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Thursday, August 31, 2006
My Blog Day Post
Unlike other bloggers, I won't start with the new blogs I would like to make known to you all. I will start with a situation that is bothering people around the world: censorship. There are numerous examples on the blogosphere, howeverthe newest is the ban Pakistan decided to put on blogger.

My friend Shi introduced me to bloggers in his country some time ago, when I needed help with my license paper research. So I met a quite interesting, active and freindly blogosphere. For those using Blogger, having it banned also means no more AdSense visitors.

First two pictures originally taken from Shirazi's blog.

Shirazi, who is one of my favorite bloggers ever, is doing a wonderful job promoting traver writing, Pakistan, blogosphere related topics, current issues, books. He also posts on other blogs, hosts others' posts, has a job and a private life and manages everything perfectly.

So here is my say and support to Shi, Pakistani bloggers and all those facing the same issue all over the world. I guess this day is quite appropriate to stop for a second and think about it.

Now to move on to the blogs and bloggers I would like to bring to your attention. First of all, Tangerine's POV, common blog of old bloggers and new fiances, Sim and Bruno. Life in Spain, life in Romania, life in a different countrly and cultural differences, work, love, everything in a very citric perspective.

Naomi, blogger I've already presented on the Girls' club, is an inspiration to all reading her posts. Wonderful mom, amazing woman, handling all hardships with a smile on her face.

Cristina Vintila started her blog only to comment here, as she really wanted a blogger id. Then she thought posting would be nice and I think she'll get cought by the whole pleasure of it!

Last but certainly not leas, meet these two deadly funny evil pigeons! They make my day every
Monday :D. I heard about them and saw the comics page promoted, but not until about a week and a half ago did I really take a look of what's drawn there...And they got me addicted in a few minutes. Oh, yeah, did I mention their makers are Romanian? They are, some people living here are quite amazing!

Hope you'll enjoy all of them as much as I do!


posted by Alina @ 9:13 PM   7 comments
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Lunch Talks: Dream Lifestyle for Women

Today, over lunch, I’ve had an interesting conversation with my colleagues regarding lifestyles, women and their choices. The core story that started this conversation was of a friend living in Austria. She was married and had two children and all her day was spent brunching with friends, going to spas and shopping. She used to have a quite successful career but gave it up after getting married and having the children.

I said I could definitely not do it. Such a lifestyle was completely unfit for me, as I tend to value my present and even more my future career. The general view was you can actually get used to having it all the easy way: money pouring in your joint back account from your husband. True, at a certain point, if money is out of the question and you do not have some real independence (I want to make my own money) issues, you might decide you no longer need to work to pay bills.

Agreed, such a case can mesmerize everyone. However, in such a case, I guess all of us would try to do what they like most: change jobs and not choose depending on the salary, start doing everything you postponed, reading more, traveling more…But why this general idea that given all these possibilities the normal choice would be to become a housewife? If you already hire a nanny and have someone cleaning and cooking, what does being a housewife mean? Just shopping and seeing your days go by?

Would it not make you feel unhappy, limited and desperate? It would make some feel so, why is “shopping cures all” idea the general cure for such states? If the people you meet are as desperate as you are, would you not get tired and bored of them? Would you not want to start fresh, do something, and meet new people?

Obsessing about the perfect look and the perfect outfit are just obsessions you get from such a lifestyle. Why should one consider them high-class keens? I do happen to believe such an environment generates snobbism, discrimination and others of sorts. Also, I guess nothing but your own personal and work related accomplishment can make you feel better about yourself. Having a career, being a wife and a mom, being everything you wanted! Yes, you might take a break at forty-something, pull out your know-how and acquaintances to help a non-profit cause, get a less demanding job to have time for other issues also. But give all up to play house? Because it is playing if you leave the kids to the care of nannies and go spend some time with your friends. How would you prevent boredom in such a case?

Do we prefer an easier way? Yes, people usually do! I would like to be able to leave in the best area of Bucharest and have an addiction to obscenely expensive shoes, all this paid by a weekly column in a local paper. Yes, I do refer to Sex and the City. We all dream to work less and accomplish more, travel more…But from here to seeing a rich husband as a getaway and worship such a lifestyle? I don’t think so! Anyway, was glad to see I was not the only one worshiping a false god…

Tags: Carrers, Lifestyles, Women, Common Beliefs.

posted by Alina @ 5:21 PM   2 comments
Monday, August 28, 2006
How to build an effective mail server defense
Mail Server Security revisited

If you still remeber this article, here is a a link to its html version. Please feel free to read it and send your feedback. Enjoy!.
posted by Alina @ 5:55 PM   0 comments
Waiting for the plain from Italy or Spain

Weirdly enough, both planes of the Blue Air line arrived at about the same time this Saturday. Maybe because the flight from Barcelona was late. Why? Well, not sure. Maybe some small malfunction. Maybe the fact there was a minor traveling without the proper document, maybe both.

We were there, Sabi, Cris V, Laura and I, all four waiting for Sim to come from Spain. That was the actual average: 3-4 people waiting for 1-2. Who impressed me most? An old lady waiting for her child/children with a bunch of purple flowers in her hands. She looked tired, not altogether well, a bit impatient, but happy to be there, waiting.

Is it right? The fact that people have to go work somewhere else because they have no real chances here? How many of them have the luck Sim has, to leave only because they choose so, while they were doing pretty well here? To go work, go study and not lower their standards for money? Not that many…

The work and treatment is sometimes humiliating for these people, yet it pays! That’s the paradox of it all…

Sim was looking great that night. Happy, same old Sim, not tired and beaten down like some others who flew with her. I am happy for her, happy I see her like this and not the other way around. Happy she’s enthusiastic about the University there, about her Spanish boyfriend and husband to be, about her work there.

posted by Alina @ 3:18 PM   3 comments
Friday, August 25, 2006
I will stick to my sweet caffeine for now!

Today, on my way to work, I was thinking of quit drinking Coca-Cola. I drink too much coffee and too much coke, with no visible effect (i.e. it does not keep me awake). And then I thought why would I give up my only vice that makes my office hours prettier? I mean I do not smoke, I hardly ever drink any alcohol (mostly an occasional beer or breezers of some sort), I don’t gamble or anything like that. But I am addicted to sweetened caffeine.

Some guy I know used to say that the sum of vices is always constant for one person. Therefore, if you quit one bad habit, you will get another. Therefore, if you quit smoking you pick up something else. Not necessarily true, as I quit smoking a few years ago and still didn’t find a replacement for it.

However, it might be applied to things you need to keep up your good mood throughout the day. For example, right now I love my morning metro reading, my beagle from the subway station to the office, my Coca Cola bottle and my occasional coffee. If any of these is prevented in some way: subway train too crowded, too little time to get the coke, I’m still ok but I do feel a little tiny bit of stress getting stored somewhere.

Add that to the little sleep I got this week, to the annoying try of finding a proper gym to do some aerobics, and things might get nasty at some point. Therefore I decided not to deprive myself of the little daily pleasures I seem to enjoy that much.

posted by Alina @ 10:54 AM   13 comments
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Who Said Maths Was Difficult?
These are actual solutions given by students taking Maths tests. Quite unthinkable. If in the first case, the question was a little bit vague, as the student should have been asked to determine the value of x, not to find/locate it, the second ones are quite clear.

We must admit, these answers define quite a vivid imagination.
See how simple it all is?
posted by Alina @ 5:12 PM   11 comments
Effective email defese against viruses, spam and hackers

When speaking of mail server-related security, one tends to limit the issue to message applied security measures, and even more to Antivirus and Antispam protection. This is however only one stage in the more complex process of securing your server. This article aims at identifying and explaining all security layers, highly important when choosing a certain mail server and consequently when configuring and using it.

The article presents a multi-stage approach to securing your email communication. Each highlighted stage addresses one of the relevant security layers: connection-related layer, protocol security, email control parameters (including Antivirus and Antispam applications), and the configuration and management layer (most likely to be affected by human errors).

Tags: Security, Mail Server Security, Current Threats, Email Communication.

posted by Alina @ 3:26 PM   2 comments
Travel writing anyone?
I was reading Shirazi's latest post on travel, travel wiriting and promoting in Pakistan and the web as a means of getting what the country has to offer known.

There was an interesting point about guides and how major international companies are taking over the market, leaving little space to domestic publishers. Well, the situation is slightly different in Romania: we have our guides and CDs and DVDs written in many languages with expensive photos and cliche like destinations, easy access and in hand.

The expensive foreign travel guides, along with all other types of guides, are also published here. They look pretty, but remain there, lonely and unwanted, too expensive and with this thought attached: what do they know of our cuntry better than us? Plus, they are only in Romanian, so our previous versions in foreign languages are better.

Of course we do not worry at the moment about the possibility of the international group translating them and publishing them directly in those foreign countries, where they will get to be less expensive also.

How we promote Romania? Well, if anyone meets foreigners, (I've actually heard a few conversations like this) to show off their good will, they start explaining what not to do and where not to go and who to keep safe from. Those details should be kept "in house" while trying to change the situation, not put them on the wall and hoping they will be extinct some day.

I have to agree, Shirazi's point about using the Internet, as in dedicated websites, blogs and online magazines is a powerful way to promote any country. Yes, the market is highly competitive, but does that mean we should surrender?

I should also mention his blog does justice to Pakistan. His travel posts and those he hosts are trully amazing, detailed and vivid. To find out more about this exotic, contrasting country and to have some examples of such travel writing, read this, this or this.

I am sure each Romanian blogger I know takes an occasional trip, not all to highly advertised sites like Prahova Valley, Poiana Brasov or the Romanian Seaside. What if we give more importance to how we present the experience?

Not criticizing what needs to be criticized is not something I'd support. But to be honest, that is the services part of the experience and should be treated accordingly.

Tags: Travel, Travel Writing, Online publishing, Books
posted by Alina @ 7:13 AM   2 comments
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Did I ask too much, more than a lot?

Because of you I grew up too fast. Learned about elaborate lies and betrayal, learn no one is important enough for you and that I had nothing! Because of you I still cry occasionally…Like tonight…

I never learned the lesson you kept teaching. I never stopped expecting something from you. I got leftovers, like the dogs. Emotional leftovers; and learned to make the best out of it. Although I always expected the worst, I still got disappointed each time, heart-broken and empty inside.

I wonder what more than your blood I should have to count when you make your plans. I wonder what I should do to stop being a parade: what you are proud of in front of the world, as it is because of you that I am here…It’s not.

I put up a smile, say it’s ok, I understand. I do, actually, I understand you perfectly. That’s why I have such a hard time forgiving you. See, I do believe always choosing the easy way makes you a coward, an irresponsible teenager. And I wonder, when will you grow up? I am tired of taking care of you, when will it be your turn?

posted by Alina @ 9:24 PM   8 comments
Monday, August 21, 2006
There's a Bogging Personality that I didn't know about
I found this quiz on Raluca's blog and thought it would be fun to take. A little too simple minded for my taste, three questions cannot possibly be enough to determine a type in the blogosphere, but it still is fun to take. You should try it, see where it get you.

Your Blogging Type is Kind and Harmonious

You're an approachable blogger who tends to have many online friends.
People new to your blogging circle know they can count on you for support.
You tend to mediate fighting and drama. You set a cooperative tone.
You have a great eye for design - and your blog tends to be the best looking on the block!
posted by Alina @ 8:34 PM   6 comments
Please be so kind to skip your breakfast!
Breakfast, one of main meals of the day. Some even say it is the most important for a healthy like and generally good days, of peace with your stomach and body. Restaurants treat it with wide offeres of omlettes, fried eggs, sadwiches, salads and other hot or cold dishes.

Sunday morning, K and I woke up and decided to have breakfast out. So we got dressed and at about ten we were on our way to Herastrau lake, to eat at one of the restaurants there. We chose one and sat at a table. Note that it was 20 minutes to 11 by now. They apologized and said they were closed. I could not really believe it. We found a different one and set down. Ten minutes later we were ordering. And the waiter told us the kitchen only opens at 11, and that is the time they will start cooking our food (two omlettes, some feta cheese and olives, very difficult indeed).

So, for the Romanian restaurants, breakfast is actually a kind of brunch. And you can turn it into lunch, even better! And I have this issue...why would you open the restaurant if you have no cook??? Separate it into bar and restaurant and keep one closed, agreed, but do not offer the menus with food in them and then say you actually can't bring any before 11.

Whose fault is it? Managers probabaly, who keep the restaurants opened late at night and do not want to pay enough people to actually have it open at breakfast also.

Tag: Restaurants, Romania
posted by Alina @ 7:21 AM   4 comments
Friday, August 18, 2006
Deja vu? Really!?
I am know typing on my newly acquired HP notebook. I do love it and am particularly proud of my getting it, finally. Now the modem does not feel useless anymore and is thanking me constantly for returning it to its life purpose, providing and sending bits of data via Internet...

Enough about personalizing the things around me, for now. In what news is concerned, I have big ones: apparently I will also start blogging in business environment. I am now working on creating and then updating a blog for my new company. Yup, I do feel quite good about it and am looking forward to starting it.

I have an issue folks: what do you refer to when saying deja-vu? I thought it was that feeling, when a certain event takes place, and you are completely convinced you have lived it somehow beforehand and that is happening again, in every detail, just as it "happened" before. Well, the world famous Beyonce and Jay-Z have a different opinion on it. Mainly, in this song, the girl is slightly paranoid...She seems to be seeing her beloved everywhere...
Know that I can't get over you
'Cause everything I see is you
And I don't want no substitute
Baby I swear it's Deja Vu
So did they get it wrong? Or the actual deja vu is berried to deep for me to get it?

Seeing things that I know can't be
Am I dreaming? When I saw you walking past me
Almost called your name
Got a better glimpse and then I looked away
It's like I'm losing it
The more I search the song lyrics, the more I come to think the words and described situation have nothing to do with the described phenomenon...Don't get me wrong, I can't say I don't like the rhythm of the song, but if you concentrate on the lyrics you might loose all interest.

And another thing, why, at this moment, aren't the lyrics posted on their site? They do exist on the Internet...
posted by Alina @ 9:50 PM   17 comments
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
New Job, New Tasks
So close and yet so far and so different. Five minutes away from what my ex-professional life used to mean. Doing things that are so different. New, exciting and quite very difficult. Mainly because I only know Linux and BSD mail servers exist and only have little idea on how they actually work. Moreover, Linux distributions are just something the Linux team uses, not me!

Other than that, a new building, lots of new people. I must confess I forgot all the names I've heard (about 30) when people were introduced to me yesterday. It is fun though, being in a new company, just starting to grow. Again, my office is near the CEO's office. Nothing new in that respect :)

What bugs me is having no admin rights on my computer. I have to bug other people for installing any little software here. Hoping that will change cause I'm really not used to it anymore...Speaking of comuputers, I have none at home. K took his to Constanta. So I get home in the evening and stare at the modem and it blinks back at me...But it will be solved in about two days when I get my new laptop!
posted by Alina @ 4:13 PM   10 comments
Thursday, August 10, 2006
My last day with BitDefender
Yes, it has come and a post from here seems to make sense. It’s been a blue day, saying goodbye to people, to places, to tasks. Oh and getting lots of signatures…If almost feels I need more of those to leave then to get hired.

People I’ll miss the most, well, long list, as there are Cris, Sab, Vali, Cornelia, Cris V, Cris Z, Andrei, Alex, Dumi, Radu…Oh my God, and I have not even finished my own department! They all say we will keep seeing each other and I hope we do. Otherwise it would be quite a shame.

They are all saying they will miss me, wishing me good luck, yes, I found a large group of loyal friends. I will not miss the crazy customers, the night shifts and working on holydays. But besides that, there isn’t one thing that I will not miss every day!

So thank you all for being such a crazy, lovable, fun to be with group, for making my day in so many days, for supporting me, between customer support sessions, for the fun we’ve had and for the fun we’ll keep having!

Cris Wife, hope you won’t cry as you said you would when reading this post. Also, hope we will end up deliriously enjoying this weekend. Vali, stay a great chief and please get the little bastard who stole my little toy! Cris V, no matter how grown-up you end up, please remember to keep a little of your childish side. Zainea, we’ll keep seeing each other, I don’t count you here, I definitely know where you leave. Make me proud! Sab, what can I say, I know I will see you when Sim comes, I’m waiting to see what happens afterwards. Sorry you had to be out of the office today!

Andrei, this will be the end of our doggy-style jokes, but you can still make them with Vali, you got my approval. Alex, keep up the good work, keep blogging and stop feeling a little guilty. And Cornelia, Cornelia e o dragutza! :) Last, but not least, you know that, don’t you? You are the best driving teacher ever ! :)

Mailto: BD Antispam Team....No reply expected, as usual :)) I will miss you guys, with all your delays, jokes and massages!

Wish you all best of everything and anything. It will be much quieter without me, you all know it, don’t you? The loudest voice of DSD (and the tiniest person, yeah, the little one) has left the building…

posted by Alina @ 3:10 PM   9 comments
Monday, August 07, 2006
Get married, have a kid, go to Italy to work or life in a Romanian commune…
I’ve been away from my blog lately. First because my mom come back from Italy on Thursday and I then drove her to my grandma’s and back. Second because Saturday and Sunday I was on the night shift. Yes, last night was my last night-shift at this job and hopefully ever, since this is the one thing I will not miss at my new job!

Thursday afternoon, after sleeping about 4 hours after my shift, I was already in Ploiesti, getting my new car numbers (PH 21 KLA – can anyone guess why KLA???) and lots of presents from Italy from my mom, cousin and aunt. We then headed for my grandma’s commune, Sihlea, somewhere NE from Bucharest. It was an almost 2 hours drive as we made a few stops on the way, delivering packages from Italy to acquaintances from their relatives working there.

What can I say about reactions? People looking enviously to my new car and to us in general, well I am used to that attitude of certain. The first look is revealing, it you catch it, cause then they will simply congratulate you and wish you the best in the friendliest way ever…

Then the babies come pouring: Aida, a friend of mine three years younger, that introduced her amazing son to me. She is getting married in September, and I was invited. Then words of other girls, all younger, married with children…No, I don’t get it! Most marry so quick because they get pregnant, except Aida who was with her future husband for a few years and who also had to deal with a pretty bad lung illness after having worked in Italy. For the rest, they just don’t know how cheap and safe birth control pills are…

Well everything in this village is somehow connected to Italy: people waiting news and/or stuff and/or money from Italy, people from here working in Italy, people preparing to go to work in Italy…It is not a treat but it generates money. Money for those living here, money for those working there, money for buses taking them there…

Why they choose to leave? No real options here: they can work in one of the close by villages for about 100 dollars per month, or try agriculture which is too much money spent on too bigger risks. So they choose to go to Italy…and the work there is sometimes hard, humiliating and underpaid. But it pays a few times more that it would ever pay here.

Those who stay around, well they get married and have children. Some because they are looking for a stability they have never had in what a family is concerned, like my friend Aida (divorced family, pretty messed up mom), or because they are really not able to do anything else. And if the husband also has some money, well then why not spend it!

What was life here 30 something years ago? Well, people were studying as hard as possible in school to get to college, leave the commune and have a better life. Now they can choose to pay for exams and diplomas, if they can afford it, or go to Italy to work for a better life…Easy money? Maybe. But given the humiliation, home sickness and real sicknesses caused by climate changes, you wonder, how is it still worth it? Easily, there are no better opportunities here…

Tags: Careers, Marriage, Children, Life abroad, Life in Romania, Romanian Countryside

posted by Alina @ 9:44 PM   9 comments
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Getting all linguistic about it
What is it with woman trying to learn a few words or a foreign language if the man they love or are interested in is foreign? Is it because it is a different way of sharing, a need to communicate with relatives or simply the need to impress?

I have examples all around me. I am learning Turkish, a friend of mine tried out Malaysian, a high-school colleague later majored in Arabic, and our very own Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City trying to mumble two words in Russian.

Pathetic? Sweet? Practical? Call it as you like, I call it a trend!

Tags: Women, Men, Relationships, Foreign Languages

posted by Alina @ 7:11 AM   15 comments
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Get real
I received an invitation to join a group today in my Inbox. I opened it out of curiosity, I always open and not join...But this one invitation really pissed me off! It was an invitation to join a "hate Israel" group! This is, in my opinion, the kind of behavior and attitude that leads to open conflicts at a smaller or larger scale.

Sure , let's hate all Israeli and all jewish people due to some irresponsible political and military decisions of a government. Hell, judging like that, by all the mistakes made throughout history, we should really hate everybody!

I hate this fear and anger driven attitudes. They lead to the worst decisions. A couple of weekes ago I had to face that from an acquaintace regardign muslims and put up a hell of a fight which I of course won. As for this group, well I don't know the person sending the invite and I don't care, all I want is to blame such an initiative.

Tags: Separatism, Attitudes, Hate, Discrimination
posted by Alina @ 6:43 PM   6 comments
About Me

Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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