Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mountain Biking in Erp

Sunday, 30-December-2007 - Erp - Got up early to go mountain biking with Chris and Richard in the nearby villiage of Erp. I met Chris at his place at 0900. Richard would meet us at the starting point. After signing in, I heard someone say that there were 800 riders today. Chris and Richard took the 40 km route; I took the 30 km. Shortly after the halfway point, I decided to call it good and head for home. This was my second official trail ride. I was happy to make it this far. I knew I needed to get in better shape--ride more often--to make it to the finish. Chris and Richard were just finishing when I called in. We met for an after photo, and then we said goodbye to Richard (he lives in nearby Keldonk). Chris and I continued on to Veghel to first wash the mud off our bikes. I dropped Chris off back at his place. Marij was happy to see me when I got back home.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Message

Saturday, 22-December-2007 - Veghel - I just updated my home page to include this year's family newsletter. Wishing you a blessed Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.

Fun on Ice

Saturday, 22-December-2007 - Veghel - Yesterday was the shortest day of the year. I've been watching the weather forecast all week, so I knew I could go skating outdoors today right here in Veghel at the Aa-Broeken, a meadow which is flooded to create a wonderful frozen pond. I rode my bike along a magically frozen path. It was only a kilometer away, but I kept stopping to take pictures of this wonderful sight. I wore a helmet, because I didn't want to get another concussion (like the one I got while snowboarding last winter). I tried my cross-country skates, but even after all my in-line skating this past year, my ankles were too unsteady, so after about five rounds I switched to my hockey skates. There, that was better. Now I can have some fun--it was great! I think it was 11 years ago that I went skating here--memories of skating throughout my lifetime came back to me. My father taught me how to skate when I was five years old.

Frosty Morning before Skating

Saturday, 22-December-2007 - Veghel - Here's what it looked like this morning. What a magical world outside!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Coming of Winter Frost

Friday, 21-December-2007 - Tilburg - I saw and felt it getting colder and colder during the past week. Ten days ago, I knew this was coming--large mole hills were pushing up around the grounds at Standard Aero. Already then, I was hoping to go skating this year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Standard Aero Christmas Party

Saturday, 15-December-2007 - Berkel-Enshot - Went to the annual Standard Aero BV Christmas Party. This year, it was held at the hotel de Druiventros My wife, Marij, couldn't make it so I took my youngest daughter, Rosan, instead. The food was delicious. I had a good time, and I saw a lot of people having a good time, too.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Getting Ready for Christmas

Saturday, 8-December-2007 - Veghel - I dug our Christmas tree out of the back yard and got it setup in the living room. It's the third year of service for this tree. I also got the lights up outside. It's the first year for the tree out front, a Norway spruce, picea abies The one last year was ten years old and got to be seven meters tall. I hated to cut it down, especially with the CO2 problem we're having, but that species can grow to be 50 meters tall--too big for our small patch of ground in front of the house. I did, however, keep the cones for planting the seeds later.