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Friday, 6 July 2007

News, Plans, etc

News

I hope all of my American readers had a happy 4th of July. It was my cat's 10th birthday, but she's in California, so I didn't bake her a cake or anything. Actually, I'm alarmed by what sort of cake a cat would like. yuck.

Here in The Hague, I went to an expat BBQ. We grilled a bunch of expats . . .. ahem. It was fun. there was a guy there with a dog also from California, but from LA. She and Xena had the north-south rivalry thing going on. Anyway, the other dog was clearly a California mutt as it was half pitbull. It's the law that 90% of mixbreed dogs in CA are half pitbull. He said to keep it quiet because they're outlawed in the Netherlands, but further research on wikipedia seems to indicate that this is not the case. Anyway, anti-breed laws are stupid. I started talking about how pitbulls are nice to people, and are only risky around other dogs. Nicole says that was rude. She drug me out to the grill to make tofu kabobs.

It would have been Xena's happiest July 4th ever, as there were no fireowrks, except for two things. There was some sort of incident between the two dogs and the LA one bit through Xena's ear. It's just a little hole, but Xena was way freaked out. The other owner and the host pulled the dogs apart, something I tried to prevent. Folks, never stick your hands between fighting dogs! The host, Kendra, is from Alaska and says she has experience breaking up fighting dogs and knows how to do it without getting hurt. Anyway, it was probably for the best because Xena had already submit, but the other dog wasn't backing off. Which is why pitbulls are dangerous for other dogs - once they get started in a fight, they don't stop at the point most other dogs would stop. Most dogs just fight to establish dominance. Anyway, after being separated, the other dog reverted to being cute and friendly, but Xena was freaked. I felt kind of bad for the owner. He was really embarassed. It sucks when you beloved pet, who is almost human in your eyes, reveals their animal nature. Like barfing in a restaurant - which Xena did recently.

Then we got home and there was an incredible thunder storm. Way cooler than any fireworks. Xena tried to hide under the bed. Bad day for her. Yesterday, she barely wanted to leave the house, which was fair enough as she's been awake and scared most of the night. Poor dog.

Plans

I go soon to Linz for my gig. Tickets are quite a bit more than I expected. Why are trains more expensive in the summer? They don't cost more to run. I'll get back around the second half of July. Then I want to bike along the coast of the Netherlands and then inland towards a small town in Friesland. Nick will probably participate. Then I will come back and meet up with Kendra and we will bike to Copenhagen, leaving around August 1st. That should take about 2 weeks. Then I get to worry a lot about moving.

Biking with clips is awesome. I feel like I have way more control over the bike and could go way faster. Also, popping in and out gets easy very quickly. when I first started on a still bike in front of my house, I thought it would be really hard, but suddenly, like a clip, it just clicked.

I tried to buy a bluetooth PDA keyboard from a shop in Rotterdam, but they'd sold out earlier in the day. However, I was able to use my GPS setup to navigate. Maemo Mapper tip: after you load the route into the program, quit it and restart. This will save the route in non-volitaile memory and if you (software) crash on the way, you won't have to sorta head in the right direction while hoping to run into an open wifi network.

Also, I really love it when folks name their network linksys and leave it wide open. Seriously, it's great. I kind of want to rename my network to linksys. This si the closest thing to an open citizen's anarchist wifi net that we can reasonably hope for. So let's all do it! Unlock your networks! Rename them to linksys! Encrypt all your data going over the wifi! If you leave your own network open, then you don't need to feel guilty about borrowing anybody else's connectivity. I leave mine open for that reason. But I'm not renaming it right now, because I'm not sure how to configure my remote-controlled-only media server to connect to a new network, nor even if it's a good idea to let it potentially connect to the wrong one. So everybody except for me should rename their network, and we should leave them open. That is all.

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