Friday, December 31st 2010
Happy New Year!
Just stopping by to wish you all the best for Year 2011: The Year I try to stay in touch!
I think the best way to break down this X-mas is to say that it's been pretty crowded. For better or worse, we brought mine and Lady C's family together in our (99.8%) finished apartment. The only thing remaining are a few wall outlets for the RG-6 and CAT6A network cables, but as I told you before they are working as they should:
See more construction pictures here: Extreme DIY 2009/2010
As you also know we bought in a lot of beer. Too much, it turned out, as the respective families brought their own liquor. So remember, children, if Santa didn't bring you what you wanted this year it could be due to financial crisis, alright? Lady C's mother was the last one to leave this Tuesday morning, after which both me and Lady C could let our shoulders down and just breathe. I took a day off work Tuesday and slept until noon the remaining days of the week. There was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do at work, but as C said; my time's already bought and paid for..
And today? I've done me chores.
Lady C's working this evening unfortunately, so we had a late, long breakfast until she had to run for work. She'll be off-duty again right before midnight New Year's Eve, and go to work again tomorrow at 6 am. When she left I began cleaning up, putting stuff in the dishwasher and the cleaner, fold dried clothes, put on new sheets and making the place look respectable again. Picture taken 5 minutes ago:
Yeah, it ain't too shabby. Anyway, as Lady C will be away and all my friends are sort of divided in three groups I'll be dining alone this New Year's Eve before joining them around 10 o'clock. Frozen pizza - Grandiosa - is the last meal of year 2010, and I am really looking forward to it! New Year's Eve is sort of me and Lady C's anniversary (3 years!) so there'll be plenty of gourmet food for us tomorrow, while we had turkey yesterday. As I write this I listen to the fireworks as my neighbors fire up whatever they have. The couple living right above us are expecting a baby yesterday, but it didn't arrive, while those below have gone to their cabin. It's just me, some jazz music and a frozen pizza. I can't wait to see Lady C around midnight, and watch the fireworks display they put up downtown.
And what about the year that passed? The 2010 of great expectations?
I think 2010 was a rather exhausting year. Not to be an ass about it, but let's face it; it was a lot of work from the get-go (reminder: Extreme DIY 2009/2010), and I felt we were almost there every step of the way. Enter summer vacation which we'd already bought and paid for, and I felt guilty for not staying at home and finish the construction project. Not that I didn't enjoy the relaxing days up north, I really needed them. But still.. We got home and continued working at work, home AND STUDYING for an exam. Since we couldn't make good on our X-Mas invitation last year it was expected - and we expected - to pull it through this year. Add a cold wind from Siberia gushing over Norway since late October and you've got yourself a whole lot of we just gotta pull through.
"I'm sick of the f**king snow! King Winter can kiss my ass."
My list of stuff to-do before this particular, one and a half year old project is 100% complete, is as short as: Finish up networking and clean up the glue stains on the hallway floor. That's it!
For me 2010 was the year of Getting behind the mule! and just getting the job done, one step at the time. But now that our apartment's finished, I realize that it's now that it really starts! Real life. The actually working for petty cash and studying for the future. There will be changes in 2011, which I will not delve into here, but I'm pretty excited about them. It involves using all the free time we have been spending on construction work on art and philosophy instead, on building the future (and a home media center), and getting in touch with real life -- which totally evades the home builder when you're taking care of entrepreneurs, purchasing materials, finishing a ceiling for the fourth time or making an effin' wall. And of course, stay in touch with friends and ourselves. I hope year 2011 will be the year I stay in touch with people I care about. At least I'll give it a try.
I hope you enjoyed 2010 yourself and can look forward to the year 2011 too. Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 29th 2010
Three New Zenwalk Backdrops
Three new backdrops I've made in the GIMP for the Zenwalk GNU/Linux operating system released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Third-party sources are public domain.
Simply Zenwalk (Also in widescreen format)
Ironically, I do not use Zenwalk at the time of writing, which has reached version 6.4 during my hiatus. Instead I use Linux Mint and Ubuntu. I have a pretty fast laptop at the moment, with an NVidia GPU, so I wanted something with all the whiz-bang shiny features. That said, Zenwalk is great if you do not want all the extra packages offered in the main Slackware line of distros, but something that's fast, efficient and responsive -- even on old hardware.
Monday, December 27th 2010
X-Mas was 50% successful!
Blargg.. I'm at work not really working. It's so quiet you'd think all the world has retired. Wouldn't that be something? Wanna go to the store? No. It's closed. They're ALL RETIRED. RETARDED? No, RETIRED.
The 3 Days of Christmas celebration are finally at an end, and I deem a 50% success rate -- if you count by the amount of beer still left in the basement. It's sort of troubling, since I didn't really have the cash to begin with and now I'm stuck with 7 sixers of pint and I can't pay the bills. Well, at least I can become an alcoholic when the financial downturn crashes in around February.
Anyway. On the Eve before Christmas (23rd of December) Norwegians usually watch the Grevinnen og hovmesteren, which is a British short film made for New Year's Eve and it's totally great. They air it the same time on the same channel every year. Same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie? Same procedure as every year, James.
Except for this year. Almost at least. I worked with the RG-6 coax to RF setup in the livingroom until afternoon on the 23rd. It started working around six o'clock in the evening. It's always nice to see your own home cabling actually work. The problem was that I had setup and bought RG-6 coaxial F-plug keystones, while Norwegian television actually use what they call RF antenna cables, which are a little bit different. I was able to solve it with a couple of TRIAX cabin TV/Radio outlets though, having discovered that the TV and RADIO ends actually is different(!!). Who would've thought? You'd think it didn't matter. I told Lady C about it and she said: "Well, OBVIOUSLY! That one says TV and the other says FM then you connect the one saying TV DONTCHA!?" I should always check with her first.
When the TV finally turned on (after 1,5 hour calibrating and installing new firmware) it was a magical world to us. Me and Lady C have been without moving images for one and a half year almost. We watch DVDs, lots of it, and lately some divx downloads as well. But Real TV? Chopped into episodes spread out over time? With Real Crap Commercials? Gawking like little children.
Christmas Eve was nice but a little crowded. We were 14 in total. The living room is quite big enough, but our table had to be supplemented with Lady C's brother's unruly role-playing table. Luckily, no one was killed. Lady C was happy though, 'cause we were able to show off our new chinaware - a gift from my mother - and the newly erected family bar counter:
The last couple of days were hectic, but also relaxed in that I didn't once leave the building save for taking out the trash. It felt nice. I'm looking forward to easing out on the couch and catch some badly written TV show. Or just drink more beer. Whatever comes first. Right now I'm just sitting at work making myself available for non-existing calls, catching up on tech news and friends' blogs. They way X-mas ought to be.
Thursday, December 23rd 2010
On Norwegian Juleøl or Christmas Ale
3K NOKs' Worth of Beer.. What can I say? It's X-mas!
3x Hansa, 5x Aas pilsner, 3x Ringnes Juleøl, 3x Aas Juleøl, 3x Hansa Premium, 1x Nordlands Pils, 1x Hansa Juleøl.
The word 'juleøl' is Norwegian for 'Christmas Ale', though Norwegian ales are mostly beer. And juleøl is a dear tradition in Norway as an accessory to our only Norwegian spirit (except from home-brew moonshine) namely Aquavit. Now you may ask what Christmas and alcohol have in common but you're forgetting the causal aspect of it, the aspect we refer to as History.
History, it's often said, tells us that Jesus of Nazareth was born on This Day in History some 2010 years ago LOL. (I dunno why I wrote LOL it just seemed so appropriate, you know?) In a few days from now. In Norway, Jesus was born on the 24th of December. In the USA he was born on the 25th as far as know; but we also know that the heathen Indians native to the Americas were not in fact Christian, and that the populus victorious after the genocide on the American red skins mostly came from Europe. And it's not like when they discovered America people were: "OMFG, Jesus was born on another day on this continent!?" and so on. They just made it up to overthrow a particularly heathen older tradition of the northerners. Which is what I'm writing about if you continue reading until the next paragraph.
The 2nd part of the 24th is the pagan holiday we celebrated in the middle of winter as a sacrifice to the Norse gods called 'vinterblot' (winter sacrifice). Coincidently, it happened on the exact same day. The vinterblot was both a religious as well as practical holiday. This was in ancient times, before the electric fridge, and salt. And so we had to eat up all the food that would spoil if we kept it any longer. Coincidently, it meant a lot of swine.
In addition, having so many people together under the same room eating and drinking, the women said to themselves: "Yay, I say unto thee, these times are greatly oppurtine for the collection of fresh urine liquids." in a sort of Viking kind of way. Very guttural. That's why doggy style was more popular back then. You don't want a girl making guttural sounds in your ear when you're doing your thang. It's just a turn off.
But anyway, after and during the meals, the women made sure to make available as much beer as possible, and they placed out troughs for the men to piss in. You may be asking what kind of scat-loving creatures these women were back then, heathens the lot of them! But you'd be surprised! 'Cause they needed urine in order to make fine-colored clothing! A recent DNA analysis of Vikings' clothing shows that they dressed much like ABBA (check it out). This has been taken as the forerunner of today's julebords (Christmas parties) that are mostly job-related and somewhat mandatory.
In Norway, the tradition of beer on Christmas Eve (24th of December) remains very much alive, with our breweries creating new Christmas ales each year. In the picture you can see Aas, Hansa and Ringnes juleøl. They are usually more ale-like than the regular pilsner, but not as heavy as your average Guinness stout either. The green boxes are regular Aas pilsner, my favourite beer for the last 4-5 years.
So that's Christmas for you. And now you see that the Virgin Mary and Bacardi Breezer have a lot in common! On Christmas day we celebrate a birthday, and we do it with pale ale, aquavits and lots of swine! Or virgins on Bacardi. Bless the Holy Child and Bring on the Bacon! If I don't see you online or in RL: Have a merry x-mas!
Saturday, December 18th 2010
Captain Beefheart is dead. RIP
Don Van Vliet a.k.a Captain Beefheart left us December 17th aged 69. My hero, my heroin, my whore. Rest In Peace, you crazy animal.
Monday, December 13th 2010
Firefox 4 Beta testers are also Terraforming Mars!
When I logged on to der internets this morning Firefox greeted me with the 3.6.13 update. I don't think this is the best way to do it since I have to wait for FF to open. Instead Firefox should be updated with system updates. If you feel the same, please install GNU/Linux. But that's not what I'm here to blog about. It's this:
I love the way this Firefox 4 Beta tester seems to think their work is akin to what NASA will be doing some 750 years from now.. You just gotta love the little backpacks and/or oxygen tanks and the large headsets! That said, Firefox 4 does look like it is going to be all that. Except maybe for the huge balloons in the background.
Wednesday, December 8th 2010
X-Mas Gift Tip: I am not mad! by Alistair Coleman
With a genuine* foreword by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. (* may contain traces of lie)
I just ordered the REAL LIFE COPY to find out on the ORDER CONFIRMATION that it's 344 pages! How the fridge am I supposed to get through 344 pages!??
Luckily, am cheap and order regular mail shipping.
Let's wait and see what the British postal service can do..
Truckin' December 2010, Vol. 9, Issue 12: Call me on Christmas!
This month I've got a little concept story for you which is work-related. I'm sure most of you will be familiar with it however, I'm sorry to say. I wish a merry Christmas to all the readers and writers of Truckin' and look forward to Twenty-Eleven. Esteemed author of Lost Vegas mr. Pauly says:
The December issue includes four seasoned-themed stories and one tale about support hell. Norway's Sigg3 wrote a story about awful phone support that I'm sorry to say we're all to familiar. Texas author Johnny Hughes whipped up a Christmas doozy about musicians and jail. Ernest returns with a trippy story about New York City. Mark Verve delves deep into Santa's bad side. Lastly, my seasonal contribution is a piece of jazz-inspired fiction.
Christmas Bird by Paul McGuire
Shap drank whiskey and soda but with no ice. He'd nurse two or three drinks in five hours and sat the end of the bar for hours on end attempting to finish the NY Times crossword. When he was done with the puzzle, he'd engage in spats with Sully, the resident encyclopedia of sports statistics and knowledge of everything sports...
That Musical Christmas Meeting in Jail by Johnny Hughes
When Sheriff Dink staggered across the room with Lonnie's guitar, both men pulled guitar picks from their pockets. Ryan reached out and grabbed the guitar. He picked a few notes, tuned it, and then quickly demonstrated that his finger picking style was more advanced than Lonnie's cording and strumming. Then he launched into House of the Rising Sun, and he and Lonnie stood facing the others, singing together, obviously delighted...
Santa's Vice by Mark Verve
They were replacing some of the couches that line the walls. The old ones were in the alley when I arrived. The crushed red velor was torn, soiled, and stained with spilled drinks and god knows what other types of fluids. No one would ever consider sitting on them if they knew...
NY, NY by Ernest
Most of the peep shows and porno theaters were already deserted, so the city had sponsored an art exhibit. The lobbies and display cases of the theaters were filled with crazy sculptures and graffiti pieces, and all the marquees had cool phrases or haikus on them... cool Basquiat type shit...
Hell Pro Support by Sigg3
Did you know that most of the tools and drivers our technicians use are available on our website? Just go to support dot euro dot hell dot com. Your call is important to us, thanks for holding. We'll soon find an available technician to answer your call. The conversation may be recorded for training purposes...
Categories does not work at the moment
This blog is falling apart, I tell ya!
Good thing I'm migrating to Web 2.0 some day in 2011.
Tuesday, December 7th 2010
Scariest picture of the day: Advent calendar
When I grew up I was so poor that we couldn't afford to buy Advent calendars like the other kids got, so we had to make or break our own. I remember my mother bought a candle, where every 1 cm was one day less before x-mas. Yay.
Of course, later on, this poverty strikes me as a valuable chance to flaunt my moral superiority above the rest of you assholes out there. So, here's the advent calendar I made myself, drawn in urine and blood, because we couldn't afford crayons either:
I found it when unpacking my stuff two weeks ago. You can see by the number boxes surrounding that this supposedly served as my advent calendar, as I sat up in the attic chewing on the sole of my shoe..
I don't know about you but that shit freaks me out. His hands and arms are hidden underneath that long jacket.. Like Keanu Reeves does. But that's nothing compared to the eyes however. There's nothing but evil in those eyes. And it's coming for you. One numbered box at the time..
We're back! On the 403:Forbidden error
Whenever I see my website down I feel like there's a little angel inside, with no job security, that's mortgaged everything from here to eternity and only wanted to join the circus and have coffee & scones.. Or in the words of Hugo Simberg: «Fucking angels think they're exempt from getting hit in the eye by a superball.»
Cheesy analogies aside, Sigg3.net was down for about a week due to a drive by exploitation a vulnerability I was made aware of some 5 years ago. And I secured the Sigg3.net blog against them accordingly. However, it turned out that I had forget to secure another blog hosted on the same user. Blah blah blah blah. By way of a DOS using this vulnerability, the user apparently was able to upload a php file containing the PHP Shell by stealth scripts, that gives the attacker a remote shell. Silly me.
In addition to that it took some time getting an effective correspondence with my host since they are in the middle of their migration pains and I was reading for and conducting my exam. But now we're back!
My host was able to get my image scripts up and running too after some issues brought on by the migration. You see, I separate those scripts from my blog account so that if I am attacked I won't have any downtime. Yeah, that's right.