Go forward in time to Nov 2000.
More polish for the @#$% recurrence page in the event editor.
Very nice dinner with Pancho, Chema, Joakim, and Arturo at the Club Japonés. Ate like pigs, discussed lots of GNOME hacking issues.
It is amazing how a well-tuned piano sounds. It picks up all the overtones and sounds big.
My piano got tuned today! It required tuning and some good cleaning. Pictures will be up shortly.
My most productive days, like yesterday and today, are when I avoid trying to tackle everything at once and take on to one problem at a time. Vamos por partes, como dijo el descuartizador. This should be obvious, but sometimes I try to handle everything at the same time and it just doesn't work.
So I have been redoing the recurrence page in the Evolution calendar event editor. Anna came up with a very nice design for it a while ago. The problem is that the old code to go from calendar data to widgets was completely worthless; it did not handle exotic iCalendar recurrences at all. Instead of dropping them on the floor, we now keep them intact and notify the user about Evolution being able to display them in the calendar views, but not edit them.
This is the fourth time I have had to rewrite big chunks of the stupid event editor, and it does not amuse me. Fortunately, the code should be Right(tm) this time.
Played the piano for quite a bit. Sometimes your fingers seem to be very cooperative and nice and curly and relaxed.
My mom borrowed a laptop from her office and is working in bed. Somehow this seems just wrong. I though only us geeks did such a thing.
Replied to an insane amount of mail. Read through a doubly insane amount of mail. My mailbox is small(er) again.
Lots of random patches for several not-so-random modules. I'm feeling productive today. Plenty of highly-caffeinated tea may have something to do with it.
Gave Martin the green light on most of his changes for the EOG image component. This thing will be neat.
Yesterday I got a nice tripod for my camera. Toys, toys, toys!
Missed the Carlos Prieto recital where he played all six of Bach's suites for cello solo. Sigh.
Logged in all of the upcoming programs in the ongoing piano festival and the weekly OFUNAM concerts into the Evolution calendar. Hopefully I won't forget this way.
Woke up late but still did not seem to have gotten enough sleep. Sigh.
Took my grandmother to see her sisters, and we had lunch at their apartment where they have lived since the beginning of time. Visiting them is like stepping into a time machine. Old furniture and books and records, everything covered with a well-aged layer of patina, stale air with the smell of old age and medication and good food in the kitchen, old portraits hung on the walls. The talk always seems to jump between random anecdotes of their time, talk of whatever ailments they have or think they have, gossip about their unfortunately few living friends, and sincere talk about how happy they are to have the young ones in the family visiting them.
It makes me feel bad about not visiting them more often. I had not seen them since last Christmas and they were sort of dressed up for today's occasion, nothing fancy but rather elegant in that old and mature and well-worn kind of way.
Somehow visiting them is something I do not quite look forward to, yet every time I have gone there I have been happy to have done so. Old people make you feel so welcome when you visit them despite all the hard times they may be going through. It makes you wonder, how will I look in sixty years? Will I still be here? Will my friends? Will my thoughts?
Sigh. So today my car got towed. Normally the cars that get towed outside of Paco's house are taken to the lot in Las Águilas, so we went there. The car was not there. After phone calls aplenty it seems that they took it to the lot in Xochimilco instead. So we did the whole excursion: go to the bank to get money to pay for the fine, get photocopies of my driver's license, get some food on the way, find the stupid car lot, deal with the bored and unfriendly police officer who does the paperwork, go back home.
But that's the uninteresting part. The car lot is located next to a dam in Xochimilco. The water's surface is completely covered with lilies, and of course there are plenty of birds always sitting there. So one of the stupid police officers that was lazily idling around the car lot just pulls out his gun and takes a shot at the birds out of sheer boredness. The others mock him for not hitting any of the poor birds, he grumbles something and puts the gun back in its holster.
Highly educated people, our policemen.
... los hermosos rasgos de su cara, su imponente melena de fuego con reflejos de cobre, su costrumbre española de gesticular en forma muy elocuente con sus manos tan finas, su manera de retorcerse un mostacho imaginario cuando hacía bromas, su conversación fascinante e inteligentísima que sabía hacer caso omiso de la esterilidad racional, su capacidad de observación, su gran amor para toda la creación que nos rodea, una cierta coquetería femenina, su ser accesible a los inevitables homenajes del otro sexo (lo que quizá la predispuso a fungir como femme enfant y musa, figuras tan idolatradas en los círculos surrealistas), su amplitud de criterio y su generosidad, que la hicieron mantener sus sus amistades fielmente hasta el final de su vida, a pesar de algunos desengaños, su enorme curiosidad hacia todos los aspectos de la vida y la ciencia...
Y cómo, a pesar de todo esto se pudo consumir en dudas, en terribles angustias, e intuiciones de otras dimensiones, de otras vidas cuya exploración nos está vedada y que la llevaron a un misticismo que se refleja en su obra madura y que, al final de su vida, se estaba cristalizando más, sin poder llegar a una claridad total, sin poder excluir, al mismo tiempo, aquel alud de dudas que la asaltaban... [*]
Plenty of web page maintenance. Re-organized the activity log to be less messy, and integrated the really old 1998 stuff from my old web page at the institute.
Calendar hacking action. This gets tedious in the cruftier UI-related bits.
Went with Paco to the OFUNAM concert, but we only stayed for the first half since we both had things to do. Some Wagner to which we arrived late and thus only listened to it outside the concert hall; then we went in for a Liszt piano concerto. It was rather disappointing; the orchestra and guest conductor were very good, but the pianist was, let us say, uninspired. Afterwards we went to Coyoacán for dinner and coffee and book shopping, and then back to Paco's house. He worked on a paper for school; I worked on the calendar and on answering mail.
Had a long IRC discussion with Michael about what is the best way to structure the interfaces and components in EOG. Hopefully I'll get something done this weekend.
Created a new photography section where I will be putting sets of pictures from my digital camera. In the future this will be accessible through EOG's image collections as well.
Went to play Quake at Luis's house, had lots of fun. Then he played quite a bit with my digital camera; he is a photographer among other things and found it quite interesting. Eventually got back home at around 5:00 AM.
Reviewed Martin's patch to componentize EOG. I am not completely happy with it; wrote a hopefully explanatory mail to Michael and Martin. I think now I have some ideas about how to structure the CORBA interfaces and the components.
Lunch at my grandmother's house. She made a delicious chicken in mole verde. Mmmmm.
Nice dinner with my dad. It's good to talk to him in person again.
Busy busy busy. The Atlanta Linux Showcase is over; met many good friends there and had fun. Moved back to Mexico, with Javier and Ariel kindgly helping me carry back my ridiculous amount of luggage. Tried to sync back up to my old/new location. Tried to sync back up to working remotely. Discovered just how out of tune my piano is; it will get cleaned and tuned on the 30th. Saw some good friends in Mexico. Lots of phone calls and "hey, I'm here"-type stuff.
Lots of extremely ugly flaming and politics going on. As projects grow, I guess this is inevitable.
Went to the convention center to register myself for the conference. Found Paul Fisher there; we went for lunch and talked for a while. Paul has many interesting stories about handheld devices.
Back to the hotel to take a nap. For some reason I was feeling very tired.
Woke up at around 6:00 in the afternoon. Decided to call Harry Vas Dias, the gentleman who made a baroque oboe for my friend Javier a couple years ago. Two years ago Luis and I had visited Harry at his house to do a photo session in his oboe workshop.
Went to buy a bottle of wine to take to Harry's, and after that my cab driver got majorly confused. We drove around for a while and eventually he dropped me off in the subway station. Harry Vas Dias picked me up there.
So it turned out that Javier Ortega was in town and miraculously had called Harry right after I called him. We both met at Harry's house. This was quite a surprise. Had a very good time. Managed to take some nice pictures of Harry's workshop; I'll put them up in my copious free time.
Upon getting back to the hotel we were hungry and nothing was open, so we ended up at a Waffle House. This is something I definitely did not miss about the southeast U.S.
All in all, had a great time with Mr. Vas Dias. And it was a very nice surprise to see Javier here.
Woke up extremely late.
Went to the Lenox mall, found that there was a used books fair, managed to add about four kilograms to my luggage. Good ultra-cheap books are nice. Also got a little carrying case for my camera.
Decided to go downtown and hunt some good food. Found pretty damn good sushi. Mmmmmm.
Slept for all of one hour last night; finished packing in the morning, hauled my ridiculously heavy suitcases to the office. Intentionally missed the flight; I refuse to step into a plane at such an early time in the morning. Called the airline, rescheduled it for later. It seems there is an hourly flight from Boston to Atlanta, so all is well.
Found Aaron in the office; we went to his place for lunch. Aaron and Matt have a really nice apartment. Aaron saved me from starving by feeding me a good soup.
Carrying the luggage to the airport was a major pain in the butt. Fortunately, they didn't charge me for overweight. The flight was uneventful.
Being too tired to do anything else, just arrived at the hotel, dropped my stuff, went downstairs for dinner, and got charged way too much for an only halfway-decent tunafish. Sigh.
Moved my piano to Anna's house. She will be keeping it while I am away. It is good that someone who plays well can practice on it; it is much better than just leaving the keyboard there gathering dust.
Dinner at the cave; everyone was there. Had a good time. People played Mafia, then some others started watching Short Circuit. I went back home to pack my stuff.
Lots of packing craziness. Many boxes full of books and random crap; those will get shipped to Mexico. Three big suitcases full of clothes, random crap, my CDs, and some more books. This is going to be a pain in the ass to carry around.
Shopping day. Went with Vlad to look for furniture for his apartment. Then we went to Micro Center. Vlad got a lot of stuff to plug into his iPaq. I saw that they had the Nikon digital cameras on stock, especially the one I wanted. The gadgetry spirit took over me and I got the Coolpix 990.
This is one of the coolest toys I have.
Today is Jacob's birthday. It seems Taylor had the idea of going to Jillian's, but plans changed and we just went to hang out at the cave instead. Vlad and I got a DVD, a CD, and a bottle of Goldschläger for Jacob. He looked happy.
At the cave we played Monopoly. Joe and Ronnie kicked our butts.
The idiots at Ginza a) do not take reservations by phone, b) will not let you have your name on the waiting list unless every person in the party is at the restaurant. So we bailed out and had to go to Pizzeria Uno's instead, which was disappointingly bad.
Afterwards we went to see Meet the Parents, which was also bad. It has its funny moments, then it gets rather old and really awkward and you just groan.
Woke up late. Played the piano for way too long.
There was a dead bird on the sidewalk. A sad sight.
Dentist appointment today. Got a cleaning done, and the stupid thing was surprisingly expensive. I have to go again tomorrow to get a cavity patched. Sigh.
I hate teeth.
It has been cold and gray and rainy all day.
Discussion with Miguel about how to implement a centralized calendar server. We have a good idea of how to do it in a simple way.
Dinner at Ginza with Miguel, Jeff, and Chris. Had a good sukiyaki, but it was expensive. Jeff and Chris went to our apartment afterwards to watch Strange Days. I just love this movie.
Fixed a bunch of stupid printing bugs in the calendar.
Vlad and I went to the Steinway piano store and then to the Bösendorfer one. I have never played on a more amazing instrument. The Bösendorfer grands just feel right and big and powerful. Some day I will be able to afford one and my life will be complete.
Started writing a little widget to pick a set of weekdays for the calendar.
Some DVD, book and CD shopping action with Chris and Jeff.
Waking up to Philip Glass is cool.
So it turns out my friend Luis Javier's professional examination is next Thursday in the morning. It is a shame I won't be able to attend the grilling. Oh, well. Will have to postpone celebrations until I get back to Mexico after ALS.
Productive day; finished fixing the libical build system and sent off the patch to Eric. Replied to way too much mail.
Script-fu scripts are a royal pain in the ass to write and debug. I was trying to write a script for making nice round buttons, and the GIMP was not being helpful. Another project for my copious free time: write a decent Guile-based Scheme extension for the GIMP. It is a shame Lauri never got around to finishing his.
Last night we watched Sneakers on the conference room projector, but I just fell asleep because I was way too tired. Went to bed at around 4:30 AM; woke up at noon.
I am still sleepy.
Lunch consisted of leftovers from last night's Chinese delivery. Tofu, pork, rice, mushrooms, garlic sauce. Yummi.
Now that our stupid network is back up, all the mail I missed is trickling in slowly. So if a mail you sent me bounced, please send it again. I'll get around to answering it eventually.
Early to bed after a good Indian dinner and some piano playing.
The network has been down since Friday, so this has been an unproductive, stressful, but paradoxically relaxing weekend.
Jeff, Anna, and myself went to Harvard Square today where there was this street fair full of stands selling all manners of random stuff. Anna got a beautiful purple Nigerian dress consisting of a skirt, a shirt, and a headband. I got a weird hat which will be my thinking hat; it is red and green, hexagonal, and has twelve tassels hanging all around it. I also got a very pretty black and off-white sarong that I will use to cover my digital piano and keep it from gathering dust. Jeff didn't want to get any sort of garments. We found two of those supposedly Australian highway signs, one warning about wombats and one about camels. They seemed fitting for the office, so we got both of them. They are hanging happily above the corridor where most of the Evolution hackers work. If I had a digital camera I would put pictures up, but I only have a lame old automatic 35mm Konica.
On Thursday I went to Music Espresso, the wonderful sheet music store that Taylor told me about. Purchased plenty of music, including Bartók's suite Op. 4b for two pianos, and Schubert's Lebensstürme for four hands. This kicks major ass.
Upon getting home I tried to play bits of Schubert. This absolutely fantastic. I can record one part of the duo with the keyboard's functions and then play the other part while the keyboard plays the recorded stuff. This should be incredible to play with another person.
Ryan Tilder was here for a couple days. He is great to hang around with. It was good to see him again; I hadn't seen the canonically themable guy since I left Red Hat last December. We had good dinner, good drinks, good talk about life, the universe, and everything.
Go backward in time to Sep 2000.Federico Mena-Quintero <email@example.com> Mon 2001/Jun/18 17:32:26 CDT