Wednesday, September 27

nothing special

I've got nothing special to say for now.

For the last two days I've been driving a buggy around Agia Napa and it totally rocked! I mean ... the think makes a lot of noise ... and the rear-right wheel is screeching at random times, as do the breakes;

But it's stil cool! (think Go-karting in traffic if you will)

As it follows, I went at the Sea Caves, Cape Grekko and the White Chappel to take pictures (infact I just came back an hour ago, because it was dark and I freaked out a bit :( ).

Anyway, enough about that; here are some pictures from the last two days:

a lizzard in the sun near Cape Grekko, today
lizzard in the sun

the shore at Cape Grekko (south side)
shore at Cape Grekko, Cyprus

... dancers at the festival
cyprus dancers

and fireworks ...
fireworks

an old shoemaker (at the festival two days ago also)
shoe maker

M at the festival
M at the festival

the "bugxter" under moon (and flash)lights
bugster ar Sea Caves

M taking a picture
M taking pictures

a chammeleon in the shade
chameleon in the shade, at the White Chappel

path to the water, in the small gulf at White Chappel
path to the water

night lights at White Chappel
night lights at White Chappel

anyway, the rest of the pictures are here.

Monday, September 25

live and kicking

So ... yeah ... I'm on holiday ...

Hey everibody, I'm on holiday!

It's been two busy days around here; Day before yesterday L brought me and M here, we walked around a lot and ... hell I have no idea ...

Yesterday evening ... well ... we did some sunbathing, rented a scooter (which M hated so that's probaly the end of that) and attended the "Whatever" Festival it was.

Today ... who cares, I'm on holiday!

that's that for now, since I don't have much time for blogging and nothing really thought out or profound to say.

nasty kids ... ir something

at the festival

L on the beach

palm tree

M, at the festival

on sale

utnapistim in the net-cafee, signing off
(and by the way, I'm on holiday).

Thursday, September 21

FBI Agents

I got this through email (so it must be true!)

here you go:

FBI agents conducted a raid of a psychiatric hospital in San Diego that was under investigation for medical insurance fraud.
After hours of reviewing thousands of medical records, the dozens of agents had worked up quite an appetite.

The agent in charge of the investigation called a nearby pizza parlor with delivery service to order a quick dinner for his colleagues.

The following telephone conversation took place and was recorded by the FBI because they were taping all conversations at the hospital.

Agent: Hello. I'd like to order 19 large pizzas and 3 cases of soda Pizza Man: And where would you like them delivered?

Agent: We're over at the psychiatric hospital.
Pizza Man: The psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That's right. I'm an FBI agent.
Pizza Man: You're an FBI agent?

Agent: That's correct. Just about everybody here is.
Pizza Man: And you're at the psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That's correct. And make sure you don't go through the front doors. We have them locked. You'll have to go around to the back service entrance to deliver the pizzas.
Pizza Man: And you say you're all FBI agents?

Agent: That's right. How soon can you have them here?
Pizza Man: Everyone at the psychiatric hospital is an FBI agent?

Agent: That's right. We've been here all day and we're starving.
Pizza Man: How are you going to pay for all of this?

Agent: We've collected a pool of cash.
Pizza Man: And you're all FBI agents?

Agent: Yes.
Pizza Man: With guns?

Agent: That's right. Now, can you remember to bring the pizzas and sodas to the service entrance in the rear? We have the front doors locked.
Pizza Man: No f&$kin' way.

socially-challenged

I read today a long blog post that basically tells you what shutting the damn computer after work will achieve, and I came to a staggering conclusion:

I no longer have a social life.

It's gone.

As such, I wanted to follow in the guy's steps, and start a computer-fast, but it's a bit unrealistic:

  • first, my linux is not quite as I'd like it to be (I stil don't have e16 working as I'd like to, I haven't restored the CVS repository I had before reinstalling, and so on and so on).
  • second, I'm going on holiday tomorrow (as I probably mentioned in a few posts allready), which means I won't be "linked to the machine" for the following week anyway.

It's a good idea to follow once I come back from holiday methinks, probably once I get linux "working as it should", so I'll be out of lame excuses.


I want my social life back!


socially-chalengedly yours,
utnapistim

Holy toast!

here

wrap your mind

If you feel errrr .... flexible, try to wrap your mind around this one.

Wednesday, September 20

the sheep market

the ship market is a collection of 10,000 sheep created by workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Each worker was paid two cents to draw a sheep facing left.

happy wednesday

A happy wednesday to you all :)

nothing gained, nothing lost, nothing changed

I'm in office on this wednesday evening, waiting to go home though I'm not really sure why. This week is one of those where I am one day off: yesterday I thought it was Wednesday, today I thought it was Thursday and so on.

This week is passing slowly, maybe because I'm waiting for my holiday.

Anyway!

Has anyone of you thought on the mechanism of dissapointment?
I saw something today showing me I didn't really belong when I thought I did;
... one of those minute details (that nobody ever examines the implications of) ... and I realized that some of my friends are not really as close to me as I feel to them.

I took a stroll through dissapointment, then sadness, then, as it usually happens when you don't put energy into sadness (that would only turn sadness into anger and I'd rather be sad than angry), I became sleepy.

Then I decided to take it in stride; then I got over it (again, as it naturally happens) and I found out it doesn't really matter.

Nothing gained, nothing lost, nothing changed.

And nobody cares anyway.

two days and counting

I think we've all had that feeling of "in two days I'm going somewhere". It's nothing much, I know it's ... just a break;

It's not exactly traveling much;
Not to a place I've never been before;
Not exactly an adventure;
Nothing really new;

... But still ... in two days I'm going on holiday and at the moment, that's the most important thing.


And good morning to you all :)

Monday, September 18

the Scubapro xTender - an update

I placed a counter on my weblog to see who (and why) visits my weblog and I saw a lot of people visiting my "scubapro xTender-something like a review"; Since it seems people are interested and I gathered some more dives on it (close to fifty actually), I decided to post a little followup on that "something".


A few weeks back the original wrist-bracelet broke, so I had to replace it with a velcro strap. Knowing the difference now, I'm almost sory I didn't do this earlyer, since it's more confortable on the hand, less bothering when I'm sweaty, and easier to manipulate.

It's not that the original was unconfortable, it's just ... this "feels better" on the hald.


The computer is stil on the original battery (and seems to be stil going strong). I took it down to fourty metres (41.8 or something) with no problems (I didn't expect any anyway), and during all this time I got VERY familiar with it.

In low light (depth, poor viz. or night diving), the backlight of the screen is strong enough to illuminate 1/2 metres around you, but you can't really use it like this unless you're desperate ( and you're better off with an UW torch anyway :) ).

The "too fast ascent" alarm (a blinking "SLOW" on the watch screen) seems a bit sensitive to me and once it activates during a dive, it will keep blinking on screen when viewing the dive profile for that dive;

For me it's like a black spot on my dive profile, and for this, I find it a bit annoying.

It's also usually one of my goals during ascents to "make it not blink on this dive". On the dives I succeed, this makes me kind-of happy :).

The titanium ring on the edge of the thing is a life-saver, as it took a few strong hits up to now without complaining; Infact I have a few scratches on it, but considering those scratches would have been on the screen instead of the protection ring, this actually keeps me happy.

Regarding the water temperature sensor ... it seems preety accurate to me, though I've had .5 to 1 degrees differences between my computer and other divers' ones. I don't find this to be an issue though, since the temperature is "accurate enough" to estimate equipment requirements.

Otherwise, I stil am happy with it and I probably will continue to be so.

... and by the way, I stil didn't manage to get the english version of the computer manual but I got on fine without it.

Sunday, September 17

errr ... yeah, my room is a mess

I thought this morning about not taking any picture lately; and about what I usually go through in finding subjects (usually I think of a location and time then decide it's hard to get there and de-mibilize myself).

Then, I remembered that finding no subjects where you are does not mean you have no subjects (or luck of opportunity), but that you are not really a photographer.

Now, I wouldn't say I am a photographer but I decided to give my room a try, so these are dedicated to the utter mess my room usualy is.

my bed
mess in my room (6)

junk food wrappers
mess in my room (1)

my laptop headset
mess in my room (2)

junk on the nightstand
mess in my room (3)

one of my skates by the bed
mess in my room (4)

door to the balcony
door to the balcony

SCUBA gear in my closet
mess in my room (5)

Friday, September 15

older pictures

I found these while I was sorting my older DVDs.

This one is a picture I took in Israel, from my window at Hotel Cinema.
rooftops in Tel Aviv

a diver in poor visibility, in Malta, on a wreck dive
diver in poor visibility

... and ascension in the Blue Hole, Gozo island
ascending in the blue hole

Wednesday, September 13

Happy programmer's day

To all my programming friends and coleagues:

Happy Programmer's day!
(today is the 2^8th day of the year, so happy birthday to all programmers!)

releasing too often

Hey, check this out: If you have an ACER Aspire 16004 LM laptop and are thinking about using linux, try to go for the 2.6.13 linux kernel;

Other versions (I'm not sure exactly which ones) will make a mess of your network settings (I was unable to get past the local IP when attempting to access the net); Also (though this has not been confirmed by other users), they might empty your credit cards and give all your clothes to charity while you're in the shower.

I tried Knoppix 5, SuSE 10.1 (Linux kernel 2.6.16) and the latest Ubuntu.

I also ended up with three days with no home net connection, a crashed laptop HDD, and a lot of headaches.

I think if the kernels weren't updated so often, they'd be more thoroughly tested.

Anyway, I'm back now, getting up to date with the latest security patches over SuSE 10.0.

Methinks in a few days I'll be up to date.

Damn (b)leading edge!

Monday, September 11

office physics 1 on 1

so ... given the following:

one hanging cat (on the left in the picture),
one hanging cat, but with the lower feet on a tilted plane (right of the picture)
hanging cats

I have a few questions:
1. what's the name of the cat on the right?
2. how much did the kid's ball cost?
3. who is the kid refered to in the previous question?
4. justify your answers.

[edit]... and a late addition:
5. If Anna is three years older than her twin brother, what's Anna's real age?

random update

It's monday morning again, the sun is shining, if there were any birds around I'm sure they would sing a lot and so on and so forth.

On Friday evening I went to the End of Summer Party, 2006; The guys had to drag me there ( thanks guys :) ) as I didn't feel like going at all.

There was a show made by the social club, drinks, loud music and ... well ... it was a party afterall.
at the End of Summer Party
(photo taken by D)

croud at the End of Summer Party

... anyway ... I allready posted the link to the pictures so look there.


During the weekend I finally backed up my linux machine and installed SUSE 10.1 for Xgl, but that "didn't go exactly as planned". First during the setup it refused to format my partition (halfway through partitioning the damn thing), then I discovered it fsck'ed up my boot settings.
In an ... inspired move I wiped the harddrive clean and now I have an all-linux environment ... that's not connected to the internet.

So, for the first time in weeks, I spent a few frustrated hours setting and resetting the set settings, the few that I know that is, without any noticeable result; By yesterday evening I think I was going through net-dependecy withdrawal sypmtoms :(

I also visited people, watched a movie and played bridge (I think I did anyway) at S and vissited w/ L.

It was a full weekend afterall.


And by the way, this morning I went on the Limassol seafront to take some pictures, but all I could see clearly was a cup of coffee or my home bed. I guess I need more rest.
morning bath

Saturday, September 9

Friday, September 8

nice photographs

girls, mud, football, XS

inspired

Jonathan Yuen (2006)

Nietzsche's abyss, not thinking about it and the human mirror

It was Nietzsche who said that when you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back into you.

Whatever!
and I'm, a smart person because I just (mis)quoted Nietzsche, but anyway ...

It goes deeper than that; If you want to understand the true nature of a thing, you have to look at it; when you do, when you really do this, you become a "mirror", and whatever you look at, will cast it's reflection on your inner world.

It's difficult to do this though, because nobody knows how to really see what they look at.

You can see this applied in sitting zen (as well as other forms of meditation), in photography and listening to music and many others domains.

And the key problem is looking.

Try to go for 'understanding what you look at', and you missed it.
Try to go for noticing and you missed it again.
Try to offer a smile to the person you looked at and you missed it the third time.
Try to rationalize it, to think about what you are doing and you missed it yet again.

Even doing nothing but trying to hard will make you miss the experience.

Infact, whatever you try to achieve while looking, is going to lead you astray, because your experience shifts from looking to trying-to-accomplish-something-while-looking.


The first thing to know about this fenomenon is how to look.

The second thing is, that you are allways looking, even when you're not trying to; Especially when you're not paying attention.

The third one is that what you focus on is not really what you're looking at, because what you actually receive is never on the surface.


Listen to too much romantic music for example, and the actual message you get from it (what you're actually looking at), is that you are incomplete without another there to complete you, which leads to love-sickness.

Watch too many violent news and you will come to the "feeling" that the world is a violent place.

Watch the "nothingness" of a white wall and your being will become filled with nothingness (one of the strongest forms of inner peace); This is called zazen by the way.



This is the key to true understanding, to knowing from experience and when you do this you "know". It is niether intuition, nor thinking, nor logic.

It is also the fastest way to come to a place of knowing, because it is never wrong and it has no limit.
But for that, you have to know how to look.

All your questions about Australia answered by a local

These questions about Australia were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and obviously the answers came from a fellow Aussie.

1. Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

2. Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking

3. Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water...

4. Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So its true what they say about Swedes.

5. Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stuffed porpoise. (Italy)
A: Let's not touch this one.

6. Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

7. Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia?(USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

8. Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

9. Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

10.Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

11. Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

12. Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

13. Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

14. Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

15. Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

16. Q: Are there killer bees in Australia? (Germany)
A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.

17. Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year
round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter gatherers.
Milk is illegal.

18. Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense
rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from.
All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

19. Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

21. Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

22. Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

from the depth of my vast life experience ...

... I give you the following advice:

kids, knives keep cutting even while you're thinking of women!

(I found out this morning :( )

Thursday, September 7

Bush finally admits it

In an interview with Katie Couric on CNN yesterday, Bush finally let the cat out of the bag:
"One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."


I'm not sure what to feel about that (happy he admitted it, or sad because ... I'm not sure because of what, but it made me sad).

Wednesday, September 6

the master, the expert, the programmer

idealistic?
maybe;

unrealistic?
i don't think so.

Anyway, it's a good reading.

From the article:
Almost all people considered masters of their art finally come to such a deep knowledge that they can do more with less. Rather than a flurry of complicated leaping and jumping, the master will simply step to the side and make one calculated strike.


The Master, The Expert, The Programmer

Sunday, September 3

my blog is back

Hey, my blog is back, so here's a random update of sorts:

I went to the zenobia again.

Errr ... that's it;

I have nothing else to say, but I have some pictures:
here are some pictures from the ICE basketball event 2006 (slideshow)

And here's a selection of the shots I took during the surface interval between today's dives:
surface interval

open water lesson



filling logbooks

K

that's all, more tomorrow :)