Yesterday I took the plunge, after that silent advice you get from a dentist that says a lot more than actual words, and got braces for the next two years. Hopefully it will resolve longstanding issues I’ve had with crowding, cleaning and eating, not least root canal on two molars.

Today, I’m in a small amount of pain. I slept quite well, considering I have what feels like a trellis on my teeth. Every now and then, when the top and bottom incisors touch, both teeth tell my brain “don’t do that”.

Eating is a chore. It took about five minutes to eat a banana this morning, by slicing it up. Lunch was equally time-consuming. There’s no way I can chew anything for a while yet, given the tiny amounts of room in my mouth for any sort of grinding motion. I find chopping things up really small and just swallowing them, seems to work the best.

I also hate the toothbrush they gave me. It vibrates and you’re supposed to just hold it against your teeth and let it work. Maybe I’ll get used to it eventually. I’ve got another two years of this.

Symbolic links and Microsoft OneDrive on OS X Mavericks

I ran into an interesting problem recently, which I only resolved today though a bit of trickery.

With the release of OneDrive, Microsoft replaced the existing SkyDrive application on OS X with a new binary. It still refers to the same ~/SkyDrive folder on the file system, but it’s definitely different.

One of the major ways I found this out is how it handles symbolic links (spoiler: it doesn’t).

Because I have (unfortunate) experience with backups, I use several cloud storage vendors, including Dropbox and SkyDriveOneDrive.

I don’t have unlimited disk space though, so I use symbolic links on OS X, and directory junctions on Windows, to map certain folders to these different vendor paths, to avoid duplication and have multiple backups of the same data.

With the new version of OneDrive, symbolic links don’t get followed. Instead, for a sample directory size of 5GB, your CPU goes mad, I/O on your hard drive goes mad, because it’s writing this to the log file all the time:

03-25-2014 17:03:11.769 - fileSystem.cpp:200!openFileRead (ERROR): openFileRead /Users/myUserAccount/SkyDrive/Desktop/filename failed. errno: 1
03-25-2014 17:03:11.769 - localChanges.cpp:1729!startLocalChangeHash (DETAIL): Opening hash handle -1 for file '/Users/myUserAccount/SkyDrive/Desktop/filename'
03-25-2014 17:03:11.769 - localChanges.cpp:1733!startLocalChangeHash (NORMAL): openFileRead failed on /Users/myUserAccount/SkyDrive/Desktop/filename, err 1
03-25-2014 17:03:11.769 - localChanges.cpp:2274!handleLocalReplaceFile (ERROR): Transient Error (REPLACE_FILE_COULD_NOT_OPEN): postponing replace file'C30E03CFF2436B47!44000' because the file could not be opened; ignoreMissingFile=TRUE. Attempt 1

So I decided to try out hard links instead. Using the following source, I created the following C program, and compiled it, from the accepted answer:

#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {
 if (argc != 3) {
  fprintf(stderr,"Use: hlink <src_dir> <target_dir>\n");
  return 1;
 int ret = link(argv[1],argv[2]);
 if (ret != 0)
 return ret;

Take into account that the hard linked directories may not be in the same parent directory, so you can do this:

$ gcc hlink.c -o hlink
$ mkdir child1
$ mkdir parent
$ ./hlink child1 parent/clone2

So there you have it. Creating the hard links fixed it immediately. When OneDrive was restarted, it saw the folders as real (because they are), and synchronised everything almost immediately.

Catching up

Mother-in-law came to stay for six weeks. We went to Banff, Lake Louise, and back to Banff again.

Earlier this month, the Calgary Men’s Chorus sent a contingent to New York to perform in a show at Carnegie Hall with a group of other choirs from the US. It was fantastic.

We put in an offer on a new house, which the bank thought was overpriced, so we don’t have a new house.

What else?

Here’s a picture of Gary Busey.

Gary Busey
Gary Busey


In May 2006, I lamented that there isn’t enough time to do the things I want to do.

Amusingly, on that very day, I started a (parody) religion, which eventually became known as The Smiters of Iniquity. That has fizzled a bit, but I did it.

So what else on that list from seven-and-a-half years ago have I completed?

  • There isn’t enough time to spend a day with my boyfriend, doing nothing.

    This one’s easy. We’re married now. As anyone who’s married knows, you spend a lot of time with your significant other, doing very little.

  • There isn’t enough time to repack my cupboard and throw out old clothes.

    We moved to Canada in 2010. I may need to donate old clothes, but I repacked my cupboard at the beginning of winter. The basement office is my next challenge.

  • There isn’t enough time to repack my bookcase.

    Since the iPad was invented, my bookcase has taken on less generous proportions.

  • There isn’t enough time to finish ShutOff 2006.

    Um. Yeah. Still on the list.

  • There isn’t enough time to watch Queer as Folk.

    We finished watching this before we left South Africa.

  • There isn’t enough time to watch Battlestar Galactica.

    I’ve made it to Season 4, but still don’t know who the 12th Cylon is.

  • There isn’t enough time to write.

    A never-ending problem. Except I decided last month that I want to write a technical book now. I’ve even enlisted the help of one or more Ph.D.s (or however you pluralise that).

  • There isn’t enough time to read.

    Thanks to the iPad, I can now read in bed with the lights off.

  • There isn’t enough time to play computer games.

    Um. Yeah. Still on the list. I play iOS games, but it’s not the same as Dragon Age or The Sims.

This is mostly fluff, especially how much things change in seven years, but it’s useful to look back on goals you’ve set and see how you’re doing.

How does your list look?