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Den Haag: Report

From: (Patrick 'Turtle' Dersjant)
Subject: [F] Jennifermeet 3.0 - an unofficial report
Date: 22 Nov 1999 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <>

Unofficial Meet report[1]
Jennifermeet 3.0, November 20th, The Hague, Netherlands.

Attendees: I didn't make a complete list. Please see Leo's post for a
comprehensive attendance list. Ta.
After Jeroen, Eelco, Rolf and Uwe arrived at my place to stack their
stuff, we took the bus to Leiden to take the train to The Hague. In
Leiden, the bus had to wait for the traditional dutch
"Sinterklaasstoet", teaching the two attending furriners something
about dutch culture and getting us all to think we missed our train.
It turned out that no direct trains were running due to works or
something; so we had to change trains and arrived a bit later, though
still on time. The dutch railways were really showing their One True
Side that day...
When we finally arrived in The Hague, we had to look quite hard to
find Leo. Even a phone call from Eelco's mobile didn't let us find
him; instead we found Kim, who let us to Arwen and Cybercat sitting on
a terrace in the shopping mall, "near the elevators", just as Leo had
said. Another phone call did find Leo and Tony, who turned out to sit
only ten meters away, at the other side of the elevator. Arwen and Kim
hadn't seen him, and Leo hadn't seen them, leading to a discussion who
was supposed to see who.
Shortly afterwards Jennifer arrived, towing Iris with her. The amount
of expected furriners was in danger of outnumbering the dutch
contingent on their own soil! A couple of minutes later we departed
towards the 'real' premeet, the Rembrandt exhibition, leaving Eelco
and Tony to wait for Gideon and Mel to show up. 

The Premeet
A short walk through The Hague, demonstrating amongst other things the
obedience of a large group waiting for a red pedestrian traffic
light[3], and Leo's self-proclaimed leadership. ('See? You keep
following me'[4]). At the exhibition we met Leo, and handed in our
coats and bags at the wardrobe. Normal fee was 1 guilder per item, but
as we discovered, there were also hidden criteria. Arwen was charged
hfl 1,- for two bags and jacket where the women in front of us had to
pay hfl 3,- for a shawl, a jacket and a small bag. Unfortunately, we
were not able to discover the exact criteria, as the time for
scientific experiments was limited.
Once inside the exhibition everybody went on in his/her own pace. I
found most of the paintings to be wonderfully done in a technical
sense, but it didn't spark any flame in me. Well, I do prefer more
impressionistic paintings as e.g. JMW Turner. Strangely enough, the
most appealing pieces were an unfinished self portrait[5], a couple of
trial etchings and the ceiling of the main hall, not done by
Rembrandt, but painted in bright, abstract colours.
When coming out of the exhibition, Arwen, Cybercat, Jennifer,
Kimberley, Jos and me gathered in the entrance hall to wait for the
remaining people. However, soonish a guard wanted us to leave and sit
in a smoking section (where there weren't enough free tables to fit
us). As he couldn't or wouldn't supply us with a viable alternative,
we practiced our Civil Disobedience and staid. Fifteen minutes later,
Leo and Labrat arrived as the last ones out of the exhibition, so we
got our stuff and went to walk to the pub. During the walk, Jos and me
unknowingly set a steep speed, causing comments from the rest of the
crowd. This led to Jos filking on 'Les Miserables': 'Do you hear the
Guinness sing, singing the song of thirsty men?'.

The Meet itself
Once at the pub we settled down and immediately met Jeroen Burger, as
well as Olaf and Sindy Leimann. The pub staff had reserved the entire
back of the pub, which seemed too big for us, but turned out to be
quite ok. As the first round of drinks was ordered (waiter: 'What will
you drink?' people: Guinness, cola, guinness,... Labrat: 'Kilkenny'
Cybercat: 'OH MY GAWD!' two people: 'Bastards!'), fluffy toys were
unpacked. I probably lost count, but they including a Mr Hat hand
puppet, 1 large Tux penguin, 2 small Tux penguins, 1 Dolly the sheep
(including 'BEH!' sound), 1 magnetic sheep (no sound, but very very
attached to the sugar dispenser), 4 elephants (incl. sound), a duck
(what duck?), The (official meat) seal, a strange brown fuzzy ball
making some undetermined noise[6], a pink pumpkin making a whistling
noise, and possibly others. 
After everybody had settled down, Eelco, Tony, Melusine and Gideon
arrived at the pub, under a loud cry of "Eek!" of those already
present. Somehow, all fluffy toys immediately tended to float towards
the corner with Mel, Kim, Jennifer and Iris - a Tux was confiscated by
Mel and spent most of the rest of the evening in a comfy, warm place.
Soonish, lots of foodstuffs were handed around and consumed, even
before we were able to order dinner.
A card for James Higgins ("who is a nice kid and doesn't deserve to
have any parts of his body broken") was ("what, massage James?" -
Melusine) handed around and signed by everybody present. The
inevitable toy collection was unpacked and played with extensively, in
the middle of which Daniel arrived, with a bit of a worried face
(possibly 'what have I got myself into?').
Loads of subjects were discussed, both before, during and after the
food was consumed. I'll sum up a couple of subjects:
Leatherman geeking, Organizer geeking, toys, food, oirish folk, star
trek, etc. etc. etc.
Other notable moments during the evening happened, when a penguin had
his head stuck into the back of a duck, and another one was pierced.
Loads of juggling happened during the whole meet.Food to the
accompaniment of Oirish folk music, leading up to a lesson in Oirish
Folk Dancing by Mel. This however did lead to the pub people first
putting on undanceable Christy Moore music, and finally, shutting down
the two speakers in our part of the pub. This did however make
conversation a lot easier.
The chip slapping dance... with Gideon and Eelco
Just as on the last meet, again there were presents from Karen, which
were now unpacked by those who got them. Eelco got a fish pond, and a
disguise set, of which I didn't catch the meaning (anyone on this)?
Both Kimberley and Arwen got a 'My little pony' set, 'so Arwen can
teach Kimberley to not be mean and evil, but a nice, nice girl', if I
remember correctly. However, as a fact it was Leo who played with
Kim's pony set during the meet, and with Arwen's set during breakfast
the following morning.
The inevitable technical geeking reached its summit when Mel tried to
connect to the Internet with her Laptop and mobile phone. Even though
we tried several dutch GSM providers, Internet providers in the UK and
ways to dial out, this was cut short by the laptop battery being
(almost) empty. However, shortly afterwards I was able to use the
mobile phone and my psion to connect to my own provider, and with
Tony's help a short IRC session happened.
There were greetings from Roach, the Cambridge meet, and somebody else
(oh, no notes on who that was - sorry, person ;), both via IRC and
'normal' voice communication.

After the meet.
Quite earlyish, at eleven or so, we packed our stuff, payed the bill
and walked to The Hague HS station, to get everybody to his or her
crash space. Most people were staying in Leiden and had to take the
last train. However, as a service from the dutch railways, that train
was delayed by 15 minutes. This caused us to miss the last regular
bus, and forcing us to use the regular taxi service. However, thanks
to a hidden clause in the railway's policies, a short discussion with
the station attendant got us free transport home.
Once at my place, computers were powered up for a shortish IRC session
before everybody went to sleep.

Sunday - the Breakfast Club
We had agreed to have breakfast at my place with everybody but Olaf,
Sindy, Reinier, Jeroen Burger, Iris, and Gideon and Mel (who had to
catch their return flight - sorry you weren't there...). So after
getting up and making coffee and tea, we waited for those crashing at
Leo's and Jos' place to arrive at a quarter past ten or so. Large
quantities of bread products (muffins, crumpets, pikelets, normal
bread) were put on the table, and almost half of it was also consumed.
Leo had brought his toaster, and Jos was appointed Head Of Toasting
over Leo's and my toaster. Of course, comparative toasting geeking
After we had eaten, somehow the discussion turned to Father Ted, a
series not known to some of those present, so the first episode of
Series One was watched. Then Jennifer, and shortly afterwards Tony had
to leave, starting the disintegration of the meet. The rest of us got
up and outside, as Arwen wanted to try and juggle Kimberley's
juggling rings ('One ring to rule them all...'). This led to general
juggling of balls and rings, and a short walk through the park near my
When we returned, we kept lingering and were able to watch Rolf and
Uwe's unedited meet pictures from their digital camera's. As this had
been a great meet, I sensed some reluctance of breaking it up, but
finally at a quarter to four I was left alone when Rolf, Uwe and Eelco
took the car eastwards, and the rest took the bus to bring them back
to their respective homes.

And then there were quotes[7]
Labrat: "The 'line 42 bus from Leiderdorp to Leiden afp premeet' was
*not* announced."

Labrat about NOCB, US edition: "It's got a label: Warning! Feeding
arsenicum to people is illegal in some states." 

Arwen: 'I like books, I won't hurt books.'
Kim: 'Books no; people yes.'

Leo: 'Incontinent about being evil?'

Leo: 'You name it, I get annoyed by it.'

Arwen, wanting to read my report notes: 'Can I read?'
Patrick: 'No!'
Arwen: 'Yes, I've been taught...'

Arwen: 'Can you get it out please? <Flutters, Eyelashes..>.'

Melusine: 'Tux really is the center of the world'

Leo, introducing himself to Reinier: 'My name is Leo Breebart. I have
been reading Terry Pratchett since...'

Gideon writing to James: 'Dear James, keep your hands of my
Leo: 'Dear James, this was a warning!" 

Labrat: 'Drinking Guinness is like being whipped, you have to get used
to it but you like it afterwards.'

Patrick: 'He's quote-fishing again...'
Arwen: 'Rat needs his own fish-file!'

Leo: 'There are quite a few women around. shall we take it one step at
a time?'

Leo, after Arwen and Kim unpacked their pony sets: 'Go off together
and play nice; don't bother us...'

Jos: 'I catch accents like other people catch colds'
Patrick, wondering: 'where to put your diphtong'

Leo: 'If I ever want a girl friend, It's not going to be one with hair
growing out of her <dot dot dot>'

Mel on the art of Oirish dancing: 'And then you try not to kill the

Leo: 'I thought it was just a gift as a part of some weird mating

Leo: 'I just expressed my desire to have sex with all those beautiful

Gideon: 'He's a male vulture, he's got his own seed.'
Leo: 'But he's hardly going to eat his own...'

Tony: 'Ascent GRF routers are basically PC routers on steroids.'

Mel when saying goodbye: 'Form an orderly queue, just remember what
happened to James.'

Waiter: 'What will you drink?'
People: 'Guinness, cola, guiness,...'
Labrat: 'Kilkenny!'
Cybercat: 'OH MY GAWD!'
Two people: 'Bastards!'

Tony: 'Pikelets want to be crumpets when they grow up'

Kim: 'It helps, if you stop watching at your balls.'

Leo: 'I'm merely commenting helpfullly, humbly, meekly,...'
Kim: '... and unsincerely'

Leo: 'I'm actually not so much for the idea of _more_ quote-takers...'

[1] Unofficial, as Leo insisted to write the meet report. 'Based on
the fact that I am writing the meet report, I got Kimberley's
dispensation to bring my Psion'[2]
[2] /me had a Psion too - without dispensation.
[3] Waiting for red pedestrian traffic lights is not normally done in
the Netherlands. This actually led to a law being passed about five or
six years ago, allowing people to cross the street even when the
pedestrian lights are red, 'if due care is taken'.
[4] Of course we did. Only Leo and me knew where we were going, and I
wasn't going to spoil his fun <g>.
[5] I didn't know it was unfinished until after I'd been told a short
time later...<g>
[6] Judge for yourself. The sound has been recorded with a Psion and
will be put up together with the meet pics.
[7] Thanks to Rolf & Uwe for sending me their quotes. There's even
more of them, as both Arwen and Leo have taken some I don't have...

Patrick 'Turtle' Dersjant
suffering from meet withdrawal syndrome already...
A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear
that only the other one snores.  -- (Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant)

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