May 20 2017

Be the change you want to see in the world

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 12:44

While I was in Frankfurt a lot of things happened, a lot of things got done, a lot of them got postponed, but overall it was a good experience. But there is one thing that is really worth mentioning. While I was here, after a difficult day in which I had to do some serious negotiations for deadlines, after having a colleague shout at me during a public meeting because he misunderstood me and another basically telling me that I’m a bad manager, again in public, because this is where things like these are done apparently, all I wanted was to have a nice bike ride and then enjoy some blueberries from the local supermarket.

So I and a colleague of mine, take our bikes and go to the supermarket. We park the bikes and go in. The first thing that caught my eye was a guy dressed in dark with a hoodie and his face covered taking money from one of the counters. He did not belong, his outfit was definitely not the store uniform, the store that I’ve been going to for past two years while being delegated to Frankfurt. And then I noticed why nobody was trying to stop him, he had a huge butcher knife in his hand. And in that store there were about 6 employees, including security that were paralyzed with fear and some clients hidden in the store. I was so confused, he was one guy, with one knife, and a lot of people, and nobody was doing anything.

I scanned my surroundings fast to check what I could do. I’m quite small and he had a knife. I needed to throw something at him to make him drop the knife. But I’m not a good thrower either, so I needed something big and heavy if possible. Next to the shop door, where I was, there were some bags of flower compost. I just took one, threw it at him. He did not drop the knife, so I ran and in my way I was looking for anything else I could throw at him. Luckily he was scared of the unexpected interruption and he ran as well.

I did not want tot be praised for my actions, but I did not expect people to try to make me feel sorry about it either. Because a few people told me that I should not have done that, because it was not my money so I shouldn’t care. Why put myself in danger for no reason, right?

Well, it’s not right! Maybe I’ve seen to many superheroes movies, maybe my difficult upbringing left me with a superhero complex, but when I see somebody trying to scare or hurt other people I just can’t do nothing. Why? Because if actions like these are tolerated, bad people will draw the conclusion that hurting others is acceptable and normal, and they will keep doing it. And this kind of behavior might even propagate. What if that guys was not there to rob the store, but was there to hurt someone? What if that someone was your partner or your child? Wouldn’t you want for somebody to interfere?

I do not want to live in a world where evil doings are tolerated. I do not want to live in a world where if I’m in danger, nobody will interfere. Also I do not want to have kids in a world where they could get hurt and nobody would try to protect or save them, even if we all know this is the right thing to do. We keep saying that we are civilized, that we live in communities. Communities come together, help and defend themselves. Not interfering when bad things are done is the opposite of what community actually means.

Sure, it was dangerous. Sure, he could have hurt me. But he didn’t, but instead he got the message, there are people that do not tolerate this kind of behavior and are willing to do something about it. And next time, maybe something heavier than a compost bag will be thrown at him. This never happened to me before. Honestly, walking in on a robbery was stuff of movies for me until a week ago. Next time I’ll be more prepared. :D

After he left, the supermarket just continued to sell stuff as if nothing happened. And you want to know the worst thing? No bloody blueberries…


Apr 18 2017

My new favorite series: The Fall

Category: English postsIuliana @ 23:31

No idea where I heard about this series, The Fall, maybe on Youtube. But I started watching it during the long Easter weekend and I could not stop until I’ve seen it all.

I don’t usually start watching a series while I’m writing a book. Maybe the fact that Gillian Anderson is the main character made me curious, as I’ve loved her in X-Files. Maybe the fact that the action takes place in Belfast and I love the Irish accent. Maybe because is an English series, which means that the characters have more depth than the American ones. A combination of all these made me take the recommendation into account.

What can I say about the series? The action unfolds slowly and every detail matters, if you are focused enough on the movie you can see the clues for yourself. The main character, Stella Gibson, is a feminist symbol. She is strong, but emphatic. She is cold, but passionate. What makes this seriously notable is that there are no Hollywood cliches. Hollywood goes for older men dating much younger women. In this movie we have a woman in her 40s dating… actually dating is not a good term, having sex is more like it, with men 20 years younger than her. And the actress is 59. :) And yes she looks 40. This woman is focused on her career, on hunting the killer, but she has needs and she satisfies them with persons needing the same thing. All without the hassle of a relationship. And in a reformed Irish society this is not viewed well and she is often not taken seriously in her field because of it, or removed from the public view. But in the end, she has her killer. Eliminating another Hollywood cliche, the killer is caught by sheer luck, after some of his actions that were not linked to the murders have serious consequences. Season three is dedicated on building a case against him, to make sure he will definitely do the time and ends with Stella Gibson being given the credit for stopping him and her going back to her home where we see her alone sipping red wine from a crystal glass.

Why I like this character so much? Because it was written so well, it is so real. In my 40s if I continue in my career, I will probably be something like that. Honestly, I hope I’ll be that good looking as well. :)) I can make tough decisions, but that does not mean I am not emphatic. I will stand my ground even if tears are rolling from my eyes. I am a woman, I am anatomically frail and vulnerable, but that does not mean I am weak. In the series she is also an anthropologist. Her behavior reminds me of Temperance Brennan a little, but Stella is more real, because she knows and accepts herself, that is why you do not see her trying to look strong, or hiding away her emotions. In the series, she explains why masculinity is a defect, when asked why women are so strong. Women are created based on a complete set of chromosomes:XX. Men are created from an incomplete set: XY, one chromosome is missing a strand of DNA. That is why, even if women are anatomically weaker, emotionally women are stronger and more resistant to pain. No idea if this is true, but is wrapped up beautifully enough in scientific facts, that makes it damn believable.

Another actor that gives an amazing performance is Jamie Dornan. It’s a little ironic that his role seems to resemble the role he has in 50 shades of Grey. I really hope they don’t decide to typecast him only as sexual psychopaths from now on. Because this guy has serious acting potential, which combined with his good looks might be the perfect cocktail for a great career. His character Paul Specter is amazingly written as well. The normality of the character in family scenes is strongly contrasting with his psychopath scenes, but he has a good side as well, that is well hidden in his actions, removing yet another Hollywood cliche, where evil characters are purely evil.

I won’t tell you more about the series, but I’m gladly recommending it. Just be sure you can take this kind of movie, because the characters feel real, so is the violence in some scenes. And also the cloudy sky over Ireland gives the series a dark feel as well.

Now I’m conflicted, these three seasons were amazing and the end was amazing. I’m a little uneasy if they will continue the series with Stella Gibson hunting another serial killer, because the next story might not be so good. I mean, look at True Detective.

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Apr 09 2017

Song inspired post

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:10

It’s no secret for my friends and for my oldest readers that I am a peculiar music lover. I get lost in songs that beside sound also have deep and meaningful lyrics because this combination moves people and makes them think. The song “Happier” from Ed Sheeran is such a song. I just finishing listening to it and felt the need to write here where my mind went.

I remembered how I felt when you left, I remembered a few of the things you told me, among them I hope I remember properly, you said you do not want to stay in my way. Almost three years ago, all the things you said about leaving me for my own good seemed such bullshit and still hurts a little thinking about it. Because at the time it was bullshit that you trying to feed me, to keep my love for you alive, just in case your new relationship would not have worked and you might have realized at some point that you loved me and you were better with me.

It’s ironic really, that bullshit from three years ago is not bullshit anymore. You were in my way. I sat four extra years in a town that I did not like, in a region of the country I loathed, just because I thought I I loved you and you felt the same and I should give that relationship a chance, even against all odds. I really hope you are happier now, happier than you’ve been with me. I was never good at this relationship stuff and I know I probably I made mistakes that I didn’t acknowledge at the time and don’t even remember now. I can’t remember the times when we were happy that much. So I have nothing to compare with my current situation.

I’m definitely more tranquil and focused on what I am passionate about. I’m definitely more aware of my own desires and what brings me satisfaction. I am more open-minded to new experiences and new people. I am more accepting of my failures and of others as well. I am more indifferent to the human nature, I have become less critical about the world and more careless. I don’t know if this is bad or good from others’ point of view, but sure feels good and comforting. And what else is happiness if not loving what you’ve got after all? So I guess I am happier.

I am writing all this from a hotel room with a view over a beautiful city while the sun is shining in my windows and Ed Sheeran is still playing his guitar on my speakers. I took a break from doing something that I love and that I will shortly go back to. And it’s not a man :)), its a technical book that I’m writing, that is yet another part of my legacy that I will leave to this world when I’ll be gone.

This and many fulfilling experiences would not have happened if you wouldn’t have decided to stop being in my way. I know you did it for the wrong reasons at the time, but currently I couldn’t care less.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Apr 08 2017

You thought friend-zone was bad?

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:33

Before telling you what is worse than friend-zone let me tell you a few things about me.

I did not have the occasion while growing up to cultivate friendships because my parents moved me from place to place, there was no internet, or even phones back then, and we were also poor, so keeping in touch with my friends once we’ve switched cities was not an option.
I studied in a technical high school and a technical university. Maybe the situation improved now, but when I did all those, there were not many girls interested in technical domains like computer engineering. So most of my colleagues were boys, and because we spent a lot of time together, few of them became good friends. Some of them are men now, they have wives and kids and the whole package, but they are still my friends. People that are lucky enough stay in one place they make friends among neighbors, among school colleagues, faculty colleagues, etc. I did not have any of these for a enough of a long time to build long-lasting friendships. Friends have changed over the years and the most lasting friendship that I have is 11 years long and going strong and he is a guy.

I currently work in a domain that for years used to be dominated by men, and in some countries, like Germany for example, still is.

And another information that might seem useless, but it will make sense soon: the love of my life died in 2001 and since then every relationship was a failure for me and I took the decision to stay away from romantic involvement, because I do not want to waste anybody’s time, not anymore.

Why have I told you all this? Because a while ago I met a new colleague and we seemed to be hitting it off right away. Not in a sexual attraction/romance way, in that “two peas in a pod”, “brother from another mother” way. The thing I like most when befriending adults, it is really easy to put everything on the table. We’re not insecure adolescent hormone bombs anymore, so you can make dirty jokes and say silly things without the worry of being interpreted in a different way. Because, we are adults, we accept that might happen and well… life goes on and not everybody must like you.

When a colleague asked me about this guy, I just told him straight away: “I think I have a geek crush!” Talking with him about tech, the company we both work for, peculiar movies and books is just time well spent. And I really really wanted to have a beer with this guy, because he seems really uncomfortable at work. So being the no-filter person that I am, I told him so. And that’s when it happened: he colleagued-zoned me. Yeap, this is worst than being friend-zoned. Because what it means, is that this person does not even want to be friends with you. Why did he do it? Well… something about his wife being jealous of him making a new friend that happens to also to be a girl. I can understand that, sort of.

But for me this was never a problem. If my ex-boyfriends would have gotten agitated every time I left the house to meet with my male colleagues, the relationships would have been much sorter. At some point I was going to some of my faculty colleagues houses to work on projects and faculty related stuff, colleagues that they did not even know. I was jealous in two of my relationships, but I had reasons to be. Of course looking back now I realize, that instead of being jealous I should have just ended it. But oh well, mistakes were made. Live some, learn some.

Of course after that chat I never dared saying another word to this guy. It’s not like I’m dying to befriend him or something. I can live well enough with the friends I have. But it just feels stupid. Here we are in a world where we are trying to convince people to treat men and women the same, but I can’t start building a friendship with a guy, because his wife gets jealous.

So yeah, I’ve been colleague-zoned. Achievement unlocked. :D

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Apr 08 2017

git unpack failed: error Missing tree solution

Category: English posts,TechnicalIuliana @ 19:18

More than a year ago, I convinced the company that I work for to switch from CVS to Git. This was not done as I wanted it, because … management… and thus a lot of stupid issues appeared. I did Git support for more than a year, and all this time 80% was Eclipse support, because the EGit Eclipse plugin is … a mess.  Now after more than a year later, a new problem appeared. When people tried to push their changes, a nasty pop-up appears:

And after you get this pop-up, doing it from the command line, doesn’t do it either:

C:\work>git push -v
Pushing to ssh://gigi.pedala@git:29418/gmp-parent
Counting objects: 91, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (85/85), done.
Writing objects: 100% (91/91), 44.68 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 91 (delta 41), reused 0 (delta 0)
remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (41/41)
fatal: Cannot receive pack: error: unpack failed: error Missing tree 07b3431321048e15dccc9e022e258b93252894ef
To ssh://gigi.pedala@git:29418/gmp-parent
! [remote rejected] HEAD -> hotfix/H5.14.0.XX_ADV_XMW_branch (n/a (unpacker error))
error: failed to push some refs to ‘ssh://gigi.pedala@git:29418/gmp-parent’

If you search for a solution on the internet for this, you will most probably be told that your repository is corrupted and that the only solution is to re-clone it. Or you will be required to execute a lot of commands… that might do nothing for you.

Two days ago a colleague of mine from Frankfurt had it. As I was in the office I took the other Git expert in the company with me and went to his computer to dissect his repo. And being the nice person that I am, I will share the solution with you. We ran a git gc

git gc
Runs a number of housekeeping tasks within the current repository, such as compressing file revisions (to reduce disk space and increase performance) and removing unreachable objects which may have been created from prior invocations of git add.

Basically, when you do a push, git packages the information and tries to send it to the remote. Problem is that, whatever is sent to the remote in this case, cannot be unpacked because a git tree is missing for some reason. If you try to do a git show on the tree with the SHA1 code mentioned in the error, all the information is there. So what is happening? Well, git gc will help you here, because when trying to repack the information, you will get a set of errors like these:

cannot unlink file .git/objects/pack…”

Apparently Eclipse, or any other program, or even Windows holds a lock on the repository files, which prevents packing, and obviously incomplete information is send to the remote which cannot unpack it, thus the upacker error problem. I mentioned Windows here, because I haven’t heard anybody having this problem on a Unix system yet.

The solution for my colleague was to restart his computer(we closed Eclipse, but some java processes were still hanging and keeping the files locked so we took the easy way out) and before opening any other program execute git gc. The operation executed without any errors and he was able to continue his work, and do any remote operations he needed.

So this is the easiest solution: restart the computer, do a git gc and go about your work as usual.

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Apr 05 2017

Sonder

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 21:39

Until today I had no idea this word existed and what it meant.

sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

It’s like ponder, but a little deeper. Until recently this word had a different meaning, but because people are creative and languages evolve, this word was reborn with a new and interesting meeting. I guess the English language tries to follow German that has words like Schadenfreude, Erklärungsnot, Futterneid, and one of my favorites: Weltschmerz.

I’m not gonna tell you what they mean, I won’t make it easy for you. ;)

Stay safe, stay happy!

 

Source of the new definition for sonder: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows


Apr 04 2017

The Default People

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 23:49

A lot of time I tried to match the pattern of a default life. The first Trainspotting movie told it in a blunt way:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television.Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning…

 

Of course, the quote is longer and it ends by praising heroin usage. I just kept what fits my post. Most of us that grow in sort-of normal families and are encouraged to follow a development pattern, the same one described in the above quote. Not all parents force you to follow the pattern, but they kinda expect you to and some of them strongly express their disappointment if you fail to follow the pattern. My parents are such creatures, are disappointed in me because I did not follow the pattern. They praised this development pattern so much, that sometimes even I, fall from my passion driven high horse into the muddy waters of disappointment with myself. When this happens I just watch an episode of House, Sherlock or Elementary and then go to sleep. In the morning, the feeling is gone and I get into “planning” a new day mode.

Having a career, job, family, a house with a white fence that you pay monthly for 30 years and parents in law to visit for any holiday is the default mode of this world. It’s nice and it’s comfy. It is expected and it is praised.

I think I’ve always been a glitch. If I look back and analyze my past, a lot of things never made sense. I made unexpected decisions and I always seen the world differently than 99% of my peers. I felt like a misfit for this. I had low self-esteem and went to a psychologist to try to understand what is wrong with me.

I kept expecting frustrations related to me not being able to follow the development pattern to grow proportionally with my age, but as time passes I embrace more and more the anomaly that I am. I learn to appreciate the strong points and make them even stronger. Sure, I will probably never have a mate and never share my genes with the world, but my legacy will be in every developer I train, in every book I write and every person I help grow personally and professionally.

I’m not sure how much my memory will last, but in the end, the entire universe gets born and dies without reason or purpose. We are all dust in the wind, and when I will turn to dust, that is a pattern I will finally be able to match.

Stay safe, stay happy!