Saturday, June 30, 2012

crossing lines

okay - okay... i don't like gary yourofsky's veganism lecture, but his bottom line is rock solid. between this and nutritionfacts.org , you can colour me convinced. although i especially DON'T like using the word "veganism" to cover everything not related to diet. that's just stupid.

whatever you do - don't forget to take your supplements. with meat or without: supplementarian

if anyone is interested in continuing to consume meat while reducing the mistreatment of animals, let me know - i have an idea that just might work.

...

i still think that there's place for consuming human beings. that i'll stand by.

---

[edit, in response to a private message]
so are you eating animal products or not ?
i already understand that you don't see a problem with human beings eating it, but what i'm baffled about is your views about the industry and how brainwashed we are to eat animal products...


i've reduced my consumption to a minimum for health reasons (see nutritionfacts), and i've begun to take vitamin supplements because both vegans and meat consumers need those. unfortunately. unless we consume our own crap (a great B12 source), an idea i'm not particularly fond of.

i hate the fact that people use the term "vegan" to describe a lifestyle, because it's a dietary term and someone who's vegan doesn't necessary give a shit about animals, the environment, or anything really.

the bottom line, which is where i agree with gary, is that we're not designed for consuming meat, dairy, fish, poultry, etc. and it's really not good for us, AND these industries are cruel and unnecessary. i wouldn't go comparing them to the holocaust (although slavery is a valid comparison), and i'd like to think that there are some humane farmers out there (like what i've seen first-hand, both in south africa and on kibbutzim here), but he's basically correct.

i'm still going to eat meat occassionally (when in the presence of meat-eaters, it's a shame to let it go to waste), but i haven't purchased meat or dairy or eggs for months already. my girlfriend's not ready to give up cheese (and she's seen this video a while ago), but for the most part she's let me drag her along in the direction of veganism and any improvement's better than nothing. i'm certainly not going to run around preaching.

diagnostics

i've just gotten up, after going back to bed post-breakfast. the two and a half hours spent not sleeping, but pseudo-dreaming, were absolutely crucial - i feel like my brain's had a chance to relax and iron out some of the kinks of the week... weeks... months gone by, heck, i just realized now that switzerland was only a month ago and it feels like a lifetime has passed.

this past week has been badly run, in the sense that i've achieved much less at work than i'd have liked (and i'm still not done) and i've done practically nothing to advance my papers that are due by the end of july.

---

thursday:

i woke up to my alarm informing me that i'd forgotten about a meeting with a professor... i had an hour to get there, and my head and stomache were spinning and i barely had the energy to perambulate. the meeting was a pleasure nonetheless, and then i was off to work.

i've touted the wonders of the new azure upgrade, but there's a problem. and it's the same old problem with microsoft. they've built diagnostics integrated into the platform, but they've documented it badly and by the time i'd figured out which changes to make to take advantage of it, it was late to discover that the features don't work reliably.

the boss has been in a hurry to have this project complete for well over a month now, and i suspect that if we'd built a non-cloud system from scratch we'd have had an operational and more stable system up and running ages ago. that's really sad.

---

the day ended with a headache, induced by a co-worker who's joining my team of one. his attitude really upset me, both towards the system and towards me: he's arrogant and sarcastic, he doesn't give a shit about correctness and when i tried to explain to him that i'm happy to go with his style if he can justify it he turned passive-aggressive. i almost threw my toys out the cot, but in the heat of my frustration i explained to him that my job at that moment was to help him and i wasn't going to stop just because he was being an aggressive douchebag.

i'm not sure, at the end of the day, how the code's going to fair; on the other hand, i'm not willing to take responsibility for any damage he does. by the time i'd arrived home, i'd had enough opportunity to reflect on his suggestions and i'm not sure he's correct. he wants the code to be so generic that you don't have to know what you're doing in order to modify it, and that's a fine ideal except that i want code that uses meaningful variables so that it tells you what's going on.

---

we watched hugo, and then went to bed. it's an absolutely magnificent movie in spite of jude law, and forms a beautiful and fascinating tribute. i was only vaguely familiar with georges méliès, and hugo drives home just how intensely brilliant the man was.

it was upon falling asleep that i was inspired to write my own diagnostics instead... in the morning...

---

yesterday:

i got a good hour's work in before pg and i went off to celebrate her nephews' circumcisions. it was the first time that i've met her grandmother - long story - and also the first time that i've been entrusted with holding the kids. amusingly, everyone was impressed at how naturally i did so. i guess i'm sensitive about necks and heads because of my own issues.

i was reminded of freud's screen memories: notice how you don't photograph the circumcision itself, but rather the before and after pics? you know it's a circumcision, but even though that's what you're documenting it's the last thing you actually want to see. the same goes for childbirth.

after far too much cake and apple pie, we slogged back home through the furnace that is israeli summer. the rest of the afternoon was spent manipulating and debugging my new diagnostics, eventually coming to the conclusion that azure's table storage is unreliable.

microsoft: you have given us simple, practical tools but with no documentation and pathetic error reporting. well done :/

due to my working until the very last minute, i was in a hurry to buy something for my cousins. my take on the weirdness of purchasing alcohol:
you're damned if you don't, but if you don't know anything about wine then you risk buying an embarrassingly inappropriate bottle. and last minute whiskey is a terrible idea, both in terms of cost and quality.

i eventually went empty-handed :(
i'm very glad nobody seems to care :)

on the drive there i had a long talk with her - it appears that she's really chilled out since she got married. i'm glad things have finally normalized between us. i might have said this before.

the evening was great, with excessive consumption of juicy steaks and delicious salads and vegetables. what was even greater was reconnecting with a cousin i haven't seen since i was a little kid, and aside from beginning to catch up i enjoyed meeting her husband and their two super-cute kids. i came back home with them, discovering that i have much to learn about conversing with five year-olds.

---

right. it's lunch and work-time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

beekeeping

five minutes ago, on my way home: the guy was blocking the pavement, with a row of people behind him and all of us trying to pass as he bent over to pet his friends' dog.

"could i please pass?"
he stood up and glared at me.
"no. you can go around."

i walked straight past him, now that he was standing up and taking up less room, and i haven't gotten over what an unnecessarily aggressive and stupid stance he'd taken.

---

i woke up this morning in time to not get any work done, and went to the new offices of my previous employer to fill out what we once again hope are the last forms required for me to receive severance pay. it's probably not much, but it's the least they can do after seven months of shafting me and already another seven have passed since i left :S

it was pleasant nonetheless. the day at work was fun: not only did i get my project running locally, but i successfully deployed it on azure. okay - microsoft's last round of improvements is AMAZING. they've improved the UX for developers to a degree that every aspect of deployment was a pleasure, and almost everything made sense.

well done!

the writing workshop was delicious fun, and now i'm off to talk to botchman about comic art and play thunderstone.

a new new critic

it's just past 4am and i've finally completed the first draft of my thesis proposal - talk about putting the cart before the horse, i haven't touched a book or watched a movie relating to the papers i'm supposed to be working on, and two of them don't even have the benefit of a vague direction...

---

i spent the morning filling out forms (it took ages) while waiting to be stood up on a telephonic appointment with the secretary of mmf's company. i don't understand how it can take more than six months to receive severance pay.

i arrived at work around 3pm, and left around 6.30 - 7pm, and in the time i lost an hour to IT issues and another hour or so to weird code environment behaviour and bad error messages. by the time my epiphany came to the rescue, i'd become so lost that the relief brought me to the verge of tears.

that was the first time that happened today. the second was towards the end of the rollerblading route, when i suddenly realized that i don't have to get up at 6.30am, and that i can stay out for drinks (can, not must) or even carry on rolling... the way i was feeling, i could've handled another 25km quite happily.

---

an incident that occurred on saturday came back to haunt me this evening, i don't know why it suddenly became relevant. retrospectively, i have no idea why i said what i said (the details aren't important, but i said something that was self-aggrandizing and served no purpose) but i used a word that i hadn't realized carries misogynistic connotations and i don't think the guys realized that i wasn't aware of that.

and i can't bring myself to say anything because i don't want to remind them of the context :(

---

tel aviv's "white night" is becoming a "black night" in response to the weekend's brutality, and i'm pleased that our english department has postponed its end-of-year event in protest. i gives me pleasure to note that there have been a few things going on here and there that indicate that at least a few of our politicians are realizing the error of their ways...

---

i just became a milton friedman fan. i watched half of waiting for superman earlier, and that plus a couple more links are enough to get the gist. and the gist is that the american teacher's union is bad for business (also, this). also, i think it's safe to say that now that we have always-on, ubiquitous and cheap access to online educational material, official or not, the idea of teaching in classrooms is primitive and counter-productive. most teachers can be easily replaced by software.

let the robot revolution begin :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

sentimental?

we just watched men in black 3, and it's *really* good. but not at all what i expected. still amusing, but more action / drama than comedy. a lot of it's playing and replaying in my mind, and i'm really enjoying it. even the *SPOILER ALERT* griffin's deus ex machina plot-driving exposition *END SPOILER*

ZOMG i just discovered that boris is played by jemaine clement!!! are you kidding?!?! (O_o)

---

the day was mostly comfortable, aside from some playground behaviour on the part of "that guy" that nobody in the office can stand. i spent far too much time in front of the screen (yes, yes) fiddling about with azure's new tools. most of them are uncannily useful, and microsoft deserves a "good show" in spite of it being for an uncomfortably specific scope.

---

if you like progressive rock, you should listen to this.

Monday, June 25, 2012

no need for alarm

it seems to me that there are very few civilized people who, for most of their lives, get to choose what times to go to bed and when to get up. i find that quite sad. The fact that developing products to wake people up on time is so profitable is telling, and i suspect that a lot of people would enjoy a shifted day.

...

case in point: i went to bed this morning around 4.30am, after finally getting some work done. presumably because nobody else in my timezone was awake to send me things / post things that fire me up. and then i woke up about half an hour ago, feeling better than i usually do about waking up and ready to face the day.

d(e/i)str(a/u)ctive

the last day has been newsworthy to say the least. there's tons of footage to be found, and all of it points towards the following:
  1. bad citizens
    unfortunately, the story according to the news sources simply doesn't fit with those of eye-witnesses who i know personally and trust, one of whom is a journalist himself and another an arrestee: i've seen the video of the latter's arrest and compared it with the arrest report she published online, and the plain and simple facts are that the police more than fudged it. there were a couple of cases of vandalism, but these were isolated incidents that the national media has blown out of all proportion.
  2. police violence
    it renders me speechless: the videos, the pictures, the personal stories: all tie in with my own experiences with the men in suits and the police. they're a bunch of thugs, and it's not clear to me how and why they other regular, contributing citizens so off-handedly. do these people subjugate their own families?
  3. judge's ruling
    at least the judge figured out what was what, and 90 arrestees were released with a dressing-down given to the police officers. unfortunately, that's not nearly enough.
  4. right vs left
    i have seen the excitement and glee with which the political right has picked up on the news, and called for more violence. i continue to fail to see how these people have politicized these protests into left / right, when it's (like the american's "other 99%") a protest about social responsibility and now, more than anything, the democratic right to demonstrate.
---

scr sent me job satisfaction rankings that made me smile. i didn't really get much work done today (about to do a little more, but i've been thinking that for the past hour), but i'm pretty sure that the three hours i spent pouring over the french exam were in vain. that was a really tough exam, and if i pass i'll be super-proud of myself :/

the climbing wall in the evening was great exercise.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

run! from zombies run!

it bothers me that zombies run! has no try-before-you-buy option, and it's pretty darn expensive.

i expected more. i figured that it would somehow make use of my surroundings via google maps, or something. it's a good idea, but @#!$ it's not worth eight bucks :S

on a less wallet-conscious note: i'm not sure how to express the demotivation of sprinting so hard near the end of the mission that i didn't even hear that i wasn't fast enough - the zombies got me :(

---

a day of little work, mostly irrelevant french lessons, the first episode of the walking dead (it's excellent, and it took me half the episode to go "oooh... wanker!"), the aforementioned run, and too much sushi.

did i forget to mention it? the trucker's delight game for the iphone is just as good as the video that inspired it! and really, really tough.

ending not with a bang

"you have mastered animals!" seems a bit biblical, don't you think? so in that vein: this is how i suspect the universe will end.

---

thursday:

i called up an insurance company yesterday to sort out a few things. the first representative was very helpful, but limited in the fields in which she could assist and so she transferred me to another division. apparently the company was under tremendous pressure at the time i called, because i was passed through to "messages"; the woman i spoke to did not make it clear that i hadn't gotten through to that other division and when i began to ask questions, she got really snappy. not just snappy - she actually shouted at me and when i responded in kind (still trying to get a straight answer out of her), she transferred the call to someone else in "messages". i mentioned the shocking treatment before explaining what i needed, and was informed that my account was being operated by a different company, and "it must have been one of them who gave you such terrible service".

if you're going to lie to me, at least don't be so damned bad at it!

---

orthodox celts - star of the country down is a good song.

an awkward moment, wherein one of my classmates told me that if she was twenty years younger (and not married with four kids) she would totally have fallen in love with me. flattering? yes. but still awkward.

i joined a session of the capitalism conference, half of which was enlightening and half of which was presented by an "ummer". you know what that means.

one of the participants was a guy that i took a class with in 2003, and is now studying in cambridge. what amused me no end is his statement that i look "exactly the same" as i did then :P

the finale of the anime afternoons: my little pony failed, specifically because of "twilight sparkle", who one of the guys thought was too obvious a twilight reference :P

an hour or two in the park with beers, meat, and a frisbee until some idiot playing golf almost took my face off, during which time we all talked rubbish and celebrated the end of the academic year (or the entrace into exam period, whichever).

year one, contrary to my advisor's review, is a terrible movie.

---

yesterday:

late to rise, an excellent breakfast and belgian waffle at la guffre, and an afternoon playing pirate fluxx and thunderstone. we began on the roof, but even with the shelter we constructed it was - just - too - hot. it's air-conditioning season again.

dinner with pg's family was great, and that was followed by waking ned. it's a sweet movie, although sometimes a little bit excessively cruel, but not quite as funny as i was led to believe...

---

aside from my previous post, i have a couple of things to note this morning:

i have a bad feeling about japan's anti-piracy measures. why are we still going backwards? it's way past time for all the big companies to figure out how to ride the waves of change. these people are not stealing from you, you're refusing to understand how to operate and profit in a new age.

to all my feminist friends: conflating women's lib with women's crib can't be a good thing.

filthy rich: i'm now officially ready for phone, rfid, or any other type of contactless payments. how about voice recognition paypal payments? that could work.

failure IS our only option. i endorse this message 100%.

there are things one can't do retroactively: designing a product is one of them. there aren't many fixes available for environmentally unsound hardware.

i protest

this is translated from my hebrew post that follows:

this morning all i read is stories about violence towards protesters (and i see the videos and photos), and i remember perfectly all i've experienced and seen with my own eyes. i don't understand how we arrived at the present situation, one in which the only thing that operates this country is unjustified hatred*. you don't need to be right-wing or left-wing, educated or rich - you need to be a human being.

"love your fellow like you do yourself"** - and no, you can't choose your "fellows" based on skin colour, sexual orientation, or religious / political beliefs. we're no longer a jewish state. i don't know what we have here, but it's not that.

have a peaceful sabbath everyone - although unfortunately i no longer have a clue what that means.

* unjustified hatred: the cause given for the destruction of the temple, something that jews are supposed to take strong steps to avoid

** according to hillel, this sentence summarizes the entirety of judaism

---
הבוקר אני רק קורא סיפורים על אלימות כלפי המפגינים (ורואה את מה שצילמו), וזוכר היטב את כל מה שאני חוויתי וראיתי בעיניים שלי. אני לא מבין איך הגענו למצב כזה, מצב שבו כל מה שולט במדינה הזאת זה שינאת חינם. אתה לא צריך להיות ימין או שמאל, משכיל או עשיר - אתה צריך להיות בן אדם.

"ואהבת לריעך כמוך" - ולא, אתה לא יכול לסנן לפי צבע העור, נטייה מינית או אמונה דתית \ פוליטית. אנחנו כבר לא מדינה יהודית. אני לא יודע מה יש כאן, אבל זה לא זה.

שבת שלום לכולם - למרות שלצערי אין לי מושג מה זה אומר.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

the semester is now over

i have an exam on sunday and plenty of papers to write, but (i'm fairly certain that) the hardest part of my master's is now complete.

*breathes very deeply*

these last two years have been as difficult, if not more so, than i thought they'd be, but i realized a while ago just how important they have been in shaping who i am and how i perceive the world.

i will never regret having stopped to smell the flowers.

through the haze

sunday night:

an evening with urchin and her friend (her boyfriend's sister) - they're a fun bunch, but they smoked upwind of me and so i had to take another shower when i returned home...

---

monday:

the start of the heat: for the impossibly hot summer we are just now beginning to receive, i would like to especially thank all those who drive cars when buses will do, and all those who leave their vehicles idling while parked.

monday's class had cake, but was mind-bogglingly boring. and off-topic. also, we had no speakers because i'd forgotten to return them to the professor :$

i spoke to ric, who'd somehow managed to forget his backpack filled with all his most important and somewhat irreplaceable documents at a bus stop. the word that springs to mind is loskop, but that's being kind. fortunately for him, later on in the day it was returned to him by some kindly soul - he is *so* fortunate it amazes me!

towards the end of the workday i was surprised to discover that the detail type label on iphone contacts is selectable! and customizable! i had no idea. not entirely intuitive, but reasonable once you know.

i went off to my aunt's aunt's place (she's an art teacher, with wonderful works on display) for a couple of hours of philosophizing and psychologizing, some family catch-up and the shock of coming into contact with a woman (my aunt's cousin) who truly believes in the secret. scary.

when i got home, pg and i watched more hellsing, i spoke to my mum, and continued with the french practice.

---

tuesday:

a rough, early wake-up - my last for the year! - for the final french review class (at the end of which i advertised duolingo, because i believe). i then went to work to get some important stuff done (design! almost complete) and set up remote desktop access through my ubuntu netbook. it's really nice that that works so smoothly ^_^

unfortunately, wake-on-lan isn't so simple to organize. at least the IT guy agrees with me that it's silly, economically and environmentally, to leave development machines running during non-work hours. it's not the first time i've told my boss that, but it was incentive to give him a little reminder...

it was a *hot* walk from the bus to pick up pg from campus, and head off to the mall for potential lunch with my aunt. my aunt no-showed, and we ate fairly decently.

we were on our way up the stairs to our apartment when i received an sms from a girl i'd been talking to earlier in the day; she was listed in my phone from a phone call last year which had left me clueless to her identity, and i'm much amused that i'd misheard her name and i can now make sense of the conversion we had back then :P

the rest of the afternoon can be described as sweet oblivion.

nystire came by for a visit, and we spent most of it arguing about different things. when he left, i was reminded of a feeling that i had when i was released from my service - pity for his co-workers, i'm not sure how they cope without me to translate :P

i pitched an idea i've had to him and he let me know about scratch - i now have cunning plans >D

rollerblading: good roll. and lots of harping on about working freelance. and why not working freelance and not employing freelancers doesn't make sense in the software industry.

---

today:

i woke up early, but returned to bed for a blissful round two of dreamy laziness. then i walked to the dry cleaners to pick up my jacket, stopping for a chat with the owner of my favourite bookstore during which he introduced me to a couple of examples of his poetry, which is *really* good.

on my way to the bus this morning i ran into an old friend, and we stopped for a cup of coffee to discuss the state of the nation. then, after a long and short two hours at work preceded by a *real* half of a falafel, i went to catch the tail end of a psychoanalytical workshop.

the walk up to campus was deathly hot - i've decided that the huge sections of grass should be turned into small forest.

the workshop was weirdly german - a whole bunch of them came for it, and there was less than a handful of non-germans which i believe indicates that the workshop was held in the wrong country. the presentations were somewhat interesting.

---

it's been an odd week. a winding-down week. a hot week, but a not-as-difficult week. it's time for a *little* more french and then bed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

in style

last night:

the phototaxies blew my mind - two of their songs were a little over-the-top, but the rest were aurally and emotionally gratifying and somewhat inspirational.

the serious walk there and back was good enough exercise to offset the delicious hot-dog from frank's... and the pastry... although that pastry came back to haunt me a couple of hours later...

... around the same time that i realized that i hadn't stretched enough when we got home because my legs were killing me.

the other thing that bothered me was the re-realization that my eyesight is horribly blurry. i'm not ready to have laser surgery because i'm not certain i won't stuff up my eyesight again through excessive monitor / phone use. when will we have a decent solution for that?!

---

today:

waking up was only easier because it's the last stupid-early sunday ^_^

passé simple is ironic.

i went to work early, and the day was mostly alright... until the very end, when i finally found a useful package that demonstrates azure's table storage effectively. after a week or two of failed research and unsuccessful sdk installations (why the heck does microsoft make it so complicated to figure out things that they've invested in making really simple?!), i now have a plan of action ^_^

i came home to study french and perform webmaster duties (and play psychout - it's beautiful and addictive, be warned), i went for a good run, ate dinner and am now off to meet urchin and her friend-in-need (dunno what that's about).

---

i've just been informed that the kid i got paid to coach got 100% in his matriculation exam. i'm very proud.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

on the way to ending the weekend

saving grace is a fun movie. we slept like logs last night, and i spent my day breaking my head over an sql issue (transact sql plays badly with null values), learning french (duolingo is just brilliant - and productive), watching more episodes of hellsing (integra's flashback episode put me to sleep) and editing my seminar paper so that i can send it to friends with less embarrassing mistakes. we're now off to see / hear the phototaxies play their new sounds.

---

if you're in a giving mood it'd be really nice if you headed to www.justgiving.com/hannahsforcongo to donate a few quid - it's a friend's worthy fundraising attempt.

Friday, June 15, 2012

a full weekly - part iv

[... continued]

the anime screening: i'd thought last week's was brilliant - this week's was incredible! catshit one totally blew me away, and summer wars is a wonderful, wonderful movie.

---
on the way home:

1. as i walked on the sidewalk and was passing the cash machines, a cyclist cut in front of me and stopped. when i sarcastically said "thank you" she asked, aggressively, if something was wrong. "yes," i said, "you cut me off."
"i needed to get to the cash machine!"
of course you did. and you couldn't wait one second, even though the machine was already in use.

i'm sorry, you are an asshole.

2. zero coke has a new promotional message of "zero is culture". how ironic to walk past a paper-only recycling bin upon which someone has left a pizza box and a can on top, with the "zero is culture" facing me. what is it with israelis (and arabs) and trash?

3. and more than trash - dog shit. i caught someone from two buildings down taking their dog for a walk... around the back of our building. ignoring the fact that he lied to my face when i questioned him - an obvious, stupid lie - pg then had a run-in with him and his girlfriend later wherein his girlfriend was downright abusive, and even told pg what a cow she thinks she is for having the indecency of calling the cops when we needed our parking space and they'd used ours without permission and hadn't so much as left a note.

really.

we've had enough.

---
in spite of both of us being exhausted, we hit the climbing wall and made a good evening of it.

i returned home to struggle with azure's interface upgrade (oh, it's prettier, and a bit more intuitive - but i no longer have access to my virtual machines that i *know* are running), then crashed in front of futurama.

---
friday:

i woke up to some serious paper sorting, and more work on this last-minute-hack-project that's been going all kinds of wrong. after finally getting everything more-or-less functional, i discovered that azure's table-locking is completely messed up and i now have to begin again, employing work-arounds whose effectiveness will only be testable after a few hours of processing. this is all very stupid.

i took pg's mom's dog along for the walk to take my new jacket to the dry-cleaner, and was totally infuriated by a couple of the people we came across and the idea of running into our shitty neighbours. i really wanted to give them a piece of my mind.

after meeting with my tenant to sign the lease renewal (which pg and i had worked pretty hard at putting together), we went to helinka for a delicious lunch. mine was entrecôte and eggs, especially decadent in light of preachy vegan song that i was exposed to afterwards.

the rest of the afternoon has been spent checking on work, purchasing delilah dirk, writing this and studying french. it looks like i have a busy weekend ahead of me.

---
this week has been filled with great links, here're a few select ones:

the reality of living in cape town: i couldn't find a link to the image that wasn't on facebook. if you're not familiar with south african politics or asterix, you probably won't get it, but it's a beautifully made image nonetheless.

marks and spencer make a case for carbon neutral: and it's both environmentally and economically responsible. good for them!

inspirational space venture. also, nystire just pointed me towards socis, which sounds pretty interesting too.

a full weekly - part iii

[... continued]

wednesday:

wednesday morning wasn't as ugh as usual, until i arrived on time to discover that class had been cancelled. fortunately, a flash of inspiration has struck on my way and i occupied myself with research for an hour or so before heading off to work.

i picked up a falafel on the way. i'd asked for a half-portion, and commented to that effect when i saw the guy stuffing a whole pita. he said "yes, yes, i know" and carried on, i paid the half-portion price and walked out, figuring that he used a smaller pita and feeling silly for not noticing the size difference. when i mentioned the experience in the office, the guys laughed and informed me that what i'd gotten was a full-portion.

i'm not exactly complaining, but that was strange, no?

i spent the day producing band-aid solutions, finally creating an on-the-fly interface for a system i'd hacked together recently and through it discovering some interesting bugs. interfaces and automation make qa better. i know this. i've had to fight to convince the others, who have finally begun to embrace one of my automated-qa solutions. but these things need time to build...

this evening, i knew where to purchase flowers and arrived home with a bunch of pink roses. i then went to the weekly creative writing meeting. that morning, on my way off campus, i'd cobbled together my answer to the homework assignment, and the response to my reading it was nothing short of glorious! the guys actually applauded, and i was extremely pleased. now that it's posted, i have to admit that i keep noticing bits that demand improvement, but i'm not entirely comfortable with modifying it.

it's not that there was too much candy on the table, it's that i could barely control myself and i consumed far more than i wanted. i left the place feeling a bit woozy on the sugar-rush :(

more hellsing, and bed.

---
thursday:

my day began with enthusiasm for duolingo: they've just opened french lessons in beta. the idea is brilliant, and not only can i now say that the lessons are fun and well presented, but the fact that the translations you perform have an actual purpose is inspirational. it's kind of like the reverse of gamification.

on arriving on campus, i received a phone call from the boss informing me that the servers were down. it would take a couple of hours on the phone and remotely using my pitifully underpowered netbook, spread over the day, to determine that it was one of the hack-n-slash patches i'd been asked to perform that was killing everything. we don't know why, because the code all makes sense and everything *should* have worked, but because microsoft's azure doesn't provide basic connection information we had no way to determine who was at fault. all we know is that azure's table locking is the pits.

class: not to be a killjoy [said the killjoy], but bo burnham's sonnet 155 would be a lot funnier if shakespeare had written like that and if bo hadn't chosen to tack it on to the sonnet sequence. plenty of poets wrote sonnets that weren't numbered, and besides: his content more closely resembles barnfield.

---
"just roll with it," said wordsworth, which made me recoil with disgust. "i don't roll with things that are wrong," i said, and continued silently to myself: "because doing that is what makes people mediocre."

later he annoyed me by stating that music theory is exactly like string theory, with absolutely no references whatsoever. and then i found myself arguing evolution with a couple of idiots because they don't get the difference between hypothesis and theory.

---
of the stranger things that were occurring at work, scr informed me that someone had contacted the office looking for me. considering i am not officially employed by the company, this is in decidedly bad taste. when i called the person back, he was exceedingly unclear, talked in circles, and all i could get from him was that he'd found me through the company's website where i was listed as "freelance advisor". considering the fact that not even the ceos are listed on the company website, this is all wrong. the follow-up email that he sent me is incoherent at best.

*cue twilight zone theme*

---
i must note here that throughout the week, girls both familiar and unknown have become increasingly flirtatious, some simply nodding and smiling at me and one even going so far as to tell me that she would be staring at me. i suspect the hair has something to do with it.

included in the list is a particularly foxy girl who was sitting near me while i was working; sometime after i overheard here telling a guy that she was too busy to talk and super-stressed because she was having her period, she moved over to my table and seemed only too happy to chat.

*scratches head*

pg tells me i'm imagining it.

[continued...]

a full weekly - part ii

[... continued]

tuesday:

i slept well, but still woke up grumbling about needing more sleep.

---
due the fact that there's the need for a law for this, to the lady who refused to take a veteran tenant:
you don't have to agree with the wars your country fights, and you should be as vocal and violent as you are able to prevent or stop such wars. taking out your grievances on some poor bastard whose crime is that he disagreed with you? people disagree on important issues every day, and both sides of any argument are always supported by loads of idiots. at least that idiot was willing to put himself on the line when he felt, right or wrong, that his country and its people needed him. can you not respect that?

french class: the massive coffee wasn't working. and i was shocked when, after smelling something a bit weird, the girl next to me got up, brushed the seat of her skirt with her hands and disappeared, presumably off to the toilet. yes, i know that girls fart, but that knowledge is impotent in the face of what society has taught me :P

i arrived at the office to attend to a bug - the boss walked in at some point and when he heard what i was dealing with he said "oh! that happens when x and y occur. you can get around it by doing z."
his work-around let me know where the bug was, and if he'd only sent me an email the night before when he'd discovered this he would've saved us all a lot of trouble. i don't understand people who don't work with email :/

it was a day of hard work and zero customer satisfaction. additionally:
me? angry? because the unprofessional "doesn't have time" to read the instructions for an api i've constructed, so i should just tell him what he needs to do when i have nothing to do with his project?

the api is in place and in use by non-programmers, which is a subtle indicator that this is not rocket surgery. the programmer in question has access to code that uses a previous version of the api, and i had already attempted to explain the changes verbally (these are simple changes) in addition to having updated the documentation that is informal and written specifically to make our own lives easier (in other words, it's short and to the point). i cannot make the changes for him, as he is a big boy (supposedly) in charge of his own codebase. as he is a developer, on a mobile platform, i hardly think it unreasonable to expect him to make a small change to an existing api call by looking at the reference.


i have a lot of patience for stupid people, but absolutely none for people who are unprofessional. at least the boss eventually gave me some support, and when scr (who hadn't been in) heard about it he was just as irritated.

i left for an appointment with the doctor, and arrived about fifteen minutes early. if i'd known that she was running late by up to an hour, i might've taken my kindle outside for a cup of coffee...

... if the guys who've claimed they want to train with me were serious, then i'd have had a problem because i scheduled a training a reasonable amount of time after the appointment. i get the feeling that there're only two of us who're actually keen. which sucks.

i had to finish up some work before dinner and hellsing - after a few chapters it gets really interesting. it was then time for a solid blade, 30km of exercise and chatter followed by fantastically good frozen yoghurt. and now that i'm shorn, showers are a pleasure again :)

[continued...]

a full weekly - part i

[post divided retroactively]

sunday:

the week began with a terrible, sleepless night (my feet were particularly achey), followed by early french class for which i was half-asleep. while i was resting on a couch at the coffee shop afterwards:

---
the blind man is seated across the table, and immediately i am struck by an overwhelming sense of curiosity: i can spy on this man as he eats and drinks without fear of being observed back. i refrain, however, because i'd hate to be watched like that. i am simultaneously aware that i am possessed of a sense of protectiveness that this man probably doesn't need: i look away but keep his coffee cup at the edge of my peripheral vision just so that i could react faster if he does clip it.

why?

i guess it's because whatever his sins may be, he has already paid dearly for them.


---
that little experience was followed by a big one: a meeting with my advisor concerning the continuation of my seminar into a thesis. having submitted my seminar only a few days before, i was greatly and gladly surprised to receive my grade, which was higher than i expected. amusingly, i received it with a choice: i could resubmit, correcting it according to the comments in order to achieve an even higher grade, or continue with him and convert it into a thesis.
he made some very convincing arguments as to why it's in my interests to do the latter.

now that the week has gone by, my certainty has increased to the point where i'm about to fire off a mail to him and the MA advisor informing them of my decision.

what's behind door number two? a thesis that's already half-written and an advisor that believes in the work after seeing its foundation laid. in spite of a few harsh comments on the seminar paper, there was one word scribbled near the end which when i read it made me hear an angelic choir singing: "wow."

---
an hour later, it was with a fast-beating heart that i made my way to work. the stir created by my new look was a bit disorienting. the afternoon sped by fairly comfortably, and i returned home to rest in front of the telly before going out with pg to watch the avengers again.

it did not disappoint the second time. in fact, i was able to pick up on a few nuances that i'd previously missed and that made it even better.

---
monday:

my legs were feeling a bit better and i took a melatonin pill, so i had a much better night. i spent some time refining a world without flowers before paying the bank a visit*, and began catching up on oglaf comics (nsfw - so i'm not linking to them) on the bus to class.

* i know i should use the machine to cash cheques, it's cheaper and doesn't involve standing in line for half an hour. but the process of using the envelopes makes me uncomfortable and i'd rather not suffer the paranoia that i've messed something up and wasted the thing.

i was nervous during the reading, and breathless. in a strange way, it felt like the words took control and whenever i attempted to use my hands (as part of the piece's performance) i was surprised to see them visibly shaking. that said, the response was excessively positive and gave me a rush. now i must learn these words by heart.

the afternoon was spent on headachey web development and learning that i'd received bad requirements :(

i left early, heading to campus to meet wr... when i arrived, he was nowhere to be seen and wasn't answering his phone. also, my nose was blocked and the combination didn't put me in the prettiest of moods. at least he rocked up eventually.

i decided that i was going to pick up flowers for pg, and went on a mission that lasted way too long in the heat. i discovered, eventually, that there wasn't anywhere within a reasonable distance from our apartment - not knowing at the time that flowers can be picked up in the supermarket. on the way, i ran into one of my classmates and he tried to help: it was only later in the week that we realized the humour in my doomed quest for flowers after reading my poem that morning.

i rested a little and then ran, in silence because i haven't purchased replacement headphones yet. i'm beginning to think it's better that way - it's good time for reflection.

when i arrived home, we watched the seinfeld finale and did no homework.

[continued...]

Sunday, June 10, 2012

sighted: end of a tunnel

a relaxed weekend completed by a great game of thunderstone followed by citadels and the realization that two weeks are left of the semester :)

perhaps i shouldn't have replaced dinner with popcorn and beers.

...

i've just solved a major issue on a piece of work that was supposed to be completed by the morning, but i have to be up in five hours so that's not gonna happen. at least i'm not far from the end...

---

the internet is dividing us. the problem with all the bubbles is that we don't get to choose them; at least in "real" life if we get trapped it's our own fault.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

unjesus



it has been over two years since i last cut my hair (i was still in the army)... two years of growing my hair with the express intention of dreading it.

long hair, and the care it demands, is annoying to say the very least. and dreadlocks are expensive. so sod it, it's time for a change...



submission revisited

so... the speed of light is safe. perhaps... perhaps journalists should be made familiar with the scientific process as part of whatever other rites of passage they supposedly undergo?

---

thursday:

i managed an early morning breakfast with my niece, followed by line anxiety at the post office, before heading off to class. co-conspirator stole the show, so i spent her part of the lesson comparing comic scripts to their resulting artwork and daydreaming of an aphex twin version of edgar allen poe's annabel lee, which is apparently about necrophilia.

i spent the couple of hours after lunch working on my seminar paper, finally submitting it (!!!) before walking into an incredible anime screening: i don't even recall the titles of the different series we watched, just that they were all breathtakingly well made and interesting.

i rushed back home, exhausted, and power-walked with pg to the climbing wall for a productively painful evening. we were both sore afterwards... "this shit" fingers :P

dinner... and work.

---

friday:
i got to bed after posting, and woke up in the early afternoon. after bits of not doing much, i went to meet urchin for coffee before hitting levontin 7 for a fantastic poetry reading in honour of karen alkalay-gut. the performance by roy yarkoni and yael krauss of panic ensemble was amazing.

i joined a couple of college buddies for drinks afterwards, then scrambled to get home in time for dinner with pg's family, which was pleasant. when we got home, we got through half of life of brian before conceding that we need subtitles for pg :(

---

i don't know how i feel about the queen of england, or her birthday. but i know how deep fried man feels.

oh, well. at least the future is coming: we can print body parts, now.

Friday, June 08, 2012

4.15 special

i thought i'd have time to blog and do other stuff, but after getting the first fix done i read an email from the boss i'd received earlier, informing me that functionality which i'd told him was possible but would need to be designed had already been promised to a client, along with a link.

that's vaporware.

fortunately i was able to jimmy it in (for this single, special case), but it's crufty and dirty and demonstrates that we have not steered this vehicle off its ill-fated trajectory. i just sent him an email with the link above and a dressing-down that concluded with a reference to the tortoise and the hare.

as the french say: "vendre la peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué" :S

or in english: "my organization is run by morons"

Thursday, June 07, 2012

quick and dirty but important

i've been amassing links that i want to share, and they're usually out of context:

good news, everyone!

paralysis rehabilitated

solar-powered flight is a reality!

less hopeful:

religious irony from shitmydadsays - too true...

... so evolution takes a blow in korea :'(

klout is bad. i know this because i read a wired article on it.

off-balance

i was tired before we left for the wedding... also, i've only met the groom once before (and briefly), so i was both surprised and embarrassed to discover that it was he after greeting him with an enthusiastically response of "how're you doing?" instead of "mazal tov!"

that only got worse as the evening progressed, as i didn't really get a chance to congratulate him until about halfway through the second course...

my legs suddenly began to hurt soon after we arrived, and my feet followed suit. otherwise, it was a night of half-decent music* and half-decent food.

* half the time the music was fun, the other half it was "oriental". and it bothers me that there are always two trance tracks played, in the same order, to indicate that the night is coming to an end: infected mushroom - becoming insane and skazi - hit and run, as if there are no other tracks in the genre. all i can think of is the underpants - same thing (התחתונים - אותו דבר), about how israelis are entirely unoriginal. mainstream here, perhaps only slightly more extreme than other places, means you don't listen to anything unless the radio has put it to death :(

pg and i weren't feeling well at all by the time we got home, and it took me two hours of restlessness (and very uncomfortable legs and feet) before pg suggested the melatonin pills my mother gave me last year. they helped.

i woke up bombed, the additional fifteen minutes of snooze making a world of difference (from a deep circle of hell to a shallower one). tuesday night drinking puts even more "ugh" into "ugh wednesday".

class: the room was stuffy, and hot, and the only saving grace for four hours of freudian teachings was a group realization that the complex numbers are where math and psychology meet.

---

sbarro, the main section of our cafeteria, proved they know "service" today: angrily throwing the hard-plastic baked-goods labels at me because i complained that i couldn't figure out what's what? and that's after they helped me... and got it wrong themselves? i'm never eating there again. not even their armpit-scratching sandwich-lady had upset me so much...

i'm still shocked by the physicality of it.

---

i went in for a brief turn at work, which was really tough but had a couple of satisfying moments. then i returned to campus for a lecture by the professor of the course we completed last week. i desperately needed a coke, but at coke prices as opposed to cafeteria (another cafeteria, different side of campus), and the law building simply doesn't have vending machines :S

the lecture was fascinating, comparing henry james' the ambassadors to cinema of the same period; it was followed by coffee, stuffed mushrooms and cheesecake (not much good those did me) and an odd, almost friendly conversation with the hatted-italian.

and weirdness with one of the guys in my creative writing group who'd come to listen in.

three of us left to the weekly meeting, with the bus taking longer than expected, and a bad call taking us the long way around from the stop to our destination. otherwise, the meeting was fun; they made some suggestions for a world without flowers which i'll probably update accordingly, but overall it was a pleasure hearing it read out loud by someone who isn't me and it definitely achieved the desired effect.

...

pg and i were going to have drinks with my niece, but she and her boyfriend got stuck in ra'anana so i crashed on the couch with pg while she watched more seinfeld*.

* who'm i kidding? i watched it too. there were even a couple of bits i found amusing. she went to bed, i did internets (and changed my password**), now it's my turn to crash because drinks have turned into early breakfast...

** xkcd on password strength in case you've been living under a rock

---

a different look at the state of technology

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

death of a...

this morning was tough, as usual. strangely, i found myself not only understanding the french we learned this morning, but also explaining it better than the teacher when i realized that what we were learning couldn't be translated directly from french to hebrew without using english examples.

quote for the day: "crème brûlée? jeanne brûlée?"
(we were reading about her)

now i just need to be able to remember myself what i taught everyone else, our exam is coming up in a couple of weeks...

... speaking of which, my boss called me up to say he'd just heard from scr that the semester is coming to an end, and that he'd like me to step up my hours. i was 100% noncommittal, explaining that the semester will only really be over when i've handed in all my papers and skirting around the fact that i don't really want to increase my hours for any reason.

---

i worked on my seminar for a bit, then met with pg for lunch. things between us have been a bit off since last week, and they came to head. it was only later in the afternoon that we could really get to the bottom of things (they were a bit vague until today, which brought about its own anxiety), and i hope that it's the last of that. the major issue is entirely mine, though: i have inherited a trait from my late father that is entirely undesirable - i call it "the salesman".

i hate salesmen. because of him. and i'm not the only one who hates them. at least awareness is a step on the road to recovery...

---

i have had the important meeting with our MA advisor regarding my thesis, and things look good. i came home and rested, wallowing in misery until pg came back. now, after a couple of hours of odds-and-ends, i have fifteen minutes to shower, dress for Yet Another Wedding, and get out of here...

european illiterati part ii

[... continued]

friday (25.5):

we woke up stupidly early, finished packing and walked to the train station, stopping to pick up gipfeli on the way. once we had acquired our ridiculously expensive tickets, we sat eating breakfast by the river, then returned to the station to catch our train. i was surprised at how little seating is available on the platform.

switzerland makes for overly-picturesque train travel: by "overly", i mean that it was hard to stop staring out the window, snapping away with my camera, when i had work to do on my seminar paper.

chur is a great little town, but by the time we arrived i was far too tired to move. we had a very nice lunch with pg's aunt and uncle and the bride (i was feeling a little less illiterate after that), and in spite of my tiredness i not only moved, but went out with pg to a hiking trail by flims.

that was totally worth it: flims is absolutely stunning. we arrived home in time for dinner, completed by a shameful dessert wherein pg reserved a milk dessert for me after the family had gone to the trouble of organizing lactose-free catering for me specifically at the wedding, and she did so without an explanation...

in swiss spring / summer, 8pm feels like 4pm. the sun sets really late - strange and cool.

i had a great nap, then woke up later to work into the night on my seminar.

---

saturday:

i was the first guest up, which led to slight awkwardness around the superbly set table. after a long breakfast i went back to bed, waking up just in time to be the last to the table for lunch.

it was time to get ready for the wedding. with a smart jackets and my hair down, i *did* feel a bit mafia - pg's father and brother were endlessly amused at how we all looked.

the wedding: the church was beautiful, the choir seemed traditional, and the minister looked a bit of a punk even though she was very sweet and funny. for the hour or so that we were there, and us not having drunk enough water, we understood little aside from that little jokes were made and somewhat appreciated, marriage is a convoluted thing and i managed to identify the lord's prayer even though it was in german.

setting the tone: the bride and groom came in to the organ sounding the world in union. at some point, the choir's lead performed a solo of dream a little dream of me, which in spite of cass eliot's looks seems more appropriate for a piano lounge than a wedding, especially when the soloist is oozing sex appeal and appearing to sing to the groom.

the groom's family performed a tripartite funeral-toned blessing, and as none of us understood the words the experience was kinda creepy.

so no water, no eating in church, and at some point the standing and sitting made me woozy...

we then spent two hours in a beautiful courtyard, with cocktail snacks, beers and wine for some of it but no water, no coffee, and the sun heating us up properly while we waited for the photographer to finish. we were then packed into an old postal bus, which might have been quaint and fun but involved much suffering because we couldn't open the windows. the driver was amusing though - the comments he made were dry and uninteresting and held no sense of irony, and appeared to be for the tourist's benefit although he only spoke in german. the swiss all laughed at how silly it was for them to have their backyard described to them, and us foreigners couldn't understand a thing. except "16 cylinder".


between our arrival at the hotel and our rushed flight on the early bus home at 2am, a full twelve hours since our arrival at the church, we sat politely at our tables talking, a couple of times interrupted by delicious food. at midnight the band started up, but they were more about the idea of music than the music itself - excellent, but low-key and undanceable music far more suited to an old-age home than a wedding. at least that brought with it the dessert tray, which was undoubtedly one of the most decadent i've ever come across - absolutely magnificent.

of course we had fun: statistically, it was highly unlikely that during that much time we wouldn't be able to amuse ourselves. it was nice to meet pg's family, at least, they're all pretty cool and unless they were just being super-polite i think we all got along well.

i wondered if divorce stats are lower in switzerland because the weddings are such an investment, but apparently they're just like everywhere else. but i can see why two-thirds of the country are cool about unmarried couples :P

---

sunday:

sunday morning was taken easy, and as soon as we had the energy pg and i were driven to the train station. i worked on my seminar the whole ride back to zurich, where we dropped our bags before heading underground to do some last-minute shopping (everywhere else was closed - aaaah, civilization). we had lunch and macaroons in the park by the river, then made a mission of returning home by going through another park that was absolutely gorgeous.

why is it always harder waking up after a good nap? but who needs coffee when the neighbors are up on their roof playing sweet beats to a gorgeous sunset?

we had to pass on a few places (either too expensive, or too demandingly german) until we arrived at spaghetti factory for dinner. it's a great little place, and the food was incredible! we came back via the lake so that pg could feed the swans, and when she went to sleep i got into a serious man: i highly recommend it.

---

monday:

three hours of sleep was not enough, and it was incredibly lucky that we managed to get up on time because the alarm wasn't working... it wouldn't have been such a rush to leave if we weren't still half-asleep. the coffee i made didn't seem to help much, except that maybe that's how i noticed that pg was about to put the keys to the building in the postbox inside the building on our way out before unlocking the door, when we were already running late for the train to the airport. i can think of little less pleasant than being in a hurry and having to knock on the neighbours' doors before 7am to sign-language them into letting us out :S

a poster at the train station amused me greatly: i don't remember now if it said this precisely or if this is just how i read it: "weddings are so yesterday".

the airport: checking in was simple, quick last-minute cheese shopping was irritating, and there was far less security than we were expecting, which was pleasantly strange. or strangely pleasant. it's better than usual.

on the plane, we were unhappy to discover that we'd been given two seats in the middle of a row of four: the aisle seat turned out to be spare, and the woman at the check-in counter sticks us in the middle?? that's not very nice.

---

there was a moment while i was watching the iron lady that i realized that there i was, tearing up with emotion while pg was sitting next to me watching mission impossible 4 with a half-interested expression on her face.

---

the airport experience was super-fast, and the warm israeli welcome became tangible in tel aviv when we found ourselves running to jump onto the bus pulling out of the station with the door still open and a little old granny still standing on the threshold, clutching on for dear life and with not enough room to step inside.

oh, middle east, how we'd missed you.

halfway home we discovered that back in switzerland, in my early-morning haste, i'd washed the mug i'd used and dried it with the wrong cloth. my return home was written into pg's libri nigri* as i'd forced her to send an sms to her mother (still in switzerland) to tell her which mug needed re-washing, and so the new week began...

* i stole that from asterix, it might just be better to say that i was in the dog box

the big 40-0

today, we celebrated a milestone in the earth's history: we are so pathetic about conservation.
accordingly, i felt *extra* special every time i passed someone parked with their engine running. i'd like to personally thank the entire middle east for always endeavouring to terraform the planet by totally giving a fuck.
"listen earth, you got cut down on the humans. if your co2 levels keep rising, you're going to lose antarctica, and most of holland.
and you don't want that now do you?
"

"do you have any backup plan?"
"a plan? what for?" - scrapper
i don't think we need all those extra degrees, it'd be like soylent green. speaking of which, that could present us with a solid preventative measure. and vegans are one of the best sources of B12...

getting the horn

class: old school poetry. a reading by a very cool famous poet (who i wrote about last year) demonstrating everything that is unpopular about poetry in pop culture. his stuff is awesome, but it's as far from mainstream as can be.

---

i had a weird chat with ric today, who asked me a question in a way that makes me suspect that he's really hanging on to my words. i don't think that's a bad thing, i just think he's taking them very literally and not performing his own processing on them, which could be dangerous. i can't take responsibility for him, and i'd like to influence him for good, but i most certainly don't mean to pull his strings.

---

at work, i actually took scr aside for a private chat to express my shock at what he has to deal with - myself excluded, which is why he brought me in. the office culture is that of avoiding blame and shirking responsibility, which is pathetic to say the least. it's also as far from solving problems as can be, which is what developers are paid to do; now i see why it's unreasonable to expect these people to figure stuff out on their own. or document things. i have waged war to get other developers just to look at the wiki. it's a start, but it's a shameful one.

on that note - i've decided that i *really* like working with github. slick, simple, and effective.

---

while pg was wall-climbing, i went for a run. i took it easy, after my last effort's abysmal failure, but my time was okay and i'm glad to be on the (off the?) wagon again. after making dinner (not a bad salad at all, even if all that took was following pg's instructions), we settled down to watch slam. pg's not a fan of the genre, and i was cool with it until it got more preachy than cinematic. i love saul williams, but he's a kak actor. and the script was weak.

---

here begins the interesting bit of a state-of-the-net presentation. fascinating!

good help is *so* hard to find. or are we just looking wrong?

Monday, June 04, 2012

stabilizing

it's been a day of dumb gaping, my still-processing-trauma brain kind of slow on the uptake (yet still basically functional). work was a minefield as i tried to code, co-ordinate and document on a large scale (we gave up on screwturn's wiki after it destroyed my data for the umpteenth time and moved to git - made of win), and eventually i had a (figurative)panic attack ten minutes before i left because i'd made a change and things weren't working the way they should've, only to discover that the fact that they weren't working had nothing to do with the change but rather with bad design (or lack thereof)...

*sigh*

i rushed to ramat gan to visit seg and meet his girlfriend's artist friend, who i've managed to convince to join forces ^_^

then i came home. i had to wait for ages for the bus, which, when it finally arrived, zipped straight past me. i cursed, and gaped, and then realized that he'd stopped on the next corner... i don't usually run for buses, but i managed to hop into the back door just before he pulled out. when i got to the front to slide my card i discovered that he'd missed the stop because he was distracted, and hadn't even noticed me get on.

wonderful.

...

okay, i've worked, i've comics'ed, i'm ready for bed. i'm feeling a bit better about things, at least.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

i need more.

this has become a Thing. the weekend is over, i've achieved very little, and i'm not ready to face the coming week. i'm physically drained to match my emotional state, and i can't decide if i want to press pause on life so that i can play catch-up or if i want to fast-forward to three months' time to see where i'm at.

i'm feeling older, but not wiser. when i have faith in myself i'm surprised at how difficult it is to get the world to appreciate me. when i don't, i wonder at how insignificant i am in the grand scheme of things and how i don't deserve the recognition i do receive. i'm two years out of the army, i've achieved both tons and very little and have added two tough years onto ten tough years when i could've chosen an easier route. but i suppose that risk, change and struggle define my chosen path through life.

at least, for the most part, i've been able to choose.

---

there's a piano relocating itself around tel aviv. yesterday it was in the middle of ben gurion, today it was in the park, both times i've encountered it it had somebody playing it beautifully.

Friday, June 01, 2012

unpacking

wednesday's quote of the day (from the creative writing workshop):
"i wouldn't argue with a sock puppet named "banjo" if it was carrying a giant mace"
"i wouldn't argue with a cardboard box if it was carrying a giant mace."
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thursday:

thought for the day:
is it just me, or is it weird that the measurement of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon are named after a man whose surname is so similar to the german for "heart" that one can measure the pulse of one's "herz" in hertz?

"a human heart might be said to beat at 1.2 Hz" - wikipedia
the next in line was the realization that having long hair is a bitch, and it's been driving me crazy for a long, long time now, and if i'm not going to be dreading up anytime soon then i may as well just cut it. also, i'm already a bit disillusioned after the doof festival, that many arsim with dreads did kinda ruin it for me. but i don't want to "invest" in my hair, and pg doesn't want me to shave it completely, so she's going to have to learn to cut it or deal with my pseudo-bald noggin.

my presentation went even better than expected, but for some reason i found myself arguing a point with someone only to realize after we'd given up that she was saying what i'd originally thought, but had put it in such a way that i ended up taking an opposing stance. strange.

that weirdness was followed by a long, final class in which i consumed too much beer. although that wasn't a problem as such, i still stayed abreast of things and made a few points that our professor (as well as another one who sat in) very much appreciated, there was a statement that i made about other religions translating the bible into the vernacular that everyone ignored, and only a minute later did i realize, quietly, that what i'd said was explicitly factually incorrect. nobody said anything, and i felt silly for the rest of the class.

the anime screening was excellent, i returned home to pick up my wall climbing gear and pg, and we walked over there for an excellent hour or two. i'm proud of my personal achievements, but even more proud of her - and now that she's had some practice on me she's been authorized to lower others when they're done. also - she appears to enjoy the wall ^_^

we had dinner while watching an episode of seinfeld that actually made me laugh (the one where jimmy introduces himself to elaine in the third person), and before going to bed i put my newly acquired extension fu into practice for sorter's project, with smooth results :)

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today:

late waking, coffee with my niece, lunch with seg (the guy i took advice from) and his girlfriend, dinner with pg's family (and seeing the twins for the first time: too cute!) and now... i'm not sure. i'm not stressing about it either.

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links of interest:

excellent programming definitions

excellent post-post modernism definiton (avant-disregard, if you will), much similar to my own take on things

behaviour vs comments

okay, behaviour driven development is nice, but it's not a replacement for comment driven coding. what i'm talking about is driving the code by beginning with comments,

// register user

    // validate details

    // check existing username

    // create user

    // send activation email

    // return success / failure


then writing the code that actually does it, keeping the comments. this way, you've already planned before you code without doing anything messy, and you have a contract that you can verify with your eyes, which is the biggest problem that coders have. yes, BDD is a good idea as well, but it doesn't make comments any less important. especially because BDD doesn't say why x.should.be.y

[wikipedia] and [anorgan's blog]