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Fun in Irish shops

The Daily WTF once posted an image like this IIRC, and I thought "Come on, I see this all the time in Irish supermarkets!". For example, I saw this in Tesco last Saturday:

One 2l bottle of 7up for EUR 1.92. (How much does that cost in The Netherlands BTW, I wonder...) Now 2l is more than enough for me, but imagine it's not and maybe I want two bottles. HAVE THEY GOT A DEAL FOR ME!

TWO bottles for only EUR 3.95! What a bargain! But, wait... 2×1.92=3.84, so I pay five cents more per bottle if I get two. At least they're nice enough to give the price per litre for people who don't like maths. :-) Maybe this is Ireland's way of keeping its people on a healthy diet?

In other news, I miss Maplin from two years ago. It used to be a useful store for electronics (and components) and there used to be a guy who pretty much knew my name and actually knew what he's selling. But now... Jelena went there to get me some 2.5mm heatshrinks. I gave her a pack of 1.5mm ones with order numbers of what I need written on the label. Back home, it turned out that the guy in the shop tossed away the 1.5mm pack she had with her, for one reason of the other ...

Or not? Last weekend I was in the shop myself, and guess what I saw in the rack of 1.5mm heatshrinks? MY PACK OF HEATSHRINKS! With my handwriting on it and everything. Even better, opened and everything (I already used quite a few centimeters since I bought the pack months ago).

That's not how you get yourself happy customers, guys...

Oxegen 2008

As Jelmer already said, Irish people rock. Spent last weekend at the Oxegen festival, and I really meant to write something about it, so that's what I'm doing now. :-)

A little while ago Jelena saw an ad about Oxegen on TV. As soon as I heard of it, I checked the lineup and got as happy as a four-year-old kid on his birthday. I absolutely had to go there! Until then I really had the impression none of the bands I care about ever come here but just to the UK. Turns out I was wrong.

Aphex Twin was there, the schedule promised a half-an-hour gig, which turns out to be a whopping ninety minutes of, errrm, eargasm. And of course RATM on Sunday evening was great. But what we both really liked were the people. Some say that at Lowlands everyone's your best friend. Sure, the atmosphere there is nice, but still, it's a festival full of closed and shy Dutch people who live for themselves. :-P

The Irish at Oxegen, however, were absolutely lovely. Everyone seems to know you. People are more open (like how people here are anyway, especially outside Dublin), kinder. Random people walk greet you and/or want high fives, especially after good gigs. Of course the free hugs, people who ask how tall I may be (complaints about my hairs also appeared near the end of the festival, but I must admit my hair "styling" doesn't really improve from not seeing any shampoo for four days ;-)), someone even asked if we were maybe speaking Finnish (I guess this was the first time he heard Dutch)... At the Seasick Steve concert I helped someone to make one movie, since it was easier for me to hold his camera high enough to actually see something. The guy thanked me at least three times. :-D At Lowlands, where everone's supposed to be "your best friend", nobody trusts you enough to hold his/her camera in the first place...

The camping really never "slept", many people had a guitar with them, everyone speaks with a great accent, neighbours who explained us how to say "Shut up" and "Kiss my ass" in Gaelic. And of course, at the end of the festival, most people were too lazy to actually clean up their tent. We left a camping that was so full of tents, but otherwise so empty...

It was fantastic. Just a little bit expensive. More than 200 euros for the ticket. Any decent food costed at least seven euros. You even had to pay ten euros to get a programme (which was 50% advertisements). A beer costed eight euros (although you could get three back if you return the cup) There were lots of security folks on-site, I suppose a lot of the money went to them. Even at the campings there was always a security person on every 50 (?) meters. Not that they could prevent some tent graffiti and camping fights from happening, but okay...

Maybe the most amazing thing was that, even though this was a festival with almost 80k visitors, we never ever ever had to queue for ANYTHING. Well, okay, we had to wait for a few minutes to enter the supermarket once, but once we were inside everything went very smoothly, and we were back in the tent in no-time with some buns and slices of cheese (much better/lighter on the stomach for breakfast than the hotdogs most people were eating).

Anyway, it was absolutely great, and well worth the extra money. I can go on about this for ages, but I should be sleeping now. Thanks for reading this until the last line. ;-)

Got a place!

It's a week ago already since I moved into my new apartment. I managed to find one very close to work. I can pretty much walk from my desk at home to the one at work in five minutes. :-) It's not that I'm lazy, I was actually looking for a place a bit further away, but this apartment is pretty big and I like that. Might make some pics later.

Also working on BitlBee Jabber MUC support again, and it works pretty well already. Actually I use it all the time at work by now. No more need for crappy GUI Jabber clients. :-D


Today I finally thought of making multiple pictures of things too big to fit in one picture, to merge them into one image at home. The results are pretty cool, I think. I walked to Saint Stephen's Green first, you can see the center of the park on the picture. There's one easter egg hidden here, you can see a father with two girls walking here twice. Thanks to Roel for finding that one. :-) On this picture I didn't force the same exposure settings for every picture, so it looks like the grass isn't the same colour everywhere.

I also passed by the department of the prime minister. Although the exposure is fixed here, the picture is a "bit" distorted. There's a second version, which is kind-of straight horizontally, at least. Not really perfect, though.

So yeah, I'm back in Dublin. Spent a few days in .nl when I came back, but it's time to go back to work, and find a house. I tried to get something last week, but someone else applied for the house before I did. :-( I hope to get something soon though, it's time to stop living in hotels all the time. :-/

cp: Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb (live) !!!

How am I supposed to feel like I'm not in Holland ...

... if the guy right next to me in the supermarket is trying to use his [ Postbank] (Dutch bank which used to have a bad interoperability record) card? ;-) And in other news, I got myself a year supply of flour because [ Tesco] never heard of small quantities... ;-)

Anyway, I finally managed to connect to a nearby WLAN network in my own apartment. No need to sit in the hall anymore. :-D Went to the pub with some colleagues yesterday (including two people who interviewed me back in September), got to know my mentor (that's how they call the person who helps new employees with settling in the company) already. Great!

That's all for now. Let's see if there'll be Futurama or Simpsons on TV again tonight.

One week to go...

In a week I'll be in Dublin already. My flight will leave at 13:00 and will arrive 13:35. (Don't you just love timezones?) So then I'll hopefully post more frequently.

Got one week then to get familiar with the city, and on Wednesday I'll have my "one day home search", which means someone will show me eight houses and I can make a decision and hopefully move into that house pretty soon then. :-D Until that happens I got temporary accomodation just around the corner from Google, so that's great. I can walk to work. :-)

Have to say I'm looking forward. It'll be an exciting time, I'm pretty sure about that.

Meanwhile I'm just trying to relax a bit. My long semi-holiday is almost over. Planning just the last things I can do while I'm still here. Meet some people, instruct my successor at my former job on Friday, etc. It'll be strange to be away from here for so long...

And of course I'm happy that is back in the air! It also helped me to find some very strange bugs that happen when using libevent and epoll and running BitlBee in ForkDaemon mode. Did you ever see processes receiving each other's event notifications? I did. ;-)

Halfway December

It looks like blogposting bores me very quickly. ;-) Until my move to Dublin I won't be posting a lot here, never intended to.

But at least the site is running on a decent machine now. Not a P2-233 with hardly enough RAM to run SpamAssassin but on my good old dual P3 with a couple of Xen VMs. The frontpage loads in about one second now, instead of more than five. I'm working on a nice (mail-, web-, etc) server setup that will hopefully work perfectly for a long time while I'm faaar away.

Plans changed a bit though. I'll go to Dublin on the 29th of January, first day at work will be on the 5th of Feb. Gives me some time for exploring the area, hopefully finding a nice house, and the important things like a bank account and a social security number. So by then the news will hopefully appear. And probably some pictures. :-)

Until then I got a nice vacation and enough time for experimenting and meeting with friends and family while I still can. And emptying my old room, throwing away stuff I don't really need and getting rid of some other things in some way. I'm not too fond of moving, really. :-/

Oh yes, blog!

Just back from a short trip to Belgrade, and now I'm in the last days of my current job. As I could expect, time is running out, and there's always more to do than I thought, also thanks to having some "bad luck" with the only server with only one hard drive (yes, I know RAID != backup) and broken backup software. Suddenly it turns out that debugfs is not quite the best data recovery tool after all. ;-)

Meanwhile preparations for Dublin started. Looks like I'll go there on the 17th of January already to spend the rest of that week on an introduction tour through the city and another day for looking at some houses that might be good for me.

Meanwhile I didn't have too much time for hacking. The new BitlBee Jabber module isn't completely finished yet, I'm afraid. Would be nice to find some time for it soon...

Oh yes, and the following quote is making me a bit nervous: "All systems administrators have their horror stories. For me, it was setting up a HP Color Bubblejet under Linux using ghostscript before was alive. Well that was a piece of cake compared to what I am about to describe in this document."

I know how terrible the Linux printing hell is, so maybe I should go for Maildir after all... ;-) Continue reading "Oh yes, blog!"