{March 10, 2008}   hangzhou, and home

I’m a bit late in blogging about hangzhou. too busy having fun. :)

I got back to hangzhou wednesday evening, got a room (in the dorm when I used to live) and had yummy korean food. didn’t manage to find any net access that night, but the comparative luxury of having a bathroom 3 feet from my bed was worth it :) I got a room in one of the buildings with new air conditioning too, so the room was all warm and comfortable :)

in the morning I went and got my suitcases, and somehow managed to stuff a few more things into them… I got a chance to check email, realised my flight was half an hour earlier than I thought it was… but didn’t worry too much ’cause I had plenty of time. I was planning to catch either the 12:30 or 1:30 bus to the airport, since it was supposed to take 3 hours, and my flight was at 6.

when I was done repacking and dealing with mail, I had to wait for my friend to finish his shower, then we dragged my suitcases out and found a taxi. I got to the bus station at 12:35, so I had loads of time to wait for the 1:30 bus. since I hadn’t got around to eating yet, some nice guard helped me get instant noodles. yay food-like-things. when the bus driver showed up at 1, he asked me when my flight was, and then got into a long converstaion with some other employee… he wasn’t too happy. thought I might not arrive in time, and kept telling me it was ‘weixian’, which usually translates as ‘dangerous’. he told me several times that I should’ve taken the previous bus… but, zenme ban? :P what can I do about it? it was a bit late for that. he said that the fastest he could go would take 3 1/2 hours, which would mean arriving at 5, but it would probably take longer… I prepared myself for a mad dash through the airport, tried to stay calm despite his nagging, and waited for the bus to leave. Two other people showed up to take the bus, and he got them to warn me some more in broken english. I was hoping that he was exaggerating (chinese people seem to have a tendency to make me worry about things I don’t really need to worry about) and decided that the best thing I could do at this point was have faith in the Armitage luck (something I’ve really been pushing lately).

so, we finally set off, and he was driving fast the whole time, weaving between other cars and trucks. we arrived at the airport at 4:15 – *less* than three hours. :) and that was after he took a small detour to let the other two people off at some hotel. I had plenty of time to sit around and wait for the plane. :)

as for the plane flight… I think I almost *like* flying at this time of year. almost. ;) there were lots of empty seats, so I had two to myself, and the vegetarian meals tasted quite good (partially because I’d had nothing but instant noodles that day, I bet). I alternated between watching movies and unsuccessfully attempting sleep.

it’s still kinda hard to believe I’m back in canada. my first night back I had toast, and grilled cheese :) yay food! every meal I’ve had so far has tasted delicious. I have my bike again, and I have a shiny new olpc to play with, and lots of people to see… I don’t think I’m gonna be online much this week. too busy having fun. :)

{March 5, 2008}   reading chinese menus

I’ve noticed that reading menus is a lot easier these days.

I don’t think it’s that I know more words… most of my vocabulary has nothing to do with food. I’m still usually just looking for dishes that are familiar, and avoiding anything with a meat character. I think the key is that I recognise characters *faster* now, and the one I’m searching for starts to pop out of the page, the way english words do when I’m searching for them. my mind’s starting to make those connections and wire itself up for processing chinese characters as actual language, not pictures.

this reminds me of a language-game idea I had, that I never wrote… a kinda wordsearch-like game where you just show a grid of random characters and the user has to click a certain one as fast as possible. a nice simple little timed game. options could be added to have multiple instances of the character to find, or to find whole words instead, maybe have a pretty svg restaurant theme in the background…

{March 4, 2008}   shanghai

[another long post; wrote it last night]

whew. what a day!
I’d forgotten about the lack of central heating in the south. ohhh the cold. I do not like how cold I am. I do not like it, sam-I-am.

I meant to get up early and wander around, but of course that never happens; by the time I’d convinced myself to wake up and leave the relative almost-warmth of bed, then showered and checked email, it was already lunchtime. I wandered out and gawked at things for a while, and evenutally found myself in some underground shopping area – the standard chinese tourist shops with bags, watches, jewellery and other knicknacks.
I looked around for a while, and remembered that my mum wants another watch (I don’t know how she does it but no watch lasts even a year without breaking in some way or another). I was so surprised to find some watches that actually looked good, I bought two of them. at the price the girl was asking; 30 kuai each. I’m sure they can’t have been worth more than ten; in fact, on my way out I caught sight of some similar watches with marked prices – 28 kuai. yep, I’m a sucker. (at least I had my wits about me when I was buying clothing in beijing).

I wandered along the street a bit more, and some chinese guy started chatting with me… he had a standard phishing story about being only 15 years old, running away from home and looking for work – all bullshit I’m sure, but I bought him a cheap lunch anyways ’cause he was fun to talk to.

not long after getting rid of him, two girls came up – their story was that they were students doing an art exhibition. :) I let them pull me along to go see their ‘art’ – the standard scroll paintings that everyone swears they made themselves. they did have some silk paintings I hadn’t seen before, though, and those were pretty. I ended up buying one ofthem for 55 kuai – a ridiculous price I’m sure, but they were asking 50 for the cheapest paper scrolls that I know areworth under 10 kuai, and I made the mistake of saying I’d pay 50 for the nice silk painting not the little paper one… luckily 55 was all I had in my wallet at the time. :) they were fun to chat with, though. everyone’s been fascinated by my water thingummy today – I can never remember what to call those plastic water-sacks with the tube, but I dunno why everyone doesn’t buy them. they really are convenient.

After that I wandered until I reached the small strips of flowers and grass that were marked as a big green area on my map :P I was just turning around to wander back when some people saw me juggling and were quite interested… turns out they were tourists from some other part of china, around my age. it was a while before I convinced myself they really were just tourists and not part of some elaborate plot to part me from more of my money. ;) they were about to go buy tickets for some acrobatics show, and I decided to tag along. unfortunately the tickets cost a bit more than what I hadon me (minus the money tagged as ‘needed for survival’) and there was a charge for using plastic, so one of the guys paid for all four tickets and we headed to an ATM to pay him back. That was kinda.. very stupid. I’d already had to go to three ATMs in beijing to get my card to work. this time we went to… I think four ATMs, and then we went into a bank, where there was a minimum withdrawal of 1000 plus a 30 kuai service fee… which didn’t matter, because there was some kind of error again. I even tried my visa in an ATM, guessing at the pin # (I remember 3 of the 4 digits). we went back to the ticket-selling place and got them to try charging the ticket to either of my cards… while they were fiddling I realised the tickets were nonrefundable, and started to stress out. strange thing was, when they tried my debit card they never asked for my pin and said that the machine said there wasn’t enough money, so they must’ve been outright doing something wrong htere… anyways, they said there was an atm across the street that would surely work – I didn’t believe that, but we went anyways… and it actually worked. I have no fucking clue why, but I finally managed to get money, thank god.

and then one of the guys realised he’d left his bag back at the ticket office. doh. :) he ran back to get it and I headed off to the hostel.

I have a feeling that either my bank is having network issues, or my cards themselves are messed up, because that was pretty fucked up. never again will I buy something with someone else’s money. :P

anyways, I had just enough time to walk back to the hostel, get some food and head to the acrobatics show. I took the subway.. oh god. shanghai subways are madness. utter madness. also, the street maps down there don’t always have north pointing up… anyways, I survived, and even arrived a bit early. no sign of my new friends, though. :/ I sent them an sms and they said they were on their way, but I’m not sure if they ever made it. how odd. in any case, the performance was awesome :) lots of flips and guys standing on shoulders and jumping from one pole to another and swinging around, and girls doing weird ballet-like things, and even motorcycles in a ball… definately worth the money. :)

I’m gonna go collapse now. I have to head back to hangzhou tomorrow – I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that I’m really leaving china. :)

{March 3, 2008}   xi’an and beijing

[warning: big long rambling post]

I don’t quite remember what my last blog post covered – I’m writing this offline. I think the last one was before nornagon arrived – the two of us did some touristy stuff in beijing, then went to xi’an for a couple of days, then had to hurry back to beijing so he could fly home. :( we didn’t have time to see the Great Wall, unfortunately – someday we’ll have to come back, ’cause there really wasn’t enough time.

xi’an was pretty nice – it’s a shame we had less than two days there. the hostel room was like a frigging hotel – actually, it looked like they really were sharing hte building with a hotel :) hehe. we ended up in a double room with ensuite (although I think we actually booked something a little cheaper) and it came with toothbrushes, shampoo, even towels! :) it’s a good thing it did, ’cause I used my own towel to mop up spilt tea.
the first day in xi’an we decided to just relax, enjoy the nice hostel room, hack a bit… then in the afternoon we went to buy train tickets for hte next day – there’s no such thing as return tickets in china, it seems. :/ the person at the regular ticket booth just kept repeating ‘没有’ – she didn’t have any. so we went back to the hostel and paid them 45 kuai commission to get tickets for us. after that I was stressed, worrying about whether they’d actually be able to get us tickets… I shouldn’t have worried, really, since that doesn’t change anything, and we did get our tickets after all. :)
in the evening we went out to the ‘muslim quarter’ – a couple of streets that were fairly touristy, selling lots of stuff, mostly food… we ate some pineapple rice cake thing that was yummy, then had dinner at an interesting restaurant – there was a big hot pot in the middle of the table, and all sorts of food on skewers along the wall. each skewer is the same price, so you gather up a trayful, start putting them in your pot to cook them, and at the end they count up the skewers for your bill… I really liked the peanutty sauce we got with it. yummy yummy food. :) I bought some snacks on the way back, too.
back at the hostel, we remembered they’d given us tickets for a free beer each – turns out it was a free chinese-size beer each :) so we drank and talked for the rest of the night.

in the morning we packed up and headed off for the standard teracotta warriors tour. one complication – there was no power or hot water in the morning. we’d missed the notice about construction somehow… good thing we’d showered before bed anyways.
the tour wasn’t too bad – they didn’t hurry us too much, and we stopped for lunch at an okay restaurant… of course it was only *after* we ate that they told us the food wasn’t included in the tour price and we had to pay an extra 40 kuai each. :P we weren’t happy about that, but since it wasn’t an unreasonable price for a tourist area we just grumbled a little.
the tour ended a bit earlier than expected, so we had a bit of free time. since no power at the hostel meant no internet, we went off in search of a starbucks – and found one, around the right side of the mall. :) once again we got a bit distracted hacking, then had to hurry to get food before it was time to leave. that evening we found a lovely little restaurant nearby – standard good-quality chinese food at chinese prices. just across the street from the starbucks, it was the second restaurant; the guy came out offering an english menu, so we went in (I can handle chinese menus now, but nornagon has only studied japanese).
on the train back to beijing, we wanted to watch a movie – but were sharing the cabin with two other people, and didn’t want to disturb them. so, we decided to splice two pairs of headphones together. :) we had one spare pair of cheap headphones, so we cut it open. unfortunately, the signal wire inside was insulated, and so fine that scraping off the insulation often broke it. :/ once we got some bare wire, trying to actually do anything with it broke it, so eventually we gave up and just shared one pair of headphones. ah well, at least it was fun to try :)

I was kinda having trouble enjoying myself in xi’an ’cause I’d caught a cough & cold, so I decided to rest for a couple of days back in beijing. that quickly turned into four days of hacking and catching up on email. oops :) it was nice to relax, though. I went out one evening for dinner with BLUG, which was fun, although all the talking and smoke in the air really didn’t help the cough :/
now I’m in shanghai… despite dozing off on the train right after it started (or maybe because of that) I didn’t sleep very well. I was slow in getting off the train, and I think I almost didn’t get off :/ the doors were closed and then some employee jumped when she saw me and opened the nearest door to let me off. then Ihad to find my way out, sincethere was no horde of people to follow. at first I tried to go out the entrance by mistake, but eventually I was pointed in the right direction. :)·
once I was off the train platform, everything was straightforward. I managed to take the subway and walk to the hostel this time, instead of relying on a taxi. oh god was it ever crowded on shanghai subway – they had employees at one point standing by hte doors to make sure people were let off beore the crowds pushed on. they didn’t seem to have that at the station I got off at – I had to kinda push backwards and sideways until I made it to the door, ’cause there was no room to turn in.
somehow I survived, though, and got out into the.. relatively clean shanghai air. it’s kinda disturbing to think of shanghai air as clean. :/
not long after arriving at the hostel, I pulled out my computer and returned to this blog entry (I started it on the train). they still have no wireless here, but they do have power outlets by the beds. pretty soon I was fast asleep – slept away the afternoon. I hope that doesn’t make it impossible to sleep tonight. I think I’ll get up now and go do something so that I don’t fall back asleep. :)

{February 21, 2008}   beijing

I’m enjoying beijing so far, despite the bad air :)

I got off the train monday morning, and some people who had been in my cabin took me to the subway since they were going the same direction as me, and told me which stop to get off at. they even insisted on paying for my ticket. :) the only downside to this was that I didn’t have a chance to buy a map on my way out of the train station.

after getting off the subway, people only seemed to have a vague idea of where I was trying to go (despite my directions being copied off the hostel website) – so I wandered in what one person said was the right direction until I found somewhere selling maps. after that I think it took me half an hour to figure out where I was and where I was going – but I wasn’t in any hurry. once I got the map figured out, the hostel actually wasn’t so hard to find. :) I showed up at building #1, and they took me through the hutong to building #2. I haven’t a clue how to get back there – hutong appears to be chinese for ‘a maze of twisty passages, all alike.’ ;)

the hostel itself is quite nice. very old, but in good condition, and the people here are quite friendly :) there are a couple of guys who seem to be staying here for a while – coincidentally, one is from canada. they seem to spend a lot of time eating and making terrible jokes. ;) I went shopping with one guy, and he’s really good at bargaining. :) he helped me get a pair of pants and a jacket at reasonable prices – now I just have to figure out how to fit them into my suitcase when I go home :P

the food here has been fairly good so far. I had a bit of trouble getting vegetarian stuff for dinner today (one of those “it’s not got *much* meat in it” places) but on monday I had no problems at all – when we went for lunch one of the guys didn’t eat any meat either just ’cause we’d already ordered plenty of yummy veggies. :)

it’s been kinda weird adjusting to central heating again. when I arrived, it was a cold morning – I’m pretty sure I saw a frozen river a few minutes before the train stopped – and the wind made it even colder. the hostel was somewhat heated, but I kept my layers and layers of clothing. :) all the rooms open onto a little outdoor corridor, and some people tend to leave the door open…

the conference hotel, on the other hand, was heated excessively. I was slowly stripping off t-shirts as the day wore on, and other people were commenting on the heat too… it was uncomfortably warm :/ but it was still quite cold outside. on the second day I wore less layers, and no long-sleeved shirt, but it was still a bit too hot. there was a lot of static electricity, too – someone said that the hotel power outlets aren’t really grounded :/ every time I picked up my laptop I got a shock. I’m praying that it didn’t damage the poor thing.

today, it seems spring has arrived. when I went out for food, I only wore two t-shirts and a jacket – no big winder coat, no gloves. :) hopefully this means the lake is less frozen, ’cause supposedly the lantern festival is tonight.

well, my first conference is over now. it was quite fun. :)

before I got into the conference room the first morning, I was distracted by some of the laptops being shown off outside. I caught sight of that bright green OLPC, and had to go play with it. :)

I’ve been told that they’re small, but I was still surprised; it really does look like a kid’s machine. :) the screen looks quite nice, there are a bunch of buttons I didn’t have time to figure out… but at least it took me under ten seconds to get it back open after closing it. ;) I’m really looking forward to getting mine when I get home. (did I mention that? a guy on vanlug agreed to sell me his. yay!)

there were some other small linux devices out there that I’d never heard of; one looked like an oversized psp, and seemed designed mainly for playing movies and such. somewhere I have the marketing papers for those devices…

inside there were presentations; my notes on them look long and boring now. there was kernel stuff, and interesting mention of new filesystems (naturally I forgot to write down the name of the one that sounded most interesting), and a lot of talk about mobile devices and being able to have the same sort of software on many devices, how linux has all this opportunity beyond the desktop. some people seem to think traditional pc’s are on their way out and other formfactors are gonna take over. :) there was also a tool called bloatwatch mentioned – it helps keep control over the size of the kernel. I wonder if it’d be useful to kde developers.

at one point someone was talking about the future of user interfaces, how things needed to be consistent and modular and how settings should follow the user from device to device… that made me think of plasma a lot, even though most people at the conference had no idea what plasma is. I wish I could figure out how to explain why this seems significant… it seems like they want to go in the same direction that plasma wants to go, and more communication in this area would be really useful, but… I just can’t seem to find the right words.

it was probably a good thing I couldn’t get online, or I never would have paid attention; I was already distracted getting plasma’s layout-patch compiled and starting work on some multiple desktop stuff. :) somehow that first day gave me a ton of motivation to code – but of course I didn’t have much time to do so.

half an hour before lunch I ducked out to get some tea, and never made it back in. freeflying introduced himself, and then introduced me to some other BLUG (Beijing LUG) people, and somehow I ended up showing them plasma, and then suddenly more people were crowding around, so I was chatting with some people while others played with kde4 on my laptop :) BLUG’s a really nice group – they even gave me a t-shirt (it’s got an orange penguin on the back).

after lunch I was sitting against the back wall so that my laptop could be plugged in, and lots of people came by to chat. I hope I remember to email everyone I promised to email. between the laptop, people talking to me and some things being lost in translation, my notes for the afternoon have a lot of holes :)

the translation system was pretty cool, though. we could get little wireless gadgets with headphones that picked up the live translation, on either the chinese or english channel – somewhere two people in a booth were constantly translating everything that was said. the wireless didn’t seem to like my laptop, though – sometimes if I moved the wrong way it would cut off. :/ other time the speakers went a little fast, and the translators had to skip a bit. a few times I got distracted listening to both the chinese and the english, because it was such a weird effect, and forgot to listen to what was actually being *said* :)

lunch was quite good there, both days; there were enough vegetarian options for me to have a nice meal, and delicious desserts too. dinners weren’t so great; the second day I was sitting beside Matt, and discovered he’s vegan. poor guy didn’t get much more than peanuts and celery. :( I could eat the fried rice at least, but I’m glad I had a big lunch that day. of course, there was no shortage of beer at either dinner. :)

after dinner the first day we eventually wandered downstairs to a bar. me, matt (kernel/embedded/mercurial guy), dave (gnome guy) and jonathan (kernel guy) played a game of pool before joining the gossip about linux companies. :)

by the time I got back to my hostel it was midnight, and the router was turned off so I had no interwebs – but I was exhausted anyways :) I dragged myself out of bed at 7 the next morning so that I could check mail n’stuff before heading back to the conference.

the second day there was a roundtable discussion in the morning; there was discussion about how to increase linux marketshare, how device manufacturers often have trouble learning to interact with the linux community, how to get chinese developers more involved, etc…

some people want to just forget the desktop and focus on making linux awesome on other formfactors and growing strong there before MS is powerful enough to pull the kind of dirty tricks that make the pc a “black hole that sucks in effort”. others thought that the desktop is extremely important and we need to keep trying to win it over.

beijing students seem frustrated that while they have LUGs, and plenty of people using linux, they have very few actual developers. they want people to learn from, but there aren’t any around, and it sounds like a chicken-and-egg problem. I guess language barriers make it hard for them to just go online and teach themselves. one guy from shanghai did seem surprised, and suggested that people come on irc and start chatting. someone mentioned that some students couldn’t even afford to download certain things – I’m so used to thinking of downloading as free, it’s weird to think that some people are charged a lot of money for it :(

also, apparently a lot of these people, even after graduating, are missing important skills. someone suggested that the university should offer students the chance to do a project where one of the requirements is getting their code merged upstream, so that they have to learn how to interact with an online community. I’m not sure what I think of that.

I could probably go on for ages about the roundtable, but this post is long enough already. the BOF session in the afternoon was kinda… odd. I started at the desktop table, but the gnome guy was delayed and never actually made it. everyone else at the table was chinese, so everyone was speaking chinese, and one guy started talking about APIs and how he wanted the kernel to do things that wine is currently doing, or something… trying to understand it was hard, and people spoke nonstop, so eventually I got tired and went to see what the other tables were talking about. this is how chinese people must feel when they try to interact with english-speaking groups…

I didn’t write anything down during the BOF, so I don’t really remember what I talked about (yeah, my memory is that bad). I showed off plasma a couple of times, and someone taught me some interesting things about filesystems and charsets and all the headaches involved… I actually need to report a bug against something in kde4 because it’s not mounting things properly any more, which is what got the discussion started.

by the end of the BOF session I was exhausted. so much talking and listening, especially listening to chinese, is really draining. we went out to a bar after dinner on the second night, but when people decided to head off to a second bar I went back to the hostel. it’s been a long, long few days. lots of fun, though. :) I got some new ideas for plasma, and there are a bazillion things I need to do now…

overall, the conference was great :) I’m really looking forward to the plasma sprint and akademy now – being able to talk to developers face-to-face is so much better than irc. :)

mmm, it’s a beautiful day today. :) it’s been sunny all week, which is part of the reason I’ve been dozing instead of coding, but today the temperature is no longer bloody freezing – I was actually outside without my winter jacket (although I was still wearing 5 layers of clothing). right now I have my window wide open, and I’m only wearing three layers. it’s an improvement! and the sunlight makes it really hard not to be happy :)

best of all, I have my train ticket! whee! I went down to the office at the main gate and just bought it myself – it was easy. I should’ve done that in the first place, but instead I followed my friend’s advice, trying to get the travel agent to do it.

so, it’s official, I’m leaving sunday evening. now I have to pack, and find out which train station I have to go to… I guess I should enjoy this bit of spring before I head up north where it’ll be all cold again :)

{February 13, 2008}   packing up

Where on earth did the last two weeks go?

…programming, I guess. Little things. I remember diving into clock code to figure out why the heck the svg wasn’t being drawn right, tearing my hair out over it – but ending up with a much better understanding of.. um… something. I remember fixing up small issues with the notes applet (at the same time as three other people, it turned out). I remember cleaning up the twitter engine a little. I remember spending excessive amounts of time on irc, as usual – but hey, it’s fun. I remember spending far, far too much time trying to help a guy with his computer problems… only to have him do yet-another windows reinstall while I wasn’t there, and wipe linux along with the iso I’d just gotten him to download. (Apparently his friend finally got the networking to work, but now he has no sound, and I think chinese support is still fscked. meh, whatever.)

True, I had been planning to lose myself in code for that time, but I’d forgotten how damn *fast* time passes when I do that.

Chinese new year… had a lot of fireworks. Really a lot. It started on the 6th, and for some reason I was really sleepy that day. Just barely woke up in time for the school dinner (food sucked, but we got free money) and then fell back asleep afterwards despite the constant barrage of fireworks for the entire night. Whoops. Had meant to go to the bar that night, oh well…
The days after that had lesser amounts of fireworks, but still a lot. I got woken up by them around 8am this morning. :P

Hard to believe it’s wednesday already. Or, thursday technically, seeing as it’s 3:30am. I spent most of tuesday and wednesday lazing around, sleeping, drifting in and out… then realised that I was supposed to be leaving really soon and the travel agent *still* had not got me train tickets. If I can’t get a straight answer from her tomorrow I’ll have to try buying them myself, and hope they still have some… ugh. Hard to remember *not* to assume people will do things they say they’ll do, here.

So yeah, hopefully I’ll be leaving for beijing on sunday. We’ll see. It still hasn’t really hit me. I started to go through my stuff this evening, preparing to pack up. I’ve found a couple of people willing to store my suitcases while I’m up north. :) I basically have everything I need except train tickets.

If anyone wants anything from china, now’s the time to ask. No guarantees though – I think my suitcases are gonna be pretty heavy already.

Oh, and I decided to try this ‘capital letters’ thing for this blog post ;) Since aseigo’s using them, I guess it can’t be that bad, eh? Did you guys notice?

[Edit: I just noticed aaron *hasn’t* been using capital letters lately. huh. Just shows how little I notice such things. :) ]

{February 3, 2008}   sleep is for the weak

not much time to blog recently. I’ve regained my motivation somehow – it’s in a bit of a fragile state, though. haven’t actually got much code done, too much other stuff. half the week was spent doing stupid RL stuff, plus I ran into a guy moving in here and was helping him get internet n’stuff… oh, but that’s not what I was talking about. I mean on my computer there’s too much other stuff.

lots of small issues to get in my way – a few days ago I compiled a new alsa-lib and got amazing wonderful sound, better than I’ve ever had. mixing worked, just worked. I had amarok from kde3 running as my kde3 user in my kde4 user’s session, and phonon still played kde4 sound effects at the same time as the music. skype works again too – so amazingly well that I may as well have been using a real phone. lucky that I discovered this on my mum’s bday – got to chat with her for a while :) but then yesterday the sound just stopped, and I had to reboot to get it back, so things are not perfect.

there’s other issues to work out too, which I would have reported if bugzilla didn’t fall over (it came back today but now I’ve no time). there’s plasma emails to deal with, people on irc asking questions, ideas to write down, techbase stuff to work on… I’m trying not to spend too much time on irc and email, but it’s hard. I’m generally either distracted incredibly easily or totally lost in my code. I was up ’till 6am last night because I got the urge to write some stuff down at 3am and just kept wanting to do one more thing. :) I’m going to put down the computer after this blog post, really.

sleep deprivation is bad in that it makes me act kinda drunk, but good in that it makes it so much easier to do certain things that I just normally hate doing. like reporting bugs. anyways, none of that tonight.

I don’t really remember today – another downside of not sleeping normally. but it seems I finally committed that patch for dragging applets to the toolbar, and I *think* kwallet has a bug :( bugs that only show up on login are a real PITA to test when you’ve only got one computer and your graphics driver dislikes running more than one X.

I spent most of this evening watching that video of aaron’s presentation/tutorial at :) it was quite inspiring – I had to keep pausing it to write notes, and I think I had an important bit of inspiration about the twitter data engine. it was pretty amusing too – plasma is all about the c(l)ocks, eh? ;) rofl.

now I just have to actually make time to implement some of the things I thought of. having paused the video so often, it took me a long time to finish watching it. past time to sleep now. hopefully tomorrow will be a coding day.

{January 29, 2008}   another busy day.

so sunday and monday I did nothing. dunno why, just didn’t feel like doing *anything*. :(
this morning I got woken up (multiple times) by my friend phoning me. I thought I was never going to see here again; turns out there was a mixup with the dates she’d told me, and she had gone to hainan earlier than I expected, but now she’s back for a few more days :) yay.

so eventually I decided it was time to get up, and went out with her for a fancy lunch. yummy kiwi drink, mushroom soup, veggies with cream sauce, a chocolate cake-like dessert… all of it was amazingly delicious. :) tourist prices of course, but well worth it.

after that we went to the hairdresser – she was scared to go alone in case they misunderstood and messed up her hair, and I’d been avoiding it for the same reason. now I wish I’d gone months ago; it was great :) they washed our hair, and I got a massage before my haircut, and then afterwards I chatted with some of the hairdressers ’cause my friend’s hair still wasn’t done (straightening takes aaages). and all that for only 20 kuai each (about $3); in canada I’d have to pay $20 just for a normal haircut.

after that I had to go shopping, urgh. I hate shopping. I was a little stressed when I couldn’t find the right type of batteries at haoyouduo (type C is always a hassle) but the third salesperson I talked to went to a pile of boxes and started searching; I think he was on the tenth box when he finally found them :) so now I have my batteries, and a mini adaptor plug for my laptop so I don’t have to lug a whole power bar up to beijing with me (uhh, now let’s hope the thing I bought does work in beijing!).

I should have stopped for dinner on the way home, really. I almost forgot about food again. guess I’ll head back out now… urgh, but I’m just so drained. I wish I could just pull something out of a freezer and microwave it…
still, today was fun. so yay. and there’s still a bit of snow on the ground, sorta.

et cetera