May 2003 Archives

Yikes!

Although it's slightly cloudy today, the heat remains untolerable. My ferrets are definitely having a hard time, even with cool towels on the cage and bottles of frozen water nearby. Tomorrow expectations are that the temperature will rise another 2 degrees celsius, so it's not over yet.

Apart from that, they don't expect the temperature to go down to around 20�C until very late in the night... which means that there will be almost no possibility to cool the place down. I'll have too look into that sun reflecting foil, in the hope it might help keep the place cooler.

Insert title here.

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I'm too lazy to come up with something myself this time, so just presume this is one of those interactive do-it-yourself posts.

Damn, it's hot already! It's only 09h30 and it feels like the earth is already boiling and bubbling. I'm off to the marriage ceremony of Karine & Joeri in about an hour, and we're (meaning Joco, Eef and I) are invited to the big party later tonight as well.

Heatwaves

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Had to do some things and get something to eat at the same time, so I got myself some nice sandwiches with smoked salmon and ate them in the park. In the shadows it's pretty damn good outside, but in direct sunlight my brain starts boiling.

It's about 30�C today (86�F) and that's a bit too hot for my liking. I can handle cold much better as I can handle heat, so I guess I'm not unlike my ferrets... they don't like heat either - temperatures like this can easily turn into a heatstroke for ferrets, but in the apartment it's still about 5 degrees cooler. In case of a heatwave of several days, I've got frozen bottles of water in my freezer to cool the surroundings of their cages. Works rather well, thanks for that.

I'm off to sweat some more now and check on the fuzzies. Later!

What the fuck?

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I was browsing through the newspaper (online) this morning and I ran into this article :

'Nuon stelt bonus afhankelijk van aantal allochtonen'

Het Nederlandse energiebedrijf Nuon wil managers die niet voldoende allochtonen aannemen korten op hun bonus. In het uiterste geval kan dit een mindering van het jaarsalaris van 15 procent betekenen. Dat meldt de Nederlandse krant het Algemeen Dagblad. Voor zover bekend is Nuon het eerste Nederlandse bedrijf dat op dit gebied financi�le maatregelen dreigt te treffen.

Volgens het Project Kleurrijk Ondernemen moet in 2006 tien procent van de werknemers in Nederland allochtoon zijn. Bovendien moet ook acht procent van de managers afkomstig zijn van etnische minderheden. Op dit moment is zo'n vijf procent van de werknemers van het energiebedrijf allochtoon. Het Nederlandse ministerie van Sociale Zaken zegt enthousiast te zijn over het door Nuon gevoerde beleid.

I'm not about to translate the complete article, but here's a quick overview :

The dutch energy company Nuon wants to lower bonuses for managers that fail to hire enough people of ethnic minorities. Nuon is the first dutch company that threatens with financial implications.

I think most intelligent people can agree that discrimination is bad, and should not be tolerated, right? The above example is positive discrimination, but it remains discrimination nonetheless. If I am a good manager, I hire the staff that is able to do the job best. If that means they are all white, black, male, female, or asian... then so be it.

Come on! Get serious people : Do you really like to hire someone because they happen to fall into the correct ethnic group? I wouldn't want to be forced to do something like that, nor would I want to be hired by any company just because I fit in their "let's make this world a better place" plan of the month.

I was still thinking about what company to pick when looking for a new energy distributor, but I think I'll be removing one off the list of potential candidates now.

Shop till you drop at FK

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People... I've got a problem. I bet some of you noticed the friedkitten.com shop on the left side of the screen, or maybe you didn't?

Yes, it's there, right under that big heading stating FK SHOP. Look again. See, I was correct after all. Phew, that was hard, wasn't it? Now don't start smiling and hitting yourself on the chest just yet... we're only halfway!

You're about to order something from that excellent FK shop. Yes you are, and you know it. You don't know it? I know it, and I'm telling you, so now you know it too. You are about to order some very nice FK merchandise from that shop. The dollar is low (if you're in Europe that is) so this is the time to do it! Cheap merchandising, cheap shipping, excellent quality... what more do you want?

Why am I telling you all this? Because, my dear friends, readers, merchandise buyers, I received a mail today. Yes, a mail. I do receive tons of mails every day but this one was special. It basically said that unless sales in that shop are picking up, I'll be owing "them" money on July 1st 2003. And that... was not the idea, was it?

I would like to thank that one person though, that bought a fabulous baseball jersey back in 2002... YOU ROCK! If I were able to see your shipping details, I'd send you some FK stickers right away... for free! So, if you're reading this, send me a mail. I'll need your first and last name though, to verify that no one is trying to scam me :)

So now you know it people... either you all shop till you drop during these few last days of May and the short month of June (only 30 days, yikes)... or the shop will close down and disappear. In that case, that one buyer will have exclusive merchandise!

Note : Oh, you didn't think that pitiful post above was for real? It unfortunately is. Oh, you think it wasn't funny? You could be right, I admit that much. But none of those reasons are good enough to prevent yourself from grabbing that credit card - you gotta use it for something, don't you - and shop till you drop. Oh... and all buyers that mail me, will get free stickers!

e-bore Tests

I took the "are you an e-bore?" test, while I really didn't need to. I mean, true e-bores know the answer, don't they? They don't need no silly tests to tell.

Unless maybe if the tests came in a shiny silver casing, with lots of extra protocols and connections. (Link thanks to Cyborgirl)

Excellent news

for those* I'll be meeting today, tomorrow or in the near future : I'll be breathing garlic for the next three weeks I guess. I made some pretty good spaghetti sauce yesterday and tossed in more than enough garlic... Now that the sauce has been heated and tasted - ready to pour over the spaghetti- it really reaches it's full flavor.

As far as I know garlic is very healthy, so I've just added 3 years to my life :)

* unless you are a vampire.

What happened?!

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Yesterday / Last night

As you'll probably noticed, www.friedkitten.com disappeared of the face of this earth for a few hours (more like 9 hours and 15 minutes to be precise). Was I kidnapped? Held for a 5 billion dollar ransom? Taken advantage of by a group of sexy uniformed ladies with strong legs?

No. This is what happened (apart from the fact that I was over at Joco's place enjoying their company) :

Building Evacuation - Wednesday, May 28, 2003

At 10:20 am this morning, we had a component failure in the UPS at our Site B co-location facility in Parsippany, NJ. We had no warning of this failure, and we are currently investigating the cause. This failure triggered the fire alarms and the fire suppression system, and caused the UPS unit to drop all power to Site B. In addition, because this failure caused the fire alarms to be set off, the entire building had to be evacuated while the fire department investigated. NAC personnel worked with the fire department to ensure the building environment was safe to re-enter.

Some of the core switching equipment in Parsippany was affected by this UPS failure and power outage and had to be moved to a backup power system. At approximately 12:00pm the fire department allowed all personnel to re-enter the building.

The power failure did not affect any customers located at our Newark, NJ site or any services in any other states.

We are currently assessing any on-going issues, but most services have been restored. We will post an additional update as more information becomes available.

While the above statement from the datacenter where FK is operating from states that most services had been restored after a few hours, we were off the air (or out of the waves or whatever) for at least 9 hours. During this agonizing time I was kept up to date as much as possible by the company that does the webhosting, even though they also suffered major problems (they lost accessibility to all of their servers too, including billing server, and the much appreciated forums.)

Was that first 5 minute disruption of service earlier during the day a warning? It might have been, who knows? Since I couldn't do anything about the situation anyway I went to bed.

This morning

Microsoft suddenly suffered from a burst of creative patching and bugfixing it seems. No less as 4 security bulletins and patches were released overnight. And... believe it or not, it seems they've also come up with a patch for the bugs in the Q811493 patch. Who knows... maybe this time they got it right.

One is almost done

I've finished converting the IAM FAQ translation (English to Dutch) to HTML format (although I must say that it's not "clean" HTML coding at all - but to remain compatible with the current format that was my only option for now) and it has just been send off to a Dutch (read Holland) proofreader.

I hope the Flemish/Dutch language differences don't cause too much trouble. After she proofreads it, I'll make last second changes and then - if agreed on and possible - convert it to compliant HTML4.01 before sending it off to Shannon. The final translation is about 11 pages (A4 format) so I think I've done pretty well.

Next up on the translation list is the tonguesplitting/tongue lenghtening FAQ, which has been translated in to Norwegian already. I will be using the English copy to translate from though. This document - although shorter - will prove much more of a challenge since it contains a lot of medical jargon and references. It's better to get those things correct too :)

Which reminds me... maybe I should re-install those dictionaries I downloaded a couple of weeks ago. I think one of them had English medical terms as well.

Tech problems?

I'm currently experiencing a lot of problems reaching this site, or getting it to load properly - it sometimes fails to load the CSS file apparently. Connections to the backend of the blog are slow as well.

I don't know if anyone else is having the same problems, but I'm investigating and have contacted the hosting company to verify. More updates will follow.

Update : it seems like it was only a 5 minute disruption of some kind. Right now it loads blazing fast again and everything seems to be OK. I'll keep monitoring though. If you run into problems, please provide feedback and if possible ping/tracert logs + your location (country). Please ping/trace to friedkitten.neversilent.org and *not* to friedkitten.com.

My eyelids are so heavy...

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I really should go offline now, but I'm still busy. I've been handling the transfer of the 6 domains while translating just over 12 pages from English to Dutch, while keeping it all understandable (and readable).

Translations are not that easy to do, as you want to translate everything as correctly as possible, yet not translate those things that are referred to in only one language. I know it really sounds difficult, but let me give you an example :

I can easily translate button to "knop". No problem there, right?
But, in a sentence like "click the edit settings button to move to the next screen" I shouldn't translate it as "klik op de knop instellingen aanpassen om naar het volgende scherm te gaan". While completely correct, there is no button called "instellingen aanpassen", as it is called "edit settings". This results in a need for utmost concentration all the time.

I've got about 1 more page to do and then I'll have about 90% tackled. Tomorrow morning (although it could be a bit later, depending on how much longer this takes) I'll proofread, check for consistency throughout the translation and check all technical terms.

Some are plain dumb.

I was randomly clicking links when I ended up at the blog of "ian joshua leo monta�o". What's in a name?! Here is an excerpt of his thoughts on animals :

animals are "bound" to this world

everything that we can comprehend was created for us. therefore, animals do not deserve our rights and previleges. they indeed should not be done needless harm, but they possess not the intellect, capacity, will, passion, or any other of a multitude of human traits to be worthy of any level of human equality.

Apart from the fact that animals don't posses the capacity, will, passion or intellect, they also lack the dishonesty, stupidity and ignorancy of humanity.

If I read that correctly, he states that animals can never be equal to human beings. Now I'm putting words in someone's mouth, but let's go a bit further into his statement :

I value a thief, crook, criminal serial rapist higher than the dog that helps the blind one cross the street safely. After all, the one is human (with "intellect, capacity, will and passion") and the other is "just" an animal.

These are not his words... those are mine, but they fit his statement about animals completely. Let me tell you that in certain cases animals are equal to humans, and sometimes even surpass us.

I wouldn't have any problem putting my life into the "hands" of some animals, whereas I'd think twice to do that with some people. The world is NOT black and white.

Working out : fantastic

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Just got back from a very good workout. I started off with a 15 minute powerlifting session and then took the bike out for 45 minutes of high paced cycling. Very healthy, very rewarding, very tired.

I came accross two very good looking female cops on their horses, and was planning to cross their path again and tell them that if we met again (3rd time), we'd have to go out for drinks. However, with my luck, I couldn't find them anywhere... I guess I'm somehow married to Murphy, you know... the asshole with his stupid laws.

Oh well... It would have been nice though. Good looking uniformed ladies who like animals, what more does one want?

Phew

Just got confirmation that the payment for the transfer of the 6 domain names has arrived. They asked me to confirm that the whois data was correct, but as I tend to keep that up to date, that was no problem. It does show though that a good registrar checks that before initiating any transfer.

I hope to be receiving the "confirm transfer" requests later today, or possibly tomorrow - as the Skynet servers are slow once more. Mails send to me at 10h43 only arriving at 13h19... that's slow, especially if time is an important factor to complete certain things. At least they're not completely down (I shouldn't say that out loud I suppose... I might curse my luck).

WinSkins Amplified...

Because I know my readers, here's the Elftor winamp skin I've got - and a piece of my background, in the background... wow... I did put that very nice, didn't I?

Winamp Elftor Skin

Links : Winamp 3.x skins - Winamp 2.x skins

Tonight...

I went out with Jess, Johan, and Sam to see X2, the movie. Not a bad movie, and without giving too much away here's my wrap up for it.

The mutant world is saved thanks to a roman helmet and a modern mozes. I still think iceman should have frozen the dam though. Don't these script writers have more imagination? (Oh, it helps if you actually saw X-men or know the comics)

After I got back home, I've been reading up (6 pages in less than 3 hours) in a forum about meat eating, vegetarianism and veganism. That discussion seems to be over for now (or for this month at least) so now we're tackling jokes and how they promote hatred. It might be a long night :)

I did pretty well.

Just got back from the shopping mall, and I've even managed to get almost everything I needed : 1 pair of long pants (needed 2 but hey... it's 50%), one pair of short pants (didn't need any of those), 2 new boxer shorts (didn't think of it in advance, but comes in handy).

While I was browsing the mall I suddenly remembered the new Front 242 CD that was released last week : Pulse. Yes... I've bought it too and it's playing right now. Loud.

Wicked!

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I've been having a few problems playing audio CD's thru winamp. It detects the CD, seems to be playing it correctly and reports a sampling rate of 14H. I was rather suspicious of that rating but found out that it means 1400 kilobits, whereas MP3's usually are only 192kbits. However, no sound. Nothing, complete silence.

Faulty CD? Maybe, so I popped in another one. Yes, after removing the first one. Same results. Tried the windows media player, and that one works fine. For some very strange reason winamp (I'm using 2.91) doesn't like audio CD's anymore. It plays MP3's perfectly though.

So today I got fed up with it and started searching... not much information was found when googling for it, so I headed over to the winamp forums. Apparently I'm not the only one to experience weird behaviour, and the most common suggestion was to install a new CD-reader software tool. Or turn on/off Digital Extraction on the drives. I tried that first, to no avail.

And then I had the excellent idea to take a look in the sound properties... The CD player was muted?! I flicked the switch, opened winamp and voila : SOUND!

Incredible, not? So if you're ever experiencing something like winamp not delivering any sound from audio CD's while it seems to play them fine, whereas windows media player plays them without any problem, look in the audio properties. For some reason windows media player overrules the muted cd audio, and winamp complies with it.

Insanity strikes

So? Where is everybody? It's almost 09h30 and I've not yet received any snail-mail, no answers to e-mail I've send over the weekend, no calls... Is everybody still asleep?

WAAAAAKKKKEEEE UUUUUPPPPP :)

Don't you know the world revolves around me?

Update : snail mail arrived. 1 lousy package containing the CD (Hooverphonic presents Jacky Cane) I ordered more than a fortnight ago. At this rate the world will soon come to a complete stop.

Watch out : I am awake!

It seems my sleep schedule is really fucked up now. Yesterday I slept in till nearly 16h00 - after waking up every hour, then dozing off again - resulting in a hard time falling asleep last night. This morning I woke up around 06h30... way too early to do something interesting.

I just got up, and it seems it's gonna be a wonderful day. The weather is really nice, and according to the weatherforecast, will be good till wednesday. I'm looking forward to it. I'm off to the movies later tonight (probably will be watching X2, or The Matrix Reloaded) and the clothes shopping that is planned for tomorrow will be done today.

Can it be true?!

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We're still in the lead, with 2 countries left to vote.

Update : can we please kick all Slovenian people out of our country and freeze all humanitarian aid for that retarded country?

Oh well... at least my winning prediction was correct :) Congratulations Turkey!

I loved the webcast produced by the Latvian Television, good fast streaming, no bumps along the ride. The streams from inside the control rooms were fabulous too. Congratulations Latvia!

Update : Seems like the latvian broadcasting control room has just cut all live streams. Too bad, I'd love to keep on watching how they wrap up the show. Wait... the extra program and Skonto TV Live 2 is still up.

I'd like to comment right as the songs go by, but unfortunately I don't have a TV in my computer room, nor a laptop that I can bring to the TV. Damn. Stay tuned for my "no one spared" comments though. They'll be posted as soon as I can without missing too much.

01. Iceland : Wow... hot chick on stage! If all Icelandic women looks like that, I'm off to Iceland for a vacation... (Predict : OK'ish) - (Final Result : 9)

02. Austria : Looks like he's got something stuck up his ass, and definitely at least one screw loose in his head. Eyes like he's on dope. Experimental and kind of funny though. (Predict : could do well) - (Final Result : 6)

03. Ireland : Reminds me of The Lion King. Nice background choir though. (Predict : somewhere in the middle) - (Final Result : 11)

04. Turkey : Very good and visual. Reminds me of ballet with a good mix of old culture and modern influences. (Predict : Top 5) - (Final Result : 1)

05. Malta : Bad poppy song, pretty weak. Looks like Barbara Streisand, and that's not a good thing. (Predict : bottom 5) - (Final Result : 25)

06. Bosnia & Herzegovina : How do you spell ugly? Bosn... Tries to do a hard/soft mix like Austria did, but fails miserably (Predict : Last?) - (Final Result : 16)

07. Portgual : Has the looks of Shakira, but very static perfomance. (Predict : lower middle) - (Final Result : 22)

08. Croatia : Can anyone say Yellow Polka Dot Bikini? Pink pants... oh my! Bad teen pop band. (Predict : baddddd) - (Final Result : 15)

09. Cyprus : Tom Cruise meets Robbie Williams. Ouch. (Predict : ...) - (Final Result : 20)

10. Germany : I think she's the female Mick Jagger. Have you seen that mouth? Whoa! They dive right into the song, which is good, but the text is just a bit too happy. Would be better if less happy happy joy joy. (Predict : Top 10) - (Final Result : 12)

11. Russia : Tatu/Taty. Good, but it seems like they were holding back. Like them more in a more "rocky" song. No kissing? They should have done it. Great graphic effects on the floor. (Predict : Top 10) - (Final Result : 3)

12. Spain : Hot pierced (labret) chicka and vibrant show. (Predict : Top 5) - (Final Result : 8)

13. Israel : 50's musical? Only missing tapdancing. (Predict : bottom 10) - (Final Result : 19)

14. The Netherlands : Pretty good. If someone cuts those laces though, boobs go flying all over the place ;) (Predict : Rather High) - (Final Result : 13)

(I switched to the eurovision.tv webbroadcast now. Easier to view and update the blog at the same time.)

15. United Kingdom : That red shirt couldn't get any shorter, or she'd be getting the lead in Basic Instinct II. Nice song and visuals though. (Predict : Upper middle) - (Final Result : 26)

16. Ukraine : Keep the blue dancer, shoot the singer in the white suit. Hasta La Vista maybe, but you're no Arnie. (Predict : OK'ish) - (Final Result : 14)

17. Greece : I can believe she'll never let you go... she's a Goth vampire :) Carries extra airbags in those fake boobs. (Predict : 7) - (Final Result : 17)

18. Norway : Looks like Oasis, acts/sits like Elton John. Good combo? I doubt it. Please move on! (Predict : Lower half) - (Final Result : 4)

19. France : Forgot her text in the beginning... Lalalala... In such a dress I wouldn't even dare walk around if I got paid for it. (Predict : Disqualify, please) - (Final Result : 18)

20. Poland : Bowie meets Pink, Meafloaf and Cruella of 101 Dalmatians. While she sings he touches her boobs, I wonder why? That's of course always the question with songs like Zadnych granic. What the fuck are they singing about? (Predict : ???) - (Final Result : 7)

21. Latvia : "I'm not that kind of girls that only dreams of other girls?" Is that what she sang at the beginning? Poor judgement. If it is true (I could have gotten it wrong though) Tatu/Russia should end higher than these suckers. Just because. Backstreet boys returned and teamed up with some chick. (Predict : say hello, now fuck off) - (Final Result : 24)

22. Belgium : Excellent plan. Send in a group that sings in an unexistent language. No one can blame you if you forget your lines ;) We're good. La�s would have been good as well. Reminds me of Lord of the Rings. (Predict : come one... we're Belgium, where do you expect us to end?) - (Final Result : 2)

23. Estonia : Good pop song, but no eurovision material I fear. Would not do bad in regular popscene. (Predict : middle class) - (Final Result : 21)

24. Romania : Good upbeat song. Probably won't win, but I like this song best. (Predict : Top 5 I hope) - (Final Result : 10)

25. Sweden : Swedish girls are blondes. Very "eurovision" song but I don't think it'll score high. Too much different styles this year. (Predict : the hot blonde in my bed, the guy out on the street? Upper half) - (Final Result : 5)

26. Slovenia : Good background beat, but the song really doesn't fit in. And more pink pants! What's up with that? Somehow reminds me of Abba. Although Abba is *much* better. (Predict : Upper half) - (Final Result : 23)

My top 5 :

1. Turkey
2. Romania
3. The Netherlands
4. United Kingdom
5. Spain

There you all go. It's out of my hands now... start commenting!!!

Oh my god... Belgium is actually in the lead every now and then. Have people gone totally bonkers? Damn... this is actually getting pretty exciting! Turkey, Russia and Belgium keep on hopping over eachother. The only downside is that Both Russia and Turkey already voted, and Belgium has not.

Refreshing Apples

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The nature photography exposition was very enjoyable, and we talked to some of the photographers as well. Very nice work.

When I was going downstairs I noticed a poster package on the mailbox, apparently the posters I bought on e-bay arrived today. I got one Front 242 poster and one of Natural Born Killers. Not the one I actually was bidding for in the first place - I didn't win that auction - but this one is pretty cool too. I might put them up later on, I might take photographs of them and I might post them here. Three mights in one sentence... forget it :)

While I was shopping I suddenly noticed that very good shower gel that I once used at Joco's place : Axe anti-hangover. I actually tested it while it was not yet available in stores (it's good to know people) but now that it's officially out, I suggest everyone gives it a try!

Smells like apples - tastes like apples too - and I don't know about it's anti-hangover functionality, but it's very refreshing! I think I'll head off to the shower in a few minutes... yes it is that good.

PhotoStickerSongs

This afternoon I'll be off to a photo exposition called Natuur in Beeld and if the photographs shown on that site are something to go by, it sure is promising!

What else is new? I'm going to participate in StickerSwitch (link thanks to Ryan) and my envelope is sitting next to me, ready to send off by mail.

Tonight is the night most people will be watching the Eurovision Song Contest... something that is so dumb and lame that it actually is fun to watch. Especially with a large group of people and everybody makes predictions and votes. I know I'll be watching (on and off though, not all the time).

Initiating x-fers

I've just transferred about € 183 from my account to the account of my new registrar in order to get them to request the transfer of 6 domain names currently registered with PI.

If that is succesful I'll have saved myself about € 75 which is not bad. Apart from the lower cost, I'll also have a better service and more possibilities. In the mean time I've found some other registrars that offer even lower rates, but lower is not always better.

Note : The transfer of these 6 domains has got nothing to do with friedkitten.com or any other live domain that I'm running. This move only has implications for some .be ccTLD's that are not really in use.

Crappy Day

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Yes indeed. I just received quite a hefty bill - € 576,47, what equals USD 675 - because the government likes to tax people that own their place instead of rent it.

Yes, investing in the future is something that seems to be unwanted in Belgium. What does this mean? I pay my mortgage to the bank every month, and then government taxes me for an extra month, to make sure buying your own place gets really hard to accomplish or sustain.

Apart from that, 6 bills from Planet Internet arrived, and now it turns out that renewal for the domains is not due end of June, but at the end of this month! I immediately contacted my new registrar and asked them to start the transfer procedures today. I could also get a prepay package to lower the cost of registration, but that would set me back over € 400 right away, and while it would be better in the long run, it's not an option today.

What else is new? The posters I got from e-bay still have not arrived, although I guess they should have. I'll have to contact the seller next week if they don't show up. No snail mail from Ecopower either, also something that I've been expecting for a few days now.

Yesterday I got a confirmation that I successfully cancelled my subscription to the CDVD entertainment club, but it won't be cancelled till december 2003 instead of september like I asked. Has got something to do with automatic renewal for a year, blah blah blah.

There is still no official word about the new tariffs for electricity and the situation remains very vague. I've done some calculations this week and based on the data I had, there is a clear winner. I'm not going to change before I've got access to official figures and rates though. I don't need more suprises right now.

Excuse me, now I'm gonna puke because of so much crap happening all at once.

Party in my head

I've just come across Digitally Imported, an online radiostation focussing on Dance, Trance and House.

They currently offer 7 different dance related streams in both windows media player format, as well as MP3 streams. You can listen to "Trance", "Hard Trance", "Euro Dance", "Deep House", "Hard House", "Hard Core" or "DJ Mixes". Two classical streams complement the dance streams : "Mostly Classical" and "Modern Jazz", bringing it to a total of 9 streams, and (as I type this) 6025 listeners.

While you're over at their site, check out the timeline, most impressive to say the least!

Wow! In the midst of all spam for online viagra, adding inches to my penis or tips on how to 'do' the hottest babes and the complete barnyard stock, I finally got the W32/Palyh-A virus.

Is that a noteworthy fact? Yes it is, as the rest of the world has been suffering from it for almost 24 to 36 hours while I didn't receive it at all. It seems the infection has now spread enough to finally reach me. Oh, what would I have to do without that nice [email protected]? I would have been lost without those important files!

Friends, family, readers, people and assorted dumbasses : the MS support division does NOT send out mails with attachments. They do NOT send you viruses (they created Windows though, so they're evil enough to do it). You do NOT have to accept them. You do NOT have to open the files attached. You do HAVE to know better than that. You DO have to DELETE those messages without ever looking at them again.

It's a virus, and the info can be read at the Sophos support page. If you'd like to have an extra filter before messages/viruses like this one enter your mailbox - and in the mean time get rid of all the spam - I suggest you install MailWasher Pro 30 day trial, or get the full install right away. Believe me, it'll save you a lot of problems.

Note : MailWasher Pro is only an extra line of defense, not a replacement for your personal firewall and virusscanner!

What do I do?

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Had a lot of fun today. Went to TMAB with Dimi and Dad, had cocktails thanks to easynet - and those were pretty enjoyable, and so were the hostesses. Unfortunately Dimi failed to tell us in advance that a large cocktail party was scheduled yesterday evening - actually he even told us he didn't know about it! I bet he went there on his own ;)

We had seen everything in about 1.5 hours, so we drove back home, picked up Hilda and went out for lunch/dinner in 't Zandkwartier. Very good service, excellent food and enjoyable company. We spend about 3 hours there having an appetiser, main course and deserts.

I drove home since both Dad and Hilda had enjoyed the wine (they asked me before) where we met with my sister. Later on she dropped me off at home.

Days like this are certainly enjoyable!

While I was listening to Lords of Acid, I decided to look up the lyrics of Spank my Booty. For those interested, they are below.

Spank my booty
Come on and spank my booty
Spank my booty
Spank my booty real good
(x2)

IT Fair

I should be off to TMAB in a few minutes. Actually, I should have been gone already since my dad was coming to pick me up around 10, but it seems he's running a bit late. I'm not suprised :)

Here we go again...

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Today one of the major radio stations has picked up on the tongue splitting article that has been published last week. I certainly hope their their thinking is faster as their picking up on news, but after reading some of the reactions on Domilog - a weblog written by one of the two men that run Doe de Donna - I'm convinced people are as close minded here as they are in the USA where the proposal to ban the procedure was first launched.

Indeed... Media has totally overlooked the initial cause for all this media attention. And while I was still in bed this morning, I heard that their poll is about this very subject, but both choices almost come to the same : we think you're crazy to do something like this. Very nice poll, so here's some advice... don't post polls. (I'll post more poll info as it becomes available)

I've written about this before, if you want that info go here

Mozilla upgrade

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I just upgraded (or replaced?) my trusty old Mozilla 1.2.1 version with the newer stable 1.3.1 release. I actually did try it earlier on, but somehow I wasn't pleased at all with it back then. Of course I installed it right on top of the older version, as I had been doing that for every mozilla upgrade I'd done so far.

Maybe that was the reason the thing wasn't up to par, as this time around it works flawlessly - and I installed it after uninstalling the previous version. I've checked out some pages that use CSS, flash, quicktime and various tables and they all look good. I might even switch to the 1.4.1 beta release later on this week.

Oh... and I think - but that could be highly subjective - that the 1.3.1 version is even faster as the 1.2.1. Has any other geek noticed the same, or am I loosing it ?

Links : Mozilla

Yuck!

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Damn... I had plans to ride my bike to a few places today, but it keeps on raining. If it were large drops, at least it would only last a few minutes, but it's that drizzly kind of rain, that goes on all day long. Not enough to make you soaking wet, but a pain in the ass nevertheless.

I could wait till it clears up, but according to Meteo it'll stay like this for the next 2 days. They predict a dry day on thursday, so maybe I should just postpone everything? There's nothing urgent, as it would just be some shopping.

I'll probably be off to TMAB on wednesday, together with my dad and Dimi, should be fun... I expected to get some (snail)mail today, as I've got some things that are due to arrive soon, but the box was empty. Oh well, I've noticed that the mail delivery service has been fucked up for the past few months - actually since the day they introduced that prior stamp that would guarantee a delivery within 24 hours. You'd buy a slightly more expensive prior stamp, and those letter are prioritised (hence the name) over the rest.

The outcome is that prior mail still arrives within 24 to 48 hours after being send and the rest of the mail is just delayed and takes up to 3 days to arrive according to the postal services. In the field it often results in delays of up to a week, it not more. I've had mail arrive as much as 10 days after it was send to me. No wonder people like to do as much as possible by e-mail or phone.

Election and sexy babes. Not.

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I got back from the elections about 30 minutes ago, pretty fast considering that the voting stopped at 15h00 sharp. No problems, and we had quite a few laughs to be honest. The only bad thing about it was that it got very boring around 12h00 and then we had to go another 3 hours.

Some people really are dumb not used to working with computers and they block the flow of voters completely. Where it usually takes 1 to 2 minutes to get your card, vote, and put the card in the box, some people took over 5 minutes, even after they got assistance a few times. Oh well... it's funny to hear people curse and yell inside the voting booth. And the ID's you get to see.... whahahaha! I actually said to some of the fellow election responsables that one ID was fake. The photograph on that ID looked 99% as Mick Jagger. Too bad for the owner... a lady :)

Another thing I noted : the area where I live has no young people at all... only (well, mostly anyway) old folks. How did I come to that conclusion? Because each time I took a look at the line in front of the other voting stations, it was full of hot sexy babes. Ours had old rimpled grannies.

I gotta move. And I'm disappointed Suzana didn't show up like she promised. I'm gonna give her a hard time about it next time I get to talk to her. It would have brightened my day.

It's a bit too early for results, but I'm gonna turn on the TV anyway and see if anyone has predictions or exit-polls yet.

Wipes sleep from eyes...

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Welcome to election day 2003 in Belgium. I gotta be at the voting booth in 57 minutes and I'm awake. I'd like to think that's a good start.

More about it all later on.

Which side are you on?

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While everybody is talking about The Matrix Reloaded - I still have to see it - I'm already a few months ahead. I came across a trailer for Underworld, a movie to be released September 19th. Check out the site and the (fullscreen) trailer (Quicktime 6 required) and let me know what you think about it.

Shelley : I'm gonna have to look into those capillaries you are talking about, because that kind of things are over my head :)

Ash : yeah I know... but I got kind of fed up with the functionality being there and no one bothering to use it :)

UnderWorld

Note : I realize I'm a victim of the "Underworld" marketing tricks - Kate Beckinsale's tight ass in even tighter PVC pants. Wouldn't you?

Life expressed in lyrics

What's outside?
The beat of the nation
The stadium of Zonk
The heart of the city
The real world
Retaliation
Burning flags
The pressure of daily life
Nothing to be afraid of

We believe in the future of the human race

What's inside?
The pulsing blood
Turmoil and chaos
Noises, images
The rhythm of time
We dream of the mating season
Feel a coming tidal wave
We want to run but cannot move
'Cause we're embedded in concrete

chorus: come on

Sixty three
Who's mister X?
Get up
We live in a fairy tale
We swim along with the whales
We dream of evergreen trees
Wake up in heart-rending cries
Good morning

What's above
Desire, survival
An almighty God
Like a hanging sword
New planets to conquer

And the plot thickens

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Shelley - and everyone who might be interested - I've done some research regarding the statement One thing I think people need to keep in mind is that the tongue has the higest number of blood vessals in one place anywhere on your body, while also being in one of the dirtiest environments. you've made in your comment. I'm not a doctor or medically skilled person, so please don't take the information presented here as guaranteed correct. I would actually love to get some feedback from a doctor or an oral surgeon on the anatomy of the tongue.

As far as my research has lead me, the following arteries are either in the tongue or the tonsil bed :

Tongue splits and other loose ends

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As the tongue splitting story is getting mainstream press coverage and goes around the world, I think I should post my own views to it here. And I'll also touch some interesting points as made by Phyre Bitzshe and Dimi.

First let me tell you all something, that might help you understand what I'm saying or where I'm coming from. I used to be a black and white person when I was younger - in my world it was either right or wrong, and a gray area really didn't exist. You were either for or against me, or anything that was open for discussion. Drugs - I was against. I still am but I'm not that extreme anymore. I've learned - over the years, and by talking to many friends - that there is not absolute right or wrong. Every story has more than one way to look at it.

Does this mean that I've lost my principles or don't stand by what I think and write and say? On the contrary. While I've become more moderate in my acceptance and judgement on others, I've made decisions for myself, but I am past the stage where I try to force those on others. Knowing that, my point of view hopefully will be more clear when you continue reading...

Does the idea, look or procedure of tonguesplitting gross you out?

Not in the least. Mind you, some people that I know - both personally as well as online - have modifications and some are considered extreme. Split tongues are not really shocking to me, I'm not suprised by them. If you are interested in getting it done, I suggest you do your research and think about it really well. Although it is reversible, a recent case of a forced tongue split reversal, has proven that the reversal is can be more problematic as the initial splitting. Yes, it involves blood and yes it can affect your speech. Keep that idea in mind when I get to point 3.

Does (or should) government have the right to intervene and regulate in cases where personal choices only affect oneself and your body?

I can't stress this enough, but I think government has to stay out of it. If I want to cut off my leg tomorrow (which I'm not planning to do, believe me!) I should be entitled to. However - and this is important - only if that decision does not affect others. If I cut off my leg, and I then ask for social benefits because I need help, the government should be allowed to say : you chose to do this, now you deal with the consequences. However, this is an extreme example.

So let's go to the tongue splitting topic. Does me cutting my tongue affect you? I don't think so. Does it affect you when it gets infected and needs emergency medical treatement? Yes it does. Why? Because we all pay for those medical services and me requiring them diminishes resources available for others. Keep that in mind when I get to point number 3.

What happens if a ban is instated?

As Phyre Bitzsche correctly writes, it would force those willing to do it - or get it done - into the hands of untrained and unregulated hackers. Is that what you want? I certainly don't. Banning therefore really doesn't solve anything, although it might look like the matter is resolved when it comes to legal technicalities. Does that mean that it won't be done anymore? Not at all.

I actually would like some sort of a regulation - be it only doctors performing the splits (with for instance an argon laser), or regulated and controlled piercing and tattoo practitioners as well. In either case, it would almost guarantee a controlled medical setting, that is equipped to deal with medical emergencies should they occur. Both the patient and the practitioner benefits from it.

A ban is nothing more than an invasion to the choices a human can make, creating more instead of less problems.

Link to BMEzine Risks - click on tongue splitting for details

I finally got a hold of the lovely Suzana... it' been at least 2 weeks since we spoke so there was quite some things to catch up on. She told me her claim was accepted and then she ranted on about all kinds of things.

It's always so much fun to hear her jump from topic A to B, then to F, to C and back to D... No fixed line for her yet, so no real way to get in touch. I'll be seeing her on sunday though, as she's probably voting in the same place as I'll be working all day.

Dimi and Phyre Bitzshe, thanks for your comments today! It's proof that some people are more than just lazy lurkers, although 2 comments out of 38 unique visitors today can hardly be called a success. Oh well, the day ain't over yet and actually my eyes were opened by an author who wrote this in regard to his online comic and how readers comment and react to it :

So the bottom line is, if I don't feel like doing something, I won't. I can't. This may seem rather selfish. But, this IS my hobby. I have a completely unrelated full time job that supports me. Doing the comic is something I do for entertainment. (source : Hard Artist)

It seems that some people want some more feedback and others have too much and like to be left alone. I thrive on feedback and can expand and build on it, but I will not let my blog be ruled by it. Everyone is allowed their opinion, but it remains my blog, even if a reader/commenter does not agree with it.

Does this mean I don't care about the small range of people that read this page - daily, weekly or every once in a while? I do care about them, especially since I know that many of my readers are close relatives or close friends. Those will always matter and I'll always listen to what they have to say, but make no mistake : it's not because they say A, I will say the same. Facts, arguments and good reasoning can make me change my point of view. "Just because" does not cut it.

Unfortunately, most readers seem to agree to what I write. Am I that common, so in tune with the mass? I'd think that some of my views on certain topics would not be understandable for some, but they either are living by a "live and let live" rule, or they are too busy to voice their opinion, or they just don't care enough.

Changes / Off

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Since no one uses the damn ability to comment anyway, I'm thinking hard about turning it off altogether. I mean... what's the point of an interactive blog if no one bothers to actually interact? Or are my posts so correct and perfect that everyone just nods and agrees? Or are just too boring to read and comment? Or ain't they shocking enough? Well, let's see if we can do something about that then.

Read this or the same story at CNN. Then move your lazy hands and tell me what you think about :

1. The procedure itself (interesting?, dumb?, weird? gross?, stupid? something you'd consider?)
2. The fact that the government wants to regulate it (personal freedom?, needs to be regulated?, needs to be banned?)
3. The outcome should a ban be instated

Oh... and if you all think this is not interesting enough to comment on, be my guest. Go fuck yourself in some corner, you apathic loser.

I'm off to D.'s place to get that LAN/USB adaptor working again. I got a very swift reply from the Telenet Helpdesk, and was able to download the drivers. And that while I'm not even a client of them. Impressing service indeed!

Quick update before The Matrix plays on TV :

Failed the Word 2000 test once more. This time I had 72% though. Crappy test wants you to use all menu driven selections instead of the keyboard shortcuts. My opinion? Nice test for people that know the theory of Word 2000 - not a test for efficient IT people.

Got over to the client with the Alcatel ADSL modem problem, seems the modem was not the problem, but the network card was. Got new drivers, did manual install and tried everything my 6 years of experience in the field (and 12 years of IT experience) has thought me. Nothing worked. Took back the modem and network card, will reimburse the client.

Client will get a new PC and call me and the modem supplier back for a reinstall. He paid for my time so I was able to save some for the "2007 buy real estate abroad" fund.

Got home, called supplier and he came to pick up the modem and network card. had a nice and interesting chat, might have to think about some things he said.

Got a call from Joco, who was in an absolutely goofy mood. Had quite some laughs during the conversation, and he obviously was feeling pretty good. I like it when my friends have fun :)

More fanmail

as Kenny calls it. Just received a registered letter from the curator explaining they'll fight my claim to 7 months of severance pay. Legally I'm entiteld to 6 months, but by using formula Claeys, I get 7 months. While using that formula is quite common, it can be overruled by the courts if fought. However, usually they have no problems with it and approve the claim.

June 26, at 10h00 I need to be (or be represented by a lawyer) in the "Tweede Kamer van de Rechtbank van Koophandel" (Second Chamber of the Court of Commerce?) in Hasselt. I have already contacted BBTK to see what their view on it is, and I'm gonna make them send a lawyer too. First they charge me € 180 to make sure I can get legal representation, so they better show up as well.

I'm curious as to what is gonna be brought by the mailman tomorrow. Every day, a new day, and more suprising news knocking at your door.

Go away

I'm up friggin' early and I really don't know why. Well, actually I do - there's a whole lot of things to be done today - but I woke up with a headache and a bad mood. I got a headache yesterday evening so I hit the bed early (around 23h00) and finished reading Girlfriend in a Coma. Then I browsed through the new Humo magazine and fell asleep.

When I was awakened by the alarmclock this morning I immediately knew the headache wasn't gone, and the weather forecast sucks majorly. Rain, hailstorms, thunderclouds, strong winds and cold weather. Everything one needs when having to ride the bike for a few kilometers. I'm gonna call my contact at BBTK in a few minutes, then do some more Word XP excercises in preparation of the Word 2000 test at 13h00 and I looked up some info about the Alcatel modem as well.

Unfortunately, the meeting with the guy that's having the problem with the Alcatel ADSL modem isn't till 15h00 and I'll probably be done with the Word 2000 tests around 13h30 or 13h45 at the latest. Leaves me about an hour of nothing to do in bad weather and on a bike. Sure sounds like a whole lot of fun. Maybe I should just tell the world to stick it where the sun don't shine (ha ha ha, how funny) and get back to bed.

Note : there is good news too though... Happy was awake this morning when I checked on him, and although he didn't eat too much overnight, I didn't have to reanimate him.

Even more updates to the topic below...

More calls and mails came in today, the only one I didn't hear yet is the one person I'd love to hear.

Y. has problems with the fact that he didn't (and no one did) get a C4 document from the company prior to this one that went belly up. Luckily I was able to dig up the address and coordinates of the curator of ICT Partners so that Y. might still get the documents he needs.

His claim was not accepted, and neither was the claim of Esther. That could mean accepting or denying claims has got nothing to do with prior employers.

I'm convinced very adventurous times lay ahead.

Holy Crapola!

After first accusing me of still being in possession of a laptop from the (ex-)company (more) I've received a new letter from the curator. He's gonna fight my claim, as he cannot agree with the severance pay I claimed. According to the letter received today, I'll be notified by registered mail as to when the court will decide on the validity of my claim. I received a mail from another colleague stating that he also received such a letter, so I guess they'll be fighting all claims.

There are a few possible reasons why he would fight the claims : either he is trying to delay everything and/or break us down, or is it standard procedure. According to my ex-colleague - who has just gotten off the phone with his lawyer - it is standard procedure.

Update : More colleagues have reported receiving such a letter. Hilda just stopped by to drop off a PS/2 keyboard. That means I can test the keyboard malfunction over at D.'s place. It however does not help me at all in regards to the driver problems with the USB/LAN adaptor. Anyone?

More Update : I got a call from Steph, in which she told me her claim was accepted as is. Very strange, but after talking to her for about 15 minutes we might have figured out what the problem is. I'm gonna try to get in touch with Esther tonight and see what her letter stated.

Geek help needed

OK... the driver disk is not readable on my PC either. Which leaves me with a small problem : how to identify this USB/Lan adaptor. Does anyone know what brand it is and - I know I'm probably pushing my luck here - maybe even where to find drivers for it for windows ME?

 I need identification of this thingy

Details : Left side is LAN connection, right side is USB. It has a red led, with Act/Link written next to in in white letters. Bottom has barcode 037911200512. I opened it up, it has a realtek (RTL8150L - 28015S1 - 241E Taiwan) chip in it, and another chip bears the markings GTS FC-618SM 2K225Z.

It doesn't help me much, but maybe there are geekier people out there that recognize this 10/100M LAN Card (that's what the box calls it, but there is no mention of company, country of origin - probably taiwan anyway - or other indication.

Update : I hooked it up to my own box and it immediately found a new USB device. It was reported as an SMC USB to network converter... and then my otherwise very stable XP machine BSOD'ed on me. I'm *not* gonna hook it up again.

Quick update.

I went over to D.'s place to take a look at that keyboard problem, and see if I could find the error. Actually, it is very weird as the PC sometimes reports keyboard not found, yet even then I'm able to enter the BIOS and make changes. So the keyboard works! I think the cable might have got a loose wire or something like that because sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I'll try to get my hands on a PS/2 keyboard and check with that. Friends : does anyone have a PS/2 keyboard that I can borrow for a few days to test? I ran out of keyboards a long time ago. Then it was time to install the USB LAN adaptor and guess what... they couldn't find the driver CD or disk. After about 15 minutes they found it, yet the disk was unreadable. I've got both the adaptor and the disk at home now to see if I can find drivers for it online somewhere. The joy of IT.

Oh, I added a Future section in the left menu bar, which should somehow remain up to date - if I don't forget to update that is. Both very near future as well as distant future events will be listed. All of them are subject to change.

Hot news?

I just got a mail from one of the ex-colleagues which said he got a call from BBTK's legal departement regarding his claim against our former boss. The curator has accepted his claim, apart from a few small things. I haven't heard anything yet, but if they start contacting ex-colleagues it proves that something is being done.

I bet it won't mean that I'll get the money owned anytime soon, but at least it takes away the insecurity about the claim. We'll see what happens next. If there are any major developments, I'll post here right away!

Help!

I don't get it... I just got a call from the women that picked up her PC about an hour ago - I told her she could call me since there was still an USB network adaptor to be installed and such - and it seems the computer doesn't want to boot. It's always complaining about not finding the keyboard. So, I figured she put the PS/2 connections of the keyboard and mouse in the wrong connector. Asked her to change them around and reboot. No avail.

Sometimes it finds the keyboard, sometimes it doesn't. I'll be heading there tomorrow - on my bike - to go and check out the problem. She'll be out for a few days, but the kids are home.

Some computer just are not compatible with their users... I've been running that PC here for 5 days, did stress and benchmark tests on it, everything works fine. They take it home and it breaks. And it's not even one of those wireless keyboards with a lot of connection buttons Zoe ;)

Oh well... I guess they can't help it.

Pond shots & IT fools

I promised pictures, and I have not forgotten this time. Here's a shot of the nice pond we created in Joco & Eef's garden last week. It's not yet the garden of eden, but it comes close :)

Ping in the garden of Joco & Eef

Note : The owner of that computer I fixed just came to pick it up, and once again popped up the topic of cash. She insisted to pay for my time as I hadn't charged them anything all the other times. I'm just too much of a nice guy, and even while she insisted to pay I cut my regular rate about 50%.

I think I should go work freelance somewhere and just let a company send out the bill later on - even if they take 10% of my hourly rate I'd still make a *lot* more. I sometimes hate myself for liking IT related stuff so much. Next time I'll make a deal upfront, so I feel good about it, and they know what to expect.

Note 2 : the above obviously does not include close friends and relatives. They can still count on my expertise in exchange for something to drink and their fine company.

Note.

I'm off to the shower. If you try to call me and I don't pick up, try again in 20 minutes.

Disturbing Images

(break 1) This entry is proving to be a difficult one. Every time I sit down for a few seconds, I've got to get back up an run to the crapper - damn diarrhea (break 2) (break 3)! Maybe I should install an iLoo?

Oh well... I'm sorry for putting such disturbing images inside your head this early a sunday morning, but I'm gonna try and make it up to you by telling about a dream that I had tonight. Actually I'm not sure it was a dream since it lasted all night and I have the feeling that I was awake during some parts.

I don't have any details, but it involved sex. Lots of sex. And partners were changing every time, as if in the blink of an eye. S., D., E., C., S., and a whole lot of unknown partners. And there was something about a song that people kept on requesting on the radio : I don't know the title, but it was very obvious they all called in and asked for a song about a heron where they actually wanted a song that had to do with a stork, since it was related to a newly born baby.

Pretty weird, and I started taking notes as to how many people requested the wrong song : something like a staggering 90%! Was the amount of sex related to the people requesting songs? I wouldn't know since I don't recall anything about those partners being pregnant after sex. Oh well... I'm sure you've got another disturbing image in your head now, right?

At least I know for a fact that it was a dream. If it was real I wouldn't be able to get it up anymore this morning but everything functions very well, I tested.

Focus, think positive!

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I just check on Happy and he was sound asleep once more. A bit too asleep to be honest so I woke him up. Well, I tried too and in the end he opened his eyes. Damn, every time he goes into a deep sleep he has trouble getting back out of it. Crappy blood sugar levels.

He is still on meds and today I picked up kitten food because it is better for him right now - according to the vet. I'm not too sure he actually likes the new food and the last thing I want happening right now is that he doesn't want to eat anymore, so I just started mixing the new food with the old. I'm aiming for a 50/50 mixture in about 1 to 2 weeks.

When was awake, I gave him two raisins and he munched them down right away. When I put him back in his cage, he immediately started eating so it was time I woke him up I suppose.

Yesterday I started reading Girlfriend in a Coma (Douglas Coupland), a book that I bought on eBay for about € 6 shipping and all included. I had it on my amazon wishlist for a while but figured I could get it cheaper on eBay so I did. Only read the first 10 or 15 pages so I'm not yet really into the story. I'll let you know if it's any good.

According to an article posted in The Register today, Google wants to fix blog noise problem. The problem seems to be that blogs overpower more legit and authoritive sources, thus create noise, and lower the relevant search results google has been offering all these years.

Google might very well be moving all blog related hits to their own tab, and out of the way of the mainstream publications and authorotive sources. Suddenly we [blogs] are less of a valuable source of information? Anything important happens in this world, and you can be certain there is a blogger closeby, often with more details and better reporting as any commercial or respected station or newspaper can bring in such a short time. Bloggers are not always that precise or objective, but we are fast and beat traditional media.

If Google thinks we deserve to be indexed less often, or influence the ranking too much, then they should do something about it. But they'll have to be rather careful and communicate well about the changes being made,since Google is - in my opinion - a search engine that is liked and preferred by a majority of bloggers. Especially because it indexes blogs fast and delivers great search results. And when I'm looking for information about something, I don't care if it's presented by a large corporation or by a (simple) blog-enthousiast, as long as it tells me what I need.

Exclusive stickers!

Do you like bidding on e-bay? Do you like stickers? Then bid on this and help me out!

These two stickers are from a limited edition (only 1500 made) so when they're gone, they're gone! Collectors should get them now! Here's some more info about them :

- friedkitten.com sticker edition 2002
- only 1500 made
- no reprinting, ever!
- high quality weather resistant vinyl
- sized 2.75" x 2.75"
- white lettering on black background
- very nice looking and fashionable
- sticks almost anywhere, including on girl/boyfriends
- tell people to FK off
- guaranteed to make you popular
- forget flowers, get stickers
- stick them in your favorite pub, and track your whereabouts
- all the reasons in italic are marketing talk. But you realize that, not?
- have pity - be nice : bid (sympathy plea)
- worldwide shipping
- impress your friends with Belgian stickers
- made in the USA
- transported by ServMe in cooperation with KLM
- Distance travelled for : 3750 miles

Busy

Thanks everyone for the suggestions made yesterday - so were more useful as others ;)

Shelley : Yes, a BLT without Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato is no longer a BLT. But I didn't have lettuce, the bacon wasn't cut the right way and I could replace the tomato with tunafish. But if I had put an option to make a T sandwich, no one would have understood it.

Ash : Yeah! Smoske is indeed correct, but with the ingredients I had, not possible. I would have added chicken, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, carrots and possibly some egg to it. Depending on what type of smoske I'd be making of course :)

Yesterday the owner of the faulty computer finally got me the Windows ME CD's that I needed - at 22h00 or something like that. So today I'm finishing up the job at hand : just did a backup of Outlook Express, and formatted the drive. Now the windows ME setup is doing what it is supposed to do - I hope. I've already noticed that windows ME is unable to detect the Windows 2000 partition that I created, wich is definitely a benefit in this case. That way I shouldn't worry too much about them messing that stable OS up. Besides, should the be able to boot into it, it's protected with a rather strong password. That leaves me the possibility to boot into windows 2000 whenever needed and take a look at the windows ME partition, and do backups if needed.

I think I'll be doing a setup like that for all computers that come in for a checkup - especially if I know the owners like to mess around with it, or don't know "delete" from "insert".

Help me decide

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OK peeps... I need some help. I've got a few possibilities to pick from, so I would appreciate your input about what I'm gonna have for dinner tonight.

Option 1 : Eggs with bacon, cheese + bread
Option 2 : Eggs & bacon + bread
Option 3 : Eggs + cheese + bread
Option 4 : BLT without bacon, lettuce and tomato but with tunafish instead
Option 5 : Chickensoup + bread

Feedback, now! I'm hungry ;)

I'm a softy and I know it.

I just got back from the vet, and as I suspected, nothing really strange has shown up. We did another bloog sugar test, and it ended up being 79 - quite low for a healthy ferret, especially if he has eaten well, but it was not suprising. Therefore he's back on a shot of diazoxide twice a day to control his insulin production, and I might have to get him other food.

While I was there I also asked the vet to give him his yearly shots and something to get rid of earmites. Since I've got 5 fuzzies, I got 5 doses of stronghold to treat all of them at once. Total bill this time : € 65.

Luckily I know that having animals and taking care of them can have an important financial aspect as well. But the love you get from them cannot be measured in cash, and that's exactly why I love my kids so much : they sometimes are an annoying fighting brad pack, but seconds later they walk over to you and give you kisses. My heart always melts.

Easier said than done

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Getting that computer running again sounded so simple, yet it seems not to be that easy. I've uninstalled quite some stuff and it keeps on crashing right after it launches windows ME. After fighting with it for over 3 hours I've reverted to resizing the one partition it had (40 gig) into 1 time 20GB (which contains the crashing windows ME), 1 time 15GB that they can use for data, and a 5GB partition where I just finished installing Windows 2000 to.

That way I can keep the small windows 2000 partition in NTFS - making it less easy to access from windows ME - and run whatever tools I need on the windows ME FAT32 partitions as I see fit. Yes, that includes making a backup of the current data to a CD, so I can format the complete windows partition and reinstall it. It will certainly fuck up my windows 2000 bootloader, but I'll make rescue disks first so I can easily repear it.

Note : I've come to an agreement with a new registrar, and will be transferring the first 6 domain names to them mid-june.

Happy, more problems?

As I took Happy out of his cage tonight, he still was in a deep sleep. This is not uncommon for ferrets, but the first time you pick up an animal that feels like a very elastic relaxed rubber ball it scares the hell out of you.
Since I already knew that he was just asleep there was no problem and while the other fuzzies were jumping around and playing, I laid myself down on the couch, with Happy on my chest.

He remained asleep for at least another 5 minutes, not moving a single paw and totally relaxed. After some cuddling he woke up and started giving me kisses. I put him down and he went to walk around with the others. While I was cruising through the livingroom I suddenly spotted him in the corner, paws widely spread, drool dripping out of his mouth and tail looking like a duster. I immediately picked him up to calm him down and check out what the problem was. Well, I already have a good idea of what the problem is : once more a too low blood sugar level - all the symptoms were there.

I offered him some ferretone to relax him while preparing some medication that I still had. When I grabbed some ferret candy and held it to his mouth, he attacked as if he hadn't eaten in 3 days, while I know for certain he had access to food all the time. I let him eat all he wanted and after I put him back in his cage with a new bowl of food - he continued eating - I also crushed some brewers yeast to put on top of his food. It might help get sugar levels back up without triggering an insuline production attack.

So, what has happened? I suppose he fell asleep and due to the dropping sugar levels slept much longer as usual. When ferrets are asleep, they don't eat - this isn't rocketscience - and that causes those levels to drop even more. Ferrets eat about every 2 hours, so I think that was the problem. I've already called Hilda and she agreed to drive Happy and me to the vet tomorrow afternoon (thanks Hilda!) and in the mean time I'll try to wake him up every now and then to give him the chance to eat properly.

I'm pretty convinced that when he's checked tomorrow, nothing will be found and all blood results will show up normal. Of course, since he has been awake and ate.

The excitement is killing me

I'm jumping up and down my chair, excitedly to be honest. Why one might wonder? Because - even though most specialists and analyists claimed it wouldn't happen - Cisco stock is steadily climbing. Cisco management has planned a Q3 earnings conference call later today (in about 3 hours to be precise) and it seems people expect it to bring good news. I don't care to be honest... as long as the stock price moves over USD 15.93 I'm happy 'coz that's my trigger to sell.

Right now - according to delayed quotes that is - it has been as high as USD 15.9115.92 so I can only hope it goes that little bit higher. I won't be making a ton of money by selling, but I think the amount invested has been tied up in that stock long enough. I want to buy and trade other things.

Note : The stock has been sold. Unfortunately, thanks to the crappy US dollar rate right now, I've almost been fucked. A net profit of € 21 in nearly 5 months can hardly be considered very good. This means the calculated profit of nearly € 180 was almost completely swept away due to currency exchange differences. Oh well, I didn't loose anything and this means I can buy other USD stock cheap now.

Another one

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I just got another PC in that has been behaving very erraticaly the past few weeks, if not months. According to the owner it often shuts down in an incorrect way, then presents a BIOS setup screen when rebooting, loses LAN connection, and now doesn't even boot into Windows ME anymore.

Well, most IT minded people know that windows ME is the worst OS Microsoft ever created, so it doesn't really come as a suprise to me. My task - should I choose to accept it - is to back up all the data, if necessary format the thing and get it up and running again.

Apparently, I have accepted the mission, as the thing is sitting in my computer room. It doesn't look too good though, and it might take quite some hours to figure out how to get it stable enough to back everything up to CD before I kill it. Oh well... it keeps me busy.

Last night I got a call from my dad, who has been noticing some strange things going on on his windows 2000 PC. It seems like it keeps on filling up the C: drive with a multitude of files. I've done a quick search on the web for such behaviour, but couldn't find anything right away. I'll have to head over there and look at it in person. IT support and troubleshooting is hard enough as it is, doing it by phone really doesn't make it any easier.

Update : The possible culprit (MS-Connect/Portal) has been identified, but I'm running an AdAware session to be certain. Since I can't connect that PC to the web right now I just downloaded the last update on my own PC, then copied it to the other one - works like a charm and is scanning right now.

The Art of Tattoo concealment

I found this story interesting : The ART of TATTOO concealment.

What it basically comes down to - according to me - is this : a tattoo or piercing does not change or diminish the way someone operates. However, if it makes it harder for the customer/client/investor to focus on what is important, it is covered up. A professional attitude is to adapt to a certain situation, and at the same time not forget who you are or forfeit your identity.

The ink you carry will might be covered up, but it will still be a part of you, and you'll still have MIYP. As times change and more people get used to seeing modified humans, it will become more acceptable common.

Why did I change acceptable to common? Because to me it is acceptable right now, and while it may never be acceptable to others, it will become more common, no matter how their view on it is.

MIYP : Metal In Your Pants, referring to genital piercings.

Found a new registrar?

I think I've found myself a new registrar for my .be ccTLD's. Well, no one (registrars I mean) reacted on my open offer to send details, so I went out and searched for a new registrar myself.

Today I got 6 letters from my current registrar that a domain is about to expire, and they don't feel like giving me a discount although I've got at least 10 domains registered with them. That leaves me no choice but to go elsewhere. Who I'll be moving to is not important right now, but the fact that I can lower the total cost of registration with € 100 per year makes it pretty interesting.

Apart from that, I'll also have a control panel where I can do most of the things myself, 24/7 whereas my current registrar offers nothing of that kind.

Rage, Hell, Fire!

I fucking hate it when I close all browser windows at the same time by pressing ctrl-w instead of some other combination I intended to use. Especially when typing a -very- long entry that I hadn't saved yet. The work of about 30 minutes has just been wasted.

I was doing a study about the liberalisation of the energy market in Belgium, and checking on all tariffs of the various suppliers. Instead of looking it all up again, I suggest you take a look at the VREG website and figure it out for yourself.

And I wonder when Microsoft will be ready to release a fix for the crappy Q811493 hotfix they released about 14 days ago? Come one peeps, are you about done testing a fix for the bugs you introduced? I'm getting fucking tired about this slowndowned computer. I guess they've all gone braindead at Microsoft.

Weekend wrap up

First things first : Joco, Eef & Alex - thanks for the wonderful weekend! We worked hard, but we had tons of fun as well. I really enjoyed it!

I'm off to read some mails now (only 149 messages waiting, luckily the majority is spam) and then play with the ferrets a bit more. Tomorrow I gotta ride over to ABVV, but the weather forcast was talking about rain, thunderstorms and such, so that could prove to be interesting.

Got some mails from Esther, I'm curious what they are about.

Note : for photographs of Alex, and the new pond, check out www.alexcoulon.com. I hope Joco updates soon :)

Interactive Saga Telling

Geekman aka The Mighty Geek has written a saga of a hero called Adam Dragonheart. And he used sentences submitted by readers, that of course didn't make any sense at all. All senteces used are linked to the submitters website, so that actually makes it a very clever marketing plan. Check out the story and see if you can spot my submission for it.

Working on the pond : love it!

We got about half of the pond done today, the rest will be finished tomorrow. We actually got much further as any of us expected. Rain tried to get us to give up early, but a few drops don't stop us. After picking up quite some things (pond itself, pump, bricks and such) it quickly turned out we needed a lot of extra sand and pebbles to get anywhere.

Joco and I headed back out to the store to stock up on both, and returned with the car loaded with about 325 kilogram (= 650 pounds) of sand and pebbles. Most of it being packed in very handy 50kg (100 pound) bags. After using 150kg of sand, and about 100kg of pebbles we were halfway and quitted for the day. Joco and I will be picking up another 200kg of sand, 150kg of pebbles tomorrow to finished the thing.

At least we'll know for certain that pond is not moving anywhere! It's gonna look damn good when it's finished and I know Joco and Eef are gonna enjoy it a lot. Some other people might not, but - and this is my opinion - it's not their garden, and not their home.

I really enjoyed doing something rewarding and loved working on it. More of the good stuff on saturday and depending on the weather - there was a rather hefty hailstorm during the evening - we might be able to BBQ tomorrow or sunday. Yey!

Pictures will probably be available tomorrow or on sunday!

Digging a pond

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I'll be off to Joco's place in a while, to help him dig a pond in the garden. Not an olympic sized one though, phew! Just a small one, so that should be quite manageable.

I just hope the weather remains good and rain is kept up in the clouds till it's time to actually fill the thing :)

Democratic government?

Yeah right... We've all heard, read and seen how the Bush administration lies and deceives the public to make it believe their official points of view. The article below however proves that other democratic governments do the same. Who can one trust these days?

London jamcams go dark for May 1 demo

Hey!

If it was you calling me about an hour ago, please call back. I had just jumped in my bathtub and wasn't really too keen on coming back out.

Damn... It's pretty late already, even though it's still pretty light outside. I didn't do too much today, and even that is an understatement. I didn't do anything today but sleep till a few minutes to four (that gave me about 12 hours of sleep) and I'm feeling good, yet still tired. Weird.

Party last night was rather good, although I definitely was feeling old. I think we must have been the parties prehistoric creatures or something like that. If I had piked up a girl there I would have been charged with child molestation. Solution : pick up two - 2 times 16 is thirtytwo.

I'm off to entertain the ferrets, have something to eat - don't know what I'll be having yet - and then watch some TV. Did I mention that I received a letter from RVA stating that my unemployment file is completed and accepted? Well, if I didn't, you know now, and if I did you've just been reminded. The complete letter is about 4 pages long, full of legal do's and don't's and nowhere is any mention of when I an expect to actually receive any money. Oh well. I'm gonna win the lottery on saturday anyway (wishful thinking, you know?)

Blogging under the influence

of good music, good company and too much good booze, is that punishable by law? No? Good! 'Coz that's exactly what I'm doing. I just got home from a party, and after taking the garden hose for a leak, here I am : blogging once more. Well, actually, I only plan to check my mail and then head off to bed since that's the wisest (or most wise?) thing to do right now.

Note : It's strange how drinking improves my typing skills. I didn't have that much errors to correct while typing this post. Or maybe I just didn't notice them?

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