The Little L
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sudo, make me some orange juice

The glass I decorated for Roozbeh's birthday. Original idea comes from xkcd comic #149

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mohamd Reza Darvishi has formed the band Abdol-qâder Marâqi to reproduce music pieces composed by Abd-ol-qâder Qaybi Hafiz Marâqi, Persian musician and composer of 14th century.

They have done an interesting work preforming an unheard music on the basis of documents and the the result is really wonderful and a must hearing for Iranian music fans.

You can listen to the samples here and more information is available on their website.

I can't wait till the CDs are out.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
My morning view
I've taken this photo from the room I currently live in. It's really nice to wake up to such a wonderful view. It makes me happy.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
My Long Long Long Journey to San Francisco

When I was planning my trip I was thinking that I was having a neatly scheduled timetable for a week: flying to Ankara, going to the US embassy on the next day, waiting for my passport to arrive by post on the next three or four days, get a plane ticket to Istanbul and then fly from Istanbul to San Francisco via London on the seventh day for which I had bought the ticket beforehand.

It actually took me the planned seven days to do all this but almost anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. It started at Imam Khomeini airport when I was checking in my Iran Air flight to Ankara. The Air Iran officer didn't want to issue my boarding pass because I had a one way ticket. Now, my travel agency had told me that I needed to have a ticket to continue my trip if I wanted to buy a one way ticket from Iran Air which I had. I told the officer that I had the ticket from Istanbul to London and then San Fransisco. Then he demanded to see my US visa which wasn't in my passport yet and I was supposed to get in Ankara. I told him that but he still insisted that I would be deported at Turkey's border for some mysterious reason and then the airline would need to pay some $5000 fine. Anyway, after about 15 minutes of talking to the guy and getting nowhere, I decided that the best way was to buy a return ticket and not use it. I asked the guy where I could buy a return ticket and if it was possible that I get a refund for it. And only by asking that he somehow thought that I may be telling the truth and issued me a boarding ticket! Which was both relieving and upsetting at the same time.

Except that my flight to Ankara had two hours delay and I had to change my hotel in Ankara because of a mistake in the reservation, things went quite smooth. I should confess that the second hotel was even better that the first one but the fact that I had to change my hotel two hours before my interview at the US embassy was really annoying.

The interview was short. About one and a half minute! I think it might even be the shortest second interview an Iranian have ever had in the US embassy! Anyway, I left the embassy happily, free to rest and see Ankara till I got my passport which lead me to the worst part of my trip was when my passport did not arrive on Monday. US embassy's website said that it would take 2 or 3 days for Iranian passports to arrive. I was in the US embassy on Thursday. Monday was the last day on which I was expecting my passport. Roozbeh's passport had arrived on the second day after his interview (on Saturday) and I was hopping that mine would take the same time to arrive. Anyway, called the post on Monday and they told me that my passport is still in the embassy which was quite strange. I called the embassy. After going trough lots of pressing this and that number for different processes I found out that they would answer me only between 16:00 and 17:00. So I get myself busy surfing and emailing and called again at 16:05. The officer told me that there was no problem, they had printed my visa that morning and I would get it in a day or two. After I told her about my ticket for two days after, she told me that she would make sure that my passport got to the post that day. She also told me that I could go the embassy and get my passport in person if it didn't arrive the next day. Happily it arrived the next day at 11:40 and I was able to buy a ticket to Istanbul for 5 pm. (I was stuck in an elevator in Istanbul airport. I had never been stuck in an elevator before!)

I had some wonderful time too. Rahmi M. Koc museum in Ankara is highly recommended. It's mostly private collection of an engineering geek! It includes working models of gas and steam engines, 19th century's toys, medical equipments, cameras and lots of other thing and is presented really nice. my photos at the museum.

The last part of my trip was a long 11 hour flight to San Francisco which I quite enjoyed. There were a French couple sitting beside me and they were really nice and easy going. The husband knew very little English and the wife could talk some. Even though we had a lot of laughs.

The French couple
One of the cabin crew knew French and was mostly attending our part of plane. He was the coolest, funniest cabin crew I'd ever met. I took a picture with him. But what I really wanted to take a picture of was when we were landing and the plane had a turn which put it in a 15 or so degrees horizontal position and he moved like a ballerino to balance himself and made a funny face. (I like to draw a picture of that if I can)

Antonio and me
Saturday, January 12, 2008

هرگز نمی‌دانیم که می‌رویم
وقتی روانه‌ایم
در به شوخی می‌بندیم
سرنوشت در پی ما می‌آید
و کلون در را می‌اندازد
و ما را دیگر دیداری نیست.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

-Mark Twain
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Songs of Solomon
I read Songs of Solomon last night. It was quite intersting. Also, it was weired to find such a thing in the bible. Here is a part:
OH, that you were as my brother, who nursed at the breast of my mother! Should I find you outside in the open, I would kiss you, and no one would scorn me. I should lead you and bring you to the house of my mother, and she would instruct me; I should give you some spiced wine to drink, also the juice of my pomegranates. Oh, that his left hand were under my head, and with his right hand he would embrace me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you do not awaken or stir up love, until love itself so please.

Bible, Songs of Solomon,Chapter 8
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I got my car back last week from the garage. I had a serious accident about a month ago. I have had some small ones before. scratching the car when I was getting out of a parking area, being hit by a car coming backward with a very slow speed. But it was the first time that I hit another car with about 60-70 km/hour and there were four people in the car apart from me.

It was like movies; loud sound of the break, hitting the other car with the big bang, and the silence afterward in which you try to orient yourself after the shock of experiencing how vigorous are the effect of two objects hitting each other as the two cars did. I've learned physics in high school to a good degree. I had some imagination of two cars hitting each other. But what really happened was a shock to me. We are not dealing with forces as big as that in our every day life and the experience is out of our grasp. Well, until we have an accident. Hopefully we got out of it with only some bruises.

I agree with Shervin, who was in the car when we had the accident that life separates to two parts of before the accident and after the accident. The accident was not my fault as it's obvious in the drawing and the police approved. but I could have prevented it if I had less speed.
So I thought about why I had so much speed when I shouldn't have as I was getting close to u-turn and we were not in a hurry. I though about it the month I didn't have the car and also the day that I got the car back from the garage. I found out that the problem was in my lifestyle. The rush that was ruling my life. True that we had a very busy time the last six months before releasing out Linux distribution and also the next two months. I was in rush then but that has been over for at least two months... rush was still dominating my life.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Standard Persian Fonts and Keyboard
Writing in Persian on the web has been a headache for many of us seeing the result is shown with Arabic Yeh or Arabic Kaaf instead of Persian ones. I've tried to describe the reason and solution for preventing this problem in a document (in Persian). You can also download the pdf. Please help spreading it.

Many thanks to Behnam Pournader for writing the manuals for installing fonts.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Visiting Persepolis

What do you do if you find out that a friend of yours who can read old Persian in cuneiform haven't seen Persepolis? Won't you just grab the calendar and the Lonely Planet book and plan a trip to see it? Specially if you love to see Persepolis yourself and showing it to a friend is a reason to leave work behind and visit Isfahan and Shiraz. So we went. To a four day trip by our car, Hesam and me driving. The photo is taken in Tehran-Isfahan high way (From right Shervin, Roozbeh and Hesam.)

No. None of them can read cuneiform. Our above mentioned friend came all the way with airplane joining us in the cities. We had a great time any way.

Thursday, September 07, 2006
Happy GNOME 2.16
GNOME 2.16 is just released. Persian is among the supported languages. Thanks to Meelad and Roozbeh.
Sunday, July 02, 2006

I was using a filtered internet since about two month ago. No flickr. No Persian BBC. No orkut. No No blogspot! All you get is this page if you want to visit these sites and many more unreasonably filtered sites. It was a hard time. I even couldn't configure my flickr to send photos by email... till today that I installed Tor. It was easy and it works

fine. First thing I did was enabling flickr to send photos via email and also posting to my blog via email too (thanks to flickr features). So this is the first post: Testing :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006
Persian is supported in GNOME 2.14
Any language which at least 80% of the GNOME strings are translated to is considered supported in GNOME. According to the GNOME internationalization status page Persian translation was about 74% about two weeks before the release of GNOME 2.14. So I started translating fuzzy messages to get us to 80%. Unfortunately Roozbeh didn't have enough time to commit them all (He was busy releasing beta version of our Linux distribution :-) ) and we couldn't reach 80% on time. I though oh! no! we missed it again! (Persian translation was about 76% when 2.12 released) and was unhappy till Roozbeh mentioned Persian among supported languages in the release note and found out Danlio Šegan one of the leaders of the GNOME translation project, had excluded gnome-applet-locations messages when calculating translated messages and we reached 80% excluding messages of that file. According to Uncyclopedia:
this file contains the names of every city and road in the world (and citlets, huts, small villages, military bases, jerk water in the nowhere, etc.), over 6500 names, for which you have never been to, we are definetely not taking you, and you will never get to. It is used by the weather applet to show the weather conditions at your city, of which at least 1/4 of them won't show you anything except city name (because their weather stations are not configured to report back centrally the local weather conditions).
In short and being serious, messages of gnome-applet-locations are rarely shown in the desktop and it's hell of a work translating each of them. (One needs to find out were the city or base is located. Then finds out the speaking language of the area and decides how the name is pronounced and then transcribes the name). So I think that was a fair move. Thanks Danilo.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hey, there ain't no settelin down.
This is blood for blood by gallons.
This the old days, and the bad days, the all or nothing days

That's my favorite quotes from Sin City. I realy like the way Marv says it. I like Marv too. The look on his face when he says:

I like heatmen. No matter what you do to them, you don't feel bad.

We saw the special edition of the movie last night. It was more separated edition than extended edition, telling the four stories in for completly separate parts. And I liked the original one better because of that. It's a fascinating movie anyway. We enjoyed watching it for the third time. That is, if we only count watching al of it from the beginning to the end. There were other occasions to check this and that scene and when you start watching it, it's realy hard to stop.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Noodles with vegetables

I like noodle with vegetables. I've been making it more recently since we've stopped eating out. Trying to stop eating out anyway. It's hard to find time to cook when you go straight to work after breakfast which is usually about 10 in the morning and come back home about 10 at night. Or even later. But after Roozbeh's blood test showed more triglyceride than usual, we are trying to eat less junk food. As a result noodle with vegetables is made more. Of course we use instant noodle which is ready in 15 minutes. Vegetables are easy too. You just need to buy and prepare them (which is only washing and chopping) and cook them for 5 or 6 minutes and viola! Your food is ready.

I made the vegetables Sunday night only to find out we have run out of instant noodles. So we had to do with breads. The other photo is taken on Monday.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Countries i've visited so far

create your own visited country map

Only 3% of the world (7 countries). I hope i do better in the next 25 years of my life.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Second match
I reckon reading Alvin Maker serries not only have kept me a lot of time a-reading (a lot of good time a-reading all six of them in fact), but also have had a bad effect on my English. Thanks god there's no book to read no more. The seventh book ain't written yet. To tell the truth I really enjoy reading English by accent of American frontiers.
Any way, back from early 19th century, our second match is tomorrow at 4. Right on the board meeting. Roozbeh is re-arranging the meeting fortunately or I'd miss it. We will win this game :)
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Our first game
Columbus is the best team in our group. I'm sure they are one on the two teams going to the first level games. I hope we are the other one. We have been in the second level for three years now. Mrs Ghahraman Pour from Sharif University of Technology Association (SUTA) came to see our game. SUTA has been very helpful to find a sponsor for us. The sport department of Sharif University of Technology doesn't support the team because some of the players have been graduated. Actually this year we only have five players who are still student out of 15. I don't find the reason logical but they seem unconceivable. So we had to find other sponsors. And it wasn't easy. You can't show women playing basketball in TV in Iran. The common advertisement methods are impossible. SUTA has been very helpful in suggesting some solutions for that too. Although we lost the game, Mrs Ghahraman Pour was very happy and impressed how we played with a nimble team like that.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Kiatel-Sharif VS Columbus
Our first match is tomorrow at 5 pm, in Heydarnia complex. Kiatel Company is sponsoring our team in the games, so the name is Kiatel-Sharif. We will play aginst Columbus. The rumour is that they are the best team in our group. Well, we will see that tomorrow.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Basketball games
Iran's super league women basketball games started two days ago. I saw four games yesterday. Two of them were really good. The rest of the games will be held in other cities. I probably won't see anymore. Our own games, second level games of Tehran clubs, will start in two weeks. 12 teams are participating and only the first two will go to the first level. So, the competition is tough. Teams are divided into two groups and we will have 5 matches in the first round. Considering our irregular practices recently and unexpected death of one of our main player's father, I don't see much chance in going up even to the second round. Though, I'm excited and I really look forward for the competition and experience.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Persian speakers, enjoy!

Originally uploaded by elishka.

80.43% of GNOME desktop environment is now translated into Persian. Install whatever GNU/Linux distribution you like with GNOME 12.0 and log in to a Persian session and enjoy! If you need help, send me an email. If you don't have good fonts you can use the first standard set of Unicode Persian fonts by Sharif FarsiWeb.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Takiji Music
Roozbeh and I are quite found of Takiji music. Thanks to Muhammadi and Abubakr and other people who help providing us with two cds of Tajiki music. We have been listening to them every time we were at home. We can understand almost all of the lyrics ( Takiji is a descendant of Persian language and so similar to Persian that some consider it a dialect of Persian). The strange thing is we don't listen to Iranian pop music produced mainly in Los Angles and dislike their lyrics and these Tajiki music is quite similar to them. But we like them. The reason might be their accent which sounds sweet to our ears and tranquility of the songs which Iranian songs and generally Iranian current culture lacks.
Thursday, October 20, 2005

Originally uploaded by elishka.
I had my car washed today. At last! I was planning to do so for a month I think and I couldn't find the time. So this morning, I went to a near by car wash and I toke some photos while waiting. This is not my car though but I like having one like this. A red 4wd one. My current car is a black pride. A clean black pride. Unfortunatly the sky is cloudy and the poor car has no shelter for the night. [sighs]
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
From Monday to Monday in Dushanbe

Originally uploaded by elishka.
I spent a week, from Monday 10th to Monday 17th, in Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe which means Monday in Persian. :) According to Wikipedia
the name comes from a Monday market which was held there since about a century ago and locals told me that the market I have taken this photo of is actually that market. It was wonderful place to visit anyway. With fresh breads and colorful fruits and vegetables and kind people.
During that week I attended a FOSS Road - Central Asia camp on Free Software migration which I consider a very valuable experience.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Food, shelter, freedom

Originally uploaded by elishka.

This charity box is in Azadi ave., opposite Habibolahi st. Three hand written words in Persian are food, shelter and freedom.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Persian support for GNOME

We did it! Persian is now considered partialy suppeted in GNOME. We have translated more than 50% of the messages and we are going on. It would be great if we reach 80% before the next GNOME release which is on 7 September 2005. About two weeks from now. It's not an easy work and we are few. But it's not imposible. Godspeed.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Good old friends

Originally uploaded by elishka.
Shakila Shayan is back in Iran. I hope to see her soon. It's been four years since I met her in her last visit to Iran. And I didn't believe four years had already passed. Time's flying...
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Which of what I am!

Fantasy/Sci-Fi characterVideo game character

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?
Princess Lia is a character in the Star Wars universe.

What Video Game Character Are You? I am Mario.
He he. I always got that from my cousins!
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Firefox translation party
We had a translation party on Thursday. Lots of people showed up, including two new ones. We only translated Firefox and I think a good bit of it is done. Thanks to Behnam Esfahbod and Meelad.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Happy Birthday Behnam!
Yesterday was Behnam's birthday. We surprised him by holding a party without him knowing. The look on his face when he arrived home at 20:30 was spectacle. The birthday cake is worth a look. I've taken the picture myself a few month ago in Andimeshk.