30/09/2008

Blame it on the moon…

by Rob on

Now that it’s gone too far to call for a halt,
I’ll blame it on the moon
‘Cause it’s not my fault;
I didn’t think that this would happen so soon
So I’ll blame it on the moon

Tonight I was making a small walk to get some fresh air. It was raining a bit, so I was hiding in my coat…. but the temperature was nice, so I enjoyed my walk through the streets of Amsterdam. When I passed a bar somewhere I heard a song playing that was very familiar to me. It made me stand still for a moment and listen…
The last year was one with big changes…. as Katie Melua I blame it all on the moon, because it all just happened to me without that I really went for it. And it is way too late to step back. Now don’t get me wrong here, there is no wish, need or desire to step back… but I blame it on the moon!

I was happy to be free
Didn’t think I’d give myself so easily.

Not even a year ago I was happy to be free. I was quite convinced that I would be alone for the rest of my life… and that by choice. I felt good… independent and free. This was what I wanted.
And then suddenly… must have been on a moment I was not looking and my defense was low…. love stroke hard and swept me completely from my feet without be able to resist it in any way…. and oh, it feels so good… every day over and over.

And yet, I just have to look closely around me to see people who has been less luckily then me… as us.

Guilty feelings in the night
As I wonder is it wrong to feel so right.

(The song I am referring to is “Blame it on the moon” from Katie Melua’s album “Call off the search”)


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A Web of Trust

by Rob on

Sometimes the current gets passed by the past… Last week something like that happened again.

At work we had our weekly team-meeting. We always tell what we are busy with so everyone has an idea what all is going on.
My colleague Anitha told she was working on an encryption matter that involved key servers. As I did work a lot in the past with PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)/GPG (Gnu Privacy Guard) I made a remark that I could maybe be helpful with some resources and information I have or can get on the matter.
Then our team leader said that it is an fully PGP/GPG project. Later I learned from Anitha it was about verifying messages between applications we use (which are highly confidential)

This made me really think back at the time I used PGP/GPG all the time… and I wondered why I ever stopped using it. Apart from the not so good times I have been through (a relation that went wrong and things like that.. luckily all past) I couldn’t think of anything. So I restored my old keyring from a backup to find out that it was expired….
So I created a new keyring….

While I was working on all this I was chatting with Marion on MSN. She was really interested. Even more, she was very enthusiastic about it and saw personally use for it. So I talked her through installing the software and explained how it worked. And finally she created her own keyring and we signed each other keys, which means we can verify and decrypt messages we exchange. Mostly it is a sign of trust and that is between the Marion and me of course something that is very clear.

Hmmm… maybe in some words what this PGP/GPG is about. Simply said it is a way to add more security to e-mail. You can sign messages, which means that text in the mail is still readable to everyone, but those you exchanged (“signed”) keys with can be sure that the message was send by you and that message was not altered.
Also you can encrypt messages so only the receiver (who should have a signed key as well) can decrypt the message and will be able to read it.

This weekend I will send request to sign my keyring to people who did so before and maybe I will invite some new people to PGP/GPG (if they are interested of course).

PGP/GPG is a way to help defending your privacy… and that is something that is highly needed these days!!!!


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Yesterday when I left Hoofddorp for traveling home again, I felt not that good. I was extremely tired (slept very bad the night before…. darn flies and mosquito’s!). My throat was hurting and I had a little fever. So just not feeling that well.
I was happy that Marion picked me half way home up and drove me in her car home.

Finally at Marion’s home, she prepared a very hot bathtub for me and that did a lot good to me. As Marion’s attention did me good as well.

Today I feel a lot better. We have been to a sauna to sweat out my fever. And I must say, although my throat still hurts a little, I feel as said better.

I also have been working on my computers today.

My “old” Pentium 4 is now empty and I will prepare it for someone I know who will be very happy with it (yes, it a bit older computer, but it is still in very good condition).

My duo core desktop is now my second computer (oh my…. I am running duo core only now :P). It will be most be used for storage, MSN and downloads.

My new laptop I prepared so that I can use it with a 19 inch TFT screen and my wireless keyboard/mouse. Also I installed some things I still needed… as iTunes, Office XP, driver for my printer and alike that. All my pictures and music are on it now as well.
I will be looking for a docking station for my laptop, but this already a good begin.

Also I did spend today some money for my laptop.

I bought a nice small external hard disk. I will be using this to install Linux on (by booting directly from the external hard disk I don’t have to alter anything on my laptop and that is something I prefer at the moment). Linux is important for me because we use that a lot at the company I work. Linux provides a complete C development environment. Also I will install Ingress on it. Ingress is an Open Source SQL database.

Also I can now access the Internet with my laptop where ever I am in the Netherlands. Well… almost everywhere (tunnels under Schiphol airport and the area between Amersfoort and Apeldoorn are well known for bad mobile connections). As I travel a lot that is very handy for me. Nice thing was that I could combine it nicely with the current contract I have for my mobile phone at the moment and so this will cost me just 10 euro’s per month.

Tonight Marion and I will go and something nice. I leave it all up to her…. I won’t be disappointed :P


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Today I read in a newspapers that the political party PVV (“Political Party for Peace”… yeah sure) don’t want children to learn about important issues as the melting of the ice on the North pole. They think that children who have perfect grammar skills and can calculate are more important. Now I don’t say grammar and calculating are not important, but to be honest I rather have children who make every now and then a mistake in grammar but who are social and cultural developed and who know what is going on in the world (at least in perspective of their age).
But as someone reacted on this news… Geert Wilders (the leader of this political party) and his cronies cannot blame the Muslim community for this, so it is not important or relevant. It really looks as this.

This brings me to some other news I recently a politician suggested to make the “Suiker Feest” (Sugar Festival?) a national celebration. I really liked this idea. I mean it is to many people here in our country very important. And as with so many other national celebration we have over here, I am not forced to celebrate it. But it shows respect and understanding to those to do and want this.
The PVV called this idea madness as the Netherlands are a Christian country? We are with our empty churches at Sunday? People who decide to choose for themselves all over away from that is dictated by churches?
If the PVV don’t want this celebration, they lets dump all not 100% Dutch celebrations… that includes all Christian Celebrations as from origin we are a very heathen country. Sadly there wouldn’t be much celebrations left.

This Geert Wilders and his party are so fake. When I realized this for this first time? Well, that was some time ago when I saw an advertisement for this party on TV. Geert Wilders was walking in a complete suit and polished shoes on a beach in deep thoughts (all very unnaturally though)… So fake! I mean which real Dutch citizen will go for a walk on a beach in a very expensive suit. Right! No one… All so fake… and so are things this party are standing for


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Eating in Amsterdam

by Rob on

Some people may know that I have here on my weblog a list of restaurants and alike that I have visited.

Well, each of the places mentioned in that list is well worth to visit. You will find simple noodle restaurants there, but also some rather exclusive places. But any of the places on that list is in my opinion well worth to visit. Some of the places I have been already more then onces, because I really liked it.

If I visited a restaurant and I didn’t like it for whatever reason (bad food, lousy service and more things like that), you won’t find it my list… and yes, I have been at that kind of places, more then one. But those are not worth to mention at all… wasted time and money.
It is better to look at those that really worth to visit… and once again, with worth visiting it I don’t refer to luxury or prices… but to good food, friendly and kind atmosphere to mention some things.

Specially the Amsterdam-part of my list is growing fast, which may not be very strange as I spend my weeks there. And luckily for me, there are rather a number of very good restaurants her :)


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Finally! Today my new notebook arrived… and I really love this machine :). It is exactly what I hoped it would be.

Important for me is that it is possible for me again to do the things I was used to. Reading and writing my mail, surfing the net, play some online games, editing the pictures that I make, maintaining my weblog and photo-page…. and of course also talking with my friends through MSN and programs alike.

When you can not use the Internet (or not in a normal way… and a Internet-café I don’t consider a normal way) like I have the last weeks, you really start to realize how important the Internet has become in our daily life…

Anyway, lets hope I will get clear and strong signal in Amsterdam and all is good again on this matter as well…

For those who like technical facts…. The notebook is a HP Dv7-1070ed.
The OS is Windows Vista Home Premium (soon a extrenal HD will be bought to boot Linux from, as we use Linux a lot at the company where I work). Also for me an opportunity to take a closer look at Windows Vista.

Anyway here are the other facts:

  • Intel Duo Core Processor P7450 (2 Ghz, level 2 cache, 3Mb).
  • 4 Gb of memory is installed (2 x 2Gb).
  • NVidia GeForce 9600M GT (real graphic card, no mobilty set).
  • 3D Sound Blaster Pro compatible sound system.
  • 17 Inch WXGA High Definition Widescreen (1440 x 900).
  • Standard QWERTY keyboard WITH numeric pad.
  • 320Mb harddisk (5400rpm SATA).
  • Wifi, 1Gb Ethernet connector, Bluetooth.
  • Lightscribe Super DVD writer (with double layer support).
  • 1 Firewire, 4 USB, 1 HDMI and some more connectors.
  • Webcam/mic and remote controle (for DvD’s)

And some more things…. I am really happy with it.

Not to forget, Marion gave me a very nice Samsonite laptop-bag for it :).


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Ups… oh my… the horror :P

by Rob on

Well, last night something happened that really can only happen to me :)

Somewhere during the week I had Marion on the phone. She was abroad again and she told me that she would come home during the night from Thursday to Friday.
I thought that was very nice information and so I asked my team leader if I could have off from work on Friday so I could travel home on Thursday evening and surprise Marion.

So said, so done. I travelled home Thursday after work. Managed to arrange a nice bottle of wine (a good Muscadet!) and some nice snacks. So we could have a nice time together after Marion arrived at her house.
It was still early in the evening and I knew that she would arrive after 4 am. As I was tired, I decided to take a nap in her bed. I switched the alarm clock to 3:30…. and there I made a small mistake. My own alarm clock is 24 hour based, while Mar’s clock is 12 hour based. So you have to put it very specific on AM or PM… and I managed it somehow to put it on PM.

So I took a nap in Mar’s bed and somehow I must have slipped into a deep sleep. I was still asleep when Marion came home (the alarm clock did not wake me because it was on PM). She didn’t notice I was at her house… or even in her bed. So did her things around her house and came finally to bed. Somehow, don’t ask me how, she didn’t notice I was asleep there…. until she slipped into her bed and bumped into me… With a load scream she jumped out of her bed again as she did not recognize that fast it was me who was asleep there. Well… asleep? Her scream waked me up and made me jump high against the ceiling.

After gazing for a little at each other we started to realize that nothing was wrong. And suddenly we both had to laugh, because it must have been a very stupid scene…

It didn’t took long before we found out what really caused this “horror scene” (the stupid alarm clock on PM instead of AM).  It was a worth a good laugh and some comforting.
And the wine tasted good, so tasted the snacks… and was nice to be together again, one day earlier then expected.

So end good… all “very” good!!


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Yeah for Chris

by Rob on

Chris is the VP of the department Product Development… the department I work for now.

I like the way Chris act and does things. A real English Gentleman, although he must be living here in The Netherlands rather long, because his Dutch is very good.

Anyway, when I heard that Chris his position within the company was on intimidiar base, I started to wonder who would replace him after he would leave. As some people may know I have a rather bad experience on that level.

Today we heard that Chris accepted a permenant contract for his current position. Yeah for Chris!!!!


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Castle of Twickel

by Rob on

Today we made a very nice walk in the area of the castle of Twickel. I know my way around there rather well, for Marion it was more new. Of course she has been there before, but not really in to the woods.

It is on days like this that I miss the dogs. In the time I was still living with my ex in Borne we have been here often with the dogs. It is a great area for dogs.

Nevertheless, it was great to be back there again. The weather was not that bad at all. So we wandered around the castle, trying to get a glimpse of the gardens, which must be wonderful as I heard (there another thing to do… visiting here when the gardens are open during a summer). From there over the access road with all it wonderful old houses and farms into the forest itself.

The silence of the forest was very enjoyable and peaceful. Being out there in the nature always makes me feel good some… gives me power somehow. No need to talk much, just enjoying the company and being there. That is enough!


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A place to call my own…

by Rob on

And Ive nearly found a place to call my own

Waking gently feel her presence near
Devil shattered, warmth is everywhere
I am only a child of hers, my guardian goddess
Now, Im reaching my journeys end inside her arms
And I think Ive found a place to call my own


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