2004-08-18

Ireland

I see Volker off at the train station heading for Dublin. Funny thing such a simple and small rail network on an island - compared to the train schedules at home this one is trivial. The day starts off as a real scorcher but turns into the usual overcast, cloudy and rainy morale drainer. And of course I get more than my daily soaking from the rain. I`m eating kilometres, trying to reach Rosslare in 200km distance before tomorrow afternoon. All ferries heading for France are booked and full and I'm hoping I'll nevertheless be able to board one in the much busier port of Rosslare.

I found a new use for my digital camera: working around the coarse scale of my map I'm taking pictures of tourist information boards and using the camera's display for navigation. Works perfectly and I have a zoomable, up to date and commented map of the region.

Of all the things I'm missing on tour I begin missing creating things. All my life I've been building stuff: tree houses, bunkers, dams, rope bridges, lego, software... As a kid I wanted to become an inventor, then an engineer (from a lego advertisement - I didn't even know how to spell the word) and now, as a software developer, I'm both. Since cycling forces me to be passive in that regard I scratch my creative itch by designing. I have several notebooks full of scribbled down software ideas and whatever real world constructions I pass I think about how I'd make them. I have designed garbage cans, bus stops, bridges, door handles, shop layouts, park benches, public toilets, hand carts, bridges, cereal boxes,... and houses. In fact I'm thinking about houses and how I wanna be living some day so much I think by now I could be a fully qualified architect ;-)

If you think stuff like a garbage can is trivial to design - think again. Trying to fulfill all requirements isn't easy at all: it has to be easy to clean, easy to empty, wind and rain proof, keep the smell inside, accept hot cigarette buts, aestetically pleasing, be inaccessible for animals, cheap to manufacture, impossible to flood or burn, hard to tip over, accept only garbage of a certain size,... Even coming up with a list of sensible requirements for seemingly simple real world gadgets like that isn't easy at all.

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