December 2010 Archives

Wrapping up the year 2010

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I just arranged a new meeting for that property where no one showed yesterday. January 8th it is. I'll be fine tuning the drawings I had made based on photographs with the outer measurements I was able to do yesterday. It should make it more clear what can and can't be done, and what definitely needs to be done. New windows, new front door, ...

The property is pretty damn huge and there's loads of work to be done, but I remain convinced about the possibilities. Based on what we saw yesterday, I'd even be able to fit solar panels if I wanted - which I would, providing there's cash left for it.

Anyway, more info will be gathered on the 8th.

Off to do some shopping now and put some of the €5 coupons that expire tomorrow to good use. It would be silly to throw 6 of them out, wouldn't it? On the other hand, I'm not gonna purchase stuff I don't need, just because I got reduction.

I wish everyone - yes, that even includes you - the best for 2011. Love, prosperity, happiness, but most of all a good health. Don't let anyone get you down. I'll try to do the same :)

If I were to describe 2010 in one song... this would be it.

Sometimes I feel I've got to
Run away I've got to
Get away
From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
The love we share
Seems to go nowhere
And I've lost my light
For I toss and turn I can't sleep at night

(chorus)
Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I'll run from you
This tainted love you've given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that's not nearly all
Oh...tainted love
Tainted love

Now I know I've got to
Run away I've got to
Get away
You don't really want it any more from me
To make things right
You need someone to hold you tight
And you'll think love is to pray
But I'm sorry I don't pray that way

(chorus...)

Don't touch me please
I cannot stand the way you tease
I love you though you hurt me so
Now I'm going to pack my things and go
Tainted love, tainted love (x2)
Touch me baby, tainted love (x2)
Tainted love (x3)

And so time passes quickly

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Last week I made an appointment by phone with a realtor to visit a house today. When my dad and I showed up today, no one was there. We waited for a while, then called the office to check up on them. They told me the appointment was scheduled for the 29th.

1. Why would I ask for an appointment on a day I was planned to work all day?
2. If I didn't show up on the 29th, and their representative did, why didn't they call? I did leave my name and number when setting up the appointment in the first place.
3. They were unable to send someone over, as their rep was on another visit now.

I'll see if I can arrange another meeting next week, but I doubt it. Starting January 4th, I'll be working every day of the week with probably no option to leave early. The property was still looking interesting though, so that's why I'll try to get a new visit set up. This time by mail - no "get out of jail free" card for them this time.

You are damn awesome

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I'm sporting a nice headache. One of those that are annoying but not mind numbing or terribly painful. If I had too much to drink last night, I'd know why, but that certainly ain't the case.

I don't know what to do with my life. I feel lost, and I'm not stuck on an island with a TV crew, a couple of hot girls and some weirdo's. If that were the case, I probably wouldn't even mind and just go with the flow. If I were participating in Survivor, I'd do alright.

Lost is probably not the right word, scared maybe is a better word even, hell, I don't know. The previous time(s) I bought a property it was always with my partner at the time, with a future we'd spend together. Sure enough, that didn't last "until death us do part" otherwise I wouldn't be facing it all alone now, but still... it was comforting to be able to bounce ideas and calculations around, look at interiors together and just dream, decorate and build away. It seemed "right".

Now it is just me, looking at properties, doing calculations and predictions, but not really believing in any of them. I fear making a decision, buying a property - it doesn't even matter which one, as the feeling remains equal - and just realizing that I'll never be happy there. I'll have a roof over my head, but not something to call home, or to feel home.

I've got wonderful friends and family, but they can't take away that feeling, no matter what they do or try, or how wonderful they are. An they are pretty damn awesome, yes they are.

I coded a nice report in excel this morning - something I should have done a while back - and will get feedback from our customer in a couple of minutes, after which I'll probably spend the rest of the day fine tuning it to make it more accessible, usable and with even better reporting before putting it to use starting next week. I should feel proud and good about it, shouldn't I? Well, I don't. It's only work, only a fucking report and I couldn't care less. I'm pleased to have learned a few new tricks in excel, but that's hardly enough to counter the pain I feel inside. Oh, and the headache ain't gone either...

Today, I was asked how I did it earlier when I was still with my girlfriend, seeing as I get home now, eat and fall asleep on the couch, then head off to bed. I didn't do that then - it happened, but not every day. The answer may be surprisingly simple yet complicated : 1. I had things to do to prevent me from just sitting down and falling asleep. 2. I couldn't get away with it. 3. I actually had a good rest at night.

Nowadays I work nine to ten and a half hours a day, and read up on building and decorating when not at work, doing research and gathering information (mostly just by reading though). When I "sleep" at night my body shuts down for 4 to 6 hours, but I don't get the rest I should. I go from being awake to not being awake, but my heart and mind don't stop racing and processing thoughts and emotions. Essentially I went from being awake and active for 17 to 18 hours a day with 6-7 hours of good quality sleep to being awake and active for 18 to 19 hours a day with 5 to 6 hours of crap sleep. In fact, I sometimes wonder why and how I still am able to function relatively well.

Oh, if this seems an awfully dark entry, don't worry. In fact it is not. It's a way of setting things straight for myself, throwing it all out and coping with it. It's improving, slowly. I'll be back, better, leaner and meaner than ever. Well, forget about the mean thing : I'm not a mean person, never have been, probably never will be.

Lovely evening

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Great company, lovely food, presents that are enjoyed and a damn nice atmosphere. What more could I wish for? Thanks everyone!

Off to bed now though... one too many large Martini's :)

The geek is on the loose

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I'm sitting on my bed, wearing a boxer short and t-shirt, listening to the UK Top 100 Singles from December 11th 2010, typing away on my laptop. It's just past 9AM, and I've been awake for about 30 minutes. Last night I installed the new Secunia PSI tool (version 2.0 was released earlier this week) and scanned my system for end-of-life software and vulnerabilities. If you have Secunia PSI 1.5.x installed - and if I every laid hands on your computer, you probably have - I suggest you upgrade to the latest version.

It has to option to automatically download and install patches, but I've turned it off to be honest. I don't like software downloading and installing updates and patches I know nothing about. Instead I've set it to notify me if there are updates. Anyway, if you are a regular user of computers, you may want to leave it set to automatic. Find the new secunia PSI 2.0.x version here : https://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/.

This morning I received a Microsoft security advisory - and with me millions of other people I suppose, I don't have a direct connection to MS that provides me with personalized advisories, lol - that talked about a vulnerability in all IE versions and that no active exploits were out (yet?). Anyway, to make a long story short, I grabbed EMET and configured IE, Firefox, Thunderbird and Acrobat Reader to use it. While being far from a bullet proof solution, it should help lock down - still unknown - vulnerabilities in the programs I use to access the web most frequently. I'll run some tests with it and then may include other programs as well. If you don't mind doing a bit of configuration - nothing too difficult or fancy - take a look at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=200220&clcid=0x409.

Stay safe and have wonderful 2011!

Raw

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Visiting two more houses today, and got another one lined up for a visit on the the 30th. Hopefully one of them will be what I like, need and can afford, you never know. Especially that last one has - purely based on photographs I've seen online - tons of options, but the location is a bit more worrying. It's practically sitting in the backyard of a huge non-ferro company, which has confirmed pollution in the wide neighborhood in the past. It was sanitized a couple of years ago, but that never is 100% and there is a continuous emission of gasses, heavy metals and all kinds of less than healthy by-products even though those have diminished considerably. Anyway, I'm still gonna take a look at the property, even of it is just to know for sure that I don't want to live there.

The properties lined up for today has one that seems very interesting (in the afternoon) and one that could have possibilities, but I'm uncertain about. The first one is more expensive and has no garden and as far as I know the heating is not up to par with current installations but apart from that practically ready to move in, the latter is a total renovation but less expensive and it has room for a - small though - garden.

Off I go... First to Mechelen to sign even more paperwork - I tell you, this is the last I sign until I start seeing some cash coming my way - then visiting the properties.

Oh, I got invited last night to a meal in a Japanese sushi bar in January... Looking forward to it :)

Long, Semi, Short

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I made some calls today and have myself set up for two house visits on Wednesday. One of them is a full scale renovation project as well, the other house seems to be in a better shape, though also slightly more expensive. Based on photographs though, it looks quite nice. Major bummer with it is though that it doesn't have central heating and no yard. It has three bedrooms though, is quite spacious, affordable and comes with a garage.

As I was driving home - well, driving is a bit of a misleading choice of words - I had plenty of time to think things through and I was wondering why I wouldn't invest in a small apartment building in which I can occupy one apartment myself and rent the rest out? I was not planning on returning to an apartment, but on the other hand, it could be a wise choice to do it like that and then rent out the last place when I find a new house for myself. It would essentially pay for itself and maybe even make me a bit of a profit.

Long term, short term... I don't know what's the best way to look at it. If I look at the long term, I'd prefer a new house, with a yard and at least three bedrooms in which I can settle and house a family should the time arrive. Semi-long term I think I could find something I can use myself for now and rent out later. Short term I just buy whatever is affordable and then see what happens next. Hm... that doesn't sound like much of a plan, does it?

Off to do more calculations browse houses. Hopefully that architect gets back to me tomorrow.

Pushing forward, moving on

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I'll be making a decision this week on whether or not to push through on the house/project in BW. I've tried contacting an architect but already got a reply that the site is too far for them to accept my case. I've found another one that is in the same village, whom I'll try contacting tomorrow. I am however rather surprised by the amount of money some of them charge for a couple of calculations. I'm aware that they can be held responsible in case it turns out they made errors, but still... One of the results I got when performing an online price check was just over €18k - that's simply insane.

It seems the average is around 7% of the total cost in case of a new house, but getting a price for a renovation seems much harder. Anyway, I'll make some calls tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll also try to mail my ex-girlfriend because I want things to finally come to a conclusion. It's time to move on. I do realize that not everything is in her - or my - hands and that we're still waiting for the notary and bank to file the necessary paperwork, but come on... hurry up already.

let's "c"

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I just had a lovely afternoon, hanging out with old friends from school, and their kids. It was superb to see S. back (an ex-girlfriend of mine) and her daughter B. For one reason or another B. and I just clicked and we had a fun time. It also made me realize something that I had been suspecting for a while : I really like kids.

Anyway, it was fun and such. This morning I went to visit that other house that I was interested in and when I compare it with the house I've already visited twice, it has a few pro's, yet cons as well. Allow me to refer to them as House 1 and House 2.

House 1
needs complete overhaul
has only small garden, in the front of the house
3-4 bedrooms possible
architect needed
priced at 139k right now (add about 14.5% for costs), but lower may be possible

House 2
needs smaller overhaul
has large garden (1000m² of property in total)
3-4 bedrooms possible
needs new expansion to be built in order to make it nice
needs architect
priced at 125k, but selling publicly so it can only go up (add 18% for costs)

At first sight, House 2 seems like the more rational choice, doesn't it? However, as it's a public sale, people will be putting in bids, which would raise the price considerably rather quickly. The last public sale I went to, had a house starting at 132.5k sold for 161k (excluding costs). There is no certainty that the same would happen with this property, but chances are rather high. If that was to happen, it would be pushed right over my budget, or leave no room for the overhaul.

I think I'll think it over this weekend, do some drawing and decide. Tonight I'm going out to the movies - not yet sure what I'll be viewing - but first I'm gonna the fix the C key on my laptop that often fails. So if you see words that look a bit off, they may be lacking the letter "c".

Violently Happy

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I'm about to hit the sack and sure hope to get a better night's rest then I had last night. I fell asleep around eleven thirty and woke up just past one AM, sweating, shaking violently, feeling angry, disappointed and robbed of something that was very valuable to me.

I guess it'll be quite a while longer before I can give what happened over the past months a place and move on. I even know what triggered the - for lack of better words - nightmare : someone who I hadn't talked to for quite a while asked me how I and the girlfriend were doing. Quite a normal question, and I was able to keep my composure while I answered and explained a bit, so I thought it would be alright. The backlash followed the same night, so apparently I'm still far from "alright".

It's a very strange and awkward feeling to know we're in the last straight line untangling the final knots and whatever we have left that tied us together once : it's a relief to know that the end is near, but it also makes me feel sad, alone and it even enrages me sometimes.

The fact that I'm usually pretty much in control of my feelings, have the ability to practically shut down my emotional side and make very clear cut rational decisions is what keeps me sane and alive right now. I'm not proud of those abilities, because humans should never be totally without emotion, but if I have to make a choice between crashing and burning, and building a brick wall that allows me to go on - at least for now - I'll do the latter. I've done enough crashing and burning - can't take no more - and now I've switched into survival mode : don't open up, don't let anything or anyone get to you and as such prevent any more emotional damage from occurring. Once again, I'm not proud of it, and it'll probably make me seem unappreciative, cold and heartless, but I have to protect myself now.

I can't yet separate the different relations, feelings and emotions that fill me and are around me. It's all or nothing, and that - unfortunately - also affects those who are out there that care for me. I know who you are, and I love you for everything you do, say or put up with. I may give it another shot one of these days, but please... don't feel bad or sad if it doesn't happen. I need time to find the right approach, time, words, mood and place.

Last time that survival mode lasted for about 7 years. I don't plan on letting it get that far this time. Talking is the best way of dealing with it, but also the hardest. And it's so damn scary.

The title refers to a Björk song, which I've always liked, and seemed somehow fitting for this emotion filled entry. I actually considered changing the title to "Violently (un)Happy" but that is not the positive attitude I always try to have in life - even during the hardest of times. I'm gonna leave you with the lyrics of another Björk song that describes more about who I am than anything else I could think of. Remember : life is beautiful and beyond all rotten, vile outer layers lays a deliciously sweet and tasty center.

it's. oh. so quiet
it's oh. so still
you're all alone
and so peaceful until...

you fall in love
zing boom
the sky up above
zing boom
is caving in
wow bam
you've never been so nuts about a guy
you wanna laugh you wanna cry
you cross your heart and hope to die

'til it's over and then
it's nice and quiet
but soon again
starts another big riot

you blow a fuse
zing boom
the devil cuts loose
zing boom
so what's the use
wow bam
of falling in love

it's. oh. so quiet
it's. oh. so still
you're all alone
and so peaceful until...

you ring the bell
bim bam
you shout and you yell
hi ho ho
you broke the spell
gee. this is swell you almost have a fit
this guy is "gorge" and i got hit
there's no mistake this is it

'til it's over and then
it's nice and quiet
but soon again
starts another big riot

you blow a fuse
zing boom
the devil cuts loose
zing boom
so what's the use
wow bam
of falling in love

the sky caves in
the devil cuts loose
you blow blow blow blow blow your fuse
when you've fallen in love

ssshhhhhh...

Gathering information

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Picked up the last X-mas gift today - well, not the last as such, as I still need another two, but those I hope to get my hands on next week - and bought myself a bunch of interior design magazines showcasing stairs, floors and such.

Especially the stairs are of interest to me right now as I'm looking at the options available to change some things around in a house I visited recently. The type of stair is not gonna be conclusive as to whether or not I decide to go through with it, but it will help me reach a final idea as to what I'm thinking about it obtainable, both financially as well as structurally.

Apart from that, the magazines are full of nice and wonderful ideas - at a price - that may help me see the light.

Off to read some more articles both online and offline.

Tomorrow I'll make some phone calls and find out what are the limits imposed on another place I've got my eye on. Planning on visiting that on Saturday morning.

Yawn, need sleep.

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Heading out for a second visit to the house I saw on Thursday, this time with someone more experienced in the technical side of things. I have a tendency to underestimate things every now and then, so this should help get a more precise look at the tasks at hand.

Planning on visiting another house on Saturday morning, then Saturday afternoon I'm meeting up with a bunch of old friends and an ex-girlfriend. Will be great to see everyone again, I'm looking forward to it.

Off to bed now, need sleep. Early shift tomorrow and there's gonna be a load on my plate for the next couple of weeks, maybe even months. I'll call you tomorrow, dad.

Tap Tap Tap

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Still got an extra ticket for Lord of the Dance performance in Ethias Arena Hasselt on Saturday December 11th. If you're interested to come with - or meet me there - give me a call, send me a mail, or leave a comment. It would be stupid to let the extra ticket go to waste.

(Found excellent company, ticket is gone.)

A bit of everything.

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This entry will be a ratatouille of topics, so if it seems a bit unbalanced, so be it.

Just ordered tickets for the Rihanna concert in Antwerp next year. I thought they would sell out real fast, but strangely enough, 15 minutes after the tickets went active on the site, there are still tickets available in all categories. I remember the Rammstein concert, which sold out in a mere 2 minutes. I admit that Rihanna is not comparable to a group such as Rammstein, but still. I'd have thought it would go faster.

Yesterday morning I visited another potential house and let me describe what happened : I checked out the region as I was a bit early anyway, then waited for the realtor to show and was given a tour through the place. It needs tons of work - basically I'd have to strip the place and then redo it - which was not what I was looking for. However, while waiting at the first red light for it to turn green, I took out something to write and started drawing rooms and noting ideas. It kind of surprised me to say the least. I usually know instantly when a place is something for me or is not, but apparently this place triggered something that brought it from "definitely not" to "there are options here".

I'll let it rest for a bit now and then in a couple of days make a decision. I'll have to find out whether or not it is hooked up to gas as well - the info sheet stated yes, but we couldn't find a meter anywhere - and what priced I'd be willing to pay.

After that I went shopping and was able to find pretty much everything I needed gift wise for the upcoming holidays. I'm glad I did my shopping already, 'coz it is definitely already getting more crowded out there, and I hate shopping in a mass of people that know they need something, but don't know what exactly it is.

I spent a nice evening having drinks with 'Kat' on wednesday, then went out for food and drinks with 'Kar' on Thursday. I think we all had a fun evening out.

I'm still in bed now, having a terrible headache and snot is building up in my nose - it's gonna be a wonderful day. I'll have to look for my Lord of the Dance tickets as well, since that is on the program for tomorrow and I have little to no clue where I left the tickets. Moving is a pain, lemme tell you.

Whipped

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All bits and bytes should be back in order and we're back up and running. If you run into any problem, shoot us a mail so we can investigate.

Things on the program for the upcoming days :

Drinks
Visit a potential house
Shopping
Food
Watch kids
Lord of the Dance
Games afternoon
Back to work on Monday.


Down for maintenance

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This blog is down for maintenance. Please be patient while we whip bits and bytes back into submission and restore law and order.

Suicide bunny

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While driving home last night, I was suddenly attacked by a vicious suicide bunny that executed his task with vigor and brave. It had probably been laying in wait for several minutes prior to my passage, but when I came within striking distance, it tensed it's muscles, arched it's back and jumped right in front of my car, completing the one goal it had set up to complete : a merciless suicide attack.

The front bender of my car tore loose and I had to take it off a couple of meters further. I'll have to check whether I can reattach it today.

The suicide bunny is probably humping around in bunny heaven, a big grin on it's face in bunny heaven, enjoying the hot furry female bunnies that are waiting in line for a roll in the haystack with the fearless bunny that dared to execute a strike against a car.

You're dead, fool. You won't be fucking virgins, you won't be humping around in heaven. Your torn up body is laying on a frozen streak of asphalt, pummeled by every other car and truck that passes. How glamorous.

(Political Incorrect statements to follow)

Some say that when you die during a vicious attack on the enemy and go to heaven, 40 virgins will be waiting for you.

Once you fuck one of those virgins, she is no longer a virgin. Even if you only use one every week, you'll be out of virgins in 40 weeks. Less then a year of virgin fun in exchange for your life? Seems like a bad deal to me.

Even if you broaden your view on things and take into account that you could use those virgins for vaginal as well as anal fun, you'd be running out in 80 weeks, which is just over a year and a half. Still a bad deal I figure.

Why would anyone want to have sex with 40 virgins? Imagine the mess, the tension, anxiety and all! Having sex with someone who's been around and knows what they enjoy in the bed (or elsewhere) is much more fun I'd say.

(End of political incorrect statements)

Looking forward

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to a couple of days off, starting Wednesday. Worked 60 hours over the past 7 days, which is enough. Heading off to work early today, but off a day tomorrow. Busy busy busy :)

Today

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I learned that house number one was sold.
I learned that house number two was sold.
I still am undecided on house number three. While it has possibilities to turn into something nice and cozy, it just doesn't rock me. So far I've just known or felt it whenever I stepped into a property I was checking out as a possible home. That's the way I purchased my first apartment, that's how we decided on the second property (long sold now) and how we found the current place, where I've moved out.

I'm wondering whether I should look at the intrinsic value instead of my gut feeling, or just follow the path I've followed since my first purchase and take that feeling into account?

Off to look at more places... who knows. I guess there is something out there that I just connect with and which is in my price range.

Positive?

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Crossing my fingers as I head off to bed. Let's hope I get some solid good news tomorrow and then am able to pull it off - with a little help from my friends/family if needed :)

Yeps, short entry

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Work has been pretty hectic, which leaves less time to call around and keep in touch with people. However, tonight I'll be making some phone calls, just to keep in touch.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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