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2008/12/31 A Few Days with my Dad over Xmas
π 2008-12-31 00:00 in Family
Part of our few days in France were spent with my dad, including a nice Xmas eve dinner (although by then my stomac was already feeling so-so and I had to eat reasonably).

Then, we were able to see my dad again, just before flying home, and we spent most of the day at home since we all were busy and it was snowing fairly hard outside.




nice piggy :)
nice piggy :)

2008/12/30 Paris over Xmas, Capitaine Fracasse Dinner
π 2008-12-30 00:00 in Paris, Trips
For New Year's Eve Eve, my Mom invited us to a boat on the seine we were able to eat on while watching the views of Paris at Night. It was quite scenic. Since we didn't have time to go visit Paris, this was a good excuse to see some of it.










Our departure day, with remnants of snow from the previous day.


2008/12/30 A Few Days with my Mom over Xmas
π 2008-12-30 00:00 in Family
Since my dad was working at Park Asterix during the Xmas holidays, Jennifer and I spent most of our time at my Mom's, although we ended up resting and recovering from food easting :)




2008/12/20 Late Start of Season at Kirkwood with Fresh Powder
π 2008-12-20 00:00 in Snow
The start of this season was pretty horrible snow-wise, it's only this week that we finally got enough natural snow for resorts to be skiable. Of course, kirkwood beat everyone else by totally 4ft in just a few days. My initial plan was to go wednesday to get lost in the heaps of very fresh and dry powder, but I got sick for the 3rd time in a row the day before :(
Thankfully, this did not turn out too badly as my friend and coworker Johannes had planned to go the weekend and was able to take us. On one side, I did miss the heaps of dry powder, but on the other side the mountain was not that well covered off the main trails, and it was easy to ride often hidden rocks more or less everywhere, especially if you were into tree skiing, so I can only imagine how wednesday must have been a bit dicy and how it would have been easy to hit the bottom.

So, this weekend qualified as excellent early season conditions: nice powder (although not as dry and fluffy anymore) and enough of a base that we only somewhat damaged our boards as opposed to severely damage them :) (I took my rock board, so no biggie). I convinced my friend Johannes to stay at kirkwood (I found a one bedroom at kirkwood on VRBO for $320/night, or $107/head, which isn't cheap but was damn convenient :) (the owner gets credit for driving the keys over to us that same evening as we had only finalized our plans friday evening)
Saturday was actually a nice bluebird day while sunday was colder and snowy but allowed for more powder. Deep palisades was actually quite good already, although during the traverses there were some unavoidable quite rocky sections that I had to just jump or fall from as they were unridable.

The only downer was that I was riding my old rock board with step in boots and had left my brand new vans boots in the car, and they somehow got lost/stolen some time during the weekend. Grumble... On the plus side, Jennifer had a good time and made good use of the time off work and worries at home :)


the rocks were everywhere, often hidden right under the snow
the rocks were everywhere, often hidden right under the snow

Johannes was a fairly decent boarder and I didn't have to wait for him much :)
Johannes was a fairly decent boarder and I didn't have to wait for him much :)

the chute skier's left from Corniche, still hard to ride down without scraping on rocks
the chute skier's left from Corniche, still hard to ride down without scraping on rocks


the condo we got was quite good
the condo we got was quite good


we had snow/rain the entire way back
we had snow/rain the entire way back

2008/12/15 New Geotagging
π 2008-12-15 00:00 in Public
I've spent the last few days adding geotagging to my pictures after fixing/improving my pictprocess script and updated the geotagging with GPX Visualizer and gpsPhoto page.
I've also updated all my older blog entries in the hiking section to have pictures you can click on and see where they were taken, especially the John Muir Trail from Bishop to Whitney and other outdoors pictures like from San Francisco to Saulsalito or the Fremont Older and wine trail biking loop we often do
2008/12/03 Duplicate Posts On Google Reader
π 2008-12-03 00:00 in Public
For those who of you who are seeing duplicate posts in google reader or other atom/rss reader, sorry: when I rename posts in rig3, the old post disappears and a new one is created, as expected, but some blog readers don't seem to remove posts that are gone.
It's kind of annoying and I haven't found a fix for that yet, my main blog does not have this problem, and proper readers shouldn't.
2008/12/03 Onkyo TX-SR705 Receiver
π 2008-12-03 00:00 in Public
Interesting story: I bought a new receiver to replace my old Yamaha that just died, and used the new Audyssey auto speaker setup, the receiver kept telling me I had an error with my front left speaker. Yet, sound was coming out of it just fine, and an ohmeter confirmed it had an resistance of 4 ohms.

After some debugging, I opened the said speaker, and found that the magnet attached to the tweeter (by nothing else than magnetism), had detached itself from the tweeter and grafted itself onto the magnet of the lower speaker, messing with the sound somewhat.
I just put the magnet back where it belonged, and the sound setup completed.

I'm just impressed that Audyssey was able to detect the subtle sound difference due to that magnet in the wrong place, and that it reported it back to me :)

2008/12/01 The Power Of Open Source
π 2008-12-01 00:00 in Linux
I bought a linksys WRT-600N wireless ABGN router, and it's actually a quite capable linux box. Thankfully, because it was not a telco product like a cell phone :) and because they were able to put the radio firmware in a way that open source people won't mess with it and break FCC rules, some folks started writing better firmware for routers of that class several years ago now.
End result, the excellent dd-wrt firmware turned that wireless internet router into a full linux box but with very low power use, form factor and heat dissipation.
It's now using 8 times less power than the old AMD K6 350Mhz linux box it's replacing, frees up a lot of room in my closet, no noise, and removes any worries of failing hard drives.

The only thing that router was missing for me was usb serial support so that I could monitor booting of my other PC server and/or debug the server remotely if networking goes down, or whatnot. I wanted to keep a config where I had two internet facing hosts I could ssh into, and use any of the two to get to my internal network, as well as use one to get the boot messages from the other one.

The problem was that dd-wrt didn't have usb-serial support, it was doable but the bits were missing. I also wanted to make a contribution to the folks who do the dd-wrt software, so I put out bounty to get usb serial working and it was fixed and added with 24H, woot!

And I'm sure when dd-wrt started out, people wondered why you'd want to replace the firmware on a router that came with already working and written firmware, kinda of why I initially wondered why some guy in sweden thought it would make sense to write a new firmware for the archos mp3 player back in the day (and later I found out how it turned out to be awesome).

2008/12/01 What Overachievement Means at Fedex
π 2008-12-01 00:00 in Public
I ordered a new receiver, which isn't technically meant to arrive until tomorrow as per the delivery SLA. However, as a nice surprise, it was actually here 3 days ago already (friday) and was on the truck for delivery, but "No attempt made, delivery scheduled for next business day".
I can already see the driver with his package on the truck saying "umph, this one looks heavy. It's early anyway so I'll probably worry about delivering it next week"

Not the end of the world, although I'd have been happy to play with the receiver last weekend.

      Tracking number       XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX               Reference             XXXXXXXXX
      Ship date             Nov 24, 2008                  Shipment ID           XXXXXXXXX
      Estimated delivery    Dec 2, 2008                   Destination           XXXXXXXXX
                                                          Service type          Home Delivery
                                                          Weight                35.0 lbs.
      Status                Delivery exception

Date/Time Activity Location Details Nov 29, 6:17 PM Delivery exception SAN JOSE, No attempt made, delivery scheduled for 2008 CA next business day 8:31 AM On FedEx vehicle SAN JOSE, for delivery CA 7:22 AM At local FedEx SAN JOSE, facility CA 3:47 AM Departed FedEx SACRAMENTO, location CA 12:54 Arrived at FedEx SACRAMENTO, AM location CA Nov 24, 10:08 Arrived at FedEx LEWISBERRY, 2008 PM location PA 7:00 PM Package data transmitted to FedEx 6:35 PM Picked up LEWISBERRY, PA


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