Honya Budo

I am obviously not enlightened, for while I occasionaly show signs of being an adept at Honya Budo, I often fail to be able to even master the “Way of the In-Out”.

Home

It’s always good to be back.

That we stepped off the plane and immediately drove to the opening of our friend Lila’s new yoga studio, where, much as we expected, we ran into a bunch of people in the kula, and got to tell them about our trip and hear about how we were missed during free week and generally catch up, and then we went to dinner at an excellent pizza place, well, it definitely made us happy to be home again.

I’m in ur coffeeshop eatin’ ur breakfast

My favorite coffe house/cafe in DC

Well, on the one hand, I’m sorry that the 2-hour practice class that I had intended to go to isn’t on today–I found this out from the teacher at the class that we went to yesterday.

But the class last night, after a lot of walking, has left me worn out anyway. So instead I’m enjoying tasty food.

I had no idea

You learn something new if you pay attention

This is the bridge that lies between our hotel and Adams-Morgan. As many times as I’ve crossed it, I’d never noticed the name.

MySQL continues to play catch-up

So, slashdot had a story about the new Falcon storage engine for MySQL. I don’t care for MySQL for a number of reasons, but some–though not all–could be alleviated with a better storage back-end. So I cruised over to check out the Falcon feature-set.

Funny enough, with the exception of the next to the last point–which is a potentially non-trivial point, I admit–this is all stuff that PostgreSQL has had for years.

One day, people are going to realize that MySQL has been playing catch-up for the last few years.  The amount of effort people have to do to work around MySQL’s long-standing issues with concurrency and lack of ACID-compliance in its default configuration, and it’s lack of good performance in the configurations that do have those characteristics always amazes me, especially when PostgreSQL has Simply Worked for a long, long time.

Mmmmmmmmm

The best sushi place I've ever gone

If I lived in DC, I’d end up awfully fat from eating like this at lunch. As it is, I try to make a pilgrimage to Sushi Taro when I’m in town, because it’s the best sushi I’ve ever had. From left to right, there’s eel, smoked salmon, amberjack and two kinds of mackerel. I’m not sure what the last probably says about me.

How popular is _your_ name?

So after the Water Callers’ performance the other night, I said hi to one of the performers, Bart, and after greeting me by name, he expressed some surprise at having, in fact, remembered it. I, in turn, made what in retrospect sounds like a bit of a graceless comment about how it was a good guess, regardless, since it was the most popular name for male children around the time I was born.

So we ended up chatting about the subject of name popularity and such, and he mentioned having played with some resources when some friends were trying to pick names for their immanent child, and the weird names people are picking these days, and how Matthew still gets around even though there was no Beatle by that name, etc.

So, in one of those coincidences that often happens a Linux hacker noted a reference to a site that the Social Security administration has that lets you look at name popularity.

It turns out, 1970 was just the tip of the iceberg–in the last 60 years, there’s only been 16 where Michael wasn’t #1. And while my name has kept its place pretty solidly, as you look at different decades, others shift wildly. I mean, the idea of Joshua being more popular than John strikes me as improbably, but it the 80s, that came to be the case, and the idea that Jacob is more popular than Michael in the 00s seems even weirder. And Christopher, which has been the consistent #2 in the 70s and 80s–another interesting fact I wasn’t aware of–is out of the top 10.

Anyway, I guess this illustrates nothing so much as there’s no accounting for taste, however you look at it.

What a different person I feel like

So, last night we went over to some friends’ house to celebrate the end of 2006 and the advent of 2007. And as the fateful moment approached our timezone, in an effort to keep ourselves awake, we discussed our respective worst moments of 2006.

It’s unsurprising, really, that, as couples who’ve both been together for some time, each pair came up with lists that were more or less identical. And 2006 wasn’t the best of all possible years for any of us.

But at the same time, looking back on all the things that seemed like they belonged on such a list, I had a hard time feeling any of them were entirely negative, or even feeling that my year was particularly hard–it’s not easy or fun to lose a cat after a protracted illness, or find your spouse asking whether staying together was the right thing to do, but those sorts of things can also be the events that make you stop and reengage with your life.

I don’t know that I would regard those events the same way if they had happened two years ago or five years ago or ten years ago. I feel like a very different person sometimes.

And then, the clock having run out, we got introduced to an awkwardly funny Spanish new-years ritual eating of 12 grapes with each toll of the bell that marks midnight (not, mind you, that we had a good bell-tower handy).

Let’s just say that the wikipedia article is right. 12 grapes that fast is, at best hard, and much more likely to devolve into a roomful of people looking like squirrels getting ready for winter. We were definitely the latter. Avoiding spit-takes was a real act of will.

You should definitely try it next year.