Python easy_install on Windows sometimes fails with a UnicodeDecodeError:
UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xc3 in position 6034: ordinal not in range(128)
The solution is to comment out the config = config.decode('ascii') line in Lib/site-packages/setuptools/easy_install.py.

Here's an even more fun one:

  File "geopts.py", line 128, in xp2str
    s = etree.tostring(resultset[0], method="text")
  File "lxml.etree.pyx", line 3165, in lxml.etree.tostring (src\lxml\lxml.etree.
c:69399)

exceptions.TypeError: Type '_ElementStringResult' cannot be serialized.

This says that the XML library's own tostring() function cannot convert one of its own string types to a string. What's especially brilliant about this is that _ElementStringResult inherits from the native string class.

Here is a hacky attempt to manage the problem:

r = resultset[0]
if isinstance(r, etree._ElementStringResult):
    s = r
else:
    s = etree.tostring(r, method="text")

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