Older blog entries for jwalther (starting at number 4)

I finally have a scoop site running using Postgres. It is still in the beginning stages; I haven't put up the Privacy Policy or the Editorial Policy, but those should be up in a few days. Now that it is up, I am using it for my diary entries instead of my home-rolled diary software. Check my new diary out here.

Advogato is a fun site, but it can't be all things to everyone. The diary facilities on my home box are a wee bit better, so if you would like to read my diary, you may find it here. To all that know me, and to all that soon will know me, bon vivante!

Whilst coding last night, I made some observations on the art of drinking tea.

  • Heat the tea pot with some boiling water then dump that water before putting in the tea bags and filling it to the brim with scalding H2O. But everyone knew that.
  • Tea was invented to make scones edible. How many people can enjoy scones when not accompanied by tea? (And maybe a little jam on top...) But its a symbiotic relationship; tea is much more boring without scones than with.
  • Saucers were invented for a very valid reason. Tea is often poured in a scalding state. Although this habit has largely fallen into disuse, the intent of the tea saucer is not to "catch spills" so much as it is to pour your scalding tea into, where due to great surface area/volume ratio it cools almost immediately, whence one can sip it without harm to ones cultured taste buds. This is directly related to the next point:
  • Coffee cups WILL NOT do. Try pouring tea into the saucer from a coffee cup. Mess everywhere. Ick. A proper teacup does not have the infernal "defy law of gravity and stick to underside of vessel before dripping off at most inappropriate point" property. This one little bit of advice can save your trousers and jacket from many embarassing moments when having tea with MOTAS

Shopping list for today:

  • Shower curtains. Previous roommate absconded with previous shower curtains when she stormed out. *sigh* Its not good to let water rot the floor, especially in old, cheap housing... If nothing else, the stench is unpleasant.
  • Pipe wrench. Shortly before said roommate stormed out, hot water exhibited peculiar symptoms: after a brief rush of water, it will smoothly trickle down, and quickly come to a full stop, while making an awful chatter somewhere from the direction of the hot water tank. But turn the faucet back off, wait a few minutes, and the same cycle repeats... As long as the handle is on, no water can get through. Will investigate as soon as have bought this essential tool.

<redgreen>And remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.</redgreen>

Payday! Woop. My first act was to go to Chapters and buy 20 books, of which more in the next paragraph. Then went to the Vancouver 2600 meet. It was good to see a lot of new faces there among the old; most of the new ones seemed to be in high school. It was almost like 2 meets in one; the newbies sat by themselves while the oldsters who knew each other sat by themselves too. Adjourned to the Jolly Taxpayer for beer as usual afterward. Got home and talked with Gina some more about wedding plans; looks like it will be in November. She said we're going to need a nino and nanang, which translates to something like "sponsors" but isn't exactly. I'm sure I'll figure it out sometime long after the wedding is done.

One of the books I bought was the Diary of Samuel Pepys. Perhaps one of the most famous early diaries to still be in print, Pepys was a civil servant living in the 1600's. A quick perusal showed that he used his political position to amass wealth, and was a sexual predator to boot. The preface had a big warning label: feminists will not like this guy. That doesn't affect its literary quality; I think its one of the few real diaries that can be read like a novel; Samuel had a style that any modern day diarist could learn from. Since he didn't plan for anyone else to ever read his diary, he held nothing back, which makes for very interesting reading. Maybe I had Advogato in mind when I bought it; the book had certainly never attracted my attention or interest before in any way. It covered the Great Fire of London and many other events of the time between 1660-1669 when the authors eyesight finally gave out. Its a great stroke of luck the diary was preserved; he wrote in shorthand, and noone translated it for the general public until 1825. If you want the sordid details, go buy your own copy, I'm nowhere near done with mine yet :p

A few days ago a friend sent me a book called how to succeed with women for review. Being a shy and somewhat inexperienced guy, he wanted my opinion on the material in it. Flipping through it, the chapter When Babes Attack: Handling Problems Women Cause caught my eye. Expecting it to be amusing, I started reading. Right away I was caught up in the little scenarios it related. I read a bit more... then a bit more... I found myself taking the authors seriously. Then I started to skip around in the book to see if the rest of it had similar quality of content. In the chapter on Where the Girls Are, it suggested the following gimmick: "carry around a cute stuffed animal" then explained what would result. WOW! They stole a leaf out of my book. Thats exactly the technique I used very successfully for a while, as you can see here and then here in these pictures taken at the first LinuxWorld Expo. The motto of the book could be summed up as "good intentions and being a good guy are not enough" in regard to the dating game. It bills itself as "the manual for geeks". rtfm on women? sure, here it is.... it lives up to the billing too. Now, I know, most of you are in horrified shock. "Oh my god, a fucking MANUAL on how to be a sexual predator? how CRASS!". But its not. I'll let the book explain for itself:

It's as if dating is a dance. In the past, everybody knew their steps, and could dance together. A man knew that, if he was interested in a woman, he could do certain things to show that interest, and a woman knew the proper responses to show interest or lack of it. In the modern world, those dance-steps have been largely lost, and we have been left on our own to figure them out. Oftentimes, rather than dancing together it feels more like we are crashing into each other, and stepping constantly onto each other's toes.

This book is about changing all of that.

I daresay even Skud would benefit from reading it. Any guys here feel their love life isn't up to par, this book IS the f***ing manual, all 440 pages of it. What, you thought women weren't more complex than us? The womens equivalent of this book, The Rules (New York Times bestseller), only runs 190 pages.

In my next entry, I'll be reviewing the 1623 edition of Shakespeares First Folio, of which I have a direct photographic copy. Peace out

<rant>
Helped Captain Crunches sysadmin with getting his DNS configured. Whatever HOWTO he followed, it was one fucked up manual. Why does Redhat have to be such an ugly, incompatible system? It sucks when customers loudly demand "Redhat" when for the solution you're trying to provide you know you could easily do it much nicer on something like, say, Debian, OpenBSD, or something else?
</rant>

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!