The more accurate diary. Old stuff.

Warning: These are old.

April 1st
Considered diary entry about how I had rearranged the computer room and although the computers were now lined up in order of colour and size the net access went all funny, but decided it wasn't that funny. And someone might believe it. Various other April Fools ranged from not too bad (NASA's pic of the day about astronauts playing Quidditch) to awful (all the rest).

Other than that, not a diary-worthy day. Dunno what Alan's doing, did nothing of note except some very stupid things (cringe, including leaning on ^D and deleting the window I was editing this in) and I hope the rest of the month improves.

March 31st
Had a fit of docbook. Recovered, straightened out the room currently being plastered somewhat, cleared a path through the hall's pile of "things Alan thinks we need but hasn't found a home for yet", found a box of games and puzzles that was as yet not yet unpacked from moving, unpacked them, put them away, managed not to play quite all of them. Bedroom tidy. Upstairs now done except for painting. Downstairs getting there. Except for painting, plastering, and reconstructing the furniture. And the funny smell. I hope it's not the cellar. I'm not going down there. Alan can do that when he gets back.

I think it may be the computer room tomorrow.

March 30th
Day of nothing much. I'm bored without him. Nothing to complain about. No-one to pester. No-one to do strange and weird things which make me boggle.
March 29th
Tidied up somewhat. I can see I need to do more whilst Alan is away.

As threatened, went book-hunting in town. Alas, bookshop has gone sorely downhill. Had none of the books I wanted in. (I began to have qualms a while ago: despite this being a Welsh university town, tourist hotspot, and home of Dylan Thomas, it had no copies of Under Milk Wood, much to the consternation of the staff.)

March 28th
Oh my. I now have a dancing flower.

Brycecan now focused on a Scooby-Doo cut-out with a monkey clinging to it. Grr. Persuaded RH people to fix.

Bright sunny day. If it's like this tomorrow, it may be time to walk round town buying all the things I never get around to buying whilst Alan isn't here.

March 27th
Lots of people sent me suggestions on how to get thumbnails. This of course is after I found out how to do it with the Gimp, which appears to take some getting used to and then be easier. I think I prefer the command-line ways still. I can kick off a script and come back later (and discover it ate things and so on, with most of my scripts).

Some nice people came and installed blinds today. I am having lots of fun adjusting them to be just right with regard to the light. Now it's just a pity the sun will insist on moving.

War of the webcam in RH. Bryce put the camera back where I could watch Alan. Alan moved it away. Bryce put it back. Alan moved it away.

Went out with some of the usual crowd for food. We had no Alan, but we had a Kira instead. Went for standard menu "but can we change this, and can we change that, and by the way, some more duck please". Discussed April Fools jokes. Shame none of us will get organised to do any of them.

Appalled to discover Bryce's account of massive hardware buying on the part of certain people. Can guess who was involved. Somewhat cheered when I realised that Alan can't bring much back because he only took hand luggage. Ha.

March 26th
Apparently Alan didn't like being watched. He moved the BryceCam and the next time I looked it was trained on a poster of Scooby-Doo. Waah.
March 25th
Daylight savings time began here, as in the rest of the civilised world. Caught up with stuff, answered stuff, broke stuff, instal-- well, broke more stuff.

Finished Iceland write-up. I have a few photos I wanted to put into one version of the page. I wanted little thumbnails in the right places, so scripts which automatically generate thumbnails into a gallery won't do. I also need the exact size to put in the attributes of the <img> tag, apparently, if I want it to load in less than a year (yes, yes, I know about alt, and there will be two versions anyway). Failed to understand ImageMagick docs. 68 formats, maybe. Where is the "turn into thumbnail and give me the dimensions?" Failed to understand multiple perl scripts which all invoke ImageMagick anyway. Eventually had recourse to the GIMP.

Understand that my first experiences with this program were on a 32 meg machine and a monitor with what Alan calls "a dodgy gamma" and so I got used to not using graphics programs. Do not mock my lack of GIMP knowledge. GIMP-using friend on IRC told me I could just select all files in the directory, and I tried. Apparently my "a few" photos meant "twenty" and up they all started to come, one after the other...

I'm impressed. GIMP survived, the window manager survived, the pictures came up (continually, for about five minutes), and X survived. Okay, so it wasn't the best way to discover this program, but it worked. I have now created a whole two thumbnails, and the wretched things have stupid dimensions which are all one or two pixels different from each other even though the originals are the same size.

Alan has now reached Red Hat. Someone there put a webcam up and I was able to watch him and wonder "now who's he talking to?" and so on until I got bored. I am happy now.

March 24th
Woke up, wandered round aimlessly until Alan rang to say he was getting on the plane. Mooched about some more. Tried to get some stuff done. Wrote up most of Iceland diary and now have to go back and change most of the vowels to vowels-with-funny-accents.

Pondering tidying the machine room as a surprise for when Alan gets back. I fear it's the sort of thing that could cause complications. We'll see.

Was going to the rugby but got delayed and missed it. Pooh.

I am going to become an avid reader of his diary now, I can tell. "Where is he again? And, um, why?" Until I tidy the machine room up and manage to unplug the modem by accident, of course.

March 23rd
Alan stomping around the house "packing" (squashing everything into two overnight bags so he doesn't have to hang around at luggage carousels) and discovering the chequebook, so that I can spend lots of money whilst he's away. Or something. I think I'm supposed to pay bills. Oh well.

Got someone else's cancellation and ate out at favourite restaurant. Returned and caught up with sister-gossip. <rant>Apparently some garage tried to charge her over a grand for "stripping the engine" on her car after it broke down and she told them not to do any work without informing her and giving her an estimate first. So she wrote some impressive legal letters, got the car back, found someone else who remarked that "if that engine's been touched, it's been put together very neatly afterwards", and now she has her car running with some slightly more plausible bills and a working engine. I can't believe people try this on. It's so... blatent. It's only because she knows a little about cars and has friends who know a lot more that she had the confidence to say no and not get stung. Grr.</rant>.

Alan off at late hours (early hours). Wail.

March 22nd
More of yesterday, only today. Alan got his dollars and coach ticket to the airport. He's looking ecstatic at his timetable. I'm sure there were more days than two between getting back and departing again when this was planned.

Discovered that Wales finally (ahem) won a match in the Six Nations. Whilst we were away. Paah.

Apparently there is still a chance to be a sponsor of the penguin at the zoo if you're UK-based and tell Al quickly.

March 21st
Back from Iceland at 0400. Stuck washing in, fell asleep, woke up at 7.30am. How? Got up, tried to catch up on a week on the net. Amazing how a week of civilised activity and conversation lowers your tolerance for obnoxiousness on the net.

Wrote a lot of diary whilst in Iceland; link will appear when I have caught up with the rest.

Lots of catching up with post, ringing to get parcels re-delivered, playing of new CDs. Alan departs (waah!) in two days, so more washing, packing, and so on. Rampaged through a week of gnome email to the extent that someone wanted to know whether I had actually sent every single email in his latest digest issue of it. I, by contrast, do not want to know the answer to that.

March 13th
Off at the usual silly o'clock in the morning to fly to Iceland.
March 12th
Frantic catch-up with stuff day prior to heading off to Iceland for a conference. Alan is speaking; I am tagging along.
March 11th
Writing this two weeks later, I have no idea what happened. I suspect it was packing day.
March 10th
Wandered into town for shopping, dragging a reluctant Alan. Accidentally bought a poncho, accidentally had to visit bookshop twice, accidentally saw furniture which would be perfect for one room in house (if a little odd) but refrained, accidentally bought two pairs of happy hippie hobbit trousers; and Alan's shopping list of "sunglasses" remained completely unfulfilled. Went to buy more coach tickets for yet another trip. Alan discovered he had programmed his phone with the time of the flight but not from which airport it departed. Cunning. He was sent back in disgrace armed with the relevant information.

Tidying up later, lay down for a quick rest on the futon, blearily heard "Rugby starting" from Alan, woke up two hours later, and discovered I'd missed it. Waah! I blame Gnome. It can't possibly the the effect of happy hippy trousers-buying.

March 9th
Far far too long spent on computer in click-click-tick-tick mode (Gnome 1.4 beta-testing, yes. You click on something, then you tick "pass" or "fail" and find the next thing to click at) and creating lists of "things to do" which I then didn't do.
March 8th
More building blocks arrived for ZenIII. Alan didn't hear the doorbell despite being up and awake. Hmm. We have fancy doorbells which have multiple portable ringers. I am wondering whether I can bleep Alan on his silly phone via them now. Failing that, he'll just have to carry a doorbell chime around the house.

Lots of gnome-testing and making lists of "things to do."

More "I, Claudius". More moans from Alan. Philistine.

March 7th
Alan still building things. He got two parcels today, decided these were Not Enough, and wandered out to buy more bits of hardware. One of the parcels contained some memory for my Cyrix MediaGX box, so I am not supposed to complain about the parcels now. Hmph.

Out with the Equiinet (or Cymrunet, or 3com, or whatever they are this month: the same group of people have gone through so many name changes) and associated crowd for a meal down beyond the Mumbles. German guest of one of them unable to appreciate the view because, well, it was dark. "Well, if it was day, you'd see all this cool stuff, but um...".

Found a flyer for something at the theatre tomorrow night. Alan is too busy to go. Grumble. Not good.

Best release announcement I've seen in a while has to be Qt 2.3's song. No idea what the software's like. I just like that song. Alas, my only copy of the real version of the words is on a vinyl record. Now I regret getting rid of my archaic record player. I have room for the thing now.

March 6th
The recent plague of tiny slug trail (yes, one tiny slug trail, but it was enough) has been solved. Alan wandered down in the middle of the night for supper (this probably means about 0230 or so, sigh) and evicted the creator of it. I am very happy because this was in a spot of the house where the light takes a second or so to come on, and by the time it does, I am usually halfway across in bare feet before I freeze, remembering what I might be about to tread on.
March 5th
It's the penguin-sponsoring time of year again. Two complications:
  1. I'm not doing it. Two years is enough!
  2. Bristol Zoo is currently closed due to the foot and mouth problems
Luckily, the very mad Al has offered to do it (and he's much nearer Bristol Zoo and can go and take pictures and check the plaque is right and and all that sort of stuff) and is available via this address for people who want to find out where to send cheques (in British currency only, please: the conversion costs are just silly otherwise). We think we have a way around the currency thing for the future, but more on that later.
March 4th
Got some work done. Shock.

Discovered sister is not, as I presumed, still facing a wall of snow. She is now able to get through it to work and back. Lucky her.

Persuaded Alan to buy CDs I wanted. Some of them, anyway. Listened to the samples of Metallica-as-played-by-string-quartet and tried to persuade him that we really needed this, but to no avail.

Alan has discovered some website with midi files of dozens of folk tunes and jigs. Watching (and listening to) kernels compile and making the machine go "gronk, whirr, whirr, gronk" to the tune of electronic "bee-bibipi bibipi bibipi BEE!" from the speakers is an experience for which I cannot find the right word.

March 3rd
Lots of documentation, lots of GNOME stuff, etc. Disastrous discovery: we shall be at GUADEC when Show of Hands play the Albert Hall in London. This is very bad. I'm not sure I'd have gone to GUADEC had I known this.

Went to investigate latest Indian restaurant to open, housed in an old church building. Unfortunately, so did the rest of Swansea. Decided to try again some other time and came back.

We shall not discuss the rugby. Ahem. (Oh, okay. Wales-Ireland off. England beat Scotland. And France beat Italy. This is all the wrong way round. Waah.)

March 2nd
Andi off at early hours to the station. Alan dragged from slumber to show him the way. (Well, my legs are shorter, so it would take too long for me to, and Andi might have missed his train. Obviously it had to be Alan.)

Alas, he went back to sleep after that. Curses. My cunning plan foiled.

More cold weather. More foot and mouth. More things closed.

March 1st
Up in time to get some work done before the other two arose. I strongly suspect that Alan had only just got up before a visitor arrived. Net profit was good though: I asked him, as I have asked every visitor here, whether he was in need of an alarm clock. Lo! He departed clutching two of our three surplus alarm clocks (Alan bought five in a fit of "but it's cheaper this way!" lunacy after Too Much Ebay) and I have now only to find one more a home.

Grabbed sandwiches from the shop for lunch. I took the papers home and read all about the huge areas of Britain apparently begging people not to trample foot and mouth all over them whilst Alan and Andi took the long detour back. As the hours passed on, I began to wonder where they'd got to and whether some irate farmer or council official had hauled them off. They eventually returned, having walked from the town down past the Mumbles to Bracelet Bay. I gather they got the bus back. What a surprise. Alan described the stunning views and lack of people and then admitted sheepishly that he'd forgotten to take the camera. They'd also gone shopping and been greeted by a male voice choir performing in the supermarket. It is St David's Day, the national day of Wales, and events like this are not totally unexpected as a result.

Chilli tonight. Alan has become enamoured of adding chocolate into it. I am not convinced. Then "Time Team" (Andi: "You say this programme is popular here?") and "I, Claudius" (Alan: "Oh god").

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.)