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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

November 25
Further CPAN bug reports on the Windows issue along with whatever it is that Perl 5.17 doesn't like about my code that marginally older Perls are happy with. Gah, again.

While I was out sick, my bike was in the office carpark - from about 9am Monday to 6pm Thursday. At some point during that time some little shit stabbed my back wheel with a pen - this I know because I found the tip of the pen still embedded in the puncture-resistant tyre - and, as best I can tell, also contrived to snap one of the half-inch bits of metal that comprise what I guess is the undercarriage of the saddle. Further "gah" noises.

On a lighter note, visiting a pharmacist on Monday to acquire some immodium:
Me: Can I have some immodium please?
Him: Certainly. Have you used this before? (thinking: oh please please let us not have to discuss your bodily functions in this public setting)
Me: Yes
Him: (too quickly) Great! (thinking: HURRAH!)

Obviously I can only surmise what he was thinking, and someone told me a long time ago that you'd have a tough time shocking medical people on account of the nature of their day job, but still. I like my version of events.

November 24
Submitted a new version of Finance::Bank::IE which includes some fixes for problems on Windows to do with what constitutes a valid file. Shortly after, got another bug report on the same problem only somewhere different. Gah.

I watched Wrath of the Titans without a) knowing who was in it or b) knowing that it was a seqel (to Clash of ...), although you don't really miss much by not having seen the sequel as the essential details are covered in the first few minutes. The cast is pretty impressive, the story is based on solid enough material, and the effects are shiny, but the whole thing felt a bit flat and I'm not sure why. Great to see Bill Nighy carving up scenery, though.

November 21
Replaced the thing that updates my reading list from a textfile that I forget to update with a new thing that updates my reading list from my kindle.amazon.com "reading" page which I will, no doubt, forget to update.

November 20
Somewhat healthier but still unwell. Feh. I hate being sick.

November 19
Currently being assailed by biological agents unknwon. Sacked out on the sofa in front of Life or Something Like It which I have had on DVR for months. It's what my Dad would describe as "harmless" - lightweight, predictable, mildly amusing, not generally in any way offensive (unless I suppose you're offended by things that are not Great Cinema). I wouldn't rush out and buy it, but I might sit through it again if I was otherwise unoccupied.

November 18
In other media: I just finished reading Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinrad, which I vaguely recall was on foot of a plug by Warren Ellis. Anyway, the book bugged me on account of the dialogue being all sixties-throwback hippie argot, while the plot dragged me in sufficiently that I had trouble putting it down even while I was falling asleep (and being annoyed by the weird speech). This should sell you somewhat on the relevance and, well, basic goodness of the book; it turns out the weird lingo is down to the fact that the book was written in, er, the sixties. *cough* I imagine the writing wouldn't have come across so weird back then (although from Michael Moorcock's afterword in the edition I read, maybe it was still too weird to be published). Anyway, great story, well worth a look.

November 17
The Hunger Games (which I'm sure is a perfectly sensible title for a Battle Royale-like teens-kill-each-other contest, but nothing in the movie explained to me why it might be sensible...) is a fairly decent piece of work. I've no familiarity with the source material, so I don't know how faithful it is. There are sequels, as you might imagine, in the works; I'm a bit wary of those, particularly as they've seen fit to (once again, thank you Harry Potter) split the "final" movie into two separate movies, presumably because Money. (I don't for one second buy the line on "too much material to fit in one movie"). That aside, my wariness arises from the fact that this movie could more or less stand on its own with only a handful of loose ends, and that suggests that the source material may have been written similarly, and that suggests that the sequels might turn out to be "what, people like this? quick! churn out something similar!". We shall see.

November 16
Remember Me probably wound up on the watchlist for having a quirky trailer that I don't remember. There were some nice bits of humour in this, but on the whole I felt about it the way I felt about reading Generation X - I'm not the target audience, which means I have some trouble caring about what's happening. The ending certainly surprised me. Oh, and Pierce Brosnan as a hardy Noo Yawkeh? Terrible. They should've done a Sean Connery routine on it, told him keep his accent and either invent some reason for him to have clipped British tones, or completely ignore the glaringly obvious. I could probably recommend this to people in their 30s who are from New York, since it strikes me that that's the demographic it's aimed at. Beyond that, you're on your own.

November 9
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is completely predictable and I loved every minute of it. It's all stereotypes and set pieces but wonderfully executed, and I kinda want to read the book it's based on to see how that pans out. Definitely one to see.

November 4
Saw new iPads in Arnotts. Mini: I think a Kindle is the only thing that size I'd be inclined to buy, but caveat, that's most likely because I don't play a whole lot of games, and it seems like the screen is too small to be useful for anything aside from games and books. iPad 4 / iPad Retina / Whatever I'm supposed to call it: I think you'd really only appreciate the difference if you got to play with this side-by-side with an older iPad, and even then I'm not sure how much you'd be sold on it. A good upgrade for those on the first-gen hardware, I imagine, but probably a waste of money for anyone with second-gen and up at least until Apple stop providing iOS upgrades.

November 3
Another old Irish movie I probably last saw either in the cinema when it was released, or on VHS: Into The West. I can't help but feel the paddywhackery is a little overdone, but that aside, this is a great movie. Lots of emotional heartstring-tugging, plently laughs, and a whole heap of Irish movie talent before they were particularly famous.

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Egad. Running out of year.