0.05%

The interest rates have dropped again. Right now we get 0.05% percent interest on our savings. Combined with an inflation of about 1.5% it means we are getting poorer every month. An example:

Savings: 100 EUR
Interest: 0.05%
Inflation: 1.50%

After 1 year we will have 100.05 EUR, but everything we can buy just got 1.5% more expensive. A product that used to cost 100 EUR will, after a year, cost 101.50 EUR, and will not no longer be able to buy it. Even though we got 0.05 cents of interest we actually lost 1.45 EUR in value. Losing so little money is not so bad, but if you have 10.000 EUR in savings you will be losing 145 EUR, which is quite a lot of money.

The solution seems simple, buy stuff now, spend your money and use all those euros. Leave only a little bit on your account at the bank. Only for real emergencies it is worth keeping your money in your account. Another good thing about spending (and maybe even the reason behind the low interests) is that the economy will get a nice boost by the increased spending.

Dopper

Dopper!Something I quickly noticed in the Nederlands was that a lot of people were walking around with a Dopper. A very typical water bottle with a cup integrated in the bottle design. At my work I noticed that the bottle was present on almost half the desks. I decided I would also give it a try, and bought myself a bottle. This way I could join the trend and see if it was really all worth it, of if it just was another thrill of the moment.

I was happily surprised. It was quite a handy bottle, with a handy cup, a nice and firm design and a really good size. This was clearly something that someone had given quite some thought. Satisfied I returned home, to Spain, with my bottle. Once I was home it was obvious that also in Spain the people could appreciate the Dopper. In fact, I immediately lost my little blue dopper. This one was reallocated to Alex to take to school. Oh well.

At Alex’ school things quickly escalated. Alex was the man of the day, the first carrying a new trendy object. The actual trendsetter. Within days we received numerous requests for more bottles, and this time I’ll be bringing home 8 bottles.

Walnut – Tanningcreme

Walnoot!One week ago we went to the center of the island and we collected almost 10 kilos of walnuts. They were early this year and we arrived before the rush, so we could collect quite a lot of nuts. The ground was covered and just a little movement of the branches made lots of nuts fall down from the tree.

The big advantage is that we will have plenty of nuts for the rest of the year. The disadvantage I noticed a bit later. It seems there is something in the nuts that is also used for those self tanning cremes. Some stuff that makes your skin nice and brown. The disadvantage of picking up all those nuts was that some needed to be peeled and taken out of their skin, and I used my thumb to do this. Now, one week later, after cleaning a big part of 10 kilos I still have a dark brown thumb.

Jut’s head

I for one have never done it before. On the local fair there was an attraction where you need to hit a small iron thing with a big hammer. It is called “De kop van Jut”. If you hit it correctly a small piece of iron goes flying up, and the higher it reaches, the better you have hit it. The concept of this game has never quite appealed to me.

When Alex and I were checking out the fairground, a day before the opening, it was exactly this attraction that called for Alex’ attention. The attraction was still covered in some plastic, but after explaining how it worked Alex instantly knew he wanted to give it a go and it went first on his list of things to try. The concept of taking a big hammer and hitting something as hard as possible (or even harder) was something his fell in love with at the spot.

Eventually Alex took his first massive hit, the machine barely survived and all alarms went off and Alex loved every moment of it.

Canon G7X

Canon g7x ii!With two kids you really need to have a good camera to safeguard some images from their youth. They will love it in the future and it is even nice to review the material I have right now. For years I have been a Canon fan, so I did not have to look a lot for my new camera. I got a Canon again, but this time a went a bit more professional. I got a camera with a slightly bigger optical chip which has the big advantage that it can make great pictures, even when there is only a little bit of light.

What I found out later was that this type of camera is ideal for vloggers. A vlog is basically the same as this blog, but instead of textual entries a vlogger uploads small videos. Maybe I should try sometime. Anyone wants to see a short video by me?

Antique picture

Time and more specifically light can significantly alter a picture hanging on the wall. In the Emmastraat there is just such a picture with two little Bergs. Myself and brother Bert, just about to enjoy a delicious birthday cake. De photo used to be a full color picture, and there are still some traces of color left, but it has become a very dull picture indeed.

I wanted to improve the picture because I had noticed that the little Bert in the picture has a huge resemblance to own very own little Alan. Still, for a good comparison we need a good picture.

Before: After:

Alex 6 years!

Alex jarig 6!6 years already. Time really does fly. Alex will have to attend school legally soon. His first tooth is loose, and now also his birthday. Most of Alex’ friends were abroad on holidays so Alex wanted to go with his remaining friend Miguel to the Elder science museum, followed by a delicious happy meal. Afterwards at home we had a great party with lots of gifts.

Godfather and religion

The force!The official role of a godfather or godmother is to educate their godson about religion. Ana and I both attended a catholic school, but still the faith in a god is not really part of our lives. In fact, we really don’t believe. Even though belief is not really part of our lives we still baptized our sons Alex and Alan. In part for the family and in part for the attached celebration.

The godfather of Alex is Miguel, and he found the perfect way to educate Alex in religion. Not the normal old fashioned way, but through stories and games. A bit like how the bible tries to teach us religion through multiple stories. During his last visit Miguel explained the entire Star Wars saga and they plays hours on end with a fun star wars game. You might wonder what that has to do with religion, but that’s covered.

Windows 10 and Ubuntu

Win10 Ubuntu!There was a lot of controversy about the latest version of the Windows operating system by Microsoft. It has been available for over a year, and in the beginning an update from an older version was even free. I like Windows 10 and I feel it is easy to customize to your own needs. The controversy originated by how this new version was introduced very aggressively. The new version was basically force-fed to the users.

The reasons for forcing the new Windows on to the users are unclear. Maybe Microsoft acted on their best intentions. Away with lots of old versions. People who really would not notice the difference and who would get a safer system. But maybe Microsoft was more devious and just wanted people to use a new Windows to keep a closer eye on their users, and at the same time be able to send them more commercials and other unwanted services.

I was quite happy with the new Windows version. A happiness which was enhanced even more recently during a mayor (free) update. Windows now offers an optional Linux subsystem as a part of its core functionality. Linux (or more specifically Ubuntu) that used to be one of the big competitors of Windows, now works from within Windows where both operating systems seems to work happily together.

The big advantage is that it is now possible to run Linux software directly in Windows, and there is no more need to mess around with dual boot systems, or emulators, or even entire virtual systems. Now you can simply start a prompt and go.

Still this integration is very new. There are bound to be some mayor updates coming our way, but even so the current situation had made me very happy. A lot of tools I use for my work are now available by default without installing lots of additional software.

The brand-new Linux subsystem is not available by default. If you want it you need to follow the installation instructions provided by Microsoft, which as stated require that you have Windows 10 installed.

Torrevieja

This year we visited Torrevieja again with the family. A vacation marked by hanging around the pool, or squeezing our towels in on a small piece of beach populated by a massive crowd. Keeping in mind we need to apply sunblock every couple of hours because the sun here is merciless.

Overall the most important thing is that the kids enjoy themselves, and this is very easy here. At times even we get some profound relaxation done then the kids doze off, or when they are playing with they friends.
Zwembadje Torrevieja 2017!