I'm way too much into british humor it seems : Black Books - the complete series (preordered), Coupling Series 1, 2, 3 and 4 (ordered). My wallet will hate it, but I'll have hours and hours of laughs! First have to finish Hornblower, then may rewatch Bottom before these new DVD's arrive!
April 2006 Archives
When I got home after a long day, Tai wanted to go play outside, so I open the door to the terrace. He steps outside and within seconds comes running back, like a cry baby. That tiger is a big wussy that needs me to protect him from who knows what. Anyway, as I do so things around the house, he keeps running around like crazy, chasing his toy ball, jumping over chairs, things like that. I close the door to the terrace because I have to go do some things elsewhere and I don't want him outside alone too long. For all I know he could jump on the edge and test the distance to the ground floor. Which is quite deep as I'm in a third floor apartment.
I'm in the living room when suddenly he jumps off the sofa, races around the corner of the kitchen and I immediately think "thump". 5 seconds later... "Thump!". Obviously, Tai didn't notice the fact that the door to the terrace was closed and ran straight into it. I jumped up, looked in the kitchen and didn't see him. When I looked behind the curtains, there was one slightly dazed and confused cat, lol. I picked the fool up, checked for injuries, but apart from a little shaken, he seems fine. He's playing with his toy again already ;)
I just checked my mailbox and noticed an envelope addressed to "Playstation Owner". Yes, the Network Access Disk, finally. I've written about it before and finally, after a couple of weeks of waiting, it arrived. Nah, don't get your hopes up too soon. There was a DVD in the envelope alright, but just a Demo Disk labelled Demo Disk 10 (Old).
Nice marketing I'd say. Sending customers a free DVD labelled "Old", 22 days after they registered. Now, the "old" may refer to the 16+ rating printed on the DVD, but why not just label it "16+" on the disk as well, or "adult". Well, maybe Sony doesn't want to come near an Adult label on any of their products, but still... "old" is a really bad choice.
Anyway, still no NAD for me thus, and considering this package took 22 days to process and was sent from the UK, I wonder what happens is the network access disk is produced and shipped from Australia, Malaysia or China? It will arrive just in time for the release of the PS4, in 2009 or 2010. But then - of course - it would be ancient.
On May 7th, I'll be joining Marisa and Team Needled during the 5k walk in Tervuren Park for the Brussels Breast Cancer Walk/Run Sunday, May 7 2006. Care to join us? Sign up and join Team Needled!
Note : Most if not all of the Team Needled walkers will be tattooed, pierced and/or modified. If that is more offensive to you than helping out people who were involuntary modified by cancer, please don't sign up with us. If you can see past the initial shock and awe some may have, you're very welcome to walk with us!
I just got off the phone with my team leader to check in on the current situation at work. Apparently things have gone from hectic, over crazy to completely insane. I'm looking forward to heading off to work tomorrow afternoon, but I'll have to call the colleagues one more time tomorrow morning to get a status update before I leave.
I volunteered to come in early tomorrow, but as they haven't called or mailed me today, it doesn't seem to be neccessary - yet. That's all I can and will say about it for now.
As promised, here's my review of the DVD side of Pink's "I'm not Dead" Dual Disc... It starts off with a short promo for the DVD appearing in May 2006 containing shots of her European Tour.
The root menu of the DVD reveals that the complete audio album is playable from the DVD side as well, which is kind of strange, but I liked it a lot. It allows you to play all the tracks, or select the ones you like to hear. Unfortunately while playing the audio tracks, there is little eyecandy around. Just one photograph on the right hand side of the screen while the left shows the tracknumber and title, and a navigation menu at the bottom. I would have loved to see some more "action" in the album part.
The video section contains an interview with P!nk, about her new album, some comments about the various songs, and a full documentary about the making of the "Stupid Girls" video, which reveals things you simply don't notice at first when looking at the video. The combination of behind-the-scenes captures, Pink commenting on scenes and the shooting of the scene itself gives a very nice view about the production process of the Stupid Girls clip. After watching the documentary, the final video clip is shown, followed by some shots that didn't make the final cut.
Do I like this DVD side of the album? I sure do, but I wonder if I'll be looking at much after the first time(s). A biography would have been a nice addition while playing the album, to make up for the lack of action of the section. My final score on the DVD side of the "I'm Not Dead" Dual Disc is a 7.5 out of 10.
I just got back home from Hilda's birthday party/gathering, and while the rest of them are off to grab some chinese food, I decided to come home because I have to work later on. I'd have loved to stay though :(
Marianne got her Pink CD, Hilda got her cordless phone and one of her birthday presents (21 Grams), and Marianne and Dimi also had a present for me that was delayed, because it was ordered for the end of year festivities : The World of Tattoo: An Illustrated History by Maarten van Dinter. I just took the plastic wrapper from the book and only now it is clear how impressive this book is. Not only by sheer dimensions and pages, but the amount of information is staggering as well. I'll be quite busy reading through all that!
It was fun seeing everyone again!
It's sunday afternoon, it's quite sunny outside, and Tai is running around the place chasing some of his toys. At some points he comes running around the corner as if he's seen the Devil himself. It's a strange cat, I tell you!
I've gotten to like him more now, and after he was castrated last week, he's become much easier to handle as well. Sometimes he still gets on my nerves, but I wouldn't wanna miss him.
In a few I'm off to Hilda's birthday at my dads home, then after that I'm off for work (last nightshift). Then home for a full day and on wednesday, late shift starts again. On sunday May 7th - if I'm free - I'll be walking through Brussels with Marisa, to support boobs.
New on the reading list :
- How to Start Your Own Country (Erwin S. Strauss) (English, non-fiction)
- Gemengd Dubbel (Jill Mansell) (Dutch, fiction)
New on the watching list :
- Saw (DVD)
Things to do :
- Send Marianne her Pink CD, or hand it to her in person.
For the lovers of Prosciutto Roma ham, they are currently for sale at Carrefour (I saw them in Borsbeek). And the price ain't that bad if you consider the amount of pure delight you get for it.
While writing this post, I received a call from Joco, that he needed help urgently. His regular babysit couldn't make it, so he asked if you come over - right now - and baby sit the two kiddos. I never pass up a chance to help out a friend, nor do I pass up a chance to spend time with those kiddos. Off I went...
Even though the sheer number of entries for our free Pink CD contest was staggering, Marianne's entry was the best, so she wins the "Try This" CD by Pink, and 5 FK stickers as well. I hope she enjoys her prize, and for all those readers that didn't enter the contest : you're a bunch of sissies :)
Is there any rule against drunk blogging? No? Good! Too bad I don't really have anything to write about, hips.
Well, not yet... the summer is still a few months away, but here are two things I'll be doing for sure :
There is one small problem though... I was planning on getting inked on the 11th or the 12th since I have time taken off from work. I can't really be at a festival and on a tattoo table at the same time. Nor is it wise to first get inked and then go to a festival. I'll work something out :)
This is entry number 2550, and because the last one was rather serious, I'm opting for something a little less challenging today : BloodRayne, featuring Kristanna Loken (Worn like a Tattoo, Terminator 3, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek Voyager, ...) and Michelle Rodriguez (Lost, Fast and the Furious, SWAT, Girlfight, ...). There are probably other actors involved as well, but they ain't as hooooot ;)
For a couple weeks now, a contest has been promoted online, on a radio station, where people have the chance to win a house, valued at 600.000 euro. Not bad a prize, one may say, but when I was checking out the website and looking at all parties involved with the contest, something kept telling me joining this contest thing was a bad idea. Suddenly I noticed the name "Permesso", which rang a bell. Not because I know the people or the company behind the name, but because I immediately connected it to the english word "permission". And that... I didn't like.
I dug a little deeper and sure enough, Permesso is a Direct Marketing firm. They collect data and market stuff, so all the data a contestant enters online - or is requested later in the game, which I don't know for sure as I decided to back out - is worth hard cash to them. Enough to warrant a 600.000 house to be handed out? Probably, otherwise they wouldn't be having this competition in the first place.
Imagine yourself giving up a bunch of personal data and details for an odd chance to win a house. Sure, a house you could consider worth giving up your privacy for, but what is the actual chance you win? In the mean time, Permesso and the other parties involved, win with every contestant that enters, each time their pile of data grows, grows and grows. Am I suprised that people join things like this? Not really. In fact they had me fooled at first as well, until my radar picked up on the underlying implications. Is the whole thing a scam? No, it isn't. Is the balance between contestant and organiser good? Depending on how you value your privacy, it may be, or not be.
The offset of giving up my data in regard to the guaranteed benefits certainly wasn't worth it to me. And, going by this article All my personal details for chocolate? Go on then! most people just don't realize the value of personal data. Wise up people, please... And stop sending me spam, chain letters, "send to 10 friends and win free cinema tickets", "forward and win an ipod" or other spam collecting monstrosities like that. Keep on sending the porn though ;)
Just got back from the store where I got some food for tonight, the bank to grab statements - I just paid some bills, so I need up update on things - and I did some accounting that was long overdue. In about 20 minutes I'm off to the vet with Tai, to get another shot and then it's "insert title here" for the balls as well. His sound will probably go from "rooaar" to "squeak" but if it stops him from pissing all over the place, that is the price he needs to pay I guess. Still love him dearly though!
Update : Tai is vastly asleep now, and will probably be for the next couple of hours. There is no certainty though, as he was also expected to fall asleep in under two minutes after the injection with the drug, but he just sat up and looked around for close to ten minutes. Only after injecting the last drops of the needle a second time, he gave up and fell asleep, after another 3 minutes or so of fighting it. He's a real tiger, that's for sure. The vet was rather impressed and she found it funny at the same time. On the phone earlier she said the whole procedure would take about 15 minutes, but it almost took that long to get Tai to fall asleep!
Anyway, the chop chop part was done, he's had a checkup as well, one of his baby teeth that was hanging on by a tiny thread was removed while he was under, and he had his second vaccine shot. Oh, and he puked on the vets table, but that she was expecting :)
Tai is a tiger! (Image of him asleep after Chop Chop).
I just finished watching the second episode of Robland, where Rob Vanoudenhoven tries to establish his own country. Unfortunately, I didn't really find it more informative than the first episode. Maybe I'm just looking at the program the wrong way and should see it as what it is - pure entertainment - but still... I think it lacks a certain spark to really ignite things.
This shit just keeps getting crazier! I've blogged about the weird dreams I've been having lately before, but last night, I had another one that pretty much can be summed up by this : "oh my, they're gonna have to call me dad now".
Yeah, don't ask me how, why or with whom, but in my dream I became dad of a young baby girl. Some random bits and pieces of the dream are still going around in my mind, but they make no sense now. I wonder if they made sense earlier?
Work today was... interesting. And it'll keep on getting more interesting for at least another couple of days, if not weeks.
Yesterday was spent watching Hornblower (DVD 1 : The Even Chance & DVD 2 : The Examination for Lieutenant) which means today I'm at DVD 3 : The Dutchess and the Devil. Depending on how much I feel like it and how much time I've got left before heading to bed, DVD 4 : Frogs and Lobsters may end up the player as well. Hornblower overdose!
Remember, the Pink "Try This" CD is still up for grabs... Only one entry so far, so nothing is lost and everyone still has a fair chance of winning! Read back a couple of posts for more info.
Note : I just fixed 3 errors that prevented this blog from validating as XHTML 1.0 transitional. Why didn't anyone point that out?
Just over ten hours of sleep did me well, but I'm still snotty. I finished making a healthy juice (oranges, lemons, carrots) and it tastes like... well, oranges, lemons and carrots I suppose. Lots of vitamins there, hopefully they'll help me recover faster and if not, so be it. Sleep, vitamins, resting, what more can I do? I could go to the doctor, but they'll prescribe some drug to make me feel better and think it'll help. Most doctors write prescriptions because the "customer/patient" expects them to do so. If they don't, they're a bad doctor.
Let's not go there...
Whomever invented or came up with the controls for the PS2 game The Getaway, deserves to be shot. X to crawl/crouch/hide, right lower button to aim, right upper button to switch target, analog stick to walk and turn. No movable camera point when driving, nothing of that. Try crouching, looking behind a wall, selecting and shooting a villain that way. Did I mention to shoot you use the triangle? The sheer number of controls needed to get anything done is staggering. GTA is much better in that aspect, or maybe I'm just too used to those controls?
I just called my sister a few minutes ago and then threw the phone down during the conversation. For which I'm very sorry now actually. I guess I'm a typical male : we feel very sorry for ourselves when we are a bit ill (in my case, a headache and snotty nose), and then the world revolves around us. I'll be off to bed early.
Man, Media Market (the shop) is pure evil, I tell you. I went over there to replace my cordless phone with a corded phone - I seldom used it as a cordless phone anyway - and I walked out with the following :
1 DVD box (The Complete Hornblower series. All 835 minutes of it!)
1 CD (Pink - Try this)
2 PS2 Games (The Getaway and The Getaway Black Monday)
1 nose and ear hair trimmer (had been looking for that though)
1 Premier Livorno telephone (phew... something I had to get)
1 VOIP US Robotics USB Skype Phone (for the laptop)
See what I mean? 1 (or two) things I intended on buying, and I got home with 5 extra purchases. And to make things "worse" : I already own that Pink CD. Go me...
So, friends, relatives and readers : who want's a free Pink CD (and some FK stickers, as always)? And those who know me personally, a Topcom Butler 130 cordless phone is also available for free (including batteries even!). You arrange pickup for the phone. The CD will be shipped internationally for free. Note : you can't get the phone and the CD as well.
Let's make it real simple : if I know you personally and you want the phone, give me a yell (or send me a mail). Update : the phone is gone (to Hilda). If you are a reader (location not important) and you want that free "Pink - Try This" CD, do the following :
Leave a comment with a valid e-mail address so I know where to contact you in case you win. In the comment you write 1 word you associate with the word "pink". It can be serious, funny, totally unrelated (but then I'll ask you why you associate it with pink) or gross. I don't care. The idea is that I can have a laugh and get rid of an extra CD I've got.
The catch? None. E-mail addresses will not be used for anything but to contact the winner. The winner will be announced on this blog on April 20th 2006. I decide who wins, no complaining allowed. Only one entry per person, so better make it good.
I got up early this morning after going to bed too late. I had to get over to the tire center because last night as I was about to leave work to head home, my front left tire had deflated. Not completely, but enough to notice. I switched it for the spare one, and drove home carefully. I could have waited til tomorrow to get it fixed, but didn't want to take any chances. Whenever you least expect it, Murphy shows up, you know?
So, off to the tire center it was, they checked the flat one and sure enough there was a very small leak in it on one of the rims. Not even due to a puncture, but rather some dirt caught between the tire and the rim, resulting in a very slow fit, deflating the tire over months of time. The polished the side of the rim, cleaned it, refitted the tire and checked it for leaks again, this time it came back OK. The wheel back onto the car, and I was good to go again. I'm pleased it didn't cost me a new tire, just some time to have it repaired. The bill wasn't too bad at €19,5 either.
Then off to the bank to get statements, to the store for food, and now blogging it all. Busy busy, you know? Just got off the phone with Joco and I tried to cheer him up a bit, but I'm not sure it worked.
Tomorrow I'm gonna dig deeper into google maps, because i've got a new project lined up that I want to try. As usual, I have no clue where it'll end up - with the rest of the abandoned projects probably - but that's something time will tell.
I don't know if the fact that my head seems to be filled with snot instead of brains has anything to do with it, but the past few days, I've had the weirdest dreams. On sunday I remember being in some sort of civil war, monday night I recall running down from some sort of a party - jumping tables and all - over a wet and slippery field to go help an old man that was struck by a cardiac arrest. Last night I was in some sort of gothic midieval scene browsing through artefacts.
Go figure. I wonder what's up tonight, but I'd like to have my regular naked chicks dreams back, please.
I should be at the store, buying foods, but instead I'm listening to the new P!nk CD titled "I'm Not Dead", released on April 4th 2006. It just arrived this morning and when I had it in my hands, I immediately felt this was going to be something special. The case is not your regular CD case to start with. This one has a curved edge, and a special opening/locking mechanism for the case itself. That being said, it doesn't contain just a CD, but a Dual Disc.
One side features DVD content, the other side a full CD album. I'm not yet sure if I like the dual disc solution, as I know most of my CD's end up getting scratched and bumped after a couple of years, even if I'm very careful with them and try to place them back in their case as soon as I'm done listening. With both sides of one disc containing data, I can only guess it'll be sooner rather than later that one side fails on me. But that's a question Father Time will have to answer. If anyone has more real life information on how their Dual Discs compare to regular CD or DVD's, feel free to leave a comment.
For the time being I'm testing out the CD side of the disc, and I don't want to withhold you a full track listing :
1. Stupid Girls
2. Who Knew
3. Long Way To Happy
4. Nobody Knows
5. Dear Mr. President
6. I'm Not Dead
7. Cuz I Can
8. Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)
9. U + Ur Hand
11. The One That Got Away
12. I Got Money Now
13. Conversations With My 13 Year Old Self
14. Fingers [Unlisted Track]
15. I Have Seen The Rain (featuring her father James T. Moore) [Unlisted Track]
Simply going by the titles, it almost appears as if she's struggling with something personal, and the songs themselves suggest the same. They are more introverted but still energetic. "Mr. President" is a protest song with a message :
Dear Mr. President, come and talk a walk with me
Let's pretend, we're just two people and
You're not better than me
I'd like to ask you some questions, if we can speak honestly.
What do you feel when you see all the homeless people on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror? Are you proud?
"Cuz I Can" is the first song on the album that reminds me of older P!nk albums, kicking it up a notch. I'm sure this new album will be played a lot over the next few days, so I can get to the bottom of it. For the time being "Fingers" (unlisted track 14) is my favorite. A review of the DVD side of "I'm Not Dead" is forthcoming as well!
One of the things I have to agree with is that "popular knowledge" is not always correct, even if "everyone" says so. People tend to believe and agree with things they like to be true. In other words, emotions before economics. Only after carefully measuring things, processing data, one can reach good conclusions.
In other news... Red Hot Beavers scored a 1-2 victory in their HT game today, catapulting me to the first place in the league. For the second time in a row, we promote to a higher league.
I may write a long entry about the whole day - which turned out awsome - later on, but for now I want to focus on the last 4 hours or so. When we got back home, we had cheese and coffee and started talking amongst each other. Over the course of the evening - and night - people started leaving for home until it was just 5 people left. Two couples : B&H and N&H and one single : me.
We did some mental ping pong, verbal tennis... If you don't know what that is, it is very simple. It's not really a game, but rather lots of wits flying around, making fun, throwing verbal punches and receiving some as well. There is no scoreboard, but there is loads of fun to be had.
How does it happen? One just throws a topic in the group and then sees who runs with it. It's a bit like running with scissors : fun and exciting, but potentially dangerous. Every topic is a start, a chance to score and outwit the others, but also a potential danger as your wits bounce back and slap you in the face. I love it...
However, you can't play this with everyone. You need people you know, you are comfortable with and who play on the same level. If you play fast and the others just don't get it or are constantly outwitted, there is no match, no fun. It's punch, dodge, score, duck. Give and take.
Hans is relatively new in the family and I know we can be a bit intimidating sometimes, especially when goes at it full force, but he really stood his ground. There are lots of things he hasn't picked up yet, but that is quite normal : only if you play it a lot, you get to like it and get better at it. So, Hans... keep it up, you're doing great. Just don't keep digging your own grave when you're in deep already. Allow us to do that for you ;)
PS : friedkitten is now also reachable through www.friedkitten.eu!
I hope dad is not coming online before the thing kicks off, so I can post about it already. For his 60th birthday, we've been working hard to throw him a suprise party. Well, a little more than a suprise party, but I'm not taking the chance to divulge too much too soon.
I'm about to leave - once I get the last CD's burned - so we can make any last minute preparations.
A stewardess is making her rounds through the plane and asks a passenger if he'd like something to eat.
The passenger replies "what choices do I have?"
"Yes or No" the stewardess answers.
That joke had me laughing for 5 minutes flat. So simple and stunning... Thanks Viv!
I was reading some articles in a PS2 gaming magazine and decided to see if it was possible to get it online. Not that I own any games with online functionality yet, but still... it seems interesting enough. First, register yourself, your playstation 2 and pick a nickname. Not too difficult, even for an old fart as me.
Registration done, now let's see how I get that thing online. Uh, I need a Network Access Disk? Where the hell did I put that? Do I even have it? Erm, no. It seems you first have to register online, and then wait up to 8 weeks to have your Network Access Disk delivered at home by snailmail. That kind of invalidates the online registration I suppose, especially for the "instant gratification" generation that doesn't like waiting for anything. I'm a proud member, I tell you. If I decide to go online "now" I expect it to take less than 10 minutes to actually "be" online. Not 8 weeks to wait for a dumb CD.
Since everyone that wants to go online with the PS2 is required to have broadband anyway, why not offer a direct download of the Network Access Disk, encode all the gamers information into it and let them burn it to a CD themselves? That would take 30 minutes, give or take a bit, to download it, burn it to CD, install and play.
8 weeks? Sheesh!
It is all very unconfirmed for the time being, but it appears that I'll have not one but two international (Australian) visitors over in July. Amber is doing a world tour with her friend Rhiannon and they are passing through Belgium, so I offered them food and a place to stay. More when dates and times are confirmed.
A fine selection of idiots around the world in the news today :
- Former South-African deputy president Jacob Zuma, currently on trial in Johannesburg for rape, declared that he "took a shower after having unprotected sex with a HIV-positive woman to lower the risk of infection". I wonder what it takes to become president in South-Africa? Showering does not lower the risk of HIV infection after having unprotected sex, let that be clear. Furthermore, Zuma is a former president of the South-African National Aids Council, which makes one expect he knows something about aids and hiv, doesn't it? Apparently not. I guess he wasn't thinking straight. If he doesn't get convicted for rape, he should at least get convicted for being a fool, and for setting the wrong example. Update on May 3rd by "Nyx" : outcome of the trial is expected May 8th 2006.
- On tuesday afternoon, a 41 year old male was electrocuted in a transformation station in Charleroi (Belgium). An accident you may say, but not really. He was probably trying to steal cables in a live transformation station, to which he forced entry using a screwdriver and a crowbar. He probably saw the light, although very briefly. His connection was cut for sure :)
I'm gonna leave for work early today, so I can have a workout before I start my nightshift. I'm not really looking forward to it, but on the other hand, I felt so energetic after the workout on friday that I just know it's the right thing to do. I just remember that I have to look for some papers as well, because the site supervisor has asked for copies of them for some sort of an audit. I promised I'd deliver them to him asap.
Better get my ass in gear then. If I leave around seven, I can work out for close to an hour and a half, before I hit the shower and start my shift.
Jess & Mark came over this afternoon, to check out that new bundle of fur called Tai. They had some gifts for him as well, in exchange for that Wok cook book I already had. He loved the gifts and was playing with the mouse toy thingy all the time. After they left he fell asleep like a baby :)
My shoulders are really starting to hurt today, so I think I will go and work out more on monday before work, to ease the tension in those muscles a bit. I just finished watching Shanghai Knights on TV and my final conclusion is this : that is one dumb movie, even though I had a few chuckles while watching it. Up next is Girlfight in ten minutes, if I stay awake that is.
I'm going to use those ten minutes to plot a course to Amersfoort for tomorrow. Depending on how early I get out of bed and how long the drive is, I'll be at the Tattoo Convention.