Nothing like a “I’m headed to SXSW” post to shake the rust off of a stagnant blog. I’ll be in Austin for 6 days with various awesome crews: Propeller, Blogsmith, Weblogs, and Team Black plus an assortment of nerd assholes. Then I’ll be in Nebraska for 10 days visiting my family and hopefully seeing old friends coming in from Portland and Germany. My photos will be uploading automatically to Flickr (with GPS tags). You can also follow me, sweetums, on twitter. Thanks to Twibble those can have GPS coordinates too.
I’m back in Las Vegas after spending six weeks in Europe. Actually, time of writing I’m still on the twelve hour plane flight home. I lucked out and got an exit row seat, so I COULD be getting stuff done comfortably, but I’ve mostly been slipping in and out of consciousness. That’s either from a lack of sleep or because I finally decided to start on the number theory/cryptography book Fabienne gave me. Multiplying two three-digit base seven numbers together isn’t so easy on the idle brain. Luckily my rowmate had been snagging me food boxen, etc while I snoozed, so I’m not starving. Continue reading
It just slipped past midnight in Berlin, so I’d like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I spent Christmas Eve at home eating my family’s traditional dinner: spaghetti. More out of necessity than anything since I didn’t have anything else to eat. Going through the posts from last year I was reminded that James Brown died on Christmas Day and Gerald Ford a day later. To honor these two great men I give you: dj BC 13 James Brown songs in 4 minutes and Gerry Ford on The Simpsons.
Do I plan on learning German? No. In fact I make a point to say “thankyou” instead of “danke”. I’m using it as an apology, as in: “sorry if I appeared simple in the previous conversation; I only speak English”. Continue reading
On Tuesday, we hopped a train to Berlin. Fabienne met us at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Europe’s largest two level train station. From there we preceded to the apartment she had found us. It’s fully furnished and has one bed plus a very nice futon. The only real issue is an unfriendly IPCop firewall. Friends from Austria are staying with us right now since there’s a tattoo convention this weekend. Continue reading
We hopped on a EuroCity train Sunday morning and headed to Prague. Bre had lived in Prague in ’95 as part of a film production company and wanted to see how it had changed. My initial impression was not so good, we were in the new town and it looked like the iron curtain had just fallen. I was disappointed about the lack of German words. With German you can take a wild guess at the pronunciation, but I’m completely lost with Czech. How can a language with 10 vowels manage to create a sentence with none? Continue reading
I’m a vegetarian, Bre is a pescetarian, and Sean is vegan so we attempted to hit as many veggie friendly restaurants as possible. First up was Vegetasia. The sign says Taiwanese, but it was pretty much generic asian food. They create dishes using fake meat, so even the “shrimp” actually has the consistency of real shrimp. The first time we went was the all you can eat lunch buffet. It was really weird being able to eat every item on a buffet without a second thought. The next place was Rupp’s an irish pub with an all vegetarian and mostly vegan menu. They even had vegan schnitzel and apple strudel. I ate at Vienna Tunnel Line one evening. The vegetarian selection was great, the cooking was a crap shoot. Our final two days were spent at Formosa. It only has 8 seats, but that guarantees a hot, attentively prepared meal. It also doubles as a small veg/vegan market. This restaurant hunting experience was a lot of fun and I hope to do it a few other places in the future. While trying to find Formosa we stumbled across one of Vienna’s massive flak towers. Continue reading
I spent a lot of time with Michael and Florian from Graffiti Research Labs Vienna. They’re known for the better laser tagging software. Flo took me on a tour of the legal graffiti walls around the Danube Canal (pictures on Flickr). Another interesting stop was the paint store. It used to be a standard paint store, but now caters to graffiti artists. I’ve also got two GRL shirts now that were stenciled using pigment. Flo gave me an overdue haircut. I think he was just excited about the interstitial mullet. Continue reading
I went to Vienna for Roboexotica, a festival for cocktail robotics. It’s in its ninth year. The original idea was that there were always conferences to philosophize about technology during the day with parties in the evening, why not combine the two? I stayed with Bre Pettis during the duration of the event. During the month of November he was the artist in residence for monochrom. I think the simplest description I’ve heard of monochrom lately is “art pranksters”. I had met Bre a couple times before, but really got to know him at CCCamp. Continue reading