Monday, January 29, 2007

Skype: gateway to the world

From the age of 19 when I started to work for Massey Ferguson Holland, I have been fascinated by languages.
They open up a different world. You get access to people with different cultures, believes, food and much more.
I can’t stand it when I visit a country where I can not understand the people. I feel like an alien.
Because I prefer the Northern countries (I have visited warm countries though!!), I learned Swedish, German and English besides my own language Dutch, to be able to learn more about the county and its people.

Being a tourist is nice, but you do miss out acting like a tourist with a host who translates everything to you and who guides you to tourist attractions.

Since the age of 17 when I went abroad all on my own (a very uncommon thing to do for a teenage girl in the early 70’s) I love to wander around on my own in different places.
Being on your own you can choose to talk to people or to be left alone, depending of your facial expression.
Not smiling: people leave you. Smiling: they talk to you.

Being an international telephonist and receptionist has always been a red lead throughout my working life and I enjoye it. Of course I have also been working for local or national companies but missed the international part tremendously.

Skype is for me the gateway to “international” and working with Skype for my international clients is a wonderful part of my life.
I spend many hours in the office and to me, with
Varras Consultancy I have definitely chosen the best way to do that.

Would I like to be back with a local or national company again? No, I won’t. My world would feel smaller although I will still talk to my international friends but that is different.

I know that many people feel comfortable living in the area they were born, close to their family and friends, the same job since they left school, being happy. In a way I admire them. Still I love to learn about the rest of the word.

I know I called my self a modern hermit in an earlier blog post (one with an internet connection, telephone and a car) and I still feel like one. Maybe I am an International Modern Hermit
?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Never give out your password on Skype

Unfortunately there are people who pretend to be a Skype Employee organizing a Skypecast called Skype Tech Help asking the users for their passwords.

One of them assured me in a Skype chat that they do this for fun. They are with a couple of friends who pretend to be users with technical issues giving out their (of course) fake passwords.

He/she also assured me if someone was giving a password, they were not going to use it. Plus they informed that they keep organizing these Skypecasts so be warned!

Fortunately Skypecasts like these can be reported as inappropriate and Skype will take immediate action.

I don’t think it is funny and I don’t think I am born stupid so don’t believe people who do things like this for fun.
But there are still people out there who trust others and can’t tell the difference between good and bad people.
Therefore a blog post about NEVER giving out your password when someone is asking for it. NEVER.

We have put up the following
warning at the forum which says it all:

This is a general warning. Never give out your password when you are asked for it. If you forgot your password only use the
password recovery feature at the official Skype page.Support people never need your password to solve your problems or to look into your account.

Skype Support for example will NEVER ask for your password. Just your username is sufficient to find you in the database and look into your issue.We are aware that there are fake Skypecasts and (Public) Chats where users pretending to be “Skype Tech Support” or“Skype Employee” are asking for your login details.

Never give out your password on any communication channel (Skype call, Skypecast, Chat, E-Mail...) to live people!

Read and practice, I hate to see someone being a victim of dishonest people.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is it possible to fall in love with a Skype Phone?

Just a few hours ago I bogged about the
Nikko Star Wars Lightsaber Skype Phone
But now I stumbled upon an article about a phone my taste.
Slim, modern, shiny, appealing, beautiful. I think I fell in love with Futiro’s new line of Skype phones.

The
Futiroluna
raises the bar in VoIP phone design. With a full telephone keypad, the Luna effortlessly integrates with Skype and its hands-free feature enables you to use your keyboard while you talk. Priced 75 USD.

The
Futiroterra
with it’s strong clean lines and simple four-button
design of the keypad make for intuitive interaction with Skype. Priced 55 USD.

The
Futiro Solo is a palm-sized portable VoIP phone with its
own attractive carry-case which pops easily into a laptop case or your inside pocket. Priced 65 USD.





The only disadvantage is the USB cable. Someone commented “so yesterday”. Still the design is beautiful.

Hopefully Futiro will add a wireless phone with a similar design to their product line soon.

Nikko Star Wars Lightsaber Skype Phone
It'll force you to stay in touch.

Not a Star Wars fan myself but I know millions of others here on earth are.
Also Skype has millions of fans and there fore I couldn’t resist introducing the Star Wars Skype Phone through the article of
Gerry Block.

“After watching a movie with a lot of sword swinging action it's hard to resist the urge to grab a blade of your own and flail around the house. Though it's relatively easy to get your hands on a katana to play with while enjoying Kill Bill,
Lightsabers are a bit harder to come by in our uncivilized age, and unless you're the Star Wars Kid of internet fame, a broom handle isn't quite as satisfying as gripping the real thing.

Happily, Nikko has a solution for the Star Wars fans that need to stay connected while gripping a weapon of Jedi justice. The company's Lightsaber USB phone compliments the
R2D2 projector we covered back at CES. The handset features a full keypad hidden under the rotating rubberized hand grip. The business end of the lightsaber glows blue when powered on and turns red when a call is made, apparently in tune with the likely sinister nature of your communiqué.




Since it's USB the Lightsaber phone is designed for Skype and similar IP-telephony applications. When you're not yammering into the handset the lightsaber handle sits upon the illuminated display stand (which doubles as the base station), which makes the whole apparatus easy to disguise as mere fanboy memorabilia instead of the deadly Jedi internet phone that it really is. Pricing and availability is yet to be announced. We took at shot at the old Jedi mind trick, "Give us this phone, you will…" but the Nikko reps weren't falling for it. Week minded fools they were not..”

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Reading Skype and Skype’s website

What does
Wikipedia say about 'reading': Reading (activity), an activity performed by a human”
Not a too difficult to understand explanation. Or??

Replying to posts on the forum I changed my mind about the easy grade of this activity.
Or maybe the skill of reading is an old fashioned activity, I don’t know anymore.

Reading seems extremely difficult now a days. Maybe caused by stress, overloaded minds or agenda’s but people seem not to read anymore.
You can create an excellent
manual and knowledge base but people ask the odd questions.
We read them from “how do I call another Skype contact on Skype” or even “What happens when I click the green button with the telephone icon?” to more important questions like “How do I get an invoice”.

This is a question I replied to over the past few days.
A business owner and administrator of the
control panel (Skype for business) sent a support ticket to Skype because he wanted to know how to get an invoice his purchases. True, he received a confusing reply to his personal account: “Thank you for contacting Skype Support.These are allocations from Skype for Business Control panel - not your own purchases accordingly you cannot see the invoice as these are allocations.”

This should ring a bell with most users who would have logged on to their control panel to find out where the invoice was.
No, not with this user. He found the forum and asked for help. At first I understood his question wrong but soon I figured out what the real problem was and guided him through the process to find his invoices “Please go to your account page, click "view administration page" (if you are the administrator of the control panel), then click "company settings" (top tab), then click in the left hand menu "order list". Look for the month in which you purchased credits of from which you need an invoice. Right to the order you will find "get invoice"

His reply amused me and made me smile. This user reminds me of my dog who has a similar stubborn character and who loves to have the last say. The reply was “
again - its easier to just send this link to the client
https://secure.skype.com/business/orders/list.html

I couldn’t refuse to post “And it is definitely less time consuming to browse the possibilities of your control panel before sending tickets and posting on the forum ”

I am a true believer of reading manuals. It takes time and maybe you are not always in the mood for it but in the long term it is definitely time saving.

Reading, I started doing this when I was 5 and learned how to spell. Sitting on my knees on the floor, I tried to spell the newspaper. My little finger followed every word.
The zest for reading never ended, I still read many books and articles. Books are all over the house so I can read when ever I like.

To me reading is a blessing and not a burden. And to all who seldom read: don’t make it a burden.
Reading makes your world a more relaxed one, and not only when it comes to understanding the full use of Skype and its features!

Of course if your reading is not successful, you are welcome to the
forum where other readers will help you out. But please, read the forum rules and explore the forum sections first!! And (I almost forgot to mention) search before posting your problem. Most questions have been asked before.

You see it all comes down to reading…

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Skype’s new pricing structure, what's next, and what to make of it all

A week ago, Skype
announced it’s new pricing plan followed by a lot of publicity on the Internet.
Numerous articles arrived in my inbox and I could have published on my blog too.
Though I have chosen to wait until Skype’s official
announcement today.

Apart from reading all the articles, I have also participated in several Skype chats and read every post on the forum about it.
People were on forehand extremely disappointed about the connection fee of € 0,039. This is as much as two calling minutes on top of the usual SkypeOut rates. (Not within the US and Canada).
I agree with everyone that this makes SkypeOut far more expensive. Place 20 calls per week and you “lost” € 0,78 (or 40 calling minutes). For now, I am far from happy with it


But Skype says it is all part of a new calling plan structure . Soon we will be able to sign up for SkypePro and I am very curious if this makes my calls cheaper as I understand that only calling in your own country will cost a connection fee but no calling minutes.

Unfortunately I do not use Skype for calling within Holland. I have a mobile subscription of € 2,50 per month with 500 free calling minutes (and that is an awful lot!!) and NO connection fee.
Perhaps I am going to use Skype more often with Skype Pro but then again, with 100 calls per month, I already paid more then my mobile subscription costs.

I would love to drop my landline for Skype but unfortunately I need it for faxing and there are no Dutch SkypeIn numbers. Right now it feels that I am going to spend more money instead of saving it like in the past.
I still trust Skype to come up with a really good money saving plan and I will be patient but for now I am a bit worried…….


Jaanus explains more on Skype’s Blog.

Monday, January 22, 2007

(Re)building an office

Those who visit my blog regularly, know I am moving rooms in my little house. Originally built for elderly people, it has one bedroom downstairs.The huge empty attic was for storage and big enough to use half of it for a bedroom.
My office was in my living room which wasn’t too bad at first but I noticed I spent too much time behind my laptops on top of all the hours I spent to real work. Also the noise of both laptops was at time annoying.
After weeks of hard work, my bedroom is now upstairs and my office moved to the bedroom downstairs. I am extremely happy with all the extra space plus the fact that I can close the door behind me when I “finish” work.


Still I miss being busy and I miss decorating and I have tons of ideas for my office. Being a lover of antiques and old English cottages and Halls, I started thinking of decorating my office the more classic way: dark brown wooden bookcases, desks, a chest of drawers, etc. Of course it is way beyond my budget to buy antiques.
But decorating is not all about copying a style with the exact right items. And of course with all modern devices like laptop’s, printers, phones etc. it isn’t easy to “live the antique way”. For me decorating is all about feeling comfortable with your own style and enjoying the effort and energy to create it your way.


Whilst sitting behind my desk, very slowly the idea of Victorian Ruby Red walls, copper decorating items and a 'golden’ touch here and there, sneaked into my brains. Right now the wall and sealing are magnolia. A nice colour but not what I have in mind for an office “my way”.

I inherited some office items from my grand father which is a start for what I want.
“Marktplaats” is similar to e-Bay and has been of excellent use in the past to find what I am looking for. I am very patient and love RSS feed to be No.1 if the item I am looking for, is on line. I have a low budget to spend which makes it even greater to browse and when I finally can buy what I need and want, I feel happy.
I don’t need everything at once, I can wait for weeks, months and if necessary, years.I do not buy something which doesn’t match what I have in mind. I am quite stubborn in that respect.

Back to Victorian Ruby Red. My brother and his family recently moved to Germany and I visited them last Saturday. The corridor of their new house is decorated with this bold red colour, exactly how I like it. They gave me the number and this morning I called a painter who can create every colour. We discussed what I want and for half the price it usually costs (he had some great ideas for an “in between colour” so I don’t need buckets full of the definite colour). Hopefully I can start painting at the end of this week or early next week.

I already found and bought one piece of furniture; a site table. Handmade of Oak and exactly the look I want and for only € 20. It needed quite some wax to get it back alive but now it is a beauty and it makes a great desk.
I also found the perfect curtains on the internet and are going to collect them tonight plus a tin of gold paint to give my existing colour paintings from Sweden the correct look. Or maybe I copy (with her permission :-)) the great idea of my niece Mirjam. She bought two simple serving trays, painted them gold and fitted existing frames + painting on top of it.

The next item on my wanting list is a book case which will fill one corner from floor to ceiling. I know it is probably not for sale in this size but I already have a plan to make it myself from used wood.

It might take a few months but at the end the office will be “mine”; my taste, my look, for almost nothing.

Living a boring life? No, definitely not. Because when the office is finished, my living room needs a redo (it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my brains are working on that one already… bold Victorian yellow and white….)

TRENDnet ships VoIP Conference phone for Skype

There is a new Bleutooth toy on the market.
My bleutooth addiction is well known. I carry around a few headsets which are compatibale with many other devices.
Both my Ericsson Headsets (
HB–600 and HB–608) are very comfortable and I often forget they “decorate’ my ear.

I also like conference phones. They allow me to move around in my office and still talking at Skype. Also it doesn’t interfear with other sound devices I use.
So always an open ear for new “toys” like TRENDnet’s ClearSky Bluetooth VoIP Conference phone for Skype the “
TVP-SP4BK
In addition to looking very nice, the device allows hands-free VoIP conferencing via Bluetooth.


The ClearSky kit comes with the base unit and a USB Class 1 Bluetooth adapter, giving a range of up to 100 metres (328 feet), the company says.
The unit includes an integrated LCD screen and touchpad that lets users view Skype contacts, call history, status and SkypeOut credit balance.

TRENDnet says the phone includes more than 4 hours of talk time and up to 72 hours of standby time, with the ability to be recharged through a USB computer connection. Conference features include echo cancellation, noise suppression, and supports headsets.

The phone is available now for about $170 (through online retailers).

A nice price for a toy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Update on Ug

Ug is doing well. I took her to the Vet who said she was definitely going to survive if no infection from the cat’s saliva. Pidgeons are very vulnerable birds.
So Ug is on heavy penicillin now. One drop per day in her beak and crème for her big wound twice per day.

She is extremely tame and not at all difficult to handle for her medication.
The Vet says she is tame because pidgeons are stupid birds. Their skull is too small for brains….
I think that she still remembers the time I raised her. She walks in and out of her basket and knows exactly where to find the food. Not panicking at all, knowing her way around too well.

Right now she sits on my arm, brushing herself which causes a shower of broken large and tiny fluffy feathers. You can see moving is painful. Although she would like too, she can’t hide her little head between her shoulders to sleep. Apart from a big wound under her wing, there is also a wound on her shoulder and neck. And of course her muscles will ache as well. No doubt she won a rough fight with a cat.



She loves sitting on my arm and doesn’t mind me typing and answering phone calls in the meantime.
As a veterinarian nurse I handled a lot of animals and this still seems to continue although I have a totally different job now.
What always touched me (and still does) is the endless faith of the animals that sense you are only doing well.
Maybe I am turning into an old sod, but I can get tears in my eyes watching this badly damaged pidgeon who has all reasons to be afraid, sitting on my arm, brushing her feathers or fast asleep.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cottage “The 4 Winds”

Long time ago in 1963, I was 8, there was a Dutch TV series on the Wednesday afternoon when the kids were off school.

It was about an old lady called Granny Tingeling and a grumpy man called Mr. Humdrum who wanted to buy Granny’s cottage “the 4 winds”.
All 4 winds came together in her garden and “delivered” the strangest objects and people.
But of course Granny did not want to sell her house which annoyed Mr. Humdrum tremendously. He started growling and broke one of his famous walking stick in pure anger.
A funny and exciting series and every person in Holland born in the 50’s will remember this.

I live in a small cottage at the edge of a small village and when it is storming, the winds always seems to blow straight into my garden.
To my great relieve (or disappointment) I don’t find strange objects or people in my garden. But I do find animals. Especially birds and not seldom I have raised baby pidgeons, a crow and a hedge sparrow.
Of course they belong to mother nature and preferable I raise them to release them again.
But some choose to stay with my like Caroline the Crow and Fluffy the Hedge Sparrow. They simply refuse to go.

In 2005 I raised two baby pidgeons “Lee” and “Ug”. Two adorable birds who travelled everywhere with me until they did not need me to feed them and fit to go.
Lee and Ug always stayed around and raised numerous babies of their own. At times there are as many as 14 pidgeons asking for food. They still remember my dog, eat together with my chickens and all get along very well.

Today, in the storm we have right now, I noticed a wet, sick pidgeon in my garden. It is an adult and looks like “Ug” who always stayed a rather small pidgeon.

I went outdoors and although afraid, she allowed me to pick her up.

She looked awful and very dirty. She lost many feathers and her skin is red and damaged. Very skinny she is too. I examined her and noticed a big hole underneath her left wing. Not a fresh wound but an old one.

Her lovely brown eyes observed me while I washed the dirt of her body and she kept quiet when I wrapped her in a warm towel. I gave her some high nutrition food so her crop doesn’t stop working as she is oviously too tired to eat.

She is now wrapped in that warm towel, safely tucked away in a basket where not only kittens are nursed but also all other bigger birds. I definitely need some penicillin to treat her wound and will pay the Vet a visit tonight.
My Vet will not be surprised, he is used to seeing me carrying around birds. From Hedge Sparrows to Buzzards (but that is another story).

I keep you updated about “Ug”, hopefully she is a strong bird, not ready to give up.

Why do these birds arrive in my garden? Are indeed all 4 winds coming together at my cottage or is there somewhere a note “Paraveterinary” on my forehead? How do they know that my former job was being a Veterinarian Nurse??? Never underestimate a bird....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Venice Project, now called “Joost”

Yes, I am taking part in Beta testing the Venice
(Joost) Project and no, I am not going to write anything about it or about what I see and hear during testing.
I am a good girl who takes the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) very seriously.
And why should I write about it as others publish already so much?

Greg Sandoval wrote an article about “Joost” and states that the name doesn’t mean anything in Swedish or Danish. Though in Dutch it is a boys name, pronounced Johst with a loooong “o” (no, not "oo" as in school but "o" as in host).

The name Joost is also part of an expression: “Joost mag het weten” (free translation: Joost will know) which you say in a desperate mood as a reply to a question you can’t answer because you don’t know.


But this case Joost does know. The plan, according to Joost CEO Fredrik de Wahl, is to offer studios, cable stations and anyone else who wants to distribute high-quality video over the internet, a fast, efficient and cheap distribution method. To do this, the company will rely on the peer-to-peer technology that helped Friis and Zennström build Kazaa and Skype.


What Joost has going for it is that the software replicates the TV-viewing experience better than many of the other companies trying to wed TV to the PC. And this is a time when
Hollywood is experimenting with the internet.

To me the new name Joost sounds good!

Read the full article of Greg Sandoval
here

Miglia unveils DialogPhone, Dialog+

Although I am a digibetic when it comes to Mac (I run Skype for Windows), I know quite a lot of people who don’t understand why I don’t switch to Mac.

My excuse that there are no proper phones for Skype for Mac, is not going to hold long anymore as slowly but surely, new devices pop up at the market for Mac users. Which is only great because I do understand why people choose Mac!

A new device is the
DialogPhone of Miglia Technology, a cordless phone that offers iChat AV and Skype integration for unlimited free chatting to anywhere in the world, and the Dialog+, which offers a wire-free signal that covers up to 80 feet from a Mac or PC while allowing users to select Skype or Address Book contacts using the arrows on a phone.

The DialogPhone supports free calls worldwide via Skype and iChat AV with no cables, integrating with Mac OS X as well as Skype and iChat. The Dialog+ provides free calls worldwide through Skype alongside wire-free phone compatibility using Skype. The Dialog+ includes a battery that can charge via USB, a keypad to use for Skype Out calls, and the ability to record Skype as well as iChat conversations on Mac systems.

Both devices require Mac OS X 10.4 or later on a G4, G5, or Intel-based Macs with a broadband internet connection and USB 2.0 connectivity. The DialogPhone is priced at $85, while the Dialog+ is available for $120.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Payment restrictions with Skype

Tonight my Belgium Skype friend
Jean Mercier forwarded me a link to the blog of Chromewalker.
Chromewalker is a Skyper. Tonight he/she tried to purchase new credits but was told that this was not possible because the ‘account balance is over the allowable limit’.


As you can read, he/she wonders why Skype doesn’t want his/her money.

Skype has a very strict Anti Fraud Policy and tries in every way to protect the (new) user. This is not always convenient for the user as he/she knows being the most honest person in the world. Skype knows that too but also knows, like every other company dealing with Internet payments, that there are also not so honest people out there.

One of the Anti Fraud rules is that new purchasers, users who only started purchasing in the past 3 months, are restricted from purchasing again until they have gone below 5 EUR. New users are also restricted to 20 EUR credit per month using credit card, 30 EUR using Paypal and 100 EUR per month using Moneybookers or Bank transfers. This restriction is lifted permanently once they have been a Skype Credits purchaser for 3 months. Similar message is also printed on the users
accountpage at Skype's website. 3 Months might look like a long time but many users do not buy credits daily or weekly.

If someone who committed fraud by stealing your Credit Card or Bank details, buys credits for hundreds of Euri, Dollars etc for his own account, you would be furious.
With the 3 months restriction, this is impossible. Maybe not convenient but definitely safe.

Another Anti Fraud rule is that users can not use their Credit Card, Bank account etc. to purchase credits for more then one Skype account.
We do see complains about that on the forum but again, this is for the users safety.
There are unfortunately examples on the forum where users think that Skype has stolen their money because money was taken from their bank without their permission.

In all of these cases it turned out that the Credit Card or Bank account details were stolen by others to buy credits for their own account. And the ones who’s money was stolen, were no Skype users or even never had heard of Skype until they viewed their bank accounts. Fortunately the losses were minor due to the 3 months restriction.

By not allowing to buy credits fore more then one account, fraudulent actions like above, are hardly possible.

So how can you buy credits for more then one account?
This is possible via
Skype for Business (and you don’t need to run a business) and Skype’s control panel - an online tool allowing you to manage the Skype credits for your company. You can allocate SkypeIn numbers and Skype Credit to colleagues or enable auto top-up.

Yes, I know I am a Skype hugger and this post is not entirely in Skype’s favour but also to explain a little bit more about Skype’s tight but honest (and in favour of the user) Anti Fraud Policy.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A new year ahead of us

I am not going to look back. I am very much aware of the past year and hope to have learned from it to carry on in the next year.

Why is it that January the first is such a magic date? And why is it that at the end of each year, people all of a sudden realize that they have to change habits in the next year?

Is January the first a fresh start for whatever plan? Are our memories wandering back to a year ago when we also had intentions for the new year but we didn’t fulfil any of them or just a very few?

Is it a feeling of “guilt” that we did not keep promises or the feeling that we failed although we had such great intentions to do it different this year?

I don’t have “good intentions” for 2007, I am going to continue the good intentions I start every day of my life with. And the word “life” is very important.

I got an extra life when I survived Cancer 3 years ago.
I always realized how special life is but after the Cancer, life got more colourful, more special, more precious.
Waking up and being alive, makes me feel alive, makes me feel special and fortunate. Rich and wealthy and not in the sense of money or possessions. No, I feel rich and wealthy because I am here as a human being with a free spirit.

Life is vulnerable. I know that I will loose my Mother this year. It is a miracle that she is still with us. She promised everyone to at least celebrate her birthday at the 29th of January. She keeps looking forward; she doesn’t give up although she is so very tired.

I also know that my neighbour will loose his wife. Her Cancer can’t be treated and life got very difficult for her.
Yet she is always smiling. She and her husband are wonderful people. Caring and full of interest for everything what is going on in life.

Although we don’t know how much future is left for us, the future is all about chances, challenges, curiosity, learning, dreaming.
We don’t live if we don’t dream about a future. Dreaming keeps us going. Not all our dreams come true but that doesn’t matter. We can dream new dreams and work out new plans. As long as you are aware of “life” there is a future. I am not just talking about years to come although I hope so. Sometimes it is only a day, a week, a month.
But tomorrow is already future.

One of my friends used this phrase as a mood message on Skype: “Everything changes when you change” – Jim Rohn.
How true this is. If you are afraid of changing your life, all will stay the same. You are missing out with the challenges, crossing borders, meeting (interesting) people. Apart from maybe some changes in the street you live in, regulations and colleagues at work, your life will stay the same. Until you die.
To me that feels as a very, very long life.

“Everything changes when you change” Try, start with a spontaneous smile. People smile back at you and the sun starts shining. So well understood by a little girl I met in the Hospital waiting to see my surgeon,
This little girl was not even 3 years old. She looked lovely, a little toddler with her little hands on her back.
She had a very serious look on her face until she stood in front of me. She looked at me and smiled. Not just a simple smile, no, one that went from ear to ear, little lights in her eyes.
I smiled back, laughed and for me the sun started to shine in that corridor in the Hospital.
Her Mum told me it was her daughters favourite game. And a very successful game. Everything changed by her smile.

This morning I watched on tv the profile of one of our famous stand up comedians
Youp van’t Hek.
I am not one of his admirers but he has some very real and true sketches.
The interviewer asked him if he was afraid of death because he is hyperactive. No, Youp said. No, not at all but I wan to live a life before death. Truly live…

We are living in a fast world, stressful even. There are two forms of stress: negative and positive. We need the positive stress to develop adrenaline to be able to achieve.
The negative stress is a useful warning system to calm down. We need to listen to our warning system to be able to live a real life. We only have one life, we can’t do it again and again and again. Unless you believe in re-incarnation which I don’t.
I admit immediately that I occasionally have been burning the candle on both sides and I know there are some more candles to come. But I also know how to retreat, to gain energy, to give my body the rest to continue fulfilling dreams and goals. I have so many of those. Too many, I could do with an extra life!

I still have a future and I am using this future for the best. Exploring new roads, dreaming new dreams, finding new goals.
Tomorrow is the second day of the new year but not the second day of a new life. Tomorrow is future, always day one.

Happy New Year to all of you, may all your dreams come true.