Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Friday, September 05, 2003
 
Anti-Bush Crowd Reaches New Height

The level of sophistication of the arguments of the people who don't particularily like George Bush has reached a new height. Guess how they will attempt to make their point when he visits the United Kingdom.

Question his domestic policy? Nah...
Talk about his reluctance in dealing with Saudi Arabia? Nope...
Discuss the results of his economic policies? Who cares...
Criticize the growing deficit? Not at all...

No, the way in which this debate will be handled will be by another method entirely, which will surely convince the world of the righteousness of their arguments:

Can Weblogs... Bare Your Bum at Bush!



 
Storm in a Glass of Water

It seems some Washington official insulted Belgium this week, and we didn't even notice:

Not So 'New' After All (washingtonpost.com): "'I'm not quite sure what proposal that is,' Boucher said, according to a transcript. 'You mean the one from the four countries [Belgium, Germany, France and Luxembourg] that got together and had a little . . . had a little bitty summit . . . .'
'That's exactly it,' the reporter said, 'and Belgium insisting to . . . '
'Yeah, the chocolate makers,' Boucher quipped and reporters laughed. 'Sorry. No, I . . . I think they've been referred to that way in the press; I shouldn't repeat things I see in the press.'"


No mention about ths whatsoever in any Belgian media. Oh, well, it is true in any case: we make excellent chocolate and damn good beer too. Contrary to the chocolate and beer of those 'hamburger makers' on the other side of the Atlantic, who make very good hamburgers indeed as I experienced myself.

 
Bad News from the Server Front

Hmm, went to the shop yesterday to pick up my repaired webserver-under-the-stairs. Unfortunately, it wasn't repaired because the motherboard was fried. Not only didn't they make that kind of motherboard anymore, but the case wouldn't fit any current motherboard either. So I had to shell out €300,- plus for a new case, motherboard, network card, processor and power supply. And they only deliver them next week. Drat!

This means the images in the top left corner of this site will remain broken for another week.

On the positive side, I'll get a faster processor and better quality memory out of this unfortunate episode.

 
Observations on America (3)

Third one already...

  • Americans have never really liked the French, and the political wrangling about the Iraq war didn't really help improve things either. Still, the French language still seems to be considered 'chic': if a business wants to appear more classy, a French-sounding name or Parisian look is the first option taken. Telling example: an antiques shop selling 'junque'...


  • Thursday, September 04, 2003
     
    Observations on America (2)

    Second observation in the series...

  • Contrary to what I am used to in Belgium, posted prices almost never include taxes. Combined with the fact that almost every place seems to have different tax rates, this is obviously meant to confuse hapless tourists into spending more money than they actually want to.

  • Wednesday, September 03, 2003
     
    Observations on America (1)

    During my honeymoon through the U.S.A. (see here for pictures) I took some notes while observing the people, surroundings and goings-on there. The plan was to turn all of it in a blog posting someday. But I'm planning on doing something else with it: because most of the notes are just small snippets, I've decided to post them in that way too, one each day. Enjoy! (comments welcome)

  • As a foreigner, you might have the impression that the American flag, the 'Stars and Stripes', has a deep emotional and patriotic meaning to most American citizens. This is only partially true: a huge (and I mean really huge) American flag, combined with red-white-and-blue streamers and balloons also means something else most of the time, namely: "Second hand cars for sale here! Really good ones, very cheap and we're practically giving them away, even if you have bad credit! Buy now!!!"

  •  
    Hope they'll fix it!

    Brought my server into the shop yesterday evening. Seems like something is fried in there: I tried plugging it in and pressing the power button, and the light briefly went on before going out again after a fraction of a second.

    Tuesday, September 02, 2003
     
    Slightly Depressed

    This morning as I woke up and descended the stairs, a familiar buzzing was gone. I noticed the lack of sound coming from my 'little webserver under the stairs' immediately. The light on the case was still green, but when I tried logging in from the machine downstairs it didn't react anymore. My attempt at rebooting only extinguished the green light, after which it failed to light again. Powering up or down didn't do diddly squat.

    It seems after 212 days of continuous uptime, my little server-under-the-stairs has died.

    Probable cause of death: SETI@home installed just the night before. The unusual amount of processor activity probably burned out something.

    I hope the harddrives are okay, or else I will get really depressed!