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

top ten con-gadgets

Monday, November 19, 2007

skiving? i'd forgotten the word.

i didn't train last night because i was too tired, and i'm not training today because i slept skew and have been stuck facing right the entire day. most of today was spent getting my newly formatted machine operational, some of it was spent working, and all the while i impressed the hell out of everybody except the one annoying team leader with the music that i loaded for them.

i'm feeling really stupid about something that i said yesterday, and i'm hoping that it won't affect anyone else as much as it affects me. i used the wrong word because i translated directly from english to hebrew, and in hebrew the word "hard" only has a negative connotation :S

i forgot to mention yesterday that some kid caught up with me and asked me what i was doing with them if i'm so much older and with rank. he began with: "you must be, what? twenty-three?"

i looked at him with a big smile, thanked him and told him he was very sweet.
"alright - twenty-one?" i laughed. "twenty?!"

i'm off to a birthday party.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

jigsawdust



thanks to cable tv and a showing of philadelphia i went to bed way later than intended, hence the current post covering two days.

backwards.

i'm about to take a nap.

on my way home i went past my old client section, said hello, and got an earful of how absolutely horrid everything is. it was rather uncomfortable, and when i called piles to find out how things got so bad i discovered that he's on holiday.

i spent my day on the induction base answering unclear and irrelevant questions and writing essays instead of paragraphs because i misunderstood certain phrasing. the experience was amusing, and the girls were helpful... one of them went so far as to bring me a dictionary, but it was english -> hebrew which wasn't particularly useful.

and then towards the end the power to the building was cut, so our last test was skipped completely.

at least the personal interview went alright. it'll be a couple of weeks before i know if the army finds me worthy to learn what i've already got experience in.

the food on the induction base is far worse than i remember.

i overslept half an hour this morning, but it didn't do any damage. good planning is important! and having a completely screwed up biological clock is useful sometimes!

i've heard about philadelphia, but never took the opportunity to watch it - really great film.

the kid prepared a serious meal after training, it was so good we just kept on eating and in spite of the fact that he made enough for three days it's almost gone.

this crimsonland addiction is becoming absurd.

training was good, but we didn't have enough time. that was my fault - i was exhausted after the park and just couldn't get up off the couch. one cute girl walked in with an absolutely *perfect* body... i couldn't help myself.
"hey, you see that girl over there? i think she works out."

so we spent the afternoon in the park by the side of the river, the kid reading while i learned how to carve and match the bits of wood. once i got a few notches done i realized i could use them as a template, and things are progressing much faster. which means i might actually be finished within a year :P

park highlight: the ice-cream man on his bicycle, going up and down the park roaring "ALL THE CHILDREN CRY, CRY TO YOUR MOTHERS SO THEY'LL BUY YOU ICE-CREAM"... now that's a bad man.

on the way to the park we passed a real-life *ahem* real-unlife zombie, and a rather disturbing rodeo clown. these are things i don't see every day.

i began working on the wood, but cleaning up all the sawdust was a bitch. this was after dealing with smelly laundry that our new flatmate had put in the day before and forgotten to tell us about. that was part of my wake-up, which began at a stupid 7.30am... weird.

and this took a solid 40 minutes to play with:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

i've got that smile



my response to the final line of the movie. i really do understand, every moment made this one worth it. i can't believe that i've managed to sort out my life so well!

Friday, November 16, 2007

nap time

aka "i'm about to play some more crimsonland, i hope there'll be time to sleep before i go out for dinner"
  • late rising, miraculously arriving on time
    i don't know how it happened, but i left my apartment yesterday at what's usually exactly the wrong time, and i had no trouble arriving in my office only an hour later than usual!

  • much work, losing it to a crash
    i finally made real progress, and now i'm going to have to redo a whole bunch of it. and there aren't even any lessons to learn from the experience - word stuffed up everything by trying to recover the document instead of just giving me the last saved version.

  • SC meeting me halfway
    i'm being sent off for a battery of tests on sunday to determine my fitness for the officer's course :)
    it's not a guarantee of anything, but it is a show of faith.

  • dog-tag arrangement
    i finally got hold of the dog-tag we had produced as a going-away present for a friend in our unit... it came out badly, but the message was sweet and clear.

  • sneaking scores
    piles let me know what score i got for the hebrew examination, which they're not allowed to release. so now i know exactly how much i improved ^_^

  • system down! system down!
    i finally gave up fighting with my workstation. i don't have the patience for badly set-up systems, so i took it in for formatting.

  • leaving early, quick shop (no toothpicks)
    no computer => no work (but not the other way around) - i got a ride to the bus stop and came home early. i went searching for toothpicks, but was horribly disappointed. how can the supermarket not stock them?!

  • singer sachlav, exhaustion
    i sat with singer over sachlav for an hour or so, which was very pleasant. i was exhausted, though i didn't get a chance to sleep before going out to molly bloom's to meet up for army social. it was a good evening, but i was way too tired.

  • a new day
    i woke up at 7.30am today - my body's finally lost the plot. the kid and i have shopped and enjoyed some stunning weather, and now the (late winter) afternoon has arrived.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

reporting for duty

[finally updated]

summary: my hebrew's improved markedly since september 2001, although it's far from where it should be. vision in uniform totally does it for me. the amount of overhead as opposed to actual work that i've been dealing with lately is driving me nuts and making my deadlines harder to handle - although i'm handling anyway. returning to training was good.
  • doppelgänger
    an amusing incident - in my defence, i was half asleep at the time. if i'd been more alert i would've noticed the difference in rank, at least... the other slight difference is that the first girl was released ages ago.

  • the test
    the first part went extremely well, wherein we just sat and chatted in hebrew. the reading section was painful and embarrassing... it took three pages before i found a sentence i could understand. the writing would've been fine if i'd been at all familiar with the words i was told to transcribe.

  • vision
    wow - vision in uniform. wow. although i didn't really get much of a chance to talk to her.

  • bag
    the second backpack purchase i've made on the induction base, and once again i'm totally satisfied :)

  • nobody home
    i went to my old client section to pay them a visit, and none of the people i know were around. so much for the element of surprise being a good thing.

  • W.O.G.D. sensation
    entering my base felt like the beginning of a week of guard duty - it certainly wasn't deserted, but it carried that siesta feeling.

  • overhead issues
    the amount of non-work we're required to do is getting silly.

  • training
    we didn't do too much cardio, but my body's definitely functioning. i just wish i wasn't walking strangely - i seem to have stretched out my legs a little too far, a little too fast :(

  • vision
    i had a long chat with vision before supper, and it seems we're going out on friday night. the kid called me "shallow". i say it's natural.

  • big meal
    our standard post-training meals are getting serious ^_^

  • competition
    i sent in a bunch of photos to a base competition, and i have *no* idea how appropriate they are :S
earthrise, earthset
we're already cyborgs - even if we haven't fine-tuned the look yet
xkcd in wired

on milking other animals

who came up with the idea? i mean, who was the first person to actually *squeeze* an animal's teats, and what the hell was going through his mind??

an even bigger question is: how the hell did he manage to explain himself to whoever he taught?
"yeah, i was standing next to the goat minding my own business when i fell suddenly, and the only things i could grab onto were her wobbly bits... next thing you know, this stream of milk's hitting me in the face!"

or the first reaction:
"you want me to pull on what??"
...
"so you're telling me you want me to feel up that goat??"
...
"and you drank it?!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

sushi and...

just a quick post before going to bed. i've got to be up on time to get to the induction base to have my hebrew level tested. and buy a bag, and visit my old client section.

today was supremely shitty, approximately 70% boring, dragging meetings and summaries, and the rest of the time spent agitating over all sorts of non-work-related things :(

i met the kid in herzeliya and we took a bus to kfar saba for an evening making sushi with our old section, which was a lot of fun :)

oh... right. and we're booked for a snowboarding trip!! WHOO-HOOO!!!! ^_^

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

unsafety pin and curling up

  • training
    training went very well last night, and the kid organized a seriously good meal afterwards.

  • ipod sleep
    i slept to the japanese podcast lessons (and the boring hebrew lectures), i have no idea if it had any effect. to be fair, i wasn't sleeping well anyway.

  • almost late again
    i just don't know.

  • unsafety pin
    the picture above is of the pin i've been using to replace the bag clip that i lost the other day. it didn't hold so well.

  • straight to work
    today was full-stream, beginning at 7.30am.

  • monday morning meeting
    another team came out of the same meeting shell-shocked, we actually managed to enjoy ourselves. at one point, our SC informed me that our TL has been instructed to spend 50% of his time managing us:
    "without you, we have no product", he said, giving me a knowing look.
    i gave him the same sage look back: "and without us, our TL would have 50% more time to be productive"

  • ex-co-worker's daughter
    i wouldn't be having such arbitrary email conversations with her if she wasn't so sexy.

  • points card
    my new card was ordered, my old cancelled, but i had to send a letter requesting the cancellation retroactively. i'm almost certain that the new order will be cancelled as soon as they get to the fax.

  • station slowdown
    nothing more annoying than wasting an hour trying to get the computer working when you're on the very last legs of a project that's been dragging for months...

  • finished
    ... and nothing more satisfying than seeing it all work out first test. it's finally over ^_^

  • woodwork and velcro
    i remembered to do some hardware shopping while the store was still open, sometime soon i'll find out if i made a decent purchase regarding the mini-hacksaw and file.

  • choc sauce recipe
    okay, i've had this sense of wonder the last few days: deep down i can't really believe that my life's so perfectly in order. i'm perpetually looking for holes and i'm terrified that i might get used to it.

  • vaad bait
    we're only a year late in paying our maintenance levy, but pay it we did.

  • nap traded for crimsonland
    i had no choice.

  • too far, too fast; deep heat can die
    too much training. while i was working my calves i began yawning uncontrollably, and when i moved to shoulder exercises my eyes lost focus for a set. i'm not sore - just very tired. so i stopped there, stretched out, discovered that the cute ass i'd been staring at for an hour wasn't owned by as cute a face, and left with the kid for a repeat dinner.
    the deep heat congealed into a gross pulp that smelled just like the real thing. i didn't know there was an expiry date.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

i just had to run

i can't figure out how i *always* manage my time so badly in the morning. i had to run to catch the bus, and walked into the clinic about three minutes late. today was much hotter than forecast, but i walked off base this evening wearing my fleece, for the first time since spring :)

i walked off base feeling aweful, though - too much chocolate. and i unconsciously made myself a cup of coffee in the afternoon :(

the doctor was incomprehensible but pleasant, and i got the authorization that i required. i'm really grateful that he only attempted to speak in english once, and when i made a point of replying in hebrew he gave up. pity his hebrew's not too good either.

another shitty service experience today... i called up an office i need assistance from, and it took about an hour of calling every five minutes before i got a line. after twenty minutes waiting impatiently, i gave up and tried again - only the line was busy again and it took another half an hour or so before i got another one.

eventually someone answered, and immediately told me to wait a second. twenty minutes later, having been screaming into the phone to try and attract the asshole's attention (i could hear him in the background the entire time), i gave up and found a way to call his commander, who was extremely apologetic.

so tomorrow i plan to avail myself of her services directly and then file a formal complaint. i'm sick of these idiots wasting my time.

i spoke to my cousin today about snowboarding, and i'm hoping it's not too late to arrange our holiday :S

oh well. soon off to train again. somebody walked into the office today, glanced at me and exclaimed "damn, you're looking staunch." - i guess it's all relative, 'cause i got a long way to go :P

there's nothing more worrying than fiddling with a boot loader's configuration. unfortunately, although the instructions for creating a bootable cdrom for linux are clear, the file required is unattainable. i'm not impressed.

the lessons from japanesepod101.com are really good! i'm going to get more comfortable with the language before i sign up for their material, but the lessons are quite amusing and the teaching style is decent.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

as james brown said...

on the way to the meimad we stopped for ice-cream. the whole experience sucked, from the place being badly arranged, to the quality of the custom (in-your-face arsim all over the place), to the lack of texture and flavour of the ice-cream itself. i won't be going back there.

the party was great. the only thing i regret is not hitting on a really cute girl, and the reason i never do is because i never have anything to say (and if i do, it'll be misheard or misunderstood).

after five hours of rocking the kid and i gingerly walked to benedict's, for (no way!) eggs benedict. it was a good meal, but did cause us to wonder about poaching eggs.

this morning was stunning, we got home and both went to bed immediately after showering. and i still managed to wake up early :S [okay, around 11am, but that's still only five hours' sleep]

i sat online until about 2.30pm, and convinced the kid to get up so that we could clean. we did it fairly quickly, and then walked to the gym. i had a really good session, and once we were done we came home to change and went for a run.

now post shower, dinner's almost ready and we have some important television to watch and ice-cream to pursue. it's been a hard weekend ;)

useful inventions: a stove design being awarded for helping the environment and emerging nations
freakin' BEAUTIFUL: controversial tilt-rotor craft

stupid israelis


[click the image above for the whole stupid story]

[EDIT 8.55pm: i just realized that i wrote ingore... and i saved the image as jpg so i can't really change it neatly.]

israelis [BROAD GENERALIZATION ALERT] will never learn. you'd think that a nation responsible for some of the most important discoveries of our time, and permanently in the centre of the political whirlwind in the most explosive fragment of the world would produce citizens that were capable of handling simple things correctly.

israelis are always confident that the rest of the world will understand what's really going on, and in the case of communication they put their faith in the other party's willingness to figure out what they meant to say.

what's happened in the story above is just another example of the actualization of the hebrew expression "to put dick".

fitter, happier, more productive?

wow - i've just woken up* after a couple hours' nap, taken to recuperate from going running, which i did right after i came back from the gym, where i went after training with the taekwondo group. all in all about three or four hours spent exercising, and it felt good.
although i was pretty worn out about halfway home.

i actually prepared the meal afterwards, and it turned out alright (at least i didn't screw up the boiled eggs, and we rescued the chicken legs from a bad idea involving the toaster oven and a plastic container.

early to bed, early to rise? i'm beginning to suspect that i'm becoming a morning person - and i don't know how this makes me feel. i woke up way earlier than i wanted to this morning, finished most of the second volume of maus, farted around online and did some serious shopping with the kid.

wednesday night:

wow. aside from my team-mate, nobody showed up. we had a pleasant meal, the food was great and our waiter was one of the guys who sent us last week. an enjoyable evening nonetheless, but i was completely bombed by the time i got home and went straight to bed.

yesterday:

i woke up late and went to the city officer to pay the doctor a visit. after much arguing i was sent through to the woman in charge, who informed me that as i belong there there was no reason for me to be given any trouble. i have an appointment for sunday morning - which means a late wakeup ;) - and i know that seeing the doctor and then taking the bus to base will take less time than seeing the doctor on our base.

we spent lunch trying to eat through fits of laughter, one of the guys who joined us i incredibly amusing. best lunch on base so far.

somebody called me up after lunch: "we're doing a survey of permanent-forcers: we want to know how familiar you are with the values of the IDF". i was quizzed quickly, and the voice on the other side of the line was shocked. "are you reading this?"
it turned out later that it was a simple prank by someone who'd heard i'd learned it, but couldn't quite get his head around that fact :P

word continued to give me grief, which of course i passed around to other people. eventually we all just gave up, but not without trying every logical and then illogical move. stupid word.

i was tasked with another guy from my office to clean the hallway. we were about a quarter of the way through when he ditched me. funnily enough, i worked faster when he wasn't helping...

my section commander caught me on my way out, to explain that if i want to listen to music i'll need to wear headphones. my team leader has told me specifically not to use headphones. the wording of the instruction was such that it implied a music ban for everyone in the section... we have an asshole team leader in our office and i know it's come from him.

i took the shuttle home, quickly gathered my gear together and scooted off to catch the bus, picking up a packet of bamba (peanut-butter flings, essentially) to make up for not having eaten since lunch. i can assure you this was not enough, but it was an attempt.
singer bumped into me as the bus stop, and we had a pleasant chat until my bus came.

training was, well, not training as such. we were being tested, and i don't know who was doing the testing. all i do know is that i've received an unmarked certificate for coming third place and i don't know how many people were in my unmarked (okay, hard to read) category.

it was a good experience, though, and there were kids there i haven't seen in years. i had a non-official fight with one of them towards the end, and the fight went well - i'm quite satisfied that i haven't completely lost everything.

i got home around midnight after training, the kid and i did the basic weekend shopping and i went to bed as soon as i'd showered and put some food in me.

now: going off to the meimad for a serious party.

how long will this take to implement?
sweet :)

* and played crimsonland for a while. it IS addictive.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

muffin man



i left the apartment this morning sans hat, bottle of water... and without my brolly, after i'd already seen the rain-warning. i guess it's a lucky thing it didn't hit us too hard, although i definitely could have used the water.

the drive up involved a long argument over lack of driving skills. then we sat on a rubbish heap for half an hour waiting for everyone else, and then met up a short drive away for breakfast.

about halfway through the hike i began feeling the weariness that's been hitting harder and harder the last couple of days. i bailed a bit early on the pretext of helping to organize the food, which helped insofar as i didn't have to keep pretending to listen to (or try not to drool during) the lectures.

our SC has decided that i'm a muffin disposal unit. i think i had two or three, and then he just assumed i'd continue and began passing more on... i had no choice.

i passed out in the car on the way back, lost the clip to my bag's strap (that really sucks), then bussed back home learning japanese by podcast lessons. something on the way really aggravated me.

i've been online since i've been back, and now i'm leaving to visit gordo and see how many others from the section are going to show up. i'm not particularly confident that there'll be many.

too damn right (especially the zombie one)
book vending!!
good solution

Jim Newbie.



how embarrassing: after a solid workout yesterday, i woke up today with a strained neck. only it wasn't from the exercise, it was from sleeping badly.

regardless, i was completely wasted and the start of my day was a write-off. i resorted to caffeine (*GASP*) to correct the situation, and am ashamed to admit it.

the rest of the morning was a vast improvement, and our entire section ate lunch together - quite something in the grunts' mess to see tables connected and high-ranking officers.

things were going alright until i ran into a problem with word that it took three of us about an hour and a half to figure out. frustrating and senseless.

i'm almost done reading art spiegelman - maus: a beautiful graphic novel on the life story of a holocaust survivor. wonderful style and some really good ideas, i advise getting hold of a copy.

i got home, did the lame sitting-in-front-of-the-pc thing for a while, then went to the gym to meet with a personal instructor. i started off feeling like a bit of an idiot, but i slowly starting understanding what was going on. when i was done i went for a serious run, and then tried boiling eggs.

one success, one abysmal failure (the egg popped on me).

the kid and i have just watched the sixth episode of heroes, and now it's far beyond my bedtime. there's something i really wanted to write about today (in addition to my usual boring drivel), and i just can't seem to put my finger on it).

well tried - and even if it's NOT perfect it's a start. this is a period that requires trial-and-error!

Monday, November 05, 2007

!bonfire night!



let me begin with an OMGWTFBBQ!!!1 - my niece turned 24 today!

flannel bedsheets rule.

i finished up a formal complaint wherewith i impressed myself no end, regardless of the fact that it wouldn't have been as good without the help i received.

i've downloaded some "learn japanese" podcasts onto my ipod, and played them in the office with hilarious results :)

i ate vegetarian for lunch, and i was far more alert during the afternoon than usual :/

"venomous poison" - that isn't a valid phrase. poisonous venom is coherent, but the other way around it just doesn't work. venom isn't necessarily very poisonous, it just describes it being from an animal. so it's poison's "being-from-an-animal-ness"...

good heavens! it's bonfire night! note the [ohmigoddon'tsayitplease] double bangs!!
[crap, you said it. now you must die.]

AWESOME idea. we need one too!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

on late boozing and earbleeds

well, i watched more of soul music last night, and somehow managed to convince the kid to come with to have a drink and say goodbye our ex-welfare officer, who left for nepal today.

*ahem* and cute friends *ahem*

we came home and watched some more how i met your mother, then i crashed. i woke up four hours later for a regular, merciless sunday morning.

today was AWEFUL. i spent the entire day dealing with procedural rubbish.
how much actual work did you do today, totalwaste? NOTHING.

we had an hour-long meeting wherein i had to pay attention due to the infrequent participation demanded. i was already a bit tired, and quickly developed a migraine... i struggled to keep my eyes open (i nodded off a couple of times), but the worst was the point when the argument began.

three highly-educated and intelligent high-ranking officers flinging long, complex sentences at each other at high speed, and the only image in my head was of a gatling gun loaded with words, and them blazing in my direction with me having to catch and process in order to survive.

i was surprised when i checked the mirror afterwards to discover that i hadn't been bleeding out my ears.

i wasn't feeling good when i got home - the whole day i've been suffering the pitiful strained muscles that i've just been introduced to, and after visiting the gym to arrange a meeting with a professional i did some quick shopping and came home.

after a long chat with my mum and then a quick salad supper (with some junk-food thrown in), i finished soul music (great series) and made my bed with the new flannel set i bought. fits like a glove, now to find out if it's really comfortable.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

late linkage

wow - it's been a while since i've posted links. the meaning? i've spent the entire afternoon online, going through news and not napping like i should've been. i suck!!

trent reznor rocks as usual! [article and video]
predictive invasion
nanobot step
monster history
ten best monster ads

dine & crash



the arrangement for the section evening on thursday night was pool at the lincoln and israeli rock at the lizard. both of them were good, but only two guys from the section rocked up, so it was a bit less of a group-building exercise than intended.
the waitress was super-cute, though, and the games were alright (i don't play enough).

we ate at a nice place across the road from the pool hall, but after such a long day i was already having trouble keeping my eyes open. when the eating was over, we walked to the lizard. the party was great - it's been a long time since the israeli music line has been packed and as much fun!

i left a bit after the other guys, and narrowly avoided a fight with a couple of arsim on the way to the taxi stop.

i barely managed to shower and brush my teeth before hitting the hay.

we began friday with a planning session, and the kid and i walked to the gym. after much inspection, verification that we can rent out the fully-stocked underground studio and a bit of ogling young women in tights, we signed up and left for dizengoff center.

i picked up my art supplies, sans carving knife which i'm clueless as to where to organize, and we hit the crowd in home center for a Totally Fun Shopping Experience.

after a quick lunch, i fell asleep on the couch watching a documentary on fighting MiGs in korea, and woke up to queer eye for the straight guy. and was groggy ever after.

when the kid came back we paid the gym a visit. that's the first time i've ever done weight training, and *boy* are my arms tired. i'm suddenly extremely conscious of how weak i am - there's nothing worse than watching a cute, petit girl lifting heavier weights with less strain than myself.

to loosen up, the two of us went for a jog immediately afterwards, and we got home feeling *good*. i squeezed some orange juice and we sat down to watch a couple of episodes of how i met your mother, and then embarked on our adventure for the night.

the mission
we discovered that the dvd rental place next door is far better than movieing, their collection is mind-blowing and again, it's right next door. the kid's credit card has been giving him trouble, so after some slight embarrassment we paid in cash and began our hunt for "food in a social environment".
after all, if you're planning on spending a friday night watching a movie (or series, i hadn't been paying attention) then you need to offset it with something less lame.

we strolled to japanika, and when we eventually got there it was nothing short of creepy. the place was closed, nobody in sight, all the tables set... on a friday night. we debated trying the door, but enough horror movies have ingrained themselves in our minds and neither of us had the courage to proceed.

we walked a route with a bunch of good places to eat, and all of them were closed - what the hell? i didn't hear of anything special happening, no jewish or other holidays (and people living in tel aviv generally wouldn't care even if there were), but even the kiosk was closed - that NEVER happens!

it wasn't just a case of food, it was a mystery.

so we gingerly (sore legs *and* upper body) walked another couple of streets, until we saw a couple of guys walking a bit ahead of us and i decided to ask them if they knew what was going on. a short but highly amus(ed/ing) conversation later, and we were headed to the beach in disbelief bearing a message for the manager of a new restaurant called gordo.

it was a bit of a walk, but we found the place eventually, and relayed the story and message to the manager. he immediately found us a comfortable spot, and sent over a waitress to arrange our orders.

we went with fruit-shakes and cocktails, and a platter of mixed seafood - shrimps, blue crab, calamari, muscles all in a really interesting sauce. the atmosphere was really nice, with good music and excellent service, the food was great and they wouldn't let us go without giving us a very impressive dessert.

all this after we'd been walking there discussing whether they'd take care of us or give us a beating :P

these guys are fantastic, they made our night, and they really do deserve our repeat custom. and we'll be only too happy to pay :)

the kid's still in shock, their behaviour is the absolute antithesis of what i was complaining about all thursday. i'm still amazed that somebody was paying attention in class!

he's convinced that we did a dine & dash :)

and all the other good places being closed last night is still a mystery.

we picked up ssf on the way, and sat down to watch the first episode of terry pratchett - soul music... after that, we were all buggered and i took ssf to the stop to get a taxi, then returned to pass out easily.

i woke up frightening early this morning, watched a couple more episodes with hot chocolate and muesli, and struggled to get back to sleep. i read some more alice in sunderland instead, and am about to try again with alice through the looking glass in hebrew.

all-in-all, this weekend is GOOD.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

are you taking me for a ****, china?



wednesday night:

on the bus to the farewell, the kid demonstrated his funky phone... by accessing this blog and using facebook. there's nothing more disquieting that using facebook on a bus.

nice area our old SC lives in, and it was good-weird seeing the whole old crew. my first sergeant, the complete bastard, was overawed by what he'd heard about me from my last team, and that *did* make me feel good. i'm human like that.

so our old SC gave a pointless, silly speech (as is his wont), we nibbled and chatted, and then the kid and i got a ride back to tel aviv.

i hadn't gotten dressed up for halloween yet, so as we started walking to where we were meeting our neighbour i put on my cloak. the reaction i got was way more intense that i'd anticipated, with traffic slowing down noticeably and everyone either being startled and worried or grinning and giggling.
a few even thought to ask me what it was about, so i explained all hallow's eve and why we dress up.
"and that's today?"
"yeah! the 31st of october... every year!"

priceless was our neighbour's (and her friends') reaction when i walked into the nice turkish restaurant with the hood up ;)

the restaurant was boring, but ftv was displaying soft-porn on a large lcd that was so bright that even if it wasn't titillating stuff i wouldn't have been able to focus anywhere else.

besides, there's nothing worse than a bunch of completely unrelated friends sitting around a really large table.


click on the picture to see the original context

today was not my day.

i came up with a brilliant photographic project on the way to the base, but it's gonna take ages before i have enough material :(

the day started with responding to an elephant attack*, responding (point by point) to a long email from a friend of mine from my previous base, explaining to him how the software industry works. then it was on to watching the kinder receiving messages telepathically from the microwave, human traffic style. and then i was berated by the head of another section for drinking hot chocolate instead of coffee.

i can't figure out if i should continue flirting with the sexy girl in the office next door or not... army girls never work out.

the kid called me up to inform me of a huge screw-up with the cable / internet company. it took a long time to deal with it, including much shouting at the helpdesk support because the technician who'd rocked up was an asshole. this was definitely a harbinger of things to come.

just before lunch, my bank manager called me up to inform me that there'd been a mistake with my salary, and although they'd caught and corrected it i needed to get in touch with the army financial branch.

after a pleasant lunch, with an interesting discussion concerning officer-material and command techniques, i launched into a losing battle with our army's best maintained psychological warfare implementation. sitting on the phone for hours being forced to pay attention to the hold signal because it's a talk radio that's impossible to discern from the idiot who's going to answer...

and when she answers, she says "hi, this is idiot's name. please hold". after much frustration i discovered that someone there had screwed up data entry, and their response was "well, you're just going to have to get that authorization signed at the bank again".

when i eventually got in touch with their superior, i let her have it. i screamed and bitched and really threw my toys out the cot, and on sunday i'm going to the army legal to let them deal with it. but i was PISSED.

nystire seems to be continuing with his sulkiness. i don't have the energy to babysit.

the last five minutes of the day was re-assertion, and then i got a ride home. writing and sketching has taken much longer than anticipated, and now i'm late for pool with my section at the lincoln...

* i walked in to discover a drawing of an elephant attached to my monitor. i turned the picture upside down, and drew over it so that it came out like so:

then snuck into the guilty party's office and attached it to *her* monitor.