January 2011 Archives

Breakdown imminent?

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It's only Monday evening and already I feel like I've been run over by a truck, a train and beaten up by a boxer that was way out of my league. I'm sure 75% of that feeling is due to mental stress, not so much physical issues, but the result is about the same. My head hurts, neck aches and I can't focus any longer than the average goldfish' attention span (which is said to be around 3 seconds).

But, so much for the whining and complaining. Today I achieved the following in regards to the break up and buying a new house to live in :

I confirmed a date to pick up the last of my things on Friday,
I arranged for some furniture to be available by or around the time I move,
I called my preferred electricity supplier to announce my intention to have them hook me up to the net again,
I have a meeting with the current owners of my new house tomorrow,
We're meeting up with the notary to finalize the separation of the ex girlfriend and I on Wednesday,
I have decided what supplier I'll use to provide my new place with natural gas,
I might have feedback coming up regarding one of the two selected suppliers for windows I've picked.

Yes, that's quite some things already arranged, or in some stage of resolution. It is however also quite stressful as I combine it with 9 to 10 hour long days at work (not including travel to/from work).

Now I'll go play some Eve Online before I head off to bed and wake up in the morning for yet another day. Mind you, I do like my job and life a lot, but sometimes I just want everything to go away and get some much needed rest.

Step by Step, Brick by brick

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It has been quiet on the Western front, hasn't it? Yeah, I know. I've been keeping busy at work, and generally just living. Even though I have things to look forward to - a new house for instance - I am also in a bit of a lull so to say. I know there are tons of things that will come rolling my way soon, but there is little I can do to prepare for them right now.

Hopefully things will change in the next week when I get to visit the new house again and I can take some measurements, hopefully I can also reach an agreement with the current owners on some issues at hand - which would allow me to take care of a few things that I'd feel better about when taken care of - and as such we take a little step forward day by day. March 13th is still quite a while away, yet not so far away either.

I visited the Bouw en Reno fair today, where I was able to pick up some information about companies that make or install bathrooms, windows and doors. Once I have the final measurements, the time has come to get offers from them and decide.

That being said, who has first hand experience with the following companies?

De Clerck from Vrasene (Windows)
ISP Ramen from Grobbendonk (Windows)

Feel free to leave your experience in a comment, or to contact me directly. I already know J&M had a positive experience with De Clerck, but I'm having a hard time finding out much (experience wise) about that second company, even though I spoke with them at the fair.

Too late when it's gone

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Even though my mind may not yet be as clear as it normally is, I feel good enough to write about something that has been going through my head for the past day. In fact, this touches base with a topic I have been interested in for quite a couple of years now - feel free to browse other entries in these categories on this blog - which is privacy.

First of all, what is privacy? I can not give you the answer, because I feel privacy is a term that each and every one of us fills in differently, which makes it a very difficult topic to define for starters, but also difficult to discuss or reach common regulations regarding. What I would like to do however, is list a few recent incidents that all relate to privacy in some way or another - at least in my definition of privacy.

Tunesian Governement harvesting usernames and passwords

Search Ruling Makes Smartphone Security More Crucial

While the above incidents are governments restricting or hollowing out privacy, there are plenty examples where corporations do so.

Now, especially in the case of the first incident, where a drugs dealer is arrested for attempting to sell drugs to an undercover agent, and has his smart phone searched, you could think "of course! He's a criminal, he should be stopped and each and every method to find more criminals is good."

Now, imagine this situation : you're driving down the highway, with a broken tail light, a patrol pulls you over, checks the car and the office decides to take a look at your smart phone. Hey, you're a "criminal" since it's illegal to drive around with a broken tail light.

Still the same thing? Or maybe you think that you don't have anything to hide from anyone, because you are not doing anything wrong? That may very well be true, but privacy is not about doing wrong or right. It's about being able to do what you like without people interfering. It is not illegal to have $120,000 on your bank account, but do you feel comfortable with a stranger taking a peek onto the balance? It is not illegal to have photographs taken while you dress up as a manga character and get whipped silly by a woman dressed as a furry rabbit playing Beethoven while masturbating - how the hell do I even come up with these examples? - but do you feel comfortable having those photographs seen?

Privacy is a feeling. It seems all to natural and "there", until, one day, it no longer is. And by the time you miss it, it's way too late to take a few steps back. Be vigilant. Be aware what you share and whom you share it with. Respect others' privacy as you'd like yours to be respected. After all, my privacy ends, where yours begins.

I can suggest these sites and/or EFF projects :

Surveillance Self Defense project

Oh my...

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What the heck?!

I think that's the best way to describe the past three days. On Sunday morning, I woke up feeling pretty ill. Spent most of my day in bed, only got out to run to the toilet to either empty my bowels of puke my stomach out. Took half a Dafalgan 500mg during the day, another half before going to bed. Woke up Monday morning, popped another Dafalgan (a complete one this time) in order to be able to even function. Got over to the garage where I waited for three hours to get the car maintenance done, and hear some bad news. Extra issues were discovered and those needed to get fixed too, so they did and ordered the missing parts for the day after.

Went to bed on Monday evening, but barely slept at all. Ran downstairs another three of four times and was running a serious fever. Started to feel less bloated by 3 or 4 AM. Got up at 8h30 for the next visit at the garage, where they fixed the remaining issues. After that I took the car in for the mandatory yearly checkup which went well. It's good to go another year. (yay!)

In bed now 'coz I start work again tomorrow, so the two days off were totally wasted on my car, in bed, on the toilet or hanging over a bucket. The "sales" shopping I had planned fell through, as I was too busy and they car took way too large a chunk out of my budget.

It now being Tuesday evening, I was able to hold down some food today so far, and I feel way less bloated as last night. Hope it stays like this and that the end is near. I've had it with illness already.

Visiting a property on Saturday, and got plenty of fairs to visit in January and February. I hope to have made a purchase by then.

Barf, Splut (repeat)

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I sure thought 2011 would start differently : Yesterday I went to work a late shift, after spending a very enjoyable evening with my sister, her boyfriend and kid. Excellent food, superb company and a couple of games of "Dominion" made the evening one to remember.

This working I woke up, feeling a bit bloated - not from drinking or eating too much, mind you - and by the time I reached the toilet I knew I had whatever Joco had last week : vomiting and diarrhea, what an interesting combination. It makes one choose between an bucket and a toilet, lol. Combine that with a slight fever - I didn't take my temperature, but I do know my body - and I guess you understand I didn't do much apart from staying in bed, running to the toilet and feeling crap.

Everything hurts but it's getting better : since 16h30 I've been able to keep some water in my stomach, which is a relief. I should feel better tomorrow even though everything hurts, including the few hairs on my head I have.

Plans for tomorrow : take car to garage for maintenance and if time and results permit, to the mandatory yearly checkup as well. Apart from that, little else is planned. I'll be replying to some mails and updating my agenda. Even those few things could prove challenging.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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