Uncle Biek Odd-timer, at your service


Visiting mom

I was at my mom's and Hans’ place this afternoon to wish them a happy New Years in person. As per usual we had a very nice afternoon together, talking about life, the universe and everything. In the end it luckily all still added up to 42. :-)

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U2 360 Tour 2009

Well 'whoo-da-hoo', I did it! I got invited by my brother in law, thought about it for a little while and gave in after he pushed a little more, joining him and my sister to see U2's 360 Tour 2009, live in Amsterdam's ArenA.

The show was absolutely amazing, their 360 degrees stage was like nothing I've ever seen in my life, Snowpatrol was a great act to get everyone warmed up and actually the only thing I have to complain about at all was the sound. Or rather: the volume. Or the noise actually, which was all my ears could produce by the end of the concert.

And the reason why I'm complaining about it is because even now, hours after the concert, I still can't hear too well. My ears are still having huge trouble with medium and high frequency sounds and everything louder than, say, a car sounds distorted like crazy. I really hope my hearing will be back to normal tomorrow morning because if it stays this way I'm seriously in trouble. Oh, and my head hurts like it's three to four sizes too small, but I already felt that coming while we were waiting to go in so that's no surprise.

What's up with that insane volume anyway? I mean I can understand that it's pretty cool to play your songs loud, especially when performing live, but does it really have to be this freaking loud? The last four or five songs of the concert I was already having so much trouble hearing, I was on the brink of walking out because it really hurt and felt like something had really gone bad inside.

We've all turned up the volume at home every once and a while, whether it was with a action movie in our home theater or a great piece of music, but this was just way too much of a good thing. A great thing even. On the way back to the car I heard someone else in front of us complaining about the incredibly loud volume as well only to be replied to that he probably 'just had to get used to it'. Yeah, like smoking and drinking I thought ...

Don't get me wrong though, I had a good time. U2 was great, the t-shirt as well, it was really, really, nice hanging out with my sis and bro again, I've seen a few of their friends again which I hadn't seen in a long while and that was cool too, but I don't think I'll ever visit something like this again. It's just not for me.

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Unexpected visitors

You know, I think that from all the benefits of living in Katwijk, I treasure having the ability to receive visitors the most. I cannot quite put into correct words how much I underestimated the value of having someone over every now while I still lived in Boxmeer.

Back then I selfishly didn’t really care that there was not that much room to maneuver and when someone called me to meet up I just went over to them, keeping anyone from coming over. It was the much simpler solution to the problem of having to make room for guests.

I think that over the entire period that I lived there, I only five, maybe six times really cleaned out the entire place back to the point where you could actually walk around so I could have a guest over and just hid away for the rest of the time. A pretty sad life now that I think of it, but that was back then and I like to think that I’ve changed quite a bit since.

So you can imagine me being pretty happy when the phone rang last weekend and my sister and Stevie announced they would like to come over for coffee. I’ve come to appreciate these little moments so very much, they’re very special and dear to me.

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Nice Christmas

Hey folks, how was your Christmas?

Mine was pretty nice.First Christmas day I did nothing even remotely related to Christmas and basically just took the day off. Although as you may have read I did use it mainly to sleep a bit more, do the Volvo valves and just kind of hang around for the rest of the day.

Second Christmas day, however, I spend with part of the family and that was very nice. My sister, Stefan, the nieces and I were over to dad's and Margot's place for the afternoon. It turned out to be better than I hoped, so that was a pleasant surprise. In all honestly I'm usually not that thrilled about these larger get-togheters because somehow I tend to feel just a little bit left out, not quite sure how to explain it, that illustrious third wheel I guess. But not this time so I guess there's hope. :-)

We all had a nice dinner together from a raclette set so each kind of cooked his and hers own food in little pans. The ingredients are a mixture of meat and vegetables which you put together to your own taste and then cook. For the nieces we also had pancake batter but us adults also had a few pancakes ourselves, they are just too good to ignore. :-) All in all I love this type of cooking. It's great!

The way I see it, the only problem with this type of dinner/cooking is that you tend to eat way too much food. It's all in the rhythm. Normally you prepare the whole meal up front, fill up a plate and dive in. with that twenty four hour economy in the back of our heads we empty that plate in record time and that's that. Belly filled, we feel good, move on with our life.

With cooking from a raclette set, however, you eat in much smaller portions and in general take much, much more time for the entire dinner so you don't feel filled up that soon, if at all. By the time you do feel it, though, you're actually more than filled up.

These cozy Christmas dinners must be one of the main reasons people include losing weight in their new-year resolutions. ;-)

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Family day 2008

Family days are usually very much nice and this one wasn’t an exception.

Even more so because my sister and the two nieces were there too. Like me, she hasn’t been to all family days but now that specially Sofie can handle herself a bit it’s so much fun to have them among the family. The only downside for them is that these type of days are very exhausting because of all the attention everyone is giving them. They are pretty much burned up after a day like this, but that will get better over time when they grow a little older I’m sure.

My uncle Toon and me went for a drive with the Volvo and made a few very nice photographs of her parked in front of a classic looking building; the old train station of the town where mom and Hans live. I’m really curious how they turn out since he's a very good photographer. They should be few great shots.


Happy birthday sis!

Have a nice day sis, see you soon!

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Life, the universe and everything

Yesterday I spend a wonderful evening at mom's place. I went over there straight from work and because of my work schedule being slightly different than planned (but still in my favor) I had roughly an hour to myself before she came home from her work. This may sound like wasted time but I actually love doing some thinking about all kinds of stuff at moments like these. It's almost as if I need them from time to time.

The silly thing is that I rarely take such a period of time to do some actual thinking. I'm usually just living out my life and when I get out of the car I can't wait to mess with Zippo a bit and get behind the computer reading up on whatever it was that I missed that day.

When in a few weeks time I'll be driving to and from work in about half an hour total, I'll start using the extra time for some self reflection and other thinking too. Should be a good experience to do so I reckon.

Anyway, when she arrived we had the evening to ourselves because Hans had some meeting from work he was attending and would be home fairly late in the evening. So mom and I had all the time to look at her computer and talk about ... well, life actually.

It was so very nice, a very nice way to spend an evening among family, as I'm sure the lot of you will recognize.


Chef kook

It had been a little while since I visited the family in Wageningen but last night was ever so lovely. First of all I was greeted at the door by Eva wearing her chef kook costume. A neat little apron and a very convincing looking kook's hat ruled out all need for guessing: chef at work! And she looked so cool! Gordon Ramsey eat your heart out dude, my niece is knocking on your door! :-)

Sofie wasn't in a very playful mood so I didn't push my luck and refrained to just handing a few little building blocks back to her whenever she knocked it out of reach. It seemed to work fine for both parties, or at least until she was fed up with that too. I can imagine the little one wanting to mentally do a lot more than she's physically capable of yet so the waiting must be a bit frustrating I guess. She'll grow over it I'm sure. ;-)

We had a very nice, nice semi-healthy, diner and watched Pathfinder, a semi-nice movie (our medium to high hopes didn't come true :-), to conclude the day. All in all it was a very nice evening.

Then it was time to leave and while following the familiar road home I drove passed a bus stop where an actual cowboy was standing, waiting for ... who knows. A complete picture, jeans, the leather boots, vest, hat, all was there. All he was missing was a horse and a desert. :-)

Before I go on you need to know two things at this point. One is that this weekend carnival is held in our country which (to me) means nothing more than dressing up as someone else and getting drunk. I'm fairly sure (or at least one would hope) that there is more to it than that but, and that's the second thing you should know, I just don't care much about these things. They just pass by and the only way I know about them is from people at work talking about it before, and the same ones looking thrashed days after.

So when I drove home and saw that cowboy standing at the bus stop, carnival wasn't the first thing on my mind but rather headlines like 'Cowboy robs city bus Dick Turpin style'. It took me several hundreds of meters to piece two and two together. So odd when you see something at a place where you don't expect it to be, it just makes no sense.

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