30/12/2007

The last days…

by Rob on

The last days of the year… As for many a moment to ponder back.

Many good and enjoyable things happened this year. But the last months were a bit chaotic, to say the least.

First there were the problem with my own health. They did hit hard, but slowly but surely I am recovering from them. learned something from that… to value my health. I never will be a health freak, but my way of living will be a more healthier one. A little more care about food and drink… a bit more exercise (bicycling and swimming). Having said that, that doesn’t mean I will not go and have a lot of fun with my friends in the local cafés and bar.

Then just before Christmas my mother was taken into the hospital. Really don’t know what to think about her situation. It is something between good and real bad.
So Christmas gave a empty house… and so will the changing of the years. It is good to have friends in this kind of times.

After Christmas I got the news that Ryan, the old pony, was put to sleep on the first Christmas day. It has been many months since I have seen her, but still the news made me sad. After all Ryan has been for many year part of my daily life.

The day after Christmas a huge crash of two servers at the company where I work. Stress and panic all over. After many hours we finally got things working again. Most things are operational, but that doesn’t mean this suffering will be over for the next working days. Many things have to be checked and corrected again… not even to mention the people who will be complaining about “minor things” as that their screen has a different color or that the layout of their mail program is different.

Of course nice things happened as well is the last weeks.
Had a great evening with Patrick at the Markt 2. And Christmas Eve with Marion and her friends was wonderful as well.
Got a digital SLR (Nikon D40). I am aware that it is not a professional camera, but still it is a very nice camera to have and it will beat any compact camera with ease, as a lot of customer SLR’s.
From one thing comes another they say… In February I will start to follow course in SLR photography. It will be fun… maybe the evening with the models most (just kidding).

Funny. I just read on the blog of my friend Patrick that his life is change from one of living week by week to one of planning forward again, while my life is changing from one living week by week to living day by day… Both are good I guess.


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Christmas Eve

by Rob on

For Christmas Eve I was invited at the house of Marion. Normally I would share Christmas Eve with my mother, but with her being in the hospital this was a very welcome invitation.

Christmas as event doesn’t have much meaning for me. Especially not the meaning the Christian religion gave to it. And also not as a reminder for me that we have to be kind and forgiving to each other. When you need such a day for that, then something is really out of balance.
So if I celebrate something, then it that the days will get longer again. Apart from that it is for me nothing more then a time to be with the people I care about.

So as said, this invitation of Marion was very welcome. It seems to be custom for her to celebrate Christmas Eve with friends.
So there were about 10 friends of Marion there. Some people I knew and some new folks. The atmosphere was good and very relaxed. The music was good (note to myself: I must borrow Marions Eagles-collection).
There was a gourmet arranged, but not as it mostly is done (all sit around the table, which gives a very static and forced situation). There was a big table with a rather big gourmet-set. On the same table was all you needed for the gourmet… meat, bird, fish, herbs, unions, mushroom, parika, salads, all kind of sauces and a lot more.
There was also a table with a fish/seafood buffet. The salmon was more then delicious. Same for the baked shrimps. Of course there enough for everyone to drink… beer, wine, non alcoholic drinks…. (did someone say bokbeer? :P).
The nice thing of this setup is that fill your plate with some of the food and then you mix up with others again. So you talk with everyone. Get to know the people you don’t know yet. I liked it.

The food was all prepared by Miranda, a friend of Marion. She showed and proofed that she is awesome in her profession (she is a chef cook in a exclusive restaurant). Not only the food was of an awesome quality, also the way it was displayed was a joy to see.

Later in the evening someone suggested to play a game “Truth or Dare”. Now I know that this game can go in a very “wrong” direction, but that didn’t happen luckily. Al stayed decent (well, more or less… at least nothing shocking happened), but I did learn some things about some people that I didn’t know :).

It was very nice evening. Thank you, Marion.


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Markt 2

by Rob on

Yesterday I have been with my friend Patrick once again to my favorite place to be “De Markt 2”. We have been there before, but this time Patrick didn’t have to drive anymore. So he could enjoy some beers as well.

We first had there a good dinner. Delicious as always. Someone should remind that the next I eat there that I have to take a Mixed Grill :P.
After that enjoyed “some” bokbeers… Grolsch bokbeer is so good this year. It almost looks like it becomes better each year. We talked about many subjects. Laughed and joked around.
We enjoyed the view of the many young ladies there… sure, they are rather young compared to our ages. But there were some moments I wished I was 20 again and know what I know now :).
On a certain moment those bokbeers started to have their effect, so we switched around between coffee and cola… to end up with normal pilsener again (see picture above). When we asked for the bill we both had a “Ough”-reaction :P. But it was well worth is, it was a very nice evening.

Oh yes, this added to the things I will do soon:

26 januari: Concert The Golden Earing
2 februari: Concert The Nits

Yay :)


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Appreciate what you have…

by Rob on

Right now I sit in the hospital waiting before I can visit my mother (see my last post). Sitting here…. seeing worried people, people with health problems… people in pain… people with an unclear future….
We people are so spoiled… have so many priorities all wrong… In the end it comes all down to people, the people around us every day… no money, no big belongs, no career, no big time things…. just people, those that are everyday close and the ones we care about.

This mood I am having currently made me think of a small movie I saw recently on the Blog of my friend Dave (and which I shamelessly copied from there)….

Appreciate what you have…



*posted through the public Internet-connection of
the MST hospital in the city of Enschede*


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Mom

by Rob on

It is weird how suddenly the way things go can change… from easy going to very chaotic. During the night before the last one my mother was taken in to the hospital.
It must have been around 1 am when she called me. She was having breathing problems and was feel very oppressed. I didn’t trust the situation for a moment and called the emergency phone-number. After hearing me, an ambulance arrived with a few minutes and brought my mother and me to the hospital in the city of Enschede.

After all kind examinations (which took from 2am to around 6am) they made the diagnose that she had a sincere inflammation of her respiratory tracts. This may have been for a healthy person nothing to serious, but for my mother and her weak health is really a serious matter.
That is why they decided to keep my mother in the hospital to treat her with strong antibiotics and they could monitor her all the time.
Yesterday I heard there were some other complications.  The blood pressure of my mother was way too low, which is strange because normally it is way too high. Also the found out that my mother was dehydrated.

All with all not the best situation, but my mother could be nowhere else better as in the hospital where she is now. Although every time I walk into the unit where she is, I get it strange feeling. It is the same unit where my father died of lung cancer. Not related to the situation of my mother, but the emotions are there.

Lets hope that antibiotics will soon start to work and that my mother regathers her strength. Anyway, as I look at it now I think my mother will be in the hospital with Christmas.

Me? It is hitting me harder then I thought. I was doing rather lately well and my health was recovering slowly. But right now I feel lousy… physical and mental. But I think when the situation of my mother changes for the better, this will turn very fast in the good direction as well again.

Lets hope for all the best….

And oh Marion, thank you being there and being such a good friend


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Spam

by Rob on

Today I had my first spam attack here on my weblog. The number of messages posted was so huge (all in one row) that I cannot deny it and have to take action against it.

There are several ways to deal with spam on a weblog.

First way is to switch on moderation of the posted comments. That keeps the spam-messages (and all other comments) from the weblog until I approve them or delete them. But the spam messages do still arrive, even when they don’t show up on the weblog. So not a real solution.
Apart from that comments will need an action from me. So when I am busy with other things it may take time before the comments show up on the weblog.

Another solution is to force people to log in on the weblog before they can post any comment. Very effective against spam, but not what I want. My weblog is a free place for anyone and as long someone behaves she/he is welcome.

So I have chosen for CAPTHA. What is CAPTHA? Well, here some information:
A CAPTCHA is a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a computer. You’ve probably seen them — colorful images with distorted text at the bottom of Web registration forms. CAPTCHAs are used by many websites to prevent abuse from “bots,” or automated programs usually written to generate spam. No computer program can read distorted text as well as humans can, so bots cannot navigate sites protected by CAPTCHAs.”

For my weblog it means simple, enter the two words shown in the image separated by a space. Press the refresh button when the words are not clear.
Alternatively you press the sound button. 8 numbers will be spoken and you can enter these.

Lets hope it will keep the spam out :P


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Christmas Market

by Rob on

As I wrote earlier today, my mood was not the best. Funny how quickly things can change. I went to  get some fresh air in the hope this would do a little good to my mood. Unexpected in wandered into Christmas market of the town where I live.

Such a Christmas a joyful being together. The weather was a bit cold, but it was dry. So it was all very nice to be there… and there a number of fire-baskets to warm yourself.

The atmosphere was good and very one seemed to be in good mood. All around town young people were making music and some of it was pretty good.  Snacks and things to drink were in many kinds available.

My bad mood of earlier disappeared  as snow for the sun…. although I don’t know if the “Gluhwein” (warm wine) help with much with that :)


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Bah…

by Rob on

I feel “bahhhh” today. Don’t ask my why. I have no idea. Just an itching in my stomach, just a heavy head. Such a day you just want to go back to bed and hide under the blankets. A day that should pass as fast as possible, up to a new better one.

Now I am thinking about it, I do have a feeling why. Yesterday we had a Christmas gathering of the company I work for. And yes, it was a nice time. The food was good, the atmosphere enjoyable…
It is the traveling that breaks me up a bit. They way back first with the train from Holten back to Almelo. Had there to wait 20 minutes for the train to Hengelo, where I had to wait for the bus to Haaksbergen. And mind you, all this time I was dragging this huge Christmas package we got from the company along with me. So by the time I got home again I was extremely tired.

Normally I don’t mind traveling with trains and alike, to be honest I prefer it. But yesterday it was yuck…

I think I will go for a small walk or a little tour on my bicycle and get some fresh air. Maybe that makes me feel a bit better again…


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Thinking

by Rob on

Just read on the log of a friend that his new girlfriend is in a hospital. That is of course very bad news and I hope whatever may happened to her, soon will be cured if possible.

Yet he used some words that made me deeply ponder… and yes, I do realize that he words were written of his current situation….

But still…. Am I only thinking about myself? Not bothering about anyone else but me? Sure, I placed myself as very important something into my live…. but is that only thinking about my self? No, I don’t think so… when you are balanced you are much more capable of caring of others.

Am I egoistic because I don’t have a partner? Again, no I don’t feel like that. Especially the last 2 years I am sharing things with others more then ever before.

Me? I just hope that my friends partner will be alright… That is all.


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Memories

by Rob on

Today I made a nice and long walk during the morning through the town of Haaksbergen. Apart from fresh air, I was also after something to eat. So I ended up at “Eet- en IJs Salon Menzing” (my favorite place for a small something to eat) and has a wonderful nice omelet.

While wandering through my home town, I thought back at the conversation Marion and I had yesterday. As so often our conversation turned to the town where we both live and which both like very much.
We talked about many of the old building we know already from the time we were kids. The store of the Ladies Strengers… The warehouse Wildenborg (still there)… the many churches Haaksbergen knows, to mention the Pancratius Church and the Jewish Synagogue… Hotel Centraal (now replaced by a modern market)… De Braak (used to a meeting place for youth… teared down because the “bad name” it had… bah)… the old Notary house (now a restaurant) and many more buildings like that.

It is fun to talk about things back. Because at the same time it brings many old memories back… even many things that were forgotten. Yesterday many stories we can (now) laugh about were told.

Memories are so important…. good or bad, they are so important in making who and what we are…

Here some pictures of the buildings that were mentioned yesterday….

The Pancratius Church (Catholic curch, both raised this way, but also stepped away from this religion):

The Jewish Synagogue, which seems to be smallest in The Netherlands (7 by 10 meter):

The Notary house, which is nowadays a restaurant (but which was also be used by docter… and yes, I know the picture is a bit out of balance :P):

Ah well, there are so many nice buildings in Haaksbergen… and to many I have one or memories. It was a bit sad that I could not find any picture of “De Braak”. Many many memories to there… Sadly the building doesn’t exist anymore….


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