Friday, December 25, 2009

Ah yes the holidays

Someone asked me about my first thought about x-mas. Inconvenience I told him. He then started to question my answer. Why? I mean when you don't want an answer contrary to your view stop asking them.

Anyway, after some discussion, leading nowhere, he asked if he could try another one. 'Don't blame me for the answer' I told him. In the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of Nath and Hanneke, who is visiting once again, smiling at each other as if they knew what was to come. He asked me my first thought about New Years Eve. Wasting I told him. Well, he and I will never be close friends I'm predicting. He started telling me I wasn't fun, didn't know how to party and above all wasn't a romantic. I didn't feel in the mood for a verbal fight so I pointed to the two ladies that were accompanying me and told him to say the exact same thing to them and come back to me when they agreed with him. They laughed him off and I never saw him again.

People disagree. No harm in that but why would you get upset by a point of view that isn't based on facts.
1. The boiling point for water is 100 degrees Celsius. Fact.
2. 1 + 3 = 4 We agreed on that. Fact.
3. How I feel about Halloween? A point of view.
On 1 and 2: When I tell you differently you can argue your case. On 3: Let me have my thoughts, please.

Oh and the pics that came with the previous entry are a bit blue-ish. Our snow is white though.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowed in (updated)

With temperatures below the freezing point and snow falling for a few days now (sometimes heavy but mostly light) we Dutch have learned that we no longer can cope with this. Cars crash, mostly because drivers are so self centered they fail to register their surroundings: "I was doing my normal speed and suddenly the car began to slide" DUH!
Also people have 'saved' money by not having tyres for the winter and so their slick summery tyres have to cope with the winter conditions. Strangely this doesn't go that well.

Trains have stopped their service because the switch points have been frozen. Yeah, just 12 degrees below zero (Celsius) and they freeze.... Budget cuts is what's causing this but the quick buck is now costing them more. Hindsight? Not really. I've a letter from 5 years ago in which I wrote the person in charge at that time that losing a days income would cost more then keeping the needed maintenance in place. Of course they are trying to talk themselves out of it but most of the regular travelers know. Shame really that those who got the performance bonus aren't held accountable after the deed.

So now I have to guess whether or not I'll be able to get to work tomorrow. I'm guessing I will be but it won't be pretty.

"Prepare for the worst so whatever happens can be dealt with easily" is one of my motto's. I wish that idea would have been more widespread.

Update: I didn't make it to work. I managed to get out of my street but the rest was even worse. Trains and coaches still not running
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31953778@N00/4202391087/

Monday, December 14, 2009

The house (2)

Decided today that the 1st week of Jan. I'll be getting the keys and can start doing what needs to be done. So I think I'll make a start with putting the stuff I need to take with me in boxes the coming weeks so that I can focus on the new place once I have access.

I'm appalled though by the amount of stuff you don't throw away but keep close by and then don't use even once every year. "It's handy to have" but is it really? So now I'm looking at gifts I got over the years and keep thinking "Would it hurt their feelings?" or "Will they notice at all?" I predict this is the first step in the progress of me getting rid of it all. I'm guessing in the end I'll feel me keeping all of the items is more of a burden then explaining why I don't have them anymore...

to be continued

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The house

So finally the financing for my new home seems to be in order. Just a few small things to be settled and then we can set a date for the transfer of the ownership. In case you were wondering why I need external-financing: I don't, but paying interest on a 1st home mortgage gives you a tax advantage and I would be throwing money away had I not sought external financing. And as I'm paying the taxes that create the opportunity to give tax brakes I see no harm in doing this.

I'm also discovering (again) that I get impatient when I can't understand why things move slow. I'm very patient when it comes to things that need time but once I don't understand why things move so slowly I get frustrated. Maybe it is an occupational hazard. My primary focus when working is to do things as efficient as possible. Cut out the red tape and let things move is my motto. With this financing saga I often have thought that had it been a business matter I would have said: "Too late, bye! We try it somewhere else." But it being a private mater changes my reactions. 

Anyhow, everything seems to be okay now so now we may be able to speed things up a little again. I want to start taking the ideas I have and put them into reality.