once more into the breach

I would like to do a few things today. I would like to play a little bit of Shadowbane. I would like to fix some bugs, maybe. I’d like to finish reading my book, and maybe start on the one Deb got me. I’d like to clean the house a little, in preparation for Christmas. I’d also like to spend a lot of time visiting with Mark and Anna, and perhaps watch tonight’s hockey game.

I’d will see Mark and Anna, because lives hang in the balance. The rest, though, are in serious jeopardy of being pushed aside by today’s Christmas errands. Ah well. At least we’re not travelling this year!

My good buddy Kev — now that I’m replying to his mail more than once a season, I can say that without choking to death on the lies — sent me a very strange picture. That is indeed my handwriting — the Sun Microsystems post-it and the book it was found in date it to about 1996, I expect — but I have no earthly idea why I would have written those words. Not a clue.

I go now to hunt a tree.

We haven’t found a tree yet. Tyla and I are fighting about the Christmas meal and vegetarianism. My work computer crashed, because:

<BiNT|WoRK>i think the construction ppl kicked the power out by accident

‘Tis the frigging season.

We found a tree. We resolved our dinner woes without resorting to Tofurkey — or, as Tyla points out, its duck-based cousin “Tofuck”. We bought wine and other booze, and grabbed some yummy roti on the way back, as we passed Hey Good Cooking. Anna called, and she and Mark are on their way.

So I was feeling pretty good, until I read this, and now I just want to curl up into a ball and die. All I want for Christmas is for it to be a work of fiction.

hittin’ ‘em where they ain’t

5 days to Christmas, amazingly. I am not yet panicked, but if I don’t get the vastest of majorities of my Christmas shopping done today and tomorrow, I will have panic to spare.

In other panic-related news, I still await the wire for my last invoice. I am breathing deeply and practicing patience. Also, I’m digging out the line-of-Christmas-credit, just to Be Safe.

Asked by agents if he had anything else to tell them, Cusack responded: “Yes, I’ve got monkeys in my pants.”

I’m going to go shopping now, because I can have the malls largely to myself while real people do their final pre-Christmas work. So cunning!

After that, I will fix not one, not two, but three bugs. Watch me!

We fixed a lot of bugs today. Not just the three I mentioned above, but probably a half-dozen more as well. It was wonderful.

Alasdair and I tried to see a movie, but the web site had lied to me, so the movie wasn’t showing when we got there. Sucky. So we had dinner instead, and I came back to do some work. Instead of actually working, I played a little Shadowbane — holy crap, it feels like a real game now — and now I’m going to bed.

now, to find the TPS cover sheets

Part of the unrelenting joy that is working on Lustre is filling out the maze of forms required to access our development and test clusters. Coop is currently starting the search for cheese, poor thing.

Jamie wants a palindrome debugger. Back in 1999, Michael Elizabeth Chastain created one, and wrote a heartbreaking email about it. It broke my heart in 1999, and it breaks my heart every time I re-read the mail.

George called my attention to the fact that I broke this page lightly for IE6 users, back when I fixed NS 4.x. So I tidied that up today, and also made it look even prettier under 4.x. All that while waiting for some tests to complete.

divide and conquer

So much fun today, I can hardly stand it. I got to spend the morning getting Coop up to speed on the basics of building and running the Lustre bits, and he’s now off and running on some test-development tasks. He’s a pretty quick study, so it went rather smoothly. If my ramp-up experience in July was any indication, he’s feeling totally overwhelmed right now. Tee hee!

(Still, though. Best. Hiring. Process. Ever.)

After lunch, I popped over to Paramount to watch a a little indie film with Tyla and Andrei and the folks from the office. It was great fun.

After dinner — meals are not primarily sources of nourishment anymore, but rather critical timekeeping events — I came back to the office and worked on some bugs and tests. The usual.

I’m tired, and I’ve been enjoying getting up early of late — I kill me! — so I’m going home now.

on feet, on floor, good to go

Against all odds, I slept very well last night. Let’s hear it for total intellectual exhaustion! With a little bit of hustle, I can be at work before 9:30, and well on my way to breaking new parts of Lustre by 10.

Asa is a sweetheart, encouraging people to vote for me in the mozillaZine “who would you like to have over for Christmas dinner?” poll. He’s no conversational slouch himself, I must say. I won’t take it personally if I lose, of course. I know I’m better than Pav, deep down inside.

Deb helpfully points out that I give no way to actually vote for me, or anyone else (I voted for Blizzard, because I already get to have me around for Christmas, but also because I miss my Bliz). The main mozillaZine page has the poll on the right side, about halfway down. I don’t know how to link to just the poll, but you’re all smart folk. (If you followed the link to Asa’s page, the button works too. Please vote only once, even if it’s for someone silly like Pav.)

Gotcha. But really, when did I burn you? Even NGR wasn’t that bad. (OK, maybe it was. Sorry. I promise this’ll be better.)

I spent most of today in meetings about test status, and only a vanishingly small part of today actually fixing bugs that block tests. Now that just ain’t right.

exhaustion is another word for fun

I have four bugs to kill (at least) before we’re done with Lustre Lite. I believe that I’m the only one left with any bugs that block this major, major milestone. If you can’t be the best, be the last!

It is a daily, pitched struggle to figure out what exactly is wrong with Lustre that will prevent sign-off, because reading some of these bug reports is sort of like trying to pick lottery numbers based on the writings of Nostradamus, but I’ve narrowed it down to the aforementioned four bugs. I think they probably represent 15 days of work. I wish I had 15 days.

I also wish I could run the tests on my own, in order to get first-hand knowledge of the failures, but now I’m just talking crazy.

Phil and Peter are being very supportive, which is wonderful, but I still feel kinda crappy about being so far from done. Who knew recovery would be this hard? Probably everyone who’d done it before.

I had a nice dim-sum lunch today, and a mediocre-or-so Indian dinner. Both featured good company, though, which brightened my day.

I was going to work through the night, but I’m too tired to do good work right now. After a restless night’s sleep, following hours of tossing and turning while my brain churns through recovery minutae, I’m sure I’ll be much more productive.

I think Deb would agree that today was fifty kinds of Monday. I did get to help Phil fix a nasty bug, though, just by playing Chewbacca.

15 December 2002

cheating gets it faster

I don’t know if this is a normal phase in the development of climbing prowess, but my technique has gone to crap in the last little while. I guess I need to climb more often or something, but that’s hard to do when I spend almost phil-like quantities of time away from home. Also: am I doing something really wrong, or does everyone end up with numb and/or shredded fingertips after climbing?

I had to back out a patch that “should have” had no effect on our tests — and I’m sticking to that story — but I managed to land my branch in preparation for an upcoming release. Let me revisit that initial issue: I have no idea why that part of the patch had adverse effects — OK, fatal effects — on our software. I hope that even the least-technical of my readers understands why that scares no small amount of living crap out of me. I must maintain complete mastery over my code, or we’re all in deep trouble.

Halo Capture The Flag doesn’t work so well three-on-two, in case that was keeping you up at night. In the words of my teammate, “it’s like they have an extra person”. So true.

Did you ever work with someone awesome, and spend much of the rest of your career scheming about ways to work with them again? Yeah, me too. (Sadly, some of our finest work has been largely forgotten.)

The Google World Domination clock ticked a minute closer to midnight this week, I think, with the addition of Froogle.

I think it’s time to go to bed, because my wife is trying to kill me.

the facts would bear that interpretation

Man, it’s good to be home. Hilary was a sweetheart — a lead-footed sweetheart, the best kind — and drove me back from Kingston. We arrived in Toronto around 9:30, just in time to fall asleep in the arms of my wife. Bliss.

We chatted a little when we woke up this morning, and I was invormed that Tyla had a “bone to pick” with me. Never a good sign, but I bravely asked for more details. Apparently she’d gone to Video 99 down on Bloor to rent, of all things, The Saint, and discovered that we had nearly thirty dollars in late fees. Apparently we’ve had these fines sitting on our account since we last lived in Toronto, and have been consequently, and reasonably, considered to be rather delinquent in the interim.

“Wow,” I thought. “That does suck. I should apologize to Tyla!” But then the rest of my brain engaged. “Wait, wait, wait. Also, wait.” How, I asked, was this necessarily my fault? We both rented movies from there, and it could just as easily — ignoring, perhaps, more than the usual amount of historical analysis — have been Tyla who failed to return the movies on time. Her defense to this line of questioning was ultimately not very compelling, so my nascent guilt evaporated pretty quickly. Close call, though.

Deb got me a cool-looking book for Christmas, and it should receive appropriate attention during the flight to Edinburgh, if not sooner.

I’m not going to Portland this month. I can’t believe I even considered it.

In yesterday’s necessarily-incomplete list of the bright-yet-unemployed people in my circle of friends, I somehow forgot Ian. Ah well, we all know that I suck.

I have so much work to do today. Sweet god, would I rather be playing Halo.

nothing ever shames me

Today’s class was pretty good. I managed to actually consume a three hour lab session with software-related blather, and everyone had the courtesy to stay awake.

The afternoon class — a bunch of hardware folks who were apparently nonplussed-or-worse at the prospect of a software guy’s life story — was a complete, zero-for-twenty-odd no-show. At least I got to come back to Mom’s place and work. Why is it that only the hard bugs are left?

Also, why is it that so damned many smart people are looking for work? And why can’t I hire them all? Oh, for the glory days of the boom, when I could just wave my hands and conjure up a half-dozen reqs.

Coop mailed me today, since he knows full well how long it will take for me to get around to it. Why am I such a dork?

Back to Toronto soon. I hear there’s a beautiful woman there who hasn’t totally given up on me!

future of the nation

I bored Mom’s 3rd-year OS class for an hour today, though some of them asked questions that supported the flimsy pretense that they were listening. Sweet that they even tried, really.

Apparently we’re allowed to have babies now. Who knew?

(At long last, I upload the last few days’ entries. Huzzah.)

I just finished spending hours talking to people at HP to make sure that crappy bug reports like this didn’t happen any more. Pistol, please.

destina.ca called, to tell me that they needed signed authorization from Phil, because I used his credit card to pay for my Denver flight. Given that I’ve already finished with that itinerary, it seems like they’re getting to it a little late, but I passed on the message. I wonder what they’d do if they didn’t get authorization from Phil. He’s not going to contest it — he’d damned well better not, at least — so I don’t know what they could do to me. Probably not worth finding out.

the space between

There are no fewer than five distinct ways for me to fly between Denver and Toronto, on the airlines with which I currently hold tickets for that specific purpose. But because Expedia booked my travel as two separate round trips, neither airline will break off the autoproctophrenology long enough to get me home a few hours earlier, by filling seats that would otherwise be empty.

I love air travel.

Made it to Toronto uneventfully, but I won’t make it to Kingston until something like 1AM.

Tyla has a job interview tomorrow. I’m excited, and she must be beside herself with anxiety and hope. Wish I were there, hon!

My battery is about to die, having valiantly given its life to send the sounds of Dave Matthews to my ears during this almost-over bus trip. Also, my headphones are killing me. G’night.

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