This weekend is the US Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving is in October and celebrates the generally earlier Canadian harvest), which is basically a celebration of the tibulations of a bunch of Pilgrims who fled to the New World to escape religious persecution (having tried Holland but not gotten on so well with the dutch). It’s interesting, because most of the pilgrims died in the first year and had a truly horrid time – so historically, not the best of outcomes for people heading to North America. Today, it would seem that Thanksgiving is such an important family event because it’s the one time in the year when the whole country enters a shutdown for a long weekend (bearing in mind that my US friends are lucky if they have 4 weeks of holiday a year vs. our statutory allowances) and people can go visit one another – it’s also a very important shopping weekend and marks the turn in trade as things subsequently ramp up for the pre-Christmas shopping days which now lie ahead. Anyway, as part of my North American studies, I’m going to a Thanksgiving tomorrow and am looking forward to that with some interest.

I’ve booked a bunch more flights and just generally gone a little crazy over the last day. I’m now up to 10 flights around the States and a few booked trains so far (including going to Toronto basically just to get some Maple Tea for myself – I’ll need to bring back a few kilos – and to convince Whittard tasters that they should have it). I’ve been talking to some guys I know in States I’ve not been to yet – the map below shows that I’ve generally only been to the coastal regions. Next year, I hope to visit Texas and some of the American heartland States. I’d also like to do a road trip on US66 if that can be arranged ahead of next summer’s OLS. I will try to go to Burning Man next year, since it’s something all the cool cats have been to and I hate feeling left out.

US Map with visited locations marked

Figure: Plan for world domination 2005 – visited 22% of US States by year’s end.

I was tinkering around with OSS last night for various reasons. Turns out that setting mixer settings is actually not as hard as I thought, but I’m sure it is lovingly more complex under ALSA. Anyway, since I didn’t care to spend hours reading ALSA API, I found that it all I needed was a couple of ioctls and a bit of masking magic to do what I wanted – the moral is, never underestimate the power of what was there before. I had sushi at the Canonical offices yesterday and found an excellent little cookie and coffee place on Kensington Highstreet. I’ve got a few articles done, just three more to get finished up over the weekend and a chapter on the book.


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