Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Skating at the AA-Broeken

Thursday, 30-December-2010 - Veghel - The snow and ice were melting. Went to mail some greeting cards on my way to go ice skating, but discovered our local mailbox had been removed as a precautionary measure to prevent vandalism.Met Niek at the AA-Broeken. He's the bass player in the Fioretti school band. He was waiting for his cousin Huub to arrive so they could play hockey.

Monday, December 27, 2010

AA-Broeken--Skating on Thin Ice

Monday, 27-December-2010 - Veghel - I got to the AA-Broeken pond around 1100 to check out the ice. I brought along my snow shovel to clear the best spots. The pond was officially closed--getting on the ice was at one's own risk. The thickness varied from 3 to 8 cm--not yet thick enough to handle 200 people. It would freeze again tonight, but thaw during the day. Some hockey players showed up around 1300. I asked everyone I spoke to to bring their snow shovels the next time they came to ice skate. to help the ice get thicker.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Second Day of Christmas

Sunday, 26-December-2010 - Veghel - I got up to watch the birds feed in the back yard. I met my neighbor Johan on my way to the AA-Broeken. He showed me his high-tech bow. At the pond, the first ice skaters appeared to clear the ice to make a hockey rink.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Saturday, 25-December-2010 - Veghel - Listened to the Radio 2 Top 2000 while I peeled potatoes. Chris joined us around 1800 for Christmas dinner. After dinner, we opened presents. Rosan was happy with her Marilyn Monroe calendar.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Day Winter

Friday, 24-December-2010 - Got about 12 cm of snow last night. Spent most of the day shoveling and playing in the snow. Had a 0950 appointment at the hostipal. I was sweating after two hours of shoveling. Dr van Hulsteijn was pleased with results of MRI, X-ray and blood work. I'll continue on Prednison (2x5mg), and I'll see him again in four weeks. Need to wait to start play volleybal again. Spoke to two ice skaters (photo) who were checking out conditions at the AA-Broeken. It was slushy. It will get cold tonight and tomorrow night. I'll check back on Sunday. Our TNT postwoman complimented me on our clean driveway. I was glad she had strap-on spikes to get around in this slippery weather. Looking forward to going to the Christmas Eve service at 2300 at Sint-Lambertus with Rosan.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Brunch at StandardAero

Thursday, 23-December-2010 - Tilburg - It was less than a month since my last work day at StandardAero. I didn't expect to be invited to the Christmas brunch, but Gerard wanted to officially mark my retirement. I cleared the light snow, and then got cleaned up--I hadn't shaved for a few days. When I got to Tilburg, it was like I hadn't left. I was glad to see everyone. Got a nice bouquet of flowers and dining gift certificate. Even got a Christmas package--normally reserved for current employees.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas

Thursday, 16-December-2010 - Veghel - Dear Friends, Instead of paper, we're sending this e-mail Christmas card to those who use internet.

Wishing you a blessed Holiday Season and a Happy New Year,

Dale, Marij, and Rosan

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Tires

Wednesday, 8-December-2010 - Veghel - Snow was forecast and I needed to be ready to take my daughter Katherine to the Düsseldorf Airport next week. Winter tires are mandatory in Germany. I was in luck. Lambert of Profile Tyre Center in Veghel had the last set of winter tires in the country that would fit my Nissan.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Last Days at StandardAero

Friday, 26-November-2010 - Tilburg - Today is my last workday at StandardAero. Spent the last couple of days saying goodbye to everyone (see pics). pics (67)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Swiss Sense Mountainbiking

Saturday, 6-November-2010 - Uden - Went mountainbiking with Chris today. I wanted to check out my physical condition. We took it easy. On the way back we rode by Swiss Sense where Chris works.

Friday, October 22, 2010

De Dijk in Uden

Friday, 22-October-2010 - Uden - Marij and I got tickets at the last minute. The Dutch pop group De Dijk performed last night in de Pul in Uden--what a great concert! We saw our picture on the front page of the Uden-Veghel edition of the Brabants Dagblad this morning.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jan 50

Sunday, 3-October-2010 - Uden - Got home in time to shower and get ready for afternoon skating with Jan. Fun-on-Wheels skating buddy Jan Verhoeven celebrated his 50th birthday today. Rosan dropped me off at Camping Slabroek. Thirty skaters were good for 30 km. When we got back, the Maffidjoosi pizza oven was going and Jan's Top 50 was counting down. We had a great party. It was just a super day!

Fun-on-Wheels in Best

Sunday, 3-October-2010 - Best - Got up at 0600 to go skating in the morning with Fun-on-Wheels in Best. It had rained a lot yesterday, but a warm sunny day was forecasted for today. Mark brought along his backpack boombox. It was a little slippery, but we took it easy. Stopped along the way to admire this magnificient mushroom. Eleven skaters were good for 33.5 km.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pastoor Ruimt Op--Parish Yard Sale

Sunday, 26-September-2010 - Veghel - Marij volunteered for the Sint Lambertus Parish Yard Sale, and I came along to help--got my face painted along the way. Saw a lot of familiar faces. We had a good time, for a good cause: the church needs a new roof.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fun-on-Wheels Skaters Return from Amsterdam

Sunday, 19-September-2010 - Zijtaart - I got to Zijtaart in plenty of time, so I walked the main street of the villiage while I waited for the Fun-on-Wheels skaters to return from Amsterdam.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Womens Soccer Reunion

Saturday, 18-September-2010 - Veghel - Katherine is in Veghel today for the reunion of the Blauw-Geel 38 women soccer players. She started playing here on a boys team when she was 10 years old. Her great-grand father Jan Vrijhof was one of the founders of the original Olympia soccer club back in 1919.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I (Don't) Skate Amsterdam

Friday, 17-September-2010 - Zijtaart - I strained my back lifting an (empty) wheelbaro last Wednesday morning. Even though I was getting better each day, I had to forget about skating this weekend in Amsterdam with the other Fun-on-Wheels skaters. The least I could do was to wave as the rest headed out from today's meeting point, Inge and Bart's home in Zijaart. After some apple pie and last minute instructions from Ine and Inge, they were on their way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Slabroek Skating

Monday, 13-September-2010 - Uden - It was a nice day, and it was going to rain the rest of the week so I took off from work early. I wanted to test my old skates to see if they would be better to wear for our upcoming Fun-on-Wheels skate weekend in Amsterdam. At the edge of the bike path I saw these magnificient mushrooms.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Skating to Uden

Monday, 6-September-2010 - Uden - This evening was nice and warm. Tomorrow would be rainy. I headed for Uden.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Flea Market Fun

Sunday, 5-September-2010 - Uden - The alarm clock went off at 0530. Marij and I were going to the J V Ooievaarsnest Rommelmarkt (flea market). Two cars were loaded and ready to go. I finished coffee and breakfast, while Marij headed for Uden--the gate opened at 0700. I was impressed with how nicely the things were displayed for sale. We had good neighbors and saw familiar faces. With the sunny warm weather, we had a great time. One car even came home empty. Later that evening, we went to Claudia's birthday party, and got treated to Jacomijne singing and Vincent playing guitar.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Evening Skating in Boekel

Tuesday, 31-08-2010 - Boekel - Made some extra sandwiches so I'd have enough to eat on the way home before I went skating. The weather report said it would be dry, but on the way home from work, I had my doubts. I biked over to Jan's place. I was later than usual, because I was trying to put in my clear lenses so I could see better as the sun went down. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny evening--perfect skating weather. On the way home, got an invitation for Jan's 50th birthday party.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aaron and Em Arrive in Holland

Wednesday, 25-August-2010 - Rotterdam - Woke up at 0330. Drove to Katherine's place in Rotterdam. We had coffee and then headed for Schiphol Airport. Picked up Aaron and his daughter Em(ilie). They're here from Amherst, NS for a three-week vacation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Marij's New Car

Tuesday, 24-Aug-2010 - Gemert - Rosan drove me to P.J. Peeters in Gemert to pickup Marij's new car--a 2002 Ford Fiesta. salesman Mark van Nunen gave me the keys.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Skating the Electroworld 100 km

Saturday, 21-aug-2010 - Boekel - At the end of the day, I felt only admiration for all of the participants, volunteers, and organizers of this great event. I've been preparing and looking forward to this day all season--wanting to know if I had what it takes to finish the Electroworld 100 km. The sun shined throught the window around 0700 as I was getting my things together. Got to the starting point at 0920. Saw a lot of familiar and smiling Fun-on-wheels and Boekel Tuesday Evening skating faces. Spoke to fellow Waidring skiier Tini van Tienen. This was his 15th year for the Boekel 100 km--he was one of eight that finished the fist year. My thanks goes to Gerard, bicycling traffic controller, who helped me make it to the 80km rest stop, and also to Sijtze Hoekstra who gave me a helping hand for another 5 km. That's when Gerard said I was looking pretty tired and advised me to hop in the safety van. That's where I got to take some more pictures. After resting and bowl of soup, I biked back to Veghel.
100km route

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Skating to Oss

Wednesday, 18-August-2010 - Oss -I need to make some more kilometers before my attempt at 100 km on Saturday. Yesterday's Tuesday evening skate in Boekel got rained out, but this evening was dry and sunny. Got the stuck bearings rolling, and put them in the wheels. Perhaps I could roll out the remaining rust. Didn't get started until 1915. Got back after dark. I put in more than 30 km.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fun-on-wheels Sligro Skating

Saturday, 14-Aug-2010 - Veghel - After looking at a demonstration on youtube, I felt confident to take off the bearing shields of the bearings that got caught in a downpour--five weeks ago! Because I couldn't immediately get the shields off, I had thrown them away--these were the pressed on type shields. But after talking with Frans and Tonnie, I was going to see if I could salvage them. Five bearings didn't turn at all--these needed more patience...and penetrating oil. Frans and Ria were at the Sligro meeting point when I got there. Tonnie (photo) showed up a couple of minutes later. We headed in the direction of Keldonk.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oirschot to Postel and Back

Saturday, 05-August-2010 - Oirschot/Postel - A day to remember. Pieter was once again our super guide and host. I rode to Louis' house on my bike. We drove to the carpool meeting point in Veghel and then on to Pieter's house in Oirschot. 15 skaters and Toon on Solex. Fun-on-wheels Bart, Dale, Frans, Jan, Louis, Maurice, Marion, Maria, Pieter and Toon were joined by Ashwin, Jan, Kim, Marc, Marcella, and Wim. Great route, great experience with a great group of people. Everyone made it back in one piece. We got back just as it started to rain--just in time for a dip in the pool and the barbecue. Thanks also to Mark who made sure the slower skaters, including myself, made it back okay. He broke the headwind for us when we fell behind. Bart took some great pictures. PS. 101 km.

Bart's pics
Dale's pics

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Evening Inline Skating

Tuesday, 3-August-2010 - Boekel - The evenings are getting shorter. We gathered at the Electroworld--it was kermis (carnival) in Boekel. It was too bad that Jan fell on his face and chipped his two front teeth. 16 skaters--good for 30 km.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fun-on-Wheels in Grathem

Sunday, 1-August-2010 - Grathem - Got a moment of sun while eating breakfast, but saw it again we arrived at our meeting point in Grathem. Great skating in the province of Limburg! 18 skaters, bicyclist, and moped rider--good for 35 km. Did some yard work when I got back home.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Skating

Tuesday, 27-July-2010 - Boekel - I rode my bike to meet Jan at his home. He and Yvonne live in the farm house where he grew up. A real nice feeling comes over me when I sit in their kitchen. When we got to Boekel, Jan put on his new skates for the first time outdoors. Their white wheels didn't have a scratch on them. We headed for Restaurant and Cafe Erica with 15 skaters. At every road leading into Boekel, we saw a straw-bale man proclaiming the upcoming harvest festival. We were good for 39 km.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fun-on-Wheels Sunday Skating

Sunday, 25-July-2010 - Beek en Donk - 19 Fun-on-Wheels skaters, including two Roll Duke members, and one moped rider--good for 41 km. Super skating overall. As we returned to the starting point, a cargo ship passed by. I got back home just before it started raining.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Skating

Saturday, 24-July-2010 - Dinther - We met at the Sligro meeting point and decided to head for Dinther. Five skaters--good for 16 km.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Evening Skating Time

Tuesday, 20-July-2010 - Boekel - A very warm evening. We headed for De Pannenkoekenhoeve (the pancake house) in Oploo. It was super smooth skating all the way. Just before we got there, we saw this hot air balloon. Sixteen skaters--good for 30 km.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Slokdarm Festival

Sunday, 18-July-2010 - Veghel - Food and fantasy. From El Cid to Jan Klaassen to Candy Dulfer (she turned my head too), they were all there in Veghel. After I got home from skating, Marij and I went to town on our bikes to experience this year's Slokdarmfestival (slokdarm=esophagus).
clip Julianapark
clip El Cid
clip Candy Dulfer

Skating over the Maas

Sunday, 18-July-2010 - Ravenstein - Beautiful warm and sunny weather. On the way to the carpool meeting point, I saw people lined up for breakfast in the Juliana Park. It was the third day of the Slokdarm Festival. Today's Fun-on-Wheels tour took us along and over the Maas river. Fourteen skaters and one bicyclist--good for 27 km.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Skating to Nijnsel

Saturday, 17-July-2010 - Nijnsel - Great weather! Skated to the Sligro meeting point today. Three Fun-on-wheels skaters--good for 18 km.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Birth of Baseball

Thursday, 15-July-2010 - Haarlem - Baseball (honkbal in Dutch) is born when a child sees his or her hero for the first time. Yesterday, I witnessed this for myself when I watched a pitcher Diegomar Markwell of the Dutch National team autograph a baseball (photo). I also got a to briefly speak with Team USA's head coach Jeff Willis. My son Chris, shortstop for the Oss Cardinals Mens Nr3 team, nudged me when a couple of USA uniforms came into sight. Chris invited me to join him today at the 2010 Haarlemse Honkbalweek. Claudia and Rosan joined us.

Super Evening Skating in Boekel

Tuesday, 13-July-2010 - Boekel - Super smooth skating this evening. Twenty skaters--good for 30 km.

New Furnace

Wednesday, 14-July-2010 - Veghel - After 14 years of service, it was time to replace our furnace. Ad Jilesen arrived at 0800. We got done before the thunderstorms came.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bochtje Boxtel

Sunday, 11-July-2010 - Boxtel - Fun-on-wheels went to Boxtel today. Eight skaters and one bicyclist--good for 30 km. This evening NED-ESP.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Eten en Skaten

Saturday, 10-July-2010 - Oirschot - It got up to 37.5 Deg C (100 Deg F) yesterday. In such heat, most sensible people would have taken it easy by a swimming pool. Fun-on-wheels skaters chose to go skating from meal-to-meal: eten en skaten (eating and skating). For the second year, it was organized by Pieter Smits. We took along plenty of water and good spirits. 19 skaters and two moped riders had a great time along the 60-km route.
pics clip 1 clip 2 clip 3

1215 start Oirschot
1220 1.5 km coffee and something that tastes good
1355 18 km ice cream
1515 32 km soup
1645 40 km main course
1845 58 km dessert
1930 62 km return to start

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July Tour de France

Sunday, 4-July-2010 - Veghel - It's Independance Day in the United States. It's also the first day of this year's Tour de France, departing from Rotterdam, and passing through the middle of Hellevoetsluis--right by the Fire Department where Martin is a volunteer!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back Home--Safe and Sound

Wednesday, 30-june-2010, - Schiphol - Picked up Katherine at Schiphol Airport (AMS). She arrived safe and sound, wearing a Canadian top. We were glad to see each other. Katherine had many stories to tell. While I was waiting, I met Dutch TV host Joris Linssen. He was working on the last episode for the new season of Hello Goodbye. I admire his remarkable ability to get people to confide and open up to him.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Oirschot-Welschap-Wintelre Skating

Sunday, 27-June-2010 - Oirshot - Another warm and sunny day. After meeting at the carpool in Veghel, we drove to Pieter's house in Oirschot--the starting point of today's tour. Pieter surprized us with his music buggy, as Maria calls it. He guided us through varied country side--including along the Beatrix Canal-- simply beautiful. 20 skaters--good for 38 km.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sports in Veghel

Saturday, 26-June-2010 - Veghel - Fun-on-Wheels was one of thirty sports clubs who presented themselves today. Before I left home, I mended my camera case. On the way to the town center, I took a look at the place where a fatal accident happened earlier in the week. A grounds keeper lost control of his mowing machine, and landed in the river. After reporting to our stand, I helped pass out Fun-on-Wheels flyers. Before meeting the rest to go on a short skate, I got fall training from Kempo Hu Quan.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Evening Skating

Tuesday, 22-June-2010 - Boekel - It was the best evening skating of the year. We headed in the direction of Gemert and Beek en Donk. Tonnie's odometer read 33.3 km. My camera wasn't working, so I asked Bart to take a couple of pictures for me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Flea Market

Sunday, 20-June-2010 - Veghel - Today, we helped Gilbert at the annual Father's Day Flea Market. Saw a lot of familar faces.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday Evening Skating

Tuesday, 15-June-2010 - Boekel - Weather was good. Had a late getaway from work--drove my car to Boekel to make in on time. Great skate--we were good for 30 km.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oss Baseball

Sunday, 13-June-2010 - Oss - Marij and I went to Oss to watch Chris play baseball. We met Claudia and Fester there.

Maas and Waal Skating

Sunday, 13-June-2010 - Maas Bommel - It was cloudy, but the weather report said no rain. A great day for Fun-on-Wheels skating. We were good for 40 km. In the afternoon, Marij and I went to Oss to watch Chris play baseball.