Monday, 15 May 2006

Ottawa wrap up

Here we are after checking out of our suite in the beautiful uOttawa residences. (Apologies to the bent D'Arcy and Carol for picking this as the picture to post, but I find it the compositionally most interesting.)

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Istra wanted urgently to share the above paragraph with you. Thank you, Istra.

As I was about to say, we did a bit more wandering around Saturday night when I once again ducked out on the conference socializing (dinner at Royal Oak Pub, again). I followed Selena, the long way, to an Ethiopian place she'd found listed in the Ottawa vegetarian brochure we'd picked up the night before. We'd never done Ethiopian before, but after we got in there I started remembering bits of info I must have picked up from some or other food show on TV. I noticed on the other tables where people were eating that they all had huge round plates, and everyone ate from the same plate... and no one had any utensils. The way it worked is the plate is covered in large somewhat crepe-like flat bread, called injera. The food is then loaded in the middle of the plate on top of the bread. The procedure is you rip of pieces of bread and pick up the food within pinches of bread. It was pretty interesting (and very filling).

We walked up to the Parliament buildings just because it happened to be close and known. So I got a bit of practise in with podless night photography, and as usual I somehow completely forgot to crank the ISO! Only the single-most important basic setting in the circumstance. Oh well. Click the image at the top of this post if you want to see all of our (mostly boring) pictures.

Here's another great picture of our travel companions, Carol and D'Arcy (who, besides the conference, were celebrating their 34th anniversary this weekend). On our way out of town we wanted to stop for some breakfast on the road. As towns on the major highways are fairly sparse, D'Arcy decided to take smaller highways on the theory that they would go through smaller towns and we might find some nice place to stop. But we had no map, so we didn't actually know...

So it was a happy coincidence that we ended up, eventually, in Perth. Selena, in her youth, with her family, used to cottage near there in the summers. The restaurant we ended up at was recommended by one of the locals we asked on the street, and Selena was filled with nostalgia that she'd been there before long ago with Aunty Belle. Apparently the place has changed it's name since then, and I don't know if the street lamps sported smiley faces (as seen in the image above) at that time... but Selena wanted me to take some pictures especially for Aunty Belle anyhow.

I haven't mentioned Selena's adventures trying to find the Extraordinary Baby Shop (ostensibly the main reason for her coming along with me). I will summarise: she didn't, then she did, and it was, and it it wasn't. So it goes!

So it was a busy, but good few days. Selena got some of her Chaucer work done, and somehow got lost walking along the Rideau Canal. I found more of interest than I actually thought I would in most of the presentations I attended: "Back to the Future: BSD on the Edge of the Enterprise", "Building a FreeBSD Appliance With NanoBSD", "Towards a BSD Certification", "Filesystem Performance on FreeBSD", "Proactive Wireless Networks with OpenBSD", "Using the Andrew File System with BSD", "The FreeBSD Ports Monitoring System", "BSD firewalling, pfSense and m0n0wall". Wheh! We picked up a few books (Japanese anthology, Ariosto) at a amazingly well stocked tiny chaotic used bookstore we noticed by the Ethiopian restaurant. Exciting stuff...

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