Older blog entries for harold (starting at number 15)

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone.

I am back in Ohio right now, taking care of moving the rest of my junk to Boston and dealing with some family stuff. It's nice to be able to relax at least somewhat and see some people I haven't seen in several months. Yipee.

In other news, today is my birthday. I am 20. Yay.

Heard anonymously on a certain IRC channel:

"I mean, come on, it's the year 2000 and we still have hangups over blasting one's own shaft through a gaping ocular orifice?"

*cough*

My sleep schedule has been totally skewed this week. I woke up at 10 pm today and 7 pm the day before. This is not so good, so I'll probably pull a marathon hacking session until this evening and either crash at the office or somehow make it home to my bed.

Found another roach when I woke up. This roach experience was much more positive than my last for two reasons:

  • It wasn't in my pants
  • I found out where they're coming from

The fact that I had any roaches at all is rather unfortunate, but the fact that I've only found two in the couple of months that I've been living there is pretty fortunate. And now that I know where they are coming from, I'm looking forward to being pest-free again.

I'll lick this apartment yet.

On the work front, I've been hard at work on the next generation of the Helix installer. I have now gotten through just about all of the hard parts; it downloads the mirror list, package list, and packages and installs them. Dependency handling is much smarter now, although there is a slightly noticeable performance hit. Definitely worth it.

We have some preliminary Debian packages built. We haven't forgotten you.

We just got our 5 dual-866 MHz machines with half a gig of ram and 2 18-gig scsi drives from Dell. They'll be doing all of the building for the distribution. They are incredibly fast. It's truly stunning.

Mike has been doing some great work on Achtung. He redid the zooming control and added auto-zooming support, so that the slide fits as largely as possible in the window, and resizes as you resize the window. It is very cool. It also has a drop shadow now too. Phil reports that he is very close to having text drawing using a canvas view he's writing from scratch for Havoc's text widget. He says that a few hours more and it'll do editing and a few more and it'll do drag and drop. How very exciting!

Sorry about the long and boring diary, but that's the way it is sometimes. And I shouldn't be apologizing for it, you're reading it still, so something must be keeping you around. I take it back. I'm not sorry. Bugger off.

Yesterday morning I was rather rudely awakened.

By fire engines.

In front of my apartment.

But fret not! It was one of the restaurants across the street from my apartment. I stumbled to the window and couldn't see any fire or smoke, and the patrons were impatiently standing out right in front of the restaurant, so I figured it was probably a grease fire or something and didn't bother to take any pictures.

My suspicions were confirmed when I asked what happened today. The odd thing, though, is that in the last month, both restaurants across the street have caught fire. Both have been grease fires, and one caused $800,000 in damage.

Today's lesson: Don't fuck around with grease.

Last night's movie was American Psycho. It was pretty good and definitely entertaining. It is more of a black comedy rather than a real horror film. I was rather pleasantly surprised to see how well done it was done from both a production and acting standpoint. Worth seeing, but I'm no film critic.

I still can't fall asleep, which means that I've been getting a lot of reading done, but also means that I don't wake up until early-to-mid afternoon. This sucks.

Breaking one's sleep schedule, no matter how good of an idea it seems at the time, always leads to disaster.

Okay, maybe not disaster, but it's a pain in the ass.

So there I was, hacking on the new installer and I was kicking major butt. But I was running into certain interesting bugs, and I was determined to squash them, regardless of the hour! I ended up leaving work at 6 am.

I've had insomnia for the past week or two. I got home. I lay down. I didn't fall asleep until sometime after 7 am.

I woke up at 5 pm. I showered, and went to work. I was pretty productive in those 6 hours before Nat burst into my "office" and asks if I want to go to IHOP. I accept his invitation. After, uh, breakfast, I go home and read for 3 hours. I can't fall asleep. I read for another hour. I fall asleep.

This is my life.

It's been another great month without posting to Advogato. I've decided that from now on, I'll just post first thing when I get to work. Yeah, right.

So, there was that whole GUADEC thing in Paris which was a ton of fun. I got to meet a lot of cool people that I've wanted to meet for a while now. Getting back into the states was a little less than fun...

Our office assistant, Keelyn, booked our tickets, but wouldn't give them to us because she was afraid we would lose them. Fair enough. She gave me mine when we arrived at the airport.

My heart stopped.

The tickets were for a "Harold Shaw".

I don't have any ID that says "Harold", the least of which is my passport. Funny that. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my name isn't Harold at all.

The lady at the US Airways ticket counter had no problem with my story (which concerns me a little), but the police at the Paris airport didn't care much for my story. I should note that some of the police were in camoflage gear with very large machine guns strapped over their shoulders.

Agitated, I went to the ticket counter and told the guy my story. I thought I'd have to buy another ticket, so I made Nat stand in line with me, corporate card in hand. Fortunately, though, the guy at the ticket counter hated the security people more than I, and he was able to change my name. I made it back to my homeland.

Speaking of trains, back where I grew up we had very heavily used train tracks about 100 yards or so from my house. There were two access roads which crossed the tracks, and they were really just blacktop ramps that made going over the tracks possible. We owned the roads, and until we put up a gate, one or two cars a year on average would get stuck and destroyed. The people driving them would be drunk and drive off the ramp, so that at least one of their wheels would be stuck on the rail.

When we first moved into the house, we would try frantically to get tow trucks out there to save the cars.

By the sixth year we lived in that house, we had learned our lesson. If you got your car stuck on those tracks, get whatever you want out of it as quickly as possible, because that car is dead.

And in case you were wondering (and I know you weren't) how I feel about the stuff that goes on here at Advogato, well, I'm not going to go into it. I think the Dimwit thing was all in good fun. Oh well. I couldn't really care less about the whole cert thing, although if I did, I'd probably say add another level above Master. However, people make too big of a deal about it, and as such I've stopped certing people anymore. We'll see how things play out.

Anyway, enough stalling. Look busy.

I hate Netscape Navigator. I hate Netscape Navigator. I have Netscape Navigator.

When I got to the office today, I discovered that I had only about 500 emails by my count. I can tell that this will be a fun day.

Yesterday was a busy day here at the office. The DSL was finally installed, only three months late. Our "provider" (who shall remain nameless) finally got their routing under control. The main upshot of this is that the 10 or so of us are no longer on a modem and thus I now have a telephone.

It was also Michael Zucchi's birthday, so we cut out early and headed back to the Lucky Cave for a party with some movies and beer. Lets just say that a few beers later, I had all the Americans doing jumping jacks.

My landlord claims that he never received my rent. However, my bank informs me that it was cashed on the 15th. He had better not be dicking me over.

Lastly, in honor of my email, today's soup of the day.

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