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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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© 2006-2015 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Buenos Aires - Books, Music, Wine Food

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 12:30:09 -0400 (CLT)

Just back from Buenos Aires.  Had a good time.  Much food.  Some art.  Big
blister on my heel, though.

Overwhelming impression: dog shit.  All over the damn place.  And dog-shit
teams: people (usually male) walking packs of 8-12 dogs at once.

Stayed in a pretty nice place (although a bit damp - the whole city was
damp).  Prices are still lower than Chile, so printed out the Amazon
wish-list and headed to the CD shops.  Ended up with a slightly wider
variety than I expected: for some reason I had Rammstein on my list, so I
am now proud owner of German Heavy Metal (well, perhaps Dance Metal is the
correct term).  And I finally found a copy of Royksopp's Melody AM (which
I have just been playing, and which is already terribly terribly
familiar).

Currently in the player is Massive Attack's 100th Window; on the queue is
Kid A and the latest from the Gotan Project.

Books - read Power's Galatea 2.2.  Wonderful.  Just been reading some
comments around the net.  No-one has mentioned one thing that stuck me:
the use of autobiography to help suspend disbelief.  Maybe the technical
side doesn't require mush suspension of disbelief for many readers (a
neural net comes to life, is all - maybe that's what most people expect in
a day's work for the average computer scientist).  Anyway, a sweet sweet
book.

Picked up a book at the airport to read on the way home - Alejandro
Dolina's Cronicas del Angel Gris.  Took a while to get past the rather
heavy prologue (written by someone else - I don't know if I was missing
large doses of irony, or if it's a "cultural thing"), but the book itself
seems pretty good - deft, amusing at least.  Hopefully I will continue to
read this (need to improve my spanish).

[later] Oh the irony of it all - the suckiest CD so far (Massive Attack)
is copy protected.

Wine - on arriving home last night I opened a bottle of Bonarda (Norton). 
No idea what to expect - we bought it because we didn't recognise the
variety.  Well, it's watery.  Which might explain why it only seemed to
exist in cheap bootles!  Hmmmm.  Google suggests it's the most common
variety in Argentina, used in blends.  From Italy (Bonarda Piemontese),
light, fruity.  Certainly light.  Sounds more intersting in retrospect -
maybe we should have looked harder for more expensive wine (we just hit a
supermarket and aimed at mid-level; this one was a bit cheaper than that,
but we also picked up a slightly more expensive Malbec).

Andrew

More on Dolina

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 12:55:12 -0400 (CLT)

From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alejandro_Dolina

So it seems like the Prolog was indeed a joke.  Wonder if the radio
broadcasts are streamed?

Andrew

Ruben Moro

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 13:25:36 -0400 (CLT)

I forgot to add that when I bought the book (from a kiosk at the airport),
the person serving at the "counter" was very helpful.  At the time I
assumed this was just the usual Argentinian friendliness, but when I later
opened the book I found that it included a bookmark claiming "Ruben Moro;
Hall International A; Aeropuerto de Ezeiza - Argentina".  So I guess I
dealt with Ruben, who was the owner of the kiosk.

Maybe that seems unremarkable, but I assumed these things were franchises
run by large companies.  There's something heroic in selling good books
(in a very small space he had more "decent" books than one would expect in
an airport bookshop) to random tourists, just to the side of the duty
free.

Andrew

[As I write this I'm listening to a track on the latest from the Gotan
project which has someone rapping over what I suppose is a tango...
hmmm....]

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