It's May!

I just realised. Today's the first day of May! And the sun is shining. I bet you didn't know May is named after the goddess Maia, the wife of Mars and the eldest daughter of Atlas, the most beautiful of her seven sisters, all of whom we can see in the night skies in the "Pleiades" constellation. She is the Spring Goddess who encourages the crops to grow.


Allaire (sorry, old habits die hard) Macromedia is getting ready for .NET with ColdFusion MX. Hope I can focuss long enough to read the whitepapers. Damn, I'm so tired. I was finally getting back into my normal rhythm, when the alarm clock woke me this morning. Sigh. It's not fair. I need sleep!


"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Frank Herbert, Dune, "Litany Against Fear", 1965

I have to go into hospital next week for some more tests. Sigh.

Random stuff

The new OpenOffice has been released. In case you don't know, it's an office suite “that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format”. Or you can visit BLAMBOT! to download free comic fonts. View the alphabet in American Sign Language. You can even lookup words (via UDN). And then there's Mr. Waler, who is hoping to get a job at Microsoft. You can read about it at Bill Gates Please Hire Me dot com.


I've been looking for drivers for my tablet for ages. So glad I've found this site, I just had to blog it because I seem to keep losing my bookmarks.


Today is our Remembrance Day. Since the end of the Second World War, the Dutch have observed 4 May as a day of reflection, a day to honour the victims of war. At eight o'clock in the evening the country unites in commemorating the civilians and members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the Second World War.


More and more blogtools seem to appear each day. How about Bloglet, Blogrolling and Blogtrack. There's even a glossary at Blogicon. It's getting a bit much for my liking. Shouldn't we just focuss on writing?

Back home

I got back late last night. Feeling a bit sore, but generally okay. Now I have to wait 2 weeks for the results. My brother rented 3000 Miles to Graceland to cheer me up. Cool movie. Even if you're not into Elvis. ;-)

Meanwhile, the upcoming elections have gotten a different feel, as the latest newsheadlines are “Pim Fortuyn shot” (English info on CNN » Killing sparks Dutch political crisis and Salon Dutch vote to proceed after killing). Very bizar. Unreal. "Respect for each other means you fight with words, not bullets," said Kok, the outgoing prime minister. "What has happened here is indescribable."


“The overplaying of Le Pen and the underplaying of Fortuyn stem from the same elite ignorance about what is going on in Europe, and to a certain extent, in America.” Read on in this Washington Times commentary, entitled Fortuyn told of Europe's future. Or in case you're looking for some lighter entertainment, check out 18 Tips for Better WinXP Gaming at GameSpot.


I've got the day off, since today's Ascension Day (Hemelvaartsdag in Dutch). I'm not religious so I'm just enjoying my leisure time. The sun is even out. I might go into the garden a bit later on. This is truly fascinating stuff I'm posting today. Sigh. Oh well. We can't all have exciting lives, can we? I have however decided to take tomorrow off from work also, I think I've deserved that, considering the way the start of this week was for me. I'm going to Amsterdam with my mom. Just for some shopping. We used to go quite often, but haven't been anywhere together in a while, so we thought it was time. I'm looking forward to it.


Amsterdam was great. We took the bus at about 9:00 this morning, were just in time for the train (after buying a ticket, which was strange because it was my first trainjourney since I had to give up my studentpass) so we arrived about an hour later at Central Station. Went to the Albert Cuyp market, Waterlooplein and through the center ofcourse. I didn't go wild, but did buy some great stuff. Among others a very cool long, brown and black, hippy-esque skirt. We took our tired feet to the train at around 15:45 and got back about 17:00. All in all a very good day.

Meanwhile, the new A List Apart is out (don't you just love fridays?). This one's all about using CSS to print your webpages. If you're in the biz, check it out.

A new look

June 1st is called Wereldwijde Omkatdag, which means a number of Dutch blogs will all change the look of their site on that same date. I've decided not to wait that long and have made one of my latest stylesheets the new default. No more grey and white. It's almost summer, so time for something colourful. Well. Not really. But I needed something different. A touch of colour perhaps. And I felt inspired by BlueRobot. So it's not terribly original, but I'm pleased with the result. And hey, I might change it all again soon. Who knows? Long live stylesheets! Anyhoo, hope you enjoy the new look and enjoy the weekend.


The current climate of mass hysteria scares me. But I think it will pass. I hope it will. It's all getting way to intense. But I wanted to keep things airy today, so I'd like to mention that Rate Your Music dot com is a nice idea. "Share your musical knowledge and opinions with others by rating albums and writing reviews." Another nice idea is Weblog BookWatch, which spiders weblogs looking for links to Amazon. It then makes a list of the books most talked about, instead of the ones being bought.


I found some cool utils at "Because deep down we are all geeks, except for you non-geeks."

Ye olde shoppe

I've just opened The Hermit's Tower Store, which is powered by The current shirt is only a test. Don't worry, I know it looks awful. But I'm still in the testing phase. Hopefully I can add some more stuff next week.


Waar Stem Ik Op? bij het gelijknamige televisie programma van SBS6 » ik heb de vragen net doorlopen, en ik moet zeggen, dat ik aardig uitgekomen ben. In ieder geval stukken beter dan bij Stemwijzer punt nl, want daar klopte werkelijk niets van.


The Yahoo Privacy Storm That Wasn't (via Slashdot's Seems Nobody Gives A Damn About Privacy). "Yahoo changed its marketing policy in March. Suddenly, it granted itself the right to send advertising messages to tens of millions of its users who had previously asked to receive none." Tell me about it. I thought I was already receiving a lot of spam, but the amount has trippled if not quadrupled recently. Not nice at all. I'm almost at the point where I'll leave Yahoo, even though I've been a member for years and use it daily. Damn shame.

Meanwhile, I've been looking for good colour picker software for ages, and am quietly working my way through the tucows directory.

Election day

I'm not a designer, but I received a link for Design Culture Sociology 101, which I wanted to share with you. Today is election day. There was an interesting item in the paper this morning, which can also be found online, called Stem je strategisch, met je hart of toch maar om de inhoud?. About how to decide what to vote for, should you follow your heart, or think ahead and play it strategically. It's very typical for this years elections, because loads of people are still in doubt. But that's never an excuse for not voting. I'm planning to go this evening, because I didn't have time this morning. There's even a lot of interest from abroad, which is rather unusual. Take CNN's In-Depth Special Netherlands Decides 2002.


I even got this in my mailbox. Balkenende goes Potter. Sigh.
Elections have passed. Christian Democrats win big in Netherlands. With 88.6 percent of the vote counted, Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats won 43 seats -- a gain of 15 in the 150-member Parliament. [...] Kok's governing socialists were seen plunging from 45 seats to 23, and his Liberal allies from 38 to also to 23, according to the results. Sigh. This is not at all what I wanted.

And it looks like we'll get Harry Potter for prime minister. If you don't believe me, check out this picture.

Update » it's even mentioned in a recent article in the NY Times! The Christian Democrat leader, Jan Peter Balkenende, 46, sometimes called the Dutch Harry Potter because of his looks, could become the next prime minister. And I thought our reputation couldn't get any worse after last week.

A plague upon thy computer!

Microsoft keeps on appearing in the news. Vulnerability after vulnerability is being discoverd. If it's not another Security Update for Internet Explorer, it's tinkering with your privacy. Beacuse Microsoft Opts-In Hotmail Users. Apparently they're now sharing your name and other personal information with third parties, even if you said you didn't want that when you signed up. So go to your personal profile settings and opt-out now! Sigh. Where will this end? And when will we all stop putting up with it?


“Thousands of pages of frequently requested FBI documents that have been released under the provisions of the FOIA are stored in the Reading Room.” Check it out, you can feel like a spy and act like the Cold War is still going on.

Five in a row

"The five brightest planets converged in the evening western sky this month. Four of them (Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Mercury) formed an eye-catching knot during the first week of May." And I missed it. I didn't know. Damn shame. Luckily there's a Photo Gallery over at the NASA website.


Something to keep an eye on. Google Labs » Google's technology playground.


Pentecost weekend has passed and I'm back at work today. My brother turned 26 on saturday, so it was a matter cake and presents. Yesterday, I watched some fragments of the Pinkpop festival on television. But the only thing I really wanted to see, Rammstein, didn't give permission to be shown. Shame. And I went to the Bruna around the corner from me just now, to finally get my hands on Jean Auel's latest. Can't wait to get started. Though it'll have to wait, because I want to finish Pauline Gedge's The eagle and the raven.


I'm currently working on a number of things, but the most interesting is probably a conversion of a dynamic ColdFusion site to a stand-alone CD-Rom. I'm doing some research into the possibilities of XML and ADO. There are some cool XML examples for a sample CD catalog on W3Schools, which by the way is one of my favourite sites.

There's not a lot else I wanted to mention. Uhm, the weather has changed again. It appears to have turned from summer into autumn overnight. Ofcourse I didn't bring my umbrella this morning. I'd better stop typing before I bore you to death.


Just a nice quote to end the day with. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt by Bertrand Russell. Oh well, just one more then. He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice by Albert Einstein. I love quotes, don't you?


I didn't know. Apparently it's the Week of the Sea. Don't know why I'm sharing this with you. Uhm. Never mind.


Ah, weekend again. Almost one o'clock and I'm still not fully awake. The weather has turned. Sunshine has been replaced with rain and fierce winds. This is why we decided to postpone the company barbecue, which was originally planned to take place last night. This is the second time we had to postpone. Maybe it's a sign. Hopefully we can still have enough luck to have great weather for the next time.

I do hope the weather changes tomorrow. I rather enjoyed sitting in the garden and reading my book last week. Tonight is Eurovision Song Contest night, but I think I'm going to watch Chocolat, which my mom just came back from the videostore with, instead.


Though I've been using it for 2 months now, I didn't get around to downloading drivers for my Hansol 700Fs Monitor before now. I wonder if I get more settings to tweak with the official drivers. Hope so. It must be a good day for drivers. My dad got a new 250mb Zip and was kind enough to give me his old 100mb one. So I'm also downloading those.

Oh, and I wanted to share the Four Word Film Review website. It's a cool site to browse. For example, Chocolat, which I watched last night, has been described as Strange woman wins hearts.


The coolest news of the day has to be the item about the Ice reservoirs found on Mars. The presence of such a vast amount of ice - if it were to melt it could cover the planet in an ocean at least 500 metres deep (1,640 feet) - will change profoundly the direction of future exploration. When will it be time to pack up our swimwear and start planning the trip?

And there's sad news also, because I had not mentioned the death of Bart de Graaff on sunday, when I first heard it. Very sad.


There's a post on Slashdot, entitled How Effective are Ergonomic Keyboards? I have been using an MS Natural Keyboard at work for a while now and a Trust Natural Keyboard at home for about 2 years, and I must say that it has helped. I can't go back. Now if only I could find a decent replacement for the good ol' mouse. Because even though I use a Logitech handshaped one, I still have neck and shoulder problems on some days. Oh well. Comes with the territory, I'm afraid.


Only 4 more days untill Ozzfest. Can't wait! Meanwhile, this freaks me out! It looks nothing like me...


Another cakeday! Don't you just love birthdays? Nothing much else is going on today. Just writing some cool code and playing some music. A lot of people are out of the office, for some reason, so the volume can go up.

I hate to be one of those Bloggers who can only quote from Slashdot, but I wanted to share the following » Linux Vendors to Standardize on Single Distribution. Apparently Caldera, Conectiva, SuSE and Turbolinux have agreed to standardize on a single Linux distribution to try to take on Red Hat Inc.'s dominance in the industry. I wonder what the outcome of all this will be. I've been using RedHat on and off for a while now. But I'm always open to suggestions.


CNN has a review of newly released Netscape 7.0. But I don't get it. I mean, why bother with Netscape when you can have Mozilla?

Anyhow. I read a review of Subway To Sally's latest album 'Herzblut' and am intrigued. So I went to the site to check out some samples, but apparently I need RealPlayer for that. Which I hate, because it's so evasive on your system. Why don't they simply offer a bunch of MP3 files? Maybe if I feel courageous after lunch. I have to do some work now anyway. Can't believe it's thursday already!

Festival plans

According to the KNMI it'll be excellent festivalweather tomorrow. They predict about 23°C with little chance of rain, lots of sun and some cloudiness. So that should be great. We've decided to take the train, so everybody can drink alcohol if they want to. The plan is to take the bus to the trainstation at 12:31, we should arrive at Utrecht Central an hour after that and we'll be at Nijmegen around 14:30. Can't wait.

And even though I hate football, I would like to mention that the 2002 FIFA World Cup has just begun with France vs Senegal. I'm glad The Netherlands isn't playing. Don't think I could take another orangefever.


It's a typical fridayafternoon. And it's sunny outside. So you can imagine I'm not in a mood for much work anymore. I'm catching up on my reading, like the interview with PHP's Creator, Rasmus Lerdorf on WebmasterBase. And I'm trying to understand the status of the transport situation for tomorrow. Here I was thinking we decided to all go by train and now there are a few people who want to go by car instead. Sigh. Hey, how come Andrew gets to get up? If he gets up, we'll all get up, it'll be anarchy! to quote The Breakfast Club.