27/10/2009

Bye to a colleague

by Rob on

It should be clear to anyone that I like working for my current employer. And it is also logical that with in such organization there are people you can get better along with that others. Nothing strange about that.

Today we had to say goodbye to Carla. She worked at the Human Resource department of the company. I liked her, not that I had really much contact with her. But she always very friendly and interested in the things you were busy with. She always had a nice and comforting word for the things that happened around my mother. The things I always appreciate in people.

So yes, I am kinda sorry to see her go. But don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that someone decides to follow a way that for whatever reasons seems to be better. After all, I did the same.

Carla owns a website about a Koala hospital in Australia. I add the links her to the sidebar on my weblog. Maybe this is a way to keep somehow in touch.

All the best for you Carla!


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“De Blanckenborgh”

by Rob on

In the last weeks before Marion will leave for the US, we decided to do all kind of nice things together.

We already talked for times to have once dinner at “De Blanckenborgh” in the town of Haaksbergen. We have been there once before, but that was more a quick visit and this time we wanted to take all time for our visit and enjoy it in every way. So somewhere this week Marion reserved a table there for us.

And because it is in Haaksbergen, it means that Marion doesn”t have to drive and that she can enjoy some wine as well. The weather was nice, so we made a nice walk to “De Blanckenborgh”. We were rather early so we extended our walk throughout the park that is surrounding the restaurant.

After a personal welcome we were leaded to our table and I must say that Marion looked wonderful in her new dress. And me? Well, this was one of those rare occasions that I was wearing a suit and even a tie.

My knowledge of the English language is too less to describe everything we had during this dinner, but it was awesome and very tasteful. The main course was based on one of the finest beefs I ever tasted.
I still have to ask Marion if she can remember which red wine we had, because it tasted very good. A wine to remember for other occasions.
I have to admit that I found it very special. And this was not the first time I was at such a luxury restaurant (Marion and I have stayed at the Amstel Hotel for instance). It has something special. It is the complete picture that does it… the very impressive old building… the way the people of the restaurant treat you… the very special food and wine…

Would I prefer a dinner as we had at “De Blanckenborgh” above other (maybe more “simple”) dinners? No, I can enjoy a good steakhouse or something like that just as well. And there is nothing wrong with a nice pizzeria.

But maybe one should not even try to compare this kind of things with each other. They are too different. Just value everything on its own place and it is all good.

It was an experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss! Specially not with the awesome company I had!


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An enjoyable evening in Amsterdam.

by Rob on

Last Sunday when I traveled from Haaksbergen back to Amsterdam, I was unpleasantly surprised by the fact the Dutch railroad company was working on the tracks between the cities of Almelo and Apeldoorn. Instead of the train you had to do that part by bus and by the unlucky route that the bus followed my journey was extended with a lot of extra traveling time.
When I heard that this all would take the rest of the week I wasn’t looking forward on the way back home on Thursday.

During the Monday evening when I was working on my laptop my friend Dave called me on MSN. He told me that he would be in Amsterdam on Wednesday for a congress and if I would like it to have dinner with him afterwards. Of course I did like that, I like to spend time with the people I like.
Way after that we have been talking on MSN, something started to fall together in my head. If Dave would be in Amsterdam and he would come by car, then he would be driving back to the eastern part of the country in the evening. That way I could prevent the not so enjoyable travel on Thursday.

So next day at the company I explained Michiel, my teamleader, about my travel on last Sunday and that I would facing the same next Thursday. So I asked him if he would mind if I would travel back home with Dave and work this Thursday and Friday from home. He didn’t mind at all (did I already mentioned I love the flexibility of this company?).
I called Dave again and after he heard about the longer travel by train, he told me that he would come by car and that he didn’t mind at all that I would travel back with him.

Well, today after work I traveled back to Amsterdam and took the metro to the station Isolaterweg. Dave and I agreed on meeting there. After some time Dave did arrive there indeed. After a bit talking we decided that in this area of Amsterdam with mostly offices and factories we wouldn’t find a nice place to eat something.

So we took the metro back to the Lelylaan station. This was Dave’s first introducation to the “OV Chipcard” which was not a complete enthusiastic success :).

We found a very nice looking steakhouse with the very nice name “Roos”. We decided that we sat down there for dinner. I really like this steakhouse. The people were nice, the atmosphere was good, an open kitchen…. and this T-Bone was more then just delicious.
And of course it is good to talk with a friend that you haven’t seen for some time. I just realize that I haven’t seen Dave since he returned from his study in the US. So it was good to chat with him again.

After dinner we took the metro back to place where Dave had parked his car and started our journey home. I realized that I slipped here and there into some sleep, because I was very tired. But even during this trip we brought up some interesting subjects.

And now I am home again looking back on a nice evening.


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‘t Neutje

by Rob on

Before the concert where I have been on Thursday, I wandered a bit around the city of Hengelo waiting for Patrick to arrive there.

By pure confidence I walked by a place where I have been very often in the past… “Café ‘t Neutje”. It now around 20 years ago that I worked in Borne and a colleague of the company I worked for took me there some times. After that I have been there several times on my own. I really liked that place. The building is from the 16th century and has been for the longest time a café.

I am determined to visit it again during a weekend when I am in Haaksbergen again. Should be fun!


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Faith, Power & Glory

by Rob on

Last Thursday I have been with Patrick to a concert at the new Metropool in the city of Hengelo. He lured me into it…. “If you like Blut Engel, you will like this too!” And dawn it, he was right…

First band of the line up was Ayria from Canada. The music was nice, but somehow I didn’t like the voice of the singer. And she had way too many piercings, that always gives me shivers and unwelcome thoughts.

The second group Straftanz, as the name already indicates they come from Germany. Raw and direct music. Already much better then the first band. They placed a good show.

The last band and main act was VNV Nation. And yes, they were very good. Very strong, but good music with a industrial influence. The show was good. The lead singer really “played’ with the audience. The light effects they used were awesome. I truly enjoyed it.
And I have seen many bands giving an encore when the audience wanted one. But this was the first time I ever saw a band giving TWO encores. Really great show!!!

What I liked about all artists is that they came talk with the people after the show and signed things if you wanted that.

I sadly learned that my Nokia E71 is not very well suited to make pictures at such an event. Next time I will write a mail to the organization behind the show if I can be allowed to make pictures with my SLR. If not, I will bring my loyal old Canon Powershot. Not the best, but still better as the Nokia. So sadly no pictures of this performance.

But at least I have got a t-shirt!!!! And Marion, be warned… this t-shirt is not meant as nighty. So leave it alone, else we will have a “war”…


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Drawing off my own beer :-)

by Rob on

I got a small gift from Marion… a Grolsch Cheersch.

With the Grolsch Cheersch you can draw off your own beer at home. It has the small fresh taste as the beer you get in a café. I think this because it also draw off under pressure with CO2. I like this better then beer from a bottle.
The replaceable green bottles contain 2 liters of beer (pilsener). Each bottle comes with a new CO2 capsule.

It is really fun. I considered often to buy one, but for some reason I never did. Marion must have noticed that and bought one for me :).

Here some more information about the Grolsch Cheersch

*Happy as a young boy*


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The Buma-Stemra is an organization that protects the right of artists and their music… at least they say so. Normally they want people to pay a little when using the music of the artists who are connected to them. Basically that is not a wrong idea…..

But…

Now they have come with something that is utterly stupid. They want people pay for it when they embed a YouTube-movie that contains protected material of their member. Why is this dumb? Simple, normally it the provider of the content that gets charged (YouTube in this case) and it is to this provider to remove the material from their servers when they don’t want this.

Buma-Stemra wants to charge for the linking to the material. If this goes through, then we better close down the Internet, because “linking to” is one of the basic things that the Internet gives its right to exist.
So if a child embeds a YouTube-movie of their favorite artist on their weblog, their parents may be face with a bill of close to € 300 per year. This is completely out of range.

Buma-Stemra wants to use webcrawlers to find this content on website and alike. I hope that major blog communities (as Word Press and Blogger) adept their software to deny this kind of webcrawlers access to the content of a site (it can be done, many forums do this with the crawler of Google and alike).

Just another company that tries to get control over the Internet and make money from it….

Update:
As I already thought that there be soon a plugin for Word Press to stop this webcrawler from the Buma-Stemra and I was right. It is already available. Right now simple and very straight forward, but as the author already announced it will be developed a lot further then this.

I have this plugin already installed. Even when I have no music-movies from YouTube on my weblog. Such organizations as the Buma-Stemra are no longer welcome on my weblog.

The plugin is available from Coen Jacobs, Independent Web Developer-blog


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Most people will know that I play MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games). It all started with Ultima Online many years ago and since then quite some games passed by… games as Star Wars Gallaxies, Arsherons Call, City of Villains, Lineage II and of course the game I still play, Everquest II.

There has been for some years a new MMORPG in development and there has been many rumors and gossips about it. A week ago this new game went life. I kept a close eye on this game, but I was convinced I would never play this game… The name of this game is Aion!

… Until I noticed that many of my “gaming friends” headed to try out Aion. And that made me decide to have a look at Aion as well.

Last night I have downloaded the game and this morning I have installed it… The rumors were correct, this game is awesome. In graphics, playstyle and whatever….

The story is simple…. Good against Evil. This time I went for evil. A world that literally torn in two parts that take the fight up with each other.

As I will keep on playing Everquest II, I will never be able to train all the available character-slots. So I gave two slots away to Marion. And what have seen until now from it, she is even more fanatic with it then I am :)

I will keep you posted :)

Update: I found some nice promotion trailers about Aion… and the music with the second trailer is from VNV Nation, a band I will see this month!


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