PyCon UK 2008, at which I find myself the "Session Chair Team Captain", God help them. Given how rubbish I am at organizing London Python, I do hope I can pick my game up a bit.
Python Meetup in London tonight. See you there!
I went to see some a friend do some comedy on Monday, at the Cavendish Arms. It turned into one of the most bizarre evenings of my life.
Not enough acts turned up, as isn't unusual on an open-mike night. One chap had brought a lady along on a date, a musician. She volunteered to sing a couple of comic songs to pad out the show.
When his turn came, he proceeded to regale us with sordid tales of his Internet dating. Very sordid tales. The man a colossal pervert, basically.
Meanwhile, his date was squirming. Clearly this was all news to her. When she came up for her act she told the entire audience that she was never, never going to sleep with him now. Never ever.
She then proceeded to blow the rest of the acts off the stage. Funny, and a superb pianist. "Padding out" my, err, hat.
Somehow, I ended up with her phone number. I have no idea how - it's just so unlike me. I mean, with her date still around. Very alpha-male; not me at all. Must have been the Red Stripe.
So, should I ring her?
The good news; the new Guardian Sport and Football sites were launched successfully, and seem to be working fine. The bad news; 24 hour licensing notwithstanding, we couldn't find anywhere to serve us a beer at two in the morning. Grrr.
Update: More on the new sites here; Our new look.
Right, I'm going to do my bit to support this ailing, vital industry, and I expect each and every one of you to do the same.
Err, OK, except you, Mum. ;-)
ThoughtWorks have given me the go-ahead to organise another Python meetup at the London office. Thanks, guys!
Details here - London Python meetup, Wednesday, December the 5th.
Roar this evening. Good - I could do with a laugh.
I didn't get out of the office 'till after 11 yesterday - we were launching stuff. Shiny shiny!
It took so long 'cos the launch procedure didn't work properly 'cos of an Oracle bug. Bloody thing. Turns out that Orable's materialised views can be configure only to update periodically rather than synchronously. Which is fair enough, except that the query optimiser still sometimes decides to use the stale view. At one point yesterday, we had select
count(*) from tablereturning zero, and
select * from tablereturning a whole bunch of rows! Madness.
I mean, what's the point in an expensive product like Oracle if the bloody thing doesn't work? This stuff was all sorted on the '400 20 years ago. Bah.
Then, when I got home after midnight, I found that one of the t-shirts that I'd left on my washing line in my front garden had caught fire. It was one of my favorites, too - Make Coldplay History.
Bizarre thing was, only the one t-shirt was damaged. The other clothes hanging around it weren't even scorched. Weird.
I'm rather hoping that t-shirts don't do this sort of thing spontaneously, so I'm assuming that it was either some nasty little oik on his way home from school, or some drunken tosser on his way home from the pub. Git. Where am I going to dry my washing now?
Update: List minute bill update - Tim Vine's on! It's not too late to get here.
London Python went well last night - more here.
I've arranged a London Python meetup tomorrow evening. See some of you there!
Truly technology for the benefit of mankind.
I need one of these.
Provided, that is, that they won't talk about bloody Groovy all night. I've still yet to be convinced that Groovy has anything that Jython didn't have nearly ten years ago. Apart from closures and inelegant syntax, that is. ;-)
Right; I'm off to the London Python meetup. See you there.
Right, I'm off to London 2.0, via a spot of CD and book shopping. I'll see a few of you there, no doubt.
Time to select a venue for next week's London Python meetup on Wednesday (the 15th). I was thinking of trying The Porterhouse in Covent Garden for a change. The place is vast, so there should be no problem getting a table or two so long as I get there reasonably early, and it's pretty central. Worth giving it a go, I reckon.
All welcome, from Python gurus to the merely curious. Please leave a comment if you are thinking of coming.
There were some people who weren't able to make it to last week's restrained and dignified London Python meetup, 'cos it hadn't been arranged sufficiently far in advance, so I'm planning the next one now. It'll be on Wednesday the 15th of November.
I'll announce a venue a bit nearer the time. The Stage Door is a very nice pub, but it's a bit small, and sometimes very noisy, so I'm looking for somewhere a but more suitable for a techie meetup. Any suggestions? (No, not the bloody Bank of England.)
If it were to be a good distance from anywhere that's open 'till the small hours selling cocktails and containing femme fatale redheads, that would be an advantage.
Please add a comment if you think you might be coming.
OK, so she doesn't look that much like Geraldine Somerville after all. It was the beer. Pretty, though - I do like a redhead.
Wossname and I
Ryan, Wossname and I
Me behind some bloke, and not Geraldine Somerville
Thanks to Chris for these.
Tap, tap. Is this thing on?
Now, blackmail is an ugly word, but I can't think of any other word for it - Simon Willison tells me that he'll come to tomorrow evening's London Python Meetup (at The Stage Door near Waterloo) if, and only if, I start blogging again. So, I don't really have a lot of choice, do I? Let's see if I can manage a post or two a day...
It would be beneath me to get my revenge by mentioning that at one point last night (at Sam Newman's London 2.0 meetup) Simon referred to Jack Davenport as "the hot one from Pirates of the Caribbean", don't you think? ;-)
Anyway, do try and get along tomorrow evening, all you London based Pythonistas. I think there will be a good crowd, including Steve Holden, Simon Willison, Tim Couper, Remi Delon and many other equally nice but not quite so famous chaps. (Yes, probably all chaps.) So, get practising.
Sarah is running another Girl Geek Dinner. ("Girl" is her choice of term, by the way, not mine, so please don't accuse me of being patronising. I would have gone with "Geek Women". Or "Geek Dolly Birds", perhaps.)
You going, Katherine?
BTW, while we are on the subject of gender imbalance within IT and attempts to combat it, I'm intrigued by Miss Rogue's comment here; "So, why aren't there more women in technology? Or...to rephrase it...why aren't there more prominent women in technology?". Is the latter just a natural result of the former unfurtunate fact, or is there more to it than that - are women even more woefully represented amongst prominent geeks than they are in the geek population in general? I don't have any answer to this, BTW, I'm just asking the question.
Steve and I will be celebrating at The Horse Bar this evening if you fancy popping along and buying him a pint.
Steve's new place of work is within walking distance of mine, so I'm anticipating my hangover rate will increase somewhat next year. He's such a bad influence on me, you see.
It's going to be a great Christmas - I have the girls on the day for the first time in years.
Have a good Christmas, all. Or a good festive season if you are American. ;-)
Christmas shopping all weekend. :-(
Next week, there's Sam's Non-specific nerd evening at Cubana on Tuesday, and my office party on Thursday. I'll try and behave better this time. Plus whatever ad hoc stuff comes up. It's going to be brutal.
I was off yesterday. I was feeling a little under the weather. Can't think why. Perhaps I had a dirty glass on Monday night.
I met a lot of nice, interesting people, some for the first time, many not - more on that later.
The date will be Tuesday the 10th of January (see, a Tuesday - I do listen!), and the venue will be announced nearer the time, though it will certainly be somewhere in central London. It will depend in part upon whether we'll be teaming up with other groups ŕ la London 2.0 or going it alone. I've not yet heard back from Sam and Jez on that. I'll update nearer the time.
In the meantime, make a note in your diaries. And as ever, please leave a comment if you plan on coming.
Update: Just to be clear - London 2.0 isn't off by any means. It's just that I'm concerned that many of our potential attendees will go the the Backstage meetup.
This is getting out of hand. December the 12th now appears to be a combined Python/Django/TurboGears/Ruby/Rails/Java/Spring/Hibernate/the million other things you need to build a Java web app these days/Perl/Catalyst/Maypole/Groovy/Grails Christmas party, and Jez is trying to get the Geek Girls on board too. Though that may be just wishful thinking on his part. ;-)
So, we really need another name. Jez suggested London 2.0, which is just so zeitgeist. Me, I'm more London 0.9, but I'll go with it...
Not content with a Python/Django/Ruby/Rails meetup, Sam, Jez and I have teamed up to throw a Python/Django/Ruby/Rails/Java Christmas party this year. (For "party", read "bunch of nerdy blokes, many with beards, standing around drinking beer and chatting about computers".) It's at The Old Bank of England, Fleet Street on the evening of December the 12th.
Do leave a comment if you fancy coming - we have a room booked, and but we can change it to a bigger one if we need to. I anticipate a lot of interest, what with combining the Java crowd with the dynamic language people, and possible extra interest due to last week's London Web Frameworks Night.
Anyone want to demo TurboGears? ;-)
Son of Update - This Time it's Personal: See London 2.0rc1.
Via James Robertson.
(In fact, it has no alcohol in it, so it doesn't really provide a one-stop-shop.)
Very good lunch at The Gulshan this lunchtime with my mate Neil. I had a couple of dishes that I'm not familiar with - a Chicken & Mushroom Rizoti, and a Badami rice - and a couple of Cobras. Very good food, clean and pleasant surroundings (once we'd been moved away from the smokers), and not too pricey. (Not as cheap as The Halal, true, but not too far off.) Recommended. I may be going there again on Monday with Jez.
Speaking of Jez, now I'm off to the London Java Meetup. Looks like a bit of a quiet one - but it's the quality that counts, not the quantity, yes? Well, OK, I'm going. But apart from that, it'll be quality, OK? I hope to see a few of you there.
And if I have to look at one more user story...
I popped into a nice local pub, The Colliers Tup, on the way home this evening (first time this month - I'm working much too hard at the moment), only to find they have WiFi! Excellent! Nice fast link, too.
On the down side, this will cause me to drink myself to death. Worse, it will cause me to drink myself to death on expensive beer. But on the plus side, I can blog from the pub. How cool is that?
(Image via Chocolate and Vodka.)
Or at least, it makes you think you're clever.
Tonight's London Python Meetup at The Stage Door will be the last one organised via meetup.com, due to a rather unfortunate decision of theirs. If you want to be informed of future London Python meetings, you'll need to join the Python UK mailing list - or just subscribe to this blog.
It occurs to me that a moin page would do everything that we need - new events could be entered there, and people could subscribe to the page to be kept up to date. Perhaps I'll install a moin instance here on SVoC - or perhaps I could just add a page to the Python Wiki?
Oh, and don't forget the London Java meetup on April the 20th. I'll be there!
Gallery here. It was too dark for video - thank Christ.
Last night was fun. My dancing was every bit as horrendous as expected; I elbowed Tulna hard in the head on one occasion, and I lost count of the toes that I trod on. The lessons started off easy enough, and I could follow the first few minutes. But they proceeded extremely quickly, and I was soon left behind. It was the spins that got me.
El Presidente baled out of the dancing very early. A poor show. I think we might go again. Perhaps if El P's better half comes along, she'll keep him on the dance floor.
Guinness St Patrick's Day to all my readers, if any.
Last night's Python meetup was a blast. I still haven't sobered up. We had nine people at one point, which was pretty good. It ended up with Edward, Chris and I drinking Mojitos until stupid o'clock at Cubana, watching a couple of rather cute girls playing some rather good salsa.
I didn't get home until half past two. :-)
If you were there, please leave a comment so I know who you all were...
I don't have my power supply with me, so I can't try this until I get home. And come to think of it, I'm out this evening, so I can't try it until tomorrow.
"Shuffle Songs selection in Main Menu" - my iPod already has a "Shuffle Songs" item in the main menu, so what does this mean? Does it allow you to toggle the shuffle settings as you can from the settings menu? (You know, that Songs/Albums/Off) thing? That would be nice.
Nicer still would be the ability to put selected playlists in the main menu...
The project is over, and it went well - a few little wrinkles aside. Now it's time for the team meal.
Tulna doesn't seem keen. Her last email said "Fine...if u think your wives aren't going to find out...then go ahead and go to Honkers..." I don't understand - what's not to like?
Besides, I'm single.
I had the pleasure of bumping into Mrs. and Master Neveratoss on Saturday at the Clapham Picture House. A bit of a surprise, since they live in Haslemere, but it's a small world, after all. Poor old Sam was a little out of sorts, but it was nice to see them both nevertheless.
This evening I'll be meeting Mr Neveratoss at The Horse Bar for, as he put it, "half an hour geeking out, then the usual looking at birds and talking nonsense". He's got a Java program that he's got some issues with, and I've got a new war-story. Anyone who thinks that they can put up with that lot are more than welcome to pitch up.
I'm alive. Just. But I wish I wasn't.
Uncounted glasses of red wine in Thai Square, followed by several ill advised slippery nipples. I managed to avoid making a spectacle of myself, or running afoul of any dodgy new laws by interfering with the Buddhist paraphernalia. (I must say, though, that if you put a large bell into a room full of drunken office workers, you are asking for trouble. I mean, somebody is going to ring it eventually, aren't they?)
Then lager in the pub. I don't remember much about the pub, but I believe I danced. I don't dance.
I look like something washed from a flooded graveyard. Hopefully I don't smell that way too.
I will never enter licensed premises again.
My arse as a PDF. Enjoy.
Sorry, but the office is still full of people, and I'm not quite drunk enough to take my strides down. Nearly. But not quite. Perhaps next year, eh?
It's my office party today. We're all off to Thai Square for lunch and booze. Lots of booze. If previous experience is to be any guide, lunch will finish at around five.
I'll try not to embarrass myself this year. Last year I rang the big upside down bell thingie. (What's that called, mum? Why was it such a bad thing to do?) I'm lucky Buddhists are into non-violence, I must say.
The good news is that we don't have a photocopier as such, so nobody will be fulfilling that stereotype. Errr, but we do have a scanner. So if I post a PDF of my arse this afternoon, you can tell I've had a really good time.
I should sue Google for libel.
Anyway, in order to prove that I'm not a sad lonely geek, I'd better go out on the lash this evening with some mates. Anyone else who's not a sad lonely geek would be more than welcome to join Steve, Swiss Toni and I at The Horse Bar, Waterloo after work.
Is a good day.
I've just been for a lunchtime curry, a snap decision from Pete.
If you haven't any frinds, you'd be more than welcome to come along and be ours for the evening. Don't be put off by the name of the pub - it's not all YMCA, with everyone dressed up as firemen or anything. It just an ordinary if rather overcrowded pub. Honest.
It won't be the same without Andy, though. :-(
The also have some themed crawls listed. They have the Monopoly crawl, which I've done much of on my 30th. (I got as far as Rose and Crown, Old Park Lane. We figured that we didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting into Henry's in our condition, so we pissed off down to The Frog and Forget-Me-Not and finished off getting pissed. It was pints of wife-beater all the way - how I survived that I don't know. I know we were still in The Grand at two in the morning, despite having started at noon...)
- Stockwell: The Swan
- Clapham North: The Falcon
- Clapham Common: The Frog and Forget-Me-Not
- Clapham South:
- Balham: The Duke of Devonshire
- Tooting Bec:
- Tooting Broadway: The Trafalgar Arms
- Colliers Wood: Venus
- South Wimbledon: The Piano Lounge
- Morden: You do not want to end up in Morden at throwing out time, I promise you.
Anyone care to fill in the gaps?
The inaugural London Java pub-crawl is tonight. Not the last, I hope. Nerds of all ranks and persuasions welcome.
Wish me luck.
I'm not really sure if I'm man enough for one of Steve's pub crawls, but I'll give it a go. We are starting off at the Devereux from six 'till seven, the Stars from seven 'till eight, and on from there.
Wish me luck...
Wetherspoon warns of slow sales, which will come as no surprise to anyone who's ever drank in on of their pubs - it's like watching the continents move behind the bar.
Right, I'm off down the pub.
Expect no sense from me this afternoon.
Also in my hectic social calendar in the next couple of weeks, So Long Angel, the thinking man's pub blues band, will be at The National Theatre on Wendesday the 14th. They are well worth a listen; they are better at music than they are at web site design, trust me. ;-)
Steve, Andy, Michael and I will be at The Stage Door this Thursday evening at sevenish, with an option of moving on to either The Fire Station or Cubana later, so that Steve can get some good ogling in. All welcome.
Thanks to Tim Couper for the title. I hope you can make it too, Tim. ;-)
London Java Meetup - 12 July 2004. This meetup's topic is Groovy, James Strachan's dynamic language for the JVM. I've had my say on this before - what does it have that Jython doesn't have? The main answer seems to be that Groovy has a Java-like syntax. Since I prefer Python's syntax, this isn't a big win for me. ;-)
Anyway, as I said last time, I like the people, and we never manage to stay on-topic anyway, so I'll be there.
Oh, and a big thanks to Jez for organising these.
Since Sydney is a bit far to go for a beer, no matter how good the company, I'll be meeting Steve next Wednesday (the 2nd) evening at The Marquis of Granby. All welcome - but if you fancy coming, get in touch, and I'll bung you my mobile number. We don't know The Marquis of Granby. If it's rubbish, we'll go elsewhere.
Wednesday night is looking promising; Steve's coming, of course, and Andy, Michael, Mark and Sam are all probables. The more the merrier, of course, so do come for a beer if you're London based and at a loose end.
Be gentle with me on Friday morning...
All the best, mate, and don't forget to tell me when the leaving do is...
Seriously, Mark and I do argue a lot, but it's from a position of mutual respect, and it's productive arguing. His technical skills are good, as are his design instincts, and he's a good trainer. He's a real asset to the team, and a bloody nice chap to boot, so he'll be missed.
Just don't tell him I said so. ;-)