March 2008 Archives

Blue Monday

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For a Monday, I've accomplished quite some goals I had set for myself. Well, I write "for a Monday" but to me the day ain't different from any other day, it's just that some people who work only weekdays dread Mondays.

Anyway, I went shopping for food and some cleaning stuff I needed, I checked the new location of the vet (she moved) and I just finished arranging a visit to the garage to take the car in for maintenance. Over the next month I'll be working lots of day shifts, meaning I need to plan better what can be done when. The positive side of working days is having weekends off and the ability to actually watch some TV during the evening and not having to revert to recorded shows, DVD's or late night reruns. Not that I watch a whole lot of TV, but it could prove a nice change.

Off to do some laundry now. Cleaning up the place is for later tonight, or during the week, possibly the weekend depending on how well I feel up to it. Got everything I need to actually do it, so no more excuses apart from... not feeling like it, lol!

More psycho babble from me

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I didn't need a study to tell me "Males are apparently clueless when it comes to interpreting sexual intent from females, according to a recent study from Indiana University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences", but what's new? I am very capable of misinterpreting every conceivable sign, wink, nod or touch myself. Either by reading something into it that ain't there, or not getting the clue at all. It is sometimes referred to as "social ineptness" I believe. Anyway, you can find the study online here : Decoding Women’s Sexual Intent.

I need a t-shirt that reads "If you like me, tell me - I am male, I don't get clues!", but obvious as it would be, it would just confirm that nobody likes me, lol. See, sometimes it's better to assume and not know, then it is to ask and face the truth. Or is it not?

Oh, I'll be updating my work schedule tomorrow, though it's pretty regular. I'll be working days most of the month due to training that needs to be done. It'll also mean more time stuck in traffic jams, but more weekends at home as well. I think I'll need to call some people to go grab something to eat during one of those rare weekends off.

Jumping on thin ice?

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It's been a long and busy day, but in the end everything nicely fell in place. I'll sleep like a baby though (unfortunately, that doesn't mean I get to suck on nipples all night long, lol).

Fitna - the (controversial) movie about the Islam by Geert Wilders has been released and can be viewed on liveleak.com. I'll be providig a direct link to the english version as well as a link to liveleak using the coral content distribution network, which would save them some bandwidth : Liveleak through CDN. If the latter works, please use that link.

If anyone wants to leave a comment that I'm promoting hate or anger from or towards certain social, religious or racial groups, feel free to do so. I am an avid supporter of free speech, and also support it when a message I don't agree with is being sent. I haven't seen the movie yet, so can't comment on it. If I find the time to actually watch it and write something about it, you'll be able to read it here.

Note : I also think that anything and everything should be allowed to become the subject of humor, even if it could be considered offensive to some. Feeling offended by something that is being said, written or depicted means you take yourself or your ideas too serious anyway. People don't make (good) jokes about things they don't understand, or at least have thought about. Humor can be subtle, in your face or extreme. Even if it seemingly makes fun of your beliefs, consider it a form of flattery. If your beliefs were unimportant, no one would bother making jokes about it.

Change of plans

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I had another day off tomorrow, but my site supervisor just called to check whether I could come in and work a day shift, to which I said yes. I could as easily have said no, but as I had nothing else planned really, why not?

Apart from that, I'm currently dealing with a major ethical dilemma that I can't seem to find the answer too. Going out to work won't help me reach a solution I guess, and it may even be a way to push the issue back a bit more. I guess I may hope that things resolve themselves, but I really doubt it. If I follow my heart, nothing gets done and things slowly continue sliding downhill. If I think rationally, I make the difficult decision and protect my investments. If I keep pushing the issue away, I may end up with a bad feeling and a loss of material objects, so all things considered, that could be the worst option.

Crap - once again I come to the conclusion - opposite to popular belief that it's better to have loved and get hurt than to have never loved at all - that opening myself up bites me in the ass, again. Yet cutting everyone and everything out from reaching me doesn't seem like such a good plan either, does it?

(finishes post and mulls over the issue at hand a bit more)

And... gone!

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It's been a busy few days (weeks even) and the big load is still ahead of me. From March 10th till March 24th I'll have had exactly 2 days that didn't include something work related. I'd be looking forward to a couple of days off, but I guess I'm not annoyed enough with things to actually take some time off, lol :)

Last night I drove over to dad's place to check out the computer network, as it appeared to have stopped working. Sure enough, so things were strange, so we talked over what exactly it was that needed to be set up, and then I started scrabbling things onto paper to plan the layout. After moving a machine to another workgroup, swapping some UTP cables around and reconfiguring a bunch of printers, everything seemed to work as planned. (Note to self : if you share a printer it makes perfect sense that it won't be available when the host is offline.)

Then we hooked up the NAS and toyed around with it a bit as well. At one point everything worked as planned, but soon after things became unresponsive again and I wasn't able to pinpoint the reason for it. Could be some windows XP caching issue, a security application blocking certain packets, who knows.

Went out with B&H to watch a play and had lots of fun. Hadn't seen it before and was laughing out loud several times. I managed to predict the final plot right after the second scene ended, which was somewhere in the midst of the play. I don't know what tipped me off, but when I checked with H - so damn convenient to have the author sitting next to you - she was rather surprised I was correct.

Last night and most of today was spent sleeping and after getting some food in a couple of minutes, I'll be heading of to J&M to go take a look at their new place. Can you believe they moved a couple of weeks ago and I hadn't visited yet?! Then after the visit, I'm off to work a graveyard shift.

Just finished upgrading the firmware on the router - was tipped off due to a vulnerability coming to light on another version of the router I use - and everything seems to work. Can't connect the notebook to the wireless though, but that's due to it sitting in my car, not due to the wireless dropping out.

Anyway, enough talk for the day, off I go!

Shaping my country

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My virtualSecond country in NationStates is definitely starting to reflect the political and general choices I make (or would make) in life. Today I had to decide upon the following issues : cars versus bicycle usage and whether or not to allow euthanasia in certain circumstances. Both rather interesting issues and while the final result may differ from what I had in mind, I'm following my own lead and believe that the outcome will prove to be beneficial to my residents, though maybe only in the long run.

Ruling a country is looking ahead, and that sometimes means making very difficult decisions with immediate negative impact, while the positive outcome in the distant future remains less certain. I really like this kind of game and am already looking forward to what'll be on my plate tomorrow.

Stable vs beta 4

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I just installed the latest beta release of Firefox 3.0 onto my machine (beta4) and while the change log and release notes are all referring to plugged memory leaks and improved performance, initial tests on my XP machine show something else. Sure enough, it is a beta release and my testing is far from scientific, but still.

Loading up my start page and then switching to another one, gets the stable release 2.0.0.12 up to just over 52.5MB in memory usage. When I do exactly the same with 3.0 beta 4, it needs 62MB, which is more, no matter how you look at it. Some of my extensions don't work yet, but mostly I'm missing my snazzy Pimpzilla skin. Guess I'll be uninstalling beta 4 soon and wait for beta 5 or the final release to appear before switching over. It'll give the developers more time to iron things out and get the extensions up to date as well.

Note : it's quite possible that your mileage may vary. Go give it a try if you're feeling adventurous.

I rule the nation

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I apologize for running a bit late on pretty much everything. I've got mails to answer, blog templates to update, but I just keep putting all of it off. Instead I joined yet another virtual game : NationStates. If you expect superb graphics, stunning gameplay or adrenaline pumping action, you'll be disappointed. However, if you are interested in seeing how you'd do running your own country, NationStates may very well be something for you.

Starting your own nation is as easy as filling out a name, email address (optional!) and answering a couple of questions to get your nation started. Total time : under 5 minutes.

You are presented with a single issue a day, on which you have to either take a stance, or which you can dismiss. If that pace is too slow for you, you can play around with the settings allowing you to get two issues a day. There is such a thing as vacation mode (when you can't play) and you are able to set whether to get issues only on weekdays, or weekends as well. Guess that makes it very fitting to sneak into your day at the office ;) Purely web based, no downloads, installs or fees to be paid.

So... this is the kind of game where your political decisions shape the nation and/or have undesired results. You are able to join the UN, participate in discussions and all, but I'll be sailing a solo race in this game. I want to see where I'll end up when applying my own ideas and principles to an entire nation, without outside interference.

So far I've dealt with two issues : today it was Animal Liberation Front protests and yesterday it was... erm... I don't recall, lol. Maybe I wouldn't be all that good at leading a country?

Feel free to check out The Democratic Republic of virtualSecond, and/or to sign up for an account for yourself. My nation is currently residing in the Pacific region - you can move it around - and I'd love to see some of my readers nations pop up there as well. Maybe we can even form a region of our own later?

If you decide to play along, leave me a comment on the blog, will you?

Yawns, frowns and looks dazed

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It's gonna be one heck of a long day. I went off to bed pretty early last night - before ten - and then read a couple of more pages in "The Art of Deception" by Kevin Mitnick and turned off the lights around eleven. Woke up around 4, took a leak and had something to drink before I went back to bed. Tossed and turned for another 15 minutes before I decided to continue reading my book for a while. Turned the lights back off around 6 and lay awake listening to the birds whistling their songs outside. Finally got out of bed around 7 and have been up since. Am starting to yawn already, but it's too late to head back to bed now, so I'll have to push myself to stay awake. Off to work in a couple of hours and won't be home till late. Guess I'll head off to bed pretty quickly after that.

Sure...

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We all know that spam tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, right? According to some spam I received last night, shaved pussies sell better.

I rest my case - can't argue with a statement like that, lol.

Maintenance

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I blog about the importance of keeping your software up to date on a rather regular base, but hardware needs to be checked as well. Before you think "I know nothing about hardware! It's only chips and shiny bits and bolts!" allow me to explain. Computers generate heat, and sometimes even a lot of heat. In order to keep things cool, there are a bunch of fans installed in your computer. Your CPU will have one, the motherboard may have one, the video card has one, the power supply has one... See where I'm going? Each of them is essential to the performance and life of the component it cools. Turn off your machine, make sure the power is off and open it up and take a look inside. Dusty, ain't it?

I used the vacuum too get rid of all of the dust, but allow me to warn you that it's not the best of ideas. Computers are delicate machines and they won't like a madman with a vacuum at full power rubbing the chips, motherboard and bumping into the hard drive(s). They don't like water either, so unless you are very careful with the vacuum cleaner (use it at the lowest setting) you can use a can of compressed air to gently flush away the dust that has gathered on and under the fans. Allow me to divulge that a heat sink covered in dust does a pretty bad job getting rid of excess heat.

If the compressed air doesn't get rid of the really clogged up fins or fans, try using a dry cotton swab - the kind you use to clean your ears with, but please : use an unused one, lol - and gently loosen things up before giving the compressed air another go.

Your machine - and in the end, your wallet - will love you for it.

Note : 4 critical patches for Microsoft products to appear on Tuesday. Remember to patch, and patch early.

Update : Amazing! Even under full load, the CPU is running approximately 10 degrees Celsius cooler then it was before I cleaned it out.

Now what?

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After watching Cloverfield in the theater - enjoyable, but nothing more - I took a stroll through the city and noticed something remotely funny : a cab driver that looked like Rod Steward, lol! Yeah, I admit I'm easily amused every now and then.

When I got home and parked my car in the garage outside, I noticed the light on in the garage next door. That box is owned and used by my neighbors. At first I just thought "too bad, they're gonna have a slightly higher electricity bill" but somehow something must have tipped me off. I took a step back, then back towards the door and heard a soft sound.

Couldn't yet make out what it was, so I took a couple of steps towards the other end of the door and leaned closer again. Crap! It's the engine of a car running! Leaving the lights on when getting out of your car and closing the garage door is one thing, leaving the car running something entirely different. I sniffed for the smell of fumes but wasn't too certain whether or not I could smell the exhaust. Having gathered enough data, I knocked on the garage door but there was no answer. I grabbed the handle and swung the door open, to see my neighbor laying in his car, engine running. Holy fuck! I'm not the best friends with them - we are just neighbors, we greet when we meet each other in the street - but this is not a situation where you think, you just act. I moved in quickly, opened the drivers side door and shut down the engine. Then I started poking him and asking him if everything was ok. About 30 seconds later he opened his eyes, looking all confused.

We started having a conversation, but his replies didn't make all that much sense. He said he came home about 20 minutes earlier and that he had a bit too much to drink. I asked him several times whether he was planning on something specific but he denied time after time. I told him to get out of the car, into fresh air and upstairs to his apartment, which he did.

The questions that remains now are the following : "did I intervene with a suicide attempt?", "was he just drunk and fell asleep, not realizing that he was still in the car?", "if that's the case, why was the garage door shut?!", and finally "should I talk to someone about it?". The final question could either be his wife, or cops or whatever. (No need to answer that last question anymore, I called a 24/7 lifeline and presented the situation to them. They advised me to talk to his wife first chance I get, which I'll definitely do.)

Yikes

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Has it really been that long since I updated? Has another month gone by? Before I realize it'll be 2009!

I've got little to share, as life mainly consists of RL work, SL work, and sleep. No exciting things have happened, and I don't see anything exciting happening in the near future, though of course one never knows. Much fun was had last Sunday when we went out to the pub after work to meet up with an old colleague and have a couple of pints. Fun fun fun!

Oh, I talked to Jarhead on Friday and agreed to start the training for the new position. It'll take quite a while before I'm done, and certain parts of the job really rub me the wrong way I suppose but when he asked whether I was certain as I expressed my doubts about it, I replied that I once I commit, I take my job very serious. I guess he should have known that by now...

Anyway, maybe more changes then I recalled when starting to write out this post, lol.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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