Sunday, April 30, 2006

Queens day

This weekend the Netherlands celebrated the birthday of our previous queen. It's a national holiday and many people visit Amsterdam because of the events that are organized. On Queens Day you are allowed to sell personal stuff so the centre of Amsterdam turns into a gigantic market place. Last week my son asked me to buy him a new computer game. I told him that he could earn it himself by selling some of his old toys on the market. This weekend he earned his new game himself (6 y.o.) with a little help of his girlfriend (and us of course). First lessons in economics..

I had to park my ride on the safety island, as many people parked it on the pavement. Normally you get towed away but on Queens day they are more tolerant.

Kids were elated the entire day, we ended up exhausted but fulfilled. Took the day off tomorrow to do some studying. Have to finish my dissertation somewhere in June and have to clear some backlog. It has been a crazy week abroad and attending round tables, unable to blog. Next week will be about the same. Frankfurt, Paris and Barcelona. See you later, take care..

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Whining and dining

Today I am invited at The Vanenburg Kastle together with some MP's, managers and scientists. We are discussing the Dutch economy getting up to speed within an hyper competitive and mature market. Main question is: how do you realize profiable growth through excelence in compliance? Many companies find themselves hindered by the overload of compliancy regulations nowadays.

I will defend the thesis that they should stop whining about it and start spending energy on identifying possible advantages. Compliance (Sarbanes Oxley 302 & 404 for example) is all about having better and more effective (internal) processes. Normally I stirr off the group until diner time and then when several glasses of wine are consumed and the day is wrapped up they usually love me or hate me from the bottom of their hart. Both are fine, as long as they have an opinion.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Habemus Condomium

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini has publicly backed the use of condoms among married couples to prevent AIDS transmission. This weekend, the BBC reported that Cardinal Martini, one of the Church's most distinguished cardinals, said that in couples where one had HIV/AIDS, which could pass to the partner, the use of condoms was "a lesser evil". I Say: HUH..TOO LITTLE TOO LATE!!

The middle aged Christian Politburo, which runs many hospitals and institutions to help AIDS victims, opposes the use of condoms and teaches that fidelity within heterosexual marriage, chastity and abstinence are the best way to stop the spread of AIDS. Pope was unavailable for comment but adviced to put ice cubes in them to keep the swelling down.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Times and blogs they are changin'

Dear friends,

Hope you like the new layout but I have seemed to have lost my side bar content. It has sunk to the bottom on my laptop. Can anyone give me advise on how to fix it? I believe Granny Ann had the same problem once but I can't recall her post.

Thx in advance,

Aisha, take off that Burqa!

My multicultural country is having a serious identity crisis. These days, the country's immigrant melting pot is feeling more like a powderkeg. The latest spark in our mini culture war came this week from the social affairs alderman (who is Morrocan himself)for the city of Amsterdam, who says women who wear burqas are having trouble finding jobs. His solution? Take it off or lose your benefits.

Ahmed Aboutaleb has proposed introducing legislation that would allow the city to cut welfare payments to women who insist on wearing a burqa if it can prove the full-body covering is the reason she can't find a job.

Sometimes my country makes me sick.

Kosovar schoolgirl Taida Pasic lost her court appeal yesterda against the decision to expel her from the Netherlands.

Pasic has been involved in a high-profile battle with Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk since the start of the year. The judge in Amsterdam found that the Minister acted correctly when she refused to grant Pasic, 18, a residence permit to allow her to finish her VWO secondary education in the Netherlands

Pasic's family fled from Kosovo to the Netherlands when she was 12. The IND decided the family could not stay and they were given money to leave voluntarily. Taida said she returned to complete her schooling in the hope of going on to study law at university.

Immigration officials came to the school in Winterswijk at the beginning of the year and put her in handcuffs in front of her classmates. She was initially placed in a deportation centre but has been staying for some time with the family of a school friend.

This girl -to my opinion- is an exemplary student for our Dutch youth. She shows courage, perseverance, was rewarded good grades and desired to go to university. And what does my freaking country do? We just kick her out of the Netherlands because that's our law. Sometimes my country makes me sick.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Last night we were listening to Dubbya speaking on BBC about the nuclear threat of Iran. He couldn't pronounce the word NUCLEAR. "Newkula" or "Newclear". We were laughing our asses off every time he used the word. Can someone please let him know that he is making a gigantic fool off himself over here in Europe. Even we can say nuclear in English. "Newkula" huh..

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New Dutch car design for near future

At least 55 percent of Dutch people believe they are too fat. While 53 percent have tried on one or more occasions to tackle the problem, few have achieved satisfactory results, according to research by market research firm Motivaction on behalf of television programme 'Netwerk'. Experts estimate about 50 percent of the population is overweight. Government campaigns on obesity have had little impact, Motivaction said.

Monday, April 17, 2006

What's your guess?

  1. 1. Shrub just released some poisonous gas;

2. Powel gave the Germans an appropriate greeting during their Berlin visit;

3. Powel smells the finger he uses to please Dubya;

4. .............................

What's your guess?

A crocodile is longer than it is wide

I should be cleaning the kitchen sink, fill out my tax forms or study but I am not capable of doing anything useful at the moment...

So now I'll prove you that a crocodile is longer than it is wide :

Lemma 1. The crocodile is longer than it is green: Let's look at the crocodile. It is long on the top and on the bottom, but it is green only on the top. Therefore, the crocodile is longer than it is green.

Lemma 2. The crocodile is greener than it is wide: Let's look at the crocodile. It is green along its length and width, but it is wide only along its width. Therefore, the crocodile is greener than it is wide.

From Lemma 1 and Lemma 2 we can conclude that the crocodile is longer than it is wide.

OK, up to more bull^s%^&*, anything to avoid doing things that have to be done anyway..

I say Archimedes was wrong!

x = (Pi+3)/2

2x = Pi+3

2x(Pi-3) = (Pi+3)(Pi-3)

2Pix-6x = Pi^2-9

9-6x = Pi^2-2Pix

9-6x+x^2 = Pi^2-2Pix+x^2

(3-x)^2 = (Pi-x)^2

3-x = Pi-x

Pi = 3

Islam neither conflicts with Dutch values nor undermines human rights

A study conducted for the Dutch government has concluded that Islam neither conflicts with Dutch values nor undermines human rights, with welcoming Dutch Muslims hoping for a fresh start.

After three years of research, the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) affirmed that Islam, in principle, neither conflicts with democracy, nor human rights nor Dutch values. It advised The Netherlands and the European Union to reach out to Islamic movements which embraced democracy like Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

The study concluded that some Islamic movements are fully backing democracy and are in no way an obstacle to it. It also recommended that the government communicates with and offers aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government.The United States and the European Union have suspended direct aid to the new government, like Russia which pledged urgent aid.

Dutch Muslims have seized celebrations of Prophet Muhammad's Birthday earlier this April to introduce their religion and prophet of Islam to non-Muslim Dutch.

Europe’s main rights and democracy watchdog, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), expressed concern in May last year at the increasing Dutch intolerance towards the Muslim minority and the "climate of fear" under which the minority was living.

Islamophobia gained momentum in the Netherlands after the November 2004 killing of director Theo van Gogh by a Dutch-Moroccan after directing the first film of Hirsi. There are one million Muslims in the Netherlands, mostly hailing from Turkish and Moroccan origin.

Yawning pay gap in European Union

A yawning pay gap exists between rich and poor countries in the European Union, with German and Dutch workers earning six times more per hour than equivalent workers in Slovakia.

According to Pay in Europe 2006, a report published this month by the Federation of European Employers (FedEE), the top ten countries and territories in the European pay league are

1: Denmark, 2: Norway, 3: Switzerland, 4: Liechtenstein, 5: Luxembourg, 6: Germany, 7: Guernsey (Channel Islands), 8: Isle of Man, 9: The Netherlands and 10: Finland.

At the bottom of the league table are 44: Albania, 45: Ukraine, 46: Bulgaria, 47: Belarus and 48: Moldova.

Dear President Lukashenka,

With this writing I want to express my concern about the detaining of peaceful demonstrators by the security forces during demonstrations following the recent presidential election results in Belarus. I would like to remind the Belarusian government that it is a state party to the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights. Article 19 of this Convention states that "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression".I am calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all those peaceful demonstrators who have been detained by the security forces during the demonstrations. The Belarusian authorities must ensure that international human rights standards are fully observed during policing operations and that demonstrators are not subjected to beating or other forms of ill-treatment. I trust that you will take the necessary steps to address this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Saturday, April 15, 2006

It's time

It must have been three or four o’clock in the morning. I was sound asleep when all of a sudden I felt a cold breeze blowing through the bedroom. I woke up somewhat frightened and saw this amazingly bright light at the foot end of my bed. My heart pounded at an incredible pace and it felt like my throat was being squeezed. The light constantly changed its form and color and then all of a sudden, in the middle of the light the shape of a woman appeared.

She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. Her blue eyes were as radiant as little stars and she smiled in a very peaceful way. I calmed down and watched her for a while. Her body seemed to be in a state of flux. It looked solid but it was more like a dense cloud of energy.

“Who, who are you”, I stumbled. The words barely came out of my mouth. “I am the light”, she replied. Her voice sounded warm and peaceful but she didn’t speak, it was as if she projected the words in my head. “I am here to take you with me”, she said. “What do you mean, take you with me”, I asked her. “Well, it is time to get back to the light, back to infinity”. “But why do you know me and how did you find me”, I asked her. She smiled, “Well, that wasn’t so difficult as we were one already”, she said.

“I don’t get it”, I said. “What do you mean with one?” She apparently was amused. “Did you forget that you and me are the same?”. “Did you forget that we both belong to the same field of energy?” “I guess so”, I stumbled. Her remarks confused me. “But why are we separate then, why aren’t we the same?”, I asked her. “Well you see Dimitri, you have temporarily been detached from the field”. “The light is constantly trying to achieve a higher level of energy but every now and then, some energy materializes and that’s what happened to you”.

“But what about all the people around me, my job, my house, is that also part of the oneness?”, I asked her. “In a way it is”, she said. “When you are disconnected from the field you create your own world with infinite possibilities”. “Your mind then sort of materializes your thoughts as if it looks like the world you created is real”. “You say that my time has come and I have to go back to the light but how do you know it is time?”. “I mean why now?” I asked her..

Before she could answer my question the alarm-clock rang. I woke up and found her gone. Five o clock in the morning. My flight leaves at six. Have to shower and hurry to the airport. I turned on the light. Then all of a sudden I felt this cold breeze blowing through the bedroom…

Tour de France

Had to travel through France this week. From Amsterdam to Paris, from Paris to Besançon with Train Grande Vitesse, from Besançson to Dyon, from Dyon to Paris and from Paris back to Amsterdam.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Rehabilitating Judas

After being lost for nearly 1,700 years, the Gospel of Judas was recently restored, authenticated, and translated. (full info here)

Biblical accounts suggest that Jesus foresaw and allowed Judas's betrayal.

As told in the New Testament Gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus for "30 pieces of silver," identifying him with a kiss in front of Roman soldiers. Later the guilt-ridden Judas returns the bribe and commits suicide, according to the Bible.

The Gospel of Judas, however, gives a very different account. The text begins by announcing that it is the "secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover."

It goes on to describe Judas as Jesus' closest friend, someone who understands Christ's true message and is singled out for special status among Jesus' disciples.
In the key passage Jesus tells Judas, "'you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.'"

Kasser, the translation-project leader, offers an interpretation: "Jesus says it is necessary for someone to free him finally from his human body, and he prefers that this liberation be done by a friend rather than by an enemy.

"So he asks Judas, who is his friend, to sell him out, to betray him. It's treason to the general public, but between Jesus and Judas it's not treachery."

The surviving copy of the gospel was written in the third or fourth century A.D., but the text was known prior to A.D. 180. In that year St. Irenaeus—then the bishop of what is now Lyon, France—published Against Heresies, a volume intended to help unify the Christian church.
St. Irenaeus's method was to savage alternative theological views and interpretations—including the Gospel of Judas—which he referred to as "fictitious histories."

The newfound account challenges one of the most firmly rooted beliefs in Christian tradition.

Now the most famous antichrist appears to be an enlightened soul, who realized that the betrayal was part of God's master plan to save humanity by having his son crucified. So Judas, being the big man that he was, decided he could live with his soiled place in posterity if it meant everyone got to go to heaven. Other heretical movements advanced ideas such as the notion that Judas was actually crucified in the place of Jesus.

Woke up this morning

Stepped outside on our Amsterdam bedroom balcony overlooking the polder: ahhh SUN and blue SKY
I stretched my arms and filled my longues with fresh air -insert deep breath here-
Put on my running shoes
and ran a few miles along the dike behind our house
along the pumping station "The Lynden" (1849) which is still active. It originally was steam engined but runs on electricity now and is fully automated and digitally connected to three other pumping stations that keep our feet dry in the "Haarlemmermeer polder".
As early as 1643 Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater proposed to endike and drain the lake Haarlemmermeer. Similar schemes, among which those of Nikolaas Samuel Cruquius in 1742 and of Baron van Lijnden van Hemmen in 1820 are worthy of special mention, were brought forward from time to time. But it was not until a furious hurricane in November 1836 drove the waters as far as the gates of Amsterdam (flooded the land where our house is build), and another on Christmas Day sent them in the opposite direction to submerge the streets of Leiden, that the mind of our nation was seriously turned to the matter.
On August 1, 1837, King William I appointed a royal commission of inquiry; the scheme proposed by the commission received the sanction of the Second Chamber in March 1839, and in the following May the work was begun.
Ahh....what a great way to start off.
Enjoy your Sundays too my blogfriends !!!

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Last week we celebrated our annual top 200. This is when we invite our European top management to a gathering where we share annual figures and future strategy. Since we are being taken over and delisted from the stock exchange within a few months it was in fact a very strange meeting. Many people asked me about their jobs and future roles. I tried to be as positive as possible but what can you say if in fact you can't tell anything at the moment?

Since I'm kind of a jobhopper -at least I was (gettin' older now), I don't worry too much about having or finding a job. But a lot of my colleagues do and this has a kind of paralysing effect on many of them. Today I felt the same for the first time in my life. I felt benumbed and indeed paralyzed. Tried to study but it didn't work. Ended up at 14.00h with mrs. in our favourite brasserie in Amsterdam where we just enjoyed eating and drinking and sharing thoughts with the owners.

I am going to sleep early tonight and take a deep breath tomorrow morning. I have to be positive again monday morning, that's what I am payed for. And I will be..

I wish you all a pleasant and relaxing weekend.

P.S. I'm gaining weight, you see that? It's the pants right?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"a pawn of Washington"

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez used his 'traditional' Saturday television talk at the weekend to lash out at our Defence Minister Henk Kamp, calling him a "pawn of Washington", who allegedly helped spread the lie that Venezuela is planning to launch an attack on the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean. Chavez said Kamp's comments are part of a US-led campaign to put his country in a bad light.The United States wants to use the Antillean island of Curacao as a springboard to launch an attack on Venezuela. Venezuela wants to seize control of Curacao and the other Antillean islands of Aruba and Bonaire. We will be holding a large military exercise in the Caribbean this spring, together with the US, France and other countries, as a way of sending a warning shot to Venezuela. These are the main ingredients - whether true or not - in a war of words that's been raging like a bushfire since the beginning of last month despite efforts to bring the situation back to some semblance of reality.

Many Dutch residents would be more than happy to hand over our Falkland Islands, the Netherlands Antilles to the pawn of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez. They are nothing but a corrupt bunch of cocaine addicted would be politicians. So please take it Hugo, have it for free, consider it our wedding gift and enjoy!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

It's the pants right?

15 years ago:
"Honey, do these pants make me look fat, what do you think?" She asked me. "No dear, those are nice jeans. No the pants are just lovely", I replied. "'s your ASS that makes you look fat dear, not those pants"

10 years ago:
"No the PANTS are just lovely"


I must admit to have been somewhat rude, blunt and grumpy at times. I even admit to be a pain in the rear to live with from time to time. Hell I would agree instantly if you would say that I've behaved like a selfish arrogant SOB during my younger years. But all of that has changed. I have aged, matured and have smoothened the sharper edges.

But after several relationships and years of wisdom I still haven't found the right response to her question. She deserves my honest opinion, I won't lie to her. But even when I don't say a word she goes "what are you looking at?, What's wrong?, It's the pants right?"