@zeitschlag in short

As promised: Here’s another picture from the Festival of Light. It’s the Berlin Cathedral.

The festival of lights is happening in Berlin again 🌃. This means, that I will ride my bike tonight to see some more of it.

I took a walk in the forest and apperently, there‘s some kind of art exhibition going on. At least I was a bit surprised to see three human sized bird boxes with bird names.

Sorry, Strava

Until a few weeks ago, I used Strava to track my cycling and running. Seeing how far and how much I’ve ran really motivates me. Yeah, those ads for the Strava Subscription started getting on my nerves, but you know, giving kudos to friends and seeing some basic stats like the comparison among weeks made it worth nevertheless. Until a few weeks ago.

I imagine, that the investors told Strava to earn some more money, so they hired some growth hackers and then everything turned to shit. Those stats for example, how far I ran the past week? They’re gone. I gotta pay for them now. Like monthly. That’s a pitty, because to me, who runs once or twice a week, those stats are not worth more than like a buck or two.

Paying 60 bucks per year or 15 per month is way over the amount I’m willing to pay, so: Sorry Strava, I moved on and started using Activity with my Apple watch. There might be a small iOS-app incoming.

I took another picture.

The last couple of weeks have felt odd. I’m not sure about the reasons: Is it the pandemic? Stress? Some mental health issues? All of it? No idea. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This morning I noticed, that I didn’t listen to a single podcast episodes during this time — and so I opened Overcast and listened to the not-so-secret plans of Marco Arment and _davidsmith and two short episodes of Darf sie das?, a very interesting podcast by an Austrian freelance journalist about feminism and society.

I missed this, to be honest.

It’s summer during a pandemic/climate crisis. And so it’s getting pretty hot. Today I went to a park with some trees and it feels like nature’s AC.

Some trees with some blue sky

When I arrived back home yesterday, I went for little walk in the evening after some heavy rain.

From the mountains to the sea

I took another week off from work, filed my taxes and spent the last couple of days close to the Baltic Sea. Earlier this year I made a promise: I want to go there by bike. And so I did. I stayed at the flat of a friend and took care of their plants in exchange. On friday, I jumped on my bicycle and went off to the sea. After like 40 kilometers, I suffered from a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, but thankfully the parents of another very dear friend drove me back to the city. And so I spent the afternoon fixing my bike. On saturday, I even attended a small cruise for like 15 minutes. Then the ferry arrived at the final stop.

On last saturday I volunteered at the local foodbank, again. And I got a little tart as dessert. It was so good 🤤🤤🤤

Guess who’s on the way to a coffeeshop around the corner to grab a New York Style Cheese Cake.

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I built some custom animations for iOS-apps using UIKit and it was pretty hard. Currently I’m learning about SwiftUI with Paul Hudson’s 100 Days of SwiftUI and today is about custom animations in SwiftUI. And to me it feels that they’re even harder in SwiftUI than in UIKit.

It‘s coffee o’clock ☕️ 🧭

I spent the last couple of days of my vacation visiting a very good friend of mine in Switzerland. Yesterday, we sat in the car and drove into the Alps. It‘s just an breathtaking scenery up there! 🏔🗺

Today, I went to a local thrift shop and treated myself with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch. I consider this part of my vacation which is taking place right now. This is my first game ever from the Zelda-franchise and so far it‘s been great. I still suck when it comes to beating the shit out of monsters, but it‘s fun, even if I die literally all the time. And I can prepare food!

In the last couple of days, I‘ve thought a lot about a former girlfriend of mine. I have no idea, where those thoughts have come from, but it has really hurt as I still miss her, even after a few years. I‘m deeply sorry for what I did back then, for how it all ended, but I can‘t change it.

To somehow deal with my regrets and feelings, I finally started to write a letter, which I’ll never send to her. Writing down my thoughts and feelings regarding her has been a brilliant idea, I should‘ve done this earlier.

Going for a walk

Since more than 180 days in a row, I‘ve done 10.000 steps daily.

I use Pedometer++ by _davidsmith to count them and this 180 days streak is now pretty important to me, I don‘t want to break it. What I really like about this app is that it allows occasional cheating days: After six days in a row, you‘re allowed to not have those 10.000 steps for one day without ruining your streak.

Especially as I‘m working from home, this app has been even more important during the pandemic, as it makes me leave my flat at least once per day. Sometimes I still have to do some steps before going to bed, but this doesn‘t bother me at all. Doing so is easier than letting the streak break.

Going outside for a walk or a run nearly always brightens my day. I guess, this has become some kind of a habbit now.

Stressful vacation

I didn’t work for four days in a row, as I only work four days a week and then I took one day off. This could have been som kind of short vacation, but I don’t feel relaxed at all, although I did some things I usually enjoy.

On friday, I cycled 40km to a nearby town call Potsdam, it’s the capital of the state of Brandenburg, that surrounds Berlin, the capital of Germany itself. I recorded and produced an episode of a podcast, I bought and read a book and yesterday, I attended a rally, but what really bugs me is, that I didn’t have an idea in advance, how I’d like to have spent these days. I didn’t have a plan and so the last couple of days were actually pretty stressful to me. Due to the COVID—19 pandemic, time flies and this weekend just popped up out of nowhere.

Next week, I’ll have to take an entire week of vacation and I’m already thinking about what to do. I’d like to have a plan, at least.

On "My Sister, the Serial Killer" by Oyinkan Braithwaite

I just finished reading “My Sister, the Serial Killer”, the book by Oyinkan Braithwaite which I bought two days ago — and I enjoyed it. Lots of dark humor, not a lot of hope, some dead people, some unexpected turnarounds. Thanks a lot for the recommendation, it’s a great book, I would buy — and read, obviously — again.

Reading it in English went far better than I expected.

Yesterday, I asked for recommendations of good book, a thriller, something like that. Today I went to a local bookstore and bought ”My Sister, the Serial Killer“ by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

It‘s been my first English novel for quite some time.

Cover of the book

More or less unit tests

Yesterday, I wrote some code, but I didn’t write any unit tests, like most of the time. I know, that this is a bad habbit and I want to get rid of it. So, first thing this morning: Writing some tests. What helped me was this book

And while doing so, I fixed two bugs and afterwards, a colleague of mine requested some minor refactorings. Thankfully, now that there were tests, it was a joy to change the code and not break anything.

The thing is: Whenever I write tests, I make some positive experiences from it pretty much right away. But when I write code the next time, I just don’t write tests — again. I have no idea, why.

A few months ago I heard in the news, that the local food bank needed volunteers due to the COVID—19-pandemic. Elder people do most of the work there, and as they’re prone to severly suffer from COVID—19, they had to pause their engagement. So I sent them an email and have helped them since then. Volunteering there has become a routine part of my weekend and I totally don’t want to miss it. I’ve meet some very friendly people there, you get some freshly cooked lunch and after a whole week of programming, it somehow feels like doing purposeful work: I’m making myself useful. Oh, and every time you help there, you get sweets.

It’s shameful, that those instutions have to exist, but that’s not the point here.

I suck at playing video games, I’m like really bad. But some of them are just great, The Untitled Goose Game, for example. I bought it for the Nintendo Switch a few months ago and every once in a while I spent half an hour trying to solve some puzzles. Sometimes, I’m successful, sometimes I’m not, but I’m still having a good time even when failing.

Nevertheless, console games are so freacking expensive. Stardew Valley for iOS is five-ish bucks, while you have to pay three times the price for Stardew Valley for Nintendo Switch. But maybe prices for iOS apps are just broken?

On the other hand, the most recent version of Mario Kart is sold for 60 bucks — for one game! Who can afford that?

I just played some 0 A.D. on my 2018 Macbook Pro 13 and I‘m a bit disappointed: The framerate was pretty low, it dropped to less than 8 fps from time to time and this wasn‘t fun at all. The next time I will run it on the Windows low budget gaming computer again. With 60 fps.

In Berlin, the town I live in, there’re pretty strict lockdown-ish rules due to the pandemic. I haven’t physically met with neither my partners nor close friends for a few weeks now and to be honest: Next to going to the gym, this isolation is the most stressful part to me.

Nevertheless I’m sitting in a park right now, enjoying the sun, physical-distancing myself from everyone else. The next people are several meters away, everyone is calm, but you can feel, that something is different. Something’s in the air.

Spring and summer are the most amazing seasons in Berlin. Everyone is going out again, nature’s turning green again, the weather’s great most of the time, but you can feel, that this year, something will be different.

🌃