June 2003 Archives

Help!

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I just got a reply concerning my reservation of two cages in the BFL ferret hotel for the 4 days I'll be in Durbuy : the hotel is fully booked for July!

Luckily, the owners know me very well and they might be able to host my fuzzies in their own livingroom. I gotta call them on friday to check with them.

Oh, I also got a confirmation that my purchase of the Dexia Invest Euro Bonds was completed. However, the deposit of cash I made at KBC - all coins - still has not been processed, and I wanted to use that to fund the purchase. Oh well, I made some cash today, still have some cash coming from Freddy, so in the end it'll be OK.

There are quite a few hefty bills coming up though this month, so I'll need to do some good managing to get and keep everything rolling.

End-user support? Yikes!

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Fuck... I just got a call from that man where I was last friday to answer his PC related questions and solve his problems. Apparently, he made the same mistake as last time and forgot to open the connection and now he's complaining that he can't surf or send out mails. It doesn't suprise me, you know?!

He claims to receive a "unknown username or password" when connecting, but I already checked his ISP status page and they don't list any problem. He also told me that he bought a new printer/scanner combo on saturday and he "managed to install it for 80% or so, but then something went wrong" so that might be fun too.

Anyway, I'm off to his place to check out the problem. Too bad the weather sucks bigtime today, I'll probably drown myself on the way over there.

Festival-itis

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Ok, as promised - but I really needed some sleep before I was up to writing all this - here's a wrap up of our Na Fir Bolg festival day.

Nadia picked me up around 12h00 on saturday and we headed off to Pulderbos where Dad & Hilda, Dimi & Marianne were already waiting. Zippo was around too of course. After a delicious brunch with fresh fruits, and all kinds of bread we headed off to the festival site around 13h00. When we arrived it was not that busy yet so after doing a quick round of the (small) festival area we secured a nice spot in the main square. Luckily I had packed some common festival thingies like fresh water, suncream, towel and such. That ensured we were able to sit our ass down and not be burned to death by the sun. Just as we arrived a group started playing and after they were done, it became very quiet.

About an hour later a small band played in the "pub" but it wasn't that good, and the main area had nothing but soundchecks. In fact, when we left again at 17h30 we had heard more soundchecks as music. For some reason the bands were programmed 1.5 to 2 hours apart from eachother, and that is way too long! We suspected a technical problem arose as well because one band played for about 5 minutes and then left the stage, never to return?

We went home, had something to eat - very yummy spaghetti - and talked about all kinds of things. Since I really wanted to see at least one or two more bands, Marianne, Dimi and I returned to the festival around 23h45 in the hope to see Jumbalaya play - a band with amongst others Nathalie Delcroix (La�s) and Ron Leuman (La�s & Kadril) - but when we got to the main stage, Danny Guinan had just started their set. They were programmed for 22h30 - talk about a delay!

We decided to stick around but around 01h30 we decided to leave again since the Irish bloke was still playing and even though some crew members that I asked about the scheduled time for Jumbalaya told me they'd be on around 01h00, this dude wasn't gonna quit any time soon. Bleh!

Let's see... we spent nearly 5 hours on the festival and we saw 1.5 bands. And the band that was probably the most interesting got moved back so much that it was almost impossible to stick around. Bad organization people, I'm sorry. Well, I know I enjoyed myself a bunch, but it could have been better, especially when it comes to music.

We might go to Folkwoods in Holland in august, but nothing is decided yet since it's in the same weekend as the Antilliaanse Feesten. Maybe we should do both festivals? ;)

Note : Oh... the pictures are up in the photo album Festivals & Events.

Tired... off to bed!

I just got home from the Na Fir Bolg folk-festival in Vorselaar, and I'm heading off to bed now. While I had a lot of fun - I even caught some sun! - the festival itself could have been so much better. More info and an update on that later on sunday.

Photo's will be posted later on as well, but in about 10 hours I've got a meeting at Joco's place, so I should really head off to bed now.

Leaving soon

In 45 minutes Nadia is picking me up and then we're off to Pulderbos-city and later on to the Na Fir Bolg folk festival. The weather isn't that fabulous right now - cloudy - but it's pretty warm and dry. After all probably great festival weather :)

I'm off to take care of the fuzzies, shower and get ready.

Yikes!

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See? Getting up early yesterday has messed up my sleeping schedule completely! I mean, it's only 08h00 right now and I'm awake and out of my bed - on a saturday?!

Oh well... Just before I hopped out of bed I had a dream that was pretty funny I think. I don't remember the details, but it involved a bunch of friends and we were at the airport or a big terminal of some kind and suddenly one of the friends comes running from the reservation desk yelling that we need to be somewhere to pick up the porsche that we booked and we had only a minute or so. I remember running under a huge display that said xx hours and 38 minutes and we had to be there at xx hours and 39 minutes.

We ran off through the terminal, going left and right to avoid all the "normal" travellers and slid down stairs to be faster, in the mean time racing eachother. Only seconds apart from eachother we arrived in another huge place and there were stairs and escalators everywhere. One of us noticed that we needed to be 2 floors up - up to that point we had always been sliding down - so we scrammed and for some reason everyone headed off in a different direction, convinced that their path of choice would be the fastest.

I ran up to a huge escalator and when I jumped up I noticed the thing was down down while I wanted to go up... Suddenly there was laughter all over the place as we started crossing eachother's paths, one going up, another one going down, but generally speaking everyone was going in the wrong direction. You could see one sliding down an escalator at a neck breaking pace, while someone else was running up and thus not advancing at all.

That's when I woke up. I don't remember if we made it in time to that porsche that we rented, but I don't think it's important. I feel that it was a fun experience, racing with the friends, breaking all rules and doing crazy things.

Even though I don't recall any names or faces that appeared in the dream, I do know it was a group of friends where I would do exactly such things with.

So... Joco, Jess : have you been race-sliding down escalators and stairs in your dream as well?

Warning

I'm playing around with the templates. Expect all kinds of weird things to be going on.

Update : Done. I changed the long - and getting longer every month - archive list to a pulldown menu, without breaking XHTML compatibility. Go me... Or rather thank the peeps in the MT support forums, they know pretty much everything!

Unbelievable!

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When I left home this morning, I had no idea how this day would turn out, but so far, it's been pretty enjoyable.

Around 09h00 I arrived at my first stop, and it took me about 10 minutes to get the stamp I needed - there was quite a lot of people already in line. Then I rode over to my next address, where I had to do some PC maintenance. The weather is (still) fine outside, so that was enjoyable too. I even arrived about 20 minute early so I sat myself on a bench to cool down a bit and drink some water.

The "customer" had quite a long list of things regarding his old and new system so it took me about 4.5 hours to get it all fixed. Left his place around 14h15 and pedalled back home. I found a shorter route that lead me through the park, so I took that one and since I was close to little rabbit's home I decided to stop and see if she was around. Suprise, suprise...

She was home, and had a lot of things to talk about. So I sat down and we talked, and since she got herself a PC I did some quick maintenance on that as well. I can't help myself, can I? As it was time to pick up Y. I drove along and we chatted more on the way back. After leaving home about 7 hours ago, I have returned. And it's been a good day so far.

Phew... and now I'm off to shower.

Off to bed early

I'm off to bed a bit earlier as usual today, but I gotta get up earlier as well. I should be somewhere around 10h00 and before that there's other things I need to take care of.

It's not gonna be a particulary busy day tomorrow, but due to poor planning from me and some things I don't control, I'll have to get an early start.

Tata!

Disco Revival?

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As I was watching Frasier tonight, one of the commercial breaks the TV station always throws in was about the movies they'll be broadcasting during the month July.

Footloose, Grease, Flashdance, I'm already looking forward to it! If they'd play La Bamba as well I'd be even happier. Can you tell I like 70'ties music and disco? Later this year another Studio 54 party will be going on in Antwerp, maybe this time people will actually feel like going? Who knows...

So, what's your favorite movie? And what disco track will make you move all the time?

The saga continues

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I just received an answer from Nuon regarding the question I had mailed to Nuon, Wattplus, Electrabel and Luminus on June 24th. Here is in short the information I received and the date I received it.

Electrabel : Complete answer with pricing information (June 25th)
Wattplus : Never answered
Luminus : Rather complete answer (July 2nd)
Nuon : Rather complete answer embedded in commercial info (July 26th)

Anyway, it doesn't matter anymore I guess as I've practically made my decision.

Nuon is out of the question because of the (positive) discrimination I wrote about here, Wattplus never answered my question - nor did the latter ever reply to my request for a proposal.

Luminus would be my preference, even if it only was to help Esther and Stijn to keep their new jobs (they started a new carreer at Luminus) but when looking at the bigger picture, they can't compete with the new pricing policy of Electrabel.

One supplier not mentioned here is Ecopower - of which I also possess stock - but they are not yet able to supply everyone and will probably not be able to do so before september 2003. Otherwise they would probably have gotten my business as they have nothing but environmentally friendly energy.

In an unrelated matter, take a look at FAUX News (aka agitproperties) - they are being sued by FOX News and received a cease-and-desist order to shut down their website. Why I ask you? The answer is simple... FOX News has the financial means to sue, and basically, they're stuck up bastards.

Wassup today?

After all the difficulties I had yesterday in regard to the blog, I somehow didn't get to blogging today. The weather is very good, yet I still have to take my first step outside. I'm a nerd, remember?

I just started the transfer of another domain name (securityassistance.be) to my new registrar in order to consolidate accounts and lower costs. I also kick myself in the ass so hard that I ironed some laundry - something I hate with a passion. I didn't do all of it, as that would be too easy, but I'm advancing here. Everybody gimme a cheer!

Tomorrow the people of the energy company are coming over to replace the meter, on friday I got to work on a PC and do some other shit, satruday I'll be at the Na Fir Bolg folk-festival and on sunday we've got a meeting with everybody of the tablesoccer team. In other words : during the weekend I'll be hanging out with my superb friends and wonderful family.

Update : I just contacted the energy company and they couldn't get me a time yet when the swap is planned. They'll contact me when they know more. It'll be happening in the afternoon. Good, then I can sleep in :)

Temporary solutions

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OK... it seems the server move triggered the Control Panel to now correctly report my diskspace used. Where I had 50MB left on the old CP, it now reported the effectively used diskspace : 144MB! My account only comes with 125MB - something I thought I'd never be able to fill - so I'm in a bit of trouble right now.

My host has been so nice to increase my diskspace to a whopping 165MB just for now so I can keep on posting and remove files, or keep the extra allocations and pay more for it.

Not entirely to my suprise, the diskspace hoggers are the photoalbums that I recently added. I'm currently working on a temporary solution to bring down file sizes, but I fear I'll have to delete all albums and upload them again some day. This would also loose all captions already added, and since it's close to 700 pics online now I don't feel like doing all that work again.

Done?

Just received a note from my host that everything has been moved to the new server, and I must say, it also feels blazing fast. One thing that concerns me though is that suddenly 70MB of extra diskspace is being used. I had about 50MB left according to control panel on the old server, and now I'm at -20MB which might mean I've used too much. I'll open a helpdesk ticket to see what's up with that.

I've slept about 5 hours or so after playing C&C Generals will 03h45... I really should know better :)

Update : I cursed myself and attracted Murphy I think. I wrote the above post and promptly friedkitten.com disappeared from my screen. I think it might be DNS propagation slowly moving through the internet. I just updated the DNS servers to reflect changes too. Patience might be a solution here.

Update 11h15 : the problem is not caused by DNS propagation. After publishing a post, the index file became 0kb instead of somewhere in the range of 55kb. This effectively disabled posting for me - for now.

Update 12h22 : Third helpdesk ticket opened. Gallery throws a fit as well about not having permissions to open certain functions when opening or deleting albums. The Gallery FAQ has a section regarding this issue :
4.32: Why do I get this error: Warning: fopen(".../albums/team/album.dat.lock","a+")?

This typically happens when your ISP makes a change in your environment (like upgrading PHP or moving things around) without telling you about it. In a nutshell, some of Gallery's files wind up being owned by the wrong user and their permissions become set such that Gallery can no longer write to them. I've never found this to be the result of a bug in Gallery. To fix this, you can change the permissions on your Gallery data files so that Apache can read the files again. This should only happen on Unix. If you have shell access, you can fix it like this:

% cd /path/to/albums
% cd ..
% chmod -R 777 *

If you don't have shell access, you will probably need to ask your ISP for help.

Update 13h34 : 2 hours and 15 minutes after the first - low priority - ticket concerning the diskspace I have yet to receive the first reply to any of the three tickets. Ticket 2 & 3 have been filed with medium priority. If I don't get any reply to either I'll be filing a new ticket around 15h00 with a high priority. It's also *very* quiet in the forums, which makes me believe they are pretty busy with something. I can only hope thay are resolving my problems.

Some downtime

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will occur over the next 24 hours as friedkitten.com is moved to a new server and another Network Operations Center (NOC). I'm currently making backups and no data should be lost. We'll be back soon.

Partial news?

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Wow... I got my first free newspaper today! Wait, let me tell you from the start. A few weeks back, My dad, Dimi and I went to TMAB where we were asked by some nice hostesses to participate in a chance to win a mobile phone. We filled out the forms and apparently, we also signed up for a free one month subscription to "De Standaard".

Last week I got a letter stating that starting today I'd be getting De Standaard in my (snail) mailbox every day till the 22nd of July. And indeed, when I opened the box, there was a newspaper in it... partially. I only got pages 13 to 24, which happen to be the sports section. People that know me, know that I skip that section all the time, so todays newspaper is basically pretty useless to me. Dimi, dad, did you also get a partial newspaper today?

I could of course call the publisher and ask them what is going on, but to be honest, I can't be bothered.

Now I'm gonna call Electrabel and ask them about the status of my request for a new meter, and check out their new pricing.

Just testing

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some functionality that I've been looking for for a while. Stumbled upon it thanks to Andrew who blogged about it.

Update : This function has been removed since it broke XHTML validation, and that's something I value rather high. Too bad. More info can be found below.

Ouchie

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Damn... my right wrist still hurts. Remember I told you I took the bike for a spin on friday? While riding out of my garage, I cut a corner a little short and promptly ended up besides my bike. No major damage done I thought - apart from a little bruising and scratches on my leg - and the wrist that hurt a little.

In fact, it was so minor I decided to go riding the bike anyway. It's just that after 2 days it still hurts, and I might ahve sprained a muscle. I should let it rest, but when working on this evil computer all day, it doesn't get much of that. Oh well... It'll heal.

Got a call from Jess earlier on, she's babysitting Alex, and she told me he's been very good and he even listened when she said he couldn't do - insert no unwated behaviour here - and he even draws... on a paper, not on the cupboards, floors and wallpaper. Must be because he's elsewhere :)

She also reported that acquaintances of ours are having computer problems. I listened to a brief - and possibly not completely correct - description of the error that occured, but couldn't find any reference to it on the web. The fact that I don't even know what OS they're running might have something to do with it though. I asked her to have them call me and give me first-hand information on the error if it happens again. If I can't solve it by phone - something that I always attempt to do first - I'll have them bring the thing over and so I can take a closer look at it.

Hey... I can certainly use the cash ;)

Cyber sex for dummies

I loved this one so much I needed to post it here :

bloodninja : Ok baby, we got to hurry, I don't know how long I can keep it ready for you.
j_gurli3 : thats ok. ok i'm a japanese schoolgirl, what r u.
bloodninja : A Rhinocerus. Well, hung like one, thats for sure.
j_gurli3 : haha, ok lets go.
j_gurli3 : i put my hand through ur hair, and kiss u on the neck.
bloodninja : I stomp the ground, and snort, to alert you that you are in my breeding territory.
j_gurli3 : haha, ok, u know that turns me on.
j_gurli3 : i start unbuttoning ur shirt.
bloodninja : Rhinoceruses don't wear shirts.
j_gurli3 : No, ur not really a Rhinocerus silly, it's just part of the game.
bloodninja : Rhinoceruses don't play games. They fucking charge your ass.
j_gurli3 : stop, cmon be serious.
bloodninja : It doesn't get any more serious than a Rhinocerus about to charge your ass.
bloodninja : I stomp my feet, the dust stirs around my tough skinned feet.
j_gurli3 : thats it.
bloodninja : Nostrils flaring, I lower my head. My horn, like some phallic symbol of my potent virility, is the last thing you see as skulls collide and mine remains the victor. You are now a bloody red ragdoll suspended in the air on my mighty horn.
bloodninja : Fuck am I hard now.

So... was it good for you too baby?

Note : I'm off to Holland for a few hours with Joco, Eef and little Alex. Be back later.
Update : Back. Didn't go to Holland but to the beach of Sint-Anneke. Now off to ride my bike for a while.

Craptastic

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I just got a mail that I exceeded my monthly download volume of 15GB, and it's only the 19th. They capped my connection to 64kpbs now, and it shows.

I guess I'll have to buy a damn volume pack for an additional 5GB.

Replies

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Ash : If I recall correctly, the maximum mortgage in Belgium is 25 years, and it's only been introduced to the market 1 or two years ago. I pay around € 550 a month, insurance included, and it's a 20 year fixed rate mortgage. Of course, if rates are as high as 9% in the USA, it would make sense to have longer terms, or no one would be able to afford it.

Marianne : nothing is new around here. It's all used. :)

Zed : I feel your pain - oh, doesn't that sound nice? Actually comparable houses being rented out for nearly twice as much as you pay for your mortgage, is a good thing. If you make that last payment, you'll be able to do whatever you want with the house. Sell it, rent it out, or stay. Renters that leave "their" place after 15 or 20 years usually leave with what they entered the lease : nothing. In other words, they've been paying for that long and own nothing.

Joco : can the rate rise 1% every 5 years, or only 1% over the course of the 20 years? Anyway, it is probably the best solution for your case, and that's also the hardest part about mortgages : they're hard to compare as everyones situation is different.

Update Photo gallery

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I just updated the software used for the photo gallery. It only took me 2 reads of the original install instructions and then I slapped myself for chmod'ing some files incorrectly. If the instructions say 777 and I give them 755, I shouldn't be suprised that errors show up when saving the configuration, should I?

Anyway, it's all installed now and the albums have been upgraded. This version is supposed to be (mainly) a bugfix of the previous one and not too much new functions have been added, so I think it's pretty safe. I'll keep an eye on the developers forums though to see if anything shows up that might compromise the server or security.

Blergh

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I am so bloody bored right now, as if there is just nothing left to do in this boring world. I mean, one can surf the web, read mails and watch movies for only so long, right?

I feel like I've seen it all, and at the same time am so tied down that I can't go out and do something different. Fucking A... this rocks, not.

Morgage rates reviewed

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I was reading the newspaper and it had an article about morgages and how tariffs are dropping once more on friday. Two major banks in Belgium (Fortis and KBC) are offering a rate of 6,15% for fixed mortages over a course of 20 years. If you allow the banks to review the rates every 5 year, it drops to 4,70% and with an annual re-evaluation it can get as low as 3,90%.

All of that sounds nice, doen't it? Since I've got a mortgage for the apartment the idea to have mine changed popped up for a second. After all, if I can get the rate to drop, it would immediately affect my monthly payments. I grabbed my purchase file - I keep these things pretty well organised - and noticed that over 5 years ago, my ex-girlfriend and I signed up for a fixed rate 20 year mortgage at 6%.

I really don't know why the newspaper is announcing such a huge drop in rates now? We got a cheaper loan 5 years ago, and thanks to our decision back then, I'll be paying the exact same amount every month. Sure, it might be slightly higher when compared with the annually evaluated formulas, but it's a pretty good feeling to know what exactly is the cost of mortgage every month, without nasty suprises.

Don't believe everything you read in the newspaper folks :)

Tell me

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what it is that bothers you most when you go online, surf websites or send and receive e-mail. I think I can make a top 5 without even thinking, especially since most of the things have been taken care of. This would be my all time top 5 though :

1. Spam.
2. Acquaintances sending me hoaxes.
3. Lame ass friendship-, chain- or "help this poor person" letters.
4. Pop up and Pop under windows while surfing.
5. Websites that only render correctly in any version of IE.

Some things I've solved or are more or less under control...

Hoax warning senders usually get a straight to the point answer that they should either inform themselves correctly, or shut the fuck up (I always enclose the correct information, since tellling a dumbass to shut up doesn't help too much although it can be very rewarding. Education is the only answer).

Lame ass friendship, chain and help mails go straight to the trashcan, if I wanted to spread friendship and things like that, I would call you, or hang out. I don't care about chainletters and 99,9% of those "this person needs your help" mails are scams, hoaxes or just regular bullshit.

Pop-ups and things like that are controlled thanks to my browser, and to be honest... people that code IE only pages lose my business/visit or support. It's like building huge stairs and then say "you can only get to the top if you climb the stairs. If you are in a wheelchair, bad luck." No one would accept that in the real world, would they? Yet things like that happen every second on the web.

The difference is that I chose to move around - webwise - in a full option standard compliant wheelchair, and the mass of websurfers have no clue about rules, standards or nettiquette.

So... what's your internet related top 5 of annoying things?

Wow

Interactive movies... Everyone has heard about them I suppose? Check this one out, 'coz it's high quality and quite good. You do need a high speed connection though... I'm watching the 400kps (T1/T3) version.

Links : MVmax

Crisis under control for now

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Happy just suffered from quite a serious attack about an hour ago. I had just given him his medication and about 10 minutes later it started. As soon as I noticed the first signs I picked him up, tried calming him down and feed him sugar to get the level of sugar in his blood back up, but it only got worse. Even while I was holding and comforting him, he totally panicked and showed signs of epilepsy.

During one of the attacks he bit my finger and didn't let go. I remained calm and was able to get my finger back without too much damage done. As I obviously couldn't get him to calm down - my presence even seemed to scare him - I put him back in his cage where he continued to jump and bounce against the walls in a state of panic. Although it might seems harsh to put him there, it was the best solution : he can't injure himself too much there, and it's a surrounding he knows very well. After about 5 to 10 minutes the extra sugar I gave him started kicking in and he calmed down quite a bit.

In the mean time I had prepared a mixture of raisins, ferretone and sugared water to give him an extra boost, and when I put that in the cage he started eating it immediately. I changed his food and bottle of water and now he seems to be fine.

Even though the past few weeks have been very good, a crisis like this reminds me that he is still sick, and will never recover from it. Such is life I presume. During the time he has left, I can and will take care of him in the best possible way.

Update 01h23 : Happy just had another serious attack a few minutes ago. This time after he ate a raisin. I really don't know if I can handle this much longer. If he's in pain, I'll take the decision I don't like taking, but which is best for him.

Versatile english words

A friend of mine just mailed me to tell me about the stunningly flexible word "fuck". Take a fucking look for yourself, and tell all your fucking friends to fucking use it more often.

Now click with your fucking mouse on this fucking link, or fuck off, fucker.

Note : I decided to host this fucking file on my own fucking server for fucking connection fucks purposes.

Hose that shower!

A new shower hose thingy Looks nice, doesn't it? It's manufactured by the brother of Friedrich, Hans Grohe. These two brothers gotta be damn rich, charging almost € 45 for a "simple" shower hose. But hey... it comes with a 5 year warranty :)

Cute little wabbit, do you want to come over and test it with me?

Note : I don't know whether Hans Grohe and Friedrich Grohe are even related to eachother. Frankly, I don't care. I just wanted to be able to shower again.

Good news

I just got back from ABVV where I filled out some forms concerning my claim. They'll complete them, send them off to the curator who will slam his stamp on it, and then it'll be send off to "Fonds Sluiting Ondernemingen", so they can commence their investigations. All of that will probably take about one year.

While I was waiting for my tram to arrive, I suddenly heared someone knocking on the window of the tram that was right in front of me... Suprise, suprise! It was the "cute little wabbit" that is so hard to contact by phone. We tried conversating thru the window but that failed completely, and she said she'd call me. Well... I'll be waiting.

Maybe the both of us can meet up with Steph in Antwerp during the week. I'll give Steph a call tomorrow.

On my sandwich, Yes. In my mailbox, No!

While in Europe and the USA new laws and regulations concerning spam are brought into effect, spammers are being jailed, and large ISPs get - even more - fed up with spam and all problems it causes, so far the flock of unsuspecting sheep also known as surfers, are a long way from home.

On an average day I receive about one hundred e-mails in my various mailboxes. About 1% to 5% of those mails are things I actually want to read, or requested. After installing MailWasher - often referred to in the past - I've now added yet another layer of defence : POPfile. A freeware open source project that acts like a proxy between your mailclient and the mailserver of your ISP.

Quick overview :

1. Your mailclient tries to connect to the ISP mailserver
2. POPfile intercepts that call (rough explenation here!)
3. POPfile uses the password and login ID to retrieve mail from the ISP mailserver
4. POPfile runs mail through Bayesian filters and learns as it goes along
5. It rewrites the headers (if set up to do so)
6. It presents the mail to the mail client
7. The mail client then examines the headers and removes the spam.

That's for a regular setup as far as I know. Mine is slightly different, since MWP sits between the mail client and POPfile, but you get the point, right?

Interesting concept to say the least and while you may not see immediate changes, over time more and more spam will be caught by your various filters.

It's not a solution for the spam problem itself, but it sure lowers the times you get irritated because of spam flooding the mailboxes.

Mozilla

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That title is for dad :) I went over there yesterday and had a lovely evening - as usual. Dimi and I were on a roll concerning the use of Mozilla by my dad, and were cracking jokes related to Netscape and Moz all the time.

Anyway, we managed to restore some of his mail - let's not go into exactly why and how it all disappeared, but the long and confusing story includes the words Netscape 7.01, Mozilla, User, Uninstall, Install, Cache & Delete. After a wonderful meal at a restaurant called Oliver we headed back home and then tackled some other computer problems. While Dimi was working on Dad's PC, I was updating and checking the one of Hilda. Lots of patches installed on both of them.

We also ran some benchmark tests on dad's PC because it is so incredibly slugglish, and it turned out one of the harddisk is performing pretty bad. Well, maybe I should even avoid the word "perform". Dimi is convinced that's the bottleneck, so either swapping some drives or installing a new one will be the way to go. In the mean time we moved the swapfile to a faster disk so the overall access time should go down, and the beast should lose some of it's sluggishness.

Installed Opera - with a netscape skin - as well, and he'll be testing that one for a while, to see if he likes it more. While working on the various problem he told me that distinguishing links on my site was kinda hard as there wasn't enough color difference between text and links, and I turned off the standard underline for links.

Being considerate and open for positive criticism all the time, I started thinking about it. It's the first time I've heard the remark that my links were hard to notice, and it makes me wonder... did anyone else also have problems with it? Or maybe you didn't even know there were links in some of the posts at all? Maybe 75% of all my readers/visitors have not been able to find and follow the embedded links! Scary thought, so I decided to toy around with the CSS file a bit in order to find a nice balance between visuals and navigationability (is that even a word? If not, consider it patented now!)

Links that are unvisited, should be black and underlined. When hovering over a link with your mouse, it should turn blue-ish with both a line above and under it. Links you've followed before should almost blend into the text, with just a tiny color difference.

Comments on the new link setup are much appreciated!

Remember

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that friedkitten.com tells you everything you didn't wanna know in the first place? Good!

Coz today I'm linking to Loituma, a young Finnish quartet that combines the Finnish vocal tradition with the exquisite sounds of the kantele (Finnish harp). There you go... you didn't see that one coming, did you?

Neither did I... whahaha! I'm listening to track number 10 on their album called Things Of Beauty right now, and it's called Ievan Polka (Ieva's Polka in english) and even tough - or probably exactly because - I don't understand a word of it, i find it utterly hilarious!

Remember... you read about it first at friedkitten.com!

Fuck

It's pretty clear that it's friday the 13th today. After spending quite a while backupping settings, mail and documents from Windows XP (dutch) and reinstalling everything (Windows XP english, coz the owner gave me the wrong CD!) it turns out it's not that easy to get Outlook Express to import files from a Dutch OE into an english OE. Only because in dutch the main identity is called Hoofdidentiteit and in english it's Main Identity. I give up...

I'm off to do some things that don't require interaction or knowledge : watch TV.

Incredible

How some people treat their PC. While I was attempting to copy the newest virus signatures to the harddisk, it turns out the floppy drive didn't work at all. I checked it and noticed the floppy cable (going from the motherboard to the floppydrive) was installed incorrectly. I can understand that floppy's are not used that much anymore, but hey... if you buy a computer, you test it, right?

It's not that this is such a brand new machine, but I doubt the cable could have swapped itself during it's lifetime. After toying around with it for a while I managed to copy the newest signatures to the harddisk. I also deleted all the apparent trojan files I could find and will now do a full system scan with an up to date scanner.

I know it might be useless since I'll end up formatting the complete thing anyway, but when I start resizing disks etc, I don't want any unwanted guests lurking around.

I am majorly fucked

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Yesterday evening I noticed a bit of pain in my back, in the area of my right shoulderblade. It hurt, but wasn't too bad. I went to bed in the hope that a good rest would take care of it. When I woke up this morning, it turned out it wasn't gone, but not worse either.

Just a few minutes ago it has gone from a relatively minor pain to a "major pain in the ass" kind of pain, even though it's still located beside my right shoulder blade. Bye bye gentle throbbing pain, and welcome sharp pain that does not seem to be related to any movement. Taking deep breaths is difficult and results in an excruciating stab in my back. It almost feels like a nerve is stuck - and I know there is not much one can do about it.

I already tried stretching in the hope to "pop it out" but the only result was more pain and tears running down my cheeks. Maybe I should ask Joco to slam his fist in my back pretty hard as that might take care of it... well, at least it seems to me that would solve it, or has a chance of working out.

I believe that most people know their body best and in such a way I've healed all kinds of things without consulting a doctor, but this one I can't see, nor reach. Since I'm pretty visual and like to poke around when wounded - to asses the damage - this ache couldn't have been at a worse place.

Oh, and that PC arrived. Seems the cooler of the power supply is gone, but I was able to kickstart it with a little help. Off to check out what exactly is the problem with it.

Next days

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I'm off to bed now, Joco's dropping off that faulty PC somewhere tomorrow around noon, so I gotta be up by then. On saturday I'm off to my dad's place, Dimi & Marianne will be there as well, so it'll be even more fun.

I'll be looking into that stubborn netbroadcast/movie network popup that keeps on appearing out of seemingly nowhere. I already googled for it, but it seems not much is known about it. I'll be taking all my tools with me though, and I think I should be able to trace some kind of process or network activity when it pops up.

It's certainly spy or malware, or maybe a browser hijack, but ad-aware doesn't seem to track it.

Update : Ad-Aware has a new reference file available. I'll update to that on saturday at my dad's PC. I also found information that Movie Networks and Netbroadcaster spy/malware is linked to dw.exe, which represents DownloadWare. Others report MediaLoads to also be tied to it. I'll have to search for those as well. You know what's also mentioned in regard to this new malware? Kazaa... but that doesn't suprise anyone, does it?

Links : Spyware test of the P2P Kazaa Media Desktop (in French)

Target : bigger audience

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While I was working on finetuning, I stumbled accross quite some interesting sites that have to do with blogging and list blog resources. An excellent start is Blog Impressario and while going over their huge resource list - with comments for each and every one of them! - I singled out GeoURL, Popdex, Blizg, BlogBigger, YooNoHoo! as well as RSS-Search.

Oh... and I requested information at the "Biblioth�que Royale de Belgique" (in plain english the Royal Belgian Library) concerning getting an ISSN number for friedkitten.com - insanity included. After all, this has been a steady publication since august 2001, so I might as well get an official number for it. If approved - and it should be since it does fit all the requirements - it would mean you can just walk over to any library, and ask them to search for friedkitten.com's ISSN number.

Update : After browsing even further, I should also add Blogwise and Blog of the Day to the list of cool resources.

More techno babble

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Waking up and reading that your blog still is the slowest one to load compared to a bunch of other ones is quite a wake up call. Damn!

I did run some more tests and might have a few other tricks up my sleeve that don't affect the appearance or navigation for my readers. However, the biggest problem seems to be the sheer amount of data on it. I could cut back further on the number of posts that stay on the main page, but as I know that some people slack a few days and then suddenly catch up, that would spoil the experience for them. Maybe I should just write less? :)

Phyre Bitzsche, no I'm not a native English speaker, but I've chosen the english language because it does give me a larger possible audience, and because I consider it the most common language when it comes to internet and all things computer. Chinese and spanish are even more common, but unfortunately, I speak neither of them. This blog is a combination of the fact that I want that audience and at the same time am not repressed by it. I write exactly what I mean and don't hold back.

I could blog in Dutch as well - since that's my mothertongue - but I often know the word in english, whereas the word in dutch draws a big blank.

Testing & Improvements

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After reading Kapil's additional information regarding the BS robot reporting my page as not running the required BS ad, I did some test. Kapil claimed it loads too slow, and I must admit that is I write several entries a day, the amount of data that needs to be loaded is indeed rather high.

In order to improve stability and loading speed - one also has to think about the less fortunate that don't have cable or DSL access - I've changed some things around.

Instead of connecting to 4 different servers to successfully load the page, I've moved one image to my own server, and brought the required connections back to 3. It might seem nothing, but it should shave of a few milliseconds of the loading time.

The total amout of GFX loaded was just over 16,5 kilobytes, and due to some finetuning I brought it back to 13,5 kilobytes. Once again, not much but...

I kept 14 days worth of entries listed on my front page before they were moved to the archive, and I've cut that down to 7 now. The archives are pretty obvious to find, so it's shouldn't cause too much problems for anyone. The amount of data saved by that depends on the amount of posts I did, but right now it got rid of a nice 40 kilobytes. Reported loading times are now as follows :

14.4k - 66.13 seconds
28.8k - 36.07 seconds
56k - 21.30 seconds
ISDN (128k) - 17.76 seconds
T1 (1.44 MB) - 6.60 seconds

If it loads on a 56K modem in under 25 seconds, it'll do for me. I might do some other tweaks later on, but bringing the page up to XHTML standards, as well as including alternative texts and controls for blind people using read-aloud software has it's implications. I'm just not willing to cut into either of those two. In fact, I'm doing a whole lot more than most webmasters do. After all, I'm not blind and I'm on a 3.3 megabit connection, so loading times or support for the visually impaired don't really concern me. It's just that I'm so damn nice ;)

Note : Phyre Bitzsche, I was fired about 2.5 months ago when the company I worked for went bankrupt. Apart from 7 months of severance pay, I am also claiming 4.5 months of pay I didn't get, and such.

The fund I'm referring to is enstated by the government to pay employees that claim the money from the company, but where there is nothing to be sold. In that case, the fund pays the employee, within reason and limitations. It could however take 1 to 2 years before one actually gets anything.

Gone

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I'm off to watch The Matrix Reloaded. Be back in a few hours. Tata!

Good News?

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I just got off the phone with my lawyer - well, the one of ABVV that's handling my file - and apparently, he had some very good news. I enquired about the court date that was set concerning my claim and he said that the complete claim was accepted after all.

The problem was that the curator didn't have access to one of my prior contracts and thus couldn't agree with my claim. After ABVV talked to the curator, and probably provided him with the missing contract, he accepted the claim as is. This is certainly a step in the right direction, since now I'll be invited by ABVV to fill out all forms and we can start processing the claim towards "Fonds Sluiting Ondernemingen".

In short : It could take about a year before I see a dime, but at least we're heading in the right direction. Now I just have to wait for the invitation to arrive.

BS returns...

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Seems like BlogSnob is back and admitted a technical problem.

ServMe, I can understand the kind of setback this has given you. But, believe me, this was a mistake on the part of the robot that crawled your page.

And, in fact, your ad was "temporarily put on hold" and never "kicked out" from the service.

We have never offended you, and we would never want to. We'll be always grateful to you for your services for Blogsnob.

I apologize for all the inconvenience caused. I wish that you understand me, and continue to contribute to Blogsnob.

Thank you,
Kapil Mohan
Blogsnob Admin Team Member

Thanks for clearing that one up! I'm a happy camper again.

Another one

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Just got a call from someone who knows someone that has a lot of PC problems right now. As far as I can tell right now, the machine seems to have been hacked severely, additional accounts have been installed and files and documents altered.

In addition to that, some hardware problems have shown up as well, but I'm not yet convinced that both of these things are related to eachother. It is a possibility, but I'm thinking coincidence.

I'll receive the box on thursday probably and take a look at it and see what the best way of dealing with it is. First mission will be to create a safe backup - the owner already made one he claims, but making backups from an infected machine is not really smart - and then decide the actual amount of damage done.

Going on the data I've got right now, I'll probably reinstall the machine and run benchmarks and stress tests on it to figure out if there are indeed hardware problems involved as well. If so, it's up to the owner to decide what he wants to do.

And the worst thing is that the user will have learned nothing from all the good advice several people have been giving him over the years. I'm a nice guy and willing to help everyone out - once, within limits - but I refuse to work for ignorant people that don't want to learn. They're out on their own.

I often hear that I'm paranoid and too strict. But I see machines biting the dust on a regular base, and mine is usually not one of them.

Gone

As I announced a few weeks ago - I doubt it's even that long - I've permanently closed the FK shop. It's gone and will not be reopened. This leaves some free space in my navigation menu on the left, and I'll replace it with something else.

I've got some idea's as to what I want to do with it, but I need some time to work out a satisfying setup.

Adding on...

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Even though I went to bed quite late - my time shedule is once more messed up - I managed to get up early. I added more captions and photographs, bringing the total to 4 albums and 377 photographs.

Currently online : IAM/BME Trembling in Tweed BBQ (when I was in Canada) - IAM/BME Meet on June 7th 2003 (last weekend) - Dad's birthday 2003 - Vossemeren 2003.

I should also add the Finland photographs but... they're not on this computer! I think they are still on the harddisk of the old one, and I don't feel like getting the drive out and attach it to this box. I might have them on CD somewhere though, but I'm not certain. If I find them, I'll add them.

Note : I just found a CD containing the photographs of the trip to London Joco & I made in 2001 - Visiting Pascale. That one will be next.

Photo albums online

I figured out what the problem with the upload was : I was clicking the wrong button :)

So... three albums have already been created, one has complete captions, the other two don't. I may add captions for some of the pictures, but certainly not for all of them. More albums will be added later on.

These albums are however not open for everyone. If you want to be able to view them, you should just send me a mail - by now you should know how to get in touch with me - and ask for an account. If you are a regular reader, I'll know you and you'll receive the URL and account details by mail within 24 hours. If I notice that accounts are shared or passed on or details posted anywhere, this thing will be gone sooner than you can say "oh shit".

If you wonder why I decided to limit access to this new function, here are a few reasons : it contains personal photo's, and there still is a difference between running a "public" blog and running a public photo album. Apart from that, it can consume a whole lot of bandwidth, and while I have quite a lot, it is not unlimited.

Photo album : almost!

OK... since Marianne was like number 10 who asked for photo's (also in regard to all the other photo's I still have on my HD somewhere) I've started installing a nice PHP package that should allow me to set up a nice photo album.

However, the thing is a pain to configure - I've got a rought version running now - and needs all kinds of extra libraries installed on the webserver. The main package is up, but I'm not yet able to upload pictures to it. Which, of course, makes it kind of useless right now.

Give me another 48 hours to see if I can solve all the techy problems.

Fuck you BlogSnob!

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I received this mail yesterday :

Hi!

This is an automated notifier to tell you that a member of BlogSnob admin team has seen your page and reported it to us. Your page might have either violated the acceptance rules, or you have not displayed your ad on the page properly. Please note that you have to display your ad prominently on the page that you link to.

We recommend you to check the kind of sites that we accept at the following URL: http://blogsnob.idya.net/help.php?section=whatkind

Your Username: xxxx
Your URL: http://www.friedkitten.com?blogsnob
Your BlogSnob Id: xxxx

**NOTE**: If you have just joined Blogsnob, this message may mean the admin is waiting for you to put up your ad on the page.

If you think your site was put on hold unfairly, do reply, or post a message at the forums. We'll try to check it out immediately.

Also, check out the blogsnob website for the active Forum, and the sport that so many members indulge in, SnobJumping.

All this and more at the blogsnob site at http://blogsnob.idya.net

Let's keep the spirit of blogging alive!

regards,
The BlogSnob Team.

Well, this breaks my heart. I've been on the BS list for a loooong time. I've supported and helped out wherever I could, and then I get this as a reward? After over 2 years of being a member? My account info still seems to be in the BS database, but I've been removed off the userlist. I left a message in the BS forums, but really... I don't care anymore. If they want to go around and kick off random people - for reasons unlisted in the mail - they just go ahead. I'll gladly remove the BS ad then and wander off to more professional ventures.

It's been good but now I feel abused and kicked out like trash.

Note : You know what's funny? I'm still listed as an Official Agent of the BlogSnob Bureau in the forums. I really don't get it.

Eye opener

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I just finished watching Bowling for Columbine and it was some sort of an eye opener. I already knew that most European and American people look at the world differently, but while watching the documentary/movie, I think I also have learned why exactly these differences exist.

I don't believe in news stories beautifying certain facts, or not reporting on the things that go on, but every story has different sides. And to me - in the perspective of a relatively smart white european male - it seems most American media show the bad things, the crimes, the violence and the hatred. No wonder everybody is scared and petrified and running around almost being a nerveous wreck. Give those people guns and accidents, violence and murder are bound to happen. There seems to be no alternative for whatever seed is planted into the heads of the mass.

Education takes time and effort. Educate yourself, think for yourself and question whatever you're being told. Switch to foreign TV stations and look at the world from a different stance. It'll probably open your eyes, and once you know 'the truth is out there" you'll be wanting to know it from that point on.

Some shots...

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OK peeps. I know you all expect some very good photographs of all the "freaks" that were present on the IAM/BME BBQ. However, I don't feel that this blog is the correct place to post photographs of this event, even though it was kind of public.

I've decided to keep BME related shots away from this, unless they only include me or picture me. So there you go... here are some shots.

ServMe
A young rockband playing a the BBQ - The Quest
Thunderstorm coming up - Get those tents down!!

Nightcourse in food ordering. Not!

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I'm pretty much fucked. It's just a few minutes past 23h00 and I just walked over to the nearby frituur (what's that in english anyway? Fish 'n Chips shop?) and it was closed. The PizzaLine shop next to it : closed.

Walked back home. Online : PizzaPhone only delivers till 23h00, PizzaHut only delivers till 22h00. Seems like people don't have to eat at night. Crap, isn't there any 24/7 shop that delivers all day and night?

I guess I'll have to open the fridge - which is empty if I'm not mistaken - and the freezer and cook something up myself. No fun since I don't feel like cooking this late today... All I ever wanted was a simple taste quick meal. Which reminds me of the Quick Restaurant nearby : closes at 23h00. MacD a bit further : same shit.

I'm really disappointed in this "always on" modern world. Maybe you can be connected 24 hours a day, but what good is a tune in to the world when there is no one around to get you what you want or take your order? Oh fuck... I'll dig something up myself.

Eyes wide shut

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Phew. These IAM/BME BBQ meetings are hard on an old folk like me. I didn't sleep last night, so I just crashed for a couple of hours. I can't even remember the last time I got to see a sunset all the way from the beginning.

I'm off for a good shower now - although it's a bit hard since I noticed yesterday that the hose connecting the actual showerhead to the faucet seems to be broken, resulting in more water splahing elsewhere than on me. Oh well, I'll manage. Later on I'll be sorting to photo's of the meet - a 199 to be exact - and that's just the ones I took. It was wonderful, and every man or woman I've met there was just plain cool. It's a damn great bunch of people to hang out with.

Thanks fly out to Iori, Geert, Sybil, Patrick, Kristof, Ingrid, Bert, Hellbaby, Sam, Susanne, Marcel, Georges, Sleeve, and everyone else I can't remember right now. It was a blast!

Small big country

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I'm talking about that small country called Belgium. Practically the center of the European Union, known for it's often impossible to comprehend compromises and chocolate.

And today all camera's are once again zooming in on another succesful Belgian export product (with no disrespect whatsoever) : Kim Clijster and Justine Henin playing the Roland Garros Grand Slam final. Whatever happens, Belgium wins :)

Serena got killed off by Justine and Kim slaughtered Petrova... Such a small country, yet we've got a WTA top 2 and top 4 player. I think we're doing pretty well!

So far this year, Kim and Justine have already played eachother three times, resulting in a 2-1 lead for Kim. What today will bring is not yet know, but it'll be an interesting match. I think Kim has a slight psychological advantage due to the winning streak she's on in regards to playing Justine.

Links : Kim Clijsters - Justine Henin-Hardenne

Counting down

About 3 more hours before I'm picked up by HighLevel to go the the first IAM/BME BBQ in Lokeren. I'm a bit excited by it all... this is after all the first ever meet in Europe as far as I know, and there'll be Belgian folks, some Dutch folks and maybe even a few Germans will come over.

Should be a very nice collection of freaks :) I've packed my digital cam, spare battery, spare flash card so I think I'm sort of prepared for it. If you look at it objectively, it's all very strange. I've already met some of the fellow body modification enthousiasts in the USA and Canada, but never met the Belgian and Dutch people IRL before.

I don't know what exactly will be the program once we arrive, but I suppose it'll consist in "hang out, have a good time" mostly. I think some pullings, suspensions and some play piercing sessions are planned as well. Interesting.

I'll be reappearing on this blog late tonight, or somewhere during the day tomorrow.

Note : This is entry #1200 on friedkitten.com - and after passing a 13.000 unique visitors mark in November 2002, we'll be passing the 18.000 unique visitors mark in about 2 weeks. Up to 20.000 we go!

Salute!

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To everyone who is inside now, working hard, I send my greets.

It's wonderful outside, especially when riding the bike through the park. A balanced mixture of sun and shadow, slight breeze going through my hair - although that last part can't be correct - while pushing the pedals. The wheels spinning, leaves and tiny branches cracking as you run over them. The birds whistling and the scent of nature filling your nostrils.

Alas, fear not! The workforce has noise computers, blinding copymachines and curious bosses. I bet that is worth something too.

Incredible

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Maybe I was a bit too harsh a few posts back... I just returned from the bank, and they were able to execute my order for a money transfer abroad without any problem. Duh... I was suprised too :)

With that fixed, I can do other things now.

Note : Tine has won free stickers! It was indeed Tatu with 30 minut. Lovely song, if you don't know it do check it out.

Lyrics time

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First one to guess of which song and group these lyrics are, gets free stickers!

Mama, Papa
Forgive me

Out of sight
Out of mind
Out of time
To decide

Do we run?
Should I hide?
For the rest
Of my life

Can we fly?
Do I stay?
We could lose
We could fail

In the moment
It takes
To make plans
Or mistakes

30 minutes, a blink of an eye
30 minutes, to alter our lives
30 minutes, to make up my mind
30 minutes, to finally decide

30 minutes, to whisper your name
30 minutes, to shoulder the blame
30 minutes, of bliss, thirty lies
30 minutes, to finally decide

Carousels
In the sky
That we shape
With our eyes

Under shade
Silhouettes
Casting shade
Crying rain

Can we fly?
Do I stay?
We could lose
We could fail

Either way
Options change
Chances fail
Trains derail

30 minutes, a blink of an eye
30 minutes, to alter our lives
30 minutes, to make up my mind
30 minutes, to finally decide

30 minutes, to whisper your name
30 minutes, to shoulder the blame
30 minutes, of bliss, thirty lies
30 minutes, to finally decide

To decide
To decide, to decide, to decide

To decide
To decide, to decide, to decide

To decide

Bugbear strikes again - Part B

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Apparently a new version of the 2001 W32/Bugbear-A has struck under the name W32/Bugbear-B (creative naming?). Bugbear-A was reported to be responsable for 17.5% of all infections in 2002, so don't get any funny thoughts about this new (and improved) version.

Update your Anti virus software now, log on to the Microsoft Update website now and install those hundreds of patches that you didn't know where there, or didn't think were important.

This bear is sneaking into your system by exploiting a flaw that has been patched on March 29, 2001 - which according to me means that if you still haven't patched your system, it's entirely your mistake. Yes, IT and computers is just a tad bit more than games and surfing porn - although those are two major parts of IT, I agree.

Want to add another layer of protection before that nasty virus can hit your mailbox? Install the trial of MailWasher Pro - download right here and testdrive it for 30 days. Afterwards you can do whatever you want with it, but it could give you that extra line of defence you do need right now.

Unless of course you want to remain an uneducated fool that actually doesn't care if his machine sends out viruses to hundreds, if not thousands of other people. In that case, you should be shot on sight. And yes, I'm being serious.

Looking for art?

People... if you're looking for an artistic print to decorate that wall in your house, or want to bring some great artistic presence to that boring conference room at work, take a look at Jerome Amabrovitch's work at chapter 9 photography.

Why am I posting this? Because Jerome is a kick ass photographer and could use the cash. Two good reasons, right? Now stop thinking and head over to his site... you'll be amazed.

Maximum frustration

You know what is really frustrating? Trying to get in touch with someone that you really care about, but finding out each and every time that it's almost impossible.

Something like : you can call me on these two days - oh wait... not anymore, just this one day - from then till then. And when you do, nobody picks up the damn phone. Yes, that sucks bigtime. I'm sure some of you will now think "maybe they just don't want you to call them?" but I refuse to believe that.

I'm just so "not happy" right now. In this time of phones, mobile phones, sms, mms, internet and whatever means of communication one can have, I have to revert to ringing at the door and hoping the right person opens it. Even snail mail is not safe or preferred. Maybe I should train pigeons?

Customer Satisfaction, my ass!

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I hardly ever deal with my bank face to face. Whatever I need done, I do by phone and have done so for the past 8 years. They've tried moving me to PC-banking, but that's not coming anywhere near my machine.

So... today I have to transfer some money to germany, to an account of someone of whom I've bought something through ebay. I walk over to the nearest branch of the bank where I'm a client and end up standing in front of a closed door. Apparently they ain't open on thursday afternoon, unless you have an appointement. Nice. Of course I don't have an appointement, how the hell am I supposed to know? I guess I'll have to try my luck again tomorrow morning and see if they can do this transfer.

Funny thing is, that even with Europe having one currency, I bet they still charge a lot for transferring money abroad, and I'm pretty convinced they'll tell me this : sorry ServMe, but we can't execute that transfer from this branch since you're not a customer here. You'll have to go to your branch 10 kilometers from here so they can do it for you. To which I will reply : "I'm a customer of this bank, this is a branch of that bank and I ask you politely to transfer that money for me".

If they insist they can't/won't do it, I'll ask for the full coordinates of the branch, the name of the branch manager and send off a "nice" letter to the corporate branch in Leuven. I've got all the coordinates right here with me. And I'll put them in CC.

Yes I know... I'm a badass customer :)

Red, White & Blues baby!

I just got the Blues Brothers Band album "Red, White & Blues" in the mail! It even came with jewel case and all, while I didn't ask nor pay for it. I suppose shipping was cheaper for the seller so he decided to include it?

I searched the web quickly for a picture of the cover of that CD, but couldn't find it anywhere. Coversamples of most albums, but none of this one, so I decided to put it online myself. And I'll put a full tracklisting on as well... because I'm that nice, yes I am.

The Blues Brothers Band - Red, White & Blues

01. You Got The Blues (3:26)
02. Red, White & Blues (3:51)
03. Can't Play The Blues (In An Air-Conditioned Room) (3:12)
04. Early In The Morning (3:36)
05. One Track Train (4:14)
06. Boogie Thing (3:37)
07. Never Found A Girl (5:49)
08. Trick Bag (4:24)
09. Take You And Show You (4:09)
10. Big Bird (4:56)

Anyway, it's blasting through the speakers now and so far, I like it. It does miss some of the power of the other albums though, but that might be due to the fact that this 1992 album only has "Elwood Blues" (Dan Aykroyd) in one track - Can't Play The Blues In An Air-Conditioned Room - nor is John Belushi playing with the band.

Boa vinda a um dia novo

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Eu n�o sei se este puder ser considerado um come�o bom com respeito �s plantas para hoje, mas eu sou fora de minha cama. Ocupe-se de voc�, mim n�o me disse estava acordado. Fora de para come�ar algo comer e come�ar ent�o trabalhar. Adeus!

PS : Eu pretendi realmente fazer a entrada de hoje no latin, mas n�o pude encontrar um tradutor capaz de fazer uma coisa como aquele direita afastado. Assim eu estabeleci-me para portugese. Sorte boa:)

Plans for tomorrow

Nothing exciting I guess, but here is what I intend to do...

1. Work some more on translating the tonguesplitting FAQ for BME
2. Review the IAM FAQ once more since my selfappointed proofreader seems to have disappeared of the face of the earth :(
3. Check bankaccounts
4. Full defrag of all drives and some cleaning up
5. Get up quite early - if this fails, so will most of the other things ;)

What�s new?

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One thing I received this morning in the mail (bought it on ebay) and one thing I got in the shop (a few days back) and finished today. It's up to you to figure out what description goes where :

Bodies of SubversionSmirnoff Ice - This shit is dangerous, but oh so tasty!

I'm also expecting a CD from the Blues Brothers... And there'll be more Smirnoff Icing :)

PS : Smirnoff Ice has one unfortunate side effect - singing along with MP3's, loud and probably out of tone. In order to know what I'm "singing", take a look on the right side of the screen in my Last 3 Songs section.

Rant Rant Rant

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I've just been hanging around a bit today. Slept in late - caused by getting to bed way too late - and then played some computer games. Did some shopping for food and I should really take care of some banking business too, but that'll probably mean I gotta get over to the town I used to live.

I've been convinced all day long that it was monday, but around 19h00 I came to a definitive conclusion : I was wrong. The mailman had nothing interesting to drop in my snail mail box, although I'm expecting quite some things. Very strange indeed.

What else is new... Joco asked me for the Matrix Reloaded OST CD, but the FTP has been messing up for the past few days - ever since new soft was installed I think - and all uploads just keep on failing. Oh well.

Usenet has been acting up as well, randomly getting disconnected from the server and of course the ISP status page reports no problems. Well, to be honest, I didn't even bother looking.

I guess I should get to bed earlier today, but I think I won't be able to do it... it really takes a lot of convincing myself to do things like that. On the other hand, it would mean I get up earlier and can do things in the morning. Yikes... morning :)

Proof...

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that my timeshedules are totally fucked up. It's just a few minutes past midnight, and I'm gonna make myself some food. If I'm correctly, I ate some chcolate soy pudding this morning and then had some candy in the afternoon. So I guess this it my first real meal today. Although it technically is a meal I had to had yesterday.

See what I mean? og well, I've had weird times when it comes to food anyway... ever since the day I worked a job on the road. It might not be too healthy, but I don't mind it. I'll eat when I suddenly think about it... like now ;)

More energy calculations

I just requested more information regarding swapping the current electricity meter I've got for a new one. Taking the lower cost of "night time" electricity, the cost of replacement and the slightly higher annual fees into consideration, it should pay back itself in 5 years, which is not so bad.

That calculation is based on an unchanged energy profile, and switching to a supplier with lower annual fees. Let me try to explain with an example :

Cost for replacing the meter (all taxes included) : € 133
Additional yearly fee (supplier 1) : € 42
Benefit with lower energy cost : € 57

This means that by just switching the meter I'd get a net profit of € 15. Results is that in 10 years the replacement has paid itself. However, for another supplier the return is even better :

Cost for replacing the meter (all taxes included) : € 133
Additional yearly fees (supplier 2) : € 25
Benefit with lower energy cost : € 54

So in the last case I'd have a net profit of € 29 per year, which would bring the pay-backtime (or ROI for the management peeps) to slightly under 5 years.

While I was browsing around I also noticed that tax incentives are available for the installation of super-insulating glass and things like that. However, in order to be acceptable for these tax incentives, one needs to get an overall score of 2,0 W/(m2.K), or less.

Due to the fact that my windows are made out of aluminum - and probably are not constructed according to moderm insulation techniques - even by using 1.1 W/m2.K type glass, it would only bring me to 2,3 W/(m2.K). Which is still not enough for the incentives. I don't mind investing in the future and in saving energy, but there is only so much one can financially do.

Brain Management?

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According to this Mind Media Brain Persuasion Test I use my brain as follows :

Auditory : 62%
Visual : 37%
Left : 66%
Right : 33%

Ello world?

Long didn't the rain pour down - about 15 to 20 minutes I estimate - but over the night I managed to get the temperature down at least one degree. Not much, but the ferrets love it, and it's not all that warm outside this morning either.

What are my plans for this week? Good question, but I can't answer it just yet. It's still a bit too early for my liking but I got called by some telemarketeer around 09h25 that wanted to send somebody over to sell me some investement opportunity. 3 unwanted telemarketeering calls in 4 days, I sure hope they're not becoming the new spam.

Gotta do my unemployment things on wednesday, on saturday there's the (big) first BME/IAM BBQ and the rest of the week is pretty much undecided so far. I might start developing some domains I've still got pointing all over the globe, but that's just a far shot. There are a few bills to be paid and some things to check on.

Can it be true???

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Checking outside... YES!!! Rain!

Big, wet cool drops of rain, I love those! I've got all windows and doors open already in the hope this rain just sucks all the heat out of the apartment. Phew!

Crap!

Just while I was posting a new entry at another website, watching a new movie and downloading another one, the old UPS deciced to throw a fit and interrupt power to my machine. I actually thought these things were uninterruptable power supplies? I guess mine deciced to join the dark side.

Well, it's a very old unit that I bought over 6 years ago and even when I got it, it was secondhand. Never replaced batteries in it, so it wouldn't even save me if the power failed. I guess I'll have to get a new one some day, but it is totally not high on my list. Should anyone have an UPS that needs to disappear, get in touch!

Or just order me one and ship it to me.

I knew it!

When we were out to the theatre last week to watch X2, we were also shown a trailer/teaser for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. During a brief second I thought I recognized a face I knew... so I asked Johan if he also saw Peta Wilson. He said it might be but was not sure.

When I got home, I forgot all about it of course but while I was browsing the web I found the trailer for LXG and in one of the stills her face is shown quite clearly. I hopped over to imdb and was proven correct. Peta Wilson - probably known for La Femme Nikita where she plays the lead - stars in LXG as Mrs. Mina Murray Harker.

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

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