May 2006 Archives

Apple seems very determined to infect as much machines with their iTunes software, as possible. I just tried installing QuickTime 7.1 - because my older QT version told me 7.1 contains important security fixes - but alas, one can no longer install just QuickTime. It now comes "bundled" with iTunes, making it a download of over 30MB! I don't need iTunes, I don't want iTunes, so why should I be forced to download it, install it, and then remove it again to just keep the component I need? You tell me!

I could understand Apple promoting iTunes when a user wants to download and install QT, but at least give someone the opportunity to opt out, or deselect the additional download. Seems Apple is going the MS way :(

I just sent Apple feedback about this issue, so maybe, some day, they may realize that their users are adult enough to decide for themselves what they want/need.

Update : "notasblindasyou" graciously pointed out that there is a standalone version of QuickTime : QuickTime standalone version. I must have had stuff in my eyes for not noticing it. Sorry Apple people!

Value your freedom!

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I'm sitting in my livingroom, having a cereal breakfast while entertaining Tai. After work I went over to J&M's place to take care of their three tigers and feed them.

In under 48 hours a new gun control law is going in effect in Belgium, seriously limiting which weapons are available to purchase freely. Even though I don't need a gun or a rifle, have no real reason to "want" one, as many people I've been thinking about buying one. I think that reaction comes from a "don't tell me what I can or can't do" sentiment because as I see it, one individual fucks up and kills 2 people, injuring a third one badly, and everyone pays for it by more limits being imposed. Sometimes it makes me feel as if we're all treated as babies in a kindergarten.

Is it obvious that I don't like being told what to do? I think I'm perfectly capable of deciding for myself what I want, need or like, and I don't need anyone telling me what's right or wrong, legal or illegal. That being said, I don't think I'll go out and buy a gun, not even to give the government the virtual middle finger. That would be plain stupid I think, but this issue runs deeper than I expected at first. What's next?

Mind you, this entry is not about being opposed to gun control laws, nor is it promoting weapons in any way. It's just the topic currently used to show that I value freedom and freedom of speech, freedom to decide, and likewise things very much. And it reminds me that tor has seen a new and improved stable release a couple of days ago. Go grab it!

Sleeeeep!

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I just got home from my nightshift 15 minutes ago. Some technical issues kept me working 3 hours past the end of my shift. My bed is really calling me right now... Zzzzz

Kitchen, here I come...

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Sunday, a day of rest. Or not? In a few minutes - when I'm done writing this entry - I'm gonna start cooking and preparing food for tonight. It's my turn to treat the colleagues to a good meal, so that's exactly what I'll do. Another colleague is bringing some desert, and I'll do the main course. I've opted for something simple yet enjoyable, because we are kind of limited as to what one can prepare at work. We're not allowed to fry or bake, just heat things up, so most of the work has to be done at home.

Anyway, this post was interrupted by Tai decing to come cuddle a bit, pretending to be the Holy Trinity all by himself. Luckily I wasn't fooled and still know he's the spawn of Satan :)

Red Hot Beavers (my hattrick team) scored a 2-1 victory today, but we had to pull every trick in the book to get to that result. Promoting 2 times in a row and skipping a class (VIII) seemed good at the time, but now really proves challenging. I still aim for a final position in the midfield (3rd, 4th or 5th). If I don't demote I'd be rather happy.

Time to cook up a Halle Berry now ;)

No pain, no gain

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I just mailed Dan of calypsotattoo to check if a new appointement can be sheduled near the end of June. My current chest and shoulder piece just beg for an extension into half a sleeve. Oh, the pain and the agony... and the beauty!

You just got owned, bitch

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While once again lots of people are blaming violent videogames for recent events in some major cities, I think it is too simple a statement. People do what they feel like, they decide for themselves and while some environments - as for instance portraied in videogames - can make belief some actions are acceptable, there is a huge difference between a videogame and the real world.

If videogames can alter the state of mind of some people, so can (kick)boxing, auto racing, pistol shooting and other extreme or violent sports. Does anyone suggest banning football matches from TV? Hooligans are not the nicest of people, I'd say.

I don't think it's wise to ban everything that may or not may affect people, instead we should teach people that there is a place and time for everything.

While you're down there, shine my shoes...

Yepz, I played too much DefJam fight for NY ;)

Caught on film

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I got a speeding ticket :( It's been a long while since I got one, which makes sense as I usually stick to the speed limits. I think the last one has been 4 years ago, maybe even longer. Anyway, a fixed camera saw me "speeding by" at 65 km/h (59 corrected speed) instead of the 50 km/h allowed. Looking at the date and time, it must have been when I took the car in to get the windshield replaced. So, in case anyone wondered, the fixed camera at the intersection between Groenendaallaan and Lambrechthoekenlaan in Antwerp does work.

That information did cost me 50 euro, feel free to ask me for bank account details if you decide to pay for it for me :)

I could also look up that article I read recently that showed that in certain cases the ticket could get lost if certain conditions were met. I believe it was when you claim someone else is driving the vehicule at the time of the infraction, it then ends back up at the police station, but after a certain amount of time they can no longer edit the information concerning the violation because it gets locked by the system. This ultimately results in a ticket that is linked to person 1, who claims they didn't do it, but they can't link it to person 2 who person 1 claims is the perpetrator. Got it? Neither did I. I did find a couple of articles in Dutch though : Nieuw systeem verkeersboetes draait vierkant, Inning verkeersboetes via De Post werkt goed and België kan leaserijders even niet bekeuren.

I'll just pay my ticket ;)

My thursday

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Yesterday I went over to Dimi & Marianne's place for her birthday. It was a very enjoyable evening, and we all had loads of laughs. The food was excellent, as was the Sangria :)

Today I got up around noon, and spent most of my day playing Def Jam Fight for NYDef Jam Fight for NY on PS2. I've already completed 85% of the story mode, but it's getting really hard now. Worth the 15 euro I paid for it (secondhand) though!

I just finished watching Killer : A journal of Murder by Oliver Stone, and up next is Freeway, another Stone movie. Yes, I borrowed a 3 DVD box by Oliver Stone from Dimi. The third movie in the box is the excellent Natural Born Killers, but that one I own myself and know quite well, so I'm not going to watch it again. I also borrowed Lost Highway on DVD, by David Lynch, so maybe that'll be for somewhere during the night.

Needless to say, I didn't get round to decorating my bedroom today. I did buy the wallpaper yesterday though, so I can work on it any time I want from now on...

This does not define me

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I knocked off early from work today, in fact 30 minutes early. We're usually not allowed to do so, but as the work I was on standby for today finished early, and I had put in 45 minutes of overtime yesterday, it wasn't really a problem, so I decided to start my "weekend" early. Traffic was a bitch, but it still only took me 40 minutes to get home. Not too bad considering.

Over the past weeks I've posted about programs or shows that seemed interesting on TV, and even though I've received no comments on those posts, some search engines picked up and generated visitors to this blog. Since my interests in TV programs partially shows who I am, I've decided to do a quick post for this week (up till friday). A short post, because it's tuesday already! I'm not gonna list the obvious like Coupling, nor relist shows that are on every day.

Tuesday, May 23rd
- Warriors (Canvas - 21h45) [I think I've seen it before, and liked it]
- Third Watch (VTM - 00h10) [Excellent as ever]
- Son of the Beach (Kanaaltwee - 01h30) [Sexist, dumb, yet somehow funny]

Wednesday, May 24th
- Leve de Kredietkaart! (Vitaya - 21h10)
- McLeod's Daughters (VTM - 22h25)
- Profiel : Rop Gongrijp (Nederland 1 - 22h50) [Profile about co-founder of XS4All]

Thursday, May 25th
- Thunder Beasts (National Geographic - 20h00)
- Rare Streken : Das Geheimnis des Vogelzuges (Canvas - 21h25)
- Natural World (BBC 2 - 22h30)
- Traffic Cops (BBC 1 - 22h30)
- Climate Chaos : Report from the frontline of global warming (BBC 2 - 23h20)
- Autowereld.tv (VTM - 00h10)

Tomorrow will consist of doing some shopping, cleaning about the place and then off to Dimi & Marianne for a small birthday gettogether in Hasselt. Thursday is a public holiday which means everything's closed (yay! loads of thing to do then) and friday will be mostly spent sleeping as I start a new series of night shifts.

I sure don´t!

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Most of the day was spent outside, but luckily the wheather was slightly better than the last few days : quite windy - yes, that's an understatement - but at least much less windy.

When I got home and emptied my mailbox, I found not 1 but 2 packages from play.com! It seems that after filing one DVD as lost, the replacement that was sent triggered the original shipment to be recovered as well. So now I've got 2 Coupling Series One DVD's! I think I'll let them know it's been delivered twice, or I could just keep it, but I don't really think that's fair.

My spermcube.org donation kit also arrived, and somehow I got two of those too. Strange, very strange. I think I'll ask someone to send me something cool, and the maybe I'll get two as well? Who knows...

A quickie

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Oops, it seems I missed a couple of updates. Nothing much to talk or write about I suppose. The laptop from S. is repaired and will be returned tomorrow. The desktop from A. is doing much better as well, as I was able to get it to boot again this afternoon. I've done a quick few checks and removed 107 spyware/adware entries already.

Two more days at work, then 2 days off and graveyard shifts start again. Oh, when I went out this evening, I ran into two cute girls that were entering the aparment block. The first one looked nice, the second one was erm... stunning :)

That's it folks!

Tai talks

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Ever since ServMe read about that trick to separate food, water and litter, I'm having a very hard time making a mess worthy of a cat of such royalty as mine. I can still dig long and hard in the litterbox, and sure enough, some litter will fly out at an awsome speed - the speed of litter, not the speed of sound is important in a cat's life - but it's all too much effort for too little reward. I still pee in the sofa though, but instead of making just one large stain, I'm now going for multiple small stains, hoping ServMe will miss some when he cleans up.

I'm still stressed out about the water bowl! By simply putting a slightly larger plate under the bowl, it has now become very hard to really get your kicks at Cat 26. So I've come up with a new and exciting game, that my boss so far is nable to prevent. I chase my little fluffy toy ball around the house, then pick it up and drop it in my water bowl, so it soaks up an incredible amount of water. Then I use my paws to get it back out of the bowl, before I drop it either onto my owner (noboby owns me) preferably when just got dressed for work, or to go out. If that is too obvious, I'll jut drop it next to him, so he steps into it, sits on it, ... all fun things!

My stress level is 51% - Somewhat prone to stress, especially when life gets hard. When things are good, you resist stressing over little problems. When things are difficult, you tend to freak out and find it hard to calm down.

I'm 64% Happy - You are a very happy person. Generally, you feel content and that all is right with the world. Occasionally, you have a down day - but you have the ability to pick yourself right back up.

I am Sunshine - Soothing and calm. You are often held up by others as the ideal. But too much of you, and they'll get burned. You are best known for: your warmth. Your dominant state: connecting.

I am 46% Evil - You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side. Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

My Love Element Is Earth - In love, you have consistency and integrity. For you, love is all about staying grounded and centered. You attract others with your zest for life and experiences. Your flirting style is defined by setting the scene, creating a unique moment in time. Steady progress and stability are the cornerstones of your love life. You may take things too slowly, but you never put your heart at risk. You connect best with: Fire. Avoid: Wood. You and another Earth element: need each other too much to build a good foundation

My Blogging Type is Confident and Insightful - You've got a ton of brain power, and you leverage it into brilliant blog. Both creative and logical, you come up with amazing ideas and insights. A total perfectionist, you find yourself revising and rewriting posts a lot of the time. You blog for yourself - and you don't care how popular (or unpopular) your blog is!

My Ideal Relationship is Polyamory - You want to have your cake... and everyone else's. Which isn't a bad thing, if everyone else gets to eat too! You're too much of a free spirit to be tied down by a traditional relationship. You think relationships should be open and free, with few restrictions.

I am Bold And Brave - But daring? Not usually? You tend to like to make calculated risks. So while you may not be base jumping any time soon... You are up for whatever's new and (a little) exciting!

Loads of these silly tests on www.blogthings.com

If all of that was (too) boring, you may enjoy still this video : The Evolution of Dance

I guess it all makes sense...

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I don't know if anyone has really been following the Ayaan Hirsi Ali story as it unfolded in the Dutch press the past few days, but I think it all makes perfect sense. Let's see what has been happening so far. In 1992, Ayaan Hirsi Ali requests and is granted asylum in The Netherlands. She claims to have fled Somalia, where at the time a civil war was going on. She is granted asylum and gets the Dutch nationality as well. After studying politics, in 2003 she is elected. Her first political party is the socialist "Partij van de Arbeid" (PvdA), which she leaves later on to join the liberal party "VVD".

So far so good, wouldn't you say? It's the success story everyone is looking for : a young woman escapes the war, builds a life of her own in another country and she lands a high profile job thanks to all her hard work.

However, the story is slightly different. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is not her real name, Ayaan Hirsi Magan is her birthname. She didn't flee from the civil war in Somalia when requesting refuge in Holland, but she was in fact living in Germany for a short while and before Germany, she lived in peaceful Kenia for 12 years. "I made up a story that would get me the necessary asylum and papers", Hirsi admits now. The fact that she wasn't born in 1969 but in 1967 is just another simple bump in the road.

Now that shit is literally hitting the fan, Ali decides not to wait for heaven to come down on her, but rather "flee" to America where she'll have a job waiting for her, working for the AEI in Washington, a conservative think tank that advises - amongst others - president Bush.

Am I surprised to see a woman go from liberal to conservative, (ab)using every rule and opportunity possible to benefit herself, join a conservative advisory group? Not really. Nor am I surprised to see AEI accept these kind of people...

Maintenance updates and patches

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First a little update on the machines currently in for maintenance/repair :

Laptop from S. : Clean install of Win 2K + SP4 v2 (Roll Up 1) completed.
Desktop from N. : fixed and picked up (Hint : pleased with the service?)
Desktop from A. : First analysis done. Need original XP CD to proceed.

I just installed a patch on my laptop to fix a quick battery drain. According to The Register, not all causes for the high consumption are fixed, but 1 out of 3 is better than no patch at all, right?

Keep on trucking

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While driving home tonight, I was on the ringway around Antwerp when I suddenly smelled something burning, it even stung in my nose. I looked around, but didn't immediately see anything burning, nor smoke, so I realized it probably wasn't my car that was on fire. I continued driving, but the smell remained, so I got a little worried. If anything is happening on the outside, you can drive through a cloud but within a matter of seconds, you'd not smell a thing anymore.

Then I suddenly noticed a truck in front of me, and smoke was coming out from under his back wheels. I quickly overtook him and started signalling him by driving in front, turning on my danger lights. He didn't react, so I kept driving in front, opened my window and waved my arm. He flashed his lights, so at least he noticed it. I once again signalled to the right hand side of the road and he started following me. We both pulled over to the emergency lane, and I ran over to him cabin after putting on my yellow safety jacket. No need to get killed myself trying to warn someone else. I told him something was burning at the back of his truck so he got out and by that time there was lots of smoke from the back wheels. The driver didn't seem too concerned though and was wondering if maybe the brakes were overheating. He also noticed something dripping from a line - not a fuel line, luckely - so when I told he'd better shut the engine he did so. He then thanked me for pulling him over, and said he'd drive towards the nearest parking so he could safely park his lorry.

I gave him directions towards the nearest parking, and he drove back off. I thought it was a bit dangerous and even irresponsible driving off with a possible failing brakesystem, but hey... I'm not a trucker. I'm glad I could warn him before things really got out of hand.

This post is a replacement for the one I actually was planning on posting, but that's how life goes, ain't it? I promise you'll get a Ayaan Hirsi Ali post from me tomorrow!

Quickie

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A quick first update on N.'s desktop : infected with nasties such as Sex.List, CommandService, Smitfraud-C, CoolWWWSearch.BadZoneMap, CoolWWWSearch.WinRes, DeskWizz, NetWork Monitor, and that's only halfway through the first scan.

Once I can get rid of CommandService and Network Monitor (they're related), I think I'll have a good shot at getting rid of all the rest as well. Especially the fact that some of the adware programs constantly monitor the network and download and re-install themselves makes it harder to remove. So, what did I do so far? I booted it up, connected it to the LAN, updated the virusscanner (failed), updated Ad-Aware (successful), downloaded/installed/updated Spybot S&D (successful), did a windows update (failed), edited the hostfile (removed a bunch of entries), download/installed Firefox (successful) and then disconnected from the LAN immediately. Reboot, and start working...

This once again shows that "regular computer users" are very unlikely to be able to free themselves of all nasties the have made their PC their new home. And unless you can get rid of ALL of them, there's more than enough vectors to get infected within seconds.

Spring time for computers

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I don't know if spring actually affects computers, but it sure seems like it. Two weeks ago, S. asked me if I could take a look at his laptop, because it failed on him. Over the weekend, N. mailed me to see if I could check her desktop because it was infected with a trojan/virus/adware/spyware and giving her trouble. Yesterday afternoon, a colleage A. asked me the same, because his desktop is throwing a fit too.

Today, N. dropped off her machine and I started working on it, and it sure seems troublesome. Something is running havoc on it, but so far I've not been able to identify the culprit. It ain't MyTob, that I'm sure about. I'll look into it more on thursday, my day off. The laptop form S. sits on my desk because I don't have a sure way of fixing it yet. It seems like a hardware problem, though I'm not sure. More analysis on thursday as well I suppose.

Enraged

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What's the penalty for brutally slaying a cat? Man, I'm going totally beserk and if he pulls off one more thing today, I'll have a nice pair of cat fur gloves before afternoon. After the mess he made last night, I had taken away everything and cleaned up. I just gave him new food and water, and it took him less than a minute to turn it into a gigantic mess again. Whomever says cats are clean and friendly animals can get their ass over here and adopt Satan himself, RIGHT NOW!

When I heard him pulling/clawing at his bowl of water again, I jumped up, threw something at him - so much for controlling my temper - and cleaned up. His reaction? Attempting to take a pee in the sofa. And once again something flew through the air, making him reconsider. He goes in and out of his litterbox a zillion times a day, each time making sure to at least kick a large spoon of litter out of the box, yet he pees in the sofa.

If this continues, accidents are prone to happen. It'll probably be me ending up in hospital, depressed, stressed or with a cardiac arrest because I freaked out once too often. If I ever have kids - unlikely as it is - and they take after the cat, make sure you book me a spot on deathrow.

I've had up to five ferrets at the same time, and never ever did they give me this much trouble and work.

After some googling : Maine Coons enjoy playing with their food and especially with their water. We recommend using heavy water bowls and putting trays under the water bowls to prevent floods. Keep the food bowl at least 12 inches from the water bowl. Do not keep the litter pan anywhere near the food and water containers. Would you want to eat in your bathroom? Cats don't either. (Coonyham : Cat Care Information)

I've made some small changes to the setup of food and water. Tai seems a little annoyed that it's more difficult to play in/with his water bowl now, but it suits me fine so far!

Eleven

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hours of sleep is what I did last night. I needed it after being up for close to 36. Off to shave, read my mail - snail mail that is - entertain Tai (who once again is really getting on my nerves. This time I found his food/drink combination bowl in the middle of the living room, imagine the mess) and then leave for work.

Tata!

Time to crash

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Nesting cage attached to wall, all tools cleaned up and stored away. Tai got a new swimming pool to play in, or to drink from, depending on how the freaked tiger feels. I should now go to the bedroom and fix a wall and remove paper, but the fact that I'll be near my bed scares me.

I think I'll go pass out on the sofa now. It's been a long while since I worked so hard in this place! While I pass out on the sofa, I can test it for sleepworthiness, because I'm giving my bed away to two Aussie girls - whom I've never seen or talked to in person - for 3 to 4 nights at the end of next month. I doubt 3 of us would fit in it. We could switch every night : me and A, then me and R, then A and R, but I'm not sure they're up to that kind of thing. Besides, I offered them a place to stay without ulterior motives apart from helping 2 explorers out. Yeah, I'm that dumb/naieve/nice, take your pick.

Note : by the time I'm done writing this post, the Ice Tea is kicking in, and I feel sort of alive again. Usually drinking plain water has it's benefits, or it so seems. It allows you to get an energy boost from things like Ice Tea. Of course Tai also noticed, and now he wants me to play fetch the ball. As long as he fetches and I just have to throw, it suits me fine!

Update @ 16:25 : I'm still up and seem to have passed the point of really wanting to sleep. I just more or less finished taking off wallpaper in the bedroom and closed up some holes in the plastering. I tell you, that wall is plain ugly, but at least now it's a little less annoying. I'm wondering what to do with it next. First give it a layer of paint, then put wallpaper on top? I also have this idea where I put drapes over the wallpaper that I can open and close, to create different moods and/or settings, but I'm not yet too certain about it. What would you do? It's not as if the bedroom is actually used for anything but sleeping, on my own, but while I'm redoing the wall I may as well put in some surprises/extra possibilities, right?

Zoink!

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Where did the night go? It seems I "forgot" to sleep last night, although that's not really correct. I did head off to bed, but then started tossing and turning so I turned on the light and decided to read a bit. After a couple of pages, on which I couldn't really focus, I decided to go check up on some things on the web, so I went over to the living room, grabbed the laptop and headed back to bed. when 8 'o clock rolled around I got up - tired by that time - and off to the bakery it was.

A couple of "koffiekoekses" and reading the Sunday paper later I really kicked off my day by being mad at Tai because he turned his drinking water into a swimming pool again, and then I started taking apart the ferrets cage which was still firmly planted in my living room. How many months has it been now, since I lost my last carpetshark? It doesn't matter, the mere idea makes tears well up in my eyes.

Anyway, today was true closure time I suppose, by removing all the extra fences around the cage - because back in the days, Tisha was an escape artist - I can now clean it very well and then either store it, or give it away to the shelter. I've not yet decided what it'll be. I still have ferret food as well, and even though Tai seems to like it, it also upsets his stomach, so I've been fishing ferret food out of cat food for the past month. I acted a bit hastely when I decided to mix the both because Tai liked it, or so I thought.

Next thing on the list : wake the neighbors by drilling a hole in the wall and attaching a nesting cage to the wall of the front terrace. Hey, it's past ten already, they should be glad I waited that long to make a noise. I could have done it at 02h30 last night!

I wonder how (long) I'll get through the day? How do you do it, on no sleep?

Weekend work

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I got up way too late, spent loads of time playing Travian on three different servers and then went out to the store for food and some tools and things I needed. I also bought Tai a new combined food and water bowl, which will hopefully keep him from turning his drinking water into a swimmingpool. So far no luck...

Then I went out onto the terrace, cleaned up the wooden flowerbed encasing and gave it two new layers of paint. Unfortunately, I bought the wrong paint, so to be honest I should go back tomorrow and buy a varnish/finish, but I decided to screw it and leave it as it is. It'll hold up for a few years, so I'll do it properly when it's due again. I also replaced the temporary fence I installed yesterday with a more permanent solution, because that tiger of mine already found a way around the temp one.

Now I should go make myself a nice dinner, and then... who knows? Set up my Hattrick team, that's for sure, but the rest is quite undecided.

Tomorrow I may get around to doing some work in the bedroom, one wall needs the remainder of the paper removed, cleaned up, some cracks and holes filled up and then ultimately redecorated, but that won't happen tomorrow.

Loads of characters

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Right now, I'm watching Bicentennial man, featuring Robin Williams. I've not seen the movie before, though I had heard about it, and I like it. It presents some interesting topics that are seemingly so simple to humans, yet hard to explain at the same time. Here's a quick overview of the interesting programs on TV next week :

Saturday May 13th
- Is it real? Human Combustion (NGC - 23h00)

Sunday May 14th
- Designer Babies (NGC - 19h00)
- Over Leven : Keiluid, keidoof,... en erger (Canvas - 21h05)
- Eruptions at Mount St Helens (Canvas - 21h45)
- Third Watch (VTM - 23h25)
- The West Wing (Kanaaltwee - 00h10)

Monday May 15th
- Over There (Kanaaltwee - 22h25)
- Little Brittain (Canvas - 23h00)
- Coupling (Canvas - 00h05)

Tuesday May 16th
- Warriors (Canvas - 21h45)
- Coupling (Canvas - 23h50)

Wednesday May 17th
- Snake Killers : Honey Badgers of the Kalahari (NGC - 13h00)
- The Sketch Show (Canvas - 22h55)
- Queer As Folk (Kanaaltwee - 23h10)
- Coupling (Canvas - 00h05)

Thursday May 18th
- Built for the kill : Birds of Prey (NGC - 20h00)
- Infrarouge : Portables en accusation (France 2 - 23h00)
- Coupling (Canvas - 23h50)

I've still got a laptop here to look at a bit more and hopefully get fixed, and Nadia possibly brings in her desktop tomorrow, which seems rather virus/spyware infested and needs servicing/repair.

This afternoon, I cleaned up my terrace because Tai made a mess of it, digging in the flowerbed, and I put some sort of fence around it to prevent him from taking more dumps in it.

Roar for the weekend

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My Network Access Disk for PS2 arrived today! Unfortunately, the first series of Coupling on DVD still haven't. So, this weekend I'll be pulling network cable through the place to see if I can get the thing online. Tomorrow, I'm taking the car in to get the windshield replaced, I have to stop over at the bank as well, to get some things taken care of, and tonight I have to request days off from work because Amber and Rhiannon are coming over from Australia at the end of June.

What else is new? Tai is funny to observe when he is all excited and wants to chase birdies. I've got a nesting cage on the back terrace and when Tai is in the office with me, he likes to watch the birds entering and leaving their cage. When I explain to him that I gave the birds a home, just as I did for him, he just looks at me with "food" blinking in his eyes. He doesn't even know how to miauw properly when being so excited and some sort of roar comes out. Strange cat :)

There is a small chance I'll go check out the Cajun Queen Europe in Antwerp during the weekend, but the chance is pretty slim as I don't feel like going out on my own. If you feel like joining me on friday or saturday evening, give me a yell! (It seems reservation is neccessary for saturday evenings, so it may be a bit difficult to just "pop in")

French artist Philippe Meste is working on a new international work of art, called Spermcube. It consists of 1 cubic metre of frozen sperm, equalling a thousand litres (264 US gallon for the American readers) in a transparent cube.

Make sure to request your donor kit and give generously ;)

Glad to be insured

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I'm glad that when I bought the new car, I decided to get a partial extended coverage for it, which includes damage to the windows since this is exactly what I need now. My insurance agent was callled a couple of minutes ago, and after verifying some data, they told me this type of damage is indeed covered by my policy. I just had to call carglass or any similar company and to get the windshield replaced. "All costs will be taken care of by the insurance company, it shouldn't cost you a penny" my insurance agent added. Nice!

I called carglass, checked if they had this type of windshield in stock, and they did, but on a national level. Since I didn't know if the glass itself was blue or light green, I was told to verify that first with a piece of white paper. Green it is, so I called them again and set up an appointement for thursday the 11th in the afternoon. They also offered to come do the job at home or at work, but as I'm working nightshifts and my garage ain't really large enough to do this type of work, I told them the car would be brought in by myself.

Oh, today the mailman dropped Coupling DVD's in my mailbox! Unfortunately, Series 2, 3 and 4. I would have hoped Series 1 would show up first, so I could start watching right from the start. Ah well... maybe tomorrow.

A place to call home

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If you're sitting on a million dollars and looking for a new place to call home, how about a Titan 1 Missile Base? Mind you, that doesn't include retrofitting things that have broken over the years, since it was decommissioned in the 1960's, nor does it include "shipping to Nemage, Australia" as one potential bidder was wondering about.

If a million dollars sounds a bit steep, or a Titan 1 Missile Base sounds a bit too prehistorical or out of touch with nature, Free Spirit Spheres are available from USD150,000 for the handcrafted wood/fiberglass spheres, and the fiberglass version will set you back only USD45,000. Of course you'll be needing a couple of these spheres to kick off your own community because you don't want to sit on eachothers lip 24/7, now do you?

A Monolithic Dome may be in reach for 350,000 in the Southern USA, but I suggest you use the Residential Online Evaluator to do a quick calculation what your ultimate dome would cost.

For half a million bucks, you could get the Ultimate Secure Home/, currently for sale for USD495,000 and located in the San Juan mountains of Southwest Colorado (USA).

Or you could decide to buy or build your own earthship and be one with nature. An earthship for sale in New Mexico, 1700sq feet is currently listed at only USD330,000 and an 800sq feet earthship in British Colombia (Canada) sells for USD250,000 and upwards.

You better start packing, baby!

A sunny weekend

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Today, time was spent with Marisa and Elise, walking 5 kilometers in support for breast cancer research, because supporting causes like this are not only important for me, but also for you. Can you imagine suffering from a disease and then finding out you can't get treatement because science hasn't yet found a solution?

There were loads of supporters, we were really suprised to be honest. Marisa arrived very late due to some traffic issues - mostly getting lost along the way, lol - but we all got our t-shirts, registration numbers and we set out for a refreshing walk in the park. Very nice, we all happily chatted, though most of the time I was listening because my throat still hurt quite a lot. After the walk we had a nice pancake meal at a local bistro and headed home. While driving on the Brussels ringway, a small stone hit the windscreen and at first it was harmless, but after a few minutes Elise said : "Hey, do you know you've got a crack in your windshield?" to which my reply was "Now I do, and as I looked I noticed a 10cm long crack, right at the bottom right corner." Luckily insurance covers these kinds of things because replacing a windshield ain't that cheap.

Before arriving home, chinese food - including dim sums - was bought and eaten with much pleasure. Yummy!

After reading a couple of pages in "Dubbel Gemengd" out on the terrace in the sun, some time was spent on setting up advertising deals for the blog. If you've got a blog, internet business or are looking for easy and affordable advertising, you should really look into linkworth. You can check this blog's stat in the navigation bar on the right.

Right or Wrong?

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Principal bars Coral Springs student from singing anti-Bush song at talent show. (link found through TalkLeft)

A small Dutch article about it can be found here : Lied tegen Bush geweerd van talentenjacht op basisschool (source : GVA)

Things like this always make me wonder... what's next?

Movie time!

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Since I had no prior plans for the evening/night, here's my plan for now :

Head off to Metropolis, and see "Syriana" (with George Clooney) at 20h00, followed by "Hostel"Hostel at 22h30. If everything goes according to plan, I'll even have the time to take a piss between the two movies. I first wanted to try out the UGC cinema's in the center of Antwerp, but there I only found "V for VendettaV for Vendetta" remotely interesting. "Syriana"Syriana and "Hostel" were still on my list, so Metropolis it is.

Update at 00:33 : I just got home. Syriana was interesting but rather difficult to "get" at first. Maybe I should go rent that one again when it's out on DVD. Hostel was awsome, and not just because of all the naked chicks, though that probably helps. Hostel is Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, Pulp Fiction and Saw all rolled into one big gorefest that even makes sense somehow. Definite recommendation!

Life is balance

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Good :

- Weekend
- Off from work
- Sunny
- New advertisers for the blog
- 5k Walk on sunday with at least 3 women (Marisa, Elise, Eva)

Bad :

- Throat infection (painful)
- Tai broke his fish toy thingy (was too playful I suppose)
- No Coupling DVD's arrived before the weekend
- Can't get a laptop fixed :( Probably a hardware/disk problem.

Small update

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The sun is out at full force - up to 25 degrees today I believe, and it's nice to see some sunrays instead of just clouds and rain for the past month(s). Too much sun ain't me though, so I've been keeping inside after I came home from work. Tai is running in and out though, sometimes taking a sun bath on the terrace before running in again to attack me.

My Coupling DVD's Series 1&2 have been shipped a couple of days ago, and series 3&4 shipped today (or was it yesterday?) so I hope at least some of them arrive before the weekend so I can watch some DVD's on saturday and sunday evening after returning from Brussels.

This is all for now. Work is busy, I'm not :)

Freya doesn´t get it

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Freya Van den Bossche (sp.a) today gave a speech where she announced that the energy bill for people should be lower, and the difference should be paid by the energy producing sector. One company in particular was mentioned - Electrabel - which really suprises me. Sure enough she may just have wanted to make an easy statement, singling out one company to make it more understandable, but I think that results in quite the opposite effect. Apart from such a communication fluke, the idea itself is pretty insane - instead of taking hard(er) path to a long term solution, once again politicians opt for the short term ideas that will get them votes in the upcoming elections (october 06).

There are two ways to lower energy bill for consumers :
- force companies to charge less and thus lower their profits (and possibly investments in the long run)
- make consumers aware of ways to save energy, thus lowering their energy bill

I think we should first follow option 2 before looking at option 1, even if companies sometimes make an insane amount of profit. Companies have a legal obligation towards their stockholders to maximize profits, no matter what, as long as it makes economic sense.

A day off

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is a day well spent, not? So far I've accomplished the following things since getting up (too early) this morning :

- relocate Olga from the bedroom to the kitchen (wall mount). Less clutter around the place.
- Watched DVD 5 and 6 of Hornblower, so I'm through the complete series now.
- Went to the bakery for bread, will start making dinner later.
- Put on a load of laundry (work clothes and bedsheets).
- Olga is vacuuming the living room and hallway as I write this.
- Got bank for some statements, so I can close the month March financially later.
- I entertained Tai for a while, and now I'm gonna clean his litterbox.

Tomorrow after work I'll get new litter for the litterbox and a battery for my watch, as it died yesterday while in the pub. I won't be able to get it in the same shop though :)

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