Thursday, 24 March 2005

Bloggies 2005

The Bloggies of 2005 are now to be found at "The 2005 Bloggies" so check them out and perhaps you (and hopefully me) will be found there one fine day. God, what would I not do for that?

Some amazing sites can be found there, such as "This Fish Needs A Bicycle" (what a superb title) and "Dooce". You wonder where some people get their inspiration from and what an amazing and interesting lives they lead. Of course mine is not dull as well, but still... "the grass is always greener at the other side".

Sunday, 20 March 2005

Another victory

Today my team played against Emmen and that is away always a difficult match. We won though, with an easy 1-5 and stand steady at the 3rd place in our league. Now trying to keep it up. :)

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Hardcore Junkie

Are you Addicted to the Internet?


Hardcore Junkie (61% - 80%)
While you do get a bit of sleep every night and sometimes leave the house, you spend as much time as you can online. You usually have a browser, chat clients, server consoles, and your email on auto check open at all times. Phone? What's that? You plan your social events by contacting your friends online. Just be careful you don't get a repetitive wrist injury...

The Are you Addicted to the Internet? Quiz at Quiz Me!

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Machiavelli - Il Principe (The Prince)

Niccolo Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469, in Florence, Italy. He eventually became a man who lived his life for politics and patriotism. Right now, however, he is associated with corrupt, totalitarian government. The reason for this is a small pamphlet he wrote called The Prince to gain influence with the ruling Medici family in Florence. The political genius of Niccolo Machiavelli was overshadowed by the reputation that was unfairly given to him because of a misunderstanding of his views on politics.
Machiavelli's life was very interesting. He lived a nondescript childhood in Florence, and his main political experience in his youth was watching Savanarola from afar. Soon after Savanarola was executed, Machiavelli entered the Florentine government as a secretary. His position quickly rose, however, and was soon engaging in diplomatic missions. He met many of the important politicians of the day, such as the Pope and the King of France, but none had more impact on him than a prince of the Papal States, Cesare Borgia. Borgia was a cunning, cruel man, very much like the one portrayed in The Prince. Machiavelli did not truly like Borgia's policies, but he thought that with a ruler like Borgia the Florentines could unite Italy, which was Machiavelli's goal throughout his life. Unfortunately for Machiavelli, he was dismissed from office when the Medici came to rule Florence and the Republic was overthrown. The lack of a job forced him to switch to writing about politics instead of being active. His diplomatic missions were his last official government positions.
When Machiavelli lost his office, he desperately wanted to return to politics. He tried to gain the favor of the Medici by writing a book of what he thought were the Medici's goals and dedicating it to them. And so The Prince was written for that purpose. Unfortunately, the Medici didn't agree with what the book said, so he was out of a job. But when the public saw the book, they were outraged. The people wondered how cruel a man could be to think evil thoughts like the ones in The Prince, and this would come back to haunt him when he was alive and dead. However, if the people wanted to know what Machiavelli really stood for, they should have read his "Discourses on Livy", which explain his full political philosophy. But not enough people had and have, and so the legacy of The Prince continues to define Machiavelli to the general public.
A few years later the Medici were kicked out of Florence. The republic was re-established, and Machiavelli ran to retake the office he had left so many years ago. But the reputation that The Prince had established made people think his philosophy was like the Medici, so he was not elected. And here the sharp downhill of his life began. His health began to fail him, and he died months later, in 1527.
Machiavelli had been unfairly attacked all of his life because of a bad reputation. But it only got worse after he died. He was continually blasted for his "support" of corrupt ruling. In fact, Machiavellian now means corrupt government. Only recently has his true personality come to light. The world must change it's vision of the cold, uncaring Machiavelli to the correct view of a patriot and a political genius.

Monday, 14 March 2005

South Africa

Good, finally here a post about my New Years holiday to South Africa which was marvellous by the way. I don't want to brag, but I've seen quite a lot from the world so far, but SA is certainly in my top 3 of most beautiful places I've been to. But not only was the country superb, also the people and the atmosphere were just great. It's hard to describe a feeling, but it felt so good and amazing those 10 days I was there. Planning to buy there a house some day. :)

Well, the flight was via Windhoek (Namibia) to Cape Town (south west SA) and then to a nature park in east SA (a mere 2500km drive) and back to Cape Town. I actually spend 4 days in the car driving from Cape Town to the park and back and only 1 day in the park... Go figure! But it was for sure worth it. I've seen lions, elephants, rhinos, hyenas, giraffes, buffels, a crocodile, a hippo and many many more animals. Although I haven't been to the Kruger (which is supposedly even better), I think I got quite a good image of parks and animals in SA. I have to say though that concrete roads were not in my ideal image of nature parks... :)

Cape Town is one of the most amazing and beautiful places I have ever been and seen. It is really alive and kicking. The stay was in a boutique hotel Le Vendome, which was already marvellous and a white aircondicioned car completed the equipment. Cape Town around New Year is wonderful with superb weather (although a bit windy), lots of things to do, music at every corner and sadly a lot of musea closed... Last year I spend New Year's Eve in Rome, now in Cape Town and I have to say that Cape Town was so much more nice. Eating till 23.45 at a panncake restaurant at the Waterfront, watching the fireworks at 24.00, dancing on "Gimme Hope Joanna" (never thought I would do that) and being stuck in a garage for 1.5 hour to get out with the car. You have to relax and let it go.

Besides Cape Town and the natire park, also visited the winelands around Cape Town (so beautiful and superb driving routes), Cape of the Good Hope (Dutch!!!), Robben Island ("apartheid" is probably the only Dutch word the whole world knows) and the pengiun colony near Cape Town.

There is so much to tell and explain, but you have to have been there to see, understand and experience. I want to go back...!!! One small story I do want to tell you. While driving to the nature park, we already came across 7 mobile radar speed detectors, hoping/thinking to have passed them all, we drove off a hill close to Durban with an average speed of 178 where 120 was allowed. And of course there was just another policeman doing his job and pulling us over. With 58km too fast, he couldn't give us a ticket as he was only allowed to issue those till 50km. Our fee had to be set by the DA, but since it was already after 17.00 that man had gone home. Therefore a night jail for the driver was obligatory!!! After long talking and discussing the policeman proposed an "on the spot-fee" of 500 Rand and he would let us go. I already thought that is was going to end like this, but I didn't propose as he could be a good cop and arrest me for bribery (ok the chances of finding a good cop in SA are less than 0,0000000001%, but still...). He put the 500 Rand in his pocket and let us go. In fact he was really a nice guy and we also had a laugh together, too bad I forgot to take a picture of him and us. Guess he doubled his month's salary that day. :)

Pictures are below, but only a selection, to post all would be too much and this should stay a blog and not a photoblog! :)

The End... Posted by Hello

What a handsome guy! Posted by Hello

Church in Stellenbosch Posted by Hello

Nothing to be proud of... Posted by Hello

Table Mountain and Cape Town (seen from Robben Island) Posted by Hello

"The long and winding road..." Posted by Hello

Countryside houses Posted by Hello

Waterfront, Cape Town Posted by Hello

Elephant Posted by Hello

Rhino Posted by Hello

Zebra with birds Posted by Hello

Table Mountain Posted by Hello

Downtown Cape Town Posted by Hello

Well.... Posted by Hello

Me :) Posted by Hello

Again the Waterfront, Cape Town Posted by Hello

Hockey Day

We won today 9-2 from HCSO (Stadskanaal) and it was a superb match. Besides the weather and the goals, also the atmosphere was good, both with our opponent as in our own team (that has been different...). Such an afternoon always remembers me why I love to play and why it is such an amazing and thrilling game. More of this please!!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

White world Posted by Hello

Snow by day Posted by Hello


You might have heard/seen that the Netherlands had a tremendous amount of snow last week (although for you guys with mountains, it's probably not that much) and that normal life, wasn't that normal any more. Busses and trains didn't go, schools closed, people were asked to stay inside etc. We didn't have that much snow since 1979 and the temperature was the coldest since 1900 -20.7C! I simply loved it. The world was white, it looked marvellous and it was a blast. A good thing was as well that all trainings were cancelled. :)

Funny link


My personal world map

Visited Countries
Visited Countries Map from TravelBlog