Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In Bruges

Sean and I were in Brussels for the weekend and took a day trip to Bruges. You know, this place:

(Other cool bits to watch are here and here.)

Bruges is in the Flemish part of Belgium and features a lot of medieval buildings. Sean and I were rather lackadaisical about the sightseeing, just walking around, going up to the top of the belfry and taking a boat tour through the canals.

The Belfry:

From the top of the belfry:

On the boat:

Basilica of the Holy Blood:


Monday, February 16, 2009

Turning German

The cord on my MacBook power adapter melted some time last night. After exhausting all the possibilities that didn't involve riding my bike in the rain to the German Apple Store equivalent, I did just that and got a new power adapter. So over two years after I moved to Germany and a mere 8 months before the end of my job contract, my MacBook now has European power plugs. I'm sure they are going to come in handy in the U.S.

This, of course, was the (inappropriate and inaccurate) song I was humming on the way back to my apartment:

Not useful for my mix.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Make a Mix for Me

What I really need to power through the next month or next few months is the right playlist. I'm thinking indie-electropop-dance, if I actually knew what that meant. So I'm throwing down the gauntlet: make a mix for me. I'll even get it started:

Ladyhawke - Magic (not an official video, duh):

Matt & Kim - Daylight

[Updated Feb. 17, 2009] Wow, you guys really went to town with the suggestions and I just spent an absurd amount of time clicking around youtube. So I'm going to keep this post updated with songs that piqued my interest. And I'll throw a couple songs on at the end that people can voice their opinion on. With the abundance of cool (and totally new to me) songs, I'm thinking that I'm straying from my original concept, but I guess you got to go where the road takes you.

Songs based on suggestions:

Alphabeat - Boyfriend (slick cheesy 80s pop song, but too slick?)

Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes

Parts & Labor - Nowheres Nigh

[Updated Feb. 20, 2009] Okay, still processing all the suggestions, but I thought I'd throw up one more song. I also added some comments about songs already posted. Then, for kicks, Yaz: doesn't fit on my playlist, but I enjoy the nostalgia.

Bloc Party - Banquet

Catchy or annoying?

MGMT - Kids (current verdict: annoying, but insidious)

Yeasayer - 2080 (current verdict: not annoying, but not sufficiently danceable)


Only You

Bad Connection (how could anyone resist this?)

Totally irrelevant to the task at hand, but as long as I'm embedding videos

Amanda Palmer - Oasis


Monday, February 09, 2009


Today marks the beginning of a month-long construction project in the hallway right outside my office door. I can see them moving equipment into place already and I'm getting nervous. When they're set up, the only access to my office will be through the stairwell and through the construction zone (through possibly some sort of dust containment zone). Fantastic.

The plan is to install fire doors that will automatically close when smoke is detected. This is a long delayed and very important project given the current state of fire safety in this building. For one, all the fire doors to the stairwell are continuously propped open -- i.e., not so useful in a fire. But that's the kind of situation you find in buildings everywhere. The far more entertaining (and blogworthy) situation is that there are no fire alarms. Period. There is one button in the stairwell on the third floor. I have no idea what it does. What it doesn't do is set off audible alarms in the building to warn people. I know this because there are no speakers anywhere. Instead, on every floor there is a big locked box (opened by any building key). Inside this box is ... a megaphone. That's right, a megaphone. Hilarious.