31 May 2002
Bloody hell. Anatole came through

Bloody hell. Anatole came through Montreal last night, so Tyla and I met up with him and George at a little bar for some drinks and chatter. I kept a very close eye on my cell phone, expecting that, at any moment, my immigration saviour would call. Well, it turns out I didn't give him my cell number, and I missed his call by about 10 minutes. I LOSE.

Today is meetings and meetings and then travel to Toronto for a weekend of visiting and Plan B Househunting. I have now given Mr. Grasmick my cell number, to avoid a repeat of last night's silliness.

On the surface, Double Fine's recruiting process looks a lot more entertaining than Sony's, but I haven't seen them strut their immigration stuff yet.

I'm taking my laptop to Toronto, so I might update from there. We'll see if I can be bothered to get the modem stuff working on this silly beast.

(The first of today's meetings went quite well, and I managed to get train tickets and lunch afterwards. Even the rain wasn't too bad. I'm on a conference call for the second meeting right now, and I am reminded again of how much I hate being the guy on the speakerphone. Hate. Seethe.)

Joe Grasmick called! O frabjous day! I sent all the details to Mario, and now we'll see what Sony thinks of financing my entry. Whee!

Again, from the slavering jaws of defeat. Or, at least, the trembling jaws of decision. Got a call from Mario as we were pulling into Toronto, saying that Sony would likely be willing to pony up for the immigration lawyer. He'll know for sure Monday. I can't wait.

After we got checked in at the hotel, we wandered over to Emily's and Christina's, and from there to College St. Dinner at Utopia, and then we zipped over to Tortilla Flats to meet up with Alasdair and, in fact, Christina. Getting to bed afterwards involved two separate attempts to get settled, with a (false) fire alarm in between.

I had slept a fair bit on the train, so I got to read a fair bit of "The Golden Compass" before drifting off. Pretty darned good so far.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
30 May 2002
Tyla bought me some underwear

Tyla bought me some underwear yesterday. It's comfy.

Mario convinced me that all was not yet lost on the Sony front, so I have arranged a consultation with Joseph C. Grasmick, immigration superstar. He's a little pricy, but now is no time to be skimping on my future ability to enter the United States.

Discussion of a very interesting patent stance on the part of Red Hat led me to a licensing quiz. I got 2 questions wrong, which amazed me somewhat, though in one case I think the wording of the license and the quiz aren't quite compatible. In the other case, I just had my brain turned off.

Did you know that there is a school of English style which pluralizes "addendum" as "addendums" rather than "addenda", and similarly for "forum" and whatnot? I did not, until today. This is apparently the "Anglo-Saxon" tradition, in contrast to the "Latinist" tradition. Google isn't as helpful as I'd have hoped on this matter, so I'm wondering if "data" is singular or plural to these folk. There certainly seems to be evidence that the original Anglo-Saxon/Old English crowd did more interesting things than simply append an s, so further study is clearly required. (It does amuse me greatly, in this context, to discover that the very term Anglo-Saxon is derived from the Latin "Anglo-Saxones".) Perhaps someone out there with a copy of some appropriate issue of Anglo-Saxon England to hand can help me learn more? I know there are English-language-history buffs who read these scribblings. Speak up!

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29 May 2002
I don't want to talk

I don't want to talk about it.

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28 May 2002
So far, today has not

So far, today has not been one for the record books. At least, not in a good way.

First, I discover that the "RRSP" account I've been contributing to monthly since March of 2000 isn't an RRSP account at all. So I don't get the tax deduction. At least, that's what the guy at CI Funds told me. My 2000 return indicates that I claimed RRSP bits, but that was probably Tyla's spousal thing. This means that our financial advisor in Toronto has screwed us into a multi-thousand-dollar tax liability. (In addition to the fact that we're invested in mutual funds that have been steadily declining in value since we started. Yay.)

But then, because that's not enough for one day, I had to go another round with Sony HR, who appear to have made zero forward progress since we last spoke a few weeks ago. (A conversation that ended, I add with only a touch of bitterness, in a promise to contact me the next day.) I've got a new offer letter on the way, which appears to be only mildly flawed. I'm starting to think really hard about Plan B.

Oh well. There's always next year for the Leafs.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
27 May 2002
I love American holidays, because

I love American holidays, because I can work largely unmolested, and my mailbox doesn't bulge like it does on most Mondays. Of course, it meant that I couldn't explain the concept of the passage of time to Sony's HR people, but you really can't win them all.

I had a nice lunch with the Imviva boys as well. They're up to some really cool stuff, and I think it's going to be pretty exciting. (I heard all sorts of coolness about the SPEQ investment tax credit thing in Québec. It's woefully underrepresented on the web, as is the case with an awful lot of Québec goverment stuff, but it basically amounts to a juicy provincial tax credit on top of rrsp eligibility. What amounts to about a $10,000 investment in an eligible Québec company costs something silly like $1800 after all the tax goodness shakes out.)

On the way back from lunch -- OK, it was 10 blocks out of the way -- I picked up a Star Wars novel. I've resisted this for quite some time, but I keep hearing that the books are actually quite enjoyable, so I figured I'd find out. Updates as events warrant.

In Mozilla-land today, I played a little bit with __builtin_expect to try and squeeze a little more performance out of the rotund lizard. I'm still wrestling with my compiler choices and whatnot, but I think there might be a nice cheap win here. More later in the week, I guess.

I also spent a fair amount of time reading E3 reports, and then hooked up with some losers for a little Shadowbane fun later in the evening. A good time was had by all, except perhaps for J, who got just a wee bit dead just a wee bit fast.

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26 May 2002
Our ambitious plans for Museum

Our ambitious plans for Museum Day weren't fully realized, but we did go by the cca and meet some of Tyla's co-workers. They've got some pretty neat stuff, but I was kinda tired, and didn't really appreciate it fully. Also, there is an entire section of the cynicism part of my brain devoted to reading "in reaction to September 11th", which made it hard to really get into one of the major exhibits.

We did some shopping at Atwater and I made dinner with the spoils. We had a pretty darned good meal of Shrimp, Roman-Style on soba noodles, courtesy of the always-excellent Mark Bittman.

I also managed to play a fair bit of Shadowbane today. The NDA precludes much further comment, but I had a good time.

Today's light reading was a geeky math book, which made me long for days past, when I had an intuitive sense of the relation between two vectors and their dot product. It'll all come back, I'm sure. There are even exercises!

Toronto next weekend? Could well be, if I get all my work done like a good little human resource and sort something -- anything -- out with Sony.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
25 May 2002
First and most importantly, go

First and most importantly, go Leafs! Cujo will get his $9M next year, I expect.

I almost fixed a bug today, but not quite. Brendan had a better plan, as usual, and all is well.

I was really tired today, and I'm starting to suspect the Hep shots more seriously, since there's a pattern developing. I hope I'm feeling better tomorrow, because it's Museum Day, and we have ambitious plans.

Tired now. Sleep.

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24 May 2002
So, yeah. We released rc3

So, yeah. We released rc3 last night, to great fanfare and only mild bitching. We are dangerously close to a browser.

I got my Hep A shot today, so I was up nice and early and got to wander around downtown and buy geeky books. Chapters and Indigo disavow all in-store knowledge of A New Kind of Science, which Zach rightly says should be filed under "selling like hotcakes down south". Maybe they were burned by the phantom 1997 version and are waiting to make sure it Really Exists first. I guess I'll order it from Amazon, or something.

It seems like I maybe I should have got a personality shot instead. I managed to utterly piss off Zach by making a ludicrous analogy about the pricing of banking services and software, and then I ended up fighting with Hixie all day about some silly CSS thing. He's right, I'm misreading the spec brutally, though I think the spec is itself flawed by not allowing us to use the author's hint when the server gives us a type we can't do anything with. I guess I'll have to mail the W3C or something. The bottom line is that I'm apparently some sort of asshole, the kind of person who molests alligators. Or maybe we just all need to get laid or something.

It's important to focus on the task at hand, though. And right now, that's having a beer and playing some video games.

Well, crap. This sort of thing makes me a little less happy about going to work for Sony. But I'm working for AOL now, so I'm already going to hell.

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23 May 2002
We had a very nice

We had a very nice dinner with Adam and George last night, as it was Adam Day, Observed. Much yum, much wine, much sleepy. I think I would like to die at the hands of a very large foie gras, when my end must come.

Have to finish up my patch for an XSLT enable/disable pref for 1.0.1, and then get to the last item on yesterday's list. I get to be the bad guy, apparently, just because I volunteered to make a patch. Life is so unfair.

The Canadian dollar is rising like the morning sun, which is heartening -- but a little annoying, because I haven't gotten around to exchanging my last AOL payment into $CDN yet. My own damned fault, clearly.

My lovely sister-in-law Sara (not to be confused with my other lovely sister-in-law, Martha) is on a trip to New Zealand right now, which is apparently as full of beauty and wonder as all my Kiwi friends claim. It is also home to a friend of their family who works at New Line on special effects for the Lord of the Rings movies. Sara got to see some early footage, apparently, of The Two Towers. Elf rope! Ents! The mind reels.

Found my SSN, suckered some poor suckers into being references, and faxed off the form to Sony. Yay!

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22 May 2002
I feel much better today,

I feel much better today, though I did sleep until noon. I'm wondering if my off-kilter-ness from yesterday might have been a reaction to the Hep B vaccine I got on Monday. I'll ask the doctor when I go back for round 2 on Friday, I guess.

Seanbaby's a little more offensive than I would usually want, for something linked from this page, but in light of the "big bad internet-dingo ate my baby" stories that have been setting my teeth on edge for the past little while, I can't pass up the opportunity to revisit this (relatively tame) article about the Columbine-spawned lawsuits against entertainment companies.

Today will be a productive day, I can feel it in my bones. On the list (watch as I fail!):

  • Buy Adam's birthday present.
  • Fill out and send in Excel-entangled application form for Sony.
  • Call Peter and grovel for forgiveness.
  • Check in Date.now.

Now that's just cool.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
21 May 2002
I was sick today. I

I was sick today. I got jack all done, ended up causing the postponement of Adam's birthday dinner, felt like crap and didn't even have a new Penny Arcade to cheer me up. Blah.

Only fun link today is from more excellent monkeyglobs progress. The script is pretty small, even including the vertex program. My less technically-inclined readers won't be so interested in the script, but who doesn't love a cow?

Final thought: if you were writing ads for Mastercard, would you end with the tagline "accepted everywhere dogs are"? I sure wouldn't. (Wonder why you don't eat fish more often?)

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
20 May 2002
Off to the doctor to

Off to the doctor to get some hot vaccine action, then I think not much else today. It's a holiday up here, and while some of the glee in that disappears when you're paid strictly for hours worked, it's still nice to kick back with your countrymen.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
19 May 2002
Brunch is the order of

Brunch is the order of the day, then more Monkeyglobs hacking, and then hockey, and yay.

Indeed, bunch and then some shopping, including a visit to the booze temple for Madhava's benefit. We picked up a nice tokaji, and went back home to watch tor lose a heartbreaker.

Neither Madhava nor Tyla had seen Memento, so we remedied that with our finest DVD-fu. Always a fun experience, especially when you get to dissect it afterwards.

I got some NV_vertex_program and NV_register_combiner bits working for Monkeyglobs, but now mmarker can't seem to get his act together with nvparse, so it might be for short-term naught.

I grabbed Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast as well, will probably play a little tomorrow.

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18 May 2002
Madhava arrived last night, so

Madhava arrived last night, so we wandered around with him and George for a bit downtown, snacking and window-shopping and such. After twisting his innocent little mind with some GTA3, we trotted off to L'Express for a mighty nummy feast. Madhava showed off his impressive wine knowledge, and a good time was had by all.

Today was also George Day, a fact which the forgetful among us only discovered when he let it slip at around 23h30, as we waited for the dessert menu. Unacceptable. He will be fêted today without relent.

Afternoon Monkeyglobs progress was considerable, and we have a glxgears port that's very competitive with native-C framerates. Yay. NV_vertex_program is a huge extension, but I'm plugging away.

(Mozilla makes a hash of the :first-letter stuff in the first para, because it's a link and we lose the pseudoclass style on a restyle. Alas, ReResolveStyleContext has beaten me again.)

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17 May 2002
Attack of the Clones didn't

Attack of the Clones didn't suck. I mean, I was wondering, as I sat in the theatre, why they didn't do sequels to movies like Childen of a Lesser God, and this is certainly not such a sequel, but I didn't feel like I'd wasted two-and-a-bit hours of my life. Even the cheesy dialogue was true to (my recollection of) A New Hope. I think it might be time that I just accept that Star Wars movies aren't really all that good, but they're entertaining nonetheless. In related news, I'm quite looking forward to xxx.

It was fun to see the ZKS folks again, too. I should get together with Tamas and the Hill boyz again before I flee the city; it's been too long, and Tamas will likely be pleasantly amazed to discover that my "I'd like to do games" flight of fancy has nearly come to pass. (I know I am!)

rc3 continues apace, as we pack in the fixes. With bryner's surprisingly small patch for that really annoying context menu bug, we're going to have something that is dangerously close to 1.0. And then, soon, I can stop talking about it. And, for the love of Pete, dreaming about it. I don't usually remember my dreams, and I'm wishing last night's fantastical journey through a miserably failed 1.0 release attempt hadn't been an exception.

Monkeyglobs is staying the course of improvement, and I'm doing some JSAPI cleanup in behind Mark's righteous texture work. I still fear the GC, but we almost have Quake ported.

George managed to find the requisite nudity in the otherwise-PG (I think -- I still can't extract any information from the text) manga that Steph brought me. Quite quickly, in fact. I think he might have some sort of radar.

I'm still working my way through the huge benefits-info package that Sony sent me yesterday. I guess Americans understand exactly how co-pay and such things work, but it's sort of interesting to work it out from first-Google-principles.

And people make fun of my language...

<math> if (scalar (@{$t{$u}}) > 9) { pop (@{$t{$u}}) };

It's been a long time since I was a regular Slashdot reader, but I would return with a vengeance if they posted more stuff like this excellent pseudo-review of AotC.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
16 May 2002
Got the rest of the

Got the rest of the package from Sony today, which is nice. I also started enumerating conference gigs and press sightings and whatnot for the immigration process, which is really proving that I need to keep better track of this sort of thing. If you saw me speak in 1998 about XML support in "Netscape 5.0", in Hull and one other place, please drop me a line and tell me what the heck the conference was called. Shout out, or mad props, or perhaps just heartfelt thanks to my man Craig, who worked his magic with press archives and saved me a few months of my life.

Couldn't sleep last night, after watching col eliminate sj, so I read more of the OpenGL Superbible, which filled my head with graphicy goodness. It's a pretty great book, though nearly all of the screen shots inside are solid-black windows. Mark and I got monkeyglobs running well enough to port some camera demos from GameTutorials. I get about 200 fps on my laptop, much more if I'm not fill-rate bound (mostly-obscured window). We haven't wired up the GC yet, so we'll probably take an interactivity hit when that first happens, but so far I'm tremendously pleased. It's nice when software works, because it doesn't always.

About 3 hours from Episode 2, now. I need to stretch my disappointment muscles, so I don't pull something.

Speaking of pulling things, my friend Christina ran -- and finished, natch -- the Ottawa Marathon last weekend, cementing her position on the list of "people vastly better than Mike". Congratulations are due, obviously.

Steph brought me some manga from Japan, which is kinda neat. Except that the only English on them is "Comics for Men". It appears that Japanese men like to golf, eat noodles, ride trains and make pained expressions in extreme closeup. Thus far, further analysis has been stymied. But still, domo arigato Steph!

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
15 May 2002
I don't feel so good

I don't feel so good today, and it's not just because I've got a pile of bugs to shepherd into rc3's waiting arms. Of course, I probably feel better than a lot of Ottawa fans -- it's not even warm enough to golf there yet!

Mozilla makes me really tired. I can't wait until we ship 1.0, so I can get nicely tipsy and then go do something else for a while. Like a decade. There's a guy on MUD-Dev that thinks cross-platform development is "trivial", if you're competent, but I really can't seem to get the hang of it. Thread-local storage works differently on Win95 than everywhere else? Sure. HP's compiler can't negate a zero? Of course not. I need to borrow Brian Hook's brain, I guess.

When your little sister has been modelling in Japan for a few months, this sort of thing is all the more disturbing. I guess it's just a sign of the times.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
14 May 2002
My offer-letter package arrived today,

My offer-letter package arrived today, and most of what I wanted was in there. They're sending the rest tomorrow. We also started the immigration dance today, which promises to be more fun than one person should be permitted to experience. It feels sucky, but I think I need to start setting up Plan B in case things just don't work out.

Steph will be returning home some time in the next few days, apparently. That'll be fun, and I'm sure she'll have all sorts of crazy Japan stories to tell.

Man, I'm really bummed about the immigration thing. I'm going to watch the Leafs eliminate Ottawa, make some mediocre dinner and have a beer or three. Maybe I'll come back and spice this entry up with some links later, or something.

Steph's on her way from Dorval! Yay! I wish we'd left more dinner for her, but that's what she gets for not calling from Japan. She brought us sake, and some odd Japanese candy. Yay!

And, finally: GO LEAFS GO!

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
13 May 2002
Janelle Brown has, predictably, put

Janelle Brown has, predictably, put together a more impressive decrying of the graduation ceremony policy disaster I mentioned a few days ago. I shan't write more about it here, because I'll spend the whole day fuming if I don't get onto another line of thought immediately.

Sorting through my wardrobe with Tyla has been a very enlightening experience. I'm now making bets with myself as to whether individual items will receive the Frown Of Condemnation, or be permitted to live another day. I think I'm running out of sentimental-value exemptions, too.

It's kinda cool when the punishment fits the crime. And turnabout is always fair play.

Mark imported his JSGL stuff today, and I did some JS cleanup. I think I'll see if I can't get some of the GameTutorials tutorials ported over. I get to write my own Vector class, yay!

Our investigators may be pretty smart, but sometimes it's just not a challenge.

My friend Anatole sent a summary of his year's activities at ksg to a mailing list of high-school friends, and we were all made suitably jealous. I can't believe that I'm tempted to enter the public service all of the sudden. I am so impressionable. (Also, when I was going to compose a summary of my own, I was pretty much stumped at "I typed a lot.")

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11 May 2002
Today, I spent some time

Today, I spent some time with hixie and dbaron narrowing down the crappy spacing bug I keep seeing on this diary thing. Turns out that :first-line is mostly to blame, but that being in a table makes the suck pile on a little deeper. David mentioned ReParentStyleContext, and I ran for the hills.

I was going to do a bunch of stuff as part of the Sony dance today, which is why I didn't go to the ball game with Andrew and George and the Rootham-Demarsico Duo. Nope. Dicked around with test cases for style bugs and one unfortunate rc2 regression, sat on the porch, re-read a bunch of Effective STL (I was looking for something to settle a debate on some IRC channel, but then I started reading, and it was sunny, etc.), and then trotted off to dinner with Adam and Tyla. We ate at Carmel, which is never as full as I feel it really deserves to be. The food was typically above-average (I had nice calamari to start, a deer osso bucco, and then a nice little cheese plate), and pretty reasonably priced considering. Recommended. This time we also noted more carefully the name of the lovely drink that our waitress had recommended last time. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

As I type, George et alii en route for some late-night Titan and associated revelry. I hope I don't get my ass kicked too badly.

This is sort of a lame entry. I know I had other stuff to mention here, but I don't know what it is. Maybe I'll remember later.

10 May 2002

If you are a fan of Star Wars, online gaming, or just things that are pretty, then you owe it to yourself to spend twenty-odd minutes looking at this wonderful movie about the upcoming Star Wars Galaxies game. They apparently have access to all of the Skywalker Sound assets from the movies, and no doubt some of the models as well. I think they might have mo-capped a real lizard for one of their animations. That's what I'd do: lizard time is pretty cheap. (Thanks to Hobo for the tip. No special thanks to the narrator of the clip, though I guess I'd have been pretty excited, too.)

Speaking of Star Wars, it seems that Tyla and I will be going to see the new movie on Thursday, courtesy of ZKS. Glad to see there aren't any hard feelings. I really hope it doesn't suck.

Tonight, George and Andrew will be swinging by to watch the hockey game. I think I might be the only one cheering for the Leafs, but I'm comfortable with that. Being a Leafs fan in Montreal is not about being popular, it's about being right.

Zarro frigging boogs, baby. Now we take a few deep breaths, lube up the FTP server, and get bludgeoned about the head and shoulders by rc3.

Boy, if I'd seen this before I started talking to Sony, I might be trying to drag Tyla in the other direction. "Candidates are also required to write a final 10,000 word dissertation in the area of intellectual property and/or information technology law," indeed. (Clarification: "in the other direction" meaning "east to Edinburgh" vs. "west to San Diego". Which is to say, towards the luscious law programme. There.)

Tyla thinks that the Starbucks gang should maybe be giving their goodies to a food bank instead of wasting them on the patrons of Starbucks, who will be trivially able to afford their own muffins and coffee. I haven't yet been able to construct a decent counterpoint, but I'll keep trying. "Culture-jamming" really doesn't stack up well against "feeding the hungry", early results are showing.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
9 May 2002
So, now my diary validates,

So, now my diary validates, including the css. I can't bring myself to use the god-awful icons, though.

I hope people don't get the idea that I think all degrees are useless, or that nobody should go to university. I've been accused of that stance before (as well as the usual assortment of not-completely-sweet grapes), so I thought I'd try to head it off a bit here. Maybe I'll write more later, but I think there's a lot that industry could learn from academe as well (including, but not limited to, better application of the "frequent testing, and failure means you don't advance" doctrine.)

Phil is apparently thinking of giving up his web diary, a thought so dark I can hardly bear to mention it. Who benefits, Phil? We do: your friends and family and slightly-creepy lurking stalkers. If you agree that his diary is a treasure of the web -- and if not, what kind of animal are you? -- then please tell him.

The "Netscape™ Gecko" logo is gone from the embedding doc I linked to yesterday. From the pdf version, too. Thanks, Ellen. I really appreciate it.

Somehow, mutt managed to do something to my inbox, such that the steaming pile that we call an imap server would have nothing to do with it. That cost me no small amount of time today, and my blood pressure rose a bit. I still don't have imap working again, but I'll worry more about that tomorrow. Probably.

Mario and I dorked around a little bit today about final salary numbers, relo budget, office preferences, etc. They're going to FedEx me an offer tomorrow, and then I get to start the Impossible Visa Journey. Things are looking close, but this visa thing still looms huge in my vision.

To calm myself a bit, I spent a little while coming up with my first GoogleWhack. That you get 21 hits for "pulmonary jingoism" really indicates how challenging the sport is, I think.

8 May 2002

Last night, I netted zero on the geeking front. First, I explained JS closures to bryner, but then I nullified that experience by thinking I'd found an error in Effective C++. Of course, it wasn't an error, and I was just reading too quickly. I'd like to lay some of the blame at the feet of the C++ language committee for using const in so many different places, but this was actually a use of const that is identical in my beloved C. (The type of this for a non-const method is Class * const, not Class *. Of course.)

(Apparently, the Danish term for "programming" is "programmering". That seems like a word that English should adopt: "man, someone really programmered up this design".)

I wish I understood more about how Gecko determined its inter-word spacing, because then I could at least reason about the freakish behaviour I see in my diary (mostly related to spacing around spans, I think). Also: why is there a "Netscape™ Gecko" logo on that page? The site is about Mozilla, the engine is shared, and contributed to, by a multitude of companies and organizations...I don't get it.

The amj lady is on her way. Should be here, well, 10 minutes ago, but who's counting? Update: She arrived! She was nicely apologetic, and the cataloguing didn't take that long at all. Boy, do we have a lot of stuff. I'll know just how much stuff by noon, she says, and I believe her. Last moving-estimate update, I hope: apparently, we have about 3800 kg of stuff (8300 lbs for our Imperial brethren). Also, it's really really good to get the "57.5% B. L. Discount". Being Late, maybe?

Phil found something today that bit another large, meaty chunk out of my faith in public education. I wouldn't have been allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies at that school -- unless I did what no doubt a few students will do, and just took an acceptance letter from some random school in some random program (I was offered one, in a program that would not have been a good use of my time at that point), with no intention of really following through. Great use of registrar resources, to say nothing of some kid who gets bumped from a programme he or she does want to attend, because I came from a more-prestigious high school or some such bullshit. Number of students who go to university isn't a great metric of academic success, in my mind, and I think there are already way too many kids who go to university just because it's "what you do after high school, if you're not dumb or poor". Let's make other life-paths (work, informal apprenticeship) even more stigmatized, folks! Heaven knows that we don't need anyone to consider doing things that don't lead to a B. Whatever.

Even the headline of that article is pretty infuriating, as though if you don't plan to go to university, military college or a trade school, you have "no future plans". Of course, CNN's headlines are generally so priceless that I can probably let them get away with that one. (The headline I really wanted to link to there has been changed, alas.)

Of course, if you want to work in the US and aren't a citizen, you really do want to have a degree. No doubt motivated by similar college uber alles braindeath, it's very, very difficult to convince the ins that you're a potentially-useful employee without one. Who cares that the company that wants to hire you is willing to pay a fair salary and relocate you, because they think you're the best candidate for the job? Who cares that you're currently pulling money out of the US economy as fast as you can invoice for it, and would instead be paying US taxes on it, spending the remainder on US merchants and servicefolk, and generally making their country wealthier for it? Lunacy. Maybe I'll go find some community college that will let me pay-for-play with a "2-year" certificate programme on things I could teach in pig Latin. Mom's got an interview at St. Lawrence College today, so perhaps she can help me grease the skids.

Not that Canada is substantially better about things, as Phil can attest, but I think somewhat better.

Oh, and don't even start with me today about security bug policy, OK? Neither of us wants that.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
7 May 2002
I thought the amj

I thought the amj people were arriving today at 0900, but apparently not. Wonder when they'll show up. Wish I'd written down the phone number.

When I went to sleep last night, I apparently left a book resting on my keyboard. No big deal, really, but it was sitting on the left Control key. In Morrowind, that's the "sneak" key, so my Dark Elf assassin ("Khal", as though you cared) was sitting all crouched and stealthy all night. I expected her to be a little cramped when I took the book off this morning, but it turns out that she was hard at work: enough people walked by that she got in some good practice, and has now maxed out her sneak skill at 100. (Good enough for 6 levels, too.) If I'd done that on purpose, I'd feel all cheaty, but since it was an accident I'm allowed to be amused instead. Unexpectedly, I still get caught picking pockets fairly often. Curious.

Hobo was mad that I hadn't mentioned him in my diary yet, which I think says more about him than about me. He doesn't buy into the whole weblog thing, oh no, but he's still quick to bitch me out for not driving up his hit count. (By five, I expect.)

1:30pm, and still no amj. Looks like I'm going to have to be Annoyed Mike on the phone. Alas.

4:15pm, got a call from amj's Chantal. Mixup with her appointments, syncing between Palm and PC, didn't have my number, orphans in a burning building, blah blah blah. She's coming by tomorrow morning, according to our new plan. I Sure Hope So.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
6 May 2002
I think I'm mostly

I think I'm mostly recovered from the weekend now.

After our house emptied around noon yesterday, I played a bit of Morrowind and napped. Woke up just in time to make it to dinner at Lezvos with Chris and Patrice, which was, of course, lovely. The staff recognized me and said hello when we arrived, which had the perhaps-intended effect of making me feel all Catholic-original-sin guilty about not having visited in some several months. "We thought you'd left the city!" "Uh, no, travel, mumble, work, wife-school, you know." They should just stab me or something. (I made a Solemn Vow to return soon, which I fully intend to honour in the fullest.) If you live in Montreal and haven't gone to Lezvos (1221 Mont-Royal East), you really should. And that's not just the guilt talking.

I didn't feel so well this morning, so I went back to bed, then played some Morrowind and cleaned the kitchen a bit. House almost looks like humans live here again.

I keep running into people in my field who haven't heard of these critical, "worth the weight of the internet in gold" sites, so I'm going to share a little love now. World, meet DADS and Citeseer. Future technology historians will probably think that we built the Internet just for things like this. Unless they have JavaScript turned on, in which case they'll think we were just fucking nuts.

Tomorrow, amj comes to catalogue our belongings, so that I can tell Sony how much it'll cost to get me down there (physically). Mario has been more than patient with me; he's a saint.

Sorry, to both of my non-me readers, that I missed yesterday. I was tired, and stuff. I didn't fix the redirection thing, either. So much losing, so little time.

Chris forgot his jacket, and I'll mail it to him with my copy of Iterations. (Apparently, the stories contained therein are available as e-books from Fictionwise. They even mention how to read the books on Unix in their FAQ, which is always a nice thing to find.) This is a different, but also interesting, thing called Iterations.

Never lose your mouse again.

Last thing before I put down the computer: the Peruvian government rocks. Not just because they're thinking of adding certain licensing liberties to the requirements for State-purchased software infrastructure, but because they can reason so eloquently about the whys and wherefores.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
4 May 2002
Dinner was a success.

Dinner was a success. Chris and Patrice arrived too late and too tired to join us, but we'll see them this afternoon. When we got back to the house, Phil and Zach and Alice and Chris and Shona played Taboo, and I installed Morrowind on the office desktop. The out-of-the-box experience is not entirely un-ass-like. Took about 30 minutes of fiddling with desktop resolutions to even get the game to start up, and I see weird purple flashing when I transition between interior and exterior areas.

Speaking of which, Dungeon Siege really spoiled me there, in just a few days of play. "Why did my game stop because I walked through a door?" I was hoping, I guess, that I'd never have to go back. Morrowind is a pretty game, and the interface is quite usable, so I think I'll enjoy it.

We're going to see Spider-Man today at the Paramount . Getting 13 seats together will be gros fun; I think I get to be That Guy.

Tonight, more cookery: scallops-and-bacon, Cuban sandwiches, and probably some shrimp and buckets of veggies.

It turns out that some smart people are also being confused by my redirection thing. I guess that means I should really do something about it. Maybe if I stay sober enough tonight....

Chris and I were just totally confounded by the menu code. Anyone surprised? I thought not.


Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
3 May 2002
I forgot to mention

I forgot to mention that Phil made it in yesterday, too. That was really nice, because for a while we didn't think the weather would so permit. We greeted him with a bonus round of dinner (duck breast salad, roasted lamb and potatoes and onions, pie and cake, wine, the usual).

Deb arrived this afternoon, after I returned from an Imviva strategy meeting with gta3 and Morrowind. Her timing is impeccable.

Chris and Patrice are flying in tonight too, after zipping from Edinburgh to SFO just the other day. What a crazy pair. Love 'em, though.

Now, off to a huge dinner at Thai Grill.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
2 May 2002
Today, I was going

Today, I was going to do a lot of work. But then I realized that Chris and Shona and Emily and Zach and Alice were in town, and I'm a contractor, which means that I am required by law to pick my own hours. Today, few hours were chosen.

Instead, we ran some errands (dry cleaning, prescription refill, blood test). On the way home, we remembered that Atwater Market existed, so we went and bought a lot of food. Lot. Lamb. Duck. Mango. Fiddleheads. Cheese. Pie. Cake. Strawberries. Bread. Yum.

We are going to ship Mozilla 1.0, but the process gets harder every day. I knew we couldn't please all the people all the time. I have a hard time, though, keeping track of all the people we have to please, and when exactly it's important that they be pleased. Can we be done now?

(We took some patches today. World peace is still looking for super-review.)

This entry was written a bit late, but it's still Thursday in spirit.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
1 May 2002
Happy May Day! (This

Happy May Day! (This holiday is "especially important in socialist and Communist countries". And yet, here I am, toiling for The Man.)

Speaking of Communism and socialism, there's a good interview on news.com (no, really) with Mitchell, mozilla.org's leader and one of my heroes. Some day, I'll get to work with Mitchell again, every day. That'll be nice.

That spacing-in-the-small-caps-:first-line thing is really starting to drive me batty, though I generally quite like the effect. I'll have to get a good testcase and beat waterson about the head and groin until he fixes it for me. And then I'll work around it until there's a safe-enough trunk build to install for daily use. (I am continually amazed by the numbers of people who just blindly update to nightly builds every day, and who are genuinely shocked when it sometimes explodes in their faces. Pretty cool that the experience doesn't usually suck, I guess.)

mpt is sick today. I blame wallet.

The aforementioned mpt disapproves of my auto-redirection thing, which I took from phil (see also nat and zach). He expects that people will accidentally link to, or construct a bookmark in remembrance of, a month-explicit URL, because that's what they see in their URL bar. Further, then, they will be surprised when they discover in June that the page they linked to -- which will say "May" at the top, and have "2002/05" in the URL -- will still be about May. Just as when they linked or bookmarked. I'm torn, in no small part because the obvious solution is a little note indicating that people might want to link to -- or bookmark, mustn't forget the bookmarkers -- http://off.net/~shaver/diary/. And that solution would look like crap.

Additionally, I don't want to foil people who want to actually use their brains and engage in what one might call perfect forward linking (linking to a specific entry in a way that won't break next month). Dave Winer has a system that might work for that, but it'll require a little more infrastructure than I'm currently willing to build. Maybe this weekend I'll come up with something. A few vi macros would probably make it liveable.

All this is predicated on the somewhat tenuous belief that any material number of people would be interested in linking to this page. I have difficulty supporting any significant additional effort atop that fragile conceit.

The mozilla.org staff meeting was cool. We're really going to ship 1.0. Like, soon. The RC2 train leaves on Friday, we hope, and then we have the fun of explaining to people that we really do mean that we don't want to take anything else that isn't a fix for a recent regressive crash. You've got a patch for peace in the Middle East? We'd love to have it. For 1.1.

Chris and Shona are, as I type this at midnight, driving up from Boston for smrt. Zach and Alice and Emily arrived this evening, and we had nice Indian food. At least, once they replaced the dishes that were utterly destroyed by the weight of the naan and samosa dipping stuff. Mmm, am I full. Time to nap before the Blizzards arrive, and then I can start on tomorrow's entry!

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)