After my 33rd birthday, it was time for Els to go into the double 3′s. Kristof had planned her an evening out, including a boat ride through the canals of Ghent. It was very nice to see the city from that perspective We finished the evening by going to dinner.
I went abroad a couple of times for work since my last post also. First was back to Ukraine, it had been a while. 3 days only this time though, but it were very productive days so that was good Like always, the weather sucked though :p But it was great seeing the team again.
Last week we went to London with the entire Belgian OTA team for a teambuilding event. We went 1 day in advance so we spent an evening together prowling the city. We ended up in a great steakhouse, yum The event itself was kinda cool also, some hands on workshops instead of only speeches. And lucky Simon won an iPad. The irony however is that Simon is a very big Google fanboy and Apple hater :p
On the personal front we wrapped up our main D&D storyline, which was pretty awesome Next month we’ll start a new one with a mix of new and old characters, should be fun ! The finale of the previous story was spectacular though, we won the day but not all of us made it back. Good and exciting times
I also caught up with 3 of the Toms. First we went to Tom4′s place. He invited us for Milla’s first birthday party. Was great seeing him again, but we didn’t get to catch up much, he had a lot of guests. Cute dog though, but Finn didn’t like him much
The day after we headed over to Tom1′s new house and met up with him and Tom2. All of spouses and kids were present and we had some good old fashioned waffles for food Yum !
That’s about it really, until next time
33 … That’s how old I am now. Strange that I still don’t feel like I’m 30 Embrace your inner child and all that good stuff.
In any case, I had a nice birthday celebration last weekend with some friends, we had a LAN with retro games. I brought cakes, and we all feasted on them until we dropped Good times ! Yesterday evening I got some presents from Katrien, including beta access to Neverwinter and a preorder of the last book of The wheel of Time. Looking forward to reading that one !
This week we also went to look at some houses in Ertvelde. Unfortunately none fit all the requirements, sadness But we’ll continue to keep our eyes open
Just a short post to let you know I added a “follow me on Twitter” button on the right hand side. Could come in handy
Until next time !
Best wishes for 2013 everyone
So I’ll start where I left off last time, vacation. We celebrated New Year’s eve at Kirsten’s, who invited us and most of the gang. Was a great evening, they kept everyone’s strange eating habits in mind, so big kudos for that
The week after I went to eat out with the Toms, partly for Tom1′s birthday. We decided on Japanese food, which was very good. Unfortunately it was also overpriced and not enough. But we still had a nice evening. I might order take out from there in the future though, it’s cheaper
Setting up my new homeserver also took a lot of my vacation time. I had a lot of hardware issues (bad disks, bad motherboard, bad USB controllers). The Jorn Unluck is definitely hard at work ! It all seems to be working now though, Crashplan cloud backup is almost complete also. Will be glad when it’s all finished
I also met up with Ilse & Nick, I think it was a year ago since I last saw them. They were impressed with Finn Maximus, but then again, who wouldn’t be ? I managed to save the world from another person (Nick) buying into the Apple ecosystem, and adviced him to get a Nexus 7 instead of an iPad Mini. Score 1 for the good guys !
Last but not least we celebrated Finn’s 2nd birthday. 2 years already, time goes so fast. We had some family over for cake & spaghetti. Finn also got a lot of presents, he was happy about that. The more Duplo the better, now we can build bigger Star Destroyers together ! Although lately his obsession is watching Disney songs on the computer with daddy. Fun, but listening to the same song for 50 times does get … tiring
Hello ! I’ll start with the standard greeting for this time of the year: happy holidays
I’m currently on vacation. 3 sweet weeks of ignorant bliss. Well only 2 weeks to go still, 1 week has already passed but it was pretty good so far I went to visit Valery for a few days which was pretty cool We just hung out, went to see The Hobbit, played some Trine 2 and ate yummy cake. I even brought some of the cake home
Talking about The Hobbit, I’ve now seen it in both 48 fps and the “normal” frame rate. I have to say I preferred the standard 24 frames per second better, the 48 fps version looked a bit fake or fast forwarded sometimes. Still a great movie, but no Lord of the Rings. Sometimes the story was obviously a bit stretched.
Continuing about my vacation so far, I just had a geek weekend. On Saturday evening I went to a party where the theme was “nerd”, needless to say I fit right in. I dressed up as one of the “Nerd Herd” from the series Chuck, just like some other friends. We made a jolly bunch There are pictures of it on Facebook for those who have friended me there. And there were some great cocktails, it was a great party I spent the night in Ertvelde because the day after it was time for the monthly D&D session. Benny wanted to try some new things to speed up the encounters which were pretty cool story wise. All in all a great weekend
Tonight we are going to Katrien’s parents to celebrate Christmas. And on old year’s eve we are going to Kirsten’s place, should be fun I’m also planning to reinstall my home server during this vacation, so yeah it’s pretty packed already, but it’s all good
In any case, enjoy the holidays !
I went to Microsoft Build in Seattle ! Yes, let’s kick off with the awesome news For those of you who don’t know what Build is, it is a (the !) yearly Microsoft conference. I had put myself on the waiting list and 1 week before the conference started I got an email all of a sudden that I could go. So a big rush to get everything organized: flights, hotel, etc. But it all worked out and I got to spend a week on the Microsoft Campus. It was very impressive, so huge ! Looks like an awesome place to work. Got to talk to some Microsoft people directly, attended some cool sessions and got 2 nice gadgets I’m especially happy with the Surface RT tablet, it’s just so handy and productive. I use it all the time at work now. I’m still a bit jetlagged though, but that’s the price to pay for awesomeness
Staying on the work topic, we also had an IT event last month. A contest in the the city of Ghent, followed by a nice dinner afterwards. It was pretty nice We also had another LAN party with just the people from software development, including a couple of guys who left a while ago, so it was great seeing them again.
So on to the personal life. I met up with Annelies last month. I think it was 5 years ago since I last saw her (since she lives in Germany these days), so that was pretty neat. We went to the movies (Ted, pretty cool) and dinner afterwards. Was great catching up
I also went to the FACTS convention which was pretty sweet. Got myself an old school Transformer toy: Rodimus Prime. I always wanted that one as a kid and now it will be for Finn when he’s a bit older (ok maybe a lot older, it’s rather delicate ). But I have to indoctrinate him a bit into geekdom you know
We also went to Centerparcs with the family. It was nice to get out for a few days. We went to the petting zoo and went swimming a lot. Finn definitely had a good time in the water although he has to learn to wait inline for his turn on the kid’s slide There are some pictures up on Facebook, so go take a look
Summer is gone and with that we are entering some of the most exciting months of the year for a geek. End of year releases. I’m mainly looking forward to Windows 8 tablets, those should be awesome There are of course some interesting games coming out as well (Far Cry 3 and hopefully Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm). Windows Phone 8 is also on my list but having recently bought a new phone that will be for early next year I think. Exciting times ahead
Continuing on the geekiness, we found a great new game to play in LAN. It’s called Dead Island and is a great coop game. We will be finishing it this weekend I think after having had a session or 3. We even had a session where we setup our laptops in the sun (oh noes, we almost melted ! :p ). Luckily, there was ice cream
I have to say, I had a good summer. It included several barbecues and parties and those are never bad 2 weeks ago it was Kristof’s birthday party, which included a short Salsa introduction. For me it was a good refresher having taken 2 years of Salsa dancing in the past, I still hadn’t forgotten everything ! I also went to Liesbeth & Enzo’s 5 year wedding anniversary which was awesome. A big barbecue and plenty of Cava
I also visited Valery this summer, which was quite a while ago. She gave a dinner party for some friends of hers for her birthday. It was nice putting some faces onto the names I had heard so many times before. And it was very yummy, especially the 2 cakes she baked. They were delicious !
Touching on a more negative item now, you might have read the newspaper or seen the news about the restructuring at Thomas Cook. Not going to say much about it here, other than that it’s just wait and see at the moment. Fingers crossed.
To end on a positive note though, I had my ears checked out to see if everything has healed after 6 months and everything is fine ! So it’s awesome that I don’t need to worry about that anymore
Vacation ! Time to make the first personal post since the new theme went live.
So what have I been up to since the last post, let’s see …
I went to Ukraine for work in May and stayed the weekend to do some team building. It took place somewhere out of the city where we did different kinds of sports: volleyball, soccer (chained to someone else), kayak, etc. It was followed by a barbecue at the end, good times
2 weeks later it was time for the yearly reunion of my elementary school. I wasn’t able to go the past few years so it was great catching up again. We went to eat spare ribs, yum ! It was a smaller group than the previous time but that made it easier to talk to everyone. Hope I can go again next year !
On the gadget front (there has to be some geek news every time right ? ): I got a new phone. This time an Android (Galaxy Nexus). Now I’ve had all 3 major ecosystems (iOS, Windows Phone and now Android). I like it a lot, it’s quite different from Windows Phone and has some good things about it like the notification center, better browser, etc. On the downside I’ve had spam notifications and some crashes (only like 3 times or something though). I guess that’s the tradeoff. The main thing that I’m not happy with is the screen: it takes way too much battery and it already has a scratch on it. However that has nothing to do with Android of course (I’m saying this specifically not to get the Android fanboys I know on my case ).
I’m anxious to see how Windows Phone 8 will compete at the end of the year !
I started this post mentioning I have vacation, which is awesome of course Last week we went 5 days to Zutendaal (in Limburg, Belgium). We had rented a cabin there in a park where there are some facilities like a playground, swimming pool, etc. The weather really sucked so that put a bit of a brake on the fun factor. However we did have 1 great day when we went to visit an petting zoo with Finn. He liked it a lot
You can see some pictures of our little trip here.
Currently the weather has vastly improved so I’m enjoying my second week of vacation. I’ve done almost all my chores so I hope to dive a bit into Android development in the next few days. We’ll see how that works out
After running on the same theme for the site for 5 years I decided it was time for a change. In the meantime I also updated WordPress to the latest version.
Hope you like it !
It’s already been over a month since I got back from the US, time sure flies ! In any case I can say that it was a very busy period Lengthy post ahead !
We went to visit Milla, the daughter of Tom4 and Kim shortly after I got back. Another couple we know that started with kids. I’m getting old ! They seem to be rolling nicely into it though
Talking about Tom, I met up with 2 other Toms to exchange (long overdue) birthday presents. Coolblue vouchers, yay ! Will be using those at the end of the year for my new phone We went to our customary Thai place and went for a drink then in the Irish Pub. We sat at the counter like real men !
I’ll also provide an update into the world of Finn He’s making his first steps unaided ! Only 3 or 4 at a time maximum but still, so cute to see He’s really growing up fast that one. Since here in Belgium finding a good school that isn’t completely full can be a bit tricky we already went to look at one. I think there’s a good chance we’ll pick it, but we want to get a bit more elaborate tour there first in September. In any case it’s nearby and when he’s old enough he can go there by bicycle without having to cross big roads
We also just got him a slide for outside, he loves it as long as you don’t take him off it, then he gets cranky
Last week it was time for the monthly (or more bimonthly these days) poker game. It was at Dimi’s new house so we got the grand tour. Very big house, wish mine also had a giant room on the top floor to put my desk and an extra TV, I’m jealous I went home that evening with profit though, a full 70 cents !
The day after I went over to Veerle’s place. She had bragged about how good her spaghetti is so I called her bluff We ended up eating Thai though, no time to make the spaghetti so she promised it for another time. Thai was also great so no complaints here I did show her my selection of USA pictures though, I managed to limit them to ‘only’ 250
Now on to the geek part of the past month I went to see the new Avengers movie and it was aaaaaaaawesome ! If you haven’t seen it go see it NOW ! I want to see it again, it just rocks so much. Why are you still reading this ? You should be in your car driving to the nearest movie theater !
Still here because you already saw the movie ? Read on then We also had 2 D&D sessions in the past month. One extra to catch up for the one we missed in the US. As usual it was pretty good too ! Last game Benny (our DM) came up with a Kraken that was attacking our boat (think sea monster from Pirates of the Caribbean) and that was pretty cool. We were victorious though
Staying in the RPG atmosphere, Diablo 3 was released this week and it is pretty awesome ! Going over to Kirsten’s place tonight to play it in coop. I can highly recommend it. It’s good timing though, I finished Mass Effect 3 last week and I sort of fell into a black hole gaming wise. Mass Effect 3 was so awesome, it’s so sad the trilogy is over Looking forward to the more elaborate ending DLC that’s coming out this summer.
On the work front things have been hectic. We moved back downstairs to sit with our Java colleagues, but it’s very loud and difficult to focus in that room. We’re also (finally) switching to a full Scrum implementation (instead of Scrum But) so that should improve things drastically.
Last Friday we went to a restaurant in Ghent with some of the team; Kristof, Benny, Bart, Simon and myself + our partners. First time Simon’s wife got to see us and I think I made a lasting impression (had a bit too much wine ). Needless to say it was fun.
Next week I’m going to Ukraine, it’s been a while so it’ll be good to meet up with the team there again. Hopefully there will be no problems with the ears during the flight ! Wish me luck