I love the sun.

Today is the first real spring day here in Belgium.

One cannot call it “warm” yet, but the sun and lack of cold wind made many people go out for a walk in the park and the city

I dusted off my bicycle, put some fresh air in the tyres, started up the GPS (yes, my bicycle has GPS) and off I went. I cycled for about two hours and went all the way to the river Schelde and then back via Park Spoor Noord and Rivierenhof Park. A distance of about 20 km.


The picture shows the tower of the Cathedral, basking in the sun.

From hot to cold

English: Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore taken...

Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After spending two weeks in Thailand and Singapore and enjoying the hot climate there, I am now trying to keep warm during this cold spell here in Belgium. And no Thai girlfriend here to keep me warm at night. 

I can hardly believe that it will be spring in one weeks time. Please, can someone inform Nature it is time to set the thermostat to some more balmy temperatures?


One week has passed

One week has passed since my lovely Thai Girlfriend has flown to Europe to meet me. Last Wednesday I picked her up at the Brussels Airport and drove her home to my place.

Since then we have been visiting Antwerp and the surrounding area. She has been making me wonderfully tasty Thai food and I have made some Belgian food for her. We really match together very well.

Today we visited the “Kalmthoutse Heide“, which is a heath area in the north of Antwerpen, close to the Dutch border. We had a lovely walk together and despite the rain, she liked it very much.

Heath of Kalmthout (Kalmthoutse Heide) from wa...

Heath of Kalmthout (Kalmthoutse Heide) from watchtower. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow I have to be back in the office for one day, but I will rush home to sample the lunch made by my darling.


How strange did the dice roll

The voters have rolled the dice and oh my Buddha, did they roll strange! Snake eyes for some, box-cars for others.

In Antwerpen, the present multi-party (socialist-liberal-catholic-green) got beaten by the new NV-A (Flemish nationalist, somewhat right wing) party. The Open VLD (liberal party, somewhat conservative) got clobbered and scored even less than the PVDA+ (extreme left wing, former Stalinist –or was it Trotskisk– party). The CD&V (Catholic party) lost their Flemish nationalist wing to the NV-A: it seems their god is not as powerful as they imagine. The SP.A (Socialist party) did not do that bad, but in the eyes of many they lost heavily because they failed to win. The present (SP.A) mayor is ousted and will most likely be replaced by the NV-A’s president, Bart De Wever. The extreme right wing, some dare say, racist party Vlaams Belang, formerly the second largest party in Antwerpen, is reduced to its small hard-core membership of hate-everyone-who-does-not-have-white-skin-and-is-not-born-here nutcases.

Antwerpen Stadhuis crop4 2006-05-28

Antwerpen Stadhuis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now the funny thing is that the two parties, NV-A and SP.A, that fought a heavy handed campaign against each other are doomed to join hands in a coalition in order to get a majority in the city council. As SP.A and CD&V have made a pre-electoral cartel agreement to join their votes, that means that the “Winner” will have to allow all the “Loosers” to join in all this fun. It seems the NV-A’s promise “to rid the Metropolis of the Socialist scourge” will have achieved exactly the opposite. And they will receive those catholic chameleons as an added bonus.

Interesting times ahead, for sure!

The dice will be cast today!

Municipal elections today in Belgium. And the sun is shining, so at least I will get dry into the polling booth. Thank the imaginary gods for this.

One other good thing to come out of the elections is that as from tomorrow all those ugly politician’s faces on big and small billboards will be replaced again by far better looking (but probably photoshopped) people in ads for things we do not need and cannot afford


Exciting times and happy coincidences

These last months have been far too busy. No rest for the wicked it seems!

Several business trips abroad, some major projects in the office, people on vacation, … Of all my plans to take it easy and do some fun projects, next to nothing got done. And my wish to blog regularly got totally sidetracked.

pc power supplies

The final resting place of all pc power supplies (Photo credit: k0a1a.net)

Then my desktop PC at home expired, like in “suddenly stopped working”: no sound, no lights, no nothing. I diagnosed it as a dead power supply. Actually, it was more of a lucky guess as I have limited hardware knowledge.

Anyhow, time to buy a new desktop PC and a new power supply, so I can recycle my old desktop PC into a new Ubuntu-server. Lucky I did, because a few weeks after installing my new desktop PC, my old server died as well. Yeah, another dead power supply. It seems these power supplies are made to last for about 5 years of continuous use.

Of course transferring the old files to my new desktop PC took a while and then reinstalling my Ubuntu server took even longer. But now my email works again, the automated backups run nightly and my music-server pipes mp3 files all through the house at my command.

And in between I managed to save the world in “Deus Ex – Human Revolution“. I had to test the capabilities of my new  desktop, didn’t I?

What more “exiting” things happened?

Well, my Thai girlfriend will apply tomorrow for her visa to come and visit me in Belgium. I hope the visa procedure runs smoothly, it sure takes much paperwork to try to convince the powers-that-be.

And speaking of powers and coincidences, my old friend from university has just been appointed to become Belgium’s next Ambassador in Thailand. So if the visa procedure does not run as smoothly as expected, perhaps I can apply to His Excellency?

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