18:42 Thu.
14 Nov, 2013

And still kicking

Day 98 , 49 remain
Lulea , Sweden
-9 °C
8:07 am
2:20 pm

It’s been a while since my last post. Last week I was busy with my last assignment from 1st quarter. I finished it on Monday morning (8 AM), after whole night marathon. The worst (best?) part was that when I presented it to professor, few hour later, he didn’t even checked if it works or not, he just looked at some graphs in my report and that was it. Huh I could have saved whole night of programming and just “faked” the results. Though all in all it wasn’t that bad.

In this assignment we were playing/working with some “big” toys. We were using Amazon server farms to create distributed applications. We were actually using real servers, the same ones that NASA uses to calculate new path for mars rovers, for example. As here, you are charged according to how much you use, by rough calculations, on Monday night (alone) I spent around 200$. Thank god that university paid for it. 🙂

It’s really nice if university has a bigger budget and can provide you with some “real” tools that you’ll be using later on when you’ll get a job. Sadly I don’t think in Slovenia something like this would be possible.

So this was on Monday, as you may guess I spent the rest of the day sleeping. As I stated in previous post we finally got about 20cm of snow. Besides being really nice to look at this brings some problems along the way. Tuesday I spent whole day looking for snow shoes in big “shopping” area about 30 (bike) min away from me. Sadly I couldn’t find anything good (looking) enough to buy. On the other hand I did find a shoe from ALPINA. I was really surprised to see it there, firstly I thought they went bankrupted, secondly its first Slovenian brand I’ve seen since coming here. I would sooner expect to see some kind of Slovenian food product instead of shoes up here.

In the end I ended up buying new gloves that should be warm enough for -30 and some tape for my hockey stick (it later turned out that I bought wrong tape, so I had to buy new one today).

When you are riding a bike in this weather you can really feel cold, if you don’t have good enough equipment. Firstly bike sit is usually frozen, if you are lucky wheel is still turning and you can start pedalling without kicking ice from wheels for 5minutes. After few minutes you start feeling cold air coming through gloves (if they are not air sealed, that is), shortly after you pants, below knees, start to freeze (despite mud protector, tiny bits of snow fly off the wheel on to your legs) and lastly you lose feeling in your feet. This can all be avoided if you have good and warm clothing from head to hills of course.

Roads never get cleared of snow.
Roads never get cleared of snow.

Earlier this month I volunteered to help at a computer conference that will be held here at LTU at beginning of December. Yesterday we had our first meeting before conference. I’m telling you this, because professor, who is in charge for preparations, paid for our lunch in a restaurant where we had the meeting. I was really surprised about this, we were 10 people, and each meal costs around 10€.

Later that evening we prepared surprise party for a friend. It was really fun and again lots of people prepared some of their (home country) dishes. In retrospect, I spent whole day eating.

Today I went shopping again. This time to city centre. First thing I bought was correct tape for my hockey stick, secondly I finally found some good snow boots that I will probably buy tomorrow, I just need to check another store before to be sure those are the best.

I also need to get a haircut (2 months ago). I’ve been delaying this for so long because of the price. I was complaining to some Swede about the price of hair dresses and he said that hair dresses in Lulea are run in cartel. Haha it’s really funny when you say it like this, on the other hand when you hear price… every hairdresser in town charges exactly 500 SEK (around 50€), and this is not for women, it’s men’s.

Sunset over the frozen lake
Sunset over the frozen lake
13:42 Wed.
30 Oct, 2013

Not really

Day 83 , 64 remain
Lulea , Sweden
6 °C
7:14 am
3:12 pm

Ok so today I’ve finished with my second (last) home exam. It was quite a rush and I’m starting to prefer regular exams oppose to “home” exams. They are much much longer, for example today I was working on it for 5h, and on the other one I think I spent 10+ h. Though only the one from today was a real exam, with theoretical questions and coding and stuff. The other one was more like a project, where you question everything you do and redo it 5 times at least.

So yes now I’m done with 1st quarter. Well not really, I still have one project due, but it’s more like do it whenever you want.

Anyway time is short. I’m really in a hurry last few days. Now I have exactly 23 minutes to prepare for departure for another trip. This time I’ll be gone till Tuesday. To where I’m going, let it remain a mystery, for now.

Fun fact, here is a picture of view from my window at 3’o clock. (In 1h I’ll be somewhere where it’s dark at 2 already 😀 yey looking forward to it 😀 ).

This is how dark it is at 3 o'clock
This is how dark it is at 3 o’clock