Tuesday, September 26, 2006


News on my move: no news. My furniture is still subject to maximal position uncertainty, and nobody is responsible for anything. Meanwhile, I came to the conclusion that the word couch is derived from the word ouch. I felt very grown up buying a couch, really, it is the first time in my now 30 years that I own such an object of settlement! But I wasn't really prepared to sleeping on it for some weeks. I am definitely too old for that.

But here is the true progress report: effective noon today I have high speed internet in my apartment. If nothing else, I am at least connected to the rest of the world.

Seriously, in the old days before internet, I would sometimes pick up the phone receiver and listen to the dial tone when I felt lonely. It was like an open channel to the rest of the world. Nowadays its a high-speed channel, and it doesn't only come with a doooooot, but with emails, photos and videos. Actually, the only thing that's still missing is the transmission of solid objects. Imagine that: instead of getting spam emails, your monitor would throw sample pills in your face when your filter sucks, and Mohammed Send-me-bucks, the son of Emir Nowhereland would drop in and ask for your help.

Besides this I tried to use my stove on the weekend, but had to find out that the oven didn't work. So I called my landlord yesterday, and she had someone come and look at the thing. To my eyes the stove looks like manufactured in the 19st century, but it's actually not even 10 years old as I was told.

Anyway, the guy came in total silence, replaced some fuses, pushed and shoved the stove around a bit. Then he carefully knocked at the clock and the timer which are in the panel. He frowned at me in a really scary way and said: Did-you-push-these-buttons? The one with the timer? Well, when I noticed the stove didn't work I pushed about every button I could find, not that there were so many, and yes, I also turned on the timer (which almost caused me a heart attack when it went off some hours later). So I said yes. Never-push-these-buttons, the guy said, still frowning. I asked: what are they good for? NOTHING! I looked confused. TROUBLE, he said. And then I learned that turning the time makes everything go out of sync.

That's my current problem with time, everything is out of sync.

But the oven works now. I promised I won't try to set the clock.

And here is a picture of my ouch:

Besides this, I encourage you to speculate on the to-be-announced 2006 Nobelprize over at Peter Woit's blog.


  1. A near perfect Anti-Gravitational device if ever I saw one!

    At least thats what the "sofa" pic looks like embedded into the white background.

    Was it not Feynman who, during one of his lectures was asked:Professor, what would you describe as an "Anti_Gravity" devise?...to which Feynman replied..the floor, or the chair you are sitting upon!

    "Between two points in time, there is but one space. Between two points in space, there is but one time".

    Thermal Dials make time variable!..as any good cook knows!

    How you find time, to sort your space, and thus equilibriate your time table so you can enjoy your sofa in comfort.

  2. Hi Paul :-)

    I took a photo of the ouch in my apartment, but then I realized that the USB cable is in my moving stuff... So, this is the IKEA advertisement. But it actually looks the same and it was pretty easy to assemble once we managed to push it through the door.

    You know, your comment really cheered me up, since I am still having some issues with my latest Anti-Grav. paper. I am looking for a couch-like device actually, in the meaning of Feynman's answer, but I call it gauge. How would you define the couch in a non-static background?

    Apropos Feynman: Did you by any chance get a glimpse on Lubos' post about the inheritance of Feynman's desk? It appeared and disappeared about noon. It was a rather childish comment, and I was about to comment something similar childish, but then my ex called and I forgot about it. Now I am wondering whether I suffer from a reality disorder, or if - equally disturbing - Lubos is more grown up than I am, ouch or no ouch.


    B. (currently sitting on said couch)

    PS: And doesn't Sean look so giddily happy on that photo :-)

  3. Remove the back cushions or place them under the bottom cushions when you sleep on the ouch. White couches are for looking, colored couches are for using. White will not sustain.

    Couch patterns are typically hideous. One could get creative... (NOT recommended for theoreticians!) Tye-dyeing or scrunch-dyeing white coverings with Procion MX are alternatives if the fabric is cellulostic. (Acid dyes for wool, silk, other proteinaceous stuff; nylon. Polyester won't dye at all.) Practice on expendables before committing.

    Like the early universe, only smaller.

    Wear gloves. Soda ash (sodium carbonate) is strong alkali that eats skin. You must first remove fabric sizing and whatnot by aggressive aqueous laundering. Will the fabric shrink?

  4. Hi Uncle,

    thanks! I did remove the back cushions, I have even considered just placing all of them on the ground, but my main problem is that its much too soft.

    And I certainly didn't want a white couch! (Tough its not white, but actually 'nature' or something). But the only other alternatives they had in store would have been red or dark brown, which was even worse. Everything else would have to be ordered from Montreal they said, and it would take 2 weeks. The funny thing about that is that I have a friend who just moved to Montreal who was at IKEA up there, and he was told the couch would have to be ordered from Toronto.

    I have had this chair PoƤng for quite a while, but I only attempted to wash the cover once. After that, it was completely impossible to get it back on the cushion.

    Forgot to mention, I also bought a new desk lamp, because I threw away my old one from Walmart. Now I feel really guilty about it...
    Best, B.

  5. Dear Bee,

    that video is great! No, do not feel guilty for abandonning lamps from Walmart ;-)
    I hope the new lights in your apartment are doing well :-)

    Best, stefan

    PS: Thank you for the hint about the Nobel prize! I was totally surprised that it will be announced already next week, that's earlier than usual, and at the Tag der deutschen Einheit! I have really no clue at all about who could be a candidate...

  6. Everything in Canuckistan comes from elsewhere to add crossing tarrifs. Wood cut in North Vancouver Island is trucked to southern sawmills and vice-versa. The Island had its mail sorted on the mainland. If you want political representation you speak French or all that comes your way is a Trudeau salute.

    Interesting place. You'll see... "8^>)


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