Older blog entries for stephane (starting at number 6)

Didn't wear my glasses 'cause I thought it might rain / Now I can't see anything

-- REM, "How the West was Won and Where it Got Us"

It rained today, as was forecasted. And I wore my new glasses.

Today was another Linuxchix meeting, this time at Max's Diner. It started out being "Elise and Steph have lunch" but actually turned out to attract a couple more people, one of them being my friend Rebecca (who just started working last week at Eazel). I wish more people would show up at the meetings. There have to be more Linux-using chicks in the Bay Area than merely the regular group of attendees. Maybe they are too busy hacking to show up :). I don't think that we are past having the need for women-in-technology groups yet.

After Linuxchix Rebecca and I returned to my house, where I found a boisterous group of hacker folks in my living room doing kung-fu poses and taking pictures. Thanks to Yosh and Uzi for visiting the Outer Sunset Linuxcare office :). A few beers and much exuberant conversation later, we were off for an evening meal of sushi. I think sushi *and* Max's is too much food for one day. Oof. Then the whole lot descended on the Eazel offices, leaving a trail of DHCP leases and empty Kern's fruit nectar cans in its wake. Obscene Kermit the Frog impersonations, Nerf tennis matches and Elmer's Glue sniffing were the order of the evening.

I'm very happy right now. This has been a relaxing weekend, and I feel ready to return to work tomorrow (well, provided I get some sleep ;).

Friday...Enjoyed yummy dinner with friends (thanks for the hospitality, guys) and fun with the GIMP and a few digital photos of some cow orkers. Then I was off to another gathering for a bit more fun.

Saturday I was awakened only slightly earlier than planned by the sounds of our houseguest arising. After general computer usage, grooming (I put on a clean Miskatonic University t-shirt), and so forth we stumbled towards lunch at ye olde Pasta Pomodoro. The company and conversation were pleasant. The food was good too. My pasta with seafood included calamari, so I expected little o-shaped chewy white things, but the mixture also included some of the calamari that actually resemble tiny squid (because they are). Normally, I am scared to eat things with still-attached tentacles, but they ended up being tasty, and leaving them on my plate would have alarmed Maciej. I don't think he likes food that resembles Cthulhu. I also got to pick up my new glasses around lunchtime. They're quite snappy looking, much better than my old 80's geek style ones.

After getting home I promptly left again to enjoy coffee and conversation at Farley's with Crackmonkey and Elise, as well as Zach Brown, Master of Origami. Crackmonkey and I also checked out a great new used bookstore in my neighborhood and watched a couple of movies: The Black Hole and Rushmore. I enjoyed both, for entirely different reasons. Rushmore is a truly great flick if you've not seen it. It's impossible to describe, so just trust me and go rent it out.

Oh, and I fed the lizards their ration of crickets. I now own something called a "Cricket Corral (tm)" (Pat. #5630374, according to the side of the thing. Patents are silly.). It's definitely handy for corralling crickets, if you need to do that sort of thing.

cocktail recipe

Into one segmentation fault shot glass pour:

1/2 oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz. creme de menthe

Stir with chopstick until homogenized. Serves one.

random thought of the day

I've been thinking a lot lately about the varying levels of immersion into a given session at the computer (i.e., what makes for a good 'code trance'). I was especially thinking about things like VRML, graphical internet chat, and the like. Ironically, I think that probably the most immersive computing environment right now would be text-only. There's no distractions, and you can really stay focused on coding, chatting or what have you.

It's sort of like reading a novel as opposed to watching a film of the novel. The book frequently seems better than the movie because we can imagine the characters to be however we want them (within the bounds of the narrative). Someone else's realization of that book, even if it is quite faithful, will always disappoint to a certain extent simply because it can never be as personal as your own imagination of the characters and places.

Having said that, I think I might go upstairs now and read a book until I fall asleep :)

Life is.....life.

Wednesday night was boring, so I didn't post anything about it. I sat in the office until very late taking care of the random odds and ends that always accumulate when you're a sysadmin. I ended up leaving the office around 5:30 am or so. Sometimes I think I should invest in a cheap K-Mart sleeping bag in case of sysadmin nap attacks -- the floor isn't a comfy place to crash when you're too tired to go home.

Thursday I slept a bit and took care of various errands that I have been putting off, then I worked until mid-evening. I was craving some sort of socializing but everyone else had other plans, so I ended up walking from the office to Borders Books, Music, Videos, etc. Usually I like to go to a more independent bookstore, like Stacey's, but Borders is open until 11pm. I then let myself splurge a bit on some Media Products (tm), including the new Terry Pratchett book, an animated video of "Wyrd Sisters" (another Pratchett book), an industrial CD and another book. Ironically, the one book that I was specifically looking for was out of stock. It's called "Mental Hygeine" and it's about classroom and other educational films. One of the books I got had a footnote referring to a book by my academic advisor from MIT, which was kind of cool.

Yesterday was a good day. I felt very happy to be in this city, in this time, in this community of free software people. Walking around downtown at night, hearing some streetcorner blues (any blues can sound like the *best* blues on a warm night outdoors) made me feel really *alive*. I feel really lucky that I've ended up here with the people I've met so far. Beaujolais to warm fuzzy feelings.

random thoughts of the day

Media shapes its content (well, at least if you're a McLuhanite like me). Do you think that the structure of Advogato shapes the way it's used? Content also pushes the media back, though...think about what's been added to HTML and all the different add-ons to it (Java applets, Javascript, Flash) that extend its functionality. Does your use shape Advogato?

soundtrack for the last two days

"Assimilate" - Skinny Puppy
"Adrenaline" - Rosetta Stone
_Fun with Knives_ - Velvet Acid Christ
_Serial Experiment Lain Soundtrack_
"Headhunter" - Front 242
"Anarchy" - KMFDM

Here I am posting from a couch yet again. This time, the setting is present-day Palo Alto, at what ostensibly began as a Linuxchix meeting, and what has evolved into a late-into-the-night installfest as we pore over Elise's laptop. Hopefully it'll be fully functional by the time we head back north to The City.

Since my last entry, I've been spending time trying to relax. I started rereading Godbody, which is this great novel by Theodore Sturgeon that I've read probably about six times. It has a similar plot to Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (another one of my favorites). Unfortunately, like a lot of Sturgeon, the book is currently out of print, but if you manage to find a copy I recommend it. Sturgeon's prose is amazing in general, though, so just go read his books and stories! (end plug :)

I've been enjoying my twm "theme" as well. I should put up a screenshot of it somewhere. Hooray for xmatrix -root!

Last night was Blake's 7 night at my house. Crackmonkey and I watched four episodes of the tacky British science fiction series. It's great!

I am finally starting to relax a bit, just in time for the work week to start again. I went to an interesting nightclub on Saturday with a couple of cow orkers and one of my roommates, and I've just been outside in Golden Gate Park (not far from my house) observing some spirited matches of chess and go.

Why am I here?

I think I remember seeing this in one of Deb Richardson's entries, and I thought I'd expand on it with regard to why I decided to get onto Advogato. I think that I became interested in Advogato primarily because of the diary feature, and I'm impressed by the way people use the diaries not only for things like "I hacked on this part of this project today" but for more personal stuff as well. Additionally, I've seen people using diary entries as another form of communication, in addition to posting comments to an article or posting an article. I've always found diaries really fascinating, and I think Advogato encourages people to keep them. I think that the open source movement is at a really interesting time in its history right now, and that it would be fascinating to go back and read some of these diaries in a few months/years.

San Francisco

It's great to be able to haphazardly stumble upon cherry blossom festivals, really great cheap Japanese food, and cool anime DVDs. Sometimes I question why I came to California, and then I have experiences with places or people that remind me why I'm here.

mbp

I'm flattered by the comparison :)

Anoles

To perpetuate the anole meme: I have three anoles, Stumpy, Veronica, and Mr. Man. Stumpy was the victim of an unfortunate accident early in my anole-keeping career, Mr. Man goes around extending his throat flap at the female anoles, and Veronica is....Veronica :) They are the reason that my Linuxcare cow orkers see me wandering around the halls muttering "Crap, I need to get crickets" to myself.

Beaujolais!

I'm posting from the living room of a few friends in the midst of a delightful impromptu gathering. Yay. I've been hanging with people, taking pictures, eating pizza and drinking Australian wine out of comically enormous glasses. The room was so full of laptops I had to crimp my own cable to get some network connectivity. I can safely say that it's been an interesting day.

The Mozilla party last night was pretty interesting. We took a break from the party and I got to go out to Buca di Beppo for dinner, which is this crazy Italian place in San Francisco that is really hilarious. Every conceivable surface of the place is covered with pictures of the Pope and JFK, statues, christmas lights, etc. In addition to having a delightfully tacky ambience, they also have food that is pretty good, in quantities sufficient to stuff even the most starving of geeks. Anyway, the combination of jovial geek conversation and Chianti primed me for heading back to the Mozilla party. I ran into a bunch of people I knew from MIT, as well as various Linuxcare and Eazel folks. It was interesting actually attending an event that I'd previously only read about on the web.

I'm going to post this now and get back to relaxing/socializing. :)

Whee. So this is my new advogato diary/weblog/whatever thingy, put up so all the people who know me can net.stalk my activities :)

Anyway, today was not terribly exciting, other than I did get to leave early for a trip to SVLUG. I got some cool stickers for my regulation-issue laptop, and got to experience firsthand the sprawl that is the Cisco campus. The other Linuxcare folks distributed some bootable business cards too. They seem to be really popular with the Linux otaku. Then I intercepted mjs and wound up taking a tour of the Eazel office.

I also tried out a new pair of contacts today, which are tinted purple on the iris part. No one seemed to really notice them, although when I pointed them out to someone at the office, he thought they looked 'eerie'. Hrm.

I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend. My brain hurts.

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