Deutsche “Gründlichkeit”?!

Eben bin ich auf dem Flughafen Düsseldorf angekommen und hatte direkt schon das erste “What the f…?!”-Erlebnis…

Da ich einen Flug nach Großbritannien antreten würde, habe ich mich schon auf strenge Sicherheitskontrollen eingestellt. Aber daß die Vorschriften oder die sie auslegenden Menschen dermaßen kleinkariert sein würden, hätte ich dann doch nicht gedacht…

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“Kundendienst” groß geschrieben

Ich muß jetzt mal meinem Ärger über die Bundespost, ähm, die “Deutsche Post AG” meine ich natürlich, Luft machen…

Vor einigen Wochen fuhr ich samstags zur Post im Kapuzinerkarrée hier in Aachen, um zwei Pakete zu versenden. Da ich extrem selten Pakete versende, hatte ich die entsprechenden Versandformulare nicht zur Hand. Ich stellte mich also in die (extrem lange) Schlange und wartete, bis ich endlich an der Reihe war.

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Cisco VPN client that magically “dissolves” itself

I had some very strange problems with Cisco’s VPN client today that almost made me go berzerk… 🙁

It all began when I tried to use the VPN client over an establish WLAN connection. For no apparent reason, the client was unable to connect to the VPN gateway. It gave me a strange error message that didn’t help me (I forgot the exact wording). The strange thing was that I could establish a VPN connection when I was dialled in with my Vodafone Mobile Connect Card. But it wasn’t the Internet connection itself which was hampering the establishment of a VPN connection, since the VPN gateway was accessible in both cases.

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Nightmare on Elm^H^H^HWordPress upgrade…

I just had a nightmarish experience when I upgraded Debian’s unstable WordPress package to version 2.1. When I invoked my site for the first time, WordPress prompted me to upgrade its database — which I did, of course, or rather “I tried to do.”

After I started the upgrade, I saw a dozen or so error messages rushing over my screen. When I analyzed them, I quickly recognized that the database user didn’t have sufficient permissions to perform certain table alterations. I thought, “Hey, no prob, correct the permission problems, and re-run everything.”

But “Not so!” WordPress was able to write the new WP database version no. into the database in the last step of the upgrade procedure, so the upgrade refused to run again because it thought the database was already current.

So what could I do?

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Happy New Year!

So, this concludes a pretty silent year — at least with respect to my blogging activities. 😉

Seriously, I wish you all and your families a Happy New Year™, and all the best for 2007. May all your wishes (at least the honorable ones ;-)) become true.

Best regards,


Florida Vacation…

So we’ve finally arrived in Florida — in fact, we’re already here since a week.

We arrived on Monday, 26-SEP, on Orlando Intl. Airport. After we had passed the Immigration service, we went to Alamo to pick up our rental car. As usual, I had reserved a “full size” car. Last time we received a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead, because they didn’t have any “full size” cars available then. But this time it seemed we were unlucky, because they had lots of full size cars available. But they all seemed very smallish. So I went to some Alamo associates and asked whether they could give me a larger car for the same price. And the friendly lady just said, “Sure, Sir, just pick one of the minivans over there.” And this I did… 🙂

The Pontiac SV6 I picked is just awesome — it even has a DVD player and entertainment system built into it. It has three lines of seats, with the rear line easy to be flipped down so that we had lots of space for our suit cases.

From the airport we drove to my grand-cousin Brigitte and her husband, Lyle. They have a very nice house in Riverview, Hillsborough County. Brigitte and Lyle and their pets welcomed us, and we talked for a while before we went to bed.

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IAA (Intl. Motor Show)

I’ve been to the IAA in Frankfurt yesterday. The trip was organized by the VDI, the association of German engineers, and sponsored by ZF, a well-known maker of auto parts, especially transmissions, steerings, and axles. I went there with Mona’s father. She couldn’t attend herself, because she needs to learn for her written exam next week.

As always — I’ve been there for the third time already — it was a very thrilling experience, but at the end of the day you also know what you have accomplished kilometer-wise. 😉

Some photos I’ve taken are available from my photo gallery.

As you still might remember from one of my previous posts, I look into buying me a Skoda Octavia, but I will only buy a diesel model that comes equipped with a diesel particle filter (DPF.) So this was my first question when I arrived at the Skoda stand. The hostess seemed to be quite well informed, and she told me that the Octavia with the 2.0 litre diesel engine will be equipped with a DPF starting in November, and the smaller 1.9 litre engine will be available with a DPF in January, 2006. The charge will be 565 EUR.

I hope that Skoda will finally make it. Until then, I will keep my old car and continue to commute by train. 🙂

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