Monday, August 16, 2010

Still summer over here ...

Yeah, well we just got a message from Jean saying that she's canceled her trip on doctor's orders, which is a bit of a bugger as we were actually quite looking forward to seeing her and Janet. Still, looking on the bright side, I suppose it gets me a couple more days to get some work done, and godnose I'm going to need it. Time is apparently compressible, but trying to fit three months worth into only three weeks might be pushing it a bit far. Margo at least will still be heading up to Pesselière as there's someone she wants to see not too far away, and if Caroline is there Jeremy wants to head up with Amelia - honorary cousins all three of them, or so they've (apparently) decided.

I'd like to apologise for the photos, by the way. They're not particularly fresh, but I was going through the archives and thought you might like to see some from Burgundy, in 2008. And even if you don't, whose blog is it anyway? I think they're nice.

As I mentioned, Margo's off in the Tarn and Jeremy, as usual (because I'd got meat for two out of the freezer) decided to head off and spend the night with a friend at Montmélian. So I'm on my own, and after a sad solitary meal of muffins topped with scrambled eggs, salad and a bit of foie gras, I headed down to the garden to become one with the hammock, and try to get excited about getting this bloody STN screen driver for WinCE done. Not easy, especially at 10pm on a Friday night flopped in a hammock with a glass of red close to hand.

But I do have to ask myself why the hell it is that teenage boys, before buggering off to see their friends/annoy the parents of their friends/slouch around showing their underwear, cannot think to stick their dishes in the dishwasher rather than piling them in ungainly heaps in the sink? Or why, on a day when thunderstorms seem likely, they leave all the skylights wide open? I'm sure there's a reason, but it escapes me.

Possibly something to do with turning 16, which he just has (and also 1m85 in his socks, which is pretty impressive from down where I am), but I rather doubt it. I comfort myself with the thought that at some time or another, statistically, he has to turn into a human being. I mean, it happened to all of us, didn't it? (Well, I know it happened to me, and I'm willing to give most of you the benefit of the doubt.) So the odds must be pretty good that the same thing will happen to him. Please dear god say yes.

As is my wont, it being a Saturday, I was roaming around the aisles in Carrefour doing the indispensable supermarket shopping (2-litre bottles of milk, for example, and if I want pork I'm not going to be able to get it from M. Bourraoui the halal butcher, am I?) and as I whipped past the ladies lingerie department (always slow down for that) I could not but notice the little sign indicating that here was where you would find "néo-jeanerie". Not only is it one of the more disgusting neologisms I've come across in some time, I've absolutely no idea what it could possibly mean. It involves "new", and "jeans", but apart from that I'm no wiser. If they're trying to say that you can buy new jeans here, that seems pretty much a no-brainer because very few people I know go to a supermarket to buy old or second-hand jeans. Could they perhaps be beyond jeans? (Whatever that would make them.) Or perhaps the advertising people just stuck one joss-stick too many up the left nostril, accidentally dislodging brain.

At long last, all the rain-clouds that've been poncing around in the evenings without ever doing anything (and, incidentally, making sure I didn't get to see the Perseid display - again) have got their act together and it's pissing the proverbial. For the past six hours or so. Which has reminded me that I really must change the front tyres on the Alfa: all the anti-skid-thingy warning lights came on solid as I started aquaplaning barrelling out of the autoroute péage. (Hint: from 0 to 140 kph in 7 seconds in a 147 is quite feasible, but do it on a dry road. Or wear brown trousers. Your choice.)

And I knew it was a good idea to put Mr. Brain in neutral for a bit, as I finally managed to get that bloody screen driver working. Yes, it did involve counting 2MHz clock pulses on the oscilloscope and working out that there were exactly 3/8ths of how many there should have been, then looking through the code to find a multiplication by 3/8 ... tedious, and would have been totally unnecessary had the documentation been correct. Or at least, internally self-consistent. Surprising though it may seem, sometimes technical documentation has to been read with creative interpretation. That's one problem out of the way, at any rate.

Snoring peacefully at my desk now, having spent some time getting another bootable Linux USB key ready for use and then using it, booting up a client's PC and resetting the account that I'd accidentally managed to lock by taking more than three tries to log on. (Silly buggers for using Swiss keyboards: of course the keys are all in the wrong places.) They could have just given me the administrator password, but apparently that's verboten - whereas using the handy little chntpw utility is not. Go figure.

Anyway, I suppose I'd better get a bit more work done: doubt I'll do much tomorrow as I have to head of to Geneva to pick up Mal. Bye!

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