Older blog entries for dria (starting at number 75)

Saturday morning. Slightly hungover from last evening's martini-based shenanigans. Much to my delight, zab surprised us by coming to visit. Yay!

It's raining, and looks like it's likely to rain for the rest of the weekend. This is annoying, because I have to start fetching boxes so I can pack and move and stuff. Rain + cardboard = suckage.

I have a large number of random things to do, most of which are somehow related to me moving to Montreal in 3 weeks. I have discovered (much to my distress) that ASDL is not available in the part of Montreal where my new apartment is located. This is going to severely cramp my style. Hopefully the cable people are a bit more on the ball, but I'm not sure if I can get cable internet without also getting cable tv. Since I won't have a tv, this would seem like rather a waste, assuming that cable internet is actually available at all.

I was also idly wondering whether I could get ADSL without getting regular telephone service. I was thinking that just having a cell phone would be cool, but then I remembered about that whole blood/brain-barrier thing. I must get one of those way neato earpiece/microphone gadgets.

On the other hand, not having high-speed 'net access in my home might be a good thing, at least in terms of my current attempts to start living a more balanced lifestyle. Here's a quick rundown on my current net-usage/daily routine, just so you can get a taste of how unbalanced my life actually is at the moment:

  • 7:00 or 7:30a -- get up, fire up the laptop, make coffee, log in, check email, check news sites, chatter on IRC.
  • 9:00a -- start getting ready for work, catch the 10:00a bus.
  • 10:20a -- get to work, log in, stay logged in all day
  • 6:00p -- log out, head home, maybe stop at the grocery store on the way to pick up something to eat
  • 7:00p -- home, log in, email, surf, IRC, etc
  • 11:30p -- log out, sleep
  • rinse and repeat. weekends are similar except for the actual "going to the office" part

Obviously, this schedule (which is actually a pretty typical day for me) isn't conducive to a "balanced and healthy lifestyle". I've realized that my burnout rate (I get a little burnt out about once every 3-4 months) is largely because of this silliness. Maybe having a dialup account rather than a high bandwidth pipe will help get me out of this high-speed high-tech rut I'm in.

It's a pretty wacky industry we're in, all things considered.

In other news: chaos. I should go find something for breakfast. A cheddar and mushroom omlette will make everything good again.

Whoop! I love the web. One google search on "environmental wood stain" and 2 clicks brought me to a page about water-based wood stains.

Due to increasing government regulations and increasing environmental concerns, The Woodworking Shop will now offer a line of water-based finishes. All Hyrocote finishes are non-flammable, non-toxic and environmently safe. Hydrocote's (non-grain raising) penetrating wood stain is a quick drying, interior stain that offers excellent grain penetration, clarity and color retention.

I just called the local hardware store and, yay, they carry it. Now I have to find a non-lethal/environmentally happy finishing product, but that should be significantly easier. Lemon oil or beeswax-based stuff is available all over the place.

I'm sure you're all fascinated ;)

Thursday. 2 days to go, then 3 weeks holiday. Well. "Holiday". During those 3 weeks I have to do a bunch of stuff related to picking up my entire life and moving 200km East.

Not a lot happened yesterday. Cleaned out my desk at the office, bringing home my collection of O'Reilly books, stuffed animals, nerf weaponry, and other random geek-office-crap. Left my company-purchased gadgetry in its place. I still have to sync and reset my palm, but I'll do that by the end of the week.

Read the warning labels on the wood stain and wood preparation cans last night. Got scared. Put them in tins outside on the porch before I went to bed last night. If they are half as scary as the warning labels indicate, it's a wonder they're allowed to be sold all willy-nilly to an otherwise unsuspecting public. According to the labels, wood stain is basically guaranteed to kill you, your family, all your pets and houseplants, and then burn your house down.

I think I'll see if I can find a less scary, more environmentally sane alternative. Time to visit the hippies at the environmentalists shop. Maybe something made with beeswax and squid ink or something. Anything, so long as it doesn't have to be "disposed of immediately in a sealed, water-filled, metal container" and "handled only wearing rubber gloves and properly rated respiratory gear". All I want to do is make my unfinished pine furniture not unfinished anymore. Geez.

I think it snowed again, but I have yummy coffee, so it's okay.

Today: more boxes, I think. I wish it weren't so damned cold out.

Wednesday. It's snowing. I haven't reset all my clocks from the Daylight Saving time, so on this side of the room it's 7:02am, and over there it's 6;02. I need to find the instruction manual for my new stereo again.

I've been thinking a bit about Advogato (since the rampant dimwittification of phk in response to his article posting). It's becoming increasingly clear that the Open Source community is mind-bendingly complex -- not just in terms of creating technology, but also in terms of social interaction and community and all the other squishy stuff that goes along with it.

It's almost making me itch to dive back into academia. I specialized in social theory in my undergrad, and were I to start a Master's degree at this point, it would definitely focus on the open source subculture. And it is a subculture. There is something here that is definable and unique, I think, something that sets the "open source community" apart from the cultural subsections that surround it.

I just don't know what that "something" is, which is why I wouldn't mind spending a handful of years sitting on my butt thinking about it.

Open Source, obviously, is not just about technology. The community also involves politics, economics, philosophy, and history. If someone ever takes the time to figure it out and write it all down, I think it would be a very interesting read. And I don't mean "write it down" like ESR wrote "CatB". It needs to be seriously researched, with all presuppositions about Open Source stripped away. Someone with a fresh set of eyes should be doing the writing, someone who can sort through the apparent chaos and find the patterns that lie beneath.

Erf. As I said...it's making me half-wish I could head back to school for a few years.

Along these same lines, I've been pondering Advogato's certification system. While raph has sketched out descriptions of the various certs, it's obvious that the advogato community has long since expanded upon them. Like Open Source itself, the certs are about more than just technology -- the "trust" part of the "trust metric" isn't based solely upon technical contributions, it's based on a more undefinable and wholistic evaluation of a person's contributions to the community. A "Master" need not necessarily be a kick ass coder (or a coder at all) -- the certification is granted (from what I've seen) based on a combination of a person's technical ability, interpersonal skills, communication skills, philosophical/political stance, etc.

Here's a question for the group: What, in your mind, makes a 'Master' a Master?. I'm just curious to know whether it can be rigidly defined, or whether it's actually a squishy, almost 'intuitive', thing.

Hmm. Maybe I should think about all of this some more and write an article. This "discussing through diary entries" is a pain in the butt :>

Alrighty. Enough of that deep shit. In other news: I have boxes. I will be getting more boxes (cardboard ones, for packing, rather than computer ones, for hacking). I also bought wood stain and wood protector. Since I've got 3 weeks off, I figured I might finally finish some of that unfinished pine furniture I've got. Hopefully the last 3 years of random abuse haven't ruined it yet.

Random notes:

Major appliances are called "major" because of their price, not because of their size.

I still don't care about Microsoft.

Moving to another city is generally scary in an undefinable "background process" sort of way.

No matter how much money you have socked away for a rainy day, you end up being short by about $1000.

Lease-to-own anything is a bad idea.

Rocks are cool.

Bananas are funny.

Question of the day:

    Why are you here?

Things I don't care about:

  1. Microsoft

Thank you.

Sunday eve. Missed Xfiles and don't care. It's time they gave up and moved on, anyhow.

My weekend in Montreal was phenomenal. I found a fantastic apartment on my first day of searching, and have secured it as mine (thanks to the help of Ron the Real Estate guy and my dear friends shaver and Tyla). It really is a great apartment...big, clean, very close to work (5-7 min walk), in a nice area of town, close to a park, yet also close to the really cool shopping/commercial streets in the area. I'm about a 5 min walk from zab's place, too, which is also fun. I'm so happy. I also have very cool, extremely nice landlords (they live upstairs).

The only complicated bit is that I have to buy my own appliances. It's making me feel very Grown Up for some reason :) I'm going to own things that I cannot lift and move by myself, which is new for me. Fridge, stove, washer, and dryer. God have mercy on my credit card. (On the other hand, having my very own laundry facilities is more than worth the cost. I hate laundry mostly because it's a pain in the ass...having a laundry room off the kitchen is going to seriously rock my world.)

I get possession of my new ultra-hip Montreal digs on May 1. I think I'll arrange to move on May 2 (to avoid clashing moving schedules with the current tenant).

Did I mention that the apt I found is big? It's only got one bedroom, but it has a very large living room/sitting room, a big dining room (which I think I'll convert to a library), a very nice kitchen, and the aforementioned laundry room. The bathroom is unfortunately microscopic, but the rest of the place makes up for it many times over. I'm really quite pleased. I even have a little private courtyard off the kitchen so I can have a barbeque and a place to sit to have a quiet cup of tea on summer evenings. My mom (the gardener's gardener) is going to help me find plants that do well in shade so I can convert it to a little garden paradise. I'm considering getting one of those little Zen Rock Fountains for it, even, but that might be a little cheesier than I'm willing to deal with.

So, since I'm moving at the beginning of May, I'm going to have 3 weeks of just sitting on my butt doing domesticky things in Ottawa. Packing (which will take about 3 days when I get around to it), arranging utility hookups and stuff, etc. I'll probably also just sit around and just be entirely slack for a few days here and there, as well. I have a lot of reading to catch up on, etc.

One week to go, then basically 3 weeks vacation. My god. It's been a long long time since I had a proper vacation. Long time. Years, in fact.

In other news: I had a fantastic birthday. Dinner at The Globe (an astoundingly yummy restaurant in Montreal) with shaver, tyla, phil, and Ryan. I ate so much that I could barely move at the end of it all (we were all in similar shape, actually). No one subjected me to embarrassing birthday shenanigans during the meal, but I was seranaded with a less-than-energetic rendition of "Happy Birthday" whilst we all inched our way back to our respective hotels. Did I mention that we ate too much? Oof. And the wine probably didn't help much, either :)

So, that's my life, thus far. I have to go learn how to buy major household appliances now. What an odd thing.

Friday. Woo hoo. I'm off to the train station in about an hour to meet phil and head to Montreal. The Great Montreal Apartment Hunt thus beginneth.

Otherwise, not a heck of a lot going on. Thanks to everyone for the happy birthday wishes :) (And no, I'm not really that "old"...I was just whining). If you think this is bad, wait 'til next year when I'll be (good god) turning 30.

Oh, and since I won't be here tomorrow: Happy April Fool's Day. Whatever you do, don't believe everything you read (particularly tomorrow). 'Nuff said.

Thursday. Feelin' a lot like a Friday. Not a lot worth talking about happened today. We had lunch. I did some random shopping (again, lots of silly little things, which is dumb because I'm just going to have to pack them in a week), etc.

We just got back from having milkshakes, which were yummy. We need "Frequent Shake Buyer Cards" or something. I had banana.

Off to Montreal this weekend (I've mentioned this before, yes, I don't care, no one's making you read my diary) to apartment hunt and stuff. So far phil, Ryan, and shaver have confirmed for the weekend's festivities.

Right. That's about it for me. I'm really starting to look forward to moving. Montreal, from all accounts, is "hella cool". Yay.

66 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!