Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snowy Sunday 


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Den Bosch - Sint Jan 

This one was on my "Bucket List", had to go there as my ancestors have applied their skills in the Sint Jan Cathedral. If my information is correct, my great grandfather (mothers side) made the copper chandeliers. So on this very rainy and windy day the boys and I took a stroll into the freezing cold cathedral, took some pictures, lit two candles, and quickly found our way to an 'oliebollen kraam' with warm pastries. We'll certainly return when the big outside renovation has been completed.

Royal cup of tea 

Soestdijk, december 5th.
While most Dutch families celebrated Sinterklaas - a typical Dutch folklore - we took ourselves and my mother to the (former Royal) Palace Soestdijk where our former Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard resided permanently until the end of their life. It has been opened for public since three years now and small groups are allowed in for a guided tour. It does bring back memories of televised queen days (30 april) where all sorts of representatives merrily paraded past the royals on the stairs. Finally we could enjoy the view they must have had from the inside. It was a memorable tour and afterwards we enjoyed a nice cup of tea in the Orangerie.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nespresso life 

As we used to have the old (now new and trendy again) fashioned coffee filters, after visiting the Champs Elysee store with Nick, some time ago I decided to go Nespresso Cube with the full fledged starters kit, wooden box and additional cup-ware. After registration they started to call me, being club member and all. How to make them quit cold calling... tell 'm you only drink coffee once a week at home :D On the positive side, when we have friends over there is a big showing of all colored cups and a discourse how to read the legend of Nespresso lingo. But, really, it does have it's merits, a nice moment of full attention to a ritual, shared with friends. And once the starter kit (250 cups) is depleted, log in again and order some more from the store. #nespresso for tweets ;-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Goodbye - Hello 

Time to change cars after 5 years contract period was over. Our dutiful Toyota Avensis Wagon had taken us safe and sound to many places in Europe. A very comfortable car and sorry to see 'her' go. But, the new car, a Toyota Prius Executive with many gadgets and hot wheels is most welcome. Very high-tech and fuel economic. The green effect of production is debatable, but the exploitation side (one of my career hobbies) is superb. A big welcome!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Now that you are reading this blog... 

... I had better post some new exploits here. Yes my friends, it has been a while! After summer a lot of work to be done, pretty hectic times at work leaving little available 'badaa ya kazi'-time. Some highlights I still recall: My name is Kester, shoe size 45, I did go to Hong Kong in september (?), and last week one day to Rome! There are some updates on Twitter and Facebook during the last half year, Twitter integrates nicely into Blogger, but Facebook... crappy integration folks! And I would like to see integration between Blogger and Tripit! This would make life for the casual (micro-)blogger muchos easier. My small bandidos group supported me nicely last week getting me a seat with a view in the front of my favourite aircraft type, where I picked up some nice new tidbits of information. But I do miss walking the streets in Paris, so I guess it's time for a visit soon!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Paris visite IV 

First some shopping at BVH Homme, where we saw a shoplifter hide a shirt under his grandchild in a stroller. After lunch to the crowded Parc Luxembourg in the sunshine. A bric-a-brac market at Montparnasse with all sorts of collectibles. Walking through the interesting rue Faidherbe and sipping a coke watching people go by. Dinner at rue Mouffetard near the Pantheon, and finally watching the amazing traffic after midnight at the Champs Elysees. ;
J'aime Paris

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paris Visite III 

The main attractions... Trocadero, Le Tour Eiffel, Hotel des Invalides (and military museum) were good for the first part of the morning. A baguette and Jambon on the quay along the Seine at Pont Alexander III followed op by a powernap in the sun. On to the Grand Arche at La Defence, very impressive and modern building. Walking from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs Elysee visiting flagship stores of car manufacturers with interesting futuristic concept cars. Dinner at Le Relais de Venise where they only serve one dish. Strolling through neighborhood parcs, finishing off with an espresso at la Place (du Marechal Juin). Our feet got their mileage today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Paris Visite II 

This morning we started in Parc de Belleville, a wonderful view over Paris from a different angle. There are many streets that go up the hill, good walking shoes required. On the way up we went through some streets with a lot of Chinese store and resturants. Had an espresso next to Eglise St Jean Baptiste de Belleville, and bought a baguette at Au 140. We skirted the Mouzaia area with some very small and nice houses, and continued on to Parc des Buttes Chaumont with another beautiful vista. Next stop Cimitiere du Pere Lachaise which is at least a square mile of tombs and graves. Jim Morrison's grave had obviously been visited by many, due to all the markings on the unfortunate tomb in front of his grave. Somewhat disappointing by the way. Back to the hotel and some basic needs at Carrefour (cheese, champagne, olives). Donning our nice clothes we had a quick look at Printemps store with much fashion and matching pricetags. On to Quai de la Tournelle, where Ron and Lee are staying. We had dinner and drinks (Eclipse!) at the famous Buddhabar and a great time together. Just in time for the last subway to our hotel.

Paris visite day 1 

Perfect flight from Amsterdam to Paris CDG, wonderful crew, Mario took some pictures in the cockpit. Got a 5-day paris visite ticket for the public transportation service

After checkin at the Suitehotel we visited the cemetry Montparnasse where Sartre and Joris Ivens rest in peace. After a grande biere of a shocking 11 euro apiece, we walked quartier latin and saw st sulpice being renovated. At monmartre we had our diner at L'ete en pente douce. Walking around and in the sacre coeur to place du tetre, taking pictures of a brightly lit tour eiffel in the distance. Via notre dame back to the hotel. Wonderful day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

La Cantine du Faubourg 

A wonderful weekend in Paris took me to some nice places like Musee d'Orsay, which I can recommend. Highlight of the nightlife is La Cantine du Faubourg where the hip and sexy people meet and greet, dine and wine. In a very relaxed atmosphere one can enjoy a cocktail and next move on for dinner. Due to the low loungy seats it looks very open and spacey even while busy. LaCantina

Another place you should see is the Nespresso store on the Champs Elysees. First take a stroll down this wide avenue with many flagship stores. Don't forget to dodge all the camera-loaded tourists. Finally go into the Nespresso store, go downstairs to see all products in the coffee nirvana. If yo don't mind forking out 4+ euro for an espresso, sit down at the bar and watch the world pass by. 

J'aime Paris!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Papa 11 de-ice 

On a day filled with snow, hail and low temperatures, my crew and I worked at Papa 11 de-icing spot. On the first picture you can see the 747 Freighter following my jeep on the centerline after my clearance to enter the P11 spot. Once I am sure the aircraft is on the centerline, I drive backwards to a safe position and the crew has to stop abeam my vehicle and set the parking break.

After agreement on the treatment between the cockpit crew and I, my communication with the de-ice units starts.

I switch on my orange flashing light, position my jeep in front of the aircraft and communicate to the four units approval to approach the aircraft, of which the engines are still running!

On this picture you can see the truck and the boom with cabin over the wing spraying de-icing fluid. Typically you can also see one at the rear section of the aircraft, however on this picture they have finished and are behind the red safety clearance line (not visible). Every unit is a two-man operation, one driving and one spraying.

Here I am in the nice warm Mercedes Jeep with the headset on to monitor and communicate with four separate frequencies (Cockpit, Units, Snowdesk, Tower). Sometimes I also get a call on my cellphone from the Shiftleader. At the same time I drive left-to-right in front of the aircraft like the figure 8 on its side. This to inspect what the units are doing and keep the process safe.

Note the focussed and serious expression ;-)

On the last picture the all clear signal has been given and I'm waiting for this 777 to taxi out of my area. The next one is already on taxiway A20 calling me for approval to enter P11.

It's pretty intense and the territory comes with a high responsibility. Also the radio communication can get busy at times and you really have to filter out the noise.

At the left side of the picture you can see the new one-man operated SafeAero.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The fuzzy end of the lollipop 

So this virus shit is still keeping me occupied for some time, I have seen more Safe Mode screens than I wish to remember. And I thought I had gotten rid of it all, but now McAfee told me there was something else removed. Oh oh. I'm definitely holding the Fuzzy end of the lollipop here. And if there are any virus-spyware-malware-creating-assh*les out there: GET A LIFE will ya!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Malware, Trojan, Backdoor, etc 

Holy.... what happened? My laptop got infected - thanks to a friend - and now I'm trying to get rid of this crap. As it is a very old laptop the scanning process takes ages. Just downloaded Hitman Pro 3 which was recommended by the same friend. Let's see if it will do the trick, keep you posted.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lima, Peru 

December 2-5 took place in Lima Peru for a regional meeting of our Central- & Latin Americas collegues. The topic was Payload Optimization and C2K improvements. Additionally we were invited to visit the new Cargo City of Talma where the group only allowed me one question :-) . The day before Talma took us to dinner at the Inca Tomb, where we tasted fantatstic local dishes. The group convened at the 5 star Los Delfines hotel, which features a Casino and Dolphin pool with two Dolphins in there. It's a small basis so a bit sad to see them without space, and there were many schoolchildren on an educational visit. Also recommended is the Nice food at Alfresco at Malecon Balta 790, Miraflores. As Pigi said, have the tuna and pchtt pchtt treatment (shortly both sides on the grill), fantastic! Friday we visited Jorge at the export warehouse and at the airport we met our charming station manager for a drink in the lounge. The flight home took 12 hours of which I slept most of the time. See you next time, wonderful Lima!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Business in Paris 

Sometimes I end up in Paris for business. Now I like this city very much because of it’s diversity. But to get around to the really nice places you need a local. As it turns out my friend Nico lives there and knows what’s hot and what’s not. On this trip we had a lot to discuss so we met at the airport CDG 2F at the end of the working day. After the easy traffic on the road we arrived at his home and subsequently my hotel near his home. I had reserved a room with garden view and got a street view. The clerk reassigned me to a garden side room…. on the 5th floor so not a tree to be seen. After this interesting Parisian way of rendering service, we took the Metro to Bonne Nouvelle and took a table at Delaville. As the couple next to us finished their meal and left, we moved to table closer to the open veranda where we could enjoy our Mojitos even more. There was a table next to us with a large group of youngsters who asked us to accommodate the growing group and move one table down. And then they misteriously disappeared, so we moved back to the open veranda side table again. Luckily we had a cool waiter who did not mind all this moving. Anyway, we spent a wonderful time there discussing our business and next day’s meeting, scanning the crowd for interesting people, while nursing our red wine. Go check it out:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back Home 

We are back home, yeah! The hard mattrass finally got to us, and the weather forecast predicted thunderstorms, hail, showers etc, so we decided to go home one day early. DEP 08:45 ARR 16:00 total km's driven during 2 weeks 2500, Bottles of wine taken home 30 (minus one, couldn't resist the temptation)

It has been a great vacation. The last time I blogged was last sunday, whereafter the following occurred:

Monday and Tuesday we went to Paris and travelled the city on a Paris Visitee metro ticket for 2 days. Mondaynight we slept in a wonderful room at the Suitehotel, which even had a sliding wall so the boys could sleep and we could drink our wine :) The Suitehotel was advised by my dear friend Nico, who even took care of making the reservation. Where did we go in Paris; Eifel Tower top floor, Trocadero, l'Arc de Triomph, Monmartre, Sacre Coer, Galeries Lafayette (presents, yes!), Pyramide at the Louvre, Pont Neuf, Jardins Luxembourg, severa; Cafe's, Bistro's and the highlight was breakfast at Mickey-D (8 euro's total for 4 pers.)

Wednesday = sunshine-day, relaxed at the pool, got a slight sunburn, played some pool, had a Margarita, perfect. Boys were somewhere around us playing with other Dutchboys and some LostBritishboys.

Thursday lets do our last Castle: Chenonceau, the drive was worthwile, wow! On the way back a stop at Blois for the last Espresso. At 5 order chicken for dinner at six, wrap up the clothes, and the last night on the bed of solid concrete.

Bon Journee, until the next visit.

Some practical websites:
Weather Wundergroud France Meteo
Traffic Sytadin Bison Fute Paris RATP Cofiroute, Sanef
Castles Chenonceau, Chambord, Cheverny (Kuifje)
Community Val de Loire
Wines Blanc Foussy, Christian Tessier

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Labyrinth and more castles & wine 

The labyrinth was cut out in a maize-field and hosted 9 questions and two actors. Without any knowledge of French heritage and language the questions were hard to answer. The interaction with the fortuneteller and the fool was more interesting, as were the cheat exits, even real life is becoming more of a computer game. Next was 4 rounds on a mini quad for the boys on a barren piece of land with a caravan and a man who left the organization to his bunch of daughters not older than 11 years. After mickey-D, I was left to wander through a maxi E. Leclerc store, and yes, everybody is entitled to his strange exploits once in a while.

Next day.
Along the Loire you will find many castles on the river banks. My theory was that these dwellings were situated there due to commerce routes which follow the river. However at Recourchebon in the caves of Blanc Fussy we were given another explanation. The stones/blocks used to build the castles came from the forementioned caves and were so heavy that they were rolled downhill and into boats. Another interesting fact was the growth of mushrooms (management style: keep 'm in the dark and feed 'm shit), the hiding of people during WW2 and most tantalizing the continuous year-round temperature of 12 degrees Celcius for the fermenting process of Cremant wine during one and a half year. They are not allowed to call it Champagne or they'll get their arse sued off, but the taste is all the same, hell, I even bought 18 bouteilles of the stuff to bring home.

Next was walkabout Tours with many bachelors parties on. We had some food there which was ok, interesting place, nothing special to report.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Disney and Castles 

Mainstreet USA is where you enter the park, now this is the first spot where you see the Disney castle which is less impressive than the Orlando version. at the same time you see advertisements all over to upgrade your one day ticket into a year pass for 30 euro per person. Smart dealmakers. Anyway we squashed the urge to do so and went for a round of adventures. For half a day we joined the van Heijningen family who had set camp in one of the resort hotels, which was great fun to be together. Keegan got me into the Indiana Jones Temple of Peril, with a gruelling 360 degree looping, the first in my life. Had I known before I surely would have chickened out on my 11 year old son. Somewhere down the timeline I also got into Space Mountain with a same 360 and two corkscrews, I have shed the color yellow. And if you doubt my word, there is a picture to prove us being blasted into space. Talking about space, my alltime favourite together with Daryl is Buzz Lightyear Laserblast "to infinity and beyond" where we can blast away and show that we are crack shots. And so a day ended and the trip back wnet uneventful. We'll keep Studios for next year or beyond.

Next day R&R at the swimmingpool and pooltable.

Today we visited the ornately furbished Chateau Cheverny still in use by decendants of the original builders. To most of us known as the castle of Tintin/Kuifje and his friend Captain Haddock "joho en een fles rum". The property also housed a kennel with hunting dogs for sale - wooooff wooooff. After lunch we tasted a nice white wine at Chr. Tessier where the walls of his cave were crammed with awards, after which we could not leave without 12 bottles of his produce. Proost, hips!

Monday, June 30, 2008

To France 

The drive to France went fine, but for a hour traffic-jam around Paris. We arrived around 1700 just before the caravan hausse. Our location is great although the bed is small and made for permanent intimacy. The boys already love the place as there are abundant new friends to play with.

Yesterday we used the day to get used to the place and explored the village Mer, where we ate freshly baked croissants. Ofcourse we plunged into the pool after which we played some tennis. During the evening we watched the final EK2008 where we drank like Germans and cheered like Spanish.

Today we visited the impressive Chambord castle and tomorrow we will be in Disneyland Resort Paris.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cancun here we come 

Writing this blog from the backseat of a taxi. We are driving from the airport to the paraiso beach hotel where six pools are waiting for us. Temp is 26 degrees and the airco is blasting away. Anyway, after 20 hours travel we are "naar de kloten"
See ya later!

Monday, May 12, 2008

These are two examples of ULD’s, One is a horsestall and fits 3 horses. The other is an AKE and fits nicely in the belly of an aircraft.

Unit Load Device (ULD)

Term commonly used when referring to containers, pallets and pallet nets. The purpose of the ULD is to enable individual pieces of cargo to be assembled into standardized units to ease the rapid loading and unloading of airplanes and to facilitate the transfer of cargo between airplanes have compatible handling and restraint systems.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Twitter twitter twitter

Do you have a twitter account, I feel it's very cool, although not many friends have it yet, which makes the fun more pronounced. SO go to , create an account, add me to your friends and start using it. AND don't forget to add your cell phone to it, so you can add messages through text/sms messaging. AND as you can see I have copy/pasted html code from twitter to my blogpage where it will show the 5 most recent messages.

My username surprisingly is kestermeijer

now go... get it done....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Men's day off

Saturday November 10th, Leonard, Pieter and I had a day together celebrating Pieters' 40th b-day. About once or twice every year we get together somewhere and have a nice day of R&R. First I drove to Rotterdam Alexander train station to pick-up Leonard. 90 minutes later we arrived in Tervuren Belgium (near Brussels) and ate some fresh herrings I had bought at our local market. After this Dutch delicatesse we proceded to a rendez-vous point with the local Rotary Club (Pieter had just joined) for a walk, which turned into a museum visit hearing all about Henry van de Velde and other historical context to the Tervuren area. Next we were in dire need of a fine glass of beer Chouffe, Westmalle, Hoegaarden (tip: allways go for a pressurized beer, not the bottled ones). Saying goodbye to our new Rotarian friends , we moved on to the thermae-spa of Grimbergen where we sustained some heat waves and had a light dinner. Next was a visit to the local cafe of which the first was closed for a private party and we had to move to a retro-cafe involuntarily breathing the sixties all over including the constituents. Handing over a printed Westmalle coaster, made the barlady deliver a Leffe, which she attributed to not having her specs on. So we surrendered and returned home for a nightcap before turning off the lights. A wonderful day! Next stop: Cairo

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bed and Breakfast in Friesland

If you ever need a nice address for a short stay in the beautiful Friesland, have a look at Piaam State. It's an old farmhouse totally converted to a Bed and Breakfast facility. We had a team meeting there for 2 days which was wonderful. And I installed a wifi access point for them, sonext visitors can enjoy connectivity!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Cancun is not around the corner, nevertheless my travel takes me there. I'll have to start packing soon. Hate that, really do. I have size 10 (45) for shoes and they take up all the space.
And there is some sport activity in the morning so I'll need to bring running shoes too. Travel shoes, running shoes, beach slippers. No room for clothes. The other issue is my electronics ward. Laptop, iPod, phone, PDA. including the chargers. Next comes the paperwork approx one kilo size phonebook. Most of it will be ferried across and back, but you never know when a dull moment comes along so better be prepared and have some work on hand. Anyway, here I go. See you friday.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

80 years
Today my father turned 80. We had a small garden party with family and friends. It was nice to see that he still enjoys life at this age. And the occasional glass of Whiskey. Good to have you around dad!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hospital Revisited.

Yes I did it. Drilled a hole in my left index finger, right where the top and middle part come together. Got two nasty injections and some small surgery. As the surgeon could not find the artery he put on a tight bandage, which will come off wednesday for a first check.

I'm not allowed to drive and typing does not help recovery, so I am stuck at home doing nothing. pffft.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I have a dream...
Keegan asked me if I had ever heard of Dr. Martin Luther King. Yes.
I wanted to show him a picture and came across this American rhetoric site with historic speeches and sounds! Impressive stuff here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Birthday !!!

Today I turn page 41.
I put on my brilliant orange sweater so all at the office need to wear sunglasses.
And went to Amstelveen bakery Elzo Prenger to buy luxury birthday cakes.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My next car (some day in the future)

Last friday I had the opportunity to drive one of these speed machines. WOW! A big thank you to my sunshine friend and a new dream which one day will come true, I am sure!

Monday, February 27, 2006

New logo

This is the logo I quickly made for with a spotlight on it. I like the effect and clean look.

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