Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Rock Band

Rock Band.Yesterday evening there was a birthday party for Ben and Cynthia in Raleigh. It was a nice evening with a cookout and good conversations.

In one of the rooms there was a Rock Band installation set up. Rock Band is a video game where the goal is to make music together. I had read about the game before, but it's quite something else to see it in real.

In the room was large video screen, a console and a sound system, but also two guitars and a drum set. The guitars and drum sets are peripherals that are connected to the main console, and allow 4 people to join together to make music. I played the bass in a song by Blondie (on the easiest level), and it was really fun.


Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

Bigger, Stronger, Faster.Friday afternoon on the Full Frame Festival I saw Bigger, Faster, Stronger*, a movie about American sport culture. The films asks why anabolic steroids are illegal and forbidden in sports, while so many athletes use it and there are so many similar drugs and techniques in use. "Is it still cheating if everybody is doing it?"

It was an amusing documentary, but it fails to make a strong case. The style of argumentation is that of Michael Moore, albeit less stark. There are lots of insinuations but hard data and solid arguments are lacking. I didn't care for the part where the main character talks to his congressman, who is not completely up-to-date of all the facts and has to consult with an assistant. A cheap shot on somebody who was only sideways involved. Over-all, I don't believe this movie made a compelling case.

Nevertheless, it is an entertaining and interesting film. It does a really good job of mixing general commentary with the personal history and developments of the family of the main characters, three brothers who grew up working in a culture of weight-lifting. The main character is trying to determine for himself whether or not it is all right to use steroids, and among other things looks at his brother, a failed WWE wrestler. The film keeps an upbeat tone, and the part about the LA Times picture was very funny. The incorporation of old family video material is well done.

The asterisk (*) in the title refers to the by-line: "* The side-effects of being American". A good film, interesting and entertaining.


Growing herbs (2)

Growing herbs.I transplanted some of the herbs that I planted three weeks ago.

It's the first time I'm doing this; I'm curious to see how things will work out. Not all plants looked ready to go outdoors, so I'm keeping about half of them inside.

The weather has been really nice, but with the herbs outside I'm a bit worried about frost at night. It would be rare, but one night could be enough to do damage. I haven't found an RSS feed yet that can tell me if there's frost predicted for our area.


A Saturday in spring

What a beautiful day! The temperature is in the 80's and the sun is shining brightly... spring is coming up to speed.

I woke up early this morning and went for a nice run at 8.30 am. The swimming pool opened last week, so maybe we'll go there later but for now it's coffee on the balcony.

Over the last few months we've been making (wonderful) plans for the summer and things are starting to finalize. Jaap and Mieke will visit us in July and booked their flights today.



Car. The trees are losing their spring blossom, and everywhere you go there's a yellow or white coating of little blossoms.


The Long Road Home

Water bottle.Thursday afternoon Michael and I traveled back to Raleigh/Durham. We had planned to take a 5.30 pm flight from Newark, but unfortunately the flight was significantly overbooked. We arrived at the airport about 50 minutes before departure time, and the machine didn't give us a boarding pass but a "priority seating ticket" of some kind. Bad news!

Anyway, so we were bumped off the flight, but with the help of our excellent travel agency and some creativity we got seats on a flight to Charlotte, and American Airlines paid for the minivan we took from there to RDU. We were home at 1.30 am, but at least we didn't have to stay another day and take a flight on Friday night (the first thing the AA agent offered us).


In New Jersey

I'm in New Jersey today and tomorrow for work. The weather here is nicer than at home although it's usually the other way around. Since I'm here for only a short time there are a lot of meetings in a short period of time.

American Airlines is canceling a lot of flights because of maintenance issues, but so far it looks like the aircraft that we'll take tomorrow is not affected.


Full Frame Festival 2008 Awards

The Full Frame Festival 2008 Awards were announced an hour ago. Not surprisingly, Man on Wire won the Audience Award and got an honorable mention from the Jury (we saw the film last night and it was amazing). The Jury award went to Trouble the Water, a movie about Hurricane Katrina.

Two other movies that I saw received awards: Lioness and At the Death House Door.

This afternoon I went to the Durham Armory where the tickets are being sold and I was in line from 2.00 pm so I was the first one to buy tickets -- Sasha and I will see Betrayal at 3.45 pm and in the evening I'll see Trouble the Water. Betrayal is playing in Cinema One, a small venue, so it was getting sold out quickly.


To See If I'm Smiling

To See If I'm Smiling.The third movie I saw on Full Frame this year was To See If I'm Smiling. The movie is about six Isreali women who look back at their compulsary military service, and their experiences. So somehow I saw 3 movies in a row about female warriors. Of the 3, I liked Lioness the best with My Daughter the Terrorist a close second, but To See If I'm Smiling is a strong film as well.


My Daughter the Terrorist

My Daughter the Terrorist.The movie opens with a beautiful nature shot of a river in Sri Lanka, and the camera moves to two heavily armed girls of around 18 years old. They are soldiers in the Tamil Tigers rebel army.

The personal story of the girls shows why they choose to join the rebels at the age of 11 after attacks by the military on their village. The father of one the girls is killed in an air raid as is told in moving interviews with the girl's mother. The mother hasn't seen her daughter in year since the girls now live and train in a rebel controlled area. In conversations with the two girls it becomes clear that the girls are trained to become suicide bombers, who at one point will strap a mine to their body to attack 'high value targets'.

The film is directed by Beate Arnestad and produced by Morten Daae. It is amazing how much access the filmmakers had to these two girls, and they did a great job providing context to their story and the civil war that's going on in Sri Lanka. The audience gets a bit of an understanding of why and how people can become ready to kill themselves for a Leader; the movie also shows some of the tragic results these suicide attacks have on the civilian population. When I searched for more information on the civil war there I found a newspaper article that just today, Sunday April 6th, a suicide bomber killed 12 people at the start of a marathon in Sri Lanka.

An eye opening film; one of the best I've seen on the festival this year. I'm now sitting in the Armory, waiting for the results of the juries decisions and hoping to be able to buy tickets for the winning movies.


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