Netherlands and more

Blog about life in Holland

Liberated from property

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Prologue

The life in Holland, smooth in general, sometimes delivers nasty surprises.

On the last Liberation Day (May 5, 2012), I was liberated from my wallet (and the wallet, respectively, from me). It was stolen in Utrecht, a very nice city otherwise, at the Central Station, in a Chinese restaurant called Charlie Chiu’s, where we decided to make a pit-stop before a long and exhausting shopping round.

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Bye Beatrix!

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Queen Beatrix has just announced she would abdicate from the Dutch throne in favour of her eldest son, 45 years old Willem-Alexander.

The public has been expecting such a move from her for a while, since the moment a renovation of the Drakensteyn castle has started a few years ago.

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A Winter Evening with Stream of Passion 2013

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I realize everyone is alreay sick of my gig reports, but can’t really help it. Let’s just keep it short…

On December 28, 2012 the Dutch progressive metal band Stream of Passion, lead by the splendid Marcela Bovio, gave a festive Christmas/New Year’s Eve gig.

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Pleasant Amersfoort

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In November last year we and Amersfoort were officially introduced to each other.

The event is held once a year for all newcomers to the city. Its name Amersfoort Aangenaam, literally translated as “Pleasant Amersfoort,” is a standard expression used for introducing someone. The invitation was on the name of my girlfried as I’m no newcomer anymore.

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How to make a ham holder

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This is a how-to for making a jamón holder (a.k.a. ham stand or jamonera) from IKEA household products.

After all those jamón (Spanish dry-cured ham) stories by Alex Exler I’ve read, I felt an urge to give it a try. And one day I saw one in the local grocery store: Villar Jamon Serrano Reserva, weight ca. 7 kg for € 49.95. It is just advisable to get acquainted with jamón by tasting its cheapest varieties.

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Happy New Year (again)!

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Exactly one year ago, on January 1, 2012 I was late for the “New Year’s dive”, Nieuwjaarsduik, because it took me too long to find a parking space). Then I had to dive in solitude.

In case you have no idea what it is about: Nieuwjaarsduik is a stunning event when live people plunge into the water of a temperature slightly above the freezing point, organized in Holland nationwide by Unox. The main diving venue is in Scheveningen, near by the Hague, and people here run right into the North Sea.

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My scripts on GitHub

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Finally I got to create a public repository on GitHub for all my public domain utility tools (I had to fiddle quite a while with git filter-branch to extract all the ‘safe for public’ stuff from my home repo).

At the moment the following four scripts are available:

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Ubuntu/GNOME 3 XML wallpaper creation

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I already published a script that sets a random image file as desktop wallpaper. It has only one downside: you have to run it every time you want to rotate your wallpaper.

However GNOME since 2.28 allows assigning a slide show as wallpaper by providing an image list in XML format. There you can specify the order and duration for each image. Moreover, you can even define a transition from one image to another.

So I decided to create a simple script that generates an XML file for a given set of images and, optionally, sets that as the current wallpaper. It requires GNOME 3+ or Ubuntu (11.10 or later).

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Star Wars I + 3D + D-Box

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At last, yesterday I’ve tried rocking-moving-trembling D-Box chairs I posted about more than a year ago. I saw an advertisement in a local newspaper about Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace reissued in 3D and with D-BOX Motion Code™.

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