stephane is currently certified at Master level.

Name: Stephane Miller
Member since: 2000-04-06 05:50:17
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stephane is a sysadmin, RPM love monkey, release engineer and jack-of-all-trades. She is also a member of the Bay Area chapter of Linuxchix, as well as an alumna of MIT. Currently, she is employed by the good people of CollabNet.

Recent blog entries by stephane

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Life has been busy for me, until fairly recently. I don't think I can really say anything more about Eazel than what others have posted: it was great working there with everybody, and I really do hope things turn out for the best for all parties involved.

While looking for work, the three phrases I see most often are "free drinks", "well-funded", and "Microsoft Outlook". I prefer the first two.

Tonight I'll be watching the Iron Chef Battle Ray at home with friends. I think the battles where the theme ingredient is likely to escape from the chef are some of the best ones. I hope no one tries to make manta ray gelato.

If this diary entry were a category on Jeopardy!, I think it would be "Potpourri".

It's spring with a vengeance here.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

-- William Wordsworth

Nothing of substance to report from today, but I wanted to share a passage from something I'm currently reading. The passage in question is from Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America, by Stephen M. Fjellman. The book discusses the Disney theme park's rewriting of history and culture to suit corporate aims. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, here's the quote, which has nothing to do with Disney at all.

Joel Achenbach characterizes this turn as "creeping surrealism" -- the general fear, brought about by the manipulation of narrative and public discourse, that "nothing is real anymore." His introductory example of what people have come to understand as normal is taken from the back of a package of Pepperidge Farm "Nantucket" chocolate chunk cookies: "Only the bakers of Pepperidge Farm could pack so much scrumptious personality into classic American cookies....They added a heaping measure of fuss and bother. That meant making each cookie one of a kind, with an individual personality all its own. So they gave them rugged, irregular shapes, just as if someone had lovingly shaped each cookie by hand." Achenbach comments:

Each sentence lacks credibility, starting with "Only the bakers of Pepperidge Farm," etc., an absurd lie that, as trained consumers, we let pass. Beyond the quicksands of the language there are several levels of untruth: First, there's the Humble Down-Home Multinational Corporation affectation. Pepperidge Farm is a huge company that is itself owned by Campbell's, the world's largest soup company, yet it pretends these cookies are virtual Mom-and-Pop numbers. Fine. We can live with that. At least they don't claim that elves bake them in a brick oven in a hollow tree (as Keebler does).

What is more disturbing is that they have clearly designed a machine that makes cookies that look like a human being made them. And then -- astonishingly -- they confess the fakery right there on the back of the bag.

Not only has the line between realtiy and fiction become attenuated in the United States, but, says Achenbach, " longer think the distinction matters...lies have been raised to an art form in this country, information manipulated so delicately, so craftily, with such unparalled virtuosity, that you can no longer tell the genuine from the fake, the virtuous from the profane."

"...and they had the best Christmas ever."

Yesterday was quite pleasant. Since I don't see much of my family these days, I spent the day with friends, and large quantities of food. Into one day I somehow managed to fit dim sum, a (semi-) close game of Scrabble(tm), the new Ang Lee film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, cooking dinner for five, and present opening. The film was very beautiful. I'd really like to see it again soon.

After I took leave of my friends for the day, I wanted to watch another film, but I was feeling a bit tired, so I watched three scenes from three different films. The first was the "like tears in rain" speech from Bladerunner, the second was the 'dancing' plastic bag from American Beauty, and the third was when Jen meets Kira for the first time in The Dark Crystal. It was a bit like movie dim sum -- just a little taste of everything.

The Eazelhackenapartmentisch is a bit lonely without eskil and mjs around. I should take advantage of their absence and watch some really bad movies or something.

Walking up Castro Street to the subway (is it a superway when it's above ground?), I saw a butterfly, of a type I'd never seen before, perched on some ivy. As I approached, it circled around my head and landed again. I thought that most butterflies migrate south for the winter, so it was a nice surprise to see one.

Back to more Fun With RPM.

Went on a shopping spree at Fry's (ostensible purpose of the trip being the reassembly of yakk's computer). As usual, I ended up heading to the checkout with an impulse item. This time it was a 400 mL beaker. I am truly impressed by the vast array of weird geek stuff Fry's seems to have. Maybe they'll branch out further into biotech and start stocking Pipetman.

More Iron Chef tonight.

According to a banner outside the gas station, 'Ride Muni "Free" on New Year's Eve'. that free as in beer?

I received my first official $holiday gift of the season, a Japanese cat calendar made by these fine folks. The URL was one of the few things I could read on it, but I'm hoping to learn the kanji for the days of the week by the end of this year. The company in question has a staggering array of cat-themed items. Thanks, Taska!

Warm Krispy Kreme donuts are altogether too satisfying.

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