This December I am by myself. Francesca and the kids are in Verona (Italy) with the grand parents whereas I am here alone in Cambridge trying to improve the architecture of the Gaia reduction pipeline (can you feel the excitement ?) with Greg and Chris, our new recruits.

So what can I do to kill the Sunday night bore ? Well, in these cases, Google is your friend… so I started looking for some old friends that I’ve more or less lost contact with since I moved in the UK in 2005. One of these is Giorgio Tonazzo who, in the mist of times, initiated me to the art of bass guitar (or, rather, at least he tried to… but I am still “una gran pippa“). Right now I am way too tired to be start rambling about the good ole times, so I’ll rather point you out to a couple of very nice videos he posted on YouTube, enjoy !!

I guess somebody just invented a new extreme sport: power sliding ! Not a sport (and a video) for the faint-hearted. Enjoy

It’s been pretty hectic recently. I am in the middle of a major release software release for the Gaia photometric processing pipeline that will include a major overhaul of the DAL. But what has been really a big downer is that I recently learned that our best (and only) engineer is leaving the project at the end of the summer. She joined the project at the beginning of the year and since the very beginning she took care of several key aspects of the project and made significant contributions. But what is really depressing is that she was a very nice person to be working with: easy-going, yet committed and professional but with a good sense of humor. A real plus was that she immediately join in on our traditional Friday pub lunch as well. It did not last very long but it’s been an hell of a ride so far !

The only positive note is that she is leaving for personal reasons and not because she did not like the job (at least I hope so!). So now we are back into the job ads and interviews business and I really hope that by the end of August we will be able to find another suitable candidate to take over from September.

So here I am, still farting around with dodgy code, getting angry at developers who keep committing broken code to the trunk and lingering for a bit of vacation that will never come. How am I coping with all this ?  One of my favorite pieces of stand-up commedy, that’s how ! Enjoy,

Way too tired to post anything serious… tough week, and it’s not over yet ! So, here’s a question that I could not help asking myself:

Have I been living in the UK for too long, or isn’t this video simply brilliant !?!
Enjoy, and thanks to Alexandra for pointing this one out a while ago.

I guess these will help out historians putting the George W. Bush administrations in perspective…

Apparently some people would…

This reminded me of my dark ages spent over calculus books (except for the dancing bit). Enjoy.