Photo: Maple Tea. I brought back 4 boxes (800g) and some Inuit herbal tea too.
So ajh invited people to a party over the weekend. Since I’d gotten an invite, I wasn’t about to let 3306 miles get in the way of some fun, so I hopped on a plane on Friday night, stayed for the party and then flew back on Sunday. This was a trial run to see if weekend transatlantic trips really are feasible (they are) and I get to do it all again on Friday – I’m off to LinuxWorld in Boston.
Andrew and Emilie’s Mardi Gras was quite amusing and I got to see a couple of other people I know in Ottawa too (though there are more to catch up with next time). We had dinner on Friday night and (aside from the party) a sedate Saturday afternoon getting ready around the house. We went shopping at the new Tea Shop location at the Byward Market and I used that as an opportunity to buy 800g of maple tea (Whittard now have some samples that I gave them on the way back home). On Sunday, I went for a stroll around parliament hill and reminded myself how much I still want to live in Canada some day – I’m sure living in Boston will be great, albeit without the context of the fantastic Canadian way of life.
Check out the photos on my flickr pages. I’ve got a load of photos on the cameraphone from the weekend too, but that’ll have to wait until I feel like taking it apart (perhaps another few hours then).
One thing’s for sure, I’m not coming back here. Not any time soon. I’ve really gone off the notion of living in the United Kingdom. Our legislature sucks, the whole thing is built on outdated class models and we have no fundamental rights. Plus the signage in this country really really sucks I got back to Heathrow to find that they’ve managed yet another round of central bus station optimization. They’ve not bothered to hook up any of the information systems but they have managed to stick up really tiny and pointless signs that nobody can see without having already done the right thing (typically British). It’s ceased to amuse me that this stuff happens here and is moaned about in a joking way. It’s just plain broken.
Anyway. I got back, submitted some figures for one of the book chapters and got back to work. But not for long. It wasn’t very long until I discovered that apogee (my router) had finally gotten very unhappy with the ailing/failing disk that it’s had for a while. I replaced the disk only to find that the one I’d replaced it with was also faulty, the disk cable was too long and out of spec (I didn’t build this machine as I picked it up used) and a lot of other things. I do need to fix this all properly by dropping all these machines at home altogether and moving such facilities over to colo accounts, but that’ll take me a bit longer to get sorted how I want. Anyway, in the meantime, I seem to be back online again.
Before I wrap up, I’d like to spare a thought for those customs guys I met on Friday night. Now, doing these crazy weekend trips may be fun, but not in the eyes of customs officials. They “knew” I was up to something, but couldn’t figure out what it was (I was genuinely just at a party, yes, I’ll fly that far for fun with no strings attached) so decided to spend about 20-30 minutes figuring it out. They called my friend, checked my bags, rooted around my laptop, that kind of thing. At least I’ve now got a precident for doing this so that when I do it again in another month or two, it’ll hopefully be less of an issue (or more of one, if they think they can find a pattern or something). For once I will agree that they were just doing their job – I bumped into the same customs guy on Sunday night as we were both buying food at Harveys. I told him that I really had been there for the weekend and really was leaving. I think he might have finally believed me.