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2008/01/29 Linux.conf.au 2008: Melbourne
π 2008-01-29 01:47 by Merlin in Linux

Like each year, it was nice to go to LCA again, in yet another city. This year was a bit weird as it was the first time I wasn't a speaker (too many people from google and not enough speaker slots), but they were nice enough to let Jennifer and I join the speakers dinner as some speakers cancelled and freed up their spot.
The evening was quite enjoyable, especially as I got to sit in front of Linus, and discuss various non linux related things :)



The speaker's dinner felt like a banquet from Harry Potter




LCA went by quickly (3 packed days), but was well run again and quite enjoyable as usual.
2008/01/27 A few days in Melbourne around linux.conf.au
π 2008-01-27 00:00 in Australia, Trips
Jennifer and I did a quick visit of Melbourne before the conference. When we arrived, we just had a quick look at downtown, and Jennifer invited me to see Monty Python's Spam A Lot musical, which was quite entertaining.






The next day, to make things interesting, the next day we rented a car, and drove to the Healesville Sanctuary, where I was hoping we'd find some roaming animals, and have the chance to interact a bit with some of the animals (like feed/pet wallabies and emus), but the place felt more like a zoo.
Speaking of driving, I didn't find it overly hard, except for the following:

  • shifting with the left hand, I had a sometimes a hard time getting the right stick throw and would get 2nd instead of 4th gear or 3rd instead of 5th.
  • The turn signals are moved to the other side of the steering wheel. That was the worst thing: each time I tried to turn, I set off the windshield wipers
  • Also, I would tend to drive a bit too far on the left of the road due to my seat being on the wrong side.
  • All in all, it wasn't that bad though, and thanks to my Garmin GPS with Australian routable maps, we got where we needed without problems.







    We then went to the nearby Yarra Wine Country and visited 3 different wineries, which made Jennifer very happy :), and we finished the evening by driving up Mount Dandenon. It was only 2000ft high, but the poor little stick shift 60 horsepower rental I got, really had a hard time climbing us up, and I had to stick to 2nd gear :)




    Then, during one of the evenings, we went to Melbourne Museum , as invited by the conference, and amount other things, we saw the last first generation computer left on earth, on par with ENIAC. That was cool to see:



    In hindsight, we didn't have enough time to see as much as we could have, but better than nothing for this time. We'll fix that in 2016 when we're be back.

    2008/01/14 Beat my lap time again, against expectations
    π 2008-01-14 20:52 by Merlin in Exercising

    I'm not too sure how that happened, while I still felt remnants of my cold, boot camp was "long run" today, so I ran a couple of times around the google block, as usual. I started a bit late since I went back to my car to get my heard rate monitor and GPS.
    Maybe it's because of that and my trying to catch up with someone who left a good 4mn before me, that I had the drive to run a bit faster.
    The stats were:
    total:3.2 miles, 22:54, 7:11mn/mile, heart rate: 174bpm
    1st mile: 6:59, 167bpm
    2nd mile: 7:32, 169bpm (getting a bit tire)
    3rd mile: 7:06, 180bpm (pushing like crazy to catch up with, and pass my foe)
    3 miles:  21:37
    3.1m (5k):22:18
    3.2miles: 22:54 (full two laps of the block, by then I was at 186bpm)
    

    By the end, I was absolutely tired, my throat was dead from the cold and laboured breathing, but I had made it :)
    2008/01/13 Quick day at kirkwood
    π 2008-01-13 20:36 by Merlin in Snow

    After blizzard conditions, and more than 2 metres (!) of snow that fell in 2-3 days, everyone and their brother tried to go to Tahoe the following weekend.
    Unfortunately, outside of crazy crowding, the snow had also melted and frozen, so there was a good base, but the snow conditions are not great.
    That said, Jennifer hadn't seen any snow this season yet, so we decided to do a day trip sunday. Poor Jennifer didn't manage to sleep much before we left due to having so many things to do for her upcoming work trip in the UK, so when we left around 05:20, I did the drive and we got there in 2h50 or so.
    As expected, the snow was frozen in some places, but when we stuck to the sunny spots, it was good enough. Jennifer and I were both trying our new flow bindings, which worked fine for me because I also had new boots, but Jennifer found out that her boots were actually not a good fit (either too tight in some places, or too loose, and with her ankle moving). Her old strap in bindings must have compensated for the boot issues.
    She kind of had a hard time due to the boots, but was still happy to get some snow. We'll get her new boots when she comes back.











    It was kind of sad that all the snow that looked nice and pristine was also crusted and very hard to ride/make turns in. Oh well...
    The rest of the picts are here
    2008/01/07 1 week in France
    π 2008-01-07 18:46 by Merlin in Paris, Trips

    So little to do, so little time...

    We first spent 4 days with my dad , had the usual Jan 1st lunch at Geneviève's , and then spent a few days with my mom .









    My dad, among other things, took us to Park Astérix , which was cold as shit :), half closed, but it was nice to see what was open, as well as the ice skating show that my dad's friend setup there.













    We tried to spend a little time visiting Paris , namely La citée des sciences et de l'industrie @ La Villette, seeing an IMAX movie at La Géode, visiting le Pantéon , and an exposition on the TGV at le Grand Palais.

























    After a couple of days with my Mom, we did the usual trip to Holland to see all my aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces.













    And after just being back from Holland, we barely had enough time to pack, and see Rani, Severine, and Benji for dinner:





    After all this excitement and little sleep before the monday morning plane, we ended back up in SFO, but without our luggage :( (although it should get there by tomorrow, I'm told). Thank you again Air France, and the lazy ass folks who work at CDG.

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