May 2004 Archives

Timemanagement? No, not really.

It's the end of the month, and although it doesn't mean much, I'm somehow glad it is. I just got home from work - while most other people had a day off I presume - and I'll be off to work again tomorrow at 07h15 at the latest. That leaves me 9 hours to do the following : eat (2 times), prepare food to eat at work (1), sleep, take care of the ferrets, shower, brush teeth, read mail. Let's break that down :

Sleep : 6 hours (if possible), so that leaves me 3 hours. Eat twice and prepare food : 45 minutes, leaving 2 hours and 15 minutes. Shower, brush teeth etc : 30 minutes. Time left : 1 hour and 45 minutes. Take care of the ferrets : 2x 30 minutes minimum, leaving 45 minutes to read my mail, and do all kinds of small chores I didn't even think of yet like taking the trash out, emptying the dishwasher etc.

I gotta run!

Fucking wankers

June 28th, Missy Elliott, Kelis and Talib Kweli in concert. Although I've never heard of Kweli, Kelis and Missy Elliott I do know! Sounds like an interesting concert, maybe I should go?

Checking my work schedule for June 28th : screw it, I gotta work - why am I not suprised?!

I've been wearing my glasses all day long yesterday and while the first hour or two were making my head hurt, my eyes seem to adapt really quick. I'm feeling much better right now.

Lol, I just called the person who's been appointed responsable for election booth 214 on June 13th to tell them I couldn't help out, and my call was answered by a sleepy male voice. Because it answered with another name as I expected I made sure I had the correct number, and he said "wait, that's my girlfriend you have to talk to" and handed the horn to her. Another sleepy voice "Hello, this is Peggy?" I again said that I wouldn't be able to help out on the 13th and that I would send in the evidence this week. She didn't even ask for my name and just said "OK, thank you." and that was the end.

Now you could say that it's too early to call people on a sunday, but hey, it's 10h45 already. I couldn't know that they'd still be asleep, could I? I tried calling them yesterday around 11h30 and 12h00 and nobody was home, so...

Poor girl :)

[The title has got nothing to do with the post itself. I just felt like writing Fucking wankers somewhere.]

Long entry, again

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So, quite a lot of things have happened since my last update. I actually wanted to blog about some of them yesterday, but I ran into a "Got an error: Connection error: Too many connections" error when trying to connect to my MT install. Luckily the HM staff was onto it in a matter of minutes. However I went out to work and when I came back I kinda forgot to blog. Instead I spend my time chatting on the new BMEzine IRC server. It's been a while since I really did long IRC sessions, but I was sucked right back into it. The commands were a little rusty, but I remembered quite a few.

Yesterday I got a mail from Dimi (who runs New Zealand) stating that the company he worked for the past years has gone bankrupt. If anyone is in need of an experienced IT manager in Belgium, make sure to leave a comment, so I can tell him to get in touch with you.

When I arrived at work, I was asked to step into the site control room where my chef was as well. I told him I'd been to the eye specialist and optician to get glasses, and he was pleasantly suprised that I already done all of that. He'd make an appointement to be checked by the intercompany medical services as soon as possible, so I can get cleared by them as well and have my drivers license changed by the local government to reflect the added clearance.

He also told me that he'd be pulling one of the colleagues from a team and put me in place instead. I was really stunned when he told me, as I didn't see that one coming. Well, maybe I did hear some rumours over the past few days, but still, I was pleasantly suprised. He went on a while about earning the position for people that work hard and fit in etc, so I thanked him profoundly and set out to work my shift.

That was yesterday. I just got a call a few minutes ago that my glasses are ready so I can got pick them up. This means first I gotta stop at the bank to plunder my savingsaccount since I found out that the system of getting an advance to your paycheck on the 22nd and then the rest of it on the 8th is only used when you explicitely request it. Something I didn't know, and it'll make things a bit hard next week, as my mortgage is due on the fourth. This means I'll have to wait till the 8th to get paid, but I'll request a change starting the month of June.

What else was there to write? *ponders* Ah yes... I have to work on the 13th of June, so I won't be able to help out during the elections. My employer will have to give me proof of it, so I can present that to the person responsible for the election booth where I would have to be. I'll look up his number and give him a call today.

Vision is expensive

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Man, what I don't do for my job - or rather improving the chances of keeping it and getting a fixed position. I just got back from the eye specialist and she told me what I already knew : I gotta wear glasses. However, she did clear me for 5 years to drive an ambulance, providing I do wear those glasses. Total cost : 52,- euro. Something that should be covered by my employer, as it's them that require the certificate.

As I was driving home, I passed an optician, so I stopped and went in to get glasses. After testing some models and styles, I settled for one I liked without being too expensive. Well, it still was about 215 euro just for the frame, but considering that the other frame I liked was 325,- I think I made a wise choice. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop at just the frame, since the thing needs glasses too. After adding everything up, it'll cost me a bit over 400,- euro... and that won't be covered by my employer. Ah well, there's no point in fretting about it, is there?

My glasses should be ready on saturday if they're in stock, or early next week if they have to be made.

The update I promised

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Monday started just like most mondays although I soon enough found out that it would kinda be a "pain in the ass" day. As I was making my lunch to take to work, I dropped the knife I was using, and various other things. I hoped that was not a sign of things to come. At work everything went kinda OK, at least til a few minutes before 09h00. As someone else - yes, not me - had dropped one of the remote controls we use to remotely control the access barriers in his coffee a few days prior, the remaining remote control had been reprogrammed to control two barriers at the same time.

Not really a problem you'd say, except for the fact that it's pretty hard to keep an eye on two barriers that are about 30 meters apart from each other, while you work on other traffic going in and out. As I had just checked and cleared a vehicule that was leaving the site, I opened the barrier we refer to as Parking Out so it could leave. Since the control works for two barriers, it also openend the Site Out barrier. So far everything was OK. I walked over to the Personnel entrance to grant access to some vehicules there and as I saw that the vehicule I had checked earlier was clear of the barrier Parking Out, I closed it again.

Unfortunately, this also closed the Site Out barrier - that was out of my field of vision - just as a small truck was arriving at pretty high speed. I heard a thump and when I turned and looked around the corner, I saw a truck, a severely damaged barrier that was halfway closed and completely bent out of shape. I processed the vehicules that were waiting to get access and then walked over to assess the damage.

The truck itself wasn't damaged too badly, but our barrier was out of order. Pretty bad, considering we use all four barriers to control what vehicules enter and leave our site. I called my shift chief to come take a look and handle the incident report while I kept processing traffic to and from the site. We can't shut down everything because of a bent out of shape barrier. Site Security came over to disable the barrier in an upright position and make sure the photocells were re-aligned so the Site In barrier would work again as well. What a start of the day!

Now, of course I was not too pleased with the fact that it happened on my shift - one could even say it was my fault - but even the grand chief of security who came over to take photographs accepted the fact that I couldn't help it. It would have happened anyway, even if someone else had been working that day. A combination of a temporary limited control system for the barriers, it being out of sight, a speeding truck and a photocell that reacted too late were the benefitting factors that lead up to the accident. I still am not pleased with it, but at least no one is pointing in my direction as the "cause" of it all.

Tuesday was less eventful, phew. Some workers came over to take the barrier down and repair it, so by tuesday afternoon we had 4 barriers again. The limited control was/is still a problem though, but I think Site Security was looking into that as well, and hopefully will fix it soon.

That's what has been going on the past days, so now everyone is back up to speed. I don't know yet what I'll be doing today - wanted to go to the movies with Joco, Eef and Jess, but they all had made other plans so far. I think I'll just do some things that need to be done, as on friday I start my late shifts and I don't know what June will bring, work wise.

Temporary post

Even though I don't have to work tomorrow or thursday, I'm off to bed early. I'm pretty tired so I'll skip the blog update I planned for today and hopefully get to it tomorrow.

Talk to you all later!

Convinced

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WordPress 1.2 was released yesterday and today I upgraded my test blog that was still running version 1.02. It took me about 5 minutes to download the new version, extract it, upload it to the server, run the upgrade scrip, find and read the instructions to import my older MT entries and actually import them to WP 1.2.

5 minutes, can you imagine trying to do that with MT? The rebuild of over 1750 entries and close to 2000 comments alone would take longer than that, not including the actual importing, and all things that comes with it.

I might be starting to hack the WP templates tuesday evening and wednesday, read up on the WP tags and move the whole shebang away from MT. The only thing I'm not sure about yet is the security of WP, and especially version 1.2 since it's only been out a matter of hours.

Another thing I'll have to do is look into the transformation of the two other MT blogs I run (or techically manage) and how/if/when they should be moved as well. I can't do it all at once :)

Wow, I crashed!

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When I got home yesterday, I checked my mail and then around 08h00 I felt like reading a few more pages in my book, so I took off to bed and started reading. I remember putting the book away and grabbing my blanket because it was getting chilly, and the next thing that my brain registered was waking up around 01h00! I got out of bed, went to the toilet, locked my front door, threw all the laundry that I had put on the bed in the morning into a corner, and went back to bed.

I just got up a few minutes ago, and I'm leaving to go do some tech support for a guy that keeps on having problems with his printer somehow. I don't know what exactly he doesn't get, but each time he wants to print something in color or changes the color cartridge he messes up. I hope to get rid of his calls once and for all, although it's a nice extra income each time I go over there to fix it.

Notice : If you came to this blog because you've received spam from addresses like bhjzehjbhjeaj-at-thisdomain.extention, please be advised that I have got nothing to do with it. I don't send out spam, and probably hate it as much as you do. This domain has just been abused - once again - by some moron spammer who thinks it's funny offloading his crap onto others, and offloading the angry replies and bounces onto me. Before you go taking out your anger on me, please analyze the headers of the spam mail you got.

MT-Blacklist Emergency Upgrade

I get home to find - buried between over 350 spam mails - a mail stating there has been an emergency bug fix of Jay Allen's MT-Blacklist. It seems there has been quite a serious bug in the last versions, which results in MT-Blacklist not being able to decode encoded URL's.

Jay's warning about upgrading to the new version NOW is not a second too early, because after I upgraded the MT-Blacklist 1.64 I already found 11 spam comments on my blog, all posted today! It seems the spammers keep a very close watch on people that maintain tools to get rid of their crap.

Here's the list of IP's I've banned as a result of todays spam run :

64.88.86.3
64.2.234.227
62.85.203.19
62.84.154.157
212.88.95.217
212.199.28.197
212.199.169.153
212.191.172.7
203.121.139.20
200.76.237.26
200.204.177.240
200.165.143.240
200.161.129.39

Feel free to use the information as you like, either add them to your blog's ban list too, or just discard the IP's given.

Hot zone, keep out!

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So much for my guess that going in to work today would be a very slow and relaxed way of spending the day. I've been working in the "hot zone" today, a zone that has increased radioactive levels, even though it's still considered "safe". However, special safety precautions have to be taken and just entering or leaving the zone takes about 15 minutes. This kinda rules out a "quick switch" with someone who needs a bathroom break, wants to take a drink, or eat.

Lets just say that it was an interesting day, I'm sure the firefighters, police and our site controlroom dispatchers agree with me ;)

What the funk?

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The mailman just rang my bell, because he had a registered letter for me, so I had to sign for it. Why wasn't I suprised to see that it was another letter in regard to the European and Flemish Council elections on June 13th 2004?

Yes, they did it again. After having been "elected" last year to spend a couple of hours in a school building helping out with the elections - read last year's post(s) - they were so considerate to think of me again this year. How nice of them, not?

Listen idiots, I have done it once and I wonder what makes you think I'm willing to do it again? Last year I was unemployed and even though I didn't feel like helping out, I guess it was a fair question from society. This year I'm employed and working +180 hours a month, so the few days I'm not working I actually like doing things I like. Getting up at 07h00 to look at wrinkled old farts that have no clue how a computer works, which side up the card goes, or what party they have to vote for is somehow not very high on my list.

I think I'll go call my boss and make sure I gotta work on sunday, June 13th.

Check, mate!

So much for having a full 2 days off from work. I got home around 17h45 and around 19h30 I got a call to ask if I could come in to work on thursday, for an 11 hour shift. Since the 20th is an official holiday anyway - meaning most stores are closed and there is nothing interesting to do - I agreed to take the extra shift. The hours will put me over the maximum of 190 hours/month, thus get paid as overtime, and it's more because it's a holiday. That beats sitting at home all day, wasting time.

I called Joco to check if he was up to go out for a drink, but as he has had very busy week(s) at work, we opted for me going over to his place instead and play a couple games of chess instead. It was very enjoyable and even though I lost, some matches were very close and the first one actually ended in remise.

Off to bed in a few, tomorrow I'll do some shopping and test WordPress, start working on reducing my ever increasing pile of clothes that need to be ironed, and just hang around. Thursday and friday I'll be working dayshifts and I'm home over the weekend - unless things change that is.

Eudora 6.1.1 released - bugfixes

Several vulnerabilities concerning Eudora were reported a while ago, some of them being rather serious. Qualcomm has released Eudora 6.1.1 on May 14th to patch those holes. Go download it if you are a Eudora user!

I know in advance, so

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because I expect more hits from people looking for more info on Ruslana Lyzhicko - winner of the 49th Eurovision song festival - here are some bits and pieces about her :

Full Name : Ruslana Lyzhicko
Born : Lviv, Ukraine
Records : Wild Dances in 2003 - also the song she performed at the Eurovision Song Festival. Sold 100.000 copies in 2003 (platinum disk).
Body Art : she has (several) tattoos

There you go, ain't I wonderful?

I finished the book I was talking about earlier and started reading in "Cunt". It was too hot in the sun though, so after about 2 hours I came back home. I think I'll leave my overall at home tomorrow and instead wear the "office" workwear, since that's more suited for the summer temperatures we're suffering from now.

Too good to stay inside

I just had the mailman at my door, as he delivered "The last war : Detective ferrets and the case of the golden deed", thanks to Marisa! Too bad customs decided to keep it for a week, as it was due somewhere last week, but that doesn't matter anymore now, does it?

I'm off from work today and while I should be doing all kinds of chores (laundry and such), I look outside and see a beautiful day. Tomorrow I have to work again, so I'm gonna jump on my bike and ride out to the park, where I'll start reading some books.

I hope to finish "The child that switched his father with a saturday - Limiting the damage after a divorce", as it's only another 20 pages.

I'll take "Cunt : a declaration of independence" with me as well, and of course the new Ferret Chronicles book. I might also take "7 characteristics of highly effective leadership" (Stephen R. Covey) with me, although I doubt it's a book to read in the park while laying in the sun.

Yesterday afternoon after work I decided to drive over to Marianne and Dimi's place to celebrate her birthday with the rest of the family. Much fun was had - as usual - but I left around 19h00 coz I was getting tired.

Eurovision

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The yearly event where 24 countries try their hardest to make themselves appear as morons has once again started. I've not heard any song - apart from the Belgian submission fo course - before, and I'll be judging las I did last year. However, this time no detailed comments on all entries, but rather some words about those songs that I think "worked".

The first entry that caught my ear in a way was that of Serbia & Montenegro. I this there was still something missing, but at least it wasn't as crappy as all the contestants that performed before them. Next thing that I noticed was the Ukrainian contestant, Ruslana. Man, what a vivid show, and the complete group just breathed power. Definitely a top 5 ranking, if they don't win. Too bad about the obviously fake tattoos, but I guess you can't have it all :)

This is also something that struck me as interesting. Quite a lot of performers had piercings or tattoos. I think I even noticed some stretched lobes (Tie Break) although they might have been fake. There were various artists with eyebrow piercings, I noticed multiple lobe piercings and possible a rook and labret as well.

More updates as the contest continues.

Xandee (Belgium) just performed and while not bad, I doubt we'll get much higher than a top 10. The act itself was something you'd more expect in a disco somewhere, not on Eurovision. Oh, and that mouth of Xandee, it's HUGE! She could easily have stuck the micro in completely and still be able to sing. She reminds me of Julia Roberts (the female Mick Jagger) and that ain't a good thing.

Update 22h31 : other noteworthy songs were brought by Greece and Poland. I wonder though why the Cyprus artist wanted to look like Barbara Streisand? And what's up - generally speaking - with the style breaks that seem so popular this year? Artists start singing in one style, then suddenly break into another one for a few lines, and then they pick up the original one again. Especially the southern styles seem popular somehow.

Update 22h43 : Sweden is also a contender for a top half ranking, even though the song is not too special, it has everything a Eurovision song requires.

Televoting starts now, but here is my top 5 :

1. Urkaine - Ruslana
2. Poland
3. Sweden
4. Belgium - Xandee
5. Serbia & Montenegro

Uproar in Blogland?

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Yesterday, Sixapart announced the release of MT3.0 Developer edition, and with it, a totally new licensing scheme. I took a look at it before I started reading all the comments and posts that have been appearing on (movable type powered?) blogs.

The first thing that is obvious is that the Developer Edition is not cheap, not cheap at all. However, it's being clearly stated that there will still be a free version, though it will lack support (quite normal I think). The new license also changes some things that we've not really had in the past : limits! MT3.0 won't have an unlimited amount of authors and weblogs (respectively 3 author and 5 blogs in the Personal Edition), for an introductory price of 69.95.

All things aside, if I'd go for the Personal Edition, I'd pay over triple the amount I paid for versions up to 2.661 (yes, I'm a legit user and contributed financially in the past), I'd be stuck with limited usage. I would get support (which I don't need), patches and fixes (will they not release those for free editions, that sounds pretty strange), and be able to "promote my blog on the recently changed list at the MT homepage" (something I had access too anyway due to my previous contribution).

Sounds like I pay more to get the same or less in a way. Let's however wait to see what the "free" version will offer, as this might all just turn out to be a storm in a glass of water. In the mean time though, I already took a look at Wordpress after having heard nothing but good things about it from some people. And it uses php and MySQL, no more cgi-scripting. Maybe I should consider switching at some point in time?

Whatever, sucker.

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I just finished watching the Eminem Live in Concert movie I got my hands on yesterday, and while it was entertaining, I don't like his newer work and performances with D12 as much as I did his first albums.

Ah well, the "Stan" performance gave me the shivers, but apart from the final performane "The real slim shady" I didn't know too much of their other songs. Maybe if I watched it another million times I'd get into it more, but I don't have the time nor the interest to do so. I gave Joco a copy too, I hope he likes it better than I did.

Two more days at work and then I'm on and off in bits and pieces. Work one day, two days off, another day of work, again 2 days off (the weekend), then work two days followed by 2 days off and then I start probably start my 7 day late shift at the end of the month. Yesterday I did something stupid though. I crossed into a place that was marked as "keep out" even though it was us - security - that had marked it, so technically speaking I had all rights to be there, but someone "high up the food chain" of the clients organisation saw it and by the time I got back in, he had already called our chef to complain that "security wasn't exactly setting the good example yadda yadda by crossing keep-out areas and riding one-way streets in the wrong direction."

Strangely enough, my chef didn't contact me about it, he only enquired with two colleagues of mine that were in the field at the same time. One of those said that he and I had been working together pretty much all of the time, so my chef supposed it was all a misunderstanding. After my shift ended, I stepped into his office though and explained that I was me that did the stupid thing, but he said not to worry about it too much. The guy complaining seems to find joy in harassing other people about things he shouldn't even wrap his brain around.

Which reminds me, today I checked his statement and this one is for you, idiot :

"That ain't a one-way street man, so next time you try making things up, better do it good or shut up completely. I hope I never catch you making an error, or come in through TGC because you're bringing in material to the site. I'll tear your car upside down and inside out. All by the book, my friend. All by the book."

Watch where you brush

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Yesterday, as I was shopping for some toothpaste, I was kinda suprised. Have you ever really looked how many brands, types, and flavors of toothpaste there are?!

I went to the local supermarket and counted at least ten or even twelve variants, ranging in price from € 23 per liter to € 58 per liter. Sure, I know most people don't buy toothpaste by the liter, but it's easy to compare. Can you imagine that? Booze is less expensive, even with all the taxes! That concludes my toothpaste topic.

I just called the eye clinic address thingy I got from my sister yesterday to see if I could come in for an exam anytime soon. First available date was May 27th around 16h00 - good thing I have that day off (so far). I need to be tested anyway in order to get a medical certificate to be allowed to drive the ambulance, although I *know* I'll fail that test. It's a good trigger to finally deal with my eyesight problems though, as a short test at work earlier this month confirmed what I already knew/suspected : I've got a problem with seeing things at a distance. Apparently I score a 12/12 for both eyes at short distance, but scored a 0/12 for my left eye and 2/12 for my right when it comes to distances.

Glasses, lenses, lasik, I'll hear the options - hopefully - on the 27th.

Things I have done so far

Let's see :
I received notice that my reseller account for domain names has been activated, so I renewed 6 domain names that otherwise would have expired in 5 days. When coming back from work, I stopped at the union to check why I hadn't been paid yet, and it turns out they made a "little" mistake, resulting in not getting paid at all. That's - hopefully - been rectified now, so I should get paid next week at the latest. Another colleague at work is not feeling too well, but the claims he'll be there tomorrow, we'll see. I'm not yet reading Covey's "7 characteristics of highly effective leadership", although it still lays near my bed! It'll be one of the next books I'll start reading.

The one person that I can't tell yet what I'm reading, asked me by mail, go figure. I was referred to as a "Penguin" today, which was kinda funny if you ask me. I never knew I looked like one, not even in my work outfit. I won a CD from Gorki called "Plan B" and received it in the mail today. Since I doubt I'll enjoy Gorki that much - not really my style - I might be giving it away for free to my dutch readers (Belgium and Holland). More details to be announced later.

Short day

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I'm off to bed so I can read a few more pages in one of my books, even though I think it won't serve the purpose I got it for. Well, I'm only at page 54 so far so I hope it'll get more educational in the next chapters. Those wondering what exactly I'm reading can mail me if they really wanna know.

Certainly not the end

Several German news sites are reporting that an 18 year old individual who is suspected to be connected to the Sasser, Agobot and NetSky viruses has been arrested.

Will this stop the constant release of new variants and viruses, I doubt it. It might slow down the hobbyists for a couple of weeks though, but the professionals will be far from deterred by things like this.

Cars vs Pedestrians

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After reading an article in Gazet Van Antwerpen about the amount of time pedestrians have to wait before they get a green light to cross the street, I started thinking. After tests were conducted, it turned out pedestrians had to wait an average of 1 minute to get a green light at a crossroad, and in some cases even up to three minutes.

I'm not a traffic analist, nor do I know anything about how these things work, but I do participate in traffic on a daily base, just like most of us. I use both a car, my bike and I'm often a pedestrian too. Feedback on the following idea would be much appreciated, especially if you know why it would or would not work in real life.

Right now trafic lights default to a red light for pedestrians and a green light for cars. This means that cars have right of way in most cases and the traffic stream is only interrupted when a pedestrian requests it. While in some cases it does make sense (ie. high car traffic, very low pedestrians crossing), it doesn't make sense at all in the center of a city, where there are tons of pedestrians, mixed with an equally large (or even less) amount of cars. In that case, I'd suggest that the traffic light defaults to a green for pedestrians - giving them right of way - and let the cars make the request to interrupt the stream.

Yes, just turn it around! Why not? In a city speeds are limited anyway, there are tons of pedestrians and it would make a nice change. Have you ever stood in front of a traffic light for a minute while rain is pouring down, while people in their car, sitting dry and comfortable, race by? The pedestrian is the less protected against the elements here, so why not give them the benefits?

Don't get me wrong here, as I'm not against car traffic at all. There is a place and time for everything, and I drive a car myself as well. I do think though that in certain cases and situations, it would be better to shift the default around.

So, what do you think about it?

What can I say about it, except maybe avoid it at all cost? It sucked majorly and is a very very lame sequel to the quite enjoyable original Starship Troopers, released back in 1997.

Starship Troopers 2 - The Hero of the Federation basically comes down to this : more bugs and cgi, less plot and stolen ideas from Alien (Alien (1979) , Aliens (1986), Alien � (1992) and finally Alien : Resurrection (1997)).

I wouldn't even give it the 4.4 score it currently has on imdb, but rather a 2, possible a 3 because it shows Kelly Carlson's very nice body a couple of times. It still makes me wonder why any private would go running around naked while in the middle of a war, but I'm not one to complain. More boobies please!

Hell, even that idea was kind of a rip off if you recall Species (1995) or Species II (1998) where Natasha Henstridge has some nude scenes. At least in Species they were kinda functional since "Eve" escapes from a testing facility if I recall correctly, and during an escape one doesn't necessarily have the time to grab a bunch of clothes and get dressed.

Final verdict : if you've got the bandwidth, the resources and over one hour to totally waste, you could consider (illegally) downloading this movie. Not that I suggest you do so, but it's not worth any other allocation of time or money!

A stew of topics

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It seems that quite a lot of people I know have gotten infected with the "moto" virus, as my sister bought a new one last week, and I went over to Joco's place to take a look at his Suzuki yesterday. Nifty machine if you ask me, and I'm sure he'll love touring around on it.

Have I ever considered buying a motorcycle myself? I sure have, but I was much younger and - I admit this myself - I would have been dead within a matter of weeks. With age, I've calmed down a lot though, and one day I might look into it again. Is it something that I really desire or need? Nah, not yet, although if the traffic problems around Antwerp keep on getting worse every week, it might be the only solution anyway.

This weekend I've got some shopping to do, on monday afternoon - if I'm back from work soon enough that is - I gotta check with the union why I've not yet received my unemployment benefits for April 2004, as they usually are pretty fast to transfer the money. I did get my first pay yesterday though, and I was pleasantly suprised by the amount! If last month was any indication of the months to come, I should have a very very nice income this month. Working a lot of hours, several official holidays in May, working 3 weekends and such. Nice :p

I should start reading in a new book I got myself last week so that by the time I give it away to whom I actually bought it for, I know what it is about. I have got another book to read though, a present from Marisa (the wife of Dan, who owns Calypso Tattoo) called Cunt: A Declaration of Independence (Live Girls Series). Mucho thanks for the present Marisa! I'll let you know how much I liked it.

Anything else? Nah, I don't think so. Blog to you all later!

Sleepy

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When my alarm clock awakened me this morning, I really felt like smashing it to bits and pieces with a gigantic hammer, throw it out of the window, yell "screw you!" and turn around for a couple more hours of sleep.

Well, I didn't. Tomorrow I start working a bit later (08h30) and I'm home this weekend so I can hopefully catch up on some sleep. Then I start a series of 7 days early shift followed by one day off.

Fuck

I just got a call from one of the chefs at work to check whether or not I still had the keys labelled 208 and 6 in my possession. I checked my pocket and sure enough, they were still there. Crap, now I gotta drive 40 kilometers to return them to the office and then get back home.

Oh well... my mistake, so I gotta pay for it.

Update : well, I'm home again and being the optimistic and positive thinker I am, this is what my mistake has given me : the most wonderful rainbow I've ever seen! Right as I left home, it started raining and when I passed the Wijnegem Shopping Center I noticed this superb rainbow that had yellow, red, green, blue and even a hint of purple in it. To add to the beauty, I was able to see both ends - whereas you usually only get to see one side and it vanishes mid-air - and right above that first bright rainbow was another faint one! Talk about a wonderful display of nature's beauty.

What else is positive about making the mistake of forgetting to return my keys? The respect and acknowledgement of my colleagues that I stand up for the mistakes I make and take responsability for them, as well as do whatever I can to correct them. Sure, it was bad to forget the keys in the first place, but I think I might have actually scored good points with my attitude in regard to it.

Well, that's it for now, I'm off to make some food - yummy spaghetti - and then in about an hour and a half I'm off to bed. Tata!

Change of plans

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So much for a fixed planning I'd say. Today our client contacted our site chef to bring him the (good) news that they'd like an extra team of guards for at least this month. Hence the sudden change of plans, and unfortunately, that has it's repercussions :

Sunday May 17th I was supposed to be off, but in the new planning I'm working. Sunday May 30th (when I had plans to spend my day in Holland) I'm working as well. In fact, I'll be working 3 out of 4 weekends in May, and where the first planning gave me just over 149 hours, the new planning states 181 hours. Financially worthwhile, that's for sure - or at least that's what I hope - but it sucks that I'll have to miss two events where I really wanted to be :(

Ah well... I guess that I'll be able to switch days and possibly take a day or two off when I worked here for a couple of months. By the way, the weather sucked majorly today, in case you didn't notice, and they expect the same for the rest of the week. What a great forcast :)

Go away!

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It's way too early to be reading this blog. Go back to bed, enjoy the warmth of your partner next to you.

*waves as I leave for work*

I promised

these a long time ago, but didn't get to it yet. So, here are - finally - the photos I took of the amazing art I bought from Jerome. Both of them are decorating the walls in my livingroom.

Please note that my own photography skills suck : the flash reflections you see in the images, are from my camera, they are not present in the orginal work.

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge

With elections coming up on June 13th, most political parties are once again at it : promises, promises and even more promises.

I do recall the last elections though, and I guess that with me, a lot of people do. I certainly hope that the majority won't fall for it again and realize that promises have to be backed up by real solutions, and most solutions by hard cash to support them.

I usually don't get too agitated by politics but the more I hear things, the more I think "what a bunch of idiots!". I don't think that the recent (political?) conviction of Vlaams Blok for being a racist party will help much when it comes to stabilizing the political climate in Belgium, nor will the requirement for parties to get at least 5% of the votes. While most Europeans agree that the (factual) two party system of the USA stinks, it almost seems that the big 4 (VLD, SP.a, CV&V and Vlaams Blok) are trying to do the same. I doubt that Groen!, NV-A or Spirit will have any chance of survival, unless they team up with a bigger party - often resulting in assimilation over time.

While the June 13th elections deal with electing candidates/parties for the European Parliament as well as the Regional "powers that be" (Vlaams Raad), I think for most people it's all the same, and they don't make a difference between local, regional and european elections.

Anyway, the more I read and hear, the more I'm pushed towards one or two parties that appear to make less promises and instead come up with solutions. As I said before, solutions require money, and nobody likes paying too much taxes, but I'd rather pay 30% tax and see it be used well, as pay 20% tax and see it be wasted and thrown away.

Remember Blaster?

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Does anyone recall the Blaster virus that hit millions of PC's last year? If not, go to a doctor and let them check your memory. Sophos just released an urgent warning about Sasser, a virus that exploits a vulnerability that was categorized as critical by Microsoft when they released a patch for it on April 13th 2004 (updated April 28th). For all of you that have not yet patched your systems, please do so now.

If you decide not to stay up to date, don't come whining to me later on.

Screwed

Damn, I forgot that today is an official holiday - resulting in all stores being closed. I gotta work though, which I don't mind at all since it'll be quite easy going, but I didn't take the holiday into account when I thought about getting food earlier this week. Ah well, the freezer is still topped up and I think the bakery might be open so I can get some bread to take with me to work.

When I return tonight, I'm gonna see if I can find another (faster?) route home to avoid some of the ever increasing traffic jams, and tomorrow I'm gonna see where the deviation that starts on monday leads me, so I don't have to go hunt for it on tuesday morning at 05h30 in the morning.

Time to entertain the fuzzies now!

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

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