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Congrats, Earth!

Arguably the most important news of the new Millennium–by some standards, by far the most important news since the onset of the Industrial Revolution–seems to be landing with much less of a splash than I expected. Reason enough in itself for world-wide celebration, immense fireworks (well, maybe not those), gallons of champagne, and an unprecedented baby […]

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Revenge Is A Dish Best Served… Free

5 January, 2016: A year later, Marieke ten Cate of the Kindervoedingscentrum, who promised to change her ways after giving me my refund, turns out to have indeed changed her ways. The offending PDF pamphlet, which sold for €27,00 a year ago, now sells for… €27,00 “reduced from €39,95”. In celebration of this shamelessness, I’m reinstating the free […]

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LonCon3: Stretch Goals Achieved!

If my attendance at LonCon3 had been a Kickstarter campaign, I would be clapping and cheering and sending out rewards right now, because my stretch goals, however implicit, are all in the bag. Modest Plans Admittedly, I had modest expectations of the Con. Attending a couple of interesting panels, getting a couple of my oldest books […]

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Customer Service – And How To Hit A Return Ace

As if the eventful day of traveling to Villa Diodati 11 wasn’t bad enough, I discovered upon my return home that Avis had unilaterally decided to take €605 more of my money than they were actually authorized to. Of course, I immediately sent them an e-mail, only to get an automated reply stating that their […]

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A Quiet Cup Of Coffee

With a satisfied sigh, I settled into my seat. My fresh cuppa found a place on the small table, as did my selection of hot rolls. It was 6:20am, early even for me, and I had easily caught the direct train to The Hague, with time to spare to acquire a quick breakfast before boarding. […]

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Proof That The Kindle Is Really A Great E-reader

The Amazon Kindle is a really, really, great device. I’m not basing this on any intrinsic qualities of the thing, but on the fact that Amazon believes they can get away with the kind of customer “service” they provide, and that they appear to be right. In fact, I like my Kindle so much that […]

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Bad Plaster

… Or how stories sometimes appear out of the fog. Sitting in the hot tub, steam rising around me, I looked up and noticed a great rent in the plaster above my head. Consciously, I made a mental note to jot one more item down on our extensive home improvement To Do List Subconsciously, however, […]

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People Kill People

Let’s get one thing straight beforehand, people. There is no controversy here. Both parties in the gun control discussion agree completely on this. People kill people. Yes, they do. Yessir. Right you are. But let’s get another thing straight as well, while we’re at it: A truism does not a meaningful argument make! In fact, […]

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Pfah! to the Language Police

In Dutch intellectual circles, it is considered bon ton to deplore the ever-increasing pollution of the beautiful–and quite self-sufficient, thank you!–Dutch language with borrowed English terms. Oddly enough, these deplorations are usually uttered in sentences riddles with vocabulary originating in Greek, Latin, and French–not to mention German.

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Goodkind’s First Rule

Readers are stupid. This must have been the rule behind the rule, the one Terry Goodkind lived and wrote by when he conceived of Wizard’s First Rule. Wizard’s First Rule is the first volume in his Jordanesque Sword of Truth series, and the book annoyed me in more ways than I thought possible.

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