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Beer in Manhattan

Just a brief interruption from the travel zone to mention two events, utterly irrelevant unless you're in New York city:

Tonight I'll be doing a reading at Housing Works bookstore cafe, with Jo Walton and music by Ninja Sex Party, from 7pm. (Map here.)

And on a less formal note, I will be sampling the beer and hanging out in d.b.a (at 41 1st Avenue) from 7pm on Wednesday (map here); if you like beer and want to meet me in an informal setting this is your chance (note: but keep an eye on the comment thread below this entry in case of last-minute changes).

If you're wondering why I've been extra-scarce here over the past week, it's not only because I've been travelling and working, but because I managed to leave my laptop at home. The withdrawal symptoms have been terrifying1, mitigated only by the acquisition of an emergency iPad2. (Taxis to the airport at 4am? Just say no!)

[1]: I could probably have managed with my iPhone, if only I hadn't lightened my luggage further by leaving the folding bluetooth keyboard at home3,4.

[2]: Which will be going to a good home upon my return.

[3]: Because, of course, I was travelling with a laptop, so why would I need a folding bluetooth keyboard? What, I might want to type a blog entry on my phone? Get real!

[4]: This footnote left intentionally blank.

45 Comments

1:

This comment left intentionally blank.

2:

Your road trip does take you to Boston next weekend by any chance does it?

If you are there and speaking, I will drop by.

3:

Bad news: I was in Boston from last Thursday until yesterday!

4:

Are you aware he's just been in Boston?

I am amused at the fact that one friend of ours flew from Boston into London for this last weekend's one day Picocon. And another friend flew from London to Boston last week (and is still there), but doesn't do SF conventions.

Both do read Charlie's books. Both are sysadmins.

5:

Speaking as one of the Picocon organizers this year we couldn't be more complemented. I'll be sure to tell the rest of the organizers.

6:

Do I detect a slight case of Ouzlem-bird-itis?

7:

[3] You might not want to type a blog entry on an iPhone, but you might be surprised how much better you get at it when that's all you've got.

8:

Depends if I survive the meet-up tonight. I haven't been to d.b.a. in more than a decade, and that's far too long.

9:

Have fun. I hope the crowds are genial, amusing, and arrive with book money practically falling out of their pockets.

10:

Harry,

You could go along and drop Charlie one of those thousands of dollars you like to throw around at book events.

Or did I misunderstand that?

11:

Arrgghh, so close to where I live, yet so busy the next few days.

I shall try my hardest to be there tonight or tomorrow.

How do you manage all the fans who want to get drunk with you?

12:

The person in question was spending a little longer over here than just the convention's duration - I think he's over for a week. But it wasn't his first Picocon, either - I think he's timing his visits for it.

(We first met him a decade or so ago when he popped over to go to the pub. Yes, he arrived in London on the Saturday morning red-eye, went to the Prince of Wales in Drury Lane that evening (where we encountered him), crashed at our house that night, and we dropped him back at Heathrow on Sunday for his flight home. Insane, but charmingly so.)

13:


On " The withdrawal symptoms have been terrifying 1, mitigated only by the acquisition of an emergency iPad2. " ..theres an interesting item on ipad 2 in todays IrishTimes.com ...


" The launch of Apple iPad2 tablet will be delayed to June from April as maker Hon Hai faces production bottlenecks due to the device's new design, Taiwanese brokerage Yuanta Securities said in a note.

Component makers had to change their production processes after Apple made design changes to the iPad2 at the beginning of February. "


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0222/breaking26.html


14:

That folding keyboard might just protect you from a knife attack. Just sayin'.

15:

If I may divert the flow for a moment, I see that "Scratch Monkey" is now available to we unwashed hordes. Yes! I lost no time in ordering it (though was amused to have to supply a house number - I live in a house with only a name (actually it has two, depending which list you use) on a road with no name. I have now generated an address which looks like No 1, House name, Place, Near other Place, Postcode. But I have great faith in the post person, a couple of year ago he found our house on fire and saved it from burning to the ground).

Hope it goes well tonight and tomorrow. (Wasn't it the equivalent trip last year that brought us the Sparkly Unicorns plans?)

16:

That's a loooong flight to get a book signed.

17:

Huh. The boxed sets of Scratch Monkey sold out at Boskone. There's still hardcovers in stock.

18:

I have my hardcover on order, Marilee - thanks for posting the link earlier to the publicity page.

19:

Regretfully despite only being 25 miles away in New Jersey I wont be able to make it.
I will have to return to the Forbes article about BAE's new Gorgon Stare Weapons System

You should start trademarking and charge the defence contractors

Regards
Rex

20:

Meant to say earlier (but my old iBook is having a bad day) that I wish I could be there tonight but have no legitimate reason to be in NY (lack of funds, actually). Or that I'd try to talk my brother in Brooklyn into going but he's got work and family, and isn't much of a reader.

Was also going to mention that Tekserve in Manhattan apparently rents iPads and such by the day. Just a thought.

Hope you have a good turnout and have fun.

21:

"[2]: Which will be going to a good home upon my return."

Charity auction? :D

Assuming you don't have a deserving recipient in mind already.

22:

I wasn't aware that Charlie was in Boston last week and as I only fly over there on Saturday morning - getting to last weeks show wouldn't have been doable. Never mind

23:

Just to keep the address clear - the implication from the google map link is that d.b.a. is on First Ave. in the mid 'Sixties. It isn't. First Ave at Fifth Street - 60 blocks south, in Loisaida.

Not far from Two Boots Cajun/Italian, if you're into jambalaya pizza rolls... (I prefer Katz's - but then I'm a godless cosmopolite.)

24:

What folding bluetooth keyboard do you use, good sir? I didn't know any actually worked properly with the iPhone.

25:

Map URL fixed! Thanks for spotting it -- as a non-native I made the mistake of trusting google to get it right.

26:

It's probably going to an 87-year-old relative who finds a full-on Macbook a bit too complex but who would like to be able to use email and who will probably enjoy the BBC iPlayer app.

27:

I normally use a Think Outside/iGo Stowaway -- they're no longer made, but I have two in working order and one somewhat elderly and battered one.

Every Bt keyboard I've tried with iOS 4.2 works just fine. It's a major advantage over Android (unless newer Android releases now support keyboard HID properly).

28:

Sounds almost like mr. Strubbe.

29:

I don't travel much these days, but I have duplicates of my desk keyboard and trackball, neither of which is made anymore.

30:

Ever going to be down south (Atlanta)?

And, being a lawyer, I very much appreciate the prodigious use of footnotes and "intentionally left blank." God only knows how many times I have typed those words in a document...

31:

I very much appreciate the prodigious use of "intentionally left blank."

Why do people do that? Why not just start section N+1 of the document on the even numbered page? I've had documents that doing that with would have saved about 20 sheets of paper per copy, that were on Version 4, and had a distribution list of 30 to 40 copies.

32:

Why do people do that? Why not just start section N+1 of the document on the even numbered page?

If you have a structured document that you expect to change, it is in multiple sections, and you don't insist on running a continuous page count from start to finish (which is such a bad idea for such a document), then it permits you to replace a section on its own.

I do have some specifications (running to a few hundred pages) where we used to be mailed a dozen or two pages every few months, and I'd go through them and replace either single pages, or sometimes part of a section.

In those cases, the 'this page left blank' is useful, because it stops the changes in one section propagating page changes into the next section (a little like iframes in compressed video formats mean you can resync a video feed).

It's much the same reason for having page breaks in the first place.

If you're somewhere where the entire thing gets printed out every time, then you may have much bigger wastage problems already.

33:

I also don't have an issue with numbering within section N being N:O, so section N+1 has page numbering N+1:0 etc.

Also, these documents are usually revised by whole document replacement, or by the issue of deviations, which are separate documents, and not incorporated into the original other than by pen and paper methods.

34:

Eep!

So either the whole thing gets printed out again, or you have to look in multiple documents to get the current status.

It does depend on the documents though. Early stage ones are more likely to need that full reprint, so you can save then. But it's costly on slowly changing ones that have reached stability.

(Not that it's a great saving, tending to half a page per section on medium to long sections.)

35:

Long shot but any chance that during this atlantic hopping you will be in London at any point?

36:

Ironically, he was there the last week in January. So he's quite possibly done all he needs to do down this end of the country for a while.

37:

I found a really good local ale - here in Palo Alto - at the Rose and Crown, 'Hoppy Ending Ale' really good stuff. Only on tap.

I will buy you one if you swing by PA.

-r

38:

Dan, Atlanta is (a) Hot, and (b) in the South. I'm a cold-loving pinko-commie from the People's Republic of Scotland; I visited Atlanta once (in 1993) and that was enough ... although discovering I was there in town the same weekend that George H. W. Bush was addressing the Amway world convention and that I was the only non-Amway person in the hotel might have given me an unreasoning prejudice.

39:

I was in London last month. I usually visit once a year. I used to live there; I have had enough of London for most of a lifetime.

(Just in case anyone thinking my hate on Atlanta was something special, I've got a hate on for numerous towns and cities: don't get me started on Baldock or -- gulp -- Dorking. Never mind Dewsbury.)

40:

My sister lives in Baldock and says she hates it too. They're only there because of her son's school.

41:

Baldock? (Or Baghdad as it was once known?)

It's alway seemed a perfectly OK town to me, and now the whole place has a bypass so the rush hour queues no longer clog up the A505/A507 crossroads, it's much nicer to cope with. Not much there, conceded, apart from the massive Tesco filling the former film studio.

Now me, it's Derby. The rest of the county, fine. But Derby reminds me of cold misery in 2001/2002.

42:

Wait, wait. It's possible to connect a folding bluetooth keyboard to an iPhone? My understanding was that it is not. How do you do that?

43:

Bluetooth keyboard support has been a standard feature of iOS since 3.2, back when the iPad came out (it arrived on the smaller devices -- iphone/ipod touch -- with 4.0 last fall. Works with the Apple Bt keyboard -- also with the old Think Outside and relatives like the Stowaway, and any other Bt keyboard I've tried.

I used to joke/bluff about writing a novel on a PDA or phone. If my eyes were 5 years younger, I'd now be able to do it -- the iPhone 4 retina display coupled with a decent keyboard and a word processor like Documents to Go or QuickOffice is a thing of beauty.

44:

@Charlie: It *is* hot... in the summer! Otherwise, I can assure you (having lived in the British Isles one year from January-May) the climate is predominantly temperate! In fact, I could send you photos from last month of the frozen slope my daughter scorched with the treads of her sled... (not sure that's helping).

In any case, in spite of your apparent impression of Atlanta as a hotbed of conservative asshole-ism, we're (city proper that is) the most liberal community in the South. And we love pinko-commie assholes! In fact, I'm married to one! (Thankfully, wifie does not tune in to this particular blog... I don't think.)

On a more serious note, we--here in the South--are constantly fighting stereotypes and bias. And I will not protest the contention that we have problems... but the depiction of our community as a bunch of ignorant yokels is one-dimensional and totally inaccurate. Having observed the impression of the U.S. from abroad on numerous occasions, I see that it is a story told from the perspective of, basically, the East Coast (meaning NYC). And it is just not quite... right.

In any case-- you have a FINE opportunity to experience the *good* part of the South, should you deign to visit us, for example, in conjunction with the Decatur book festival (Decatur is a small town 5 miles east of Atlanta--very cool place. CCP--the publisher of Eve Online just located their North American HQ there! So--hey--it's GOT to be cool, right???). AND-- we have one of the best pubs in the South (The Brick Store Pub). WE GOT CHARACTER BY GOD!

Anyway. Would love to see you visit us in a more fuzzy-happy space than your last sojourn. Righteous redemption! Or somesuch.

Incidentally, when I made a brief trip up to Scotland, I "discovered" my ancestor's castle. Clan Ross-- very odd; it felt very strange to stand there and see the old place. It's been... oh.... 400 years or so. Love what they did with the it, though.

In regards to the "intentionally left blank"-- if anyone is still reading this far down... We do that for "important" documents to safeguard against fraud; i.e., the "nothing below here/ intentionally left blank" is to safeguard against someone writing in something that appears to have been part of the original document. It's not just a bunch of malarkey...

45:

Dammit! This is what I get for not checking my RSS feeds. I was two blocks away at the Peruvian restaurant on 1st Ave.

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on February 22, 2011 3:13 PM.

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