Warning: These are old.
Spotted a slug in the back yard. Whilst I was in the kitchen looking out
of the back window. Yes. A very large slug indeed. Uurgh.
I didn't mention it before, but Andrew had been playing with the television and had managed to discover the most amazing selections of really bad television I had seen in a while. The really frightening thing was that he proclaimed a lot of it better than what Canadians or Americans get. We managed to find some decent television tonight, which is such a startling event that I feel it worthy of recording here.
Now that Andrew has gone, it started to rain here again. So much for
his theory that we don't actually get rain.
Other than the dolphins, it was a successful trip. The bed and breakfast we stayed in is definitely recommended. Anywhere that serves porridge with whisky and honey is good. We were apparently very lucky with the weather: Donncha was amazed. ("It's not normally like this.") It must be Andrew's influence because it has been sunny all this time in Swansea, too.
Found Andrew a free house (a pub not tied to any one brewery so with a wider
selection of beers) for the evening, because he mentioned "I thought there'd
be more beers". All my first choices were off.
At the top is the fabled Blarney Stone with its tale about kissing the stone and the eloquence you derive from this. You have to see this to appreciate it. It's right up on the battlements. There is a gap about two foot wide between the edge of the floor and the wall with the stone on. And you can look through the gap to the ground eighty feet below. (There are bars in the gap, but they don't look big :)) The way to get your head near enough to kiss the thing is to lie on your back with your head and shoulders over the gap, reach your arms back to grab two bars on the wall, and then try to arch your neck back bar enough to kiss the stone whilst a castle employee hangs onto the rest of your body.
Down at the bottom of the castle, in the rock on which it is built, is a large cave. Once my guidebook claimed you could go through it and see something on the other side, Alan, Donncha and Andrew had to try this. I went in afterwards, once they had actually re-emerged. Those FreeSWAN LEDs make very convenient torches.
In the grounds are a great many yew trees. We don't seem to have many yew trees locally and I miss them, so we had to go and see them to shut me up. It's alleged to be an ancient druid site, but the nineteenth-century additions of big stones complicate matters a bit. I did like the label "dolmen" on three stones which could not possibly be anything else. And the yew trees were glorious.
Decided to show Andrew Cork, and got the overnight ferry to Ireland. I
like this EU thing. No-one asked to see our passports on the way in or
out. This makes up for the loss of duty-free when travelling within the
EU, I think.
Lots of announcements came out of LWE. Having seen the transcript of one press conference and the way it was actually reported by the brightest and best of the computer press, I have my doubts about some of the rest of the coverage, too :) Oh well.
Updated the GNOME FAQ a bit more. Got fed up of trying to find the right bits to insert information, so printed the original version out and spread it over the floor. Printed all the submissions out, cut them into bits, attached them to the right bits of the version on the floor, carefully gathered it all up and prayed I didn't drop it all on the way to the keyboard. Now looking for a folding editor. Looked at the README for one, got scared by the build instructions, was unsurprised to hear Emacs does this, and stuck to bits of paper on the floor for now.
Got vaguely interested in bug-reports after seeing some comments about the quality of bug-reports. Have some opinions on the quality of bug-responses as a result :)
Andrew Hutton, who organises OLS, appeared on our doorstep and came to visit. We knew he was in Britain, but we had no idea when he was likely to show up. He has arrived, the weather has brightened up (so far, only one visitor has experienced Real Swansea Weather and thus everyone now thinks we're making it up), we have dragged him round the market and to see the castle, and then we got utterly lost when Alan demonstrated a "short cut" to the coast from the far end of town. I can understand how we reached the marina, but the docks?
Alan has been playing with sound drivers again and my life is plagued by beeps and boings and ascending scales "du-du-du-doo".
The new house progresses apace (where "apace" is understood to mean a very very slow snail's pace). The room I wanted to put computers in turns out to be so hot that this is not a good plan: you feel the heat hit you as you ascend the stairs. I am given to understand that computers do not like this.
Alan is blaming me for the fact that his amateur repairs on the
antiquated internals of the toilet are not very good, hence the
"Telsa broke it" comments he is threatening to include. I have
now beaten him to it.
The washing machine appears to be acquiring more water in it
now, without actually being used. I am most perplexed.
Details of said three days later, maybe. But you can't escape the
net: even there I met someone in a GNOME tshirt and saw someone
else in a UserFriendly one. Then again, there were all manner of
tshirts being worn, advertising beer festivals, bands, motorbikes,
environmental causes, silly slogans, and how many previous Cropredys
the wearer had attended.
It was almost (but not quite) enough to make me head over to
the new house to do more washing. (This gets very boring in the
Found more bugs. Alan "fixed" the Vaio. It is now detecting devices on "-1". No comment.
Seagulls keep massing in the sky at dusk. They are very, very loud. Alan is trying to work out how to take pictures of them without their coming out as a lot of black dots on a dark background. I am not sure why, because they in fact look like a lot of black dots on a dark background.
Alas, the old way to resurrect the washing machine no longer works. I hate it even more now. Conversations with the insurance people on the phone (we did not renew the insurance, but since the person who checked it failed to fix it, I feel it's their fault) proved... well, um. Let's just say we are waiting for the return call. Still. In the meantime we are carrying the laundry to a different washing machine in rucksacks and feeling very silly as people on the street stare and wonder who is possibly going hiking at 11pm at night.
Someone (either person or group) spammed me through three different methods today on the machine I don't have filters on (so that one or two friends with ISP "issues" can reach me). From three different accounts. Three different complaints duly sent off. One automated "Thank you for your email" response so far.
Alan keeps kidnapping my Vaio and crashing it. He plugged a camera into it and it kept taking pictures of me. I am not convinced this is a good thing. He then left it running and it refused to unsuspend. It was working until he touched it.
In further "appliances falling apart all around us" news, he blew his desk fan up. I was nowhere near it and am glad that I now have proof that I am not always the cause of such events.
Alan's solution to the council refusing to collect glass and wanting us to get it to a dump ourselves is to push it on a trolley down the road slowly in the middle of rush hour and direct complaints from people stuck behind us to the council. I am not convinced this will make us any friends.
A friend reminded us that we are supposed to be going camping with them (arranged months ago) next week. Argh. I suppose I should buy a tent (the old one finally died) in case one of us makes it...
I've been asked for a more obvious feedback route. So there you are! But please note: This should be clear from the above, but: I am not a kernel hacker. I am not an anything hacker. "Is this diary true?" will get answered. (It is.) "I have a problem compiling the brainsplat module under the pre-sliced option terminator; I am using the mutability framewedger on the standard infernalisation build" will not. (Well, it might be answered in a similar vein, but for a real answer, look elsewhere. It's much safer.)