Cucumbers Suck

Right now, in Toronto, where I am, it is cloudy and -10°C. Right now, in Honolulu, where Blake is, it is mostly sunny and 24°C.

I saw my friend Julia at the grocery store this morning. She wanted to know what was new, and I told her my husband was in Hawai'i all week. She was outraged on my behalf: "What are you going to get out of this," she wanted to know.

"I get to stay in Toronto and look after my children!"

Blake didn't ask to go to Hawai'i, he didn't pay to go to Hawai'i, he didn't even want to go to Hawai'i. (Julia expressed some scepticism on this last point, but I saw how mopey he was the day he left. He's crazy, but he'd really rather be home.)

That, however, doesn't change the fact that I would really like to be in Hawai'i. (In fact, it kind of makes it worse.) I'd like to be in a hotel in Hawai'i with new neighbourhoods to explore, new food to try, new beaches to walk on, and no horrible freezing weather to endure. I haven't been anywhere new since I was in Las Vegas in 2004, and I haven't been anywhere I really wanted to go since I was in New York in 2003. And I'm so sick of this cold.

I don't know the answer. There's no way for me to go somewhere interesting for free, and it wouldn't be "fair" for me to spend a bunch of money we don't have to go on holiday somewhere just because I would really like to. I'm certainly not owed a holiday.

They did a study on monkeys: you can get monkeys to do tricks if you reward them with bit of cucumber, which they like. However, if they see that you're rewarding other monkeys with grapes, which they love, they'll stop doing tricks. They know it's not fair that the other monkeys are getting grapes, even though their cucumbers are pretty good and were considered fair reward until they noticed the grapes.

Right now this monkey is not too happy with her cucumbers.

I Read A Book!

My first book of 2011 was Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell. I read her The Hungry Gene, about the physiology of fatness (whoo!) a while ago and enjoyed it, so I was excited to hear that she had tackled a topic which weighs (Oh! No pun intended!) on my mind quite often: cheapness. My concern is mainly that most things are now too cheap to mend: clothes, electronics, furniture, if something breaks, rips, or wears out there's no chance you can get a North American to repair it for less than you can get someone in Asia to make a new one, even though it's not a particularly good one and you know it's going to break in 2 to 5 years anyway. As a result, our homes and landfills are full of flimsy, disappointing crap.

This book is about exactly that. Shell covers all the whys and wherefores of what make things so cheap these days: discount retailers, the history of sales, globalisation and sweatshops, and the erosion of quality in mainstream goods. The book is informative yet readable, and covers enough ground that I had a pretty thorough understanding of the big picture of cheapness when I'd finished reading it.

Shell did try pretty hard to get me to hate Ikea, and never managed it. Yes, some of the stuff they sell is shoddy (caveat emptor — some of it is just fine) and they have giant stores out in the suburbs which force people to drive out there (I manage to shop at Ikea without driving, and anyway I only go once a year so even if I did drive it wouldn't be a disaster). Also they make everything cheap by passing on the assembly work to you the customer (again, caveat emptor: you know what you're getting into. Plus you can hire dudes to assemble your Ikea furniture, at least in Toronto.) She turns her nose up at their attempts to make sure their wood is environmentally and ethically sourced, and I agree that they could probably stand to, oh, quadruple their forestry oversight department, but hey, at least they have one. Anyway, I'm sure it's just that I've been brainwashed by the overall adorableness of Ikea, but I just can't hate them as much as Shell clearly wants me to. But I do shop there are mindfully as I shop everywhere else.

Apart from our minor disagreement about the evilness of Ikea, Shell convinced and entertained me with this book. I look forward to her next one.

Sled Fight: Sibling Fight Resolved Daddy-Style

"I want it back!"

"It's my turn!"

Delphine and Cordelia had both decided that the orange sled was the only sled worth using. We were out with their friend Ursa (and Ursa's two sleds, the green one and the blue one). There had been a horrible misunderstanding when Cordelia lent Ursa the orange sled for JUST ONE TURN, but then Ursa gave it to Delphine instead of back to Cordelia. Delphine refused to relinquish it, but Cordelia insisted she must have it back.

When I stepped in they were in the screaming-tug-of-war stage of the fight — I separated them and took custody of the sled, and then we talked. We talked about Cordelia's preferred resolution ("I want the sled!") and Delphine's preferred resolution ("I want the sled!"), we talked about how much Cordelia was willing to compromise ("She can't use it!") and how much Delphine was willing to compromise ("She can't use it!") We talked about the possibility of taking turns ("No!") and using the other sleds ("I want the orange one!") We talked and talked but neither girl would compromise and I had run out of ideas.

Then Blake made an excellent point. Both girls were under the impression that the orange sled was the best, but how could they be so sure? We should definitely do some experiments to figure out which sled was the best, just in case it turns out they were fighting about the wrong sled! They must pit sled against sled in a rigorous and methodical series of distance trials. First the orange sled with Delphine versus the blue sled with Cordelia, then the blue sled with Delphine versus the orange sled with Cordelia, next the green sled...

By the third round of these trials the girls had forgotten they were fighting, and by the fifth they had forgotten what they were doing altogether and they were just having fun.

The moral of the story is, sometimes you can't reason with them (because no-one wants to be reasonable) but you can usually distract them — the more byzantine the distraction, the better. Daddies are especially good for that.

Awesome Christmas Holiday Awesomeness, Days 2 and 3

We took a day off from awesomeness on Tuesday, but on Wednesday we were back at it with a visit to the Science Centre. (We're members there, so the day only cost us about $45 for food and transit.) We saw an exhibit about the Aga Khan Ismaili Museum, which is under construction just up the road from the Science Centre, we saw a demonstration about fire and explosions, we visited the rainforest (Delphine's favourite) and that hallway with all the soundproofing that's really quiet and makes you feel like your head is full of cotton wool — that's my favourite. We also went through a terrific exhibit about mythical creatures and the real-life phenomena which might have inspired them. Did you know there used to be a giant prehistoric ape in China? Delphine's favourite part of that exhibit was a poster about a boy who loves Pokémon. That seems like a weird thing to have in a show about mythical creatures, but I think their points were that some Pokémon monsters are inspired by mythical creatures, and that Pokémon are kind of their own mythology.

On Thursday we went down to the ROM, where we also have a membership. We saw the special exhibit on the Terracotta Warriors, which was nicely done. I'm sure I would have learned something if the show hadn't been crowded with everyone else in Ontario who decided to put off visiting it until the last week. Even so, it was impressive and well-organized.

We accidentally saw an exhibit of art by an African artist who uses found objects to make beautiful flowing sculptures. (Accidentally because we took the elevator up to the upstairs (fancy) restaurant to see what was up there, and then came down the stairs which deposited us into the exhibit.) The girls weren't really interested, except they thought it was neat that the sculptures were made of bottle caps and things. From there we stopped into the Textiles area, which I think is fascinating but the girls were bored by. Some of the little clothes held their interest for a while, especially the little yellow boy's dress. But there weren't any garments in their sizes: everything on display was either toddler size or adult size. I pointed out that Delphine was almost big enough to wear the adult dresses — people really were tiny back then.

We also spent our usual time in the Bat Cave, and in the hands-on kids' area. (My favourite thing is the super microscope hooked up to a TV — I like to use it to magnify my flaking, cracked cuticles and gross myself and the girls out.)

We had lunch at the ROM, in the basement cafe, and as usual it was cheap and delicious. We got a pizza, a burger, chili, poutine, and a smoked pork burrito, plus a brownie and a nanaimo bar, for $32. I would go there for lunch all the time if I worked nearby; they have more grown-up food than pizza and burgers, and it's all locally sourced and freshly made.

Thursday night we had our neighbours over for a drink — I had invited them to our Christmas Carol Jam but they were too sick, so this was their make-up drink. We chatted about New Year's Eve plans, and they said they were having some people for dinner and to play a karaoke game on their Nintendo. When I expressed my unholy love for karaoke they invited me over, so that's how I ended up going to my neighbours' at 12:10 am on January 1st (leaving Blake at home with the girls because he's so not into karaoke). They and their friends were friendly and welcoming, and I had a terrific time. I might have kicked some karaoke ass, too, even though the game is weird and picks the songs for you. I was out until 3:30, which is unheard of, and didn't fall asleep until 4:00. I might have been a teeny bit drunk, too. Not as drunk as my neighbours, though; it was like a university party!

Today, thankfully, was an easy day. In between catching up on sleep I did laundry and moved things around. Tomorrow we'll move things around some more, and go skating, and then out for Sunday Family Dinner, and then they holiday is over and everything goes back to normal. I'm not quite ready for this holiday to be over, but I'm excited about 2011 and the new things it will bring. Happy New Year!

Last Book Blog of 2010

A conversation with North TO Mom reminded me that I read Manhood For Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son by Michael Chabon in 2010. Well, I didn't actually read it, I listened to it while I was out walking this summer. It's read by the author, and it was a nice listen — I like Chabon's voice and his accent and pronounciation was just different enough to add interest. The content was good too: a collection of essays about fatherhood (and a great one about motherhood), his brother and his kids, and his life before marriage and children. I especially liked the essay about Hanukkah and Christmas — it's basically something I meant to write, but of course now it's been done a thousand times better so I don't have to bother.

My last completed book of 2010 was a good one, too: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. If you haven't read it, it's the story of an odd New England boy who believes he is God's instrument. The blurb on the back of the book says "He is." but I'm pretty sure the reader is free to make her mind up on that matter herself. It's a lovely story (with lots of unexpected Toronto content - Forest Hill, no less) with great, interesting but plausible (or at least, compelling) characters.

Here's to 2011 — let's hope I book blog more often!

2010: One of Those Form Letters

Hey, it's the end of the year, time to send your friends and relations one of those letters detailing the accomplishments of your family. Since we're not very accomplished this won't take long.

This year Delphine turned seven (and had an awesome party) and accordingly, finished Grade 1 and started Grade 2. She loves school; it all comes fairly easily to her, and she loves having lots of things to do. She's had the same best friend since the start of Grade 1, which is cool except that the teacher is concerned that she only has one good friend. (She has a couple of other friends outside school, fortunately.) One of the things teachers concern themselves with these days is their students' social situation (which is great, I'm all for it). Ms Netley has been trying to fix Delphine up with another friend, but unfortunately there aren't any other girls in the class who are a good match for Delphine in terms of maturity and interests. It's no disaster, though, her one good friend is indeed a good friend: they are well matched and kind and helpful to each other.

Delphine's extra-curricular activities are piano and art. She's taking the usual weekly piano lessons and progressing nicely. Better still, though, she spends a good amount of time just playing at the piano: lately she's been devising scales and exercises, and picking out the notes to Christmas carols. The other day she transcribed the melody of Ode to Joy for fun. Lessons and practice are all very well, but any kindergarten teacher will tell you you learn more from play than you do from lessons. My brother played with music while I just did what I was asked to do, and he's a far better musician than I am.

Anyway, as I said, Delphine's other thing is art. She's been taking a great art class in the neighbourhood and having a lot of fun with it. She carries a sketchbook and pencil around and draws pictures when she has some spare time.

Delphine continued with gymnastics classes in January, but her future in gymnastics is severely curtailed by her refusal to ever go upside down for any reason. There's a lot of upside-down in gymnastics, as it turns out, and I imagine she won't be doing any more gymnastics.

In the little time that's left to her Delphine likes to read and sleep, and also teach lessons in various topics to her sister, friends, or PlayMobil people.

Cordelia's year was no less exciting. She turned 5 in September, and finished Junior Kindergarten and started Senior Kindergarten this year. She doesn't mind school, but would rather be home. She continues to be a bit of a Mummy's girl. I'm sure that will end sooner or later, but it's pretty nice to be her number one for now. Cordelia isn't as fantastically academically illustrious as her sister, but her teacher isn't the least concerned. She's doing just fine.

Outside school, Cordelia also took art classes at the same place as Delphine. She also took a couple of Music Together sessions with me. Outside of all that, she likes to hang out with her friends Otis, Zoey, and Scarlett, or with Delphine's friends. She likes to play with sets of things, like PlayMobil people or figurines, or rocks: she gives them roles and talks them through scenes. She gets quite lost in those games, as well as in crafts. If she gets engaged in something she will concentrate quietly on it for an hour or more. She's a child of contrasts: loud or silent, happy or despondent, bouncy or still.

This year I turned 35. Unfortunately that doesn't conveniently slot me into some grade or level or place in life, so I am still flailing. I think I'm getting better at it, though. I keep myself busy: I've been volunteering a lot, mostly at the school. I'm still the Eco-committee Chair, which mainly means I need to show up for meetings with the EcoSchool Auditor and make it look like the parents care about the environment. And maybe they do, but they certainly don't talk about it much. I also ran the Arts and Crafts room for the school's Winter Fair, which was fun(ish) but I won't do it again, because it means I have to hang around the Arts and Crafts room all afternoon and can't actually have any fun. Still, I've done it for two years, so I think I'm off the hook for a while.

My favourite volunteer job at school is working with the Junior Choir. I think I'm going to call myself a Rehearsal Assistant when I put it on my resume; I help the kids with their parts, I lead a warm-up or two, and I try and keep the kids focussed during rehearsal.

This summer I tried to help out a little bit with the campaign for a candidate for city council. Unfortunately all they really wanted was people to canvass, and I hate canvassing. I should probably have sucked it up and done it anyway, but I'm a bit of a whiny baby. I offered to do anything else — paperwork, phoning, writing, whatever — but they didn't go for it. I was about to be hurt and upset by that but my mum pointed out the existing team was probably used to working with each other and didn't want to put in the effort to figure out how to fit me in. Well, what Mum said was, "They're just being cliquey", but it amounts to the same thing. Anyway, the guy won, so all's well that ends well.

I also started some "real" (that is, for money) work: I formatted a three-volume book for publication, and helped midwife it though the printing process. I'm now working on formatting another book, and hope to do some copyediting and writing jobs next year.

My favourite extra-curricular activity was choir, of course. In February we performed John Stainer's Crucifixion, which I love unreservedly even though it's deeply cheesy. We accompanied it with a variety of Victorian sacred anthems, a sub-sub-genre of music I had never encountered before but absolutely love. Sadly we didn't record that concert, so I'm going to have to buy a few CDs to get recordings of all the pieces we did: some Parry, some Gardiner, and of course "The Lost Chord" by Arthur Sullivan which I adore. Our May concert featured two Mozart Masses in C: Minor and Major. And this December was our bi-annual Messiah, which might have been our best yet.

As usual, we didn't travel much. The girls and I went to Saskatchewan for two weeks this summer for our usual round of fishing, farm visits and general lazing around. Blake went to Mountain View, CA, and to Vancouver for work. Maybe I will join him for a business trip next year. I would really love to get out of town and go somewhere new.

Blake travelled to Winnipeg with his family later in the year to visit his sick uncle. Hershey was a jovial and loving man — truly avuncular — and one of the most loyal readers of this blog. He will be missed.

Some of our most exciting news didn't happen under this roof: the girls' first cousin was born this summer. Charlie arrived on July 30. He's still at the boring (and according to Delphine, smelly) baby stage right now but he's ridiculously cute and charming and I have big plans for lots of auntie-nephew fun. I may not have my own son but I can borrow someone else's! Fortunately Morgan is happy to share.

I could write so much more: about swimming lessons, about the Toronto Children's Chorus audition — but then this post will take a year to read. All in all, 2010 was a satisfyingly unexceptional year: no big changes, no renos, no disasters. We didn't get any further out of debt, but we didn't get any further in, either. I call that a tolerable win.

Awesome Christmas Holiday Awesomeness: Day 1

I love this Christmas holiday, you know why? I'll tell you: because Christmas was on Saturday. Two weeks off, Christmas on Saturday, means you get a week to get ready for Christmas and a week to recover.

Boxing Day was spent as follows: we went up to Yonge and Eglinton to shop — Blake tried and failed to buy me Life (with David Attenborough) on Blu-Ray, and I was more successful with my shopping, a picture frame and a tablecloth. Then we had dim sum at Cha Liu, and Delphine and I walked back home (stopping to see Charlie on the way). Delphine had Ursa over to show off her loot, and then we sent all the girls over to Ursa's house while Blake and I went on a grocery date and got some things set up around the house.

After groceries we rendezvoused at Ursa's house and pooled our leftovers for an awesome post-Christmas Christmas dinner: our beef and potatoes, pudding, cookies, and wine; their turkey, wild rice, (more) potatoes.

But this post isn't even about Boxing Day, which was yesterday — it's about today! The girls have big ambitions for this week: they want to go up the CN Tower, they want to go to the ROM and they want to go to the Science Centre. Since today was forecast to be the only clear day this week I decided we should go up the Tower today.

The Tower was great. Lots of lining up, sure, but then an excellent elevator ride and a fun view of the city. ("Oh, there's that thing! Oh, there's that other thing!") Then down to the glass floor (after rejecting the cafe as a lunch option — $17 hamburger!) which the girls loved and I walked on only under extreme duress. Horrifying.

(Later on the way home, Delphine said she was not so impressed about the Tower, but I think she had a good time when she was up there. It's a good thing to have done.)

The elevator down deposited us conveniently in the gift store. Cordelia's whole plan for this trip was to get a little CN Tower (I think her friend Zoey has one) so we got her one. Since Cordelia was getting something, Delphine had to as well, so she got a doodad and I bought myself a pair of souvenir earrings.

We had lunch at East Side Mario's, first regaling our children with boring stories about how we used to go to ESM when we were in university. It was still great: little loaves of soft white bread, big bowls of salad (same as before except no pickled peppers) and giant servings of pasta. (Cordelia: "Why did she give me so much?!") We all ate half our meals, and the girls got three tiny ice cream cones for dessert. The whole place is designed to bring families back: great kids menu, crayons and activity books, gorgeous bathroom (panelled wood cubicles!), delightful kids' dessert, a little toy, and take-home cups with characters on to make sure the kids never forget. And, since it was Monday the kids ate for free. ESM, for every stage of your life.

After lunch we walked down to the Harbourfront and met some friends to go skating. It was our first time this year, so it took me a lap or two to get steady. Cordelia never really stopped hanging on to someone and dragging, but Delphine was quite confident on her skates by the end.

When we were all quite frozen we went back up to Colleen and Jeff's (they live right opposite the rink, lucky buggers) for hot chocolate and ended up playing Wii games and staying for pizza.

Then home and to bed with the children, late again! We're going to spend tomorrow at home so as to not overwhelm ourselves with excitement. Also to clean up after Christmas Day — I still haven't recycled the giftwrap.

We had such a lovely day, and yesterday to. I love going out with the girls, they're so agreeable and interested and interesting. I love sharing the city with them, discovering and rediscovering what makes it such a wonderful place to live.

Christmas 2010

Christmas this year started a little earlier than usual with the screening of Tafelmusik's Sing-Along Messiah documentary in mid-November. They screened it at a theatre nearby, and I was invited because I'm friends with one of their marketing people. I invited Kat and Tanya as my plus-one, and we had a lovely evening out.

More Messiah ensued a couple of weeks later with my choir's performance thereof, which went fantastically well. We've done Messiah so many times I think people are actually starting to relax and enjoy singing it.

Our first Christmas party was at a friend of the family's. I'm sure he'd like to stop inviting us because we never talk to anyone we're not related to, and we eat like crazy, but we always enjoy ourselves.

Around mid-December I went to a free choir and organ concert at Roy Thomson Hall, with the Elmer Iseler Singers. Another good concert, and they had a couple of sing-along numbers. One of the sing-alongs was the Hallelujah chorus, but I was the only person in my area who sang along with any enthusiasm — it's a bit of a funny choice for a sing-along, really. I belted it out anyway.

That week was the last week of school, so we were invited to Cordelia's class party, and I went to the school Holiday Sing-Along assembly. Then on that weekend I went to a free concert at Yorkminster in aid of CHUM Christmas Wish — admission was free but they asked for a donation of a toy. It was a fantastic lineup: True North Brass, High Park Children's Choirs, Richard Margison and Isabel Bayrakdarian. For free! I went for Isabel Bayrakdarian (and the sing-along Christmas carols), but she gave a rather predictable performance of Oh Holy Night. Richard Margison sang some vaguely familiar Disney-esque duet with his pop-singing daughter Lauren, but then she left the stage and he treated us to a toe-curling rendition of Nessun Dorma. I admit I've never really been into opera, but this particular performance reached all the way up to the balcony and grabbed me. I couldn't stay for the whole concert, but I believe I was there for the best bit.

I had to leave early because we were on our way to a party at our old/new friends the Theysmeyers'. It was terrific to meet their neighbours but best was reconnecting with old friends from university, some who I hadn't seen since well before Delphine was born. Delphine and Cordelia had a great time as the senior kids at the party — the host's kid is four and everyone else was that age or younger, so my girls took charge.

Thursday night we had some people over to eat cookies and sing some more carols, and then Friday (Christmas Eve) we had nothing to do — the house was clean, the fridge was full of party food. (I actually got some work done.) Later in the day David Wolever came over for a quick visit and dropped off an Arduino for Blake and a clickety IBM Model M keyboard (with USB converter cable!) for me. So awesome! So we fed him cookies.

And today was Christmas. Delphine was sick last night and stumbled out of her room at 10 pm all miserable and damp and sore. I fed her some ibuprofen and tucked her back in, but not before she noticed her stocking was full. I feigned ignorance. Maybe Santa came in through the bathroom exhaust vent?

Delphine being sick meant that she didn't wake up at the crack of dawn to open her stocking, so at around 7:00 I and the girls went downstairs and the girls investigated their stockings while I experimented with making cinnamon buns with biscuit dough. (Hypothesis: yum! Result: hypothesis confirmed!) We ate, then everyone got dressed before we dug into the presents.

Blake was very happy with The Calculus Diaries by Jennifer Ouellette, a iPhone holder for working out with, and a Cybertool Swiss Army knife with about a billion tools which will be very useful when he's messing with his new Arduino.

I got a ceramic figurine of a little girl standing by a bucket — the bucket doubles as a candle holder — from Delphine, and an iHome alarm clock from Blake, as well as some chocolate, earrings and stationery (-ary?) from my cousin, who always buys me unambitious but excellent gifts.

The girls loved their Playmobil, Quadrilla marble run, books, playdough (for Cordelia) and colour-in-able purse (for Delphine). Delphine was pretty happy to spend the day convalescing on the couch and reading her new Magic Tree House books from Cordelia.

We had all the usual suspects for Christmas Dinner, as well as Auntie J'Anne and a co-worker of Morgan's who needed a loaner family for Christmas. She fit right in. Our very special guest this year was baby Charlie, who was celebrating (but not really enjoying) his first Christmas.

Dinner was pretty good. I did two roasts (I have to ask them to leave the prime rib in one piece the next time we order cow), roasted potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings, and Morgan brought salad. (Baba brought wine and appetizers.) The beef was fine, the potatoes were okay but not crispy, and the Yorkshires were fine. Part of the problem was that there were no drippings from the beef, so we had to do the potatoes and Yorkies with canola oil, which I think we didn't heat up enough. Still, it was well-received. The Christmas pudding with brandy butter and whipped cream seemed to go down pretty smooth too, but just in case, we served a giant Toblerone and a gingerbread house as well.

For after dinner entertainment we tried to teach Morgan's friend how to do cryptic crosswords, and I made everyone play "Twinkle Twinkle" on the pitched whistles from our Christmas crackers. (Everyone got a numbered note, and I yelled out each person's number: "1 1! 5 5! 6 6! 5! 4 4! 3 3! 2 2! 1! 5 5! 4 4! 3 3! 2 2! 5 5!..." and so on.) $25 well spent, I believe.

Then we all sat around and digested and played with the children's toys until it was (their) bedtime. Now that everyone else has either gone home or is tucked in, Blake is watching a video about dragons and I'm drinking sherry and listening to Christmas music. A fantastic day all 'round (unless you're Delphine).

What files have the most bugs?

I was reading Making Software by Andy Oram and Greg Wilson, and got to the chapter about An Automated Fault Prediction System. It’s a pretty neat chapter, and it got me wondering which files in the Thunderbird code base had the most bugs. Now, I don’t have all the info I need, but I figured an easy first pass would be to go through the commit logs, and for each commit that started with “bug ”, add one to the files changed in that commit. Hmm, that sounded unintuitive. Let me just paste (and link) the code:

from mercurial import ui, hg
import operator
import re

ext = re.compile("(\.c(pp)?|\.js|\.xml)$")

repo = hg.repository(ui.ui(), ".")
changes = [repo[i] for i in repo
                   if repo[i].description().lower().startswith("bug ")]

master = {}

for change in changes:
  files = [f for f in change.files() if]
  for f in files:
    master[f] = master.get(f, 0) + 1

files = master.items()
counts = master.items()
print "\n".join([c[0] + ":" + str(c[1]) for c in counts[:10]])

And so, without further ado, here are the files that have been changed the most in bug fixes, and the number of times they've been changed:

  • mail/base/content/mailWindowOverlay.js:109
  • suite/browser/browser-prefs.js:73
  • suite/browser/navigator.js:70
  • mail/base/content/msgMail3PaneWindow.js:69
  • mail/app/profile/all-thunderbird.js:67
  • suite/common/src/nsSessionStore.js:66
  • mail/components/compose/content/MsgComposeCommands.js:60
  • mailnews/imap/src/nsImapMailFolder.cpp:56
  • suite/browser/tabbrowser.xml:53
  • mail/base/content/msgHdrViewOverlay.js:52

As a side note, for the mozilla repo it looks like this:

  • js/src/jstracer.cpp:780
  • browser/base/content/browser.js:654
  • layout/base/nsCSSFrameConstructor.cpp:410
  • layout/base/nsPresShell.cpp:400
  • js/src/jsobj.cpp:399
  • browser/base/content/tabbrowser.xml:397
  • widget/src/windows/nsWindow.cpp:390
  • toolkit/components/places/src/nsNavHistory.cpp:374
  • js/src/jsinterp.cpp:345
  • js/src/jsapi.cpp:343

Giant Book Blog, November 2010

I haven't properly book blogged since, I think, July. And even then I don't think I actually caught up, I only posted about a handful of books. It's time for one of those clearout book blogs where I just post all the stuff I've read without much comment. Those suck for everyone, but they satisfy my slightly obsessive need to record every book I read here.

Incidentally, I tried Goodreads, and I think it's a really neat idea but it's not working for me. I like to keep my book list close to home (which is to say, here on Blog-o!). I expect I will still use it to research books and get ideas.

Without further ado, here are the books I've read this year:

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon is the last book I finished. It was lent to me by a friend (Janet!). It's the story of a middle-class English man who has just retired, and who discovers a patch of diseased skin on his hip. This leads him to confront his mortality in a dramatic manner, while still attempting to maintain his dignity and not make a fuss. I started off not liking the lead character, but after a few chapters I understood and liked him, and I liked all the other characters, too; they were well-written and engaging.

Time is running out and I apparently don't have time to write about any more books I've read, so here's the list, sorted into moderately helpful sub-lists:

Fiction I Loved
  • Solar by Ian McEwen
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • The Pleasure of my Company by Steve Martin
  • Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (kids'/young adult)
Fiction I Really Enjoyed
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
  • Love Songs and Lies by Libby Purves (My notes: "Wonderful writing, great characters—felt like the ending was kind of limp. But good plot twists.")
  • The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (for book club)
  • Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (for book club)
Fiction I Enjoyed
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • Raincloud by Richard Todd
  • Tracks by Louise Erdrich 1
  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory (for book club)
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova (for book club)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (for book club)
  • Holes by Louis Sachar (kids'/young adult)
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (kids'/young adult)
  • The Last Girls of Pompeii by Kathryn Laskey (kids'/young adult)
  • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (kids'/young adult)
  • Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian (kids'/young adult)
  • Minnow on the Say by Phillipa Pearce (kids'/young adult)
  • Moses in Egypt by Lynne Reid Banks (kids'/young adult)
Fiction I Didn't Enjoy
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Roznay (for book club)
Fiction I Don't Remember Reading
  • Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Cruisie
Non-Fiction That Made Me Think
  • Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky
  • Sleeping Naked is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farquarson
  • Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski
  • The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon
  • Camp Nurse: My Adventures at Summer Camp by Tilda Shalof 2
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins 3
  • Born to Love: Why Empathy Is Essential—and Endangered by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear by Dan Gardner
Non-Fiction That Made Me Laugh And/Or Cry
  • The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot (read aloud to Delphine)
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (read aloud to Delphine)
  • C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark by Ryan Knighton
Non-Fiction That Helped
  • Your Seven-Year-Old: Life In A Minor Key by Louise Bates Ames and Carol Chase Haber
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Non-Fiction That Didn't Help
  • Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You by Simon Doonan
Non-Fiction I Don't Remember Reading
  • How to Talk So Kids Can Learn by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

  1. Here's a quick review I wrote for Tracks: A couple of years ago I had a book swap party—a bunch of friends came over with few books they were done with, and we talked about books and life and everyone left with a new (to them) book. This was one of the books I picked up. It's about Fleur Pillager, an Anishnabe woman with mysterious powers, and the people around her. It's told alternately by Nanapush, an old man speaking to his grand-daughter, and Pauline. I wouldn't have picked this book out at the library, but I enjoyed it, especially Nanapush's quiet humour. 

  2. Here are my notes about Camp Nurse: - about her experiences as camp nurse at three different camps - one chaotic and disorganized (socialist), one fancy and over-structured and one just right - Jewish camp which includes differently abled and sick kids as well as kids sponsored by the United Way. Discussed what makes a kid a "good camper" (in the conformist fancy camp). Lots of discussion of various ailments from splinters to strokes, seizures, infections, and a camp-wide norovirus. Made me want to send my kids to (a carefully selected) camp, which is expensive but counts as childcare for tax purposes! Author has two other books which I would like to check out. 

  3. Here are my notes about The God Delusion: Useful vocabulary and buttresses arguments about god - some parts of book seem beside the point (memes) - not sure about his vehemence about referring to "a Jewish child", etc; seems to be the old culture versus religion problem. Reminded me of Douglas Adams: boo hoo.