April 2003 Archives

Pools of Party

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Just checked the lottery results for today... not too bad, as I had 2 numbers on almost every line. Too bad you need at least three on a line to even win the smallest prize. Oh well... I think I'd better close this, this, this and this page again for a while. Maybe I'll have better luck next drawing?

I'll be off to a party later tonight, there's a Pop & Rock thingy going on in Zaal Jacob, in Antwerp, and as a backup we've got a 70's and 80's party as well. I just it doesn't turn out to be an 80's and 90's party ;) Johan, Jess and I will be going for sure, Joco & Eef might join us, but I've got a slight feeling I'm gonna get a mail soon that they're not coming.
Hey, they still have a lot of things to do in their new place, but I talked to Joco about 30 minutes ago and he said they were able to do quite some things today. And when they start digging the pool, I'll be there to help out!

Note : CSCO stock is not moving much today. I hope it moves up a bit tomorrow, perferably about 5-7% so I can sell the shares I've got. Oh... and the skynet mailservers have been acting up all day long. Let me give you an example :

1. You log into the server, and it tells you "bad username or password".
2. Which actually means "we've fucked up the server once more and haven't got a clue on how to run a stable production server"
3. And on their status page it becomes "At the moment you might experience some delays in receiving your e-mails"

Oh, the joy of being able to read between the lines of Tech Support announcements.

Update : Just got a call from Eef that she'll be going along to the party. Joco will be staying home and babysit little Alex tonight, as well as tomorrow morning. That means there'll be partying by a designated driver (Jess), an animal that wants to party (Johan, the party animal... a couple of times a year), a very good looking and enjoyable lady (Eef, the mother of my godson Alex and the girlfriend of CrazyDaddy) and myself (the most serious one of the bunch). Party on folks! Where's that beer?

Test results... good & bad

I've just gotten back from the testing session and well... it was a breeze - partially. Of course, with all the luck I've got, it was raining when I was cycling over there, but since I was there well in advance, my pants were kinda dry by the time the actual testing begun.

First test : Basic and general IT terms. Shouldn't be a problem for me, but I should have asked for an english test instead of a crappy dutch one. Besides, some of the questions were really vague.

Example : what does the www (world wide web) consist of mostly? Possible answers : cables, modems, websites, internetservers. Right... you tell me? I don't even recall what I answered but I think I've gone for the dumbass answer "websites". Anyway, I scored a very nice 96% overall on that test. Must mean I know something about it.

Test number 2 : Windows 2000 files & folders. It's been a while since I worked with windows 2000, but hey... I should do OK. Biggest caveat in this test : you can only click things without for instance specifying left of right mouse button. And for a lot of commands I use the shortcuts and not the menu... something that will become a serious issue in the other tests. Scored a nice 95% overall.

Test number 3 : Word 2000. I hardly ever use Word, and when I do, I type plaintext letters, without all the fancy clipart and stuff like that. Failed miserably at this test too. Only 64% overall. Reason : I wouldn't know. Maybe because I never use it? Or because I wouldn't know what the hell a "koptekst" is when the show me one. Talk about a bloody header and footer and I'll know what you mean. An english test would have possibly saved my ass here.

Final test : Excel 2000. Also a program that I don't use that often, but I got through it with an overall score of 82%, where a minimum to pass is 80%. Not much of a margin, but I passed. I've got a new session planned for May 14th, where I will hopefully pass the Word 2000 test.

I'm not bitter about not passing the first session, but I do realize that these tests are not made for IT minded people. They are developed for people that know/knew nothing at all about IT, and followed some crashcourse to know how to kickstart a PC. If you learn the Office suite from a Office for Dummies book, you will pass without any problem.

If you are used to supporting 50 employees, laptops with various OS's, languages and software, LAN, Internet and servers you may not. I suppose everything is relative in this world.

Off to that test

Gotta be there by 13h00 so that shouldn't be a problem. Topics : General IT terms, Files & Folders, Word, Excel.

Possibly off to a party in Antwerp later tonight. Meet me there ;)

What to vote on May 18th?

Either the election tests that are popping up all over the web in Belgium are a bunch of crap, or they favor some parties. I've done about 4 different ones now, and I've had very strange results. The political party mentioned first would be most appropriate one for me, according to the tests.

Test 1 : Vivant - N-VA - Spirit - VLD - CD&V - SP.A - Vlaams Blok - Agalev
Test 2 : Vivant - CD&V - Liberaal Appel - Spirit
Test 3 : VLD - CD&V - N-VA - Vlaams Blok - SP.A - Agalev
Test 4 : CD&V - SP.A - Spirit - VLD - Agalev - Vlaams Blok - N-VA

Maybe it's because of how (the specific wording) the questions are asked that there is so much difference in the results. Although I must say that the results of the top 3 I get, are usually pretty much tied - the difference is only 1 or 2%.

All tax and no play?

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Excerpt/edit of a newspaper article published today :

In effect on thursday May 1st 2003, a new tax of 12 eurocent will be collected for every blank cd-r purchased. The tax had been announced several times but was not yet in effect. This time a fixed date is set in stone : May 1st. This new tax should compensate the authors of copyrighted work for the "copy for personal use" that one is allowed to make.

Aha... this means I now will pay an additional tax to copy an original CD that I bought in a store, and of which the copyright protection prohibits it from playing anywhere I want to use it. For instance on my PC CD-Rom.

Or, put in another way : I pay the author/recordcompany for a crippled product when I buy the original CD, and then pay them once more to make myself an uncrippled product, when I crack the copy protection and write it on a blank CD.

Nice try people, but you can be certain I'm reacting to this.

Update : Letters have gone out to 2 major newspapers and a weekly magazine.

Plug

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I almost forgot! I still had to mention the excellent New Zealand site that Dimi & Marianne have set up after they made a very interesting trip to the beautiful country. Well folks... here it is :

www.new-zealand.be

I know that some readers of friedkitten.com are from that area, I hope they enjoy finding out how these two experienced your country!

Only fools and horsemanure

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I just mailed out my notification of reception for the registered letter concerning the voting station duty on the 18th of May, and went to get my unemployment stamp. When I came home, the mailman had already dropped new things in my mailbox. A letter from the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, stating that they would not be granting me a face-to-face meeting concerning a job I applied for.

It slightly pisses me off, since that job was something I really thought would be interesting. Oh well... too bad. There's other fish in the sea. Wait, isn't that usually said when breaking up with someone? Even so, I don't really know why they say "fish". If the saying would be "There's other wet beavers in the pond" I would understand, but "fish", come on... that's rather degrading, not?

Just ran the address for the appointement of tomorrow through Mappy and it turns out that it's only about 6 kilometers (4 miles) so that should be very manageable by bike. Gotta be there at 13h00, so I'll leave a few minutes to 12 to make sure I'll be there on time.

Note : Ladies, I'm just joking and goofing around here! Women are not smelly (unless they overdosed themselves on perfume) and are more as "wet beavers". They also have tits and ass ;)

�IAM� down, new project?

Since "IAM" will be down for 24 to possibly 36 hours, I've got spare time. While I was browsing around on the web, I suddenly remembered the 'old' LG Electronics USB webcam that I still have connected to the PC.

However, where the hell is the thing hiding. Following the USB connector from the hub, lead me right to the camera. One has gotta be smart ;)

I toyed around with it for a few seconds, thinking about the possibilites when I suddenly realized I needed drivers for the thing. I recall having quite some problems getting it running under windows 2000, but after a quick search on one of the old CD's and a verification on the LG website I knew I had XP compatible drivers. Install, and yes... it runs. Quality is rather crap to be honest, but it runs.

Then a quick look and install of webcam 32 and I was all set. Well, almost. After tuning the old website a bit to reflect the change in ISP, I was almost cheering. Then it turned out that Mozilla has a problem initiating the java applet, something I actually knew about. I never found a solution before, but I didn't really look for one either. This time I digged a little deeper and found another java applet called Camzor.class. Download, config, upload and test... works like a charm. Another problem tackled.

Now... the initial idea : dismantle the webcam casing, check out the internals and figure out a way to rebuild it to comply to my needs. And what exactly am I trying to do, you may wonder?

Everybody knows videophones and intercoms and things like it, right? I want something alike, but only using a webconnection, cheapo webcamera and some ingenuity. I've got a peephole in my front door (well, the one that leads to the public hallway), and figure that if I set up the camera behind the hole, trigger it only on change/movement and then upload those captures, I'd always know who was at my door, and when. I'm not claiming to be doing something new here, not at all, but it just seemed fun to see how far I could get in 36 hours.

I already dismantled the camera, checked if video quality would be acceptable to recognize people through the peephole and that is OK. The hard part seems to be the fact that the complete camera mainboard and lens/CCD are in one piece, and covered with metal shielding. I could strip all the shielding, but I think it's actually used somehow to pass signals. You can see for yourself in the photo's below.

Disassembled the webcam - click to enlargeSee the connections? - click to enlarge

I'll have to study it a bit more and if that doesn't seem to work, either find another way around it (maybe by using a mirror to divert the camera angle) or get my hands on a webcam that has more adaptable components (read cable connection from the mainboard to the actual lens/CCD). Does anyone of you, dear readers, still have an old webcamera at hand that could possibly fit my needs? If so, please let me know!

A few minutes

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past 13h00. The doorbell rings once. I run - avoiding ferrets - to the door, and am able to open and close it before any fuzzies arrive. I pick up the intercom and ask who's at the door. It seems to be the mailman. I already received mail this morning, so I wonder why he's back.

Open front door, take elevator 3 floors down. Meet mailman, accept registered letter after signing for it. Top left corner says "KIESWET". Ouch... doesn't sound too interesting. Ride elevator back to 3rd floor, open front door and go back inside. Clench envelope between teeth while trying to catch five fuzzballs with two hands, and close door. Phew.

I open the letter. Crap!!!! Here's a rough translation :

Dear Sir, Madam,

I'm delighted to tell you that you've been appointed, on sunday may 18th at 08h00 sharp to serve as assistant in voting station number xxx, located at (address)

Please report to the voting station at the above mentioned date at 07h30 at the latest.... (rest is a buch of crap)

Yikes. People, this is NOT a joke, unfortunately. I have to confirm this letter (I wonder why they send it by registered mail?) to the person responsable for voting station xxx - within 48 hours. But, I can do so in a plain envelope without postage being needed. Oh, thanks!

Let me get this straight : They expect me to be somewhere at 07h30, sit there from 08h00 till 15h00, and all of that for € 18,40? That's about € 2.62 an hour... for that amount I don't even leave my sofa or pick up a phone. Get fucking real, will you?

So... I've just studied the legal documents regarding the 2003 elections in Belgium, and it seems there is no easy way of this shit. Maybe I should send the notification back to the responsable in an envelope of a political party? Would that create enough of a discussion regarding my objectivity?

In order to be sure that I don't get called in next time, I've got some things up my sleeve though... school and voting stations are public buildings, hence no smoking is allowed. If any of my "colleagues against my will, and their will too I presume" decides to light one, I point that out to them. They don't comply? Call the cops and have them write a ticket about it.

I think I'll go and party bigtime on the 17th, then go straight from the pub to the voting station. I have to attend, but as far as I can see, it nowhere says in what physical state I have to be in.

Search engine fun

Things people have been looking for over the past few days :

"Lucky Diamond Rich" - my post about him, or check out his website
"Alex Trusk" : my post about him, related to Cube 2
"Continental Airlines Breastfeeding" : my post about the terrorism case
"Microsoft Q811493 Hotfix" : read more here, or here
"Allah in Matrix Reloaded" : Pardon me? I've never written anything about Allah in that movie. Really, trust me.
"our new kitten pooped all over the dogs bed" : well... that must have been quite a shitty situation. Tip : clean it up.
"Download SERV-me" : this one must have been looking for a trojan. I'm not a trojan, I'm from Belgium (and I can't help it)

Wanted : recipe for pigeonsoup

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So, this must be what one gets for doing good. Oh, wait. You probably have no clue what I'm talking about? Let's start from the beginning.

A few days ago, a pigeon crashlanded on my balcony, looking all tired and lost. It was ringed so I figured it was looking for a place to rest before continuing it's (long) flight home. I still had some pigeon food left in the garage from my last dealing with pigeons, so I went to get the box and I put some on a plate on the balcony.

Seems the pigeon was rather hungry as within seconds it was feeding itself. It went to sleep later on and on saturday it was gone. Another good deed done I figured.

On sunday noise woke me up. The pigeon was back, eating the rest of the food, and it walked into my glass door a few times! Dumb animal, my apartment ain't your place of residence, is it? Anyway, fastforward to monday morning : the pigeon is still there (or back?) and has thanked me profoundly by shitting all over my balcony. This is the last time I ever think of helping out a pigeon that lands on my private airport!

Note : I know myself too well. Next time an animal in distress needs help, I'll help it and deal with any unfortunate side effects later on. I have however had it with pigeons!

Enhancement : While I was blogging anyway, I finally added the comments to the archive sections as well. Which means one can actually go back in time now and read what people commented on the posts.

No more monkies in Brooklyn

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No sleep till - Brooklyn!
Foot on the pedal - never ever false metal
Engine running hotter than a boiling kettle
My job's ain't a job - it's a damn good time
City to city - I'm running my rhymes
On location - touring around the nation
Beastie Boys always on vacation
Itchy trigger finger but a stable turntable
I do what I do best because I'm illing and able
Ain't no faking - your money I'm taking
Going coast to coast - watching all the girlies shaking
While you're at the job working nine to five
The Beastie Boys at the Garden - cold kickin' it live

Is it obvious that I can't fall asleep? Hey, what is there to do when laying in your bed, tossing and turning? Maybe spank the monkey? Did that, didn't really help me, although it was enjoyable. Nude weblogging, would that help me get tired and fall asleep? I wouldn't know, but I'm trying it now.

I'm pretty sure I just scared off 50% of my readers, the others are either blind, or perverted.

Setup Finalised

Yay! I just - well about half an hour ago - got back from my sisters' plavce where I installed the PC and did a zillion of "after-full-install" tasks. It immediately had LAN access and the soundblaster drivers that I thought would be correct did the job.

Downloaded and installed a bunch of servicepacks, hotfixes and patches, too many reboots and voila... it's up and running. The only thing (still) failing is the philips CDD3610 cd-rewriter, but I've had one myself many moons ago, and it was crap to begin with. Constant calibration errors and a new firmware couldn't fix it. I guess they'll have to invest in a cheapo new model.

The only thing left for her to do now is to configure her mailclient, connect the firebox and configure it as well, and that's it.

And the best part (for me that is)? I threw away a lot of old CD's, papers and stuff that I didn't need anymore.

My desk even looks clean. Well... I mean you can actually see the wood it's made of now - in some parts.

Damn... I've put some many acronyms in those two last posts (with an explenation) - yet someone manages to find one I didn't explain. This one is for you Zed : OS does not mean Orange Squash, Oriental Sex or Obvious Simplicity. It's shorthand for Operating System, in other words : Unix, Linux, BeOs, Windows, ...

And to answer your question right away : I'm not coming over to reinstall Bruce. You're like at the other end of the country, and although I like ride my bike, that would be overdoing it a bit. Kick the Twat around till you get him to reinstall Bruce. After all, that's his job, not?

I put the PCI soundcard in the computer, it was instantly found, but not recognized. Damn, and where the hell am I gonna find the correct drivers for this thing? I looked through the tons of CD's spread around the desk and was able to locate a SB driver CD, but it didn't have the correct drivers for this OS.

Oh well, off to the site then, locate the drivers, download and... too big to fit on a disk. I'm not going to write a CD for a driver that's only 5 meg, so I'll just download it when the computer is hooked up to the cable at my sisters place.

While browsing through stuff, I did find something I knew I had, but wasn't able to locate over the past 2 years : a Front 242 MP3 CD that I compiled ages ago. A friend of mine asked if I still had it, so this means the answer is yes? As you might have spotted, I've been playing Front 242 for the past 2 and a half hour now, and there's at least another 8 hours of music left. 151 MP3's crammed onto one CD... Lovely day!

I should have suspected it

Yups... the new OS is installed. However, and I should have noticed it, it installed itself "alongside" the current OS, and not "instead" as I selected. Crap... I just wasted about an hour for nothing. Well, maybe not nothing as I now know that all the hardware is correctly detected.

I've hunted down a more up to date Bios as well, so I'll install that one first, then reinstall the OS.

Update : The bios update has been completed, and apparently without any problem. Well, at least no problem I can spot right now. The thing still boots and reports a new bios version and date so...

Update 2 : OS is installed now and seems to work quite fine. Tomorrow I plan to install all required applications. While I was waiting for the machine to save settings, reboot, and do drive checks I did a bios update on my box as well. I'm extremely pleased with the support and website of MSI, the manufacturer of my mainboard. (Check out their site)

Saturday Night Fever

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I just started working on my sisters machine, as it is in dire need of a complete reinstall. It's a P2-350, 128MB Ram but it still runs pretty well, although windows has become rather unstable and often has quirks.

I've already formatted, merged and reformatted 2 of the current 4 partitions in order to have only 2 left in the end. I'm also gonna pop in an extra CD-rom reader (24 speed) and see if I can get the current CD-writer to behave properly. I'm under the impression the writer itself is still OK, but she told me she was unable to write a proper CD. In this case, it would be handy though, as there's about 1.2GB of data that needs to be saved. The computer is copying that right now - for the past 15 minutes - to the new partition, so that shouldn't be any problem, yet I'd love to have it on CD as well. Yust in case, you know.

As soon as the thing is done I'll install the extra CD-reader, then see if the current OS detects it and can read from it. If that turns out OK, I'm going to clean-install something more stable on it (still windows based though) and see where that gets me. Then I should check out the ISA soundcard, and possibly replace it with one I still got (I got both a PCI and ISA version laying around) and reinstall the modem as well.

Then test the thing and all of that will (or should) be done by tomorrow evening. I haven't got a clue if something interesting is on the telly tonight, so I might skip a part of that to-do list to tomorrow.

Well, that's my evening and night it seems. Do I mind working on computers on a saturday evening? Not at all, I like it. You know, geeks and nerds don't have a life - and wouldn't know what to do with if they had ;)

Hey, you!

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Did you just cut that cable? Yes, you! I saw you do it, don't tell me you didn't! Oh, you didn't? What? You were just pulling your undies out of your crack? Ooops... excuse me.

OK, has anyone seen who cut the big fat internet cable? Wander-lust.com is unresolvable, Minddump.co.uk has gone AWOL... Maybe a big whale has taken a large chunk out of it when it swam by?

Note : big (baleen) whales don't eat internetcable. They eat krill.

In search for new registrar

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OK, I've just been browsing around a bit for a new registrar for my .be (ccTLD) domains. I'm very pleased with the international registrar I've got, but I'm getting fed up with the relatively high costs of my .be domain names.

All Belgian internetproviders, webdesigners or hosting providers are free to apply and make me an offer.

This is what I require :

1. Subscriber to the Domain Ethix code
2. Invisible forwarding either by frame or permanent redirect (anywhere I want)
3. 24/7 Control Panel to access/change/view settings, redirects, DNS
4. Unlimited e-mail forwarding, preferably with catch-all (*@domainname.be type)
5. At least 3 years of experience with domain registration or webhosting
6. Solid support which can be reached when needed.

Optional :

1. Spamcontrol (Spamassasin, ...) on the mail addresses
2. POP3 account or webmail
3. Uptime guarantee, Service Level Agreement (usually BS anyway)

What am I willing to transfer to you (so that you know exactly what we are talking about) :

About 15 .be domain names, of which at least 6 shall be transferred within 3 months, the rest will be done within about a year (they have just been renewed).

What am I NOT looking for :

1. Offers to develop / host a domain / do webdesign
2. Registration combined and limited to hosting deals

What may I consider :

1. Sale of some domain names.

All offers or enquiries should be received at this address : registrarATfriedkitten.D0T.com with full details by May 19th 2003 at the latest. All offers arriving after the deadline will not be considered.

How low can you go?

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A Canadian woman travelling on a flight with Continental Airlines has been charged with a Level 1 followed by a Level 2 crew complaint. First of all, what the heck is a Level 1 or Level 2 crew complaint? And why?

After reading the complete article I still don't know what a Level 1 or 2 complaint is, but an upgrade to Level 3 means "possible mandatory detainment by U.S. authorities for 24 hours, RCMP involvement and criminal charges for an act of war upon an American."

So... that's basically some terrorist action I suppose? Now that we've got that out of the way, let's see "why" she was charged with a Level 1 and 2 complaint.

Deborah Wolfe (the woman charged) states the following in an e-mail : "It started during the final leg of a trip back to Vancouver from Florida, when a man seated near her on the Continental Airlines flight took offence to her nursing her 4-month-old son and complained."

Right. Breastfeeding is an act of terrorism now people! Come on, get real... How dumb can people be? Actually, in the end, Wolfe says things were resolved when she signed a document promising "that she would neither break Continental's rules about such things, nor speak to American passengers."

Yes, speaking to American passengers on an international flight seems to be dangerous to your health. After all, they can claim "that the asking of two questions by a 'foreign national' in international airspace made him feel the victim of terror and as such he wanted to file an assault charge."

I bet the man complaining considers breasts to be deadly weapons and reason to file an assault charge. Oh wait... it wasn't even about the breasts. It was because a "foreign national" had spoken to him.

Words can be used as a weapon, but they easily backfire. Especially on the dumb and ignorant ones.

Note to self

Dharma & Greg tonight at 23h55 instead of 00h35!

Does anyone know or watch that show? I totally LOVE it. Dharma (the character) is just so lovely. She's completely wicked and sometimes drifts off into some undescribable mood, but I doubt I could ever be mad at someone like her. Oh, and let's not forget the "make up" sex... fighting would become a positive thing :)

It seems like Microsoft has updated the Q811493/MS03-13 bulletin with the following information :

Why has Microsoft reissued this bulletin?

Subsequent to the release of this bulletin and the associated patches, a performance related problem was identified with the Windows XP Service Pack 1 version of the patch. This problem is unrelated to the security vulnerability discussed in this bulletin, however the problem has caused some customers to notice performance degradation on Windows XP SP1 systems after applying the patch.

What is Microsoft doing about the performance problem with the Windows XP SP1 patch?

Microsoft is actively investigating the performance related problems and will re-issue the Windows XP SP1 patch when it has been corrected and fully tested.

I'm running Windows XP SP1. What should I do until Microsoft reissues the patch for Windows XP SP1?

Windows XP Service Pack 1 customers are encouraged to review this security bulletin - and in particular the Severity Rating matrix and assessment above - to assess whether their particular environments demand that the patch should be applied immediately or whether their particular level of risk permits delaying deployment of the patch until it is revised and the performance issue corrected. Customers who can not wait to deploy the patch are encouraged to test it to see whether the performance problems affect them before deploying the patch broadly.

It should be noted that the patch is still effective in addressing the local elevation of privileges security vulnerability discussed in this bulletin.

When will Microsoft reissue the Windows XP SP1 patch?

Microsoft is actively working on the revised fix and will re-issue it as soon as it has been built and fully tested.

In other words... there is not yet a solution short of uninstalling the patch.

Here we go...

The shit has hit the fan. I've just received a letter from the curator handling the bankruptcy of ICT Assistance that according to his documentation (documentation that was/is up to date thanks to me, as I was the one responsible for all things IT) I still have a Toshiba Satellite Pro SP4600 with serial number 61282230G-SS460-0 in my possession.

Let me tell you this right away : I don't. I was at home the week prior to the actual declaration of bankruptcy and my laptop was left at the office, where it was 99,9% of the time, as I hardly used it as a laptop. Thus, how the hell would I know what has happened to it? Either they have it their possession already, but don't know it, or someone has removed it from the premises before the curator was able to pick everything up. In neither case I would know where the laptop is now.

I'm gonna do two things now : Call the people responsible for the collection of materials, as well as contact the legal departement of my union. I don't like things like this.

Update : I just got off the phone with the company responsable for collecting everything and this is what they told me : We can't verify anymore (his words!) whether or not that laptop has come in. You do however still have a toolcase that has to be brought in. To which I replied : No, I don't have a toolbox, as I was not one of the technicians, but one of the internal employees. Oh... and where did you work? On the third floor, and my laptop was on my desk when I left and went into sick leave. Aha... that could be correct, I'll take a note that we did indeed find your laptop there.

??? Hey, that's fine for me, but I think they're guessing. Anyway I've contacted the unions legal departement to have them make an official statement towards the curator. No one should be accusing me of still owning a laptop when I don't. I don't have any company owned material anymore!

Another try

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to successfully claim my own blog at blogshares. I'm still under the impression that it'll fail due to a redirect with a frame, but I could as well try. I dumped 3000 shares of Cyborgirl, 2500 shares of Scattered Shelley, as wel as some smaller amounts. Blogshares will be going live on May 1st and then all current positions will be reset, apart from the cash balance. This means everyone will be dumping shares as the deadline comes closer, and will result in lower stock valuations since everyone is selling.

Listed on BlogShares

I'm not sure I've actually posted something about it before, but I've been experiencing a lot of problems with my computer over the past week. It has slowed down considerably, often has programs not responding and things like that. I was already thinking that one of the 40 gig disks in the raid array was gonna go belly up soon, but today I learned that it actually has something to do with Q811493.

Q811493 is a windows XP (both 32-bit and 64-bit version) hotfix, released on april 16th 2003, updated on april 17th. Technet Bulletin MS03-013 has details about the hotfix.

Since another site mentioned it being a combination of the hotfix and virusscanners (such as EZ Anti-virus Realtime , MacAfee version 7 and Sophos AV) I contacted Sophos support to verify the information presented.

Within minutes (if not seconds) I received the following mail :

Hello ServMe

Yes there is an issue between Sophos and Microsoft's hotfix Q811493 and
development is aware of it. At the moment the only workaround is to either
uninstall the hotfix, or uninstall the software- quite a dilemna. We will
keep you informed as to what the next steps are going to be.

Regards

Sophos Support (actual name removed)

Is that good and fast support or what? At least now I can confirm that there is indeed a problem with *extreme* (no kidding here!!) slowdowns on XP machines after applying Q811493, in combination with certain anti-virus products.

Since I always go for security, I'll just wait till either Microsoft, or Sophos comes up with a patch or workaround for this problem. In the mean time, both the virusscanner and the Q811493 patch remain installed.

Disappointed...

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I scored
64¼%
on the classic 400 Point Purity Test!
Take the test here!

I don't get it... still over 64% pure? Maybe I gotta catch up on some things!

ADV : Single white male seeks women (aged 25 - 35) to lower purity test score. Kinkyness is a prerequisite. Group applications welcome. Contact me now

Easter Monday

Well, I hardly doubt that's the official name, but it's monday and has been easter, so I declare this to be easter monday. Yesterday I rode over to the Tattoo & Piercing convention, and it was pretty interesting. Around 16h30 my sister and Johan stopped by as well, and about an hour earlier I met Iori there.

Enjoyed ourselves a lot, I even got to help out with Lucky Diamond Rich's show, it was pretty cool. Definitely a lot of stuff you shouldn't try at home. Unfortunately, most photographs are crap - once more - due to extremely bad lighting conditions. Have got a few nice bodypainting shots though, and one pose of me and Lucky Diamond Rich. Will post them below.

Later during the night I went over to Jess & Johan where I cooked dinner, and took a look at the modem problems with their computer. Couldn't find any cause for a repeated failure though, and the thing is both virus and spyware free.

Today I'm gonna entertain the ferrets a bit, then work out and celebrate Hilda's birthday. It's gonna be fun :)

Mieke of Krijo�s Tattoo working - click to enlargeBodypainting - That is one *HOT* Elf! - click to enlargeLucky Diamond Rich - Great show, and note my BME shirt - click to enlarge

Blogamp Installed

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OK, I'm done finetuning the output that's being delivered to the page by blogamp. I've decided to only show the last 3 songs, otherwise it would make the page look too busy. Like there is not yet enough already :)

If you want to play around with it yourself, click on the "powered by blogamp" at the bottom of the list, and download the plugin. It doesn't need much (webspace, winamp, and songs) to set up, and I think everyone can do this.

I did hack into the javascript though, in order to get it to display how I like it. I imagine that I can remove at least another 25% of the code if I wanted to, as I only use certain functions. Might do that later on.

Trigger Happy

I'm locutus of borg, and I'm getting bloody trigger happy! I've been busy installing a plugin of winamp to update the blog while playing tunes, and I needed to reset my FTP password to something else. Why? Because I forgot the bloody password.

So, I log in to the control panel, change the password and voila... changed. Except for that Syntax Mismatch errror that suddenly turns up. Well, not problem, let's try anyway. 530 login incorrect. Oh, let's just open a ticket at the webhost and let them take a look at it. Send in ticket, has all information required. Answer within 5 minutes... yes, I've got a wonderful webhost indeed.

Change the hostname in your FTP program from xxx to yyy. You cannot login to xxx directly as it's a subdomain of zzz and therefore you should use yyy. No problem, although I've been logging into xxx for the past year without ANY problem. The problem started when I tried changing the password through the control panel. I change the hostname and try to log in : 530 - login incorrect.

Of course you moron! I knew it wasn't gonna work. Why the hell did I get the one person that does crappy support? Anyway, after my friendly but dedicated reply that I tried his suggestion, but that it didn't correct the problem, it's gone quiet. Very quiet. Just got a reply... he thinks it's "odd". Off to do some more mailing :)

Update : The problem is solved. Apparently some of the control panel skins have scripting errors in them, and that can lead to things like this.

I still don't have the blogamp plugin working though. According to the logfile the webconnection works fine now, but

OK... of course it won't output anything if I forget to turn on the plugin again! I just need to findtune the output a bit now, as it shows *way* too much info. I'll be wasting my time on that for the next few minutes.

Idool 2003 - take 2

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Last week I wrote a rather long and detailed post about the Idool 2003 competition on one of the TV stations in Belgium. It was full of information and rather to the point - maybe even blunt - remarks about the candidates. However, thanks to my own stupidity, that post never made it to a screen near you. I accidently closed the main browser window before saving it.

Good thing is that the competition continues, so I've got another chance to write what I think about it. And - not suprisingly - my view has not changed, not in the least. I'm even more convinced now.

Quick overview of the candidates :

Wim : Good allround singer, but don't feel anything special about how he performs.
Chris : Not too bad, but not the best of the remaining candidates.
Brahim : Tears up and rapes every song he "sings". Does it with style and humor though.
Peter : More rock as pop, but has proven that he can do it all
Natalia : looks like a russian farmers daughter, but she is simply the best

So, todays episode where each of them had to perform with a big band, didn't change anything. Chris was not convincing to me at all, Brahim keeps on doing the same thing he's done since day one, Natalia picked a song I know pretty well (in the bj�rk version though) and gave a wonderful performance, Wim did very well, lots of style, and Peter adapted very well to a style that's not really his.

If I would be the jury, or have a final say who to let go, it would be either Brahim or Chris. And if I had to pick just one : Chris.

Oh... and Idool 2004 will feature Nadia, who has promised us she'd enter the competition next year. I agree she did so after quite a lot of wine and other alcoholic beverages, but still... she can sing and should enter!

Fuzzy education for dummies

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Cyborgirl talked about pet otters in one of her latest posts, to which I replied :

Erm... Cy I hope you're not serious about pet otters? Otters are - in my maybe slightly biased opinion - no pets. They're wild animals, and should be left in freedom.

If you want the pet otter feeling without the restrain liberty part, get ferrets. They've been domesticated for years and wouldn't even survive in the wild anymore should one escape.

Apart from that, they're about everything otter you can imagine, except they don't eat fish. (Posted by ServMe on April 17, 2003 11:10 AM)

and some smartass called Kati had the following to comment on that :

pet otters!!!! ServMe's right, ferrets are kinda like miniature otters from a cute biting heaven of animalia, but ferrets are smelly, whereas otters are slick and shiny and eat clams while floating on their backs in the sea green surf!

=D (Posted by kati on April 18, 2003 04:31 AM)

And of course, that got me going :

Ferrets are smelly? Kati, you really should have left an URL to go with that name of yours, and I hop right over and tell ya! Ferrets are only smelly, when :

1. they are *not* neutered or spayed.
2. you wash them more than a couple of times a year.

Why? Because neutering takes away 90% of the smell and makes males easier to handle, and females need to be spayed (or mate) because they will suffer from all kinds of problems when their hormones run wild and nothing is done about it. Scientific info

Washing your ferrets too often only results in the skin-glands releasing more oils to keep the fur in good condition and will increase any smell instead of take it away. Apart from ruining the fur that is.

Telling me ferrets are smelly really gets me going, and sadly only proves you know nothing about them. And if you know nothing about something, shut up about it.

You know where to find me if you want more info.

Bleh. (Posted by ServMe on April 18, 2003 12:33 PM)

Turning healthy?

I'm back, from outer space... lalalalalalaaaaaa. Yes, I'm home again after taking the bike for a somewhat longer spin. First stop was the self carwash, because I thought it would be a good idea to get all the dirt of the bike before I applied grease again, but there was a line of cars in front of me, so I decided to come back home.

Did some weightlifting, and then set off to Rivierenhof, a park about 3 km's from where I live. It was just great in the park... not too many people walking all over the (dirt)roads so I could go fairly fast without risking to crash into someone. Had to do some navigation though since people don't tend to walk in a straight line.

Well, no accidents and I really enjoyed my workout. When heading back home, there was a rather strong breeze - wind has definitely gotten stronger today - so I had to fight it to get back. I've been gone for approximately an hour, and I've just had some water to replace the lost fluids. Off to the shower in a second, anyone wanna join? ;)

I think I'll make myself a good vegetarian dish tonight. Only had a chocolate soy pudding till now, so it better be a large dish :)

Past due dates

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I guess it was about time I got round to cleaning out the cupboard that hold spices, soups, pasta and things like that. I just threw out 19 individual portions of soup - at least 5 various tastes - that were past their due date. For about 2 years.

But wait, that's not everything. Two packs of toast, due date was somewhere around june of the year 1999, and various other things that usually don't go bad, but that I decided to get rid of anyway. Tossing out everything has also resulted in a nice 89 Artis points. Now if only I knew someone who collects those. Interested? Contact me.

I've got lots of extra space in that cupboard now... Time to expand the collection of spices a bit!

Note to self : Don't buy more ginger and tabasco. I've got two of each, neither opened.

So, what's the oldest type of food you've found in your kitchen, that was still identifiable and had a readable due date?

Interesting talks

I'm discussing astrological signs, fate and god-like beings with a girl nicknamed Mosquitoh. And it all started off with her saying that she likes ferrets :)

Who said that the internet wasn't a very interesting place? Actually, people that know me, will probably wonder why I'm discussing things like that. I'm down to earth and don't believe in God, Allah, or any other god-like creature.

I do however like to understand the views that other people might have about it.

Update : we've now gotten to concious and subconcious decisionmaking and how they are influenced.

Never piss me off!

I've had it! For the second time in 24 hours I receive mail from a company called mailco, who is - why am I not suprised - into mass mailing.

Apparently a client called DDH (www.ddh.be) has contacted mailco (www.mailco.be) to do a massmailing concerning the DDH team entering the RedBull soapbox race on april 21st.

Complaints have been filed with :
- [email protected] (provider of my e-mail address, which has been already cancelled)
- [email protected] (for sending out spam)
- [email protected] and [email protected] (for ordering mailco to spam mailboxes)
- [email protected] and [email protected] (both unexistent and bounced)
- [email protected] & [email protected] (so they know about it)
- [email protected] (registrant of mailco.be)
- [email protected] (registrant of ox.be)
- [email protected] (press contact for Red Bull soapbox race)
- [email protected] (press contact for Red Bull soapbox race)

I certainly HOPE that other spammers harvest all of the e-mail addresses mentioned above! What comes around, goes around.

Healthy?

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This afternoon I got pretty bored with working the computer all day, so I went down to the garage and did some powerlifting and benchpresses. I might as well work a bit on the shape while at home, right?

I took the phone with me - I've got one of those remote handsets - and suprisingly, I even had a good connection! The thing usually loses the line when I move to my kitchen - and that's only 3 meters away from the base station. Yeah! This means that I can be down in the garage working out while still being reachable.

After I was done working out, I looked up to the sky and decided to take the bike for another spin. I'm really starting to like it so it seems. Didn't go far this time, just a quick tour (about 4 kilometers or so) but at a decent speed. It's really fun, and I hope it'll help me burn some calories :)

Afternoon

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I should have know that I wouldn't be able to get paint in the shopping mall. Actually, I did know that, but decided to ride over there anyway. It's pleasantly warm outside, so why remain home?

I picked up some ferret food while I was a the mall, as well as a some new pants (casual, not suited for work) and a pair of new boxers. Stopped at the supermarket and picked up some groceries, but I think I'll finish the rest of that chicken tonight.

Yesterday Jess (my sister) called and asked if she could come over to do some PC-banking and stockmarket related things, as the modem in her machine keeps on disconnecting. I already told her I would take a look at it, but she thinks it's not necessary since she'll get cable access next week on tuesday. I asked her if she wanted to go the tattoo & piercing convention on sunday and she said she'd come along. Depending on the weather, I'll ride my bike over there and meet the both of them later on, or ask for them to pick me up.

Didn't hear anything from Joco & Eef about it, so I figure they're not interested and won't be going.

Morning till midday

Got the long awaited C4 in the mail today, so I jumped on the bike and rode over to ABVV to complete my unemployement file. It'll probably take 2-4 weeks now before RVA has checked and approved everything.

Passed at Suzana's place and we decided to meet up in the park later on, but she had to wait for her sister. I went to get a sandwich, and something to drink. When about an hour had passed, I stopped at her place again, and she was still home. Apparently her sister didn't show and she was still waiting for her. Chatted at the door for about 45 minutes while Yamina was making all kinds of weird noises and generally being an overactive 5 year old.

Having a conversation while being spellcast by a kid every 30 seconds proves interesting, especially when it's done with some Harry Potter spell. I suddenly remember why I love kids, as long as they're not mine ;)

I think I'll put a new coating of paint on the garagedoor, after I've prepared the area. This could very well be the best week - weatherwise - to do large outdoor paint jobs, so why hesitate? Just gotta see if I can find a shop nearby that sells paint that I can use.

Up early

Yeah, somehow didn't feel like staying in bed much longer. This I can or should do according to the spam in my mailbox today :

I have perfect buns, and while drinking coffee from my free grinder, I should take pictures with my free digital camera - the smallest in the world - of the gang bang action going on in my house that has been refinanced so that the mortgage has gone down considerably. Should I have a headache, I can order Valium and Viagra online while wondering if size really matters. The best things is that according to Tom Anderson, I can get paid for my opinion, so why hold back?

FUCK OFF YOU STUPID SPAMMERS!

Spam to important mail ratio today : 45/1

I should have known...

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Man... I'm great! After doing some more work around the house, and playing some games I decided that I couldn't skip the wonderful weather so I took my bike for a spin. It was fabulous outside and I enjoyed my ride.

Rode over to the tattoo shop in Merksem, to go and check out the new place - they recently moved - and possibly have a chat with Mieke. Right... the shop"s there, it's even open, but Mieke wasn't in. Apparently, she doesn't work there on tuesdays. Go figure! I asked John - the owner - and he confirmed that all of them will be at the convention on sunday, so I think I'll have that chat with her then.

Received a mail this morning that one of the ex-colleagues got the long awaited C4 document by snail mail this morning, but I did see the mailman and he didn't have anything for me. I hope it'll be here tomorrow, then I can drop everything off and get the file completed. Would be nice.

Even nicer if I can get a hold of Suzana and ask her if she got the C4 too. Then we can head over to ABVV together, and maybe have a drink or something later on. With great weather like this, and great company like Suzana, it would be a very nice day :)

About time!

Tatoe�erders en piercers krijgen kwaliteitslabel

Piercers, tatoe�erders, juweliers en beoefenaars van permanente make-up krijgen voortaan een kwaliteitslabel wanneer ze een strenge hygi�nische en deontologische code volgen. De code werd opgesteld door de sector zelf, de consumentenverenigingen en de overheid. Piercen en tatoe�ren houdt gezondheidsrisico's in. Tot nu toe bestond er geen regulering in de sector. Veel professionelen waren zelf vragende partij. Daarom hebben ze samen met de overheid en consumentenverenigingen een code voor goede praktijk opgesteld, waarin een aantal deontologische en hygi�nische regels zijn opgenomen.
Zo verbinden ze zich ertoe enkel meerderjarige personen te piercen of te tatoe�ren, al zijn er wel enkele uitzonderingen, bijvoorbeeld voor het piercen van oorlellen. Ook moeten de klanten voldoende informatie, bedenktijd en nazorg krijgen. Verder zijn er ook strikte hygi�nische normen opgesteld. Ook moet de plaats waar gewerkt wordt dagelijks ontsmet en schoongemaakt worden en helder verlicht zijn om ongelukken te voorkomen. Verder dient er zoveel mogelijk wegwerpmateriaal te worden gebruikt. Ander materiaal moet grondig worden gesteriliseerd. (LVR) (source: Belga)

Tattoo artisists and piercers get a quality label (quick translation)

Piercers, tattoo artists, jewelers and those who apply permanent makeup receive a quality label when they comply with a strict hygiene and ethical code. The code itself was created in collaboration with the tattoo and piercing studios, the comsumer organisations and the government. Both piercing and tattooing implies certain hazards to one's health. Thusfar, the sector was not regulated and much professionals asked for such a code themselves.
By complying to the code they agree to only pierce or tattoo adults (18+), even though there are some exceptions, for instance piercing earlobes. Customers must be informed completely, have some time to think it over and get proper aftercare. Apart from that, strict hygenic rules have been imposed : the working area should be cleaned and disinfected daily and be well lit to prevent accidents. Single use material should used whenever possible, and all other material should be properly sterilized.


Well that is about time. This code of conduct will not be in effect before june 2003 and I wonder how specific the rules are. Throwing a needle in alcohol can hardly be considered proper sterilization!

Additions

I've been playing around with some comment counting plugin for MT, written by bmk who blogs at emptypages.org. It's supposed to give the top 5 of the commenters, along with the number of comments they made. The plugin allows quite a lot of options, making it customizable to your liking.

I must admit that I had some problems getting it to work at first, since it always returned blanks, but after renaming the script itself, it suddenly turned up. According to bmk, the scriptname shouldn't be important, and could be anything.

I tend to believe her - why shouldn't I? - but can only report what I experienced. Changing the script back to the old name doesn't make the numbers disappear though. Could it be that only at the first instance the name is important? Hey... I'm just guessing :)

For people that like more MT hacks, check out MT-Plugins

Old, but still good

A man was walking along the shore, deep in meditation and prayer. Suddenly, he speaks out loud : "God, let me make a wish". The clouds parted over his head, and God's loud voice said : "Because you've been faithful to me all this time, I will grant you one wish."

The man thought for a second and said : "I'd like you to build me a bridge all the way to Hawaii, so that I can drive over there each and every time my heart desires."
God replied : 'That is a very materialistic wish my son. Think how long this bridge would have to be, how challenging it would be. I'd have to dig the support deep into the bottom of the sea, and do you have any idea how much concrete and steel that would require? I'd like you to reflect for a few seconds, and wish something less materialistic."

The man thought long and hard this time, and finally said : "I'd like to understand women, to know what they feel, what they think when don't want to speak and what it means when they say "nothing". I want to know how to really make them happy."

And God answered : "Would you line two or four lanes on that bridge?"

Oops...

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I just creamed my pants. Why, you might wonder?

I - for once - was not watching some educational title like "Private Indecency", "Barely Legal 16" or "Wild Flower", but I was watching the final trailer (in 640x480 format no less) for The Matrix : Reloaded.

Will it be a box office hit? Yes, no doubt about that, but I'm not sure it'll generate the same hype and raised eyebrows the first one did. After all, no one had any idea what the Matrix was, but now we do. Or at least, we think we figured it all out.

More action, more special effects and more bad guys. That's what I expect to get from The Matrix : Reloaded. But... I could be wrong. Maybe there is more than the eye can see. Of course, Neo gets Trinity, the sexy woman in the catsuit. There's more to movies than just fat paychecks, right, Johnny Mnemonic?

Off to do laundry now.

No need to puke

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Yeah yeah... I know it looks like it's been eaten before, but let me tell you : this was one heck of a yummy spaghetti. What's even better... there's more than enough to eat tomorrow!

Thumbnail of his belly after the operation - click to enlargeThumbnail of his belly after the operation - click to enlargeThumbnail of his belly after the operation - click to enlarge

Ingredients : tomatosauce - mushrooms - paprika (green & red) - spaghetti - minced meat (=ground beef?) - spices. I know that it should have carrots, onion, and garlic as well, but I didn't have any ;)

Food

I pondering about what I'm gonna have for dinner later tonight. Yesterday, I bought all ingredients (minced meat, mushrooms, paprika, sauce...) to make a good spaghetti, but I've just come to the conclusion that I forgot to get the pasta itself. Dumb dumb dumb. That means I'll have to get over to the store, but I needed to pick up some drinks anyway, so I can do that at the same time.

Funky town

Yesterday, while browsing the web and taking a left turn where I usually go right, I found out that there'll be a tattoo and piercing convention in Antwerp, next week!

Shit! That's good to know, and you can count me in. Especially after I saw that the studio where I get all my work done will be present as well. I might be meeting up with Iori - if he manages to get there in time - so we can discuss some BME-IAM BBQ (June 7th, 2003) things in advance.

Right now I'm reviewing experiences and although I've done quite a few already - did about 7 yesterday - I find it less enjoyable as I did before. It could be because reading the same things over and over makes you feel like you're working a productionline somewhere, or because I've slacked on reviewing for a few weeks and there's tons of work to do now.

I called my contact about the job yesterday - he said he'd get back to me on monday or wednesday, but I didn't hear from him - and got the voice mail once more. Left a message, will see how it turns out.

Links : 5th International Tattoo & Piercing Convention

Suprise...

I just heard from my ex-girlfriend that she and her husband bought a house on april 1st. According to her own words, it's a small place, that used to belong to an old lady who left and went to a retirement home.

It has no bathroom, heating nor kitchen. And I was under the impression that she hated renovating houses and things like that. Either she totally changed, or has come to realize that one can do much more with the amount of cash available, if you do it all yourself.

Hey San & Paul : congrats with the new place! I hope you two can make something nice and enjoyable out of it.

Positive thinking!

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Good morning dear reader!

I don't know how your day has started, but I've decided to make this day a joyful and pleasant one. I don't have plans for the day yet, but I'm really thinking about cleaning out the kitchen completely, wash the in and outside of all the cupboards and things like that.

Certainly doesn't fall in the "lets have a bunch of fun" category, I admit, but things like that need to be done too, right? And while I'm doing that, the ferrets can play so that seems like a very good reason to me.

This morning I received confirmation about the ECDL test for wednesday April 30th around 13h00 in Antwerp.

More offense

Because some people thought the jokes posted a few entries back were rude but entertaining, here are some more...

On the night of her wedding, the young bride pulled her mother aside and asked her "Mama, tell me how to make my new husband happy?"
Her mother replies , "Well, when two people love eachother, they make love."
"Oh, I know all about fucking, Mama," the young bride said. "I want to know how to make lasagna."


A trucker stops for lunch and starts eyeballing the real good-looking waitress. She leans over on the counter to take his order, shoving her tits in his face.
"What would you like, sugar?" she asks.
"I'd love a little pussy" he replies.
"So would I!" the waitress exclaims. "Mine's really huge".


The husband comes home from work early and finds his wife on all fours, scrubbing the floors. All she's wearing is panties. He can resist, gets down on all fours, yanks down her panties and fucks her good.
When he's finished, he smacks his wife on the head.
"What did you do that for?" she asks, angry.
"For not looking behind to see who it was!" the husband replies.


What did the flasher say to the woman in Alaska?
It's really cold. Mind if I just describe myself?


To finish, one I really like...

Lesbian bumpersticker : Save a tree. Eat a beaver.

Busy!

This morning I went out to get some medication for Happy, and did some shopping on the way back. I also got a magazine to read 'cause working on the computer gets boring when you do it 18 hours out of 24 or so.

Just got a mail from ECDL that said they might fit me in with a test session on april 30th. I did have to provide them with a copy of my ID however, so I grabbed the digital cam and took some shots and send them through. It would have been much easier to just use the scanner, but since that's an old parallel device, I can't get it to work under windows XP. Sucks balls, I know, maybe I should just invest in a new and cheap USB scanner.

Played some Line Of Sight : Vietnam, and I found it to be pretty hard when played on medium level. Well, first level shooters ain't my thing to begin with so that might be the problem. Although I really loved one a few years ago, played it for hours and hours. It wasn't Rainbow Six I think, but I can't recall it's name. Damn, maybe I should ask Hobbes, but it's been quite a while since I've seen or talked to him - I wouldn't even know where to look!

Called Stephke around 15h00 and spend about thirty minutes chatting with her, it was fun. Now I'm gonna call Suzana and chat with her a bit too, if I can get a hold of her that is.

Got a mail from BBTK as well, concerning the corrections I've made in the final claim towards my ex-boss, and cleared some things out. I think it'll be going out to court this week, as the deadline is april 17th. Still no C4 documents from the curator. Bleh.

The golden ferret

is back home. He's doing suprisingly well according to the vet, and I quote "this ferret is strong as a rock". He's had major surgery yesterday morning, yet was back up on his feet this morning and even walking around. Here are some pictures to give you an idea. I'd take more, but ferrets don't really cooperate when taking photographs :)

Thumbnail of his belly after the operation - click to enlargeThumbnail of Happy - click to enlarge

I'm happy to have Happy back here. He'll remain separated from the other fuzzies for at least one or two more weeks to monitor how much he eats and whether complications arise, but currently everything looks good.

An check-up appointement will be made next week to do some more bloodwork to find out if the bloodsugar level is higher. It should be better.

Testing

I'm toying around with the MT Track Back functionality. You can ignore most of it for now, and maybe even in the future :)

My victim for T-Back testing is Cy, who went shopping for a purse a few days ago.

Be offended if you like

Why do deaf women masturbate with one hand?
So they can moan with the other.

What's the definition of a legal secretary?
Any chick that's over eighteen.

What's the difference between politcs and a wife?
Politics suck.

What's the difference between your girlfriend and your toothbrush?
You don't let you friends borrow your toothbrush.

What's a mixed marriage in San Francisco?
Partners of the opposite sex.

What's the difference between sushi and eating pussy?
The rice.

What's the name of the new all-female delivery service?
UPMS. They deliver whenever they fucking feel like it.

What's the definition of a consultant?
A guy who knows fithy ways to screw, but doesn't know any women.

What's the difference between a wife and Jell-O?
Jell-O moves when you eat it.

Operation Happy - Update

I just got a call from Elly - the vet - and she told me it was a pretty serious operation. Insulinoma (one large, one smaller), problems with his right kidney (has been removed), it was pretty bad and stressful too.

The problem is that none of the above mentioned conditions can be cured 100% by operating, so what happened just now is that he has been bought some more time. The insulinoma will return sooner or later and it's very possible that his left kidney gets problems due to missing his right one.

Am I pleased with the outcome? Yes and no to be honest. It was pretty much what I expected, but I'm not sure that we did make the right decision. Of course I'll be glad to go and pick him up (possibly tomorrow) and see him walk around without pain and happy... after all, I love that fuzzie, but where is the line?

How far should one go - mentally, physically as well as financially - to "save" those you love?

What will be next?

This article appeared in Gazet Van Antwerpen today. I'll provide a basic english translation below.

08/04 Rechter erkent lesbische mama niet als ouder

"K.V., een vrouw uit Beveren, heeft jarenlang een juridische gevecht geleverd voor het co-ouderschap van haar dochterje, nu 6 jaar. Sammie werd geboren via in-vitrofertilisatie, in een lesbische relatie. Nadat de relatie op de klippen liep, trouwde de ex-partner van K. met een man. "Die man hoefde Sammie alleen maar te 'erkennen' om uitgeroepen te worden tot haar juridische vader", zucht K. "Ik mocht mijn kind maar ��n keer per maand zien. Volgens de rechter ben ik, die haar mee opgevoed heeft, een vreemde voor Sammie."

April 8th : Judge does not accept lesbian mother as parent

K.V., a woman living in Beveren, has been in a legal fight for years to get a co-parenting deal for her daughter, now aged 6. Sammie was born with IVF, during a lesbian relationship. After the relationship ended, the ex-partner of K.V. married a man. This man only needed to accept Sammie as his own daughter to become her legal father, K.V. states. "I was only allowed to see my daughter once a month. According to the judge, I - being one who raised her - am a stranger to Sammie."

I think things like these do fit in with some IVF cases where sperm donors are considered fathers, usually years after they have given others a chance to have a kid. It is totally wrong! I can see how the ex-partner of K.V. wants her new found love (a man in this case) to accept Sammie as if it were his own kid, but that doesn't mean K.V. is suddenly not a parent anymore, is it?

Rulings like this are only possible if courts keep on falling back on rulings and writings that are decades old, and certainly not up-to-date with how things are looked at in this day and age.

What do rulings like this mean? Hey, you're a gay couple, or a lesbian couple, and you can get legally married now (only pretty recent change too), but if you have kids, we can make someone else the father if we feel like it. Isn't that good news?

Oh crap...

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I just got up, and my back still is hurting like hell. Actually, yesterday everything that could go wrong went wrong as far as I can tell. It all started with the VDAB thing, then my back started to hurt, and while I was cooking (rice, chicken and such) I managed to pour some of the boiling hot water over three of my right hand fingers.

I ran them under cold water for a while and they seem fine today. A little sensitive, but no real damage. Then I heated up a little something that I have to take care of the pain in my back - and everything was right at first. However, the second time I heated it up I did so for too long and I almost burned down the house. I opened the microwave and smelled something funny. I couldn't spot anything strange though so I grabbed it and it was warm. However, when I turned it over I noticed burn marks and a terrible stench.

I threw it in the sink and let water run over it. The first drops evaporated instantly due to the amount of heat that had build up inside. Final result : I can throw it away and had to go to bed without something to take care of my back.

Then I wrote a pretty long post about Idool 2003, including links and whatever you can imagine... and then I suddenly closed my browser. Bye bye entry. I didn't even try to rewrite it. I might do so today.

Ash: Yeah! Backrubs! When is my appointement?
Shelley : Yikes! You mean I'm not the only one where they pull stupid things like that? Luckily I didn't suffer from a flat tire, but believe me, I can feel your anger! People really should realize there are other things to be done instead of wasting time. Why does the cat has to get it's tail clipped I wonder?

To add to the general "good-start-of-the-day" feeling for today, I received a package in the mail containing a book I ordered a while back. I doesn't look brand new to me, but it's sort of acceptable. With some proper caretaking it should be OK. Also got two bills in for the labtests on Happy's blood in March. Total amount due is just over € 52. And the only thing I really wanted to get was that C4 from the curator. Man, is that guy thick, or just a pain in the ass?

The boys & girls

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I dropped off Happy at the vet this evening so that she can do surgery on him tomorrow. It was only possible thanks to my sis who gave me a lift there and back. Thanks sis!

I decided to take some photographs of the ferrets today, and as you might notice, Happy is not in any of them... unfortunately. He decided not to cooperate at all, and instead fight with the others. Reason enough to believe I've made the correct descision by opting for surgery to find out what is wrong with him. It's not (yet?) a type of surgery to correct problems, but rather to identify what the problem is. A cut 'n look inside type of surgery.

I expect to get a call tomorrow to find out what the surgery revealed.

Thumbnail of Plush - click to enlargeThumbnail of Tish - click to enlargeThumbnail of Plush & Max - click to enlarge
Thumbnail of Max - click to enlargeThumbnail of Bono - click to enlargeThumbnail of Plush - click to enlarge

Right now my back hurts like hell, and I don't know why. I've not made a wrong move of any kind, but the pain is just there. Since I've got a headache too, I guess I'll be off to bed early and hopefully be able to sleep it all off. If I don't think about Happy too much that is. I just love my boys and girls!

VDAB Joke?

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Last week I got an invitation to have a talk with one of the VDAB counselors about a job offer they had for me. I've been listed as unemployed for less than 14 days, and they already invite me... cool, not?

However, I don't get it. Some people have been getting unemployment benefits for over 5 years and have never been invited, so I wonder what's up with that. Is my profile in high demand?

So, this morning I wake up early, have a shower - aaahhh.. hot water! Soooo good when you wake up and feel as if a truck has run over you. Several times - and jump on my bike. Damn! It's friggin' cold outside! Where are my gloves? Anyway, I was expected to come in between 09h00 and 09h00, and arriving at 09h05 I think that would get me good points when talking to this Rafaella who invited me.

I walk in after putting the helmet and gloves in my backpack, and there's already two people in line. While I'm waiting at least 5 more come in, and then the receptionist asks who's got an appointement. It turns out Rafaella has not yet shown up, so the receptionist has to deal with the appointements. Pretty weird I figure, as I'm there to talk to someone about a job offer, right?

Wrong! Oh so wrong. This is what happens :

Me : Hi, I'm here because I have an appointement with Rafaella about a job offer
Receptionist : Hi, do you have any papers with you?
Me : Sure! Open backpack, get invitation, hand it over
Her : If my computer is fast this shouldn't take too long. 30 seconds later I'm handed a printout.
Me : (looking suprised)
Her : You have to apply in writing to person blah blah at address blah blah.
Me : (while browsing the printout) Erm... it says they are looking for a part-time insurance employee? I've graduated in insurances 6 years ago, but have never worked in it since the start. I've been an IT person since the day I got out of school.
Her : Oh? Erm, wait. Then call them at this number first, and check if you need to apply. NEXT!

So, that's it? That's what they call "an invitation to talk about a job offer"? Great! I must admit their website rocks and allows you to do all kinds of things, but having people ride their bike and freeze their ass off in the morning, to be handed a print-out for a job profile that doesn't even apply to them, that's just plain crazy.

For the record : I'm looking for fulltime employment, IT related, preferable in a team, or where teamwork is required. I do have hands-on experience and don't want to do helpdesking since that's too strict and procedure driven.

Now that I'm back home, I'm off to find out why VDAB seems to think it's still April Fools Day!

Duh?!

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I just got home after celebrating my dad's birthday. He didn't know we were all gonna come over and have fun, and fun we had. I also was reminded once more that I still need to put up the USA/Canada photographs of my last trip, the Vossemeren photos need to be send out to all involved, and I gotta put the photographs taken today online.

But... I'm lazy and don't feel like coding a whole lot of image tags right now, so I'm gonna do just a few now, and the rest... well, they'll have to wait.

Normally the BFL is organizing a ferret meeting tomorrow, and I think I'm supposed to be there to help out. However, since I didn't get a mail, call or anything, nor was there a meeting about it that I'm aware of, I'm really starting to doubt whether it's all actually going on. I did receive some posters in the mail about two weeks ago, but that's it.

Since I don't have a job nor a car anymore, I'll take the bike in the morning and get my ass over there. It won't be at 07h00 in the morning though - waaay to cold and if they really really need me, they could have checked in advance since they knew it was a possibility that I'd lose the job and the car. I already made a deal with Jess & Johan that they will come over during the day if I call them to pick up some much needed ferret food.

Here are some of the photographs of todays birthday celebration...

Thumbnail of photograph - click to enlargeThumbnail of photograph - click to enlargeThumbnail of photograph - click to enlargeThumbnail of photograph - click to enlarge
Row 1 : The Nadia bunny - Dimi as a bunny - Johan (serious) - ServMe (always serious)

Thumbnail of photograph - click to enlargeThumbnail of photograph - click to enlargeThumbnail of photograph - click to enlargeThumbnail of photograph - click to enlarge
Row 2 : Dad & Hilda - Dimi & Marianne - Jess as a bunny - One of the gifts

OK... I know the alignment of the text under the photographs sucks, but since it's close to two at night, I don't really feel like coding a proper table. You'll just have to be happy with this for now. After all, these pictures are only pretty damn fast, not?

Automated Matching System

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I usually don't plug websites here - at least not when they're commercial - but I had some fun playing with the Axe Effect Automated Matching System (AMS).

It basically comes down to a voice driving menu system that will in the end tell you what scent of Axe spray to use. However, the questions and possible answers are kinda funny.

I did end up with Orion scent twice, so I presume that's the right scent to pick up japanese women with jetpacks and female libarians with twin sisters. Sounds good to me!

Update : Damn... I've got Axe Gravity in the bathroom. Apparently that shit don't fly :(

Link : The Axe effect (Select AMS)

Oh well...

This entry really won't make sense if you don't read this first : A spoon is not just a spoon. I would have linked directly to the post, but the permalink setup seems to be broken. If you go to that blog after April 3rd, just look for the entry of April 3rd, since it will have moved down probably.

OK, for those of you that didn't give up yet, and have read the above entry...

Remember The Matrix? Neo meets a kid at the Oracle. Now imagine that kid saying "there is no doorstop".

That doesn't make sense, does it? Oh well... it was worth a try.

Fuck & Open Letter

I just went out to get my unemployment card stamped, and when I came back I ran into the mailman. Unfortunately, the only mail for me was a brochure from my back stating that they'll be reopening in their new offices on the 23rd of april. No letter from the curator, containing that important C4 document.

Dear Mister Maes,

In the last letter you've send us, you stated that all documents due would be arriving in the course of "the following days". One week has passed and I've yet to receive the first document. Would you please hurry the fuck up so we can get our unemployment files completed?

I do understand that you have other cases too, and that you probably get paid large sums of money each month, but we don't! We have not been paid for the last 5 months, so that document is *very* important right now, especially when it can take up to four weeks for RVA administration to approve of the case.

Update those links!

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I'm definitely looking into changing friedkitten.com to an addon domain instead of a framed redirection. What does this mean for you - avid readers - is the following : maybe a few moments of downtime, some things that stop working for a while but nothing serious. I'll be around, informing you of all the things you didn't wanna know in the first place.

However, those that have linked to me, should be aware that the only valid URL for this blog is www.friedkitten.com, whereas links that currently point to http://friedkitten.neversilent.org/blog/ might - and eventually will - stop working.

I therefore urge everyone to check their links and change it to www.friedkitten.com if needed.

Why? Oh why do you do such technical things? Good question, and there are actually some good answers for it. First of all, the links that people use have been wrong in the past. Moving it to one and only one domain without redirects will settle that matter for once and for all. Secondly, searchengines don't like framed redirects, and it does lower your ranking. I'm much less of a searchengine addict as I used to be a few years ago, but I still value the ability for people to find information.

So, in short, if I decide to go through with all of this, it will be for the best of this blog - and therefore for myself. It'll allow me to change some things around, and look to the future with a technically open mind.

Update : While I was looking at some stats I noticed some interesting things. Off all the traffic that comes from search engines, 61.1 percent came from Google. Yahoo (16.1%) and MSN (8.8%) came in second and third.

When looking at search terms, on top of the list is "Rikku naked" (I don't blame anyone for searching for that!), followed by people who want to have "blowjob instructions" (uh?) or want look for "cactus data shield crack" (no suprise).

The strangest referral (external link) I found must be one from www.iaea.org as that is the International Atomic Energy Agency. I wonder if they consider my rants and writings nuclear?

Finally

I got a hold of the person I've been trying to contact all week long. He promised to call me back next week, and I might meet his boss who handles recruitement during that week too.

After I have my own contract negotiated and signed, I can possibly bring up the fact that I know others who might be very valuable for them as well.

Stocks

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I've been playing some more BlogShares and invested - wisely - in Scattered Shelley (who is one of my regular reads anyway) - in a blog totally unknown to me called Sisters weblog - it boggles the mind and I've expanded my amount of shares in Cyborgirl (another daily read).

In order to be able to do so, I had to dump my one MT share, but since I was about to sell at a nice price, it's worth it. I don't see MT shares climb much higher, or at least not at the rates that have been recorded during the first days/week of BlogShares.

Go away, evil world!

Last night - a few hours before I went to bed - I really started having problems with my left knee again. The weird part is that I've not bumped it, or sprained it as far as I know. I've been having problems with it every now and then over the last few weeks, and it usually is not related to a certain movement.

So, before people might think they are the cause of it, it has got nothing to do with me moving boxes, lifting heavy weights, or crawling under desks and closets. I put a heated pillow on it when I was in bed and it feels better now. But that's no proof, as it mostly plays up later during the day.

This morning I got a call from Diane, who was having some computer trouble again and I helped her out by phone as far as I could. I should have told her I would come over and then charge her for it, but I'm too much of a nice guy. I can't help it, I just like helping people.

Yesterday I've been mailing back and forth with the people of BBTK concerning their view on membership fees and legal provisions, and this morning I finally received the answer I was waiting for, but unfortunately it was not what I had hoped. The person responsable for the departement confirms the fact that it'll cost me € 251.40 - to be paid in advance - or they won't complete my file and/or appoint an atterney should one be needed.

I'm still convinced it's total crap and unrealistic to charge someone who's been working without pay for nearly six months that amount of money, but on the other hand : not everyone is as stupid as me to work for free.

As you can see, my day started off really fabulous, and the fact that I tried calling my contact in some other company and got his voice mail once more, does really add to that general feeling of happiness. Maybe I should just go back to bed and disappear from this world for a while?

Yikes!

Phew! I'm beat for today... got up early to help Joco & Eef move all their stuff to the new place, and everything went suprisingly well. Not too much problems, or nothing that we couldn't handle. Around 16h00 we were almost done, well most things were where they belonged and now they need to unpack all the boxes.

After I got back home, I jumped on the bike and rode off the the Wijnegem Shopping Center to get some ferret food - I wanted to wait till sunday as we have a big ferret meeting - but I ran out of food this morning. I picked up a backpack as well and some oil for the chain of my bike. It kept giving me problems, so I applied some oil as I left at the shopping center and when I got home gave the chain and everything a good dose of it. I got a biodegradable one, so I presume it's not that bad for the environment either.

Now I'm off to get some food for myself and then I'm probably gonna crash in my couch. On monday I've got an appointement with a VDAB counsellor for I don't know what, and I'm not looking forward to it. On saturday it's my dads birthday - nothing special is planned though - then on sunday the ferret meet, where I usually help out from start till end (which means from 06h30 till 19h00 or so) and then call me in on monday morning? Yikes!

Still no C4 papers from the curator, which means I can't complete my file for the RVA yet. I'm still hoping I'll get them tomorrow or on friday. That would be easiest as I gotta be in the neighborhood of ABVV and VDAB on friday anyway.

For those interested

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Boycot Brand America is an anti-war campaign run by Adbusters.

Which starts to make me wonder... should I ban access to my blog for IP ranges that are well known to be located in the USA, UK and Australia? After all, these governments don't seem to care much for the opinion of the rest of the world, so maybe we should just tell them to go fuck themselves and handle it all themselves?

Update : Ack, don't you dare! Believe me, 80% of the Americans reading your blog are no happier with this war situation than the rest of the world. (Posted by Cy at April 1, 2003 08:49 PM)

I am fully aware of it Cy... but unfortunately, it seems the elected leaders do not care at all about what a major part of the community thinks. Let's see if I can find the IP address blocks for American, British and Australian governmental agencies and block those instead...

Code and debug

I could say "I told you" but I'm not gonna do so. I just remembered the little javascript error that bugged rendering in IE, so I ran through the source of the page (the main template source is 472 lines) and was able to find it in a few seconds. It certainly pays off to remember what and where you've been altering code...

I apparently included an equal sign somewhere, and that caused the error. I don't think I would have picked up on it last night, although I usually fiddle with the code during the night. I just seem to be more concentrated from late in the evening till around 02h00. However, picking up on tiny errors sometimes becomes a bit challenging then, so I debug those in the morning and during the day. When all that's wrapped up, I can again do more challenging things later that night.

Yes, one has to keep one busy :)

My boyfriend is a twat

For all of you that either think that I am insane, or get totally bored with this blog - due to the intense adventures going on in my life all the time - I dare you to read My boyfriend is a Twat.

Zoe, mother of three, blogs in a colorful way and seems to be a bit of a nutcase. Exactly what all good mothers are, or become. And it's in english too, so all linguistic braindead people can enjoy it as well.

Entertainment

To keep you busy today, I'll just provide some things I found amusing :

Iraq Invasion Checklist

69 - a love story [Flashmovie]
World Leaders sing ABBA [Flashmovie]

Work in progress

OK... I'm hacking up the Movable Type templates once more - actually enabling the Track Back functionality that I ripped out of it in the beginning - so if you see strange things going on, it's just me.

All of this is caused by the fact that Mena & Ben wrote a "Track Back for Dummies" guide. I still don't understand TB though. I guess I'll have to read it once more when I'm actually awake, or see how it works in a live environment. Enlighten me!

Update : It seems the functionality is back, and without messing up too much. I do get a javascript error in IE somehow, but since IE is not really my browser of choice, I don't care. I will probably care enough in the morning though and hunt that little bugger all day long if needed.

Is this a joke or what?

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This afternoon I went to my union (BBTK for those that want to know) and I arrived at 14h01. They open at 14h00 and there were already 4 people in the line. Finally, around 15h45 it was my turn.

Great service they offer... one needs only to waste a complete afternoon to discuss some things. OK, picture this :

While being under contract with your boss, you receive papers stating that your boss has taken out a pensionplan and medical support plan for you - actually for everyone who works in the company - and he has to pay a monthly fee for it. I receive all details and the date it's effective. However, due to financial problems, the boss never pays those fees. On the other hand, the insurance company does not cancel the contract (at least not to my knowledge).

Now the problem seems to be this : due to the bankruptcy, and the fact that the pension and medical benefits are not mentioned in my contract, I can't claim the amounts that are should already be deposited. Because "only the insurance company has a claim against the contractant in this case, and you as a beneficiary have not" - that's according to my union representative.

Pardon me, but if someone tells me - proves me - that he's depositing xxx in cash every month for my pension and medical benefits, that is a part of my pay. At least, that's how I see it. What's even more, I know some of the colleagues have actually had cases where they needed medical assistance, and they were all covered. So don't tell me the contract is invalid!

Next thing... In order to get legal support (lawyers and such) in a case, one needs to be a member of the union for at least 6 months. I become a member in november 2002 and will need a lawyer in april 2003. That seems to be 5 months of membership to me. No, not according to my representative! Since I didn't get any pay since october, I should count 6 months back from october, thus now pay 6 months of membership fees and additionally 6 times € because I'm not yet a member for 6 months or more.

So this is what it does come down to :

6x membership : € 71.40
6x € 30 : € 180
5x membership already paid : € 59.5

Add all of that up and you get a nice sum of € 310.90! Ain't that superb? They actually think that not getting paid for 5 months, lets people just shit that amount of cash?

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

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