Tomorrow morning, December 30, 2001, at 5:40 a.m. EST, before dawn, the moon becomes full. As this is the full moon closest to the Winter Solstice, that means that tonight, Dec. 29/30, will be the longest night of the year to be lit by a full moon in North America. In Europe, the moon does not become full until after dawn, 10:40 GMT, and so the night of Dec. 30/31 will be the longest full moon night. No matter the length of the night, the full moon always rises at dusk and sets at dawn. Thus, this night's full moon, often called The Long Night's Moon, will be in the sky longer than any other full moon of the year. (Info thanks to Hester.)
We went for a delicious pizza at Il Duomo in Alphen yesterday evening. Today is just a typical lounge around kind of sunday. Still can't get to my site though. Sigh. And I would really like to upload my new files now. Well, I'd better stay hopeful. Maybe later on. It has started to snow again. But the ground is to warm, so it won't stick. No sleigh rides for me today, I'm afraid.
I'm entering panic mode again. I just realised that the Blogger Hack might have something to do with the fact that I can't get into my site. Though Blogger seems to be able to post properly. Help. I would REALLY like to get to my admin area and change my FTP password right now.
My site appears to be offline. Don't you hate it when that happens. A small panic appears in the back of your brain, but you try to stay calm. FTP doesn't work either. Oh no! I'd better give it some time. I think I can manage half an hour, before crumbling into small pieces. Meanwhile, I'm working on some cool improvements offline. I've added some classes to the blog output, which I can then manipulate with my stylesheet. I just can't show you, because I can't get to my files. Sigh.
Not much going on today. Just watching some tv, checking my email, listening to the wind, contemplating life. You know, the usual. About that wind, it has really picked up since yesterday. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere today. Can't believe it will be 2002 in a few days. Very strange. And on top of that the expected chaos with the introduction of the Euro. That will be weird. Anyhow, have a good day today. Take it easy.
I've just uploaded the latest version of this site. So it's all new and crispy fresh. Nice huh? I've had a bit of a clean out on the change the style page, because there were to many styles that didn't add much and didn't look properly with IE6. Hope you like it.
Finally online again! Sigh. How I've missed this. I haven't been online all day yesterday and only at work last week. But my dad's computer (my LAN Internet gateway) seems to be working fine. So I can bore you with my comments from home once again. ;-)
By the way, it has been snowing last night, so the world is white. I just love that, don't you? I heard on the radio that they measured the coldest tempterature for this time of year last night since 1901, in a small town in the province of Groningen it was -17° Celcius!
Are you evil? Find out at Hilowitz.com. I am 28% evil. » "I try to stay away from evil deeds but succumb to temptation every once in a while. I'm not quite on my way to hell but I certainly have some explaining to do."
Today is Yule Lore » "Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider." Read more on Wicca, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays » Yule Lore.
I'm so tired right now. I've been here since 7:50, because we had a Christmas breakfast this morning. It was fun though. But I do want to sleep now. Anyhow, I'd better get some work done. Last workday before the holidays. Hurah! I can sleep all next week if I want to, because I've taken the days between Christmas en New Year off.
Did a Palm reading at Yahoo Astrology. I know it's all quite general, but I'm amazed at how accurate it is. Here are my results »
"You are intelligent and practical, very likely to have a good memory and the ability to make and follow plans. Leadership skills are among your useful traits. Sometimes you feel jealous, and must avoid becoming overly possessive in your relationships. There are inconsistencies in your energy level, possibly triggered by external factors or emotional changes.
You have a basically strong constitution, and should enjoy good health most of the time. You were probably given a good start in life by your parents. This could be based on your general upbringing, or on physical characteristics you inherited. A major illness or setback is predicted near mid-life. You have the ability to recover from this. No matter what other factors influence your personality, there is an under lying sense of practicality that you can draw on if you wish."
I'm thinking of buying the newest releases by Maudlin of the Well, entitled "BATH/Leaving Your Body Map". They are 2 separate releases, but you can buy both together. I've read a couple of very good reviews and I'm truly tempted. If you have/know the albums, give me some comments please. Cheers.
I didn't get around to it yesterday, but I wanted to wish everybody a very merry Christmas!
For your entertainment, here's some background info » "In northern Europe, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian worship were begun long before the participants had ever heard of Christ. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated the their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born, and was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear next year.
Huge Yule logs were burned in honor of the sun. The word Yule itself means 'wheel', the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Hollyberries were thought to be a food of the gods.
The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.
In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ's birth would be celebrated on December 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, knowing that their feasts would not be taken away from them. Christmas (Christ-Mass) as we know it today, most historians agree, began in Germany, though Catholics and Lutherans still disagree about which church celebrated it first. The earliest record of an evergreen being decorated in a Christian celebration was in 1521 in the Alsace region of Germany. A prominent Lutheran minister of the day cried blasphemy: 'Better that they should look to the true tree of life, Christ.'"
Read more info at Origins of Christmas and Christmas' pagan origins. And some facts » Santa Claus generally was depicted as an elf until 1931, when Coca-Cola ads portrayed him as human-sized. Rudolph didn't become Santa's ninth reindeer until 1939 when an advertising writer for the department store Montgomery Ward created him.
Duizend jaar oude bomen op de Veluwe ontdekt » ik zag het gister in het nieuws. Erg cool idee, dat er gewoon generaties terug ook mensen bij die bomen liepen. Misschien wel aan het jagen ofzo. Erg cool. Ik las trouwens vanochtend in de krant dat er in Califonië bomen staan die 4500 jaar oud zijn. Wauw!
Nou, de dag begon al weer goed. Mijn bus was fijn tien minuten te laat. En nu zul je denken "wat is nou 10 minuten in een mensenleven?". Nou, op een toch al niet bijzonder aantrekkelijke dinsdagochtend erg veel. Uiteraard zou ik nu mijn aansluiting missen in de Korevaarstraat. Ik schikte mij in mijn lot en hoopte maar dat het niet al te druk zou zijn bij de halte. Bij aankomst bleek echter dat mijn bus, de 31 naar Leiden Zuid-west, er nog stond. Hoera! Vol enthousiasme begon ik aan een gracieuze sprint en wild gesticulerend ging ik op de deur af. Helaas, ondanks alle mensen in de bus, die overigens hoogst verbaasd leken door mijn gehaaste bewegingen (is rennen tegenwoordig een schending van de openbare orde?), niemand vond het nodig om de chauffeur te attenderen van mijn aankomst. De bus trok op en reed voor mijn neus weg. En bedankt! Mijn dag kan niet meer stuk.
LOL! Microsoft Hotmail still runs on Unix » "Microsoft admits it still hasn't upgraded its Hotmail system to Windows, almost four years after embarking on the task, and fifteen months after the first load balancing machines began to be shifted to Windows 2000 from FreeBSD."
Santa is a junkie! Is Santa flying high on magic mushrooms? » "The Sami people of Lapland used to feed red and white fly-agaric mushrooms to their reindeer, then drink the animals' urine. The idea was to receive the drug in a safer and more processed form. Drinking the urine would give them a high similar to taking LSD."
As you may have noticed, I haven't posted anything in this blog all weekend. That's because my dads computer, which is our Internet gateway, has died. He was in the process of deleting his WindowsXP partition to install Windows2000, when the Windows install needed to restart, which it did. But the computer didn't come back to life again. It gave three sad bleeps, the lights for disk and cd-rom drive kept burning and there was no other action. And there still isn't.
So I couldn't get online. Only then do you realise how dependent you are of e-mail and web. Every other moment you're thinking about things you want to lookup and stuff you want to mail. But you can't. Sigh. So I was glad to get to work this morning, because it meant I could finally check my mail. Hurah!
I'm wearing a celtic necklace today and got into a conversation about Vikiking jewelry with a colleague. This resulted in a search online for some images. I found Viking Jewelry and The Viking Trader » both galleries of Viking jewelry. Very cool. Check them out.
PHP 4.1.0 Released! » "This is a key new release in the PHP 4 family. It includes highly-improved performance, especially under Windows; a more security-friendly way of accepting form variables; output compression; and much, much more."
December 13th is the traditional feast day of St. Lucy, the light-bringer, whose origins stretch back to the Roman Goddess Juno Lucina. Read this essay for more information on the folklore of Lucy the Lightgiver. Coincidentally, this year, the night of December 13 is also the Dark of the Moon closest to the Midwinter Solstice. The New Moon occurs on December 14 at 3:49 PM EST. Thus, tonight will the longest moonless night of the year, and the stars should shine like the candles in Lucy's crown.
Some quick links and stuff. Reservoir Dogs, which one are you? (I was Mr. Blonde, but I just -today is january 8th 2002- removed the image, because it was now an ad for a site. Don't you hate it when that happens?) Or check out I Know Where Bruce Lee Live, the ultrainteractive Kungfu-remixer. It's worth the wait. Also, Strange Science, all about the Rocky Road to Modern Paleontology and Biology.
Just took The Ultimate IQ Test at Emode.com. Here are the results. Please bare in mind that English is my second language. I like to think I'll do better on a Dutch test. » "Congratulations, Mirthe! Your Ultimate IQ score is 122. Your Intellectual Type is an Inventive Inquisitor. Like Benjamin Franklin, you're equally good at mathematical and verbal skills. That paired with your thirst to learn through experience makes you an inventive inquisitor."
The concert last night ruled. Big time. But I'm so very tired now. I must be getting old. Anyhow, I was surprised by the size of the venue. Baroeg is tiny. But that didn't matter. We came in halfway through the Novembre performance, but what I did hear sounded cool. By the way, you can download their stuff from MP3.com. Then there was Katatonia, who played an excellent set. Though I had hoped they'd play something of my favourite album "Dance of December Souls". But that's okay.
Okay, just one more test. Which work of art would you be? The Art Test » "If I were a work of art, I would be Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.I am extremely popular and widely known. Although unassuming and unpretentious, my enigmatic smile has charmed millions. I am a mystery, able to be appreciated from afar, but ultimately unknowable and thus intriguing."
And my result for The Utterly Surreal Test » "You are a Fish with a Bicycle. Your poetry kills cows, but only with an acute sunset. Four score bald men take their coffee for a walk with your conveyer belt. Death pays those who interfere with your green amusement."
Máxima en de euro bedreigen Elfstedentocht » "De omwisselingsoperatie van gulden naar euro en de huwelijksvoltrekking trekken zo'n zware wissel op politie en hulpdiensten, dat extra manschappen voor de schaatsklassieker in de eerste maanden van 2002 nauwelijks voorhanden zijn." Kán het misschien eindelijk weer, en dan mág het niet.
Debbie has been reading Tolkiens "Lord Of The Rings", check out her comments in her weblog. Also, you may be interested in The Complete List of Film Changes at Tolkien Online. This is an "ongoing project to list all the reported differences between Peter Jackson's upcoming Lord of the Rings films and the J.R.R. Tolkien books upon which they are based."
Take a look at your task bar. See the area where the time is located? Are there any other icons there? A yellow speaker, perhaps? Maybe a calendar. How about an aquarium with tiny swimming fish, moving back and forth all day long? If you don’t see the latter, then you need Tray Animations.
Amazon.com now has a special Lord of the Rings feature, containing all the books, movies and other stuff they could dig up.
"The book of the 20th Century is about to become the motion picture event of the 21st Century: A groundbreaking epic of good versus evil, extraordinary heroes, wondrous creatures and dark armies of terror. New Line will present a grand trilogy of live-action feature films - starting with The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001 - that will take audiences inside Tolkien's living, breathing mythology, the world that is Middle-earth."
I want a Segway » "Segway™ Human Transporter (HT) is the first enhancement to personal travel that fully integrates the user in the pedestrian world. The two-wheeled device uses a complex array of gyroscopes and computers to mimic the human body's sense of balance. Users lean forward to move forward, lean back to reverse course and turn by twisting the handle. The device looks like an old-fashioned push-type lawn mower, with the handle sticking up in the air and a platform to stand on where the cutting blades would be. Falling over is impossible and the scooter can handle ice, snow and stairs with ease, according to the company." Also check out The "IT" Question.
"This article at CRN analyses why today is the best time to consider building a pure Linux information system, from servers to... desktop. Among all the arguments, one of the arguments is the low cost of Linux offerings compared to Windows based-solutions." (via Slashdot)
Read the article Real World Table Free Development » "This article will hopefully debunk some of the myths around dumping tables and using CSS to lay out your pages." On the same topic, you might want to see this page featuring the results on a load of CSS 2 Tests.
I've just received this years first snowbal via e-mail. Sigh. My house is also being invaded by a load of christmas cards. Most people that send them have been creative for the past few months and have saved all the colourful teabag wrappings to recycle for the cards. Don't these people have anything better to do? I wonder if there is a website with tips and tutorials and things. Hmm. Hang on a moment. A quick search on Google showed me a lot. This is a sick world we live in, people. Take a look at this creation, with teabags and an old CD. Or try theezakjes-vouwen.nl. And that's just two of many. Sigh.
Took the Microsoft Privacy quiz » "Based on the results of the quiz, you are a Guardian. You are fairly concerned with keeping your information safe, but understand that providing information online helps to personalize and manage the Web to your tastes to make it more useful for you."
While I'm downloading the excellent program Motherboard Monitor, I have a moment to welcome you into the new week. So welcome. You know what, I'm wearing jeans today, for the first time in maybe a year. Very weird. People are even commenting on it.
We rented Way of the Gun (2000) last night. Good piece of entertainment. I gave it 7 points at the IMDb. Also, I taped the Monty Python special on the BBC on saturday. Did you know that The Holy Grail was one of Elvis Presley's favourite movies? You can find a copy of the tape in Graceland and apparently he used to recite the bit about the knights who say 'Ni!'. Amazing isn't it?
"Hailing from sunny Transylvania, your first blood-related incident was when you stabbed a servant girl in the face with a pair of scissors for underperforming. Some of the red spray landed on your hands, and as you washed it off, you noticed that it left your skin fresh and young looking. From then on you were convinced that the blood of young girls was the secret to eternal youth.
Rather than killing girls outright by stabbing them or slitting their throats, you enjoy torturing them for weeks on end by pricking them with needles or prodding with sharp spikes - all to bathe in their blood. You've killed over six hundred women, all without raising a peep from the authorities."
I've watched the last part of WWII drama Band of Brothers (2001) on the BBC on friday. I must that I was impressed. When I first heard about the series I thought it would be full of errors, like so many other American WWII movies. But it wasn't (well, not many anyway. There was the episode with the Dutch village, which had a sign saying "Paris x kilometers". Paris is not the center of Europe, and that sign shouldn't have been there. But okay). My compliments to the makers anyway. There is ofcourse also an official website you might want to visit.
Wat een gedoe toch weer. Eind van het jaar komt in zicht en dus weer tijd om mijn nieuwe OV kaart op te halen. Maar helaas was mijn toeristenkaart net een week verlopen. Dus toch maar een nieuw paspoort gehaald. Even fl. 73 gulden nog wat lappen en je kan weer mee tot 2006. Maar dan heb je ook wat. En nu dus ook mijn nieuwe OV gehaald. Wat een vreselijk moment zal dat zijn, als ik 'em af moet staan. Snik.