2014-02-22

Review: Jo Nesbø - Police

- 75% of the people who are basing their argumentation on statistics have just made it up. -

I just finished Police (in reality it was the German version of it is called Koma), the latest and 10th episode of the Harry-Hole-books series by Jo Nesbø. When reading a new episode of a series like this I try not to read the back-cover summary. It happened that this short text spoiled big parts of the main story of a book or gave clues which destroyed whole threads of the entire story.


I just finished Police (in reality it was the German version of it is called Koma), the latest and 10th episode of the Harry-Hole-books series by Jo Nesbø. When reading a new episode of a series like this I try not to read the back-cover summary. It happened that this short text spoiled big parts of the main story of a book or gave clues which destroyed whole threads of the entire story.

So I did here - I avoided the blurb and Nesbø was able to fool me for quite some pages. Great!

The story is as good as previous Hole-books and full of surprises. His way of describing the environment, the behavior and the actions of the characters creating great images. It binds you to the book - it's gripping. IMHO with every new book Nesbø is getting better and better in doing this.

But the most important for me: The intensive and staccato-like concatenation of paragraphs and chapters starring the main (and most desired) characters is something I rarely get in books I'm reading. This is where Nesbø is doing an outstanding job - not only in this work: He does not fear overloading the reader with sequencing all actions done by one single character in back-to-back stacked sections. I even have the feeling that sometimes the spaces he puts between them are just there to have the reader get some breath, sleep and to not have him missing the station where he has to get off of the train.

The characters and the dialogs and actions are appropriate and consequent compared to previous books. Having said that, I was unable to find any average person in the book. Everyone seems to have at least one extreme behavior-problem. Which is, of course, always (ab)used by someone to do her bad. Like these kind of problems are written on one's forehead.

I would not recommend this book to someone who hasn't read Phantom. Well, maybe even one should read The Leopard before, too. If you read this book first and you like it, it will spoil important plots of previous stories and it would a pity. The joy of the Hole-stories will be partially gone.

So, Mr. Nesbø, now it's time: I'd like to see Harry Hole moving on a screen! Sadly, I only know the Hole created in my mind. I would like to get to know another one's creation; one way to meet such a new interpretation of a fictional person is to have someone make a movie or theatre-piece of it. Go for it.


2014-02-15

A Japy réveil pendulette restoration - decisions


Over Christmas 2013 I discussed the restoration with my father and we took, first, apart the clock and, second, some decisions:

The Japy Reveil taken apart for restoration.
  1. We won't restore the paintings. They have some scratches and probably due to sun exposition on the back and one side the color is partially gone. We decided that this is likable.
  2. The whole in the clock face will be restored very simply. It can later be easily removed if we decide to have it done properly.
  3. The brass will be polished.
  4. The clockwork has to be cleaned and overhauled.
  5. The wooden case will we waxed.
  6. The too much widened nail and screw-holes will be stuffed again, so that the nails and screws will stay where they are.
  7. Some of the brass nails and screws have to replaced.
  8. The metal bottom-plate which was added to stabilize the case won't be needed anymore.
  9. The broken handle will be fixed by inserting a small copper rod and a little bit of soldering.
  10. The broken foot will be fixed again by soldering (like all the other foots are fixed)
Here are some more images taken when my father had already started do some of the things mentioned above.

Before and after stuffing the whole in the clock face:

Before.
After













Some brass elements:

The stand with the broken foot fixed
and soldered.
The repaired handle. The rod has been
inserted and the solder has been aligned
with the brass. Almost invisible.

A key to wind up the clockwork.
A second one is there but not in
brass and not original.

2014-01-12

Blogger: no revisions when drafting a post - lost an article

I was just about to finish an article (not this one) when I lost everything I wrote. Here is what I did:

I'm using Chrome to post and edit blog-articles.
  1. I switch to HTML-view to add an image - because the "insert image"-button didn't work.
  2. I forgot to close the quotation mark for the value of the src-attribute.
  3. I saw that only when switching back to the Compose-view.
  4. I switched back to HTML-view and saw that now all HTML-tags where escaped and the characters were transformed to entities.
  5. I clicked undo until I reached a version which was OK. I clicked again undo by error. The textarea become blank.
  6. I clicked redo, still blank.
  7. I closed the TAB before autosave happens
  8. It had happened.
Result: text is lost. Luckily I started the text in an offline editor - so I still have an early draft.

Conclusion: WebApps, Cloud and things like this are still a risky way of doing things as long as the interface is a generic application like the browser. Even in 2014. Even with Chrome. Happy new year.

2013-12-21

Nesting box 2012: a blue tit family

In January 2012 I used some old wooden planks to create a nesting box following these instructions (Danke an den NABU).

I was reading that you need to be patient to have an inhabited nesting box - especially in the first year. The birds are starting to look for the right home sooner than one might think. So, the idea was to put the box up
as soon as possible. Normally you should do it in the autumn the year before, but, as usual, I was a bit late for that. My hope were quite low...

It was on the Easter weekend 2012 when I first saw activity around the box. Not being able to observe it 24/7 I was probably missing most of the visits. I now think at this time they either breeding or building up the nest.

It was only when the chicks arrived the activity raised noticeably. At that time you needed little patience to observe the parents arriving with food in their beak. However, they are very sensitive regarding the distance
you respect to the nest. Being too close will make one of the parents (I think the male) cry out with warning signals.

This is even making the other one (so probably the female) not entering the box. Unless the chicks cry, they will stay outside. Any noise of the chicks seems to lower their threshold of danger - especially for the female.


The blue tits are very good pilots compared to other birds I observed. They fly, start and land very fast. But I was able to capture some of theirs visits. Here is one example:




When everything was done (mid-June) my curiosity was making me open the box to inspect the nest. Of course, before that I made sure there was really no more activity. The nest was really soft and super-light and to my surprise I found that there very still some eggs. This fact made me ask a question gardening.stackexchange. I think, that the box (especially the roof) was not water-proof enough and we had some heavy rain during that period. Maybe the eggs have gotten too cold and thus died.


I put the nest back into the box. I later learned that this might not be a good idea, because it might prevent a new breeding the following year. Well, this was not the case, the following year a European Nuthatch family chose to breed in that box.

2013-12-15

A Japy réveil pendulette restoration - Will it be possible?

My father likes to understand and can repair clockworks and loves the restoration of things made of wood - as a hobby. These talents are exactly what you need when you want to work on old, non-functional clocks that are most often inside wooden cases in not very good condition.

When being on Brocantes or Vide greniers I'm trying, from to time, to get some objects for him to work on. Or I'm looking for things which he explicitly asks for.

This time he asked me to look for a clockwork for a french regulator and I found one with the help of leboncoin.fr. This lead me to a very kind gentlemen (Merci, Patrice) who, in addition to the movement, sold me several other things related to clocks. We had I nice chat and when I was about to leave, he offered me a portable mechanic alarm clock from the late 19th century - a Japy-made.

He told me that he got it from a not-so-kind person which was selling it as in good condition while in fact it was not. For identification reasons, he gave me a link to another blog: Réveils pendulettes XIX avec réglage de l’heure de réveil sur le cadran).

When seeing this site, I was enchanted by the photos of the finely repaired, cleaned and restored clocks.

I was immediately attached and was thinking, how far can I could go to restore the one I got and make it a nice decoration object for myself?

Here are some more images of the current situation:


I, probably, won't be able to do anything myself. I will soon discuss with my father to see what needs to be done, what is missing and what is possible from his point of view. Apart from all the mechanic-, metal- and woodwork to be done, I dream of having done a proper restoration of the painting.

Let's see what going to happen - I intend to write more articles while the restoration (attempt) progresses.