Februar 2007

Shitty Jobs

Have you ever been wondering how the vending machines work? Finally, here's the answer:

The sign says: "Life's too short for a shoddy job."

It's a campaign of a German placement service.

I like those pictures. Aren't they hilarious?!

Belated Winter Madness

About two or three weeks ago we had quite much snow in Stuttgart. I wanted to blog about it, but I was too busy. So, here's our belated winter madness. This picture is me and my roomie, when we walked back home after being at a club early in the morning, amazed by the snow like little children.

Where I grew up as a kid we had much snow every winter. And we kids liked it because we weren't able to go to school when there was snow like 3 foot high. Snow up to your hips was nothing really special, and the snow stayed for months.

Here in Stuttgart we don't have much snow. Stuttgart is located in a valley, and the temperatures down in the valley are mild. In the last few years we had about two or three days of snow, and usually not more than 2 or 3 inch. But this year there was quite much snow for Stuttgart. I don't think we had that much show since I moved here in 1999.

Sometimes I'm happy that I don't have a car. But only sometimes.

The new castle coated with cream cheese frosting.

Now here are the pictures I took with my crappy cellphone cam. I'm surprised how proud he stands the snow.

William on the horse and the lion with a refreshing facial mask.

Please mind the letters that spell "Star Boy"...

Another angle of the center.

This is my street.

And here the famous Hoppenlau Friedhof that I had mentioned before on my blog. This time dressed in the latest winter fashion.

Is it sane when someone takes self pics at a graveyard??? I hope so.

Here's another impression of the Hoppenlau Friedhof in winter.

I know, you guys have way more snow right now. Post your pics to show me what snow really means. :-)

Crazy German Customs, Part 1: Schmutziger Donnerstag

Today it's "Schmutziger Donnerstag" in Germany. Literally translated this means "Dirty Thursday". It's known in all parts of Germany, and it's a custom that (only today) women are allowed to cut off ties. I.e. if you're wearing a tie today, each woman would be allowed to cut it off. Isn't that crazy?

The origin of this custom is in my state. While in other states they only cut off ties, we still celebrate it like hundred years ago. The name doesn't relate to "dirt", although many people think so. But in my state people said "Schmutz" for fat. So it's actually a fat day. You're asking why? Because traditionally today you eat stuff like that:

Hundreds of years ago people in Germany didn't eat meat from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. So they couldn't slaughter animals on Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, because they can't eat the meat after Ash Wednesday, and the meat would go bad. Sunday was a "holy" day, no slaughtering as well. Saturday was semi-holy, because it's holy for the Jews. Friday has been a day of fasting in general, because Jesus died on a Friday... So, they slaughtered on Schmutziger Donnerstag for the last time before Easter. And this day was the last time of much meat and deep fried food. So was Monday and Tuesday next week, because they had to get rid of all their meat and rich food. Carnival (German: "Karneval") by the way goes back to the Italian "carnevale", which means "good bye meat". That's how those three Carnival days were born.

Interviewing the Sorellas

Today my friend Thomas and I met the Duo Sorellas, two artists who are in a show in Stuttgart.

Thomas and I were at a press show two days before the show officially started. It's a mixed show with many different artists. They showed only parts of the actual show, just to get an impression. It was quite amazing. It was one of those moments when I thought "Wow, you wouldn't expect such a great show in Stuttgart". For example there was another great Duo, two mind readers. And their show is very funny as well. She was blindfolded on stage while she was "reading" my insurance number from my insurance card. I mean, if it wasn't me I would say it was a fake ... but she couldn't know my insurance number, right?

Anyway, today we met the Sorellas, the two guys on the pictures in this post. We recorded about 15 minutes, but we were talking for more than an hour. They are very cordial and lovely guys. I'm always surprised how nice (quite) famous people are in interviews.

Those two have a very good reputation in Germany (and Europe) and were performing on quite famous stages, and also in Circus Roncalli for a few years in a row.

They're both openly gay. They're best friends, but they're not a couple. They told us about their experiences in different cities, which was very interesting. And they said that Stuttgart is one of the most gay-friendly cities they've been to.

Tomorrow we're going to see the regular show, and I'm looking forward to meeting them again. And I'm happy to see the other artists perform as well. I suppose this show will be fabulous.

One Year Of Blogging

Jesus! I can't believe it's been already one year ago that I started this blog. Or should I say "re-started it". I was blogging in 2003 in German, but only made it to 25 posts. This entry is #250 by pure accident, so that's kind of a double feature celebration.

I was neither celebrating #100 nor any "magic" number before, so I've decided to throw a party today. Come in, put your jacket in my bedroom, and take a seat in the living room. Don't mind the mess, I didn't expect you to show up early. You could read the first post while I fix you a drink...

Uhm ... would you please stop yawning while reading the first post, I do know that it can't compete with William Shakespeare or Truman Capote. Anyway, olives or onions for your Martini? Uhm, the other guys will stop by in a few minutes ...

Import Mails from Thunderbird to Apple's OS X Mail.app

I'm sure this post is boring for my regular readers, but it's about a workaround for a bug that kept me busy for some hours, and I didn't find any solution on the web that worked for me. I found some people that had the same problem, but the workaround that worked for them didn't work for me - which actually almost freaked me out. So, I hope this post is useful to anybody who has the same problem. I tried to write it as detailed as possible, in case there are people that aren't very familiar with a command shell and all that stuff.
If this post was helpful, please leave a note. Thanks. :)

A friend of mine bought a macbook recently, and he wanted to import mails from his outlook on his old PC to mail.app which came with his mac. We figured out that there's no way to do that directly. But you can import the mails into Thunderbird (which is my favourite mail program, by the way), and then you can import those to apple's mail.

At least that's what we were thinking. But it didn't work. Each folder contained only one big mail, it didn't create seperate entries for each mail. First I thought its a matter of line ending, since Unix and Windows use different characters to indicate the end of a line. Recoding Thunderbird's mail files didn't work.

I knew that the mbox file format that Thunderbird uses to store the mails is like this: Each folder is one file that contains all mails of the folder, and the beginning of a mail is marked by a line that starts with "From " and then some additional information. (Mind the space after "From", it's very important).

Most programs that use mbox files don't care about the data in the line after the "From ". A typical line in Thunderbird would look like that:
From - Mon 29 Dec 1997 23:45:58

Googling showed that mail.app is picky about the format of the From-Line, and there were some posts where people said that you need to replace the "-" by the address of the sender. I wrote a perl program that changed the From lines to something like this:
From sender@host.tld Mon 29 Dec 1997 23:45:58

But still, it didn't work. Still only one HUGE mail in each folder. It seemed like this worked for everybody except me. But I figured out that the date was not correctly formatted. Mail.app seems to expect the date in another format. It needs to look like this (mind the different order of the fields in date):
From sender@host.tld Mon Dec 29 23:45:58 1997

So, I wrote this perl program that fixes the mbox files, and finally it worked. This script changes the From line to the format that mail.app needs. It adds the actual email address of the sender, and changes the date (if neccessary).

If anybody has the same problem, here's how it works:

  1. Save the file mboxfix to your desktop. But you probably want to skip this step after you've read the update at the bottom of this post.
  2. Go to your Thunderbird mail dir (on windows it's probably c:\Documents and Settings\ YourUsername\ Applications\ Thunderbird\ Profiles\ default\ StrangeChars\ Mail, and on Mac its most likely /Users/ YourUsername/ Library/ Thunderbird/ Profiles/ default/ StrangeChars/ Mail. (I've inserted blanks for better line wrapping results))
  3. For each mail folder there are three files or folders, e.g. Inbox, Inbox.msf, Inbox.sbd. Only the Inbox (without extensions) is important. Copy those files (one for each mail folder) to your desktop as well.
  4. Open a Terminal on your Mac. (Applications -> Accessories (probably, I don't know the English name) -> Terminal).
  5. Type cd Desktop and hit enter.
  6. Type chmod 755 mboxfix and hit enter.
  7. Now do this with each mailbox file (this example uses the mail folders Inbox, Sent, Private and Office. If you have different names, and/or more mail folders, alter the command to your needs:
    ./mboxfix Inbox Sent Private Office
  8. This creates the files Inbox.mbox, Sent.mbox, Private.mbox and Office.mbox
  9. Open Mail, go to "Import Messages", select "Import from Other", and point it to your desktop. Make sure to import only the files with the ending .mbox.
  10. You're done. Clean up your desktop and say "thank you, Rian". :-)

Update (March, 25th): (see also post from March 25th, 2007)
Lars Kobbe created a Droplet out of my perl script. Just download my script wrapped up in Lars' Droplet here (i.e. skip step 1), and replace step 4 to step 7 by just dragging your mbox files on this Droplet.