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Manue & Me

 Joerg's Blog 


If you are reading this, you must definitly be bored.
Either that, or you're looking for information about this site and/or its author.
For the first group of people I advise YouTube. For the second group, well, read on.

This is my personal blog page. I'll be referring about all things happening to me - that might be interesting for whoever reads it. I can not garantee it will be very high level for everyone though... But it is mainly maintained for far away relatives/family to have a glimpse of what I do with my life.

So - what is a blog anyway ? For this - check out Wikipedia - they have the best description for this. If you want to contact me - you'll have to reformat my E-Mail - so - good luck.

What I am ? I call myself a hacker.
Please note - most people think about the bad guys doing bad things to other computers. Well - I would say - that those guys are the Black Hat guys - also known as crackers. What I call myself - is a White Hat hacker. See it as a system administrator using professional tools to probe the robustness of his own systems and networks, and trying to get the maximum out of the used hardware - making its use as efficient as possible. This is legitimate - as I do not break into anything - while crackers attempt gaining unauthorized access to systems for eventual unethic actions.
The difference between hackers and crackers does not lie in the tools or techniques they use (the same hammer can be used to build a wall, or break it down), but in their intentions !
For me - building a stable and secure system is a very interesting challenge, and to know it is stable and secure - I need to test it with all tools available. And this is what I like doing most.

Please note that all I say on these pages is for personal use only and under no circumstance has to be taken/used/copied without my explicit written permission !


Achievement Unlocked: Weather Station up and RIP   [ 
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Weather Station small

 It took me a while to build, test and setup a weather station (roughly 6 months).
I wanted to understand how exactly it worked, what sensors were required, and tinker with the system that would collect the data. The Build-Blog shows all details of the journey.
Last Sunday June 21st, I finally hooked the Weather-Station up on the roof-top of our house where it started to provide data as planned. Everything went fine. Data was being sent to and on my own site, however yesterday June 25th at precisely 20h03+, during a thunderstorm, lightning struck into the neighborhood. It was so near and strong we really felt the blast and our ears did rang a while due to the loud discharge sound it made.
Having anticipated the dangers of lightnings, we had unplugged all electronic devices that were not protected. However for the weather station, there was no protection. It was on the rooftop doing its job.
Doing some basic tests on the weather station, showed that the Raspberry PI WH seems to have suffered. Instead of 120mA it started using up 500mAh of power which is way too much for that small device. I cut off the power and will have to take the station down again to check on the damage. I'll report on that another time.
Note that the street lamps in our vicinity were taken out too.  

Written on Saturday, 27 June 2020 - 14:37 | 157 views
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A great day in Paris and Versailles !!!   [ 
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Paris Versailles

 We are all finally on holiday and we decided to enjoy Paris and its surrounding a little bit. We booked an exhibition at the Ateliers des Lumières in Paris. This "museum" is a former foundry which closed when the 1929 international crisis disrupted the world's economy. It became a tool factory which stopped operating in 2000 and in 2018 it opened again as a creative art space where paintings are illuminated, animated to the sound of music. All the walls, floor and ceiling are covered with light and colours. One can walk in the high-ceiling room and follow the images, or one can just sit down not far from a huge wall and enjoy. Whatever the choice it is beautiful. Check out the website

This year the exhibition focuses on Vincent Van Gogh whose colourful work particularly fits the concept. It is followed by a shorter program entitled Dreamed Japan, as Japan did inspire Van Gogh's work. But above all else it triggered memories and a bit of nostalgia as we so much enjoyed our trip there in 2018.

We spent the evening at Versailles where we booked a pyrotechnics show telling the tragic story of Marie-Antoinette queen of France. The performance was showcased in the castle's orangery. It was creative and the fireworlks really danced to the rhythm of the music.

Versailles always schedules amazing events and we plan to attend the Grand Masked Ball at the castle one day. We just need to wait for our last one to reach 18. But it's a plan !!!


Written on Thursday, 4 July 2019 - 11:18 | 2517 views
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Music Festival Retro C Trop reloaded !!!   [ 
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Retro C  Trop

 We enjoyed last year's festival so much we returned this year and it was even better. We bought the tickets as soon as we found out that Tears for Fears was scheduled and it turned out that more rock stars would be attending. Midnight Oil was just as great. UB40 was amazing. The Dire Straits Experience sounded just like ... Dire Straits. And we discovered Popa Chubby and the Zombies as well as French bands.

The weather was perfect, we found shaded spots to spread our blankets (we were a bit more organised this year) and we met friends and had a great time together, listening to music and dancing.

We can't wait to see what next year's programme will be !!!  

Written on Monday, 1 July 2019 - 11:01 | 2491 views
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We went on Pandora !!!   [ 
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 We travelled to Pandora and spent a few hours on the planet. Well, it looked like it and the inhabitants were all blue and able to jump very high. There even was an ikran, the biggest of all : Toruk.

We must thank the Cirque du Soleil for this great show based on James Cameron's film Avatar. To be honest, my wife and I went at least 5 times to the movies to watch it when it was released. We really like the world with its characters, animals, language and way of life. And we are impatient to watch the sequels which should start coming in 2021.  

Written on Sunday, 14 April 2019 - 10:56 | 2478 views
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Achievement unlocked: French Citizenship   [ 
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 Today, I was invited to receive my french citizenship booklet at the prefecture de Beauvais/France, with all the relevant official papers.
It was a touching moment - as this is one episode in my life I have atteined through free will.
The funniest part actually was that we all had to sing the french national hymn. And to our surprise, we almost all knew the text :cool: face-cool.svg 

Written on Tuesday, 12 June 2018 - 19:04 | 2388 views
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First flight ...   [ 
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 in a real small plane. I have to admit, that I know the Boeing or Airbus planes pretty well, as I did travel quite a lot for my job in the past (even now, I happen to take a plane from time to time). But this was the first official flight in a small Robin 400 airplane.
My little one wanted to come with me - so there she was.
The flight duration lasted around 30 minutes, but it felt nice to be in such a small plane again. Last time I flew with such a plane was in my youth (around 17Years old), and I still remember how it was back then. Small, agitated, but exiting and nice.
All in all a very :cool: face-cool.svg day. 

Written on Saturday, 9 July 2016 - 13:50 | 4425 views
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Toyota and the headlights   [ 
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 so - it is this time of the year again, when some little things need fixing. My car - Toyota Avensis T25 2006 - had its first repair (Injectors). It took the official car repair shop practically 3 weeks to figure out why I had so many cases when the engine went in fail-safe mode. They changed the Electric-Valve, the Rail and because it still went into fail-safe mode, finally the Injectors.
Of course they wanted me to pay for all of the parts, even though it was only the Injectors that were broken. Hence - I refused to pay for the Rail and the Electric Valve. After quite some negotiation, they accepted my reasons:
I don't pay for anything that is not necessary. The Rail and the Electric Valve are not broken, put them back in.

In the end it seemed to complicated apparently to change the electric valve - and they left it in, but put back the old rail. My car now flies again.

On the other hand - my better half told me that when using my car, she barely sees at night. I had that checked by the official car repair-shop from Toyota, and they acknowledged that these needed to be replaced, for 1320,- Euro :} face-smirk.svg *lol*
I thanked them and told them that I won't pay that sum for something, that apparently is a known construction flaw of the Xenon headlights of that model. It is a very known problem in Germany, however Toyota seems to handle this differently in France - the country where people are tagged second class citizen and they don't have to be "service" friendly.
I had expected Toyota to at least participate for the headlight parts, or at least send me new reflectors and lenses. They didn't.

Looking for alternatives I noticed that some folks had replaced the entire head-light units of their same cars with H7/H1 models. That's what I did. Ordered a bunch of headlights (for my car), and I finally found the time to replace these. Took me 3 hours for both sides (and I did not even take the original parts from Toyota - they were almost as expensive as the Xenon parts). So - for 200 euro incl. H7 bulbs (I could use all the other old ones from the Xenon lights) + 3 hours hands-on, I can now see at night again.  

Written on Saturday, 23 April 2016 - 15:50 | 4841 views
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On the bike again   [ 
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 Amazing what little bit of sunny weather can do.

Up to now, the weather (since last autumn) was not really cold, but really wet. And because I'm a Sunny Weather Only Biker, I didn't feel like taking the bike out for a ride. This time though, 15C outside, and sun where ever you looked. I had to take my beast out - and while on the road I noticed that I was not the only one having had that idea!
Hopefully the weather will stay that way for a while.  

Written on Saturday, 12 March 2016 - 12:27 | 5343 views
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Biker Honeymoon   [ 
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Moto a deux

 So - as we got married, and the first vacation could not really be qualified as Honeymoon (3 kids ...), we had decided to go to the Gamescon in Cologne by bike
We enjoyed a great dinner next to a flowing river in Germany, had an unreasonable number of mojitos and made friend with our very warm hostess in Belgium
Having chosen the right Hotel on the trip in, and a nice B&B on the way back, we can formally announce that we have had a very nice Honeymoon.
One day walking through the Gamescon provides to be quite heavy for old guys like us. We had however seen quite some new games that may become our own once they come out, and lots of Cosplayers.

The total trip length was around 1000Km and we did it in 3 days actually driving. All in all - the trip was nice and smooth, except in Belgium where drivers are really nuts (for lack of a better word). As an advice, always avoid any short distance to any Belgium driver (this is also valid for car drivers) 'cause they don't know what they do. I really don't know who issues them their driving licenses !


Written on Sunday, 9 August 2015 - 13:12 | 8271 views
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A wonderful adventure begins !!!   [ 
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 We said yes to each other July 17th 2015 at precisely 3 p.m. in front of our closest friends and family. It was a small but lively wedding full of laughter, children (9 among 25 guests) and champagne !!!! The catering was perfect and the weather surprisingly warm and sunny.

Our friends and families spoiled us thinking hard about personal gifts. One drew two beautiful female warriors who already adorn our bedroom wall ; another one devised a photo album browsing through our life ; one had wine glasses engraved with a Japanese kanji symbolizing our relationship ... it was thoughtful and moving.

The party which had started Thursday evening lasted until Sunday morning when we all packed and went on holiday. But that will be the topic of another post :) 

Written on Sunday, 19 July 2015 - 16:26 | 7340 views
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