Wednesday, June 30, 2010

gonna crash!

holy crap! too much updating required: how did i survive the day?! i'm gonna be dreamin' tonight! [or at least, i had better, that was a lot to take in]

1) waking up after four / five hours to walk to the clinic and discover that i'd been had when i walked out of the gates on the 1st of the month. i have to keep an eye on my bank transactions, now :(
at least i have an appointment to see the doctor in the morning. it's amazing - the army makes all the little things so difficult that one really learns to appreciate them when they return to normal. in uniform, i could wait a week before being able to see someone :S

1.5) it appears my blog archives are screwed. i don't get it.

2) i was given a couple more days to find a tenant, and it looks like i'll be getting in touch with the landlady in the morning.

3) coffee with urchin, while waiting an hour and a half for her groceries to be delivered. she has amazing siamese cats, and i could definitely fall in love with the female who's absolutely gorgeous and loves being played with. they do shed a lot, though.

4) the shuk (flea market, middle eastern style) wasn't actually so bad. i found what i was looking for, and urchin bought amusingly striped red specs and then blamed me :P

5) i was stressing over the quote, and the only person whose advice i could trust (my old boss) wasn't answering his phone. the client was pressuring me for an answer, so i sent off what i'd done. an hour later the old boss called, and informed me that i'd underquoted by a substantial amount :(

he gave me some good tips, though, and explained to me how to send a corrective email. at least i haven't signed anything, and i got out of it without looking too stupid.

6) the guy sharing an office with me today had me listening to houston project (mutual friends). the stuff they didn't tamper with to get on the radio? it's actually really good.

7) i made great strides into learning flex today. after a couple of hours and a fair amount of success, the guy i'm supposed to be replacing came down to do a knowledge transfer - he was shocked that i've mastered flex so quickly, and that i displayed such an in-depth understanding and familiarity that he's got nothing to teach me outside of the project structure.

and here i thought i was farting around - i haven't even been taking it seriously :P

8) to qualify that last statement, i spent a fair amount of time going over the specs for another system and putting in my two cents' worth... when the project's a go, it looks like i might have a place :)

8.5) i received a phone call from the guys that made the best offer so far: the penny only dropped just now that they needed to push for a response, because even if they pick somebody else the timing's going to be really, really tight for them. and i'll be on my way soon. *sigh*

9) the knowledge transfer was crazy - i got most of it, but it's all so complex (but elegant!) that it's definitely going to take a while before i get comfortable. at least he didn't manage to surprise me with anything 8D

10) i was exhausted, and hadn't eaten anything substantial the entire day. i slowly slid home while chatting with my mum*, changed for the blade and then went to pick up a shuwarma (i'd been locked on since before walking out the office)... i was supposed to be sitting with singer for a final touch-up, but there was such a long queue that i'd only have twenty minutes, and we decided to postpone.

* quote of the day: now that i'm back to being a civilian, with civilian problems?
"i'm out of the fire and back into the frying pan"

instead, i sat outside the cinemateque, and when i was done did a round to pick up a cooldrink and dessert before people began to show up. i have to admit that the transvestite / transsexual at the counter caused me to do a double-take - i just couldn't be certain until he spoke :P

the evening was highly social and loads of fun, and we finished it off with excellent frozen yoghurt before calling it a night.

11) why do my lounge lights flicker at random intervals?

12) my tongue ring is managing to slip... i need to get that checked tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

night shift recalibration

ipod + blades = dancing to work. possibly not the safest way to do it, but everyone i passed seemed to be enjoying it almost as much as i was.

i really like this: madlibs phd conference

i just heard that there's a three year limit within which one must complete a master's in english literature. oh, well. i'll try. (and i'm a year too early to be worried about it :P)

i had two decidedly unhappy callers tonight. *sigh*
at least everything felt... smoother.

i spent most of the evening writing a quotation for the graphic work and learning about freelance pressure. i can't figure out if i'm charging too much or too little, and i think i need to find someone to represent me so that i can earn the money without the bureaucracy.

i was embarrassed to ask if it would be alright to charge my ipod by connecting it to a pc. it's one of the big army security no-no's, and here nobody gives a damn as long as i don't install itunes :P

i think it's too late to hit the party tonight... i really wanted to hear omka :(

Monday, June 28, 2010

sleepless and in pain?

i did get some work done - i spent hours in frustration, each time learning a little more about the fragility of opengl programming and at one point having it made abundantly clear to me that coding in qt is *not* the way to go.

i will be progressing with sdl, because the little experience that i have was smooth and impressive.

i went to bed because i couldn't focus anymore, and woke up very early to continue. the first news of the day - the couple that came to see the apartment aren't interested :/

---

i spent a good five hours at work, digging deeper into flex and learning to dislike the debugger intensely. the debugger is mean. and mostly useless.

it lies. it makes outrageous statements like "no such value" and "@#$%^%^%" when i put a watch on a variable that works perfectly. or almost perfectly. and it's only forgiving with errors when those errors WILL screw everything up. no reports, no nothing.

just a lot of headscratching until the "OOH!!!! i seee! bastard." moments.

my personal favourite? for dealing with XML, we have a function called length(). length(), when used in an XML context, will always return a value of "1". fantastically useful :/

---

i spoke to the guy i'm supposed to be doing the graphics stuff for, and he wants an organized quote. the problem is that i have no way of knowing how many hours to expect, and no clue if the amount i'm charging is enough or too much :(

i never liked giving project estimations.

---

i'm impressed with how quickly people responded to my advertising that my apartment's for rent on facebook. in the meanwhile, even if nobody takes it i think i've found someone to rent it to while i'm overseas :)

after an amusing chat with a stranger while i strapped on my blades, i sped home and got here just as the first guest was arriving. we walked in to find chc with a strange look on her face - the two of us went outside for a quick chat. i explained that as long as she doesn't break any of the rules (especially rule no 1) and isn't in my way, i don't mind her being around to sort out her stuff.

it took us a while to get started with the game - mostly because we needed to go shopping, and that involved picking up a desk that a neighbour had thrown out. if i move, i'll need it and if i don't, scrapper will. what timing!

the game was a bit on and off - i got into character and my character was bored and agitated. the scene came to a close before we found any action because one of the guys had to go, and the two of us who remained convinced scrapper to give us some free play with two random non-characters in the city.

that turned out brilliantly! it gave us an amazing perspective on the shit-storm we'd left behind on the first night we played, and introduced us to some interesting characters :)

---

something happened in the middle of the game - something that seemed like what i imagine my niece to have felt: a sudden, growing and eventually disabling pain from just below my sternum (what appears to be my liver). i'm informed by trustworthy sources that i should probably go tomorrow to see if i have medical cover. maybe medical insurance is a good idea?

i was really close to asking to be taken to a clinic. i was certain i'd faint from the pain. it was altogether unpleasant.

and to make matters worse, while i was lying down and feeling sorry for myself scrapper came to check up on me, and discovered that there's a ninja hiding in the pattern on my pillow. the nerve! i be ever-so-slightly-redbeard the pirate, and i will not take it lying down!

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR!!! [this link comes with a serious warning: it's extremely sexually explicit and the story involving pirates is a bit of the way down.]

---

i thought i'd nap before work, but posting took almost an hour (i did get a bit stuck going through facebook photos, to be fair) and now i gotta go. i hope i manage to get a quote together by the end of the shift, because i wanna go hear omka playing at the mafteach...

---

on chemical parties

quote no. 7: as we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will. you'll have your heart broken and you'll break others' hearts. you'll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because time is flying by. so take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you've never been hurt. life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. you just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.

does anyone know how to get hold of that old video where the guy runs, jumps and headbutts the doorframe? it's pre-youtube, and i had no luck searching for it :(

Sunday, June 27, 2010

stressball part ii

[... continued]

dammit - i didn't know it was possible to export all my post to xml. it would appear i've wasted a fair amount of time on doing it manually :'(

the ride through to the party was a bit crazy - i was broken, but i couldn't sleep and i kept sliding between reality and dark dreams. at one point we drove through rain, which was difficult to believe - it's the end of june! in israel!

the venue was really well hidden - even though the driver was one of the organizers, we managed to get lost in the mountains. all i picked up was a conversation with a cop on the way in to the area*, the moon shining down through the clouds and then a weird noise before we all had to get out and walk... the weird noise was the radiator overheating :/

* "why did you lie to me?"
we should have responded with "ask me no questions, i'll tell you no lies" :P

two things i noticed on the way:
1. my tongue's fully healed. i know this because i'm very aware of the bar being too long.
2. i randomly feel great pressure behind my left eyeball. i thought it was something that builds up from eye strain, but there was no reason for it to strike suddenly at 3am.

we walked into the party with a german tourist who said / asked strange / amusing things, and got into the little valley just in time to enjoy an amazing sunrise.
mission 1: accomplished!

the first part of the party started a bit rough - i was tired and not feeling particularly well. it took a while before we were organized and sharing someone's tent to store our gear, and the music was just beginning to get groovy by the time we hit the dancefloor. the girls seemed to be having a good time - i wonder if they fully appreciated just how insanely good cosmosis is - he was up and down with his electric guitar, playing every style (i especially enjoyed his hendrix covers) and throwing us unbelievably solid beats ^_^

i can't recall any one artist driving me that nuts in a while; not even simon posford!

the sprinkler system was a must... umm... right until it began to rain. it rained! the weather was cool for a few hours, and the main tent got so waterlogged that it had to be dropped to protect the beams from being crushed!

so there we were, dancing in the rain to the most wicked tunes in the middle of israel in the middle of summer. it was a fantastic spiritual experience, but i don't believe there's any more obvious sign that the end of the world is nigh - global warming weather patterns have taken a big step :(

the girls found a ride back to herzeliya, explaining that my cousin's friend wasn't feeling well and said goodbye. i really hope they enjoyed the party as much as they said they did.

at one point i felt so gone that i took a nap; i woke up overheating, when there was a cool breeze outside. there was too much sun to remove my shirt, so i was glad that one of the guys was running around spraying us with water :)

the only complaint i have about the day is that everything after cosmosis was a let-down. they really shouldn't have put minimal / progressive / whatever after crazy psy and goa. it was still great music, but it was hard to get worked into a frenzy :/

i made a couple of new friends, and scored a ride home with them. i was the only person who didn't pass out, so it was my job to keep the driver occupied; i'm really glad my ipod has a speaker, otherwise we would've been stuck listening to the radio the whole way there :P

i hadn't eaten since supper, so i thought i'd head for a coffee shop before getting to sleep. my body didn't agree with that plan, however, and i passed out almost immediately after showering. i woke up in the evening, and chc walked in looking crushed midway through an episode of the prisoner.

she'd gotten a ride back with a couple of friends of mine, and they're a difficult bunch to get to know. she hadn't made it any easier when she took her time at a gas station on the way... *sigh*

at least she seems to be okay. she's gone, and she left me with a shrek candy fan as a parting gift. she still has my key, but a lot of her stuff's still here and i think it's alright. it did give us an awkward pause as she walked out the door :$

i didn't get anything of value done yesterday, just chilled and caught up online and then went to sleep after posting. i thought i'd read myself to sleep, but i didn't even manage a sentence before i realized that i wasn't going to make it...

... i began the day at the city council - i now know how much my council tax is and that they don't care about people who've been released from the permanent force. at least they give reductions to poor students - not me, hopefully, unless i find myself in real shit :S

i went shopping, and made myself a solid spicy pastrami omelette to consume while posting. i'd been planning on visiting my piercer, but i realized that it was too late so i whizzed off to work instead.

it was a pretty productive day, and i came home with the intention of getting some work done.

i'm about to begin.

i promise!

---

an interesting link from gco - why do the arabs want israel?

stressball part i

the last few days - minus yesterday's festivities - have seen me feeling like all of my internal organs are tightly knotted around my sternum. it's mostly to do with work, and facing the realities of my inability to comfortably bring in cash... and that's due to choices i've made, like studying again.
i really hope i don't end up having to compromise.

i began thursday morning at urchin's, having a cup of coffee and then continuing on to lipgirl's. i was on my way home to pick up shoes before heading to work when i decided that breakfast was in order...

---

coffeeholic's owner asked me if i wanted to rent out my apartment to her niece and her boyfriend.

wow! the thought of renting hadn't crossed my mind, and i asked if the amount that lipgirl's landlord wants for the adjoining apartment (almost twice the size of mine) was acceptable: indeed it was. that put me into a bit of a spin; the idea of moving to an area i like, to be neighbours with a girl that i want to see more of and to have more than enough space for myself even if i take in a flatmate (and then i'll be paying much less rent) is only offset by the strangeness of the idea of having other people live in my space...

i must choose. they came to look at the apartment, and seemed really happy with it - of course they did, it's a great apartment :)

---

i spent the day playing with flex, coming home for a quick break and to pay the building maintenance fees. on my way out, chc asked me "is it really that hard to live with me?"
geez.

on my blade back to work i was annoyed by a taxi driver who couldn't take his hand off the horn - it began with a cyclist when i was still a ways off, but then he got onto me when i overtook him. i stopped at the end of the road to stare at him until he went past. i hadn't yet moved when a motorbike almost ran me over, shouting "be careful!".

be careful?! of what? i was standing on the side of the road, and i still don't understand why he had to come within inches of me. *shakes head*

my third night back at work, and our system was overloaded - that meant that i finally got to answer calls. i have now met the basic requirements for my return to the company, and all the rest is optional extra ^_^

during the night i was introduced to a free job search site, and aside from playing with that i found myself floundering a bit with the graphics book. i'll be playing with that tonight, i'm sure some practical application will make things clear.

i came home for a quick shower, then walked to meet up with a couple of the party organizers to pick up the weekend's tickets. i was invited upstairs, and a bunch of us spent the next three hours eating and talking and having a very relaxed time.

i arrived home at 4am, pleased that the door had been locked and distraught to find the telly on. it turns out that i have way more than two rules in my apartment -
  • lock the door when you leave
  • keep the parquet dry
  • don't smoke inside
  • don't feed the roaches
  • try not to waste electricity or water (although that's a general rule, not an apartment one)
  • knives sharp side down
are those unreasonable?

i definitely didn't get enough sleep before heading back to lipgirl's to check out the pad - now i'm excited about it. it's definitely big enough! only the shower's not ideal, everything else is great :)
i'd spent three days trying to organize a ride up north - with no luck. that wasn't helping my stress levels :/
i spent a few minutes on lipgirl's pc, trying to make contact and then trying to rent a car. it was too late for that :(

i returned home to find chc in the mood for a fight, and we let everything fly. how strange, then, to end it with seemingly mutual understanding and a hug!

i went to the sportec to meet up with scrapper and co for some frisbee. we had enough time before the others arrived to play for a bit, and then rest on the grass while discussing the issues of the day... mean grass - that itch is one hell of a defense mechanism :P

i was exhausted, and the heat was too much. i played well, but lethargically. i hadn't eaten anything all day... i was fairly certain i'd pass out on my way home. to circumvent that, i picked up a mars bar and a guarana soft drink on the way: not the best of breakfasts.

i made the last bus to herzeliya, unsuccessfully trying to nap on the way. i arrived there too early, so i stopped at a kiosk and bought juice and a beer - it was as i opened it that someone i'd messaged on facebook called me: "do you have a license?"
"yes!"
"okay, then you can come with us. the girls you're with - are they yours? or are you just travelling together?"

*instant suspicion*
i decided that i didn't care if they were arsim, as long as we had a way to get there. i was friendly, we agreed to speak close to midnight, and all was well...

soon afterwards my cousin arrived to buy cigarettes, and i returned with her to the apartment to crash on the sofa. the classical music was a bit loud for me, so i moved to the balcony and lay about appreciating the stunning sunset until kc's grandparents arrived for dinner.

dinner was grand - too much food, and it was all good. for some reason none of us had very big appetites, which was quite a pity, but the conversation was pleasant and the evening in general was very nice.

---

time to go. time to head back to tel aviv to catch a ride with our "friend". we took a taxi to the shuttles, then a shuttle to tel aviv. we walked to my place, calling him up on the way to finalize the plans:
"hi! we're back in tel aviv, what time are you thinking of leaving?"
"who is this? what are you talking about?"
"am i speaking to kobi?"
"no."
"okay, well, we're going to the party with him. can i speak to him?"
"he's left already"
"what?!"
"yeah."
"and he left his phone with you?!"
"yeah, but he'll be back in twenty minutes."
*sigh*
"oh! okay, then i'll call back in half an hour."
"you do that"

asshole. we came in to find chc lurking about - after a few minutes of awkward semi-pleasantries, the girls crashed and chc and i had a long argument over whether or not she was justified in her anger with some guy she'd had a fling with. i tried to explain to her how attacking him would cause him to become defensive, and that his angry response was not indicative of him being unreasonable or crazy...

when it dawned on me, after about ten minutes of talking in circles, that she'd been looking to me for confirmation and not some attempt at objectivity, i asked if it would make her feel better if i told her whatever she wanted to hear. a few moments later things calmed down.

humans.

around 1.15am, after sending a message and trying to call twice, i gave up. once again: we had a winner. i sent an SOS to a few of the organizers, and one of them called me back - "how soon can you be in a taxi?"

we scrambled, we took a taxi to the central bus station. we arrived there too late for a regular shuttle, and were almost ready to throw our hands in the air when someone else rocked up and we were enough to make privately renting one feasible. we managed to get from NIS 270 (the regular taxi fee) to 200 (renting the special for three people) to 170 (the new guy dropped our price by thirty; it seems a little unfair, but there's no strength to negotiate at 1.40am). the short ride had us in hadera, and our friend was coming to pick us up ^_^

[continued...]

interim

it's been a crazy couple of days, and i have lots of spouting to do - but i'll get it in the morning. because i've learned from the secret powers of time.

in the meanwhile, though - i have to say that the party which i almost didn't make it to was unbelievable, and chc is pretty much out and we're on good terms so i'm a little more relaxed. i'll be even more relaxed when i remember to breathe - here's a good reason why i should chill.

i like these videos. they're very, very smart.

---

i find it amusing that i always leave xkcd for last when i go through my comic feeds. as shadowslight says, it's mostly a case of "okay... *click*... yeah... *click*... amusing... *click*... interesting... *click*... SPEAKS TO MY SOUL!!!"

today's was more of a "yeah" :/

i'm certain i've shown support for freakangels before. usually it sits unread in my rss reader for ages until i have a good moment, and there was a stretch wherein i found it a bit tedious. the last few installments have been incredibly powerful, though, and have reminded me that it's totally worth getting into :)

i just caught up on another patv episode, and their chat about political stuff not being funny rings true. especially now that it's been four years :(

and the world is blind.

and here's another depressing thing: yet another reminder that we're not caring enough :'(

so here's a bit of positive stuff: this is one lucky dude. sure, if his luck were better it wouldn't have happened...

and here's a cure for most cases of chemical-burn blindness - thanks to nystire for the link :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

i haven't begun

holy crap. it's past 3am and i only just discovered why g++ has been giving me grief for the last hour or so... it's been so long that i wrote "io" instead of "iostream", and no shit i couldn't find anyone with a similar problem >'(

and a long argument with SxS later concerning the state of our nations (well, it was about the states and obama but all of us suffer from the same deal - our democrazy isn't cutting any mustard), i've been inspired by the empathic civilization and am praying that someone, even if it's the chinese, will get us off this rock.

frizz be

i received a phone call asking if i was up for frisbee, and i jumped out of my chair (for joy) and gleefully glided back home. the were three of us on form, it was great fun and excellent exercise ^_^

i got home in time for a quick chat with chc while putting on my blades to go to singer's - there were a few corrections i'd made that she didn't agree with.
it took a while to work out the kinks, and the end result was spine-tinglingly good! i cannot stress how proud i am of her - when we were dating i kept pushing her to abandon the idiots she was playing with, and her new crew are both talented and professional; this is going to be a great album ^_^

i left as soon as we were done - we have a comfort zone that's a bit dangerous, and i definitely didn't want to push it.

i rolled straight to coffeeholic, for an iced-coffee and social, and then returned home to talk to someone about potential work... but he wasn't online. i thought i'd spend a few minutes on urchin's housewarming gift, but my other drive has died so i made external backups and am now irritated again :(

now i need to study graphics. at least i'm finding opengl simple and interesting :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

mango drugs

mangos are brilliant - and eating one at work? i'm very proud of myself for managing to do it so tidily. i suspect, though, that the strands that get stuck in one's teeth are their deterrent... makes one think twice before digging in :P

---

grootbek on form:

This is a response to the nonsense in the post below
In a country where people work 3 hours a day 5 days a week, and spend the rest of the time Siesta-sizing . The legalizing of hard drugs has led to......more unemployment.

A rise in Unemployment every year since the drug has been legalized from 4.5% to 10% (See CIA World Factbook)

But Fruit Service goers, I quote
totalwaste, who himself has never dealt with hard drugs "...heroin is less dangerous than riding a horse on the street..." so I guess we are all gonna be OK.

my response:

it amazes me that you misquote me so freely. i never said heroine was okay, and the sentence *i* was quoting was from here:
e safe as horses

now there's a man more qualified to talk about this stuff than us.

schmuck. and that same cia factbook? it says that unemployment is normal.
and i also think it's great that your understanding of economics is so solid that you think that drugs are the only possible factor.


---

flex is driving me nuts. some of it's impressive in its simplicity, and some errors i just can't figure out. the worst ones? when nothing happens. no error, no nothing.

web development, huh? and the money's shite. i need a real job!

sweating it out

i'm stressed - it's mostly because of the lack of (real) work, but also due to the fact that chc staying with me is becoming a "thing". there were a couple of items on my morning agenda; instead, i found myself struggling to make her damn business cards - i'd promised to help before, and was under the impression that she'd managed by herself...

which means that she hasn't done anything much this week. and the less she does, the more stressed i get because i want her to get out, and i don't want her to stay in her currently pitiful situation.

---

chc came in in the middle of the night monday, mumbling something about food poisoning. i went back to sleep, and woke up a couple of hours later dreaming about the sludge in the the yarkon (river? stream?).

i had The Talk with chc when she woke up - it wasn't pleasant. i explained that it was time for her to find a new place to live... i felt terrible about it for most of the rest of the day.

first thing i saw as i came to work? the portuguese drug disaster. can we all learn from this, please? i think my plan may have been overkill :P

i discovered that as far as the university is concerned i won't be considered an actual student for another month or so - oh, well.

---

there's a little controversy surrounding my statements regarding going nuclear:
highlander: or use this clean free ubundant energy - LIFE project
me: that sounds too good to be true; i hope that's not another "maybe"!
but instead of saying "or" use it, let's say "and" - it's not such a stretch to implement nuclear power on a global scale right now, whereas LIFE has yet to become practical...

it's better to go with a probable imperfect solution than a maybe-possible perfect one: nuclear now!

scrapper: gentlemen, nuclear power has a lot of financial interest behind it. people want you to think that nuclear power is awesome and great and will solve your problems.
but it wont. fifty years from now, there won't be enough room on the planet for enough powerplants (i've seen that calculation in some lecture). the problem with solar power is, although it's the cleanest non-heat producing solution, it will bring zero money to the tycoons. so nobody's selling it.
why would we need to a create a new star in a lab?
we already have a star.

me: nuclear power has a lot of self-interested fat-cats stopping it from being a possible solution.

and this looks like what you were talking about.

there's a lot of problematic non-evidence in that, but that's not the deal. did you read the closing paragraph from the thorium article?

that's what it's about. if we could get solar power and other renewables going faster than nuclear, then that would be great too :)


---

the meat i had for lunch turned out to be rather explosive in the microwave... i cleaned for my supper :P

i finally began playing with flex - for real - and the first thing i did was discover a problem with RadioButtonGroups. i'm good :/

i got home to find chc vegging. i rotated my wheels, then sped off (on foot) to visit my piercer. she's well pleased with the results of the teflon helix bar, and even more so with my tongue. we spent about fifteen minutes chatting on a bench (she was surprised to discover that i'm not as square as i appear :P) before i returned home to wolf down a pre-blade sandwich while reading some more chaucer, then shower before the pre-blade nap.

the route rocked last night, and it was a fun and social evening. everything was fantastic until we got to jaffa, because i had to split before the group hit the incredible promenade. i wasn't happy about that at all.

i learned a very important lesson in getting to work in the middle of the night: it's always a good idea to rollerblade. i was most of the way across the train's connecting bridge (about 100m from the office) when i was forced to turn back because they'd locked down the exit.

so i had to walk all the way around; this took twenty minutes, and it was through a large, empty parking lot. in any event i was sweaty by the time i walked in... so there was no justification for walking :(

the girl who i sat with on thursday night was in a pissy mood, and my enthusiasm wasn't helping. it took a few minutes for things to settle down. other than that, the morning was great fun and i got a ride back to my area. around 4.30am, totally tuned in to soundgarden - superunknown; i went to bed and woke up about six hours later.

---

megan's foxy nerd-cred - with lembas

on nerd-joke devolution: see the comments

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

kennet FTW!

the kennet shakespeare edition of a midsummer night's dream has the glossary:
175 girdle belt, sash. puck will encircle the world with incredible speed, in less than half the time taken by sputnik i.

i love you babe, but i just can't smile

[the inspiration for the title]

a 7.40am wake-up, with my body in as much disarray as my bed and the expression "shit just got real" in my head. strange dreams. i took nystire's opengl book to breakfast - it took me a while to decide what to eat, and of course i went with the spicy one i'd tried to remember to chill with :P

i'm surprised at how simple opengl is; i don't know what i was expecting. after breakfast i paid the art store and the printer a visit to find out canvas prices (for urchin's wall) - i'm really not certain how i'm going to proceed, i have expensive tastes.
while i was there i saw my tattoo artist; we don't talk business anymore :P

i sent nystire's wife's cv through to our boss, and was disappointed when he explained to me why he wouldn't be making contact... i can't fault his logic; he doesn't want anyone splitting on him. i was about to say something about my situation when it suddenly struck me that i'm about to be a student again :P

i activated my tel aviv university student account - and was locked out immediately. it gave me shit until i finally met all the password requirements, except for one: i'd chosen a password that was too long, and it simply got truncated :/
their email support is pretty good, and i got a fast (and english, surprisingly) response. once that was sorted out i was ready to enter my account! only now it tells me that i'm not a student. i find that offensive.

in sickness and in health? a guy came in to work with a cough and a sniffle, reminding me that i'd woken up with a blocked nose and freaking me out about germs. then he told me that today was his anniversary, and that the last thing one should ever do is get married. hmmm.

---

important topic of conversation: nuclear power is cleaner than most other sources and practical in its output. no-brainer: we need to go nuclear. and not in 2005 - it's too late for that.
[funny how it's always wired with the important stuff]

[i guess desalinization's important too]

---

after learning a lot about adobe's flex and spending five hours glued to the screen in the process, i walked home (at a fairly comfortable pace) to prepare for taekwondo. i got home to find the door unlocked (i can't remember if it was closed properly or not), the fan on and the sharp knives blade-up in the cutlery holder.
if chc doesn't kill me with my own knives, then it'll be from a heart-attack. i think it's time for her to move on. as much as i enjoy her company, i'm not in a stable enough place right now to be babysitting.

---

i had an amazing siesta - only fifteen minutes, but beautiful nonetheless - and then bladed to the park. we were a little more organized than the last time, and pushed ourselves hard for an excellent session. we both left satisfied. and hurting. it's good to know that even our light kicks can do real damage; wearing a body protector just wasn't enough.

i bladed home, showered, shopped, ate, visited the chef's apprentice, took a step towards working with one of ze germans*, and am about to hang out the washing, check over singer's lyrics for the album she's about to produce and then read myself to bed.

* that reminds me, i sent a quick update to the guy i met with on wednesday and he seems pretty enthusiastic. i wonder how enthusiastic he'll be when i tell him my price :P

---

my pc's on a go-slow, and i don't know why :(

nothing but meat? my kinda guys! and the point they make about correlation vs causation makes me wonder about the study done on excessive meat consumption causing bowel cancer.

the smurfs movie? seriously? no matter how off the wall they make it, this is gonna rock!

the three terrors - i really dig the hair :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

pensive, but good

aside from enjoying what my job entails, i'm thoroughly enjoying the freedom it gives me :)

i shouldn't listen to the interwebs - i've been irritated by dry hands in the summer as well, and was informed by numerous sources that i need to consume more liquids. today i had dry hands *and* i needed to go to the toilet every fifteen minutes :/

i was already signed out and on my way when one of the girls caught up with me to continue an argument we'd been having concerning the wiki - it took me a while to get her to understand that the whole point of a wiki is that it's a work in progress; she's been taking an all-or-nothing approach which isn't very realistic...

i didn't mean to blade so fast, but by the time i was nearing my apartment i'd gotten into a groove :P
i didn't need much time to get ready for michal geva's acoustic performance at kosa nostra - it was excellent! i was a bit disappointed to learn that i have developed a bit of a lisp since re-inserting my tongue ring... oh, well.

the evening was put into words by her brother: squid - free :)

the walk home was a confused mess of emotions; i stopped for coffee and social with the chef on the way back, and am now finishing up posting and sorting out my ipod before reading myself to sleep.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

eyedime

my eyes are hurting; possibly because i've been glued to my screen for so long. i palmed my left eye while continuing to read with my right, only to have it water profusely and then blur in the centre for a minute or two.

---

i woke up this morning with a song in my head, and wrote a bit of it down. then i bladed - ever so slowly - to work, arriving in time for breakfast with the bosses. it turns out that the lead programmer who i'm to replace has just come back from download, and has never been exposed to deftones before. i'll bring him some discs, but not without being disappointed that he doesn't really dig ac/dc.

i've spent the day wikiing and learning about development environments :)

male physiology

dammit! why does an absolutely brilliant day have to end on a sour note that takes away all of the enthusiasm for everything that went before? and the downer was so completely unnecessary:
males of our species have an automatic response to failure - find as an appropriate a target as is immediately available and let out all the frustrations in that direction.

chc and i were dancing at the mafteach club, the music was grindingly good and we were having a great time. neither of us are participating in the meat market, just having fun and stomping with abandon... not so those around us. i managed to attract a fair amount of attention (i was informed earlier that it's probably the hair), and one (very fine) girl went so far as to bump into me on the way out to say "i'm leaving now"...

[i responded badly - i wasn't sure if i was supposed to recognize her or not and so i caught her hand and took a good, hard look before deciding that i wasn't. in retrospect, i should have told her that that wasn't the right pickup line]

a number of guys hit on chc, some more aggressively than others. one of them - we'd referred to him as "rambo" - caught her hand to say something to her... she can handle herself, but i didn't like the way he did it. he must've registered my disapproval, because he stood next to me, looking almost at me and making threatening gestures while telling his friends that he *really* wants to slap "this guy".

i didn't respond - because i know how that story goes. my system went on full alert and i was ready to rumble, only i really don't like fighting so i kept it all under thinly veiled control while continuing to dance, not looking directly at the gorilla but not looking away either. while that may have worked out in terms of him eventually backing down, i couldn't turn it off and moved over to the other side of the dancefloor.

that's where i saw who i think was the girl who'd hit on me, being given a joint by some dude whose elbow happened to find me a couple of times. i made more space, and she took a hit... the second hit came with an attempt to kiss her, and she pushed him away in a manner that made it obvious that she wasn't interested.

she was keen on smoking more, though, and by the third hit was willing to kiss him as well. i don't know if that's what really happened, but that's the way that i interpreted the scene and it took a dark event and compounded it with interest.

i told chc that i needed to move, and she began to explain to me that i can ignore everything that happened and keep on having a good time. yeah, i *know* i can lie to myself; but i refuse to lie to myself. it's just the way i choose to be. [i almost wrote "just the way i am", but i'm not falling into that trap twice in one night]

she proceeded to make a speech that got more the secret as she went on, and eventually i'd had more than enough and told her i was leaving. i walked out, waited a few minutes, went back in to say goodbye, didn't find her, and walked home.

i couldn't stop thinking about defending the caveman - i saw it many years ago, and it's completely appropriate. there are things about male behaviour that are simply impossible to explain to a female. no, you can't talk rambo down. anything you do will only make him angrier. he's hurt and hunting for satisfaction - are you planning on calming him down with sex? no? then let it be.

---

so she picked me up with her boyfriend, and we drove through to herzeliya. the first member of the family i encountered was their new bulldog puppy: i'm not a big fan of bulldogs, but their puppies are too damn cute for words... i found it practically impossible to stop playing with him!

the lunch was great fun and the food was excellent; plus my cousin and her friend have made definite arrangements for next weekend's party, so we'll be going together ^_^
the awkward bit was that the gathering was originally intended to be a farewell for an english cousin who's leaving us this week... but it became a release party for me - especially embarrassing as i'd forgotten to inform them earlier :$

i received gifts for my studies: mark twain - the innocents abroad and amos oz - a tale of love and darkness, neither of which i've read and both of which i expect to enjoy :)

i was given a ride to nystire's; we sat chatting for quite a while, until ru55 was getting itchy to head to tel aviv so i had to go. he's given me a book on opengl that may come in handy - adding that to the options of sdl and qt creator i'm going to have my hands full just trying to pick a framework :P

we ate fruit, cherry pie and häagen-dazs before driving to tel aviv, then argued over the definition of hedonism and the threat it poses to our civilization and laughed about how silly the war on drugs is until we got there... we arrived at grootbek's, where i got stuck in front of the xbox for a few minutes and chatted with his wife about filing the police complaint. she thinks i should go ahead in spite of the amount of time that's passed.

i stopped by karnaf's pad for coffee and a chat, then walked home to harry chc out of the apartment so that we could get to daphna and the cookies on time - and *boy* am i glad that we did. they were brilliant! *gushes*

after picking up a decent mushroom pastry, chc took me to a really cool dive hidden away on ben yehuda; after hanging around there for a while, we went to the mafteach...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

superlaze

i didn't get anything done per se, but i did discover a useful-looking framework called v. or should i use eclipse? does someone need to return to 2010? [thank you nystire: now installing geany - forgot about that completely :P]

---

i had a lucid dream this morning that almost had me wetting the bed. i met up with her somewhere in france (some place called "three"?), and she was showing me a video she'd taken while paragliding around some castle or other. it was very impressive.

we went into a building that contained dormitories, and i decided that i needed to find a toilet - the toilets were weird. i can't recall exactly, but there were no doors, and each one was essentially a separated urinal, with all fluids simply flowing back down towards the door. i was barefoot, so this posed a problem - also, there was a bunch of people living there who were all just waking up and looking for relief. i suffer from shy bladder syndrome, so the first attempt was unsuccessful: a good thing too, because just then i realized that i was dreaming and that maybe it would be a good idea to get up and use a real toilet :P

---

i spent the morning sorting out papers - finally - and managed to hit my head on a corner and am sitting now with a bit of a scratch :/

osbourne genes ftw!

2m^2m&m

i forgot to mention that when i got my tongue re-pierced, the girl took the opportunity to create a teflon bar for my helix to assist in the healing process. it's definitely more comfortable, and it's easier to clean - but it's still teflon. in my ear. that's odd.

also - gargling with salt water? yeccch.

---

chc and i have been having off moments, and one of the things that was worrying me as i made my way home on wednesday night was how annoyed i'd be if she bothered me while i was trying to work. i was a bit cold towards her in anticipation, but aside from a couple of minutes here and there she was fine. i got a fair amount of work done, too - only i eventually distracted myself by writing up the story of our vtm game so far.

then i realized that i was too tired to think, and kicked her out of my bed so that i could go to sleep.

---

i woke up a bit too early for my body (thanks, urchin, for the annoyingly misplaced sms), and a bit late to get my blades fixed... first order of the day was discovering that i'm now fully paid up for the next academic year, the second getting on my blades and gliding to the skate park. i made it in time, but the day was already super-heated and i had to sit outside so that i could take my shirt off :/

the fix was quick, clean and relatively cheap, and i whiled away the minutes gawking with the sensation that i'd been transported back to the 80's, circa gleaming the cube and thrashin' :)

i was on my way back into tel aviv when i thought of lipgirl, so i called her up and then skipped over to her new place for a visit. she has an amazing apartment! i sat for a bit until she was ready to go, then we walked (i rolled slowly, at least) to a nice place in florentin. she is undoubtedly one of the unluckiest breakfasters i've ever come across - anything that could have gone wrong with her meal, did. mine was all good. oh, well.

i had a quick chat with my kibbutz cousin, who told me an amusing story:
her daughter, serving in the military police, was handling a roadblock in the middle of the desert. they pulled over a van and asked who was being transported: "it's a group of south african tourists".
without cracking a smile, she instructed the driver to open the side door.
"hoe gaan dit met julle?"
(surprised) "goed, dankie, en jou?"
"goed. totsiens - geniet julle vakansie!"


on our way back i rolled over some water, and thought at the time that that wasn't a good idea. i was proved right when we discovered that the next road was super-slippery, and i landed on my arse and elbow... scoring myself a solid roastie at 1kph.

how embarrassing.

on a completely different note: lipgirl plays bass, and has been having trouble finding employment. i've convinced her to consider taking her music more seriously, and we talked about the possibility of forming a band...

i went shopping for a chain, but gave up and went to see urchin's new pad. it's a real poor student's studio, very cool and highly alternative: the bathroom is literally a tiny shower and a toilet next to it, and there's so little space that the taps are attached to the door-frame :P

aside from us having a bit of a tiff, one of her friends who were painting has been the object of her affections for a while, and she wanted my opinion... i don't do dramas.

at least i know what i want to get her for her housewarming gift - she has a 180x80 segment of her wall free, so i reckon a canvas is in order - i surreptitiously took a couple of photos while there :)

i found a simple chain that i like, and paid ten shekels for it... at least, i *think* it was a valid coin, only i can never tell between the forgeries and the authentic ones anymore :/
i dropped it on the way home, and that ten shekels never felt more real - i'm very glad that i managed to find it again :)

it was boiling hot and i'd spent my day rolling around the city - i jumped in the shower and took siesta with the airconditioner on. waking up from that was hard. really hard. but i did it, and i made it to the park on time to meet up with scrapper for taekwondo. we spent a couple of hours killing ourselves - it was so humid that sweat couldn't evaporate, and we worked.

i'm very pleased with the progress we're making!

dusk was phenomenal - it was a beautiful evening, and the whole way back was a struggle between nature and the gorgeous tel aviv girls vying for my attention ^_^
i ate a quick dinner, caught up online and had a proper shower, then walked to work. i definitely wasn't going to sweat on the way there :P

---

our manager for the night is just finishing his BA in english lit, and not only provided a highly amusing run-down on what i'm entering into but has kindly offered to avail me of his resources :)

getting the skinny on my co-workers, being entertaining by the girl training me (an asimov fan and a wannabe misanthrope), and remembering how to handle the helpdesk (it's ingrained - i still have what it takes, apparently) was the order of the night.

also: 2m2m&m is the approximate volume that matches my body weight. i wondered if i could eat that many...

the 5am walk back was quiet and pretty.

---

today began with the continuation of a quick discussion that chc and i had had the night before; it was all about who we are and what we're about. that discussion carried on until just an hour or two ago - it's about the fact that there are no answers.

nobody can know that they're doing the right thing, and we're all faced with a lot of choices. this isn't hollywood, so there's no magical prolonged disney moment that lets us know that we're on the right path, and the montage sequence involves a bit of misery.

you need to choose who you want to be, and you need to choose what you want to do, and those choices need to be made continually. choosing not to choose is the only choice that guarantees failure; any of the other options might be mistakes, but you'll only know if you try.

and while you can't control your past - you don't have to let your past control you.

---

i began the day (yesterday's breakfast as well) with araq and grapefruit juice while chc and i cleaned the apartment. it appears that she's not into ac/dc :/

i hopped off to the ginsburg for breakfast (apple croissant? interesting.) with a couple of ze germans; it was so hot that we could barely move, and ze irish german gave me a ride home afterwards. i repeated yesterday's siesta, this time being woken up by an old friend that i tried to get in touch with a while back. i was glad to hear that he's doing alright :)

i spent the evening chasing facebook comments, trying to blog, having a heart-to-heart with chc (i just stumbled across this quote, it's rather appropriate), being given a much-needed and excellent massage, chatting with the doctor, and in theory being about to get some work done...

---

lions... or tigers... or bears
my next apartment

no mothers!

it doesn't matter how many times i see this, the no arms, no legs, no worries dude kicks ass!

the r. u. sirius autobiography looks like another book i might like to read :)

say "no!" to ashdod - because you hate israel anyway

bad-ass bible verses? have i linked to this before?

that last link offended scrapper:
scrapper: you guys are full of crap.
you keep talking about love and peace and harmony and happiness, but when i ask you what's awesome what do you say?
"double edged swords! he killed a thousand men with an ass's jaw bone!", you say, "white death, and extremely violent rodents!", you say!
well fuck you gentlemen, you and your hypocrisy.

scrapper: and the whole story of ehud's story was that he was left handed, that's why they didn't find the sword. who writes this stuff?

me: the left-handed thing bothered me, too - maybe they don't learn the *whole* story in sunday school :P

it's not hypocrisy, dude... i didn't say that we should all run out and kill people with the body parts of the dead, nor did i think it was necessary for david to *kill* all those philistines in order to get their foreskins, but it's definitely "bad-ass".

instead of doing that shit ourselves, for real, we enjoy reading about or watching movies of other people doing it, or playing games (like vtm) to get all that inherent aggression tightly packed away... then we realize how stupid fighting really is, and when faced with an enemy who *doesn't* check his aggression we're fucked.

and then we ask: "why can't we all just get along?" while simultaneously re-learning the joys of war. because fucking shit up gels with our evolved crap-flinging gene.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

forgot?

dammit. kc's mother called me to invite me to their place on saturday, and i hadn't told any of them that i'd been released. that's... very embarrassing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

unexpected piercing

i got through a little more of the paper this morning, used hair gel (just because i can!) and then went to cafesito to meet with urchin over breakfast. it was a great breakfast. her leftover avocado spread made a terrific dessert, and we had a good time talking with a few other patrons while there... i shouldn't have introduced the two french women to each other, though :P

we left for the tattoo parlour, running into a graphic artist on the way (i had to see the work she was carrying, and she was only to happy to share how good it is - and it is - with us) and generally being chirpy. it was only once we got there and began discussing the details with the girl who pierced me before that i began to get scared... *really* scared...

why didn't the helix set me off?

the good news is that she didn't have to re-pierce, as the hole was still... ummm... a hole. it did have to be stretched, however, and that hurt way worse than a simple piercing.

not only did it take a while - what seemed like forever, but was probably only a minute or two - but i needed to stick my tongue out and have it relaxed and my only response to that was an anguished "GNNNNNNNNN!" because communication was a mite awkward.

so we now have wonderful photos of me with tears streaming down my face, then me with tears streaming down my face and giggling hysterically (we all got the giggles, i couldn't stop laughing at how ridiculous i must have looked so i had everyone going), and finally a couple of gorgeous shots of my tongue locked outside my mouth by the long, thin piercing bar and two thick anime-style strands of drool connecting me to the tissues i was holding beneath my chin.

---

i had a meeting to go to, so i probably shouldn't have helped urchin carry paint back to her place. i had to walk fast (my sandals are *just* about to die) to get back home in time to hang out the laundry and speed off on my blades to azrieli center.

the meeting was intriguing... my old boss's brother, the guy doing his phd and his work on orthorectification (a lot more linear algebra than i've ever had to wrap my head around)... i'm surprised i was so completely in tune with what was going on, because half of my attention was firmly stuck on my tongue and another fifth on the kid playing violently next to us with his balloon.

let's just say i have a lot of work to do. i haven't figured out yet how much to charge per hour, but i told them that i'm counting the design - at least i'll be selling it to them whichever way things go. as things stand, though, it looks like we're all moving along the same vector [sorry, had to]. and the project is interesting.

from there i rode south, hitting the new rollerblading store which is next to the skate park. it's huge, the floor is ideal for kids to skate around, and they have everything. flashback to my childhood :)

i got proper new laces, and will probably take in my blades for repair tomorrow (i need to fix one of the lace loops). that was all i had time for before gliding off to work. i arrived in time to meet some more people and participate in a meeting, then listen to droning training videos until i simply had to get out of there.

one of the guys managed to shock me. when i saw a photo, i didn't believe what i was seeing, and all i could do was repeat "that's just WEIRD" for a while... i think i made him feel bad, and i tried afterwards to explain that i'm well impressed with him and fully respect that sort of behaviour. i hope it wasn't too little, too late - i'm blown away by his courage.

---

nintendo 3ds? sold.

post-up pre-down

i've been overactive today, and it's time to rest before the big day that is tomorrow...

i went straight to work - going around the entire train station, because heaven forbid they should let me pass through on wheels :/

things i learned in marketing: the message should be simple, the message should be clear. there was a group of protesters making a noise near the exchange, and nobody could figure out what the hell they wanted. too many different banners, each one filled with text; only one person i came across could be bothered to go and talk to them.

needs better leadership.

i got in, sat down to get set, then went for early lunch with sammy. lunch was cool, aside from being a little freaked out by the cashier's witchingly long fingernails. i made a bit of headway when i got back, although i'm spending a fair amount of time playing catch-up with the guys i used to work with. i forgot how much fun it is to work there :)

the one meeting i had went super smoothly ("i'm fairly confident you'll be fine: just come in whenever you want and when you're feeling ready, go for it"), i showed my instructor a couple of my videos (1 and 2) and then i returned home.

for a solid few hours of vampire the masquerade. we've closed a chapter, and i have to admit that i'm absolutely amazed at just how good it's going - our storyteller (scrapper) is fantastic and i've been playing fairly close to my slightly-psychopathic assamite in spite of a little in-character / out-of-character confusion.

there's nothing like having chains at the ready in the cellar ;)

both the storyteller and i forgot that my character can't drive, and i only realized the mistake about half an hour after it happened - we agreed that that was good cause to give myself a point in the drive skill from the XP we earned during the day :P

i had a horrific headache and bellyache after the guys left, but i forced myself to go blading anyway: good call! the route was great, the group was fantastic and i feel much better now. not only that, but i just spoke to SxS on skype and the call was smooth! that's the first time it's worked for me, and it was very cool :D

---

for anyone who's wondering, these are containers destined for gaza.

allow me to make this clear for all those among you who are too peaceful to get what's going on without clearer translation: those gunmetal boxes? they're not filled with tinned food and blankets.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

not a perfect daybreak

chc woke me up an hour earlier than i'd planned to get out of bed, and i hopped over to coffeeholic in the hopes of getting through some more of the paper i fell asleep reading (i'm learning about all sorts of interesting stuff - i've never touched computer vision before).

stopping here was a mistake: noisy people and whiny music - it's not usually like this.

---

shapiro's a liar. we knew this, but here it's plain to see.

the oh-shit update

does anyone feel like buying me presents? because here's what i very much would like:

a master copy of the abominable charles christopher

any item (preferably a poster) of mike's latest beauty

pretty please? with a cherry on top? and chocolate ice-cream?

---

dammit, chc appears to be sick. i hope i don't get whatever it is...

Monday, June 14, 2010

sliding back

apron strings? maybe, but my mother did manage to calm me down tonight (although it's the third time she's repeated the same thing in as many weeks) and reminded me of something very important: i can't do better than i am right now.

*breathes*

today began with chc making a giant breakfast - i couldn't finish my oats - while i caught up on patv. when she heard their accents:
"are they american?"
"yes"
"so they're, like, emotionally retarded?"
"no, not these ones. these guys are awesome"

i remember i once thought that all americans were lost causes, but now that i know a whole bunch of them i have to say that i'm confident that it's only the majority ;)

i walked quickly to work - that'll be the last time - and arrived about five minutes late. i'll be blading from now on, for two reasons: because it's faster and easier, and because we get a travel allowance instead of lunch coupons, and that allowance will cover my replacement wheels ^_^

i was totally blown away by the fact that i could remember the building code, and after being told only once all the other numbers and facts and figures have slid into place. i haven't worked there in a very long time.

i spent the afternoon brushing up and signing the contract, meeting the new guys (:P) in the office, eating m&m's (they have about fifteen kilos of the things) and drinking good espresso and feeling good about myself. i left early (around 5.30pm) to go past my apartment and pick up my taekwondo gear before meeting up with scrapper in the park.

we went to the other side - closer to his place, closer for me, and there're usually bunches of martial arts groups in that area because the leaves form a pleasant canopy overhead. we worked hard, and i'm particularly satisfied with the spinning exercise we did (i think i can rehabilitate my hips with another couple of sessions) and with my forms.

i spun around the rink on my way back home - i was a bit too tired to jump, though - and then returned to watch some more patv while cooling down enough to hit the shower. i've eaten, had a bit to drink, conversed online, now posted, and am just about ready to hit the image algorithm paper i need to ingest before a meeting with a potential employer :)

ooh! and i'm very excited about having discovered that daphna and the cookies are playing in my neighbourhood this weekend ^_^ (it may make it impossible to see artifakt, but he's not my favourite sa dj so i'll deal)

the parabola's midpoint

i spent the evening catching up with comics; chc made dinner - excellent, although it took forever and i didn't say anything about the little corner of plastic i found with my teeth :P

...

at least i slept well - best night i've had in ages! erm... aside from 5am, when i woke up and discovered that my pc was off. i started freaking out that she hadn't shut it down correctly (my super-sensitive pc hasn't handled electricity failures very well), and it was a only a few minutes ago that i was informed that she did it just fine: *phew*

---

environmental:
more on the bp spill... a new method of harnessing water power doesn't really provide enough balance :(

are your glasses dirty? i think this makes a good case for carrying around personal 3D specs

falcon 9 photos - on safety features :)

here's a very special book: the abominable charles christopher: i've been a fan of the comics for ages

ooh - another mortal kombat spinoff: sweet :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

a slide on the downside

i spent today feeling horrible. i'm fairly certain it was the ice-cream, combined with general depression: why aren't things going smoothly? why?!

i didn't even make it out of the apartment until the evening. i sent off my cv to a couple of places, passed the police report for my stolen camera to the insurance company, uploaded a few photos manually and watched the director's cut of donnie darko - at least that last item was a real treat :)

i spent the afternoon trying to get into beowulf while listening to d&d podcasts...

i sat at cafesito to transfer / relive a couple of months from 2008, and decided to round off the breath of fresh air by continuing to read wired, but i couldn't concentrate. i returned home to find chc watching the neverending story: hmmmm.

---

gabe's funny idea deserves attention. and the odst helmet for child's play!

so does killing in the name of god. just a different sort of attention.

south africans robbing foreigners?! say it ain't so! at least they got off lightly.

*sigh*
this is less funny than it is an accurate and painful view.

irish cream, islands and cigarettes

ben & jerry's dublin mudslide - that's what i was woken up for (and the dr pepper that accompanied it). i was also informed that my sneaky plan for the continuation of our vampire the masquerade game is in the right direction :D

that was after hanging around one of the parks next to my place (turns out it's actually quite a nice one), and before deciding on a movie to watch (the number 23). instead, though, we joined the chef's apprentice at an international short film screening - i loved most of them, but bastien dubois' madagascar in particular drove me insane: i couldn't believe my eyes!

scrapper and his friend left early, and the chef's apprentice and i stopped along rothschild for coffee (and a sandwich) and lots of talking. most of the conversation revolved around the social ills that frustrate our efforts to connect with each other... that had me smiling most of the way home. when you think about it, it's silly not to smile at strangers - most of them, like yourself, are happy to be acknowledged. i even got caught up in a conversation about panic ensemble on the way - a couple i was overtaking had gone to see them and i was upset about having forgotten :P

---

have i ever mentioned how i quit smoking? i mean really discussed it?

the easy way? crap. or at least, for myself and most of the people i know: crap. we don't care about the fear, and we most certainly don't care about the health issues. how do i know this? because we wouldn't have started otherwise.

here we go with the basics: nicotine increases serotonin secretion, so when you're a smoker who's not smoking, you're less happy. or not happy at all.
what tends to happen is that a smoker will witness something that he would have enjoyed otherwise, and to compensate has a cigarette.

this way, the cigarettes become event based. first cup of coffee? cigarette. finishing a great meal? cigarette. beautiful sunset? cigarette. sex? cigarette. even those events that produce serotonin without the use of nicotine are improved by it, so experiencing the same without feels less... satisfying.

additionally, we don't actually enjoy smoking. what we enjoy is the immediate rush.

to make matters worse, the more-than-casual smoker has developed something really insidious: the internal loop that counts down to the next cigarette. whatever you're doing, you're simultaneously thinking of the next smoke break. the good news is that you take breaks - something non-smokers need a better excuse to do, and that's healthy both mentally and physically. the bad news is that when you do eventually manage to stop smoking (an aggravating procedure that only takes about two weeks*) you have a loop that keeps counting down to... nothing.

you can't stop that countdown, so you've got to re-purpose it. i can't tell you how to do that: every person has his own way. sports, art, whatever - just don't turn to food as an answer. exercise will give you the buzz; i'm guessing almost anything interesting / challenging will do.

so that's all the rationale for the totalwaste method:

step 1. pay attention to how little your body appreciates each and every cigarette. no, that's not the taste of meat and potatoes. your lungs do not appreciate the intrusion.

step 2. make sure that you have a support system in place for when you actually quit. memento "i'm irritated because i'm quitting" somewhere, because you'll find yourself horrifically aware of everyone else's faults for the two weeks - and the problem is with you. go to the gym, or set up a punching bag in your living room.

step 3. take up a sport - the more extreme the better - or art, or hobby, and go for walks in pretty places. you know - live. and assign your inner loop to whatever you've chosen. hell, if you assign your loop to reading books, you'll suddenly realize that you have tons of time for the classics; the same goes for movies. i hesitate to add cooking to the list, because that's an invitation for disaster :P

if any of those steps are a problem, then just carry on smoking. there's no point in going through life miserable.

* it takes about that much time for your system to realize that there's no external stimulus coming, and that it'll have to take back control of the serotonin release functions.

---

thanks, ubuntu, for moving java to the partner repository. i just wasted at least one irritated hour trying to figure out what was wrong (O_o)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

let's pretend

i spent thursday afternoon in bed, by turns either napping restlessly or learning about old english. so many rules!

eventually i got up and readied myself for taekwondo - only scrapper and i made it, but we worked hard. i discovered - or rediscovered - that i have trouble with my adductors (verified by the guy sitting next to me) and that trouble comes in the form of being unable to balance when spinning or even perform a basic roundhouse correctly. something changed a while back, and whatever it is i need to unlearn it.

while we were there and killing ourselves, our partners in crime rocked up at the climbing wall and we were convinced to pack up and join them. that required a quick stop by my place to pick up my climbing shoes and hear that chc has found a gay soul-mate, and a stop by the supermarket to pick up energy bars and orange juice (and frozen meat for a bag lady who i almost never give anything to).

and fizzers.

the girl in pink was very distracting. watching her do pull-ups, or sitting on the wall in the splits...

i managed to conquer the first route i chose - a blue that's been frustrating all of us for a while. once i reached the top, i blew up a blue balloon and attempted to attach it, but failed... the evening was full of beer and whining, but was overall a great idea.

i was broken afterwards - which is what made it a perfectly rational idea to go to scrapper's and join the guys for a game of vampire the masquerade.

---

i haven't seen the dean's kid in more than two months: i've been trying to keep in touch but he's been too busy to do his own project. his father called me up while i was snacking post-climb to inform me that he hasn't made any progress and he's got no more than a couple of days to hand in a finished product.

you know, when i warn someone that the timing might be tight - and he expresses his understanding - then i don't really feel sorry for them when the shit hits the fan. sorry.

---

the scene we played out was amazing - i have a lot to learn, especially about thinking quickly, but i'm definitely off to a good start. flat on my back in a dark alley with a car flying over me, ready to throw two scorpion's touched daggers at the guy who might still have his sniper rifle trained on me was a bit thrilling.

i got home and into bed a little before 6am, with a belly ache, an itchy beard and very sore legs. i woke up not much more than four hours later, with all the aforementioned symptoms alive and kicking. i tried to trim my pseudo-beard to a regular hasn't-shaved, but the contrast was so sharp that i was convinced that i'd gone and fucked it up. i called up the director to warn him that i may have damaged his scene... but there wasn't much we could do about it. at least i'd only shaved the area beneath my chin.

it took chc and i so long to leave the apartment that we ended up with only about fifteen minutes for breakfast at bar gurion; plenty of time, though, to discuss dzogchen - let's just say that i'm not a particularly big fan as yet - i'm always suspicious of "secret languages".

breakfast was good, but not amazing - not helped by my being in such a hurry. i didn't even finish my coffee :/

i was hoping to make the pride parade, which caused so many traffic problems that it took forever to get into jaffa. i never expected a short film to demand twelve hours of takes, retakes and lighting changes. the experience was enlightening. [ugh.]

moments:
none of the pairs of replacement pants that the director had brought were close to my size.

he hadn't noticed my piercings on sunday, and was not only surprised but upset as well... my helix is too new to remove.

"cut! ... cut! didn't you hear me?" - i kinda got stuck into a scene and it took a while to register that we were done :P

not returning the little girl's giant smile was trying. working with children isn't easy - it was very difficult for her to understand the difference between reality and fantasy.

getting her to stop eating between breakfast takes was nigh impossible; eventually we ran out of food :P

the breakfast scene had me reading a newspaper: i managed to find two pages, back to back, that were eerily appropriate for the movie. the more takes we did, the more excited the director became with the effect :)

when my wife choked me, i didn't have to act. at one stage i was concerned that she might actually kill me :(

between takes, i sat bored and was handed somebody's iphone with a game in progress. i got so into it that i didn't hear the little girl's sister screaming at me to give it back :$

in the final scene i hug my daughter: when the director was satisfied with the take he didn't call for the end of the scene because he was fascinated by the effect the hug had on her - there are daddy issues up the wazoo (single parent family). i don't know how wise that was, but it was certainly awkward to be filmed hugging someone, knowing that we were done but unable to move without direction.

the only scene the little girl enjoyed involved her shaving me with fake blood - watching her fingering off bits of bloody shaving foam with a big smile on her face was extremely creepy.

bright lights are hot. i was a bit dehydrated by the end of the day. the final shot had me tied to a chair... and i actually started falling asleep :P

prior to the final shooting i took our discussions down a decidedly political path, prompting one of the guys to claim that he would never produce anything with a political edge. i wished him luck with that: in a way, everything's political. it's practically impossible to create something entertaining that has no values, and anything that's purely entertaining is of itself the exercising of a right to enjoy ourselves - which has become a political point of contention.

after a fun and animated discussion with the cameraman on the way back (snowboarding), i was surprised to say goodbye in a manner that struck me as being decidedly final.

i walked into my apartment with the music excessively loud, everything a mess and my whole system ready to crash. at first i was enthusiastic about the idea of going partying with chc, but i soon realized that it wouldn't be much fun the way i was feeling and i decided to call it a night.

a quick shower, and straight to sleep.

---

i slept wonderfully until around 9am, at which point it turned into the usual restless exhaustion. it took me a while to realize that there was no point in fighting it, and i got up and headed to coffeeholic for an excellent breakfast. now that i've spent all this time online and in the sun, i think it's time to return home, hang up the washing and get back under the covers.

---

thanks, mum - these pictures of the world cup are incredible!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

nerve attenuation syndrome

[and here are some things i didn't know about the film]

i was completely stressed leaving tel aviv yesterday: i'd had an excellent morning at cafesito, transferring and transcribing another month of my journal and being joined by my old neighbour and his wife.

she set it off - by trying to be helpful regarding my work situation. i'd been having a rather philosophical conversation with her husband when she dragged me out with a monologue about the puzzles she'd bought for her kids, which i couldn't ignore without being rude. that got me out of kilter, and then i found myself frustratedly trying to explain why i can't be a bartender...

i don't like talking about these things with people who don't understand my situation.
and even if i *did* become a bartender, it wouldn't make me enough money to cover my travels. i have a perfectly good profession, i just have bad timing when it comes to looking for work.

so that agitation is what i took home with me - i'd planned on simply walking in, packing my bag and walking out again - only chc was in, and in need of assistance with navigation.

ugh.

it took me a minute or two to figure out where she needed to be, and i slowly explained the way while she wrote it down. then she read it back to me - she hadn't understood. so i tried again with the confused bit - she still wasn't getting it.

bear in mind that i wasn't in my friendliest mode.

once i'd given up on that method, i took a DEEEEEP breath and drew her a map...

---

the guy i interviewed with last week called me while i was having breakfast, and told me that it was okay if i needed another day or two to decide. after talking to my neighbour's wife, i decided to take the helpdesk job... at least i'll be able to do other work simultaneously.
the boss was happy to have me on board, and informed me that he'd leave me the option for the development job open - at least until he finds someone else. much easier :)

---

i took the shuttle to afula instead of the bus, which was far more comfortable - most of the way, anyway. coming over the hills before megiddo was terrifying - the driver behaved like we were in nascar and the torque was freaky - and at the intersection we picked up a character who sat next to me and smelled absolutely disgusting. he was a combination of all sorts of offensive olfactory aggravators, and i couldn't continue reading for the distraction.

i stopped for a shuwarma on my way to my cousin's office, and sat eating it over wired. i was left breathless by the article on how the internet refocuses our brains - it explains my attitude precisely.

i was sent shopping for dinner, and got a little lost... when i asked for directions, i was accosted by well-intentioned over-complicators. oh, well.

---

it all began when we left her office - she asked a co-worker what it means to her to be happy, as if that were a quantifiable, verifiable concept. this set in motion a discussion that went on way into the night, one covering all the bases and ending at a point where it is impossible to know if things (for her) are clearer or not.

...

shame? guilt? when these become your friends, they become your only friends.

---

i was dead tired far earlier than usual. we spent a while looking through her son's photos (we all agree - her other son included - that he should exhibit), walked up to the laundry room (where i marvelled at the number of spiders successfully haunting the rafters) and drove back: i was ready to crash.

i called chc to see if everything was okay - she was still at work, so that was meaningless - and passed out, waking up with the sunlight hitting me squarely in the eyes at around 7am. i sat down in front of the pc to begin this post when a cup of coffee landed in my hands and her other son made an appearance.

he's just come back from india, and regaled us with stories and advice. i was informed that he was on his way to tel aviv, so i decided to put on a shirt and join him and a cute girl who's going to be travelling with him when he continues on to canada. we didn't stop talking the entire ride back, and were so caught up that i sat with them for an hour or so at azrieli to continue.

i walked home, showered, paid attention to all the stupid little things that bother me (like knives sharp-side up) and ate breakfast. now that i've sorted out all the online stuff, i need to decide how to spend the rest of my afternoon :)

---

i now know a little about timbuktu. hmmm... did i mention discovering how to dispose of cooking oil? no? i had no idea.

common sense: it IS a super-power! (motivational posters?)

i was glad to hear some aussie sense, but soon after was blown away by joyce kaufman. i don't think i'm going to need to post more than this one. i don't know so much about point 7, but all the rest? we need more of her!

i live in a country that has become the front line in the battle for our entire civilization, a battle that most of us aren't willing to acknowledge. it kills me that this goes completely unappreciated. i wish us all the best of luck - either everyone's going to wake up, or we're all going to have to take on the mantle of allah. if i'm going to pray, then it's for the former.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

hair days

i have enough hair to have them now! it doesn't matter if it's a good hair day or a bad one, what's important is that it's *my* hair day ^_^

now doing breakfast after a 10km run this morning: not only did i have trouble with my heart rate monitor, but i got dizzy on the last stretch and had to walk it off. should've had coffee before :P

a very close finish

as in - i almost hit a car travelling at high speed (both of us, actually), after coming off a crazy downhill at full tilt. i managed to steer hard right just in the nick of time, missing him by about half a foot... once the initial shock and horror was over, i hit an adrenaline high of note >D

tonight was my first ride as a free man, and it was great fun - the conversations were non-stop and the route was great, the weather was excellent and i was in *just* the right mode ^_^

---

a great source for the other side of the coin - here's all the counterpoint stuff to the mainstream (and stupidly biased) media.

---

huh - almost forgot:
a typical non-smoker: this asshole has absolutely no clue what he's talking about. ignoring his call for a ban on alcohol (this one didn't take history - ever), and his comparing marijuana to crack, he lost me at the point of "need ... to get through the day".

we're not talking about cigarettes, we're talking about stuff that enhances* your day. we're talking about stuff that broadens your mind, not satisfies a pointless craving. this is not a man qualified to write for any publication.

i'll stay on the fence, thank you very much. or lean in the other direction.

* yes, yes - it's a re-post

Fwd: Shalom!

[this is a poignant mail i just received from tahoma]

Hi friends :)

As you might know, Israel has been pictured very badly in the media lately. The Turkish/Palestinian side of the story is more prevalent and many facts are being falsified - about the Israeli blockade on Gaza, about the Turkish "humanitarian aid" activists and about the way in which the Israeli navy seals took over the Turkish boat.

So here are some facts from our side of the story. We'll be happy if you forward this to as many people as you can and help restore the true image of Israel.


A bit of background: Israel and Egypt keep a naval blockade on the Gaza strip in order to prevent weapon smuggling to the terrorist organization Hamas that controls Gaza. Any boat that wishes to bring supplies to Gaza is required to arrive at the Ashdod port, where the Israeli government inspects the aid and delivers (or lets humanitarian organizations deliver) it to Gaza by land. Two weeks ago a flotilla with humanitarian aid approached the Gaza shore, aiming to break the blockade. Israel proposed several times that the aid be unpacked in Ashdod, but all the proposals were refused.
The following message was sent by the Israeli navy to the captain of the Turkish boat Mavi Marmara: "Gaza coastal area and Gaza Harbour are closed to maritime traffic. The Israeli government supports delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population in Gaza Strip and invites you to enter Ashdod port. Delivery of supplies will be in accordance with the authorities' regulations and through the formal land crossing to Gaza and under your observation, after which you can return to your home ports." The reply was: "Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza."
All the other boats surrendered peacefully when boarded by the Israeli navy, except for MV Mavi Marmara.


This is a footage of the "human rights" activists on board MV Mavi Marmara lynching Israeli navy soldiers who boarded the ship armed with paintball guns and pistols in order to peacefully convince the crew to give up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo
The Israeli soldiers naturally had to defend themselves, and unfortunately this ended with nine passengers killed.


This is a very very disturbing video about the Hamas. It's hard to watch, but it's a must-see if you want to understand whom Israel is dealing with.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi2AvbXXjrk


These are some recent photos of the "famine" in Gaza as a result of the Israeli blockade. Famine brought by several billion dollars of international aid. (In the end there are some pictures of kids in India and Guatemala)
http://pdfcast.org/download/gaza.pdf
It's in French, so it you need translation, try this:
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http://www.bivouac-id.com/2009/12/06/attention-photos-insoutenables-gaza-affamee/&sl=fr&tl=en


And to conclude... "Flotilla Choir"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOGG_osOoVg


Thank you
We wish you only good news, and see you [again] in the holy land :)