2007-02-03 22:56:37

One of two rounds of these tasty little sandwiches.
After discovering a place called Cerveceria 100 Montaditos while in Valencia and realizing it was a chain of restaurants, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I headed there again. Today was that day. At least, the first trip back in Madrid. The concept of this place is that there are one hundred different fillings you can get for a little sandwich, which are called Montaditos. You order by filling out a card with the choices you make along with your drink order and you leave a name. You hand this in and pay and you are given your drinks. A short while later they will call your name and you can pick up your plate of sandwiches, garnished with a pile of chips (crisps, not fries).

The thing is these sandwiches aren't very expensive — only 1€. At least they were in Valencia. The particular store we went to near us charges 1.20€ each. Not very significant if you order three or four, but when you want more, it can add up.

In our case tonight there were five of us (and each of us from a different country) and we were eating this as our dinner. So we started off with a round of three sandwiches and a drink each. It is this round of fifteen sandwiches which is pictured above. The interesting part of the meal is after receiving your order, trying to figure out which sandwich is whose.

It was a nice break from the usual cafeteria dinner and a chance to get out and do something fun with my friends.

Pablo John Nenad Colin Julien

Location: FAM, Leganés @ 18:50

Feel the uncertainty

I've been pretty busy lately with research and writing my thesis and therefore haven't had much of a chance to a) do anything worth writing about and b) write anything other than sad attempts at piecing together my thesis. But sometimes you just need to take a break, and since I finally feel like I am making some progress and I have reached the logical end of a particular phase of my work, I will take this time to wiggle my finger out of the box in which I have been living.

It was bound to happen, but yet another friend I have made in my adventure is leaving. Julien writes his last exam tomorrow (Tuesday) and flies back to Paris on Wednesday. I guess I have sort of steeled myself against things like this now that people are entering and exiting my life so quickly. It isn't something that I look forward to, but still I would rather get to know a number of great people from around the world than to live in isolation. Besides, now I have a place to stay if I am ever in the Paris area.

In addition I wanted to mention that you likely won't hear much from me for the next month or so, for the two reasons I mentioned before. Well, that may not be true. I may be adding a couple of posts this week if all goes well, but as we all know, nothing is for certain. If not, you know why.

Location: FAM, Leganés @ 21:54

Adios Julien

Adios Julien
2007-02-14 00:03:25

Back: Manuel, Julien, Krishna, Pedro, Nenad. Front: Pablo, Colin, Giancarlo, Joy, John
Another night of eating too much pizza and disturbing a number of students trying to study for exams. Julien's last night in Spain.

Otra noche comiendo demasiada pizza y les molestando los otros alumnos que estaba estudiendo por los examenes. La última noche de Julien en españa.
Location: FAM, Leganés @ 20:16

SOA Facts

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the concept of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), but it is the underlying concept behind web services. Sort of. It is also a huge marketing buzz word at the moment. I just came across a link to SOA Facts which is a list of facts very similar (and they don't try to hide that) to the similar lists of facts about Chuck Norris. So if you are unfamiliar with both SOA and Chuck Norris, then this may not amuse you as much as it does me, but in the off chance that someone gets a laugh out of it I wanted to share.

“SOA knows what you did last summer, and is disappointed that it wasn't SOA.”

“Ancient lore promises the day when a single unifying technology will bring openness and peace to all lands. That technology is not SOA, because SOA killed that technology.”

Via Tim Bray

Location: FAM, Leganés @ 20:19

Thesis Tools: Scrivener

On my journey of writing code and prose in an effort to complete my thesis it is nice to be prepared and have the tools I need available. One of those tools I actually found quite recently but it has really helped to focus my writing at least the prose part of it. That tools is Scrivener from Literature and Latte. Using such visual tools as index cards on a cork board to assist in the structure of your writing along with a very nice implementation of full screen writing, this tool which was designed initially for writers of fiction also finds itself at home with research papers. It isn't perfect, the export to MultiMarkdown and subsequent transformation into LaTeX didn't seem to work initially, but I managed to get my own solution working using the scripts provided within the program. However despite the limitations on the geeky end of the spectrum, this is a fine piece of software. It allows you to break your writing into smaller discrete chucks which can be labeled, categorized, shuffled and reorganized in whichever way you like. These chucks could be individual paragraphs or smaller if you wanted, or even whole chapters or other large parts. If you are a Mac user and you are planning any kind of large scale writing project then this might very well be what you need. The author of the software recognizes that it won't suit the way that everyone works, but it is what he wanted and he hopes that others can benefit. And at $35 USD, it is a very nice deal indeed.

One of the main advantages it has provided me with is the ease with which I can refactor my document. I can take an otherwise long running section of the paper and break it up into smaller sections. This makes each section a much smaller task, allowing me to feel that I am accomplishing something and keeping me motivated. Anything that helps disguise the enormity of this daunting task is very welcome. At the end of the day, I will still need to export my document and transform it into a LaTeX document that ends up rendering into the final result I want, but for the moment, my big concern is just getting words down “on paper” so to speak.

Over the next little while I would like to showcase some of the other software I have been using in the process of creating my thesis, in hopes that some other Mac user just starting a project like this might benefit from the information.

Location: FAM, Leganés @ 20:08

Friendly visits

On a personal note, it was good to see my friend Daniel who was in Spain for a couple of days to meet with his supervisor. We also had a visit from another friend from Reading, Marianna. So on Tuesday we all went into Madrid to catch the football game at an Irish pub. It was a nice evening with much reminiscing and laughter. It is events like this that I really enjoy, and it makes me appreciate all the friends I have made in the course of my studies. Not necessarily just here in Europe, but throughout my undergraduate as well. It is just unfortunate that friends sometimes loose touch over distance and time.
Location: FAM, Leganés @ 20:12

What Now?

Well, it would seem that for the most part, my Europe Adventure is over. It has been an amazing time. Now, I am reviving the ailing and going to make a go of it over there. All the best.


Nova Scotia, Canada
12:40 (Feb 25, 2021)
Reading/London, United Kindom
16:40 (Feb 25, 2021)
Thessaloniki, Greece
18:40 (Feb 25, 2021)
Madrid, Spain
17:40 (Feb 25, 2021)
Guatemala, Guatemala
9:40 (Feb 25, 2021)




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