More SF trip

The next morning in Sonoma, took a couple of random pictures.

Stopped at a few wineries, and picked up a case-worth of wine to bring back. The most important was probably “Wellington Vineyards”:, where we picked up quite a lot of their most excellent port.

SF trip

Flew in the afternoon of the 27th. Saw the Dorado crew for lunch, then drove up the coast. Stopped at Rockaway Beach (I think) to take some pictures.

After this we continued on to Sonoma.

libwww-perl updated today

Marking the end of my pathetically long hiatus from doing any actual Debian work, I uploaded a new version of libwww-perl, based on the new upstream 5.69 release. It doesn’t close every bug (there’s a couple that need more looking at, and a couple that are probably going to get ste to wishlist), but it closes several, it compatible with both testing and unstable, and should even be installable on stable, though it’s unlikely to ever actually show up there.

Fun in the sunshine state.

Of course, it was amazing to realize that it’s been three years and ten months since we left Miami to move to Durham–that means we’ve been in Durham almost as long as we were in Miami, and that Durham is very soon going to be come the second longest time I’ve lived in one place, and not very long after that, the longest time I’ve lived in one place (the current holder of the title being a small villiage about 20km outside of Ramstein AFB, Germany).

Anyway, we decided to travel back because various and sundry of our friends here have new children, and, well, it’s been a heck of a winter–the beginning of March seemed like a reasonable time to bug-out and absorb some heat.

Nor were we disappointed–instead of the normal temperatures in the 70s you see this time of year, Miami has experienced a bit of a minature heat-wave, and has been seeing summer-like temperatures in the 90s.

The flight was uneventful, and we got to the first place we were spending the night with only some small period of time spent lost, though it did serve to remind us that Miami was not a place of unalloyed delight.

The next day was fun–lunch at a the Miss Saigon Bistro, a better-than-average Vietnamese restaurant.

We spent Saturday morning at Fairchild Tropical Gardens, from which I came away with a bunch of pictures.

The Big Book of Amber, Zelazny

OK, so it’s the ??Great Book of Amber?? rather than ??The Big Book of Amber??, but it certainly big, and there’s some reference to my childhood that I can’t quite apprehend but nevertheless makes it stick (Note: the options you get “on Barnes & Noble”: are wierd and fascinating).

I’ve never read any Zelazny before, and it’s distinctly wierd for me; as I’m sure Unix old-timers would cringe to hear me admit that I know Perl infinitely better than sh and awk (I barely know awk at all), I’m sure many SF fans will look askance when I admit that I recognize the writing well–it reminds me of Steven Brust.

Now I’m not saying this is an original observation in any way–I think I probably picked it up from Steven himself on GEnie many years ago.

What strikes me, though, is the extent to which I think the student may have surpassed the teacher. Steven’s prose seems much more consistent and polished–Zelazny seems to have no problem with going from a formal feeling “fantasy prose” to something much more “20th century conversational” in the space of about three sentences, and I have to say, it drives me a little bit nuts.

Not so nuts that I’m not going to continue or anything–when was the last time I dropped a book entirely? Oh, wait, last week, just before I started this one…


Five days without an update…

Five fairly busy days, too.

Finished building a diagram for the the data model for one of my clients. Did some more tweaking on my dia-to-sql XSL stylesheet to get things working. I think I’m starting to really _like_ XSL. What’s next, scheme? Intercal? Brainfuck?

I _should_ package up my stylesheet for public consumption, though–I understand that the next version of Dia is going to have an XSLT plugin, which would mean you could go directly from the diagram to SQL without an intervening processing step.

Now I’ve got to start getting the legacy data pulled out of the existing database and into the new one. That’s going to be a nightmare–the old database format is poorly normalized, and ages of poor programming have contributed to there being a lot of crapulous data in it. I am only looking forward to it in the sense that it will give me lots of hours to bill.