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Etter en kort omvei på vei hjemover (fra Bergen til Trondheim til Oslo til Haugesund i nattens snø og mørke), er jeg i hjemtraktene for jula.
Jeg kommer til å dingle rundt i Haugeby stort sett hele tiden frem mot nyttår. Hvis noen andre skulle finne seg i nærheten, med ledige pletter i romjulekalenderen, må de inderlig si fra. Synkrondingling (er det lov å si?) kan iverksettes.
Boblycat has gotten a new shine, and we hope the tribe will be happy with the new technology which we hope will be a good platform for the months ahead. Some modules are not quite ready, so please do as our friend here and call me if you encounter problems or miss particular features.
In other news, my sturdy old siemens phone has died and become an ex-parrot. It looks battered and beaten after living in a homeless existance with me. I feel a bit left out without a phone, but in a way it's also refreshing not to have a phone and not have to do any support. I am also surprised to find that Siemens went belly-up in the mobile business. It's obvious to most people that I don't really follow new technology. I need to get my hands on one of them ifones.
Another thing that struck me is that a new Sony game, which hasn't even been released yet has gotten a three letter acronym. It's LBP of course. Impressive to be known with a TLA before release. But then again DNF did it before them, and it might be finished this year too. As if.
At the danger of turning this blog into Twitter. I must admit I like Blender, which is an application that used to scare me.
It appears that the title for part three of in my series "what will I do this summer" has been decided. (The 2006 title was A Summer of Research, when I was at Watson, and for 2007, A Summer of Finance, when I was working on Wall Street).
I've accepted a job in the department of surgery and emergency medicine, at the hospital in my home town. It feels rather strange to stay and work at Home (with a capital H) after all these years. So much has changed. So many people have left. Despite some population growth, Haugesund almost feels like a ghost town to me now.
I was fortunate enough to receive some other offers at completely different locations in the country, and while Vesterålen was extremely appealing for geographical (and midnightsunnical) reasons, my sense of practicality prevailed. I've still some remnants of a social network back home, I feel the need to see my close family on a regular basis again for a while, and let's not forget: accomodation is free:)
I realise that I've worked abroad for the last four summers now (The Netherlands, Canada, USA). Those have been really great experiences. I've some terrific memories from these engagements. While the surroundings will be decidedly less exotic this time around, I suspect the work itself will make up for that (not to mention the ability to turn in my tax statement by text message again).
I was at a show today, and it was not fun at all. I am so happy to be home and resting in my new bed. Fay and Stig were apparently happy with my discomfort at the show, so they bought me a new dog bed. And all I won was a pink rosette, how gay is that? I sometimes hump dogs to show them I'm boss, but I'm not gay, it's what we dogs do to tell the other dog not to bend over and pick up the soap in the shower. It's not gay. But at least I got the pink rosette, most didn't get anything. Some long-haired beauty of a dachsie told me it means that I was winner quality but someone else was a tad bit better today. I ended up fourth of the male dogs, and I'm barely a year old. That's a bit like a 13 year old winning a beauty pageant for grown-ups. So I guess I'm sexy for my age, even if I got a gay rosette, I wonder which dog in the Village People I am. I think I am the hunky cowboy on the left in this shot or maybe the black'n tan in the middle. (I won two red ribbons (1st prize JK and JKK) and one pink ribbon (CK)).
But this is what I like... to be out in the snow and run in nature. I luv it! Dog Shows suck!
We have had winter here the last week, with lots and lots of running in the snow. It's been fun, fun and SUPERFUN. Yesterday I was out running for four hours in the snow. Supercool! Tomorrow is more ring-training, going to the dog show at Bønes this weekend. There will be 20 wire-haired standard there so it'll be tough. But I'm there to check out hot dachsie-ladies and if I get a prize that's just a bonus.
I'm enjoying my last days in Paris. It's been a great time, apart from a week and a half of combating the local microflora. I've seen a lot, read a lot, hacked a lot, and met some fun and interesting new people.
Unfortunately, I forgot my camera back home, so the only snapshotting companion has been my trusty W810i. I'll see if I can't find a bit of time to post-process the snaps and put them in the gallery. I've been putting this off as there are no decent programs on Linux for doing simple photo editing, at least that I found. Blimp seems to fit the bill with respect to simple, but its user interface is rather cumbersome. F-spot is a mess that crashes all the time. The Gimp also has a totally useless interface. I guess I'm looking for something like iPhoto, only free and full of open-source goodness.
Also, having to use the web interface for uploading pictures to our gallery is extremely cumbersome. I suppose I should check if we can't get WebDAV working. But, then again, it would save me even more time if I just put all of this on Flickr (or similar)....
I visited Akim Demaille and his posse at EPITA today, and apparently there still is such as thing as free lunch (although, in my excitement over the good food, I kinda promised to help out with fixing some Stratego issues they are experiencing, so it was not entirely without entanglements).
I got to sit in on one of the bi-weekly status updates for the LRDE. The room numbered a little under 30 people, including students and faculty. They were kind enough to hold the meeting in English so that I could follow it. I found it surprising and very encouraging to have everybody report their progress (and, in a very few instances, lack thereof) in front of the entire lab. I've been missing this in many of the institutions I've been working at. It certainly increases the level of team feeling, and also makes it easier to uncover opportunities for collaboration between the various groups. For example, they all shared a lot of common infrastructure, including setups for newsgroups, a build farm, svn repos, etc.
I met two of the guys from the "previous" Transformers generation, Florian and Maxime. Florian was putting the finishing touches on a visualization tool for ambiguities in Transformers' attributed parse trees. It looked pretty sweet. Maxime was hacking a translator from a DSL for their Olena image processing library.
I also got to meet the new generation of Transformer students. I expect that I'll interact a lot more with them in the coming months, as they come to grips with Stratego.
I'm finally here, recovering from the just-experienced chocolate shock I subjected myself to voluntarily. It seemed a better idea up front than it does now...
Anyway, the trip from Paris went much less smoothly than anticipated. Even though I had had the foresight to book tickets on the train in advance, I ended spending almost 30 minutes to actually get my tickets. The Thalys online shop says chirpily that you should just use you credit card in one of the many ticket machines when you arrive at the terminal, and the ticket will be dispensed. Sounds like a good deal, and that's what I've come to expect of e-tickets.
Unfortunately, what they don't say, is that not all VISA cards are accepted by the machine. While they will happily eat your money in the online store, they will then refuse to print your ticket when you arrive at the station. A friendly, non-English-speaking train attendant explained to me in lively French that my VISA card needs a smart chip for the machine to read it, and that I would have to go and wait in line in front of the ticket booth to actually get my ticket, silly as I was, not bringing a proper VISA card. Good thing I don't speak French [but it's amazing how much rudimentary language skills + loads of context helps your comprehension].
With a deep sigh, I "pardoned" my way through 40 people waiting in line before me, and finally arrived at the ticket booth. I provided a printout of my e-mail receipt to the clerk behind the counter, at which point he started scratching his head profusely. After a little while, he found something he understood: the reservation code, and things were finally solved, about two minutes before departure. A short, unceremonious dash across the platform later, I made it into the train car as the doors closed.
I'm happy to report that rest of the trip went without any hiccups. The only remaining annoyance was that there's no direct metro line between Gare Midi and Gare Centrale in Brussels, so getting to Grand Place took a bit of additional planning and metro map consultation.
No matter. I'm here. I still have plenty of time before the beerfest, and I'm obviously using it to complain about silly things, so my life must be good:)
I'm going to FOSDEM again this year. A bunch of old friends will be coming, so the opportunity is too good to pass up. Also, since I'll be in Paris at the time around FOSDEM, travel is both fast and reasonably cheap. (Three cheers for high speed trains.)
If you're interested in meeting me there, don't hesitate to fire off an e-mail. There's no Gentoo room this year, so I'll be hanging around elsewhere. I'm bound to drop by the Free Java devroom, for sure:) Another gang I'm anxious to meet again are the Nix people.