So yeah, I tend to start wikis all the time. The past months have been no exception. Marc had been talking a lot about "Cultwiki" (or at least about cults in various forms) so while in Israel I took a little moment and set up Cultwiki, which so far almost hasn't seen many edits - I'm not really that interested in cults myself - or well, to think about why a specific group I like or don't like is a cult. But maybe you are just as interested as Marc? I also set up Drupal Wiki, which is not running Drupal. I love Drupal, but it just doesn't cut it for wikis. Wikis need a certain simplicity and MediaWiki can provide that. Drupal adds too much overhead. On the other hand, through Drupal I've learned a lot about search engine optimization, for which MediaWiki sucks quite badly. I've done some work on MediaWiki extensions and I have some ideas that might improve the ranking of MediaWiki's. Last year I started Cashwiki and Visawiki. I was a little naughty by copying loads of stuff from other wikis that were available under the same Creative Commons ShareAlike Attribution license, but as it goes, both of those wikis have been unavailable for a while now. So by duplicating their content I actually saved it. And even though there's hardly any activity on either of these wikis I definitely want to keep them as notepads for my own experiences. From my experience with these two I came to think it doesn't hurt to start a couple more wikis than necessary so I went ahead and set up Wiki Limburg and Wikifurniture. These last two especially make sense as I've successfully been working together with my brother on keeping our family's furniture business out of the downturn economy. So we already have a lot of appropriate content and it's fun to see where we can take this.
Today I got myself a new portable 320 GB harddrive. I've been setting up rsnapshot for some time machine like backups, both from my laptop as well as from my Hetzner server. Now I'm hoping rsnapshot will also properly run under cygwin so it can run on my brother's laptop with a future Lacie RAID 2TB Hard Disk MAX, for extra data security with RAID 1. P.S. Rename USB drive in Ubuntu.
Right now we have 1 guest. Sebastian from Sweden. He got here through Stephen, who came on his bicycle from Chicahgo. We've had quite some more guests in the meanwhile, another friend of Stephen, and then I had too many requests too handle through couchsurfing for the weekend of the 4th of July. I kind of told people there would be a lot of people and let them figure it all out - and I almost never say no to hitchhikers. It started to feel like Casa Robino and the more people arrived, the better it was. It was great, for a few people it the first experience with hospitality exchange, and dumpster diving. Erga will be leaving the 13th and before I fly back to Europe I will be visiting my friend Joe Edelman whom I haven't seen in 1,5 years or so. He sounded very exciting about his recent progress with the future of social adventure. Yesterday my 30-day unlimited ride was finished. So I decided to get a new one for 7 days, to cover the last full week in Harlem. I put in 20 US$ in the machines, then another 20, which was refused. So I tried again. Then it came out, but it got stuck. It got stuck in such a way that I didn't dare to pull it out. I didn't know what to do, Erga was not underground because of a phone call that came in and I tried to summon the guy in the booth. He didn't come out. Then after some moments of wondering what to do the machine ate my 20! And no metrocard came out, no money. Instead I got a little receipt that said I paid 20 US$. I went back to the guy in the booth and the only thing he could do was give me a restitution form in which I'm going to put a printed version of this story. And I'm supposed to hope to receive a check for 40 US$ in my mailbox at some point, but I don't have a clue what I should do with that. Fuck the MTA. Fuck American institutions (more about this later). 6.99$. You get to the counter, and then it's suddenly 7.58$. In the US it's annoying that it's always unclear if tax is included or not. Fortunately Chinatown seems to be the exception. Today we had some cheap (4.5 US$, tax included) and greasy but still nice food there. 0.99$. You get to the counter and it's 1.50$. Fortunately it was just because of a Duane Reed customer card that was quickly provided by a girl behind me. Americans are usually really really friendly, unless they're employees of some kind. Fuck American corporations. I've started addressing West-Africans, in the subway and in the street. "E be bamanankan?" "Ueeh?" [amused surprised face] "I ka kene?" ... "E togo?" "Abubakar Keita" [laughter]. Meanwhile I'm about to start a couple of new wikis, I'm working for some human rights NGOs (about which I will definitely write more when the time is right). I also got very excited about search engine optimization. It's such a fun game to play. And then there are little tidbits of things I'm working on. More later, for sure. Anyway, I will be back in Amsterdam on the 19th of July. Ready for a dose of Europeanness.
"The recent figure I just got was over 92% of all soy grown in the Amazon is for animal consumption, not human."
Last year September my brother and I started working on a Drupal site for our family's business: Souren Furniture. As is often the case I didn't really have a clear idea about what to expect. From the start we've been playing with search engine optimization
Let's see if the wordpress ping.fm plugin is working properly at guaka.org
Hopefully no one noticed my blog has moved to another server. After almost two years of excellent (and free) service on Callum's server it's now at hetzner.de, a company offering excellent value for money and that is running on green power. I've been using hetzner for a lot of sites that I've worked on in the past 6 months and right now I'm considering giving up my Slicehost for a new offer by Hetzner.
While Erga and I were planning to leave the war crazed country where the instigators of the massacres in Gaza are hailed by very large parts of the population I found out that Chen, a friend of mine from my time at the Conservatory in the Hague was living in Haifa. So we made a slight detour. We first visited Erga's 90 year old grandmother who lives in Netanya to drop off some stuff. Very warm and cozy. The next day we tried to hitch to Haifa, but it turned out the worst hitchhiking experience in Israel so far. There is no good spot to hitch on the on-ramp onto the highway 2 north so we tried road number 4, where we only managed to get 2 shorter rides. Finally we took a bus into Haifa. It was great to see Chen again. She took us on a little tour on the mountain after a remarkable event. At some point we heard the neighbours shouting "fire, fire". I first grabbed my shoes, Chen and Erga ran over there directly, to find a panicking old woman and her Philippino household aide. My first reaction was: where can I find a bucket? I couldn't find anything, and the rest of the bunch was too busy leaving the house. The old woman was worried about not being dresses properly. My next reflex was: blankets. I found a pile of blankets and chose the one that felt most like cotton and went into the bedroom which was mostly very smoky with a relatively big fire in the corner. I first tried it out on the burning electric plug, which worked really well and then on to the two fire spots. Pushing the blanket onto the heart of the fire worked really well and I'm glad I couldn't find a bucket. Chen had called the firebrigades and when they arrived they turned off the electricity (this you should do first, in any fire).
Of course I'm hypocrite to call for a boycott while being in Israel. But it's the least I can do. Today I went to the market in Ramallah. With Casper, a Danish guy who is living in Malmo. We took bus 18 from close to Damascus Gate in Al Quds (as it's called in Arabic). When we got to the checkpoint we heard several shots. There was a demonstration going on next to the security wall and two Israeli soldiers were firing at them. Of course I'm hypocrite to call for a boycott while being in Israel. But it's the least I can do. Today I went to the market in Ramallah. With Casper, a Danish guy who is living in Malmo. We took bus 18 from close to Damascus Gate in Al Quds (as it's called in Arabic). When we got to the checkpoint we heard several shots. There was a demonstration going on next to the security wall and two Israeli soldiers were firing at them. It didn't look like people were seriously wounded, though not a pleasant sight.
In Ramallah the atmosphere was not cheerful. TVs were showing the news, rain was falling down. We had 2 falafels, walked around at the market. Unfortunately I only met one of the guys I had met last time I visited Ramallah - and he was a little bit more annoying than the others. At the juice bar we had orange, banana, ginger, date smoothie - no milk (because I also mostly boycott animal products).
adding picture any moment
Meanwhile on CouchSurfing the war in the Peace in the Middle East group is full on, someone started a thread called Why I'm fully supporting military operation in Gaza, to which Ram responded:
I think the logic of your statement depends on certain assumptions which form the very basis of our [Israeli] narrative: 1. its "us" against "them". 2. we're not responsible for their situation. 3. The "other side" can not be a partner. (+they want to kill us). 4. so long as an enemy is an enemy, he must be fought. it's the only way. 5. we're the good guys. 6. We've exhausted all other possibilities. 7. It is more dangerous not to act, then to go out to war. 8. We have no alternatives.So yeah, apparently that's actually what most Israelis think here. Fortunately I'm now in an apartment with an antizionist Israeli, a European and 4 cats.