Archive for November, 2008
It seems winter has arrived. And really early at that ! Rather unexpectedly Belgium was covered in a white blanket. We therefore decided to stay home and not risk it on the road. Looks like we made a good choice there, since a lot of people where stuck in their cars for hours.
Progress has been made on the terrace last week. They started putting down the tiles on Tuesday. Around noon Katrien went outside and noticed that the tiles were not the ones we ordered. They then proceeded at removing the tiles and started over again the next day. At least they didn’t give us a hassle over it. Half of the tiles have been put down now, they’ll probably continue working when the weather improves.
On Thursday I went over to Tom1 & Wenti. They had returned from their trip to South America and bought me a present; a Star Wars Peru magnet. Funny stuff Since our fridge door is covered with a panel I had to look for another spot to put it. Our stand up lamp proved ideal
Tom1 & Wenti had also gotten a new kitten. And a second one is on the way. I have to say, he was a cute fellow (and I hope I have the gender correctly ). Of course as is the case with all cats, he had to scratch me. Typical
Other than that we’re a bit sick. Both Katrien & I are having some troubles with our throat. She has it worse than me though, the doctors even prescribed her antibiotics. But I think we’re both getting better
Last week was a bit more eventful than most. After the long weekend (national holiday here in Belgium last Tuesday and therefore I took Monday off as well) I followed a training course for the remaining 3 workdays. The topic was LINQ (Language INtegrated Query). A new .NET technology that in some ways resembles Java Hibernate but is more integrated into the base framework. I have to say it was pretty interesting, definitely a technology I look forward to using on a future project. What I especially liked is how you can do so much stuff with the same syntax. It’s not a perfect technology though, there is still some work to be done, but I’m sure Microsoft will keep at it The course was given by U2U, and just like last time I went there, it was pretty good.
After the course on Friday I headed over to Puurs where the rest of the Queaso people were gathering for a team event. We were participating in a karting race for IT companies. Qualification didn’t go so good, Paul did his best but ended up last. Our first driver in the race was Tom4 though and he put us on the 9th place after his turn. In the end we finished 12th though (out of 13), mostly due to a malfunction in our kart and precious minutes lost because of it. It was fun to watch though, part of the track was outdoors and it had just rained, slippery ! I didn’t drive myself, didn’t much feel like it (and driving for more than 15 minutes makes my back hurt).
For the supporters there were some alternative trials though, such as replacing tires on a kart as fast as possible. We had to do 5 trials and ended up 2nd, which is pretty good ! All in all it was great fun.
On Saturday Katrien and I went to look for curtains. We first went to Kilotex, a shop in Ledeberg. There was really only 1 curtain there that we both liked (I was being picky that day). When we came to the register the woman told us that we couldn’t use that one for the curtain system we had in mind. We want the curtains to sort of roll down from top to bottom.
We then went to another store, found a fabric we liked and asked for a quote. Oh boy, I nearly fell from my chair when the guy told us the price. For our kitchen and our living room (3 windows in total) it was around 1900 Euro. That includes installing though but still. I’m still in doubt whether or not to go along with it. Katrien really wants to and she’s trying to convince me by offering massages … so I’m currently leaning towards yes (she knows my soft spots :p ). If we are going to go through with this though we probably won’t order the ones for in the kitchen. Also, we’ll most likely not ask the store to install them *puppy eyes for Katrien’s dad*
Katrien and I tried to install our current curtains ourselves, but let’s just say that if we don’t have the new ones soon, there won’t be any curtains hanging at all anymore :p
Talking about the house, the terrace folks haven’t continued working lately. I’m starting to grow frustrated again. It is a bit rainy today though, else I would have called them already (it wasn’t yesterday). So I’ll give them until the next sunny day.
On Sunday I went to Bouw’s along with the rest of the guys. It was his house warming LAN party (looks like I started a traditiion on that front ). We mainly played Farcry 2 again, most of the bugs I spoke of last time have been fixed in a patch. We wanted to try Red Alert 3 but that game is so buggy even after a couple of patches that it isn’t even funny. I remember a day when game companies released games without the philosophy “we can fix it later”. Those were great times.
Finally ! They started working on our terrace. It took them 7 weeks to begin. They kept saying “next week” to the point where I almost lost my patience. But last Friday morning they were at it Pictures of the current state can be found here. Hopefully by next week I’ll be able to show you something closer to the wanted result.
Other than that there is some news on the work front. Last week we had an event of some sorts. It started out with the monthly teamlunch in a restaurant close to the Queaso HQ. The food was very, very yummy, but it was a bit of a slow service. During the afternoon both of our bosses (Filip and Paul) talked a bit about the future of Queaso. Filip more from a general point of view and Paul concentrated on the technical side. To conclude the day the insurance agent came by and explained us in detail about what sort of things are covered. Personally I thought it was really interesting, I like being more or less up to date, involved even, in the future of the company I’m working for. I find that it motivates me.
We concluded the event with a walking dinner where our partners were also invited. I quickly went home to pick up Katrien before returning for the food. Honestly though, the food wasn’t exactly my cup of tea (then again, I’m really picky so I probably was the only one who thought like this ). I’m more of a “the plainer the better” kinda eater and the food that was served was really special. Don’t get me wrong, I ate some yummy stuff, but also left quite a bit untouched All in all, a successful event, which really should be made into a habit (so Filip & Paul, if you are reading this by any chance, take note ).
Another thing that was announced at the event was the new Queaso site. It was created by my colleagues Hans & Marc in WordPress, with a few pointers from me (since I’m the big WordPress fan in the company )
On Sunday we had the Houweling family over for dinner. It had been ages since they all came to Belgium and the new Castle Jorn was just the reason to persuade them I gave them the grand tour. Katrien also made some fancy food (with fish because of the 2 semi vegetarians present). And of course there was pie to top it all off. I was stuffed (and I’m still eating leftovers actually, not complaining though ). Was a very nice day, something we should do more often
Good evening !
Monday again, why do the weekends always go by so fast ? We had another LAN party on Saturday. Normally we would have been with 7 people but the friend (or roomie) of Bouw didn’t show up. Tom4 did though, putting our total at 6 for the evening. We only played some shooters though. Farcry 2 was one of them. Great looking game, runs smooth on my laptop but … still some bugs to work out I think Shooting a rocket at Jan and watching him explode and then on his screen nothing happens at all, a big no no Jan made some pictures of the event, if I get them I’ll add them to this post.
Arwen also got a new car. Looks like he got a nice deal. Sold his old one (with A LOT of mileage) for a fair price and got a second hand Volvo (station wagon) for only 2000 Euro more or something. With only 55 000 kms on the counter. Not too shabby
On Sunday I mainly played World of Warcraft (again, I know ) along with Katrien. We also watched some TV in the evening, there were 2 really exciting episodes of Navy NCIS and CSI Miami but the channel (VT4) decided to lose speech in both shows for like half of the time. It was really irritating.
I also went to the graveyard to visit my mom’s grave along with my dad. Here in Belgium (and I guess a large part of the world) it’s tradition that on the first of November you visit the graves of your loves ones. My dad and I usually go a bit in advance, to avoid “the crowd”.
Next week there’s some party planned at work so that should be cool. Free food and all And I believe I’ve also got my 6 monthly evaluation coming up. Exciting Till next time !