June 9th, 2004

Liquid Nitrogen is Cool.

So I'm banging on Eric's new book, "The Art of Unix Usability". I personally prefer something more like "Usability Design for Linux", but he wants it to sound like the previous book in case people don't remember his name or something. I'm a co-author on this one (and doing this book was actually my idea). I should actually spend more effort to keep up with Eric in this case, but it's easier to just wait for him to write something and then come up with a rebuttal. It's not so much a co-author relationship as a long drawn-out argument, albeit a friendly one. Pretty productive so far, actually...

The bike shop I bought my bike at doesn't sell that model anymore. That's annoying. They suggested I try Ozone. (I wonder if this means I should start treating my bike as something that might possibly get stolen, instead of the cheapest one-speed the store had? The fact it's the bike I _liked_ the most out of their entire inventory didn't change the fact it ws the cheapest one-speed they had. It's the type of bike I grew up on...)

I took Fade to see the bats on Monday. About two minutes after I got off the phone with her (deciding when and where to meet), a lightning bolt hit only a few feet from my condo (you can tell the really close ones because the thunder keeps going for a good fifteen seconds, since you're hearing it along its entire length), and then the rain started. Yeah, blame me for the flooding; I scheduled an outdoor date. The rain didn't let up for a full day.

First I took her to the new Zen location, which is nice but it's a bit cramped in comparison to the one up north and they don't use enough Teriyaki sauce. (Yes, I'm spoiled. Then again they've only been open since last wednesday, some of it'll probably shake out soon...) Then we hung out under the bat bridge for an hour or so, but the bats didn't show due to the rain. (What did you do on your date? "We hung out under a bridge for an hour to keep out of the rain." The legend continues...) From there, we went to the alamo drafthouse, but it wasn't showing anything interesting, so I took her to my favorite coffee shop for chai, and we went to three different video arcades. We also toured a mall after closing time.

It was fun. I like her. And I can honestly say "I'm out of liquid nitrogen because I had a date last night." (I'm sure there are conventional date activities, but I'm the last person you'd want to ask about them...)

Before that, A-Kon happened. I didn't really get to see much of it, because I was too busy then too tired, but I did a room party for Linucon at it, which is where the first 2/3 of the liquid nitrogen got used (and why I picked up a batch in the first place). Liquid nitrogen ice cream was a big hit at the Linucon room party, although we had trouble telling the attendees about it (the hotel kept taking down our flyers), but we managed to get a couple dozen people to show up and witness/eat/help prepare the ice cream anyway. Kind of a shame the mess we made of the hotel's towels, but Mark never showed me where the plastic tarp he brought was, so... And we got three preregistrations out of the party, which is pretty good for this far ahead of time. (Nobody in fandom ever does anything until the last minute. We have four months left. I'm working on it...) On the way home from the thing, I bought $240 worth of Chocolate Pocky. For the Linucon con suite, of course. 2 cases, 160 boxes. (I've already eaten one box, but I draw the line there.)

On the Firmware Linux front (my little in-progress distro), I'm fighting with tune2fs because it builds wrong under the new environment. (The problem is "ext2fs_check_if_mount", which is always failing with error code 2 (file not found). I'm not even sure the function's getting called properly, which is weird. I stick a printf or exit(0) or infinite loop in it and it makes no difference. It's not a dependency issue; make clean and rebuild also makes no difference... Funky, eh? I'll figure it out...)

Paying work has also asked me to track down something I can't find yet. Found a couple hints, though. Hard to conclusively prove a negative, especially when you find scraps that look like a positive (in a good light, with a tailwind)... I'm working on it.

I've just about read through all the Tamora Pierce books I have (currently at "Lady Knight", book four of "Protector of the Small"). She's written a few others that I might get, but they don't seem to be part of the same series...

Terry Pratchett's got a new one out, "Hatful of Sky", a sequel to Wee Free Men. For once, amazon spammed me about something I actually want to read. Now I'm torn, because I didn't ask them to email me so technically it counts as spam, and I NEVER buy the stuff advertised in spam. So I'm waiting for the thing to show up in Barnes and Noble and buying it from them. (The next Discworld book after that is apparently called "Going Postal", although it's not out yet.)

Austin's new upgrade to the smoking ban applies to Metro, it seems. They have a sign up about it, and you can actually breathe inside even with the front glass doors closed. I'm torn between feeling bad for the smokers and enjoing the change. (Heck, this place _sold_ ciagrettes, I came here knowing smoking was something I'd have to put up with. It was one of the few places smokers came to pay money to do nasty things to themselves in public. But it _is_ nicer now, and I may actually explore the upstairs, now that doing so doesn't require scuba gear...)