Saturday, July 31, 2010

outflow

i'm back from playing ultimate frisbee for the very first time - great game! damn near killed me, though... i'm going to have to practice while i'm away... so i have two things to keep me physically occupied: frisbee and martial arts. it'll be good :)

---

the hardware dude convinced me (with a verification call before leaving work) to get home at 2pm... and then only arrived more than half an hour later :/
he did bring me a going-away present, though (a much appreciated one) and he did good work for less money than the guy who *didn't* rock up the morning before :P

that time was more than enough for me to discover the dirt beneath the couch - i haven't moved it in a while :$

i returned to work, and between the lead and i we finally closed a nasty chapter in our development history :)

i said goodbye to everyone (except the boss, who was busy), and rushed off to tahoma's birthday picnic. on the bus to jaffa, i realized what everyone's been laughing about... the new stickers on police cars inspired the following thought: if i see something that needs to be reported, i'm going to call them up and say "hello! i'd like to participate in the war against crime." before giving them any useful information :P

jaffa has a giant indoor flea market called "supershuk", which translates to "supermarket" :P

i passed a little girl walking in tears, and wished that there was some appropriate / helpful reaction.

the sunset picnic was pretty cool; it was great seeing tahoma and his fiancé, and a couple of the guys from work rocked up eventually and it was nice chatting with them. one of them gave me a ride to the central station - i needed to be at home to meet with someone (who didn't pitch) - the station intrigues me every time as a haven for tangled masses of uncensored and unbleached humanity. the expression "human swarm" comes to mind.

i find it really easy to connect.

i showered and shopped, then went to bed early.

...

i was supposed to wake up at 9.30am on friday to do some things; at 11.30 i got up to a phone call asking where i was. i hopped on the bus and eventually managed to find the place in spite of awfully bad directions... there's a new area in south tel aviv that's just opened up, and it's really nice. breakfast was good, cheap, and fun.

as usual, piles and i had a lot of serious stuff to talk about, like music and studies... i'm still in mentor mode with him :P

he gave me a ride to piercer, who cleaned me up (i haven't been hard enough with my helix) before we did the chilling-on-the-bench chatting and staring at the passers-by. really interesting people :)

i visited the taekwondo group - the instructor just doesn't get why i'm not coming back, even though i keep explaining it to her. i was shocked to see how poorly the students are doing :S

my final sunset roll for the summer was amazing! and educational - one of the guys had a go at me because he didn't like the way i was reacting to idiots hooting. i heard him out, and tried his way - much better. every time someone hooted, we waved and said thanks. the irritated drivers were made to feel silly, and for the rest there's not a lot of positive to be done.

i had thirty minutes to cool down, shower and be ready for the date with pretty girl (pg). the weather wasn't particularly supportive: we walked to the rogatka, and her pace was fast enough to break a sweat :P

strangely awesome vegans? the place is very much to my liking, and the only vegan item they have are hotdogs. everything else is cheap liqor. we drank - and i can drink again! :P

dafna and the cookies gave an amazing performance! two hours, with some really fun and funny adlibbing, and some sounds that were powerful enough to get me high. brilliant! and pg seemed to be enjoying herself, too :)
we had a last round before heading out, and went through my favourite park on the way. i'm guessing we spent at least an hour on the swings, talking and singing and... wait. singing? wow! that *never* happens!

we almost stopped for waffles but continued to my place, where we watched three episodes of invader zim before i walked her home (practically next door). the goodbye was shy but smily, as the entire evening had been. i walked home with a giant grin and a bouncy gait ^_^

---

karnaf woke me up with a coffee call - we sat chatting for quite a while before i went south to have the chef's breakfast with urchin. great breakfast :)
the talk was great too - she's been offered an opportunity to exhibit her photography soon :)

urchin came with me to pick up a key, and made me a really grand offer - she's willing to take care of anything that i don't manage to sort out before i go... *breathes easier*

i was going to begin sorting out my apartment, but decided that a last frisbee session would be a better idea :)

---

i am *SO* glad that i went on that date last night! stupid as it may have been (considering that i'm leaving so soon), i had an amazing time and have met someone that i really like. the alternative was not meeting her, so my only concern is whether or when to be in touch before i go...

---

i dig piraro

comic instructions are exactly what i needed. they don't make me feel any more comfortable with the idea, however...

lists:
weird creatures
super powers
mental conditions

this is how i feel right now :)

flex builder builds

keywords: flex, builder, compile, debug, reflect, svn, repo, run, old, binary, binaries, swf, change, original, old, previous, version
(leave a comment if i forgot anything :P)

flex and SVNs don't always mix. there are a large number of files that really shouldn't be uploaded to the source repository, because flex might use the repository's version when performing a build, and then you're stuck viewing the previous version of your code.

and that's really, really not fun.

doesn't this sound really simple? isn't this exactly what my last code post was about?

(>.<)

at least it was all screwy long before i arrived on the scene :P

Thursday, July 29, 2010

listen to your mommy!

i listened to mine this morning - when i found myself awake in the middle of the night with stiff legs (a strange phenomenon that's been going on for a week or so) i immediately, groggy as i was, jumped up and stretched. after that i slept like a baby until my alarm woke me up :)

i went to the bank, and was pleased to discover that my bank card will allow me to draw dollars overseas - no traveller's cheques / awkward security check moments required ^_^
i sat with the hardware dude for a cup of coffee, before getting a quote for fixing my window blinds and heading to the clinic to pick up my travel insurance. the hardware dude gave me a better quote on my way home, so i'll be heading back in a bit to sort that out.

back at work: i finally found someone with the same damn problem. i'm now experimenting with all the different methods of rebuilding - it's not actually fun.

---

speaking of mommies: dirk diggler's mother makes me uncomfortable. i wish he hadn't told her to get in touch with me on facebook, or that i hadn't accepted her friend request because although i don't have a problem with her seeing what i'm up to, i am seriously uncomfortable with her chatting to me online.

---

my renaming of twitter is up :)

here is a man with some very intriguing research.

pleasingly correct

quote for the day: "a spoonful of medicine helps the sugar go down!"

i got home, put together a quick tuna salad and sat down to some crash bandicoot - when the guys rocked up half an hour later, we switched to tekken and lost about an hour and a half to them trying desperately to win more than a round off me... they have much to learn :)

we did some quick snack shopping, then settled in to watch both the gamers and dorkness rising - it was so much fun to watch it with people i've been playing with! the scene with the pirates was especially moving; scrapper and i stand solidly on opposing sides... AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

now i'm off to bed. i can't believe i've got so much to do before i go! *prays for a good night's sleep*

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

jinxed work

your aspie score: 123 of 200
your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 91 of 200
you seem to have both aspie and neurotypical traits


on the plus side, i do have a date with a really sweet girl on friday, so there was no chance i'd be more than just a little bit :)

---

i woke up with a headache, arranged to meet the window / blind guy at 11am, and woke up again groggily at noon to go to work. just like last week, things didn't go well - it must be me :S

now i'm going home, and we're all going to watch the gamers.

---

i *do* want to try prosciutto's ice-cream.

wheel doggies

i forgot to mention - on the way to the waffles, we were treated to a sweet opportunity! a really cute little puppy was terrified of our blades and wouldn't stop barking; the owner let us teach her that the wheels are okay :))

a goodbye 25.30 km - until october!

although i've been informed that new york has a small group... i'll have to check that out :)

i slept really badly last night - my legs were hurting again (lactic acid? no.), i had sudden snack attack and then found myself reading translated ye olde poetry about gawain out loud (it was fun! i got into a groove :P).

when i realized that i wasn't tiring myself out, i resorted to regular reading - slaine - time killer's intro comic. very cool, and did the trick. i woke up around noon :)

i had fried eggs for breakfast and killed my netbook's battery with facebook, horrified when a roach languidly crawled over my foot - what audacity! i'm still irritated because i didn't have any roaches until chc stayed here :( [intriguingly, she referred to herself as a cockroach a couple of times]

getting to work was sweaty - i didn't feel like i'd be ready for the blading group. the boss caught me and the new dev guy for a chat when i walked in, and got so into it that by the time it was done i couldn't recall what time i'd arrived :P
i thought we were on our way to an unpleasant misunderstanding, and we had a quick meeting to ascertain our positions on the amount of work i'll be putting in once i return from the vacation... it appears we're all good, but i was worried there for a minute or two. it's amazing how much difference phrasing makes.

i didn't achieve anything today; once i'd tried (what i think is) everything, i heeded some of the boss's advice and switched computers. the other dev pc is really personalized for the lead, and it took me a while to figure out what was going on...
i ate lunch (zinc's chicken liver - gooood) while searching for the website settings, then gave up and sent a mail to the lead before calling it a day and heading back home.

quote of the day: "from 1898 to 1910 heroin was marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough medicine for children" (wikipedia)

i'm fascinated by how different my lounge looks with the new stand! not only am i able to tidy up better, but it's inspired me to make more changes and fixes when i get back. erm... and have cash to spare :P

ru55 came over and we spent an hour or two going over a project of his... i'm quite jealous of him. he's about to apply his engineer's brain to the world of programming, and that's going to turn him into a powerhouse of "can build anything". he doesn't get why i'm being modest about my software skills... because that's all they are.

i mean, yeah, i'm proud of my abilities, but i do feel limited to a certain degree.

i played some crash bandicoot while waiting for chm, who i had a very interesting chat with. we were discussing the sad fact that relatively few of the members of the israeli trance scene are actually hippies, but they dress in bright colours and dread their hair and behave like in any other scene in this country.

at least there are a few good, caring people... he's off to ozora and i'm only planning on next year's easter vortex, so he's going to touch base considerably sooner than i am. i wonder what the tokyo scene is like?

tonight's blade was serious exercise for me - i'm *really* glad i could make it!
the only negative incident occurred when i put myself in the way of some old-timer because he drove straight into the thick of our two-hundred-strong crowd, and i was shocked when he began to push me with his van. there's me, calmly asking him things like "what are you trying to do?", "are you running me over?!", "is there a reason for you to endanger me? or all these other people?", and so on. eventually - when the tail was just about to pass - he gave up and stopped. i still don't get it, though.

as for the positive stuff - it was a really social and fun evening! the pretty girl? i actually managed to have an interesting conversation with her and i've now invited her to come and see daphna and the cookies with me: the impression i got when we said goodbye was definitely positive ^_^

on an awkward note - i went for waffles with another of the girls. on the way we bumped into gn1 (that was the awkward bit), and after the two of us reached the PNR and wished each other the best of luck, the other girl and i spent the next hour chatting about relationships; my incident with lake from last year was exhibit A.
the waffles were fantastic.

i returned home to find a reserve duty envelope waiting for me. i now, for the first time, understand the terror that accompanies those envelopes. i think i'll give them a call tomorrow and let them know that i won't be available for the next couple of months... didn't i do that? to think they caused such panic with just a status update!

some of my blinds are broken. did that *have* to happen now? seriously?!

---

to the chorus of chronic, compulsive critics of israel: this is the most lucid, eloquent and accurate depiction of our situation to date. i wish everyone could get this off their chests in such a direct manner...
please everyone - read and pass on. if it makes you uncomfortable to read it, that's because it's 100% accurate and decidedly unpleasant: as is our daily security situation

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

just tweet it

i would like to thank moonflake for this post on kevin trudeau. it's been almost four years since i read it, but when i submitted the following to the urban dictionary his was the first name to pop into my head.
shitter

the alternate and more accurate name for twitter, especially when used by someone known for talking crap

guess who's on shitter! man, that kevin trudeau sheets like it's nobody's business!
i wouldn't have used him as an example "just because", but i wasn't disappointed to discover that he does, indeed, sheet. that brought me to this treat. it's all just emphasis.

---

i don't know which is worse: the lead coming down and solving the problem, forcing me to feel like an idiot? or the lead coming down and being unable to do anything more effective than the newbie. everything he tried? i'd done it. it was as if i'd spent two hours being kicked in the nads, and was then forced to watch somebody else experiencing the same thing.

...

i used a neat tool from a-pdf to convert comics to pdf format so that i can use them on my soon-to-be-acquired kindle; now that i've typed that out, i just realized how silly it would be to try viewing them in greyscale :(

nevermind... i still haven't gotten over the shock of getting my grubby paws on too much of a good thing. who the hell thought this one up?!! the artwork is insane!!! ^_^

---

does the day have to end with bad news? suck. combined with awful coincidence. wtf?!

Monday, July 26, 2010

anuerysms anonymous

today has been filled with brain-bogglers - and i've been strangely excited (and exceedingly restless) for most of it. manic? possibly. bouncy? definitely!

i'm guessing a good part of it is the excitement for the vacation coming up. another part could be that i've been informed of two jobs that should be good for when i return - one of them for the recruitment firm that called me up earlier, bewildered by my lack of preference for languages / platforms.

---

after grilling me for specifics regarding my previous two jobs, the woman on the phone got to my experience from the first half of my army service.

"i see here you have experience building HR systems?"
"ummm... yes?"
"ah. so how do you feel about building one for us?"

nice :)

---

i spoke to the bank this morning, and sorted out the details for my mum. she told me she'd send me a copy of her instructions - when i finally received them, there were a couple of glaring issues. and the bank was closed already. i hate dealing with the bank.

fortunately they opened fifteen minutes later (phew!) and i explained to the woman who received the instructions to hold on. i then spent half an hour playing broken telephone* until everything was finally tidied up, and only then could i relax and breath again - for a few long minutes i was certain that the cash would be sent the wrong way :S

* sometimes literally: their menu system has the magical ability to loop, requiring multiple redials :(

---

i woke up at stupid o'clock this morning again because my leg was hurting, only this time i managed to find a useful stretch. it hurts like hell, but it's quite effective.

i'm totally pleased with my new bookshelf / tv-stand acquisition! it may not be pretty (i'll spray it eventually), but it's already uncluttered quite a bit *and* provides me excellent incentive to purchase a flat-screen tv when i have the cash :)

as soon as i'd hung up the laundry (the problem with july on wheels: sweaty clothing needs to be washed fairly quickly) i went to work, remarking to the boss on arrival that i feel like i've become intimately familiar with this summer... i did a couple of hours' work, then went for coffee with sammy.

always a pleasure, and he's provided me with some invaluable travel information :) i'm always amused at how much of the wheel of time series i recall without strain; it doesn't matter that i haven't read any of it in years nor that i'm bitter about jordan's demise. as i said - i'm more disappointed with him than i am with frank herbert. at least ol' frank didn't sell out for four books.

i've spent the afternoon hitting my head against another of flex's brick walls: there're plenty of pages assisting people with the error i'm getting, but none dealing with *my* problem: hitting the error without doing anything wrong :S

[for anyone who feels like being helpful - i'm definitely using the defined variable. heck, i even let flex builder provide it for me when i press '.'. this is not a case of an incorrectly defined class member, this is a case of a class being compiled without all of its defined members. yes, i've cleaned the cache. yes, i've rebuilt the project (numerous times) and clean-rebuilt it.

this is driving me demented.]

game on!

learning a new language and becoming familiar with a new environment can be very trying. most of the time is spent making stupid mistakes and feeling like an idiot - i'm definitely no exception.

what amuses me no end is that, after a couple of weeks of facepalming and not really getting anything done, i've just demonstrated in one afternoon how far ahead of the game i am. i had to explain to the lead why the original code that i tightened up was actually incorrect*, a fact i wouldn't have discovered otherwise.

* uh, oh. i hope it's not a case of "honeymoon's over" - i'll deal, but i'm too used to the bitter disappointment of discovering *just* how badly a system's been written. at least there's still hope.

the harsh lesson for the day was that when the browser cache needs to be cleaned, weird shit happens. and she doesn't friggin' write anything. [edit: i'm sure this made sense when the page it linked to existed]

---

i did take a quick nap before leaving the apartment, but it didn't really mean much. my blade to work was tiring, and sweaty. i went out for lunch with one of the managers, and as tasty and apparently healthy as it was - it was dry. that didn't make me feel better :/

---

botchman called me up during the afternoon:
"what're you doing?"
"why are you asking?"
"just tell me"
"okay - i'm at work"
"oh, okay. nevermind then"
"what difference does it make?"
"what if i was calling to tell you that i'm standing outside your house?"
"i'd tell you that i can be there in fifteen minutes"
"ah. so we can play this evening?"
"indeed. remind me why it matters what i'm doing right now?"

i'm just making a small point about assumptions. i had just enough time to shop before meeting him at my place, and we had enough time before scrapper arrived to pick up a piece of furniture i'd seen on my way home yesterday... it fascinates me that i need so much storage space, although it pleases me that it's mostly for books :)

---

i didn't realize it was so late when they left - it felt closer to midnight. we closed a really interesting story in a very strange way, but i learned a hell of a lot and we had a great time playing it through :)

---

is that it? i definitely need to get to bed - this whole week is full of big days.

i sent scrapper the following email after discovering that he'd never heard of penny arcade - i figure it's a good enough ad for anyone who reads my blog:

it's all about gaming - mostly pc / xbox / playstation etc, these guys play EVERYTHING. all the big stuff, at least, and review everything in their news. they also make fun of the gaming industry in general, host HUGE charity drives for children's hospitals and generally offend everyone they can.

cardboard tube samurai!

gears 2

on cd-keys

awesome artwork they've done for games

gabe before d&d (console gamer only)

gabe begins playing d&d

gabe taking up dm'ing

more of that

gabe's incredible campaign stuff

on their way to comicon

i hope you enjoy it - the news for the comic is usually just as interesting.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a good start

the day has begun excellently. i was having difficulty sleeping, and got up to stretch my legs (why have they been so stiff lately?)... i returned to bed and slept beautifully. heck, i even reset my alarm to give myself half an hour and managed to gain some dream-time...

i went to the bank, and they sorted out my credit problem. it cost me a little (NIS40), but it was so obviously worth it that i didn't understand why the guy was asking me if it was okay :P

on the way back, i spoke to orange and prepped my phone for travelling, and have just had breakfast while returning to the odyssey as my back-up book no. 3... i finished selling out - brilliant! and justina robson and i fully agree on disco music :)

hmmm. i can't decide if i should go to work early, or sleep some more first.

distracted

i really am. confused to the max.

i spent most of the day sleeping - not well at first, but my siesta turned into deep and dreamy. other than that i've spent the waking hours online, reading comics or chatting.

the most interesting conversation - the one that got all my gears turning - was with my mum. she's considering opening shop on her own, and i like the lines she's thinking on :)

now making travel / packing lists; what do i bring for my hosts? is it better to rock up with something in hand, or should i see what their place looks like first so that i can order something that'll definitely work?

---

how's this for loyalty to the corps? i wish the army really did know how to take care of lonely soldiers...

i was annoyed by a kid i know who keeps producing videos of himself and his buddies doing half-assed tricking... not that's it's not at all impressive, but i found this demo video and you can immediately see the difference... jus' sayin'.

i began doing the old-school "downloading" thing, but suddenly remembered that we're a little further along than that! now i can watch the pjs on-demand.
all this new-fangled tech...

baka-gaijin? i will be indeed. that's going to be an interesting week :P

Saturday, July 24, 2010

early to bed

i was tired after the coffee and post, and came home to melt into the couch while reading notes on the merchant of venice... the kid and i then met at vaniglia (awesome nectarine / tangerine combo) and chatted for a while. after he returned home, i had a couple of hours to watch hot tub time machine (which is pretty good) and nap for half an hour before the guys (sans scrapper) arrived for a quick run of vampire.

---

going out for munchies was terrifying, and i'm really glad the experience was today and not in a week's time. i didn't realize that putting my tickets on my visa would be such a bad idea - i've overloaded my card and can't use it anymore. so at least i'm aware of the problem, and i'll sort it out on sunday. somehow.

do i call them up and say "hey, sorry, i was a complete idiot and didn't think that would happen"?

---

it was a tough game - i'm not satisfied with it at all. we got screwed / screwed ourselves, and have no idea what the story was about. i did learn a couple of things, though. and the good news is that it looks like we'll be getting together once i'm back :)

---

there're a lot of links. i wasn't expecting to get stuck into a bill hicks loop:
an early show
on evolution - a bit of terence mckenna
the war on drugs (incredible!)
summer trip on mushrooms
the new old political engineer
marketing
but the man was a frikkin' genious.

it all began with subway star wars.

four lions: a british terrorist comedy. gods help us all. (i think i might want to see this)

which is funnier? a hamster with a knife or shrew fu?

sixpence none the richer released a japanese version of kiss me on their album, but i can't find it on youtube :(

Friday, July 23, 2010

wedding match

i can't quite recall when, but my phone woke me up yesterday and the credit card company was on the line, concerned that hotmail's verification of my dadness was a hack attempt. i like that they're on the button :)

i woke up for my antibiotic breakfast of the dead, totally struggling to raise cutlery to mouth after having expended all my energy perambulating from bed to kitchen and back. at least it was the last one!

i took the bus to the doctor, using the stop's poster to keep myself upright in the glaring, bleaching sunlight. it was hot, and i was so tired that i knew that my postural low blood pressure would have me fainting if i sat down and tried to get up again. the bus was packed so i had to stand, and i swayed the entire ten minutes there.

i like my doctor. he calmed me down and gave me some advice for the next couple of months; he explained to me - a couple of weeks too late - that two of the courses of antibiotics i was on are major downers, so it's no wonder i was barely functional. i should be back up and running by tuesday :)

i don't know what stopped me from getting on the bus back, but as it pulled away i remembered that i needed to go past the clinic to pick up my travel insurance papers. they hadn't arrived yet - i sat reading while i waited. leary on drugs doesn't stop providing insight and wisdom from the moment he gets serious (chapter three). i heartily recommend it to anyone with at least two braincells to rub together.

i napped a bit, got up to put in the last of my eye drops and went to work. happy hour was meant to be ten minutes of speeches and then food, but the marketing guy is a complete tit and he spent half an hour explaining his job until someone in upper management had had enough and cut him off. most of us were doing everything in our power not to fall asleep standing, and there was a lot of eyeball rolling :/

---

the lead and i went over my fix - he's happy with my code, just not with me rewriting things, although he insisted that it stays as i left it. it's something i struggled with during my past three years of ultra-sensitive real-time development: if something can be fixed, fix it. then test it properly. i feel that leaving shit in your codebase because you're too scared that you'll mess something up is an indication of two phenomena:
1. a badly designed system
2. a developer who doesn't understand what he's doing

neither of those are good for business.

---

i was made privy to some interesting information, and find myself in a peculiar situation. for the next week i'll be helping to train the new guy, and i have a feeling that when i return i'll still be top dog in the department. this is a good place to be in regarding my backup job security, but a terrible place to be in office-politically. sort of like the story with nql, only this guy's not a complete prick.

small mercies :)

i breezed home for a quick shower and a pre-wedding shave: seeing myself clean shaven is awkward. especially now that i have hair on my head :P

i walked past cafesito, and said hi to one of the regulars who was shocked to see me tidied up, clean-shaven and wearing nice threads. that made me smile :)

seeing grootbek after our online episode was a bit strained, but we discussed it a bit later and we're all cool again. it turns out that the only person who was offended by the sharpness of my response was ru55; the rest of the guys all found it funny :P

i napped most of the way - i don't really have much in common with the anglo-immigrants because i spent too much time hanging around israelis and doing my own thing.
now, i guess, is the best time to address the issue of the evening: what is it with people match-making at weddings?

i sat down to eat, and ze british german informed me that one of the girls fancies me. i didn't respond. later on in the evening i found myself chatting for a while with a really interesting girl - although decidedly not to my taste aesthetically, she seems pretty sharp and nice enough. after about half an hour she mentioned one of the other girls by name, and i seized upon the opportunity: "i don't know who you mean - i'm terrible with names! what's yours?"

of *course* she was the girl spoken about earlier. how silly of me :P

i broke away from all the following conversations involving who should hook up with whom. and the only girl who caught my eye made me feel like a paedo. she's legal, but barely. and i'm always a bit cautious when it's family of friends... even more so than with family :P

speaking of families of friends: SxS's parents and i had a very funny conversation at one point. my hair was mentioned, and i let them know of my plans to grow dreads. first order of business? "no, no! it's actually possible to have clean dreads!"

it's strange - i'm about to go and stay with him and his brother's family for a week, and the connection we all share has become familial over the years. what i find weird about this is that it's in spite of their being south african - i found myself contemplating that a couple of times during the evening. as it was, i was invited to the wedding because that's just how their families roll - the children's friends are treated as family and it would be inconceivable not to invite us to siblings' events :)

speaking of which - the bride (ru55's sister) is a wedding make-up artist and she had it all done perfectly: it was a beautiful wedding. ru55's wife was a bridesmaid, so i got insider info on just how tightly wound everything was until it all came together :P

speaking of whom:
1. meeting her brothers for the second time was a bit awkward, because i totally didn't recognize them :(
they're really nice guys, but we didn't really get much of an opportunity to chat.
2. i'd forgotten we'd discussed how clumsy she is - or just plain unlucky. she managed to cut her foot on broken glass on the dancefloor... in retrospect i should have taken a photo of the area when ru55 carried her out for bandaging, because someone had thoughtfully brought a candle and placed it in the middle of all the blood, and it looked like the pretty remains from a blood ritual :P

it was a pity that i couldn't drink, and i didn't have much energy to dance. the music was alright (i'm always fussy), and everyone was having such fun!

i crashed on the bus back to tel aviv, and would have zombie-shuffled home if one of the girls hadn't been desperate to relieve herself... she was a bit suspicious of me even though our mutual friends assured her that i was okay, and we marched to my place at a pretty serious pace. once that was dealt with, we all said our goodbyes and i showered and got into bed to enjoy the sleep of the week :)

i woke up a couple of times, read a bit more of selling out (it just keeps getting better!), and eventually decided that i needed to get out of the house. so i brought my netbook to cafesito and am about to... start my day?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

an odd shift

1. i managed to EPIC FAIL re-activating the company's backup hotmail account. we're not going to talk too much about how tough the captchas are, rather about what a huge mistake it is to put in the year of birth as a minor.

i decided that it would be funny to use the company's inception date, and it was - only the joke was on me. it's quite undignified to have to sign in from another account and prove oneself - by pulling out one's wallet to enter credit card details - the previous account-holder's parent.

the email our actual helpdesk inbox received:
Your child has asked for permission to use Microsoft online services
MSN Parental Controls Team [postmaster@windowslivemail.com]

Dear techsupport,

Your child, <Company Name>, has asked for your permission to use Microsoft websites and online services that collect personal information.


this was one of those moments... i'm a daddy.

2. one of the kids from the dizengoff taekwondo group pissed me off (or, at least, a friend of his did), and i removed him until further notice. further notice arrived in the form of an apology, so i added him again... and now he wants to talk to me like a real friend. at frikkin' 4am. i forgot how annoying the little prat can be...

3. apparently i should acquire team fortress 2. i suggest watching the meet the soldier video after meeting the engineer, the spy, the demoman, the sniper and the heavy. brilliant!

not sure where i stand

the day began as usual: waking up for an antiobiotic breakfast, then trying to get back to sleep. i was doing okay, too, until a flurry of sms'es, an unhappy call to my mother's bank (turns out that not everyone who works there is friendly and helpful) and a call from nystire at the ungodly hour of 10.30am (yes - that's *sleep* time!) ensured that i was still rubbing my eyes by the time noon came around and i had to get to my bank before it closed.

at least the good news rolled in while i was on my way - i'm now in possession of an indian visa ^_^

i met up with urchin and we went to sit at a cafe on shenkin; i had a brilliant english breakfast and as usual we didn't run out of things to talk about. i'm amused by the difference in perspective - she's working way harder than me for half the amount of money, and both of us are embarrassed about the amounts we're earning at the moment :P

i walked back home singing a crapella as is my wont, strapped on my blades and sped off - yes, you read that correctly, the wind was at my back - to work.

for the first time since i was given the current change, i was able to sit down and actually do something. i discovered that the code is complex, and the code is solid, but the code isn't readable. when i finally found the classes i needed to edit, i rewrote them legibly and then made my changes.
so - my first flex fix (the other one was in java), and after acquiring help to test it i was most pleased with the results.

the best bit is being quite certain that it's good. my first sigh of success from our flex beast ^_^

from that to working the mail station again - it was during the setup that that argument took place. i'm still feeling bad about it :(

i learned tonight about the meaning of the mail station. there were technical difficulties and all hell broke loose, and it's my job to identify call loads and jump down to the regular agent stations to help out. it's not a problem to blog and keep an eye on an inbox, but it's kinda difficult to blog and keep an eye on an inbox and watch the call board which is blocked by the screens next to me :P

... and the night goes on...

---

was i talking about going nuclear? here're some fun facts about going miniature.

i don't know what's real and what's not anymore. bp faking photos? if that's true, that's not on :@

good news for parents and children alike: an early-warning verbal autism test.

i take it back, germs

i found myself having to apologize to one of my co-workers after i'd managed to offend him with an argument of faith vs science. it wasn't that he was wrong, it's that his examples were terrible and we ended up talking at cross purposes...

... even switching languages didn't help. i just suck at communicating with humans :(

it would appear that while having the bacteria that i've been harping on about is bad, not having it is also problematic.

there's too much confusion.

personal preference? i'd rather be without it. if it's a choice between two different types of cancer, i'll go for the one that allows me to absorb more b12 and doesn't give me ulcers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

delirium

fantastic! we need more people like me around, simpletons who like simple explanations. my previous post appears second when searching for help :)

i had a horrible night - the only word that seems to cover it is delirium. it was too hot, everything felt wrong, things were biting me and i was restless and agitated... then the morning came, and a slight breeze calmed things down and let me sleep a bit.

what a pity that i still woke up exhausted. i was a bit embarrassed to discover that i'd forgotten was day it was - or was going to be - and had arranged to meet with the kid while i was still up north...
whoops...

i needed the coffee just to manage the walk to the gate. the dog tricked me into walking back, wondering if i was supposed to leave her outside :P

i managed to score a ride from the gate instead of having to wait for half an hour for the bus - i don't know who engaged who in a meta-political conversation, but the last topic was environmentalism. i made a snarky comment about vegan impotence just before getting out, only to be informed that the man's daughter happens to be one of them...

i sat chatting with my cousin and sorting out frequent flyer miles, diving back into arthurian legends every time another customer clamored for her attention. once we were done i said goodbye, and went to find somewhere for lunch.

i suspect that the shuwarma place i sat down in wasn't the healthiest of the lot. just another potential source of strange bacteria *sigh*
and the bastard threw in a fair amount of eye-watering hot sauce without asking :@

the bus ride back to tel aviv was pleasant, although my neck was giving me trouble. i managed to read a bit, at least :)
i walked from the bus station to work, performed a quick knowledge transfer to the new developer and spent the next couple of hours struggling through practically undocumented and stupifyingly complex code.

it's *good* code, but that doesn't help at all. what also doesn't help is our boss - i don't know if i've mentioned it already, but he has this super-creepy habit of sneaking up behind us and watching us work until we get that paranoid "i'm being watched" sensation and slowly turn around. i didn't think much of it until i heard someone else complaining...

eventually i found myself following a trail and getting some initial results, so the day wasn't wasted, at least.

---

i walked home, contemplating the last thing singer said to me (about me always talking about myself) in context of the general israeli habit of anti-communication interrogation (firing questions non-stop so as not to actually share anything). the correct response to the triple "okay thanks and you?" suddenly dawned on me:

"i'm frustrated."
"why?"
"because i don't feel like you're actually talking to me."

the sad thing is i know that'll get an opportunity to use that soon. i'm going to do my best, from now on, to not share until someone else has started a dialog - and to walk away from the almost-traditional awkward pause instead of filling the gap.

---

nystire and his wife arrived earlier than scheduled - we sat at cafe hillel across the road, because it's kosher. unfortunately for me, it's kosher milk so there was nothing on the menu that i could order. i settled for coffee and they sat with me afterwards when i went for calzone.

the evening with the two of them was most pleasant, and quite educational :)

i'm amused no end that i ran into the guy who flirted with me a while back and had a fairly comfortable conversation with him, and then ran into heeblet - also a fairly comfortable chat.

i'm pretty disappointed that i'm not ready to blade yet. two weeks in a row is killer!

instead, i spent the evening trying to convince my wine installation to handle fallout 2 - nope, same old bug. at least i can be proud of myself for having figured out all the other stuff, like setting up scripts to loop mount iso files... that sounds much more interesting than it is :P

according to the matrix, it would appear that the big pocketbook notwithstanding, the kindle is the way to go...

i still don't have a solution to the problem of obtaining an ebook version of the norton anthology though. i hope nystire can find it!

i just spoke to SxS, and i just started getting excited about hitting florida in two weeks' time. a specific point: inception on their nine-story imax ^_^

---

speaking of nystire: he's linked to a new breakthrough.

"in 1882 i was in vienna, where i met an american jew whom i had known in the states. he said: 'hang your chemistry and electricity! if you want to make a pile of money, invent something that will enable these europeans to cut each others' throats with greater facility.'"
- hiram maxim, the man who improved upon the gatling gun.

lasers will definitely allow us to kill each other more efficiently - at last!

---

the stubborn south african anti-israel stance is embarrassing. reading that feels a bit like watching david coltart on hardtalk.

this video is a bit worrying - arabs religious protection in the states has gotten a tad extreme, if you ask me. and while things are worrying me - how about some threatening moves?

oh. those must be their "peacekeeping" forces :/

more on strange bacteria

hot on the heels of my previous discovery, i suddenly found myself wondering (after reading about normal b12 absorption) if there's a connection between b12 deficiency and helicobacter pylori.

aaaaaand there is. it even receives a brief mention when discussing anemia.

if i'm already on such a positive note, i've found a possible causal factor for my recent worries, or even not-so-recent worries (sometimes with amusing results).

i shouldn't mix vitamin c with b12? good to know!

as for the psychiatric effects of a b12 deficiency: explaining the inexplicable. mental illness is not a joke.

[breaking news!]

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

flex builder / web server debug configuration

keywords: flex builder, web server, apache, php, debug, build, output, test, configuration

seriously - does it have to be so hard to find this stuff out? and get the whole story? surprisingly, when a flex application's project files are saved to a code depository (SVN) the developer's flex / web server configuration is saved with it, and therefore propagates to any other developer working with the same stream.

and every computer is different.

for reasons unknown, the flex builder interface does not allow modification of the build output directory, nor of the web server settings. oh, it CLAIMS to allow it, but clicking "OK" returns an error. it could be that this is specific to SVNs that keep their files marked "read only" even when checked out, but i doubt it.
[i only have one to test with, so let me know if i'm wrong - i'm using tortoiseSVN. and i don't think the files are read-only, but i don't trust windows to tell me either way]

so:

1. .project
the <location> tag must define the project's source directory

2. .flexProperties
serverRoot, serverRootURL need to point to the location of the webserver eg.
serverRoot="C:/xampp/htdocs/xampp/ProjectName" serverRootURL="http://localhost/xampp/ProjectName/"

3. .actionScriptProperties
outputFolderLocation, outputFolderPath build directories need to point to the web server directory eg.
outputFolderLocation="C:/xampp/htdocs/xampp/ProjectName/tester-debug" outputFolderPath="bin-debug"

"hey presto! pots and pans." you're done. it's that simple.

north of tired

i'm still exhausted, but i'm on the kibbutz so at least it's not as hot. i'll be hitting the hay soon, though.

*yawn*

i woke up this morning for the breakfast antibiotic, cleaned most of my apartment and then headed to the hardware store to pick up a fluorescent light for the patio. on the way i bumped into ze british german just back from south africa: i'm *so* glad to have someone else around who knows that i'm not exaggerating the wonders of cape town!
we also talked shop (the current month's frustration notwithstanding, it would still be fine to work with them after i get back) and home (he's considering housesitting for me, which would be a swell deal).

i sat with the hardware dude for a while - it's funny, but he was actually concerned that i hadn't come around in so long :P
we chatted for a while, and then i had to get to work.

...

i was hungry, and giraffe's "afghan meal" looked good. i knew i should've backed off when i was told there was a NIS 60 minimum for delivery, but i just went with it and was totally satisfied :)

---

after a week of frustration with flex builder, i re-installed today so that i could have a working copy to compare against. once the ultra-long installation was complete, i created a new project and had it up and running in no time; in retrospect, i didn't need to re-install to do that :$

so my start to the solution was a good one, i'd just missed one of the files (it's a really badly documented property)... i'll post the explanation when i get back to work. i'm so glad it's done, though!
i was beginning to worry that i was wasting my time :P

---

around 5.30pm i went home, showered, packed, and went north. i managed to get a decent seat on the shuttle, so i could read and nap without being under anyone's smelly armpit. it wasn't the cleanest mode of transport - i caught something small crawling up my arm at one stage - but we got to afula really quickly.

dinner was excellent (although it reminded me that tonight's a fast night, and that i spoke to nystire this morning and he was being weirder than usual), we talked a lot and now i'm definitely ready to crash. more than an hour online? i have books to read! and dreams to dream!

---

what a bummer - the flatulence death never happened. it does link on to some interesting ideas about socially acceptable responses to public gassing.

the trippiest qc ever! dave shabet rocks.

in serious news: just in case anyone was wondering... naaah, you probably weren't. but this is good to know, anyway.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

half-awake

i'm unable to sleep... for twelve hours i tossed and turned, and then i *had* to get up in spite of my total exhaustion because we had another knowledge transfer. the same knowledge.

---

i stopped by the clinic on my way there to organize travel insurance, and was shocked to discover that my paranoia is warranted. it appears that the israeli statistic is closer to 70% and there's absolutely no awareness of the problem.

the assumption is that people don't share drinks or cutlery (sorry, but i don't have many friends like that) and that we're capable of detecting h. pylori intuitively before we kiss someone.

that's just ridiculous.

so, like any std [edit: it's not an std, nor like one], it's advisable to get tested periodically. unfortunately, the only cure is the three sets of antiobiotics i'm currently suffering... i'm pretty certain that it'll be back before i return from india. probably with interest, although i hope i manage to stay relatively clean while i'm there.

house made me worry about leprosy in india, although apparently that's a lot easier to contain. did you know about world leprosy day? i know i didn't.

---

work was kinda fun - we rediscovered an old, forgotten procedure because i refuse to ignore things written in the checklists... it made the day "educational". the one guy who's newer to all this than i am expressed a deep appreciation for my attitude towards wiki'ing everything, because now he doesn't have to put as much effort into things. and neither do i.

what did we do before wikis?

i left early - my computer was in use and i was exhausted. i tried not to exert myself on the way home but that's very difficult... i showered, watched an episode of full metal alchemist and tried to get to sleep, but no dice. i finished beowulf (finally!), then tried again to close my eyes...

that's when my dinner antibiotic alarm went off, and since then i've spoken to my mum and played lots of syndicate. i'll be making another attempt to sleep soon.

---

i've finally continued to read justina robson - selling out again in bits and pieces after a recent spot of inspiration. i'm no longer sure who the protagonist is, and i'm amazed at how coolly and intelligently everything ties together - what a fun read!

a bit gory

surprisingly, we began more or less on time! not only did i take a wonderful opportunity to distract the enemy with my team-mates (who my character doesn't get along with at all), but scrapper (our storyteller) let me turn into a whirlwind of death, roaming the halls and ripping monsters apart left right and center *and* managing to walk away without a scratch.

that was marvelously therapeutic. also, i've now eaten from wolfnights and it really is a great burger.

we're all jumpy about the next two weeks - we have to tie up all the story threads before i leave because scrapper will be going down south (he's following the kid) before i get back from india...

that's going to mess with frisbee, wall-climbing and taekwondo. the next academic year's going to be a little tougher than i anticipated.

i have to admit; the past few weeks have been a fantastic return to my original university days (UCT and CLAWs), and i desperately needed it. i hope that the rest of the group stays together after i return, because they're a rare bunch with fantastic ideas!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

sleep, beep, cake, angst

in brief, because i'm tired and have spent the last few hours in front of the pc reading comics and watching house and the prisoner.

---

friday:
i spent the day *trying* to sleep. around 4pm i got up, was reminded that my old neighbour's wife's birthday party was happening, and left for it about an hour later.

---

i arrived at cafesito just as the hooting began: a biker had fallen, and began to pick up their motorcycle when the idiot behind him/her held down the horn - one long, intensely loud hoot that she kept up for at least ten to twenty seconds before the biker - who was right in front of the car - lost it and attacked the driver's window.

i'm sorry, but i wanted to beat the crap out of the driver and i was more than twenty metres away at the time - hooting like that is a direct and painful attack and there really isn't any way to justify it.

someone managed to pull the biker off the car, and they resumed getting on the bike - that's when the driver CRUSHED THE BIKE. the biker just managed to get off.

what i don't get is the giant asshole who came running, screaming at the biker to leave the driver alone. i appreciated the irony of the driver calling the police.

---

the birthday girl got a ribboned bicycle - cute! i couldn't partake of the rum cake - not cool! the brownie with dripping chocolate icing was amazing, though. i got drawn into a facebook meta-chat, and once that topic was off the table things got social :P

i returned home to wait for chc, walking past coffeeholic and leaving frsutrated because every question i asked was met with another - i shouldn't answer questions, because people in this country are willing to delve in order to not share stuff.

after playing syndicate for a while, i called up chc to see what was happening and *surprise!* she was *just* getting started on finding a way to get here.
"but i have until 9pm, you said"
"until 9 to be out of here. not until 9 to get here."

i went back to cafesito until the end of the party.

chc arrived at 9.15 (of course), but fortunately didn't take more than five minutes to get all her shit out. i went from deep irritation to pity - i'm pretty sure she doesn't understand what's going on and certain that she's told her new friends how fucked up i am (like she told me the previous sucker was)... then i wondered if that pity's just more manipulation.
so either she's a complete bitch, or she really is too stupid to understand what happened.

either way, she's out of my hair* - and such long hair it is :)

* she left her phone behind - i *just* managed to get it to her before they left.

umm. there's a sweet girl i tried teaching to rollerblade a while ago, who a few days back sent me an sms saying that we simply *must* meet before i go. she called me up last night - awkward pause following the greeting - and repeated the sentiment... then suddenly asked "do you have a girlfriend?"
"erm. can i do the facebook thing, and tell you 'it's complicated'?"

i like her, i'm just not interested in dating her. thank you, facebook. unless that caused more offense than was apparent :P

i went with singer to see yair rubin perform at levontin - he's pretty good. singer and i argued. a lot. both there and back. it wasn't pretty. i've learned stuff from the evening:
  1. i'm normal, and that includes being defensive about stuff that's important to me

  2. i need to deal with the fact that there is bad stuff in the world that i can't do anything about

  3. i need to talk less. if that means doing what i complained about earlier and simply ignoring questions, then perhaps i should give it a try.
i must chillax, and gaming is important because, like everyone else, i need to immerse myself in "nothing important" if i'm to retain some semblance of sanity :P

...

when the results of an attempt to finish a syndicate level anger me - it's a sign of a great game. i was all set and had completed all the mission goals, and got ripped up on my way to the rendezvous :P

...

it suddenly dawned on me that exercising a lot is a possible explanation for my potassium deficiency.

---

today:
i spent the day *trying* to sleep, but woke up around 2pm, made a great omelette and then settled down to do nothing online. now it's time for vampire :)

---

gnarcade - skaters, snowboarders and invaders

speaking of invaders - thank you, nystire, for this advanced material

only $3000?! it's a steal! (or a murder...)

i like skittles - but these advertisments disturb me a little.

Friday, July 16, 2010

giggles and broccoli

broccoli pasta was a good idea. i spent a large part of the night either making wiki edits or laughing hysterically at YSaC. highlights included:
no sex-sex
little people
darwin's little helper
pondering wheels

oh, and while we were looking for food:
chinese miscellaneous menu

i think i might sleep in a little today :) [now i just have to ride home safely]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

what's a morning?

i can't believe that i dragged myself out of bed - the most comfortable, deepest sleep i've enjoyed in a while - to blade (exhausted) to work, and arrive to discover that i didn't need to get in until the late afternoon.

not cool.

i stayed a couple of hours (i'd already payed the price) to get some other work done, then returned to the pharmacy near my apartment to pick up my b12 supplements. the security guard wouldn't let me in on my wheels, so i sat on the seat next to him to switch to sandals.

the last thing i expected was the security chief rushing at me, shouting at me to get off the chair. when i let him know he was being an asshole, he tried to make me understand that his job was on the line - he'd be fired if i didn't get off.

yeah, right.

and complaining about me sweating on his seat had to do with feeding his family.
*mood goes cloudy*

i waited in line at the counter for about ten minutes, only to discover that i needed to go to my medical aid's pharmacy to fill out my prescription. neat :(

i took my copy of wired to cafesito, and had myself a roast-beef sandwich breakfast, then started milling towards the pharmacy... i walked about three blocks before realizing that i was far too tired and it would take me far too long to get there and back on foot, so i returned home to crash for an hour.

sleep of the dead. it felt goooood.

again with the difficulty getting up, and i bladed to the clinic - running into my commander from the officer's completion course. we didn't have too much to say to each other. the wait for my meds was killer, but i was feeling a bit brighter once i left and i sped home to pick up my bags and continued straight on to work.

...

everyone's had a good laugh at my morning's mistake. one of the managers: "i always wondered why it was called morning procedure. you guys really used to do it in the mornings?"
yes. yes we did :S

...

it's been a hard day's night. i've been really tired, but i'm saving the coffee hit for later when we have a potential crisis on our hands. the work's been fun, but there's been lots of it. some moments have been better than others.

i need food. i don't know if i'm more tired or more hungry.

---

quote of the day (from the video description at the bottom): "Host Ruud Kleinpaste explains why water is more important than food when battling dehydration"...

oh.

toast *isn't* the most important thing to consume when dehydrated?! i'm shocked.

on late mornings

the blade home was beautiful, and the hour and a half of syndicate has been great. *now* it's bedtime :)

hypochondriac's corner

*** NOTE! not only have i had a doctor tell me not to worry too much about it, the results are in and after four months together my girlfriend is in the clear, even though i'm not. so i don't know how much of this post is valid ***

this is what i have, and this is what terrifies me. IANAD* but i find it hard to understand how the rate of infections is so low considering how simple transmission appears to be.

unless i'm mistaken, the high concentration in saliva and the survivability of the bacteria outside of the body makes it a social (sharing cutlery or drinking from the same bottle) and sexually (kissing) transmitted disease. i hope i'm wrong, but the general lack of scientific confidence doesn't give me hope.

* i am not a doctor - i wouldn't usually explain but my mommy reads this

by that line of logic, i find it hard to see why i'm not constantly reinfecting myself whenever i drink from a bottle, shared or not :/

on a completely different note - i went through a battery of tests a couple of years ago and was informed that my heart's just fine. why, then, would i be exhibiting more than half of these symptoms?
further proof that the internet is not a safe place for average joe's medical enquiries.

---

i woke up, ate (while reading beowulf instead of comics online), and returned to sleep a little more. when i woke up again, i rotated my wheels before heading out...
i may have reached this conclusion before, but rotating wheels is an absolute must! i can't believe how much easier my travelling has been on my ankles today, and how much more stable i was... i definitely need to rotate more often.

i was horrified to discover what i assumed was a rat dropping on my patio, but according to a quick google images search must be something else entirely. i don't know if i should be relieved or not.

the first order of business when coming into my office - fixing the fan. unfortunately, no matter much hair we pulled out of the rotating shaft the motor just didn't have have the power... i now know where the company trash cans are located :P

i was just getting into a groove when the boss rushed in to call me to an urgent meeting - i didn't feel that i had time to make coffee, which was a mistake. two and a half hours later we walked out of a knowledge transfer - one which could easily (and quickly) have been performed just as well by sending us the powerpoint slides :(

at least i was taken to a good place for lunch by the others - i had a decent burger while we all bitched and moaned and laughed about the meeting and then turned to more important matters, like whether d&d's "nerd stigma" is justified :P

just as we sat down i received an sms from the pretty rollerblading girl - a quick chat pushed us into a situation that appears to have potential :)

---

i finally found a starting point for fixing my flex problems... for some reason flex builder doesn't allow modifying the flex server settings through its interface, but it can be set manually by editing the "hidden" project definition files.

that makes sense.

i still can't see my changes reflected on the server when i try to debug, though, but i assume that i'll figure that one out eventually.

---

i tried to return home without exerting myself, but even walking in this heat counts as exercise... apparently it's not a huge deal as long as i don't exaggerate, but i'm still worried about it affecting my healing.

the bad news is that i've been signed up for orange content services since i upgraded my phone - and i didn't realize until now what a large percentage of my bill was going towards that when i *never* make use of them. of course they don't mind my lack of attention - they've scored half a grand off me for nothing :(

the good news is that i've finished two of the three courses of antibiotics, and have a week to go on the last one. i napped for an hour or two, then woke up to eat and play syndicate before heading off to work...
oops. i almost played myself late - i left fifteen minutes prior to our shift starting and if it wasn't for the rollerblades there wouldn't have been any way for me to get there on time...

i'm impressed at how fluid the dosbox installation was, and how easy configuring it as well.

it was my turn to show someone else the ropes tonight - it was a surprisingly busy night, although it went more or less smoothly.

---

tycho on professionalism vs racism (how is that racist?)

a colourful xkcd? what's going on? (pretty!)

this sa dictionary is quite interesting: "china" is cockney?!?!

i haven't a clue how dinosaurs popped into my head.

i didn't expect the shift to end with me being shown a video on youtube of a chimp raping a frog. nor of kermit watching the same frog, a short while later. i don't know if it's as horrifying as it is funny, and i really feel bad for the amphibian.

i'm not linking that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

bye bye brat

news of the day: i finally had it out with chc, after becoming increasingly irritated by her over the last while. we'd arranged to meet (she really wanted to, i didn't know what was up), i'd explained to her that i was leaving work to meet with her, and she stood me up. i wasn't even impolite... at least i wasn't until she sent me an sms explaining how she was so disappointed and had been looking forward to seeing me - she'd try again today.

i replied with a curt: "don't bother, i'm not giving up money that i need for a maybe - probably not."

"you're being reactional and bratty. why? i've spent the entire day doing for others and haven't had time for myself. i'm not doing this on purpose"

"you see? that was the incorrect response*. i think i've had enough of wonderful chc, the ever-flowing and perfect and better than all of us yet still quite inconsiderate of everyone around her. i'm not used to giving up on people, but i'm sorry, i just don't have time for you anymore - i hope one day you'll understand."

* as usual, the only correct response was silence. she couldn't have known that.

it's just... it's hard to do a quick review and understand just how manipulative and insincere someone has been, and to know that a part of you was aware of it at the time but you still maintained hope. i became suspicious about two weeks ago, but every sentence exchanged and every inappropriate random encounter since she "left" has made her seem less and less trustworthy.

i let her know today when i had my locks changed. i wish i didn't have to throw that money out, but better safe than sorry. she'll finally be coming on friday (apparently, but now that doesn't bother me) to pick up her stuff.

---
i began yesterday with a run to secure the poster (50x70) - it came out *beautifully*, and inspired me to consider making a syndicate one as well ^_^
[although i'll wait a bit before shelling out the cash for it - like, say, when i have a real paying job]

i found the visa guys (not the embassy), and sat down with them to fill out the forms and... and not apply, because i'd only brought one passport after they'd explicitly told me that i shouldn't bring the other. i found myself decidedly disappointed by the service.

the hours at work were spent setting up the development environment and failing abysmally. the guy in charge came down to check it out personally, and got even more frustrated than i had...

i returned to meet with scrapper and botchman (our storyteller); we shopped [and i wondered about flirting with women at supermarkets], cooked (not a bad meal, far better than the previous one) and proceeded with a brilliant session that was as awesome and fun as it was painful and complex. the storyline's really clever and our characters kick ass, even when they're getting theirs handed to them in return :)

---
i was exhausted, and was actually nodding off during the tail end of the chapter [my character had been knocked unconscious, and i was manifesting that :P]. the guys asked if i was alright, and i could barely manage a response. after sorting scrapper out (he crashed on my couch instead of driving home) and saying goodbye to botchman, i climbed into bed, and lay restless the entire night.

today was simple:
  1. get up at 7.50am to hand in my passports for the indian visa application.
  2. sit online until i could eat breakfast
  3. fail, once again, to put eyedrops in my eye. i wouldn't care much if i could re-try, but that's not a good idea with steroids
  4. discover that the excess fee on my stolen camera is just about as much as the camera costs :(
  5. shuffle (seriously) to discover that i don't get a free month of medical travel insurance because i got released after age 27. i nodded off in the waiting room because i was feeling so pap - i don't understand why my heart was racing when i walked in the door :S
  6. shuffle home, contemplate napping but instead find a locksmith - discussing politics with the locksmith while he works? meh.
  7. breakfast and wired. another brilliant month :)
  8. slow blade to work, deal with more environmental issues*
  9. convince an anti-vac mom to at least read the material** i sent her
  10. eat dinner with singer and the cycling girl i bumped into two weekends ago - we've agreed to learn to ride down stairs together :)
  11. argue with singer while waiting for her bus, and decide that i probably just shouldn't talk to people. chatting online seems safer. and less loud.
* environmental issues:
infinitely recursive directories
i think i'm finally onto the primary problem - flex builder has some severe inconsistencies with defining a debug environment for any app that needs to run on a web server. i only arrived at that conclusion because i eventually gave up and switched computers, only to find myself facing the same damn problem :S

** there're a number of important things to note, and cool articles to read
wakefield's interests
the war on science
the placebo effect (the conversation turned to alternative healing)

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it's nice to hear sugar man playing from a co-worker's speakers :)

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beautiful: i'm suddenly reminded of justina robson's selling out; it's like a combination of the demon market and spirited away

isn't ted supposed to be about ideas? this dude's dancing is impressive, but i don't get why he's not on "somewhere's got talent"...

Monday, July 12, 2010

off to see the graphics wizard

my friend and his girlfriend, plus his sister and her boyfriend all came over. we have a timing problem, but if they don't find anything in the interim (and i don't find anyone else) then we're settled. nice folk, all of them :)

thank you skype for your promotional offer - i called up my mum last night, and am now convinced that it is totally worth buying credit and calling her landline :)

i continued to read comics last night, eventually going to bed (relatively early) and still managing to wake up to put in my eyedrops :P

the morning has been relaxed so far, and now i'm off to print that poster before heading to the indian embassy to sort out my visa :)

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the homeopathy xkcd is well-played: thank you, xkcd. now we just need one explaining the myths of going vegan, and we're all good.

hmmph. interesting - becoming a vegan is essentially a form of homeopathy: the less you do the more effect you have...
people will believe anything that makes their lives easier (or that they *think* makes their lives easier)

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when amped fm plays theory of a deadman - bad girlfriend and follows it up with halestorm - it's not you, i can't help but hear a connection :P

Sunday, July 11, 2010

sleeprolling

i had a strange dream last night:
i caught a private investigator my ex-landlord had set onto me while he was going through my apartment, who didn't realize that the apartment belonged to me. eventually it occurred to me to record him admitting to being employed by the landlord, but only after he'd cleverly managed to talk me outside... i was trying to catch up to him when i bumped into someone i once went to school with, who continued to talk at me while i concentrated on taking a stupidly dangerous shortcut to catch up with the p.i.:
he followed me onto a narrow plank bridge
[think tightrope] and pushed me. i barely managed to grab hold while kicking one of his feet out from under him, and he tumbled down to what i assume was his death.

the p.i. had disappeared.

...

back in the apartment, i sprayed a cockroach to death.


odd.

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i was woken up today by the guy i was supposed to be mastering graphics for, for an interesting chat wherein i talked myself out of about a grand for the job and turned a "mostly positive" into a "not so sure". i think i'd better go through the process of becoming a billable entity.

wr called me up to remind me that he'd invited me for breakfast at his new canteen... that demanded rolling, not walking. because i'm not feeling up to much, i bladed with minimal effort and had an enjoyable breakfast after eventually finding the place - at least i'm finding it funny that he's so bad with directions :P

i responded really badly to a situation that demanded an immediate and positive response (simple, really - "can we share your table?"), and my hesitation alienated the people involved and left me with a bad taste in my mouth :(

another slow roll to work, zombie-style, and i spent the day in my janitor closet reading the adventures of roger wilco. okay, i only managed to read the first volume while waiting for my mentor to get out of his meeting...

a quick explanation of the above paragraph: i've been assigned a workstation. it really is in an office so tiny that it's been used as storage space, so i'm sharing it with a vacuum cleaner (we take up about the same amount of space). one of the managers walked up to the door (i would've said walked in, but that's a rather tricky feat) and called me roger wilco, inciting me to hunt for a poster and find the afore-linked-to comics ^_^

most of the workday was consumed by setting up my development environments (with plenty of hassles) and testing the first change i'd made. then i got caught up with trying to find a decent search extension for mediawiki: nada. the only one that appears alright is sphinx, and that's way to much admin work for li'l ol' me - i'm not getting adventurous with company servers :P

towards the end of the day i overheard someone saying "vengeance is a dish best served cold", and auto-responded with "no, vengeance is best served in a stew" :)
[while ascertaining that i can claim that, i stumbled across a cute short story]

once again physically wasted, i slowly zombie-rolled my way home. i'm now waiting for a friend to come and look at the apartment, hoping that he's going to want to house-sit for me.

---
how nice: my being an ex-smoker raises the cancer risk from my bellyache.

this little american-japanese girl is going to be one to keep an eye on - she's amazing! (and she has a whole channel of crazy shit).

one tough weekend

the picnic was actually pretty cool - decent food, a long talk with one of the quieter girls in our office and some not-bad frisbee. then i had a shirt made with an airbrush caricature of my face on a camel's body - my kind of weird :P

i bladed back home, showered and took my restrung guitar and the stand i'd picked up for singer to her place for an evening of eating and music until i was too tired to do anything but slowly shuffle home and into bed.

i spent today watching house (too much of that series can make one fairly paranoid about environmental health threats), reading comics and beginning a new vtm campaign. the new storyteller's a bit difficult to follow - he speaks funny - but his ideas a pretty good. and i *love* the character i wrote up.

shit - i can't believe i've been looking for a group for so long without success, and here i am participating in three different games simultaneously. yes!

i'm absolutely exhausted, the sink is full of dishes (scrapper made a pretty decent dinner) and i'm concerned about how i'm going to get up in an hour to put in my eye-drops... all this medication is really messing with my schedule. and to make it worse - i think i should walk to work because i've been exerting myself while my body's trying to heal, and that's not a good idea.

ah - almost forgot: this morning i signed up for a skype package whose advertisement found its way into my mailbox this morning. 120 free minutes to call south african landlines? sweet!

i'm still laughing about a slightly embarrassing incident that just occurred: scrapper left my computer logged in to his facebook account. i updated "my" status, posted a piratey link (he's a ninja) and then logged out as soon as i'd realized what was going on, but before i could undo the damage i'd done :P

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here's some amusing south african slang i came across yesterday

renegade's coming to town - a pity i'm going to be out of the country... that's the waitress i ran into before our high school reunion :P

now that it's a retrospective, i found the order of the stick's gygax tribute very artfully done :)

the end of the ballroom blitz video reminds me of a quake level.

dan piraro has just informed me that i require a penguin.

Friday, July 09, 2010

proudly s'effrican

i was woken up this morning by a phone call from the embassy: my passport arrived! so we're definitely all cool. i jumped out of bed, pilled, read comics*, pilled again, ate breakfast, pilled again and then strapped on my blades to make the pick-up :)

* and listened to 2 live crew songs, remembering a disc someone slipped me back in the 7th grade. hido informs me that he had a cassette tape - i find that highly amusing.
then this link switched me to linkin park: haven't listened to them in a long time!

it's a hot day - on the way back i stopped by coffeeholic for iced-coffee, and both the chef and the professor were there. after a half an hour or so with them, i came back home, took my trousers to the laundromat (wedding soon, and i've been forgetting about them since the last one) and came back for a bit of browsing before napping for a couple of hours.

i didn't sleep well, and i had some very strange dreams.

airbourne - running wild backgrounded this post :)

now on to the company picnic.

---

here's a time-machine piece: the internet, circa 1981

dancing soldiers made me laugh out loud - nice!

i never thought i'd be linking to italian furniture (although now that i think about it, i did once link to a really cool backlit mirror from there), but this is really cool stuff!

dan piraro always finds great stuff: here's a cigarette gun, and a great defense for his post :P

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a guy i used to be friends with made a very interesting point - i didn't even know this could be an issue:
people ask me why I avoid cell phone contracts, and I can give a long list of business reasons why in africa its a bad idea, but people tend to glaze over so here is a simple example:

vodacom business call
htc touch hd2 @ R393.50 on business call
mandatory CLI at R8.50pm

thats R 9600.00 and you get no airtime or free minutes......

buying the same phone cash is around R 5800.00

in short in what is rated the worst telecoms country in the world, most contracts these days are a long term loan with the an interest rate that would make satan double check the contract and go jeez these guys are evil.

4 GRAND interest over 24 months is a bit hectic.


on the flip side: a top up contract is so worth it.
for R315 per month I get R315 airtime and a free phone.


---

tahoma's response to my facetiousness while responding to a chromium (mentioned yesterday) naysayer: i think you're right, folders are an outdated concept. now it's all tags...
don't sort, search!


damn right :)

---

and now for something completely different: i'm thinking of purchasing a kindle for my travels. i don't actually want to carry around a norton anthology wherever i go. (what a pity there's no e-book of it, now i need to research :P)

rewiring

the two most important tasks of the day: teaching the boss how to use facebook without allowing any privacy slip-ups, and learning about php web services, SOAP and how flex's interface with them is only sometimes* self-explanatory. and then i wasted an hour or two because the html i drew from the database was corrupt and i was certain the error was on my side :P

* for the longest time i thought i was sending invalid data, when in fact i was rendering it incorrectly - using the text attribute instead of the htmlText attribute. this isn't documented anywhere useful - you have to be aware of its existence if you need to find out about it :/

the evening coffee session went from "isn't everyone some type of bisexual?" to watching responses to 2 girls 1 cup. i mentioned that i hadn't clicked a link i'd been sent a few days ago to the 1 guy 1 jar video, and someone told me what it was about...

the kinder's response: "how gay would it sound if I said that I wanted totalwaste to be that guy in the movie?"
my retort: not so gay, i just heard what it's about and it sounds... painful. how gay would it sound if i said that i wanted the kinder to be the jar in that movie?
for whoever's seen it: i win ;)

the pretty girl from the rollerblading group added me as a friend on facebook - i have yet to see something come out of this sort of event, but i retain hope :P
speaking of which, i spent the evening with singer, learning to replace guitar strings and then going out for burgers. you know, there's a lot to be said for really enjoying each other's company, and it makes me wonder if that isn't the way to go.

there's probably no right answer to that.

on a completely different note: i suck with antibiotics. especially so many of them - this time i forgot about the middle ones, and then only took one when i should've had two... dammit. i'm popping all these pills and i'm not even enjoying it...

the seventh episode of the prisoner is brilliant.

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the rest of the vegan argument:

the vegan checklist - rather explicit for a pro-vegan source.

there's b12 controversy??? not according to the vegans!

the most important thing to note is the vegan philosophy of "killing is wrong". yeah, because overpopulation is right :/
i'm amused at the irony of being against milk extraction when it's necessary for the survival of the cows, and especially of the idea that, somehow, by not eating meat the animals will be treated better. that's the lamest excuse for not doing something useful (like running a farm that treats its animals well) that i've ever heard.

the following is neutral, useful information for the whole family:

on b12 absorption

deficiency symptoms and fun facts

b12: the numbers

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chromium os fast boot: i dig it! only they should've coached the dude on how to speak fluidly, otherwise this is quite impressive. in response to a pro-open source comment i received regarding it -
don't get too excited - remember that the "perfect" model is neither capitalist nor socialist, but a combination of the two! each problem has its solution :)

i'm just saying don't be extreme in either direction, the fact that your general experience may be coloured favourably by the open source movement (as is mine) doesn't mean that there aren't a whole bunch of awesome proprietary things whose programmers *deserve* to be paid for.

apple, for example, does just fine. and that's just the first example that comes to mind.