March 2003 Archives

Holy (cash)cow!

I just went out to make some photocopies, and now that I've returned I was preparing my papers for later today. I figure that if I make it as easy as possible for the people of the union, they'll work fast too. I hope it's not just theory :)

While adding up all expenses - those still left unpaid - my jar dropped, and I almost fell of the chair : € 736,90! I never knew it was that much... I don't even dare adding up what I still have to get when it comes to regular pay.


It's a brand new week, and tomorrow even a new month. That might mean I've got tons of possibilities to do good things, or fuck things up :)

Anyway, later this afternoon I'll be off to the union to have my file updated, and have them send out the final claim to the curators of the former company. On wednesday Joco & Eef are moving to the new place, so I think I'll be helping out a hand with that as well, and tomorrow I gotta contact someone concerning a new job. Thursday and friday are still virgin-like for now, and the weekend is already packed with things.

Damn, reading all the things that'll be going on this week, and to do makes me tired already. I'm off to bed again!


Cool! Seyed Razavi has developed a type of online stockmarket for blogs... it's all a game of course, but it seems to be funny. I'm listed there as well, proof is at the end of this post. Today I bought 2200 shares in Cyborgirl and a 1000 of The Mighty Geek. I sold some Iraq Blog and Kottke shares, both of them at a profit.

Listed on BlogShares

Fucking early

Yeps... it's 07h27 as I'm typing this, and I just got home. Some party that must have been, right? Actually the party started off a little slow, but it got into full swing around midnight, and lasted till 04h15 or something like that. By that time we met some people and decided to go to a pub and have some more drinks.

The story itself is much longer and more complicated, but I don't think I'm able to write it in full detail right now. I'm kind of deciding to go to bed and sleep for a few hours, or just stay awake and skip the night altogether. Not easy, as I'll feel crap when I don't sleep, but feel at least as crappy when I go to bed for a few hours.

Why can't life be easy? Oh... I almost forgot : it wasn't a 70's and 80's party, but an 80's and 90's party. Huge difference!

I stopped at the bakery and got myself some fresh baked bread, tasty! Off to check on my mail and some usenet, and if I complete all of that before the clock hits 08h00, I'll sleep for a few hours.

Update : I just read my new mail - most was spam anyway - and deleted a ton of new usenet messages. Since it's 07h37 now, I'm off to bed!


[Fade in]
Later on tonight, I'll be heading off to a 70's and 80's party with Jess & Johan. I hope I don't need an appropriate outfit that breathes the atmosphere of that era, as I don't think I've got something around that would even slightly resemble it.

Lemme think... the 70's, wasn't that the time of Bachman Turner Overdrive (You ain't seen nothing yet), Foreigner (Cold as ice) and Black Sabbath (Paranoid) - Let's not forget about Abba (Dancing Queen), Santana (Black Magic Woman) and Moody Blues (Nights in white satin)!

Oh, and the eighties had Banarama (Venus), The Bangles (Walk like an Egyptian), Blondie, J Geils Band, Nena and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts! Weren't those the times?

I hope some nice chicks (born between 1970 and 1980) will be around... Gimme all your lovin'!

I'm off to the bathroom for some shaving, a shower and things like that.
[Fade out]

The proper use of a B52!

B-52's Love Shack

If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says
15 miles to the... Love Shack! Love Shack yeah
I'm headin' down the Atlanta highway, lookin' for the love getaway
Heading for the love getaway, love getaway,
I got me a car, it's as big as a whale and we're headin' on down
To the Love Shack
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money

The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together
Love Shack baby, Love Shack bay-bee.
Love baby, that's where it's at, Ooo love baby, that's where it's at

Sign says.. Woo... stay away fools, 'cause love rules at the Love Shack!
Well it's set way back in the middle of a field,
Just a funky old shack and I gotta get back

Glitter on the mattress
Glitter on the highway
Glitter on the front porch
Glitter on the hallway

The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together
Love Shack baby! Love Shack, that's where it's at!
Huggin' and a kissin', dancin' and a lovin', wearin' next to nothing
Cause it's hot as an oven
The whole shack shimmies! The whole shack shimmies when everybody's
Movin' around and around and around!
Everybody's movin', everybody's groovin' baby!
Folks linin' up outside just to get down
Everybody's movin', everybody's groovin' baby
Funky little shack! Funky little shack!

Hop in my Chrysler, it's as big as a whale and it's about to set sail!
I got me a car, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money.

Bang bang bang on the door baby! Knock a little louder sugar!
Bang bang bang on the door baby! I can't hear you!
Bang Bang! On the door baby!
Bang Bang! On the door!
Bang Bang! On the door baby!
Bang Bang! On the door!
Your what?... Tin roof, rusted!
Love Shack, baby Love Shack!
Love Shack, baby Love Shack!
Love Shack, baby Love Shack!
Love Shack, baby Love Shack!
Love baby, that's where it's at
Huggin' and a kissin', dancin' and a lovin' at the love shack

No carpetbombing!!!

Would you?


Let's presume you have a box, and in that box is a certain something you value very high. However, you don't know *exactly* what it is that is in the box, but deep inside you realize its importance to you.

If you open the box, whatever is inside will vanish, even before you get a look at it, or know what it is.

The question is simple, I guess the answer is not.

Do you open the box?

Note : Don't bring in any "what if's", or ways to peek into the box. This has got nothing to do with physical things, but rather with emotional and mental behaviour. I'm certainly curious to hear your answer!

Think for yourself

I did not create this video, I just provide the file. I strongly suggest you watch it and make up your own mind.

The file below links to a 352x240 MPEG-1 file that should play on all computers. Please right-click and pick "save target as" to save it to your computer. This file is copyright free. This means you can freely use it on your own (war)blog, website without prior approval required.

Warning: What you see in this video may be extremely disturbing.

Bush makes it a Holy War
Hand Of God [0:45 - 7.54 MB]

This was recorded live March 26, 2003. It documents American President George Bush Jr declaring that this war is not only an act of American aggression, but a decree from God himself. Bush tells the troops that God chose them personally, and that when they die, they will go straight to heaven where the rewards for their killing await them.

Sunny & good day!

I just got back from getting my first stamp to prove I'm unemployed. Nothing special to report there, I picked up some ferret food - the crappy brand, as I couldn't get anything else - and stopped by at Suzana's place.

Luckily she was home, so the both of us headed of to the community center where she had to get some papers fixed. On the way back the sun was shining - it's been really sunny today - and while crossing the park we decided to have something to drink on the terrace. Do I have to say how much I enjoyed it? Right, I didn't think so, but just to make it clear to those that don't know what I'm talking about : I enjoyed it alot.

Chatted a bit, talked about the current developments in relation to the bankruptcy, and had a good time. On the way back home we made another stop and she took care of some more paperwork and about 3 hours after I left this morning I arrived back home. So far, it's been a good day for me.

I'll be trying to get in contact with the lawyers that are handling claims this afternoon and get some things cleared up. Right now I've been told that we need to bring in all company things tomorrow at the latest. However, without an official notice, I wont be doing anything. Not because I'm stubborn or want to cause trouble, but because that's the only way we can be sure about anything right now.

This is grand!

I just got a mail from Esther with information that is only slightly important. Apparently we need to take in all things we still have and that belongs to the company. I for instance still am in posession of a key, security system accesscode and a mobile phone. However, all of this needs to be done on friday at the latest. Since today is wednesday, I really wonder when someone was gonna let me know about it.

Sure, I know about it now, but one call hardly call it an official notice of some kind. Besides, I still have costs that I am allowed to declare, need to get a 3Com hub back and some security related documentation that I'd like.

Esther also told me that the curator - whose name I also only know because I asked her about it - expects to get us our C4 documents next week. That would be nice. I'm gonna try and contact him tomorrow and see what exactly we need to do.

This really is the end!

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25/03 ICT Assistance in Sint-Truiden failliet: 45 ontslagen

De rechtbank van koophandel in Hasselt heeft het informaticabedrijf ICT Assistance in Sint-Truiden dinsdag failliet verklaard. Er werden twee curatoren aangesteld, zo vernam Belga van de Hasseltse persrechter. Het faillissement kwam niet onverwachts. De zaakvoerder van ICT Assistance legde vorige week zelf de boeken neer. Ook de christelijke vakbond LBC-NVK had op een faillissement aangedrongen omdat de 45 werknemers sinds oktober vorig jaar geen opdrachten, geen loon en geen eindejaarspremies hadden ontvangen.

De werknemers werden dinsdag op een personeelsvergadering ingelicht over het faillissement. Ook hun werkloosheidsdossiers werden ingevuld. Later op de dag volgt nog een onderhoud met de curatoren. De vakbonden hebben weinig hoop dat er een kandidaat-overnemer voor het bedrijf zal worden gevonden, gezien de financi�le put die het management heeft achtergelaten. Volgens de bonden is de zaakvoerder behalve 5 maand loonachterstand immers nog hoge bedragen aan de RSZ verschuldigd.

ICT Assistance is een outsourcingsbedrijf dat instaat voor de installatie en het onderhoud van informatica-oplossingen. (source : GVA - link)

PT works

I dropped off the car around 13h30 and after they checked it - it was cleaned by me this morning, so no problems there - I walked away. About 400m down the street was a bus stop, and a ride would be arriving in 15 minutes. Good!

Hopped on the bus, straight the the center of Antwerp, got off, walked over to the station, waited for 10 minutes and hopped on a tram. 15 minutes later I was home.

It seems public transportation works - at least this time it did. I suppose it's hell though when you have to get somewhere in peak hours, and impossible late in the evening or at night.

Paperless Office?

Oh my... I'm so wonderfully happy right now. I don't like not working and getting all the papers filled out is a pain in the ass. I just got back from ABVV (another union) and from this day on, they'll be handling my unemployment benefits.

So, to give everyone an idea who/what is involved right now :

- BBTK will handle all my claims concerning the bankruptcy of my employer
- ABVV will handle the unemployment benefits
- RVA will pay unemployment benefits (takes at least 4 weeks after file is complete)
- VDAB will handle my search for a new job, and additional education

Now, before I can complete the file, I need to get my hands on 2 documents : a document C4, which should be given by my employer, but since he's not longer in charge, by the curator, someone that is not yet appointed. And then I need a document C4.2 that will need to be delivered by BBTK, but since they are moving this week, I can't get a hold of them.

As my sister put it : Everyone thinks it's pretty easy to be unemployed, but as you find out now, it is not.

Who am I?

"I want another 75 billion dollar to fund a war that no one wanted in the first place."


Answers - preferable witty ones - are very welcome as a comment. Amuse me!

More good news - not!

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Since today is practically the last day I've got wheels - not including those on my bike - I tried to do some things that are easier with transportation.

I stopped at Mike & Viv's to say hi, hear how they were doing, and they told me that they are suffering from the same problems as quite a lot of companies are right now : everything is on hold, and whatever they supply needs to be paid in advance, since too many companies go down, pulling others with them.

Wow... I knew it was bad, but I never realized it was that bad! I mean, one reads about bankruptcies and closings and such, but after dealing with it myself, others report it too. Bad sign... very bad sign.

I also tried to pick up some ferret food since the regular store I go to is closed for at least another 2 or 3 weeks due to moving, and I failed. I know of one store where I might find ferret food, but they only had the crappy stuff, and I'm not feeding my ferrets crappy stuff. No way!

Picked up a lot of groceries, mostly heavy things like frying pan oil, water, soap and things, and I'll be getting more tomorrow. Once again... easier to transport it with a car.

Now I'll have to either arrange for someone to pick me up tomorrow or find a way to get from Aartselaar to Deurne. I could call Joco or Eef, as I'm sure they'd do it for me, but I won't. I'm gonna find a way myself. If the weather is fine, I'll throw the bike in the back and ride it back, if not, I'll either hitchhike or take a bus. I've gotta get used to dealing with things like that anyway.

Bye bye Beamie


I just got a mail that I have to take my car back to the leasing company tomorrow, before 15h00. Crap! Well, it was expected but still... it sucks. I'll have to do some shopping today so that I can transport anything heavy by car, and then take care of the rest by bike.

I'm off... talk to ya'll later!

Monday Madness

It's close to noon, and I've done some work already. I like sleeping in, but since it's monday I figured I'd better get up early. Around 08h15 I contacted the VDAB callcenter to get a password for their site. Minutes later I was updating my profile and editing my curriculum vitae.

After I was done with all of that, I browsed for some info about CSS templates and changed the website of X-Com a bit. For now it's just a temporary page reflecting their new location and such, but I'll probably be redesigning the complete site over the coming week(s), as well as get them on a proper hosting plan, which offers more possibilities and reliability.

During the week at least one design meeting is sheduled right now - in order to get a good and detailed overview - but most can be handled by e-mail.

I'm gonna get some food now, check the snail mail and contact the union this afternoon to see what needs to be done. I will officially be unemployed tomorrow, so I figure some papers and forms will need to be completed.

I also have to contact a prospect about some webdesign they want to have done, but I'll do that tonight.


I told you I was gonna keep you posted, wasn't I? Ok.. here it goes :

I just successfully ripped my legit version of Melanie C's new album Reason. Why did I need to rip it? Because on my PC it only played crappy compressed tracks and I spend about 75% of my time around these boxes of evil called computers. And if I want to code and do good things, I need good music. Understand?

So... Macrovision, fuck you - Your state of the art Cactus Data Shield 200 copy protection kept me busy for less than 4 hours - and now I've got an unprotected audio copy. One that I'm even legally entitled to have and make as a backup. Something you tried to prevent. Maybe I should talk to a lawyer and sue you for limiting me in my rights to make a backup?

I'm not gonna explain in detail how I did it, but all info one needs is around. I strongly suggest you read that last post of mine (Piss me off?) and figure it out yourself. It's really not that hard. I didn't know anything about the tools, nor the protection in advance, and I beat it in under 4 hours. I can't wait till they start releasing CD300 ;)

Piss me off?

I received the brand new CD of Melanie C as a birthday gift from Jess & Johan a few days ago. The album really rocks, although it is 'softer' as her first solo album, "Northern Star", released back in 1999. I've already listened to it a few times on my Hi-Fi system, but when I inserted it in my PC today to listen to it, it popped up some installation routine. What the fuck?

Apparently, the Melanie C - Reason CD is protected by a culprit that goes by the name Cactus Data Shield, aka CDS200. Wait... the company or person that tells me what to do or what to use in order to listen to music that was legally obtained, still needs to be born.

I'm not accepting any extra installation routine, crappy players or anything of the kind. If I buy a new CD, I want to be able to play it where I want. In my case, that's on my computer, as I spend about 75 of my time around them.

So, I went on a search to see if I could crack the protection. Follow me!

First step : What's CDS200 and how does it work? It was created by a Israely company called MidBar Tech Ltd. but aqcuired by Macrovision. Interesting to know, but not really what I need. The coders are not gonna tell me how to crack their shit, are they?

Second step : How do I beat CDS200? A very nice article by the peeps at CDR-Info explains a lot about Cactus Data Shield. Read the complete article here.

Step three : Tools that could come in handy are CloneCD, Feurio! 1.66 and Exact Audio Copy. A first attempt with Feurio gives me only track 1, and fails the rest of the tracks. Damn. Let's fire up CloneCD and see how far we can get with that.

CloneCD has ripped right through the copy protection, and I've got a real audio CD playing now. However, there are audible skips in some of the tracks, so that doesn't seem to be the best solution either. I think I'll have to see what I can do with EAC. In case that doesn't work, I can still revert to IsoBuster.

I'll keep you posted...

More press

22/03 ICT Assistance in Sint-Truiden legt de boeken neer

Het informaticabedrijf ICT Assistance, met hoofdzetel in Sint-Truiden, heeft vrijdag de boeken neergelegd. De rechtbank van koophandel van Hasselt zal zich dinsdag uitspreken over een eventueel faillissement, zo vernam BELGA van de persrechter. In het geval van een faillissement komen de 45 personeelsleden op straat te staan. De vakbonden hebben dinsdag ook een personeelsvergadering gepland waarop de weknemers ingelicht zullen worden over de beslissing van de Hasseltse handelsrechtbank, meldt Jos Van Hout (LBC-NVK).

De vakbonden luidden eerder al de alarmbel. Ze staan zelfs niet afkerig tegenover een faillissement omdat de personeelsleden van ICT Assistance sedert oktober vorig jaar geen loon of eindejaarspremie ontvingen. "Indien er een faillissement wordt uitgesproken, weten de werknemers eindelijk waar ze aan toe zijn en kunnen ze hun achterstallig loon, eindejaarspremie en verbrekingsvergoeding opeisen. In het andere geval zijn we genoodzaakt om de directie een verbreking van het arbeidscontract ten laste te leggen", luidt het.

De inspectiediensten stelden ook al een proces-verbaal van ingebrekestelling op, omdat de directie zijn werknemers niet uitbetaalde. Volgens de vakbonden ging de zaakvoerder niet in op hun vraag om de situatie te bespreken en werden de werknemers met loze beloften gepaaid. ICT Assistance is een outsourcingsbedrijf dat instaat voor de installatie en het onderhoud van computersystemen bij derde bedrijven. (source : GVA)

Direct link to the article (in case you'd want to run it through an online translator)



I got a call from David about an hour ago, in which he told me finally filed for bankruptcy. He wanted to know if there were any personal belongings left in the office, so that he could pick them up. He also wanted us to prepare to bring the car back. A general mail will be send on monday.

After that I headed over to the VDAB site to look around some more and if possible already open a file with them. Of course, they don't work on weekends, so that'll be something I have to check/do on monday. Seeing that it could be helpful, I headed over to Brainbench to revitalise my current certifications and add some new ones. I ended up taking a test in written English, and scored a very nice 3.73 out of 5.

Any score above 4 gives you a Master degree, but I've only been able to get one in some IT test a few years ago. Nevertheless, in the written English test I scored better as 81% of the people that already took it, and my mothertongue ain't even English.

Time to move on


Yesterday I've helped Joco and Eef a bit in their new place, they could use a hand painting some walls, and since Pieter decided to go bungeejumping off a ladder - with obvious results : 10 days out - I also took care of some lighting, and such. Sure, the fact that Pieter won't be able to do pretty much anything is a set back, but no sweat... we'll fix it all!

I've just returned from the doctor and will be out of the office for at least another week. By the time I'm ready to go back, it will probably not be necessary anymore. The rumour is that David finally filed for bankruptcy, and that a court hearing and descision is expected on monday afternoon.

So they die...

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I can't hold back anymore now, as the story about the chopper going down killing the mixed British and American crew (12 people) is all over the media and blogs too.

Do I feel sorry that these people died? Yes, I do... having people die is never a good feeling, but it also makes me wonder. What the hell were they doing there? Didn't the UN - supported by 85% of the rest of the world - say NO WAR?

Oh, sorry... I almost forgot : USA and UK are above UN resolutions, or at least they think so. Hello????? Going to war means you can get killed. Whether it is due to technical malfunction, human error or getting shot. Learn to live with that - I agree, that might not be the best way to put it, but that doesn't matter, does it?

And on a related note : The USA and UK invade Iraq, and after the war expect the UN and most European countries to give financial aid to Iraq to rebuild the country. I like that way of thought, I really do. Maybe Europe should detonate some nukes in the US for testing purposes and then tell the Americans to deal with the fallout and radiation. Hey, why be mad about it? It's not like you don't have enough unpopulated area's and desert. You can handle it, I'm sure of it!

Note : Dreamer, I'm not thinking about moving the blog to another domain, not in the least. I'm sorry to tell you that your dreams were incorrect... I just happen to talk about domains every now and then, but knowing that I've got +30 in .com and .org TLD's and about 7 in the .be ccTLD, that shouldn't suprise anyone.


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What have I been doing today? Good question actually... I've browsed to the books that came in today, entertained the ferrets, picked up all kinds of stuff around the house (much needed too!) and watched the news.

I've been toying around with some of the domains that are for sale ( - - - - - and talked to Steph for a while. I've been taking a look at the current website for Krijo's Tattooing - the studio I usually go - and pondering about doing a redesign for it. It certainly needs proper design, something it totally lacks right now. However, since I'm not in a design mood right now, I just toyed around with some menu structures, general page layout idea and made some sketches. Something I usually don't do :)

I've also updated my curriculum vitae and send out an e-mail regarding a job opening. Tomorrow I'll be contacting some of the union people in order to see if we can get verification about some things, as that would allow me to go full force ahead once more.

I could also take a few weeks off before I get back to work, but I'd rather make sure I have a job first and later on worry about vacation and travelling. I didn't win the lottery yesterday - wow... no real suprise there - so any investement idea's I've had so far will be pushed back quite some time. And with "some time" I mean at least months, if not several years.

Yeah! Reading time!

Finally the books I ordered a few weeks ago came in. I'm off reading them!

Books! Return of the Tribal - Pagan Fleshworks - Body Bizarre, Body Beautiful

Note : Bush has decided to attack Iraq after all. If I were a political heavyweight, I'd dare to state that the USA is now isolated from the rest of the world. I wouldn't call it good (rest of world) VS evil (USA), but rather eductated VS uneducated.


Right now all kinds of things - business wise that is - are happening, and I have got no clue what the possible outcome, or extend of some developments will be. We had a meeting this morning with someone of the LBC-NVK union in Hasselt, and that man really knows how to get things done.

Just a few minutes to 19h00 I got a call from him because he needed some background information, and he told me he did a press release concerning our situation in the afternoon, and that it was already picked up by TV Limburg (check their TVL Nieuws Online section, March 19th) and apparently by a radiostation (update : This radiostation is Radio 2, and the entry can be found here) as well.

I was also told that Belga - the belgian pressagency that handles most of the national and international press releases - has picked up on it too, so it might be in quite a few newspapers tomorrow.

Is that good? I can't tell right now, but it does certainly keep the pressure on things. More details and news to be disclosed as it flows in.

Good move boss!

I was gonna write something here, but I've been doing some phonecalls and totally forgot about it. Yay for excellent memory!

I talked to Elly today, and she had both good news and bad news. The lab results came back and didn't show anything out of the ordinary. That's the good news, and the bad news at the same time. We're still as close to the finding the problems and a solution as we were 14 days and € 214 ago. She has now contacted another vet that has even more experience with ferrets, to hear her opinion about it. She'll get back to me when she has more info.

See... that was not what I was gonna write. Oh... I think I remember what it was. I was contacted by one of the colleagues today and he had talked to David by phone. David told him that he didn't have the time to send out a mail regarding the status of declaring bakruptcy yet, as "no one is here and I have to handle everything myself. That causes delays". Right... blame us. Good move boss!

War on Iraq?

This is the mail I just send off to president Bush and vice president Dick Cheney of the USA concerning the imminent war on Iraq :


I'm very sorry to see that "the most powerful man on the earth" does not want to see the truth and decides to push forward with an unjust and uncalled for war.

If the USA goes to war in Iraq without UN support, I'll be ending all current and pending contracts and deals with American companies and move them elsewhere. It might not be much, but I will not support a country that thinks it has the right to decide what's best for the rest of the world.

Kind regards,


They might not care for peace, but maybe they'll listen to enonomic reasoning. If you want to do the same, just copy and paste the text above - of course sign with your own name - and send it to [email protected] and [email protected].

Disco Porn and Wasting Time

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So... I just wasted most of my day doing things I really didn't want to do. This morning I went off to the doctor and after waiting over an hour it was my turn. I was back out in ten minutes, armend with a prescription for "something unreadable" that should help me sleep.

I'm not gonna take any medication, so no worries. The strongest meds I got at home is an aspirin. I don't like medicins and it will probably stay that way till I die. I'm not allowed to go back to work till at least the 21st of March, but she told me to come back on friday or saturday to check up. If I don't feel better, she'll give me at least one more week of leave.

Then I picked up Suzana, and we headed off to Esther - I really enjoyed the company of Suzana, Esther and Stephanie and after we chatted for about an hour we drove off to Antwerp to see the people of the union. Had dinner with Suzana first - once more very enjoyable - and then talked to someone of the union. Apparently they are unable to coordinate the case and have one person deal with it. 4 of my colleague's have a file there as well, yet we deal with 3 different contacts. I don't get it. In the end I wasted 2 hours just to tell somebody to move on and write another letter. Aaarrrgghhhh!!

I got a while back, played some C&C Generals (skirmish) and talked to Steph and Suzana on the phone to streamline some things. I'm listening to FlufferTrax - an online radiostation that plays pornmusic. Yes, the kind of music you hear in the background of your favorite pornflicks : 70's, disco... very enjoyable!



It's close to 2 at night, and as I just installed the newest release (1.3) of Mozilla, I think becoming 30 years of age does not change anything. If you didn't have a life before, you are not guaranteed to have one after. In other words, it is no such things as a gate to something bigger and better. Maybe you can turn it into one if you really want it, but you might be fooling yourself.

(edited in the morning - the above was just a placeholder)
I've always believed that age does not matter, but it's so easy to compare things accomplished in life with others that have reached the age of 30. I sometimes wonder what I have accomplished, and the outcome is either rather positive, or rather negative, my mood swinging back and forth.

The things that have been going on in the past days are either very good, or can turn out bad - that duality in it again. I'm 'celebrating" my birhtday, I'm about to loose my job, my car, a whole lot of money and it's me against the world.

But I've also liberated myself from a situation that had become unmanageable to say the least. I can go on with my life and even if the future is not bright, it is a future, something that I can partially change and create as I see fit. Which is a very good thing, believe me.

I wish this post would be more uplifting and entertaining - after all, it is my birthday - but since I'm not yet fully awake, I don't have much happiness floating around - yet. I'm a positive person to say the least, and have confidence that I will do things I enjoy in the next year(s). I might not be able to do everything I planned for just now, but a delay is just a delay : it should in no way be an end.

On friday I received a happy birthday card from one of my grandma's, on saturday my dad called to ask about the work situation and when I was there I already got my birthday present (Swordfish DVD - yay!) and today I'll be off to my other grandma who called me about 30 minutes ago to wish me a happy birthday. But first I'm off to Joco's new place because they need some help getting some things done.

Talk to you later puppies!

Note : Everyone who is only even slightly interested in art and beautyful things, should head over to Midnight Confessions right now! Heather has released her new art site, and it's rad!

According to you...


I _______ ServMe.
ServMe is _______.
If I were alone in a room with ServMe, I would _______.
I think ServMe should _______.
ServMe needs to _______.
I want to _______ ServMe.
Someday ServMe will _______.
ServMe reminds me of _______.
Without ServMe _______.
Memories of ServMe are _______.
ServMe can be _______.
Worst thing about ServMe is _______.
Best thing about ServMe is _______.
I am _______ with ServMe.

Instructions : Select all above text, copy it (control+c), click on Comments, fill out your details, paste the text (control+p) and replace the underlined parts with whatever you think fits at that place. Then hit submit. I'm curious to read what some of you have to say!



Sexually? Yes, maybe that too, but that's a completely different story alltogether.

I'm referring to the problem Joco had installing Command and Conquer : Generals on his windows XP system. It runs into an error during the installation, but as far as I can see, it has a problem with the installer itself, not the installation of the game files.

We tried searching for 1608 blah blah InstallDriver instance, but to no real avail. The Microsoft Developers Network had something about errorcodes in the windows installer, but the best info we got there was Unknown Property. Great, that was a real help!

I updated and patched almost every XP related thing I could find (but not the XP Service Pack 1) but none of it solved the error. I removed the Client for Netware - as that was not needed at all - reinstalled the Client for MS Networks, and while I was at it, re-enabled the XP user switching capabilities and such.

After nearly 4 hours, it still wouldn't install. I've got the original CD's with me now to see if it will install in my XP box. If it does, Joco's gonna be pissed, and I'm gonna be even more annoyed for not being able to troubleshoot why it won't install at his place. Oh well... win some, lose some I guess. But still...

Mel C - Reason


Yesterday - March 10th - the brand new full album of Mel C was released. Yes, that's one of the chicks of the former Spice Girls. If you expect pop tunes like the Spice Girls made, you're gonna be in for a suprise. I haven't listened to the new album yet, but if it's anything like her first one - Northern Star - it'll be more rock than pop.

When I first listened to Northern Star, I sat back, totally impressed. It did take me a while to really get into the songs, but I still play that CD quite often, even though it was released in 1999.

%SystemRoot% gone AWOL


Damn... after doing a reboot, I suddenly lost all drive mapping capabilities (using the "net" command) on my Windows 2000 workstation at the office.

I was able to rather quickly find out that a path setting seemed fucked up. I did check my path and environment settings in the control panel, and by verificifation in a command prompt, and it seems the %SystemRoot% variable is not expanded as it should be.

This behaviour is controlled and influenced by a registry setting, that seems to have been changed from REG_EXPAND_SZ to REG_SZ. The only info I don't have right now is where that registry key hides. If I find the correct key, I'll able to manipulate it and fix the problem. What caused it, remains a big question though.

Update : The key controlling how the %SystemRoot% variable is expanded hides in HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment - Keep in mind that in order to be able to create REG_EXPAND_SZ keys you need to use regedt32 and not regedit.

Update 2 : I was able to succesfully manipulate the key and now have a fully functional system again. Remember to export your registry before editing, unless you either really know what you are doing, or like taking risks. When I dumped the complete registryfile to disk, it was just over 32MB, so you can forget putting it on a floppy. Or you can opt to only export the keys you intend to edit.

Update 3 : I've just learned that the "OpenSSH for Windows" installation I did a while back is to blame for the %SystemRoot% registry key change. The author has posted a patch on his website, and claims the bug will be corrected in a new release. I'm off to check if the company server suffers from the same, and I'll check my home system as well.

The Happy-ness continues

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Got back from the vet a few hours ago. He's definitely suffering some sort of pain in his stomach, but x-rays (as a verification for those of last wednesday) didn't show anything out of the ordinary. Elly thinks the insulinoma might be slightly irritated or inflamed and prescribed Synulox to fight any infection. If it doesn't get better, she'll have to operate to find out what is the problem.

However, before we move to such a drastic measure, I'll be popping in again on saturday (at 10 o' clock) to sedated him and draw more blood and have the lab run more extensive tests. We hope to find more clues there.

Joco was really really frustrated when he called me, as he has problems getting Command and Conquer Generals to install on his PC. It keeps on aborting with some error "1608 InstallDriver instance" or something like it. He already searched the web and everything tells him to install Microsoft Client for Networks, but that is installed. I'll be going over to his place tomorrow to take a closer look tomorrow evening.

Off to the vet... once more.

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I called the vet around 15h00 and explained Happy's aching belly. She said it might be medicin related, and thought it would be a good idea to come in tonight. It's only my third visit or so in less than a week... I think Happy is getting used to it.



This is the last time I share confidential information with anyone. If some people cannot keep their promises - I should have known it upfront - then I've had it.

What is next?

I'm off to bed. Just finished watching 13th Ghost, and while it was entertaining, I wouldn't consider it amongst the top of it's class.

Happy is separated from the other ferrets again, as he kept biting the others. I've got a strong suspicion that he's in pain when they are all sleeping in one hammock. He doesn't like his belly to be touched, and I fear that the others sleep on top of him, or walk over him when they move, and that in result he bites.

The last thing I need right now is problems between the five of them, and while the cage is more as big enough to sleep separated, or only two in one hammock, they prefer to sleep together. I'm gonna check with the vet tomorrow to see what we can do about it. Insulinoma should not result in physical pain in a ferrets' stomach, so it might be a combination of things.

If I call tomorrow I'll probably be talking to Elly - who's been on holiday the past week - and even though Joke is a very good vet, who knows a lot about ferrets, Elly remains more experienced.

Saturday & Sunday

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Yesterday I spend the evening at my sisters' place, we watched Hypercube - the sequel to Cube - and while it was OK, it wasn't as good as the first one. The same plot and ingredients (stick some people in a cube, don't tell them what is going on...) but they added parallel universes and a mastermind genius that is believed to have crafted it all : Alex Trusk.

Well, in the end it seems to be slightly different as to what the subjects had though, and they clearly hint at yet another sequel. I'm gonna watch the original version once more tonight, and then either pop in Pulp Fiction, or 13 Ghosts.

I've been discussing some things online, and we started out with "is intelligence related to modifications and/or open mindedness", "educating the uneducated", and moved to "how economic realities change morality".

I know... not exactly the kind of discussion most people have on sunday afternoons, but I found it highly entertaining, once more.

Ferret Medicine

I've just finished cleaning out the ferrets cages, and Happy seems to have enjoyed the night. I had planned on keeping him separated from the others for the rest of the week, but as I let him out of his carrier yesterday evening, he walked around, and in a more or less straight path to the other cage. I figured that I might as well let him sleep there.

If he gets cold again, the bodytemperature of the others might help him stay warm, whereas that is impossible if he sleeps on his own. This morning he seemed more joyful, but still has got no clue what to do with his food. He accepts it every now and then, walks off with, puts it down and then looks like "now what?" and walks elsewhere. His liquid power food is no problem though.

I just finished making a new load, and I added more apple, banana and some ferretone to it. He ate 75% of the bowl I just gave him, and that pleases me. What's less pleasant is that he likes to shake his head - especially if he has a mouth full of food - so that everything goes flying all over the place. Oh, well... :)

I'm off to the pharmacist to pick up Prednisolone, and I already gave him one 0,5 ml shot of Diazoxide... he doesn't seem to like the taste of it though. The mixture of those two medicins should help regulate the level of sugar in his blood.

Ferrets are priceless


Just got back from the vet, as the lab didn't have enough blood to run insuline tests on it. I left around 17h00, arrived at the vets in 55 minutes (whereas it should only be about a 30 minute drive) and then had to wait another 45 minutes before it was my turn.

Of course, that wasn't the end of my luck, nor was it the end of Joke's luck. She had just handled a chicken, and when she took a hold of Happy, he immediately decided that chicken was something tasty and he bit her in the finger. Lol... actually she'd seen it coming so she washed her hands twice before holding Happy... to no avail.

Drawing blood was a pain in the ass, and while I hold him, she was poking the needle around, looking for that tiny vein in his paw. He screamed like we were killing him, which was far from what was happening. After a few tries we gave up and decided to try the other paw. The second I loosened him, he bit me in my thumb, and had no intention to let go. Same result in the other paw, no blood. She told me that it might be a bit clotted up from wednesdays' blooddrawing and that could be the reason for the unsuccesful attempts now.

Anyway, both joke and I ended up having more blood drawn from our fingers as Happy from his paws. Too bad neither of us had to be tested. We decided to put him on medication anyway, and try another test in about a week.

So, back home with a stressed ferret, some medication (I have to pick up the rest at a pharmacist tomorrow) and another bill for € 29. That does not include the medication I got to get tomorrow, nor the bill for the lab tests.

I don't give a damn though... those fuzzies are my kids, and they're priceless!

Ho�s, woes and tablesoccer

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Mailed my boss last night to see if I had to come in today - seeing as none of us were in yesterday - and I received an answer that it was not necessary. He'll manage he claims... business wise updates should be getting to me during the day, at least, that's what he told me.

Us not being there of course alse gives him the chance to do whatever he has to do, without our prying eyes. Yes, we all are a bit paranoid, but under the circumstances that we've been working, I sure everyone would be. Apart from that, we have reason to be.

Happy is still asleep, and he's been eating his power food, but his regular food remains untouched, nor does he drink enough water. Since the power food is liquid, I'm not too worried about his water intake though. Yesterday evening his paws were red, and I think he might be having a slight fever, but it's hard to confirm it. I offered him banana, apple but he didn't eat any of it, so when I made a new mixture last night, I tossed in a piece of banana, some apple and some of his regular food and they grinded it all down to make a smooth liquid mixture. That way I'm sure he has everything he needs if he eats that.

Tablesoccer game tonight, and it seems everyone is having problems. Joco is suffering with his back, so is Jess, and Michael also said he's not feeling too good. I wasn't really thinking about going, but I'll have to I suppose.


Hopefully to be delivered to my door pretty soon :

- The Customized Body
- Return Of The Tribal - A Celebration Of Body Adornment
- Pagan Fleshworks - The Alchemy Of Body Modification
- Body Bizarre, Body Beautiful

And there actually were a bunch more that I'd like to get, but hey... I gotta leave some on the list in case people start asking me about birthday presents!

Quick out and in

When I woke up this morning, Happy was awake, and had eaten all his power food, as well as some of his regular food. He seems to be doing better now, but to make sure he keeps well, I'm off to pick up some fruit (apples, raisins, banana) as that will aid to his recovery.

I'm just gonna do a quick shopping run, and then come back home to keep an eye on him. I'll let all of them play together while I clean the cages.

Note : Picked up banana, apple and mango. I bet he'll like it. I also was able to do some transactions on my bankaccounts, so all debts and due bills should be settled now.

Happy is better, but...


still not doing great. He is back home for now, and even though his blood sugar levels are still low (81) he's better as he was yesterday. We've taken some blood to have the lab do insuline tests on, and we expect results back on friday afternoon at the earliest. The blindness that Joke feared seems to be no problem anymore, but he remains unstable and often has a hard time walking.

If he goes into shock again, I have to feed him sugars as quickly as possible, and to regain strength he has access to a special power food mixture as well. That should allow me to keep him in there for the next few days, at least till we can decide what to do after looking at the lab results.

That combined with a bill for € 87 leaves me no choice but to stay home from work and take care of my ferret(s).

Happy : Update

I just got off the phone with Joke (my vet) and apparently Happy was doing much better this morning. He's already back on his feet and even ate some food. When he pooped during the night though, it was still very slimey and dark greenish, but she's gonna monitor him during the day and see if it changes no that he's eaten a bit.

When she checked him this morning she feared he might have gone blind, but 2 hours later his vision has cleared up and he seems to be doing good now. She tried getting another bloodsample to check on the blood sugar level, but it wasn't as easy as it was last night when he was sedated.

I'll go over to the practice later tonight to check on him and give her a hand. Then we'll take a larger bloodsample, so that it can be tested for insuline levels in a laboratory as well. As those results come in, we can then decide what the best solution will be.

Phew... Thanks for all the positive energy people! I think it helped him, and me as well!

Medical emergency


When I came home I found one of my ferrets at the bottom of his cage, not moving at all. Even before I picked him up, I knew something was very wrong. I handle my ferrets every day, so the second something is out of the ordinary, I tend to notice it.

I picked him up, and did a quick examination while grabbing the phone to call my vet. Eyes were open (good sign) - back end paralized and stiffened (bad sign) - hard time breathing (bad sign) - lots of drool at his mouth (bad sign) - urine and poop everywhere (bad sign) - shivering and very cold hind paws (bad sign). I was able to reach the vet instantly and after describing the signs, Joke told me to try to feed him water with sugar in it, and then get over there.

I took two spoonfuls of sugar, dilluted them in water and dipped his mouth in it. No sign of movement, except for sneezing and even more problematic breathing. No tongue, no will to even taste the water. I grabbed a towel and his carrier, but after putting him into the carrier decided to go without it. That way I would be forced to keep him in my arm all the time while driving, but I figured it would be better for Happy to do so, as it would allow me to keep an eye on him, and heat him up a bit.

Traffic was a pain in the ass, and it started raining to add to the annoyance. I finally got there in about 30 minutes, and waited another 5 before Joke was done with her previous patient. As I was waiting Happy got convulsions and stiffened up again... much like what happened to Fritz, and I lost him.

When I got in, Joke did a quick examination, injected a very small drop of Valium to stop the contractions, and then took some blood in order to get a bloodsugar reading. After a few seconds the result was 65, where normal ferrets have 90 to 125. Definitely low, so she injected glucose as well, and as the Valium kept him sedated she examined him for possible injuries after a fall or so. She didn't find anything, but as I told her where I found him, and the conditions in which, she wanted to take an X-ray to be certain.

X-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary, no ruptured spleen, or intestinal blocking whatsoever. No fractures either, so to this point we think it's insulinoma. That is treatable, either with medication, or operation, but both options have advantages and disadvantages. To keep an eye on him, she kept Happy in the practice for the night, and she'll do another blood sugar test later tonight and tomorrow morning. To get his temperature back up, he'll be placed under a heathing lamp as well.

Phew... Even while he certainly is not better yet, there are some opinions about causes for the current illness. Apart from insulinoma, brain arrest, cardiac problems could be the cause as well, but she puts insulinoma as the most probable cause.

Get well messages for Happy are welcome! Bono, Max, Tisha and Plush, as well as I need as much support as we can get right now. We'll forward all good feelings towards Happy.

POP goes the bubble!

I'm getting really fed up with some things. I'm gonna go down and give someone a call and kick ass if I have the chance. I wanted to be a helping hand to someone else today, but they refused. Something that I kind of expected, but still... it disturbs to some extend.

In a way I feel like I'm right back where I started : nowhere. Maybe I've never advanced, but just thought/hoped I did, and it now all turns out to be an illusion?

Note : I'll be doing some transfers to two people tonight, and they'll (meaning the transfers of course) be executed tomorrow.

And then, there was chicken!

Well, I suppose there was light as well, but the basic ingredient is chicken. I just returned from my grandma, and she gave me - amongst other things - a chicken. I like chicken, especially when I can eat it. I might also like a live chicken, but I'm not too certain about that.

I'm looking forward to settling some things by the end of the week, and then head on with my life.

Technical downtime

Sorry for the very brief downtime, but I finally got around to upgrading Movable Type to release 2.6x. I'll run this one for a few hours and if it doesn't pose too much problems, I'll upgrade another blog as well.

Insert title here

After being woken up way too early, I did some shopping, and sorted out some paperwork, bills and things. I've learned to keep things like that ordered and neat, otherwise one suffers bigtime at the end of year, or when taxes need to be paid.

The weather is fine outside - when you stick to the sunny parts that is. It's just past twelve now and I have no real plans yet for this afternoon. I might take out the bike and go for a ride, but I might as well stay in and waste more time doing dumb things at the computer.

I prepared two envelopes with free stickers to be dropped in the mail later today, and that also closes the 13000 hits celebration free sticker contest. I'm thinking about doing a monthly draw, but have idea yet what, how, or why.

Fire, walk with me

However, when I was suddenly sitting up straight in bed this morning, it wasn't due to fire. Somebody rang my doorbell twice. I hop out of bed, check the door, nobody there. I check the buildingdoor through the remote, no one answers. I decide to hop into some boxers and a shirt and head down. I even remembered to bring my keys!

Downstairs I open the mailbox and I find two letters and one note from our postman that he offered a piece of registered mail this morning. I step outside and see him walking, about 100 away. I yell to him, but he doesn't hear me. I jump outside and start chasing the postman, on my bare feet, over frozen concrete. Some nice woman is standing on the pavement waitnig for someone or something and as I go by, I tell her it's colder than I imagined. She notices my bare feet and laughs.

I finally catch up, and sign for the pacakage. Then it turns out aditional taxes are due, so I walk back home, postman right behind me, to get money. Today, I've learned two things :

1. Don't walk over frozen concrete at 08h30 in the morning
2. Stop ordering things online. Taxes and shipping costs will triple the price.

Note to self...

Small list of things to do on monday 3rd :

- Call the union and find out WTF they're waiting for this time
- Get over to the bank and exchange USD for EUR
- Pick up some green paper maps to sort administrative papers
- Go over to my grandma's house in the evening
- Get more details on some things, although they were partially confirmed today
- Buy food for today, next week (and toilet paper, water, etc etc)
- Send off free stickers to a few people
- Other things that I don't remember right now...

Dorks, Confirmations and TV�s.

Ash, that certainly sounds like a good idea! I'm out of wodka, out of grapefruit juice, but I still have enough dorkyness in me :)

I'm gonna watch some telly (either "Glimmerman" or "A League of their own") and then review some more experiences for BME.

I hope to get some sort of confirmation of the information I got yesterday, and preferably before tuesday. If I have more or less hard evidence, I might be able to pull off something that'll make the loss less severe. It would take some thinking and careful planning though.

I feel naked


but I am not. Pretty strange feeling somehow. I just got out of bed, and am thinking about how I'm gonna waste my day. Yesterday I went to Batibouw with Joco & Eef, and there were some interesting things to be seen. The only problem is that all of it is sooo fuckin' expensive, and thus not likely to happen anytime soon.

After the fair we went over to Joco' parents to pick up little Alex, we had a pitta and a lot of fun as well. Dropped in with Eef's parents as well, since Freddy had a bit of trouble with his computer, and we managed to fix it all. With a bit of luck we also scored a new webdesign project, and the extra cash would come in handy.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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