March 2011 Archives

Heads up

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Due to a continuous spam run on the comments of this blog - for those that have no idea : about 20.000 spam comments a day - I've made some changes in how things are handled in the back end. I banned a complete Chinese IP range which was abused all the time. Yes it's like using a cannon to kill a mosquito but unless China starts taking care of it's own mosquito's (in this case, spammers) they'll get tossed in with the crooks, too bad. Clean up the act and the range can be reviewed.

This drastic measure alone has already cut back spam by 50% (for the time being), but I've just turned on some more plugins and finetuned some others to help lower the footprint of this blog. If you suddenly are unable to post or leave a comment, shoot me a mail and I'll look into it early April.

Yes, no updates for a while due to limited internet access. I can read my mail, but can't send long answers or post blog entries. So be it. I have a bathroom to build anyway :)

Fighting (for) it.

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Let's start off with the good news : thanks to some great helpers the move on Saturday went pretty smooth. I was pleased because even though things were organized upfront, moving is always a stressful activity. It was a long day nevertheless and after J&M left, I unpacked a few more boxes, assembled a cabinet and a table, and called it a day. I crashed in my new chair, watched two movies and went to bed early.

Later in the afternoon, whilst making the last pick up - I was alone by then - I noticed that something was seriously amiss with someone - it's hard to hide things from people that know you and (still) care. I don't know what to think of it, and it's been going round and round in my mind, even though I'd be better off not caring at all, but that's not who I am, or how I live.

I got the chance to talk to J about it today, and I needed it. While our talk didn't offer a/the solution, it was good to be able to just vent, let it all pour out and... I can't find the exact words for it, but it was good. What the future brings, no one knows, but I do realize that it's up to me to deal with whatever it is that weighs on me, to give it a place, to embrace it, or to crash and burn fighting (for) it.

Where's the time that I was all rational and hardly ever emotional? It seems so far away...

Energy Efficiency

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More house news :

Today the first company representative came over to take measurements for my new windows and he guaranteed me that they'd send out the offer by next week. A rep for a second company is coming over on Thursday, so I can compare offers and go with those with the best price, best service and best feeling. Those three things are not guaranteed to all be present in one offer though, although I sure hope one offers just everything.

After a long day at training again - we start at 7AM - I stopped by IKEA and BRICO to pick up some things I still needed and spent over 130 euro. Some things sure are expensive, though I must say that I find installing smoke detectors and new locks an investment worth doing, despite the cost involved.

After arriving home and giving the window company representative a quick tour, I started installing the new locks, replace some light bulbs, assembled three lighting armatures, replaced two old lighting armatures that still had inefficient regular bulbs and replaced them with new armatures with energy saving bulbs (class A).Yes, I'll be taking energy efficiency and savings into account when making purchase decisions, though I may stray here and there probably.

The fridge I ordered - and to which I still don't have a confirmed delivery date, so much for their 12h shipping advertisement - has an A++ label (for more info on the EU energy labels, click here), the washing machine has an A+ label (with spinning and washing both being assigned an A label), and the TV carries the Samsung "Planet First" label, whatever that may mean. One always had to take labels - especially those invented by commercial entities - with a grain or two of salt.

Power will be delivered to the house by my trusted supplier Ecopower, while for gas I opted for Nuon. The latter was mostly, if not purely, based on price and didn't take environmental factors into consideration.

That's it for now, more work in the next couple of days. I may or may not be able to update on those though, as I not yet have internet access at the new house, and it'll take at least another 14 days to get that installed. In the mean time, you can always follow my feed on twitter (@friedkitten) which gets updates from my phone.

Organizing things

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This morning I accomplished the following already :

contacted the water supplier and gave them all my details as well as current meter read out
contacted my electricity supplier and gave them the current meter details

Much to my surprise, most of the things that have to do with moving can be accomplished online, which I do appreciate a lot. So I think I better get in touch with an ISP to get a connection going at the new place as well, even if it is just a very basic one for the time being.

Off to the notary this evening to become the official owner but before that I'll have to pick up some things and bring them over there. I'll be busy :)

It was a bad idea, wasn't it?

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Today, after work, I went over to my new place and took another tour. By the time I was done, I was pretty depressed and really wondering why on earth I ever thought I could just buy a house and get everything in order myself. I saw myself sitting there, on a construction site, for the next year or so. There suddenly seemed so much more to do! I can already smell the dust, see the trash and feel the odours of fresh paint tingle on my skin, and it definitely/doesn't feel right. Not at all.

The last two - actually three - times I decided to undertake such an adventure I wasn't alone. Sure enough, today I can do what the hell I please, pick the furniture, colors and anything to my liking, but it also means that I have to do everything. And to be quite honest, I'm scared. I have no clue where to start, what to do!

However, after a phone call with my dear sister, I was feeling a bit better already. I must admit that visiting a house that needs work and that you officially own as of tomorrow after an 11 hour day at work was not the best of ideas. I can only assume that my sis was right when she said I'd feal a lot different about it in the morning. She may be my "little" sister, but damn, she's smart :)

What I did notice though, was that there was no fridge anywhere to be seen. I had assumed that one of the many cupboards in the kitchen was hiding a fridge, but that was silly of me to think. So, once I got home near 10PM, I went online, browsed a few sites and reviews and ordered myself the Siemens KG36VX47 fridge/freezer combo with stainless steel look.

With that taken care off, offers for new windows coming in the week after next week (hopefully) and a laundromat and bathroom furniture being delivered as well, I think I can see progress. And progress is what will be keeping me up. That, and a little help from my friends and family :)

Yes, I'm thanking them in advance, and for what they've already done for me. They deserve it.

Moving large pieces soon

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On March 19th I'm organizing to move most of the larger stuff (furniture) around in Flanders. I plan on renting out a small truck, pick things up on address 1, then haul it all to address 2 where most of it is dropped off, and finally move the things I can use to my place. The moving itself is not the issue, but having enough people load and unload could be.

So, if you have a bit of free time on Saturday March 19th, get in touch with me if you feel like giving me a hand. Even if you can only come help out at one address, I'd appreciate it. Feel free to contact me, or wait for me to ask :)

Step by step

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I'm slowly getting more or less ready and prepared to move into my soon to be new place. I'm sure I will be facing quite some mental issues once things are actually becoming more real, but in the mean time, I'm also taking care of things that need to be done.

I signed the last papers with the bank today, went shopping for a laundromat - Test Aankoop listed the Samsung WF8714BSH as "best buy" when taking price and quality into consideration - so I decided opt for that model.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find it at such a low price as they listed (€419 to €580) but I found a store that would sell it to me for €550 including transport which is a deal I could agree upon.

I'm about to wrap up sending out e-mails to companies that make and install windows to see some of their representatives so I can get at least 3 offers in and decide who'll get the job. So far I've contacted ISP Ramen who'm I've seen at Bouw & Reno, EcoWindows who'm I've talked to at Batibouw and De Clerck who my sister was really pleased with.

I'll be opting for a PVC housing with 1.1Ug or 1.0Ug glass in it, giving me a good balance between price, insulation and sunlight still entering the house.

On the "to do" list for the next two weeks :


  • pick the color and type of tiles I want to use in my new to be bathroom

  • decide upon the type of bath and shower I want, as well as mirror

  • find out if a new fridge is needed (I just don't know, the current kitchen may have one)

  • arrange transport and help to get some furniture moved half across Flanders

  • + probably a ton of other things I haven't thought about yet, lol

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

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