Nerd Notes on Paris

07 Sep 2009
Posted by jcfiala

You know, for a city of eternal grandeur, Paris is pretty nerdy.

For one thing, the French have these magnificent comic books. They're sold in hardback volumes, with fantastic art, all sorts of genres, and you can find them in bookstores, for cripes sakes. It makes me want to learn French just so I can read them. About half-way through my stay I found out there was a French comic shop (bulles de salon) within a few blocks of the apartment, which had a fantastic layout with a round room with featured items on display, and a long back room with older books, some American comics on their own shelf, and little figurines and posters. I got my wife a fantastic poster of a fairy queen in a long dress, which she was ecstatic about.

Posted by jcfiala

Well, here I am home again. It's been a lovely trip, all told.

It was nice having an apartment in Paris, and the area we were in was a lot of fun, but the internet was a big disappointment. It wasn't really until Wednesday that we had live internet in the apartment, and even then the wireless router that came with the place wasn't working properly with more than one user. Happily, both Matthew and Al were willing to hook up their laptops to the Ethernet cable and substitute as wireless modems, so it wasn't too bad, but still...

Posted by jcfiala

Well, I'm in Paris!

The flight out here was as good as expected - a quick trip on a plane down to Charlotte, a dash from terminal to terminal to catch the Paris flight, and then up, up and away! We even arrived a little early thanks to a tailwind that pushed us on our way. We helped Matthew (a co worker) collect his bags, and then met up with Greggles, another Drupaller who arrived moments after we did, and took a cab from the airport - for four people it was much more pleasant than daring the underground on such little sleep.

Posted by jcfiala

This last weekend was really a lot of fun. It's our last weekend here in Denver before we take off for Paris this Saturday, and so there was a fair amount of preparation for that going on.

To start with we headed off to Weight Watchers, which I hadn't been to in a month due to... well, a mix of different reasons, including my trip recently to LA for DrupalCampLA. Happily, it turns out I'd lost another 1.4 lbs, which means I've lost more than fifteen pounds! That, followed with a little breakfast over at the Village Inn (free wifi!) was a beautiful start to the day. We then slipped into Best Buy to look for the new Professor Layton game, coming out this week - I was hoping it might be out early. It wasn't. Ah, well.

Tags: Gone Live!

03 Aug 2009
Posted by jcfiala

After a bit of twisting and forcing, I've got the new up and running under Drupal, a feat which makes me feel rather happy. DASFA stands for the 'Denver Area Science Fiction Association', and I've been slowly taking over the webmaster duties for a while now.

I still need to get migrated as well, but there's some email forwarding accounts that I need to get sorted out first. But it shouldn't take too long.

Also, I've set up a new twitter account: to keep track of local Denver SF happenings.

Posted by jcfiala

Here's the talk we gave at Drupalcampcolorado.

Presentation at

(If you're seeing this on livejournal, there's files to download on

Posted by jcfiala

It was with considerable surprise that I weighed in at Weight Watchers yesterday morning and was told that I'd lost another pound. I hadn't been really concentrating on my diet for the last two weeks - since the last time I'd weighed in - and although I had generally kept away from the fattening and rich stuff, I hadn't totally. But apparently I'd been good enough, and my official tally at WW went up to 10.8 pounds lost.

Limberick Math

21 May 2009
Posted by jcfiala

From :

If A equals B (so I say),
And we multiply both sides by A,
Then we'll see that A squared,
When with AB compared,
Are the same. Remove B squared. Okay?

Both sides we will factorize. See?
Now each side contains A minus B.
We'll divide through by A
Minus B, and ole!
A plus B equals B. Oh whoopee!

But since I said A equals B,
B plus B equals B, you'll agree?
So if B equals one,
Then this sum I have done,
Proves that two equals one. Q.E.D.

Posted by jcfiala

John Scalzi posted a blog post about a session he did at the Tools of Change conference this year on his blog.

It's a long video - 40 minutes, as it's an entire session - but it's an interesting one, with him, Patrick Nielson Hayden of Tor, and Toby Buckell, discussing building online communities around a website and where you can go with them. It's not so much about where you go after 40K readers, as how dang useful it is to have 40K readers, in my opinion. There's also an interesting point there that can hire writers at professional wages to write short stories and give them away and have it disappear into their advertising budget as opposed to the short fiction markets who can't pay a living wage to get printed in a small magazine that a few thousand people ever read.

Definitely worth watching. And now, back to prepping for my D&D game tomorrow.

Posted by jcfiala

Hm, seems like Twitter's Down.

I'm having some fun setting up a Drupal 5 install just so I can test that a patch fixes a problem with upgrading to 6 while using the link module.