Living and Visiting

Jeff is getting homesick for a place with some culture. I tend to say that these sorts of cities feel like places rather than generic bits of Americana. Austin didn’t feel like much of a place (sorry, Alan) but that could be because I didn’t spend more than a year there. In fact, come to think of it, Austin has some nice things: I suspect that it was the rapid growth (and accompanying sprawl) that threw me. Still, I would disagree with Jeff that New Orleans is a nice place to visit, but not to live. Perhaps it is because of my more limited experience (I’ve not lived in Seattle), but I really enjoyed my life, house, and friends there. And, from his description, I suspect that Fischers is a lot like Akron. Well, except that Fischers is much more of a suburban bedroom community than Akron. But over the past year, I’ve gotten acclimated to living here. I’ve really begun to appreciate that Pennsylvania has a lot to offer the free-software, perl-loving zealot like myself. We’ve got esr, after all! Er… bad example. Let’s go with mjd. We’ve got mjd. We’ve got pobox.com, and rjbs (the guy behind rubric, the software behind de.lirio.us, a clone of del.ico.us that caused such a stir a few months back.) Ok… so the point is, we’ve got some people doing interesting things with Free Software in Pennsylvania. That’s more than I could say of New Orleans.

6 thoughts on “Living and Visiting”

    1. Re: esr

      He’s a pompous ass. And I mean that in the best possible way.

      His one (one!) claim to fame is that he wrote CatB. Close examination of this essay (and esr’s ability to apply it to other projects that he claims it talks about) show that many of the conclusions are baseless.

      It claims to be a case study of the development of fetchmail vs. emacs, but, really, we’re talking apples and oranges here. Fetchmail has one purpose: to get email. Emacs does that and plays tetris.

      esr sat on the board of VA Linux and when it went public, he thumbed his nose at everyone: “I’ve got mine!” he crowed. While that was simply (very) bad taste, he then presided as the stock dropped from $300/share to $3/share.

      Despite being a know-it-all about “Open Source”, he hasn’t written anything of import. However, this doesn’t stop him from throwing stones at rms, the creator of GCC (the compiler that killed commercial compilers on Unix), emacs (about which too much has already been written), and founder of the FSF.

      The one project that esr started that had any potential for real impact (cml2) was soundly rejected by Linux Kernel developers. Evidently esr thought his initials were enough reason for his work to be included in the kernel and he forgot to play nice with the guys who ran the show.

      To make matters worse, esr is a flaming nutcase when it comes to politics which seems to be (thankfully) what he spends most of his time writing about now-a-days. He spouts off with the voice of authority on and comes off sounding like, well, an ass on subject like IQ and Iraq.

      Finally, he has so conflated his own interests with the intrests of the free software and open source communities that he has begun polluting the jargon file with his own political beliefs.

      None of these by themselves would be reason to mock the man. But combined they create a pretty compelling portrait of a pompous ass.

  1. Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

    I too occasionally get sick for a place with a bit of culture, I also attribute it to my years in New Orleans. I was getting a bit nostalgic the other day as a local concert hall brought in Buckwheat Zydeco for a free outdoor music concert. A four hour road trip to Chicago seems to just about cure any hankering I have for culture and big city living.

    Here in Cedar Rapids restaurants are rated on the size of the portions, rather than on the actual quality or taste of the food. We have one Indian restaurant (which is passable), one Mediterranean (pretty good), and one Thai Restaurant (marginal) which just about exhausts our ethnic food choices (unless you count all the Chinese Buffets which seem to have taken over the midwest.)

    One thing I don’t miss about New Orleans is the hazards of actually living there…theft, flooding, rampant violence. I must say that I do enjoy not having to look over my shoulder where ever I am and that I don’t have to lock my car doors when I come home at night. For the peace of mind, I’ll take living in sweet corn and pork tenderloin country any old day of the week.

    1. Re: Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

      theft, flooding, rampant volence

      Oh, come on… Buy your clothes at the thrift store, Live in a high area (our house was 2 feet above sea level!), and don’t smoke crack or go to Mardi Gras and you’ve pretty much avoided all three dangers.

      We didn’t lock our car in New Orleans. Of course, who wants a ten year old mini-van that is falling apart?

      And portion size: I remember my freshman year that I went to The Steak Knife. I told a mormon friend from somewhere in the midwest what great food it was. She said “Maybe, but such small portions!”

      Maybe that’s the real benefit of living in New Orleans: you can’t be too materialistic ’cause it’s all gonna get stolen anyway.

  2. Maybe not materialistic, but certainly hedonistic….

    “When you get your hands on some money, better buy everything you can get,
    you know you can’t take it with you, I never seen an armored car tail a funeral yet.”

    Some words or wisdom from Dr. John’s latest album; N’Awlinz: Dis, Dat, or D’Udda. The song title is Life is a One Way Ticket.

    This album does a great job of capturing the sense of New Orleans and usually puts me in a reminiscing mood.

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