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12/31/2001    -{ Never, EVER go shopping on New Years Eve... }-

Messed up dreams....

I was a this huge PNE type display, not a display, but more like a rodeo. There were lots of people, and in the dirt below the stands are lots of boy scouts. I have no idea why I'm there, but I think I'm trying to solve a crime of some sort. My old scout leader and father of my friend (Darcy D's) tells me that I'm going to be speaking. I guess he had told me before and I hadn't believed him, because this time it rings true, and I am very much against it. "I don't mind public speaking so much," I tell him, and huge stretch of the truth, "but I don't like speaking in front of such huge crowds."

Somehow I guess I'm roped in and end up trying to get a pencil and paper to start writing my speech, which starts with (and I remember clearly) talking about how scouts really started with going to Beavers, where the motto is "Do Your Best." Amidst trying to find paper that isn't full of writing already (I have to erase several lines of writing from the paper I find) and that I can write on (at least one won't let me write on it) I find one and start my speech. Of course about then my other role in the dream kicks in, that of detective. I'm chasing someone, who did something, or trying to figure out who did what. One of the people is someone who looks a lot like Lucy Liu, and I try to trip her up by confusing her, "So the juice cans, I mean payoffs...." etc.

Luckily I was woken up by a phone ringing before I had to go and do any speaking.

I actually had another one, good enough that when I woke up at 5 I thought I really should write it down, but I ended up going back to sleep to have the above dream.

12/27/2001    -{ *Cough* *cough* }-

Still hacking away.

Reason number 4,563 that the media of today sucks... I heard the following quote on MSNBC or CNN or some similar type station (regarding the hunt for Osama Bin Laden):

"We believe he is either in Afganistan, in another country, or dead"

I know I don't have to say it, but thank you Mr. Obvious. Gads, and they say that kids are growing up more stupid than sacks of anvils lately. I'm sure we have the media to thank for that. Oh, and mindless patriotism I'm sure has helped as well :)

12/26/2001    -{ Happy Sale Day }-

Wow, things are almost back to normal. I have the middle of a gross throat "thing" involving lovely phlem, and a rusty cough. The house is clean(ish) the cats have survived a hyper couple of days of playing in wrapping paper, and a few bits and pieces of new stuff have found homes. Among these are three siamese fighting fish in a mini-beta holder that Firefly got me. Getting this inspired me to dust off (literally) my old fishbowl and get an occupant for it as well. So far the three (the new fishbowl is a divided rectangle holding two) new fish are surviving, and doing their job of bringing me calm. They have obtained a place of honor on the top shelf of my computer desk, right at eye level. This also allows me to keep an eye on the investigating noses and paws of various cats who are likewise interested in their sleek and sexy shapes and colors.

I did go out to the boxing day sales today, but thankfully the only thing I came home with was a $10 pack of batteries. Not bad, especially when I was looking at $2000 flatscreen TVs and $1000 home sound systems and thinking "not bad..." Sanity prevailed however, and I'm all ok (and not as poor as I could be either).

Tonight was mostly spent thinking that I really should continue on with re-writing the personals search scripts, but I ended finally fixing my X font problems. Turned out I need not only a fonts.alias file for my truetype fonts (/usr/lib/X11/fonts/truetype which is created with this script with details on this page) but also to use the xfstt font server. To do this:

  • apt-get install xfstt
  • Then symlink your truetype font directory(s) into it's directory with something like:

    ln -s /usr/lib/X11/fonts/truetype /usr/share/fonts/truetype

    and update it with:

    /etc/init.d/xfstt force-reload

  • and add the following to your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file:

    FontPath "unix/:7101"         # local font server
Now not only do we pages like this one not look like absolute shit, but I can also use fonts such as Tahoma (tahoma, tahoma/I love you, tahoma/you're always a day awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay) without them looking like, well, again, shit. Yay me. Now a bit of re-writing and then I'll do that bed thing. There's work to be done tomorrow, even if from home.

12/25/2001    -{ The one day of the year I don't need to find a tagline }-

Wow, finally Christmas. I still have yet to sleep, as we just got back from a lovely and fun do at Jay and Deb's. Hung with the boys, scared away Jay's relatives, and heard more prison stories from Illiad. It was quite fun, with lots of food, drink and a rousing game or 3 of Uno to finish off the night.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to head to that sleep place for a few hours, before rushing around to various peoples places tomorrow. My cats will appreciate the wrapping paper I'm sure.

12/22/2001    -{ Please, Oh Please, Shoot My Aching Toes! }-

The work Christmas party went quite loverlyly. ScoobyDee did an awsome job with the planning and execution, so full kudos go out to her (especially since she didn't laugh at my other pants). We (the dev team) got the boss a gift certificate for some fancy schmancy resteraunt in Chilliwack, which he appreciated, I hope. Especially since he was bitching at us earlier that day about us not getting him anything! So :-P~

There was drinking (I had to drive....), dancing (poor DJ didn't have much to work with (we're geeks!), and had to deal with requests for such greats as the Imperial March from Star Wars and Mr. Tamborine Man by William Shatner) and good times (we as a department got Muckhead tickets to a Vancouver hockey game in appreciation for his bringing in of sweets and toys all december.

And this morning I woke up knowing that I had to go christmas shopping. Oh the pain! Oh the horror! I maxed out my credit card, and got it all done in one shot. I don't think I missed anyone, and even got a couple of things for yon random gifts (people coming to the door, people I missed, etc. I'm just glad it's all over. Course, wrapping is next, but that'll come tomorrow. My stuff is all still out in the car because quite frankly, after wading through the parking lots, the lines, the absolute morons, I didn't have the energy. I didn't manage to find Firefly a zebra so it can all stay outside.

Among the things I got was a new phone. Yea, I know, it's horrible to get something for yourself while you're supposed to be shopping for others, but apparently AT&T owes me a "free" upgrade every two years. Course, it's not free, but if you believe what they say, I got a $400 phone for $50. It's smaller too, and has nifty things like games, and ringtones. I just have to get an infrared port going somewhere so I can sync it up with my PC, and not have the danger of loosing my phone numbers.

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Future shop employs morons of the highest caliber. I was in there looking for something, found it, but there were no boxes of the actual item around, only a demo. So I stood around, tempted to scream out "Does anyone work here!?", until a PFY (pimply faced youth) approached and asked if he could help. The conversation went something like this:

  • Arc: I'd like to buy this please. [indicating what I wanted]
  • PFY: Actually sir, that price is only on the demo unit.
  • A: Ok, then I'd like to buy that.
  • P: You realize that it doesn't come with any of the accessories.
  • A: *sigh* Ok, then I'd like to buy the boxed version.
  • P: Well, we don't have any of those left.
  • A: *biggersigh* Well, what else do you have that also does [secret]?
  • P: We have that one, that one and that one. [indicating them on the display]
  • A: Hmmm.... [Looking at each [secret], comparing prices, features, look and feel]
  • A: Ok, I'll take this one. [not exactly what I wanted, but that's ok]
  • P: Actually sir, I have to tell you that we are out of these models. [indicating the three models that were identified earlier]
  • A: And how did you expect to buy something that you were out of? Don't you think it might have been a good idea to tell me this earlier? [angrily]
  • P: We were giving out rainchecks...
  • A: Uh huh
  • P: Were you still interested?
  • A: No. [walks away]
Needless to say the other things I was going to buy were purchased elsewhere, where the salesdroids had their heads slightly farther out their asses.

The one thing that kept me sane was that at one point I was at the top of the new parking structure at Seven Oaks Mall, and I mean the very top level, and I happened to look towards Mount Baker and saw a wonderous sight. I guess the sun and clouds just reached the right place, and Baker, and the mountains surrounding it just looked awsome. I must have stood there for a few minutes just staring out and looking at the skyline. Kept me from thinking "this would be a great place to bring a high powered rifle and a scope" as well (I'm Kidding!).

Random Perl Trick of the Year:

This sent to me by Cuv:

$|=@_=$_="\rJust another Perl hacker,\n";chop;s/${\(a..
z)[rand 26]}/#/ig&&(@_=($_,@_))while/\w/;sleep print for@_

12/20/2001    -{ [Some Witty Tolkien Quote Here] }-

Yup, saw Lord of the Rings tonight. My micro-review: go see it. If you haven't read the books before, then read the first one, or listen to the audiobook, and then go see it. Actually, just go see it.

Works been good I guess, bugs keep on getting squashed, but all the new stuff that's all exciting and so forth is just out of reach for a few more days it seems, until I have time to set up a proper build environment so I can actually find the time to be hack up some of Kev's build scripts.

So it's the staff christmas party tomorrow, and I have a borrowed jacket, which actually fits very nicely. I'm stuck with my cargo pants, as they are the "other" pair. Still haven't gotten anything for the gift exchange yet, hopefully that can be taken care of tomorrow. I'd like to get a pair of decent pants, shoes and shirt too, but for once a year I'll have to rough it with the old stuff. I was actually thinking of getting togeather with foz and engel and going in tophats and tails, but the cost of renting ($120+) for a night, coupled with the fact that we can't see how they look until they get here (which would have been tonight if I'd ordered on the day that I asked around), and it's just for a bit of 'gee wow' factor, it's just not worth it. Maybe with my .com millions....

Bed now. Bike Nazi day tomorrow.

12/17/2001    -{ "It Would Seem That The Ring Wraiths Have Scattered" }-

What a middle of the road couple of days, sadly moving more onto the "blah" side. Starting with an E2 meet (my first) in vancouver friday night. It was ok I guess, decent people, who were friendly enough to the new ones among them. Still, I was reminded that I'm shy and don't react all that well to new people. Saturday was a party to celebrate K's birthday (happy birthday!) and UFie Dramoth's arrival. This was broken by a brother getting too drunk and turning into a complete asshole at the mere thought that anyone should have a dick bigger than his (either literally or metaphorically). Having him try to beat the shit out of a friend of mine, and then having to deal with being friends with both of his sisters, each of which has a separate viewpoint on things. *sigh* It's so fun being me. Oh, then sunday it was blowing very very hard, and we had an hour or so of power outage. That was fun, and I found that my one flashlight is indeed within finding range. Interesting how completely black things go... Then today random person one got totally pissed (and I mean totally) at random person two. Not completely justifiably, and not completely unjustifiably.

I'm getting sick and tired of being the one who is always sitting on the fence, and trying to keep peace between my various factions of friends. Especially when I can't stand solidly on one side or the other with a true concience. Again, everyone is right to a degree, but not completely. Maybe I'm just weird because I don't fly completely off the handle one way or the other.... though perhaps it's because I don't have a mind of my own and only can act based on other peoples suggestions and ideas. But I don't think so. I, of course, cannot even stand on the fence without looking like I'm sucking up one way or the other. I could throw secrets back and give a few things to think about, but they are just that, secrets. Things were much simpler before.

On a brighter note, christmas is almost here. Yay. Joy. Etc. Christmas shopping has been kinda started, but not really. As I've said every year before this, I have to start earlier. I went out shopping saturday, but that was "there is no food in the house" type shopping, and I can only take so much of malls and stores around this time of year.

The Lord of the Rings movie is coming out on wednesday (part of the reason for the above stress incidentally), and I'm hoping that they don't butcher it. After I've seen it I will have been exposed to three different versions, the book (which I read when I had my holiday this February), the BBC audio version (listening to it now on audiobook mp3 while working) and the movie. I've noticed a few places that have been glossed over in the audiobook, even though it is 13 hours long! The first book part of the audiobook series is about 4 hours long (so far) and they've missed out some major things that I remember from the book (the tree for one). I really hope that the LOTR on the big screen doesn't completely suck ass.

12/14/2001    -{ Bike Nazi Day! }-

Well, thus ends a decent week. Work has gone well, and lots of bugs have been squashed. I'm also almost done the second Harry Potter book on mp3'd audiobook, and as soon as it's done I shall start on Lord of the Rings, to try to finish the re-"read" it before the movie opens in a few days.

Tonight I'll be heading to an e2 con (fishsticks) and shall be meeting the likes of Pseudo_Intellectual, WonkoDSane, and a few other names that I remotely know from the site. Guess tonight I'll find out if they are a bunch of psychos or not :) Looking forward to the weekend though, as usual. This morning was bike nazi day, and amazingly me and Muckhead (java weenie from work) kept up. 40 minutes is a long time to be stuck on an uncomfortable bike seat. I had to go to a job a few times during the longer "run" times, but mostly it was all good.

Ooooh! And LOTR is coming out soooooon! Can't wait! :)

12/12/2001    -{ Zoon }-

I'd like to rename my kitten. I think a more appropriate name would be something along the lines of "Psycho kitten, destroyer of sleep". Actually, PSYCHO KITTEN, DESTROYER OF SLEEP might be more appropriate. The night before last she decided at 1:25 (just after I got to bed after some late night hacking) that she was going to start ripping around the house, playing with plastic bags, jumping on the bed, jumping off the bed, jumping on the bed, jumping off the bed, playing with cords, playing with plants, and generally doing whatever she could to destroy my hopes for sleep. This kept up for literally an hour or more, as the last time I remember looking at the clock it was 2:25am. I have no idea what got into her, but it made me never want to have children, ever ever ever. When she finally stopped I guess I managed to go to sleep, but that was a hard morning. Lucky it wasn't a workout morning.

Last night Zoon (the kitten) decided to make it up to me for keeping me awake by racing around, and woke me up at 4am last night by licking me on the nose and purring like mad. I guess I can't hate her for that. Much.

The gym thing has been going well I think, I can't see any real noticable difference in me, but then again, I get to stare at my own ugly mug every morning, and as far as I'm concerned I haven't changed my appearance since grade 7 or so. Or before then. Today Denise from work showed me and foz how to play squash, and it was lots of fun. If we can get good rallies going I think it'll be good... lots of nice short bursts of energy, resulting in heart attacks and death (if lucky). Going to the gym in the morning and then going to play squash at noon is not recommended.

I hurt.

12/03/2001    -{ Another Week, another Blowout }-

This time the ufies main hard drive went. Wee..... it blew out sometime friday, when it dropped off the face of the earth. I didn't think that much of it at the time, as I was busy and it's done that before. I left a message for the guys at the colo a while later, saying that if it's not responding please hit the big red switch. A bit later I got a call from Tom saying "you box is sick."

Not words you really want to hear.

Apparently he booted it, plugged a monitor in and found that the primary master hard drive (thats the one with all the important stuff on it) wasn't coming up in the BIOS. Even a massive fsck-up of the OS wouldn't cause that. Sounded like hardware failure :( A trip out there confirmed it, as the drive now goes wiiiiiiiiiiiiizzzzzz thunk wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizzzz thunk. A purchase of the smallest drive I could find (a 30G) at London Drugs and a day of re-installing software, testing, restoring backups and more testing rendered a box that was ready to be put back in. Luckily Tom was nice enough to come in on Saturday (again) to let me into the serverroom to pop 'er back in.

Sadly, I discovered the one directory I wasn't backing up was the directory with all the scripts and programs for peer 2 peer :( This is actually a big blow as they took a while to create and redoing them is going to be a complete pain in the ass. Live and learn I guess. I'm just really glad the rest of the system was ok, all the home directories with peoples data, user password file, etc etc, all fine fine fine.... So, could have been worse, but could have been better.

So that was my weekend, how was yours?