Sat, 24 Sep 2005

Fernando Alonso

I am, officially, FED UP OF THIS NAME today. I wish I had a protective bubble that could isolate me from all the Alonsomania tomorrow.

Mon, 19 Sep 2005

Pornstar day


15:27 < Guerrrrin> abrotman: it's not talk like a pornstar day
15:27 < Guerrrrin> thank goodness

Aye, but we could be havin' a Pornstar tide too!

Sun, 18 Sep 2005

Pinedo triathlon 2005

Again, I signed up for Pinedo when I should have not. Just like last year.

My triathlon season has ended being a complete fiasco, after many months of trying to convince and motivate myself about training. But right now, the magic is gone. Whatever got me up at 6AM to go swimming, or got me to stay at home on Friday night just to be ready for early cycling on Saturday is not there anymore, and I've gradually lost all my motivation to train for the competitions.

This year I got my license very late, in May, just before signing up for the Valencian Olympic triathlon. I thought that maybe getting a license would get me in. After València, I did another triathlon in Bétera sometime around June. And then, nothing. Nothing meaning not a single kilometre of cycling, not a single metre swimming. I went running a few times over the summer, but that was it.

Pinedo is the last triathlon of the season, and as I didn't manage to finish last year I guess I wanted to get rid of that bad record even in my lowest times. As my physical condition is quite critical (remember?) and I have lost all the muscle I developed during the last two years, I wanted to make something different out of this tri.

Our team is called Komando Club de Triatló, or simply "El Komando" as people are starting to say. There's a long story behind the name, it's not about we being army enthusiasts -actually, all the contrary-, so I thought that if others in the team didn't care about the result, we could do some "show" with the race.

I proposed dressing up as real army men, with camouflage painting on our arms and faces, and wearing plastic combat helmets and machine guns on the running segment. The idea only got support from a few people... who weren't going to run anyway, so I had to prepare to do a real race.

After spending way too many hours collecting all my triathlon equipment here and there, and fixing my bycicle last night, I woke up at 6:45 to get ready. Today, Brande, my sister's boyfriend and the guy who lead our fantastic week in Rjukan faced his first triathlon. I picked him up a bit late according to our schedule, and set off for Pinedo, which is just across Turia's new course outside the city, near the deadly harbour.

We parked the car just a few minutes past 8, not so late in the end, and after the usual ritual of getting our number cards, swimming cap and everything else for the competition, we got inside boxes, as I tried to explain Brande what are the very obvious reasons for disqualification in a triathlon, and hoping not to forget something that would get him in trouble.

The sea, after yesterday's storm, was pretty rough... perfect start for a beginner. With not much warning, the triathlon started and in a few seconds I quickly got all the nice memories of what the swimming segment is all about. Not having completed the first 200 metres, I already had got kicked hard on my face, run over (literally!) by someone who was swimming nearly in the opposite direction, my swimming goggles displaced twice, my eyes full of salty water and had a few good gups of water. With the sensation that I'd be in the last group in the water, I finished the 750 metres, and ran to boxes.

Surprisingly, there were many bycicles in there, so it probably wasn't so bad given my condition. On the road, I tried to connect to a pack ahead of me, but prompty gave up thinking I'd pay the effort later on. And I did anyway, when exiting a roundabout, I tried to speed up to keep up with the two guys in front of me, and my calf got stiff as a rock, before completing the first 10 kilometres. I had to stop cycling to stretch a bit as the pain was way too much, and Brande came from behind in a big pack and overtook me. At that point, with 10 kilometres to go still, I was more than ready to give up, and while I tried to make up my mind, I found myself on the final lap, without any other calf problems.

Running was supossed to be the easiest, being only 5 kilometres, but my legs weren't working too well. The first lap was horrible, and I'm not too looking forward to see my mark for that... But as I kept going on, my legs started to get the idea and I managed to get better and better, doing a quite ok third and final lap, where I managed to overtake Brande, who had been a few minutes ahead of me or so, just 50 metres away from the finish line, and we crossed the line together.

In the end, quite a positive experience despite my final time, a pretty unimpressive 1:25h. Brande said he had liked the race and the atmosphere surrounding it a lot, and is probably thinking about doing more next season.

For me, this is useful to realise how far I am from the best Jordi back in May 2004. Trying to go back to that state is the only way I think I can get the "magic" back to do some decent season for 2006. But it may be too late. I've been thinking and thinking about new goals for my sport activities, which would allow me to concentrate on running and get rid of the cycling and swimming training pressure. We'll see how it goes in the next months.

Tue, 13 Sep 2005

GNOME 2.12 for Debian

We get quite some people asking this everyday. When will GNOME 2.12 appear in Debian? Not yet? Why don't you upload to alioth?

For a few months we've been holding all kind of GNOME uploads unless they were absolutely necessary, to try to get GNOME 2.10 in etch. This has been a hard battle due to the unusual number of ongoing transitions in Debian at the time: glibc, gcc-4.0 as default compiler, C++ abi, XFree86 -> X.Org. At first we thought we'd be able to by-pass most of them by not uploading anything but in the end control-center got stuck behind X.Org, and that complicated things quite a bit.

Luckily, the Release Team, with help from the glibc and X maintainers, have managed to get these in testing after getting rid of the RC bugs caused by the new versions, opening the door for GNOME 2.10, which was able to enter testing (unblocking the testing transition for some 150 additional packages) coincidentally a few days after the GNOME 2.12 release. Oh well, these things happen when you want a Debian release out every half decade or so. :) We owe Loïc Minier quite some beers, because he has been tracking problems with GNOME 2.10 for a few months, and has suddenly become one of the key members in the team!

So, with GNOME 2.10 in testing, our current plan to bring GNOME 2.12 to Debian is:

  1. Finish up GNOME 2.10

    To avoid making the transition even more complicated, we held any new 2.10 uploads to unstable for over two months. In that time, some GNOME components released new versions, and will now be updated so etch has a completely stable GNOME 2.10 suite. This step is ongoing and should be easy to complete, unless the long list of Mozilla RC bugs holds it for a while.

  2. GNOME 2.12 to experimental

    With GNOME 2.10 safe in etch, we'll be able to focus our attention to GNOME 2.12. Some modules have been branched for experimental already, and soon you'll be able to find more and more in there. While doing experimental 2.12, our plan is to completely transition our gconf setup to install defaults in /var instead of /etc, plus start handling the update of icon caches when necessary. These transitions shouldn't be too complicated. There's another transition that will hit 2.12, though; hal/dbus 0.50 which may get a bit more complicated because it affects packages outside the Debian GNOME Team's influence (Qt/KDE being an example). We'll see how that one goes.

  3. GNOME 2.12 to unstable

    By the time we're ready to do an experimental upload, hopefully the rest of testing transitions will have been cleared up, and having GNOME 2.12 in unstable and then testing should be pretty easy. Or that's my hope. :)

Be prepared to see more and more 2.12 fun in experimental in some days. When more or less is in place, we'll upload a 2.12 meta-package suit, so it'll be easy to upgrade in just one command. For now, you'll have to ask Google about how to deal with GNOME in experimental.

Fri, 02 Sep 2005

New Orlean's Mayor about the relief efforts

It's not only a bunch of students with hippy ideals thinking that the Feds could have done a bit more before and after Katrina's hit. It seems the Mayor is a bit fed up of promises coming from DC. The lack of any kind of rescue operation for the people that are starving and dehidrating all around the city of New Orleans and the violent scenes taking place resulted in a quite powerful interview on a local radio. And yes, this comes from CNN.

A small quote from the transcript:

Ray Nagin: I have no idea what they're doing.

Thu, 01 Sep 2005

Katrina and flood control

Emperor Palpatine says I'm silly because I blame dubya for a massive hurricane basically destroying a major US city. Well, no, and don't put words in my mouth, thanks.

My point is not only that if all you can do is sign a few cheques, at least have the respect for the victims and show up on TV having fun a few hours later of reporting the most destructive natural disaster in your country. Appearing to care a bit about what's going on seems like a good idea, when you're POTUS.

Besides the appearances, there's other stuff you can do before the hurricane hits. For example, you can try not to divert flood-control funds to your little adventure in the Middle East. It's sad to learn that most of the money earmarked to the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA) suddenly got diverted to Iraq when things started to go too wrong around the Persian Gulf.

The ongoing repairs to levees and other flood control measures in the area were not finished when they should have, and now the nice city of New Orleans is a deadly lake. I'm not saying levees and dams are the ultimate solution but they surely would have helped in this case, as the tsunami alert systems in the Pacific help when they need to.

But I guess Jaldhar thinks all the war stuff was really necessary, and the money was worth it. Probably what the American voter really cares about, according to him. I have this utopia in my head, it could have been used for other matters, like fixing some of the social problems in the US that make your urgent rescue operations a problem because with the amount of guns out of control in the US, your helicopters get shot. Or helping getting rid of famine, plagues and epidemies in those spots of the world where the poverty situation only generates what you call "terrorism". Or simply helping your economy to be less polluting, so your country doesn't contribute half of the emissions to the atmosphere that are causing global warming, and, for example, make hurricanes and typhoons like Katrina even more deadly.

New Orlean's shame

This is self-explanatory.

When I saw the images of what's going on in New Orleans, the first thing I thought is that if the news had been talking about Asia or Africa, I would have very well believed those images were shot there. It's obvious that when it comes to extreme natural disasters like Katrina, the first and third world are quite alike.

I hope all our community people in the area are ok, even if not thanks to dubya. Some day he'll realise that saying "God bless you" isn't enough.