Wednesday, June 30, 2010

High Hopes

I am now a fan of Amazon. Well, strictly speaking I've been a fan of Amazon for some time. On-line shopping near perfected. I started a wish-list, as I find myself wanting things but lacking a means of income to support the purchasing of these things. Only when I had finished compiling it did I realise that of the seven items on my wish-list, one is a duplicate, two are yet to be released and four of them are textbooks on programming and development. What happened to me? When did textbooks become my number one item of yearning?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Third

I didn't realise yesterday, but I've now been living and working here in Holland for a month. Wow. Only two thirds left to go. That certainly flew by. At this rate I'll be home before I've finished settling in. Though, I think it would be a little difficult to get any more settled into this little room than I already am. I'm not looking forward to the box room in Pleasantville after this palace. Let me tell you, until you've had a shower in your bedroom you have not lived.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Boxcar Racer

So, I finally did what I promised and nabbed a shot of that boxcar racer that fellow comes to work in. It's purple, as you can plainly see. The pictures are in my gallery so you can take a good look at the slightly scarred beast. I'm finding it hard to cope in this humid sticky weather. I get up, shower, change into fresh clothes and by the time I get down the street I feel like I could do with another shower.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Towering Inferno

Well, it's not quite that bad. Though it is unbearably warm these days. I wonder if I'd be able to survive down closer to the equator. On sky blue days like this it does occur to me how vibrant and beautiful the neighbourhood I'm living in is. The houses don't have much garden themselves, though all round are canals, greens and great big trees. The impression given is nearly one of living in parkland. I should bring a camera next time I go walking.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I didn't think that was a word. Google says it is; Google's been wrong before. The weather is fabulously sunny, warm and humid. The last bit is not enjoyable. Now I like sunny weather, however I don't like being too warm. This becomes a problem on sunny days. I'm not a big fan of jaunting about in a t-shirt. I like my hoodys and jackets; they give me more pockets to store things. Though, I guess this is why I bring a messenger bag with me wherever I go. Slightly more casual than a backpack.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Super Ergonomical

Recently, I've come across something which I suppose is inevitable for people who use computers as much as I do.  Wrist and arm pains. Now, I don't know if this is from using a computer too much, something I've been doing for years; though I feel it has a lot more to do with using a laptop, and in particular, using it on a kitchen table. Which is just too high, very un-ergonomical. Knowing a few lecturers and post-grads how have been afflicted with dreaded carpel tunnel has spurred me into looking at ways to fix this.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Adventure Time

I figure, this Saturday or Sunday, I may finally visit Amsterdam. I've been in Holland nearly a month and I haven't gotten around to taking a train in yet. I've only a few errands to run this weekend, so I figure I'll use the extra time to catch a train in and have a look about. I don't know what I expect to find, I don't exactly have a lot of spending money, though I do like browsing high streets and electronics stores.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Slow Ride

I have to say, I'm kind of enjoying my job. I'm getting used to the hands off atmosphere. For a while I honestly thought I'd been forgotten about until I realised I was just being left to my own devices. It's a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, and I'm getting work done. The food is also great, which is a big plus.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Always in the Sun

Yesterday was the longest day of the year. I didn't even notice. Though with the longest day of the year comes the shortening of days. Though there's still plenty of summer left, long may it last. The chap downstairs has moved back in since the apartment has been re-floored. He unfortunately finds himself without internet. I gave it a look though the problem seems to be somewhere between him and the router. I guess the cabling was damaged when the new floor was being laid. I'm sure the landlord will sort him out somehow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Substantial?

Sandwiches are the order of the day. I've gotten fed up of pasta entirely for the time being, so I grabbed some bread and other ingredients necessary to make a sandwich. Dutch bread leaves me longing for home, but the sandwich wasn't bad. No doubt a result of my uncanny ability to make sandwiches. Next time I buy bread I'll try something different to the store baked pan.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Spent the entire Sunday doing altogether nothing at all. It's great to have a day like this every once in a while, though I always end up feeling like a lazy layabout at the end of it all. At least I got some shopping done. Guess I'll find out how the local supermarkets fresh baked bread is tomorrow. Coming soon: Week 4 of Irdeto. This week I get to learn Powershell. Fun times indeed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

To Market To Market

Today, I took a quick bus ride to Haarlem. I had heard that there was a market there on Saturdays, and having  gotten lost there last night coming from Tierney's Irish Pub, I felt that I should go and have a look around. Being able to successfully navigate from the city centre to the bus station in the dead of night however, didn't preclude the possibility of getting lost again.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Drinks and football with the Irish of the company in an Irish pub in Haarlem. Great craic altogether. Most of then seem to be managers, directors and the like. Got lost in the city for a while looking for a bus home. Found the train station just as the last bus prepared to leave. Excellent.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just like Yesterday

It surprises me how this has all become normal to me. Life in the Netherlands, that is. Get up every morning, grab a bus to work and home again in the evening. Working eight hours a day makes you adapt quicker, I guess. Though I find myself constantly tired. Rising at six thirty is something that I'm taking longer to become accustomed to. I'll have to try and get more sleep some way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Straight from the Microwave

My ingenious cooking plan was an enormous success. Gone are the mediocre meals of pasta and sauce. In are the mediocre meals of pasta and sauce! Followed by a microwaved meal of the same pasta and sauce which is mediocre in an entirely different way. Culinary genius, right here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Live from Los Angeles

E3 is in full swing this week. As I mentioned before, Microsoft showed their stuff last night. Today was Nintendo and Sony's turn. Nintendo shows us some nice games and a new DS which I could care less about, really. The games look nice, I'd consider getting one if I owned a Wii. Sony showed off some very impressive technology and some nice games through their Move and 3D systems. Though the presentation ran for two hours and had enough content for one. I'd definitely consider getting some of their stuff where money no object. Seeing Gabe Newell from Valve make an appearance was also nice.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Two Weeks

Time flies. Like, really flies. I've only turned around and I'm here two weeks. In the blink of an eye, two weeks in the Netherlands. Two weeks in Irdeto. Two weeks of blogging. I wasn't expecting that to go by so quickly, though that is life, I guess.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Television Man

I don't watch television. If you know me, you'll know I make that statement a lot. Certainly, there's a TV in my room here I've never switched on, as well as a TV in my hotel room I didn't turn on during my stay. In the house back in Dublin, there's no TV, and while the idea of a large high definition flatscreen appeals to my gadget loving side, I have no intention to get one. As I like to say, I don't watch television. This statement however, isn't quite true.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Back in the Sun

Second weekend here in Holland. I had intended to go into Amsterdam today; However I have only enough funds left on my travelcard for two bus journeys. So I think I'll leave it until next weekend. Instead, I went back into Heemstede today, to see what the town looked like on a busy day. It was surprisingly busy considering how dead it was every other time I've passed through. Puppets and human statues were attracting crowds of onlookers. I was nearly run over by a bicycle, during a lapse where I checked for oncoming traffic in the wrong direction.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Oh So Quiet

I'm told those are the words used to summon Bjork, though they're quiet accurate for this situation. I just had a stroll into town to see could I get some food. It's a Friday evening, I've gotten off work, time for some takeout. So I went to the only chipper I've found in town. It's a good one, great food and low prices. I should have realised, strolling by the houses, and into the deserted town that today wasn't going to be my luckiest day. The chipper was closed, and so was just about everywhere else. Seems they close at around eight, must not be much  late business in this small town.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cash is King (Again)

I've finally found the means to top up my travelcard. While I still don't have access to a bank account or an e-wallet, I have found the means to top up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All of a Sudden, Coca Cola Scares Me.

Getting up at 06:30 and working 08:00 to 16:30 isn't something I'm used to. So the past few days I've been rather tired sitting at my desk. The humidity of the office not being particularly helpful. After nearly nodding off during a presentation, I decided that it was time to find some way of keeping myself alert. Now I don't drink tea or coffee, but they provide free bottled soft drinks here in the office. So I grabbed a coke, took the cap off and went back to my desk. Not long after, I was sharp and alert, whereas before I'd almost been struggling to stay awake. Suddenly I appreciate why coffee is so popular.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Swipe on, Swipe off

I finally got myself a OV travel card. A coworker picked up an anonymous smart card while he was passing through the train station and gave it to me. Of course it had no money, and the charge machines don't take Maestro, so I had to ask him nicely to charge it up for me too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Work, work, work

Finally getting to do stuff at work. I've got myself a task list and everything. I am now officially productive. I'm told there was drinks in the office after I went home last Friday. Apparently it happens every couple of weeks, but someone forgot to mention it to me. Oh well, at least I got invited to the next Irish worker meetup.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Day in Heemstede

Though not too rainy. Settling into the new room nicely. I'm sure I'll enjoy my stay. Got the bus again today, and once again it only cost me €4, I should really find out why that bus driver from the other day sold me two tickets. Still, €4 ain't cheap.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Very Own Hovel

Moved into my room today. The room where I sill stay for the next three months. It's difficult to describe, and not the best room I've ever stayed in, but it will do for the three months I'm here. I'll take a few photos tomorrow.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Shrewd Businessman I am Not

Met a nice Irish fellow in Irdeto, who had a contact with a property to rent on a good bus route. Currently living in a hotel, I was naturally interested. So earlier today we piled into his flashy BMW and fnipped down the motorway to take a look. Now, a few days ago, a Portuguese fellow had told me that Dutch apartments were odd. He wasn't far wrong.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sun is Shining in the Sky

I don't think anyone could have hoped for better weather than we've been getting the past few days here in Holland. Sure it started with the most impressively thunderous rainstorm I've seen in years, but since then we've had nothing but cloudless sky blue days, blistering sun and cool breezes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

That Dutch Accent

The Dutch accent is a little strange. It reminds me of the Jagers from Girl Genius in a way, everyone stressing the leading H in a word, even words that don't have a leading H.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Irdeto Start

Today was my first day at work... and I slept in. Fantastic. Was due to start at 08:30, so set my alarm for 06:30 and went to bed, wasn't able to sleep for several hours. Woke up about 10:00 to find my phone had switched itself off again. It seems to be doing that more and more often recently. Wasn't a complete loss. When I did get in, they didn't really know what to do with me, so after introductions and a less than formal run through of my job I was sent home early.