurant at the campsite is much better that the one at Horn. Lot more food options. Horn was just the typical restuarant offerings: Pizza, currywurst, french fries (plus a couple of other things) Here they had burgers, stir fry, more contemporary cuisine.

On the last day, we rode from Allensbach back into Konstanz and then to the ferry back to Meersburg. This is not such a picturesque ride. Its mostly on bike paths directly on the side of roads, or railroad tracks and not really anything special. Konstanz on a sunny weekend day is always interesting tough and as usual it was packed with people and music and kids and life.

All in all, a great bike ride. The kids have sworn off bike riding for the next couple of weeks but they will eventually be happy to go on another trip like this.

Fixing a flat on your bicycle in 10 minutes

I tend to be a cluts when it comes to fixing things. I eventually get it done but it takes me a really long time, involving lots of time looking at how-to youtube videos, and lots of trial and error. One thing that frustrates me to no end is changing a flat tire on my bicycle. Getting the tire off the rim is painful, getting the rim back on is even more painful and pumping up the tube up with enough pressure with a small pump take forever. Its tough enough to do at home and I have never managed to get it fixed when I had a flat when I was on the road (don't ask what I have resorted to)

Due to a multi-day family ride, I had to find a solution to my problem and after a bit of internet search found the perfect tools to address them.

1. Lezyne Pressure Drive: I was able to pump my tire with a presta valve up to 30 bar with very little effort. Its a bit on the pricey side but well worth the price. I have bought cheap pumps and this one is so much better that anything I have owned. Factiorially better. Exponentially better.

2. Crank Brothers Speedier Lever: The Youtube videos do not lie (Well, the one I saw was on Vimeo but you get the idea) It really is that easy to get the tire off and on. A bit of brute strength is required but the tool really makes it super simple.

I changed a tire in ten minutes. Literally. Not metaphorically. And on the road. I am not suggesting that I cured cancer but being able to go from a struggle to change a tire at home to being able to do it easily on the road was quite a change for me. Also gave my wife more confidence in my bicycle repair skills.

Monday, May 18, 2015

pybot and Non-existing variable

In the logs, I could see this error:

Though later at the bottom, the logs indicated that the variable was being read correctly:

Eh? Turns out I forgot to install __init__.txt in the directory where the variable was being set.

For instance, for the example above, in the same directory where "Set Global Vars" is contained (in this case in a file called "Util.txt"), you need to have a __init__.txt containing the following lines:
*** Settings ***
Suite Setup     Set Global Vars
Resource        Util.txt

Thursday, April 02, 2015


I kept getting the error on a simple connect:
qmgr = pymqi.connect('wingconBdg', 'SERTBA7.WINGCONBDG', '')

Spent several hours trying to debug it and it turned out I just needed to compile pyMQI in server mode.
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