Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

July 21, 2004

we’re in OLS, waiting for the talks to begin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 4:30 PM

Now that we’re finally on the net, expect updates as soon as I can write them.

July 18, 2004

OLS 2004 BLOG – day 2, Hello, Boston!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:10 PM

We woke up at 2 AM in the morning. I
blame the jet lag. We watched some TV, read a little email. Eventually
we drifted back to sleep, and woke up in the morning. The plan for
today was see the harbor area attractions. We decided to take the T there, and then look around for
something to eat. I tend to be a little hungry in the mornings. We
took the T to the government center station, started walking around,
looking for Faneuil
Hall
. Eventually, we stopped and looked at the map, only to
realize Faneuil Hall is directly ahead of us.

boston harbor view 1
boston harbor view 2

In Faneuil Hall, we
had a delicious breakfast, a croissant sandwich. I had mine with egg,
cheese and bacon (yum!). Then we headed for the first and main
attraction of the day, the New England Aquarium.

The Aquarium was incredible. I think I’ll let the pictures speak for
themselves.

jelly
yellow fish
penguin
colorful crab

Two hours later, we left the Aquarium and walked along the wharves. I
kept fantasizing about an appartment here, with its own marina, and
Orna kept talking about 20 below temperatures. We wanted to visit the
Boston Tea Party Ship, and then return to the IMAX theater. It
turned out that the Boston Tea Party Ship is closed until further
notice, and will probably open sometime in 2005. Instead, we bought
Orna some ice cream outside the Boston Children’s Museum.

By this time lunch time was drawing near. We headed over to Quincy
Market
, with a brief detour to the “green fountain”.

orna
orna and fountian
me

We had a great Mexican lunch at Quincy Market, and did a bit of
shopping. I finally bought the Navy
Seals Training 3 DVD set
I’ve wanted for ages. I also found a nice
watch at the swatch store, but we left that for later and ran to the 2
PM IMAX show. At the IMAX we watched “Volcanoes of the Deep”, which
was pretty but boring. Then we went back to Qunicy Market, bought my
watch, did some real shopping (groceries) and a lot of window shopping
(lovely – expensive! – silver pewters). On the way back to the hotel
we took the T during Friday afternoon rush hour, which is not a very
pleasant experience.

At night Orna didn’t feel very well, so we stayed in the hotel. Orna
slept, and I played with the TV, read email, confused swans and
peacocks, and did lots of other hotel-type fun stuff.

policeman on horse</a
boston sky line
boston sky line 2

Next up – Saturday is Museum Day.

July 17, 2004

OLS 2004 BLOG, Day 1 – Hotel@MIT

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 4:00 AM

So, at long last, we made it to Boston. We’re staying at the hotel
with the silly name, Hotel@MIT. Silly
name, but lavish accomodations. Full amenities included, and weird and
wonderful stuff wherever you turn. Pictures of our hotel room to
follow later – it’s pretty messy at the moment.

After relaxing at the hotel, and taking a very-badly-needed shower, we
ventured out for lunch. We found ourselves in a nice Indian
restaurant, just a few blocks from the hotel, where we had the lunch
buffet. Then we started walking toward Harvard Square, down
Cambridge’s Massachusets avenue (I think). I took a few
pictures
.

drawn wall
some house
lovely inner courtyard

Sadly, our trip didn’t last very long, as I managed to rip a very
large hole in my pants, in a fairly strategic location. We turned
around and went back to the hotel. Defeated, we went to sleep “for
just an hour”, and woke up at 2 AM. So much for our first day in
Boston.

Interlude – Swan pictures from the Haifa Zoo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 3:48 AM

On the last weekend before we left for the OLS world tour, Orna and
me visited the entrance (we didn’t even go in!) of the Haifa Zoo. We saw this
beautiful
swan there
, just wandering outside.

swan1
swan2
swan3

[edit: ok, ok, you can stop laughing at poor Muli and his in-ad-eq-u-a-te Inglish. It’s a bloody peacock, but it’s still beautiful! ;-)]

OLS BLOG 2004 Day 1 – EWR Can Eat My Shorts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 3:37 AM

The remainder of the flight to Newark was uneventful. People were waking up, and the traffic to and from the lavatories was considerably annoying, as every single one of them had to brush up against me – or so it seemed. I had ample time to further develop my anti-social tendencies. Except for doing that, I read a bit, hit the keys on the laptop semi-randomly a bit, and waited for the 11 hours and 30 minutes flight to be over already! Orna, on the other hand, slept. Good for her.

Then we landed at EWR, also known as Newark Airport, just outside of New York, also known now as the airport from hell. To understand what follows, you have to know two simple facts. We landed at 5 AM, disoriented and jet-lagged. We also had a 7:30 AM connecting flight to Boston.

It all started with one small, innocent mistake. After leaving baggage claim, a paltry 45 minutes after landing, the guy who stood at the entrance to the “connecting flights” area kept telling people that only people on our flight who are proceeding to Miami should go there. The rest should head over to the other terminals for their flights. Sounds reasonable, thought we, and proceeded by monorail to Terminal B.

In Terminal B, madness ensued. There were lines of teeming people everywhere. The signs made no sense. Each person we asked for information gave us an answer that contradicted what the previous person said. By this time, 6;30 AM, they were also telling us we had no chance of making our 7:30 flight. Eventually, after running across the considerably-sized terminal several times, we found the place to check in our baggage. Then we started looking for a place to get a boarding pass. That turned out to be the first class lines. Which were very long. And not moving. Unlike the hands of Orna’s watch.

At this point, we were resigned to missing our flight, and our luggage, which was already checked in to a flight we weren’t going to make. We were sweaty, disheveled, annoyed, and on the verge of panic. We wondered if they will they blow the luggage up when we don’t show up to the flight? We decided to ask one more person for help, to stop our baggage from getting blow up. This person, an unnamed Continental employee, was our savior. She whisked us through lines, she got us our boarding passes by moving up to the head of the queue, she got us through security in record time, and to the entrance to the gate area. It was 7:20 by this time. She told us that we better run if we want to make our flight, and disappeared. We don’t know her name, but if we did, we would be sending a very nice letter to Continental management on her behalf, asking that she get a raise. She sure as hell deserves one.

So there we were, at the entrance to the gate area, with barely five minutes to spare. We ran. Thank god for PNS training, or I think I would’ve barfed, fainted, or both. This gate was FAR. As it was, I made it to the gates just a few seconds after Orna, even more sweaty and annoyed than I was before, if that was possible.

The flight attended looked at our tickets, and said that there’s only one here, yours, Ma’am, and where’s yours, Sir? Don’t you have a blue Continental package? I’m sorry, but I cannot let you board the plane without a ticket. Nothing we said helped. I showed her all of my tickets (I have quite a lot of them for this trip, in several different bundles, all of which look alike), but neither she nor we could find the ticket, and nothing we said could persuade her. After several minutes of this back and forth, she left us and closed the door leading to the plane behind her. We resigned ourselves to beginning the entire ordeal of getting on a Boston flight in this mad airport from the beginning, and this time with a missing ticket, too. As we were turning to leave, Orna took a last look at the tickets and realized that we’ve had my ticket all along, as well as her. The attendant kept looking at our two tickets and seeing only one. Furrfu! Arrrgh!

We shouted to the other attendant to STOP THAT PLANE. Quite loudly, I’m afraid. She turned to us in shock, looked at our tickets, opened the door and led us to the plane.

After that, it was all comparatively smooth sailing. Murphy was having a field day. First they wouldn’t give our boarding pass stubs, which we needed for the expense accounts. Then, it turned out that the plane wasn’t going anywhere – the fscking captain was missing! eventually, the captain was located and the plane took off – at 8:15 or so. So much for running down Newark airport to catch our 7:30 flight.

Next – hotel@MIT rocks!

July 16, 2004

OLS BLOG 2004 – Day 0 On the Flight to NY

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:31 AM

We managed to pack everything on time. Thus far, we’re reasonably certain we didn’t forget anything. We did manage to get locked out of the house, with only once suitcase (possible to live with), and a trapped cat inside the house and no way for my parents to get inside to feed her (not possible to live with). A misanthropic lock breaker and 400 NIS fixed that fairly quickly.

The ride to the airport was uneventful, though we did see a car that flipped over on its side. At the airport, we ate cold, expensive pastries at a yucky fast food place, did the obligatory duty free tour (just some alcohol for various relatives), and then checked out the VIP lounge – where we discovered hot pastries, for free. D’oh.

Then we boarded the plane. The flight, which is now entering its eighth hour, is at the same time boring and annoying. I think I’m growing to really hate trans-atlantic flights, as opposed to just actively disliking them. We have fabulous seat, right next to the lavatorie (thanks a lot, AMEX!), and the window seat is taken by a nice old lady that is making good use of our proximity to the lavatories. Its been a while since I’ve slept in such short bouts. Thank god I’m tired enough to sleep at all.

Only three hours to go until we hit EWR (Ewacs? Emacs? A new kind of neuter ewe? no, it’s New Jersey’s own airport!), at 04:40 in the morning local time. Then we have to make it through security, customs, baggage claim, find our connecting flight, board it, and hopefully make it to Boston. We should arrive in Boston at 8 or 9 AM in the morning, local time.

Since we haven’t really made an itinerary for the Boston leg of our trip, and taking into account jet lag, etc, we will be taking the first day easy. We’ll visit the Museum of Natural History, and possibly also to the Computer Museum at MIT, and walk around Cambridge, taking in the sites. I hope the weather will cooperate.

I have started to read Steven Levy’s Hackers again, looking for the sites I want to visit in MIT. So far on the list are Bldg. 26 (does it still exist?) and the TMRC shack. There’s also the library, and that’s about it. Kinda silly to travel accross the ocean to visit a library, but I’m a silly person like that.

Our hotel at Boston, Hotel@MIT, is supposed to have a T-1 in every room. If you’re reading this, we made it there and got the T-1 to work
๐Ÿ˜‰

OLS 2004 BLOG – Day Minus One

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:30 AM

So… I didn’t even get a change to write before embarking on the OLS 2004 world tour with the lovely ladypine and am making up for it now on the plane. Since my last post on Thursday last week, we’ve had a pretty stresful weekend (standard pre-travel anxiety), then a few busy pack-arrange-what-are-we-forgetting days, and then we were off.

On the PNS front, I’ve been remiss in the last two weeks. I’m holding steady at my current weight, give or take 0.5 kgs, but holding steady is not good enough. Must continue on the path of PNS! Vacations are bad time to be on a diet, but if I can just watch what I eat and exercise regularly (every hotel we’ll be in in the next three weeks has an indoor pool and gym, not to mention that ladypine‘s favorite tourist method is to endlessly walk the streets) should do the trick.

On the work front, I’m disengaging from my two projects. One I’m happy to leave behind for a few days. The other, I am sad to leave behind, and even feeling a little guilt. In the last weeks before leaving, we made progress in leaps and bounds, going from zero lines of useful code to around 7K, with all major functional areas covered!

On the school front, I have a nasty exam waiting for me when we’ll return. ‘Nuff said.

On the home front, we have various home improvements to make, including changing the lock, or at least the handle, on the door. Wait for the next entry to find out why….

And that’s it, I think. Let the OLS 2004 world tour commence!

July 8, 2004

Happiness is …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 2:14 PM

… discovering that the large chunk of obscure code you need to write as soon as possible has already been written. Two years ago. By Donald Becker. And works.

July 5, 2004

meta-me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 2:11 PM

After OLS, I am supposed to be spending a week at IBM’s facility in Tucson, Arizona. At first I thought I’d get there on Sunday evening, work Monday through Friday, and then leave on Saturday morning. Today, after having realized that the hotel I’ll be staying in is pretty comfortable and that Tucson is not quite the little burg I thought it was, I decided to stick around for an extra day, see the local sites and rest. Of course, I’m much more likely to end up spending Saturday in the lab debugging something, but – c’est la vie.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 1:44 PM

Welcome back advogato!

(posted to advogato
and livejournal).

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