The more accurate diary. Old stuff

Warning: These are old.

March 2005

March 31st

There was a heap of decrepit computer equipment and peripherals on the hall floor this morning. They covered the entire floor. After I came back, they had all gone. Alan had sold the lot on Ebay. I am very happy and shall not delete all his Ebay cookies after all.

March 30th

Argh. Ten parcels. Curse Ebay, curse it. I spotted the postman through the door. He was shaking his sack out in a very disgruntled way. He thinks he has it hard. He at least gets to get rid of them.

March 29th

Weather was lovely yesterday, confounding all expectations of a bank holiday. It has returned to wet and windy today.

March 28th

A flying visitation from Alec, who appeared even larger than I remembered until he took all his motorbike gear off. (I tried part of this on, and looked like a mutant turtle as a result. I do not think I would make a biker.) Lots of catching up. Fun.

March 27th

Alan has completed his most successful Ebay auction ever. He has sold stuff for 99p. I am very happy. The reason it was 99p is that the shipping conditions were: buyer collects. Buyer collects all of it. Even if buyer wants only one of the items specified, buyer takes all the other items out of our house and out of our sight.

It is a fairly large collection of miscellaneous junk. And it occupies about a cubic metre. And it is going. Yes!

March 26th

Dragged Alan into town to get something from the Sheep Shop. They are out of practically everything except Grand Slam tshirts, which have clearly been re-ordered.

Ended up making a shopping list in a bar which does margaritas. Had a drink. Had another one. Rang friends. Come and drink margaritas with us! They came and drank margaritas with us. Went shopping. Returned home with shopping bearing a surprising resemblance to what we had meant to get. Clearly this is a tactic we should try again. Put everything away and sat down.

Just in time for Dr Who.

In a year's time, perhaps it will all have gone downhill and I shall laugh at this, but capsule review: absolutely great. We really enjoyed it. I grew up watching Dr Who so I am happy to see that the programme is still a family show. The adults get jokes about contemporary culture and the kids get monsters which burp. Alan laughed out loud at the burp. Mobile phones must be a real nuisance for scriptwriters today, but technology does bring the web with it, so that budding companions can search the web for the Doctor. During the programme she finds a Who is Doctor Who? (mid-show, no spoilers) website. After the programme, of course, we all went looking for it, and found Who is Doctor Who? (post-show, spoilers galore) had updated. Following links from that, I ended up on the BBC site, and discovered all the teasers and hints and trailers I have been avoiding until now.

Out to eat at new -- well, no, but we hadn't been there before -- restaurant, where I had such a.. erm, not wonderful main course that it was cleared away almost untouched. The waitress either didn't notice or didn't care and certainly didn't comment. We were quite late in eating, and I think they wanted us to just hurry up and go home so that they could close.

March 24th

I do not know whether more Ebay parcels have arrived or departed. I went out. Came back with the shopping for tea and brought back stuff to be kept in the fridge. Alan has put it in the freezer.

March 23rd

New Ebay record. Eleven sodding parcels at once. The postman thinks it is hilarious. He says his van is empty after one stop. Alan appears to be buying stuff, cleaning and fixing it, and reselling it at a profit. Beware!

Alan has done the shopping for tea and brought back stuff to be kept in the freezer. And put it in the fridge.

March 22nd

Still ill. Boring. Trying to decide whom to blame for it. Invited friends round in the hope of sharing the misery, and then went for curry in the hope of shelving it.

March 21st

Alan has gone through all the boxes on his shelves. (When he buys something that comes in a box, he keeps the box. Just in case.) And has taken everything which is now past its guarantee and disposed of the boxes. He has also found the equivalent of about two Ikea shelves' worth of kit he doesn't need, and ebay'd the lot. And filled three bin bags full of rubbish. I am very impressed.

I am not terribly well (and this is nothing to do with over-celebrating on Saturday, thank you, although no-one seems terribly inclined to believe this).

Discovered that S4C had not yet tired of reshowing the rugby and taped it properly this time. Hooray. I hope.

March 20th

Awoke at a moderately civilised hour. Cooked a monster fry-up, much to the surprise of one member of the party. (Wait, we went shopping after the game? Really? And bought sausages? I have absolutely no recollection of that at all.)

Back to Swansea, to watch the bits of the game we missed (all of it, in my case. Being short..) Discovered that Alan had videoed the wrong channel and the video had stopped halfway through, so it was spread over two tapes. Nice one. I shall buy the DVD.

Worse news to come. Much much worse. A friend had a ticket to the match. He went along with a large party from work. And apparently at the last possible minute (as in, at the turnstiles, counting upright bodies and tickets) there had been a spare. A spare! A spare! And he knew I was in Cardiff. And he had rung my mobile to offer it to me. And I hadn't got the message. Nooooooooo.

I am going to go and say bad words in private now.

March 19th

Today was the end of this Six Nations rugby series. Same old tournament as ever (see old journals passim, wherein I lament games involving scorelines which look more like cricket scores). With one vital exception. Wales not only won the expected number of games (which is about two out of five in recent history, and that's being kind and omitting two years ago); we won all the others too. Wales won every game they played. Wales won the Grand Slam.

I am very happy.

I wasn't in the stadium, but I was in Cardiff, enjoying the happy atmosphere. Anyone who has been keeping up with this journal since it started can probably guess how happy I am. Anyone else will just have to take my word for it.

March 18th

Off to Neath in the evening for the U21 game. Bumped into friends at the station and went with them. Via the pub. Wales beat Ireland. I hope this is a good omen.

March 17th

Alan is making dire threats against parcel companies who carry out stealth collections. We knew someone was coming to pick something up, so I made sure I could hear the doorbell (and the knocker) and didn't play loud music and so on. And sometime in the afternoon, someone crept up to the house and put a little card through the letter box explaining that they had been unable to deliver something.

Had a quick peek at Ebay. Tickets for the Wales-Ireland match are now in the stratospherically stupid range, by which I mean ten times the face value. I have had a better plan. The U21 game is the night before and tickets are cheaper for that than for the Ospreys game the same night (how?) which was the original plan for the evening.

March 16th

It gets increasingly hard to maintain a diary commenting on a diary which doesn't actually exist at the moment. (For those still under the impression that he is writing it in Welsh: he isn't. He was, but it has been stuck in June for months and months. You're not missing anything.)

Anyway, apparently he does intend to start it back up, but not until he has finished his project for his degree. That is due in late summer. So now you know.

March 14th

Shock. There has been no Ebay arrival today. It can't really be the case, but this seems like a first for months.

To make up for this, Alan went shopping. I returned to find a friend parking her car in the yard and wondering where we were. Good timing, that woman. Alan returned after she'd gone, bearing a pot of tester paint. You're supposed to test a piece of your wall with it before coating the whole wall. But apparently they're really really good for painting -- what else -- railway scenery. I painted pieces of the wall with it instead. He painted pieces of himself. He was aiming for the wall.

March 13th

Alan was too interested in cleaning the scenery up to come down and watch the rugby. Yes, the rugby is still going on. (And this is just the Six Nations: there is regional and other stuff too. :)) Wales did lots of cool stuff and then lost interest, but had won the game by then. There is one weekend left. All sorts of things might happen, but I am hoping that Wales beat Ireland. (If Ireland win by not very much and then France beat Italy by a gigantic margin, Wales will end up neither first nor second, but let's not think about that.)

March 12th

It is clearly ice cream weather. Friends visiting is always ice cream weather.

And then it was special meal at local restaurant weather. Well, no, but we went anyway.

March 11th

Friends down for the weekend. Nice evening.

March 10th

When I was little, there was no television in parliament. There was radio, and I think even that might have had restrictions on what could be broadcast. These days, we get both the Lords and the Commons on television, and it is a sad indictment on most of our channels when I find the parliament channel to be the best thing on. You are not allowed to use unparliamentary language in Parliament, which means in part that you can't call someone a liar. However, to my great entertainment, watching it tonight (as you do when you need background noise to tidy the room by) you can snipe at someone that That was a complete and total ... inaccuracy.

(It occurs to me that perhaps avoiding unparliamentary language is the most politically correct pastime of all. It's certainly political, and generally done by the people who most rail against political correctness.)

March 9th

Alan's latest venture into DIY shops (<span lang="en_US">home improvement stores</span>) in search of vital railway scenery or mise-en-scènes generally has resulted in his triumphant return with a large -- a very large -- quantity of PVA adhesive. Only now have I realised that this is not merely PVA adhesive. This is in fact near as no odds Marvin. Not Marvin the paranoid android. Marvin the glue brand name. Marvin the joy of primary schools everywhere. (Well, in the seventies.) Marvin which came with plastic spatulas. Marvin which stuck to your fingers (and palms, and elbows, and neck, and..) and dried to become transparent. Marvin which, when dry, you peeled off yourself though it was part of your skin. When you are seven, this is of course the height of joy.

Alan is not seven. But I defy any seven-year-old to have as much fun as he appears to be having.

March 7th

Bad news: the unelected bit of the EU is doing things the elected bit can't do anything about. Grr.

On a domestic level, more bad news: some fool has released a model railway map-making scale-drawing CAD thing, which means Alan can now start where he should have started in the first place and draw a map of his shelves and what he is trying to do. And then come and demand that I print things out for him.

(Yes, I completely forgot to update the diary, so this last week all arrived at once. Sorry.)

March 6th

I have a computer which has been sitting around for about a year waiting to go to a good home. Decided that sticking FC3 on it was better than leaving it with FC1 and a list of what to download as updates. Broke the installer. Alan thinks I have not lost my touch. I think he should have done the install.

March 5th

More international rugby: northern hemisphere versus southern hemisphere, for charity. We were destroyed. Feeling of supporting the losing side all too familiar; hope it doesn't persist tomorrow and next week.

March 4th

At the last LUG meeting in Cardiff, I left the headphones for my iriver behind. Decided I couldn't wait the rest of the month and hope they remained there. Onto the shuttle to Cardiff and over to the venue, collected headphones, back to Swansea... oh god, where is my scarf? Yes, this time, I have left my scarf behind.

Alan wants to know why I haven't sewn my gloves onto a long piece of string to pass through the arms of my coat yet. I am beginning to wonder.

March 3rd

Over to Carmarthen for LUG. Alan too busy mucking about with trains. There is a heap of proto-scenery all over the floor: pieces of wood, off-cuts of polystyrene ceiling tiles, solder, wire, and so on. And there is also a slab of scenery with railway on it which is under construction. I am not allowed to tread on it. The problem is, I can't tell the difference between the off-cuts and the article at the centre of the creative process.

Now I understand the need for the book.

March 2nd

After some weeks of messing about with trains, powering them, buying more off Ebay, and collecting stuff which might turn into scenery (a process which it emerges Alan has in fact never done: he just remembers relatives doing it), Alan has succumbed and bought a book with a title along the lines of Model Railway Scenery for Beginners. I think he should have bought this before the wood, sand (would you believe, there is special sand? We have a beach less than a mile away, but nooo, that won't do) and so on.

I went to a St David's Day lunch (yes, it was late). There was a raffle. When it came to pulling the raffle tickets out to see who had won, I was one of the people who had to pull a ticket out. I pulled my own out. Now I know how Dave Jones felt when he did that once at the kernel summit. The only trouble is, he got something computer-y, perhaps even a laptop? I got bubble bath. I feel short-changed :)

March 1st

St David's Day today, which generally means lots of children pottering about in little jackets or shawls and lots of adults wondering why it can't be a bank holiday (strangely, my diary thinks it is).

I thought we were going out to see a band tonight, but Alan thought he was getting on with his email, and I only realised when it was too late.

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.)