Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

a conference management web application

XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

Philly Philia

Have flown out to Philadelphia, USA, for XML 2003. The conference proper doesn't start until Tuesday, so I've some time to catch up with email and try and do something with the half-formed ideas cramming my brain.

I flew out here with US Airways. The bad: the food was dreadful, I had to buy headphones to hear the film. The good: ticket was cheap, best legroom I've had in coach, the video-on-demand system was awesome, direct flight from Manchester. Watched several films, the best of which was Matchstick Men. So, a good journey.

Philly is an amazing city. It looks great with the dusting of snow it got the day before I arrived. It has everything I like in an American city: both imaginative and classic architecture, historical interest, eminently walkable, decent transit system. I've found a couple of reasonable brewpubs nearby, and it's nice that smoking's not banned in public places (I don't smoke, but I'm opposed to banning it. A blue haze adds to the atmosphere, I reckon.)

This morning I talk a walk in the brisk, cold air, and made my way to Hats in the Belfry on 3rd and South. I am now the proud owner of a rather fetching new hat. I like it, but I expect my wife will laugh at me. One of the things I love about the US is that men wear hats. The only males with hats I see regularly in the UK are louts with tea-cosies pulled down over their ears, even in the summer. For a country that's meant to be renowned for breeding eccentrics, we sure are a conservative and conformist bunch.

All my XML-ish friends are due here soon, and the week holds much promise.

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