Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Skating 'til Dark

Tuesday, 30-December-2008 - Veghel - To my delight, Marij showed me a picture of me skating the day before (along with a hundred others) in today's daily paper. Went skating again today--there were twice as many people on the ice.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ice Skating in Veghel

Monday, 29-December-2008 - Veghel - Went skating this afternoon at the the Aa-Broeken, a meadow which is flooded to create a wonderful frozen pond. A lot of people were having a lot of fun. Saw some familiar faces, including skaters Ron and Chris. It was their anniversary.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Ice Thickens in Veghel

Sunday, 28-December-2008 - Veghel - The weather reports were forecasting ice skating for the coming week so I checked out how the ice was coming along. The ponds around our neighborhood weren't frozen solid yet; but nearby at the frozen AA-Broeken meadow, I found about fifty people trying out the thin, but thickening ice. I decided to comeback tomorrow to do some skating.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Newsletter

Sunday, 14-December-2008 - Veghel - I just updated my home page to include this year's family newsletter. We're sending an e-mail instead of a Christmas card this year to those who use internet. Katherine provided the artwork you see here. Wishing you a blessed Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Living Room Christmas Tree

Wednesday, 10-December-2008 - Veghel - Marij finished decorating the living room Christmas tree.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunrise Driving

Monday, 08-December-2008 - Veghel - I was hard to keep my eyes on the road this morning.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Tree Saturday

Saturday, 6-December-2008 - Veghel - I really enjoyed it in years past when our children helped me to pick out a Christmas tree. This year I returned to Cor to pick out a tree--all trees, no matter the size: four euros...except for the 25-year old sequoia shown in the picture. On the way to the farm, I stopped by van Zutphen's auto re-cycling to pickup a couple of hub caps for the Ford Escort. I picked out a nice small tree which I hoped to use for a couple of years--I dug it out roots and all. Just before dark, I put lights on the tree in the front yard. The neighboor children enthusiastically approved.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Christmas Wish

Tuesday, 02-December-2008 - Grand Rapids, MI - We got our first Christmas card today from Loretta Morris. We met Loretta and her family when we were on a family summer vacation trip in 1992, visiting her son Gary at her home in Grand Rapids. Gary didn't want us to come at first, because he hadn't told us that he was ill. He was skin and bones now. That didn't matter to us; he was our friend, and we were determined to see him. We had a great visit--he had a good day. We had fun and laughed together. His sense of humor was still as sharp as ever, but he got tired after a couple of hours. His sister Janis treated us all to hamburgers at the A&W. He died two months later from AIDS. Gary was a fellow airman, and a friend. We were stationed together in Turkey, and again in Belgium, where he became a family friend for us all.

May this dove
Bring Peace from above
To the friends you cherish.
To the family you love.
And may Christmas bring
Renwed Peace to your heart
As the old year ends
As the New Year starts.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Veghel Flea Market

Sunday, 30-November-2008 - Veghel - Joined Marij today at the flea market in the Golfstroom community center. Marij had a lot of Christmas decorations for sale. I brought most of the stuff the evening before. We set up shop in the billard room (photo). I kept the low-energy Christmas tree for my desk at work.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Birthday

Tuesday, 25-November-2008 - Veghel and Bay City - It's my Mom's birthday today, and it's mine too. Chris and Katherine joined us for supper. We talked with Grandma Weiss on the phone afterwards. This was as good as Thanksgiving gets. Of course we'll call again on Thursday when there'll be more Weiss family members in Bay City.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sinterklaas in Veghel

Sunday, 16 November 2008 - Veghel - Sinterklaas arrived in Veghel today along with 10 skatepieten. Nicky, daughter of the skipper of the boat Ruup helped bring the more than 200 zwartepieten (black petes) to the Veghel harbor. It took five boats to bring Sinterklaas and all of his helpers us all the way from Spain. The links explain the Dutch tradition. Thanks to Annet Goes for taking the group photo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Surprise Birthday Party

Saturday, 18-October-2008 - Veghel - Chris turned 30 today. Rosan organized a surprise birthday party. I went a little overboard on the snacks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Brabants Dagblad Watches McCain-Obama Debate

Thursday, 16-October-2008 - Veghel - Got up at 0215 to watch the McCain-Obama Debate which was aired live at 0300. Normally, I'd just read about it in the newspaper, but I got a call from Brabants Dagblad journalist Ron Magnée yesterday afternoon as I was driving back from visiting Katherine in Oss. He'd like to watch the McCain-Obama Debate together with me at my home. I agreed after first checking with Marij. I'd have the coffee ready, and he'd bring popcorn. Wouter, Brabants Dagblad photographer from, Venhorst also found his way to Spoorven 616.
http://www.brabantsdagblad.nl/regios/brabant/3886734/ObamaMcCain-met-koffie-en-popcorn.ece .

Saturday, October 4, 2008

910 Call for Help

Saturday, 4-October-2008 - Veghel - It's been pretty busy since 10-sep (9-10), the day Katherine called for help. I've started a closed (close and personal) weblog to for friends and family, and mostly for myself I think, to share my visits with Katherine. My Lutheran training is coming to good use now. Katherine and I are turning to the Bible for help. When I was staying overnight at Hotel de Zalm in Brielle, I opened the Bible to Luke 6:25. I kept on reading. It seems like the essence of the Bible is on those two pages.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Sunday, 7-September-2008 - Erp - Jan, called me up around 0800. I was going to meet him at 0830 to go skating in a 50 km event. He had tragic news that his sister Mieke's husband, Hans (51), had died Saturday evening in a motorcycle accident--lost control in a curve and hit a light pole. Mieke and I had just seen each other yesterday afternoon. I went to see her around 0930 at her home in Erp, about 6 km away.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday Fun on Wheels

Saturday, 06-September-2008 - Schijndel - There were seven of us today. We headed in the direction of Schijndel. Mieke guided us along a very nice route. Great skate.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Skating Business

Friday, 05-September-2008 - Heeswijk-Dinther - Tonight was our annual meeting of the members of Fun on Wheels. Maria and Mieke were recongnized as 10-year members.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Leudaltocht--Marion's Toer

Sunday, 31-August-2008 - Heythuysen - On the last day of the meteorological summer, Fun on Wheels skaters headed for the province of Limburg where Marion and Piet were our hosts and guides. Twenty-four skaters and four bicylists were good for 40 km. Adriaan helped with the photos. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great skate.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Second Last Day of Summer

Saturday, 30-August-2008 - Dinther - There were four Fun on Wheels skaters today. We headed in the direction of Vorstenbosch and then on to Dinther, were we passed the Kilsdonkse Molen, currently undergoing restoration.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Volleyball Season Starts

Tuesday, 26-August-2008 - Uden - We start each season with a dinner with our sponsor Marc's Bar BQ.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Grote Peel Inline Challenge

Sunday, 24-August-2008 - Sint Hubert - I wasn't sure what the name of our tour today meant, but afterwards it turned out to be appropriate--I hit the ground twice, got scrape wounds on both sides, and totalled out my left kneepad. I hadn't fallen for a while, so I guess my time had come. Jan said should pay more attention to the path than to the countryside--good advice. We had twelve skaters and Toon with his Solex moped--good for 34 km. When I got home, the Beijing 2008 closing ceremony was underway.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Skating to Gersthof 5

Saturday, 23-August-2008 - Berghem - I was running late--halfway to our Sligro meeting point--when I noticed that I forgot my Camelbak. I couldn't go skating without water, so I went back home to get it. Since it was past 1630 by then, I decided to go skating on me own. I needed to practice skating on my weight shifted to the rear of the skates. I headed in the direction of Nistelrode. When I got there, instead of turning back or making a loop to Uden, I decided to skate to Tineke's place in Berghem. I left a note at the door when no one answered the bell. It was a great evening skate--about 38 km altogether.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Boekel Electroworld 2008 Skating

Saturday, 16-August-2008 - Boekel - Here are the pics--story to follow.

Om 15.40 uur kwamen ze in een peleton over de finishstreep in Boekel. Tweeennegentig rijders--de meesten met een brede glimlach--hadden een mooie 100 km Electroworld Skeelertocht http://www.skeelergroep.nl/ achter de rug. De eindstreep: voor sommige een overwinning, voor andere een verlossing, maar voor de meesten een moment te laten zien hoeveel ze van deze stralende zomerdag hebben genoten. Ik stond aan de kant foto's te maken om dit vast te leggen.
Vijfeneenhalf uur eerder gingen wij met 150 rijders in een grote peleton van start. De 60 km en de 100 km rijders waren samengevoeged voor de eerste 42 km. Dit was voor mij mijn eerste poging op de 60 km. Ik ben ruim twee jaar skater bij Fun on Wheels in Veghel waar enkele Boekelaren ook mee skaten. Ter voorbereiding op deze tocht, naast onze wekelijkse tochten, heb ik een keer of zes met de Dinsdagavondskate in Boekel mee gedaan. Daar reden wij deels over dezelfde route als vandaag.
Om zeker op tijd te zijn voor de start, stond ik vanmorgen om 06.30 op. Vanuit Veghel zou ik 12 km naar Boekel fietsen. I wou op temperatuur zijn voor de start. De zon komt op. Douchen en scheren. Moet ik mijn wielen nog omwisselen? Nee het slijtagepatroon valt mee. Fotocamera, water, brood, pleisters. Check, check, check, check. Vier sneden geroosterd brood met jam, sinaasappelsap, en een kop koffie. Even pauseren bij de voordeur. Klaar. Ik ben om 09.00 uur van huis gegaan. Onderweg haalde Jan mij twee keer in. Jan woont ook in Veghel; hij haalde z'n zus, Mieke, in Erp op. Daar heb ik heb de tweede keer gezien. "Hé Dale, ben je met de fiets?", werd er bij aankomst in Boekel geroepen--ik was weer onder mijn skatevrienden. Snel inschrijven en skates eronder vast maken. "Attentie. Nog 10 minuten voor de start van de 60 en 100 km skeelertocht." "Zorg dat je voorin start, Dale", vertelt Mieke. Een welkom woord van de organisatie en de wethouder, dan waren wij weg. Eenmaal uit Boekel vond ik mijzelf ein een dubbelle rij met tien rijders voor mij. De vrouw uit Boekel naast mij vertelde dan wij gemiddeld 23 km per uur reden. Ik kon onderweg praten, foto's maken, en vooral genieten van deze mooie tocht.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Fun on Wheels

Saturday, 09-August-2008 - Nijnsel - Ron (photo) and I were the only two skaters today. We decided to skate in the direction of Nijnsel to have the wind pushing us on the way back. The route took us along tall corn fields. Ron kept his heartbeat around 130--he was just like a diesel locomotive.

Watching the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Saturday, 9-August-2008 - Beijing- Got up around 0930 today. I turned on the TV and watched the Men's Cycling Road Race. Mart Smeets was doing the commentary--what an exiting finish! Spain's Samuel Sanchez won the gold medal.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Evening Skating in Boekel

Tuesday, 03-August-2008 - Boekel - It was another fine evening for skating. I rode my bike to Jan's place where Willem (photo) picked us up. There were twenty skaters. About halfway, Gerard hit an empty plastic bottle and fell, across the path. Marij was right behind and tripped over him. She slid on her belly over the concrete--boy did that hurt. The group huddled around them until they were ready to continue. Our group put in 25 km--the fast group put in a few more. When we got back to Jan's place, I watched the kittens play in the yard. The calico kitten fell in the pond, and Yvonne quickly rescued her.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Skating the Schijndelse Heide

Sunday, 3-August-2008 - Schijndel - Today there was no carpool. We met at the McDonald's in Veghel. Twenty-one skaters and one moped rider put in 30 km. It was threatening to rain, but we stayed dry all the way.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Boekel Skating Tuesday

Tuesday, 29-August-2008 - Boekel - I got off work two hours early today so I could be on time to skate in Boekel. I rode my bike to Jan's place, where Yvonne was waiting for me with her camera. It was a perfect warm summer evening to skating. There were 16 of us. We put in 30 km. Back at Jan's place, I got to see three kittens who were looking for a home. On the way back home, I stopped at the Em-té supermarket just before it closed at 2200--Marij needed some chocolate.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Skating from Oss to Grave

Sunday, 27-July-2008 - Grave - We had a fantastice tour today. Twenty-one skaters and Toon, our safety man, traveled nearly 40 km through beautiful Dutch countryside. The trip took us across the Maas River at the Grave Bridge.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Five Men on Skates

Saturday, 26-July-2008 - Schijndel - We had five men today for our Saturday Fun on Wheels skate. It was hot and humid. The tempo was pretty high, and we made it back to the Sligro meeting point before the rain poured from the sky.

The Neighbor's Chickens

Saturday, 26-July-2008 - Veghel - This week, I got to take care of our neighbor's chickens while they were away on vacation. That brought back memories.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Skating the Pietertour

Sunday, 20-Jul-2008 - Best - Pieter was our Fun on Wheels guide today. It was rainy the whole week. The roads were still wet in the Best area, so it was slippery from time to time, especially under the trees. Basically, it didn't rain on us, so we had a real nice skate. I'll need to clean and oil my bearings tonight. Twenty-two skaters, two bicyclists, and a moped rider were good for 44 km.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Maas en Waal Skating

Sunday, 13-July-2008 - Maasbommel - Marij worked today at the annual market of Appeltern, so she didn't mind me joining the Fun on Wheels skaters for one of the nicest routes of the season--atop the smooth dike pavement along the Maas and Waal rivers. We crossed the Maas on the river ferry to reach the starting point. The weather was great, and the countryside fantastic. We took our midway coffee break in the flower garden of a charming place below the dike. Adriaan treated us to apple pie. Since Appeltern was on the route, we made a small detour to surprise Marij. Fourteen skaters were good for 45 km.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Slokdarm Festival

Sunday, 06-July-2008 - Veghel - When I got back from skating, I stopped by the Slokdarm Festival to see if I could spot Marij eating mossels.

Fun on Wheels in Grathem

Sunday, 06-July-2008 - Grathem - Brigitte, Maurice, and Marion hosted today's 38 km tour in Grathem, the town where Brigitte and Maurice live. We had 22 skaters, one moped rider, and great weather. A super skating experience!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July

Friday, 4-July-2008 - Veghel - Raised the Flag before I ate breakfast. In the Netherlands, it's just another work day. Wished the other Americans at work a happy Fourth of July. Thought about how often I saluted her, listening to the National Anthem.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

City Den Bosch Skating

Sunday, 29-June-2008 - 's-Hertogenbosch - Den Bosch is the short name for the capital of the province Noord-Brabant. We were 14 skaters and one moped rider strong--good for 28 km in and around Den Bosch.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Boekel Skating

Tuesday, 24-June-2008 - Boekel - This is my third time. By Tonnie's odometer, we skated 36 km. I took my time and at a sandwich before bicycling home. Saw a beautiful sunset. It was dark when I got back.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rosan Graduates

Monday, 23-June-2008 - Veghel - Rosan checked the intranet last night at 0100, and woke us up with the good news: she is on the list to graduate from vocational training at de Leijgraaf http://www.leijgraaf.nl/ to be an administrative assistant! According to custom, we flew the flag with her school bag hanging underneath. She'll receive her diploma next Monday.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cuby and Blizzards

Saturday, 21-June-2008 - Heeswijk - It was the longest day of the year. Marij and I were getting ready to go see Cuby and (the) Blizzards http://www.cuby.web-log.nl/ and other popular rock bands at the bi-annual Oldies Back on Stage gettogether http://www.oldiesbackonstage.nl/. This year, a special edition was organized at the nearby open air theater de Kersouwe http://www.kersouwe.nl/. A large-screen TV was set up, because the Dutch national football (soccer) team is playing in the Euro Cup 2008 quarter-finals tonight against Russia http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/. Marij and I left the house after the game had already started. We followed along, listening to the radio. When we arrived the first band was just finishing up with their set. We sat back and enjoyed the show, as the sun made way for the stars.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Langenboom Part 2

Thursday, 19-June-2008 - Langenboom - It cleared up in the afternoon, so I headed to Langenboom. As I drove to the man-made lake, I was watching the single storm cloud that was still in above the area. Wim, Richard, and Tomec were sitting, sheltered in the shed. Ron pulled in and rigged up. http://picasaweb.google.com/dale.weiss.planet/Windsurfing_langenboom_20080619

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Windsurfing in Langenboom

Wednesday, 18-June-2008 - Langenboom - Today was my first time for windsurfing this year. I didn't know what to think when I arrived: paved access road, perimeter fence, closed gate, trees and parking lot replaced with neatly landscaped grounds, super-nice and wide beach. The city did a real nice job, although I will miss the easy-going feeling of the old situation. Walked around to see how I was going to get my surfboard in the water. Met surfers Richard, John, Ton, and Tomec. Richard gave me a lot of good tips and instruction: showed me how to rig my sail correctly. There was plenty of wind to keep me concentrated. Wim showed up around 2030. We sat and watched the sun go down.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Streets Were Empty

Tuesday, 17-June-2008 - Boekel - The streets and roads between Boekel and Veghel were nearly empty as I bicycled back from the Tuesday Evening Skate in Boekel. As I passed by a cafe along the main street in Erp, I heard the football (soccer) announcer through the open door. The match had started. Holland was playing Romainia. I was hoping I could make it home before the first goal was made http://en.euro2008.uefa.com/.
Today I was better prepared: I ate a big plate of spaghetti at 1730, I rode my bike instead of skating to Boekel, and I had a new set of bearings and wheels. That made all the difference in the world. The route was cut short to return at 2015--everyone wanted to see tonight's match. With 20 skaters, we were good for 20 km.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Flea Market

Sunday, 15-June-2008 - Veghel - Marij and I got up at five o'clock this morning to be on time to set up our stand at the annual Fathers' Day Flea Market in Veghel. Marij does all the organizing, and I just help. The gates opened at 0600 for sellers, and at 0900 for visitors. The weather forecast was for rain, but we had seven hours of sunshine in between. Saw a lot of smiling faces. Had a good time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday Evening Skating in Boekel

Tuesday, 10-June-2008 - Boekel - It was a beautiful sunny and windy day. I'm on vacation from work, so I could choose to go windsurfing or to go skating. I decided to skate to Boekel (11km away) for the Tuesday evening skeeler group skating. It was my first time; I underestimated how long and hard it would be. I put in about 40 km altogether. Jos Jansen (picture), the Boekel Ice and Inline Skating Group PR person, asked me to write an impression of my skating experience for the local paper (see link vandaag kon ik kiezen).

Vandaag Kon Ik Kiezen

Dinsdag, 10-juni-2008 - Boekel- Vandaag kon ik kiezen: windsurfen in Langenboom of skaten in Boekel. Dat was best wel moeilijk, omdat het perfect surfweer was—minstens windkracht 4. Ik skate nu twee jaar bij Fun On Wheels in Veghel, en dit was mijn eerste keer voor een Dinsdagavondskate in Boekel. Dat komt omdat ik vakantie heb--gewoonlijk werk ik tot 18.00 uur in Tilburg. Er werd tijdens onze weekend tochten vaak over Boekel gepraat: het is maar een uur, maar wel aan één stuk zonder pauzes, daar leer je tempo rijden, het gaat best wel snel, maar er zijn meerdere groepen—ook voor beginners. Dat wou ik meemaken. Het was ruim twee weken geleden dat ik in Workum op skates stond. Ik miste het wel, vooral de gezelligheid onder elkaar. Vandaag is het droog. Het wordt skaten. En, hoe kom ik in Boekel? Wordt dat fietsen of skaten? Als het moet, rij ik met iemand mee terug naar Veghel, skaten dus. Ik vertrok om 1745. Ik was wel op tijd--de eerste zelfs. Na 5 min kwam Coby aan—kort daarna waren er 25 skaters en skeeleraars klaar voor de start. “Een mooie route vanavond...wij komen langs het vliegveld. Wie gaat in de snelle groep?” Precies om 1900 waren wij weg in twee groepen. I was midden in de tweede groep--Jos Jansen en z’n welpie voorop. In “no time” was eerste groep uit het zicht. Onze groep was inderdaad een stuk langzamer, maar toch gingen wij redelijk hard. Na 20 min was er een 2-min waterstop. De eerste groep wachtte op onze komst. Dan werden er drie groepen gevormd--ik bleef bij de laaste. Het betonnen fietspad was glad. Wij rijden recht tegen de wind in. Ik vond het moeilijk uit de wind te blijven rijden. Ik moest iedere keer een paar stappen terug winnen. Het leek ook dat wij gingen versnellen--de tweede groep kwam dichter bij. Ik viel achter; ik riep om een tandje lager te rijden, maar de trein ging door. Ik werd te moe en ik stoppte om een stuk appel te eten. Ik reed verder alleen. Na 10 min kwam ik de groep tegen, wachtend in de berm naast een kruispunt. Na 2 min gingen we weer. Ik probeerde uit de wind te blijven rijden. Op een gegeven moment kwamen we langs Vliegbasis Volkel en dacht ik, wat is korter: terug naar Veghel, of de route volgen naar Boekel? Ik was moe, en ik vond het eigenlijk al genoeg. Ruim een uur onderweg kwamen we langs Billybird Park Hemelrijk—okee, nu is het te overzien. Terug naar Boekel, maar het duurde lang. Ik raakte de groep weer kwijt. Jos bleef een stukje achter met mij. Eindelijk waren wij terug bij Electroworld. Het was kwart voor negen, en we hadden 30 km gereden. Ik was blij om binnen te zijn. Even zitten achter in de kofferbak van de eend van Jan. Jacqueline nam een foto. “Tot de volgende keer”, namen de skaters afscheid van elkaar. Ik kreeg een lift terug naar Veghel van Ronald. Ja, het is dag en nacht verschil met Fun On Wheels skaten. In Boekel kom je te trainen, af te zien, een sterker te worden.

Dale Weiss

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Beach Volleyball in Uden

Saturday, 7-Jun-2008 - Uden - Marc's Bar BQ entered two teams in the annual beach volleyball tournament BeachXperience 2008 http://www.beachxperience.saturnushc.nl/ at the Bedaf Nature Reserve bordering Uden. The weather was perfect. Music provided by the Maximzrz www.maximzrz.nl. Great fun.

Orange Football Feeling

Saturday, 7-June-2008 - Veghel - Today is the start of the European Cup Football (soccer) tournament. Proud to be Dutch is shown in displaying the color orange everywhere.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday in Veghel

Sunday, 1-June-2008 - Veghel - Stayed home today with Marij. In the afternoon while Marij sorted out items for the upcoming Father's Day Flea Market in Veghel, I went to the old town hall to see an exhibition of wedding photo's taken there. We were married there in 1977. There was also an exhibition of the Veghel Historical Society (Heemkundekring Vehchele) which is housed there. On the way back home, I visited with Chris who lives across the square.