30/07/2010

WordPress 3.0.1

by Rob on

I have just upgraded my weblog to WordPress 3.0.1, which is the latest version. The upgrade went quickly as always with WordPress upgrades…

-> Make backup
-> Remove all WordPress-files from your site. Saving the themes, plug-ins and the configuration-file
-> Upload the new version of WordPress
-> Put back the themesm plug-ins and the configuration-file
-> Run the “upgrade.php”-script
-> Delete the “install.php” and “upgrade.php” files

And basically I was done.

This time I removed the old WordPress-files from the site. Normally I just overwrite them, but for once I wanted a nice cleaned up situation again.

After that some of the plug-ins I use needed an update. Again, just download the new version and overwrite the one on the site (and of course take a glimpse at the new options and features).

Only I am a bit worried about the plug-in I am using for showing some of the pictures I made. It has an upgrade, but only compatible to WordPress 2.7…
Well, this plug-in shows pictures from my Flicker-account and as I am thinking to drop Flicker, I am already looking for a new plug-in that can show pictures that I will store on some site somewhere.

Anyway, a fast and smooth upgrade again


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The lady is home again….

by Rob on

Late during the night of last Friday to Saturday a plane from the US landed on Schiphol Airport… and that was a wonderful moment for me!

The last Friday was a long day… it felt if it lasted forever. I just went to work as normally, but even when I managed to do a lot, the end of the working day didn’t want to arrive. When the working day at last was over I stayed to drink some beers with some colleagues as it is always possible on Fridays at our company. It was a good start of an long evening.

After I arrived at home, I made myself a small dinner, took a shower and went for nap. I knew that nap was needed because I knew that it would become very late that evening.
During my nap I waked up because I heard the phone ring. As my phone is rather an old one, it doesn’t show caller information (at least not over IP). I had to guess who it was that called me. I thought it was Tom, because he just returned from the first part his holiday.
Well, it wasn’t Tom. But as I had him on the phone we talked a bit about his holiday. He suggested to drop by for some beers, which I thought was a very good idea as it would shorten the evening for me.

By this time I knew that Sanne and Marion’s father were on their way to Heemskerk. But they would take it easy and have some breaks because Marion’s father was already tired and he dislikes to ride tired and don’t wants to be a danger on the road.

Meanwhile Tom and I had a very good conversation and some very interesting subjects passed by. But I think it was close to 2 o’clock that I felt my eyes become heavy. So Tom and I agreed on the fact that it would be wise for me to have another nap.

After saying goodbye to Tom and wishing him a very nice second part of his holiday, I dropped almost dead on my bed. In seconds I was in the land of dreams. It must have been 45 minutes that I have been asleep before I was waked up again by the intercom. Marion’s father and Sanne had arrived.
We had time for a cup of coffee and then it was finally time to leave for the Schiphol Airport and of course we were still way too early there.

I must say that I felt as young boy on his first date while keeping a close look at the arrival gateway. Many people came through the gateway, but not the one I was waiting for. Which was only logical, because as Sanne reminded me so nicely the plane wasn’t landed yet :P.

Finally we saw that the plane with Marion was landed safely and according to my feeling it still lasted hours before she came through the arrival gateway. But at last the doors opened and that beloved person walked through. I heard Sanne behind me shout of happiness, but I was already rushing towards Marion. Someone who witnessed it might have thought that I was attacking her. But oh my, it was so good to have her in my arms again. There were some tears of happiness going around. Even when he tried to hide, the eyes of Marion’s father were wet as well.

After this warmly welcome we went in the direction of my house. There we sat together and talked a lot, feeling very well. I had prepared some small snacks, because I assumed that all would be a bit hungry of all the excitement and I was right with that.
After some time I noticed that Marion started to fall asleep. The journey she made was long and the jetlag always hits her very hard. So I suggested that get some sleep, an idea that was welcomed very much.
Sanne slept as always on the couch and Marion’s father had his camping-bed (I offered him my bed, but he refused that claiming that his camping bed was more the enough).

In the privacy of our bedroom I admit fully that I enjoyed it very much watching Marion getting ready for the night. Something I have seen so many times, but still…
In bed we talked a bit more… Kissed and caressed a bit, but Marion was so tired that she soon was laying asleep in my arms.
Me? I didn’t sleep that night at all. I just watched the one who I love so much laying beside me… the moonlight entering through the windows made it almost a fairytale picture.

The next morning (to be honest, it was more early afternoon) Sanne surprised us with a wonderful breakfast. It resembled a English breakfast. As Sanne said, we all needed some energy :).

The afternoon was relaxed and good. We chatted and enjoyed the time together. Early evening Marion travelled with her father and Sanne to the town of Haaksbergen. She longed very much for her own home, which is very understandable. The two times she was here during her US adventure she was mostly here in Heemskerk and hardly at her own home. To that she needs really some days to rest and to recover.

Somewhere during the next week she will come back to here and spend some time with me. I have her rather rested well (edit: ough, that sounds very wrong. But that is not the way I meant it).

Well, I will go tomorrow to work as normally… but as a very happy man.


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Thank you, Google…

by Rob on

There is a lot going around about Google. That they would be gather secretly or not all kind of information and endangering the privacy of people as us.

This may all be true, but Google does also a lot good… Doesn’t almost everyone use the search engine of Google?
And Google offers many more services online. Services as Google Maps and Google Earth… Translation services… GMail and a lot more.

Recently I have started to use a service I am really satisfied with… Google Agenda!

Google Agenda is online calender, which means you can access it everywhere you have Internet. That is nice, but there is more to it. I can synchronise it with the calendar I have at the company in Outlook. At the same time I can also synchronise it with the scheduler I have on my smart phone.

That is al very nifty, but there was something more Marion and I was looking for… an agenda that we could easily share together. Google Agenda offer that!
Business and private appointment I can place in my agenda and they are mark each by a (configurable) color. Marion can do the same and all our appointments show very clear up in our Google Agenda’s. We also can create a group where we both can place events or appointments in. Very handy for things we want to attend to together or birthdays.

We have looked at other agenda’s before, but I really have to say that Google agenda does exactly what we want.

Maybe not the place to enter real private information, but still… Thank you, Google!


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“Fort Aan Den Ham”

by Rob on

Yesterday morning I was planning to visit the Ruin of Brederode (a ruin of a castle near the town of Santport Zuid). The idea was to make some nice pictures there.
Just before I wanted to leave the phone rang and I was asked to come along with the Dutch Nikon Club (of which I am member) to make some picture at a location nearby. Of course I said yes…. after all the Ruin of Brederode would be there still next weekend as well…

It turned out that the location was Fort “Aan Den Ham”, which is very close to the place where I live. Fort “Aan den Dam” is one of the 42 forts around the city of Amsterdam. The fort was built at the beginning of the last century and was ready for use in 1903.

During the mobilisation of 1913-1918 and during 1939-1940 the fort was used by the Dutch army. After May 1940 the fort was abandoned. During WWII the German occupiers used the fort some time.

It was very nice to wander through and around this fort. At certain places you really feel the rich history of this fort. You can only wonder what all have happened there.

Nice side effect of the fort’s thick concrete walls was that the temperature inside was very nice, while outside the heath was almost extreme. Also is was very nice to meet some of the members of the Dutch Nikon Club.

And as so often around such a historical place there is often wonderful nature to be found…

Now lets hope the next weekend the weather will be good enough to visit the Ruin of Brederode.


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“Zaanse Schans”

by Rob on

As most who read here will know I rented for almost one and half year a room in Amsterdam when I accepted my current job. My landlady from that time and I did get along very well. And why should that change after I moved to my own spot in Heemskerk?

So for today we made an appointment to get together and do something nice. Gambheera (my former landlady) suggested if the weather would allow it visit the “Zaanse Schans”. It seems that I have been there before as a very small boy, but I have no memories of that. So I thought that was a good idea…

The “Zaanse Schans” is a very nice area to walk around and enjoy the old windmills and old houses. I think it is so popular with people from other countries because this is what they identify us Dutch people with… windmills, wooden shoes, tulips and cheese… and all of those you can find at the “Zaanse Schans”.

But even as Dutch person it is very nice to be there and see this things that were so important for our history.

After our long walk over the “Zaanse Schans”, Gambheera and I returned to Amsterdam to drink and have something to eat at “‘t Blauwe Theehuis” in the Vondelpark.
Afterwards I went home feeling good… and with a red head of too much sun light.

Below some pictures I made at the “Zaanse Schans”…


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Halal and Kosher

by Rob on

Yesterday I listened to a discussion about “halal” and “kosher” meat. One of the persons in the discussion was a big mouth who clearly had not sorted out the facts.

First of all, over here in The Netherlands animals only may be slaughtered by trained people… no matter of halal or kosher guidelines are followed. And it only may be done at places that are authorized for this. Punishments are severe for those that act against the laws on this matter.

A well trained and experienced halal/kosher butcher kills the animal in one move and in such a way that the animal is instantly dead. All the blood looks very unpleasant, but it is something the animals itself is not aware of any more.

The period before the slaughter the animal is treated very well. This is very important in my opinion so the last moment comes sudden and with less stress.

This compared to our “normal” slaughter-houses is a complete story. The transport of the animals is extreme stressful and very often things go really wrong during these transports (broken legs and worse). Our slaughterhouses are factories were animals are slaughtered is as high as possible speed against as less possible costs. Often… VERY often things go wrong. Animals are not dead when they are processed. The moments before they are slaughtered are extreme stressful. Animals that are wounded after transport are treated very bad.

Having said all this: No, I am not specially in favour for Halal and Kosher slaughtering of animals. But people should not tell nonsense and act like our “normal” way of slaughtering animals is so good (while it is not).


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Flowers… and something else…

by Rob on

Almost from the day I moved into my new house I have flowers inside. Some times roses or tulips… some times lilies… or as this time sunflowers.
I think flowers always add nicely to the good atmosphere of the house.

Apart from the nice flowers in my house, I have arranged tickets for Marion and me to go in January to Ellen ten Damme’s Cirque Stiletto. The seats are first class and are on a perfect spot. I will make a special day of it. After all we have something to celebrate then :).

This is one of the advantages of living on this side of the country…. there is so much going on here :)


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