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So far I didn’t like Valentine’s day. My mother has her birthday the day before which made flowers for her quite expensive.

Why at all do we need a special day to celebrate the dedication to our loved ones? Wouldn’t it be better to love and show that love every day? Hm, then there would be no day to justify overpriced flowers and dinners. Bad for the economy.

Let’s see what happened in the past on Valentine’s day. In 1502, the Spanish Inquisition forced Muslims in Granada to convert to Catholicism or leave. In 1779, the battle of Kettle Creek was fought in Georgia during the American Revolutionary war. The same year James Cook was killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua. In 1804, Karadorde led the first Serbian uprising against the Ottoman empire. In 1919, the Polish-Soviet war began. …


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It was about two years ago. We lived in Paris. We had the best baguette every day. Drank good wine and had a lot of student parties. I’m self-employed and luckily I could join my fiancee on her semester abroad. It was an incredible time.

One day we decided to try a new restaurant with friends. It was a vegan restaurant. I have never been in a vegan restaurant before. It was called, “42 degrés”, but why? I checked the homepage, and it stated “the first 100% raw food restaurant in France”. Raw vegan? That sounds hardcore. “42 degrés” means nothing is “cooked” with more than 42 degrees Celsius (That’s around 107 degrees Fahrenheit). “Well, do I still want to go there?”, I said to myself. Let’s try it. …


One year ago I started developing QuizFox, and I have learned x. X stands for something gigantic I couldn’t image a year ago, and there is not a single word to describe it.

Last week we shut QuizFox down so it’s time to recap, write down and share with you. Inspired by this story from Nic Haralambous I decided to write myself some advice myself.

I know there are thousands of stories about this, but sometimes it takes story number 1001 to understand it. So, here are my learnings:

The most important part is the team

Choose your team wisely. It will make or break your startup. Make sure you can trust everyone but be aware that no one is inerrant. Talk, ask and try to understand what everyone is saying. Remember: “What we say is not what we mean and not what the other one understands.” Make sure everyone knows his tasks. Do frequent progress checks to verify all of you are on track. Depending on the team size (e.g. two) if one member is off track that might already be 50% of the whole team. …


Have you ever been stuck in a thought that drove you crazy? You didn’t know how to get out of it? The situation seemed hopeless? Your were helpless?

There is one little, but effective trick. Take your situation and look at it from the complete opposite, from 180 degrees. How does it look like? Is it still a big issue? Is there something you have ignored or missed so far?

I used this technique a lot during the divorce of a good friend. Taking the position of his wife was not a good idea. So I took his thoughts and completely reversed them. Turned them 180 degrees. What if she didn’t want to harm and break you, but wake you up and make you aware of yourself? …


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by Martin Richtsfeld

14 years ago someone told me that it takes at least 10,000 hours to become professional at something. Guess what, I didn’t understand it. Assuming I work at least 160 hours a month I will have 1,920 hours per year minus five weeks of holidays makes it 1,720. Since I cannot code 100% of my time I subtract 30% that ends up at around 1,000 hours per year.

Now, 14 years and 14,000 hours of programming later, I understand it. I have just read a phrase from Aristotle, which perfectly describes it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. …


by Martin Richtsfeld

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One year ago I bought a printer. Today I’m throwing it away. In fact, I sell it very cheap, but mentally I throw it away. I hate to throw things away shortly after I bought them, but there was no other solution. Let me tell you why.

One year ago

For the full story, I need to rewind back one year. Last January I was looking for a new printer since the driver of my old printer, a Canon, did no longer support Mac OS X Mavericks. …


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Dear Caspar, dear Melchior it is an honour for me to be here with you today. Now is the beginning of the new world. We long enough believed in our God of justice who rewards good and punishes evil. We cannot understand his signs and will. Therefore, he sends his son, to teach us and to make us believe.

This different star guided us here to celebrate the start of something new. We show the initiator of this new age our respect. We all know he has hard work to do. He was born for this. …


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Giacomo, I need some advice from you, please. I have a friend who has no luck with woman. Can you give me some advice that I can help him?

Sure, but it is strange, my dear friend, that we always need luck with woman. We are anyway unhappy with and without them. Maybe for some, it is not the destiny to have luck with women. Or maybe they are looking for the wrong ones.

Every one of us sends a particular kind of invisible energy. A tune, like an instrument. Sometimes two don’t fit together. They may even be the same type, but still do not fit together. One sounds charming and wooden. The other one hard and tinny. …


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I have just seen a documentary about the new lifestyle called “the vegan diet”. It was impressive and based on simple facts. It caught my attention. Since I always step aside the conventional path of research I make an experiment.

I’m looking beyond the promised improved health, animal saving and ethical benefits. I also leave aside the benefit that we might save the world if we consume less meat. I go straight forward to ask myself: “Who were famous vegetarians?”.

First, I need to clarify a thing. Vegan is a pretty new word hence to look for historical vegans I still need to look for vegetarians. …


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We are in one of the less frequented side streets of Nazareth. Jesus is leading us. Behind him his apostles and about ten close friends. Today is his birthday, and we are going to have a party.

I’m a critic of him. I cannot understand all the buzz around him. So, I started to become friend with him to understand what he is up to.

Jesus enters a door I never noticed before. Inside it is gloomy. A bar and a few places to sit. Jesus asks us to sit down while he prepares drinks. He hands over a wooden cup filled with water to everyone. …

About

Martin Richtsfeld

Software Engineering and Development is my art. I also write novels about my world traveling: www.martinrichtsfeld.com

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