Bart's blog

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This just made my day:

Programing Is Child's Play

I've been working on a computer application for a while now, learning Visual Basic and C# in the process. Yesterday afternoon I was tinkering away - although not with much gusto - until Mrs.B called me to set the table for dinner. So I went downstairs, not bothering to close the IDE (Integrated Development Environment, or the application you use to write applications).

While I was setting the table, Wolf sneaked out of the living room. I assumed he was going to his room. I was wrong.

A short while later dinner was ready, so I went upstairs to find Wolf. I found him not in his room, but next to my computer, wearing his Guilty Face.

He had been asking me to use the computer, to visit his favourite websites. Mrs.B was working on the laptop, and I was writing code, so we both said he had to wait. When he saw me coming down, he spotted an opportunity. And when he saw the IDE, he thought it resembled the web browser. So he pressed a couple of buttons - in fact he pressed a lot of buttons.

And he wiped away about two months worth of coding.

Thankfully, there is something like the 'undo' button. If it hadn't been for that, I would still be kicking his little butt. Not that I'm a violent father, of course. But in this case the father would have looked away until the short tempered programmer had cooled down. As it was, the father explained to his son that he should never do it again.

Ok, maybe I shouted. Just a bit, to get the point across. And then I felt like an oaf and helped him with his dinner.

Friendly Local

Night guardNight guard


Marshes around Lake Ziway (Ethiopia) at duskMarshes around Lake Ziway (Ethiopia) at dusk

Alan! Alan! Alan!

Sunset Over The Ethiopean Rift Valley

Sunset over a couple of traditional dwellings in Meki, in the Ethiopian Rift ValleySunset over a couple of traditional dwellings in Meki, in the Ethiopian Rift Valley

Out Of The Oven, Into The Freezer

So guess who's back from Ethiopia? It's not the swallows, because they have the good sense to stay in Africa until the winter's really over. I on the other hand found myself basking in the sun at close to 30°C on day, and freezing my gonnads of at -10°C the day after.

Ethiopia is really a beautiful country. I can say this despite having spent more than ninety percent of my time in meeting rooms - you know how these business trips are. But just when I started thinking that I'd only get some tan if I'd stand really close to one of the TL-lights, my colleagues over there suggested to make a little trip on Sunday to visit the volcanic hot springs. And boy were they volcanic hot! I soaked my body in water you could use to boil an egg, and even joined the locals in a game of 'I dare you to stay under that stream of steaming hot water until your skin drops off'. Luckily there was also an olympic size swimming pool with water at a balmy 35°C to cool down. I could have stayed in there for days at an end.

We spent most of our time in the rift valley, a place I've been hoping to visit at least once in my lifetime. It's the very spot where humanity crawled out of the trees, became bi-pedal, discovered fire and made its first tools. It's piping hot during the day, and rather nippy during the night, and the air is full of dust. So no wonder we decided to take a hike and explore different parts of the globe. Yay for us! But still it's a splendid place. I spotted quite a bit of wildlife too: flamingoes, big vultures, weaver birds, marabouts, camels (technically not wildlife, but it's not as if I'm used to bumping into one) and the remnants of a porcupine.

As for the work thing: people were very pleased with my training and my work, so there's a good chance I may visit Ethiopia again. But it'll have to wait, because there's already a trip to Uganda and the Decidedly Not Democratic Republic of the Congo looming on the horizon.

Live Aid

I'm off to Ethiopia tomorrow. I've been looking forward to this trip, it's the first time I'll visit Ethiopia and the first time in years I've visited another African country than The Not At All Democratic Republic Of The Congo. Although I did pass through Uganda a couple of times to go to eastern Congo.

There's been news of an attack on a group of tourists in the north of Ethiopa yesterday. So good thing I'm going to the south.

Don't know if I'll have internet access, if not see you in two weeks time.

The Dark Side Rocks

And another version by Rage Against The Machine...


As I recently mentioned to a friend: it never rains but it's showering tidal waves during an earthquake. In fact you can also throw in a massive volcano eruption and a deadly comet, and some hurricanes for good measure.

Last Saturday, Tyl was readmitted to hospital. He would barely eat since his return home, and on Saturday morning he puked up everything he'd eaten half an hour before. So Mrs.B took him to the doctor, who said he'd better return to the children's ward.

Wolf had to go back to school, so we couldn't sleep over like we had done the first week of January. So Mrs.B rushed to hospital after bringing Wolf to school, and when school was out she took Wolf to Tyl. Then at five she got back home to make dinner for us all. When I got back from work I'd eat, and then it was my turn to go to the hospital. Tyl won't go to sleep before ten o'clock, so I'd be home around ten thirty. Very busy days, as you can imagine. The last thing we needed was for Wolf to turn sick too.

Yesterday Wolf turned sick too. We were at the dinner table, and he wouldn't eat his fish sticks - which he eats by the box normally. We wrongfully assumed he was faking it to get attention now that his little brother got all the focus of our love. Even when he announced that he had to throw up we were having none of it. Five counts later we were having a lot of it, as he puked over half the dining room.

So now I'm at home from work looking after Wolf, while Mrs.B is in hospital taking care of Tyl.

We wished you a spectacular 2012 a couple of weeks ago, and spectacular it is...

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