Weird Stuff I Like On Matzos

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I like Puck a non cheese dairy spread. Also, Vegemite and margarine.

Puck is made in Denmark, shipped to Turkey and then imported into the UK. It’s salty and runny at the same time. I dunno if they’re kosher but I really like it as a snack.

On Isolation

I’m lonely, I’m isolated. I’m a stay at home dad (SAHD), I have no friends anymore because they were all work related drink buddies and now that we’re skint because we’re on one income, They became fair weather friends.

Part of the reason that I’m posting so much, is because its a distraction from the loneliness. It focuses me on what I’m posting about. Plus, as I’m using WordPress on my phone, it makes it easier to write the posts than sitting at my PC.

Its not as good an environment for doing technical posts, but for a stream of consciousness, say whats on my mind thing the Nexus is excellent.

An Irregular Subject

It is Palestinian Land Day today. A complicated subject for a lowly Liberal Jew to mention. I don’t like that aspect of Israel, I don’t like right-wing zionists, I don’t like Likudniks or the Settler movement. My Grand Uncle Frank Aish didn’t fight in the Hagganah for this.

In ’46 he went to Palestine, he was a decorated aircrew (a WOMAG wireless Operator, Mechanic Air Gunner) from RAF Coastal Command, he believed in Israel, but after the Sargent’s affair. He quit Israel to return to London, according to my Grandmother, he was so angered by the betrayal of the British Administration and the ongoing anti-British activities that he couldn’t participate any longer and had had enough of hatred and war.

My Granduncle and my Great Grandfather we’re vehement haters of Nazism, Fascism and Bolshevism which is why they eventually ended up in the UK. As at that time Britain was the last hope for a free Europe and to stop the mass murder (my Grandmother on the other hand was spirited away to Lisbon).

I believe in Israel, I would like a one state solution, full integration of Palestine with Israel, with full citizenship, full democracy and a peaceful future for the whole of the Levantine. Two people, one land, one common past, one common future.

A Variation on Procrastination

I’ve just had an interesting think about a variation of procrastination. Maybe it’s a variety or subset, but here goes.

I have the ability to ignore inbound information. I realised today that I’ve barely read my emails. I have multiple email addresses, all the major mailbox providers and a few obscure ones too. I have a pretty unique name, both first name and family name, so I registered with all the main providers so that no-one could spoof my name.

Yet, here I am today, not that bother about reading mail. The same applies to all the major identity sites Facebook, linked in, g+ and the chat services.

Interesting lay, the same applies to reminder apps, any.do for example, l can ignore quite cheerfully with no thought to dealing with the reminder other than putting it off.

The telephone as well, if I don’t know the number, I won’t answer. I can pile post up for days on end un-opened.

I think it stems from our money miss-management.  There is no point bothering because we don’t have the cash to fix or solve the problem.

On This Weeks Cashflow

Money is going to be a bit scarce this week. We did a big food shop last Monday, so we’re OK for food. Tomorrow I have to top up my Oyster card, £23 from our £50 cash in hand. Also there are the cigarettes, each of us buying one packet each a day costs us £11.80, if we smoked Marlboro like we used to it would be closer to £18 per day.
That’s £83 per week.
That’s £354 per month.
That’s £4301 per year.
Or a nice meal out with the family once a week.
Or a new luxury item once a month.
Or a Disney cruise holiday for the family one a year.
Tomorrow is the first of April, the new tax year starts, the budget will kick in.

None of the above is a real incentive to make us quit smoking, health is also not an incentive.

A mate once told me that he quit because his son complained of how it made him smell.

That’s not really an incentive either.

We need a good incentive to motivate us.

On Starting To Hunt For A Job

Tomorrow, is when I start a hunt for a new job. I haven’t been working for six months now and I don’t really fancy the prospect of doing the type of work role that I’ve been type cast into.

You see I’m a former Corporate Financial Services Software Engineer. It doesn’t float my boat anymore. Plus, I’ve stopped doing programming katas, so I’m getting rusty. Also, although I do find my primary programming language fascinating, I just find it so depressing walking into a programming environment where they don’t write in the style I like or find comfortable.

Most people do not realise there are as many different programming styles as the are programmers. We all have our own nuances, inflections, dialects, shorthand and intonation. Its like standing in Trafalgar square listening to all the different ways people speak English.

Now, in order for a team of developers to have a common linguistic style, they have to have worked together for some time, it’s the norming part of team building. It forms, it storm, then it norms so it can finally perform.

The worst type of development team is a group of contractors,who do not share a common native language. I’ve worked in teams where I have been the only native speaker of English, the worst team I ever had the misfortune of working with spoke Urdu, Yoruba, and Romanian as natives and English as a secondary (except for me and the bosses).

It was an agile death march project, absolute hell. Not only was there conflicts in the way English was spoken, there were conflicts in the way the software was written. Compound that with the arrogance’s that the schmucks brought with the because their egos had been stroked too much by getting this particular job, it was just too much.

I have a phrase that I like to apply to a certain style and type of development and developer. It’s code-cock, too often you meet these smug buggers who think they have an enormous cock because of the code they are writing. But too often is a small cock in an even smaller pond because they have never experienced a bigger pool, and they’ve isolated themselves from the wider community. Often the never interact with their peers, read books, don’t use newsgroups and forums or go on training courses. They stick to their own little puddle.

So I’m not enthused by looking for a programming job, it is mainly my own fault. I’m not prepared to stay anywhere long enough to become part of the culture, I’m not interested in trying to make the culture mine (I do have the leadership and fomentation skills necessary to mould a team to my way). I just want a job where I’m given coherent, comprehensive and unambiguous instructions and can get on with it.

So what are my alternatives? Change role type, go into project management, leadership or managerial. That would mean a significant re-write of my CV. And focus not on the getting things done but on the politicking to make stuff happen.

Bottom line I still have to hunt for that job.

On Maps

Twice in the last four days, Google maps on my phone has come to someone’s aid.

Friday, a chap stopped me at a Tube station and asked for directions to a cemetery, I apologises and said I didn’t know the area that well. The a though light-bulbed in my head, Google maps. Hold on, I said, I’ll just have a look on maps. Well, he was about half a kilometre away from it straight down the road we we’re on. He thanked me and went on his way.

Today, a lady in a car pulled up next to me and asked for directions to x. Knowing where it was I started to give her directions, again a thought popped into my head. I asked where did she actually want to go to as there were a number of different directions for significant places. Tube station, rail station, shopping park, leisure centre, Supermarket. She told me that she wanted the leisure centre, which was just as well as I was about to send her to the tube station. I pulled out my phone again and showed on the map. It was a simple route. Left at the T junction, follow the road to the traffic lights, turn right follow the road and you can’t miss it… its got a big blue water flume pipe slide on the front.