Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cycling back from the bar can be dangerous


So I was heading home from the bar yesterday on my bike, not too sober, and I wiped out good. I've fallen off my bike before, but this was a first. I was spitting blood and dripping blood all over my shirt and realized something wasn't right. It seems I landed square on my chin and busted it open. I also managed to bite my tongue and chip a tooth. There were people walking by who saw me and decided it was a good idea to call an ambulance. After a quick visit to the emergency room I went home with four stitches. Fun day.

Update: I feel like crap. My jaw feels like I went 12 rounds against Mike Tyson. Worst of all I have to cancel a few meetings that could have proved very prosperous. I'm glad those people called the amulance, I was thninking of just going home and that would have been a mistake.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I feel kind of evil


Today I helped one of my clients complete a project that results in the mass mailing of 300 000 emails. They are targeted emails so it's not quite spam, but it is definitely some sort of junk mail. Yes it's only to people that have signed up for some newsletter, but I'm still not too proud of being part of a junk mail operation.

Luckily I have been talking to a few other clients, some of whom I found directly (no agent means better money and nicer contract) so business is growing. My goal now is to be able to start hiring in Q1 or Q2 of next year.

The pic is of what my bro convinced me to try after about 6 pints. He went to circus school for a while and I was right impressed that he could balance me like that.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Image.FromFile gives "Out of Memory" exception

It took me a few minutes to find the solution to this so I thought I'd post it on the web for others to find.

If you use the System.Drawing.Image.FromFile method on a file that you do not have sufficient permission to, you will get a "Out of memory" exception. That's right, you would expect a security exception here but that's not the case.

I wish I could remember the forum where I saw this solution so I could give credit. In any case, create a FileStream object from your file and then use the FromStream method on the Image object. This will give you much more intelligent exceptions.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A few books

I'm working in Amsterdam again this week and so I used the opportunity to duck into the American book store a few days ago. The selection of English language books in Arnhem is pretty minimal so I like to pick up a few when I am in Amsterdam.

The first book I read is called Blink and is an eye opener. It's basically a whole book about 'gut feeling'. I have to say I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. It's a relatively short read but well worth it. I highly recommend it.


The book I am reading now is the autobiography of Richard Branson, the guy that owns and runs Virgin. I've read a few autobiographies and this is one of my favourites. It's very honest and open and very entertaining. I also find it quite inspiring.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Canada Trip

I booked my ticket the other day - I'm going to Canada to see a friend get married and to visit some other folks. I'll be in Waterloo and area from September 1st to September 17th so drop me a line if you want to meet up!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Drew Moments

Here are a few good moments that I recall from Drew's visit to Holland:

* We are at a pretty empty bar in the afternoon. Drew needs to piss so he goes to the pisser. Comes back a few seconds later - both pissers are taken. 5 minutes go by and no one has exited the pisser. I decide that something is off, so I go to check the pisser myself. As I am getting up, Drew says something along the lines of "They are locked, but if you figure out the secret - let me know". I go to the pisser, notice 2 huge signs that say "Key to toilet at the bar". I do a quick 180 and see Drew with a "Told you so" look on his face. I walk right by him and get the keys to the pisser. At this point, Drew is looking a little less victorious, and asks how I knew to get the key? The two signs I tell him. "Well, I don't read Dutch!" says Andrew. At this point the barkeep decides to let him in on the secret that both the very large signs were in english. I had to rub that one in a bit as you can imagine.

* "Oh my god, they actually sell peyote here? How is this legal? This place is crazy!"

* After two nights of heavy drinking, we decide to hop on a train to Texel. Texel is a vacation island that had potential for good fun so we gave it a shot. We were in a rush the whole way there, just catching the train and bus which resulted in neither of us having time to go to a bank machine. We get off the ferry at a very abandoned terminal and look for a bank machine. We find one, but the lady working at the snack bar tells us they closed it for the night. WTF? Why would you close a bank machine? So we are SOL with no cash. This means we have no way to pay for the bus to town and are left with no choice but to walk the 6km. Not cool since it starts to rain. After getting soaked, hearing some cow sex and walking about 1km, I manage to flag down a car. The guy happened to be from the town that our hotel was in which was 10km away, so we got a lift all the way there. That was sweet. We figured our bad luck had been used up for the night, but not really. Check in, clean up and hit the strip. Well the kitchen of EVERY restaurant closed at 10pm, and it's 10:05. Shwarma it is. Fuck I hate that crap. Then we decide to check out the only place on the strip that seems to have any life left to it, some "Apres Ski" bar. Weird but whatever. Walking into the place reminds both of us of highschool dances in the gym, and when we actually get through the hallways into the 'dance' we quickly realize that the instinct was right. A quick 180 is in order and we bolt. Off for one uphill pint and bed. I felt like puking up the shwarma but at least the double bed was actually 2 beds with separate sheets so no spooning was necessary. The next day we pick up some supplies (read liquor) and attempt to get the fuck off the island. The bus screwed us a bit since the schedule had some fine print that I initially missed, but we eventually managed to get to the ferry and off the island. As the boat pushes off, Drew proclaims "See you in Hell, Hell Island!". That is the new name for Texel, Hell Island.

* And of course "I need to steal a fiets!"

I live in a wind tunnel

I normally would not be posting about the weather - how lame is that? - but this is just ridiculous. For the last 2 weeks, the weather in the Netherlands has been nothing other than rain/hail and a whopping 8 to 12 degrees Celsius. To make it all better, there has been a gale force wind blowing most of the time. WTF? Did I miss the memo about summer being canceled and us going directly to November? I've been sitting indoors waiting for a half decent day so I can hop on my bike or go rollerblading. Today I caved and put on plenty of layers under my raincoat and went out for a ride. Even though its all flat around here, that wind made me feel like I was going uphill most of the time. Those guys that were in Algonquin with me will know the kind of wind I'm talking about, the same as the day we fought the whitecaps.

Otherwise things have been good, I had a new client and spent 7 days fighting with BizTalk. Good experience plus they paid well. Now I've got a few days off, but I'm sure something new will come up soon.