Monday, July 31, 2006

tokyo drift kicks ASS



a two-in-one special.

sunday:

4 hours' sleep: i stopped in at the lizard on the way home. i can't remember much interesting happening during the day. i was forced to spend 4 hours delving into 2 year-old code to find a really stupid bug. my body *hurt* the entire day. actually, it's still hurting. training did some good damage ^_^

got to work, and yogi called me to ask if i wanted to see a movie. sure!

so i informed my boss i was disappearing, and spot and i went off to eat at zinc. good food, but DAMN, we had to walk to azrieli from there, and we were both straining after the taekwondo.

we went to see the fast and the furious - tokyo drift. cool cars, and japanese schoolgirls. if you need a stronger recommendation to go and see this movie, then there's something wrong with you. girls included in that reprimand.

monday:

today, i practised work-avoidance, but i wasn't completely successful. we had some hysterical moments - once again, my CO (TL) was shocked at the quantity and quality (at first glance :P) of the girls i know on base. talk of the crazy girl added to the general hooliganism, and we enjoyed wasting a lot of time laughing like children over all sorts of weird stories.

also, we got an online version of UNO running. that rocked :)

came to work, did quite a bit (although half-heartedly, admittedly), and then spot and i went off to claim a free half-hour of pool at the lincoln. the absolutely beautiful waitress has returned from mexico, and made sure we were at one of her tables. and told me i have to go on wednesday / thursday. considering that thursday's the depeche mode concert (assuming they actually come, in light of the war and all), and that i'm going with one of the guys from work who's organized VIP /backstage passes, that's a night off the cards ^_^

i probably shouldn't have had that beer. but at least i'm compis mentis (izzat spelled wright?), so i have a minute or two of work left in me :P
i lie. i'm going home.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

joseph goebbels would be proud



the video that's just been released of nasrallah is extremely interesting. if you repeat a lie enough... and he repeats himself non-stop... people will believe it. it's unbelievable how much crap that man talks.

back to my reality: just after yogi left, spot arrived. i'd reached a dead-end at work, so i spent the evening learning some basics of DSP, reading the uhh, and of course, keeping up with moonflake's linkage. penn and teller are great.

we left about 2am (12 hours at work), and walked through to the russian bar. we had a good game of doubles pool, we scared the crap out of our opponents. unfortunately, sinking the black with a fantastic shot wasn't a good idea - i managed to drop one of their balls as well. dammit.

we then went off to the zamir, for an excellent few hours of hard, hard rock. as we walked in, i asked the dj if i could start my night with slipknot (i've been silently screaming along for weeks); he obliged, and i began the night with a healthy release.

a naval captain from our base recognized me, and hopped over to give me a hug and show me a "magic trick" with a raver-toy flashy-light thingy. i wasn't too impressed, but he was obviously off his bracket, so i obligingly gave him two-thumbs-up and carried on head-banging. seeing him tomorrow morning will be amusing.

the dj gave me a ride home in the morning, and i crashed on arrival. when i woke up around 3pm, i showered, missioned for a cup o' coffee and to draw cash, and then took a cab to spot's. crashed another meal - his grandmother was unimpressed as usual - and then we assisted her with moving a bed before rushing off to ra'anana.

training started off on a negative note. i went straight in to work on the punching bag... i did some serious damage, and got good release, but my lungs were horrified and didn't respond well after that.

having said that, it was a really good training session. i feel good, and i know that i'll be complaining with a smile in the morning.

we sprinted to catch the bus back to ta, then sat down for coffee and solid sandwiches for supper. i'm at work to catch up on the news: my word, this is all totally disturbing and frustrating. i don't think i really want to know.

did anyone else see the clip of the car crashing into the crowd on cnn?

Friday, July 28, 2006

double post (B)



reading the newspaper, i opened a page to the most painful photo i've ever seen. some kid walking out of jabil yesterday, with a look on his face that cannot be described in words.

it's the most frustrating thing: these are kids, dreaming of getting out of uniform and getting on with their lives. they're fighting against grown men who've spent their entire lives focused on wiping us out. the fundamentalist mentality holds no value for life - not their own lives, and certainly not ours.

most of our boys may have walked out of there breathing, but those bastards have killed something in each and every one of them.

and i'm sitting here angry about it. my uniform's on my desk, i get into it every working day, but i'm not involved, i'm sitting on my ass. powerless is not the word i'm looking for.

double post (A)



i usually mash my posts up, but i can't today.

last night i left work for to meet up with this girl. i found my way through the confusing mess of streets that is tel aviv - now that we have access to a roof near the center of the city, we actually have an idea of the layout. space is warped in this city, it's very twilight-zone.

anyway, she wasn't there. so i had a beer, played pool against this guy that spot'd warned me about (i beat him quite tidily), and then walked to the balcony. i had a toasted sandwich on the way... that was quite possibly the worst toasted sandwich i've ever eaten.

i sat chatting with the bartender; after a few sentences, i began feeling extremely jealous of her, and very sorry for myself. she's just finished the army, and is doing absolutely nothing with her life (aside from tending bar), at least for the next few months. i'm busy as can be, and what i'm doing essentially has the same value as what she's up to.

that's painful. so i pondered my pathetic situation, had another drink, started feeling it, took a taxi home, and passed out.

this afternoon: it only took me an hour to wake up. i showered, picked up my laundry, then took a bus to work. i had a serious hamburger for breakfast, and was sitting there eating and reading the paper, the cause of my second post. i've been at work a couple of hours now, simply reading news and doing scraps of work with yogi. i'll hop to it as soon as my blogging is done.

damn addicts.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

black is black



inspired by an argument i just had with spot - the top 500 site's stream starts the album with one... that's very strange.

last night i got some quality work done. i was about to be late for the bus, when my boss caught me up into a debate with one of the dealers about the functionality of the primary app that i've been breaking my head over for months. apparently, there's a chance that all they'll want from it is functionality that was finished and klaar about a month ago. not difficult to do, of course - just a bitch that i may have wasted all that time and energy for nothing.

and it's not like i learned anything from the experience. i just have less patience for our provider.

speaking of which, i successfully employed my new tactic of cc'ing the boss on mails to him. the level of responsiveness has increased dramatically; we've also now gotten to a point where i just received an email expressing concern for my well-being given the current situation.

interesting.

i got home around midnight, spoke to my mom for a while, and then did the semi-sauna thing of letting the boiling water run out. my hot-water cylinder is MASSIVE, so that takes about 20 minutes of me standing there, feeling like an idiot. and it's hot enough anyway, i promise.

another tough wake-up, but i made the bus this morning... kind of. i saw it drive past, hopped another bus a few blocks, and then did a brisk walk and a quick sprint to make it in time. sprinting in uniform, in the heat and humidity, is none-too-pleasant.

it was a fantastically uninteresting day. i spent some of it looking into possible books to purchase, reading some more uhh, and playing spider solitaire. we did do some work, but it wasn't fun at all. sucked a bit, really.

about 3pm, i suddenly registered the time and the fact that it's thursday. the instant of excitement was completely ruined by the entire week slamming into perspective, and i've been zoned out since.

the kid and i met up with the mongoose on my way to work. the mongoose just cracks me up; he was ripping on me for going out with that sexy waitress (milf :P) tonight. spot and i were debating yesterday whether she's to old to be rated on the same scale as girls aged 18 - 35. the answer was a resounding "yes". and she definitely rates an 8.

right. back to work.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

stalled



there was a woman waiting at the bus stop last night... it's a shitty area, and she was too scared to walk 200m to catch the bus she needed. i don't know where the logic in that is; when our bus came she remained, alone, waiting for another one that wouldn't get her anywhere close to her destination.

once again i forgot to turn off the hot-water cylinder. tonight's going to be another uncomfortable shower :(

i think i'm sleeping well due to general depression (caused by monday's encounter). depression has brought on a decidedly uncharacteristic level of clarity. which, hopefully, will help me in learning the things i need to know to break into the field i want to be in. it's certainly not helping me do anything else.

the most interesting things i did today involved playing a good game of chess with spuzz, and a serious farewell ceremony for a guy i know (as does half the base). i read a bit of the unix hater's handbook. it's very amusing. and totally correct.

i need to get some food, and begin actual work... so here're a few fun links i found today:

spam art
space sex
deep throat

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

restless tabbing



no partying, i went straight home. on my way i spoke to my taekwondo instructor; i think she's finally realized how 'orrible my existence is. they're training for the world championships coming up in korea, so i've been invited to join them friday afternoon and saturday night. i'd really like to go, even though i know how out of shape i am.

i showered (once again suffering too much hot water), and went to bed.

i slept completely soundly. i dreamed wonderful dreams, and i'm guessing that my brain having had a chance to process all the drama from yesterday improved matters somewhat. regardless, i was so relaxed this morning, i found it damn near impossible to get out of bed.

on base, i discovered that i was correct - i *had* arrived early for my appointment. and i sent the interviewer an email (helped by the kid, it was an extremely well-written one) to clarify a couple of points that i'd had difficulty explaining due to the stress he caused me and my lack of decent hebrew... i hope it does more good than harm.

we spent a couple of hours on a problem that's been plaguing us the last couple of weeks (that which sent me running around like a madman on thursday), and finally discovered that there were two main factors:
1) our previous commander. he and the girl who's in charge of our client section had obviously discussed the change in the system in bed, and something tells me he wasn't in the best state of mind to be talking business - there was a bug on our side that he's totally responsible for
2) same girl, doing something incredibly suspicious and then throwing a fit when it didn't work. she *did* externally manage to create the problem, which means we're *not* responsible

there'll be a nice, long, formal letter as soon as we've really gotten to the bottom of this one.

lunchtime - the guy serving tried to put only half a serving on my plate. i looked him in the eye, and said "dude - i'm over 80 kilos. you really think that's going to do?"
he actually walked around the counter to look me up and down, and then stared at me in shock and said "80 kilos? where??"

stupid bastard. it's all in my legs, you twit.

after lunch i had a meeting with my SC, to inform him of yesterday's proceedings. his responses left me with nothing but respect for the man. i walked out feeling a bit better about everything.

during the afternoon, some joker locked my messenger. i actually restarted my computer to get it back... although in retrospect, i could probably have just closed the process :$
on the other hand, if i'd done that i wouldn't have had an excuse to go walkabout for half an hour.

the rest of the afternoon was spent standardizing the kid's new code. that meant pressing the tab button way more than i'm comfortable with. it SUCKED.

the bus to work - there was a terrorist warning for our area, so every stop was spent staring suspiciously at the people around, hoping not to have to jump out and wrestle anybody. s'belle was on the same bus, it was quite weird. we've both had enough of each other, but to be ignoring somebody in such close proximity is uncomfortable.

work tonight has been fun.

the picture of the tab button reminds me of a story (i'm sure i've written it somewhere before, but i couldn't find it, so suffer):

once upon a time (circa '97), we used to hang out at an internet cafe in main rd, sea point. i got there one evening, and the guy working there had spent the entire day setting up a multiplayer game in warcraft ii. there was no way for him to save it, and he threatened me that if i close the game i'd be sorry.

stupid human. you tell somebody not to do something, he's going to itch. i thought i'd mess with him, and alt-tab out of the game - cleverly being able to quickly restore it and have a good laugh.

i pressed the buttons. i was immediately enlightened to the fact that alt-tab immediately, with no warning,
closed the game. properly closed. i properly wasted all his hard work.

enraged, he took me outside and beat the crap out of me. and the worst part? i *knew* i deserved it. i would'a done the same.

Monday, July 24, 2006

still useless after all of these years

frightening. as for anyone who can even suggest that this guy should be stopped - they obviously need the problem brought to their doorsteps. it looks like open war would be good down there... you guys can take ours, anytime. please.

more aweful problems with the primary app today - the company whose software we're based on has done a sterling job in providing us with one of the most incomprehensible and frustrating tools i've ever come across - not including oracle software.

i went for a drink with nystire - nobody knows the trouble i feel, nobody knows my sorrow... that goes for both of us, at the moment.

i want to go to a trance party on the beach tonight, and the boss walked in and offered us supper. looks like i might be seriously tired tomorrow ;)

tomorrow. there's a day i'm not looking forward to.

totalwaste's total waste of two years



i did manage to sleep last night, after a long chat with my mom. i got up early, got ready and went through... i ended up arriving late for the meeting. apparently there was a problem with the invitation i received, because mine read 10am. and there i was thinking that i'd walked in half an hour early.

he opened the interview by explaining to me that i have none of the experience that i need. because of the army, i haven't done anything of value for the past two years. sure, i've managed to survive; i've learned all sorts of horrible how-to's when it comes to dealing with stupid people and little kids, bad policy and worse management, the value (or lack thereof) of money and what being homeless is about, and i've learned how to keep my hope and motivation. i may have given up on ever getting laid again, but i haven't given up on life after the army.

and this man just threw it all aside and called me a glorified, qualified DBA. and he's right... in spite of my attempts, i've barely done any thinking since i put on my uniform. can anyone think of a reason for me to be happy and enthusiastic right now?

so i've progressed from shock, to rage, to horrified dejection.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

realization



it just hit me - tomorrow i have to make the biggest decision since 2000, when i upped and left for israel. of course i'm nervous as hell. i'm scared shitless... this meeting directs the course of the rest of my life.

i'm praying i'm going to choose correctly, and there's no way to know. in fact, if things go well, i'll only have a clue how i did mid-way through next year.

that's - fucking - frightening.

i made an attempt at importing my blog to wordpress. i'm *this* close to giving up; i keep receiving server timeouts, and it imports most of the blog just fine, but has 4 copies of each post for about two months, and the last few months are missing entirely. that's annoying as hell. and i can't delete multiple blogs, and i don't want to destroy the entire blog, so if you have any helpful suggestions, please post them here!

bouncy butterflies

i got home around 2am, after stopping by the lizard (in spite of my previous sentiments, i had to give the mongoose an opportunity to laugh at my predicament - and ply me with alcohol).

so i slept about four hours, and then had a weird day on base. we got a bit of work done, and i had a long meeting with the bull about the air force transfer. made me more jumpy. i spent a lot of the day hanging out with cute girls. and doing some amusing things with our systems - things which are actually productive, no less. but i can't call it work.

now at work - and have plenty to do. tomorrow is going to be a confusing day, i just hope i get enough sleep to deal with it.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

superman returns returns



i crashed spot's friday-night dinner; his grandmother was none too impressed, because there wasn't enough food to go around.

*sigh*

i can't win with that woman. it was a really entertaining supper. afterwards, we went out to that russian bar again. we heard that we'd missed all the fun... they'd just caught three terrorists right outside, and had the choppers shining their spotlights through the bar's windows and everything.

so that sexy bartender - we're going out together on thursday night. the girl i played pool against didn't even look at me twice; i got the hint. although i'll probably make an attempt anyway.

the kid picked us up, and we went off to cinema city to see superman returns. second time, and i still enjoyed it thoroughly. the only two problems:
1) the showing was from 1.30 - 4.30am... i actually passed out for about 10 minutes (and was extremely grateful that i'd seen it already)
2) the audience. israeli's are REALLY annoying when it comes to movies and theatre.

brandon routh is a good superman. but christopher reeves was the superman. no doubt about it.

the kid dropped me off at home, and i slept soundly until 3/4pm. i showered, and then took a walk / taxi (too many taxi's, this is getting silly) to the beach, where i met up with spot and his sister. it was a really pleasant afternoon on the beach.

i *love* watermelon and bulgarian cheese.

i then walked to mmf's, a short while after i got there yogi joined us, and we watched tv and then sat on google video for a while, watching incredible clips. as i was leaving, she called me - a little annoyed that i'd forgotten to call her when i got back from canada :$
i'll try to meet up with her during the week, but she's difficult to get hold of... bummer.

i've just walked back to work, to pick up my uniform, and now i'm going home to shower and catch some z's.

Friday, July 21, 2006

flashback to a better time



spot and i went for a smoke on the roof - there was a street party near our building, and the sound could be heard loud and clear up there. *awesome* reggae. we got all excited, so we skipped on down. unfortunately, just as we got there, the reggae band left and dance music was put on. it was a nice vibe... about a hundred or so people just dancing and milling around; wartime. sucks, huh?

we took a walk to the balcony, stopped in for a drink, then moved on to this really nice pub that spot's found. great music, great vibe, decent pool table, and a couple of decent looking girls. and a waitress, who's around 37 years old, has four kids, looks dead sexy (no seriously, extremely shaggable!), and very flirtatious.

we had a couple of drinks (spot got upset with me for not wanting to drink too much - and he was there last week, the bastard), a couple of games of pool, and sat at the bar. after a while this absolutely gorgeous russian bird challenged me to a game, and i thoroughly enjoyed the game, and staring at her. she knows what she's doing, and that's always a pleasure to see - but a beautiful pair of eyes completely focused on the shot, with a perfect body aligned just right, and enough cheeky innuendo and playfulness... i'm taken. i wish i hadn't been such a dolt, and had taken her number.

FOOL! but i thoroughly enjoyed the trip down memory lane - how my life used to be, once upon a time.

i took a taxi home, crashed, woke up, showered, and met up with nystire and his brother. for a "personal interview", i guess i can call it. we walked through to my coffee shop. there was a cute girl at the table next to us - nystire's brother is a serious cock-blocker... that's not done. otherwise, he's a nice guy, and he had some interesting things to say.

we said goodbye, then nystire and i walked on to spot's; had a fun chat with spot's grandmother, watched the news (jerks: all the arab sob-stories, and no israeli ones; we've heard some terrible things), then spot and i took nystire to the bus stop.

we carried on to have belgian waffles for lunch, then walked through (including a short, pointless run when we thought we could outpace a bus in the heat) to work.

i've discovered that i can't do the work scheduled for this weekend without my old boss sorting a server out, so i'm all clear. now that net-things are done, it's time to go out.

johnny mnemonic style

Thursday, July 20, 2006

i'm goin' to graceland!



now listening to the entire album: AWESOME!

listening to the title song made me think of the weeks when she and i started dating; that song just popped into my head, and i couldn't help but sing it everywhere i went.

the primary app's new problem? totally not my fault. i just discovered that our provider internally handles currency trading positions ASS BACKWARDS compared to how it's done in the real world. there's a way out, but it's a rediculous recursion that can only lead to bad things happening to good people (me).

at least it's a solution. which means i've achieved my objective for tonight. and i can now go on to enjoy my weekend (well, the bits that i'm not working, at any rate).

the spirit of the IDF

highlights of the day:

1) inspection. i'm going to have to get this discipline officer's number - i unfolded the poster when she came around, and again, no reaction. impressive as hell.

2) air force transfer close to confirmation. i'll know more during the next week.

lowlights:

1) starting off the morning with a 2.5 hour lecture on the history of the army archives. and how they work. everyone else found it boring. i was on the verge of sitting upside down on my seat in the hope that the headache fairies would get confused.

and i was sitting next to a really stupid captain who gave me attitude when i asked her a question. why are some people so unsociable?

2) we all ate in the mess hall. we all felt sick afterwards.

3) some ars got in my face after i walked up to the armoury and tried to relinquish my weapon: i was holding a banana. this kid, as is the case with all arsim, doesn't possess a sense of humour, so he did the crazy-eyes it's-fighting-time thing and started threatening me. that pisses me right off; fortunately there was someone else around to diffuse the situation. still aggravating, though.

4) immediately afterwards, our client unit called in a major bug - i spent the next three hours running from building to building, trying desperately to figure out what the hell was screwing everything up. with our contacts from the client unit phoning me every five minutes looking for an update. drove me nuts.

i needed to write a recommendation for myself today. i have discovered that i'm totally incapable of kissing my own ass.

at work, my headache's abated somewhat, and food's on the way. and work's back to being in the "interesting" category; which is great!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

stranger in a strange inbox



i spent most of the day sitting outside and chatting. that thing that's still got me all jumpy-uppy-and-downy: turns out an important email got sent to the wrong person... because that person and the intended recipient both have the exact same alias. stupid system admins.

so i got that sorted out, and had to make a few important phone calls this evening. which snowballed into lots of work to be done on the weekend (8#) [my mouth is sealed and i must scream]

i would have less trouble finding a girl on base (ok, not my ideal find, but it's the best i can think of doing at the moment) if the kids on base didn't all think that i'm gay. apparently i'm not enough of an asshole. <string of expletives deleted here>

on the way to work, i had a 15 minute conversation with a russian girl. both of us speaking in broken hebrew. neither of us has a clue what the other was trying to say. most of the time we were laughing... and had no idea why.

anyway, work has been crazy tonight. turns out that the finally finished project lacks unanticipated functionality. i'm not thinking about the fact the i sit near a window on the 7th floor of the building.

and we had a *huge* fuck-up at work: the lead managed to piss off our provider company. completely. all by himself.
things got ugly, and they threatened to withdraw their service - the emails that have been going back and forth are simply rediculous.

turns out it was the straw that broke the camel's back... they'd been offended before - because we have a client whose actual name (we have a copy of his passport to prove it) sounds like "clean these russians" - and the russians there thought we were poking fun at them.

anyway, i gotta run - tomorrow's inspection. it's almost weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the quarter master's store



the fact that i haven't got a washing machine at home kills me. no washing machine => washing during the week only => not washing uniform. it's not that bad, because i generally only use my dress uniform while travelling (on base in working uniform, at work in civvies); but it's still makes me uncomfortable.

so i finally remembered my kitbag's key, and when i got home i went straight down to the bomb-shelter / storage area to get sorted out. i was confused by the bomb shelter being unlocked... then i remembered that we're at war. nevermind. anyway, so i opened my kitbag... i don't know how many uniforms i went through before i found the one i was looking for. it's unbelievable how much stuff i've acquired... i have the strangest sensation that they're multiplying in there.

the kid's comment: i should check for anything that looks like a cross between a shirt and a pair of pants. then i'll know that they're breeding.

i slept soundly, and woke up early enough to take my laundry in. one of the managers of the lincoln (the pool bar, cute girl) drove past while i was standing outside having a cup of coffee, turns out she's a neighbour. it's good to know people in the area. and if i get desperate, i'm sure i could score a shag :P [prolly not. - ed]

we had a serious section breakfast this morning; our commander gave us a long talk about the current situation, and what it means in general, and specifically for us. at least the breakfast was good.

being unable to do much work (although we did make a few attempts here and there), we did nothing again today. it's a bit frustrating. the kid and i *didn't* go to the ceremony for our previous commander finishing the officers' course. it's one of those things that people notice... apparently his own soldiers are the only people in the unit who weren't there. oh well.

while doing that little bit of work, we discovered that *i* included a bug in our last code release. it's not a major one, and we found it before it affected the client (and it's a couple of months old already), but it is disappointing.

i actually have been productive at work tonight. i still don't have my own computer, which is irritating. maybe they just don't love me any more.

now to change back into uniform, and geddaficuddahee.

Monday, July 17, 2006

officeless paper



today was extremely dull. we're not actually able to do any work at the moment, so i spent most of the day (aside from 2 hours for lunch with my team) sitting on the stairs, smoking and chatting with a really cute girl.

it was HOT today (as usual), i almost died when i got in the car to get back to base... i'm 100% confident that if i'd played volleyball as well, the stench would have wiped out more people than the lebanese are capable of.

how's that for twisted? i must be israeli, now.

anyway: GoldenAngel just managed to remove herself from my site template. i'm not too interested in politics, but at least i understand the need to defend ourselves. i was embarrassed the entire read: i wouldn't care if i didn't know that she's not uneducated, that she's not unaware of the problems of the region.

she just doesn't understand something that even the americans finally get (i refer to their statement this week regarding guantanamo bay): you can't play by different rules from your opponent.

in addition to that - as much as we, as a nation, want to talk, want to negotiate (most of the people who don't, have simply given up); our neighbours want us out. completely. utterly. and in any way possible. yes, there are lots of arabs who don't actually care - they're like us, they just want to get on with their lives. but governments govern, even if they do it badly.
by not only allowing hezbollah to continue to cause us grief, but also by including them in that government, shows nothing more than contempt, and a willingness to cooperate with the hezbollah in all things. a government is a country's representation, and as such, our response is the only possible recourse. it's not that we've never talked with these people; the pullout from lebanon came with specific and well-defined stipulations that were simply ignored.

goldenangel: as close as your family is to the volley of rockets and bombs and fighting; i'm fairly certain that if the two soldiers who were kidnapped had been related to you, you wouldn't be feeling so apathetic. the status quo has been mentioned... should we continue to accept continuous border raids, and have our northern population living in fear? i have cousins who live close enough to see the border itself - trust me, they don't share your attitude. even where i am, we've all prepped the shelters and are awaiting sirens, and that's unusual for the center of the country.

and no, i'm not saying that there aren't innocents involved on their side either. but does that mean we're supposed to ignore our own? did i miss the part where israeli civilians are fair-game? and does the fact that the abducted were soldiers make any difference? i dunno. i can testify, as a soldier, that the last thing 99% of the soldiers want is to be in uniform, "eating shit" as the expression goes, and putting their lives in danger for things they don't really care all that much about. goldenangel's parents left the country, so she doesn't have to serve, so she doesn't have to know how much it SUCKS being a soldier.

me? i came here because i'm unemployably white in south africa. and i had no place else to go. so screw it, i'm doing my army service. i could always have chosen prison instead - or worse, to be unemployable in this country too. but the one thing i do know is that we need this country. and we need it to be safe.

and i find it hard to not stand by a country that in the face of all the propaganda spewed against it, still tries to keep the innocents in places like gaza supplied with water - when we're suffering shortages, provides financial aid... and has harshly enforced rules about being kind and sensitive to known terrorists' families when they have to go and fish them out because nobody else will help us.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

next project!



no take-backs, i'm all good. i completely forgot to mention a cute idea i had yesterday, that i've decided i'm going to take on as my next project (as much as possible, owing to the general disarray my life is in)...

a screensaver-type stream that has a queue made up of rss feeds, and other such things, where all data is filtered and mashed together (not into an unintelligable form) based on the incoming data. imagine your screen filled with images and text (with very little overlap, so it seems to be falling into your vision), discoloured / warped / embossed, with your choice of music genre playing in the background.

if there is sound in the queue, the volume of the ambient music is dropped, so that you can hear whatever's playing currently (up to a minute or two of a video clip off a news site, or a new music video, or some kid with a web-cam who feels he has something important to say), filtered according to criteria (news is less warped than that random person; blog feeds or headlines are legible but made all funky, everything has a touch of fake static to give it an authentic "i've hacked into your tv" feel).

i was inspired by a scene near the beginning of strange days, where jeriko one is saying something on the telly, and you can make him out clearly, even though he's embossed, and blue on red. that, and johnny mnemonic where you see and hear the lo-tek's message tunneled through the regular feed. it would take a bit of work (ok, a lot), but i think it would be awesome in terms of personalized news and entertainment.

right, now for the work i'm paid for - learning some php.

EXTREMELY INTERESTING: i always wanted to know about reticulating splines

ok. almost the most loneliest.



and guess which song is playing right now? again? it's everywhere. and straight into slipknot - duality; and still no signs of wearing 'em out :P

i went past yakimono to visit mmf, and then continued on my merry way through sheinkin, where i had a moerse big (and superb quality) roast beef sandwich. i walked through tel aviv, feeling sorry for myself that of all the people i know in tel aviv, only two of them aren't completely involved with SO's... and of the two of them, one of them is off my list of people i really enjoy spending time with. just great.

i didn't really want to bother spot, but i'd already gotten to his street, so i thought "what the hell" and rang the bell. i was taken by surprise by his sister answering - i didn't know she was in the country. at a quick glance, it was spot without a beard and with long hair again, as i knew him during our student days. it took me a second to register what i'd seen :P

so we had coffee, and then watched a few episodes of friends, and then strange days. i haven't seen that movie in ages, and now i remember why i've been trying to download it for so long (and still, unsuccessfully).

i'm not the only one who recognized glenn plummer, right? every word that came out of his mouth reminded me of "you know wha' 'appens if i pull dis triggah?"

i hopped in a taxi to get back to my side of the fence. the driver heard my accent, and switched immediately to english - i was quite offended. i took him up on it, and he turned out to be pleasant company... unusual for israeli taxi drivers, in my experience at least.

i went to the lizard... just because... and it's really become "ars" central. terrible. not going there any more. i got home around 2am, discovered that i'd left the boiler on for 11 hours, so i just shaved (ooh! with shaving cream! what a difference!), and went to bed.

in the morning, i had a problem. my shower is only connected to the hot water cylinder (eh?? that doesn't make any sense! [chewbacca defense reference]), so i had to run the boiling hot water for about 10 minutes before i could step in the shower. after about 2 minutes, i ran out of hot water completely, and had to suffer a cold shower.

that - all - SUCKED.

it was a totally boring day on base.

i got to work - totally not looking forward to continuing work on the primary app. i can now say, that aside from clearing up a bit here and there, it really is finished now. i discovered a couple of tiny bugs here and there, that i blame 100% on a lack of concentration and an untidy work environment (software-wise) due to my computer still not being ready.

onwards!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

no pool party for me



turns out i got the date for the pool-party wrong (the invite was in hebrew, i got confuzzled); so on my way home i tried to organize a ride, but it was too late. oh well. i sat at the little confectionary-type store near my place, watching mtv base's discussion on the influence of the godfather series on hip-hop, eating a pizza-pastry that was seriously good.

pity i spent half the night with that uncomfortable, icky feeling that lactose-intolerance brings me. but it wasn't really pizza!

i got up around 3pm, having lain in bed thinking about that asshole from our base cafeteria threatening me. shit like that sticks in my head, and really aggravates me. with the thought of my current fitness level really bothering me (he's a big bastard, and i can't not go there when i want a coffee break), i hopped out of bed and pulled out my exercise mat. i'm actually quite impressed that in my first set of push-ups that i've done in ages, i made it up to 30. now i need to improve on that.

i was going to organize a new uniform from storage (the one i've been wearing the last couple of weeks really needs a wash), but i ingeniously left the key on base. and tomorrow we're going to have a serious inspection... whoops. another day, then. i really do need to get my life sorted out.

so i came to work, to arb online and catch up on news; now i'm going milling about tel aviv. i really don't have anything better to do.

Friday, July 14, 2006

drnnk zza sknnk


"People just want to believe in drunken elephants," Morris said.

spot and i walked to the balcony last night. i discovered that since i moved to tel aviv, i've always taken the long way around. that sucks!

on the way i tried the mentos / diet coke thing. i used a can, so the effect wasn't very impressive, but i did manage to satisfy my curiosity. today i saw some video, that was awesome! the ads were better than what the link gives, though.

anyway, the music was alright - sometimes okay, sometimes awesome, and we sat and chatted and flirted with the bartender. after a whiskey - and please bear in mind my sleep deprivation, we went for sambuca. spot did his flaming mouth thing, i tried to light smokes from it. she'd given us so much sambuca, that the cigarettes were SOAKED. oh well. i downed mine - also paying attention to it being more than a double shot, and the night went on.

faster. i lost full visual, and my brain was in the oven. i don't know how long i sat there, trying to regain control, before i moved to try and get home. the short walk i took didn't help at all, and it was all i could do to keep my eyes slightly open during the extremely bumpy taxi-ride back. i survived it, in my opinion, honourably, and put myself straight to bed.

i woke up around 2pm, went shopping, and came to work. i replaced yogi in support (thank today not being a just-my-luck day), and spent until now online, catching up on the news. at least there's plenty of it.

hah - *just* got a call. while about to shut down everything. swak.

check out ascii star wars.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

more notes to self



go to war. do not pass lizard, do not collect free drinks and worsen sleep deprivation.

actually, i feel sorry for the mongoose's boss: i left the lizard around 1.30am, and at least got 4 hours of sleep - the two of them stayed until daybreak, and the boss went into active duty at 6am...

i almost snoozed twice this morning, but i realized in time that i'd overdo it. i made it to the base in time for breakfast, polished my shoes to "way too bright", and went to inspection.

we were told to display our items, so everybody pulled out the standard gear, including a miniturized pamphlet called "the spirit of the IDF". i whipped out and unfolded the poster version - everyone burst out laughing, and i was shaking i was trying so hard to keep a straight face. the discipline officer asked me if i had it, so i showed her... she didn't even bat an eyelid, just carried on down the line. the giggling erupted into wild exclamations as soon as we were dismissed. that was worth it :P

i went with the kid and a couple of others to start the day with coffee. the bastard who works there always gets agitated when i'm around. he started complaining when i took too long organizing my money, and told me to hurry up, because others were waiting. the kid and i were the only people in the queue.
i took out a note, looked at the kid, held the note up for five seconds, and then handed it over, with this asshole grumbling away.

we moved a table into the shade, and sat down to enjoy our morning. after a few minutes, he came out to tell me that i always move the table, and i never remember to return it, and it's irritating him.

that's the second time i've moved a table. when i pointed that out, he began yelling and threatening me. you'll pardon me for losing my cool. he put me in a REALLY bad mood this morning.

i discovered later that there've been incidents with this prick getting physical with the kids doing courses - that's even worse. i'm definitely filing a complaint - i want this fucker fired. and apparently, most of the others on the base feel the same way. we've all got enough problems, we don't need more from someone who can't hold a real job.

due to us really being at war, i'm unable to go to the kibbutz this weekend. kinda sucks. my cousins who live on the northern border are having a great time :S at least they're spending the weekend out of the area, but not everyone has that luxury...

and screw everyone who thinks we're using excessive force... NOT demonstrating excessive force is what got us in this mess in the first place. keep sticking sharp needles in an armed man, and see if you don't get hurt. that's not a great metaphor, but i'm too agitated with the stupidity of those masses of people who think they're in a position to judge others defending themselves.

and the french are pretty much all fundamentalist muslims, anyhow.

work tonight has been a nightmare - between java and mysql's terrible math capabilities, and jdbc not working as it should, i've been chopping and changing code, seeing the light and drowning in a sea of nonsense. i hate this application. the worst part is - i finally got the results right, removed the code that displays debugging messages, and nothing works right anymore.

i had a quick chat with my mother - turns out my brother is a complete, utter, total imbecile. either that, or he's on some serious narcotics. because israel's too dangerous to send his son to, he's instead sent him off to a holiday in egypt. please tell me i've missed something obvious here - the egyptians, who keep attacking jews and other tourists in sinai - which is where my nephew is, have been supplying the palestinians with arms and explosives for the past few years. let's just say that they're not our best friends.

maybe he predicted the change in the security situation, and thought to easily get rid of excess progeny?

anyway, i'm being annoyed by a co-worker; it's definitely time to go and get my rage on (hard rock is back in town tonight).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

oh dear



on my way out, i realized that i'd forgotten something damn important in my calculations. there was a charlie brown AAAAAARGH that came out of that. i routinely made my way home, pausing to get myself a snack, and to watch the top ten goals of the world cup. wp called the no. 1, we saw that one live ;) [argentina vs. mexico, for anyone who actually cares]

as i got to my building, slipknot - duality hit me at full volume, so i stayed outside a bit to silently scream along, before hitting the shower and then the hay.

my day today was alright. i spent the morning with the sexiest girl on the base (sgob - it's not like i haven't mentioned her before), did a bit of work, then went for a haircut. i popped in to a birthday celebration for the other south african, then ate lunch in the mess hall - not great lunch, but we got humus so we covered everything in it and it turned out alright.

-- BEGIN RANT --
news about the soldiers being kidnapped. it's great to know that this kind of thing keeps happening, and that people around the world continue to listen to the drivel that the palestinians put out. it's our fault - we have no propaganda machine. pretty pathetic, actually. if we were americans, damascus would be leveled by now. that really is what we should be doing. kick 'em in the nads repeatedly until they leave us alone. and for all those who cry "but you're so brutal! and you treat them badly!" - the saddest thing in the whole world is providing aid to a people who screw themselves over (or get screwed over by their own, it's the same thing), and they still make out that we're the bad guys, while rabidly attacking our ankles.
-- END RANT --

it's been a couple of months now; i finally got sick of waiting for a key to my office, and took the liberty of duplicating for everyone. i saw spuzz on the way, so i hopped on a bus to my primary base, said hi to a couple of people, did some shopping (which i needed for tomorrow morning, and promptly forgot to take with me from my office), and got a call from my commander informing me that our base had been locked down (due to the security situation), and that i needed to get back there pronto. i was standing in the slowest check-out queue i've ever been in. i hate israel's idea of quality of service.

neither the kid nor i have ANY clue how to help our client section with a request of theirs... i spent about an hour working on it, and came out with the client calling me up and saying "please stop, this isn't helping". all i could do was laugh.

i did some chilling about the base; singing weird songs with people and performing "scientific" experiments on plastic cups.

i spent some time shining my boots today - they're bloody BRIGHT!

i came to work, discovered that my computer's still not ready, walked with spot to pick up an ex of his, ate supper, walked back, and have been working ever since... on fixing this problem. now i'm riddled with bugs because i had to move code from one module to another, and there're logic bombs all over the place.

granted, that's entirely my fault. i did the move all at once, tweaking everything and expecting it to be perfect. there should be a law preventing me from doing that :P

now i'm off to the lizard, to work on their site, have a couple of drinks, and then go home to get ready for inspection tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

laundry day; thirst



you know it's going to be a rough morning when you can't lift your laundry. after sorting that out, i got my banking done. nothing less pleasant than being a smoker, and having to stand in a queue next to a man who smells like a cigarette that's been put out halfway and stored in a box. it's easy to imagine myself being that stinky. i can't wait to get my life back on track...

i spent the day "home alone" with our systems - the kid took a day off. it was horrible. i actually had to deal with things.

lunch was creepy - we ate in the mess hall, and there was GOOD food. and PLENTY. we behaved like little kids, and gorged ourselves.

one of the guys from my previous section left today for a week of guarding, and he dragged me around the base with him. he needed me to "arrange" things for him; methinks i know too many people. one of the armoury girls was trying to help us, when her commander came in - i will never understand commanders who get a kick out of making girls cry. and there was bugger-all we could do (without serving time later), and as is always the case, anything we *did* do would only make things worse for her later on, so we made ourselves scarce. crappy.

note to self: do not play volleyball before going to work. especially not when it's so hot that ice-cream doesn't make it out of the store. the first game was great, the second not-so-great, and by the end we were icky and disgusting, and wiped-out completely. so i was smelly@work, and it did bother my co-workers. me too.

i'll probably ignore that note to self anyway.

i was almost finished the primary project - ALMOST!! all i had to do was take one double column in the database, and subtract it from another. where i was supposed to get the result of 0.0006, i received 0.00059998035.

EH?! after half an hour, i gave up and decided to do it through the java code. using two primitive doubles; using two Doubles; using anything and everything i could think of. at least i wasn't the only person banging on his desk and shouting expletives over it - this drove us all nuts.

i left work annoyed. and sooooo tired. the bus home would have been uneventful, but a dead-sexy captain from my neighbourhood got out the bus with me, and i was completely conscious of the stench-waves exuding from my traitorous biological shell.



today was more "normal". i was completely wasted the whole time (and mostly dehydrated, but i never remember to take care of that), and generally uncomfortable. the kid and i began the day with a 1.5 hour meeting with our SC. that was hard to keep up with, but he forced coffee on me; i concede that that did help.

the lowlight of my day was s'belle. she seems to have finally understood that i wasn't kidding, and her response to me greeting her was not exactly friendly. in fact, she managed to make me feel really bad.

most of the day was spent milling around, or just chilling in my office. the rest of it was spent working on things. i can't for the life of me remember what i did, but i'm almost certain that i did do something.

ummm...

we went out for lunch. lukewarm chinese, that could have been good otherwise. i discovered that my TL has an incredibly weak stomache when it comes to eating and listening to me explaining really gross things. *snicker*

we have some REALLY crazy people on our base. frightening. that girl - the one who ripped my earphones out a while ago - followed the kid back to our office, and then followed us to the mess hall for "dinner". she is incredibly unpleasant company, doesn't seem to possess a sense of humour, and actually shouted at me when i hugged a girl i know: "why don't you greet me like that??".

because you're fucking scary. go away.

thank the lord for sms'es: you don't have to get a response. a short while ago i decided to lose the ego, and sent s'belle an sms that read: "you really don't need to respond; i just want to apologize for being such an asshole." i really was nasty to her.

work tonight: spot found the solution to the double problem from last night - there is no decent binary storage for floating point numbers. we got around it using strings, and the BigDecimal class. so that's what that's good for!

so i finally finished that part, and then performed a minor conversion and arrived at the following:

after months of labour, and sweat, and anger, and frustration, and hate, and loathing, and confusion, and hopelessness: my primary application is COMPLETE. it works, it works well, it solves more problems than it was intended for (i was just asked to modify it for something new, and i didn't need to touch it). I'M SO HAPPY!

life goes on. going home soon, and tomorrow's another "normal" day. maybe i'll remember to drink water.

Monday, July 10, 2006

at least i didn't miss anything!



it was a great game, and i've always been a fan of italy (and brazil, but i pick italy when the two are against each other - i don't actually have any specific reason for this). this year i didn't actually watch any games (aside from argentina vs. mexico), 'cause i couldn't care less. but i was invited to watch the final with the rest of the company, and it was definitely worth it!

i would have enjoyed the game a little more, however, if i hadn't proved myself a paleface a few minutes into the second half. i was sitting awkwardly, and decided to get up when my feet started to tingle.

bad idea. i feinted dead away, and had to be picked up off the floor, nursing a sore head. i'm still feeling a bit woozy, but more than that is the paranoia:

1) my mom and i were discussing (while in canada) the fact that if bloodflow is restricted long enough, it can cause a clot, and in turn cause a stroke

2) i'm completely worried about my slipped disc, as i tend to get pins and needles way more often than i used to (at least, than i remember, and that hardly counts when you don't know it's an important thing to look out for)

so i feel like shit, but at least i managed to get with the programme quite quickly so as to enjoy the rest of the game.

now i'm on my way home. i desperately need to get into bed.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

post walk



searing, searing heat. and so much humidity that my socks are constantly soaked. why hasn't some israeli company developed weather management ala back to the future ii yet?!

yesterday, i walked to yakimono, and sat with mmf for a while. i had some fantastic sushi. then i carried on walking to meet spot for coffee. afterwards, we went back to his place, where i sat online doing some research, and playing the games from jenovachen's site. cloud is great!

i walked to a friend's place, and we went to the lizard. it was dead for the first hour we were there, but then it picked up - the entire time was fun; in the beginning just chatting and drinking and being silly, and at the end dancing and enjoying some good tunes. also, it turns out that the balcony is reopening it's rock thursdays, so i'll definitely be heading there this weekend.

i got a ride home - this friend of mine's got some goa trance that really took me back... it was difficult to leave that sound and go home.

i really needed that shower, and shave, and i crashed peacefully. actually, i didn't really sleep most of the night, i just lay there resting and thinking my usual odd thoughts.

because i wasn't really sleeping, i had no trouble waking up. i took my laundry to the laundromat - it was HEAVY - and then bussed to the base. i managed to do very little during the day. i solved a couple of problems here and there, but mostly i just read old emails. i finally cleared my inbox!!

today felt way hotter than yesterday, i've been dying every time i've left airconditioning. bloody insane, this weather. gave me a snarling good idea, i'll see how realistic it is before publishing my thoughts on personal weather control ;)

it was great changing into civvies when i got here, now i'm waiting for the lead to finish whatever he's doing so that we can move the office around a bit, and i can set up my new pc (prolly linux only, which makes me happy).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

napped out


spot and i left to play some pool, and left the lincoln around 2am... spot was slightly peeved at having lost 9 - 1, two of them pants down ;)

sorry, spot... i know it's hard to believe, but i really am better than you. lots, in fact.

we found food eventually... the first two places absurdly closed before 3am on a thursday night - that's just friggin' weird.

spot began telling me the story of iapetus... i read a bit more about it yesterday, and i can't deny that it's interesting.

i went past the office to pick up my bag, then went past the lizard to say hi. i eventually got to bed around 5.30am... the music was great (powerful psy-trance, dunno where that came from!), and we all had fun being silly and drinking too much. there was some serious jail-bait around, but i have enough problems at present :P

i decided to take a taxi home, but the driver had no change, so he chucked me out with a curse. is it *MY* fault?

i woke up around 2pm, and an hour later arrived at work. i have issues with self-control - i'm lactose intolerant, but the first thing i saw yesterday was a can of condensed milk, and i just had to. i got through half of it before i started feeling sick.

so i passed out on a chair for a couple of hours, then yogi and i got down to some business. we left around 9pm, after discovering that we'd made a huge mistake, and now we've got more things to sort out with those bastards from across the water. SWAK!! the boss is going to be unimpressed.

i walked home, lay down for a nap, and woke up around 1pm. i took a slow walk to work, and have just discovered that i can't actually do anything on a saturday. so i'm off for a bit of a walk through tel aviv, to see if anything's happening.

how is it that superman returns isn't coming out here until the 20th?!?!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

dumbbells



i slept reasonably well, and got to base in time for inspection. they didn't notice that i hadn't polished my boots (no key to my office). took a long breakfast, spent the morning working.

jenovachen (heard about him in wired) has two cool games, worth a look.

the news of the day:

dumbbell one: we had plenty of free time (we cleaned our office and worked together on a few things), so i got plenty of exercise with the 12kg dumbbell that we have, and our pull-up bar. i'm SERIOUSLY feeling it.

dumbbell two: the kid. problem a did not occur as mysteriously as we thought. the kid forgot that - *ahem* - THAT VERY SAME DAY he'd modified the file, and managed to introduce an error into the compiled code that doesn't feature in the source. he wasn't too happy when i elaborated on my thoughts at the time that i found out.

by trying to use windows scripting to write all my outlook appointments for the day into a text file, i managed to leak about 300MB of memory, and lock all sorts of processes. and it took me long enough to figure out the basics - the msdn documentation is pathetic.

it took a while, and much misunderstanding, but i've managed to approximate a translation of "you inbred SOB" to the hebrew for "you inbred dog":

יע כלב בן גילוי עריות
ya kelev ben gilui arayot

work tonight: spot managed to save himself. around november / december last year (i guess), he was messing with my lighter (SB's break-up gift), and lost a part that rendered it useless. they're selling those lighters in israel now, and when i got into my office he gave me the part that disappeared - until now i hadn't really forgiven him, but the fact that he remembered does make it up... spot, i hope you've learned from that experience.

i didn't get as much work done as i would have liked - lots of headache-y problems. and a really cute girl came in for an interview. i wasted quite a bit of time with spot, figuring out not-very-important things in linux, and we all decided that next week i'm going to be able to move into the development office (yay!), and get a new pc (with a large screen and everything).

i wish i could explain the sheer idiocy that i had to deal with tonight, regarding the guy who sent that email i posted a while ago. his team BUILT the damn servers, and they can't keep even the remotest amount of consistency. not only that, but they make mistakes that even a beginner would know to avoid. that's just sad. spot didn't believe me until he saw the code himself.

so, i have to wait for another release. i'll be coming in tomorrow in anticipation. now we're off to shoot some pool, apparently.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

bender



as in, i feel like i've been on one.

only in israel: my luggage is lost. somebody called me up yesterday morning to tell me that my luggage would be delivered around 6pm. at 18.30, i got a call saying it'll arrive between 21:00 and 22:00, and at 22.30 the guy who called me got frustrated when i told him that i wouldn't be in the same place between 23:00 - 23:15.

amazing. i left at 22.45, and he arrived just before 23:00.

i bussed home, did some forms for about half an hour (i was already sweaty, and i suddenly remembered that i have an enormous area in the apartment that i'm not using), stretched, showered, and lay in bed with a pad of paper, madly scribbling some really good ideas that kept me smiling until i finally fell asleep.

i didn't smile so much upon waking, though - my body was a bag of jello for the first couple of hours.

i went straight to the induction base, and the one hour meeting turned into two hellish hours of non-stop hebrew; and i wasn't really focused to begin with. everytime somebody asked me something, i just asked "what?", and they carried on without me. we now have a workload that's going to last us at least a few months.

my bag broke, so i bought myself a new one. it was the cheapest workable one i could find, and it's BIG. so i've written in big letters on the back: "yes. this is my daily bag."

what's amusing is that i've been asked about it a lot today, and i just had to turn around and continue walking in order to answer the questions.

ate a crappy lunch, then entered another meeting. that just killed me. i stumbled out, and spent the rest of the day zombie-ing.

work: i got a LOT of work done today. mostly annoying work (how does a java thread know if somebody's pressed ctrl-c??), but work nonetheless. now it's home-time... i have inspection in the morning :S

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

the last stand of a reasonable person

all is back to normal. that potential air force transfer that's been making me all nervous? fidgety? jumpity up-and-downy? i finally got to speak to my commander this morning, and he's given me an OK. next phase!

turned out the kid's code crashed ALL the new systems yesterday. screwed our new team up an incredible amount. i wish i'd had a camera when he was informed this morning. it wasn't entirely his fault - the problem is that he obeyed explicit instructions that were wrong, when he should have known better. i'm confident that he's learned his lesson.

most of the day was spent tackling a couple of special problems that oracle's developer (form builder, kimera shit, whatever) has thrown at us.

a) one of our screens has mysteriously ceased to function correctly. nothing in the code / environment has changed, and everything is IDENTICAL to another screen that does work. we've had the experts in, we've poured over online forums: there's no solution. there's no logical way that this problem could exist! the only possible way i can see of fixing this: walking into oracle's development center with a flamethrower, and making sure that everyone responsible ends up medium-rare to well-done.

and then fixing the bugs in their code. or just destroying the building and rewriting all the software from scratch (there'd be no choice!)

b) there's a cute function in developer called "import java classes". we keep getting an error message that says that the JVM isn't available. we've tried it with every version of the jdk and jre ever released. we've tested with multiple installs. we've done this all on multiple environments. we KNOW that the JVM works JUST FINE.

i think all of oracle's upper-management should be flambéd just out of spite. and because larry ellison is demon-spawn, sent to destroy our civilization and send us back into the dark-ages.

i got to work on time, and have just rewritten my original primary app. now i need to go through the entire testing procedure again. fun. spot's here, it's odd working with him again, but extremely amusing as usual. say thank you, spot, you can't tell me that i didn't get you sorted out. i expect a pretty letter from your mother.

speaking of pretty letters, i got my pay-check today. for the full month: my boss felt bad about only giving me half-pay. but he did ask me to make the hours up as much as possible, so it's kind of back-handed. no matter, i was planning on doing extra anyway, and now that i've been payed in advance...

back to work.

Monday, July 03, 2006

get out of the oven!

did somebody forget how hot and sticky it is in israel during summer? i'm dying here, people!

friday morning was grand - depressing, but nice in spite of the knowledge that i was leaving. woke up slowly, packed, and then we all went to the market to organize sushi. *excellent* sushi. the nice drive round parts of montreal i hadn't yet seen also went down well.

then we were off to the airport, for another tearful farewell (my aunt's good at that), and then i was rushed through to my plane to toronto (with a promise from the check-in counter that my luggage would go straight to tel aviv).

the first flight was alright, and in toronto i walked straight through to the shuttle to my next flight. i didn't see border control anywhere, so i guess i'm officially still in canada.

unfortunately, i had an hour to wait, and not only is the building non-smoking, but OUTSIDE TOO. the building is situated in the middle of all the runways... DAMMIT! so i bought a couple of magazines, munched some m&m's, and eventually we boarded.

a harsh, 12 hour reminder that aeroplane seats are designed for people without legs. not only was the kid behind me playing with his seatbelt the entire flight (enough clicking will get on your nerves), but the little girl in front kept holding down the button and bouncing back and forth. i went bananas, and nobody could stop her from doing it.

so yeah, that was a pretty sucky flight. i hear my mom's was worse, but that doesn't make me feel better. i think i slept about half an hour or so. i spent a lot of the waking hours hating myself for returning to uniform.

i discovered, to my complete and utter surprise, really, that my luggage is still in canada. notice the use of present tense. i hopped on the train (and luckily didn't get caught - i used my soldier's id for a free ride) and went to the base. aside from picking up my keys, and going for lunch with the kid (although after two weeks of good food, i couldn't bring myself to eat any of that crap), and some milling around and appreciating the beautiful bums the girls sport here, i waited two hours to speak to my commander. who managed to sneak out when i wasn't looking.

disappointed, i caught the bus home. my stuff's all there, which DID surprise me, and i showered and read myself to sleep.

aside from an hour or two in the late evening, when i spoke to my mom to hear about the horrors of her trip (and it really was horrific), i slept soundly until 3am.

AAARGH! and i'd slept too much, so i just lay in bed reading until my alarm went off. i shaved, and hurried off to the base (forgetting my shoes, so i'm stuck in uniform at work, which SUCKS), pretty much straight to work. oh, and i made a neat 9 month calendar (the amount of time i have left), with each month a picture of the appropriate phase in a foetus' development.

the work today (and i'll be continuing tomorrow) was extremely frustrating. my commander was in meetings the entire day, i literally didn't get two seconds to talk to him. i cleared out my 150+ new emails, sewed on one of my new ranks, and other than that had a particularly boring day.

i came straight to work, and have been in the thick of it since i got here. did some conniving with yogi. conniving is always fun. can't talk about it yet. sorry. and i have actually gotten a lot of work done. and eaten a good hamburger; i was desperate for food - i'm still not craving mess-hall trash.

considering the fact that the following thoughts consumed me for most of my trip, i've decided to jot them down:

i live in the future. i always have. it's why i dress the way i do, i why i plan do the things i haven't shut up about (IRL). so i'm constantly thinking about my possibilities, specifically from my release date next year.

1) i sign on 3 extra years, assuming that they make me an offer i can't refuse (and can't talk about, sorry)

2) i stay on at work a couple of months, to make starting money and enjoy a bit of summer out of uniform

3) i return to sa for a couple of months - i need minor surgery, and i'm not doing it when alone in israel

4a) i go off to japan, to seek work in vr / aerospace, and if i'm unsuccessful then just to have a holiday there and spend time with hido

4b) i go to the states, where i join SxS in building an empire (with me primarily focused on vr)

4c) i go to canada, to work in gaming / aerospace (they have some good places to start) or to do research in mcgill university (have contact, will travel).

so that's about it at the moment. not to mention much thoughts about starting a family; but those are just arbitrary.

right, i'm off.