Friday, May 21, 2010
Okay, I couldn't stand that crappy template anymore, so I temporarily chose one of those standard Blogger templates. I actually like none of them, since none of them have double sidebars. I'll fix that later.

I got someone who's perhaps willing to make me a cool banner, so if that works out, and I can figure out how to make a proper template, then perhaps this will start looking like something.

Adding to to-do list: check out W3Schools and learn how to make my own website template. When am I going to have time for that, I wonder...?
As posted on my Facebook Wall this morning:

“It’s unbelievable how energetic you feel when you a. go to bed on time, b. get up on time and c. have a normal breakfast. Truly, I went to bed at 10, got up at 5.15, had three wife-made sandwiches (I love you, honey!), an espresso macchiato (one of those cold coffee-like drinks) and some water. Now it’s not even 7 am yet, and I feel I want to go DO stuff. Huzzah!!”

Yep, it sure does feel good to feel energetic in the morning. Lately I’ve somehow made it a habit to use my alarm clock’s snooze function for about 1,5 hours (the alarm going off every 10 minutes) before I finally decided to get up… And then I’d feel sleepy all the way to work (which, by the way, is a two and a half hour trip, door to door).

On the other hand, there’s that annoying feeling I’m starting to have. Yes, I feel energetic, and yes, I want to go do stuff. And today I’m going to as well - I have a lot of work waiting for me today, and I have to be done by 4pm, because of internal movement starting at that time, so I won’t be able to use my computer after 4. Not that I mind, of course. It’s Friday, and working hours are quite flexible, so I can skip a few hours here and there if I want to (as long as I make up for them on other days of course). So yeah, I don’t mind going home at 4 and celebrate the fact that my weekend has started. But that was not my point… My point was: although I now feel I’m in a do-stuff kind of mood, I know by the time I get home that feeling will be all gone. Somehow as soon as I reach home I just want to sit on my butt in front of the TV or Xbox and have that be the rest of my evening. Why is that?? All day I’m like: “When I get home, I’ll do this, and that, and such, and…”. And then I get home and all those ideas go… Well, into non-being, it seems. I’ve always thought myself as an evening person, but coming to think of it, perhaps I’m really the contrary. Hmm, I’ll have to think about that. Because if that’s true, I need to think of a way to plan my days so that I can do some stuff in the morning.

Anyway, it might be a good idea to post a list of stuff I need to do here, starting with my school stuff. I’m currently in a bachelor program called “Bedrijfskundige Informatica”, which is an IT education, but has more to do with business than with actual IT. To be more clearly: I don’t learn stuff like programming and working with computers and stuff, but I learn about business process management, project management, e-business, that kind of stuff. This educations takes three years (a year less than the regular, full-time education, but as this is taught to people who already work full-time, the amount of experience coming from that is supposed to make up for that, so we need less explanation, which means the education can take less time). We get our classes in so called “modules”. Most of these modules get graded my 12 to 14 page long assignments we have to make and turn in, rather than exams (we do get some exams, but so far I’ve had only one out of the six modules I’ve had so far).

Okay, so, when a module’s classes are over, we usually get three weeks to finish that module’s assignment, then we have to turn them in (which somes down to uploading them on the schools’s website so it can be sent to an appropriate teacher). As this education is meant for grown-ups who work full-time, the school recognizes the fact that we have working and social lives, and so gives us the opportunity to delay these assignments. These delays can be arranged by nothing more than logging in on the website, select the appropriate module, press a “Delay” button, and boom, due date is pushed back twelve weeks. We can do this twice without penalty. The third time… I’m not sure about that. Perhaps we have to start paying or something. Hm, I should look into that.

Anyway, this Delay option has turned out to be my nemesis. No, rather, my lack of discipline is. What’s “achterstand” in English? (Reminder to self: look up “achterstand” at work before posting this). Anyway, I want to explain there are a lot of assignments I should have already done by now which I haven’t done yet (thus the term “achterstand”, which means that in English). So, time to get off my butt, stop being a lazy bum, be honest and make a list of everything I have to do. Here goes:

-    Systeemontwikkeling (System Development): finish assignment (due last December, then due last March, now due at start of June)
-    Beheer en Exploitatie (hard to find proper English translations for it, but it comes cown to
Management and Exploitation (of IT)): start (and finish) assignment (due last December, then due last March, now due at start of June)
-    E-Business: start and finish assignment (due last February, now due… I don’t even know when. Perhaps I should have already finished it)
-    Project Management: start and finish assignment (same as E-Business)
-    Internship assignment (our full-time job is considered a kind of internship as well, even though it's a regular, full-paid job), which is only a few pages. Nothing special really. (Due: last October. Now: Haven’t got a clue)
-    First year’s assignment: This is an assignment that should cover that which we have learned in the first year. Three of the first year module subjects should be covered in the assignment. The assignment itself should be about three times the size of a normal module assignment. (Due: May, but of course I’m NOT going to make that, because there’s so much else I haven’t even done yet. Hello Delay-button! Here we go again…)
-    (Second year module) Organisatie en Verandering (Change Management): had 3 out of 8 classes so far. Assignment due: three weeks after last class.

Should I get off my butt and maybe try and do something about this insane list of stuff to do? Yeah, that was my guess as well. So, my big thing for this weekend (apart from some stuff to be done in and around the house): look up exact due dates for each assignment, start planning and start the assignments. I want to be done with everything by the end of the summer, before new classes start. So yes, there’s a lot I have to do. But good news: as said: I want to do stuff now. No more sitting around! *slaps self for being an idiot* Again: Huzzah!!

Long post. Time to stop. Train will pull into Rotterdam station in 15 minutes. At work: look up “achterstand”, add to blog post, post on blog, then start work.


PS. Anyone of you readers (not that I have any at the moment, and if I appear to have some anyway: leave a comment every one in a while - I like that) know Anthony Robbins, the American lifestyle guru/coach/trainer/whatnot? Check him out. He gives energy as well! :)

PPS. "Achterstand" translates to "arrears" (or "lag"). Never heard of that word before. Go figure :)
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I’ve been feeling a bit more energetic lately. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because of all the things I’ve been thinking about I can do and experience, like going on exotic holidays, take more pictures of things I see and do, finish small chores that are left to do around the house, (finally) continue working on my school stuff and regularly updating this blog and my social network profiles such as Facebook. I don’t know. I guess I’m starting to feel like I want to be doing something useful. After all, I’m nearing 30 years of being alive, so it’s about friggin’ time too, right?

Actually, now that I think of it, I already am in my 30th year! Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun. Perhaps I should have a bit less fun. Seriously, 30! Thirty! That just feels like the true and final ending of my “young” days. It doesn’t all feel good, thinking of that fact. Of course, nothing really changes when I do turn thirty, it’s just the feeling that comes along with it. Oh well, I’ve a whole year to go until my 30th. I don’t have to worry about it yet.

Hanneke wasn’t at home yesterday evening (went out to watch America’s Next Top Model at her sister’s), so I invited my friend Germen over to play soccer on my Xbox, as we’ve done a couple of times lately. Seriously, that dude is getting better every time, LOL! How does he do that, while he doesn’t even own an Xbox, thus his only practice being the games he plays against me? Talented guy, perhaps, I don't know :). He and I are starting to become good friends, and I like that. Lately I’ve started to realize how much I’m missing those “manly” friendships, like the one I used to have with Daan until a couple of years ago, when I moved to the other side of the country. I actually talked to Daan recently and we decided to hook up again some day in the near future. I haven’t even seen his kids yet (he has two daughters and a third baby due in December!) and the last time I saw Daan himself was at my wedding in June last year. I’m a sucky friend, truly. *Reminder to self: be a better friend and keep up friendships!* But really, it will be fun to see him again and (maybe?) go out in Zwolle, just like the old days ?.

So now I’m in the train to Rotterdam, listening to some music and typing this on my laptop. The woman sitting right across me just started a really loud phone call. Incredible. My music is on pretty loudly at the moment, but I can hear her every word. That’s actually very annoying, LOL! I don’t want to know about photo’s the and “the girls” made and how cool they are. In fact, I don’t even believe her. How could a photo she’s in look good…? *looks startled* Did I type that out lous?? Bah, let me stop myself right here, because I’m starting to ramble now. Time to save this so I can upload it when I get to Rotterdam later.

Friday, May 14, 2010
Well, that turned out to be quite a short holiday.

As I wrote earlier, it was all very small there, the weather was just bad (we were happy when the rain would stop pouring from the sky for a couple of hours so we could go out and actually DO something), and it was cold. We only had one tiny radiator there, which wasn't enough for us all to keep warm. The kids would wakt up in the morning with ice cold hands and feet. And on top of it all, on Tuesday the weather forecast actually predicted snow by the end of the week. That was our cue to decide and go home. We drove back home that very afternoon.

This does actually sound very complainy and bad. It wasn't. While we were there, we did have a lot of fun and relaxed quite a bit (I watched Wall-E with Noa on the laptop one night, hot chocolate in hand :)). On Sunday we went to see a castle, Haut-Koenigsbourg, which was great. I always like things that come from the Middle Ages (somehow it always intrigues me, maybe that is why I'm also always interested in the Middle-Ages kind of fantasy books and games and stuff...?). And on Monday, we went to Colmar to look around there for a bit. It turned out to be a very nice town, all with (I don't know the English word for it. I looked it up on Google Translate, and it gives back the terms "timbered houses" and "lattice". Does that make sense?), well, cool looking houses and old streets and stuff. Well, just picture it this way: imagine a town, small and cute, and add snow and Christmas lights, trees and mood to it. Well, then you have Colmar (only did we see it without the snow and the Christmassy things). Very nice. Bought a new XBox 360 game there: Madden NFL '10! As I'm a big American Football fan I just couldn't stand around and not buy the game when I saw it lying in a store there. The '11 game will some out soon enough I guess, but this one was already on sale, so it didn't really cost me anything much. So yay, I couldn't wait to play it (by now, I have, and it rocks!). Well, all in all we've really had a good holiday and I'm glad we went. Wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Oh, holiday pictures!! I've decided not to post them on a separate website (like or anything), but instead I'll put them on my Facebook page. So for anyone wishing to see them and aren't in my friends list on Facebook, add me, so you'll be able to see them! (I've just started adding photo albums yesterday evening, starting with my 2003 holiday in Scotland, so I have a LOT to upload there! So maybe it'll take a while before this holiday's pics are up there. Bear with me for a bit :)).

So, back home again... Last Saturday (May 8th) was my birthday (happy birthday to me!). I'm 29 already. Can't believe how fast it's all going. Somehow I don't really like that fact. Sometimes I kind of long back for years back, when I was younger, didn't have many obligations and could go wherever I wanted to go whenever I wanted to. Those days seem to be over a bit. Perhaps they'll come back when the kids are out on their own and are all grown up... But never will those times come back fully, I think. Don't misunderstand me, I'm happy with the life I have. I have the greatest wife, the funniest and cutest kids one could wish for and a good job, so there's really no reason for me to complain. But the amount of freedom I had until a few years ago, well, I sometimes kind of miss that. Oh well, it'll pass I guess. Maybe this is what men in ther midlife crisis are suffering from. Only, I'm not really suffering from it. Plus, I'm not in my midlife yet, so I'm also not in a midlife crisis. LOL! Way to draw that conclusion, haha! If any of you readers has any tips on how to tackle those kind of feelings, let me know! :) 

Ok, back to my birthday. I celebrated it with my parents (who gave me an iPod Touch, which is absolutely fantastic!) and sister and my brother in law. I couldn't do the real celebration party last Saturday however, because a good friend of mine, G, had his bachelor party that day. Because the party was in the east of the country, near where my parents live, I drove to my parents' place the night before and took Marten with me, as Hanneke had G's wife-to-be's bachelor party that day as well, so my parents could babysit Marten. We all went to Dedemsvaart to pick him up from his parents' house. We hoisted him in a cow suit (he looked hilarious!), gave him a big bag of liquor and snacks to walk around with all day, then want out golfing (well, it actually was Pitch 'n' Putt, which is a smaller version of normal golf (you use two clubs: a driver and a putter)). After that we went out to dinner at a two hour all-you-can-eat BBQ/grill restaurant. Needless to say, I ate MUCH! :) When we were done we drove to Zwolle (my old city where I lived a few years when I studied there) to go out. It was great to see all those places where I've gone out so many times nearly ten years ago again. Finally, around 3am we decided it was enough. We all had fun (and more than enough alcohol in our blood for that matter!), so I was driven home by one of the friends, who had to take a major detour for that (thanks again for that!). Anyway, great party, let's do it again sometime!

So then, tomorrow's my big day. Unfortunately quite a lot of people have cancelled for tomorrow, which doesn't leave a lot of people who will actually come and celebrate my 29th birthday. YOU ALL BETTER COME NEXT YEAR, OR I'LL HAVE YOU! LMAO!

And oh! Hanneke has promised a self-made Mexican dinner for tonight! Yum! Add some wine and a movie (might be The Proposal) and we'll have a good evening.

Time to stop for now. Bye!
Saturday, May 1, 2010

Du vin, du pain, du... chips?

First day in France! We had a long trip yesterday, about 3 hours longer than expected due to traffic in Belgium *note to self: remember to find a new route back home!*. Oh well, no matter. We're here and that's what counts. We've rented a small trailer-like place. It's really small, and moving around in here is, well, difficult. On the other hand that makes it all the more cozy, so no complaints there! The kids were really tired yesterday evening, which they demonstrated by going completely insane and not wanting to go to sleep. I guess I understand that: they were just so tired they didn't feel tired anymore. There must be an English epression for it, I guess... Anyway, after we put them into their beds successfully we grabbed a bottle of wine and chips and watched an episode of The Office (US) (one of the more brilliant comedy shows at the moment, in my opinion!), then wend to bed early. It'd been a long day for us as well :).

This morning we went out to the boulangerie to buy ourselves some breakfast (croissants and baguette). Then we put the youngest back to sleep again, because he had slept way too short last night. After his nap we decided to go out and see what's there to do around here. But, unfortunately there's not much else to do because of the fact that it's Labor Day here, so everything's closed. (By the way, this is cool: I just read about Labor Day online and found out that in the US Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons! YAY to that, because I'm a HUGE American Football fan!)

This afternoon we drove around for a bit (the kids actually falling asleep in the back of the car) and found out that France is kind of deserted at days like these. I don't know, perhaps they're all out celebrating at some huge festivity that we don't know about. Well, in the end we decided to turn around and head back "home". So now the kids are watching Chicken Little on one laptop, the wife is reading her book and here I am working on my blog's layout and typing this post on the second laptop (yeah, we do kind of seem to be a decadent bunch, don't we?).

Anyway, I've been working on this blog's layout for a while useing a program I downloaded (it's called Artisteer, ever heard of it?). It works really nice, except for the fact that I can't save anything I make because it's a trail version. I actually did make something really nice which I could publish to (directly into my layout settings, sweet!), but perhaps I didn't do it all right, because the way it looks now is a bit different from what I had at first, when I published it. I'll learn to use it and when I do, this blog will look awesome :D.

Time to go for now. Going to go outside and scare off the rain (not sure how I'm going to do that yet, any suggestions?) and then make dinner: soup and hot dogs. Yeah, as I said, everything is closed today, so no shops to buy some decent food. Oh well, I guess it's decent for holidays :).

See ya.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Bekijk deze blog in het Nederlands
Hi everyone,

This is the very first post of my new blog. As you all can see, this blog still looks incredibly crappy. I promise to improve that ASAP (or as soon as I find out how... I'm not liking the standard layouts that are available and another one I downloaded from another site doesn't seem to work here. Oh well, I'll find out. I don't work in IT for nothing, so I should be able to do this.

Tomorrow morning my family and me (I'll tell all about them later, don't worry) leave for a week's holiday in France (check out the place here). Luckily, I'll be bringing my laptop, and guess what: there's WiFi available there (woohoo!), which means I have a whole week to find out all about it!

Oh, if any of you have some knowledge on creating blog templates, or can help me to any good online tutorials, or have some great templates readily available, please let me know. Any help would be appreciated!

So, as said, more will follow in due course.

Hope to see you all around here. Feel free to respond!! :)