The more accurate diary. Old stuff.

Warning: These are old.

March 2004

March 31st

Alan spent a long time on Ebay and travel sites today. Wonder what he's up to.

Daf and Gareth both round, so Alan attempted to distract me by cooking. Incredible amounts of, um, atmosphere generated by this process. Kitchen still, um, atmospheric, hours later.

Gnome 2.6 crept out whilst we were still in March. This means that everyone is going to compile and build it and run it for the first time on the first of April. Oops. This in turn means that everyone not in a Spanish or Mexican locale is going to be fretting about their Gnome fish.

March 30th

Sun! Blue sky! Only moderate wind! (Yes, Jordi, this entry is for you. No rain today. Hah.) Clearly time to renew acquaintanceship with Joe's Ice Cream Parlour. Yum. Wandered along the seafront. Someone has stolen our bridge and put it in the Rec (recreation ground). I dunno, you can't leave anything anywhere these days.

Apparently we shall be getting the Slip bridge back though. Just as well: every fair and circus that comes to Swansea uses the Rec, and if there is a wobbly bridge there, things might get confusing.

Installed the Fedora beta for laughs. Someone told me it has a Welsh installer. Couldn't find it. Learned interesting amounts about anaconda in the process, though. Would have been more entertaining had Daf not been standing over my shoulder making interested comments and comparing it with the Debian installer, which he is apparently translating. You wait, Daf, I bet I can break that too.

Failed to break the installer and reduced to incredibly petty RFEs on it, but produced gratifying chaos on attempting to run the beta. Telling it to use DHCP on a network with no DHCP may have been my fault, but I foresee a long stay at Hotel Bugzilla in the near future.

March 29th

Out to Welsh class in the morning, returned to find Alan awake. And tidying. Scared now.

Got fed up of ever more heaps of Alan-junk on my desk (including the clothes brush: Why is this here? Well, it needs to go somewhere. What about in the wardrobe with the clothes We'll never find it there No, I do not make this up). Gave up and joined in the madness. Found all my old heaps of Stuff To Be Sorted Later (which live tidily on the shelves). Tipped this out on the desk. Went through them. Edited highlights include: three CDs which turned out to contain the beta (alpha?) for RH 9.0; phone numbers for all manner of people and places; three screwdrivers; three pairs of scissors (the only one Alan regularly steals is the left-handed one, blunting them and wrecking his cutting at the same time); screws; sellotape; a pack (pack, not deck) of playing cards; GPG fingerprints; the lifetime warranty for the Maglite I have broken; cleaning cloths; a £3 phonecard; a pingus business card (well, paper), from LinuxTag 2000 or so... and the bloody clothes brush. Still. Threw it at Alan. Later discovered it sitting on top of my laptop. Escalation imminent, as soon as I can find somewhere appropriate to put it.

Desk much clearer now. Shelves clean and cleaned.

Out to LUG in the evening. Our meeting pub is closed. Returned to seven missed phone calls, two emails, one voicemail message (I didn't even know we had voicemail) and varied IRC plaints along the lines of Help! Where are we?. Argh.

March 28th

Feeble efforts to catch up with email. Forgot completely about the clocks, and realised too late that it was not three o'clock and time to go down to St Helens (local rugby ground: I never know whether the Ospreys are there or in Neath, but this time I did know) for a match, but four o'clock and kick-off. Sigh.

Alan had a blitz of tidying today without telling me. He cleared a table of paper stopping stickiness adhering to a collection of clean clothes and put all the clothes on the sticky stuff. He put a gigantic cardboard box on top of the box for saving cardboard for recycling. He couldn't get the vacuum to work and blamed me for reprehensibly vacuuming up the plaster dust: the plaster dust he had caused pulling all the paint off a newly-painted interior wall to see whether the damp was spreading. Conclusion: yes, it is; no, no time to do anything until the summer, so we now have great holes in the wall for the entertainment of guests.

Now he wants to take a pile of books to the second-hand shop, but recently he rearranged all my heaps of sorted books into one giant pile of books and doesn't know which of them are to go. There is going to be a great deal of trouble if he takes the wrong ones down. He doesn't read books but refuses to part with any of his rubbishy scifi and A Bright Boy's Guide to Electronics and Blowing Up the House. I do read books, a great deal, but apparently it is mine which are in the way.

March 27th

Planned expedition into town called off after Alan slept through the entire morning. Being a student must be hard work.

Rugby day today. Lots of it. Wales seemed to think they were New Zealand, chucking the ball about without heed for whether someone was there to catch it and somehow getting away with it. The commentators on S4C compared it with something else: Maen nhw'n edrych fel San Francisco 49ers. I am not up on American football so I have no idea whether this is a compliment or not.

Ireland beat Scotland (poor Scotland have not had a good competition) and collected a triple crown. And then in the evening came the big decider: France versus England. Once the reflink decided to work, discovered the referee was shouting in both languages at once. Number three! Get back, it's not out yet! Non, non, c'est bon.. I have forgotten all my French, so I have no idea what most of it was about. Pooh, this is not the point of the reflink. The point of the reflink is to hear all the bits they'd rather you didn't. :)

Put a few clocks forward before going to bed. This week, for sure!

March 26th

Alan asleep for much of the warning and then came and wandered around behind me so I couldn't slide the chair out without wheeling over his toes. Refrained (valiantly, under sore provocation).

Attempted to make sense of his timetable for the next term. When does it start? Don't know. Well, what about this show, then? Will term have finished by then? Don't know.

March 25th

Alan apparently finished term today although he didn't tell me until the following day.

March 24th

Long time no diary. No-one noticed, though. Phew!

No release of Gnome 2.6 today. Boo hiss. Consequently no local release party. This is the really serious result. No party! Grr!

Swept into town shopping with the fixed intention of buying something smart to wear. I wear smart things so rarely that every time I need to, I have to go and buy them. And I know nothing (and care rather less) about fashion. Although I liked the things I kept seeing over the winter: like combat trousers in khaki or purple with tassles and strips of cloth dangling off everywhere. But then, they were purple, and purple is good. (And wonderful for annoying Alan. I don't actually have anything that's purple, but whenever I threaten to buy clothes, he asks, please, not more bloody purple.)

So hijacked Sharon from work to take me shopping. Sharon knows all about these things. Sharon enjoys it. Sharon made me try on all manner of things I would never have considered. And says nice things as well as tactful things.

And then I bought the thing I nearly bought last Thursday. I wonder if Sharon will ever forgive me...

March 23rd

How jolly. Someone tried to get into the machine that hosts the Gnome website. This is not the box which runs the Gnome mailing lists, nor yet the box which hosts the CVS. But when you have a release due and lots of release notes ready to go onto the website, it helps to have a website to put them on whose integrity you trust. Reinstall time, I suspect.

Fed Alan in the evening, and sniffled at him that I still couldn't collect the email which was spooling up on the address at the bottom of this page. He had completely forgotten this, and went to sort things out. It still didn't work. Finally, it emerged that firewall rules should not contain typos. Ahem.

Since the second of February, that address has remained unread. Thank goodness for spamassassin. It had got most of the 4500+ spam and tagged it; and left me merely 300 to kill by hand. And 20 legit emails. I shall try to reply to them all now, but I apologise in advance for the tardiness. 20 out of 4500. That's not a good percentage. Spamassassin already traps some non-spam, so I can't just lower the filter threshold. (And if yours was in that pile, I'm sorry, but I just nuked the folder.)

March 22nd

Whee. We have enough people to continue the Welsh course. Promptly had the hardest lesson I can ever remember. My brain hurts now.

Sharon round in the evening to rescue me from my I need to buy clothes and I am hopeless at it gloom with intelligent questions and suggestions.

At quarter to midnight, Alan decided he was hungry and that nothing in the house would cook fast enough to assuage this. He disappeared and returned about half an hour later with noodles from a take-away. I swear that the packet noodles we have will cook faster than that, but ah well.

March 21st

Went around the house putting all the clocks forward. Alan followed behind putting them all back.

Apparently this was not the weekend for the clocks to go forward. Whoops.

March 20th

Alan had a lecture in the morning, to his disgust. On a Saturday. He got back in good time to watch the rugby and there was much screaming in the house as Wales went ahead in the second half, and then much depression as yet again they lost. I am getting tired of played excitingly, but lost now. I want to see played excitingly, but won.

March 19th

Alan spent much of the day asleep recovering from his efforts yesterday, or avoiding me as I tried to establish what exactly he thought his movements over the next month are going to be.

March 18th

Whizzed into town with Alan to buy much-delayed shopping and clothes and stuff. He hates this even more than I do, which is saying quite a bit. He also won't wear wool. This does narrow his choices down quite a bit, but not in a helpful manner.

Returned with tempers intact. Shocked.

March 17th

Something of a translation frenzy going on over in Gnome-cy (Gnome in Welsh) land. The release is imminent and we keep finding new strings to do. Ended up just throwing everything provided to me into CVS as it came.

March 15th

Argh. Alan's idea of putting socks away is to pile them all into unmatched heaps and put them in the bottom shelf which receives no light. Had to find the torch to find them without putting the light on, since Alan is apparently allergic to light before about 10am.

Argh argh. To continue on the Welsh course, we need a minimum of six people, and it looks like we have five and thus no class in the summer. Wail. I don't suppose anyone reads this in Swansea and is thinking Gosh, I shouldn't have stopped halfway through the pellach course, I wonder if it runs in the day time, I have spare time currently? It would be terribly helpful if they were. :(

Argh argh argh. I have lost some stuff I wrote. I had it there a week ago. And I haven't deleted much recently. And I have done backups. I just can't remember the name of the bloody file.

March 14th

Oh ugh. Alan has been helpful. There is a room in the house with several bookcases, and the clothes airer (thing you spread clothes out on when you have no washing line for them to dry) in the middle and (regrettably) piles of clothes to put away (because you can't get into the wardrobe due to stuff in the way).

Most of the books are mine (surprise), and I can't reach the bookcases to put them away in the right places. So they sit in heaps.

Alan has tidied.

He has swept up armfuls of books and shoved them any old how into any space on the bookcases so now I have the Narnia books next to a collection of Garner essays which is next to old Ngaio Marsh detective stories which is next to Sheri S Tepper which is next to study notes for Shakespeare which is next to women's history in the Victorian period. Yes, all very fun to browse, but not when I am looking for something like the third in a series which usually sit together.

March 13th

Grr. Was up and at the bus stop in plenty of time to catch a bus to Briton Ferry to get to a school where some revision lessons for an exam I am taking were being held. Bus came into the bay, deposited passengers, and backed out before we could get on. This generally means it is early and going to wait. Ten minutes after it should have returned, queue getting restive. Twenty minutes after it should have returned, Telsa at the information desk asking where her bus was. Staff have no idea either. Thirty minutes after it should have returned, revision lessons started and Telsa sitting in expensive taxi en route to school, having had to go to the cashpoint to pay for it. Not remotely impressed. Taxi fare plus lesson price plus sandwiches equals expensive day.

Returned courtesy of lift from friends of friend and bumped into friends in Tesco (where buying more expensive stuff). Another lift! Out later to same friends for meal out which was yummy. Wish I could make cakes like that.

March 12th

Alan has been buying me more things he thinks he remembers me saying I wanted on Ebay. This one is nice, though: a proper phone. I can never hear well on mobile phones, or any of the phones which have tiny speakers and the buttons in the piece that goes to your ear. I am feeling all nostalgic for proper phones like we used to have. And he found me one. It is bright red and has one heck of a loud ring, and goes ding when someone is on the extension. (This amazed Alan: he has apparently never heard of this before.) It looks just like the hotline to the Prime Minister or UNIT you get in old Dr Who episodes. I am going to print out a label and sellotape it to the phone with something suitably impressive or silly on the label and claim we got it just like that.

Out in the evening to a Welsh learners' evening. Quizzes and raffles and music and singing. Much fun. Alan won a raffle prize of chocolates. There were three left by the end of the night. He says that he didn't eat many and other people ate the rest. Hmm. Remembered not to drink too much as have to be up and alert tomorrow. Good Telsa.

March 11th

Horrible start to the morning with the news from Spain. So sorry to hear of it.

March 10th

Poor, poor Alan. Had to be up for a lecture in the morning. What a shocking state of affairs. I think there was a demonstration at the university, too. I don't know why, but there is some threat of closing some university departments here (to move them elsewhere within the university of Wales structure, I think?) The poor old philosophy department is in the thick of it again, too. Ten years ago or so, there was a long-running dispute between that department and the university administration and a couple of lecturers were temporarily suspended. They continued teaching in the nearby pub for ages before it was all sorted out.

Alan managed not to fall asleep on his return from his horribly early (ahem) start.

March 9th

A day of phone calls: started by being on the phone to Evangelia talking rubbish which will doubtless confuse her research :) Ended by a conference call which ran into a small hitch: What, we can have person A on the line to person B and person C, but only one at a time?

Finally got around to going out for a meal. Choices somewhat narrowed. Our favourite restaurant has shut due to the illness of the chef. Our other favourite was shut for a week. Ended up outside a rather fancy restaurant with set menus and strange combinations (no, not the infamous one where the chef complained about the uneducated palates of us Swansea peasants) and went in. Weird. One of the best pieces of meat I have ever tasted, in a sauce that was all oily and soggy veg. Light and fluffy starter and then a cheese plate that clearly had come out of the fridge. So cold you couldn't taste the difference between the cheeses.

March 8th

Alan starts a new set of modules today.

March 7th

Did not enjoy the rugby. Well, enjoyed parts. Did not enjoy two Welsh tries being disallowed, or a couple of the French staying on the field. The last two minutes (clawing back to within a try) were alright, but Wales still lost. Won one, lost two. Two games left. Should (should) win the final one. But the next one is against England, who have just lost a very long unbroken run of victories and will doubtless be looking for a fifty-point margin just to make a point.

March 6th

Enjoyed the rugby. For once the ref-link worked. This interactive television stuff gives you a choice of audio for the sport. BBC is not as dire as ITV for rugby commentary, so it is not necessary to switch away from the main commentary merely to keep your sanity and television intact. There were almost heavy things thrown at the telly in the World Cup here. So you can have the TV commentary; the local-to-the-side radio commentary; utter silence (bliss); or the link to what the referee is saying (which is frequently broken). It can be quite interesting.

March 5th

Coo. Something I sent to NTK made it in. I feel all special.

Alan has finished his other exam now. But not his essay. Apparently the company he was writing about for the essay had changes happen and he has to fit those in now.

Alan doesn't like essays. They're all waffly, apparently, with no right answers.

March 4th

Gareth got the keys to his new house today and disappeared with a van to collect all his furniture. He reappeared with all the furniture at about 10pm and we went up to help put it in the house. He had, of course, a couple of very large chairs, and a very small door. Much fun was had by all. Except possibly Gareth :)

I think Alan may have left one of his exams early today. I am not too worried for him. It was the IT exam.

March 3rd

Out for a meal. Discovered that if I have a cold, I can eat the hot and sour soup at the Vietnamese restaurant.

Alan is revising hard for exams. Hence we were out for a meal. Um.

March 2nd

Alan has not bought me 200 glow sticks. Instead it was 100. In his AD&D quest he has also discovered 50-foot lengths of rope on Ebay.

March 1st

St David's Day today, so lots of children wearing national dress. The evening paper will doubtless be full of pictures tomorrow.

After the appearance of yet another silly thing on EBay (the local university), got into a discussion with Alan about the site. Concluded that EBay is in fact the AD&D shop, and it should be possible to buy ten foot poles there. Alan went off to revise (so I thought) and later emerged to announce that he had found swords, armour, spell books and ten-foot poles. He had not thought to look for food ration food ration food ration, nor for Cure Light Wounds. But we feel sure they are there.

He has apparently also bought me 200 glow-sticks because he thought I would like them.

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.)