So long two thousand eighteen Dec 31, 2018

Tjongejonge, this year ended as suddenly as it began, I couldn't even find time to blog. This post is the tenth and the last one in 2018 (but I'm seriously considering improving on that matter).

On the positive side, this year has been so eventful that it's a challenge to recap all things of importance.


I'll start off with the item that made other activities possible.

And there's plenty to be proud of. I've got a new client: NS (The Dutch Railways). The job required delving into myriads of new technologies, from autodeployments with Ansible and AWX, to Linux internals, such as PAM module configuration, multisite Intel video mode and Docker-packaged CUPS print server.

Moreover, I've become a real freelancer (or zzp'er in Dutch) in April by moving off the payrolling scheme.

All in all this year has been quite successful in terms of business; our relationship with the customer is pretty good, I've got nice colleagues, a real good boss (myself), and lots of mind-challenging stuff to research.

Among other things, I've started learning Gnome's GTK+ widget library, so I'm planning to release an updated Sound Switcher Indicator version that features a full-fledged Preferences dialog.


In January we trod Fuerteventura, one of the Canary islands. It was memorable for its strong winds and the sun.

Fuerteventura, view on the Lobos island.

We've spent a few days in the Belgian Ghent in March. I like that city a lot for its cosy and beautiful streets.

April found us in Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranian sea (yes, we're fond of islands). That was scorching hot and incredibly beautiful.


In June yet another island, this time the Dutch Texel, which is in the very north of the country. We've spent a few nights in a stationary tent and seen the main attraction of the island, its lighthouse.

Texel's lighthouse

We visited Bruges in Belgium in July. It's just like Ghent, but even more cosy and good-looking.

Most of August we've spent in Russia: Saint Petersburg, Petrozavodsk and Kizhi, where a local blacksmith forged a nail for us:

Nail from Kizhi.

I've celebrated my birthday in November in the Moroccan Agadir. That's a very special place I must say.

Esplanade in Agadir, Morocco.

In early December we've been to the Christmas market in Duisburg, Germany. And just yesterday returned from Antwerp (Belgium), which I have mixed feelings for.

Cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium.


As for sport, I'm quite satisfied with myself. In 2018 I've managed to run 1060 km (which beats my previous record) in 64 episodes. Peculiarly enough, the last 20 km run has been today, December 31st.

In May another record has been beaten when I've finished a half marathon in 1:45:56 at De Halve van De Haar.

My second achievement this year is that I've qualified as nidan (second dan) in aikido. The corresponding certificate has been handed to me a couple of weeks ago by Marc Jongsten:

The author gets his diploma from Marc Jongsten.


The concert life has stepped back a bit because of some objective difficulties represented by a small kid. Nonetheless I managed to visit two shows.

Arch Echo, Mestís and Plini in Haarlem (video):

Javier Reyes (Mestís).

And Riverside in Utrecht:


By the way, I've filmed the last one in its entirety, but the video has been taken down by YouTube at a copyright owner's demand. The crazy thing is that the gig's page at the website of Tivoli was illustrated just by my video from another show.

And one more thing, not quite related to music: for the first time in my life I presented in English before an audience of some two hundred people, at IDM Europe. I felt a bit nervous, of course.

Other stuff

Last spring I bought a monowheel. And I must say it's absolutely brilliant! Since that moment I've been using it almost daily, and I fail to understand why so few people are aware of such thing. That said, there are a few important caveats which I plan to blog more about.

The author riding a monowheel.

There was a national carnival in February. We took part in it in Den Bosch, a nearby town. That was funny.

Carnival in Den Bosch.

And in August I've seen the famous Amsterdam Gay Pride for the first time (I would usually be in Russia around that time). It proved to be quite decent and spectacular.

Amsterdam Gay Pride.

Phew. That's about it. See you all next year!