Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Friday, September 26, 2003
 
Observations on America (17)

Next...

  • Americans seem to do everything on credit: eating out, buying cars and even getting themselves out of jail... Judging by the number of shops advertising 'bail bonds', that last thing seems to happen rather frequently. As far as I know (but I might be mistaken), in Belgium it is also possible to get out on bail in some cases, but I've never seen any advertising about it.

  •  
    New Laptop

    I just bought myself a new Acer Travelmate L240 (or something). The higher ups at my company decided I didn't need a company laptop anymore, so no more working at home for me ;-)
    Luckily, with the new laptop, I can now blog wirelessly and watch movies on a decent screen too.

     
    Big News...

    Well, for me anyway...



    Thursday, September 25, 2003
     
    Big News is Coming...

    Later today I'll post some pretty big news here... with pictures!

    Hint: It has to do with a new version...

     
    Observations on America (16)

    Sweet sixteen...

  • Driving on U.S. interstate highways is very relaxed, with low maximum speeds and many people using cruise-control. However, be prepared: overtaking on the right is allowed in some cases, so don't be alarmed if people zoom past on the 'wrong' side. Oh, and on some intersections (on normal roads), turning right on red is allowed. So don't be surprised if people start honking behind if you're waiting to turn in the right lane and the light is still red...

  • Wednesday, September 24, 2003
     
    Bush I and Sharon Can Sleep Safely Again...

    They needn't fear the inescapable clutches of the Belgian Justice System anymore, because the war crimes case against them has been dismissed today. The law on which the claims were based has been severely adapted since the cases got started, so the judges decided to throw them out, since no Belgians were involved in the crimes (neither as victim or perpetrator) and the crimes were not committed in Belgium.

    Whew! Er... Mr. Bush (Jr.)... Call off the 101 airborne, we'll behave now...

     
    Observations on America (15)

    And we haven't finished yet...

  • American politics, due to the bipartisan nature of their system, are very polarized: the assumption seems to be that people are either for or against something. Examples: guns, abortion, gay marriage, war, taxes... Yet when one side gains a majority, new legislation is often not as drastic as pre-election speeches would have led to expect. There always are a lot of buts, ifs and maybes to any new law.

  • Tuesday, September 23, 2003
     
    Car troubles...

    Just as my little home webserver is up and running again (that's why the images in the left sidebar of this blog are working again...), car trouble hits... It seems I hit somebody's car in the parking garage below the office yesterday when leaving my spot, although I didn't notice a thing... But the scratches match more or less, so after having filled out the insurance forms I'm now waiting for an appointment with the car doctor...
    I just hope my last accident was last year, so I won't have to pay €250 to the insurance company. I checked my diary and it seems I had the damage from the last dent to my car repaired on the 8th of january this year. But I'm not sure if the dent happened before or after january 1st...
    Crap! Everything seems to be going wrong and/or break these days...

     
    Observations on America (14)

    Whoopdedoo...

  • Despite being the land of the Free and the home of the Brave, Americans seem to be amazingly uptight when it comes to alcohol. Expect your ID to be checked before entering a bar! Quite different from Belgium, the land of the Beer, where kids as young as 15 or 16 can and will drink beer every weekend (been there, done that, got the hangover) and nobody makes a fuss about it.

  • Monday, September 22, 2003
     
    Time to Head South?

    The NYT writes: Last American Combat Troops Quit Saudi Arabia.

    Does this mean the ones in Iraq will soon get the order to point their tanks, planes and guns south? And shortly afterward the order to start driving and don't stop until Ryaad, Mecca or Medina are occupied?

    Remember people, 15 out of 19...

    If I were a Saudi prince, I'd be getting nervous...

     
    Observations on America (13)

    Onward we go...

  • Most American waiters seem to be extra-nice and helpful: I guess it is a consequence of having to make part of their money from tips. In Belgium is is not customary to tip and the service is included in the prices on the menu. It does make for easier calculations when figuring out what a meal will cost you, though.