I’ve started to give bazaar a go in anger; my hope was that I could get the
offline advantages of RCS, with a newer system (renaming and such like) as
well as something that works for collaboration.
The emacs support is a bit primitive yet. There is a vc-bzr.el, though, so I
tried this but it didn’t work. This turned out to be because it doesn’t work
with cygwin out of the box. I’ve tried the windows version and it all seems to
behave nicely. But it doesn’t understand symlinks which is a major pain — I
need those symlinks!
Life can be hard at times.
Originally published on my old blog site.
Ah, off to a conference again. Depressingly on saturday, so the airport is
heaving. I’m going to Neuroscience 2008 which is a new one to me, in Stockholm
which is also new. I’m taking a poster which seems distressingly old. Been a
long time since I’ve done this. It’s already been a struggle — some of my
colleagues didn’t like it; I think because neuroscientists tend toward lots of
text, while I do a light-weight, advert-style,
if-you-want-more-details-read-the-paper form of poster. And I hate travelling
with a poster; it’s hard to replace your belt while carrying a bag and an A0
poster tube. My subconscious tried to leave it at a Starbucks in Schipol, but
my better judgement forced me to go back for it.
I’m not in the best of moods: my toe…
Several months ago, I moved house. I should say now, that main reason for
doing this was to move in with the other half; I only mention this because she
was irritated that she got so few mentions when I was talking about our
holiday. My explanation was this blog is called "An exercise in irrelevance"
because it has nothing important in it and that she has her own blog so why
should she want to appear on mine. Impeccable logic I thought; she didn’t.
Anyway, coming back from the social melodrama, a few months ago, we moved
house. It’s quite a nice place; it’s unfurnished so has required a lot of work
buying furniture, screwing it to together and standing it upright (having, of
course, carefully hoovered underneath first). Although it’s left me tired and
I managed to get our on my bike at the weekend; I travelled up the north side
of the Tyne. I’ve done this before, but went further, through Wylam and out
the other end; it’s a really nice ride, although not that fast as the surfaces
are a little rough. In the end, I decided to come back on the south bank, as
I’ve not done this before. Took a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, but I mostly came
down Keelmans Way. The Gateshead side of the Tyne is more industrial than the
North, and Keelmans Way reflects this; instead of fields, pubs and villages,
you cycle over steel bridges, peers and through industrial estates. It’s still
quiet, though, and great fun. I have to admit, though, as I came into
Gateshead, that I was gob-smacked when I cycled through a gap in a hedgerow
Been having problems with my water tank. At first, it appeared to be the tank
itself; I ended up with a frying pan underneath to catch the flow. Eventually,
I realised that it’s the pressure meter at the top of the tank which is the
problem; the water was coming down the side, and dripping from the bottom.
It’s only dripping which is why it took me so long to work out where it was
ultimately coming from. But it’s leaking maybe half a litre an hour, which is
a lot of water over time. However, because the tank is close to the ground, I
could only use a shallow frying pan to catch the water. My solution to the
problem is a Heath Robinson master-piece.
I’ve wrapped a piece of cloth under the leak, which has got soaked. This then
directs the moisture away from the tan…
I’ve been to Gerswhins, which is on (or under) Dean Street before, but for a
quick pre-gig meal. This time was a more leisured affair. The place is
underground, in a wine cellar. It’s dimly light, from 100s of fibre optic
strands from the ceiling. It’s a jazz resturant apparently. So, later in the
evening, they had caberet; a guy in a dinner jacket, crooning to a recording
backing track. He was actually pretty good, very professional and a competent
singer; half-way through a Sinatra melody, an older couple, very elegantly
dressed—man in blazer and tie, woman in skirt and formal top—started
wheeling around the dance floor (that is the small gap between the tables).
The woman looked happy and entertained, the man dignified and serene, although
I noticed a mo…
So, first time I’ve been in the US for a long period on holiday rather than
working. It’s still a country that I don’t understand, a place of contrast and
contradiction. In it’s care for the National Parks, you can see the place at
it’s very best. It’s caring, educational, passionate. At the same time,
staring across the Grand Canyon or from Joshua Tree, and understanding that
the haze you can see is pollution from the roads of Los Angeles is a
depressing experience. It’s a pity that more Americans don’t do as I have
done, and visit the national parks to see the damage that they are doing;
there’s no excuse; it’s so easy by car.
I’ve enjoyed the US away from the main urban areas far more than the time in
the cities; touri…
Yosemite is one of the oldest and perhaps the most complete of the National
Parks from an enjoyment point of view anyway. To get into it, we went over a
9900 foot mountain pass, crawled down to the valley floor, with temperature
raising as we went. I saw El Capitan (or a big rock for those not in the
know) and the US’s tallest waterfall (impressive, but almost dry at this time
The whole place was wonderful, but it’s got such heavy traffic through it and
it’s less well done than Bryce or Zion in terms of information. Ultimately, I
think that the problem was ours; vast amounts of Yosemite are only accessible
on foot; clearly the short time we had, is not the best way to see it.
San Francisco was great, however. All of a bit of a cliche I fear — the hilly
It may seem that we are ticking off national parks in a mad rush, but it’s not
really the case; this trip hasn’t allowed an in-depth study of the Parks it’s
true, but I think I’ve managed to come away with an understanding of the
essential nature of each, as well as a deep appreciation of local sandstones.
After Bryce, the plan was to move to Las Vegas, but Zion stands more or less
in the way and we got sidetracked; which was good as Zion is one of the most
beautiful parks I’ve seen, with the most amazing variety of micro-climates.
The main difference is that it has water; so while it’s still desert, it is
rich with plant and animal life. As you move upward, it gets wetter and
cooler and the plants change accordingly. Perhaps the most extreme example …
Been to four more places since Grand Canyon. The first, Monument Valley is
actually part of the Navajo nation. It’s got a famous skyline, but it’s not
been that well developed and not that great as far as I can tell.
The big surprise of the trip was the Navajo national monument — managed by
the federal government, but named after the Navajo. It’s not that big, but you
can walk down short trail which overlooks Betatakin. This is Pueblo
settlement, maybe 800 years old. It’s hidden in a large cave, shetlered from
the elements. I only saw it from a kilometre away, but it was a wonderful
Next, came a brief stop in Moab; they have a small museum there, with most of
the exhibits appearing to come from a few families whose descendents were or