Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the b12 controversy controversy

every now and again i breeze through a few videos on nutritionfacts.org. why couldn't i have done that a day before arguing health benefits???

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even red-blooded carnivores like me can have trouble acquiring sufficient quantities of b12!

at least the rest of my points still stand, but after hearing about source safety, value for money, possible alternatives, and concerns about the validity of testing, i think i just found myself a step closer to becoming a vegan.

hah! i kid. i'll call myself a supplementarian. or a technovore.

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in other news:

other beans are better than soy. and probably lower in oestrogen.

Monday, February 27, 2012

a vegan response

a while back i published a vegan hypocrisy. a few days ago i passed it to someone in response to their statement that "everyone should just stop eating meat". a friend of mine was really upset about what i wrote, so here's her response, and what follows are my responses to those responses.

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when you turn vegan, you don't magically correct the way that the animals are treated. i promise. if you care about them, then go for the source and stop lying to yourself that your passivity is making a difference. of course it doesn't correct the way that the animals are treated, no one can change the whole world, especially not in such a short time or even not in 10 or 50 years. but what it does change is the fact that no animal is being bad treated for "the sake" of them. they are not passive at all. you have no idea how active they are, and i'm not speaking politically. they are very active in their own private circle, which you probably won't know or notice if you have no vegan friends. they do what ever they can to change their own circle and to make it good and comfortable to live in, because they know that they can't change the whole world but they can start small.

is killing wrong? go on, deny your humanity. our existence, specifically the quantity of us on the planet, is what's taking more lives than you can imagine. you're no bloody hero because you started yourself on a diet that at best might cause you to suffer malnutrition. eat a steak, then go do something useful like running a farm that treats its animals right. this proves you got it all wrong. the fact that we all are human is not denied here, on the contrary. the whole idea is not just to change a diet so not animal will get hurt. it's changing the way of life. and again, since no person can change the whole world in a jiffy, they have to start small. they can't stop wars or industries or pollution or all the other things that were made by mankind and destroy this beautiful planet. they can start, again, with their small circle and try to expand it.
and as for that last comment- no, they will not eat a steak, but they might do run a farm that treat its animals right. apparently you have no idea what "right" means in a vegan or in a vegetarian way. "the right way" for us (yes, i'm a vegetarian) to treat animals is NOT TO KILL THEM AND NOT TO CAUSE THEM ANY UNNECESSARY HARM! the idea of running a farm that treats its animals right is a great idea, but killing those animals just because we "think" we need the nutritions in their meat is wrong. we don't need them, we can get them all from other sources- vegetarian/vegan sources.

or start wiping out humans. you probably want to. seriously?!? this is your advice of correcting the world? way too many people died on this planet for mankind's stupidity. i don't know what you were thinking while writing this ignorant (and not funny) comment, but again, it proves to me that you don't understand even in a tiny bit the way of thinking of the people you are writing about.

vegan is not a dietary choice - it's a politicized world-view: http://www.vegfamily.com/vegan-view... i'm not sure what you're trying to say here. how is it political? it's a life-style change. and yes, in order to make things out of leather you have to kill and animal (which is as i already said- wrong in vegan and vegetarian opinion). to throw something (made out of parts of an animal) that you bought, before coming to realize that killing animals is wrong, is ok as long as you're not disgusted about the idea. the reason for that is that if you'd throw it away while it is still perfectly fine and useable, would be a waste of the life of the animal that died painfully just so this piece of clothing or whatever would look pretty. there's nothing political about it, more like conscience or guilt feelings for buying it in the first place.

the problem with veganism is that it's rubbish. people do it because it's popular and it makes them feel good about themselves, and superior. being a vegan does NOT make farmers treat their animals better, it is NOT a healthy lifestyle and it IS an aggressive political force that spells big trouble if we continue to ignore the issues. first of all, calling other people's opinions and life-styles "rubbish" is wrong and it shows how little respect you have to other people. each and every person deserves to have his own opinion. you may criticize it, you may agree or disagree with it, but you MAY NOT call it rubbish. i think the first bad thing that happened in this world is the loss of people's respect. people these days have no respect to themselves, to other people, to animals and living things around then and most of all- to the earth they're standing on and the air they're breathing. this is what destroys this planet and "spells bug trouble" (if to use your own words) and not veganism.
second, the only correct things you said here were: " it makes them feel good about themselves" and "being a vegan does NOT make farmers treat their animals better". yes, it makes them feel good about themselves - no animal is being mistreated just so their stomach will feel full or that they will look fashionable. and as for the world's farmers i've already responded to that above.
the other things you said are for, again, a sign of ignorance. if you really want to know what veganism means, go ask a vegan.

veganism 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).
veganism DOES NOT make your life easier, especially in this world. no vegan thinks his life is easy; the situation is exactly on the contrary. watching the way this world works in the eyes of a vegan is one of the hardest things to do since he knows he can't do much about it. people are so hard-minded and fixed up about "closing their eyes" and not seeing the things they are doing which destroys the ground beneath their feet. watching that without being able to do much about it except trying to start small, is NOT an easy life.

there is irony in being against milk extraction when it's necessary for the survival of the cows. and check this out: http://streakr.com/no-such-thing-as... ?the only irony here is that you don't know the facts. the only reason their survival is depended on the extraction of milk is because we made it that way, and by "we" i mean humankind. a cow that lives in the nature (which, by the way, i don't think there's such a creature at the moment, maybe except for india) makes calves (without of course the very nice person that shoves his hand into her private organ). then, just like a human woman, it gives birth after 9 months and produces milk to heR calf. after the calf doesn't need anymore milk, guess what- just like a human woman, the mother-cow STOPS creating milk until her next pregnancy. the ONLY REASON humans keep them in a constant state of pregnancy for the period after that! and if you really "checked the facts" you'd know that the life expectancy of cows in the nature is 20-25 years. do you want to guess how many years they "survive" because of humans? 5-10. care to ask yourself why?
oh and as for the link- clearly you don't know any vegans. vegans always check everything. did you know that in some kinds of bissli there's a thing called E361 which usually made from cow-meat or sardines (though it is possible to create it by fermentation on molasses). vegan people know that.

some proponents are willing to tell the truth: http://veganhealth.org/articles/int... again, veganism is a lot more than just a diet, but lets us say for a moment it is only a diet. in every diet you take, no matter if it's vegan or not, you have to know what your body needs and how and what you should eat (in the limitations of your diet) in order to get it all. so yes, lots of diets don't have every nutrition the body needs in order to keep working correctly, but what most people don't know, and especially people who are new in the area of veganism, is the amounts of supplements that can be found in the nature (and in the stores) which were not created by harming any sort of animal.

some interesting points to ponder: http://www.starchefs.com/features/f... i'm going to start this with a quote from the article: "there are several nutrients that are found in abundance in animal products, but exist in only a handful of vegan foods. therefore, critics argue, while it is possible to get all of the essential nutrients on a vegan diet, it is extremely challenging." i don't know if you've noticed, but he's excuse is "it's challenging". living in this world, even without being a vegan, is a challenge. this is what he's afraid of??
another one: " since vegan sources of vitamin B12 are scarce, vegans must be vigilant about getting enough of this essential vitamin."- just another excuse caused by the laziness of humans.
next: " we are part of the food chain, they say, and killing to eat is a natural part of the cycle of life"- would you eat your pet if you had no money to buy food, or go out side and try to find something free and edible for the both of you?
and last but not least: " how could not eating dairy and eggs save our planet?" and i will answer it with his own quote (with which he contradicts himself- twice): " studies indicate that animal agriculture is contributing to a host of environmental problems, including topsoil erosion, wilderness area depletion, groundwater contamination, and greenhouse gas production".

if you want to ponder about something, ponder about how the world was such an amazing place before any human industry has begun.

in particular, there is much controversy surrounding B12 sources: http://ezinearticles.com/?vitamin-B... the world is full of controversies and as he said, there are still ways for vegans to get B12 even if it's through pills.

did you know that a lack of B12 not only means a lack of energy, but also depression? and can lead to psychosis? most vocal proponents of veganism are crazy enough, thank you very much. first of all- yes i know. this is something every vegan or vegetarian check (or at least should check if he has a brain inside his head) before he becomes vegan or vegetarian. all diets (since that's how you insist on calling it) are risky if you don't know the whole picture.
and second, about that last comment- grow up.

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1. "or start wiping out humans. you probably want to." that was me being snarky and sarcastic, no i'm not really being serious with that sentence and i personally have a lot to say about human overpopulation.

2. i don't have a problem with facts, i have a problem with opinions, and this is supposed to be a fight about facts. everyone has the right to their opinions, but not the right to transmit them as facts.

3. i know a heck of a lot of vegans, and that's where this comes from. not everyone is as open-minded as you, and lot more vegans than you'd believe are aggressive about missionarizing.

4. you took my tone personally. i've said it before, and i'll say it again: i have no patience for politicized veganism. i have *NO* problem with anybody who doesn't eat meat because they have issues with where it comes from, my beef* is with people who push veganism as a solution to the problem.

* sorry, had to.

5. there is a problem. animals are treated badly. there are immediate and effective solutions. if you think you have to wait fifty years to make a difference, think again. the biggest driver of the status quo is the supermarket chains and butcheries, who provide the buffer between the consumer and the farmer. these supermarket chains and butcheries are interested in nothing but the bottom line, their pockets. they provide ZeRo incentive to the farmers to behave differently.

just like organic foodstuffs. yoU pay more when you buy them, but the farmers don't enjoy the extra profit and so they cheat. or don't care.

in this day and age, we have the technology and communication infrastructure to take matters into our own hands. we can make deals with the farmers, arrange transportation and refrigeration, and take control of the system. and that's with people eating as much meat as they want.

we also have the ability to go and visit those farms, and make farmers who mistreat livestock miserable.

we can do this, and the number of vegans around is more than enough to get together and make shit happen, turning the aggression that's usually* reserved for meat-eating people into a useful tool for achieving goals.

* usually - not everyone's an asshole. but understand that if the vegans you've met are nice people, it doesn't mean that all vegans are nice people. a lot of the ones i know are holier-than-thou in the worst way, and don't contribute a hell of a lot to society.

6. yes, we made the situation the way it is with dairy cows and milking etc. etc.

we also made bananas edible.

we're a sucky species. but this is not about blame, this is about dealing with the situation we have right now. if we could go back in time to fix our mistakes, that would be great.

7. health.

FACT: you can get almost everything you need from vegetarian sources.

FACT: you can get alMosT everything you need, but not everything. one of the scariest deficiencies that one can have is B12. that's an animal-source only. if you don't eat meat , at the very least, for the love of yourself, make sure you take supplements. or eat fortified things like cereals where it's listed on the box.

symptoms: lack of energy? uninteresting. depression? normal. psychosis? holy shit. like we don't have enough crazy on the planet - and you can't *know* if you're psychotic or not.

8. i didn't mean "makes life easy", i meant "is an easier alternative to confronting the issues".

9. i wrote a lot of the note out of frustration, and a number of your points are correct. especially concerning my tone. i'll be rewriting it shortly.

10. on the one hand, i entirely agree with everyone that we need to make severe lifestyle changes because we have seriously messed up mother earth. you mistake my attitude towards political veganism with "i don't give a crap and let's consume, consume, consume".

on the other hand, there are certain things that are really important about the human race. most notably, we are the only species that gives a damn about the state of the planet. this is why i'm a vocal (and offensively so) opponent of overpopulation and mismanagement of resources.

i'm not going to go into my personal ideas here regarding what we can do to fix the problems we've caused, but i am going to say that we are, without a doubt, the most important treasure on the planet. and we need to respect ourselves, as tops of the food chain, aND respect the planet that provides for us. Both, not one or the other.

we need to find alternatives, we need vat-grown meat and genetically modified crops and whatever other technology we can muster so that we can survive, advance, and simultaneously return the planet to a more comfortable state.

11. if i thought you were one of the crazies, i wouldn't even be arguing with you. unfortunately, there aren't that many people who actually think carefully about the situation without becoming extreme. you wouldn't believe the kind of shit i heard and argued with before writing up the original post. i apologize for using terms that you felt included you in them, and that apology goes out to everyone who doesn't fall under the category of "blind pusher".

also, i extend a warm invitation to everyone to help me organize a co-op that can supply meat for all those interested in a way that ensures direct improvements in the way farmers treat their livestock. because it's a start, and it's not a huge effort either.

...

we seem to have reached a calm point of agreement. in conclusion:
i think the essential point that you made was about respect, and my aggressive attitude and tone were intended towards the hell of a lot of vegans who think that because they're giving something up it makes them better than everyone else.

you're right - it should be a lifestyle thing, of which diet is only a small part. i'm happy to work with anyone who isn't trying to show me how terrible i am for eating meat, and i'm always on the lookout for a few good people who want to make change happen now.

thank you (in both directions) for paying attention to what i was writing instead of just glossing and fighting, it's very much appreciated :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

on spiritual peace, love and *blank*

i don't know what inspired me to write the game. as i hit the "publish" button, i received an email from tahoma linking to tim minchkin discussing christmas (i've been a fan of his since i saw storm). which reminded me of my zombie jesus and turning the other cheek.

then i saw that tahoma had posted something else of interest:
anyone who talks about a conflict or struggle between the secular community and the religious / orthodox community is simply using the wrong terms. there is no such conflict.

the conflict exists between the free community and the fanatical community. free being a person who appreciates the right of everyone to live according to his own rules, whether these be religious or secular, and fanatical being a person who is certain that the beliefs of the other are false and so tries to decide for the other how to live, as if the other is not mature enough to make his own choices.

so from now on say: "the conflict between the free and the fanatic". even a religious person can believe in freedom of choice as an ideal.


which kind of takes us back to the first link.

zombie morning

firstly, i think i'm properly over the idea that shakespeare's "dark mistress" was narcotic. there's too little supporting evidence, and more than enough pointing to something else.

and that something else was not - *GASP* - a woman. now that i've finally gone through the entire sequence, i can say with confidence that shakespeare's reknowned and respected critics are all a bunch of perverts. how everyone takes note of the sexual language but misses its figurative nature is beyond me.

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friday:

1. the day began with an unpleasant email that led to an unpleasant phone call - our company has a client that has thwarted our best efforts to keep our sources hidden, and this endangers our bottom line (regarding this client in particular). there's not much that can be done about this without crossing the privacy boundary and doing what is essentially hacking our users, and even if the purpose of that "hacking" is to make the user's browsing more secure* it's not on. other possible tricks available to us are considered inappropriate. i don't know if i care enough for this kind of problem, but i guess i'll have to come up with something. *sucks thumb*

*weird, right?

2. the eblt toasted sandwich for breakfast from the cafe next door was a brilliant call.

3. a meeting with sorter and -someone in the afternoon: i'm trying to impress a sense of urgency upon co-worker, and sorter's being too kind and forgiving. i *think* everyone knows what they need to be doing, but i suspect that i'm going to need to be policing and i'm not fond of the idea. shit, if i didn't have papers to write (and other work to do) i would have finished the job ages ago!

4. dinner at pg's folks' was great. i ate too much, and talked less than usual :)

5. a few episodes of futurama, then bed. my back's not 100%, but i slept much better than i have in at least a week.

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saturday:

now studying diagrams and protocols for the job interview in a week and a bit. about to step out for coffee with nystire and later, we'll be boarded by ric.

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i've just finished reading max brooks - world war z. it's not the most well-written work i've ever come across, and a number of cultural inconsistencies bothered me, but in spite of those minor flaws the book is magnificent, both in its scope and its coherency. he covers everything one could ask for in an oral history, from the grand, global scale of a species making a desperate last stand for its survival to the minutia of personal struggles.

i'm not entirely certain what i'm going to write about, but whatever aspect of zombies i choose to focus on, i know that mr. brooks will have provided me more than enough material to say whatever needs saying.

copy - right

david sirlin talks to penny arcade, and says everything that needs to be said about copyright.

patents and copyrights are supposed to be good for producers of content. that's supposed to be the bottom line.

i've mentioned this before.

Friday, February 24, 2012

the greatest love of all

a 4am special. followed by an early wake-up brought about by assholes downstairs pressing every button to get into the building. second wake-up on the realization that i was late to perform a knowledge transfer on campus for the other department webmaster.

that cost me an hour or two of teaching joomla. a little awkward for the unprepared, but not horrible.

most of the evening was spent progressing through the sonnets, with a break for dinner and a few less-funny episodes of community, then more sonnets. i think it was about an hour ago when i realized that i'm really tired, but i was too busy obtaining evidence to support my theory that shakespeare's dark mistress was either marijuana or opium.

i wouldn't be so quick to try digging up his body, though. on other notes: i have to admit, keeping notes using treeware and ink is a lot more comfortable; also, reading the great commentators' notes makes me feel good about myself.

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here's an absolutely correct description of the problem of describing israel's policies as apartheid.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

reminder

did i forget to mention that my trapezius is still hurting, the greater part of two weeks later?

ugh.

sleep: eight hours in total, in four-hour stretches.

will franken: more than just comedy.

not comedy: anti-abortionists are scary. especially in a world suffering overpopulation and a lack of resources. didn't i mention that suicide being against the law is ridiculous? or inconsiderate?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

130 to go

finally! i spent most of the day delving into the sonnets. and learning wonderful new things. and putting others in perspective.

the most productive part of it was spent at the coffee shop on the avenue; i got a little bit done once i returned home but then inspiration struck and i rushed out the homework assignment before heading off to sit with a friend and discuss everything i know and don't know about sensors.

apparently i'm more in tune than i thought i'd be. very cool.

after a couple of hours and some delicious ze sushi sushi, i hurried off to the creative writing workshop. my stuff never got read - boo hoo - but the evening was interesting and entertaining as always.

now... to study! i'm a bit uncomfortable sitting in front of my pc, though. but it is the best position to be scribbling virtual notes... maybe i'll stick with the real, treeware notebook until i'm done with the readings. it's very retro :P

the plan

i'd gotten an early night's sleep, and woke up (slowly, i wasn't feeling the morning) early to pay a visit to the tax bureau.

smooth sailing: i'd come prepared for the wait, which was less than expected, and i was done fairly quickly because it turned out that i didn't really need to be there.

in good enoug spirits, i returned home through a stunning, warm late morning that was just begging for second breakfast on a sidewalk somewhere, all ready to hit the books.

that was when the boss called. emergency. then suddenly it was 7pm, i'd been stuck dealing with issue after nonsensical issue* instead of reading... it had become a lousy day.

break for dinner, a cringe-worthy episode of community (the drinking one, not as funny as the others), and then some reading before rollerblading...

* the original bug took about five minutes to find and fix, and by the time i got it all working i'd lost track of any changes i may have made in the process. i'm fairly certain none of them were relevant :/
scr made a comment that surprised me: apparently the issues i was dealing with are considered "advanced" level programming. it all seems the same to me :P

... then i got an sms from scrapper about hatachtonim's performance, and i thought "sod it, i'm there". it was a magnificent show, the sound was amazing and the band just keeps taking their shit to new levels. afterwards we all hung around for ice-cream and a lot of chatter. now i'm back, and ready to a) hit the hay or b) get some reading done.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

i have better things to do

than being kicked in the teeth by the .net platform. the initial bug was my fault; it seems i overlooked something on sunday evening when i ran the final tests.

fine.

but now i can't get basic database access sorted out, and the EXACT SAME CODE is running on all the other platforms just fine.

and to test every change demands uninstalling and reinstalling the service, which keeps failing to start up and that means multiple uninstalls and wasted time just to discover that whatever fix i've implemented does absolutely nothing.

i'm really, really hating this.

i'm not being helped by the visual studio ide suddenly deciding that any time i want to search or replace, i only want to do so within the selected text. who the hell thought that one up?!?!

Monday, February 20, 2012

meta falafel

seriously - community's conspiracy class conspiracy theory kicks ass. and somehow took us to the tamil "twinkle twinkle". which then took us to gummy bears - how the heck did we miss that?!?! its humourous nature keeps it catchy. it's kind of like the anatomy.

...

a couple of hours at work stretched out when a new emergency popped up. we all learned something today. like the fact that asp redirects shouldn't be called within try / catch blocks, and the fact that web servers have no influence over browser headers and removing a referer requires a little bit of cheekiness.

...

deathmole - he writes one of my favourite comics, and his music's... surprisingly good, actually. well worth $5.

ground teeth

it's 4am, so this post just got downgraded into a summary.

1. remembering the tattoo incident when describing the effects of low blood pressure + syncope to the dentist

2. k-twang prompted me to turn my description into haiku:
the dentist demands
complete submission, leaving
winter in my face


the right side of my nose was numb too.

3. good work, good lunch, and the insanely-larger-and-more-complex-than-originally-thought project is finally up and running.

!! ^_^ w00t!!!

4. total recall of the "wonder years" (two years of incredible parties) sparked by some of the tunes on my ipod. that was followed by the news that pg will be coming to festival in two and a half weeks with me and her brother. (^_^)

5. community, the second season's halloween ties in, like everything else, with my postmodernist paper.

6. the middle-of-the-night work emergency - a huge wtf. a critical section of code worked for over a week in spite of the third party's communication breaking the rules, and then suddenly stopped a few days ago. how did it work until then? and what the hell would i have done if it hadn't worked at all? the only reason i figured out where the problem was was because i had access to those last accepted signals... not having those could have really messed up my night.

7. some desk organization, including a long email to the faculty dev team and a short one to the company that's handling my paycheck...

8. ink allergy? or book allergy?
source 1
source 2

in order to avoid the itchy eyes and limbs, i spent half an hour scanning and processing what i hadn't read, then another half an hour to upload the 20mb file (seriously?! for low-quality grayscale????) to dropbox because my phone couldn't mail it. and then another reading and scribbling. booth's book definitely isn't completely useless, but most of it doesn't help me make my case.

---

gay marriage vs civil rights - well said, sir.

and speaking of love... we need this. everybody does. why can't i find a link to an actual product?

[stopwatch: 12 minutes. to bed? or another page or two?]

Sunday, February 19, 2012

grinding... teeth?

it's sunday morning, and i'm on my way to the dentist. my back still hurts, even though there were a few glorious minutes this morning wherein i was sure i was finally good. workwise, the systems i need to finish the current job are still down, so this afternoon's going to be busy when i get in...

we woke up really late yesterday, and i spent a fair amount of time applying for work with a couple of big companies in canada. i have this to say: they make it really, really hard to send them a simple cv. one company's process got so ridiculous, and they wanted information that i'm sure i shouldn't give them, that i stopped and began hunting for an email address to complain to. i couldn't find one. what professionals!

aside from a shopping run to fill our depleted stores*, and a couple of episodes of community (we're into the second season), i made some time to study a bit. i'm almost done with stephen booth - the man shares some remarkable insights, but knowing what i know, the only thing that amazes me is just how close this guy came, even using the right words but not realizing what their proper context is.

i need to get started on my papers already, and i'm wasting time, but it must be done in order for my work to be considered satisfactorily researched.

* my financial situation is a bit odd, so pg got this one. i might go negative this month if i'm not careful, but at least by the end of next month i'll be comfortably in the green again. hopefully i'll be able to arrange my next billing to be before the end of the current month, in which case i'll be less delayed... being paid up to two months after the work is done is just weird.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

mr tanner awakens

it's daybreak, and i've just gotten out of the shower after a dark night of merciless storytelling by scrapper.

we had to tweak my character a bit just to survive the prelude encounter, but even then i maintained a sense of unity surrounding him and his backstory, and the more detailed we got the more interesting and awesome he became.

it's a good thing i thought to take pirate fluxx with, otherwise the private scenes / character building psychoanalysis would have been frustrating.

in summary: a night of fluxx, awesome roleplaying, unhealthy munchies, an aching back, followed by at least half an hour of arguing philosophy, politics and science with the guy who gave me a ride home, and i should be in bed soon.

a good start to the weekend.

Friday, February 17, 2012

nine-to-fiver

it doesn't matter how much time i've spent in bed, nor at which angles i spent it, my back is driving me demented. it's not even pain anymore, just perpetual, intense discomfort.

i woke up early yesterday and sat in front of my computer until evening. i'd talk up the wonders of working from home, except that after realizing that i pulled the equivalent of a nine to five without leaving the apartment, and didn't have any time to focus on anything else, i wasn't feeling them.

shit :/

---
i did get an hour of studying done afterwards. i got all itchy again, and i suspect that i'm allergic to the book - and not just the content. stephen booth may be interested in a completely different aspect of shakespeare's sonnets than i am, but i think it's more the ink or the pages that are setting me off. my father was allergic to newspaper ink, and we used to laugh at him reading his paper with a handkerchief over his nose and mouth.

...

in the evening we watched bright star. pg didn't enjoy it as much as i did, and i only thought it was passing good. one thing that especially caught my attention: fanny's brother picks up the violin at some stage and plays what sound like somewhere out there. looking at wikipedia, that's a song what wasn't around in the early 1800s. just saying.

we watched the first two episodes of futurama. good news, everyone! pg's never seen it. i now have an excuse to watch it all again =D

going to bed early, rising late, returning to bed in the hope that it'd sort my trapezius out, waking up just as badly...

---
i've finished with the graphical aspect of the revised presentation of the poem that i constructed for the poetry event last year, and am now on to the tedious one which involves making an html version of my spreadsheet. wordsworth and co-conspirator amaze me with their disorganization - we could have been done within a week of the event if anyone had known what was going on. nope, i won't be doing anything like this with them again.

i now have two hours to prepare my character for tonight's gaming session... aaargh! not enough!

---
ZOMG: a new version of syndicate that i might have to play. if it's the same world strategically as the first, i'm in.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

an early wake-up, a day of not-a-hell-of-a-lot, of constant issues with work and no time for studies. a lot of time on the phone, some of it unpleasant or awkward.

meh.

the weekly creative writing workshop.
oilus and crustida: apparently it isn't clear that the infection isn't a metaphor, and the group recalls neither the details of the trojan war nor the story of troilus and cressida... there was some other valid criticism, so i might get around to tweaking it sometime.
in general, it was an entertaining evening. i enjoyed the assignment, too ^_^

i discovered a giant bump on my leg earlier that looks like a serious bite, only i don't recall anything painful. i finally settled down to reading (i find myself rejecting a lot of stephen booth's criticism out of hand so far), and have been itching randomly almost non-stop.

perhaps subconsciously i just want this week to end. even though it's thursday already, and i'm feeling tardy in everything.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

king of hearts

in spite of the aching back - back, neck, it's the trapezius inflamed so it's all the same - i went in to the office today. it was a long day, beginning with an awkward argument that turned into a surprise and a non-argument.

one of the team leaders informed me that i'm not outside of the game, but rather a critical point between the systems, and that i should not have meekly accepted a certain decision that my boss made yesterday. that led us to a discussion involving him, his developer, myself and my boss... after much debate, the solution i presented was accepted and i think my ego's bigger now.

that increase was supported by my being moved into a better class of office and upgraded to two large monitors. it's kind of like my old corner office, only with many more people around. i feel like i'm appreciated, even.

aside from lunch and a half an hour chatting with my recently immigrated cousin (ric? that could work), i spent the day, until much later than i'd intended, making great strides in Getting Shit Done. now that i think about it, this project was a heck of a lot bigger and more complex than i'd originally thought.

it's just like the link i posted a couple of weeks ago. [briefly checks] at least i've been given the (virtual) keys to be able to publish work developed at home without having to call scr for backup every time. i'm a grown-up, now!

i got home late, and dinner was almost cold - but it was delicious. pg'd baked me a tub of heart-shaped meringues, and i almost felt awkward about not bringing her anything... [to quote my mother: valentine is the patron saint of florists. and chocolatiers, and greeting card producers]
we watched mighty aphrodite for post-dessert dessert, and i cannot remember the last time that i watched a comedy that made me laugh out loud, and so much! it's fun, it's clever, and for the first time i can see myself enjoying woody allen flicks.

a bit later we watched the final episode of the first season of community. freakin' *brilliant*.

i've arranged with my boss that i'll be working from home tomorrow, because i HAVE to invest time in my studies. not that earning money isn't nice... so now i've got a character to create for a roleplaying session on friday, a poem to finish for tomorrow evening, and... and... i can't stop thinking about zombies. world war z is nothing short of inspirational in its scope.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

strangely spastic

[the wikipedia entry on spastic is quite amusing - they tried so hard in the uk]

what an odd day.

1. the wrong webmaster phone call
i was woken up (around 11.30am?) by someone from a different academic institution who wanted me to fix one of our professors' web pages. i told her to contact me by email, rather. the email referred to me by the wrong name and described a page i'm not aware of. and here i'd been shocked by how obscure it would be for one of ours to not simply get in touch with me directly... i responded with a link to what i'm responsible for, and never got a reply. not even so much as a "sorry for waking you for nothing". how the heck did she get my number?!

2. sudden back spasm
i might have been brushing my hair, or something equally innocuous. my neck had been a little stiff the day before, but nothing to cry home about. it was sudden, it was intense, and in spite of a caring pg with generous elbows and a willingness to suffer through my squeals, i've been distractingly uncomfortable the entire day. so imagine the rest of this post with me sitting awkwardly and unable to move my neck / shoulders without shooting grief.

3. scr's dropbox - someone else played with my files???
scr and i share a dropbox folder with my code, and it was filled with rubbish duplicates. when i asked him what that was about, he said something about a graphics team cleaning up his dropbox account. i asked him three times after that without being able to get a better understanding of why anybody else would have access to my folders through him :S

4. coworker needs convincing apropos priorities
i called up my coworker and i think i managed to convey a sense of urgency with our project for sorter. a few hours later he sent an email which indicates that he's getting the hang of the power of html5 - this is a good thing.

5. sore backs are not good for shitty work days

6. calzone and ice-cream walk
pg and i took a romantic lunch break (tomorrow may be valentine's day, but the 13th is one we usually celebrate [although she's called me a girl on a number of occasions for counting]) in what was left of the sunny morning (about 3am), and although it didn't help my back and neck it made my heart and tastebuds feel better. is it just me, or does calzone convey the "sense" of pizza without actually being pizza?

7. no time for back rubs - emergency misunderstandings
i sat down to use the massage cushion, but was called up to spend an emergency half an hour discovering that the problem wasn't with my systems, rather with someone trying to integrate with them who didn't follow the explicit instructions (with examples). sheesh.

8. slogging through, feeling like i'm going nowhere
with one short break to watch the paintball episode of community. holy-crap-that's-awesome.

9. hours slip by, back in web dev grind
things may be falling into place, but slowly. and painfully. and it's the next morning and i still haven't touched my studies. i'm not happy about this at all.

Monday, February 13, 2012

ahh, web development

a lot of effort to do relatively little. at least what i've done is looking good. i'm about ready to get some shuteye.

...

an awkward chat online - one of the people i contacted had space for me for the party on friday night, but didn't check to see if i'd responded. buggrit.

at least i know who to nudge for next time.

lost in a haystack

i sell the dead was cute, but not much more than that. i was going to work afterwards, but passed out instead, waking up around 2am and spending the next two hours working. then i got back to bed for odd restlessness followed by crazy dreams.

i was in the office early. most of the things i'd written on the weekend worked first time when put into production. the three guys sharing the room with me - the brothers hack and cough, and mr. sneezy, made me feel like i was picking something up after sitting with them for four hours...

i rushed off to catch the bus to campus, and the bus didn't come. i was fifteen minutes late for a twenty minute appointment to discuss one of my seminar papers, and arrived hot and tired after spending most of those fifteen minutes walking fast and in far warmer weather than i'd anticipated in the morning. fortunately, the march hare was in less of a hurry than he'd assumed he'd be.

after lunch and more zombie fiction, i headed into the library to seek the books i'll be needing. three attempts, getting properly lost in the haystack of shakespeare's works and criticism, and it took a helpful little librarian lady* to finally put me in the right area. and then i was overwhelmed by the stuff that was actually relevant, and ended up leaving with a seriously heavy bag.

* as moonflake reminded me, i should have had a bunch of bananas with me

i returned to work, discovered that my money has successfully been transferred to my pimp freelance company, and i should be contacted soon to sort out particulars. i sat with the boss for a short while... it seems like every time we talk the project gets bigger :P

i took my leave, bussed home, went shopping, had dinner, and made some progress with the work. not including a couple of cookie breaks.

most important discovery of the day: pg's theory that the reason i'm always colder than her is because i don't wear slippers around the house appears to be valid. good thing she has oversized spares!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

a real weekend

it was a gorgeous day, beginning with a perfect morning that included great sleep, hamburgers at etnachta, wild success with the work i've been doing and then a couple of hours cleaning up my task list. and rotating the wheels on my blades.

also, i discovered that our loose toilet seat was easily fixable.

i've now spent a couple of hours messing about with joomla - i made a breakthrough, but the superfish menu plugin has a weird issue so i'm going to have to meet with the dev team before i can make any more promises to my department...

i haven't really made much progress on my papers. and i have more work to do. we're going to watch something instead, though, and then i'll get back to my usual stress mode :)

fuerza bruta?

it was kind of what a semi-decent party would look like to someone who'd never been to one. the dub-step in the beginning was awesome, the rest of the tunes were standard crappy night-club fare. they weren't ecologically thrifty with the polystyrene and the cardboard. they didn't actually do anything impressive.

each time the crowd clapped and whistled, i wondered why. i was a bit embarrassed at the end, because i figured that maybe i was just being an asshole and i didn't want to rain on everyone's parade, but pg's mom summed up what i was thinking pretty succinctly so i felt much better about myself.

fuerza bruta? for that money, we could all have gone into the desert tonight to a real party. i'll still go if one of the people i contacted earlier could help me with a ride...

---

last post, work, work, end-of-semester party*, sleep, work, work, fuerza bruta, now. no progress made on my papers. that's not cool. what is cool, however, is that i finished an interesting bit of the project and now that's it's done i'm quite proud of it. it's still a little buggy, but the important stuff's complete.

* co-conspirator didn't make a scene. the long argument about strippers with the feminist who believes in absolute morality made us both hoarse [whores? sorry], then they made the loud music even louder and the place was packed and the waitress took a long time for everything and i wanted to drink my rum before paying and then someone else wanted to join us in the shots and i've just realized that i kept getting his name wrong and then i was outside, back in the cold, stopping on my short walk home to pick up crisps and ice-cream and wonder about the shifty shady-looking character lurking in the back of the store.

after watching mystic river - i knew i'd enjoyed it the first time - and a couple more episodes of community, it's time for bed. tomorrow i can work / play with my papers.

---

sixpack shortcuts: i don't agree with the "why", but the core [sorry] concept is really interesting!

iranian ninjas. just when you thought reality was safe. they seem pretty good!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

something like work

advantages: less distractions.
disadvantages: more distractions.

go figure.

in the evening, pg got home from an exam and we went out to dinner. after a pleasing hamburger at etnachta, we split up and i walked down the road to the creative writing workshop that i've been unable to attend since i was invited a few weeks ago. it was quite entertaining!

i met up with sammy and we walked to cafe noga, going past the israel dental association's doors: there was something menacing about the four or five security guards lurking there. i can't help but suspect something vampiric.

the playlist was amazing, including tool and marilyn manson, and we spent the evening playing pool and engaged in amusing conversionations. it was a fun evening, and it will be kind of weird now that this group of people who've shared so many intimate hours of the morning together is no more.

washing the smell of smoke from one's hair without shampoo is a bit difficult.

i slept like a baby, woke up early, spent the first couple of hours feeling the after-effects of last night (and making travel arrangements for switzerland ^_^), and the next few working. now that i've had a break - and enjoyed another interview from world war z - i'm gonna get busy with the interesting side of the project.

---

marilyn manson reading william blake: made of win.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

the home factory floor

most of the last seven hours have been spent desperately trying to figure out why code that does the expected when run manually doesn't succeed in context. and that's seriously painstaking labour. the boss was virtually breathing down my neck (it's a good thing i worked from home today - the breathing was entirely imaginary) because he's in a huge hurry, and this is not the kind of thing that being in a hurry helps sort out.

say "no" to say "no" to stripping!

in response to a call to protest legitimization of the strip clubs:

WTF?! what are we, puritans now? stripping is not a slave trade, it's a serious way to make cash for women who are willing and able. i don't personally understand the excitement with these clubs, but there are a lot of men and women who do. maybe feminists should spend more time worrying about single mothers who can't pay the rent and are unable to find work, instead of screwing things up for the single mothers who can and are.

i'm not saying it's wonderful work, but trying to stop it is nothing short of stupid.

i don't know a lot of these girls, but i know enough to be able to tell you that for some of them it's a really good job (money wise), and while i agree that it's probably an unpleasant thing to do, that's what all of us do when we don't have other options.

are you planning on adopting these girls, and giving them monthly wages? or do you just want to shut them down and let them go hunting for other jobs with much less money and possibly worse conditions? maybe we should start protesting garbage men, it's demeaning labour too. i wouldn't want to have to handle other people's waste, so why should they?

...

besides - if something is legitimized, then it can be observed and controlled. just saying.

calmer, and a bit sore

the earlier issues with my pc turned out to be with logmein hamachi - a great piece of software, but for some reason windows gave its network priority and because that wasn't connected properly i didn't have 'net access. weird.

i had to take care of another emergency rush job, then paid the dentist a visit. he was very, very specific about my needing to floss better. he explained this a number of times, in a number of different ways, really slowly, and it was hard for me to concentrate because there was really awesome psychedelic rock playing in the background and i was all sleepy to begin with.

i had a great lunch reading max brooks - world war z, which is great fun and i can legitimately claim that it's for one of my papers. i'm intrigued by some of the glaring cross-cultural errors he's introduced (there's sort of a base assumption that all people think and talk the same, unless that's a meta-comment on journalists, in which case he did a bang-up job), and even more so by some of the things that he most definitely got right. i suspect he may have done a little more research than i originally gave him credit for, and i have to say that with or without these issues, the stories are generally well told. this is a man with a great feel for zombies.

i picked up humus for pg, then returned home to deliver it and to get some work done. i got a little bit done. then i rushed off to cafe noga to say goodbye to my co-workers (the official farewell, our department is having a separate "do" tomorrow night because the official one hijacked our plans and made them uncomfortable for most of us). i have done my schmooze, said my goodbyes on good terms, and got paid for it in beer and munchies.

i hurried home, got ready to go rollerblading, and went out for one of the best routes we've ever had - two and a half hours of tough uphills for exercise, and multiple payoffs of solid high speed gliding downhills on a beautiful wintery night ^_^

i did suffer a spill or two: the first when i jumped over something that was a little further than i'd launched for, and i tipped backwards. i managed to land relatively elegantly on my bum and hands (as opposed to back and head), and the guys behind me applauded. i was kinda embarrassed. for the second, i had an ice-cream in one hand and water in the other, and i stopped concentrating for a second and *BAM* discovered that whichever asshole paved the route in the park staggered its height. sharply. that doesn't make any sense! at least i managed to keep my ice-cream clear :)

i've stretched, and showered, and gobbled down proteins, and begun working on a poetic exercise for tomorrow evening (i've been invited to a group, and had to decline three weeks in a row now)...

i'm discovering (late, as usual) creedence clearwater revival. good shit, so far.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

the last day of class

yesterday:

1. handing in the paper at 3am, checked and fairly confident.

2. waking up early enough to go past the post office and pick up my certificate.

3. discovering a palette of cheap amstel.

4. birthright taking over campus, hunting a class. discovering what a total bitch co-conspirator can be.

5. first beer. everyone being awkward about passing around food.

6. break between classes. MA class brought in tons of delicious goodies.

7. second class: already exhausted (food overdose?). a milton goodbye.

8. off to work. two hours of design arguments. an hour discussing shakespeare and the underlying issues of israeli society.

9. an evening spent doing NOTHING. as i told my boss - the semester is over, it was a long one, and now i need to recuperate a little.

10. zoning out in front of community until bed. great series :)

today:

no 'net. repeatedly.

1. roof and plumbing inspection, and payment. lots of cash, and i'll be concerned until the first proper rain demonstrates how well the job was done.

2. saying goodbye to the old office. walking out with a large whiteboard (can one ever have enough whiteboards?) and a cable for my new monitor.

3. more 'net issues, and they appear to be with my pc. i must work. i just want to go back to bed. this might hurt.

Monday, February 06, 2012

the end of the conspiracy

i just sent this to co-conspirator because i couldn't rest without some of these words flashing before my eyes: this morning she repeatedly called the pregnant girl a whore because she wasn't cooperating with her desire to make a picnic outside on the grass out of our last lesson.

i'm writing to you because i want you to understand how i feel, and i don't actually want to argue with you about it.

i am deeply disturbed by your attitude: it doesn't matter whether it's
the pregnant girl, who has every right to a normal make-up class regardless of what the rest of us want, or B.A. students in general who had every right to another course with one of our favourite lecturers, or TAs who have a lot more responsibilities than you're aware of and really don't need added pressure and commitments from the university for their measly wages, or even our lecturers who have every right to choose what they want to teach, you seem to think that anyone who doesn't want to do things your way should know better.

for me, you represent everything that is wrong with israeli society -
[a culture of deserving] - and aside from being shocked and disgusted by your behaviour this morning in particular, in general i would rather not have anything to do with someone so selfish and inconsiderate. it's one thing to be egocentric - hell, i'm as self-centred as anyone - but it's quite another to piss all over anyone who doesn't bow down to little miss gets-whatever-she-wants. we're all human beings, each of us with our own lives and our own problems. we're not all here to serve you, nor to be slandered by you.

we really don't need to discuss this. you will be welcome to whatever cooperation you require from me as a fellow student, but i thought i should make it clear that we are no longer friends.

good luck with everything.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

responsibilities

my plan this evening was to get trashed post-french exam and watch a movie or something before crashing. suddenly i remembered that i still have a paper to write, due tomorrow morning, and my boss infiltrated my evening with emergency work that i'm not entirely certain i agree with. and i had some webmaster duties to perform.

the news for the day:

1. my sister got married! and apparently she liked my speech in absentia (^_^)

2. the french exam wasn't as bad as we expected, but that's only really because my dictionary has verb tables and pg's too... i found out the latter about two minutes prior to the exam beginning, so that was quite fortunate =D

an hour and a half, it took me to translate the comprehension bit, and that hour and a half was considered fast by everyone else's standards. what a pointless exam :(

3. work - a whole bunch of "oh, crap". at least i finally got paid for november! i billed them for december and january, spent an hour integrating changes i'd made during the weekend, and as soon as everything was done and i was in a major hurry to get back to my apartment, the boss arrived for a chat.

only when you're *really* in a hurry.

it appears that our ideas of who's responsible for what were incongruous. it appears that he didn't make any use of the testing system i constructed for him, so the live data is being assembled using random test data that i threw in on a whim instead of carefully calculated algorithms. and the company's paying for each and every mistake.

not my problem.

now that i know that it's part of my responsibilities to manage this stuff, i'll do it happily - it's just unfortunate that that wasn't made clear until now.

4. the roof! i arrived home to see the final finishing touches. the asbestos has been removed, 90% of the plumbing has been taken care of, and hopefully that's the last i'll have to worry about this shit. it looks pretty good, too.

that was a lot of cash i slammed down on the table. *sigh*

it was a long day; hopefully i'll finish the paper soon and be able to get some rest.

[edit] should i have mentioned that today was a beautiful, hot, sunny day?

wasted

last night involved a few episodes of community: very cool series. then i slept for about ten hours, waking up to a wonderfully warm and relaxed mid-winter's spring day. most of it was spent re-installing my work pc and attempting half-heartedly to prepare for tomorrow's french exam.

after passing out in the late afternoon, i woke up to the uncertainty of where gaming night would be taking place. eventually things worked out, and i got back a short while ago* after a grand evening of pirate fluxx and thunderstone.

* i had to sprint to catch the bus, and i knocked on the glass of the door as it was closing on me. the bus driver opened the door, angry with me for knocking so hard that i almost broke the glass.
really???

the walk back home from the stop was silent. i'm beat.

---

the anatomy of a vegan infographic is fascinating! what it doesn't address, though, is the number of animals who have been treated better, the health status (primarily regarding energy levels, psychosis, that sort of thing) of those surveyed, and there's no reference whatsoever to the number of malnutrition cases of vegan children.

Friday, February 03, 2012

noooooooothing!

it has been a day of very little. i'm more exhausted mentally than physically, the end of the semester has come crashing down and i have to admit that it was a strain. it was an exciting, enlightening, awesome strain, but a strain nonetheless.

so i managed, this morning, to get everything working without the entire rewrite, and in the process understood the extent to how much i'd underestimated the quantity of data i was asking the system to push through. as soon as i limited it to a reasonable amount things started functioning...

i called up the boss to confirm success, and let him know that i hadn't received a single cent since joining them in november, which makes me uncomfortable. apparently that made him uncomfortable too, and he's promised to sort this shit out. it's been two weeks since i was supposed to receive the first payment, and while i may work for cheap, i most certainly don't work for free.

not without good alternative incentive, at least.

the good news from the morning is that the roofer called up the plumber, and on sunday they'll be joining forces to sort out the roof of my balcony. that'll reduce the pressure and concern about the weather turning ugly while there's still a hole in the roof :)

i strapped on my blades and rolled over to the old office to pick up a monitor and power cables, then came back to spend the afternoon staring at my monitor, playing with my paper like food on a disinterested child's plate.

after a nap and a paragraph, pg invited me to handle the chicken livers. it was a messy endeavour (covering them all in flour before frying) and i wasn't at all confident that i'd done them right, but after dragging them through the air from plate to mouth i was forcefully struck in the tastebuds by an absolutely delicious sensation. that's the second time i haven't screwed it up! ^_^

oohhhhh i see... twisted system - stark raver is based on eddy izzard. i thought the quotes seemed a bit weird :P

womanizing

today appears to have a theme.

an enlightening talk on women in popular culture. just like barbie nation: an unauthorized tour (you can read a review here)

and in south african news: zapiro on "corrective rape".

early friday

i slept wonderfully, but was woken by the primary school next door's end-of-term festivities. the last time was a bieber-fest, which upset me no end, so to wake up this morning to psytrance was quite an improvement :)

it looks like the world's catching on - or some people, at least: unlimited vacation for employees is healthy. and you laughed at the lazy man's manifesto.

and while i'm clearing my inbox instead of completely rewriting everything to do with what i was struggling with this morning: a fictional look at AI rights presents an interesting point of view.

needs brain massage

and a week of rest.

1. notifications of an elderly cousin's terrible mishap - rather a dark way to start the day.

2. improved teacher relations - i was worried i'd offended the march hare on the shakespeare stuff, but he was quite friendly and seems to have accepted some of what i said

3. urgent work call in the middle of class; there's me half-listening to the lecture and editing sql files in gedit, then sending and praying (i found out later it was all good :) )

4. the final class of the orientation course - not the greatest class ever, but overall the students are very happy with what they've learned and we're happy with our experience teaching. we're considering running it again next semester for those who couldn't make it

5. the anime viewing was a phenomenal success (and i consumed too much cake). panty and stocking with garterbelt is my new favourite show!

6. clearing our stuff from the old office, specifically taking office equipment. i got shafted out of a good monitor, but the rest of the stuff i took away is dandy.

7. i got home in time to go out with pg for ice-cream (it's cold, don't ask). she read a quora answer on dating someone with aspberger's that i'd sent her, and then looked up info on aspies, and now agrees with me that it definitely explains a heck of a lot.

8. i thought i only had a little fix to make on my project, but when i tested it i realized that there was a bigger problem that we'd missed. three hours later and i'm exhausted, my brain hurts and i'm totally frustrated at the completely illogical results i'm seeing. AND i'm having performance issues. i almost forgot i don't like database work.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

semi-aquatic retraction

alright, so i bought a crock. i hereby denounce you, crock!

a scientific critique of AAT by jim moore

AAT is a nice idea, pity about the bullshit.

not my week

t'was a cold morning, and a warm bed. getting up that early after four hours of sleep to get to class while the rain was bucketing down was excessively cruel.

...

nothing exciting about first class except that i somehow managed to catch the gist of it in spite of spending more time focused on sudoku. perhaps i would've done better to get some of my papers done. or work a bit on my book.

coffee and debate followed, followed by more debate on the bus home. then it was time to sit on the pc and procrastinate, managing all sorts of slightly less important things like a department dropbox crisis and a new poetry project (chill, mum! i found a volunteer to do the dirty work) which will cost me five minutes a day. i eventually managed to push out my final response paper for our postmodernism course, and after a quick nap and some "urgent" work* i was off to the old office.

* scr was bold enough to make a fix without discussing it with me, and what he and the boss didn't realize was that i'd already taken care of it :/

i was quite surprised to walk in on the office being disassembled. i had a short time to go over my system, retrieve important stuff (almost nothing), have a horrible fight with a guy i really like (i was trying to stop him from making an effort to help me with something that wasn't an issue, and he took offense and totally overreacted), get the low-down on the department farewell "do" (as opposed to the company "do" - they hijacked our event and made things uncomfortable for us) and hop on a bus to get to nyah-nyah's for dinner, drinks and south african nostalgia (she and nystire both came back from holidaying there recently).

i was asked for my polygraph story, and for their sins i gave it to them. in an almost-traditional full-length lecture on neurology, psychology, authority, drug politics and aspberger's. apparently i don't tell the most interesting stories in the world, but don't say i don't make an effort to make them educational...

i'd had a drink on an empty stomache and the burgers hadn't arrived yet when my boss called to complain of a problem. he has this awful habit of switching subject without warning, and we argued and explained until eventually we realized that we were talking about different things. then he told me that i don't listen.

*sigh* *cry* this hasn't been my week at all.

at least catching a bus home wasn't too complicated. i made the required fix, took a shower, and am not entirely sure whether i'm in a state to get something productive done or if i should hit the hay. probably the latter.

---

here's an interesting note on why software projects are almost never on time

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

i wasn't thinking

"too many people buy things they don't need with money they don't have trying to impress people they don't even like"
i had an argument with someone today who agreed with the sentiment but tried to explain to me that running after status symbols is "human nature" and not societal and didn't think much of my argument that there is no such thing as "human nature" (except, of course, for the need to connect events with causes, often quite incorrectly).

i said something during that argument that i didn't regret until he said, in much nicer language: "you're being an asshole". and then i realized that i was being an asshole.

rule no. 1: don't be an asshole.

it doesn't matter that my apology was accepted, the damage was done and i think i lost more respect for myself than he did.

---

that wasn't the first time today that i managed to offend someone - it's funny how our hard-of-hearing french teacher misses all the communication directed at her, but the one time i make a snide remark ("see how gracefully she ignores us") under my breath she stops the class to ask "what was that?"

well. so i told her what i thought about the "model exam" she gave us that was stupidly hard and time-consuming, and when she responded with "none of my previous students ever accused me of being unfair" i rolled my eyes. to which she really got offended. pg tells me that she's always taking offense, but damn, this stupid woman has been behaving remarkably unprofessionally and now i'm supposed to worry that she might... i don't know what. but it's not a nice atmosphere to add to an already tense "i hate these classes" situation.

it doesn't help that the whole thing started when the girl next to me raised an issue that we all have, and she was told to stop wasting everybody's time. unlike our class-"mates", i wasn't going to let her take it alone. another student approached me after class to thank me for standing up for myself. wasn't i standing up for all of us? where's the "us"?

after lunch with pg and registering for next semester's classes with our secretariat, i made my way to work. i wasn't feeling too good, but i had things to do that needed to be done there. scr taught me about programming for the cloud (the azure system's actually quite well designed, and simple to get the hang of), and i was charged with writing a testing system that should, i suggested, have taken a handful of minutes.

i'm going to have to learn to predict coding time better, because i walked out of there about four and a half hours later :(

ah! good news. my boss re-arranged my payment schedule on the fly last night while we were on the phone discussing the system emergency, and i now get paid either at the end of a project or the end of the month, whichever comes first. THAT makes sense, considering that most of the last couple of weeks were spent performing tasks that weren't on the project schedule...

strange - without any actual planning, i've been working almost exactly the amount of hours i said i would :P