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Month: May 2007

Au révoir Montréal

Yesterday, I had a nice walk up Mont Royal, which mostly is a park and not as high as the name might suggest. It was nice to stretch my legs a bit although the park wasn’t that impressive, but the best parts must have been leaving behind the city noise, local wildlife and the views, especially of the area I walked the day before (although you can’t really see much in the picture, one has to be there).

Today, I checkout at 11am and settled in the lobby to wait for Mark Linimon to cross the border and call, so we could meet at a metro station close to the highway. I had not turned on my laptop for more than 10 minutes when I got an email from him that he couldn’t call me from his phone and would be there in 30 minutes. Off to the metro, and after some initial trouble of figuring out how to buy a ticket (no machines, you have to interact with a human being) and use it (just drop it in the hole while you walk through, it’s not read and no reciept so you wonder why you need that piece of paper for), the metro took me to Lasalle and Mark arrived a couple of minutes after me. Getting back onto the highway was a very inventive U-turn like way, but we managed that without major problems. Of course, the computer printout told us to take the 40 to Ottawa, but there were no signs with either, and yes, we took the wrong turn. Getting of the highway immediately and driving through a residential area assuming “just follow east”, we mysteriously ended up on the right road, despite ourselves and outside of Montréal made good time to reach Ottawa.

Everybody else is starting to arrive as well, so let’s see what the turnout will be tomorrow at the DevSummit.

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Proactive debit card blocking and timezones

First off, always remember to turn off your phone when going to bed in a different timezone. If you don’t this might happen.

Arriving at Montréal Airport without any canadian dollars, the first thing I did was try to find a cash machine. No problem, there was one just besides the exit. Now, with the sky high per transaction rates of withdrawing cash at a foreign bank, one tries to get as much money out of it as possible, and PBS (the danish inter-bank clearinghouse and debit card monopoly) should be well aware of this practice. So when trying to get CAN500 was refused, I tried again with CAN200 and lo and behold, it spit out my money. And PBS duefully blocked my card as this clearly were suspicious transactions, and send a message to my bank.

As this was a Saturday afternoon, nothing happened. I got my money and was happy. PBS had blocked my card and was also happy. Until Monday morning. Danish time. After two days of walking around with a blocked card, they were happy to inform me that some suspicious behaviour was noticed and they’d blocked my card. At 5:30am, local time. They only wanted to check if those transactions might be me afterall. Being in canadian dollars at a canadian bank in Canada, could it be I might be in Canada? In a different timezone?

Thank you PBS. Because the bank will have to pay for wrongfull transactions, I guess false positives are cheaper than false negatives, don’t worry about letting people walk around with blocked cards for several days. They’re probably not in a hurry to pay the hotel and get to the airport and catch a plane home. Or embarrassed when the waiter returns with a cut card.

In short, always bring two cards, even better if they’re from different clearing houses.

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I’ve been even more lucky with the choice of hotel than expected. I chose it as it looked quite close to some of the interesting areas of the city and had a metro station nearby, but it turned out that just about everything interesting to see if you only have two days, is within walking distance. With a temperature of 16-18°C (low 60s F), walking definately is the best way to get around.

Todays walk through the old town, Vieux-Montréal, shows a clear multi-ethnic society. Everywhere you look, you see influence from the english, scottish, irish, french, chinese, all while walking around a town that seems very american to ye european visitor.

Although I haven’t tried any mega-swill from the local major brewery Molson, part of the Coors empire, people seem to enjoy a good beer here. There are several brewpubs near the hotel, one of them a chain which also had a branch at the Vieux-Port which offered a set of samples of their four beers and another one that offered an Odense Porter, which of course I couldn’t resist to try and which chocolatty notes taste of more. Except for the french language, life doesn’t seem too bad here.

Todays pictures.

Tomorrow, I’ll be heading up Mont Royal to see the park and “mountain”.

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Bienvenue à Montréal

One keeps wondering what goes on in the heads of plane designers. After the trip to Uganda on a Boeing 777 with half my (non-existent) legspace taken by a big metal box for the onboard entertainmaint system, which I must admit was pretty nifty with several hundred movies on-demand, this time I had the same box on an MD-11, but without an entertainment system. I just heard that KLM is doing a trail where you can pay extra for extra legspace even in monkey class, that is emergency exits, etc., I wonder if they are going to give rebates for taking away legspace? But now I know to as for an F seat on my way back, no matter what type of plane.

After an otherwise uneventful flight and only an extra grilling at the canadian customs as travelling alone and not on business obviously is suspect a.k.a. terrorist, I was lucky to be looking out the right window of the bus as it drove past my hotel and turned into the parking lot behind the hotel where the busstation is located. That was too easy! The price: having Greyhound busses idling outside my window at all hours of the day. But then, with the 6 hour time difference, I was so tired they probably could have detonated a nuclear bomb outside without me noticing.

Next up: finding my camera and doing some sightseeing. Oh, and finishing my slides.

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76. Dry stout

Dry stout

2,5kg Maris Otter
400g Flaked barley
428g Roasted barley

2ml lactic acid in mash, pH 5,4, 6ml in sparge water
mash for 60 min. @ 67°C

50g East Kent Goldings (5.6%) for 60 min.

WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast with 1 tsp nitrivit + 1 tsp nutrisal

OG: 8,8 brix (1.035)
FG: 5,2 brix (1.011)

Bottled 24/6 with 100g dextrose

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75: Fuskerhvede

2,5kg pilsner malt (Dragsbæk)
2,5kg light wheat malt (Weyermann)

30g Tettnang 3,8% 60 min.
15g Tettnag 5 min.

WLP 380 Hefeweizen IV

Mash schedule:
mash in @ 53°C and rest for 20 min.
30 min @ 60°C
30 min @ 68°C
mash out @ 76°C

4ml lactic acid in mash
6ml lactic acid in sparge water

OG: 11,6 brix (1.047)
FG: 5,8 brix (1.008)

bottled 5/6 with 300g glucose

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