Day #95 Java Pizza Meeting

About two months ago IT department came with an idea of monthly meetings for Java programmers – about Java programming of course. I didn’t have an opportunity to be on first two meetings, but I took part in the third one. Presentations are prepared by volunteers, and after the presentation we have a general discussion is engaged. Very good initiative, and – as meeting name indicates – free pizza for everyone makes it even more interesting. ;-)

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Day #94 Evening cooking

Today there was an idea to prepare together something Polish – the decision was dumplings with poppy seeds and apple pie. The first problem was flour – nobody knew how is “wheat flour” in french so accidentally we bought buckwheat flour. Even dark color did not seem to be suspicious unless somebody with proper kitchen knowledge looked at it. Second problem was dirty table, but quickly I figured out that the other side of table was clean, so we knead the dough after reversing the table. All together there was a lot of fun, and the dishes were delicious.

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Day #93 CERN Language school

It appears that CERN is like small country, it has own fire brigade, medics, gas station, restaurants, hotels, kindergarten and of course language school. Well, this is not a big surprise, but one thing today recalled my memories from childhood… There is a language laboratory, where we have lessons from time to time – headphones, recordings, etc. but! The teacher voice carrier is cassette tape. :-) Really, it’s at least 12 years since I last couldn’t find the song, because I didn’t remember on which side of tape it was. Nice to come back to those times for a moment… (Of course in spite of cassette tapes all the stuff here looks quite new and is doing it’s job very well.)

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Day #92 CERN “back door”

There several entrances to CERN, each opened in different hours, for different purpose, even in different countries. ;-) Somebody told me that there is a door without a guard opened 24h a day. It’s situated by the reception, and you need only your CERN ID card to get in – of course the entrance is monitored, and you’re not allowed to let inside anybody else than you.

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Day #91 Parking “timeout”

In Switzerland there are parking signed with kind of clock icon. This means that you need to have a special paper clock which should be set for the time you left your car at a parking – that’s because the parking has a limit on parking time, so police (or something) can check if you’re not staying for too long. I think I saw something like that in Poland, but it’s rather rare – probably because people in Poland are not considered to be as trustworthy as here. Another reason which comes to my mind is that we have two kinds of parkings in Poland: “nobody-care” parkings and payed parkings, so either nobody care for you car and time you stay or you pay for your time so the longer the better. ;-)

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Day #90 New year’s salary increase

New year’s salary was a bit higher than previous ones. I don’t actually know because of what, but according to rumors this is a normal situation every year. The reason of that is inflation (also a rumor) – so theoretically the value of salary stays the same (well, I don’t know much about finance, so this is a guess). ;-) As it happens in real life if there is an increase, there is also a decrease. With new year an increase with insurance and pension found come so the salary is lower after all (thankfully just a few francs). Life is brutal…

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Day #89 Ski Club CERN outing #4 – Les Gets

Last but one of ski club outings has took place today. I feel more and more freely every week – it was a good idea to take outings with a ski instructor. Even though I don’t ski like a pro (yet ;-) ), I know how to do it properly now. A lot of things seem to be easier.

About the place itself. It was warmer this week and a bit lower so there were places with very little snow – especially in lower parts of slopes – but snowing machines did their job and it wasn’t that bad. What is good about this place it that there are very beautiful tight slopes going through the forest – almost between trees,  which is a very nice view. Nonetheless in my opinion Les Contamines – where I was last week – is better, it’s situated higher and has wider slopes in general.

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Day #88 International Evening

Today we organized “International Evening” inviting people from different countries. Everybody was asked to prepare some dish, which is famous in his country and choose three well known songs. There were flags for each country and everyone was asked to speak a bit in his mother tongue. Evening was successful, food was tasty and people very nice – there were more guests than we expected. It’s very nice initiative and it looked like everybody enjoyed it much – maybe we should repeat this event in future…

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Day #87 French course timetable

As French lessons take place during working hours, some people place timetable on the door to their office in case somebody is looking for them, so that they know where and for how long the person actually is. I’ve prepared also such a timetable with my French lessons hours – actually again this is one of my stupid ideas, so guess which one is mine (on the photo). ;-)

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Day #86 CERN kindergarten

Although I’m not interested in the topic of kindergarten (yet ;-) ) it’s definitely worth mentioning. In fact this is the first time in my life I see something like that – big company has its own kindergarten, where employees can leave their children for the working time. So far I could see (in Poland) that there is rather a problem with taking care of children (expensive nanny, lack of kindergartens, etc.) and here it’s in one place with the job. This is really nice, when people can pick up their children for the lunch time to eat together in one of CERN restaurants. :-)

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