Diogenes's blog

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Canada Post-Third Class

I went to the mailbox around noon today and picked up the latest edition of The Economist for some lunchtime reading.

Economist (6K)

For readers here in the Netherlands, or in London, where I lived a few years ago, this would be the beginning of a real boring blog. But in my hometown of Calgary, Canada, that opening paragraph would be pure fiction, even fantasy.

Mail is NOT delivered on Saturday in Canada (though it once was), and certain pieces, like magazines, crawl through the system at a snails pace.

I can speak with some authority on this. We have made use of all three national postal systems in the last four years. I subscribe to one magazine, the Economist, and we have moved back and forth between these countries in recent years.

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MaastrichtOnMap (16K)

We went to Maastricht, a city located in a teardrop shaped piece land surrounded by Belgium and Germany, but belonging to the Netherlands. It is in the province of Limburg and is the deep south of the Netherlands. They speak dutch there, but it sounds kind of funny. Maastricht sits very near the Belgium border.

It is one of the oldest occupied areas in the Netherlands, having been occupied by the Dutch, the Romans, the Dutch, assorted kings, conquerers and churches, the Dutch, Napoleon, the Dutch, Germans, and of course, the Dutch. It may be worse. Like the repair bill for an old car or most of history, this is just a rough estimate.

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The black screen of death

leaningBellTower No worries… it's been financed with Asset Backed Commercial Paper (ABCP)

October 11, 2007

Wow! Almost a full month since our last update. Time does fly.

The jukebox page has been a challenge. We ran out of disk drive space for songs. Attempts at repartioning the existing hard drive proved fruitless. The end solution was to simply just buy a new hard drive.

Only $90 for 250 gigabytes! It's amazing.

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Introducing the NEE NEE Jukebox

screenShot (12K)

So we have been busy working a a new app to enhance your visit.

Today we are proud to announce our jukebox is now in operation, at least until the authorities shut us down.

End user experience may vary.

I started on this widget when I began learning PHP and mySQL stuff several years ago. To make it interesting, I needed a database that was both useful and fun.

I have a collection of mp3 files. It keeps getting larger. So this database was born from that time and need.


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Parking in Den Haag


The Parking in Den Haag page has been enhanced for Google Earth users. It now has a link to a .kmz file that will download and open with Google Earth (if you have it installed).

The car parked on the wall is quite visible on the satellite shot. An anonymous cyclist is also captured.

The satellite shots of Den Haag are amazing. There are no clouds, a clear sky. This is very suspicious.

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Labour Day Weirdness


In Canada, the Monday following the first weekend in September is Labour Day, a nationally recognized holiday where we honour all those who would like another day off work.

Here in the Netherlands, there are no long weekends. There are holidays and vacations, but no long weekends. This would go against the Dutch Calvinist view of life.

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No one I know

susanSontag georgeSontag (4K)

So I have been working on the web site. There is a separate BLOG page now with 3+ entries, the default being the Lord Hairball page.

I'm also happy to report that if you search for sontag on google.ca, a link to this page appears near the top.

OK - maybe that's not exactly FaceBook or anything but we did replace one Susan Sontag link (no relation, unfortunately).

We have also bumped off the notorious Sontag brothers (again, no relation, at least none that my relatives will own up to).

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Thundering YAPUs

I have been stampeded by a herd of YAPUs recently. A YAPU is my acronymn for Yet Another Program Update.

YAPUs are the speed bumps of the internet highway. They slow you down, sometimes even demanding that you restart your engine. But we reluctantly accept them because they are there for our safety.

A YAPU might show up on the doorstep of your computer when you turn it on; as you check your email; or open a web page; click on something in a web page; or even when you plug in an iPod.

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The Reluctant Traveller visits Norway

NorwayStreet3x (14K)

The Relunctant Traveller found himself in Norway for reasons that were, like the weather, never very clear. We saw about six hours of sunshine in the six days we were there.

We stayed in Stavanger, a pretty little town on the west coast that is a service port for North Sea oil production.

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Random Notes

The regular readers of this page, if there are any, have known for some time that we were off to Norway for a few days. One might ask why.

Some serious work needed to be done there, not by me, but by MLW. The company had an apartment in Stavanger, so I tagged along.

According to the Economist magazines highly acclaimed Big Mac Index, Norway one of the most expensive places in the world. They put the price of the venerable Big Mac at C$7.21 (using the prevailing Bank of Canada currency exchange).

I set out to test the theory you get what you pay for. Set the bar low enough, and you can prove (or disprove) anything.


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