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The Revanchist

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Finally [Jan. 4th, 2005|10:20 pm]
The Revanchist
Finally I manage time to start on the last sections of my kitchen. Stripping off the old tiles and then sanding down the mortar that held them in place; sorting out the cracks and crevices the previous owners covered and repairing them. The work is going to take a few days, tucked inbetween all the other things that take time during a holiday period, but I plan on getting it finished this week right to the last coat of paint - all but one wall. One small section of the outside wall needs to be completely remade; a section that had been covered with a cupboard and is now pockmarked with holes where unnecessary cables were laid and then filled with plaster of Paris!

Looking forward to receiving the new books that I've just won through eBay too; a history of one of the Churches in the town up to 1975 amongst them; a rarity as I've found it listed in none of the catalogues I've been through, probably because it was privately published. Aside from that I am working my way through a few books on crime and youth from various aspects and experts of various standing, trying to form my own ideas and look for ways to put their suggestions into practice within our own region.

Not to forget, of course, the daily update to my Newsticker of daily events in the region. Hopefully I will be able to keep it as a daily update, my last attempt got drowned in work!

Wind and rain storms in the area but, fortunately, little damage. Typical winter weather, but not for here!
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Education pays out. [Jan. 3rd, 2005|06:36 pm]
The Revanchist
LONDON (Reuters) - A 10-year-old British girl saved 100 other tourists from the Asian tsunami having warned them a giant mass of water was on its way after learning about the phenomenon weeks earlier at school.

"I was on the beach and the water started to go funny," Tilly Smith told the Sun at the weekend from Phuket, Thailand.

"There were bubbles and the tide went out all of a sudden. I recognised what was happening and had a feeling there was going to be a tsunami. I told mummy."

While other holidaymakers stood and stared as the disappearing waters left boats and fish stranded on the sands, Tilly recognised the danger signs because she had done a school project on giant waves caused by underwater earthquakes.

Quick action by Tilly's mother and Thai hotel staff meant Maikhao beach was quickly cleared, just minutes before a huge wave crashed ashore. The beach was one of the few on the Thai island of Phuket where no-one was killed.

Her teacher, Andrew Kearney, paid tribute to his quick-thinking student.

"Tilly is a very bright, level-headed girl ... it is an incredible coincidence that our class were learning about this type of tsunami just two weeks before Christmas," he told the newspaper.
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Updating [Jan. 3rd, 2005|02:29 pm]
The Revanchist
Finally a little time to update my website with the Newsticker. Hopefully I will find time every day from now on!
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I hate it! [Jan. 2nd, 2005|02:13 pm]
The Revanchist
One of the things that I really hate, to the point of destraction, are those sites you sometimes come across which insist on trying to upload a dialer or trojan to your computer. I've just been innocently surfing the web - no porn sites, nothing even suspect - and three .exe files have attempted to access my files and find a place to live. The blessings of having both a virus checker and spysweeper cannot be extolled enough! Except that I need to go off-line and sweep the system for a whole seventeen minutes to get rid of the damn things and then restart my computer to clear a dialer out and the entire history of my surfing is gone. I don't even know where these files came from, but I certainly know where they've gone. Welcome to my waste bin, bastards!
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The year grinds on ... [Jan. 2nd, 2005|11:42 am]
The Revanchist
Practically clear blue skies, a temperature which would make spring jealous and enough wind to power half of southern Germany battering against the house. I'm looking forward to the coming week, which I can almost call a holiday week, and the chance to update my website as well as read and plan for the coming month. My first few appointments this year are on the 8th (New Year's Reception for the region as invited guest) and 10th (Chairperson's meeting for the SPD). After that the proverbial shit hits the fan, and I'll be working practically every weekend and attending roughly three different events per week.

It's times like these that I really appreciate the chance to retire to my small office at home, surrounded by my books, and just relax with a coffee and a cigar. I think this will become a set routine for me in 2005, just to ensure that I do have quality time for me to relax and allow the stress other people create to wash over and away from me.

But first I must research and prepare for the formation of our Präventionsrat on 27 January. And refresh my coffee....
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Paying attention. [Jan. 1st, 2005|01:03 pm]
The Revanchist
I must admit, I have never seen this sort of action during my wanderings through various political meetings and processes. I have the personal feeling that anyone who considers their duty to be *impractical* shouldn't be there at all, and doesn't deserve the trust of the voters who placed them in a position of responsibility.

LOS ANGELES - During public hearings, members of the City Council talk on cell phones, chat among themselves, read mail or wander around the room. A state appeals court says they should be doing something else: paying attention.

Ruling on a suit brought by the owners of a strip club, the 2nd District Court of Appeal said the 15-member council acts as a quasi-judicial body when it holds hearings and has a legal duty to listen to testimony — or risk violating citizens' due process.

In a hearing involving a strip club owner who was seeking to extend his hours, both sides "had the right to be equally heard, not equally ignored," the court wrote in a decision Thursday, ordering a new hearing.

The city has not said whether it will appeal.

Roger Jon Diamond, a lawyer for the Blue Zebra strip club, videotaped the June 13, 2003, public hearing because he believed he would get little attention from the council.

At the hearing — which also was Hawaiian Shirt Day for the council — one council member paced, deep in a cell phone conversation; three huddled in conversation; another strolled about the room.

Afterward, the council voted unanimously against extending the Blue Zebra's hours.

Dennis Zine, a councilman who appeared to be paying attention in the videotape, said he thought the city should appeal.

"It's impractical for us to sit there like students in a classroom paying attention to the professor," he said.
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A new start. [Jan. 1st, 2005|10:29 am]
The Revanchist
For some people the first of the year is the chance to start afresh; to put aside the mistakes and failures of the previous twelve months and take stock of their lives. It's the time when resolutions are made, with the best of intentions, and many promise themselves a better time ahead.

For others it is a time when they can sit at home in front of the television and drink champagne or some other alcoholic beverage and enjoy the world-wide coverage of others at various celebrations with their falling crystal ball, or fireworks or other spectacles without the need to make any promises or consider themselves in need of a change or betterment.

I'm in the lucky position that I can look back on a year full of successes. None of the events that I have organised, none of the meetings I have attended and none of the institutions, associations or societies that I am a member of has had a bad year or failed in its purpose. And this coming year should be the same.

I have already made my resolution for the new year, I probably made it last year too, but I tend to make pretty much the same resolution each and every year. I resolve to be more patient with others; to accept that other people are perhaps not quite as understanding of a situation as I would wish them to be, or that they have little time to spare because of other commitments or that they are simply not suited to the task which may have been dumped upon them. My wish for patience is coupled with the hope of resolution to keep going with the tasks I have set for myself or which I take on to achieve a successful conclusion despite any obstacles which may be placed in my way.

My appointments book is already filling up for the months ahead with various institutional meetings to reflect on the previous year, and others for the coming twelve or twenty-four months, and yet others with new formations. This year there are two new associations being set up with my assistance; the first in this month is the Präventionsrat (a local government crime prevention committee) which will begin the task of preventing the little crime we have in the area expanding as criminals and their friends are pushed out of the larger towns through better security, police presence and the mere fact that they are well known. Also planned is a quieter, humanitarian association which has already been founded as such - associations must go through a formal probationary period before they are officially accepted in a legal sense - and is approaching its formal recognition.

Added to which I have the preparations for the community elections in 2006 for both the town and the region, where I am a candidate for the opposition party - opposition in the region and town but not in the country! These local elections carry great weight for us, being one of the very few regions not burdened down by debt, as we attempt to push ourselves forward against the opposition of much larger regions and towns (who are burdened by debt) and stay on top of the pile. Much of my time here will be taken up with talking to people in the area, attending political courses and learning exactly what the position of my local party in the region is prior to being nominated for positions on the town and regional councils next year.

Aside from these minor matters, there is much to look forward to in the coming twelve months; not so much a new start for me, but a definite moving forward and onward.
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New Year Approaches. [Dec. 25th, 2004|12:16 pm]
The Revanchist
It has been a particularly busy year for me, and next year is unlilely to be any quieter as I am already filling my calnder with appointments and things to do within the Real World Community out here - the entries for April and June are coming in already!

This year I achieved much of what I had wished, and many things that I hadn't thought of this time in 2003. My hope is that 2005 will be just as successful and that we (here) will manage to achieve the many tasks set before us.

Sadly we lost one of our major movers in the last few days. Horst Werner Franke died a few days ago at the ripe old age of 72, although he was still young and fit in many ways. The work he achieved in our region, in the Senate in Bremen and elsewhere remains as a role model for many of us and will be built upon and expanded in the future.

Now it only remains for us to find new people who are prepared to actively make changes for the good of all in our region; to drag people (willingly!) out from their sitting rooms and into the open and have them put their efforts into the fight for improvement and to save many of the fine and worthwhile causes and events which have been brought to life in the last decade or so.

During 2005 I will be expanding my charity work and preparing for my candidature in the 2006 community elections as both town councillor and regional councillor; I will be helping to set up the regional Präventionsrat (Crime Prevention Council) in the coming months; I will be continuing to try and save much of our heritage both through personal effort with others and through the purchase of artifacts for my private collection and the town museum.

These are not so much New Year's Resolutions as set efforts which will happen. I have made no resolutions as such which I don't make every year. My only real resolution is - and has always been - to do better than last year. So far I have been successful; hopefully it will continue as such.
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Somewhat peeved [Nov. 25th, 2004|09:56 am]
The Revanchist
Mainly because my cellphone gave up the ghost late the night before last. It decided that a mere two years of life is enough for a cellphone, and departed without a word or a beep to the great cellphone heaven in the sky. Fortunately my cellphone contract (I don't do pay-by-call anymore) allows me to exchange cellphones without having to buy a brand new one; meaning I pay the same price a new customer would rather than several hundred Euro. Today I received my new cellphone, special delivery. Now I have to get used to the idea of having a cellphone which takes pictures, even though I only need it for talking. Hopefully that isn't another thing which can go wrong!

A busy few days this week. I am balancing out on three late evening engagements per week at the moment, in addition to a full day from six in the morning until eight at night. The first one of the week was a meeting of the chairpeople of the various local SPD groups in the region, to which I was invited as guest. One of the first things discussed was suitable candidates for the community elections which are due in 2006, and there we have the reason I was invited along. I've been to many other theoretically private meetings of the local political parties (I get invited to both sides of the divide periodically), but this was the first invitation to a high ranking meeting. The reasons are fairly clear, and I have agreed to stand as a candidate in 2006 for the post of Town Councillor and County Councillor, both of which can be held at the same time.

Tonight is the judging of the entries for this year's photographic competition. As founder of the event and chairperson of the jury I'm required to be there, and I'm looking forward to the meal which goes with it more than anything. I've already seen all the entries - unlike the voting jury members - and know which ones are likely to be picked out.

And tomorrow night is another guest evening for St Alban zur Aechten Feuer. After the guest evening I'll take a bit of time to speak privately with the chairperson of the Grundungsverein and prepare my application to join in January. I've already been approached to become a member, despite only three months preperation (we were advised, the chosen few, that is, that the preparation time takes up to a year).

I'm hoping for a free weekend this time, although I have visitors coming and a mass of paperwork to complete for both the Town and various other enterprises. A couple of hours free would be enjoyable, and not too much to ask for? Inbetween perhaps I'll have enough time to upload more of my collection to the web site (the stack is bigger than my to-read pile) and read some more of the books I received last week from Harvard in the I Tatti series.

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who does that sort of thing.
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All's well with the world - sort of. [Dec. 27th, 2003|04:19 pm]
The Revanchist
Practically every spare moment that I have, I spend in front of this computer now. The software I ordered from amazon, which was due delivery within the first two weeks of January, arrived with the last post before Christmas, and I am happily re-creating my web site in its new form.

Most of the ideas come in the middle of the night. I should do this, or that category is a must for the site. I often forget things, because I'm not going to get out of bed at three in the morning to make notes, or switch on the computer just to create a new page on the web site.

The light during the daytime is adequate. I'm out and about taking photographs for the web site too; then transferring them straight over onto the system, editing and uploading to the server. But the day is too short to take all the photographs that I wish, or need. Today I managed to get a few photographs of a former guesthouse in Hoyerhagen - which is now a master watchmaker's workshop - and of the church there, with some of the older gravestones. I've taken a few photographs within Hoya too - mainly of businesses and association buildings which will be used later where I happened to be passing by. I think that I'll need between three and four thousand photographs in all to cover reasonably accurately what I wish to have on the site.

Listing all the historical facts - the dates for certain events - took practically a day, and it isn't finished yet as I keep coming across more facts in other publications; which prevents me from listing all the publications in my library simply because I'm reading through whichever one happens to be in my hand at the time!

But it's good to be creating my web site again.
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