“I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.”

Rio and I have been watching Dragonfire. She loved it.

Last weekend we went to Philly with Amy and John. After a bit of wandering, the others went off elsewhere but Rio and I ended up at the Shoe where they were just about to start showing a film (apparently they show them every Saturday night); Rio ignored the film, but accepted a cup of popcorn, and went off to the children’s section to read. She was very taken with the idea of zines and decided to try making her own. Later we all met up again and walked to the Passage to India, which has very good food for about $10 a head.

I have been playing with Carmen’s Next Great Adventure website. It now has a much nicer layout and the maps are properly designed, and it has the basic blog structure. I still need to make it so that people can put a “Where’s Carmen?” badge on their own sites. I’m really excited about watching this adventure unfold, and I know a lot of other people are too; if you have ideas about how we can get still more people watching and cheering her on on this journey, let us know.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you: she’s selling a lot of her stuff. If you live near DC and you like nifty second-hand books, look into it.

A friendly person has actually asked me whether I can spend a few hours talking him through fixing Metacity bugs! I am delighted. I also have a long list of focus bugs to track down, starting with the slightly recondite GNOME bug 158626 (about ddd of all programs), and I have to talk to the gdm folks (and the downstream folks, too) about merging fusa with the similar gdm applet which is a partial fork of it. I also have a blog post on this journal coming up about themes.

Valentine’s and after

Valentine’s day was actually quite quiet for the most part. Our company gave us a bag of sweets, mostly those little love-heart ones which say things on them like EMAIL ME and YOU’RE THE BEST and CLOSE MY BUG((Not an actual example, sadly. Maybe we could make some GNOME sweets for next year.)), and chocolate hearts with mottos inside. My team lead was told “Be your own Valentine!” which sounds like a polite way of saying something else.

When we got home, Fin had made an amazing meal for all of us, each with our favourite thing to eat. Some of them had tomatoes and things cut into heart shapes. It must have taken ages.

I also discovered a not terribly obvious problem with GMail. I wrote a script which would tell you who had left you Valentine’s messages on LiveJournal, and it worked by turning on email notification, sending each LJ comment received to a GMail account, and every hour having a cronjob which read the account using IMAP, indexed them all in a Postgres database, and then having a cgi which could display search results. That was all very well, but on Valentine’s day itself, something inside GMail decided that the account was being used for IMAP in some kind of inappropriate way, and shut it down wth the error Lockdown in Sector 4! I disabled the cronjob, but it meant that some people didn’t see their valentine messages for another day or so.

On Friday it was pretty quiet again. I wrote a triolet.

Lines Written on the 15th of February

Today’s just a day
That’s not Valentine.
No roses, no wine.
Today’s just a day
I still want to say
I’m glad that you’re mine.
Today’s just a day
That’s not Valentine.

I also spent far too long trying to remember the visibility rules in GNOME bug 509165.

Link soup:

When Wednesday was quiet

I had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday; I told Fin and Alex about it on the Monday and asked them to drop me off there. On Tuesday they went to see this cat that I mentioned earlier, and came to pick me up afterwards, and as I also mentioned we decided to go out to eat. I’d thought that meant after the appointment, and I was so sleepy I fell right asleep. When I woke up, we were coming up to the restaurant, and I was faced with the dilemma of whether to say, “But we’re missing my appointment” (and go back, have missed the appointment anyway, and have ruined the meal), or to keep quiet for now. I decided to keep quiet. Either way I’d have to pay for the missed appointment.

The next day I phoned the doctor to reschedule and they were very apologetic: they said, “Oh, we were trying to contact you: the doctor was off sick yesterday. We’ll phone in a refill for you.”

I didn’t go to see the cat after all on Wednesday, because she behaves nothing like our cat did and doesn’t respond to her name, and people were afraid I’d give a false positive because I miss our cat so.

I spent much of the evening writing about GMarkup instead of fixing bugs.

I also had a very interesting email, which I might tell you all about later.

This morning, the company has given us all bags of love heart sweets and teddy bears. Thank you to the people who left comments for me on valentinr and places like that! If anyone sent one of those mutual things where you have to send another of the same kind in order to see them– well, I didn’t send any like that, so I won’t see them.

Fin, Alex: I am going to get you trees. But it is too cold to plant trees, so later in the year I will get them.

Link soup:


I have had a moderately successful day. I branched metacity for 2.22. (I wish I could write more about work here; it feels silly not writing about the thing I spend most of my time doing.) I made a list of things which need dealing with now we’ve branched, and as a diversion fixed up some map SVGs for Wikipedia (and another project). Someone came around with bagels.

Fin phoned and told me the SPCA had come by and told them they’d found a cat who looked just like our cat Zarate, who ran away shortly before Kirsten came to visit; Fin and Alex and Rio went to see, but the new cat (let’s say her name is Zaratbee) didn’t respond to her name or the feeding song, despite being about the right size and shape and colour. Fin thought it was her; Alex didn’t. I will go along tomorrow and see.

It snowed a lot. I was told I gave the best hugs. I came home and it snowed a lot and Fin in her awesomeness said “Why not let’s go to Los Aztecas?” So we did and the food was even better than it usually is, and almost nobody was there because of the snow. We talked about politics, and came home. I worked on some simple breadboard electronics on the dining-room table with Rio before she went to bed; she wrote up the findings in her lab notebook, which has a picture of Strawberry Shortcake on the front. Did I mention she has dyed her hair grape-soda purple? It really suits her.

I learned, or re-learned, about the __import__ statement in Python for a project I’m doing with the Metacity Journal (more will be revealed later). I asked jdub to move my public planet feed to blogs.gnome.org and I will automagically duplicate all content to LJ and blogo. I have not decided what I will do about comments. I also need to put some time into copying the stylesheets and formatting from marnanel.org to blogs.gnome.org.

Ande: I have started work on the river story. It is progressing nicely.

Things I wanted to share (because they were an interesting read):

Now I will make more tea and then go and get out of these clothes and sit in bed and fix bugs, which I can do because Alex has fixed wireless networking, so hallelujah, say I.