Archive for July, 2010

Hot air ballooning, again a no-go

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Last year we had our first attempt to go hot air ballooning. It was our present for my mother’s 60th Birthday, everyone was looking forward to it, but we didn’t fly because of bad weather (we did come quite far in the preparation process though; the air balloon was half filled with hot air when the trip got canceled…).

It took nearly a year to find a suitable moment to give it another go, and today would be THE day.

Well, for those living in NL, you have seen the rain pooring down today so the trip got canceled again! πŸ™ Darn, I flew to NL especially for this event!

Oh well, at least we had a chance to (finally) see my 3 months old (!) nephew Hidde…I’d say; *more* than a good reason in itself to come to NL this weekend! πŸ˜‰

An iPad, or at least I hoped so

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I was planning to buy ‘the’ iPad today…guess what? It’s sold out, completely, everywhere…there’s no ‘magical and revolutionary’ product available *anywhere* in the country! Damn! πŸ™

My best option now is to put myself on a waiting list and get it in two weeks. Hmm, Apple is mastering the PR marketing technique as no other, boosting expectations in a short supply market environment…and still, I want it!! Ha! πŸ˜‰

Facebook profiles exposed

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Approximately 100 million Facebook profiles have been put up for download on The Pirate Bay (torrent) by a guy named Ron Bowles in order to show ‘the world’ that privacy and internet (and Facebook in particular) are (still) two different things. The data *is* actually publicly available for everyone in Facebook’s users directory (Ron ‘only’ collected it in one file) and shows the Facebook profile data according to the privacy settings by its users…most people are however not aware what of their data they have put out in the open.
I downloaded and checked the file and noticed that I am not listed. Hehe, that’s either because I have set my privacy settings extremely strict (not true I believe), OR I am one of the ‘lucky’ other 400 million Facebook users. πŸ˜‰

Sailing around the world

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

BBC News: “A 14-year-old Dutch girl who wants to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world has won a court’s permission to attempt the voyage….Laura must complete the two-year trip before she turns 17 in September 2012 to break the record….the experienced sailor was born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand during a seven-year world trip. She had her own yacht by the age of six and began sailing solo when she was 10.”

This girl is pretty amazing, and her plans even more…I have no idea how tough such a sailing trip really is as I’m no sailor (I’ve been mostly a passenger/deck-servant πŸ˜‰ ), but I can imagine it’s hard and intense.

Kudos for Laura to persist in her efforts to follow her dream as it took quite some time and energy to get the legal ‘approval’!

History of Apple design

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Apple released some new goodies today; updates to their successful all-in-one iMac line, a 12-Core (!) Mac Pro, a new 27-inch LED Cinema Display *and* a new Magic Trackpad to give desktop Mac users the same intuitive Multi-Touch gestures that MacBook users enjoy. Obviously all of these products share the same stunning design that Apple is famous for, check out the YouTube clip below giving a look at some of Apple’s best designs over the past years. It starts off with the “beige angles” of the Apple II, Lisa and Macintosh before progressing to the “dark portables” (Apple QuickTake and PowerCD) and “translucent colors” (eMate and G3 iMac). It ends with “glass and aluminum,” showing off the current-generation iMac, iPhone 4 and iPad.

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Visitors once more

Monday, July 26th, 2010

It’s ‘visitor-week’ once more these days; our friends Muriel and Marko arrived today and will stay with us the coming days! Haha, they parked their caravan on the ‘Boekestijn-path’ behind the house πŸ˜‰ as a start to their vacation in Norway. Their kids Britt and Kjell (I *love* those norwegian names! πŸ˜‰ ) are obviously here too, so it’s a full house; FUN!

QOTD July 25 2010

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Alexander Humboldt: “I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.”

Stavern in the sun and jellyfish in the fjord

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

The island we are on is called MalmΓΈya which is close to Larvik and Stavern. The area is flooded with dutchies this weekend as the Colin Archer Memorial Race took place this week. The CAM is a sailing race from Lauwersoog (NL) – Larvik (N) and our friends Tore and Carmen competed in it, they finished second in their class, so congrats to them!
Today we went to Stavern, a nice little village nearby. Weather was absolutely fantastic, and it felt as if we were in Southern France! A dive in the water would have been nice to cool down, but the jellyfish prevented us from doing so…’they’ say that the amount of yellyfish in the Oslo fjord is extreme this year and I believe ‘them’, bbrrrrr!

Weekend on an island

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Yesss, it’s weeeekennnnd!! Byebye hectic week at work…it’s all is behind me now, so it’s time to clear the head and welcome a weekend filled with sun, fun, swimming in the Oslo fjord (unless there are jellyfish!! πŸ˜‰ ), good food, cool beer and rose wine at the summerhouse of friends on an island near Larvik…looking forward!!

Homemade Burgers

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Nothing beats Homemade BBQ grilled Burgers, especially when you share them with friends and family! Yeah, indeed, we lit the BBQ for the second day in a row now, amaaaazing!

Hehe, I’m lovin’ it! πŸ˜‰

Family visiting

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Kissy’s cousins Jan and Paul are visiting us the coming days. Their girlfriends Tessa and Amanda, and of course 3 year old Guus are there too, so we have a full house!

Good fun to see them again after quite some time and nice to have some visitors again…the first evening was a great success; BBQ and Singstar! Hehe, it’s pretty confronting when you try to hit the high notes! πŸ˜‰

QOTD July 20 2010

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Margaret Cho: “Love is the big booming beat which covers up the noise of hate.”

Iphone 4 – antennagate

Monday, July 19th, 2010

I have been amazed that supposed issues with an antenna of ‘a’ cellphone have caused such an outbreak of (bad) publicity in all news media in the past weeks. Ok, ok, it is not just ‘a’ cellphone…afterall it is THE iPhone 4! πŸ˜‰

Still, I really don’t see why this can be *so* important…so important that a U.S. Senator decided to write a letter about it to Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, so important that it is worth mentioning at all in the 5 o’clock news, so important that ‘the world’ is falling over Apple and its shares dropped 4%…hell, someone even made a song about it (even though that one takes things a more in perspective, it almost looks like Apple planted it itself! πŸ˜‰ )

By now we know that Apple acknowledges that there is something there and offers a free case for all iPhone 4 owners. At the same time they state that the ‘problem’ it’s by *far* not as big as media wants everyone to believe: only 0.55% of iPhone 4 users have contacted AppleCare regarding antenna or reception issues, just 1.7% of iPhone 4s are returned to AT&T (which is lower than the 6% of iPhone 3GS’s that were returned in its early days) and lastly, AT&T is reporting that there is just a minor increase in dropped calls with iPhone 4 compared to iPhone 3GS (less than one more call per 100 placed calls is dropped).

My take on it?

There is definitely something there, it ain’t all *that* big, Apple is currently doing damage control and will silently change the iPhone 4 hardware in the coming months.

PS.

Dave Winer ‘stole’ the subject line that I planned for this blog post (‘It’s just a phone‘) yesterday. Oh well, I guess I should have written my piece on Thursday, as I intended to do! πŸ˜‰

I do however totally agree with ‘uncle’ Dave; “On Friday, Apple asked us to believe that the iPhone is just a phone. It’s just like the phones that Nokia and RIM make, or Samsung or Motorola. Nothing special about it. That may be the single most important thing they said, and I’m not even sure they know they said it.”

A wonderful day at home

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Hmm, I guess I needed a weekend to unwind and home is a great place to do that! (see the picture below)

So, today was much about nothing; sleep in, enjoy breakfast in the sun on the veranda, read a book (Zahir from Paulo Coelho), watch some Tour de France, sunbath in the garden, uhhh, fall asleep in the garden πŸ˜‰ , cook and eat yummie Burito’s, watch a movie (Shutter Island) and…off to bed again!

As I said, today was much about nothing.

(oh, I did do some banking stuff, so besides the book there *was* something ‘useful’ today πŸ˜‰ )

Quality time

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

I realized that today is the first Saturday in over two months (!) that we are home together, a good moment to go out and spend some quality time together!
We just finished a delicious Tikka Masala (the best, yummm!) at Mirchi, our favorite Indian restaurant in LillestrΓΈm!
Good times from the past are coming back to us: dinner is followed by a movie (Knight and Day), a typical teenager date, hehe! πŸ˜‰
Life is great!

TGIF!

Friday, July 16th, 2010

…or; Thank God It’s Friday!!! Perhaps I should also thank Allah, the holy cow and my inner-self nowadays? πŸ˜‰

For those who are so busy that you forgot what day of the week it is (while all you really need, is for it to be Friday), check out: isitfridayalready.com (there is also a dutch version: ishetalvrijdag.nl) πŸ˜‰

And the answer is:

YES!

…oof, it’s about time to leave the office now…

(update: the english site points to a network Bouncer (BNC) hosting site, too bad)

King crab and shrimps dinner

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

To repeat yesterday’s words: ‘And this is also Norway!’ πŸ˜‰

Kissy prepared a FANTASTIC meal today: king crab legs and shrimps!! As you can see below; yummmmiieeee!!

For the dutchies reading this post; don’t laugh!!! The ‘Oliebollen‘-plate was size-wise the best plate to carry those long legs! πŸ˜‰

And this is also Norway! ;)

Moose on the Loose

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

And this is also Norway! πŸ˜‰

A moose (‘elg’ in norwegian, ‘eland’ in dutch) apparently needed some groceries and went shopping in a local supermarket in Kongsvinger (that’s about 60km from where I live).

He/she/it got caught on a surveillance camera, check out the first videoclip below where you can see him/her/it making his/her/its unexpected entrance at 0m34s, and leaving the building at 1m55s.

The second videoclip shows what he/she/it really came to do; cooling down in the refrigerated area with beer!! πŸ˜‰ I guess he/she/it got thirsty…and nothing beats a cold beer when it’s warm outside!

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QOTD July 13 2010

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…”

The day after…

Monday, July 12th, 2010

I am not in the mood to write a lot about yesterday’s final, it still hurts (also financially, a dutch victory would make me win the pool at work, around 500EUR!)…anyway, both teams were nervous and not playing their best football, I believe that Spain was a slightly stronger over 120 minutes. NL however had some great scoring opportunities that would have turned the match, and some decisions made by the referee caused frustration among the dutch players resulting in a pretty physical match, sometimes a little over the edge.

Nah, instead of this match, I’d rather look back at a superb Pohoda 2010 festival! Heaps of fun, sun, music, beer and insomnia! πŸ˜‰ Oof, no sleep on Saturday night and going to bed around 4am after the match yesterday made today a pretty tough day! More than worth it though! πŸ˜‰