Louis de Funès and a puzzle

I can still remember the situation perfectly. As a little boy I was sitting on the couch, next to my little brother and my family. We were all watching Louis de Funès. It was a series movie called something like ‘La gandarmes de Saint Tropez‘. In French with subtitles (with would normally take away any interest I would have), but with Louis is was different. I remember 45 minutes of hilarious situations, ridiculously funny solutions and mayhem. We were direct fans, and watched all the shows. I think in my subconciousness I connected France with the sense of pleasure and enjoyment. To this day visiting France makes me recall the feelings I felt as a little kid, watching the show. I look forward to visiting France more than any other place, just because I get a dose of happiness in advance.

The three kings arranged for a special gift this year. A puzzle, with a message on the back. After completing the puzzle the kids had to turn it around, and the gift became clear. This year the kids get a great adventure, and will visit France, to spend a couple of days at the Disney park, and a couple of days in Paris. We are not going with just the four of us, but we wil go with a big group of friends. 7 kids and 6 adults. I suspect it will be lots of fun and excitement.

We plan to go in June, so I still have time to practice my ‘Louis de Funès’-French a bit. Finally I will be able to use my standard/favourite French vocabulary.

– ‘La summicion sil vous plaid’, the bill please
– ‘Bonjour’, good morning
– ‘un vin avec fromage avec un crossant sil vous plaid’, a wine with some cheese and a croassant please
– ‘merci bocoupe, au revour’, thanks a lot, see you
– ‘Command tu t apelle’, whats your name?
– ‘Je m apelle Adrie’, i’m adrie
– ‘Un chien avec un tres petit cull’, a dog with a very small penis

Except for the last sentence all my French should be really useful.

Party on La Gomera

We are taking a short break and we’ll be going to la Gomera for a couple of days. We leave by plane on tuesday and return home on thursday. A short trip but very welcome to break up our daily routine.

We will be going with a few friends and at la Gomera we rented a big car for 7 people where we can all just fit. In addition to a big car we also rented a big house, hopefully with a garden so we can maybe even have a bbq! It will be quite the adventure. Of course there is also a big celebration! It is Alan’s birthday, so there will be a great party.

Coach

I will become a coach. The date we have to focus on is Saturday the 19th. The event is the Kids Race 2022, in Maspalomas. Alex and Alan will have to perform then. Alan will run 300 meters, and Alex needs to cover 1000 meters. The kids have developed some nasty habits for the weekends where they quickly get bored, and often the situation deteriorates rapidly into fighting. I hope to change this behaviour by focussing on something physical in the mornings. We will do a couple of training sessions, just like the real deal.

Usually we go to these running events without any preparation. The distances are so small that the kids can easily run them, and just participating is much more important than actually winning. This time I want to try and get a good result. Finish in the top 10. We need to approach this professionally. Evaluate the distance. Find out a good speed. See how much sprinting they can do. We have two weekends to prepare and train. If we go on Saterday and Sunday we have 4 sessions available. If they both try their distance twice it should be more than enough preparation. If they train in the morning they don’t even need to change their weekend routines (hopefully with less fighting).

The plan

  • Warming up. Walk to Romano (the track), do some jumping, some stretching, maybe a few push ups.
  • Review the track. Walk the entire distance, and discuss the optimal approach to running the distance in a good/easy/fast way.
  • Alan: 300 meters. First a small candy for some extra energy. Start running normally the first 220 meters, and finish with 80 meters superfast. Drink water and relax/rest. Do this twice! I will measure the time.
  • Alex: 1000 meters. First a small candy for some extra energy. Start running normally the first 300 meters, then slow down a bit for 300 meters to regain strength, then another 300 meters normally and finish with 100 meters superfast. Drink water and relax/rest. Do this twice! I will measure the time.
  • Cooling down, a few jumps, stretch, discuss results, walk back home.
  • Objective

    The results really are not so important. If the kids have a good time that is the only important thing. The preparation is more meant to stimulate the kids and to prepare them a bit. If they reach their goal of finishing with the first 10, well, thats great! It will boost their self-esteem, which is great. If they just finish that is also great. They will have prepared for something, and gave if their best try. This is also something to feel good about.

    Losing weight

    I have to admit that I did have some unhealthy habits the last few years. Almost every day I ate some sausage, or some cheese, or a couple of nuts. A few days a week I would also drink a beer (usually after running), and these habits were a bit to much. Luckily these habits were reasonably easy to change.

    A few weeks ago I was still close to 80 kilos. I then set my target to 75 kilos (which is my usual weight), but as I am getting closer to my goal I am thinking that maybe it would be better to have an even lower goal of around 68. This seems to be the perfect average BMI, and it will leave me with some extra leverage and maybe even with some extra health benefits.

    I somehow doubt that for me this is really an obtainable goal, because the last time I weight less than 70 kilos must have been literaly in the previous century but if I don’t try I will never know. If I manage to do it I must treat myself to a good gift. Maybe a new Dell laptop.

    FrameMaker

    FrameMaker 5.5!I used to be a FrameMaker expert. My first job after finishing university was all about FrameMaker. I learned a lot in that job and even trained other people to use FrameMaker. Sadly it was only for a short while, a couple of years later my career grew in a different direction. Still, I am still reminded of my FrameMaker time whenever I have to make a document that’s bigger than one single page. FrameMaker used styles, page templates, and frames through which the text flowed. It worked! It simply worked, and it always worked, flawlessly. Even with huge documents of 1000 pages or more the software just worked, without any problems.

    FrameMaker was bought by Adobe and at the moment that was no problem, in fact, people hoped for an impuls where FrameMaker could be much bigger as part of the adobe suite. The impulse never happened and the product development was moved to India. Suddenly it became a product for which you needed a subscription. Pay each year. A terrible progression, but for me it was not an interesting tool anyway. For a couple of documents I could never justify a price-tag of around 400 EURs (not sure about the price though). Now with the subscription approach I cannot even find the price, so that does not bode well.

    I was working on a new book project, and once again I ran into the usual problems. Word just does not work. OpenOffice and LibreOffice don’t work. Working online with google Docs is even worse. They all work, but just not good enough. Maybe I am spoiled, but I want to see what is going on. See picture anchors, see the frames where the text will flow. I want to know which styles are available. I want to tweak the master pages. Maybe it is possible, but to achieve these simple things you need to figure out almost the core of each program, and it never works intuitively. In the end small tweaks costs lots of time, and big tweaks… better forget those.

    There is still hope for me! I found a new tool, which makes me think about the old FrameMaker. Affinity Publisher which only costs around 50 euros! A bargain it if really works. I will give it a try.

    Too good to go

    Too good to go!Too good to throw out. Toogoodtogo is an app that makes an effort to reduce waste. When a product is still pretty good a company can decide to toss it in the trash, or sell it with a big discount (or give it away, but that sometimes conflicts with the business interests). I installed the app and we have tried it twice!

    Chinese foodFirst experience (4.99)
    There were some left-overs available at a local Chinese restaurant. This felt like quite a risk, because what are you going to get? The left-overs from the buffet? Still we took a gamble, and what we got was unexpected. Four containers with freshly made Chinese food. Nothing to good to go, just normal Chinese food, with the only exception that we could not chose the menu. What we got was pretty good. White rice, rice with chicken, noodles with chicken and croquet’s. All very tasty, but not something that was at risk of being thrown away.

    Meat!Second experience (3.99)
    The second time we rescued a package from the trash from a big supermarket. This time we got lots of meat. Bacon, bacon pieces, sausages, yogurt (8x), and three apples. All the meat was from a pig. The best-before dates were all on the current date. Not bad, the products all looked pretty good, and we received a big amount of food. I spend the evening frying the meat and even though I would normally avoid pig-meat out of personal preference it looks like the next couple of days I’ll be having pig for lunch.

    Conclusion
    It is really a gamble. You don’t know what you will get, and you don’t know what state it will be in. I don’t think we will use this app a lot more. The food you get is cheap, and it can be a lot of food, but it is still a gamble. It is unusual to get something you really need. In our case it is much easier to simply pay a little more and get exactly what we want/need. As a game/gamble/surprise it might be fun to get something with friends.

    For the company it is an easy way to achieve something. In the case of the Chines restaurant I think they used as a new way to advertise. A random menu for a low price, to maybe get some new customers. In this case I think there is a high probability I would try this Chinese place again, just to see what I will get next time. In case of the supermarkt the app clearly achieved its goal. Avoid throwing away food that was perfectly fine.

    Companies that can really benefit from this app are companies that deal with perishable foods. Fruit, vegetables, bread, meat, fish, etc. These shops can avoid throwing away things and get some new potential customers at the same time. For the customer there is the potential for cheap food, but with a risk in not knowing what you are going to get.

    Super-easy cake recipe

    Ingredient and measuring cup!A couple of days ago I made another cake and I wanted to share this extremely easy recipe. You use one yogurt cup for all the measurements, so there are almost no dishes to clean!

    Ingredients:
    – One small cup with yogurt (lemon or vanilla taste, or whatever taste you like)
    – 2 eggs
    Use the empty yogurt cup (no need to clean it) to measure the next items:
    – about one cup of sugar
    – about 3 cups of flour
    – about half a cup of olive oil

    Steps:
    Throw everything together and mix with a spoon until it is a somewhat smooth mass. Afterwards you can optionally add some extra ingredients like:
    – extra pieces of apple
    – extra pieces of chocolate
    – extra pieces of walnut
    – extra pieces of banana
    – extra pieces of rasped lemon peel

    Put everything in the desired shape. Put in a preheated oven around 180 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool, and you’re done.

    Insect hotel

    Our birdhouse showed us we that we had set our goals way to high. Our objectives were unobtainable. Maybe it was caused by the heat, or the general lack of birds in our area. We don’t know, but it is clear that after more than half a year we haven’t seen a single bird getting near the birdhouse we placed outside of Alex’ room.
    We needed to refocus to something a bit more realistic. There are lots of insects, so why not make them a home, and see if we can get some results here. An insect home should be easier to make, and insects are probably less picky compared to birds.

    Step one: With a couple of pieces of wood we made the basic frame
    Step two: We pained the basic frame the same color as the wall, so it will not stick out so much
    Step three: We collected a couple of sticks and some bamboo, which we cut in lots of pieces of 3 centimeters
    Step four: All the pieces were glued inside the frame.
    Step five: Leave to dry, and hang outside.

    Now we only need to be patient. Maybe some insect will find the hotel and visit it for a while. We shall see.