neither rain, nor sleet, nor…ok, maybe freezing rain

Tyla and I are in Ottawa this weekend for some Christmas festivities, and someone has helpfully glazed the city in our honour. Aided by my tread-challenged travelling shoes, which provide traction only to the extent of moral support, I am doing a pretty excellent impression of a grade 12 physics problem, all frictionless surfaces and forces at right angles. I didn’t have the luxury of video replay, but I’m pretty certain that we neither slowed nor turned at all when we slid through the intersection of Percy and Renfrew — a fixture of my youth, to be sure, but one at which I tended to at least pay lip service to the signage, even when cycling.

We were going to visit the famed McMaster solstice party this evening, but after watching a fire truck slide backwards past the living room a few times, we decided that we would have enough trouble making it a few blocks to Deb-and-Rob’s.

After a drink with them and then a trip to the Oak for a snack, we found that Ottawa had upped the ante. As the experienced ohshitimslidingintotraffic player knows, the bonus round usually consists of the addition of water. Tyla truly brought her A game; it brought a tear to my eye.

We made it home, but only because we lead pure and honourable lives, untainted by the sort of weakness upon which Ontario weather seeks to prey. (Martha is driving to Nepean at 8AM to go spinning, presumably because she is insane.)

he’s from state college, and he’s here to help

Good evening, Mozilla world. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Mark Finkle, who joins our intrepid Mozilla Corporation ecosystem team on this very day. Mark’s got a ton of software development experience, he writes very well, and he shares the neurochemical defect that makes me really excited about helping people build their own great stuff on top of our great stuff. You’ll certainly see him and his work on IRC, in the wiki, and on our newsgroups/mailing lists soon, if you haven’t yet had a taste. I’m not saying that the Spiderman theme song was directly inspired by his new role here at Mozilla, but it’s hard to deny that wherever there is an extension development hang-up, you may indeed find him there.

Ours is a daunting community to join, tantamount to learning a new language while riding a unicycle across lava, but I have the utmost confidence that he’ll be up and running in a terrifyingly short time, and before long we’ll be wondering what we did without him. In the meantime, if you should see him wandering the source tree looking slightly dazed, please offer him refreshment — his manager is a bit of a dork, and that can be a serious burden to bear.

child’s play

As I have done every year since their incredible inception, I just made a donation to Child’s Play, and as I have felt every year since their incredible inception I am proud to be associated with it. It’s nice to be able to give to Sick Kids, because my lovely wife works there, and a friend of mine has been instrumental in getting the hospital all hooked up with the CP crew, but more than that it’s just nice to be able to give to sick kids. (I am not commenting on my friend’s loveliness in any way, because more than seven years of marriage and almost thirty years of learning things the hard way have taught me to recognize some of the sorts of things that have no winning condition associated with them.)

I’m not telling you what to do here, but I think your options are pretty clear at this point.

sorry, how many characters remaining?

I am booking travel to California, where the meetings hang heavy and plump on every bough. Because life is unpredictable — please, wear a helmet — I have a few unused-ticket credits from previously cancelled or violently-adjusted travel of just this sort. My online travel agency frequently teases me, with their little “Unused ticket may apply!” annotations and sly winks when they think my corporate card isn’t watching.

It never works out. It’s always a few clicks of building anticipation, the prospect of fiscal redemption swelling in my impecunious breast, and then whammo. “No, it’s not for you.”

Tonight, though, I was told that I could apply the unused ticket, by calling and speaking to an agent. Ignoring the irrationality of sunk-cost economics, it would have made my ticket free! Joy!

So then I spent about an hour — yes, nearly sixty earth minutes — on the telephone waiting to have an agent talk to me. Never did a human enter the equation. After a while there started to be silent patches in the hold music, perhaps because they were afraid that they would run out before an agent accidentally answered my call, or I had to leave to catch my flight.

In the end, I booked my ticket without use of the credit, because it was nearly midnight and I have a hectic day of Apple Store repair-wrangling (yes, again. yes, I know) and travel preparation ahead of me — for an unrelated trip, natch. When I went to my mailbox to check my itinerary and put it into my calendar, I found an email invitation to a customer satisfaction survey that I had been sent last week. A cherry on top, if I were given to such haphazardly culinary metaphors.

see attached sheets