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MogFromLeipzig Blog

Trip to Western Germany, Amsterdam and the GamesCom

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Hi everyone!

Second vacation this year and again some pictures to show.

To make up for the expensive flight of the last trip this was a rather cheap car tour to the west of our own country (Germany). I've never been there for sight seeing before so that was okay. In the area there are a lot of cities with hardly any space between them, including Duesseldorf, Essen, Cologne, Oberhausen etc. The area is full of coal so the coal and steel industry created thousands of jobs in the past for Germans and immigrants (mostly Turkish people). Now only little is left. The air has gotten better and the landscape greener. Former mines and industry areas have become parks or museums and the Turks have opened a ton of stores for wedding clothes...

Around my own city in eastern Germany were coal mines, too, but day light mines. They were flooded to become lakes.

Duisburg landscape park

This is a park in Duisburg with remains of a steelwork. The construction on the right is a lookouts now.

clarification plant

Oh :( swimming is not allowed in this former clarification plant for industrial waste water.

gasometer

Statue inside an old gasometer in Oberhausen. So THIS is how a tree looks like! Thank you so much! :P

Museum in Essen

Car hanging from the ceiling of a former coal mine building. Now it is a museum for product design.

Cologne's dome

The dome of Cologne. I like how the scaffolds start in midair.
After WW2 the whole city of Colognelay in ruins except for the dome. (To be honest all the other buildings in the inner city look really ugly now -.-)

Amsterdam channel

We've also been to Netherland's capital Amsterdam for one day. Really pretty! Every 2nd street there is a channel. The houses are old, small and crooked but freshly painted and nice looking. And no we didn't try the cannabis cookies!

tiny house

Did I say "small houses"? Should have said "tiny".

Amsterdam station

Try to read the time from this train station tower!

On a side note we've also been to the GamesCom. My advice: Don't come if you ain't press. As a normal visitor like me you have to wait hours to even see a demo. And you don't get any loot if you don't scream and jump like an idiot.It was basically like the GamesConvention just way more people for the same booth space. The corridors of the Cologne trade fair are wider than in Leipzig and hold more people but that doesn't mean, all the people can actually play something.

Tomorrow I'll have to work again... until Christmas :/

Thanks for reading! See you! :)

Honestly, This Game Sounds Disgusting

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A game obviously targeting little girls that is about pleasing business men so they spend more money. And of course it is pink cause pink is the only color girls ever want!

Girl's RPG

Maybe I'm over-exaggerating. Maybe the game isn't that bad and pink is certainly a nice color. This post is just a gut reaction. I wouldn't mind if this stuff wouldn't influence children but it does. Nowadays every little girl is certain that she loves pink and princesses over everything from the bottom of her heart not realizing the manipulation by the media. Pink princesses are not bad but should they be made the number one topic for EVERY little girl?
And a hostess simulator? Be nice and flirty so they men pay well...

Back from Cuba

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Me

Ola! How are you doing?

I'm back in good old Germany and already did fun typical German things like hanging around the beer garden and doing an overly complicated tax return.
But that's not what this post is supposed to be about.

Who wants to hear about Cuba?!

We! We! Tell us! Tell us!



Well, kids, where to start? We've been to so many interesting places and heard so many facts that I could type my hands off. We did a 14-days round trip across western Cuba in a group of 15 people and after that we stayed one week longer at the beach near Havana. During the round trip we've been to typical tourist destinations (cigar factory, rum museum, flowstone cave, Che Guevara monument...). But we also visited facilities that are normally unseen by tourists like a doctor's practice, agrarian projects and we even had a question session with the mayor of Santa Clara.

My overall impression was that the government really cares for it's people. Some examples:
All the basic necessaries are free or cheap. Health care is free (free treatments, immunization, surgeries; cheap medicaments have to be bought individually but expensive ones are paid by the state).
Education is also free of course and when a university student successfully graduates he or she is guaranteed to get a job for at least 2 years. Acceptance tests ensure that there won't be too many graduates in one profession.
Parents can dress their kids with inexpensive school uniforms.
Rations of staple foods are cheap.
Cars of public companies (which is most every company) are obligated to take hitchhikers with them, e.g. our tourist bus on transfers without us.
Some years ago people had the chance to trade their old American or Russian home appliances (refrigerator, pressure cooker and so on) for little money against new Asian devices. Our tour guide said her energy costs went down from 50 to 9 Peso.
When a hurricane is likely to come over a territory the inhabitants are evacuated. When their houses are crushed they get building materials to rebuild their houses.

So much for the up side. The down side is that everything that's not exactly necessary is really expensive. I don't think they can even dream of a gaming console but also coffee machines and mixers are more expensive than in Germany. These devices can't even be paid using the normal currency. Cuba has two currencies - the normal currency and a convertible currency. That is money that is backed up by US Dollars, Euros or other world wide acknowledged currencies. Cuba needs to import a lot of things and can't allow that more products are sold than it can afford to import.
Only Cubans that get tips from tourists get hold of that currency which made me wonder if it is more profitable to be a maid in a hotel than a doctor. Everyone in Cuba has a large family and that's how the convertible money is spread but it still seems unjust to me. Also a certain percentage of the tips has to be donated to buy expensive medicaments, e.g. AIDS medicine.

The main income for Cuba is tourism. Most tourists are from Canada (Bingo anyone?) They export sugar, ron and cigars and some resources like cobalt and nickel. They have plenty of fruits but cannot export them because of the cheap fruits from Latin America.

Uhm, this post is getting way to educational... let's look at some photos as a relief.

Havana

That's how most houses in Old Havana look like. Roofed sidewalks - good against rain and sun.

Havana

Looks like a Capitol. Is a Capitol(io).

Havana

Flags and Che are everywhere.

Havana

Bananas! And decayed houses. There are to many to ever renew them all.

Havana

Art street in Key West/Havana.

Havana

School uniforms for first to sixth grade. Grade 7-9 wear ochre, 9-12 wear blue uniforms.

Havana

Super beautiful grave yard in Havana. It's huge and it's all white marble.

Havana

That's a store in Trinidad for staple goods that can be paid in the Cuban currency. Very sad in comparison to a convertible currency store.

Havana

Cayo Guillermo. Sooooo nice! And no ugly hotel in sight

Havana

Statue of Big Boss, no, Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Santa Clara.

Havana

Old cars everywhere, just like everyone tells you.

I hope my post was somewhat interesting for you. I don't have much to say about video games at the moment. I took 3 DS games with me but all I was playing was FFVII on my PSP. It made me feel all homely! I'm going to read through your blogs this week.

CU! :)

Mog

Coming from Vienna, Going to Cuba

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I'm quite the traveller lately. I had to work in Vienna during the last weeks. We got a new customer there and had to do workshops about the software module we are going to implement. We are back with a shipload of problems -.-

Anyway - great time for vacation, right? :) Let the colleagues handle it all and fly off to the Caribbean :>
I've been to Cuba before when I was 10 or 11 years old. Best vacation until now! (Being a child might have had to do with it, and my cloudy memory)

I'm really curious about the situation in Cuba. The last twenty years have been hard I read. No Eastern Germany or UdSSR to trade with and still the US embargo. They can't even import European medical devices if any part of the device was made in the US. They have to pay billions of dollars for goods transportation from around the world to Cuba because they can't import from their near neighbour. (The environment thanks, too.)
My mom told me that they didn't have enough food in one of the hotels on our last trip there and that I got food from the private stock of our tourist guide. I remember a toy store that had nothing but grey one-block toy pistols -.-
I understand that issues like internet censorship exist and that this might be a reason for the embargo (ehm... China?) but the embargo doesn't exactly help to make PCs and telephones available to more Cubans either.

On the other hand a colleague told me it wasn't that bad and that he saw people in Havana jogging with their iPhones when he was there a year ago. Let's see how it really looks like.
At least I know it will be hot, there will be palm trees and pastel colored houses and people will be kind :) No McDonald's, no IKEA, no H&M :)

See you in three weeks, amigos!

Cuban flag

* flag taken from Wikipedia

How slow is your PSN?

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a) like a sloth

b) like your pokemon character without sprint boots

c) like bullet time

d) like mario... compared to sonic

e) like my progress through demon's souls

Honestly... I wanted to play Bad Company before going to bed but after 45min of patch loading (whopping 269MB! :shock: ) I have to defer that plan.

Good Night!

sleeping sloth

Mog vs. the Heavy Object

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I checked out BlazBlue: Continuum Shift this weekend and wow there are people online! :shock: :)
I've never seen more than 3 rooms in Calamity Trigger and mostly there was none I could join but now a whole new world has opened up :> Also in Calamity Trigger online fights didn't work when my boy friend was watching TV (via DSL). That doesn't seem to be a problem anymore.

So I joined a random room with just one person in it, lvl 32. My first online fight in the new game. Exciting :) I chose Rachel, my opponent chose Taokaka. He was spamming the []-attack. With this attack Taokaka is jumping at my figure, scratching and jumping away. Over and over again. "You are so lame, kiddy!!!". Still it was a hard fight. I managed to defeat him. He got me enraged when he chose Taokaka again and again and did the same "tactics" in every match. I managed to win most matches and felt great "Take this, bastard! Mwahahahaha!". I leveled up to level 10, then I left. Yeah, I bet that stupid level 32 n00b! :D

Taokaka & Rachel

Now I was showering and BAHMM! It occurred to me! (I always realize things while showering) I was fighting a heavy object placed on the square button! Or a rubber band! That must have been it! I feel so dumb >.< I mean I even LOST sometimes! Against a lifeless object! And I got angry with a lifeless object! ...That bastard! XD
Well at least I'm level 10 :P

On Continuum Shift: I have to say the game kinda got uglier compared to Calamity Trigger. The menu, the colors, the rougher character images before the fight. The annoying system voice. And I'm disappointed by the challenge mode. I expected fun challenges like or "Fight with inverted directional input" or "Win the fight bye taunting and making the enemy cry." But all the challenges are just about perfectly inputting certain combos against a dummy. That's no fun at all! It is just really confusing and boring =_=
But as long as the fighting is intact, online is better and there are some new characters I'm satisfied. :)

Kid_Black_Star, I sent you a friend request with a stupid message so we can play against each other.
Does anyone else want to beat me up (PSN)?^^

Have a nice week, all of you!

I Obey Your Command

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I just ordered a bunch of games from our European cheap games paradise called the UK:

Vanquish

That's JUST because of you, Neon! Sega may send you your thank you gift now. Maybe I can broaden my games horizon (I usually don't play war games)... or maybe I'll just hate it and curse Neon for eternity^^ Stay tuned!

BlazBlue Continuum Shift

Continuum Shift Limited Edition. I already have Calamity Trigger and I guess not much has changed but hey it was cheap and it comes with an art booklet and art cards! I recently stumbled across a BlazBlue forum. They talk in numbers and single letters. I don't understand nothing. "After the reset combo is made by ending a 3c with a 214b you can then go into a 3c 214b j.2c 3d 236a 5d 66 5b 5c 5cd 236b jb jc jb jc 236a." Yeah right. Memorized everything - but what does it mean? (Btw.: Happy spellchecking, GS! :P)

Demon's Soul

Basically because it got so much praise on GS and U1 wanted it badly back then. I'll probably become frustrated quickly but it's a special game that looks good in a collection^^

Sonic Colors

Well to be correct I'll get Sonic Colours. I had given up on 3D Sonic games and I have never bought a Wii game before but once again I was convinced by the good feedback on GS, especially in the SonicSpot Union. So my hopes are up again. Go Sonic! :)

Ok, now I go and actually play some games before the weekend is over!

See ya!

Mog

Reviving the blog + Merry Christmas!

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Hi everyone!

Some of you have already noticed that I'm back here. The others know it now.
I don't have a good story to explain my absence (unlike 31160618). I was just distracted by stupid things like television and social life but I try to get back to what is really important: web 2.0 and my online friends! :)

So I decided that a new blog post is necessary to show that I'm still alive. Since my life is wonderfully boring (love it that way!) and I'm not funny enough to make a random opinion blog worth reading I thought I draw a christmas card like yeah_write. It's not as professional and I had no time to add shadows but at least its something I can use to fill this space :P

Merry Christmas 2010

And of course all of you are wondering about my pick for the GoTY. It is
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker!
It was an amazingly rich gaming experience AND it closed the story gap of the MGS saga.

So, I'm off... almost presents time here :D

Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! :)

New Life + Playing DS Makes You A LOT Younger

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Hello my dear GS friends! :)

I'm sorry that I did not spend a lot time here during the past weeks. I missed most of your blogs and also today I feel too tired to stay for a long time. I'm sure that condition will improve once I got used to my new life.

Like I told you I finished my studies on Media IT and am now a Master of Science. Three days after my final exam I started to work in my new job. I'm a software developer (C and Java) now. My company earns money with software for big German gas companies. Not the most exciting branch of trade but it is well paid and the C code is funny :P

I had to travel to Berlin a lot to get some lessons on the code. Those who travel have stories to tell and I have this one for you:
I went by train in the first cIass and played some N+ on my DS. That's when the stewardess stepped in and asked me "Bist du erste Klasse?" which means "Are you first cIass" in the informal colloquial form you may use for friends and children. I was wondering about the form she used to address me. I'm 23. She probably thought I was younger, maybe 17? It was still not very polite.
I said that I am first cIass and she left.
A couple of minutes later she came back to sell food and drinks. And then she asked me "Did your parents give you money, so you can buy yourself something to eat or drink?" What??! That's a question you can ask a twelve year old!! But not somebody over fourteen. And surely no one at the age of 23! I don't look that young! I did not have to show my passport for years! My only explanation for this is the DS. It is probably still seen as a pure children's toy by many adults.

In gaming news I played through R&C: Quest for Booty - it's good but since it is the same as all the other R&C games before I still felt kinda bored.
I bought the Orange Box to play Portal. I have to say I expected more from the hype but I'm only half way through. Maybe it will get more exciting.
And we (EiRoGGe and me) do now own Guitar Hero. We waited a long time for a cheap offer but it was worth it. :)

Thank you for reading! I'll visit your blogs soon!
Mog