Electronic Diary

August 25, 2004 There will be another concert today; don't know yet what they are playing. I think that "Sancho Pansa" should be replaced by "Pancho Vila" in an earlier post. I brought the car to the garage. Radio Announcer Z said "Turk orchestra" (as in Turkey). But it must have been "Turku", with the finnish conductor, etc.

August 19, 2004 Concert at the Linder. Half empty. They played quite badly, but better than last week. Tuning: They get an "A" from the piano, just once, and then they don't tune to it, but to what they just used to have. So the net result is a compromise, and different sections do not hear each other on stage, but I in the audience do, and sometimes it hurts. More care should be taken on that aspect. In the second half, I had the opportunity to watch the musicians quite closely. When people get older, they dry out, so to speak. Is it just the skin? The hormons? The body fat? Same dutch conductor, different soloist, a piano player, played Sam Barber's not well known concerto. Before the adagio. In such a slow piece, tuning is especially important. Then Beethoven's sixth symphony. Different seating, celli and 2nd violins exchanged, and basses to the left. Don't know why. Often not together, sometimes I feared that it would dissolve. I think that there is no sponsor this season, at least no signs on stage. Cello player Ann-Pete (or Peta-Ann?) reappeared.
On my way to the office: Signs to the toilet and to applied maths very close on top of each other. Looks hilarious, to me at least.
About what I saw in China: why must an elderly and quite bald man grow his grey hair into a thin ponytail? Some chinese mathematicians apparently read my papers and find them inspiring. Some local heroes call them "number crunching". Well...

August 12, 2004 Concert at the Linder. Half empty. They played quite badly, to be honest. Tschaikovsky was replaced by Grieg, probably they had no time to practice. Then some cello variations by Tschaikovky. Soloist a bald man. Conductor likewise, but both still quite young. Names: I don't know. Cello player Ann-Peta (I believe) left the stage in the middle of Brahms' first symphony. A health problem? They play now with 5 basses, probably, because there is a young woman with them. Very short, bass also smaller. Different grip of the bow from one bass player. Good news on the radio: Nicholas Nicolaidis and Richard Cock will do it again (I don't know what type of music). (I remember a movie "Sancho Pansa reitet wieder". And "Buchta promoviert wieder".) Again no electricity at home, for some time.

August 11, 2004 Yesterday no electricity for 13 hours! They promised to finish the works at 4 p.m., but it was 10 p.m. Great! On Hongkong airport, at the toilet, one man took his artificial construction out of his mouth. There was only one tooth on it, and lots of metal, to hold it. I think that this is a very cheap and unpleasant solution, since for one tooth missing, one could have a bridge (crowns on the 2 neighbours). Pop singer Falco, when he was still poor, had such a thing, with 2 teeths on it. He was less than 20 at the time. Now I must get a ticket for Vienna, and go to the dentist again, etc.

August 8, 2004 I visited the Nankai university in Tianjin. It was marvellous! South African airways to Hongkong, then the wonderful Dragon Air to Peking. That is the old writing of Bejing. Will they say Bejing-Ente? And the Zigeunerschnitzel will be the Sinti&Roma-Schnitzel? c'mon! I was picked up by Student Barry and driven to Tianjin. There was an impressive array of guests: George Andrews, Richard Askey, Stephen Milne, Richard Stanley, Peter Paule, Alain Lascoux, Toufik Mansour, etc. Sun, the one with the curious identity and the twin brother in Canada, was also there. The concept of "brother and sister" does not mean much to the young generation, with the one child policy. Soon, "uncle and aunt" will be likewise meaningless. But, sure, it is very crowded in China. Bill Chen created something wonderful: some 50 graduate students. The conference was for the 75th birthday of Jim Louck, who is an extremely nice and wise gentleman, also in very good health, apparently. Always lots to eat, unfortunately. First evening: chinese shadow show. Traditional, with some noisy background music. Second evening: great conference dinner, even more to eat. third evening: chinese artists show in a theatre on campus. Quite impressive. We got a CD, with all the talks and the show. They took everything on camera. All the students had to help. Imagine our students! Oh, boy! Rosena Du was the main secretary. In february, there was another conference, with another student doing that job. They were all extremely friendly and appreciated that we were there. Joel Stein spoke about Peter Doubilet, who moved to radiology and became a professor at Harvard. I got a free T-shirt from JS. And a painting as a fairwell present, from the organizers. And... Oh, how wonderful. Coming home was a bit of an experience. Apparently, some heavy traffic jam on the highway; we would never have made it, so we took a train to Bejing, and then a taxi, and then I run. A student went with me, just to assist! Wow! I made it, but barely. But then the SA plane was delayed for 17 hours! We had to leave the plane, and move to the Regal hotel on Hongkong airport. I did not care too much. It was the new airbus! And the aircondition dripping heavily just on me. So I changed the seat. Free lunch in the hotel; great food! I always admire these thin people who eat so much! One such girl was sitting nearby. So I arrived around midnight. Heavy customs controls, because of Hongkong, I believe. My car started, but traffic jam (accident). Then I missed the right continuation, to the M2 (tired, poor eyesight at night,...) and erred around through Germiston. Eventually I came home, around 1.45 in the morning. CDs cost 10 yuan, a bit more than 1 dollar. I took 35. Including: A demo from Yngwie, when he was 17. He could play well already, but these terrible vocals!
Our TALG paper was accepted, and Mark Ward sent a new draft. I must work now feverishly on several papers!

And: no internet connection, but I am not surprised anymore.

July 12, 2004 Saturday: cinema (Callas forever), in Hyde Park. Sunday: Elijah, performed by Nicholas Nicolaidis!, then dinner at the Breakwater Commons. Then sleep.

July 10, 2004 Anybody remembers Asha Putley? This indian singer was produced in Germany. She had a minor hit, with lyrics like "... you're 21 and I'm 34; sleep, baby, sleep,...". Yes, some mature women fancy young boys, but even in the song it was clear to her that the fun doesn't last long.
The movie Fahrenheit 9/11 isn't out here yet; let us try something else.

July 9, 2004 Wonderful dinner with visitor Clemens Heuberger and the Knopfmachers in Rosebanks! I am sure that all those who cannot visit Wits are now jealous!
Yesterday I had a stunning idea for a project for a post-doc. Success and several papers almost guaranteed. But it is not easy to get competent people to work at Wits with me. Well, that's life. Maybe other opportunities will come.

July 8, 2004 Still pain, but better sleep.
Former visitor Dr. Cristea has turned down an offer from Wits to work here as a postdoc under my supervision. Stay tuned for more details to come.

July 7, 2004 Pain! Cramps! I went to the young indian doctor. We agreed on food poisoning, and I eat tablets against it. She was very sweet and even offered to button my shirt after the examination! I was embarrassed and did it myself. It is not as severe as what I had in Gdansk, but still no fun.

July 6, 2004 Sick! Pain in colon, head, joints. Meningitis? No appetite for some days now. Appointment at the dentist, 4.30.
6.00: Pain! Must go back to the dentist next wednesday, 17.45. See you all there!

July 5, 2004 A wise old man told me that I should not care for people since they would not care for me (on average!). I might add: and don't expect thanks if you do something for them. Dental problems; well, at my age, everything crumbles. Nice food at the Thundergun, but I could not eat much.

July 2, 2004 What would you think about a woman who normally liked soft and comfortable shoes both at home and at work, who suddenly sits in her office for the whole day in her dancing shoes?? a) she became crazy b) the shoes hurt, but she hopes that they become better when they are used more often c) she likes the shoes d) she likes the dancer and wants to be reminded of him during the whole day.
Visitor Clemens Heuberger arrived just before. Simon will arrive in 10 minutes.

June 30, 2004 I can handle the cold period better this year. I did some quick Maple computations related to a paper of Hirschhorn that I saw yesterday. I also work, but too slowly, I know, on a joint project with the good Guy Louchard. Otherwise, not much is happening. I need a visa for China and do not know where to go to to get it. I have got a new heater. They are cheap. The real cost is for electricity.

June 23, 2004 I was in Berkeley. Oh, unfortunately, there was a lot of Information Theory at the AofA meeting, which I did not like at all! There are a lot of other bad experiences, not suitable for this bulletin. A book about some Arno Schmidt fans has appeared, my name mentioned in it. Rainer Kemp died, and I will be involved in an article about his work. Another power failure in my house during the night. It happens now quite often, unfortunately. Poor Helmut. The San Francisco Airport is quite nice: clean and easy to understand. Phala Tours does not exist anymore, at least at the airport. I had a bad experience at the steep hills of Berkeley: bad bruises, and a permanent fear to fall down. Don Knuth gave a talk on notation, but I had seen that one already on the web. Persi Diaconis was around. Another researcher greatly disappointed me with his talk. I cannot mention the name. The hotel gave us 15 minutes free internet access each day, but no aircondition. I saw 2 movies: The terminal and Troy. I did an intelligence test, and the outcome is "highly intelligent". Good.

June 3, 2004 Very nice concert yesterday: Anton Nell played Brahms, first concerto, then Beethoven, Eroica. The coughing of people during the concert was a scandal. At Wits, a lock was changed. Nobody knows who gave the order. Nobody has a key. It is as in a Kafka novel. And every evening, security people want to lock me in my office, I have to convince them not to do it. Bizarre...

May 26, 2004 Very bad dream: The russian police caught me, and put me into a train with obscure destination. The official reason: I had an illegal xeroxcopy of the song "Wei3e Rosen aus Athen..." with me...
Roberto and I walked the dogs on sunday; strange events. Today: prize giving ceremony, and concert at the Linder (Bartok viola concerto).

May 21, 2004 Concert at the Linder, Beethoven piano concerto 4, Shostakovich, Symphony 10. Roberto Avanzi joined. People tried to smoke in the non-smoking area. Always coughing during the concert, what a desaster. My sleeping problems persist, and the eye-sight is getting worse.

May 17, 2004 I can honestly say that the last week was the worst week in my whole life, no less! I don't want to put delicate matters into the public domain, as Thomas Bernhard did, with Piffl-Percevic etc. But I have some great perspectives, although some try to convince me that t they aren't so great. Sour grapes? Visitor Roberto Avanzi arrived.

May 14, 2004 No human being can imagine how exhausted I was yesterday evening. Only with the greatest effort was I able to feed the dogs. But I managed to sleep, at least to some extent, and the difference is very noticable!

May 13, 2004 I think that I was close to suffering a stroke this night. Blood pressure too high, although I take tablets. Too much emotional stress. A propos "suffering": Nobody in this world has the right to make me suffer.
Thumbs up for Edelka Salcher, who helped me to a new passport in Graz. Very friendly.

I started to read Thomas Bernhard's Wittgenstein book. It is the first book of him that I try. It reminds me a bit of Alois Brandstaetter. To be fair, probably, it should be phrased the other way round.

Zarathustra is available online. Even the first few sentences helped me tremendously. I remember that effect from 1973, when I read it first. Better than tablets. It also helps me to hear early music from the Zillertaler Schuerzenjaeger, pre-1990. With Ziacha.

13.30: Just back from the doctor. Blood pressure high, throat infection (minor; perhaps from allergy and/or poor climate in Europe). Heart seems to be strong. The young female doctor works her first week! I must avoid emotional stress. Well, that is exactly what bothers me! Since January, this was particularly bad, but I survived it. I must only learn to control my emotions.

16.45: The tablets I got have a similar effect as what was achieved in previous centuries by letting you bleed for awhile, reducing the amount of blood in your body.

May 12, 2004 It is time that I give proper credit to Peter Grabner who proved to be a good and trustworthy friend for almost 15 years. That is really something, and if other people come up with negative remarks about him, I should use my personal filter and my brains. HE, after all, went to the pharmacy in Bolzano, and brought me breakfast. I would not say that others would NOT have done it, but he DID it. Full stop.
I am happy that I woke up just in time and am strong again. I acted like an idiot. I wasn't true to myself and doubted my better knowledge. Of course, I was always right. Who is not for me, is against me. Who likes the swamps, will end there. One cannot help these people; human nature is stronger. If one has neither a heart nor a decent sense of what the germans call "Taktgefuehl", then it will stay that way. One cannot buy it. I will now read Nietsche's "Also sprach Zarathrustra" once again (I hope I'll find it), and then I will be my ordinary self again. No more weakness.

April 29, 2004 I was a bit hesitant to write since life in Johannesburg wasn't much fun recently. About 10 days ago, my gate motor was stolen again! Apparently, the gangsters jumped over the wall, from the side that is close to my neighbour's entrance, then broke the motor with some heavy tools, shifted the gate and walked out. All extremely quickly. Tomorrow I will get a thief-bracket, and extra barbed wire on both sides, because they could come via the neighbours. At Wits, student protests were quite violent. I finished the revision for SLC'50. Read Moellhausen's Monogramm. I will leave for a few days, to do research with some friends. Not much fun here at the moment. Eugen Mandrescu asked for a very old reprint. I never met him. Soon, there will be a seminar on education! Wow! I got some Voltaren tablets. Wojtek called yesterday.

April 16, 2004 Nice food in the staff club. Several prestigious invitations are coming in! Got the new eyedrops. New receptionist at the Vet, elderly lady from England. Reprints from QM arrived. Only 20 for 2 authors.

April 15, 2004 Sorry, folks, it was busy. Zanele, from the radio, pronounced Darius Milhaud as "Mill-hought". I need new eye drops for Tony. I just booked two airtickets: Graz and Berkeley. Revisions, reviews, proposals, that is now my life. I got my Fostex back. R560. Not bad, but the time it took!

April 5, 2004 I accidentally deleted the last entry; now I try to reconstruct it. It was about the concert. I was sitting practically on stage, since it was quite full. So I could hear more errors. The soloist was from Norway, straigth gray hair, and not too impressive: intonation, precision. Meira Hockman and husband also attended the concert. I had my own drinks with me and safed some money this way. I just got a nice new chair. Yesterday I walked the dogs. On saturday, I was at the Schwaben-butchery. One woman, "Ingrid", said that she will try to move to Germany permanently. Well, I am sure that they are just waiting for her.

April 1, 2004 The fool's joke on the Arno Schmidt list was that the book 4x4 (photos made by King Arno with his Yashica) goes now for 4.99 Euros, making people rush out and get a cheap copy. Well...

At 5, I will go to the dentist. The hygenist will do some cleaning. At that occasion, I could collect a film at the hypermarket. We had a lot of rain during the night, but light, not the usual heavy version. The final versions for JIRSS have been sent off, and with Arnold, we did a few computations. Now I must concentrate on the projects with Guy Louchard. The Vienna conference was also a major theme during this week. Reprints which Frederique Bassino sent just arrived. I continue with burning CDs. Probably that will go on during 2004. There is a concert again, I believe; don't know details. No teaching this week, and probably next week as well. Richard Cock does his usual things around that time of the year, but I will stay away. Die Kinder des Straeflings von Moellhausen: very nice, but the copy offered on the internet is of poor quality. Canadian producer Bruce Fairbairn is dead, as well as Robert Palmer and Franz Koenig. y

March 26, 2004 Concert at the Linder. Cost me another R65, and R22 for drinks. Pooh. The contra bass soloist was not too convincing. Otherwise quite nice.

March 25, 2004 Inno called and said I must come home quickly, because Tony was missing. However, he was just sleeping in a bathroom. I read Franz Treller, Der Gefangene der Aimaras, from the internet. Now I switched to another one, Balduin Moellhausen, Die Kinder des Straeflings. Wow! I want Robert Kraft novels. Please send them to me, if you have some. Today is a concert at the Linder. And, for the umptieth time, Nicolas Nicolaidis and Richard Cock in The Messiah. Without me, fortunately.

March 19, 2004 I clipped the dogs nails. Tony has bleeding and licked it over and over, so that it never really stopped. I hope that he will not suffer. I wrapped his legs into old socks.

March 17, 2004 I got my refridgerator back, for 490 Rand. There is even an offramp "Booysen" from the M1, which is very close to the shop. But the M1 is recently quite catastrophic. I found a conjecture in a paper by Guo and Zeng. Must be quick, otherwise other people, like Mister mgfun Chyzak, will do it. Reminds me of Kirkman's hypothesis. Revisions, reports, etc. And swollen glands. Otherwise OK.

March 15, 2004 Last thursday, again concert at the Linder: Britten, Rachmaninoff, Borodin. Paid R65! Yesterday I was in the gym and saw Kevin. Saturday we had a lot of rain. Inno will put the bicycle back into the garage. The french visitors have also left. Now I must work on various papers. Alois gave me Wolf Haas, Silentium. Quite funny, but horrible language. I look now through old cassettes and restore them: Bonham, Peter Cetera. Only synthizers on his solo records, and a few guitars. Synth bass is not too nice. But cheap to produce. One guy can prepare everything at home. I teach continued fractions and use old scripts by Hlawka, typed in by Taschner. At the time, it looked good; now, with all that TeX, it doesn't. My fridge should be ready; must call. Must also call the austrian embassy.

March 5, 2004 Yesterday the concert season started, with Janacek, Sinfonietta, Chopin, First piano concerto, Dvorak 8. I bought a ticket for R65. Too bad. The soloist had a score! And a beautiful young woman turning the pages for him. The armenyan violinist has now glasses. A cell phone rang, and they started the movement again. Fr, Julien, Peter, Clemens also attended.
I drove Loretta C and Alois P already to the airport. The minicolloquium had speakers Cristea, Morris, Archibald, Bassino, Grabner, Panholzer, Driver, Knopfmacher, Heuberger, Brennan, Weideman.
I got a dinosaur: Julius!

February 25, 2004 Sorry once again for the delay, but I was busy with other things. Visitor Alois Panholzer missed his flight in Zurich because of bad weather, and arrived only this morning. I spent 3 days in Cape Town; beautiful weather---here it is raining non-stop. Funny woman at Zevenwacht; hard to describe though. Tour guide had his 50th birthday last week. I listened to a Brecker Brother's LP from 1977-- disco, instead of fusion! If I recall more, I will report; at the moment, I forgot most interesting situations. Visitor Louchard left; he was apparently happy here; visitor Cristea is still here; she is also very pleased about the stay in South Africa.

February 12, 2004 A certain researcher, XXX, who already refused once in the past to referee a paper for me, answered now after one month, and asked, whether it is OK to referee another paper I sent him in January only in September! There are unbelievable egoists in this world!
Hement Gopal and his team encountered major problems with their firewall.

February 5, 2004 Official dinner with scientists in Greenside (Ma passion). Crocodile! Cooler weather. A prominent person in the department came in today with fancy new dark blue cloths.

February 4, 2004 Sorry, folks, but life is busy, I have two visitors: Guy Louchard (Brussels) and Ligia-Loretta Cristea (Graz). And I have sleeping problems. Otherwise, nothing special happened, except that I need a plumber (dripping water). Interesting that there are 2 drummers by the name Steve Gadd, hey?!

January 30, 2004 A nightmarish dream, caused by fever: The vain D, who lives now in Poland, comes back to Vienna twice a year to celebrate his birthday! Twice!
Visitor Guy Louchard arrived yesterday; the airplane was delayed.

January 26, 2004 I might have a nice story about offices. However, I must wait how it develops before I report. I feel a bit sick.

January 25, 2004 The Wojtek's now have a dog! A very energetic specimen, jumping up like a rubber ball. Mariola gave me some gifts for my dogs. Thanks. There is something wrong with my computer. It is very slow at the moment, but should be fast.

January 24, 2004 Things get normal again. In JFK airport, the waitress was russian and not too young (needed already reading glasses), but quite thin; it is all genetics! I listen to Stan Bush at the moment; his drummer Pat Torpey later joined Mr. Big and made it big! Now I must write something for Konrad Swanepoel. Oh, now *I* could use the ****-word!

January 23, 2004 You know that I am currently transfering old LPs to CDs with the CLEAN software? I did a Colosseum double LP today. Boy (girl?!), that sounds dated. And they have 8 minutes of drum solo on the LP! In those days, every band had a drum solo in the live concert. That extended the set, if the band did not have enough repertoire. In the sixties, often they used fuzz tones that did not sound too great. Brian May and Tom Scholz then came up with a better guitar tone. Who remembers Pat Travers? Funny, to listen through these old records.

The Soda conference was not great. It was as bad as the one in Atlanta that I attended a few years ago. I only attended it because of the ANALCO04 meeting. WOjtek said it is important to be represented. One german researcher, call him JG, although the name is more complicated, came to the party and to his talk (the last talk!). In between he disappeared. In 1995, in Chile, he did the same. And apparently, this is his style. Also when he visited South Africa. I had seafood in NO, but the taste was corrupted by too much oil and bread crumbs. Delta first delayed my suitcase, then it arrived, but damaged. They said that they are not responsible. So I sent a fax to the airport service, but they never answered. Eventually I lost all my fighting spirit and got a new suitcase. Fortunately, my trip was supported.

In Wojtek's place, it was damned cold. It hurt to walk around! Wojtek never said the ugly K-word [for south african readers: it is a polish word!] while I was there. Good. The heating in the office they gave me did not work, so I sat there with 2 trousers and a long coat. But even so, I could stand it at most for 2 hours. I attended a seminar, and there where all sorts of people, but only one american! Quite tiring, such a long trip. Takes more than 24 hours to get there. Coming back, the plane was almost empty.
I will present more details in following editions. I have a terrible sleeping problem and watched some tennis this night. But even with that on, I could not sleep.

January 8, 2004 Flying to the US in a few hours. I am not motivated.

I can still hear Heinz Engl's words that he said in 1977: "...yes, he is old, but scientifically he is young...", about somebody who worked for a while in Linz, and also as "Erzieher" in a "Tagesschule". He did a Ph.D., but it took him quite long. Rumours had it that his advisor was too ambitious. When somebody retired (and later committed suicide), he was named "logical successor", but not by many, just by one person (with the mentality of a "primarius" in a hospital). Consequently, nothing happened. Rumours further had it that a daughter was handicapped (or retarded or something). Then he married a woman who was engaged to a colleague which the Primarius did not like, as he is very catholic. They have small children, 2, as I believe. But they are already divorced. The young-old man could get rid of his glasses when he became about 45 or so. He was short and bearded and drove a Volvo. Wow, what a memory!

January 6, 2004 I found the little repair shop for refridgerators on Booysen street: but the owner is still on vacation! A few days ago I had a terrible dream in which DDD appeared, wanted to put a secretary into my office, and started to dictate a paper to her in his penetrating voice. I went berserk...
A name, but also a tool that provides pleasure...name it! Inno came back, with the suitcase that I lent her. She blames her aunts who ruined it. To be honest, I did not even notice what happened to it. But instead of feeling responsible for it, she just ranted against a few old fat ladies. That is not good enough. And her sister Tumi failed in the Matric. Tired...

January 3, 2004 The Waterfront: It has almost no water anymore, and it called differently: The Brightwater Commons, I believe. I had an eisbein at Scooges, which moved a few hundred meters. 57 Rand; at the docks, when it was on special, 30 Rand. But that is 2 years ago. I recorded 2 LPs from Crawler. Old fashioned sound, but very good. Tasty guitar playing by Geoff Whitehorn.

January 2, 2004 The Clean Software: Needs a huge amount of space on your harddrive. For one CD, count about 3 hours altogether, but the results are good. Henry took some of the bags out today; I forgot that it is friday. And he tries to mix the ordinary bags with the garden rubbish. I need more space for CDs and ordered some cupboards. I managed to finished watching Lord of the Rings, part 2; it took me one week. I must go to New Orleans soon; I am not really in the mood, but am committed.

December 30, 2003 As I am not a christian, I ignored the holidays. With Charlotte and hubby Kevin, I was hiking, 40 km outside of Johannesburg. It was nice, 4 hours, but too many rocks for my taste. And my neck was burnt, although I had a cap. My fostex 16 track gives my troubles; I brought it to Rob in Blairgowrie. I needed a new CD player: it is a Sony and can do DVDs and MP3s. And I got a portable Yamaha keyboard. Otherwise, not much happens. In the evenings, I drink all sorts of fruit tea instead of wine. Tony stole Sheila's food today, and was punished for it. Henry plants some flowers today. According to neighbour Val, the veterinary clinic in house number 2 will not happen. Good. Plans are for a minicolloquium on occasion of my 50th birthday. Inno is not here; I am not cleaning, just use all the plates and cups I have and collect them next to the washing machine. Wow! Looks terrible. Live is quite boring now. I finished reading Hermann Hesse's Narziss & Goldmund; don't want to recommend it. Michail Drmota is now head of a new department; well done. And Hans Kaiser ("Kaiserhans") will get his well deserved celebration in January. Congratulations! Wojtek wants me to write about the last 3 meetings in the EATCS bulletin. Cannot deny this. Gosh. And I still have a few editorial duties.

December 17, 2003 Finally I managed to get the CLEAN software running. I read in 27 old songs, mostly recorded around 1990. These are

Samba Pa Ti, Well Allright, Black Magic Woman (Santana)
Hotel California (Eagles)
Handbags and Gladrags (Chris Farlowe)
Tiger (Peter Kraus)
Hounddog, Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley)
Just between you and me (April Wine)
It does not have to be (David T. Chastain)
Homesick (Atlanta Rhythm Section)
Wonderful tonight (Eric Clapton)
Up around the Bend, Cottonfields, Sweet Hitchhiker (CRC)
Crocodile Rock (Elton John)
Stop! In the name of love (Ian Lloyd)
Country Comforts (Rod Stewart)
Honky Tonk Women (Rolling Stones)
The End (Earl Grant)
Gimme all your loving (ZZ Top)
Smoke on the water (Deep Purple)
Born to be wild (Steppenwolf)
Young Girl (Gary Puckett and the Union Gap)
Instrumental (UFO)
You may be right (Billy Joel)
Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding)

I have a few unfinished songs that I will work on over the festive period: Davy's on the road again, Sierra Madre, Still got the blues, Abacadabra. I might still try to improve the equalization. Otherwise, interested people can negotiate how to get CDs.

December 11, 2003 A secretary asked me to PAY for a letter to the university of Hong Kong (HKUST) that she posted for me! The rubbish remover came at 7.45. And I drove to the colony repair center. Around Stax a bad traffic jam, as usual. Oh, reality got me back after 2 pleasant weeks in Graz.

December 9, 2003 Just a quick update while I wait for the AA, since my car does not start. I was in Graz, and people there were infinitely nicer to me than the previous "colleagues" in Vienna. Thumbs up for some, thumbs down for the others. It was "kalt aber gesund". Smoke everywhere, especially in the chinese restaurant, run by burmese people. And cellphones. One guy entertained the whole restaurant with his endless chatter, first with his divorced wife, then with his little baby girl. What a difference in tone! I saw in particular 2 opera performances.

November 19, 2003 Major email desaster! Whenever John O is on leave, it happens. I watch it now quite closely. If you want to know who is responsible for it, send me email; then I will tell you the name. My finger still hurts, and I spent some time in my recording studio. I had forgotten about many things. Both dogs got a shower this morning.

November 14, 2003 Huge dinner at Melrose Arch. Rearranged some paintings in my house. Slept badly, but mood not too bad. In 1993, we were forced to invite IA to D. He was sold as the upcoming german superstar. And now? Practically stopped publishing.
The Wits post office has always a radio playing, very loudly, to annoy the customers. Should be forbidden, like public smoking. I saw GW, suffering from MS, now with crutches!

November 13, 2003 Robert Tichy spoke, and somebody from Transkei asked about Moebius inversion, and we will walk the dogs today and have dinner. The NRF/CNRS gave us some money. Tony hurt me yesterday; I hope the nothing serious happened, otherwise I would need X-ray. He was just too enthusiastic.

November 12, 2003 Hi, folks. I was in lovely Stellenbosch for 2 days. Gave a talk, visited the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies. Dined in BG's house. Lunched at Delaire's. Nice trip, nice people. Their internet worked, as well as their computers. Rooms were airconditioned.

November 6, 2003 Sorry, folks, for the long delay. I discussed some events privately with some of you, that is what happened. Let me briefly summarize: We had the SAMS conference (3-5), and I received the award for research distinction. Robert Tichy has arrived. I finished my survey/tutorial for the JIRSS. My alarm system has a problem: the sirene does not work. Hopefully, tomorrow morning, somebody will come. If you think about breaking in, please choose another house, please! :-) Tony and Sheila both had a problem, and Inno must clean the mess tomorrow. I fixed the cupboard for the CDs with longer nails, and used the sawing machine. But I am afraid that this will kill my eyesight totally! Peter Grabner is now a big chief: congratulations! Otherwise, I cannot remember much that I can mention here; sorry! Conference dinner was in the country club, nice, close to us, but whatt a long and uninspiring dinner talk!

October 24, 2003 The linder. First, a Bach concerto. Probably something CSB wrote in an afternoon. String section: 1+3+4+4+6, 2 oboes, 1 bassoon and the old Diane Cotzee on harpsichord. Nice to see her again. Probably she would have deserved a better life. And she can still read without glasses. For Mahler's fifth symphony, lots of extra musicians, a young girl at the cello, who looked a bit like Wayne Ferreira, the chin, the cheekbones. Not very feminine, blonde, tough. And Peta again. A week ago, she played at Wits, but one could hardly hear her. A solo horn movement, with a very nervous woman. And the conductor with his strange antics. Poor guy, his back isn't straight, his trousers are short, his shoes old. RT gave an introductory talk, I listened for a few minutes. He looks much older than he probably is, with his lack of hair, thick glasses, thin neck. Again, "his" russian jacket. But he is quite knowledgeable. This morning, I collected an airticket and paid my telephone bill.

October 22, 2003 Oh-oh-oh, supervision was tough today. What did I preach over the years, and what is the result? Outside my office there was a guy shouting into his cellphone at the top of his lungs. Culture? Today, they play Mahler's fifth symphony, but YY has not offered free tickets, and I am tired to ask. Life happens somewhere else. Last sunday, heavy rain and a major breakdown of electricity.

October 17, 2003 The Linder. Dvorak, Carnival Ourverture, Violin concerto, Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherezade. Soloist was Philippe Graffin. Men had no jackets on. There was a part with only solo violon and one horn. They were definitely not in tune. And often, things were not "together". Why did they play Scheherezade again, which was given only a few months ago? Questions over questions. My mood isn't good this morning.

October 16, 2003 A man from FedEx came into my office, pointed at my name and said "I am looking for this guy." I told him that I am not a "guy".

October 15, 2003 Manfred Moeller's inaugural lecture. He started with the old greeks and ended with Faierman, Mennicken and Moeller! Quite a journey! He gave a flowchart of mathematical areas and how they are related. That one was a bit biased: Differential equations as a huge block in the center, and other ones not mentioned. Then there was a dinner on the 11th floor. I had too much Nescafe during the day and slept badly. Now I must rush and collect air tickets. No ftp possible. Ahem.

October 14, 2003 They just had Alfredo Kraus on the radio! Not many news otherwise. J Cigler sent a nice draft about combinatorial proofs of the Rogers-Ramanujan identities.

October 9, 2003 I bathed Sheila this morning. It is hot now, so real work is best done after some sleep in the evening. Some person did something that I don't dare to describe here. I need airtickets and still wait for answers from flight centre. Arno Schmidt's Nachtprogramme from the fifties are now out on 12 CD's. I need them!

October 5, 2003 I don't do much, just lick my wounds, and try to get things going. I have got a better stereo for my office. Tomorrow is another jewish holiday, I hear. I just watched a video from Don Knuth, on analysis of algorithms. He mostly spoke about the numerical evaluation of a constant.

September 30, 2003 I forgot to mention that, when I could not walk last friday, two people were especially nice and helpful: P Grabner and LL Cristea. Thanks. For everybody who supported me morally and in whatever way, here are my words of appreciation. I spent several hours yesterday with residue computations. RFT celebrates his birthday; well done!

September 29, 2003 The conference was good, my talk probably also, but not my gout (and partially, my asthma). The hotel Feichter is not recommended: not too clean, and the owners shouting through the whole house, all the time, mostly for "Agnes". But it had only 2 stars. Swiss: if you are a normal passenger, you are treated like s..t, but if you manage to fly business class, they try at least. In order to get something from them, whatever it is, you have to be loud and unpleasant. They did not have enough food on board! Only after I asked, they admitted it, and the italian woman got something from the first class.

September 20, 2003 Just a quick update: The electronic circuit of the new geyser has been changed. I am at Wits now and waited forever for somebody to open. A woman was breastfeeding a boy of 2 years in public. I am not exactly a fan of that. Lots of kids again in the grand hall. Needless to mention the noise. The complex analysis test has been completed, but administrators want already the test for the end of the year exam. Jesus! No heart, just rules. I will leave to Italy soon. It is a wonderful day today; a pity that I have to leave. But it might be nice in Italy, let's see. I did all my transparencies; now I need some rest. Gordon Fraser delivered the furniture. Nice. Jethro Breet gets a thumbs down from me. I will try his colleague now. Just detected: no ftp possible. Well, that is no big surprise anymore.

September 11, 2003 What a day!! Two years ago, everybody knows. And one year ago the famous surgery. But I am better today, apart from the missing sleep. I managed to get fuses from Chubb Security, in Hans Strydom Park. A very friendly woman (Anne) deserves to be mentioned here. I would wish to see more people like her. The fuses where a bit to thin, but I managed to squeeze the whole thing, so that they don't fall out. And they gave two boxes (3 resp. 1 Ampere) to me for free! They say "amp", like "amplifyer", not Ampere. So the geyser (that is probably the best spelling) story is temporarily closed. Today, Sonja will give a seminar. I am serious.
I forgot to mention that Noebauer was never replaced. That gave his collaborators more freedom (more grass to play with in golf), but less leadership. So there is this Noebauer-sized hole, and it was never filled. Times change, other subjects flourish, it is a constant up-and-down.
Students come in often since there is a small test tomorrow.
I need a better light bulb in my office at home; looks like a grave at the moment.
Revisions, talks, ...
Very rude security guys yesterday. Thumbs down.
Nicholas Nicolaidis won a prestigous scholarship, as I heared.

September 9, 2003 Numerous problems around the geiser. And I got the flu.-

People often ask me about "Algebra in Vienna". Here is my report. For a long time, there was no algebra in Vienna. Philip Furtwaengler, yes, but that was more on the number theoretic side. Then came Wilfried Noebauer, born 1928 in upper Austria. He wrote a book with Hans Lausch on general polynomials. Somebody said that the Noebauer polynomial symbols are more general than the Graetzer polynomial symbols. Who cares? Probably they are finite words, with a symbol x and a formal addition added. Or some finite objects, closed under some basic operations. Anyway, N became professor at the TU Vienna around 1966. He was quite energetic, and got a huge department. They called themselves "Wiener Algebraische Schule." To become a member it was felt to be required to be a catholic and perhaps a member of the Cartell Verband, a secret organization with a lot of power in Austria. And one had to pray to Noebauer. His followers do it to this day. Rudolf Lidl was around, but became independent and made it in Australia/Tasmania. N became a politician and did lectures for somebody who died early (EB). And he embraced biomathematics, which isn't easy and/or natural if you come from algebra. Today, he would do mathematics of finance, I would bet on it. N died shorly before his 60th birthday. His brother in law is the famous Wolfgang Schmidt.
The algebra has mostly gone, the department still exists. It is sad.---

September 5, 2003 I went to the gym to take a shower but forgot the towel. I woke up around 5 or earlier. Yesterday, at the Linder, I had no ticket, so I wanted to listen from outside, but these door girls chatted non-stop, very disturbing. Since I became very weak from the gout and allergy tablets, I just left the place. To be quiet, to be alone: a horror for most people, a desire for the intellectual. I have consultation in the afternoon. Grrr.

September 4, 2003 Plumber Brian Sher was worse than I thought: the geizer burst, and he charged me for a 250 l, but installed only a 200 l, and this very poorly. People suggested to sue him, but I don't have the energy for that.
Then I had a gout attack during the night, and a filling of a tooth fell out. I went to the doctors, and the whole of Balfour Park had no water! He did it with mineral water! At least, he did not charge, since it was done only in July. Plus, Sheila always ruins the Gardena water connection. I could kill her!
Life becomes really tough here, but on the other hand, it was virtually impossible for me to stay in Dietmar Dorninger's department. I suffered there more than here.

September 1, 2003 I woke up too early, and Innocentia made unnecessary noises. I had strange reactions after drinking too much lemon juice in the morning (asthma). And gout. I need new tablets. One should not get old. Then I cut keys (5 copies) and bought a few flowers, for Henry to plant tomorrow. Simon came in, and Robert, the technician. Interesting cancellations occur. Bad mood. Charles Bronson dead. We were all impressed by him when we were teenagers.

August 29, 2003 Although I was immensely tired, I went to the concert at the Linder. Bizet, Suite Arlesienne. Wasn't that an opera as well? He also transformed Carmen in a suite. Recycling. Died young (37), had a symphony in C, which was not detected until many years later. An announcement: next week, no Brahms piano concerto, but the husband of the N woman (with the strong muscles from the gym) will play the Ravel concerto for the left hand (another favorite of course of Marc-Andre). Then a flute concerto, from an afrikaaner (born 1957). Played by a member of the orchestra, in a funny dress, and dancing around on stage. Second half: A symphony by Kurt Weill, from Bert Brecht fame. He tried to incorporate rhythmic stuff that was probably popular in New Orleans around the time. Then "Los Sowetos". I don't like this style. Like a gypsy primas, but not at the same technical level. I left before the encores and had no traffic jam. Then sleep, but not enough. Inno sometimes gets a lift from Tjabo, then she is way too early. I bathed Tony. The parkview hardware shop charges R25 for cutting keys, which I am not willing to pay. It was much less before. I'll go to the Rosebank lock smith, for R20/key. Pawel H pointed out that for p=1/2, there are no fluctuations in the leading term, which leads to interesting identities. I feel that _I_ must prove them. If only the NRF and the students and colleagues would appreciate my efforts! I want to sleep for a week, like Arno Schmidt, after he finished Zettel's Traum.

August 28, 2003 Better sleep, but still weak. The locksmith in Linden has disappeared, and there was no Amstel beer in Parkhurst. Joerg Wenzel spoke, we lunched, now I am semi-dead. Cut Sheila's nails, she went hysterical.

August 27, 2003 Bad sleep. A locksmith replaced the lock at the pedestrian gate for R325. He arrived in time. Now I need more keys. Today: Laurent series expansion. I received my refund, for the airtickets. Amazing! Maybe the last days of the Novell network here? Wojtek called. Good friend. SA is crazy about Jacques Freitag. Herta Freitag isn't anymore.

Later that day: The lunch hour concert. Oh, that vocalist. Honestly, I don't think that I sing worse. Then a young man, playing the piano in fine style. No Marc-Andre Hamelin, but who is.

August 26, 2003 Bad sleep. I need a locksmith for the small gate. All keys break. The inn keeper in Cape Town was Brooke, from Chicago. A young woman, with a sociology degree from Dayton, Ohio. At the event, I sat next to Hendrika Swart. The national part of the airport is new and quite impressive. Lunch will follow soon. Computer crisis.

August 25, 2003 Our computer system seems to have collapsed completely. I tried to call B, but he put the answering machine on. Yesterday we had a power failure, for several hours. Tiger started well, but then blundered. Then I stopped watching. I drove Clemens to the airport. Unfortunately I cannot help him with the open-set-condition. JG promised to put the paper onto the server soon; apparently, it was half-forgotten, and Draga travelled.

Several times, I met people who went to highschool with X. They said "this guy is a genius. He is so brilliant. He must be right on top by now". But---he isn't. Some people just don't achieve. Either they cannot or they become distracted, by (pseudo-)religions or...various reasons. GK and AD come to mind immediately. FS climbed higher, but did not exactly fulfill his promises. Others just take the salary and do nothing. However, it should not be forgotten that there are several gifted people who work hard and achieve well.

In the guest house in Cape Town, there were interesting sounds coming out of one of the rooms while I had breakfast. PF told me that in the famous Hotel d'Angleterre, canadian visitor DJ had these sounds during the whole night, produced by a young german couple, and could not sleep.
The B-man did it again! And the consequences?

August 21, 2003 Just came back from a talk from Joe Diestel. He mentioned Tumarkin, Dunford, Bourgain, Radon, Nikodym, Grothendieck, Krein, Milman. Our local stars bumped into the lecture room late, as usual, and then made noise with their tea cups and spoons. That is what they call culture. Welcome again. Freddy Delbaen was also mentioned. I believe that he is Schachermayer's friend.

It is the coldest day of the year! My trip to Cape Town: Worst weather in 7 years! Clemens is still waiting for his cheque. Apparently there is a bright new young fellow in charge of this. How long will we have to wait until authorities realise the problems? Today we want to go to the symphony concert, the first in the new series. NRF wants me to review something, but my wounds are not yet healed, and I won't do it. George E. did not recognize me, although I was in a meeting with him for 2 days last year. Well, he lives in a higher echelon. I got new eyedrops for Tony. The voice of the lady who gave it to me could even drive a calmer man crazy. Last saturday, good Kevin did the welding, and Clemens the cooking. Thanks!

August 6, 2003 A very quick report: Clemens Heuberger has arrived one week ago. My gate motor was stolen, and yesterday replaced. It rained this morning. I have a pain in the back. A certain hungarian journal lost our TeX-file about 3 times already. The lunch hour concert wasn't good. Innocentia did not come, although she said she would.

July 28, 2003 Theoretical Computer Science will have a special issue in honour of poor Alberto del Lungo. Well deserved. One editor is Professor Elisa Pergola. Has she been promoted? Inno put the fresh rolls of toilet paper near a place where the water was dripping, all of them a mess of course. Two false alarms this night. I asked her to clean the spider webs. Clemens arrived this morning; since it was on the way, I went to the Schwaben Butchery and bought a few nice things. I was quite inactive and hope that energy comes back. Today it is almost summer weather! 24 maximum.

July 25, 2003 A fairy tale .
In a certain country, there is a mighty Professor X. He/she is the boss of many, many dependent people. Some observers say: "Yes, he/she is basically a mighty administrator, but he/she is/was very clever." Good. And many young people, Y say, if they worked for him/her for a while, advanced in their career very quickly. Some of them are not that good. Is does not matter. Mighty X holds his/her hand over Y. So Y gets papers published that ... are not that good, to put it mildy. Other people come and fill the gaps that Y {could not/did not want to/did not even think of} close. They don't have an X. So their--technically very strong-- efforts have a hard time to survive. Hypercritical referees come out, use jargon like "benchmark", and say something like "I don't know what is going on, and I don't know much maths anyway, but why does it look like something the really good Z has done nnn years ago?" Sounds familiar? Here we go...

July 18, 2003 Bad sleep. The ugly ABSA-bridge over Jan Smuts avenue has been removed. The weather is better now, but still cold during the night. A new secretary Liezel has started yesterday. I have trouble with birds around my house. Now it is allergy season. British open: compared to other stars, Tiger wasn't that bad. I have never seen such an ugly golf course.

July 16, 2003 Bad sleep. Inno came in time; I told her that I would not let her in later! So she can when she wants to. The old latin teacher is still alive, just turned 90 in Perchtoldsdorf, as google found for me. He played the violin. Praying mantissa, as Mike Mays uses to say. Installed my oold table lamp in my office; it is too dark here. One student (the golf lover) has incredible dark rings around his eyes; I have never seen it like that, perhaps only at Wilfried Schneider, who was 202cm and had TB when he was young. Barcelona has another sports event in town. They have a lot of them. I wonder whether Professor Martinez has time to attend some of these.
Our school was very bad. In the beginning, there were no showers. Kids did not change for sports! Then they remodeled it, it was noisy and dusty for years. People should change, rotation is good. The officer also organised the skiing trips, always to the same lousy places, where one had to walk 1 hour to get to the lifts. 20 kids in one room. Something like that. Nowadays it seems to be better, instead of the perpetual skiing cultural visits of various places. Oh, so many bad memories!

July 15, 2003 For my well being, I need a room temperature of 24 degrees and 8 hours of quality sleep. No internet once again. Zyrtec, yes, but the side effects! Peter Grabner works now with Guy Barat.

My high school years were sad and boring. The guys in "gymnasium" simply delivered a low quality product, and I quickly realized that and lost interest. Also, I could never keep my mouth shut.
In german language, we were never told how to write a composition, we just had to do it, without little rules about intro and conclusion, etc. We had 2 guys, and the first was even worse, a complete nutcase. In biology likewise, I give his name away: Isidor Grundnigg. He never told or showed us how an animal looked like or behaved; he had his own little theory of "forms", and just told as "Schleichform," "Umklammerungsform", for cats and dogs. Do you know then what a lion does? I think he ended in an asylum or so. In history we had a guy with a moustache who looked like an officer. He was only interested in local dances, and kept an amateur group (Volkstanz). His ugly daughter was also a teacher, and some later relatives. My niece had some of them in school, and they ran in trouble with fraud. Later we had a bored woman who just told as fairy tales. It was not horrible but not inspiring. She had constant trouble with her veins (phlebitis). She often missed classes, very often actually. Like "die Perle". The english teacher was an elderly bachelor, and extremely lazy. Once, he looked out of the window for about 10 minutes, doing absolutely nothing. He had no plan and not a real textbook. The latin teacher had a slavic name, but was an ardent nazi. It was not terrible, but always the same. The geography and biology teacher looked like a mantissa, and could never follow a plan, talked about ridiculous details but did not talk about global aspects. The philosophy teacher Pruszinsky came from a polish family. His uncle was a watchmaker. He had a ph.D. in biology. He taught also physics, chemistry and shorthand for minors. He was a bachelor while I knew him but met another teacher at a seminar and quickly produced 6 children (a catholic). The french teacher was very energetic in the beginning, but from one year to another completely changed, became limp and weak. Nobody knows what happened. Sports guys were the same, muscles, no intellectual interest. One of them did also mathematics, but avoided the 2 top classes since he did not understand calculus. Amazing. Mathematics teachers were all pretty weak. For 5 years we had a woman who was very insecure about it and had all these simple exercises worked out in a private book. She believed more in that than in sound reasoning. In physics, we never did little computations, with velocity etc., as they are so common in normal schools. Chemistry was perhaps OK, but the woman was a joke, but later became director in another town, and became tough. Drawing and painting: all ridiculous guys, except for one whom we had for one year. I have no talent for that. Music: for most of the time an old guy who believed that he was a true musician since he studied with Franz Schmidt (das Buch von den 7 Siegeln). He just told us stories, no concept, no theory, just blah-blah. Religion: that shouldn't be in school anyway. Rudolf Lissy, ugly smell, strong beard, but clean shaved. Unpleasant. He was a fan of the Herrenhutter movement, and moved that into the centre of his attention, which it most likely did not deserve. Wasted years!

July 14, 2003 Bastille day! At least, they have chosen summer for their activity.
Drmota's paper was accepted at Banderier's conference. Die Journalisten: very nice, a bit old fashioned. Fortunately, my teaching is NOT tomorrow at 8.00. Yelena at the pole vault. Close to the greek model of an athlete (they did not consider women, however). I saw nice furniture at Gordon Fraser. My visitor ruined an old curtain, but I was not cross with him. I hope that JMT will start writing soon. Stewart came instead of Henry, the doggies remembered him! They like him more. What is the contrary of "role model?" A good reason to ask this!

July 11, 2003 Nicholas Nicolaidis strikes again at the Linder, sunday at 3 p.m.! And the bulgarian (?) alto. Susan Cock has apparently left, and James Ridley is the new director. Wow! I bought a Samsung vacuum cleaner for R699. Tony entered the pool, although it is extremely cold. On TV I saw "Judge Judy"; a very similar programme on another channel at the same time. I will look for furniture this afternoon, Gordon & Fraser.

July 7, 2003 I got the Otto Babendiek! And printed Die Journalisten (Gustav Freytag) from the Internet. In Europe, it was very hot, which was good for me, because I was freezing when I arrived. After a few days, that normalized. I spent 6 hours in Zuerich in the Swiss Lounge, then moved to Florence. I caught a train, but there was a long queue to get a ticket. I pronounced a local name in a funny way, and the sales person in the station laughed. Then I tried to get a taxi in San Miniato, but there was none. So I went into the coffee shop, and the bartender called. Then I checked in for one night in Agricultora. Young Luzia (13) was there, nobody else. She is the daughter of Enzio (50) who has an ethopian mother and is an amazing singer. He lives now with Sylvia, from Krakow. Nice pool, but no baracuda. Noisy insects during the night. MW was also there, but did not like the juicy ham for breakfast, since his wife is a muslim. Dominatrix. I walked with him to San Miniato, and drank beer. He did not not (see above). Too much food all the time, plus wine. I avoided fruits mostly, since they are not good for me. Philippe has an account of the conference on his AofA pages. In the Uffizi I met Chonat Getz, with her husband and a younger woman. Hosam asked me about the now famous Elena trees. That will last from me in the next century: invented names like Elena trees, Carlitz compositions, etc. Then one night in Florence, dinner with Jim Fill, Michael Drmota and Bernhard Gittenberger. Then to the airport, where I met Jul. Fayolle, Daniele Gardy and Julien Clement. Airplane was delayed. Then 2 days with relatives, saw places like Oberpullendorf and Tiefenbach. Then with the train to Graz. It was very hot in the train, substandard. Then Pension Johannes, which is now a Hotel Garni. Very noisy woman there who liked to shout through the whole house at 6.30 a.m. with her high pitched voice. Discussions with Clemens and Peter. Finally I had a great idea, during a sleepless night. Always restaurants, because of EF. This woman means trouble. Back to Johannesburg, with Tichy's car, 4 trains and 2 airplanes, and one taxi. Went into the Great Danube lounge in Vienna, ate nuts, but regretted it. Was upgraded to business class (I asked for it, and the plane was overbooked anyway). Tanja Ziegler did it for me, young woman from the flat planes of Burgenland. Nice teeth and smile. The bold man next to me was friendly with the pilots and spend time for start and landing with them. He wanted to talk to me, and bluntly tried to ask me private questions, while I ate. I told him that I don't want to chat, and fortunately he gave up. I would have asked the officials for help, if necessary. Another guy in the Zuerich-Vienna flight also tried it, in Schwyzerdutch. I asked him which language that was, and than he did not really try again. I bought the Martin Walser book "Tod eines Kritikers" and read in it during the trip. I would like to see a list of the names and the corresponding real persons. In Roma, I changed flights a week ago and met Heinz Langer with 3 young people. They attended a conference earlier with our own Manfred Moeller. I saw many things: crippled toes, TV sets that need repairs, WS who suffered from a bird's dropping on his T-shirt, etc. It is not always nice to be a good observer. One sees it all, asymmetric noses/faces, etc.

June 17, 2003 What Henriette also did to her beloved husband: He liked to play the flute, so she secretely learnt to play the guitar, and when he played at his birthday, she fell in with some accompagniment. He was touched to tears, as you might believe.
VH1 shows some Deep Purple videos. What is beyond me is that they replaced a brilliant singer (Joe Lynn Turner) by one who had shot his pipes long ago (Ian Gillian).
I must again drive zxzcRto the colony repair center, with a traffic jam on Jan Smuts avenue.
After the above mentioned videos, they switched to Black Sabbath. They often show old broadcasts from german Beat Club. They featured Orange amplifiers. This company has long disappeared. They had a funny design, that was all. I must find out about all the different singers Black Sabbath had; Tony Martin was quite good.
I browsed the internet a bit: Former kid star Lena Zavaroni is dead, as well as Hubert Bognermayr (suicide).

June 16, 2003 Professor PK appeared in my dream: He had a jacket on which was almost completely soaked with sweat, dripping. His supporter XXX was around and told me that there must be something wrong with him, hormons and glands.

Thanks to Margaret Archibald, I know now the Delta Park. They close at 16.30. I will use it to walk my dogs. While I drove there, I passed King Davids, heavily armed.
Yesterday dinner with Mike Mays. Prizes in the Black Steer have gone up substantially.

Gustav Freytag, "Die Ahnen". I read the last part (=6). He is called "realist", but is it realistic that heroes Ernst and Henriette wait for each other some 10 years, never say a bad word, and that he is happy after a hard day to come home to her? And she is considerate and nice to him, not nagging, and addresses him "my lover" after 30 years? Such people don't exist in real life!
I heared about the series first from Werner Tartarotti (1948-), a helper at the skiing expeditions our school made each year. He was given some sports classes, but never finished his degree (german/sports). He complained about a seminar where he had to read the Ahnen and found it boring. When he was 20, he and another sportsperson created son Guido. She at least finished her degree and divorced the useless but good looking chap. Son Guido writes for a newspaper, I believe. My friend WP has similar coordinates, born 1948, son Ch born 1968. But his academic record was much better. That Tartarotti chap told us about what he learned at the university: 4 classic german comedies: Emilia Galotti, Minna von Barnhelm, Weh dem der luegt, Der Biberpelz. I am not sure that this is canonical. But he was probably a weak student. Die Journalisten, by Freytag. I hope that Moser's at Graz carry it.
Horrible to watch Tiger doing one bogey after another. I could not stand it and stopped. I hope he will improve again and use a driver.
Shopping at the Hypermarket and Makro. They had no more Butch cans! Epol is now called Alpo. (Raider-->Twix, Datsun-->Nissan)
Elmar Teufl wins a prize: well done!

June 11, 2003 The rubbish remover. He came with a different (larger) car. I asked him twice whether the prize is the same, and he agreed. Then he wrote an invoice for the double prize, with 20 Rand discount. I threatened him with the police, and he gave up.
It was so cold that the gardena plastic connection was broken, just from the frost. The dogs eat more than usual, as I notice.

June 9, 2003 Serious computer and network problems over the weekend!
In the fifth district in Vienna, there was C&B. C was Alfred Cerny. They specialized in selling electr(on)ic equipment at low prizes. They didn't have a real shop, just a magazine. Hans Krankl's uncle worked for them. He was probably blind on one eye. When all the huge media markets etc. started, they could not compete anymore and closed. Cerny, who had an Ing. degree from a technical high school, started to design kitchens. He was a smart guy, and I wish him luck.
Tennis was very disappointing.

June 6, 2003 Heavy rain, miserable conditions. Innocentia showed up again, wanted to borrow money, I refused.
The concert: We sat close to the stage, on the side, behind the basses. In this type of music they say "double bass". Geddy Lee plays "bass". Carl Maria von Weber, Oberon (ouverture). His ubiquitous horns at the beginning. Then Anton Nel (Johan + Nel = Johannella). Third Beethoven (We-ho-feng) piano concerto. Oh, it reminds me of Alkan's solo version of the first movement, performed by Marc-Andre Hamelin. Last movement perhaps a bit slow. Bassoon player (russian?) has a body that is not proportional, torso too short. Cello woman P runs around at the Checker's in Greenside. Anton gave an encore, some fun peace by old Ludwig, but not the "Wut ueber den verlorenen Groschen". After the interval Rachmaninoff's third symphony. It is not the rock, which is also by him, but something different. The Rock, previously Rocky Malvia. MA provided a ticket (thanks) and had siblings Elizabeth and Martin around, plus bassoon player Steven, and other admirers. Parking was a problem, but the car was still there. Debbie (not Harrie) came, to dump some flyers about a Richard Cock double bass action. Ludwig Streicher. Herr der Ringe. In exchange for free tickets, I must check the computations. What a life!
Did I say already "miserable weather"?
Should I follow the Moellemann approach?

June 5, 2003 Another night with very poor sleep. Death comes at the end, as Agatha Christie knows.
A: "Show us what you did." B: "Here it is." A: "Yeah, but can you say a few words?" B: "Page 21." A: "Tell us what's there." B: "mmmmmmmm"
C: "Here is what I did. It is wrong, but that is what I got."
When the wagons leave the city for the forest, and further on. Painted wagons of the morning dusty roads where they have gone ...
We met Maurice Nivat also last september in a park near Versailles. Amazing!

June 4, 2003 Innocentia did not arrive today, and I slept badly. Yesterday, I tried the wrong card to get cash. Student Nicky is very polite. Congratulations! Soon, we will have lunch on west campus. Concert: today or tomorrow?

June 3, 2003 Did I mention that in Strassburg, walking through the streets, I saw Maurice Nivat? No kidding! It is not so cold anymore. When I am tired, I have problems to keep up my body temperature. I was always used to overheated rooms, like Jean Paul. Jim Fill sent 40 pages. I wait for a fax from Donatella, to claim the money back.

May 30, 2003 Barry the kitchen did not charge for his help: nice. My old TV was repaired: from Dragan (Bosnia) who worked in Berlin for 4 years. Around Dunkeld, there is always a traffic jam on Jan Smuts. And the minibus drivers are real pigs, as WS would say.
The concert. I am often quite critical, but Anton Nel was really flawless. These people are the talents of the country. Unfortunately, he left and works in Austin, Texas. MA again provided a ticket, and in exchange I will try not to call her "role model" again. Kathy Driver also attended, with her coat on, obviously suffering from the cold. Today: 1 to 19. They never get the heating right here. Last week: very cold, now boiling, the glue of the carpet melting. Anton Nel played Beethoven's fifth, and received standing ovations. They also gave Nielsen's fourth: bombastic, loud, two sets of timpanis. Johnny only drumming at the end. Wits would already retire him.
On wednesday, there was prize giving. The Smolic sisters won again several prizes. Venus&Serena. Our Julieh Hannah won a teaching award. Barry Mendelew gave the speech: He said that he listened to about ten thousand oral presentations during his life. Sounds outragous. 30 years one presentation per day?!
After the concert I watched Tiger a bit: 67.

May 27, 2003 WWF had Sid Justice who later turned into Psycho Sid.

Electricity is still OK, but no route to host at the moment. I had food in a chinese restaurant today. Not too great. Reprints from Clemens arrived, thanks. And 2 posters from Donatella, thanks as well. Innocentia could not tell me her ID number. Old TV is in the repair shop. Traffic on Jan Smuts is heavy. Johannella sent me regards and said that she got poor advice when she tried to oppose me. The IMN arrived. More Mauser in it. A friend used the parabola of the rats and Australia. Poor Rindler!

May 26, 2003 Tomorrow will be likely another day at Wits without electricity and without email. Please try the account in Graz. Wits gives me the edge, as you know.
Vice chancellor Nongxa has "research" high on his list of priorities. How does this improve my life?
Wits apparently has lost several A-rated researchers to other universities. I am still there...
I walked Sheila around the zoo lake. She walks nicely.

May 22, 2003 The concert. Margaret Archibald gave me a free ticket. She arrived with sister Sally and new shoes. No sponsor this season. Aldo, a short guitar player. Classical guitar isn't my cup of tea, I like(d) the electric one, played fluidly, not in a percussive style. This morning I bought the new Sony TV, a Stax, Dunkeld. Innocentia said that Sheila slipped through the gate when she (=Inno) left, but she did not even notice! Such a big dog! She understood my concern and helped me to carry the new TV into the house.
I gave her my whole collection of peanuts as they are the reason for my colon problems (allergy).

Rodney Trudgeon also seemed to have a new suit. Well done! He will travel to Germany to hear the "Ring."

May 21, 2003 Yesterday evening a certain Gregory came to my house to tell me this story: He found Sheila outside the house, and Henry running after her to catch her. But she hates him like the devil. Eventually they tracked her down, she was completely out of her mind. He offered his belt as a leash, but she wouldn't go with Henry. Then he drove her to my house. The collar was tightened, so it is likely that he was true. Then I asked him what I can do for him, and he was not shy to ask for money since he was retrenched. So I gave him 70 Rand. If it wasn't true, then he deserved it for making a good story. But probably Innocentia opened for Barry "the kitchen" J, and Henry was around, and Sheila, the stupid dog, took the chance and escaped.
One tablet of Zyrtec, long sleep. Today there is a concert at the Linder. Spanish music.

May 20, 2003 Innocentia says that she only wants to work for white people as they treat their domestic helpers with most respect. Grace Wahba sent me email; she is the "domestic partner" of my coauthor David Callan. What is a domestic partner? A politically correct version of girlfriend? She got her Ph.D. in 1966; google found her homepage. I don't know how old he is, but probably younger. I went to gym yesterday; terminals were down again. My dial-in account works now quite nicely. They have something new. So far it works. My colon problems seem to be related to peanuts!

May 19, 2003 They gave VC Nongxa a lifelong VC-contract. Wow! Innocentia did not come today, so I had to rearrange things with Barry the kitchenman. Tony ate too much yesterday, so he had a problem during the night. I am not cold at the moment, but I am afraid of freezing. I worked on the kernel method collection, for SLC. Tiger wasn't too good, and Amelie not shown on our TV. I was at the gym around 2 p.m., and did not see any familiar face. The german beer fest was very popular: SOLD OUT! Second symphony season starts this wednesday.

May 16, 2003 Different countries, different habits. In Europe, it is considered to be impolite to leave your hat on while speaking to a professor, unless you are Niki Lauda or so. Here, they do this and more! Yesterday, I felt miserable and exhausted. Today it seems to be better. Let's see how the day develops. I can't stand the cold. I could not play the role of Amundsen, Scott and the others. I saw a nice picture yesterday. Pluto would fit into the United States, and Charon even more.

May 15, 2003 Icy cold nights, daily high 22. My mother knew a woman "Hilde". Her most vivid interest was to give the "Fuehrer" as many children as possible: Manfred (1936), Almut (1938), Hedwig (1939). Then the husband (and engineer) went to war, but came back to produce the twins Dieter and Birgit (1943). Then the war was over, and this woman was barely 31, had no husband, 5 children, and no complete university education. But she was tough, got a small pension, tutored rich people's stupid kids, and survived. She even got a house, with a generous loan for such people. Hilde had 2 girl friends, of the same calibre, Johanna (Hansi), who became a politician, not for the Fuehrer anymore, but for the christian OeVP. She married an older man, not too attractive, but solid, and had three sons, Berghold, Reinhold, Helmhold (no-no-no, Helmar). The other one was Helene (Hella). Her father was about 60 when she was born, and fairly rich. She never really worked in her life, but got a Ph.D. in biology. She rented out houses and sold her properties slowly. Born Nov. 22, 1914, still alive. I don't know why I must rememember all these useless details. So much for my memory when I was a child. She waited for the young and shining teutonic hero who never arrived, and eventually married a semi-gangster (one daughter, Gertraud, 1946). Then she married an engineer (teacher). They had another daughter, Irmgard=Roswitha, 1955. They never divorced, but lived separate lives. Interestingly, Gertraud and Berghold married, but she could not produce children. I know more, but stop here.

This morning I had to hum the song "Bei der flotten Emma, da hoa3ts Gemma-gamma"; don't know why.

May 13, 2003 Temperatures from 1 to 19. I bought another heater and gave Henry an old jacket. He was happy. Simon is approaching. I must stop!

May 12, 2003 A cold spell! I saw a beautiful dog this morning, well trained, female, Tony-type. At the station, the guy filled in erroneously "leaded". A mechanic came and said "no problem", since I don't have a converter. Then shopping at the Spar in Melville. Fruits old and ugly. JIRSS.

May 9, 2003 Freezing nights, 24 during the day. Innocentia came 40 minutes late today. I must ask labour department for help. I will write it down every day she works. The left speaker of my TV does not work. Is it the cable? I go now through the HiFi system. The stupid clerk at the FlightCentre did not give me my passport back. New plastic bag regulation in South Africa.

May 5, 2003 Now it is cold. VC Nongxa will speak today about his vision of Wits for the next few years. I don't attend. I see two problems: the intellectual one and the financial one. I care more for the first one. Already now one does not have a very "academic" feeling when one enters the campus. That was different in the Strudlhofgasse. I was at a shooting range. And old ranger named Tex was there. He (very short) liked to talk. I wasn't good but not bad either. My pistol is very small, so the hammer hurt my hand a little. Guess what: Innocentia was very late again, but at least she called and announced that.

May 2, 2003 I bought ammunition for tomorrow. Then I went to the hypermarket. Lots of religious jewish people out there, shopping for the evening. A young woman, 4 children, and again pregnant. Well...
I watched the Alan Holdworth video. Huge hands, Basedow eyes. I figured out a way to connect the TV with the decoder, without the defect VCR. Pollen is in the air.

May 1, 2003 It is a public holiday, but I met VC Nongxa, Charlotte and Simon at the university. The delivery people from Glicks came eventually. (Two days ago they were too late, and nobody was at home.) I can't sleep at night; the NRF makes me so angry. The nights are quite cold now; the days nice. I will get the Otto Babendiek, thanks to some nice people in Graz. Alan Beardon gave a talk about polytopes, in the Great Hall. To name somebody Nicholas Nicolaidis shows a lack of fantasy, like Carsten Carstenssen, John Johnson, Tom Tompson, Meira Meyerson, Willy Williams, etc. A good name for a blues band "Cocky Stone and his Tongues".

April 28, 2003 News from the waterfront: After 8 years, the Docks has closed. Where are the bulgarian girls now? The whole place is a mess now and will not even keep the name "Waterfront".
Yesterday we had no electricity for 2 hours, and one VCR does not work anymore. I walked the doggies around the Zoo lake. Some people mumbled "beautiful". Did they mean me?
I ordered a chest of drawers at Glicks. The same boys work there who were previously at Cresta's 40 Wings. Here, in general, businesses don't last long. After a few years they disappear, like the student flight center at Wits.
I cooked Goulash with lots of paprika. Now I have to pay the prize.

American Pop Music of the Sixties: 1910 Fruitgum Company, Ohio Express, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. Except for GP completely faceless! GP is still around, I just found his webpage.

April 25, 2003 The doctor does not believe in my colon cancer. Let's hope that she is right.
To get a chest of drawers seems to be a complicated procedure. I learnt yesterday that I shouldn't tell each idiot that (s)he is one; they don't wanna know.

April 22, 2003 I was in the botanical garden in Roodepoort; lots of egg hunting kids and stressed parents, shouting at each other. VC Nongxa is in London; don't know why. Dog Monty is not in good shape, I hear. Courts Megastores disappears again, after perhaps less than two years. I informed myself a bit about musicians Vincent Crane and Adrian Gurvitz. I am happy about my Mendelssohn transscriptions. Easier key, easier bass. Saw Jurassic Park III on M-Net. And about Dinosaurs in the Gobi desert, a serious version.

Also interesting was on VH1 near death experiences of pop stars. There were accidents: Billy Idol, Rick Allen, Megadeth singer (name?), pyrotechnic accident (Metallica), tumor (Lou Gramm; gained a lot of weight after the operation), drugs: Nikki Sixx, David Crosby (needed a liver transplant), near heart attack of a 420 pounder, etc.

April 19, 2003 It has happened again! First, no network for almost one day, and now a complete breakdown of our email system. Supergau. [I mentioned already that the dictionary does not know this word.] When will they learn? While John O was handling it, is was basically working fine. Please send email to my account in Graz.

The new Vice Chancellor (Research) does not even seem to know me, although in theory I am one of the most prestigous researchers at Wits. I am not pleased.

I looked for some furniture, but was not pleased with what I saw.

Yesterday I attended the second half of the St. John's passion. I did not want to spend money that could benefit the woman without chin in one way or another. I had to sit on the stairs, but other people as well. NN was quite good. He is better now than a few years back. He can sing falsetto like Nicolai Gedda. The other tenor was good, too. A lower male voice was sung by an old fellow who looked like Peter Frankenfeld. A joke. The same women as last week. NN had a better dress, and his own small chair. His german pronunciation was very good, except for "Die Heiden". The average age of the choir must be 60. Like on old age home making an excursion. The ubiquitous bassoon player. The woman on the short bass. Dr Cock singing himself, in the bass section, next to the boss. Lots of old men with white beards. Suggestion: shave!

April 16, 2003 The graduation ceremony at Wits: VC Nongxa did it himself, now clean shaved. Perhaps related to his new job? A former member of staff, Kerstin J, got her Ph.D. She grows now long hair and looks quite strong and healthy. Some older women get sort of dry; Kerstin is still in her prime, systems probably working extremely well. Albert got his, too, although he was only addressed as Tuwani. After the event, there were drinks, but not many. That is not the right way to save money. The reputation would be worth more than a few hundred Rand saved. A long ceremony, but at least I had a seat, but, like in an airplane, no space for the shoulders and arms.

No ftp possible (15.25).

April 15, 2003 They get Professor Nongxa through with nontypical speed. It is in the newspapers, so I feel free to report. They say that he is far superior to the remaining 15 candidates. Let us assume, and we have to, that it is true. It looks bad, though. The outside world must be suspicious. Not very cleverly done. Absolutely not. Like, if your wife dies, you don't marry immediately again. You wait. You grieve.

The mathematics department of the University of Vienna has now a list of Alumni on their homepage. Although I did not get a formal degree there, I spent some years there, and most of what I learned during university years is from them. They recognized this and put my name on the list. Thanks. My recollections from the seventies are as follows. There was a crowd of young and eager people there, perhaps a bit arrogant, but not too bad. The attitude was "we are the best". It was based on the fact that they were indeed much better than the mathematicians at the other viennese institutions. And that was the reason that I went there to study. However, perhaps it was not too clear to them that Vienna wasn't everything. I sat through 4 courses of Karl Sigmund, each 5 hours per week. They had Siegfried Grosser, but he was not on equal par with the rest. He had some papers with Moskowitsch (spelling?), and based on them, they hired him from the states, although nobody really knew him. They should have hired the other guy. SG struggled through all his courses. He always had to come up with corrections the next lecture. Once, it was so bad, that he spent the whole hour just on corrections from previous lectures. He had thick sideburns and was friendly with female students, even though he was born in 1931. He left us. He wrote $c$ for eigenvalues, and did a couple of other strange things. Wolfgang Schmidt visited. And Ian Richards. They had Reiter, who did a form of algebraic analysis, "soft", which is not meant as a criticism. Like the more famous Andre Weil, he spent some time in Brazil. The french say Brezil. Cigler arrived in 1970, I believe, and he brought abstract functional analysis in his bag. Later, he changed to combinatorics, I am happy to report. They also hired Hejtmanek, who grew a moustache later, and it was never clear whether he was in mathematics or in physics. He was solid, but not inspiring. More like an advanced school teacher. They did not hire Reich, Schweiger, Aigner. Hejtmanek gave functional analysis, at 8 a.m., and he always talked to the cleaning lady, sometimes quite long, while the lecture should have started already. Maybe he wasn't too kean to present too much material; the course went on through the whole year anyway.

I bought a new heater on saturday; it was damaged, so I changed it this morning.

April 14, 2003 Some prominent people are often cited as Herbert "Schneckerl" Prohaszka, Walther "Schoko" Schachner, Johann "Lulli" Woeber, etc. I think that "Cubo" would be a nice addition to the list. "Cujo" is the St. Bernhard in a novel of Steve what-was-his-name, from Maine.
Innocentia always comes late. If that doesn't change, she can't continue here.
Bob card was swallowed by ATM machine. Only troube...
The Messiah: Better than last year. NN had a white dinner jacket, sleeves too long. Richard a new black shirt, huge, to hide his silhouette. Oh boy! This woman played again, and she looked as old as any grandmother! At 44 only! Only a bassoon in the orchestra, the leader of the orchestra "wrote himself in", as I read once about Eric Edwards. And there was Robin Finlay, who is quite a decent player. Otherwise just strings. The lower female voice had that heady sound, like M Caballe, that I do not like. She looked like a Gypsy woman. I hope that this is not politically incorrect. The other one was a bit wide in appearance. The bass was a local talent. Very loud, and slow with the coloraturas.
Tiger disappointed me.
The nissan garage did not have what they promised to have. So I have to go there again in the afternoon. 'nuff said!

April 13, 2003 Michael Drmota wrote this: Combinatorics and Asymptotics on Trees, Cubo Journal, submitted. When I saw this, I thought: What for heaven's sake is the Cubo journal? MathSciNet has this: Cubo Matemática Educacional. Why would Mister Drmota try to publish there? At the University of Vienna, there is a professorship available, with strong emphasis on didactics. You remember Reichel, who isn't around anymore? That seems to be the job. And this paper would make Drmota a serious contender. It is a pity that he has to go that way; he has many talents, but didactics does not seem to be his strongest side. Singer Anton Dermota filled in the letter "e" to make his name less obviously slavic. Funny that the president of slovakia has a perfectly german name, and the politicians in Vienna mostly czech ones. Another contender seems to be Mauser, a protege of Markowitsch. This department had people like Radon, Hahn, Goedel, Hlawka, Wirtinger, Helly. Oh, what became of it! Their best researcher, Christian Krattenthaler, has recently left for Lyon.
Both dogs made a mess during the night. Apparently some of the food wasn't good, probably the old bones.
Yesterday, Tiger played quite nicely, after two bad rounds.
There was a cherity at the hypermarket, and I bought lots of piano music for only 30 Rand. An album with easy Mendelssohn transscriptions. It has the song Italy (a Fanny tune).

April 11, 2003 A geometry professorship is available in Graz. The natural candidate: Geometriegeerdie!
The singer Nicholas Nicolaidis was interviewed on the radio. He admires Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. He wished to be a baritone because of that. I always thought that his voice isn't too high anyway, so that would be it. They never mentioned his condition directly.
One lady of our staff will retire early. I cannot give the name away (yet). The restaurant I enjoyed with Joerg is THUNDER GUN, near Cresta. I detected another one: If one turns at the Spar straight east, one runs into a restaurant that looks very nice, almost like at Stellenbosch. I did not exactly see the name, it only said "Carver Restaurant" or something like that.
On Sandton square, this sunday, they will give the Messiah again. Last year, it was quite bad, as reported in these notes. NN will participate again.

April 9, 2003 All my strength has left my body. Wilbur Smith would have said something like that. It is very warm for the season. Alois P did the revision of a joint paper. Well done, thanks. I ate at the Wits club. Nice pork, but either sweet chutney or Applemus (?!) with it. "Ja, a Holzknecht im Wald, der kann tuan was ihm gfallt.....und macht er sich dann a Mus, ruehrt er um mit seinem Fu3!" Oh, these were the times.
Hendrik planted a few new trees and bushes. I know a lot of trivia. Maybe I will come up with some incredible stuff later that week. Anybody remembers the email crisis from XII/2001? It could happen again. If I don't answer for a long time, use prodinger@finanz.math.tu-graz.ac.at instead.

April 4, 2003 My long-time watch is broken, so I had to switch back to some old ones, and get new batteries at the Hypermarket. I was with Tony at the vet, and he showed him to his new partner, a young woman named Marion. She was interested in beginning Pannus. I watched an old Jerry Lewis movie again, his rendition of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde stuff. Hilarious. Today is Group Theory test. I took already 2 aspirin.

April 2, 2003 Although Donald Knuth himself wrote a paper "The Toilet Paper Problem", our industrious editor would not allow "Toilet Paper" and suggested just "Paper" instead. The catholic Deutscher Hausschatz would probably have acted like that. I don't wanna pick at that person, I just report the truth.

April 1, 2003 At the conference, there was a man who looked more like an old woman. I find these cross-over persons extremely interesting and wish that I would know more about the subject.
I wanted to buy a couple of bushes and trees at Keith Kirsten and had already a large collection at the cashier. When it turned out that they had no compost, I turned my back and left. Haha, that is no way to make business. Imagine you want to cook, buy one thousand things and detect that they have no salt in stock. A good reason to leave the shop.
I might have gotten a bit of Guy Louchard's flu. It might be combined with allergy problems, one never knows.
I should write a popular article. Editor MD (it does NOT mean Marah Durimeh!) tried heavy censorship, a la Metternich on me, influenced by his/her catholicism. I should not say "my gifted student" but rather "my former student", etc. I gave up. Not with me. A plumber came this morning. The group leader was apparently not too happy about the quality of his team. I must call council to fix the water counter outside.

March 30, 2003 Ben Durham wrote to me; it is hard to imagine how angry he makes me once again.
I was at SLC50, near Obernai, in the middle of nowhere. Many interesting researchers around. The train from Basel to Zuerich had a quiet compartment, but local idiots spoke and cell-phoned anyway. A young woman came in with her crying baby, opened her privates in public, made the sucking possible, and left at the next station. The young woman in Strasbourg gave me wrong information about trains, based on her computer. Fortunately I did not believe her. The french in Elsass eat only pork. I am too angry at the moment to continue. Ben Durham killed my day.

March 22, 2003 I am soon leaving for Strassburg, via Zuerich. I am an invited speaker at the 50th Seminaire Lotharingien de Combinatoire. While it is nice that I am invited and not the more famous professors Baron and Kirschenhofer who attended very often and always told me that, since they are going, nobody else from the same institution is allowed to go, it is a lot of stress. I would rather like to stay here, since I have lots of things to do. The TU Graz has a job opening. Probably they want to keep Peter Grabner there. One influental senior combinatorialist told me once (in german) about the above mentioned Baron: "sehr unangenehme Person". Well...

March 20, 2003 Concert at the Linder. Zantha Hofmeyr, a wellknown local musician, played the Beethoven violin concerto. She was not bad, but had intonation problems, in the middle and lower range. She is probably still under 40 and quite elegant. The Drivers, Beardons, Hockmans also attended. A Mozart symphony as a starter, with small orchestra, and after the interval, as they call it here, Dvorak's 6th. I have a recording of it with Kubsi.
Lots of rain last night. Hopefully I can get to Europe without trouble, since the war has started.

March 17, 2003 I missed a concert last week. This week, I will go, and the following week miss it again, since I must travel to Strassburg. Sigh. People think it is fun to travel, but only if you do it as the Schah from Persia did it. People taking care of suitcases, documents, local transports, etc.
I detected the Cohen w-NAF, and that looks interesting.

March 12, 2003 Lunch hour concert with Louis Nortje. Bach: Partita1, Rachmaninov: Etudes-Tableaux (33/2), Liszt: Apres une lecture du Dante, La Campanella. He also played a south african composition. He is no Marc-Andre Hamelin. La C was a bit slow. But not bad. Wojciech Rytter asked me to apply in Liverpool. My pool has now a new timer and lots of stabilising chemicals. The dogs smell and need a bath. Problems with the neighbours. Clemens is in Leoben today to work with Joerg on Avanzi and Solinas (I hope). Schranz-Kirlinger applied for her habilitation. 40 years old. Mutterschutz, twice. Studied with Josef Hofbauer, then turned to numerics.

March 10, 2003 All the visitors are gone, but more refereeing and Drmota still wants me to write something for his IMN. 2 light bulbs finished duty yesterday. I could not pay my telephone bill this morning since the lines are down in the local post office.

Once I was invited to a colleague's wedding, and the father of him asked ME whether I know how the couple met, as the son would not tell him! I didn't know. But isn't it strange? Since the guy was ugly, shy, had no chin, no beard growing, close to -10 dioptries, dripping saliva when he spoke, and had an appalling body smell, it is a natural guess, that is was somehow arranged. How would he have found his primary school teacher otherwise? She was not as ugly, but probably not high on any man's list. Nothing against dating agencies, but why not telling his own father? The family was somehow wealthy, and the guy was very focused to become a professor, in the beginning by doing research, later by playing the system, so one could perhaps understand the woman. Sometimes the rabbi or the priest arranges marriages. In the case under consideration, they were ardent catholics.
He was not just "not good looking"; his ugliness was so bad that one could really feel sorry for him. Sometimes I wondered whether that could already be called "misfigured". But he developed some energy to get what nature would not provide. Literature has that type of person: "Uriah Heep". If UH would shake hands, you would have a trace of slime on your hand. (If I remember correctly; it is long ago that I read Charles Dickens.)

March 6, 2003 Yesterday concert in the Linder with Peter Grabner. Met Meira Hockman there with husband Maurice. Mussorgsky, Schumann, Vaughn-Williams.

March 5, 2003 The position of the VC has been advertised. I did not expect that they'll do it so soon. Confidentiality is not a problem, since an advert is for everybody. Has Norma Reed already been forgotten? Prof. Nongxa is for me the super-favourite. I am very proud that we have him. In his first career he concentrated on mathematics. Even now, he attended the big congress in China and kindly reported to us on it.

With visitor Joerg, I attended a concert at the Linder: Franck, Tschaikowky, Berlioz. Before we drove him to the airport, we visited the restaurant in Isando that I detected a year ago with Frieda. Another visitor is here: Peter Grabner. With Joerg, we made some progress on the Avanzi analysis.
Les horribles want to sell again, but to whom?
Instead of Johannella, Innocentia cleans during march. She is quite short-sighted and does not see the dirt. She uses too much household cleaner, and powdery remainders are everywhere. And she puts things in different and sometimes weird places.
The principal trumpet player is Robin Findlay (or so). He speaks now on the radio to us. Old Johnny played again, there were up to 5 drummers. The main cello woman was not there. But chef Nico played some bass again.
Server with my homepage down again at the moment. It seems that it is down every day around lunch time. I'll deposit this page later.

February 21, 2003 Poor sleep and pain (gout). Progress in the Avanzi project. J forgot to provide toilet paper and fresh towels. The trombone case was full of spider webs, which she pretended not to have seen.

February 20, 2003 I can't sleep properly at night. The reason is the NRF. They sit in their cozy place on the outskirts of Pretoria, that reminds me of a holiday resort. As a contrast, researchers often sit in shabby holes, with power failures, no water for 3 days, rain dripping through the roof, noise, etc.
That is how life works. Not the guy who plants the potatoes wins but the business tycoon who sells them to an army. Talk about something, don't do it, then first class tickets and fat limousines will suddenly be within reach. The list goes on and on. [The Toto song is "the road goes on and on".]
After I found eventually some sleep, heavy rain woke me up. Back to Joerg and his Avanzi automata.

February 17, 2003 On saturday, I had a nightmarish dream. The main line was that VC Nongxa fired me.
I watched Tiger again, but was so tired that I felt asleep. With Joerg, we ate at the Schwaben Butchery. He liked it.

February 13, 2003 One of my guesses was wrong. Instead of Kathy Driver, Belinda Bozzoli was appointed VC. I don't know anything about her, but will try to find out.
Tony has Pannus, an unpleasant eye disease. Oh, what a day.

February 11, 2003 My old fridge was repaired for 300Rand, but the elderly repair guy came at 6.30 a.m. He was awfully thin. With that lack of sleep, the day does not look too good.

February 10, 2003

Taxi strike, no Johannella. And no connection to the server; again, or still? Welcome!

Student's behaviour Many students don't behave properly at Wits. Here are some rules for improved behaviour:
Don't think that a university is a holiday camp. It is a place to study, to think, to learn. Your attitude should reflect your pride to be in such a nice place, and that you have the priviledge to be near well educated and highly talented people.
Take a shower before you come to university. If you tend to have strong body smell [ask a friend for an opinion], repeat the procedure more often. After you ate vinegar, onions etc., don't come too close to other people. Don't shout and scream. Talk at a low to medium voice at most. You disturb other people who want to work and are not interested in your output. Don't chew bubble-gum in public. It is disgusting. Switch off your cellular phones. Show some respect. If a door is open, don't come in automatically. "Of course," no connection to the ftp server. Welcome!

February 9, 2003

My refrigerator (brandname AIM) does not work properly anymore.

Secretaries Some are devoted, some are not. I have seen lots of them in different countries and places. Most of them seem to spend a lot of time on the telephone. Some do not stop their private conversations when you enter. Even when you are a professor, it might happen.

Boston The recent CD is perhaps not their strongest effort. The country singer looks probably impressive on stage, but does not fit too well here, IMHO.

Dawayne Bailey Whenever I watch the videos, I am again impressed. Very fluid guitar playing, and effortless high notes.

My eye sight Bad! Diminished body functions, what shall I say.

Recently, I detected a couple of authors and papers, perhaps before others did. That seems to be a strange sort of talent. I mention: Solinas-Avanzi-TanjaLange, Kirkman's hypothesis, curious identity, Keller's in situ, Guentzer-Paul, Sattolo, FotoAfrati, Nudel=Nadel, Di Bucchianico=Gauss.

Czech-Swiss MH retires. Can't say that I miss her.

I cannot (yet) find the sixth game of Deep Junior on the internet. Ftp to the server is not possible. Shall I say more?

February 4, 2003

The NRF: I know a case, and the details are all open knowledge, about two researchers, X and Y. They work roughly in the same area. X publishes significantly more papers than Y. They supervise a few students together, but on top of that, X supervises a few others alone. X has also a higher rating than Y. However, the NRF gave Y almost twice as much research money than X. I know a few other details but am not allowed to present them here. The NRF posts that they are very much into fair procedures and peer reviews. That is pathetic! Welcome to South Africa, as Arnold often says!

February 1, 2003

How to make a career. First, get rid of those that are in your way. There are methods to do that. Even old Plutarch discusses it. Then, crawl up the asses of the mighty and hope that they don't forget your devoted services.

Wits has apparently a crisis. But I am not allowed to describe it here.

January 28, 2003 I drove to Stellenbosch to work with Andre Weidemann. He and his family of Mari+Hendrik, Nicholas, Rheenamarie are just great. Even if I wanted to, I would not find negative things about them. These families are the strength of the country. We worked quite hard, but now the Pade series is almost completed. On my way back, I visited the big hole in Kimberley. One does not see much, just water in the middle of the hole. Today I bought my air ticket for Europe, since Christian Krattenthaler was kind enough to nominate me to be a speaker at his special event SLC50. Then I tried to buy furniture, but the sales girl was so stupid that I left the shop. I also have to read what my coauthors Grabner and Heuberger write. Some stupid person ruined some of my wooden poles outside the house; Henry must come with the old cement again. Johannella came today with fake hair. Well, does not change much. In Stellenbosch I was at Muratie, Delheim, Delaire. Also in the Volkskombuese, to eat game. I had some stomach problems, but that is better now. I have the Moscheles' piano concertos since today. People with a primadonna syndrome have a difficult life. Sheila's ears are again attacked by flies. I drove 3000 km! I listened to some old cassettes during the drive. Starship's Sarah has most likely synthetic drums+bass, programmed by Peter Wolf, the Viennese who lives now in Los Angeles. I missed the Venus vs. Serena game. Friedrich Urbanek taught me some religious songs, and I realize that "Jesus und Maria" has the same constellation of syllables as "Venus und Serena". Rainer Mlitz sent a letter: they want my book review. Large emails were lost a few days ago. Etc. I must rush back to my duties.

January 15, 2003 It is now so hot that I hardly can work. Especially, since sleep is not really refreshing. Johannella used my Gluehwein bags to make tea this morning! I imported them myself from Europe with lots of effort, and then this. Behind some of my CDs I discovered lots of dust. Susan Cock was interviewed on the radio. Oh, why is Rodney Trudgeon doing that? I was not pleased. I listened to the 2000 CD "the 27 Nr 1 hits" by the Beatles. In later years, John Lennon hardly did anything, as far as I can judge. All the hits were sung by Sir Paul, with the exception of All You Need... I wonder who was actually in the studio, except for Sir Paul and Producer George Martin. On saturday, I will drive to Stellenbosch, to work with Andre Weidemann. Neville Robbins is visiting Arnold at the moment. A paper with Peter Paule was finished.

January 11, 2003 Yesterday I bought a chicken at Checkers which was dreadful. The dogs benefitted. I wonder when the J-man will start to threaten with censorship. They tried it with Jeffrey Shallit, but it was NOT good for the university. To victimize an innocent researcher can never help them in the eye of the public. Read the new Flajolet paper on Boltzmann. Maurice Gibb died, the former husband of "I'm a tiger Lulu."

January 8, 2003 On Dec. 31. BBC had the concert for "50 years Queen Elizabeth". While people like Phil Collins and Eric Clapton are always around, Sir Paul McCartney was the star of stars.
Yesterday I couldn't go to the gym: Power failure of large parts of Johannesburg.
On TV: Medical Miracles. Quite touching!
Just downloaded from G Andrews: Fibonacci numbers and RR identities. Car had a service, and breaks fixed.
Wolfgang Bankl liked Jussi Bjoerling a lot, as far as I remember.
Helmut Zenker dead. I knew a man (Bertl Bauer?, wife Carola? house in Grenzgasse) who worked as a croupier in the casino and knew Z from there since he was a frequent gambler. Z wrote a series of short TV shows about the fifties, and I was somehow involved, although only in a very minor way. He had at least 4 children and chain smoked, if I remember correctly. He and Bertl produced a single that was recorded in Bad Voeslau. The owner of the studio was a german man (Mathias?). His mother was rich and supported his frencies. He died later under strange circumstances. Bad Voeslau had the Kammgarnfabrik. In 1972 I used, as a summer job, to fill up their softdrink machines. Later, it was shut down, and the objects were used differently.

January 7, 2003 I have a student who is constantly scratching his genitals while talking to me. That is very disturbing, to say the least. My car is at the garage for a major service and a check of the breaks. The vicious dog of the horribles went into my property and attacked Tony. Quite interesting, they stood head to tail and did nothing. Then Sheila also appeared. I tried to chase him away with kicks. A white woman and a black woman could not control this monster. They were not the proper dog owners, they were just around the house. There are always many people around. Eventually they got a leash.
Styx will have a new studio album, without Dennis DeYoung. Hopefully, Glen(n) will also sing something.
Wolfgang Bankl, who studied physics almost until the end, and played funky bass in some pop bands, is now a singer with the vienna state opera. In bands, his voice was not really required, since only tenors count. Remember the band Alias (Fredi Cucci, I believe). And Steelheart. WB sings probably the range of Fischer-Dieskau. His father was a teacher in the teacher's training college in Baden. Politician and law professor Willi Brauneder lives there and publishes about saxonian Carl May. Does he also publish about law? Please report back!
Ursula Targler from Laxenburg gave singing lessions in the Musikschule Gumpoldskirchen. Now the internet says that she lives in Berlin and has a daughter. She used to have a boyfriend Boris, I believe. I took lessions from/with her around 1986. She must be 40 by now. Poldi Krammer knows her perhaps better. He was in Thomas Gottschalk's Show in Vienna, and one could clearly see him and his wife sitting in the audience. Her parents own a huge wine business called Biegler. UT appears on a recording of Alceste, with the book by Christoph Martin Wieland. I love him. Read Clelia and Sinibald. Very elegant.
Maple ran out of memory with my differential equation.

January 3, 2003 We have a heatwave at the moment; I see lots of people who are so lazy that they don't even lift their feet when they are walking. I visited North Gate; they have a skating rink. R22 entrance, R10 renting equipment. Not bad! Outside 30 degrees, inside skating. Anybody knows Carl Spindler (Der Jesuit, Der Jude, Der Vogelhaendler von Imst)? William Matteuzzi is really amazing. Effortless. Compare that with Bruce Ford, who must fight for it. WM is the Ari Leschnikoff of our days. Yesterday, they had Celine Dion on TV, and her old Rene. Great voice, much nicer than Gruberova and her head resonance type of voice, like male falsetto. For the satellite, Emo Welzl's algorithm (restart!) worked.
I sometimes see the BBC show "the weakest link." Once, she said to a candidate: "last round you were slow & stupid." He answered: "huh, maybe I had an unfortunate round, some bad luck..." She insisted : "no, you were slow & stupid."
Sorting socks goes back to Daniel Bernoulli and was studied by David Steinsaltz in his ph.D. thesis.

December 30, 2002 I made a bad move in the gym; now my back hurts terribly! I am good at guessing numbers, let's see what I can guess in real life. About one month ago I guessed that: "Wits" will wait a bit, and then Nongxa will become VC, and Driver Deputy VC. Here it is; let us compare with reality later. For Arnold's problem one should first use the saddle point method, and then Hwang's quasi-power theorem. The NR beard will come off on January 1. Several TV channels did not work yesterday.

December 27, 2002 Yesterday: no email and internet. Fortunately, it works again. But not a stiffy disk on which I brought an important file to Wits. Kurwa! Ron Sommer's supervisor might have been Fritz Schweiger! I ate a big mac today! The first in several years, for R14. I wish I could shave but I promised to poor Norma Reid not to until 2003. When the big rain comes, it is so loud in the gym that one cannot hear anything. Remember one year ago? Almost 2 weeks without email!

December 23, 2002 Yesterday there was no electricity at Wits. Welcome home! In Graz, I went to the hair dresser I. Germann, next to the BinderWirt. I don't shave until 2003, that is my protest against what happened to poor Norma Reid. Now I spent several hours to find something in old volumes of the American Mathematical Monthly. The search is still going on.
I found it: Knuth's pills problem in the AMM. My expensive dictionary does not have the word "Supergau". And next weekend: no electricity! Tomorrow: discussions with Kathy.

December 20, 2002 Others are a star, I have a star! Eventually! I went to the Schwaben butchery, for all the pork that one does not get here. Great stuff! Near Edenvale, where some people whom I know vaguely live. I paid Johannella today: Three days for free and forfeit of her debths. She goes to Fryberg until January 6. Oh! But maybe her sister Umpho will come. Probably the correct spelling is just Mpho. But I add "U" which makes it easier to pronounce. Water comes out from the spanish dishwasher. Hopefully only worn-out washers. Eben was here yesterday to collect money. He and Idele did a very good job, and as a bonus they are now mentioned here, for all the millions of people out there to hear about it. My Revox CD player eventually works again. I was upgraded to business class by Swiss. I will stay with them whenever possible. But the NRF gave me very little money! Jethro Breet from Flight Center moves to another branch; he sent a card. My blood pressure is high, but I can't find my tablets.
More about Graz: TU Graz is better than TU Vienna, as far as mathematics goes. Once I ate at the vegetarian restaurant: a big mistake. Expensive, and not good. The coffee machine is at level -1, and the prize for one unit is 45 cents. At the friday of the mini colloquium we drove to a nice restaurant at a hill, in St. Peter (?). Sophie Tichy was also around. She resembles her father; brother Phillip his mother. Now I play a new CD, Romantische Chormusik, published by Thorofon. This publisher is responsible for the "music for Arno Schmidt", something I don't like at all. [Eine Edition der Arno Schmidt Stiftung und der Randlage Eschede Konzert für Arno Schmidt Mitschnitt eines Konzerts des ENSEMBLE KÖLN unter Robert HP Platz vom 2. "Heide(n)spektakel Eschede" am 25.7.1989. Erschienen Sommer 1991 als CD bei Thorofon € 15,34 zuzügl. Versand/Porto]

December 19, 2002 Yesterday I was in the gym, and suddenly low on sugar: I started to tremble! This morning I got a golden chain fixed for 40 Rand (soldering), paid the telephone bill and the TV license, and ate half a chicken at Al's Gourmet chicken. Boy, was that chicken small! A dwarf in the chicken kingdom! And filled with onions. Gulp!
In Graz, we ate often at the Mensa. Great place, but one should not stay too long, since the smell would otherwise leave with you (and your clothes). The soup was usually thick, made with too much flour. After 12 meals, one meal free. I went also to the BinderWirt, corner of Radegunderstra3e and Andritzer Reichsstra3e. See the owner, it is quite a sight! Large portions! And another one is the Heimkehrer, a bit to the north. Gluehwein&Punsch are now popular. There was a nice mini colloquium, with me starting, and then the great talks of Carsten Schneider and Alois Panholzer. We went, together with Joerg Thuswaldner, to the Krebsenkeller. I remember what I ordered, but the reader (Sonja?) is probably not interested. I had a ticket for a month on the public transport system. I spent a day in Vienna, for the habilitation of Alois Panholzer. The famous D gave his famous arguments, why he supports only small areas in the habilitation cases. I don't buy a word of it, but somehow he became a mighty person in the system. Well, noble and intelligent Johann Cigler did not comment on it. Then food with Kuich etc in a place near Mariahilferstra3e and Ring. They forgot AP's Emmenthaler. The waiter was hungarian or something. Then I rode a train to Wr. Neustadt and was happy having left Vienna. All the drug dealers in the middle of town (Karlsplatz), at the entrance of the University building.
I bought Berlin Alexanderplatz at Moser's. Hm, I am not a fan of Wolfgang Doeblin's dad. Constant discussions about Solinas, etc. A talk by Plato. Nonono, the less famous Robert P. There are now many talks, because of a vacant chair. Dani B was also there, with her large collection of cashmere pullovers.

December 18, 2002 A first set of impressions from my trip to Graz. Local student Teufl and Lamberger did their final exams for their ph.D. while I was around. And then I attended a ceremony for them, Livia=Loretta Cristea [what a name!] and several other ph.D. candidates. Overcrowded hall, long useless speeches... Two little girls in the audience with knitted pullovers (purple), with the same type of wool. Clemens Fuchs provided the biography of Dieter Bohlen. I saw him on TV, with Guenther Jauch. The book sold 500.000 copies! The proofreading wasn't good. A popular synthesizer from the 80ies was called Profit, but it is really Prophet. Teufl spoke also in Reich's seminar, and then Reich provided drinks in the bar downstairs. Very friendly. I attended a concert with Christoph Pregardien. Only 3 Euros, standing, but I could rush to the sitting area, as it wasn't full. Lyrics by Heinrich [Harry] Heine. Music by various people. Encore by Mendelssohn, Neue Liebe. I like that one. Very fast figures on the piano. And with Uli Dieter, I went to see Don Carlo (Don Carlos, Don Karlos, Dom Carlos...). Elisabetta from Tiflis. 38.50 Euros, first row. Good view, but too much orchestra. A viola player girl looked all the time to her male neighbour, with that special look in her eyes. Then Brandhof, two Weihnachtsbock. Uli drove me home. It was very icy, and with my insufficient shoes, I fell down. No apparent damage done. I got my gun license and will pick up the "Star" this afternoon. I spent some money on CDs this morning. Zygmunt Stojowski. Now I must stop, and help the girls to read off some coefficients.

November 16, 2002 I will soon leave for Graz. The local Peter Grabner has arranged everything with utmost efficiency. I removed Tony's stitches. The library sent me a ridiculous fine of R607, but it was their fault. Always trouble. And now fear, inquiries. The "Star" has it one page one! Why don't they offer ME the golden handshake? I could then become a travelling researcher, a bit like Erdos.

November 13, 2002 Interesting news about Wits. I cannot speak, my lips are sealed, but try google to find out about the recent crisis. Problems also with Courts megastore. I am too tired to explain, perhaps later. Tony's stitched-on bandage has been removed, and the vet again told me about how marvellous he is. I bought the huge amount of dog food today, and a new stereo for my kitchen. The old radio I gave to Johannella. I bought it in Ludwigshafen in 1983, when I drove towards Paris, where Claude Puech invited me to stay for 2 weeks, I believe. At that time, JP Serre's wife was mistress (!) of ENS (for girls), and J Tits appeared at a party! He had a salt-and-pepper suit. That old radio was reduced in prize since it was scratched, but was about 300 DM, I believe. Or 350. Anyway, it had a single cassette drive (which was completely ruined by my first maid). Now one gets much cheaper and better equipment.

November 8, 2002 Eventually, I can connect from home again. I cannot describe what happens since I am afraid!
The concert yesterday: Soloist Laura Mikkola, a tall, skinny, blonde, finnish woman. This body type is just skin and bones as children, but later in life look elegant. They have no diet problems. They changed the order of the program from the day before, so they had to move the piano twice. I don't know why. Freischuetz ouverture was lame, several times some violins came in too early. Piano concerto by Rautivaara (or so): modern. Fast runs in the left hand, clusters in the right, semitones and even the elbow! Not a "nice" piece, but it reflects the turmoil of our life. After the interval: Grieg, symphonic dances. Not his strongest, then Rachmaninoff's variations of Paganini. This one I heard first with a fusion band, in the seventies: Andrew Lloyd Webber arranging, brother Julian playing, guitarist Gary Moore playing, and probably Hiseman etc. Liszt arranged it for piano. Johnny played triangle, snare drum (not with sticks), wooden blocks, and ride cymbal. Rodney Trudgeon, the radio announcer, was around. He always uses the same jacket, russian style. I saw Janet Helmstedt, but she did not see me. She was with an old man. A year ago (Saint-Saens piano concerto) she was with a younger man. Well, maybe a son or a neighbour... The prize/value ratio was again excellent! A youngish announcer told the crowd to switch off the lousy cell phones. Apparently, they had to stop the day before. They always record for classic FM. On this station, yesterday, while driving home, they played an old life recording from Mozart violin concerto (5) from the old city hall. The quality of the recording was ridiculously bad.
Revisions: the Panholzer-Riedel stuff, but we wait. And the Margulies material is waiting for me. The HOT paper is submitted. Clemens Fuchs sent a sketch of his course. My former brilliant student Ulrich Schmid will be a full professor soon: well done!

November 5, 2002 Loisi Th did not referee a paper, but he mentioned health and family problems. Good luck to him! Albert is here, for his revisions. Simon is still in the north, after some car problems. Tony had another operation this morning, a cyste, as large as the previous one. A patent dressing has been stitched to the wound, as far as I can understand. Antibiotics. He was a bit depressed when I fetched him. Poor dog. I saw a photo of the woman who stays in the famous appartment in Graz. Wow! Eventually I bought the 4 CDs from Medtner, complete sonatas, with Marc-Andre Hamelin, although the prize was horrible. What the heck! I might be dead tomorrow, so what. Millions of students are hanging around, apparently they are writing exams soon. Tomorrow the Stellenbosch conference starts, but I have no energy for that. I must find out about the next concert, maybe tomorrow. Usually one season is 3 concerts, I believe.

November 2, 2002 No dial-in account for this weekend! Words cannot describe how I hate these people. I walked with Sheila to the Parkview shops. After yesterday's training in the gym I had some chest pain. But it has gone by now. I need some holidays!

October 31, 2002 Pious GeometrieGeerdie will probably take the day of and spend some time with the Lord.
The concert: Much better than last week! Worth every Rand! The Moldau: from Smetana (->Syphilis). A classic. Then Elgar's famous Cello concerto. The soloist played well, a young man with a russian name. Jacqueline du Pre was successful with it. After the "interval", Sheherezade from old Rimskij. Huge orchestra, 5 people in the percussion section, almost Santana dimensions. Johnny did mostly the snare drum. 2 flutes + 1 piccolo, 7 celli, 4 basses, 2 clarinets, 3 trombones, 2 trumpets (hagen and the blond guy who hits the high notes), 4 horns, etc. Even a harp. Arthur Every from physics was there, and Margaret Archibald. We got the program for the first few concerts in 2003! A few highlights: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Vaughn-Williams: 5th, Mendelssohn: Italian, Dvorak: 5th. Apparently, they always have a symphony after the interval, and a concerto before, plus an opener. Tchaikovsky: violin, Schumi: piano (very famous, too), Schumi: Cello, Beethoven: violin. Sponsor this time was Standard Bank.
I was with Tony at the vet, because of his lump (cyste). Will be removed next tuesday. The vet said again nice things about Tony, and that some breeders go for the aggressive type, but he is not, and he has good teeth, his weight is alright, etc.
I must go to Cam to listen to a presentation of a student.

October 29, 2002 New concerts this week in the Linder auditorium! The Moldau, Sheherezade, and the Cello concerto by Elgar. This one was played so often by Jackie (from the Hillary and Jacky fame). Today I must speak to SJ Johnston, Margaret A, Kathy, Kate, and Simon. What a day! Weather is cooler; rain during the night.
C Labuschagne gave a seminar here: Grothendieck, Pietsch, cross norms, tensor products of Banach spaces, etc. I think that all the theses in Vienna, guided by J Cigler before he moved into Combinatorics (Rindler, Michor, Haslinger, Grosser,...) are heavily influenced by that stuff. Not that I am crazy about it, but it is interesting that within a few days it popped up several times. Like Rossini, Grothendieck stopped early (and the now famous John Nash). John Nash was probably a sprinter for SA around 1960-70, and Johnny Cash a country singer. Johnny no-cash.

October 27, 2002 In Vienna, at the university, in the early seventies, a lot of people where mightily into "Grothendieck." And now, Quaestiones M prints a series of papers which survey the master's paper from 1953! Read the masters, that is what some people say. Grothendieck's dad (Shapiro) was a revolutionary. His mom Hanka had her children from different fathers. I believe that this is also true for former skater Claudia K-B. I found a paper by Pierre Cartier which has some Grothendieckisms.
The concert: It was worth every Rand I spent on it! The solo violinist was an old man with white hair. He was unbelievably bad. Always too slow, behind the beat, and with poor intonation. The cello man was much better. Kutlwana did not play in the cello section, but the usual two thin women. If you come closer, you see the old skin; too bad for them. Drummer Johnny played triangle in the Schumann symphony. Not much to do for him. I have the arrangements of Gustl Mahler of the Schumi symphonies; bought them in Canada. Hagen stilled played trumpet, but shortsighted Wolfgang was not there (a german horn player). Not many people in the audience.
About the NRF meeting I cannot say much, since I signed a document that seals my lips and freezes my typing fingers. Only that a man was there, one year younger than me and completely grey! They gave us food and soft drinks, also tea and wine at the end. I slept in the guest house S. An africaaner family, nice people, all quite fat. Two little dogs; a noisy room. I could hear the conversation from the neighbouring room, and the gate outside, everytime somebody entered. They have a very good grass, like a carpet. My Henry (Hendrik?) cannot achieve that. One woman Hendrika calls herself Henda. She is in graph theory. The famous Kieka apparently left the country.
They built a garage inside the garage, near my car, probably for some prominent wits administrator. Hopefully, for him/her, they might repair now the roof; after the rain, there is always a huge swimming pool in the area.

October 23, 2002 Yesterday I got my new Hansa motor. The guy installing it had completely rotten teeth, but was otherside friendly and competent. The guy whom I contacted earlier just drives around, has nice cloths, and gives the jobs to smaller companies, and takes percents. That is like the indian tailors in Thailand; they never work, but have fancy shops, and offer alcoholic drinks to rich german customers.
I must produce a translation of my police clearence, although it contains only one line. So I went again to Linden, Sandra was again not there, the radio was extremely loud, but eventually she turned it down. But she ate while talking to me. Then I went to Victory Park to have some breakfast. The pool works again, after refilling and backwashing. A cryptic message was on my voicemail, but apparently is was related to a student in statistics, not mathematics. The rubbish remover came, but very early, so I woke up, and now I am not in good shape. It was the brother of the "real" rubbish remover.
There is a chance that Carsten Schneider can visit Graz while I am there. Let us see whether I have enough energy for the Linder today, since I must still study some documents for tomorrow's meeting in Pretoria.

October 22, 2002 Revisions! The Deutsch paper, the Riedel paper, the Margolius paper, the Kate paper, the Grabner Knopfmacher paper (galleys). I don't know where to start; I am running in circles. Running after referees: LT. Finding referees. Refereeing papers. Reading CVs and applications. The gate motor did not come; hopefully today. How can one be a professor and spending only half a day in the office? Would not work for me... I received Astrid Reifegerste's thesis. Perhaps one could q-ify some stuff. She, together with her boss, moved to Hannover. This is where GS originates from? Harald Schmidt called him Schnitzel-S. His third wife H refused to cook (!) him his preferred Schnitzel-Essen.

October 20, 2002 It was very painful to get the west annex opened. The main security guy smoked in the lobby, although this is forbidden. Henry is painting again. Tomorrow, the gate guys should come. Revisions and referee reports, that is my life!

Oh, I forgot: There will be "Linder" again; I don't have tickets yet (!). Brahms double concert, Rusnam & Ludmilla ouverture, Schumann spring symphony.

October 18, 2002 Now we have a heat wave, and no rain. Tony lost so much hair during the last few days; I could hardly believe it. I just came back from Pretoria, seeing Konsul Redl. Heavy traffic, even in the morning. What will Kramnik against Fritz bring us? More revisions to be done (Bassino). Ron Sommer (the internet reports his earlier name Aaron Lebowitsch) studied mathematics in Vienna, the thesis was about limit theorems for the entropy of number theoretic functions. Who was his supervisor? Hlawka? Flor? Prachar?

October 16, 2002 The ladies initials are EF, since I thought about a different spelling. Like Werfel's wife, who knew many men, such as Mahler, Kokoschka, Zemlinsky, Gropius. Charlotte Brennan gave a nice talk about q-series. Many people attended. Next monday I will hopefully get the new gate motor. The gate itself must be straightened out since it is badly bent. I made some experiments about Pade approximations, and found (empirically) nice formulae. Now my coauthors must prove them, haha. My operation went well; it looks like a Caesar's, but is not quite in the right position. Tania got the money today; they don't have a credit card facility, but she accepted my cheque. At the post office, they do not, and I saw a man negotiating with the woman for several minutes. They have funny shirts there, uniform type, with stamps on it, etc. I had to go there three times recently, once it was a mistake, they gave me somebody elses slip, than the reprints of the preface of the special issue with B Vallee, and today Carsten Schneider's letter with some forgotten items. Always a long procedure, and a loud radio with pop music, just to annoy the customers. I gave Alois' syrup to Johannella today, and she asked me for a can of fish. I don't know why, but I gave it to her. Henry's progress with painting is slow. He comes now on tuesdays to my neighbour; they build something, I don't know what it is. The electric barbecue is nice, I tried it for the first time, easy to use, and strong. Don't overcook your steaks! I watched a bit of Neil Peart's instruction video. This is such a good drummer! And intelligent. Apparently he remarried after his wife and daughter died. In the hypermarket, they have now a limit for money transactions to third parties: R2500. My police clearance from Austria has arrived; I received a phone call today. Herr Redl am Apparat. VC Nongxa spoke about his trip to Bejing. He did it well; I knew most of it from the internet, but it was well architectured, for a large audience. He attended mostly algebra talks there, as he said.

October 11, 2002 Wits gives us the edge as they say, but Wits bureaucrats not. There is a lady with the initials AF who makes my life a misery, and I will not hesitate to mention her name in full when she goes on like that. And our library wants to cut journal subscriptions again. Every year. Do they know what a geometric progression is? In the garage at Senate House I saw a man (now powerful) in a huge mercedes! Wrong priorities! Dry out research. Well, this is ONE method; other ones would be better. Tomorrow I want to order a new motor for my gate. I am sick and tired of what I have. A nice young couple will live in my house while I am away. I defrosted my fridge this morning and might have forgotten to switch it on again. So I cannot stay here for long. I went to Universal Paint in LindenPark for 10 liters of paint, so that Henry can continue.

October 8, 2002 All the visitors have disappeared, now I must do some clean up after the event. One forgot to give me the keys, but it was partially my fault. It happened to me in Poland 2000, but then I was so weak because of the food poisoning. Tomorrow I must see Dr Edwards. Tania said that this visit is free. Well, not free, but included in the hefty fee from before. Yesterday we had strong rains, and it was cold. I am not shy to use heaters. I have now an electric barbecue, but I have not tried it yet. This morning, I did some necessary shopping; on saturday, with Carsten, the queue was so long that we gave up. Now it was easy.
Andre Weideman was also here, because he needs lots of identities. We were all in Kathy's place for some indian food, prepared by Priscilla. My helper cannot cook. I have some trouble to plot nice graphics with Maple/Postscript. Guy Louchard and Clemens Heuberger are helping me. My home printer has been repaired, that is nice. I cut a few branches of my lemon tree that were partially outside of my property. Henry had to remove the mess. I got a few expensive CD's with Marc-Andre Hamelin, but the "super virtuoso" is worth it. We saw a lunch time concert in the great hall at Wits, a piano trio. It was quite bad, to be honest. Both string instruments were tuned too low. Quite embarrassing, the oldish piano guy gave them notes, and they did not react. In a Shostakovich trio, the cello played lots of flageolett notes. Boy, was that bad!

September 30, 2002 I use now the keyboard from the disfunctional '97 computer in my office; the old one wasn't good anymore. Especially the 'e'-key. I walked the dogs with Carsten and injured my ankle. I did not sleep well... worked on the Margolius stuff (with Guy Louchard). Had dinner at the Black Steer; they raised the prizes drastically! Tomorrow Andre Weideman from Stellenbosch will visit. Yesterday I bought paint in the Greenside hardware shop: expensive and too thin. With Carsten and Henri Faure we spent some time last week at the Hartebeesportdam: lunch and snake show. Charlotte found somebody for house sitting when I will be away. Golf on TV was disappointing. HF is now in the Kroeger park.

September 21, 2002 I just came back from the Versailles conference. The weather was warmer than expected, but we had some bad rain, too. Two invited speakers did not come: Janson and Pittel. M. Drmota gave a replacement talk. It was quite nice. Of course, the french smoke all the time and everywhere. The conference dinner was in a hotel. Waiters were not too friendly. The food was good but the portions tiny. (Nouvelle cuisine?) Andreas Weiermann reminded me about the size of the portions in our local Black Steer. The last night I spent in the IBIS hotel at the airport since my flight was early. Swiss upgraded me to C-class. That meant nonstop eating. In France, apparently, the trendy look is that trousers and shirt do NOT meet, leaving part of the belly uncovered. Hm. After the operation I feel much better, no longer poisoned. Thomas Prellberg was there, and he showed me a manuscript about the positivity of the coefficients of a certain q-expression (with D Stanton). Mireille Bousquet-Melou's talk about walks in the quarter plane was very impressive. She told me about the yellow book of Guy Fayolle et al which I must try to get.
I was in the Makro today, and bought something that it broken. So I must go there again, to change it. Sigh. Always problems. The pool is green. Shock treatment, anti-algae, etc.

September 14, 2002 Just before I leave for the Versailles conference: Professor Khumalo has his 70th birthday and was interviewed on the radio. On sunday, they will have a mass choir event that I fortunately miss. Visitor Carsten Schneider arrived, and on September=11 I had an operation. Svante Janson does not come to the conference since his wife is sick. Boris Pittel also. So I am a real martyr. I am now the director of the John Knopfmacher centre, something I did not want to be. But they need me, because of my rating. Soon, I will be a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.

September 6, 2002 Yesterday Johannella did not come, but she came today, but very early, and forget her key. Then I went back to bed. My philosophy is that I need enough sleep to do reasonable work. I agreed with Tanja on wednesday, 12 o'clock. Sheila (most likely) ruined another piece of Gardena (related to the water hose). Some "locals" scribbled something on my wall. Fortunately Henry will come on sunday to do some painting. He is very religious, but told me that he forgets about going to church if he gets jobs. I ran into James Ridley this morning at the Parkview Spar. When driving home, I heared a horrible version of the famous aria of the queen of the night. The "artist" was a certain Christina. The coloraturas very slow, and each note sounded like going through a digital delay. Awful sound. And apparently the "famous" Sue Cock appears tomorrow afternoon in a church at 15.00. For R25 you could get tea and see her. I advise you to do something else. On sunday, there is a public walk in the local Zoo. Related to Barbara Margolius, I feel that one can get more results using the saddle point method. I must do some calculations. But ... life is short. The dial-in account did not work yesterday. In general, though, I must agree that everything is better now than it was. Remember the horrible situation around December?

September 4, 2002 Hannekie Botha from the NRF said that she will send money for the french visitors. Nothing has arrived, and now we are in trouble. I saw surgeon G Edwards today. He called me "Helmut" and has seen apparently many spider bites. His secretary "Tanja" just told me that he charges "private rates," but did not give me figures. I will get them tomorrow. I ate today in the Wits Club, R45. Quite empty, lots of women (it is secretaries day today). Beef shnitzel and stuff. Johannella is here today (extra day); I told her that the empty beer bottles should be IN the crates, not next to it. And that wet towels should not be pushed into bins and left there for ages. Secretary Tanja had horrible music in the waiting room, quite loud. But I kept quiet. You remember the bad experiences I had with ICALP? They did not even bother to send me the proceedings - for all the work I did for them. Tanja just called back and said that I will be left with a bill of R1000. Hm; maybe there is a surgeon who charges only medical aid rates? I might find out... Introduction to my private hall of "fame": Ricardo Conejo from Malaga.

September 2, 2002 Yesterday I walked Tony around the Zoo lake and found out that they had Jazz at the Lake - fortunately only later. I decided not to leave the house again. Last year, the police locked the whole area, and driving in and out was difficult. Weather is nice. No tennis from New York (rain). Information Processing Letters finds our paper (12 pages) too long (9 pages limit). I detected an interesting paper on Guy Louchard's homepage. I drove Alois to the airport; traffic was surprisingly calm. Arnold is in Graz and eats at Vomer's. Henry will come on sunday to do some painting. Johannella will do 3 days this week. My printer is still not back from the repair shop. Kate Morris is not around, although she said so. Simon came. Got new duvets on saturday (expensive; duck feathers). Included Xu in the people of analysis of algorithms pages.

August 29, 2002 The weather is as bad as my mood. Charlotte presented cake. They want me to come to Graz. But a romanian student (female) occupies the appropriate appartment. I think that there is some sweet romance hidden. One month in the Pension Johannes?? Not sure. I might stay at home. It is very difficult anyway to find somebody to take care of the dogs. Or I could visit Wojtek for one or two weeks. Maybe my mood will become better and I will think about it differently. Herr Hubalek has now a second child: Karoline.

August 26, 2002 On saturday, I went with Alois to the Hartebeesportdam, and on sunday, Arnold invited us for dinner at the Dros. Peter Grabner is a fan of the Dros. Tiger played only 11 under. The winner Craig Parry is quite bulky. Good, that such people still have a chance in sports. A chinese researcher gave me the address of his homepage, and I think that he should use the Mellin transform in some places. 40000 people came to Johannesburg. The gardner must start to plant grass today. The rubbish has been removed. I learnt about an edition of Fouque's collected works; cheaper if you join the Fouque Society. Ulrich Schuch is the guy who runs it.

August 22, 2002 I had a horrible dream in which GeometrieGeerdie appeared. I woke up with a headache and started the day with 2 aspirin. I went with Alois to Rosebanks, where we had lunch and did a few necessary things. Our Keller paper will soon be finished. I went to gym yesterday and watched some golf. When Tiger shot into the pond and made a double bogey, I gave up and went to bed. A little note that I got accepted in the Journal of Statistical Inference in May 2000 was apparently lost. Perhaps the South African Mail Service should be blamed?! Anyway, now I sent the files to the publisher Elsevier.

August 22, 2002 Supervision of students is infinitely more demanding than in my previous life. To be politically correct, I cannot provide details, but meanwhile I would rather prefer to do more teaching instead of this. I can only hope that my mood will eventually improve. I broke a glass this morning.

August 19, 2002 The weather was horrible over the weekend. Alois and I went to Montecasino and had lunch. Buffet, R85, all you can eat. When we had coffee, a waiter came and asked whether we still need the (tea) spoons! But we had not finished the coffee. We considered that to be extremely rude. Apparently this place was short of tea spoons. Then I slept again and watched golf. Tiger woke up too late. He cannot expect to win when he plays the par 5s just par.

I forgot to mention the conference dinner at Strobl in June. This was disappointing. The food was not special, after about 30 minutes the budget for drinks was exhausted, and after perhaps another hour we were kicked out. Then it was only 9 o'clock. A lot of the french people went to nearby places, to have drinks and have fun (=cigarettes etc.). Conclusion: People will remember such things. They pay and want something in exchange. It would have been better to book a room in a nearby restaurant for the conference dinner.

I did my training on a shooting range on saturday. My weapon is a Star DKL. Don't even think about attacking me now!

Of course, we had major network problems recently. They blame it on Telkom. Who knows!

August 16, 2002 Candidate S gets help now not only from me, but from Alois and perhaps others. Nobody ever had so many advisors! That is good for him and I am eager to see the improved output. I cannot find the telephone number of the rubbish remover. The dentists in Balfour Park did a bad job. I will give them another chance; after that, I will change. My dogs are now on a diet; they are a bit too fat. Alois had solved all the riddles about Keller's stopping rules: I am impressed. The telephone has been done eventually. Clemens Heuberger sent me a copy of a paper, as discussed. That was fast. I got a new telephone at home, for 70 Rand only, and batteries for the remote controls. On saturday I will do the shooting training, at 2 o'clock. The famous (!) John Rutter is in town again, sunday at the Linder, at 3. Golf with Tiger starts today. I expect a great show. I slept badly and am in bad mood. Tomorrow I must book a flight to Paris/Versailles.

August 14, 2002 One of our staff ladies is in hospital. Sad story. Charlotte will now officially graduate soon (with distinction); well done. I need a new telphone since the old one is defunct. Alois is now interested in the analysis of Keller's stopping rules: good. My telephone has not yet been changed to my new office, and Ruben was not yet here to look at my printer. My neighbour Val borrowed my gardner Henry for one day, and also my pick.

August 12, 2002 I was in Hongkong, for a thesis defense. It was extremely humid, but airconditions were too cold. Mordecai Golin, Bill Steiger and I went to an expensive restaurant on top of the hill with a phantastic view. Bill sent the first bottle of wine back; it did not taste alright. The university is in clearwater bay, which is OK, but Kowloon and the island are extremely crowded. This is shocking! Public transportation with the Octopus card works very nicely. Now, here, I moved to another office, where it is not so loud anymore. Visitors Alois Panholzer and Anne Bertrand have arrived, Alois P with sister Margit and her friend Karin. They have disappeared again. Tomorrow I want to look for a firearm. Brian's helper Ruben has not yet helped the visitors with email and firewall, after one week or so. There is a new computer in the visitor's office, but it came late and is probably not yet functional. I gave Alois my notebook for awhile. There are a few interesting stories, but they are not suitable for these pages. Bill Chen, the editor-in-chief of the Annals of Combinatorics, offered to edit a special issue there. I got the safe, but not at Mica, but fortunately the safety shop was close.

July 25, 2002 I suffer so much from the cold weather, although it is now 19 degrees during the day. Kate indicated "Mica" to buy a safe. Johannella received a phone call this morning from her Sister Rita: Another sister Mpho got a job downtown: washing the towels in a hairdresser's saloon. Wow! Mpho looks like a young version of Rita: Round and happy. J is the opposite. But her hips are wide, so it is difficult to find a uniform for her. I want to transform the vegetable garden into a wendy house. If you are a producer of wendy houses, please send email. I had to attend a looong meeting yesterday. And I read the thesis of the candidate from Hongkong: many typos!

Added later: I learnt about Hanns-Christian Reichel's death. Apparently he committed suicide [...nun konnte er es nicht mehr ertragen...]. I sat in his Topology proseminar around 1975. He played the piano as a child and had poor eye sight. He did something in topology, but moved quickly to education. He was made an extraordinary professor when it was still possible. They had 4: Reichelrindlermitschmuthsam. Reichel was religious, I believe. And had multiple sklerosis. I did not see him often but he was not in good shape. He always had a blue blazer on. His wife is maybe a high school teacher. He was a gifted teacher but apparently cared more about the teaching than about what he taught. So eventually the soup became a bit thin. I only transmit what some people told me.

July 23, 2002 Today I must attend a lunch for A-rated scientists, with tie and jacket. Oh, not so funny. Young Mario L is in real life Mario Lamberger, a healthy man who will soon serve as a soldier for his country. Glueckauf! I found the coffee from ML's machine quite nice; only Frederique B said that they have better coffee in Marne la Vallee. But also more strikes! Next week I will be in Hongkong, and then Alois Panholzer will visit, and Anne Bertrand. I will miss the seminar of Mel(vin) Faierman. Too bad!

July 22, 2002 Waltraud's name is Klasnic. In Linz, they gave a warning about a hail storm but it never happened. ... ein neu's Paar Schuh' mit Schnallen dran, da wird der XXX springen...
I went to an electronic shop (Elise road) to check one of my remote controls. Only the batteries were flat although the control light was still on. What is the value of such a control light? Neigbour Val got a huge present for feeding my dogs. She was very happy and promised to do it again. She knows the gossip of the street, obviously. In Graz, they also had a machine which provided hot and cold water. But the paper cups were not designed to stand, they had a conal shape. Frederique Bassino was also around for 3 weeks, and we finished a little paper. The golf was not so entertaining anymore, after the horrible satyrday, with rain and storms and Tiger's 81. Temperature is now between -2 and 16. The make of my Ford was actually Focus. Air France did not allow me to bring my Revox CD player back to South Africa: too heavy. I hate them. I only made bad experiences with them, with perhaps one exception: Vienna-Paris-Montreal in 1997. But I am not sure, maybe even then they were on strike in CDG. I know a couple of french researchers and like them, but the country and the language and the airline and the smoking is not to my liking. Pension Johannes had 2 houses, and as a consolation, they said that they are 2 minutes apart. Maybe if you run like Marion Jones, but for me it did not work. And on the other house they even posted "5 minutes". Always wrong. If people tell you "you drive 2 hours from A to B" you should be prepared for 3. That is the way it is. The door in my room did not close properly, and each tiny breeze made it shutter. I squeezed a towel in between. It is a very heavy winter here, and all heaters are sold out.

July 19, 2002 It is as cold as it never was before in South Africa! Walter Deuber's 60th birthday conference is coming up. My course has started, with Simon, Kate, Charlotte, Sarah J, Margaret and Arnold attending. Soon I shall start moving offices. Moving pictures was a band from Australia. Point blank from Texas. I bought a CD with Willi Kroell and the Zillertaler Gipfelstuermer. He is back in the limelight, which is good for him. I visited Risc in Hagenberg near Linz. It was extremely hot, under the roof. I was sitting next to "Burki." If you want to know more about Burki, use google and type Burkhard Zimmermann. Carsten Schneider, Axel Riese, Peter Paule and I visited a beer garden in downtown Linz. But Carsten parked his car 2 km away, and then I had to sit in the back, because Axel Riese wanted to sit in the front seat. It was quite unpleasant in the back seat of this racing car. Carsten Schneider's dad is "Pfarrer." When I was a kid, we had Pfarrer Arthur Berg, originating from Czernowitz. But then, as you all know, I left church and do not intend to become a member of any of them. Axel Riese had a funny hairdo in earlier years, as some people told me. He types only with 2 fingers. The Schloss Restaurant is run by a woman from Tyrol. The wife of the guy from whom I rented the car (Ford Fiasco or so) was also from Tyrol, sporting long and black hair in her armpits. I am not used to that anymore since living in SA, and I find it awful. And the smoking that everybody does in public in Europe: horror pure! Frau V runs a little restaurant in Graz, and she is not a pleasant sight. I cannot mention the name; I am afraid of her lawyers. I also saw Bruno Buchberger's youngish wife in Hagenberg: she must spend hours in the gym. He is grey and wants to retire, as I hear. Then I moved to a place near Ried, where I visited the Paule family, with wife Christa and daughter Anna. In the breakfast room of the "hotel" I saw a woman with a man's haircut and a very low voice. She reminded me of a character I read about in a book. The breakfast was just so-so. Before I lived in the Julius Raab Sommerhotel in Linz. The breakfast was better but always the same. Around the corner they have a restaurant, run by Johann, and it is part of the sport's complex of the Hotel. Then I drove south, next to the Attersee, towards Strobl. I arrived early; the young man responsible for some of the organization, Thomas, came later, on a motorbike. He lost some hair, but grew a beard instead. In the evening, Donatella Merlini arrived, but Thomas was again absent, and she had no key. And she was hungry, so I drove her downtown, where she ordered Schnitzel. She did not touch the potato salad, although it looked nice enough, because of vinegar. I was not surprised to learn that there was vinegar in the salad. Organizer Michael D came only the next day, he had a family function. He often has, numerous birthdays, etc. Read "Buddenbrooks" to find out how these families live. Lots of french people were there, and Robin Pemantle. Google finds out that he is 39 years, but he is quite grey. I am wondering about the history of his family. Ulrich Dieter would also have liked to find out about it. In Strobl, on saturday evening, they had Blasmusik. A few oldish tourists around, probably from east germany. Bob Sedgewick arrived in Strobl, no Thomas K, so he went back. I saw him sitting in the park. Then we had some beers, and he ate a greek salad. The road to St. Wolfgang was closed for the first few days. Steve Lalley was there, and he ate Nutella for breakfast, always! The waiters were not too friendly. One of HK Hwang's friends came with his young wife. She could not speak english but was apparently very happy. Pemantle gave his talk in socks, and one had a huge hole. About the scientific part we might eventually read something, provided Philippe Flajolet will write something. Wojtek left early, to go to Switzerland. Tichy was around, but spent some time climbing mountains. Drmota's student Steiner gave a talk that I did not like. He would need some speech training. Then I moved to Graz, to a workshop. Pension Johannes: a simplistic approach. And lots of noise from the street. I saw a soccer game in this room. At the breakfast: Allouche, always with a tie, and his special shoes. Rip van Winkel had such shoes in an illustration in a book at school. I only see Allouche with such shoes. Probably he has several pairs of them. Hillel Furstenberg, with Yomolka (spelling?). His friend (name?) gave a talk that was the reason that several people left after a few minutes. He lived in the other house of Pension Johannes and only ate kosher food that he imported himself from Israel. Solomyak was there. He has a talent for languages, since one does not hear much of his russian accent anymore. The reception of the Buergermeister was ridiculous: I have never seen less food in one place. Two days later there was a reception of Waltraut; I temporarily forgot her slavic name. There was more food; of course, W was not around. An elder statesman spoke, but in german (with ugly austrian accent, of course); translated by a hired woman who made notes while he spoke. She was left handed. Then we moved to the Krebsenkeller for some Blutwurst (boudain, blood sausage). Michel Waldschmidt lived in the same accommodation, and Walter Philipp, too. Hermann Maurer showed up, and I received a copy of his novel. After browsing through it during a talk, I passed it on to Clemens Heuberger. I don't know where it is now. Xperten, that is the book title. They had a nice coffee machine outside the lecture room, and young Mario L had the key to switch it on and of. Michi D appeared for 1/2 day, and Reinhard W for 1 day, together with Joerg Th. Then I moved to Vienna, which was not much fun.

June 9, 2002 Unlucky me! My gate! The thing that Mike's father welded, broke away again. While I fiddled away with the open gate, the dogs ran away! That has never happened before. I rushed to the car and drove around and eventually found them, some 2 blocks away. Now I wonder whether the q-Rice formula can be used to prove some more serious identities. A recent paper of Robin Chapman gave me that idea. Some more marking and preparations for my trip to Europe.

June 6, 2002 The dinner in Norma Reid's tent: They had a fun maker who tried to entertain people. He made corny jokes about sex. And all these over-ripe and not-too-attractive women were giggling. Then an old professor from physics told me that he has more citations than his A-rated colleagues. Well, the fox and the grapes... And then the incident with the female companion of law professor Unterhalter: I put some pepper onto my soup and she made comments about that I should taste it first. I tried to make it clear to her that I am not interested in her remarks. But she did not give up and said that it upsets her when people put salt and spices in without tasting it. All this into my face, a total stranger, who never did her any harm. After the soup I left the dinner. Kathy Driver knows her name; I'll ask her, and then she can be introduced into my hall of fame.

A young and extremely talented man received a horrible referee's report from somebody who was apparently jealous and/or did not understand too much. (S)he said that why the author introduced a generating function when he computed only an average; a recursion would also do! Wrong! the philosophy is to ALWAYS use generating functions. And then (s)he said that the paper looks like the output of a Maple (or Mathematica) session. Wrong! This proves only that the referee is not familiar with these tools. Then (s)he said that the result is predictable. So what? Then (s)he commented that one cannot spend 26 pages just to compute one average. O holy ignorance! How many pages did Hadamard resp de la Vallee-Pussin spend just to prove the prime number theorem? Please, dear reader, provide more illustrative examples to ridicule this horrible statement of a "referee".

Eventually I saw Miss Handtuchova on TV: Quite tall and slim.

May 25, 2002 Now we frieze during the nights, ans sweat during the day. Last weekend, they did not show Tiger on TV, who played in Germany, but rather an unimportant event in the US. I went to the new mall in Melville. If I interpret the construction activity right, it will grow soon. I ate at the Dros: Fish with a heavy cheese sauce, rice and spinach. That filled me up quite a bit. Then I went to Wits, where a lot of horrible kids make noise that is not appropriate for a scientific institution. These people never learn that it is something special to enter the temple of wisdom. Now I did a sketch of the preface for the special issue. Jean-Francois Marckaert, who should produce the book for MathInfo2002, is in hospital instead. Now poor Daniele Gardy must do it, and we had already some discussions about the usepackages I used. I will not use the ugly eqnarray.

May 22, 2002 Sorry for the delay, but I was very busy. The painter Nelson was here this morning. Barry "the kitchen" Jacobs recommended him, and he seems to be a nice, polite, efficient, clean man. The new ceiling needs three layers of paint. But he promised to do everything in one day, including the doors and window frames, for R 300. What a difference to Emmanuel. The Richard Cock choir always sang about Immanuel. Painter Nelson reminds me about Maler Nolten. I tried to read this one around 1977 but found it too boring. On sunday I walked the dogs, and some chinese from around Peking=Beijing made some photos with themselves and the dogs. I did some of my chores, but more are coming up. I cannot find the internal telephone directory. It is again horribly hot in my office, but cold during the night in my house.

May 15, 2002 Sorry for the delay, but I was very busy. It is warm during the day (21), and cold during the night (6). The kitchen is now finished, except for the painting of ceiling, doors and windows. Norma Reid's husband has passed away, and H. "the network" W. is history. I more or less finished the paper for Versailles, but worked with the wrong pagesize, so that suddenly it was too long. Now I worked it down to 22 pages. In group theory, I started to speak about enumeration. We wanted to do an extra lecture for the other course, but the lecture room was occupied although reserved! I became very agitated. Today, in the elevator, some people blocked it at level 2, to speak to some people outside for a long time, which was very rude. Eventually, the elevator "forgot" that it should go to level 3 (my destination). I left, but not without telling them my opinion. They were quite humble and apologized, but still... Now we have again some pleasant noise outside, the "lunch time noise".

May 1, 2002 Our network crew made it possible again: No network access, not even locally to the sunsite server. Well done! I met Penny, the daughter of James and Jenny Ridley, in the new shopping center near Melville. She had a baby recently, and looks now different. "Harder", if that is the right word. There are delivery problems w.r.t. my new kitchen. Hey fever is bad at the moment. Johannella must wash the car tomorrow. She has now my old kitchen. Congratulations! I have now 5 pages, but should write 20. Oh, this project is tough!
Added 16.30: Wow, they repaired it! "Only" 1 hour without access. Let us see how long it lasts...quickly do ftp...

April 28, 2002 Two papers, both at Elsevier, have appeared. Old man Emanuel has finished the job. I bought eventually to many fiber glass sheets. His measurements were hilarious. The kitchen starts to look nice. Still a few days of work. The pool is green since the motor is so loud and I don't use it at the moment. I used the asthma spray again, after a long time. Apparently my "guest professor" at the end of the year in Graz was approved. I will teach on some combinatorics, as occurring in analysis of algorithms and partitions. And I received a formal invitation letter for the Versailles conference.

April 24, 2002 Oh Allah! Today the local noise was at its worst! Again the ugly ABSA bank, and now outside of the exams hall herds of screamers. And the smell! One has apparently "marked" an elevator, since after he left it, his smell didn't. How shall I work under such circumstances?
I bought dog food at Makro, and a few other items. In the seminar yesterday a young man with a moustache constantly said something like "A is equalS to B". Schopenhauer didn't like beards, and I am not fond of them, too. After all, it is just pubic hair, growing in ones face.

I wanted to upload this updated bulletin, but ftp to the server failed. Welcome to the place that "gives you the edge". I guess, I got it already. And if I want to access my own files, I must go the mirror in Graz. Odd & peculiar.

April 22, 2002 I forgot to mention that Wits has the worst network among the many places I have visited recently. Stellenbosch for instance was much better. The kitchen team has arrived and unfortunately also weak Johannella, instead of healthy Elizabeth.

April 21, 2002 I think that Network bureaucrat Henry Watermeyer should also be introduced here: Another weekend without internet! But at least this sunday we have electricity. Some progress.
I hope that I can move out of this sticky and noisy office soon, hopefully somewhere down into the west annex where never ever anybody visits and shouts and "talks." They call it talking, but it is just shouting, without respect. Conversation with people being 20 meters away. In general, the lower the education, the more this happens. Secretaries with razor sharp voices do it, cleaners do it, students do it all the time. I don't do it. I never did such a thing. Even in a hotel lobby I always felt that one should talk with a low voice. Jennifer Morse was very bad w.r.t. that in Bellaggio. Student Gott yesterday in the sauna talked to me, way too loud. I found it embarrassing. Emanuel's worker stole some whiskey and wine from my storage room. John walked the dogs again, and Tony was bitten by a tiny dog, into his tongue. But very minor. Tony is growing another lump. I must be careful. Tomorrow Barry starts the kitchen job. I made some progress with the sums, using a formula of Riordan, but still...something is missing.

April 17, 2002 Now we have the horrible noise again: outside ABSA bank sponsered noise, inside a choir singing traditional songs (of the simple type with endless repetitions). And the noise even started during my Group Theory lecture. My tolerance level is very low at the moment.
My worker Emmanuel produced incredibly stupid things. If it would not happen in my house, on could laugh about it.
Bad students cannot take notes properly: They copy things in their slow style that you wrote several minutes ago. As a consequence, they will never listen to you, and so will remain bad students forever. Yesterday, I went to the dentist in Balfour Park. Heavy security stopped me (and everybody). Apparently, there was a huge jewish "function" happening there. Can anybody explain me what a "function" is?

April 15, 2002 Yesterday I walked the dogs through Melville. The university had no electricity for one day. Maybe the don't need it on a sunday. And our network is so poor compared e.g. with the University of Stellenbosch. Did I hear somebody saying "substandard" somewhere? I spent too much time on the Driver/Weidemann sums. I watched Tiger yesterday on TV. I forgot my lunch at home.

April 12, 2002 This morning, at the shops, I saw 3 german shepherds; very nice ones. Johannella is in hospital; her sister Elizabeth is now working. She is much friendlier. J has, according to E, a negative Aids-test. The old Emmanuel, who should fix the roof, had to go back to Venda to burry his granddaughter (age 2). He sent a coworker, a Zulu, who is 44 but looks much older. He hardly speaks english. Kitchenman Barry will come tomorrow again. I hope to solve the Driver/Weidemann sums soon.
I was at this conference in Stellenbosch and also visited their modern MediClinic. They gave me better antibiotics and Podine ointment. Blood test where done, everything negative. Now it looks better. I am talking about the spider bite, of course. I met interesting people in Stellenbosch, but I can't really, because of political correctness, describe them properly, like: A would look better with a nose job done, and B has no neck, etc. Alan Edelman was there, talking non-stop. Again Cape point. Villa Fynbos is now run by the next generation, the tall Saramien in particular. Vietoris died, and Austria has a new Einwitsch (watsch the Profil).

March 31, 2002 Neighbours John and Val walked the dogs, and everybody is happy. More house repairs to come: the gutters are rotten. I attended the Messiah at Sandton Square today. Not so good. Sound like through a telephone, and violin girls often late. Sue Cock (aged tremendously during 2001) too loud on her Yamaha Harpsichord. Nicolas Nicolaidis once again, with sunglasses. Only 2 tenors and 2 basses (NN helped a bit). Yeah, everything is going down. But 9 women. One windhoek lager in a cafe R11.90: they are crazy. But roof parking was free today. And I gave nothing into the donation "women for peace." I sat in the sun and will probably suffer soon.
Frederique Bassino sent a draft, and I spent one day working on it. After correcting something, the numerical examples work. That is always nice. I read the "Gelehrtenrepublik" again and spotted typos: does'nt (should be doesn't) and familLy. And the paperback did not last. Tomorrow: Stellenbosch.

I got the CD of new Rossini sensation Juan Diego Florez (from Peru). Very good, but William Matteuzzi is still my favorite. I compared some Zelmira arias. WM adds a high e which the youngster cannot do. But I wish I could hear Stefano Zucker with his a. I only know Greg Voltz with an a. If you have old CD's, send them to me.

March 28, 2002 My spider bite from around 5 weeks ago still worries me. Search the web for "violin spider" or "black reclusive spider." Old Emmanuel started to work on my roof; it was knocked down, and hopefully the new material arrives today, from hardware store Ferreira's. We discovered that some painting must be done first. And I decided for a new kitchen.

March 18, 2002 Uninspiring lectures today, and discussions with students Charlotte, Kate, Simon, and a request from Discrete Mathematics to referee a paper. Frau Handtuch beat the H-twen. Rush, back to work.

March 17, 2002 The ICALP programme committee: I wasted one month of my precious life on that. Now I can see the results (I could not attend the meeting), and they are puzzling. These computer scientists who assembled in Malaga deserve that I post some indiscretions here! A very nice paper by two semi-italian authors, with marks 6-8-9 was rejected! Another one with 7-7-9 also! The paper of a nice french woman, which Peter Grabner and I liked (6-6-9) was also rejected. Etc. If you feel mistreated, contact me privately.
My back hurts again. Old venda man Emmanuel will do my roof. The disadvantage is that I have to buy/transport the necessary ingredients myself. The advantage is that he arrived very soon after I called him and offered a reasonable prize. "Johan" never called me back. To bad for him. Barry Jacobs came also, because I want a new kitchen. One bag of patatoes for 10 Rand, one big bag of onions for 7.50, both outside of Makro. There, I met Dr. Ali. This morning, two useless people rang my bell. And they do it twice! Now I must write a report. Jim Fill asked me, and the deadline is tomorrow. And then I must start with my contribution for the Versailles conference.

March 15, 2002 Today the IMN arrived, apparently opened by the horrible SA post office. Thanks for the continuous incompetent service! Wolfgang Reiter (who is that?) versus Peter Flor: nice. And Franz Alt. [U. Schmid married I. Reiter, and they live in the Alt-Gasse.]
I had to contact the student Isaac Letlhage who has not resubmitted his master's thesis.
Kate Morris starts her ph.D. thesis with priority trees and grand averages. Eventually, thanks to Frederique B, I managed to edit my dogs page. Now I am hungry since I had no breakfast; nothing was at home (and I did not care at that time). I had a horrible dream: [I just decided not to include it.]
Icalp programme committee: I should mention Alan Gibbons here explicitly who promised to produce a review for me, but never did it. A french canadian had a partial excuse, so I only give the initials: G.B. [haha, it is not the infamous reviewer from the Nivat-Beauquier fame.] And a thai boy, Skawa-something, also no review.

March 14, 2002 Visitor Frederique Bassino has left. I cannot write much about her since it is not unlikely that she would read that eventually. Again, no electricity this morning, and allergy problems. I woke up around 5 a.m. and am tired. Tony had a bloody ear; the reason is that nasty dog Sheila. I must get parts of my roof repaired.

March 7, 2002 Yesterday, the school of mathematics saw the movie about John Nash. Google pointed out that I should read an article of John Milnor in the Notices of the AMS (1998). Some repairs in my house seem to be relatively urgent. We had heavy rains this morning, and the famous Johannella did not show up.

March 4, 2002 I had to change the date on my watch. A bad spider bite makes me suffer: Tetanus, antibiotics. Visitor Frederique Bassino arrived on February 27. She brought champagne, and two ladies from the department gave me presents. My back hurts horribly. Results of the email crisis can be often found: TCS sent reminders, about something I never received. Thanks, B. Once again Hartebeesportdam and Waterfront, with the visitor. Soon an uninspiring lecture. Kurwa.

February 21, 2002 The relatives are back. They had bad luck on their trip: lots of rain. An insect bite caused trouble; I just came back from my visit of Dr Denga. Yurij Baryshnikov comment on a recent paper with Guy Louchard, and now we must change it. I had allergy problems this night, and the eye drops did not help much. Frederique Bassino will soon visit, supported by the CNRS/NRF cooperation. I registered for the SANUM2002 conference in Stellenbosch, and booked in Villa Fybos Guesthouse. Kate Morris wants to do a ph. D. (with me as a supervisor) after a short stint at a bank.

February 15, 2002 Sorry, folks, for the delay: 3 relatives came to South Africa and kept me busy. I spent the week-end with them near Sun City, in the Sundown Ranch Hotel, with 2 meals included every day. They have a lions farm in the back. Yesterday, they (not the lions) rented a car, at Budget (Hendrik Verwooerd Drive 126), and I had to help them to get onto the M1. They might drive down to Durban etc. Apart from the ICALP papers, I must even review other stuff.
Tony cut his paw, got stitches, and antibiotics. I suffer from gout, got new tablets. I hoped that I did not have to teach the Computer Algebra, but maybe there might be more interest that we thought. The oakland vegetable shop had the beautiful mushrooms again! Stunning. The break control light in my car goes on once in a while. Perhaps I should get it checked. DMTCS will reopen the Analysis of Algorithms section, with Wojtek replacing Jean-Marc Steyaert. No more comments.

January 26, 2002 I received an awful amount of submissions for ICALP2002: Not only did I get a collection of uninteresting stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with what I stand for, but the few interesting papers were not sent to me! Welcome, Peter Widmayer!
The trip to Marseille (conference in honour of Jean-Louis Nicolas): Avoid Air France! Terrible! 5 hour delay, luggage lost, phone not answered, money not refunded, smokers not chased away at check-in-counter, etc. And rude people at the Marseille airport.
Some interesting people at the meeting. I am too nervous to write more, especially because of the horrible papers. Political correctness does not allow to mention details. I must send most of them to referees, but don't expect too many answers. Well, PW's fault.
Last week I had fever for one day, probably an infection after eating sea food. Now: perhaps there is something that my body does not like: In 1990, it happened to me after I eat a lobster in Thailand. Fever over 40, almost one week (I was already back at the time). 2000, in Gdansk=Danzig, for 2 days, and now again (very mild in comparison). I must watch out in the future what it could be. Eventually I also found out my problems with pineapples.

January 11, 2002 I have a terrible headache, since yesterday. Carsten Schneider's thesis arrived today, after 1 month in the mail, and a little present from Elsevier (the pocket Wine book). A solution of mine will appear in AMM (combined with Robin Chapman). I know Roger Chapman. Charismatic singer. I have already the gumpoles, and Henry will plant them next tuesday, while I will be in Marseille. I ruined my grass with too much 3:2:1. It is burnt. Johannella wants to work more, but I don't need that. She must buy spectacles for her not so perfect daughter which she conceived from a not so fantastic man. Sex is the champagne of the poor, and since they have no champagne, they have more sex, and so lots of unwanted children and Aids. Well, I cannot get involved with all that; it would make me even more unhappy. The horrible neighbours (I will call them Les Horribles in the future) got an electronic gate: the old one was welded in the middle, painted, and moved backwards, so that it can slide. Therefore they had to cut at least one tree, which lies now outside, where people should walk. That is their style. Completely egoistic and stupid. Neighbour Val will feed the beasts this time. She likes them.

Here is a text that I wrote a few days ago:

From F. Urbanek I learnt the phrase "Schei3en, Pfeifen, Holz angreifen." But I must admit that I never understood the full meaning of it. ---

Since Nickolas Head played on Classic Radio a tune with the Johannesburg Symphony Choir, a few words about that institution might be in place: Director Richard Cock is not ungifted but suffers from a strong ego. His wife Sue is worse; one always thinks that she has too many teeth in her mouth. Less talent, so misbehaviour is not so easily forgiven.
A lot of people in that famous institution have no personality; I cannot remember them, at least not by name. The boss is Jerry Heel, a poet, with hair and beard that seem to be too black for his age. He had laser surgery for his short sightedness; snarling voice. Then they have a lot of "sergeants;" people with too much time on their hands, trying to be bossy and unpleasant. One example is Donald Williams. Short, bifocal glasses, greasy hair, a beard like Karl Gutzkow, and rubber bands for his shirt sleaves! And something on his forehead; since I don't know a better word, I call it "wart." In real life he is an administrator, and he cannot get rid of it anymore. Adopted a boy who plays guitar. Lives in Westdene, in a small house with tiny garden.
Then they have a woman called Sheila (b. 1957) who works for a travel agent. In her prime, perhaps not too bad. Her friend is older and less elegant. I don't know about their singing. Then they have Louise, with protruding eyes. Not a bad singer, with absolutely no personality. Husband is of german origin, too grey for his age, a money man, not a good singer. Her friend is Dorothee Hartmann, a german sportsperson, who would perform better in sport with a less generous bosom. Very muscular. Judy is a nurse (or even better); a pleasant woman who would probably be happier with a husband. A blind woman (Lil; with a dog). Absolute pitch, but a disgrace seeing her eating a hamburger at a station on the highway from Durban to Johannesburg. Poor girl. Sheila Hunt with her daughter (name?); the fiancee run away. Nice people, but dunno about their musical abilities. Ulrike, from Germany, thin, eyes a la Basedow, driving an old VW beetle. Her friend an old german lady, with hair that is way too black. An administrator Debbie, 6 sisters. Married Nico, a bass player who became very saturated quickly, lost his hair, gained weight, and became a chef. Another Debbie is a good singer, and a friend of the Ridley's: James, a former Wits prof, his wife Jenny, daughter Penny (b. 1969, with contact lenses). They have some more: Brenny (Brandy, Brandiwan, Brawny?; with daughter Alexandra), and young Alan, a student of electrical engineering. Quite nice people, talented, and religious. JR serves as the financial boss. Donald, left handed, american (Michigan, 3 daughters, one son, contact lenses, lives in Victory Park) sings in the tenor. A scottish tenor Ian, who could manage very high notes, left, like me, in frustration (also bifocal glasses). Dora, who sang soprano and looked after my dogs last year, left for England. Secretary Di Whitman from Statistics; one girl Mia who also dropped out, a lefthander John in the tenor, in the bass a guy with dyed hair who liked to play on the piano. In the alto a high school teacher (Liane?) with a husband who always came along; dunno why she has chosen him. All kind of other people; a doctor (not practising) who collected the music, and her friend living in Norwood. Lil's friend Jane (a kid). Etc.

January 4, 2002 It is Tony's birthday today! What a wonderful "person". Yesterday was the birthday of Norbert Gras, who went to school with me for 7 years. Basically without special talents, he had a big mouth and used to lie and cheat, and so he played a certain role until he was 15 or so. Then it became more and more apparent that he was a loser. Never finished a school or so. His father Josef had a stiff leg and worked as a receptionist in the Hospital in Lainz, his mother (Margarethe? [added Jan. 11: rather Eleonore]) was 16 years younger and a typist in Liesing (at the court). A half-sister existed who delivered a baby at 16 (Jacqueline). Ardent socialists. "Kleine Leute".

Neighbour Val brought a nice bone, although she did not know about the birthday. Her son (35) will marry an afrikaaner girl tomorrow.

On January 2, a boy named Spiglhofer had his birthday. I don't know his first name. He dropped out of gymnasium after 3 years or so. A large family, from Perchtoldsdorf. One of his older brothers, Georg, was apparently more talented and wrote for the newspaper Kurier. Another schoolmate from primary school, Karl Sahora, also shared this birthday. I wish I would remember later events so well. A swimmer, tall and muscular. In primary school we also had Fritzi Schrank; his father disappeared to the US, leaving his unhappy mother behind. And Karli Malik; the mother wasn't even married, I believe. They lived somewhere "down", in a bad area. Werner Schumacher's father also ran away, but if you know the mother, you would understand it. Then there was Karli Mayer, with a young mother and a very old father; after a lot of success in primary school, he had to repeat a class in gymnasium. Our teacher was Maria Pesl for 3 years; she had strange teeth and some spreckles. Then an old woman, Helga Vosol, the dragoner type of woman. I found primary school very boring and uninspiring.

John Ostrowick installed a new email system. Let us pray; we know by now how to do it. Google finds with "Allah akbar" a site with a naked muslim woman; try it yourself ("erotic prayer").

January 3, 2002 Maybe praying is not so bad after all? Allah akbar! Brian will be moved to some other area, and email will be taken over by stronger people. Apparently, the catastrophy was almost programmed, but he went on holidays, and nobody knew how to handle the unconventional settings. All emails lost! Predecessor Sibusiso had a crash of a harddisc or something, no backups, and everybody lost everything. That was in the old days, as I hear.
2 light bulbs work in my office, out of 4. The 50% rule.

The sad story of Andreas Z. He went to school with the more famous Christian K and perhaps also with Ronald Leitgeb, the mentor of Thomas Muster. AZ studied "Bodenkultur" without success, then he did a 2 year course in mechanical engineering. I think he worked in CAD. I knew him from Gumpoldskirchen where he was also singing. He married a woman Margit H, nice but completely uninteresting. Her father married later in life a filipino girl, which drowned, then he went for a replacement. They had 2 sons and stopped singing, only doing it in church (catholics). But Andreas, one morning, instead of embarking the train to Vienna, jumped down before the locomotive, and died as a consequence. He should have presented his work to his boss that day, but was perhaps not too confident about what he did. He had a beard which was not growing too well, and a round face. A nice boy.

The sad bag of Shakey Jake was a song by Humble Pie, from their country era (around 69/70).

Locomotive Breath: Jethro Tull. 1970?

January 2, 2002 Conrad Mueller said on the phone that the network people are responsible. Then I talked to one of them, and he said that it is Bryan! Excellent.
In the new locker rooms and sauna the new wood smells very badly; lots of chemicals. Similar to what I described earlier as tear gas. So perhaps what was on my suitcase was some "Holzbeize" or so?! But not nice for sure. Yesterday at least the horrible neighbours where quiet.

January 1, 2002 Did you send email to Bryan and his supervisor Conrad? Do it every day. You sign petitions every day, about whales, lion cubs, rain woods etc., so why not trying to help me in my struggle against incompetence and ignorance? My new neighbours are unbelievably noisy. I went to the police today and they convinced me that even in South Africa not everything is allowed. So next time I will call them.
Water was green again: shock treatment. I downloaded a Katzenbeisser-Panny paper. Perhaps ph.D. student Simon can improve on that. I put that here in order not to forget it. And Barbara Haas Margolius. Saddle point estimates? Shifting the mean? The Keller draft still sits at home. Perhaps the A-drive at home is not properly working.
If it would help against the neighbours I would gladly pray to any of Buddha, Allah, Jupiter,... but I am not convinced.
I wanna get out of here! Where are the job offers? December 28, 2001 Now it is the first time that I can connect to Brian's gauss computer. But things are not working properly. This is such a disgrace! Write him email at brian@gauss.cam.wits.ac.za or his supervisor, Prof Mueller at conrad@cs.cam.wits.ac.za. Maybe they wake up when many people tell them what they think about it!

I tried to analyze a stopping rule introduced by Joerg Keller. I think he is another Mehlhorn intimus, and became professor before they even finished the act of habilitation. Well, there are of course more examples: Smid, Naeher, Albrecht, Mutzel and 2 brothers (Lengauer) and many more.
I saw nice furniture in Cresta and ate a superrave burger. I hate it that they always want to talk you into some french fries ("chips") and softdrinks. CDs are up in prize, because of the poor rand. I bought a nice, simple and effective tool to brush the dog: old hair goes out well.

December 23, 2001 Bryan's Gauss-computer is down since yesterday. Since he is on leave and the university is "closed" until 2002, this will probably last for 2 weeks. Welcome to the third world! If you wanna reach me, use the email address in Graz.
A few days ago I could not open the gate with the remote; the battery was flat. I took the stitches out of Tony's wound: very easy. Then I walked with Sheila. Tony's frustration was so high that he tried to bite the steel bars of the gate. She did not make a mess outside, but I was happy to come home before it was too late.
Now I want to read about the Wilson polynomials. That might be of some relevance for Kathy's research. It is not the classic Wilson, but rather a previous student of Askey's.
My level of frustration is so high that I want to bite into Bryan's computer, but ...

December 19, 2001 Yesterday I waited for the bookcases but they did not come! After some phone calls it turned out that Grant (welcome!) forgot to mention them to the drivers. But he worked on it, and around 5.30 they arrived, minutes before the heavy rain. And they had them unprotected on an open car! In the afternoon I got the pool cover. Two people from the Xhosa tribe. (Is tribe politically correct? Dunno...) The roll-up station was too long, and they had to cut it. Rita's daughter Innocentia (the niece of the famous Johannella) reappeared in Johannesburg. This morning I was stopped by the Police. But he only told me to go to the traffic department in Randburg to get a south african driver's license. Then I got my new smart card. Surprisingly, that worked quite nicely: no queue. The hardware shop Rouberto (corner of Republik and Maria) has closed until January 7. Incredible! That could not happen in other countries. Margaret Archibald came just before, to talk about her Master's studies. That is why it took me longer than expected to complete this entry. Gardner Henry mentioned that his Zim Dollars were stolen from him.

December 14, 2001 Brahms had a couple of friends who were heavily influenced by him, like Robert Fuchs. I just listen to his piano sonatas. Tjabo removed the garden rubbish, although I did not ask for it; Johannella let him in. Now I must give him 80 Rand, the same as the professional rubbish remover. I don't like that, but not much harm has been done. Kathy's light supper consisted of grilled beef filet, chicken, lamb, baked potato with sour cream, bread, salad, cheese, fruits, cheese cake, beer, wine, coffee, cognac. Not so light after all. Her daughters are Jackie and Penny, husband Gordon. Dogs Hally and Sally. Cat: Kitty. One daughter blue, one brown eyes.

The Rand is going down to zero. I am EXTREMELY worried! ANGST!
Kerstin Jordaan is leaving us, her choice was husband and game farm and Anton Stroh versus mathematics at Wits. Understandable. I might have a glass of Stroh rum this evening to recover from the shock. A life in poverty? Who knows...

Brian announced his leave. I am wondering how many weeks he has got. Probably more than me...

December 13, 2001 I flew with Emirate Airlines to Paris via Dubai. i) In the airplane: next to me a big man from South Africa who smelled like my gardener Henry, and pushed constantly to my side. Political correctness does not allow to say much more. In the next plane stewardess Ellen. Her favorite word was "obvious," like "obviously it is not me who gives you the lunch," or "obviously I am too good to move your hand luggage." I hated her, and she knows it. In Dubai only people from the Phillippines worked; the oil sheiks sit at home. ii) My suitcase was soaked in (probably) tear gas, and I recognized it too late. Now it is in the garden of the Hotel d'Angleterre, and some of my cloths in the bathroom, with the window permanently open. iii) In Versailles: People run around with their breadsticks they call baguette. They don't earn that much, but must pay the enormous prizes in the parisien area. Everything is small: Cars, space in restaurants, hotels, appartments. No parking, but everbody smokes. France goes muslim. But they have good researchers. And miserable weather, quite depressing, although relatively warm. In Versailles I listened to 2 talks. The first speaker had a pleasant voice, but bad teeth, and he would look better after a shave. The second was Andy MacKenzie from New Zeeland. Very strong beard, blue cheeks. I can't say more here, again political correctness. Ask me directly. Brigitte Chauvin organized it; she is sweet. Even a (finger) lunch was provided. Philippe Flajolet celebrated his birthday yesterday; on friday we had some beers in a strange place. I saw Krattenthaler's solution of Roland Bacher's determinants and wonder whether on could try to compute eigenvalues and eigenvectors. (Compare perhaps with Carlitz, Cooper, Melham, etc). I want to do some computations about the generalized Wiener index, but now I am getting tired and might read a bit in my "new" Wilbur Smith (from 1981).

Meanwhile, I am back in South Africa. Tony had an operation yesterday (for 606 Rand): Some bad material has been removed. I show it on request. He has a plastic collar. I ordered 3 bookcases from Rochester (Strydom Park). Dinner at Kathy's place. Young Markus gave me addresses of german shops. My trip back was nicer, since I always had an empty seat next to me.

November 23, 2001 "Genius" Hwang has put his precious papers onto his newly established homepage!! Wow! And one can read about JM Steyaert, not having revised a paper since 1994. Visitor Andreas Weiermann had a chance of meeting Albert and Chris and being present while we talked to them. He found that interesting. AW's seminar was well attended, especially James Ridley seemed to like it. I received a reminder from Hirschowitz, the vet from Oxford road, that my "pets" need a new vaccination. Then, he must remove Tony's lump, which isn't nice anymore. I gave Johannella 12 cans of fish, which I bought at Makro, and allowed her to pay for it at the end of december. I am too soft. Arnold K has a new baby: Justin. Therefore he could not attend our dinner. I had ribs, and AW steak. South Africa has a poisonous spider; after a bite you might need plastic surgery! The radio had that. Kathy arranged better computer service especially for me. I feel very honoured. I found a nice group theory course on the web, from Ireland. Very appropriate for what I will do next semester. Young people who did some marking for us, were not paid (in june)! Very embarrassing! I have an idea, why this happened, but I cannot post that here. But Kathy sorted it out. She is very capable. I wish I would have her energy. Next week I will fly to INRIA, via Dubai.

November 14, 2001 Last weekend, in the shops, I saw a professor of this university, with a (to put it mildly) not very attractive woman.
Today was Indaba. A meeting with some brainstorm(ing), with a fascilitator who got a lot of money for it. The whole department (school). Finding out the good and bad things. The old stories: Research people versus teaching people. And the undergraduate teaching, with all the problems coming alongside. After that, lunch in the wits club. The knife did not cut at all, and the table was to low. Nice food. Now I must go home, and mark 15 combinatorics exams. And buy bread for Johannella tomorrow, since I must rush to the airport, to fetch Andreas Weiermann. Then the meeting with Kathy, and in the afternoon the Senate. Wow!
I found simple formulae for expectation and variance in something I work out with Guy Louchard, and I try to convince local people NOT to use the ugly eqnarray. Frau Ditsious-Mack [Graz] will retire soon, and I talked to Philippe Flajolet on the phone yesterday. Johannella does not water my flowers often enough, so they are not doing well. Michael Drmota will soon send out invitations for the AofA seminar. Brian promised to look at my notebook, but did not come. And we need him for a guest account. I print the book of Ferenczi et al.
Professors Pienaar and Wright sent their best wishes. I dumped travel agent Celeste, went to the flight centre in Rosebanks, and did my bookings! No nonsense. In Vienna I used Oekista. Before ATS Flugreisen, at Landstra3e. A security guy just came in, without knocking, as in Graz. But he apologized.

November 13, 2001 I read a bit in letters between Arno Schmidt and Alfred Andersch. I received the vice chancellor's award (R100.000), and a gold medal from the south african mathematical society. I attended the SAMS conference in Durban Westville, lived in Pinetown, Black Forest Tavern. A very white area, even workers in the local supermarket. I met some local mathematicians. K Swanepoel: some people praise him. And Diane Wilcox from Cape Town: a bright young lady. Also Elemer Roesinger, who spoke about Hungary, but I found that he got his phD from Romania. Well, Hungary was reduced to 1/3. Like many elderly men, he liked to talk about one particular subject that I don't dare to mention. Albert (=Tuwani) gave a talk, but otherwise did not show up. The last talk about simple finite groups (by Moori) was nice. Modern lecture theatres, and of course a staff restaurant (that Wits does not have). I went home on friday evening since it was raining everywhere. My old computer is working again, with a new harddrive. On thursday, Andreas Weiermann will come. If you don't know him, ask google, and you will find him and his sister Claudia. The gym undergoes reconstruction, and it is unpleasant there.

November 2, 2001 I inquired a bit about Peter Plichta, and found hilarious things. 1/81 is the sequence of natural numbers. Wow! \sum nz^(n-1)=1/(1-z).1/(1-z). Now make z=10. That was roughly the argument. He hired a primary school teacher woman to compress his trilogy (the prime number cross) into an easier book. 19+81=100, so the numbers 19 and 81 are at the root of everything. And the fine old chemistry gentleman was hooked. I attended a meeting in the 11th floor. While we have rooms with untight windows, leaking roofs, etc., these administrators have thick carpets, nice chairs, air condition, etc. Of course no noisy students. Probably they fly business or even first class. But---they don't do research, just manipulating documents. Well, another world. I ate some ugly fish today, in the room downstairs, where Diane sat, her bare feet on another chair, knitting. The rule book was covered in plastic. Probably something that is given from one woman to the next. Well, I can knit, too. But I prefer crochet. Wits has no cafeteria---really a shame. Sheila behaves strangely, probably related to the lacking female hormons. Next week : Durban.

October 31, 2001 Yesterday there was a talk in the mathematics seminar, given by a chemist, who was influenced by Peter Plichta. Number mysticism. Prime number cross. Speculation about the system of elements. When I was a kid, I liked that system. The golden ratio appeared. But it was a bit strange, not very serious perhaps. Peter Grabner mentioned Plichta a while ago, and his comments were not very flattering, if I remember correctly. The speaker was a nice elderly man, but young in his heart. We had a free lunch, even some wine. And many chemists attending. The mathematicians here often don't attend. The young GL never attends. Hm. I had a gout attack during the night. It is still bad. I was interviewed for the vice chancellor's award. The VC asked questions indicating that he wanted to find reasons NOT to award the prize to me. That did not make me too happy. Other members in the committee however were friendlier. My Revox CD player cannot be repaired here, since they cannot find spare parts. Oh, everything goes downhill, and I am very depressed. Yesterday the network people managed to disconnect my PC. Great job again, thanks. My home PC has serious problems. I hope that the contents on the faulty harddrive can be saved. All the problems come at the same time.

October 27, 2001 We had a lot of rain recently. The Makro in Woodmead has reopened after the fire. I was in the area today, looking for book shelves, but it was hopeless: Too many people, hunting for specials. I attended a lot of boring meetings. Today I sent another draft to the good Guy Louchard, but frankly speaking, I have not done much, except for finding that old paper of Carlitz'. C also considered restricted Carlitz compositions (in the Fibonacci Quarterly). Hey, all you folks out there (Louchard, Hitczenko, ...): Don't want to consider that one, too?! The school of mathematics has now a tea room. I am too tired now for the gym, which will soon be closed for renovations. Then I must go to Cresta, I believe. Sheila had a problem with her digestion. That stuff really smells! Next week are more meetings, and then the conference in Durban. I am getting my medal. Arnold Knopfmacher travels to Austria, but most of the time there will be christian holidays over there, hahaha. Allerheiligen. Allerseelen. Allerwertester. Allemeineentlein. Allornothing. I watched a Richard Marx video. Talented guy, Missy's darling. Melissa Ross contributes to the Kansas (=potsw) list. She started there as a college girl and is now a teacher (french, I believe) in a school. Just read about Steffi's son. Davis Love the 3rd: what a name! I cannot go out now, since it is raining. But I could use my muslim equipment to cover my head. Maybe a good idea. Then it does something good. Oskar Steinbach! Terrible, what the KMV did! Wits has now MathSciNet.

October 16, 2001 What a bad day already! I had to change the battery again, which lasted only 9 months. Then my visa card was declined. In the bank, the card was found to be OK (what else?). The girl at the counter pronounced the word "Milnor" (Park) in such a way that only a specialist would know what she meant.
9 days ago, when walking with Tony, we saw a Collie puppy, very cute. Japie Vermeulen is dead, but I did not know him. Shortsighted, Afrikaaner, probably. Younger than me, but looking older.

October 15, 2001 Brian switched off the mail server on friday, 4.30. Just because of this attitude, I would like to leave this country. On saturday, I got my tiles fixed. The new ones were slightly larger, so the guy (name forgotten) had to cut. Although he complained, he made a good profit in just one day, R250. Sheila has a cut on her head, but it must be her fault, since she is constantly attacking poor Tony, who probably fought back. I was in Sandton, but the Music Shop was closed. I think about bying an alto saxophone. Rory Gallagher played one, too, but not too well. I got a new CD with 2 piano concertos by Henry Litolff. My pool is now relatively nice, and Tony goes in on his own. Great dog. Johannella always smashes the doors, as M Drmota. I constantly try to teach her not to, but she needs lots of repetitions. I hope the rains will start soon. Anthrax=Milzbrand, if you are interested. I want to learn some basic italian, and got already some cassettes. Because of the success of Naxos records, Jeno Jando, and Maria Kliegel are now bestsellers (and that turkish woman, I Biret). Anyone remembers Sonja Henie, skating queen from Norway?

October 4, 2001 Ever heared about Franz Lehner? Don't worry, me neither. But yesterday, he appeared, totally out of the blue, and proves that he knows the work of Flajolet, Viennot, Cori, Ismail, and knows the Lagrange inversion formula, Motzkin paths, Hankel determinants, combinatorics on words, etc. Amazing! I thought that one would be aware of such people. Strange also that he works now in Graz, in the same place as Grabner, Heuberger, Tichy, Woess, etc.
Our currency (Rand) is now so bad that I have this vision of suffering and starving.
My new master's student CB should write a long survey about Bailey's Lemma, Chain, Tree, ...

October 2, 2001 More requests for refereeing. Sigh, but I cannot say no. But I sent one back to Japan yesterday. Somebody from Krazy Doors came, but to get an electric garage door seems to be a major operation. If so, I should probably remodel the whole complex, including the previous servants quarters.

October 1, 2001 With visitor CH I was also in a theatre, in Montecasino. The play was "The Proof." Our library (or the VC for research?) punishes the Maths Department for poor research output by cancelling the majority of our journals. Wow! Well done!
I shopped at the new Courts Megastore, in Fourways. I bought a heavy wooden lamp, made in Malaysia. Since it had a scratch, I got a discount. The stupid sales person (no particulars mentioned, I am careful) gave me the prize without VAT; his supervisor agreed however to the prize. Since the amount was still quite high and they had opening specials, I got a 20 piece table service (cheap stuff, of course). On the other hand, I could not start my car anymore, since the starter wire was loose. I had to call the AA, and become a member. I want an electric garage door. My research is not going too well during the last days. I cut my hair, but probably I need a new electric tool. The old one is not functioning properly. Gardner Henry asked for a new rake.

September 25, 2001 I visited several places with my visitor Clemens Heuberger, who is now back in Austria. Of course, the network is down. My first day back at work, and than this. I was in Marseille and Trieste. My flight back was via Trieste-Milan-Marseille-London-Johannesburg. Amazing. And always long queues at the airports. Our university still has no access to MathSciNet. Even the physicists at ICTP have it. Well, we are falling behind. Now is a seminar of D. Rusznyak and J. Hartney. Kathy Driver is apparently head of our school, and I am eager to hear all the gossip about it. After the seminar, there will by lunch at Hofmeyr house. In Marseille I lived in le Maisel, which will be shut down by now. I had a funny toilet in my room, like in an airplane, a plastic construction. I called it the room toilet. I threw in some nut shells in; after that it ceased to work. The receptionist in the Adriatica guest house in Trieste, a woman, had a serious growth of beard. Sebastien Ferenczi dropped his wallet in a bus, but he got is back, quite surprisingly. We ate at the Florian. I copied the code of le Maisel incorrectly, could not enter the building anymore, and remembered the name of the restaurent only vaguely. Fortunately I found it. Florian Simm was so proud to become a flight attendant for Swiss Air, with a huge salary. Probably he has been dumped by now. While in Marseille, I caught the flu and spend some time in bed, resting. Alain Connes was also there, in the Luminy centre, and the whole week was centered around him. I remember that Claude Puech told us some stories about him from Ecole Normale. Now I must write my application for the Vice Chancellor's award. Or I might do that from home, and speak to the pool girl before, since the motor isn't properly working. During the nights some frogs or other stupid animals did not let me sleep.

August 20, 2001Just a few quick words: The pool guys came again yesterday, but could not finish since the concrete was not smooth enough, so they put on an extra layer of smoother concrete, which must dry. Visitor C Heuberger is here. Arnold entertained us in the restaurant Sophia in Rosebanks. Quite a nice place! The gate makes noises; I put some grease on, but it is still not quiet. Galleys came from Quaestiones Mathematicae, and email did not work over the weekend. My D drive needs to be replaced. I wasted some time by watching golf. Joanella did not know how to fold the new ladder, so I found it outside last thursday. The gardner Henry figured it out! I must tell him tomorrow to plant grass and flowers. Doron Lubinsky has left us. This afternoon we will interview junior lecturers. DL's salary seems to be sufficient to feed two junior people. Then there is a meeting for master's students. I must do the talking. Grrrh, I don't want to be an administrator.

August 6, 2001Shit, I had a terrible worm on my computer over the weekend. I hope it has been resolved. Here is what I wrote into my diary during my trip to Europe:

This is the first part of my travel diary, sitting on Frankfurt airport. The girl in a duty free shop said that I must take the item myself from the shelf---she would not do it. I did not buy the item and did not hesitate to tell her my opinion about her work ethics. Yesterday I wanted to take the Impala bus from the busterminal to the airport. But they don't operate anymore, and so I had to take another Taxi for R110. Lufthansa has poor service. Wine is poored into plastic cups; other airlines give you little bottles, just for yourself. No socks, no toothpaste/brush. What they called snacks was a joke. Swiss air had real sandwiches. The airplane came from Capetown, and I found no space for my handluggage. I gave it to a flight attendant. She was not pleased, but eventually did it. I find it outrageous: people bring way too much into the aircraft. People who in previous centuries would have been farmhands or maids or something like that now have jobs. But they have not really changed, except for their attitude that the socialist parties injected into them. Poor work ethics, low skills, but a big mouth and great expectations. Of course, they had no almonds or even peanuts, only cheap bretzels. And narrow seats. But I am sure that they are all grossly overpaid. At least the stereo system worked fine. No printed food list (menu). They had Hake, which the stewardess pronounce Haa-keh, being cluesless about it, and pork. Schweinebraten mit Rotkraut und Knoedel. I heared already people with that ugly viennese drawl. Now there is a girl at the next customer, asking him all kinds of questions, --- way too loud! If she comes, I will not answer her. She is soo annoying.
The next entry is written on sunday, the 24th of June, in Linz, in the Gaestehaus of the University. The birthday event on friday was smooth, and cold in the evening, sitting outside, so that people left early. During the lunch in the Goesserbraeu, DD talked without interruption. Riding the train home to Gumpoldskirchen, I met Ernst Weiss. He told me about many people, either being drunkyards, dead or otherwise onhappy and suffering from depressions. I don't want to repeat these stories here, it would be too long. I did not age at all, being still a young man, but these people, including Franz Groihs, whom I met on thursday, look quite old. On saturday, Erich Grabner drove me around, to Wolfgang Ziegler in Bad Voeslau, who lives there with his young second wife. They have a tiny garden. Everything is so small here, houses and gardens. But prizes high. And people ugly. Then I ate at his mothers place, Krautfleisch, beer, vegetable soup. Before, we met Lilli Hagenauer, who has now a child. At her oldish house, in the garden, she had another visitor, Jacqueline, with a high pitched voice and dark complexion. EG was impressed, especially since she rides a motorbike. The father of the baby is Ulli, a dentist, age 35 (Lilli is born in 1963). LH's mother was a high school teacher and director. I temporarily forgot her first name. Just give me a few minutes. EG's mother lives opposite of old Hagenauer's, als opposite of Elfriede Hammerl, a newspaper writer who writes with a feministic approach. WZ gave me a CD, but I cannot play it with this notebook although Alois gave me the realplayer. Kurwa. We also entered Herta Schwerfuehrer's hair salon, but it was too crowded for long discussions. Ulli H showed up; she is very fat now. Rosa is the forgotten name. Then Erich G drove me to the Westbahnhof; I bought a ticket for ATS 300, and drove to Linz. In the train were stupid elderly people. I slept a bit since I was soooo exhausted, also from Ziegler's early morning wine. Then I took a tramway to the accommodation, which is quite far from the station, and I wanted to avoid to pay a fortune for a taxi with a serbocroatian driver. In the evening, after some more sleep, I walked around, and came across a little festival, celebrating 20 years of the shopping center xxxx (name forgotten). They had wines from Styria, at rididulous prizes. Then I went home, to watch the TV a bit, on arte, the not so popular cultural channel. Subject was the early american invaders, apparently caucasian. Mongolish types came in later. Of course, the red indians (round faces, high cheek bones) don't want to hear that. The cave man, 9000 years old. In Japan, they have some interesting tribes, somehow related, and also New Zealand. These early tribes must have moved a lot. After that more sleep, which I really needed, then breakfast. Groups are here, young athletes, and italian women. I ate as much as possible, so I can skip lunch. Then more sleep. Now I might go out, to have a walk. The food is worse than in South Africa, fatter, and I don't digest it too well.
My first day at the Risc is now over. People were extremely friendly to me. In a sense, the Department in Vienna, where I used to work until 1998, is the worst case. Everywhere else in Austria, I made better experiences. I sit in the famous Bruno Buchberger's office, since he is in Japan. It is quite hot in there. They gave me a notebook for the week. Discussions with Carsten Schneider were inspiring. He has a programme akin to Zeilberger's, but with a much wider range of applications. Probably he would be able to derive Kathy's sum and more. Tomorrow (actually today) Axel Riese will drive me around, since I must be in Vienna in the evening. My digestion became worse. I had some dinner in the Sport restaurant. The sport is outside. Peter has a romanian phD student. Her face is not fantastic, but I was more impressed by some other characteristics of her. A cute girl, dressed in black, showed up, but we missed the opportunity to talk to her, since we discussed with Carsten. I am not too interested in his looks, of course, more in his software. The Julius Raab hotel has sport teams, with muscular instructors. Linz is more a country side place, and it might happen that total strangers on the street greet you. A daily visitor was Renate ???, from Leipzig-Kaiserslautern, specialised in history of mathematics. She knew a lot of details about Gerhard Kowalewki, Friedrich Engel, Siegel, and many others. For a while, this is quite amusing.
Friday morning: Yesterday we had a hiking trip, with some refreshments at the end. The local major appeared and paid everything. Or at least he promised to do it. Today I must take care of tomorrow's trip. Carsten Schneider is now a doctor. His father is also a doctor, as he studied theology (protestant direction). F Winkler's son also studies theology. Pooh... One romanian girl, actually hungarian (Laura) looks a bit mongolian. Still remainders of Attila and his boyz? I can stay in the room tomorrow until late. That is convenient. Local food is quite fat.
July 11. Tatihou was OK, and I was invited to be a main speaker next year in Versailles. Kai H seems to be jobless. I was also asked whether I am interested to become a professor in Florence. Food was plenty, but I suffered from my heavy and cheap suitcase. My talk wasn't good. I am tired most of the time. Apnoe. Goran is impressive. I am very pleased about his triumph. New Tatihou people included skinny women Anne and Amke (no typo). After a long train ride I arrived in Tyrol, where I try to work and relax. Nothing worked so far. No internet this week. People like Luc D, Philippe J, Hadas S, Mireille R left the conference early. Bob Smythe was not invited, which I regret. Wiener Index-->MathSciNet. The weather here in the mountains is poor. Nothing beats Johannesburg in that respect.

August 3, 2001 Here is a translation of mine of a few lines in Vergil's Aeneis. I don't know from when.

Aber die Koenigin, laengst schon wund vom nagenden Kummer,
naehrt im Busen ihr Weh, und das heimliche Feuer verzehrt sie.
Jegliche Tugend des Helden sieht stets sie vorm geistigen Auge
und sein geruehmtes Geschlecht; ins Herz sind ihr fest eingegraben
Mienen und Worte, der Gram verwehrt ihr die staerkende Ruhe.
Als Aurora am Morgen die Laender erhellte mit Phoebus'
Fackel und das tauichte Dunkel vom Himmel verscheuchte,
wandte sie sich, betoerten Sinns, zur ergebenen Schwester:
"Schwester Anna, wie Unschluess'ge die Traumbilder quaelen!
Welch' ungewoehnlicher Fremdling nahte sich unserer Schwelle,
wie einnehmend vom Antlitz, wie tapfer und waffengewaltig.
Wahrlich, ich glaube, - ich irre mich nicht -, er stammt von den Goettern.
Furcht entlarvt ja gemeine Gesinnung. Ha! Wie hat das Schicksal
ihm mitgespielt! Was erzaehlt' er von durchgestandenen Kriegen!

July 27, 2001 I attended a concert in the Linder auditorium. A small chinese conductor, who seemed quite competent. Liszt, Les Preludes, then a chinese girl, short, high heels, purple dress, playing the Pipa (?), a string instrument sounding a bit like a banjo or mandolin or sitar. She used her fingers, no pick. Outch, that must hurt! Tremolo, with a three finger pattern. But quite pleasant music, lots of applause. After the interval, Swan Lake by Tchaikowski. I realized that I only have excerpts at home. Also nice. A pleasant evening. In the interval I drank Savannah, for 8 Rand. Not too much for that evening. Albert came, and we sort of finished the q-Olivier paper.

July 25, 2001 I am back! I collected a few notes during my trip, and will transfer them at some stage to the bulletin. For the moment only a few words, for the record. It is bloody cold here, and I contacted the pool people already. I wrote a few revisions, and corrected galley proofs. Now I must do the NRF application. Difficult... Christiane Frougny gave me pointers to her papers about numeration systems and transducers. I use them only as illustrations; I am more into actual calculations. Instead of Barcelona, I might visit Firenze (Florence)! Would that be a nice place to leave? Probably, but not for me.
I just returned from the lunch concert. Nicholas Nicolaidis, the well known tenor, sang Domine Deus (Ro), La Fleur que... (Bi; unfortunately using falsetto), L'invitation au voyagee (Duparc), Heimliche Aufforderung (Dr Strauss), The Plougboy (arr. Britten), Bring him home (from les Miserables). Anneke Lamont played the piano. A good looking middle aged woman, probably of the religious type. A pretty girl turned the pages. Then 2 piano pieces, played by young Heloise Murdoch, Scarlatti and Brahms, not too difficult. She had this clumsy shoes, and used no pedal for old Scarlatti, but some for Brahms, of course, which mustn't be easy with them. It was cold in the Atrium, and blind girl Liz attended with her new dog.

June 9, 2001 Yesterday I was with Kathy Driver in Pretoria, where she gave a talk. I saw Elemer R (=Roesinger?). Today I wanted to drive to the Makro. I did not find it, but found Africatiles instead, bought the tiles that lousy Brian Sher pretended not to find in 25 shops, and then, on my way home, passed Oriental Plaza. I entered it, say Shelagh, the previous owner(ess) of my house, and bought a funny Abd-El-Kader hat for 30 Rand. Then I went home and slept a bit. In the morning, pool man Johann came, and gave me a quotation for 12.000 Rand. Now I must work on the Albert paper. I know, HE should do it, but then I would have to wait forever. Daniel Panario organizes an Analysis of Algorithms day. Next year I might have a chance to attend. Perhaps I should ask L Nongxa for additional support. Clear blue sky, maximum 19.

June 7, 2001 It is getting colder now. I got another quotation for my pool: 14.000Rand. And the guy was punctual. I received a paper of the great Hwang (maximum finding on broadcast communication). And one from Philippe Flajolet about the kernel method. I still don't understand the word "kernel" here. It could as well be called "Brigitte-Bardot-method"! Well, ... Lots of work, papers, exams, consultations. Another pool guy should have come this morning, but he lost the address. Comes on saturday instead. I broke one mirror on my car. Stupid.

June 1, 2001 Another lovely winter day! I went to the Linder: Leonore 3, Chopin first piano concerto, Sibelius symphony (probably number 2), with lots of brass. I was relatively happy. From this concert season, I missed some: two weeks ago Dukas, the sorcerers apprentice. [Anybody out there who read A Weil's biography?] I spend more time on CD's than on Joanella. I bought Joseph Joachim's violin concerto no 3, recorded by Meir Minsky, who was conducting here a few months ago. Remember?! Meier is a popular male name. After reading a book about the Rothschilds, I know that. Tiger played the last 9 holes yesterday in 30. Quite spectacular.

May 30, 2001 On monday, the famous Joanella did not come, since a 5 year old nephew died from food poisoning. Remember: last july, in Poland, it could have happened to me. I switched from Butch, Steak flavour, to other can food, and now Sheila eats. Today is a prize giving ceremony, and food and drinks afterwards. So no gym. Waldroeschen and Die Liebe des Ulanen are now in the internet. I must find a title for Kuich's birthday talk. The traditional party for Christian K's Arbeitsgemeinschaft will be hosted by M Drmota. Maybe I can attend. Andreas Weiermann will probably come to Tatihou. New blood, good idea. This is the last week of lectures, then exams and --- sigh --- consultation hours. In the checkers supermarket they announced free soup for elderly people on wednesday mornings, but the people who worked there knew nothing. Lacking expertise is a problem here. I attended the lunch time music at Wits Atrium. Not too good, an annoying soprano voice. But tomorrow I shall try again in the Linder. A Sibelius symphony, a piano concerto, played by an italian, a chinese conductor. Something like that! I tried cos(2\Pi/17) with Maple; it did not know it. Gauss did, however!

May 27, 2001 Our brilliant network boys managed again that the whole network is disfunctional for the whole weekend. Congratulations!
I had to replace 2 tyres, after only 28.000 km. Another 1000 Rand. A new introduction to the hall of fame should be plumber Brian Sher, a man with apparently low moral standards. He still owes me the tiles that I paid already. And he does not answer my phone calls, a practice that I know already from gate guy Mike. I will probably try another solution, try to forget that hairy monster and curse him instead. I hope he will eventually get what he deserves.
May was quite pleasant, better than expected, very sunny and bright days.
I ate Eisbein at the Docks. Prize (special) was back to 30 Rand. I find the Waterfront now without Jan Smuts avenue, using Barry Hertzog, Rustenberg, and Hendrik Verwoerd. Painter Tjabo worked a bit over the weekend. He seems to be honest. But he should shave, since he has only some 100 hairs in his face. His son has a problem with his brains (his words); therefore he is only in standard (or grade?) 4, with 12 or 13 years. Lots of tablets, and no concentration. I did not ask for more. Colin Powell gave a talk at Wits, but that is not too entertaining; all the demonstrations and security boyz.
I read in Knopp's Funktionentheorie. Wasn't the german version in two thin Goeschen Baendchen?! Weierstrass' product theorem, the stuff with the convergence generating factors. Oh, I will travel soon, and the preparations cause major headache and depressions.
Surprisingly, at 3.50 p.m., the network seems to work somehow. Should they have sent somebody in to work on the weekend? That would be a pleasant surprise.

May 23, 2001 Jean-Marc Steyaert. In 1984 I was invited to his place. Philippe Flajolet was also there. We had roastbeef, nicely bloody in the middle. And in the same year I spent 1 night in his country house, on my way to Mont-St. Michel, drinking cidre. So far very nice memories. But as a managing editor for DMTCS? Oh, boy! From several sources I hear that he basically does not handle submissions at all, and that he does not answer authors. Perhaps he is overwhelmed with work in Palaiseau? Then a friendly solution would be to step down from DMTCS. Too bad that I must hear these stories, since I always (and still) consider him to be a very nice man and friend.
I had bad sleeping problems last night.

May 22, 2001 I watched the H-Twen with the short upper lip losing it again. Great. I must always write revisions. With Wojtek, and for the SLC, and the q-Rice is still not done! I have got my notebook, but Bryan has no time to install software. A belgian guest, from the Colorado Mines, gave a talk about his Mathematica package to solve some pde's. Colorado is a lovely place, wonderful mountains and resorts, and dinosaurs. I spent perhaps one or two nights close to Vail (or to Aspen?), but I forgot the name. Something with Green and Valley? Where is a map? It was in 1991. After that I visited Prof Szpankowski. I had to sacrifice an idea that I wanted to work out alone since PK asked so badly. I regret it now. It happened often, e.g. related to Hoare's selection algorithm. I wanted FH involved. Well, maybe it was better without him, since he is a bit slow, w.r.t. finishing papers. In 1991 Bill Clinton was running for elections. I did not know the name at that time. The guest isn't really a mine worker, as I understand, but works for a Mining institute or school. In Paris, Ecole des Mines is quite prestigious. The paper in Computing was also such an unfortunate case. I was in the Zillertal, in the Freibad, and did the first computations there. And another one, in Math. Slovaca, that I started in 1990, while I waited for my then new car, a Honda. What an idiot I was! The list could go on and on.

May 18, 2001 Yesterday evening, after I came home from gym, Tony limped badly. But this morning everything seems to be normal again. Strange, I could not see anything on his right front leg, and when I examined it, he was not in pain. Well, but my right ankle also hurts for no reason. Sheila seems to be better now, and eats her full load. I mixed some cheap fat into the tin food, and she likes it. Well, cholesterol. What the heck! I must bring her through the cold winter. It is like chess. You might be brilliant in the endgame, but due to your poor opening repertoire and middle game you never reach it!
At the local Spar, the woman who cuts the sausage etc. is from Croatia (or something like that). Yesterday she came with freshly dyed blond hair. However, she has these thick dark brown eyebrows and brown eyes, so to me the whole arrangement is more ridiculous than glorious.
Tennis player Lleyton Hewett must have a very high pitched voice. I am sure he reaches the high C and beyond. That makes him a candidate for a second career. Remember Martin Lauer?
My A-drive does not recognize my stiffy disk that I brought from home. I helped Arnold with a tex file. Phillip Griffith is visiting. Kathy arranged a tea for him. I called Brian Sher, who still has not finished the broken tiles in the garden. Terrible! But Tjabo is quite good. You don't see him, but the painting progresses. Not everybody is bad here.

May 17, 2001 During the last few months I asked Peter Paule 2 questions, both related to L Carlitz. I wrote a little paper related to question 2. PP however told somebody that I wrote a little paper related to question 1. Moreover, I had completely forgotten about question 1. The problem was somehow resolved when PP sent me my old email, sent from Graz. The problem is also, that we don't have MathSciNet here. They promised it often, but it never happened. Grrrrrrrrh!
Not much time after the exam on June 15, and my departure on June 19. I got information about a woman "Liz" who takes care of dogs when people are away. That might be the solution. Costs around 30-40 Rand per day.
Some of our third year students still don't know about equivalence relations and equivalence classes. They probably think that this is OK and blame me for not understanding the algebra course. That's easy. I don't want to do that type of teaching anymore.

May 13, 2001 I just saw a tennis match on TV: My french favorite Amelie Mauresmo won, against Jennifer Capriati. JC does not exactly have a nice figure. AM probably has the best legs in tennis since Steffi Graf. Today I was shopping, and, again, I encountered cashiers who do not master additions and subtractions. Well, probably multiplications and divisions would have been a destaster, but they did not occur.
Yesterday I watched a bit of the European Song Contest. This one was always ridiculous. Apparently, they are now allowed to sing in any language. Previously, you heared songs in turkish, serbo-croatian, etc. I don't know how a coloured guy comes to Estonia. Maybe a sailor who stranded on the shores? Or a guest star? When Wilfried scored 0 points, there was a joke, a la "what is the difference between a blind man and Wilfried?" with the answer "3 points (dots)". Probably that does not translate too well.
I think I found now the method for Albert to derive the generating functions that he always wanted. Let's see what he does with it. Before on the radio "the sacred and the profane." There was this canadian band who did that also; I saw them in London, Ontario, in 1982. Old Bizet used his Carmen music in zillions of variations. People who buy their CD's only from budget label Naxos might believe that Idil Biret is the worlds most famous piano player, since she recorded all that Chopin and Rachmaninov and perhaps more. After my visit in Linz I will travel to Tatihou, and then I have a week free. Perhaps a take a train, because goin back to Vienna isn't too clever, and I can spend this week wherever the train leads me. Then, I should have my notebook, and be able to write some papers.
Sheila has a bloody eye. Probably Tony couldn't stand it anymore. She is toooo nasty to him. The guy at the dump was too lazy and asked me to reverse the car. Then I did myself. I don't know what they are thinking. The neighbour's (=the priest with Alzheimer) house is already sold; that was fast.

May 11, 2001Amazing how many people read yesterday's entry and asked me about my well-being. My eye infection is better by now; the girl in the reception cancelled my appointment. Well, we forgive her. I listen now to Marc-Andre Hamelin, playing Godowski's Chopin Etudes. Amazing stuff, especially for the left hand alone. Wojtek did not like the amsart documentclass. I hope we found a compromise, since I don't wanna see the ugly eqnarray. About Kathy's sum: Maybe one has to go into the mixed sum-integral business that appeared in Inventiones (!), by Wilf-Zeilberger. Yippie! A quotation of R22000 for a pool repair looks also outrageous. And Tony touched the wet paint at the wall and is now a bit painted.

May 10, 2001Gate repair guy Simon takes 200 call out fee. But he does not come himself, rather asks a black guy to do the job. I talked to this guy (Daniel) yesterday, who could be called directly for 160 Rand! This I will do in the future. Religious cheater Simon: welcome in the Hall of Fame!
People here either shout in public places or are religious fanatics. This describes roughly 90 percent of the population. I cannot stand it anymore. I would be ready to leave! Hey, where are the prestigious job offers?
To be fair: it is a lovely winter day today.

May 8, 2001 My gardner gets for lunch chicken polony. I nicknamed it "Gaertnerwurst." If you are an industrial (food) designer, please use that term, create something wonderful and share the royalties with me! My gate did not work again, and the call out fee is now R200. Well, 20R increase each year. Kathy has some interesting sums, perhaps hard to compute. My modem: It took the infamous Marco and Co several days to deliver it and now probably a couple more days to install it. Welcome to the Hall of (In)fame, where you might meet the likes of Sue Cock etc. I want to buy a notebook soon. Terry Lepley should work on the pool (and stairs): endless phone calls, no results.
What I don't like here is the behaviour of people (my own included): shouting in public, occupying 4 seats instead of one, even if other people have none, etc. Some people don't wash and mess up the toilets on a regular basis.
The french visitors have finally left. It was raining heavily when I drove them to the airport, and then my eye sight is even more impaired. Now it is nice during the days, but icy during the nights. Sheila does not eat properly, not even can food.

April 30, 2001 I plan to speak a little bit about the resultant today. I worked a full day on the paper with Albert. I hope he will eventually do similar work for his thesis. An unpleasant guy in the gym told me that it is forbidden to drink Hunter's gold in the gym! They call it alcoholic, but it is just cider. I cut my hair yesterday.

April 28, 2001 Tjabo came to day to start painting around the house. He works for the squash club. He is a nice man. I am quite tired all the time. Everywhere I see books of John Grisham. In the gym, people have his books with them to read while cycling, etc. The local people like to make noise. That is what they can do best. And they do it now, near my office, in the huge examination hall. The noise is even amplified, to have more noise. Great!

April 23, 2001 I went with Tony to the vet for almost 100 Rand. Fortunately, his lump is benign and caused from Sheila being nasty to him. I sketched a joint paper with Albert (!) and wrote some referee's reports. I attended the graduation ceremeny, with a red gown. Sonja Currie's (a student) mother spoke german to me. Quite a surprise, but she is german. The blind guy also graduated, and got a full round of applause. Well, his life is not so easy. Sebastien Ferenczi gave a seminar today. He wrote several letters and symbols from bottom to top. I thought about it: In school, they taught you to write letters as if you would use a fountain pen. Direction would matter. Nowadays perhaps not. It was considered to be a sin or at least ridiculous to write "5" in one go. But why not? Or "N"? Well, things change. Do we always think about the reason for certain rules? Fish without knife: why? I must revise my paper from March 1999. I will take it home. Did I mention already that my modem does not work anymore? Kurwa! No teaching would be great for a while.

April 22, 2001 I got the flu. But life goes on, preparing my course, using vz Gathen's book, and writing papers and reports. I sort of finished the 20 pages for Kuich's conference, now I do the Olivier thing, with Albert. Well, let me start it anyway. The religous neighbours try to sell their house again. Let 'em go! Being sick, I must sleep more. I gave the cheap blue bed to Joanella. Tomorrow is a meeting with Nongxa. Pooh, I am not too motivated. They talk about research instead of doing it. But for what a salary! And I sit here on a sunday and write papers!

April 20, 2001 We went with the visitors to a restaurant in Sandton: The Butcher Shop. The food was excellent. I took snails as a starter. Probably they were the reason that I had serious stomach problems during the night: Terrible pain, and the stomach swollen and inflated. The same feeling as when I eat pineapples. So I believe in an allergic reaction. In december, I had snails, and after that in Graz skin problems, also of an allergic nature. Probably I should avoid the lovely little animals in the future. I took 2 motilium. Now I don't have any left.

April 19, 2001Oh, busy days. French visitors (Cassaigne and Ferenczi) arrived. I worked on my paper for Kuich's meeting in July, and with Wojtek on a trie model of 2 russians. Gardner Henry will soon be back, replacing Stewart. I read the Testament, by John Grisham. This author is talented, no doubt. After some severe sleeping problems, things seem to be better now. Former ph.D. student Franz Rettig moved temporarily to Stuttgart. Sorry, folks, I don't have real news for you. I am sure you don't want to hear about my cooking! Oh, yesterday I watched Wrestlemania. You can read about it elsewhere, no doubt.

April 9, 2001My sister died yesterday, age 56. Please refrain from sending condolence letters, as the case was clear for months, and everybody was just waiting that it finally happens. My pool is indeed leaking. Here is what google found about the causa Krachler (in german). Enjoy your pesach, hahaha. I watched the victory of Eldrich Woods. Phil Mickelsen is a Paul McCartney look alike, and also a lefthander!

Amoklauf in Mödling - die Chronologie, Dienstag, 18. November 1997 Ein Erbschaftsstreit war die Ursache des Amoklaufes des 39jährigen Martin Krachler aus Mödling, bei dem seine Schwester, Maria K, (41) getötet wurde; die 76jährige Mutter Magdalena K., und sein Bruder Friedrich K. (43) wurden schwer verletzt. Martin Krachler war gegen 6.00 Uhr früh nach einer durchzechten Nacht betrunken nach Hause gekommen. Kurz darauf entbrannte ein heftiger Erbschaftsstreit zwischen ihm und seinem Bruder; schon zuvor war es wegen des Erbes immer wieder zu Auseinandersetzungen gekommen. Der Streit eskalierte, Martin Krachler zog einen Revolver, Magnum, Kaliber 357, und schoß auf seine Familie, dabei wurde seine Schwester getötet, der Bruder und die Mutter überlebten schwer verletzt. Die Gendarmerie traf gegen 6 Uhr 30 am Tatort ein; den beiden Überlebenden gelang die Flucht aus dem Haus; sie wurden ins Krankenhaus Mödling eingeliefert und notoperiert. Ein Gendarmeriebeamter erlitt bei der Schießerei Verletzungen im Gesicht und am Arm. Martin K. verschanzte sich in der Folge im Haus - es folgte eine stundenlange Belagerung, bei dem die Gendarmerie mehrmals - erfolglos - versuchte, mit Martin K. Kontakt aufzunehmen. Eine Erstürmung des Hauses wollte die Gendarmerie vermeiden, da man annahm, daß sich noch eine weitere Geisel in der Gewalt des Amokläufers befindet. Gegen 11 Uhr machte sich das Gendarmerie-Einsatzkommando (GEK) dann doch zum Sturm auf das Haus bereit. Martin K. hatte aber inzwischen erkannt, daß er keine Chance mehr hat und ergab sich widerstandslos. Zur Person Martin Krachlers: 39 Jahre, Diplomingenieur, Beamter im Landwirtschaftsministerium und ehemaliger Milizsoldat - als Waffensammler bekannt, Vater eines zweijährigen Sohnes.

April 4, 2001 I listen to Carljohan Grimmark, an Yngwie clone, but quite good. Stupid christian lyrics, a la "My lord, I can't live without your love." I also got a CD with piano music by Clara Wieck-Schumann. A gifted girl, no wonder that old John Brahms fell for her. My gardner Stewart came today, instead of yesterday. My pool is perhaps leaking?! That would be a new disaster. They show a lot of golf on TV, but yesterday Tiger played early, and had already finished when they started. For the conference DLT2001 I must produce 20 pages, which isn't exactly fun. I started to do a little cut-and-paste from older papers, but I need all of my discipline to do that.
In the radio, there was a puppy making its characteristic noises (part of an advert). My dogs were confused, ran out to the gate, and barked. Their thinking isn't very abstract.
I still have not finished my marking. And on monday lectures continue.

April 4, 2001 The Squash Club opposite my house will be replaced by a town house complex. I hope that I don't suffer too much from constructions. I solved Wojtek's recursions (related to Fedorov and Ryabko), so we might have a paper when HE has some time. I took some aspirine against headache, and something against gout, and feel drowsy now. I joined Virgin Atlantic yesterday (the gym). And I do some marking of the test in abstract algebra. Some students are not only weak but also unprepared---an unfortunate combination! Now I must start my contribution to the Kuich volume. And the report about MG, and some refereeing about a guy who sent in a very careless manuscript. Grrrh! The second symphony season starts today, sponsored this time by Anglo American. They do a version of Haendel's Messiah, in the 11 official languages of South Africa. I am not interested in that! Lilliput Nicolas Nicholaides is making a solo appearance. In the second hand bookstore I bought a relatively new John Grisham novel. He knows what he is doing. I always liked talented people.

April 3, 2001 I was visiting the Drakensberg(e). However, since it was raining quite badly, no walks were possible, only a game drive in the Spion Kop national park. After one night in The Nest I came back. The Nest gives you 3 full meals, quite good value.
Oh, I have so many papers to review, reports to write, etc. That component became worse during the last few years. I wonder how WK managed all that, when he only spent 1 day per week at his department. Perhaps not so many obligations for the international community.
Not much happened. My pool works fine with the mighty new filter. I should have changed that one long ago. The guy from BBR security called my dogs vicious! Every day a guy with his brooms walks past my house and rings the bell. He should know by now that I don't buy from him. Some people even ring and ask for food.

March 14, 2001 Penultimate confessions: Well, the end might be near, so it is a good time to make "tabula rasa." I never understood people who read journals about cars and compared the cars, etc. But I understood people who liked to read and sing. Now my approach with respect to mathematics is similar. I am an oldfashioned "romantic," I like formulae, I am intrigued by Ramanujan, but if mathematics is just used to construct a refrigerator, it is none of my business. Yes, I like the music of Schumann and Chopin, and not Boulez and Hindemith. I like melodic rock and beautiful voices, a la Steve Perry, but dislike Grundge and Nirvana. If people consider mathematics to be an engineering discipline, forget it. What do people know about Andre Weil? People say that he was great, but what do they really know? It is like Goethe: what did the public really read (apart something in high school)?! It is said that the 19th century was the century of formulae, so people like me are fossils. I don't like "spaces" so much. I like guys who can compute constants to zillions of digits, but I find numerical mathematics in general quite dull, if it is not combined with something appealing. Old ET Bell wanted to see more in mathematics than a few tricky exercises, and, oh, how right was he! I knew a guy who just saw the tricks, and used them as a weapon. But this guy, who is still alive, has the mental status of a fifteen year old, but this number would only be correct if his birthday would be February 29. Go figure!
Not that I know much about Computer Science, especially about what happened after, say 1970, but my approach is similar. What Don Knuth does, is great and appealing, but programming for a bank or an insurance company is an off-turn. The list could go on and on.
After a troubled youth, which I blame mostly on my father, my selfconfidence was almost completely undermined and I thought (erroneously!) that my prerequisites were not strong enough for a career in mathematics. So I started do study computer science, but discovered soon that I did not really like it. But I did not want to give up, so I mostly did the theoretical aspects of it and studied mathematics a bit later. So I did it the hard way. As a consequence, I never really learned about topics like differential geometry and partial differential equations. Also, my complex analysis is mostly self-taught. As a general remark, I never really studied anything; I spent some time with this and that, and so I picked up a few things. Same goes for music. I could play a few fast runs on the electric guitar, but I am mechanically not too gifted, therefore my piano playing is kind of ridiculous, especially since I never really practiced.
I reread some of my old entries. I am sure that Harald Rindler will soon regret that he brought in misters XXX and YYY (if he does not regret it already!). His department was the last resort of an aristocratic view of mathematics; people like I. Segal, Grothendieck, and A. Weil were admired by staff, and E. Hlawka was a superstar. But now? Paradise lost!
I listen to Theodor Kullak's piano concerto (Hyperion records), and it is very good. Catchy phrases, difficult stuff, great arrangement. Perhaps not much weaker than Schumann's effort. Don't get me wrong: I am a fan of Michael Schumacher (sorry, I meant Robert Schumann), but that Kullak concerto is just great.
Adolf Henselt, the great piano player, said when he was old, that he did not fulfill the promises he made when he was young. Did I? Probably not. But probably most people did not, notable exceptions being N. Wiener and John v. Neumann, and of course Gauss.

March 12, 2001 I have a serious iritation of my left eye, perhaps due to a hair or some other object. Yesterday it looked really bad, like a blister on the eyeball!
I almost finished reading the biography of E.T.Bell. Quite a character. His wife, too. He did not like religion and children, although they had one, which did not please either of them. She was quite a bit older than him. Chain smokers. Gian-Carlo Rota called his research "bizarre." Wrote novels as John Taine. About his son, she (nicknamed Dog Toby) said once that "he is happy now that he found an opportunity to cool his testicles." Quite a statement, for a woman, and in the 1930ies! They both dressed in a funny way, and he fell thrice through the driver's test. He lost part of his right thumb, but managed to write. He wrote a novel usually in 3 to 4 weeks. Quite amazing.
On a CD with piano music of Eugen d'Albert we learn that he married 6 times, and a friend said "oh, this is the best one you had for a long time." And he married a venezuelan piano player, his senior for more than 10 years. A newspaper said: she played for the first time the second piano concert of her third husband in the fourth philharmonic concert. After taking his bow was translated as "nachdem er seinen Bogen ergriffen hatte", but "er machte doch blo3 ne Verbeugung." This was ridiculous, and translater Anke Vogelhuber, welcome to the hall of fame!

March 9, 2001 I dreamed that the famous Kurt M died, after a long suffering that nobody knew about. Well, not likely, as he was a rowing champ, according to Werner K.
Yesterday, on the cooking channel, there was jewish cooking. I did not see much; a woman prepared something that looked like potato salad, with some pieces of fish, and she said that seafood is not kosher. The presenters got a spoonful of that on a piece of paper(!). Before they tried it, the camera moved away from them. Then, they visited a bakery in London, where an immigrant from Russia (according to his accent) explained the production of beigels. Mr Beigel (from Poland) invented them. This owner has completely without humour, although the presenter tried hard. But he was quite skilled to produce beigels, by hand. Before they went to the oven, they swam shortly in salt water! (the beigels.)
After eating from my old goulash, I don't feel too well. And I hear the comedian harmonists again. Amazing arranger Frommermann, and high tenor (alto!) Ari Leschnikoff. Erwin Bootz was influenced by super pianist Eugene d'Albert. The latter wrote a very boring opera, called Tiefland, that I saw when I was in school.
Guy L and I submitted our recent effort to a conference in Barcelona. Let's see...

March 6, 2001 The history of Friedrich Krachler: FK went with me to high school. He was working quite hard and was not bad at school, but by no means brilliant. He was an average and uninspiring person. He was long but not elegant, actually quite unattractive. He tried to study law, but failed all the time, so his was forced to give up. Then he went to the police force. His mother was a primary school teacher. They were 6 children. I only know about Rudolf, Friedrich, Maria, and Martin.
Martin was a much nicer boy than the rest. He studied agriculture and became an employee in a ministry. In (I guess 1997) he went berserk and shot at Friedrich and Maria, the latter one actually dying. Apparently, as newspapers wrote, money was one of the reasons.
In school, FK was always sitting next to a certain Erwin Mayr, who was stuttering heavily. His mother was a business woman in a town called Tuernitz. But apparently she made some bullshit and went to prison.

The Berserker was in the WWF when I used to watch a lot. He appeared with the name The Viking, but soon changed the name, but not the outfit, of a brutal and stupid nordic warrior. He was from Montana and billed as 1.98 cm high. They also had people like Nailz.

There are certain things that I don't like: Cowboy boots, cell phones, and men who comb their hair backwards.

March 5, 2001 Disclaimer: I never say anything negative about a whole group of people (only about individuals, hahaha). Especially, I don't intend to say anything bad about women. It is just that I don't have a full understanding of them and their ways. And the way their hormons work is really complicated.
Yesterday, I drove to the Emmarentia dam(m) with the dogs. They jumped out of the window! That was a shock! And Tony pulled so badly, I gave up after one round. It is very hot here, and I was in the sun for too long.

March 2, 2001 Hi, it is thursday evening, and I just came back from the concert at the Linder. It was the last in a series, and quite full. But I made it. I did not sit close to the musicians, so no details about their bodies. The girl next to the russian immigrant was holding hands with the new first violin player, but it looked like something forbidden. Well, these artists! What they say about Rod Stewart! This girl is quite pretty, only slightly shortsighted, as I was when I was about 35 or so. Now my eyesight is terrible. Should I go completely blind, I would chicken out. No life with Tony as a guide dog. Religion would not hold me back here. Tomorrow, AK has again his muslim prayers. Well, ...
Now to the program: First, Rossini's ouverture to "Die diebische Elster." This Rossini guy really had a golden finger. Amazing. And how quickly he could do that! They had 2 snare drums, sharply left and right. Quite nice effects. I wonder, whether that is like that in the score. Allah-il-Allah! [Disclaimer: Wits is not responsible, we all know that....] Then the ubiquitous [do you hear me, PF?] Rodriguez, Aranjuez. The guitar player was a certain Aldo, a short guy, italian or spanish or something like that [Wojtek?!!]. Ugly haircut, but the old ladies liked him, since he made these percussion sounds on his acoustic guitar. Many old ladies in the audience. I like the young ones better, hahaha! After the break, Rachmaninov's second symphony. Quite long. On my CD, shorter than in the concert. Probably Mendelssohn and Schumann would not have liked it too much. [Schumacher is more popular than old Robbie ever was, shame.] Another conductor, not from Israel this time, and Leah G was not in the concert. I am very tired and should go to bed. Report finished.

March 1, 2001 I cannot connect to our email server. Things like that happen ALL THE TIME and make me wanting to leave that country. Gardner Stewart came today, not tuesday, because he attended a funeral. He is from Zimbabwe, and they have a major problem with an epidemic. As I often hear, service in ZA is cheap but not good. But they all have cell phones!

February 27, 2001 Yesterday, my phone at home did not work. That is a shock, since BBR security would not come in an emergency.
Alois Panholzer (thanks!) sent me a copy of that 1827 paper of Olivier. It is related to the enumeration of some permutations. I guess, old Olli did not have a proper understanding of roots of unity. In some of his statements, one should add "primitive n-th root of unity." Well, no Group Theory and/or Galois Theory was known to the public at that time. And this guy did not like to use brackets, he would write fx instead of f(x), but even worse, fx^3 means not f(x^3) but rather f^3(x). And no sigmas for sums, and no factorials. Kurwa!

February 26, 2001 I was in the Linder Auditorium once again. They had Schubert's unfinished symphony, and after the interval the first piano concert of John Brahms. The piano player looked like Gary Kasparov, but, according to Janet Helmstedt, was the same guy who played 2 weeks ago in the Saint-Saens concert. It was difficult to get in, so in the first half I sat high up in the gallery, but I changed to the first row, left side, so that I could say the piano player (and his shining shoes). And this time some violin ladies. One (probably a russian immigrant) had totally shapeless upper arms (no gym!). The feet are usually a turn-off. Unclear, why they don't hide them! And naked feet in shoes: what a smell! But that's the way women are.
There were tuning problems. Close to the instruments, one has a more analytic way of hearing. Strings became lower, horns higher, I guess. Not too nice. And they had illegal copies, just produced by the old Xerox machine. Well, I am also sort of illegal, so never mind again.

This I typed thursday evening, just after the concert. Now, we had 30 hours of constant raining. I bought a nice folding ladder, special prize 549. In one hardware store they wanted some 900, but I knew that I had seen it at Dion's for less.
Just now, a previously underpriviledged driver almost provoked an accident. Kurwa, and sometimes they don't even have insurance.

February 14, 2001 Kurt Mehlhorn sent me something for refereeing, but this guy is so prominent that he did not even sign the letter. I am not sure whether he even looked at it or whether a secretary is the true editor. When people discuss his research, they often come up with half sentences like "... but he is a smart man." He duplicates quickly and managed to find good posts for some lesser Mehlhorns, going by the names of S Albrechts, S Naeher, P Mutzel, M Smid, etc. I am sure that people like Helmut Hasse did the same in their heyday. Well, I can't change the world, I know.
I had a gout attack yesterday, and feel quite miserable. My stomach is also sore, from strong tablets called Deflamat. I tried to get some local replacements on campus, but they will have it only tomorrow.

February 9, 2001 Yesterday was another event in my free concert season: Verdi, Ouverture (Macht des Schicksals), then a piano player from Israel with Saint-Saens' 2nd piano concert. He gave an encore, a toccato from an Israeli composer. After the "interval" the symphony "pathetique" from the russian composer Tschaikowsky. This time, I had a bad seat, first row, quite close to the stage, but also very low. I could see the fleshy toes of a cello player, and how these players ruin the stage with a nail-like appendix to the cello (and bass). The symphony was quite bad, nothing was together, a quite amateurish performance. The face of the Israeli conductor was also fleshy, although he was not too fat. Well, as AK says, there is no face aerobics.
Very hectic day; honours meeting, and Albert is here, and......

February 6, 2001 Costs for the plumber: R4700, and tiling not yet done! I found a slight error in my Latin paper, when discussing with Guy Louchard. And the famous Hwang will join the Hubalek project. There is a chance now that it will eventually be finished.

February 5, 2001 When I was younger, I knew a man named Alois Gamauf. He did not like his name Alois, so he made people believe that his name was Luis. Eventually, it was discovered, and other guys would typically say to him "Ja-Lois"? Later, he committed suicide. He was not too intelligent, but his family somewhat rich. His father came from Tyrol, I believe, and made in Import-Export. His friends were all like him, school drop-outs, rich sons. Broken families. The mother of one (Chris, I believe) drove into a barrier, when leaving the highway towards Brunn. It is very hard to hit that, very unlikely. Was she an alcoholic? I forgot...
Shopping at Makro on saturday. Walking the dogs on sunday.

February 2, 2001 Computers are currently upgraded, but "nothing" works. And they give you new software, but don't install it! But you have to be super-friendly to them, otherwise they would probably just ignore you totally and cancel all your accounts. An unfortunate situation. As a bonus, they think that you are an idiot.
I was in the Linder again, a free concert for me. They did the ouverture of Smetana's Die verkaufte Braut, and then something symphonic from George Bizet, something I knew and have on CD, and then, after what locals call "interval," the symphony in d minor by Cesar Franck. It is always this symphony. Does he have no others? Kerry Livgren likes this one; it is quite loud. In the Bizet, they even had an alto saxophone. The conductor, was probably from Israel, perhaps Mirsky or Maisky or something. He was interviewed on radio (I think it was the same guy) and played a recording of his, an ouverture of Joseph Joachim. I must try to get music by JJ and also from Hans von Buelow.
I had bad dreams this night. The dogs maybe, too, since they messed where they should not. I removed it, since the plumber was supposed to come, and had serious trouble not to vomit. The smell of fresh dog mess is quite strong and animalic.

January 26, 2001 Nokia sponsors now the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. I went yesterday to the first concert. They made it so complicated and unpleasant to pay that I went in without paying. Well, their fault. They did Mendelssohn's ouverture to Shakespeare Midsummer night's dream. [Rik Emmett has a Midsummer night's daydream.] Then a horn concerto, unknown to me, and then Brahms first symphony.
The plumber was in my house yesterday. Maybe larger repairs are necessary. My new dish washer is made in Spain. I never had a product from that country.

January 22, 2001 It is my brother's birthday today. (Not too exciting, I know).
There is now a european mirror of my homepage, thanks to Clemens Heuberger. My eyesight is so poor and somewhat blurred that I fear for the worst.
Wilhelm Drach, around 1967-69, had the idee fixe that Ringo Starr is the most important member of the Beatles. Well... My vote goes straight to Sir Paul McCartney. On Channel 70, they broadcasted a concert with Ringo; 4 guitar players, and on bass none other than Jack Blades, (Nightranger, Damn Yankees). I watched Chris Impelliteri again. It is amazing, but no music. You can't hear any single notes anymore, just a tornado of sound.
The mathematicians of the TU Graz like the restaurant Vomer: what a name! It is located at the Felix-Dahn Platz. This guy wrote lots of novels about teutonic heroes, etc. Ein Kampf um Rom was probably his number one hit, but I liked the book on Julian Apostata, a bright guy and roman caesar who wanted to get rid of that lousy thing called christian religion, but eventually failed. Reading novels about Kaiser Friedrich II (Roger) and the family of the Fugger's does not exactly make me an admirer of the catholic church. Hell, I must look again at Karl-Heinz Deschner's Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.
I like Uli John Roth, who uses the electric guitar much like a violin/cello. He has also a great sound with his custom made 7 string sky guitar.
Karl May was quite antisemitic, and the infamous Karl May Verlag edited out passages where the description of Judith Silberberg became too embarrassing. But they edited everything, and probably not a single sentence was left unchanged. Especially they erased all the Dativ-"e"'s. That is sad, but happens unfortunately in the speech of ordinary people. But they also say Pommes and Gordon Bloeh.

January 18, 2001 Hello, folks, I am back. For your amusement, I present here a poem that I wrote on March 28, 1979. It is in german.

Eine besinnliche Stimmung hat mein Gemuet nun ergriffen,
Rueckschau halten und Ausblick ist mir ploetzlich notwendig,
da ich doch lange schon auf geradem Wege gewandelt.
Halten die Regeln noch stand, die ich im Leben erkoren,
ist der Prinzipien Bedeutung nicht abermals zu bedenken?
In die Zukunft zu blicken will ich versuchen, ans Ende
meiner Tage und sehn wie im Rueckblick lautet das Urteil,
das ich gewonnen im Anblick des nunmehr verflossenen Lebens.
Freilich ist das nicht leicht, und leicht unterlaeuft da ein Irrtum,
aber das scheint mir kein Grund, beim Versuche dazu zu verzagen.
Eigenartig ist es, das Leben, das ich da fuehre,
originell und bizarr, viel Platz ist fuer frohes Erleben,
Sorgen geb' ich nicht Raum, mit viel schoengeistigen Dingen
pflege ich Umgang um so ein dauerndes Glueck zu erzielen.
Aber viel Kraft ist vonnoeten, die Einsamkeit zu ertragen,
die, schwarzer Galle gleich, zuzeiten mein Herze beschleichet.
Geht mir die Energie verloren, die jugendlich=frische,
ist Tuer und Tor geoeffnet der nagenden Langeweile,
die des denkenden Menschen Feind ist, kaum wei3 ich zu nennen
einen, der draeuender noch den Seelenfrieden uns stoeret.

As you noticed, I was away for a long time. I won't have the energy to report on that trip in full, but perhaps here and then I might squeeze in a funny anecdote. Restaurants in Graz are generally smoke-filled, and you and your clothes smell badly when you leave. Security people bump into offices without knocking, a certain Schwarzl was particularly rude. Therefore he is the first to be introduced into the hall of fame in 2001.
On January 2, the famous bookshop Moser was closed, ("inventur"). In Austria, everything is almost always closed, and people in shops tell you openly that they don't like to work. That is kinda special. December 4, 2000 Tomorrow evening I will fly to Graz, to relax [pardon: of course, to work with Professor Grabner, a most powerful austrian analyst & geometer]. I collected my permanent residence certificate, but the trouble is not over, as I must now apply for an ID-book, and then take care of my driver's license. I am too weak now and do it in January. I bought 3 pairs of shoes on friday [my life does not offer more excitement than that]. I am sure I mentioned Arno Schmidt and his purchase of a color TV in 1969, as a major event. A boring seminar waits for me, then a presentation of Arnold about Stanley's book, then Tuwanibert. Then I must rush home, to supervise the famous Joanella. Tomorrow is a public holiday, because there are elections. No comments from me on that.

November 22, 2000 In Computer Science, a gentleman without a ph.D. will be made associate professor.
I was in a concert (grrr: in a church!), with Richard Cock's chamber choir. An english organist with very irregular teeth gave a guest performance. They did "O magnum mysterium," something that Wolfgang Ziegler tried with us years ago [from Poulenc]. Pitch was not perfect. One lady used to blow the note "a" on a whistle, and they had to find their notes. The famous Nicholas Nicolaides, a lilliput tenor, wasn't around this time. [Funny associations about a snowwhite version I saw with hungarians dwarfs!]
This afternoon, I could replace a complicated computation of David Callan by something very simple and short, see my list of papers.
Oh, and I saw the HinSchi3-Teenie again. Her upper lip is too short; she can hardly close her mouth. Her play is very unexciting; but the other girls are even weaker and make all sorts of unnecessary mistakes.
Jeff Said's mother came and asked me about my opinion to the american elections. That is *really* not my area of expertise!

November 20, 2000 My gate report is not as impressive as the watergater report, but I suffer from it enough: Transformer and battery are now new; it still causes problems, because [??] the electronic board (repaired!) indicates that it charges, but it doesn't.
And now to the pool: The motor must be replaced: R1600; and I hardly swim. And all the HTH and electricity.

November 16, 2000 Welcome, Sue Cock, in the Hall of Fame!
This lady likes to compose. Yesterday she gave us one of her pearls. However, whether you counted in units of 1/8 or 1/12, things never added up to one full bar! Instead of correcting it, she played something on the piano and said that this should be the feeling of it! My interpretation is that she couldn't do it, at least under time constraints. But instead of admitting it, she made in this way all the housewives and grandmas who cannot do fractions believe, that ***I*** need her divine help to understand this music. That is now enough for me. They must now do without me. I am not too keen to sing all kind of Zulu songs and a recent hit with the approximate title "Jesus in the apple tree." They owe me 50 Rand; I hope they are honest enough to give it back to me.

November 2, 2000 Desperation! [Also a song by John Kay, recorded by Humble Pie.] New gayser, but still water leaking through the roof in the kitchen. Gate repaired, but battery flat. The expensive Tefal iron not working (the one Joanella dropped last year). I brought it to the unfriendly indian repair guy, but there is little hope. The temperature control is the heart of the tool.
The weather is terrible, very unusual.
Kai Hauser will be here tomorrow, to give a talk; I went to Cheryl Eddie to collect the keys. She is probably "coloured." She runs Jubilee Hall. Above average. (Skin problems.) A student talked to me during that walk (from last year's course, a Sotho). According to him, South Africa will drift into corruption, bankruptcy, etc. Even the Sotho does not believe in the new SA! We have the run-away-VC Colin Bundy here; probably I should also try to run away. I am drinking tomato juice while I write this. I want to learn more about Schroeder numbers.
Shocking! One volume in the new Karl-May edition (original texts!) costs DM 68. It is cheaper to download the texts from the internet.
Chess grandmaster Lothar Schmid's family transformed the Waldkoenig into the Buschgespenst. Well, they disqualify themselves.

October 30, 2000 I have a new gaiser [sp?]. There is still water that might drop for a while. My gate is working again (sigh!). Now, I am happy to leave my house again. The Kirkman-Cayley-Watson riddle is solved. Lagrange inversion does it! Paul Wittgenstein was a one armed pianist, and people wrote concertos for him. I am reading now Karl May's Der Verlorene Sohn.

October 14, 2000 I forgot to mention that the girl in the reception of the specialists for remote controls had lots of long black hair on her white arms. Probably a problem with hormons.
Gardner Henry told me that he must work on saturdays for his new owners (no, no slavery involved, the owners of the house where he will stay). Therefore he cannot come anymore and will send me the replacement Stewart. But he wants to come back when it is possible. He is quite reliable. Probably he does not know much about gardening, but who does! His smell is not too pleasant, but he does not enter the house.
I revised the q-pathlength paper and submitted the q-Rice paper. The old paper with Peter and Arnold has now also been done. Yeah, things must be finished, otherwise I lose control over my mess.

October 13, 2000 As a "bonus", in the evening the remote control of my car (alarm) ceased to work, so that I could not close the car and therefore could not go to gym. I got the tyre and the remote fixed this morning, which cost more than 500 Rand, and a lot of time. I missed the tea for Dr Nongxa, well, never mind.
Then I came in, my computer did not work! Susan came in with a student, and they needed about 30 minutes to fix it.
Mike, the gate guy, will come on tuesday, with a new battery. Makes about 280+180 Rand.
Joanella showed up today. Apparently she is afraid to lose the job.

October 12, 2000 Kurrrrwa! Electrician Solly Nissenbauer worked in my house, and after my lecture and a meeting with many "good" remarks of Prof John H., I rushed back home, to look for his work and to let the dogs out. I drove over something bad and ruined a tyre, the same as in last december. So at home I changed the tyre.
Homeaffairs is sooooooo stupid. After one year of doing nothing, they found out that my police clearance is in german, and they need a translation! Gavin, now you are also in my "hall of fame"! When you interviewed me one year ago, you looked at each sheet of paper and did not notice that.
Famous Joanella phoned ("called") and informed me that she is in the hospital for her ulcer treatment. She should have told me before, since I has sincere troubles to let Solly in and out.
At least something nice: Peter Grabner will get the prize of the styrian government. Congratulations!

October 9, 2000 The Health & Racquet club ("the gym") has become insolvent! I still have a membership for 8 months pending. Kurwissima! It is still open, but for how long [to the point of know return...]? They have debits of R240Million. Not bad.
Apparently, Journey has a new CD out, with Steve Augeri singing. I *must* have that! Why is Kevin Kostner famous?

October 8, 2000 Professor Kurwalo: it is fortunately over. I have some new CD's: Marc-Andre Hamelin plays Alkan. Wow! That is virtuosity. And some Leopold Godowsky.
But the CD from Walter Piston is disappointing. I learnt about him from the book about Leonard Bernstein. L.B. was-ahem-quite close to his own sister.
Of course, the network is down. That is normal here; that it works is the exception. When Sheila gets a piece of bread with butter, she first licks the butter off, and then eats the bread.
The religiosity of local people is not a mon gout.

October 4, 2000 WAP...Die Schuerzenjaeger. Willi-Alfred-Peter. I watched the 1995 Open Air from Finkenberg. Since they (the ZiSchues) got rid of Manfred Pfister in such a disgraceful way, I don't like them anymore. Today electrician Solly Nissenbauer came. Hopefully the electric problems will soon be sorted out. Then the gate should work again, since the battery should reload. A plumber must also come.
Grant Lotter spoke about Hilbert's inequality, and in library I saw a generalization just hours later. Hilbert was quite bald in young years. Never looked young.
I want more piano music from Marc-Andre Hamelin, from Quebec. Marion Jones is quite pretty, but should have had her teeth done. Tomorrow I should go the dry cleaners.
I like composers Mendelssohn, Schumann and others, but not Professor Khumalo. I dunno why we have to sing his stuff in choir.

September 27, 2000 I was in Europe for a few days; some unpleasant family business. I am very happy to be back. They are my family but make me extremely nervous and uncomfortable. Weather was bad, grey, cold, as in Kerry Livgren's song Cold Gray (!) Morning. In the airplane, stewardess Sonja Boettcher (welcome to fame!) poured a whole tablet with orange juice and wine over me. Well, they promised to pay the drycleaners and gave me a bottle of wine otherwise used in first class.
Even our vice-chancellor Colin Bundy leaves Wits. Not a good sign.
I bought the CD Schwerelos from Fredi Pfister's Band HOI. In the media markt, near the Shopping City Sued. I saw the Harald Schmidt Show on friday. He is quite grey now, but I enjoyed it. He appeared in Karl Moik's MusikantenStadl. The colloquium in honour (or something else?) of (in)famous geometer Gerd Baron must be now, plus minus a few days. I am curious to get some information about that event.
Vienna is NOT the city of my dreams! And the terrible butchering of the german language!
I read Die Burg again, of Alois Brandstetter. My sister gave me a popular book about Wiles' Proof, by an indian author, Singh. Not too bad. Instead of zeta functions he used E-series or something, more accessible to the laywomen society. My pool is quite green, I did the shock treatment this morning.

September 11, 2000 On saturday I bathed my feet, in a special plastic bucket. I notice that here in this warm country people tend to go bare feet, but it isn't so good for the feet, and mine look plain aweful and would need a lot of care.
Yesterday I walked with Sheila and Tony, and we saw many vicous dogs on our way through greenside. One dog looked really like a brother of Sheila's, just heavier. They did not recognize each other though. Sheila walks now very nicely, almost with a dancing gait. Tony pulls, and strangles himself. He drank 2 liters of water when we came home. When he gets tired and less excited, it becomes better. The first 100 meters are a nightmare. My gardner did not eat the polony that I gave him. Maybe it was too old. I buy the "no pork" version, since he does not eat pork. Religious reasons. No, I don't have a jewish gardner! I don't claim that I understand all the religions and the particular restrictions. Oh, on the Kansas list there are also many religous fans, to my dismay. One person even put his theological master's thesis onto the web, and posted the address to the list!
I have now a sprinkler from Gardena. All these Gardena plastic connections are not really tight, lots of water simply wasted. Anyone remembers Waysted? A solo project from Ufo's bass player. I am so happy that the HinSchi3 Teenie lost!
My eyesight is deteriorating. When I was about 20 I made jokes about shortsided people, but the LORD (or somebody) stroke back and punished me.

September 1, 2000 They call it Spring day here. Yesterday I had an accident in the kitchen: A knife was falling down and entered (!) my right foot. It was bleeding, and it hurts like bruised. And then, at the parking of the gym, a crazy driver, while speaking into his lousy cell phone, almost bumped into my car. I hooted and could avoid a collision. They should either forbid cellphones at all or at least make its purchase dependent on an intelligence test.
I heared an interview with John Rutter on the radio. He sang alto (!) with 18 years in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem. I bought quite a few piano concerts recently, by Medtner, Busoni, Litoff, Alkan, Thalberg etc.etc. Kansas has a new CD out, Somewhere to Elsewhere, with all song composed by Kerry Livgren. Steve Walsh should probably retire and let Billy Greer take over the lead vocals.
My Sattolo paper was accepted by Ars Combinatoria. The previous editorial assistant is Ortrud Oellermann, from Natal, now Canada. Arnold K knows here. On the internet you will find a touchy bio of hers. Brother born with defects, parents killed in a car crash, something like that, but I don't remember details. You like the bio of Shania Twain? They repeat it over and over on channel 70. Tennis is on now, and Martina Hinschi3 looks worse than ever. The William sisters full of muscles. Richard William is the father, but also the guitar player of and from Kansas. One-eyed.
There was really not much going on in my life. Ralph Neininger sent a preprint about binary search tree recursions, attacking them with the contraction method. He claims that my Panholzer-P paper gave him the motivation to do it. Nice if it is true.
My intercom and bell still has not been fixed. On sunday there is Jazz at the Lake, and all the idiots will park in front of my house, and roads will be blocked. Kurwa. WS says something like "Kurwanja" or "Kurwa e banja" or so. For me, I often say now "Kurwa Anna".

August 9, 2000 Of course, my last entry was driven by my generally bad mood. But, as in chess, I don't change a thing! On the radio, they played some Rutter, from 1973, using 4 english folk songs. Again, I rank him about the level of Franz Berwald. It is very sunny, I went to Fourways Crossing, and spent lots of money. On the road, I bought a tree, and 5 bags of compost. I bathed Tony. I wanted to bath Sheila, but she behaved absolutely hysterical; a typical woman?

August 7, 2000 Two performances with british John Rutter over the weekend. I was singing with the Johannesburg Symphony choir. What makes it a nightmare for me is the existence of a (choir) committee. That is a bunch of people who take themselves very seriously. Yesterday I wanted to write "morons," but that is too strong, although perhaps the right direction. They behave like business class flyers towards ordinary economy tourists. Their motto is "you must adore the holy committee." When I only hear or read the word committee, I see red. I am not sure how long I can still handle that. What they can best is to bully other people. Of course, they do some work too, but it is grotesquely overshadowed by the rest of their attitude. Of course, there might be some differences; the worst is their leader, who writes poetry and reads it publicly at all kind of "opportunities." (He finds them, if there are none.) And: one has to stare in awe and laugh when it is supposed to be funny. Kurwa!
And they all run to church all the time. Is there no place where I can run to where there are no religious fanatics? Here it is particularly bad.
John Rutter is not good looking and has a sardonic smile. Superficially, he plays the pleasant guy, but I am sure that deep in his soul he is quite mean. I hope that this is politically correct, otherwise I withdraw that immediately. I don't want trouble with his lawyers. His music: hmm. Sounds at places like a film score from James Horner. He has talent, no doubt, but I prefer Mendelssohn any day. His requiem has some really trivial melodies, catchy phrases. And when they came, he gave us the impression that this does miracles for him. You should have watched his facial expression.

I am currently writing a paper with young Austrian Clemens Heuberger. I guessed a lot, and he worked out a lot of technically difficult proofs. He reminds me so much of Bruno Salvy, with his capacity to work hard and concentrated for long hours. And many others things, too.
Now it is official: Bruno Salvy is the new leader of the Algo project.

July 26, 2000 My adventures as a guest editor: With a colleague, we are editing a special issue. For a long time, nothing happened, and a lot of authors became already nervous. Now, however, it will be printed soon. One lady asked to permute the papers. This is meaningful, but came at a very late state in the production process. I mentioned that this can be done if the copy editor agrees to do so. The later stages of the whole issue are solely on my shoulders (don't ask why, take it as a fact). But now came the good advices (I call them Ezzes [probably yiddish]), a la: it should not be the decision of the copy editor but rather ours. I was not too pleased.
If you are already on the table of the surgeon, nothing is your decision, it is the guy in the white coat who decides.
If you order a green shirt, and the taylor works and only the buttons are missing and some ironing and you tell him: "Oh, actually a red shirt might be nicer!" What do you think?
Anyway, forgotten [not] and forgiven ...

July 14, 2000 Bastille Day in France! I was in Poland for a week. Due to bad food I collapsed and spent 2 days in bed. We need a new formula to keep the Analysis of Algorithms conferences exciting. Lots of talks isn't enough, especially when the hotel people ring with the cutlery in the background. Oh, so many people working in the hotel, no german hotel could afford that. The girls like to party, and made noise in front of my room. Note: they were workers, not guests. Some of them had cute little legs, our boss liked it, too.
Some new guests at the seminar: Brigitte Chauvin (very nice girl from Versailles, soft spoken), Gilles Schaeffer, very myopic but quite bright, with good background in classical combinatorics, Ali Akhavi and another one from Caen (Ruelle operators, ...), young Marianne Durand from Inria. Some chinese=vietnamese also. No opinion on them. Browsed an old volume of AMM, found that Noam Elkies excelled in the math. olympiad. I don't know what he is doing but probably he is already relatively well known. Now I am collecting applications for the q-Rice formula. Dilcher is easy, and Uchimura comes out even simplified.

June 20, 2000 Mathematics in Vienna. There are 2 universities in Vienna with larger mathematics departments: The University and the Technical University. The latter becomes weaker and weaker. It is not a lack of talent. But the good guys run away when they can. Until 1965, say, it was just an engineering school, and apart form Hornich, practically no research was done. Then universities expanded, and some new talent came in. However, now, a group of unimportant people came to power, and they want to run their little show. As a result, everything is going downhill. They are happy with being lower middle class and giving dull lectures with lots of extra income (a stupid speciality of the austrian system). One guy is proud about his statement that he would never hire Gauss in his department. In Statistics, they had Eberl (probably nobody ever heared about him), and the result is still to be seen (well, for a while they had the famous Revesz). Jealousy and local ambition ruined the system. They could have had people like Aigner and perhaps Reich and Niederreiter, but they decided for the worse.
In the University (Strudlhofgasse, compare Strudlhofstiege, H. v . Doderer) pure mathematics still counts. However, they wanted to become more modern and hired applied people like Neumayer and Markowich, which I consider to be unfortunate. Anyway, they have a guy called Rindler who runs the department and who loves mathematics. That, naturally, leads to better solutions. In Austria, it was always a random process if some good researchers evolved. It wasn't the system, unlike perhaps France or Harvard-Princeton-Berkeley. At least, Rindler tries to do something for the gifted people. And he is quite verbose about the nontalent in other places, which isn't diplomatic but true.

Here is the old essay, typed while watching an old video:
I watch an old video, Rock at the (Nurburg)Ring. After Huey Lewis came Reo Speedwagon. Lead Singer Kevin Cronin (almost certainly jewish) is a very charismatic person. With some more luck he might be a frontman of the dimension of Freddie Mercury (persian roots?!), but, well, it did not happen. A sharp, high, versatile voice. His skills at guitar and piano are neglible, but that does not count. I am sure, he plays better than John Lennon.
A subject for a ph.D. thesis in sociology: Are rockbands with jewish members achieving better sales within the jewish society? Kiss has Paul Stanley and (the tongue guy) Gene Simmons, who [in my Kiss-history video] said that he does not care.
Dixie Dregs had Allan Sloan (Slonov), a russian immigrant, who works now as a surgeon, not as a violinist, and Rod Morgenstein, also known for his work with Winger. Steve Morse (a Bjoern Borg look-a-like) said that they always wanted kosher food on tour, something that was not always easy to get. Toto has this keyboard player David Paich who is now a reborn christian (David Bloch, do you hear me?). Midwest bands are often said to be faceless: everybody knows the hits, nobody knows the players. Probably true.
Rush has Geddy Lee, Flock had 7 jewish members (!), Jerry Goodman being the most famous. Leslie West is a Jeff Said look-a-like, who lost his voice almost completely. Manfred Mann and Trevor Rabin, from Johannesburg. Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan are no rock musicians.
Rockmusicians with some (red) indian blood include Cher, Steve Walsh and this great guitar talent from Starship (Craig Chiquita or so).
Blind musicians: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Ronnie Milsup, Jeff Healey, Andrea Bocelli does not count here, a keyboard player [Lyle Mars??, playing with Pat Metheny].
One-armed drummers: only Def Leppard's drummer is known.
Ugliest guitarist: Steve Howe. Bestlooking: Peter Frampton (?!)
From Holland: the Van Halen brothers, but also Beep Beetle or so, lefthander from Little River Band.
Latino Santana lost most of his hair, and his guitar playing falls on my nerves.
Musicians who were in jail: David Crosby, Konstantin Wecker. Chicago's keyboard player Robert Lamm (please confirm!).
Rock guys with academic training: Tom Scholz, Brian May, James Young, Gianna Nannini (?).

June 15, 2000 Today is a very nice day, I walked around in shorts! I was in the gym at 8.30 a.m! There are a lot of not-so-fresh women around, probably housewifes, some retired people, and perhaps students. Even if a woman is very fit, the skin does not lie; you cannot train the skin. Fatter women often have better skin, since the fat fills out the wrinkles.
If you know something about Olivier functions, please tell me.

June 12, 2000 I had to bring an amplifier to a repair shop. From the 3 words "left channel distorted" the guy in the reception could at least spell "left" correctly.
I begin to understand that it was a major achievement in Europe that kids had to attend school. Even reading and writing is an art; Tony can't do it, although he is quite intelligent. After several years in school Joanella does not master basic arithmetic. That is shocking.
I wrote a longer essay about rock music, but I forgot it at home; it will be included here later.

June 9, 2000 The famous maid Joanella appeared this morning, telling me that she had a problem yesterday and could not come. They always have a problem and constantly say "alright," with a rolling "r." On friday is garbage collection, but she never worked on fridays. So I pointed at the neighbour's bag, which was already outside, and told her to put my bags next to it. I repeated that several times, but when she went out to carry the neighbour's bag to the other side of the street, I even raised my voice. I am not proud about it but it just happened.
The HinSchi3-Teeny lost yesterday, which makes me happy, although I don't like her opponent Mary Pierce too much either. Both have contact lenses.

June 8, 2000 What a day already, and it is only 2.30 p.m! First, the famous maid Joanella did not arrive in time, but I had to leave in time, so she will have found the gates closed.
Then, at 8.30, there was the algebra exam. Not an enjoyable event under normal circumstances, but even worse: the room was booked twice! And all these faces grinning at me! And in the morning my saturation level is particularly low! JFT Hartney however sorted it out, and we moved to another room. I wrote a letter of protest to the scheduling office. The medical aid has again not paid properly, and the pharmacy "Pharmarama" wants the money from me, so I had to go again to the fellow in the 8th floor. He is nice but helpless. I fear that they will send me now reminders for the next few months as it happened already. Toilets in the Richard Ward building were of course quite disgusting. Probably it is a local sport to achieve that state. Of course one could not lock the door, but even a handle was missing inside, so that one might be trapped if one travels without a survival kit of pocket knife etc. Of course the "new" toilets in Central Block where I am are even worse, showing lovely pools of urine, to everybody's pleasure.
Yesterday was not such a great day either, because the equally famous Richard Cock made fun of me and my poor command of the english language. If he would have done that related to one of the previously underprivileged, one might even doubt whether that was politically correct, but with me he was on the safe side. As a result, I cancelled my trip to Durban. It is thought as a punishment for them, but probably they are not capable to see it that way.
Several revisions must be done, and a catalan author asks very often about the state of his submission, etc. Also, it is very cold in my house and my throat hurts. I bump into things, spoons fall off my hand... do I have multiple sclerosis? I better go home now and give up. A terrible day, although, strangely enough, now I feel better.

May 31, 2000 Whenever the czech Tennis Teeny Martina Hingis appears, I think of her name as Hin=Schi3. [You need some basic german to appreciate that.] Two days ago one of my dogs did just that before my kitchen door. Obviously (s)he could not hold it anymore.
Two days ago I watched two greek tennis players: Pete Sampras (looking a bit slow witted) and Marc Philipoussis.
The Covenant from James Mitchener is a nice book. It keeps me busy for ages.

May 30, 2000 If you find my bulletin too boring, read Asia Carrera's bulletin! [If you don't do it already anyway, hahaha!]
About intelligence: I had to pay the amount of 156.03, and gave the girl in the post office 160, but also .05 (5 cents). She said, no-no, she needs 3 cents, not 5 cents, and I should take them back. Then, however, she had serious trouble to find 97 cents. I did not try to explain and gave up.
I browsed through some of Cayley's papers. He could handle Lagrange inversion and generating functions, but did not use the notation of factorials and binomial coefficients. He definitely had Catalan numbers, perhaps before Catalan? Mike Mays has arrived, he is Arnold's visitor.

May 22, 2000 Sorry, folks, for the delay. I have a bad cold again, I broke my glasses, in my kitchen the water is leaking through the roof, but otherwise life it great! I am interested in Engel-Expansions, as George Andrews. In my office it is either too hot or too cold. The semester approaches the end, and lots of administration waits for me. I bought 2 pairs of shoes, but that was maybe already last month. I was at the optometrist, and she has now already 8 children! In Arizona is a conference on special functions, and many people whom I know attend. Not me, shame. I reread "The invariant Twins" by E. T. Bell yesterday. Zeilberger adores Sylvester. Cayley's collected works appeared in 13 volumes, in our library I find 6 of them. The other ones might be hidden in some boxes, perhaps for decades. He worked as a lawyer or something for a while. He knew how to handle the tree function, and considered compositions that later became important in the study of level number sequences of binary trees; George Andrews considered that also. Kerry Livgren's Collector's Sedition, Vol. 1 appeared, even in my mailbox. His nephew Jake (born February 27) does most of the vocals. Yesterday I watched Amelie Mauresmo. She is strong, but makes too many errors. I find her square face and mighty shoulders quite attractive. Like Ivanisevic, on a good day, she can beat everybody. There were also such chess players like Spielmann, Reti etc. Could kill the favourites. Mike Gleason's CD also arrived. Only computer music. That is a cheap way to produce.

April 29, 2000 The winter started here, and it is very unpleasant, as there are no real heaters, and windows are not tight, etc. My cold is still bad, lots of slime. I should see the dentist, but I am not sure that I know the correct telephone number. I bought 2 pairs of shoes and several CDs, with music of Alexander Glazunov and Ernst von Dohnanyi. Wojtek likes that, too. The violin concerto of AG reminds me of Yngwie's guitar playing. And lovely piano music from Waldemar Burgiel (a half brother of Clara Wieck).

April 19, 2000 I was in Uruguay, at LATIN 2000. As Romania, this country should not be visited again. Philippe Flajolet had the flu, and now I have it, too, as well as at least Vallee, Panario, Odlyzko, Szpankowski. Once I was in Verona, with a bus, and after the trip half of the population was very sick. Guy Louchard asked me to compute some sums; I have not yet started. I will leave here soon, go to bed and try to recover. Wojtek was very fond of a talk of a researcher from Madagascar! I bought 2 T-shirts, the second on the last day at a bargain prize. Lois Thimonier played on a telecaster, but spanish style, that sounded awful. But he did not stop! Bruce Richmond was there with Mary. S Corteel expressed interest in visiting South Africa, Gadiel Seroussi gave a very good introduction to elliptic curves. The hotel had a gym and several pools. At the hacienda, we ate lots of meat, but quite fat; nothing like filet steaks!

April 6, 2000 You were already desparately waiting for a new edition? Here we go!
I struggled in my lecture, not because the notes were wrong, but I looked at another formula and wondered why things did not match. Shame! It was about Bressoud's proof of the Rogers-Ramanujan identities.
On sunday I participated in Songs of Praise. Oh, how I hate these lyrics! The pool was fixed, but today the pump made funny noises.
On sunday I wrote a little note, about Schur's determinant. It proves a theorem of Garrett, Ismael and Stanton. Tina (Kristina) Garrett seems to be PhD student. Is she the daughter of a retired professor in their Minnesota department? When I was in Florida, after seeing Kansas in Indianapolis, I read Tami Hoag's lousy novel, and it took place in icy Minnesota.
The electricity was gone again today. Journey (live captured) have a song called "lights." Steve Perry introduces it: "This is a song about our hometown, San Francisco, it is called Lights." When the lights go down in the city... in a 6/8 rhythm. He was great in his good days. Neal Schon is born the same day as me. They had a song where the line "The party is over" was repeated 100 times or so. But the title was different. Soon we have a staff meeting with Kathy's cake. Dora mentioned a Walt Disney movie about Dinosaurs. Can't wait to see that one. I bought the BBC series (walking with dinosaurs). I browsed old volumes of the Proc of the AMS. Carlitz has a simple proof there of the quintuple identity, and Andrews of the triple product. But that one is now in his book, and became the standard proof.
I have a bit of a cold and am on Aspirin. I saw Wrestlemania again, after a long break. A totally new generation, no Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin.
My eyesight became incredibly bad. Kathy seems to have a few new business cloths.

March 28, 2000 I am still alive, but my maid is constantly ill. I hope that she does not have the common epidemic disease. Well, I never touch her, but still it would not be fun.
The annual INRIA report arrived today. Thanks, Virginie and Bruno. I sent in the registration form for LATIN. Let us hope that I will get that money back from our university. I am afraid of the employees. There is a little known book by Balzac, Les Employees. I read it when I was about half the present age.
Peter Paule gave me his survey about Bailey Chains. I like that a lot. I am soo happy that I don't have to deal again with grammars and pushdown automata, as in Vienna. I use finite automata sometimes, for forbidden pattern, etc, but I like freedom in research.
On sunday I attended a piano recycle of a young Israeli pianist, playing Mendelssohn, Lieder ohne Worte (a few of them). A rip-off! 69 Rand, and he played barely an hour, and not too well either.
Alois and Albert: 2 recent phD students! Oh, well! Kerry Livgren is very active these days, I am waiting for the output. Always some refereeing to do; the washing machine is leaking, etc. And the painful administrative exchange with the NRF. SteppHahn (Arno Schmidt's spelling of Stephan) Ruscheweyh is here, and he knows Ludwig Reich.
Tomorrow the pool girl should come. I hope there will be no rain. Her name is Razeena, and she is of Malayan origin. Pump is weak, sand is pooring out, oh sh.., K...a!

March 20, 2000 K...a! I walked with Tony yesterday, and was caught by heavy rain. Now I just wait for Pneumonia and ultimately death. I say goodbye already to everybody. I almost collided with a bicyclist. I did not see him, but he had no light, and it was evening and raining. And he was fast like hell.
John Grisham and his "The Partner." Why did the beautiful Eva Miranda run away with the money at the end? This book has an "open ending." We used to have a softdrink called Mirinda. For the german speaking, that leads to interesting associations.

March 15, 2000 Caesar's fiasco! The Ides of March. [is that english?] It reminds me of an LP that I own, but the artist and title escaped me. (East of Eden's Gate?) [second thought: Billy Thorpe??]
Netscape update: Bryan did something yesterday, then it worked for 5 hours, then not. Today yes. Last week, 2 fellows from the helpdesk came, promised to fix it, but nothing happened, of course.
On a similar subject, my office was apparently not cleaned for 1 week.
My suitcase did not come with me from Vienna; they should have delivered it yesterday evening, but: nothing. Then a wake up call at 7am, when I finally found some precious sleep, but the driver (Franz!) came around 9.50. The guy who handled the whole thing was Anton. Welcome, folks, at the hall of eternal celebrity.
The revision of the kids paper must be done. Political correctness does not allow us to say "beat a kid at their own game" etc, although previous authors coined that phrase. Well, not a big deal.

March 8, 2000 Guess what? Another day without Netscape! Praise them! Wojtek's connection flight to Chicago was cancelled, and they did not even tell him in Johannesburg, but gave him a boarding pass to another flight without comment. That is great service. Praise Air France also!

March 7, 2000 In a few hours I will drive Wojtek to the airport. We spent the weekend on the countryside, near Rustenberg and Sun City. Sundown Ranch, quite nice. I am surprised that Celeste did not know about it.

If you are an austrian mathematics and feel that I should have mentioned you as an especially gifted person, don't worry! I did not intend to give a complete picture of the austrian mathematical scenary. Surely every generation had some outstanding researchers, but unfortunately also (and more) outstanding non-researchers. I don't give names here, but I thought that a clarification might be in order.

Hlawka indicated in his interview that A Weil influenced 10% of modern mathematics. That is pretty impressive. In Vienna I must speak about the combinatorics of some functional equations, and I am not too happy to prepare the slides. Usually, once I started, it is OK, but to start... Ough!

Our network gurus changed the password over night without informing anybody. Wojtek told me they are like that everywhere in the world. Hm. I finally finished Riotous Assembly. After reading about Sir Paul McCartney I switched to John Grisham. My excuse it that I do it to improve my english. When multitracking came up, Paul McCartney would play the guitar parts if he was unhappy about George Harrison's playing. Paul McCartney is very gifted. His eyes remind me of Paul Loewinger.

I found some ticks on Sheila's belly. Disgusting and dangerous. I explained Wojtek the use of some functional equations for numerical calculations. If x is small, Pi^2/x is large, and thus one side can be neglected.

February 25, 2000 Today I eventually phoned (=called) the municipality to sort out the problems.

I have a talent to see the ridiculous within the serious. That does not always make me friends. To understand the following, you must understand german and know the interna: After creating the words "Schlie3planforscher" und "Toolkitforscher" I came up with the new "Streifzugforscher". [Compare R. Winkler's new programme for the semester 2000.]

February 22, 2000 Guess what?! The network is down here the whole day! They have this now almost every day. Under these circumstances I should really try to find another job somewhere. Famous Marc Yor has no email address. The hypermarket has no converter plug as I need it. The cleaners never come to empty the basket, the window makes still these disturbing noises, and I am very tired. I listen to a piano concert of J N Hummel, which sounds familiar for some reason. On sunday is my birthday. Well, I will ignore it as usual.

February 19, 2000 When O Zariski would write a letter to A Weil, he would write "Dear Weil," not "Dear Andre ." I found the utterly strange. But something even more strange happened in September in Austria, at the congress of the Austrian Mathematical Society in Graz. The chairman, Karl Sigmund, asked for questions, and when one came, he announced the person "Feichtinger," not "Herr Feichtinger," or Hanns-Guenther or whatever his first name is. [Added February 21: it is probably Hanns-Georg.] Just Feichtinger. And "Du." I must say that I always had a very high opinion of Karl Sigmund, but that shattered it a bit. The mathematical departments in Vienna are a bit provincial. They would do their little things and hiding from you (assuming that you are a student there) where the real things happen. I needed some time to find out that even some local celebrities are only third rank mathematicians. Werner Kuich had this theory about everybody being 3rd rank, with a few exceptions. Probably he is right. But one should look at the first rank guys! There is one in Vienna, Niederreiter, but typically they find all kind of excuses to accept that fact.
What bothers me is that catholics are still powerful in Austria. Only recently I heared this terrible story: In a committee a guy [I mention his name, so that his "fame" will last forever: Heinrich Brauner] said that a certain candidate cannot be accepted, because he is divorced. I was close to vomiting when I heared that.

February 16, 2000 What a miserable life I have! Servers here are down more often than up, and it rains all the time, and I just came back from the states and am totally exhausted. I thought I manage tonight without sleeping tablets, but no way.
I was at the PACOM 2000 conference in Cape Town. Nice to see Peter Grabner, Daniel Panario and all the others, but the conference was.....so-so at best. Pelegri Viader is a nice guy from Barcelona whom I have never met before, although I was in Barcelona quite often. He is not much older than me but has an adult daughter. That scares me.
And then with Wojtek at Purdue. Wojtek eats all the time without getting fat. I envy him. But he is nervous. I read many biographies of mathematicians during the last few weeks: Weil, Ulam, Rota, Kac, Zariski, Banach, Hadamard. Rota's Lost Cafe is stunning. Should be a classic. Many try Ulam's approach, but it only works with his talent. Grothendieck: what a waste of talent. A genius, but dealing with something...[fill in what YOU think about abstract algebraic geometry]. Banach, Mazur, Borsuk, ... oh, and Kuratowski and the others. Austria never had such a concentration of mathematical talent. Well, H Rindler would scream if he would ever see that, since there is this marble table in Hoersaal 1, with Radon and Helly and others, but what is that compared to Hilbert, Minkowski, Kummer, Landau, Hensel, etc. Hensel was related to the Mendelssohn family, and I recommend the book of Sebastian, Fanny's son. Laurent Schwartz was also related to: Paul Levy, and Hadamard's wife. Zariski wrote his classic with a guy named Samuel, who only appears in a footnote in the biography. Anybody knows the background?

January 17, 2000 Over the weekend, I wrote 2 little papers! But I have no luck with my visa application, since it seems that today is an american holiday, the Martin-Luther-King day.

January 14, 2000 I learned about the untimely death of Rodica Simion. I would like to find out what happened. I have seen here twice in my life. And I started to read Stan Ulam's biography. For half a year I can download articles from some statistics journals. I found a paper of A di Buccianico (or similar), about a statistic defined by the Gaussian polynomials. My impression is that following a little paper of my friend W Panny, the computation of the moments can be faciliated. I plan to work that out over the weekend.
On monday I must try to get my visa for my trip to the Purdue University. If that does not work, I will have a problem. And the accommodation at PACOM is still a problem. These people are incredible. Yesterday we had dinner with J von zur Gathen: Hulk fillet, snails, icecream. Hopefully I can soon move to my new office.

January 4, 2000 When one has no life like me, then even very unimportant detailscan be reported in the bulletin. Our network people made life hard during the last few days; other places fight the Y2K bug, but here it seems that they create independent problems. I know, I know, I am unfair. I finished reading the book Die Ungarn, by Paul Lendvai. Arno Schmidt's life was so eventless that even the purchase of a colour TV (in 1969?) was mentioned! We submitted the card guessing paper today. A lot of my electronic equipment does not work properly; it is like a disease. I watched Asia live in Japan, with Greg Lake as the singer. His voice is nice, but he can't hit any high notes. The prize of the giant size Eisbein is now back to R29.95. I also read in Stan Ulam's book about John von Neumann. Impressive... When one enumerates binary search trees in a funny way, generating functions like (1-z)^{-u} occur (--> Stirling), not your familiar harmonic numbers.

December 28, 1999 I was in Israel (from Dec. 11 until 25.) and visited the university of Beer Sheva. Hadas Shachnai (who showed me Haifa) told me a problem about tree enumeration that I want to look at when time & energy allows.
I shared an appartment with Keith Lloyd, a combinatorialist from Southhampton. I remembered that I saw him there in 1983 when he organized the british combinatorics conference. It was unusually hot than, and I suffered extremely from hey fever. Here, in South Africa, these problems are almost completely gone.
I read a bit in the Notices of the AMS, about Andre Weil. I wanted to know why he is famous and I am not.
I also got interested in the absorption distribution, something I relate to the names of Adrienne (Freda) Kemp and Don Rawlings. I still could not print Don's paper, although they had access to MathSciNet. Also, we spent most of time in level -1, and the printers where in levels 1 and 3. Go figure!