July 2003 Archives

Helpless

is what I am right this minute. About thirty minutes ago I noticed that one of the ferrets was making weird noises and when I checked it turned out Happy was having another attack. It's been a while since the last one but I still have everything that I can use to counter his illness nearby. I grabbed him, did a quick check and administered him his medication.

He didn't want to eat it - as I already predicted since he's been giving me problems taking it for the past week - but after a few tries I was able to feed him his meds. I also added some brewersyeast and prednisolone in sugared-up water. I'm under the impression that even though I've done what I can now, he might not be there when I wake up in the morning. I feel so helpless, it's hard to realize that with all our intellect we still cannot prevent death and suffering. If he is OK'ish in the morning I'll decide what the next step is, if he has not shown any signs of improvement, I'm asking the vet to come over and stop the suffering.

I can't have any of my ferrets live on in pain, just because I cannot handle the fact that every life comes to an end at some point. It's gonna break my heart, but as a responsible ferret owner I will do what is necessary and best for my fuzzies. I might sound to the point and pretty straight forward right now, but let me tell you, I'm am in tears right now. My heart bleeds and at the same time I know I'll make the right choice tomorrow.

Oh, don't take this personal, but I've turned off commenting for this post. I know some people may want to wish Happy and I good luck, but it won't help us one bit. That's not being harsh, it's just being realistic. These are things I have to go through by myself. Thanks for your understanding.

Tax-On-Web

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I just finished filling out my tax forms and since this year there was a possibility to do it all online, I did. Yes, I'm a geek and a nerd so why should I bother filling out the paper version in my best handwriting - which remains unreadable - then put it all in an envelope, put a whole bunch of stamps on it, walk over to the mailbox and hope that it arrives? Not for me!

Suprisingly, the tax-on-web application works wonderfully well, even on alternative browsers like Mozilla. It seems they coded the thingy with standard compliance in mind. I just hope that I filled out everything correct, because - thanks to the wonderful ex-boss - last year was once more not a regular/common year in regards to taxes.

See, this year we're paying taxes on last years income, but last year I didn't get paid for quite a while, although all the official statements that I have received say otherwise. I've heard various things from different people, some claim that one should only file what you received, others say that you must file everything (including the paychecks you didn't get) and then get it returned later on.

The first option has the problem that I don't know the exact figures (gross/net) and social security tax that has been paid, so it's hard to file in that way. The latter is technically possible since I can just use all data that I have, but I don't think paying taxes on something you didn't receive is correct. I have decided to go with the last option for now and hope to receive a reply from two people that might be able to give me a final answer, if they read their mail that is.

Oh well, even when filing a tax form including money I didn't receive I'm looking at a tax return next year, so I suppose it could have been worse.

Strange, not to say weird

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I just received a phonecall from some lady who claimed to be from Singapore, and for as much as I could tell by her knowledge of the english language it was pretty believable. They were offering me some stock and high profits were promised.

Funny thing is that they got my phone number - although they might have picked it up from some phonebook (in Singapore?) - and knew my real life name as well. I'm pretty convinced it was some sort of a scam, but I wasn't really paying attention as I was playing a game at the same time. I just told her that I was not interested in investing in stock now, nor in the future.

At first I thought it was one of my friends pulling a joke on me so I checked if it was some sort of a prerecorded tape playing. It was not. Oh well, I got rid of them so all is well I guess. Just keep an eye open in case you got such a weird call as well. If you have the chance to record it, please do so.

Australian farmgirls

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I received a note from the court of commerce of Hasselt today, stating that my claim against my former boss/company was accepted as we filed it. Apparently though, the lawyer that was appointed by the union didn't show at the hearing, but it seems not to have influenced the decision.

Actually all of this is not new, but just a confirmation of what I already knew. I just hope all of this can be put behind me fast, because I've had enough of all this shit. Last friday I send out a CV to a company that has been looking for IT profiles on a regular base, but I ahve not yet received any response.

It's a difficult time to find a new job, even when lowering standards quite a while. Which reminds me that I have to deal with some things that have been neglected too long already. It'll include bringing down a website that I don't own, but host. I'm sure I'll hear from the "owner" within 72 hours.

Oh, I'm watching McClouds' Daughters on TV, pretty damn fine serie too. Wouldn't that be something for me? A nice straight to the point australian farmgirl?

Note : Little Wabbit, I got your mail, but had been out all day and didn't risk replying to it and cause trouble. Would you like to move to australia with me and start a farm? If Australia is a bit too hot for you, how about a nice cottage in the middle of nature, let's say in Canada?

Later tonight

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an interesting TV show is on. Tune in at 22h25 on VTM for Telefacts Zomer where they'll be showing (amongst other things I presume) Erik Sprague, also known as The Lizardman. When you watch the show, keep two things in mind please :

1. Erik is a professional performer who lives from his shows
2. Erik is a perfectly normal dude who has a perfectly normal life with Meghan and their 3 ferrets (Eris, Fonzie and Ginsu)

How do I know all of this? I've talked (online) with Meghan before especially about ferrets. If you feel like reading his personal page, check it out here. Note : I think his page is accessible for everyone. If you can't enter it, it means Erik has selected not to open it up to non-IAM members.

If you like this appearance and/or would like to book him for a show, please check his website mentioned above. It has contact information that you can use.

Update : I just finished watching the show, and in a way was very disappointed that the creators of TeleFacts didn't even take the time to check the names of the people pictured in the show. They referred to "Erik Sprague" as "Erik Spragg", "Catzen" became "Catsen" and 'Meghan" lost and "h" and became "Megan". I mailed them about it during the first commercial break, but - of course - didn't get any answer yet.

Officially registered now

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After I had already partially given up on my application for an ISSN number for "friedkitten.com - insanity included." I received a mail today...

My application has been accepted and this blog has received ISSN number 1379-8499!

Yey for myself I suppose, and a very big thank you to C. Blondell for handling my application and assigning it an ISSN number. It's actually just in time as we're close - very close - to hitting 20.000 unique visitors. I won't be doing anything special for that occasion, but when we hit 25.000 something will be organised!

We worked hard

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coz Johan picked me up around 13h and we started working on the terrace at about 13h30. At first we had some trouble getting the old tiles out, but once we did a few rows they were almost flying out by themself - figuratively speaking of course.

As we go closer to the edge most tiles cracked even when we were very gentle so we lost quite a few. After we got all the tiles off, we needed to remove the concrete below and the roofing as well. It turned out that with some clever thinking it wasn't too hard, but the same area that had given us trouble when removing tiles, did the same when removing concrete and roofing.

Around 17h00 - pure guess as I wasn't wearing a watch - we were done removing most, except for some very tiny patches of roofing left. We'll consult our uncle first to see if they need to be removed as well, or whether they can remain. I said before that I like waking up and feeling like I've been run over by a truck... the problem is that I already feel like that right now. Tomorrow I'll feel like I've been in a traincrash, or run over by one. A tat bit too much work and not enough rest I suppose, but we got it all done in only a few hours. Yes, we worked like madmen, but it's done, and that's what counts.

I think we'll be removing all the rubbish during the weekend of august 1st and/or 2nd so the contractor can come over to take a look and make an estimate for the new terrace.

After we were done we had pizza, watched some telly and I toyed around with their brand new - drool drool - PC with flatscreen. It's a nice and fast machine, seems to run very slick too. And... she's installed all updates and patches as I told her to do. Damn, will this be the day my sister actually starts listening to what her older brother says? :)

Game On & BBQ

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I'm awake, or at least resemble something that looks human and awake from a far distance. Yesterday Dimi and I headed off to the Game On exhibition in Tilburg, Holland and we had a bunch of fun. It was rather interesting to see all those all old game consoles, handhelds and the early sprites in comparison with the latest and newest evolutions in gaming.

There were - according to the exhibition brochure - 160 games to play, but we only played like 10 or 15 I think. Sonce both Dimi and I are old geeks already, there were quite a few prehistoric games that we played and remembered from before. Oh, the nostalgia!

Before we went to the exhibition we ended up on the terrace of a pub somewhere to have something to eat and even there a lot of fun was had. It turned out that the population of Holland is totally different of the population in Belgium, even though the two countries are neighbors. The current fashion trend it Holland seems to be light and dark colored striped jeans, and t-shirts with the stitches on the outside. If you ask me, that's pretty weird, but luckily for us the basketcases were compensated by the huge amount of sexy babes walking by.

How come there are no such sexy women in Belgium? Well, maybe that's not true, as I know at least three who are definitely in the "hot top 10", but Dimi was thinking the same. The ratio of sexy babes to the general population is 10 times higher in Holland as it is in Belgium. We'll have to spend more time there.

After we returned, my dad, Hilda and Marianne had prepared a totally delicious BBQ which was great, as we were rather hungry. Well, Dimi was born hungry so that may not be the best point of reference.

Fun Fun Fun, and we ended up doing some shots of an italian drink that was based on lemon juice and came straight out of the freezer. Icecold when it slides down your throat and setting it aflame only seconds later. Yummy!

Now I'm waiting for a call from Jess & Johan to see if we're starting the work on their terrace today, or if they prefer to move it to next week. While I'm waiting, I'll be sending out some mails to various people concerning upcoming events. I'll be back later peeps!

About to leave

In a few minutes Dimi will be here and then we're off to Tilburg, to the FAXX - Podium for Modern Art - where the Game On exhibition is taking place. I'm gonna put on my new shoes and I know they'll probably kill me after only 1 or 2 hours, but I figure that this is the best way to "walk them in" so to speak. In case you are interested, it's open till August 24th 2003.

After we return we're heading to Pulderbos city for dinner (BBQ possibly, but they're expecting rain) and tomorrow I'll be helping my sister a hand when they start working on their terrace. I'm actually looking forward to that as well. Working is fun!

Baise-moi - Movie Review

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I just finished watching Baise-moi, a french movie (with english subtitles though).

At first I was wondering how anyone could be so apathic and yet violent at the same time, but in the end it all started to make sense. The characters in the movie have never known anything else, so they react to situations the only way they know : with sex and violence. Baise-moi is some sort of a very dark and evil Natural Born Killers, so if you thought the latter was violent and graphic, avoid Baise-moi.

I wasn't shocked by the movie - well not in the end. At first I was shocked to realize that all of it could be true, as the movie shows a side of humankind with which - civilised and law abiding citizens - hardly ever come into contact with. I'm not saying that the society depicted is not civilised, but they operate by a very different set of rules.

When their world and our world collide, they step away from the scene victorious, simply because our society as a whole is restricted and contained in politeness and correctness. Which makes it predictable - most people like to have certain strongholds in their life. But predictable equals exploitable and easily abused. Start thinking beyond the paths laid out by society and the rules don't apply anymore, or can be broken easily.

If you are prepared to look a bit further as the graphic scenes, the violent sex and sexual violence, there is a shocking thruth to be seen. Recommended movie for those who think they're up for a cold confrontation with that other - often hidden - reality.

3 for thursday

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1. What are 3 time eras you'd like to live in for a week, to see how things really were?
The late sixties, early seventies (disco!)
First crash of the stockmarkets (1929)
Any random era, just to "have" to adapt to it for a week.

2. What are 3 events in history that you would have liked to witness?
Discovery of America.
First edition of the Olympic Games in the Old Greece.
First phonecall by Graham Bell & Thomas Edison.

3. What are 3 world or local events that have taken place in your lifetime that has changed how you live your life - or has made you see things differently?
The arrival of the internet and global communication in general.
The EU and the Euro.
The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

BONUS: If there could be one event/tragedy that has taken place in the past that you could prevent or erase what would it be and why?

None, to be honest. There could be obvious answers here, yet changing events from the past would influence the person I am today. And to this day, I have accepted the cards I've been dealt, the good and the bad. Messing with any of it would have such unforseeable consequences that I could end up hating the life I would then live. Damn, that sounds difficult, not?

(thanks to Tine's Blah Blah Blog)

Short

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I'm gonna try and keep this entry kinda short. Durbuy was a blast, we went kayakking (is that a word?) on friday and the planned night dropping was canceled when no one of the organisation showed up. Eef talked to them on saturday and instead of asking for our money back, we got an extra hour of quad riding, which was right what we wanted.

After about 45 minutes we split up the group as some definately wanted to go a lot faster and others were more interested in a slower pace. I took off with the small group (4 people) that wanted to go full out, and we did get it too. It was a great time and after about 2 hours we ran into the boss of Durbuy Adventure. He was driving around with some photographers of Paris-Match and they wanted to shoot some pictures for their magazine. We didn't say no and really gave them action while speeding through the water, mud and over the hills.

Saturday evening was BBQ time, on sunday we went mountain climbing. I was the only one of a group of 6 to climb twice but I had to take a good rest when I finally got to the top. I descended by rope, which was fun but it's not really an activity I'd like to do every year.

We left on monday morning and pretty much everyone crashed immediately I think. These weekends are fun fun fun, but pretty intensive too. I made a few photo's, but haven't looked at any of them yet. Might put some up later, if they're worthwhile.

Picked up the ferrets yesterday and I love to have them back. They totally freaked out when I let them loose at home and were enjoying being back as well.

PayPal? Fucking thieves!

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Even though everybody - or at least quite a lot of you - would be expecting a wrap up of last weekend in Durbuy, I'm putting something else on the priority list right now.

It came to my knowledge a few hours ago that PayPal has closed and frozen the account of BMEshop.com due to them "Engaging in activity expressly prohibited under the Acceptable Use Policy, specifically: using PayPal as a payment option for the sale of prescription drugs and medical devices." while PayPal knew about the goods that BMEshop sells all along.

PayPal knew they would be closing BMEshop's account and freezing the outstanding money for at least 180 days, but they did allow all transactions to be processed up to the last second. Actually, it comes down to this :

PayPal is judge and jury at the same time, no appeal is possible and they close and freeze accounts as they see fit. If that happens there is nothing you can do and all the money customers have been sending you is blocked by PayPal while you as a supplier still have to deliver the goods. Yes, even though you can't access the money paid for them. I call such behaviour THEFT.

If you think this is some new kind of behaviour of PayPal, I gladly point you to PayPalSucks.com and read the horror stories that businesses, small shops as well as individuals have been going through.

If you think all of this is just a small mistake in an endless sea of good transactions, head over to the PayPal site, and try finding contact information, phonenumbers, e-mail addresses etc. They're hidden pretty well, aren't they?

I've closed my PayPal account, mailed them about the exact reason why I did so, and in the mean time CC'd the e-mail below to eBay Belgium, the eBay Foundation and an editor of The Register. Why eBay, you might wonder? eBay owns PayPal, that's why!

After receiving first hand notice that the account of BMEshop.com has been fraudulently closed and frozen by PayPal, I have chosen not to do any business anymore with a company that choses to be judge and jury at the same time without any appeal possible.

PayPal has been well aware of the type of goods sold by BMEshop.com and has not ever opposed to any of it. I can therefore only expect that my own account would suffer from the same arbitrary and biased freezing and blocking of it's outstanding amount in the future as well. In support of BMEshop.com, I hereby terminate my account. All friends and relatives will be warned about the theft committed by PayPal.

Full public exposure to it will be given on some of my various national and international websites.

Kind regards,

ServMe,
www.friedkitten.com

I should be packing for a long weekend starting tomorrow morning, a weekend with friends, lots of activities and probably fun as well. However, I'm sitting here, wondering if it's all worth it. I feel like giving the world the finger right now and tell everyone to go fuck him or herself.

The funny thing is that no one has done anything wrong, or deserves that kind of treatement. I really don't know why I feel like it, but I feel like I'm hiding in a dark corner and life is just passing by without even taking notice that I'm still around. You know, sort of being alive and dead at the same time. The only mails I receive are spam, and I don't interact with too much people these days. Playing solitary all day long can't be much of a healthy way to get through the day. And with each day passing, it gets harder to actually step up or out and take it all in my own hands : to actually do something, accomplish something.

I feel that small bit of creativity that I once possessed slowly drift further and further away, and being at a standstill when everyone races is very awkward. It's not that kind of standstill where you look around and wonder what is going on, what is the rush? It's the kind of "dropped dead right in the middle" standstill, one that I didn't ask for at all.

So, even though you don't deserve it, FUCK YOU. Don't take it personal. I'll be OK.

To Soy, or not to Soy?

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As Shelley brought up the topic of advantages and disadvantages of Soy-based products, I set out on a little search. It turns out - at least to me - that there is about as much positive information and results, as there are negative.

Most positive research studies like to focus on the cholesterol lowering effects, whereas most negative research studies point out the Estrogenic effects of Soy. A - probably biased - pro-dairy group has dedicated a complete section called Soy Alert! to the side effects of using Soy.

Doing a very quick and dirty wrap up - so NOT scientifically and medically correct - I'd say that eating too much Soy can make a man die as a woman... but at least not of a heart attack or high cholesterol.

I guess studies will always be used and abused by all parties involved, in order to proof their point of view. I'm not yet sure what to think about it myself, but following Shelley's advice might be a good idea for everyone : "Don't believe advertising."

Work to do...

The temperature has dropped considerably, and I love it right now. It's down to 18�C/64�F and much easier on everyone now. I guess Dimi will even have to stay in the server room to prevent a temperature shock :)

Today I'll be packing things for our trip to Durbuy coming weekend, as well as preparing the ferrets for their stay in the ferret hotel.

Boiling Fuzzies

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33�C / 91�F right now and it's close to 15h00. I suspect temperature can rise about 1 or 2 degrees higher. I've taken very much measures to cool the ferrets as much as possible, as they are really suffering in this heat. Frozen bottles of water, wet towels, a fan has gotten the temperature down to 28�C for the time being.

The weather forcast is talking about pretty big thunderstorms later tonight and tomorrow, and I can only hope that those will bring an end to the heatwave for at least a day. If not, I won't be able to drive the heat out of the apartment, which would suck bigtime.

I really don't care that I feel bad, annoyed and irritated because of the heat, because I'm human an can do something about it myself. I know the heat will go away sooner or later, but my fuzzies don't know that. There's nothing they can do about it themselves, so that makes me even more responsible. Which also is the reason that they've got the fan close to their cages, and I'm sweating my ass off without any cool air. Such is life :)

Note : I've just installed Mozilla Firebird 0.6, which differs from the full Mozilla Suite (which includes usenet, mail etc). As far as I can tell the Firebird package is only a browser, and based on an XUL core. Does that mean anything? Yes, that I've got too much spare time. But since the Mozilla suite will be moving to Firebird anyway, I decided to see what all the fuzz was about. My first impression : Firebird is much alike Mozilla, yet a bit different.

I demand thunderstorms, NOW!

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Tine,

You got some more space in that fridge of yours? I want a cool place to sit for a while!

Dimi,

Move your chair to the server room... that should be cool enough to make it through the day.

I just went to the shop and the bill was just over 28 euro. Is that important, you might wonder... it is not, but out of the 13 things that I bought, 9 were liquid and drinkable. I think that might shed a light as to how friggin' hot I find it here.

Quick overview :

1 bottle of martini (75 cl)
1 pack of water (6x1.5 liter) - will last till thursday, maybe
2 bottles of applejuice (2x1 liter)
1 bottle of wodka (smirnoff, 75cl)
1 bottle of orange juice (1 liter)
2 bottles of soy-based drinks (2x1 liter)
1 bottle of milk (1 liter)
3 bottles of soy based desert (3x0.5 liter) - I use it as breakfast
1 pineapple

By the time I'm done writing this, the first bottle of applejuice - in combination with 10 icecubes - will be gone. I was thirsty, what can I say?

Note : temperature is now up to 32�C/89�F

Crappy weather!

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Damn, it's currently 30�C outside (around 86�F) and waaay to hot for me. I'd like to lower todays temperature at least 5 degrees and those to the temperature on friday. Yepz... it's been a very nice week so far, but the weekend we go to Durbuy, they expect rain and thunderstorms. At least it won't be that hot, but hey... mountain climbing in the rain might not be so much fun, on the other hand, quad riding in the rain - or when it's been raining - is a blast :)

Oh well, I guess it's a typical belgian weather : you either have everything, or nothing. A nice mixture of the two would be more appreciated though.

Oh, I took Bono, Max and Happy to the vet yesterday, and they all checked out good. Bono & Max had to get their yearly shots, Happy was there for a follow-up check. Today they are also having a lot of difficulties with the heat, but I've taken some measures to lower the temperature as far as possible without creating a draft or make them sick. They played in/with/around a bowl of fresh water earlier, it's quite messy but some of them like to stick their nose deep into the bowl and look around. Trying to hunt the icecubes is a fun game too... especially coz they never manage to catch one :)

Lazy day

Today I've not been doing too much... it's still damn hot outside - tomorrow they expect the temperature to rise even higher - so I've pretty much stayed inside. I took an online survey, played a few games, watched a movie, took care of the fuzzies and laid on the couch with one eye on the Tour de France on TV.

Just got a call from an ex-colleague that had taken time off, and not it turns out he never got the necessary papers after the company went tits up. I gave him the coordinates of the curator so he can work it out with him. In about an hour I'm off to the vet with Bono, Max and Happy - Joco is picking me up, thanks mate!

Bono & Max need their yearly shots, and I'm taking Happy along for a ceckup, although he's been doing quite fine the past week(s). Yesterday I noticed a bit of diarhea, so I had to clean his carrier bigtime, but it seem to have been a "one time" accident, probably due to the food that changed. Today and yesterday evening everything looked very normal.

Tomorrow Tribal-Idol is coming over to pick some things up, and I'm gonna prepare some things for our leave to Durbuy on friday. That reminds me of the fact that I gotta write a medical instruction sheet concerning Happy before we drop the fuzzies off at the ferret hotel on thursday evening.

Six Flags Europe

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Returned from Six Flags Europe - former Walibi where we had a wonderful time, even though it was a tad bit too warm. Arrived around 10h30 and left around 18h30 so that's quite a long time we spend there. Yet due to the mass of people, we were only able to enjoy 6 different attractions, and we had a average wait of about an hour. Sounds pretty bad, but still a good time was had.

No pictures though, as I did bring the camera but left it in the car. I don't risk a digital camera in water based attractions like Flash Back or Radja River - Hilda can confirm that electronic devices (mobile phones for instance) and water don't mix that well.

A few attractions were closed due to renovation and technical difficulties, but I guess that's part of the deal, right? Thanks Jess & Johan for the fabulous day - the others I thank as well of course, but I'm too lazy to list the names Debby, Jos, Britt, Thijs, Kim and Paul.

Quickie

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In less than an hour, I'm off to Six Flags Belgium, aka the former Walibi. I just peeked outside and the weather seems to be great! I hope it's not too busy :)

Off to shave, shower and have something to eat... bye!!

Bottom

I just caught an episode (it turns out to be the very first one of the series) of Bottom on TV, and I rolled out of the couch laughing a few times. It's that sarcastic, dirty, stupid, politically incorrect humor that I just love. If you've never seen Bottom, here's a pointer : Bottom equals The Young Ones, but there's only two blokes instead of 4.

I gotta remember that they're airing the show again!

Links : Bottom - Info & Facts

invalid.be

I've been toying around with some CSS and layouts and came up with this for another domain of mine : invalid.be - Domain HQ. It's nor flashy, nor colorful but I don't think those are requirements for a professional site, are they?

Questions...

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I got these questions from Shelley over at Scattered Shelley and my answers are in italic. If you wanna play too, comment and (gently) request some questions. I think I can come up with questions for 2 people, but if the response is overwhelming, I might get creative and come up with more.

1. Do you like to play sports? Which ones?
Bedroom sports :) - Actually, I'm not much of a sports freak, at least not when it comes to competition or "at a regular interval" sports. I used to go scuba diving (3 years), I've got quite a few years of judo under my belt (long time ago) and as of lately I've been cycling a bit. I do however love recreational sports wich include paintball, bowling, mini golf, cycling, kayakking etc etc. I don't like running/walking at all though.

2. If you could ban one song from being played anywhere, ever, which one would you ban? Why is it so terrible?
That's a hard one, as me hating a song so much it would be banned everywhere would not be fair to those who like it. But, in the interest of the question : everything by Laura Pausini. I hate that Italian bimbo chick with a passion, and being able to ban it would be soooo good. I think however that it's just an aversion I have against the Italian language, I start feeling nauseous when hearing Italian.

3. What is your favourite piece of computer software?
Oooohh... a difficult computer related question! Damn Shelley, you've outdone yourself on these questions, do you know that? So... I'd have to say it would have to be my browser as it is a superb window on the wonderful world called the internet.

4. Do you prefer to be hot or cold? How do you cope with the one you don't like?
Depends on the situation, doesn't it? Lol... I usually don't feel too well in extreme heath, whereas cold doesn't bother me at all. I really don't know how to deal with it, as I've been known to walk around in the winter in a T-shirt. In the summer I'd have to peel my skin off to wear even less. I drink lots of water and stay inside where I can control the situation a bit. I try not going out during the hottest parts of the day and stick to shadows.

5. I've known some resistance to the idea of keeping pet ferrets (despite how cute and clever they are). Do you get people screwing their noses up when they find out about your pets? How do you deal with this?
I've never had anyone do that to me. People that don't know ferrets often have questions, and I'm always more than glad to answer them. I've overheard people talking bullshit about ferrets to others, but as long as it's not a personal attack, I don't care. I realize that they are ignorant and stupid for not asking for an answer of what they not know from someone who might know. Besides, I usually talk with a passion about my fuzzies, and people see and hear that, which always is a great way to break down their bad vibes.

Aaaarrgghh!!!

Good news and irritating news. I finally got a reply from that german e-bay seller that vanished off the face of the earth after I transferred money to her account. It turns out that she went on a holiday - I was aware of that - and that she got into a rather nasty car accident. She's just returned from the hospital and will be shipping my goods next week.

Phew... well, those things happen and I'm glad she's OK, and that I finally got in touch with her. I had given her till the 15th of this month or I would have filed fraud charges with e-bay.

Irritating news too... That one guy keeps on running into trouble with his printer. Last night I spend 30 minutes on the phone to get him to clear the printer queue coz a document blocked it. He finally was able to do so, and after a reboot the thing printed as expected. Today I receive a mail that he's experiencing printer problems again and that he tried contacting me by phone. I guess I didn't hear it even though I was at home, but still in bed. I'll give him a call in a few minutes.

Shelley, thanks a lot for the questions! I'll be posting them here in a new post and answer them. Then 2 people can request questions from me as well.

Cycling...

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Close your eyes. Picture this : oh wait! You can't read it when your eyes are closed, my mistake.

I'm holding my mouse with two hands right now, coz otherwise it would just slip from under my palm, it is that sweaty. Does that sound attracting to you? That's what I already thought, you pervert!

Lol... I'm just kidding here. I'm not holding my mouse with two hands, I'm holding my penis with two hands, since it's that big. Wait, that's wasn't what I was gonna write either! I'm typing with two hands, at least that is correct.

I just returned from a 45 minute cycling tour through the park (Rivierenhof) and when I came back I did some powerlifting as well. Hey, why not, I has adequately warmed up, and sweaty anyway so I might as well combine the two work-outs.

I'm off to the shower now coz the heat - it's 27�C outside - is killing me and sweat keeps on dripping in my eyes.

That's all folks! Roar!

Happy camper!

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Can someone explain to me why the Canadian Post is able to ship 2 packages internationally over a distance of several thousand miles in 6 days (of which 2 were a weekend!) and the Belgian Postal services need 3-4 days to send a simple letter in the country? Oh... I know the reason : Post Canada kicks ass and TPG sucks.

Anyway, I was awakened by the mailman this morning - 8 'o clock sharp - and received a package containing the items shown below (l-r) :

IAM:Ninja T-shirt - 4 buttons - Dr. BME workshirt (olive colored) - Softcover BME scrapbook - Long sleeve BME Hockey logo workshirt.

Part 1 of my last (combined with several people) BMEshop order

And what do we have in package number 2 that I just picked up?

Part 1 of my last (combined with several people) BMEshop order
Left to right : Team BME T-Shirt - Dr. BME Workshirt - Pennington forceps - Mosquito clamps - 8 gauge receiving tube - a set of BME trading cards - BME scrapbook.

Mind you, not all of that stuff is for me! The scrapbooks and piercing supplies are for some IAM/BME friends, and so are the buttons and trading cards. The clothes however, are all mine :)

Photographic scavenger hunt

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While browsing Tine's Blah Blah Blog, I noticed this entry and thought it was a great idea to participate. I headed over to "26 things, the international photographic scavenger hunt" and took a look at the descriptions and "rules". Sounds interesting, so I'll be off right this minute and start taking shots... I only got till the end of July so...

Snap Snap!

Update : I've got 3 categories (Water, Colour and Transport) tackled I think. However, since I'm making a rough first selection of the shots, I'll be putting up all remaining shots that I'll consider for the final entry. I'd like you to head over to the photo albums - requires password, request one if you don't have one yet - and comment on the pictures you like most. It might help me pick the best ones...

No bloody fucking wonder

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that "De Post" (Belgian postal services, now part of TPG) has to take out a 300 million euro loan in order to be able to pay their employees! If the service stays as good as it is today I'm not suprised no one ever uses snail mail anymore.

OK, you did see that rant coming, didnt' you? I just cycled over to the post office because of the card I wrote about in the entry below. Turns out that packages are not returned to the post office till the day after, so now I have to anxiously wait 24 hours before I can go pick up the package that the mailman should - and could - have delivered today.

If only I could send and receive packages in a digital form, it would be sooo much easier. Buy something online, download the digitized form, feed that data into the ART (Atom Restructuring Thingy) and voila... you instantly have what you ordered.

Oh well... let's not fret about it. The weather is fine, I had a nice ride and picked up two larger envelopes coz I have to send some things off. AEK and Tribal-Idol should expect something in the next couple of week(s).

Damn mailman!

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I just went downstairs to empty my mailbox and I found a card stating that the mailman tried to deliver a package but was not able to do so. I can go pick it up tomorrow in the post office. Erm... he didn't even ring the bell, otherwise I would have known about it and accepted the package today. I guess it's easier to leave cards in mailboxes as to give people a chance to accept right away. I wouldn't be suprised if it's not the regular mailman delivering during the holiday period, coz he doesn't do crap like that.

What else is new? Oh, I need your advice. I gonna buy either the DVD of The Animatrix, or the DVD 8 Mile from Eminem. I love The Matrix, seen Reloaded and am curious about how it all came to be, yet someone - I think it was Joco - told me he saw 8 Mile and that it was very good too. So? Which one should I get?

Leave your feedback in a comment please.

Talk to the hand. Now!

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I just enjoyed T3 : Rise of the Machines and let me tell you : wow! Even if it is "just" an Arnie movie, it's very enjoyable, not in the least thanks to Kristanna Loken, who is T-X aka Terminatrix.

It's about time the machines got a hot and sexy robot on their side!

*WAVE*

| 3 Comments

I'm still alive, just didn't have anything interesting to write.

Curious

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Zworkske, care to give me some information as to who you are? I've got the idea that we know eachother in person, yet the e-mail address doesn't ring a bell, neither does the name Zworkske.

If I'm correct, you know where to reach me, right?

Little Wabbit : Take good care of yourself! The last thing I want is to get you in trouble. Drink lots of healthy tea and paint some walls ;)

Fixed?

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I just got back from that guy where I've been several times in the past few weeks - he called me a few times during the week but I was able to help him out by phone each time. However, he also reported that his printer (Lexmark X85 All-in-one) kept on throwing problems at him.

At times the USB connection to the computer was suddenly lost then after a reboot it found a new device etc etc. I took a look around on the Lexmark site and noticed there was a patch to solve some problems with the X85 and windows XP, especially in regard to USB connections. Since he even has problems getting connected to the internet - the knowledge of when to click once and when to doubleclick escapes him every now and then - I wasn't even gonna try and send him the patch and help him install it over the phone. So I went over to his place, uninstalled the previous driver, ran the clean utility of Lexmark and then installed the newest drivers with the patch included.

I did a few tests, reboots, cold boots and the printer remained accessible. I hope this indeed solves it, since he's the only one to have experienced that behaviour before. Typical end-user behaviour I suspect :)

Oh, the joys of end-user support!

Note : Little Wabbit, I read your comment, and was very pleased by it. I'd love to be able to contact you though, without getting you in trouble all the time.

Went shopping

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and I got myself this :

Shopping spree : New shoes and 2 books

A pair of rather cool shoes (KRS) - I actually was looking for a pair in red and white, but they turned out less nice as I presumed - coz the Nike and Adidas versions were waaay overpriced I thought. When I stopped at FNAC, I checked out the English Literature section and spotted a new novel from Douglas Coupland called 'Hey Nostradamus!" and DC being one of my favorite authors I picked it up. The new Alan & Barbara Pease book - Why men lie and women always buy shoes - caught my eye as well, but I picked that one up in the translated (dutch) version.

I also looked for the Hillary Clinton biography, but I think it's not yet released in Belgium since I couldn't find it anywhere.

What else is new? A new pair of pants, food for the ferrets - the reason I actually went to the mall - and that's it I guess. Expensive trip but you can't go running around naked (all the time), can you?

Note : Oh... nothing I bought was on sale... makes sense, doesn't it?

Fuzzies need stuff.

I just got off the phone with Annie from BFL concerning the ferret hotel and the fact that it was fully booked. They'll put the boys (Max & Bono) downstairs, Happy gets to stay in his carrier and the girls (Plush and Tisha) can stay with their own ferrets. I also passed them my order for ferret things to make sure everything is in when I pick them back up on the 22nd.

My order : 10kg of ferret food - 12 kg of litter (yesterdays news) - large bottle of ferretone. It'll be expensive but since I'm there anyway I better pick up what I need.

Now I'm off to the shopping mall to get myself some new clothes (sales started on tuesday) and some ferret food so the fuzzies have something to eat till July 22nd. I also ordered 5 shirts from BMEshop yesterday and they should be arriving in 2 or 3 weeks, so I don't need to get those in the mall.

Oh, if you didn't check out Sluggy Freelance yet - I've linked to it in the previous post - then you might wanna do so... it has an easily distracted ferret called Kiki in it!

New cartoon link

| 9 Comments

I just stumbled upon a cartoon that I kinda like. It's not as explicit as sexy losers, but it has enough "read between the line" content to amuse me. Oh, and some pretty fun jokes too.

However, sometimes it's hard to follow - especially when the characters keep on changing their appearance. Maybe I shouldn't have read all of them in an insane serial way? I've been reading it for the past 2 hours I think... I kinda lost track of time.

I'm gonna put up a link to it at the bottom of this post, but for those that don't come here every day, it'll be in the Web Links section too. Enjoy!

Links : El Goonish Shive
Additional Link : Sluggy Freelance (tip from Nadia, thanks!)

Screwed once more...

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I just got back from Immotheker, which is a network of independent mortgage advisors. They don't charge you anything instead they are paid by the financial institutions they work with. All major and minor banks are evaluated on a daily basis and with some nice calculations they can easily tell you what bank and mortgage is the most interesting for you.

As you might know, I lost my job at the end of March, and now it turns out that after screwing me over for a couple months of pay, my ex boss screws me over once more. I don't have any income right now - except for the unemployment benefits - and banks will not accept my application for a mortgage.

Wait... I can see how that sounds confusing. I've got a mortgage right now, of which I've been paying for the last 5.5 years. However, now that all rates have dropped considerably it might be a good idea to review the current mortgage and possibly replace it with another one with better terms.

I would be able to pay 91.63 euro less each month if I switched banks/mortgage. If I picked a mortgage with a reviewable intrest rate, it could even be € 124.4 a month less! But - and here it comes - no bank would accept me when I only have that unemployment benefit to live on. In other words : you can get a break, you could certainly use a break, but we're not giving it to you. Proof that in order to loan money you need to have money.

Clearly a case of "what we don't know, doesn't hurt us" because right now I make my (considerably higher) payments every month, on time. Which means that my current bank also carries the risk of me not being able to pay them, yet none of the banks will accept a new mortgage based on the same data.

It would be possible if someone was willing to co-sign for the mortgage, but that is something I'd rather not ask anyone, nor do I like the idea. Although the € 1100 I'd save every year would be very welcome.

Am I pissed off by the situation? I certainly am!

Looking outside is a bad idea.

I just stepped outside to make some photographs of the wonderful weather we're having today. After snapping a few shots and looking at them in full size, they turned out to be so depressing that I decided to erase them both from the compact flash as well as my memory.

This morning I was awakened by the doorbell - I hopped out of bed, and found out it was the mailman. He had a package for me from the USA. The posters I ordered arrived in perfect condition. However, less interesting news as well from the e-bay scene. The book I ordered from Germany has not yet arrived, and the seller has not replied to my two last mails. I knew he was out of the country for a while, but they should have returned around june 15th, which gives them more than enough time to read and reply to mails, not? If the book has not arrived by the 15th of this month, or if they have not replied to any of my mails, I'm gonna contact e-bay about it.

60 useless facts about me

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01. ServMe isn't my real name (suprise!).
02. I was born in the city I now live in.
03. I've moved places about 5 times in my life. I think.
04. I've got a terrible long term memory.
05. I am Pisces and happen to love water.
06. I eat almost everything.
07. I've got a few close friends.
08. I became unemployed on March 26th 2003.
09. I worked while I was still studying.
10. I graduated with some honors.
11. I actually liked going to school.
12. I love music, but don't dance.
13. I like swimming but don't do it often enough.
14. I like sex, but... you get the point, right?
15. I'm shy around people I don't know.
16. I've got a habit to check out lighting and stage setups on concerts and plays.
17. My dad has the same habit, so we usually look at the same time.
18. I got my drivers license revoked for 15 days due to speeding.
19. I speak Dutch, English and French and understand a little bit of German.
20. I hardly ever use my French language knowledge so it's very rusty.
21. I've got one younger sister.
22. I used to fight with her all the time. Not anymore.
23. I love animals in general.
24. I'm owned by 5 ferrets.
25. I grew up around cats & dogs and am more a dog as a cat person.
26. I hate ironing but don't mind laundry.
27. I only believe in myself and not in any upper being.
28. I don't attend church nor do I pray for anything.
29. I accept life as it goes by, with all pleasant and less pleasant effects.
30. Autumn is my favorite season.
31. I could lose a few pounds... say 20?
32. I sometimes work out, but usually don't.
33. I've had the same haircut for the past 7 years or so.
34. I dyed my blond twice and might do it again some day.
35. I had my tonsils removed when I was young.
36. I've got 3 tattoos and will get more some day.
37. I'm single.
38. I easily distracted.
39. I dive into something first and think later.
40. I had a releationship for 5 years before we broke up.
41. I have my own place - although the bank owns it for the next 15 years.
42. I spend too much time online.
43. Green used to be my favorite color, but it's changed to blue along the line.
44. I'm a geeky nerd.
45. My CD collection has very different styles of music in it.
46. I've visited Finland, USA and Canada in the last 3 years.
47. I'm trying to make enough money to be able to do what I like.
48. I like helping other people out, and often forget about myself in the process.
49. Taking the difficult path is something I do too often.
50. I've got a sensitive nose and can only handle so much different scents.
51. I'm generally speaking optimistic, maybe even naieve.
52. I love some people with all my heart.
53. I've got one godson, called Alex.
54. I own bicycle.
55. I've been in plaster twice.
56. I can turn of my feelings in emergencies or situations that require it.
57. I have no piercings
58. I drink water most of the time when I'm home.
59. I look like a hard nut, but I've got a soft core.
60. I'm looking for a partner to love, humor and enjoy.

(Borrowed and adapted from the original at Tine's Blah Blah Blog)

Just so you know

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I am switzerland.

Switzerland - A neutral power for as long as most can remember, it has avoided war for several centuries. However, it is still considered highly advanced and a global power.

Positives: Judicial - Neutrality - World-Renouned - Powerful without Force - Makes Excellent Watches, Etc.

Negatives: Target of Ridicule - Constant Struggle to Avoid Conflict - Target of Criminal Bank Accounts.

Tech-babble

After sending the Royal Library of Belgium a mail a few weeks ago to request an ISSN number for friedkitten.com, I didn't receive any reply. I just mailed them again, but this time I used another e-mail address, in the hope they will pass it on to the departement handling ISSN numbers.

Should they fail to get back to me, or for some reason deny my application, I'll take it up with them. Without too much problems I found 20 electronic publications (blogs) with ISSN numbers. I'll present them with those facts, and see if that helps my application. If all else fails, I can still take it to the ISSN headquarters in Paris, France.

Yesterday Mozilla 1.4 was released! I just noticed it today, so I grabbed a copy and installed it. I'm using it as I write here, and it seems pretty nice. I can't really see any obvious changes, but according to the release notes, they did fix quite a few things.

Links : ISSN.org - Royal Library of Belgium - Mozilla.org

Sorry

I feel like I owe all people in Belgium an apology. Why? Because of the bad weather. I dared buying a set of 2 solar powered lamps on sunday, and the result is that rain started pouring down on monday, and no improvement can be expected anytime soon.

I bet the second I install - not that I plan to - some kind of water powered device, it'll stop raining and just become cloudy. Isn't it funny how I can influence the weather of a whole nation? I admit, it's a small nation but I had to start somewhere, right?

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

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