A weekend in Amsterdam

Those who read this blog from time to time will have noticed that I’ve been in Switzerland a couple of times recently, hooking up with Sven and some other Linux friends. Last weekend, in Zurich, we went to a cool concert and hung out – and met up with ajh, and Leslie. Last weekend, we said it’d be cool to do something random in Amsterdam this weekend, so we did. I hooked up with Sven and Leslie on Saturday and we hung out for a couple of days. As you know, I’m a big fan of coffee so the plentiful range of coffeshops was more than a little convenient. I like Amsterdam for a whole load of reasons.

So I got back to Heathrow and had the usual unpleasantries getting to Reading. They love to screw you over as much as they can. The bus I had booked for didn’t turn up, so while I was waiting for another one I got chance to witness a quaintism in action. Bus turns up bound for Woking, driver gets off, people start to get on. This driver has no change, but rather than work around the problem, he whines and goes into verbose mode, telling them how unsurmountable the change situation is and probably causing people more frustration than they’ve had anywhere else on their thousands of miles getting to London. Seriously. Anywhere else, you’d just get on the damn bus and they’d take credit cards, give change, and just keep things running nicely. Oh, and not time all the buses to arrive simultaneously from one central bottleneck. Contrast the experience between Heathrow buses and any US airport bus service and you’ll see what I mean. Cheaper too.

Places featuring on my European TODO for the next month or so:

  • Prague
  • Dublin
  • Belfast

Picked up a copy of Building Embedded Linux Systems to go through with a marker, looking for bits and pieces in the text – need to get onto that. Got a bit of writing done last week – this week I’m going to get the kernel intro chapter finished and mailed off too, with a vengence. I’ve realized that I can get a lot more writing done when I’m in a certain kind of mood – one that the music I’m listening to right now really helps with. Damn I need more time, tea and coffee, and exercise. I need to get a driver’s license, I need a bunch of things.

I finally got a copy of the new Pet Shop Boys album in the mail today, the one with Integral on it (Also in this delivery was a book about Rosa Parks). Integral is a song about ID cards. It features such great lyrics as “If you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to fear, if you’ve something to hide you shouldn’t even be here” and “Everyone has their own number in the system that we operate under, we’re moving to a situation where your lives exist as information”. It’s primarily written (and in my case, listened to) in recognition of the completely fucked up UK government. But I hope the US likes it too – man, that NSA scandal is getting to be a TIA farce. At least Condi got the right treatment at Boston College yesterday.

One of the professors at Boston College resigned over Condi getting that honorary degree (what was the degree for anyway? best invasion thesis of the decade?). He was interviewed on Fox last night (I watched it – I find Fox hillarious, it’s so “fair and balanced” they had to build new special Fox scales just to measure it…) and all the interviewer wanted to know was whether the guy voted for the Democrats or not. In the US, being a liberal minded Democrat is commonly used against you, because the media often don’t have anything better to say. The guy being interviewed refused to answer the question and said “you want to brand me a leftie” and other great stuff. He was cool – he told them where to shove it and even managed to get in a few criticisms of Fox before they cut him off.

This weekend, the Arrogant Worms are performing in Southampton. They’re a cool Canadian band that I got introduced to last year. I mailed them to say they should do a UK tour – and I doubt that made them do it, but it’s cool that they are doing one. If anyone is interested in checking out some cool Canadian music in the UK this weekend, drop me a line!


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