by Rob on

Funny…. Before Christmas we had snow. Now, after Christmas, we have snow… but we didn’t have a white Christmas.

Funny how things can go!!!

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A weird experience…

by Rob on

Today I was at my mothers house a bit. After all some things have to be taken care of while my mother is staying in the home where she currently is.

Anyway, while I was there the phone started to rang. Of course I picked up the phone. There was this lady with an Asian dialect asking for my father. I froze when I heard that request, after all my father died over 10 years ago. For a moment I really didn’t know how to react.
The lady explained that my father donated 12 years ago to a refugee-project and she wanted to inform him that this project has been very successful. After explaining that my father has passed away, she felt very sorry and apologized.

Later that day I picked up the mail that was delivered at my mothers house. Normally there is only mail for my mother and me. But weird enough this day, the same day of the call of the Asian lady, there was a letter addressed to my father. It was a letter from the Dutch Red Cross of which my father has been a very active member (they should know my father passed away?????).

I will not say that I freaked out, but I was a bit confused by the fact on the same day after so many years suddenly so many occasions pointed so directly to my father.
Needless to say that many memories about my father came up again…. some bad memories, but luckily also many good memories.

This evening, before Marion went out with some of her female friends, I had dinner with her at the Markt 2. We talked a little about this.
She said that these kind of things are bound to happen and that is a good thing. They reminds us of those that are gone and who played an important part in our lives.
And as she said, she never has known my father, but I always spoke fondly of him…. even when we had our differences and arguments. And she is right, specially after I moved on my own the relation of my father and me became a good one.

But as the Dutch performer Stef Bos already sung: “Pappa, ik lijk steeds meer op jou…”

Hmmm… I apologize to those that cannot read Dutch. But I have a very strong urge to place the lyrics of that song now. It is so recognisable and so true….


Ik heb dezelfde ogen
En ik krijg jouw trekken rond mijn mond
Vroeger was ik driftig, vroeger was jij driftig
Maar we hebben onze rust gevonden
En we zitten naast elkaar
En we zeggen niet zo veel
Voor alles wat jij doet, heb ik hetzelfde ritueel
Pappa, ik lijk steeds meer op jou

Ik heb dezelfde handen
En ik krijg jouw rimpels in mijn huid
Jij hebt jouw ideeen, ik heb mijn ideeen
En we zwerven in gedachten, maar we komen altijd thuis
De waarheid die je zocht en die je nooit hebt gevonden
Ik zoek haar ook en tevergeefs, zolang ik leef
Want pappa, ik lijk steeds meer op jou

Vroeger kon je streng zijn
En God, ik heb je soms gehaat
Maar jouw woorden, ze liggen op mijn lippen
En ik praat nu, zoals jij vroeger praatte
Ik heb een goddeloos geloof en ik hou van elke vrouw
En misschien ben ik geworden wat jij helemaal niet wou
Maar pappa, ik lijk steeds meer op jou

En jij gelooft in God, dus jij gaat naar de hemel
En ik geloof in niks, dus we komen elkaar na de dood
Na de dood nooit meer tegen
Maar pappa, ik hou steeds meer van jou

Ik heb een goddeloos geloof en ik hou van elke vrouw
En misschien ben ik geworden wat jij helemaal niet wou
Maar pappa, ik lijk steeds meer op jou
Oh pappa, ik hou steeds meer van jou
Pappa, ik lijk steeds meer op jou…

Daddy… I really do… and yes, I miss you!

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Christmas day

by Rob on

This is one of those moments of rest during a busy day of Christmas day. Marion is taking a nap. The time difference is still hard on her. Sanne is laying lazy on the couch watching a bit tv. And I? I checked my mail and read some forums. And wrote this message about today.

This morning started good. For once I was the one who was the last out of bed. When I went down after a quick shower I was welcomed by the smell of warm bread and fresh coffee. The was warm croissants with ham and cheese… warm kaisers-beards with herb cheese… current… boiled eggs… orange juice…. coffee and tea. A very nice way to start the day.

During the morning we made a long walk. Even though the weather was not the best, it was good and pleasant. And a great opportunity to talk about al that happened since Marion travelled to the US.

The afternoon was for visiting the family, but we stayed nowhere long. We had told this on forehand. Somewhere during the next week we go for longer to the people we want to be with.

When the evening started to come near, it was really time to go home and start to work on our own Christmas dinner. Although we had chosen for very good food, we decided to make not a big thing about. No overly decorated table or things like that. We all just wanted to enjoy and relax

So we worked together on making our dinner. And it was fun and we all laughed a lot. Specially none of us had ever before prepared rabbit.
Sanne was happy that the rabbit was already chopped into pieces. She didn’t like the idea of having there a complete animal that we were going to baked. She called herself foolish because of that, but still she had those emotions about it. But I kinda can understand, so it was all okay.
All three of took a part of those 1.5 kg unions that needed to chopped. The red ones where so sharp that even the trick of floating water from a tap didn’t help any more.

Anyhow we all were satisfied about the result and we really enjoyed the dinner.

As appetiser we a Beef Carpaccio with flakes of cheese and pine-tree pits. To that a dressing based on olive oil, vinegar, salt and herbs

De main dish was rabbit. For the recipe were the next ingredients used: 1 wild rabbit, dried plums, 1.5 kg (1) red and white unions, 2 bottle of old dark beer, 1 bottle of “kriek” beer, 1 spoon of honey, 1 spoon of mustard, pepper, salt, aromat, thyme, laurel leaves, olive oil and flour.
The potato slices where prepared in the oven. Before the went into oven we added olive oil, rosemary, garlic and on top it fine cut old cheese.
The small carrots were normally cooked and over them some parsley.

Desert was the only thing we did buy all prepared. These Praline Icecup with chocolate and hazelnut ice are just too delicious

Tonight we will take it easy. I will wake up Marion in a bit. We have some snacks, some good wine and bockbeer. Most likely we will watch a movie together, chat a bit and enjoy the evening….

A good Christmas day I would say!

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Evert Boar steak

by Rob on

We had here a wonderful Christmas Eve. The first part with Marion’s parents and later on with three of us.
Marion just went to bed. She was still tired of the travelling and the time difference. And Sanne also went to bed.
And I am still here pondering a bit about the evening. We had a great time. I really enjoyed it.

Anyway, I promised to tell about the dinner I prepared. Marion really loves a good steak. Soooo…..

The steak I did go for was a Evert Boar steak, which is in my opinion even more gentle as a normal steak. The steak itself did get nothing more as a bit of salt and pepper. The steaks were medium done. I know that is way Marion likes it and I prefer it that way as well.

A nice sauce based on flour, corn meal, a meat fond, garlic, paprika, curry, pepper, parsley and laurel. This sauce was enriched with all kind rough sliced mushrooms.

There were mashed potato mashed with small pieces of almond and hazelnut. Also a beef based hash was added. Do I normally like larger piece of beef in my hash. Now I did go for very small pieces.

As extra mushrooms filled with sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil and some herbs as dill.

I am happy dat Marion really liked it. And so did Sanne and I. But tomorrow Marion has to work in the kitchen as well :)

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She is back….

by Rob on

Marion is back in The Netherlands and I am a happy person. It was so great to see her coming through the arrival gate of the Dortmund airport. I thought exploded when I hold her in my arms and kissed her. I will not even try to describe all the emotions I felt on that moment.

Our journey back to Haaksbergen went fast and without any problems. It was funny how she wanted the drive a little herself, because she wanted to drive a “real car” again. Which makes her opinion about American cars :).

Tonight will have Christmas Eve with the three of us (of course Sanne will be there too).

Marion is right now taking a shower and then she will take a nap. 6 Hours time difference is not funny. In an hour I will wake her up, as she asked me to do, and then I will have a dinner for her ready she really will like. I will write about that later.

For now I am just very happy person…

(Typed on my Nokia Smartphone)

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Code is Poetry: DataBus

by Rob on

Some time ago I started a series of postings about the programming-languages I worked with. For some reason I never continued that. Well, time to change that.

I worked about 9 years in a language called DataBus. This language still exists, but is called these days PL/B (Programming Language for Business). It was developed by the company Datapoint Inc to use on their mini-computers.

As said, Databus was originally developed for mini-computers, but later on version for many other environments were created as DOS, Windows, Unix/Linux, AS400 and so on.

DataBus is what they call a semi-compiler language. This means that the source-code is optimized and converted to a binary format. But a second program, called an Interpreter, is needed to execute the application. The Interpreter will “translate” the optimized code to machine instruction which a computer can understand and do something with.

DataBus used to be very popular in the automation of hospitals. It was very good for administrative applications and that was where it was designed for.

Personally I saw the syntax of DataBus always a weird mixture of Pascal, Cobol and C. I was very amazed to hear hat Databus (or rather PL/B) is still used by big companies as Boeing and Holiday-Inn.

Below an example of Databus:

CustRecord LIST
theCustomerNo DIM 5
theCustomerName DIM 40
theCustomerAmount FORM 9.9
odbcREAD 1,”* from CustomerTable”
odbcREADKS 1,CustRecord
DISPLAY theCustomerNo,” “,theCustomerName,” “,theCustomerAmount

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Tonight Sanne really surprised me. It is not even weekend and she came up with something nice to cook. I am happy to see that she enjoys this cooking just as I do. And I am sure when Marion is back in The Netherlands she will love it as well.
I agree fully with Sanne that cooking for someone else is great fun.

Today she made grilled gamba’s with a marinade that has base ingredients green pepper and garlic. But there was also some salt, coriander, parsley, leek and paprika.

A fresh salad with a dressing based on basillicum, vinegar and a little salt. All this was served with Canton rice.

It may become interesting holidays with all this cooking :)

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Windows 7

by Rob on

Already for some time I have been thinking about to install Windows 7 on my laptop. Little things kept bugging and stopped me from doing it. Things like will all program I use now work under Windows 7? Can I update from a pre-installed version of Vista Premium Home? Is my laptop strong enough for it? And more things like that…

Last Sunday when Patrick and I went to The Night of The Proms, we talked about it. And there my decision to go for it was made. I value Patrick’s opinion on this kind of matter very much… which does not mean I always agree with him :P.

So yesterday I bought a complete version of Windows 7 Home Premium. Yes, a complete version so I will not have any problems with upgrading without install CD’s of prior version and will be able to do a complete re-install later when it might be needed (and I had a sponsor for difference in price :) ).

After making the so important backups and looking at programs that I wanted to install again, I started to install Windows 7. I dropped the installation CD in to drive and booted my laptop from that CD…. and 20 minutes later I had a completed installed OS.
I have to say that I was deeply impressed. Never a complete new install of an OS went so fast… and more, all my hardware was properly recognized and all the needed drivers/software was installed. Everything worked… things as webcam, sound included. That was pretty cool.

The performance of Windows 7 is so far very good. I am happy.

Now the work of downloading (hoorrayyyy for Open Source) of all the programs I need en re-installing them. And of course putting my data-backups back.

So far I really like Windows 7….

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Night of the Proms 2009 Germany

by Rob on

Yesterday Patrick and I have been to the Night of the Proms in Germany. In Dortmund to be exact. For us going to The Night of the Proms almost has become a tradition.

We started our journey towards Dortmund early, because of the time of the year there was also the Christmas Market in Dortmund and that is always fun. And because of the bad weather (lots of snow) it was anyway good to leave in time.
We did arrive way in time, but as Patrick said, driving was exhausting with this weather.

In Dortmund we wandered over the Christmas market. It is always nice to watch. Even after eating something we started to cold and we looked for an restaurant where we could drink something and get warm again. After some we decided to go the Westfalenhalle where the Night of the Proms took place.

To be short, this edition of The Night of The Proms was great again.

There was this German singer Christina Stürmer. I never had heard before of her, but it seems that she is rather popular in German. And I have to admit that I like her music as well.
The band Heaven 17 only have vague memories. Patrick told me that they had some hits in the 80’s. The song “Temptation” was very impressive though.

Roxette really rocked. Maybe it was my imagination, Marie Fredriksson seemed a lot more confident to me then when we saw her in Rotterdam. And maybe is not really strange, after all in Rotterdam was her first performance after the long time she was away because of het illness.

It was great to see that Alan Parsons was there. After all, not long ago Eric Woolfson (the person with who he started The Alan Parsons Project) died. And to that is was last Sunday Alan Parsons birthday.
About the music of Alan Parsons we don’t have much to say, great as always.

Of course were John Miles, Fine Fleur and Il Novecento that what made it all become just perfect.

All with all, it was a great experience again. Next year again…

(This time no pictures :(. On this kind of concerts SLR’s camera’s are not allowed and my old compact camera died recently…)

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Chicken thighs with cranberries

by Rob on

Today it was my turn to cook something. We (for now Sanne and I) decided that each weekend when I am in Haaksbergen we will make something nice to eat for each other. It is has not to be something very expensive, but something you will not eat every day. Marion will join happily into this when she is back in The Netherlands again.

Today I made chicken thighs with cranberries (the chicken is coming from a biologic dynamic farm, meaning the chickens had a good as possible life). Also I added baked potato slices. The slices were covered with cajun. The salad was made of coal, leek, union, cucumber paprika and raisins. The dish was decorated with apricot and dried cranberries.

I had a wonderful dinner and was happy to hear that Sanne enjoyed it as well.

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