Monday, April 30, 2012

on a better note

i've just been informed that someone important wants to interview me for work in a location i'm interested in working in. this is very comforting. exciting, even ^_^

---

i was super tired this morning. the presentation made in class was interesting, although it went on for far too long. note: the straitening is NOT appropriate to be read out loud when you're treading on the-end-of-the-class time... that's a "please check this out before class" kind of a poem.

---

squinting kindle issue: pulling out a netbook on a crowded bus is not at all comfortable. my kindle, however, travels perfectly. the only problem is that if the course material hasn't been scanned decently (90% of what we get) then i either have to read it in its full-page tiny-font view, or zoom in and move the screen every half a line (which is a silly thing to do on a kindle).

do i blame the kindle for not allowing me finer control over the zoom? or the lecturers for giving us such crappy scans?

---

the cafeteria noodles are back, and i was hungry enough that the portion was appropriate.

---

during the night i'd received an email (and a missed call, but i ignored that) reporting a problem with our systems. i let it go as soon as i discovered that the data was okay because i needed to go to bed, but the reporting most certainly and urgently needed fixing. it turned out that count(*) is the only way to count duplicate / null valued rows: i'd switched to counting specific columns because the overhead of using "*" is meaningful.

*sigh*

---

i spent the afternoon on a new system function, and this one's a real head-breaker. i came home "early" because i have a seminar paper due tomorrow morning and i haven't touched it yet. this is not the first time i've mentioned this paper, but it's the last time i'll be doing so without immediately doing something about it :P

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the 40 hour sweet spot: well, i'm sure the article's main suggestion is entirely valid, that working more than 40 hours per week isn't good. i wonder, though, especially in the tech industry, if working that much is optimal. at least, working that much long term, there's nothing wrong with a highly motivated burst every now and again.

the divorce rate metric is classy :/

chip lungs

i ran pretty well, considering that for the first half my knee hurt and my pacing was awkward, and for the second half my diaphragm hurt and i could taste the last bits of dinner. i'm more impressed that my pacing improved and that in spite of what i was feeling i wasn't anywhere near out of energy when i got back.

feels like improvement.

i just read the new wired's article called fewer voters, better elections, and i'm somewhat impressed. it's definitely a step in the right direction (if anyone's listening), but one thing stood out: if you have the technology to fix things and you don't use it? YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

some ill

another early morning, beginning with a physically unhappy pg and ending with me being super tired and then feeling decidedly uncomfortable myself. the super large americano was a necessity for getting through the french class. this new "taking advantage of" the ensuing freud / lacan hours to get other stuff done (and other reading material read) seems to be working, and when it didn't i simply used to the time to write things that bubble.

today was made of ugly weather, which turned into weird weather, which turned in a beautiful sunset at its end. work was mostly pleasant and i left early enough to join pg for most of her walk. i split early, thinking to grab pre-fast blade food, but i got home before finding something so i ate home-scraped-together, read a bit for tomorrow's class and tried to nap.

instead of resting, i found myself concerned that the level of risk involved in the fast blading group outweighs the satisfaction. i'm reserving danger for things like snowboarding, because it just struck me that i've got *way* too much going for me right now *knocks wood*.

so i'll run instead.

---

just like in pumping iron, arnie's motivational makes me smile.

absinthe or dare

last night: an evening of amusement, argument, and drinking. by the time i returned home i'd had waaaay too much and was on my way to passing out. i'm very glad i managed to keep it all together.

today: i'm sure i've done something of value today, but i can't quite put my finger on it. i did play axis and allies. the experience was insanely intense and often upsetting, but fun enough that i'm going to want to play again in spite of my abhorrence of the dice system. risk just got super-boring! also, i'm apparently totally rubbish at being a nazi dictator. i VILL improve!!!

i rollerbladed there and back, and the weather was wonderful. i think it counts as exercise.

the evening's pretty much over, i should be getting french homework done before going to bed. i had a long chat with ric, whose newly hatched life plans have inspired me to go over even more emails that i might do well to ignore.

priorities are tough these days. at least it's almost all good stuff.

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php - a fractal of bad design: i wish i'd written this.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

self-solving problems

the bionic limb is out of reach? i think that these guys have been going about things the wrong way. the base assumption is that the brain sends out certain signals to perform each movement, but if we consider the dynamic nature of memory, it's more likely that the signals that are sent are recalibrated at every turn by the neural feedback from the limb.

i don't think we're capable of figuring out what signals need to be read, but i do think our brains are capable of synchronizing (more-or-less) in real-time and without our understanding. the limb controller's interface could be plugged into petri-dish grown cells and all the controller would have to worry about is sending appropriate sensory data back to the body; the body's nervous system would figure out which "buttons" to push by trial and error.

even natural, organic limbs take a while to figure out. results might take several months of work, but i'm pretty sure that it's a feasible solution. at least there are currently people attaching prosthetics to nerves. it's a start.

Friday, April 27, 2012

househusband

yesterday:

housework, rest, a run, and gaming until late.

---

the run: it was the tail end of independence day in the park, and i was unfortunately not very surprised to see the piles of trash littering the park. a few families were still busy burning their meat, but the smell didn't really bother me too much as i huffed and puffed my way. on the way back, against the deepening, darkening sky, i saw a thick, tall plume of smoke up ahead. when i arrived, i saw that a trash can had caught alight (most likely from someone tossing dying embers from their grill). within twenty metres there must have been five families who hadn't appeared to notice, but what really bothered me was the family sitting directly opposite, no more than three metres away.

"don't you guys have water?" i shouted as i approached. i had neither water nor cellphone on me.

"it's not ours!" someone shouted at me.
"so what?" i replied, "it's a fire! in a park!"
"well, what do you want us to do about it?"
"throw some water on it!" i replied, exasperated.

did i really have to say it?

---

today:

pg and i got up early to discover what dreadlocks would entail, and that led to a few hours spent milling all around south tel aviv on an absolutely charming day. it was highly enjoyable in spite of the crazy crowds in the areas i usually avoid, and in spite of the horrific hair reality check i suffered.

apparently hairdressers earn higher wages than i would if i was working full-time. what kind of society places that much value on hair-styles?! it turns out that while dreadlocks are, in the long term, far cheaper than any other kind of hairstyle, as much as i want them they're far too much of an investment to "try before i buy". especially if i might soon be seeking employment in a place with dress codes. [under normal circumstances i would reject any offer out of hand if it came with such a restriction, but i'm desperate enough to make sacrifices]

so for the meanwhile it's back to regular shampoo and conditioner. not because "no 'poo" smells or anything*, but it's definitely not as comfortable with long hair. different cares for different hairs, i suppose.

‎* it smells like hair. it's not unpleasant at all.

---

since the argument, sj had been on my mind aggravating me. this morning, i unfriended him on facebook [*GASP* the ultimate rejection]: because he's an arrogant jerk AND he's a fool. life's too short to keep creatures like that in mind.

---

i needed a nap when we got home, and lay down in front of exit through the gift shop. i've been meaning to see it for ages, and i did *not* see it going in the direction it did. i'm blown away by the experience of it all, from the excitement to the disappointment to the amusing self-aware irony of it all.

i spent a while dealing with work issues (that of course arose on a friday morning in the middle of a holiday), then finally got on the phone with co-worker to iron out the final requirements before we go alpha. if my employers and i hadn't been conspiring to keep me under such pressure, the entire project would have been rolled out in beta before november last year... oh, well. at least it's happening.

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do privacy terms confuse you? here's google's vs. dropbox's

Thursday, April 26, 2012

whiskey tango foxtrot?!

whiskey tango foxtrot?!

tuesday: bloody tuesday.

it was scr's birthday, and our first communication was when he woke me up to tell me that all of our systems had crashed after i'd flooded them with too much data. i... i broke a cloud database. in less than twelve hours. that's kind of embarrassing.

it took half an hour on the phone to explain to him what needed to be done, and then i passed out again. the later part of the morning was peaceful except for a tense call to our isp to renew. 1.5 megabits is no longer available (why not?!) so we had to upgrade to 10, which costs almost twice as much... but at least there's no lock-in, so if we leave the country soon we can say goodbye without a fight.

---
the weather was pleasant, although a bit chilly for my having left the apartment without a sweater. no matter, i wasn't going to see much of the day anyway - after a couple of hours of things being cool, they began to go awry and i suddenly found myself in a scene straight from a hollywood emergency moment, red lights flashing and systems goings down and nothing to indicate why.

it was all very intense, and i developed a nasty headache. a major part of the problem is that microsoft upgraded the cloud servers before upgrading the enterprise manager, and not all of the functionality is available through the cloud interface: we have synchronization issues up the wazoo, and things that are only accessible through the enterprise manager sometimes fail because of the versioning. and there were a bunch of errors that were only detectable when the procedures were run under very specific conditions, which is really unfortunate for emergency handling.

once i got through that nightmare, i discovered that on top of sunday / monday's misunderstanding about certain functionality (in my defence, i'd double checked with the boss and received his blessing, only to discover the next day that he'd thought he was okaying something else), in my hurry to fix it i'd missed a really important side-effect.

*sigh*

if nothing else, at least everyone now agrees with me that we should focus on stabilizing the system before adding new features.

---

i burned an hour studying complex regex strings, trying to figure out what wasn't right - a co-worker suggested i try the same string on a web tester, and it was then that i understood that the application we use (regexbuddy) is broken.

*raises clenched fist at the sky*
DAMN YOU!!!!

---

when the memorial day siren started up, i was still at work. i found myself staring at the home key on my keyboard, which i find a bit too iconic.

i left at 9, and all i wanted to do was alcohol swab my headache away.

---

yesterday:

i slept late and woke up with an hour to go before the next siren. not wanting to be outside for it (i don't have a straight answer for why not), i shortened my run to 5km and increased my pace.

the difference between jogging and running is tremendous. i think i need to run more.

---

i spent most of the day online, working very little and catching up very much.

the argument from yesterday? it's still bothering me now. firstly, because i didn't check the first link that sj posted (the others responded to it), and it's complete and utter rubbish. he later sent me this link, contradicting the addiction argument but still claiming hollywood flashbacks happen. they do not. for more see this and this.

secondly, in the aftermath of the private argument i have remembered something crucial about sj. i haven't seen him in over a decade, and because i tend to give people the benefit of the doubt i let him lead me on that he'd grown up a bit. i've remained wary of him, i just couldn't remember precisely why (although an incident with him dating a friend of mine and really messing her up was not forgotten). now i know why: because he lies. easily.

"i did psych you didnt, sane is a term i can use [...] its the same crap addicts spew at me in counceling" [sic] - as i told him, he sounds like he'd be the worst councillor ever. he also sounds like someone who hasn't even studied pop psychology, let alone been in academia. so a brief look through his cv and... hmmm... nope, no tertiary education. thought not.

---

in the evening, i went out to do some shopping, returning home laden with two giant bags. the idea was to be somewhat traditional and use independence day as an excuse to guzzle steaks.

after another horrid cooking experience, we watched aliens (whoops! i confused 2 and 3, and 2 interested pg even less than alien :( ) backgrounded by the booming of fireworks. after that we both crashed.

---

today:

first breakfast, most of this post, a little more time in bed, second breakfast (the last steak was much more cooperative), the rest of this, and then it'll be time for housework before the usual gamers arrive in the evening. between yesterday and today, my conclusion that i'm in dire need of a holiday has received experiential approval.

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of potential interest in addition to educational value: phd on the higgs boson

bizarro on earth day - not amusing, but interesting nonetheless.

nutrition:

chocolate vs chronic fatigue syndrome

do not place baby in shopping cart

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

fighting drugs

i've discussed what lsd does and how we can stop the war already.

today, a guy i used to know started an argument on an unrelated thread and i could not help but begin responding (after a couple of others got involved). i'll call him sj. i might not always correct his spelling.

sj: does it mention that lsd causes long term damage to the psyche and causes major integration problems?

me: it does? 'cause i'd like to seem some kind of evidence. unless by "damage" and "integration" you mean respective to broken society. have you heard the story of plato's cave?

sj: http://www.thecyn.com/club-drug-addiction/long-term-effects-lsd.html

i am too lazy to reference a long stack of medical text books for you, but you get the picture there in a nice short format. i have had no sleep in two days so not at my best, but yes you should get enough general from that. there is one worse than that people with poor neuro chemistry can develop permanent psychosis, schizo affected disorders etc, also those with various disorders. also it's very reckless to cite one study because it somehow backs an irresponsible view point.

crystal meth is used for alzheimer's patients, that does not mean we should legalize it and have crack-heads running around.

basic drug types the world should avoid:
lsd
cocaine
e
meth
heroine

long-term abuse of cannabis (for reasons of no longer being able to be a productive member of society)

unless you plan to do this forever and no longer be danger to society: http://gizmodo.com/5904144/the-man-who-quit-money

in which case if you are not ever going to interact with other humans have at it, i also say some sort of free love orgy aspect should be thrown in, if you are going to have the drugs i sure as hell think you should have the sex.

just remember long term use of the first list, you will in about five years no longer be suitable to rejoin the human race. despite fostering firm delusions to the contrary.

oh, and another gem:
"several studies indicated possible chromosome breakage due to lsd use"


scrapper: a brochure taken from a recovery centre is hardly credible.
haven't you read a scanner darkly?

sj: phd in clinical pysch good enough? and the listed items are all common knowledge to anyone with a medical background. and seperate to that you can google it: http://bit.ly/Ic0qvs. besides, i assumed you didn't have pubmed subscriptions. it was later used to create (successfully i might add) a bunch of schizophrenics. if I remember the human rights violation case it was "the relevance of chemically-induced psychoses to schizophrenia."

long-term these people were no longer functional as human beings. neurologically about one percent of the population would be suitable for long term use of lsd. but not exceeding one year.


gco: there is no up-to-date long-term solid research performed on lsd because it has been made illegal a long time ago so all studies on it are illegal - i would like to see more up to date research performed on the affects of lsd as one person's website just doesnt cut it for me when it comes to anything, plus who says this woman is even a real phd?

scrapper: thanks for googling it for me.
i read a few articles, most state that it's hard to determine anything about the disorder, except that one you sent, which is published by a company who is making money off convincing people that acid is addictive.

for the phd argument, if you have ever tried to research milk, you'll find hundreds of "doctors" that will argue that it's the best for you. you don't need a degree in biochemistry to understand that that's bullcrap.

through induction i will propose the rule of not believing anyone who has a phd in something.

gco: agreed! there is a major problem with research performed by specific organizations that have agendas, even though all have agendas but some are quite biased. it depends who they are funded by, because the people paying them usually expect the results to go their way, so this is not accurate research...

the same agenda goes for legal drugs...

me: you sound like a walking poster-boy for war on drugs propaganda. please watch the union, pretty please try to get hold of a copy of leary on drugs, terence mckenna's food of the gods, check out the problem-solving psychedelic, and be amused that there is no such thing as an acid flashback - that last one totally took me by surprise.

if you want hallucination, our societal one that "drugs are bad, mmmkay?" is the worst of them. as gco said, the little research that has been done since 1973 shut the doors doesn't indicate any long-term negative effects. as for "inducing psychosis" - there are a lot of questions and very few answers, the most likely of them seem to be "subject was severely troubled to begin with".

i'm not saying that there are no risks or dangers, we're talking about substances that need to be treated with more than a little respect. but the benefits outweigh them by such a ridiculous margin as to make your argument silly. if they weren't illegal, they could be used responsibly.

and indeed - the legal drug trade is far scarier and far more dangerous than anything you can point to.

oh - and in response to your list of the usual suspects: e "safe as a horse ride"

sj: ok so lets just legalise heroin, and see how well that goes shall we? and while we are legalizing dangerous things the majority of people are too stupid to handle, lets legalize small children playing with loaded ak47s

i'm sure you can find reasoning to say that these two are with out consequence. let's foster an entire community of self indulgent drug addicts delusional enough to think they are in control. i nominate australia. we put them all there as a single utopian society, with no interaction with the clean people. then as a social experiment, we watch what happens.

if there is a functional society that is moving forward then we legalize stupidity globally. something tells me that in twenty years it will just be a bunch of useless and no-longer functional baked scum of no further use to society.

i suggest do a psych degree, then handle counseling for people with schizo affected disorder due to lsd or psychosis due to other drugs, listen to their endless self-absorbed agendas and the stupid equivocations they make as pretense to justify selfish behavior and then after the first 4000 sessions come talk to me about how they are perfectly normal human beings. and then tell me everyone should just have at it. we are no longer at 1970's berkeley where a bunch of people could not cope with having to get a job and function in a real world where society depends on them and decided to instead run away like a scared selfish children and get lost in drug culture. we are not children.

legalizing and encouraging people to act in a selfish indulgent diminished capacity, yeah some real rocket scientist thought that idea through. side effects of which include psychosis. yeah, great idea.


me: lol

1. there's no such thing as normal. as soon as you get off your high horse you might realize that there are other ways to live. some of us, like myself, mix and match because EVERYTHING in life is a choice, including who you are and who you want to be.

2. portugal’s drug experience: new study confirms decriminalization was a success

3. YOU are not a child. i plan on staying a child until i die, and i choose not to let other people's ideas of how i should run my life interfere. society can handle drug use, what it can't handle is micro-management.

sj: http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17c1zuzxduwkhgif/cmt-medium.gif

self-indulgence: great spiritual path, put others at risk. none of this ringing any moral or logical bells?

ok, do as you wish i will never again comment on addict-like behavior.


me: ‎iI suggest do a psych degree, then handle counseling for people with schizo affected disorder due to lsd or psychosis due to other drugs" - you did that?!?!?!

anyway, i suggest you actually reference some of the things i've linked to before continuing to jump up and down. there's a lot of confusion, and you've picked a side that's a lot more emotional than it is rational.

sj: no interest, arguing with addicts is a waste of time and energy always.

me: and of course, everyone who argues with you is an addict. well played, logical fallacy man.

sj: anyone who argues for a position that is harmful to others, to justify his own self indulgent needs is generally an addict. in order to even begin to win this you would need to win the argument of handing loaded guns to children is a good idea. (save you some time: you cant.)

me: this argument is officially over, you've not only declared your refusal to consider the overwhelming evidence against what you're saying, but you're pointing fingers and presuming my intentions as well, and you're putting it all together with fallacious irrationality.
there is a world of difference between a gun and a drug, and your placing them on the same ladder demonstrates that you are completely blinded by propaganda.

any further comments on this will be ignored.

---

in a private chat with sj, i suffered ad hominem attacks and his refusal to argue rationally. i gave up, frustrated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

short-weeked

whoa - just saw the cabin in the woods. i'm so glad i saw that on the big screen! totally worth it. i enjoyed both the falling-off-the-seat bits and the giggling-with-child-like-glee bits...

... well, i suppose "child-like" might not be the best description :)

---

saturday:

pg *did* want to go to dinner, and we ended up all the way across the road at goocha. we both ate too much, it was exquisite as usual.

---

yesterday:

i slept really badly but had loads of powerful, feel-good (at least afterwards) dreams. waking up with pg and forgetting not to press her buttons so early in the morning almost got me defenestrated :/

i left early for campus, thinking to get some studying for the french test done, but the bus arrived right on time. the test was alright, i guess. class was pleasant as usual, even if it did require a second round of coffee. i arrived tired for the next class, a freud / lacan special that i knew would only make me more so. i was set to "bored" really quickly, so i tuned out and carried on with that piece i've been working on. i suspect that i wouldn't have as much patience for fine-tuning the meter if i had anything better to do :P

work was comfortable, even with cloud being down and totally screwing our systems, and i got what needed doing done without stressing too much - for once i left that to the boss.

i was attached to the facebook app all the way home, engaged in an angry argument with a presumptuous gco. he began to really piss me off when he started comparing student protestors to palestinian rock-throwers, and a number of things he said to me about my military service were made even more offensive by the fact that he's never served and has no idea what he's talking about. i'd had a really pleasant day, but by the time i got home i was angry. really, intensely angry. it took me a while to calm down.

the early evening was nice, with pg preparing a huge, delicious dinner which we ate while watching more romeo x juliet, i had a productive meeting with sorter and watched the pax east q&a, which is funny and sweet and links to cool shit.

blading was moved from tuesday to sunday (no sports on the day of remembrance), and was somehow mashed up with earth hour (which we missed), but the ride was fun even if it was less exercise than we needed :P

once home i had a long chat with my mum before going to bed.

---

today:

last night i slept really well. there was no way i was getting up for an early run, though, and i've decided that that's a bad plan. perhaps monday evening instead of monday morning is better balanced.

today was a beautiful spring day, and class was really enjoyable. work was frustrating though, and i had a hard time keeping it together. i just wanted to go home, and i kept getting stuck doing insanely intricate work... i left really late - so much so that walking out of the office just in time to catch the bus home didn't make me feel better.

pg and went for a planned walk around the city, which culminated in us getting tickets for the cinema. my kibbutz cousin called just before we left, and although i was amazed at the story of her sudden travels* i only had half an ear because we needed to get going and i didn't have enough battery left to unplug...

* someone she works with walked into her office last week and convinced her to join a group of fellow travel agents for five crazy days in spain; not only did she go, she took her daughter as well - for someone who doesn't do spontaneous, that's pretty darn impressive!

---

i was thinking this morning that i should plan my trip to canadia for spring, and then a couple of hours ago scrapper sent me a link to the tour schedule and asked if i'm game. hmmm. yes, i think i just might be ^_^

Saturday, April 21, 2012

disconnect

i have found myself staying up later than intended to play a few more rounds of hero academy - my painful lessons at the hands of zenstar and schpat have brought me to crushing random mystery foes with relative ease. the greatest compliment so far (from someone that i actually taunted, i still don't know what that looks like) was "wow - i finally found someone who knows how to play"...

well, i'm glad that my friends keep it entertaining, and i hope i don't bore them :)

---

yesterday:

the day began with a march for public transport on weekends. i cannot stress enough how much this would positively impact israel; or how much the current situation negatively impacts us. here's (also hebrew) a very interesting set of points made in a vote of no-confidence.

"the silent majority has awakened," proclaimed the banner, but the place was mostly empty. i wonder how many people have simply gotten so used to needing private cars that they couldn't imagine the freedom (and money- / pollution- / aggravation-saving) that buses can bring if they're run properly (and at fair prices, and all the time). also, on a friday it's quite a sacrifice for people without cars to travel to tel aviv using public transport...

(hebrew) this is an article on not playing the religious marriage game: yep, yesterday was a freedom-of-choice kind of a day*. this is an article i can totally get behind. heck, pg and i are already there.

* not counting the rally protesting animal testing - i agree with them, but i'll only join them when they officially become pro-human-volunteer testing. we need testing to be done. the best testing is on humans. there are plenty of humans who'd happily be experimented on for cash.

---

too much sun.

too much arguing on facebook... at some point the facebook app started ignoring my posts and that was when i discovered that we had no internet access at home - it was like that until this morning, and aside from upsetting me greatly it forced me to do nothing all day. this might have been a good thing.

i spent the lazy, post-too-much-sun afternoon watching pumping iron (it's great!) and the muppets (it's also great!), consuming far too much junk food. i was really, really tired, whether from the sun or just general exhaustion i don't know.

later, pg dragged me up to the roof (kicking and screaming, really) to smoke our hookah pipe and play citadels. it was a beautiful evening with a magnificent sunset, and i thoroughly enjoyed myself. except for the bit where i realized that i'd smoked too much, and when i got up i felt horrible. the plans for the evening were cancelled on account of my not being able to move without feeling nauseous (has this happened before? i think so, and i think i should've learned), and we stayed in and watched the scorpion king. not amazing, but fun nonetheless.

it doesn't really live up to the godsmack video, though.

---

today:

well, i managed to get up and run, at least. i suspect that trance isn't the best music for running - it made me go slo-mo, and it took being overtaken by a sprinter to get me to kick back into a higher gear. i suspect that the slow running is better exercise for the ankles, it forces me to use my whole foot...

i took the dog for a walk and tied her to my chair while i ate breakfast and continued to read wired (i'm on the current issue, and the cover story about the nsa is really disturbing). one of the mongoose's friends joined me as i was signing the bill, and we sat chatting for half an hour.

i rested for the next half an hour, then strapped on blades to meet up with scrapper and a friend of his on the climbing wall.

---

the quote of the day is attributed to a little boy standing with his friends next to a vending machine: "we're not suckers!"
i resisted the urge to correct him. yes, you are. you're a sucker because you've barely begun this whole life thing and already you've learned to spend all your time worrying about whether other people are taking advantage of you.

---

the walls were tough, and while i mostly stayed in the shade i think i managed to add more sun damage :(
my fingers and arms hurt in a good way, and now that i've gotten this all down i believe i'm ready to get productive on my seminar paper. unless pg wants dinner somewhere...

ah, weekends. this was a good one, overall.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

digital sparks

oh - wow. i was catching up on penny arcade and found a reference to moleman 2 - demoscene - the art of the algorithms (2012) (closed captions provide english subs - or check the original site): amazing! inspiring! i didn't mean to watch the whole thing... i kinda had other stuff to do...

---

today was holocaust memorial day, and my data stream was filled with everything from "oh, wow! the sense of unity is amazing!" to "screw this, it's an ashkenazi-only thing, what do the rest of us care?"
i don't know what that means.

two issues:

1. holocaust survivors are always remembered on this one day of the year, and treated like trash (like all other old people) for the rest of it.

2. a large enough proportion of the ultra-orthodox believe that the holocaust victims deserved their fate because they weren't good jews.

one possible solution, if us taxpayers got to choose where our tax goes: we could take some of the money that's being used to support non-serving, non-productive, non-taxpaying cultists (read: "ultra-orthodox") and give it to the survivors instead.

---

i was too tired to get up to run today, so i bladed to campus instead. no, it's not the same thing. anyway, when class wasn't boring (letting me make progress with that thing i started writing) it was super cool. highlight: discovering dead man, which from the handful of scenes we saw is one of the greatest movies ever made!

i was going to hang around on campus, but the boss called me up and asked me to pop in for an hour. during that hour, i performed an important upgrade and then explained to him that we need to get comfortable collaborating remotely for when i take my long "holiday" in canada after the semester ends. scr is aware that i'll be looking for work, but even if i find it there'll most likely be a few months where i'll be back here sorting things out so i don't want to be out of a job...

getting back home took longer than expected (i sat on the grass explaining apartheid and post-apartheid to some fellow students who were interested) and then settled in to be productive. i failed at that completely. and now pg and i are off to (finally) watch the hunger games.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

summer sting

the day began twice, because at 6.30am i couldn't bring myself to face four hours of freud. if only i'd known that everyone else was going to be super late...

at least i made the two hours i was there for count... i finally began working on something i've been planning for a while. it's even more daunting now that i've begun, it's very ambitious. but it's piratey, and must be done.
also, the class inspired me to write this later.

i was fairly slow today, stopping to eat a decent lunch before returning to the ugly, hot, clammy, dusty day. not that the classroom had been much protection: we have one classroom, and it has neither air conditioning nor internet access :(

---

at work, our qa guy upset me by wasting ridiculously exaggerated amounts of water while washing a dish. when i asked him to be reasonable, he told me that if i have a problem with his behaviour i should ignore it. deep down, what i really wanted to do was slap him hard and say "ignore that".

---

the work day wasn't bad - scr sat with me and we used azure's web interface admin tools to identify inefficiencies. i'm well pleased with the optimization. we then spent much time establishing the existence of a major caveat to the changes i've been surprised with this week, leading to more surprise changes...

i'm not impressed.

my experience coming home:
1. the weather eased up a bit
2. at peak demand, the frequency of the bus home drops. after waiting almost half an hour, i almost had to fight old people who were circling the stop like buzzards, but while they were looking for an edge the driver stopped with the door next to me. i do pity the others who arrived around the same time i did, though. s'not fair..

the creative writing workshop was fun, but i was entirely taken by surprise to see that not only the coffee shops were closed for the holocaust memorial day, but all of the supermarkets as well... the host fed me weird (but tasty) food, i'd become rather hungry while hunting dinner and even hungrier when i'd failed.

---

the pentametron grabs tweets and sorts them into sonnet form. with hilarious results.

piggish phd

rollerblading was fun, except for the bit where the annoying vegan pusher did something really inconsiderate and i had to go offroad. she was offended because i shouted. i was offended by her being an asshole.

i just finished watching the phd movie, and it was worth staying up so late for!

now having performed well in an online bacon haiku battle, i'm going to hit the sack.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

leaving before five

it shouldn't feel like a short day, but it does somehow. french class was fun, followed by a session in the sun blowing my mind: the forgetting pill erases painful memories forever

holy crap! and this appears to explain certain effects of lsd, like its ability to treat suicide headaches. funny thing, though, they don't cite william james' - the stream of consciousness - these ideas are a bit older than the 60s :P


work was relatively relaxed (although that's not saying much), with a bunch of odd problems cropping up prompting me to solve an edge case the appearance of whose symptoms was both fortunate and uncanny. i ran away as soon as everything was looking stable.

i ran to catch the bus - then waited a minute to actually get on board - and we got stuck in rush hour traffic which afforded me plenty more wired time.

---

... i wrote this post a while back, then got distracted going through my emails and task list. i haven't done that in the longest time...

---

i've just checked how much remains of my varsity fees to pay: NIS 0.23: really? they couldn't have thrown that into the last payment?

right. now on to something less digital.

---

apparently mary choi thinks i'm a pirate, too.

israel recycling trash into a park? sounds good. i don't know if i agree with the name, though :P

hating the hater

1. after class, i told someone a story and one of the less-intelligent overheard and began attacking my opinions (which weren't the point of the story). this dragged me into a corridor argument with four people, and the base assumption is what really offended me.

this country has a lot of wonderful things to offer, but its problems far outweight the good stuff. just because i'm an immigrant doesn't mean i haven't travelled, haven't met people from all over the country, haven't seen what really goes on.

i suspect that i'm more exposed than most born israelis simply because i approached this country with an open mind. i've met with palestinians (heck, i lived with a few of them) and i've hung around me'ah she'arim (although i hated it), i've lived in a village yeshiva, i've protected a settlement in the territories, i've lived on a kibbutz (albeit without having to work on one) and i've served almost everywhere with almost every walk of life. to tell me that my judgements apropos the future of our intolerant society are obviously due to a lack of familiarity with the country is absurd and irrelevant.

it doesn't matter how wonderful the good stuff is if we don't manage to survive long enough to enjoy it. and if we keep up the self-destructive behaviour, we won't. and if israelis continue to aggressively defend that behaviour, and aren't interested in change, then those of us who have tried and failed to make a difference have every right to complain, and every right to leave without being called weak, whiney and uncaring.

no, it doesn't have to be this way. no, there's no justification for it being this way. yes, there are plenty of places where it's not this way. life's too short to spend it fighting all the time.

2. i've been paid! for january. at least that, and i think that the bosses and i are all up to speed - there were some baseline misunderstandings on both sides. i presume that means that this tardy crap won't happen again. if it does, i'm out - although, as i told my mum, i'll be hard-pressed to find a job that makes it so easy to disappear later.

3. once again the marketing boys are pulling the reins, and i had two hours to perform massive system-wide changes and q-and-a it all. it was stressful, there were ugly problems, and overall i'd be totally self-satisfied if it wasn't for having had such a hard time.

4. and i arrived home late, and i had loads of french homework to do. which i'm not doing right now. *sigh*

Monday, April 16, 2012

early to rise

with good goa, an early morning run can be transformed into long-stride stomping instead! i'm not sure how good it was for my knees, but for my soul? gravy.

...

everything was great until i was almost home, and then *BAM* israelis all over the place. i'm becoming a serious hater, and i guess that means i'm becoming a real israeli. i want out before i go too far.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

pissy return

i'm spitting mad - a bit late, perhaps, but i'm now angry and deeply concerned. i miscalculated the amount of money i needed in my account by today, and pg's transfer from yesterday isn't going to cut it. i'm now seriously negative and there's no justification for that when i've been working for these clowns since november.

that was my thought for the day, and it was consuming. without that thought, the freud / lacan class might have been even more boring than it was. i took it up with the bosses (all three of them) when i got to the office, and while they tried to be helpful i've ended up in a state wherein all i can do is hope that i'll get my cash before the bank gets upset; i think i'm about to go looking for a new job.

i had it out with an orange representative today (i took advantage of my already being upset with someone to get into the mood), and she was really helpful and dropped all of the surprise charges. that means that i'm less protected - but i suspect that i wasn't too protected in the first place.

aside from the grief, work was pretty good. i left late, though, and arrived home just in time to drag pg out to meet the cousin i met last week and his family before they return to the states. we all had a very pleasant evening.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

dodgy dreads

so. four days, in the same location as every year, exquisitely set up with superb attention to detail, incredible music, fantastic weather. i felt a bit woozy on the drive up, but at some point got over whatever it was (i'm guessing a disagreement between my back and the seat) and even the drive back was a pleasure.

food was an issue - and i suspect i know why. i believe that the people who usually attend the festivals and sell food are just as sick of the arsim as the rest of us.

what's the difference between heaven and hell? the populations. the arsim are a cancer in israeli society, and the tumor has metastasized. you know what happens when you take an ars to a transformation festival? he transforms the festival into a pissing contest between the ugliest of what our species has to offer.

the art installations were crushed, the water flowed freely from the taps for four days and three nights (in view of the lack of lake kineret), cigarette butts burned down slowly everywhere they weren't dampened by hocked loogeys, and i suppressed the urge to photograph the horrors of the abandoned camping sites when we left because the results would be more depressing than the bare memories. i wonder how much of the litter and trash piles weren't peed on, the ars "thank you" to the cleaning staff and volunteers.

the festival grounds were overrun by people who looked angry all the time: even their "letting go" seemed contrived and - if their expressions are to be believed - somewhat painful. "stomping" was replaced by "waving arms and elbows in everyone else's faces", alpha males stood coolly in front of (and well beyond violating the personal space of) anyone who might have been enjoying themselves, impatient and often downright offensive hand gestures were the order of the day...

... i guess it would be okay if acting like an ars would get these people "in" with the others, but it appears that being an ars only means having less fun and constantly needing to prove yourself to everyone else.

all of the symbols of the trance / new age / alternative movements have been misappropriated by people who cannot leave the stupidly egotistical baseness of their realities at the door. heck, at some point the security guards actually has to jump someone trying to get in with a firearm. i've now spent days reconsidering growing dreads because so many of these pathetic creatures sport them. i now appreciate why the police pulled me over for looking like them. boy, have i been sheltered.

in a nutshell, the four day festival was replaced by a seemingly never-ending night in a violent club on the ars side of town, and i held out hope that by the last morning / early afternoon the ratio would drop and the doofers would come out to play; but that hope was unfounded, and by the time we got the car packed i was so uncomfortable with going back through the gates that i couldn't even make the rounds to say goodbye.

i have drawn the conclusion that the light side of the trance movement is dead or dying in israel, and is beyond resuscitation. RIP doof in particular: your music is still king, but your kingdom has been burned to the ground. i, for one, won't be going back.

in fact, i believe that's the end of my participation in the trance scene in this country in general. it's yet another message telling me that i need to make my home in another land.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

speeches and cream

after being jammed into the door by the mass of great unwashed at the front (there almost wasn't enough space to get on), i pushed my way past the scowls and snide remarks to the back, where there was plenty of room. i loudly described the situation at the front to those in the middle and told them that it would be nice if they showed a little consideration and joined me.

the one person who didn't ignore me gruffly informed me that there wasn't any space, and didn't respond when i asked him if that meant that i didn't exist.

the rest of the ride was spent politely urging the little prats in the back to turn the mizrachit down. i kept wondering about all these parents who have enough cash to buy their kids such cool tech but not enough for headphones.

...

an old lady on the bus who was impressed by my railing against the usual idiots asked what organization i belong to. i told her i belong to an anti-israeli group. the poor woman was very confused.

[a friend of mine asked me to please not confuse "anti-israeli" with "anti-moron"; i told him that when a country excels at raising morons, it's hard to not equivocate.]

---

yesterday was one of those special days - i went into work to build a relatively complex service from scratch and it was up, running and tested five hours later. not fully tested, mind, but only theoretical tests could be done due to the timing of the requirement's addition. their problem, i'm out and i've documented everything.

i learned something disgusting about my employers, though. it appears that their "once-off bungle" is not so once off - it is their wont to pay all of their employees in cheques (that take days to clear), and i hear that it's so that they can earn the little bit more interest. adding that onto my only getting paid the end of the month after i bill, and we end up with a nasty little catch. it looks like the three (three!!!) billings that were supposed to be paid a week and a half ago won't be in my account until after my mortgage payments drop, so i'm going to have to (albeit temporarily) borrow cash to make up the excess.

that's unacceptable. and at a third of my rate, i'm not exactly costing them a bomb. we shall have words when i get back.

---

i picked up another ticket for the festival (for a friend of pg's) and sat with the girls (turns out i studied last year with the flatmate of the girl selling tickets) over coffee discussing politics. the conversation wavered between hope and hopelessness...

contrasted to the sunday route, last night's rollerblading seemed like walking. it was social, chilled, and more like a stroll in the park than real exercise.

---

we're leaving in about five minutes for four days of jumping up and down. i think i quite need this little holiday. in fact, i think i kind of deserve it.

Monday, April 09, 2012

i am the change

i am the change that i'd like to see in the world, but it appears to bother a lot more than it influences for good.

---

i eventually managed to get to sleep, and woke up around 10.30 - far later than i'd expected, and considerably late in terms of appropriate times to go for a run. i went anyway, managing about 8km. considering the heat and last night's effort, i'm rather proud of that.

it led to a precious moment wherein i realized that my body was performing in line with my self-image. after stretching and showering, i grabbed february's wired and paid a local (meshulash) a visit: the service was shocking, and twice they messed up badly enough that they brought me things on the house to make up for it. the first item was a shot of ouzo, which arrived before any of my food. that was an interesting post-run wake-up :P

i came back a bit buggered, read on the couch, snacked, and then decided it was time to *do* something. it's been one of those days that makes me feel like i'm on holiday :)

show me a...

show me a socialist, and i'll show you a failed capitalist.

show me a greedy capitalist, and i'll show you a failed human being.

show me a devoutly religious person, and i'll show you someone who lacks the confidence to take responsibility for their life.

change is coming

since 4am i haven't been able to sleep. i'm either thinking about the work i have to do, the papers i haven't written, the amount i've been exploited over the past couple of years or the lack of real friendship from all the people whose weddings i've been going to.

the restlessness may well be caused by the summery heat, but the concerns are valid. i need to move on. i'm more than just a stepping stone for other people's pitifully small ambitions.

---

yesterday:

so i was kind of productive. and then i rested so that i'd have energy for the fast rollerblading group.

fast rollers. because you only realize how fragile life is when you find yourself careening towards a potential end at great speed. in the tuesday night group you don't have to worry about red lights as long as you're with the group, and after a long tour of running them i entered an enormous intersection with someone else just ahead of me, looking left and seeing that i was in the clear and stupidly trusting his judgement on the right. at the speed at which the driver leapt out at us he would have wiped me out for sure, only i was really, really fortunate that he saw us and braked hard.

instant focus, hyper-alertness, and shame. that was stupid and unnecessary risk :(

on a different note, that was tough - even more so than the marathon: i'm glad i started out on the "easy" route :P

---

science! although not quite related.

trials and errors is a pertinent piece on the limitations of human perception and cognition.

human-based transistors is inspiring work: there's so much potential in this project that i'm overwhelmed by it.

a friend of mine sent me a link to thrive telling me that it's got a lot of interesting points even if he doesn't agree with all of it. i was so put off by the quantum quackery, even without getting to the weird stuff, that i responded with thrive debunked. i have neither the time nor the patience for rubbish, and you shouldn't either.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

jittery

i'd woken up yesterday afternoon (prior to posting) to an awful premonition regarding pg and her family: her phone was dead and her brother wasn't answering either so i couldn't make contact with her until late. that was horrible.

after posting, i turned off my pc and began opening mail that i hadn't had a chance to... a lot of it required an attention span, so i put it aside. i was tired, and tired in a do-nothing life-size sense of the word. i decided to settle down and watch adaptation. adaptation is both brilliant and awful, and made me think of where i am right now in life. i don't know how i feel about that, but i do know that feeling pressured by work that i don't particularly care about isn't what i desire.

a cousin i've never met called me up to arrange to meet; it was a bit awkward informing him that i've heard of his first cousin that lives here but have never met him.

i rewatched les douze travaux d'astérix, passing out at some point and hopefully absorbing something subconsciously. when i eventually forced myself off the couch to go to bed, i was suddenly glad that SxS had made other plans instead of us going to play pool.

i read a bit in bed, then entered that same deathly sleep i've been "enjoying" the past few days.

---

today:

waking up early for introductory coffee with that cousin: it turns out we have a lot in common and to talk about, and so one cup of coffee turned into two. i walked away with quite a buzz - too much caffeine, perhaps? (almost) no such thing. the bit about 100 cups of coffee at once reminds me of the stoner monkey testing).

it was a quiet sunny sunday, the city filled with tourists, and there i was on my way to work. when i arrived there, after stopping to eat lunch on a bench, i discovered that there was no need to come in because everybody else was on a half-day.

meh.

so i did a few things, then came back home. now i don't know if i'm going to be productive or just rest. it's not good to feel like this, it's a depressed, irritable sort of mental exhaustion...

Saturday, April 07, 2012

one track mind

dinner last night was informal: we did the barest minimum (according to rabban gamliel) of the passover seder, and the rest was eating too much and non-stop talking until it was quite late.

i was too tired to do anything but sleep when we got home. i vaguely recall doing something online before hitting the bed, but it all seems a bit of a dream.

this morning i woke up later than i'm used to (hooray!), and after a cup of coffee i went for a run. i extended my route, going off-road when i realized that there was shade just metres away from the path, and wore myself out a fair distance from my starting point: i managed 12km before walking the rest of the way home, and while my legs are hurting i'm feeling rather good about myself. primarily because it was exhaustion that stopped me, and not any muscular discomfort :)

i ate a good breakfast with pg before she left (she'll be back on monday), produced the reports that needed producing (while simultaneously trying to figure out how to upgrade my sql enterprise manager - thank you microsoft for not simply posting useful links somewhere) and then had another snack before crashing.

from the moment i put down the magazine (i'm finally on january's wired) until getting up a few minutes ago, i've been able to consider nothing except for the reporting problem. it's an enormous issue and very complex, and all i want to do is relax after a long week by not thinking about it.

---

i believe in god, so i don't need a religion. what i do need is to read more articles like an atheist view on faith.

[first response] you either accept evidence of god in history, and join one of the religions which document this as "history" or stop believing in god and accept it as a made-up thing. religious fragmenation makes it really hard to argue atheism...

psychology isn't as simple as that. i believe in god, but i'm aware that my god is not an external fact of everyone's reality. you're giving me an ultimatum: "either believe or don't believe", and that's exactly the wrong attitude, because you assume that in order to believe you must accept historical notions of deity that are primitive and harmful.

believe what you want, how you want, be a good person and leave everyone else's minds to themselves. my god isn't an entity that tells me that it needs everyone else's permission and confirmation. my god is very happy with just me. if you want to make god happy, then go mishnah on him: "who is rich? he who is happy with his lot."

Friday, April 06, 2012

we're celebrating our exodus from egypt tonight

socially:

i wonder if the arabs hate us as much as we hate ourselves. it's hard to love a country with no self-respect, no ambition and that keeps peeing on itself.

either we're an angry, bitter, selfish and self-righteous people, or we're an ignorant, faithful, blind dog of a people - but never anywhere in between.

we're so stupid that we believe that if you are something, you have to be that something so well that nobody else can tear you down for your imperfection - because everyone must be perfect, complete, and a savage critic.

this country is going to hell because nobody here gives a damn about anyone except themselves. and everyone deserves everyone else's respect and money. everyone here knows you better than you know yourself; everyone here can see right through to the heart of whatever matters, everyone here was born to bring light to the world. six million people convinced that if we would all listen to just them, all of the world's problems would be solved, and quickly. because everyone else is a fool.

the israeli telephone needs a microphone, but no receiver.

---

politically:

if this country doesn't want a democracy, and doesn't want to be populated with educated people, then fine - screw me, and screw everybody who's got a problem with the status quo. if we're not happy, we should just... leave?

when all the people who have better options leave in disgust because nobody else wants to listen to them, this will end up a country filled with people who probably shouldn't be making big-people decisions, and may not survive the next war.

"when you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp."

---

happy passover, everyone.

lots - part iii

[... continued]

i had a long chat with my mother this morning - we haven't spoken in a while - during which a plan hatched regarding my next steps post-horror. when this semester is over, i'm going to take a holiday and start interviewing in montreal. if someone wants me, they can take me on and pay me as an outsourced entity (i can bill, now) until all the bureaucratic nonsense can get sorted out. in other news, my mother's in a good place and that makes me happy :)

after lunch and an episode of hellsing, i passed out on the couch for the deepest, soundest sleep imaginable. it took a ridiculous argument over my ability to discern bottles of pills and cleanliness when i'm half-asleep to wake me up, and since then i've been installing (just finished - boy, this post sure did run on).

---
i live without cash – and i manage just fine: i'm a free-market capitalist anarchist hippie and i believe in the finer things in life even while i believe in doing as little bad / as much good for the environment as possible to make up for my consumption. i was curious as to whether the article discusses "managing" or "living great", because the latter is infinitely preferable.

having read it: he's not wrong. i'm not sure i'd be able to do that and follow my dream to save our species in a different way, but he's definitely better for our world than most of us and what he says about stress and work is 100% correct. just yesterday, the unprofessional laughed at me for accepting such a low wage so that i could work half-time and study with the rest of it.

greed is not good.

lots - part ii

[... continued]

i had a big breakfast at one of our locals, which was fairly unpleasant due to too much honking on dizengoff. i totally forgot to take my multivitamin, and thought i'd give dry-swallowing it a shot on my way home. those were severely uncomfortable two minutes getting home :(

i was right on time for the phone swallowing bus - i was almost at my destination when i realized that my phone had slipped out of my pocket, through a crack between the seats. it was staring up at me reproachfully when i did my "paranoid pat" and discovered that it was missing. if i'd left that bus without it... i don't even want to think about it.

back at work (so soon?): more boredom while trying to get a new user up and running on the cloud. during a lunch break, the unprofessional brought up the dsm again: in addition to being unable to get it through to him that there is no such thing as mental "disease", and that referring to it as such is a cause of most of our problems, scr and i were unable to discuss his statement about autistics being smarter than "normal" people rationally.

1. the definition of autism (or asperger's) is not clear-cut; in fact, everybody experiences some of the "symptoms" and like any mental "disease" it's a case of extremity.

2. his claim that autistics are all smarter than non-autistics is simply wrong. his corollary that someone who is not autistic can therefore not be very smart is absurd.

what we do know, however, is that the iq test has little bearing on what potential someone has: it can be studied for, and extroverts usually fare less well because they're used to asking for help as opposed to figuring things out for themselves.

we "agreed to disagree" (my new way of telling someone i think that they're too stupid to be argued with), talked about the weather and finished the break with ice cream.

the afternoon:

1. raising wine glasses for passover: there was too much work to enjoy it.

2. even *i* received a holiday gift! although i left it on my desk :(

3. at 5pm, the time i'd told my boss that i needed to leave, he called me in for a meeting that took an hour and a half. i'm going to need to learn to give him an hour earlier so that he releases me on time. the word my mother used when we spoke today, "reactive", is precisely what's wrong with his management style (everything else is just fine). this behaviour is him reacting to the fact that i already have to go so he cannot delay the status meeting any longer.

he was horribly disappointed when i said "no" to his proposal for a new addition to the system; as i said to him, i'm (more-or-less) out of operation this weekend, and next weekend i will be completely unavailable (doof festival!!!) so everything needs to be stable. shit, i *hate* surprises and that's all we've had this week :(

4. my payment for january / february *apparently* went through, but i have yet to see my account updated :/

5. i got a ride home with the unprofessional, who proved himself to be an overpaid whiner.

i suffered terrible bellyaches for the rest of the evening, which i only forgot about while under the spell of caberet at the camerie. that is one of the most beautiful and emotional productions i've ever seen, and the translation to hebrew was most impressive. superb acting, the sets were fantastic and i was blown away.

exhausted, we walked home. the shopping was alright, but the walk back with the heavy bags and some random misunderstanding was miserable. my legs and knees hurt, i had a headache, and i just needed to get myself to bed.

---
today:

i woke up early this morning to get some work done - little did i suspect that instead of solving problems, i'd spend the day re-installing sql server software (barely successfully). azure's web interface is brilliant, except that it's design interface is awkwardly useless and there's no way to increase the timeout settings. and now that i have the enterprise manager running (hooray!) i've discovered that azure doesn't support connecting an object explorer (pooh!) so i'm working in the dark - or juggling between the web interface and the enterprise manager, which seems a bit silly :(

[continued...]

lots - part i

[post divided retroactively]

what a week! most of it tough and uncomfortable. all of that from work: fighting fires, performing a massive technology migration... there were a couple of good moments, though. and there's almost a sense of satisfaction from a job well done.

---
tuesday:

waking up at 6am "naturally" to do a tough translation for french class was ugly - amusingly enough, after driving myself (and pg) crazy figuring out how to express certain things in hebrew i was informed by our teacher that english is not only acceptable but is actually preferred. score!

french class: i spent a lot of it fighting the falling of my eyelids. afterwards, i passed out on a couch for fifteen minutes (it think it's going to become a "thing"), and once again didn't meet with wr because he was busy. i'm not offended because i think he doesn't want to talk to me, rather because i suspect him of being incapable of taking enough control of his life and situation to be able to do simple things like take a five minute break.

after lunch our database had a meltdown and i learned all about microsoft sql's concurrency handling. it's AWFUL by default, and i had to go through each and every function and stored procedure to correct for it :(

i had terrible problems to solve, and one huge meta-problem: no matter how urgent the current task is, a hundred other things seem to pop up, each demanding more attention than the last. i ended up leaving late, with the boss upset with me for having other plans.

i arrived at my cousins spaced out and worn out for a quiet(ish) family dinner. i was mostly pretty awkward. afterwards, i was off to ra'anana to meet with SxS, and i'm glad i called him before getting on the bus because he turned out to be having dinner with one of ze germans at etnachta.

people who whistle on the bus should have their lips sliced off.

ze german is no hippie, and he really doesn't get my lack of consumerism. he goes so far as to ridicule my lack of interest in becoming enslaved to a career... i guess that's part of the reason we're not really friends. grootbek joined us later, and i left soon afterwards.

---
wednesday:

after a long, long sleep, i awoke to discover that the internet was down for the second day in a row... and urgent work needed to be done...

it was a day of important meetings (with a salad on rothschild in between): the first about my shakespeare paper, which was far more positive than i'd anticipated, and the second about signing the prenup. pg and i are now more or less hitched, i guess.

we celebrated with soya ice cream.

office biltong? the guy i share an office with lived in pretoria for many years, and learned to make biltong at home. what he brought in was really, really delicious. in fact, it was superior to most of the biltong i've eaten in south africa over the past few years.

scr and i began the migration to microsoft azure, and while the actual database stuff was fairly easy to handle (ie i sat next to him bored out of my skull for an hour or two) i ended up having to rewrite and repackage most of our services and the process of getting everything up and running again was infused with a sense of terror. the clock was ticking, and i could hear it.

we left late, having eaten on the office account (mike's place in herzeliya made a huge stuff-up of our order, it was weird), and i was broken again. i unfolded on the couch while pg watched angel, and was ready to go to bed when the boss called (around midnight).

i spent the next two hours certain that he was going to cry. i wanted to cry, too. the errors we were seeing were really weird and distressing. eventually, i spent a half an hour adding detailed error reporting to *everything*, and after another half an hour of testing determined that checking for the errors was enough to get rid of them.

that doesn't make any sense, but it let me get to bed (2am).

---
thursday:

i got up at 7.30am, and it took me a few minutes to realize that an sms from scr had woken me and that i hadn't registered it consciously. "oh, well," i thought, "i may as well go for a run."

weird, huh? i've had running every two days on my calendar since last week, and this was as good an excuse as any. the weather was ideal, it was foggy and a bit nippy, and i changed my route a bit so it'd be easier to measure distance. this time i managed about 8.5km fairly comfortably, and while my legs are stiff and sore the satisfaction i derived was immense. what was odd was my disconnection from enjoying it totally; i kept thinking about how i would describe the morning's beauty to others instead of just focusing on enjoying it in the present.

anyway, i hope i can keep it up. running fits my schedule perfectly.

[continued...]

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

learning slow

at least i got some sleep this morning - although i woke up with a bit of a hangover, even if i *did* drink a lot of water.

class was a pleasure - i gave a presentation, and it was received well. afterwards i went to pick up my shakespeare paper...

the comments were enlightening. in particular, the reason for my grade. my advisor was hovering between 100% for content, and an absolute fail for style and argument. go me :$

i met with the head of the faculty dev team, and we reached as much of an agreement as is possible regarding installation of a router; hopefully we'll have internet in our classroom soon - the lack of connectivity is driving us demented.

i rushed off to work, stopped for an unhealthy falafel lunch* and then for coffee with a guy who i grew up with that i bumped into for the second time in a week (and the second time ever since we immigrated, both of us over a decade ago).

* my first calculus tutor sat at the table across from me, but i didn't say anything because he looked like he was busy with a meeting and besides, he probably didn't recognize me - why do i remember his name after a decade of not thinking about him?

work: grind, grind, grind. pressure, pressure, grind some more. i ended up leaving as late as possible, and aside from paying my tenant a visit and eating a quick dinner i've been grinding since. i *hope* i'm done for the evening.

i'm tired. still. and i haven't done my french homework yet :(

Monday, April 02, 2012

a giant, gaseous ball

that kind of ball. could be amusing.

wake-up: stupid early
french: not bad
half an hour on the grass in the sun: social as well as wired
two hours of horrid lacan: frustrating. privating. castrating.
work: wasted, with no time for april 1st pranks
i got the important stuff done, tested, and went home.

after a short, bad nap on an upset stomache, i hurriedly dressed and steeled myself for the wedding (it's the first time we've gone to one on pg's side): the drive was quiet (aside from the boss calling me with a problem unsolvable in my situation), we arrived on time (which turned out to be two and a half hours early - they didn't even have the food out yet), the evening was mostly a lot of fun. it's the same place with the same steak, though, but otherwise the food was excellent.

we drank too much, and i was completely out of it on the drive home (and i was navigator). i'm very, very glad i had the presence of mind to shower before going to bed (in my condition, not doing so would have been excusable but silly), and i hit the bed and was out like a light.

note for the day, in its entirety: my hands are still really, really tough to operate. hitting that wall was a very important return.

...

i still haven't woken up properly, and have already done some work because my boss sent me an sms along the lines of "when are you coming in? i'm losing money on this". *sigh*

all he had to do was press "restart".

Sunday, April 01, 2012

anti-socialist revision

lunch was a cafesito breakfast; not their best, but it was a pleasant day for chomping a sandwich and reading wired. i was startled to read about one-way tickets to mars: there's a man who's got his head screwed on the right way!

i napped a bit, then hurriedly bladed to meet scrapper and botchman at the wall. it's been so long that my feet really hurt as well as my hands, but overall it wasn't a bad effort and now that it's spring / summer again we're planning on making it a weekly thing.

back home, i had just enough time to eat and shower before finally getting in touch with aeroplane on skype - he's now heard my pitch for a graphic novel, and he's interested enough to give my material a once-over before we discuss storyboarding. he's an amazing artist, so if he digs it this could be really, REALLY big (^_^) *holds thumbs*

[pg nailpolish incident - i don't feel comfortable writing about it here, but it's worth noting (for myself) that it was an amusing experience that's taught me a lesson]

i finally caught up with an old friend from my early army days who i've been in almost constant communication with on facebook, and we met for coffee that turned into a long evening of software development, project management, psychology, philosophy and heavy politics. the evening was as entertaining as it was stimulating, and i'm fairly sure we'll have to do it again soon.

i got home to another work crisis, this one completely unintelligible: the distributed elements of the service that i put into place this week are working fine, but for some reason the data that the database is returning via stored procedures is not the data being received by the services. that's just totally weird. oh, well. another mystery to be dealt with tomorrow.

april fool's has been cancelled this year.