I came down the stairs this morning -- pants cuffed, helmet on, cross strap buckled -- and sauntered around the corner to unlock my bike, but alas, it was not there. Last night they stole my bike.
I knew it would happen some day. Bikes are on loan to us from God, who works in mysterious ways indeed. But I didn't think it would happen this way.
See, I had a dinner on my terrace last weekend. In a fit of silliness, when people would come to the door, I'd just drop them my keys off the side of the balcony. Amusement for all!
But when I went to lock up my bike yesterday evening at a restaurant -- it had spent the weekend in the office -- of course it was the bike lock key that broke in the weekend's antics, and I hadn't noticed it.
Luckily I had the wee cable lock that ran through my seatpost, so I crossed my fingers and used that instead. So it was with pleasure that, leaving the restaurant, I found that my bike was still there.
We had a great ride last night, me and the bike. We hit all the lights, and beat the metro back to my house by 10 minutes. I figured it would last one more evening out with the wee lock, in my relatively calm neighborhood, but no, it was not to be.
So farewell, Amat Ciutat, my friend. We hardly knew ye.
Jesus knows why, and so do you
Good evening, intertubes.
When I'm old, I'm going to be a curmudgeon. I'm practicing that chin-jut, the protruded neck, the lips wrapping into the mouth (in anticipation of losing my teeth), and most of all, the complaining about change. It's going to be so great! So great, in fact, that I think I should practice a bit.
Kids these days just want to travel all the time, and it's like they don't even know where they live.
Well, not this mec!
Way back in 2009 I remember that I used to set out with your grandmother (you know we had 1024 kids, and they 2048 apiece, what with the bug in the babytron and all) and just go walking around Barcelona.
One day we took the metro out to Santa Coloma, then the bus (800 or B30) up to the top of the hill, and set out climbing.
We found the most amazing things!
The clover was in fragrant bloom. Yes, there were horses too, back before they died out in the horse plague of '23 of course. You'll have to be content with your ponybot.
But most importantly: there was more old stuff. After walking a ways, we stumbled upon an Iberian settlement. Iberian, as in the preroman tribe, from the 5th century before Jesus. No, I wasn't around then!
But yes, it was pretty neat. Or "gromlic" as you kids say these days, I guess...
I couldn't quite figure a way to bring that to a close, but I figure that's a quality of old people, so: check. I'm coming, future, but watch out, the past is coming too.
Readers of mine will perhaps remember the ongoing drama that is my bike: the couple dozen broken spokes, the broken rear cassette, cracked and re-welded frame, stolen seat and bell, broken cables, the replaced wheel, etc. Well the last couple months brought a few more novelties:
They stole my kickstand, as my bike was parked on the street in front of my house. I was irked until I remembered that for some reason I had an extra kickstand at home: sweetness.
Coming down a ramp from the sidewalk to the street on my commute to work, the bump rattled the back splashguard down and it caught a crab: as the back wheel rolled forward, the metal splashguard rolled up into a spiral, like a snail. Incredible, and hilarious! I had my camera but without any charge. I broke off that piece of the splashguard, threw it away, and kept on riding.
(No, I don't normally use the sidewalk, but in this stretch it's the right thing to do.)
Today I went out to find they had stolen my seat, which was pretty industrious of them, considering that it required a wrench and a boltcutter. It is surely the shittiest bike on the whole street (part of my strategy), and the seatpost was completely oxidized. I hope they have a good time with it!
I'm changing parking spots but still, all told the situation is in my favor I think: about 50 euros of upkeep per year, and the bike 200 or 250 euros to start with, and it's easily the most important activity I do for my health, more than aikido.
Well, with regards to travel: I lie. I'm going to Boston for the international Lisp conference, with my colleague jao, and later to LA to work for a week or two. I'm especially excited about the ILC, to meet key figures from Lisp past and present, and to chat with folks. I'll give a lightning talk there about Guile's new compiler and decompiler tower, which should be fun.
colonphon: brought to you by the humble colon. here's another one:
Equanimous \E*quan"i*mous\, a.
[L. aequanimus, fr. aequus equal + animus mind.]
Of an even, composed frame of mind; of a steady temper; not easily elated or depressed.
Delightful. Makes me think of Medialens folk.
I have a new favorite orator: Michael Parenti.
A brief search on the interwebs will only find you his web site, which is a bit off-putting, and doesn't really show to his strengths. But take a listen to Land of Idols (40 minutes), then check out the other talks in that same directory (search for "parenti").
Set off on what must have been a 100 km loop last Sunday on the bike, after coming back from GUADEC; Google thinks the distance was significantly less. Perhaps I should report a bug?
It was so quiet walking home this evening that even smelling the street odors made me feel like I was eavesdropping.
"Una situació diferent de la del futur hotel de cinc estrelles [al costat], que s'alçarà sobre una llosa que construirà la Generalitat a sobre de l'estació per sostenir el pes de la innovadora estructura de metall i vidre de l'edifici. Amb el turisme no s'hi juga."
Don't mess with
Going aight, trying to tie up loose ends for a Flumotion release -- hopefully will write a bit more about that tomorrow. It's been waaaaaay too long.
The code monkey's guide to cryptographic hashes for content-based addressing, by everyone's favorite hackwriter, Val Henson. The tables are especially amusing.
Everything has broken on my bicycle. One or two dozen spokes, the frame (a crack down the head tube), cables (back brake, shifter), pedals, and, most recently, the rear axle. It has gotten to the point of amusement. A beer to the first commenter to correctly predict the next new part to break.
Regarding existence in Europe, for my American readers, I offer two more data points. One: not only are there unlimited "sick days", when you get well, you have to go to the doctor before they let you back to work. Two: I went to a most amusing wedding on Friday, held at a vineyard near Tarragona. It was a lay ceremony, with a judge and paper-signing at opportune times. There was a guy on a mixing deck hiding in the shade; during the ring-exchanging part of the ceremony, he tastefully turned up a bit of eurotechno. During the recessional, "Dancing Queen". Would this fly in the states, I ask the jury?
My sister says that when she sang a capella, that they beatboxed saying "boots, skirts". It works: "boots, skirts, boots, skirts, boots, skirts".
A bit of last-minute fixups to a paper I'm submitting to the 2007 Workshop on Scheme and Functional Programming. A bit of an odd endeavor, as I'm not an academic. I'll write more about the topic after smoothing out a few more rough patches.
Hey hey hey!
jao turns out to be quite the interesting person, in person, despite having recently been seduced by the googlopolis. R6RS will be voted by alist. I have a phone contract now, but Vodafone should be warned that I'm no good at relationships. I signed up for a sailing course. The season of barbecue and fiestas mayores is upon us. A crack appeared in my bike's headset, which was fixed with welding. Ellen graduated. It rained dirt.
I wrote wrappers for Cairo in Guile. Yay scheme.
Jao and I talked loads about various Scheme implementations; none of them is good in everything. They're all compromises. He has a much more open mind about these things, changing from one implementation to the next for different projects, but given my past investment in Guile it would take a lot to change my implementation.
Jao also mentioned a really good point, that the more you like Scheme, the less you like Guile. Ah well, I have a foot in the C world still. The applications that I work on use Gtk and GStreamer, for which I have made pretty good bindings. Still, pretty irritating as a Schemer to see what Common Lisp people have -- portable libraries, excellent implementations, and excellent development environments. Yet another Guy Steele-fostered standard that has lasted. Maybe before switching Schemes I could look at CL.
I should decide on a spelling for guile-gnome and stick to it.
I have slid back to my old habits a bit, since thinking I was in control of my email a while back. More email out == more email in. I yet harbor hope.
Just finished a most excellent trans-spain bike trip, starting from France, heading along the northern coast of Spain, cutting in across the mountains in Asturias, ending in the northwestern state of Galicia.
I kept a dorky videolog of the trip as well; click the above for a playlist file containing about 25 short clips I recorded with my digital camera. It's about 20-30 minutes in total, and about 35 megabytes. Older (more than a month ago) GStreamer+totem should play it fine; if you have trouble viewing the files, maybe try a different player (mplayer for example). Or alternately here's the directory with the movie files.
After just getting back to BCN on Monday morning ("why yes I am freshly showered"), time to move again! Tomorrow I fly to the US for a wedding and to hang out with friends. Nothing like an airplane for some good hack time.
Jesus knows why, and so do you
Real pleased with the weekend in Paris. Pleased because I got to hang out with some quality folks I hadn't seen in a while, pleased with the city, meta-pleased because the visit fixed the city for me. The last time I was there left a very grey impression.
The light is different there from here in Barcelona. Here it is a soup, generously spooned out by a well-fed sun goddess; there it is a garnish on a plate of wild mushrooms. Very dramatic when it breaks through the clouds, colors come out in relief.
Also interesting was the way time has unravelled the knots in us, leaving us a bit more simple, a bit more who we are.
read("/dev/summer", 1024) = 0
There is a palpable feeling here of end-of-summer. People are starting to come back from holiday, the days show an occaisional chill, it rains. Fine for me; I don't think I'll be spending too much time at work in September.
I broke yet another spoke on my bike. What's up with that? Before here, the last spoke breakage I had involved a bent wheel, a failed jump, and a deflated ego. These times have been due to my half-hour commute to work. Do the changing circumstances mean I lead a more boring life? Or perhaps do I inject an EXTREME element to commuting? Choose your own adventure!
Opened comments, not sure why they were off.