It sounds like it’s been an exceptionally good Samhain for all my pagany friends. I’m very happy for all of you 🙂

My Halloween was spent, like every night lately, banging away on the keyboard at work. Which is not a request for pity – I never celebrated the holiday growing up, and Stacey had to remind me when it was. It looks like the kids made some good hauls, though; and my Strongsad jack-‘o-lantern looked quite nice glowing mopily at the end of the driveway.

I have a cat on my butt.

What does it mean when you feel fine during the day, but every night you’re wracked with dry coughs?

You don’t appreciate strong typing until it’s gone. Aging UNIX hackers and the their adoring fanboys who think C is some sort of paragon of elegance and simplicity should be slapped with a data book until nicely tenderized. Sure, it’s easy to conform to a standard when half of it consists of suggestions

Drawn Together is funny as hell.

I got shadowandlight the Zombie Survival Guide for his birthday. He left it here after he finished it, and I’ve been flipping through it every now and then. What a bizarre book. Not because of it’s subject matter. On the face of it, it seems like a clever idea. A survival guide for the inevitable zombie uprising. Ha ha! How droll. But then you open it up, and start reading. And you realize it’s written exactly like the sort of army manual it vaguely resembles. Someone actually spent months writing a careful, detailed, pedantic, and almost completely humorless manual for defeating the undead, including an elaborate invented history of zombie attacks which makes no reference at all to the zombie canon. It reads like directions for fixing your car. Very strange.

Does anyone else work somewhere that has someone who is paid to wander around looking for safety violations? Please tell me I’m not alone in this.

I’m not going to the beach this coming weekend. This makes me sad.

Is it me, or is this one of the prettier autumns in memory? I hate that I’m inside so much of the time. The trees and the weather have been mind-bogglingly gorgeous.

We spent Sunday at my grandmother’s house. It was probably the last time I’ll ever get to see her there. She’s moving to Massachusetts to be close to my aunt. I’ve been visiting her at the house she and my grandfather built for as long as I can remember. It was the house the extended family always gathered at for Christmas and other holidays. I learned how to use a jigsaw in that house, under my grandfather’s patient tutelage. I wandered the trails in summer and careened down the hills in winter. I took lessons in math, science, music, and English from my grandmother at the kitchen table and at the old electric organ. I played Atari 2600 in the basement. I climbed the cherry and dogwood trees. I played croquet on the back lawn. I fed the fish and counted the frogs in the fish pond. I sat at the table while grandad told his stories, of which he had an unlimited supply. I played monopoly and Mille Borne and Uno and Formula 1 with my aunts and uncles and cousins.

Yesterday I sat on the balcony with my dad on a perfect fall evening, looking out over the woods that, if you walk far enough, borders on Liberty Lake, and knew that it was the last time.

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  1. What does it mean when you feel fine during the day, but every night you’re wracked with dry coughs?

    The croup. *ducks*

    1. Really? That sounds delightful English. Does this entitle me to spend the winter in an armchair pulled close to the fireplace, drinking brandy and complaining about my gout?

      1. I dunno, but if so, I’ll bring some Machallan with if I can join you. That is, if you’ll take a 12 year old single malt scotch over brandy.

  2. Sure, it’s easy to conform to a standard when half of it consists of suggestions…

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. Suggestions are just that.

    People should use best practice because it makes sense in their project / environment. Not because your compiler bitch-slaps you into submission.

    fwiw, I always use the -Wbitchslap flag to gcc.


    1. The suggestions I’m talking about, primarily, are the ones that are made to the compiler writers, not to language users. I.e. “an int is a number of some length, you pick”, and “when a function is not declared or is declared without arguments, assume it takes any number of ints as it’s parameters – whatever int means“. The practical upshot of uncertainties like that is that C code, especially code written in an early style, is not only nonportable but is subtly nonportable. At least in assembly you KNOW what needs to be changed in order to port it.

      However, to address your comments more directly…

      People who think bondage-and-disciplne languages are a bad idea have never worked on legacy code produced by large teams over the course of decades.

      Sure, I think we should be able to break the rules when it’s justified. Hell, I do all my “fun” coding in Ruby, arguably one the most malleable language ever invented. There are actually tricks by which you can change the value of local variables in the function which called your function. But I wouldn’t work on a large project in Ruby unless I knew that everyone else was as adept and sane as I am about it.

  3. Autumn…

    I agree.. Here, we have also had one of the most beautiful falls that i can remember.. We’ve only had 1-2 really cold days so far.. and it has hung on to highs in low 50’s up through now.. which is damn amazing…

    What is even cooler, is that our summer here was also one of the most wonderful on record.. yes.. we had about 3 weeks of very hot weather in late July/early August (90+ with high humidity)–but besides that, most of the temperatures were 78-85 for the rest of the summer… which is perfect..

    anyway.. sorry you haven’t gotten to see as much of the weather due to work..

  4. Can I have the Zombie Book? I ‘ll give it back eventully.

    1. You’ll have to ask Jay…

  5. do you have a humidifier? perhaps the air is dryer at home. or perhaps some allergen is present there but not at work.

    1. It happens wherever I am – but only at night.

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