My ethnic origin

by Rob on

The result of the DNA test came in and, as I already expected I am on this matter boring: I’m 100% North and West European. No exciting branches into Africa or South America (a pity, I would have liked that). No touch of Greece (now that would have been a real bonus, but alas). Just West and North Europe, meaning The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France.

So the stories about Gipsy blood from South Europe in our family line? Not correct. Fully disproven now.

Heritage

This is what is said about the North and West European ethnicity:
“The population of Northern and Western Europe mainly includes German, French, and Dutch people. This region has been influenced by significant historical events including the formation of the Catholic Church, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Industrial Revolution. Imperial conquests and the age of colonization have spread Northern and Western European peoples across the globe, with significant populations across the Americas and in parts of Africa and Oceania. The area is the birthplace of Western culture, including innovations in art, literature, philosophy, and scientific methodology that have become standard around the world. In particular, Western Europeans take food very seriously. European culinary practices and dining etiquette are highly developed, with artisanal wine and cheese-making, pastry baking, and cooking having been elevated to an art.”

So as said, I am a boring European according my DNA.

But there was also something not so boring, based on my DNA a match to a 1st line niece, which is confirmed by the an ancestral surname (and one other that I know is in our family tree). I will disclose any names or anything alike here (yes, you know that I am a privacy freak :P). How cool is that?
And to make it even less boring, there were now 4167 DNA matches with other, more distant, relatives. Very interesting indeed.

I might dive deeper into this all. It is very interesting indeed.

Rob
No comments to this article yet. Press "Continue Reading" to add a comment.

Far Cry 5

by Rob on

End of March the game “Far Cry 5” was released, a game that I was really looking forward to. But sadly at that time I was without computer (remember that my old computer died completely?). But when my new computer was in and after basic configuration was done, I bought that game through Steam.

The story of the game is simple, a religious heavy armed sect controls Hope County, a fictional county in the state of Montana, United States, and is the main setting of Far Cry 5. Your task as deputy is to free Hope County from this sect.

Sounds simple, but it you will find quite some difficulties on your travels around. If it are not the sect members that are causing trouble, then it are the bears and the other animals that are after you.

Far Cry 5

While playing the game you will do all kinds of quests (and side quests) that should lead to the downfall of the Seed family, who lead this sect. The quests vary in many different tasks, from freeing outposts and helping captured citizen to stealing back trucks.
The difficulty of the quests also varies from easy to some that will include several deaths. You can hire NPC’s (None Player Characters, so characters controlled by the game) or play together with someone who also owns the game. The later is what Marissa and I will be doing a lot after we mastered the basics of the game.

Far Cry 5

Weapons come many different kinds. From shotguns and assault rifles to crossbows. And side of that, many kinds of grenades and Molotov cocktails. For now my favourite combo is the sniper rifle and an automatic handgun. And oh, let’s not forget the metal baseball bat :-).
If understood correctly Marissa goes more for the shotgun!

Far Cry 5

There are many ways to travel in Far Cry 5. Of course, there is always the option to go by foot.
But by car, squad, boat, helicopter or plane may be more effective and certainly more fun.
When driving you are able to use your handgun. It is so much fun to kill sect members when you are racing over the streets. Just driving over them is always on option :-).

But it is good to remember that what you can do, the enemy can do that as well. So an attack from a helicopter or air plane is very possible…

Far Cry 5

And then there are these moments that you think: “Did I really see that?”. You look again and yes, you really saw that… (Remember the game is for 18 years and older, this is not without a reason).

Car Cry 5

And oh, I didn’t shoot the bull or the cow :-).

The graphics of the game are really awesome. Of course the new graphic card in my computer helps with this, but without good graphics in the game the graphic card won’t do anything.

I will place some pictures of some in-game landscapes that I really like.

Car Cry 5 Car Cry 5 Car Cry 5 Car Cry 5 Rob
1 comment to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view it or to add a commment.

There are things that you never hope will happen, but last week one of these things happened. Someone of our group was targeted and photo’s of her Facebook Timeline were copied into a fake account. For what reason? I don’t know and basically I don’t care. The account is not active no more and that is the only thing that counts.

To who of the ladies in our group this happened is not important. She is already shocked enough about this. Basically, we all are. Emotions within our group go from unbelief to anger.

How could this happen as all the photo’s were “friends only”?
First, what could be that one the “friends” was not as trustworthy as was assumed.
Or one of the friends doesn’t have the security on Facebook as tight as it should be and specially for Facebook goes the “as strong as the weakest link”-principle.

On request I checked, together with the people in our group, all the Facebook configurations and changed it where needed. Specially the privacy settings got a close look.
The result was that friend lists got cleaned up to people who one can trust. Photo’s got cleaned up, many photo’s were removed from Facebook.
As last all the profile pictures of the ladies in the group were changed into a photo or picture of something else.

Miranda was the only exception in this as her profile picture is the only photo of herself on Facebook. She has only her Facebook account to see what the others of our group post and to react on that.

For the same reason I have placed our weblog in “maintenance mode”.
For the members of the group who had there a photo of themselves as avatar-picture, I replaced those with a picture of their zodiac sign (not that anyone of us believes in astrology or anything alike, but it is a bit of fun this way).
With the help of the others, we scanned through the content of the weblog (thank you for that). Although at times there is written about private subjects, there were only a few articles that we declared “private” (so only certain registered members can read them).
With knowing this I will set our weblog to “public” again.

Within the group we will discus if we can do anything more to prevent things like this.


6 comments to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view them or to add a commment.

A few days ago I was working at my computer at home when it suddenly with a strange sound died. Restarting didn’t help as it got stuck somewhere in the booting process. At that time, it was late in the evening, I couldn’t not find out quickly what was wrong.

The next day I discovered that it was the graphic card that was causing the problem. Somebody was so kind to borrow me another graphic card. After installing that card the system did load, but it was clear that other things were not functioning as they should. At first I suspected that the Windows installation was corrupt, but more and more it became clear there were more hardware problems. I think what happened was that on the moment the graphic card fried, it also damaged the mother board.

I considered repairs for a moment… But the graphic card, the mother board and most likely the memory? We are talking about the more expensive components of a computer. So replacing the complete computer was an option that came already quickly to mind.

After talking it over with Marion, I ordered this morning an complete new set. And a nice set it is :-).

Dell

Let me give you the details…

  • 8th generation Intel® i7-8700 6-Core processor (12 MB cache, tot 4,6 GHz)
  • Windows 10 Home 64bit English, Dutch, French,German, Italian.
  • 16 GB memory, DDR4, 2.666 MHz (max 64 GB)
  • 256 GB M.2 PCIe x4 SSD + 4 TB hard disk (7.200 rpm)
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 (8 GB GDDR5 memory)
  • Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WIFI and Bluetooth 4.1
  • SD Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
  • … and the standard stuff as Gigabit Ethernet, Audio ports etc. etx
  • 27 Inch Monitor – SE2717H Black (Max 1920 x 1080)

Yes, I am also replacing my monitor. My Philips 24 Inch monitor was a good choice, but now it is kinda outdated.
And there was here a request from Marion. Often when I am already out of bed (or not yet in bed :P), Marion likes to watch some TV. The Philips monitor can be play HD content, but not very good. The new monitor will be much better at this.
The Phillips monitor will be used as second monitor (which means that the old 17 Inch will be removed).

This also gives me the opportunity to clean up the mess of cables and wires behind my desk. I am pretty sure that there are cables that are not used anymore!

Oh, fun fact: Marissa is following me up and just ordered the same set :-)

I cannot wait until the new computer arrives.

Rob
Source picture: Dell


1 comment to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view it or to add a commment.

“SOS Snowbell”

by Sanne on

14 March this year, a new Suske & Wiske album was released. The title of the album is “SOS Snowbell” and is album 343 in the series.

SOS Snowbell

According the official Suske & Wiske-site the story line of the new album:
“John, the nephew of Sidonia, flies on a beautiful day at the kitchen window. He turns out to be changed in a goose! He begs his friends to go with him to his village in Alaska. The magic book of his lovely wife Snowbell has become after many years active again and has Snowbell in its power. The book forces her to turn the people in the village into animals. This way, they give it their souls and let the power of the book grow. It is its intention to change itself into a man, what would give it unlimited power.
Suske, Wiske and their friends leave right away to Alaska to save Snowbell from the clutches of the magic book and its magic spells. But then they are obliged to destroy it and that shows to be an impossible task”

Again, a very good “Suske & Wiske” book. The story line is pleasant to follow and the plot of the story more or less unexpected. Of course there is a lot of humour in story. Personally I think this is one of the better albums since the move to the new style. The new style is something I really had to get used to, but now it is finding its place.

Rob, don’t buy this album. I have read it by now and will give it to Marissa. She would like to read as well and she told me that she and Richard will be visiting you soon. She will bring the album along for you, so you can add it to your collection.

It was a nice read :-)

Publisher: Standaard Uitgeverij
Source citaat: Suske en Wiske op het WWW


2 comments to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view them or to add a commment.

About DNA

by Rob on

Some time I ago I saw the video below and it made a deep impression on me. The video is about what our DNA can tell us about our heritage and where our roots in the world are. The people in this video faced some big surprises about their biological heritage. Watch the video…

After seeing this video I was curious, but I figured that such a DNA test would be quite expensive. I didn’t think about it anymore and I forgot more or less about it.

Then last year we were at the BBQ of Mel’s family on Lesvos, where I got my nickname “Μουστάκι”. Mel’s lovely grandmother who was convinced that Marion and I both must have Greek blood in our veins, this because of our love for Greece,
Personally, I don’t think we have Greek ancestors, but one can never know. A DNA test would show this and make this very clear.
But the price of such a DNA test….

A few weeks ago I saw an advertisement about a DNA test and I realized that a DNA test was not that expensive at all (anymore?) and that it was very affordable for us.
So after a small talk with Marion we ordered two of these DNA tests.

DNA test

So this weekend I will do the test and will send it away for analysing.
As Marion is using medicines at the moment, she has to wait with doing the test. I offered to wait as well, but she told me to do it this weekend. She is very curious as well.

Am I nervous about the result of the test?
No, anything will be fine. Dutch, Greek, Finnish, German, Moroccan, Arab… I really don’t care. The more places in my heritage, the richer I am!

And after the test is done, we just have to wait…..

Rob
9 comments to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view them or to add a commment.

“Zoethout” (licorice root)

by Miranda on

Zoethout

Tomorrow my niece and her two children will be visiting us. So I thought to go and buy some candy for the kids, but I didn’t want to get the standard super sweet sugar rich stuff. So I made a little trip to Enschede to see if I could find something nice for them.

And I found something from my own youth… “zoethout”. It has been ages ago that I have seen this for the last time, which doesn’t mean it was not available. I just didn’t see it.

Maybe I should explain what “zoethout” actually is. “Zoethout” are small pieces of the root from the Lycyrrhiza Glabra plant. The plant contains a sweetener that some 30 to 50 times as strong as sugar, but is not harmful for the teeth. You really have to chew really on it to get the sweet fluid extracted from the root, which seems to be good for your teeth.
When I was a young girl I was crazy about “zoethout”. We had it often at home, so I could often be found chewing on a piece of it. I can remember that my father also used it a lot when he stopped smoking (and he was successful at that).

Talking about smoking, liquorice was in the past used for flavouring cigarettes, moist snuff, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco.
It is also used in many kinds of candy. And over here in The Netherlands in our famous (loved and hated) “drop”.

Well, I am curious what the kids of my niece will think of this “zoethout”. I have to be honest, I tried it this morning and it seems that my taste has changed since I was a young girl: It is not terrible, but tasteful is something else. And in case the kids don’t like it either, I have some very nice chocolate for them *SMILE*

Miranda
4 comments to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view them or to add a commment.

Greek Goddesses

by Marion on

When Rob was a young boy, he once went on a holiday with his parents to Hellendoorn. They stayed a week at hotel “De Uitkijk”. This hotel still exists and this year Marissa, Richard, Rob and I will go there for a long weekend.

Anyway, when Rob stayed there with his family, he went often to a nearby amusement park, which also still exists. Mostly Rob, as he told me, went there to play arcade games. He mentioned an arcade game where you are in a submarine and have to destroy enemy ships.

On one of his trips to the amusement park, he bought at a souvenir shop a small replica of a statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Leda

This statue was the beginning of Rob’s interest in Greek mythology.

Over the following years he bought more statues of Greek Goddesses at all kind of places. He knew which Goddesses they were, their stories and where they original statues are.
He had and still has quite an extended knowledge of the Greek mythology. Of course, his love for Greece has come from somewhere!

Statue

Then, years later, Rob met his ex-girlfriend. I dare to say that his ex did quite some wrong to him.

Rob was during the time he went to school deeply in love with a girl. He wrote beautiful texts for this girl and made some kind of bundle of it.
His ex-girlfriend requested him to get rid of these texts and he did. These texts, expect some he got back through another resource, are gone forever. I would have loved to read those texts, even when they are about another woman. It is all long ago, it is Rob’s past. He has full right on his own past, after all, it is what made him what he is today.

More things like that happened.

Aphrofite

And then there were Rob’s Greek Goddess statues. Some of those goddesses statues are naked, which is very common for Greek statues.

And also these statues were not to the liking to Rob’s ex. He can recall that words as unfriendly for women were used. With that the statues had to go to.

I really cannot understand this. Did she not realize that these statues were important for Rob? She should have known this.
And is a replica of an old Greek statue, nude or not, woman-unfriendly? I don’t think so. Calling nudity woman-unfriendly is bringing the rights of women back to the dark ages. These day women are allowed to be proud on their bodies and don’t have to hide it under all covering clothes. And is a woman’s body not beautiful? And apart from this all, the statues are not even very detailed.

I cannot get rid of the feeling that Rob his ex tried to control and manipulate him. Something that always will fail in the end, as it did.

So some years back on one of our holidays to Greece I saw in a shop a nice replica of a statue of Aphrodite. I remembered directly what Rob told me once about these kind of statues. Of course I bought it. A present that maybe will undo a little what was done in the past. Rob was really happy with the statue. So now I try to buy on every holiday to Greece such a statue for him

So Aphrodite, Leda, Sapho and others are back in Rob’s house. As they should…

Sapho Marion
6 comments to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view them or to add a commment.

Sweet Scented Geranium

by Rob on

Sweet Scent Geranium

A few days ago I was at Patricia’s house. While we had a very good conversation, I noticed this very beautiful big and healthy Sweet Scented Geranium again standing in her living room. A strong and full grown plant, a pleasure to look at.

The Sweet Scent Geranium is also known as the Rose Geranium. In Dutch the plant is called “Citroenplant” or “Citroengeranium”. The offical Latin name is “Pelargonium graveolens”.

Most people will know this plant because of the very nice lemon scent the plant spreads when you touches it leaves. And it is very well known that this lemon scent is very effective against all kinds of insects. This made the plant very popular.
And yet, for some unknown reason to me that popularity faded away.

Already for some time I have been looking to find a place where I could buy this plant, but without any luck.

So when talking with Patricia, I asked her if she could remember where she bought this Sweet Scented Geranium. Maybe they would still sell them and I could get one. But sadly, she told me that the plant was a gift from someone and that she had no idea where the plant was bought.

We changed the subject and continued our very nice talk. Patricia is a good person to talk with. Intelligent, sharp and fast conclusions, never hateful and a good sense of humour.

Just before I wanted to leave for my home, she walked up her kitchen to get a scissor. She looked at the Sweet Scent Geranium and very determined she did cut one branch from the plant.
She turned to me and told me to put the branch in a glass of water, put the glass on a light spot and made sure the water stays clean. After some times the branch would start to grow roots…. And I would have my Sweet Scent Geranium.

So simple! I have done this many times before… But so many thanks to Patricia for giving the branch to me!

Rob
6 comments to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view them or to add a commment.

“Atak” is no more!

by Marissa on

Atak

Today I read some very unexpected news… “Atak” is no more. As of today it is officially bankrupt and that is a great pity!

For those those who don’t know: “Atak” was a music centre in the city of Enschede. Atak organized pop concerts of all different kinds, including rock, punk, metal and many more styles. There were also dance parties and festivals.

I have been many times to “Atak”, alone, with Richard or with Marion and Rob. Over time I have visited a nice number of concerts. Seen bands as Uriah Heep (I had to go there by Rob… and it was great :P), Red, Normaal, Racoon, Serious and more.
Richard and I have been to dance parties and other festivals organized by “Atak”.

Now it is all gone…

And yes, I do understand that an organization as “Atak” only can exist when subsidised. But what I really don’t understand is that the local government of Enschede can give millions to a soccer club as “FC Twente”, but takes away all from something as “Atak”. That is really beyond my understanding.

There will be people who will say that they don’t regret that “Atak” is now gone, because to their opinion “Metropool” (another concert centre in Enschede) is much better. Maybe they are right, but I will miss the times I had at “Atak”.

So sad…

Marissa

5 comments to this article, press "Continue Reading" to view them or to add a commment.