Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Me? Stressed yesterday? Really? why?

To my colleagues who mock my face that copied the color of my bright red sweater yesterday like a cameleon, when I realised that the software system was crashing and that all users were one by one being kicked out until we had 5 inactive depots:

* Next time the helpdesk gets a call that every picknote in depot also prints an unsollicited 8 page report: Warn me and let me escape before the system falls apart!
* Next time the helpdesk gets a call that users see all numbers on their screen multiplied by 1000: Same instructions.

To the person that was smart enough to somehow delete or corrupt an important object on the iSeries server in Edingburgh: Thanx a lot for making our day not boring at all!!

Anyway, we managed to get some workaround so that all depots could already start to prepare some orders and then after a couple of hours , we announce relieved that all was up and running again.

But some questions remain :

* Why are Scottisch people so difficult to understand on the phone? And how often can you ask someone to repeat himself before it gets embarrassing for yourself?
No offence guys, but could you try to articulate just a little bit more? I must admit that I sometimes just say "ahuh, yes yes ahuh...." while thinking "what?? I hope that last bit was not important."

* Why does our team always picks up eurovision song contest be sung out loud?
If the Ernst & Young auditors sitting in the room next door to us, think the company is wacko, we will look very innocent!

Tee tee tee tee teedeedeedee (go Thor!)

* Would it be effective to tell some users that the crash was either caused by A) one or more users that keep on passing on their logins to unauthorised colleagues despite multiple warnings B) users not counting the inventory on the instructed day C) users persisting in not following procedures ???? Could that maybe change their behaviour?

* How come that all depots complain about a lack of personnel but they can catch up 4,5 downtown with relatively little delais???

* Why is it so hard to write the text of a training or procedure if you can't access the software to make screenshots even though you do know the process by heart?

Tee tee tee tee teedeedeedee!!!!!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Rembrandt en iPod

I found this post at Bart's blog and I sooo love it! So now Rembrandt can proudly show his iPod earplugs on my blog as well! What music would he have been listening too?

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Pfff.... they moved lots of bug fixes from the test environment to the live environment and I am supposed to test them. And of course they are not ok. Arrrggh, why can't that ever go well the first time?

Still waiting for green light for a retest later on tonight. This way my pile of ironing will never get smaller. I am tired now. I already came home late because of traffic jams due to the busy traffic coming from the coast. Seems like the weekend has to end with some frustrations.

2 girls along the beach

Blue sky, relatively warm weather, not much could we stay inside? And if Jan was driving around in the desert mountains, I needed my share of sand as well.

So Sandra and I went out for a good walk along the promenade in Knokke and a walk on the paths in the nature reserve of "'t Zwin". It was lovely out today and we were definately not the only ones out there who tought so.

Great huh??...

....ok ok I admit it, it wasn't that hot as in the picture. Since we both didn't take our camera's along, I copied a promotional picture from . (I am sure they don't mind that there promotional pictures get more exposure. ) But it was almost too warm to keep our jackets on! So when we finally went for a deserved drink, we were surely not looking for a hot choco to warm up ;).

We had a good view there on the local traffic coming by which was clearly not what you on average see in Belgium: 10 Porches in an hour, many more SUV's, Mercedes's, etc... It was more remarkable than walking around in Chelsea, London! Some parts of Knokke clearly still live up their rich reputation!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Big contrast

Hmm this was one year ago....10 cm of snow?! ... Today it was 18 C this morning. ...Very strange that is. Very strange!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Gas cloud on the internet

Some panic in the beginning of the seaport of Ghent this afternoon: an installation in a factory for artificial furtilisers caught fire with a gas cloud as result. Ghent is not a big city, so my appartment is no more than 5 kms from the burning factury at the Dampoort . Not a pleasant thought if there is really a toxic gas cloud.

I just read it in the Standaard newspaper when Jan told me about it as well. The gascloud was blown by the wind out of the direction of my appartment and soon afterwards it turned out to be non toxic, just slightly irritating a bit if you were on the spot itself. So it really was nothing and hardly in the news in the evening anymore.

The incident just made me realise once more how small the world had become due to the Internet. Mind you...Jan was telling me to watch out when going home, while he was working in the Emirates!

Then I get a flashback of '96, when I made my first steps in the Internet and e-mail world. I just came back from my exchange in Canada and I was e-mail a lot with my different host families. Mark (4th family) was in Vern's home room at school (2nd family). I remember that at one point Vern asked me if I knew where Mark was, because he'd been absent in school for a couple of days already and I could answer him that Mark was home with the flu. :p . I still think that was funny.

Appartment has been rented

I just see on the website of Immoboss that my appartment is now in the category "rented appartments" and not anymore in the list of "for rent". Great, very nice of them to let me know. I am amazed by their communication towards me!

So I suppose this post has become obsolete. I only showed one young couple around in the beginning of November. After my very proud little tour, they said they intended to take it and it sounded very credible. I was so surprised that on the real-estate website my appartment just remained 'for rent' . I did not get any calls anymore for seeing the appartment though (the first day I got two of them).

So either Immoboss is 16 days late in updating their site (way to go! very professional) or they've just rented it to people that did not see the appartment. I suppose it's the first option. Maybe the couple did not pay right away and the real estate kept its options open?

So my feeling that this place would be rented again right way, seems to be correct. I started to doubt my own judgement about this appartment: that it is very nice, modern, well equiped and a good deal.

It's a relief that there are already new renters but it's also a bit strange. Somehow I consider this as "my spot" even though I am taking more and more distance of it and I don't spend much time here anymore in Ghent. But this is still "my appartment" in my mind. It's hard to picture other people in here in different furniture. I guess it's just a Belgian reaction: I have not moved much yet and as a result I am always very attached to the spot where I live.

Car manufacturing errors

What is this with cars? it's fairly often that you hear in the news that a specific manufacturer has to recall a whole bunch of cars because there might be a production error somewhere that needs to be fixed.

When driving a Peugeot, I had to bring it in once for a fault the car dealer didn't even know about? Last June my Renault got the back seat belts fixed for something and tonight I found a new letter in the mailbox: the slides of the windowsuspension mechanisme could work incorrectly what could potentially lead to a break in the mechanism. For the insurance of the lease company I am obliged to go back once more to the dealership to get this fixed.

In this week where it's all in the news that the VW factury in Brussels is losing its production line for the Golf (4000 of 6500 employees will loose their job), I can't help but wonder if many of their Golfs would ever been recalled for production errors?

Publicity car

When I was driving home today, a small truck/pick-up passed me by at a fairly high speed. I think I had passed it once myself, but I had not really paid attention to it or its passengers.

When it passes by me I thought that it was going pretty fast for a light truck and then I saw a couple of guys hanging out of the windows of the passenger seats shouting in my direction. "Stupid childish macho's" I thought, thinking they were just making gestures to me because I was a woman behind the wheel. Only then I realised they were all holding a can of Jupiler beer out and pointing to them. I couldn't help but smile ...

...there are moments I still forget I drive a car with Maes beer publicity on it. And that it draws more attention then an anonymous car. Although they made it very clear they preferred the beer of our biggest competitor (and the Belgian market leader), I didn't feel insulted. They caught me that much by surprise that they actually left me with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

50000 km: my life in my car

Today my car passed its first 50000 km . I drove that in about a year only! Not bad huh. Not bad to drive that much in a tiny country as Belgium.

While going home I wondered how much time I had already spent in that car. that must be a lot! At this moment my average speed is pointed at 55km but I know it was resently reset and in the last week I spent an incredible amount in traffic jams (grrrrr) and when I come from Leuven to work I have to take a normal road and whereas coming from Ghent I almost only drive on the highways.
So assuming that usually my average speed is about 75km, then I've spent 666 hours in that car or almost a month! Wow... I am stunned by that. Isn't that a shocking tought. I knew it was a lot, but 28 days?????????? Holy cow, how about that.

I think since i work, I've always driven about 50000 km a year, so it's the 5th year in a row like this.

So what do you do in the car besides driving? Listening to the radio. I always have music on and it is rarely ever a CD. I actually only listen to the radio when I am in the car : once at home there are CD's playing or more frequently the TV is on. And I admit...I am an active singer in the car. Regardless whether I know the tune or whether I know the words, I manage to sing along. Loud! With mimic if necessary.

I am also a "zapper" champion. I don't think I leave the radio for more than 15 minutes on the same radio channel. Partly because at xh and xh30 there is traffic info at Q-music or 4FM and at xh15 or xh45 at Donna, StuBru or the other national radio channels. But other than that, I can't stand that they talk too long on the radio (radio's are for music!, I read online newspapers to get the news), when the music sucks, ... Sometimes I am so bad that I keep on switching channels for 5 minutes or more until there is one song that I like on any channel. A good song to sing along loud!!

When I am waiting for traffic lights, it's my moment to get some make -up. I carry my mascara and pensil and lipstick in my purse. So when there are a couple of slow traffic lights coming up, I dig them up and get ready to put them on. I don't care that other people see me doing so. I only am ashamed when I am behind a colleague that I know. It just looks to funny when you observe someone via the back mirror behind you. But if I don't know the person in front of me, then I can go ahead. Without traffic jams of traffic lights, I usually arrive without make-up at work. So you can see in my face how traffic was!!!

If it really does not move at all, I start reading a book. i'll never leave for work without my book that I am reading at that moment. This week I managed to read 40 pages! It has not been a smooth week in traffic!

I also like to check out the different nationalities on the road; Especially on the E17 or E313 there are so many Polish, Tsjech, Lituanian , Austrian, Spanish trucks etc... Incredible sometimes. I'll see a lot less of them once I move to Leuven since on the local roads, it's only "local" people driving around. So I won't be able to blame cowboy behaviour on the road to foreigners only. I'll definately notice less the Dutch camping car rush that takes place every summer to the South. That is a good thing, trust me!

Since I have a small bladder, I also regularly have to stop at the parkings along the highway and that always give me a sense of vacation mood. Nostalgic flashbacks of our vacation trips to Spain as a child automatically pop-up.

Am I an agressive driver? I don't think so but I sure can be very fed up with other drivers. There are so incredible stupid and dangerous drivers out there. And very annoying ones. Driving back and forth from Ghent to Leuven in the weekend is a certain guarantee: all drivers are on the middle lane. Arrrrggghhhh, I could shoot them. They are dangerous, they slow down the traffic, they are arrogant....;and if you pass them by the left and then go to the most right lane in front of them...... they still don't get it. Gosh, can anyone help me to get rid of them , please????
But also other behavious can piss me off though. Tonight a nice lady persisted in stubbornness when I had to merge in her lane and I was signaling and half in front of her and she made sure she speeded up to stick at the bumper of the car in front of both of us and managed to continue to drive next to me until I really had to break and merge behind her in the narrowing road. Thank you very much , lady in the dark green peugeot 306 , TFA 920 !! Grr.

I didn't see too many accidents, fortunately, ...usually you are stuck in the traffic jams behind them and by the time you arrive at the spot, the road has been cleared already. The most scary time was last spring, when driving home from the platform at the coast: I was on the middle lane passing another car, when all of a sudden, before I had realised what had happened, an incredibly speeding car had passed us....IN THE MIDDLE OF US!! My heart surely skipped a few beats there, only to manage to continue driving straight ahead and seeing some other suicidal stunts the car did before they were out of sight and their incredible speed. The car to the right of me had to go to the sight, those people were so in sight, standing there with their mouth remaining open. For a moment I wondered if I happened to be in the middle of the Gumball race at that moment.

A couple of weeks ago, a truck's tire exploded a bit in front of me. Nothing happened but it is spooky to see though. Fortunately it was a big truck with probably 10 tires in total, so he was still stable and managed to safely go to the side.

I also have had one accident myself. Also last winter at the coast, I was in an incredibly hurry to leave for an appointment with the dermatologist. It was just before our deadline so I was extremely stressed, with thoughts in my mind all over the place, I was late and I was deadly tired. Smart me just made a huge backwards U turn on the parking lot and in a moment of blackout I forgot that there were other cars on the parking lot. A big crack stopped me and there was a car...well let's say unusually close visible in my backwindow. It took me a minute before I realised I actually did drive backwards straight into another car. Great! Smart me huh. The other guy actually had found back his new car all dented in the previous weekend with no sign of the guilty. His car was then in for repair and I dented his replacement car. Oops. He wasn't too happy, although he was very relieved I showed up to sign the necessary papers. Lesson learned: even if you are late...don't rush... accidents and paperwork make you even more late!

Well lets hope that I can drive the next 50000 km as safe and uneventful with fun music to sing along!

Monday, November 20, 2006

We came by Ikea, we cursed, we succeeded

Tips and tricks for Ikea basement rack builders:

* thinking that all necessary tools are part of the Ikea packages is naïeve! You still need your own tools.
* thinking that a little tool that you still had laying around will survive all the bolts that need to be fastened is naieve. You are just to strong for that and your force will break your tool.
* Bolts from Ikea have slight differences in size so even when you fix your tool as good as you can, it only helps for half of the bolts.
* There are no "do-it-yourself" stores open on a Sunday afternoon. Even when you think that they should because they are abroad, they remain closed! Driving around does not convince store owners to open up.
* It is easier to first do the most difficult corner and then continue building from there. But hey...why would you make it easy if you can later on twist yourself in impossible turns to twist those last bolts and to fit the pieces in between the exact space that is left for them?
* Being experienced in sliding puzzles helps as you might need to move some pieces out of the space where they are meant to be, to get other pieces in their spot, to move back the original place.
* Belgians must be winedrinkers since the wineracks were out of stock (3 missing).

But don't we have the cooles nicest space to stock loads of stuff!!!! Yeaaah we rock.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Memories of my ear tubes

Hahaha, sorry, I like that title myself since it seems to start about something sweet, poetic, nostalgic...which totally does not seem to match with the subject of ear tubes :p. Don't worry, I don't have an unhealthy obsession with eartubes. On the contrary: I had no clear clue what the things were. Much to my surprise they are what they say they are: little tubes through the eardrum.

But today Stef got some of them to relieve his recurring ear infections and since I am still in the mood of child memories, I remembered that I have had ear tubes as well.

I remember being in the hospital in a hall with lots of babybeds and we all were wearing white pyama's or clothes or robes??? That was probably the only time ever that I've been a patient in a hospital. I don't remember at all how long it has taken or what the mini-surgery was like. I only remember being in the bed with my mom next to me and she told me not to cry. And that was unfair because all the other children were crying in their beds and they were allowed to. I remember very strangely this feeling of unfairness (or jealousy?).

Later on I mainly remember getting my bath and my mom washing my hair with the spray. Then I always stuck my fingers in my ear, in order not to get too much water in my ears. or I held a washing cloth from ear to ear, also covering my eyes. This had a double also kept the foam out of my eyes. Too bad I don't have a picture of myself doing so.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Justine Henin-Hardenne #1

In case somebody missed the news last weekend: Justine Henin-Hardenne won the Masters tournament in Madrid , the unofficial world championship in which the top 8 of the world participate. And she holds for the 3rd time the #1 position of the world in woman's tennis!

Hurraaaaay. Hurraaaaay. Belgian tennis rocks!

Ideally my final in the masters would have been Kim against Justine though with Kim winning the final. Then Kim would have won the final and Justine would still have ended the year in the number 1 position. But in an incredibly thrilling match on Saturday Amélie Mauresmo beat Kim in the semi finals. Wow beautiful game that was.

Child imagination

Allie's post "how babies grow" inspired me to think about my child imagination. I don't think it was as vivid as hers. And I never thought babies already started growing in children already, ...they simply grew in a woman after they were married for 1 year. Simple no?

I did have a very clear picture of our digestion system inside our tummy. My tummy was inside a big gothic hall with a throne. My heart was on the throne, I did understand the heart was the highest in rank. My tummy hall had huge pillars, 2 rows of them. Other than that it was fairly empty but with an endless stream of little pieces of food walking by in a tribute to the heart. When the stream of foodpieces ended, the heart was angry and then I became hungry and I had to eat again. I could also not eat tooo big chuncks because that was not pretty or eat to quickly or too slow. Hmm too slow? No i don't think I ever had a problem with eating too slow.

I also remember in church that I thought the church books were full of fairytails about snowwhite. And when the priest bowed down, i was convinced for years he was just checking that there were no candy papers on the floor!! It is very important to keep your church clean, you know!

And prison was like a collection of gardenhouses next to each other (don't ask me why!!!) but dark as night inside full of monsters unther the bed. Not a nice place to be locked in. That was the picture I got when a far relative scared me with some stories about prisons.

Geez do all kids have such absurd imagination?

I also remember at one point that I was drawing a house and a man. The man was about as big as the house and clearly would not fit through the door. Other kids next to me had drawn about the same thing (it was a drawing competition ). But all of a sudden I realised my man could not go through the door, so I had to readjust the house and draw a door up to the roof. It didn't look as pretty but at least my man could sleep inside at night. I didn't win and I was very disappointed because I had the only house where the man could go inside!!! And the jury didn't notice that. Pffff.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A diesel in the basement

I am such a I am much worse than a diesel. I first need to loads of time, relax, hang out to come to a point that I am fed up doing nothing and then I really get going. It's my disease and explanation for coming late (I need to SNOOOOOZZZEE) (and don't dear to rush me at breakfast!!) , for eating my sandwishes behind my computer at work (hmm lost too much time getting started and I am just getting up to speed and now I have to go for lunch?), for usually working 30-60 min later than I planned to go home (what a waste to go home now, I am just kicking ass in my to do list at the moment!!), for going to bed too late (well I just started washing the floor at 23h30 after watching tv all evening), ....

I remember when studying for exams at university that I studied about 20 pages in the morning, 150 in the afternoon and 300 in the evening! Diesel Ellen, that is...definately not a morning person.

I also notice that the weekend that I don't plan to do anything are usually the weekends I get to do most. I love to sleep in and then spend a long morning at breakfast/tv/sudoku puzzles/... Then it is time to clean up a bit, but not without any reading breaks or maybe even a Vitaya tv show or something. Before I know it , it is middle afternoon on my lazy afternoons.

And then there comes a point that I am tired of watching tv, since there is really nothing decent to watch at daytime, tired of reading a book and all of a sudden I remember all the chores in my head that really should be done. And I start cleaning or washing the windows or ....

Last Sunday was no different. Jan and I really relaxed most of the day, we went for a short walk in the neighbourhood to check out the fitness prices of the nearby fitness center (yes yes the intentions are there!), ....and at 5 PM I really felt the urge to finish the painting in the basement. The planned 90 min that I said to Jan became 150 minutes, but I am so glad that it is done! Now it is all ready for the racks to be bought and installed and our stuff being neatly stored...only to free up the other basements that clearly still need loads of work.

After painting the metal supports on the ceiling bright red, the floor got its finishing layer of paint.

One part of the basement done....but visibly more space urgently needing renovation! Makes up for a nice before and after picture, no?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bricks are heavy !!

Jan and I are sitting in the seat right now and not feeling like coming out right away. We were reminded today again that bricks are soooo heavy, in case we would have forgetten it.

We opened the wall more between our future bedroom and dressing and we kicked out the old fireplace. While Jan's dad and Jan did the heavy work of breaking out, I did my best to clean out the fallen pieces of bricks and dust and plaster into big bags asap while trying to remain out of the falling zone. We progressed quite fast and soon we could start cleaning up and Jan had the honor to carry the heavy bags of approx 40-50 kg ( 20 of them!!!) downstairs. Amazing how much waste we collected by doubling the door opening and breaking down some fireplace!! 800 up to 1000 kg! Poor Jan. Poor van taking it to a container park.

And afterwards the fun remained to free the entire house of the dust layer that we had gathered. Oh what a joy!!! (yes you notice some irony in my remark, although it feels rewarding to see the dust disappearing again). So now we are sitting in a seat and that is sooooooooooooooo nice! Enjoying our progress we made today and the clean house. I feel like a nap though.

opening the wall

taking out the fireplace walls that stick out too much.

The result

A bit of explanation: the back wall (currently grey) and the white wall next to it becomes a dark wardrobe that continues in the dressing next to the bedroom in the form of an F. So the opening won't stay as wide as currently. The dressing isn't like an open wardrobe, just a small room next to the bedroom with only wardrobe in it and the entry to the bathroom. I really hate the wardrobes without doors...haven't seen any that I like and I keep thinking that your clothes gather more dust. Or maybe I know I am just too messy to keep it all clean and tidy. The sliding door in the bedroom (incorporated in the wardrobe and therefore hiding the door opening if closed) will be opposite to the sliding door of the bathroom which is again directly opposite of the opening the the lower bathroom and the window there. It should all become nicely aligned.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I love Belgium

This is sooo over the top that it becomes funny.... This is where our taxmoney is going to: a government movie to teach us to be more proud of our country. Well I suppose that in comparison with other nationalities, we are indeed not known for our pride in our country and its symbols.

As a counterweight to this movie, I can add that Belgium has lowered on the UNDP report(UN development programme) from the 11th place to the 13th place concerning prosperity. Apparently this does not mean that we have become less prosperant, our score has remained unchanged in the last years, but other countries are catching up. Weird though that in 2004 we were still ranked in 6th place??

Last week the CPI index for 2006 was also republished. That is a perceived corruption index. Also on this index, Belgiums score went down a bit, so we are now the 19th least corrupt country in the world. We share this spot with the USA and Chili.

In all those indexes, it's the Scandinavian countries that are on top. But also Canada does always very well, I must say. Well, I already knew that Canada was a great place to live. Even without a government video ;) . And I do love Belgium as well to be honest.

Traffic frustrations

This morning Q-music announced on the radio that "traffic was slowed down in Lokeren" due to an accident that blocked the right lane. Hmm ok, I have to drive by there, but slowed down traffic isn't to bad right, so no need to take an alternative road....that's what I thought!

12 kms before Lokeren I see all of a sudden the cars in front of me turning their orange signal lights on on both sides to alert the cars behind them for an upcoming traffic jam. ...noooo this could not be that slowed down traffic, was it? While coming to a standstill I soon realised that it was. And so I crawled over the highway during 35 minutes to finally get to Lokeren, where in the mean time Q-music persisted in its message. Grrrrrrrr

Tonight I fortunately checked a traffic website before leaving the office and guess what....there was an accident in Lokeren, this time in the direction of Ghent, with about 12 kms of traffic jam as well. Noooooooo.

So I looked up an alternative road, which should be an almost straight line to Ghent from Waarloos (where the office is) and I'd arrive on the highway after a long "scenic" road in Lokeren, just behind the accident. And so I went.

In the city that would lead me back to the highway I followed some signs to the highway. I knew there were 2 roads there to choose from as in a V , one leading me before the accident, one leading me to Lokeren behind the accident. (For the Belgians: being in Dendermonde, I can either drive to the Zele/Temse/Sint-Niklaas exit or to the Lokeren exit on the E17). That was something I had thought about in the office....that I had to take the correct road. But apparently my 45 minutes memory is very bad and when arriving in Dendermonde, I just kept following the signs there to the highway without any suspicion.
When I drove by a kitchen store that I had visited with Jan which was supposed on the road I did not have to take, I simply thought...."Hmm that store is on this road after all, I thought it was on the other one. Strange, I would have bet that it was on the other road". Only when I saw the city sign of Temse, it finally hit me, that the store wasn't on the different road....I was on the wrong road! And whereas I had lost 20 minutes by taking the local roads, I ended up at the spot where the announced traffic jam was. That was just fantastic...I was already late, I had already taken a detour, only to go and sit in the traffic jam.

My despair was big, very big and I still considered turning around back to Dendermonde, when I saw on the bridge across the highway that at that spot, there was no more traffic jam. So I took the risk, went on the highway to discover that in the mean time of my detour, the big traffic jam had dissolved itself. yeaaaah, so after all it did not take me that much longer to get home with my distracted mind.

Note to myself : There are 2 possibilities to drive to the E17 in Dendermonde! Ellen, TAKE THE CORRECT ONE NEXT TIME ;-)

Anyway, I was supposed to go downtown Ghent tonight, but when coming home I was so happy to be home and so hungry that I decided to stay home. Grreeeat!

Blogging in Belgium

Hmm the Belgian blogosphere hits the news on tv: click here to watch the news documentary in "Koppen"

Btw, I like the blog of An Nelissen!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Modern appartment for rent

Found on the internet yesterday :)....Anyone interested? I can recommend it!! info at Immoboss

Adres: Arsenaalstraat 78 - 9050 Gentbrugge
Totale oppervlakte:- m²
Bewoonbare Opp.:- m²
Bebouwde oppervlakte:80 m²
Subtype :Dakappartement
Prijs:€ 480
Aantal slaapkamers:2
Beschikbaarheid:1 februari
Appartement in recente nieuwbouw, bestaande uit: leefruimte met open keuken, badkamer met ligbad, kleine kamer, grote slaapkamer. Op 5 min van oprit E40/E17, toch heel rustig gelegen, nabijheid van voedingswinkels.

New marketing technique?

Do you ever shop with your friend in a store? Do you also have difficulty to stay together? I usually do. Jan and I have a totally different shopping style. For me , grocery shopping is mainly functional and if I am on my own, I usually have this goal in my mind for a certain dish I want to prepare or for some things that we need. Jan on the contrary never knows beforehand what he will cook and just wanders through the isles and loves looking at all the products that are on offer, check out new things that exist and getting inspiration for food and meals like that.

I do enjoy wondering around for a little bit, but in the end I never have the patience to remain next to Jan and so I start running around on my own, getting quickly the things we surely need to buy and then I run back to where Jan is in the mean time to put the things I carry in our cart. And sometimes I loose where he is and I am going up and down the mail isle to check in all side directions where Jan would be in the mean time :p.

Yesterday we were getting some groceries as well because we'd have a friend over for dinner in the evening and although I had already cooked a cow tongue ready, but we needed the ingredients for Madeira sauce , vegetables, ..... At one point I came up with some peeled and cut tomatoes in a can because I had used them all and I see Jan a bit further looking at some wine. Glad I found him again, I put the can in the cart, only to see a very surprised woman turn around "I think that is my cart". At a glance I notice that indeed in the cart, there are not the things we were buying.

A bit embarrassed and a bit amused I stumble " Oh sorry, i just wanted to recommend these peeled tomatoes to you to help you choose". She rambles a bit about the difficult choise in choosing wine and we both went away. But a bit later, I actually see her buying 3 cans of peeled tomatoes !!! Haha that was so funny. She did not buy my suggested brand though, but I don't know if it was a coincidence that she actually went up to buy peeled tomatoes.

So maybe I just invented a new marketing technique....have some distracted "shoppers" in the store , accidently adding products other peoples carts. I guess it would work as long as it isn't widely spread. Just imagine such a strategy being applied in'd just get paranoia from other shoppers walking closeby your cart "Leave me alone, I am not interested in your product, don't touch my cart!!" :p.

I must have been a bit too distracted because we came home without the madeira wine for the madeira sauce. Oh well, our cow tongue and its sauce became still exellent with Jan's help and we enjoyed it very much.

Allie, here is a picture on your request. I should have thought about taking a picture before it was cut up though...that would have been more interesting to show you :p...but I am sure you can find pictures on the internet of a huge boiled cow tongue.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

All Saints Day

Today was a public holiday in Belgium dedicated to All Saints I enjoyed a day at home in Leuven. All public holidays in Belgium are very strongly related to Catholic holidays. And the fall vacation for schools is always in the week of Nov 1st.

Despite the fact that it is the celabration of "All Saints and Martyrs" is a day that mostly our dead relatives and friends are being remembered (2nd of November is All Souls day but is not a public holiday anymore). It is a tradition here , as in some other countries with a deep catholic culture, to go to the cimatories today to bring flowers to the graves. Those flowers are usually a pot of "chrysanten", a flower that does well in the colder temperatures and can resist to the first days of mild freezing temperatures. And if the weather gods know it, tonight will be the first night with temps going unther 0C. This morning I felt like going for a small bike tour after church, but it became a very very small bike tour due to the cold wind! (yes....ok and my poor shape as well, but I intended to work on that).

Anyway, there were traffic jams to the nearby graveyards here in Leuven and some additional flower sales stands as well. I really love the sight of the graveyards in this time of a year! They are just seas of colorful flowers. Very nice.

Traditionally the news reflects today some trends related to graveyards and funerals. 40% of the Belgians choose to get cremated (I honestly thought it would be more already) but it is increasing. So the sight of the colorful graveyard will change in the future to more and more walls or little gardens where the urn with ashes are kept.

Hmm I just think about the fact that I was working last year. We were preparing the first go live of System 21. Wow that seems ages ago, in the mean time we've had all 6 go lives. I remember we were all rather pissed off having to work on a holiday despite the fact that the go-live had been postponed. But there were already foreign consultants booked to come over, so we had to come in as well. Because our traditional sandwich delivery store was closed, as were all other grocery stores etc, we convinced our boss to go with the entire team to the nearby Pizza Hut. Well, you should try to go in with about 12 people at once took ages before we got our food. i think we were out there for over 2 hours, so can't say it was a very effective working holiday. At least we supported the sales of Grimbergen and Maes well in the Pizza Hut that day :p. That was the least thing we could do no?

A scary halloween to all of you

Despite all the store decorations in the last years and talk in the media about the growing hype...I can only say that it is not a custom spread throughout our culture yet... I haven't seen any kids trick or treating in Belgium yet, neither all my colleagues knew it was supposed to be tonight. Maybe the kids will all be in Ghent so let's wait if some pictures gent.blogt gets pictures to publish. But it still seems a truly commercial thing here in Belgium or something restricted to student parties, school craft activities or theme parks that now can attract people still in the end of October. But it is growing and spreading despite all the accusations of media imported commercialism.

But for all the kids across the North Sea and across the Atlantic....Have a real spooky spooky night !!! [include now some evil laughter].

And don't eat all the candy just yet or this evil spider might come after you tonight!!! (or a little arctic ice mouse, right Allie?)