Older blog entries for yakk (starting at number 173)

I spent about three days in Paris, visiting with my mother and staying with my aunt Christine and uncle Jean. My mum is on holidays in France and Switzerland and since its a lot closer to visit her here than in Australia I came over for a couple of weeks. Yes, thats my excuse for my little holiday :)

The afternoon that I arrived we went for a walk along the Seine, browsed the books being sold along the banks and had a coffee in the latin quarter. The streets were alive with people going about their affairs, there were children playing, people speaking more languages than i could recognise. It really felt like a living city.

The next day Christine, Mum and I went to see Versailles - the residence of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI (I think). The decadence of these kings was pretty amazing, to have build this giant castle with enormous rooms of mirrors, chandeleirs, paintings and tapistries, and to have gone to war for the sake of glory while the people starved and were taxed to death seems amazing. I think as long as the people of France can wander through Versailles nobody will suggest a return to the monarchy. The gardens were really beautiful, not gawdy like the castle, but still the work that must have gone into maintaining it while the country bled is a bit sickening.

That night we had dinner with my cousin Olivier and his partner Marc. They've got a really nice modern apartment and made an amazing dinner. My french is good enough to understand most of my family's rapid-fire conversations but not quite good enough to participate. Olivier worked as a graphic designer on the new Swiss passport so he showed us some of the work he did there. Its a really beautiful work with some clever subtleties for security. I need to renew mine.

Thursday I wandered through Paris again, partly by myself and partly with my Mum. Then we sent to a really funny show with my uncle and aunt, it was sort of a clown show, but they were a string quartet. It was an awesome mix of physical and musical comedy. And then Friday we packed up and drove to the alps.

[IMG: http://ian.mckellar.org/email/09c6cf3b29590120263bdb18516d2648-cloudyparis.jpg]


Damn Windows PC You just ate my latest post My words, my thoughts, gone

Last weekend I had a great time being shown around New York by my friend
Marisha. I stayed at her place in Greenpoint (in Brooklyn).

Friday night we went out drinking in Greenpoint and Williamsburgh with a
bunch of people. The bars there were a lot of fun, there was a bit of a
hipster bingo phenomenon but it didnt feel to pretentious to me, though
I wasnt feeling much after a few drinks.

Saturday we went into Manhattan, wandering through the East Village,
Lower East Side, China Town, Little Italy, Soho, Noho, up by NYU, Times
Square, TriBeCa, the WTC site and finally Union Square. It was a lot of
fun, not at all rushed, we just wandered about, neighbourhood to
neighbourhood. I really liked the East Village and Lower East Side,
chill, very pretty with a nice friendly vibe.

Sunday we went to Central Park and Harlem (due primarilly to the
confusing subway). We had a beer at the Peculier Pub and then saw a show at
the Mercury Lounge - Stars, The Essex Green, The Mobius Band and
Asteroid #4 (i think). Monday I hung out in Williamsburgh for a few
hours and then went to the airport a few hours early. I didn't want to
arrive late after missing my flight from SFO.

We boarded the plane in good time, were taxiing out to the runway when
the pilot noticed something wrong. There was a fuel light or something
like that that wasn't working like it should. Three hours later we were
finally flying towards Paris in another plane. At least that gave me the
chance to chat with the people who were sitting near me, a songwriter
from New York on his way to play a concert for his spiritual guru in
Belgum, a very cute French girl returning from a visit with a friend who
was working in New York and a middle-aged couple from Orange County on
their way to Italy to get married who were stressed about missing their
connecting flight.

Avast mateys!

This fine day I set sail for the port of new york. If the winds hold and
the weather's fair we'll drop anchor this evening.

I missed the morning tide, sleeping like a drunkard on the fourth watch
in my bed. I wish I could say I had been on shore with gin and wenches,
but I worked into the wee hours loading booty into the hold.

Now I must head to port, raise anchor and sail to the east. May your
weather be fair and your wenches fairer.

Cap'n Ian
On my way
I've been working like crazy the past week trying to get work stuff finished in time for my holiday. On Friday morning I'm off to New York and next week I continue on to Paris, Geneva and Mont Saleve, perhaps Berlin and then England.

My plans aren't all finalized and I haven't started packing, but i have just hacked together what I think will be enough technology to post from the road, including pictures! Everyone try to look excited. Now, here's a test - my whiteboard with my sentiment for the week:
[IMG: http://ian.mckellar.org/email/f2b5bdbc171f317b858ad23249f6e960-Gdbbad.jpg]

Push Syndication
About a year and a half ago I was posting entries regularly to my advogato.org account. Then I met a bunch of people who used Livejournal so I began using that for my weblogging. I always had a plan to sync entries between the two, but it never happened, partly because I never got around to it and partly because what I want to post to those two sites are quite different.

Now I run weblog software on my own host so I wrote a script to syndicate entries from my MovableType weblog to the other two. Luckilly everything in the world (that I care about anyway) speaks fluent XMLRPC. The initial version of this script was just half a dozen lines long, but as I've added code to rewrite entries to match the style of advogato.org for example, it has grown.

Take a peek if you'd like. You'll want to make a aggy_config.py with the following set: MT_URL MT_USER MT_PASSWORD MT_BLOGID ADVOGATO_USER ADVOGATO_PASSWORD LJ_USER LJ_PASSWORD.
Note: MT_URL is the url of your mt-xmlrpc.cgi
It was a fun weekend. Saturday I got up bright and early (11) to go play in the Hangover Premier League - a game of soccer in Golden Gate Park followed by some drinking. I'm really not very good at soccer, but its a lot of fun and being in the park always makes me happy about living in San Francisco.

[IMG: Snowboard]
After the game I went to SFO snowboards and bought a snowboard. I've been meaning to buy one for a while and since my Kirkwood season pass just came I realised that I needed to pick one up quickly before last season's left over stock runs out. I bought an M3 Discord because the guy at the shop said that it was a good board. It turns out its mostly a freestyle board suited to intermediate and experienced boarders. I guess I'll work it out. I like the design anyway.

I went out to New Wave City with Dan, Leah and Tanya, and met up with Avani there. It was pretty cool. Good crowd, good music, saw a bunch of friends there. Then, at about 1:45 Avani and I were getting a drink of water at the downstairs bar (it was at DNA). One of the bartenders was throwing ice around so Avani makes a comment about that since we'd seen her throw ice around earlier too. At this point things get a bit weird since the bartender starts getting upset - at first I thought she was just pretending to get angry with us. We couldn't really tell what she was saying since the music was loud and she was standing back from the bar, so we kind of smile back at her and then before we know it a bouncer is asking us to leave. Bizare.

I few months ago I hit another wall posting. I didn't feel like posting about how I was actually feeling (I'd have to work it out for me to post about it) or what was really going on in my life (I'd have to stop for long enough to write it down) so I just stopped. So, what have I been doing? Well, for a start I've been working. Nothing spectacular there, I'm working on new and interesting things and old and dull things at the same time. We've released our second product, launched our second carrier and announced a launch in our second country. Theres a whole lot more of this stuff on the way, but I'm not really connected to it. I've got my own little world of code I live in, unconnected to releases that people actually see or are aware of. Outside of work I've been having a great time. I'm going out a lot and spending time with a lot of different people. I haven't been doing much music stuff recently, not have I really gotten much software written actually. Ahh, well - c'est la vie. I've started an intermediate French class in Palo Alto, near work. I'm really enjoying that. Its a small class - just three of us plus the teacher and I'm finding my French really improving. I've got my tickets for flying off to Europe in late September now too. I'm going to spend a weekend in New York City, then head off to France and Swizerland for a couple of weeks with my Mum and then go on to England to work for a few days. I don't really feel like I desperately need a holiday right now but I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't spent a decent amount of time with my Mum for far too long and I haven't been in Europe in the summer or autumn for a long tim

I'm trying to work out what pfremy is on about. I'm actually kind of hurt by his rants about how bad Eazel was about working with the rest of the community. I guess as a KDE user he's uniquely qualified to comment on the workings of GNOME. I guess whats not so clear to him as a KDE user is that the stuff in Nautilus that doesn't "fit" into GNOME 1.4 is basically stuff that was missing that was later integrated into core GNOME libraries.

pfremy's little KDE facts page is strange. Counting the days between unicode Qt and Gtk+ releases, etc. Is it a race? Aren't we all meant to be trying to develop a bunch of good free software? Thats why I'm doing this. I choose GNOME over KDE for a variety of reasons - primarily familiarity. I'm not going to make a list counting days between the implementation of various features.

I guess "get a life" is the best way to summarize this message.

Oh well...

These may be the best days of my life...

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