Older blog entries for dyork (starting at number 303)

19 Mar 2003 (updated 19 Mar 2003 at 13:01 UTC) »

Pen turning - simonstl: I use a Taig Miniature Lathe that I bought at Lee Valley after taking a class on pen turning there a number of weeks ago. They have a whole page on turning products. They also sell the pen kits and other supplies that are needed to turn pens.

Spring - MichaelCrawford: We, too, are quite excited here with the change in the weather. Sunday afternoon we went for a walk around the neighborhood and saw all sorts of neighbors... everyone was out enjoying the warm weather ("warm" being in the 40s Fahrenheit, of course)... like bears emerging from hibernation we all emerge for the first time in many months... we had a great walk, actually. It's nice to see all the snowbanks slowly melting away.

DocBook Wiki - Okay, so I went and created a home page there. MichaelCrawford, I noticed that you are there, too.

May cooler heads prevail - davidw: I am with you in hopes that cooler heads may prevail... but at this point it really doesn't look too good.

Where there is smoke... - gary: Congrats on not smoking!

Curling - At the club last night, our team actually did quite well, holding the other team to a tight game. We went into the eighth end tied, but they had the hammer and we wound up losing. It was a late game, going from 9am to 11am, which are always tough for me. Still it was quite good.

[Update - 18 Mar 03: I meant 9 pm to 11 pm. Our league alternates between playing at 7pm and 9pm on Monday nights.]

In the Thursday league with whom I play, we are actually in the playoffs. We won our game in the first round last week and go into the second round this week. The final week will be March 27th... we'll see if we survive this week.

Aura of unreality - This morning seemed rather strange... I felt like I was walking around the office disconnected to the reality of life. Very strange.

Group calendaring - pphaneuf: I have no connection whatsoever to JiCal - it was just brought to my attention. (So you may be crushing someone... but it won't be me! ;-) Your analysis was interesting and I look forward to learning more about your product!

Wiki - Spent some time exploring Wiki-land today. Returned to the DocBook Wiki after some time away and saw that much has changed. Also explored the PythonInfo Wiki. And of course WikiPedia. Quite an amazing amount of knowledge entered into all the zillion Wiki sites out there.

Also find it interesting the whole concept of the InterWiki framework. If you think about it, it's really like an alternative URL mechanism. It's a natural way to solve the problem that would arise as more and more Wikis evolved. Just interesting to see the solution. And of course there are then search engines like MetaWiki that would naturally evolve to search all the wikis... interesting indeed. (Especially when I found that Advogato Project pages show up in the MetaWiki search results!)

One issue, I have, though, with Wikis in general is that there are so many Wiki engines, each of which seems to have taken its own path in implementing the Wiki text formatting rules. It's not actually bad that there are all the differences on one level... I mean, would we have gotten as far as we have if people weren't always trying to build a better mousetrap? But for a user, it means that with each new Wiki you go to, you have to visit the local TextFormattingRules page to see what flavor of the language this particular Wiki uses. Perhaps over time the various strands will converge toward a common language - or at least a few that are very similar. I mean, to be fair, none of them are difficult to learn... it would just be nice if you didn't have to re-orient your brain with each different site you go to.

I will admit that I am intrigued by the idea of having a Wiki on my Palm for organizing things. Don't know that I'm intrigued enough to actually install one (such as MegaWiki, but it's an interesting idea.

Only the Good Die Young - This date always reminds me of the first death I really felt connected to.... a friend who I had grew up with in the town I lived in and was in our church and a theatre group I was involved with. Her boyfriend was one of my close friends. She was on her way to work when she was killed by a drunk driver. She was only 17. We were all in our senior year of high school. Even today, almost 20 years later, the memory is still vivid and this day is always touched with the sadness of that time long ago.

Pen turning - Finally got the micro-lathe set up on the weekend and turned my first set of wood blanks down into actual barrels for a pen. After the sanding and polishing, the resulting pen came out looking quite cool. Working with wood like this and making actual physical products is a nice change from all the computer work that occupies the rest of my life (and that I also enjoy doing).

Group Calendaring - Was intrigued today when pointed to JiCal. Group calendaring is really the one reason why people claim they want an Exchange Server over other solutions. We'll have to check into it and see.

Articles - Uche: Very cool on all your articles. Thanks for the pointers. I'll confess to being a tiny bit jealous. I haven't written any articles for quite a long time. I enjoy the writing and used to write quite a few, but I just haven't had the time to do so. Tons of ideas... just need to make the time to put the text down. Anyway, yours look like great info.

Italy - davidw: Congrats! Best wishes with your return.

Canyons of Alabaster - It's been many, many years since I've been walking down a road with snowbanks on either side that are up to my chest or shoulders. Yet recently it has been that way. With some of the snow we had last weekend, the snowbanks literally are 4 or 5 feet high. We're running out of space to put some of the snow. It's pretty amazing to go out walking the dog late at night and just feel yourself walking down this channel of white. It is incredibly beautiful!

The good news is that this weekend should be a beautiful one with temperatures above freezing. We expect some good melting to occur. Who knows, maybe we'll see our front lawn by June or July!

The Chloe Journals - It was 11 months ago today that she entered the world. What an amazing whirlwind it has been! And now, we are dealing with the horrors of molars coming in... we thought it was bad when the front teeth arrived... that was nothing compared with this! She alternates between being in pain and then being her usual high energy self.

12 Mar 2003 (updated 12 Mar 2003 at 01:45 UTC) »

Blogs - and straying off-topic - jfleck: Interesting about consolidating your various blogs at your own site. Can't say I blame you... I understand your reasons and honestly if my ISP were to allow the operation of servers (or if I had the option of another broadband ISP - I don't), I might set up my own as well. Yet, I'll have to be honest and say I'll miss your postings here. With everything else in my life, I don't get a whole lot of time to surf around the web and keep up with what's going on. The many, many news sites I used to read on a daily and weekly basis have continued to dwindle to close to almost none.

In the insanity of it all, recentlog is one of the very few sites I do actually read on a relatively-close-to-daily basis, and your entries in particular have been some of the ones that I have very much enjoyed reading. In part, I think that is because you write well... it shows that you have both the experience and also the passion. But, quite frankly, it's also because you do stray outside the realm of free software and share with us your thoughts on oddball things, or your observations of the life around you in Arizona as you are riding, or the interesting and often touching anecdotes of life with your daughter and family.

Your sharing enriches our community as a whole, provides a glimpse into a world different in many ways from mine (yet similar in many ways as well), and offers a welcome diversion from the craziness of a normal day. I have learned many things from the out-of-band (i.e. not free software) references in your diary and that of so many others. (I have also learned a great many things from the free software-related info, but my point is I, at least, find both very interesting, informative, entertaining, and educational.)

Personally, I think such off-topic references only make our community stronger. If we only know each other through the very narrow topics of free software, we see one-dimensional beings, and do not get to view the richness of the full person. Some of those references have also led me to connect face-to-face with people working on free software projects that are of little or no interest to me... yet some other other thing they do has helped us to connect... and when we have connected, very often we have found that in fact there are free software-related issues in common - and each of us has left a bit stronger - and our projects are as well.

Anyway, long ramble... the net of it is that while I don't think Advogato needs to turn into a LiveJournal or Blogger.com, I personally don't have an issue with some straying from the free software focus (and I am quite guilty of that myself). Others may disagree, but I think it's good - and healthy.

So, jfleck, I do look forward to your continued postings here as appropriate... and I'll try to check in from time to time over on your own site. (BTW, NukeBeat is quite interesting!)

Wiki - Some time ago, our internal developers set up a Wiki for our own internal use using TWiki. I'll confess to being a bit skeptical at first. Being an ancient hardcoder of HTML (i.e. I started writing HTML pages for NCSA Mosaic in early 1993) I was somewhat put off by learning yet-another-shortcut-for-web-pages. (By gosh, why write '---+ text' when a macro for '<h1>text</h1>' can do the same thing! ;-) I will also admit to being quite comfortable dumping everything into our local copy of Bugzilla. While it has many strengths for bug- and issue-tracking, we had shoehorned BZ into working as a collaboration tool and I had learned to be quite comfortable working around it in that manner. So I saw the announcement of the Wiki come and go and just ignored it.

But I must confess... I have seen the light! (And it wasn't a train running me over...) In the past couple of weeks, I've started to use it... or more precisely... I saw how it could be used. And once awakened to the potential, I've started to find more and more uses for it. It's quite fascinating, really. I mean, on a certain level it's not all that different than having a group of HTML files under CVS access with everyone having their own local working copy and updating the server... which is what a group of us did for one web site. But yet, our group were hard-core techies to whom CVS and raw HTML were nothing.

The Wiki tools (TWiki being one of them) certainly remove many of those techie barriers and make the things that we were doing very easy and very in reach to non-technical users. And even for us techies, it just makes it that much simpler and faster.

So I am impressed so far. I have run into some things I wish it could do, but I also haven't searched the quite long list of plugins available to see if my itches have already been scratched. We'll see.

The beating of the drum - Articles like this are just further evidence that our days of wide open bandwidth are drawing closer to the end. We've certainly seen information from customers about their ISPs starting to put limits on or charge by the Megabyte or Gigabyte. The big ISPs, especially carriers, do keep on beating that drum of measured service... I'm sure that many of the telcos, especially, would love to get back to a time of per minute charges... or at least per-byte or megabyte in the new order of things.

I guess we should all enjoy drinking from the firehose while we still can. (Or at least those of us should who currently have unmetered broadband connections with a flat monthly fee... I know metered rates are in effect in some parts of the world already.)

The Chloe Journals - We can tell that it is only a small matter of time before she starts being able to pull herself up to a standing position (against furniture, for instance). She's lately been kneeling but holding her whole body erect. She's tried to pull herself up, but can't get last part. She has, though, figured out how to open cabinet doors... and the French doors between the living room and dining room are no longer an obstacle if only one is shut (with a gate blocking the other one). :-) Great fun to watch the evolution!

Anniversary - 300th Advogato entry - This entry marks the 300th time I have gone to the '/diary/' page of Advogato since I first created this account on May 9, 2000. Life was quite different then. I was still at Linuxcare and was heading up LPI, was travelling 2-3 (or more) weeks each month, was just learning about DocBook, just starting to use SourceForge, etc. I had just recently visited Ottawa for the first time for a trade show...

Little did I know how much life would change. (Do we ever?)

I didn't know then if I would actually keep writing here, but in the close to three years since, Advogato in general has been a very useful place to keep up on what old friends are doing... and to learn what new folks are up to. I've met some great folks out of entries here, had some business opportunities arise out of notes, had many questions answered that I posted here... and generally learned that a good number of friends do actually read this to keep up on what's going on with us. It's been an interesting experiment in sharing information... and I've learned a whole lot along the way.

Doing the math, this diary started 1,032 days ago, which means that I have wound up averaging about 3.5 days between posts (3.44 to be precise). Interesting. We'll see how long it takes to get to 600 entries...

92% spam - Been keeping track of the percentage of received messages at my home personal e-mail account that are spam. On a recent evening, I had 571 messages waiting, of which 543 were spam. The percentage seems to be similar on other days as well. Always around 90-92% spam. Yes, indeed, I need to get a spam filter installed.

Makefaq - Was contacted by someone wondering if I was going to put out another version of makefaq anytime soon. Nice to be asked, but in truth I'm not really planning to do a release soon simply because: a) my time outside of work is pretty much sucked up by the wee one these days; b) no one has asked for any new features/changes or reported any bugs; and c) the thing is... it works! Not a lot of need to change something that's working well. So, no immediate plans.

Who knows, though... I could get in a state where I absolutely need to do some coding, at which point I'll look at the TODO list and start pounding away.

Pet food and wireless Internet - This BBC report is quite humorous, if real. If it's not real, it's at least a good joke!

Curling - Close game last night, but in the end we fell by two points. The good news is that we're still in fourth place and so we enter the 3 weeks of single-elimination playoffs to determine the end winner.

Reno - A weekend of projects as we try to get the house ready for an onslaught of small children at some events in the next few weeks. Finishing up some drywall, taping and painting... plexiglass behind some railings... hanging some more French doors... putting up cabinet doors over the lower part of a bookshelf in a vain attempt to prevent little fingers from spreading CDs all over the floor... all that fun stuff... :-)

The Chloe Journals - We can tell that it is only a small matter of time before she starts being able to pull herself up to a standing position (against furniture, for instance). She's lately been kneeling but holding her whole body erect. She's tried to pull herself up, but can't get last part. She has, though, figured out how to open cabinet doors... and the French doors between the living room and dining room are no longer an obstacle if only one is shut (with a gate blocking the other one). :-) Wonderful little girl!

Software Consulting - MichaelCrawford: Best wishes with your job seeking. I have known a number of folks who have been in consulting and then went into corporate jobs... and then in some cases have gone back to consulting. I've considered consulting in the past, but for the reasons you outline have chosen to go for the regular paycheck (and less money) instead. Best wishes with the choices.

LinTraining - Still haven't had a chance to clean out all the dead entries we found in our great cleanout the other week, but in the meantime, I approved new submissions to the site from the following areas:

  • Brazil
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • California, USA
  • Maryland, USA

Also received a note from someone frustrated by all the dead weight in the database... he sent messages to 15 centers and all but 5 bounced back as undeliverable. I did say it was time to purge the database, didn't I? :-( I must find the time to clean it out...

ClearQuest - murrayc: I haven't used ClearCase, but have had similar dissatisfaction with ClearQuest, the companion bug-tracking tool. Within our group we use Bugzilla and, warts and all, it has worked quite well for us. However, other groups use ClearQuest and through my interaction with those groups I have needed to use it. I have been amazed at how incredibly clunky and cumbersome the Web interface to CQ is! It's been stunning, really. I'm looking forward to trying the "thick" client, but have so far run into issues getting it installed on RH 7.3. (Watching others use the Windows client, though, hasn't overly impressed me.) It's quite interesting to see that Bugzilla so outclasses CQ so far.

Now, in fairness, BZ doesn't have the integration with a code management system that ClearQuest does with ClearCase. (Yes, I know there are ways you can integrate it... they're just not as easy as CQ/CC.) And I've also been using Bugzilla for years and am at this point extremely comfortable with it... so I'm just really learning CQ. We'll see.

Curling - the Brier - The Nokia Brier continues to provide some amazing curling to watch. Randy Ferbey's rink from Alberta continues to steamroll the competition with a 9-0 record going into the 4th day of the round-robin competition. They've locked a berth in the 1-2 playoff game tomorrow and, we would expect, should wind up in the final on Sunday. They have been absolutely incredible to watch. So have the other teams, of course, but the Ferbey rink just stands out so far above the others.

Curling - NOT the Brier - Then you have our team that will play in about an hour over at the Nepean Sportsplex. Despite ourselves, we now find our team incredibly in fourth place going into the last night of regular play. Tonight's games will determine the final standings and determine who goes into which playoff bracket. The top six teams will compete in the next couple of weeks, as will the bottom six. We'll see... the competition is heavy... :-)

The Chloe Journals, part one - sickness - The poor little girl has spent much of the week with fluid coming out of both ends... she seems to have caught a stomach virus that we've been told seems to be going around the area. Quite nasty and she is very uncomfortable (and by extension, so are we). Went to the pediatrician last night, though, and he said everything else seemed fine with her and he thought she should be over it within the next day or so. We definitely hope so! It has been a VERY rough week!

The Chloe Journals, part two - all your keyboards are ours - For the past several months, I have successfully been able to sit at my home office desk with the wee one on my lap and with a spare (disconnected) keyboard in front of me. She bangs on the spare keyboard. I reach around her and type on the "real" keyboard. It has worked well (outside of her constantly wanting to reach up and remove my glasses! ;-) but no longer... the smart little kid has figured out that Daddy's keyboard is the one that actually does something, so now she wants to use *that one*.... and Daddy's mouse is so much cooler because it has a red light coming out from underneath it...

I knew the spare keyboard trick had a limited lifetime, I just thought (hoped?) it might last a bit longer! :-)

Curling and SMS Messaging - So the CBC, in conjunction with Zim (Michael Cowpland's latest venture), has set up a service where you can get updates via SMS about the games being played at the Nokia Brier curling championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia. You can get live scores from your favorite teams (at the 5th end and game finish) as well as playoff info. You will also, in theory, be able to participate in SMS polls. I signed up to try out the technology from ZIM.

Curling - My own curling last night was NOT even remotely close to that of the Brier teams. All of us played horribly and we wound up losing by something embarrasing like 11-1... and we quit after 6 ends (instead of 8) just to stop the pain. Not a good night at all.

Mozilla, plugins and MIME Types - Today's challenge is that we have an application that we use internally that has a Java applet as part of it. The Java applet won't run in Mozilla 1.2.1 because it is looking for:

  application/x-java-applet;jpi-version=1.3.0_01

Given that I have installed JRE version 1.4.0, I would expect that this wouldn't be a problem.. I mean, surely the applet must check for "1.3.0_01" or later... but no, it seems that it MUST have that very specific version. When I do "About Plugins" in Mozilla, I get a very long list of MIME types supported by the Java plugin, including the following:

  application/x-java-applet;jpi-version=1.4
  application/x-java-applet;jpi-version=1.4.0_01

However, since "1.3.0_01" isn't in the list, the applet can't work. I figured... no problem... it's just some preferences file somewhere in my '.mozilla' directory. Nope. Nor in /usr/lib/mozilla or /usr/lib/netscape or /etc/pluggerrc or /usr/java/j2re1.4.0_01. I also tried adding it to the helper applications list in Mozilla... nope...

So now I'm really puzzled. It would seem to make sense that when a plugin is installed, it must register the MIME types it supports somehow in some location, but where that location is does not seem to be easy to find.

If anyone knows and can drop me an e-mail, it would help me keep my sanity just that much longer.

By the way, this application in question is a commercial app for code/bug tracking, not something we made ourselves. (If we had the source code, we could, of course, change it so that it doesn't only require an old version of the JRE.)

030303 - I realized that today is "03/03/03" no matter which way you arrange the month, day and year fields. If you have some attachment to the numeral 3, it is probably a good day for you today.

Cold - Radio reports that it is -29 degrees C this morning, with the windchill bringing that down to -43 C. Keep in mind that -40F = -40C. On either scale, all you can say is that it is insanely cold. (And of course, in the summer, we'll be up over 100 degrees F with 90% humidity - welcome to Ottawa, the land of extremes.)

Great Big Sea - If you live south of the U.S./Canada border, you have probably never heard of this band, but I have to say of all the CDs we were playing this weekend, they were among the best for driving. Great beat... a nice mixture of different types of songs... fun music. They are kind of a mixture of folk, pop, Newfoundland sea shanties, bar songs... an eclectic mix... you can understand after listening to them why they can be viewed as the "Great Big Party Band" as their music is definitely upbeat and for a party.

For those of you living in the southern U.S. and California, you can see them on tour this month. I haven't seen them in concert, but I hear they give a fantastic show.

Rob Levin and people whining about him - elliot: I'm with chipx86 on this one... why can't people just leave Rob alone? Yeah, he's irritated his fair share of people, but if you look at the bigger picture, the work he's done on freenode (formerly OPN) has served to enable so much other work within the community. If you don't agree with him, or if you dislike him, that's your choice and you are certainly within your rights to state that you have an issue with him... but it gets annoying to see people continually bashing his work.

I have issues with a number of people in our community. We're all human and we all have flaws, some larger than others. But we have to keep our eye on "the big picture". Does publicly flogging someone repeatedly because you dislike them really help us move forward?

If you have an issue with Rob and the way he moderates freenode, or the policies he has, don't whine about - go create an alternative. "Show me the code". If you don't like his IRC network, go build a better alternative and attract people to your network. If you are not going to go build a better alternative, try entering into a constructive dialogue with Rob to see if there is some way to resolve your disagreements. If you are not going to do either, than what gives you the right to complain?

Two very overused but very accurate cliches come to mind: 1) If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem; and 2) Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Long entry... another long car trip where I was working on more documents...

The Porous Border, part 53 - There's a war about to happen. Troops are shipping overseas. Everyone in the U.S. is on edge about security and terrorists. Homeland Security has the alert on "Orange" or something like that. They are interrogating Arabic-looking men in Chicago and New York city. News reports talk about increased inspection of passports and lengthier delays at airports.

In the midst of all this hysteria, here was our border crossing from Canada into the U.S.:

U.S. Customs Agent: Where do you live?
Me: Ottawa
Agent: Citizenship?
Me: American
Agent: Status in Canada?
Me: Work authorization.
Agent: Are you bringing in any goods?
Me: Just a birthday gift.
Agent: Value?
Me: Around $40 U.S.
Agent (waving us on): Have a nice day.

You will note that, as per usual, we were never asked for our passports. But that was it... our comment to each other as we drove away was "so much for the increased security due to Iraq!"

Now, in fairness, there were the two of us in the front and our 10-month-old daughter visible in the back seat. We are loaded up with kids supplies and other stuff. Parents of infant children are probably not rated very highly as possible terrorists.

Still, it is so annoying to hear people in the U.S. media talking about "all the terrorists coming down from Canada". There was even a report in the paper last week about a U.S. Senator (I forget which one) who was saying all this on the floor of the U.S. Senate with regard to some type of Homeland Security act or something.

Other than the minor detail that all the Sept 11th terrorists originated inside of the U.S. and did not come down through Canada, what these critics are all missing is that it is U.S. Customs letting people through the border! It's not like if you are in Canada you just can automatically enter the U.S. (although that's pretty much been our experience). There is a border crossing where you must stop that is staffed by U.S. Customs officials.

So it's not Canada that is letting terrorists into the U.S. It is the United States through Customs, Border Patrol, etc. Don't blame Canada when the problem is in fact with your own staff!

In truth, I can understand why crossing the U.S.-Canada border by car is not as stringent as, say, an airport. There are literally tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of cars going in either direction each day. The lines can be quite long on a regular day. And the reality is that the vast, vast, vast majority of people are just trying to get to their job on the other side of the border or, like us, visiting family and friends. Still, it's irritating to hear people in the U.S. talk about all the terrorists coming down from Canada...

Tuesdays without TIME - A recent Tuesday was rather momentous because of what did NOT happen. For the first time pretty much since I was born, the mail arrived on Tuesday and did NOT include TIME Magazine. Growing up, the magazine with the bright red border was a constant weekly reading staple. Going on to university, I was given a subscription that I chose to continue and have continued in the many years since that time. Even after our move to Canada, we continued to receive it (albeit the Canadian edition which was slightly different in interesting and curious ways).

However, over the past year or so, the content has kept seeming to get more lightweight. TIME has almost seemed to be turning in People magazine. Instead of nicely detailed articles providing context for the news of the week, the pieces have just seemed to be more and more fluff. Kind of like USA Today, you read the articles and find yourself wanting to know more. (Now there are many times, like when travelling, that I want the digested news of USA Today, but that's not the purpose I have subscribed to TIME.)

So we recently pulled the plug. Or more accurately, I chose not to renew. We'll spend that money on some other weekly newsmagazine that hasn't turned into celebrity profiles and fluff pieces. Probable candidate is "Maclean's" which is a Canadian weekly that seems to be pretty decent. (If anything, it seems to lean the other way and have more text and not have as many photos as TIME did.) We'll see.

On a tangent, in informal surveys of people, it seems that many of us in the U.S. grew up in either a "TIME" or "Newsweek" family and never strayed far from what we started out with.

Snow - Driving through a pretty strong snowstorm in Vermont (Lori's driving right now). Almost whiteout conditions at times, but then it lightens up. Once again we are thankful for the wonderful performance of Air Subaru in conditions like this.

Lunch in Montpelier - Ever since we moved to Ottawa, Lori and I have struggled with the thought of where in the U.S. we could ever consider moving back to if things didn't work out in Ottawa. Given what an amazing place Ottawa is, this is truly a dilemma (and one we hope we don't have to face anytime soon), but one of the places we definitely would consider would be Montpelier, VT. Being the capital of the state of Vermont (did you know that?) and home to a couple of (admittedly small) colleges, it's got a wonderful little downtown area, cultural events and theatre and very outdoors-oriented events/shops/etc. It's about 45 minutes from Burlington, which is the metropolitan area of Vermont (which, at probably 100,000 people or so, isn't exactly on the scale of Ottawa!)

It's a great little place and has been our frequent lunch break on travels to/from New Hampshire. Add to that the unabashedly liberal politics (Vermont is the only state who actually has elected a Socialist to the U.S. Congress. Did you know there was one?) which are a nice contrast to the ultra-ultra-conservative politics of New Hampshire. (Remember the year when N.H. was the state that chose Pat Buchanan over George Bush, Sr, in the presidential primary?) It's also surrounded by fantastic mountains and scenery. All around a great little place.

Of course, moving from a city of 700,000-1,000,000 to a "city" of 7,000 people would be a bit of a culture shock. :-)

The Porous Border, part 54 - In fairness, let me record our border crossing from the U.S into Canada:

Canadian Customs Agent: Where do you live?
Me: Ottawa
Agent: Your citizenship?
Me: American
Agent: How long were you away?
Me: Since Friday... two days.
Agent: Total value of anything new you are bringing in?
Me: About $100... just some baby clothes.
Agent: Any tobacco or alcohol?
Me: No
Agent (waving us on): Okay, have a nice day.

Once again, no check of the passports. I have less of an issue, though, given that the newspapers are NOT full of Canadians whining about how we are letting all these terrorists in from the United States. If they were, I'd point out the same hypocrisy as I did above.

New Hampshire and Linux - riel: It was pointed out to me that you are moving to the great state of N.H. from Brazil. The good news is that the area you are moving to has a very thriving Linux community in the form of GNHLUG and its associated sub-LUGs. A really great group of folks there.

Jon "maddog" Hall also lives locally in Amherst, N.H. The state also has the motto of "Live Free or Die" on all its license plates and signs, which does have to have a special status in the annals of state mottos. No wimpy "Garden State" or "Vacationland" here... "Live Free or Die". Very appropriate for free software advocates. (Although it is more often used in N.H. by people who advocate their right to have guns and not wear motorcycle helmets or seatbelts.)

The Chloe Journals - Quick quiz - You have on your plate before you some truly wonderful salmon, baked to close to perfection. The kind that just flakes off and melts in your mouth. You also have some asparagus that was, quite frankly, left in the steamer a few minutes too long and is a bit on the soggy side. Which do you choose to eat? a) the excellent salmon; or b) the overdone asparagus.

If you are our child, of course, you go for 'b', the soggy, overdone asparagus! We can't complain, of course, because she likes to eat broccoli, asparagus and most other vegetables, but at moments like that it is rather comical.

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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.

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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!