June 2005 Archives

The stars in the sky

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Thanks to my best friend Joco I've got a 5.8GB file sitting on my external drive right now, containing the raw footage of the Truth Seekers Syndicate meeting on sunday. I'll probably be editing it over the weekend as I'm off from work.

My head is doing much better as well, and I think I've come to terms with the intense stuff going on on sunday. Maybe a few rough moments will occur when I look back at the tapes while editing and while going through the photos, but I can accept the outcome I believe.

Off to make some yummy food now, and then work calls for another nightshift.

Suicide Man - the new superhero!

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4 night shifts and I'm a wreck already. At least my back and shoulders don't hurt terribly. My head is a mess though, especially inside. Off in a few minutes, gotta go save the earth!

The wind that shakes the barley

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As time passes, I'm getting more confused about yesterday, or at least so it seems. I've not been analyzing anything on purpose, quite the contrary, but idea's, feelings and emotions keep racing through my head.

Right this moment, I'm doubting everything, especially myself and I know that can't be the solution nor the state of mind I should be in. If I allow this to happen it would depress me, and I'm not into that.

On the other hand, why am I expecting to feel some specific emotions anyway? It was a first time, I should just let it all come to me and deal with it as time evolves. If I started writing an experience now, it would be totally different as if I had written it earlier today. Maybe it ain't such a bad idea to write both the positive as well as the negative side of the story down. This suspension ritual is much more powerful than I ever imagined, and it's shaking my world.

I won't be processing images nor video until I am ready to do so. Sorry for those who'll have to wait to see more footage, but I have to deal with myself first now.

Yesterday was intense. I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to, yet I didn't fail either. I just didn't succeed yet. The atmoshpere was superb, the crew and people involved and attending were so supportive, no matter what happened and the weather couldn't have been better.

Now I have to let everything sink in, think about it and learn what there is to be learned. It ain't a competition and that is something I like. I took a quick look at the 127 photographs I shot and the 29 minutes of video that was made. Over the next days I'll start editing them and release them to the people involved. Due to the content, they probably won't appear on FK though. If you want to know more, I suggest you keep an eye open on the TSS gallery at BMEzine, bodymodification.be and possibly suspension.be. The latter depending on my descision to either decentralize specific content, or bring it all together in one spot. For now, I'm off to enjoy the sun and work a nightshift later.

TSS Meeting in Venlo

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Digital cam with charged battery 128MB Compact Flash Card : Check!
Charged backup battery and 64MB CF Card : Check!
Digital Video Cam with charged battery and 60 minute DV tape : Check!
Two extra 60 minute tapes for video cam : Check!
Charger for both camera's : Check!

It seems I'm ready for tomorrow's TSS meeting. Well, I've got enough gear with me to digitally shoot everything that happens. Whether or not I'm mentally prepared is something I'll find out within a few hours.

Got home from work yesterday, changed clothes - grabbed a new shirt - and drove over to Joco and Eef's place. Dropped off the kids and went to the sauna to relax. Was much fun again, although warm :)

Drove back to their place, picked up food ingredients, picked up the kids and I started cooking for the three of us. The kiddo's had eaten already and were dead tired so they went to bed pretty early. After yummy food we played another game of Trivial that ended in just saying whatever color we desired, answering a question and making throwing dices totally unnecessary. Thus it was a quick 'n dirty game, but with lots of fun! Eef won, and a few minutes after midnight I really started to crash. I had been up by 4AM, so it didn't come as much of a suprise. Went home - unloaded my sauna bag - checked mails quickly and fell asleep.

Slept up till eleven this morning, feeling good but not totally rested. It's still totally hot inside and it is killing me. I was under the impression it would be better outside today, but it doesn't seem to be. Off to the store now to pick up a videotape for Joco's cam that I borrowed, so I can tape the activities tomorrow. Laters!

More complaining

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Spent 2.5 hours in a traffic jam yesterday while temperatures of 34° Celsius were reached - no doubt it was even hotter inside the car. I don't have AC in it, but I sure would have loved some coolness. When I finally got home, it got up to 28° inside and even though I opened every door and window overnight, it still was 27° when I got up this morning at 4AM. If there are no winds at all, it's hard to drive the warmth out of your place, and it'll take days for it to cool down. That is IF outside temperatures start dropping to more managable levels.

Hopefully it won't be as hot on sunday.

Sleep, I want more sleep!

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As excited and stressed out I was about going to work yesterday, as much I wanted to go back to bed today. Even though I usually wake up and poof, I'm awake like that, I fully admit that I considered turning around and sleep more this morning. However, that would result in problems for colleagues and not solve anything really. I can sleep in on saturday (I hope). Which means I've got three days to look forward to : sauna on friday afternoon, sleeping in on saturday and TSS meeting on sunday, Yay!

Tribal Fire Breathing

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I haven't done much interesting today. Received a new book this morning which I can/should review for my other site (www.bodymodification.be), went shopping for food (yummy fruit and veggies) and that's about it. Oh, wait... I also got myself some slippers as I need some on friday. I got a nice bathrobe yesterday, and it ahs some sort of a story attached to it.

I'm walking the store, looking for a bathrobe in my size and finally find some. They've got the regular white ones, blue one, some with a colorfull checkered pattern on them, the works. As I'm going through the white robes, I find one my size and I notice it has this nice looking tribal dragon on the front. Cool! The price is right, the size is fitting and off to the register I go. I pay and head home. When I get home, I clip off the label and other various crap they attach to clothes and I notice a "Peanuts" tag being amongst them. Ain't Peanuts related to Snoopy? Ah well... I pay no more attention and drop the thing in the laundromat for a first wash.

When it's done I grab it and put it on my drying rack when I notice the front of the bathrobe : that ain't a tribal dragon! It's bloody Snoopy. I admit, Snoopy is cool, but still... I still have no clue how I managed to change Snoopy into a tribal dragon while I was browsing. My mind must have been elsewhere I guess. Anyway, if you run into me while I'm wearing my bathrobe, keep this in mind : "My Snoopy has tribal instincts and breathes fire!".

Screwed over backwards?

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When I noticed that Elia was doing an IPO, I immediately signed up for some of their stock. I used bank A to do so. The IPO was a superb success, in such that the demand was 10 times higher as the offered stock. This of course results in less stock being awarded to buyers. I got 15% of what I intended to buy :(

Had I known in advance - or did my homework better maybe? - I would have gotten 50% instead of 15%, simply because then I would have asked bank B to perform the buy for me. Anyway, today was the first day the stock was available for sale on the stockmarket and upon introduction it rose close to 5% (which is a good think). Water under the bridge I guess... I'll have to pay closer attention next time when purchasing IPO stock!

Note : Covenant's "Dead Stars" Live Version totally rocks!

Bleh

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Todays temperature totally sucks - way too hot for my liking, and due to it I "sinned" yesterday. I had some icecream. It's not specifically on the list of things I shouldn't eat, but it would match 'candy' I suppose. Ah well... too bad.

I really hope things cool seriously down later tonight or during the week, because I don't feel like being sweaty every second of the week!

Guess what : today I received a letter from my employer! It contained an individual statement of all payments done in 2004. However, to my knowledge, it's not a statement 281.10, so I doubt I can use it to file my taxes. I'll go and seek help on those tomorrow afternoon and have them checked. I usually am able to do them myself, but with all the shit that went on last year, I don't want to "just give it a shot" and then find out I totally messed up.

Yeah, I admit, I'm in a whiney mood today. The heat is getting to me - in such a way even that I almost stopped my car in the middle of the highway while trying to get home to beat the crap out of some loser that figured that running people off the road was a good idea. If you pass me on the left side while you know there is a traffic jam and you then have to merge into the right lane - where at that point I've been sitting for something like 20 minutes, hardly moving at all - if I don't leave a gap, there is a reason for it. Don't force your way into it. Next time you may not be so lucky, especially when I'm in plain clothes. I dread violence and aggression, but even I can blow a fuse, when people piss me off on purpose, in this heat.

So, driver of the grey Mercedes Vito with licenseplate GMM930 : you officially suck.

28°C - 42% humidity

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It's bloody fucking hot outside. That's all I have to say for that matter. Tomorrow could be even hotter, yikes!

First things first : thank Ash for the Legal Guide for Bloggers link she left as a comment in a previous post. I don't know why I get that link now, but it could come in handy for what I'm about to write next :)

More good news : I received my first ebay auction book already. Bought on tuesday the 14th, it arrived today, friday the 17th. Which means the seller was able to verify my payment, wrap and pack the book, drop it off at the post office, and had it sent out of the UK, into Belgium and delivered to my mailbox in under three days. Impressive to say the least, don't you think? Keep that accomplishment in mind as I switch to the next topic.

Remember a few posts back that I received a memo from my employer concerning our 281.10 financial statement? (If not, read here) The exact words of the memo relating to the statement were : "De fiscale fiches zullen allicht verstuurd kunnen worden vanaf 13 juni. Het gebruik van een nieuw systeem vraagt de nodige controles en zorgt uitzonderlijk voor vertraging. Uiteraard kunnen wij de gegevens pas verstrekken als ze volledig juist zijn."

A non-binding translation to english would sound like this : "The fiscal statements can possibly be sent out starting June 13th. The usage of a new system creates the need for extra verification and extraordinary delays. It should be very clear that we can only provide information that is totally correct."

Let's look at the different parts of the memo :

Statements can probably be sent out starting June 13th : Today is friday June 17th. A regular letter doesn't take 3 (or 4) days to travel from Linkebeek to my mailbox. Which leads me to believe that the statements were NOT sent out on the 13th, nor on the 14th, or the 15th. Sure enough - and I admit that - they used the word "allicht" / "probably" in their memo, cutting them some slack, because they couldn't be certain. Mind you... these statements had to arrive - according to various legal resources I checked - on March 1st 2005. Extraordinary delays = 3.5 months?

It should be very clear that we can only provide information that is totally correct." : The correctness remains to be seen, but going by their track record, I've got my doubts even before I lay my hands on the statement. In the last 12 months, I've had 9 corrections happens to pay stubs. Mind you, not 9 corrections in total, but rather 9 times in 12 months. I don't even want to calculate the success rate because it would be too depressing. If I had a success rate that low when I accept and deal with incoming alarms and calls, Belgium would be a nuclear wasteland by now. I admit though that I shouldn't sell the bears fur before I shot it (I don't even know that sounds OK in english, lol) but I have every right to be very sceptical, haven't I?

Now... take a look at the title and feel free to pick whatever word(s) you find most appropriate to go with the content of this post. Hey, I'm not making any statements here, I'm merely using partial lyrics of Thieves by Ministry ;)

Online bargaining

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I went into "ebay" mode again over the past couple of days, bidding for several items. Two I won, two I didn't get and there's another two that I'm currently the highest bidder for. One will be ending today (in a couple of hours) which means I won't be home as it ends, the other one closes in 3 days or so.

All of auctions I won so far are books that seem interesting, and I can't wait for them to arrive. One is shipping from Japan, another one is coming in from the UK. It's funny how sometimes you can just get the best items as a real bargain, and sometimes you wonder how it is possible that the dumbest things get so expensive. The wonderful world of ebayebay.com, I recon :)

Lets dance the Mambo, shall we?

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Since I got a little bored today, I just started toying around with Mambo, a CMS tool. First I took a look at PHPNuke and PostNuke, but PHPNuke had too many unpatched vulnerabilities for my liking, PostNuke scored better on that count, yet the Mambo community sites and presentation convinced me to give it a spin. Mind you, I don't plan to change FK or to switch it to Mambo. It's for another site of mine that needs a new layout but even more important : more content and dedication.

Off to mess around :)

Funny bash.org quotes

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DragonflyBlade21: A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

<mage> what should I give sister for unzipping?
<Kevyn> Um. Ten bucks?
<mage> no I mean like, WinZip?

<xterm> The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

<Beeth> Girls are like internet domain names, the ones I like are already taken.
<honx> well, you can stil get one from a strange country :-P

<Eticam> I was in biology class once, and the teacher said there was sugar in sperm
<Eticam> And a girl asked why doesn't it taste sweet then
<Eticam> When she realised what she said her face became red like a spanked monkey ass
<Eticam> Then the teacher said, because you taste sweetness with the front of your tongue, not the part of your tongue back in your throat
<Eticam> The girl started crying and left class

Looking for a way out

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I took an alternative route home this morning, in order to see if it is an option when the ringway is blocked or traffic is massively delayed there. When it comes to time, both routes are comparable, but distance wise, the alternative route is about 4 kilometers shorter. However, it takes me right through the center of the city, so it really depends on the time I pass through to be quicker. I may experiment more in the coming days/weeks as the situation on the ringway changes.

The sunday night playlist :

Alfa-Matrix - Re:Connected 1.0 (2CD Compilation)
Missy Elliott - This is not a test!
Missy Elliott - Under Construction
Yasmine - Blauw
Yasmine - Pret-a-Porter

Saturday night fever

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Saturday night playlist at work (in alphabetic order, but played random) :

Björk - Debut (1993)
Die Krupps - >I< (1992)
Manau - Panique Celtique (1998)
Melanie C - Reason (2003)
Shamen - Boss Drum (1993)
Skinny Puppy - Vivisect VI (1988)
The Blues Brothers Band - Red, White, & Blues (1992)
The Blues Brothers - Best of The Blues Brothers (1981)
The Blues Brothers - Music from the Soundtrack (1980)

I just grabbed some CD's in my collection as I was leaving for work, but as you can probably see, I've got quite a diverse taste in music. Now that I also look at the dates of the CD/albums, it seems I've got quite a lot of older work, but have been very picky when it comes to more recent releases.

Yes, there are three Blues Brothers albums in the list, but that's just because I felt like listening to them again. There probably won't be any Blues Brothers tracks in the sunday playlist. Should I post that playlist later as well, or are you bored already?

Are we programmed to consume meat?

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I just got back from the store and brought these things with me : paksoi, mushrooms, cashew nuts, eggs, paprika (red), onions. I'll be turning some of these ingredients into a nice meal later tonight, and use the rest for tomorrow. The paksoi was not on my list but as I noticed the store carried it, and I know it's often used in asian dishes, I bought it anyway. I'm certain it'll serve a purpose.

Now, with all this healthy eating going on, I've lost about 2 kilo already, in about three weeks or so. I guess the cutting back on candy helps too. At first I thought that would be hard, but it really wasn't... cutting back on meat products though, that proved (and still proves) to be a challenge. It must be due to the fact that I've been eating meat all of my life, and even created meals around meat, making it the most important ingredient. So, now when I look at things to cook and eat, I feel restricted in my options, while I am actually really not - it's just that I'm not used to it and need to look at food and eating differently. So far I'm doing good, not to say great, but it's still an "active" process going on, so I must focus on excluding it from my impulses when buying/creating and cooking meals.

Will this change over time? I guess and hope it will. Does this mean I'll become a vegetarian? I really doubt it, though I don't find this new diet too hard to keep up. Ah well... I'll see how it evolves.

Tonights dish is called Idiyappam, tomorrow will be a veggie-rice dish.

Update : making that Yidiyappam totally sucked. It needs way too much pots and pans for my liking. The fact that I roasted the cashew nuts and then proceeded to drop the container that held them to the floor, scattering oily cashew nuts all over the kitchen, doesn't help much. I know it was my fault, but still... why cook and bake and fry everything in seperate stages? I like creating food in a wok for various reasons, one of it being simple and efficient. This Yiddiyappam dish was far from it - and it didn't even taste as good as it looked on the photograph. Tomorrow should be better.

Hey, I did something today!

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I just finished cleaning out the ferrets cages, while they played around. I also cleaned their ears, and nailclipping was done earlier this week. Bono still hates having his ears cleaned, resulting in a mess all over the place. Tisha and Max on the other hand don't mind it that much, phew.

My taxform is still not filled out due to missing information. When I received a letter from my employer I was hoping it would contain the missing statement, but instead it had a memo included : due to switching to a new system, extra checks need to be done, and this poses an exceptional delay. We hope to be able to start sending out missing statemens on the 13th of June.

Mind you, they've been pulling the "new system" scapegoat for the past year, and still they can't get it right. In case they indeed manage to get statements out on the 13th - which to be frank, I don't buy - they'll probably arrive on the 15th or so. Which leaves everyone with just 15 days to complete their taxforms. Nice, I tell you. Maybe I should check if employers are not legally bound to deliver 281.10 documents before a certain deadline. I only found one article stating a date of March 1st, but I can't find any official documents about it. Maybe if someone working in a fiscal environment reads this, they could point me in the correct direction? Confirmed through a link given to me by Joco, thanks mate!

Off to work the nightshift later... see ya!

Market changes...

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Some recent articles about energy production, green energy and mergers caught my eye. I'll link to the articles in question (they're in dutch) but will provide a quick english summary here.

1. The English buscompany Stagecoach runs one of its busses on sheeps urine, more specifically in the city of Winchester. (Link)

2. Energy concerns Luminus and SPE expected to complete merger before summertime. This will make them the second biggest player on the Belgian market after Electrabel. (Link)

3. Electrabel invests 11 million euro in Portugese windpower project(s). The total output of these projects is expected to be 442MW, and they are a joined cooperation of Generg, the European Investment Bank and a bankconsortium consisting of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Caja Madrid and Banco BPI. (Link)

A fun day out

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I made good use of my day off from work : I went to the Zoo where Eva and I looked at all the animals, then we went off to Wagamama to have something to eat (yummy noodles) and had some drinks in an Irish pub later on. Unfortunately, no photographs by me, as I forgot my digital cam, but you may find some shots taken by Eva on her site : mpatshi.be. If no photographs appear, go bother her ;)

Today was a slow(ish) day at work, as the revision is nearing completion. It sure is welcome, I tell you. Now we'll have a few weeks off in which we can learn more, review past situations and train a few new people as well before we dive in head first into a 6-week long revision which will be hell to get through I think.

I got home and as was pretty hungry I was thinking to myself : ooh... I could order pizza later tonight, or get some yummy take-out chinese food, or... and then I recalled that I was on this consience diet thingy. Pizza and take-out chinese food doesn't really fit into it, although if the chinese food were vegetarian, it shouldn't be a problem. Last night when I weighed myself, I wasn't planning to keep track of my weight to be honest, I noticed I lost about 2 kilo already. Losing weight would be a nice side effect of this diet!

I just came home from the supermarket - I tell you, shopping for food while hungry is not the wisest thing to do - but I really restrained myself and opted for a nice healthy sandwich later tonight. I brought some french bread with me, tomatoes, various types of lettuce, some cheese and I'll make a healthy meal instead. Tomorrow I think I'll go visit Wagamama after we get back from the Zoo. They got healthy food as well, and it's real tasty.

Yesterday I transferred 5 of my domain names to GoDaddy.comGoDaddy.com, and since earlier tests proved to be good, I may move even more domains to them. Hey, it really makes a difference to pay $9.25/domain instead of $14; especially when talking +20 domains.

Awwww Zzzzz

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It's been a very short night although everything went well up to the point of actually getting out of bed. I'll be glad when work is finished for the day and I can get back home to get some proper sleep. Tomorrow I'll be heading of to the Zoo to stare at the animals - they'll probably stare right back - and on friday I start working my nightshifts.

Filing taxes still is on my to-do list, as one important piece of information hasn't shown up yet, and without it there is no point in starting even. I hope to get it out of the way by nxt week at the latest. Off to work now... see ya'll!

The guessing game

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I doubt that this post is readable at all, even for those that may have an idea about today's events. Give it a shot :p

Today I went to work in D. After finishing my shift, I called H. and drove over to E. where I met H. and Z. We had a good time and good talks. After B. arrived I left E. to go to K. - where I was to meet up with J. and M. However, I only met M., whith whom I then drove to L. to pick up things. After things were loaded on a truck, M. and I left L., got back to K. where I parked my car. M. then drove to S. to meet J. and unload the car. I drove to D. where I'm writing this post. I'll wake T., M. and B. in a second and entertain them.

Birds, Birds, Birds

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I guess Steph still doesn't like them, but Tine has some wonderful birds pictures on her blog. She even has a woodpecker in the garden, and a baby woodpecker is obviously learning to fly as well. He just needs to learn to avoid windows... He's apparently fine though.

When I got home, I cleaned out the nesting cage of the Blue Tits, and I'm hoping to see more nesting activity soon, although I guess I'll have to wait till next year. I'll look it all up online and if blue tits only nest once a year, I think I'll build a new and more technologically advanced nesting cage, with build in webcam or something like that, so I can watch the birdies grow without bothering them too much. Certainly a project that can easily be accomplished with a budget of less than € 50, all required materials included.

That'll be something to work out later.

Oh, interesting article on Japan trying to cut back their dependence on oil in the NY Times. (Japan Squeezes to Get the Most of Costly Fuel)

I got home from a sauna session with Joco, and I must admit that all my presumptions about sauna's proved to be incorrect. I usually have a hard time withstanding heat, so a sauna seemed a really bad idea. Yet I spent quite some time in a 100° Celsius sauna, as well as in a steam bath.

The one I loved best was the bio-sauna (where no fragrances are used) that has a temperature of around 70 degrees and a humidity of 30-40%. I felt strangely in my element in that one, whereas the steam bath took my breath away - quite possibly due to the eucalyptus fragrance used in it. I could even handle the 100 degree sauna, but both the eucalyptus as well as the vanilla fragrance really got to me.

That was to be expected though as I really "shut down" when I have to walk through a perfume shop, even if for a few seconds. All the scents overwhelm me and I go into "overload mode", which then results in me getting a headache and taking the shortest route to fresh air.

This really is something I want to do more, especially that bio-sauna. I think I'll do it again at the end of june before the TSS meeting in The Netherlands, to get rid of the last poisons in my body.

For those who wonder, yes it was a full monty (nude) sauna, yes there were some hot chicks around, but it's just not the same as if I would see them walk by clothed.

Oh, if you stayed up late on thursday (or maybe you taped it?), you may have watched the excellent Ghost Dog - The way of the Samurai on Canvas? If not, you missed a superb flick. Try to catch it next time!

And from that point on...

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Last night as I laid down in my bed, trying to fall asleep, these words kept going through my mind : "What we are looking at is Good and Evil, Right and Wrong". Luckily this morning when I got up at 4AM, I recalled those words and grabbed the right CD in my collection : Ministry's New World Order, and I'm listening to it as I write this. Yes, I agree that it may sound weird to listen to Ministry starting at 07:30, but hey... if you feel like it, why not? I also brought a AC/DC Live double CD with me. That'll be up next.

The day went downhill soon after eight, when everyone started calling in, required assistance several times and we had a small fluke in our systems that needed an intervention by one of our technicians. When I finally left around 14:20 - I normally work till 14:00 - they hadn't shown up yet, although at that point it became the problem of the colleague that took over from me. Not the best way to start a shift, I tell you. I hope tomorrow will be less stressful!

Quickies

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before I head off to bed - early shift tomorrow :( - I just wanted to throw up some links that may be interesting to others as well :

Movable Type version 3.17 was released yesterday. It's a non-critical update, so only if you suffer from some the bugs that were fixed, you benefit from installing it. I installed in anyway, and it was pretty easy. Link : Sixapart releases MT3.17

FileZilla was bumped to version 2.2.14, fixing some smaller bugs, you can find a changelog here.

I installed and tested the Skype video plugin by Dialcom earlier today, and it works though it - not unexpectedly I suppose - slows things down a bit. Grab a copy of the beta version at the Video4Skype website. Obviously useless if you don't have/use the Skype VoIP client yet.

The Register has an interesting article about a coordinated malware attack, go read it if you find those things interesting. Up the same alley is the cover story in BusinessWeek about taking down the ShadowCrew : Hacker Hunters. Interesting read, but only for those looking for a quick overview. If you want something more technical, read about the Attack on Bluetooth Pairing over at Bruce Schneier's blog, or even read the full paper by Yaniv Shaked and Avishai Wool.

Something is brewing

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It just went from a bright and clear to a rapidly darkening clouded sky. I even had to turn on the lights inside to see the keys on my keyboard. Not that I need to see those, as I type mostly blind anyway (hence all the errors, lol), but wind has picked up as well and I think a storm is coming up. I for one won't be too sorry to see it start raining, as it was pretty hot again today.

Now, for something completely different... do you know the expression "shit hits the fan"? Well, I think I got a pretty good visual representation of it half an hour ago. Luckily it wasn't shit and it wasn't a fan, but as I was juicing fruits and veggies in my juicer, I made a little mistake. I was doing carrots and forgot to put the lid back on when I pushed the button : carrot pulp splattered all over the place. You may know that carrots are quite good at staining things, including (but probably not limited to) t-shirts, pants, socks, microwaves, cupboards, floor tiles, ceilings and ironing boards. Those are all the elements where I found carrot pulp after my little mishap.

Note to self : put the lid on before pressing the start button!

Rants

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Time to react once again to various actual news tidbits - some international, some national.

"After France, also The Netherlands now say NO to European Constitution" + "Belgians would vote YES to European Constitution"

I don't really know what all the fuzz is about. To be honest, I have no clue myself what exactly is in the proposed European Constitution, and I believe that I'm far from the exception. Do you know? In detail? What I find rather irritating though, is that two countries had a popular vote - where the people decide instead of politicians - and when the results turned out the wrong way, everyone is scrambling to see if they can find a way around it.

Either you let the people decide and then accept their vote, or you do as the Belgian governement did and decide that you don't care about what the population thinks and do what the governement thinks is best. Hence, the title "Belgians would vote YES" is totally irrelevant since we will not be allowed to speak out anyway.

Would I vote yes or no? I don't have a clue, because as I said, I don't know what the proposal entails. However, would we be asked to cast a voe, I'd try to get as much information about it upfront, and would probably vote yes. I think that a stronger Europe will be more beneficial in the end, and one European currency is only one of the benefits we already have. Are there disadvantages and is there much work to be done in/on the European idea? Yes, certainly. Can it be done? I think so.

"On January 1st 2007 smoking will be prohibited in restaurants. Pubs and bars are excluded from this new rule."

What's the point here people? Do you want to increase the air quality and lower health risks for people, or don't you? Don't start by drafting a new law, and then excluding 75% or so of all establishments. Just think for yourself : how many times a month do you go to a restaurant? How many times do you end up in a pub/bar? Will this new law really change anything? I really doubt it. One of our politicians tried to defend the exclusion of bars and pubs like this : "there is still a too thight relation between alcohol, a good atmosphere and tobacco in Belgium, therefore we can not force a no smoking law in bars and pubs yet".

How about this, mister politician : "air is still polluted and filled with stench and fumes in bars and pubs wherever you go. This is a good reason for me to stay home and not spend any money at these establishments, thus not improving the economy". If a total ban can be established in Sweden (which became effective June 1st 2005), why can't we get it done?

I'm eager to see what happens on January 1st, 2006 - when all workplaces should be smoke free. Lots of employers started enforcing the new rules already, yet lots of smokers just give everyone a huge "fuck you" and light one up anyway, especially if they think no one sees it. This could be an interesting period to come, especially at my place of work. What about the rights of smokers? What about my right to breathe freely?

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