Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Obituary

Leander was a modern version of the Renaissance man. His interests were far-flung, and he sought out and found connections among disparate areas of study. The enthusiasm he brought to each new subject was genuine and infectious. Who else might be able to speak extemporaneously on mercenaries, politics, and the latest Ajax transfer?

Leander thoroughly enjoyed learning and always included educational experiences in his schedule. After graduating college in law, Leander's indomitable curiosity led him into other areas of study, acquiring several academic degrees and professional designations. He continued in education from the other side of the lectern, teaching at Harvard, USA and Oxford, UK. Leander was a gifted scholar and communicator, in short, a great man. He was at home in front of an audience, large or small, and always put on a wonderful show, effectively telling his tale and explaining his views.

Leander saw work as an important avenue to achieve meaning in life, and he was proud of being a field hockey player. He thought about how to promote the profession to make sure it survived. He was concerned that we were not sufficiently careful in attending to our roots, studying and expanding our scientific and physical approaches. If we did not add particular value to problem solving, why did there need to be athletes at all? When our education and mental system strayed from rigorous attention to sports, he worried that athletes would be supplanted by other disciplines. Leander was a person who loved finding a better way and tirelessly sought new and better solutions to problems.

This passion was effectively applied by a brilliant field hockey player whose ideas lead to many innovative approaches using techniques to address various strategic problems. Creative and forward thinking, he did his best to engage the profession in these new areas of intellectual inquiry. The spirit that moved him was both adventurous and sportive. If someone had a problem in need of solution, it was, "Leander to the Rescue!" Leander was there, super field hockey player, an in-the flesh representative, showing the way to approach questions and think through issues.

As a natural outgrowth of these convictions, Leander did his best to lead the profession into new areas of intellectual inquiry. And, he identified new issues earlier than most of us. Countless Society of Athletes' conventions and committees benefited from his contributions by his presence and through his papers and lectures. Often recruited as a speaker at Society of Athletes' sponsored meetings, he was always ready to help out, as an entertaining and informative addition to the program. He was the moving spirit behind so many research projects, symposia, and papers. (A library search under Leander's name on the Society of Athletes' Web site results in 265 matches for papers and articles.) He was a person who loved new investigations, research, and tirelessly sought new and better solutions to problems. His many contributions stemmed from his conviction that sports and work brings lasting satisfaction. All these many works led to his being awarded the Society of Athletes President's Award by Anna Rappaport in 2006.

Consulting for Goldman-Sachs on matters of investment integration using new methods led the way for building relationships with those in the political, diplomatic, and international community. For example, at Harvard in collaboration with Ed Altman, Leander organized conferences providing an opportunity for exchanges among athletes, coaches, professionals, and anyone else concerned about emerging methods for developing and tactics for the sport. Analysis of risky fixed field hockey instruments, extrapolation of power rates and corner data to offensive tactics, player analysis, performance measurement, and asset and liability valuation are some of his impressive output. In reflecting on Leander's contributions, Professor Altman said, ". . . in tactical applications of corner techniques, no one can compare with Leander . . . (he is one of the) best examples of someone who bridges the gap between scholarly inquiry and pragmatic application of athletes . . ."

Perhaps Leander's most unique contribution was the use of quasi-Monte Carlo scenarios for developing tactics for defensive measures and maneuvers and corners. This work led to his obtaining a patent with collaborators at Columbia University. I had the good fortune to work with him, applying this technique, using Game Breaker (a modeling program) to evaluate different allocations of players’ skills and moves. Leander saw a way to calculate a deterministic distribution of ways more efficiently than using the usual random tactics generators.

Leander leaves behind 3 wives, 4 mistresses, and 6 kids; all fighting over his $3 billion inheritance. He will be missed.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Home

After 6 weeks of coaching camps in Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Connectticut and Michigan, spending 3 days shopping in New York City and a rides in planes, trains and busses, I'm back home again. Full of stories, full of memories. With new friends, 862 photos and short movies, an empty bankaccount and a pile of bills to pay. Isn't life great sometimes?
But on the bright side: I have seen a lot of the country and obtained my 47th country-point: Canada! :-) Don't ask me about the 17hr Greyhound ride though. I did get the opportunity to visit some friends in Washington and NY though and it was a blast.
To all of you who have hosted, transported or entertained me: thank you!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Holidays

Dear friends,

This Friday, 29th of June, I’m flying to the US of A and will only return the 7th of August in the Netherlands. You can always send me an email, but during the period I will not be answering my emails that frequently. I have my Dutch cell phone also with me, but I hope it won’t be necessary to call me during my “work.”

If I have your address, you might get a card, if I’m in the mood to send cards (last summer in Namibia I sent 62 cards…)! :-) Hope to see at least some of you in the USA or in Europe this summer; do give me a ring if you’re around or want to meet somewhere.

Take care and enjoy the sun!

Yours,
Leander

Friday, 22 June 2007

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Piano

Glasses

I'm pissed, frustrated, angry, silly and broke. I broke my glasses... I'm leaving next week to the US and I broke my glasses beyond repair. Crap. Just had to buy new ones and they are ready, just the day before I fly, so I'm lucky with that. Sadly it will cost me a lot of money again (which I don't have), but I need them, so my bad luck.. :(

Sunday, 17 June 2007

New phone

I finally have a new phone. My old HP Ipaq 6915 broke down, the sound stopped working, Windows crashed all the time (what's new...), and the keyboard wasn't too happy to respond on all the buttons as well. Since I have to renew my contract at Vodafone and I'm a high-volume customer, got this nice Blackberry 8800. It's shiny, it's fancy and I can hear people again! :-) Not only that, but I can als receive my email on it as well.

So far, I have only run into a few minor points of the telephone. It needs a micro-SD card if I want to listen to music on it and I don'nt have one (yet). Furthermore, I canot sync my Outlook inbox and folders with it. Which is a major drawback for me, as I always liked to have my EIDP folder with me with the emails and documents. It doesn't come with a cradle, so I am syncronising the BB with a cable and lying next to my laptop. Finally: the GPS is crap: TomTom doesn't work on it and it's not as smooth as the Ipaq.

It is however a fabulous phone. It looks good, it works perfect (amazing enlighted trackball), sound is perfect, easy to navigate within the programs, email and sms are easy to write (although I am still used to the qwerty-keyoard of the Ipaq and make mistakes between Shift and Ctrl) and it came standard with a nice leathery case. My additional Bluetooth headset also worked perfectly with the Blackberry, so up till now, I am a very satisfied BB-customer.

I just need to work out how to deal with my greasy fingers on the shiny screen... :-)

Friday, 15 June 2007

Slight Cold

I'm having a slight cold. Have been sneezing like hell lately and not a clue why. Looks like I have such a summer allergy, but that can't be, as I don't have it (or at least never had it). Hope it stops soon as it is rather annoying when I'm studying in the library... :-)

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Travelers' Century Club

While surfing over the web I came across a website of a club where people can become a member of when they have traveled 100 countries or more. These countries are not like the UN-list, but also small independent semi-states which are hardly known or usually seen as in integrated part of another state. This club is called The Travelers' Century Club and for those of you who know me a little: I would love to become a member, so I downloaded the application form and started checking boxes... I was able to check the boxes of 68 countries... :-( Ok, I admit: I'm 28 and who has visited 68 countries already at this age? I'm privileged and I know that and I am grateful that my parents were able to show me most of Europe. I am grateful that I was able to earn a enough to explore the former USSR and Asia and am able to work in the US during summer. I know that it sounds tacky, but I want more. I love to travel, I love to explore new cultures, meet new people, see new things, smell new things and enjoy the experiences and adventures. I'm 28 and I hope at 56 I have visited 150 countries. It will be hard as most of the not-visited countries are far away, but I will try. Traveling is my rush, my kick, my drive. I need it and it makes me happy. Am I strange?

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Ben Harper

Just discovered the artist Ben Harper. Superb songs, although a bit gospely (if that is even a word)... Just downloaded his whole discography and a DVD. Just very relaxing to listen to, but sometimes swinging and rocking. It's nice. Try it.

Food

I survived the day on Winegums. Is that healthy?

Monday, 11 June 2007

Facebook

I was never really into the profiles on the web, except for this weblog than. I don't have a MySpace, I don't have a Hi5 etc. I do, however, have a Facebook since last week. Ludmila added me and I just had to join. Have quite a number of international friends on there now already and it's fun. Some long lost acquaintances and friends are now in my friends-list and am in contact with quite a number of girls from the Nike Field Hockey Camps of the past 2 years. If you have a Facebook: search for me and ad me as your friend! :-)

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Hockey

My field hockey team was very succesful this year and with only 3 draws, 0 losses and 15 wins, we won this years comptition in our league. Next year we will promote to the highst league and hopefully will get some decent sponsoring. I will not try forthe 1st men's team anymore as it take too much time and you have to train 3x a week for sure, else you will end up on the bench and that just is too much for me. I will just play in the 2nd team and get my minutes, once in a while not being able to show up fro training. I had a blast this year though.

Monday, 4 June 2007

KPN

I am still working for KPN, but in a different position now. I no longer need to call, but am a trainer. Well, I'm not allowed to say I'm a trainer since the company that does the trainings isn't aware of the fact that there is someone that needs to be trained, so they might get upset if they know I am training someone. I am however very cheap and the company asks around 500 / day, so I know why they have asked me.
I am training someone who worked for KPN 38 years already. She comes from a different task force and they didn't findher suitable anymore and she needed to find a different job within KPN to finish the last 2 years before her retirement.
The good thing for me is that I can plan my own hours and don't have to worry abut handling times, speed, etc. I can just relax, take 1 hour break etc, as no one will notice. :-) The downside is that she is old and not very capable anymore to comprehend the system and methodes very fast. It takes hours and she is sometimes so slow and does things 10x wrong after another, but it's fine. I am praised for my patience (which you need...) and am still enjoying it, so no worries there.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

The whole family

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Brothers


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Dad

My dad celebrated his 60th birthday last Sunday and the whole family was at home to have dinner. My 2 brothers with their girlfriends and Joao's newborn son. I had to say that it ws a nice meeting and we had a lot of fun. As Redmer and Ingrid live in Eindhoven and Joao and Diasy in Rotterdam, we don't have a fmaily gathering that often, so it was good to have all around. Downside: I got teased that I was the oldest and the only one without a girlfriend, not living together and not a daddy already.

It was strange to see my mother and father behaving like a grandmother and -father. It made me laugh a lot as I totally didn't expected it and I don't know that childisch side of them. It was fun though and I can only say that we have a nice family.



Boring me

Well, more than 2 months and no post on my blog. I got some criticism on that already from some friends, but quite frankl I wasn't in the mood to write.
I read an article last week about blogging and the fact that most blogs die after an average life of 3 to 5 months. At least my blog survived that period and is still alive, although not as active as it used to be. Not only did I stop writing for quite a while, but I stopped reading blogs as well. I haven't read HotTamale's blog, Tabletray's blog and others in months. Not a clue why, but it suddenly didn't appeal to me anymore. It's not only the reading and writing of blogs, but also he playing computergames, watching TV etc. Things I used to do at night all more or less stopped. I go to bed early now. I know: frightening, but true. I guess I'm getting old, very old...

Summer

Summer means field hockey camps in the US since 2 years. This year I am going again and it will probably be a blast again! I am so looking forward to spend some time there again, not only because the pay is so good, but also because the coaching is a lot of fun and the girls are just crazy.
My schedule will be:
  • 30 June - 2 July = Middlebury, VT
  • 4 - 7 July = Springfield, MA
  • 10 - 13 July = Stowe, VT
  • 14 - 19 July = Blairstown, NJ
  • 22 - 25 July = Fairfield, CT
  • 29 July - 2 August = Sauk Valley, MI

I will fly to NYC the 29th, so in 3 weeks, and will fly back the 6th of August. This means that I have a couple of days left in NYC to visit some friends and have some fun!

The Xplore-project from the EIDP wasn't accepted by the nationl youth agency, so I will have the rest of August free. Will work a bit, have to go to Slovakia to visit Jana and have Aida's wedding In Tirana the beginning of September. I also have to go to David's birthday (since he was on mine as well) in Copenhagen on the 1st of September. All in all quite a busy summer and not even a real holiday for me! :-)

Friday, 1 June 2007

Seminar in Vilnius

The 7-day seminar "Free Your Mind, Feel The Media" was organized by VIKC, the public organization of the faculty of Economics of Vilnius University in Lithuania. Main goal of the project was to find out the influence media has on society. A group of 30 students from Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands tried to find this out by attending lectures, visiting local media and doing some research.
Among the highlights of the program were a public research project in a trolleybus, a lecture from a well-known Lithuanian press-photographer, a visit to the Vilnius Television tower and a project at a student newspaper and radiostation. For the Dutch delegation a Queensday reception at the Dutch embassy also formed part of the program.
Next to the official part of the program there was also a lot of room for getting to know the other participants and the city of Vilnius. It was remarkable to see how quick 30 individuals from different countries and cultures got to know eachother and became good friends. Maybe the Vilnius nightlife might have contributed to this?
The week was ended with a visit to the castle of Trakai on the Lithuanian countryside. A nice end of an interesting project-week in which the participants got to know a lot about the media, but moreover: got to know eachother!

Monday, 26 March 2007

Coloured gate in Moldova

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My family

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The Hague

I spend this weekend in The Hague visiting a friend. It was nice and we had a great time. Took one of the last trains on Friday evening and came back this morning before my match. On Saturday we went to Amsterdam to do some shopping and I bought a new pair of jeans. To be honest: I didn't have any pairs of jeans left and I wanted to buy a pair for some time already, but was just never in the mood, or had someone to go with me. My friend told me that I immediately looked more though and handsome, so must be a nice pair of jeans! (For the price I bought them: they have to be!) After shopping, we had a drink and went to the movies. Saw "The Good Shepperd", which is a good movie, but you have to like the theme and stand the duration. Overall a wonderful weekend and very enjoyable. Not at least by the company! :-)

Today's match

My team had a match against Studs 4 today. They are ranked 2nd and my team 1st, so it was a thrilled. It was an away match as well, which caused for even more nerves. We had 2 points more than they had, so we could afford a draw, but a victory would give so much relief. We did win this afternoon. A battle it was. Lots of elbows, shoulder charges and hacking (= all mostly done by them, not kidding), so it wasn't a beautiful match, but it was thrilling and exciting. We won with 2-3 and I even scored my first goal of the season! A lucky one, I admit, but you have to have a bit of luck to stand exactly there where the ball bounces of the goalie. Was a nice, slow push between his legs into the goal. Nice. :-) We are pretty confident to become champs this season and promote to the top league next year. Only a couple of matches left!

Nelly Furtado

Last week I went to a concert of Nelly Furtado in Amsterdam together with a friend, Florijan, and we had a blast. I didn't know all the songs from her new album, but she also sang Fly Like a Bird and others, so it wasn't all new and strange. It was a superb concert and the after party was amazing as well. What more can I say? Nelly, marry me!! :-)

DNA Test

My Personal Dna Report

For example, if Confidence is at 80, that means that 80% of people entered lower values for confidence questions than you did.
Openness 96
Extroversion 96
Authoritarianism 94
Earthy 94

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Projects

The Institute is going well. One had a representative at a networking seminar last week in Georgia, I will go with 5 others to Vilnius end of April, we are preparing a 3-week trip to the Balkans for 20 people and busy with a lot more. The interest for the Vilnius seminar was overwhelming: only 5 spots and 20 applications. Too bad I have to disappoint so many, but better luck next time, as many more seminars will come.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Clothing

Can someone tell me why a law student dresses up in sneakers, jeans, white socks and a white T-shirt when he has an exam? If he was a history student or a philosopher, OK, I would accept and wouldn't expect else. But a freaking law student? Get a life and dress up! Idiot...

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Uncle

Leander is becoming an uncle! Joao (my brother for the ones who don't know him) is becoming a father. He has a girlfriend in Zoetermeer and will become a dad within 2 or 3 weeks. He didn't dare to tell my family earlier, as he thought we would become angry or something, so he only just dared. He will get a boy and he baby will be named Jayden. My mother is extremely looking forward to a black baby and walking with it, but my dad got a heart attack when he heard that he would become a grandfather already! :-)

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Away

From Monday on, I will be away for a while and hopefully be back the 23rd. Nothing serious, not at all, but I won't be online that much and probably won't update too much either.

Big Brother

Friday, 2 February 2007

EIDP update

Last Friday we finally opened a bank account in Nijmegen, as we all had to come together and sign for it. Now we are really up and running! This Wednesday, we handed in 3 proposals to the National Youth Council to organize seminars/study-trips to Georgia, Kaliningrad and Armenia. A rather impressive line-up I would say! Lets hope all proposals get approved.

Dentist

One of my friends is a dental-student. She asked me to be a test subject once and since I go to her once a year for my annual check-up. My regular dentist only lives 30min by train, but she lives little over 2 hrs by train: I must be crazy. :-) I visited last Friday again and besides my check-up, she found it appropriate to remove 4 (!!) of my molars/wisdom teeth. Two had already been removed a long time ago, 2 normal still remained and I had 2 extra ones. Not everyone gets these strange ones, way to the back, so I felt a little special. Now I wish I wasn't that special as it really hurts... A week has passed, but I still need some aspirin to keep the pain away. Hope it's over soon.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Champions Trophy Women

Even though I had to work this morning and get up at 6.45, I went to bed at 3. Why? Simple: a live broadcast of the women's field hockey final of the Champions Trophy in Argentina against Argentina. It started spectacular with a goal for the Netherlands in the 2nd minute and the first 15 minutes was fast, flashing hockey. After that I had to bite my nails as Argentina became stronger, but wasn't able to force a counter goal. So besides being the current World Champion, we also won this prestigious tournament. Next stop: Beijing 2008 - Olympic Gold!

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Aries

Those born under the sign of Aries are friendly creatures with a forceful manner, a firm handclasp and an instant smile. They are naturally humorous and quick of wit, enjoying music and entertainment. As students, they have the ability to apply whatever they learn to good advantage. Individuals governed by Aries are a courageous leaders, genuinely concerned about the welfare of those they command. Being a responsible soul, it is rare that those ruled by Aries will use a subordinate to obtain their own objectives...but it does occasionally happen. Aries is much concerned with self...both positively and negatively. This self-reliant characteristic can sometimes lead to a self-centered attitude, with a tendency to be overly-concerned with personal advancement and physical satisfaction.

The Bright Side
The Aries personality is fiery and warm, passionate and self-expressive with an urge to act - NOW! This is not a patient sign; everything is done on impulse, and with great urgency.

ENTERPRISE
Aries is a courageous leader, not averse to taking risks, but will often feel that 'I know best '. As Aries has a quick grasp of the essentials of any situation, this may well be so; but Aries rarely hangs around to check for which to fight, a problem to solve, or a new idea to pioneer and this enterprising personality comes into its own.

EGOTIST
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and 'Me First' is the Arian motto! Active and outgoing, the Arian personality is all set to make its mark on the world - but this can lead to a selfish, egotistical attitude to life. In a vulgar manner, this often proves successful: because the simple fact of the matter is what Arians want, they usually tend to get.

The Dark Side
Strangely enough for such an active sign, one of its main failings is that of procrastination. Although Aries is extremely impatient and intolerant of delay, the Aries personality is prone to put off what must be done (tax returns, for example) if the matter to be put underway is simply not interesting. Similarly, Aries may resort to lies rather than undergo the inconvenience, or boredom, of being forced into doing something Aries would rather not do. Arians can also be blunt, often causing offence, or employ bullying tactics in a selfish desire to have their own way.

Primary Characteristics
Energetic
Passionate
Positive

Personality Traits
Adventurous and energetic
Dynamic and quick-witted
Enthusiastic and confident
Pioneering and courageous

Dangers
Can be foolhardy
Can be impulsive and impatient
Can be selfish and quick-tempered

Söhne Mannheims Concert

Just came back from Amsterdam, where I went to the concert of Söhne Mannheims and it was a blast. I haven't had such a good time in a long time. Dancing, swinging, singing, clapping and cheering. I have most of their Cd's (if not all), but to see them in real life and experience the atmosphere is even better.
The Melkweg isn't a big place, max 700 people, and it wasn't totally full, but it felt comfy and everyone had a superb time. A lot of Germans were present, some even from Frankfurt and other far away places... What wondered me was the amount of Dutch present. I know the Söhne from my time in Heidelberg, but I wonder how the Dutch knew about them, as they didn't have hit in the Netherlands. If someone reads this and wants to elaborate on that: please do. I didn't bring a camera, so if someone made some pics: please send me a couple! (für alle Deutsche: wenn Ihr Bilder habt = schick mir bitte doch einige!)
To conclude: it was a superb, marvellous, great, comfy, swinging and wonderful evening! Thanks to Arnoud for accompanying me, where no one else dared or wanted!

Friday, 12 January 2007

Blood Diamond

Set against the backdrop of the chaos and civil war that enveloped 1990s Sierra Leone, "Blood Diamond" is the story of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), an ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe, and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories and their circumstances are as different as any can be until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond, the kind of stone that can transform a life. Solomon, who has been taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields, finds the extraordinary gem and hides it, knowing if he is discovered, he will be killed instantly. But he also knows the diamond could not only provide the means to save his wife and daughters from a life as refugees but also help rescue his son, Dia, from a fate as a child soldier. Archer, who has made his living trading diamonds for arms, learns of Solomon's hidden stone while in prison for smuggling. He knows a diamond like this is a once-in-a-lifetime find—valuable enough to be his ticket out of Africa and away from the cycle of violence and corruption in which he has been a willing player.
Enter Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), an idealistic American journalist who is in Sierra Leone to uncover the truth behind conflict diamonds, exposing the complicity of diamond industry leaders who have chosen profits over principles. Maddy seeks out Archer as a source for her article, but soon finds it is he who needs her even more. With Maddy's help, Archer and Solomon embark on a dangerous trek through rebel territory. Archer needs Solomon to find and recover the valuable pink diamond.
I loved the movie. It deals with an actual problem or dilemma and even though I am not a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, I did like his play in this movie. If you liked Hotel Rwanda, you will like this movie too. It is not for the faint of heart though, like the scene in HR when they suddenly driver over a road with only corpses. I suggest you see it, rent it, or just don't buy anymore diamonds!

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Military Hospital

During the check-up from the military to see if I could enlist, they came across some glitch on my heart-scan. Coming Thursday, I have to go to the military hospital in Utrecht to a cardiologist. Will see then if I have long to live left or not! :-)

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

New Year

A bit late perhaps, but I want to wish you all a very exciting, thrilling, beloved, humorous, playful, sunny, rich, progressive, happy and above all healthy 2007. I hope you all had a splendid party and superb celebrations. I didn't. I had to work again at 8 AM in the freaking morning, so I went to bed at 00.30 and slept. Never had such a relaxing day at work though... :-)

 

My personal world map

Visited Countries
Visited Countries Map from TravelBlog