Wednesday, December 31, 2008

rushing out to 2009

after a great morning having breakfast with cousins i haven't seen in ten years, i came home and discovered that protoplasm's well-laid plans had been dropped, leaving me with an expensive ticket that can't be resold and no way of getting to the vortex.

after a crazy half an hour of phone calls and sheer desperation, dirk diggler got back to me and... has offered me the use of his car. absolute legend, he is! so i'm now jumping up and down as he's on his way, i have all my outfits and camping gear ready and i'm off!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! i hope it's a wonderful and fruitful one for all of us, hopefully bringing an end to all our stupid problems and the realization that the way forward for mankind is as one - united and optimistic!

quick drink evening

we didn't really shop, just had coffee and a chicken mayo in town. it was nice enough.

we had drinks at my cousins', and then i met up with hyperviper and co (including his ex from london) for more serious ones. he's responsible for worldwide marketing and distribution for a brand of beer, and i took the opportunity to make fun of it when he laughed at me for ordering a "girly" drink of hunter's. it's cider, it's alcoholic, i don't see the problem!

we did drink a little too much. i came home expecting to go out again soon, but that didn't happen and instead i've been watching the telly and am now about to catch up online before hitting the hay.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the end of the year

i spent the weekend at SxS with a bunch of friends. we had a really good, really relaxed time, although on sunday i was locked in alone for a few hours until his father woke up and i could get a key :P

the military action began on saturday, see previous post for my opinion.

we ate an incredible amount of marshmallows, delivered cake, played poker (never again, i suck), and talked a lot. all in all, a great way to end the year.

my commander called me to issue a personal warning, and i'm really, really happy that that's all i got until i left.

i watched two movies, tropic thunder and bang bang you're dead.
i didn't find tropic thunder funny - although i'll concede it was amusing - because my sense of humour doesn't roll that way. regardless, the cinamatography was superb and the story was good, and i thoroughly enjoyed it!

bang bang you're dead was a well-made movie, a very interesting look at high school violence and attitudes.

we made a late exit for the airport, and by the time i got through to boarding it was almost closed. i've never shared luggage allowance with anyone before.
there was a group of pushy bastards who just *had* to cut in all the queues on the way in. i really don't understand that.

i couldn't have slept worse on the plane, i was restless but tired and i did horrible things to my back and neck.

we had a bad landing, quite unsettling. at least it was into summer :)

i couldn't change money without proof of residence. that was annoying. i tried all the places, then found myself in the bank discovering that they've lost my account information :(
then i remembered that i have an israeli passport, so i changed cash on that instead.

i had coffee that i suspect was spat in, and then boarded the plane to cape town and finally started getting excited.

i wasn't feeling good on arrival, but thankfully that improved before i went for a massage and then to my high school reunion.

i'm really glad i went! it was surprising to see that so many people turned up, and really interesting to see what everyone's become. i find it incredible that in terms of looks and attitudes almost nothing's changed in the last ten years :P

i had a good laugh on my way there, i was about to ask directions from a waitress when i stopped, pointed at her and said "i know you". she couldn't place me, but she was (could still be) a model and we used to party a lot together back in the day. i might just have to go back there...

protoplasm picked me up and we went for drinks at mercury... to be honest, we waited in line for ages and then went into the dodgy place next door. it's such a different vibe, something i really miss. in israel the place would've been filled with arsim looking for a fight, here these guys are all on their own mission and that keeps a dark atmosphere without the unchecked aggression.

i was wasted - way too tired to stay out, so i came home and had the best sleep i can remember, filled with weird dreams.

today is a stunning, a summer's day in a place that has them like no other. just the smell off the ocean is unique and inspiring! i'm off to shop.

the fighting

a quick review:

the last few days have seen israeli finally stepping up and taking action against the bastards who have been rocketing us non-stop for the longest time.

a) israel is the underdog
just because we're stronger militarily, we don't have nice easy targets. that's a vast strategic advantage that all terrorists enjoy.

we're also the frontline for all of western civilization, and we can't use our force effectively because we're adhering to these wonderful moral standards of ours - something the arab world doesn't have to worry about. what needs to be done in order to stop all the fighting is to conduct the action as a real war, in violation of the geneva conventions*, and use cruelty and violence in order to frighten our enemy into submission. contrary to the popular israeli fantasy, the palestinians are not our "partners for peace".

b) the media is a cause
the news networks have been giving facetime to palestinians and their supporters regardless of how much crap they talk. these people hold no compunction about lying on the telly, and as long as nobody is calling bullshit people will assume that their propaganda is legitimate. due to the fact that people are, by nature, fairly stupid - the networks cannot claim to be allowing us to "figure it out for ourselves".

this is only one of the ways that the media is prolonguing the "story". the other is by having "journalists" ask questions that reduce the effectiveness of our tactics. my favourite: asking an israeli if the tanks are there because they have a psychological effect.
the second you answer that question in the affirmative, you're reducing the psychological effect.

c) getting real
i'm really glad that people are beginning to pay attention to the paliwood** tactics: fake photographs and wonderful acting should not be so easily swallowed by the press.


i'm very glad that i managed to get on the plane before my unit decided that nobody's allowed out of the country at the moment.

*the geneva conventions limit fighting in such a way as to reduce the stronger force's ability to win decisively. ingenius.

**"paliwood" is a term that surprised me this last weekend

Saturday, December 27, 2008

friday's child

i definitely handle grain alcohol better than i do beer.

thursday night saw us all sitting with one of ze germans, a flat filled with people either playing four-player mario kart or with one of the eight or so iphones... a really antisocial social.

when i got there a couple of the guys were surprised that i was only wearing a sweater, which i didn't get until i went out a bit later to grab a sandwich, and found myself rushing to jeremiah on the way and sitting at the bar shivering while warming myself with an emergency cup of coffee.

i had to go to the bank yesterday morning, and was in such a good mood and listening to such incredible music that i danced the whole way there ^_^

the bank was an absolute pleasure: i got off the bus, walked in, walked out, got on the bus back without actually having to wait during any of those phases. perfect, perfect timing.

mid-afternoon i was suddenly freezing cold - so much so that i found myself wearing my ski jacket and curled up underneath a blanket... i wonder how i'm going to handle winter when i get there :(

which family / which table? SxS's family weren't pleased with me having dinner with mine, and at my cousins' there were two tables and each time i switched tables to talk with someone else i had to explain myself :P

ru55 was good enough to let me take his car to get to dinner, which solved a whole bunch of potential problems. with great power comes great responsibility, though - so i was sent off to ramat hasharon to pick up yogi :)

we met up back in ra'anana, then moved to tel aviv to visit mmf. it was a fun visit but at some point i started falling asleep and i remained in dreamland until getting up this morning.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

on holiday!!


so i'm pretty damn excited. i've *just* finished packing, i'm praying that nothing's amiss because until february i'm outta here...

my excitement this evening was almost dampened, the guy from my unit that i was chatting to on the bus is a creationist. so i have one of those, a nihilist, and a homeopathy patient all under one roof.

speaking of the nihilist, today was a breakthrough day - i argued him into a state of agreeableness, and he's actually beginning to develop a certain amount of optimism ^_^

the day:

flight of the concords: i was completely taken by surprise when my ride, much to the chagrin of our fellow passengers, put their disc in. sweet!

funny mail -> unfunny slur talk: the indian guy and i had a *chat*, he didn't realize how serious i was about the whole thing. the chat led to about half an hour of discomfort, but we seem to have gotten over it. i really hope we have - i really don't want hard feelings about this.

coding / documenting all day: awesome ^_^
i've had so much fun with this the last week it's ridiculous!

*secret code cabal*: i've been included in a Big Secret, and it looks like we're finally going to do something fun that's been joked about for ages :)

quickest unit meeting: it lasted all of one breath, "does anyone have anything important to say? no? great! let's eat!". the way it should be :P

extern destruction: the learning part of the day. someone discovered that an extern call to a non-existent variable can be compiled without warnings... that's both interesting and horrible.

packing has been an experience this evening, with santana blasting full volume and the beer going straight to my head :)

i have filled my ipod with incredible psychedelic rock, and i'm ready to go... GONE!


i was just reading about janis joplin, crazy story.

the mongoose's girlfriend picked me up, switched seats with him when we got to his place, and we all went to eat a really good meal. we ate lots, really.

this may or may not sound stupid to you (it does to me, very much), but i'm becoming conscious of the fact that i'm not in peak shape. ignoring the fact that that bothers me in a general sense, i'm going snowboarding in a month and i'd better get prepared.

laundry's done, going to bed soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


the bathroom was waterlogged this morning. first order of the day: change socks.
i was glad to have my hot coffee warming one hand while the other froze holding the umbrella at the bus stop. i love the rain.
it became a solid downpour - a severe lack of drainage and incredibly stupid driving scored me waterlogged trousers.

a man ran past umbrella-less, carrying his young child close to his chest. i tend to process these situations too slowly: i think i should have stopped him, given him my umbrella and dressed him down for being irresponsible.

the TL that i don't get along with was really angry with me this morning. he can't handle any background noise while he works, so we're all supposed to wear headphones. that way we can ensure that there'll be no shared experience in the office, which is fantastic for morale.

the kinder laughed at me when he heard what i want to do with my life, and the next hour was spent arguing until he eventually saw my side of things. the problem is that he's only one of at least two nihilists in our section, which makes rational conversation mighty tricky and he has support.

one important aspect of the argument was the concept that the words we choose to produce our metaphors override the intended meaning, and as such one must be careful every step of the way to remember the intention or use better words:
every time the word "illusion" came into play to describe our way of seeing things it was used to "prove" that what we see is not real. but it is real, it's that illusion that provides us with a subjective reality and we cannot ignore it nor be separated from it.

email blunder: i set up a rule to remove old mails, and it took out half my archives. i now need to re-sort everything :'(

star wars issue: the kinder is unfamiliar with the star wars canon. he was convinced that stormtroopers were robots and had no idea who c3po and r2d2 were. i showed him a photo of a stormtrooper with a picture of boba fett on the reverse side [wired] and he couldn't tell the difference.

i finally got a handle on the java gui, but there're still a few irritations and i'm only partially through. the file selection and scrollpane classes saved the day, but the xml parsers' non-existence is my next big concern.

i went for a quick introduction to a framework that could help me with the rest of the development, and once satisfied walked to see one of my bunkmates from the course finish up with his final leg. that done, i bought fries, missed the bus (having run and made it before the doors closed, the brats in the doorway just couldn't lend their voices to my cause), caught a ride to another one and am currently waiting for the mongoose's girlfriend to come pick me up so we can all go out.

after a quick review of the party details, i'm sold - i most likely won't be going to the vortex this year! protoplasm has shown me what appears to be the light... just bought my e-ticket ^_^

private wins - nasa awards orbital and spacex

jibjab 2008 recap

ye olde jefferson airplane

grace slick missed a good opportunity

almost ready

does he wait for me to get home, every night, before hitting the shower? bastard.

on a completely different note, the rest of this evening was great. sammy and i went to levontin, it started pissing down outside and i'm really glad that winter's finally arriving.

two beers took their toll, but the tofu sandwich and coffee brought me back.

the woodstock project is based in jerusalem... nice :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

hazy squinty

today wasn't good. i was still in a kak mood from walking between all the arsim last night, and a lot of the day i had a headache from all the grudwork i was busy with.

and it all started with walking in as SC for the day. the indian guy's getting on my nerves - he's a great guy, but he keeps deriding me and although it's in good fun he's wearing me down :/

my eclipse experience has not been positive. it turns out there was a problem with the visual editor's installation. i've made some headway, but i'm stuck with freakin' layouts and i haven't been able to focus my attentions on the important things. this is particularly frustrating because all i want to build is a prototype, so how it looks is singularly unimportant and getting it functional is slow-going.

the stuff that i did get working was fun, however. not only is my design proving itself even in the infancy stage, but i was simultaneously helping one of my team-mates. in addition to nursing a headache. i'm impressed with myself.

it was my turn to buy doughnuts today, but very few guys were around. i bought more than we needed, but by the time we got down to the business of eating them four unexpected section members had rocked up and we were short. that was sucky and awkward.

i had an interesting chat with the guy who i've been riding with the last week or two, mostly about south africa but we moved on to current world-politics. i love finding people who get what i'm saying! i'm referring to my apparently right-wing insensitive statements concerning the essence and necessities of war, and the need to "cheat" in order to maintain our moral superiority.

i had fantastic but freezing frozen yoghurt while walking home in the rain, stopped by the real-estate agent for a quick update and then came home to dream about woodstock (i'm having a prolonged moment of wishing to have been born in the US during the 40's, although with my luck i would've been the first into vietnam), the hippie in me is begging to get on the plane on sunday (he will!), and i'm fighting every urge to shop for more music.

i'm pleased and pleasantly surprised that i'm beginning to feel my way with the guitar, every time i pick it up something improves! yes, yes, it's off a low base. don't care.

race card

how is it that i ended up going alone? i shouldn't be drinking alone - there was more than an hour to kill before they started playing due to a number of unfortunate technical errors... i had way too much time to contemplate my situation. not that it's negative, i spent a lot of time smiling to myself over really odd things.

the day:

today was racist day. it began with what has been incorporated fully into israeli slang: "like a nigger", and it drives me nuts every time i hear it. israelis think it's cool because african americans speak like that... i find it offensive. when the topic came up later it sparked an argument that lasted the rest of the day and included pretty much everyone.

i had an especially hard time trying to explain to the indian in our section that no, he's not black and cannot use the word. israeli's call yemenites and indians black, which is... kind of blind.

this morning i hunted down a bad image and fixed it. that was "work". the rest of the day didn't really improve much.

eclipse is supposed to make life easier. i wasted so much time trying to figure out how to set up a plug-in and eventually gave up and wrote awt code manually. i really shouldn't consider abandoning notepad. the only positive thing eclipse brings is an easy-to-read error / warning list and a shortcut for compile and run. all the rest is crap.

today was cake + doughnut + chocolate day, too. so i guess it was racist deli day. i ate way too much junk. which reminds me, one of the kitchen staff on base got confused, and began throwing officers out of the enlisted mess. we just glowered at her until her boss arrived to seat us.

i pretty much finished my primary task for the week, and can now focus on the fun stuff. the problem with the timing is that by the time i start getting into it i'll be on my way to south africa for a month... geez, the sacrifices i make, hey.

team-mate disobedience: i had to convince the girl on my team to get in the car and go, she was so concerned that i didn't have a ride myself that she thought she'd take the bus. wtf?!

something reminded me that while shopping the other night i ran across a copy of reactivate 12. like, WOW.

noble brats were excellent tonight, again a pity not too many people pitched. their sound is great!

the weird flatmate is pissing me off. he's so good at it it's becoming hard to believe it's accidental.

'F' is killing me: i'm getting it, but it's really painful. i've even managed to rip a small part of my newly hardened fingertip :(

maiden voyage! spaceshiptwo is out of the hangar ^_^

do octopii have feelings?

the bro code isn't!! i quote the reviewer who wasn't satisfied:
we all know that Bro Code Article 89 is:
The mom of a bro is always off limits, but the stepmom of a bro is always fair game IF she initiates it and/or is wearing at least one article of leopard clothing
In this travesty Amazon call The Bro Code article 89 is: A Bro shall always say yes in support of a Bro

Sunday, December 21, 2008


i was just pressing buttons, i didn't think i'd see something like this. and i'd thought that white rabbit was cool.

give me an F

i have (for the most part) finished packing, i've sorted out the stack of papers that's been accumulating the past few weeks, tidied a bit, and now i'm stuck.

stuck on F, holding down both strings with a single finger hurts quite a bit.

ah - the title reminds me of country joe and the fish.

i'm not going to take the chance...

... that some imaginative bright-spark will gain access to the mail-to-blog address and be able to post things directly to my page. assuming that i do post while away from the internet, that means a bunch of posts will go up all at once.

i'll deal. it bothers me that all they have to do is ask for an authorized sender. i assumed they would :/


breath of fresh...
travelling by bus sucked as i expected, in particular standing in line and having a cloud of really nasty smoke hit me full-on... the guy was blowing the smoke in the other direction, which happened to be into the breeze. it bothered me that i had to tell him to toss it.

how touching
i've asked the guys in the office a number of times to leave the birthday gift (magic eightball thing) alone, but to no avail - and now it's broken. dammit!

taking the spam rap
early on in the morning my office was stormed by a number of people accusing me of having spammed the entire unit with a side-project i've been working on. i actually had to prove my innocence, which took a bit of work. at some point they even had me questioning myself, but i managed to clear away any doubt and they let me get on with it.
the funny thing is that when i wanted to probe the most probable source of the problem, we discovered that the guy who'd passed the buck my way had deleted the files in question. hmmm... only slightly suspicious.

powerpoint efficiency pt 1
i'm not really proficient with microsoft's office suite, and i was certain that powerpoint wouldn't let me transfer all the slides from presentation to presentation at once. i was impressed to be shown otherwise. i could stop copying and pasting all items per slide...

i went to the dentist this morning for the final treatment (another filling) for the half-year. i was blown away by how painless the procedure was, although my jaw hurt from keeping it so wide open. i then had to keep as silent as possible for a few hours for fear of being mistaken for the idiot. unfortunately, the timing was such that at lunchtime i still had two hours to go... i'd brought marmite for the section, so i decided to get myself some bread and that would be that.

completely forgetting that there're provisions of decent take-away tuna salad available. *sigh*
at least i had a good excuse to make myself a serious one when i got home :)

as for the marmite, there was only one person brave enough to try it today, and he fully agreed with my description - and spent the next hour trying not to throw up :P

i'm not gonna bother a sick cousin, i was going to ask her about ski insurance but she wasn't even in the office. i don't actually know how much the general insurance covers...

powerpoint efficiency pt 2
discovering the cause of all my woes by absolute fluke, right after the guys who'd enthusiastically volunteered to help me had given up. i suddenly realized that every presentation had a hidden and extremely large background image tucked away. deleting those fixed almost all of the bad guys and got most of my work complete ^_^

hebrew solution
while discovering potential sources for the problem solved above, i read that the solution to my pda's linguistic issues is as simple as setting the character set to utf-8. why didn't i think of that before?! i didn't even look to see if the option was available!

powerpoint efficiency pt 3
i spent the rest of the afternoon fumbling with a presentation that exhibits the same symptoms that the previous fixes solved. so far i've managed to figure them out, but this issue is totally elusive. the final point i arrived at this evening was deciding that tomorrow i'm going to isolate each and every slide (out of, like, 150)... the amount of energy i've put into this instead of the interesting project is frightening.

candlelight and wizardly timing
tonight's the first night of chanukah, so we lit the candles and sang. i was wondering if maybe it would've been more appropriate to learn all the words to the jewish songs before tackling amazing grace. that i still remember!

flatmate alliance
the new flatmate and i chatted when i arrived home, and it turns out she and i share some grievances with the weird guy and she's seen way worse than i have. i explained to her that this is why i need my own space...

back to earth
again?! i just got back from cafeneto, having gone there with the express purpose of checking out the "fix" i read about today. sunshine was there, and she's behaving... strangely towards me. i'll never get her.
the browser crashed every time i tried to create a new blog post (i wanted to copy and paste from my notes, now i've had to type them out again). i can't even watch youtube videos because the links from "" are considerately non-operational. i think that's connected to the warning when entering the site targeted at capped users.

and to make matters even more interesting, the washing machine finished the cycle without using any water, powder or softener. weird.

to make up for the pda crashing with blogger, i'm trying to post this from email - which my pda can handle. holding thumbs...

admitting defeat

i just remembered: on the way to the bar tonight, i handed back my buzzer to the gym. of the year and two months that i paid to be a member, i got about four months of actually using the facilities... i won't be renewing.

mystical desires

lemmus lemmus is playing in the background, stirring all sorts of interesting thoughts and emotions.'s been recommending other interesting books by timothy leary, and i've been learning about wish lists.

i woke up an hour or so later feeling like shit. really awful, and coffee, water, food didn't help. i got through most of the packing, dazed, and found myself thinking about not going to see squid performing live.

i'm really glad i went! it was dangerous for me to go inside what is not only a bar, but a fantastic music / dvd / comic book store / library. i managed to keep myself to a single item (a lemmus lemmus cd, supporting the local scene).

the performance was brilliant, tal levi is terrific on bass, and although there weren't a lot of people, there was a happy amount of eye-candy rocking :)
i'll get their cd eventually.

on a different note, i've decided that i need to discover frank zappa. k-twang once told me about a song called why does it hurt when i pee, and that's as much as i know.

i don't wanna get up early and take buses and trains to work this week. the shuttles aren't operating and both my usual rides are on holiday. crap.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

pre-pack nap

i woke up at 7am, tossed and turned until 8am when lake called, and met up with her around 9.30 for breakfast at coffeeholic. breakfast was great, we came back to my place for tea and an introduction to giger, and then i walked her most of the way back as an excuse to buy beer and popcorn.

i've just consumed those while watching super high me, a silly and amusing - yet insightful - look at medicinal marijuana.

the movie was interrupted by the girl who shared yesterday, sending me costume suggestions. now don't get me wrong, they're welcome suggestions (and pretty creepy ones, too), but she didn't need to send sms spam letting me in on her thought processes.

really, she didn't.

i got started on packing inasmuch as i pulled down my bag from storage, but i think i'm going to pause for a nap before i continue.

Friday, December 19, 2008

far too long online

no, really.

trick or treatment, a gift for my TL that i'll buy when i get back from my holiday.

leary on drugs, a gift for myself that i'll buy when i get back from my holiday.

speaking of which, i wrapped gifts today. not only does it look like i wrapped them personally, but i discovered that my inspired purchases are problematic items to give away to other people - i'm really coveting. details will be published on delivery :)

another x prize participant uncovered! good stuff ^_^

more good space news! spaceport authorization!

if programming languages were religions... - apparently i'm into zen-buddhism.

i'd forgotten that there's a wikipedia entry for prohibition arguments. i got to this after hearing about the recent developments... not particularly gratifying news.

if i didn't believe in what i was doing i'd totally get involved in politics.


moonflake got me signing up to bad astronomy, and the last couple of day's articles and links have just had me staring into space [my favourite of his top ten].

from links of links [i didn't know what an antipodean was]:
a mars video compiled from HIRISE images
the making of the edge of the universe
a plan for taking the solar system

the anti-vaccine morons are really screwing things up

obama has some good, some bad - i think overall he's doing a great job so far with the planning, and i hope he manages to correct his mistakes in the near future

from global warming deniers to unpleasant proof

sounds of... not silence

my alarm rang at 4am, but i was painfully out of it. already nursing the beginnings of a hangover only an hour into dream-time, confused... instead of phoning, which i think could have been considered a form of drunk-dialing, i sent an sms that only took me a minute to churn out. i don't think i sent more than five or six words.

i woke up with the rest of the hangover at around 9am. i left to buy marmite without my headphones, and although that meant spending the following walks whistling and singing loops of the same song (tool - wings for marie has been in my head for about a week), i felt a little more connected to my surroundings.
as wonderful as an mp3 player may be, i'm actually no longer used to the sounds of the city and there's a sense of connection with the people around me that gets lost in the beats.

i met up with karnaf for breakfast - as i told him, i have no problem with becoming a regular at jeremiah :)
he told me about a great movie called super high me, and i went to his place to grab a copy... only he'd deleted it. he gave me team america instead.

i went shopping, although not too seriously, and settled down to watch the latest how i met your mother followed by an episode of mst3k: gamera vs. barugon. i think watching bad movies alone is wrong.

i passed out for a few hours, and just woke up. feeling a bit... icky. still from last night, mixed in with "should i have slept so much?" and "i don't wanna do anything".

ring ring bitch

"totalwaste, do you think i'm slutty? do i throw myself at guys? do i look desperate?"

"did you think carefully before calling me?"

"c'mon! you're a guy! you think like a guy, help me out here?"

"ah! yes! you're right. how silly of me! i'm a male, so i know exactly what all other males are thinking. tell me three things that interest me. three things that a typical male thinks about."

"sex. [i don't even remember the second item]. cars."

"fantastic. you've just listed three things that don't interest me. would you care to try again? also you're asking a guy who's totally relationship inept for advice."

"i don't want a relationship. why do guys think they can manhandle me?"

maybe it's 'cause you compete with men like a man. the rest of the conversation was decidedly distasteful for me. someone who barely knows me, who usually makes completely incorrect assumptions about me, calling me up to share her frustrations...

she then used a word, for the fifth time, in a manner not in any way related to its definition.
"i don't think that word means what you think it means."

"so? it's just a word. who defines words? so what if i decide that from now on, the word 'milk' means 'dark chocolate'. no, wait... that's too close... lemme think now..."

"no, please don't. the whole point of speaking a single language is so that we can communicate. if you change the meanings of the words then we can no longer do so.




"what do you know?"


"no, come on. what do you know?"

"what are you asking me? do you really think that i'm going to start spouting a whole bunch of random things in the hope of being in the right general direction to prove that my previous statement is correct?"

it took an unfortunately long minute of meaningless drivel after that to put the phone down. i'm still exhausted from the effort of the entire thing, and i have no clue what i did to deserve the experience.

that girl again

wow - saw that girl again, she was working the door to the club gco and i were discussing entering. we didn't go in because they were claiming that the cover was for a good cause and gco knows it's not.

i wasn't particularly perturbed by this.

we began the evening at mike's place, the fish 'n chips (with vinegar!) were fantastic, the beers and chasers went down smoothly and the live band was pretty funky.

we moved on to visit nystire's sister at the club she works at, a fun visit but we were on our way to a trance party. we got there to discover that it wasn't a hat party (now i know what that means!) after all, rp in just overather a "the oodles of cash are for a good cause" party.

i'm really tired, but i reek of cigarette smoke and need to shower. and wake up in just over an hour to wake up the birthday boy with a phone call. he shouldn't have told us that his family competes every birthday to see who's the first to wake up the lucky member. we're participating.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

last day of the second last week!

a quick review of the day, as gco's on his way:

sad coffee start: i will not buy coffee at the train station. i will not buy coffee at the train station. i will not buy coffee at the train station.

presentation issues: something's wrong. i spent a large part of my day fiddling around with powerpoint, unable to figure out why some of my presentations consistently crash but only in certain environments. *this* is what all my education and experience is for. this, and picking up über-gross hairy bits of grime while cleaning corridors and kitchens.

tomorrow's birthday boy's card is really nice - we outdid ourselves. pity about the timing, we wanted to give it to him along with his gift before he disappeared for the weekend, but it was, alas, not to be.

i mentioned my new project to an ex-team-mate today while in earshot of someone who just happened to be in charge of the exact same project at the unit level! we didn't know it existed!
at the moment i'm the only person taking it seriously, my design meets all the requirements (and then some) that have already been proposed - all in all, i'm quite excited that this could really go somewhere. the prototype won't be easy because it needs to be easily portable and java's not good with interfaces... but that appears to be the only hurdle.

i don't really know how i found myself staring at a glass cabinet with a display of a system running win 3.1 inside, and seeing my reflection superimposed on it with a single tear-drop winding down my cheek. the tear was there before i noticed the screen, i think i'd just yawned it out, but the moment was surreal.

i had a long discussion with a girl on the way home about command proximity - she'd been so upset by a stupid and childish officer at the beginning of her service that she won't allow herself to befriend her current ones. that's really sad.

this evening's pda trauma (as described previously) has left me feeling a little... over-radiated. i hope i don't have to spend too many more hours on it until it gets "super-cool" as opposed to just "sweet".

soon - soon i will be arriving in sunny south africa, for a real holiday. i was a bit disappointed to find out this evening that SxS will be arriving here only a couple of days before i leave, i didn't realize / didn't remember that he would be in israel while i'm away, which is a pity.

pda issue (res/ev)olution

every time i fix something a new problem crops up. the most important bit is done, though: i connected to the internet, checked mail and posted to facebook from a coffee shop's wireless. i felt like a tosser for doing it, but there wasn't any other way to make sure.

problem 1: no hebrew support. all i want is to read hebrew, and not pay large sums for a package that will let me translate the entire interface into the holy language and allow a million different forms of backwards input. i just want the character set, like every other version of windows provides.

problem 2: my pc and my sd card are very friendly, but the pda physically cannot read more than the first gigabyte of data.

problem 3: the pda's media player doesn't play from the sd card, and the amount of space i'd need on the built-in memory is an order of magnitude larger than what i have. the solution is to use awesome third party software called pocket mvp. they provide a make specifically for my pda's version of windows... which refuses to run it.
i don't understand.
this related story is quite amusing

the only other important feature is settled: a photo of my nipple ring as my background.

installing drivers without activesync

keywords: install device driver mobile palm pda "without activesync"

download a cab installer

download the appropriate drivers. you're looking for .cab files. not .cat or .exe, just .cab. they're around somewhere, deeply nested away.

find an alternate method of transferring files to the mobile device - flash memory is perfectly acceptable.

make sure the .cab files and installer are located on the built-in storage of the device, remove flash cards and any other removable media.

run the installer, select the .cab files and hey! presto! pots and pans! you're done with the difficult bit.

perform a soft reset. smile. thank ikehiker for this response.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

prettier palmtop

i'm finally starting to get somewhere with the pda - not at the finish line yet, but i can see a light :)

something odd happened on the way to coffeeholic earlier - i ran into someone i haven't seen in years, and the first thing he said was "i saw you running yesterday"... what are the chances of that happening?

i just finished the first part of jhonen vasquez - i feel sick, and it's gorgeous.


my brain's melting after spending well over an hour trying to get the wireless drivers installed. getting them onto the pda was only the first part of the solution :'(

a giger start to the morning: i had time to kill and breakfast and coffee in the apartment.

a) security - the reason there are no trash cans or recycling cages around the central bus stops for soldiers is so that nobody can stuff explosives in them. currently, every two weeks some poor bastards have to comb through the surrounding vegetation with plastic bags picking up all the crap, and the non-too-bright soldiers are learning that littering is okay. wonderful.
b) dangerous leak - i'm on kitchen duty this week (because that's what i'm qualified for, i love the army), and got sent out with a heavy bag of oozing liquids (because there are soldiers who can't reach the sink to tip out their half-finished cups of coffee) only to discover that there'd been a dangerous leak of *something* around the trash containers rendering them inaccessible. i got lucky and found a janitor to leave it with (poor sod).

we had a long team meeting this morning: the primary item on my agenda was okayed, so i'm really chuffed and am looking forward to a really interesting project. our techies came over to install the environment i'm going to need, and suddenly i was troubleshooting them instead of the other way around, decoding cryptic error logs and fiddling. i think i may have freaked them out a little :P

our TL is a believer. today's topic of conversation was homeopathy. please read moonflake's introduction and its follow-up (they're two parts of an introduction).

let's just say the argument became less-than-friendly at one stage. i refused to let him trap me and the witnesses with logical fallacies, but at the same time i couldn't remember enough details to "prove" to him that he should think a little harder.
it particular aggravates me that this is a really intelligent, hard-assed guy - i just don't get it.

i just took a break to eat a really good sandwich at coffeeholic, and discover that not reading the news on a daily basis is quite healthy. it's either awful, stupid or just plain weird. i don't know if i have the energy to tackle the wireless right now, and my head's buzzing a little (probably from the monitor radiation) so i think i should call it quits anyway.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

fell for it

bank aggravation: i find it really hard to deal with unintelligent members of the species, and don't have the patience to suffer their apologies when the time they consume could be better employed providing service. i didn't have all the bank details i needed to make the transfer to pay for my ticket to the high school reunion, so instead of just breaking the bad news the teller tried to help.

i don't like helpfulness unless it actually is.

i went to the post office, this time the unpleasantness was my fault... i was in a nasty mood after i left the bank. i wasn't awful, but i was sharp and i didn't need to be. it didn't help my mood any that i didn't get the item i was hoping for. i almost complained to the seller about his tardiness, but just before sending a rude message i noticed something written in the small print which caused me to chill for another few days.

the lawyer called this morning, the apartment is essentially on hold for a month. not great, i'm praying it's worth the wait.

i managed to get something useful done this morning, i met with a guy and helped him with an important section of his work. we then went to sit on a panel for the guys who are now doing the course we just completed, and we (about ten of us) were great. i was a bit nervous addressing so many people, but i got out everything i had to say and from the questions and comments i received afterwards it's apparent that at least part of it sunk in ^_^

it was also nice having lunch with the guys from the first leg of the course.

i spoke to my mum today, and all the details for the holiday seem to have been sorted out, so i'm feeling good :)

the big mistake: i made it before, which makes it worse. oddly enough, it was cleaning-day today as well :S

i had a sudden palmtop epiphany! now i feel like a complete moron for not having thought of it before - i can't sync my pc and my pda, but i have an sd card. multi-readers are cheap, and buying one would save me the hassle of connecting my camera to the pc every time i want to download photos (that wouldn't be a problem if i had enough usb ports). that would effectively raise the amount i've spent on the pda to just over NIS 150... still acceptable.

and yes, i thought about putting the sd card in my camera, but my camera's is incompatible.

i went out for an okay toasted sandwich at movieing with nemesis - the foxy waitress and i ran past each other this morning, that was the inspiration for the choice. the quality's dropped a bit :(
nemesis and i spent the rest of the evening arguing over apple's principles; i was trying to explain to him that apple is about selling a lifestyle / look / status, and that they shouldn't make it affordable because that would negate the effect.

i'm too yawny to blade tonight :(

false start

a very sweet commentary: the music video thou shalt always kill

i just... after waking up and drinking a cup of coffee, i left the apartment at 7.30am and went for a run. i didn't know i had it in me! i'm referring to all that lungbutter, of course. now to get the day started.

feeling a little...

like my fingers are moving slightly smoother across the strings. i just watched under siege 2, 'cause i couldn't decide whether or not to go out.

more interesting space news: a commercial station's going up

gaming awards: a man shares a differing opinion. i kinda wish i could form my own, but i guess now just isn't the time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

an itch

"like coming in an extra day..." - that's the only line of the office (s01e05 - the american version, i presume) that's made me laugh. the rest of it is just sad.

egg just got in touch with me - he sent me an sms saying that i need to call the girl from saturday evening. i called him back to tell him the story and call him out for ignoring me after yesterday's sms.

my fingers *hurt* after last night's session, i picked up the guitar when i woke up this morning and i couldn't touch the strings without wincing.

for the second time in two weeks, the project i've been working on has been frozen. i've now been relegated all the non-work and supportive duties because i'm leaving soon. i'm not feeling too useful at the moment. although i might actually be able to find time to build an application i've been itching to scratch for a while.

i'm off in a bit to get some exercise and then some beers. i'm beginning to feel the vacation coming up: TWO MORE WEEKS!

a quick and geeky summary of 2008

industry plague

Sunday, December 14, 2008

better + pinky issues

i went for a walk. mostly a sad walk, as i pondered my current state and dwelled on a whole bunch of things that have been on my mind. i was sitting on a bench by the river, staring into the reflections on the water, when i suddenly realized another possibility: it could just be that my life getting back on track, albeit slowly and not necessarily smoothly, is taking the lid off a well of emotions and that this is the most powerful of the lot.

the contemplation of that possibility put me in a far better mood, and i walked home feeling more comfortable. even if i am feeling quite alone at the moment.

i tried the intro to a perfect circle - breña, and my fingertips are going to be feeling it in the morning :P

for the day:

i heard horrible hebrew versions of guns 'n roses - sweet child of mine and pink floyd - the wall on the radio today. painful.
my temple troubles continue - i really need this sorted out.

i responded to an sms from egg this afternoon with what was meant to be a joke, and i think he got offended. or irritated, because it was particularly childish. i sent a follow-up sms almost immediately to apologize, but now he's not taking my calls (i hope i don't have to add him to what's unfortunately become a list of friends who aren't).

arguments: direct to dvd / israeli eating habits
the first one was with a girl who has decidedly old-fashioned ideas about the music and movie industries. the second with a girl who just wasn't aware of the fact that the israeli "rules" like "meat isn't good for breakfast", "you don't put vinegar on things" don't really have an intellectual basis.

it's almost bedtime, so i'm going to get back to i feel sick.

something's wrong

something's really, really wrong. i feel like i'm losing my mind, like people are avoiding me, like there's something happening in the background that i'm only dimly aware of. i keep saying things i don't mean, and i'm having trouble saying the things i do.

maybe it's the agitation brought on by the reminders of my current and ridiculously long torment, spending the vast majority of my time with people who cannot understand me. maybe it's because i know i'm going to be on holiday soon and that's made me edgy. maybe it's the apartment story being up in the air.

whatever it is, i feel like i'm not really here at the moment. the only really positive moments are those spent zoning out to great music or minutes with my guitar - at least that seems to be picking up a bit.

everything is surreal and dark and anxious.

forgot to mention

i received a copy of jhonan vasquez - i feel sick from the mongoose for my birthday, both issues. i started reading them this afternoon, and they're absolutely gorgeous!

throwing in the towel

i really, really can't. this evening i went on one of the most unsuccessful dates i've ever been through [aside from this one]. it was "friendly", but i made the mistake of trying to be upfront and myself. i'm pretty certain that i came across as a raving loony, primarily because i have so much difficulty expressing myself.

and it's not a language thing.

the afternoon was a bit mental - i horrified myself with the first couple of episodes of the office (i'm not going to watch anymore, it's not enjoyable, it's torture) and then with my lack of guitar skills. i spent a bit of time zoning out to great music, specifically the nonentia - i have factory mouth (he's an old friend). that track just dug deep into my brain and froze everything, it's dark and it's visceral and it feels good. he's just linked me through to his myspace page, well worth a listen if you like dark trance.

i rediscovered that japanika really isn't good sushi, if it was i would've much enjoyed the time i sat sitting at the bar with arabian nights - a selection (penguin popular classics) and a beer.

on a date with an english girl, and hearing the section we were sitting in filling up with random british people was odd.

i went to the israeli line at the smith, and walked in with a few of my previous team-mates. it was a pleasant evening, although my eyes got tired quickly - i think it was the combination of my third beer and all the smoke. the music was quite funky.

i walked home, singing as usual and pondering my predicament. i just can't win. on the other hand, i can't figure out why this girl agreed to come out on a date if she's not really interested to begin with: was i supposed to convince her? that's not how it works.

regardless, i'm feeling like a complete nutcase. i desperately need the holiday coming up.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

retyrn of linkage

exciting google x prize news - and stunning promo video!

spaceshiptwo is getting off the ground, and has competition!

awww... i want chrome too. c'mon google!

i read the follow-up before i read the initial inflammatory post. all respect to the man for apologizing and keeping a level head!

it's good for the environment! drink more coffee, people.

japanese imaging: another funky project.

you may notice - no, you probably won't - that i've added a counter to the bottom of the page. i'm totally curious :P

the weird flatmate and i cleaned the apartment, rather efficiently, and he's taken an interest in tool :) [maybe he can be turned from the dark side]... it started raining a bit earlier, i'm still getting excited every time :)

that reminds me, i mentioned motor skill issues: i'm a bit concerned that the episode i suffered in june may have something to do with it, my body was having trouble getting oxygen to my brain. i mean, if that is the problem then there's not a hell of a lot i can do about it, and i don't actually think i want to know, but it is something that pops into my head every now and then.

hmmph. every couple of hours i remember that i'm waiting for an answer on the apartment. the suspense is horrid.

it's yogi's birthday today, he didn't answer his phone and didn't respond to the ensuing sms. mmf's been ignoring me. ze germans didn't get back to me yesterday. i'm sensing an uncomfortable pattern. i hope i'm wrong.

she's so sweet!!

yael dekelbaum is pure, magical awesome. too cute! and freakin' talented.

the evening began at egg's, where i met and chatted with his girlfriend. i walked to the show, entering as she began, and it was excellent. i joined egg's birthday celebration, which was a bit awkward (a whole bunch of people not talking) and the music was fairly crap (although not too terrible), but was introduced after a bit to a cute british girl and we seem to have hit it off. kind of. i dunno - i'm not comfortable in those surroundings.

i wasn't feeling 100%, and walked home in a dark mood. i had an issue running laps around my mind. it involves the story behind the painting i just posted a picture of... i feel that i've proved what i was out to prove to myself and that that's making me careless.

i can't afford to be careless.

Friday, December 12, 2008

digging into my memory

i've just been lying in bed, massaging my temples instead of napping like i'd planned. i'm envisioning a massage bed with screw-adjusted thimble-shaped rubber hard-points strategically placed for temple and jaw pressure. that would be my ultimate sleeping experience. cheap at the list price!
(i'd have to place the screws myself, but i guess not everything can be perfect)

the alternative is to find our ex-neighbour's ex-friend and start dating her, she enjoys giving massages. it's more likely that i'll buy a bed, to be fair.

either way, lekkerseer is the word and the tears that are being squeezed out are tears of joy.

last night wasn't completely boring, i paid egg a visit and we had a beer - he was pleased with my gift (amarula). i stopped for pad thai on the way home, and that was where the excitement for the evening ended.

this morning i slept in, leaving only to buy wrapping paper. i read watchmen, had amusing run-ins on facebook with two pretty girls (they tried to add me, i think that counts as flirting - but i won't add a friend unless i've actually met them in real life), and eventually (around 2pm) went out to have breakfast with karnaf.

pleasant breakfast, pretty serious talk... then i came home and finished watchmen. WOW. it's a must-read, i have to admit i haven't read much that's hit as close to home, especially with alan moore's dark and broody concept of what it means to be a hero and how awful and awfully stupid humans can be while simultaneously being the most wonderful and inspired entities in the universe.

now i'm off for pre-drinks, then to see yael dekelbaum performing, and then more drinks in honour of egg's birthday. i'm wishing myself luck at this point.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

swigged history cover

a beer and some paint helped me to feel a bit better. it's not 100%, but it's much closer to the direction i originally had in mind.

i gimped the colours a bit because my camera's not amazing.

i took a nap before heading out to inform the real estate agent of the news and get trouser legs shortened. that took so long that i finished reading the adventures of huckleberry finn and got started on george's secret key to the universe. the former is as beautiful as it gets credit for, and the latter starts excellently. i'm already convinced that this is one of the books my kids will grow up with :)

i got some gifts sorted out, went past the art shop but realized that i didn't know exactly which colours i wanted (weird names for "red" and "black"), and i got back here to tire out my hands on the first minute of tool - wings for marie.

i'm going to do some quick shopping (all i want are munchies but i don't have), this time remembering to take a green bag there, and then i'm guessing tonight won't be entirely boring.

it's like i've just won the lottery!

but i don't get any cash. i'm actually quite surprised and shocked, especially seeing as i was so excited about the whole deal. i mean, i didn't even realize how excited i was until about an hour ago.

i went to herzeliya this morning, the trip was actually quite pleasant. i had a tin of coffee (i think i'm going to skip on that in the future, there's simply not enough caffeine in there so drinking that much milk is unnecessary) and went in to the bank.

as my mother reads my blog, i think this is as good a place as any to laugh about sitting down with the personal banker and hearing how pleased my family is about me having passed the course i just did :)

i had plenty of sing-along time while waiting for the bus back. i stopped by the post office to discover that they'd sent me a second notice for an item i'd already picked up, which wasn't very considerate of them. i'd been all excited about picking up my bluetooth receiver.

i visited the estate agent for a quick and happy chat, mainly about renovations, came home to change into something a little more respectable (or, less urban) and sat down at coffeeholic for second-breakfast.

it was there that the lawyer caught me to inform me that there's a possible deal-breaker on the seller's side, and i'm now at home waiting to hear how this plays out. i still really want to buy, but i have this horrible feeling that i'm going back to the bank tomorrow to close this purchase on a more sour note.


successful munchkin!

super munchkin is great! we actually managed to get through half a game, but it's too late to continue.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

just a regular day at work

one of the kid's friends posed a riddle a few weeks ago that i just couldn't get my head around. to be fair, i was seeing-double from exhaustion at the time but i still don't think i would have gotten it. it's a cute one involving a line of people wearing hats and trying not to die.

this morning i read a mail that reminded me of it, so i sent it out to the section. there were a few quick responses, a few late starters, and some of the guys were driven crazy the whole day. that was fun :)

i just misread this headline, i'm a bit too quick with imaginary hyphenation.

gotta go to the bank tomorrow, in herzeliya, so i tried to cancel my doctor's appointment (that i've been waiting for for a while) and they weren't answering the phone.

i helped one of the guys with the final stage of his university application - he asked me for an overall opinion, and i told him that i'd let him attend if it were up to me. based on what we wrote, of course :P

the ride home wasn't nice - the nco's got upset with me because i'm not allowed to carry a weapon and so can't take my turn guarding. i felt bad enough about not being able to help without their "gentle urging". i quote: "what?! a soldier who can't carry a weapon isn't a soldier!". thanks, boys. good on ya'.

watchmen is getting awesome. it was a bit broody and depressing, but about halfway through it's picking up sweetness. can i really say that?

i don't usually care about romania, but i'm feeling sorry for them right now.

it's a finger box!
pretty frikkin' weird.

agrippa - the web site :)

now preparing for munchkin! we should have four people. i hope we're going to have four people.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


i woke up at 6.30am this morning, almost (but not quite) like a normal person, left the apartment at 7-something and by 7.20 was sitting at cafeneto with coffee, a croissant and the latest edition of wired. that's a proper breakfast.
i then walked in the promise of rain - actually having to shed my jacket due to incongruous weather and buying an umbrella on the way (the one i was carrying is damaged from last year).

a not-entirely-original joke entered my head on the way: "you shouldn't mess with me, i just did sit-ups"...

this temple massage thing does help. i've been doing it all day and my eyes and head in general do feel a bit better.

i sent an "unsubscribe me" mail this morning, with my section as a cc. the SC called me - he informed me that it's offensive to send mails like that to soldiers whose entire job is to make and send spam. he suggested that i simply do what everyone else does, and create a rule to delete it on arrival... shouldn't we be reducing the amount of crap being flung on our internal network? just a thought.

i met up with a couple of guys from the course for lunch, it seems like they're having a really horrible time and i'm urging them to file formal complaints. this is at the hands of the same bastards that bothered me years back, and for the same reason.

i have a "decision maker" on my desk, kind of like a magic eightball, that my team gave me last week for my birthday. one of the guys was standing behind me while i worked... he asked it (out loud) "does totalwaste have a long penis?"... to which he received the answer: "ask mom". i then had to explain that as he'd asked the question, it was referring to his mother, and general hilarity ensued.

i could have hopped a bus this evening, but walking in the rain with good psychedelic rock playing seemed like a better idea.

my guitar's beginning to feel a little more comfortable. this is good.

i was too late to buy marmite - i have to prove to my TL that the word "intense" is the correct one to describe the taste. i managed to get egg's gift organized, though, and the mongoose's is on the way :)

a spur-of-the-moment effort: trying to arrange a game of munchkin because the weather's not good for blading.
result: buying beers, coffee (i only drink turkish) and chips, and then moving it to tomorrow night. the ex-canadian guy whose apartment we played at last time has suggested a beery replacement this evening, to which i agreed - after completely homophobically checking his facebook account to see that he'd selected "interested in women" :P

things are moving with the apartment, and i'm beginning to get excited! the new flatmate was a bit disappointed, she knocked on my door to ask me what i'll be taking when i make my exit, and she got all sad that the lounge is going to be empty.

i really need to get offline.

Monday, December 08, 2008

when did?

when did using my brain become so hard? at what point did it begin to hurt me every time i'm faced with actually having to think?

why does it feel like my brain's leaking out, slowly, dripping behind my back? as if day by day, my abilities decrease and my intelligence drops away into an iq abyss?

i remember, as if in a dream, being far smarter than i am today. i remember being a lot sharper. maybe it's just that our memories wear rose-coloured glasses.

and maybe, just maybe, this has something to do with my profession. i don't know about people unblinding themselves, but it seems a good start.

celebrating a monday?

apparently "or bust" means to collapse from strain. so is that "hard work and bust"?

i slept beautifully last night, like a princess sans the pea. speaking of pea, bill hicks on smoking amused me greatly this evening. i stopped by a guy i used to serve with (didn't realize we were neighbours) for a cup of coffee, and was glad he appreciated it.

so that was ten hours in dreamy-dream land, crazy. i cleared my inbox today, got some work done, read comics while burglar bars were installed over our second-story windows (geez, you'd think they could find less messy things to waste our time with)... and was informed that my holiday is officially cleared and i'm good to go!

YEAH! ^_^

as one slashdotter put it: "kisses from old relatives is a brain mummifying disease"
and the idea that a herpes vaccine is in the works (old news, even) is good to hear. when's the hiv one coming out?

a smart man's view on drug prohibition is a great way to celebrate the end of the alcohol prohibition!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

champing at the bit

hmmph. i didn't have the energy to sew the button last night. i actually decided that it wasn't worth sewing. in the same direction, the more i look at the painting that i half painted over, the more i like it. i saw it this morning with blue back-lighting from the pc, and it looked pretty damn cool. it's definitely missing something, aside from talent.

when i eventually got to sleep, i slept beautifully. including having to peel myself off the bed this morning, i'd managed to sink deep into it's warm embrace and i just didn't want to let go. i napped alright in the shuttle, and then again for a little while on my desk...

it wasn't a very busy day. in fact, the most troubling issue was the realization that i haven't decided on a costume for new year's. i can't decide if kitschy is good or not when it's over the murderous orange.

the shuttle was late this evening, so i got home about an hour late. i went shopping, excitedly buying reusable shopping bags (!), and after getting home and having an awkward exchange with the weird flatmate about toilet seats and the bags, and discovering that he listens to bjork (like, eww), i've decided that i'm going to read myself to sleep.

i'm suddenly disappointed that i'm missing gal frenkel's performance tonight (right now, as a matter of fact). i'm just listening to her samples now, and they're pretty good.

i'm having a co-ordination problem not just with my guitar, but with my keyboard, too. it's worrying: both my motor skills and vision are troubling me lately. also, i have a desire to go completely mental and controlling these urges at work is becoming a chore. it's all a bit too straight-laced for me at the moment.


today was not a good day. i just couldn't get my head right - every time i wanted to watch something or read something i'd pass out, but the second i wanted to sleep i couldn't.

it was all very depressing. i'm going to sew a button onto my pants and then get to bed.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

lame night in

and continuing with my day of nothing :)

james randi from the 80's

once upon a time, when i was young and "studying" DOH100, our tutor pissed me off with discussion on the definition of self. he brought in a bunch of hypothetical scenarios, none of which could be verified in any manner... until now.

i only won three of the movies i was bidding on (with the clock still ticking on the golden child) - beyond the law, silent hill and a few good men.

it's yellow!

(both the book and the tent)

i passed out last night watching the first episode of gilligan's island. i'm going to watch another couple and then be able to say that i know what's being referring to.

the first thing i should have done this morning was go to the post office. instead, i tortured myself for the longest time until i got my pc to acknowledge my pda's existence, and then discovered that my pda had decided it had had enough of trying to communicate with the pc.

all i want to do is get the driver onto the pda so that it can declare independence.

i've got too many things open on my desktop to restart the machine, so i'm giving up for now. the irony of buying a wireless card so as not to have to connect the two in the first place is not lost on me.

i have the new issue of wired, i own a copy of thursday, and my new international debit card has been activated. very cool. the only thing i'm waiting for at the moment is my bluetooth connector, and in another couple of days i'll hopefully be ordering the dvd's i'm bidding on. i've already been outbid on one of them - stargate sg-1 box set - i'm hoping that won't happen again. more than $1 for a dvd? pah.
[actually, it's $1 plus $7 shipping, but that's still cheaper than any of the other combinations]

i shopped and then returned to a confusing few moments while my mom and i talked over my switzerland travel arrangements - she eventually convinced me to chill :)

i met with lake for beer and coffee. while i waited for her i ran into the girl who was my study partner for the course c workshop (partner: one who observes the coding process and interrogates post-hoc). i see her once every couple of years, and it fascinates me every time that she's always happy to see me, and always immediately gets to moaning about all the troubles she has.

she makes me feel like an optimist. i am an optimist, but she makes me feel like one.

drinks were nice, although two of her friends joined and while we seem to get along, it was a bit awkward at first with each of them in turn. i bought hungarian cakes, then walked to meet with the mongoose and take the aforementioned cakes to his parents' for lunch.

lunch was really nice, seeing them all was great. he's given me watchmen to read, and i'm already looking forward to seeing the movie!

on my way back home, i passed rabin square and saw that there was some sort of gathering with a huge tent. a man walked up to me and offered me a flyer... when i recognized the word "scientology" i shoved it back in his hands with a "HELL, no!". as i turned my back on him he asked me what i know about scientology, and my automatic response was "too much".

i'm shocked that we allow this sort of thing to take place under our noses. these guys are either nasty bastards taking advantage of the dopes in our society, or they're the dopes themselves...

i was going to go out tonight, but i was feeling tired so i decided to take a nap... and then got way too comfortable. i could go now, but i just felt like brushing my teeth, writing this and reading until i pass out again.

Friday, December 05, 2008

death pasta

two things sucked about this evening:

1. we didn't order, my TL's wife made pasta. and it was cheese pasta. that's the second time that's happened - last time being with lasagne - and it ruined me. i've been feeling awful the entire night.

2. we began watching beyond the law, and the burn was bad. everyone got to see what a great movie it is, and then we had to switch. we decided to go with terminal velocity. it was really funny to see the same things happening in the two movies, like him riding out the door and swearing in a deputy, but it's not an incredible film and the others i picked were too long once we'd already gotten into the first.

there was a short gift-giving ceremony, i got a decision maker (spin the wheel and do as it says, yes, no, pray, fire someone, ask mom...) and a miniature set of spanish shoe-polishing equipment. and yet another letter i could barely read.

i've just bid on a couple of movies, first one being beyond the law, and i don't think the rest of the evening's going to be interesting. actually, i kinda hope not.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

TGIT is back

i ran a bit late this morning, barely managing to catch the second bus. i slept great on the shuttle, though.

i wasn't really too focused today, in particular i was studying something after lunch and suddenly caught myself staring blankly and feeling terrible... a coffee break brought me back to life, but everything's relative.

the achievement of the day was completing the holiday form guide so that nobody else will have to wonder about the process. i was a bit worried about sending it to the entire unit as some of my comments were surprisingly snide and cynical, but i think the my general wackiness and sense of humour embedded in the document balances it out.

i just had a really interesting discussion about national behaviour modification with one of the guys on the shuttle home, and now i'm grabbing a few movies and heading off to my TL's place for a team movie night.

i'm quite impressed with the lessons i've learned this last week - sleep deprivation is good for me, as is drinking on school-nights, so all i really have to do is stop worrying about stuff and do whatever i want to until something happens, and then deal with it :) [apparently i'm not as unhealthy as i thought]

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

shaky waking

this morning began rough - i felt horrible when i woke up, so much so that i had to lie down for about half an hour to get balanced. i suspect that my neck had been at a bad angle :(

i got a ride to base, but the timing was a little off and i had to abandon half a cup of coffee to be on time for the day's duty. we had about three hours of lectures, and i spent them fisting my eyes and massaging my temples.

i was happily surprised that my previous TL was in the same group as me for today's testing. not only did it give us a good chance to chat, but it's a good feeling that for one day we're both on the same level. i got my rank a few days before he was promoted to the same, and his regular job is as an SC so he's way ahead of me on that scale.

i gave up lunch with him to meet up with a few of the guys from the course i just got back from. i was charmed that nobody was answering their phones nor calling back, and ended up eating alone. i did have an opportunity to chat with my TL and nystire's, and we got onto the topic of scientific efforts to extend life. my TL's a deathist too :P

the examination itself wasn't difficult, but i ran out of time because i'm slow processing hebrew. i filled in a bit more than 85%, and scored 80%, so i guess i have an idea of what's up. either that, or my taking two seconds to randomly fill in the rest of the paper helped.

i returned to the office a little bit boggled, got some secretariat stuff sorted out, did a bit of work, and left. i did some super-fast shopping on the way home, received my wireless card and discovered that ubuntu has issues connecting to my pda so i can't pass it the driver... shite... some time was dedicated to organizing the snowboard trip's travel arrangements, and then i went shoe shopping. i had enough points for a pair of pretty nifty-looking cats.

walking home would've been better, same as the exam would've been easier, if only my nose wasn't so stuffed. it makes it difficult to enjoy stuff and concentrate.

roger ebert on ben stein, specifically tearing him apart for his lack of a functioning neural network.

i enjoy reading questionable content, but he really has taken his strip to a new level. setting up twitter feeds for each of the characters and having them interact is nuts. here's the link for the main character.


because my flatmate keeps getting into the shower as i get up from my pc:
auditorium is awesome.

silent night blade

i just got back from blading with the big group - every week i miss it and that irks me, so tonight's arriving *just* in time (i left the apartment later than i'd expected to, i blame the alarm clock) was a real treat.
my feet hurt a bit, and i learned a few important lessons for blading at night in the relative cold:
a) snow mask a must
b) bright clothing a must (i knew that, but i was in a hurry to get out of here)
c) protective gear needs to be easily accessible (i did just buy wrist-pads, so no excuse there)
d) i should probably invest in a head-mounted torch

the section where we went through the park, pitch black except for whatever other people's light passed over, silent and slightly frosty, was simply gorgeous!

and back to the day:

last night i tried to arrive a little later than the agreed upon hour, but i always forget how quick the journey to the smith is and i arrived about half an hour earlier. and everyone else was over an hour late, so i sat nursing a couple of beers (bottomless beer night) until they arrived, by which time i'd soured a little at the lack of company.
when everybody rocked up i had another beer, we tried to play tekken 5 (but the controls weren't working, figures), talked a bit and then left.


i was a wreck this morning, and my alarm has become untrustworthy. instead of pressing snooze, i manually reset it to five minutes later... i fortunately didn't pass out again, because i noticed that my phone clock hit the desired time and did nothing... including moving on to the next minute. it froze, quietly, and i experienced a similar problem with it when i set it to get me up to go blading. good thing i have two alarms!

a terrorist alert had all entrances to tel aviv sealed this morning, which wrecked absolute havoc on the nation. yeah, it's not as bad as people getting injured - or worse, but it's still pretty effective.

i was too unfocused to work this morning, so i managed to get the number of unread messages in my inbox down to 75, that's from roughly 300. it took me three weeks to get to 300 from 500, so i guess i can say it was a productive morning...

i helped one of the guys write his personal statement (university application), and was reminded that i wanted to learn all the elephant jokes... so in a couple of minutes i'm going to put them into my palm-top :P

i spent an hour or two documenting my project in an amusing fashion and simultaneously being annoyed by the kinder, who argues about things he doesn't understand and isn't really interested in learning about. every time i tried to get him to push off he picked a different, equally irritating subject... we didn't have too friendly an afternoon :/

in a bureaucratic stroke of genius, i was (late in the afternoon) informed that the half-and-half vacation was authorized, but i had to urgently fill out all the forms again and get them signed. we did it all quite efficiently, and at the end of the day i sent off a beautiful prose-mail with instructions for the secretariat (because now i'm the resident know-it-all, this is fairly amusing).

i had a great personal interview with the unit commander, he seemed to enjoy hearing my tale and we had an interesting discussion about my plans for the future. he told me he's committing himself to convincing me that it's more important to stay where i am :P

after the interview i needed to broach a few subjects with my SC, and he just happened to be leaving in the direction of the bus stop that i needed so i got to kill two birds with one stone. i discovered the source of the confusion (i talked about wanting a second interview): when discussing my plans for the future, he thought i was referring to an army branch and not an entire industry.
language barrier, huh? pity :/

i was exhausted when i got home. i cleared up a few things online, showed my new flatmate how to do laundry, made myself a salad and lay down for an hour and a half. i think i might have slept, but i'm not sure.

i'm actually quite tired now, and tomorrow's a big day as i have to sit in boring lectures for most of it before writing an exam. yay!

i'm so glad i caught the rollerblading group tonight ^_^

Monday, December 01, 2008

sleep lessons

i spoke to the lawyer yesterday morning, and things with the new apartment seem to be going well.

it was my birthday... and i felt crap for most of it. the best moments of the day were comprised of the guys really appreciating the cake i brought, and an hour or two that i could actually get some work done.

i was distracted by an uber-annoying task for a couple of hours yesterday morning, doubly problematic because it wasn't successful and, like everything else, was cutting in on the time i needed to be working on my project. my project, that desperately needs to be completed before i leave for south africa (the end of the year).

i started off the afternoon by re-attempting the failure from yesterday, and just as i began to get the hang of it i was told that it hadn't been relevant since the morning. it's good to be in the loop.

then this evening i was informed that the project itself has been frozen, and i've got almost no time to wrap up whatever i've done and document it before getting on to the next deadlined item. i think the guys noticed i was beginning to enjoy myself :(

i did some shopping on my way home yesterday, and bypassed the orange juice and bought oranges, with my fruit-fucker in mind. after searching for it for about twenty minutes, i phoned my flatmates and was told that neither of them have touched it or seen it.
i'm fairly confident that the weird guy was juicing when the new girl moved in :@

i had a couple of interesting conversations with vision, the first of which was surprisingly pleasant and the second surprisingly annoying. she began as if nothing had happened since we last spoke, as if everything was gravy, and then suddenly made a switch and informed me that she's been dating someone for the last year and that what i did was awful, and that it's inappropriate to speak to me.

but she... she got in touch with me - and she sounded hurt because i'd deleted her number...

alter bridge is creed? no way!

a fn evening (inappropriate chatter):
i spent the evening with gco, his sister and fn - haven't seen them in a while. we sat over beers in one of my favourite coffee shops, telling incredibly inappropriate stories and having a great time ^_^

fn came with me when i went to the ilke to meet egg. i had an odd moment where i walked right past the lead singer of eatliz: i registered her and her boyfriend a second too slow, and decided to leave them to it.

we were all impressed by the fact that the bartender picked rum on his second guess. maybe we'd all had too much to drink and i'd let slip before, but i don't think so. fn is a sweet girl, but not the sharpest knife in the drawer; she also drinks a lot and gets decidedly inappropriate. i don't think the guy at the kiosk's ever going to forget my face, he and his friends were laughing riotously as we made our way out :S

i got to sleep around 2.30 - 3am, and i woke up before 6am having slept like a baby. today was without any doubt the most productive i've been in forever, i was focused and feeling good, and here i was worried that going out drinking on a school night was a bad idea. as my mom just said, maybe i need to stop trying to sleep so much.

why was f.e.a.r. in my head for twelve hours? i have no idea where i may have heard it.

i had a pretty good start to the day - although i was struck by the hopelessness of trying to respond to all the facebook birthday wishes. i tried.

i managed to return last week's test results to the doctor within five minutes this morning, and then went to the dentist for a filling. she's a pretty decent one, and i was so relaxed that i snored myself awake a number of times while she was drilling. i've never had that happen to me before!

i've been struggling with organizing holiday permission, and today the story is more-or-less resolved. nobody wants to authorize me taking a month of unpaid leave, we all want it to be half and half. now we're tugging on the bureaucratic tape to see if we can make things work, but apparently the big boss is alright with it as long as we're doing our best.

bank disappointment: i finally made it to the bank on time! and discovered that i did get the release money from the army, but it's a pitiful sum so i'm not thrilled.

i have to restart my pc to get the sound working again, hopefully i've fixed the problem. i like the ubuntu forums, there are actually useful people lurking about.

then i'm going to try facebook again :P

Saturday, November 29, 2008

i will, power penguin.

i have now seen the end of it, and thus closed a chapter of my life. for years that movie freaked me out, and aside from being satisfied by finally having seen it in its entirety, i'm also really glad that my having been scared by it was completely justified. even as an adult i can say it was a good horror movie.

as i said to my mum earlier, that's a far cry from how i felt when i saw fright night and was embarrassed that it had caused me years of nightmares. i was embarrassed, but to be fair i was only six years old at the time.

i whiled away the afternoon fiddling with the guitar and catching up on how i met your mother. i eventually painted over half of yesterday's effort, i'll wait and see where that takes me.

my mum and i were discussing sleeping issues, and i laughed when she said i could try to fix them when i'm on holiday by taking a pill each night. i don't need the pill at night, i need the pill at stupid-o'clock in the morning when i wake up right after i've just managed to get to sleep. i need to take sleeping tablets so that i can miss the morning after, and not the party :P

i went out for sushi, sat reading huck finn (not too hard to ignore the wrestling on the telly) and enjoying good miso soup and the usual high-quality sushi. after i got back a bug in my bonnet got me signing up for an online dating service. i can't say that i have much faith in meeting someone interesting online, but it can't hurt to try.

reflections on my upcoming birthday:
i can't fill so much of my brainspace with worrying about my health. i got the results from sunday's test and an advisory listing all the things i should and shouldn't do to curb my fainting. some of the recommendations are absurd, and i'm making a decision here and now to chill out and quell the constant concerns over protein, sugar and water consumption, sleep deprivation, lack of physical activity and whatever else pops into my head. like my slipped disc, and... oh, crap. is this ageing? or just bad luck?

in fact, i'm determined to make good of the suggestion i received at the end of the course: "slide". i'm going to slide.

i must admit that i'm a bit sad about some of the sacrifices i've made / am making. i had the same problem with my university years. at the time it's hard, and then afterwards it's all worth it. i was aware of that then, and i'm aware of it now, but being in the army has never really suited my personality. at least i love the work i'm doing, although it's difficult for me to get excited about it. i want to be excited.

things are looking good with the apartment my mother and i are buying, and i *really* want my own space. i can almost taste a sense of permanence. like nailing things into walls and buying furniture.

it haunts my hard drive

i was doing great, returned to watching it and then my sound card froze. i've managed to close down everything, but there's an annoying sound stuck so it looks like i need to restart. in honour of this, here are some of the tabs that've remained open:

vegetarians: touchy, touchy people.
awesome costume! i did continue reading until the very end, and it was worth it. she's so cute! not her, the other one!
let's have more down syndrome: he's right. we do "choose" the increased risk.
dancing scientists: best - topic explanation - EVER.
did apple mislead? this is a very interesting proof. i think the fuss is unnecessary, though - the point the ad was trying to make stands. the "problem" here is described wonderfully by the same video i linked to last week.

i'm REALLY impressed that firefox saved this post, because the system went down as i finished it.

early to bed and :/

and i'm still not feeling 100%. i'm definitely going to take today easy.

maybe hear a new (for me) band this evening to celebrate? squid sound pretty good.

Friday, November 28, 2008

if you want to be a hero:

then stop being a dick.
this phrase just popped into my head wednesday, i don't remember what i was thinking about at the time.

army bureaucratic process: i'm waiting for final authorization. it cost me two traumatic hours yesterday morning to get that far. come sunday i'm planning on printing out all the forms again (i really should have made photocopies) and writing a how-to guide for everyone else. it's not right that there's only one person on base who knows what to do and she gets irritated every time she has to explain it.

one of the forms required me to extend the length of my service by 32 days. only that value was filled in in the wrong column, and i'm really glad i caught the error before signing on for an extra 32 months.
uh-uh :/

drugs: it's the army's "war on alcoholism and drugs" week coming up. this always upsets me, and we began arguing about it within the team. this is a really difficult argument to get involved in, and every time it takes a few minutes of discussing drug qualities until we get to the meat of the issue.

a) alcohol is a really bad drug, whose general influence is an increase in aggressive / violent behaviour and road deaths. most of the rest of the drugs are just dandy compared to that.

b) in the case of drugs not including alcohol, the cost of prevention far outweighs cleanup and infringes upon personal freedom, rights and dignity. amsterdam is a shining example of how to deal with drugs, their only issue being with foreigners and that's only because the rest of the world insists on remaining five miles behind them.

oops of note: apparently i told my team-mate not to touch something a few days back, and he didn't (i don't remember exactly what i said). it turns out it was what needing touching in order for him to get his work done. swak.

the girl from upstairs... she's, like, becoming an issue. i get the feeling that she's not picking up that although i like her, i don't like her. i'm worried that this is going to turn unpleasant at some stage. :(

toilet scare: beginning to worry about diabetes... i know i consume way too much sugar, especially since discovering my allergy to the desert and not smoking. for a few hours yesterday, i desperately needed to relieve myself every fifteen minutes - like clockwork. this was frustrating, time-wasting, and disturbing. luckily i managed to hold out between leaving the base and getting home, and since then i've been alright. i'm seriously considering requesting blood tests on sunday.

sammy came to town for coffee, and i have to mention something from an odd conversation regarding the process of producing a cup of coffee: i referred to the beans as embryos, which was off the mark.
the coffee bean is comparable to an unfertilized egg, which would make coffee grinding the equivalent of sex as far as your caffeine fix is concerned.

i received a small envelope in the mailbox: a 2gb sd card surprise! now i can chill about the backup battery being wonky.

sammy gave me a ride to the shitty ars-hole of a club that my ex-team-mate's farewell party was at. the company was great, and most of the night the music wasn't awful. specifically, all the 80's remixes went down well. some of the house remixes were just plain offensive, original tracks based on awesome beats have had crap ones tacked on instead.

i hadn't been feeling good, but beer & rum don't hurt. i'm amused that i ordered captain morgan's spiced gold, and received captain morgan's with sprite. israeli bartenders. speaking of incompetence: i really despise shoddy, sleazy waitresses who demand a tip. i was busy calculating it when she looked at me and shouted "you'd better leave me a good tip!".

in the word's of hardea - mr f*cker: "****ing bitch".

a strange incident popped into my head: once upon a time, in a club called spyce, i was on the dancefloor wearing a the who's - tommy t-shirt that said "see me feel me touch me heal me". a really pretty blonde girl walked up to me, looked me up and down, felt me up and kissed me. i was really, really awkward about this, and responded in a way that embarrassed me almost immediately afterwards (it was a silly response, not too bad - but still).
it turned out that she was a friend of a friend, and i ran into her a few days later. i thought i'd made a fool of myself so i kept my distance, and that's a shame.

one of the girls got really drunk on absinthe last night, and apparently this isn't the first time. the kid, piles and i made a hasty exit.

piles and i had a long talk (a continuation of the last one, really), and i got home, showered and crashed.

i woke up rough a couple of hours later, unable to talk after last night's smoke inhalation. i went to the post office to pick up a package. i was certain that it was the wireless card, so i was a tad disappointed when my three awesome books arrived. i'm a lot more excited about them now :)

i went with nystire and his brother for coffee. the reason for the link is that he was annoyingly talkative about nothing this morning, and i wasn't feeling good.

i bought cake on the way home, which turned out to be a far more complicated mission than i'd anticipated. and expensive, too.

i tried to sleep for an hour or two, but eventually gave up and got up agitated. i went shopping with the new flatmate, a guilt shop because she couldn't carry everything herself :S

i went to meet lake for breakfast, and i gotta say it was nice but weird. meeting lake, not the breakfast. the breakfast was alright. i was a bit concerned by the photos i saw of her on facebook, but they're just not particularly good photos. she's not quite as pretty as i remembered, but then about six years have passed and we're both a little older.

she gave me a hammock chair for my birthday. that was a surprise.

i walked home, and put on stephen king's it. it's a long bloody movie [sic], so i've been pausing and doing stuff* and returning again.

* i'm not happy with it, but it was more or less spontaneous. i'm now deciding whether or not to paint over it... i've never considered that a possibility before.