November 09, 2008

Your details are on the internet...

Dear all,

It's unbelievable, after all those events where governmental departments and banks are loosing more and more private details, you would imagine they get it right for once, wouldn't you?
No such luck.
Recently someone somehow managed to get hold of passport details of just about everyone on the planet! Yeah, everyone. Didn't believe it myself, until I checked it out personally.

This website provides details of just about everyone on the planet.
Try if your details are on the website too. I found mine!
I have already notified the owner of the website and informed him this is a breach of my privacy, and if he doesn't remove my details within 24hrs, he will have to defend himself in court.
I'm truly furious!

October 25, 2008


Recently I found my number 1 favourite website Sushicam got hacked.
I've been following Sushicam for many many years and always enjoyed the posts. This last hack wiped out over 2 years worth of posts. Some of it can still be salvaged, but like most things that get destroyed, it will never be like it was. Jeff is going through the hard process of rescuing the lost data. At least he still has all the photos he took (obviously they are not stored only on the website).
I never understood such behaviour. WHat use is it to hack into someone's website and totally destroying it? I don't get it... If it was to gain money or wealth, at least it is understandable (though I would still find it unacceptable), but just breaking things that are not yours, purely because you can, that just doesn't make any sense at all! It's pure vandalism, and there is nothing for anyone to gain from it.
It's a real shame that people have grabbed the internet to continue their pathetic criminal activities. Unfortunately several countries in the EU (and maybe outside the EU as well), now want to invest in internet connections in Africa as well. They think that internet is a primary need! Don't they realise that a large portion of internet crime originates from that very continent? ow more stupid can you get? What happened to food and water? what happened to schooling and education? Don't they need that more? Why spend my money on something that is a luxury? Why spend money so that even more criminals can hack into websites to destroy them, or steal from you???

No mr prime minister, you can NOT have my tax money to invest in internet in a continent where it will support criminal activities.
Considering that I have been victim of fraud on average twice per year for the last 3-4 years, I think a better investment would be to take that money and invest it in police, and health care in our own country.

October 20, 2008

Rude behaviour

Recently I read an article in the electronic news paper from Radio Nieuws Wereldomroep, a Dutch news service meant for those abroad.

The article was talking about shame for fellow Dutch people abroad. The person who wrote the article was talking about how she saw dozens of Dutch families returning from their holiday in France, visiting a restaurant where they cut queues, leave their children running around screaming and demolishing the place without correcting them on their behaviour, and how those people produce more decibels wherever they are, without any consideration for other people in their vicinity.

It's an interesting article, because I can kind of relate to the story. However, the story seems to limit itself to behaviour of Dutch people abroad, specifically tourists. And quite frankly, it seems that all foreigners abroad behave rudely on holiday. We all have seen the shows on the English tourists, but the Dutch and Germans are just as bad when it comes to holidays.

In the story the writer seems to indicate that expats generally adapt themselves to their environment. Although I am an expat myself, and have been living in the UK for over 8 years to date, I am not so sure if I consider myself "adapted". The Brits still can get on my nerves from time to time, and I still swear quite badly on occasion. But when I return home to visit my friends and family, I find how rude Dutch people can actually be.

I admit that I surely have adopted some "proper old-English decency" over the years, but most of the differences between how I behave now compared to when I first came to England, I'd like to write down to "growing up".

As such, I would have to say that from my personal point of view, the Dutch in Holland have regressed in their decency. Where, from my point of view, the Dutch used to be just direct and blunt, they now appear rude, intolerant and disrespectful! People no longer walk to each other to ask a question, instead the question has to be shouted from the rooftops! Why is this necessary? Is it really necessary for the rest of the world to know what person A wants to ask person B? My parents raised me to walk up to the person and ask, in an acceptable level of decibels person B my questions. If people are now just too lazy to walk up to the other, why not just pick up your flashy mobile phone and call your counterpart at the other side of the room to ask your question? That way at least I will not be bothered!

Another point is interruptions. Whenever I am having a conversation with someone, it being on the phone or in person, I expect people not to interrupt me or the other person. What's more, is that I expect that the other person does not interrupt his/her conversation to have a discussion with someone else! My brother can be quite bad with this.

Similarly I do not appreciate it when I am in the middle of a story, and the other person interrupts me and starts telling his/her own story. This has happened at work as well, and I am pretty hard on those who do so. Again, this is something I was taught by my parents and I will definitely teach my kids the same!

Another thing I do not appreciate is starting off any response with a very loud mouth when the person feels indignant about what I say or do. As if the number of produced decibels is a measure of success in winning the argument! To give you an example: once I was at home, MY home, standing over the toilet, emptying my bladder, when my brother barged into the bathroom shouting on the top of his lungs "You are disgusting! You should sit down when you pee!!!". We are talking 105 dB here! So I tell him very strictly that he should not act so indignant, and moreover, it is my F-ing house and I do what I want in my own home!!! Now what did he do wrong here? He should have come to me afterwards and suggest that sitting down on the toilet would be a better way of peeing for those and those reasons. Then I would say, fair enough, I will consider that. Now his argument is out of the window because he did not respect the fact it was my own home, and of course, he used decibels to win the argument rather than logical reasoning. Remember David and Goliath? Same thing…

However, I notice it everywhere now. People prefer to communicate in decibels and try to dominate a conversation. People shout, swear and horn in when driving. A few years ago, people even had the rudeness not to let anyone step out of the train, and rushed inside to get a seat! Well, think again idiots! If the passengers leaving don't get a chance to get out, you don't get to have a seat!

By all means, I'm not claiming to be a saint. Far from it! I still have my own quirks and still can spit out some rude language, mostly in traffic. And readers of my blog will undoubtedly know I can react rather indignant, if not outraged with particular situations.

But I think that when the Dutch population can actually learn some decent behaviour from ME, I think it is time to get worried…

Something totally different now:
An interesting discovery has been made recently in the Indian ocean. It appears that an Arabic shipwreck has been found on the bottom of the sea, containing the most valuable marine "treasure" ever. In fact, the quotation marks can be removed because the treasure actually contains many thousands of gold and silver coins, priceless Chinese ceramics and jade artefacts, etc etc.

This article form the BBC gives some more insights in the discovery. As you can see form the pics, the finds are rather astonishing. They also prove that there was trade between the Chinese Tang dynasty, and the middle east way before people originally thought.

September 12, 2008


As you will all see now, I have updated my website slightly It's far from perfect, but it will do for now.
At some point I hope I can have the header image rotate through other images. That would be cool.
Content and layout stayed pretty much the same. Until I find some really flashy gadgets to have 3D animations for cycling through links etc, i think this will be just fine.

More creative news: I am in the process of making a photo book of some of my images. Sounds difficult? Well, actually it's not.
There are many online providers that allow you to download a software package for generating your personal photo book.
Some providers are better than others. At the moment I am working on a book using Blurb . The package is actually very extensive, and I suspect quality is good from what I saw online. Price isn't bad at all, but varies depending on what you want.
However, I will use Blurb purely for proof printing. Because I found another provider called Asuka . These guys are real pro's! They allow you to work in either sRGB or Adobe RGB. They work very simple, as they give you a basic template for Photoshop, and that's it. Creativity is up to you. This also has a drawback, e.g. when you don't HAVE creativity... In this case, Blurb is a better option because the amount of templates is quite staggering. There is some flexibility for creativity in Blurb if you want to use your own templates, but it involves tricking the software package. Very simple and low risk, but maybe not the neatest solution...
Once I finished my Blurb book to satisfaction, I will create one using Asuka. Now Asuka is actually for professionals. They expect you to work as a professional photographer and ask for proof. Well, i don't have any, but I managed to convince them I am, so they allowed me to register (yep, only "pro's" can register successful with these guys). However, I have to say, from their services so far, I am well impressed! After successful registration, I got discount vouchers for my first books. Now, you should know that you will be needing these vouchers as their prices are rather steep, and I mean, inflation stimulating steep! After 50% discount, a 40 page book will still cost as much as 45-50 GBP depending on the finishing. Now the finishing is amazing. Pages can be laminated or varnished. Although the laminated pages look impressive, they also feel a bit tacky. It's like the laminate provides protection in case your book is sexually arousing if you know what I mean...

Anyway, it will be a slow process at the moment, and I will keep you posted on progress...

August 18, 2008

Old friends reunited

This post is a little late, but better late than never I say (just don't say that when it involves your mrs…).
Last July I decided to celebrate my birthday in Holland for a change. I wrote to just about every person I knew in NL, inviting them to join us. XY knew a decent place, Strand aan de Maas (SadM). It's a temporary beach resort of some sort. Quite nice actually. The weather gods were in my favour that weekend, and the rain managed to stay away until I left for england again. I also wanted to invite my brother and his gf, but they were doing a 1-month hike through scotland.
It turned out that all of R'dam was celebrating my b'day (some 500.000+ people), because the city was packed with festivities and music. There were even trucks driving around in a parade, with too volumpuous and too scarcely dressed women (and men…). Turned out that summer carnaval was on at the same time I had my b'day.
The first one that arrived, was Ferry. Ferry and I go way back, from when I was 13 years old (21 holymoly years ago!!!). We hadn't seen each other ever since I left for England. So that was about 8 years now. Ferry got married in the mean time. Since his wife had left for a weekend in some sort of spa, he decided to misbehave, and what better than to attend my b'day, eh?
Next was Marcel. Mars is a good friend from Haarlem. A very loyal guy. He's visited me in the UK twice now, but he hasn't seen my house yet. He better hurry, because soon I will be selling my house! (yes Mars, that's a hint!)
Next was Rohin. Rohin is an Indian guy, whom Ferry and I shared classes with. He hadn't changed a bit! It was a long time since we last met. Probably the last time was when we finished school, so that must have been about 14 years or so now!
After that, Lucas showed up. Luc and I know each other from Airbus. We started at the same time. Luc went back last year, and now bought a house in Haarlem. He know has to face the same misery I have for the past 2 years…
Finally, Mireille shows up. Ferry and I shared classes with her too, that was back in the HAVO, so last time I saw her was, what? 18 years ago??? She's become somewhat of a biker mouse now.
The last one to show up was Donny. He was late because he had a prior engagement that evening. Taz had to work, so she didn't come along. Donny and I last saw each other in May, so not too long ago.
Some people had their misunderstandings over the past year or so, but those were worked out and attributed to miscommunications, so friends are and remain friends!

We decided to have a meal at SadM as well. This wasn't as easy as cake as it turned out. We couldn't have food at the beach part of the terrace, so we went inside and sat down at some tables, only to be told that they didn't serve food inside either. So we went outside again. Turns out they only serve food in the covered part of the terrace. So we sat down and realised they gave us only 2 menus for 8 people. So we robbed 6 tables from their menus and had a good look. When we got to ordering, we were informed that with every order we had to pay immediately. Well, that pretty much deprived them from their chance of a tip…
The food came quickly though, and it was good! It was nice to eat a typical dutch pub meal: chicken satay with chips! Hehehe…
After having dined, we sat out on the beach again, and enjoyed a few more drinks.

Then we got the idea to go to a bar/dancing, a rather push place near de Meent. Ofcourse like typical fascist Holland, the girls all got in without any problems, regardless of what they were, or were not, wearing… But when I got to get in, I was grabbed roughly, and then nearly beat up and thrown into the canals for not wearing "appropriate clothing". Well, that really pissed me off, and after providing the bouncers with some rather exotic terms, I nearly decided to just go home. Luckily my friends persuaded to not let this ruin my evening. We decided to go to Plan-C in De Oude Haven instead. Always good. Weather was still good, so after playing a dog with a too small bladder finding a nice tree called (help me out guys, I forgot the name of that place we didn't get in. I'd liove to advertise for them!) off we went, only 5 minutes walk more.
Nearing Plan-C, their employees were handing out free drink vouchers. So we sat down on the terrace and ordered our free drinks, only to hear the waiter say that the vouchers are only for inside (which ofcourse demands an entrance fee). Since this was not written anywhere on the vouchers, nor were we informed verbally, I was rather assertive and informed the water kindly though no-noncense style that legally he had to provide us with our free drinks. Unfortunately his manager said we could get our free drinks, and drink them outside, but we still had to collect them inside (still: entrance fee). SO no good. We decided to just pay for our free drinks.
As you can see: nothing is ever for free…
Anyway, we wholeheartedly enjoyed our drinks.
Ferry even made me laugh that all the beer squirted out of my nose and ears! I haven't laughed that well in decades! I guess it was all the stress and tensions of recent months/years releasing themselves. I laughed so hard I cried! Oh joy! At least I am glad that this is how I release my stress (unlike others who use a brick and a window, or plant steel bars in heads…)

All in all it was a brilliant time, and we promised not to wait this long until next time we meet.
I am glad I still have such loyal friends, and I feel truly blessed by being their friend.

July 15, 2008

G8 Vomit

Yesterday started the G8 summit in Japan, where the world leaders come together with their private business jets, driving limousines through the centre of Hokkaido during rush hours, to discuss global warming, fuel prices and reduction of the carbon footprint, where they kick-start the meeting over a 6 course lunch. They will also discuss the world food crisis, food wastage and hunger in Africa over an 18 course dinner.

By the way, for those who didn't know, Bush's private jet is Airfarce 1, which is a full sized 747-100 (no, not the more efficient -400 version), but Gordon surpasses him by flying a fully restored Vulcan nuclear interceptor!

In the mean time, governments worry about obesity under house pets. So better stop feeding your goldfish so much food!

In the mean time, the Dutch government raises taxes and increases financial pressure on the population under the motivation of relieving the lower incomes. Also, they decided to abandon support for single women with children under the age of 5, in an attempt to get those single mothers to go back to school or get a job. Maybe they think that as a result those single mothers will abandon their babies at donor institutes, so these medical facilities don't need to clone embryos for spare parts for people that get lung cancer from smoking, or loose a liver due to excessive drinking.

It all makes sense...

April 17, 2008


We have all seen the news, and the stories on the olympic torch.
I'd like to just say I totally disagree with these actions!!! It's disgraceful and tasteless!
Although I am interested in China and it's culture, I do disagree with their politics from time to time. So too with the Tibet and Taiwan issues.
However, this link:
shows us how bad things have become.
The article tells how a DISABLED WOMAN carrying the torch for the paralympics, got beat up by a pro-Tibet protester!!!
It is one thing to protest against China's actions in Tibet, but the attack on the most important sporting event in the world is just outrageous!
People actually try to steal the olympic torch from decent honest athletes! In this particular article a disabled woman was hit by one of those disgusting creatures. How can you talk about oppression, when you yourself attack a disabled woman!
Be ashamed! Be very, very ashamed!

Let everyone know that I cannot support any pro-tibetan protesters any longer until they have PROPERLY apologized and atoned for their despicable behavior!
Also, I think the guy who hit the woman in this article, should be hang on the highest tree, split into fours, beheaded and burned in a pile of poo!

Let the olympics be held, let it be a joyous occasion, and let us all come together as good and fair sportsmen. This is what the olympics is about: uniting people form all corners of the world, with all kinds of religions and cultures. This one event binds us all together. Lets not destroy this last bit of common good we have left in this world...

As if this is not enough, British police is clearly not up to speed with the law.
In the UK it is the law that the police is not allowed to take any action in ANY shape or form against people filming or photographing in public. Increasing numbers of amateur photographers and professionals alike are being threatened, searched, and even robbed of their equipment by police, because of "suspicious behaviour" (read: making a photograph with an SLR type camera). Although their suspicion is understandable with the current threats of terrorists and pedophiles, there is still something called "the law" and the police is supposed to UPHOLD the law,not BREAK it.

More in this article:

March 21, 2008

A new beginning

Last week was my first week at GE.
I started off by arriving too early! I arrived at 8, normal starting time,or so I thought... Turns out all starters normally begin at 10! This was actually in the letter, so I felt a little silly...
The lady from HR who picked me up was dutch, like me. Though she has been in England a little longer than I have I suspect. She had a little difficulties speaking dutch, just like I have. Nothing major, but enough for us to switch to english when it came to going through the official stuff...
Later my, I believe resource manager, picked me up. Friendly chap. He also interviewed me at the time. He introduced me to the team I am working with now. The first person I met was James. James and I know eachother from a long time ago when I was still working on extension retraction for the A380. So it was nice to see a familiar face. Later on I spotted Nick, who also used to work for Airbus (IMA team).
All my new teammembers are all very nice and helpful. A real social bunch of chaps! I feel quite welcome with these guys! They are all very relaxet, social and they apply rules quite flexible, which I appreciate!

Ofcourse the first day there were some issues with getting a PC, and email, but next morning I was able to email again! Having said that, they use the latest version of outlook, and I have not yet been able to get my old address book imported. I may have to start emailing myself contact cards from home... Manually is not an option, because as always with Microscum, the printout of my address book, only shows the alias of the person, rather than the actual email address, so all my Airbus addresses are useless!!!

The week was also a bit rocky, because my "reliable" toyota, is in the garage. 2 weeks now!!!! They can't find the parts easily because it is an import... So that car is out the door once it is done...
Anyway, as a result I was forced to borrow Chris' Cinquecento, and drive Berit to and from work every day. Bless them!!!

I'm alreay looking for something better. I hope I can afford something in the 2500 GBP class. I was considering quite a range of different cars; Mercedes A-class, Nissan Almera, Peugeot 406, maybe Passat again, Audi A3, VW Bora. But no more japs! (other than the Nissan perhaps). These cars are all quite different from what I previously was looking for (a sports car), but then again, now I am commuting quite a bit, so sensibility asks for a 1.0 l diesel... hehehe. Ok, no speed or acceleration, but will do 100000000000000000000000000000 miles to the gallon!!!

March 14, 2008

Elvis has left the building!

D-day has arrived.
Today was my last day working for Airbus.
The past week was very hectic. I was working my ass off to sort out the last bits of work, and prepare data for hand over.
Then on tuesday afternoon, I was told I had to go to Toulouse to do some testing with the supplier.
So I was struggling sorting out my trip. Actually it was quite a horrible day when I went over. As always I had to get up before 5 to get the flight to TLS, then I was waiting for the supplier to arrive. He didn't listen to my instructions and was at the wrong gate after getting lost. It took quite a while and lots of misunderstandings before we found each other. Anyway, we could finally do some testing. We tested on 2 aircraft, but the schedule was soo busy, that we hardly had time for lunch, and didn't even have dinner! Both "meals" comprised a sandwich from the wall, stuffed down our throats in 5 minutes time.
All in all it took until midnight to perform all the testing we needed to do.
Luckily I was able to fly back on the Corvette. The corvette is a small business plane with about 8 seats. It flies from TLS to Bristol in the morning. Since I wanted to be back in Filton in the morning because of the shit load of work I still had to do, I was very happy I managed to get a spot on the Corvette. It turns out that usually it is only for executives, and Airbus UK people usually don't get to fly it.

Today was hectic as well. I had soo much to finish off and hand over, and all these people kept walking bye to say hi and goodbye etc (well, they had to have an excuse to get some cakes that I brought in, heheh...).
Of course there was the traditional goodbye speech, card, etc.
Its funny, it's like it hasn't sunk into me yet. I'm looking forward to starting my new job, But I am also sad to leave Airbus.
It's been my home for 7,5 years, and I will miss all my colleagues a lot:
The crazy talks with Mark G, always reminding me of "german helmets".
The adventures Andy and I have had in Belgium and in Toulouse: Going to obscure dodgy clubs in Brussels, chasing phantom turtlers in hotels, observing Messier's finest climbing onto landing gears in rather arousing positions...
The conversations I had with Mark B over a cup of coffee,
The chats with Martin H about cars and DIY (He mentored me in my first year at Airbus)
And all the others of course.

I will miss that place, and all its people. I wish them all the best, and I hope we will meet again!

February 12, 2008

Go-Large please...

Last week I decided I wanted a professional Large Format printer. Having looked at Ebay, the cheap contender would be the Epson Pro 4000. Any other options would be too nw and therefore unaffordable. An advantage (yes, I call it an advantage, because I can clean it and others cannot, so I can drop the price and get a bargain!), is that some amateurs don't use the printer often enough, with the resukt that the print hads get clogged. Heads won't get clogged as quickly when you constantly use this particular printer, but if it sits still for a while, the heads get blogged up pretty good. The printer is basically the bigger brother of the Epson 2100. However, it is comparing a dingy with a mammoth tanker!
Anyway, i found one on the internet, with all its flaws described. Seeing that others were going for over 400, an dthis just started at 1 GBP, but had the blogged heads in the description, I decided to put in an offer and the guy accepted.
Problem; The guy lives in London. Well, only 2 hours drive from Bristol, right? Wrng! The guy lives just north of Canary Warf, so an extra hour through the city!
Still doable. However, the guy works hard and therefore late. So in teh end I ended up there around 23:00! I had to borrow a friend's satnav (don't bother going to london without unless you know the way at heart!). I called my friend to tell her I would be back very late (or early) so I would drop the satnav off in the morning. In the end I was back home at 3 am in the morning. My friend panicked as she needed the satnav for her relocation to Ipswich. I promised to have it back in time, so after a few hours sleep I get up, and go to her house... She wasn't there... So I call her, and she says she is waking up. So I ask her where the hell her car is, and she says taht she is with her boyfriend. Apparently she stayed the night there. Interestingly, she didn't have a boyfriend!!! Well, now she does apparently... I was a little pissed off because she made me come over and it seemed all for nothing. The whole thing (lack of sleep) left me with a splitting headache. As it turned out, she came back at 8 and she left at around 8.30, so not totally wasted...

Back to the printer... I was looking for cleaning fluid to clean the heads; isopropyl alcohol... Used for cleaning electronics amongst others. This stuff is very strong but also very neutral. It seems to be chemically neutral, meaning it won't affect paint too much, and certainly not electronics. Ideal for cleaning printer heads. Apparently you are supposed to be able to get it at any chemist... Except that you can't! Chemists just don't seem to have the stuff at all! Screwed!! until I found a flask of lens cleaner. I was thinking lens cleaner-printer cleaner-lens cleaner- printer cleaner... Lenses have coatings... coatings are sensitive... so any lens cleaners have to be neutral as hell... So should do the trick... After that murmering of the mind I spotted the back; "caution: contains isopropyl alcohol!"... Well... need I say more...? So I went to Jessops and bought all their lens cleaning fluid (2 flasks... so not that much...)

Anyways, I'll be cleaning my printer soon and afterwards I will try some 17" high panoramas!!!

January 08, 2008

Illni and viri

What does that mean? Well, illni is plural for illness, and same for viri (coming from virus).
It seems tobe a world wide epidemic. Maybe another terrorist attack from Al-Qaeda; Give people the flu or teh common cold! Maybe they will cough themselves to death!!!
Starnge though. They tried anthrax withhout success... Well, i guess common cold does work, but doubt many people will die because of it...
Anyway. I too have been struck by teh common cold. I don't think I mentioned it in my previous post, but a few days before x-mas, I managed to get knocked of my socket by the common cold. Took until after new years eve to recover (I'm still coughing). So, I couldn't go home, was ill, and had no friends in a 500 mile radius to help me out!!!
Well, THAT year is now over. New year, new chances.
Its funny though that this time everyone is hit so hard by the common cold and flu. Just about every colleague and friend had it or is in the process of having it. It's also interesting that it going abroad as well!
At least I can say I spend the whole x-mas holiday horizontal, hot and sweaty! Unfortunately not in the right way...!!!