Thursday, 30 June 2005


DSTC is dead, long live, er ... Oh, right. Well, DSTC is dead.

Sometimes you don't burn bridges, they just fall down.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

google mapping

So, I work here (crescent building), I live here, and this morning I went out here (the big square building) to hand in a certificate which I was given here (a building on the SW corner of the square) and for which I bought a 55 euro stamp here (the inverse T-shaped building NE of the big carpark).

It'd be nice to be able to put pins in the map and draw lines between them, because I reckon I probably clocked up about 15-20km on the bike running around this morning. It will also be nice when they get around to linking the map and search engine up properly like they've done for the US version.

Update: Oh, its all just way too cool. The basketball tournament the other week was here, we climbed on rocks last week here, listened to techno here. I could go on, and probably will at some later point...

Monday, 27 June 2005

update, again

Stuff has happened. Ian was the harbinger, dropping by Rennes a couple of weeks ago for endless parties with his former housemates, a group comprising, it seems, half of the ag campus. There was a basketball tournament at Chanteloup, featuring as players Liz, Veronique, Yann, and myself among others. We reached the final undefeated but lost in close circumstances, although to be honest it was all about the paella afterwards, along with the alcohol-soaked cherries and boisterous drunken singing.

Mick and Chris arrived Tuesday the week after, and we pushed off around Brittany for a few days. A day at Mont-St-Michel, an afternoon at Vitre, and trips to the markets at St Therese and Les Lices all featured. Then last Saturday we hit Nantes to meet Fabu, although I didn't wind up actually seeing any of Nantes. We went for a walk on the beach (the same as last year's team seminar) before crepes at Le Croisic, and then the next day dodged the heat by heading to the microclimate of Finistere and the Pointe du Raz, the latter being a highlight.

Following Nantes, on Monday we caught a train via Bordeaux to Toulouse, where we stayed with Valerie and Juan. On Tuesday we went out to Carcassonne and saw the town and the castle just outside, which was a bit touristy (10 euros to get into the keep) but still impressive. On getting back to Toulouse, Juan took us around the fete de la musique, which was enormous - if someone told me there were a hundred thousand people on the streets and fifteen thousand in the place du capitole, it wouldn't surprise me. On Wednesday we toured around Toulouse, through the musee des agustins and past a couple of churches including the very architecturally weird cathedrale. On Thursday we headed to Albi, another small town to the east with a cathedral notable for the number, colour, and 3-D elements of its wall art, and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum, which was pretty cool, although Chris didn't dig it so much.

You'd think that was enough, but on Friday I did the big Z from Toulouse to Bordeaux to Paris to Rennes for a party/photo night from Liz' farewell weekend. Having been asked to bring a plate or something to drink, I took both, rustling up some Gado Gado (sans chili - french folk don't go there, usually) and toting along a bottle of Famous Grouse. Good party, Sophie having taken care of making a DVD and Audrey of assembling a photo CD, and notable for Veronique making it along. After drinking all the scotch I could find (not, of course, alone), and learning some fairly surprising news (will elaborate when I'm sure I'm not jumping the gun, but its not news for you, Chris), I crashed at Avenir before heading home the next day.


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Monday, 13 June 2005

another item for the list

My list of things that other people are doing in Australia that I wish I could be doing in Australia now consists of:
  • Playing club cricket (presumably at some low level), like Lee or Jaye. No justification for this, really, since I haven't played organised cricket since I was 9, but the club aspect appeals to me, as well as the whole couldabeen thing.
  • Making a go of it with film and DVD, like Mick. If I hadn't left, I'm pretty sure I would have been at least peripherally involved in this stuff.
  • Being in a musical, like Jeremy. Again, its been a long long time, but I trod the boards a not inconsiderable number of times in my youth (including the Treasure Island musical of which Jeremy writes, although I can't remember as what - I think I was probably about 6 or 7), and again its a social thing as well as a chance to get a performance buzz.
One day, perhaps.

Friday, 10 June 2005

oz it research

IT research in Australia seems to be in a pretty bad way. DSTC is on wobbly ground after missing its funding last year (not to mention the fact that Clinton's leaving :), and now NICTA has seen its CEO and then 5 board members including the chairman quit, all within a month. This sucks for me, since these are the sorts of places where I could well be looking for a job in a couple of years' time.

mise a jour

Recently, on Jim...

Boring weekend, lots of Rome: Total War, not a lot else. On Monday night I went to a training session with the basketball team at Chanteloup, this time as a player. In fact, there was little choice, as there was no coach, and thus we wound up just playing 4 on 4. I was the tallest, so spent most of my time down low looking lost. I threw some good passes, and had a couple of big blocks, but generally don't know where to go in terms of positioning, particularly for rebounding, and for post defense, notably fronting. Anyway, good fun.

Tuesday I gave a presentation for our team, which went pretty well, with a bunch of good questions and discussion.

Last night there was a party for Audrey's birthday (again), this time at the club foyer. They moved Liz's apartment down there, which was fairly amusing, although reportedly a pain in the arse to undo. The party, like all such things with that group, was pretty crazy, winding up about 5ish. I stayed the journey this time, along the way following a somewhat dubious trail from punch to bordeaux to scotch.

Today lunch in town with Veronique and Liz, tomorrow night basketball tourney followed by paella and sangria. Mmmmm.

Saturday, 4 June 2005

party party party

Party last night for Audrey's birthday, surprise thing at Nono's place. There were a bunch of people from Pleyber, we were probably about 20 in all. Good fun, I left around 2ish, but I suspect a bunch of them kicked on for a bit after that.

In other news, Jamaica is go! Whee!

Friday, 3 June 2005

the wolf in full voice

I took Wednesday off. I met up with Liz in the morning for a quick pass through the market, then we caught a lift with Veronique out to her house at Chanteloup. Once there we helped prepare lunch, tarte aux fruits de mer and magrets de canard in a cognac-honey-creme-fraiche sauce, all wonderful. In the afternoon we went down and helped out with a training session for a couple of kids (specifically poussins, poussines and bellegamines) basketball teams. Lots of fun!

As a followup, I've signed up to play in a social tournament next Friday, with a training session on Monday night. If only the town wasn't so far away (22km with hills), I'd go to play regularly. Another situation where not having a car is a bit of a drag.

and on the seventh day

After two big weekends away, I welcomed the chance for a weekend at home. I watched a couple of Collingwood games, listened to a couple of Phillip Adams shows, called a couple of family members, watched a couple of films and finally got around to finishing off Cryptonomicon.