100 words 009

I’m quite a sucker for “smart” consumer electronics – as soon as they put a chip in it and add WiFi, I get interested.
But obviously that whole field is still very much in its infancy and as soon as the new shiny thing meets reality, stuff gets weird. Reality in my case mostly means a slow-ass internet connection and an old building with walls so thick that a reliable WiFi connection is not always a given.
So this morning I was not able to switch off my alarm clock because I needed to update some app in my phone.

100 words 008

Quite often when I tell someone that I am a web developer, people ask me if I can also “do apps.” Very often because they have an idea and if only someone would turn it into an app we would both be rich and wouldn’t that be a great idea?
Of course I could “do apps,” if I really wanted to. I poked around Xcode, wrote a couple of small things, just to see how things are in the land of Objective-C. But it never really excited me the way the web does.
I am not the only one.

100 words 007

While I am well aware that it is a bit older, I quite enjoy watching the two “Long Way” documentaries – Long Way Round and Long Way Down – on Netflix. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are quite charming fellows and their adventures amuse me to no end.

And just like the Top Gear Vietnam special they make me consider getting a bike license, which is a bad idea for so many reasons. Especially since I just know I would be miserable riding around on a bike, even on perfectly fine roads.

But still. It does look like it could be fun.

100 words 006

My grandmother turned 89 today and because dinner would be too late for her celebrations, she and my aunt decided to have a birthday lunch instead. Given that it’s a workday we managed to have quite a crowd together, so yeah us, I suppose.
And again of course with the opinions.

I have quite a big stack of magazines – yes, those on paper – here. I keep buying them everywhere and then somehow fail to actually read them. At least the books that I buy for my Kindle have the decency to not sit there and look like they judge me.


100 words 005

I have an ambivalent relationship to the idea of cross-posting things from one social media platform to another.
While I’d never even think of auto-posting my Instagram photos to Twitter, I have little shame when putting them up on my blog, usually without context.

Sometimes I forget that I have cross-posting enabled. These posts seem to land on Xing, where they got a comment – which I appreciated and would reply if I could be bothered to look up my Xing password.
And once a week my last.fm stats get posted to Twitter, which is sometimes rather embarrassing.

100 words 004

I have about half an hour left to write my hundred words for today and I do not have much to say, all things considered.

The big mistake of the day – I seem to have those – was to purchase Cities in Motion 2. As a big fan of Transport Tycoon ever since it came out back in the MS-DOS days, this game is like crack to me. Or maybe probably more like some kind of downer drug – I can “just give that games a try”, having a podcast running at the same time and suddenly the day is over.

100 words 003

I have this book in my Amazon bookmarks for a while now. A book about airline design between ’45 and ’75. It’s a whopping 300€.

I have seen the book by now – it is really amazingly beautiful. And just as huge and heavy. This is not a coffee table book anymore – we’re talking about a work bench book.

I don’t know if the publisher has a great PR team or if publications try to earn money by linking to the book on Amazon – it is everywhere: New Republic, Skift and Wired are just a few sites I have seen it.

100 words 002

As they say: expectations tend to lead to disappointment.

Given that I really dislike to be disappointed, I try to go through life without any expectations.
I am aware how that is a statement of huge privilege – of course I expect not to get gunned down while walking around in town. I expect not to suddenly have to run from a natural disaster. I expect to be able to walk into any store without any problem and I expect my Amazon packages to arrive in time.

Now what about not disappointing people? It seems impossible to manage other people’s expectations.

100 words 001

Writing Irregularity once every week is probably the first time I manage to write or produce something on a regular schedule.

The irony of the name is not lost on me. In the beginning I wrote the emails whenever I felt like it. Without the pressure to write on a schedule or meet certain expectations, a weekly pattern emerged quite naturally and by now it’s a habit to start my work week by opening Byword, grabbing a couple of links in the hope that every reader finds at least one of them interesting, and putting them out in the world.

Ich, Dein Fön.

Irgendwie schade, daß das mit dem deutschen Humor in den letzten 41 Jahren nie wieder besser wurde als Susi Sorglos.

Three weeks on Instagram



This blog post sucks

It’s the worst.
And yet at the end I might end up liking it.

Have you ever looked at Amazon reviews? It is usually an inverse Guassian distribution: a lot of opinions on the top and bottom of the curve, hardly anything in between.
Everything is controversial all the time.

Last week I went to see a musical. It was very well executed and I have a lot of respect for the physical work the actors did. It is probably not high art, yet at the end, many people decided that standing ovations would be in order.
I am not sure if these people were really that blown away by the performance or if they just really wanted to be able to think, feel and tell that they went to see a play that was so great that standing ovations were in order.

Some while ago I took my car to be serviced at an officially branded garage. When I went to pick it up, the person at the counter told me that probably someone from the car company will call me and ask about the quality of their service. She then proceeded to ask me if I could maybe tell them that it was perfect in every way.
I told her that the service was good, but that I was a bit confused by the amount of praise she’d like. That’s how I learned that this car brand in particular expects five star service from their garages or it might take away the status as official garage of that brand.

A lot of our conversation these days – especially online, but it seems to be a common feature in offline interactions as well – seems to be hyperbole in one direction or the other, often drowning out details and nuances.
We all1 like to use very definitive statements about the quality of something when all we actually want is to express our personal opinion.
Aggregation and trying to get feedback by “normal people” amplifies this phenomenon.

It is not possible anymore to just buy and enjoy things that are okay-ish or good enough. People2 dig through thousands of reviews and are very peculiar about their stuff. And that’s when confirmation bias sets in.
Obviously that thing that I bought that has basically no real difference to that other thing, is the best thing ever and the other one is the worst and everybody who disagrees seems to be out to personally attack us and is also a complete moron.


  1. Not you, you’re better than this. But we other, more flawed human beings. 
  2. Well, mostly nerds. My kind of people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯