December 2004 Archives

No promises from me

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As 2004 is really coming to an end soon (just over 24 hours left) I should or could start working on an end-of-year wrap up, but I figure most of it worth mentioning was written right on this blog over the year.

Maybe I'll pull something out of my high hat - or ass - tomorrow, but I won't make any promises, let alone claim that it will be humoristic :)

Cooking - Singles Style

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Buy prepared food. Throw in microwave. Nuke*. Eat.

* Note : sometimes removal of the container/wrapping/box is necessary before nuking and/or consumation. Will be covered in Advanced Cooking - Singles Style.

White stuff - sniff, sniff

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It's frigging snowing outside. Sure, it was expected (either a very tiny amount of snow, or rain) but still... it'll probably ruin whatever traffic advantage there was due to most people having time off and thus not clogging up the roads.

I just made some slight financial alterations to streamline expenses, prepared all files for next year and a filed away statements. That should be easy when 2004 finally comes to a hold and 2005 is fired up.

Now I should go out and get some food, coz I'm all out of everything and when I got home last night - after an 11 hour shift - I figured I'd find a place that sells fries open, but both were closed. It strikes me that even in the year 2004 little consideration exists for people that work outside of the regular nine to five jobs.

Am I a Freak?

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Or how Auntie Beeb tells teens that they are normal, no matter how they look.

Impressive and I think it deserves a huge thumbs up.

Funny Flaps and Willy Wonky

What, where, how?

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Those must have been the first ideas to go through my mind, I was sleeping this morning and was woken up by the bell. I jumped out of bed - I still don't know how I manage to do so, most people stumble or fall out of bed - and picked up the intercom to listen who dared interrupting my beauty sleep. Not that it really mattered, as I'd have to sleep five years for it to have any effect on my looks, and even then the best I'd get out of it would be extra wrinkles probably.

It was the mailman, with a package. I hit the buzzer to open the door, and started getting some clothes on. I went downstairs and picked up a rather large package, with Amazon written all over it. Hm.... Did I order something from Amazon.com, and forgot all about it? Nah. So it must be a gift!

Back upstairs, I opened the box, to be greeted by not one, but two wonderful books! Maori Tattooing by H.G. Robley and Richard Bach's The Ferret Chronicles, Rancher Ferrets on the Range. Woot! Even more gifts, who would have thought? As I was wondering who might have been so generous, I suddenly noticed a name I reckognize : MidnightRaven, the girl I was paired with for the Iam.Pisces.Holiday Exchange in the IAM community.

Thanks, thanks, thanks! I'm gonna love reading these books Gianna!

As I was up and out of bed anyway, I also managed to take out the trash and a bunch of old paper for pick up. I'm good.

A blast

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from the past maybe? It wasn't a retro-themed x-mas celebration yesterday, but more of a "trippy" one. Hilda outdone herself once again and I think I can speak for everyone when I say a very good time was had. Excellent company, great food, wonderful conversations and laughter and gifts that each and everyone enjoyed.

I should take a few days off from work in order to watch the DVD's I got ("Luk Wyns - Sterke Verhalen", 6 hours and Farenheit 9/11) or to listen to the wonderful CD's of Missy Elliott (Supa Dupa Fly, Da Real World and This is Not a Test). I can hardly wait to pop them in the player and listen to the grooves and beats.

Thanks everyone! Not just for the gifts, but for everything...

So this is christmas?

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Apparently it's christmas. It's a period of time where everyone is expected to be joyful, happy, cheerful and in love with the world and everyone around them. This is reflected quite obviously in the tons of powerpoint presentations that arrive in my inbox, all spreading the message of love, joy and happiness.

While I appreciate - sort of - all the whishes, I delete every single one of those mails. The only x-mas related presentations I sometimes keep around, are those where nice ladies and santa claus outfits are involved. Come on, you know those! It usually has beautiful - photoshop edited - women in them, wearing little or nothing apart from a furry coat, a santa hat or some x-mas decoration. Would you believe me that there is nothing hotter than women dressing in these "unreal" outfits?

Santa Claus, cartoon characters, shiny fake wigs, cavewoman outfits... hot. But I'm losing track of my initial subject, ain't I? (I just called one of my granny's to chat for a few minutes with her. I actually ment to do so earlier this week, but I lost track of it while doing other things)

Christmas is a christian festivity originally - or at least as far as I'm aware, I might be quite wrong. Those that know me a bit better or in person, are aware that I'm opposed to most religions when it comes to my own beliefs. I don't mind what you believe in, as long as it doesn't oppose my right not to believe. That being said, I grew up with x-mas as a tradition, even though neither of my parents are christians as far as I know. I've actually never asked them, so I guess that says enough. The one thing I do recall very clearly though, is the message that I was taught : "Think for yourself". And it's in that exact mood that I decided a long time ago, that religion is not something I care for.

Yes, I celebrate christmas, but not for it's religious background, but for the fact that some quality time is being spent with close friends, family, and (almost) everyone I hold close. Those values are more important to me than anything else.

Does it show that tonight - x-mas evening - I'll be at home, with my lovely three fuzzies that haven't got a clue what day it is, what it means, or why they are getting extra treats? They just take the treats and are happy for what they receive. I'll give them an extra cuddle, play with them and hope they've got a great time. Without cutting them short in any way, I would love to spend x-mas next year with someone special to me though. I will not settle for less, but if you keep making a big thing out of something that could be resolved if you put your foot down for once and for all, it'll never work. And be aware that while I might not be a chippendale, a genius or a casanova, I do care a lot about you and would do everything in my power to be and make you happy again.

What I won't do though, is keep a spot in my heart reserved indefinately for a ship that may never come in. If there is a chance that you and I ever will be together, I won't mind. But if there's not, let me know so I can move on with my life.

Hm... my mind is making these crazy jumps again. From x-mas to religion to family, ferrets and a specially reserved space in my heart. I rock.

I just need someone to roll with.

FK Blog award

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This years FK blog award in the category "Best Irregulary Posting Blog Author With A New Kitchen And A Piece Of Bread For A Friend" (BIPBAWANKAAPOBFAF for short) goes to (drum roll, exciting music, dimming lights) :

GeekMan of The Mighty Geek!

Now, let us hear the acceptance speech, GeekMan...

Gift woes

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Just made a trip to the center of Antwerp to see if I could get my hands on a gift that I need by friday. They didn't have it, nor could they tell me when it would come in. This sucks bigtime, especially after I ordered that same gift online nearly one month ago, only to receive a mail from the supplier yesterday that they couldn't deliver, nor tell me when they would be able to do so. To make a long story short, I cancelled my order with them, and went hunting for it myself this afternoon, with prety much the same results :(

I found another shop that should carry it, and ordered it just a few seconds ago. Now I can only cross my fingers that it'll arrive in time, but to be honest... I doubt it. In that case, someone will have to wait a few more days :(

The first time

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and I was horny nerveous as hell. What is he talking about, I hear some of you wonder. Allow me to explain :

Over the past few weeks I've been spending quite some time in the "control room", getting a better grasp on all alarms, actions, reactions and procedures that can occur. Today was my first day as Operator 1 - although under strict supervision from a quite experienced colleague. That's the reason I was very nerveous this morning... after all I had no clue as to what to expect even if I've spent quite a few shifts as operator 2 in the exact same room. It's just not the same when you accept calls and alarms and realize that every slit second decision you make is final, has to be correct and could have serious consequences when wrong.

As expected, operating the system itself proved not so much of a problem, but the thing that scared me the most was the incoming phonecalls. One can never even begin to imagine what types of questions we get, let alone where and how to find to correct answers to them.

The first four hours or so I was totally focussed, even stressing a bit, but as the shift progressed - and we had some action - behind us I began feeling a bit more at ease. I'm convinced that if I manage to relax a bit more, in due time I'll do fine. Serious adaptations take time, and so far it seems everyone realizes that I will need exactly that, and there is not too much pressure on me to jump too far too soon. Phew.

Thanks a lot...

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Worked an hour and fifteen minutes extra because a colleague decided to sleep in. When we called him at 2PM, we actually woke him up! I don't mind people sleeping in - I like it myself too - but not when someone else (in this case me) is waiting for you to show up so they can go home after their shift.

That in itself is nothing major, but it's always the same people that fuck up.

What else is new? Tonight is Miss Belgium Election and while I didn't follow anything about it at all, here is my top three (based on the photographs and interview on the site) :

1. Kenza Vanderaerden
2. Sophie Derijckere
3. Priscilla Delattre

Ouch

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Sundays are not meant to get up at four AM.

Q and A

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As the new year approaches steadily, I considered it time to answer the end-of-year questions as posed in Humo. Here are my answers...

Q: What's the most important evolution or trend of the past year?
A: Less communication, more unilateralism.

Q: What was the best/worst Radio or TV program of 2004?
Worst TV : Ciao Bella - Best TV : Black Books - Best Radio : 4FM

Q: What was the best and worst book, play, concert, movie or cd of 2004?
I enjoyed "Stupid White Men", "The Art of Deception" and "Psychic Warrior" when it comes to books. Best Movie : Supersize Me - Best CD : Missy Elliott, Pink, Rammstein and Eminem

Q: What do you wish to whom for better or worse in 2005?
I wish myself a wonderful girlfriend. When I'm done being selfish, I wish everyone common sense and a good sense of humor.

And for the "Wisdom in Music" section I've got this for you today: Since "Missing Persons" knew this back in 1982, one could wonder what we've been doing the past 22 years...

What are words for
When noone listens anymore
What are words for
When noone listens what are words for
When noone listens
There's no use talking at all.

Blisters and an anxious mind

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Damn, my feet hurt. Did all three rounds today and I decided to wear the new high safety boots that I got a while back but have not yet worn for more than 30 minutes or so. I shuold have known that walking 5 miles in them would kill my feet, yet it's the best way to break them in, ain't it?

I don't know yet if I'll do the same tomorrow and thus get it all over with, or take along my other safety shoes so I can switch halfway through the shift if needed. I had them with me today as well, but didn't bother changing.

Something totally unrelated now. A couple of days ago something came up during a conversation and it has been lingering in my mind since that day. I don't know if I've just gone crazy or what exactly is going on, but I'm anxious/curious to find out. I'm sure that in due time my questions will be answered, even if I was asking the wrong ones to begin with. Ooh, don't you like the vagueness of this paragraph? I think that if the people I was having the conversation with read this, they might recall what exactly was said. If you don't understand, you're obviously not meant to do so, or it was nothing to begin with and I'm just imagining things. Either are quite possible.

Wrong, totally wrong

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After reading this article in the newspaper today (dutch only), I have to say that I don't agree at all with the conclusion made at the end of the article.

It's not speed that killed him. His own sheer stupidity did.

Sophia, finally.

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Does anyone recall the name Sophia Osier? I blogged about her a while back (original post) and said back then that I would post a link to her P-Magazine photoshoot when it appeared online. Joco told me a while back that they revamped their site, so I checked today.

Sophia Osier is online and as promised... here's the link. Now, admit it, I do have a great taste in women, don't I?

Now, lets be clear about one thing : I don't expect anyone to be perfect, I am far from perfect myself. Looking good is important, but a great sense of humor, lovely smile and eyes I can drown in are worth even more, especially the humor. Beauty fades over time, but quick wits and a dirty mind are a joy forever.

Wishes, Irritation and Porn Names.

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As I was driving to work this morning, I noticed a small van in front of me with a website advertised on it. I've got no clue what the company does, but you gotta admit that the name "Morgan Blue" sounds like a porn name and nothing else, right? I bet Morgan Blue is the nephew of "Jack Strong" and starred in "Hard Bargain 69" or some other flick.

Got back home, read mail and got pissed off twice. Someone I don't know finds it funny to mail me to urge me to vote for them in some contest, and as this is already the second time I receive the mail in the past two weeks or so, I got really fed up with it. I contacted one other recipient on the list (someone I do know personally) and asked him if he knew the sender of the mail. I got some vague answer about someone with a similar e-mail address being known to them, but that the owner of that address didn't know anything about a contest.

To make a long story short, I filed another Spamcop report, contacted the abuse departement of the senders ISP and filed a complaint with Virgin Express, the organizers of the contest. I already received a request for more info from Virgin Express and hope to see the spammer account closed. I know I may waste my time with trivial things like these, but once something has reached a certain irritation level, there is no holding me back and I go for it till the finish.

The other thing that pissed me off slightly was actually done by someone who means very well, and I'm not yet sure how to react to it. Technically speaking he didn't do anything wrong - especially since the idea behind it all was to "help" me - but I kinda feel pressed/violated anyway. Maybe I'm just in a mood that triggers irritation more easily and I am quite certain that if both things had happened seperately - on different days - I might not have reacted to either of them. Let's just consider it "wrong place, wrong time" bad luck for at least one of them.

Now, more important things : today my godson Alex is celebrating his 3rd birthday already. Damn, that kid is growing up fast! I'm off to a small celebration party in a few minutes... Happy birthday Lexi!

I really should stay in

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Went out and did some shopping. Got home with things I needed, and one I didn't really need, but had been thinking about for a while. I bought myself an external HD, so I can move some files off the main disks and to the external one. I'm currently formatting the whole 250GB of the new disk (converting from its default FAT32 to NTFS) and it takes quite a while.

I hope I'm not getting ill again, 'coz my head feels like it is filled with cotton, my eyes as if they're popping outta my skull and my overall feeling is "tired". Hopefully nothing a good nights rest won't solve.

6:17

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Time for pancakes! Yay...

Tired

Off to bed to read a bit in my magazine and get up earlyish tomorrow. Remember to point your browsers to windowsupdate and install MS' latest five (MS04-040 to MS04-045) "important" patches.

Not tomorrow, not next week. Now. If you don't, don't come complaining to me that your box was exploited, hacked, abused or turned into a spam zombie.

Fools

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Define "a few", or "a couple". In my book, that means two and if one wants to see if large, three or four. Why do I bring it up? Because I agreed to come in to work for a few hours, not for a full shift. Well, I admit I didn't work a full shift, it was only seven and a half hour instead of eight.

The funny thing is though, that I'm not pissed. After all no one could foresee that after the two first transports a third one would be done. Nor could anyone know that there would be an air contamination, delaying the third transport for two and a half hours. I certainly hope that things go more smoothly tomorrow, or I'll be stuck there again.

I blocked several roads leading to the path the transport was following. It was clearly indicated that you could not enter or cross, yet I had to "chase off" several people that either can't read, are blind or plain idiots. Not really the kind of people you expect to work in a nuclear environment, is it? Well, maybe they all took Homer as an example... One of them even started argueing with me that the signs that were used did not include pedestrians, so he was allowed to step over the black and yellow chain that blocked the road completely, and the "No Entry" sign wasn't for him either.

In hindsight, I should have let him continue and get his maximum dose of radiation instantly. That way he'd remember the exact day he crossed into a forbidden area when he lays in bed embedded in a soft green light surrounding him.

Fool.

Aaahhh... a hair in my milk

Bad idea : dissecting your hairclippers (tondeuse) at 6 in the morning. I'll probably spend most of the afternoon - after returning from work - reassembling it. The good thing is though that I didn't lose any part of it (yet), and I only took it apart after I was done removing hair here and there.

Note to self : whole cream milk sucks when you're used to demi creamed or non-creamed milk.

Kick the bucket, little worm

Can't sleep at all, so after spending three hours or so in bed, I just got up again. Gotta "wake up" around six, so I've got another 2 hours or so to kill.

Since there ain't much to do at this time of night, I ordered my bank to do some payments - one of them being one that I totally forgot about, sorry J & E! - and next I'll be sorting through some paperwork, mailing things out and do other little things that need to be done. All of them are quite low noise as well, so the neighbors won't complain.

I think after I'm done with all that, it's time to play Worms Forts : Under Siege some more. It's the latest instalment of the Worms series, and it kicks ass!

What was it I wanted to say?

Just got home about 15 minutes ago, took out the trash, collected my old paper and put that outside as well and now I'm downloading some mixes I missed when they were released earlier on. I'll probably go to bed around 8, sleep till three and then get up, to go to bed again around midnight. All of that of course depends on work calling me to come in tomorrow as well for a few hours - I volunteered - if they need to fill some gaps.

It's weird how I work seven days straight and then the one day I'm off, I volunteer to come in as well. The mind of a genius works in mysterious ways... or was that the mind of a fool?

I do recall having a very bizarre dream yesterday, involving people getting killed and sex (of course), but I have no clue whether those elements were connected to each other or not. I do remember waking up briefly with a very disturbed feeling though, but I turned myself around and dozed off again and woke up with the mind of innocence.

Update : Got the call. Will be working tomorrow as well.

Shopping, Lottery

Ordered gifts (online) today. Some for people I don't know personally, some for people I do. Will have to do some more - physical - shopping next week to get some other thingies. Hope the malls ain't flooded with shopping crazy idiots, because that would mean I'd probably bail out early. I should check the status of some online orders next week, as it seems nothing is happening with them.

Slept in quite late - somehow I managed to turn off my alarm clock - and then went shopping. Decided to play the Magical December Lottery, so I could win up to twelve million euro. I doubt that would happen, but one never knows, right? Even one million would be more than enough to satisfy most of my wishes/needs.

Sleep...

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need sleep. Need girlfriend. Need food. Need fun.

Sleeping will solve the first need. Going to the store and buying food will take care of number three, and enjoying myself is the answer to number four. It's just number two that keeps on giving me a hard time.

Don't mind me. I'm tired and have no clue as to what I'm writing. Ignore me. I'm used to it.

Much to do, be back tomorrow

Damn, it's close to five already and it feels like I've not yet accomplished anything today. Well, technically speaking I did spend most of my time working and sleeping but somehow that doesn't count. I think I need to (in no particular order) get off my ass, go to the shop for food, take a shower, entertain the fuzzies, eat and leave for work around seven.

That leaves little time to do a lot of things if you ask me.

Yesterday I was told that I passed the First Aid course, which is a good thing. Today I received a large envelope in the mail and I thought it was a certificate to prove I took the course and succeeded, but it wasn't. It was no less than 7 pages explaining the new pay statement, all the codes used, the correct way to check everything and more of that.

On the one hand, I say "finally" because I've been employed in this company for 9 months and this is the first time ever I get some sort of explenation about the whole - pretty important - thing, but on the other hand, I wonder what the benefit is of knowing how it all "works", when it's incorrect all the time, or late.

Let me give you an example : "It's very important you check your statement as soon as you receive it, in order to be able to submit corrections as soon as possible. This way we don't have to process recalculations every month, sometimes related to statements a few months old. This will make it easier for you to follow everything up."

I totally agree, and it makes sense. However, it doesn't make sense though when you get paid on day A and then only receive the statement that goes with it by mail 7-10 days later. I must admit that last month, the statement arrived the same day as the pay. This month the pay was a day late, the statement hasn't shown up yet. Maybe next week?

And it is only wednesday

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Why ain't everyone up and working at 06h30 in the morning? I just got home from work and I'm pretty tired, yet widely awake because I gotta pop in at the union at 08h30 at the earliest.

I really wonder what's the point in paying them regulary, yet whenever you actually need something to be taken care off, you gotta physically walk in and hand over stuff. What about faxes, telephones, mail, e-mail or goddam pigeons?

I'll be spending some time this morning taking care of shit, while I should actually be in bed, catching up on sleep after working 10 hours straight. When I arrived at work yesterday, a colleague told me that there is a fat chance that the payment server crashed and that my pay may not have been transferred to my account today. So much for the idea that everything was finally getting better, but let's just see what happens next. There is always a tiny chance it didn't crash after all, they were able to recover all data and process the payments, or they took exceptional measures to make sure we all get paid anyway.

Update : Taking care of the papers over at the union went smoothly this morning. I managed to be in bed around 09h00. I did just check the bankaccount a few minutes ago, and confirmation has come in that we're screwed over backwards once again. If they continue failing to clean up their act, I'm gonna get nasty as well, better believe it.

Not the end of it

I was under the impression that after getting screwed over bigtime - the Big Bankruptcy - in 2003, followed by tons and tons of paperwork, limited payouts and general hard times, that I was done with all the crap. However, according to a letter I received today, I'm not. The RVA wants me to pay them back 232.08 euro, due to a recalculation on their side.

Sure, it's not much, but the simple fact that 18 months after it all commenced, they find a way to reopen the whole matter. It makes me wonder how long I'll have to carry this crap with me, never knowing when someone decides to just throw it all back on the table. It seems like it'll never end.

I'm gonna call the person listed as contact on the letter and ask them for a detailed recalculation statement. Otherwise there is no way for me to check their claims. Demanding such a document will probably end up in me having to go over personally to defend/look at my case - wasting my precious time - but I hate it when their is a significant imbalance between two parties, resulting in one having to take all data for granted.

Wonderful,

I think that's the best way to describe yesterday's IAM/BME meet at the National Museum for Art and History in Brussels. Apparently finding the correct museum proved to be a bit of a struggle as the first people to show up were Sleeve and Erwin, and then the calls started to come in. mpatshi finally arrived after getting lost, followed closely by Metal Patrick who had by then toured half of Brussels I think.

The group was complete with Helasdottir who happened to celebrate her birthday, Dirk and his wife (not on IAM I think), and Martine (Metal Patricks wife). Free and Dan had been roaming the museum's other collections in the morning already, and spent quite some time in the bookshop.

Got tickets and we went to see the exhibit itself. It was certainly interesting, but not as large or impressive as I expected. There were some interesting pieces though and seeing how tattooing and bodymodification developed through time was fascinating. We had seen most of it after about an hour and a half, we took some (forbidden) photographs inside the museum, and then headed off to the shop. I can recommend the Tatu - Tattoo catalogue of the exposition, as it has more information about each piece in the exhibit.

Off to the restaurant were more laughs were had, lots of talking about all kinds of things, some flashing of tattoos right there at the table and no one else in the restaurant even looked at us with a frow, or a dirty face. I suppose people that visit museums are educated and openminded enough to see a group of modified people having fun and not have a problem with it. Or we just behaved really well ;)

Thanks everyone for showing up, hope you enjoyed yourself! It was very nice to meet Helasdottir and I wished I had more time to talk to you, and a small note to mpatshi : sorry about getting lost in Brussels and I hope you got home fine. You're not as shy as you think you are.

A busy day, but fun!

Chowing down some food, charging the batteries of the digicam, going online to check if any messages have come in and in about one hour I'm off to Brussels to the Tatu - Tattoo exhibit with fellow tattoo and piercing enthousisasts.

I'm expecting quite some turnout, even though some people have cancelled, but it's gonna be fun, that's a certainty!

By the way... this is post number 2000 on FK - yay me, yay FK! More updates and other shit later (including San Andreas two player missions...).

A baby girl

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Yesterday, a colleague at work became a daddy for the first time. More details are unknown right now, but I can tell you it's a baby girl. Something that I already suspected because daddy had been a bit careless in picking his words the past weeks ;)

Congrats O & D!

Score

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How well do you score when it comes to spelling words? (link thanks to Zoe)

BBC News - Quiz: Spelling is not child's play

I scored an 8/10 - and without cheating, although I must admit that I took the time to really think some options over before picking what I believe was correct.

Loose yourself

Just spent 15 minutes analyzing what had happened to the blog of a friend. She IM'ed me this "Serv... what is going on with my blog???".

Now, let me get this straight : I'm not hosting her blog, nor do I have anything to do with the daily maintenance of it. I just happen to have it set up for her, on a webhost of her choice, so she turned to me first to find something out. Apparently, everything had been defaulted back to the initial settings, which left her locked out, all posts gone and no way to easily gain access again. My first idea was that someone had hacked into the account, but upon analyzing the databases there was not evidence of something like it happening.

I went in through her domain controlpanel, accessed the database, removed the old password, created a new password, dropped it in the DB so she regained access. The thing is though, she's lost pretty much everything stored in that database. Some of it being things that were unique - as in not saved anywhere else. People, please... make sure you make backups!

I backed up all the sites I host/maintain today - when did you?

Oh, if you're running windows XP, with Service Pack 1 (ouch!) and use IE (even more ouch!) make sure you install the latest iframe vulnerability patch released by Microsoft (MS04-040). Don't do it tomorrow. Do it today!

New month

New month, time to catch up on some things. Do some finances, check statements, do some shopping, run errands.

Played some more GTA SA yesterday evening - or should I say night? - and nailed Denise ;)

I'll play some more later tonight...

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

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