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Valentine’s Day 2008

posted in personal stuff on February 14th, 2008

February 14th, Valentine’s Day – one of the three most important days for those that are currently in a relationship as well as for those hoping to be in one soon, and not unlike last year, there are a number of thoughts on the subject that I feel like sharing with you.

There is an old proverb that claims that if someone were to tell you who your friends are, you could, in turn, tell them who they are and I think nothing is more true when it comes to relationships.

It is said that opposites attract but most of the time, successful relationships consist of people that complete each other and while that does not necessarily mean that either partner cannot be the opposite of the other, in general, occurrences of fundamental opposites falling for each other are very rarely seen.

Let me preface this train of thought by saying that I believe many males to be incapable of living a truly blissful life without a companion, for the simple reason that we, the males, in general, depend on female council.

Do not take my word for it though, just grab a couple of books and you will see that a large percentage of authors dedicate their works to their wives or other females, not because it would be the right thing to do (it is), but because, and I semi-quote “she kept my back free and put me in a position to do this”.

And it is not just authors who greatly benefit from their partners, in fact, just about every male in a healthy relationship does (naturally, females do also benefit from relationships, but their benefits are oftentimes very different ones).

The females in our lives, be it friends, girlfriend, spouse, sister or mother, are the ones you can depend on the most, the ones that will stick by you and help you get up again when you have been knocked down and sometimes, it just looks as if we (the males) keep forgetting the support we receive, albeit unconditional in many cases, is not something that should be taken for granted.

Males are often considered the stronger sex, simply because of the way our respective bodies are built, but what holds true on a physical level does not necessarily hold true on an emotional level, for it is the females that do much of the hard work: shielding us, caring for us, healing us and most importantly: loving us. I am not saying that males are incapable of doing the same things, because that would simply be untrue, but in general, females are a lot better at doing the above mentioned things a lot better than we can.

Humans, like all animals, can easily accustom themselves to a certain routine, no matter what kind and while at times routines can be beneficial, certain routines can be a killer for relationships. There is nothing wrong with growing accustomed to your partner per se, after all, that is simply how things go, and in the process you will most probably learn a whole range of things about the other, but that does not give you the right to take them for granted, even though it is easy to accept someone’s unconditional love if they keep giving it to you on a daily basis.
Many a man are likely to just discard this show of affection as it being the way it is (or is supposed to be), routines, however, can lead to fading interest, in both parties and this, in turn leads to people being more susceptible to an unwillingness to give more than it takes to keep the relationship going.

While I am not generally a fan of the concept of a single day specifically designed to overload the important people in your life with gifts that are mostly of commercial value, I believe that many males would be well advised to at least show that they care on this very day.

For those smart males that are looking to do a little bit extra and keep the females in their lives extra happy, I would suggest that you do not stick to a single day of showing your feelings to the other, but rather spread it evenly throughout the year.

Now, I do realize that sometimes things just do not work out as expected and when things start to heat up and there is little time for niceties, the most basic, yet often: more important things, are easily forgotten, so just grab your PDA, Blackberry or whatever you own and jot down a few appointments throughout the year.

Hint: I would go for at least four days a year (although I would recommend making “her” feel special at least once every week). These days are special dates, spread out throughout the year, intended to show that you still value her, still appreciate all the things she is doing for you and still think that, excuse my choice of words here, she is the hottest piece of ass you could ever get and more importantly: wanted to get.

Showing emotions is not something that should be considered wrong or discarded as being anything less than masculine, for it takes a real man to open up your heart and show your feelings.

Take the time to show the other that you care and that you are worth keeping. Do something out of the ordinary for your partner and utilize the way our brains are wired in as that they only notice that which is different easily.

Our brains are hardwired to act as filters in order to protect us from too much information and if you apply this to a relationship, you will see that having the guts to be different, having the guts to break through some of the simple routines and do something totally unexpected and keeping her guessing about what crazy, albeit lovely idea, you will come up next can shed some very nice rewards; most of all: the feeling that you made someone else feel great about herself (or himself, just depends).

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2007 - a (social) year in review

posted in personal stuff on December 31st, 2007

The last few days have been so hectic, with meet-ups here and meet-ups there that I totally forgot to post this, but finally, here it is:

2007 would not have been 2007 if it were not for the three meetups I had during the last days; first Emma, then Claske and finally - the one meeting I have been looking forward to since we first met virtually: Jeroen Poortvliet.

Jeroen and me have been working on both building and maintaining a special interest community for no less than 30 months now and after much planning and shifting, we finally managed to get together for a pint of beer.

Jeroen, who is a real-life photographer has been spearheading the expansion of our community and it is safe to say that, without him, NL-Noob would not be what we have become. Thanks to his efforts, our turnover rate is incredibly low compared to other communities and what’s even better - whenever we seemed to hit a snag or stagnation in growth, he came up with ideas that allowed us to expand even further.

We are, by no means the biggest (Dutch) community, but we have a fair number of people that are very happy that we are there, when they need a gaming fix.

Marjon on the other hand, is totally uninvolved in gaming, but still made a tremendous impact on me, most of all because of the inner strength she possesses and if there is something I respect in people a lot, then it is the ability to conquer literally anything they are faced with. No micro-relationship here, just great talks and mutual trust.

And last but not least, the Wingman of the year award goes out to Kevin for accompanying me to a number of great and interesting events and helping me with most, if not all, visual branding things that came up over the past year.

I could probably go on for a fair bit, because the above mentioned people are by no means the only ones that made an impression on me, but I wont. The ones I care about know that I do and that’s that.

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On standing up people you value

posted in personal stuff on August 29th, 2007

It is said that one should treat his friends well, for they are worth much more than any wealth or property in the world.

There is a lot of truth to be found in the proverbs of the Bourgeoisie, because these figures of speech are tried and time-tested and thus still hold true in this very day and age.

If I were the dramatic kind of person, I would say that today marks the first day of a different life for me. The reason for that is that I stood up a friend and person I respect a lot, a person I look up to and a person I have had the privilege of sharing a great amount of things with together.

I pride myself in being the loyal kind of friend, the person that you can rely on when things start hitting the fan at light speed. I normally am the person that will stand by you, even if others abandoned you long ago and yet, here I am, looking back at three weeks of utter stupidity, immature behavior and very un-me-ish actions.

In today’s world, it is hard to find the rare ones, the ones that are willing to teach you, tutor you and show you the stuff that you would normally have to pay for, fight for and beg for.

I have managed to find one of these rare ones and I treasured it for a long time now, in fact, I still do but at the end of the day, not everything is mutual.

It is said that one should treat his friends well, for they are worth much more than any wealth or property in the world.

It is also said that, given time and space, friendships can overcome hardships and problems and issues can be solved, made to disappear and cease to exist and to be honest, there is nothing in this world that I would like to do more.

I have grown attached to you, to you as a person, to you as a friend, to you as a tutor and to to you as a contact. You made me cheer when I felt bad and you provided perspective when I needed it. You, my friend, made me do a great amount of things I would not have done, or even considered, without your gentle prod.

In return, you received zilch, nothing, nada. Just an unthankful, short-sighted and incredibly stupid person.

This is not how friendships work and I realize that. I also realize that saying “I learned my lesson” does not cut it here, in fact, it does not cut it all - it does not even scratch it.

My actions were crazy, disrespectful and plain shitty, period. I hope that, at some point, we can reestablish our friendship and that you will be able to trust me again. I would like that, I would like that very much.

For those that were expecting juicy bits in this letter, I apologize. I feel that there is no need to involve my contacts, simply because this is not about their name(s), but about honesty and remorse.

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Communication in a digital world

posted in Media on August 21st, 2007

I just received an email from a user at xdaflameusers.com asking me about some general information on the device in question and so on.

While I would rather see said person asking their question in the forums, so that everyone can benefit from the answers, I still decided to type up an answer, but that is not the point of the email.

After sending my reply, I decided to do a quick lookup on the person I was “talking” to and grabbed some of the data that was available from the email header and forum software.

The name revealed a profile on a popular Dutch social networking site but other than that, did not provide me with any more information, so I used the second piece of information I had, an IP address.

It turns out that the IP address that was used to register on the forums is part of a block that was delegated to Achmea Active. After searching around a bit, it would appear that the IP was mainly used for vandalism on Wikipedia.

For the sake of clarity, I should note that, in this case, the IP is shared amongst a great number of users and I do not believe that the person that mailed me is amongst the group of people that vandalized Wikipedia, but it made me think about how digital communication could evolve (for me).

In real life, I do not talk to people I know have a bad reputation, especially if they did something that goes against my core values and I am thinking of adopting a similar system for online communication. This kind of background-check would take some time to conduct, every time, but it could be limited to those contacts one is not familiar with; those contacts that contact you out of the blue.

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Freedom of Speech (and the lack thereof)

posted in Media on August 18th, 2007

Normally, I refrain from posting entries that contain a political message, even if it is only remotely political, but this one really deserves some air time:

According to Matt Mullenweg’s blog, Turkey blocked access to wordpress.com, Automattic’s hosted blogging service.

Earlier this year, YouTube was blocked because of a video that insulted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Insulting the founding father of that Nation, apparently, is a criminal offense, punishable with a prison sentence. The interesting thing though is that the video was not posted by a Turkish national, but rather by a Greek critizen.

During the past couple of years, Turkey has struggled to gain admission to the European Union and they have done a great deal to improve various shortcomings situations for which I commend them.

However, it really does make me wonder if a country that kills access to a blogging service because it does not agree with the views stated on said site has the right character to join a community as diverse as the European Union.

After all, the motto of the EU is “united in diversity”. Thinking about the recent events regarding freedom of speech in Turkey, I, for one, am unsure how the European diversity compared with the Turkish way of dealing with journalists (and those that dare to voice their opinion) could possibly fit together in a peaceful way.

For the record, I do realize that the way the government acts does not necessarily resemble the way many Turks would act, but when it all comes down to a black and white picture, the government was elected as a representative of the Turkish citizens …

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