Warsaw III. – nothing special



My Warsaw excitement slowly settles down. Still there’s, of course, quantum places and things worth discover. I miss my family though. It’s not like being young, going out and make friends. I’d better take my wife and son and discover the town with them.

I moved to another place, cozy little flat just at the Muranow cinema. Haven’t been there yet, as they show some 5/10 movies now. Working days just fly by, sleep-work-sleep mode again in place.

I like to watch every morning a guy from small grocery store near our office. Every time I go there he’s smiling. In his 30’s, looks smart enough like he owns the place and really enjoys working there, knows half of the customers by name. It’s such a contrast to usual czech “wtf-u-want-from-me” attitude of shop assistants, blaming themselves and others for ruined life, but scared like shit of any change.

Changes are not easy. Yesterday, when I felt a little skagged after drinking too much coffee during the day :) – I thought maybe I should have stayed in Brno, maybe I shouldn’t take on this new job, maybe it’s not gonna work out that well.. Yeah, when you change something familiar for something new, there’s alway danger of failure. But at least you can’t blame yourself for not trying.

Not everything is so cool. The other day I went to kindda beer garden, very close to this new flat of mine. In the menu there was like 50 beers. OK, let’s try some. After some ten minutes, when we realized that waitress doesn’t serve at the tables, I went to something you with lot of imagination can call bar and ordered two different kind of beers. “Sorry you have to go in the pub to order these, we serve only Warka and Zywiec here”. “What?!”, (than why you idiots have this menu here – in my head, as I try to not make her day worse). Never mind, just a reminder that dumb-heads live (and run businesses) in Warsaw too.

Last week I flew to Gdansk – great thing these planes, I just can’t stop being amazed how such a mass of scrap can actually fly. Apparently I was one of the last customers with OLT line which just got bankrupt yesterday (and we probably lost money on my wife’s next week ticket). It makes me think, if the low cost airlines can  make some profit at all, or the cost of flight is so high, that no profit is possible if the plane is not full all the time..

And finally – yes – I am a true Warszawiak now – I have my Warsaw card (something like Oyster card but no molluscs :) I can use public transport w/o checking if my phone won’t die just after I buy a ticket on it.

Warsaw II. – no surprise for average Pol, great surprise for Sam



A great discovery waiting for me in Warsaw. There actually is an old town! And it IS lovely..

It’s very long street of renewed houses leading to a square of some kind. Further on my lady companion lead me in direction of a proper ‘square’ square with fountain and a statue called Syrenka, or so. That supposed to be the heart of the city.

But before that, in one of these picturesque streets we dropped into a shot-bar ‘Karmnik’. Recommended. Absolutely! Lucky enough this place we found not occupied with Hipsters as I assumed it normally might be. Let myself in the hands of pretty bar-lady, served some strawberry-Tabasco-vodka shot I was.
Lovely riverside is not that far from here and we also passed some remnants of very old defence wall. The fact that buildings are actually built from ashes, as pure copies of the originals, just underlines the feeling that after-war generation must really loved its home-town.

Fortunately -and unlike in Prague- I didn’t see any creepy-shitty-Russian-souvenir-shop around. All restaurants and their summer-gardens in front of them were packed of course, but as we ate earlier it wasn’t a big deal. Talking about food, there’s Chinese in Chmielna street on right hand side, coming from Rotunda PKO (kinda Prague’s meet-me-at-horse-place of Warsaw). Make sure you don’t miss that one!

Crawling around we found ourselves in the park near Bank plaza, later passing my favorite building – Palace of Culture and Science. Minutes later we might be spotted pushing through crowd of Hipsters, occupying coffee shops at plac Zbawiciela and surrounding pavements. Looks like this place is really some kind of HQ of these people.

Well and that’s it. I think I might like this city even more after this evening. I know there’s still lot more about Warsaw and I do look forward to discover it.

Warsaw & Berlin – first week in new job


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Coming to Warsaw I was almost splashed and crushed by huge storm with hailstones. Cab driver was trying to hide in shadow of some high building and I though, what the hell I am doing here.

I never was further then few hundred meters from Central station and now I moved here, just like that. Madness. Adventure for some. Maybe it was a bit of this feeling. After all it’s not that bad.

Warsaw is absolutely fantastic picturesque museum of  social realism. Reminds me of my birth-town Havirov. But bigger, far more bigger. It’s like when playing Transport tycoon – for those who remember – city grows enough and starts picking up some original buildings of different kinds. And this is it. It’s like Havirov grown into this megalomaniac dimensions.

With the pearl of architecture in it’s very heart. Joseph Stalin’s Palace of Culture and Science. Top gun. Unique. There’s nothing better in SORELA. State of the art, just communist art, whatever. I look at it from my office desk, majestically overseeing the city’s hustle.

Stayed in rubish hotel Belwederski – never do that – next day met my new colleague and off to Berlin.

Another wow! But bigger wow. Why the heck I’ve never been here?! This city is amazing. For me it always was Mecca of left-wing-extremists, gays, lesbian, dubious artists, squatters and other wierdos. And it still is, but I like it :)

Even greater SORELA museum. But with such an amazing atmosphere. Freaky Hauptbahnhof with like ten multi-level platforms, super-modern public transport, riverside beaches, arts, foreigners, kebabs and highest communist phallus ever – Television tower. (Very funny story about communist idiots who wanted to build something specially higher than church buildings and just later realized, that in bright sunlight the bowl reflects the sun in the shape of cross :)

Berlin buzzes with coffees and restaurants, people are friendly, most of them speaking english and they LOVE 2 PARTY. I mean they must do. We were told by Berlin office pals that there’s no point goin’ to the club earlier then 3am as it would be packed with 18yo kids. What?! On wednesday?

Never mind. Back to Warsaw. Well, after rain it smells lovely. Lots of parks and green in general (eh- at least where I hang out now. Big, big Lazienki park. Pretty girls – like everywhere in Poland. And awful hot. The streets are like giant oven.

Total ASSHOLES drivers. Machos. Cockheads. Jerks. They drive 80-100 km/h in urban. Buggers. Idiots. Masturbating their small egos. I hate it. This is one thing I really hate about whole Poland. And stats are clear – EU top 3 (with RO & BG) in fatal car accidents per capita.

Prices are quite high – I mean accommodation restaurants, coffees. Great food, some funny tastes combined I wouldn’t try in Czech – like today – salad with goat’s cheese, onions, bacon and.. strawberry sauce! Yumi.

Vypraveni o Mordoru – cast II – geografie


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Dnes Vam prozradim [tem kteri tapou], kde Mordor lezi a jake jsou jeho prirodni krasy. Nerad bych, aby v tom byl zmatek, nebo aby dokonce nekdo povazoval za Mordor to, co Mordorem neni a nemuze byt.

V otazce hranic Mordoru nepanuje jasny konsenzus, a tak se muzeme setkat s nedorozumenim, leckdy i hadkami, kde ze to vlastne Mordor konci, a kde zacina.

Jednodussi, nez urcit presnou, geodeticky podlozenou a vytycenou hranici Mordoru, je lepsi si Mordor predstavit jako urcitou, castecne pohyblivou oblast. Co se tyka hlavniho sidla, zde se i odbornici shoduji – Ostrava.

Severni az vychodni hranice je taky pomerne jasne definovana: reka Olza od soutoku s Odrou az k pramenum, i kdyz za Cieszynem je mozne povazovat za Mordor i Nydek a Wiendryni. Pak uz jsme na Hrcave, tam zacinaji Coboly a po hranici jejich vysostneho uzemi se Mordor line  az na Bily Kriz, a pak na Bumbalku.

Zde nastava prvni sporny bod. Nekteri by radi videli Mordor v celem udoli nadherneho potoka a pozdeji reky Becvy. Jenze to je omyl. Z Bumbalky vede hranice Mordoru po kopcich, smerem na Pustevny a Radhost. Frenstat je jasny Mordor [i s uhelnymi doly, ke kterym se rozhodne jeste vratim], zato Roznov je mile a slivovici provonene Valassko. Odtud je hranice uz rozmazana. Nekdo povazuje za Mordor i Valmez, ale ja tvrdim, ze Valmez rozhodne Mordor neni. I kdyz pisen Mnagy a Zdorp, ve ktere se zpiva: “..zkousim se prokopat ven..” muze trochu nahlodavat; pro nase ucely oznacme Valmez jako hranicni mestys. Zato Hranice [nespravne tzv. “na Morave”] rozhodopadne patri do Mordoru.

Dale hranice bezi severne od Olomoca, tam zije lid Hane. Bruntal, Sumperk, Jesenik az po Zlate hory a odtud, na kraji Psioncke roviny se tahne hranice pres Krnov, pres drsne provincni mesto Opavu az zpet k cerne matce Mordoranu, Ostrave.

Krajina je pahorkovita, misty se zvlnenimi, vyskou az horskymi. Lesy pokryvaji velkou cast Mordoru, a ac jsou v naproste vetsine vysledkem antropogennich vlivu nebo primo vysadby, skytaji misty nadherne prirodne-oku-lahodici scenerie.

Fauna je bohata na druhy, vyskytuje se i rys ci medved. O faune Mordoru by se dalo povidat hodne, ale chci se zamerit spise na Mordorsky lid a tento post je pojat jen jako kulisy, pro spravne zasazeni Mordorskeho pribehu.

Verim, ze v otazce geograficke je nyni mnohem jasneji a pri odkazovani na realie v dalsich castech serialu, nebudou ctenari tapat.

Zaverem bych jeste zminil jedno dulezite Mordorske mesto. Ac lezi jiz v rovine hanacke a na brehu reky Moravy [mozna spise prave proto — Morava si z Becvy nese jistou prichut Mordoru, i kdyz to neni primo Mordorska reka, ale je spadovou rekou nekterych prihranicnich casti Mordoru a zejmena je ji splavovana moc Mordorskych turistu, kupcu a prebehliku nejen z Valmezu], je toto mesto pravoplatnym mestem Mordorskym. Zasveceni tusi – ano, jedna se o Veprov [znamy take pod oznacenim Prerov, ktere vzniko presmyckou k oklamani Napoleona, ale to je davna historie] a duvod se ctenar dovi v jedne z dalsich casti meho vypraveni.

Prvky Mordorske atmosfery lze vystopovat i dale po proudu zminene Moravy, ve Starem Meste, ale tim se zatim vubec nemusime zabyvat.

Dekuji za duveru a zvu k dalsim pokracovanim Vypraveni o Mordoru.

by Jan Krömer

foto by Jan Krömer

Mordor – intro



Mordor mozna znate jen ze serie LOTR. Malokdo zatim tusi, ze za timto nazvem se skryva jedna realna zeme. Samotne uzemi neni nijak oficialne definovano, ale zasveceni vedi.

Hlavnim mestem Mordoru je Ostrava; se svym hustym smogem a rezavym popilkem pokryvajicim ulice, domy a lidi, hrde nese jiz z dob komunismu oznaceni “Ocelove srdce republiky”. Pravda toto srdce jiz nebije jako kdysi, pozustatky davne slavy vsak muzeme videt nejen v Ostrave, ale take v jejim blizkem i dalekem okoli.

Mordor je temny kraj, jehoz obloha je temer vzdy cerna. I kdyz oblohu zrovna nehali husta oblaka dymu, atmosfera je vzdy tezka a cpi nesnesitelnou tihou mordorskeho byti.
Tuto atmosferu vsak netvori povetrnostni vlivy.

Temne dusno Mordoru odrazi naladu jeho obyvatel. Lid Mordoru je tvrdy. Tvrdy jak cyp! Ve slovech i cinech Mordoranu je citit zlobu, strach a nenavist. Mordorane jsou po leta tezce zkouseni neblahym osudem. Jejich byvaly blahobyt se zmenil v trpkou tragikomedii o bezpoctu dejstvi.

Mordorane jsou vykorenenci. Jejich rodice sem prijeli z ruznych koutu byvale Sovetske ceske republiky i okolnich komunistickych zemi hledat stesti v cernem zlatu.
Snidali chleba mazany uhelnym kalem na stole z horkeho ingotu. V zime nemuseli chodit pro drivi, stacilo po praci vykaslat uhelny prach z plic a bylo teplo az do rana.

Ale jakkoli cerna pohadka musi jednou skoncit. Mordorske deti uz nechodi na hornicka uciliste. Cerne zlato dochazi a vetsina vysokych peci uz nesala horkym, tetelicim se vzduchem.

Rad bych se ve svych ceskych blogpostech trochu zamyslel nad Mordorem a zvu vas ke sledovani meho nepravidelneho serialu. Jen aby nebylo pochyb – autor je puvodem take z Mordoru – z provincniho mesta Hornikov [znamejsi pod uchycenym nazvem Havirov nebo mene zname pod navrhovanym jmenem Stalinov].


I hate and don’t play FB games [till now]



GO FISHING got me – How did they do it?

I received a request from a friend. Normally I skip these, but the theme was something that RESOUNDED, so I wanted just check how it looks, graphics, story and so. If there was app request to “share.. blah blah”, it would end here.

But there wasn’t! I was taken straight to the game, lovely graphics [I really like it – big part of success], no settings or anything stupid, just the button in lower right, saying CAST (the fishing rod:).
So I casted and I was caught! In a few seconds I was IN the game, realizing in one moment I’m clicking the “share.. blah blah.. with app..”.

So what’s my point? Don’t put anyone off with creepy long wishy-washy, take him straight to the game and do the bullshit later.

Anyway, gotta go catch some fish so I can earn more pearls :)

My Inspiration for today


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Proverbs 4:23-27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.

Painful agony of work with Sklik.cz


Torments of work with this sklik.cz no-tool seems to be endless –

I just wanted to download kw report and optimize bids in Excel.

Nope. We don’t work this way, we don’t see the reason why someone should do this. Kw report is a different type of sheet than import csv and you can choose so many stupid unimportant columns, that we see no reason for you to put there actual Max CPC. Why would you do that anyway?

But, I just wanted to change bids in a table with simple formula, taking into account some factors like avg. position and CPA and then.. import it back.

Nope. We know better what you need. Just log into web interface and do it one by one, few hours and you’re done.

OK, you’re the boss here. [growling – Bloody shit this Sklik! Google please, please buy it and delete it, please!]

PPC on Sklik.cz – best practices


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If you are unlucky enough, and you have to advertise online for Czech market, you’ll have to put your campaigns in Sklik.cz (Seznam). And that’s a real pain.

Don’t try to figure out how can a major Czech search advertising platform, earning its owners $50M a year, have such a ludicrous badly-reverse-engineered-adwords interface to work with. After all, there is a bigger pain-in-the-ass-to-work-with tool (FB advertisers will know).

When start using Sklik, just don’t expect anything of it. Find out how to pull data, how to push data and off you go.

Get your campaigns ready in AdWords Editor and upload it via Sklik interface. For easy import prepare your campaigns in .csv file and be sure to check encoding, as Sklik knows only three types (I use UTF-8, {tab} separated values).

Also don’t forget to clear all not needed columns. Sklik doesn’t need most of them, well maybe “doesn’t know what to do with them”, is better told (but Seznam’s team of reverse engineers – trained in China – is working hard to decode all strange columns and soon Sklik will use them as well).

That’s pretty much it. If you would like to see some advanced functions, you better go elsewhere. But don’t forget – still half of Czech search traffic comes from Seznam!