Monday, December 31, 2007

okay - just one more:

happy new year everyone!

last news, possibly for the year

maybe we do have some time left after all

scratchy throat and cold feet

a hundred bodies crammed into a small space, all waiting impatiently to get into the enlisteds' mess hall. there was a bit of a lull, and then some idiot a few heads behind me shouted "push!" and the sound and pressure slowly began to rise...

i turned around, grunted "enough" and gave him my hardest stare - instant silence all around and the poor sod didn't know where to look. i let him simmer for a few slow seconds before turning back, and all that could be heard was one of his friends whispering "that's one stressed officer".

today was filled with distractions, but i did get some things done. i worked late, ending the day with a serious debate over israelis' inability to demand their rights as consumers (the concept of a watchdog is practically non-existent) before getting a ride to tel aviv.

i had a long year-end chat with my mum, and after online-time, the kid's super-salad, a shower and doing the dishes i'm going to sleep.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

done.

i've definitely had enough exercise for this weekend. i'm now going to eat, maybe go wish a couple of friends of mine a happy birthday at a nearby pub, and then it's a sorrowful goodbye to yet another styling weekend.

after waking up and posting this morning i went for a blade. the problem is that i just couldn't find an area with decent roads... i went up and down, bits of sideways, and came home with sensitive eyes (i *will* wear sunglasses next time, or my flash new goggles), a bit frustrated. i farted around a bit online before we commenced cleaning, and then the kid and i went out for cider before training.

actually, i've discovered a rather annoying snag in my plans for the new year - if i go off for the six month course that's due then i'm going to have apartment relocation issues... and in any event things will have to change as the kid's planning on leaving the city... i really will miss this apartment, and i'm thinking this as we have another eight months to go...

and training killed me. ooh! shower's available!

obligatory news:
it's a question of *when* - apparently not for another few years at least. do all of us have to await FDA approval?

sans tape recorder

i really do wish that the kid and i had been taping our debate, we've been arguing back and forth for ages and i know i'm going to leave out a lot of the better points. its an argument for basic human rights with a primary focus on drugs as an easy-to-see example.

this conversation is a continuation of a previous post

acceptable laws

the jump point: no man or government is in any position to pass laws to prevent people from causing harm to themselves in any way. while it is legitimate to pass laws to prevent people from causing harm to others, you cannot stop selling sharp objects because they can be used as weapons. you can only outlaw the use of sharp objects as weapons and punish anybody caught doing so.

taking risks is important for progress
this is a general rule that drills down into the deepest level of what it means to be alive. aside from making life fun and interesting we have to take risks, and we have to let other people take risks, in order to develop and learn. the less risk we take the further back towards primordial soup we slide. nobody wants to be a human being in potentia.

darwinism and social ego
holding back everyone to protect the weak is not the same as helping the weak.
conversely, not pre-emptively protecting the weak from themselves is not the same as weeding them out. every person is accountable for himself and his behaviour, and especially as we're in a situation of over-population we need to protect the strong... which can only be done by not protecting him.

if a man slips on the edge of a bridge, one extends a hand to help him up. if a man jumps off the same bridge, one lets him fall. just as everyone has the right to life, everyone has an equal right to not live.
don't tear down the bridge because it's a health hazard.

if a man jumps out a fifth-floor window and dies, we do not demand that all buildings shall rise no higher than a safe flight of stairs.

we're only human. we can be so much more if we could just stop trying to be perfect according to the norms and rules of a society that we made up. the only rules that truly matter have to do with not harming other people, as for the rest we each make up our own as we go along by learning from our mistakes or simply teach others by not surviving them.

democracy, meritocracy
smart and capable people either go after the cash or give up politics because it's not worth it for them to enter a world of corruption and idiocy - a realm almost exclusively reserved for people with expensive bad taste and a desire to remain with way too much time on their hands.
the people who really care about their constituents or their environment ("the issues") don't often have the patience to play silly-buggers and stick it out the way the monkeys do - and those who do get sent packing by the dumb and bored... bill clinton comes to mind.

statistics, lobbies, biased advisors, the media and a deep sense of penis envy are often the only tools that these politicans have to make decisions with, none of which are reliable when it comes to managing a population. it's an extremely small percentage of these people who possess the intelligence, wisdom, foresight and extensive understanding of the human psyche that is required to make blanket decisions for such large groups of people, the rest barely have the capability to make decisions for themselves.
the latter are usually the most vocal.

i personally feel the failure of democracy: i've never found a group with a platform that reasonably represents me, and i often vote for the lesser of the evils. as for the heads of state, i couldn't feel more disconnected from them. i really don't feel that i have a voice, i constantly watch absolute imbeciles and completely unqualified chimps entering office, and i wonder if implementing more of a meritocracy would really help, or if the system needs to be swapped out for a new one.

if only we were smart enough to come up with one.

or maybe, just maybe, everything i've just written is completely and utterly wrong, and i really and truly am alone in my opinions. i do find it difficult to believe that i'm one of such a select humanist mentality. maybe we simply are as stupid as this as a species, in which case we probably don't deserve personal freedom anyway.

freedom and responsibility
with freedom comes responsibility. that freedom that we fight for, that we demand, specifically and necessarily includes the freedom to take control of one's destiny. the ability to judge for ourselves which risks are worth taking and which aren't.

our responsibility is to our environment - within reason - and we need to accept the consequences of our actions. our "nanny" governments teach us to let the group take care of our individual actions and to point fingers elsewhere when we screw up. each individual needs to learn to take stock of himself and his situation, to mature and grow and develop, and by learning to make decisions without thinking of the consequences we destroy our potential for progression.

prohibition lessons
regarding drugs and all sorts of other bad habits... nothing proves the government's attitude off the mark better than the dry law:
When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before.
there is no reason why alcohol is any different from other drugs, save that its use has historically always been more prevalent. any demand will be filled, by hook or by crook.

a side-issue: social security
social security is the biggest economic disaster institutionalized that i can think of... to take money from the current generation to support the previous does two things:
(a) removes the incentive to really pay attention to one's future
(b) places a huge burden on the current working generation
(c) cannot be removed because from the perspective of those being supported they have already paid the cash in advance - these people cannot be paid out from government coffers because the money never existed in the first place

(a) is relevant to our conversation because it's an incentive for people to stay off the drugs if they want a comfortable old age, due to concern that people could spend so much money on drugs that they wouldn't be able to save up for retirement.

aside from being just another method employed by our governments that teaches people to let the institution do its thinking and planning for them, it's irrelevant to the debate because if the government oversees the supply then not only is the quality reliable but the prices drop to less than people pay for dangerous and stupid drugs like cigarettes.

a final note
no apologies to the arab nations upon whom this summary is based.

those who have lost the war on personal freedom in ages gone by have become primitive, uninspired, angry and violent people. there lack of forms of escapism remove their ability to find personal meaning outside of the prescribed, these people will stop at nothing to conquer those of us who still value our perceived freedom and prevent us from developing any further as a species.

then again, if i was forced to live in a world with no alcohol, women, or any form of escape i'd be a suicidal nutjob too. instead of fighting with us, they could be fighting their religious leadership... and having a jolly good time consuming what they produce.

any and all arguments for or against welcome. questions too.

6am, what am i doing?!

pausing halfway through a really long piece that i'm going to post soon after a long argument with the kid on the way back home from a really sweet guest-house / restaurant where we ended up after walking through tel aviv looking for a decent place to sit and talk because zinc turned out to be a horrible choice due to the torturous music and drunken children and the lincoln was out of bounds after a really awkward run-in with the angelic waitress and her boyfriend. prior to leaving we watched an inconvenient truth which i highly recommend to all those who are slower than me in catching it, and the first target on exiting the building was superb ice-cream.

Friday, December 28, 2007

brushing up post-tkd

my legs *hurt*. i had a pleasant run-in with the angelic waitress on my way home, maybe i'll eventually get my ass to the lincoln with intended timing to get another game with her.

perfect response - i don't think i'd have the balls for that, no matter what her father'd said.

is it just me, or did christmas get a little backwards in the the states?

there's plush, and then there's tacky

the fight for kisses ad at the bottom of this page is just brilliant.

new orleans just got hit by a storm of inspiration

not quite A+

by all the possible gods, yesterday was absolutely the worst way to finish off a really hard week. i just couldn't focus, and i spent way too many hours trying to solve a problem that didn't exist, and then a few more half solving a real problem before discovering that i was going in the wrong direction.

i'm extremely unhappy with that.

the rest of the negative news for yesterday revolves around the shameful non-quantity of meat we're given for lunch and the amount of times people felt it necessary to slap me on the back.

after the mandated two weeks i've ceased to take care of my tat, and although it didn't heal too well it's definitely an improvement over plain black-and-white.

on the plus side, i made some progress with the rocket science (i love saying it, i'm such a child!).

i was wasted way before i got home yesterday, and brilliantly decided to have a shot of rum while settling down to watch the movie before going out... i eventually got up around 1am, threw out the remainder of my cup (i think i remember having a sip before passing out) and went to bed.

this morning i visited the post office, retrieved our styling goggles and my copies of slaine: the horned god (w00t!!), and then joined the kid for shopping that totally pissed me off. i mean, i pissed myself off just as much as the other people did, i cannot handle friday mornings at the supermarket.

i visited dizengoff, cancelled my order for the comics, had my wallet raped yet again by my buddies at disc center (although this time i brought the KY, me and my big mouth), and walked out of there carrying:
hawkwind - in search of space (amazing)
dredg - el cielo (wonderful)
rob zombie - hellbilly deluxe (sweet)
sneaker pimps - splinter (must own)
sneaker pimps - becoming x (must own)

i visited my tattoo artist who has guaranteed me that he will never ink me ever again, under any circumstances, even though i explained to him that my passing out on him wasn't his fault at all... he's serious, and considering the fact that i wouldn't let anybody else work on me i've now sealed my body-art phase for good.

i finally decided on a tool shirt to buy, and i'm totally satisfied with my purchase.

i've spent enough money this weekend. i'm off to train.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

warped clear

wow - arriving at work after a good night's rest is not something i'm used to... the day was jump-started with a frantic call from a VIP and the boss was out, so i had to keep it all together and make myself understood. i appear to have succeeded, but trying to make myself understood over the phone is not my speciality.

we've begun using the shorthand "anal" in place of "analyse", with hilarious results.

bezeq, the telkom of israel. i called them up to get the phone number for the "IAF journal" (בטאון חיל האוויר) to complain about not receiving this month's issue, and they gave me the number for the museum. i didn't know this, and the girl who answered the phone was really confused when i tried to discuss my subscription.

so i called up their directory service again, made damn sure that they understood me (by spelling it out), and they promptly gave me two invalid numbers. fortunately i managed to get hold of the right ones a bit later - i was told that subscription services will be available tomorrow morning.

then i found my copy when i arrived home.

working late was a really good idea this evening, i had time to think and got a lot done :)

ha! i was right! (apparently my german's passable if something's repeated enough times)

unbreakable lcd

further proof that i'm not a good person: i read the headline and immediately thought of chewbacca bawling.

we don't need formulaic bullshit - here's hoping that this documentary will reach the stupid masses. the masses who have... awww heck. this sums up my position perfectly.

in memory of bill hicks...

i was reading yesterday about the destruction of opium poppy crops in afghanistan, where the justification is that it's the primary source of funding for the taliban.

i just don't know. i'm sure that instead of wiping them out, the americans could benefit from yet another natural resource and fund themselves instead. they'd probably do that if the narcotics agency didn't see it as a threat to society.

the truth is, all cultures and societies throughout the ages have used various forms of narcotics, and it seems kind of ridiculous to presume that our generation will be the one to put a stop to it. or should be the one, as some - if not all - of the best works (art, music and literature being the three things that come to mind first) we've produced were inspired by these "enemies of the state".

we have no way to predict what would happen if drugs suddenly ceased to be available on mass - although a hell of a lot of people with massive withdrawal symptoms would be an interesting experiment in and of itself. and if we're wiping out all the "bad" drugs, and we're on our way to ridding ourselves of cigarettes, is alcohol next on the agenda?

i'm going to repeat a concept from a bunch of much smarter people than myself: all drugs need to be controlled, and the best way to do that from a government perspective is to a) legalize and b) sell in specific places (bring back the opium den) and c) demand a minimum age and level of financial security*.

you want a real war on drugs? undercut all the dealers and make them worthless. increase your GNP and GDP by producing and exporting.
everyone wins.
drug safety increases, there will be less poverty due to drug habits, and we'll have solved a whole bunch of problems simultaneously and we can stop squandering resources in wasting resources.

sure, this won't solve all the problems. there'll always be homeless glue-sniffers (ha! another legal drug), but a solution that can blanket the majority is better than a non-existent "perfect" one. we're humans, we don't need perfection any way.

and there certainly isn't any utopia that we're capable of creating. we're just a troop of dancing monkeys.

* if you demand a basic background check from each user to verify that they're not financing their habit with theft or placing themselves below the poverty line then we're hitting a few birds with one stone.
in addition, drugs would suddenly become an incentive for people to make themselves economically viable.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

medicatation



i'm totally zoned - i'm never this relaxed, and it's been since the weekend. maybe i'm sick. today was harsh, i couldn't keep my eyes open during an important meeting with a bunch of "big boys", and after declining an opportunity to take a twenty minute walk home i took a bus back to my base to get some work done... having completely forgotten that today's the day for the sexual harrassment lecture. i suck - my commander wouldn't have given a damn if i'd skipped the rest of the day.

the positive news is that i got in touch with a VIP from haifa technion and i'm having lunch with him next week to discuss my academic future, and i'm helping someone write a paper on rocket-science. as amusing as that may sound, i'm finding it quite interesting - i know i could've paid more attention in chemistry class, but i'm surprised to find that i still remember all sorts of useful things :)

i'm about to spend an hour and half either sleeping or meditating before i stupidly go out to see if the new tuesday-night alternative line is any good.

baby rat steps
speaking of baby rats

i'm at a loss

i can define the last couple of days by my inability at any given moment to decide what type of music i want to listen to, which is extremely frustrating.

yesterday was absolutely awful work-wise, and i'd arrived late anyway because our bus got stuck in a traffic jam.

what saved my day was having to sit for a long lecture that i didn't really need to pay attention to. unfortunately the opening presentation, apart from breaking all the rules of legibility, concerned war and had a really pleasant enya song in the background. it was so damn inappropriate it was jarring.

i discovered yesterday that the only way to get my commander's attention is to give him a time-limit. the second i was hurrying out the door he managed to find time to sit with me on something, in doing so making me late. i got his number this time ;)

a couple of us went to sort bottles for recycling, which was another good way to get out of the office. as i type this i'm thinking that i can only hope that today will be smoother.

we were let off early, i stopped by the bank to sort some things out (*so* glad i didn't need to take a day off for it!) and came home to change. then it was off to herzeliya for a unit evening, where the food was good, the talk was cheap and after the speeches a couple of us skipped on the pitiful excuse for entertainment and walked to the city centre for a beer, getting back just in time for the bus back.

for some strange reason ubuntu has decided that i don't need my windows installation any more. aside from my ipod, i'm inclined to agree - but that doesn't make that sort of behaviour acceptable.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

zowee!

i didn't foresee news this exciting coming up!

chuck norris strikes back - the post is misleading, i didn't bother to RTFA, but after a quick browse through the conversation it's clear that he's as right as can be... but it's chuck - who can doubt him?!

personal nuclear reactor - not as cool as i anticipated after reading justina robson, but definitely awesome nonetheless.

i find it fascinating that the thermal output is considered a problem. can't we put all that energy to use??

johnny chung lee is a genious! his cunning improvisation has produced the most titillating tech-video i've seen yet - view them all in order and his brilliance will be clear, i an "i want a wii right now" sort of way.

wading through a mental stream fully-clothed

today was made that much more difficult by mere virtue of the fact that the weekend was just so... grand.

i'm 99% confident that re-colouring my tattoo was a complete waste, and that i'm really not destined for ink. piercings it'll have to remain, and it's another few years before i'll be able to play with those.

wow - i just thought of getting a prince albert for the first time in many months, and the idea terrifies me deliciously.

i'm lamely spending my evening tidying up my pc... it's way overdue a servicing.

the girl i was chatting with last weekend removed me from her facebook friends when i invited her to meet up with me sometime in tel aviv... i'm actually quite offended. and very surprised.

my mother called, and while i spoke to her i made my way to a building a few blocks down where my counterpart purportedly lives. according to the names at the entrance he doesn't...
i was curious today as to how far off the officer who called me was, and it turns out she wasn't at all - we live a few minutes walk from each other, share the same name and we're both ex-south african: what are the chances?!

i feel much better after touching base with my mum, i'm caught up on the news and armed with all manner of interesting bits and pieces :)

...

okay, and i'm a bit homesick too :P

Dies Natalis Invicti Solis

originally titled "why do dogs howl at the moon?", i had a really awesome concept for a philosophical postulation concerning animals and religion, and then i ruined it by looking it up first.

bah, humbug!

the end of the post will remain the same though: happy holidays to all those celebrating!

i didn't want to shower twice, but

[post backdated on account of blogger being unavailable to me at the time]

i woke up sweating from a really frustrating (and physical) nightmare which involved me being signed up for a college basketball game that i didn't want to participate in and being late - constantly missing buses and trains and travelling all around on some weird side-mission.

walking past a group of students being lectured outside and overhearing one of the students telling another off for being disrespectful to the lecturer... i just don't know.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

post-addendum

i don't know why i wrote that addendum - the volume's still turned down and my neural activity has slowed to the pace set by GW.

the rum might not have helped. we've just watched ghost in the shell - it amazes me every time how beautifully detailed it is. it's an inspired work of art.

speaking of art - i finished b (i've decided i'm lettering them, this is a, i've already begun work on c and i have an idea for d and e):


the correction's slightly noticeable but i'm not messing any further.

i think i'm ready for the next week.

a bit depressing - if it's true, of course. and even if it is, i wouldn't want to believe it.

addendum

TOTALWASTE:SHIVA CHANDRA BLEW MY MIND
Fiction: based on the author's autobiography, a heart-warming story about a boy who had his eardrums hammered by the giant german.

cleansed and purified

now *that* was soul music. i haven't been to a party that solid since my last vortex, and while it obviously doesn't compare it was incredible nonetheless. shiva chandra has been one of my all-time favourites since i first heard mendrum, and i got to hear him live when he was in israel in 2001 - tonight he just proved that he's still got it going on!

quick recap for friday: i had to go to the post office to pick up my phone account which apparently couldn't fit into my postbox (our postman doesn't *do* folding), then to orange to discover that they couldn't repair my phone without me having to wait four days for it, and i waited an hour to talk to the agent for five minutes to cancel my second line and argue about nonsense.

waiting for the bus i saw a man who, if caught by the fashion-police, would be put in front of a firing squad for crimes against humanity. ugly, brown, badly-fitting trousers, a tight bright red sports shirt and smart clown-shoes. shocking.

i met up with the kid and we went to organize our snowboarding insurance, luckily they convinced us to hold our horses because afterwards when i got in touch with my cousin she organized us a far better deal including travel insurance. which is really stupid not to have.

breakfast was a non-tortilla tortilla and it was very messy. i spent the day a'chillin', a'playin', a'workin' on my canvas (almost done - i'm so far happy with the results!), and just generally being a layabout.

back to the good stuff:


we were supposed to be on one of the lists for free entry, but the girl at the door gave us a hard time and eventually we paid the 80 NIS cover (i don't know how to spell the "french" version). it was well worth it. the guy who's list i was supposed to be on - gco, who we met up with a while back - connected me and the kid with his sister and niece (extremely foxy niece). we all had a great and highly entertaining evening (and breakfast), the kid's lost his trance virginity, and just walked home on this perfect saturday morning for a good day's deep sleep.

the day's so pretty it stirs guilt and jealousy for my not being outside and awake to enjoy it! so i shall leave open a window to the chilly, still air.

Friday, December 21, 2007

a lotta links

according to the original blogger, this is how it's supposed to be done... i think he's an asshole, though.

i can identify - only i'm fairly sure it's not door number three for me.

mystery science! i know this news will be abused by the believers, but it's interesting nonetheless.

sweet simulation! the only thing missing is the random asshole effect - either a random number of people are assholes, or there's a chance for every event that the person will act irrationally. this is important for explaining how large groups of people never manage stairs efficiently.

getting off the ground - bodes well.

i can't see this working, but it's a cute regardless. i can't say i laughed out loud, or even smiled, but i did appreciate it.

now *this* made me smile - the company's page is amusing too.

tough call. i don't want techies scanning my bits, but quite frankly i'd feel obliged to turn someone over to the authorities if i'd found that sort of thing.

either that or go vigilante.

the future is HERE! all your watts are belong to us!
i can see american neighbourhoods turning into warzones because some gangbangers are bound to incorrectly identify them as sneakers.

laser shine: the slashdot discussion is interesting, with lots of good points made. the bottom line is that laser light is to a pilot what a small rock is to a driver.

the duke nukem forever trailer is out... finally! please notice the severe lack of in-game shots... almost any company could've produced this shite. not cool.

etnica - triptonite was playing in the background while i typed this, and hydraglyph - nowhere near while i went over it before publishing. absolutely awesome tracks! reminds me that shiva chandra is playing in jaffa tonight, and i really want to go.
the radio streaming (philosomatika) is being handled beautifully by banshee. it can't work with my ipod, but at least it has the decency to tell me why... now i just have to wait for the next release, and then my windows days are over.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

i can't get prison sex out of my head

i can totally identify with the intro to garden state right now, and i can't remember the movie at all. the kid suggests that it's because i passed out a few minutes in, i think it's because i'm so wasted after a long week.

tool - prison sex has been the song for the week. bits of it just keep popping into my head almost constantly.

the ceremony today was the best military one i've been through - short, quick, to the point and with air-conditioning. actually, the start of the day was great - there's a new shuttle driver (although i hear it's only temporary) and on the breathable ride i had pink floyd playing over me warm and dry while the tempest outside rattled and misted all the windows.

i wrote an application to sign in for me automatically, but stopped short of the actual cheat-code. so i've now written a pretty task-scheduler, which is kind of useful considering that it's something that our work-policy bans :P

the food today was really good - i think it qualifies for "best army meal" since my induction.

my tat's looking good, but i lack confidence. after all, i've got another week to go officially...

around 5.30 / 6pm, after much giggling over being able to work late because our SC wasn't around (that's a bit backwards, no?), i discovered that my last two days of mass effort were a complete waste as far as productivity is concerned.

that really, really sucks.

our flatmate's given me pause: today is the second time that he's prepared food and assumed that we'll want it, in conjunction with an odd assumption that we'll be okay with doing the dishes post-preparation. not cool.

and he didn't leave me more than the amount of hot water i needed to convince myself that it was good to shower. two minutes in and the hot water began to slip and slide away far too quickly for my sanity.

i've been a zombie since i arrived home and began removing my uniform, and now i'm climbing back into my grave.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

stop-motion reality

i'm feeling *good* about today.

work point of contention:
my commander asked me to do something that's taking way longer than anticipated, but aside from it being enjoyable and educational if i stop halfway it'll really have been a waste of time, and i'm doing well.

i will not eat the sandwiches sold by the gate ever again.

i checked myself this morning, and i got the decibels ^_^

i pissed somebody off today, and he dragged me into my SC's office with both of us anticipating things going badly for me. my SC promptly turned the tables, vindicated my behaviour and set us on a better path - i'm well impressed :)

the food today was improved, and to my great amusement i discovered that my principles of marketing lecturer is responsible for the new caterer's campaign - he came over to our table to ask how things were going and with almost no delay i placed his hand-wringing and odd speech... not his name though, but i don't really care either way :P

i don't like the fact that the guy running our candy-store never puts up signs when he's out for longer than five minutes.

my SC gave me a ride to the bus stop - forcing me to leave earlier than intended because he's concerned about me waiting alone in the dark. trying to convince him that i can handle it was actually a bit embarrassing, although not as much as failing to do so.

i'm off to do a bit of shopping - i can't believe that tomorrow's thursday!

there's a big ceremony in the morning, we're finally receiving our decorations for serving during the second lebanese war. i still don't understand the deal of calling it a war, though. it was a battle, or an action, but we're still fighting the same war we've been stuck in since we declared independence.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

forgotten but loudly remembered



i thought of an incredibly amusing transration on the bus this morning, and promptly forgot about it. it's really bothering me that i can't share it with anyone.

i gave myself an extra fifteen minutes this morning, and it made a world of difference. i must admit that i'm far more comfortable arriving a little later and leaving later, so far i'm up a few hours and my morning's are a little easier ^_^

i've 99% switched to ubuntu as of this morning, that final 1% is because of itunes. the deal-breaker for windows was a bad dvd burn, and the only reason i was doing it through windows in the first place was because i was experiencing difficulties in linux.
at nystire's advice, all i did was a re-install of the linux software and i suddenly have a working burner at much higher speed.

apparently this will solve my problem.

wow - since my little episode on thursday i've been conscious of my breathing... or lack thereof. i do it a lot, in all sorts of circumstances that i've essentially trained myself not to. i can't explain that fully, but there's an odd logic to each situation in which i breathe out sharply through my nose and simply lock up my windpipe (or something in the region of my windpipe that has the right effect).

i need to unlearn this.

while eating mostly-frozen cake this morning, my plastic spoon shattered when i tried to push it through my slice slowly. it was such an odd reaction it was quite shocking - practically no movement precipitated a counter-intuitively strong explosion.

nystire's rather hurtful comment after lunch: "well, i didn't make the mistake of getting a BA"... this was a part of the long discussion that followed me stating that i'm seriously considering studying mechanical engineering as opposed to electrical. i was looking through the prospectus this morning and it looks far more interesting (and educational, in the sense that i'm seeking that, too).

i bought bazooka bubblegum, and for the first time i actually understood the wrapper. the joke sucked, and the fact was uninteresting compared to those obtained in chappies.

i learned how to count (and freely calculate) decibels today. decibels are awesome!

i fell asleep for the first part of the lecture we were forced into today, and the second part wouldn't have held my interest if the man hadn't been shouting into the microphone. one of his points was pretty good - this country needs to develop its transport system in a big way because the periphery's access is uncomfortable.

working late was good (as usual, i find it much easier to get stuff done and the atmosphere's always more jovial), and i've had a pretty average evening online. i've been informed that both my graphic novels and snow-goggles are on the way, and should be here by the beginning of next week :)

i don't know what's up with my tattoo. it's not looking too bad, but the skin seems too shiny... i'm almost certain that that's a bad sign.

it's all about the fantasy
size matters

Monday, December 17, 2007

no reserve



i definitely ate too much chocolate - i polished off all the timtams in about ten minutes towards the evening, and i'm pretty sure that's not good.

my tattoo drove me crazy the entire day. i think it's all messed up again, only this time there's no hope of me going back some day to fix it. sod it. i'm pissed because now i realize just how much difference the yellow makes on my skin...

today began with me getting on the shuttle, noticing that it was better than yesterday, and then getting off a stop later and bussing back to point A because "better" isn't "good". the sharp acridity was painful and i'd rather pull late hours than suffer it for half an hour each morning.

we had fresh food today for lunch, albeit in small tiny portions. at least nobody felt sick afterwards, and being that alert post-mess was a fairly new experience!

i'm a bit nervous - only an hour left to go on my ebay bids for slaine - the horned god (all three books). one of them has already hit my limit, and i'm terrified that some asshole's going to up it a minute before it closes :S
[do i have to love rare things??]

i got called up by some poor officer looking for someone with my name who's supposed to be entering reserve duty... i tried not to be mean while disappointing her. i really did.

closer to small soldiers

nasa:
quick year summary
the bigness boggles

shameful supposition

i'm going through an extremely unpleasant realization that this body wasn't meant for anything other than grayscale. which is a pity, because at least this time i've seen just how much better my tattoo is in bright yellow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

uniformly

had a pleasant drink at the pub with singer and her friends last night, although two things were awkward:
a) not hitting on the cute manager making eyes at me because of singer
b) singer got a tad hammered, and her japanese friend was there. i couldn't think of any environment less attractive to prove that my japanese is practically non-existant, and singer was insistent. i managed to make her friend laugh, but i wasn't going to go for one of those limited conversations.

today:

the shuttle driver's smoking makes the daily trip unbearable, and today i finally decided that i've had enough. i made a complaint, and from tomorrow i'm to get on only on condition that it's breathable, and my commander wants me to make as much noise as possible.

i think i'll just stick to sending nasty emails instead.

today was a good day, i got given an odd and menial task and managed to make something useful out of it. in addition i convinced someone to fix a system that's been broken for years, and finally got all my vacation permissions sorted out ^_^

lunch sucked. horribly.

oh, right - getting in uniform sucked horribly too. and to make matters worse i was uncomfortable taking off my shirt because i ingeniously left my dog-tags hanging on my cupboard door, and didn't want to draw attention to that.

once home and changed i went for a mission to buy an umbrella (just in time, it began raining a couple of hours ago), an eyepatch (for when i can't be arsed to carry around glasses or hold a hand over my eye for extended periods of time; and because i want to look like a pirate), and some more wet-wipes (i'm running out).

the foxy girl at the weird store (i don't know a better way to describe it) gave me a perfect opening and i fumbled. i fumbled gracefully, though, and i'm hoping i'll get another chance. at least i know that my attitude's visible ;)

our flatmate brought in something pretty tonight... i've now played with the iphone, and it is nice. it hooked into our wireless lan quickly and tidily, and everything about it really is dreamy.

upgrading vista... i'll be sticking with ubuntu, for everything aside from burning dvd's and loading my ipod.

the hunt for the unicorn killer is the name of the movie i've been thinking of everytime somebody mentions fireman.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

women winge

okay, so now i know what waxing's all about. i did an area of what's claimed to be a particularly sensitive part of the body, and compared to having my sunburned neck stripped i hardly felt it. PLEASE.

and neither of those compare to the pain from thursday.

i'm naturally concerned (terrifically paranoid) about my tattoo, but as there's nothing to do but continue treating it as i've been taught i'm going to try to worry less.

i bought goggles for myself and the kid on ebay this afternoon - they look pretty good.

the price-tag's a bit steep..., but it's definitely cooler than the french competitor

too much time online

far too much. and i made a stupid mistake during the half-hour of little big adventure that i played that demands that i begin again. one thing about the game that's frustrating is the saving mechanism... at least it's possible to save properly, but it's annoying as hell to have to constantly copy the saves across and delete the "big mistake" ones.

nature
the story of stuff - IMPORTANT!!
patently absurd (isnt it always?)
kangaroo bits that should probably be used for humans too
vampire costs

aerospace
loading high altitude laser...
scramjetting

art
fun with tesla coils
a great poetry repository

art and nature
glow-in-the-dark cats

quick good night

i spent the day in front of the television or the pc, napping a bit, not expending too much energy. i went out with the kid and his friends, to the wrong part of town, and began walking back after registering just how horrible the place we'd sat down was.

the kid and one of his friends called me up a few minutes later to inform me that they were joining me. we milled around tel aviv, and eventually got to mike's place. a comfortable sitting and a really pleasant walk-and-argue back here, and now it's time for a quick shower and some glorious sleep.

i've been chatting online to a really cute girl i used to serve with who, it turns out, is really compatible... so much so that i've now happily got her stuck in my head. i'm hoping the "in a relationship" listing in facebook is a line of crap :P

Friday, December 14, 2007

not dead yet



i woke up yesterday feeling good enough to chance the morning, thinking to myself that if things began to go downhill i'd bail and come back home to bed. i made it just in time for the non-existant shuttle, which was a bit of a waste...

i began the day auctioning off (for free) a bunch of old uniforms that got thrown my way.

we had cake for breakfast to celebrate a section-mate's entrance to parenthood, lots of cake, decadent cake, cake that made my dinner later on :)

i learned about russian name pronunciation, and it's pretty damn weird. some of the names sound just like a year-old trying to produce meaningful communication. and when that's what i'm thinking of, i manage to get it right. go figure :P

i resolved an issue yesterday, and that really made me feel good about myself. i'm intentionally ignoring the standard effect of an elegant solution: "why the hell didn't i think of that before?!"



i did say i'd post the above picture

i was really excited during the late afternoon to be getting the colour on my tat redone, and as soon as i got home i changed and skipped off to psycho to have at it.



it began alright, i find that the pain increases over time and i'm aware that my skin's particularly thin and it's a sensitive spot. but i'm not certain that that's the reason for what happened... i suspect it's a combination of my not having felt good the day before, my low blood-pressure, and the fact that i stop breathing when i'm deeply concentrating on staying calm...

i don't know how much time passed between me telling him to hold on a moment and me hearing somebody else shouting "he's not breathing! he's not breathing!", which was a solid reminder to inhale and brought me fairly quickly out of whatever i was experiencing.

i remember a bright blue background and weird characters all around, but i think that's the influence of flipping through beast wars comics before i entered the tattoo parlour. i remember being absolutely certain that i was going to die.

i don't know who was more freaked out by the event, and we took a ten-minute break for me to cool down and get my head together, and inspect my raw and grim bleeding back-buddies.
i've been warned unnecessarily that i'm not the type to be getting inked. i wasn't planning on doing it again anyway, and i said when i left that if the colour doesn't hold this time, then it simply wasn't meant to be.

i was relieved when he finally finished, having taken half an hour when i expected it to take about 45 minutes. what a horrible experience.

the kid and i joined our neighbour for dog-walking and sushi, and when we came home it was time for the first changing of the wrap. i went to bed shortly afterwards, waking up at 4am for the second change (and proudly handling it myself) and again at 8am for the second last one.

i went off to collect my post, and now happily own the three science of discworld books :)

i haven't got the stones to open the parcel from penny arcade. i don't know what i'm going to do about this.



i took my new project and the silver spray out into the last sunshine of the day, and had my way with them. it's almost silly how happy i am with how the chain came out, and how relieved i am that it wasn't a complete waste of all that effort cutting the stencil ^_^
now i have to decide exactly how to handle the rest, the border i left has to be dealt with and i wouldn't really be satisfied leaving the pencil untouched.

i played some crimsonland until the kid woke up and we went shopping. there's nothing worse that being in a crowed, confined space with a sensitive area feeling exposed.

the kid disabled the internet, it's his second time and i'm guilty of an incident myself - the soft/firmware for the router is abhorrent and useless. it took me about half an hour with our flatmate's wired laptop (not including the yelling and frustrated, impotent efforts from our computers beforehand) to almost-randomly click my way to information freedom.

in 1995 my parents bought me a copy of little big adventure in israel to stop me from drooling after i'd read the reviews and played the demo (it didn't work, i couldn't install it until we got back to south africa)... i don't have any idea what happened to my copy during the years that passed, but someone sent me a link to download the iso file... and after much dosbox tweaking, i can finally play again - sweet!

the good
and
the very, very bad

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

it's not that i don't feel good

i feel bad. and i don't know why. but i know that tonight i'm catching up on some sleep, because tomorrow evening's tattoo colouring-in special is going to hurt more otherwise.

i discovered today that the woman i spoke to from tel aviv university was talking complete codswallop, and i'm now planning on redoubling my efforts to get organized with them. i'm not going to let two or three administrative monkeys ruin this for me.

today wasn't a good day. i hope i'm not sick.

gonads in verb form

1.to cause increased production of sexual hormones
2. to cause to break a vow of celibacy

usage: she's totally gonadding that dude over there
that bastard gonads chicks wherever he goes


it's already 1am, we've just finished eating post-workout.

i don't know how one of this morning's conversations turned to "serial / cereal piñatas" - there's a picture but i don't have time to upload it.

i spent the early evening at singer's, she was really pleased with her birthday present ^_^
i have to admit that she turned me on from the get-go, i don't know if she was acting / talking the way she was on purpose, but i'll find out on the weekend when we test my pain threshold with hot wax. i've had my sunburned nape waxed before, but she claims that the inner thigh is way more sensitive. we shall see.

[note: i'm obviously not waxing more than a tiny strip, i know what the after-effects are and i'm not keen on them]

she gave me a disc to listen to - eatliz - violently delicate. i'm impressed, but i think i'll need to listen to it a bit more before forming a solid opinion.

a lot of work and management-type stuff today, now that i'm trying to think about it i think the only thing out of the ordinary today was that it was the very definition of a regular day at the office.

wow - downloading thexder and it's '95 remake - supercool.

going to bed, even cooler.

Monday, December 10, 2007

eyeball

okay, fine. so otentic is a word, just not in english. i was convinced it was just another terrible israeli spelling error.

the kinder came over to my side of the office to ask someone what BVR stands for, and was answered "Beyond Visual Range".
my response was completely automatic: "which is where we want you to be"

it took him a second to translate what i'd said, and then he slumped off back to his desk. i'm more effectively nasty when i don't think about it, apparently :P

the chinese for lunch was good, but i think the mcFlurry dessert is what made me feel ill the rest of the day.

i spoke to tel aviv university's dean of students today, and they explained to me in no uncertain terms that they don't want soldiers in active duty studying BSc's with them. i'm going shopping elsewhere.

pre-emptive blame-shifting: my team-mate and i sat testing a bug together and eventually figured out where the problem is. excitedly, he exclaimed: "it looks like it's where you said it should be!", and while that's true i have this disconcerting feeling that he'd come to the same conclusion before i did.
so if we're wrong, it's my fault... or i'm just being stupidly paranoid :P

it was a pretty busy day, all in all.

the bus ride home took forever as we got stuck in a traffic jam. after i got home and changed, i walked to the third ear to buy amazing vinyl for singer (it's her birthday tomorrow):
paul simon - graceland
simon and garfunkle in concert (i don't remember which concert, though)
led zeppelin (greatest hits?)

the kid and i went for a mission through tel aviv, eventually stopping at mexicana for a bite and margaritas, with me hunting and skeefing every girl on the way.

terrif[ic|ying]

that was AWEFUL! my first time using ebay, and i entered the maximum bid correctly - but got so confused by the data i was presented with that i misunderstood and thought that my maximum WAS my bid!

i didn't want to just *throw* that money away, that was a really sucky feeling. so in a week i'll know if it was worth it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

great minds and lost brollies

rob zombie kicks ass.

today wasn't a bad day, it was just a bit awkward. the base food was absolutely atrocious, and i left my umbrella behind on the shuttle that wasn't meant to arrive in the first place. but i did discover why the shuttle's so damn smelly - it's not just that the driver smokes, but she only put her cigarette out as she came around the corner.
it's bad enough that there aren't any windows in the minibus, but that is really nasty.

i discovered today how much studying at the open university will cost... not on the cards for me. i can't believe that i cannot be accomodated by tel aviv university, but if that really is the case (unlikely, i'm convinced i spoke to an idiot) then i'm going to go it alone and re-enter academia after my service.

i'm simply not prepared to compromise on either my work or my studies.

i picked up the last two pairs of ski-socks after i got back to tel aviv, then went to the disc center to see to my music needs...
papa roach - infest (nada, and i was told it's crap)
enter shikari - take to the skies (zip)
rob zombie - hellbilly deluxe (on order)
rob zombie - educated horses (will be on order, i didn't know what it was called)

i did walk out with serj tankian - elect the dead, which is as awesome as i was told :)

the really cute girl at the counter started a conversation which got to us discussing cape town - made me rather homesick, really. i miss the deeper sensation of reality that i always have there, it's as if life everywhere else is a little bit... emptier. less relevant, almost.

i repeated to one of the salesmen a sentence that's been running through my head for ages - and he was almost as surprised as i was that he'd said exactly the same thing to one of his co-workers (verified) a few days ago: tool is the pink floyd of our generation.
and his co-worker repeated his response, which i auto-booed (i'd read it on the back of the cover of an album i own): according to [blah blah] radiohead is this generation's pink floyd... PUH-LEASE.

anyway, an instant fast friend :)
he did make me insanely jealous by telling me of his tool concert experience, but he identified with my grief over last year's unfortunate non-event.

i went by the comic store, and have decided to try to acquire slaine - the horned god on my own. after going straight past the copy that's selling for 90 quid, i've discovered that it's possible that ebay is my only resort. i'm losing a lot of virginities lately.

i said hi to my tattoo artist on the way out, hopped a bus, did some super-fast shopping and came home. it's been online and organizing and chatting with my mom since.

a nice set of contradictions
"shame on you, mr. bush" - a quick summary of the real whoopin' america's had
led zeppelin mythology

oh, and i don't think the super-hot girl from the party's going to be getting back to me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

almost ready for the stretch



yesterday was really lazy, i was glued to the telly for lots of it. loads of stargate sg1, the amazing race, scrubs... and then the kid and i watched braindead - some of the scenes that i remembered and anticipated still managed to gross me out a bit... all in all an absolutely hysterical movie, i haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

i spent the early evening working on my next canvas - the picture above is the starting point, the spraypaint stencil took me a LONG time (and i have no clue how well it's going to work), and i painted the background while watching tv.

after finishing up with how i met your mother - slapsgiving (a wonderful episode), we went out to the bar our flatmate recommended. i was certain he'd said pub, but as many girls as there were (and some were actually pleasant to look at) there wasn't any food served, so we walked ten minutes in the pouring rain to find sushi.

and the sushi place was closed. we found a coffee shop and i had pesto gnocchi, the kid ran off to join his friends and i went for another drench to get to the meimad. turned out to be worth it, the party was great fun :)

i don't do hitting on girls in clubs, so when i woke up early this afternoon i found a girl i'd really wanted to flirt with on facebook (amazing, huh? or creepy?) and sent her a message that i haven't yet gotten a response to.

i stayed in bed, sleeping and reading alice in sunderland, and eventually got up and woke up the kid to clean the apartment and go to the gym.
as happy as i am with doing 30 pull-ups (10-8-6-6), i had trouble with the rest of the circuit (i didn't eat enough beforehand, and i suspect low blood-pressure), so i bailed with a couple of exercises left in spite of an overall improvement everywhere else. i don't actually want to hurt myself.

now it's time for dinner and heroes - it's been a solid weekend.

Friday, December 07, 2007

massive linkage



it's not the quantity of links i've posted, but the amount that i've been perusing that counts ;)

i passed out really early and slept soundly until 8.30am... now i've caught up on the news, finished facebooking, and am wondering what needs doing desperately enough to venture out into the rain that's been pouring almost non-stop since i've been back in tel aviv... i'm loving winter!

i couldn't decide how to organize the links, so in order from most important / entertaining:

the dawning of a new era - maybe my enthusiasm's a bit premature, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on!

all i want for christmas! ammunition optional.

to ensure that we're all on the same page

age or evolution?

tesla's on the right path... or are they? unclear.

youtube misinformation?! *GASP* (and it's on vaccinations, too)

advanced drapes

funky lighting

no, the ends don't justify the means. but i can think of way more interesting examples that tech corporate.

defining the brick

Thursday, December 06, 2007

dreary but over



our shuttle didn't arrive this morning, so we had to make our way to base by bus. i wasn't prepared to use our space-cadet's sneaky and disturbingly successful technique for getting on the always-crowded bus, much as i was impressed by it, but i got into the office a few minutes after him so i guess my "slow and steady" public transport philosophy isn't broken yet.

a small group of us went to the firing range, which was being run by one of my least-favourite people from my old base... he's the asshole who filed a complaint about me a couple of years ago.

we let off our rounds, headed back to base and stopped by the guard commander to organize my approval stamp... only to be informed that we hadn't shot enough bullets so we'll have to do it again.

i want to do it again - i'm happy to go once a week, but for some reason the others are really upset with me for reporting back in full....
*ahem* snitching *ahem*
... fortunately for them our commander doesn't care, and i'm going to have to organize to go on my lonesome now.

okay, maybe i've pushed the "spirit of the idf" thing too far, and i should probably step back and stop taking all the rules so seriously. deep down i'm anti-authoritarian, and my behaviour's affecting my world-view.

and of course, first day this week without my umbrella and i got caught in a crazy downpour approaching my apartment.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

hanging on


[this is what i saw, it just needed some emphasis]
i spent most of this morning beginning next year's vacation and study arrangements, which are all rather bureaucratically complicated. it was only in the afternoon that i managed to find a loophole as far as the studies are concerned, a loophole that will allow me to take more than the maximum number of hours per semester with army permission (the maximum is little more than half the university-required amount).

the woman in charge is the very same person who screwed up my transfer at the beginning of the year, and i will never cease to be amazed that the person with the authority doesn't appear to have any real academic experience. and by academic i mean a pass mark for the 8th grade.

unfortunately she totally outranks me so i'll just keep my sneer to myself.

noon without siesta kills me.

we lit candles on base tonight for hanukkah, and it was only as the captain placed them that we noticed that he has a miniature christmas tree set up in the corner... explaining the concept of a "hanukkah bush" to a russian immigrant is a waste of time.

i left base around 8pm, and had a chat with my mother about a number of things. she primarily phoned me up to inform me about shadowslight's condition, and we wound up doing our usual status update. she's finally feeling more secure after her company's government takeover (which i'm really glad to hear), and i had a lot to say regarding my return to academia.

i'm exhausted, and really grateful that tomorrow's the last day of the week.

shout to shadowslight

get well soon, buddy. i wish you a speedy and solid recovery.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

i thought i was strong

i thought i'd seen some pretty messed up things, online and off, and when someone in my unit described the youtube clips of the reactions of people watching the video in question i thought that there was no way i'd be that grossed out.

i was wrong. vile doesn't begin to describe two girls one cup, a video that's making the rounds at a frightening pace and i'm not even bothering to try posting a link.

i think it'll take a few days to get over the shock. back to my reality:

today had a hot start [sorry]: i called them up and fought a bit, and the second woman i spoke to managed to calm me down. i'm not happy with the situation, but it's doable.

my entire junk-food and chocolate consumption for the day can be listed for once:
  • 1.5 teaspoons of sugar (for the oats)

  • 1 tiny chocolate brownie

  • 2 teaspoons of hot chocolate powder

  • 1 bag of marshmallows
i'm rather proud of myself!

lunchtime was terrible. we tried to eat with the regular soldiers and the food was pitiful, measly and gross. a few of us went to eat humus, and i have no idea what was going through my mind when i let one of the guys convince me to share a portion. not only am i bigger than he is (and i require a whole meal, all by myself), but the portion that he got served wasn't enough for him alone and we had an unpleasant experience trying to get the serving increased.

i'll be voting with my feet for this one.

i finally (only two years later) made an appointment to get my tat's colour redone, so that's next week's mission :)

i feel like a bit of an idiot for not calling the university to arrange an appointment: i'm amused and impressed that i'm feeling under pressure to get under way - finally!

training tonight was good. supper, shower, bedtime.

too fast for me

Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, the change to your order could not be made, as it has already been processed and shipped. If you would like to send it back for a refund or an exchange, please address as follows:

Penny Arcade Returns


great. just the shipping alone will be 150% of the shirt's price. what the hell do i do now? where do i find an over-sized yet beautiful woman with an appropriate sense of humour on short notice?

and why do i have the beatles - back in the USSR stuck in my head?

Monday, December 03, 2007

just working

today was much more productive, in spite of the fact that our commanders all took a day off together.

a group of us took a rather long lunch in honour of that fact... i was annoyed that they felt that because they'd sat down already they couldn't leave, and a few of us weren't too impressed with the menu.

the food was mediocre, the management's attitude sucked, but at least the music was good and our waitress really made an effort - good service in this country is so unexpected that it really does catch one's eye.

i had a fight with the guy who called me from hot (cable / internet company), and when i caught him bullshitting me he wouldn't put me through to his manager because, as he claimed, he was the highest up available. apparently i have to pay until the end of the month when a technician will be able to arrive at a convenient hour, and once they disconnect me they'll reimburse me for the month.

they're a bunch of thieves, and if the other companies weren't just as bad i'd be furious. unfortunately it didn't help to have him agree with me that what he was saying was stupid.

lunch didn't sit well with me, and i'm still not feeling 100%. in any event, i went through to herzeliya to sit with my old boss, and after throwing around the product ideas i've had recently and playing with some of his gadgets (he's a total freak and always has the coolest / latest gear), he's agreed that if i can find a willing engineer then he's willing to help me get a prototype together...

on my way back home a girl who served in my first section called me up to say she'd be in the area, and after i got home and changed she called again to say she was in my street. i went down, we had a pleasant chat, and then she pulled an agel cd on me.

i'm definitely not the right person to do that to. really.i told her exactly how i feel about it, how it works, and how it doesn't, and told her how sorry i am to hear that she got caught up in their web of lies. i wished her luck and came back upstairs.

pondering another cold morning

each morning i forcibly eject myself from the womb
to the precise, cold tones of my bright red doom
though unlike the first time, i do not scream
not that anyone else can see
they're all sound asleep
like i should be

Sunday, December 02, 2007

on religion



t'was a dark and stormy morning, lightning flashed and thunder rolled reminding me to take my brolly, which was a stunningly good idea.

this morning was slow going, and then nystire and i headed off to beit shemesh after lunch so that i could bear witness for him in a spiritual matter.

it kills me that i'm going to have to make up those hours this week :(

it's been an odd evening, i'm upset that i can't find any of my university books (i have / had a linear algebra book and an incredible book for discrete mathematics), and on my way to the supermarket i suddenly had a flash of spiritual recognition that i haven't felt in years... maybe i can defeat this semi-nihilist state and cook up something positive that fits my world view.

it's much easier to think godly when the weather's unpleasant.

headplay looks too good to be true. i wish these companies would stop teasing me.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

expensive lesson for the day

penny arcade doesn't do fault-tolerant take-backs, and their customer service website was down. so i sent tycho an amusing mail, then ordered the three science of discworld books from amazon.co.uk.

the day was chilled, with a short (okay, not so short) break to go to the gym and sit with our neighbour and her friends at a coffee shop. now that we've caught up with heroes, it's time to brush my teeth, tidy my room and get back to some sleeping.

i've done a lot of that this weekend :$

i just checked, and the customer service site is back up. maybe this package won't suck.

calmer

correction: in english the band's name is matboojah (with a squiggle over the j), which is far more palatable. singer's sister sent me their original pre-release album for my birthday, to which i'm now listening - it's such good stuff!

it took me a while to calm down yesterday, and i'll just have to keep dealing with the random flashes of self-disgust.

we finished most of the snowboard shopping and hurriedly didn't find a decent trash can for the kitchen. i walked into the english book store and the irish guy took one look at me and began piling on the books - i eventually walked out with only four of them, all looking good (he kept the sequel to keeping it real hidden away just for me).

i bought myself half a kilo of beef sezjuan on the way home, in a classic cardboard chinese take-away container, not realizing that it didn't include any rice or noodles. not that it wasn't supremely satisfying, but next time i'm going to remember to add something to it :P

i napped a few hours, and in the evening paid singer a short visit. i went back to bed for a couple of hours, which turned into the entire night... i'm a bit embarrassed, to be honest.


the amount of effort put into this key generator is impressive - the little pirate dances!
it even places the key automatically into the appropriate textboxes during installation. the big companies have a lot to learn from little groups like razor - it's not too much to make the user's experience a good one.
[NOTE: THIS SCREENSHOT IS NOT TAKEN FROM MY PC]

muslims: THIS is the point EXACTLY.

here's a link to a link provided by moonflake - i couldn't stop giggling!

i just bought something online through paypal - i finally broke when i saw this.
OH NO!! i just realized that it's a ladies shirt! SO BLIND!
i have no idea what i'm supposed to do with this now.

now that my cherry's popped, i guess it's time to get onto amazon.

Friday, November 30, 2007

mental diarrhea



aside from the soon-to-be-described event, last night was great... okay, also not counting the horrible reaction i had to the quantity of caffeine i required to deal with not having gone to bed early.

matbucha, for all their displayed lack of marketing skills in choosing a name for themselves*, are an awesome group. the sound system wasn't too good, but even that couldn't detract from the highly skilled and inspired use of bagpipes, didgeridoos, pipes, flutes and an ensemble of oddities (including the people) accompanied by solid electronica.

and now for the main story:

on the way out of jaffa (and i don't like jaffa), we were faced with a situation in which a girl needed protection from some ars, and i really didn't know what to do.

i lie - i did know what to do, but in the heat of the moment i wasn't sure enough of myself to go ahead and do it. i can make all the excuses in the world, but the truth is that i let the bastard go when i should have beaten him senseless. my problem is that i think too much, and i'm incredibly upset and disappointed with myself for not acting immediately and correctly.

it doesn't help that i won't let that happen again, because i let it happen now. so aside from feeling sick this morning (leftovers from last night's imbibing coffee and redbull), i'm also right pissed off.

* look it up in google if you're not sure why it's a bad name

Thursday, November 29, 2007

resistance is rubbish

the garbage is revolting

i saw the tag "refuse - resist" this morning and the scrawled sentence is what immediately popped into my head.

the kid and i trained hard yesterday, and i felt so much better for it (that's one way to get over the glasses issue).

it sucked that i could've woken up half an hour later this morning. i went in to sign something, the signing took five minutes and the service took twenty. the day had its ups and downs (one of the downs being fighting with orange about my phone bill), but overall was okay.

especially the bit where a friend tried on my glasses and discovered the same effect... i went to the optometrist immediately after work and she explained to me that it's normal, and that it might take a while to adjust (up to a month, she said) seeing as it's my first time.

i'm tired, but i'm off to the lincoln and then to a concert...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

similar symptoms different day


today was completely skew. it turns out that my screen isn't as bad as it appears, it's just the effect caused by my left eye seeing a compressed image... so my world is turned into a trapezoid.
the headache i suffered today was... different from my regular one. i expected the wearing of the highly-amusing ultra-not-cool semi-harry potter glasses to fix the problem way faster than the two weeks everyone's been telling me about, and today was rough going.

i forgot to mention the argument yesterday after our space-cadet attempted to enlighten us as to the dangers of vaccinations. a quick search of moonflake's blog reveals a ton of data and links that will explain the general frustration.

i bought cable ties last night, which in hebrew are called azikonim (mini-handcuffs). this was the purpose they were put to today, although i didn't close them enough around the victim's legs and he managed to break out. not before being completely doused with muck, though.

i just made it in time for the best part of the event - everyone was closing in on him and he dropped his mug full of coffee as he turned tail and fled >D

some girl from the birthright program called me up to interview me about the week in june. great timing, really. it took about half an hour, and couldn't have been the most useful they've received as the majority of the questions were aimed at israeli-born soldiers.

i broke today as i did yesterday, and had a cup of coffee in the afternoon. this was totally justified as i was launched into an hour long meeting for which i really did need my wits about me - and having them made my day much brighter.

ashita wa moku-youbi desu! i can't believe tomorrow's the end of the week already!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

clearly.



right, the important news first. for the first time i'm noticing that my screen's skew, because i'm looking through my naff new glasses and i can actually observe things. it's really weird.
and i now have a super-nerdy alter-ego to protect my true identity.

the optometrist called me up to let me know my glasses had arrived, and after a day spent really feeling the strain i literally jumped up and rushed over to pick them up. i just hope the strangeness wears off quickly.

dammit, it's late again and i haven't done everything i wanted to do. at least this time i have an external excuse - the kid and i had dinner with a few of the guys from our old section, which was quite fun. we've just arrived home having had a long argument with piles over the differences between reality and how he views himself :P

i slept in twenty minutes this morning, so i didn't have time for breakfast or sit-ups. i've been so damn tired lately, here's hoping it's just the eye-strain...



someone passed around a leaflet concerning ergonomics this morning, and i took up the issue of chairs with our SC... he wasn't too impressed. the army's supposed to care about these things. i suppose i should practise what i preach and buy myself a computer chair instead of sitting on this damn stool.



today sucked. i was tired and weary the entirety of it, it took me the entire day to get somewhere with one of my assignments, and i completely forgot about two others in the process. i came home with plans, and after a really awkward experience handing over spot's mail to his grandmother i lost my nap-time to the gimp and facebook. i still need to shower and brush my teeth, and i know i'm not going to get enough sleep tonight :S

that explains the eye



the walk to my office from the bus was a killer - i woke up desperately needing to pee and i had to step gingerly :(

it takes twenty minutes to get to the base hairdresser - who's an ars - and he informed me that there was no way i was getting a haircut. i was pissed, and it was too late for him to explain that he was just kidding. his response to me shouting at him made me even angrier, and i should know better than to fight with these idiots (especially seeing as one of them was about to close in on me with a razor blade), but i couldn't control myself.

the actual haircut took place in silence, with him avoiding my stare and trying to be as unoffensive as possible (which is quite something for an ars).

after giving me a standard army buzz, his parting shot [sorry] went something along the lines of "why stress? as a civilian you'd pay NIS 50 [R75] for that haircut."

no, i wouldn't. i'd shave my head myself. i'll probably have a dreadlock phase when i'm released. either way though, i find it horrifying that these ****ers are earning over NIS 100 per hour. that's more than *i'm* earning as an educated and experienced software engineer!

who lets these idiots get away with this?! another case of severely bad consumerism.

after lunch i went to buy an ice-cream, and someone asked how i was going to fill the event in in my hours - i didn't hesitate to reply "mandatory military activity".

i was asked to use the shredder today, and i figured out a method so efficient that the machine broke down with smoke pouring out of it.

oops.

half an hour later, while i was wondering how i was going to explain this to the authorities, someone came in and discovered that it was working again. it just needed a breather, apparently.

i've spent the last couple of days struggling with a unix script that wasn't working properly. our resident unix fetishists had plenty to say, but couldn't figure out the problem either... then i discovered that if there's any whitespace after a line-continuation slash it invalidates the line.

whoever's responsible for that pernicious [regarding mental health] shell feature should be shot, twice.

the shuttle arrived late and there were too many people. the solution to the problem is well-defined, but some religious private began griefing and it took ten minutes to get rid of him. the sad thing for him is that instead of unhappily taking the bus one day, he's probably going to spend the rest of his service taking the bus because he pissed everyone off.

i went to see the optometrist, and was absolutely appalled at just how bad the vision in my left eye is. i spent ages trying on different frames, eventually settling for something particularly geek chic, and discovered that prescription glasses cost a bloody fortune.

so in a few days time i'll see if i become any smarter.

i received an sms from number 6969, then another, then a couple more - i don't take to spam very well. i called up orange twice (both times the menu confused me, the second time i just made a lucky guess), and eventually got through to a guy who was helpful enough to inform me that it's actually possible to block all messages from companies like b contact. my newfound freedom will be activated within 72 hours ^_^

the kid and i trained hard tonight. when we got there he discovered that his right glove was missing, and i lost my left one on the way home so we've got to organize another pair now.

yet again the topic of what / when to study raised its ugly head.

we've now eaten a serious supper (which means i got the dishes, yay), and i've been asked by songbird to go over something for her when i've got three other things i wanted to sort out before bedtime.

i'd make a remark about how wonderful it would be to have another couple of hours in the day, only i know that if they were squeezed in we'd use them for work.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

early to bed and early to rise...

... indicate mental illness and a lack of wisdom if they're by choice.

wow - i even did sit-ups this morning.

today was a fairly decent yet demanding day. i did learn something about myself in terms of definitions: there are apparently four types of people and primary methods of dealing with them.

it's hard for me to objectively view myself, but the guy who introduced me to the concept labelled me of the type that will not simply accept an instruction, but will try to find a better solution.
apparently the best way to deal with me as a manager is to tell me to solve the problem, and then select your solution from the list of possibilities i produce.

the discussion that ensued from my expression of disgust at the type called "supporter" was hysterical, made especially so because one of the guys involved in the conversation is of that type, and that's the type most likely to be offended by my lack of patience for them.

i love our ability as humans to box people arbitrarily and at our own discretion and to be able to justify such trollop to ourselves.

i think i'm going to go train in a bit - i made an absolute pig of myself this evening while experimenting with porridge, cookies, honey & mustard sandwiches and yoghurt.

some interesting support
some great points on creationism
garry kasparov - rebel and russian prisoner: one thing he knows, it's strategy :P

positive outcome - or is that ingo?

after a quick clean and a run, we settled down to watch the big lebowski, and now i've got to tidy up my room and get ready for the new week. fantastic weekend :)

there's still a part of me that believes that owning something like this is a good idea. i think if i acquired it with a copy of one of those classic japanese vertical-scrolling aircraft shooters i'd be a happy little boy man.

something like this, i guess. although i couldn't find any of the ones i used to play :(

it's about bloody time

Saturday, November 24, 2007

half do-youbi



last night my mother informed me of the existence of reading lenses exactly suited to my eye-strain problem, which i think i should be checking out this week. i'm wondering how much the army will contribute towards my acquisition - or not.

the kid joined me on a mission to obtain sushi, and i enjoyed it while we watched a few great episodes of how i met your mother - the bar exam password episode is spectacularly good :)

after watching american history x again, i made my way to the lizard for what turned out to be the lowest alternative line turnout in history. it was nice and all, the music was great, but there was hardly anybody there. afterwards i joined the kid and his friends for belgian waffles and arguments until bedtime.

i woke up wondering what would happen if there were a blanket ban on arsim, hip-hop and mizrachi ("oriental" music), specifically in tel aviv. i have a feeling that the average weekend about town would improve dramatically.

our new flatmate baked today - the results were good, but the mess terrified me.

and i've finally finished with my first non-experimental painting! it's definitely not as good as i wanted, but it's a lot better than i expected ^_^

Friday, November 23, 2007

how i can save my own life



not that my life needs that much saving... but i certainly know what i need in order to improve it. i need to get my attitude back in order, i've been letting my body get the better of me for too long. this sleep disorder thing is too much, i woke up again at 6.30 this morning, even though i was so tired that after breakfast i passed out for another few hours.
i don't want to return to substance-abuse, but if drinking coffee is what it's going to take to stay awake at night then i will do so with gusto.

the other item on the agenda is to reduce eye-strain. i have simply got to start resting my eyes more. i'm beginning to worry about vision-impairment (22 years in front of a monitor can do more than just give me a slipped disc, i'm sure), and i'm contemplating reinvestigating the idea of buying an HMD.

thursday:

it took about four hours of investigative efforts to determine that one of the items on my to-do list has already been done by someone else. immediately afterwards, the sun shining down on a lovely day, i asked the guys to wait for me for lunch while i went into a meeting with our big boss.

during the meeting i received a lecture that left me quite chastened. once past that and a more friendly conversation, i was asked a question that involved incorrect usage of the word "bottleneck". having taken offence, i responded in a manner that somehow gave him the impression that i didn't have any work to do - not at all the case, and he called up my direct commander and organized me another lecture, this one on the topic of keeping my mouth shut.

by that stage i was ready for lunch, everyone else was unhappy with me for making them wait so long, and rain that hadn't been on the menu was pelting down.

post eating, i was completely wiped out and incapable of having my neurons fire in any meaningful fashion. i think it might be related to my recent inability to breath normally, although i'm not certain if it's a function of allergies or simply my body being weird. maybe it's an age thing.

eventually i got my head back together, not hindered by my having finally opened a window (it was a bit stuffy, too), and i tied up a task that's been tugging on my belt for a while now. a lot of it was wasting time using microsoft paint, the new plan is to try and get hold of a copy of the gimp at work.

i was going to be on the kibbutz this weekend, but it suddenly became rather inconvenient. my cousin proposed that i come over just for thursday night, an idea that worked out fairly well. the only problem was the horrendously uncomfortable bus ride to afula, and the squished bus from there to the kibbutz.

although i did stand next to a guy with a pet ferret, they're friggin' awesome!

thoughtless design really upsets me.
i'm most upset by the fact that when the bus driver turned off the main lights, the standby ones were bright blue, and made it impossible to see the stop button. at what i assumed was the last second i requested that the girl sitting in front of me (i was standing by the door trying to protect my face from the next guy's elbow) press the button, and she also struggled to find it.

and then when i stepped out i discovered that i'd gotten out a stop early :(

i began chilling out as soon as i got out of uniform. my cousin gave me a fuzzy platypus [above] that she bought for me in oz... she was a bit embarrassed about giving me something so childish, and i assured her that it was a perfectly suitable gift for me ;)

i thought my cousins were exaggerating, but breakfast this morning really was the best i've had in israel. it was the kibbutz's birthday, and they celebrate in style.

i spent a whole lot of time today sitting outside on the grass, not focusing on anything specific and just letting my mind and camera meander... which is just what the doctor ordered. i was a bit spaced out on the way back to tel aviv, but was too relaxed to care.

it's the first time i've shaved with foam in ages, and i kinda used too much, with amusing results.

wow - i had no idea that the intro song to human traffic is a remix of jimi hendrix - fire. i be gettin' edumacated!

when i got home i spent a few minutes with gimp playing around with my painting idea. i've succeeded in deciding what i'm going to try to do with acrylic...


i went out on my blades for a bit of a mission, and came across a new chinese-goods shop. after they gave up harassing me they let me shop, and i discovered that they're bringing in cans of coconut milk! with pulp! i didn't know that coconuts had pulp! but it was very tasty!

now if only they could acquire white rabbit sweets... they said they'd try.


i was going to make myself some insta-soup, but this is how the powder crumbles. or doesn't.

i think i've overdone my computer usage for the day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

electric blanket



today was a beautiful winter's day. i found myself staring at the sky at every opportunity, fascinated by the natural play of light, clouds and massive lightning storms.

today was a confused mess of miscommunication, wasted haste and frantic consultations regarding the potentiality of nystire and i being sent off for half a year at a moment's notice... but it turns out we're staying where we are, so i guess i'll just have to deal with snowboarding and coming to south africa ;)

in other news, i screwed something up today and i'm going to be sorry about it for a good while. it was innocent and understandable, easily forgiven but not easily forgotten (for me, at least).

i would've taken more photos on the bus, but i was too embarrassed.

spot's left for the states, with no intention of coming back. he came over to pick up his media and share insights. i have this feeling that now that i've been sorting my life out properly, he's forced to leave in the same manner as "tyler not here. tyler gone".

i worked out in spite of still being tired, the kid and i have now eaten a proper meal and it's (as usual) half-past my bedtime.

"sounds like a freak of nature to me"
"yeah? can't wait to meet him"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

*drool* huh? what?

i must've been truly wiped out (hopefully not sick), because i just woke up after nine hours having passed out fully clothed.

i began yesterday fighting with the sat phone company because they sent me a warning that they were going to shut down my service, and then they couldn't find a reason for doing so.

the company sits in my old neighbourhood, and almost every person i saw on my way out of there brought to mind the words "mouth-breather" or "bottom-feeder". talk about sentimentality.

slowly moving in the right direction
recycled hash
moonflake's added another movie to my to-do list

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