Murray vs Jeff

Not sure if I’ve understood what Murray and Jeff are discussing about, but just wanted to add a couple of things:

  • While working at Novell, I have never felt under attack by the GNOME community. It’s true that I’ve had to explain some Novell movements many times to friendly people that didn’t agree with those movements, but I’ve never, repeat, never, felt being attacked by fellow GNOME developers. On the contrary, I’ve always felt at home within them.
  • Murray, you are a person I admire a lot, because of the relationship we’ve had through the GNOME-DB project, which you helped a lot, and for all the other things you do for GNOME. And while you might (or might not, don’t know myself) be right, I don’t think it is clever to use personal attacks as you have done, specially without a medical certificate :-) If there is something wrong about Jeff’s behavior, please bring it, respectfully, to whomever might be able to do something about it. Doing it this way will gain you lots of ennemies, which you don’t deserve, specially because most people I know, included myself, have always had a pleasant relationship with Jeff. So, I’m not saying you are lying or inventing things, but, at least for me, this all sounded like science-fiction, given Jeff has always been to me a very helpful person.

Anyway, please let’s discuss things in a moderate and clever manner :-)

I was born yesterday

Yesterday after lunch, when coming back home from Pamplona, I was on my motorbike behind a truck, and suddenly, a car on the other direction invaded our lane, crashed against the truck, and was thrown on my way. Fortunately, I was able to avoid the crash against the car, but I got out of the road and crashed against a traffic signal. The guy in the car had fallen sleep and was a bit drunk, but was lucky enough, first, to not step down the truck (in which case he would have been smashed), and, second, to not kill anyone (in this case me, if I hadn’t avoided the car, I think I wouldn’t be here today, or at least not able to write this entry).

Fortunately, I am mostly ok, just with some bruises in my legs, and a sprain shoulder, which makes me just be able to use one arm. My bike is also mostly ok, but it lost all its engine oil because of the crash against the traffic signal, which broke the oil evacuation part, so it didn’t even start a few minutes after the accident. There were also a few other bits that got broken, but anyway, the guy on the car’s insurance would pay for everything. The police got him to do the alcohol test, and got positive, and the guy from the truck declared the same version than I, so I shouldn’t have any problem with having all paid.

I’ve been told to rest for a couple of weeks, so I might not be able to answer mail or commit patches or go to parties, etc, so just be patient if you’re waiting for something from me.

RSI and hackers

I guess lots of people have the same problem I had, which is that, due to the extensive use of computers, I had always pain in my hands. Not enough to think that I had RSI, but I had been feeling that for so long, that I guess I would get RSI sooner or later. So, since Davyd just mentioned it on IRC, here’s a tip on how us (hackers) can prevent any injury. I was advised to use the Chinese health balls while watching TV or just sitting on the couch, to massage the muscles in the hands, and after almost 2 months using them, I have to say I don’t feel pain anymore, and when I’ve felt some (just in the first few days), using the balls for a little bit calmed it down.

So, if you use computers too many hours and feel some pain in your hands, I advise you to try, it has worked for me.

From lost to the river

That famous book (“From lost to the river”, a literal translation of the Spanish saying “de perdidos al río”), introduced a new mechanism for learning to speak English, by just translating literally from Spanish. Lots of people seem to have taken the lesson and start using it (only to speak, the method doesn’t provide you with the means for making English speakers understand :-), as I listened on the radio the other day, from a restaurant, in Galicia I think it was, where they have an international menu with the following items:

  • Pretty to the iron, bonito a la plancha
  • Wines from the river Ja (Rioja), and from the valley of the rocks (Valdepeñas)
  • Courageous potatoes, patatas bravas
  • Octopus to the party, pulpo “a feira”
  • Little Joseph of beef, pepito de ternera
  • Huge air spray with grelos, lacón con grelos
  • Thin Uncle Joseph, fino tío Pepe
  • They will pass from Navarra, patxarán de Navarra

Sorry to non-Spanish speakers, who won’t get the joke, but for Spanish speakers, I laughed so much with this that I thought I’d better share it.

Places of Power: Artajona

One of the late nights at last GUADEC, talking with Quim about mountains and nice landscapes, he talked about Montserrat and the feelings he had there. It is, from what I’ve heard, what some people call places of power (lugares de poder in Spanish, which I translated to English from), which are places that, for some reason, make you have feelings impossible to have in other normal places. Some people would call it God, others energy, and others, simply, Nature, but the truth is that they usually are spectacular places.

Another coincident characteristic of these places (at least the ones in Western Europe) is that, in some of them, there is (or was) a megalithic monument (maybe because the Neolithic people catched the magic of the places and decided to build their monuments there, who knows). And that’s the case for Artajona, in the middle of the way from my place to Pamplona. Most people would visit Artajona to see the medieval remains of the town, very spectacular:

But the real beauty is 4 kms away from the town, where there are 2 dolmens:

They are not very spectacular, but what is indeed awesome are the views you can see from the hills where the dolmens are:

I didn’t feel any mystic energy or magic :-) but I was really impressed by the place, quite beautiful and, being alone there, quite relaxing.

More photos here.


#2 in the ‘photos I’ve been taking recently’ series, this time about Yerga, a few kms away from my house, in La Rioja (yeah, where they do the famous wine). It is a place with some peaks and, fortunately, some paths to get around them. I went, a few weekends ago, with Guelphon, a guy from Calahorra, and his Yamaha XT.

It was a very nice place, with some nice tracks for the motorbikes, but the last part of the route we did was a bit hard, going downhill on tracks plenty of stones, very slippery sand and huge holes, very bad place indeed for the tyres my motorbike has. For some of the way down, I was skating more than riding :-)

Here are some views from the path that took us down the hill. You can see other tracks in one of the photos, that go up to the Peña Isasa (that’s the name of the peak). Unfortunately, those paths are closed during the summer, because of fire danger in the area, so we’ll have to wait till the Autumn to get around them. In the second photo you can see the last part of the downhill track, although you can’t appreciate the difficulty in the photos.

I almost falled down on my bike a couple of times, but fortunately, I managed to control it and not bite the dust. My friend Guelphon also had some problems, but managed to get to the valley safe and alive.

Supermotard at Cascante

I’ve been recently taking lots of pictures that I haven’t blogged about, so here is the first post about them.

To start with, last Sunday I went to Cascante, 50 kms from my place, to watch the Basque-Navarre Supermotard championship.

I didn’t take many photos, because I met there with a few friends, and we left early to drive some kms around in our bikes.

Mediterranean weather in…London

I went last week to London, on vacation, to visit my sister and nieces, quite happy to leave the terrible heat that we had been suffering, like all summers, in Spain. But when we got there, we were surprised to see very high temperatures (+30ºC), quite a rare thing in those latitudes. And yeah, it’s so rare that things are not prepared for those high temperatures, like the buses and tube/trains, with more than 40ºC inside them, and no air conditioning at all :-( In fact, it was terrible seeing my two lovely nieces still going to school at this time of the year (in Spain, because of the summer temperatures, schools end at the end of June, and don’t start back until September), although it was worst to see Jessica, the little one, on her sports day at school, running and jumping in a field, at noon, with no shadows at all, and with more than 35ºC. Of course, all children were melting down, and asking for water every minute.

This made me think about a lot of new businesses that could have success over there if those high temperatures continue, like selling swimming pools, sun protectors for the cars, air conditioning for houses, “abanicos” … things that are normal in Spain (and other countries with similar weathers) but not in the UK.

I’m now, for a week, in Boston, where the temperatures are lower, and, so far, more bearable. Let’s see when I come back to Spain, I might melt down.

American running with the bulls

Tomorrow the big San Fermín festival starts in Pamplona, and, as you all know already, lots of Americans (and English and Australians, etc) come to run with the bulls (even though, in some cases, they have never seen a Spanish bull). But this year, if I fail in convincing him, there will an American gnomie! Yeah, this afternoon I got a call, as planned, from Alex, came to Pamplona to help him and his girlfriend find a place to sleep (we finally found one, although as expensive as the Ritz), and, while showing him the city (and the path used for the running of the bulls), I mentioned all the dangers he would find, and while I didn’t succeed in convincing him for not running, at least he’s going to watch the first running of the bulls (next Friday) on TV, so that he takes a glance of what it looks like. Let’s hope the images of the bulls running over people convince him better than I could :)

Anyway, good to have him in Pamplona, so tomorrow we’ll party a little bit and, hopefully, finish convincing him for not running.