Monday’s LRUG meeting was excellent. Daniel Magliola’s talk about queues was extremely comprehensive and answered every question that came up in my mind during the course of the talk. I was glad that Matt was able to make it this time (weather and strikes having prevented it in December) to remind me why I’m very grateful that other people are doing the hard work of incrementally improving the C Ruby implementation. It’s really fascinating stuff.

I finally managed to implement a feature that I’ve been working on for weeks. More accurately, it had been hanging over me for weeks. Every time I started looking at it, something else came up and I had to set it aside before I’d had a chance to get enough context into my head.

In the end, once I finally understood the surrounding parts of the system, it took me half an hour to implement the basic functionality.

The hard part of writing software isn’t the writing part.

I got my money back for some clothes that disappeared into a financial void.

Before Christmas, I ordered some items of clothing from an online retailer who offered free returns. I tried them on, didn’t like the fit, and sent them back for a refund. The very next day, the retailer went into administration, leaving me without clothing or money. But I’d paid by credit card (as I always try to for distance purchases), so I raised a dispute with the card company.

I think I was lucky in that I’d already despatched the returns, because it made the situation simpler than if I’d still had things I didn’t want. I’d paid, and I had nothing to show for it, and I had a trail of confirmation emails.

It took a couple of tries to upload adequate supporting documents, but they approved the dispute and refunded it to my card balance. The system works, sometimes.

I went to the loudest gig I’ve ever experienced on Friday. The headliners were so loud I had to switch from my regular gig earplugs (−20 dB but fairly transparent) to a more industrial pair (−28 dB and you can tell you’ve wadded up your ears). It was absurd, ridiculous, and of course didn’t sound as good as a more reasonable volume would have. I like music, which is why I don’t want to go deaf listening to it!

We took a day trip to Brighton on Sunday. The weather wasn’t quite as fine as the forecast predicted, and we only made it close enough to the sea to see the crashing waves before scurrying back to shelter, but it was still a good day out.

In the bookshop, there were stacks of the Windsor lad’s new autobiography. In the second-hand shop, a copy was already sitting on a shelf amongst gaudy jugs and lonely forks. I wasn’t tempted.