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"I would love some under informed opinions about things you don't understand" - Dilbert.

Again, I haven't written in a while. The reason is part laziness and part not having a topic worth writing about. Some recent policy changes at the office have put an idea for a rant in my head. It's something I've been stewing about and I guess until I vent or rant it won't leave my poor brain alone. I don't like being upset about things for a long time, as it affects my generally happy demeanor and digestive system. This Dilbert is not aimed at anybody really. I know folks who are leaders in the best meaning of this word and I do not belittle their accomplishments as leaders in any way. Maybe this image will make more sense. Again, a little extreme, but you should guess the gist of what I am trying to say. There is this strange notion in the world, it's several years old, that engineers need to collaborate. A notion that they need to be close to each other or talk to each other and stay in the same room. A notion that they need watch over each ot
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Best trip ever: Bruges and beyond - part .... Is anybody reading this?

Doesn't really matter. I have hit a small roadblock in my work today, so I decided to take a break and keep on writing about our trip. Bruges - what a wonderful little town. The center of it, where we stayed, is chuck-full of little streets and restaurants on the corner and churches and historical buildings, and everything else you can possible image a historical European town should be. Burg and surroundings behind Church of our lady of Bruges  Who cares, it's pretty. Bruges considers itself to be a chocolate capital of the world, so there is a chocolates and sweets store every 20-30 feet or so, especially around more touristy spots. Every and each one of them claims to sell the best Belgian chocolate there is. We of course tried a few, and then a few more, and actually ended up in Chocolate History Museum, curated by on the major chocolate producer in Belgium. Because they are not paying me for it, and truth to be told I don't remember, I will not endors

South of Netherlands and beyond, part vier!

It's getting harder to recall some of the things, so I have to keep on writing. It just happens to be a slower work day today than usual. Delft was a one night stop over for us. The town itself could be perfectly described by words "quaint" and "little". There are a couple of churches, like most of ones we've visited they are devoid of decorations and sport high beam beautiful ceilings. There is a big central square with restaurants and souvenir shops around it. It fun to peruse those for a little bit, but most of them try to sell the famous blue Delft glaze in one form or the other. The square gets some traffic, so ignoring "tourist trap" vibe of most restaurants, you get a good "people watching" experience. The locals seem to eat and drink there as well. so it's not a bad sign. Being a "student town", as we were told by our wonderful B&B owner, the town is mostly quiet and dead in the mornings. After spending an even

Amsterdam.. part twee punt vijf.. or some thoughts on Anne Franks house

My brother has asked me to search deep within and give an opinion of Anne Frank's House museum in Amsterdam. I think in my previous post the only thing I mentioned was that the lines were huge. I only know the gist of The Diary, having never read the book in its fullest. Going into the museum I had very little expectation of what I would see and what would be presented. By the way photography is strictly forbidden inside, so I can't share to many pictures. The museum is small, by design actually. It really does reside inside the house where the families lived for couple of years during the Nazy invasion of Holland. The point of the museum is to show how cramped, dangerous, and harsh the living conditions were for those hiding. The exhibition rooms are devoid of any furniture, since that would hinder the movement of visitors. The walls are a restoration with paintings, old photographs and writings that Anne herself used to brighten their existence. One of the interesting t

The best trip ever, part drie.

It was suggested by my lovely wife that I should post more pictures of the trip with the blog posting. While I would rather have words, I think it can help the narration. But fear not! I am not giving up creative control. Before we move on from Amsterdam, let me share several more wonderful and weird sights we saw. Fish on a tree Rembrand's Night Watch sculpture A crab biting fox's tail View from Westerkirk Me holding my crap together while climbing up Westerkirk We had this bright idea of driving from Amsterdam to the rest of our destinations. There were couple of small roadblocks along the way to that. First off, it is unusually hard to find a car with automatic transmission in Europe and it costs more, with me learning how to drive in US, I have no clue how to drive manual, nor do I wish to learn at this stage of my life. Another is, that renting a car in one country and returning car in another will more or less double you rent price. This didn&

The best trip ever, part twee!

I better take off my lazy shoes and keep on writing, the memories seem to dull with time and start forgetting things. Amsterdam - our first stop. My first impression? Cold and windy, unfortunately. The weather did not favor us the first couple of days, with intermittent rain and fairly windy conditions. Admitting to too much wind is really something for somebody from the plains of Midwest. This trip we did not stay in any hotels, but decided to go with renting apartment space. This leads to my second impression of Amsterdam. These are the stairs that we had to drag our luggage up, and then down. We've climbed so many stairs during our stay in Amsterdam, that we've decided to avoid it for the most part for the duration of the trip. One of the things that we do when arriving to a new city is search up if SANDEMANs free tours are available, We always have a lot of fun on those and get information of the place, also occasionally good advice from the tour guides. Amsterda

The best trip ever, Part Een!

Dam panoramic view, Amsterdam NL Oh, what a trip! We've hit so many places during the twelve days in Europe that sometime's everything is a blur. There are many memories, however, that are sharp and will stay with me for a very long time. I am not going to list all of the places we've been to and all of the locations we've seen. This is not the point of this post. I will rather focus on specific details, and small stories that are interesting to me. I may also ask Lena and Maya to contribute to the narrative, maybe they'll offer a point that I either missed or re-interpreted differently. We've build our original list of destinations based on the simple fact of where we could fly on miles, what we haven't seen yet, and the availability of non-stop flights. The starting point of the trip was to be Amsterdam and the final destination before going home was Brussels. Because of the tragic events in Brussels several weeks before, at almost the last moment