Woken up by Leo, who called and asked me if I could help him and Aline carry a TV upstairs. He'd be arriving in 20 minutes, so I got up and got dressed. They got a pretty nice 25" TV on sale, and we carried it up to their apartment.
Went out to have lunch with Leo and Aline. We went to Pane en Via, a small place that does mainly baguettes and Italian. Had a roast beef baguette which was good, but a little small for the price. Also some good natural fruit juice.
Did some shopping at Superama, and rented a couple of movies. Checked mail and talked to Belinda for a bit, then ironed a shirt and got dressed for New Years. Even got a chance to wear my silver silk tie, and looked pretty sharp, too.
Leo wasn't in a very good mood when I arrived, but he cheered up. Aline got two of her friends to come over, and we ate cheese and crackers and drank assorted stuff for a while. Did the traditional grape eating thing at the stroke of 12, then took pictures of the drunk people dancing around.
People wanted to go out, so we got in the car and did some semi-drunk driving. The club we were going to was closed, so we went to the Alebrije, a place I don't like at all, since it's all upper-class snotty teens, but the average age seemed to be a bit higher than usual (probably the kids aren't allowed to go out on new years). We got some drinks, and Leo started doing some weird social experiments. He introduced himself to random people, and it turns out they're all so meek and stupid that they just accept anything, including hugging them randomly, dancing and flirting with their girlfriends, and so on. I got in on it too, walking over and going "Aren't you going to introduce me to your friend, Leo", and then squeezing as hard as I could when shaking hands (which is fairly hard). I also rubbed heads with some guy, and Leo introduced me as his boyfriend. We were in spasms of laughter afterwards, although it doesn't seem as funny when you're not drunk.
Left around 4:30. Leo was very drunk, stumbled and fell and was annoyed there were no taxis, so I found a taxi, got him and Aline into it, and let him sleep on my shoulder all the way home. Also held him while going up the stairs, so he wouldn't walk off them (he was very close a couple of times, the stairs have no bannister yet, and it's easy to fall three floors to a painful death).
All in all, a pretty good celebration. Happy New Year.
Went off to Home Mart fairly early, and did some shopping. Got blinds for the windows, a small fan heater, a cupboard, mirror, new shower head and shower curtain rod for the bathroom, and some assorted screws and whatnot.
Borrowed Leo's drill and some other tools, and put up the shades, cupboard and mirror. The shades are somewhat non-straight, but that's just to be expected. Got cement dust all over the floor.
Went to the movies, and saw "The Sixth Day", the latest Ahnuld vehicle. It wasn't actually a bad movie, but it was pretty forgettable. I couldn't help thinking it would have been better without Ahnuld. They briefly addressed the ethical aspects of cloning, even, but then lost it in a "it's evil" angle.
Washed my floors, and went to Tijuana to do laundry. There'd been a car accident on Insurgentes right across Viaducto, a sedan was hit from behind, compacted until it looked like, well, a compact. Lots of police cars and broken glass. I arrived at Tijuana, and watched MTV while the washing machine was running. There are several groups these days mixing traditional latin music with rap, rock and metal, and some of it sounds pretty damn good.
Went back home and to bed. It was about 7 in the morning.
Met up with Leo and had some food. Discovered a very nice little Italian place just a block from the apartment, called Rocco. It's on Insurgentes, last block before Viaducto (almost on the corner), on the west side.
Went back to the Tijuana apartment, discovering Paul in a state of partial undress. Took a very disturbing picture of him. Leo and I packed up my computers, and we got them into a taxi and drove to the new apartment.
Went back to Tijuana at once, and went from there to Price Club, where I bought a lot of apartment-like stuff, like a trashcan, an espresso machine, a mop, a bucket, an iron, wire-mesh configurable cube shelf stuff, and a Microsoft optical trackball.
Leo helped me set some stuff up, and to wire the apartment. We pulled a cable up to his apartment too, so now we have our little LAN running. I put some of my books into the shelf thing. Man, it feels great to put books in shelves as opposed to alternate storage methods, like, say, "heaps", "stacks", "cardboard boxes" or "furnaces".
At night, it got cold, and I wanted my windows covered, since they face one of the busiest streets in Mexico City. I arranged boxes, towels, and whatnot in front of the windows to isolate and shield. It worked fairly well, but it's clear I need a more permanent solution.
Got around a bit today. Lunch with Leo at Chili's, then bought myself a little 8-port 100Mbit hub for the apartment. Ran some errands and did some shopping, got cash from the bank, then went to Spin to get myself a personal dialup account. They were closed, though. Called a moving company to arrive a couple of hours later, then threw everything into boxes, cleaned off one desk, and moved my books, desk, bed, chair, and clothes to the new apartment. Set up the desk with a little help from Leo. Realized a few hours later that I'd managed to forget the washing machine. Lame, but then again, I don't have anywhere to hook it up here yet, so it's not a big deal.
Finally picked up the digital camera from the repair place. Absurd little experience with a guard at the door who needed to see the receipt before he'd let us in, but we couldn't hand the receipt to him, we had to hold it up in front of the little peephole.
Was supposed to go to Price Club with Paul and Andrea, but they were out all day, so that didn't turn out. Will do it tomorrow instead.
Christmas Eve. Happiness all around. Paul had roasted chestnuts when I got up. I'd never had those before, but they were quite good.
Time to excercise the cooking muscles. Take one large ham, put in a roasting tray. Cut squares in the skin. Place slices of apples in the cooking tray. Alternately pour port, apple juice, balsamico vinegar, and soy sauce over the ham over a 2-hour period, until the tray has a reasonable amount of liquid in it. Heat brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, pepper, salt, and some port in a pot until it's a fairly thin liquid. Drink a glass of two of port during the whole cooking process. Add ground bread until it's a thick liquid (almost non-runny). Smear a little mustard on the ham. Pour/smear honey stuff on the ham, completely covering it. Dust ham with breadcrumbs until surface is non-sticky. Let sit for half an hour. Roast in oven at medium temperature for a few hours, repeatedly pouring juices from the bottom of the pan over the ham. Take out of the oven when you feel confident it's done, and let it sit for half an hour or so to settle. Cut thin slices, serve with boiled potatoes and Norwegian sauerkraut (much better than the German crap). Become insanely full after about two slices of ham, and keep eating it on sandwiches etc. for many days after.
Paul and Andrea got me a bottle of Rum for Christmas. I didn't really expect that, so I hadn't gotten them anything. Oh well, they got to enjoy my splendid company. The rum will come in handy for new year's eve.
Time to shop, damn it. After all, that's what Christmas is all about. Went to Price Club with Paul and Andrea, and bought an insane amount of food and drink. Among the highlights: Lots of muffins, a large ham, brownies, amaretto, a decent Tawny port, some rosé wine, and a huge tray of sushi, which we ate later, since we were too busy cleaning and whatnot to actually make food.
Maru had showed up during the night. She'd been out drinking with her cousin, and yes, she didn't have keys. Mystery solved.
Still another glitch in my diary updating. Sorry about that. I think quite a few things happened during this time, but I can't really remember. I don't think any of them were terribly major.
Went with Paul and Maru to get a christmas tree. Bought one, and got into a taxi while Maru stayed behind to get some tinsel and stuff. We got it back to the apartment, and then went out to meet with Diego, my landlord, to pay another month of rent in advance. He asked nicely, and he seems to never have money, so I figured that would help to get everything finished for me to move in soon.
Maru still wasn't back when we got back, which was weird. Possibly, she didn't have keys, though, and came back while we were out.
Lunch/dinner thing with Federico. We went to Italianni's, which as usual has pretty decent Italian food. While we were waiting about 20 minutes for a table, and during dinner, I introduced Federico to some ideas I had while working at Simplemente, when we considered doing wireless networking. Basically, it's about doing a collaborative wireless network in a metropolitan area. Federico seemed to like the idea a lot,a nd we might end up doing something about it.
Went shopping a little after food. I got a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer. These things kick some serious ass, easily the best mouse I've ever used. Federico got an external SCSI CD-RW drive and a PCMCIA SCSI adapter for his laptop. It was ridiculously expensive, but he seems happy with it. He also got 50 blank CDs, so I think he's going to be doing some serious burning.
Maru still not back. We worry, call people she knows, etc. No answer at her cousin's house, where she would most likely be. Everyone vaguely worried until we go to bed.
It's December. Month of both Christmas, New Years Eve, and Belinda's birthday. There are some ridiculously tacky christmas trees in Mexico, probably inspired by the Merkins.
Belinda was ok with the dates. Travelocity wasn't, any more. So I had to rebook from scratch. However, this time it worked. She's coming on January 9th. I don't know how to describe how happy this makes me, so I'm not going to try.
Getting a passport in the US is a lame process. Because these people have no central registry of the population, it takes like 6 weeks to get a simple passport. You can pay more, and get it done faster, but it's still idiotic. To top it off, they outsourced their information telephone service to a private company, which charges you through the nose to get informed about all this stuff. In comparison, you can get a passport at any Norwegian police station, if you bring a birth certificate and photo ID, and it takes about 1-2 hours.
Federico at the office. Fun, as usual. We decided we needed food, so we went to the Argentinian restaurant across the street. Expensive, but very good. We had some huge, sizzling steaks, and lots of ideas, mostly for services stuff, all of which seemed undiminished in goodness even an hour or two after. Dutifully sent mail to the rest of the company sharing our revelations.
Used Travelocity to get Belinda tickets to come here. Had to put the reservation on hold while she checked that she could actually travel on those dates. The agony.
Copyleft Software AS debuted their Crackmonkey parody site, Crapmonkey, to go along with their LinPro parody site, LinPor.no. I was amused.
I honestly don't remember what happened today.
Up all night, not unexpected.
Went to the store, amused at the cultural collision happening in my neighbourhood. There's a demonstration going on at the Hacienda (tax agency) office just across Insurgentes, where people from Mexico state who lost all their money in government funds because of embezzling are blocking the entrance to the parking garage of the office building. This is surprisingly efficient, and they've been doing it for a while. The fun part is that this involves carting in busloads of out of town farmers, who then go on to rather confusedly roam the neighbourhood in search of sustenance. Col. Napoles is in the infant stage of total gentrification, so the neo-yuppies look bothered and confused too, as they run into the peasant revolters in the supermarket. Much fun.
Spent the morning tossing web design sketches back and forth with Tuomas. We had a few really intensive hours where we implemented each others' suggestions, showed the results, etc. The net result is that the new design is definitely getting there. I was tired when I went to bed, around 9 in the morning, though.
Slept all day, got up around 9 at night, proof that my schedule is royally screwed. Not that I mind, really, at least not from a work perspective, since I get to see a lot of Tuomas these days. Less of Belinda, though, which is not so good.
Played Literati with Belinda. She narrowly beat me, again.
Organized the layers in the web mockup, then redid some of the things, since I figured out how to do them more cleanly.
I know, I know, I haven't updated this in ages. I've been busy or weird in the head or something. I'll briefly list what's happened in the meantime, in roughly chronological order:
So, today I got an idea for a Bonobo component. I want to make a GUI-less network diagnostic component, that basically has the functionality of mtr, so applications who try to connect to things and fail can give more useful error messages (I'm sure there are other uses too). Discussed security implications a bit with Miguel (it needs to get raw sockets to do its thing, so we discussed suid security for a while). Then I figured out that mtr makes something like two system calls before dropping root privs, so this should probably be managable anyway. Mailed Iain and asked for some example code for GUI-less components, since he's been doing a dialer component that I think is similar.
Belinda got a cam for her computer again, so now I have lots of cute pics. She also has a web cam, but it's static a lot of the time, and also pointed at the mouse cage.
I talked to my mother on the phone today. Long phonecalls make my ear sweat.