Saturday, December 22, 2012

Crying on my Newspaper

Saturday, 22-December-2012 - Veghel - I was crying on my newspaper after I read the last lines of today's editorial "The Regional Top 2000" by Hans van Alebeek:  "* 67 The Beatles with 'Blackbird'. For flower- and bird girl Ria Wijdeven (photo) from Uden who was only allowed to live to be 49 years old."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

De Zeven Eiken Christmas Brunch

Sunday, 16-December-2012 - Veghel - Marij and I went to the Christmas Brunch held at the De Zeven Eiken neighborhood association.  Marij lived in this neighborhood in the Peellandstraat with her mother and brother Jo when I came to the Netherlands in 1975. pics (28)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nova Scotia Wedding Vacation

Wednesday, 10-October-2012 - Veghel - After four weeks in Nova Scotia, Marij and I were glad to be back home, but we will long remember our Nova Scotia Wedding Vacation.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fien and Gerrit-Jan 60

Sunday, 2-September-2012 - Nijmegen - Marij and I first met Fien and Gerrit-Jan in 1978 at a campground in Cap du Dramont, France.  We've been friends ever since.  Today, we helped them celebrate their 60th birthday's. pics (31)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Felt Like Skating

Tuesday, 28-August-2012 - Boekel - After I fell back from the fast group, I just felt like skating.  Ended up near Westerbeek.  It was a straight shot back to Boekel. No one noticed that I was missing, until they got to talking at the ice cream shop. I was good for 29 km. pics (28)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Father of the Bride Suits Up

Monday, 27-August-2012 - Nistelrode - Marij, Rosan, and I went to van Tilburg today. I found a very nice shirt and tie, thanks to this helpful saleswoman.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Catchup Skating

Saturday, 25-August-2012 - Veghel - Got to the Sligro meeting point five minutes late, only to see Mieke's car and a bike with a child seat. Met up with Mieke and Ingrid on their way back from Nijnsel. On my way home, stopped bij Vrijhof Vishandel to say hello to Marij, who was back from Helmond Market and near the end of her usual 13-hour workday. pics (26)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Electroworld Skating 2012--Looking Out for Each Other

Saturday, 18-August-2012 - Boekel - This summer, I averaged 80 km a week, and I was going to once more try to finish the 100 km distance for the  Electroworld Skating Tour.  That was until the weather forecast predicted 34 Degrees Celcius for today.  I knew that would be pushing my luck to work so hard in such hot weather. I got up at 0500 to see Marij off to work. I had a good breakfast and got ready. Three raisin bread rolls (one for each 20 km-leg), lunch, spare socks, sunscreen, bouillon cubes (to replace salt sweated out), and an Arab-like headress to shade my neck from the sun. Yesterday, I made sure my skates were in good order--one last check.  I made it to Boekel at 0910. I saw familiar smiles, and met new friends along the way.  At the start Gerard emphasized looking out for each other, and that choosing for 60 km would be a good decision this year for those unsure about the 100.  I told Fun-on-Wheels skater Astrid, I'd watch out for her--it was her first time for the 60-km in Boekel.  As it turned out, I had a rough time myself getting to the first resting point.  I was skating near the leaders, but I started to fall back.  The skater behind me asked if it was okay if he gave me a push to close the gap. I appreciated that helping hand.  Three cups of sport drink, a raisin bread roll, a few minutes sitting in the shade, some cool water splashed over me head, and some more sunscreen. I felt a lot better.  Astrid was doing okay.  The next 20 km was enjoyable.  Changed my socks at the 40 km stop in Rijkevoort.  More sun screen.  Astrid was ready for the last leg of the tour. Talked to Sijtze. He also got up a 0500 this morning. But unlike me, he first had to milked his cows and drive 200 km to get to Boekel from Appelscha, Friesland.  I first met Sijtze two years ago at the 60-km rest stop.  Astrid ran out of gas halfway back to Boekel. I stopped to see if I could help. She was glad to hop in the safety vehicle for a ride back.  I started skating to rejoin the group.  Jos was on bicycle, and I asked him to ride in front me to shield me from the wind. I asked him to step it up to 22 km per hour. We caught up in five minutes. We rolled over the finish around 1400.  Met a smiling Astrid back at the meeting point.  I was happy to find some nice grass in the shade.  Thanks to all the volunteers and participants who made this a great day! I'll try again next year for the 100 km. pics (159)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Powerslide Inline Skate Brake Pad Replacement

Friday, 17-Aug-2012 - Veghel - Tomorrow was the Electroworld Skating Tour, and my brake pad was already worn down to the bolt head.  It was just a week after I had installed new wheels and a new brake system.  The rubber on the Powerslide brake was just too soft, and the design left half of the rubber unsed.  My Rollerblade brake pads were much more durable, but they didn't fit on the Powerslide brake.  After looking at it for a while, I came up with a solution. I sawed a notch into the Rollerblade brake pad, and I added a washer, using the same bolt and nut that came with the Powerslide brake.  Now, I was ready to roll again.  pics (8)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Evening Skating in Dinther

Thursday, 16-Augustus-2012 - Dinther/Den Bosch - After meeting at de Toren, we carpooled to the Dungense brug starting point at the edge of Den Bosch. Ten skaters and three bicyclists--good for 30 km. pics (44) waiting for canal bridge to lower (64 sec)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Evening Skating in Boekel

Tuesday, 14-Aug-2012 - Boekel - Twenty skaters headed in the direction of Veghel.  We asked eached other, "60 of 100 Saturday?" We were talking about the 2012 Electroworld Inline Skating Tour planned for this coming Saturday. We were good for 28 km. pics (48)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Fun-on-Wheels

Saturday, 11-August-2012 - Veghel - I met Sanne at the A50 carpool, and we skated to the Sligro meeting point (7.5 km).  Tightened a wheel axle along the way (photo). We were the first ones there so we killed some time skating around the industrial park. Mieke van Erp and Frans returned from a 30 km skate in Eindhoven. Mieke Hurkmans and Ingrid joined us shortly thereafter.  We headed for the Schijndel meadows.  Six skaters--good for 24 km. pics (60)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Inline Skate Wheels and Brake System

Thursday, 9-August-2012, Veghel - After seeing Marc's wheels and brake system during our tour to Postel last week, I ordered a set for myself. They came in the mail today--just in time for this year's Electroworld Skating Tourpics (23)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Postel 2012

Saturday, 4-August-2012 -Oirschot/Postel - It was the fifth year that Pieter organized the Oirschot-Postel-Oirschot skating tour--the fourth year for me.  The weather and the company couldn't have been better.  I was already having trouble keeping up at the 20 km mark.  Henriette rode in front of me to shield me from the wind, allowing me to catch up with the rest. I started to fall back again when Mark gave me a push and some encouraging words to get me back in place. I got some rest at 30 km stop. Henriette:  "Make sure you get in front of the group." Skated behind Johan who slowed down the pace.  Got some more rest at our lunch stop in Postel. I felt a lot better. Started to fall back once more at the 90 km mark. Bart shielded me from the wind to join the group.  Frans gave some stern instructions which helped me the rest of the way back to Oirschot.  When we got back got a garden hose shower and jumped in the pool to cool off. The barbecue got fired up and we had a great meal. What a great day! Fifteen skaters, four bicyclists, and one solex rider.  Good for 105 km. route pics dale (189) pics marc (2) pics johan (15) video clips by wil: clip1 (75 sec) clip2 (75 sec) clip3 (34 sec) clip4 (21 sec) clip5 (30 sec)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Car Boot Sale

Sunday, 22-July-2012 - Oss - We got up at 0530.  It was our second time this year at the Geffense Plas Carboot Sale.  We had great weather!  I was ready for a nap when we got back home. pics (40)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Eten en Skaten

Saturday, 21-July-2012 - Oirschot - It's a yearly tradition:  Eten en Skaten (eating and rollerblade skating, pronunced 8-ten 'n skate-ten) with host and guide Pieter.  This year we had 20 skaters--including Jenny (photo), three bike riders, and fantastic weather--we were good for 68 km.  pics (204) bearing check (33 sec) music buggy  lake house (music) gps-tracked route part 1

11.30 samenkomst aan De Stad 8, 5688 NX Oirschot.
11.30 koffie/thee met gebak
12.00 opruimen en WC-bezoek
12.15 aandoen van skates en bescherming
12.30 vertrek voor 22 km
13.50 soep bij Herberg De Mispelhoef te Eindhoven
14.30 vertrek voor 24,5 km
16.30 hoofdgerecht bij herberg brouwerij De Gouden Leeuw te Vessem
17.45 vertrek voor 18 km
18.45 nagerecht bij Gasterij De Beurs te Oirschot
19.30 vertrek voor 2 km
19.45 aankomst in De Stad 8
20.00 evaluatie onder genot van een drankje.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Empella Work Shop

Wednesday, 18-July-2012 - Erp - After a trip to Gemert, I saw a construction site where my favorite bike shop Empella used to be situated before moving the showroom to Uden.  I parked my car and walk to the new work shop location for repairs and service. There, I had a nice chat with technician and international mountainbiker Lucien. pics (7)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

De Toren Skating

Thursday, 12-July-2012 - Dinther - Not raining today.  Rode my bike to our meeting point at Cafe de Toren. We headed for Veghel. Saw Marij at the town square.  Eight skaters--good for 26 km. pics (44) gps tracked route

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Tuesday, 10-July-2012 - Veghel - The first time I tasted wortelstamp, a traditional Dutch meal consisting of mashed carrots, potatoes, onions, was 36 years ago.  Marij said it was perfectly normal to have a meal without meat--I protested. The wortelstamp tasted good, and I've enjoyed it regularly since.  Today, was the first time I made it myself.  Since I was the cook, we had sausage on the side.  I started at 1730 and was done at 1830.  I kept it warm until Marij and Rosan came home from work. pics (14)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend After 4th of July Backyard Barbecue

Sunday, 8-July-2012 - Veghel - It was time for the long-awaited Weiss Family Weekend After 4th of July Backyard Barbecue.  The weather cooperated. Marij joined us after working at the annual market in Appeltern.  pics (28) barbecue prep pics (12)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Sligro Skating

Saturday, 7-July-2012 - Veghel - The Slokdarm Festival was already a memory. The town had been quickly put back in order. Today we skated past the Kilsdonkse molen.  Five Fun-on-Wheels skaters--good for 18 km. pics (49)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Saving Veghel Memories of Harrie Verhoeven

Friday, 6-July-2012 - Veghel - Neighbors Richard van Krieken and  Luuk (photo) volunteered to clear out remaining belongings of Harrie Verhoeven, Veghel BBA busdriver from 1955 to 1987. He was seriously ill and had just been moved to Sint Joachim & Anna Nursing Home. His only remaining relative, his niece, had collected some items, and left the remaining belongings for anyone who could use them. Marij was interested in items for the flea market, so she sent me to collect some things for her. When I looked upstairs, I knew that the memories of Harrie Verhoeven had to be preserved for future generations. Harrie, who I had never met, had similiar interests to mine:  the Liberation of Veghel and aviation.  Richard's father Peter had already brought some things to Jan van Oers of the Veghel history preservation society Heemkundekring Vehchele.  I did the same. pics (56)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July

Wednesday, 4-July-2012 - Veghel - It's Independance Day in the United States.  I raised the Flag to celebrate.  We decided to postpone the Weiss Family Barbecue so everyone here in Veghel could make it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Marc's Bar-BQ Volleyball Team Summer Get-together

Tuesday, 3-July-2012 - Uden - We officially closed out the 2011-2012 volleyball season with a toast and great meal at of all places:  Marc's Bar BQ.  pics (9) 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Slokdarmfestival 2012

Sunday, 1-July-2012 - Ann Arbor/Veghel - It's my nephew Kevin's 29th birthday today. It's also the last day of the three-day bi-annual Slokdarmfestival.  Marij and I rode our bikes to the center of town.  There was something for younger and older--something to tantalize one's every sense.  Here children are playing in a stream created at the CHV complex now being transformed from an agricultural factory complex into a cultural center.  In the Juliana Park, met Audrey van den Heuvel & Piotr Bronicki who shared building experiences of their new home built with loam and straw.  Enjoyed a five-minute performance by Chantal van Heeswijk.  pics (263)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Healing Bones in Zijtaart

Saturday, 30-June-2012 - Veghel - Jeannette caught up to us in Sint Oedenrode.  We then continued in the direction of Mariahout.  On our way back to the Sligro meeting point, we visited injured Fun-on-Wheels skater Ine (photo) at home in Zijtaart. She just got back from an eight-day hospital stay in Croatia for a broken arm. She was on a motorcycle vacation with her husband Harrie, when their motorcycle slid over a gravel shoulder during a braking maneuver before falling on its side.  Six skaters--good for 21 km. pics (52)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Evening Skating Before Thunderstorm

Thursday, 28-June-2012 - Dinther - Wim was our guide this evening.  We headed for Schijndel, and stopped for ice cream at ijssalon La Toscana Schijndel.  We were trying to get back to the cafe de Toren before the thunderstorm would arrive.  Six skaters--good for 32 km. pics (52) gps-tracked route

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Tuesday, 26-June-2012 - Boekel - The most-direct route to Restaurant Erica was newly-paved--we took that on the way back. On the way there, we were faced with klunen (kluning). In the Netherlands klunen is normally associated with ice skating tours where there are obstacles.  One has to go over dry land to get to the next patch of ice.  This evening in Mill, we had find our next patch of smooth asphalt.  18 skaters--good for 39 km.  pics (79)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fun-on-wheels Sligro Skating

Saturday, 23-June-2012 - Veghel - We passed through Eerde today.  Four Fun-on-Wheels skaters--good for 18 km. pics (28)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(Almost) Longest-Day Skating in Boekel

Tuesday, 19-June-2012 - Boekel - It was almost the longest day of the year, and Fun-on-Wheels skater Sanne's first time skating in Boekel. Fifteen skaters headed for Helmond.  On the way back we found our way to the Brabantse Kluis, for an ice-tea break.  There we shared the courtyard with newly-born calves. At the end of the evening milking, they the got their share to drink (photo).  Super evening skating!  We were good for 33 km.  pics (70)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vendelier Gives Start Sign for Inline Skaters

Saturday, 16-June-2012 - Oirschot - After breakfast, I checked the weather radar:  slight chance of rain.  I knew it was going to be a great day. I rode my bike to Mariaheide to catch a ride with Hélène and Louis and Mieke.  We headed to Oirschot, the starting point of today's tour.  Fifteen Alphen aan de Rijn Omni and nine Veghel Fun-on-Wheels skaters met at the home of our host, guide, and vendelier (guild standard bearer) Pieter Smits.  Pieter greeted us in his Sint Joris Gilde uniform.  We enjoyed coffee and pie as  he explained the history of the guild and treated us to an athletic performance of vendelen, also called vendelzwaaien (flag-waving drill). After 53 km super skating, we enjoyed a shower in a nearby sport complex, returning back to Pieter's place for a delicious barbecue. What a great day! Special thanks to Pieter. pics (213)  vendelen 1 (6:42) gps-tracked route--part 2

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday Skating in Dinther

Thursday, 14-June-2012 - Dinther - It was a nice sunny day.  After a big plate of spaghetti, I rode my bike to the de Toren meeting point.  This evening we headed for Uden.  Nine skaters--good for 28.7 km. pics (37).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Swiss Sense Skating

Tuesday, 12-June-2012 - Boekel - Frans knew a good route along the airbase.  We took time for a group photo at the Swiss Sense logistics center where my son Chris works.  We stopped for coffee at an orange-decorated cafe 't Oventje in 't Oventje.  Super evening skating!  15 skaters--good for 30 km. pics (85)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Veghel Sunset

Thursday, 7-June-2012 - Veghel - Sunset viewed from Chris's apartment. Marij and I visited Chris and Marit to discuss upcoming trip to Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Evening Skating

Tuesday, 5-June-2012 - Boekel - Maureen took this photo of me on the way to Landhorst.  Twenty-four skaters--good for 31.4 km. pics (59)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Diamond Jubilee Concert

Monday, 4-June-2012 - London - We watched along on television--the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth was held in front of Buckingham Palace. Grace Jones (photo) was one of the performers. pics (70)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sligro Skating with Sanne

Saturday, 2-June-2012 - Veghel - Sanne and I were the only Fun-on-Wheels skaters today.  The rest of the club was on a long-weekend in Heemskerk.  We had great skating weather.  First to Keldonk, then Erp, before ending up in Mariaheide.  pics (41)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pub Quiz Nr 3

Thursday, 31-May-2012 - Veghel - Irene and Hans joined Marij and I for our third pub quiz at de Stapperij. We called ourselves the Gamblerspics (5)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boekel Skating

Tuesday, 29-May-2012 - Boekel - Jos joined us on bicycle this evening.  Pics (68)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Monday, 28-May-2012  - Veghel - In the Netherlands, today is the 2nd Day of Pentecost, a National Holiday.  In the United States, it's Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Geffense Plas Car Boot Sale

Sunday, 27-May-2012 - Oss - We got up at 0500 today to go to the Geffense Plas Car Boot Sale.  We lucked out and got a nice shady spot. It was like being on vacation--a great day from sunup to sunset!  pics (125)  car boot caterpillar (47 sec)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Skating

Saturday, 26-May-2012 - Veghel - Super weather for skating.  We headed for the Kilsdonkse Molen.  Six Fun-on-Wheels skaters--good for 15 km.  pics (52)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Water First, the Rest Comes Later

Friday, 25-May-2012 - Veghel - Water First, the Rest Comes Later.  That's what the Dutch Burn Foundation (Brandwonden Stichting) recommends for treating burns.  We got these flash cards in the mail today.  The focus is on burn wound first aid and prevention for small children. I added an English translaton.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dinther Inline Skating Fun in Den Bosch

Thursday, 24-May-2012 - Dinther/Den Bosch - It was a warm sunny evening--super weather for skating (and taking pictures).  After meeting at Cafe de Toren, we carpooled to our starting point across from the Dungense bridge on the outskirts of Den Bosch.  We stopped at coffee the Verkade Fabriek for cappuccino and iced-tea, and a group photo.  Nine skaters (Ad, Annieck, Gaby, Johanna, Magda, Monique, Wim and I)  and two bicyclists (Bettina and Margret), were good for 31 km.  The terrace was full back at de Toren.  Inside, it was decorated in orange, ready to support the Dutch team in the Eurocup.  We hung around and enjoyed each other's company. pics (93)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Evening Skating in Boekel

Tuesday, 22-May-2012 - Boekel - Fun-on-Wheels skater Frans (photo) is a familiar face on Tuesday evenings in Boekel.  This evening we took a break in Odiliapeel.  We were good for 25 km. pics (49)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sligro Inline Skating Fun

Saturday, 19-May-2012 - Veghel - Super weather for skating.  I skated to the Sligro meeting point.  We headed for ice cream at the American Diner D'n Inloop in Nijnsel.  Seven Fun-on-Wheels skaters--good for 18 km. pics (93)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

No Skating on Acension Day

Thursday, 17-May-2012 - Dinther - We got rained out last week, and it would be dry this evening, so I hoped to get in 30 km of skating.  Got to Cafe de Toren at 1900--no one was there.  Sent some text msgs to find out what was going on.  I waited for 15 min before heading back home. Found out later in the evening that "we never skate on Acension Day." I was new to the group and didn't remember this rule.  Oh well--no harm done, I was good for another 14 km. pics (4)

Vat-Oe-Fiets 2012

Thursday, 17-May-2012 - Veghel - It's a tradition in Veghel and also in the Weiss Family:  the annual Vat-Oe-Fiets (Hemelvaart) Accension Day bicycle tour. Beautiful sunny skies--perfect for bike riding.  Chris picked me up and we rode to the town square.  We took the 25 km route to be back in time so Chris could do some bricklaying in Keldonk for his friend Richard. This year's route took us to the outskirts of Uden, along some bike paths I'd never seen before.  Saw some familiar faces along the way, including our neighbors Hans and Marie-José, and Boekel skaters Netty and Willy. pics (68) gps tracked route

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Car Boot Sale

Sunday, 13-May-2012 - Erp - Marij and I got up at 0500 this morning.  It was a great day for a car boot sale. pics (80)