Older blog entries for jennv (starting at number 13)

jdub said
...and suddenly, everything works perfectly, and so, so wonderously better. First things to install: Python, Zope and Xen (outrageously cool software developed HERE in AUSTRALIA!)

Thanks, jdub. :)


I'm gradually feeling up to writing again. Currently working on Programming Fundamentals, with the Trainer's Guides (for the Netizen training courses) and Xen documentation as things-to-do-when-I-stall.

And I'm stalling far too often.


Still not well. ARGH!

And after such a long run of Really Being Able To Work. Oh well. Guess I'll just work from home, in ten-minute lots if that's what it takes. I just have to make sure to take breaks as soon as I get tired.


Dancer is being very caring and loving. It's nice. But it's also a sign that I'm unwell - in his opinion. Which is probably accurate.

If he's being slow on Exult or Squid, it's probably my fault. :/


Looks like I'm finally recovering from this latest 'down'. I just caught myself looking forward to writing. My brain's working again!

(This doesn't mean I'm healthy by any objective standard. Just healthier subjectively.)

Of course, I also slept fifteen hours today.


A friend of mine gave me a useful heuristic for the question 'should I try to work'.

Imagine you were going to do your favourite task - the kind of job that's the reason you went into the field. If you're too sick to do that, you're too sick to work.

I've also realised that I value my health less than I value achievement. I need to adjust that. If I value my health more, I will improve achievement. And happiness. And be able to spend more time with those I love, and doing things I love.

It was essential, when I started to get sick, that I learn not to fret about not having health. But the value system I created then is now hindering my recovery.


Potentially useful, but it's still almost impossible to adequately categorise the LinuxChix FAQs.

And can someone with influence at Sourceforge please ask them to include some Open Content/Open Publication/Free Documentation licence(s) in their licence list?

LinuxChix FAQs

No progress this week, beyond installing a patch. Every time I try to use my brain, it protests.


See previous sentence. My brain is protesting any use more intense than reading Terry Pratchett and playing FreeCell. I can't even play X-Beyond the Frontier. I can barely play The Sims.

I keep picking up some of the folders of workstuff I have here, and poking at them, and then trying to poke at the writing. And realising some time later that I'm just /staring/.

Ah well. Netizen has clue about CFS. Understanding employers rule!


"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something."

I'm wobbly - my balance is unreliable. My eyes and head are sore. Hell, everything's sore. I can't concentrate. I _know_ I don't dare drive. My sinuses are acting up. My gut is acting up. I'm awake for a couple of hours, then I want to sleep and usually can't.

And I feel guilty because I only managed to get three hours of work done today.

I can't /really/ be sick. I haven't thrown up, turned green, or acquired spots.

Sigh. I really, really need to learn what 'being healthy' feels like. So I can use that as a baseline, and know when I'm not healthy, and it's legitimate for me to not work.


Well, Skud appears to have just invalidated some of my work today. Never mind, it's just a small bit. I did some work on the trainer's guides for the Netizen training modules. And we both knew the databases one was going to be changed, so there wasn't much in the databases one for me to do.

Not a problem.

Got a fair bit done. I think. I don't really know.

Bloody hell. Forgot to CVS commit. Will do that now!

Gender debate

Lilo has provided the only good argument I've ever seen for not talking about gender issues. I'll have to think about it.

I do think that he's wrong (ahem) in characterising the debate as "'you're wrong' 'no you're wrong'". But perhaps it is. I try to make it 'hmm. I hear what you're saying, but my experience is X'.. which, I guess, maybe does boil down to 'my experiences are a counter-example to your argument'. I don't like telling people they're wrong, but I do feel that counter-examples are good. But from outside my skull, maybe it comes across as 'you're wrong'. So lilo may be right. :/

I discuss gender not to highlight differences (as lilo's last paragraph implies), but to attempt to ensure that people are aware of subconscious cultural tendancies towards each other. (and that's male-male and female-female, as well as female-male) BTW: it's NOT a linguistics issue. It's a culture issue. It's the cognitive dissonance that matters, not the origin of the word.


jwalther, I love scones, either with or without jam, but I can't imagine what possesses anyone to drink tea. Under any circumstances. It's awful stuff.


I'm getting ticked off with places I've never heard of telling me 'you are receiving this email because you have requested information from us in the past'. Sigh.

My day

Gee, thanks Bryce. You summed up a large part of my life here: "unfortunately there isn't much you can say about a day which is composed of waking up, coughing lots, going to work, writing documentation, then going home." I guess that's what I get for being a CFS-recovering documenter. :)

Hm. Y'know, Bryce really did sum up my day. Dammit.

Gender Issues again - ignore if desired

Well. Quite a lot of interesting and useful information came out of this. Information on opinions and attitudes, which is very very helpful to me.

I appreciate people who take the time to write a comment about this, even though I know it's boring a lot of people. It's all useful for the LinuxChix Issues FAQ. I've seen LinuxChix do a LOT of good already - lots of women (and girls) saying things like 'I didn't know there were other women into this sort of thing' and 'I found the local LUG really scary - I'm glad this place is here!'.

So everyone who takes time to read this stuff, everyone who contributes to it, and everyone who tolerates it and waits for it to go away is helping an advocacy project. Thank you.

Radagast, Iain, mojotoad and rwatson: I've clipped sections of each of your responses. Would you mind if I put them (or the ideas stated there) in the issues FAQ in some form?

Now, should I respond _here_ to these additional comments? No, probably not - the Advogato community seems to be tired of this discussion. If I could break it off into a thread, then maybe.

Question for the community

How would people feel if I posed a draft of the Issues FAQ as an article, and requested comment? It would doubtless create another of these massive discussions, which would be very very good for the FAQ - but probably spammy as hell for those uninterested in this discussion. I could/would request that people keep their comments to the article, where they're easily avoided by the uninterested.


It's interesting how reluctant I am to write this entry. The probable reaction to what I want to say inhibits me from saying it.

Hell. The probable reaction to what I want to _be_ inhibits me from being it.

I'm female. I'm moderately attractive (and yes, that IS relevant). I've been a tomboy and a hacker and a geek all my life.

I've experienced, and beaten, a lot of gender-bias. I've also experienced, and beaten, the same geek-bias that just about everyone else here has.

And now I'm here, where I feel I belong, and .. I feel unwelcome. Why? Because I'm female. And moderately attractive.

It happens almost everywhere geeky I go. (Netizen has been, so far, the only exception.)

It happens in all sorts of subtle, small ways. Going to a meeting at someone's house where there's both geeks and non-geek wives, and being automatically welcomed to the 'wives' side. (odd, there were no non-geek husbands.) Discovering that your geek boyfriend was using you as eye candy and a social 'boost'. Having a discussion about internal vs external modems interrupted by a chat-up line or two 'casually' thrown in.

... or having a 'no, please don't use the term _journeyman_' request answered with a rather harsh flame which summarises to 'gee, you girls are wimps'.


Well, I guess the Linuxchix Issues FAQ is far more important than I thought.

To those who think that gender-politics don't matter, please PLEASE accept that people like me HAVE thought these things through. And have a point of view you may not have.

Please listen. And if you do have a dispute with us, please make it more sensible and unemotional than name-calling. We're not wimps.


Several posts have stated that both sides aren't listening. Since I admit that my view is doubtless biased, and I don't seem to be able to figure out what the other viewpoint is, could someone please try to state it? Again? In a different way?

I'm responsible for doing the 'issues' FAQ for LinuxChix, so I have a responsibility to try to see the gender problem from both/all points of view. I want to do this right. I want to understand.

To try to help people explain it to me, I'll rephrase what I'm hearing, and make my responses. If I miss anything, please say so. If my responses don't address the issue, please say so.

'just shut up and stop whining'
I tend to ignore that one, because I do perceive this (whether both genders feel welcome) as an important issue.

'you're making US uncomfortable now!'
This is important. I don't want either gender to be uncomfortable. I don't have a solution. Maintaining the status quo is NOT a solution. Please help find one.

'yes there are problems but there will always be problems. live with it'
Hm. This one is difficult to answer. My reaction to it is to ask if the people with this viewpoint are happy to be chasing women away. The common answer to that appears to be..

'we don't chase women away, we treat them just the same as men'
Well, maybe - but if that's so, why are there so few women in this field? And why do so many of those who are in the field report feelings of unwelcome and intimidation? Maybe the way you treat men is intimidating to women - for some reason. I don't know what reason.

'but you want to discriminate against ME'
No. I don't.

other things...
I don't understand the accusations in the thread (following the article) about bias. Or the challenge to admit 'our' bias. Sorry, but thats the truth - I don't know what the hell he's talking about. I'd like an explanation of that, so I can address that issue.

There will definately be things I've missed here.

Please consider this a dry run for part of the LinuxChix Issues FAQ, and an invitation to contribute. You can answer here, or in private email to me. jennv at the usual sourceforge email*.

*(Wording it that way so spamgrovelling mail doesn't reach me. You know that eventually SOMETHING is going to decide these diaries are a goldmine of 'wealthy geek' email addresses.)

Does anyone else think it's wierd that the assembly instructions for a bookcase were written in icons?

I mean, look at the word. Bookcase. A case for books. If you want somewhere to store books, surely you read? Ok, maybe not English - but something.

Whoever designed them didn't have paperbacks in mind, though. The available shelf heights (and number of shelves) are all wrong for paperbacks. Whatever bookcase you buy. It's rather depressing.

And Target doesn't have the nice black ones anymore. I've got these dark reddish bookcases, one for the computer room and one for the paperback overflow. Our loungeroom looks like a flood zone, with paperbacks instead of sandbags.


I'm a tech writer and I think I'm a good one - but what's capex? I don't speak American either!

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