Archive for May, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

by Angela on Saturday, May 12th, 2012.

So this is what the world looks like when I have had sleep. Its good. its surreal. I have motivation to write a blog post for the first time in months.

Since returning to Berlin early 2012 –  Kaichen has been in Kita. This has allowed me to have time  to sleep and also be “alone” for a few hours each day  for the first time since he was born ( over two years)-  and  this “freedom” for want of a better word, its a foreign concept to me.

I am still adjusting, even now I still look around for him, and I still have to tell myself that I can actually have a shower or sit down to enjoy a coffee without looking up to see what he is doing.

I don’t really know how to put into words the way the world looks now through non tired eyes –  shinier perhaps?

After talking to Kais Kita teacher, (aka Anne Hathaway of Berlin) –  she enlightened me to the idea that perhaps i had been functioning at such a low energy/on no sleep level for so long – it became the norm, and suddenly, my mind, now fuelled on sleep, (plus the mandatory caffeine) is buzzing on a new level!

suddenly ideas and thoughts come flooding to me – things seem possible in  new way, on a practical and theoretical level. Even my daily yoga is met with a new breath, I can feel myself going deeper into the so called “dead zones”…

I have known for a while now that I have become totally incapable of relaxing. I cant sit still. I have borrowed the term, “the blessed unrest” taken from the idea that it is the blessed unrest that keeps you marching. Partly i fear if i slow, i wont get going again, ( think  – the rolling stone, no moss analogy). Oli also has a similar blessed unrest, and we both can see it in Kai. His Kita teacher, is amazed at how Kai “never stops moving”, he is like the energizer bunny. When she first confessed this, I was so relieved. For so long I was under the assumption that I was a bad mother for being tired running after him, thinking that Kai needing to escape, run for the road without fear, go down slides head first on his own, climb onto and into everything, and catapult himself off things, was normal boy behaviour, and to an extent it is – but Kai takes it to the next level of intensity. I also love him for it. He has an unwavering sense of adventure. If there is a new thing to explore, he leads the way. on the flip side, he also gets bored and restless and has a short fuse. His stubbornness is not a huge shock, ( both oliver and I are very stubborn by nature) but a lot of these arguments do fall under the nature/nurture debate.

A reflection fitting in line with Mothers Day tomorrow, finds me at the point where I am still riddled with guilt – feeling like every day  I commit myself to being ” a better mother”/ more patient, more attentive to meeting Kais needs, and yet, I still fall down. It also never ceases to amaze me that many mothers I speak too from many varying backgrounds,  share this sentiment!

Somehow I can give advice I cant take myself. Hypocritically of me, I can reassure someone else that they are a brilliant mother, and that they are human, and thus allowed to make mistakes  – yet I want more for myself, and for Kaichen.

My mothers Day present to myself? A Butoh Workshop entitled “Frontier is the Body” with the famous Yuko Kaseki – held here in Berlin, at Eden Studios An eight day workshop, that will allow me to explore my sense of self (whatever that is now).

A chance to use my body in conjunction with my mind. To explore movement and my kinesthetic awareness to re connect with myself. I was lucky to secure a place, and I am just a little excited!

Saturday, May 12th, 2012 Thoughts No Comments

The Duck Always Bites Twice

by Oliver on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012.

These days I’m noticing myself saying more and more frequently that Duck Typing is great, except when it’s not.

An amusing issue that briefly cropped up this afternoon was when we failed to correctly negotiate a data structure inside of a Rake task. Consider the following basic task:

desc "a test task"
task :test, :glob do |t,args|
  if args[:glob].nil?
    args[:glob] = 'some default value'
  end
  puts args[:glob]
end


What kind of output would you expect would happen if you ran rake test right now? If you said nil you’d be right! That’s odd, I wonder what is going on here?

...
puts args
...


Some debugging code later… what is the output? That’s right, it’s an empty hash – {}.

You could forgive us for thinking it might behave as one. Anyway, needless to say we then tried args.class and it turns out to be a Rake::TaskArguments, which evidently decides to make the arguments immutable but in such a way that you never know about it.

What usually happens?

$ irb
irb(main):001:0> class Foo
irb(main):002:1> attr_reader :bar
irb(main):003:1> def initialize(value)
irb(main):004:2> @bar = value
irb(main):005:2> end
irb(main):006:1> end
=> nil
irb(main):007:0> f = Foo.new(5)
=> #
irb(main):008:0> f.bar
=> 5
irb(main):009:0> f.bar = 6
NoMethodError: undefined method `bar=' for #
	from (irb):9

If you’ve seen the WAT video then you know what’s coming next:

    def method_missing(sym, *args, &block)
      lookup(sym.to_sym)
    end

...

    protected
    
    def lookup(name)
      if @hash.has_key?(name)
        @hash[name]
      elsif ENV.has_key?(name.to_s)
        ENV[name.to_s]
      elsif ENV.has_key?(name.to_s.upcase)
        ENV[name.to_s.upcase]
      elsif @parent
        @parent.lookup(name)
      end
    end


To be fair, this is actually kinda cool. Not only can you do something like args.glob you can also do args[:pwd] or args.term or args.USERNAME.

Unfortunately it lets you do completely unexpected things as in the above example, which is handily translated into the symbol :[]= (which I like to call the Cookie Monster symbol), which doesn’t exist, returns nothing and throws away the value you attempted to assign to it. Because it is handled by method_missing, the additional value we supplied was accepted but not used, unlike any typical situation where it will cause a compile error.

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 Tech No Comments