Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Burning the midnight rum


 I found some really strong rum at the store the other day and I thought to myself... now there's an idea. One snoot adapter later and...



























R.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Crash course literature and a few shots

So, yeah.... John Green will be posting educational videos on literature on the Crash Course channel.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! If I would not venture to say I love literature, although I do like it, I absolutely love the way John Green talks about it and the way the way we see our world is held together by words. Here's the video.
















'Faulkner beneath the stars'? I laughed so hard!


On a totally unrelated topic, here are some more shots from my little macro shoot the other day.







Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cleaning old coins


 Macro, anyone?















R.

Monday, 5 November 2012

We instant froze some beer


I also shot some video. If anyone asks for it, I might upload it.










I'm still exploring this new camera, but I am very impressed to what I've discovered so far.


R

Thursday, 1 November 2012

It's a Ferrari!





A quick snap I took on my way home from work. Is this a Ferrari in a Halloween costume? Your guess is just as good as mine.









R

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Some animals only come out at night

 Just as some photos only come out at night. Went for a photowalk the other day and this is what came out of it. I don't know why I can't get enough of rivers of light, but hey! Here's to one day finding that perfect spot for the perfect shot.

The last two are images of the Uniqua Tower in Vienna and its reflection in the canal (rotated 180 degrees).




Sunday, 21 October 2012

Why I think running is great

There are many reasons we enjoy sport. And it is right that we should. The health benefits of sport have been scientifically proven over and over again. We get it... it's good for us. But that's not what I want to talk about. I don't like running because I know it reduces the risk of a cardiovascular condition. No, sir. I like it for different reasons altogether. And I would like to talk about them.

I would say that I like running because it is the opposite being stationary, because it means moving and changing in a very measurable and perceptible way. Measuring your progress as a human being is by no means an easy task. Measuring your progress as a runner, on the other hand... distance, time, pace, calories. While running you might not always know where you're going or if you'll get there, but you always know where you are and where you've been. And after you push through and get yourself up to speed, moving is the rule of you existence. Being stationary becomes the exception. As a rather lazy individual, I find that a rare and empowering thing, something I always want to get more of. Whenever I have a busy day ahead, I like to first go for a half-an-hour-spin around the block. Drinking coffee or energy drinks is nothing compared to that. You would expect running to tire you, but it rarely does... it just helps you focus on one thing.

I guess that's what being a good runner means, after all... being good at focusing on one thing. Just keeping your feet on dry land and not stopping for anything. Just letting the road flow under your feet without even thinking about it. I'm not an expert on this or anything, but I think that if you can reach such a level in any other activity... if you can somehow manage to make everything flow like that and not constantly think and obsess about it, you've got something going.

Want me to write more about running, routes and tips for running in Vienna? Let me know in the comment section. Until then... I leave you with this photo I took more than 4 years ago. Enjoy! 




 The new camera is coming... soon!

R

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Baksy fans in Vienna

Somebody's a Banksy fan in Vienna. They don't look good enough to be originals. Still... good effort!

The colors are great... very Austrian.
















The last one isn't a Baksy-style work... still awesome, though.

Rzvn update.

I've been promising to do this for some time now, so here it goes. It's what I'm doing at the moment and what I've been doing during the last couple of months. This will be short.

My semester began. My seminaries look pretty awesome, but I'm not going to have an easy time passing. Just the way things go, I suppose.

I lost my camera. I know... how could I? Truth is... I was planning on an upgrade, anyway, so this is just an opportunity to do it. I will buy a new one, probably in November or December. We'll see how well I can manage my finances.  It's not pleasant not having a camera. But sometimes it gives you just what a new lens would... perspective. The shots above were taken with a friend's camera.

I moved. Love the new place... but I'm still getting the hang of it. I mean... it's different having to live with a roommate and having to keep things rather clean all the time, but it is worth it. It's a regular space and everything. No more closets for me to live in, thank you!

Yeah... I guess this is pretty much it, for now.

Until next time,

R

Monday, 8 October 2012

About the presence of death


As always, I'm blogging when I'm supposed to be studying. Just taking a break, though.

I want to write about something that happened a couple of weeks ago. I returned from Romania where I had visited family and, the next day, coming back from grocery shopping, I noticed a weird smell in the hallway. Having spent all my life living in apartment buildings, I'm used to the fact that there's always a weird smell somewhere. This was different, though. It smelled like death. It smelled like dead, actually... long dead. First thought... something died. Pigeons and squirrels are generally the first that come to mind, but they can't get into our stairwell and, more than that, it seem to be coming from inside one of my neighbor's apartment. I thought he had gone on a long trip and forgot to leave his cat enough food or something. The something died theory seemed to be confirmed by the smell getting worse as the days went by. On the fourth day since the discovery of the smell I decided to call someone. Being a rather lazy individual, I told myself I would wait till morning. I wasn't going to call the police and the building administration has office hours only until 4 o'clock, anyway. At something past 6 all I could do was leave a message, which seemed rather pointless. Little did I know I would never get the chance of phoning it in. Sometime after 7 I heard some noises in the hallway. I went to have a look through the peephole. Police and paramedics all over the place. 'Alright' I thought, 'they're gonna do something about that damn dead animal'. With all this going on, I still couldn't wrap my head around the fact that somebody rather than something might have died.
After what seemed like 15 minutes somebody rang my doorbell. It was one of the police officers who wanted to tell me to stay indoors until they clear out what was left of my neighbor. That's right. My neighbor had died and there he was just before the door, only his rather purple legs and his round white belly visible, the rest of him submerged in the darkness of his home. I said 'Okay' and quickly closed the door. As the fact that my neighbor had died was sinking in, I started to lose it. I was hyperventilating and I kept thinking about how the roundness of his belly reminded me of the roundness of the moon and how the smell made me want to vomit and how I was unable to vomit due to my hyperventilation. I somehow pulled myself together after hearing a friend tell me it was all going to be okay. That was all I needed to hear. After seeing him lying on his back like that, I felt like nothing was going to be okay... ever. And I just wanted somebody to tell me that I was wrong and that the fallen are just like us, which means we are just like them... only not yet.

Looking back on this, I seem to understand why I freaked out. I mean... I had smelt putrefaction way worse than that and I had been in the presence of dead human bodies before, but something about this was different. Maybe it was because I knew before anybody else. I remember telling my roommate on the very first day I smelled it 'Hope our neighbor's not dead'. I obviously thought it was cool to be sarcastic and making fun of death was the ultimate thing in the being sarcastic business. Little did I know that the Universe out there was thinking 'Sure, it's funny now... you just wait for your time.'
Maybe it was just the feeling of failure... I had failed to act upon my instincts and, although it would have been too late to save him from death, I could have at least saved him from rotting before his front door. Our failure is the thing ugliest to us, something we cannot bury or forget or treat lightly. It's the stinkiest thing out there.


R


P.S. It seems stupid to add things about my everyday life to this, so I'll let it break here... rzvn update still to come.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Fahrenheit 451

It took me a while to get this, but it was worth it. You probably know it or you probably need to find it out for yourself. I'm not asking you to take my word for it. I'm just saying it. And here it is.

BOOKS ARE NOT ABOUT WHAT THEY SEEM TO BE.

Maybe bad or mediocre books are. Not the great ones, though. You would think that books are about stories and plots and characters and complexity. They are all those things, but they are not about all those things the same way you and I are flesh and bones but are not about flesh and bones. If that's what we were about, we would be dead. Only corpses are flesh and bones about flesh and bones.

Books are words and pages and covers. The moment they truly get a chance to become something else, something more important is when somebody reads them. I guess this is the most important thing about Brandbury's novel. The same way nothing is worth speaking when no one is listening, there little to no sense in writing a truly great book if no one gets to read it.

But more than that, Fahrenhei 451  is not only a novel about a world without books, but - more than that - it is a novel about a world without the thing books stand for: critical thinking. I'll just end this with my favourite quote of the book.

“The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are.  They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ - Ray Brandbury

R.

P.S. Rzvn update.... soon!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

rzvn update(s)

So yeah... this is going to be another one of those posts where I throw text at you and include a vlogbrothers video. Yup... good times.

Summer vacation has begun which means... another year of fun in the city. The city being bigger will surely help this year, but still... beyond a trip home at the end of the summer, I've got nothing particularly fun planned. There are a few thing which I will procrastinate doing and Fahrenheit 451, the book I will read. Here is a video about that (John speaks about the book somewhere in the second part of the video).




I love the idea that books become real only if you read them. I will try and blog about my experience reading this, but will most probably fail. 




Here are a few shots of Vienna at 4 a.m. to compensate for that. Enjoy!

You're thinking... 'escalators, no big deal'. Well... the thing is... They're NEVER unused.... except at 4 a.m. There was no one in one of the most crowded subway stations in Vienna, I felt like Robert Neville in I am Legend.










R

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Amazon Kindle review

I've had this thing for a few months and I've been wanting to write a review of it since the day I got it, but at first I thought it was too soon to write a one and then I kept procrastinating. (Procrastinate is, by the way, my favourite word in the English language. It's a hobby of mine. Too bad you can't go pro. Imagine that... making a living by procrastinating things. But I digress...)

So here it is: my review of the Kindle. I intend to post this on Amazon as well, but I first want to give the 3 or 4 people who actually read this blog a preview of it.

The Kindle is a great product. I went pretty carefully through the pros and cons before choosing it and decided that it suits me (which, by the way, is the right thing to determine when buying a product.... not if it's the best or the most expensive thing out there, but whether it suits you. Coincidentally, this was the most expensive thing out there, but more about that later...). The thing that made me choose it was the design. Most e-readers out there have the same characteristics in terms of e-ink screens and battery life. What makes the difference is the design and the wireless capabilities.

I went for the keyboard version. Not because I have anything against touchscreens, but I am the proud owner of 10 greasy fingers. I really like to minimize the number of fingerprints on my screen. As everything else, the keyboard has its trade-offs. I ended up having a slightly heavier and larger device. I don't like it any less for it, but if this is something that might bother you, you should consider going for a lighter version.

Here are the reasons I'm glad I chose a book reader (as opposed to a tablet):

  •  The weight. Say what you will, but when it comes to holding a device in your hand for longer than ten minutes, the weight of it will certainly be an issue. I learned that the hard way when I was working as a wedding photographer. You have no idea how sore you hand can get after dragging around 2-kilo camera. A book reader is much lighter than any tablet, admittedly because of a lot of technical things it does worse than the tablet. What should be kept in mind, though, is that a book reader is not a tablet and therefore should not perform as one.
  • The screen. The e-ink screen is the best substitute for real paper I have yet stumbled upon. It's definitely much better than reading stuff on a computer screen. The backlight of any such device is a bit of a drag whenever reading anything longer than an e-mail.
  • The battery. The people at Amazon state that the battery life of the Kindle is of a month (under certain conditions). This sounds waaay too good to be true, but you know what? It kind of is. Provided you don't turn the wireless on and you don't read (on average) more than 30 minutes a day, it might just last for a month. The most I got out of it was 3 weeks, which is not bad at all. I was really impressed by this.
  • The wireless connection. The 3G version of the Kindle comes with a free 3G connection. You should know, however, that web browsing may be restricted in the country you live in. In Austria, I can only access Wikipedia and The Kindle Store using my 3G connection. If I can mange to find a hotspot I can browse away happily, but otherwise... no e-mail checking or anything. The local restrictions do not apply, for example, to Romania. I went home in March and I could surf without having to go war driving. Tablets also provide you with Internet connections, but they are not free. This feature is only available on the Kindle, as far as I know. The other readers go only as far as providing you a wifi connection for buying and downloading books.
At the end of it, the question to ask yourself when deciding whether to buy an e-book reader or a tablet is this: 'What do I want to use it for?'. You want to read books/newspapers/pdfs? Go for the reader. You want to surf the web, play Angry Birds and watch Youtube videos? You're going to need a tablet.

There also are few reasons why,out of the all the readers available out there, I chose the Kindle. Here are the most important:

  • The design. As I said before, in terms of screen and battery life, all readers are pretty much the same. The things that sets them apart most is the design. What attracted me about the design of the Kindle were the previous and next buttons. I find the fact that the reader has a pair of the buttons on either side of the screen absolutely awesome. This allows you to effortlessly turn pages, regardless of the hand you're holding your Kindle in. This may sound dumb, but, of all the features the Kindle has, I find this one the most useful. It's something I use all the time and I think that being able to switch hands while reading without it affecting my reading experience is a must for all readers, although the Kindle is the only one that seems to have found such an elegant solution to this seemingly unimportant problem. The keyboard is also something I enjoy a lot. I use my Kindle as a dictionary as well. I comes with a pre-installed copy of Oxford Dictionary of English and The New American Oxford Dictionary. If you order it from amazon.de, they will also deliver a copy of Duden Deutsches Universalw√∂rterbuch. Considering the prices of dictionaries out there (even the e-reader versions), this is nothing to turn your back at. The keyboard obviously comes in very hand when searching for the definition of a certain word.
  • Kindle store. Just like the army of tablets and smartphones out there, whenever buying a device you also buy your way into a franchisee. You're going to need a place to buy apps and music for your device and, in the case of an e-reader.... books! I mean... being lighter and more compact than a book are certainly features I enjoy, but the one thing I enjoy most about it is the fact that virtually any book I may need is most likely just a few clicks away. Most of the major book store chains have their own readers (e.g. Barnes & Noble, thalia.at, etc.), but Amazon is the medium for me. They have an extensive catalogue of books both in English and German, a large part of which are free. Many also have discounted prices.

Well.... all in all, I'm really happy I got this and strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading and goes through something like a book a month.

Until next time

R.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Great Garsby (movie!)

I found out about this as I do about most stuff... by accident.

Apparently, they're making a new Gatsby movie. The thing I love most about movies that are based on books is that they don't come out as often as movies based on comic books do. (see Batman, Spiderman, The Avengers, etc.)

This means that the new movie will look NOTHING like the old one (yes, there already is a Gatsby movie... it came as a shock to me to). The story will probably be similar, of course. From what I can see from the trailer, the visual and the audio will be nothing short of amazing (which they should absolutely be, as Fitzgerald's novel relies a lot on the visual). The cast also makes perfect sense. I mean... DiCaprio as Gatsby? Score!

Also... I'm most definitely not a fan of Tobey Maguire. In retrospect, I believe he pretty much ruined the Spiderman movies in which he played. But.... Nick Carraway seems to fit him rather nicely. The release date for the movie is December 7 and, if you in anyway intend to see it, I strongly suggest you read the book and take a short look at John Green's videos about the book.

As for me.... Barring any unforeseen event, I will be there for the premiere.

Here's the trailer and one of Green's videos (it will hopefully be an incentive for you to read the book). Enjoy!









R over and out.


(yup... doing anything I can to avoid preparing for the finals....)

Monday, 21 May 2012

through the looking glass

No.... it's you who's through the looking glass.


I love that line. Does anyone know what movie it is from? It's a very nice reference a (now) very famous movie makes to a (then) very famous book. Anyway.. there's no looking glass in this photo, but there is some glass and you can look through it... hence the title.



The shot's not such a big deal... I was just doing some light tests and... it turns out you CAN use a beer bottle as a green filter. I don't know if a can would work, though. Get it? Can?..... (God that's a bad pun... nevertheless... it shall stay)

Here's to hoping I will post again soon :D

R

Monday, 12 March 2012

Irresistible subject



Candlefire… It’s just the way it always looks different.


 
















This is just something born out of boredom, like many of my experiments are. The thing is… I miss blogging and would very much like to take it up again. And I will do it. I don’t have an Internet connection at home, but I won’t let that stop me. I’ll start off with a weekly post coming out every Monday at 7 a.m. No promises about the subjects of the posts. Will have to do a list, brain storming, get things rolling, snowballing… whatever. I already have a few ideas, but nothing set in stone. I am, therefore, open to suggestions.

Renoni Vice: How ‘bout you stop pretending people actually read your blog, for a start. That would really be something.

Yeah… glad to have her back. This reminds me. I have never actually explained her. It is a long story, which means it will be told in another post.

Renoni Vice: Yeah…. that’s not going to happen!

Alright… enough out of you, Renoni! I will be posting something on Monday and that’s the end of it. As it is the end of this post.

R over and out

Thursday, 1 March 2012

short update

Quick rzvn update: I am sort of online. I will be using a kindle to post on blogger, which  is more inconveniet than you may think, but hey! At least I am online. I missed blogging. Short post today. Gotta run.

Will try and post more soon.


R

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

TFiOS - it has arrived

My copy of 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green has arrived and, to use a word one of his characters uses a lot, it's grand. So far, I mean. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. It has such a down-to-earth style and the irony, oh the irony... Yeah. Big surprise! I like books because of their irony. It's a signed copy and I got the version with green signature (yay!). No hanklerfish or anything, but that was not the point of pre-ordering it, anyway. All I wanted was the autographed copy. The 5-euro-discount was nice too.


********************************

In the meanwhile, I managed to finish the book. It was long since it took me this little to get to the end of a tome. I believe that part of the reason I liked it so much is that I am familiar with John's way of speaking (I have a subscription to vlogbrothers' videos). It didn't feel like I was reading something a stranger wrote, but the words of someone I knew, the words of a friend.

The book is about teenagers who suffer of cancer, but more than that it's about how everything is a consequence of dying and how pain demands to be felt.

Anyway... I'm not going to praise the book too much, as it is neither my job nor my duty. I will say this, though: I loved it and I will read it again, which is not something I can say about all the books I've read.

Here's John reading the first chapter of the book. He also recorded himself reading the second chapter. You can find it on youtube. Enjoy!






On the real life side of things, I am moving. It feels good. I mean, I really enjoyed living with my sister and my brother-in-law, but hey! We all knew it was temporary and we are all glad it was. I miss having time and space all to myself (I'm pretty sure they do too) and soon I will. The room is pretty small and needs some reparations, but I'm more than happy to do them. And, hopefully, I will write my next blog post on my own computer, at my own desk, under my own bed. Yes. My desk will be under my bed. And yes, it is possible.

Until next time!

R