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My life in Vienna
4 March 2007Wow, another half year has gone by in which I've been extremely busy. There just hasn't been any time to write anything on my website, shame on me. Well, at least this website has never seen any daily updates so it's not like people visit it every day but still, I've let my regular visitors down, at least it feels like that in a way.
Ok, so what have I been up to. First there was my new job in which I've learned a lot from some people who have designed websites professionally, full-time for a long time. In order to get more ideas for different approaches during all phases from conception through low-level and high-level design to programming and activation of websites I've read many, many books on the topic and found out why there are so many people involved with building a website, there are just too many things to think about.
A few weeks after I'd been given my own project, the management decided to restructure the entire marketing and webdesign department, move tasks and teams around in order to get a more efficient and effective organisation. The high-level structure seems to make sense to me, also on working level but of course there are always some loose ends at the bottom. Not everyone is happy, of course one of the standard effects of a rerganisation, people basically don't like changes and don't like moving towards an unknown future but for me it did work out.
I have moved to a Product Management position in the small business department, a job I'd actually applied for last summer. On one hand it's sad not to be able to use my acquired knowledge for building websites, on the other hand it's good to move to another great team, with nice, young people who know what they're doing and to learn another side of a company. Having started in technical customer support, always complaining about the sales people selling anything, including products we don't have, after my jobs doing technical sales and also selling non-standard products - note: not selling products we didn't have *g* - it's now my turn to develop new products we don't yet have but which are in demand by existing and potential customers. It feels like the puzzle of my career nears completion and I've done pretty much the full spectrum.
My visit to Amsterdam last month was, once again, very nice. Nothing can compare to cycling along the waterfront and cycling in the city. Even though we've had typical autumn wetter, with rain and grey skies, I was happy. Met some of my best friends again, spend a lot of time eating all the good things in the Netherlands (drop, fresh fish, cheese, patat met kipsateh...) and have not spend a lot of money this time. One of the good things of flying instead of going by train is that there's a weight limit no lugage. Which means, no stacks of books, no piles of cheese and also... well, you'll have to go to the postoffice to send yourself a parcel with some stuff that really did not fit in anymore :o)
My new ice skating skates were also waiting for me. My mum had them sharpened so in case there would be ice, it would be possible to use them. Well, there was no ice and the only day I had time to go skating on the skating rink, it was pooring rain, boring boring. So it just had to be done in Vienna. Of course there was even less ice in Vienna (a lot less water, the Donau is nothing compared to our amounts of water) but there is a small skating rink just around the corner, just enough to get a little bit of satisfaction out of the new skates, that and sore feet. Hopefully there will be ice next season.
My camera collection has taken a new direction, after genuine old cameras and a full Hassselblad system I've recently acquired some modern classics, some Fuji Nexia Q1, Blue, Orange and Silver, two Canon IXUS and an Olympus mju-1. Classics, well, not yet but with a good chance of becoming classics some day. At least they look very cute and they all work. Working with them is a lot different from working with all manual cameras, both have their merits and it's fun traveling with a good point-and-shoot in combination with a full-on Hasselblad 3 lens system.
Even though the camera collection is moving towards modern classics, the movie collection is moving towards silent classics. During the past months my Sunset Boulevard musical CDs were played on and on and on. Maybe you know the story but for those who don't, this Billy Wilder movie is about an old silent movie star, Norma Desmond, who was not able to make the change over to the sound era. She's living, or actually slowly fading away, in her old Hollywood villa when one day a young writer, Joe, hides his car in her garage and is not allowed to leave the villa again as he has to rewrite her skript for a silent movie. In this script she is, of course, going to be the star. Her group of friends, Joe calls the wax-works, consists of forgotten silent-movie stars like Charley Chaplin. Much of the story is real and did get Wilder into problems with the institution that is Hollywood. This got me really interested in silent movies, in directors such as Erich von Stroheim, D.W. Grifith and C.B. DeMille and in the movie stars of that time. Very interesting to read books on this subject, some research has been done but I haven't come across the ultimate book yet, the book that shows the entire picture. So if you have, by all means, let me know.
With one look