Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Get Shorty

Get Shorty.A little while ago I rented Get Shorty. We saw Be Cool last November, and both movies were equally funny.

John Travolta played his usual character -- a cool, tough and funny loan shark who makes his way into the Hollywood movie business. The movie is from 1995, so Travolta played this role one year after his come-back role in Pulp Fiction.


Ettie's birthday

Balloon.Today is Ettie's birthday, and appropriately there was a nice balloon in a tree on my way to work.

Ettie had a party yesterday -- congratulations from both of us!


A new Dutch phone number

I have found an even better Dutch phone number, one with the same area code as my parents.

The number is: 0227 - 71 20 00 (+31 227 - 71 20 00 from outside the Netherlands).

This one I have through Budgetphone, and they charge $6,00 per year for a phone number, that can have any area code.

My Grandstream phone is on its way -- I bought it last Sunday but I requested shipping per Fedex Ground. I forgot that the shop is in California, some my new phone is currently in a truck crossing the entire United States. Its estimated arrival is next Monday.


Dutch phone number

The last week I have been reading up on VoIP, and I found that it is possible to have a Dutch phone number and subscription that I can use from here.

I applied for a Dutch TN through XS4ALL, where I have a subscription for my website. My phone number is +31 878 721 747 (or 0878 - 72 17 47 in the Netherlands), and for most Dutch people the rates is 2 or 4 cents per minute, depending on the time of day ("interregionaal tarief"). There are also some other providers that offer DID numbers in Amsterdam and Utrecht but they charge about 9 euro per number per month, whereas this XS4ALL number is free.

Currently, I receive these types of phone calls on my laptop through a so-called Softphone application, but I have ordered a real SIP phone that will be delivered sometime next week. The great advantage will be that I will no longer have to have a computer running to place or receive phone-calls.


Round trip Mount Vernon

On Sunday I felt quite some muscle pain from Saturday's bike trip, so I decided to go for a little round to get my legs moving again.

However, when I arrived in Rosslyn I felt much better, and the weather was amazing, so I decided to go for a long trip instead. I went to Mount Vernon again (like the first leg of the Super Nova), but this time I did it round trip.

I can feel my bicycling improving -- it took me a little under four hours to do the complete round trip, which is about 36 miles altogether.

Sasha came back on Monday, which was very nice. I spend Tuesday and Wednesday in another city for work, came back around 7 pm yesterday.


Super Nova, part 1

The last couple of weeks I have been bicycling quite a lot. It's fun, because I like to explore the area that I live in, and it's a great work out.

The other day I toured the Arlington Triangle again, this time in a little over two hours. Today I did the first part of a large tour that I once would like to do: the Super Nova. Clearly, a 70+ miles ride is overly ambitious for me, but it's fun to work towards something. Today I drove the first 25 miles, from Court House to Reagan National Airport, from there to Mount Vernon, and finally to Springfield, where I took the metro home.

I had lunch near Springfield, and just when I was done Ettie called, which was very nice. The last 15 minutes or so it was raining, but not to bad, and I arrived reasonably dry at the Franconia-Springfield metro station (the last stop on the blue line).

When I came home I realized I had gotten a sun tint; there was a bright sun in the morning.


Great Washington Bicycle Loop

Washington Bicycle LoopLast Sunday I spent pretty much the entire day on the bicycle. I did the Great Washington Bicycle Loop ride, a route around Washington and many of the suburbs.

It was pretty cold, but very sunny. The first half of the route was on the Capital Crescent trail, which I had done before, basically going north to Bethesda. I'd never seen Bethesda before, but didn't spend a lot of time there, and continued the trail.

In Silver Spring I got some bread, cheese and milk and I had lunch in the Sligo Creek park. At one point in South-West D.C. my clue sheet told me to leave the Sligo Creek trail, but I took a wrong exit, and within 1 minute bicycling I arrived in a really bad neighbourhood. Not just shabby, but it seriously scary, with broken down cars and a lot of unpleasant folks on the street. I quickly turned around -- it's easy to forget that Washington has some really bad neighbourhoods.

On my way back it was really cool to approach Union Station from the north, although traffic was pretty crazy there.


A Dutchie with a helmet

Helmet.There are many differences between bicycling in the States and in the Netherlands. For one thing, there are much less bicycles on the road here, and typically more traffic.

Almost everybody wears a helmet here. When we first bought our bikes the salesman asked me if I thought I needed one, and I said no, with in mind my 23+ years experience in bicycling without a helmet.

However, two weeks ago, when I was bicycling on the Four Mile Run for the second time, I was driving pretty aggresively in the park, on a hilly road with tight corners. At one point I really under estimated a corner, and I more or less crashed in the roadside. No real injuries, I managed to stay on my feet during the incident by extending my arm and holding myself against a tree, so bike and rider were fine.

It did make the point clear though that a helmet would not be a totally unnecessary luxury. So, now I am the proud owner of a bicycle helmet.


Cherry Blossoms

Martenitsa at the Cherry Blossoms.Last Sunday we went to see the Cherry Blossoms. We started our walk again at the World Bank, just like a few days earlier when we went to the Tidal Basin in the evening.

We made a quick stop at Starbucks, and from the Bank we walked to the White House. We had lunch near there, and continued our trip towards the Tidal Basin. The weather was wonderful (shorts & sandals), and it was crowded on the National Mall and at the Cherry Blossom festival.

It was the last weekend the blossoms were blooming, but the flowers had not lost any of their beauty. However, there must have started to loose their blossoms as you could see a lot of blossoms in the water.

It was of course a great location to place our martenitsas as well.

After spending some two hours or so at the Cherry Blossoms, we walked back to the Reflecting Pool. Obviously, this was the time for a lot of pictures.


Presentation in Malta

Next week Sasha will present her research work at a conference in Malta. She's leaving this afternoon.

On Monday she will give a presentation on the results of the work that she is doing at her work, followed later in the week by other meetings and discussions. She will be there for over a week.

The workshop is organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the University of Malta which has a Information Brochure on-line.


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