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So then that happened

Filed under: Life — Thomas @ 5:04 pm

2013-6-7
5:04 pm

I’ve been more quiet than usual lately. I guess that’s what happens when you get married.

Oh, yeah, so that happened.

natalia-thomas-060-low

When I first met her years ago at a friend’s birthday drink she sat next to me all night and completely ignored me.

Years later I crashed a women only outing where she happened to be as well.

A random party, a six-o’clock-in-the-morning omelette on a terrace watching the sun come up, a birthday party, a jaunt to the Gentse Feesten and a long Christmas in august later, we were already together for two months before we knew it. I took her to my sister’s wedding, and not even three years later we went to our own, three weeks after I proposed. (Tip for anyone thinking of proposing: maybe the sauna isn’t the best place after all)

Getting married to her ended up being the most natural decision I’ve ever taken. And the answer to the most-asked question? Yes, it does make a difference. No, I didn’t expect it to. But it does.

Thank you to everyone who ever dumped me – I had no idea better things were coming.

Organizing photo libraries

Filed under: Life,Pictures — Thomas @ 12:51 pm

2013-5-18
12:51 pm

The weather’s picking up so it’s time for spring cleaning around the house. When I moved back to Barcelona three years ago I took with me my old analogue photos and negatives, with the idea of sorting through them at some point and getting them digitized. And while I’m at it, maybe it’s time to pull all my various folders of photos together too and organize them.

Well, I finally started. I grouped the negatives, labeled them by year, put them in individual envelopes, and handed them off to a professional lab to scan them after doing a quick test run on one set (which turned out great, but it’s *really* annoying me that they scan to JPEG by default, charge 40% extra for TIFF, and use a non-multiple-of-8 resolution to scan at which means I can’t losslessly rotate the negatives. Yes, I’m anal.)

So now I pulled together all my various folders of photos, and before I start doing tagging and stuff like that, I want to organize them in a decent folder layout. Googling for ideas pretty much suggests that the way to go is

YYYY/MM/DD

with possibly some description together with the DD

I’m not really happy about that, however, because there are certain things I’d like to be able to do:

  • easily see where photos come from – did I make them ? did I get them from someone ? Did I download them from Facebook ?
  • Are these original files from a camera without editing ?
  • Are these the original scans ? From negatives ? From actual photos ? Or are they retouched, rotated, denoised, …
  • Are these photos SFW ? Can I point my media center slideshow to this directory and have it safely show any photos under it ? (What do you mean, you’ve never snowboarded at night in only your underwear, and mooning the photographer ?) Or maybe not even SFW, but simply watchable and reasonable quality or subject material?

I realize some of these issues can not be resolved simply with a directory layout. But I’m sure some of you must have had similar issues or come up with a slightly better layout ?

Point me in the right direction please.

Tripping

Filed under: Conference,Flumotion,Life,Music,Travel — Thomas @ 10:42 pm

2010-9-6
10:42 pm

I haven’t done much work/conference travelling in the last months (I even skipped GUADEC, boo!), but it seems now is one of those months where random rears its pretty head again.

Right now I am at the other side of the world, in Sydney, a Holiday Inn in King’s Court (interesting neighbourhood…) This is late notice and I might not read my mail anymore, but hey, if you’re around and I know you, drop me a line. I was hoping to see Jan, GStreamer’s release ninja, here, but apparently he lives on the border of New South Wales these days…

I’m here for two and a half days, and then I fly back to Barcelona, and then to Belgium for my sister’s wedding where I am the best man.

My next trip is to the Open Video Conference where I’ll be doing a quick overview of Flumotion and HTML5. The conference is 1/2 of October, so I’ll be going to New York a few days before. I hope to go to FOMS as well for at least a day, but I’m also going to the Business of Software conference in Boston because, hey, we’re a software business! And it’s just around the corner from New York…

Further down the line there’s Streaming Media Europe in London on Oct 13-15, where I will do another presentation and assist in a panel.

And finally I hope to make it to the very first ever GStreamer conference on the 26th of October in Cambridge, but I really should get my act together and book a ticket for that soon…

Now I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t try and squeeze a concert into these trips.

So far, I’ve gotten a ticket to see the Walkmen play in Boston on the 7th of October. I want to get tickets to see the XX and Zola Jesus on the 2nd of October in New York, but I can’t make stubhub or related sites deliver tickets to Europe… Anyone in the US feel like joining me for that concert and receiving the tickets ?

It’s going to be a busy fall…

Reasons to be cheerful, part 190284

Filed under: Spain — Thomas @ 11:35 pm

2010-6-15
11:35 pm

A bunch of good things happened to me recently, in quick succession. Today was particularly satisfying, so a quick list lest I forget that I am born lucky.

  • I spent the past weekend in Amsterdam, Groningen, Midwolda, and Amsterdam, for Sofie and Mariette’s wedding. A great time was had by all, and groups of friends mixed into one for a weekend of celebration. Life can be beautiful sometimes.
  • The first night in Amsterdam I went to a milonga all by myself for the first time and finally got round to asking complete strangers to dance. Win.
  • The last day in Amsterdam I spent with Africa and Alex, and among other things we had a great Kobe steak that really is worth the extra price – it melts like butter in your mouth.
  • Last night out of the blue one of my uncles called because he had heard ‘the news’ and wanted to check in on me and see how I was doing. I’m guessing he was surprised I was doing pretty much fine considering, but it was a good feeling to know someone out there in my family cares enough to call. It made the distance that much shorter for a little while.
  • Also last night, I familiarized myself with one of work’s projects that needed a patch which I’d been asking to be made since Thursday because of a customer problem (which ran like a red thread, sadly, throughout the wedding weekend). I spent five hours trying to get a first unit test written and running into that project (there were none before), then ten minutes patching the code and writing the code to show that my patch works. Today, that patch got deployed and attacked with six different use cases, and it all held up. This is on code I’ve never seen before, so win.
  • Today, I exchanged a work favour for a home favour with Fernando, and he immediately agreed to come home with me and help me set up the big IKEA closet. On the way we stopped at Angel’s to pick up these double bench chairs I’ve been dreaming about getting ever since he showed them to me:
    New chairs and table

    We took them home on our heads, and I cleaned them. They need some more cleaning, but I love them already. I got these specifically because someone old and wise recently pointed out to me that Barcelona has individual benches, and she was sad and angry at that little fact. So these twin seat benches are a raised fist against Barcelona’s soltero benches.

  • And, as usual, Angel didn’t let us go without at least a full glass of wine, and a bag with a huge chunk of tortillas and some freshly cooked gambas. Thank God for people with a passion for what they do.
  • After helping me put the closet together (we made it half way through, this particular IKEA set needs a power drill and a saw to put together!), Fernando took me to the Diseny Hub Barcelona because a good friend of him works there. Turns out they have a MakerBot there, he’s printing parts for a RepRap, and he’s willing to print my parts. So after being sidelined in my attempts to get one in Belgium, it turns out I will now be able to make one just ten minutes from my current living place!

    Also, the place seems awesome, has real industrial 3D printers and etchers and 3D scanners, offers workshops, and it looks like people can actually come in and use things. I have a feeling I’m going to be dropping by there…

It’s a big enough list of things to be cheerful about in a really short time, and I’ve left out some less practical more private things, so summer is looking good so far…

I’m back

Filed under: Life,Spain,Twisted — Thomas @ 6:32 pm

2010-6-9
6:32 pm

So obviously, blog-wise I fell off the face of the earth for close to two months.

The immediate reason is some personal stuff happening to me that I needed to bounce back from (well, ok, I lied – it’s not stuff, it’s just one tiny little thing.)

As a result I haven’t done much hacking at all, beside a few fruitful morituri hack sessions.

As a consequence, I don’t have much useful to report, but I am going to slowly get back to some hacking. My Lego Mindstorms are already with me here in Barcelona so I am going to get started on that CD ripping robot Any Day Now.

I’ll get more specific about what non-hacking stuff I’ve been up to recently after the fallout of the personal stuff, but for now I’ll just mention I’ve been hugely enjoying getting back to playing basketball over the last year. A while ago Farid taught me a nice layup trick, and yesterday I had Pepe film it:

I haven’t pulled that one off correctly during a game though!

Oh wait, I lied. Yesterday I got a proof of achievement of something hacker-related: my Spanish diploma in Twisted!

twisted

I need to buy me a wall to hang that on, it’s just too cool! And the back lists all skills achieved, in Spanish. Check this out:

“El manejo de errores robusto con diferidos”. I’m sure that official had a field day translating deferred into Spanish.

Life! I’m back to eating you, one bite at a time. Make sure you’re ready for me.

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