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Present Perfect


Filed under: General,Life — Thomas @ 20:02


Currently in the French Alps (Tignes) for a week of snowboarding ! I'm in the internet center with my laptop because there was a bug in Flumotion for a client and I made a small patch at the apartment and have now uploaded it. Waiting for the client to verify the test works now.

Having lots of fun here. Andy seems to be really happy going down the slopes. Kristien has improved immensely and can keep up nicely. Wim is taking snowboarding classes as it's his very first time. He bought a set of clothes here and looks very stylish. Christian arrived yesterday, against all odds, on the bus from Geneva airport. For some reason though he's sitting here next to me playing World of Warcraft. He's soooo addicted. Also good to see Sven and Anja back. We're having a great week.

Going back to the apartment for some lovely dinner and lazying about with the guys. The snow is great, the weather is great, and it's incredible how much better it is to go a whole week...

Belgium + FOSDEM

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 14:18


Haven't made time yet to mention my short stay in Belgium, so here goes in a nutshell...

in your shape I shade my life
then I know it's alright

Landed on Wednesday, got picked up by my girl to go to Leuven and had dinner with friends. Then drove back to the hometown Gent, with Peter, and went out to one of the hip bars where we know the bartender. He showed us the new part of the bar he was going to open in two weeks. Good to know we're still part of the in-crowd :)

On Thursday, Peter and I had a men's day out. We went to my old job to attend to Kristien's goodbye party. Here are some pictures from the studio and everything. Probably the last time I'll see the place since they're moving now that the new owners are in charge. After that, went to see our Proud Pregnant Friend Willeke. She was looking really good with the big belly, simply radiating. In the evening I had dinner with my best friend Jeremy and his lovely wife, and I helped out a little moving them into their new house. Then I went back into the city and had a drink with the Apestaart crew.

I spent Friday working on my Flumotion presentation for FOSDEM (which I now finally put online in OOImpress or HTML). Friday night we went to "Bij den Boer" which Julien still remembered from last year to eat a great tomate crevette and mussels and fries. After that, the usual - Roi D'Espagne.

Saturday I spent some time catching up with people at FOSDEM. Handed out some of our cool Fluendo T-shirts. Discussed with some of the Red Hat people like Paul and Florian about Fedora and build systems. Wim did his GStreamer presentation and I did the Flumotion talk. I had expected to only have about 20 people in the room since we were in the GNOME developer room, but there was a pretty big turnout and people asked some good questions. Overall the talk went well - I even used a webcam from the crowd to demo the server because my webcam had gone out of focus and I don't really know how to fix it on that stupid model :)

Saturday night we went to a great brasserie for the best cote a l'os in town recommended by my mother. This was also when I started realizing I was turning pretty ill.

Sunday I went to Jeff Johnson's talk on rpm and met up with him later on. Always good to put a face on the name. His talk was very interesting, and he's completely the opposite in real life of his online persona - he was verbose and very clear in explaining things.

Peter Vanderbeken from Mozilla talked to me because he used to work with Krewcial, a hip-hopper from Gent who had a radio show at our university radio station. I never knew back then he was working on open source, he even worked for Netscape for a while in Paris. We talked about some things we had in common, like how it feels to live in a country with a different language and how it is to make new friends.

A guy called Ruben talked to me about my Flumotion talk. He's just started at university and all the other kids don't seem to get open source. It's good to know there are always new people rising up and getting started - I wish I had started with open source earlier on in my university.

Caught up with Tom Tromey and Thomas Fitzsimmons from Red Hat to discuss Cortado, our media player applet in Java. Both great guys, and they really are excited about Wim's work, which is great. We're going to try and make sure Cortado works well with a libgcj back-end together.

In the evening I went to Limburg to have dinner with Kristien's family. Finally took my temperature - 38.3 degrees, ouch. Drove back home to Gent, got to bed. Next day was spent upgrading the home server because the software RAID had broken down on both hard drives. I had noticed this on Friday, but I didn't have time then to fix it, and by Sunday my father had rebooted the machine, causing it not to boot up anymore, making my mother really angry because she was planning to work from home and reply to all her e-mails. She tried to get me to leave FOSDEM and come home to fix it. Well, I know very few businesses who have four-hour-support for problems like this... Anyway, I fixed it on Monday.

My dad drew some blood from me - I am still as squeamish as I was when I was four years old and my dad and the housekeeper had to chase me all over the house until they trapped me from both sides of a round table I had gotten behind, after which they dragged me to his practice to sting me with the needle - and gave me a physical to see if anything specific's wrong with me. After that I did some more things, and got into bed. Was really glad to go home on Tuesday and just crawl into bed, and stay there for the rest of the week...

So all in all, great trip back, FOSDEM was interesting to me because I got to meet a bunch of people, and too bad I got the worst flu I've had for the last few years.

End of the road

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 09:10


Fever has gone. I'm left with a nasty cough now, and lots of snot. The cough is nasty because it's the kind of cough that is called "unproductive". You see, coughing is something between an action and a reflex - you cough because something is irritating your throat, and normally it works as a reflex (just like vomiting) but you can learn to control it more or less, and delay the actual moment. The cough serves to clear out whatever's stuck in your throat.

Now, sometimes your body messes up, and it's triggering your cough even though there's nothing stuck in your throat. So you end up caughing like a madman to the point where your stomach convulses, but it doesn't clear anything from your throat and it doesn't solve anything, since immediately after the trigger still thinks whatever it's acting on is there. So then you try to force yourself to ignore the trigger and not cough, which is hard. There's also some coughing syrup that helps suppress the trigger.

Anyway, today is coughing day. That with the snot gives me a royal headache all through the day and the inability to think on the same subject for more than a minute.

On the plus side, today is also a day where all my muscles are itchy and electrified. The exact same feeling when you first get ill, but it feels more positive. Or, the feeling you have when you've just fallen in love with someone. That tingly sensation that spreads over your whole body. What's even better is that yawning makes all of my muscles tingle even more to the point that they feel like they're being tickled really gently. Sort of a mini-orgasm if you will. So I spent a lot of time yawning and then savouring the feeling for a good five to ten seconds. And the best thing is, you can do it over and over again... So if you see me yawn and smile today, leave me alone, I'm enjoying it.

I'm sure there are neuro-chemical explanations as to why this weird sensation is shared between illness and young love. I just wish there were other ways for me to reach that state than getting ill, as I'm very happy with my girlfriend so the feeling of young love will not happen to me anytime soon.

almost there

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 18:56


Still ill. A full week, so it's not just a simple cold, it's a full-blown flu. I had forgotten how annoying a real flu can be - tingling muscles that hurt whenever you move a part of your body, mountains of snot, no desire to eat, the works...

Watched three more movies - Driven (crap), Witchblade (crap) and Spartan (murky plot). Tried to work at times, but wasn't too productive. Put together all of Kristien's stuff for the home studio - the cool microphone, the knobbed-lightsprinkled-voiceprocessor, the digital soundcard. Recorded some stuff with it, so the basics at least work. Now I need to figure out if I can find an easy program for Kristien to use to record her voice, or if I have to write one myself.

Andy came over on friday to discuss a bit on the server. Need to collect more thoughts. I sure hope I'm ok by monday.

sick suck

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 14:51


Started feeling feverish on saturday, but I thought it was just normal stress before doing the Flumotion presentation at FOSDEM. Sunday night I finally got to take my temperature at Kristien's and I had a solid 38.3 degrees. We drove back to Gent, and the next morning my father took a blood sample from me. I'm 28 years old and getting needled still frightens me just as much as when I was four years old and my dad and the housekeeper had to chase me all through the house, finally pinning me behind a round table with them both coming from a different side.

My blood test came back normal, so my dad says that it's just bad luck that I get a fever three times in two months. Well, I'm getting pretty tired of this. I'd much prefer going back to work and doing some of the things that need doing instead of laying around on the couch and trying to keep my thoughts together ...

I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band.
I told him, "Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime."

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