...and other misconceptions I made 09-01-26
2009 Jan 26

Archive for September, 2004

September 29th 2004
Speaking of Mt. St. Helens…

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My lovely wife sent me this cool link to the official volcano camera

Way cool!

September 29th 2004
The green back is changing colors

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The US currency is sometimes called “Green Back”. That’s because it’s printed on yellowy paper, front in black ink, and the back side in – you guessed it – green. And of course all notes are exactly the same size, to make it easier to stack them…

As a European, or, actually, a person from any of a number of other countries, that has always been weird. Our money has been colorful and the size increased with denomination. That helps to avoid mistakes, quickly sort the notes by value, and it makes the lives of disabled people simpler.

Makes sense, right? Well, it appears that there’s one more reason why more colors are better. They make it harder to create counterfeit money. And that’s the reason why some dollar bills finally are getting additional colors. The 20 dollar bill was first, with some shades of peach added. The $50 was just released with red and blue.

They still all look more or less the same to me and still are the same size. But it’s a step.

As a side remark, the new Euro coins still confuse the heck out of me as well :-)

September 26th 2004
Indian Summer

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It’s nice here… Indian summer really is one of the nicest times of the year in Portland. Cool at night, warm but not too hot during the day… just gorgeous!

After the cold and rain in Berlin that’s a very welcome change. Of course they tell us that heavy hurricane seasons (with the fourth one just hitting the East Coast – I’m so glad I don’t live there…) bring wet winters. So maybe I’ll like the weather less in a few months. But then again, Oregon is said to really need a wet winter for a change, so that’s not a bad thing after all!

And I keep thinking that I don’t mind the rain. Of course the locals keep telling me that that will happen soon enough :-)

Anyway, I’m back home and I love it!

September 24th 2004

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I don’t know… many people love this town… somehow it doesn’t work for me. Maybe I just haven’t found the things that make Berlin great. To me it’s like Frankfurt or Munich, only the people are less friendly, most neighborhoods are more dirty, and crime is much more visible.

This is the fourth time I’m in Berlin (I think), and not much has changed about my dislike. Ok, this time, for the first time, I’m in a /really/ nice hotel. The Hilton. At about $300 a night it better be nice. But talking about things I don’t like. At $300 a night, internet access is not included. They charge an unbelievable $30 a day for wireless access. And to make things even more painful, even dialing in is exorbitantly expensive. An 800 number is $3 per call!!!

Thank God I’m a happy T-Mobile customer, using their Hotspots all over the world. That’s $20 per month for unlimited use. And since there’s a Starbucks with a Hotspot just two blocks from the hotel, I’m happy to boycott the overpriced “service” in the hotel and get my favorite caffeinated drink while surfing instead :-)

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