The roads I take...
Displaying recent entries in English and tagged with "travel". Back to all recent entries
March 5th, 2020
This has gone as far as me doing several presentations about the topic - two of which (one in German, one in English language) I will give at this year's FedCon as well, and creating an experimental website at filmingsites.com where I note all locations used in Star Trek productions as soon as I become aware of them.
In the last few years, around the Star Trek Las Vegas Conventions, I did get the chance to have a few days traveling around Los Angeles and vicinity, visit a few locations and take pictures there. And after Discovery being filmed up in the Toronto area (and generally using quite few locations outside the studios), Picard is back producing in Southern California and using plenty of interesting places! And now with the first half of season 1 in the books (or at least ready to watch for us via streaming), here are a few filming sites I found in those episodes:
And we actually get started with our first location (picture is a still from the series) in "Remembrance" right after Picard wakes up from the "cold open" dream sequence: Château Picard was filmed at Sunstone Winery's Villa this time (after different places were used in its TNG appearances). The Winery's general manager even said "We encourage all the Trekkies and Trekkers to come visit us." - so I guess I'll need to put it in my travels plans soon.
Another one I haven't seen yet but will need to put in my plans to see is One Culver, previously known as Sony Pictures Plaza. That's where the scenes in the Daystrom Institute were shot - interestingly, in walking distance to the location of the former Desilu Culver soundstages (now "The Culver Studios") and its backlot (now a residential area), where the original Star Trek series shot its first episodes and several outdoor scenes of later ones as well. One Culver's big glass front structure and the huge screen on its inside are clearly visible multiple times in Picard's Daystrom Institute scenes, as is the rainbow arch behind it on the Sony Studios parking lot. Not having been there, I could only include a promotional picture from their website here.
Now a third filming site that appears in "Remembrance" is actually one I do have my own pictures of: After seeing the first trailer for Picard and getting a hint where that building depicted that clip is, I made my way last summer to a place close to Disneyland and took a few pictures of Anaheim Convention Center. Walking by to the main entrance, I found the attached Arena to just look good, so I also got one shot of that one in - and then I see that in this episode, they used it as the Starfleet Archive Museum!
Of course, in the second episode, "Maps and Legends", we then see the main entrance, where Picard goes to meet the C-in-C, so presumably Starfleet headquarters. It looks like the roof scenes with Dahj would actually be on the same building, on satellite pictures, there seems to be an area with those stairs South of the main entrance. I'm still a bit sad though that Starfleet seems to have moved their headquarters and it's not the Tillman administration building any more that was used in previous series (actually, for both headquarters and the Academy - so maybe it comes back in some series as the Academy, with its beautiful Japanese garden).
Of course, at the end of this episode we get to Raffi's home, and we stay there for a bit and see more of it in "The End is the Beginning". The description in the episode tells us it's located at a place called "Vasquez Rocks" - and this time, that's actually the real filming site! Now, Trekkies know this of course, as a whole lot of Trek has been filmed there - most famously the fight between Kirk and the Gorn captain in "Arena. Vasquez Rocks has surely been of the most-used Star Trek filming sites over the years, though - at least before Picard - I'd say that it ranked second behind Bronson Canyon. How what's nowadays a Natural Area park becomes a place to live in by 2399 is up to anyone's speculation.
I guess in the 3 introductory episodes we had more different filming sites than in any of the two whole seasons of Discovery seen so far, but right in the next episode, Absolute Candor, we got yet another interesting place! A lot of that episode plays on the planet Vashti, with three sets of scenes on their main place with the bar setting: In the "cold open" / flashback, when Picard beams down to the planet again in the show's present, and before he leaves, including the fight scene. Given that there were multiple hints of shooting taking place at Universal Studios Hollywood, and the sets having a somewhat familiar look, more Mexican than totally alien, it did not take long to identify where those scenes were filmed: It's the standing "Mexican Street" / "Old Mexico Place" set on Universal's backlot - which you usually can visit with the Studio Tour as an attraction of their Theme Park. The pictures, of the bar area, and basically from there in the direction of Picard's beam-in point, are from a one of those tours I took in 2013.
In the following two episodes, I could not make out any filming sites, so I guess they pretty much filmed those at Santa Clarita Studios where the production of the series is based. I know we will have some location(s) to talk about in the second half of the season though - not sure if there's as many as in the first few episodes, but I hope we'll have a few good ones!
March 25th, 2011
I finally managed to get my photos from last October's trip to California sorted out to a smaller "best of" collection that I also find useful for putting up in a public web gallery.
And as I was traveling with a DSLR and a zoom lens for the first time, I finally could take some shots I couldn't with just the pocket camera in previous vacations.
Not enough with that, though: I got invited to Mozilla's all-hands event taking place in the first week of April in Mountain View!
This means I'll be back to California quite soon, flying off next Saturday, April 2. For everyone who wants to meet up with me, I'll stay the week after the all-hands for some chance for additional work (meetings) but also some fun, so contact me if you want to meet up then!
And else, have fun taking a look at the pics!
September 28th, 2010
I hope to be working next week (October 4th through 8th) from the Mozilla headquarters and having a number of meetings with different people working from there, on a mission to improve communication and cooperation between different parts of Mozilla and the SeaMonkey project.
If you are around in that area or at Mozilla, please contact me via email or on IRC and I hope we can arrange meeting up - after all, talking to people involved with Mozilla is what I'm there for.
Of course, being out of my usual environment, I'll try to have some fun next to the work engagements, and so I already have tickets for a Friday night Country Music concert (Rascal Flatts, Kellie Pickler, and Chris Young) and a Sunday night football game (Eagles @ 49ers) - and I'll probably take most of the second week I'm there to drive around (I have a rental car for the whole stay) and do some sightseeing and relaxation, though I haven't planned details yet.
In any case, I'll spend most of this Friday (Oct 1) at airports and on planes to get there, and most of Oct 17/18 traveling back the same way.
I should be around on and off on IRC the first week of those two, but probably not or very rarely the week after - still I should be back in Vienna with some time left before the core SeaMonkey community will convene here.
Oh, and I hope to get even better photos than on previous trips due to having an (older, but still quite decent) DSLR with me in addition to the good-quality pocket cam I usually took all my pics with.
August 14th, 2010
The story behind that earlier blog post has not gone away though, black clouds are still hanging over my head, but one of those upcoming trips might lift those a bit as well, I hope. After all, that's a good reason why a number of developer meetings are done, as kernel developer Ted Ts'o puts it:
There's still a month to go, but first, I'll be at a German community meetup in Cologne in September, and I'm really looking forward to meeting those folks, even when talking German at a Mozilla meeting will feel strange. I also hope that the German-language Mozilla Planet will up up by then so that we'll make sure everyone there who has a blog will be syndicated there.
Two weeks after that, I'll take a trip to Mozilla headquarters and will be there or in and around the SF Bay Area from October 4 to 15th.
There will be a number of people to talk to regarding upcoming SeaMonkey plans, our position in the community and our dealings with the future of the Internet, but I should have enough time remaining to just hang around the office for some time and be available for all kinds of talk and chatter, so if you happen to be in MV or the Bay Area at that time, please tell me so we can set up something - or just catch me there. Also, if you have any personal ramblings with me, please take the chance so we can clear those things up in person - we don't have to love each other, but it would be good if we can get along, given we all are working for a better Internet and the overall Mozilla mission.
And probably a short time after that (we are still in negotiations about financing, etc. and have not confirmed the date yet), there will be a long-awaited meeting I won't have to travel to very far - we are planning for a SeaMonkey Developer Meeting with 20-25 people from our community right in Vienna, Austria (Wien, Österreich)!
I'm looking forward to meeting all those people at those different places, being productive in different directions, and getting thoughts to flow on how to tackle the future (well, "tackle" might be the wrong word, we're not in the defense here, but being offensive about it, so how about "receiving" it?) and I'll also very much enjoy the change of pace and places along with those events, as that almost always helps being creative and working for a better common future for all of us!
June 8th, 2010
The year before, I had FOSDEM in Brussels, a vacation and visit to Mozilla HQ (including a brown bag) in the US, the Mozilla Summit in Whistler, and MozCamp Europe in Barcelona.
I expected this year to follow that pattern, with being invited to another FOSDEM, lift10, and Summit, probably more. As a remark: Don't ever expect that, or you could be seriously surprised. And so far, this year looks very different: No conference (except Linuxwochen here in Vienna), no vacation, no travel. None done, none planned. And no, Eyafjallajökull is not to blame this time. I am, probably, though not intentionally.
Early this year, with the release of the long-awaited SeaMonkey 2.0, a vacation, and Christmas behind me, I felt frustrated by some people shooting down 2.0 and praising 1.x because of things that sounded minor to me, even calling me names for some decisions or compromises I had made in my own work, and, after all, by further development stalling somewhat while the rest of the world was moving on and though I was putting a lot of work into the project. Being a workaholic and quite success-oriented, this made me quite uncomfortable and should have even more effects, but an immediate reaction was to cancel my FOSDEM trip and instead get some measurable work done, as a sense of achievement always makes me feel better. And, after all, I'd meet many of those people on the Summit later this year anyhow. Or so I thought.
When lift10 came near, it became clear that Mozilla Europe didn't think our engagement in that through early enough and we wouldn't take part there after all. I don't want to blame anyone, but it meant one interesting conference (and travel destination) less for me. As it conflicted with the local Linuxwochen event here in Vienna, I could live with that after all.
And then, people were invited to the Mozilla Summit in Whistler. I had been looking forward to meeting a lot of Mozillians, finding out a few things in side talk with a number of people, discussing the future of Mozilla and the web as well as staying longer in the area, visiting Seattle for more than half a day this time, and possibly even driving down to Portland to be at OSCON.
But my invitation didn't arrive. I tried to ask back with the person in charge of invitations but didn't get an answer, so I mailed Mark and Mitchell, the heads of Mozilla. And Mitchell, who I hold in high respect due to her openness among other things, did reply - though unfortunately a bit differently than I had hoped. Apparently some inherently stupid remarks of mine, some passionate tries to prove some arguments back in the days when I was so frustrated (see above) did go as far as to break the trust in me with a number of powerful individuals in the Mozilla community. Enough that they apparently vetoed my being invited. And some feeling that myself and SeaMonkey would be conservative and backwards (I guess we never will shake of the stain of reminding people of the past) surely didn't help in getting me on the list for an event where we're supposed to discuss the future of Mozilla and where we and the web need to go to stay relevant and open. In the end, the result is that I'm shut off and not invited. Bummer.
It's really hard to explain this without blaming anyone or making anyone look bad but myself - and I really want to take this all on myself. Still, I owe the community an explanation. Also, I know I said dumbly emotional and stupid things and I'd like to apologize to anyone who felt offended or lost trust in me, even if it doesn't change that particular picture. We need to keep working together and bad feelings need to be cleaned out no matter how things go for this particular event.
In the end, I hope this explains why someone who built up the most-used localization 10 years ago, who coordinates a Mozilla-hosted application project, is passionate about the mission and whose add-ons have 13.8 million total downloads, 19,400 weekly downloads, 984,000 active daily users in total (as of today) will not be present on the Summit.
I for myself can only hope I can win back the trust I lost and see things turn out differently in the future. For that first week of July, I might stick to what I hear in those Country Music tunes I like so much and drown my tears over this outcome of what was largely my own mistakes in some Whiskey. I have a few good bottles of all six Classic Single Malts here, after all
January 7th, 2010
It took me a few weeks as usual, but I now have a reasonable collection of 150 pictures out of about 1200 I took on my US Gulf Region trip, and uploaded those on the website:
Photo gallery: US Gulf Region - November 2009
From rising skyscrapers to swamps, rivers and the Gulf, from museums and monuments to all kinds of stadiums, from live music bars to a Whiskey distillery and a guitar factory, from squirrels to sharks and tigers, I think the pictures show the wide variety of what we saw there - and I'm sure that was only a small part of what the region has to offer.
The hardest part of doing those is always to reduce the vast amount of good pics to a collection that people still are able to view, I hope I managed that task this time again, even though I needed to leave out some other just-as-good ones.
November 29th, 2009
Nuff said, I guess I should go to bed and get a good night's sleep first of all.
October 30th, 2009
I'll take off together with a good friend (who already joined me for the California trip last year) from Vienna next Saturday, November 7th in the morning and land in Houston, TX on the same day in the late afternoon (thanks to the time shift). From there, we've rented a car and will do a round trip that is only roughly planned and subject to change as we feel necessary.
Our current plan is as follows:
Nov 07-10: Houston Area (Space Center, Galveston, ...)
Nov 11: Houston - Port Arthur - Baton Rouge - New Orleans
Nov 12-14: New Orleans
Nov 15: New Orleans - Gulfport - Biloxi - Pensacola
Nov 16: Pensacola - Montgomery - Atlanta
Nov 17-18: Atlanta
Nov 19: Atlanta - Chattanooga - Nashville
Nov 20: Nashville
Nov 21: Nashville - Jackson - Memphis
Nov 22: Memphis
Nov 23: Memphis - Little Rock
Nov 24: Little Rock - Texarkana - Dallas
Nov 25-26: Dallas (26th: Football match @ Cowboys Stadium)
Nov 27: Dallas - Houston
Nov 28: Houston/Flight
In the afternoon of the 28th, we'll ride the plane back to Europe, arriving in Vienna on 29th around noon (now paying for the timeshift).
A map of POIs we've marked for this trip is available from Google maps (I'd so much love if OpenStreetMaps would support easily generating such things). If you know anything additional that could be interesting to pay a visit to, please tell me about it!
If you want to meet up with us somewhere, note that our plans are not set in stone and we might change them around as we see fit, but I should be able to check email every evening at the hotels, and that will probably also be the only reasonable way of contacting me in that time. I won't read anything that doesn't suggest in the subject that it's important or affecting my trip, though. I'm on vacation, after all.
That said, I'll still be around next week, but don't expect any really heavy work from me - and have a great November!
July 23rd, 2009
- Geolocation: Why do we have to rely on Google magically knowing where someone might be? Wouldn't it be better to have a community-driven database we all could contribute to, which could give you croudsourced location data?
For example, I know where I am, I can give precise location of both my wifi IDs as well as a range of IPs up to the building, but Google Location Service (what Firefox uses for the internal geolocation module) just tells me I'm somewhere in Vienna. They don't have a way for me telling them my info and improving that information, but an open, community-based service could. And OpenStreetMap would even know full address data for this location. How dull that all our modern technology just tells me I'm somewhere in a multi-kilometer radius around the Vienna City Center.
- SeaMonkey Meetup: The SeaMonkey project has some amount of donations stacked up at Mozilla Foundation, and I think it would be cool to use that to finance a SeaMonkey meetup, paying for accommodation and travel of major contributors as well as the (if needed) the place to do the meetings. Would this be a good idea? Who would come, maybe even if we can't pay for him, in what city should we do this event?
- Contribution Statistics: I have thought a few times about doing a script that parses our Mercurial pushlog at least between releases, and gathers data on how many changesets and +/- codelines people have created and/or reviewed, to get a view of which people are how active in the community. The same could be done for bug triage. The result would be something like Jonathan Corbet's Linux Kernel Developer Statistics.
- SeaMonkey QA: We're really missing someone to lead and coordinate SeaMonkey QA work - Andrew Schultz is quite busy with some strange thing called "real life" nowadays and can't really do that work right now. I'm sure we'd all be quite happy if he could pass the torch and we'd support anyone who tries to do it with all help we can provide.
- Web-based Help and Support Resources: We have some weekness in SeaMonkey help and support resources on the web. While our in-product help is fine, it would be good if a Google search would turn up something helpful and if we could point people to URLs. One partial solution would be to have a script that periodically converts our inline help to usable web pages, and better solution would be to set up a copy of SUMO for SeaMonkey, with a knowledge base and possibly even a web forum - but someone needs to drive that. Any volunteers?
- SeaMonkey Marketing: Even though I'm theoretically responsible for marketing right now, I badly fail on getting anything done, starting from putting a page with a collection of logos and web buttons up, and moving on with all other possibilities of fostering community marketing. This is another area where I'd be happy to have someone come on board and drive this. I'm happy to support any efforts from a technical and project organization POV, but we probably need someone else to lead those efforts.
- Mozmill: Thunderbird is starting to automate tests on Mozmill now, Firefox QA people start using it for smoketests, could someone get it to run for SeaMonkey so we can do those things as well?
- SMILE, Weave, Jetpack: There are more things out there that probably need help: the equivalent to FUEL and STEEL, which we call SMILE, getting Weave to work for SeaMonkey, and last not least, getting Jetpack to work (which probably needs SMILE).
- Parallels: Why does it need to be so painful to run OSX in VMs? And does nobody else run a larger number of VMs, including OSX machines, on Parallels? I don't understand how we can have basic problem like not being able to run more than 8 VMs on one host and OSX VMs being unstable esp. if they have access to more then 1 CPU core and both thing not getting much traction from Parallels devs. It can't be that we are the only customer who see those problems.
- Statistics: I would love to have a lot more statistics on users, downloads, etc. for SeaMonkey and esp. SeaMonkey 2 but it seems to be hard to get the data and tooling that exists inside Mozilla systems out in a way we can use it. I guess Mozilla Corporation is not as open as it could and should be in some areas.
- openSUSE: With the inclusion of SeaMonkey 2.0 Alpha 3 (soon to be Beta 1, they already have Thunderbird 3.0 Beta 3), in the current openSUSE Factory, it looks very much like openSUSE 11.2 will be the first distribution to have SeaMonkey 2 in their official package repositories. Thanks to their package manager Wolfgang Rosenauer for making this possible!
- Moving: I'll finally be moving from a student dorm to my own flat in August, lots of stuff to think about there. Also, the machines building SeaMonkey 1.x nightlies and releases are about to be moved to a different location, Linux and Windows being unavailable there recently is connected to this, I had to clear up how to do this, and some missing responsiveness on the side of my provider contributed a lot to finally deciding to switch providers in that process.
- Vacation: I have already booked the flight for my vacation this year, I'll be away for three weeks in November, traveling through the US gulf region, circling from Houston via New Orleans, Pensacola, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Dallas back to Houston. It will be quite a distance to travel, but it should be manageable and be a good distraction from my usual work, and lots of things to see and experience. I easily get excited when talking about this.
- Music: Sometimes I'd love to be a signer in a local Blues/Rock/Country band, but I hardly find the time to practice the guitar any bit or type the lyrics of my recently written songs into the web database I have for them. At least I come around to some Karaoke singing every week.
- Space: How come that the great things NASA does is not worth more to the public than the half cent of every US tax dollar it actually gets? How come that it isn't worth more to other countries as well? Isn't exploration of new frontiers, world-wide cooperation to do amazing things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, aren't all those things one of the main drivers of what makes humanity great? Are we losing focus in that we are only caring about our own small biotopes and internal affairs and forgetting to expand our knowledge and horizons?
- Test Coverage: It would be so nice to increase coverage of SeaMonkey code with automated tests, but it's proving even hard to require tests for new things added, as we also don't want to slow down progress - esp. when we are already behind the schedules we hoped to follow a few months ago.
- Mozilla 1.9.2 and SeaMonkey/Thunderbird: Mozilla platform maintainers decided to do a 1.9.2 branch very soon now and base Fennec 1.0 on it as well as a Firefox 3.6, not featuring lots of application changes, but some good platform improvements. Some of those changes in the platform would be good to have for SeaMonkey and Thunderbird, but we also know of some problems we'll have there due to doing our experimental builds with mozilla-central all along. Moving over to the branch now would probably delay our stable releases for a few weeks more, but we are already running behind the schedules we wanted to have, so we think it's better to stick with 1.9.1 for now and get SM 2.0 and TB 3.0 out before even thinking of what to do about 1.9.2 - we could either ignore it completely or do smaller-step 2.1 and 3.1 releases on top of it just like FF does with 3.6, but we're not sure what's best. For now, we'll watch it but not actually do anything about it.
- MailNews API refactorings: It would be really nice if we could port the JS-driven folder pane and the various refactorings done for gloda search from Thunderbird to SeaMonkey UI, as those would sync our APIs with theirs and make life easier for add-ons, next to making work with folder and thread panes easier internally as well. Once again, what we're missing is someone to do the work - we are a volunteer open source project after all, and people here tend to work on those things that are fun for them, and of course only in the little free time they have.
- Local Communities: Every face-to-face meeting i had locally with open source developers around here in Vienna was very rewarding, and I should engage much more with those communities. Also, my recent talk for IT businessmen on "project management in open source" was a very exciting and successful thing, I believe I could, with the help of a few fellow open source community people, dampen a lot of FUD that arises with people used to traditional IT business but who are still interested in how thing work "on our side" - which I hope to have proven to not actually be that much different as they often think. By the way, and I got got comments like "Oh, so the suite is still being developed? Nice, I need to try SeaMonkey then!"
April 29th, 2009
Originally, I only wanted to get a few photos up fast but that ended up taking me a few hours today, esp. in adding photo descriptions, and then some OpenStreetMap updates regarding the places I've been...
In any case, I finally found the time and made selections of photos of a number of travels and events to put online (I only post selections because I often have hundreds of photos of those travels and it can probably get rather boring to view them all - but then, it takes some time to select and put up photo descriptions).
As most of those events are somehow related to Mozilla, you might be interested in some parts of them, even though the parts about conferences are usually rather small, I tend to chat more there than take photos, after all. Though, you might just like all the other pics as well...
Those galleries are newly available now:
- FOSDEM 2007, Brussels
- FOSDEM 2008, Brussels
- Canada/USA - July/August 2008
- MozCamp Barcelona 2008
- FOSDEM 2009, Brussels
- Lift09, Geneva
This list totals 337 photos, all with tags and descriptions.
(Even though this still misses MAOW Berlin 2009, from which I haven't made a selection yet, I hope I come around to that soon.)