Friday, September 28, 2007

My new passport!

The circle is complete, today I was able to finish the process as I blogged in Applying for Dutch Citizenship Today!

Walking in the woods

(This is a test posting from my new mobile phone, with a photo from my new mobile, a nokia E65)

We headed outdoors last weekend as the last day of summer was sunny and warm. In the woods by Uden there is a very nice pancake house, which the kids loved! ;-)

My son was just hanging out (or hanging sideways, depending on how you hold you head when viewing the photo) and my daughter was collecting all kinds of 'gnome' cups (little acorn hats that they show them drinking out of in her books)!

Girls on IRC

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back on the bike this week

This week was able to take the bike to work, cycled for little more than 75 km this week. The weekend was too full of fun and sun to spend a day on the bike so nothing ridden this weekend.

Saw this on a t-shirt (Unix joke)

This was too funny not to mention, and I am pretty sure only the geeks will get it:

who | grep -i blond | date;
cd ~; unzip; touch; strip;
mount; finger; gasp; yes;
uptime; umount;
sleep

Friday, September 14, 2007

Today I could have retired...

Today was a sort of shock to me... I had been watching it creep up on me for about the last two weeks. It all started with a Skype call with my best friend who is currently deployed for the third time to Iraq.

We joined the Marine Corps together, straight out of high school. I was in first, he followed a week later. Not really all that shocking, but we got to talking about what he will be doing after the Marine Corps. You see, I served for five years and left, he stayed in the last 20 years. Today would have been exactly 20 years of service and I would have retired. That call got me thinking about it and I realized I would have retired today... at 38 years of age. Wouldn't that have been something!

This is not about missed chances, I have no illusions that 20 years of service in the Marine Corps is an easy thing. It is a very dangerous life, no doubt about that. I guess I am just very glad to have had my five years of adventure and excitement. I would not trade a minute of what happened during or after that time. I love my life and would like to think that much of what I am was shaped in those years. It was very intense.

I just didn't want to let this day go by without slowing down to remember. I would have liked to spend it with my best friend reminiscing, but this was not possible. Instead, I had a beer and toasted to our lives and to our times. We will have to do it properly the next time we get together, and we will!

Semper Fi

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My personal hero

This is a bit of an insider posting, you have to be in on the background to appreciate it.

For those on the inside, I guess you recognize the President of the United States (or as we called him the Commander in Chief (CIC)), right?

My personal hero is in this picture. He is celebrating 20 years of service this month, congratulation my friend!

Can you find him? ;-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mini blew the water pomp!

I was on the way to work yesterday and I noticed the engine temperature climbing towards the red zone. Hey, it never gets even close to half way, so must be something going on.

I pulled over by a parking lot next to my normal Mini garage (a Rover dealer) and the steam started to come out from under the hood even before I got out of the car. By the grill I could see brown dirty radiator water coming out on the right side. I opened it up and thought for sure the radiator was blown or maybe a hose. The water got all over the fan belt and was thrown all over under the hood. I checked the water level in the radiator (careful, it is under pressure and hot) but plenty of water so it was not leaking there. Turns out the water pump blew up on me.

I let it cool down a bit and was able to drive it over to the garage itself for repairs, about 100m away. They were really great (Damon & Kroes in s-Hertogenbosch), even brought me home so I could take our other car to work.