Tangential 4: They Choke My Precious Bandwidth

12 November, 2014


We teach Shibel what a Limerick is (sorta), we talk about the experience of living in other countries, and we discuss Israel and what it’s like to live there. We also complain about Yosemite and the stability (or lack) of some of Apples recent software.

Transcript available
It's going well. It's 5.40am and I'm caffeinated and awake and can form full sentences. So I figured that's a win. Ha ha ha, nice. This is Tangential, an unending conversation where every topic is a tangent from the last one. Embrace the chaos. Here we go. Alright, cool. Right, so this is the show. 'Cause, well, why not? So, I would love to know a little bit more about your radio background. Obviously, within what you can talk about, Shivel, 'cause I understand that there's certain things that you may or may not be able to speak about. able to speak about. So, I would love to hear more about it. Yes. So, I've been a radio broadcaster for, I think, eight, seven, eight years now. So, started when I was 17. And I'm gonna reveal a secret about the station I work at. Ooh, okay. Alright, so it's basically an army unit. And I hope I can explain this without people getting misconceptions. I work at a station named Galatz, Galitzal. Zahal is the IDF. And this station was established around 60-60 something years ago. And it started broadcasting for soldiers who were away from home and it started broadcasting music and stuff like this. But then it started expanding and expanding. And after the Yom Kippur War, the station started broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And then we got our own news division. And so it's quite, it's, you know, I really, I hesitated to say this, but I guess it's already out, so I don't have a choice. Because, you know, people say, you know, you can't really be an independent news outlet when you're actually a unit inside an army. But the great thing about Galatz, and I say this, you know, without a doubt in my mind, I'm fully behind this. It's really an independent news outlet, as much as a news outlet can be these days. So it's a mix. It's a weird place. It's a mix between an army unit and a news outlet. So I got there seven years ago as a soldier. I was drafted there after going through God knows how many tests and examinations I got there. About 3,000 candidates put in an application to go there and from these 30 go in eventually. So it's quite an exclusive unit, excuse me. So that was seven years ago. And you start really slow, you know, just learning the basics, the importance of, you know, not having any radio silence at any moment, you know, getting stuff to work if something happens, all kind of emergency protocols and stuff like this. And, you know, you kind of climb the ladder with time. Do you have many technicians supporting what you do or do you have to... Like if something goes wrong, do you have people that take care of the technical side or do you get dragged into sorting out the technical component as well? No, we don't deal much with the technical stuff. We've got technicians in every studio. Whether that studio is broadcasting live or recording or doing some kind of musical special, got technicians. But say when I got there we were still working with CDs. Now we have a software that plays the music, changes the tracks for nice mixes and stuff like that. Back then, kids, we didn't have that. We had to use CDs. So say a CD stopped working and you know, you're 17 years old and, you know, this station is the most popular station in Israel. And you're thrown in there and you're told if something wrong happens, you open a microphone and without saying too much bullshit, you know, you need to hold, you know, hold the broadcast basically with nothing else going on. So that's one of the more critical components, at least back then for me to learn was how to basically hold the broadcast. Improvise. Yeah, exactly. Improvise. Yeah. So, were you allowed to tell dirty limericks or not that sort of thing? Am I allowed to say what? Dirty limericks. What is limericks? Do you know what a limerick is? No. It's a kind of poem. It's a kind of poem. Geez, Kyle, tell me you know what a limerick is, Kyle. Oh, yeah, I know what a limerick is. I'm trying to think of what else popped my head. I can't hear on the spot. Now I've said that and I'm thinking, gosh, actually, I don't know any limericks. And I brought it up. I'm terribly sorry. Anyhow, we should have probably stated that English is only my third language after Arabic and Hebrew. So, wow. See, it blows my mind. That's incredible. You speak beautiful English. You really do. If it's your third language. Wow. Thank you. Thank you, John. I don't speak English as a first language. You're doing it far better than I am. Yeah, generally accepted, I think that I speak English and bad English, especially Australian English, which is a special, less good form of English, apparently. Hmm. Anyhow, so I'm told reliably, but that's OK. Anyway, wow, I mean that's pretty cool. I have a friend, a good friend of mine, Sean actually was into broadcast radio and he worked at several radio stations and I was fortunate to get a tour of one many years ago, about 10 years ago now actually when he was still in the broadcast radio game. And just as the software was starting to become a thing and it was cutting edge, I think it was cutting edge at the time, but nowadays I hear it's pretty standard so CDs are gone and software is in. We have some kind of software called Dalet or something like this, Israeli local software that does all the mixing and stuff like this. So, yeah, broadcasters today have a much easier life from that aspect. Yeah, MyStation is quite an anomaly, I think. If you look at it from the outside, especially people who weren't born in Israel. You know, they can't quite comprehend. We have tourists coming in for tours in the station, and I always, you know, see the look in their face and how, you know, surprised they are to see how this place operates. You know, I'm no longer a soldier. I'm just an employee, but I work with the younger soldiers who just got recruited. And it's quite a mix. But I guess that's the whole secret for this place and how it survived so long and how it got to be so... It's the fresh young guys and the older guns. got people 60 and 50 years old working there with the primetime shows. And then you've got 17 years old working as a producer. So, it keeps it dynamic, I guess. Cool. Now, that's awesome. So, when you were... Before you got into the radio side of it as your primary role there. You were trained as a soldier then, I take it? Yes, we do get training, but the training is according to the unit we're going into. So because I was not going to fight or combat or anything like this, my training was adjusted to that. So I didn't get much combat training, if that what you meant by the question, like a real soldier training. Well, I wouldn't quite put it in those terms. But yeah, I was just curious. I'm just, you know, hand in the air, I have never had any military training of any kind. So I'm aware of what a gun looks like because I've seen them. But that's pretty much it. So, I think... - I did shoot an M16 and we did, you know, standard protocols and stuff like this, but nothing, you know, too fancy as far as a soldier goes, an army goes. - Okay. - Just what we need for our regular stuff at the station, which is not much. Fantastic. All right. So what sort of coverage area does the radio station reach? How far away? What sort of area, roughly? Well, it's countrywide. Israel is quite a small country. Yeah. Seven million people. I don't know how many kilometers or miles, but it's countrywide. It's nationally syndicated. We actually have two stations. One is Galatz and one is Galgalatz. The first is a talk show radio station. The second is a music radio station. And the second is by far, and I mean Galgalatz, the music radio station is by far the most popular radio station in Israel, like by miles. But what I do, which is the news bulletins, the news broadcasts every hour, is broadcasted on both of those. So Gal Galatz, yeah, they get the feed from Gal Galatz and the news get to both audiences, which is pretty cool. Yeah, that's nice. Awesome. I feel like we're neglecting you, Carl. Hello, Carl. Yeah. How are you? Hey, how's it going? I'm just here listening to someone who does something far more interesting than what I do for a living. I'm just listening here being part of the audience, being fascinated as well. Yeah, that's cool man. That's cool. So everyone that listens to this is probably tired of having me explain what I do. So what do you do for a living again? I think I know, but tell me anyway. I worked in the very fascinating world of WebEx support for a US government agency. Oh, no. Which I tell people that and they go, "How in the world is supporting WebEx a full-time job?" Like, well, when you have 500 hosts and licenses to support up to 1,000 participants in the call, it's sort of like, some people, it's sort of more an event planning/consultancy/tech support role. tech support role. It's basically everything from, you know, planning these large town hall meetings, large events, you know, helping people with their events and just, you know, the tech support of, hey, we're doing this thing. How can we make this happen? Because WebEx is sort of the agency's sort of chosen meeting and sort of VTC broadcasting platform. So, oftentimes they get a request that's like, okay, we need to show this speech or show this person speaking to, you know, 30 offices across the U.S. and things like that. It's my job to say, "Okay, how are we going to make this work?" So I spend my day doing all of that. Tyrone: Wow, cool. Nice. Alright. Fair enough. DME. So you got an iMac, I've got a MacBook Air and Shivel, what are you running? Just curious. Shivel - Resin MacBook Pro, late 2013 and it's given me quite a headache since Yosemite I can say. Tyrone - Yeah, Yosemite hasn't exactly been that smooth, has it? No, no. I really don't want to think that because I spend my time arguing with people how superior Apple products are. But I think they really rushed things up this time. I think they rushed things up. A big time. Mine won't work, I mean, I can't turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi at the same time. So it's either Wi-Fi works fine and the mouse stutters like hell, or the mouse works fine, but my download rate is 10 bytes a second. 10 bytes a second. So I gotta have one of them turned off. Yeah. And I tried, you know, the classic, even the more advanced troubleshooting, nothing works. So I figured, you know, just wait, just wait till they patch it. Hopefully they do. Oh, yeah, they will. It's just a matter of, well, infinite patience at this point. But yeah, they've got a lot on their plate and they're, Apple are just, they're doing more and more every year. And yeah, I mean, we're not the first people to talk about this. I've I've heard other people talking about it on their podcasts. I find that Apple are biting off more than they can chew, I think. This needs to stabilize a bit. They need to stop adding so many new features each release because the more they spread it across multiple platforms and try to keep it in sync, the harder it is to get any one of those platforms solid on its own. The number of people that I've seen on Twitter that have had issues with Yosemite or iOS 8. We're up to 8.1 and people still got issues. A lot of people got issues with iCloud. It's - oh dear. And of course, all this is on the verge of the Apple Watch coming out in a few months time, you know, 3 or 4 months time. And that's another platform again. And we don't know enough about what it's going to be based on. We all presume it's going to be built on iOS and it probably is a stripped down version of that, I imagine. And once those details shake out in coming months, then how many more interfaces and platforms does Xcode has to cover and developers have to deal with and Apple needs to develop and make reliable. It's getting quite scary actually in terms of manageability. And I think that seriously, yeah, I do worry because I like you remember the Mac when it was... Exactly. I had a Mac, it was solid as a rock. never died. I mean, I had an eMac that was running Tiger and then it was running Leopard. I think it was running Leopard for some stupid amount of time, like something like a hundred and something days. And I hadn't had to reboot it. It never crashed, never had a problem. I know I'm a relatively recent Mac convert. So I got my first Mac on November 2013, you know, just a year ago. And it was such a nice transition, you know, to suddenly have everything work out of the box. You know, Mavericks was out for, I don't know how much time back then, but it worked flawlessly. And the computer has been working flawlessly for around a year. Everything, I mean, every single aspect, I couldn't expect for anything better. and it only fueled my enthusiasm with Apple's products. But I seriously do worry now with what we've seen with iOS 8, Yosemite, and soon they're going to have this watchOS. I don't know. I'm not even worried as in I'm the tech pundit, the blogger who writes about Apple's future. I'm worried as a client. I want to have a good computer to work with. I've had one for a while and now it's still kind of good, but a lot less. since I can't use my mouse with it without tracking my internet. It's ridiculous. >> It's funny you say that. I've had the same struggles. I'm sitting here on the 2006 iMac running Snow Leopard. It's basically a media server and backup machine and sort of my server box for my network at home here. It just runs rock solid. I've fixed a lot of my Yosemite problems by just not upgrading to Yosemite. I've got a 2010 MacBook Pro and it can't do hand-off, it can't do a lot of the latest and greatest features, so I just said, I'm not gonna enable iCloud Drive, I'm not gonna upgrade Yosemite, I'm gonna stay at Maverick just 'cause there's nothing I need from it. And especially seeing all the people having problems with it. I'm like, you know, maybe it's just 'cause I'm getting older and I'm just less, you know, I sort of, there's sort of that cycle of when I was in college, you know, I tinkered, I played with things, I think I spent more time fixing and building computers than I did using them. and now I'm sort of in the group of actually want to use computers. So it's my first, you know, modern Mac was a 2006, you know, MacBook, right when they first came out. It had all the problems that those had, the moving and the discoloration and everything else with them. Yeah, it seems like it's, you know, I'm less inclined to want to tinker and want to fight with the machine. You know, I see these things that they're rolling out, I'm like, you know, let me just wait, wait another revision or two or three until you've got all these bugs worked out. Then I'll, then I'll look into it, then I'll start using it. it's the solid Apple platform that I've come to know and appreciate. Yeah, exactly. Honestly, Gawain, sorry. Yeah. I just, I find that the new features, particularly the handoff and the continuity, for me, it's still very flaky. It doesn't work. It's not very solid. And I think part of my problem is the bandwidth issue. So for me to have network internet connectivity, I've got an ADSR1 connection. and people that listen to me regularly hear me complain about this all the time and that's fine. So, anyhow. Point is that all of that doesn't work through any kind of local data transfer at least as far as I can tell and as far as what I've read. Everything has to go up to the cloud and the cloud is the fountain of knowledge and that's fine. The one true source of knowledge I should say. So, if I'm working on my iPad and I hand off, all I'm really doing is the MacBook Air detects that yes, I have an iPad, it's within range, yes, I'm working on this document and so on. And at that point in time, it says, right, here's all the information, go and grab it from iCloud. So it makes sure that one is that the iPad is in sync with iCloud and then the MacBook Air grabs that information from iCloud and then it opens up, you know, pages or numbers or whatever I'm working on and you can then start working again. The problem is if your internet connection is not that great, like mine isn't, then that delay can be quite significant. And I've sat there and I've watched it and time to take up to five minutes to have it synchronized. And honestly, that's ridiculous. That's not a handoff. That's a joke. I may as well, it's quicker to get a USB flash disk. Yeah. How, just how bad is your internet connection, John? Well, it's 1.5 megabit down and the killer is it's only 384 kilobit up. And that's killer bits, not kilobytes. So yeah, it's really not that great. Yeah, I'm sure you're connecting. I'm sure you also have a bandwidth cap. I'm sure that once you go over the sacred amount of data you can be queased by your provider, that they kill whatever speed you do have. Yeah, that's true. They do. But I never reached that limit because... Okay, so I'm on a... The problem I've got is, okay, I got a 200 gig monthly limit, which is a lot and I never hit that limit. fact most months I barely get to 100. Keep in mind I'm also downloading like latest Xcode builds and stuff like that and messing around with bits and bobs and different software. And once I'm updating iPads, so I've got this, there's 5 iPads in the house, so I've got one for each of the kids and I've got mine and then I've got 2 iPhones plus a spare and that's just, and now I've got 2 MacBook Airs. So there's a lot of stuff and all it takes is Apple to release an update and there goes 10, 15GB. But anyway, so the issue is that I never hit the 200GB limit because the download rate is so bad and I can't upgrade to 80Cell 2 because the device that I'm behind, they call it a RIM and these particular devices are essentially a line concentrator. So you come in with a fixed number of channels, let's say 30 channels, but you connect that up through copper to up to 50 subscribers. So our phone is one subscriber and it works in the principle that you don't have more than 30 people talking at the same time. Statistically that's true, but when it comes to an always on internet connection that's not true. So what they'll do is they'll have a RIM port bypass that allows you to permanently connect for ADSL connection. The problem is of course that the number of channels is fixed going back to the telephone exchange and those fixed data rates are fixed at ADSL 1 speeds. So unless they upgrade the backhaul to the telephone exchange and unless they then upgrade the port bypasses for the RIM, then I'll be forever stuck on ADSL 1 speeds. And I think I've told that story a few times but there you have it anyway. And I thought internet in Israel sucked. Nope. Well, actually I don't know, does it? I guess it's fine. We have a lot of issues here in Israel with... It's a trending issue right now in the news with how expensive it is to live here. You know, with all of our, you know, much of our budget going to security issues, you know, the government has less money to spend or pay attention to other issues of life. So yeah, we get like now with the iPhone 6, we've got a lot of people complaining. It costs around, the base model costs here around $1,100, I think, something like this. So that's quite... But with the internet, I went, I think I went once and I checked, and we can check right now because we are in three different continents, so we can compare the prices. I think we're doing, well, not great in absolute terms, but relatively to the States at least, I think that says more about what's going on there or in Australia, I'm sorry, in Australia than what's going on with Israel. So I've got a 15 megabit download and 800 kilo, sorry, yes, 15, do I, I don't know. Yeah, 50 megabit download rate and around... I don't know my upload rate. I think it's 800 kilobytes. It goes down to 800 kilobytes. And I pay around... Around $34-$35 for that. I don't think it's capped. I haven't tried to test it too thoroughly but I don't think it's capped. Caps aren't something here in Israel. I don't know if they are in Australia. Oh yeah, definitely. My 80C1 playing 200GB is the cap. I go beyond that. Like Carl said, they choke what precious bandwidth I have down even smaller. But, anyway, the privilege of that is it costs me $40 a month Australian. So that's about $35 US a month roughly. And if you're curious about the iPhone 6 pricing in Australia, it's $869 for the entry level iPhone 6. Yeah. Well, we've got a monopoly here, so... Yeah, you always say, well I'm going to sound like this little jerk now because I'm sitting here on a 25 meg down, 25 meg up, you know, Fios, cyber object connection that I pay. It's funny because I, we recently moved so like five or six miles down the road basically to the next town over. And I was paying for 15 up and down, 60 something dollars a month. And now that we moved here and have a new account, I'm now paying 40 something a month for 25 up and down. So it's sort of a crapshoot depending on the alignment of the sun, the mood of your ISP, what you're actually paying. And this is one of the few places there is actually competition in the US. There's so many places that you either, you can get cable or you can get this or you can get DSL. Or, you know, my dad lives 60 miles due west of D.C. And there are no fire options. I mean, he's out in the country, but it's not that far out in the country. - Right. - Where his options are basically cellular or satellite. And he's sort of going back and forth, because, you know, it's sort of the same problem John has. It's, they're severely capped. I think his cap is something crazy, like 20 gigs a month or something, or 30 gigs. I mean, it's something just outlandish. And it's like, you know, and it's so interesting. a lot of things they just don't do. You know, they don't...like Netflix streaming, any kind of streaming video is not a reality. And they run into problems with Dropbox, especially with the trend now, if all the videos on Facebook and everywhere else want to auto play the video, it's eating up their bandwidth in the background even when they're not doing anything. Because everyone sort of assumes you have an always on, always available connection that you can just stream data to at all times of the day and night. And you don't realize all the little things eating that data until you're actually paying for it or looking at it. Because if anything happens, they hit that cap and they're suddenly down to nothing for the rest of the month. Yeah, that's really frustrating when that happens. It's terrible. I wonder why it is like this in the US. What's the reason? What's the underlying reason for of all, these parents and second of all, the high prices relatively. You know, we know here in Israel that it's electronics that are outrageously expensive. But, you know, from hearing from both of you, I think we're doing pretty good internet-wise. So I've always wondered and I, you know, read people on Twitter, listen to people on podcasts, you know, talk about internet bandwidth and prices in the US and it's quite expensive, well, comparing to where I live. I'm just wondering why, whether we know anything. Sorry, go ahead. Well, the economics in Australia are all messed up because, as I've said previously on different episodes of, I think I've talked about this on Pragmatic previously, is that Australia is a big place and running fiber long distances cost a lot of money. You ve only got 27, 28 million people, something like that, in the whole country and it s an enormous area. It s almost the same surface area as the main continent of the United States, not including Alaska. That s a huge area for a relatively small number of people when you consider that, size and that makes the cost per individual quite high. That's the driving force, unfortunately, for us. In America, it seems to be very driven by corporate... the incumbents in the market tend to dominate. You've got Fios is only available where... it's Verizon, I think, isn't it, who provide Fios? Yeah, it's Verizon. It's basically really hit or miss, whether they've decided to run I used to live in Richmond, Virginia. Hi, Casey. And it was literally like this neighborhood would get Fios, this neighborhood wouldn't. They would really, you know, you could have two neighbors and one would have Fios and one would have an option. I think, yeah, the biggest problem with the US are, again, I'm no expert on this, but there's no competition anywhere. It's sort of like, I mean, Fios really was the only thing that really gives you competition besides unless you're on Time Warner or Comcast. You sort of have Dial-Up, your cable company, and then there's usually no other option. there might be a satellite provider out there, there might be a cellular provider, but in terms of the same experience you get on a cable wired connection, for a lot of people they have no choice. Their option is one thing or nothing. So you're gonna pay whatever it is a month for that one service that you've been deemed allowed to have and now we have things like TimeWare and Comcast going to merge and they're going, oh this would be great for customers. Of course that's what they're saying. And meanwhile the customers are like, no, 'cause even where you could theoretically and competition now is all gonna be obliterated. It's all gonna be one company. And I remember seeing a clip of one of the, I don't know if it was the Comcast or the Time Warner executive going, you know, well you can't get Comcast in Philadelphia and you can't get Time Warner in Boston. You know, and they've carved up the market to say, well we're purposefully not gonna compete with you. So this is no competition. So if you want broadband internet, you've got one choice and you're gonna pay whatever that is. And like I said, even that can be random. I've had people on the same price, same plan on a provider paying vastly different sums of money 'cause it just sort of seems to be dependent on the mood of the ISP at the time when you sign up, what you're actually paying for the same exact service. So there's no rhyme or reason to it. But yeah, we've really lagged behind a lot of other places in just bandwidth, speed and availability and pricing. I looked at Europe, I looked at Asian countries going, I wish I could get any kind of connection speeds are out there for what they pay versus what we pay here. I think the other problem I have with this whole internet speed thing is that there's a point at which depending on what you want to do, what you want to get out of it, there has to be a practical point where you say, "Well, what I've got is probably sufficient." I mean, for example, for me, if I wanted to stream Netflix, no way. Not that Netflix is technically available in Australia. I mean it is if you know how to get it but different hoops you can jump through. But honestly, unless I'm streaming movies or trying to stream movies, I mean I can forget it on my internet connection and I don't. But for everything else, it's perfectly okay. If you don't mind a bit of choppy Skype every now and then, I mean for podcasting, it's fine. It's just that when I upload because I use Nicecast, it connects into Icecast running off the Tech Distortion server for the live stream. If I wasn't running a live stream, it would run Skype just fine, no problem. But because I run the live stream when I'm doing the podcast, that eats up every last bit of whatever bandwidth is left. And sometimes it causes issues with the live stream, but you know, oh well, not much I can do about that. But it's marginally, it's right on the line of good enough. I mean, everyone always wants more bandwidth, everyone always wants to be faster, but the reality is that, okay, So it precludes a few activities like the media streaming but generally speaking, you know, oh yeah and the other one that I can't do that everyone goes and raves about is the online backup stuff. Yeah, that's another thing that I just can't do and the same applies for iTunes Match. So I tried iTunes Match and it went for about a month and it didn't end up uploading everything properly and when I was faced with, you know, deleting that and starting again, I just gave up. So those sorts of cloud backup things are also not so good. Dropbox is fine, but then I've only got about 10 or 11 gig. I forget how much Dropbox space I've got. So it's not an enormous amount. Whereas my iTunes library was about 80 or 90 gigabytes. So anyway. Yeah, that's something I see people talk about, complaining about caps and things like this. Yeah, I mean, we stream a lot of stuff and I've got Crash Plan running in the background. But even then, I just don't use that much bandwidth. Like, you know, again, I had this extravagant, you know, 25 meg down and up plan. Honestly, I got it 'cause it was cheaper to get more speed than it was to get less speed, which makes no sense to me. But yeah, it's really, you know, I don't need all of this. I don't need, you know, they've got like, you know, 100 meg plans and all this. Like, I don't need all of it. I just want things, you know, to be able to load in a reasonable amount of time. I don't need the latest and greatest in the entire world. It's just not that, you know, it works the same whether I'm waiting, you know, two milliseconds or three milliseconds for something to happen. - Yeah, the upside gets smaller and smaller, the closer you get to unlimited, basically. Well, I'm getting quite optimistic about our state of affairs here in Israel after this. I didn't think that after a chat with someone from Australia and someone from the great United States of America, I'd be so happy with what's going on in here in Israel because really that's the talk on the street right now like how expensive everything is like how bad it has become to live here for the middle class yeah, so I guess... - Are there a lot of people leaving Israel? - We went on the internet excuse me? Are there a lot of people leaving Israel or is it... Is it... because I realize that there's a lot of tensions over there at the moment. Well, it has been like this, the tensions, it has been like this for forever really. So no, there aren't a lot of people leaving Israel, at least not that I know of. There isn't like a big serious movement, a diaspora or something. But there are movements that, for example, so one guy who lives in Berlin takes a picture of a milky, which is a sort of a -- how do you call this? You see, this is where everything that I know about English -- this is where it all fails. when I need to use a really simple term that I just don't use in English when I write on the blog or when I chat with people. I just don't use this word and now I can't find it. So, I'm going to have to go to the translator to tell you what it is. So, anyway, he takes a picture of it and it's a delicacy. Is that how I say it? Delicacy, yeah. A delicacy, yeah. Yeah, it's like something you eat? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, okay. So he takes a picture of that and it's an Israeli brand and it costs, in Berlin, it costs less than it costs in Israel. And it just blows up. People start saying, "Okay, we're moving to Berlin" and Facebook page is up and, you know, this is not... What we have to understand is this is, you know, seven million people living here in Israel, So every news bit is news. So in the States, you might have something going on in one state and, you know, in another state it's not such a big deal unless it's a federal or a national thing. But in Israel, every bit of news like that becomes a news item. And you know, a Facebook page goes up calling for people to leave the country and showing how great Berlin is compared to Israel. They start comparing prices of basic foods and ingredients and groceries. And it catches fire for a while, then it dies off a little bit. So I wouldn't say a lot of people are leaving Israel, but we're not doing that great. There isn't like, I just want to put things in perspective because in my previous visits to the US, people were like, how's the war going on there? Are you okay? No, it's not like this. We live quite a normal life most of the time, except when we and our neighbors go to war every couple of years. We live a normal life here, but all the pressure with the Palestinian issue, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the terror, and what they're doing to us, what we're doing to them, all of this. I don't really want to take a position here. It adds up to people. you know, it boils inside of them and you know, it's hard. Yeah, it's sort of interesting, you know, that's sort of what I imagine, you know, it's like life goes on for the most part except when it doesn't, you know, but yeah, the news, I mean, I try my best, you know, sorry, I try my best not to watch the news for the most part, at least any mainstream news, because it's always just, you know, constant war, constant struggle, constant fight, you know, the image is like, you know, you guys are just, you know, like you get up in the morning and you giving your bombshell can you walk down the street you know you know around grenade around missiles and coming like every single day that's sort of the impression the news gives you like this this constant war zone but like that can't be a reality that's just the you know the version we're seeing just as the news news 24 hours a day whether there's 24 hours a news or not so here we're gonna feed you over and over again because Israel is only a news item when a war is going on or when we have a diplomatic crisis with the states, just like we had last week. I don't know if you heard about that, but you don't watch the news. So there's been like a serious diplomatic crisis with the states last week. And so, yeah, I understand what you say, Carl, because, you know, this is the same frustrations that I have, is that you only hear about Israel when there's a terror bombing or when Israel attacks in Gaza for some reason or another. And that's what people think it's all about. And it's not. I was just watching Homeland a few minutes before the podcast got in. And I'm going to get in my car in about an hour or two, go to work, eat something nice, smoke a cigarette, go home, sleep. Life is quite ordinary here, for most people at least. So where you live, do you live anywhere near the border or are you more or less away from the major borders? Yeah, I'm pretty far away from the borders. I actually live in the center District like not district, but I live near Tel Aviv which is like right in the center. Yep It's the people call it the Small Apple like the mini, New York Because it resembles New York in a lot of ways So yeah, a little bit of a bubble Tel Aviv is because you know people who live there You know, they don't necessarily experience What people outside of Tel Aviv do? or people living near the borders do So it's like the it's like New York in the States like it's a a little bit of disconnect Although I think it's it's it's much more It's a bit exaggerated the way people look at it. You know, the Tel Aviv disconnect, the Tel Aviv bubble. So that's where I work in Tel Aviv. And so I rent an apartment just in the vicinity. But originally I'm from a really small town in northern Israel called Yisifia. And here's where I reveal another secret. Okay, because we just got to it. I'm not Jewish. I'm actually Druze. D-R-U-Z-E. And it's a relatively, you know, not well-known religion. It's relatively unknown. I think around one million in the whole world. and I might be wrong about that too. So, yes, so that's where I grew up and you know the whole I guess people who who've read my blog when I was anonymous and stuff like that were kind of wondering what what the motivation is. So I'm the first non-Jew to get accepted into this radio station. So there was like quite a lot of fuss around around it when it happened. And, you know, for me, now that we're talking about, you know, left and right, and I kind of got you into the, you know, inter-Israeli affairs that I'm not sure how interesting they are, and I'm not sure how far can you understand them, but, you know, when I see all the things about, you know, you know, left and right and Tel Aviv versus non-Tel Aviv people. You know, for me, I also have this outsider perspective because, you know, I just grew up in a small town. Ten years ago, people would still call it a village. And you know, I look at it and there is a disconnect inside my own life because I always say I live in two places that are 80km apart, but also 30 years apart of each other in terms of infrastructure and stuff like this. So, how many people lived in the town you grew up in? Just curious roughly how many people? 8,000. Wow, okay, cool. So, I grew up in a town called Rockhampton and when I was growing up it had about 65,000 people. So, it was a reasonable, much larger actually. So, yeah, and as for whether or not people are interested, I mean, I guess the thing is that I've only ever known one other person who lived in Israel for any significant period of time. He was originally born in Germany, but he lived in Israel and grew up in Israel for about 14, 15 years. So it was, I don't, I think a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about Israel and what goes on. And obviously if you watch the news, the popular press, they'll show the same bloody news all the time of, you know, someone launching a rocket and it's like, "Oh, they launched another rocket. Oh no, they didn't launch another rocket. Actually, it's the same rocket that they're just playing that was launched, you know, that's been played now for the 5,000th time." And it builds this impression that there's always some kind of strife going on and so on. And they don't, of course, because it's not newsworthy to show here are people in Tel Aviv going about their lives as normally as you like. And it's not so different to what you might expect in many other countries. I think it's important that people understand that it's not as you would expect if you're just forming your opinion based on popular media. I think that is interesting and people need to realize that, I think. Yeah, the reason I don't get into this issue is that it's hard to talk about it without, you know, for an outsider to give some kind of misconception or misinform him. You know, I like one of my problems, and it has been on the radio too, is that I like to be fair. So when I'm telling you my position, I like to give a disclosure and disclaimer and tell you, but the other side says that this is his position, but my position is that. And then I end up like this, stuttering and trying to explain myself, because Israel is really, it's not even a puzzle. It's a mosaic. It's very, very complicated what's going on in here and the underlying forces moving things and the interests, the religious interests, the national, the whole thing with the Palestinians, the Americans and everything moving under the surface, even if mainstream media wanted to cover it. And I mean mainstream media outside of Israel wanted to cover it reliably. They couldn't. You have to be born here to understand how it goes. And just so we be fair, because I like to be fair, Things in Israel aren't all good and dandy. You know, most Israeli citizens live a normal life for the most part, except when a fully fledged war is on. But there are some living on the borders, and there are some Palestinians living on the border that don't have a normal life. and i think in this conflict uh... both sides uh... to say it very very uh... restraining plea i don't know if that's even a word not to be very restrained to be very restrained uh... are making a lot of mistakes uh... so if you know again from a total outlier perspective you know again if i can help all of our news is, you know, again, from the mainstream, it's fed to us through the lens of, you know, Americans did this, Americans did that, and one American died today in this, and it's very much that lens of, which I can sort of understand to a point, but yeah, but like, there's no greater context, there's no greater understanding, yeah, I mean, what's been going on in Israel, like you said, it's been going on forever, it's not like you can sit down and explain to someone in ten minutes, okay, here's what's happened, here's why it's happened, you know, it's so convoluted, it's so complex, there's no simple answer it. There's no simple anything. You can't just be playing with someone. Again, especially as someone who has no experience, as a total outsider here living near Washington DC, I have no idea what it's like day to day. My perception and what I would see and experience of it is obviously vastly different than yours or even John's. You living there and even John I'm sure gets a different spin on the media that's sent out of there and brought to us by our own country. Absolutely. Yeah, and this makes me think of another difference that you and I have, and that is the cultural difference. Because all the people that speak English as a first language, or at least speak an Indo-European language, like Australians, Americans, British, you know, you kind of... And it's always been interesting for me because, you know, I would listen to a podcast and then somebody would tell a joke and everybody would laugh and I wouldn't. And I would say, "What's wrong with me? What's going on?" And then I would go and meet a friend of mine who's visiting Israel from the United States and I would tell him a joke and I'd see that he doesn't quite get it. And this is how complex this is, you know, the other issue of cultural difference. I've seen a blog post written by, I don't remember who anymore, about the hardships of the non-American writer, tech writer, in that blog post specifically. And it talked about like not being in the United States and not being, and I think the, you know, the hardship for someone who doesn't speak English as a first language is not just the language. You see, my language is pretty okay while we're speaking here, but it's beyond that. It's like getting the, you know, the language, the jargon, the cultural properties, the jokes, the humor, the type of humor. So yeah, I think that's another difference to look at and that it might be easier for people to understand it like this in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's like coming to Israel and behaving like an American while you expect to live there and understand the, you know, when you expect to live in Israel, but live like in a total... It's just not even possible. No, well, the thing is when you live in another country and I know you said you visited the United States. I actually lived in Canada for quite a while, for over two years, and I spent about two to three months all up living in the United States. And in order to get your head around what it's like living in another country, you really do have to... It's not just going there and staying there, it's sort of... I know this is going to sound a little bit wanky, but you got to immerse yourself in that culture and the way that they lived and you do the things that they do and you sort of get inside it. You can still... Because the funny thing is when I was over there, there was the... the University of Calgary campus. The first time I was over there, I was staying on the residential college at the University of Calgary. And anyway, they had the international club and there was a sort of like a sub club as part of that, which was sort of like the Aussie students club sort of thing. And I did not go to the Aussie students club because my rationale was I didn't come all the way to this country to hang out with other Australians. I came to this country to go to another country. And so, I hung out with the Canadians and, you know, because, well, why would I hang out with, you know, Aussies? I've been doing that for 20 years at that point. That was nothing new. So, I honestly think that I would love to go and explore Israel. I don't know. I think that that part of the world, there's so much history. And I know that you say it's a very complex issue. Well, that, yeah, there's just because there is so much history and just to see these places and to sort of to walk around in these places that have been written about for thousands of years, which is would melt my brain, I think, because in Australia, the oldest building we have is 200 years old. Right. At least in white recorded history, the Aboriginals weren't big on building buildings. And certainly there's lots of cultural significance from their heritage. but in terms of something that's been written about and talked about in such a part of human cultural history, to be able to walk around Israel and see that with my own eyes and feel it, I think would be incredible. So I'd love to do it someday, but at the moment, I've financially not, perhaps with four kids also in tow, not the best time, maybe when they're a bit older, we'll see what happens. Yeah, well I'll be happy to house you John. Cool. No, there you go. Yeah, I mean I sort of feel the same way. I'm living here in Maryland, right next to DC and all this talking, you know, America, we're 200, 200 and some odd years old. It's like, you know, I drive through these towns, you know, established in 1750 this, established in 1760 that, and you know, you get the sense, oh, this is really old. But then, yeah, you look at Israel and that whole area, and it's like, no, that's hundreds, that's thousands of years of history. That's, you know, before where I am now was even known to the people in that part of the world. You know, it's like there's, you know, it's such a weird, oh, and there's a sort of weird sense of how old something is in comparison to other things. It's sort of this bubble of all the talents. We're in the oldest part of the US, well in the scheme of things, it's just not that old at all. There's not that much history really behind it. - And I'm sitting here-- - We're sort of the adolescents of the developed world. - Yeah, and I'm sitting here, you two talking with enthusiasm about seeing this and stuff like this, But the problem with living in a place with such a rich history and controversial history is that it's just that. It's really complicated. There are different layers of society and history. And everyone has got their own version to what happened. And it creates mundane day-to-day complexities between people living in this country. And we have those problems. So I always-- when I travel to the US or London, which is my favorite city to travel to, people are busy doing their stuff, living their life. And here, if you're like me, for example, if you're a non-Jew with an Arab name-- I've got an Arab name because the Druze's first language is Arab-- and you want to, for example, fly, go travel abroad, you get extra screening in the airports. Yeah. Maybe not me specifically because of, you know, my work, but that, you know, that doesn't make it okay, you know. So it creates additional layers of complexity. And sometimes I just wish, you know, let's leave history behind and try to make the best of what we've got left of this thing that we have here. Yeah. Sometimes it'd be nice to live in a place that's a little less historic and less interesting, you know, when there's nothing going on. I mean, again, it's probably the same scale, but living right next to DC, anything that comes out of DC is national news here. The president can go for a walk with his dog and it's national news all of a sudden, like everything. Again, not to say it's on the same scale as where you are at all, but it's sort of the same thing. It's like, you know, maybe next week would be just a quiet day for a change. Yeah, the thing is, I think that no matter where you go, there's always some controversy of some kind, but the depth of it will vary depending upon, well, the specific location. There are certain parts of Africa that are, you could say, perhaps not in the best shape. I'm not necessarily talking about Ebola, but in terms of their political stability and so on. In Australia, there's always this sort of racial tensions and undertones with the Aboriginals, for example, who are the owners of this country, essentially. And there's this longstanding argument/discussion about the fairest way to handle that situation. And it's interesting different parts of the world struggling with this. If you put all that, if it's possible to put all that to one side and just stop and look around you and see just how amazing, all the amazing things that are around you. I mean, one of the things that I love about my country is the beaches. They're just absolutely the most beautiful beaches in the world that I have ever seen. And that's not just like, I have a reasonable frame of reference having been around most of North America and a few tropical islands in between. And Sydney Harbour is, I think, one of the most beautiful harbours in the world as well. Again, seen a few. But the truth is, though, that if I'm looking for anything of historical significance beyond a few hundred years, and even then, we don't have very many, go to parts of Europe and England. castles that are a thousand years old and parts of Israel with buildings that are older than that. It just blows my mind and I think that it's amazing. Honestly, if you can take that section and push it to one side and say, "Well, I accept there's complexities and it can be difficult," and look around, I still think that's amazing. That's where my enthusiasm comes from is that I just I think that must be incredible. And maybe it's one of those things. When I lived in Sydney, I looked at Sydney Town and said, "Yeah, I'm going to go up Sydney Town one day." Seven months I lived there and I never once went up because I was always going to get to that. Maybe it's one of those things. And I left Sydney and I still haven't been up to Sydney Town. It's not the end of the world, but it's just, you know, you live somewhere, you kind of think, "Oh, it's okay. It's always going to be there and I'm always going to be there and you don't sort of take it in as much, I think. Perhaps that's part of the problem. I don't know. But in any case, I can't help my enthusiasm, I guess. So, was this a... You know, I think that's sort of wherever you live, it's the same problem. There are so many monuments and things in DC, it took me years to get to even though I would work, you know, blocks from it. I could go there on my lunch break. You just sort of take it for granted. Like you said, you know, "Oh, one day I'll do this, one day I'll do that", And then you look back and that one day is gone. You've moved somewhere else. I think it's almost like the graph is greener on the other side of the fence. Something is always interesting to travel to, you sort of forget what you have in your own backyard to go and see. It could be just as interesting. Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. Sorry. So this was supposed to be a podcast about three guys just talking about, complaining about Yosemite. We somehow ended up talking about one of the most complex issues in the world right now. Well, why not? So we're here to solve problems. We are problem solvers. We're going to hash this thing out. Yeah, I'm... I'm far more optimistic than I am on that topic there, Carl. I tell you one thing... We've got a podcast idea, John, me and Carl. Yeah? I'm kidding. I wasn't sure if you were serious. I am on that topic there, Carl. I tell you, though, one thing... We've got a podcast idea, John, me and Carl. Yeah. I'm kidding. I wasn't sure if you were serious. I was in the world of comedy. The whole humor thing is a two way thing there, right? That's it's all good. I mean, the truth is that, I mean, I don't see why not. I mean, why the hell not? We can talk about whatever we want to talk about. And frankly, the thing is, Israel is just one of those things that's it's it's just a fascinating place because it is so complex and I don't know I think that's you could spend a lifetime trying to get your head around all the history and and why it is the way it is and and where it could go from here and and still not and still only scratch the surface there's just so much depth and and that that to me is fascinating so yeah I think that that that's cool yeah that's one of the things that really intrigued me about the invitation to be on on this show particularly. Because I've listened to the other ones. I really appreciate, like Chiple was saying, there's all this...you know, there's nothing wrong with having a structured show and all this. But I sort of just love the free flowing you never know where the conversation will take you. All through college, I lived with three other guys. And we would have these just long sprawling conversations about music and technology and school and video games. And I often look back and said, you know, like three hours later, like I wish we would have recorded this. It's nothing else track, the track like, you know, how we started talking about Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 and now all of a sudden we're talking about Linux distributions. It's like, and now we're talking about, you know, the history of Richmond, Virginia. It's like, how do we get here from there? Just trying to, you know, plot that course I think would just be an interesting thing to look back on. Yeah, I remember. It's fun to have this conversation recorded so you can look back and say, "Now how did we get from the '70s to here, to back again?" Well, the funny thing is that they say that segues are an important part of making a structured and planned conversation seem more natural. But the thing is that one of my pet peeves is that podcasters that say, "Right, and now we're going to have a segue from this topic to this topic." Or they'll do the segue and then I'll say, "See what I did there? See that segue? Yeah, did you see that? Yeah, isn't that good? And it's like, guys, it's supposed to be subtle and you're not supposed to point it out. But I mean, okay. You've missed the point of the segue. The thing about this podcast is that, you know, there are no segues that are planned and it is just a conversation and that's perfectly okay, I think. Anyway, whatever. That's way way too meta. I hate that expression too, meta. God, I hate meta. Anyway. - Oh, I love meta. - Well, let's do a podcast. - Yeah, let's do a meta. I was just going to say, this is what I miss the most about. This is what I miss the most in radio, in the kind of radio that I do. Everything has to be perfectly stitched. I mean, I'm not talking about the news bulletins that I do, And there it's quite a requirement and a justified one because it's a news bulletin. It's not a news show, a talk show. But the talk shows too are perfectly stitched and you have seven minutes to do that and then you have six minutes to do that. And because it's live radio, you've got quite a serious time limitation on how you can deal with the different issues going there. And this is what attracts me to podcasting, to the internet as well, is that you can focus on and get to the bottom of things without paying for it. By paying, I mean without losing the the potential audience or losing... Sorry, let me rephrase that. Yeah. Without losing the audience you have. I've written about it in the past. I shouldn't probably get into it right now because... Well, let's leave it there. Yeah, it's OK. That's fine. I mean, we don't want to go full Gruber and do like a three and a half hour long talk show where one third of it's talking about baseball, which is, you know, don't get me wrong. I mean, I like cricket, but I don't think I've ever talked about cricket pretty much on a podcast. And I'm not intending to start now, cause I'm reasonably sure cricket's not big in Israel and it sure as hell isn't big in the United States. So I wouldn't bore anybody with that, but it's perfectly okay for lots of podcasters to talk about sports on their podcast and that's just something I can't do. I just can't. It's sort of interesting. I've had some conversations on Twitter with various people about sort of the battle line. I know I sort of struggle with the same sort of voice on my own blog. It's like, "Do people read you because you talk about this or do people read you because you're you?" I'm sort of of the opinion of I may find someone because they wrote a great piece on technology or they wrote a great piece on this other topic. But I find, you know, I tend to gravitate more towards people as a whole person. I sort of like to see sort of that look behind the curtain of you're not just a technology writer, you're a human being. What other thing do you like? Because no matter what it is that they care about, you can tell. You may be very passionate about cricket and I think it would be fun to listen to you or read you talking about cricket because you care. care about cricket. I've listened to the podcast and read blogs, you know, read posts and been like, "I don't care at all about this topic, but I find myself fascinated because this person cares so much." And it's sort of just this infectious enthusiasm. You can hear in the voice or see in the writing. So, I think it's interesting seeing, you know, sort of the whole human being as we're all trying to sort of find our voice and find our way in this world. I think one leads to the next. I think that people will start listening to or reading what you write and developing an interest if it's on a topic that they have an interest in that you also have an interest in. And as time progresses and they get to know more of your voice, then it becomes more about you as a person and you, your voice. And at least that's my take on it anyway. Yeah, curious what you, your thoughts on this one, Shibbol. I think you nailed it with one of your recent posts, John, and this connects to what Carl said. From my experience, it's either you've got the authority or you've got the personality. And if you've got both, then you're one hell of an ace. But if you've got either of them, people will listen to you, either because you have something very useful or interesting to say, or because the way you put your things, just the personality that you bring to your work. So I think if we look at one blogger who is very good, I mean very technically profound and with a lot of expertise, I might read him to get to know what's in the next iPhone or something like this. But there's this other blogger who is not as technically professional as blogger A, but the way he writes just attracts me. The narrative with which he lays out his posts, his stories, attracts me. So I'll read both, but if you have both of them, If you have both the true expertise in your field and you've got this captivating personality and by captivating it can be expressed in a lot of ways. Either you're funny or you're cynical or I don't know. If you've got both, you're quite an ace. This is my take on things. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. I think and yeah, thank you for that. I've had a few people come back and say they really like that post about authority. It's funny, you know, because sometimes I've been chewing away on that one for a long time and I put it down writing and yeah, it got some people. I think Ange was very complimentary about it as well. And I think it sort of struck a call with a few people. But one of the problems I have with blogging is that I get far less feedback from what I write on the blog than I do from Pragmatic for example or even this podcast. But it's difficult to gauge whether people are actually interested or agree or disagree because a lot of people will read something and they'll sort of nod and say yep, yep, I totally agree and that's the end of that. There's no actual feedback loop so it's hard to know. And I've spent so much of my time lately doing work on the side and work on Pragmatic and this show that I haven't actually been blogging so much. So when I do, it's more of a rarity and when I don't hear back about it, it's a little bit disheartening. So I sort of stick with what I've been doing the most of lately. And so that's why there haven't been a heck of a lot of blog posts that haven't been about podcasting or about pragmatic in the last year because of God, that's true. I've been doing this for a year. Wow. Anyway, never mind. Time flies and you're having fun. At least that's what I keep telling myself. So yes, anyway, meta discussion. There you go. - Yeah, I told you I love meta so you can't quite avoid it with me. - Ben Alexander used to say the same thing. So I'm just like, yeah, I don't know. I mean, is a podcast about podcasting interesting? I don't know. I don't get it. It's just strange. I know that's not exactly what we're talking about, but I mean that is the essence of Meta. If you're on a podcast, you're talking about how you create that podcast that people are listening to. Is that interesting? I just find Meta to be just... Oh, God. I hate Meta. Anyway, never mind. Stay tuned for my 15-part series on blogging about blogging. Yeah, well that's... And I'm going to start a podcast all about podcasting. Yeah, that's it. Because that hasn't been done either. Oh, dear. It's okay, Shival. It's fine. I mean, I don't begrudge people that enjoy it, I just personally can't get my head into why other people would find it interesting. But I guess if the topic's not relevant and it's just all about listening to the person, then it doesn't matter what the topic is actually. It could be meta or it could be a news read, it wouldn't matter. And maybe that's the point that I'm missing, I don't know. Yeah let's talk about something. I think the thing with all the, you know, how I do what I do or why I do what I do, but I think it's, some of it's just, you know, the people wanna know, you know, sort of how the sausage is made and different things. I think it's also just, you know, sometimes you're just sort of curious how, you know, I'm a tinkerer, I always love to know how things happen. So even if it's, you know, one thing I've learned, even with podcast or writing, everyone sort of has their own take or their own spin on it. It's always sort of interesting to sort of look at the combination of different ways to approach things. And just, you know, everyone wants to sort of say, you know, this is the one true way, is the one right way and in the end of the day there is no one right way to do anything. Everybody has their own method, their own process, their own way they do what they do and I think it's interesting sort of looking at it in the aggregate, just seeing everyone's quirks and everyone's weirdnesses and how they write, how they podcast, how they shoot photos, whatever it happens to be. That's true. It's good though because everyone tries their own little tweak and little twist on things and then you listen to the way they do things and then it can help you refine the way you do it. But even so, I mean the whole coffee thing recently for me for example, that's been an eye-opening experience because I went from having absolutely no idea about coffee at all to now essentially talking to Marco Armand for I think some total of nearly three hours about all the ins and outs of making a good cup of coffee. And I never would have thought that was even possible. And... - Yeah, you coffee people. - Thank you, thank you very much. I take that as a compliment. (laughing) Shibble, back me up here. - It was meant to be one. - I got absolutely nothing to say about coffee. - Damn! - I just buy mine, two bucks and that's it. All right, fine. I'm outnumbered and the chat room is also telling me that coffee is so boring. Fine. We have found the... I just want to point out, I think we found the only collection of three people around the technology field where two out of three don't have an opinion on coffee, or at least not a positive one. True. Mark this moment in history. Oh dear. That's okay. I mean, the thing that I found interesting about the coffee thing was that that it is something that a lot of people... It's something that I have in common with a lot of people. And whilst a lot of people don't obsess about it to the level that I do, or I have come to, still... I mean, you still do drink coffee, Carl, you mentioned earlier. So... Well, you said you're caffeinated. I assume that meant coffee. No, actually, I don't drink coffee at all. Tea then? I do have a lifelong love affair with Mountain Dew and it's very spicy. I found Martin G to be too sweet. Yeah, I know it's not the best for me, but I've never done coffee. It smells so good, but it can never taste as good as it smells. I walked down the aisle at the grocery store and I go, "Oh, it smells." I like to say that like potpourri maybe, but as far as drinking it, no interest. I've tried and people try to get me into it, but it just doesn't do it for me. Well, do you know the history of why I switched to drinking coffee? drinking coffee because I used to drink diet coke. That was my caffeine ingestion method. Yeah, now I know what the back story is. Enlighten us. Well, yeah. So what happened is I had weight loss surgery and when I had a gastric sleeve and when they do that surgery, it actually interferes with how your body is able to process beverages that are carbonated. So any kind of beverage that's carbonated, whether that be a soft drink/soda pop or a pop, whatever you want to call it, of which, you know, Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew all qualify. Essentially, drinking those causes intense pain, which is something you want to avoid, generally speaking. So, you know, most people do, certainly I do. So I had to switch to something else and I can't stand cordial. I don't understand cordial. And some people flatten their soft drink before they drink it. I don't understand that either. So I tried coffee and I got into it. But the reason I got into it is because I didn't go to drinking straight coffee which is you know, every time I call Marco and I talk to Marco, he's like, "So how much crap are you putting in your coffee today?" And I'm like, "Oh, God." Anyway, so I'll have a – I start out with lattes which are essentially you know, one part coffee, three parts milk. And in fact, it's still technically a latte if you even up to five parts milk. So it's quite dilute as coffee goes. Yeah, you can even... I also started with syrups in there as well. So, you know, I have hazelnut or vanilla or, you know, mint, choc mint, something like that, mocha, whatever, such that you're drinking it. It is coffee, but it isn't. It's sort of like it's got the coffee taste to it and the coffee smell to it. But it's actually more, well, I hate to say it, but it's kind of like a lolly drink a little bit. And although my taste buds are progressing beyond that now, I'm sort of adding less syrups and less sweeteners, and I'm having a more like a half and half mix, which is apparently still not good enough, going to Marco. That's fine. Anyhow, my point is that if you start out with a straight coffee, I can completely understand why you would not like it, because, yeah, it's a bit strong. So because of that surgery, you can't drink any carbonated drinks? That's right. I mean, I can if I don't mind pain. How do you get that surgery? I want to get that because I'm way over caffeinated usually. Coffee, coke, the drink of course. I assume that's what you meant, yes. Yeah, just to make sure. You don't want this surgery unless you really have no option. Honestly, I... No, I was just kidding. I was just making a point of... I drink way too much caffeine and I'd really like to cut on the coke thing. Sure. Well, yeah. Honestly, in coming weeks and months, I'm planning an episode of Pragmatic where I walk through everything with the weight loss surgery, but I've done one blog post about it it before I went in, literally posted it an hour before I went in for my surgery because I didn't want anyone to try and talk me out of it. But I'm planning to do an episode about that and it's very, very long and complicated and a little bit emotional so it's the sort of thing that, yeah, I'm sort of building up to it. I'm not sure I'm ready yet. But suffice it to say, it is a side effect of the surgery and honestly, it hasn't been a a bad one because I've lost a lot of weight, I'm feeling a lot better in myself, and I've got a lot more energy, and I don't have soft drink anymore. So, my teeth are already thanking me because I just have a lot of soft drink. It's not good for your teeth, it's not good for your stomach, and there's a whole bunch of other side effects. So, I didn't manage to get, you know, with all you talking about coffee for 10 minutes, I didn't manage to understand what is your favorite kind of coffee? What is your typical kind of coffee? My favorite is, at the moment, my favorite kind of coffee specifically is a blend of coffee from just up the road called Glass House Mountains blend. And they have a, they these competitions, you know, measuring the niceness of your coffee rating out of a hundred and the highest number the better and theirs has gotten an 88 out of a hundred which is apparently really, really good. I haven't tried enough different coffee beans from different sources to be, you know, anywhere as conversant as Marco but still. So that's my coffee of choice at the moment. There's also another one that's an organic single origin coffee that's literally grown just up the hill about 20 kilometers away, so 15 miles away or thereabouts and so pretty close and that's Aswana coffee and it's also very, very nice. Not as strong but it's still very nice flavor. Anyway, and I mix that with about half and half milk and I like my milk to be heated and frothed up a bit because it sort of just adds that nice sort of more of a silky texture to it. And I've been having that increasingly just without sweetener. I used to have like a sachet of Equal or Stevia. I never know how to pronounce that. But anyway, fake sugar, not real sugar because I find real sugar to be too sweet now because since the surgery, my taste buds have changed. I don't like sweet food much anymore. Anyway, that's my coffee of choice, since you asked. Yeah, milk has been giving me trouble lately, so I just went with street cafe Americano. I can't tell you where it's brewed or anything like that because I just get whatever is available in the coffee shop next to my work. But that's mine. You, Carl? Mountain Dew, you said. Mountain Dew or, yeah, I have this current addiction to Cherry Coke Zero. I don't know what it is. I've gotten to the point where at least I'm not drinking as much non-diet soda just because it is much too sweet. I've tried coffee a few times. Maybe I need to go put more milk in it, flavor it. I'm sure this will spawn more feedback and people yelling at me about my non-coffee drinking habits. I think just working in the tech field and never sleeping enough, never being rected. We all sort of live off caffeine, so that's sort of been my caffeine of choice. Jean-Jacques was here before, but he disappeared. And that's cool because it's a different time of the day for him. Yeah, and I mean, I just don't understand why people here on the East Coast aren't waking up with me at 5 a.m. to tune into the chat or people on the West Coast. I mean, it's 2 a.m. They should still be awake at that point. There's no getting up. They should be awake at 2 a.m. to enjoy this show. And then they can get up. Yeah, exactly. Get your priorities right. Sleep is for losers. Come on. But the thing is I find interesting is you look at like if you ever listen to ATP live or any of the relay FM shows live, have you guys ever listened to them live? No I almost never, it just never works out for me with the time to listen to anything live. Right, the same. Except for Pragmatic which... Either in transit or something. Pragmatic, I think, broadcasts at 1pm my time, but I'm at work usually on Fridays. 1pm, right? Is that about right? It depends. Sometimes it's Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. It depends. I've shuffled it around a lot because I've had different co-hosts and now that I'm with-- I've got Vic as my mostly full-time co-host, we're sticking to a common time. we were doing mornings and we just found that the mornings were getting very hard because I was waking up at really, really difficult times. So, I found it easier to do an evening my time. So, this sort of time now basically has worked out easier for me. So, Vic has been very gracious to get up earlier, just like Carl's done, to record in this slot which is great for me. But yeah, it's hard because I live in a stupid time zone. Well, I think the value with podcasts is not really in the live aspect of it. It's the fact that you can listen to it whenever you want. So, not a big deal. Now true, and the thing that I found is that you tend to get the the superfans will be the ones that tend to come into the chat room and they'll be you know, they're the ones that'll get up no matter what time to listen and you know, generally speaking anyway, and That's that's been my experience [MUSIC PLAYING] (upbeat music) [Music] [MUSIC PLAYING] [Music] [Music] (upbeat music) [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] (upbeat music) [Music] [Music] [Music] (upbeat music) [music]
Duration 1 hour, 28 minutes and 12 seconds Direct Download

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John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

Described as the David Attenborough of disasters, and a Dreamy Narrator with Great Pipes by the Podfather Adam Curry.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.

Shibel Mansour

Shibel Mansour

is a radio news anchor in Isreal and he blogs at his site The Pickle Theory.