January 2005 Archives

The koala bear joke

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This joke popped back into my mind a couple of days ago, and I decided that I just had to re-post it. You know, for all of you that didn't know it yet!

A koala bear and a hooker go back to her place and they get undressed. The koala bear goes down on the hooker ... for 3 hours straight. She has multiple orgasms ... after 3 hours he stops, gets up and puts on his clothes.

The woman is hanging back huffing and puffing from exhaustion.
"Oh God, that was great! Now I need my money."
The koala bear just looks at her and shrugs.
Then the hooker says, "No, I need my money. I'm a hooker and this is how I make a living."
The koala bear just looks at her and continues to put on his clothes.
Then the hooker gets up and runs to the bookshelf and grabs a dictionary and thumbs it to "hooker."
She hands it to the koala bear and it reads:

HOOKER: "person who has sex for money"

Then the koala bear turns the page to "koala bear" and walks out the door. The hooker reads:

KOALA BEAR: "eats bushes and leaves"

More funnies

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This reminds me of the statement Hillary Clinton made when Bill was ignaurated : Read my lips, no more Bush (Apple Quicktime Format, 6.35MB)

Note : As far as I'm aware, the "Read my lips : No More Bush" ignauration statement is a hoax.

Bitch bitch blah blah blah

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It seems my hard work over the past days has come to fruitition... the massive error log I noticed earlier this week has been reduced to a mere 2 entries a day, coming from a spider (at least, that's what I presume) coming from IP 209.11.36.152, and it always looks for a rss feed that only was available for a couple of days (possibly even hours). It was from a test installation I did when checking out WordPress, but somehow the feed was picked up almost instantly.

That should be solved now, as I added a permanent redirect to the main page here. Last night I was seriously thinking about starting to tinker with a .htaccess file in order to block some unwanted traffic and access to my page, but I delayed that till the day I've got a bit more time. After all, if I am a bit careless with that file, I might block everyone, block the incorrect people, or it may not work at all. That remains on my to-do list...

Off to work in a matter of minutes. I just got out of bed and would really have loved to stay in a bit longer (especially if I had nice company), but duty calls. It sucks always being responsible, doesn't it?

Oops?!

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I've been digging a bit deeper into the life of SA Philip Snow, and this is what the web told me.

Technology Forums refers to him and has a short bio online as well. This is what they've got on him :

Special Agent Philip Snow

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Special Agent Philip Snow has been with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for over two years. During his time with the FBI, SA Snow has been assigned to the Washington Field Office’s criminal computer intrusion squad at the Northern Virginia resident agency. His investigative experiences have included investigations into wireless hacking, malicious code, phishing, unauthorized system access, and spam.

His educational background includes a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis on Advanced Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of South Florida. Prior to becoming an FBI agent, SA Snow owned and operated an Internet Development company. SA Snow also has experience with code writing, system architecture, and PC/Network support.

And according to that site, he presented a course on "Conducting Wireless Cyber Investigations" on January 12th 2005, covering a case study about a recently completed investigation of an individual who was using wireless networks to facilitate a scheme to extort seventeen million dollars from a victim company. The techniques the extortionist used, as-well-as the techniques used to catch him, will be discussed. You will learn that you can never underestimate a cyber criminal.

I'm starting to think that these mails are more legit than they seemed at first. That of course still doesn't explain the open proxy use in the first mail, and I'll continue being suspicious until I receive a formal response - if any - from the FBI, but the more I research, the more all pieces of the puzzle start matching. I'm sure you'll understand though, Mr. Snow, that I can't just accept everything that ends up in my mailbox.

I suggest you give me a call, I've left my home phone number in the complaint filed under the number mentioned in my previous post. I've got the utmost confidence that you'll be able to see that is an international long distance call you'll be making, as I'm not in the USA. Therefore I won't be calling you, but please feel free to call me.

Update : I went ahead and replied to his mail - I'm curious, I admit it. If I suddenly disappear mysteriously, at least you all know where to look.

Dear Philip Snow

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I just received your latest mail, and it seems that you are actively monitoring this website. I've also noticed that you are no longer using an open proxy to send mails, which is a start. For those interested in my communication with "the men in black", please find a transcript below (headers stripped).

I assure you that this is a real email and I am asking for your assistance. If you are not interested in helping, that’s ok. Otherwise, please call my field office number then ask for me.

Thanks, Philip

I think this proves with some certainty that he's reading and following what I write here. Interesting, wouldn't you say? Most spammers/phishers don't go to such great extends to lure their victims in, nor do most spammers/phishers target people that have shown at least basic understanding about internet security, mail fraud and mail headers.

Anyway, Special Agent Philip Snow... I've submitted all information gathered so far to your agency through their official website. I guess I'll know soon enough whether or not you're legit. If you want to look up the case using the complaint number, feel free to do so : I05012717148263.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Awww

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It's a few minutes past ten, and I can't seem to open my eyes enough to even resemble a state of awakeness from a distance. Yes, I did go to bed later than I should have, but after I finished reading my magazine, I still was tossing and turning around for at least another hour. I hope to sleep more tonight!

I think I'll have to chop off the top of one of my fingers, because something has been stuck in there for a few days, and it's irritating the hell out of me. I can't see or pinpoint the exact spot though, otherwise I'd have it dug out in a second. I almost wish it would get infected, because that would allow me to treat it and get it over with. It's just the fact that it stings every now and then, yet hides from view that is pissing me off immensely.

Did some link checking yesterday, reviewed the error logs for some of my sites and as a result of that copied a whole lot of files around to keep the number of lines in those logs down. Did you know that this very blog now consumes over a gig a month in bandwidth? Neither did I! Sure, you could blame the recent videos I've been posting, but I took a good look at the data from the past year, and it increases month after month.

Oh, before I forget - and in case you missed it - the "real life" entry I promised was called Mirrors and Reflections.

And finally : a new Bagle variant seems to be doing the rounds and was discovered on the morning of the 27th, and reports have come in from various countries. Now is a good time to check for updates to your virusscanner, wouldn't you say so?

Coincidence?

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I just received this mail, and I wonder if it was related to some earlier posts I made here, here, or maybe here? Hell, just search this blog for it and you'll find lots more related entries. Now, onto the mail :

Subject : I have a question for ServMe from friedkitten.com

My name is Philip Snow. I am a Special Agent with FBI and came across your friedkitten.com web site during the course on an investigation I am currently working on. I work on criminal computer intrusions cases as well as phishing and spammer cases. I am requesting your help and am interested in talking with you about a particular post you made. It appears you have done a lot of research and your assistance on my investigation would be much appreciated. I can be reached at 202-278-2000 (Ask for SA Philip Snow) or I would be happy to call you.

Thanks for your time and consideration,
Philip Snow
Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington Field Office/NVRA
202-278-2000

Now... let's be clear about this : This ain't a real mail from the Feds. Yes, there is a local Washington FBI Office, and yes the phone number in my mail matches the one listed for that office. But since that information is public anyway, anyone can pull such a trick. Then how do I know?!

Because I doubt the FBI sends mails using open proxies, in this case one at IP address 64.241.37.140. Anyway, in the rare case this mail is legit (yeah right), I'm sure the men in black will find an alternative way to contact me, won't they?

Now... another video for your enjoyment : State of the Union (Quicktime Format, 14.1MB)

Laughing with people

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Remember the 70's? If not, click here. (Apache, 18MB in WMV Format).

Remember why taping yourself when doing dumb shit is funny? No? Click here for a reminder. (Huge file, MPEG format)

To remind everyone who really rules the world, take a look at this. (5.6MB, WMV Format)

Moving up

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I just ordered an account upgrade at my webhost, because I've got quite some domains and projects that I'd like to expand. Here are the new details for those interested, and between brackets the details of my previous hosting plan.

400 MB disk space (up from 325MB)
22000 MB transfer per month (up from 19Gig)
60 e-mail addresses (up from 40)
20 addon domains (up from 10 - this is my main reason to upgrade)
5 MySQL databases (up from 4)

Note : MT 3.15 (bugfix release) just became available. Off to check it out - and installed successfully.

Mirrors and Reflections

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I just left this as a comment on Shelley's blog, and I think this could fit lots of men, yet they are afraid to admit it.

"Ah... the joys of moving. I always want to keep everything as well, and then one day I get fed up with it and throw it all away. Strange as it may sound, telling a guy that he has to get rid of things, is the same as asking him to give up his identity, as if you invade and try to change his core being.

Give him some time and he'll get rid of things himself. If you really really must put your foot down, barter about it. If he wants to keep A, B will have to go (or vice versa)... That'll leave him with choices to make, without disrupting everything at once.

You know... we're actually very very macho with a tiny heart that's easily broken."

Donating MX records

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I've been digging a bit deeper into Project Honeypot and decided to donate at least one MX entry to it. I'm currently waiting for a reply from my host, as I seem unable to set up the A record and the MX entry myself using CPanel. I'm new to most of this mailserver stuff, so I might have missed something, but I'm sure I'll learn as I go along.

I know, 't was another boring entry, but I promise to make at least one real life post somewhere this week. Maybe.

Time to crash...

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Tired, but kind of pleased that I completed my first three days successfully. Need sleep now. To all of you that are getting up right now, enjoy yourself today and think about me as I sleep and turn around once or twice while you're in some boring meeting.

Bye!

Anti-spam measures

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A short overview of some of the anti-spam measures I've currently installed.

MT-Blacklist : This one needs little introduction I think. Originally created by Jay Allen, this plugin now has become a supported part of Movable Type. Jay Allen joined 6A as well. The last version supports auto-updating, auto-comment denial, moderation and more lovely things.

MT-DBSL : Created by Brad Choate. Checks the IP address of the comment submitter against a DBSL list. This should instantly block everyone using an open proxy. Turned on and set to moderate right now. Will move to auto-deny after a (short) test period. If you are blocked, contact me. And make sure your computer is not a zombie!

Project Honeypot : A long-term anti-spam measure. Tracks spammers through the use of honeypot addresses. Will not affect you or this blog, but provides interesting data in the long run.

Nofollow Tag : Supported by a few search engines already, this tag prevents spiders from following the link it is attached to. In this case, it means that dumping URL's in a comment won't do you any good, spammer. If the spiders don't follow your links, they don't index them, and your pagerank doesn't increase. End of story :)

Hey, I did something today!

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Listening to some Siouxsie and the Banshees while I type this. I had heard about them before, but never really listened to the band. Not too bad, but nothing I'd enjoy listening to CD after CD.

Did some more maintenance on the archives, and they all look (kinda) OK now. I also added more anti-spam measures, some of those might affect you, others shouldn't, unless you are a spammer of course. My reason for installing these things is both out of interest in the technologies behind them, as well as making it as hard as possible for spammers. For those that want to read more, or install some of the techniques used themselves, be patient. I'll list everything used here in an upcoming post.

At least one this left to do is re-add the category links in the various templates, but I think I'll leave that for tomorrow. Off to watch Between The Sheets and entertain the fuzzies now.

Random stuff

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George "God Bless the United States of America" Bush is coming to Belgium for 2 days in February. According to the most recent information, he will be visiting on sunday the 20th (arrival), have talks with Shakey Albert II and Rabbit Guy on monday, and a visit to the NATO HQ as well as the European Council (and possibly the EP) on tuesday. On wednesday he's supposed to leave for Germany.

If you oppose his "the world is mine and I do as I please" policies, please make sure to let him know. This is our chance to stand up and tell him to grow a brain.

Expectations are that on sunday night there will be some snow, and as January has been quite gentle for us temperature wise, quite some people might be suprised by it. Make sure you're prepared, and drive safely. I'll have to drive through it as I'm working a graveyard shift that day, but I'll be careful, I promise.

Off to get some food now, then possibly watch Black Hawk Down (recorded last night) and when I'm done I'll be programming the VCR for Between The Sheets (Produced by ITV), to see what it's about and whether or not it's worth trying to follow. A review of BTS was done by The New Zealand Herald.

A room with a view

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Much to my suprise, the mailman didn't wake me up this morning, yay! Went to bed pretty late because I'll be starting graveyard shift tonight and I watched tons of programs on TV. Let me think for a while : on NGC there was a show called Taboo, about initiation rites/rites of passage with the Funali, indians in Brazil and a Shaman rite in Korea. BEfore that I had watched a documentary about the Secret Service (also on NGC), and after I tuned in for a rerun of the late news on VRT.

Originally I turned on the telly for Zembla on "Nederland 3" about cars, their polution and being the Holy Cow of the West, but they had another topic instead. Mortgage and more precisely the benefits you get when buying your own property in the form of a tax refund was up for discussion. Apparently there have been quite some promises by most politcial parties and hotshots that the current system cannot be touched, whereas some other (more alternative) people stated that the system benefits the rich more than those who need it most. Everything considered, quite an interesting discussion, and one that we'll have to have over here in Belgium sooner or later as well.

Went to bed around 3'ish and read a magazine till 4 before turning off the light and closing my eyes. I'm kinda nerveous for tonight, with it being the first shift that I'm "responsible", especially if the "colleague" I talked about earlier joins me in the control room. I'm very well aware that I'll make mistakes in the coming weeks and months, and working together with someone that doesn't mind stabbing one in the back doesn't really ease my nerves. Ah well... let's not get all worked up from the start, shall we?

Oh, I finally received my official ID-card that states I'm a licensed security guard. About time I'd say :)

It's still a work in progress - obviously - but today I got TypeKey authentication working. The cryptic error "The site you're trying to comment on has not signed up for this feature. Please inform the site owner." that I received before when signing in was of no help at all.

While it might be a fine error message for a reader, if I get such an error as the admin of this blog, it contains NO information that tells me how to resolve the problem. Way to go!

So... I've been playing with the commenting setup and here is the current status :

Comments from Unregistered Users are possible, but will need moderation from me before they appear on the site (which could take a few hours). They also need to leave name + e-mail address.

Comments from Registered Users are accepted by default, providing they leave an e-mail address as well.

All comments are checked and verified against MT-Blacklist, and the No_follow tag has been installed to make comment spamming useless (no pagerank gained by leaving your spam here!).

I've edited the Archives list a bit, until I figure out to get it in a nice pulldown menu again. It's probably just a few lines of code, but I gotta get those right.

How?

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A friend of mine asked this question in his latest online diary entry, and now I'm stuck with it. The question in itself is simple enough, but I fear the answer is quite the opposite.

How to you explain "red" to someone born blind?

I'd love to hear/read your ideas!

Night of the long knives

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Working Night Shift (Flash Movie)

Even though that movie is kinda funny, today I found out about something much less funny. In fact, it has made me realize that not all colleagues are as nice and civil as they seem at first. I'm not gonna waste too much time and words on it, but those of you that know me personally, also know that you can mess with me once, but not twice. No matter what, I'm not bringing to the same low level as this "colleague". I don't know yet whether or not I'll confront him with it, or just keep it in mind and act as if nothing happened but watching my six closely.

Or I could just ask him one single question and by that make him aware that I know, and then not bring it up ever again. I just wonder why he did what he did? There would have been so many other (better?) ways of handling the situation, without attempting to stick a knife in my back. Well, you made your choices, and I'll reach my own conclusions. That's the end of this sorry story, I hope you enjoyed that flash animation better!

Mailbox

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As I went to check on my mailbox a few hours ago, it was totally empty. The doorbell was just rang and when I picked up the intercom, it was the mailman. So I ran down (well, I took the elevator), expecting it to be the book I bought on e-bay about three weeks ago, but it was not. The mailman had our free energy saving lightbulbs with him, and as I seemed the only one home, I accepted and signed for the neighbors in my block as well. After all, I do know all of them, so why not?

Just for the heck of it, I checked the mailbox again and much to my suprise, there was a card in it that said "I tried to delived a package on the 17th, but you were not home. You can pick it up at - insert address - on the 18th after 9AM."

Excuse me?! Today is the 18th, and I'm VERY certain that card wasn't there when I got home yesterday afternoon, nor was it when I checked for mail this morning. So, either he made a mistake when it comes to the dates, or he's full of bullshit. Well, that last statement is true anyway, as I've been home all morning, and he didn't even try ringing the bell to see if someone was in. I can understand that having to deal with payments and such is a hassle, but please dude... do your job! Now I'll have to go running around because you're too lazy to do your work properly.

Anyway, it seems customs had their way with the shipment as well, and have been putting charges on it. This means it'll cost me a ton of money to actually receive the book I already paid a lot of cash for. The only thing I can hope for now, is that the seller didn't mention the real amount of money I paid for that book anywhere on the package. Then customs might just tax it as a regular book for an average price.

Off to work in about 30 minutes, and on friday my first time "alone".

Idiots

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After Prince Harry (UK) wore a "nazi symbol" to a party, European Commissioner Franco Frattini (Justice departement) is considering a ban on all nazi related symbols in EU.

The symbol they're referring to here is of course the Swastika. Let it be clear that in ancient times, the Swastika was a symbol of life, luck, and was widely accepted by many cultures. Since the Nazis adopted this symbol, it is often viewed as a symbol of oppression, hatred and violence - exactly the opposite of it's original meaning.

Therefore I am convinced that banning the Swastika would be a very foolish thing to do. It would be much better to educate people about the positive meaning of the symbol and thus have us all reclaim what was stolen from humanity by the Nazis.

Links : ManWoman - The Gentle Swastika (book)

More code fiddling... some improvement

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As you can see, this little blog of mine is slowly becoming more readable again. Let's be very clear though : don't expect everything to work as expected, since there are a lot more files to be re-edited and code to be examined in order to get even close to my MT2.661 blog version.

If only I remembered how I did things way back in the day - or where I found the neccessary info to make the modifications I did... it would certainly make things easier. Ah well, it's a good think though that I did all of those little tweaks myself, otherwise I'd be totally lost right now.

Some links seem to point to the same file right now (example : permanent link and comments) but those are things I'll correct or understand better after I'm done fiddling and open the manual that comes with this thingy. Yeah, I'm hacking undocumented old code, changing it comply with new tags, formats and functions, yet I don't care to open the manual. I've visited the support forums though for quick answers when I'm kinda stuck.

Will I ever learn? Probably not :)

I fixed the text area size problem. It only takes a bit of editing styles.css in the directory containing your static files. I suggest using metapad (very powerful freeware notepad replacement for Windows OS's) and then searching for textarea in the CSS file. You should find two entries, replace the default to whatever you like, and upload the new file to the correct place. Voila, one thing solved. Off to work some more on the layout and changed templates now.

All kinds of things, but mostly sleep

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I seriously hate getting up at 4AM and every time I'm working a series of sunrise shifts, I feel like I've worked 10 days in a row, even if it's only the third one. I'm just not a morning person I guess - no suprises there I'd say!

I've totally lacked time and drive to continue restoring the CSS that makes this blog look better (also due to the reason mentioned above), but I'm still working on it. It could be a very easy copy/paste operation, but my 2.661 MT templates were customized quite a bit, and the default 3.14 MT templates changed in various places so it's a line by line comparison process, yet while still looking at the whole concept as well.

Now, does anyone know how to change the size of the textarea in the admin sections of MT3.14. For some reason I'm stuck with tiny textareas in Firefox, but I'm sure it should be possible to change this. If correctly, I even recall this behaviour popped up in an earlier version of MT as well, yet was remidied then.

Working hard

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on restoring data - well, that part is done - and adding all those tiny details that made this blog what it was. While it looks damn ugly right now, fixing the CSS is not my top priority right this second, as it is something that will follow when everything else is tweaked again.

A long way to go

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Up quite early today - for a day off that is - and I'm having spaghetti already. What can I say, I was hungry! The very yummy sauce was donated my my sis to the "FK 12-12*" fund, and I must say that it's very good too.

Plans for today include erm... nothing. Wait, I gotta go shopping for food, should clean the place up a bit and run some errands.

* The "FK 12-12" name originates from the fact that I think about food aproximately 12 seconds per minute. The other twelve is the amount of time in seconds thinking about sex per minute. A quick calculation shows that I've got 36 seconds to spare per minute to think about other things. Which is way to much, so I'm working hard to add at least 12 seconds of blogging to that timeframe. Based on the quality of this entry, I've got a long way to go.

Shopping, shipping and burst

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Ain't it spectacular how I manage to be home today, yet accomplish nothing. Well, I did do things today, but I think most of you won't consider finishing the GLA missions in Zero Hour a huge accomplishment. I also checked some work related paperwork and statements, and spent most of my time online, wasting it at various sites.

Right now I'm trying to set up a way to get my hands on (a subscription to) Burst Tattoo magazine. Their site is available in Japanese only, and that happens to be a language I don't master. However - thanks to various international contacts - I might have someone living in Japan buying and shipping it to me every two months. Now we just need to find a secure and verifiable way to transfer the necessary funds, without neither of us being screwed.

I was also looking at some very interesting books online, but the shipping charges are totally outrageous it seems. I had made a nice selection of 3 books, but when I was quoted a shipping charge of $125 (airmail) I quickly decided that even with a good exchange rate it was way out of line. Unfortunately, most of these books are not regulary available online :(

Home and away

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As I was emptying the mailbox today - I was hoping for either two work related letters, or one book I ordered from Ebay last week - I noticed it was quite stuffed. Two magazines, one of them Humo, the other one stuffed in a shiny silver cover, hiding the contents (must be an erotic kind of thingy), one advertising pamflet that was addressed to someone living in a completely different street with the same number, and one bill.

I really wonder if their mail turns up at my address, where mine is going? I was correct about the shiny covered magazine : it was a "last chance" catalogue of Pabo, some erotic shopping post-order outlet. As I browsed through it, I really was wondering what the point of it all is? It's full of erotic lingerie for women, the "sexy" clothes for men are not something that either fits or becomes me, and I really don't fit in the "free sexy string with shiney beads" that was included. Besides the fact that I don't like wearing strings, this was a female model too. No way I could wear it and keep all my stuff inside!

So... if anyone feels like they have use for a nice black string with a ruby-chain on the backside (image here), gimme a yell. First one to mail or leave a comment - address not needed to be public, just mail it to me - gets it! I have no clue what size it is, but as it stretches it should fit XS to M. Update : it's gone. Joco seems to like strings ;)

Last night, I was watching some telly and stumbled upon one of those date-by-SMS programs that cost you 0.75 euro a message. I browsed the profiles on teletekst and gave it a go. What a load of crap is that? I think someone just makes up profiles so everyone can find something they like, and throws it on TV to make (lots of) money. Have you ever replied (first reply) to a complete stranger messaging you with the words "baby", "honey" or "sexy"? Especially if my originating messages had nothing of even the slightest hint to sex, erotica or whatever in them?

I need to get out more, really.

Tsunami Relief CD

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Songs I think would be quite appropriate for a Tsunami Relief CD. If you know of even more fitting tracks, please let me know so I can add them.

R.E.M - Nightswimming
Clouseau - Nat Van Binnen
Andre Hazes - Een beetje vermist
Bobby Darin - Splish Splash
ABBA - SOS
Alphaville - Big in Phuket
FriedKitten - The tide is High
Beastie Boys - Sneakin' out of the hospital
Kevin Costner - Waterworld
Caviar - Where's my Tangerine Speedo?
Ome Henk - Opblaas Krokodil
The Beach Boys - Wind Surfin'
Dead Can Dance - The flood that shakes the barley
The Clash - Flood the Casbah
Elton John - I'm still standing
Fiddler on the Beach - If I were a rich man
Lionel Ritchie - Dancing on the Ceiling
Murray Head - One night in Bangkok
Peter Koelewijn - Kom van dat dak af
Queen - Who wants to live forever
Scooter - How much is the fish?
Smoke City - Underwater Love
The Clinic - Deep Water
Thompson Twins - Doctor! Doctor!
U2 - Walk to the water
Vader Abraham - 't kleine cafee aan de haven

Note : It's a frigging joke people! Get a life...

List

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BBC - 50 things to eat before you die.

I've had 34 out of 50 so far, and I'm (hopefully) not even halfway in my lifespan. Better have a "100 things to eat before you die" list next year!

Peer pressure

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Nadine has written quite a post about the recent Tsunami disaster (in Dutch only), but she covered the aid gathering and funding even better. I have to agree with her that the amount of pressure put in individuals or governments is immense. If you don't "give, help, send aid, or donate" you're basically not a human being, heartless and evil. As we all remember, peer pressure is one of the hardest things to fight and stand up against as a teenager or twen, yet that same technique is now used worldwide.

I fought peer pressure and made my own decisions when I was growing up, and I'm doing it again. I agree that the disaster that happened was a catastrophy, that lots and lots of lives have been lost and several countries are in shambles, homes destroyed, public services disrupted and chaos everywhere. Will I be donating money to relief the pain? Will I be sending food or medicins to fight hunger or diseases? No, I won't.

Some of you might not be surpised when they read this, other may conclude that I'm a heartless bastard that should suffer immensly myself in order to "understand" what these people have to go through. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I will respect whatever comment you may or may not leave here.

I prefer aiding people and thus humanity on a long term. Sure long term aid will not solve the problems posed today, but it'll prevent those of the future, or at least make tackling them easier. Most aid is just a bandage, to stop the bleeding, but it doesn't cure the patient. It just barely keeps them alive, makes the images more acceptable for mass consumption and takes care of our guilty feeling. Think about it, admit it : this disaster is mediatized, sold, resold and used as a carrier to sell products, all in the name of aid.

Do you hear about the hundreds of victims in other countries - either dying each day because of famine, diseases or wars? No, because their story is too hard to compact, exploit and sell. Thus their market value is less than a spectacular event such as a tsunami and the destruction it caused.

I pick where to give, what to give and how much to fund. And those of you thinking that I'm all talk and no action are free to mail me (e-mail address is available on this page) and I'll tell them what I've done in the past, how my investements are spread out and why. Just make sure you can back up your own choices before one criticizes the choices others make.

In other news : Six Apart aquires LiveJournal

One might wonder

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what I've been up to the past two days, as I haven't been working. Well, yesterday quite a lot of time was spent fixing printers and taking ferrets to the vet. More time was wasted shopping for food - all healthy stuff like candy, pizza,... - and I spent the rest of the time either playing games, surfing or sleeping.

More of those three last activities were done today. I didn't even get out of the building. The few days that I'm at home, I like doing what I like, and nothing else. Actually, this morning I also filed bills and wrapped up 2004 completely now. That's about it.

Watched some TV this evening - some documentary about snakes, then I caught a documentary about some belgian top models working in NY (Hannelore Knuts was one of them - she's got a hot accent... after all she's from Limburg) and I also saw an episode of 24. Off to bed now!

Bono, getting old

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Just got back from the vet, and Bono is doing (kinda) fine. He's getting old though and it shows. The obvious loss of fur and some skin problems are very likely related to kidney problems. Something that in itself is quite common in ferrets, even more so if they reach a respectable age. He's gotten an expensive shot, which needs to repeated coming april, and then every 5 months I believe. According to Elly, they've got equally good results from this medicin as from invasive surgery, so I think the choice can be made easily.

He also had infected anal glands - which is something that can just happen - so we needed to get rid of the smelly gunk too. If I tell you we did this outside in order to keep the practice smell-free, I think one knows enough. I held Bono firmly while Elly squeezed and pushed most puss out. Yes, it's a yummy idea, ain't it?

Follow up consists of 10 days on antibiotics, and checking regulary because there is a small chance that those glands need to be cleared once more. I'm off to the pharmacy now to get those meds.

A busy morning

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Appointement with the vet made for 14h30 this afternoon. CD written containing various printer drivers and tools, in case my USB stick is not supported. If I recall correctly, one of the machines that I'll be working on in a few minutes is still running windows 95. No USB support there!

My right thumb hurts. I somehow hit it yesterday while working and it seems a bit infected. Squeezed out all the yellow gunk and it already feels better. Will scrub it good before I leave though.

Next on the list : wash, get dressed, leave.

Shit, no more fan

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I come home, to an absolute silence. My computer seems to have turned itself off. Now, I know that happens every once in a while, and the cause is usually not the machine itself, but the UPS that shits itself. I agree that having a UPS that shits itself and thus turns off the machine it is suppost to protect doesn't make much sense, but please... don't ask :)

I turn everything back on and start surfing, reading mail and everything seems to be normal. Suddenly I'm staring at a black screen and the damn thing reboots itself. Uh? As soon as it's back up, the first thing I check is the firewall. Might it be disabled and is some remote script (or scriptkiddie) rebooting my machine? Nopez, it's up and working as it should. Then I suddenly notice a change in the noise level and once again the box shits itself.

Turns out the fan of the powersupply is flaky, and thus the thing overheats massively. I got it running again now, but I don't know how long it'll last. I've already taken off one cover to help fresh air flow in and disperse heat, and now I'm off to look for a replacement powersupply, preferably a silent one. If anyone has suggestions (don't you have one of those silent power supplies, Joco?) lemme know!

Update : the PSU seems to be running fine for now. Was it just a temporary problem, I sure hope so! I've been looking into silent PSU's and the true no-noise models are still very hefty in price, but the Zalman ZM400B-APS (ATX - 400 Watt PSU) seems to fit both my needs as well as my budget. I might order one in case this OEM one goes tits up.

Plans for next week

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Gotta call the vet tomorrow to set up an appointement asap. Bono seems to be feeling kinda under the weather and I want him to be checked out. He's not been doing so good the past months, even though nothing was really serious. He's just getting quite old and rational thinking leads me to conclude that 2005 will probably not be a good year, ferret-wise :(

Today is my last day of work for this shift, the on monday morning I'm off to fix some printer problems, in the afternoon I hopefully have that appointement with the vet. Tuesday is so far still free, so I might head out to check out the sales and get some new clothes. Wednesday is back off to work.

Yesterday morning I collected all my bank statements (including the end-of-year statements), calculated and reviewed my year financially and filed away all bills, contracts and assorted paperwork one deals with in everyday life. New files have been made for the year 2005, so I start off with a good setup. It's much easier to put some time into those things at the start of the year, opposed to spending hours during and near the end to try and find everything one needs.

Why do I always sound so boring?

A first peek into 05

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So... this is the first entry of yet another year. The older I get, the less important these commercialized and over hyped celebrations become it seems. I recall that I used to go out to party, launched fireworks, and did all those things one is "supposed" to do on days like this. However, as the years went by, I stopped going out - it's too crowded, too expensive and just "too" anyway - and instead opted for spending it with some friends, family. A close party, just hanging out together.

This year I worked till ten PM, then drove over to my sisters' place to play some games. She didn't have anything special planned, nor did I, so why not meet and play board and cardgames? It was fun, I enjoyed it, even though it's not rock and roll. I'm getting too old to rock and roll :)

What will 2005 bring? I haven't got a clue but I'm sure it'll be interesting, because life is what you make of it.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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