The more accurate diary. Really.

Warning: These are old.

July 2002

August 1st

Failed to get even half-way through the crossword today. I suppose it's a good sign that this is unusual.

Lots of phone calls and visits from people. Clearly it's social day. Also, I can blame crossword failure on all this.

Things you don't want to see when logging into the box that hosts these pages:

Important: Over the next few weeks we plan to transfer normal shell users...
Then a long explanation. Then
If you don't like it, diddums :) The Evil Administrators

Went upstairs to remonstrate with one of said evil administrators, since I bet his account doesn't move. No fair. Did not win. Expect to have to update bookmarks some time.

Cheered myself up by ordering stuff off the web.

July 31st

Got my photos (the real sort, not the digital camera sort) back and looked at the Canada trip. My thumb makes far too many appearances.

The bookshop appears to be moving all its upstairs books to downstairs. This is not good news at all: are they halving their stock? Whatever will I do?

July 30th

Sister gone. Sniff.

Toys arrived for Alan. He has disappeared upstairs with them. Ho hum. Difference between us highlighted. He went for the card first. I went for the documentation.

Mentioned the discovery that the SMS ring tone is morse to Alan. He looked blank and said Yes. And? He has known all this time and never mentioned it to me. Meanie.

July 29th

Someone's mobile phone bleeped with exactly the same tone as mine in the market whilst we (sister and I: Alan was working) were there today. I managed to restrain myself for hunting for mine, and then realised as it went off again quite why it was the same tone as mine. bi-bi-bip bee-beep bi-bi-bip. bi-bi-bip bee-beep bi-bi-bip.

It's morse. It's SMS in morse. And it has only taken me a year to realise. Argh! (Of course, now I am thinking that it should do initials of people ringing me so I know whether to answer or not without even looking at it :))

Blew up lots of balloons and declared it Alan's birthday party. He looked faintly bemused. He is, however, now allowed to make use of the presents my sister brought him. A penguin radio. And a horn -- one of those curved brass ones with a large rubber ball on the end to squeeze -- for getting my attention. Seems sister is fed up of Alan answering the phone and maintaining a running commentary as he wanders the house looking for me. So she thought he'd like something very loud.

Alan is delighted. I am dubious. I foresee a very loud week.

July 28th

Sunny weather, so walked over to pub to meet friends. Then raced for the bus to get to the cinema to see the Scooby Doo film. (Well, you didn't think Alan could be stopped from seeing it, did you?) Lots of fun.

I have a million messages about cherry and olive stoners and half a dozen web sites I can look at. I still don't understand why they are such specialised things. They're just two pieces of metal with a bendy bit, after all. And why I can't find them locally baffles me. Why do I need the web for two pieces of metal and a bendy bit? Thanks to everyone who mailed suggestions.

July 27th

Up spectacularly late. Whoops. To friends in the afternoon to catch up on old times and new news.

Discovered pile of borrowed books at Leila's: took them back and borrowed some more.

Out in the evening (again, ouch) for meal at Angelettos, Alan's favourite restaurant. Failed to cover ourselves in glory by not knowing why the chef's computer was ill.

July 26th

Into town for such necessities as Welshcakes and books. Managed not to buy any books. Sister didn't manage though :)

Returned to discover an attempt to deliver another computer had failed. Alan was very sad. They tried again later and arrived with a box which I am quite convinced would never have fitted through the door of the old house. Alan was then very happy.

Out with friends in the evening.

July 25th

Sister visiting today. The plan was simple. Car to Edinburgh airport, plane to Bristol airport, coach to Bristol, train to Swansea. (About the only form of transport she didn't use was hovercraft.) She rang from Bristol to say the train had been delayed. She rang somewhat later to say it didn't seem to have moved much further. I wandered down to the station to meet her and discovered it still hadn't moved much further. Discovered it was a Virgin train. My heart sank.

Her 100-minute train ride arrived somewhat late. The overhead We are extremely sorry for the late arrival of this train tannoy claimed that it was due to a member of the train crew being late at York. The announcements on the train were completely different: and were backed up by a member of staff on the station. Ignore them. See that train there that just arrived? That broke down and the train behind it had to push it along. And no, we don't have Virgin complaints forms at the station. You'll need to write a letter

Train arrived, and people just poured off it. It was like one of those comedies where fifty people get out of a mini. Sister had been in the quiet carriage, sneaking out when she wanted to ring me. (The quiet carriage is mobile-free and Walkman-free and so on. Lovely -- when it works.) Also in the quiet carriage had been a family with screaming toddlers with a parent singing Row row row your boat at volume. Delightful.

Virgin's policy is only to refund if you were an hour late. Amazingly enough, the train got in just under an hour late. I don't think this is coincidence.

Ah well. Sister successfully transported. Complete with luggage.

July 24th

More Edge of Darkness but they'll have to come back to watch it all :) Shopping raid in the afternoon. Discovered that Chuggs, a local secondhand furniture dealers beloved of both landlords and students, has, among the sofas and beds and butter churn (I think) and endless wardrobes, one slightly more up to date article: a Sinclare C5. It is not for sale though.

LUG in the evening. Arrived late and left early, but managed to fit a curry in anyway, after the pub we met in decided it wasn't serving food. Grumble. Bad pub, bad.

July 23rd

Friends visited, complete with dog. All the computers are still intact, although we narrowly rescued my slippers from him (big silly ones in the shape of Gromit from A Grand Day Out). Walked Tyler down on the beach. He'd never seen the sea before and discovered waves when chasing an errant stick into them. He seemed to enjoy it except for the taste. (This is Swansea Bay, mind you, so this is understandable.) Walked is a bit of a misnomer really. We walked. He ran, propelled, tore, raced, careered, belted... I don't think he has it in him to walk.

Much chatter and fun in the evening (and watching the start of Edge of Darkness before realising that it would take until 3am to finish watching it). Note for the future: I do not think that margaritas and Baileys mix well.

July 22nd

In this era of technological advance, mechanical bread-makers, frozen omelettes, juicers, instant croissant mix, and super-multi-seventeen-function Whizz-o-Matics, none of which I want, why is it impossible to buy a very simple device: an olive or cherry stoner?

I don't want one attached to a garlic press. I don't want one which doubles as a lemon squeezer. I don't want an electric appliance where you feed olives (or cherries) in at the top and catch the stoned article at the bottom until it jams and you have to take it apart. I just want a loop of metal with a prong at one end and a concave dome at the other with a hole in it.

July 21st

Alan got up at midday today. Clearly tomorrow he will be up at 8am. I really believe this.

Messed about doing five things at once. Didn't finish any of them (except for watching Blakes 7 on TV and getting the washing up done, which Alan promptly rendered necessary again).

July 20th

Still haven't found time to write up OLS trip. Argh!

Alan only got up at 4pm today, recovering from his 4am rising the morning before.

Turned the telly on for the first time since we got back. Apparently it still works. There was nothing on though...

July 19th

Awakened at 0415 by the alarm clock. Now I have proof that it is not I who switches it off. It was for Alan, who was getting the 0530 train for some reason I never quite made out.

Assigned myself some bugs to keep me occupied, then forgot all about them investigating the dependencies for a very strange game that is apparently what Mandrake developers do in their spare time.

Out in evening for a meal with friends. Justin keeps swearing to start a Swansea restaurant database so we shall never have to work out the optimal location again. I don't eat shellfish, but love olives and garlic; Alan can't stand garlic but eats anything else except sushi; Justin considers herbs an abomination; Sharon and Dick require good coffee... Quite how we're going to work this out I don't know.

Alan returned just in time to provide the liqueurs. Hic.

July 18th

Rough paraphrase of the World at One headline on the radio: trouble for Tony Blair as left-winger wins union election. You know, I could have sworn than Labour was supposed to be on the left. As were unions...

Finished the Guardian crossword. About time. This week was getting tiresome.

Builders not here. Why not?

July 17th

Do not store fruit on damp surfaces for a week. Uurgh.

July 16th

Builder returned with special tube. Apparently fitting a pump takes ages. It also necessitates tripping the power. Suddenly the music went off (in the sense of no longer there) and the UPS went off (in the sense of Wheek! Wheek! Wheek!).

Journalling filesystems are very nice.

July 15th

Friend kindly pointed out the reason for my procmailrc woes. It helps if you include the entire recipe. Two characters. Two little characters. That's all I missed out. And consequently sent all my mail streaming into one folder.

Found (maybe) a Google bug. Boggled. Realised that if it's taken me that long to find one, it's pretty good really.

Builders finally materialised with pump for cellar. Arrived, measured, then announced that they needed a special tube, and spent the rest of the day looking for one.

July 14th

Feeling better. Played with the RH beta some more. Every time I find a bug, someone else has already entered it.

Spent ages reading the Nethack READMEs in order to build it. Then Alan told me he had rpms sitting on his FTP site. Nethack for the S390: dear me. Rebuilt that, spent reclaimed time dying a lot. Should perhaps read the manual. Things seem to have changed!

July 13th

Played with the RH beta, now I finally have it. Broke things. Hee. GNOME 2 looks really pretty though. I'm so happy. Took me ages to get a GNOME crash, but I managed it in the end.

Barbecue at Justin's in the evening. Dick was there, with a bad cold. Began to think he'd transferred it to me in about two hours flat, and retreated early. Managed to stay long enough to try some of the really hot sauce we'd bought in Canada. One spot nearly burned a hole in my tongue. Dick and some of the others spread liberal quantities of it all over the food and ate it with every sign of enjoyment. Strange people.

July 12th

Tried to get the RH beta onto an old slow box. Managed it eventually. Having failed to fix my own, spent a lot of the day trying to troubleshoot someone else's X problems. Took ages. Not entirely fixed, but everyone involved agreed they learnt lots :)

Alan cooked. Good Alan.

July 11th

Finished all the washing. Phew. Experimented with new procmail rules. Discovered anew the reason why, when I'd got it to do something basic, I documented it. Things went horribly wrong.

All I wanted to do was to change some of the patterns in a .procmailrc remarkably similar to this one, so that instead of File in this place, they became File in this place, and send another couple of it to this account. Once I had a pile of mail there, I could then try SpamAssassin on a test mailbox before using it on my real mailbox. Unfortunately, I can't even get selected stuff to bounce over to the test mailbox at the moment. What instead happened was that all mail bounced to the test mailbox. Including stuff from addresses that I currently have /dev/null'd. Sigh.

I really really need spamassassin. Whilst we used ORBS, life was simple. Now I'm getting loads of spam, and it must go.

July 10th

Up late. Ugh. Finished reading email. Started replying to some of it. Dragged Alan out shopping.

In the evening, Alan dropped three CDs on my desk and said Limbo. This proved to be information, not an instruction. It was the Red Hat beta. The CDs don't like my CD drive. Boo hiss.

July 9th

Up bright and early. Then flaked out midway through day. Bed at some stupid time. I hate jetlag.

Alan amazed and awed at tidiness of house. Did his best to destroy it.

July 8th

Back. The astute will have guessed that I was away. Alan returned from Japan to London Heathrow, narrowly preventing his luggage from continuing on to Halifax; I met him there, we got on a plane for Newfoundland, and after some meandering and the inevitable conference (OLS), we have returned.

Looking at mail, I think I forgot to slot in my procmailrc for when I'm away. Ugh.

I didn't keep notes whilst there, so expect any write-ups to be both cursory and inaccurate.

June 13th

Apparently Alan's luggage caught up with him yesterday. And he returns today (or begins to. Timezones are complicated things) for stage two (three?) of his travels.

Ran out of things to throw out, tidy, or move to confuse him.

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.)

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