Hixie's Natural Log

2006-05-08 09:22 UTC Late Spring 2006 Travelog: Part 6 (Between meetings)

On Friday I went to visit Nadia, and we played games. I learnt that what the W3C call "Werewolf" was originally called "Mafia", and that's what the grad students play in Princeton, when they're not playing board games like "Once upon a time" (we emptied the deck on a single story, which started off as a retelling of the Lord of the Rings, but quickly became vastly more complicated) or "First of Dragonstones". Two more games for me to get for Google's games night. My collection is getting to be big enough to rival the collections I was in awe of when I first started down the path of playing board games all the time, a couple of years ago.

I love geeks. Whether it's grad students in sciences or colleagues at work, there's something about metaconversations and ultimately pointless semantic debates that is just fun.

On Saturday we lounged around in the sun, and I finished The Confederation Saga's second book, Judas Unchained. To say I'm a Peter F. Hamilton fan is a bit of an understatement.

In the evening we went to Vatan, a vegetarian-only Indian restaurant (which apparently is not an oxymoron!) in New York, which had very good food, a great atmosphere, and an interesting approach to dining: instead of making you chose what food you want, they just bring some of everything on the menu and charge you a flat price.

Sunday I flew to Amsterdam. I could whine about the New York subway being run by a bunch of amateurs, or about United's e-checkin system assigning me a seat that physically didn't exist on the plane, or about the pain of travelling East, or any number of other things, but frankly I'm just thankful I didn't lose my luggage during the connection in Dulles. I watched Hoodwinked and listened to UA's channel 9 (the air traffic radio). Hoodwinked was surprisingly good, IMHO. But, June 9th June 9th June 9th June 9th June 9th...

This morning (I landed at 7am), I walked around Amsterdam trying to find an open wireless network. I found the one I used last year... but its owner apparently decided to clamp down on that and encrypted it. In fact all but two of the hundreds if not thousands of networks in this city are encrypted, as far as I can tell (not counting those that charge you money, of course).

There's a Caltrain stop in the Bay area where I've detected 45 distinct wifi ESSIDs being broadcast. Amsterdam is similar, dozens of networks everywhere. Why don't people share? I don't understand.

I haven't slept for... um, well, put it this way, I'm tired enough that I can't do the timezone maths anymore. I hope I make it to the meeting tomorrow morning...