Wednesday, October 31, 2007

all hallow's eve!



when the spirit world's a step away, and we disguise ourselves so that the horrors that may be lurking won't recognize our humanity. never fear! most of us aren't too human anyway!

i spent today being a codemonkey, and i loved it ^_^
except the part where i crashed everything with a well-placed infinite loop. i haven't done that in years.

the food in the officer's mess was fairly good today, but nystire said it best: "we keep coming back as hope triumphs over experience".

i bought an armband for my ipod, cheap and functional. the intention was to buy bedclothes, but the selection wasn't exactly pleasing.

nystire has fallen into a language hole that i learned to stay away from years ago. when you respond in english to a group of hebrew speakers, and they all fall over themselves in an attempt to practise their broken, possibly hip-hop inspired pseudo-eengleesh. after this circulates for a while, nobody has a clue what anybody else has said, and the lack of meaningful communication causes a work bottle-neck.

when i explained it to him, he took personal offense. he surprises me every time with frightening childish behaviour, and it worries me that he doesn't get that this sort of thing affects the office dynamic, and that it's important to take constructive criticism too.

i swear, any more of this and i'm going to put him in the same box as the kinder.

i called my TL to brief him on my progress, and got horribly stuck when trying to explain something to him. i don't like phones, but there are things i struggle to communicate directly and phones certainly don't make it any easier.

the kid should be home soon, and we're going to be heading to our first SC's home for a farewell celebration. i'll personally be celebrating the fact that the army's got one less of him to worry about. then we'll be off to join our neighbour for her birthday: nothing cooler than being born on halloween - i'll be taking my body-paint.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

roboto (or robota, "to work")



i almost missed the bus this morning: it doesn't matter what time i wake up, i'll find a way to make it tight.

i got in to the office this morning and immediately attacked the perl problem from yesterday: problem solved. and i did it in an elegant enough way that my script's now way more flexible that it needs to be - although knowing what was possible made using it easier.

i will maintain the code, keep the comments updated, and keep writing documentation - and still believe that perl is shit. i will never be a perl developer.
granted, it's not as bad as being a dba, but it's not about relativity.

i spent the majority of the day working, and i did everything perfectly (my project not only compiled the first time, but worked correctly too). of course there's an unhappy ending, but it's an interesting one that we will learn from.

unfortunately the amount of documentation that i'm going to have to rewrite over the next couple of days doesn't excite me as much.

the mess hall food was better today, although still not great. the kinder and i resumed arguing about movies, and i inadvertently discovered that none of the other three software developers i was eating with have seen, or care to see star wars (any of them!).

creepy.

a two hour meeting in the afternoon was informative and interesting, but i struggled nonetheless. a cup of coca cola saw me through it, but i cringed every sip (yay! go me! i'm becoming a health nut again!)

a girl in our unit came by to chill in our office for a while... she's really sweet, but not my style and the more she flirts the more i worry that she's setting herself up for disappointment. and i'm not going to stop being nice to her because i don't operate like that :S

i had dinner with ssf, at a cosy little japanese restaurant just down the road. the food was great and there was lots of it, the waitress was really sweet and ssf and i had lots to talk about... t'was nice :)

i don't know why this was rolling around in my head on my way home: people whose intentions are to make lots of money ending up paying a lot more than it's worth, regardless of their success. you pay with your innocence, you pay with your idealism, you pay with your hopes and dreams, you pay with your youth and childhood... and you never really get what you want. or you do get it, but by that stage you don't have anything to do with it.

it's something a lot of us know already: if you do what you enjoy, the money will come.

robot world news?

am i too sceptical?

i mean, this woman is going to win a nobel prize, and i'm not going to be on board? how stupid of me!

the only thing that's suspended in this story is reality.

a woman scorned - x



the kid and i just watched an absolutely riveting documentary,
hell: the devil's domain. stunning. and some of the "experts" are incredibly amusing.

digital dante
paradise lost

Monday, October 29, 2007

it's all relative



heh, spot's grandmother called me at 7.15 this morning to ask if i knew where he was. i'm so glad i've got nothing to do with him anymore.

i got all the investigations pretty much out of the way, and was getting back to work when point c (to follow) got in the way.

points for the day:

a) moral relativism

the kinder began what turned into a rather disturbing revelation that all the russians who serve with us have an incredibly different view of ethics and it's something that i can't quite incorporate into my world-view. i have an extremely well-defined moral code and i'm convinced that it's right - to a degree - so there are some things i find difficult to let in.

it's not so much the ethics themselves as the lack of standpoints or high ground. and i can't decide if that's a good or bad thing.

b) bad food

i felt horrible after lunch today, and i've come to the conclusion that it's the quality of the food that's causing it. today the mess hall provided muck disguised as knobbly sausage.

c) perl is revolting

really, really ugly and frustrating. i wasted ages trying to do something horrifically simple, and eventually gave up. and i think it's just because i'm not familiar with (and don't particularly care to be familiar with) regular expressions.

d) dirty water

we cleaned our office today. when we started returning our chairs, i began pushing to take somebody else's superchair. we had a big macho stand-off type-thing, and eventually i managed to distract him while my team-mate began sneaking the chair in... accidentally upsetting the bucket of dirty water :(

so we cleaned while he got his chair back.

e) induction of the devil

we have cable television now. this bodes ill.

improvement



i don't know how to clean up the border around her (and i couldn't care less about the car), but i think the idea is better than the first attempt. i almost cleared out the remaining ring but realized that it adds a certain something :P

Sunday, October 28, 2007

prostitution monopoly



i wasted the entire morning finishing the first investigation, was wasted for about an hour or so after lunch (digestion?), and spent the rest of the afternoon figuring out how to make pretty pictures in word because that's also part of my job, apparently.

i got a ride home with a guy who's proof that if you give a snotty kid an amazing job and a great education, he's still going to come out a snotty kid. the third guy in the car suggested that prison might give him a slightly greater appreciation for his placement. i think that would be a fair deal considering the kind of shit the aforementioned child pulls.

on the way back i stopped in at the pharmacy to buy condoms. the cheapest i could find are available at 12 for NIS 24 (R40), and there is nothing cheaper available. why the hell does durex have a monopoly over the israeli market? why aren't condoms freely available?

why should i have the feeling that i'm paying for sex??

nystire found a solution to the WINE audio problem, apparently a complete removal only works from the command line. our caretaker came in and fixed my cupboard door, a sterling job and my room feels normal again :)

spot's been giving us grief, he was supposed to be here over an hour ago so that we could sort out the remaining money issues, and even that he couldn't get right :S

it turns out that my internet goes down whenever somebody uses wireless inside spot's old room... that's freakin' weird. i'm definitely switching to wired.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

strained (physically)



i napped for a bit, woke up, played around and ate breakfast (bad idea), and then went with a friend to the park to train. i didn't handle so well, but after the warm-up and slight-cool-down was over we began practising forms, which was entertaining and good exercise.

afterwards we went to bar gurion to eat lunch, and singer asked me to pay her a visit. when i did get there we sat and continued last night's conversation, but it wasn't as strained or difficult. then i came home to watch heroes (awesome), and a couple of episodes of how i met your mother (legendary), and now it's bedtime.

i'm done trying to get WINE to handle audio. it's been driving me nuts all day and wasted a lot of time i could've used for sleeping. or reading. or painting. whatever.

grit


[my apologies to the owners of both those photos]

i bit the bullet last night, and got a mouth full of powder. breaking up with singer was a really difficult thing to do, and it kills me how much i hurt her in doing so.

why do i always feel more connected when i'm saying goodbye?

i had a long conversation with my mother on the way home, and when i arrived began upgrading to gutsy gibbon before taking an hour's nap that lasted until 3am. i couldn't stay in bed, so i walked to south tel aviv in the cool breeze. the club the alternative line took place in was awesome - specifically the toilets. the toilets are operational elevators in every sense except that they don't go anywhere.

all i could think of was "it's not a good idea to take a dump in a closed elevator".

the tail end of the party was good, and i heard that the beginning of it was incredible... bummer. it shut down at 5.30, and i took a slow walk home under a beautiful sunrise. there's an exhibition on rothschild that is absolutely stunning, and the low light was perfect for it. really impressive sculptures.

i got home, put on my blades, and got some exercise. the streets are quiet and traffic officers don't exist until 9am (i phoned the city council and received verification), and it felt good. now that i've eaten and finished the upgrade, i'm going to shower and go back to sleep... i think there was talk of training this morning.

for hypochondriac in me

*moo* *bleat*


i'm completely impressed by this.


it's that sort of thinking that can solve any problem in the world!

now i'm going to check for footprints in the butter.

Friday, October 26, 2007

this is how i feel



<rant>
i woke up angry this morning, and i don't know who i'm angry with. i've been dating singer for two months, and it's been good. i haven't found anything wrong with her, i enjoy spending time with her, the sex is fantastic (and wow, it feels like years since i've been able to say that) and she can deal with all my crap. heck, i even like her friends and family!

the problem is that i've become more and more frustrated at my own apathy and lack of enthusiasm. i know that i need to be with someone who gets my heart racing and puts my brain in a different gear, and that's the only thing i don't find in her.

the most pathetic thing in this whine of mine is that the only possible cause for me to feel this way is that aesthetically she's not exactly what i'm looking for, but i think i've mentioned before that at the end of the day i'm a shallow asshole.
</rant>

and now back to the weather. i've actually been walking around with a notebook and pen in civvies to make sure that i haven't lost track of things.



wednesday night:

i slept well, woke up slowly, and came extremely close to missing the bus. i managed to make the shuttle, and when i arrived on base i got straight back to work... however, when my TL came in he rearranged all my priorities and set me to doing a personal review of a project i was involved in in june.

he told me it would take an hour, and it now looks like i might be done halfway through sunday. i've informed him that the second i'm finished i'm going to begin writing a personal review of the reviewing process, because quite frankly it's silly to do something like this so long after the fact, and because i didn't know i'd need to do it before i didn't save any of the information that could have helped me :S

over lunch i got into a really silly conversation with the kinder. soldiers whose parents live far north or south get to leave base early on thursdays and arrive late on sundays, so if my mother lives in south africa why shouldn't i fall into that category? it's really far south. and if i leave on thursday straight to the airport, i can make it to cape town in time for friday night supper and go out on the town with my friends. if i leave cape town just after lunch, i can be back in tel aviv in time to go home, change, and return to base before 10am. good plan, no?

so when i got back into my office i wrote a long and serious request [with a post script requesting assistance with the $1000 per week flight cost], and send it off to the pointy-haired boss. the truth is that as stupid a thing to do as it was, narrative imperative demanded it. if my commander had been feeling particularly cynical he could have sent it up the hierarchy and i could have been in trouble, but instead he responded in the affirmative with a smile :)

during another conversation with the kinder i called him an asshole, to which he responded: "asshole, asshole, at least i don't have any worries"... wow.

i managed to get a ride to the closing ceremony for my previous unit's officer's course, and it was great seeing everyone and watching so many friends being promoted. i also got an opportunity to speak to my first branch commander, and he had some very interesting advice on how to deal with my rank problems.

i got a ride to the bus stop afterwards, during which i shoved the driver's girlfriend forward and told her to keep her head down.
"what are you doing?"
"a large spider just crawled around to your side of the headrest."
*panic attack*
"no, no, it's not a fat spider, just long-legged. i'm sure it'll come back my way."
*looks*
"it's HUGE!"
then the spider spindled its way around, and i gave it a shove with my knee. i don't know if i killed it, but it fell between my legs - i told her it had become my problem, and the rest of the drive was relaxed.

i arrived at mike's place around 7.30pm, and sat for about 40 minutes alone before my team-mates arrived. this time one of the waitresses actually noticed me (really cute girl), so i had a beer in the meanwhile and began scribbling in my notebook.

in charge
the doctor says i'm fine
but i know that something's wrong
my body's broken, my mind's torn
i've been elsewhere far too long

if i can't trust myself
can i trust in you instead?
when everyone's a stranger
can i trust you with my head?

everything's gone quiet
everything's gone numb
everyone's on diet
everyone is dumb

the goblin feast has freed the beast
he stuffs himself till he chokes
alarmed and frantic, he can't stop
he'll keep going till he croaks

did your parents beat you, make you cry,
touch you, scare you, scar you?
did you get them good, gain their respect,
or did their deaths betray you?

the clock will stop
and all will die
the roaches and
the flies on high

but i'll be here
in my comfy chair
marshmallows and pickled things
sharing my mind's lair

if i remain silent
nod my head and clasp my hands
all will be revealed to me
they're tales of faraway lands

of misery
of pain
of cruelty
of shame

i'm the tiny unbeliever
stop telling all those lies
i'm the giant comprehender
confide in me
i will hear your cries


singer arrived, and due to a misunderstanding we all got into a long debate about religion and the need for it, but i was really tired and had had too much to drink (and eat, their club sandwich is a killer) after a long week. eventually we all said goodbye, and singer and i walked to a bar called susu, a funky little place that wasn't too far away.

it was crasher's birthday party, and aside from spot there were a number of uninteresting people there. we stayed for one drink, and then headed back home. what i've described at the beginning of this post was playing strong, and i was contrary and unhappy and argumentative and not at all nice, in addition to being too damn tired to walk and speak at the same time. i was broken.

after saying goodbye to singer in the morning, i went to get passport photos taken on the way to the bank. as i was paying some american immigrant came in looking for a cellphone - never an easy thing to give to a stranger. as it turned out, some ethiopian kid (i'm guessing around 18) got run over by a motorcycle, and not only did the rider flee, but this poor kid walked two full blocks bleeding and incoherent without a single person offering to help.

shocking.

we called an ambulance, tried our best to keep him calm and protect him from other helpful idiots (one in particular who wanted to drag the already traumatized lad into a taxi, and succeeded in making him cry: the only response we'd gotten from him aside from eyeball-rolling until then). i stayed until the paramedics managed to figure out how to get him into the ambulance, and then walked off wondering how i could deal with a situation like that better in the future. this "review" thing's still going, apparently.

i found a decent umbrella for a decent price on my way to the bank, unfortunately that meant carrying it through my missioning which was a pain. the kind of jokes security guards make about brollies as weapons don't really appeal to me.

i passed the same place i bought my wallet a few weeks ago, and went in to discover that they have a white version that's ideal for my needs. i was upset about the fact that i didn't notice it last time, and the owner gave me a discount for the repeat business - he was actually quite satisfied that we're of the same opinion regarding the granny coin-purse and its inappropriateness for anyone with any testosterone in their system.

on the way to get a hole put in so that i could transfer my chain, i walked into a shoe-store claiming a sale with up to 60% off... and walked out with a nice pair of adidas that really was cheap at the price :)

i was almost home when i discovered that for a year we've been living right next door to a gym that looks fairly decent, and we've never noticed it. i think i might be giving it a try, the hours are good, and the price seems fair.

the kid's father gave me a ride to dizengoff center, where i met up with the mongoose and we did some comic shopping. my order (since may) still hasn't arrived, and the bastard shoved a really interesting slaine TPB into my hands. i called him a fucker, he laughed and they raped my new wallet.

every time. i'll never learn :/

the second comic store was boring. we split up, i went to meet up with one of ze germans at a bar that turns into a fashion display every couple of weeks. it was all very awkward, including seeing the austrian girl again and again not recognizing the girl who works there before she recognized me :$

i stopped at coffeeholic for a roast-beef salad, walked my iced-coffee home (i felt the need to treat myself), and it's taken me an hour and a half to clear my mail, facebook, transfer and play with my photos, and write all this down. now i'm off to singer's to share my frustration with her. i don't honestly want to be doing this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

arrangements



it's a long while later, and i'm still feeling a bit woozy. i got up around 8am to run around with the kid. we sorted out the city council and the bank, knocked quite a few things off the shopping list... unfortunately i didn't have time to eat and we had to hurry to make it to songbird's farewell on time.

the farewell was really sweet, unfortunately the only food available that i could eat was bread. i didn't have time afterwards to sort anything out because i had to move to get to my base.

it took over an hour and a half to get there. i did manage to crash a bit on the bus, but it never helps. i couldn't focus enough to read my book, which sucked.

i arrived on base too late to get a sandwich, and had to settle for a breakfast of instant noodles and a <relatively healthy> snack bar. it took about an hour to find my groove, i worked a solid three hours [with lots of breaks to massage my temples, my eyes are taking serious strain], with half an hour going towards giving a quick lesson in object-orientated efficiency.

i got a ride to petach tikva, and bussed back home. the kid and i went to meet our caretaker (for the first time), who was extremely agreeable as far as the money we owe him is concerned (nobody told us we owed him NIS 175 per month, and it's been a year) and came up to take a look at my cupboards which he'll be fixing for me.

now i'm facebooked out, singer's here and i need a shower before going to bed.

prelude du fornication

TMI

i thought i was going to die. i woke up desperate to pee, and as i finished i felt a wave of dizziness and that horrible sensation of being about to fall. i managed to lower the seat and sit down in time, and registered that i was experiencing paranoia-causing pain in the right side of my chest every time i breathed.
and then i began to faint.
repeatedly.
each time coming to with a desperate and hopeless feeling, until eventually my system calmed down.

i had a shower and went back to sleep, but now i've woken up and i'm still feeling a bit woozy :(

bugged out



i was totally unfocused today, and now i'm passing out. all internet activity was deferred until we got back from sushi and ice-cream - mainly because we didn't have any :S

our new flatmate moved in last night, so far so good.

i donated blood in the late morning, the idiot stabbed my fingertip too hard when checking for hemoglobin and it's still painfully bruised. i arrived at just the wrong time (all the base drivers and janitors were lurking) so it took an hour and a half.

an hour or so of the afternoon was a total waste, rescued with peppermint tea (the only caffeine in a week and a half) and a frightening bug session (good thing i had my camera, the above is one of the tamer photos modified with gimp), and after a long meeting it was back to work.

[experiment -> experience] i happened to learn something interesting in the morning that was required of me in the evening, and once i'd demonstrated that i knew what to do my TL discovered that it had already been done by the guy who taught me.

i got a ride back with my TL to ramat hasharon, arriving at the stop there around 9pm. i then took the wrong bus, one taking a full hour to do a twenty minute drive. after showering and being irritated with our line being down, we all went out with our neighbour.

now i've definitely been up too long.

Monday, October 22, 2007

going with the flow



i forgot to mention yesterday that i finally finished reading jon ronson - the men who stare at goats. it's a fascinating, stupifying and highly entertaining read.

i had a really pleasant evening with singer, and i slept well. waking up on time this morning meant a nice, relaxed start to the day, and the day proved to be just as good as promised. aside from lunch, which was horrible. i asked the kitchen staff if the food had to be that disgusting, and they whined at me about budget constraints in response :/

it's taken me long enough, but i figured out a simple way to make my wallet more presentable (read: less girly). i simply removed the granny-style coin purse and slipped the coins loosely into one of the folds.

the really cute welfare officer i met last night sent me an extremely flirtatious email today... hmmm...

i went to donate blood today, and after struggling to fill in the form i was informed that as i've been suffering hayfever and taken sudafed i couldn't participate. i walked away wondering if it was for me or the recipients.
ironically enough, as bad as i'm feeling because of the sinuses and throat, this is the best i've felt physically in over three years!

i got home in time to see an old woman having what i assumed was a heart-attack. her friends were supporting her, drawing vomit out of her mouth with their hands while speaking urgently in russian. i managed to upset them by asking if they needed any help, and then i felt bad for not staying after they shooed me away.

in about half an hour the new flatmate's arriving to sign the contract, and as i've pretty much been waiting since i got in i've spent way too long on the computer. too much facebook, for sure.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

confidence



the highlight of the day was without a doubt standing in front of the class, improvising the speech completely (in hebrew) and handling questions and answers before handing out the question paper. the look on their faces was priceless, i think the fact that i was so difficult to understand intimidated them too :P

the day was jump-started (alarm shock, according to the urban dictionary) when singer woke me up 15 minutes before i had to leave. i think that i wouldn't be doing this so often if i was sleeping alone. i made it in time, though - the last thing i wanted was a repeat of last week.

it was all-in-all a pleasant work day. there were lots of interesting bits to deal with, and the anticipation of the evening added a slightly positive tension to everything.

i got home, dropped off my bag, and headed off to my old base. i gotta admit it was terrifying assuming a higher rank (totally illegal), but it was difficult to remove afterwards (it's one rank lower than i'm supposed to be), and the experience was, well, an experience. i ran into a few friends afterwards on my way out, made one or two new ones, and got a ride most of the way home.

the cable guy was meant to arrive at 9pm, he eventually made it at 22.30. he fixed everything up in a few minutes (turns out our wall connection was faulty), and now that i'm done scribbling and posting singer and i are going to her place to sleep. it's been a long day - granted shorter than anticipated because the new flatmate's only signing tomorrow :S

Saturday, October 20, 2007

a proper weekend

i arrived at singer's in time for food and x men 3 - now that i've seen the actual ending and was paying attention at the beginning, it was all clear :)

my hayfever has been driving me up the wall the last couple of days, and last night prevented me from napping. i almost fell asleep at the singer's mom's table, and crashed on the couch afterwards - pity the lack of oxygen prevented even that from being refreshing.

we went to sleep when we got back here (i'm writing at her place as we've no internet until the technician comes tomorrow), and woke up to go to the lizard for the alternative line. it was a fun party, although i'm mighty pissed off at the bartender for being an asshole (we asked for beers, he added chasers and then charged us for them), and vision left really early and i think she might have gotten upset that i'm still with singer. i can't have both, huh?

i woke up to have breakfast watching larry king live (sans larry) on healthy diets. fascinating.

i registered that singer and i met two months ago, and the fact that she's still putting up with all my shit amazes me.

i walked home, ran into the kid on his way to the beach, and decided to join him.

i've been having issues with one of my cupboard doors, it's been sitting awkwardly off its hinges since i moved in a year ago. while i was packing for the beach, i closed it and squatted down to put my towel in my bag.

with a mighty crack the really heavy (and large, and awkward) cupboard door fell on my head. instant shock and paranoia of concussion, not to mention a negative disposition regarding lumps. unfortunately, all we had in the freezer were strange tiny blue plastic golf-ball thingums, which i can only hope were more effective than they felt.

the beach was really nice, it was great weather and we took the frisbee fairly deep - we had to dodge the windsurfers during play, which was interesting.

on the way back, the kid and i were discussing the effects of time on relationships, when he commented: "stupid four-dimensional universe".

we spent the afternoon cleaning, tidying, making things right and compiling a list of things to sort out. then we walked here for supper, and settled in for the next episode of heroes and the end of the second season of how i met your mom. a part of me really did want to watch the rugby final, but singer doesn't have sports channels.

oh, well. i suppose watching south africans jumping up and down with joy on the telly was a good second :P

right. that was a good weekend, now to get ready for bed. the warning on the sudafed says that taking before bed might interfere with sleep. sorry, but i'd rather be lying down with oxygen to my brain but my eyes open than the other way around.

Friday, October 19, 2007

power surge



i slept badly last night. hayfever at its worst, with a 5am wake-up just to noisily get unstuffed enough to go back to sleep. that was harsh.

singer had to leave around 7.30am, and i began my mission to renew my license, obtain wood for carving and memory for my pc.
the license bit was relatively simple, but the foto-shop wasn't open yet so i went looking for wood. carpenters suck. i don't know if i'm an idiot for not knowing how to express what i wanted or if they're just as stupid as they came across. a bunch of self-important, impatient and unhelpful jerks, but that could just be because i was in the area that produces the lowest quality and least-inspired junk around.

pity i don't know where else to go. i accidentally bargained some guy down for a carpet that i didn't want to buy without flatmate approval, then returned to dizengoff center to place an order for the wood to spec (the art shop), speak to my tattoo artist, and get my license photo done.

i did some shopping on the way home, then went and bought myself another 512MB of RAM. i didn't know if it was compatible until i pressed the power button, and i couldn't recall the limitations of memory bank configurations, but i'm now running on 768MB and it is impressive.

i'm no less impressed at how well ubuntu's been managing with my measly 256, though. at least now the waiting time's been reduced to nothing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

watching the day go by



seeing mmf, his girlfriend and yogi was good as usual. i left due to time pressure (:S), stopped at home to change into uniform, and went to singer's.

...

i woke up this morning in an even worse state than yesterday. it took about an hour for my throat to become useable, by which time the day had made it clear that it was going to be dusty and sticky. the day's work, broken only by a completely unproductive visit to the doctor, was grinding. eating too much milk ice-cream made the last couple of hours unbearable.

but i'm now considerably more familiar with the arctic monkeys. they're alright.

i was given an interesting puzzle to solve for the last hour of the week, and as soon as it was done i went off to the shuttle. which wasn't there. a few of us got a ride into tel aviv, but i arrived home so late that i decided to skip taekwondo.

i ran into one of ze germans, and was invited to join him, our irish friend and grootbek for coffee. i had a really good time, then singer arrived and we went to get food.

i've just helped the kid with some design work (me??), and after i speak to my mum i'm going to crash - tomorrow's going to be busy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

snap happy part ii



*UNPAUSE*

so i began the day feeling sick, but got to the meeting point on time anyway. i got a ride from there into base, where i printed out a few sheets of lengthy and wordy hebrew to practise for a speech on sunday. on the ride out of base i passed out pretty much until we got to jerusalem, where i picked up a super-healthy doughnut for breakfast before we all headed out to the first stop.

our guide for the day was awesome. he's an extremely knowledgeable historian and loves to hear the sound of his own voice, which is a fascinating combination.

unfortunately by the time we got to the temple mount, i was really tired and my throat had been dusty since the morning, so i passed out for a bit and missed some of it.

i'd go into a political rant about israel's bad attitude towards defending her rights, but i'm hurrying off now to mmf's to pay them a visit.

the only thing that upset me today is that i missed the first proper rain of the season, which singer called me to tell me about. i couldn't help but smile when the bus pulled into tel aviv, however, as the faintest droplet trails ran down the bus windows when we hit the last of it :)

snap happy



i'm currently waiting for the kid, when he gets home we're going a'running. in the meanwhile i've been sitting on facebook, and just got into contact with good friends i've been trying to get hold of for ages, and it's such a good feeling chatting again :) [homesickness warning]

today was an interesting exercise in photography. i've been attempting to capture dominant colours, and some of the photos i've snapped today came out beautifully.

*PAUSE*

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

leakage



the main points of the day:

1) a 4.5 hour meeting. the good bit is that i contributed, and a lot of it was extremely edifying. the bad? it was four and a half hours of technical hebrew. my brain's been turned to goo and is leaking aetheric all over the place.

2) a long talk with my TL, that was very positive but slightly patronizing.

3) working until 8pm, and escorting a female captain home. the cruddy bit was discovering that we'd been waiting for 45 minutes for a bus that wasn't coming. and i didn't take *my* bus because i couldn't leave her to make her way home alone at night.

4) i have a serious headache, and i've got to be up early in the morning for a unit trip to jerusalem.

Monday, October 15, 2007

protection from the elements



i am distracted. that's the only word i can think of. i can't focus on a damn thing, especially at work, and i'm agitated and irritable regardless of the exercise. actually, i felt horrible today.

it didn't begin too well, with me passing out in the middle of a meeting (i was kicked in the shin and given a warning), and i had a long talk with the woman in charge of the dentist who screwed up my teeth. apropos complaints, i was called during the afternoon to be informed that the dude has been court-martialled for the incident on the 7th, but i won't be able to find out what the results of the court-martial are.

lunch was terrible, and on the way back i began feeling worse. then i remembered, as i sat down at my desk, that i had to rush off immediately to make my appointment at the hospital. my TL called me up to fight with me about it, but i couldn't really make out what he was saying with all the bus noise.

the hospital was frustrating. the signs are completely stupid, or non-existent. the big counter at the entrance has huge signs up: "this is NOT information", but the only way to find out where information is is to bother the people at that counter. doesn't that make them information? in any event, they were more useful than the people sitting at the information desk when i eventually got there.

being directed to the fifth floor, in a building that only has three. everyone i passed told me to take the elevator, and every elevator... surprisingly... maxed out at three. thinking this was obviously some sort of trick, i tried the stairs. which also ran out on the third floor.

and the sign on the wall saying "take a number and wait in the lobby", on the side of an empty corridor with no numbers in any form to be seen and no indication of where the lobby is (somebody stumbled passed and directed me, pushing the secret trigger set into the wall that is the only means of opening the doors).

and why is it that hospital workers never have a handy photocopier? why did i have to go up a floor to a completely different section to duplicate my referral?
if it wasn't for that detour, though, i wouldn't have seen the sign that inspired the drawing above. i've been having trouble with my eyes today (lack of focus = inability to read and observe), and i transposed two letters, changing the meaning of the sentence above (protection of the patient's privacy) to storage of the patient's fungus.

after much anguish and lots of waiting, i got to the office to make an appointment for the surgery i need. the earliest i could book was may '08. whatever, as long as it doesn't move in on my holiday time.

i met up with singer for sachlav, only there wasn't any. i've now sorted out all the things on my to-do list for the day, and we're going to her place to chill out.

regarding holiday time: this is me wearing my totally funky new ski jacket. i am really happy with it ^_^

Sunday, October 14, 2007

still going

i can't believe i made another day without coffee or cigarettes.

i learned this morning that making the shuttle from my place is simply unrealistic. i ended up taking the train, but it took an hour and a half to catch a bus to base from the station... unbelievable.

we sat through an intensely boring lecture on antisemitism, which lasted two hours, had a lunch that stared back in disapproval, and then tried to get back to work.

quite a while was spent trying to decipher my driver's license renewal papers - it's unbelievable that there are only two clues on the forms (and they're in fine print) that indicate that they're for license renewal. and even then, the procedure is totally unclear, but seeing as they don't answer the phones on their 24-hour helpline i'm going to have to bite a bullet sometime soon.

i complained about the dentist from last week, but to the wrong person... now i'm waiting for the right person to call me back.

when i got dropped off at home, i bussed through to buy my ski-jacket and ski-pants. they are awesome, and the whole price was reduced 30% (they're both salomon, and they're both freakin' styling).

i made a round trip to discover that the computer store was closed, then arbed around waiting for the kid to get home. we went for a solid run, he made a decent dinner, and now i'm hurriedly dressing to go to singer's.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

back in action (pun)

wow - i've, like, sorted everything out. most things, at least, and definitely all the visible bits have been taken care of. i'm caught up on heroes (the second season is cooking), and we've watched a couple of episodes of how i met your mom (awesome as usual), eaten well, had great ice-cream (although the service is crud), washed the flag and shower curtain (and re-hung the curtain, looks great), and now i'm going to join singer in dreamy-dream land and pray that i manage to get up on time in the morning.

ceasefire

i walked (painfully) to singer's, had supper, and then we went to sleep for a couple of hours. as my body cooled down, so the pain in my neck shot up, and i was in agony. and sleeping awkwardly only hurt more.

we got up around midnight, and began readying ourselves for the big rock party in south tel aviv. we were already outside and on our way when we spoke to the kid, who informed us that he wasn't keen on doing the rock thing, so we ended up in a pub instead. the music was good, the couches outside were a nice touch, but the service was shameful. the first waitress to come over actually urged us to hurry in the middle of taking our order... i told her to go deal with all the obviously more important people. she didn't even register the sarcasm, just disappeared not to be seen again.

it was an otherwise pleasant evening, singer and i were dropped off at her place, and after a good sleep, a decent breakfast and a long chat about systems of government, i've come home to continue sorting things out. at least my neck muscles have calmed down a bit.

Friday, October 12, 2007

kicked out

my body is *sore*, i actually did make training today and discovered *just* how out-of-shape i am.

we ended up not going anywhere last night, singer joined me for a meal down the road, and then we came back to sleep. i woke up relatively early, went shopping with the kid, bought myself a new keyboard (shiny, i really need to organize it a keyboard-condom), and unpacked some winter clothes in order to get at my uniform.

since i've been back, i've been sorting through clothes to select donations, and i was planning on doing other stuff too but i have to quickly finish up the re-tidying before i head off to singer's for dinner.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

dotty with shiny spots



i arrived on base around 11am, new credit card in wallet and having slept a bit on the bus.

the first thing i noticed was that somebody had sat at my whiteboard (the one i wrote lines on yesterday) and dotted the entire thing. i connected a bunch of dots near the bottom to read (in constellation scrawl) "WHOEVER DREW THE DOTS NEEDS TO SEE THE BASE PSYCHOLOGIST".
everyone who's walked in has asked me why i dotted the board.

i had a chat with my TL, checked mail and then went with some of the guys for lunch (breakfast, in my case). when we returned, i got through a bit of what was required, although it's slow going, and just before he left my TL left me with an impossible mission. i persevered until i had to run to make the shuttle, at which point my SC caught up with me and we had a chat about officer's course.

it looks like he's going to try and put it off as long as possible, which isn't very nice.

in addition, i finally (through much screaming at various secretaries) got hold of my old base's discipline officer, and when i had his attention i barked the complaint out. when he asked me what time, i told him.
"in the middle of the night?"
"no, in the middle of the DAY, that's what's so ridiculous about it."
i've never heard that bastard sound so incredulous. i seem to have managed to get him a bit foamy about the issue, i'll give him a week or so to call me back with a result.

i squeezed into the shuttle, and napped most of the way home. i helped spot move the last of his things, took his keys, and that's all she friggin' wrote. i've just come back from an intense 45 minute run, had a 20 minute stretch (i'm anticipating pain tomorrow, maybe i'll get in a second round with my old taekwondo group), peeled off my clothes to shower, and now i'm getting ready to eat something, before going out with the kid...

who is now a civilian. i mean, damn.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

just dropped a load,



a fat wad of cash, on our landlord. the kid and i have had to pay in spot's half because the guy we decided was good pulled out. i almost wrote "pulled out last-minute", but the whole damn story's last minute. the next on the list is coming back for another peek.

and spot still hasn't removed all his things.

yesterday:

singer woke me up forty five minutes post-alarm (if she hadn't, i probably would have snored past lunchtime), and missing the shuttle made me an hour and a half late. and it's not like i could "jump to" once i was up, my body was in agony. the stress build-up from sunday and monday was just too much.

yesterday was REALLY rough. no cigarettes, no caffeine, i cannot express here how aweful and agitated i felt. i was a zombie from start to finish. i was given a task in the morning that took more than the work hours available, although i did finish it. one of the reasons it took so long:

unix treats the last line of a file as an EOF, meaning it ignores it. so one needs to add an empty line at the end, or the line is disregarded.

i ate a ton of non-coloured food at lunch in the mess hall, and stayed late to eat on base because if i hadn't i wouldn't have arrived home before the fourteen hour fast began.

i arrived home for two seconds, just to pick up my gear, and i bussed to singer. i barely had a chance to get my boots off, she threw me down on the bed and gave me a massage that took all the anguish in my back, neck and head and melted it into pure bliss. i had just enough energy remaining to shower and brush my teeth, and then i fell into totally peaceful, dreamless sleep.

today:

i spent the morning being poked, prodded, bled, electrified, rubber-gloved and thrown into a sound-proofed torture chamber, all in aid of discovering that i'm no less healthy than i suspected.

the sat phone story got sorted out, and not only can i now take it for servicing but it's been fixed to boot :)

the day wasn't easy, but it was a huge improvement over yesterday. today i didn't have to abstain from coffee and cigarettes, but i did so anyway. at one point i overcompensated with sugar, and now that's out too. my whiteboard looks like this:

i will quit smoking. i will quit caffeine. i will not eat too much sugar.
i will quit smoking. i will quit caffeine. i will not eat too much sugar.
...
(repeated a few times)

in the early evening (the sun's setting early now, early evening is before we leave work at 5pm) i received an email response to my complaint the other day, and at 17.10 somebody arrived to have a chat with the driver. not quite what we were hoping for, but nothing can be done now.

which reminds me - i put in a formal complaint on sunday regarding the dude, and it seems to have been misfiled. i am not letting this slide.

oh, right - apparently i've been okayed for officer's course... my bluff hasn't been contested ;)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

re-spite



i had to go to the motorola service station this morning. i arrived on time, 7.30am, took my number (3), and waited my turn patiently. then i arrived at the counter. the woman took my phone, separated the components, scanned them, handed them back to me, and informed me that on no account would i be able to get any service because the sim card doesn't match the unit number.

...

the damn thing's army issue. so i was issued a fault, and now i'd wasted an hour and a half of work time for nothing. fantastic.

i got to base with a tremendous headache, managed to find our resident dealer and was very nearly relieved before going off to the dentist to get my tooth fixed up.

i made certain that i was completely understood before settling in. the treatment took about forty-five minutes, and then i stood up to observe the results.

i was dumb-struck. it took me a few seconds before i was able to utter "my mother paid a lot of good money so that i wouldn't be gap-toothed."

her reply? "well, at least flossing will be easier". she told me i had to make another appointment in order to fix it, as she's fully booked for the rest of the day.




i was super-heated anger for the rest of the day, with cynical amusement attached. sent a serious complaint in about the shuttle, and then caught it to the city officer. it took a few hours to get in and get sorted, but it's all come right except that i can't smoke, or eat or drink anything with colouring, until tomorrow evening.

pool with my previous team was fun, i missed the bus on the way home which gave me plenty of time to speak to my mum, and now it's time to pass out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

the castle stormed

wow - *that* was an experience. everyone rocked up at once to check out the pad. yes, yes, we know it's an amazing apartment. even singer jumped in and began giving tours and explanations when there were simply too many people for myself and the kid to handle alone.

we sat outside afterwards, conferring over the list and trying to remember which names matched up with which faces, and eventually agreed on two of the guys who arrived this evening. and i had to call up (3) from last night to disappoint her (she put the phone down on me).

we sat outside for a bit, our neighbour joined us, and after a while singer and i realized that we needed to get moving. i've now read a bit more alice through the looking glass (translated into hebrew), and i'm totally exhausted and ready to crash.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

d for deranged

today was awash with malignant coincidence and peppered with good fortune.

a) i made it on time for the shuttle, which made my morning far easier.

b) the one day i urgently need our unit commander to be in, he's registered as out of office for its entire duration. i had a chat with his secretary about alternative high-ranking officers to court-martial me, and we discovered a few minutes later that our commander had to come back for something else, and i got scheduled in.

c) i made an organizational boo-boo this morning.

d) i missed the easy bus only because i was certain i wouldn't have made it.

e) i had to pay for a bus in uniform. that sucked.

f) so...

i'm walking towards the main gate of my old base. i'm on time, i'm drinking from a 500ml bottle of sprite and my mind's not particularly focused. it took me a second to register that there was water dripping a few feet away from me. it took me another second to register that it wasn't water, and another slow second to follow the stream up to the source: some asshole pissing from a hole in the fence above, out of the base and onto the street.

our eyes meet for a flash, he screams "oh, shit!" and rushes off (presumably still pissing), and i think i know who the culprit is. surprise, surprise, he rocks up at the kid's farewell. not only that, but he speaks at the farewell. and not only that, in front of everyone, he finished off the speech with "and <totalwaste> has just learned to be careful when walking on the pavement" before dashing off.

yep, it's the dude. it wasn't too difficult a mission to get his id number and i've already filed a formal complaint. we have enough problems with civilians hating soldiers... do they have to be pissed on literally as well?

g) it's always fun to be back on my old base, to see everyone :)

h) i am SO glad i wrote down the speech i'd been preparing! there was an important part that i learned by heart, and i was so nervous i still had to read bits of it... but all in all, it came out as planned and went down really well ^_^

the gift-giving was amusing, and the poster we made came out really nicely :)

i) on the way back to my base, i organized my soldier's id. i asked the girl what happened to the crazy woman who shut them down, and she immediately began interrogating me as to my rights to know. once satisfied that it was okay to tell me, she produced my card, but by then a line had formed and i didn't want to hold them up :S

j) i got a ride back with the kid's brother, and left something important in his car.

k) the work hours were rough, and i barely managed to justify my day with them. i'm going to have to make up hours next week when the flatmate pressure's off.

l) the shuttle was waiting when i arrived. i was the first person on, and got into an involved argument with the ars driver because he refused to acknowledge that i'm a) an officer and b) in the permanent force. the stream of bullshit emanating from him didn't relent until the guy responsible for the shuttle showed up.

once the guy responsible left, however, the argument resumed - the idiot wanted to drop us all off immediately and go home himself. it was a full-scale screaming match all the way to my stop, at which point i was the last person on the shuttle (the other's had jumped off in anticipation).

we're all going to have words tomorrow.

it's been a long, weird day for me.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

interviewin'

we saw a few people today about taking over spot's room.
1) the computer science student to-be
2) the unemployed airline something-or-other
3) the exceptionally quiet, awkward young officer
4) the slightly-dodgy too-easy-going web-developer

i had a chat with spot today, it seems he's managed to delude himself completely apropos the last few months. at least things seem to be a bit more relaxed, although i could've done without the glares i received when i walked in.

singer and i went to movieing for lunch, one credit was restored to my account when the guy there verified that the dvd that i'd returned and complained about was scratched up. why can't people take care of something rented that's so easy not to screw up?

it's now shower and bedtime, i'm not sure that i'm emotionally ready to quit being on holiday :S

with enya in the background

stardust is absolutely fantastic, breathtaking and lovely.

i began the evening by opening alice in sunderland. part of the title is "an entertainment", but it's way more of an education. wonderful stuff, beautifully put together.

i had a shower, got dressed, and took a slow walk to singer's. her brother picked us up, and we had dinner with her mom again. no hug, no kiss on the cheek, just an odd sort of hand-slap... i don't know what that means.

we came back here, then her other brother arrived, followed by the kid. the kid had called me earlier - spot's mother called him to give him a talking-to. i called spot to pass on a message to his mother that if she has anything to say, she can say it to me. the kid's been through enough this past year, he doesn't need any more stupid shit to deal with.

needless to say, we spent a long time discussing the spot situation. we're both feeling like characters in a movie, we know the whole truth of the situation while spot spreads his version of it to anyone who'll listen, and i'm not just talking about his family.

i'm still amused that his mother unashamedly called me a terrorist, and that i've been visiting my campaign of terror upon both my flatmates. this after spot's made my past few months of home-life unbearable.

at least he'll be out of my picture soon, and none of his current tripe will mean anything. his perpetual lying has definitely gotten the better of him, though.

anyway, we got the rest of that conversation out of our systems on the way to the movie, and the movie was brilliant. on the way back a discussion of tron led to a deeper discussion of human beings as processors and the concept of creativity and free-will.

once again, terry pratchett's science of discworld [I,II and III]is mandatory reading for EVERYONE (although granted, i haven't yet read the third).

Friday, October 05, 2007

observe the leaf



observe the leaf
having fallen, springs legs
hopping up and down forlornly
longingly
vainly hopeful of regaining his lost host

has he, bravely,
whilst impressing his peers,
misplaced his seating, and dropped unexpectedly below?
has he, sadly,
by his twittering and heavy sighs,
been ejected forcibly by his brethren?

his jumps erratic, on unfamiliar limbs
his reach insufficient
he scouts around, but
finding the base of his home identical circular
frantically bounces off
he knows not what he seeks

scrape away



we didn't see stardust the other night, for the same reason we didn't go out last night: we've all been too bloody tired. as the holiday goes on, it's getting more and more difficult to wake up and do stuff.

"we've got no deeds to do, no promises to keep"

yesterday was cleaning day. spot's still acting as if everything he's doing to move out is a favour, and that's pissing me off more (and i didn't think that was possible). he was busy helping us wash a floor when i reminded him that it's more important for us that he shifts his gear.

singer and i watched human traffic last night, and then listened to a few excerpts of bill hicks. that man was amazing. i really have to buy some of the dvd's. and now i know what the pancreas is for, and have an idea of where the spleen sits.

i came home today, sat with the kid and the gimp for a few minutes and sorted out the poster he wanted (more or less) as his gift to the section. i find it amazing how simple the gimp makes everything (i've never been so good with photoshop), but more amazing how playing around with unfamiliar filters can be so productive :P
we then bussed to meet with nystire for breakfast, and then found a store that'll do the prints for reasonable prices.

they do all sorts of weird prints there, for example onto aluminium sheeting, and i think i might avail myself of their services for some of my odd sketches that i've digitized...

we did some home shopping, then walked back. on the way, we found ourselves walking behind some woman who's either a) a nutjob or b) very high or c) an artist pretending to be either a) or b). she had this odd walk going while swinging a stick, stopping at every opportunity to strike a pose. she was very amusing, pity we didn't have a camera.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

if only i'd known...

... that the bus was going to take a half an hour to arrive, i wouldn't have waited. i arrived at singer's exhausted last night, and we went straight to sleep.

i woke up tired again this morning, and took a walk to the bank to withdraw cash again. hopefully this time it'll be enough to keep me going until i get my card back.

i went home from there, and sat composing my previous post. that took a lot longer than anticipated (gosh-darn html formatting), but it's done. getting my method written down nicely is all that was left to do :)

i finally got around to my canvas. sitting in the corner of my room under wrapping, all neglected... i made the stencil, took it outside, and sprayed it. and it came out beautifully (good thing i bought a better-quality spray).

no, like, really nicely. i spent a while considering leaving it as is, but that just wouldn't have been fair to my original concept. i spent an hour or so painting one of the sections, and my next move is to learn about mixing red and black.

then spot's girlfriend came out of his room and my hackles rose, and i skeedaddled and came back here to singer's.

we've had a pleasant evening (although i'm still antsy), and we're off to go and see stardust with the kid. it's neil gaiman, it's gotta be as good as they say.

tic tac toe logic



the standard game of tic tac toe is played on a 3x3 board. this is the trivial case. the diagrams shown as examples apply to the trivial case. this method is appropriate for a game played on a larger board, hence the more generic definitions.

it is irrelevant whether both players are handled by the computer, or only one.
each turn will see the definition of player and opponent switch, so if in the first turn the player is X and the opponent is O, then in the second turn the player will be O and the opponent X.
in each turn the weight grid must be calculated anew.
the game grid
(1,1) | (1,2) | (1,3) --------------------- (2,1) | (2,2) | (2,3) --------------------- (3,1) | (3,2) | (3,3)
potential line cell (PL)
an empty cell which is on the same line as either an X or an O (not both on the same line), but if controlled by the same player (X if the other cells contain Xs, O if the other cells contain Os) will not finish the game  X | PL| PL -----------    | PL|    -----------  O | PL| PL in the above example (2,1) is on a line containing both X and O (1,3),(2,2),(3,3) are each found on distinct lines each containing one or the other
opponent's completion move cell (OC)
an empty cell which, if filled by the opponent will win him the game    |   |    -----------  O | O | OC -----------    |   |    in the above example the player is X
player's completion move cell (PC)
an empty cell which, if filled by the player will win him the game    | X |    -----------    | PC|    -----------    | X |    in the above example the player is X
the weights are calculated as follows:
+1
for a potential line cell
+10 (width * height + 1)
for an opponent's completion move cell (X)
+100 ((width * height + 1) ^ 2)
for the player's completion move cell (O)
the reasoning behind the weights is that we do not want the possibility, in the case of a larger grid, of a number of crossing potential lines (which are additive) to interfere with the priority of closing off an opponent's completion, or for a number of potential opponent completions to interfere with a player completion (winning the game).
regardless of the size of the grid, (width * height + 1) and (width * height + 1)^2 will always be safe values.

the basic method is fairly simple.
we construct a weight grid with the same dimensions as the game grid to contain the weights, with each cell initialized to zero.

initial state for the turn
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 0 
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 0 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 0 | 0 


we then go over each line, modifying the line's cell's weights accordingly. in the figures below, it is player O's turn. if it was player X's turn, then cell (1,3) would be weighted 101 instead of 11 by the end of the process.

if the line contains more than one available cell, and contains either Os or Xs (in the trivial case, if the line contains exactly one filled cell), then any available cells are on the potential line, and their counterpart cells in the weight grid are each incremented by 1.

if the line contains exactly one available cell, and the rest of the line's cells are controlled by the opponent, then the available cell is incremented by (width * height + 1), or 10 in the trivial case.

if the line contains exactly one available cell, and the rest of the line's cells are controlled by the player, then the available cell is incremented by (width * height + 1)^2, or 100 in the trivial case.

row 1
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 10
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 0 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 0 | 0 


row 2
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 10
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 0 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 0 | 0 


row 3
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 10
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 0 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 1 | 1 


column 1
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 10
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 0 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 1 | 1 


column 2
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 10
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 1 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 2 | 1 


column 3
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 10
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 1 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 2 | 1 


diagonal 1
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 10
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 2 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 2 | 2 


diagonal 2
 game grid      weight grid
 X | X |         0 | 0 | 11
-----------     -----------
   |   |         0 | 3 | 0 
-----------     -----------
 O |   |         0 | 2 | 2 


once we have gone over each line (row, column, diagonal), we select the maximum weighted cell as the next move. in the case of a number of cells with the maximum weight, one can be selected at random.

we have now defined the computer's priorities as
1) finish the game by winning
2) prevent the opponent from winning
3) control the cell with the most completion options for either player

that was fun :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

the dreary stuff



this post is clipped because spot's just come home, and in addition to his presence being disquieting, it's been extremely hard to lose this sense of betrayal and concern over what's to come.

on sunday night, i went with singer to the ilke bar. the place was packed, and we had fun.

yesterday morning i went daisy-chain shopping. the target was to acquire a wallet with a chain that i'd have no fear of losing. i began in a place on bograshov where i'd seen them before, but what they had in stock left much to be desired. i walked through numerous stores on the way through to dizengoff center, and only in the mall itself eventually came across a wallet / purse / handbag store. the offerings looked alright, but it was a lot more expensive than i would've liked.

on an unrelated note, there was a crazy number of people walking and singing through the mall to show solidarity with israel, which was really sweet.

i skipped over to the store next door, found a sweet (albeit slightly feminine) nightmare before christmas wallet. the guys there couldn't help me with putting a hole to add a chain, and the only semi-decent chain cost NIS 80. when the guy saw the look of disgust on my face, he advised me to go across the road to the pet-shop.

at the pet shop i obtained a way-cool, high-quality dog-chain, just the right length and look, for a mere NIS 40. solid, and i was amused by the reaction of the owner when he registered that it was for me. he thought i was looking for sex-toys, and began showing me the chains with leather grips...

i went back to a hardware store i'd found on the way, and was pointed in the direction of a shoe repairman, who happily put the right-size hole in the right place free of charge. i returned to the hardware store to buy a key-clip, and once attached it was all sorted out. all that was left to do was to go and buy cigarettes in order to organize change for the purchase.

on the way to meeting singer for lunch, i spoke to the kid and then to spot, trying to arrange to meet in the evening. we both had to fight with spot to get him to agree, the level of bullshit he spouted to avoid us was frightening. it was during my second phone call that the kid informed me that spot was unemployed, although we still hadn't a clue to the extent of his lies.

singer and i sat at bar gurion, i had a great sandwich for lunch while she watched :P
there was less fighting with spot on the way back home than i anticipated, and i managed to convince him to do me the tremendous favour of hanging up the washing.

singer and i napped for a couple of hours at her place, and when she woke up to do things i went home to organize papers. i bought special folders and everything. it was a lot of work, but i feel less stressed now when i look at them instead of the mess of crumpled bits that's been collecting over the past year.

... uh oh... where the hell did i put them?!

the conversation
we need to begin interviewing potential flatmates and he needs to get the fuck out of here. we're going to need to work over his room with gas-masks before anybody will step foot in there.

apparently the kid also developed a headache after the talk. i have to say that i'm really proud of him... i barely said a work the entire time. everyone (the three of us, myself included - our neighbour, singer, spot's girlfriend) was certain i'd lose my temper and be screaming and shouting. the kid said everything that needed to be said, and he said it all perfectly, and we both sat in shocked silence as spot began filling us in on the gory details of the last couple of months.

the kid and i went out, i had ice-cream (i needed to wash out the bad taste in my mouth, but it didn't really help), i did some more organizing, had a long chat with my mom, and then took a bus to singer's. either the headache tablet, the coffee or just being with singer soothed the pain in my cranium.

heh. i'm dating a rock singer and a school-teacher at the same time. it's like i'm living out childhood fantasies :P

after a good night's sleep (although of course, not enough), i skipped out to matan chen, only to discover that all my paperwork's up to date until november, so i only need arrive back there in december.

the library was closed (i had to check it out), so i walked through to the park behind the museum and tried my hand at song-writing. some came out good, some a bit childish... i think i need some practise. i put my shirt back on and left when a filipino brought her elderly charge to sit right next to me; i was terrified she'd register my nipple ring or chains and have a heart-attack on my account.

breakfast with singer was good. we walked back to her place afterwards, and i was just getting into the empire strikes back when piles called me to ask me what to buy for the kid. i've been trying to get in touch with songbird for a couple of days now just to find out what the budget was, and they were already shopping without me?! how rude!

i was on my way to azrieli when some guy had a motorbike accident about 50m behind me. i went back to help him move his bike off the road ("no shit you're in shock", i said to him), checked that he at least had a working cellphone and learned from another biker who'd driven past him that he'd slipped in a patch of oil.

still on my way and i ran into songbird! i shouted at her, wished her luck for the interview she was off to, and got back on track to the mall.

the shopping spree:
1) rescue piles and songbird's replacement (SR) from a cloying salewoman
2) buy two awesome and appropriate books (running between stores necessary)
3) say goodbye to piles
4) walk to the city officer (no access for me)
5) walk to dizengoff center
6) buy a fake beard
7) buy the 300 graphic novel and a sweet-ass venom comic
8) walk to a crappy t-shirt store in the flea-market to buy a transformers shirt
9) walk to the hiking store for a balaclava and to find out how good the salomon ski-jackets are. i'm buying one as soon as i get my credit card replaced

on my way back home i ran into our neighbour, and i accompanied her and her sister on their mission to return three pairs of shoes. you know, buffalo make awesome shoes, just don't buy them if they aren't sporting the signature spirals on the soles.

i bought pre-cooked and warmed chicken wings for dinner, was about to put in a washload when i realized that spot (verified) finished the washing powder and didn't replace it or alert us, of course, went back to the store for that, and then sat down to clear my desk (blog).

Monday, October 01, 2007

unpleasant vindication



i'm blown away. stunned. shocked. kinda hurt. isn't vindication supposed to be a good feeling?

just over a month ago we had an apartment conversation [25th august], which was incredibly unpleasant. i was told i needed to "compromise" (meaning live in a pigsty and do all the chores without complaining), and was made out by spot to be the bad guy.

it turns out that spot had already been fired before that conversation, and has been lying to us non-stop since. so not only has he been unpleasant, unhelpful and smelly (to the point where people won't enter our apartment unless we promise that his door's been closed a while), but he also hasn't been working and we only have another week before rent is due.

and don't think that he's been scrimping the last while. oh no. he's been going out a lot, hasn't had any time to do the laundry or dishes, and has spent wads of cash on poker nights. i'm sorry, i just don't understand.

and how did we discover that spot's been fired? happenstance. not out of spot's mouth. so in addition to us being upset about him lying all the time about the stupid stuff, there was this whopper waiting in the sidelines.

i have a headache.

a late email to my mom

DEAR MADAM

WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR SON,
<totalwaste>, HAS NEGLECTED HIS DUTY,
BOTH TO HIMSELF AND TO HIS COUNTRY, BY
MISPLACING HIS WALLET IN A CAB ON HIS WAY
TO A PLACE OF MERRIMENT.

WE ARE MOST DISAPPOINTED THAT IN
ADDITION TO LEAVING BEHIND A FINE WALLET
AND A LARGE QUANTITY OF CASH TO THE SUM
OF NIS 300, HE HAS ALSO RELINQUISHED
CONTROL OF TWO (2) FORMS OF MILITARY
IDENTIFICATION, HIS CREDIT CARD, AND HIS
DRIVER'S LICENSE.

WE ARE SURE THAT YOU WILL SYMPATHISE
WITH OUR EXTREME SHAME OF <totalwaste>'S
FAILURE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE
MOST IMPORTANT PERSONAL EFFECTS.

<totalwaste> HAS ASSURED US THAT HE WILL DO HIS
UTMOST TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION, BUT
ALAS, WE ARE HARD-PUT TO CONTINUE TO
PLACE OUR FAITH IN HIM.

WE KINDLY REQUEST THAT YOU WITHDRAW
ANY TENDERNESS THAT IS A DIRECT RESULT
OF YOUR INSTINCTUAL AND INGRAINED
MATERNAL TENDENCIES, AND BERATE HIM
AS ONLY HIS MOTHER CAN.

THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE,

THE BIG WIDE WORLD IN GENERAL