Moved: Offtopic Discussion w/Katja



  • <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">This was originally on a Daily WTF post, and I moved it here. I can see like three or four ... but this is just rediculous! [:O] Please try to keep such discussions in this forum or Private Messasges. It really annoys everyone else [;)]</FONT>



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

    <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">This was originally on a Daily WTF post, and I moved it here. I can see like three or four ... but this is just rediculous! Surprise Please try to keep such discussions in this forum or Private Messasges. It really annoys everyone else Wink</FONT>

    I actually found these posts to be quite interesting and informative. I love it. It's why I decided to sign up as a member. You guys should advertise your off-topic section more. Sometimes programmers want to chat with other programmers about things other than code.



  • @CPound said:

    I actually found these posts to be quite interesting and informative. I love it. It's why I decided to sign up as a member. You guys should advertise your off-topic section more. Sometimes programmers want to chat with other programmers about things other than code.

    Welcome! And that's a great name, too [:D]. Yeah, I'm all about off-topic discussion, too. Good idea about advertising it -- when I bring back the side-bar strip, It's going right on there!



  • @Alex Papadimoulis said:

     CPound wrote:
    I actually found these posts to be quite interesting and informative. I love it. It's why I decided to sign up as a member. You guys should advertise your off-topic section more. Sometimes programmers want to chat with other programmers about things other than code.

    Welcome! And that's a great name, too Big Smile. Yeah, I'm all about off-topic discussion, too. Good idea about advertising it -- when I bring back the side-bar strip, It's going right on there!

    Now, all we need is an RSS feed for the off-topic discussions here... [:P]



  • @Katja said:

     Alex Papadimoulis wrote:

     CPound wrote:
    I actually found these posts to be quite interesting and informative. I love it. It's why I decided to sign up as a member. You guys should advertise your off-topic section more. Sometimes programmers want to chat with other programmers about things other than code.

    Welcome! And that's a great name, too Big Smile. Yeah, I'm all about off-topic discussion, too. Good idea about advertising it -- when I bring back the side-bar strip, It's going right on there!

    Now, all we need is an RSS feed for the off-topic discussions here... Stick out tongue

    Wow. That was fast! IT's here already... [:$]



  • People complain about how "big companies can influence a reporter" and
    how that is not freedom. If you don't feel right asking for a refill
    (or getting one) because you don't want the general population to look
    at you like you're a jackass, then that is a WTF and a lack of freedom.
    At least in America you can gorge yourself or not and nobody else will
    care.


    And about this whole homophobic attitude that the world sees in
    America... well, I'm very stuck in my ways. One of those ways is that a
    man belongs with a woman, it's the way it was intended. That's why two
    men (or women) can't make a child. If it makes you happy, by all means,
    go right ahead - but just know that it's not constructive to the human
    race.



    I remember when being stuck in your ways and being headstrong was shown
    as a sign of strength. Now, it's viewed upon as a weakness.



    I do agree with the bullseye idea. America has become a target for people that actually do hate America for a reason and for people that hate America because they can make a quick buck off of it.



    I speak english very well. I use proper english, I never finish a
    sentence in a preposition (or at least, I try my hardest). Saying that
    foreigners speak better english than Americans because they aren't
    taught slang is nothing special. I speak better german than most
    Germans, because I was taught the proper German and not slang or a
    certain dialect.



    As for the president, well... I'd rather have a president that stumbles
    over his words and takes action on things that need action rather than
    one that speaks articulate and does absolutely nothing (which I feel
    that Kerry would've done).



    I think that's about it.



    Oh yeah! Italia has the best food and cars. Ferrari slaughters any
    American car company (or any other car company for that matter).



  • Can you really gorge yourself in the USA? I guess you can but people
    will still look at you in a funny way if you do. And the overweight
    problem in the USA is a real massive problem. It's bad when people
    start weighting more than 300 lbs. But in the USA some people are over
    500 lbs and more. Real, real heavy, unable to even walk around, yet
    eating fastfood every day in the same large quantities that they've
    gotten used to for many years.

    Sure, you can ask for a refill here. But people will remind you, by
    looking at you, that if you eat too much, you bring your own health in
    danger...



    And of course people will claim gay couples can never have any kids.
    However, you forget about adoption! There are many kids either
    orphanaged or abandoned by their parents. While a gay couple can't
    generate kids just by themselves, they can take care of these
    orphanaged kids and raise them just as any normal couple.

    Also, don't forget the large number of divorces. Look at Britney
    Spears, who married twice in a single year. The second time with a guy
    who already had a child with another woman. I don't call this
    constructive either. I just call this screwing around...



    And the Ferrari is a nice car but I just don't like it. Too many speed
    limits here so it's just a big waste of money to buy one here. Better
    buy a Japanese car. They are less expensive, very durable,
    well-designed and don't drink too much fuel either.



  • Katja: I just realized how Renee Zellweger is very representative of U.S. living. In the movie(s) Bridget Jones Diary (Vol.1 & 2) Renee plays an overweight woman who uses sex to gain acceptance. She comes off as being a 2-bit tramp, but I don't think that's what the author/movie director intended. In any event, I see why Bridget Jones/Renee is a microcosm of America.



  • This discussion made me think: Funny how everyone speaks of
    globalisation, yet most of us hardly know anything of even our closest
    neighbours. Let alone of people living at the other side of the ocean.

    Is it that we just don't care how other people live, or is it that we
    know it's different from how we live and asume it's thus inferior and
    not worth exploring?

    I'll go on a lim here and say that no way of living is better than the
    other, just different. And everyone should find out what's best for
    themselves.

    For me I'm happy to live in Holland, I like the way our healthcare
    system is set up, and people can do and say as they please. I'm also
    rather proud of the progresive laws we have here. We were one of the
    first countries to legelize abortion, then the gay marriage and most
    recently euthenasia. I really feel that I'm in control of my own live,
    and not limited by some government agency.



  • Why is it that so many people in this forum are either from Holland or the Netherlands? Do programmers tend to congregate in that region?



  • <FONT size=1>Katja: I have another question for you. What is the difference between Holland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland? I ask this because this is what they taught us in school: these countries were in Europe somewhere, they were all kinda the same (you know, cold), and they had similar flags. That's about it. The wonders of a U.S. education. Can you educate us ignoramuses?</FONT>



  • @CPound said:

    Why is it that so many people in this
    forum are either from Holland or the Netherlands? Do
    programmers tend to congregate in that region?





    Don't think so. But maybe Dutch programmers just have more time to hang
    around on forums than programmers from other countries that are
    actually working.



    As for your other question: Netherlands == Holland (actually Holland is
    the name of a province (acutally there are 2, North and South
    Holland)). As for the other countries maybe this map will help:






    And this is a map of The Netherlands (Belgium and Luxemburg are on it
    too, because The Netherlands is actually a very very small country).



  • As for the flags:






    As you can see they kinda look alike, but not that much.

    I won't post anything on the cultural differences between these
    countries because that would be a huge post. They are all pretty cold
    yes, but the simelarities end there as far as I know [:)]



  • @F8less said:

    Don't think so. But maybe Dutch programmers just have more time to hang around on forums than programmers from other countries that are actually working.

    Ouch. That sounded like a shot Katja.



  • @CPound said:

     F8less wrote:
    Don't think so. But maybe Dutch programmers just have more time to hang around on forums than programmers from other countries that are actually working.

    Ouch. That sounded like a shot Katja.



  • Stupid double quotes,



    What I said was:



    I'm actually dutch too. I don't know about other dutch programmers, but
    I seem to have quite a lot of time on my hands even though I go to
    university, have my own bussiness and actually spend time with people
    not in the computer bussiness.



  • @CPound said:

     F8less wrote:
    Don't think so. But maybe Dutch programmers just have more time to hang around on forums than programmers from other countries that are actually working.

    Ouch. That sounded like a shot Katja.



  • <FONT size=1>

    Hey Katja, what's a typical workday like over there? Do you work 3 hours and then have a 3-hour lunchbreak, then work another hour, and then go home? Kinda like France and Spain? Since your country is so far north do you have limited hours of daylight? Are you close to the Arctic circle? Do you see ice floes periodically? Do any of your friends have seals or sea lions as pets in their home? (That would be cool.) I take it your businesses and schools do not have "snow days". LOL

    </FONT>


  • As a follow-up to my previous post, I was just thinking about how neat it would be to have a seal as a pet. Think about how useful they would be if you could train them. First of all, they are aquatic. So you can get them to perform various undersea tasks for you. Secondly, they can roam on land. So you could train them to attack potential burglars and thieves.

    <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">How fun would that be?</FONT>



  • @CPound said:

    <FONT size=1>

    Hey Katja, what's a typical workday like over there? Do you work 3 hours and then have a 3-hour lunchbreak, then work another hour, and then go home? Kinda like France and Spain? Since your country is so far north do you have limited hours of daylight? Are you close to the Arctic circle? Do you see ice floes periodically? Do any of your friends have seals or sea lions as pets in their home? (That would be cool.) I take it your businesses and schools do not have "snow days". LOL

    </FONT>

    Don't know, actually. I'm still a student and my dad has his own software business so he seems to work 40 hours per day or so. (I think he charges this to his customers[;)]) In Spain and some other southern European countries people tend to have a Siesta during the day, basically because it's just too hot. People just work a bit longer in those countries. But in the middle and northern countries it never gets that warm so we just work all days, like we taught the Americans.

    The hours of daylight here are between Dawn and Dusk, so pretty average. But it takes a while for all sunlight to disappear before the sun sets. I guess it moves a bit slower through colder air. [:$]

    Sea Lions don't live in this area. But seals do. They have a mean bite too, so be careful with them. You can easily find them here in the wild but most will just get into the sea and swim away from you if you approach them. They are considered wild animals, and protected too so keeping them as pets is illegal. But there is a place here where they take care of orphanaged young seals, making sure they too will grow up to become adults.



  • @Katja said:

    Sea Lions don't live in this area. But seals do. They have a mean bite too, so be careful with them. You can easily find them here in the wild but most will just get into the sea and swim away from you if you approach them. They are considered wild animals, and protected too so keeping them as pets is illegal. But there is a place here where they take care of orphanaged young seals, making sure they too will grow up to become adults.

    Interesting. What is the general attitude towards seals in Amsterdam? Most people in the U.S. consider them "cute" creatures, very friendly. Where you live do people consider them a nuisance? Do they bother people's property, get into their trash, etc.?



  • @CPound said:

     Katja wrote:
    Sea Lions don't live in this area. But seals do. They have a mean bite too, so be careful with them. You can easily find them here in the wild but most will just get into the sea and swim away from you if you approach them. They are considered wild animals, and protected too so keeping them as pets is illegal. But there is a place here where they take care of orphanaged young seals, making sure they too will grow up to become adults.

    Interesting. What is the general attitude towards seals in Amsterdam? Most people in the U.S. consider them "cute" creatures, very friendly. Where you live do people consider them a nuisance? Do they bother people's property, get into their trash, etc.?

    Well, the only place in Amsterdam where you can see seals is Artis, the local zoo. But for some reason, the monkeys and the lions seem to attract more public than the seals.

    In the north of the Netherlands, in the Waddenzee which lies between the mainland and the northern Dutch islands you will find most seals, but they stay away from humans. The only people who consider them a nuisance are some oil companies since there's oil in the ground below the area where the seals live. But it's a protected wildlife area so no one can drill for oil there. Fortunately there's enough oil in a few other places in the North Sea so these oil reserves are untouched for now...



  • Hey Katja, have you ever heard of anyone training seals to attack? For some reason I find the concept oddly humorous...and strangely heartwarming. Let me explain.

    <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">I think it would make a good movie. This is the basic plot. Several Netherland homes are broken into by vicious seals, so much so that the humans are chased from their houses. After calling the local police, the people reenter their homes only to find the seals gone, along with money, jewelry, etc. A long story short, there's a youngster (8 yrs. old or so) who befriends a rogue seal. The seal leads the boy back to the criminal mastermind/seal trainer's hideout and the boy begins to secretly loose the seals when their owner is not around. For some odd reason, the seals take to Timmy (the kid's name - probably want to use a Netherland-sounding name for realism) and they are friendly towards him and start to turn from their vicious ways. Most of the conflict in the story arises due to the owner discovering that some of his seals are missing and that he is about to be caught. Timmy being the true humanitarian, has to go back to free the remaining seals. But how? How does the story end? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. Nice huh?</FONT>



  • They (the Russians, the USA and some other nations) have trained
    Dolphins to attack enemy divers, and these dolphins are used around
    some submarine bases. Means that if you happen to swim on those areas,
    you could be attacked by a guard dolphin. And they can be very viscious.



    But training a seal to be an "attack seal" is a bit rediculous. It's
    like training a sheep to bite humans. They just won't do something like
    that. Seals tend to avoid anything that's bigger than them since
    anything bigger than them might want to eat them. Dolphins use the same
    tactics but tend to be bigger themselves.



    Still, a seal can have a nasty bite and since seals are carnivours,
    their bite can result in a nasty infection. But the average human can
    easily outrun even the fastest seal. Outwalk, almost... [:P] They're
    not fast on land. Better make a movie called "Invasion of the killer
    snails" where snails decide to invade France to avenge all their
    massacred brothers and sisters in those french restaurants. Just
    imagine billions and billions of snails crawling over you, chewing on
    you slowly until all that's left of you is a few clean bones... (Now,
    where's the salt?)



  • Hey Katja, is there anything that we (ignorant) Americans typically do that would be considered inappropriate if we were to visit the Netherlands?



  • @CPound said:

    Hey Katja, is there anything that we (ignorant) Americans typically do that would be considered inappropriate if we were to visit the Netherlands?

    Yep. They come here to visit the culture and the first place they start eating is at the McDonalds... Plain stupid. All American tourist just seem interested in the Red Light Districts, the local coffeeshops and never even live the big cities. If you want to get to know the Netherlands then make trips through the whole country.



  • @Katja said:

    Yep. They come here to visit the culture and the first place they start eating is at the McDonalds... Plain stupid.

    Well, what exactly does the Netherlands have to offer in terms of cuisine? Seal?

    @Katja said:

    All American tourist just seem interested in the Red Light Districts

    How can you blame us when your country makes them so enticing?



  • @CPound said:

     Katja wrote:
    Yep. They come here to visit the culture and the first place they start eating is at the McDonalds... Plain stupid.

    Well, what exactly does the Netherlands have to offer in terms of cuisine? Seal?

    Well, soup first. We have something called "Snert" here, which is basically a very thich pea soup. Also try our "Stamppot" (hotchpotch), especially in winter. A bit greasy and full with calories so a perfect winter dish. For dessert, we have "Vla", a kind of custard. You can drink anything you like with this, btw. But this is a special Dutch dinner dish, especially in winter. Very nutricious and delicious.

     

    @CPound said:

     Katja wrote:
    All American tourist just seem interested in the Red Light Districts

    How can you blame us when your country makes them so enticing?

    Well, then you need to take a second look at those "girls" in our red light districts... [:P] Not all of them are real girls... You won't be the first tourist who chooses a "working girl with an addition"... Would be a real WTF, wouldn't it? [:$]



  • They've also made the Rijksmuseum enticing, as well as the Municipal
    Museum in The Hague, Anne Frank House and the Resistance Museum, but
    somehow they don't seem to attract quite as many of y'all....



  • @Stan Rogers said:

    They've also made the Rijksmuseum enticing, as well as the Municipal Museum in The Hague, Anne Frank House and the Resistance Museum, but somehow they don't seem to attract quite as many of y'all....

    What can I say? Most American men are [6]s.



  • @Katja said:

    Well, then you need to take a second look at those "girls" in our red light districts... Stick out tongue Not all of them are real girls... You won't be the first tourist who chooses a "working girl with an addition"... Would be a real WTF, wouldn't it? Embarrassed

    That rules out me going to your country when I go to europe... not that I usually pay for it, but its risky enough to say "Ok, Mark, no girls here at all"... and if I cant meet nice ladies, then I wont go to the country. Unless its France, because I like their wine and cheese :P



  • Awww, don't worry. There are cute girls here too. You just have to know
    how to recognize them. And you can always do it "Crocodile Dundee"
    style and feel first if you're in doubt...[:P]



  • @Katja said:

    Awww, don't worry. There are cute girls here too. You just have to know how to recognize them. And you can always do it "Crocodile Dundee" style and feel first if you're in doubt...Stick out tongue

    Katja: you make me blush! [:$]



  • Katja wrote: "The hours of daylight here are between Dawn and Dusk"

    If it were any other way, I would be quite surprised indeed!!!

     



  • @Blue said:

    Katja wrote: "The hours of daylight here are between Dawn and Dusk"

    If it were any other way, I would be quite surprised indeed!!!

    Good point Blue! What were you thinking Katja? [;)]



  • @Katja said:

    Awww, don't worry. There are cute girls here too. You just have to know how to recognize them. And you can always do it "Crocodile Dundee" style and feel first if you're in doubt...Stick out tongue

    Orright mate. etc etc :)

    Its a pity I dont have any examples of "Aussie" code for the forums...

    } catch(ItsBuggeredEx x) { ... }



  • You know how after each member's post there is a little "www" button which links to the person's homepage? WELL...whatever you do, don't click on mine. [:$]



  • I can see it now. Switch statements (Select for VB.OZ) where all of the
    odd-numbered case options are "No Poofters!". I assume that the
    ellipsed code was:



    catch (ItsBuggeredEx x)

     {

     throw new Shrimp("on the barby");

     //that'll keep the tourists happy

     }

    finally

     {

     //I thought they'd never leave

     }



  • @CPound said:

    You know how after each member's post there is a little "www" button which links to the person's homepage? WELL...whatever you do, don't click on mine. Embarrassed

    Too late, I already did. Couldn't make any sense of that page. Is it some Bulgarian porn site or what? No sane person is able to read that page anyway...

     

    Wait...

     

     

    WAIT!!!...

     

    There's an english translation too. [:P] Still not a true decent language but I can understand English. Okay, they sell music CD's but still, looking at those covers it does look a bit like a porn site. Many women with barely no clothing...



  • @Katja said:

    Is it some Bulgarian porn site or what? Okay, they sell music CD's but still, looking at those covers it does look a bit like a porn site. Many women with barely no clothing...

    Whenever I'm having a bad programming day I visit the Bulgarian CD site. It makes me smile. [:D]



  • Hell, so this is where my post went :P



    I'm surprised Katja could say so many things about our "culture"...
    Because in my opinion we don't have a culture at all. Heh, fries and
    meat for food, anything for music :P



    It's kind of funny to read how you foreigners think about us, like how
    everything has to be covered in snow all the time seeing as how
    Northern the Netherlands are. Really, there's probably no softer
    climate one can have: -5 degrees Celsius is quite cold, and 25 degrees
    Celsius is quite warm. :D



  • It has been colder, though. And it has been warmer too. And for some
    weird reason it's just too warm here, right now. I need to practice my
    scating skills a bit and it still hasn't really frozen here. And
    where?s the snow? There's supposed to be snow here too but I haven't
    seen it yet.

    But I hope it will be a warm summer since I can't afford to go to spain or france this year for my holiday. [:'(]



  • You can't afford Spain or France!  Can't you get there on EasyJet for about €20? [:O]



    I only get 3 weeks vacation a year... so if I get to spend 2 weeks in
    Europe, I don't really have the chance to get to know a country very
    well.  If I could spend a year there, I'm sure I'd have a list for
    another year of things to do and see.  Plus, Japan and Austrailia
    are calling  for me. [ap]



    I certainly avoid McDonald's as much as possible, but there are times
    when I need something quick, so I can spend more time on other cultural
    pursuits besides fine dining. [pi]



    I really envy people whose jobs take them all over the place (my brother has been everywhere), but as programmers can work anywhere, my employer isn't inclined to send me anywhere else. [W]



  • Well, I can afford to GO there, I just can't afford to stay there... My
    problem right now is that I'm spending more than I'm earning and I
    can't do much about it right now. Studying is expensive... I plan to
    take some summer job in the summer so I can rebuild my savings. Did
    this last year too so why not again?



  • @Katja said:

    Well, I can afford to GO there, I just can't afford to stay there... My problem right now is that I'm spending more than I'm earning and I can't do much about it right now. Studying is expensive... I plan to take some summer job in the summer so I can rebuild my savings. Did this last year too so why not again?

    Have you thought about going into acting to make a little extra cash?

    <FONT size=1>P.S. That was a Renee Zellweger reference.</FONT>



  • @CPound said:

     Katja wrote:
    Well, I can afford to GO there, I just can't afford to stay there... My problem right now is that I'm spending more than I'm earning and I can't do much about it right now. Studying is expensive... I plan to take some summer job in the summer so I can rebuild my savings. Did this last year too so why not again?

    Have you thought about going into acting to make a little extra cash?

    <FONT size=1>P.S. That was a Renee Zellweger reference.</FONT>

    I've tried acting in a school play when I was 9. So during the practice all went fine and perfect. Then the big evening, on stage with a room full adults and what happened? I was supposed to play some princes in the play with a long skirt and some boy accidently stepped on it while I went on stage. So there I was, on stage in my polka-dot underwear with the skirt behind the stage... Quite embarrassing.

    So no. No acting for me anymore...

     

    Well, okay... I admit. I didn't really step onto the stage when that boy stepped on the skirt. I just fell and the skirt was around my knees. Some teacher quickly went over to see if I was allright and quickly pulled the skirt back in it's place again but in my nightmares I see myself standing there on stage in my underwear... YIKES!



  • Katja: What is considered a good salary for a seasoned programmer in the Netherlands?

    For example, in the U.S. a seasoned Cold Fusion Developer can make anywhere from $60-$90K annually. If they are making $30K that would be on the low end. $90K is of course ideal, and $60K is more realistic.

    How does that compare with salaries in the Netherlands? (Please convert to U.S. currency please.)



  • Look downward -- it won't be long before the going rate is whatever a
    seasoned developer in India charges. Until the C-levels start seeing
    India as too expensive.



  • Stan: I suppose your job/salary is pretty safe, what with you being a Lotus Notes developer/admin. Lotus Notes development is such a specialized niche...so few developers/admins left that you can command your own price.



  • Nope -- my price is lowish (I make half of what I should, based on what
    was happening in the dot-bomb days), I speak the language (including
    the cultural references), and I'm in the same time zone as my US
    clients so they can bug me in real time on the phone or via IM. It's
    that last bit that makes me "better" than an Indian (well, better than
    an Indian who is still in India -- H1B-types can be both cheap and
    awake when you want to yell at them).


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