Tuesday, May 30

water reflexion

water reflexion, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

... another shot from last evening;

bar on the shore

bar on the shore, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

bar on the beach

bar on the beach, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

Monday, May 29

Sigma 70-300mm F4-5-6 DL Macro

Sigma 70-300mm F4-5-6 DL Macro, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

window view

window view, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

One of the tests I made last night with my new telephoto lens.

Sunday, May 28


blue, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

an old window

monastery window, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

sleeping inside

sleeping inside, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

Apparently orthodox israelis don't allow themselves to drive on Shabbat; Thus, if they want to visit holy places on Shabbat, they have to get there the day before.

barb wire outside an old monastery

There is a lot of barb wire in Israel;

Contrary to what one might get as a first impression, it's not to stop people from traveling, but to stop fanatics to travel with a TNT coat around them and blow things (and people) up.

cathedral exit

cathedral exit, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

pilgrims squeezing to see the place Jesus was born

One can say it's just a place ...
On the other hand, the people getting there were taken by the ... holyness of the place; Some were praying, some hungry to touch the stone, in fervor ... just to see it;

There was an italian group who were singing a prayer ... or just a song ... or maybe it was both; and then they started praying, all together.

How can one reach to such people and tell them that hollyness is inside? Maybe it's where one wants to see it and that's all there is to it ...

Who knows?

Saint Hieronymus

Saint Hieronymus, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

weekend stuff

I stil can't get my mind around the fact that weekends mean Friday-Saturday instead of Saturday-Sunday around here.

Anyway, we've been busy; On Friday I went with L towards the marina to scout around; we had planned to do a shopping trip after scouting, just to see what our options were (I guess).

It didn't happen; we came accross a dive shop (Bubbles ... something) and I found out they were visiting "The Wolf" shipwreck in 30 minutes or so, and that was the end of my shopping trip plans;

I ran back to the hotel, grabbed my swim-shorts and regulator and one and a half hour later I was making a backroll water entry to descend on the sea-wolf (30m down).

Conditions were great and we had an easy dive; Also, I can now say I saw spanish warheads (giant medusa, growing up to 1m circumferrence - I think); there were lots of them;

I went back to the hotel (wet, tired and happy as usual), and spent the rest of my day indoors, posting pictures online; (the guys visited and insisted to go out but ended going without me - I just didn't feel like it at the time).

On Saturday ... we woke eary saturday, and after a quick hotel-breakfast we started with Haggar (taxi driver and occasional guide apparently) towards Jerusalem, Bethleem and the dead sea.

The trip took all day, and we saw some interesting stuff; there was the birth-place of jesus and the crucifixion place (and the whole seven-or-so churches built on the spot);

There was a bath in the black sea which was weird: you had to make a real effort to stay vertical in the water;

There were all the explanations from Haggar that made Israel make more sense to us, from "mining" the drinkable water to Jesus/Jushua Ben Josef to genetically engineered tomatoes to falfalla (how does one spell that?) and humus, to Israeli army and wars with neughbours every five years or so to long term plans that make your skin crawl (meaning that have effect for fifty or more years).

That's about it; now, for some pictures :)

Saturday, May 27

luggage recovery

Luggage recovery, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

girls selling food at the food festival

waiting for takeoff

preparing for takeoff, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

passing cars in Tel Aviv

passing cars in Tel Aviv, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

I took this from the taxi, going home yesterday evening

Friday, May 26


finally, I took the time to upload a first batch of pictures on the net;

all pictures are here; ... and here are pictures from the food festival.

Wednesday, May 24

random impressions

Note: this post is about my cable and forgetfullness and having a good time ... sort of ...

It became apparent to me as of late that every time I go somewhere, I forget something; It's clear to the degree that it's not no longer about if I forget something, but what I will forget.

Thus, when packing to go somewhere, I usually focus on the most important things and the items I might not be able to replace at the destination.

For example, before coming here I made sure (and double checked) that I had my papers, and camera and laptop with me, but I forgot the transmission cable;

This means no pictures uploaded until I buy a new one; It was the same when I went to Malta; This is why I now have two cables at home, and why I will have three when I get home.

No matter ...

I woke up tired about an hour ago; we went to some sort-of-italian restaurant and I got to sleep after 1 AM;
Paradoxically though, I am well rested; I woke up and started doing those breathing exercises we did in our t'ai chi chuan sessions with D; then, I had a small reiki session, grounding and a hot shower and I ended feeling great (and all that with no caffeine involved).

We (me, B, L, M and S) had a good time last night; it seems that the cypriot version of "alinuta cea sadica" is called "little marry"; and also, I ate brick-oven baked pizza after a long time.

That's it; I got to go see a man about a horse ... or something the like.


Tuesday, May 23

it's routine I guess

well ... here I am ...

We arrived last night at after 1 AM in the hotel lobby. Ofcourse, by then I had slept in the taxi for a few ... minutes?

Anyway ... I just wanted to check my room internet connection and it works (although the license agreement with the ISP says something like

the Company is permitted to do the following:[...]
  • deliver the client's details to another who is authorized by law.

  • make use of the client's details and the existing information in the hands of the Company for the purposes of the Company including marketing requirements and surveys of the Company.

  • there are some more, but I dont have the time now since I must leave for breakfast.

    Monday, May 22


    sometimes there is a feeling of ... underlying peace.


    you go about interacting with the world, wether it's eating or playing or sleeping or ... whatever else ... and that feeling is there.

    I would call it detachment, but you are very much in touch with everything while going through the motions; very much there.

    It's funny: I didn't do much (except clean my skates) all weekend, stayed indoors, and left my room only for bathroom and to eat; I didn't pack (and I'm just about to start); I was reading something, and this feeling appeared;

    Suddenly I could find again the joy of meeting people, and waiting for my plane in the afternoon and just going to office; or lunch;

    ... and beneath this, allways there, is this ... feeling of peace.

    - inefable really.

    at peace.

    Friday, May 19


    so ... I installed GIMP; Then, I took an older picture and walked through a tutorial with it.

    This is the result:
    red geranium


    so much for plans ...

    well ... so much for our plans to travel. Apparently there was a computer problem making it impossible to get our visas on time. At the moment we're rescheduling tickets and such.

    Looks like more red tape fun for us.

    blackmail material

    blackmail material, originally uploaded by utnapistim.


    sleeping, originally uploaded by utnapistim.


    conquest, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    on the kitchen table

    on the kitchen table, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    feeding time

    feeding time, originally uploaded by utnapistim.


    staring, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    couple communication can be frustrating

    from the movie: whenever I mention the words oral sex ...

    Thursday, May 18

    ceiling lamp

    ceiling lamp
    ceiling lamp, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    I saw this while waiting for my chinese food order to be completed.

    Wednesday, May 17


    here is a short movie (a few seconds long) a friend of mine (thanks R) took a while ago at the zen.

    Monday, May 15

    new plans

    So, what are we doing tomorrow night Brain?
    The same thing we do every night Pinky,

    Pinky and the Brain, Cartoon Network

    Apparently my plans changed: sunday evening I'm skipping continent. In a way, it's all in a days work: leader received a phone call, talked for two minutes, then said
    so ... do you want to see the promised land?

    As a consequence of that, for the last hour I've been filling in visa requests, making photocopies of my passport and generally having red tape fun.

    I'll also have to cancel my reiki course programmed for next month :(

    That's the way it is I guess ...

    Afrika, here I come!
    ... or is it middle-east?


    geraniums, originally uploaded by utnapistim.


    refflection, originally uploaded by utnapistim.


    lunch, originally uploaded by utnapistim.


    BBQ, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    beach shower

    beach shower, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    my tent

    my tent, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    inside my tent

    my tent, originally uploaded by utnapistim.


    red, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    I took this shot yesterday morning, just as I had woken up; We were supposed to leave the camping by 9 AM and I was playing with my camera to avoid starting to dismantle my tent.

    I'm a lazy guy.

    cable join

    cable join on the deck, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    yesterday, on the cruise

    today on the cruise, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    lost style

    For some reason, I had lost my blog template (I think I cut part of it out while editing it in the office).

    As it was not showing anything at all (actually it was showing some CSS source) I decided to reset it to some prefefined blogger template until I get some time to play with it again.

    Friday, May 12

    building a PVC flamethrower

    Like any red-blooded, masculine man of the male gender, I love PVC weaponry. You should too. If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn’t appeal to you, you’re a frikkin' pansy. Also, you’re probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will. Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine. For those of you who laugh in the face of hypersonic shards of plastic puncturing your spleen, here’s an intimate look at how I’ve kept myself busy for the past week: building a PVC flamethrower

    cold induced tourette ... or close enough

    These guys are screwed up; In the head; (that was the best dive plan I've ever seen: go 300 ft deep, then start "How deep are we gonna go?"

    ... and they came so close to a Darwin award!

    (P., thanks for the link)

    Thursday, May 11

    peer at the seafront

    peer at the seafront, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    one of the more stable shots I took on the limassol seafront (I don't have a tripod yet).

    It almost looks computer-generated (if it weren't for the guy passing infront of the camera)


    It's 9:43 PM and I am still in office;

    I had a task: provide some code exit point for one of our customers to extend their error handling ("what do we do with the failed events?").

    It seemed easy: in the actualy worker class, add a blank virtual function and call it for a set flag in the database; The customers, in their infinite wisdom would implement it then to suit their needs.

    What happened was that after (more or less) a week of going through the code in various other parts and learning to generate dummy billing events for testing and so on and so forth, today I managed to actually replicate the scenario required to work and found that the beautifull and technically correct solution was not working;


    Because the execution framework cancels all database transactions in case of an error; this would mean that all database changes done by the clients while executing their customized error handler goes down the drain with two simple words:


    Anyway, it's 9:43 PM; D left earlyer (around half past 8), and V helped me a lot in finishing what I had to today;

    There is still a notification mail to be sent for tomorrow, and we just came back from the 4£ dinner the company is paiyng for us in such situations (we had chinese, at the corner).

    chinese cook, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    just finished, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    I'm prepairing to go home in a few minutes.

    Good night european hemisphere
    utnapistim @ work

    Wednesday, May 10

    prize on my desk

    In the evenings, a ray of light usually comes past the window shaders to land on my desk.

    Apparently it leaves an interesting shadow when passing through the writing on the project-release prize.

    Prize on my desk

    Prize on my desk

    sleepy kittens

    Sleepy kittens, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    These are the offsprings of Ciopirtica, one day old (no eyes yet, but at least they don't resemble mice anymore).

    internet is like smoking

    This post is about the future; or the internet; or smoking and Collumbus; I'm not really sure.

    A few days ago, a friend of mine was telling me about a "one half future manifesto" he'd read on the net (I don't have a link - sory!).

    Anyway, it got me thinking about the internet ... I mean, we all - lots of us at least - are so very sure that it is the way of the future, and I keep wondering: is this like smoking?

    Let me explain:
    Smoking was brought to the "civilized world" by Columbus, after his success in reaching America. For a few years it was considered: first trafficking with the devil, then just a weird activity, then the best think since bipedal walking (sounds familliar?)

    Then, they discovered the dark side of it: causing illness, the (close to one hundred) toxic substances contained in cigarette smoke (out of the top of my head: Carbon Monoxyde, Ni, Acetone, and Nicotine) and last - but not least - causing dependence.

    Now, about the internet: we've allready seen the best of it ( like having information at your fingertips, sharing pictures and my weblog for just a few select examples ;) ). Some persons in the scientific community are also starting to point out about it creating a dependency stronger than druggs.

    But ... what about dimnishing communication skills? What about online fraud? What about it's influence on the masses? Don't know what I'm talking about? Take an educated guess!

    What's more, like smoking, it creates more problems than it solves (think "identity theft" now, and the way it was 50 years ago, and you'll get a glimpse of what I'm talking about).

    My personal take is that we have't seen the half of it ... yet (and I stil enjoy it dayly, thank you very much!)

    I think the big great internet will transform into a nieche market, if it's infrastructure won't receive a fatal blow in the mean-time (think energy crisis if you will); I mean ... if it isn't allready there.

    just my .02 on it.

    (and that's 'nuff saidon the subject)

    is this for real? :D

    sushi [YouTube]

    evolution of dance

    this is a movie on YouTube

    Tuesday, May 9


    newborn, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    This is one of the pictures I took this morning, while Ciopartica [read Tchiop'rtzika] was finally becomming un-pregnant ... so to speak.

    A selection through the others can be found here.

    Monday, May 8

    call center

    If you've ever thought of calling spport when you had a technical problem, here's some advice:
    don't do it!

    Maybe you can fix it yourself ... or something!



    fireworks, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    Sunday, May 7


    flowers, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    This was another experiment with shallow depth of field.

    (exp: 1/400, focal length: 42.mm, F/5.3)

    exit point

    Exit point, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    I took this today, during the surface interval between the two dives at the Zenobia.

    (exp: 1/50, aperture: f/16, ISO 200; apparently a good combination for sunlight)

    SCUBA tanks

    SCUBA tanks, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    Taken this morning, during the surface interval.


    bikes, originally uploaded by utnapistim.

    mine and A's bikes (taken yesterday evening, in front of the company).