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ET Toulouse meet : Update

by afew Sat Jun 17th, 2006 at 04:35:41 PM EST

Update [2006-6-18 8:48:56 by afew]: I took some photos but most of them seem to be no good, one way or another. Perhaps Alexandra in WMass, who also took pics, can communicate some to us when she gets online again (she's travelling). But I'm putting one up that shows the homemade jams about to be consumed with crÍpes:

Alex in Toulouse was right. The weather in Toulouse was hot and sunny. We met on time in the right place and proceeded to picnic on the grass by the River Garonne, under the shade of a willow, Alexandra in WMass, M. et Mme Lupin, Maggie the border collie, Alex in Toulouse, and afew. Foursomes sculled by, a fisherman baited his hook. In the green and watery afternoon, time stood still.

It was then...


...that we broke out the provisions, and provisions there were aplenty. Saucisse sèche, smoked salmon, taboulé, fougasse, cantaloup melon, several varieties of stinky cheese, a good white Tariquet from the Gers, a good red Capendu from the Aude, delicious banana bread made by Mme Lupin, crêpes, and candidates for the home-made jam tasting : blackberry, blueberry, fig, watermelon and orange. A lemon was held ritually over a crêpe at the height of the ceremony in order to scare away evil spirits.

And it worked. No evil spirit came near, and we spent some excellent hours together. Fascinating people, eurotribbers, and so well worth meeting in the real real world. What did we talk about? Our lives offline, our lives online. Blogs, politics, American, French, British society. DKos, European Tribune.

What came out of it? The gnomes being firmly at their posts all along the watchtower, we hardly dared foment a revolution. Some ideas were suggested for ET, that we should discuss some other time.

And, as Alexandra in WMass said, after all our virtual (and transatlantic) discussions, there we were for real, and all those goodies weren't virtual any more, they were real. The people too. Thanks, everyone, for giving me such a good afternoon.

Display:
Like kcurie says, a pleasure!

Had several good laughs with Lupin's diabolical humour, met a wonderful Mrs Lupin, a very enthusiastic and fresh Alexandra in WMass, and a genius of an afew, with whom I shared several beers in a bar after everyone had left.

We were all pretty much bilingual (French & English), so conversation, though predominantly in English, did jump into French whenever it had to!

And like I said, it never rains in June in Toulouse, aha!

by Alex in Toulouse on Sat Jun 17th, 2006 at 05:24:03 PM EST
Thanks so much for the update, afew!  I'm so glad you all had a nice time and look forward to the photos.  I would have loved to have been there -- on the other hand, I would've starved. ;-)

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 17th, 2006 at 06:44:20 PM EST
By the way, the picnic was labelled "100% peanut-butter free". afew expressed (authentic?) concern about this at some point "ahhh, we didn't bring any peanut butter!?" but I just raised my arm in the air in a silent celebration of victory.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 01:16:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You and Afew should be aboard a tramp steamer heading for the Suez canal at this very moment.

However, according to Sitemeter you are still in Toulouse ;-)
Operating System         Linux UNIX
Browser         Firefox
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686 (x86_64); fr; rv:1.8.0.3) Gecko/20060426 Firefox/1.5.0.3
Javascript         version 1.5
Monitor        
Resolution     :     1600 x 1200
Color Depth     :     24 bits

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 01:40:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew wanted to go to Ibiza, but I was more into going to the Caribbeau ... our positions were impossible to reconcile
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 02:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ibiza? Not on your life!

It was Goa or bust. But Life with its endless mind-numbing details, like lugging cases and iceboxes around and needing to get to the station in time, intruded in its usual deadening way.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This morning I woke up with incredible muscle ache. My handleless icebox and the kilometers I walked with it has done far more for my pectoral muscles than pushups ever have.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How good that must make you feel. To have done so much for others and at the same time to have reaped the benefits of a thousand pushups.

Altruism works.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mind you, me duck, Alex is such a wizard he may have masked his IP.

Who knows?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:57:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What a rotter! Gentlemen do not mask their IPs ;-)

Mind you, you raise an important question - there's not much physical lugging involved in cyberspace and thus we may all suffer muscular atrophy.

Therefore I propose a project for the redesign of workstations to provide exercise. Keyboards with 3 kilo resistance on the keys, treadle operated UPS, and the like.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:05:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Treadle operation's a great idea -- cf the old sewing machines -- particularly energywise.

In a dystopic future, we'll all be on the creaky Survivornet pedalling away like mad or turning a crank handle at top speed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:09:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't that be great! Pedalling away to keep the machine going ... screensavers would become obselete => no more worms for afew.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:11:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh! But the Black Hand Gang would find another way. They'd be holed up in a cave in the hills, stealing power from decent folk's treadmills by means of sneaky worm electricity-transmission algorithms...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be a broadhand connection?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:45:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be logical to situate an internet cafe next to a gym...

Come to think of it, why have mains powered lights and heating in gyms at all? It would be highly motivational ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:52:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have read it is actually rather depressing how hard it is to power just a 100W bulb, or even a 60W bulb, with an exercise machine...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why we must prepare household hamsters for peak oil, they don't seem to find running in a wheel depressing. We just need to get the Peruvians to sign a "Hamsters for peak oil" agreement first.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:07:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to this, the average in-shape cyclist can produce about 3 watts+ per kilo for an hour = 200 watts

Of course we are assuming frictionless transfer...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:26:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And what are you doing using 60 watt lightbulbs when an 11 watt neon will produce the same amount of light ;-p

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, can we power our computers on 200W, with some power to spare (for backup, so that if you stop pedalling your computer doesn't immediately crash...)?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:33:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The new macbooks (17", 2.2Ghz processors etc) use an 85 watt power adaptor into a 68-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery (with integrated charge indicator LEDs) providing up to 5.5 hours of battery life

So by my calculations - adding a little bit for connection power - the average wife could keep her husband online for hours at a time. ;-)

<runs covering head from rain of household implements including apple corers)>

<pops head round door> but if you want coffee with that, you'll have to think about polygamy.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 06:01:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but if you want coffee with that, you'll have to think about polygamy.

or about Linux...

One of the most memorable comments about software ever said is whether this or that piece of code can make coffee. Coffee is a world commodity that is second only to oil. Linux DOES make coffee; and it tastes good as well!


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 06:04:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not use the bikes and other equipement to generate power?
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 08:48:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what we were discussin' ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:57:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Somehow my neurods must have mis-fired! :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:29:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reportedly there is a hand-crank-powered $100 laptop under development as we speak...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Once again, virtual imaginings become reality.

Pity you weren't there yesterday, Migeru (for perfectly understandable reasons). Alex needed a hand with his icebox, and you could have supplied Lupin with the theoretical rigour and the indispensable charts for his fuel-from-heretics project. And just plain: pity you weren't there...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Alex can drag his icebox to London I'll gladly let him crash in my living room ;-P

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:41:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you burn logs?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:48:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you've got a rithm.

Life's nothing without rithm.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a pity you weren't there, Izzy. You might not have starved, there were potato chips...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:14:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like you all had a lovely meeting. Wish I could have joined. Well, maybe another time.

I am looking forward to seeing the pictures.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 02:36:47 AM EST
It would have been nice to see you, Fran.

Perhaps in the future there will be regional meet-ups like this one, and it's only reasonable to suppose everyone can't get to them from far away.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:06:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
have the nano-conferences that I have had when people visit Hki, or I go to Amsterdam.

10 years ago I was flying about regularly, but always ended up in the hotel room or eating alone, as 4 hours with the executives who were paying was quite enough for one day without the chore of inane socializing.

Nowadays several of my clients use videoconferencing, so the farthest I get is to cross downtown Helsinki to sit in some boardroom.

But on balance the current system is much more supportable morally and I even get to drink my favourite teas as I chat. Char chat.

I do like trains though.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:20:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks afew, however, after reading about Lupin's burning-heretics project I might have to reconsider if I want to join a future meeting. But then again, I might be saved, as might not burn well, there is not much fat present to keep the fire going. :-D
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 08:37:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the next meeting we'll discuss derogations. I'm sure we'll come up with something to prevent ourselves from being burned at the stake ;)
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 08:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, thanks Alex, in this case I keep thinking about it. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 08:44:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since we'll be the leaders of the crusade... er, project, we won't get burned. Don't worry, Fran.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 09:18:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First and foremost, thanks to Alex, and afew, for providing the organization, and Alexandra for the yummy crepes.

There was food enough for a small army of Jeromes, and hopefully the next gathering will attract more worthies.

I'm still incredibly bitter that my valuable contribution to our Energy Plan, i.e. burning heretics (a renewable resource), was so cavalierly rejected, but them are the breaks. I should have done a pie chart or a graph.

by Lupin on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:00:05 AM EST
I thought your "Burn a Cathar" plan was well received by and large, though, as you say, if you don't do charts and graphs, you won't really get taken seriously round here.

But I thought the suggestion that the heretic should be filled with local mountain hooch before ignition in order to potentiate the thermic yield was one we should retain for further examination.

It was great meeting you and Mrs Lupin and Maggie yesterday, and I hope we'll meet again some time soon.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 04:06:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As we have, rather foolishly I'd add, decreased our burning of heretics, virtually plumetting to zero or so in the Provinces, we have increased our dependance on foreign oil.

I'm sure I could come with a graph showing the inverse correlation.

The answer is, therefore, obvious.

As these comparisons demonstrate:

1.7 × 104 J    energy released by metabolism of one gram of sugar or protein
3.8 × 104 J     energy released by metabolism of one gram of fat
44,742 J     a power of one horsepower applied for one minute
5.0 × 104 J     energy released by combustion of one gram of gasoline

(source: Wiki)

the energy released by the combustion of an average heretic (140 pounds - they eat like birds) is competitive with more traditional sources.

Plus it's fun because we can wear funny costumes, still in fashion (or so I heard) in certain portions of Southern United States.

by Lupin on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 01:31:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Almost every day I walk on the Chemin des Moines, a medieval path between the Abbey of Boulbonne (Cintegabelle), and the Abbey of Prouille (Fanjeaux), two power spots of the Dominican Order and the Albigensian Crusade.

I wouldn't want anyone to think I was bonkers or anything, but I swear that, if you look surreptitiously from the corner of your eye as you walk along that path, you can see the pointy hats scurrying out of sight behind the trees.

These things just don't go away.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 02:52:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Side-note: we crossed an "anti-Sarkozy's anti-immigration policy" demonstration with afew and Alexandra in WMass, after the picnic (afew took a few pics), and if we had stayed near the river we would have also seen Toulouse's gay pride which I just learned was yesterday (note: which is why we saw that huge gay colours flag on the Daurade, with those book stalls and music scene).

Ahh so many things happening in my small town ... alala aha lalala.

by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 06:56:20 AM EST
Yes, in fact Toulouse was very active yesterday. Gay Pride, preparations for the Fête de le Musique right next to our picnic spot (in fact, occupying our picnic spot so we had to go further downriver, but we're not going to tell everyone about the spanners in the works, are we?), the cultural event "Les Mots" occupying several spots in the city -- in fact, we were lucky to get a place to sit down ;)

Here's one of the pics of the demonstration in favour of immigrants without papers and their children (see proximity1's diary Little children shame us...).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 08:02:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks much for the update. I'm quite pleased that it went well for you and that the weather was wonderful.
by gradinski chai on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 08:42:25 AM EST
Thanks, o sage tea! It's a pity that, as we are saying on the ET conference thread, distances are a problem, in fact, so that more of us can't easily meet on these occasions. It would have been a pleasure to welcome you to Toulouse.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 02:33:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Until we get to see more explicit pictures:

On the left with a brown tee-shirt and magnificently sculpted and tanned thighs is me, holding a plate on the right and wearing a watch is Alexandra in WMass, across the picnic area with tennis shoes is Mrs Lupin, with Maggie the dog lying on her right, and the person behind the camera is afew. Lupin isn't anywhere on the picture.

by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 10:45:56 AM EST
I focused on the jam question in this one. I also took some from further back including everyone and the river background, but they're not on the memory card at all. (Borrowed camera) (I was just told, press the button, you don't need to worry about anything else...) (excuses, excuses...)

In fact, we were so involved in non-stop conversation that getting serious about taking photos just wasn't a priority... I said we needed Colman...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 11:10:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first time I tried to take pictures with a digital camera, I also came home completely empty-handed (I was pretty sure that I was taking pictures though).

Even recently at a family occasion I took a group picture (had a dozen people standing in the sun) with someone else's camera, did all sort of fancy positioning (moving around like a professional photographer), pressed the button tens of times while giving out orders (smile, look to your left, you in the back bend forward etc). And in the end there wasn't a single picture on the camera!

by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 11:16:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mysteriouser and mysteriouser.

I found this one in the camera under the title Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, but I don't know how it got there. I don't remember the ladies wearing dresses like that (?).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 12:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see you didn't go for the Alex/Manet version of Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I understand that with cold, wet-nosed Maggie around this advanced ET version could have caused discomfort...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:48:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No Manet. I'm a gentleman, Sven.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 03:05:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and you could've burned him if there was a sudden cold snap ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 03:59:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That raises two questions:

  1. Is Colman a heretic?

  2. Can he filled with hooch?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:00:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Yes.

  2. Yes. It needs to be good stuff though, so it's not very cost effective.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:03:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you haven't finished the fine cognac and armagnac you were getting from an "acquaintance", a bellyful of that would do fine. We'll even let you light the match yourself.

All in the name of scientific investigation, of course.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot to thank you for the lemon ritual - it made an old man happy ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not cost-effective for you possibly, but for us it would be free inflammability. Colman = firestarter. I've had a lot of experience with barbecues and bonfires, but it was not until I chatted with a friendly fireman that I got the gubbins - you need a pesä or nest to reach critical thermal mass after which everything else just falls into the pesä and it keeps on self-stoking.

So faced with a whole gaggle of heretics to burn, I'd put Colman in the pesä and stand well back.

We Ducks from Leicester also know a good bonfire when we see one,as we have enthusiastically celebrated the ignition of RC Guy Fawkes in our youth ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes indeed. Penny-for-the-guy autodafés by the hundred. I can smell the air of dark, misty November nights, and the sulphurous smoke of the fireworks and the burning... well, yes, Catholics!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 02:22:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you are ever in Helsinki and wish to acquire a take-home bottle of something inspiring after the state monopoly alcohol shops have closed, you neeed to know just one simple phrase:

Onks tietoo?

Roughly translated, it means "do have you any information?"

In dark Helsinki alleyways, it will mean a mere 3 minute wait and cash on delivery.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jun 18th, 2006 at 05:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny... I expected you to look like...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 04:40:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hehehe

nah my hair never gets that long, I generally cut it when I start getting knots and dreads (and I cut it two weeks before the meetup). and my facial hair is still refusing to take me out of pre-puberty. and I don't wear sunglasses.
but you can still call me el duderino ;)

likewise, I expect you to look like this:

by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Jun 19th, 2006 at 04:57:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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