Netherlands and more

Blog about life in Holland (and a lot of other stuff)

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Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba in Brussels Oct 26, 2016

Last weekend, 22-23 October, has been marked by a colossal event in the Belgian Brussels, lead by the Doshu (hereditary head) Moriteru Ueshiba, a grandson of Ōsensei Morihei Ueshiba.

Moriteru Ueshiba. Photo by

It's a remarkable event in the world of aikido, which takes years of preparations. The last time we were honoured by Doshu's visit to our part of the world was back in 2009 in Almere (Netherlands). Now Belgium got lucky, and lots of aikidōkas came there from the neighbouring countries such as France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal etc.

Just like the previous time I've invited my first sensei Rudik Manukyan, the president of Tyumen Region Aikido Federation (4th dan aikikai).

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Sound Switcher Indicator 2.1.0 Sep 30, 2016

I've been able to pay a bit more attention to the Sound Switcher Indicator and implement some of the long asked-for features.

What's new

  • Version 2.1.0 (2016-09-29)

    • Added support for configuration file (#30).
      See below for details about its format.
    • The sections Inputs and Outputs can be hidden now (#32).
    • Device and port names can now be configured (#31).
    • Unused ports can be blacklisted (hidden from the menu) (#13).
    • French translation added.
  • Version 2.0.2 (2016-09-28)

    • The menu can now be localised (#28).
      I've made use of the standard localisation library GNU gettext. New translations can easily be added as .po files, and merged from pull requests.
    • Russian and Spanish translations added.
    • Added a manpage (#24).
      It can be viewed using man indicator-sound-switcher (there's not much information yet, but at least it's there).
Read on »

Sound Switcher Indicator 2.0.1 Sep 25, 2016

It's been more than two years since the last release of the Sound Switcher Indicator (1.2.2). During this period I've been bombarded with requests to allow the indicator to switch device profiles, because most sound cards cannot be otherwise switched to their digital ports, like S/PDIF and HDMI.

So today I proudly present Sound Switcher Indicator 2.0.1, which finally supports profile switching:

Sound Switcher Indicator 2.0.1.

What's changed

Read on » switched to HTTPS Sep 22, 2016

The website is permanently switched to using the secure HTTPS protocol (instead of the former HTTP). Your boss won't be able to figure out what exactly you're reading in my blog anymore.

The lock icon denotes a secure connection.

There's an automatic redirect set up from to, but you may still need to update some links, like the RSS feeds, for example.

Russian store experiences Aug 30, 2016

I've recently been to Saint Petersburg, Russia, to help my parents to renovate the apartment they had moved into. Just for your information, Russians recognise Saint Petersburg as the "cultural capital of Russia" due to its rich cultural traditions, heritage and, arguably, population.

But I'd like to touch on another subject now. For the sake of the renovation I had to do a lot of shopping in a big builder's store. Just because it was big, I preferred to ask staff for directions rather than waste my time looking for the thing I needed.

After so many years of living in Holland I'd usually open a conversation, smiling, with: "Hello! Could you please help me with …?"

Some (un)cultural patterns began to emerge after lots of repetitions of the above procedure.

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Now official: Shodan Jul 18, 2016

And here we are, almost four months after the exam I officially possess a Shodan Aikido Aikikai:

Shodan certificate.

The diploma has been solemnly granted by Marc Jongsten (who also took the exam) during a short ceremony at Aikido Centrum Leiden.

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