Sunday, October 30, 2011

refreshed memory

early morning wake up. arriving on campus at eight only to discover that everyone we needed to talk to would become available at nine. organizing student union membership, reserve duty support, and deciding that it was way too hot and unlikely for it to rain - my umbrella returned home with pg whose class had been cancelled due to the strike.

i registered for my class - also cancelled due to the strike - then introduced myself to terrified first years to remind them about the orientation course.

then i went to the job interview that scr organized. it was pleasant, the guys seem to be playing with all their cards on the table and the issues they raised were countered by possible solutions from all sides. and, when i told them how much i wanted they smiled and said "okay"; it's a far sight more than i'm earning now. their offices are next door to my current office but instead of a shitty hole in a smelly building, they have spacious and stylish rooms and everyone seems comfortably set up. scr and i had a talk afterwards and i'm really excited about it all, even though we're going to take things slowly because i (obviously) want as much of a guarantee of employment as possible before leaving the current office.

whether because of the attitude shift or not, the rest of the workday was the most pleasant i've had in a while. things got done and the boss made an offering of a bug tracker. cool.

i made it to class *just* on time, having arrived early because i'd forgotten that classes begin at a quarter past; that coffee break made me make a bit of a scene on entry :P
the class was fascinating, except for the woman next to me who appears to be lacking the faculty for an inner monologue. she also doesn't seem to be too certain of whether she's a student or teaching the course, having a bit of a hissy fit when she realized that a poem she particularly likes isn't on the syllabus...

it poured with rain until i got on the bus. that made me smile.

i had a long chat with my co-worker when i got to the other office and, as usual, he seems to get what i'm saying. we'll see if that amounts to anything. otherwise, we solved a few issues and walked out at a fairly regular time. i walked in to find thunderstone waiting for me. so exciting! and pg watching zombieland, so i sat with her for a couple of minutes before hitting the pc.

damn i've got a lot of stuff to do.

the fifth time around

but the protest still has the same damned message. i'm losing hope - these people are aware that there's a problem, and aren't nearly educated enough to understand what it is.

i only made bits of it because urchin's mother had a heart attack so i walked with her to the hospital. the discussion depressed me.

i don't feel like i've gotten a lot of work done this evening.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

sensation dawn

it all makes sense, all of a sudden. not just why i care, because i believe that's an inherited meme from my mother's side, but why i've been subjected to so much *stress* since the 6th grade. come to think of it, it's a much better explanation of why i didn't play well with others, as opposed to "they hated me because i was the kid who brought the stinky goat's milk to nursery school".

it explains why the over-engineered workflow and methodology in my air force post suited me so well, and it explains why i have this need to fix things. it explains why i cannot understand my co-worker's lack of attention to detail. it explains why i can't filter out stupidity and bad behaviour, like excessive honking and people not picking up after their dogs, it explains why i get frustrated when people communicate at cross purposes and argue about things they don't understand. it explains why i have difficulty with tonal expression in both directions. and polygraphs. it explains why it took me so damned long to quit smoking after i became disgusted by it, and why i managed to really quit. it even explains my low-level hypochondria. hell, it explains why i have this thing with repetitive motion and why i get so physically involved with music.

it explains why i think in black and white and straight lines and simplification and why i can't let go of that childish honesty which has caused me so much harm on so many occasions. it explains why i'm obsessive about pretty much everything, including this blog.

...

i *am* an aspie. what made me finally realize it? walking into the office on thursday morning, and feeling my heart sink, to be replaced by a ball of stress when i discovered that our graphic designer had done something that was disorganized and inefficient. why the hell should i care? i'm not the one paying for it. but it's the thought that things can be so simple and that they're not that gets my whole system going. things could be *right* with the world if only all the primitive humans with their incapacity for bigger-picture thought would wake up and work smarter, and think just a *little* bit about the next step.

---

thursday was a horrible day, i was completely zombified. mmf ordered a complete redesign of the website in the morning and then couldn't understand why we still weren't finished with the re-integration by the afternoon, when the re-design was performed by a graphic designer with a barely functional understanding of php and who based everything on an old version of the code instead of checking out the latest from the svn.

"you're not going home until this is finished!"
"yes. i am."

just because i'm working for much less money than i should be doesn't make me a slave. and i'm most certainly not willing to pay for other people's stupid mistakes.

...

i didn't have the energy to go to the other office, so i crashed for an hour instead, which made all the difference. i was just fine for drinks with a few of the guys from my class (which now spans about three classes), and i passed out as soon as i got home.

---

on friday morning i paid the student union a visit - very interesting - and then met with sorter to climb onto the roof of my apartment and decide on a course of action. it's going to cost me less than a tenth of what the other guy wanted and sorter actually seems to know what he's doing.

between yesterday and today i've rested a bit, run a bit, eaten a lot (of junk, mostly), begun constructing my own settlers of catan board, planned the first class of the orientation course, written a letter to the student union making the case for a student wiki, and pondered a practical zombie solutionfar too much.

running in the rain was awesome.

i've now had my brain blasted by co-conspirator; it's time for dinner, then another protest march, and a bit of work on sorter's project.

and then studies tomorrow! WHOO-HOO!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

busy week

a while ago i stated that i was going to start focusing on writing less, or at the very least focusing on the more important events of my daily existence. the problem is twofold - i have this weird obsession with attention to detail that causes me to believe that everything is of import, and scribbling all this rot down is usually quite cathartic and a little addictive. it's a self-feeding ego!

...

so, quick summary. monday was awesome - i went to a conference in jerusalem on post-humanity and was inspired in so many directions that i have a long list of notes and ideas and am filled with enthusiasm for them. also: jerusalemites are a weird folk. i regret lunch.

on the way home i suddenly felt antagonized by the previous night's experience, and i walked in to my apartment upset again.

tuesday was a null and void work day, followed by a really horrible couple of hours in the other office. my co-worker pays no attention to detail and makes screw-ups that can only be caused by him not reading what he writes.

on the way home i suddenly felt antagonized by the previous night's experience, and i walked in to my apartment upset again. this time, i had a stiff drink and put on my blades; pg's brother joined us (that's now five family members if i count myself), and i spent most of the evening reliving sunday night's experience and learning about immigration to canada. apparently i've understood the immigration site backwards.

today i woke up early to get to campus to sort out my schedule - it appears that in my enthusiasm (and due to a slight misreading of the website) i've registered to take all the courses i need for my degree in a single year. i'll start finding out tomorrow if that's actually possible - it's probably not wise, though, but if it's doable that would be incredible: a whole year dedicated to a master's thesis? shit, i could do with that.

work was null and void, and i returned past singer's place to meet her new boyfriend and pick up my copy of her album; i appear in the "thanks" :) i then hurried off to meet pg and her father at the cinema to watch real steel.

i kept asking: "it's about robots beating the crap out of each other, how can they screw that up?!"

so now I know:
1. by not being a movie about robots beating the crap out of each other.
2. by being really, really badly written. like - i'd like to make a film about beating the crap out of whoever's responsible for the script.

i only discovered when i got to work that i'll be here until about 6am... oops. at least i have plenty of other stuff to do. tomorrow's going to be a bitch, though.

Monday, October 24, 2011

me me me. finally.

on my way from the office to the bus home a patrol car pulled over and opened the door.
"show us your id"

i did. they then proceeded to search me, thoroughly. when i asked what the problem was, they informed me that it's a dangerous area.
so why the #$@% aren't you looking for bad guys?!
when i remarked that they were taking it too far, i was told that this was because i was stressed and that that was stressing them. i'm a freakin' innocent civilian, and they're patting me down for drugs, checking the lining of my pockets and the inner bits of my wallet (i'm not even sure if they took money or not), examining everything and asking if i take drugs. of COURSE i'm stressing!

and what does it #$@%ing MATTER if i take drugs or not? what the hell is this???

technically they weren't allowed to search me... but the second i refuse they have "legitimate" cause to suspect, and then they could take me down to the station and waste all of my time searching me there instead...

so what value do my rights have, exactly?

---

nine years of my life were spent as a military possession. for the three years of my deferred service i received no military support for my studies and yet still had to sweat for permission to see my family once a year, answer to them for unsatisfactory grades and suffer degrading treatment at the hands of idiot children in uniform because i was never given the opportunity to take hebrew classes.

i spent the next six years suffering because the army has no concept of the basic needs of a "lone soldier" and almost every right of mine was disregarded because i was unlucky enough to be taken in by shitty commanders who were only too happy to take advantage of my innocence.

i must admit, i allowed all of this to happen because i refused outright to let the military primitivism interfere with my ideals and greater understanding of the world around me. i have a masochistic tendency to always try to look at the big picture, and was raised to respect authority, care about what i do and strive to always do the right thing.

a part of "the right thing" is telling the truth, and aside from landing me in all colours of hot water throughout my service, it also put me in a *really* bad position vis-à-vis the polygraph machine, and the ten months of psychological battery i suffered at the hands of our internal security services are burned into the very core of my being. to be regarded as a traitor when i'd always been a model soldier? what kind of a country can do that to its most motivated officers, while the incompetent and the morally questionable are allowed free reign?

finally, after being released from that service i discovered just how few rights israeli citizens actually have and just how "secure" our little military state is; this is now my fourth or fifth run-in with cops being thugs - not including witnessing police brutality at student rallies - and that's a direct result of our government being a controlling force instead of a service to its citizens.

i'm sick of this. unless there's a change in the israeli attitude towards governance, both from above and from below, i have finally, officially, given up caring, and i totally identify with every israeli who has ever told me precisely where i should shove my zionism and my hope for a better future. this IS a shit country to live in. they steal our youth and our idealism and put the country in the hands of whoever's enough of a jerk to take it. every so often we have elections so that another asshole can have a turn to dump on us.

cheque, please.

---

"so, where are we moving to?"

whoever will take me. i'm guessing this will take a bit of time, but hopefully i'll figure something out soon. i NEED to find civilization, even if it's only relative. i'm sure all the other places have issues too, but i've finally reached the conclusion that if this is what "our" country has become then it's not ours any more. right now i feel like a complete fool for having dedicated so much of my life to serving what i thought was my homeland. it's not.

the israeli passport demands protection for its carriers from other states; it's ironic that it doesn't grant protection from injustice in this one.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

long weekend; sleepless

this was a long weekend, and i feel like i've made good use of it. aside from thursday night's shift, where i sat between a new hire and my co-worker teaching the former to answer phones and the latter to pay attention to detail*, i spent it playing around with flex, writing up a contract with sorter, learning to (legitimately) import goods that are available only in america, getting exercise, countering that exercise with a massive intake of delicious but not entirely wholesome foodstuffs, handling the orientation course planning that wordsworth claimed he'd take care of, watching brilliant movies**, visiting my cousins on the kibbutz, and hosting a solid gaming session on the roof.

* the gods know i tried. wish i could detect whether he understands or not.

** rare exports with pg, the best christmas movie ever, transfer by myself, a phenomenally interesting idea and insightful and fun to watch, and joe and belle, a darkly tel aviv and highly entertaining story that i was dragged into by one of the girls from my class.

unhighlight of the weekend:
hitting the carmel market on friday morning to discover just what the common people look like and deciding that i don't wanna be anywhere near them. not only do the unwashed masses smell so, but the general lack of personal hygiene was only surpassed by the general lack of awareness and respect for others' personal space; i don't like being bashed about because so many idiots can't keep their eyes open. i'm not going in there again.

misfits is fun, citadels with eidetic is really challenging but very entertaining, i have a long list of shit that needs doing and am about to take a deep breath before the last week of "sorting shit out" pre-studies happens to me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

news from the future!

it's been an important week! firstly, global warming is no longer up for debate: the peer-review may be on its way but the results are solid enough that you'd have to be a complete imbecile (and self-hating human) to even consider trying to convince yourself that it's not happening and not our fault.

on the same note, california has just become the first state to adopt cap-and-trade, paving the way for the rest of america and, in the long run, the rest of the world. it's taken too bloody long, but if the western world wakes up soon we may be able to reverse some of the damage.

---

and now for the general science: phil plait has provided a cheat-sheet of translations of basic scientific terminology for lay people. if you're not scientifically educated, PLEASE read this before discussing science / anti-science with other people.

thank you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

building castles out of time

the mundane:

post-upgrade, my iphone battery was heating up and it took me a worried while to discover that ios5 + the wonders of the icloud are simply too much for the 3gs. so i disabled it all and everything's great. not android great, but as i reminded my boss and mmf i'm not really earning enough money to be considering cellular purchases.

speaking of the boss: the amount of paper / plastic cups he goes through per day because he can't be arsed to wash a glass / mug in the sink horrifies me.

grootbek came to visit mmf today, and although the boss left early the three of us sat until late, in the dark*, and by the time i eventually got home i'd had enough computing.

* we'd been sitting in the dark all day. no particular reason, and i was quite comfortable with it.

when i got home, pg was reading and i joined her with my kindle, only passing out for a little while before it was time for dinner. after dinner i fiddled with flex and eclipse, and then pg and i played citadels until it was time to discuss canadian bureaucracy and family stuff with k-twang. a long chat later, and we returned to the lounge for more citadels.

the summary:

sod everything else, citadels is AWESOME. it's totally intriguing, engaging and tactical while sticking to really simple mechanics, and the bloody-mindedness required to win is intense. we just spent hours trying to read each others' minds and out-smart each other while simultaneously trying to build a city... absolutely brilliant. what a fun game!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

non-stop honking

the day began less than five hours after i got to bed, with some @#!$&^%! somewhere in the neighbourhood (but not our street) holding down the horn for almost five minutes, letting go every twenty - thirty seconds or so for just long enough for us to take a breath and pray that it would end. towards the end the desire to rush downstairs and stab that idiot in the face became disturbingly real.

---

is my iphone heavier since the upgrade? maybe i'm just feeling a bit weaker than usual. i got up quite late, had breakfast with pg and took a bus to the other office. things were really, really quiet today, as there were only three of us in. i almost skipped out for a lecture, but was informed while on the way that there weren't any tickets left so i returned to work.

my co-worker's implementation of a solution he proposed on monday evening was badly written and he left out something crucial. after rewriting, which has become the norm, i spent the afternoon performing final testing before going through the motions of the first deployment phase (of two). i left when everything finally looked good (apparently, one shouldn't run quartz jobs from the windows task scheduler - that mistake cost me a bit), after having spent at least an hour or two doing something that would have taken about two minutes if the communication with our servers hadn't become so bloody awful within the last couple of day :S

i stopped by icon, hoping to hear a lecture on nuclear power post-fukushima but too late for a ticket to that as well. i then spent a few minutes at a gaming counter, walking away with a hebrew copy of citadels after being assured of its value and being happier risking it being half the price of any of the possible alternatives. which all sounded fun, but i guess it's always better to play things first.

pg and i went out for breakfast for dinner, which was delicious, and when we returned home i passed out for two hours instead of the planned one; she woke me up to slurp a bit of coffee while putting on my rollerblades, and we were off. on the way i realized that i've lost a bit of weight - at least i think that's what my overalls are telling me, and that seems to have been confirmed by one of the guys there. the route was comfortable and involved a lot of chatter. cm and i were going to watch dead snow afterwards, but when we arrived at the cinemateque we realized that neither of us had brought enough money :P

pg and i came home, made a great dinner salad and stripped a beautiful, tasty mango; after showering i settled down to internet. the mails i received from my co-worker upset me more and more, eventually resulting in me phoning him at 1.30am to crap him out for being decidedly unprofessional. we've agreed to meet tomorrow or thursday so i can teach him how to work in an organized fashion in spite of it being a holiday.

---

i finally got a response from the canadian embassy regarding the legality of working and studying there simultaneously: "ask the university". gee, whizz, thanks so much :S

welcome back, gilad

and i will happily stand by my offer of beers on me, collect whenever you like. on behalf of a nation under the thumb of really stupid politicians, i apologize for not having done this sooner, or at the very least trying to bring you back by force. and i, like a large number of people that i know about, have not been and will not be watching your return on big brother media's "news" shows. you deserve your privacy. and hugs on demand.

...

i'm also glad that we got rid of those prisoners. mine is not a popular opinion by any stretch of the imagination, but the cost of feeding and educating them (a cost paid by a country that has trouble educating its own citizens) is marginal relative to the psychological cost of having them behind bars and heroes in the imaginations of their people.

they're not heroes, and the sooner they go home the quicker their people will realize that. i stand by a previous suggestion that our border police and soldiers run a catch and release program, preferably stripping and beating them before sending them home.

there is no justice in a war of world-views, only strength. quite frankly, their physical brutality and propaganda are solidly beating the crap out of our righteous conviction and theoretically ideal moral high ground. in historical terms, we're doomed to be the loser and the losers don't write the histories. the bully is the one using brute strength, not trying to talk his way to a peaceful resolution. to the entire western world: our moral values are worth defending. defending them requires "immoral" action. i wish us all the best of luck figuring that one out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HATING ITUNES RIGHT NOW

it just restored my iphone to gorramed FACTORY SETTINGS.

*screams silently*

[almost an hour later] okay, so it then progressed to ios 5, which is pretty cool. still not a nice way of going about it.

iconic

sunday:

the week began with an early-morning meeting with wordsworth. advice to the world: when you're meeting with someone, there are two things you can do in order to prevent having to start the meeting late in spite of you both having arrived on time. the first is to look around before going inside, the second is not to sit in a dark corner in the back. i arrived first and on blades, so i'd perched myself right next to the entrance...

afterwards, i went to the cinemateque to pick up a ticket for hobo with a shotgun. while i was there, i overheard confusion from the girl in front of me and the guy behind the counter, and was the first to let them know that there are TWO icon festivals; in a country this tiny, there's nothing more ridiculous. i went around to the other one to check out the gaming wares, and after getting contact information decided that i'd order stuff online if it's going to be so expensive after the icon discount.

unfortunately, whether imported or not, the games in this country are super-expensive. and purchasing them online even more so :S

after all that blading i was too sweaty to go to work. i had a shower, and worked from home. even with all of pg's distractions* it was still more efficient than being in the office, and FAR more comfortable. also, when i felt the need to react loudly to absurdly illogical behaviour i could feel free.

* not least of which, a lengthy argument over the types of food generally available in the apartment; in the evening we went shopping together and sorted that one out

in light of friday's failure i've been carrying pg's bus pass with me. i don't feel bad at all about it because at the end of the day i'm going to be paying the same amount for mine, whether i purchase it this week or the week after, and pg barely uses it when we don't have classes. i'm just pissed off with the ministry for making it so damn complicated to buy what dan wants to sell :S

when i got into the other office in the early evening i was still angry about the whole voodoo-scripting thinking, and my greetings got kinda tangled up with a rant and rave about the day's discoveries. sorter had a good laugh at me because my raised voice was making the door he was leaning against vibrate :P

we went downstairs for a calming cup of coffee, and agreed that i'm going to begin porting what i've done so far to flex. it now seems like an even better idea than java.

having learned a lesson about code reviews, i began to perform the thorough pre-release check, having gone over the QA report and intending to be done before leaving. boy, was i wrong... he's still taking shortcuts with the comments, his functions are badly named, and i haven't the foggiest notion of how he checked off his QA tests when the damn thing wasn't working. at all. i spent an hour going over it and rewriting it with him by my side, then he left and i carried on finding mistakes :S

once i'd gotten everything operational, i sent him a long email expressing my desire to kill him for lying to me and containing instructions on how to proceed. i had just over half an hour to get to the movie, so i hurried and hopped on the first bus that should have taken me there.

WRONG BUS! and the worst part is that the driver had double-checked to make sure that everyone was trying to get to bat yam, while i was listening to music... and contemplating hopping off and walking, but i figured that i'd save a good ten minutes and i was feeling lazy. when the bus turned left at azrieli, my heart sank and i scrambled to the front, too late to be able to get off before we hit the highway.

i was devastated, the clock was ticking, and there wasn't anything to be done. he put me down at the first stop with a rough explanation of which line to take; i checked out taxi prices, which would have been about twice the price of the ticket, and paced back and forth between stops while deliberately not paying attention to the two guys lurking on a nearby wall playing horrible, loud music in the dark.

26 TO THE RESCUE! not only did a bus come fairly soon, but it was a much better one than the driver had told me about - it dropped me off right at the cinemateque instead of a half-hour's walk away. and those two guys from the wall? they got on the bus too - it turned out they were security guards :P

as i got off the bus i ran into my co-worker on his way home from the previous showing; i was amused that he hadn't told me where he was going to. i convinced him to join me, and then met up with cm, his girlfriend and another guy from the rollerblading group.

hobo with a shotgun: 1.5 hours of mental backflips, a half an hour's walk trying to deal with the horror (the script almost as much as the gore, and it kind of worked!), and I think I'm scared of canadians now. seriously, though, it's a great terrible film and the more i think about it the more intrigued i am. i'm fairly certain that any depth is coincidental, but my word - that movie says a lot.

---

today:

the early morning involved following around the handyman while he examined my patio roof. unfortunately, there are weird bugs outside (i'm almost certain they're attracted by the fact that the neighbourhood cats use our garden as their dumping ground) and i got bitten, but the bumps and itches didn't last more than an hour or so. anyway, he wants to construct a replacement roof of polyurethane. it sounds a bit expensive and i'm not sure about it, but it's definitely a better solution than what there is currently...

after a couple of hours at work fighting with pie, i got it to work (more or less) and stepped out to pick up a salad. lesson 1: order medium, not large. it was a delicious salad, but i ate too much. i don't know that that's the only reason i found myself passing out at my desk, unable to continue working on a problem that would hurt my brain now if i'd start thinking about it. my boss and i spent the next hour or so struggling together, and eventually he took it over and authorized my returning to the other project. i'd almost forgotten there was other stuff to do.

the bus driver recognized me on the way back, so i didn't even have to show him my student card...

i was at work for a very short while, accepting an apology from my co-worker and finalizing the stuff from the day before. i then came home, in time to run but without energy to do so. i crashed on the couch, surfacing only for dinner, and then pg and i walked to the cinemateque to meet her brother and cm and his girlfriend. oddly enough, we ran into scrapper and a girl from my class...

love is two movies long, the first ending with something akin to a spacewalk. none of us have a clue what happened, and only one of us (myself) enjoyed the movie in spite of its tediousness. actually, i thought that the director expressed the sense of time excruciatingly well. it's a visually astounding movie, the sound is great, the ideas are all good and only the ending is lacking in clarity; it's a confused muddle of messages that would all make sense if we'd been given a base context for them.

either way, it's a tiring movie.

---

it's taken me a while to write all of this, during which time i've been trying to upgrade my iphone software. unfortunately, itunes popped up a question about proceeding while i was in the middle of typing a sentence and accepted my input as negative. now i'm not sure if i'm upgrading or restoring.

you do voodoo?

i don't. i work with stuff that doesn't involve trial and error and waving dead chickens at pieces of equipment. i'm a programmer, or a software engineer, or whatever the correct nomenclature is. when i tell a computer to do something, i expect it to either
a) get it done or
b) let me know, in no uncertain terms, that what i wanted did not get done.

to be fair, modern ides (for actual software development) do a lot of the hard work when it comes to error checking, and the compilers do the rest so that by the time your work's doing all the wrong things you know that the screw-up lies with you. as long as you work in an organized manner and your testing is intelligent, the chances of releasing meaningful bugs are minimal.

with web development, not so much. it's like building beautiful, intricate sandcastles with a tiny plastic bucket and spade.

once you've picked a data description standard, such as html, you have to ensure that all the different browsers will be able to handle that standard (doctypes, which don't always behave as required). that's before you've added dynamic stuff using things like javascript, which each browser handles in its own way. jquery is awesome, and its cross-browser stuff is remarkably good, but even that's not enough - there's still a whole list of important functions that behave entirely differently between ie, mozilla and chrome. yes, people still use ie. it's not a browser, people! move on already!

only then, after all of that, do we get to css. the most convoluted and badly engineered piece of crap imaginable which exhibits completely different behaviour across the board and invariably requires rewriting underlying data in order to style things "correctly". and i'm not going to begin to discuss the different debuggers and how dysfunctional they are.

...

so. i now understand two things.

1. using flash / flex, with all the flaws and as undesirable as it may be to be locked in to a specific vendor, means not wasting time on all of these issues and having a development environment / debugger that basically works.

2. writing separate apps for the iphone, android and whatever else is on the market is far cheaper than developing mobile versions of a website that will look acceptable on the various phone browsers.

adobe: i am finally ready to give you money and move on from your trial versions. chain me up!

Monday, October 17, 2011

mind reeling

i was going to post a quick summary of the day, but my mind was still reeling from hobo with a shotgun when this popped up in my feed:

a law to freeze all protests [original hebrew]
from google translate - not great but the general gist:
The Knesset is promoting an amendment to the Defamation Act, which will be given huge fines.
To rejoice in their calamity of journalists.

Forget Facebook groups against Tnuva and the talkbacks seize giant claims; the Unholy Trinity of Israel Beiteinu - Likud - Kadima has issued several bills and amendments known dark state laws which deeply offended the basic rights of citizens - Republicans, Democrats, Jews and Arabs, men and women.One of the major battles of this trinity is the struggle for freedom of expression.In "Boycott Law", passed last July, the goal was to intercept criticism of the settlements (in the guise of condemning anti-israel activism). Now - with the approval (in the meantime a first reading) of the proposed amendment to the Defamation Act, whereby the amount of damages without proof of damage will rise astronomically - can anyone money in his pocket, to threaten libel suits imaginary amounts. These demands would be used to silence criticism or revenge visitors. Awkward and forced apology on Channel 10 a few weeks ago is nothing compared to what awaits us if this bill will pass in the Knesset. Amendment from the Ministry of Israel Beiteinu - Likud - Kadima is "boycott law" is intended to protect the wealthy. Approval the next day, every call for a boycott of a giant corporation or criticism voiced in this style of social protest last summer against the company or against its directors (for example, the audit led to the resignation of Goldilocks Cohen) would endanger the threat makes a huge lawsuit by attorneys for the corporation. This amendment will reduce the drain all the impressive achievements of the social protest movement. That's what makes the Israeli government: one hand confirms the Trachtenberg report and pretend she is attentive to the people, and in the other to lock us all and makes the continuation of the protest real danger to our future economy. It is customary to denigrate the "media" and hang it all the ills of society. Likely this bill, to limit the media, you will encounter the indifference of the public and perhaps even with the enthusiastic support from many parts of the public. But it is important to note that no law "against communication", but it applies to all citizens: media and private citizens alike. Therefore, it is doubtful whether the day after the law is approved, a person can start a Facebook group calling for boycott of cheese due to the excessive cost, as soon as you open the group will be sent to him a threatening letter from the manufacturer's attorney in which he threatens libel damages under the new amendment. This amendment will have astronomical sums with no damage at all to prove the plaintiff. All demonstration against price increases or in favor of equality, all Facebook status or Twitter tweet endanger the economic future of the writer, and perhaps also of who they click "Like". If that's not the Israeli public mockery out of the social protest of summer - I do not know what is. I recommend reading the excellent article by Dr. Tamar Gidron, "libel tourism map of the world and Defamation Law in Israel", from the latest issue of the journal "trial" in which she points to what happened to the press and freedom of speech in Britain following the enactment of libel preferred tycoons, and how the trend in the world today Israeli opposite: to fight false libel cases filed just to intimidate and suppress public criticism, not encourage them. Please note that if the law passes, it may herald the end of the Israeli Internet talkbacks era. The law encourages submission of false claims in an effort to light will generate astronomical income, will for the talkbacks become a luxury media they cannot afford. Exposure talkbacker To be able to sue him directly (this is rare but has happened) will talkbacker himself millions. In short, it's not a question of right or left, but of social justice, fairness, and integrity.


oh, crap. it would have been nice to have been wrong. maybe it's time to leave.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

spacial stuff

once you've seen the skies reflecting our spinning world, you might be ready for these magnificent landscapes in all their glory.

---

also: a sticky boom! we're making progress, at least. and remember, progress is the opposite of... three cheers for private industry.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

on middle-eastern differences

on the way back this evening i stopped us at an aroma near hadera where pretty much all the workers are arabs. the girls all stayed in the car, i went inside because i needed bio-fuel in order to ensure our safe passage home. the service was good and my sandwich and coffee were the usual. when one of the guys walked past me on his way outside for a smoke, i heard him say something in arabic with a heavy accent and i took a good look at his face.

i don't know if i'd be able to call him on being an arab as easily as i would be able to call him an israeli. and in the moment that followed i imagined two people, an arab and an israeli, representing the two nations, each with his full suite of cultural baggage and justifications and pride and perspectives; i imagined slapping each of them in the face, *really* hard, and telling them "enough already! we haven't even existed for a hundred thousand years and we're about to wipe ourselves out - take whatever the heck you have RIGHT NOW, stop bitching about what you don't have, and get your shit together before there's nothing left to fight about!"

the other side of the DOOF

okay: just got back a couple of hours ago from neverwhere, the doof / paganka party up north. neverwhere also happens to be an incredible book by neil gaiman, which makes it all the more amusing that the similarities to it didn't end even after we left, when we heard a report on the radio about which destinations where most popular this weekend and ours didn't get a mention. we were a LOT of people!

i have a bit of a headache but that's because i worked my body really hard having so much fun and then took responsibility for driving three out of four of us home.

---

thursday night:

after dinner and before bed we ended up playing pirate fluxx after pg got bored with WOW. at least we tried... and the fluxx game was fun :)

---

friday:

we spent a horrible morning (well, the weather was great and we did start in good spirits) trying to renew our student passes at the dan bus lines office. the ministry of transportation has decided that having a valid 2012 sticker on the student card isn't enough, even though that's all that we've received in the mail. so first year students had no problem, but we had to go to campus to print out our registration authorization.

but it's holidays, so campus is closed. when i called up the ministry of transportation they informed me that this was by design, and screw you. well, they didn't say "screw you" but that was the gist of their response. the worst part is that this is all happening the week before icon, a week-long festival all around tel aviv that requires a lot of short bus trips.

ASSHOLES!!!

anyway, after a long, complicated mission (and having to pay for a full bus ticket for the dog both ways), i managed to print out pg's but the machine that read pg's card wouldn't read mine and the other one i found that does read mine was out of paper.

figures. and this isn't the first time that's happened, either.

so at least we organized hers, but the day was lost, our feelings towards dan and the ministry turned to sour, and i think i might have to sneak my way using her card... it's not like i haven't paid my fees, either. but them's the rules, and those are narrow-minded do-as-you're-told kind of people.

---

we stopped at cafe henrietta for lunch - kind of to make up for the crappy start to the day (and i hadn't even had coffee yet) - and there was some inexplicable delay with our meal after we'd had to wait a bit to be seated. i honestly don't think i would've noticed in the state i was in, but our waitress (who'd been pleasant and professional from the beginning) saw to it that we'd get a bonus dessert. not only a bonus dessert, but she threw in my orange juice too.

that *did* make me feel a bit better.

unfortunately, that much chocolate after last night's killer vat o' mousse didn't do much for my stomache... i slept the sleep of the dead for a couple of hours after i got home. after waking up, being dragged outside to park the car (it's such a pleasure when you can find a parking nearby!), and snacking, i spent a long while learning how to sort kindle books and then we played a bit more fluxx until on-my-honour arrived.

---

today:

i have to admit, as long as i don't expect her to be anywhere near on time we have no issues whatsoever. we had a great time together on the drives and at the party, and i have learned to accept that we have completely different perspectives when it comes to all sorts of things... we still get along like a house on fire :)

we arrived around 3 - 3.30am, found a good enough spot for our tent, mulched around a bit and crashed. i got up to the tail end of zirkin's incredibly powerful wake-up set, having slept pretty well considering that my bladder was full and i'd been conforming my body to the location of the rocks beneath me :P

we'd picked up a very pretty swiss girl on the way up north - i thought that she and on-my-honour were friends from before but it turned out they'd never met. a pity for on-my-honour that the swiss girl has a sharing problem: she drank almost all the vodka, and on-my-honour had brought the vast majority... have i mentioned before that i don't like babysitting drunk people? i did the barest minimum and felt absolutely no discomfort for abandoning her. we were in a more or less safe space, and i think i succeeded in making our neighbours feel uncomfortable about taking advantage of her.

aside from running into anti-1 and finally having a proper chat (she seems to be doing great, actually), i spent the morning contemplating the wonders of how my life is on track (even if i am on break) and how it all began at my first trance party. neverwhere? these gatherings give me hope. slowly, maybe, but it feels as if we're impacting the world around us for good. and the world has so much to learn.

for a good while the beats from loud and laughing buddha made me aware that my prayers on the dance floor are nothing short of my submission to a higher power, the beat. and protoplasm's sentiment that "trance is electronic music with a sense of humor" echoed over, and over in my mind. too true. in particular, one of those sets was making fun of us, half of it was total retro and pure goa trance, and old-school rebirth samples were being mixed in with the newer stuff and it was all magic ^_^

i'm still amused about running into my kibbutz cousin's younger son in the morning - i'd wanted to visit them afterwards, but i had to drive the others...

i'm well pleased with myself. and well pleased with my hair, i think i know what it's going to feel like when it's dreaded. i'm now in desperate need of getting to bed.

gilad shalit's coming home?

gilad shalit's coming home? if he really does make it, then everybody, every single person in this gods-damned country, owes that man a beer, a hug and an apology.

Friday, October 14, 2011

dear amazon, from troubled

amazon - i want you to know: i bought a kindle so that i could easily download the books i want to read, and i'm happy to pay for them. but if you refuse to sell them to me for the absurd reason that i live in the middle east, then i will find them for free. and i won't feel bad about it, i'll be offended that YOU'RE reducing the well-deserved and hard-earned takings of the authors.

assholes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

indoor romantic

segev express has a fantastic atmosphere, it's indoors and set up to feel like being on a european street at night. the food's good, if not mind-blowingly fantastic, but that wasn't what we were there for.

that's one good year together; i sense more. pg makes me happy, and it's nice to know that the feeling's mutual.

fits - the good, the bad, and the OMG

the bad:

i had a long talk with mmf yesterday on the way back to tel aviv, and things are much clearer now. i feel terrible about the fact that they're as unhappy with me as i am with them: not, as mmf stressed, because the issues we've been having aren't real, but because he and my boss have no clue how to work with me.

1. they're uncomfortable assigning me work as a part-time employee.
2. they're uncomfortable with things like design and planning, and they're not into things like code reviews (unless it's by request)

the reason i feel bad, though, is because they're disappointed with my work. it doesn't matter that it's all justified by a long series of last-minutes changes, reversals, redesigns, etc. i'm not happy when i don't succeed. and even the bits that have been successes haven't been satisfying ones; more a trial-and-error thing. my boss is the web-dev whizz, and when he himself hasn't a clue what the problem is and we resort to "best guess"-ing, i lose interest. that's not what i do for a living.

at least now i won't feel bad if i do find something else.

---


i spent wednesday morning learning about hmtl validation, from which nystire rescued me by arriving in herzeliya for lunch. a bit more got done before home-time, by which time i was sick of the whole thing.

the good:

pg and i watched the bloaty's pizza hog episode before i left for a work break on my blades. *that* work was fun, and we're now ready for deployment :)

it didn't rain on my way back. score! pg and i played tekken, i continued with abe's exoddus until dinner time, then began to learn how to cut a whole chicken. after dinner we played the WOW card game. it's the first opportunity i've had since i bought the cards, and it took a while to sort out the rules but overall it was quite fun. it only took three or four hours to beat pg... but that includes deck-building time :P

at midnight pg brought out meringue dessert in celebration of us being together for a year. after walking the dog at 3am, i contemplated the fact that it's been a year since i got back from india. where am i now? how has it been relative to my expectations? whose life is this, anyway?

---

i slept late, and was going to spend the morning organizing but i kinda got sidetracked.

the OMG:

i got screwed: i bought my kindle about two months ago and since then the touch has not only become available, but it's almost $100 cheaper? DAMMIT!!!

(no reading! familiar? like my experience with the canadian embassy.)

i decided it was time to change my screensavers: after the initial install i proper-fucked the thing, having tried to search for the book i was reading while it was still loading... after that, after quite an effort i learned to reset the device (you DON'T remove the back cover!), and then got caught up going through http://kindlewallpapers.tumblr.com/, which has a magnificent collection and i only got through to july before pg stopped me :P

---

now about to go get some exercise before our flashy celebratory dinner tonight.

---

ashpoopie and crap dna testing combine to show israel leading the world in the war on the landmines that most people *really* care about.

that wasn't intended to be snarky social commentary, but it works out either way.

next step: the PETA version. incinerates and blends your dog.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

americans aren't stupid

so aside from the green card scam, i had a day at work wherein i made a bit of progress but didn't give a damn about it. on my way out my boss offered to get me a book on css, an offer i declined without hesitation.

do not want.

in the other office, i fine-tuned something that was giving us trouble and convinced the boss that the change i requested to make last week (a request that was slammed immediately at the time) is a good idea for a number of reasons. it looks like it'll be a fun challenge, and when we succeed i'll have less bureaucracy to deal with during my night shifts :)

wordsworth gave me a ride to co-conspirator's birthday sleepover; i would've slept over if i didn't have other responsibilities... her attitude towards her birthday was a bit off-putting, though. i almost decided against going just because she was testy about it being important.

it's just a birthday.

the food was pretty good, but although it was nice to see everyone the arrangement was a tad awkward. once things got going i settled in, however, and overall the experience was pleasant and i might have enjoyed staying the night...

coming back home was a bit of a mission - i think all the buses i needed were finished for the night. pg had already gone to bed by the time i walked in, but i discovered something at my desk that made me smile and say: "best - girlfriend - ever". a pillow re-sewed to the first step of an invader zim-style costume (think bloaty's pizza hog).

*sigh*

---

stupid is as stupid says: a denier of global warming writing for the wall street journal?
more slamming of the same moron

wool / eyes

boy, do *i* feel foolish. they obviously have people on the inside, because the amount of personal data they used in the email made both my mother and me think it was legit.

the green card winners! scam is a nasty piece of work. not only does it demand a small fortune from people living in poor countries, but to get someone excited about such a huge life change is just evil. not that i didn't enjoy those two hours, of course, until i gave up waiting for SxS to come online and hunted down the details myself.

if you get one of these, please forward the details to https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ and http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx , and spoof@westernunion.com for western union so they'll know to shut whoever it is down and deal with these assholes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

timezone surprise

shit it's late. summary post!

surprise! i got to work and had to begin on a new, as-of-yet undefined fantasy feature. my boss may complain about my over-engineering as much as he likes, the new feature became functional reality before lunchtime.

last week's lunch partner (scr) informed me of a good cheap lunch when we met, and i tried it out today. aside from an embarrassing incident, it's a great meal, cheap at the price and provides an excuse to eat alone in the office with my kindle.

afternoon: icon / game planning, over-engineering required to do stupidly simply things in an unnecessarily complex css / javascript ecosystem (it takes special code to instruct the document to respond to a click *anywhere* in the browser window without messing up the initial call. for those who understand: displaying a div and then being able to click anywhere to hide it again is complicated), playing with virtual machines, apparently solving the crisis of having my supermarket card tagged by the ministry of defense, and just missing the two buses i needed to get to the other office.

at least the frequency increases at those hours.

my co-worker has not yet learned to consider the future. in particular, he asked why i was wasting time documenting something that needs to be done only after the current priority number one is taken care of. i had to explain to him that it's something that's easy to forget about when working on another project, to which he responded by rolling his eyes.

*sigh*

our biggest problem during testing so far? the code i've re-written is functional, the old code isn't, and we keep running into issues that simply aren't :P

i scrambled back to meet with pg for two minutes to pick up my referral that i'd left at home, and for some reason found myself wondering about marriage.

i read wired news* on the bus to the gastroenterologist, who explained that i don't really have to worry too much about h. pylori and that if i want to delay treatment nothing will happen. i walked out with a lightened step.

* kickstarting satellites!
medical sales are not okay (discussed in the union)

home - good run - okay stretch and pitiful exercises - excellent dinner - online must-do's (webmaster and poetry stuff, mainly) - walking the dog - almost buying thudnerstone before realizing i might find it much cheaper at icon next week - fixing the translation of a previous commander's resume - ohshitit'sbedtime.

Monday, October 10, 2011

fandamily

naaah, i actually really like them. but there're lots of them and they're complicated :P

i began the day with the orthopaedic specialist, who informed me that i need to get soft insteps and that i should probably consider reflexology / foot massage, but also that unless the cramping in my feet impairs their function that it's not really an issue.

that was quick, from there i hopped a couple of buses to campus (worrying about the weird tufts of white stuff all over my shirt until i realized that it was the back of my wired magazine that had been moistened during the ride back from jerusalem... at first i'd suspected that it was something creepy or icky from somebody else). i finished reading the thesis a short while back, and had intended to return it soon; when i took it out of the library i set a reminder on my phone, and had assumed that it hadn't gone off because the book wasn't due back yet. this morning i discovered that the reminder had magically disappeared; i was quite relieved when i handed it over the counter and the guy assured me it was fine.

---

on the way back home i saw a body under a sheet on the side-walk, and automatically assumed from the sprawled figure that it had belonged to a jumper. then i realized that it could just as easily have been the victim of a shooting or stabbing, or even a heart attack (although the last seems unlikely). just a stranger, dead, that i have no narrative for.

---

i had a good roast beef sandwich at coffeeholic, then came home to sort a couple of things out before putting myself to bed for an hour. the crash was deep and dark, and it took three or four snoozes for me to get up, make a phone call, then drop out for another half an hour or so. i cannot quantify how much better that last half an hour made me feel.

pg and i ventured out for a useless mall experience - in particular for me, because there's no more gaming store close to home and i'm desperate to get hold of thunderstone and i can't find a reasonably-priced copy online that ships to israel :S

from there we went to bleecker's, where we'd agreed to meet with my aunt and uncle and cousin. a looooooong wait. we decided to have a quick snack in the meanwhile; soon after we finished they got in touch to tell us they'd misinterpreted my instructions and parked in completely the wrong place. it was a mission to get there, then a mission to get to a backup kosher coffee shop, that had closed down and become an unkosher one, then a mission (although less than expected) to find another one.

dinner was nice, i really enjoyed spending time with them and catching up, and the only dampers on the conversation were a short bit on politics and discussing my brother and his inconceivably disgusting behaviour since our father died.

it was tough being asked to promise to come and visit them in durban; i promised to make every effort, but it's really tough to go to a place that's so dangerous and uninviting that i can't figure out why they're still there.

---

i had a long chat with my mother on skype; and of all the things we discussed (such as a forthcoming family reunion) one thing sticks out in particular: the reminder that the life i'm leading right now, as a student, is my holiday from my big plans and my momentary breath of fresh air before heading back into the muck for at least another decade of grown-up stuff.

whatever decisions i make regarding the current "temporary" jobs i'm doing are really only sandbox stories... whatever i do, i really need to be as happy as possible doing it.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

home-made futures

i have only one response to this: ZOMG WOW HOLY WTF AWESOME ZOMG!!!

Qu8k - carmack prize attempt

and a tiny bit of faith is restored.

a new day, dawn, week, year

wow - what a strange way to begin the new year! after about three tries, i finally managed to get out of bed and the first message i saw was to tell me that she just got engaged: and i'm really, positively excited for them!

so that put a smile on my face, and i felt like sharing :D

a talisman

the rest of the afternoon was a mess of reading, sleeping, and then waking up awfully to get ready for the evening.

---

holy crap - everyone arrived before 9pm, and it's now 3.30am and they all left less than half an hour ago. it would appear that i bought *just* enough munchies and beer, more than enough hookah tobacco (i was the only one who smoked, so i was a bit high for the beginning of the game), everyone loved my playlist and the only things that sucked about playing talisman were that we didn't realise that there was an extra stack of item cards (and we needed to use them almost from the get-go) and that it takes so much time to get ahead that one kind of needs to have most of a day to get through it.

i'm well pleased at how organized we were on the roof. we were all set up to watch anime, and even though we didn't get around to it the possibility was there. we're so going to be doing this often - or as often as the weather allows.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

it's the quietest day of the year

somebody told me i *had* to watch don't be a menace to south central while drinking your juice in the hood, but luckily for them i don't remember who. it's horribly unfunny, and i couldn't manage more than ten minutes... the tourist is really fun, though.

physical mentions that didn't make last night's post:

1. the bit where my left thigh meets my left hip tightened up yesterday when we were almost back, and the first time sat down it *really* hurt me! i think i've stretched it out enough since, though...

2. hah! and the doctor wanted me to take medication; my ankle's just fine, thank you.

---

i had intense dreams this morning that were totally nuts and nothing short of inspiring. i need to get writing, but... not today...

Friday, October 07, 2011

atlas? who's that?

i forgot to mention the single thought that shared my hour-long wait with me at the embassy yesterday:
to be an agent of change is to be despised. to be an agent of change is to despise primitivism and backwardness right back.
---

waking up five hours later? getting ready? pg and i joining her mother and bussing to jerusalem? the ride to the western wall was terrifying - the sheer numbers of those on the path to endarkenment are unimaginable to anyone living in internet-enabled tel aviv.

i was quite nervous about my new wheels - getting them yesterday was not smart. i needed to sort those out at least a week ago, it took most of the downhills to wear down the silicone enough for me to gain enough traction at high speeds. the slow, easy first downhill was scary. so was the second. the third, the amazing one, was only enjoyable for that last bit, by which time i'd shaved my wheels so much by constantly dragging them to keep my speed down that i already have to rotate them :/

on the other hand, having new wheels for the long, flat 50km stretch back to tel aviv was really, really comfortable. i'm pleased and amused at the guy who approached pg and me after we'd arrived at azrieli to tell us that watching us blading together was like watching two dancers doing the tango - i almost hesitated to admit that i'd been grooving along to incredible house*, and some of the others laughed when they overheard because they'd been well impressed by my drafting but couldn't figure out why i kept changing the pace every now and again :P

* whoo hoo! i finally remembered to take the speaker i bought in april :P

in retrospect, i'm really glad that we didn't manage to score a ride up the painfully steep first uphill. that's our penance for yom kippur, and it simply must be done. we were in divine territory, and a part of the experience (for me) is hoping that i've been good enough this past year to warrant coming through the route unharmed.

things i learned this evening:
1. wheels must be replaced at least one 20km route prior to a major set of downhills.
2. heavy bags do hurt the lower back.
3. trains can be fun - and on downhill stretches can save a lot of energy. they require a lot of trust, though.
4. you can't beat house music for keeping drafting pace.
5. a thermos filled with hot-chocolate and rum is *just* enough to last 60km.

final thoughts for the day, before taking a book to bed (i was going to watch a movie, but pg's not feeling well): kids. a group of them got run over by arabs in palmachim... i don't care whether it was intentional or not, my initial reaction is that most people driving on israeli roads, in general, drive so fast and so badly that it's a wonder these things don't happen all the time. also, it shocks me to blade through streets filled with kids on bicycles when half of them literally aren't looking where they're going.

...

right. exhausted.

---

talking down telemarketers. very, very smooth.

bad series

it's been a rough, rough day. it started off with my sitting almost patiently for an hour, waiting my turn to approach the window of the immigration office at the canadian embassy. all i was innocently looking for was information regarding studying there, and i was confidently sent up there by two security guards, the second of whom was forced to put my iphone and kindle in a locker. so i couldn't read anything, or play angry birds, and the telly was showing stuff that couldn't have been very interesting even if they had cranked the volume way up to an audible level. all i had to occupy myself with were overheard snippets of "the people vs bureaucracy".

then, by sheer narrative imperative, i was informed that the room i'd been consciously doing nothing in for so long could not provide me assistance in any way, shape or form, other than to refer me to the embassy's website. fan-bloody-tastic! i stormed off, grabbing my oh-so-obviously-dangerous electronic devices from the locker while spitting my complaint at the new security guard, who had no idea what i was talking about. in my defense, i was a tad irritated and i'd already begun complaining before noticing that he was a different person.

i then shared my feelings with the other security guard downstairs - this time because the first guy was busy talking to someone else - who told me that what i really needed to do was go to the same floor, but using the other elevator. for a moment i thought he was having me on, but i got up there and explained my case to yet another guard, who waved me through the detector with my totally weaponized electronic war devices that james bond would be proud to carry. i approached the window, and was greeted by a secretary who only took a minute to get back to me.

nope, nobody to talk to there either. "there is no such person in our offices," she told me, but she did give me a business card with an email address and an instruction to write the email in english.

---

while i was unavailable, netvision called me. i wasn't about to spend another fifteen minutes on hold deciding that an email would be better, so i figured i'd get around to them eventually. in the meanwhile, my cousin hadn't called me back... i do hope my aunt and uncle have managed to extend their trip.

i stopped by the skate shop to pick up new wheels, and a complete set of new bearings. it was a fun and social bit, there were two others there who might be coming this afternoon for the jerusalem - tel aviv route so we had some planning to do :)

i was almost home when i received an sms informing me that there'd been a horrible crisis at work the night before, and our shift was being moved forward by two hours. i was dazed and agitated when i woke pg up to come shopping with me, and actually had to stop and spazz out and shout my frustration out. that wasn't the best wake up i could have offered her, i'll bet.

it took about half an hour on the roof to switch out all my wheels. the physicality of it calmed me down somewhat.

we had breakfast in a nice place on bograshov; it might have been even better if we hadn't sat next to loud people whose conversation drowned out our own and made me feel like my iq was dropping... afterwards, we bought the tent we'd come for and headed off to dizengoff center, where pg bought herself a copy of watchmen and i exerted some self-control and handled two very practical (and cheap) umbrellas. i would probably have done something about my sunglasses (i'm looking for new lenses) but the store i bought my jawbones in doesn't deal with them any more :(

netvision tried to connect with me while pg and i were in bograshov, but they didn't let the phone ring long enough :/

the fifteen minute nap i had when i got home was AMAZING. i then strapped on my blades, and coasted to work. it feels like flying with these new wheels!

everything at work was stressed. i pulled a twelve hour shift, and the tension was high from the get-go. i made a snide remark just after i arrived, and my boss whipped around and said "fuck you" before apologizing - that's the first time i've ever heard him swear at all, and once i was on my guard i became fully aware of just how much strain he's been taking. a comment later on by our office aspie and another co-worker about the future of the company definitely put the possibility of an ending in our near future.

which is a pity, because it's a great product and a nice office environment. if even half the employees would stop covering their arses and start making an effort, we'd really be able to pick things up.

netvision: third try. i'm actually impressed. the girl i spoke to was good enough to try to organize a deal whereby i don't get screwed with the penalty clause - we'll see how that goes.

there was loads of work to be done, and of primary concern was an operational decision by the higher-ups that we were all convinced was doomed to certain failure. by sheer luck, things were okay, and in spite of it being a really tough night we were fully aware that it could have been much worse.

arbitraries for the night:
the office aspie and i had an unpleasant altercation over automation and problem solving; 100% impossible to communicate with her :S
i signed surety for a cousin with a health concern in order to appease a bureaucratic organization. it was a weird letter to write. i warned the guys that i shouldn't be the one to order food - we were damn lucky that the guy came back after i missed the call by half an hour... an abusive caller sent us an email to which i had to respond - i was super-polite, but the cow was blatantly lying (we'd heard the conversation in real-time) and was trying to get the support agent fired. charming.

it was a night full of apologies and ugly grud-work. and mosquitoes. i frikkin' hate mosquitoes.

so: a twelve hour shift and getting home in time for a quick shower and this posting. now it's REALLY late.

---

one of the emails i came across was signed thus:
"and thou that seekest to know me, know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knowest the mystery: if that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thyself, thou wilt never find it without. for behold, I have been with thee from the beginning, and i am that which is attained at the end of desire."
yep - it works.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

rip steve jobs

a man with big enough balls to do things right.

he may not have been the nicest man, but he certainly made good. i don't have many heroes, but he was a man who "got" how the world works, how it *should* work.

reality is a choice.

family movie night

we just got back from the three musketeers, and boy was that a pleasant surprise! i had no idea it was gonna be steampunk ^_^
and ignoring that, the cinematography is superb and it has a wonderful cast.

---

the morning sucked, but i got some pre-lunch satisfaction, literally solving a vexing problem as i was on my way out to meet with a guy who i used to study with. and caused me to learn .net the hard way when he left the country in 2005 and i had to take over a project from him that was somewhere between design and first-draft implementation. lunch was good (although i ran into singer's brother, and while it was nice to see him it was still kinda awkward) and we talked past, present and future - including the possibilities of working together. we'll see how that goes, but it sounds really interesting!

---

on the way back i met up with my co-workers returning from lunch as well. as we stood waiting for the light to change, some idiot held down his hooter and i, automatically, clapped while looking sarcastically appreciatively in his direction. what i didn't expect was for him, a middle-aged and unhappy-looking man, to pull over next to us and start shouting at me.

"are you bored?!"
i thought about answering, then thought better of it. i just looked back.
"are you bored?? what are you clapping for?"
the others had no clue what was going on, because they'd been busy talking and hadn't noticed my behaviour.
"do i need to call the police? is that what you want??"

and that was when i lost track of what was going on. he was going to call the police on me? for clapping, when it was in response to him doing something illegal? wtf?!?!

---

i spent the afternoon figuring out just to what extremes i hate css. it's unbelievable just how pathetic the entire system is. also, my boss irritates me with his smugness, especially when he's speaking in defence of things he knows to be malfunctioning.

...

i left early, buzzing with agitation, and fed that into transcribing some more of my journal before we left for cinema city. i have about six pages left to go, and then i'll focus on the other million todo's...

---

wow - pg just gave me an incredible deep-tissue elbows-grinding-into-sore-back-muscles massage with karnivool - all i know playing in the background - now i'm totally spaced out :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

aw, crud.

what a shitty morning - i made an appointment for the wrong damned doctor. and doctor happy pill gave me two prescriptions, the primary one being for the infection in my ankle, and a stern warning to use it if i'm planning on doing the 70km jerusalem / tel aviv route on friday evening. and on no account to run.

i hate meds.

then, to make it worse, i arrived at work first, having had my keys borrowed by our secretary last night.

*grumble*

---

i forgot to mention our cleaning lady yesterday: she has this tendency to interrupt us while we're working to clean our desks, and i noticed her going at the desk across from me when she started banging the mouse around like she had taken personal offense to it. as a precaution, i perched my mouse on my keyboard to protect it when she came for me... only to stand, horrified, looking on as she proceeded to do the same with mine. is she a luddite?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

misnomer - again?

how does that happen? representatives of greenpeace have been trying unsuccessfully to get hold of me for the past week, and finally managed now, only to discover that they were looking for another guy with the same name. i was beginning to freak out that they had my credit card details and that i was somehow paying them money that i wasn't aware of.

i'm *pretty* sure that i wouldn't be convinced to donate cash to an organization that i'm severely disappointed with. so now i'm back from that alternate reality...

---

after coffee with nemesis, who gave me a ride so that i arrived home in time for dinner, i began to consider the possibility that i'm not happy with my job. oh, i'll stick with it until something better comes along, but i received my paycheck and it's not quite as good as would make me *comfortable*. in fact, i'm stressing a little now. it's not that i'm ungrateful, you see - it's just that i'm not particularly happy with the office environment and the work kinda stinks. at least in the other office i'm enjoying the time that i'm there - even if the pay is shamefully inadequate.

---

super-awesome linkage!

cthulu's better than the real thing

and the world as we knew it ended: 4g is finding its feet. in russia, maybe, but it looks like our cyberpunk dreams might come true some day.

where sharks are grown in fake wombs, so may humans be. and food. the tleilaxu axlotl tanks started here.

turning shopping into electricity: london malls upgrade to store pedestrian energy. this seems like an excellent idea. for everywhere.

i should be taking a break

and walking around, stretching, not staring at my monitor. but i'm agitated, you see - i've just spent the entire day working on stuff that's been driving me crazy; even getting it to work doesn't provide satisfaction, because everything has to be a workaround because web platforms are inherently flawed. it's like... somebody needs to simply redo the web. forget about backwards compatibility, and... oh, wait. organizations keep trying, and we just end up with more rubbish.

buggrit.

so i'm not having fun, and i have this itching between my shoulder blades that tells me that i need to be putting my energy into other projects...

Monday, October 03, 2011

stepped thighs

nope, no running this morning - not a chance. i did sleep alright, though. my legs were *hurting* - every step up or down in particular was a strain.

first office: loads of graphic design (it takes patience to sit with our designer for so long) and fighting with css / the jquery color picker whose documentation is practically non-existent and needs to be reverse engineered before it can be pressed for results. i was going to be antisocial for lunch again, but yogi stepped into the elevator with me and i enjoyed his company. we discussed precious stones, primarily, and how absolutely ridiculous the entire industry is, from both providers' and consumers' points of view.

second office: our QA testing is producing a lot of questions, but things are going surprisingly smoothly considering and we're getting some answers as well. the irony is that most of our issues are current problems in the production system, and the reason we're aware of them is because we finally have half-decent error logging :P

while there, i received a phone call from my uncle and aunt who are visiting israel from durban - it was most pleasant talking to them and i really hope i get to see them before they go back!

on my way home i paid my apartment a quick visit to ascertain that all's gravy - it is. and my tenant's found a job, finally, so that's a bit less tension as well. i informed him that there's an issue with the roof of the patio, and tomorrow morning i'm going to begin looking for a better temporary solution while simultaneously attempting to progress in my mission to receive authorization to replace the damned thing.

i got home, changed into shorts and running shoes, and ran. it was a relatively short run (i'm guessing it was about 9km), but i did it at a faster pace. some of the way i did it with a huge grin on my face, because i was enjoying the run and the great house music, the fact that i didn't have my cellphone anywhere near me and the idea that pg and i were running "together" even if she was doing it indoors on a machine :)

pg and i stretched properly, did some push-ups and sit-ups, and then worked on basic taekwondo technique. the funny thing is that she doesn't realize how quickly she's learning :D

after i showered we had a brilliant tuna / egg salad for dinner, i introduced her to tool music videos and i'm just about ready to call it a day and make sure that i'm ready for a (relatively) busy morning.

sunday

there's something to be said for going to bed at 4am and waking at 9am, then hurrying out to miss the bus and having to take two others instead: it's tiring.

work was fine, a bit of a struggle but i got what needed doing done. i took off for lunch; great fish and chips, but at first i was brought thick soy sauce for the chips instead of the vinegar, and it took three tries and a long wait after that before one of the waitresses finally brought me some. a short while later another brought me some more, by which time i'd pretty much finished and was ready for the bill. not wanting to start on the chips without vinegar made me edgy... was it that complicated a thing to order?!

soon after getting back to the office i had to leave for my ultrasound examination. first, i learned from this month's wired that people really did believe that smoking bananas would get them high. second, while the scans of the aching parts of my feet told me that they're just fine, it appears i have an infection in my ankle. meh - i went for a proper run yesterday and that's definitely not what's bothering me.

due to a miscommunication pg had spent the whole day preparing to host friends of mine who weren't coming... that was a bit* embarrassing. to make up for it, i was sent to buy waterproofing for an external wall and the hardware dude's new setup means that i spend even more time waiting for him that usual. i'm thinking of taking my business elsewhere. to make matters worse, i ended up buying something that wasn't precisely what we needed :(

*severe understatement. i'm still feeling bad about that.

i went to the old office, and was pleased to discover that one of my previous upgrades solved a serious problem that we hadn't foreseen - w00t! the rest of our first round of QA testing is up to shit, though. oh, well.

i bought beers and pringles and hopped on a bus to movie night: it took forever for everyone to gather and to order food, which gave me time to explain seminar writing and post-humanism to a desperately stressed girl completing her studies in our department; once that was done we fired up thursday and everyone enjoyed it. duh! it's a great film.

i had a loooong talk with my mother when i got back home, found my passmo (japanese metro card) for nemesis, and have spent far too much time online. apparently i'm going to be running in the morning, in spite of my having had a little too much to drink this evening...

Sunday, October 02, 2011

an hour later, 2011

oh! we turned the clock back an hour this morning. so i've actually been working on another project for the past hour or so, after reading a whole bunch of things i'd been meaning to get around to...

everything except actual work

mars attacks? meh. i slept *really* well, though, and really late.

item 1:
painting white around the blue / green i sprayed on thursday on the wall opposite our bathroom window with a long roller and old, lumpy paint. i was shocked when i looked down to see that i'd somehow dripped some on the transparent plastic cover of the nosey downstairs neighbour's window, then later relieved to discover that that was pg using filler the day before :P

item 2:
character set detection in java is horrible. i started focusing on other things that needed doing. it took a while to get back into sorter's project :(

item 3:
the chef's lunch at coffeeholic while walking pg's mom's dog. very good.

item 4:
more netbeans, and then "whoops!" it was time to go running. i did about 10km, in just under an hour, including a stop for some chin-ups and a lot of weaving through a lot of idiots who can't figure out how the park routes work.

item 5:
full stretching and basic exercises with pg. that was fun, but hard work.

item 6:
sushi and my first exposure to dexter. i ended up watching three episodes, interrupted only by a call from nemesis who's going to japan and had tons of questions.

item 7:
SxS obviously isn't coming to tel aviv tonight... pity. i've got to get to bed soon.

---

slinky physics: consider me amazed. the third video really makes me wonder how so many of us have completely invalid intuition when it comes to how the world around us works.

oh... and i published something i scribbled down on tuesday night while waiting for dinner: palm reading.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

no running

okay, so i didn't get any exercise today. and as of an hour or so ago, i'm off this "eating responsibly" crap. my girlfriend's spent the past two days making my mouth water with the smells of her baking, and i've been strong... but unhappily so. i've set an alarm to make sure i eat at the right time tomorrow afternoon, and tomorrow evening i'm going to go through a full training regimen. pg's supposed to be joining me for some of it, and maybe, just maybe we'll turn it into a regular workout.

---

and that was new year's resolution no. 1. as for the rest of the things i had to do today, i got very little done. i produced a good segment of a poem from the words we collected last week, but there was only so much i could get through before i lost concentration. i transcribed a whole lot of my travel journal instead (which got me watching thundercats - why did i remember slythe being called "sssla"?), then took a break to read a bit and pass out on the couch.

somehow, by then it was pretty much time to get ready for dinner. we ate on pg's mother's roof, and the evening was most enjoyable in every respect.

now... now it's time to fall asleep watching mars attacks.