onsdag, august 16, 2006

Fly me to Prague

So we went to Prague for vacation. 6 days only – reasons told in an earlier blog. I had somehow thought of Prague being just another big city but I was wrong in many ways.
In fact Prague is such a lovely city and one of the most romantic places in the world – not beating Florence and Venice of course – but probably Paris.
The architecture is somewhat a clash between stiles and ages but blends lovely into your eyes as pleasure everywhere. In many ways it is cozy like a children tale – to be foolish it gives me a little of that feeling like Aalesund gives me. One other distinguish moment of this city is: they take art very seriously. Everywhere you go – wherever you are – you will see art – new as well as old – all styles. Many cities could learn something here.
We went to see a black light theater – a specialty of Czech Republic. It is some kind of special effects play with lights, darkness, colors and dance mixed into miming theatres without words. Very impressive – and I would like to see it again one day. We saw a play with a mad inventor that had made a massive door portal to the dream world (or so I think it was) and where one of the audience (pretending to be anyway) was the one reaching this world.

We also went to see Kutna Hora. A silver mining town – once almost as powerful as Prague – but once the mines were exhausted – the town was as well. It has an interesting ossuary – skeletons from before the black plague had been dug up to make space for all the fallen by pestilence. These skeletons were first put in pyramids. Later in 1870 one dude got the idea of use some of the pyramids as art. So he made some decorations and sculptures of skulls and bones – even the main lamp is a massive artwork consisting of dead peoples remains.

Another interesting place to see was Konopiste Castle. The Castle own by Franz Ferdinand. The guy that “hunted” 300.000 animals in his life. He was also presumably the first in Europe to install central heating, electricity and a modern bath – just like you and I have today. Then of course he did marry a low status girl against the emperors will – after all he was heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne. So he wasn’t allowed to bring his wife on official business – at least not in the beginning. Later on they were assassinated in Sarajevo – which in turn triggered the first world war. Franz has left us something else that is nice: his own beer. The brewery is fully operational today and it is some excellent fresh beer that gives you and us instant happiness. Way to go Franzie

Every place you go – take the boat trip. We did go for the jazz-boat. And even if I am no jazz fan, and they even played traditional jazz – I was impressed. The band played really well – but the food couldn’t match up.

Other than that it was extremely hot. And wasps was everywhere – very irritating when at all our meals (of course outside). A few wasps had to pay with their life.

I am also really impressed by the metro system in Prague (as well as bus and tram). In Norway they brag about that you only have to wait 5 minutes to the next one (which only applies for rush hours). In Prague you only wait 2 and a half minute for the next one – sometimes 3 minutes. Also the system is very easy built up and easy to understand even for retards.

The food? I am not all too impressed by Czech food or drinks. They have some really strange tastes. I did like the idea of having the Goulash soup served inside a bread. And I did enjoy the special duck they have there. So go for the duck! Also the honey wine is also ok.

One other night we did go for a folklore evening. This was kind of boring I would say as we do have mostly the same at home here in Norway – and the show including the food became to “tight”. I would probably have enjoyed a much more “local” (meaning – non tourism) folklore evening.

Video editing havoc

I’ve been editing videos for some time now. Just now I have been dealing with one from my vacation in Prague. I always seem to get the same shitty problems with video editing:
- Unstable software crashing at weird times
- Unsupported codecs
- Decoding is a nightmare
- Problems with audio synch
- Other instability problems
Now I have tried out most of the packages there is both on Windows as well as Mac OS X (I have to admit I have not tried any LinuX ones so if anyone know a LinuX video editing program that irons out these problems – let me know) and all of them more or less have these issues. It drives me crazy – how can companies charge 1000 buck for a program that doesn’t work properly?
If it was a car – you couldn’t.
I remember in the old C64 days that one could be working for ours and then you would lose all your work because saving it to floppy would fail – and yes we might have came a long way today – but still we have shitty problems.
I am not going to stop edit movies in the first – but I am really looking for something to stop all these problems