Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Negative tolerance for violence

June 20th, 2005

According to reports we here in Israel have a big problem of violence among youth and teenagers. Ministers and Knesset members are talking about having zero tolerance for teen violence, and rush ahead to make new laws and regulations that would make us all safer. So far so good, teen violence bad, safer good.

Except some of these do not seem like zero tolerance. Having zero tolerance towards X means that you will not accept X in any form, will not forgive X, and will not take X lightly. For example, having zero tolerance towards arson would mean that people caught trying to light up fires will be punished to the full extent of the law, and the law could be changed to be harsh. But it would not normally mean that people who buy fuel will be also prosecuted, just because fuel can be used to start fires. Nobody would accept that, since fuel has other uses, and it’s legal to own fuel. Having fuel does not an arson make. If the police would be allowed to search people for fuel, and arrest people who have fuel, that would not be zero tolerance for arson, but maybe a crazy negative tolerance.

And in some aspects this is exactly what is going on now on the teen violence issue. Case in point – Knives.

Owning a knife is legal. There are plenty of things you can do with a knife. Many of them involve cutting things, and there are certainly a lot of things which it is perfectly normal, legal, and even desirable to cut.

This did not stop anyone from suggesting a law which would allow police to search teenagers for knives (yes, a body search. And just because someone is a teen, since I can’t believe there are other external indications for knife carrying. I think they need better cause to search someone for drugs, or guns). And to arrest them automatically if they are found with a knife on them, no discussion, no extenuating circumstances.

If this was about guns, I could at least understand. Guns really don’t have much uses in a city beyond shooting people, regardless of whether it’s self defence intended or not. Carrying a gun currently requires a license, and carrying a gun without a license is a felony. But I don’t think anyone out there is issuing knife licenses.

Heck, I’ve been carrying a knife myself for most of my life. A nice Victorinox swiss-army-knife sort of thing, which has all sorts of good stuff, like a screwdriver, pliers, and, yes, a knife. And you know what? The knife is useful. Cutting packages, strings, papers, all sorts of things. Many people carry similar tools by Victorinox, Leathermans, and other. Or maybe just utility knives, those are knives too.

Knives have many uses, besides stabbing people. Even for teenagers. The idea that being caught carrying a knife can get someone in jail is preposterous.

And why? Because some of those violent incidents involved these teens stabbing or slashing people. Fine, that’s bad. But they could do similar damage with their hands, so should all teens go handcuffed? They can stab someone, or poke their eyes, with a pen. So should any teenager caught carrying a pen, or pencil, be thrown into jail? And do you have any idea how many different ways are there to wound, and kill, people using a belt and belt-buckle? Let’s forbid teens from carrying belts as well. Anyone who wants to use violence will use it, whether they have a knife or not.

Plus, if some crazy angry teen would have jumped at me to attack me, carrying a legal crowbar, I’d have been very happy to have a knife.

Actually, personal story, I practically did. This was on a several-days school trip. Some of the more, er, active pupils decide that night was a wonderful time to have fun. So they picked doors of other pupils as they were asleep and poured all sorts of nasty things on them and into their clothes. They tried to enter through the windows, whether they were left open or not, in a similar way.

When I stood inside the window and told one of them to go away and not bother me that night, he took a large solid branch, and tried hitting me through the window several times. Just to make me move away, so he could throw stuff in. I nearly got my head bashed twice, and luckily was fast enough to avoid it, until I caught the branch and shoved it back.

To put it in context, there were several broken windows on several rooms by the next morning. The teachers didn’t care much, because we were just kids having fun.

Same thing when some broke the door to my room, and started throwing sand, sugar, and other stuff inside. A few kids decided to enter and pour stuff into our bags, and that while I was standing right there telling them to go away. When I pushed them out by force, they came at me in a group to hit me. so I took out a knife, and waved it about a little. That stopped them. They went away. Kids aren’t used to fighting, so they figured if they come at me in a group, I’m the only one who will get hurt. When they saw the knife, they realized they can get hurt. Frankly, they would have gotten seriously hurt without it, since I wasn’t taking being punched as a joke.

Ten minutes later there was a teacher there, finally. Why? To yell at me, and impound my dangerous weapon of mass destruction. Evil, wicked, violent me. I explained to the teacher the reasons I had for waving the knife, but she wasn’t convinced. I told her I’m keeping the knife. She argued, I didn’t budge, and she went away.

Nobody else bothered us that night, I was the crazy guy didn’t take the treatment quietly, as fun. Under the new proposed laws I see these days, I should have been arrested and thrown in jail. As it happened, nothing at all was done to me, since everyone was aware of the problem even if they didn’t want to talk about it. I’m happy I had that knife, or I’d have been forced to actually hurt people, instead of simply scaring them off. The knife prevented violence. And I really think I didn’t deserve to be arrested for that.

Oh, and just to clarify, that wasn’t my pocket knife. That was a butter knife, with a dull edge, of the kind you normally use to spread something on a bread. I didn’t trust the school to provide proper eating utensils, so I brought my own fork, spoon, and knife. Yes, a mundane butter knife. So after that riot, I don’t want to hear anyone telling me that the law will be only about certain kinds of knife. Those they include can still have other uses, and those they exclude can be used for violence, or perceived as being dangerous, just as well. The only sane options are all, or nothing. And the only sane options of these is not to disallow knives.

The little air conditioner that couldn’t

June 16th, 2005

The people working with me can be distributed into three groups: Those who like cold temperatures and want the AC working on hot summer days, those who do not enjoy cold temperatures and want the AC off (My boss’ secretary), and those who don’t care (my boss).

Quite often I turn the AC on and set it to a low temperature, only to find it later at a higher temperature. Sometime the culprit is obvious, since our secretary complain about being cold. Sometime it’s not so obvious, but we always assume it’s either her, or my boss (He doesn’t care, so won’t mind at all setting the thermostat to a higher temperature to save some on the electricity bill).

Other times it seems a bit odd, since we never notice anyone reaching the AC control panel. Still, we all have better things to do than stare at the AC all day, so we often dismiss the slight mystification with a shrug, and a claim that someone must have changed the temp when we didn’t notice.

Until yesterday. At a relatively early hour everyone else went home, and I was left alone in the office. It was a bit warm, so I went to the AC, and set the temperature lower. Later, when I was closing down and getting ready to leave, I went to turn off the AC. And lo and behold, the temperature that the thermostat was set to on the AC‘s control panel was higher than what I set it to earlier.

Just to be absolutely clear, the temperature shown there is not the measurement, it’s the destination temperature that the AC unit is supposed to maintain. So now I know for sure that it creeps up all on its own.

We have a lazy AC that tries to avoid working hard by pretending we asked it to do an easier job. How pathetic is that?

Non-sports injury

May 30th, 2005

On Saturday night I managed to perform the brilliant feat of kicking a big metal vacuum cleaner, while not wearing any shoes. I often don’t bother putting on shoes if I go to the bathroom at night, and I also don’t bother turning on the lights since I remember the way perfectly.

Unless, that is, some kind soul decides to stick a large vacuum cleaner in the middle of the hallway. Don’t try this at home, kids.

Anyway, Sunday morning (Weekends here are Fri-Sat, so Sunday is a work day) I called my boss to let him know that I won’t be coming to work. There was nothing urgent enough to justify going through the agony of putting my foot inside a shoe, not to mention driving with it.

After hearing the story, his response was something along the lines of “You know, if you had at least said it happened during a soccer game, or something like that, it would have been much better“. Presumably because, er, it’s much more impressive and sensible to get hurt when you actually do more dangerous stuff where people get hurt? Oh, well…

And to anyone concerned, I’m much better, nothing to worry about. No permanent damage was done, no more pain, and I’m sure that my little finger will get back to its normal colours in a matter of days. I thought the colours blue and red fit me, but I think it applies to clothing a lot more than to skin colour.

Ice cream trucks

May 17th, 2005

Years ago, when I was still a small kid, I remember that ice cream trucks used to drive through our street on some morning. Those big blue vans, with drawings of ice cream cones on the sides, playing that repetitive and very distinct music. In retrospect, the selection of ice creams and popsicles that was offered from their freezers wasn’t very wide, or very impressive, but it was ice cream. For a kid whose parents usually didn’t keep stocks inside the house, it was an experience. I wasn’t exactly a regular customer, and many times they passed in front of our house undisturbed, but once in a while it was fun to go out, and get something. It was also a nice opportunity to meet with some other kids living nearby.

For years now I haven’t seen any ice cream trucks. I don’t think it’s simply because I stopped paying attention, since the tune they play was (and presumably still is) loud. It was possible to hear it from inside the house then, so it should be possible now. Sadly, the acoustic blocking properties of our walls didn’t spontaneously improve.

Of course I do know that as a concept these things are still alive and well. People do report sightings of ice cream trucks. But that’s elsewhere. I just always assumed that there wasn’t enough business for them in my part of the city, so nobody bothered to spend the time driving through.

A few days ago, when parking my car after getting back from work, I noticed that the large blue van parked in front of me along the street was in fact an ice cream truck. The right shape, the right size (smaller than I remembered, but that’s very probably due to me growing up quite a bit in the passing years), and the right drawings. Actually, given that there has been some time, I find it amazing that the design stayed the same, with so little change.

It was parked on the street, but I did remember that the parking space inside one of the nearby houses did occasionally show the back of a blue van of similar size. It was never possible to see more than the back of the car from the street, at least not without especially trying (which I never had reason to) so I wasn’t sure, but later observations confirmed that this is indeed it, and it’s quite possible that this has been the same ice cream truck for a long time. We have someone who drive and operates an ice cream truck living pretty close by.

Which again raises the question of why doesn’t it go by inside our street? Is the owner not willing to cover his own street, since it’s a bit too close to home? Or are they in some way franchised or organized (I never did check on the business practices of ice cream trucks, so I have no idea) and this is just not their turf?

A more surprising incident happened two days later, as I was entering my car in the morning to drive to work. I passed next to that house, and indeed the ice cream truck was parked right there in their parking space. While I was still there, another car entered into my street. An ice cream truck. Not working, since the music was off.

Now, my street is a circular/elliptical one, with the house of the truck being near the exit, so I had a view over the street entrance. But once the van drove a few meters more, it was impossible to see it from that angle. I waited for a bit, to see if it will go through the circle and arrive to the same house. But it stopped after getting out of sight. Which probably meant it parked somewhere in the street.

So we may have not one, but two, ice cream truck owners and operators living in the same little street as I do. And I never saw any of them until recently. I guess I’m just very observant. Ahem.

Life can be terribly unfair sometimes

May 16th, 2005

There’s this nice young women I know from an online group. Not too long ago her boyfriend proposed to her, and recently she found out she’s pregnant. She was so incredibly happy and excited, it was sometimes difficult to follow her message threads from the rapid bobbing and jumping around. But it was sheer joy to see someone so genuinely happy in life.

Today, she and her fiancé were involved in a car accident. It was described to me as a hit and run frontal collision (No, I do not know how you can have a serious frontal collision, and then go ahead driving, and run away. Didn’t seem appropriate to badger her brother about this detail when he let us know on the group).

Her fiancé died, and so did her baby, a girl who only got about three hours of life…

She is in a hospital at the moment, undergoing surgery, but is expected to make full recovery. Talk about being grateful for small graces… But at least she could carry on, and somehow get on with her life. I expect the emotional trauma and damage will be far worse than any physical damage.

This is all seriously and majorly unfair, and is a huge tragedy. My heart goes out to her. I do sincerely hope she will be strong enough to pick up, and manage to live with this and restore her life.

Safe recovery, Nutz, and may you not lose the light.

Construction math

April 12th, 2005

A little while ago I was reading a post discussing the effects of the environment on code quality
(i.e. how working conditions are related to the quality of programmers). And
one of the items mentioned there was dedicated floor space.

Which makes sense, it’s easy to see the relation between the quality
of work done, and whether you’re stuck in a tiny cubicle or in a spacious
office. In either direction.

In any case, the sizes discussed where 46, and 87, square feet. And for
about any case of area, 46 square feet would indicate an area sized
6.78 x 6.78 feet. Very intuitive, very obvious, very mathematically
correct, and yet I managed to misinterpret it.

You see, in all the times I got to be around anything involving
construction and floor space (Workers and architects discussing room
design and carpeting for my home when I was little, or similar
discussions more recently about office buildings for companies I worked
at), for some reason everyone called an N by N meters area "N square
meters". This is patently wrong, and I have a hard time believing it’s
some sort of an industry standard, but that’s what they all did. So
this way of referring to floorspace got stuck in my head.

And reading 46 square feet, I automatically converted it to a 46×46 feet area, which is
huge. Certainly as the smaller option being correlated with the
less-good programmers, but even in and by itself it’s larger than about any office I saw anywhere…

I replied accordingly, asking if maybe it’s
a mistake and they intended to write 4.6 and 8.7. Which is, as was
appropriately replied to me, about the size of a refrigerator box, and
certainly not something you could stick an average programmer in. Well,
not in working order, anyway.

One good thing came of it, I’m finally rid of this particular problem,
and will be able from now on to treat all area measurements the same,
regardless of what is the area actually of. Which is the proper
mathematical approach to things. At least I only got a little
embarrassed, rather than comissioning a new hourse and coming to view the construction only to discover I’m
paying for a palace…

The Ides of March

March 15th, 2005

Yes, that’s today, March 15, aka "The Ides of March".

What does Ides mean, you ask? Just a mention of time. Like you’d make a single word for "the second Friday of the month" or stuff like that.
In the case of Ides, it’s the 15th on March (duh!), May, July and October, and 13 on any other month.

Many consider 13 to mean bad luck. But the most famous Ides for bad luck is on a 15th. Of March, of course.

Many people knows where the phrase "Beware the Ides of March" comes from. What almost nobody knows, and will soon be revealed here, is what the real meaning of it was, instead of the commonly believed falsehood.

OK, History lesson. Anyone heard of Caesar? Julius Caesar, the Roman "emperor" ? Well, as you probably know he was murdered on the Ides of March. Which isn’t all that exciting in and by itself, since it’s likely that over the years many people were murdered on every day, Ides or otherwise.
But, according to the (not entirely reliable, but close enough) histories of the time, Julius was warned, a few days earlier, by an astrologer to "Beware the Ides of March". And decided he’ll stay home on the Ides. Only he didn’t, he went to the senate. And the rest, as they say is history.

Does it mean that this astrologer was the real deal, and that his astrology was real? Well, if you believe the story so far, it’s still no. How come? The place was jam-packed of astrologers, and like most of the supposed astrologers in our days, they probably made vague predictions all the time, most of which did not come true. If you make enough predictions, though, statistically speaking you’ll get a couple of them right. That doesn’t mean you predicted anything.

Astrologers, however, like all soothsayers, oracles, precogs, and the likes, are extremely vague and unclear. Comes with the trade, I guess.
So here is what you don’t know, and with all the excitement over Julius being stabbed, nobody noticed… Ready? The astrologer was the real deal, but he wasn’t talking about Julius at all. At all. He wasn’t the sort that could predict something a couple of days in the future, he was one with the ability to lift the mists of time, and see far away into the future. As far as our own days. Kind of like Nostradamus, only he got a lot less fame, maybe because he didn’t talk about fun stuff like flying exploding pigs. Anyway, he gave the warning to Julius not because he knew Julius was going to die on the Ides, but because Julius was *the man*, and had the most likelihood to be able to do something to make sure the warning will pass over to future generations.

Which you have to admit worked perfectly. Of all the things said in that time "Beware the Ides of March" survived in the best shape, and is among the most famous.

Alas, as often happen with those dire warning, the true meaning eluded everyone. Nobody realized what the warning was truly about until it became much too late. See, the warning was really meant for my parents, or for the hospital staff where my mom gave birth. As it turns out, this is my birthday… And I’m too old now for anyone to heed the warning and do anything about it <wicked, sinister, and ominous laughter goes here>.

So there!

Oh, one more thing, then… Happy Birthday to Me!

Tying the knot

February 20th, 2005

Instead of going and buying new laces to replace those annoying round laces that won’t stay tied, I decided to try and search a bit.

This guy has an entire site devoted to shoelaces, with various lacing types, and knots types.
I checked his "Ian’s Secure Knot",
and it actually works! Very little extra work over the regular knots I
use, but this one hold my new laces tied, even when I walk with them
quite a bit. Drastic improvement.

Shoelaces

February 14th, 2005

[Update: Found a way to tie the things]

Vindication, at last!

I knew these slick round laces had to be at fault. It couldn’t be that
I just lost my knack for tying shoelaces at the same time when I
replaced them.

I recently purchased a new pair of Rockport shoes. We’re repeatedly
buying them for a long time. All their models I tried are extremely
comfortable. In most cases a wrong size Rockport shoe still has a
better fit than a right size shoe by someone else (Of course, this is a
generalization, and there are exceptions).

Anyway, recently I purchased a new pair of black shoes, which came with
these new, round, shiny, laces. They look very elegant. Prettier than
the flat cotton laces I’m used to.

But they constantly and repeatedly untie themselves. A lot. When I’m at
the office, sitting in front of a computer, it doesn’t really matter.
But whenever I’m walking outside, I have to constantly stop and retire
my shoes. Most of my friends have already promised to get me a pair of
shoelaces for my birthday, which means I really have to go and buy a
pair myself before then.

This is becoming more and more annoying. No matter how hard I tie them,
they become loose nearly straight away, and untie soon afterwards. And
I do know how to tie shoes. I’ve been doing it quite successfully for
years and years.

But hey, now I found confirmation that the problem is indeed with the
laces. That’s good. I could now finally force myself to spend the time
of searching for a replacement. I don’t care how they look like as long
as they do their job, the priorities are very clear (Well, I may draw
the line at fluorescentic pink laces, as good as they may be, but you
get the drift).

Hat tip to Pratie Place for the link.

Careful what you ask for, you may receive it

February 3rd, 2005

Thinking back to my school days for the previous post, I also recalled a certain incident.

I was sitting in class, the teacher was talking about something
boring (Nope, been too long, I don’t remember what) and so I wasn’t
paying attention. I didn’t speak with anyone else or made any noise (That I recall. Been a while, like I said), I
just didn’t pay attention.

She noticed. I think I said I was sorry (If I did, it was probably a
lie, but it was for the sake of politeness to a teacher, which at that
tender age seemed more important than complete honesty). In typical
schoolroom manner she didn’t leave it at that, but instead told me to
collect my things and leave the class.

What usually happened in those cases (I was far from the first kid
asked to leave the class due to ‘interrupting’ the lesson. It was my first time, but far from being her first) was that the
kid started crying, pleading, yelling, and making a huge loud mess
begging to be left in the class. This never helped, the kids always got
their schoolbag and went out to the hall, and it wasted lesson time,
but everybody enjoyed the show.

I was being a pragmatist, and I was (still am) generally indifferent to
social trivia. If the teacher told me to get my things and get out, it
seemed to me that the best thing to do will be to get my things and get
out. Which I quietly and promptly did. I mean, I was bored anyway, so
why make a pointless scene asking to stay ?!

The rest of the lesson passed quietly in the hallway. I never had a
problem to find things to do by myself. And I figured this was about
the end of this matter.

Not quite. You see, as it turned out the poor teacher was
incredibly offended by my behaviour. Yes, offended and hurt. And yes,
to a large enough a degree to develop general hostility toward me, and
to half sobbingly complain to my mom on the next meeting at school.

She got the feeling that I just don’t give a darn about her at all
(why should she bloody care?) .  She expected the loud scene, and
was shocked that she didn’t get it. How was it that she put it to my
mother… "I told him to take his notebook and bag, and to get out to
the hall. And he… he… he just took his things and went out! Just
like that! He didn’t ask to stay! He didn’t try to convince me to leave
him, or to argue!
He didn’t cry, or anything! It was like he didn’t care that I sent him
out! He didn’t care about me at all!!!".

Appalling, isn’t it? I was being a good kid that did exactly what his
teacher told him to do, and doing so ranked by this teacher as one of
the worst problems any kid gave her that school year…

Nearly Back

December 24th, 2004

I’m not quite entirely back to full regular health yet, but I’m pretty much nearly almost functional again. Ahem.

I also wanted to extended my thanks to my boss. After I used my very sore throat to tell him (Over the phone) about the high temperatures I’ve reached, he was kind enough to agree that maybe I shouldn’t come to work if I don’t think I can. And continued to make me feel wanted and welcome my mentioning that of course he will be happy to see me at work if I do believe I can come.

I didn’t. So I didn’t.

But if things will keep looking up, I will next week.

I also tried to elicit some sympathy from a friend by saying that I hate being sick and that it’s really not fun. But all I got back was the claim that "yes, that’s quite logical".

Well… the little twerp (and I truly do mean this in the nicest way possible) has also been seriously sick a few weeks ago, so I suppose that’s understandable…    ;-)

Sick

December 23rd, 2004

Posting here has been slow, OK – nonexistent, during the last few days.

The reason is quite simply that I’m sick (I’m not talking about the mental angle, that’s nothing new). But things are improving. Today my temperature didn’t go even once beyond 40° centigrade. And I’m not being cynical for once (appreciate it while it lasts, doesn’t happen a lot), it actually is an improvement.

Just to let you know I didn’t abandon the blog, just somewhat de-prioritized it. Not that my usual average of almost one post per day was exactly high pace, but I figured it’s worth mentioning.

It’s most likely that I’ll be back to full health in a few days. But hey, if the worst case happens and things start to deteriorate really fast, I’ll do my best to try and post some real inside scoops from beyond the veil. I’ll probably fail, since there isn’t one, but that will be a way of knowing as well, no?

Office Banter

December 5th, 2004

This was in my office, a few minutes ago:

Our Secretary Manager’s Assistant (She’s sensitive about that) came to our electronics engineer and said "I need you to do me a favour".
To which the guy replied "What kind of a favour?"

They’re both married with children, and know each other long enough to be friends. The families are friendly as well. So some friendly banter was not unexpected.

Ergo, her reply "What kind of a favor do you think?! Sexual of course!"

Before she got to what she really wanted, I asked if they want me to get out of the room. She answered "Sure, leave us alone for a while. I’ll take you later…", while he begged me not to leave him alone with her.

They then quickly concluded with the actual request. She said bye, and told me on her way out of the room that actually I should have joined them and made a threesome (Why don’t I get these kind of offers for real?). To which I replied that I’m really sorry, but I can’t since she’s (Now the engineer entered a quick "too old", which is also about right) married.

She asked "Oh, is that a problem?". And I replied that of course it is. "What, you won’t have sex with someone just because she’s married?". Again I replied in the affirmative.

I didn’t expect the response I gtt then, "Let’s see if you’ll still think the same once you’re married". To which I replied that once I’m married, I suppose I would not have a problem being with a married women. As long as it’s the specific one I’m married to.

This is where the conversation got a bit weird(er). Her reply seemed not quite on track. "All of you men are like that, you’re too jealous all the time." Jealous? Where, how, what was she talking about?

"Just like my husband, when P [Our boss] wanted to take me with him to some convention he said that I can go with whomever I want, but if I do then I shouldn’t bother to come back. Me, I don’t care with who he goes [Her husband is sent from his work to a lot of business trips abroad] as long as he comes back to me."

It was all still said in a light tone, but I’m still puzzled over where did it come from, and why did it seem a continuation of the original line of banter…

How does claiming that I don’t allow myself to be involved with a married women can be constituted primarily as jealousy? Who am I supposed to be jealous about, and in what way, in order for me to mind that I myself get involved with someone married ?

Oh, well. I never did claim to be able to understand women. Heck, I never did claim to understand people in general… Which is alright, since it’s highly mutual.

University Debt

November 28th, 2004

[Update: Just added title to the monetary units, some people complained]

I’m at the finishing stages of a bachelor degree in economics, at TAU.
By finishing stages I mean that I’ve taken all the courses I need, and passed all the exams. Everything left is paperwork.

And the only thing needed before I can start the process is for me to get the grade for a seminary paper I submitted the previous semester.
Basically grades should be given within 2-3 weeks. It’s been somewhat over a month since I submitted the paper. This seminary group was, for some really inexplicable reason, quite popular, so I figured it may take the lecturer a while to check all papers.

Today I decided it’s getting too long, and started to get worried that maybe the reason I don’t see my grade in the university computer is because of a data-entry error, and not because the grades aren’t in yet.
I called the secretary at the university, and asked about my grade. She checked the system and informed me that indeed a grade has been entered into my record, and there is no problem.
I repeated that I don’t see the grade, and that the listed total academic hours to my credit do not include those of the seminar.

She checked, and informed me as to the reason. I still have an unpaid monetary debt to the university. Quite surprising since I pay for each semester in advance and on time. I inquired as to the amount of the debt, planning to start yelling at someone for forgetting to list several thousand ILS payments…

My standing debt to the university, due to which my grade is not properly fed into the computer system, and which is holding me from receiving my degree, is: 18.24 ILS. That’s about $4.18 USD.

When they want you to pay for a whole semester, they send you plenty of repeated notifications. For this they didn’t bother.
And the computer system doesn’t show it at a first glance, since my debt for this year is settled. I already paid 0 ILS out of the 0 ILS I need to pay, so the balance is good.

Ugh

November 9th, 2004

Driving to work today, stopping at a traffic light, I looked a bit at the cars around…
Directly on my left there was a car with a 50+ years old driver, with tattoos on his arms and back, lots of body hair, a major pot belly, serious lack of muscles, and a more serious lack of shirt.

If I were going to the beach, I’d expect to see these things. But on the road ?! On a highway ?! Not something I ever saw or expect to. I guess there really is a first time for everything.

I only hope the only thing he was missing was a shirt (and a diet, and some physical workout, but that’s beside the point). I couldn’t, and did not try to, see more.