Tag Archives: Friends

Friends and Sausages

Four years ago, when our research group moved to the new Science Park building we used to go out or grab an after-work beer regularly. We let go of this tradition somewhere along the way. Last week we even found out that the beer in our refrigerator is well past its best-before-date (which some Austrians consider a serious offense).

I did really appreciate it when Herbert (this time it’s not a fake name, but he also works at Infineon) invited us to join him for a nice evening with drinks and sausages.

IMG_20140219_194751Some comments on the photo: His last name is Jäger, which is the German word for hunter and he really is a hunter. The trophies are from some of his hunting trips. Another curiosity: You can’t see it but he’s still using Winamp, that’s so 90s ;)

Harald Baumgarter @ Herz von Österreich

About two years ago I blogged about setting up the website of Austrian singer Harald Baumgartner. In an attempt to make his work more well known to the public he’s now part of a reality television-music competition series called “Herz von Österreich” (“Heart of Austria”). It’s only airing in Austria, so you might not have heard of it, it’s similar to the Idols TV series. – As I don’t watch television, I didn’t know about it either until he called me last week.

The show in which he’s going to appear is going to air this week on Friday and so some updates to his website became inevitable. I guess that’s the kind of stuff you’re supposed to do on an idle Sunday afternoon. Helping an old friend.

hbSee for yourself http://www.haraldbaumgartner.com – and please don’t forget to vote for him on Friday.

Left4Dead2

Some time during the last year I got myself a steam account. Originally, I just wanted to see where Linux gaming was. My verdict: The choices are limited and most games are only available for Windows. But those that are available on Linux (Half Life 2, Portal, Left4Dead, …) are just as playable on Linux as on Windows.

At any rate, during the holiday season Steam gave away Left4Dead2 for free. That’s why I and most of my steam friends at uni have it and why we meet online to play it from time to time, such as today. Guilty as charged, there’s a little video game addict in me ;)

Left4Dead2After all: you have to be prepared for the ultimate zombie apocalypse. Apart from that it’s probably a good idea to make sure you and your colleagues at work (the place where you are most likely going to be when it’s going to happen) are working like a well-oiled zombie defence machine.

Actually that justification sucks …

Parents

Sunday’s are for sleeping, laundry and for connecting with people you haven’t seen in a while. I realized I hadn’t seen my parents since the first week of the new year. So it was good dropping by at my parent’s house for some coffee.

I would not want to move in again with them if you know what I mean, but they are always awesome hosts and great company for the duration of a nice Sunday afternoon coffee. Although it means some extra work for my mum, I guess she also appreciates the occasional visits.

This reminds me of a line from Mary Schmich’s graduation speech:

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

I guess I should give my sister a call tomorrow ;)

General Assembly

Some suggestions what you can do to live up to the stereotypes about Upper Austria/Bavaria:

  1. Play a brass instrument
  2. Be a member of a local wind band
  3. Go to church
  4. Go to a Gasthaus (tavern, inn) after you’ve been to church

I guess I can say I payed my dues today. 1/2 are things that I am doing for years and 3/4 were part of today’s general assembly of the Stadtkapelle Laakirchen (a local wind band), which I took part in. During the 3 hours event we were informed by the ExCom of the registered association about the past year, future plans, the financial situation, …

Jahreshauptversammlung_2014

Lots of talking, lots of fun, lots of beer (not for me actually as I was the designated driver), lots of photos from past events, lots of awards (especially for members of age 60+) and a great evening for all of us.

Pro Scientia

I am part of a network and scholarship program called “Pro Scientia”.

One of the aspects of “Pro Scienta” is that the scholarship students meet once or twice a month. During those meetings one of the students presents his research, art or any other topic that has some scientific, religious, cultural, historical, social and whatnot relevance, which is then open for discussion.

All of the scholarship students are grad students and mostly PhDs. Today we had a presentation from Benjamin, a PhD student in the field of education and psychology, about “Development and learning of leadership skills with a special focus on principals”. Well the actual title was a little shorter, but that’s just my interpretation.

pro_scientia

The discussions are often intense, they are totally worth it. I’ve never found myself having discussions in such an interdisciplinary setup before joining Pro Scientia. In the photo you’ve got a lawyer, an engineer, a priest, an architect, a social scientist, an artist.

So if you are a grad student or artist who happens to be in Austria, are interested in interdisciplinary discussions and are good at what you do, you might want to consider applying for a Pro Scientia Scholarship: http://www.proscientia.at/.

IEEE JKU Linz Stammtisch

While my job as IEEE Region 8 Student Representative involves working two and sometimes three levels higher up in the IEEE geographic hierarchy, I always enjoy staying in touch with the local student branch (SB) at JKU. After all that’s the entity where my IEEE track started.

Being past past past chair is one thing, but what is really rewarding and makes me happy is to see that the SB is even more active than in my days and that they prosper like never before. Apart from many other activities they still have their monthly series of Stammtische, which are social meetings that try to bring students and industry closer together.

That is exactly where I spent today’s evening: The IEEE Stammtisch featuring Commend.

This is how it works: The SB approaches companies that might be interested in giving a presentation. A company representative joins one of those meetings in a local bar and pays for drinks, food and some extra cash for the SB. In return the SB provides the infrastructure (beamer, …) and the students.

What’s in it for the company? To get in touch with potential future employees or customers. What’s in it for the students? To get in touch with potential future employers and to learn about what’s happening outside the academic world.

What’s in it for me apart from that? Grabbing a beer with friends, getting to know the future leaders of the SB and learning about what matters to the current generation of engineering students.

image

Beer Tasting, A Scientific Approach

It all started with a simple question “Is des Zipfa wirklich so a Foazgeschwoabat?” – “Is Zipfer beer really so bad after all”. Having a scientific background there was just no way around setting up an experiment: 8 experts, 12 different kinds of Austrian beer and a blind taste test. Here are some photos before and after I had removed the beer bottle labels

And here’s the panel of internationally acclaimed beer and microwave engineering experts ;)

I had prepared booklets where they could rate the different kinds of beers (#1-#12) by using points and words. It blew me away how many suitable adjectives they found for describing the smell, looks and taste of beer.

 

The results were similarly astonishing. I don’t want to bore you with statistics (that’s what we had LibreOffice Calc for), so here just some major findings:

  1. Zipfer scored the highest number of points from 2/8 testers -> “Zipfer is do koa so a Foazgschwoabat” – Zipfer beer is not so bad after all.
  2. Only one tester (out of 8!!) successfully identified the non-alcoholic beer Schlossgold
  3. The logical conclusion: Marketing really seems to have a huge influence on our favorite beer choices – more than the obvious parameters looks, smell and taste.

I don’t know when, but it was so much fun, I am sure I will do something like this again!!!

Urfahraner Jahrmarkt with Friends

Way to much to do and too little time for blogging during the last week. So here’s just a quick update on Thursday night, which I spent at the Urfahraner Jahrmarkt with some college mates. For those of you who don’t know the Urfahraner Jahrmarkt, think of it as a small Oktoberfest, a fair with lots of amusement rides, foods, drinks …


After some rides, including the obligatory ghost train

we ended up in one of the beer halls.

It was great to see my college mates again and to hear their stories about what they have done since graduation. Hannes for instance told me about the 8000 Liter/Minute water pump that he just finished designing, which is going to be used by fire fighters. After a final location switch to the Herza’l Alm, which if you translate it literally means “alp of hearts”,

I went home, partly using the same way that I had to use on a daily basis to get from the dorm to the university during my time as an undergraduate student. Good to see that all the graffiti on the way are still subject to change!