Warning: These are old.
LUG in the evening. Finally remembered to lend friends the
uncopyable CD. Friend knocked on door five minutes later:
I had given them the case but not the CD.
We were up too late to see a gallery and a show, but after Alan had rejected the National Gallery, the Mational Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Museum of London (where I wanted to see the Roman well machinery that Time Team covered), talked Alan into seeing a show. Three matinees seemed available. I'd already got him to one (Woman in Black, highly recommended). Rang theatre for the next one, Cats, which apparently has about ten performances ever left. Gawped at prices. Rang St Martins and booked for The Mousetrap instead: two people for less than Cats wanted for one. It's a cliche, but it has to be done.
Mousetrap was fun. The same culprit did it as ever, but
at least Alan is now free from taxi drivers who shout the
murderer after you if you under-tip. (I've seen it before, so
was already safe.) Trivia for the day: Paul Darrow of
Blakes 7 was in
the thing years ago. Annoyance of the day: Alan guessed (I refuse
deduced) the murderer in the interval. My sister
did this too. Apparently I am just dense.
Trundled back to Paddington to find that supersaver tickets (the only ones anyone can afford) are now not valid until 8pm when leaving London (which they did not say when we bought them). Loitered until first available train back. Found a second Paddington Bear at Paddington Station. Very crowded train. Alan showed off and read email on the train. He wouldn't let me play Aisleriot, though. Boo!
Set off for London shortly after this, confident in expectations
that the train would end up discovering Atlantis and holding us
for entry without a visa. Surprisingly, this did not occur, and
were were merely mundanely late into London. I am beginning to become
inured to London. My typical headache no longer comes on as the train
approaches Paddington, and I can manage an entire hour of London
at a time. Came up for air out of the tube station and...
Alan! Bumped into someone we'd met at a London expo a year or
so ago. Found our way to City University, noting all the police
preparations for May Day (
Do Not Park Here notices and so
forth). We found City University, and Alan talked about possible
effects of the EUCD
(European Union Copyright Directive) and stole all the best
examples from Martin Keegan, who spoke after him.
We followed people to the pub, and winced at the prices. Someone was adamant there was a good pub round the corner, so we followed them. It was shut. Phil Hands was in the vicinity, so we went for Plan B: deprive Debian developers of alcohol and wait for them to locate pub. Part one failed: he was adequately supplied with alcohol already. Part two worked well. I have a hazy memory of food after that,
Then found our way to hotel, and slept, dreaming of free breakfast.
At a rather late hour, remembered that we're supposed to be going to London tomorrow. Perhaps we should organise that then.
Alan is back to his usual habits. Around noon I suggested it was time to go shopping. Around 4pm, he got up. He did help with the shopping though. And then conspicuously didn't sulk when I wanted Blakes 7 instead of the rugby. (Very conspicuously. He might as well have sulked.)
Phone call from Alan after he landed, punctuated with announcements
Um, I'm at customs, I'll ring you back. Mobile phones have
their uses. I can still remember jumping out of my skin the first
time I heard a phone ring on the train and someone answer it. That
can't be more than ten years ago. Well, maybe fifteen. Apparently we
have rather backward phones compared with Japanese phones, though.
Alan returned bearing many tales but no interesting alcohol (
it on the train. Hmm). Japan sounds a fascinating place,
although a bit overwhelming too: stations with more than six
platforms confuse me. And whoever took him to Electric City should
be grateful they didn't lose him for days there. Made him empty his
pockets into my envelope for yen: having found coins from twelve
different countries in his absence and sorted them all out, I am
determined to keep them sorted now!
Having resisted coming to see Harry Potter again with me, he has now watched it several times over on the plane, and has decided it's not that good. Sigh. He also managed to see K-PAX, and decided that that one is good. I read that book some years ago, and couldn't persuade him out to see it in the cinema; so he's really not winning points for tact here.
Silly conversations led to my remembering that years ago, we had a borrowed copy of a Unix manual, which I think someone had surreptitiously printed out sometime before BSD additions. (Not sure on that, though.) I am sure that in the introduction or the first few pages, there was a reference to the keyboard buffer and a footnote explaining it in terms of a little gnome which carried the letters to the computer: and the buffer was a certain length because the gnome could only carry so many at once. No-one else I know remembers anything like this. I am trying to find this again, but I am failing miserably.
It is very hard to find this kind of thing on Google: as soon as you mention Unix and gnomes, you start getting that silly desktop environment instead!
Whilst hunting around banks to find out whether I could change them, came across one bank's very nice accessible webpage. Big fonts, no clutter, clear icons. Not five minutes later, stumbled upon a rather different approach on another site (also a bank, oddly enough): use the same stylesheet as the rest of the site, which is pale grey text on a white background, and put your commitment to ensuring accessibility in a paragraph with a class of "smalltext" -- which wants 10px fonts. (Could be worse: there was an even smaller class too!)
Whilst I am quite sure that my pages leave much to be desired, this is a technique I shall try not to employ. (Suggestions for improvement in that area are welcome, yes. Be gentle :))
important letters to reply totechnique is to balance them on top of the radiator (yes, this is impossible). Fished all the ones that fell down the back out and dealt with them.
Found that broken thermometer barometer he got from Ebay, which has apparently been evaporating into my room for months. Found a collection of out of date asthma medicine. Found books that were supposed to be at the second-hand shop by now. Found stuff in the first-aid kit with expiry dates of May 1995 (oops, this one is my fault).
Gave up and found the wine instead.
I have a plan for the future. After Haider, Pauline Hanson, and now this, why don't people wanting to cast a protest vote cast it for the left for once, or just spoil the paper? Otherwise they keep ending up electing people.
Finished talk write-ups. Now to remember what happened when for the main one.
Soonturns out to be tomorrow. Mad rush to find yen. Luckily, someone returned just the right amount to one of the banks here. Fortunately, I have finished the washing from the last trip.
Went out for a meal and bumped into friends just outside the door. They came to eat too :) Justin keeps threatening a restaurant review site, so we provided him with ammunition for it.
Still ploughing through write-ups of talks. linux.org.uk ran out of discspace at an inconvenient time. Grumble.
I find the thought they actually got onto the outward plane with them worrying :)
The talk got us another meal out at an amazing restaurant the name of which I lamentably have forgotten. Liam brought us leaflets of things to do in Dublin and recommended the Viking Splash.
Meal with a lot of ILUG people in the evening. I found margaritas on the menu. Yum. Or something that came in jugs, anyway.
Discovered on the phone to Alan that it wasn't just a quick visit. We're away for a week. Argh. Hoped he'd packed me lots of clean socks, because I hadn't realised that.
remember to do thislists for remembering too late tomorrow. Went to pub instead (combined LUG meet), where we overwhelmed the staff with food requests.
I won't be able to check email on my usual address from Guadec (damn firewall...), but I might catch stuff sent to telsa at (www|ftp).linux.org.uk. If I look :) Don't expect fast replies.
please print this all on the same pagegames with various applications, feeding them maps until they (and I) were sick. Nat frightened the life out of me by being under the impression that it started tomorrow. I am not that ready. But all that is left is the laptop and printing out the timetable and getting the phone tariff changed to allow me to send text messages to international numbers and... Oh. Not at all ready, then.
BBC News 24 had a rolling interactive bulletin of headlines with five times as much about the death of the Queen Mother as any single other stoey. Clearly, absolutely nothing of any urgency or importance has happened anywhere across the globe today.
Eating-up-scraps-day. Alan has discovered how to combine old mashed potatoes with beetroot and cheese. I'm not sure he should be praised for this.
Learned the Spanish for Where are the (women's) toilets?, I am allergic to shellfish and I want to go to.... Feel somewhat under-prepared for Spain.
Just after midnight, watched my Gnome fish get ill and die. This is possibly my stupidest contribution to Gnome: persuading someone that he should write the code for the fish to float upside down on April Fool's Day. Better (worse?) yet, it has been localised! Apparently Spain has its own special day for this. I am so penitent. Think of the hours that could have been saved if this has not happened. We might have had a flight simulator hidden in Gnumeric by now.
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.)