Elderberry Poisoning, (by )

This weekend me, Jean and my mum and dad went back to Gloucestershire to do some cat sitting whilst Alaric remained in London slaving away. We arrived on the Saturaday and Jean was off having lots of fun in the garden with Barabara, I had just been in the Bakery trying to sort out the more than chaos that lies within when Barbara informed me that Jean had just been eating elderberries.

'Not raw?' I ask the first trickle of panic starting. The answer yes. I was sure that raw elderberries were poisonous but Barbara mantained they where not as she used to eat them and was always fine - this coming from the woman who is immuned to the ecoli that appeared in the spring water, I didnt think that was enough of a safe guard.

To my horror the computer stuff wasn't working in the Bakery and I couldn't find my books in the mess and mum and dad where assuring me that it was fine, but Jean had eaten something I was possitive was poisonous and I had no resorces to tell me how toxic it was - would she just have a jippy tummy? Did I need to get her to causulty asap? I didn't think that the second one was that lickily but I couldnt be sure so I phoned Al and got him to look it up on the internet - yes they were posionous so I got him to look up NHS directs number and phoned them (normally we have all those sorts of numbers by the phone downstairs but obviously that stuffs all been shifted along with my doctors contact details and all the rest of it 🙁

I got through to NHS direct where after I had to be passed on to nurse or someone becuase elderberries weren't on the low toxicity list, the next person found them on another list and every part of the plant is poisonous apart from the flowers - the berries are ok cooked. We didn't knwo how many she had actually eaten as Barbar said she'd picked a handful. Though it is tocix no one has ever been really ill from it I was told but if she started to go faint or complain of chest pain it was go to A&E and if we found out she'd eaten any leaves or stalks then do the same (the leaves contain alot more cyanide!).

I was told to expect some vomitting and mild diarrehea and to obsever her for the next 6 or so hours and then at intervals through the night.

You'll be pleased to know that I am a paranoid mother and Jean was fine apart from being grumpy and informing me, 'toes hurt' whilst pointing to her stomache! She didnt actually have any diarreha until the next day which she slept most of. She still seems a bit under the weather and it may well have nothing to do with the elderberries of which I am informed she probably only eat a few.


ps - elderberries cooked is fine hence I use them in jams and stuff so no one panic if you've got my hegdrow jam!

CSS (by )

I read this interesting article, which I found via reddit:

Lexical File Names in Plan 9 or Getting Dot-Dot Right

I found I liked the styling. At first I'd assumed it was a PDF, since it looked like the output of TeX or Lout, but it was suspiciously in a web browser rather than a PDF viewer.

"Oooh," I thought, "I wonder if the CSS they used for that is freely licensed? I'd quite like to use it to give my own writings that academic feel, so that people trust them uncritically, thus advancing my world domination plans."

But upon viewing the source, I had a nasty shock - every element was individually styled with its own style= element. Ugh. Looked like something had autogenerated it, most likely from something intended to be turned into a PDF. The result looked lovely, but was implemented terribly.

So I decided I'd sharpen my decidely rusty CSS skills a bit by cloning it properly.

The end result isn't a perfect copy, but looks good enough for me, and I'd like to share it if anybody else wants it. Here's a sample of it in use. And feel free to download and copy the CSS, subject to the nice license at the top.

C (by )

I spent a lot of time programming C in my youth. I went through the canonical route; BASIC on an 8-bit home micro, moving up to Pascal then C when I managed to obtain access to implementations of either. At the time, conventional wisdom was that C was the best language about; the easy access to the underlying model of memory as an array of numbered bytes allowed the programmer to write efficient code to perform low-level data processing operations. The mantra was that there was a tradeoff between expressive power and safety; languages like Pascal made it harder to shoot yourself in the foot, at the cost of preventing you from doing interesting things.

But, with the advent of an Internet connection, I gained access to non-mainstream languages, and my explorations of the wider world of programming language technology began. I still dabbled in C or C++ from time to time, when the situation demanded it, but never on very complicated projects.

Recently, though, I've been working on a large C project. And I've found that I'd quite forgotten just how horrible it is in comparison to the languages I've been using recently...

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Not Kevin and Perry but Jean and Teddy (by )

So Jean is now two - at the time of writing this post whcih will probably be vastly different to the time of posting it on the actually blog, she has been two for under 24 hours and her behavour today has been attrocias.

I will not reiterate every single thing but just the main one - there she was looking all angelic on a park bench when an elderly lady came over to coo as they have a habit of doing - the result?

Jean through her bekker at the woman then hit me when I intially told her off, the old woman retreated rapidly looking scandalised and Jean dived off the bench and tried to run away from me. I caught her, which she wriggled and protested about, forced her back into the puchchair and straps with an explanation of what she had done wronge. She was still going, 'Nononono.' and scouling at me so I crouched down and told her off in a more structured way where upon she grabed the finger I was waggling at her and made chopping actions at me, I told her she better not bit me and she hesitated, I told her I'd trust her - at this point she bit me.

She got a light tap on the back of her hand and told that she had hurt mummy at which point she said, 'No!' I showed her the teeth marks which she then proceeded to look upset about and kissed the finger repeatedly.

I have never seen her behave so badly before 🙁 Once she realised she'd actually upset and hurt me she was much better but still! Of course it probably didnt help that I had lost track of time and it was about an hour after she normally goes down for her nap 🙁 Also if she has the cold I have then she is probably feeling really really grumpy but I cant let her get away with it. :'( Terrible Twos here we come 🙁

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