Category Archives: Real Life

One less bad habit

I have never smoked, don’t drink coffee and hardly any alcohol. But as most peoble I have my bad habits, and one of them was Diet Coke. Years ago I would only buy two bottles for the weekend. But over time it became worse. I had Diet Coke on a daily basis and that stuff is just not healthy. It was especially bad if I had access to a large supply of Diet Coke e.g. free soft drinks at work or an evening in a pub. I ended up drinking a great deal too much of it. And the following night I had often trouble to go to sleep because there was simply too much caffeine in my blood stream.

After reading in a book how unhealthy Diet Coke and especially the sweetener in it is I decided to stop drinking it. My wife had told me about this years ago but I never really believed her. Anyway, I do believe her now.

This was over two weeks ago and I haven’t had any Diet Coke since. I even resisted the temptation of the free soft drinks at work. My next goal is to stop buying chocolate bars and cookies at work.

The Hunt for a new Passport

My passport expires in a few week. And because I live in the UK I was concerned that it would be very difficult to get a new one. The German Embassy London provides the necessary information on their website. But that is unfortunately the only internet service they offer. I took me several days to make an appointment via phone because the passport section’s line was always busy. But in the end I was lucky and could arrange an appointment on Friday, the 8th of February when I wanted to visit London along with my wife anyway.

Having all the paperwork and the photos ready two weeks in advance I felt well prepared on Friday morning. But everything seemed to wrong thenceforward:

  • We spend more than twenty minutes waiting for a bus in Cambridge which should have arrived after 5 minutes.
  • We finally gave up on the bus and called a cab. But the train to London had already left.
  • We took the next train which was running on time. But it suddenly stopped for several minutes outside of the King’s Cross train station for no obvious reason.
  • When we finally arrived at King’s Cross we sprinted to the tube station with all our luggage because we didn’t have time to drop it off at the Hotel.
  • Running all the way from the destination tube station to the embassy we managed at arrive there at 12:00 o’clock sharp when the passport section was about to close. But we couldn’t find the entrance. According to the instructions it was on the back side of the building. But all the doors and gates there were locked.
  • We finally realized the passport section was in a building on the opposite side of the street. There was no flag or any other clearly visible sign, just a label on the wall. We were lucky and could still get in at 12:05 o’clock but the security guard complained that we were late.
  • The trouble didn’t stop there. A suit jumped the queue at the counter and when it was my turn finally they didn’t want to accept my passport photos. I had to use a photo booth on site to make new photos according to regulations. And because I was exhausted and stressed out they look really grim.

The good news was that in the end they accepted my application and my new passport should arrive in a few weeks.

An unintended Lecture

Never volunteer on a mailing list to give somebody a quick introduction into OpenLDAP! You could end up with twenty people listening to a presentation about LDAP in general which you have to come up with off the top of your head.

It happened to me yesterday and fortunately went quite well. I had a bit help from the audience and a lot of people realized soon that they already encountered LDAP as Active Directory.

Despite being somewhat unprepared I enjoyed giving that lecture. And I’m foolish enough to believe that the audience enjoyed it as well. 🙂