The boring rants of a lazy nerd

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Monday, December 29, 2003

Holy crap

The nerdiest guy I know apparently has gotten himself a smart, funny and beautiful girlfriend. I'll be verifying this info shortly. If it's valid, I'll... I'll... congratulate him and go be reclusive and cry, probably. Plans for new year's celebrations are shaping up. Could turn out to be good. Boss wants a wiki on the intranet. Boss will get wiki. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Geha bus stop bombed

Reading international media, one may think Tel-Aviv is everything Israeli between Haifa and Jerusalem. Our Petach-Tiqwan bus stop is (was?) not in Tel-Aviv. Anyway, I was supposed to be there at the time, but I stayed late in the office (reading illegally smuggled fan fic, no less) so I was still there when my cell-phone almost got DDoS'd by my relatives. Took the train home (traffic was completely blocked for several hours) and am happily sipping tea and blogging. Anyway, don't worry about me - I'm fine. I can't get blown up anyway, because I'm a non-combatant, you see. :)

Monday, December 22, 2003

Ten years old and still kicks butt

Have downloaded the windows version of Lemmings today. Did not have so much fun since age eleven when was first introduced to this magnificent game.

Friday, December 19, 2003


This is a bit as a continuation of the military theme from last posting. If the military theme bothers you (ideologically or otherwise) you are welcome to say so, through comments or email. I have recently scratched another item off my to-read list (just the tip of the iceberg, I'm afraid): Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I won't be reviewing it myself (as usual. I'm a perfectionist and as such won't publish or even do something if I'm not sure it will be good (or, to be painfully honest, best). Of course, only practice makes perfect, so it's a catch-22 and a possibly damning personally flaw.) but just point you to the first reader review on Amazon. I recommend this book to all audiences, not only adolescent males. listening to: "The Ballad of Rodger Young".

Sunday, December 14, 2003


... one's chevrons is a trickier business than getting them, I find out. To clarify: in the IDF, unlike any other military force I know of, rank is given by seniority, not by merit. After so-and-so months/years in one rank, you are automatically promoted. This makes for much fun in human resource planning, since each outfit must at all times have a precisely calculated number of people of each commissioned rank (enlisted men and women are a bit easier to juggle, though professionals are not: getting an extra coder is almost as hard as getting an extra lieutenant. Having an extra major is a catastrophe (you must either transfer or discharge one of the others). Thankfully, the insanity stops there: lieutenant-colonel and higher are merit-only ranks). This all means that I hadn't actually achieved anything but surviving long enough, and taking the fact that the most dangerous thing that ever happens in my office is a computer crash into consideration that isn't all that much. More trivia: they aren't exactly "chevrons" either, because they're straight straps. The V-shaped thingies are used for shoulder-worn insignia for NCO ranks, meaning I have about four more years till I get those (and they come with prettier uniforms).

Friday, December 12, 2003

One year

...down, more than four and a half years to go. Oh well, I signed it myself, can't blame anyone. And it's not like I can honestly say I'd prefer any other job (though it's nowhere near perfect). My manager asked me today, the third time since we've met, what I think about management (well, he asked about offer school, but it's implied). My answer gets more negative with each try. I guess they're probing so I won't be able to say later that I didn't have the chance to say I'd wanted to. Being taken seriously and given more autonomy, authority and credit, together with the chance to see the big picture and talk on the same level with the important people, being able to make some important decisions - I think I'd like that. But the price - the exponential growth in headache, the tiresome interpersonal stuff. Responsibility for a software project - I think that I can shoulder, but God, I don't want to be some poor soul's CO. Time does of course change people, so maybe two years from now I might think I'm ready to try (that's when these decisions are made), but somehow I think I'll always prefer the technical side. And being an NCO is not such a big stigma outside of the service, I hear (or is that just wishful thinking?). Ah well, I guess I should make a decent corporal before I'm thinking about trying for lieutenant. On a completely different topic: Babylon5 r0x.

Monday, December 08, 2003


So I wrote JavaScript to generate URLs for all the gifs and feed them directly to my download manager 'coz I can't afford the DT-edition (found here: 1, 2, 3 and at the usual places). I look at the time stamps and weep. I'm not only stereotypical, but also unoriginal, borderline passé. :-( But you've go to admit — they are really good. This one is just classic.

Saturday, December 06, 2003


Does anybody know what A, Z and FireloX are up to? They said they wanted time to think after the book. It's been close to six months. Any news? the FA side of the fandom are in "business as usual", it seems.

Friday, December 05, 2003

LotR trilogy tickets ran out fast

.. in Tel Aviv. Bummer, as I really wanted to go and it fitted very nicely into my schedule. I'll just have to watch the first two movies at home before going to see the third, I guess. I'm still working on grasping our corporate culture. Also I'm doing a crash course in OS/390 and HR management policies. It's both intriguing and frustrating all at once. Does the comments system work? Do I have an audience besides my other personalities? Would you like to speed up the design editor's development? Do you think it will never be complete? Am I too reclusive? Are we all too tired to talk, or do we have nothing to talk about?

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Lobotomy box

Me and my boss were comparing P2P queues today. Mine had Jennifer Garner, his - Jessica Alba. He also downloads Stargate SG-1 and Witchblade though he conceded to Babylon5 being far superior to Star Trek. Anyway, I was all in for defending Alias against Dark Angel and just now ran a google image search to gather some evidence to distribute to the jury tomorrow through abuse or corporate intranet. The next thing I did was tell myself "Self, 123966 geeks cannot be wrong" and promptly added the Season 1 Dark Angel DVD rip to the queue.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Even more.

What little I could see was very attractive, I thought. Not too thin. She squished well, bouncing off me.

Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign


Friday, November 21, 2003


"It's a brute-force approach," Miles said apologetically. "And not, alas, quite as simple as a data match." "That," murmured Gibbs, "is why enlisted men were invented." They smiled at each other in pleased understanding.

Lois McMaster Bujold, Komarr

Oh man, our managers talk of their minions in exactly the same way. I think this "delegation" thing is taught in both business and officer schools.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Books. Life.

"Ah." Miles started to turn away, but then added absently, "Do you want a kitten?"

Ivan stared at him. "Why in God's name would I want a kitten?"

"It would brighten your bachelor digs, you know. A bit of life and movement, to keep you company on your long, lonely nights."

"Get stuffed, Lord Auditor Coz."

Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory

I vividly remember having an almost exactly the same conversation. She's very good.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Friday, November 14, 2003


Mom is aware of this page. She does not read it. She might, one day. Her written English is not bad. Thank God this is censured. And I have a relatively good relationship with my mom, who knows way too much about me already. One day, I'll have a secure blog. Maybe even before my first paycheck (scheduled July 2006).

being Justin Frankel must be good

At least on my last birthday. That's quite an effective ad!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Hardware problems

My trusty old ASUS V6800 Deluxe (nVidia GeForce DDR 32MB ViVo) is having issues. I'm afraid it's dying. :-(

Friday, November 07, 2003


Rambaldi Institute: *cough*Alias*cough*RJ'sfault*cough* A smiley to the first person to name the fic. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2003


Girl Fiction. That's what I read. Harry Potter fan fiction written by adult Laurie R. King, Dorothy L. Sayers and Lois McMaster Bujold fangirls. I feel as if no amount of male technocratic geekiness will ever balance it out (owing to its lack of violence. "A generation of men raised by women"). Nonetheless, I will try with three thousand pages of Neal Stephenson's prose (well, the first third, anyway). Also on my desk (this time, literally) is a small number by William Makepeace Thacheray I burrowed from a co-worker (A real paper book! Haven't seen one of these in ages). Not as hefty as Vanity Fair, but is enough for the purposes of improving one's vocabulary (the owner complained the book is difficult to read without a dictionary). This weekend I need to finish installing Gentoo (at least to bring it to a usable state), write down at least the design for the CSS editor and prepare a lecture (with examples) for the "visitor" design pattern (that's software engineering). Also I need some fresh air and sleep. In the longer term planning and dreaming, something must be done with the developing potbelly and complete lack of love life. Eventually. Some day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Alias - Season 03 - Episode 05: Repercussions

It was nice. Season03!Marshal is quite a bit more believable geek. Living out his fantasy, spanking Sydney... :) Is Sydney/Eric Weiss at all possible?

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Babylon5 - best Sci-Fi TV series ever!

Am watching Season 2 again, and am noticing all the stuff I've missed the first time (well, I've been 13 I think). The romance, of course. Am getting all fangirly about it too.

Should I be concerned? Should I take a blood test to measure my testosterone? Watch some kung-fu movies?

Friday, October 24, 2003

Alias S03E04 Transcript

The guy who does this is a hero.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Lori - HWTF08

Yay! A present from lorax523. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Getting a clue

I vouch for this story's credibility. With some people, it's not about the subtlety of the clue. It can be as subtle as a baseball bat. It still won't work. ROFL.

socially challenged?

Yesterday when I stayed on guard duty a friend of mine stayed for three hours on base to keep me company. We talked about the course and social life. Turns out I'm more oblivious than I thought - the reason for many students' falling asleep during class as if it was Binn's History of Magic was not because my CO's Operating Systems was so dull but because people were routinely spending their nights shagging. Naturally, it showed on their grades and most people who were sexually active on work nights have not successfully completed their training. But you know what? I've seen web cam screen captures (apparently this too doesn't only happen in teen flicks) and I'm a teen enough to admit I think it could've been worth it. Will see how the entire "oops completely forgot both your rank promotion and birthday" routine works tomorrow at work. If it's some kind of a surprise or something - I'm not even smiling. Hmmm. More about girls on my mind: What do you tell your parents when they start nagging you about getting a girlfriend? A bit ridiculous.

Sunday, October 19, 2003


This influenced a few fics, methinks.

Neal Stephenson - Spew

~ 1994, and he writes about VR and VR assisted data mining. With crypto. And Star Trek references. Damn, the man's a genius.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


I apologize to the IE locked visitors, but I have no hosting so graphics must be embedded and that requires data: URI support. OSC's autograph P.S. I�m a comment-whore. Leave comments or I have bouts of athazagoraphobia.

BlogSpot downtime

Annoying, but as they say: "beggars are not choosers".

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

"release early, release often"?

That is the motto of open source development (see: The Cathedral and The Bazaar, Eric S. Raymond) such as client side web scripting that, as all interpreted languages, has no compiled binary form and its users are thus forced to open source ethics and business models. Now, you are not coders, so I can't rely on you for debugging. But you are the user base, and will be forced to assist in testing. The question is: Do you want the thing early, but raw, or would you rather wait and get production quality code? You decide.

I know whom Peter Wiggin is going to marry!

And now I think of it, it is obvious. He was so surprised that the audience was surprised when he said it... The poor man had a tough time with the theme for the lection ("Leadership"), he had read it out as if it was a school assignment. But he managed to talk about the cool stuff too. I enjoyed it very much. Also, it probably sounds weird, but I enjoyed hearing live English. (he was a bit unsure of the audience�s prowess so he kept the language deliberately uncomplicated, I think).

movie review

I didn't like Terminator 3 all that much. I wasn't bad, but it wasn't that good either.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Local Geeks

I've read on /. about the Linux Counter Project celebrating its 10th anniversary, so I clicked. And then I found the per-country public listings. And oh boy, Geeks! I mean, major ones: Fictitious language linguistics, RPGs, Free Software, all kinds of intellectual games and arts. I feel outgeeked. And what's worse? I've met a few. I've visited others' homepages. When you get to the bottom of this, IL-Geekdom is pretty small.

movie review

Can someone more knowledgeable in cult cinema explain "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" to me? I don't get it. At all. Is there a point? Was it supposed to be funny? Edit: Thanks to Google, now I know the movie is large audience participation oriented. Hm.

Sunday, October 12, 2003


XPath on DOM3 is sweet. One can do really beautiful things with these new technologies.

Friday, October 10, 2003


And to celebrate my week away from work, I'm going to the Israeli Sci-Fi/Fantasy Con Tuesday/Wednesday to see Orson Scott Card lecture about leadership and try to get my book signed. Go me!

Non-English Web

You know what sucks about the non-English web? It doesn't Google as well.

Monday, October 06, 2003


There was some minor progress achieved on the CSS editing front. When I do a GUI for that stuff, you might see it here.

Alias Season 3

Yay! Nothing stands in the way of the Bristow family.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

movie review

Whoa! The turtles, Dude! Totally sweet! Check it out, it's awesome! Yeah. Andrew Stanton (direction, story, screenplay, voice of Crush) reminded me a bit of Jay and Silent Bob. 10/10, despite the chauvinism (Why are all the female characters dumb? I resent that.) /me type like a blonde

Saturday, October 04, 2003


So, do you people still read fic? If so, provide URLs. If not - provide reasoning. Edit: So it seems like everyone's engrossed in their own work and people are rather busy ATM. Well, I can relate.

Friday, October 03, 2003


Poor guy. Also, poor kitten, but I feel for the guy. Story, Followup.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Half Life 2 sources leaked

Shit. I'm not a gamer, but man, that sucks for Valve. Though it may be a good thing for lots of people to have access to the most advanced game engine (pretty demos!).

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

movie review

Watched Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle. It was great: WB cartoon plot with live chicks. Entertainment at its best!

Monday, September 29, 2003

Personality Types Revisited

So, I've been re-reading about INTPs. So true, so sad. I believe INTP babies should come with a manufacturer's warning about telling the kid of all the gotchas as soon as possible - the amount of grief that can be avoided is mind boggling.

Criminal Activity

The Blogger/Google banner adds non-standards conformant markup to my otherwise well-formed site. I resent that. I can�t remove the markup, but I can at least not look at it anymore.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Nice surprises

For a while now, I'm researching web-technologies people's blogs for template-design inspiration (read: sources to plagiarize). I find their blogs very interesting, even though I am not necessarily involved in or even understand many of the topics. Usually I don�t even know who the people are - I have to remind myself that these peeks into their lives are not voyeurism, since those are public blogs. Most of them are software people involved with web standards development and implementation. Most are more or less tech geeks � above average intellect, education, income. They have different hobbies, different lifestyles but usually it�s geeky Sci-Fi and Fantasy books and TV with avant-garde music. And then, you see a Harry Potter reference and you say: �Hey! HP is cool! I don�t have to hide my obsession!�.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Year 5764

This reminded me. Why would non-Jewish non-Israelis celebrate it? ::confused::

New layout

I am happy to see that although designed primarily with Gecko (i.e. Mozilla) browsers in mind, the new template doesn�t look too shabby in M$IE. I still encourage all Microsoft Internet Explorer users to download a free Mozilla-derived browser to fully enjoy my new template. And no, proprietary features are not what makes it a good browser. All of that stuff make it a good browser.

Geeks with too much time on their hands

Q. We've been getting hit with a lot of viruses and worms lately. What's your idea for ending the attacks?

A. When you have people who hook up these machines that weren't designed for the Internet, and they don't even want to know about all the intricacies of network security, what can you expect? We get what we have now: a system that can be brought down by a teenager with too much time on his hands. Should we blame the teenager? Sure, we can point the finger at him and say, ''Bad boy!'' and slap him for it. Will that actually fix anything? No. The next geeky kid frustrated about not getting a date on Saturday night will come along and do the same thing without really understanding the consequences. So either we should make it a law that all geeks have dates -- I'd have supported such a law when I was a teenager -- or the blame is really on the companies who sell and install the systems that are quite that fragile.

From an interview with Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux Operating System Kernel.

I have never linked sexual frustration with cyber-vandalism before, but it definitely makes sense.

Notice the closing sentence? That's confidence!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Beta software

Just crashed Apache2 using a caching PHP5 script. It seems to be reproducible. I'll see if it's my fault tomorrow. Maybe I've discovered a bug! :-)


After reading this I thought Lou could stop worrying over being unreadable, but it seems the effect is not as omni-effective (there is a word for this, I know there is!) as believed.

UBC's Linguistics department shattered the dream:

"Anidroccg to crad cniyrrag lcitsiugnis planoissefors at an uemannd, utisreviny in Bsitirh Cibmuloa, and crartnoy to the duoibus cmials of the ueticnd rcraeseh, a slpmie, macinahcel ioisrevnn of ianretnl cretcarahs araepps sneiciffut to csufnoe the eadyrevy oekoolnr."

As demonstrated, a simple inversion of the internal characters results in a text which is relatively hard to decipher.

(Thanks to /.)

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Cool! OotP in a single sheet of paper. I wonder if it bends.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

I understand, unless it�s a very early April Fools prank, The Queens have had a big catfight and decided to part ways? That�s a shame. Where will the twelve year old Lady Gryffindor wanna-be�s archive their verbiage now? Now, to be fair, there were a few good stories in there. I was addicted to several myself! But, since its first incarnation, from the web-design to proofing to the management, the site was amateurish at best. It was inevitable � fooling around in IM and message boards full of junior-high level innuendo is lots of fun, but is not the same as managing a big online community. Let�s face it � the K12 crowd is not in the same league as the administrative personnel of HP4GU / FA or the SQ. I guess the loss is not that great, for the really good stuff is located on the Professors� Bookshelf. But it is my main ship, and proof they are incapable of even maintaining a site hurts. forums are down... amateurs. ;-)

movie review

Watched Black Hawk Down yesterday. Highly recommended for those who have the stomach for it. Very realistic, and probably very close to Gaza or Jenin.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Monday, September 15, 2003

My favorite movie

Addams Family Values. I can't explain it. I think I'm harboring some feelings for the thirteen year old Christina Ricci. But it's more than that - it's juts plain fun.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Enterprise - Season 03 - Episode 01: The Xindi

Am speechless. What the fuck were they thinking???!!! And the people holding the rights for the name "Star Trek" allow this to continue? The shame.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

New Blogger Features

It's cool and all, but it broke Gecko compatibility and I have error in M$IE6SP1 too. I suggest more thorough testing procedures before the next release.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003 I didn't know. Wow. BTW, I have a cousin, some friends and many colleagues on that base. The deathtoll is expected to rise (currently it's 6), but I'll sleep tonight, because I don't know any of them. And in Israel, we don't call it "near Tel-Aviv" - makes you realize how small the country is.
I rant non-stop about the average web site being stuck in 1999 technology-wise. Well, I'm stuck in 2000. I cannot believe how awesome client-side XSLT is. Also, I want Movable Type. All the cool people use it. I'd hack it to fit my needs.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Guarded with a bunch of female discens soon-to-be Certified Windows Reinstallation Specialists. For some odd reason, they have decided that smart males are cool (they probably don't realize the big money is in the discharged guys, not immunii perpetuus or even the sesquiplicarii). Was a fun weekend - met an interesting dude, ate pizza, got hit on by a cute (though a bit dim and very fragile) girl. Also spent Sunday there, chilling out with the people whom I've met while stationed there. Lucky SOBs take the best mess in the army for granted. Even the computer cravings weren't that bad. And yes, the Latin is a joke.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Off to guard the base for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

The Core was entertaining. Not a good movie, but fun. It your braindead enough while watching. 6/10.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Watched Daredevil. I want my bandwidth back. Its only saving point was Jennifer Garner.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

1st day of school for the K-12 crowd. I can't believe how ickle they are. Well, except for the girls not old enough to know whether they like boys or girls who nevertheless dress in "fuck me" style - they are ickle-minded. I blame MTV. :P

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Monday, August 25, 2003

The catfight to end all catfights. And the missing time thing. Awesome. And Season Three should be here soon! No more Enterprise! w00t!
What do you want to see on this page? Links, quotes, polls, template customization (color only? Layout? Full CSS2 editor?), what else?

Friday, August 22, 2003

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

A question about sleepwear: what is usually worn under a "dressing gown"? How many layers are there to traditional (i.e. neither the wife beater nor the extremely minimalist approach) female nightwear architecture? What is appropriate on which occasion? How, if at all, is lingerie involved? I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not I support the relationship development described in a 6th year fic because I don't know what the "macking" involved. I do realize I have just used a slang term that is also loosely defined somewhere between extreme flirting and amateur pornography. I want to know where on this spectrum to put a scene the graphical details of which, for reasons of tact, tastefulness or rating, were left mostly for the readers' imagination.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Find a way to reply if you really want this place to look better.

Friday, August 15, 2003

The Internet is a great thing, but not even google can tell you what you're supposed to read and learn from this massive pile of shit. If I had read Neal Stephenson's "In the Beginning was the Command Line" three years ago, my life would probably have been different. Or maybe, I wasn't ready for it yet. BTW, being all sentimental about the SSHPF reminded me that the aforementioned essay confirms many claims I have clumsily made in several political/philosophical discussions (aka flames) on those boards. Of course I argued with unenlightened fools and do not have an award winning and bestselling gift with words, but never the less - I was right. Vindicated, at last. This amount of progress suggests that it is possible for me to become a whole person in a few years. On a different topic: Found a couple of fics archived at that were deemed worthy of my preciousss time. I believe a common characteristic of all shippers is self insertion, escapism and wishful thinking. In my early teens I have been a big noromo, and now I�m a complete shipper. I know why. Now I wonder what makes happily coupled people ship. Is it boredom?

Thursday, August 14, 2003

"Named the #1 sexiest woman of 2001 by MAXIM men's magazine." You can add my vote.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Today is the Jewish equivalent of St. Valentine's Day, and that happens on the 15th of the month of Av, and the Hebrew calendar is Lunar, therefore the moon should be full tonight, which brings me to asking: Where is Lou? :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Top 12 things likely to be overheard if you had a Klingon Programmer

  1. "Specifications are for the weak and timid!"
  2. "This machine is a piece of GAGH! I need quad Alpha processors if I am to do battle with this code!"
  3. "You cannot really appreciate Dilbert unless you've heard it read it in the original Klingon."
  4. "Indentation?! - I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!"
  5. "What is this talk of 'release'? Klingons do not make software 'releases'. Our software 'escapes' leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake."
  6. "Klingon function calls do not have 'parameters' - they have 'arguments' - and they ALWAYS WIN THEM."
  7. "Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak."
  8. "I have challenged the entire quality assurance team to a Bat-Leth contest. They will not concern us again."
  9. "A TRUE Klingon Warrior does not comment his code!"
  10. "By filing this defect you have challenged the honor of my family. Prepare to die!"
  11. "You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!"
  12. "Our users will know fear and cower before our software! Ship it! Ship it and let them flee like the dogs they are!"

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

This is what good web design should look like. Well, feature-wise, at least. I and a friend of mine decided to do a little coding project on the side, for free, to learn and to use the thing we'd build for our own needs and for boasting rights/resum� points. So we've invented a web technology based, not-so-thin-client (i.e. advanced browsers) oriented OLAP and also SOAP, CORBA and XSLT in order to implement it (Thank God, we were already aware of the existence of the Validating XML Parser itself, and of DOM. The wheel we have invented last week). Then I've decided to check on the internet for other people solving the same problems. Guess we're not the first, huh? ;-) Well, knowing when to use other peoples' code is a sign of maturity. Now I just need a year or two to learn the basics of all these technologies.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

1. Lots of people from my department leave in October, so we'll be left to maintain a system none of us worked on when it was first designed, with too few experienced coders and managers. :-( 2. The nicest (and best looking, IMHO) female colleague is being let go too. :-( 3. While returning home have been staring at really cute girl (GW look-alike, of course) till got noticed by her boyfriend who gave me a Look. Totally understand him. LOL. ;-) 4. Have met the guy from my platoon in Basic Training who spilled some boiling tea on my hand (wow, that was a long time ago!). He serves in Gaza, going home every two weeks for an extended weekend. Talk about karma. (No hard feelings, really, I'm clumsy myself sometimes).

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Have read Winterfair Gifts (in Russian. It leaked.). Niiicccceeee. Awesome fluff. And Carpe Diem. LMB R0X my world. Edit: Correction. LMB's Russian publisher printed it, it didn't leak. It's authorised. The stall of the original is the Yankee publisher's fault.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Wah. Looks like POA will look like a Breatney Spears clip. :#@

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I have heard from a colleague that Orson Scott Card is scheduled to attend a con in our troubled country. Should that succeed, I shall find a way to attend.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Nope. Not same base. A special software department within Human Resources Planning located in HQ in Tel-Aviv. Few programmers located near the principal client, sometimes providing tech support in person rather than by phone. The people seem nice, the system is in C++ and sounds important, though very complex (and obviously imperfect, my military career is evidence to that). The base is crawling with brass and MPs - that will take some time getting used to.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Personnel Management Automation is widely rumored to suck. It seems I have five years to change that. The good news is that it�s on the same (relatively very nice) base.
Big day today. Very excited about assignment. *cross fingers* Pics from graduation might be available after the after-party.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003


I don't know if this was done by a real nutter or it's just a spoof, but LOL. The ficlet is of course v. funny as well.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Where I want to spend the next five years of my life

Step Seven is, for better or for worse, done. Now it�s only to wrap up Java and learn to parade. No, it�s not West Point, nothing as elaborate, but we have to show the parents something, and most won�t understand what it means that almost three years of software engineering was packed into six months.


  1. Matzov
  2. Modiin
  3. Mamram
  4. Mamka
  5. Avir
  6. LamedAlef
  7. Matnatz
  8. Shob
  9. Yam
  10. Maam
  11. Mamtal
  12. Basmah
  13. Mekarpar
This post was intentionally left unintelligible.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Thank Elizabeth for the link: Publishing - The IT way. It has been pointed out in recent discussions over the anti-P2P laws that they would make libraries illegal, but looking at it from this side it's even funnier. As an IT professional I'd like to remind everyone that it is not the techs who are evil, but the management we obey. </Nuremberg>

Sunday, June 29, 2003

HP5 #3

What irks me most is how pointless it turned out to be. All that damage, for a synopsis of books 1-4. Who is going to be Harry's anchor now? He has no family, no girlfriend. Not even the memory of his once-perfect parents. An angry, bitter, powerful kid who has lost too much and knows he has a very bloody future (BTW Determinism? What the hell? Don't our actions determine our fate?) - what will keep him going on the right path? Not Dumbledore, who has lost credulity. He needs the teenage Valentine Wiggin. Or's Ginny. Or... *shudder* Lori's Hermione (*writes "Mary Sue" on canon!Hermione's forehead with a permanent marker and AKs her out of her misery*).

HP5 #2

I was afraid of saying that, but seeing I am not alone: "Too bad Hermione spent most of the book being an annoying, overperfect authorial insertion who was never wrong about ANYTHING. God, I wanted to hit her with a log." ((c) Cassie) I think the Ginny info-dump was for future use in H/G, but bloody hell I didn't like it. Ron... I need to re-read the book. The Cho thing - well, I'm glad it is now canonically pre-OotP only.


Well, that was really bloated. And not much better than the good fics. Though the Orwellian bits were a nice gimmick. Off to work now, my team is mad at me for sacrificing a full night for the book.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

The Eye of the Snake

"insensitive wart... emotional range of a teaspoon" Oh man... this is better than Dawson's Creek.'s delivery estimation was overly cautious. Air shipping only took 3 days. Of course, I was already up to chapter 17 by the time my folks picked it up from the mail. I'm not done reading yet, though. Have discovered the joy of Instrumental Metal. Is very pleased with self. Alias is definitely good, although I think I prefer the Nikita formula ("buttkixing + tehnobabble + politics/intrigue") over "buttkixing + drama/romance + politics/intrigue". Alias is better suited to appeal to the female audience though, so I am not surprised of it being more successful. Not so good for shipping though, as much of the good stuff is already in canon. When done with it will go read RJA's stuff.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Thank God for the Internet.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

A&Z finally got the poor lad laid. And it only took them 3.5 MB of filtered html. ;-) It feels as if an epoch has come to an end and nothing will ever be quite the same again. Oh well - we'll see what becomes of the fandom once everything cools off in a few weeks.

Friday, June 20, 2003

"Delivery estimate: July 1 - July 4" Wah.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

1x02 was not bad. The guy who plays the dad is quite good. I don�t think it�s wise to hold plutonium in your bare hands. I don't like the evolution of Q. Yes, the techie gadget-developer is a geek, but he's supposed to at least be able to function in society. Birkoff was a good rendition. This SD6 ubernerd though... yick.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Watched Alias 1x01. Not bad.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

I think I'll elaborate on good web site design patterns. Today's sites must be dynamic and use CSS and a database driven content management system. That way, when adding content (chapters or stories, or (gasp) authors) there is no need to create a directory tree and index html files and all that paraphernalia - one should be able to do all that automatically with a few mouse clicks and info pasted into form fields. The data would be automatically parsed to clean up the horrible Office generated formatting, linked to a single style sheet definition file and validated for cross-browser compatibility (something you don't get with Micro$oft tools). Then all entries would be fed to the database and stored there (possibly including even the large textual data itself, so it could be easily updated, searched, compressed, etc.). Cross-referenced indexes (by author, story, latest update, etc.) would be automatically generated, so as soon as the data was entered it would be updated everywhere (in neat formatting), making tiresome repetitive maintenance (prone to human-factor related bugs) obsolete. The system would also allow vital statistics be gathered (and displayed using flash-based graphics!) and email updated be sent, all without any human supervision. The administration's day to day task would be reduced by an order of magnitude. The data would be displayed based on templates and style sheet information. No changes would be necessary on the backend to alter: font, color, background, and layout of every page on site, instantaneously. All that is required for such a redesign is tweaking of a single CSS file, or, provided the content management system is "smart" enough - the same, but in WYSIWYG mode. If you've wondered - the file would also contain paths to the graphics, so that too is easily changed globally. Even better, using smart client side scripting and caching the monthly traffic could be reduced (by half) by re-rendering indexes on the client side and making the textual data much smaller by intelligently compacting the (x)html. The savings in traffic and labor could greatly surpass the costs generated by the overhead created by the extra features (web application API, keyword and parameter searches, statistics (popularity, updates, word count), per-user customizations (bookmarks, favorites, reading list, email notification...), rdf syndicating, etc.), though you have to take the increase in hosting cost into account. Speaking of costs - the one time starting investment could also be prohibitive - developing such a system will not be cheap, and it does require real enterprise level hosting solutions (web server, DB server..), so for a site that cannot be a dot-com - it's a real problem, especially because few of the management or regular users of a Harry Potter Fan Fiction devoted site would be able to do some of the technical work themselves... I sure wouldn't want to develop that on ASP and VBScript though! *Sigh* </nerd>
What's the matter with Are the QoHG on administrative leave?
So AtE is a LOTR crossover. Figures.

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Nicked it off Emily's weblog.

Top 30 List of "You Know You're a Harry Potter Fanatic When...."

  1. You refer to other people as "Muggles."
  2. You search your garden for gnomes.
  3. You take your broom outside and say "UP!" until you get tired.
  4. You go to King's Cross-station on Sept. 1 and watch for Hogwarts students.
  5. You break both arms trying to get to platform 9 3/4.
  6. You know more about Quidditch than any actual, real-life sport.
    I'm not into competitive activities in general, so that's pretty much accurate.
  7. You talk about Harry Potter so much that your friends are either sick of hearing about it or they finally read they books and become Harry Potter fans as well.
    I can spectacularly geek out on both the IT/PC Enthusiast/CS and HP fronts. Some people can tolerate one mode, a couple can withstand both for very brief periods of time, but most are very scared from either.
  8. You read the books out loud to yourself in a British accent.
    "Oh, come one, it's so fun!" - Exactly.
  9. You spend 10 hours a day writing e-mails and such for Harry Potter message boards and RPGs.
    I used to, back on the HPC.
  10. You go into withdrawal if you haven't visited something Harry Potter related in the past 1 hour.
    I can last 24 hours without any symptoms and am very proud at this accomplishment.
  11. You go to a movie you don't really want to see just for the H.P. trailer.
    Can't afford it and don't particularly like the AOL-TW rendition anyway.
  12. Every time your computer says, "You've got mail" you run outside, looking for owls.
  13. Every little thing reminds you of something in Harry Potter.
    Or gives me outrageous plot bunnies. Yesss.
  14. You can recite passages from the books by heart.
    "Can't everyone?" - Exactly
  15. You frequently dare people: "Come on, quiz me, quiz me on HP!"
  16. You KNOW the title of the seventh book.
  17. You've been arrested (more than once) for breaking into Mrs. Rowlings' house and searching for the last paragraph of HP 7. (She says it would be a disaster if it were published. I wonder what it contains?)
  18. You say a password before entering your house.
  19. You say "Lumos" before you turn on the lights.
  20. Whenever someone uses the phrase "you-know-who," you instinctively think "Voldemort."
    I catch myself doing that at times.
  21. You have a cat named Crookshanks, a rat named Scabbers or Wormtail, a lizard named Norbert, and a dog named Fluffy, Snuffles, or Padfoot.
    I would have, have I had a pet.
  22. You go to the zoo and try to speak to the boa constrictor.
  23. You made Butterbeer and served it to your friends
  24. You tried to make Pumpkin Juice.
  25. You've taken a pencil, pointed it to the television remote, & shouted: "Accio Remote," becoming disapointed when it wouldn't come.
  26. You seriously think about which Harry Potter character you could play in the movie, and memorize all their lines.
  27. You're an American and you start using Britishn slang terms like "git," "bloody," "nutters," and "prat."
    Man oh man. When I'm not watching myself, I have the weirdest accent and vocabulary you can imagine. Worse.
  28. Your first question to every new person you meet is, "Have you read the Harry Potter series?" If they have, you'd just made a new best friend & if not, your opinion of them falls drastically.
  29. You've stayed up all night reading HP FanFics.
    I have skipped my entire senior year of high school reading fanfic.
  30. You think the next 23 days are going to be the longest in your life!!
If I am so dull that no one seems to care it is fine - I know I'm not as eloquent or as funny as most people who keep online journals, but that also means this verbiage is in fact a waste of bandwidth, a thing I am rather zealous about.
I think one day when I am able to better deal with it, I will want to contemplate and discuss the interaction between philosophy and theism. Card confuses me, and truth be said - so does Tolkien. This stuff is too big, and yet - if i am not in peace with my feelings about it, the rest is by definition meaningless. And I can't exactly settle on "42" either. *frustrated noises*

Friday, May 30, 2003

I wonder if the ring was Mellie's idea.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded non-review

What's up with the MTV-esque raving niggers/steamy lovemaking clip?

I didn't get the philosophy crap; have to see it again to make up my mind about it.

Arse kixing was satisfactory.

In conclusion: Not the same "wow" feeling I had after seeing the first movie.

Edit, almost four years later: as far as I'm concerned, there was only one Matrix movie, and it didn't have any sequels.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

I have discovered that with code, just as with prose, you absolutely need editors and rewrites, because although computer languages grammar parsers are far superior to human language "grammar checkers" (because, after all, computer languages have much simpler and stricter grammars), they are still utterly incapable of following the logic behind what you write.

Lessons learned:

  • Planning your design ahead of implementation is crucial.
  • Your first attempt will most likely fail, but unless you try really hard in it too, so will your second one.
  • As complete as possible testing of the lower levels is a requirement for building higher levels.
  • Writing down your test cases and going over them with a partner is always a Good Idea.
  • While reading the requirements, take notes.
  • Never trust anything with "Micro$oft" in its name to keep your code safe.
  • Nothing makes sense on your 30-something hour of the day, a.k.a. "I am not as young as I used to be".
  • "Online reference" is searched with Google, because otherwise it sux.
  • Computer screen resolution and refresh rate is much more important than what you had for breakfast (or whether you had anything at all, for that matter).

Will try to go see The Matrix Reloaded as soon as I can to compensate slightly for the sheer exhaustion (and slight terror) of this passed week.

to Team Manager, Instructor Nir, Corporal

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Step Five begins tomorrow. We shall ascend it with dignity.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Oracle Procedure Builder (v8.x) sucks hairy donkey balls. A geek with my level of social graces should be termed "nerd", which is very, very sad. Lack of sleep is a wicked thing that catches unawares you when you least expect it (superflous?), sort of like the Spanish Inquisition.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Good people are a treasure.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

The fireworks are better this year.
Some people don't take the time to check all the facts before deciding. Like, whether the tagged youngling is a cadet holding a disabled gun for purposes of guarding an electric candle (on Memorial Day) or a soldier, with a general issue Uzi, who is about to replace such cadet. Happy Birthday, Israel!

Saturday, May 03, 2003

"She was small, sitting on a stool, leaning against a holographic wall. She was not beautiful. Not ugly, either. Her face had character. Her eyes were haunting, innocent, sad. Her mouth delicate, about to smile, about to weep. Her clothing seemed veil-like, insubstantial, and yet instead of being provocative, it revealed a sort of innocence, a girlish, small-breasted body, the hands clasped lightly in her lap, her legs childishly parted with the toes pointing inward. She could have been sitting on a teeter-totter in a playground. Or on the edge of her lover's bed." Orson Scott Card - Ender's Saga 2 - Speaker For The Dead Fanart?

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

British Muslims, huh. Curious. Mike's Place was a favorite location for many of my course-mates (those from the Tel-Aviv lodgings). They say it was pretty nice.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Mom didn't like the "psycho babble" in Mirror Dance. Said the author should stick to "girly sci-fi". I'm shocked and dismayed. Who cares? Me.STFU()

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

It's named "reader - beware" (or something like that) but it's outrageously funny, so go ahead and read it. CC & Co. - Caveat Lector I don't pretend to understand all the references (I don't read badfic T/G. Actually, I don't read T/G, full-stop), and I didn't get the chicken thing at all, but it's all good.
Yes, I have stopped following the DT ever since it came out of the closet. Nothing against gay people, heck, I like all those gay minor characters now exceedingly popular in fics all over the fandom (Lori's fault, maybe?), but I don't get H/D and I think I never will. If I have to read something of a ship I don't support canon-wise, let it be D/G, the sunset and the pink-haired offsprings (it does make for good smut). BUT, I still like Cassie for who she is as a character/person, regardless of the alleged lesbo shag-pad basement (aka Bad Place Central), the frequent drinking and/or silliness and other questionable behavior, because after all, we're all here to have fun and it's not her fault if some are just too uptight about it.
Lack of drive/motivation. Melancholy. Adams said the letter following "y" should be "not", but I am wired to prefer to zzzz... Low energy levels or extreme, perhaps fatal, laziness, counter-intelligent procrastination? A malady or inherited default? Search for an excuse, target of blame. At what level is introversion considered unhealthy? Do I sound like Marvin? The answer would be: get a life. What a catch-22. Almost funny. This post could have been very bad poetry. Thank me for sparing you at least that.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

The more things I get to find out, the more I come to believe in Ecclesiastes 1:9. The reference's age serves to further support it.

Saturday, April 19, 2003


Thursday, April 17, 2003

Mom didn't like Falling Free. When she cools off I'll try to extract her reasoning for it, if she has any. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Thank God, I'm home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

We're not being fucked over, it's male love. Huh. Chances are good that I'll be guarding the base during Passover. Fun.

Monday, April 14, 2003

State of alert has ended. We celebrated with BBQ. Tomorrow is a long day.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

New matra: Escapism is bad for you, my preciousss.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Know that I will not hesitate for even an instant to use the blog's edit function to cover my ignorance, but what the devil is "RfA"?
The Uzi is not as cool as seen in movies. A small, heavy bugger. How is everyone?

Friday, April 04, 2003

AtE#35! The super-formatted version is 524KB in RAR3. Wah. It is available for reviewing the format and navigation, BTW.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

I don't think I've ever seen a human being who needed to get laid worse than you do now.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Evil, but funny. Naturally, it couldn't have gone without a flame war, but alas, that's the way fandoms work. Now, where's Firelocks' retribution?
A military field court-martial has dubious reputation. Trust me - it's not half as bad. Well, it might depend on the officer... After this year's hardest rains last week (I was soaked to the bones and considered myself lucky I had time to get inside once it started to hail), we have 87°F. The weather has gone mad. Part B begins next week, which is v. good because it means the end of the hated structural Hebrew. You cannot begin to understand how awful it is to try and program in a right-to-left written language.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Bloody Idiot.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Seems like I'm needed at base. Trying to find out how urgent that is (meaning, can it wait till morning). Noncoms, huh?
Super!Harry, on the H/G continent, has evolved under the influence of the "bigger is better" misconception into a monstrosity. Some characters are big enough (not the best word here, I suspect) to nonchalantly pull off remaining an identifiable-with human while running around with a command headset, the Order of Merit and the Auditor's chain. Others would either be crushed by the weight or become non human, an unsuitable character for the main hero's role. By increasing the hero's firepower and inventing a new boss-creature for the grand finale, one does not create a novel but rather a video game, and even a video game is quickly ruined by cheat codes. The challenges the hero faces are supposed to be about life - inner struggles, not the props meant to attract the younger audience's attention. It feels as if less experienced authors (I mean as people, not as writers) don't see far beyond the toys. A book is about people and not their things, people with their faults and weaknesses and not Gods. Even RPG is supposed to teach you about life, not about building castles in the clouds. And if that is the lesson the author is trying to learn, why inflict it on other people? The internet is indeed a mixed blessing. P.S. There is a rabid plot bunny that should demonstrate my point, but I'm very afraid of setting it loose.
See if this works:

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Sinead O'Connor - 2002 - Sean-Nos Nua - 07 - Paddy's Lament Cranberries - 1994 - No Need To Argue - 04 - Zombie

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Till this "war" thing is over, I'll be going home @ 18:00 everyday. I don't even know if that's a good thing. Lugging a gas mask around all the time sure is a pain in the butt.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

On the SciFi theme - downloaded some TV rips of B5. I have almost forgotten how good that show was. What is the point of Star Trek anyways? Joseph Michael Straczynski or bust.
In the spirit of "better late than never": Good job Carole (Estes)!

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Archer/T'Pol, yeah baby! By mid season II they're quite obvious about it too. I can see a pointy-eared Archer Jr. :-)

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Just got word that one of the kids who were killed in the latest bombing in Haifa was in my cousin's class in school. Gotta talk to him.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Our course's staff encourages the students to employ their talents for the group's benefit. I and a few others have decided to oblige by analyzing, designing, developing, testing, deploying and maintaining a "web page" for our intranet. Not that we have a minute to spare, but hey - "in the army, volunteering is a privilege" (well, that and our constant complains about boredom, force us to at least try and do something helpful). We found out that, as always, there's a catch: It has to be completely in Hebrew, and it's classified. So I have to research eight-bit bidirectional text encoding and I can't share my groovy scripts. Oh, and if you were wondering - I'm in charge of client-side scripting and standardization, not the artwork.
What is it that they say about men who like petite women and large dogs? Har har har.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

A busfull of kids. Bastard. A weekend on leave, because of an important test on Sunday+Monday. Yay. No other news yet.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Well, I was in Null Pointer Assignment mode for a while during the test and didn't have enough unwasted time to finish it properly, so my grade will suffer. I hope for an 80. How sad. There is a big fucking test on Sunday. I must do well if I wish to save my average.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Something's rotten in the kingdom of the computer that does our grades. An entire course fucked over. We will complain. No answer yet as to what is going on with our status (soldiers in pre-military courses cannot be. So you have to be taken out of service for six months. But that means no paycheck which means starvation for the folks without parents, so it's out of the question. Bureaucracy SUX). The stuffed our entire senior year of high school comp.sci. into a week. Good for them. Vary bad for people who have a test on it tomorrow and day after tomorrow (an 18 hour long test).

Friday, February 28, 2003

Got 91% average score, including extremely stupid stuff. Real coding grades are > 95%. Personally still ok. Must sleep. Week was intensive, especially for people who actually had to learn this stuff. Next week will get more than 10% of the people out of the course (statistics based on previous classes). I *HATE* coding in Hebrew.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Weekly diary entry: all is well. Still not the smartest.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Hosting is dead, have no time to look for new one. Will switch to dumb template. If someone misses the old one - "tough, deal" (© IDF. By "deal" I mean get me a hosting service that supports remote images (I use it for remote .js files)) Classes are peeking up speed and will soon take 120% of my time, which is cool, but also sucks. I rediscovered why I hate VB and human-tongue algorithms. Semitic languages were NOT meant to be used for programming, and no amount of Sumeric legends will convince me in the opposite. The positive news is that people are proving to be as good as I expected. Moreover, I'm still the nerd. Makes me wonder where I have to get to find more people like me, and then consider the possibility that I am truly unique or at least my type is very rare. And then I have to wonder if I should try to fit in. There are 102 kinds of nerds in this world: those who grow up to be geeks and those who don't. I sometimes wonder which kind am I. Ramblin' Rover by Andy M. Stewart CHORUS: Oh, there're sober men in plenty, And drunkards barely twenty, There are men of over ninety That have never yet kissed a girl. But gie me a ramblin' rover, And fae Orkney down to Dover. We will roam the country over And together we'll face the world. CHORUS There's many that feign enjoyment From merciless employment, Their ambition was this deployment From the minute they left the school. And they save and scrape and ponder While the rest go out and squander, See the world and rove and wander And are happier as a rule. CHORUS I've roamed through all the nations Ta'en delight in all creation, And I've tried a wee sensation Where the company, did prove kind. And when partin' was no pleasure, I've drunk another measure To the good friends that were treasure For they always are in our minds. CHORUS If you're bent wi' arth-i-ritis, Your bowels have got colitis, You've gallopin' with bollockitis And you're thinkin' it's time you died, If you been a man of action, Though you're lying there in traction, You will get some satisfaction Thinkin', "Jesus, at least I tried." CHORUS There are 10 kinds of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't. Also, there are those who can live according to that song and those who can't. Do I contain something important for the human genome?

Monday, February 10, 2003

Coders In Arms Part Deux. LOL.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Never format and install OS' when braindead. Naturally, I've accidentally deleted the only copy of the bleeding edge version of the DHTML work (blog V.2). The backup is weeks old and completely useless. Oh well, I don't have time to deal with it and I'll definetily want to rewrite the whole thing after the course because of all the neat stuff I'll learn. Everything is for the best. $^%&%$#%*&^^#&*%#^$^@#%$&%^(*&(^^$^%&^*%#%#$^&%&&^!!!!!!

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Must reinstall windows, have no time. Will now make time.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

We had gym class today. In civilian clothes. Made me reevaluate my opinion on the uniform and the reason there are girls in the course - let them be, I'll even do their homework. All they have to do is shut up and keep doing those warm ups and stretches. >;-)

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

First day of school. Boring. Some folks are either dumb or uniquely good at acting it. Discipline needs work. I believe it will get better. If only because we know 25% of the class do not reach the finish line. The two-three smart girls I've spotted only prove the point about the regular girls - they shouldn't be there. So I'm a chauvinist pig, so shoot me. Ha - you can't, you're civilians. ;)

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Saw all the people. Opinions wary. Some seem very nice, some very interesting, a few will definitely go far. Others have not made this impression yet. In any case - much better than techs. Coders 0wn. Schoolkids (people who got to this course the usual way, before enlisting, unlike me) are very funny, not knowing how to wear the uniform or salute to officers and stuff. They'll learn. Supposedly the six months will count as part of the 36 I owe the army, meaning I get more paid months of service (or an earlier discharge), but we're not sure because it's unlikely the army won't find a way to screw us over. I don't mind, much. Got divided into our permanent groups (companies, platoons - classes). I'm Red. Red are rumored to be better. Unit Pride! :-)

Saturday, February 01, 2003

RIP Ilan Ramon, and the other six astronauts whose names I don't know by heart but are not less important. Let's wait and see if they say it's pilot error. I can just see the conspiracy theorists' heads spin.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The right to vote wrong. I love Democracy.

Monday, January 27, 2003

LMAO. My mom's office (civil engineering, telecommunications) is transferring to ISO9002 compliance. Leslie, I guess you understand. For everyone else: imagine Percy as head of the QA department in WWW. It's a dawn of a new age in the roughneck infrastructure industry. What a joke.

I'm on leave till Sunday, elections are tomorrow, I must meet some people or else I'll never have the chance.

Practicing some perl for the heck of it. I hope to de-rust my l33t c0din9 5|<1llz LOL.

Forgot to blog about my cousin whom I've met, however briefly, on Wednesday. He went to some tests while I went to the previous session/year's graduation ceremony (which R0X'd BTW. Ever seen a hundred programmers march in complex formations, salute and shout, accompanied by a live military band? Didn't think so.) to help setting it up and cleaning after they were done (cheap labor). He had to be there at 7am and he lives more than two hours away, so he spent the night at my place. Anyway, dude is so clueless it's sad. He is half a year and a day younger than me and therefore leaves high school this year. He doesn't want to go to college although he easily can and he has no idea about what's going on in the army and what kind of position he can get. Or at least what kind of assignment he wants to get. He can get so screwed over, it's not even funny. 96.125% on the SATs and I'm telling you - unless he gets his act together, he'll be driving trucks for three years. For next to nothing, let me remind you. Clueless underage stubborn idiots. I sound frighteningly like my dear mother. :Q

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I'm probably missing my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity now, but I still can't believe it's actually happening. There I sat in a bus and enters Girl: thick long dark red hair, all the right shape, right size, freckles on cute face, non-baggy sweater, school bag on shoulder. Sits down in front of me, takes the sweater off (interesting lyrics on shirt), puts it into bag, takes out a copy of the Silmarillion (in Hebrew unfortunately) and starts reading without obvious signs of utter boredom.

She's sitting straight with her back on the back of the chair and her legs on either side of the schoolbag. The effect is tantalizing. I'm staring. She is either deep inside Tolkien's world or makes a point of not noticing. I'm chickening out, pulling my notepad and writing this.

It took a bump on the road to divert my attention from her to the window and see it's my stop. I swear I would have missed it otherwise. I kept on looking at her while the bus passed me. It was probably pretty pathetic, but my resolution is to at least start talking to her next time I see her (which is very convenient because it's probably never).

*Some time later*

Been told I'm guarding the base on Thur-Fri-Sat. we'll see how nice it is. Maybe will have some time to listen to music and read. And talk to people. I still don't remember most of the names.

Most unpleasant was to see the most annoying person from BT in out group. I sure hope we won't be in the same class. Actually, I'm going to talk to our temp. commander about making sure I don't.

Edit, four years later. The annoying guy just disappeared. Don't know what happened to him, but I haven't seen him since. Nor the girl from the bus, unfortunately.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Armed again. Volunteered to be on guard duty. So I have a gun and I don't do anything. Nice.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Note to self: don't lose touch with the nice people you get to meet - they're well worth the time spent on the occasional phone call.
I'm wet for the fifth time today and yet I'm happy. I was transferred to the base and got the shoulder insignia thingies. I'm in the course (until I'm thrown out ;-) ) and I have free time till it starts (about two weeks). I'll be home every day (I asked to be in the lodgings everyone else is getting but they said I live too close) which means I can't copy homework but also that I'll have internet access. Statistically, that lowers my chances at successfully getting through, but I guess I'll just have to work harder. It also sucks from the socializing point (there are girls in the course. Non-stupid and non-ugly ones!), but then again - we have twelve hours a day, five days a week (dunno about Fridays) for six months, to be together. Thank god the people seem nice.
Can't believe I'm blogging now. Anyway, I think I'm in. I was sent home to fetch some papers and we'll see what happens next. The weirdest thing happened on the way back: I was crossing a street and a cop approaches; I'm already considering whether he can or can't file a complaint for jaywalking when he says: "hi Ze'ev, wassup?"... I tripped (or, more precisely, slipped) and he caught me by the collar before my arse got into the puddle, I looked up at his face and of course, it's a guy from my tent in basic training. He wanted to be a "blue" cop, got it and he's already on the job. Awesome for him.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Still home. Apparently they are in a serious shortage of coders, because they send everyone who's not completely dumb to do the tests. Well, the short version at least. What I got was two hours long, not the full seven hours usually associated with the course. No answer yet, but I'm coming back there tomorrow, so we'll see. The word is that those who fail it get the operator/tech course, which, at this point, suits me fine. Met some people from my school who are already there. If I fail and they pass, it would be truly sad.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Talked to a guy I know through my mother's connections that has been through that thing I'm going to try and get into on Sunday. He says the tests are easy, the course is hard, the job is boring, the people vary and the paychecks when you're done are fat. But he said it's extra three years, not two like I thought. Ouch. Then again - I'll definitely have time to get a degree from openu and maybe even take a break for a masters, if and when I decide I want one. So I still want to go. Now, I hope my brain has not completely deteriorated.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

I'm home!!! Going to some computer job tests on Sunday. I think I have a fair chance of getting in, but I try not to get my hopes too high. Must practice coding, since brain-wrinkles are all flat right now (Kudos Penny&Carole for the expression).

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Can't believe basic training is O-V-E-R! Hurray! What a disgrace it was. Dima, I shall forever remember you every time I look at my right hand. Big day tomorrow, must go sleep.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

sleepy rambling

Stumbled across my work on V.2 of this site. The API needs work, the JavaScript implementation is unreadable and the documentation either does not exist or is written in poor English. And I don't even have an excuse for that. What the hell was I thinking? I need to be home every day lest my mind will rot. This template needs an upgrade. Saying the two are connected is an understatement.

So tired, not packed yet.
Did not take photo with gun, won't be able to later.
Will probably be fucked over at the Sorting.
No brains or courage, nor ambition. No patience either.
Doing nothing and hoping for the best is not a strategy.
Lost opportunities seldom return.
Carpe diem.
Free verse rulez.

Snow Crash of Sea Wolf? Your vote. LL&P.

Dude, relax! You finish basic training on Tuesday! :)

Friday, January 10, 2003

Fandom - Marta, ArtDungeon

Thanks RJA! Wow!

Edit: ArtDungeon is her site. She's an awesome artist.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Soldier discounts work only for combatants on weekends, so it was full price for me. TTT was worth ten times the ticket, though. I don't even mind the changes that much. And can you believe I had HP&tORoP flashes during several scenes? "It's your Sam" - bless their slashy sox. The comic relief was spot on. And the half an hour long battle scene was good. And of course split-personality Gollum. Everything, basically. Now I still need to pack my stuff and I must wake up in three and a half hours. Fuck.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

And to prove the military hurts you psychologically too - I listened to and liked this. Sad.


Back here. This place still doesn't feel like home. Probably never will. But it's mine (kind of), I can use the bathroom whenever I want for as long as I want, and my room is not shared with 21 other smelly armed teenagers in various stages of depression and social-Darwinistic manipulations.

The weather is completely horrible and makes any kind of positive look on things almost impossible. The base is located in a place that somehow forces extreme conditions: if it's "nice and warm" then it will be scorching hot, if there's a "light breeze" there will be chilling winds, if it's "partially clouded" we wont see the sun all day and if "some rain" is promised in various places of the country we will be drenched to the bones in our leaky tents, sleeping on wet beds in wet uniform without any dry clothes available anywhere in the vicinity. It was the freaking monsoon season for us.

I think I have finally learned to aim and scored max hits in the last test. Too bad there's only one left. But then again, on the 14th I get rid of the three-kilo and seven-years-in-jail Weapon Of A Thousand Apologies (already used about a hundred in public transport this Friday). I'm not even allowed to take it apart without supervision of my superiors. And I need to oil the POS. Screw it - I'm oiling it today, I don't need it to jam on the firing range.

Remember that radio they used to call napalm air strikes with, back in 'nam? Well, it's heavy. I'm not exactly in top shape, but I can tell you this: you can either charge, or carry the thing, but definitely not both. Very glad it was my responsibility for only a few days.

Granted, some things, like the weather, the army can't control, but for others it is solely responsible. For example, budgets and the level of competence of our commanders. And drafting people who I would never, ever, in a zillion years entrust with a pocket knife, much less an automatic weapon (yeah, it's illegal to switch it into fully automatic mode so you're only allowed to use it as a semi automatic. Doesn't help me to sleep at night.).

Thank god for our platoon commander, the cutest nineteen-year-old I've seen. Half of my squad want to marry her. She's competent enough for four and she tyrannizes our commanders mercilessly. At times she seems like the only good thing on that stinking base. If Gaza is the Gates of Hell (and according to the people who served there it is), I might be in love. Alas, it was never meant to be. Oh, the angst. ;-)

Some of the kids are halfway decent, but most are future truck drivers and in our obligatory "drugs are bad, mmmkay?" talk admitted to having first hand experience. Many a fun moment I had listening to them describing in vivid colors their latest dream about the blonde1 commander from another platoon or how they would like to drop-kick the company commander (who is a bastard of a lieutenant that thinks him being able to court marshal us for being untidy or late makes him God. I'm sure the blonde commander sleeping with one of our commanders and not him makes it worse. No pity from here - May you be involved in a weapons accident, you fat pig. :-) ).

Well, it's only one week and a couple of days left, and I think I'll manage. You can eat the food when you're hungry enough and I just have to remember to bring lots of sweets to share with everyone so they remember to re-label be a "nice guy" every day.
Now I know who I can have a semi-intelligent conversation with and who can't see a difference between me and the Ukrainian drunk with his acid raves pounding in headphones ten feet away louder than some of my music through speakers because our first language is the same. It also happens that the people who are stupid and biased are hardly worthy conversationalists unless you want to discuss the finer points of faking an illness to get out of work. Not a big loss by any rate.

I guess you wouldn't be surprised how much some people's attitude changed when they found out I can fix their computers, but you could think that in a predominantly ethnically homogeneous country established to protect a people from racism there would be no internal racial squabbles. How wrong would you be.
Russians, Romanians, Poles, Checks, Argentineans, Moroccans, Iraqis, Ethiopians. Color, facial features, head and body hair, customs, foods, language. Combined with the usual disagreements between people who had to work at McDonald's to buy the cheapest Discman-clone and the people who's daddy bought them a brand new mid-high range car the day they got a driver's license and you can get a pretty tense atmosphere. Especially when everyone's trying to establish he's tough and should not be messed with. And when there isn't enough privacy to get off for two weeks (popular topic of conversation around the dinner table, btw).
I can't wait to get out and be in a more segregated-by-motivation-to-not-be-an-asshole environment. And idea I couldn't really express there and not be considered an elitist (a lost cause by now, I think).

My school principal also believed in integration. The idea is that putting all the nice guys together might produce a very productive group of nice guys, but all the not nice guys will be lost to society, so the two groups should be mixed and then at least some of the not nice will be inspired to move upwards rather than downwards and will get a decent job rather than get into drugs. This forces the nicer people to carry the extra weight of the no-work force until they're allowed to ditch the leg shackles and run straight into exclusive groups. Which turn into a joke like mensa, but that's another problem.
The problem I see in this is that although some pebbles might be polished, the diamonds are definitely dimmed2, and it's a heavy loss. I saw it in school, I see it openly practiced in IDF policy and I see it in western society in general. I don't like it. This criticism does not mean I have a solution to propose, so consider it a rant. Probably an immature one at that.

I'm going to try and use the soldier discount in the movie theater this evening, because I need my TTT fix.

Thank you Lou for your letter. I might even be able to answer it.
Everybody — I am VERY sorry, but I have no time for anything. Please, email me, stay in touch. Tell me about your lives, what's going on in the scene, etc.

1 - keep in mind blondes are rare and sought after in these parts, at least by the oriental population, though the Ashkenazi are also at fault. What's with the Aryan complex? There are fine girls available with dominantly Semitic features.
2 - quote by Robert G. Ingersoll

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