The more accurate diary. Really.

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Warning: These are old.

April 2005

April 29th

Choices, choices. Out to see the Hitch-Hikers film with friends (who all seem to have decided that it will be rubbish anyway but they'd better go and see it), or to the theatre to see something put on by a local kids' drama group? Alan couldn't decide so stayed at home. (I am coming to the conclusion that Alan is not terribly good at decisions like this.) I went to the theatre without him. And it was great. It was about the history of Swansea in Victorian times. I really enjoy history, but some parts were new to me even so, and I shall have to find out more.

I have not yet heard the verdict on the film.

April 28th

Oh dear. I have discovered a bad thing about this television. If it is recording, and you try to switch it off, it tells you it will stop recording, alright/yes/no?

Alan says it is a known bug.

April 27th

Alan attempted to educate me in the mysterious ways of the exciting new television. It took me less than four minutes to trigger an unamused silence and a What did you do? question. And a blank screen.

Other than that, it's actually quite good. This is an admission I was hoping not to have to make. It does digital and analogue. It is thinner than our current (no, old, I must get used to that now) one. It seems to have some sort of Sky-plus or Tivo-like capabilities, so that we can video stuff onto a hard drive instead of a video cassette. (There's a USB socket too. Now I know why Alan wanted it.) Not needing cassettes is a good thing, because I still haven't found the videos of the Six Nations in the heap of unlabelled cassettes and thus cannot record over any of them until I am sure they are not the rugby.

Once I had got the thing to play back something it had recorded earlier, it realised it needed to record something else. And promptly recorded that whilst playing the other thing back. Wow. I was impressed. This is going to be fun. I bet it takes us one week to fill the drive up with stuff we are never going to get around to watching.

April 26th

The exciting new television has arrived. Alan is happy. It's a television. Woo. We barely watch it anyway, so why do we need a new one?

April 24th

The true function of the digital camera is revealed. It is not for me at all. Like my iRiver, which keeps disappearing to be involved in Alan's MBA work -- I think he just likes my choice of bands, myself -- it is for Alan's benefit. Specifically, it takes good close-ups, so he can sell off extra pieces of railway and things that run on it.

Based on this history, I am now wondering whether the television is going to turn out to have a special hotline to CCTV of the Ffestiniog Railway or something.

April 23rd

I am taking a Welsh exam this summer. I can't think what possessed me. For part of it, I have to record a conversation between me and someone else, which has to sound natural and appropriate and so on, and last for a set amount of time, and not contain too many horrible mistakes. The idea of hearing my own voice is quite bad enough (I hate it, I really do), but the idea that any machine is going to behave for me when something important hangs on it is just.. well, untenable. And the deadline is Very Soon Indeed, so had to get it done today. Sure enough, despite friend's best efforts, my previously-working recorder was suddenly intent on recording him and the sound of its own motor with but a faint overlay of Telsa-whispers in the background. Alan says I just talk too quietly, but anyone who knows me will know that this is not generally a problem I have.

Got the bloody thing recorded. Listened to it once, cringed, and decided to send it anyway, because I don't think I can stand doing that again. Wondered if you gain or lose marks for writing I know the difference between sy and yw really, and I can pronounce telyn fine when the tape isn't on as a sort of pre-emptive thing on the label along with your candidate number. Lose, probably.

Speaking of which, now I have lost the bloody number, too.

April 22nd

Out to see Show of Hands yet again. Intended to eat in the restaurant in the theatre first, but it was full; over the road to eat there, but that was full; retreat to natural habitat of pub, feeling it ordained. Bumped into friends also going to the same theatre but a different event there. On the walk to the theatre, bumped into another friend. Before the performance, bumped into another friend. In the interval, bumped into another friend. Swansea is a very small place sometimes.

Oh, the gig was pretty good, too. You can go and share their music as much as they like, too. Lots on their website.

April 21st

Apparently Alan has ordered a digital camera, too.

More productively, he has finally achieved what I think his early goal with the train set was (before the goal of Pissing off Telsa appeared) and got it to be under the computer's control. So he tells me. I went in to admire the new improved railway (Great! So now you have bought a train set for the computer to play with, not you!) and it failed to work whilst I stood next to it.

I went out of the room. It started working again :(

April 20th

Alan is very happy. He has ordered a new television. He has been watching for this particular model to arrive and to come down in price and so on for ages, and was very sad when it was delayed.

I am not so ecstatic. We already have a television.

April 19th

I was gloating about the lack of parcels yesterday. Today, we got them in a sack :(

April 18th

A New York-based political commentator on BBC3 news explaining how important presidential debates are: ..the last one got more viewers than Friends.

Wow. I can see it must be important then.

(I have never watched a complete episode of Friends in my life.)

April 17th

Out in the evening to the Tav to hear Jim Fox play for the first time in ages and ages. There was a time when we used to see him about once a month, but now his tours extend a bit further than just Swansea and Glastonbury. Lovely lovely evening. Lots of old favourites and some new stuff. The website for the Tav (which has vastly improved as a venue since the last time we were there; perhaps it is time to start going again) is a giant jigsaw piece in my browser. I think I need Flash. So I can't tell who's playing when. But I do see one of the Lindisfarne guys down on the old-fashioned low-tech blackboard outside the pub, even if I can't read the damned website.

April 16th

Aiee! Who are these clowns who think that Doctor Who was better when it had cliff-hangers? They are all wrong. It had a cliff-hanger today, and I am already wailing because I want to know what happens now now now.

The Who is Doctor Who [spoilers] site has been updated and I couldn't stop laughing. There has been some stir recently due to a photoshopped Conservative party parliamentary candidate's leaflet (hmm, that means that the leaflet was Photoshopped, not the parliamentary candidate: did I really need to clarify that?). You need to know about that to get the joke about the people holding up signs welcoming aliens. And the responses (ostensibly..) sent in by people to each of the events are priceless. A bit actually dropped off nearby but by the time I got to where it had landed someone else had nicked it, indeed. Brilliant. I'm waiting for pieces of alien ship on Ebay now.

April 15th

The General Election approaches. I have been having fun with various websites. I think I shall have to make a political links page just to prevent them taking over this diary.

I have not had to answer the door to the postman for two days now. I am happy. I wonder how long this can last.

Out to a gig in the evening. Alan stayed home. Silly man. Radio Luxemburg (the band, not the station) are excellent, btw.

April 14th

A friend said he'd found a fake pound coin today. I didn't believe it (who on earth would fake coins rather than notes?) so I swapped it for a real one. (This probably breaks all sorts of laws, but ah well.) It did look noticeably different, and I could see what was making him suspicious straightaway. So I took it home, and asked the internet (in the form of IRC, at which stage someone else asked Google). According to a fantastic page about pound and two pound coins there really are fake pound coins -- quite a lot of them -- and I have got one. Took it to the LUG and we played spot-the-fake. I saw several people surreptitiously examining their change after that.

I know lots more about coins now. For the record, the reasons to be suspicious of mine: the colour is different; the milling around the edge is odd somehow, and the motto on the milled edge is very very faint; and the coin has a Welsh design on the face and an English motto around the edge. It should have a quote from the anthem on it.

Quite a few people at the LUG this evening, even though the two people who asked for the date to be rearranged to today weren't there.

April 12th

Alan's parents visiting. Took them to a local restaurant. First thing the staff say as I sit down: Oh! You left your jumper here!. I am beginning to think I leak clothes.

April 11th

Alan thinks 9am is a perfectly sensible time to ask where his coursebook is for a class which begins at 9.30am. Grr.

The postmen continue to laugh at me as more pointless deliveries arrive. Worse, I have started fielding phone calls from people who talk about locos.

April 10th

Started to write a letter asking about positions on matters I care about to the various parliamentary candidates in my constituency. I suspect I can only get three issues in without making it impossible to reply to before the election, so I am juggling about five at the moment. Went looking for figures on the web for one of them and then ended up at yet again. What an incredibly useful resource. Ended up reading the entire text of a debate on Welsh affairs and completely sidetracked.

The BBC Parliament channel has no parliament to cover, so has switched to election coverage. I am sure it will pall, but I am currently fascinated to watch the much more complete coverage of the press conferences rather than just the sound-bites we get on the main news.

April 9th

Friend thought he'd left his phone in my house. I rang it to track it down by the sound of the ringing. Instead, it was answered. Not by a gloating thief, but by a restaurant owner. Ah yes, I have been waiting for someone to call. Tell the owner of this phone that he left it in this restaurant and please to come and pick it up.

In the afternoon, Bron took pity on my tales of woe and ebay, and arrived to take all the cardboard away. Apparently she wants packing material anyway.

Crisis in the evening. Someone attempted to serve Justin something with pepper on it. He can taste pepper even when someone opens a jar of it down the road. And he doesn't like it. If he liked the taste of more flavours, he could probably make a good living from being one of the sorts of food or drink-tasters who make sure that all the tea/whisky/frozen ready meal sold by a particular brand tastes exactly the same, because this is a man who can tell the difference in taste between water from the upstairs tap and water from the downstairs tap.

April 8th

The Friday-night plan started off as Band playing, and we could meet in town first and then morphed into Meet in town, wait for people from Cardiff and Rhondda to arrive, then realise we're not going to make the band and instead head for food. After that, found ourselves in Wind Street on a Friday night. Dear me, it gets crowded there.

Somehow ended up back at ours creating more cocktails to recipes read out by the non-drinker. I think he does this to be mean.

April 7th

Out for most of the day but still can't avoid the postman with parcels for Alan. Gareth round in the evening, and had that Flashmob opera thing inflicted on him. I thought it was fun. Alan vanished within seconds of hearing opera.

April 5th

Falling over silly thing after silly thing. I had forgotten how long it took to bugzilla things, even after you know what's going on.

The postman today didn't bother retrieving the current Ebay haul from his sack. He gave me the sack with contents. He seems to find it as funny as does Alan. My only consolation is that at least some of this lot get cleaned and sent back off again.

Out in the evening to see An Inspector Calls. This may be one of the most regularly-performed plays around, but peasant that I am, I have never seen it, and until half an hour before the performance I had absolutely no idea what it was about. Alan declined all offers to tell him anything about it beforehand. Apparently some of the direction is very very different from traditional stagings of it, but we wouldn't know :) It was, however, excellent, and I think it is really appropriate that we saw it on the day that the date of the next general election is announced. I shall bear some of its sentiments in mind. Some politicians would do well to, as well.

April 4th

Oh. Apparently I need stuff in the headers too.

Spent a day lost in bugzilla. At the end of it, reduced to clicking the submit button twice. Realised what I had done, sighed, and decided it was time to go out. Alan was having too much fun repairing pieces of railway, so I went without him. So ner.

April 3rd

Spent most of the day staring at my two dozen post-it notes containing notes about bugs, and not entering them into Bugzilla. Bad Telsa.

All the publicity about last night's Quatermass has been talking about the first live drama from the BBC for twenty years. I am trying to work out what the one twenty years ago was.

Stuck a pile of extra tags into diary because Sonja has not only joined the Telsa, get an RSS feed, here, have one group (I am now amply supplied with RSS generators) but also created one which lets me say This bit is relevant to.. for different days. Expect a certain amount of buggering about with keywords in days to come. So far, there are minimal feeds for RSS for might-be-Gnome-relevant and RSS for the whole thing (testing). More may arrive. Or maybe not. Perhaps I'll just get one of these bloggy things. But I am really quite impressed with the idea of using XSLT to turn my HTML into RSS. My entire venture into XSLT consisted of making an HTML page with two things on it and then writing a file to swap them around. Or so I think. Looking at it now, eighteen months later, to be honest, I have absolutely no idea what it does. So I am dead impressed with this one, and I don't have to do anything to it. Yay.

April 2nd

Up to the diner for breakfast. Alan stayed in bed, and thus missed the opportunity to go hunting waterfalls and taking pictures with Gareth, so I went instead. Gareth's technique is to drive around looking for signposts. Mine is to use maps. Taken together, they work quite well. Gareth has some wonderful pictures, and they really were that lovely in the.. erm, not flesh. In the earth, or water or something.

Back in time for Dr Who and then Quatermass. No idea who came up with the idea that the BBC should start doing live drama again, but it's a fun one. They did very well. As characters race around a corner, one slipped. And there was a moment when we all wondered whether another character was supposed to be fumbling for words quite that much. And the sound was out of whack on one scene. (But I always say that: I want separate volume controls for what people say and incidental music and background noise so that I can turn what they say right up and follow the damned plot. I still can't make out what Prince Charles said about his adoring press pack without the aid of subtitles.) But by the end of it, I was gripped, and completely forgot to wonder how they had managed to make a set to represent Tate Modern. As far as I was concerned, they were there.

More live stuff which does not involve voting people out of a house or jungle next week: a brand new flashmob opera. I still think flashmobs are stupid, by and large, but something in this appeals. Also, the last one was great.

April 1st

Found some silly typos in Gnome. Fixed them. Wondered what else was out there. I need to install some Gnome 2.10 stuff and some more up-to-date programs anyway, so Alan provided a box to build things on. Shoved Fedora 4 test 1 onto it. Wrote bugs down on sticky notes. My desk is now littered with sticky notes to put into Bugzilla. Most of them are trivial. It's not so long ago that first beta tended to leave the box unbootable, so this is much better.

Declared myself in need of cocktails like last weekend. Fastest plan formulation ever: picked up by Justin and Bron, booze run, stop at restaurant, eat, back to make cocktails. They were blue. We are not sure whether this is good or not.

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.)