Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bye bye 2013

Last day of the year. Public transport was empty. I like!

At work I joined the annual poker tournament.

I was out early. This was my table. Cute dealer but no good cards for me unfortunately.

Bjorn playing on the right.

We started with 46 players this year needing 5 tables. Biggest tournament in our company's history. Don't know who won because I left before it was over but whoever won took 800 euros home...

This was my real prize, I spent NY's eve with Ruud and Laurien. Over the last couple of years they have turned out to be wonderful people and very good friends. They've picked me up when I was down and out several times and I'm very grateful to have them in my life.

We chatted and laughed a lot.

Played Mario Kart for a while at which I totally sucked thank you very much ;-)

At midnight there was some Brute of course. Bubbles from Champagne, France.

I went out to look for fireworks.

I made these photos with my new iPhone 5s. I'm impressed. I so love this phone...

When I got home I checked my mail and found a nice card from Marjolein.

In 2013 I learned a lot about myself. I learned about emotions, love, death, friends, family and most of all to be true to myself and to give myself what I deserve instead of always looking out for others. Now I just need to find a matching tattoo ;-)

Hope you had a great New year's eve too!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The coloured sky

I fed the ducks on my way to work this morning.

When I got to Central Station the sky had a beautiful colour. A great time to see how my new phone handles these conditions. I think the result speaks for itself :-)

When I got to work I found this one left over marzipan. It was very yummy ;-)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The new phone.

Diewertje's little plant is doing very well! I think it's happy here :-)

I walked in to town early arvo to hunt for a new phone. Town was full of people, mainly tourists.

The line-up for Tussaud's was crazy! I mean, people, c'mon... The canals are so much nicer to see!

In the end I found my new phone in the Apple store. I got myself a 16GB iPhone 5S in Space grey.

My first selfie with this new phone. This was with the front camera.

First photo with the back camera, no flash. Nice!

I am very happy with my phone. I got it on a 2 year contract which made the phone a lot cheaper but still not for free. However, for a device that I use so often and store so much data on, I think it's worth the money. Good purchase.

I was a bit tired and troubled. For distraction I watched almost 2 hours of Seinfeld and then an hour of Southpark, which was fun.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The dust-writer ;-)

Breakfast with the paper.

It was time to fix up and clean out my little garden. It's looking a lot better now.

The little dust-writer was in my house again after a very nice dinner out in town. Had a lovely evening with her.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Kees saw the light!

I had the day off today and went to Kees' new place to help him putting the lights up on the ceiling. The ceiling was rock-hard concrete... There were 8 lights needing a total of 19 holes to be drilled. My right hand which I used to push up the drill, is best left alone. It's pretty sore :-/

But, Kees was very happy with all his lights. And I was happy because I got shit done for someone. I like getting shit done.

Kees rewarded me with some very nice whisky before he took me out to dinner.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Please consider giving a loan through Kiva

Dear reader,

As I'm not doing anything today and not really making any pictures because of this, I'd like to tell you about God. haha, just kidding! Please don't run away now ;-)

Seriously, I want to introduce you to KIVA, of which I have been a member since 2009. KIVA arranges micro loans around the world. How does this work?

  1. You transfer the money you want to lend out to your KIVA account
  2. You browse people who have requested a loan
  3. You select to whom you want to lend money and help complete their loan
You do this without making a profit. The borrowers need to pay interest but this is to cover costs from KIVA and its field partners. These people do this for a living and also need bread on their tables you see. So basically, you do this from your heart, with money you can spare.
However, when you want to stop lending money for whatever reason, you can transfer the money back to your own bank account.

Are there risks? Yes, you do not have a money back-guarantee. KIVA (or its partners) screen the people requesting a loan but sometimes somebody can't pay back the loan afterall. However, because loans are financed by (large) groups of people, you only pay a small part of the loan and therefore your risk is very low.

My case:
I once put in $500 USD (minimum amount is $25 USD). The money in my account is now about $350 USD. The $150 USD difference has gone to donations to KIVA, I have stopped donating so much now though.
My total loss due to defaulted loans (= loans that failed to pay back) is ONLY $0,98 USD.

So briefly; you put in $25 USD or more and decide whom you want to help improving their lives, yourself. You don't -have to- donate any money.

If you are interested, please tell me because if I enlist you as a new member I get a free one-off $25 loan which is always good. (this is not my money, the loan will be paid back to KIVA, not me, but a generous person is donating money to KIVA this way and hey, every loan is a good loan)



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Christmas day

Christmas breakfast with my folks.

My dad was very interested in the new pope.

My mom's knee is healing very slow. She still can't do much.

I prepared some of the dinner in the morning. I like to work methodically ;-)

I made ragout. Quite nice it was!

Cassie was there as well. She looked very nice with her hair loose!

Ilse and Pip. I can see Pip thinking "WTF are you pointing that camera in my direction for?!"

Ilse made apple cakes. Very nice they were! Here's my mom showing how to eat one ;-)

I made out with Pip under the Christmas tree. She kept trying to kiss me. I like being kissed by girls, not by dogs really. Our relationship therefore didn't last very long ;-)

I cooked the dinner today. It had to be a buffet since my mom can't sit at the table for very long. I think I did pretty OK...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The leaking station

I had taken the day off of work. I need a break and a bit of time to put my head together again. The mailman brought me a Christmas card from Tanja and her family. It made me smile :-)

Late arvo I took a train to Alkmaar to see my folks for Christmas. It was pissing down and the station's ceiling was leaking on my platform. Great...

Monday, December 23, 2013

The card

I received a really lovely and sweet Christmas card from Simone today. I like it a lot.

And in the evening I played squash with Eva followed by dinner. It's insane how much food can go in to this little girl...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Amsterdam Light Festival

My breakfast was rather large...

The Christmas tree received decorations today. I have no clue who put it there...

In the afternoon Mara and Remy joined me to see my car, they were very curious. I needed to fire it up a bit and also I wanted to remove the antenna so I could put the cover on properly.
The care started after 5 tries. Hope I didn't exhaust the battery...

Afterwards we went back to my place for a beer.

... and a pile of toasties that I made :-)

Then Ruud and Laurien dropped by and we walked in to town to walk the "Amsterdam Light Festival" trail.

Below are some photos I took during the walk:

My shadow was in jail!

At some stage it started to rain really bad and we hit a pub. here's yours truly, Mara, Remy, Ruud and Laurien and for some reason nobody has a normal face!

The whole trail took about 3,5 hours to walk which was a fair bit. We needed some moisturizing afterwards.

One final shot when i walked back home with Ruud and Laurien. I love the sky, it's kinda surreal.