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Archive for April, 2008

Inside me.

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

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Had to take tests for the hiv and consumption to finalize my Singapore residence application. This is me, on the inside, sans consumption. :)

Beautiful Masks

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

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“In masks outrageous and austere
The years go by in single file;
But none has merited my fear,
And none has quite escaped my smile”

Elinor Wylie

Blue

Friday, April 18th, 2008

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Been a bit depressed lately. Mostly work related, I’m fed up, not enjoying work anymore and I don’t know how to fix it. Work is 8 to 9 hours a day; a third of my week (not counting the weekend) and if it’s not fun for a long time that starts to affect my whole attitude.

I can’t work at a job I’m not emotionally involved with. I’ve worked with people who can come to work in the morning, work for 9 hours with no expenditure of emotion at all and go home as if nothing has happened. It’s amazing to me. I get angry, happy, upset, irritated, fascinated, worried and intrigued at work. That’s not to say that I don’t leave work at work (at least most of the time.) I try to keep a healthy separation between professional and personal life. I’m friends with people at work; some of them I am friends with outside work others not so much, but work is work and then there is everything else.

Problem is if work is only filled with the bad emotions; anger, disbelief, irritation and upset then it starts erode the emotional attachment to the job. And once the emotional attachment is gone it’s time to find a new job…

Interesting Uses for Elevators

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

“Loading up an empty elevator car with discarded Christmas trees, pressing the button for the top floor, then throwing in a match, so that by the time the car reaches the top it is ablaze with heat so intense that the alloy (called “babbitt”) connecting the cables to the car melts, and the car, a fireball now, plunges into the pit: this practice, apparently popular in New York City housing projects, is inadvisable.”

Nick Paumgarten, from “Up and then down; the lives of elevators” [newyorker.com] in the April 21 2008 issue of the New Yorker.

Software Engineers vs. Programmers

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I want to work with software engineers rather than programmers. I want to work with people who know what ABNF [faqs.org] is or if they don’t at least they know where to find out and are willing to go and learn it. I want to work with engineers interested in solving the problem not implementing a solution for the symptoms. I’m tired of working with half-wit programmers who could not program their way out of a ‘hello world’ bash script…

So long Mosque Street

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

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So long Mosque Street. I will miss the beauty of this apartment. The wonderful shophouse windows and the high ceilings with the beams exposed. I will miss the muted sounds of the call to prayer from the mosque down the street. And I will miss being in the middle of it all… the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Indian festivals, the endless tourist hordes and the many places to just be.

I will not miss the noise; the trash truck that comes every night sometime between 11PM and 2AM and wakes everyone up for 10 minutes. The old Chinese guy who can’t pick his flip-flops off the ground as he walk… slowly… down the middle of the street. At 3AM. Every night! I won’t miss him waking me up every night.

We’ve been in the new place now for just over a week. It’s nice. Far from the crowded streets of the downtown area and surrounded by green. Much cooler (relatively; it’s still Singapore, one degree from the equator—at sea level—it’s just hot, nothing to do about it, c’est la vie.) Still a lot of boxes and a few minor things left to finish. I really miss the windows from Mosque Street they added a level of character to the place that can’t be duplicated. (They were replicas of the original window shutters that were on the building when it was built as the first public housing in Singapore in the 1920’s!)

It’s nice to have a place that is really ours. Nice to know that when we bring our firstborn home from the hospital for the first time it will be to our house, not to a rented house but to our house.

Now if only I could get the boxes to empty themselves.

Beach Booty

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

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Learning to Swim

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

“At a public swimming pool we have gates, put up signs, have lifeguards and shallow ends, but we also teach children how to swim.”

From the Executive Summary of [dfes.gov.uk] Safer Children in a Digital World; The Report of the Byron Review via Slashdot [slashdot.org]

That sounds like common sense. I think more parents need to read and understand that. It is not societies responsibility to teach your children it’s your responsibility as a parent. There will always be things beyond a parents control and society should take steps to minimize the risks to people—children and adults—but in the end it is down to individuals to be responsible. In the case of children it is the responsibility of the parents to teach and to shelter them, for the rest of the world is is down to personal responsibility. Most people seem to have forgotten this. Too many people in the first world expect that someone will take care of them; that they have a right to be an idiot, which they do, and that society has a duty to come along behind them and clean up their mess, which it does not. We seem to have forgotten that part of growing up is leaving the nursery and the nanny behind. Rather than focus on protecting children from the evils of the world we should help parents teach their children how to protect themselves. Every child should learn to swim just in case they fall in the deep end.