Archive for January, 2011


Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I ate too much chocolate over the holidays and I’m trying to find other sweet things to eat instead.  I just wish that fruit wasn’t so expensive in Tokyo.  I bought seven mandarin oranges and they cost me 630 円, that’s 76 pence (GBP) or $1.18 (USD) per orange.  I also bought strawberries.  They cost me 45 pence (70 cents) per strawberry.  They are expensive but at least they taste amazing.

The cost of the mandarin oranges surprises me as they are seasonal.  Strawberries are always expensive in Japan and the ones I bought were not the most expensive ones in the shop.  They were actually selling strawberries that cost £1.72 ($2.68) per strawberry!  They were perfect looking, but they are meant to be bought as a gift and not just for normal eating.

Japanese Gift Strawberries


Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I rarely have nightmares but last night I woke screaming twice.  I was trapped, and the dark was consuming me.  And although Marty tried to calm me down I couldn’t tell if I was awake or dreaming.  I feared that I was still trapped in the dream.

I can still remember a nightmare I had when I was a child.  I dreamt that apes, the ones from “Planet of the Apes”,  had taken over Silverstream Road.  As an adult I find the idea quite amusing, but I was terrified during that dream.  The apes themselves didn’t scare me, it was the concept that the nightmare world is the very place you had thought was safe.  Silverstream Road was the place where my granny lived, somewhere I always felt safe.

Last night I watched “Inception”, a movie that blurs the lines between dreams and reality.  I have often wondered how we tell the difference between what is real and what is merely a dream.

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.


Christmas Again

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Lots of my friends and family live in the UK.  The weather there has been terrible this winter and it’s affected the post.  This has extended my Christmas, the gift receiving part of it anyway.  I had three presents arrive in the past week and Christmas cards have continued to arrive.

This morning I got a large box from M & S.  Last week I used some of the money I had been given for Christmas to buy myself some things in the M & S sale.  I love that they now ship to Japan and that I can indulge in January sales without having to leave my living room.  I had forgotten that I had bought a big fluffy dressing gown.  I was so excited when I pulled this out of the box.  It’s much too big for me, but that was a deliberate choice as I wanted something that I could wrap myself up in.  Marty tells me I feel like a build-a-bear and really I probably look like one as well, though maybe not as cute as a real one.  This outfit certainly isn’t flattering but it feels amazing.

Perl 2010

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

I have been thinking about 2010 and the different things that happened in the Perl community.  I’m not a good writer, nor do I have a lot of time to write, so I’m going to create a list:  a list of the things in the Perl world that I thought were great in 2010.  The following are in the order that they came out of my brain:

1. The release of Perl 5.12

Jesse Vincent and the release managers gave us not only a new stable version of Perl but also a new time-based release cycle for future versions of Perl, so we will have Perl 5.14 to look forward to this year.

2. The release of Rakudo Star

Giving me hope for the future of Perl 6.

3. Dave Mitchell’s Perl 5 Bug Fixing Grant

Dave has been doing amazing work with this grant having spent just over 500 hours in 2010 to close 127 bugs.  I’m delighted that this grant has been extended and that Dave can continue this work into 2011.

4. GSoC and Google Code-In

Jonathan Leto and his team did a great job of getting The Perl Foundation and The Parrot Foundation involved in Google Summer of Code and the new Google Code-In.

5. Matt Trout’s State of the Velicoraptor Talk at YAPC

I really liked hearing Matt give this uplifting talk at YAPC::EU and YAPC::NA.  I enjoyed hearing about all the positive things that were happening in the Perl world and think that all our conferences need a positive keynote like this one.

6. CPAN Testers

I read just the other day that CPAN Testers has just passed 10 million test reports!

7. Events Group

A group of volunteers decided to set-up Perl booths at a number of non-Perl conferences including FOSDEM and CeBIT.

8. Modernisation of Perl Web Sites

This year many of the major Perl sites had a face lift, including,, and

9. Send-A-Newbie program

The Enlightened Perl Organisation took over the send-a-newbie program that provides financial support to first time attendees of YAPC::EU.

10. Miyagawa

I know, it might seem like a strange thing to write, but when I think of Perl I think of people.  And I’m always astounded by the amount of work that Miyagawa does and I’m certainly looking forward to what will come out of his brain in 2011.

2010 was a great year for Perl, let’s hope that 2011 is just as excellent!