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User Journal

Journal Journal: A return from facebook 5

Hi world,

I'm currently trying out a new behavior trait: "going back to the way it was before." Sounds exciting, huh. Color me Facebook-less since 1.5 months and frankly, this is the first time since I feel the need to actually share something.

My idea was this: what if I would write down and re-visit the steps that lead up to that decision to leave the largest social network in the world? Why? Well, for one thing, I think the idea to go back to earlier practices (such as writing a full blown more than 140 character journal) is going to move slowly back into the center of our collective conscious over the next 5 years. People will start to realize it's the sane thing to do, or so at least that is my guess. But let's look into the dynamics of how I got there.

Many of us remember the so called "browser wars", the epic "os flame-wars", or even further down the burning question wether gnu or unix would be preferable, wether java would be worth it compared to c++, etc.. 30 or 40 years ago, these discussions were of a technical level and nerdism that few can aspire to imagine today. These discussions, much like today, were full of noise, trolls and the occasional insightful remark. These wars were fought in obscure IRC channels and BBS forums, but there was one thing pretty special about them. The technological limits were the only roadblock that stopped our brains from dumping their content in 7 or 8 bit streams that could be shared and read by our fellow peers and friends (and foes). After the browser war came the Napster incident, the BearShare and KaZaa incidents and many systems that predate our current torrent / tor p2p sharing infrastructure. Curiously, I never read about social network wars, which of course also happened. A quick look at the Wikipedia page shows a whopping 208 unique social network websites that attempt to capture our attention, every day life, pictures, personal data, emotions, furniture, love for smiling shit and everything else in between. Not every single one of them survived of course. Who remembers Myspace? Bolt? MS LiveSpaces? or Hyves? So yeah there were wars, but the concept of war was never prominently played, things just "evolved".

So there I was in December 2016, pondering if I still needed facebook. I struck me that I had refrained from posting personal things. In fact in multiple runs, I had slowly started to remove personal data, simply because it increasingly looked ridiculous. Would you start yelling your city of birth and birthday just about anyone in the street? Your marital status? Would you show all the pictures of all your travels and everything else to complete strangers? Of course not. Sure you can spend endless hours 'managing' all that information. Such fun. So much to re-post, so much 'news' to share.

Until you've had it with the latest policy change. Until you realize you are again indicating people they are sharing fake 'news' or hoaxes. Until you realize all your friends posts start with 'OMG'. Or that you can't include 2 images in one post that blatantly refute each-other, because, hey it's facebook. Until you realize that all posts shared say: "look, this is *really* interesting, but I'm just going to dump it here because I'm tired of pretending my shit is more interesting than yours. eat it or die."

Ego needs a cookie. I did truly post some interesting stuff. Stuff about stock markets that are indicative of how defunct our world is. Stuff from NOAA that says how fucked up our climate has become already. Stuff in research papers that tell something about the very structure of our universe. Stuff about brain functions, important findings on cellular level to fight disease, etc, etc.. Not that very many people ever reacted to 'my' shared crap. At best, people reacted because I reacted to their posts first.

On Januari 1st 2017, I stopped playing that pathetic me-me game, and went back to my previous behavior: I traded facebook with sleep. I read books. I started to play FinalFantasy again. I still check my news channels, but you know what.. somehow I'm getting better at finding new resources, new pointers. And I'm looking at much more meaningful content. See back of this post.

The date is not coincidental. On December 31st 2016, we were out for new-years-eve at my parents-in-law. It was a fairly modest get together with nice food, cozy dinner, and a bit of fireworks on TV. In Belgium and The Netherlands, there is a tradition to watch comedians that recount how they saw the past year, such as Wim Helsen or Michael Van Peel. Comparing them to John Stewart / Daily Show would do neither party any favors, but in my book they're equally good. In fact they're all best in their class.

While the evening shot past mid-night, we all wished each-other happy new year and stayed up for a while until the inevitable sleep and early morning came around. Nothing very shocking, but little did we know that at that very same time, somebody had cracked open the front door of our house and was going through all our possessions, stealing laptops, cameras, my bike I use daily with mounted child-seat, golden jewelry, and possibly other stuff, making a huge mess in the process. We were literally 100km south.

We arrived home at 7PM, found some people in front of our house gesturing at the break-in. After the initial shock, my cool kicks in. The first thing to do was to verify the house, call the police and go through the whole procedure. Yes, it's nerve wrecking and sleep-inducing at the same time. Our hope that the police finds the culprit is virtually nil, while at the same time you're supposed to be angry and mad, hopeful and rational. I can't do that emotion very convincingly. I just kept going until everyone was asleep.

When I finally sat down for a few minutes (or hours - the door was badly damaged, so I kept guard the whole night in freezing temperatures) I had time go over all the events. Time gives me oxygen. I'm slow like that, I step on the brakes when I'm going too fast. Given that laptops had been stolen, I decided it was time to change passwords. We still had our phones after all, android, so pretty vulnerable if they could hack into our stuff first. And then it suddenly occurred to me that selling this 'event' in my life on facebook was really the last thing I ever would want to do. Much like all the other important events in my life which I did not share. And so I dropped facebook and Google+ overnight. I'm searching with duckduckgo now. I haven't had a single moment of regret. I sometimes am curious of what is going on there of course, but I imagine it's just the same shit again and again, in different colors.

So what makes me share all this here then, you wonder? Well, all of this is old news, it's also much more digested, no images, no screaming. It's a wall of text full of close to logical long sentences. Those looking for quick fixes will be off running to their click pools after half a paragraph. Those reading this will probably not care and never comment. So who is left? It's me. And that's just fine.

Much in concordance with my earlier post, I pledge for us all to go back to earlier times, pick up things that were loved but lost in the fabric of spacetime. Let's go back and be ace at it. Hello world!

Greets, .i

ps: Forget Trump, check this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEwuGHFF7qE&t=10s&index=1&list=LL4dYPyntjgFh1JxPMFxCOsw

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fringe Search

I don't expect anything from this site, this post, or you.

The only thing I offer is a gentle "Hi."

Yes. 2 more years of silence. I'm sure that time brought you various experiences of the short span of time we get to enjoy on this blue sphere, as it did for me. Like solving a giant puzzle game, with the solution running away in ever more dimensions with every step you take. Frustrations, yes, but no regrets, and rewards that warrant the journey.

The finality of the whole is gently setting in on me, which is probably why I came here to say hi. Take a break. It seems I often say hi without any finality involved..

I'm sure some neurons in my head are having a party now, as I'm typing in this old familiar all too often endlessly ranting journal. This is funny. To read my own age-old reflections again, I mean. So comforting.

Re-discover, then re-build once more. Embrace the change ad infinitum.

Wishing you the same, and kindness to all,

Little Darkness / Andr0meda / proud dad / loving husband / mad scientist / code dreamer

User Journal

Journal Journal: A long way from home 1

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!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Everywhere is home

Watery steps across the sky,

drops of naked new surprise,

smiled into the megaphone,

home onto my mind's throne.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sunny side up! 1

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!


User Journal

Journal Journal: A Roof Documentary 1

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 Journal: Early Morning Bird

Tick Tock Tick Tock
She's walking like a clock
Tracking the river's path
On the high heels of time

User Journal

Journal Journal: Wordless Flights

It brakes,
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,
we're all here,
sitting in a circle.

We feel,
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

User Journal

Journal Journal: ..in a blue moon.

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?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Thoughts on previous post.. 7


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..

User Journal

Journal Journal: Drafts of Future

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 Journal: brother mine 2

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)


User Journal

Journal Journal: Save..

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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