September 2006 Archives

Sleep is the Enemy

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I woke up at 13h46 and immediately realized my carefully planned schedule had turned into a fucked up schedule. I was due at Smart Center Antwerp at 14h00 to do the paperwork on my old and new car, so I called them to say I would be coming in later. No problem so I got dressed, jumped on a tram, then on a bus and off I was.

Did you know that Leen and Peter had a fight last night at a party, and Leen threw a pitta all over Peter because she was jealous of Sophie? Yes, the same Sophie Peter had seen for a month, no wait, two weeks, a day, a couple of hours, and they only kissed. Leen didn't want to appologize because she didn't know why she threw that pitta at Peter, so he apologized to her for whatever he might have said that could have offended her.

Sorry to disappoint you, coz I don't know more details, this is just what I overheard while on the bus.

With that out of the way, I arrived at AMC and we did the paperwork and I made a first payment. The car will be ready on tuesday - monday was possibly maybe also an option but would cause too much "if"'s and "when"'s that we decided to move it tuesday to be certain. Now I have to arrange some things for the weekend and monday, so I'll go make some phonecalls once everyone gets home.

The end of time is near

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I'm about to crash seriously, but it ain't an option just yet. First I have to stop over at the bank, get cash, go pick up that monster of mine named Tai, look after him, then sleep for 2 or three hours, get back up, get to Aartselaar, pay for the car, get back home, crash.

Too much to do on less that 3 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours. I wonder if I'll make it through the day?

Also on my to do list is shop for D's wedding - I've got NO clothes worthy of a wedding, and certainly no clothes worthy of a wedding with a slight chance of scoring some pussy. Hence, the need to shop, urgently. Oh my... where and when will this day end?

95 euro and 16 hours later, I'm once again in posession of a cat that can pee on it's own. He's already jumped on the sofa and is now scouting his territory again to make sure it's all his. Tai seems to be doing fine, but will be on a diet for the next 6 months minimum. Off to bed for a (very) short nap now!

And we wrap things up

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I got a call from Koen from Smart Center Antwerpen about 30 minutes ago. After some negotiating with his boss, he can sell me a Jack Black Smart fortwo Pulse CDi - model year 2005 - for 8.500 euro. Still a hefty price tag and truth be said, I could have gotten a cheaper second hand car elsewhere - but I really liked my forfour and love the fact that it is so cheap in consumation.

The fortwo has an even better ratio (3.4 - 3.6L/100km according to the manufacturer) so a 4.4 - 4.6L/100km is more realistic, but that still beats the 5.3 to 5.5 I got with the forfour. Tomorrow I go pick up Tai at 08h15, then sleep for a couple of hours (3 or so) before I take the train/tram/bus to Aartselaar to go make a first payment on the car. It should then be ready for pickup on monday if all goes well.

Let's take a look at the features : ABS - ESP - Airbag - central locks - electric windows - softip - Alloy Wheels - Foglights - Clock and RPM counter - radio/CD

No airconditioning - which I had on the forfour - but that's the least of my concerns. It comes with a warranty till january 2008, and I'll be insuring it all the way, let me tell you that! Alleviating all risks is a costly thing, but for the amount of money I have to shell out now, I could have insured my car for 5 years straight I think.

Ca* breaks easily

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I'm lucky, but Caroline, Catharine and Caitlin are even more lucky. The same goes for Cassandra, Carla and Cameron. Notice anything special about these names?

None of them are my girlfriend - for which they are not so lucky - but if they were, I'd probably break them somehow. Try fixing a broken girlfriend - duct tape only takes you that far...

Ok, enough fooling around now, why am I writing all this? Because after breaking my car last week, today my cat broke. Yes indeed, this morning when I wrote Tai wasn't feeling too well a,d something seemed wrong, I was right. I'm always right - well, quite often. When I'm not wrong that is. But when it comes to animals, I tend to be quite observant.

When I got up - I didn't get much sleep because I kept rolling around in bed, thinking about the problem with Tai - he was on the sofa once more, and his belly felt really hard. I gently prodded him in order to get more info on what was going on and was greeted by more meows of doom. Not good, so I started searching for the address of the vet I usually go to, but I couldn't find it. Now that I think of it, the booklet is probably in the car somehow. Anyway, to make a long story short(er) : emergency visit to the vet.

Tai is suffering from Urinary Blockage, which is an emergency and quite possibly life threatening. When I called her and described the symptoms, she said to come over within 5 minutes, she'd be waiting for me in her practice.

He was sedated and a cathether was inserted through his penis in order to relief the immense pressure on his bladder. It all sounds more creepy than it really is, which of course is easy for me to say, as Sophie wasn't stuffing a hose down my urethra. He remains for the night so she can drain the bladder completely and I can go pick him up tomorrow morning after my shift.

Just to be informative towards other cat owners - mostly male cats are prone to suffer from this - here are some symptoms to keep an eye on :

1. A litter-trained cat that suddenly starts urinating outside of the litter box.
2. Urinating small amounts frequently.
3. Blood in the urine
4. Lethargy and decreased appetite and/or increased drinking
5. Excessive licking of genitals
6. Straining in the litter box to urinate (Note: Many owners confuse this with constipation and do not realize the urgency of taking their pet to the hospital).

Car, Cat, what's next?

The cat is next...

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I get home a couple of minutes ago and Tai doesn't even come off his sofa to greet me. When I cuddle him, I get a meow that goes right through stone walls. I checked him, but he seems quite fine to me. I emptied his litterbox and he's been using it, so it seems internally everything is fine as well, though that may be just an assumption of me.

He certainly ain't as active as he was yesterday, but I can't figure out what is wrong with him. I'll head off to bed and check again when I wake up. Maybe he's just in a bad mood coz I woke him up too soon?

Global Timing Differences?

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According to a security bulletin just released by Secunia, MT installations with versions 3.3, 3.31 and 3.32 are vulnerable to a cross site scripting attack. This info was obtained from a Japanese researcher, and while the Japanese Sixapart site refers to this issue and seems to offer a patched version 3.33, the site mentions nothing (yet) at the time of this post.

Unfortunately, my Japanese is not as good as to know what has been released and what patches/updates are available. If anyone could translate, please do so and leave some feedback!

Update : Movable Type 3.33/MT Enterprise 1.03 released

Thanks, but I need sleep now

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First things first : thanks everyone for your feedback and ideas in regard to the car troubles I'm currently experiencing. I've read them all and will reply to them soon, but first I need some sleep. I've been up since eleven AM yesterday, and it's starting to weigh on me.

The night was long, but I got through it. Off to bed now... be back later!

Looking ahead

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OK, as I told people earlier, there is no benefit in being a cry baby over what happened. It is what it is and I have to deal with the situation any way I can. I've just finished balancing the books to see where I'm at financially and while I can't say it looks "good", I can deal with it. I'd rather not spend 9000 euro fixing a car, but the options are limited.

Kenny, thanks for the advice for a second opinion and I agree with you. The fact that the car is immobilised doesn't make things easier, and the worst part is that the Smart CDi engines can only be ordered as a whole, or at least that's what my dealer tells me. I'll make some calls to see if that's true and write about it here.

I can get a secondhand Smart ForTwo CDi for a bit less than 10k euro with little mileage on it, which would only make it marginally more expensive than repairing the ForFour. If the dealer is prepared to take over the wreck for about 2000 euro (which I doubt) I may seriously consider that option. It would mean a serious downsizing in car - that I don't mind as it's just me, myself and I driving around in it - while still having to pay a lot of cash, but I'd be settled for the next 10 years or so. And I'd certainly get full option insurance on this one!

Or I could look for a cheap secondhand car to get me around for the time being - and hopefully the next 2 years or so - till the mortgage on the ForFour runs out.

I think the decision will be made tomorrow. I'll be leaving for work early today, as a colleague is so nice to pick me up near Linkeroever. He starts at 20h00, while I only have to start my shift at 22h00, but I'll spend the time working out in the gym. Make the best of a crappy situation, right?


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I'm in serious trouble. I just got off the phone with the dealer and they've taken a look at the damage to my car. The engine is beyond repair, lots of other things are "kaput" and it'll take at least 9000 euro to fix it all. And about 2 weeks. I'm screwed :(

I had hoped it would be around 1000 to 2000 euro, which is still plenty to pay for something I couldn't do anything about, but this... I never expected it. This is a serious setback, and one I'll have to recover from for a long time. If I decide to get it repaired, it'll eat up all my cash reserves, and I'll still have to pay back the mortgage on the other car. If I get a new car, the same problem exists.

I need some time to think about this :(

2 days, so much to tell

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You might wonder how my weekend was, and here I am, telling you all about even before you can ask. As you know, I had things planned (smart meeting in Ostend) but then things went down the drain on thursday, so that rather effectively cancelled my plans for sunday.

Instead I spent it sleeping in, then watching my HT match - let me tell you, my Red Hot Beavers sucks planets into black holes and spits out nothing but losses - and browsing ebay. I watched some episodes of Black Books on DVD and caught fragments of Prison Break. Seems like an interesting serie for as much as I've seen so far. I also caught some Navy NCIS, the evening news and NYPD Blue.

In between all that passive TV intake, I got notice that Privoxy was updated to version 3.0.5 and I installed it on my machines. I can't just sit down and watch TV it seems. I have to be doing other things at the same time.

Open & Bloot on Kanaal 2 was about "extreme" sex but I really dislike the term "extreme" in itself : your extreme might be my normal and vice versa. It's not because I don't like Coprophilia, that I'd call you extreme if you do. It's just a taste, a preference and we all like different things - which is what makes the world so interesting, doesn't it?

While on the subject of sex, is anal sex (still) considered extreme by a majority of people? Who cares! If you like taking or giving it up the arse, then by all means do so... I'm not particulary fond of it, but if it pleases my partner, I don't see why not. I'm more of a pussy lover ;)

Tomorrow I'll call to get a quote for getting my car fixed - I hope it won't be too expensive - and I'll send out my insurance forms even though they won't pay any of the damage. They should pick up the bill for the assistance of the fire department though. 4 nightshifts this week, then D & K's wedding on saturday, P!NK on sunday, late shift starting on monday.

D. called me today (not the same D. that's getting married) and complained about computer problems once again. Last time she begged for assistance, I replied to her mail explaining what she could do to solve the problem, or what it would cost if she wanted me to come over and fix it for her. Never heard from her again until a couple of hours ago. Now it's all important and urgent again, well I don't have transport and I certainly don't feel like dropping everything because you ran into problems again. I told her to bring the machine over so I could have a look at it, but she told me to call whenever I saw an opportunity to stop over at her place. I'm starting to think it won't happen this week (evil laughter).


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I've installed the router, and got it serving IP addresses to all the clients in the network. I've played around with the log features, but somehow I can't get the Kiwi Syslog to output correctly so I can send in logs to DShield. Whenever I convert it reports incorrect format, and I've got a hard time figuring out whats going wrong. I'll look into it tomorrow probably.

I'll have to take a quick look in the manual as well, to figure out how to set up filtering and access for certain usergroups - if that's possible at all. I certainly hope so.

I'm watching Awakenings on TV as I write this, excellent movie, it must be the 3rd or fourth time I see it, and it remains as captivating as ever.

Back in the days

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Oh my... it's twenty minutes past nine, and I'm yawning as if there was no tomorrow. I'll head off to bed within the hour I suppose and I feel like sleeping for 24h in a row.

Today was a long day and it certainly feels like I've been up for a week or so. Not that I know how that feels, my personal best is around 72 hours back when I was 17 and played AH-64 Apache for three days straight. By the time I was done - sunday evening - I closed my eyes and could still see the cockpit of my shopper, flares launching and FFAR, Hellfire and Sidewinders bursting unexpecting targets into flames. I really liked that game!

Isobel, sister of Murphy


For a regular thursday - or so it appeared when I started my day at a couple of minutes past four this morning - this entry certainly looks oversized. Bear with me, and keep on smiling. I know I do.

I get up, shower and leave for work. I pack some crackers and an apple for lunch, and head off to the car. I notice my replacement mobile phone is dead, I forgot to charge it and instead left it in the car. Ah well, who needs mobile phones anyway?

I exit the expressway E34/N49 and head in the direction of the harbour when my eyes spot something in the middle of the road, about 5 meters ahead of me. I brake and decide to do the "wise" thing and not pull the wheel and crash into the wall, but instead drive over it. Big mistake! The object turned out to be a steel drain connector of about 25cm diameter, and ripped right through my oil carter, sending oil in every direction, but mostly downward - gravity and all, you know. I immediately pull over onto the side and curse loudly. Not that it would help in any way, but it seemed like the correct thing to do.

I get out, grab my safety vest, and start checking things out. Two men come walking towards me, and they say "some lady just told us there was something in the middle of the road. We're doing some signalisation a bit further and we're on our way to see if we can find it."

"Never mind, I found it" I answer and then it all becomes clear to them. There I am, at 5h20 in the middle of pretty much nowhere with a car that's broken down, oil all over the only available lane and no way to contact anyone. Luckily, one of the workers carries a cellphone and lets me borrow it for a second. I call work and explain the situation, and ask them if they can call D. on his mobile because he may drive past me and could then pick me up. To make a long story short, after some time D. arrives and we see what needs to be done.

We both have to be at work, but just leaving the car is not an option. I borrow D's phone and call 112, and request assistance from police and fire department to deal with the spilt oil. They let me finish the call, then answer I should call 101 instead - last time I checked 112 was the emergency number for all services, not just fire and ambulance, but what the heck - I call 101 and get an operator on line.

They take my call and dispatch a local police unit for assistance. I try explaining exactly where the accident happened, but it ain't that easy when you're somewhere on an exit - do you know the correct exit number of the exit you take every day? I don't - crossing from one highway into another. About 20 minutes later we see a patrol car drive by on the highway, lights flashing, but clearly heading in the wrong direction. 10 minutes later they return and finally pull up behind the car. They got incorrect information as to the exact place of the accident.

They quickly assess the situation, throw their car in reverse and block the exit for oncoming traffic. By that time quite some cars and trucks had passed and oil was spread out for at least 100m. They called for assistance from the fire department to come clean the road.

Cutting this part of the story short, a tow truck arrived, and towed the car off to Smart Center Antwerpen. Then there was some problem as to whether or not that service center was approved by the insurance company, but it in the end it won't matter : I'll have to pay for all damages myself because there is no evidence as to whom lost the object I hit. If I have to shell out a load of money, I don't give a crap is the garage is "insurance approved" or not, they won't be paying anyway!

Hilda came pick me up - thanks! - and loaned me the car so I can get to work tomorrow. Then I'll have the weekend and monday to get something organized for my night shifts monday to friday morning. I made some phonecalls, drove over to work to get my medical checkup and guess what : being in car crashes is good for your bloodpressure. Go figure, but it was better than my previous checkup 6 months ago.

The good news is that I'm not injured and it's just my car that's fucked up. The bad news is that I won't be able to get a quote to have it repaired before monday, as the main tech guy of the garage is off ill.

And for hottie... she smokes and thus I lose all interest in her.

Do Not Press...


I found this mildly amusing. Really. Honestly! Believe me? Please???

Murphy comes to the rescue


Is anyone of you familiar with Murphy? Yeah, the same Murphy from Murphy's Law : "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong".

As I finished cleaning up the place - not that it looks any better now, quite the contrary - I moved the rack to the other side of the room and started moving IT appliances around. I moved the DSL modem to the rack, and then came to the conclusion my phone cable wouldn't stretch that far (For those unaware of physics laws, phone cables don't stretch at all). I knew I had tons of phone cable around somewhere... but where? I dug through all my boxes filled with remainders of IT related things, and sure enough I found phone cable, lots of it. And all of them came up short. When I finally dug one up that was long enough, it turned out to have an RJ11 connector on one side, and an RJ45 (ISDN) plug on the other side.

Which makes sense, as I stripped it off a DSL modem that was connected to an ISDN line in The Netherlands, but it wouldn't fit here. I grabbed my trusty cable cutter and plug tang and removed the RJ45 connector. Then it turned out I had no RJ11 connectors to replace it with. Crap!

Leaving that for what it is, I moved over the wireless router, and started pulling Cat 5 through the room to reconnect everything. Not a problem in sight, except... All my UTP cables were too short. Not much, but just like phone cables, they don't really stretch. Off to the shop for network cable, RJ11 plugs (or pre-made phone cable). I finally got 2x5m Cat5 UTP cables and 4.6m of high quality phone cable. Ten minutes after I arrived home, my three machines were connected and online again. What an afternoon, but the outcome will be totally geeky :)

I'll delay the introduction of the Netgear router to the mix till friday afternoon or saturday. Sunday I'll be driving around in my Smart for most of the day (smart meeting in Ostend) and monday is back to work for a night shift.

Kenny, I'll see if I can make some photographs of the current setup, though there is little to see about a bunch of things stuck into a rack... - Rack filled about 50% - Click to enlarge photo

Click to enlarge the thumbnail and see some explenation about what is what. I still have to move a printer to the rack, tidy up the power strips, and once I'm done (or started) moving my files from the old desktop to the new one, the old one will be placed at the bottom. On top of the rack - out of sight of the photo - is the wireless router, because they tend not to work too well inside a metal cage. I still have to test that connection, will do that later. Off to have some spaghetti first, then off to bed!

Three and a half out of Eight

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It's a few minutes to four, and time to reflect on my activities so far :

- I got up and drove to Hubo/Selfmade to look for a replacement transformer. I failed, they're closed on tuesdays.

- Continued my drive to P'bos and dropped off somethings I promised to H. and we had a nice chat.

- Got back on the road, stopped at Brico, to look for transformer. Failed, they directed me to Massive.

- Arrived at Massive, enquired and after looking it up, the best they could do was come up with a transformer requiring "only" 35W minimal load. Still no good. When I pointed out they've got loads of led lights using a transformer, they explained they hook up lots of lights to one, thus meeting the minimum load requirement. They gave me an address for a Light and Electricity shop that might be able to help me out. I've mailed them and am now waiting for a reply.

- Got home and started troubleshooting why my main desktop computer doesn't produce sound anymore. Tried various things, including reinstallation of DirectX, still no sound. Stopped troubleshooting to persue other things.

- Accepted a call from Jess and chatted for a while - they're having a good time in Italy.

- Started cleaning out a part of the office desk, throwing lots of things away, and took out one section so I can move the new rack over to the other side. Should make cabling and power much less of a problem.

- While cleaning up, I discovered an old Sagem Coca-Cola mobile phone. It's charging as we speak and after only 2 attempts at entering the PIN code, it works. It'll keep me reachable while I ponder about the problem with the current mobile phone. Tip : don't believe small notes kept next to the phone with a PIN number written down on them. It's probably incorrect.

With all that out of the way - or in the way, as due to all the "cleaning up" I'm mostly moving stuff from one room to another - here's what I still have to do :

- get food
- seduce hottie (but I think she's not working today, so that'll fail)
- move rack after I finishing cleaning
- dry load of laundry (crap, I forgot about that. Need to do that first!)
- get to bed early

Plans for world domination

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I'm up way more early than I'd like to be up and out of bed, but such is life, ain't it? There are things to do, worlds to conquor, peons to order around...

Currently there is some enterTai'ning going on - he just jumped on my lap and is fighting for attention while chasing the keys on my keyboard with his paws and within a couple of minutes I'll be off to the shop to see if I can purchase a 20,000 Volts flux capacitator - Scaryhours thinks it'll be that what I need to power 4 1W led lamps - but if it doesn't work, I can still run the tesla coils from it.

Later today I'll be looking closer at some networking ideas I've got, and how to properly organize things without having cat 5 UTP cable all over the floor and ceilings. I need to get some food as well, and will be picking up some fruit and veggies at the local shop. If everything goes according to plan, and that hottie is working today, I hope that is not the only thing I pick up ;)

What are your plans today?

Melissa vs Helen

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It's time for a celebrity author deathmatch at - I've read both 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed by Melissa P. and Brass by Helen Walsh.

Both books dig deep into the life of their young female main characters, showing the struggle and agony they go to, or they choose to experience. Sex and sexuality are to them a means to bring stability and love into their life, or at least that's what they assume.

Both novels lift the veil over the harsh life usually covered and hidden by the innocent looks and attitude of young girls. I can see how some people could be shocked when reading either book, but I found Brass to be more captivating and raw. The constant use of street slang and excellent description of life as experienced by the main character pulls you down and makes you part of it.

When comparing the language used in both books, Helen Walsh's "Brass" is a damaged, scratched and dented car with an absolute "fuck you" attitude, whereas Melissa P.'s "100 Strokes" is a bright and shiny polished showroom model.

Both novels are a good read, but my points go to Brass.

Tech Dreams - Please Ignore


While borrowing Joco's car on wednesday to pick up that rack, I damaged it, it turns out. It probably happened while unloading the rack by myself, and I hadn't noticed it in the dark, otherwise I would have told him right away. Today I went over to assess the damage and sure enough, there are scratches and paint is gone where I unloaded the rack. I feel damn bad about it too, I really should have been more careful with things that ain't mine! I hope to hear from him soon, so we can settle this thing - not that there are hard feelings or something like that, but I'd like to put it behind us.

Tuesday, I'll be off for a full day, and then I hope to install some new gear. The idea is to connect my DSL modem to the new router, which will provide some more security than the current setup, and hook my wireless linksys router up to the wired router, so it also sits behind the firewall.

Schematically, it would be something like this :

Internet - ISP - DSL modem - Netgear Router/Firewall - LAN - Linksys router - Wireless.

The linksys should not pass out IP addressess, but rather pass on those gotten from the netgear router, so all clients are in the same IP range. Later on, I could add another wireless AP, which I can then open up so everyone can connect and get basic (but strictly bandwidth limited) access to the web, and I log everything and run a constant sniffer on the subnet to see what passess, including passwords and such. I think it is a nice social experiment to see who sends unencrypted data over a "free" AP they don't know. I know I certainly don't.

That'll be a project which may or may not happen, depending on whether or not I can split the open AP away from my LAN so nothing can cross between my secure network and the free-for-all network, while at the same time seriously limiting the damage that can be done through the free AP. I certainly don't want hacking, spam or any other suspicious activity happening through an IP assigned to me.

This is a reminder

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of why I'm good at that I do, but suck at other things.

Today, I found 2 parcels in my mailbox, one being the HP JetDirect I've been waiting for forever, one being 3 12V Led spots that I wrote about earlier. I've closed the PayPal dispute already and will be testing the printserver out soon, but first I wanted to replace some halogene spots with more economical led spots. Smart idea, I'd say, but it worked out a bit different from what I expected.

I wanted to change the three spots over my counter... and then I found out they were a smaller diameter than the ones I ordered. Well, I should have seen that one coming, especially as I just "presumed" they were the same diameter as those in the kitchen. They are not. I now know. For certain. Go me!

So, off to replace the ones in the kitchen - I replace 1 and it works fine. I replace a second one and a third one, and they flash for a fraction of a second and then go dark. Huh? Maybe one of the new lights is malfunctioning, so I take one back out and troubleshoot the thing. Now they flicker all the time. Strange. After some tinkering, I decided to call my dad, who knows much much more about electronics and electricity than I do. Which is not surprising as I know... nothing about it. Sure enough, it turns out you can't just replace these things because the "ballast" is not fit for it, and probably thinks the lamps are dead because they don't draw enough current. Or something like that.

To make a long story short(er) : I'll be taking apart my kitchen over the weekend to try and find out what brand and type of ballast is installed, and then my dad may be able to come up with a solution. Which I would love.

The days you could just swap things around are gone...

Double Talk

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I've put a low bowl of water outside for Tai to enjoy. It took him less than five minutes to go from dry pussy to dripping wet pussy. Once again proof that he loves playing in and with water, I suppose it's some sort of a sport for him. After playing in it for a while, he started licking up water with so much enthousiasm that drops flew everywhere. When he was done drinking, I put a ball into it, that he then could swat so it would go under and pop back up. Fun game!

HT News : Red Hot Beavers lost their friendly game 1-6, which is bad but I really couldn't care. It's a friendly after all.

Ok, that's it for today, off to get ready for work.

19 inch is too large to handle (alone)

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I scrapped the mobile phone repair attempts for the day, and after getting in touch with Joco and the ebay seller, I picked up Joco's mini van and drove off to Ostend to pick up my 19 inch rack. And a nice one it is too, especially considering the fact that I paid 36 euro for it!

The drive was easy - GPS is such a usable tool - and we were able to get the rack downstairs and loaded into the car without too much problems. The side panels and front door were taken off, so that lightened the weight considerably. Then after getting home with it, I realized I had a bit of an issue : we loaded the rack into the car by the two of us (the seller and I) but when I got home, it was just me. I got the door and side panels out, then disassembled the remaining 2 trays and carried all of that upstairs, using the elevator. Now, the frame which still is heavy, is something else. Using some very creative carrying techniques I got it in front of the elevator, but now I had to make it fit. Metal bars don't give way too easily and you can't just bend them in order to fit.

After taking some measurements, I decided it would fit, and it sure did - barely. I had about 5mm to spare at each side, but it got up alright! I had to take the stairs though ;)

Once it was unloaded and inside - right in the middle of my hall, but inside nevertheless - I took the car back to Joco and Eef after filling it up for 50%. Joco warned me not to risk returning it topped up, so I complied, lol.

The past 2 hours I've spent cleaning the rack and assembling it again. I've done two trays already and the side panels are latched on as well, but the rest will have to wait for tomorrow. Off to bed now after I've caught up with mails and other outstanding things.

Oh, that other rack I was following on ebay, that sold for 153.5 euro, more than I was willing to shell out for it anyway, even if it was nicer.

Mobile phone woes

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I'm taking my mobile phone in for repair in a couple of minutes, so I may not be reachable on it for a while. Whether that period will be days or weeks, I don't know, maybe they'll give me a replacement phone, though I doubt it. It's not that I really "need" to have my mobile with me at all times, but as you all know, if you don't carry it with you, you'll be needing it.

I'll keep you posted as to my reachability, e-mail is always an option and in case of emergency, those of you that need to have the number at work, already have, or should have it.

Off to get the thing fixed now.

Update 12:18 : So, am I screwed or what? This phone is just over 2 years old, and getting it fixed could easily cost me 150 euro, which is about 40% of the initial purchase price. I could buy a brand new phone - such as the Z530i - for less! I asked the dealer where I bought it if they could have it repaired, and they said to contact The Phone House or a similar outlet, as it was out of warranty. Sending it in for repair would be quite expensive.

Now I'm contemplating my options : I don't want to pay that much to get it repaired if I can buy a new phone for less. On the other hand, I don't want to throw away a good phone just because getting it fixed is more expensive than buying a new one. This is a situation that just doesn't make sense! Consumerism at it's best I suppose.

ebay frenzy

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Even though I'm having a little problem - see the previous entry - on ebay, I believe one can do good business buying and selling an internationally. Today I purchased a tattoo book I didn't own yet, titled "The New Tattoo" by Victoria Lautam from a seller in the UK, I bought a 19" network rack from a seller in Belgium - it's not the one I was looking at at first, but the other auction only ends tomorrow, so I may end up with 2 racks - and a couple of LED spots (with a GU5.3 fitting) to replace some halogene spots in use here right now.

Those LED spots are just a test case, if they perform as well as I hope they do, I'll replace all of them. Should cut back on the electricity bill, and by doing so offset the higher purchase price. Speaking of which, when I noticed a 35.70 euro shipping charge I contacted the seller and asked him if he considered that a normal price for shipping 3 lamps from Germany to Belgium. He replied within two hours and I'm paying much less in shipping now. I'll keep you up to date on the experiment and how well these spots perform.

Joco, I'll be giving you a call to see if you can give me a hand with the transport of that 19" network rack, but I'll do that tomorrow coz you're probably asleep already. It's currently in Ostend, so it's a bit of a trip to go get it.

Oh, for all who might have forgotten, it's patching tuesday again for MS Windows users. Go grab the latest patches for September now!



Ok people, I need some feedback on this. I'm quite possibly being screwed here, but I'd like to know what you think about it.

Sunday August 27th : I buy an item on ebay, and pay using paypal. Seller promises 1-2 day shipping.

Friday September 1st : I request information about the shipment of the item and receive a reply that everything has been picked up and should be delivered on tuesday September 5th.

September 5th/6th : no parcel to be seen anywhere. Seller replies to my mail dated September 1st that the parcel was returned to them because they don't use a pickup point when no one is home to accept. Mailed out on September 6th using regular postal service.

September 12th : Mail from seller, stating parcel was once again returned to them by the postal services, this time because it was damaged. They will send out a new one.

Now, what shipping service doesn't leave at least a note that they tried to deliver a parcel? I think they all do, but I may be mistaken. It also is the first time ever I hear the belgian postal services return a damaged parcel to the sender instead of it being delivered to the addressee, who could then either accept or refuse/return it. I think they're trying to drag this thing out, so I can't file a complaint anymore.

Now, the seller was/is an ebay Power Seller, with over a thousand feedback, mostly positive - but they opted for private feedback, so I can't check what other buyers had to say about them. When I purchased the item, they had dozen of other objects for sale, all in the same section (computers and IT). Somewhere in the first day of September, everything disappeared and as of now they have 0 auctions running on ebay. Very fishy if you ask me, but as said before... what do you think? Give them another week to deliver, or stop fooling around and go down hard on them?

No good.

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Too tired

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Tonight's shift was "one too much" if you ask me. About one hour into the shift, I got a terrible headache and didn't feel too well, but I survived. Will have a very good rest now before I take on the rest of the day.

How tired is he, you may wonder? I'm way tired. Even if the stunningly sexy Tanja Dexters would ring my bell right this moment, I'd tell her to come back later. I'm that tired. See you all in a couple of hours!

Lol, I just finished some IQ test and scored a nice 124. Not too shabby for having worked an 8 hour nightshift if you ask me. Check Test Mijn IQ if you want to try it yourself.

She´s a very kinky girl

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I'm sitting outside, burning my fat ass on the hot tiles of the terrace, while enjoying the sun and the company of a cat that's been going beserk for the past hour or so. He's been chasing flies, leaves, pretty much anything that moves, which unfortunately also includes my fingers, a moving cursor on a laptop screen etc.

This morning, Tai kept on jumping and running around in the livingroom, as if he had been locked in chains for the past 2 years. He drove me totally crazy and after he knocked down a bunch of DVD's and a TV remote control for the zillionth time, I grabbed him and stuck him in a carrier for a couple of minutes to cool off. It seems to have worked as he was slightly calmer when he got back out. Or maybe I just didn't notice the havoc he wrecked later on, as I was off to bed.

Sometimes he's just too much for me - I think he needs more interactivity in his life - but I have to work and when I am home I like doing something else than just entertain the cat. He certainly gets his play time and attention, but if you give him a finger, he'll claw for an arm. I've been thinking about getting a second cat, so they can keep themselves busy, but knowing my luck, I'll end up with two hyperactive fuzzballs that hate each other and cling to my ankles all the time.

I've picked up some icecream in the store, because tomorrow I'm in charge of dessert at work. N., a new colleague will be preparing the main course, and we have no clue yet what she's cooking up for us. I'll be serving honey melon with nectarine parts combined with vanilla and dame blanche icercream, whipped cream and a cookie on top.

As I was writing this entry, a car drove by and they had the windows down and Rick James' "Superfreak" playing. Hence the title...´s TV Tips

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Noteworthy TV programs over the next couple of days (according to me) :

Friday 8th : The Bill [Een], Wonderen van de vooruitgang : Brooklyn Bridge [Canvas], The Thin Blue Line [Canvas], NYPD Blue [VTM], September [Nederland 2], Het beste van 'Raymann is laat' [Nederland 3], Dharma & Greg [VTM Zomer]

Saturday 9th : Witte Raven BV [Een], Los Lunes al sol [Canvas], The Hamburg Cell [VTM], The Block Falconplein [VT4], Cinema 2 : 11'09''01 - September 2001 [Nederland 2]

Sunday 10th : ZegNuZelf [Een], Panorama : The Secret History of 9/11 [Canvas], Over Leven : H5N1 Bird Flu Wars [Canvas], Prison Break [Kanaal 2], Open en Bloot [Kanaal 2], Navy NCIS [VT4], Farenheit 9/11 [Nederland 3], Zembla : het complet van 11 september [Nederland 3], Loose Change 2nd Edition [Nederland 3]

Monday 11th : 9/11 The Dat the World Changed [Canvas], The Falling Man [Canvas], Toast Kannibaal [VTM], McLeod's Daughters [VTM], Tegenlicht : Frontline - The Dark Side [Nederland 2], NCRV Dokument : Alles Te Koop [Nederland 3]

Tuesday 12th : The Unit [VTM], The Block Falconplein [VT4], Mongoose Murders [National Geographic]

Wednesday 13th : Secretary [Canvas], The L Word [VT4], VPRO's Import : Parallel Lines [Nederland 2]

Thursday 14th : Rare Streken : Thailand, de parel van het Verre Oosten [Canvas], De wereld van Tarantino : The Village of Sleeping Beauty [Canvas]

As you probably noticed, lots of 9/11 documentaries and movies though I doubt we'll ever know what really happened. When it comes to important events in the timeline of this world, I rate 9/11 just below the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which remains at it's number 1 spot for me. Why? Because 9/11 was a deliberate event to cause as much death, injury and havoc as possible, whereas the Fall of the Berlin Wall was people realizing that it was enough and taking history into their own hands, they created positive history. I have yet to see the first positive effect of 9/11 for everyday people.

A world of change

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Let's take a look at the contents of my snail mail box this morning - well afternoon :

- 1 letter from DaimerChrysler/Smart telling me there is a possible problem with my car, and that I should contact my local service center to get it looked at and if necessary some parts replaced. This would take 15 minutes and is free of charge. Good, I'll do that. For people looking for information about this issue, I believe the reference of this recall action is 0604C54J08, and it has something to do with the maintenance intervals not being programmed correctly.

- 1 folder from the Royal Museum for Arts and History in Brussels. Interesting, but no new expositions really caught my eye.

- 2 periodicals, one from CM, the other from the ABVV union. Read them, nothing of interest in them for me.

- 1 promotional folder from CenterParcs that I probably won't even open. I always receive their promotions, but rarely act on them.

- 1 leaflet from OCMW Antwerpen about a local activity they'll be organizing on the 23rd. As I'm not 55+ nor interested, it goes straight to the pile of paper to be recycled.

What I was hoping to see in my mailbox was a HP JetDirect printserver, or at least a note about it from the postal services. Which reminds me... someone was looking for the default password for a JetDirect 500X a couple of days ago. The answer can be found here : Securing HP Jetdirect Print Servers. More interesting stuff at Hacking Network Printers.

Sorry about that folks! Three of my loyal readers just let me know that they love the "life" stories, find the "Cat is Crazy" posts hilarious - of course, having fun at my expense ;) - and the technical posts, well... very few people tend to "get" them. For which I really don't blame them. Nadia made an interesting point though : "I don't always understand the techy bits but they do remind me when I need to patch my pc". Well, that's one of the things I'm aiming for, Nadia! If everyone that reads this blogs becomes even a little more security aware, I'll be quite happy.

Oh, my mobile phone - which I love - seems to be failing in a most inconvenient way : the (back)light of the display ceases to function, making it pretty useless. It started 2 days ago, and now just remains dark, making it hard to call people. Incoming calls are no problem though, I just won't know upfront who it is that calls me ;) And text messaging, forget it, plain impossible. I'll see if I can locate a repair/service center on monday or tuesday. The model is out of production by now, but I figure they'll still have spare parts. I really don't want to get a new one, I love my SE Z600!

I'll try to keep all your whishes in mind when creating new content for the blog, but just as life this blog is in a constant state of flux.

Good Food


I've got a new and tiny eID and lots of fruit and veggies : 4 honey melons, 1 cucumber, 2kg nectarines, 4 red grapefruits, 1kg apples, 2 corns, 3 pineapples. Should be enough to last me a couple of days :)

I added Google Analytics to the site, so I can get even more detailed stats about visitors, searches and keywords. Not that it is terribly important to any of you, dear readers, but it certainly helps satisfy the inner geek and stats whore in me ;)

That being said - and now that commenting works again - what would you like to see added or changed to this blog? Would you like more content? Less content of a certain type? More or new functionality? Are there any specific things you miss? This is the chance to shape your favorite blog into your most favorite blog!

Mindless Morning Mumbling

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I'm up early while the nightshift calls, so there'll be lots of regrets in the morning I suppose. I'm picking up my new eID in a couple of minutes - better get some clothes on first - and while out I'll buy a ton of fruit and veggies as well. I've been trying to watch what I eat again, so cut back on meat, snacks, sugar and focus on rice and fruit + veggies instead. Fish is yummy and goes well with rive and veggies so I have to pick up some of that too.

Off to do stuff now :)


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I'm about to write a post containing quite some negative feelings, so for those of you looking for the positive things in life, skip this entry.

When sellers on ebay promise a shipping in 1 to 2 days, I expect to see my goods show up in under a week. When I buy something on sunday evening, and pay the same day (using PayPal), I'd say the seller should ship on tuesday at the latest. Adding 2 more days for delivery, the objects should arrive friday, possibly monday. When I contacted the seller, he said the courrier had picked everything up, and delivery was to happen on tuesday (9 days after my purchase). Today is wednesday and I've yet to see the first delivery arrive. I mailed them again today, so far without reply... It does piss me off, can you believe that? I dislike it even more when suddenly this very active seller has no more objects for sale on ebay, something is fishy here!

Cats that tend to want attention all the time piss me off as well - so Tai, this one is for you - if I'm home for a day I'd like to do things I enjoy and while cuddling with you is one of the things I like, I don't feel like petting you 24 hours a day. Get the picture already and go the fuck to sleep and leave me alone. Warning : Playing with and in your waterbowl is not an acceptable replacement activity for sleeping!

The first episode of the new Tragger Hippy season was funny, but not nearly as funny as before. I can usually see the plot from a mile away, which makes some jokes plain boring. Too bad.

If people only know me and mail me because they have computer problems, I tend to get pissed off as well. Let's take D. for instance. I've been to her place a few times, fixing both the computer she and her husband use, as well as the kids machines. All for free. Last time I charged them, but only a fraction of the real cost. She mailed me again last week, asking if I could come over to fix yet again a problem. I replied with what I thought was the problem, and how she could fix it. If she still wanted me to come over, I would charge a certain amount of money.

She never replied, not even to say the problem was fixed using my solution offered by mail and for free. It's weird how you don't mean shit if they don't need you and when they do, they don't want to give anything up in exchange for the time and effort you spend solving their issues. I really have to get more firm with users and abusers to weed out the crap. Seems D. won't be requiring my services anymore :)



Kudos to Ash, Hil and Joco who have been helping me troubleshoot why comments were no longer appearing on the blog. I couldn't have fixed it without you! Well, at least I think it's fixed for now, I've been tweaking plugins and finally found the possible culprit : MT Keystrokes. It had worked without incident for many years but apparently broke down during some recent upgrade.

Whenever someone left a comment, there was no entry in the logs, so I didn't know someone attempted to leave feedback! The eternal bit bin swallowed all the bits I suppose...

Feel free to comment on this or other entries, as I still may need to adjust some settings in order to get a balanced system. The comments won't appear automagically - too much chance to get abused - but they should turn up as I moderate and publish them.

Update 14h30 : After relaxing the limitations, the junk folder quickly filled up with spam comments. I've been working on fixing the issue since 11h30 this morning. Three new comment spam control mechanisms have been installed - numerous others were tested and uninstalled. Neither of them should affect regular readers or commenters. For next few days, if you post a comment here, feel free to also tell me in a mail or during a live conversation so I can verify my new settings. Thanks in advance!

Update 18h00 : Joco just said that he could leave comments again, but couldn't see comments made earlier using Opera. It certainly works on my three machines, using Firefox as well as IE. If anyone can confirm the Opera problem, let me know. I'm quite convinced it's nothing but a cache problem, so clearing the cache of the browser should do the trick. If not... tell me, please?

Yay and Yikes!

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16 minutes left before I know whether or not I'm the owner of a shiny but secondhand 8 port fast ethernet switch with built in firewall and other fancy stuff such as VPN. Not that I've got use for VPN right now, but it could come in handy if I ever decide to make my machine(s) accessible from the evil internet and need a secure way to communicate with them.

Update : a Netgear FVL328 ProSafe™ High-Speed VPN Firewall Router is all mine now. The fact that the product itself is EOL doesn't really bother me. I've got the latest firmware downloaded and ready for installation ;)

I got a call from Joco, asking if I forgot about his "bus". And sure enough I hadn't thought about it, as I didn't think the server rack - if I win the bid, that is - would fit in it. He can load stuff up to 2.10 meter so maybe it'll be possible after all. So, I'll probably be bidding for the rack after all ;)

Ash just sent me an IM at another site I frequent on a daily basis, stating she has left numerous comments on this blog, but none of them were published. Ouch! I love Ash and her comments, so it's quite clear that something is eating the comments left by her. I've been getting very little comments on my posts lately, so something is amiss. I've made some small changes in the backend, and invite everyone to leave comments, even if it's just for testing purposes. We need to figure out what exactly is causing to loose real and much appreciated comments! Ash, everyone, post away... I'll be watching closely and tweaking things along the way.

Geek Addiction

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Oh my... I blame ebay, but I'd rather blame myself I suppose. After toying around with that HP JetDirect 500X at my dad's place, I really got hooked to new tech toys.

I've so far ordered a HP JetDirect EX Plus 3 printer server to attach to the network - should be arriving next week - which is something I can actually use, I'm really interested in a Netgear FVL328 ProSafe Router/firewall/VPN combo appliance - handy but not necessary yet, and - drool - I've spotted a nice 19" server rack located in The Netherlands. Unfortunately, it's welded and I would need a small van to move it. No way it can be disassembled or fit in that little smart of mine.

I don't know why, but a nice 19" server rack just sends chills down my spine. It comes with a glass front door, metal backplate, powerstrip installed, I'd be able to stick so much extra gear in it - imagine the possibilities! Do I need it? Hell no! But girl... I want it!

If only I knew someone with a small van, then I'd totally bid for it, and go pick it up. I could of course rent a truck to go pick it up, but that would make it quite expensive. The question remains : would it fit in my apartment?

My sense of humor

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It may be me that's weird, but I found this quote rather funny :

"It's supposed to smell like a cunt, not a fucking rain forest!" (unknown female)

And, I'll throw in a joke as well (blatantly ripped from someone else, of course).

A woman and her boyfriend are out having a few drinks. While they're sitting there having a good time together she starts talking about this really great new drink. The more she talks about it, the more excited she gets, and starts trying to talk her boyfriend into having one. After a while he gives in and lets her order the drink for him. The bartender brings the drink and puts the following on the bar -- A saltshaker, a shot of Baileys, and a shot of lime juice.

The boyfriend looks at the items quizzically and the woman explains. "First you put a bit of the salt on your tongue, next you drink the shot of Baileys and hold it in your mouth,and finally you drink the lime juice." So, the boyfriend, trying to go along and please her, goes for it.

He puts the salt on his tongue, salty but OK. He drinks the shot of Baileys - smooth, rich, cool, very pleasant. He thinks - this is OK. Finally he picks up the lime juice and drinks it....

In one second the sharp lime taste hits...

At two seconds the Baileys curdles....

At three seconds the salty curdled bitter taste hits.

This triggers his gag reflex but being manly, and not wanting to disappoint his girlfriend, he swallows the now nasty drink.

When he finally chokes it down he turns to his girlfriend,and says, "Jesus, what do you call that drink?"

She smiles widely at him and says, "Blow Job Revenge".

Silent witness?

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Here I am, sitting outside on my balcony, enjoying the rare rays of sun that peek through the clouds. Today is better, weatherwise, than most of August combined. It's pretty warm outside and Tai is enjoying it as well. He has been chasing weeds and comes running over to me to show his catch when he gets one. Funny cat, I tell you!

Waiting for the mailwoman to show up. Before the last reorganization of the postal services, my mail used to show up between ten and eleven at the latest. Nowadays when I leave for work around 12h45 when I'm doing late shifts, I see her somewhere in the street, but no mail has been dropped in my mailbox yet. Now, as I work shifts, it doesn't really matter too much when exactly my mail arrives, but is it too much to ask to get it before noon? Apparently it is.

I'm awaiting a parcel from an ebay seller, who claims to ship immediately, and shipping takes 1 or two days. I ordered and paid on sunday, today is friday... What do you think? Am I being too impatient? Hey, a mail delivery truck just showed up, but he's stopping a few houses away from me. Damn, no new computer toys to play around with today I suppose.

Some kid is crying his brains out on the street for no apparent reason, does that constitute noise pollution?

It's quite funny that no matter what I write about here, none of you readers seem to have an opinion about anything. Or maybe you do have an opinion, but you can't figure out how to post a comment? Over the past few days, I've written about my cat, a Pink concert, international politics and weapons use, computer security and vulnerabilities, sex, TV and movies, ... you name it. No comments, no reactions, no opinions. Strange.

Maybe I should be more explicit, more confronting, more in your face? Or is it that I'm not vague enough, not interesting, or even plain boring? You know what? I don't expect to see answers, why would this entry be any different from the 2701 previous ones when it comes to feedback?

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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