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Journal: Wanted: very much! 1

Journal by andr0meda

It's nearly the end of the year. I noticed I average about a post a year now on this once so fantastic news site that I barely check up on these days. I haven't seen the oodles of good posts that whooshed by, nor have I seen the inventive new types of trolls that lurked here since when I was in University. That's a perplexing 10 years ago by now.

Anyway, long introduction short to say my wife Isabelle and I are expecting our first kiddo in about 4.5 months from now. Things are still early so we're clinging onto pieces of wood all over the place, but the vibe is good! All sorts of new issues spring to life, such as daycare, home safety.. welcome to the real world it is :)

During the years I've seen millions of colleagues either getting pregnant themselves or making their spouses pregnant, spawning a fountain of kids and sending tons of birth-cards this way. Not without a bit of healthy envy did I wish for something fantastic like that to happen in my life too. And then you suddenly see the years tick away and settle for life without kids. I still loved to care for kids though. I must have bought truckloads of stuff for newborns of people I knew at the time. So finally it's time to change the tables. :)

The long wait for 2nd life in my wife's belly was generally first thought to be caused my clumsiness with the other sex, but after a while it became clear we had to resort to more scientific approaches to make a baby. Lot's of bruised identities and emotional roller-coasters later, it worked! It worked! Yeey! So we are incredibly proud and happy to be watching the echo monitor at the gynecologist's, different patches and shades of grey revealing what soon will roam this earth! Incredible! We even bought some sort of microphone to hear the baby's heart-rate and it's a steady 160 bpm, which we fall asleep with.

4 Years ago I started at the biggest game entertainment venture in BE, 2 years ago we got married, last year we rebuilt the back of our house (not a particular smooth ride but nonetheless super glad we did), this year we've made our first kid, and next year hopefully the sunlight reflects in 2 extra pretty eyes! Would have signed up for this if they showed it to me 10 years ago!

The gender ? That's still a classified secret which I hope I can announce in a few months, (and thus up the average of my posting here). I dare you all techies to try to crack the secret :) Cheers all!

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Journal: Sunny side up! 1

Journal by andr0meda

Excited! That's the word.

It has that funky flavour of good vibes, but it also contains that aftertaste of some lesser vibes. It has Obama making us forget previous steps in the evolutionary chain, it has economic meltdown, it has a planet with a weather fury, it has outrageous coding pleasure as well as millions of unpaid hours of monkey work. It has a whole new world and a new fantastic point of view. And it has Isabelle, a girl I will marry in about 1 month!

And who could ever even imagine me typing that exciting prospect today!

Cheers!

User Journal

Journal: A Roof Documentary 1

Journal by andr0meda

Well, like any young couple buying a(n old) house, at some point you reach the inevitable point where you need to get outside jobs done. In our case, we had a lot of repairs to do, but one of the more obvious ones was a leaking rain-pipe on the street-side.

Meanwhile, after consulting various people and opinions, architects, etc, and making sure that our roof was still in acceptable conditions, we had some people install 3 windows (Velux) in our roof, so that we could have sunlight in our rooftop story. At first, we were very happy while blinking our eyes from the contrast adjustment, until we discovered that the quality of the work had been seriously below par. Pans were sitting loose, rain would seep in on the sides, and the windows themselves had been damaged and placed quite arbitrarily.

It was in august, and it was, completely in check with any other Belgian summer, raining cattle and zoo. While all kinds of animals fell from the sky, we started looking for a second team that could repair our rain-pipe. It was broken just underneath the plumbing of the collector, at the end of our tilted roof. After 2 people not showing up and 2 others being either too expensive or not very trustworthy, we thought we had found our guy. At first he would only remove one chimney, do the repairs on the plumbing, and the re-placement of the Veluxes. We were happy to have found ANYONE working for a fair price and helping us out. We signed him up for the job. This was around the end of September. He would only be free starting from mid-October and estimated that the job would be finished beginning of November. This sounded good, knowing that wintertime was coming. I wanted things to be done by December.

It was already the end of October when he first showed up. He had an elevator lift with him, and the removal of the chimney went swiftly. We were pleased. After he showed us a finished house he did from top to bottom a few blocks away, we talked about having the room isolated and prepared, and he volunteered to do this as well. Then he discovered that some of the large wooden ledgers were rotting away where they jointed with the walls. The ledgers had indeed looked a bit doubtful, bending under the weight of the keepers quite significantly as well. The whole roof would have to go, but he assured us that building a new roof and removing the old one would "just take 1 or 1.5 weeks extra". We were skeptical, but we signed a new contract detailing the extra work and materials.

He then started to remove the pans from the roof. This dragged on for quite some time, took about a week. Our hopes were still somewhat high but then the weather turned nasty. So nasty in fact that he didn't show up for one week, two weeks.. in the meantime it started storming and raining.. and we had no pans on the roof! The old under roof, a sort of light wooden layer that was looking like carton boards, was our only protection, and was getting soaked fast. After installing rain pots to deal with the biggest leaks that started popping up, I called him to provide a solution. He came and told us he had draped large plastic covers over the roof. We were somewhat happy that it didn't rain in our house (or so we thought), but our patience was starting to run out fast. 2 houses down the street, other roof workers had removed and re-constructed a new roof in only 2 weeks, rain or no rain. The next day we were on the 1st floor and we noticed odd yellow lines on the white painted ceilings. Going to second floor, we saw a soaked visitors bed, soaked books, soaked (freshly scraped) wooden floor, soaked IKEA pets, and a ceiling that was displaying weird patterns and bulges. Running to the top floor, I saw that the floor was wet, but not *THAT* wet. Apparently the water had found it's way down quite rapidly. I was trying to keep my calm and made another phone call, while installing more buckets. Our worker team came to take a look and agreed to repair it, at their expenses. Meanwhile I had found the source of the leak, and after a little bit of parley, the guy told us that yes, the badge he had used to fight off the rain had been about 80 cm's too short. Well. I guess that was the end of me being nice to him.

The story dragged on all the way until the 20th of December. By then the roof had been taken down (finally) and a new wooden construction was put in place, and new water collectors had been constructed to get the rainwater to the pipes. But the collectors still had to be leaded and the pipe connection itself (the reason that we had ventured with him) was still broken! This had taken another week. We were planning on going to Zandvoort / The Netherlands for 3 days. We had phoned him every day multiple times to get him to work on our roof, and he promised us to work during the weekend so that it would be closed up. In Zandvoort we got a phone call that the roof was closed. We were cheering at least a little bit. At home, we found that the room was closed with some kind of plastic cover under-roof sections, but the pans were still nowhere to be seen. It took Christmass and New Year to come round before the last pan got on the roof, at the cost of one call per 10 pans or so.

So now it's almost the end of January, the front collector has been leaded and the joint with the rain pipe is fixed. About 60% of all the protective slabs of the roof have been placed, and there is still some woodwork missing at the underside of the rain collector. We haven't even started discussing how the inside would be done. The guy does not pick up the phone or return calls for about 7 days. We have sent him a paper that states all the problems caused by him by mail (for which he has to sign) so we are now officially following legal proceedings.

I hope your roof treats you more kindly!

User Journal

Journal: Wordless Flights

Journal by andr0meda

It brakes,
awakes,
and flies into,
the greasy side of nowhere.

A scent,
heaven bent,
the rays of sunshine ,
infuse it's feathered head.

What is there for you I searched the skies but nothing was true.
Don't lead me or follow me, but I'd like you'd travel with me, for free.

The swarm,
charmed,
we're all here,
sitting in a circle.

We feel,
intact,
not wet or dead,
old ones lost in smoke, or in their beds.

What is there for you I searched the skies but I was not confused.
Don't lead me or follow me, but I'd like you'd travel with me, for free.

Don't lead me or follow me, but I'd like you'd travel with me, for ever.

(c) i.s. 2007

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Journal: ..in a blue moon.

Journal by andr0meda

We tend to ask ourselves. Or we don't.

The blue water of life is also our poison. It prevents us from transforming into pure thought and energy. It slows us down, and ages us. It evaporates, circumvents, digs ways through the toughest material. It drowns us and infects us, haunts us with ancient old images of starvation from thirst on a desert of water, in the bowels of wooden crafts, constructed to run from to another destiny.

And yet we survive. Most of us. Most are those who are spared to tell the tale afterwards.

But you have to wonder. How much longer does this blue gem of amazing beauty shine for us? How long till pages in National Geographic and Nature are the only real memory that we once lived in a terribly rough paradise? How long until the magical essence of life can only be reproduced under the dull fake laboratory lights in a December midnight session in zero gravity?

How long until a true human leader changes the path?

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Journal: Thoughts on previous post.. 7

Journal by andr0meda

..any?

I'm reading the Dune trilogy for the second time in my life, and the story got me hooked and has swept me across the barren world of Arrakis once agian. So I made up this little chapter that actually never happened, but which very well could have.. I found it quite easy to write, given all the necessary ingredients, and given the way Frank H. writes his books, but I'm curious as to what you think about it.

Hate it? Love it? Errors? Not interesting? Gimme the bunch..

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Journal: Drafts of Future

Journal by andr0meda

One look at the draft on the curtains told Paul something was wrong. Would it be wise to fetch the Sarduakar that were posted outside his stone walled room? Surely, both of them would quickly get the whole batallion alerted of the presence of this mysterious intruder. No, it seemed better that he'd resolve this matter personally.

As he pretended to read through the various reports of defeaten troops of the emperor-king on Giedi Prime, Paul saw, from the corner of his eye, how ever so silently and well trained, a silhouette of a man-like figure hinged itself over the window sill behind the curtains. The thick fabric revealed but only frozen minimal instances of shape that should otherwise not have been there. This snake-like movement somewhat surprised Paul. This person, whoever it was, was trained in a way that Gurney would surely have described as unearthly. Almost inhuman.

Paul felt his heart cringe, yet allowed his outer self to reveal no emotional change, no metabolistic deviation from a normal reading pattern. The instant the unexpected is uncovered, sets free the greatest danger, his mind reminded him. Somewhere in the present, Paul's self was searching both the past and the future for answers. He thought only of one particular person that possibly moved this way. That she was here now, was most inconvenient. The Landsraad was due in only a few days, after which the universe would change customs and patterns forever. In many ways, her timing in the now was disruptive, and the image of the jihad that he had so fiercly fought against for so long, started creeping through the slits of the wall he had built around the future pathways of doom. Paul's rage started to build up, but where others would act it, his body continued to be calm. No transpiration, no increased heart-beats. No stretch of hair that moved around nervously.

Seconds leapt by, without purpouse, but purpouse was waiting to be revealed, and Paul knew the advantage of initiative. "You've come in bad timing.", he said with a hint of the voice, not enough to command, but strong enough to let the hidden figure know who we was up against. While the prospect of battle could never be ruled out, Paul wanted to avoid drawing attention to this junction of pathways. The future had benefits in store for this particular meeting. Paul felt it. There was no reason not to play cards openly, while keeping a firm grip on them.

A small hand drew the curtain aside. He had never seen her face, but he knew who she was. She was one of them. A Reverend Mother, trained in the ways of the Bene Gesserit, soft like silk, but powerfull in ways that could not be described with matching words. "I've seen you die.", she said with a soft voice. The shape of her face looked familiar to the lines of the woman he did not know at all, but who was, at least technically, his wife. "Give my regards to your sister.", he completed the formal greeting part. "What unconfortable change hides inside your words, princess Laruni?". She stepped up closer, but still safely outside the shield-range. He saw how her eyes calculated every risk and possibility, how she restrained her muscles from drawing that blade and stab it right into his chest. Then suddenly, he saw the message that she brought. Her hand wore the seal of his father, the very seal he had used to claim his throne. In a flash he understood that a traitor must have had the ring stolen, so that it could be used to order that which he wanted to avoid at all cost. That which was now in full play. He looked at the fake reports on the table. The present seemed to collapse upon his head, millions of white threads woven around and connected to his present started to cut away from him.

Princess Lurani, aware of the power that Paul posessed, knew the stories of the battles, the legends of the makers, what a great fighter he was trained to be. Now she saw, for the first time, how the man that she had always adored, much to her own personal grief, started to fall appart. In his eyes she could see the fury of the battles, the pain of the massacres, the towers of hope that started to sink down in endless deserts of sand and rock and emptyness, and above it all, the new Atreides-bannered jihad that finally unleashed it's rage across the galaxy.

User Journal

Journal: brother mine 2

Journal by andr0meda

Thursday: brother presents thesis and gets PhD.

Saturday: brother marries his girlfriend (law)

In 2 weeks: brother invites everyone to the south of France for the big wedding celebration (church)

Allrighty!

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Journal: Save..

Journal by andr0meda

Michael Moore is back in Cannes. To get attention. To capture the limelight. Out of competition this time, but Sicko promisses yet agian to be the kick in the face that Corporate and Political America deserves, and for us Europeans and East-enders, a big interesting warning not to run after the same ideological void and financial traps when we architecture the next centuries ahead of us. This time the hot item is health.

The reason though, for me writing this entry, is because the internet is once moore (pun intended) in trouble. Internet radio needs a little hand if it is to survive the new US and MPAA/RIAA backed legislation. First I said, what the hell, if the yankees can't do it, we still can, but it always is a good idea to put the RIAA/MPAA under that little moore pressure, doesn't it? Point your browsers at http://www.savenetradio.org/ and tell the world what you think. Thanks!

Berlusconi removed from power. Blair stepping down. Bush losing his lieutenants one by one with a steady pace. The US public waking up from their illusions of waging war. I hope they will come to understand that their "great" nation will soon be trampled by even "greater nations" like e.g. China, which will, due to the power of their numbers, be able to beat them in their own leage. Let's hope China doesn't get quite all that thick-headed like the US has been for so many decades now.. I'm not religious but I'm sure bibles have chapters on arrogance, don't they? Meanwhile I hope Europe will remain second-best to all the superpower nonsense, breathing the life and quality we've come to think so precious of. Quite a rough sketch of what my hopes for the future are.

So, how's you life progressing?

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Journal: Going to Iraq costed you.. 5

Journal by andr0meda

409.198.000.000 cost (http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182)
456.829.602 people (http://www.census.gov/govs/statetax/05staxrank.html)

The Iraq war costed you officially 895 dollar per person on average.

Edit: Ok, the average cost per person just went up as I overestimated US head-count slightly ;) Thanks to Ethelred for doing the maths! Also, the cost itself went up.. We're now at 410.776.000.000, which makes is 1.369,25$ per person. Babies and grandmothers included. If we bring the number down to the active working population (about 135 Mill), you're looking at a cost of 3.041$ per active working person in the US.

Vote with your wallet next time.

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Journal: About Iraq, Iran and the whole American Disaster 2

Journal by andr0meda

Well, I guess there are many people right now thinking the same thing as I am thinking. A lot of people were against military action, especially in European and Asian countries. The reason was that we got a different kind of news than the US population did. Even when I was trying to convince US people here in this very journal of that fact, the fervent war hungry and self confident Americans would choose for action, because "something had to be done". Supreme US and UK intelligence agencies, after all, were announcing doomsday to the world.

Let's see where all that confidence has taken us:

We know that Iraqi got bags of food, one bright spring day. At least one televised weekend of joy.

We know that Sadam, removed from power, did not get a normal honest trial. Nothing has changed.

We know that Iraq has a 1000 terrorist attacks EACH MONTH. That's 32.3 attacks each day on average.

We know that Iraqi police is "using" terrorist groups to fight against other groups.

We know that US military killed journalists and took rescue missions under deadly fire.

We know that US military used dirty radioactive mines and shells, contaminating the whole area.

We know that US military shot unarmed, injured people. Without any reason.

We know that US military likes to make gory pictures and movies about prison life.

We know that US military personnel can screw up anywhere without any real trial afterwards.

We know that the number of US soldiers that died in Iraq is approaching 3000. (2900+)

We know that 70% of polled US citizens are against the way the White House is handling the situation.

We know that Donald Rumsfeld had to step down (was politically sacrificed)

We know that FEMA leadership (and big friends with the president) had to step down.

We know that Wolfowitz is now asking for money for Africa at the UN.

We know that Dick Cheney shoots people in his free time, blows identity covers, and needs a language course.

We know that republican "think tanks" are massively taking U-turns.

We know that all the reasons for going to war with Iraq were unfounded.

We know the war in Afghanistan has changed virtually nothing.

We know that Bin Laden, the real adversary of the US, is still cooking up plans to bring one message across to the whiteys in the white house: go home, and stay there.

And who paid for all this?

Yes, us, the little men. Vote with your brains next time. Thank you.

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for someone else.

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