Castle Frankenstein

On Saturday we broke the cycle of spending the day aimlessly wandering around the centre of Darmstadt window shopping, eating junk food and ending up in the Ratskeller. Instead we went to visit Castle Frankenstein which is located a few kilometres away from Pfungstadt. I had been informed that the only way to this castle was a long walk uphill through a forest, however it appears there is a windy road all the way up to the castle that i’m sure Nick and his car would definitely appreciate.

Getting the tram to the bottom of the path was pretty straight forward, however that pretty much was the limit of the planning for the walk. So after a broken German conversation with a nearby gentleman we were pointed in a direction and told the walk would take 2 to 3 hours (I nearly went straight home at this point). We pressed on walking following random numbers painted on trees and trying to keep sense of direction that our German tour guide had pointed us in.

After walking aimlessly in the direction we assumed was correct we spotted what appeared to be the top of a castle, which still appeared quite away in the distance. After stumbling through a stables and being attacked by numerous crazy dogs, we started the ascent up the hill again vaguely in the direction of the castle. We managed the walk in one hour and twenty minutes, which beats the time given to us early quite respectably and includes fifteen minutes walking in the wrong direction at the top of one of the hills. I enabled the GPS application I have on my iPhone to give us an idea of what we were dealing with ascending/speed/distance etc.. This spat out a Google maps file that overlays the over the top route we took, which can be viewed here.

The full Gallery can be found here and if you are bored there is a wikipedia page too.

This is a pretty weak attempt

Quite settled in over in DE at the moment, chilling in my hotel room at the moment sorting through documents and random files that are littering my laptop. Decided it might be a good idea to clean my gmail out as well, when I spotted a truly awful scam. It’s been done a million times, i’ve had the Lord BindiBandji from Nigeria with his millions in gold bullion ready to ship me a fortune.. all he needs are my credit card details. However i’ve never had a crapy fraudulent email from the UK. 

A Long while coming

Been a long while since I updated, partially due to going on  holiday, however more based on the fact i’ve just been lazy. 

Dominican Republic was amazing

Kims Birthday was also amazing/expensive.

In other news before I actually submit and update that has something worth mentioning in it, my dell machine has gone from a Vista with hacked pci-E ports to now running osX 10.5.4 (iATKOS), which runs pretty flawless. I’ve also picked up a PAYG iPhone 3g, which at first turned out to be a bit of a mistake due to not researching it. So the 3G still suffers from a lack of sim unlock, but given that o2 are doing free 3G for the time being i’ll stick with the PAYG sim for a while.

This handbagged face lady can tell me nothing..

Spending her time sniffing poo, and making fat people cry.

From the outset (flakey accreditation)

  • The value of McKeith’s certified membership of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants = Guardian journalist Ben Goldacre managed to buy the same membership online for his dead cat for $60.
  • ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith = a non-accredited correspondence-course PhD from the US

“If you contact the Australasian College of Health Sciences (Portland, US) where McKeith has a “pending diploma in herbal medicine”, they say they can’t tell you anything about their students. When you contact Clayton College of Natural Health to ask where you can read her PhD, they say you can’t. What kind of organisations are these? If I said I had a PhD from Cambridge, US or UK (I have neither), it would only take you a day to find it.”

Examples of her technical reasoning

  •  “She talks endlessly about chlorophyll, for example: how it’s “high in oxygen” and will “oxygenate your blood” – but chlorophyll will only make oxygen in the presence of light. It’s dark in your intestines, and even if you stuck a searchlight up your bum to prove a point, you probably wouldn’t absorb much oxygen in there”
  •  “She says DNA is an anti-ageing constituent: if you “do not have enough RNA/DNA”, in fact, you “may ultimately age prematurely”. Stress can deplete your DNA, but algae will increase it: and she reckons it’s only present in growing cells. Is my semen growing? Is a virus growing? Is chicken liver pate growing? All of these contain plenty of DNA”
  • McKeith argues that examining and smelling faeces can give clues to bodily misfunction. – According to Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital, London, “it is impossible to diagnose medical conditions from looking at a normal brown stool.”


My New years resolution was to quit drinking, however a 30th birthday party one week in to the new year kind of made a mess of it. Drinking until 3-4am isn’t in keeping with my original resolution, but nevermind noone ever really manages to keep up with there resolutions. The next day wondering around tescos (with stinking headache) I noticed this strange bottle on the shelves.


The tag line “Hypertonic for alcohol consumers” made me curious, so I picked one up to see if it did help at all. After we got back and put the shopping into various cupboards etc… I tried this drink…


The aftertaste of rotting vomit really didn’t do it for me, Kim hated it as well so majority was that i’ll stick to water.

The Desk

I decided to re-0rganise my desk recently, so that it’s a bit easier to get to bits and bobs. However here is living proof of the working output from my ‘modified’ poweredge machine -> how-to. The silver fronted machine is the server, quad core with 4Gb of ram which is next my ‘workstation’ which is the dual core xeon with another 4Gb of ram. All in all my set up is nearly put together, under the desk which you can’t see is the gigabit switch and the NAS.

The Desk

The NAS is an Maxtor MSS II, which i’m part way through botching in order to make it more useful. The MSS II is alright but it’s really designed for small businesses that generally don’t have an IT department, just one of those members of staff who buys some daft magazine every now and then, but assumes he knows everything. With that in mind the NAS is a simple little linux box with a web front end and samba running on it. This would be alright in a simple office with a couple of xp/vista boxes but start to mix OS’s and utilise the device a little bit more than it likes and thinks will break quite quickly. The people from are always coming up with new ideas and bits of software and it’s looking like NFS and iSCSI may be not too far away.

England :|

< rant> 

Not that we needed justification, however football, rugby, tennis and motorsport..

 It’s a joke, these people earn more money in a week than an average family earns in nearly three years. I’d expect them to at least look like they were trying for the 90 minutes they have some work to do …