ICQ… I Seek You…

by Rob on

I was looking for the e-mail address of someone I knew of long ago and with who I want to get in contact again. He played in the past the MMORPG “Ultima Online”, just like I did… Oh, you don’t know what a MMORPG is? Pfffttt… so uneducated :P. It means Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game, so a game that you play online with a huge of other people at the same time…. Check the wikipedia for a better and more extended explanation :)

Anyway, what is great way to find someone mail address? Yes, chat-programs, because often a mail address is stored along the profile of the user. So I had to think back what I was using at that time…. and suddenly it stroke me as thunder by daylight: At that time I was using ICQ, mother of all chat programs!!!

I just called ICQ mother of all chat-programs and that is course not completely true. On Unix systems there where already things as Talk and IRC available, but ICQ was the first chat-program that made a big hit all around the world. So yes, I still dare to call it the mother of all chat-programs.

I had a huge contact-list on ICQ, because everyone used ICQ. There were no real other options at that time.

ICQ still exists, but MSN and others came along and grab a large part of the ICQ-users away.

It was fun to see my old contact-list again, although no one was online and most likely not using ICQ anymore… Even over then the nicknames “Vestel” en “Zeno” were already there and those are still very good friends of mine :)

And oh, I found the mail address I was looking for. Lets hope my old friend is still using it!

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At Madam Tussauds…

by Rob on

Today Marion and I visited Madam Tussauds in the City of Amsterdam. We wanted to do something nice together and Madam Tussauds was something we both still wanted to go one day. So today we went there.

I really have enjoyed myself and I think that Marion also liked it a lot. But I have to admit that it all was a bit smaller then I expected it would be. But nevertheless, it was fun to see all the statues.

One thing was very well done…. “The Pirates”. I already read on the website of Madam Tussauds that it was not allowed to take pictures here. So I thought that it would be some statues of the new “Pirates of Caribbean” movie and that taken pictures was not allowed because of copyrights issues and such. I was very wrong….

“The Pirates” was indeed something complete different… and the signs that, apart from taking pictures, that entrance to this part of the exhibition was not allowed for pregnant women, young children and people with heart problems made me realize that already!

We walked into a very dark area that was kinda decorated as a part of pirate ship or harbour. The sounds and light effects made it very spooky. This all was very well done.
But the real scary part was that on certain spots in that area as pirate/undead dressed up people were hidden. On moments one would not expect they appeared loud screaming, reaching out to the visitors (but never really touching them).
Sure, Marion and I were also surprised when one of the authors suddenly appeared, but I think we both are too logical thinking to really be scared by something like this (which doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy it). But some of the persons in front of us really panicked and were very scared.

I really had not expected this at Madam Tussauds.

Afterwards we had something to drink and to eat at restaurant Dam Plaza. It was nice and the people were very friendly.

It was really a nice day and I have seen something I wanted to see already for a long time. A day well spent!!!

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About desserts…

by Rob on

I cannot remember how and why, but recently we talked at work about desserts. And I told about a certain dessert my mother always made on Sundays when we were young.

It was called Saroma. This was a powder you had to mix with milk, stir it for some minutes with a mixer and place for at least 10 minutes in a refrigerator. It came in all kind of flavours as strawberry, lemon, chocolate, butterscotch and more.

I really believed that this Saroma was not sold anymore. But my colleague Hans told me other wise and last week he brought me one small box Saroma…. I was so surprised. But saw now why I never saw it in the shops. The brand was changed and in very small letter there was still the name Saroma mentioned….

One very special days my mother decorated the Saroma with real whipped cream, but mostly she used “KlopKlop” (some kind of imitation whipped cream… which also still exists to my surprise).

Such nice memories from the past…

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Fish ala Kristin

by Rob on

About a week ago my colleague Kristin gave me here on my blog a recipe for fish that sounded very nice to me. I already had decided to try it some time. But as Sanne, Marion and I all are very found of fish it was a nice opportunity to try it this weekend. As I always say when trying something new, if it goes really goes bad… there is Chinese restaurant around the corner :).

Sadly I had to play a bit around with some the ingredients, because not all was available at the stores. For instance Kristin’s recipe was based on Pangasius fish. Normally you can get Pangasius everywhere… but not this weekend. So I used Salmon trout, which looked also very good to me.

On the Salmon Trout I placed a slice of parma ham. On the parma ham a slice of Passendale cheese (oh, I just love Passendale cheese). And on top of the Passendale cheese and nice layer of spinach. This all carefully rolled up and put it tight with wooden sticks. In a frying pan the fish was baked slowly

For the sauce shallots were suggested, but I was not able to buy them. So spring unions were used instead. Very fine cut they were fried for a few minutes in lemon enriched olive oil. A cup of white wine was added together with some sticks of saffron. After a minute or 3 a “fish fond” was mixed with it all. The sauce was made to the right thickness with “kookroom” (no idea how to call that in English).

Alas, no fresh green asparagus and baby corn available. So I had to do it with “replacements” here as well.

To this all I served rice and a light fresh salad with all kind of lettuce (not on the picture). The wine? Muscadet of course (Marion’s favourite!).

Sadly I had no milk, else I could have made a nice dessert that brings back memories. But about that later this week :)

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Flash Gordon

by Rob on

Yesterday Sanne, Marion and I watched the movie Flash Gordon. A rather old movie that was made in 1980. The movie is based on the comic Flash Gordon.

One should keep in mind that it is indeed an old movie and that the techniques and special events are in no compare to what is possible at the moment. Maybe I am wrong, but somehow I have a feeling that even for the eighties the movie is… ermm… simple?

The story is one that always works…. the hero save the world and gets the girl. And that in this movie literally!

Of course there is the music of Queen. To be honest, only that makes the movie already worthwhile to watch.

And yet, I am happy that I finally have seen this movie. It is a true classic movie.

I think Sanne said it very well: This movie is so awfully wrong that it is fun to watch. She is right there :)

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My newest gadget… a iPhone 4!

by Rob on

Recently my 2 years contract for my mobile phone ended. Of course my mobile phone provider wants me to renew my contract for the next two years. So they offer you free mobile phones or the more expensive ones for a very reasonable price when you stay with them.

As I am rather happy with my current provider, I have no reason to move away to another one. Already for some time I wanted another smart phone. My Nokia E71 served me well, but it is time to move on… and this is the opportunity to do so.

So since today I have an iPhone 4…

I heard many good things about the iPhone and I really must admit, they are all true! As far as I can see now it is very stable and operating is rather easy (once you are used to the “digital keyboard”).

This iPhone has 32Gb extra storage for photographs, music, movies and such. When it comes to storage it never can be too big.

Of course it is capable doing a lot more as making phone calls only. It has full Internet-access. So things as mail and browsing are fully supported. The is nice GPS system based on Google maps on it. Of course there is camera in it…. And lots and lots more.

I hope this phone makes me happy again as I am with my iPod Classic 80gb. As far as I can see now, it will….

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Yesterday we had with a number of direct colleagues a nice get-together again. One of us had the very great idea if visiting a café in Amsterdam called “De Gollem”. What made this place very attractive was that it has over 200 different kinds of beers on stock and that they served some very promising food.

We all found our way there and at the begin of the evening we all met at “De Gollem”. Almost everyone there belonged to the Back Office-team. Only exception was Natashja, but she has been often at our team-events.
But it would be very nice to have other people we are dealing often with at the company joining at our events. I think it would be very good to meet them in a more relaxed and nice environment as well.

There were some very nice beers. I really loved the one beer that was called “Hel en Verdoemenis”. A very strong beer, but a joy to taste. And even liked the glass it was served in more….

It was a very great evening again. I like to get to know the persons with who I spend so much time together at work a lot better. This kind of events help a lot with that. So for me it was good spend time!!!

As said the food was good and so was the beer. There was a lot of laughter going around. And there was even some time for some nice talks. And that is exactly how I enjoy this kind of evenings.

I really like “De Gollem”. Any time soon I will take Marion along to there. I am pretty sure she will enjoy it very much as well.

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Oven-baked Salmon

by Rob on

To give a very nice and relaxed weekend a good end, I made something nice to eat again.

I mixed some olive-oil with lemon juice, dill, marjoram, sea salt and white pepper. This mixture was poured over the pieces Salmon. For about 20 minutes the Salmon was baked in an oven on 170 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile I cooked carrots and snow peas. In another pan I prepared black rice (which we call in Dutch weird enough “Zilver rijst”).

After the Salmon was placed on the dish, I poured some lemon juice over it (fish and lemon is always a good idea!). I decorated the dish with some slices of lemon and some asparagus.

A simple, but very tasty dinner.

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My balcony…

by Rob on

I am very happy that my apartment has a nice balcony, where you can sit when the weather is warm enough. For me it is an important extension of my home…

It is very nice to have there on a sunny Sunday morning breakfast on the balcony (a good change from breakfast on bed :P). Drink coffee or tea there together. Reading a bit. And of course, enjoying the sun.
Last year I already bought some very comfortable chairs for on the balcony. And this year when I managed to get the mortgage for the apartment, Marion gave me a nice table to add to the chairs.

I like to have plants on my balcony. Plants give a nice atmosphere to it all. But keeping plants on a balcony (specially one with lots of sun) is not the easiest thing to do. After a day with sun, you must water them else they will die very quickly. And not every plants can stand the sun that well. But the effort to keep them well is worth the result.

One thing I still would like to have is “fake grass” on the balcony. Many people around here have this and I must say that looks very nice to me. And it is much more comfortable then the concrete of the balcony itself.

I am growing my own peppers and paprika again. I hope it will be the same success as it was last year, when I could most of the summer my own peppers and paprika’s.
Soon I have will grow some herbs as parsley, thyme and dill again. It is great that when you are cooking and you need some parsley, you just can walk up to your balcony and get some.

Luckily the building where I am living is so located that I have right away the upcoming sun in the morning. In the early evening my balcony gets out of reach of the sun. So I have during the biggest part of the day the sun shinning on my balcony. And after a long sunny day I don’t mind that there is some coolness on my balcony.
Also the building where I live is placed so that the wind mosly blows from the other side of the building then where my balcony is. Which means that my balcony is mostly out of the wind and because of that it

Yes, I am very happy with my balcony…

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