I wasn’t in the mood to advance my life in any way today, so I missed Dad at the office again, walked to work again, made dinner for Tyla again, and got to see Emily again. Actually, I hadn’t seen Emily since she left on her latest travel adventure, but I thought I’d slip that in there and see if I could fool you. And then I went and gave it away, proving that I’m really not cut out for this whole “sneaky” thing.

I did manage to make some cunning plans with respect to a friend’s upcoming birthday, but I am not at liberty to divulge additional information at this time. Thank you for your co-operation.

Oh yeah, I also didn’t get Movable Type installed again. Suck, thy name is Mike.


I did a bunch of things today, but the one that turned out the best was walking to and from the office. What a gorgeous day! I hope the weather holds up, so that I can continue to get the nice exercise and whatnot.

Today is my middle-youngest-sister’s birthday, and so I went to Dad’s office to drop off her card, such that it would arrive in her hands today. My incredible planning prowess came again to the fore, and I discovered only minutes ago that my father isn’t at the office today. Sorry, Marla. I suck. (Marla is turning 14 today, just like Sara.)

Tyla’s first day at work was yesterday, and yet she hasn’t written about it yet. I guess she was too tired, or something.

Tonight’s Buffy episode, capsule review: “Huh. I see.”


I managed to get my laptop revived, using what I now recall is the same trick as was required the last time: unplug the (oh my god that’s tiny, how can all my data fit in there?) hard drive from the controlled, wait 15 minutes, boot with it missing to cause the laptop gremlins to bang their heads together in appropriate ways, reinsert drive, write the laptop’s service number on the LCD with chicken blood, boot again, sigh contentedly.

And then I spent the rest of the day trying to fix problems with my patch that didn’t really exist. Sometimes, just sometimes, I need to realize that it might not be my fault, that our build system might be a little wonky, and that I should start from a newly-clean build. It’s OK, though, I wasn’t using that day anyway.

Played some Planetside with Fixy and Chris and their krew tonight, and it was lots of fun. I should have been finishing up the Movable Type installation for Andrei and J and Madhava and others, but I was really in no mood to wrestle with software. Besides, I have to let this slide for weeks and weeks, lest the users of my system develop unreasonable expectations of promptness.


I have a few days of entries — Coop’n'Kris visiting; in-laws: shopping and dining and birthday celebration; clothing, in which our hero discovers white T-shirts; train travel; small worlds, and the cities thereof; a year of ~shaver/diary — that are sitting on my laptop now. My laptop is not booting, because it can’t — or, as I suspect, just won’t — see its hard drive. Sort of annoying, because there’s some work on there I’d also like to give to Phil and our partners. The work is small, though, so I can redo it tomorrow if I can’t bring the laptop back from the dead.

So, yeah, one year. More later, sigh.

impatient zero

As a visitor from Toronto, I feel that I have some responsibility to spread the plague within my host city. (Don’t be fooled by the fact that active cases are constant-or-dropping, and that there hasn’t been a new case of SARS outside the known-to-be-vulnerable healthcare community in a dog’s age; Toronto is still seething mass of danger and viral terror. You should probably visit someplace tropical instead, where you don’t get those nasty WHO travel advisories).

In service of that goal, I’ve been talking with a sputter and forcing myself to cough whenever I’m in public. So far, I seem to not have caused Ottawa to fall under the umbrella of our plague, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. I’ll almost feel bad about it when it happens, because my hosts have been very kind to me, what with their provision of futon and Pho and Mexican goodness, but this us-vs.-them thing has to stop. And if people are already terrified to go to hospitals in Ottawa, where they haven’t had suspected case number one, I feel they should have their fears justified. I’m just doing my bit, as I see it.

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of this little diary endeavour, and I have nothing especially special to present in observance thereof.

We went shopping today, Sara and Tyla and I did, and I purchased some clothing. I now own a mildly-fitted white T-shirt, and I don’t know why I never did before. Vastly more comfortable to wear under things than the non-fitted variety I already had, as I’m sure you all knew. Sara says that I need to work out more before I can wear just the T-shirt — she and Tyla tried to back pedal in a variety of ways, but I know what I heard! — but I’m sure she meant it in the nicest, kindest, boy-my-brother-in-law-is-a-slob way possible. Tyla also made me buy a bunch of socks that are identical, because she finds the close-but-no-cigar nature of my present dress sock collection to be frustrating. Also: why was I not informed about this “machine-washable silk” innovation? Reasonably-priced machine-washable silk at that.

At Marroush, home of shawarma that is very much worth almost missing your train for, I ran into Pete Matthews. This was inevitable, because there are only 300 people in Ottawa, and I know half of them. The extras employed by the city to keep the place all bustle-y do a great job, don’t get me wrong, but you’d do well to not be fooled by them.

vive la difference

A variety of people attempted to convince me that we were celebrating Sara’s 21st birthday yesterday, but I know that to be false: Sara is fourteen years old, and always will be. I have neither the time nor the patience to continue debate on this topic, so I will thank you to keep your “corrections” to yourselves.

I always forget about this fact, but my family (families, I suppose) and Tyla’s family are very different. I’m not having a lot of luck articulating, even to myself, the specific differences, but they always strike me within about 20 minutes of arriving at a family gathering. It used to be that I would only notice this difference when visiting Tyla’s family, but now I get that same “huh” feeling when I visit with my own kin. (Exception: other than some trivial clothing-choice differences, and the fact that I can be marginally meaner to Steph in pursuit of my own entertainment, the Three Sisters are pretty much mix-and-match.) I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but it was a little weird when it happened the first time.

Martha let me drive her car around yesterday, while we were in search of desserts for Sara’s birthday, and I’m now a little worried that it was illegal. See, I forgot my license — and debit card, and credit card — back home in Toronto, and I’m not sure if there’s any present-it-at-a-police-station leeway for we G1-holders caught without our credentials. I guess it’s for the best that I didn’t do anything worthy of a traffic stop. (OK, other than that one little I’m-turning-no-I’m-not-tee-hee swerve on Bank Street. But really, if they pulled people over for that, the world would be a very different place.)

I headed over to Chris’ and Kristina’s to crash last night, because it was a little bit crowded at the Primary Holmes Residence — to whom it may concern: I do not sleep on a “twin” anything — and because I wanted to get an early start on work with Coop in the morning. Worked, for the most part. Also, I feel this moral imperative to impose on these lovely people whenever I’m in town.

Coop and I were going to have a little chat about recovery testing today, hopefully so that Robert doesn’t get another mess of surprises like the one I stumbled into on the most recent test-binge. Of course, Robert wanted to be involved in that call, and then Peter felt he should join in — sure, now everyone wants to help with this sort of testing. In other news, I have a fence that needs painting, and nobody is getting any of my bread. (It occurs to me, only now, that we never did discuss in detail the two issues that spurred Coop to ask for my input. I’m such a loser.)

big blue room

It’s a gorgeous day today, and I’m going to get to see most of it. Tyla is travelling to Ottawa on the 9:30am train, and I got up about when she did this morning. Since then, I’ve tested a patch, tidied up a bit, assisted the landlord in the installation of a security camera, worked on fixes for a few other bugs, packed my luggage, and played with the cat. Not bad for it still being before 11.

Somewhat apropos the yes-yes-I-know-it’s-flawed-you-can-all-stop-mailing-me test from yesterday, a mathematical model for marriage. Is that systematising or empathic? (Apropos very little: the author of the E/S test is possibly related to the British comedic persona Ali G, whose HBO show is surprisingly entertaining.)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Rick Santorum’s remarks regarding rights to sexual privacy — an amusing interview in places: “I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to talk about man on dog with a United States senator, it’s sort of freaking me out.” — but the best analysis I’ve seen so far is on the Volokh Conspiracy, where there are about a dozen well-written posts on the topic.

Time to shower and hit the, er, rails.

not with a scream, but with a sigh

The Leafs really did run out of steam last night, but I’m not all that sad about it. A healthy Leafs team would have done better, I think, and I have to say that some of the best Leafs hockey I’ve ever seen took place in this series. And, really, the Flyers were much more “together” during most of the affair. Hopefully, Pat’ll keep this excellent roster together next year, so they can finish gelling (like a felon) and return to the playoffs with a little less falling-apart in their D, and a little less of the two-line passing and offside parade that so amused Jacob this year. I still believe.

Kudos to Minnesota for just plain old wanting it more. The West is so freaky this year. I love it. (I am sort of sorry that Alasdair’s hockey pool entry is basically worthless now, but I’m not going to lose a lot of sleep over it.)

I’m 43 points worth of empathic and 55 points worth of systemising, for a nice balanced brain. I haven’t tested, but personally believe that I’m also very little country, and somewhat more rock and roll. (Links to non-Flash tests and more background available on the main “Essential Difference” page.)

Madhava should watch out, because there’s a new disease running rampant in the pirate community: SARRRRRRRRRRS!

I just paid my taxes for 2002 — I don’t have to file until June 15th, because I’m all self-employed and such — and apparently it never becomes less than terrifying to sling that amount of money around with my web browser. Not that anyone shouldn’t trust Mozilla, because I mean, really, it’s all good, but that’s a major financial shift hinging on the press of one little grey rectangle.

Driving lesson today was OK, but brief. I really don’t like this Honda as much as the Mustang — not that I’m really a muscle car sort of guy, but the dead-zone in the accelerator is no fun at all. I’ll practice more on Martha’s car this week, when I travel to Ottawa for Sara’s birthday, and then maybe trick Alasdair into letting me wheel about a bit in his car next week.

Good day for online findings:

Appearing on national television Wednesday, Dosha seemed in fine spirits apart from a gunshot wound to her head and other injuries sustained from being hit by the car.


The vaguely quantitative words “significant” and “significantly” are used 5 times on this slide, with de facto meanings ranging from detectable in largely irrelevant calibration case study to an amount of damage so that everyone dies to a difference of 640-fold. None of these 5 usages appears to refer to the technical meaning of statistical significance.

Jacob had better start training. He only has 360-odd days to brush up on his public urination, indecent exposure and general lack of hygiene before next year’s Boston Marathon.

catastrophic failures of judgement

I’m not really panicked about SARS, since the fatalities so far have all tended to be the aged. Unless this little crisis drags on for another decade or two, I think I’m out of the danger zone. Some people have suggested that it might be a good idea — I think one of them actually used that term — to intentionally contract SARS while there are still unoccupied respirators in the Toronto area. I’m not sure that’s a great plan, but I am sure that this assclown has a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad plan. I mean, really. There are better ways to demonstrate that you’re not under the thumb of The Man than by endangering your fellow Torontonians.

Some of you might have seen the comic before it was removed, in which case you will likely appreciate, as George did, that they missed a golden opportunity to use “Cherry Tart” in their parody. Now, though, they’ve been “asked” to take it down, in what seems like a case of lawyer-letter attempting to trump parody and fair use. I guess it’s possible that the parody angle doesn’t cover their use, since they were intending to parody American McGee’s mauling of classic stories and not the Shortcake franchise itself, but I have hope.

I don’t have a lot of hope left for the Leafs at this point, what with them being down 5-1 with the third period about to begin. Not that the score reflects the play in this game inaccurately. Bah. At least Beltzner will be able to sleep tonight.

Some years ago, Chris bought a car from this lunatic. I wonder if that’s like buying drugs and supporting terrorists, or driving an SUV, or something. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the kidnapping, dog-biting Syracuse tree:

<blizzard>I’m never too jaded to loot and burn
<blizzard>I’m just waiting for my chance

giving a little back

I’m still a little giddy about the passage of The Test, and that glow carried me through a handful of nice little fixes today. One of my patches totally breaks things, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I’ll get to fix it tomorrow.

Phil’s been a sweetheart of late, and has been helping me with the little bits of tidy-up bugs left in the rest of the suite. I really do so enjoy working with him, and I’m thrilled that the answer to what next, when recovery is “done”? involves toiling even more closely by his side. Huzzah.

In my continuing efforts to push more and more of my work onto my unsuspecting Coopbot, I drafted a quick note about the first steps in analysis of a Lustre crash captured under UML. Hope it makes some sense. I’m sure he’ll tell me if it doesn’t.

A few modest suggestions on how to improve the sport of hockey:

  • When the goaltender is out of the crease — or, for purposes of this rule, an enlarged crease-like area — he should not be immune to bodychecks. Many goaltenders act as “third defensemen” to play the puck under forechecking pressure, and that’s fine, but they need to be subject to the same rules as the other two defensemen. Within the crease area, the goalie should remain a god among men.
  • A penalty shot should be awarded in addition to, not in place of a two-minute minor. While exciting, a penalty shot isn’t really much of a penalty in many cases, and if a goal on the penalty shot invalidated the penalty — as a goal on a delayed penalty call does, for example — there would not be a risk of a “double” penalty.
  • Even if the ice surface “can’t” be widened, opening up the game a little bit more through removal of the center line, at least with respect to two-line passes, would be welcome. There’s a reason there aren’t many highlight reels devoted to the neutral zone trap.
  • I should be awarded Leafs season tickets, including any and all playoff rounds, to encourage my further development of these and other game-saving suggestions.

Go Leafs, and I leave you with some words of sport-relativism wisdom:

<odorizzi>even if the avs lose, remember…there’s always basketball!!!
<shaver>basketball is a sad substitute for playoff hockey, Jason
<shaver>for shame!
<phik>basketball is a poor substitute for a razor blade sandwich
<phik>If you worked in my office, I’d cut you
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