[steven@macromedia /work]$ shutdown -h +360 'Going on sabbatical. Please log off'

Like many others at Macromedia, its my turn for a long sabbatical, although I've been eligible for over a year. For the next six weeks, until September 12th, I'll be out of the office. I suspect that this is the first and the last time I'll be able to take such an extended leave.

I plan to spend the first 3 weeks at home, biking, swimming, reading, and blogging. Some of my objectives include reading parts of several technical books including one on Eclipse which has a chapter on building plugins, one on building Dashboard Widgets on Mac OSX, and one on Photoshop CS. I may take some time to read up SELinux, too.

During this last month I've been reading Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat, which I highly recommend, so I hope to finish that up. I think that Friedman's book is complemented by Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, and by Spencer Well's The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, but best if read (or viewed) starting with Wells and finishing with Friedman. If I find a day to spare, I think I'll finally sit myself down to watch the whole 8 hour series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.

During the second half of my sabbatical, I'll be in Barcelona, Spain and then in the high Pyrenees. My wife and I were married in a civil ceremony two years ago and now we will be having a formal ceremony in a 12th century church in a small mountain village near the border with France, close to Pico Aneto, the highest mountain in Spain. I used Ray's BlogCFC to create a dual English/Spanish informational website to assist the guests.

If you're not familiar with the region, check this out. Its a small Javascript app that zooms in on Barcelona and the Pyrennes, which I made for those who will be travelling from the US. It's a little slow in MSIE, but great in Firefox. This was before Google Earth came out, so I was trying to provide a way for non-technical people to get their bearings.

shutdown -h +360 "Going on sabbatical. Please log off"
Broadcast message from root (pts/1)
(Fri Jul 29 11:56:35 2005):
Going on sabbatical. Please log off
The system is going DOWN for system halt in 6 hours!

How Many ColdFusion Titles Does Your Local Book Store Carry?

Over the weekend I passed by the Barnes & Nobles in Burlington, MA across from the mall, so I stopped to check out the latest titles in their vast Computers section, which spans about 8 bookshelves, each about 12-20 feet long and 5-10 rows high. This is an enormous amount of books for a generic book store just devoted to General Computing, Web Programming, Web Design, Graphic Design, Macintosh, Databases, XML, Perl, Java, C/C++, Windows, Unix/Linux, and more.

I poured over the titles looking for ColdFusion books, through the Java/J2EE section, past the ASP and PHP sections, on to the Web Programming section and even into the General Computing section, but there was no sign of the familiar blue and white covers, a popular color scheme in CFMX related books. Disappointed, and already thinking up a rant blog entry, I turned the corner and stumbled into the Web Design section. There among a towering but narrow shelf that was 10 or more rows high, saturated with Flash and Dreamweaver books, I finally recognized what I was looking for. Just below center were a tiny handful of ColdFusion books, including the CFMX Bible, the CFMX WACK set of books, the O'Reilly book, and a couple other titles I don't remember. Right next to it was a single Macromedia Flex book.

[More]

Fun story on the challenges of bicycling around Concord

Casey Lyons, a staff writer at the Concord Journal, wrote a fun and wry essay in this week's edition on the many hazards and adventures of biking through the genteel neighboorhoods of Concord.

A Friday afternoon bike ride around Concord


July 28: The article has been removed from the Concord Journal online edition, so I am copying the story from Google cache to here:

[More]

Photo Gallery Makeover: Luray Caverns and Shenandoah Park

I've gotten around to updating my photo gallery by adding titles and captions for our 2003 trip to Luray Caverns and our one day hike in White Oak Canyon and Cedar Run.

Here's the original blog entry which has additional information, and here's the photo gallery.

Photos of Casa Mil‡ in Barcelona Spain

CLICK for photos of Casa Mil‡ Also known as La Pedrera, Casa Mil‡ is one of Antonio Guadi's architectural masterpieces. At one time it served as a collection of luxurious apartments for Barcelona's elite, but today exists as a museum. Built in the very early 1900's, it is a monument to 20th century Modernism. It sits on Passeig de Gr‡cia in central Barcelona, a few blocks north Plaza Catalunya. These photos were taken in January 2005.

Photos of Casa Mil‡

Other Photos of Spain

This photo gallery was highlighted in February 2006 on Barcelona Monthly.

CFUNITED Day one a wrap: Sessions, BOFs, and Community

Today was seriously intense. The day started at 8am with a Welcome talk to introduce all of this year's speakers followed by a great keynote address by Ben Forta and Tim Buntel, with guest appearance by Simeon Bateman of the CFEclipse proejct (Thanks for the Sam Adams!). At first I tried attending sessions while taking notes which I later blogged, and this worked for a while during Ray Camden's, Nate Nelson's, and Simon Horwith's talks.

[More]

A French Asylum on the Susquehanna River in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania

Wyalusing Asylum Panorama over Susquehanna River


ASYLUM: A settlement of French Royalists who fled the French Revolution in 1793, was established in the valley directly opposite this marker. It was laid out and settled under the direction of Viscount de Noailles and Marquis Antoine Omer Talon. It was hoped that Queen Marie Antoinette might here find safety. Among many distinguished visitors to this place were Louis Phillipe, Duke of Orleans, later King of France, Prince de Talleyrand, Duke de Montpensier and the Duke de la Rochefoucauld Liancourt.

[More]

Movie Meme

Taking a clue from Leslee, here's my own take on the Movie Meme...

Total number of films I own on DVD and video:
Looking at the two bookshelves on either side of the living room TV, Id say there must be over 200 DVDs right there. This includes perhaps 100 movies from the states, and 50 foreign films including mostly Almodovar and Amenabar films, but theres the odd French films in there too including almost all of the Audrey Tautou films and an old favorite Betty Blue. The other 50 DVDs are of the educational variety such as the Carl Sagan series Cosmos, the PBS series on String Theory called The Elegant Universe by Brian Green, a whole bunch of Nova episodes, the 2001 PBS 6 hour series on Evolution, the 4 hour Ken Burns special on Lewis and Clark, several NASA/Space Travel type shows like Origins, and the Revolution OS flick which traces the development of Linux and includes curious interviews with Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, and of course Linus Torvalds. Among the VHS tapes, I still have my very first VHS purchase, Jeremiah Johnson, and my most recent VHS purchase, the Ernest Shackleton 6 part series starring Kenneth Brannigan(?).

Last film I bought:
Just this week the most recent addition to our DVD collection came in from Amazon... Northern Exposure, Season 3. This television series was a centerpiece to my twenties. The story as a whole further compelled me to travel to Alaska several times, although the filming was done in Roslyn, Washington outside Seattle where I had to stop and have a beer in The Brick,and I did manage to spend a couple days in Talkeetna, AK where the series was supposedly based on. Check out my photos. Only this past year has the NX series been available on DVD. Previously, while fearing that I would never obtain a video archive of the series, I bought a few key episodes that were available on VHS from independent vendors on Amazon. I paid $20-45 for individual episodes that I felt were most memorable, including "Northern Lights" from season 1 and "Thanksgiving" from series 3. The most inspiring character to me was Chris Stevens, the self-taught, quasi-hippi/biker from a wrecked home in West Virginia that elevated himself to the Cicelys poet laureate, DJ, lay philosopher. I remember frantically writing down and later researching all the literary fragments that were used by the Chris Stevens role. There was even a book published containing only the musings, quips, and quotes of Chris Stevens, : Chris in the Morning: Love, Life, and the Whole Karmic Enchilada. By season 5 the NX writers were jumping the shark, and as much as I loved the series I could hardly bring myself to watch with the new doctor and all. I missed the final episode Tranquility Base, which ended with the folky Our Town by Iris Dement, so I guess it will be a year or so before its available on DVD.

[More]

Spanish Film Recommendations

Preparing to pass the Movie Meme, here's a rehashed, repost of my rather lengthy comments to the 3rd House Party Movie Meme blog entry....




This reads almost exactly like a list of my own DVD collection. I'll buy anything directed by Pedro Almodovar or Alejandro Amen·bar, or starring Gael GarcÌa Bernal or Javier Bardem. Concord isn't all that far from Grafton, so maybe we can swap sometime :)

Gael GarcÃŒa Bernal is really emerging as one of the best Mexican actors, with credits including The Motorcycle Diaries, El Crimen de Padre Amaro, Amores Perros, and Y Tu Mama Tambien.

[More]

Sys-con's Robert Diamond is very accommodating

So after my mini-rant late last night when I found a crappy photo of me up on MXDJ, Robert Diamond dropped me a note to smooth things out, and he asked for a photo that I would approve of to be used in lieu of said crappy photo. Nice guy! Thanks Robert!

I made the recommendation that they only pick up my ColdFusion RSS feed since that is what's relevant on MXDJ, not my Spain photos, rants, or biology blogs, and I even whipped up my own graphic to replace said crappy photo.







Voila! I love Adobe Photoshop :-)

I made this from a photo of me standing on Sentinel Bridge in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they scribbled a mustache, a missing tooth, and a eye patch on it ;-)

(note to self: use more emoticons to show I don't bite)

So, my formal apologies for being a weener and picking apart their website, and a big Thank You for asking!

Previous Entries / More Entries