30 June 2002
After Chris and Kris's lovely,

After Chris and Kris's lovely, lovely wedding — featuring, in addition to the expected beautiful bride and beaming groom, the finest processional choreography I have ever seen — I sort of expected today to be a let-down. It wasn't, but first more about the wedding!

So, yeah. Lovely ceremony, excellent reception, touching-but-brief speeches, all the sorts of excellence you expect when Chris and Kris decide to plan something that's important to them. The wine had been made by Chris's father, and was really rather good. I remember, years ago, when that was not the case; Wayne's wine was rarely, if ever, snuck out of the cellar for illicit consumption. If that evening was any indication — and I have every reason to believe it was — they are going to have a very happy and very stylish life together. But enough about them.

Tyla and I are still thrilled to be married, of course, and the last nearly-three years have been wonderful. Even so, we find ourselves wishing that we'd observed more of these wonderful weddings before planning our own, because there were some things — beginning, but certainly not ending, with the amazing location — that we would have cribbed mercilessly. Ah well. Next time, I guess.

This morning, I managed to wake up around 0630, and then travelled with Paul and Agnes to a German restaurant down on Industrial Road to watch the World Cup final. A well-played game by both sides, and excellent officiating by that Italian robo-ref, but the mood was sort of glum when Brazil pulled ahead.

After that, and a quick nap, Tyla and I met up with her family for dim sum at the always-excellent Chu Shing. Her mother and her mother's friend went off to have a picnic at Gatineau Park, Martha and her friend trotted off the Minority Report, and Tyla and I wandered Bank Street, stopping for snacks and a drink at the Arrow and the Loon.

Dinner was to be found at Horn of Africa with Chris Beard and Phil, and then we four made our way to the OLS VIP party (sponsored by OEOne: thanks, guys!), where light drinking and heavy geeking occurred. Tyla got her fill of that early, and I can't say I blame her, but Phil and I stuck around until 0130, at which point we couldn't resist the temptation of Marroush. If there is more fun to be had in a hot, loud Lebanese restaurant at two in the morning, I very much want to hear about it. We also ran into Christina Jutzi, who I haven't seen in at least half a decade, and who recognized me by my wedding ring. Odd, to be sure, but pleasant.

29 June 2002

Breakfast was at Tucker's Marketplace, which never excels, but rarely fails catastrophically. Right now we're trying to get an audience-wide Cebolla network demo thing working, and it's all sort of working. Zach's talk is cool, even though I sort of know the material already.

I have been in such a good mood lately. Weather? Toronto-glee? Looking forward to new job and summer weddings? Got me, but I'm really enjoying it while it lasts.

Phil and I just brought up a Cebolla tunnel, so we're well on our way to a non-sucky demo.

Peter sent me a mail about stuff that I'm going to work on in the first three weeks, and I'm sure that I'll understand all the words he used sometime soon. I am absorbing filesystem/cluster information at a frantic rate right now, and it's exhilarating, if somewhat exhausting.

Time to go buy a shirt for the Coop-and-Kris wedding, and then attend said wedding. Yay!

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28 June 2002
Last night's dinner at Anna

Last night's dinner at Anna Thai was quite spiffy, and Deb and Rob were very hostly in letting we scruffy dozen invade and chat for a while afterwards.

We missed a bunch of Rusty's super-cool talk today because we were a bit slack at lunch, but what we did see was quite nice. I would have been a little more viscerally interested in his stuff had I gone to Sony, where user-space locking would have been a lot of my life, but it's still a big pile of neat, and it's always fun to watch really smart people talk.

After the Rusty talk, Phil and I wandered out to sit by the Canal and talk shop, which I think is one of the nicest meetings I've ever had. It even included gelato! We had more gelato after a great Vietnamese dinner with Paul and Dave and Ian. Cam Kong is another one of those little Ottawa gems that I love so much. Mmmm, mmm.

After dinner, Phil and Zach and I tried to get the hotel networking, well, networking. It's really best that I not do into too much detail about how outrageously confused we all were — not networking neophytes, either. Eventually, we just wirelessed our laptops together and Phil set me up with all the Luste test goodness I needed. Wireless networking is really cool, and user-mode Linux is really cool. I'm really looking forward to geeking out with Phil professionally again.

Tyla and Miriam and Mehmet (and maybe Anatole?) wandered around the market while we were being silly geek-boys, and I think they're going to the beach tomorrow. Fun-ness. I won't be able to go along, because I'm going to help Zach and Phil do some demo craziness for Zach's talk, and buy a shirt and stuff.

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27 June 2002
I'm at OLS, and I'm

I'm at OLS, and I'm hung over. No surprise there, really. I mostly recall last night, including carrying Phil part of the way between the Manx and The Collection, and I think we had a pretty good time. It was really nice to have the gang all back together, and Tyla will arrive on the scene tonight to increase our levels of fun to previously unexpected levels.

The bus trip was uneventful, and featured precisely zero searching of my belongings. I wasn't at all pleased with the driver of the 5pm bus, who answered my question about watching my bag while I ran and bought a ticket with "no, it's 5, we're leaving". Then he hopped on the (not full) bus and drove off. I don't think it was 5 yet, myself — and the schedule screen's clock agreed with me — but even if it had been, I would still have been unimpressed. Ah well.

I signed the paperwork today, so I'm now a contractor for Cluster File Systems, Inc., where I'll be helping develop Lustre. I haven't done much filesystem work before, so that'll be fun, but working with Phil again, and Peter for the first time, from the comfort of wherever Tyla and I decide to live, is the real draw. I can't believe they pay me to do this stuff; a charmed life, indeed.

Phil's talk is, so far, going well. He's really quite a good speaker, and he knows an awful lot about Lustre, so nobody seems to mind that Peter couldn't make it. (I mind, of course, because I haven't seen Peter in a while, but I'll get my Braam-fix soon enough.) I think Phil's decision to leave all 3 hours' worth of slides in place, and just talk to key ones over the hour, was a good one: it gives a good sense of the scale of the project, and the slides will be a good resource for keen audience members, once said slides make it to the web.

I'm using Jacob's sweet, sweet Powerbook, because I left my laptop in the hotel room. It is a very nice piece of hardware. Light, pretty, huge screen. I sure do wish it had extra mouse buttons, though.

Speaking of hotels, I have only the nicest things to say about Arc. The rooms are great, the staff are exceptionally helpful, and the rates are quite reasonable, even in the depths of the Canada Day crunch. With no offense to the Westin intended, why am I just discovering this place now?

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
26 June 2002
I have to go to

I have to go to sleep very shortly, but I must share this candidate for "best lead paragraph on a news article":

LONDON (Reuters) - An Alaskan chicken-hypnotist who cycles around the world with a traveling circus has ground to a halt after a charity clothes shop in Scotland sold her bicycle by mistake while she was in the fitting-room.

Later: Got up nice and earlyish, which was good because I had a fair amount of stuff to do today. Laundry was started early, and is done in plenty of time to pack for Ottawa. I managed to get a proper memory card for my Nomad — damn, those cards are tiny — so I picked up some CDs, as well as a huge CD holder. Tyla wants every CD-form-factor thing I own, possibly including DVD movies, to migrate to such things. Not an unreasonable stance.

Said CDs are being ripped on both machines, which has caused me to discover that grip doesn't know how to drive my laptop's CDROM nearly as well as cdparanoia does. It's a factor of 3 difference, which is really not very nice at all.

Now, of course, I hear that they're stopping and searching buses travelling from Montreal to Ottawa. That will make this hot, sticky travel so much more pleasant, I can hardly speak.

I just wrote a very very hard email, telling one of my prospective employers that I wasn't going to be able to take the job with their group. I hope I can still be involved in some capacity, because I think they're doing pretty cool stuff, but a significant-time position just wasn't going to work out, for a variety of frustratingly-real reasons. This really sucks.

Now to shower, finish packing and rush to the bus, so I can sit in silence and be bummed about that for a few hours.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
25 June 2002
Up a bit late, but

Up a bit late, but we made it up to Yonge and Eglinton to sign the lease on time. I had to take a half-hour intermission to talk to Steve in the precious window between root canal completion and pain-killer incapacitation, but we wrapped everything up nicely and we now have a place to live. Assuming, of course, that Madhava and George (our personal references) don't slander us or anything. Yay!

(Not yay about slander, of course. Don't get any ideas, boys.)

We popped downtown to have lunch with Dad at one of the restaurants in the Growlers pub-keiretsu, and then rushed back up to the hotel to check out and pick up my suit and go rent storage space — their last 5'x10' unit! thanks, Fortune; we're smiling too — and head to the train station.

My frigging compact flash card doesn't fit in the Nomad. In fact, it's not clear how, exactly, any sort of memory expansion would infiltrate the housing, but the manual must have clues. I hope Madhava's interested in buying a never-used 128Mb CF carb, because otherwise I'll have to buy a digital camera, and nobody wants that. Nobody sitting next to me on the train as I type this, at least.

Hey folks: remind me to mail Dad "my" spicy grilled shrimp recipe tonight. Thanks!

The layout I'm using here now, with the sidebar as the last <div>, sucks a little bit when the pages get as large as this one now is. More thinking required, but not until after Canada Day.

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24 June 2002
For an apartment building, 50

For an apartment building, 50 Prince Arthur looks pretty darned nice. We saw 2- and 3-bedroom units (the latter way outside our budget plans, but everyone likes to peek) and were generally impressed with the condition, if not the living space, of the suites. Looks like it's going to come down to Brunswick vs. Maplewood, though. We resorted to making lists of plusses and minuses during lunch, hoping that the Brunswick landlord would fax the application form to the hotel in short order.

Ah yes, lunch. If you're not trying to kill time — and I mean six months of parole, not an hour before a movie — then you probably aren't interested in Over Easy. With a whopping three other tables filled at our arrival, it still took more than 50 minutes for our food to appear. The food itself was quite good, but it would have needed to cause me to collapse in paroxysyms of joy to compensate for the wait. It was one of those times when I didn't really want to leave much of a tip, but I was even less interested in waiting for them to come back with change. They won, I guess, but I had plans for the afternoon.

We popped into Harry to get a belt — I'd forgotten to bring a non-crappy belt on this trip — and discovered that they could actually geta suit altered to fit me by 1pm the next day, in plenty of time to catch my train. I made plans to come back after my meeting and get the summer-wedding attire I'd been meaning to acquire for weeks.

The meeting was quite interesting. I don't think I can say much about the content, but it was certainly a novel experience to be sitting on the VC's side of the table for a change. Steve has to get a root canal tomorrow, so we'll exchange impressions after that.

Tyla wasn't feeling well, so I returned to Harry on my own — does she never learn? — and Ivan quickly helped me find a nice lightweight suit that looks quite nice. I have large thighs, and it's nothing that exercise can help, so having expert sizing assistance improves the quality of my clothing experience immeasurably. I sure am glad they were having a sale, though.

(At some point the other night, we decided to stay until Tuesday. I don't quite remember, but it was probably around the time that we saw the place on Brunswick.)

The Brunswick-condo landlord and I finally connected, but he'd left the office and won't be able to fax the form until the morning. He suggested that we come to his office in the morning and sign a lease conditional on us not being fugitives from the law, which very well received on my side of the phone. We'd already told the Maplewood landlady that we were going to pass on her house — she sounded disappointed, and I felt kinda bad, but what to do? — so we'd have been in a bit of a spot if he'd already rented it to someone else. Seemed unlikely, but Murphy watches us with a keen and cruel eye.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
23 June 2002
More movement on the housing

More movement on the housing front: and we have another place to see today, an open house to hit, an appointment for Monday morning down at 50 Prince Arthur and the Annex condo holdover from yesterday. Dangerous levels of hope can be found in our hotel room.

Brunch at Taro Grill was expertly arranged by Tyla — "if we ask people where and when to eat, we'll never get anywhere, so I'm just going to say that we're going to be there at 11:30, and they can decide if they want to show up" — and rather nummy. Em and Christina and Mark and Aven took off to see some jazz at the waterfront, and Madhava joined Tyla and I on a trip to MEC. I picked up a man-purse, Madhava found some shorts, and Tyla dug a few new ads out of the Sunday classifieds. We were running a little late for our first appointment — a 3-bedroom apartment near St. Clair and Ossington — so we hopped in a cab instead of walking from the nearest station to get a feel for the neighbourhood.

The apartment wasn't amazing, and the kitchen was show-stoppingly small, so we wandered over to an open house on nearby Maplewood. This place was much more promising: a 3-bedroom house with backyard, not-really-finished-but-close basement and a working fireplace. It was a variant on the layout of Aven and Mark's house, via a handful of reflections and rotations, so we knew that it was a viable place for truly ambitious entertaining. The appliances were no great draw, and it lacked a dishwasher, but plans for deploying our own set and buying a portable dishwasher quickly began to dance in our heads. We filled out an application form, and the landlady told us to call her after work tomorrow and tell her if we wanted the place (we still had two appointments in our list). The walk to the St. Clair West subway station, with its accompanying Loblaws and LCBO, showed off the many splendors of that neighbourhood.

Our 8pm appointment at the Annex condo made everything difficult. A beautiful, brand-new renovation — the excellent appliances still had their tags in place — combined with unbeatable location always tends to do that. It's not especially large, so we would have to shed many, many belongings, but we're starting to think it's worth it. We should probably do that anyway, as our palatial Montreal home has been covering for our pack-rat tendencies for too long, and we're never going to find a similarly large place in Toronto that we're willing to pay for.

A nice short walk followed, to Aven and Mark's for a backyard barbeque and much, much Sangria. I helped Aven finish her steak, and get rid of the Sangria, as a good guest should. Em's going to be in Malaysia on her birthday, so Tyla and I decided to take her out to Canoe for dinner tomorrow, pretty much on the spur of the moment. I know I'm going to wake up hung over tomorrow, I just know it.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
22 June 2002
We got up early today,

We got up early today, and had a mediocre breakfast at the hotel restaurant, while poring over the classifieds. In absolute terms, I'm sure the Toronto rental market is considered pretty tight, but compared to the last time we tried this — spring of 1999 — it's a dream. We found and called about a half-dozen promising ads, but only ended up with two appointments (a 3-bedroom house near the Eglinton West subway station, and a 2-bedroom condo for rent in the Annex that we'll see Sunday). Maybe more people will call back later. That would be awfully nice.

The place near Eglinton West station was OK, but not OK enough to overcome the run-down feeling of that stretch of Eglinton, so we gave it a pass. Madhava knows an awful lot about this city, and having him around makes this process much more pleasant and entertaining. Everyone should go find themselves a Madhava at once.

We met up with Kristin and Mike and Alasdair for some nachos and drinks and chatter, and eventually solidified a movie plan. Tyla had been making various "we'll call you" promises all day, and I wasn't really able to keep track of the details, so she was in charge of wrangling everyone over to the Varsity. While we were eating — and, indeed, throughout most of the preceding afternoon — we were treated to a prolonged display of patriotic soccer-honking. It was nice to see the various country-cliques play nice together, and nothing more aggressive than back-and-forth horn volleys resulted.

Minority Report was pretty good, though I agree with the reviewer in Eye who said the "ending" at 130 minutes would have made a much better finale. The last 20 minutes didn't really improve the film much, though I suppose they did tidy up some bits that were only tangentially addressed. Based on some comments that Aven overheard as we were leaving the theatre, that might in fact have been for the best. On the (short) walk from the theatre back to the hotel we got to see an impromptu parade of Turkish flags and related cheering, again quite civil and friendly. I do so love Toronto.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
21 June 2002
So. Tired. I haven't slept

So. Tired. I haven't slept yet, other than the nap on the bus on the way back from Ottawa. I think that nap screwed me up pretty good, sleep-wise, which bodes poorly for this weekend's househunting.

I think I'm going to crash when the US/Germany game is over, and see if I can be awakened in time to catch the train or bus or plane or camel caravan or whatever it is that's going to get us to Toronto this afternoon.

So far today, I have:

  • Futzed lightly with my diary's CSS.
  • Found another Mozilla bug in the process.
  • Walked to and from a doctor's appointment, and got the second of my Hepatitis B shots.
  • Discovered an interesting discount airline while walking back.
  • Watched Brazil defeat England.

Clearly, I deserve a nap.

Post-nap, things are less bright:

  • My Mozilla bug is a dupe.
  • My arm hurts a bit from the shot.
  • The airline in question doesn't have any seats available today to Toronto.
  • I fell asleep in the middle of the US/Germany game, though it seems I did see the only goal.

I think I'm going to get on the train, read my book and probably start another one. Wish I'd gotten up in time to hit a bookstore before we left, but I probably needed the sleep. On to Toronto!

I discovered that McDonalds now has a "light" menu, which isn't that bad at all. (I only ever eat McDonalds when we're rushing to catch a train, and then I end up hating myself for hours. Now with less self-loathing!) The McVégé was fundamentally OK, though the bun and condiments could use some refinement. (Suggestion: lose the mayo and whole wheat bun, replace with BBQ sauce — such as from the low-fat Chicken McGrill? — and white bun.) I haven't tried the Caesar salad yet, in part because it says that it's best before 5 hours ago. Their fries are still cooked in ambrosia, happily.

As if my sleep cycle weren't already screwed up, I find myself napping on the train. This weekend is going to be all sorts of rough, unless I can just push through to tomorrow night, and then get back on something resembling Eastern time. I have to look all respectable while searching for houses, and at this VC/due-diligence meeting on Monday, which is not aided at all by a lack of sleep.

While poking around my laptop and generally cleaning up, I found a little journal-snippet from the flight to San Jose for the GDC in March. I should tidy it up and toss it onto a March page, I suppose, for the sake of completeness. I'm not at all interested in moving the Advogato stuff over, at this point.

Toronto: We checked in, and went to sleep. Nothing tremendously exciting, other than the part where we walked the wrong way down Bloor for a few blocks, luggage in tow, because I forgot which hotel we were staying at.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
20 June 2002
Well, it sure feels like

Well, it sure feels like summer. Nice and sunny and warm, a great day for — sitting on a bus to Ottawa. Ah well, it's worth it: Coop deserves a nice bachelor party, and what's a bachelor party without me? Hmm. Maybe I should just send a nice card.

I've just about decided what I'm going to do for work stuff, though I need to tie up some loose ends before I talk to everyone involved in the decision. (There are a surprising number of people in that group. My life is so odd.)

Some friends of friends were on Junkyard Wars the other day, and it didn't go so well. I hate it when they just play through rules violations too, except maybe in the cases where neither side is able to complete the task in the normal way. Bah.

We have managed to book hotels for this weekend in Toronto, and next week/weekend in Ottawa, which is a great relief. Many thanks to phil, who reminded me of the many wonders of Expedia.

Neverwinter Nights is pretty fun, and quite pretty. The 3rd Edition rules seem to be very well-suited to computer assistance, so it all plays along quite smoothly.

Later: Coop's little party was quite fun, and had not yet become at all debauched by the time I had to leave to return to Montreal. I hope I'm not hung over at 7am when I wake up — I hope! — to go to the doctor's.

On the bus to Ottawa, I finished The Amber Spyglass, thereby also finishing the trilogy. I really can't recommend the series enough. All three of the books are tremendous, and even if they weren't, reading them just to set up the stunning finale would be time well spent indeed. I just sat and smiled for the last half-hour of the trip, basking in it.

On the way back, I started Heavy Weather, which is pretty good so far. I slept most of the way, until I was awakened by the terrifying rattling of the bus which indicated our return to Quebec roads, so I'm not very far in yet. (Once I woke up, I couldn't read the book due to the turbulence. The woman across the aisle looked genuinely petrified, and I can't say that I blame her.)

19 June 2002

I can finally say more about the other rays of sunshine, since Zach announced it on his diary and stuff. Fifty kinds of yay for Zach and Alice! (To the best of my knowledge, they are not in any way related to the expecting-a-baby ray of sunshine mentioned in that same paragraph. Just to be perfectly clear).

I'm going to go buy Neverwinter Nights today, and then play it this evening. I hope it's good. I rilly hope it's good.

I finally got a working copy of lame, so I'm busily re-ripping CDs for great justice. I thought about converting from OGG, but I'd lose all the song-title info and whatnot, so I'm back to swapping discs. I'll live.

I hope you can buy the new Blackberry with a phone without using the wanky RIM Enterprise Server. I'm going to need a new phone anyway when I get to Toronto, so...

I'm enjoying the World Cup, and I like silly things, so this very silly World Cup behaviour really hit the spot. It is to laugh.

Note to American friends who are fans of the Fourth Amendment: we'll leave the border open, there are leftovers in the fridge. Make yourself at home.

This afternoon, Tyla and I shopped for flowers and Neverwinter Nights. Both are quite pretty, but NWN will be easier to move to Toronto. I also upgraded the laptop kernel and got it all working with the wireless and X server and Nomad, which is all good. I need to find a 128M compact flash card soon, so that I can store more music on this silly little thing. Nice weather today, too, and I made yummy Thai-style shrimp for dinner. Victory!

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
18 June 2002
Brendan begged off dinner last

Brendan begged off dinner last night, just as Tyla and I boarded the bus, because Eleanor wasn't feeling well — perfectly reasonable, really — so Tyla and I summoned our backup friends, Anatole and Mehmet. We met up at Big Daddy's, but quickly took off to a "late" showing of The Bourne Identity. Quite a fun movie, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. It's been well more than a decade since I read the book, but my dim recollection holds that the movie was pretty true to it. Dinner was some decent food at the Elgin St. Diner, afterwards.

In the morning, we watched the only goal in the Turkey-Japan game on the TSN rebroadcast, then met up with Brendan and Eleanor for a lunch at Santé. Post-lunch, we drove quickly ("quickly!") past Lisgar, and then headed off to the Experimental Farm, to look at cute animals and watch Brendan ride the tractor like a big boy. Much fun, and the day even got sunny to reward us for our perseverence.

Tyla took off to a belated Father's Day dinner, and I returned to Big Daddy's, this time with Chris and Kristina, who were lovely company — as always! After a beer with James, Tyla and I reconvened for the 9pm bus back to Montreal. I think I'm going to go to bed soon.

I also think that these people need to rethink their plans.

I don't know what to think about this, which includes what I believe to be a joyously out-of-context quote at the very top, but I'm pretty sure that, if it's at all accurate, I don't like the sound of this at all.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
17 June 2002
I didn't make it to

I didn't make it to see the 0730 World Cup game with George this morning, but I did talk to Kim from ZKS accounting and Denis my accounting saviour, and my taxes are now all settled away. I'll owe a decent chunk of cash, but that's all due to the RRSP foulup, so I'm greatly relieved.

I think I'm going to head into Ottawa soon, to visit and hang out and stuff. I want to get some patches into the review cycle before I take off, though: I have a patch to enable tilde-expansion in Unix paths, and another to teach x-remote about openURL(http://something.com,new-tab). Both are long-standing irritations, and I'll be glad to see them go. The new-tab one was a nice quick hack that worked exactly as I'd hoped — kudos to bliz-dawg for his nice x-remote architecture — and was dispatched with 50 lines of diff and an hour or so of hacking and typing and building.

Did I mention that my taxes are done? Woot.

The Nomad works wonderfully, but now I need to convert all my music. Bah, but only slightly.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
16 June 2002
Happy Father's Day, for all

Happy Father's Day, for all those fathers out there. I'm going to be hopping on a plane shortly to see mine, though I'm going to have to rush back tonight to handle tax stuff tomorrow morning. My crazy life. I only barely avoided wrapping Dad's gift, which would of course have caused some unnecessary discussion at the security checkpoint.

Adam and Tyla and I had a nice dinner at Bonaparte last night, and then George and Andrew and Chris showed up with Starfarers of Catan. Mild irresponsibility ensued. The game is a little daunting at first, though it shares some key elements with Settlers, which sped up our learning process a fair bit. It's a pretty good game, though, with a fair bit more depth (and, I currently suspect, balance) than the original Settlers.

Got my Nomad working with Linux, though I will have to upgrade the kernel on my laptop in order to make things go there. I'm already looking forward to travel! (Of course, all my music is in Ogg format, so I'll have some work to do before I can fully enjoy it.)

Speaking of which, it is totally time to hit the airport.

Epilogue: fun trip, nice visit, Dad liked the gift we got him, and I got back uneventfully in time for a relatively early bedtime.

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15 June 2002
Today is all about rain.

Today is all about rain. Rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain. Rain.

There is rain outside. Lots of it. It makes my head hurt and it makes everything grey and icky. I suppose it will help things flower and bloom and whatnot as well, but those flowering and blooming things aren't making a compelling argument for their rain-friend right now. Also, the only jacket I have that I like to wear is leather, which makes rainy outdoorsness a peril-fraught pastime.

There is rain in my computer, though only in a metaphorical sense. I still can't get everything playing nice (though I can boot Linux from grub on a floppy, and XP off the hard drive, and ... bah), so I'm going to reinstall stuff. Like, all the stuff. RH7.3, XP, probably FreeBSD somewhere as well.

There is rain in my mind. Again, I speak metaphorically. We went shopping for clothes for me, and it made me really cranky. I think the weather and such were related, but I get worn down pretty quickly by the fact that I'm expected to wet myself with glee because an entire Gap has two things — nearly-identical pairs of khakis, natch — in my size. I think there's a lawsuit here, around clothing manufacturers aiding and abetting unhealthy obesity. Nothing in 35x36 or 36x36, but if you're 42x29, the Bay can help you out. I guess 42x29 doesn't necessarily indicate that you're spherical and at risk of a neutron-star-like collapse, but I'm grumpy so I don't care.

In the process of reinstalling everything, I am backing critical things up. In the process of backing things up, I'm pruning the old, sloppy backups I've been carrying around for years. I have a backup of my last computer, which contains a backup of my ZKS computer, which contains in turn a backup of my Netscape laptop. I'm throwing most of that stuff away, because I am a document retention ninja, but it's nice to know that I have a huge pile of old email should I suffer from some outrageous case of amnesia.

Ray of sunshine: I got a package today, which contained my birthday present from phil and zach and blizzard and others (I don't recall the exact composition of the gifting group, if indeed I ever knew it in February -- I love you all, though)! I wish I'd made it to the postal outlet yesterday before they closed, though, because then I'd have been able to pick up a USB cable and fill my new toy with music in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Toronto. (It's Father's Day, and all that.)

Other rays of sunshine: I'm not allowed to say who yet, but some friends of mine are getting married, and I'm blubberingly happy for them. And some other friends are having a baby! I'm happy for them too, obviously, and more than a little bit jealous. But my time will come!

Still more sunshine, though not quite as bright as the preceding rays: I've started to find SoBe Adrenaline Rush here in Montreal, at long last. It is, by far, the finest energy drink/sleep substitute that Phil and I tested on our 24-hour driving death-march to North Carolina. (Did we ever write anything about that? I'm starting to think we didn't, which is a shame.) Maybe I can pick up a case or two at Costco, because paying retail for these darlings will have us living in a corrugated condo in no time.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
14 June 2002
Well, damn. After dinner last

Well, damn. After dinner last night, I sat down on the couch, and then the next thing I knew it was this morning. Apparently I got up, said goodbye to various family members, moved upstairs to bed, asked Tyla to retrieve my book and laptop and generally feigned self-awareness, but I recall basically zero of it this morning.

Apparently phil, knowing that I'm a slackass but probably not suspecting the reason for this occasion, called last night as well. I am, in so many ways, more trouble than I'm worth.

I still can't find my 2001 T4s. I'm such a loser, and I won't be surprised if Dennis will have nothing to do with me after we're done this. (OK, I'll be a little surprised, but still.) I guess I'll get ZKS to fax a copy to Dennis, or something. Tyla has decided that she has to take over all financial aspects of our union — though I will still, presumably, be permitted gainful employment — and I am not really objecting at all. When we get to Toronto, I am so hiring an assistant part-time to make sure I invoice on time, pay bills, have travel arranged, don't lose key pieces of don't-go-to-jail tax paperwork, and whatnot. Phil is all over this, being a grownup and stuff.

I think we're supposed to go to Toronto today, but I really can't think that far ahead. I have all sorts of things I want to write here, about things more interesting than my daily personal failings, but I have this constant sense that I am only barely keeping things on the rails. I can't wait until we're settled in Toronto, I have found and/or chosen a new job, things are unpacked and I'm not living on borrowed time for everything. What am I, twelve still?

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
13 June 2002
I woke up this morning

I woke up this morning hungover like a horse, or something — for all the nonsense in her life, Kia can still outdrink me by a pretty decent margin. The Ottawa Mozilla party was pretty fun, and it was great to see Kia and Coop and Simon and Dave0 and Rob and mcr and all the OEone folks and, well, it sure felt like everyone. I still think it's a little weird that people all over the globe are having parties because we changed a CVS tag, but hey.

Waking up hungover (OK, only mildly, but I couldn't let "like a horse" go by unused) actually helped a fair bit, because I was on the 9AM bus to Montreal with time to spare. Bit of Tylenol, bit of Gatorade and some sleep, and all was well by the time I reached home.

Only minutes after I got home, the first wave of Tyla's family arrived, all snack-ready and bubbly. Fun bunch, and other than the inevitable getting-out-of-the-house hassles that come with that large a group, we made it to Tyla's graduation without incident. (Confidential to phil: I was actually the first person ready to leave, and didn't have to run up or down the stairs once in search of keys or wallet or pants. So there.)

She looked, of course, amazing, and we're all unspeakably proud of her. Yay for my lovely wife, I say. Yay!

We have to go make dinner now, and then I'm going to call Phil and Peter, who are cavorting out in the foothills of Alberta. Also, I'm going to find my frigging T4s. I failed to fax them to Dennis before I left, because sometimes my fax machine is unwilling to disrupt the close, close bond between a page and its brother, but it was really for the best: I almost faxed him the year-2000 ones instead. Bah.

Note from the 14th: I forgot to publish this update after writing and validating it, and then instead of doing all those things I mention in the preceding paragraph, well, see the next entry in a sec.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
12 June 2002
I should have already left

I should have already left for Ottawa, but I'm a slackass and had trouble getting started this morning. I didn't sleep very well last night, probably because it was freezing in the bedroom. When my brain engaged around 11am and I closed the windows, things improved dramatically. Go figure.

My diary still crashes the Mozilla trunk, and we didn't get the fix for 1.1alpha, so I think I might have to lose my precious drop-caps until we release a fixed 1.1beta. I hate software.

Thanks to the many people who sent in tips for getting XP and grub to play nicely together, most of which were some variant on

rootnoverify (hd1,2)
makeactive
map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)
chainloader +1

I have in fact attempted just about every combination of that stuff that I can reasonably imagine, and I think I'm being foiled by something deeper: if I install XP, then install grub onto the MBR, then copy the NT MBR back, I still end up with a broken XP boot (typically just freezing up as it starts to fade the WindowsXP+progress bar screen in). Seems like this shouldn't happen, especially because the MBR in question and the XP install are on different drives, but such is the mystery of my life.

There. I think I'm all properly warmed up and geeky for the Mozilla party tonight, so off I go.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
11 June 2002
My sleep cycle is totally

My sleep cycle is totally screwed right now, and with Tyla off in Guelph watching Martha's graduation ceremony — congratulations, Mar! — there's not a lot of healthy normalizing influence around to guide me back to safety. At least I'm getting a fair bit of work done.

Some of the work involved rendering my desktop computer very nearly useless, in my attempt to get it booting Linux again. (Not installing Linux, for that installation has been around and working for many months, just teaching the boot manager how to start it up.) Right now, the XP boot manager is installed, and it only boots to XP, which is basically how I had it when I started. Except that now XP can't actually start, because a critical file snuck away when I wasn't looking. I think I might end up having to reinstall XP, then teach the XP boot manager how to load Linux, which is not the plan I had originally. Clearly, it's time to give up computing entirely.

Of course the Bush-are-there-blacks? thing was overstated, but for those who want a better analysis of the unconfirmed story, etc., Snopes has a good overview. Now everyone can stop mailing me that URL!

This page should be fixed on IE5 Windows and Mac now, so if you're using one of those browsers (poor thing!) and you still see it all screwed up, please let me know. (If you're not loading the "ie5-diary.css" style sheet, you probably need to clear your cache or something; many people have reported trouble with that.)

I took a walk in the rain, to get some exercise, and wound up seeing Bad Company with Adam. If you just want to see a movie, it's a movie you can see, and I wouldn't walk out of a party where it had been rented, but I wouldn't rush right out and see it, either. I also picked up a little grad present for Tyla, which I hope she will like more than I liked the movie. (Safe bet, if she doesn't manage to choke on the packaging.)

I still don't have the desktop doing what I want, and I now doubt that it'll happen before I leave for Ottawa tomorrow morning. I tried these instructions, but after Step 7 XP would just hang during boot. I'm going to try one more thing (installing grub on the Linux boot partition, instead of the MBR, and then pointing the XP boot manager at that), and if that fails I'll back stuff up and reinstall the world. THAT WILL BE SO MUCH FUN!

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
10 June 2002
Today I went to see

Today I went to see my accountant, Denis, and he told me all sorts of things. Some of them were very sad (there's no way to get the lifetime cap-gains exemption to be triggered by the sale of Ingenia in 1998, or to qualify my AOL share sales as exempted gains, so there goes that plan of instant micro-wealth), but others were happier, like the general viability of "good estimate" in the absence of detailed receipts. Of course, I have to fax him a bunch of stuff that I should have taken the first time, but I was pretty bloody tired today. That's my excuse.

Not only did I find out that this new layout is totally screwed in IE5 — my gut says positioning + z-index = suck — but it also crashing the Mozilla trunk. I think this is what they call the "bleeding edge". Update: it all works great in IE5.5, and Opera, and NS4, and IE6, and Mozilla 1.0, and NS6.2 and frigging links. How can IE5 be that broken? And how am I supposed to test when I can't install IE5 alongside 5.5 or 6.0 on my windows machines?

Pav wants pictures of Steph's show, and I really do wish I had some. I need to buy a digital camera, once I convince Tyla that such a thing is within the realm of reason.

Jamie asks, "why didn't anyone tell me about monkeywire?" I think it's a very fair question. Haven't you always wanted a mon-key?

Maybe a year ago, Tyla and Phil and I were walking together in the Berri-UQAM station of the Montreal subway, when Tyla informed us that there were no "blacks" in Montreal. It turned out that she meant, of course, the photography shop, but there was hilarity. But it was not nearly as funny, to me, as when the President of the United States makes a similar joke. Especially when it's not a joke. (I bet he's never even heard of Black's Photography, either.)

I had to resort to serving a different stylesheet for Internet Explorer 5.0 and 5.1, but I think my pretty diary should be legible even to the heathens. I also took out the fixed-position/"floating" sidebar stuff, because it meant that people on 800x600-or-smaller screens couldn't see it all. More CSS fun tomorrow, maybe; right now I have to slave over a hot filing cabinet.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
9 June 2002
We saw one of Steph's

We saw one of Steph's shows, and it was good. She walks well, especially compared to some of her co-workers. She always looks so serious though — I guess looking happy on a beautiful Saturday in the middle of a great street party is déclassé, or something.

Had a nice dinner at Red Thai, as part of our plan to avoid seeing the aforementioned La Senza show. That plan was almost catastrophically foiled, though, by the huge television screen across the street, which was just about to start showing models — including my younger sister — traipsing about in undergarments. We skipped dessert, and raced north (past the runway of infamy) to Copacabana, where we found George.

How does the Copa always have such yummy food? Curious. The beer was OK too, but nothing amazing. (Note to self: beer and discussions of health-care system funding models don't mix. At least, not gracefully.) Afterwards, we grabbed some gelato and then parted ways with George.

I watched some thrilling overtime hockey, and then trotted off to bed at something like 2AM. Weekends, sweet weekends.

This morning, I took at look at some software from a company that a friendly VC group is thinking about funding. Interesting stuff, can't really say more.

At some point, I might have recommended Linux to some of you. Things like this make it very hard to justify such things:

<graydon> ah, there we go. "amixer set CD mute on"
<graydon> (you see: muting is a toggle switch controlling whether you hear anything, so setting "mute" to "on" really means "not-muted")

Tyla's upgrading to Mozilla 1.0 right now. I'm glad people enjoy it so much, because sometimes it's been frustrating work.

CSS puttering has resulted in this new layout fun. If it looks crappy to you, such as overlapped text and whatnot, let me know. (I know, for example, that NS4 users can't click any links or select any text in the entry section. Freaky. Freaky, but fixed.)

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
8 June 2002
I found out yesterday that

I found out yesterday that a good friend — though, shamefully, one that I haven't managed to see in years and with whom I have maintained my typical slack-ass email currency — has "probable MS". That really shovels a little perspective onto my "don't get to go work on video games" laments. I'm sure she'll chastize me in email for saying that — such is her charm — but still. Damn.

Tyla and I saw About a Boy the other day, and while I wasn't super-keen on it going in, I have to say that I enjoyed it tremendously. And it wasn't even in spite of Hugh Grant: he was a genuinely excellent contributor to the film. Recommended, and such.

Tyla and Madhava and others have been waging a pro-Buffy-viewing campaign on our circle-of-high-school-friends mailing list, with the majority of their ammunition provided by Joss Whedon's excellent writing. I have to say that I was a reluctant convert, even after years of having Coop sing its praises, but I've got it bad now.

Eric Meyer is a CSS god. (Confidential to Aven: that link will probably destroy your browser and set Tigger on fire, unless you've braved the upgrade path.) I think I'll see about prettying my diary up a bit this weekend, just because I can.

It's pretty early now, and I'm only up because I napped earlier, during a screening of Logan's Run (arranged in delayed observance of Adam's 30th). It was a fun movie, so I'll go back and watch the bits I missed at some point. I think I'll try napping some more shortly, or maybe open a beer and watch some World Cup action.

Ah, lazy Saturdays. I watched a bit of soccer/football last night, then curled up in bed. Getting up — OK, waking up — led to reading a good Esquire interview with Al Pacino, talking with — OK, at — Hobo (nice guy, predictable accent) for a bit, email slinging, etc.

Now we're going to wander downtown and see one of Steph's fashion shows. As her big brother, I think I'll skip the one for La Senza.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
7 June 2002
In addition to having a

In addition to having a truly excellent comic today, Penny Arcade mentions what I think is my mail to them regarding their previous piece on the America's Army games. Of course, I might have not been the only one to mail about that most intriguing angle, but for purposes of this diary entry we'll all pretend that I was.

One of the best sessions at this year's Game Developers Conference was the three-hour Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Ernest Adams has written a good summary of one of the parts of that session, the presentation of the Indie Game Jam results. The rest of the session was pretty awesome too, but I can't find a good summary of it on the web as of yet. (The article requires free registration with Gamasutra, but I haven't recieved a single piece of unsolicitied email from them in the 2+ years I've been subscribed. #define MAX_CHRISTS 5 is worth the effort right there.)

I know a couple of people who could probably take a swing at this D&D world-creation contest. Normally this stuff comes off as a cheap way to cash in on the hopes and dreams of would-be game designers, but with a $20K grant for the development of the final treatment and a $100K prize for the winner, there's some relatively serious money involved.

It's not as rare an occurence as we'd all really like it to be, but it still never fails to amuse me when a major news organization falls for a story from The Onion. Everyone take a second to be glad that they didn't fall for a more dangerous story.

We don't yet have good download numbers for the 1.0 release — and our best numbers are always severely lowballed, due to extensive mirror-site traffic — but with 130K unique addresses hitting the 1.0 start page, things are looking good. My good friend Deb (no longer maintaining a diary, alas, or I would link mercilessly to her clever ramblings) has become quite smitten with our little lizard, especially the tabbed browsing and the DOM Inspector. Warms my heart, because she's a pretty demanding browser customer. Yay us.

If you were thinking of popping into IRC and asking me for an estimate of something related to the Mozilla development schedule, let me save you the trouble and just make up some answers right here: "136.7", "9 weeks", "6 million (give or take a few hundred thousand)", "never".

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
6 June 2002
The dream died today, after

The dream died today, after a few days of lingering illness and brave resuscitation attempts by Mario and others. I guess we're off to Toronto instead. Bittersweet, I guess.

I did a rushed but very pleasant interview with itbusiness.ca today. I think there were some transcription errors ("progressive" should be "regressive", and "keel" s.b. "field", for example), but Shane was a joy to talk to, and he seemed to really understand what the issues were. We need more Shanes.

Steph has a fashion show down on St.-Laurent today, as part of various Grand Prix festivities. Tyla and I were going to eat at Globe before catching the 10h30 rendition, but they're unsurprisingly full. We'll wander and see what we can find.

5 June 2002

Today is pretty busy, for a variety of reasons, but I think our release of one dot oh is all I'm going to mention for now. Yay.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
4 June 2002
Nicely rested, mostly caught up

Nicely rested, mostly caught up on mail, about to zip out for lunch with a guy from Ubi Soft. More later! Lots more!

Lunch was fun and informative, and I renewed my prescription on the way home, only a day late. At least one ex-Zeronaut landed in the Ubi Soft network ops group, and their office reminded me strongly of the old ZKS digs just down St.-Laurent, from the lofty hardwood layout to the dingy and fear-inspiring elevators.

Shortly after arriving back at home, I got a call from the lovely and talented Peter. It was a great conversation, and they're up to a pile of great stuff.

Seems that Jacques is interested in having us extend our stay here for another month, if we're so inclined, as he has not yet found a tenant to take our place. And he'd like to talk about appliances in lieu of rent. I'm not used to winning the waiting game.

I don't think I actually found anyone willing to bet against a Zero-Knowledge IPO, but I bet I could be collecting a few dinners and bottles of scotch if I'd pressed a bit. Even if I weren't a shareholder, I'd be cheering.

Going to get my hair cut tomorrow, which is a source of some joy for my wife. I really need to make an appointment with my accountant, too.

Can't make it to The Mozilla Party (my lovely sister-in-law graduates the day before, and my even-lovlier wife graduates the day after, both on the coast opposite the party), but I'll try to make it to the one in Ottawa instead. After ~4 years, I really need a drink.

Still eagerly awaiting Mario's call!

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
3 June 2002
We're going to start today

We're going to start today with lunch with Dad, and then perhaps check out Whole Foods before getting on the train back to Montreal. Eagerly awaiting Mario's call!

Lunch was fun, and the train was only a little late. I finished The Golden Compass, and did some light GL hacking before we pulled in.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
2 June 2002
Up pretty bright and respectably

Up pretty bright and respectably early, we met a bunch of friends down at the massive and wonderful Queen's Quay Loblaws, where many critical picnic supplies were acquired. From there, Centre Island was the only reasonable choice, and we filled the time between two nice ferry rides with much lying in the sun, throwing of various balls, persection of seagulls and cheese-bread-antipasto-hummus-brownie-fruit gluttony. Sweet, sweet gluttony.

Back at the hotel, Madhava and Tyla wandered up to the for-people-staying-on-the-club-floor-only 43rd floor to see the view, while I showered and changed. Mehmet and (as it turned out) Geoff picked us up and we scooted over the the Duke of York to eat — amazingly — and watch England and Sweden draw at 1 in replayed World Cup action. Geoff was disappointed, but entertainingly so.

We decided to stay an extra day, so I extended the hotel booking and Tyla moved our train tickets around. Yay for being a contractor.

Posted by shaver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)
1 June 2002
I wasn't really woken up

I wasn't really woken up by Andrei's phone call, but I probably wouldn't have actually got out of bed that early otherwise. My own fault for not leaving the cell phone within reach of the bed.

Lunch was convened at Sushi on Bloor, a former staple of our Toronto dining regimen. Andrei and his dad are outrageously pleasant people, and I think that a good time was had by all — I certainly hope so, because we all came a pretty good distance. I brought lots of photo ID, but Andrei's dad didn't ask for any of it.

After lunch, we met up with Emily and Alasdair and Mike and Kristen at Chapters (via Sugar Mountain, natch), and then subjected ourselves to "Sum of All Fears". While not a horrible film, it really left quite a bit to be desired. Like some editing. Or a steadying hand on the dialogue. Note to future directors: Tom Clancy is not that hand. Oh no.

Pie and ice cream and chatter at Aven's and Mark's rounded out the evening, no fire alarm this time!

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