January 2004 Archives

Saturday

Tomorrow I'll be paying Jess & Johan a visit, later on I'm off to Pulderbos to get some work on the car done and in return I'll be cooking for 5 (which makes me wonder who number 5 will be?).

I already have some ideas as to what I'll be cooking for them - some nice wok food.

Joke time

A hunter steps into this pub that's wellknown to all hunters, and its walls are covered with huntingtrophees. He starts talkign to all the other hunters in the pub and suddenly he makes the bold statement that he can identify - blindfolded - what animal was killed and how it was killed, just by feeling the fur.

Impossible the other hunters claim, so they decide to take him up on his bold statement. Each time he is correct, everyone in the pub pays him a round. If he fails, he's gotta pay everyone in the pub one.

A blindfold is produced and a piece of fur is pressed into his hands. After some touching and feeling he says "Grizzlybear" and after examining the shotwound with his finger "Smith & Wesson, double shot"

The other hunters are dumbfounded and the man drinks all the free booze. As there is some doubt, they decide to test him again. One of the hunters walk over to his car, gets out a freshly shot fur and hands it to the blindfolded man. After more touching and feeling, he says "Bengal tiger, Magnum .44".

The crowed cheers and the man drinks himself a delirium on all the free drinks. Totally wasted he gets home and sneaks into the bed, next to his wife. He wakes up with a serious hangover, and when he looks in the mirror he notices huge black eye. He says to his wife that he know that he had quite some to drink mast night, but that he didn't bump into something or got into a fight.

"That's correct, " says the wife "it was me who gave you that".
"Why?" the hungover hunter wonders.
"Because once you got into bed, you starting feeling me up, and once you got to my pussy, you suddenly said : "Skunk, killed by an axe"."

First photographs

As promised, even though a little later than expected.

Car Photograph 1 Car Photograph 2 Car Photograph 3 Car Photograph 4

Car Photograph 5 Car Photograph 6 Car Photograph 7

I've been looking into installing the very nice RAID sports steering wheel that I used to have installed in my Mini in this car, and guess what : it might be possible after all! I found the website of the manufacturer (raid automotive concepts) and at first glance I'll be able to get a hub for this steering wheel so it'll fit my Volvo 440. The steering wheel has quite a history, as I got it from my dad, who used to have it in his own mini!

In and out

Just popping in to check on the ferrets and then back out. Made some good cash this morning, now I get to spend it on things I need.

Moments later... ferrets are OK (asleep), I'm off again!

Gone with the snow

Up early and gone already. Things to do. I'll be back in a few hours.

Boring!

I tried, I really did. But I failed - I just have to tell you that I've been toying around with the various MT templates again, and I've been reading looooong threads about rebuild times, comment posting delays etc. I've turned off automated rebuilding on one template so far, and dropped individual archives for now. First tests show me that nothing broke by doing so, but please : if you run into something that doesn't work, lemme know.

More car stuff*

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I just popped over to the car to to put some things that might come in handy in the trunk : maps of belgium, various towns and cities, a can of defrost spray (that I still had laying around), flashlight that can be connected to the cigarette lighter, ice scraper, some rope etc.

I gave it a start as well and strangely enough, the engine ran right away. Apparently it seems to be easier to start it when it's cold, opposed to when it's warm. Ah, well, we'll see tomorrow.

Next on my task list will be fixed the front panel of a speaker and doing some creative thinking on fixing all kinds of small things. I'll probably be doing those things over the weekend, as tomorrow and friday seem to be rather bad, weatherwise that is.

* hey, gimme a break. At least I'm not boring you with technical or computer related entries this time!

Mobile...

So, here I am - safely at home! Thanks for the support Tine, I made it back :)

Nadia, my car is by far a "new" car... I hope to make some photographs of it tomorrow, as it's getting way too dark already. It runs pretty good and sweet, much better than I ever expected for a '89 model. The only thing that I've been fighting with a bit is to get it to start. I've never driven a model where you had to choke before starting, and it often takes me a few times before it does what it needs to do. Oh well, I guess it's just getting the hang of it.

I gave it a quick wash in a self carwash - nothing fancy or excellent scrubbing - to get it a bit clean and have a protective wax coating on it. A lot of snow is expected tomorrow.

I also picked up a saftey triangle, medical kit and fire extinguisher (all required items) and filled it up. Expensive things, cars :(

It stopped snowing

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and the weather is fine now. Phew. I'll be off in about 10 to 15 minutes to pick up my wheels. I'm slightly excited.

Aw, crap!

They gotta be kidding me! I just took a look outside and it's bloody snowing. Not just a little snow either, but big bad large frozen water flakes too. This sucks balls, especially since I would have liked not to take a car that I'll be driving for the first time today out in these weatherconditions.

It's been somewhere like 10 months since I drove - well, there have been drives with other cars in the mean time, but nothing serious - so I suppose that I might have lost some of the traffic "sense" that you need and have when you're out there every day. It could be a very interesting afternoon - at least I'm insured :)

Spam complaint? Read this!

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This entry is staying on top for a while

Regular blog updates will be posted below

Have you received spam that appears to have come from my e-mail address?? I have NOTHING to do with that. I'm the victim of a Joe Job, where a spammer used my address as the reply address to spam mail he send out. I did not send you any spam, let that be very clear!

What can you do?

1. Report the spam mail with full headers to your ISP and/or the authorities dealing with spam, UBE and UCE.

2. If you want to get in touch with the ISP of the spammer - if possible at all - submit the spam mail to SpamCop to get a quick overview of the originating server and what servers and accounts have been used and abused by these spammer(s). (requires free registration before you can use it)

3. Doing step 2 will clearly show you that I am NOT involved in this, short of being the victim, just like you.

How can you protect yourself?

1. Turn off HTML in your mails. Don't allow your mail client to load images and scripts. These are often used to track that their mail has been received and confirms the spammer that your address is a good one. Here's an example of such a tracker : http:[email protected]/adsx/xxxx.gif

I've replaced the code with xxxx because I of course don't want to spammer to know my address is good. If your browser or e-mail client shows the mail, it'll request the gif image xxxx.gif from the spammers server, and by a quick analyzing of their logfiles they can verify what addresses read the mail. They're sneaky bastards.

2. Make sure your computer is not infected with trojans, ar viruses. Quite a lot of viruses released over the past year attempt to turn your PC into a Zombie - it comes under control of spamgangs who then use it as an open proxy to relay their illegal activities. The result is that you get all the heat and they get away without a scratch.

I've contacted joker.com - because they are the registrar of the domain used in the spam - to see if they can kill the domain asap. Apparently no action has been taken so far (january 25th)

Update january 23rd : As if that first spam run wasn't enough, my address has now been forged in a mail promoting "unique herbs" that'll make your dick bigger, better etc. The fun thing is that the spammer doesn't even have web bugs, trackers or an URL in the mail. If you ask me, that's enough proof that only complete morons use spam and UCE to make a point.

Update january 25th : yet another spam run in which I've been Joe Jobbed, this time for viagra, or maybe I should write "V1agr@!" ? I'm getting fed up and tired with these idiots, but I won't budge. I've contacted both my registrar and hosting provider, informing them of the ongoing attacks, so they are aware that (incorrect) angry complaints might be coming their way.

Undeliverable (bounced) mails received so far : 117 (since january 22nd)

Regular blog updates will be posted below

How do you spell idiot?

Well, I'd say : S e r v M e would be a good attempt. I took a short break from my online things that I was doing because I suddenly realized I'd have to pick up some food if I wanted to eat today. Stepped out into a bit of rain, but nothing major. After I had taken about 5 steps I realized that this wasn't just a bit of rain. I was walking through a mixture of rain, melting snow and lots of wind. By the time I got to the supermarket I was soaked and freezing.

All because I thought I'd have to get food *now*. I could have waited because there was enough time before the store closed, but no... To make things worse, I bought two bottles of ketjap sauce at full price instead of one bottle of ketjap and one bottle of soy sauce at a discount. I rock, don't I?

Anyway - tomorrow I'll be getting the car. If weather permits, I'll put up some photographs tomorrow evening.

Their Doom, not mine

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It's funny... the Novarg/MyDoom virus that is apparently doing the rounds hasn't hit me yet. I recall the SoBig worm/virus that struck last year : within minutes after I learned about it's existence, I was hammered with copies of it in my mailboxes. MyDoom seems to try to avoid me though, as I've not yet received any notice from my ISP's AV solution either which leads me to believe that no copy of it yet has even tried to reach me - bizarre.

When I checked the bipt.be site today, they finally picked up on the new virus and had an advisory up. It took them about 11 hours to do so, which if you ask me, is way too long for a site that claims to deliver emergency warnings about computer virusses.

Sure, it's better than nothing and I suppose it serves it's purpose for those that are slower than a turtle to know about these things, but if you know that the Novarg/MyDoom virus can send out several infected mails per minute using it's own smtp engine, it doesn't take a scientist to do the math : 11 hours = 660 minutes. Even at only 1 mail per minute - although this virus might be able to send out a tenfold every 30 seconds - this allows 1 infected machine to potentially infect 660 others.

When I write this, desinfection tools are already available, in addition to signature updates that I mentioned before. Before you read your mail, update your virusscanner.

Virus/Worm Outbreak

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I've gotten this info independently from two people that work for an international anti-virus company, and if they yell fire, you better be certain something is going on. Right now the new virus is not yet picked up by virusscanner - I've checked various AV sites - although it is out there and spreading. For the moment it's being referred to as MyDoom, My.Doom or someting like that. As I said, info is pretty scarce.

Keep you scanners up to date and in the mean time, don't open or run attachments you didn't ask for!

Some details (as posted on blogroll.co.uk):

It seems to travel as a file called documents.exe.scr or something similar, also in a ZIP file sometimes.

This actually arrived at my home machine before I even knew it was spreading. My file name was documents.zip, and inside is documents.htm.scr

Be smart people, and beware!

Update : a virus signature is now available for most virusscanners, and the virus is referred to as W32/MyDoom-A, with aliases Mimail.R, Novarg.A, Shimg, [email protected], [email protected]

Story also on ZDNet : New virus hitting inboxes

I actually did things today

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Let's see :

1. ordered license plate
2. contacted peeps in regard to FTP access I'll need soon
3. mailed out a job application
4. picked up license plate
5. picked up stamps to do more job applications
6. got food to tonight (will be making a wok meal)
7. confirmed an appointement for thursday morning (yikes, morning!)
8. upgraded the gallery software on my server
9. answered all kinds of mails and tech questions.

Photogallery upgrade

I had to take the photogallery offline for a few minutes because I had to patch some things - there's been a rather important security fix that needed to be installed asap - so that's what I did. You probably won't notice much difference apart from a slightly changed look, but there are some new possibilities in this release that I'll be checking out later.

Finally licensed...

It has arrived! I woke up early'ish today, got to the mailbox and there it was : a large brown envelope containing my license plate... finally. It was the last thing I was waiting for before I could go pick up my set of wheels. People, watch out - I'll be back on the streets soon :)

Update : I'll be picking up my car on wednesday afternoon.
Update 2 : I'll be picking up my reproduction license plate for the front this afternoon.

Oops

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I promised you a "life" update, didn't I? I could tell you that I totally forgot about it of course, but the truth is that due to the fact that I don't have a life, I can't give you such an update. Instead, I give you fuzzy pictures (click the thumbnail for a 800x600 sized picture).

Because they are my life.

Ferrets Photograph 1 Ferrets Photograph 2 Ferrets Photograph 3 Ferrets Photograph 4 Ferrets Photograph 5

*Kiss*

While I can't make promises yet, I'll try to blog some real life things tomorrow - technically speaking today - to make up for the abundance of techy posts lately.

I do realize that those tech and site related posts are not interesting for the general population, and I doubt their value for the geek population, but you gotta remember that this is *my* blog so I can do what I fuckin' want with it.

Banning proxies

I've been finetuning and adding some defence to the blog, especially in regard to comment spam and trackbacks. Currently 64 IP's of known and confirmed open proxies - almost all operating from China - have been put onto a ban list, and while it shouldn't affect 99,99% of my regular comment writers, it might have some unforseen consequences.

I added a warning to the comment posting screen and actually considered installing a CAPTCHA system as well, but that would have required me to hack into a few MT modules and with the recent releases of new versions, possible incompatibilities with other plugins etc, I decided not to implement it for now. Maybe one day if the situation calls for it.

If you run into problems, just gimme a yell, will you? I'll then look into it and possibly even fix it ;)

Upgrades and delays

Apparently I missed the release of Movable Type 2.661 almost a week ago, and I only recently found out that it had been released. I wonder why there hasn't been a mailinglist annoucement, coz I don't think I missed it.

I've only upgraded one of my sites (bodymodification.be) to it for now, as there seems to be a problem with MT2.661 and MT-Blacklist 1.62. Jay Allen is working hard on releasing a fix for the blacklist (a beta version is available in case you want to help test it) so I figure he'll be able to get the problems worked out over the next days. While I don't really suffer from comment spam (knock on wood) I don't think I'll be taking my chances in combining two scripts that have known problems right now.

I'll be upgrading friedkitten.com and Alex Blogje to MT 2.661 and the fixed blacklist in due time.

Update : both sites have been moved to MT2.661 as Jay released MT-Blacklist 1.63rc1 a few minutes ago. Everything still seems to work fine.

Spamtastic!

I just received a first "bounce" mail and a quick inspection told me what I feared : one of my e-mail address is used in a spam run which will probably result in it being flooded with bounces soon, or - if I'm "lucky" - the spammer had a good and up to date list with only a very low percentage of bad addresses. In that case a ton of idiots will contact their ISP to complain that I spammed them - something I clearly didn't do.

Analyze the headers, fuckers! You'll notice soon enough that I have nothing to do with it! Anyway, I really really would like to see a working verify-before-accept mail system put in use soon, or set up a Tagged Message Delivery Agent (see TMDA) although that wouldn't save me from forged return addresses being dropped in mails.

I've got junkmail quite well under control here, yet I don't like - even hate - my domains and addresses getting connected to spam mail, and if I get the chance to hunt down and terminate spammers, I do.

Is there hope?

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As I was blogsurfing I stumbled upon this entry over at In My Opinion 3.0 : Bush's "war on terror" is a failure.

Read that first, then feel free to check out my points of view on it, as presented here.

In the last paragraph you seem to focus too much on Al Aqaeda and Muslim terrorists. All extremist fanatics are dangerous, no matter what they believe in. Religion is just a means for them to gather lots of support and has nothing to do with their view itself. What my point is, is that a religion itself poses no problem, not even if it sees certain things differently as an other religion. The fanatics are making it problematic.

How we - as a global and international community - can solve this, I wouldn't know. I totally agree that a long term plan based on equality and education is the path to take. However, certain politicians don't even consider the "long and winding road" but sell the uninformed mass a quick (and meaningless not to say lost) effort : war.

A few small victories, a few pockets filled, and an "after I step down I'll be happy and rich, let the next generation figure it out" attitude. Unless people start seeing and realizing that, there really is no chance to get through it all. It's just a matter of time before the final spark is lit and it's the end of civilisation as we know it.

Sweet, no sweat

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I just got back in one piece. Been on the road for about 5 hours just to get my insurance fixed (although I did some other things too) but it was worth.

Hopped on a tram to the center of Antwerp, then onto a bus a few minutes after I arrived which got me into walking distance of my destination. I had copies made of my drivers license, my ID card and they'd handle the application for license plates (which saves me from trying to get to the people that handle that, as well as the post office to pick up special tax stamps) and I was back out in under 10 minutes.

Back onto the bus, and when I got back to Antwerp I decided to first get some food - non-healthy though - before I finally would enter Media Markt for the first time. Going by reviews from friends the place is cheap and then have everything, and it turned out to be true. Definitely not a place where I should spend too much time, or I'd be coming home with lotsa stuff. I did control myself quite well and only got what I needed : a birthday gift for my sister. If you read this sis, I'll have it with me next time we meet, or feel free to come pick it up!

I just got a call from the insurance company that I talked to on friday and they told me that they couldn't get data from the leasing company, and thus had no history about me. Without history, no insurance. Suits me fine, especially since I got a very very nice deal (BM 02 anyone?) at the place I'm insured now, and no questions asked.

Sure, it cost me about 10 euro and 4 hours of my time, but for a yearly price difference in my favor of about 200 - 250 euro, I don't mind :)

Gone with the wind, sorta

I'm off to get my car insurance fixed. I'll be back in a few hours - hopefully.

No mail today

Which also means no replies to job applications I've done, nothing from the insurance company and no phonecalls either. I feel like I'm on a deserted island somewhere.

The positive thing about it all : no bills either.

Turkey Sub

Yesterday I got to pick up lotsa ferret food, and ferret litter - what goes in, must come out you know - thanks to Jess & Johan who were so nice to play taxi for me. I just hope I can get the whole car insurance thing sorted out next week so I can pick the damn thing up and drive already!

I woke up around eleven today and was listening to the radio when I fell back asleep. Before I knew it, three 'o clock rolled around and I decided to get out of bed. Man, it's damn hard to tear yourself from those "almost real" dreams, especially when they are very pleasing.

Tonight another episode of 24, where Jack chases a nuclear device hidden somewhere in LA. What a crappy plot if you ask me, but it'll all turn out to be intense I guess. I liked the first series of it, so let's just hope this one is equally good.

[Turkey Sub - the title of the mix I'm listening to.]

New things

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Signatures for some new virusses have been released, so now would be a good time to make sure your AV scanner is up-to-date. Mozilla 1.6 was released, go check it out. I've been playing with my webcams again - had to dust some of them off, and follow cables to actually find them.

They are not broadcasting for the general public though, I may bring them - and the complete webcam site - back online some day, but I think it is just a new spark of interest for the time being.

Insurance woes :(

Damn, this insurance thingy could get slightly more difficult as I expected. I just got back from a DVV office to see what conditions they'd give me, but they of course asked for a history from the past years in regard to car insurance.

I explained to them that I had been insured in my own name in 1996-1997, but afterwards always have driven company cars that were leased. So, they asked me whether the company would be able to give them an overview, but since the company is bankrupt, that's gonna be hard. So now they'll get in touch with the leasing company - and those won't be too happy with it I guess, as they've been fucked for even more money as the employees were - not to take into account that all the accidents I had when I was younger will probably completely mess up my chances to get insured now.

I'll see what happens and in the mean time also get in touch with the insurance broker that insured me when I started driving my first car, an austin Mini back in 1996 (I believe)

Yeah!

Kenny just stopped at my place to drop off the legal documents for the car I'm buying from him, so within seconds I'm off to the insurance broker to get that part completed and then I gotta wait for my license plates to arrive.

Slacking

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I've been slacking on blog updates, and to be honest, I don't know why. Bono's leg ain't better yet, although he doesn't seem too bothered by it as he still runs around the place as if nothing is wrong. Ferrets are strange, let me tell you.

I just got back from a meeting with the VDAB people in regard to my job hunting and we talked it all through. In april an interesting course starts, and they'd keep me up to date on it. Looks good.

On friday - providing everything goes according to plan - I'll have the papers of my soon-to-be car so I can get insurance and request license plates for it. This could mean I'll finally be mobile somewhere next week, let's just hope so.

Tomorrow I'll be attending a funeral - not really my preferred way to spend time - but as it concerns someone that I care about, I hope our attendance will give him some support.

A new patch (rated as important) has been released by microsoft that handles a buffer overflow vulnerablility in MDAC. Time to point the browsers to windows update or read the security bulletin. Affected : various Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 systems.

Bono limps

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When I let the ferrets out of their cage a few hours ago, I noticed that Bono - my albino male - was walking kinda funny, as if one of his hind paws wasn't awake yet. I kept an eye on him as he was going through the room and he clearly tries to avoid using his right hind leg, and when I push it, he seems to lack power to push back.

I checked his left one, everything seems to be ok there, so that leads me to believe that it's not paralyzed in any way. He probably hurt it somehow, although I wouldn't know how he managed to do it in his cage. Yesterday he was fine as far as I remember, and I didn't notice any screams or panic in the hours between. Maybe he fell out of his mammock and landed badly?

Anyway, I've transferred him out of their three story cage into their carrier where I supplied him with food, litter, water and some towels. That should keep him safe and give him some rest. I'll keep monitoring for the rest of the week to see if it gets worse, or starts to improve. If nothing changes or it gets worse, I'll be off to the vet.

Car update : it's been pushed back at least one day, as the guy who's selling it will only get his new car on thursday instead of wednesday. He told me he'd keep me updated by phone, which is cool.

Rodent replacement?

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I've been using the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer for the past 3, maybe even 4 years and I've loced it from day one. It's a slightly large unit so for people with tiny hands it could be a problem, but not for me. However, over the past days it's been behanving erractically.

At the most inconvenient times it decides to disconnect itself from the USB connection, and then power back on a few seconds later and reconnect, restoring functionality. Quite irritating if you ask me, especially because there seems to be no cause and effect relation. It sometimes happens when I'm moving it around, sometimes when it's not in use at all. Anyway, as long as it powers back up afterwards, I don't mind if that much - it's just a slight interruption that pisses me off, but nothing more.

However, I'd say that in about 20% of the cases, the unit powers down and remains down. I don't get the USB disconnect/reconnect audio warning, it just seems to die and remain that way. The only solution is to either sit and wait for it to come back - something that can take everywhere from 10 seconds to minutes, even hours - or to pull the USB cable and reinsert it. Both solutions are a pain in the ass I must say. That's the reason why I hooked up a spare USB mouse to my USB hub - if the IntelliMouse dies on me, I just move my hand slightly and continue working with the replacement rodent.

Mind you, all of this is occuring with a unit that is at least 3 or 4 years old, and has been used extensively. I suppose that my choice to stick with the MS product is a clear indication of how good it actually is, even if it fucks up every now and then. Maybe it would be time to get a new one?

Links : MS IntelliMouse Explorer customer reviews at Amazon - Is the IntelliMouse a very sick pointer? - MS IntelliMouse Explorer Review - IntelliMouse Explorer, The mouse of the future? - Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer

Darn

A plummer is tearing up the place again, for the 3rd time or so in less than 2 weeks. Apparently, there's a pretty big leak somewhere and that causes the hallway at ground level to get seriously soaked when anyone in the building uses water in their kitchen.

Why the 3rd time? Because it all happened in the last week of last year, he came by and fixed it - but that fix was reported to be unreliable within hours after he left, so he had to come back. Today they are breaking up the kitchen of the neighbors of the first floor, in order to find and fix the problem for good. I would really see something move in this matter, because not being able to let water flow in your kitchen sink is quite irritating, and that's an understatement.

It also means no laundry machine that can be used, no dishwasher, and wheneven I need to get rid of some water I gotta run to the toilet or bathroom. It's a bit strange to run around naked all the time because you ran out of clean clothes, and eat straight from the wrapping food came in due to the lack of clean plates, bowls and the like, but hey... it'll all be fixed one day, right? Right!

Voyage Voyage

Time for an update I'd say... it's been a few days, but nothing really exciting has been happing, so I didn't feel like boring you to death.

On friday we went out to the pub to play tablesoccer competition - we won, but not really thanks to me - and that's about it. Let's look at some newsfacts instead, maybe more interesting things are going on there :

Tatu : according to recent disclosures, the girls admit that they are not lesbians at all. It was only a commercial move in order to help sales. Should we be suprised?

Traffic & Justice : A woman in the US was convicted to keeping a photograph of the man she killed with her for five year, in addition to 30 days in jail. She killed him in June 2002, as she drove her car into oncoming traffic while talking on her mobile phone and being drunk. The crash caused one male to die and his pregnant wife remains in a coma.

The baby was delivered by means of a caesarian five months after the accident, and is being raised by friends of the couple. The convicted woman refuses to carry the photograph with her, because it portrays the victim in his coffin. According to her lawyer this is "very cruel and unjust". Duh, you killed him, bitch. What did you expect his parents would do? Hand you a photograph showing him as a kid? You're pretty lucky that I wasn't that judge, I tell you.

[Desireless was playing as I wrote this entry]

Numbers can be scary

I've just been doing the wrap up of some paperwork, bills and other assorted stuff and while I was doing so, I did a quick calculation of my average expenditure per month, based on last year. It's actually very easy to do, since I have monthly totals of everything...

These are averages per month, based on data from 2003 :

Food & living : € 208.78
Leisure : € 130.31 (this suprised me a lot. I thought it would be less)
The ferrets : € 109.80 (a few surgeries caused such a high number)
Clothes etc. : € 21.00
Bills : € 495.42 (scary, isn't it?)
Undefined : € 37.25
Fixed costs (mortgage etc) : € 617.39

When comparing these figures with data of 2002 (although partial as I somehow managed to loose july & august 2002, but I compensated for it) I can easily spot where I saved and what took a bigger part of the budget this year :

Food : -9.75%
Leisure : +41.14% (wow! Gotta cut back here)
The ferrets : +203.23% (reason is known - and was unavoidable)
Clothes etc. : -63.96%
Bills : +65.83% (yikes! Did everything get that more expensive?!)
Undefined : -27.33%
Fixed costs (mortgage etc) : 0%

The explenation

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As Dimi suggested, I took out my good old "book of dreams" and started to look for an explenation of my dream. Even with this book, a dream can be interpreted in quite a few ways...

Clouds : the clouds darken the sky of our success. Especially thunderclouds announce setbacks that are capable of destroying things. Other clouds, on the contrary announce positive things and happiness. (also see lightning, thunderstorm and heaven/sky)


Since my dream had no thunderstorms or lightning, I decided to go for heaven/sky.

Heaven : The mythological reign of the gods symbolises big and creative ideas, a heavenly feeling while awake. If the sky is blue and clear, fortune awaits the dreamer. If the sky is clouded, this shows a depression in real life, which could be caused by a lack of success. A clear sky full of stars equals money and profits.

In this case, the sky was clouded, although not with thunderclouds. So my guess would be that even though I'm depressed, happiness and good things await me?

Wallet : remember the wallet? This is its meaning. A wallet symbolizes the psychological values as described under "Money". An empty wallet, vault or safe symbolizes the loss of feelings but also a lack of mental strength.

In my dream, the wallet was still full, but it wasn't mine. It was my dads. Let's look deeper into Money though.

Money : Bills or coins symbolize mental energy. Those who find money in a dream will gain mental energy, as if they are recharged. Those who lose money, will probably lose a special ability or regret certain emotional impulses. Money symbolizes psychic values like potence or impotence, profit or loss, poverty or richness. It's important to know the origin of the money, where it is received or lost, as well as the colors and numbers on the bills/coins. Some analysts believe that coins - golden coins in particular - would be signs of great achievements in love and life, while silver coins are the same for women. For women, the image of money in a dream would almost always have a sexual meaning to it.

Since the wallet nor the money was mine, I think it would be safe to leave that direction. Maybe the dream just told me that others are doing fine? Let's take a look at "Motel/Hotel".

Hotel : a stay in a hotel is a station in a certain way a substation in our path of life. A hotelroom therefore is a somewhat dubious, unpersonal space where we stay. Other guests are shadows of ourselves. Something in our deeper self seems to be travelling in a subconcious way. Keep an eye open for the names of hotels (they are often names of animals), because they might help you connect the journey of ourselves with the situation.

I didn't see a name of the hotel, nor do I think the other guests were shadows of myself. I know who they were : family (and possibly friends). Let's take a closer look at "dad" first.

Dad : This is a very longer entry, so I'll be summarizing it. It's the representation of the rational and traditional, symbol of the functionality of the active concious and mental strength. A dad appearing in a dream usually enlightens us with the facts of life in relation to the mind.

Well, my dad has always been and still is the voice of reason. He looks for an explenation and a rational one perferably. That would also be in line with him explaining to me how clouds "work". My idea? He's around to help me if needed. Next on the list is "birds".

Birds : are a creature of the air, mentally and psychologically explainable as the things that keep us busy in daily life. A bird can symbolize the soul, but certain specific species - like the owl - also hidden wisdom, or the raven that equals darkness and unhappiness. If birds are helplessly moving around in a room, this symbolizes a somewhat confused state of mind that one wants to escape. If birds fly free and without hinder through the sky, this suggests a free mind and troublefree soul. It's very hard to pinpoint the exact species of birds in a dream, and each one of them has their own meaning.

This entry was the most interesting so far, and also what I remember best. Those two coulds/birds were trapped in a room, and I set them free. The question is : do they symbolize my own mind and ideas or do I help someone else becoming free and without trouble? After having read the entry, I think I've set free myself, hence the relief, collapsing and crying afterwards. Let's take a look at "Crying".

Crying : In most cases these are tears of joy, that can bring light into the daily life. Only when one cries in a dream without a direct cause, this can symbolize sorrow and pain in an awakened state. Those who cry over a dead person, will heal, when he feels ill. He'll be able to risk a new beginning because the worst is gone.

Oh, those were definitely tears of joy, and it was a very emotional outburst too. One of the birds helped me take of a bandage from my wrist, so let's see what "wounds/bandage" means.

Bandage : the bandage that he get in a dream symbolizes a state of hurt while awake, maybe caused by an insult, but it also can symbolize ones own wrong attitude towards other people. Also check "Wound".

Wound : a wound in a dream doesn't hurt but means our soul has been confused, that we should alter our rythm of life in order to rise above psychological misery.

Wow... this makes sense, doesn't it? The last - but not least - element to look up is "Family".

Family : Dreams about the own family can usually be interpreted as positive, unless one has an argument with the family in the dream. Members of the family often equal good or bad tempered people in real life.

Wow... what an analysis! All these things confirm in a way what I felt during and after the dream : a sense of positive energy, a release of what has been holding me back and limiting. Maybe even a new start with the support and knowledge that others are there to lend a hand when needed.

I could have dreamt about naked cheerleaders and lots of sex, but honestly : I'm much more pleased with this dream. Bright birds flying away, nothing can beat that!

What a ride!

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Whoa... I just had the weirdest dream ever as far as I can remember. It had something to do with the clouds and what they are. I was looking out the window in a room (I think a motel room) and suddenly noticed that although the pattern of clouds in the sky changes all the time, the individual clouds themselves didn't. They'd rotate, and move in the x and y axis, but never lose their unique shape - when I told someone who was in the room with me, they told me I was insane. I told them again and now someone moved over to the window to take a look with me.

I believe it was my dad and while I said "look at the horizon, go slightly up and you see that specific cloud over there?", he nodded. "Now keep an eye on it", and while we both did we saw the cloud rotate, move, tumble but never lose it's structure.

After looking at the clouds for a while, we seem to have left the room because when we returned to it, I was dicussing another fact with him that had struck me as strange : all the clouds moved in the same direction and while he was giving me a scientific explenation for it, I said to Hilda "frozen water, electrons and ions... I don't care, I've never been good at chemistry!" and we opened the door to the motel room. As my dad and I set foot inside, we noticed it had been trashed so we told the others to remain outside while we took a look.

It was like there had been a burglary but when we noticed my dads wallet on the floor, I picked it up and a quick look revealed that everything was still there. The others came in and started discussing things. Then someone made this remark :

"Wow, it must have been two thunderclouds, instead of regular winds." Before we left, someone reached outside, opened and closed their hands, capturing a part of a cloud and released it inside as a hoke. Somehow this ran a bell with me and I walked over to the first window to open it.

Nothing happened, but when I slid open the other window, I saw a bright spot move against it. I very slowly and carefully moved my hands around the spot and then it materialised : I had the smallest bird ever caught in my hands. It had a bright white appearance with a purplish shine to it - like a blacklight that had been turned on. I slid the window open even more and opened my hands. The bird looked at me, and flew off.

Then I noticed a second bird that somehow got trapped between the two panes of the window so I slid it close again, carefully grabbed the other bird - which looked just the same as the previous one - opened the window again and the bird just sat on my hand for a few seconds, looking intensely at me. It then flew away but immediately returned and landed on the palm of my hand. It started picking at some bandage I had been wearing on my wrist and I helped it by undoing a small part of it. It picked once more, got the loose end and then the bright bird removed all of the bandage for me. It dropped it on the window ledge and flew off.

I stared after it - I had come in touch with something that most people wouldn't even believe in : the spirit of a cloud. I backed away from the window, closed it and walked, almost stumbled, over to the bench in the hallway where I collapsed, crying and full of emotion when everything sunk in. People asked what was wrong with me... that's when I woke up, crying.

Pretty weird dream, don't you think? Actually seeing and feeling the spirit of a thundercloud, holding it in your hand - wonderful experience.

Duh!

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I just managed to delete a mail that was important. Actually, I managed to tag it for deletion although it was whitelisted in MailWasher Pro, then I cleared the history of POPFile - where I also could have retrieved it - so the lesson to be learned here is simple : 2 preview screens and one backup system cannot prevent a distracted operator.

Kenny, could you resend that last mail please? (Got it, thanks!)

I went shopping - sales have started - and managed to get myself 3 new pants, and a belt. I'm not totally pleased with the pants 'coz they never seem to have my size in the cool stuff, but they'll do. I also picked up a toner cartridge for that HP LaserJet 6L that had been standing around here for over two years, damn those things are expensive!

To make some room on my desk, I removed the old Trust 9600 scanner (since it didn't work on XP anyway) and while I was under my desk I found 2 power adaptors for things that don't seem to be present or used anymore. One of them was a UK power adaptor for a very old digital camera that I probably threw away a few months ago, and then there was a wireless headphone set that only was used to gather dust. I noticed an unused network cable as well - probably had it around because I was doing some testing - so I got that out of the cable mess too.

The LasterJet works fine after printing 5 test pages, and removing a piece of paper that probably got stuck in there 5 years ago.

I also picked up some blank CD's to backup some things, because some of my drives are definitely overloaded : less than 1% free space on a 20GB disk, that's what I call over the top.

The search is on...

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I've just started searching for an affordable but still drivable second/third/fourth hand car. There are so many cars out there and each time I look at one, I think "why are they selling it? What's gonna be wrong with it? Is it worth the xxx they ask?".

I realize that you won't know until you actually go out there and take a look up close, but even then... I'll be counting on that set of wheels for the next year or two years or so, and I'd like to survive.

Anyway, I've asked my dad to keep an eye open and help me check out some cars that I prescreened - mainly because I know NOTHING about cars except how to drive them. I've just never been into cars much, so on a technical level you could almost make me believe anything, which is a rather bad situation when buying.

It doesn't need to be speedy, hip, nice or flashy - but it's gotta be cheap, maintainable and last me at least a year or two without it breaking down in a major way.

If you happen to know someone who is selling their car, you trust them and the car is still in good condition, gimme a yell or leave contact information/details in the comments, will you?

Here's what I'm looking for :

Price : € 500 to € 1200
Looks : doesn't matter as long as it's safe (and passes testing)
Quality : shouldn't break down in less than 2 years
Brand : I don't care
Fuel : doesn't matter
Transmission : manual (stickshifted)
Type : 3 door, 5 door, break, 4x4, whatever

A round of... please

I've been playing around with some very tiny things on the blog - I've made the "category label" link to the list with all entries in that category, and it does so everywhere, except of course in the category archive itself.

While I tested the site with IE - I sometimes feel that I just have to launch that monstrosity - I noticed that IE once again complained about errors on the page, even though nor Mozilla nor the W3C XHTML validator complain about anything.

I started looking at the output and source of the page to see if I could pinpoint any problems at the line and character count that IE referred to. I soon enough realized that I didn't escape some characters in my category descriptions and as they are publicized through javascript, that just had to be the problem. Instead of looking for a way to escape them - which is normally done by using a backslash - I rewrote some of the description and now IE has got nothing to complain about anymore. So, there you go, whining browser :)

And there you are, dear reader... I go hunting down browser specific bugs at three in the morning, just for you. How's that for service?

(Applause)

Ah, thank you. You're welcome.

Happy birthday Sis!

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Yeah, today my sister celebrates her 29th birthday... she's getting old :) Actually, when I called her earlier today to wish her all the best she told me she was suffering from a cold. Certainly not the best way to celebrate if you ask me, but these things of course don't stay away because you ask them to.

Anyway, congratulations and gett well messages go in the comment section below, I'll make sure she gets them.

Seems like good news

is coming my way. I can't confirm or deny anything yet, but if it all is going as expected, I might be able to do some things I haven't been able to do in a long time...

I'll have to work on my list of things that are "essential", "are interesting but non essential" and "luxury". If I'd chose to get all "essential" things done, there wouldn't be much left for "non-essential" and next to nothing for "luxury". Oh well, water under the bridge and I'll deal with everything as it comes along!

Whahaha

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Although I've been connected to the web for quite a few years - over a decade actually - some things still amaze me every now and then. I often review experiences and articles and there was this one submission that made me wonder.

It all started off quite normally with a guy describing how he got his eyebrow pierced but near the end he suddenly said something like this (translated from Dutch) :

"I said goodbye and walked back to the car. Of course my mom had to see the piercing before we went back home. It seems that I made a very good choice in jewelry because she thought it was very sexy. When we got home she got so horny that she followed me to my room, undressed me and started sucking my dick. It was her birthday gift to me : she deflowered me. I didn't say no of course. It was simply fabulous. After having fucked her (also pierced) pussy I put my 20cm dick in her ass and fucked her hard and deep. When she felt the vibrations in my dick, signalling that I was about to come, she turned around and started sucking my dick again. I sprayed my cum all over her face and in her mouth and she swallowed it all."

Now, what a story, don't you think? If you ask me, it's fake and the guy is just phantasizing about his mom sucking his dick and letting him fuck her cunt and cream her face, but the funny thing is that he submitted that thing under a real name and e-mail address. So I set out to see what I could dig up. In a matter of minutes, I found his homepage, phonenumber, address and all. Not a picture of his mom though, lol.

I decided to send him a mail to see if I can get him to confirm his statements in regard to his adventure with his mom - yeah, I'm that evil - while at the same time letting him know that I don't buy it at all. I'm curious to see how or whether he'll reply ;)

Yip Yip

It's snowing!!! And not just in my head :) The person that called me a few seconds ago, please call again. I'm available now.

Waaaahhhhh!

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The party in Speciels that started off slowly and didn't seem to be much fun turned out to be quite fun after all. I saw the woman (Tamara) that Joco told me about in advance and I gotta hand it to him : she doesn't kiss bad at all.

The thing is that she looks kinda cool, but I don't know... Joco knows me and I guess he won't be suprised when I say this : she ain't got "it" - that click, that spark, that "wow!" feeling. I did however notice a damn cute lady with short black hair, glasses, and a infinite energy as it seems. Man, I'm almost sure she would be "the source" if I was a character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

What's even more is that I made moves, yes I did. I did take the long way though and first started chatting with the lady she kept on dancing with to try to get some more information. It turns out cutie comes to the same place we often hang out, although at different times. That's a solvable problem I figure.

You know what the less positive news is though? Age. I just don't get it but why are all the superb energetic chicks so young? While I was asking around it turned out she was 16 or 17, which is a tad bit out of my league.

Well, I gotta correct that, there is at least one fabulous lady that I know that has the right age, the right looks and a wonderful character. That's why I sent her an SMS around midnight (from my sisters mobile phone, so if you read this, Little Wabbit, don't reply to that number!).

Wrapping the evening up, this is what I have to say : chocolate, banana, 2 strawberry and one regular left, but I did enjoy myself quite a lot. If this is how 2004 is gonna be for me, I ask you "where do I sign?".

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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