Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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We had an easy weekend. Because I wasn't sure if I'd have to work this weekend we didn't make big plans, but the project is going well and it turned out that I didn't have to work.

Saturday evening we went out with Bella and Ramiro to a Spanish restaurant, La Tasca. We had sangria and tapas, the small dishes. My personal favorite recipe in the Spanish kitchen? The cured meat, delicious. Sunday I went to the office for an hour, there was something small I had to do for which I usually don't have time during the day.

I finished reading the first play of Shakespeare in the book bought two weeks ago. It took a few pages to get used to the style of writing but now it's a joy to read. In addition to this large book, I'm also reading a "Guide to Shakespeare" next to it, which is about the same size (and weight...). This guide is extremely useful for me; it explains many things I would have never realized while reading only the main text. It's written by Isaac Asimov, a great science-fiction author.

Actually, Asimov says that some experts doubt that the first play that I read, Henry VI part I, was really written by Shakespeare. They say it's written to badly for a real Shakespeare play. It's certainly confusing to read, as the chronology of the story is often rather mixed up.


Map of Arlington

A nice tool that I recently tried out is Google Maps.

If you type in an American address in the Google search bar, you're given the option to see a map of that address. Of course I tried it immediately with our own address.

The main thing I like about it is that you can zoom in & out, and so get a good idea of the entire area. In the map of our address, you can see the Iwo Jima monument that I saw last week. In the lower-left corner is Quincy park, that's where our library is (about 25 minutes walking).

In the shadow of the address sign is the location of my work (at the crossing of Wilson Boulevard with the Fort Myer drive). The bridge of the river is the Key bridge, that leads to Georgetown and downtown D.C.

If you move the focus a bit, or zoom out, you can see Washington D.C. Another thing I tried was following the river, the Potomac from its beginning to the Atlantic ocean.



Philips and Douwe Egberts Senseo.Two Dutch brands that you'll find a lot in the U.S. are Douwe Egberts and Philips.

A few years ago they combined their marketing efforts and started selling "The Senseo".

This is a picture taken in Macy's, a department store in Pentagon City.


Server down

Today at around 16:00 o'clock Dutch time the server for this website went down.

My father was home, and he quickly fixed the problem. He took a nice picture of the screen, to allow me to see the error message.

It's a strange idea, that the server is so far away and I'm happy that I have good backups in place. The error message "kernel: page fault trap" is not a very healthy sign.


Secure all loose outdoor objects...

It's raining this morning.

And of course, the weather service is very happy with that: something important. So instead of saying "it's raining and it's windy", they issue an urgent weather message:



The Office, season 1

David Brent: 'The smiling face of a man beloved by his team'.Sunday we rented the first season of "The Office" on DVD.

I've seen this British TV show a couple of times in the Netherlands, and the other day we saw Ricky Gervais, the main actor, in Saturday Night Live. Sasha had never seen it and I loved to watch it, so we rented the DVD and saw all episodes of the first season in one lazy evening. Hilarious!

The humor is different than in many other series or movies, but it's really funny and we loved it. The DVD came with a long interview with the creators of the series ("only geeks watch the DVD bonus material") and a few deleted scenes, which was nice.


Marine Corps Memorial

Marine Corps Memorial.Sunday afternoon I made a walk to the Marine Corps Memorial.

This is a memorial for the U.S. Marine Corps, and all their actions since the 18th century.

The statue is made after a famous picture from World War II on Iwo Jima, where American soldiers are installing the American flag on a conquered island.


American Cuisine

Yesterday, after our visit to the library, we walked back home.

We had dinner in Clarendon, in a very beautiful place: the Silver Diner. It's a typical American place, and although the chain is relatively new, being founded in 1986, it is decorated completely in 1950's style. The restaurant has small juxeboxes on the table: when you enter a quarter you can choose the next song that will play in the restaurant, and you can modify the volume that the music plays at your table.

The menu is a nice mixture of modern cuisine such as Thai recipes and old-fashioned diner plates like meatloaf and hamburgers.

In the morning we had bagels at Brooklyn bagels, so we continued with "American cuisine". The sun is shining nicely today, and even though it's still quite windy it really feels like spring.



A painting on a building in Clarendon.This afternoon we went to Arlington's central library. We saw on internet that it's located two metro stops away from our house, but the weather was very nice so we went for a long walk. It was really sunny today and not so cold anymore.

The library is south of Clarendon, and while we were walking we saw that we were entering suburbs: lower houses, wider street, more gardens; different than the part of Arlington where we live which consists mainly of apartment buildings. It wasn't hard to find the street of the library: all streets are ordered alphabetically, as someone on the street who we asked mentioned.

It's really fun to be a tourist in the area where you live: so many interesting things and you don't have to travel to see them. There weren't a lot of people walking where we went -- mainly cars.

We subscribed to the library, which is free if you have an address in Arlington. It's a fairly large library, but not as big as the one in Haarlem.


Hotmail 250 MB

Joost sent me a very useful tip: an explanation how to increase your Hotmail inbox size for free.

Traditionally the inbox of a Hotmail account is 2 MB but last year, when Google announced GMail, Hotmail planned an upgrade to larger mailbox sizes. For some reason, this increase is only available to people in the U.S. However, using Joost's tip, which basically comes down to temporary changing your address to a U.S. based one, you can get the large Inbox even when you live in Holland.

Right after I executed the trick, I got a 25 MB size account, and an hour that was increased again to 250 MB.

Not as large as GMail, but much better than the original 2 MB. Thanks Joost!

Increased Inbox size for 'Americans'.


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