December 2005 Archives

Bacon and Eggs

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I just got out of bed, jumped in my pants, threw on a t-shirt and a coat and went outside to check on road conditions. It seems the temperature has risen considerably, as most snow has been turned into a pile of slushy wet stickiness. I had the car running for 5 minutes, and now am updating this blog. Instead of sleep, I tossed and turned all night, and then I finally gave in and grabbed a book, till the alarmclock told me it was time to get up.

Off to fix a quick yummy breakfast - probably bacon and eggs with some whole wheat bread - and I'm leaving for work.

Can you see where this is going?

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Bed, early shift, up at 4 AM, blog entry at 1AM, hot (a fever?), -3° Celsius outside, window open, still hot, threw away covers.

Today's shift and day is gonna be a long and hard one... that I know already.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

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Well, it did start snowing here about an hour ago. Apparently the predictions were correct :)

I just hope the roads will be drivable tomorrow morning when I leave for work. Snow is pretty and lots of fun, when you have no need to be out. Update 18h00 : It's been snowing solidly for the past 3 hours, and the situation is getting worse quickly. Roads are covered with white crap and I don't see it changing for the better during the night. It'll be quite a hassle to get to work in the morning...

Today I've been messing around with some of my domains, so if you see sites disappear and pop up again and things like that, it's probably due to some changes I'm making. Everything should be stable again in under 48 hours, and FK should not be affected.

Other good news for privacy : In the Netherlands three companies (Speko, Van Leerdam's en Zmart) have been convicted to a total fine of 60.000 euro for spamming individuals. Since May 2004, spamming is illegal in the Netherlands and since that date, over ten thousand valid complaints were filed with OPTA and I doubt that "small" fines such as these will deter companies that are convinced that spamming works, but it should keep the little fish away from "trying it once" themselves.

Off to watch "Memoirs of a Geisha" now.

Security advisories and updates

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Programs updated
FileZilla was updated to version 2.2.18 on December 26th.
Ethereal was updated to 0.10.14 on December 27th.

An unpatched bug exists in the handling of WMF files in Windows. It is actively being exploited, thus rather important that you are aware of it. For the time being there is no patch, see Microsoft Security Advisory (912840).

You can unregister the vulnerable dll though, by following these instructions :

- Click Start, click Run, type "regsvr32 -u %windir%\system32\shimgvw.dll" (without the quotation marks), and click OK.

This will prevent Windows Picture and Fax Viewer from starting when a .wmf is accessed.

To restore functionality, follow these instructions :

- Click Start, click Run, type “regsvr32 %windir%\system32\shimgvw.dll” (without the quotation marks), and click OK.

Catching up...

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So, as I wrote earlier, I'm spending much of my time in bed today. Yesterday I finished last weeks Humo, and read some articles in the new issue. This morning - while the cold rolls in through the open window and makes my hands tingle - I've read and replied to a ton of messages, and played some online games. In a few minutes, when I'm done jotting down this entry, I'm going to put the laptop away and listen to the 4FM top 2000 while reading some more in Humo.

Then off to empty the mailbox, have something to eat and entertain the fuzzbutts. Later tonight I've got a "party" with the uncles and aunts, which is more of a "must attend" than a "want to attend" thing. Ah well...

I like helping people out

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I ran into Marisa online today and she wanted to grab some pictures, but was stopped by some erm... technical limitations. I offered to take a look at the setup and see if I could help out, and somehow I managed to put my brain into the correct gear to "crack the code". Looking at it in hindsight, it is fairly simple once you know where to look, but I suppose it's the same with all things : they're easy once you know how they work.

Anyway, she thinks I'm a genius, and is urging women to - how did she put it? - "Go get him anyway!!". Suits me fine :)

Sniff, snotter, sneeze

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I've got a headache, my nose is dripping and I generally feel not too good. I think I'm coming down with something, must be the sudden change in the weather. In a few minutes I'm off to work - luckily it's a "short" shift today - and then I'm off for two. I think I'll head off to bed early tonight, and spend most of tomorrow in bed as well. I'll grab the laptop and a few books though, so I can combine being ill with doing some catching up. I've got a bunch of mails and messages to reply to as well, so don't feel neglected... I'll get to them!

Depending on how much sleep and rest I get tomorrow, I'll stay in bed on friday as well. Problem is that saturday means the start of early shifts so I shouldn't sleep in too long on friday, otherwise there's no way I'll be able to get up at 4AM on saturday.

Entertainment Stress

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Who ever thought entertainment could make one feel stressed? I for one never did, yet when I look at all the books, magazines and DVD's I need to read/watch, I feel stressed. Currently on my list are :

Magazines :
1. Last weeks Humo (finished about 50%)
2. This weeks Humo (arrived today)
3. CT Magazine (only flipped through)
4. Maxim (featuring the lovely Tanja Dexters, about 30% read)

Books (random order) :
1. On Fear (currently reading, at 30%)
2. Brass
3. On Killing - the psychological cost of learning how to kill in war and society
4. Gynomite, fearless feminist porn
5. Rescue Ferrets at Sea
6. Alternatives to economic globalization
7. Air Ferrets Aloft

DVD's (arriving soon) :
1. Kung Pow - Enter the Fist (Hilarious, thus ordered.)
2. Ali G, in da USaii (I'm still missing one of my earlier Ali G DVD's... who has it?!)
3. Battle Royale (know the movie, now ordered the DVD)

I suppose the trick is to replace "need to read/see" with "will read/see when I feel like it". That should take off the pressure, right? Oh, I took out a subscription to "Inked magazine" a couple of weeks ago, so that one should start arriving somewhere in 2006 as well. Yay!

Humo´s end-of-year questions

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Since they haven't asked me yet, I'll just share them here...

What was the most important event, trend or evolution this past year?
Televised disasters result in empathy, but instead of doing something in their own circle of influence, people buy off their guilt.

What do you consider the best and worst radio/TV programme the past year?
Best radio : anything on 4FM, and Deckers & Ornelis on Q-Music. Best TV : Black Books. Worst radio : sports (football). Worst TV : De Planckaerts.

What is according to you the best book/play/concert/movie/CD of 2005?
I liked the BIMfest concerts, they had various artists. The best CD must be Talk To The Machine (Nid & Sancy). Best book was either Blink or The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I don't really recall any movies, so they must have been less than impressive.

What do you whish to whom (for better or worse) in 2006?
Everyone gets what they deserve, it's the way life works... Karma, you know?

Grabbed from Vixen

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Do you believe in :
Yourself: Definitely
Love: Sometimes
Your Friends: Certainly
Aliens: Not really
Fate: I haven't decided yet

Have you ever :
Made out in a public place: Yes
Had Sex in a public place: Yes
Broken a heart: Not that I know of
Had your heart broken: Definitely
Been dumped: Yes
Played Guitar: No
Done something you regret: Yes
Been on stage: Yes
Contemplated suicide: No
Made fun of someone you love: Yes
Kissed someone of the same sex: Nope
Worn too much eyeliner: No
Gone a day without eating: Don't think so

Current :
Music: None - yesterday I played some Nid & Sancy
Boy/Girlfriend: Free as a bird or Lonely as a bird, depending on how I feel
Biggest problem: Me, myself and I
Pet: Max and Bono my carpetsharks
Taste: Sour
Clothing: black shirt with Anapurna print, boxers and socks
Hairstyle: trimmed, short
Make-up: Nope

Windmills, Penises, Shopping and Books

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Last night was fun. I'd almost say "as usual" but that makes it sound all to common, while it is special over and over again. Hilda had been creative with apples containing notes, the food was excellent and the company as well. I had a great time, and left somewhere around 2 I believe.

I've got a ton of new books to read, so everyone, thanks for the gifts! These are the newest addittion to my personal library : Brass (Helen Walsh), Gynomyte - Fearless feminist porn (edited by Liz Belile), Alternatives to economic globalization (John Cavanagh) and two Ferret Chronicle books (Rescue Ferrets at Sea, Air Ferrets Aloft) by Richard Bach. I'll get my brand new relaxation bed out and start reading, because more books are on the way... Amazon was a bit slow for some of the gifts.

This morning I got up before I felt getting up and took the car back to the garage. I had been there on thursday for a checkup and an oil change, and yesterday I noticed it was leaking oil. Not good if you ask me, so I took it in again to have it looked after. Turns out they had used an incorrect seal, which resulted in (minor) oil leakage.

Tomorrow I head back off to work til wednesday, thursday it's another x-mas dinner at my uncles place, saturday early shift starts and 2006 kicks off.

While going over referrer links to my blog, I stumbled upon The Daily Dildo. Just after reading a short description by the author, Vixen, I knew I wanted to read more (an excerpt) : "28 years old, animal welfare activist, loves windmills. Has to touch everything, not only while shopping. Can never finish anything and is distracted by brilliant ideas. Hates animal abuse, most people and hypocrites."

This almost certainly will become a daily read for me (and thus in time will be added to the navigation bar). Time to let her know I'm most fascinated...


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I just finished wrapping and labeling a ton of gifts, and it's just a matter of hours before others will unwrap them again. I should have been in bed about 3 hours ago, but it's clear that I'm not. I finished watching The Blues Brothers, then popped in Tron, and when I finished that one, I started wrapping gifts. Now there are two critical things to remember tomorrow :

1. bring all the gifts with me
2. bring the coded list with me (otherwise it'll be erm... chaos.)

Now, cards... as you probably have noticed, I have not (yet?) sent out snail mail cards. I'm not sure I'll do either, as it's becoming rather pointless to think of cards and send them out on December 27th or so. I may create a nice and unique digital card again, providing I've got the time and good material for it. If not, better luck next year! I blame it all on working hard, no snow to remind me of it being the end of December already...

Oh, and something completely different, but entirely true and quite funny : Internet is for Porn (by Evilhoof and Flayed) (Video, 3:16 minutes, Safe for Work)

When technology haunts you


Can you imagine my utter suprise just a few minutes ago, when I popped a DVD into my Loomax X-50 DVD player and it asked me for a "parental control" security code? "What the fuck?!" was my first reaction, as I stared at the screen rather confused. I bought that DVD player somewhere early 2004 and it has never asked me to input any kind of security code.

Think think... where did I put that manual? Did I throw it away, and if not, where did I put it? As you may already have guessed, I was a tad bit more than just clueless. I've got tons of electronic devices and gadgets, and I'm a walking security code and password library, but the DVD players parental control code? Never heard of it!

Anyway, the default code is 3308 - just in case someone else hasn't got a clue where they put their manual - and I immediately went into the settings and turned off that parental controle crap. What suprises me most though is this :

Last night I played one of the Rockbitch DVDs, no problem. Today I watched Ali G's "Aii" containing slang words and references to "boning me Julie" that some conservative rightwing nutcase could probably find of questionable nature. No parental control lock or whatever pops up. I insert the good old and simply superb "The Blues Brothers" DVD, and bam : parental control kicks in. The blues must be a dangerous thing, and Aretha singing "Think", that must sound like the devil itself. Go figure!

That's my (xx)x-mas so far peeps : Ali G, The Blues Brothers and hunting down long lost manuals for parental control no one asked for. A happy 2006 to everyone!

Almost 9 times 4

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1. General administrative clerk
2. IT technician
3. Editor in charge of press releases
4. Security guard in an industrial setting

1. Marine biologist
2. Computer something (definitely not programmer though)
3. Diver (see 1)
4. Hung like a horse

1. Final Fantasy (not the xxx version)
2. Pulp Fiction
3. The Blues Brothers
4. The People VS Larry Flynt

1. At home
2. At my parents home
3. At home with the ex
4. ...

1. The L-Word
2. Bottom (BBC)
3. Black Books (BBC)
4. ...

1. Canada
2. USA
3. Malta
4. Spain

1. (obvious)
2. (my blog)
3. (newspaper)
4. (empty the trashbox)

1. Water (drink of choice 95% of the time)
2. rice and wok food
3. chinese food
4. noodles (think stuff)

1. Anywhere with a sexy girl
2. Gone with the wind
3. On an island in the sun (coconuts, beach, wind, love)
4. I am home, but it's not really "home" - it's just where I live now.

No peeking for me

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I just downloaded a demo copy of Airopeek NX, weighing in at just over 30MB, to come to the conclusion it doesn't wanna play nice with my Ralink RT2500 wireless network card. I could always install or run Linux on the laptop, but I don't feel like it. Toying around with wireless networks is not that high on my list to to switch OS.

Note : I've been up since 9h30, which is way too early if you ask me.

Sneak advertising

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I was watching some TV - or rather had it playing in the background as I was working on the laptop - and suddenly I heard this computervoice reading x-mas wishes that people were sending in. The funny thing is that a computerprogram has a hard time interpreting what is being written, and just reads whatever is written down. It gets totally hilarious when a voice program for Dutch starts reading English and French texts, and short texts such as grtz and tnx are included.

I decided to check if a little ad disguised as new years wishes would be filtered out, so I sent in my message as well... Now I'm just curious to see if it appears. They claim to filter out "inappropriate" messages, but I doubt mine fits that label. I just hope they don't filter out URL's too.

Damage control

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I just got a call from someone in regard to the recent changes at work and the frustrations it causes. As far as I can see, they're starting to realize that in order to change things around, you need to communicate in advance, and plenty. I don't know yet if they'll be able to undo the damages done so far, but at least they've started working on restoring calm and tranquility amongst the teams and teamleaders.

I'm glad about the call, as this gave me the opportunity to voice my concerns and give feedback. More as it develops.

Did anyone appoint a dictator?

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Shit is really hitting the fan at work and everyone feels like puppets on a string. The question remains though, who is pulling the strings, and why? Keep in mind that anyone pulling strings could be suprised by a sudden downward force taking down whomever being on top. Ah well, workplace drama, I guess it happens everywhere.

I'm working nightshifts for the moment and I can't be arsed for the time being to get too much involved, but that doesn't mean I'm not forming an opinion on everything said and done. What I find most revolting though, is the way everything is done : few to no communication but to those it affects directly, leaving everyone else confused, two weeks before most people are off on holidays, and everything will be going into effect on January 1st. Very smart reasoning if you ask me, yet very cowardly as well. Put down your foot, divide and conquor, lie through your teeth and make sure there is no time for employees to "regroup".

Off to read in my new books : "The Gift of Fear", "On Killing (The psychological cost of learning how to kill in war and society)" and "Brass".

What the Fuck?

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I just got a call from one of the colleagues at work in regards to a meeting that was held this afternoon. I don't know specifics just yet, but what I've heard so far doesn't sound too positive. I'm gonna go in for work tonight and I hope to hear some more details and only then I'll make up my mind. How the new schedules will affect me, or the people in my team is unclear, but I think many people will be either disappointed or plain furious.

The fact that once again - this isn't the first time - everyone is brought up to date through less than official channels, only adds to the rumours, making it rather difficult or even impossible to change perspectives of those involved later on. Knowing that we had a team meeting only last thursday and the subject was touched briefly but then dismissed as "not yet clear, nor decided upon" or "only going into effect february 1st" we are now facing facts. I have no clue how all this will pan out : it could be positive, or very negative. There's no way to know yet, but that it'll affect the way we work and how things are organised hugely, is certain.

Sorry about the problem when using IE

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I just noticed there is a problem with the blog correctly displaying for people using IE. As far as I can see, this is caused by the rotating ad code for one of my textads that I recently added. The problem does NOT exist when reading the site with Firefox, so I'm not really sure how to solve it.

I have already put in a support ticket with LW because their code is not xhtml compliant, and I think that may have something to do with it. I hope they reply soon and fix the annoyances I reported, and then I'll see if that was indeed the cause of the display error. If it doesn't improve things, I'll remove the rotating ads from my blog January 1st, and stick with regular textads.

In the mean time, be a good netizen and use a good browser, will you? :)

Update : I just received a reply from LW, and they will be fixing the code and make it xhtml compliant today. I guess that by the time I return from work, things should look better. If not, then at least I can start looking for a solution myself.

Nid & Sancy : Talk to the Machine

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As you probably recall, I bought this CD a couple of days ago, after seeing Nid & Sancy perform live. I've listened to it once on my HiFi, and I've got it playing right now using my headphones. Labels are pointless if you ask me, but the best way to label their music would be electro punk.

If you want to really grasp the power and vibe of Nid & Sancy, you have to see them live with an impressive sound system that just puts you in the middle of things. At home, on a regular HiFi much of the power is lost, unless you crank the volume up so hard the neighbors die of an instant heart attack. I guess with a zillion dollar surround system, you can achieve the "live" experience, but I don't own such a beast. When you put on the headphones though, you're back in business.

Kicking off with "69 Record Machine", followed by an impressive "No F*** All", things seem to slow down a little when "Be Yourself Tonight" hits off. That's just an incorrect first impression though :) The number is a bit more electro than it is punk, though they regulary cross over between genres.

"Yambalaya" and "What You Want / What You Get" should be club hits if you ask me, and "Plug and Slide" is a dirty nitty gritty track, but very enjoyable.


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Eristoff Limskaya, need I say more?

I forgot to post this one

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I just got home from, a local electro/EMB/Industrial/Noise festival. As I arrived The Weathermen were playing their final songs, and the next band was Nid & Sancy ( I had heard of them before but never seen or listened to them. It certainly is a weird band, with punk/electro clash sounds, but I liked them quite a lot. In fact, I bought their Talk To The Machine CD, and I'll be playing it again when I wake up.

The Neon Judgement was solid as always, with quite some of their hits in the set, but nothing earthmoving. Enjoyable but nothing more. Severed Heads was doing their first European gig in 20 years, but it was way too weird for me. I couldn't find any relation between the video graphics shown and the music being played, and the music itself was... I don't know. I couldn't figure it out, lets keep it at that. I ran out for some booze and food when they were about 75% into their set and by the time I got back they were playing their final track. I can't say I felt sorry. Severed Heads was interesting to listen to for two or three tracks, but it quickly became too much.

Headliner, Suicide Commando, kicked off with a blast, their set was agressive, vibrant and top notch. Unfortunately, also a bit too much of the same, so I stuck around for about 5 tracks and left. Two thirty is a nice time to head home...

New power

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I just replaced my old 300 watt PSU for a brand new 400 watt PSU. I didn't really need the extra power, but I did need the stability. It's actually the first time ever that the PSU gives me trouble - before it always was the motherboard, or the drives giving up. Not really suprising though if you know I run my machine 24/7, 365 days a year. Sometimes components just can't live up to the demand I suppose.

Anyway, things seem to be running fairly smoothly, I just have to look into some USB devices windows was complaining about, I may have to point out where to find the drivers again, but that shouldn't be too hard. Off to clean the ferret cage, and entertain them. I'll put on Nid & Sancy while doing so.

Drunk Dragonslayer Downs Dirty Durkey


When someone would have made their first impression of me, based on what I had in my shopping cart today, they'd describe me like this :

A grown man with a tendency to fantasize about slaying dragons by throwing grapefruits at them, while eating snacks and drinking huge amounts of wodka.

I wouldn't blame them ;) I did have no less than 4 bottles of wodka in my cart (Absolut Vanille, Absolut Kurant, Eristoff regular and Eristoff Limskaya - and I rarely drink), there was a black dragon in my cart, and tons of snacks. There was also 3 kilo of grapefruits, sardines, mackerel, smoked salmon, lambs and soy based drinks in it. I know for a fact that the turkey roll is pretty good, but when paying the bill, it turned out to be very expensive : 70.26 euro! For that price I can buy half a turkey farm. Of course that was a little mistake that was soon enough settled when I pointed it out.

Off to feed the ferrets now, by the time I'm done Dirk will probably call and I'm off to BIMfest. Giftwrapping will have to wait till tomorrow.


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Two bored casino dealers are waiting at the craps table. A very attractive blonde woman arrives and bets $20,000 on a single roll of the dice.

She says, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm completely nude."

With that, she strips from the neck down, rolls the dice and yells, "Come on, baby, Mama needs some new clothes!"

As the dice come to a stop she jumps up and down and squeals... "YES! YES! I WON, I WON!"

She hugs each of the dealers and then picks up her winnings and her clothes and quickly departs.

The dealers stare at each other dumbfounded. Finally, one of them asks, "What did she roll?"

The other answers, "I don't know - I thought you were watching."

MORAL: Not all blondes are dumb, but all men are men.

Blank (my mind right now)

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I think it's about time to head off to bed - i've been up since 4 this morning and it's close to midnight right now. The day has been long enough and quite busy too. My computer is happy for now, and the 3.3 volt line seems to be pretty stable, for as long as it lasts. It could be a heat related problem, and I've taken off the cover for the time being. On sunday I'll get a replacement/spare PSU when I go over to Joco's place to celebrate Alex's 4th birthday. Man, is that little kid growing into a real boy soon. Time is such a weird thing : sometimes it just flies by, sometimes it crawls to a halt. Perception is the key I suppose.

Plans for tomorrow include the following :

Go to the bimfest festival (more info in an earlier post)
Play some games
Do finances and file paperwork
Clean ferret cage and entertain the fuzzbuts
More things that I can't remember right now.

Core voltage

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While I was skyping with Joco, I suddenly heard an audio alert in my headset. The fun thing was that Joco was able to hear it too, which really supprised me. I wonder what else people can hear while skyping?

Anyway, the computer just shat itself again, but at least now I've got an idea what the problem may be : an irregular voltage line in my PSU. It's expected to supply about 3.3V constantly, but every now and then it drops to 2.80, which is too low. I just had an alert for the past 3 minutes or so, and now it's back up to a healthy 3.26 volt - pretty bizzare if you ask me! I guess that means I'll be shopping for a new PSU tomorrow. I hope I can find one for an acceptable price, according to Joco they're rather expensive, when looking for a high performance, low noise one.

Gonna give my dad a call now, he's much more a techy than I'll ever be, and electricals is not really my forté. I'm better with software and general maintenance, mail, AV solutions, blogging (setup, maintenance, ...). Which reminds me, I just set up a basic blog for another friend of mine, who will be creating his personal place on the web - away from his professional site(s).

The call of the wilderness

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Right now, Oekanda calls (TV)
Tomorrow, work calls (busy day)
On friday work calls as well, as well as Alex's birthday
On saturday, calls - party time.

I just came across some x-mas decorations (party lights) so I put those up. I wasn't really planning on spending too much time on it, since I spend most of my time out anyway, but I figured this would make the place look a bit more festive. I won't be putting up a tree though, or it'll be standing in the living room till easter ;)

Idiots and the way to fix things

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Around eleven I suddenly met the man with the hammer, reminding me that 6 hours of sleep is an absolute minimum before heading off to work. I'm not 18 anymore and it's starting to show... the wear and tear of an everyday busy life I guess.

While driving home, I think all the idiots were unleashed and trying to do the dumbest things one can do in or with a car. Not using your blinkers before changing lanes or direction doesn't only annoy other drivers, but will sooner or later also guarantee dents in your personality, and probably much sooner dents in the body of your car. Not exactly knowing where you're going is a good one as well - if you don't know, signal, check for traffic, head over to the side of the road, stop, read the map, ask for directions or look for the manual of your idiot-proof GPS system frantically. Don't do any of it while driving. This does also include talking on your mobile phone, unless you're ordering a ambulance for yourself, then it serves a good purpose.

As I got stuck behind a large truck, one of my windshield wipers decided to give up. Not the one on the passenger side, that would be too convenient, right? On a dirty road, behind a truck loaded with mud/sand/crap/whatever, in a drizzling rain : the best time to have the wipers quit on you. Anyway, when I got home, I opened up the hood, checked to see what the problem was, but didn't see anything. I unscrewed the screw - thats what you do with those kinds of screws - tried getting the blade itself off but failed, so I just put the screw back on, tightened it firmly and there we go : as new. I think it equals to rebooting your computer after it shit itself.

I'm glad it's solved, yet on the other hand it would have been the perfect reason to just go out and buy a new car. I've been thinking about doing that for the past couple of months, but have delayed it each time. I don't like spending money on something I don't really need right away, but on the other hand, it would be nice. A small new car, probably a diesel with a low consumption and who knows, maybe even the possibility to run on PPO.

Thanks to my technological prowness though, today is not the day I go out to buy a new car. So be it :)


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Now I remember why staying up an hour and a half after my regular bedtime when working early shifts was a bad judgement call yesterday :it hurts like hell the day after. Luckily Reign of Fire was entertaining enough to make it worth it.

Open heart surgery, live at FK!

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I was happily working (read : playing games online) when a little window popped up : CPU temperature critical - Sytem shutting down.

I clicked cancel while I reached under the desk to get a quick idea of the seriousness of the warning. The machine was hot, but it always is. I checked the PSU fan - because it wouldn't be the first time that one fails - and it was working fine, and a noticeable flow of hot air was exiting from the casing. The warning popped up again : CPU temperature critical. System shutting down. I quickly maximized the system monitor and there it was, blinking in red : CPU temperature at 71° Celsius!

I once again cancelled the warning while rapidly closing whatever windows and applications I didn't really need. I dropped my internet connection, close the usenet reader, browser, local proxy/spamfilter(s), RSS reader and who knows what else. In the mean time I was also checking whether I could get the side panel off the box to let some fresh air in and see what the problem was. After all, a CPU normally doesn't overheat without good reason, so I figure the cooler must have fubar'd. However, the noise coming from the machine was quite normal, and I guess I'd notice if a fan wasn't working.

Crap - for once I actually had screw in the back of the panel and of course no emergency open heart surgery tools were to be found nearby. In other words, I was looking for a screwdriver. Nowhere! I usually have one somewhere on my desk, hidden under whatever may be on top, but not today. I finally scrambled for my toolbox and yes... a screwdriver. By the time I found it, I had also started a manual shutdown procedure for the machine, not willing to take any chances. The last thing I can use is a fried CPU!

All of this happened in under 20 seconds, but by the time I was able to get the side panel off, the machine had shut down so bye bye chance to actually see what caused the problem in the first place. Aaargh! Anyway, I turned it back on, grabbed my vacuumcleaner and sucked away all the dust I could find inside. I grabbed a flashlight and checked all coolers inside (CPU, Videocard, overal system cooler, PSU fan, Motherboard fan, and I probably missed some others) and they were all happily whirring along. Strange...

I grabbed my small drill and cut some extra holes into the front panel for good measure - although I know very well that won't affect CPU temperature, in a best case scenario it may lower overal sytem temperature a tenth of a degree - and reassembled everything. So, now I still have no clue what occurred just there, but at least I have a clean PC now. I also tied up some cables to optimize airflow, but that was more a "make sure no cable can get stuck in the fan and slow it down" thing than anything else.

While you were reading this, you were just drawn into the story, weren't you? You were waiting for the next cliffhanger, the next high... I know, I can make opening and cleaning out a computer as exciting as a blockbuster hollywood action movie. Not that those are anything to measure up against but hey... I try!

Food for my brain


I just finished reading "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell, and because I'm hungry for more on related topics, the following books were just ordered :

On Killing (The Psychological Cost Of Learning To Kill) - Dave Grossman
The Gift Of Fear (Survival Signals That Protect Us) - Gavin De Becker

And because I sometimes even read books to relax and enjoy myself, I also ordered a copy of :

Brass - Helen Walsh

With the end of year in sight along with festivities and gifts, I think I'll have enough reading material to last me till March. I've updated my Wishlist to reflect todays purchases.

Strange, even for me...

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I've had some weird and sometimes even disturbing dreams before, but the one I had just before I woke up was too bizarre even for me. It is beyond description, so I won't even attempt to capture the elements let alone the tension and atmosphere in sentences while the images escape my consciousness.

I can tell you it had a very strange mix of work, pleasure and conflicts mixed into it, though they were unrelated. I just went from one situation to another, and then suddenly back again, a bit like an episode of "24" or "Lost" where different stories and angles all intertwine and come together in the end.

Who knows what was the trigger for this dream? It may have been the low temperature in my bedroom playing tricks on me, or just a very vivid imagination, or was I subconsciously dealing with issues I (yet) don't know exist?

A bad start

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So much for getting up early today... it seems as if I heard my alarmclock, looked at the time and then turned it off without realizing it. I woke up again at 09h16, so I better hurry up if I want to get things done today.

Update : things went quite well and everything was taken care of in under ten minutes, including waiting time. I stopped over at the bank to check on my accounts, and picked up some bread for dinner.

I just finished filing an official complaint concerning a spammer located in Belgium. It seems they never learn, though they should know better : it's not the first time I filed complaints against belgian spammers. Although my first case didn't go through because in the end it turned out that the spammer was foreign (and using a foreign open proxy), there is still one case (E7/DI/2005/004358 dossier 2005/005177/D.I.) under investigation, where things are looking better. Not that I may gain something from it, apart from piece and quiet in my mailbox maybe.

Gotta take care of business

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Today was not as bad as I expected it to be. I got through the day quite fine, even though I hardly got some sleep last night. I just kept tossing and turning and saw pretty much all hours of the night pass. Tomorrow I have to get up early because I have to hop over the the union agency to have them process some paperwork. Nothing bad, quite the contrary.

I just watched "Oekanda" on TV, and loved it. I didn't know Hilde De Baerdemaeker was part of the show, but I recognized her instantly. She's awsome...

Cleaning and cleansing the soul


I finished dinner, then started cleaning up in the kitchen, gave the microwave a much needed cleaning using my new micro-fiber cloth. When I saw it being used a while ago - on TV of all places, yet it wasn't in a commercial - they attributed magical qualities to it. When I was in the supermarket today, I cruised through the aisle carrying cleaning products and noticed a couple of micro-fiber cloths. I grabbed one, and I must say that it works. Not wonderful or magical, but it does the trick.

I'm gonna finish writing this entry, take out the trash and head off to bed. Tomorrow I work a ten hour dayshift and there better be no people giving me a hard time during that shift, because I probably won't be in the mood for shit like that.

Geek thrillers

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Most of you won't find this exciting at all, but for the few that may, check out this "old skool virus fighting story" :

An ordinary day at work; testing F-PROT's OS/2 version, answering support calls and writing the upcoming Update Bulletin. It's over five o'clock, time to get home - the fall is far advanced and I'll have to get my lawn sown before winter sets on.

The phone rings and shatters these thoughts. The call comes from Symbolic, our distributor in Italy. Jeremy Gumbley, who works in Symbolic's technical support, is on the line.

Jeremy gives it to me in a nutshell: A person had just dropped by and told him that a new, unknown virus had been found in one Italian university. Continue reading at F-Secure blog.

Sweat in my shoes

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I just finished my first long(er) workout : 5km in 19 minutes and thirty seconds, followed by a one minute cooldown, adding another 200 meter to the count. Off to take a shower now and then I'm going to entertain the ferrets. Tonight is my last nightshift and then on wednesday I start again with a day shift, followed by some late shifts.

Return of the Evil Ads

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It takes a bit of effort to stay up to date on all the various websites and tools one has installed, that's for sure. Today I upgraded my two installations of PHPadsNew, and when I've got a few days off from work, I'll start inputting new ads.

The ads I created for their Katarine Hurricane Relief efforts expired on november 30th, so I should replace those. I'll throw in some new ads next week, probably on monday or tuesday, depending on other work that needs to be done.

I also added a LinkWorth advertiser to the textAds section, though that ad is not served by my own server. If you recall, I was looking for advertising opportunities a couple of months ago, but decided to run my own tools because all the limitations and small print was taking out too much of the fun. Why get annoyed and use a service that doesn't please you completely when one can do it all themself?

Thursdays are ok

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With a new month starting today, I also start a new series of nightshifts. Today I wrapped up some more things, and did some shopping for food, cleaning up in the apartment, I chatted with an interesting woman, installed a new version of Filezilla, and I'm about to install the new Skype 2.0 Beta on the laptop. I'll check for an update for Java as well, as some bugs have been reported.

While talking to a representative of Fortis, I learned that I don't have a pension fund at all. Apparently it was changed into a life insurance when I took over the contract from my previous employer. Ah well, I just gotta stay alive till 2038 then, lol.

While watching the news just now, I did my daily workout and set a nice time. Sure enough the last thing I need for what I'm planning for is speed, but increasing the intensity a bit can't be bad. Next sunday, I'm increasing the distance from 2km to 5km, and I plan on keeping that up for the month. January will then see me do 5km daily and 8km on sundays. If I'm still with it then - which I should be - I'll finalize my participation and see where things take me.

I also entertained the ferrets, fed them and cleaned out their cage and gave them a treat (a raisin) and emptied the dishwasher. I only hope I had enough sleep to last through the night. I'll be taking some Distorted Circuitry MP3's with me to work, and I wrote a CD containing Wakka Chikka - Porn Music for the Masses 1, something I download last year.

I just do not understand some people

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With a new vote about adoption rights for same sex parents coming up in the Parliament today (thursday, December 1st 2005) a Belgian group of conservative christians called "Actie voor het Gezin" has handed over a petition on tuesday, sporting 22.400 signatures of people opposed to same sex parents getting the same adoption rights as mixed couples. A Dutch article about it can be found here : Kamer ontvangt petitie tegen adoptie door holebikoppels.

If you support adoption because you think it's right, why limit the same options for others? Anyway, here's a great video ad reaction : Children raised.... (video by, hosted on Size : 3.9Mb. Format : MPEG)

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

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