The more accurate diary. Really.

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On with the diary. If the fonts are wrong then this may explain it.

Warning: These are old.

April 2003

May 1st

I appear to have hooked half of an irc channel on the crossword. For a few months now, I and Chris have been trying to do it, and yesterday we had half a dozen. We're getting better, but now we need to figure out how to get the answers before the deadline rather than five minutes after it. This is going to be harder.

Elections today. England is doing its local council seats, Scotland is doing its Parliament, and Wales is doing the Assembly. We got a whole two votes to play with. Coo. Expected turnout is so appalling that I expect my votes to count double.

Found a video (in the library) that Alan will actually watch. The complete set of Bagpuss episodes. Alan, on seeing the mice declare a strike, decided that the mice must have read Marx. I had to tell him he was a bit late there: the sociopolitical analysis of Bagpuss had already been drawn...

April 30th

Apparently today's Welsh lesson was the last one of the first course, or of the first part of the course, or something. In theory, I can now ask Where do you come from originally? or Would you like coffee? Milk? Sugar? or observe that A protester was arrested (there was a reason for this, really there was) and understand the responses.

I am not convinced. However, part two starts next week. And then there's the pellach (further) course, said the tutor, and then the year after that you can take an exam, and after that... and after he'd mapped out the next five years of our life he paused. You're all going on, right?


Directed Alan to remove a piece of plank that has been adorning one of the rooms because It might be useful and watched the results. Then got him to do all manner of other things and sent him upstairs to fetch something I needed. He hasn't come back since.

I think he is hiding.

April 29th

Ran around tidying, sorting, organising, and so on. Alan was persuaded to cook tea as a reward. He got water over the floor and set the smoke alarm off.

April 28th

First Welsh lesson for two weeks (well, other than watching other people translate software). I have forgotten everything.

LUG in the evening. Sits had a bright idea which I hope he remembers to bugzilla. Gareth and I finished one of the evening platters for the first time ever (by buying less).

April 27th

Gareth and Chris round to attack more translations. Conrad decided it was his job to cook. He can visit again. Cheesecake fears well-justified: unveiled the amazing collapsing cheesecake. I blame the veggie not-gelatine. What was wrong with horse hoof derivative anyway?

April 26th

Spent morning making same cheesecake as last time, only with the vegetarian gelatine thing. Fretted. Crossed fingers.

Group shopping trip in the afternoon, collecting such essentials as bread, candles, and a bin in the shape of a sheep (it was all fluffy, what can I say? Also, it annoys Alan). I was meant to be buying a doorstop, but never mind. Fed all the election leaflets to the sheep. Spotted one thing in passing: the Tory leaflet advertising the fact that it was a Conservative government which introduced S4C and the Welsh Language Act. I could have sworn there was a bit more to the story than that.

April 25th

Got much further on the easter crossword with the help of friends on IRC. Interrupted by arrival of friends to visit. Out to eat. Back to drink. Hic.

April 24th

Oooh. Thunder. A very little thunderstorm, but it made a change.

I have been wondering where all our election candidates have been. If they want me to vote for them, they could at least bang on the door. Instead, we have a small tree of leaflets which tell me very little. Apparently turn out for this election (it's the Welsh Assembly) is expected to be very low. I think this is very bad. But at least it means my vote will count for more.

April 23rd

Found a pile of tapes I had forgotten all about. Oooh.

Someone came to interview Alan for some research. He made the fatal error of asking where to eat, which resulted in an excellent excuse to eat there too.

April 22nd

The put video on whilst eating tea plan failed. Boo hiss. Alan is simply determined not to like it. I shall wait for him to see it as an in-flight movie and come back telling me how wonderful it was.

April 21st

Lazy day. Stared at the crossword, made some soup, became mildly incensed by a bizarre story that the sugar industry is trying to influence the WHO to alter healthy eating guidelines and didn't do much else. Not sure Alan did even that much.

Got Alan to watch part of a video by putting it on whilst we were eating. It wasn't totally successful. Switched it off when he wandered away. Got a programme about a swindle (at least, according to the courts currently, although appeals are being mooted) to do with a quiz show here. Apparently it's been covered all over the world, but in case you managed to miss it, it all hinged on whether someone's coughs from the audience were intended to give answers to the person being asked. The documentary about it was on ITV, which is a commercial channel. Which means it had ad breaks. (Not all our channels do this.) The very first advert in the ad break was for (wait for it...) a cough suppressant. Wince.

April 20th

This x2x thing is weird but a lot of fun. I have X servers running on two boxes, and when I move the pointer off to the left on the main monitor, it appears on the other monitor. It has got a bit confused about the mouse buttons though: suddenly my left-handed mouse reverts to being right-handed, making for much entertainment when trying to select something. Even more fun are my Wait a minute, where's my pointer gone? moments, when I stare at the monitor only to find the pointer is now over on that other screen.

Asked Alan to chop up a couple of very hard-to-chop butternut squashes (which doubtless have a different name in the US). He split them into four pieces each and left all the skin on them. I sulked. Next day I discovered he'd quietly gone back and chopped them all properly and I hadn't noticed. Oops.

April 19th

More bright sun, so I... um. Stayed indoors. The weekly crossword is an Easter special, which means it is rather complicated. It doesn't even have the clues numbered.

Alan took over my computer in the evening to add something cool he was confident I would like to it. Spent much of the evening wondering what he'd done.

April 18th

Had a cooking morning, largely triggered by the realisation that an awful lot of food would go past its use-by date if I didn't. Amazing how much you can cook if the alternative is that it will go to waste. Freezer is going to be bulging. So are our stomachs.

Round to Justin's in the afternoon for a barbecue, games and DVDs. Turned out that all of us had bought too much chicken and decided to contribute it to the barbecue. I think the cat is going to be a very happy cat this weekend.

April 17th

Perhaps I did need my jumper yesterday after all. I have a cold today...

Weather is beautiful, but of course expected to break over the weekend.

April 16th

In America once, Alan grabbed his coat and got a strange look. It's sunny. It's not going to rain. Just in case.. No, you don't understand. It won't change today. It's not like that here. In cold weather you still make sure you have something you can take off in case it brightens up. And in bright weather you still carry along a jumper or a coat or a hat or something. Just in case.

This is the only explanation I have for trailing my big woolly jumper around in my bag today whilst everyone was in tshirts. And of course I didn't need it at all.

LUG in the evening. After Alan greeted every Alan-treat from the shopping I got today with Still got some of that left. Gone off that. Oh, we've got loads of that anyway.., I might have known that he'd manage to order the one thing he didn't say he wanted or needed as a dessert at the pub. And look all innocent when I noticed.

April 15th

The single item Amazon said they have not yet sent arrived today in the morning post. Some hours later, Amazon announced they were sending it. Lots of rings on the doorbell today so I kept running to answer it in case it was the rest. No. Parcels for Alan. Meter-readers. Random things.

Eventually Alan answered the door to receive my parcel. He promptly threatened to put it high up where I couldn't reach it. For no good reason other than It would be funny.

Figured out the procmail/spamassassin problem of the other day. The solution was blindingly obvious as soon as I pasted it onto IRC to complain about. And it's my fault. Yay me. (I can't spell directory names. This is entirely credible. The more problematic aspect is that I could have sworn I'd pasted it from a working one...)

April 14th

RH 9-ified the laptop. What a change. It used to take me most of the day, with frequent wails of Alan! It wants to know more things! I can sleep-walk through this now, although now I need to learn this complicated DHCP thing instead of just telling it its IP will be this, and the gateway that, and proxy over there, and all these other things I never really understood. Perhaps I should try to install Debian again, just to subdue my blasé confidence.

Amazon has apparently sent all but one of my books now. Since they are still not here, stared helplessly at the crossword until Chris and Mike enlightened me. Now staring helplessly at the remaining two. We shall never win and get fancy dictionaries at this rate.

Alan has still not done his diary. He's going to have trouble remembering what happened when at this rate, never mind working out how to say it in Welsh. I shall start putting spurious things in here to see whether he uses mine as a memory aid.

April 13th

Put some of the stuff back on the shelves in a different order. (This is my definition of tidying.) Found a pile of old cards from that Rage: the... erm, something card game that spun off from the White Wolf role-playing game. I never knew anyone to play it with, and now have a pile of them and no clue what to do with them. Other than get rid of them. It would make more sense to get rid of them to someone who wants them than to feed them to the bin-monster. Perhaps I can make millions on Ebay. (Quick check to see.) Hmm. Perhaps not.

April 12th

I am going to stop reloading the Amazon page which shows when it's going to dispatch my order. Every time I do, the date gets later. I want my books! It's been over a week since the final item should have arrived in stock.

Out for food in the evening. Shocked everyone at the table by asking for more dill pickle things: apparently I was the only person there who liked them.

April 11th

Alan only got up before lunchtime because I woke him to see if he was thinking of getting up in daylight at all today. He wasn't entirely grateful: apparently he got to bed well into the small hours.

Went looking for something in the piles of paper on the shelves. Decided to tidy. Pulled everything off them and then got sidetracked. Alan was kind enough to observe he'd noticed I was tidying. Translated, this means Why is there nowhere to sit down?

One of the reasons for getting sidetracked was discovering the video of Twin Town, a film set in and made in Swansea. People keep asking me about it, but all I knew was that I remember a competition in the local paper to update Dylan Thomas' description of Swansea (he called it a lovely ugly town) in which the description pretty shitty city came up and some people were annoyed to find this was by way of being publicity for this film. Which I then missed, because you can't get Alan to the cinema unless you pick him up and carry him. (And then once you've missed it he sees it on a plane or something and tells you how good it was.) I found the copy I bought for four quid in a sale (videos are now very cheap compared with DVDs..) and.. well. As I say. Sidetracked. So I opened the wine and watched it.

I thought it was hilarious. I thought the comments on IMDb and the links to newspaper and reviews were even funnier. Perhaps you have to live here to get some of the jokes.

It was a good antidote to the rugby, at least. (More disaster.)

April 10th

Yay. Procmail and spamassassin work beautifully on one machine but not another machine (on which I do not have root). Worse yet, they work for everyone else on the other machine. I really do not want to learn about lockfiles, but it's something to do with that and being unable to write to the file I want junk dumped in.

The trees along the road are beginning to unfurl leaves. This is much more important than procmail woes.

April 9th

Finally (after burbling about it for months) got around to installing (well, invoking; it was already installed) spamassassin on the address at the bottom of the page. If you don't get a reply to a valid email there, I got it wrong...

April 8th

I have been waiting patiently for a book I want to read to return to the library. It was due back last Friday. I went in on Saturday and it was in transit (returned elsewhere and on its way home). Today I ring up to check, and someone took it out yesterday.

Alan thinks I am over-reacting. Alan is wrong.

April 7th

My first RH 9 bug. Woo :)

April 6th

Trimmed the current diary, moved the old one to its own file, updated the index to them all, and noticed that the first entries I have were from just over five years ago. I seem to have missed an anniversary somewhere.

April 5th

Over to Llanelli for more exciting events for Welsh learners. Alan up early! Got a questionnaire at the station to fill in about the journey. Alas, the one time I am invited for my opinions on the punctuality of the trains or the service in general is the one time we have a completely as-planned journey. (It's only a 15 minute ride though: if that manages to get delayed, things would be pretty bad.) Filled in the very small any other comments space in great detail regardless.

Day was fun. Even got to hear a crwth being played. What an amazing instrument. In the evening we had planned to go to a concert, but public transport failed us. Went to Justin's instead :) Played a crazy game where you have to avoid coming to the notice of the boss and thus being promoted to management. Then we found another game where the rules change every round. Oh, my head.

April 4th

Red Hat 9.0 (I'm putting a .0 there because my fingers just expect something after the first digit) is now on my machine and I have failed to break it so far. Haven't tried too hard. The sun was on the screen most of the day, so I spent the day spring-cleaning. Also attacked the wardrobes and heaps of to be put in the wardrobe clothing Alan has been ignoring assiduously for too long. Got him to admit that perhaps one or two (one or two? Half a shelf of..) articles were beyond redemption. Made him put them into the recycling heap and the about-to-be-dusters pile. Then when he'd gone, moved them so he can't sneak back in and retrieve them when I'm not looking.

April 3rd

My tape drive -- the one I didn't actually want, but got for Christmas one year along with promotion to back-up monkey -- has died. It is flashing the cleaning light and burping the new cleaning tape back out at me.

Alan had to clear space on one of the other boxes so we could do it over the network. I am sure all of this (find Telsa a cheap tape drive, put up with Telsa-tar-disasters, remind Telsa to do his stuff too, do it himself anyway because he doesn't trust me, and now investigate the dying drive) was more effort than actually doing the backups himself. Hee.

April 2nd

Weather still can't make up its mind what to do. Except shine on my screen. No idea what Alan is really doing, but he seems to be spending his free time creating rpms to drop into RH 9 before I have even installed it. He gave the CDs to someone else before I could use them. Eventually he condescended to burn some new ones. Better go and install it then.

He's also been messing with a new look for This time, it might even validate by default. (It'll never get installed, of course.)

April 1st

There really should be a rule about April Fool jokes having to be funny. ThinkGeek and NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day managed it (the APOD one is just bizarre), but that was about it.

They finished the crossword without me. Waah!

LUG in the evening. Someone had booked the upstairs room (the one we were told you can't book in advance) again. Hmm.

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.)