The blog of DAVID KOUŘIL

We just continue Vienning

This week’s blog post is also coming out late because I really didn’t feel like writing anything on Sunday, and I didn’t realize that I’m going to be at a conference from Monday till Wednesday.

I have a credit card y’all! I was having problems with my bank (debit) card last week (could make an online payment, could withdraw money) so I stopped by at my favorite Erste bank to see what’s up. While I was there, I also applied for a credit card. I’ve never had one in Czech Republic and from what I’ve read on the internet, it’s a little bit safer to pay with. Plus, some services (car rentals for example) want you to have credit card, not a debit card. The card came after two days, followed by the pin code the day after. So now I have a credit card and I feel very mature.

I went to a talk of Felix Krause on Wednesday. It was very nice! I’ve watched tons of talks like this (people talking how they’re doing what they’re doing) on youtube, but I have never gone to one. I guess that’s because not that many people I’m interested in come to Brno. I really liked it, it motivated me. I’ve been struggling to find a direction which I should take in my side projects and one of the things Felix said was that you should keep your eyes open on the things other people . You might be doing something, but maybe it’s more useful to develop something you’ve created to help you build that initial thing. I guess you never know where you’re gonna end up. What you need to do SOMETHING.

As I was saying, I’m having troubles choosing what should I focus on. I really want to make tools for myself. I want to learn how to make them on iPhone, because that’s what I see myself using all the time and it could be useful to use it more for work. On the other hand, I also want other people to be able to use what I make. And the third point is that I want to make some side money out of this. I think the money part should really be the last thing on my list. I really believe that if you make something good, the money will follow. But still, I think I have to keep that in my mind, because if I don’t, I might as well end up being an open source maintainer who gets zero income out of what he’s doing while it takes a full time job to do that.

I’m going to a conference from Monday to Wednesday. It’s actually my first time going to any conference (I have a poster there). So I hope that it’ll be fun.

After I come back, I really want to get an Austrian sim card with mobile internet. There’s an option to get a sim card which is not prepaid and nor contract. You just pay each month and get minutes/sms/MBs and when you want to stop this you just stop paying. This doesn’t exist in Czech Republic as far as I know.

First week living together in Vienna

First week of both of us living in Vienna—Gabi was back in Brno for 2 days, I went for a beer, we had a fight, and after we made up we cooked a lot of delicious food. That about sums it up.

The work week flew by very fast it seems to me. It’s actually really hard to get something done and it’s very easy to get distracted with little tasks. I have a lot of those.

Gabi was in Brno because of work so she didn’t really enjoy much of Vienna at the beginning. It really isn’t the same without her. Even in a nice apartment with all our stuff. And I swear, if I lived alone, I would have the nastiest apartment ever. I don’t have the slightest motivation to clean up when I’m all by myself.

On Thursday, we went for a beer with VisGroup. It’s fun, but I always feel so miserable the next day. I couldn’t eat anything and I was tired. Not a good idea to drink on Thursday. I don’t really drink very often so I need very little to get in the mood but I have a really hard time stoping at the right time. And also…peer pressure.

At least the weekend was peaceful. We cleaned the apartment, cooked, I did some work on my iOS project. We also went on a little ride along Donau on our bikes on Saturday. And on a walk to Augarten on Sunday (a rainstorm caught us on the way home).

I was losing my mind over the weekend a little bit. It felt like whenever I wanted to do something, I couldn’t because of technical issues:

  • I tried to buy a washing machine—my card didn’t work (“technical error”).
  • I tried to see what’s up with my Jahreskarte (public transport card)—couldn’t load the page, technical outage.
  • I had to submit a final version of a poster to a conference submission system—no way to do so, the review not even visible.
  • I wanted to login into UPC administration for the first time—credentials in the email instructions didn’t work, couldn’t reset it. I had to create a new account, for which then I didn’t know what the username is (it’s the email! thought it’s written nowhere!)

I was only able to resolve the UPC thing eventually, which means that I have other little errands to do next week…uhhh.

We are now completely moved to Vienna

Wow, it’s the first time I’ve missed putting out a post on Sunday. The reason is that I was just completely exhausted yesterday.

We spent all weekend with moving. On Saturday, it was another trip with a rental van, only this time without our friend’s help and with the rest of ALL our stuff. You don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to physically, with your own hands, move each and every one of them from one location to another. We also bought a couch, which meant we had to somehow get 60 kg to the first floor. But we managed!

We went back to Brno to return the van, relax for a while, and sleep there so that we could hand over the apartment in Brno. There was also a lot to clean still.

I would say that we are very clean people. We can take care of the place we live in. That’s why we were pretty angry that we had to pay for a kitchen unit doors under the sink because it got wet and wrinkled slightly. Maybe I’m wrong. But I think we treated the apartment as best as we could and this was just an effect of actually living in the apartment. It was some kind of chipboard or something like that BTW. Something that almost wrinkles when you just breathe on that. I don’t think you can expect something made from the cheapest materials to last forever. But I don’t know, maybe I’m the asshole…

Oh no, it’s completely ruined!

But anyway, we handed the old apartment over, put the rest of the stuff into Gabi’s mum’s car, and went for lunch to her and her partner’s apartment. After that they took us and our stuff to Vienna. The rest of the Sunday was spent putting our things into places and cleaning. We also finally found out where our storage compartment in the cellar is. The door sign was “parteienkeller” which translated by Google Translate was funny—”party cellar”. It’s pretty nice to have something like that, in this previous apartment we had to keep everything in the apartment. We were lucky to have the bikes down in the bike room. The bike room there was able to only take 4 bikes. And there were 12 apartments. Here in the apartment in Vienna the bike room is HUGE. I guess it’s not surprising when you think about how many people use bikes for every day commute here.

The new apartment look awesome in my opinion. Even now when we are not done unpacking yet, it’s getting cozy. I like that. I can only hope that we are going to like it here. It’s been pretty scary and emotionally taxing, this whole procedure of moving. At this point, I’m glad we are doing this. I’m glad that we are trying this big scary and outside-of-comfort-zone thing. Now I just hope that it doesn’t turn out being a bad move.

April weather

I have a hard time writing something this week.

It’s really cold these days. I think I’ve heard that there is a wave of cold air from the north coming and that’s easy to believe. It’s been hailing one day! It’s not very pleasant to be outside and therefore there was not much happening this week.

On Monday we had a holiday (Easter Monday) and we basically just went for a short walk because it was so windy. Other than that we spent the day laying around. Gabi left on Tuesday morning and it was just me again for the rest of the week. But that’s not gonna stay that way for long! Just one more week.

I’m getting more comfortable in the city every day. I figured out the fastest way to work with just one transfer. The bus stop is few steps from our apartment and the station of Ubahn where I get off is similarly close to the work. I’m nailing the conversations with the cashiers (“grüß gott”, “danke shön”).

We need to go through one more weekend of moving. We will be finally handing over the apartment in Brno so we need to move the rest of our stuff to Vienna. It’s probably going to be pretty hard to coordinate and execute but at least that’s the last thing. After this we both will be living in Vienna.

I was thinking about my goals and “mission statement” of what I want to accomplish actually. Right now, I’m just having fun learning stuff, studying whatever seems interesting to me. I, of course, have this goal of becoming better person—I want to be emotionally stable, calm in high pressure situations, knowledgeable, be the guy who’s able to help people, contribute. But that’s just what I think growing up is about. I always had big ambitions. I knew that I’m going to be successful somehow. I never knew how, but I was just sure that I will find success. My problem however is that I feel like I should already be working on my success. Not to say that I’ve been failing up to this point—I’m very proud that I was able to get my master’s degree and get a job at a university in another country. I want to achieve more however. I want to take control of my life. I want to do things my way and be sure that my actions are what influences the results.

Two things kinda triggered these thoughts. First, I watched La La Land with Gabi. The struggle of becoming great and achieving something is the theme of Damien Chazelle’s films Whiplash and La La Land (I loved both). Another was this DOOM documentary. I don’t know what’s so interesting in this for me. But I really wished that I had the skills needed to work on something like that game.

That being said, I’m still going to continue doing what I’m doing. I’m starting to get really into Swift and iOS development. I really like that all the info is basically out there, either in official apple documentation, or in tutorials on the web. The thing about iOS tutorials is funny—everybody wants to make money on that. There’s so many people explaining how to do simple stuff and marketing their books/paid tutorials. I don’t know if that’s the only way people make money from iOS development. But I just want to create apps, tools for myself, and maybe games. I want to produce as much as I want. And I will!

We now have the Internet at the apartment (and Gabi’s visit in Vienna)

Many people at work already are, or are preparing to go, at a conference, which means that it has been kind of a slow work week. It’s also what they call “first Easter week” (Friday was Karfreitag, not really a public holiday but nobody worked I think).

As soon as I got to work on Tuesday, I noticed that in the online package tracker it was written that my package from UPC (the modem) should be delivered that day. I was expecting a text message but I didn’t get any. I went home right away and waited. Finally, around 3 pm, a GLS van arrived and I got our UPC router. I think the apartment got like twice as cosier as soon as I loaded a webpage!

While I was waiting, I thought it would be a good time to try out our oven. Therefore—mini pizzas!

When I started talking about the food, this is Zimtschnecke. I was hyping it up to Gabi all the time last year when I was in Vienna. You would say I overhyped it. But no, Zimtschnecke delivered. Gabi said it was the best thing ever.

Gabi came on Thursday night. She was supposed to come at 7 pm, but the bus was close to 2 hours late. We went to a walk around Donaukanal, that’s where the title photo is from. It looks very cool, but it doesn’t smell as good (too much pee for our taste).

My parents visited us on Saturday. They’ve never been in Vienna and me and Gabi felt a little bit bad that we didn’t take them anywhere. It’s a pretty long drive (3 hours or so) so they couldn’t stay for the whole day. The weather also wasn’t very nice and we needed to pick some basic stuff in a store (like trash can) which they even bought for us. So we kinda used them. But I think that there will be many other opportunities for them to visit us, maybe even stay for more days, and we will be able to take them around Vienna.

It’s been very windy on Sunday, but we went on a walk along Donau and then to Floridsdorfer Wasserpark (which is like a park with lakes, very cool)

That’s it. We still have free Monday tomorrow together thanks to Easter holiday. I’m not sure what we will do.

First wedding in my life

My third week in Vienna. I had one main task for this week—prepare a lecture for a Computer Animation course. I’ve been assigned the topics of Kinematic Linkages and Motion Capture.

I have no expertise in either one of these. But we have been following one book so I tried to make myself a little crash course on these topics. I really tried. But I don’t think I did a very good job. I’m not really a mathematician by heart and I had maybe two days to learn everything and prepare the lecture. This meant that I could only talk on a very high level, not really going into detail because I just didn’t have any depth of knowledge. Even though that lecture probably sucked (and I finished very early), I think I did what I could, and I’ve learned things that I can improve upon next time.

This week I also ordered internet connection for our new apartment. It has been a cool experience to not have it for a while. I like that when I went home, I wasn’t working. I couldn’t. I couldn’t answer things on Skype. I couldn’t answer things on email. I couldn’t catch up on stuff that I didn’t manage to do throughout the day. I was at home and I was either relaxing or working on something personal offline. On the other hand, I couldn’t be very productive. When I needed to do something (like the internet connection order) I had to wait for the other day. That’s a downside.

On Saturday we went to a wedding. I’ve never been to one before. Our connection to the newlyweds was that Gabi went to school and was friends with the bride. So we weren’t pivotal guests. I’d say we had a pretty good time! Made some new friends. I think the couple can be very happy with how well everything went. We didn’t stay very long, left at maybe midnight. We slept at this old house in an old bed and I had an allergic reaction in the morning. I forgot my meds but we went on a walk around the town, to get some fresh air.

When we got home on Sunday, we were still so tired. So we just had a pretty relaxed Sunday, even ordered burgers from BURGER INN which was an excellent decision. Had a brownie too.

All in all, it was a little bit more relaxed week compared to the last one. I was spending a bit more time outside the office. I really look forward to the spring, when Gabi’s going to be with me in Vienna already and it’s going to be warmer again.

First week in Vienna

This was my first week working in Vienna and living in our new apartment.

I picked a very busy time to start working there. On Friday night there was a deadline for the VIS 2017 conference, so almost everybody was working on a paper, including me. I was spending most of my days at the institute. We don’t have the internet at the apartment yet. I was just sleeping there, watching the two movies I have on my laptop (Good Will Hunting and Dirty Dancing), and assembling IKEA furniture. I haven’t even cooked or eaten anything there.

It’s so empty it’s sad. We still have a lot of stuff in Brno and I’m just too used to living with somebody. I’m really looking forward to when Gabi’s gonna move as well.

I still like Vienna. My commute to work is not the shortest (30-40 minutes) but I don’t mind. The sight of the city is still new and exciting to me so I like that I get to see more of Vienna.

We submitted the paper (I was second author, Peter did most of the work) on the night from Friday to Saturday. There’s a tradition of drinking after conference deadline which means I didn’t sleep that night. I successfully made the 6:55 bus to Brno and then proceeded to sleep through the rest of the Saturday.

Next week would probably be a little more relaxed but I need to give a lecture on Thursday.

Vienna apartment moving, graduation ceremonial = pretty full week

I haven’t had a week this busy in a while. I’m exhausted.

On Monday and Tuesday not much has happened. I was working at home and preparing for what was coming.

On Wednesday I had an alarm set to 4am. I had to go to Vienna for the apartment handover. I probably could have gone with a later bus but I wanted to be sure that I’m not late. I got the apartment keys and then worked at the institute for the rest of the day. I got home around 10pm. Student agency (or RegioJet? I don’t know) bus between Brno and Vienna is like my second home.

On Thursday, we both had our graduation ceremonial. Unfortunately, since we had different study programmes, we didn’t go at the same time. Gabi’s was at 10:00 and mine at 12:30. I am still not sure how I felt about the ceremonial. On one hand, I’m still very proud of us, mainly Gabi because she really worked hard at the end even though people were telling her to not try to finish this semester. But on the other hand, it feels so long ago! My mind is already set on a completely different thing. But I’m glad I did it for my family. I guess that’s why you do these kinda things anyway.

We went for a lunch/dinner afterwards. It was the first time that our families had met. There wasn’t much time so I don’t thing they talked that much. But it all went well I think.

Friday was again a little bit slower. I was planning how we’re going to move some of our stuff to Vienna. The apartment is unfurnished so we had to get some basic furniture there. I knew we’re going to need a bed and some storage. On Friday we were looking at IKEA and finally deciding what we’re going to buy. It turned out that it would be better if we rented a van, bought the stuff in IKEA in Brno, put some of my stuff into the van as well, and drive to Vienna.

That’s exactly what we did on Saturday. It was one of those days where many things needed to click. The van had to be picked up. IKEA had to have all the stuff we wanted. I needed to be able to find a parking spot close to our apartment in Brno. The car had to survive the drive to Vienna. We had to find a parking spot close the the apartment in Vienna.

To some people, this is probably nothing. I know that there’s a solution for everything. But I’m still learning how to do things in life. I’m still learning how to handle everything. All in all, it was stressful, but everything worked out great. I am probably too superstitious but it seems that everything is going well in life lately. It’s never easy, but it all usually ends well. I’m not complaining, I’m just aware.

I have to thank our friend Miloš who went with us and helped us with the moving. I can’t even imagine having to do this with just me and Gabi.

Sunday was a rest day. We just returned the van in the morning, went to get groceries and then came home and slept.

So this was my, kinda crazy, week. I’m going to Vienna tomorrow. We have a paper deadline on Friday.

Honestly, this all is very scary to me. Moving to a different country is something that I’ve always wanted. But it doesn’t come easily. Yesterday when we got back to our half-empty apartment in Brno, I got very emotional. A lot of has happened here, both good and bad. But it was our home for a year. We got used to it. We knew how to sneak around the bed in a way where you didn’t hit your kneecap. We knew that when you went into the closet you needed to be fast because the light sensor works weird. We even kinda learned how to cook in such a little space, we learned that we need to do it together, help each other.

Moving is hard. Moving to a different country is even harder. Moving to a different country when you don’t speak the language…pffff. But I hope that we will work it out. I hope that this will end up being a good decision and that we both figure out how we want to live our lifes, what we want to do.

I know that I can do it all if Gabi is with me. Cause, ultimately, my home is where she is.

This close to moving

We were at our friends’ yesterday for a desk game and drinking which means that today was a very slow day. I really can’t drink. I’m completely dysfunctional the next day.

I’m “enjoying” my last days in Brno. My main tasks for this week have been to get the money in order. I needed to issue a few big international transfers and also make sure that I know of everything that I need to pay before moving. We paid our rent in Brno for April which means that we shouldn’t need to pay anything here. For the new apartment in Vienna, I’ve had to pay the deposit, agent provision, contract fees and some other fee which I’m not completely sure what for it was.

Funny thing—I’ve made the mistake of sending the money first via SWIFT payment. It took almost a week before the money arrived on my Austrian account. And it cost something like 13 euros. For the second payment I was wiser and I did it through SEPA and it not only arrived the next day, but it also cost maybe 1 euro. Lesson learned I guess. I get that there might be differences if I was sending the money to an account in some “exotic” currency, but for CZK <-> EUR transfers there’s no reason to use SWIFT. The internet banking could notify you of this…

I’ve been to Vienna on Tuesday for meetings again, I don’t think anything worth mentioning happened. Just a thought—I will need to be more efficient with my time when I’m there. There are meetings and things that I will be required to attend and I can’t afford to lose much time besides these.

This week I’ve really slacked off on the workouts. My monthly gym pass has expired on 14th. I didn’t want to buy another and I didn’t want to buy one-entry tickets as well so I haven’t been in the gym this week at all. I’m actually pretty upset about this. I’ve done a few bodyweight workout and I guess it’s better than nothing, but still, I want to lift weights. I’ve been working out pretty consistently for a few months and I don’t want it to go to waste. My plan for now is to continue with bodyweight workouts at home and try to find a solid gym in Vienna as soon as possible.

The next week is going to be a pretty full one, probably the busiest I’ve been in a while. On Wednesday I will be going to Vienna for the apartment handover. On Thursday we have “promoce”, which is something like a graduation ceremonial. Then on the weekend we will be moving some of our stuff to the new apartment. The plan is to rent a van in Brno, go to IKEA to buy a bed and mattress, drive to Vienna, dump the stuff there and go back to Brno to return the van. We’ll see how it goes.

Overcomming the “yeah, but…” attitude

I have no idea if “yeah, but…” attitude is a real thing. Maybe it is, maybe not, maybe under some other name. For me, it’s that feeling when you see someone’s result and immediately start thinking about the “buts”.

Like when some 18 y.o. kid on youtube puts out a video of him traveling around the world, with footage from drones and stuff, and you immediately think: “yeah cool, but he’s got to have filthy rich parents”. Or when you see somebody’s drawing and think to yourself: “yeah that’s cool, but what is art even good for?”

Maybe I’m the only one who’s like that. Maybe I’m the only mean, jealous, and envious asshole. But I don’t think so. I’m Czech and I believe that most of the people in Czech republic are like that. It’s in our nature to be haters. It’s a defense mechanism and it’s contagious.

I want to overcome that. I’m making a conscious effort to not be that guy. Someone else’s win is not necessarily my loss. I am trying to appreciate people doing stuff, working. Sure, there are people who are chasing after the low-hanging fruit. Following the trends. Faking it. And that’s alright. These people will probably not win in the long game. And even if they do…who cares?

I will always appreciate people who work on their things. I am attracted to people with skill. People who are confident in their abilities. And I’m working on being one of them.