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 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 to

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.

Epiphany (the feast, not the browser) and what came after it

Fin had a pretty good birthday, I think. Alex and I were going to make a cake for her, but her mother came over and made her a birthday tea which involved steak and ice-cream (but not both at once).

From Neil Gaiman’s blog we learn that the Uncle books are to be reprinted at last. Uncle is an elephant who wears a purple dressing-gown and lives in a castle as big as a city that has never been fully explored. The company which owns the publishing rights would not reprint them because they thought they were classist or something.

I had a strange dream where there was an orange ferret loose in our kitchen (but it wasn’t the kitchen of any house I know) and we had to chase it out. Later, in another dream, I was told there was an exciting adventure holiday that Rio and I could go on together, and it happened to be in Gwent. I went and looked at the details but they had a map of Glamorgan. (The only word I remember reading from the brochure now I’m awake is “Chwefror”, February, so possibly it would have been a rather cold holiday.)

Uruguay to be the first South American country to have civil unions.

It’s all a conspiracy that people won’t fix the bugs we ask for, for free, and it’s just because they disagree with us politically.” I don’t think I ever enquired as to the political leanings of anyone raising a bug before…

Riordon, Alex and I played Mao last night; it was Rio’s first time playing the game, and she got a bit frustrated, as anyone does their first time playing Mao. We decided by mutual agreement to call the game off after about ten minutes, but I overheard her saying to herself later, “Penalty cards aren’t penalties like at camp where you don’t get sweets or something, and it’s just really like Uno but you don’t talk.” Then she came over where I was working and asked me what you say during a point of order when you’re not allowed to say those words, and we had a discussion about how Mao is a formalised representation of learning anything– a way of learning about learning, really, in the form of a game, and how learning anything new can be a frustrating experience too.

I love PostSecret. This was my favourite card this week. I think anyone who is good enough to introduce you to Borges deserves really good beer, just as anyone who is good enough to introduce you to Nesbit deserves really good tea. But on that note, I was contacted the other day by Professor Christianson, who taught me years ago, telling me amongst other things about his new book, and when he heard about Riordon he is apparently sending her a copy. I will post more when it happens.