Christmas = Foodmess

Well we both didn’t gain any of the lost pounds back over Christmas. I was very careful. On the 24th we had as usual fondue. On the 25th I was at his parents home and we had goose and on the 26th my parents took us out to a fancy restaurant in France – as they have done for the past few years.

The name is Le Cygne in Gundershoffen. We had a very very good menu including several Hors d’oeuvre, 7 courses and then some …. great wine and a very happy family including my vegetarian sister. She has to ask each time that the meat courses be substituted with some type of fish for her and sometimes everything runs smooth (as this year) and she even gets a substituted fish “Amuse Bouche” …. the menu was mostly fish anyhow – just two meat courses.

My parents who eat a lot at fancy restaurants during their vacations in France said it was the best they had all year. Since I have been to a lot of fancy restaurants as well I can say at least that it was superb and close to perfect.
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Presenting the presents

This year I got mostly kitchen stuff. I had tons of cook books on my wishlist and I got the one I wanted the most: “Das grosse Buch der Desserts” (Teubner Edition). It’s a book full of the most delicious desserts you can think of. My mother has a copy but that on is hers and not mine. Now it’s mine, all mine! My precious 🙂

Some of my absolutely favorite recipes are in that book (Orangeneissoufflé, Gouglof au Vin, Mohr im Hemd) and then some more. My mother got lucky with that one on ebay.

I got two more of the Teubner books and then some more 🙂 And I found out that there is a pictured hardcover version of the Bocuse cookbook. Now I know what I want for my birthday.

Yesterday I made a Vanilla-Almond-Christmas Soufflé from the dessert book. Of course the flavor was created by me but the base recipe is from the book. And we had french onion soup in the new soup bowls ….

From my sister we got a bunch of things needed to make sushi and a promise she would come and help us make our first sushi.

My dad gave us a six-pack each. I guess this special six-pack is going to last for half a year. I haven’t taken a look at it but the wine is most certainly very good 😉

Old dusty bottle

My father dug out a rather old bottle of wine this year. It was good. 1973. I have had wine from 1978 before: that is younger than me. But that 1973 was older by four years. It was from Burgundy from the Côte de Nuits (as far as I remember). Yummy. But think of that: four years before I was born the wine was made.

Setting up dns

I am just now setting up my local dns, just because …. currently I have to access my local server by IP-address which is not quite optimized. I found a (so far) very good dns howto and a list of dns tools.

Debian packages: dnsutils, bind9, bind9-host, nslint (very helpful -> checks syntax of dns files)

Debian helpfuls:

apt-cache search searchword
apt-cache show packagename
dpkg -S filename

One problem with the howto mentionned above: all files have different names on a debian system. So far I added a search and an additional nameserver to my resolv.conf and added a zone file for my domain and a zone in named.conf. On debian all dns config files reside in /etc/bind/ by the way!
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Night Sight

This christmas while driving I found out what it is that has been bugging me at night since a few years now. At night all lights – especially car head-/tail-lights – have huge flares around them. Yes exactly like the lensflare effects. It sure looks nice on a photo. It is not good while driving.

I talked to my mother and she has the same problem. She also has to sneaze when she looks at the sun. So do I. Funny, isn’t it? I don’t even need to go to the doctor. There’s nothing to be done about it except driving really carefully at night.

Happy Holidays

We’re about to leave for the family. Each for their parents today, tomorrow his parents, the 26th my parents.

I wish everyone save and happy holidays.

I’ll be back late on the 26th to write about the tons of food we ate, what the family says and all the presents we got. Note how the first in the list is food 😉

All packed up

Presents.jpg

I just packed up all the presents for my family and now that I am done with it I still don’t feel the ‘christmas mood’. There is so much to do and I am going out tonight which is highly unusual for me on the 23rd and I still have to clean up half the flat and …maybe it’s because it is the first christmas in this apartment?

The last four years I prepared in the old apartment where I lived with Uli and Agi. The years before that I still lived with my parents.

Only this is the first year we have our own apartment.

But there really is a lot to do still.

I have to send out some christmas greetings to people I won’t be seeing …. I just cannot settle down into quiet holiday mood right now.

Piracy, time and money

I have bought a lot of games ever since highschool and I have always tried to convince others to buy at least a few of their favorite games instead of ripping them or downloading them.

Same goes for movies and cds.

I noticed though that now that my sister finally earns a bit of extra money she has stopped downloading and is actually buying the music she likes. So I really get the impression that she just didn’t have the money before to buy that stuff. I only started gaming for real when I had enough money to buy those games and some goes for most people.

Those who have enough money often do not have the time for either shopping or even gaming and therefore they are probably not buying as much as the industry would like. I think the real trouble is again: you either have money or time but rarely both.

I won’t talk about the music industry because just take a look at the charts and then ask about my playlist. I am just not into charts music. The quality … the remakes…. the girlies …. live music? Yeah sure whatever.

DVDs is a whole new market anyway because nobody can convince me that video tapes sold that well. I know a lot of people who own dozens or even hundreds of DVDs. I buy as many DVDs as I buy CDs (which isn’t a lot) but I never ever bought a video tape.

Of course I know a few select people who believe that they should not spend the money on something they could just as well download, even if they have the money to buy it. I can understand in part because to most people it looks and to me as well, as though the hollywood industry and the music industry are rich and making a lot of money. The prices for cds and many dvds are simply outrageous: I paid 30 Euros for a DVD and 17 for a CD …(not to mention 47,- for a terrible computer game)

Actually I wanted to write about the computer games I own and which are good and which are not … well so it turned out different….

My Neverwinter Crash Fix

I finally got Neverwinter Nights to run on my debian system.A posting at The Linux Game Tome helped a lot:

If it crashes on you, you’ll have to do this:

* cp miles/* /usr/local/lib/
* cd /usr/local/lib
* rm libmss.so.6 libmss.so
* ln -s libmss.so.6.5.2 libmss.so.6
* ln -s libmss.so.6 libmss.so
* ldconfig

or some other method of making it realize the miles libraries are there.

I had noticed before ldd nwmain that indeed the missing libmss was the problem and the instructions above fixed that problem. Though if you copy the lib to /usr/local/lib you should run the command ldconfig /usr/local/lib because that directory is not one of the defaults.

The game was still crashing but then I noticed that I was missing the most current patch:

1.32 Linux Patch

Now it is working. A bit slow but that might be because I was trying to run with 64MB textures and a huge screen resolution and some of the openGL environment variables at maximum setting.

Addendum 03-12-23: I later learned what I should really have done – add the miles/ directory to the file /etc/ld.so.conf, (see man ldconfig). This file contains directories that ldconfig includes in the library cache besides the two default directories (/lib/ and /usr/lib/).

Sudden Noise

Don’t you hate it when you find out something worked all along? I do.

I spent at least 8 hours figuring out how to get the sound on my re-installed linux system to work. I did everything as advised and finally I quit trying. There was always some error message I even downloaded the current drivers and all. I re-compiled the kernel multiple times. I tried again with 2.6 and then ….

After each new attempt I started xmms to test whether by chance sound was now working. All I saw how xmms was cycling through the playlist at random. No sound.

This morning I was going to give it a last shot.

Then I remembered: to save them from being deleted I had moved the mp3s to my home directory. I started xmms and edited the playlist.

I hit the play button and my ears were graced by DAMN LOUD NOISE. On windows I have entirely different mixer settings and had so turned the speaker volume way up.

Ouch! Ouch!

The first for my ears the second for my stupidity.

But I have sound now. And therefore this is not in the ‘Mishaps’ category 🙂