Dec 31 2003
It’s surreal. Tomorrow is New Year!? Where did December
go? We couldn’t believe it was Christmas (I couldn’t believe it was my birthday
again either) and now it’s New Year? Stop the clock, I need more

It really seems 2003 was too short, but then if we add up all
the things we did, places we went, etc it sounds like it must have been about a
year (minus a few months – WINK). We must have been too busy to notice how fast
time flies. I still need to bring some December photos online and want to
squeeze a few more things in. Argh. See, I’m not ready yet.

weather is still much warmer than it should be. All snow is pretty much gone.
Snowmobiling in Quebec last weekend was a big hit. The scenery was breathtaking.
What beautiful places one can ride through. It certainly sounded & looked
like we made the right decision to head 3+ hours NW as there wasn’t much snow
left in Maine, and even in Canada the trails had suffered from the hot weather
& rain. Riding in these remote and secluded areas was such a nice
experience, but, more on that next week.

It’s time to work on my New
Year’s Resolutions ;)

make backups,
update blog & gallery more than I did in December, tweak the site, organize
& digitize AV, join the gym, …

Actually we’re flying
out of town, and I need to pack some more

Have a
safe transition from OLD to NEW! Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! And see you next year!



PS: It was
interesting to see the cultural difference again between Europe & the US.
Here on Dec 26th the holiday season is over, where in Europe it carries on into
the beginning of January. The holidays only start on the 24th and go till the
first week of January in my book. Not here. Left and right decorations are
already taken down. I can’t believe some people actually toss their Christmas
tree out already on the 26th. All holiday related items are pretty much gone in
the stores and made room for the spring & summer items. Now, they’re not
going to sell a bikini, grill, patio set, garden tools etc for another few
months (I can guarantee that with 3 more winter months here to come) but such is
commerce. It certainly does push me too fast into the New Year.

Anyway! Happy New Year! ;)

Click here to read more …

Dec 26 2003
Some have noticed that I’ve been absent the past weeks.
I’m not sick or anything. My mom flew into town and is staying with us for the
holidays. Maximizing sightseeing, enjoying healthy walks in the snow, sharing
some of nature’s forest & river treasures and simply spending lots of
quality time together – which makes for a very nice Christmas – I’ve barely
touched my Mac other than to check email in a jiffy.

Visited many
places in Maine, though the real touristy stuff is all closed for the fall &

Last weekend we drove up to Quebec – Canada and of course
had to spend a half hour at the border to answer a long list of questions. Not
that anything was wrong with any of our papers, passports, car, … not at all!
It’s just my luck. I can’t fly anywhere without getting at least stopped once.
Must be the geek look (?) that flags something – LOL. I’m already curious how
much time it’ll take next weekend when we go snowmobiling across the border as
the US is back on “high alert” with now even more security at the border. [
oh, did you
hear they denied access to some suspect terrorists at the border after an
updated suspects list was issued last week? We can only wonder how many got
through before the updated list came out

Quebec was okay.
Road conditions were a lot worse in Canada than the US. They don’t seem to put
as much effort into keeping the roads clear. Same for parking & sidewalks.
In the tourist district, old Quebec City, we heard business owners complain that
not many people were shopping on this prime time weekend night – but – you’d
stay home for less as their sidewalks and streets were covered with ice. Who
wants end up in the hospital going souvenir shopping? So much for tourist
friendly Quebec City and their Noel Fest err. sidewalk survival course.

Oh, one funny thing happened in the elevator. I was wearing my
gore-tex boots & jacket, carrying an extra pizza from the Italian restaurant
we dined at. Slipped into the elevator behind my mom & Carolyn. First to
exit and Carolyn heard a woman comment to her husband how they are so discrete
about delivering pizza’s in this hotel – LOL. I had a new job and didn’t even
know it. Pizza boy!

Tomorrow we go snowmobiling in Canada. We’d
love to closer to home but warm weather and lack of snow force us to go North.
These Maine winters sure aren’t what they led us believe they are (so far) ;-)
For one thing school & government shuts down with the slightest snow &
winter mix. Very interesting. You’d think they wouldn’t worry about a few inches
of snow.

In any way you can look forward to a big update after the

Click here to read more …

Dec 25 2003
We enjoyed Christmas Eve at home with a nice meal,
champagne & Christmas music. After exchanging presents it now is Christmas.
So far not a white one. Just rain, rain, and more rain.
Best wishes!

Click here to read more …

Dec 10 2003
The icerabbit in his
favorite habitat!

Oh yes, we
have quite some new photos to publish. I finally installed the application on
the PC, copied the recovered customized template set and offline gallery back
into place; so now we’re all set again to update

I made a quick selection from
my snaps prior to the winter storm, which you can find under Gallery >>
Maine >> Winter Is Here

Looking forward to
bringing some snow to your desktop as early as tonight :)

Click here to read more …

Dec 10 2003
I can’t believe I haven’t said a word yet on the snow we
had last weekend. It has simply been an amazing transformation. Last Thursday
& Friday, after it finally started to freeze, I was out taking snaps in my
regular places, venturing off the beaten path a little more than before,
stepping onto the ice … :)

Late Friday there was a sudden change in
the weather forecast and Saturday it started to snow :) The flakes were really
small and the strong wind was blowing them sideways, but it added up to over a
foot and boy have I enjoyed it. Digging the snow away around the car, driving
through a white winter landscape, watching flakes dwindle down. Suddenly the
bare tree landscape looks romantic with the thick white blanket. Helped by an
extra layer of clothes (it is again -17C this morning!) I’ve walked in knee deep
in snow, sure noticing why snowshoes were invented. The greatest thing with snow
is for whichever angle you want to take a picture at or wherever you want to
take a close up you just plop down in the snow. It’s soft and you don’t get wet
or dirty.

In the past week we have been planning a little for the
holidays and starting to outline the first half of next year. It looks like
there’ll be plenty of surface & air miles again!


Click here to read more …

Dec 2 2003
HP will be launching an online music store in January
). Making them the 4th I believe. We have Apple, Dell
and Napster (backed by Roxio). Rumor has
it that Microsoft, Walmart, Sony and Amazon will follow next year. It’s going to
be a crowded market!

Click here to read more …

Dec 2 2003
It’s 15F outside! Talk about a sudden drop in temperature
:) The forecast reads 11F (-12C) tomorrow morning with a real feel of -4F
(-20C). Not too bad. But, get this: on Mount Washington, NH it is currently -12F
(-24C) with a real feel of -50F (-46C) because there’s 68 to 81 MPH (109 to 120
km/h) winds! I can’t imagine how cold that is

But it does remind me
of the movie The
. British explorer Sir Shackleton and his crew survived for
nearly 2 years through such unimaginable circumstances during their expedition
to the South Pole on which they departed in 1914. It really gives a new meaning
to exploring & adventure. Forget reality TV & survivor shows, 2 years on
Antarctica that’s survival!

Click here to read more …