Coburg Samba Festival?

So last year up at the Maschseefest I was there with a coworker and our wives, and there were some groovy-sounding Latin-American-flavored tunes (actually, as an aside — the Maschseefest was surreal, much like what I saw of Hannover itself). Co-worker dude asks me if I like Samba. I say, “Sure I do. What’s not to like?” He says, “There’s a samba festival in Coburg. We should go.”

Then yesterday, 6+ months later, Homes pushes a printout from http://www.samba-festival.de/ toward me and says, “So, you still game?”

I am not, but only because of a scheduling conflict. I’d consider next year. Anyone done this? I’d appreciate comments and opinions from anyone who goes this year, because I’m interested for next year.

Travel deals 05.03.2009

Ok, the apartment is finally getting a little more under control and I’m stuck home sick, so I had time to sift through the travel spam. Let’s get to it.

Lufthansa Worldwide Sale
Lufthansa leads the pack again. It’s up to you to find the dates on which the big savings fall (thank you, easy-to-comprehend Lufthansa matrix display). Destinations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North and South America are available. Most of the good stuff leaves from Frankfurt/Main, but there are bargains available from other major airports. The sample fare I ran was Frankfurt-Shanghai, March 20-March 31 for 543€ R/T total (all taxes and fees included). Book by March 10, depart between March 7 and May 15, return between March 8 and June 30. Blackout dates apply.

Orbitz Cruise Deals
I guess that all of the travel consolidators are dabbling in cruises these days. Orbitz is running a multi-brand cruise sale available for purchase until April 1 (or as otherwise noted). They start as low as $37/night and include selected sailing in all regions (Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific, Alaska, Northern Europe, Transatlantic, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Indian Ocean, etc.). Each brand is offering other bargains in addition to the price reductions, i.e. upgrade within category, pre-paid gratuity, air specials and more.

Your Opinion is Important to Us!
I need some brainstorming help. We might have some unexpected vacation time coming up (which was the impetus for the ‘Rügen? Sylt?’ post below, but we’ve kind of changed gears since posting that) and we want to do something we’ve never done before. Because we’re waiting for confirmation as to whether we’re going to have the time, we’ll be planning on a much shorter timescale than we normally have for planning our trips – often 6-9 months in advance. I usually do all of the planning à la carte, but since this one might be sneaking up on us, we won’t have time for all the researching and comparison shopping to which I’m accustomed.

What’s your best or worst last minute travel experience? Have you ever packed a bag and just rolled up to the airport to see what’s available? We might have as much as 6-7 days, so far-flung destinations are not out of the question. Any help is much appreciated!

Happy trails!

MarsEdit, TextWrangler, and sshfs via MacFUSE

I know it’s nerdy. Just move along if you don’t get like it.

I’m trying out a couple things at once here, and not all of them are successful.

#1 MarsEdit MarsEdit, software for blogging (through WordPress in my case, but presumably via others) without relying on a webbrowser.I like the live preview-as-you-type thing. There’s a flickr plugin or something for it too, which I might try out with this post. Seems to support tags, categories, and post status stuff (draft, published, etc.) I guess it won’t replace the WordPress front-end (Dashboard, Settings, Plugins, etc.) but it’s a comfort thing to be able to post — the main function needed for a blogger — with a nice GUI. There’s an HTML helper thing too. At first I poo-poo’d this like I do most clicky HTML editing widgets, but this one lets you define your own macros. I dig that. Seems pretty good so far, but I’m not sure I’d pay $30 for it. Oh well, the free trial (for a month) out to help me decide whether to cough up for it.

#2 I am intrigued by handy, usable text editing (coding) software that will let me edit files on my websites remotely over a secure connection (scp, ssh, sftp, stuff like that). In the Windows world, at work, I generally get this done via mapped network drives and security is not really a concern. I use UltraEdit for that (I think it cost about $50). I recently heard about TextWrangler for Mac OS X thanks to a geeky BBS I frequent that does a lot of the same stuff (at least, a lot of what I need it to do) as freeware. Bonus! Get a copy from their website and try it out on your Mac yourself.

#3 Piggy-backing off of #2, the next cooler level is to be able to edit remote files with software that thinks they’re local when they’re really not. Or being able to hook up all kinds of different filesystems to your computer which it otherwise wouldn’t natively support. That’s what FUSE is all about, and MacFUSE allows you to use sshfs — meaning your favorite text editor, whether it can already remotely edit files or not, can be tricked into thinking the content you’re writing resides locally. Sadly, I’ve not yet managed to make this work. I am using the latest MacFUSE disk image and a static binary for Leopard and am getting the following errors:


sshfs: cannot find sshnodelay.so
warning: ssh nodelay workaround disabled
user@hostname's password:
fuse: unknown option `auto_cahe'
mylocalmac:Desktop cliff$ mount_fusefs: failed to mount /Users/cliff/Desktop/the_mountpoint@/dev/fuse0: Socket is not connected

Anyone know what I’m doing wrong? You’re supposed to be able to use the sshfs static binaries with recent versions of MacFUSE, but uh….yeah, it’s not working.