Almost Made Me Cry – Chicken

Driving alone on Kvish 6. Putting on I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One. That’s right, the album that opened my “Made Me Cry” series.

I already expect that i’ll cry of happiness from listening to this brilliant record.

And then i see a truck of cows that are going to die. No happiness.

And then i also realized that the opening track is titled “Return to Hot Chicken”. Great. Everything is broken.

Actually i should try to suppress and forget this stupid experience.



The president of Turkmenistan is finally taking the advice i tried to give his deceased predecessor, and slowly and gradually – like most things that happen in that country – is phasing out his Russianized name Gurbanguly Malikguliyewich Berdymuhammedow and moves to Gurbanguly Berdymuhammed.

A few weeks ago the president of Tajikistan has done the same and changed Emomali Sharipovich Rahmonov to Emomalii Rahmon. He was much more decided about it – he just announced that he’s changing his name and after a couple of days ordered that newborn babies’ last names will be registered without Russian endings.

Notice the the double i in the end of his first name. In the Tajik language, which is a variant of Persian, an -i is added to the end of the word to express its belonging to the next word. So Emomalii Rahmon means “Rahmon’s Emomali”. The Russian ending -ov (or -yev), common in last names in Russia and especially ubiquitous in Soviet Muslim territories means quite the same: Rahmonov = Rahmon’s, Kadyrov = Kadyr’s, Ivanov = Ivan’s etc. Emomali wanted to cut Tajikistan from the Russian heritage but in the same time to remain consistent with the meaning of the Russian last name. He explained that this way he honors his father Rahmon, after whom he received the last name. See also the discussion about Emomalii on Wikipedia.

A Visit to Gaza

Boys and Girls in Gaza


This is a picture from a children’s story at a website called Al-Fateh, which, despite its name, is actually operated by Hamas. OK, let’s see – a boy in short pants is riding a rocket painted with Amiga colors. A happy-looking girl is chasing him; she’s not dressed too modestly and could be Swedish for all i care. There are two boys on the ground holding the PA flag, one of them wears religious clothes. In the background there’s a bustling city and the title of the story is “A Visit to Gaza”. And by a total coincidence there’s also a crescent in the sky.

Brotherhood of boys and girls, and religious and secular (and maybe also Christian) Arabs. The picture of a city doesn’t look quite like the usual pictures of Gaza.

I am not making any claims – these are just thoughts.

Made Me Cry – Firefox Again

And more about Firefox – i keep reading about it and i can’t stop getting fascinated by it. It’s a proof that free software works and that it can be used by regular people. It’s a proof of Microsoft’s lies, dirty tricks and incompetence.

There are many astonishing things about Firefox. The dedication of the programmers who developed Firefox to do The Right Thing – to write a free browser which will support the best technical standards and will be not just usable, but cool too. The dedication of the user community, of which i am proud to be a part to using and promoting, even with the worthy alternatives around (Safari, Opera, Konqueror and well, IE). Even it’s logo makes me shed tears. Free software done right changes the world. It actually does.

Firefox has been downloaded 200 million times. This number probably includes previous versions. It means little about actual market share. But why not celebrate?

My older Firefox-related entries:

Not the Same

Ceasefire. At first i didn’t buy it, but now i see photos of the official Lebanese army entering villages in the South, so it’s probably good. I still think that it must be some trick, but i hope that i’m wrong.

Refugees from Galilee are returning back to their homes (my parents never left). Hotels in the North are reporting that the tourists are coming back. So what, is it like … Peace?

Still, it’s not the same country. Nasrallah is still alive, and as long as he is, he’ll say that he won and a lot of people will believe him; Ironically, Israelis are the first to believe him – i don’t think that any of us actually has a feeling of victory. And as long there’s no victory, the war is not really over and can come back any minute.

Moreover, well over one hundred Israelis and much more Lebanese were killed in this pointless bloodshed. Questions are being asked. Was the army ready to this war? Why did the chief of staff reassigned senior commanding officers in the middle of fighting? Did we have to kill so much civilians to reach almost nothing?

Most importantly – i hear the Israeli journalists, “the keepers of the etrog”, carefully asking the greatest questions of them all: Those people that we supported so strongly before the elections – Prime Minister Olmert and Defence Minister Peretz – are they capable of doing another war? Didn’t they lie to us about the Disengagement? Why did we mock Effie Eitam when he said that after the Disengagement Kassam rockets will fall on Ashkelon? Why didn’t we even try to listen to him? (They know the answer – because he has a beard and wears a kipa, but they are still afraid to admit it.)

No, it’s not the same country as it was a year ago. And it’s for the good. It’s always for the good.


This is the “Contact us” page of the website of the Israeli Testing Certification Board (ITCB is the Israeli branch of ISTQB; see here).

Can you see any problem with it? Hint: You don’t need to know Hebrew to find it. Remember that this is no less than the Testing Certification Board.

Although it is unlikely that they will ever fix it, i made a screenshot – just in case. Click to enlarge.

ITCB contact

Oh (edit): 2007-05-22, it’s still there …

There’s a songbird who sings

I dreamt that a friend of mine took a piece of cake i was eating and threw it to the trash. I got unbelievably mad and tried to explain to him that let alone the robbery, i totally hate throwing food to the trash. He was quite indifferent and said that the cake was disgusting. I had to make a point, though, so i spilled a little water on his head. The funny thing is that a similar thing actually happened once – i spilled a little beer on a friend who was pissing me off (no, i didn’t drink any beforehand).

When that didn’t help, i turned to the Internet. The Internet always helps, doesn’t it? I’ll show you how bad it is to throw food away, i thought! So i started using a very old version of Netscape Navigator on a Mac. It was very annoying, not because the version was so old, but because it was configured in such a way that with every key i pressed, the computer played an annoying sound. I tried to turn it off, but couldn’t find where. Then i found out that it’s not even Netscape Navigator, but Konqueror. After a couple of minutes i started realizing that even when i don’t press any keys the annoying sound goes on. It was a nasty fucking bird outside the window.


You probably know this lovely little poem:

I woke early one morning,
The earth lay cool and still
When suddenly a tiny bird
Perch on my window sill,

He sang a song so lovely
So carefree and so gay,
That slowly all my troubles
Began to slip away.

He sang of far off places
Of laughter and of fun,
It seemed his very trilling,
brought up the morning sun.

I stirred beneath the covers
Crept slowly out of bed,
And gently lowered the window
And crushed its fucking head.

I’m not a morning person.

Hantouli upside down

Well, i tried to take a picture of it instead, but it flew away, so i took a picture of another one, who looks quite the same, but not as annoying. Exhausted, i lay on the grass and took a picture of my cat Hantouli, which is the last thing that this blog was really missing.

P.S.: Blogger’s spell checker doesn’t recognize the words “fucking” and “blog”.

… and of course, the French

I really don’t like mosquitoes. They disturb my sleep. If until now i used to enjoy dreams equally well in Russian, Hebrew and English, i now have to suffer French-speaking nightmares (!!), (no) thanks to these abominable creatures.

A propos French: yesterday, someone tried to download Thurston Moore‘s “Psychic Hearts” from me, all the files at the same time, which obviously didn’t work for him, so, being nice and helpful as i am (ahhhh…) i explained how he should download it. And guess what, he said “i don’t understand English. French, maybe?” He didn’t know who’s he dealing with. So here’s what i told him, with accents left out intentionally, preserved for future generations, thanks to babelfish:

je ne sais parler pas francais tres bien, mais j’essayerai:

si vous voulez telecharger toutes les chansons de Thurston Moore, telechargez-alors les un. Si vous les telechargez toutes dans le meme temps, cela ne fonctionnera pas.

si vous entrez dans le mode “a distance aligne” (“remotely queued”), ne rendez pas, attendez quelques minutes et cela fonctionnera a la fin

The bummer is that he disconnected right after that. Oh well.