Saturday, 23 April 2005

Photo: Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco.

I just got back from a week in the States. Well, ok, technically I got back last Sunday – but I’ve been busy. This was my first visit to the West Coast of the continental United States…and I enjoyed it. I may not be the best fan of the US Administration (George Bush and his intellectual underclass, who rule the country using FUD techniques Microsoft would be proud of) but I did enjoy meeting the folks that I did. I especially also enjoyed taking a day out to have lunch with some Linux folks in San Francisco. I did some cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge and surrounding places alongside the beach, and even bought a silly t-shirt to remind me that I did that. I also rode some cable cars on the Powell and Hyde route, and saw a ballet at the Opera house (though, they did have to reseat me three times before I had a reasonably unobstructed view – standing would have been better by that point). The San Francisco Tourist Information Center probably need a written reminder that the world doesn’t have to revolve around cars (I should write that, I should).

Photo: Mann’s Chinese Theater, a whistlestop tour of Los Angeles, mostly by taxi cab (complete with suitcases and other stuff, since Virgin Atlantic telephone staff seemed to be confused over the potential for early check-in).

Our green and pleasant land

Landing back in the UK after a 10 hour 28 minute flight, you might have thought I would have been worse for sleep, but this time I did succeed in using the ear plugs and eye mask to get 6 hours of much necessary kip. As I slept, I became more in sync with UK time and was reasonably ok by the time I got back to Reading. Although I wasn’t in the office the next day (for various family reasons), I think I could have managed it reasonably successfully. As it was, I was in the office until Thursday and spent much of Friday finishing my catching up with missed sleep.

In other news, I recently met Michael Robertson of Linspire fame, Richard H., and even Roger Whittaker (formerly of SuSE, now of SCC Computers and Jack Richards of GNU Solutions). I grilled Michael about some of the missing features in Linspire’s product, and offered to give some suggestions – which they’re apparently willing to entertain. So I’ll be suggesting they get HAL and DBUS integration done right, in combination with Dell’s DKMS and other technology – when users insert a removable device on a Linux desktop, they should get the regular “I found a new device, Dave” ballooon in their taskbar. It’s possible, it should be happening. Had lunch with some of these folks, Paul was there also (although I gather he’s probably now in Australia still – need to followup on what he’s up to at the moment in terms of logistics). Meanwhile, I’m waiting for a friend to get back to me about taking a train from Vancouver->Ottawa for the 2005 OLS. I think that would be neat.

I’ve been roughly meat free for 4 weeks now. Although I’ve not overtly eaten meat, I’m not going crazy to avoid things that might have been contaminated. I learned earlier on Saturday that Scotch Eggs have pork in them (makes sense when you think about the taste some) – so I’ve stopped eating those too for at least the moment. I’m feeling better for not eating meat and feel as if I have a little more energy quanta to go around. I still need to address my vitamin intake and sort out exercise, book another driving test, do that kind of thing. But I’m trying to get myself somehow out of the apathy I had been in for a while there. I’m in Brussels again this coming week and am planning some other stuff which might get mentioned here sometime.

Photo: New prescription glasses for slight long-sightedness.

I picked up my glasses. I’m not totally convinced that the prescription is perfect, but they do seem to be helping me when using the computer (read: I’m not getting so instantly tired so far, but it’s early days as I literally only just got them on Saturday). The test will be when it comes to reading some of the material I’ve been putting off reading due to the eye strain I’ve had. Spent most of Saturday afternoon in hospital looking after a friend, but otherwise had a fun day with Hannah and Joe, his family, my family, et al. I hope they made it back to Birmingham eventually – to their house even. Scary. I’m still working on that front, but suffice it to say I’m not ignoring the whole grand life plan stuff entirely.


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