Daniel Pietzsch

Portrait of Daniel Pietzsch

Hi. I’m Daniel Pietzsch.

I’m a freelance web developer based in Düsseldorf, Germany. I’m also a passionate film photographer, a husband and father, a musician and metalhead.
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Posts

Some music I have been listening to recently:

Got into Chelsea Wolfe. Mainly her “Hiss Spun” album. It’s a bit like the heavy, less electronic, even more melancholic version of Portishead. Also reminds me of the acts that would play Twin Peaks’ Roadhouse. Love it!

Carpenter Brut. Pretty unusual for me since it’s very electronic. But great stuff!

This Dan Swanö Song was on some sampler when I was a teenager. I stumbled across this song again, and have now been listening to the whole “Moontower” album quite a bit. In case you don’t know: Dan Swanö plays all the instruments and does the singing, too. A true one-man-band.

Ghost’s “Meliora” album made a return to my rotation. Songwriting par excellence.


Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen: aber wissen sollten – Alice Hasters

Ich dachte ich kann mich halbwegs gut in Menschen reinversetzen, die konstant Rassismus und anderen Diskriminierungen ausgesetzt sind. Aber dieses Buch hat mir vor Augen geführt, wie anstrengend, gefährlich und entmutigend das wirklich ist – und wie es ist wenn man dem sein ganzes Leben lang ausgesetzt ist.

Und das dieses Thema noch immer weit davon entfernt ist zu Ende diskutiert zu sein. Auch wenn viele weiße Menschen das behaupten und die Augen verdrehen, wenn das schon wieder zum Thema gemacht wird. Aber man sollte vielleicht dann einfach mal die Klappe halten und zuhören; weil man das nunmal als weißer in Deutschland einfach schwer nachvollziehen kann.

In dem Buch schreibt Alice Hasters viel von persönlichen Erfahrungen, aber vermittelt auch einiges an Hintergrundwissen zu dem Thema.

Ich habe hauptsächlich das Hörbuch gehört, was dem Ganzen eine noch persönlichere Note gegeben hat.

Absolut empfehlenswert!


Queen & Slim

A first date takes a fateful turn when a racist cop stops the two for a minor traffic violation. The cop ends up dead. They flee, and a days-long chase through the US ensues.

This film is very much fitting regarding the current #blacklivesmatter movement. It showcases on a few occasions how black people feel about the police; and how one might react when the police is rather considered an enemy than a friend.

It’s also a film about loneliness, companionship, trust and love.

Thumbs up!


My new bass hanging on the wall, shot from below the bridge looking up.

I bought my first bass guitar: an Epiphone Thunderbird. Should have done this earlier, because it’s so much fun!


Recent Movies

Here are a few films I watched recently and a few words about them.

Wrong

An absurd film. And pretty funny. Music and sounds are ace. I liked the visuals, too, because the rendition of the used lens(es) looked pretty “classic” to me – and I like “classic”. Apparently the writer/director Quentin Dupieux has some sort of cult status. I didn’t know him until this.

Trainspotting T2

More nostalgia than anything else. Was ok. Wouldn’t watch again.

Lost highway

Given that Nicole is a huge David Lynch fan, it’s surprising I haven’t watched this in full until recently. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great Lynch-y-en atmosphere and strangeness. Would watch again.

Knives Out

Well-written and filmed Cluedo/whodunnit-type movie. With star-cast. Awesome!

Night on Earth

I seem to really enjoy Jim Jarmusch’s movies. This was no exception. It’s an episode film about Taxi drivers in various famous cities in the same night at the same time. Not all episodes were equally good, but overall a very entertaining endeavour. Armin Mueller-Stahl in the New York episode is hilarious!

Blue Ruin

Now-hobo takes revenge for the killing of his parents, after the killer has been released from prison. He’s a complete amateur – yet very bad-ass – and gets into a fight with the killer’s whole family. Suspenseful. Thumbs up!

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Remarkable movie that manages to be very funny while also addressing several very serious topics such as rape, murder, suicide and racism – and still dealing with them in a serious way. Top!

The Invisible Man

Said “man” faked his death and now terrorises his (ex-)wife. Not really bad. But not really good, either. It’s probably a little better than I thought it would be. Still: not really recommended.



Fast Genial – Benedict Wells

Ich fühlte mich zu alt für dieses Buch.

Der fast zwanzigjährige Protagonist begibt sich mit zwei Freunden auf einen teils abenteuerlichen Roadtrip quer durch die USA um seinen leiblichen Vater ausfindig zu machen. Abgesehen vielleicht von der Gefühlswelt eines Spenderkindes und dem Experiment mit moralisch fragwürdiger Motivation, um das es geht, waren bei den Lehren dieses Buches nicht wirklich Neues für mich dabei. Und aufgrund des Alters des Protagonisten (und des Autors zu der Zeit) waren die Themen auch nicht mehr so ganz meins.

Was aber auch nicht weiter schlimm war. Denn ich konnte dem Buch trotzdem was abgewinnen. Denn ich war zu der Zeit in der das Buch spielt und geschrieben wurde ähnlich alt wie der Autor und bin damals selber durch Teile der USA gereist. Und so haben mich diese Parallelen und die unzähligen Popkulturreferenzen ein wenig in diese Zeit zurückversetzt. Zudem war es größtenteils gut, echt und spannend geschrieben. Gutes Ende.


Die Bagage – Monika Helfer

Monika Helfer erzählt die Geschichte ihrer Großmutter – die sie nie persönlich kennengelernt hat – die Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts mit ihrer Familie abseits eines kleines Dorfes in Österreich lebten und von allen dort nur „Die Bagage“ genannt wurden.

Die damalige Zeit war sowieso schon nicht einfach. Und dann noch abseits zu leben und sein eigenes Ding durchzuziehen um so mehr.

Insgesamt eine bemerkenswerte Geschichte (im doppelten Sinne), kurzweilig erzählt auf 150 Seiten.


Factfulness – Hans Rosling

Das Buch hat mir gefallen. Roslings Hauptpunkt ist, dass die Lebensumstände sich stetig verbessern und auch bereits viel Fortschritt passiert ist in den letzten Jahrzehnten. Hier konzentriert er sich hauptsächlich auf die grundlegenden Bedürfnisse des Menschen wie Unterkunft, Essen und Trinken, medizinische Versorgung, Bildung, usw. Anhand vieler Zahlen aber auch persönlicher Erfahrungen belegt er dies.

Insgesamt war mir das Ganze allerdings etwas zu positiv. Ich habe mich manchmal gefragt, ob das Buch differenzierter ausgefallen wäre, wäre er selbst nicht so privilegiert gewesen. Er ist sich dessen auch selber bewusst und erwähnt an mehreren Stellen, dass längst nicht alles auf der Welt super ist. Aber auf diese Themen geht er nie wirklich ein.

Aber insgesamt hat er ja Recht bei den Themen auf die er sich konzentriert. Und trotz der angesprochenen Verbesserungen auf der Welt, hat das Buch mir einmal mehr bewusst gemacht, in welchem Luxus wir hier leben.

Auch erschreckend aktuell, in dem er ein Pandemie als eine der großen Gefahren für die Menschheit identifiziert. Well: here we are!



Sitting on the balcony. It’s finally cooling down again at night. Listening to Purple Hill Witch. Drinking a cold beer. Culling photos for the September 2019 entry. It was the holiday month. Struggling a little going through that many images.


Petition 113349: Durchführung einer Studie zum "Racial Profiling" bei den Polizeibehörden des Bundes/der Bundesländer vom 06.07.2020

Text der Petition

Mit der Petition wird die Durchführung einer Studie zum “Racial Profiling” bei den Polizeibehörden des Bundes und der Bundesländer gefordert.

Begründung

Durch die Black Lives Matter Bewegung ist auch in Deutschland erneut die Debatte entfacht, ob Racial Profiling stattfindet. Das Innenministerium hat die ursprünglich angedachte Studie auf Empfehlung des ECRI (Europäische Kommission gegen Rassismus und Intoleranz) abgelehnt. Es wird argumentiert, das Racial Profiling rechtwidrig ist, was aber nicht bedeutet, dass er nicht trotzdem stattfindet. Eine aufschlussreiche Studie ermöglicht eine auf Fakten, nicht Meinungen basierte Grundlage um festzustellen, ob Handlungsbedarf besteht.

Unterzeichnet!

(via Philipp)


August update

In June and July we took a three week long camping holiday break. It was great: being outside lots, hiking and biking, seeing Zoe explore new places and things, reading, relaxing, swimming, meeting my dad.

Our camper in dramatic light in front of a mountain range.

Camping is probably the best way to spend a holiday at these strange times. You drive in your own vehicle and you spent most of your time outside. You’re still around other people, but keeping safe distance is easy (for the most part).

Zoe and Nicole on a swing bridge.
Selfie of the three of us in front of mountains with a castle on one of them.

However, with our parents it’s sometimes more difficult to keep distance, or even be outside all the time. And we decided that’s ok for everyone involved.

Also, we started going to playgrounds again with Zoe. But to make children keep a safe distance is pretty much impossible. Again, something we “risk”. But Zoe – and we, too – need to get outside. We can’t be inside all the time without going crazy eventually.

She will also be starting Kindergarten in September. Generally, we’re looking forward to this, but fear there will be regular complications with closures, testing and infections – Covid-19 or otherwise. But mainly we hope everyone involved will stay free of that virus.

Schools and Kindergartens will open for “regular” business in a week’s time. And so far, Covid-19 infection-numbers in Germany haven’t been too bad, I suppose. But I fear that once autumn comes around, this will worsen. If people keep meeting inside the way they currently do outside, a rise in cases will be unavoidable, I think. The Altstadt here in Düsseldorf is often very crowded at the moment, and sections had to occasionally be cleared by police.

Generally, you don’t see people wearing masks when outside here. Maybe 1% do. We don’t, either. We keep our distance and that’s it. Only when closer to people – for example in a queue somewhere – and when inside (for shopping), do we put on our masks.

Anyhow, we’re alright at the moment and hope it’ll stay this way.



This morning, I had time to play some basketball. So I went to the court to throw a few throws (like I said I would).

I was pleased to notice that my throwing hasn’t gotten completely terrible after years of not playing. I spontaneously recorded 3 minutes of it:


Pedal Board Update

My pedal board has a new layout.

I replaced the Big Muff with my new EHX Cock Fight Pedal. Because the Cock Fight is a fuzz, too, I do not need the Big Muff1.

Ideally, I would’ve liked to switch the positions of the Cock Fight and the Blood Moon Phaser, because the Phaser after the fuzz is way too crazy sounding. But since I need to access the Cock Fight’s jack for the expression pedal, this wasn’t feasible.

And now I think I’m done pedal-shopping. Very happy with the sounds coming from this thing!

  1. A little known fact about the Electro Harmonix Cock Fight pedal is, that you can also use the fuzz circuit without the Wah filters. On the inside, the pedal features a tiny switch, that reconfigures how the pedal works. If you put this internal switch to “Fuzz on”, the fuzz circuit will always be on and the middle position of the three-way fuzz switch on the top will disable the Wah circuit(s) – as opposed to disabling the fuzz and only engaging the Wah-circuits (as is the case in the standard configuration). I currently run mine in “Fuzz on” mode. 



New Macbook Keyboard

Recently, I had my Mac’s keyboard replaced. Because, unsurprisingly, I started having regular double-types, which got increasingly annoying. Luckily, Apple acknowledges the problem and offers a free repair program.

And so it’s all good now again. Even better probably. Because I think I received their latest keyboard-iteration. This new one seems more pleasant to type on with a little more key travel and less noise.

And with the repair, I also ordered stickers to be able to work with an English layout again. And the muscle memory for that is now slowly coming back, too.

A close-up of my MacBook's keyboard, showing the right side of the keyboard, including the English key stickers on it.

Last Week's Purchases

Last week was unusually purchase-rich for me, buying three new items.

Basketball

Holding a basketball in my hand.

Haven’t played basketball in a long time. I’m keen to get back into it, throwing a few baskets at the nearby court every now and then.

Cock Fight Pedal

Holding the EHX Cock Fight guitar pedal in my hand.

Seems like I’m currently buying new pedals every other week.

This one got its name from being able to generate so called “cocked wah sounds”. But it also has a built-in fuzz, has both Cry-Baby- and Talking-Wah sounds, and features an expression pedal input to “un-cock” the wah and control its frequency sweep in the more regular way using your foot. It also has a “Bias”-knob to reduce the voltage for the fuzz, resulting in some awesomely broken output. It’s almost a multi-effect pedal. I have tested it only briefly so far, but it’s been great fun already!

New iPhone

Holding an iPhone 8 in my hand.

I actually wasn’t planning on replacing my ageing iPhone 6 Plus just yet. It still mostly works, so why replace it?

But we noticed Zoe should soon have her own something to listen to music and stories on. And we decided an old iPhone – mine – would be the best option.

And so I bought a new one last week. And since I like to live in the past and don’t care much for the phone form-factor in a computer, I bought a used one via reBuy. It’s terrific, though! It’s an iPhone 8 with 64GB of storage.