Monday, 20 November 2006

L'église à Thorigné-Fouillard

church front
Originally uploaded by jsteel.
On the way back from the forêt, we rode through Thorigné-Fouillard and past this fairly distinctive church. The top section I found really quite strange, and the little lady on the left as well. The leaves in right of picture will serve to place the season.

The light was better from the side of the church, but the form was lost. I cropped the top of the spire, which is a sure sign that the deteriorating viewscreen on my camera is causing more problems than I thought.

The leaves that are green turn to...

The leaves that are brown
Originally uploaded by jsteel.
Mark texted me Sunday morning proclaiming that it was a quite marvelous day, a clear reference to a suggestion I'd mooted earlier in the week about going for a ride out to the Forêt de Rennes to see the changing colours of leaves, something perhaps more novel to me than to him, but nonetheless fairly notable. He was right, too; the day was magnificent, cool but aggressively sunny and with a deep blue sky.

We rode out via Thorigné-Fouillard to the forest, which was fairly well-attended by families, joggers and a few other cyclists. I'd packed a couple of jumpers, since my weather report had said 6 degrees, but we both wound up riding in T-shirts, since the sun was warm. The leaves were indeed impressive, although perhaps not as colourful as those outside my appartment or office window, which are quite dramatic. The ride was pleasant, too, for plenty of chat about filmmaking, tech toys, and rising house prices. We rode back again through Thorigné, but this time sticking more to cycle paths, heading down through fields to Cesson, then along the canal back from Cesson to Rennes.

We had dinner at Mark's, too, at which point the conversation turned to work things. Mark has pretty much become my principal sounding board for a lot of the ideas I've been implementing and writing about, so while it was good to avoid work during the ride, it was nice to chew that familiar fat again once safely within doors and lubricated by a glass of bordeaux.

the bright glare of progress and my dark gnarled hand

Originally uploaded by jsteel.
My rapid progress has slowed a little with the transition from programming to writing. I started well on Wednesday getting the structure and some existing pieces of the paper in place and gaining about 6 pages. Between Thursday and Friday I didn't get very far, although on Friday Jean-Marc came back to me with a piece he had written, so I crept up to 7 pages.

Saturday was a tough call for work, as it turned it out. Mum and Dad called about 90 seconds after my alarm went off, so I was able to give their new webcam an inconspicuous beginning, with bleary eyes and a strong desire for coffee and a shower. From there I just never quite hit the work vibe, hovering between a new cricket game and the strong gravity of the intertron.

This photo has nothing to do with anything I've written, beyond a vague, perhaps plausible but ultimately apocryphal reference to being woken up and blinded by bright lights. I took it on the weekend though, so its not entirely non-sequitur.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

on a tear

I had been coding like a tiger for a few weeks, chasing a deadline arbitrarily set at Tuesday, and in the end pretty much got there. I lost some impetus on the weekend when I realized that I'd gotten the implementation pretty much to where I wanted it. What remained was building a convincing example, which was less than inspiring as a task, and thus I didn't pound out the LOC like I had beforehand. Anyhow, its in a state where I can write some examples for my thesis and justifiably claim that it typechecks and works.

To be fair, Tuesday wasn't entirely arbitrary as a deadline. I had a meeting with Jean-Marc scheduled for the afternoon and an MRI scheduled for midday, meaning that I was going to lose half a day anyway, making it a good candidate for thinking about direction rather than trying to write or code.

The MRI went pretty well. I was called only 20 minutes or so later than the appointed time, and from there was treated to an amusing parody of an old Seinfeld sketch I remember about doctors and hospitals. I was called and taken by someone into a small room, where I was told to remove my pants and wait. After 5-10 minutes someone else came and got me and escorted me to another small room for another 15-20 minutes of doing nothing. OK, to be fair, this second small room had a million-dollar MRI machine in it, and although I was doing nothing, I was inside a tunnel and the machine was going clunk-clunk-whirrr, so I guess it wasn't entirely time wasted. From there it was back to the original small room, pants back on, and another little wait. I then met the esteemed photographer in a third small room where he showed me pictorally how my ACL is, as suspected, not what it once was. Too subtle? It's torn, and my surgery will go ahead as the specialist had predicted. Anyhow, in all, I was back at work by 2:30pm, which was reasonable.

My meeting with Jean-Marc went pretty well, too. He had been watching the CVS stats, so it was no secret I'd been churning code pretty hard, and we had a good chat about the paper we have planned for the ECOOP deadline in a month's time, which will hopefully also cut-and-paste itself in as a chapter of my thesis.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

potent quotables

For one reason or another, I've been reading quotes today, a practice which draws the reader inevitably towards the genre's undoubted master, Oscar Wilde. For instance:

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

Hard to argue with that.

Having claimed that Wilde was the genre's master, it must be admitted that I began the browse with Groucho Marx, who, despite a different approach, is no mug either.

Monday, 6 November 2006

Gore blimey...

Since when does being thrown into the air equate to being "gored"? Is it sufficient now to be injured in the company of an animal with tusks? Used to be one had to actually, you know, "pierce or stab" you. *Sigh*, I'm getting old.