Only One 2011 Resolution: Catching Up on my Eternal Backlog

Clog with Backseat

  1. Backlog I said, not BackClogged…However this photo with two of my travel blogging and Twitter buddies, Darren Cronian (@Travelrants) with Kayt Sukel (@TravelSavvyKayt) in the Clog’s backseat, is symptomatic for my eternal backlog. May 14, 2010, I had organized a small Travel Tweetup in The Hague and the Keukenhof with two additional travel bloggers. I even haven’t reported about it properly. Only by the date the photo has I can remember the date of the fine day we had. And I do have a couple of great photos yet to share of that day…and tons of other photos to address as well..
  2. My 2010 sole New Year’s resolution was finalizing the move from a static site to a dynamic site for Haagsche Suites. Even that is not finalized yet.
  3. I have around 300 draft posts spread over 2 blogs. So the first step in decreasing the numer is sharing these links of one of my oldest draft posts still viable and maybe worthwhile to browse: Being Peter pointed me to Blog Council Org, what is now Social Media Org a sort of platform for blogging fortune 500 companies.

Happy 2011 to all of my readers!

Introducing Rules of Engagement

I’d posted a sticky post in front of this blog that reads Please Read This Before Anything Else which links to my Rules of engagement for the use of this blog.
My language or writing may not the best of the world. So these Rules of engagement may be subject to changes from time to time.

And no I didn’t take legal counsel on it (In the US I would, but not in good old Cloggyland)

Several incidents have brought me to formulate these rules.

  • There is that incident of the blog of a ranting Dutch Journalist who had mentioned the name of the employee of a Dutch telecom company too frequently, whereupon a Dutch judge fined him for defamation of the employee. It happens to be one of my most read posts because it contains a reference to nude pictures…
  • The case of the amateur blogger in Sweden who was forced to shut down her blog, because she didn’t have a licence for doing “business” in Sweden, because she was a foreigner without a working permit…
  • In the beginning of 2009, a British Travel Blog got sued by a law firm on behalf of an airline, because the airline didn’t like what was been published about the airline…
  • The case of the Australian blogger who simply wanted to share Australian Immigration procedures and was threatened with fines, because he allegedly was giving immigration law advice which was the sole prerogative of specialized lawyers
  • A Travel blogger has been threatened with legal action by a travel company because he let slip through a comment that could be construed as libelous under Anglo Saxon law. The unfortunate rule of that legal system appears to be that the onus of proof in that case would be on the shoulders of of the blogger, while I would think that it is the person who makes the comment rather than the publisher who is liable.
  • Recently here on Happy Hotelier I got a request to delete a post which originally I had posted on request of the person who now asked me to delete it, basically because a comment pointed to sites that put same person in a lesser shade of daylight. I changed the post after the request.
  • On one of my other blogs I’m faced with a frustrated designer, whose work I’m not publishing (yet maybe), because I want to know more about him. Now he is trying to get attention by frequent comments that sometimes go over my line.
  • I could go on and on with many examples, but the incident that “triggered” me is the one about the Subpoena of Chris Elliott for publishing a TSA security directive to disclose his source.

There was that attempt by a Nigerian rascal to blow up a flight 253 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Detroit. The Amsterdam airport Schiphol security guys were left with a lot of egg on their faces. Luckily the attempt was stopped by another Dutchman to save his countrymen from the embarrassment. I’ve refrained from posting about it, partly because I missed it and partly because it has been covered so widely in the press that my thoughts wouldn’t add a iot to it.

Now following up on the event the US Transportation Security Administration issued new security directives to all airlines. These were sensitive and therefor prohibited from publication. But Chris and another blogger published them. Then a Kafkaesque theater unfolded.

Here are some links:

Tnootz, a startup as of September 2009 has become a powerhouse of travel news in itself. I had planned a more elaborate post about them, but didn’t find time for it. Therefor instead of a separate post devoted to them I’ll honor them with their links only about this story (they covered it very well imo):

  1. Northwest 253 – How European hubs and airlines differ on comms strategy
  2. After Northwest Airlines terror incident, new TSA restrictions and lots of questions
  3. TSA plays hardball with airline blogger over security directive
  4. Chris Elliott submits objection to DHS subpoena over security directive disclosure
  5. In reversal, DHS withdraws subpoena of journalist Chris Elliott
  6. Did TSA ghost-write @FlyingWithFish tweet? Twitter coercion?
  7. TSA issues new security directives for all flights inbound to the U.S.

Ha! And then laugh with me about the TSA representative who’se notebook was discovered in public place…talking about security…

The latest off course is now that a British Journalist has established the weakness of Amsterdam Schiphol security because he could take an injection needle with him in a plane headed for London, while for the UK as destination Schiphol’s security rules are totally different than those for US bound flights.

My fear is that soon nobody will be able to fly until he or she is thoroughly frisked in the private parts area ….

So now you’re set to read the whole story.

I didn’t feel like a journalist yet, but Den Schaal pointed it out to me loud and clear that I have an obligation to protect my sources…Sorry Den 🙂 .


I’ve changed the sticky post status in a normal status and replaced it with a widget.

Please Read This Before Anything Else

The following Rules of Engagement apply here on this blog. This post will remain here.

I’ve changed this post which was originally a sticky post for a widget which is a better form I believe, but it’ll stay on the blog.

Looking back to 2009

ocean-spray-looking-backPhoto from Tripadvisor

When I sat down to look back at 2008, I got so carried away that I decided to spread it over several posts, but that resulted in a period of 2008 not covered at all. This time I’ll try to be as concise as possible and cover the whole year in one post.

General observations
The depression – the photo a result from a Google search for photos “looking back to 2009” seems apt – hit all of us full blow and various countries had to bail out major banks at the price of huge budget deficits that will haunt future generations.

Luckily our own hotel, Haagsche Suites, didn’t suffer as badly as I feared at the start of 2009. I believe there was a tendency to favor the smaller properties due to the crises. Occupancy and turnover were up when compared with 2008. So throughout the year I remained a Happy Hotelier.

That I was busy with the hotel also shows as I produced slightly less posts: 190 Up to and including this one (215 posts in 2008 and 166 in 2007).

What kept me busy:

  1. January: Preparations and delivery of a key note about blogging for the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism IFITT Amsterdam conference. I posted about the conference on January 27 and January 30.
  2. February: The first weekend I spent in Paris to celebrate my 60ieth birthday with my family. I have much more to tell about it than my two posts Retro Mobile and The Rediscovery of a Panhard Levassor X73.Twitter really took off in the Travel Bloggers world and brought them closer together. I mention:

    I posted about the first Lonely Planet Travel Blog Awards and the Turkish Airlines 737 Crash in Amsterdam. Again Twitter was the first medium mentioning the crash.

  3. March: I prepared for, went to and wound down in part 1 , part 2 and part 3 from the T-List PhocusWright Blogger Summit in Berlin.
    In the meantime I produced an posts about Lonely Planet Travel Blogging Awards, an update on the Twitchhiker experiment,  my wine tasting society tasting a 1918 Vosne Romanee and one of my personal favorite posts I frequently look at : Some 20 Random Tips for Twittahholics
  4. April: A strong discussion about the use and ownership of a Twitter # Hashtag It was with respect to #winewednesday. After the discussion I lost a bit of interest, but shortly before it I had organized a Sparkling Wine Tasting #Tweetup in Haagsche Suites.
  5. May: Wanna Become a Celebrity Hotelier? was a post to see if I could plug the search term celebrity hotelier in the Google search ranking. It brought me into the Google top position for that search term very quickly and even today I keep that position, at least according to my location of the search.
    Then there was the huge attention the Best Job in the World competition got .
    I installed the Thesis Theme. That ended a period of multi WP theme blog here. It also took some of my time away from blogging.
  6. June: As I said: In June I was partly Lost under the Hood.
  7. July: A fellow travel blogger got a death threat what do you do with it?.
    I took the position that Tripadvisor lures guests away from your site in order to send them to the big OTA’s.
    Finally published my original Dutch IFITT presentation in the English Language in I blog – Five Years Already.
  8. August: Later in 2009 I met one of my regular readers who pointed to Confessions of a Hotelier – Two Brides – One (G)room…almost as his most favorite post of this blog. He happens to have first hand hotel experience in Haagsche Suites as one of our early grooms and with that remark gave me the final push to start a separate blog totally focused on Haagsche Suites only. It is in the works.
  9. September:
    Tested Clipmarks extensively. See Testing Clipmarks.
    Hosted a Carnival of Cities
  10. October: Ventured into food with Amazing Food Art – Dominique Davis and Goodbye Summer – It’s Halloween Time
  11. November: Participated in Wordcamp.NL.
    Spent most of the month migrating two blogs to a new server….
  12. December: Attended the Dutch Bloggies Award Gala in The Hague and kept on struggling to get the two blogs up to date and right after the migration

Some UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) or AP’s (Abandonned Projects)

  • I started a list of Twitter followers and intended to make it a huge list on a separate page, a project that I abandoned
  • Many more subjects I didn’t post about as I would have liked, but I’ll keep them in my sleeve, rather than spelling them out for you.

Stay tuned!

Post Alia
[Oops and then it turns out I accidentally have hit the publish button again long before the post has some content at all. Sorry for the early onlookers. I’ve had the post on private viewing for some time at least until I had covered the first three months. I’ll hopefully finish it tomorrow].

Last edited and finalized by Happy Hotelier on December 30, 2009 at 7.18 PM

Best Xmas Turkey

Frequent readers of this blog know I like to play around with words and search engines. So I have tagged above photo “Nude Turkey”. BTW nothing so depressing as the view of a nude turkey 🙂

We have some British subjects in the family and usually have visitors from across. Last year it was the same and off course turkey was on the Xmas menu. Last year’s turkey was excellent, but I forgot how I prepared it. Luckily one of last year’s guests remembered we had used Delia Smith’s guidelines and came up with a very helpful link How to roast turkey.


Then I realized I had forgotten to buy streaky bacon rashers. After inspection of the fridge I found some Coppa (Italian dried ham), even better than bacon I would think.

Next problem was the butter, that was much too hard to easily spread over the beast. So I found a roll of salted butter that I cut in parts and really buttered the turkey up!

The tricks are:

  1. Wrap it in aluminum foil, butter it up and cover it up with bacon (or coppa or whatever is alike)
  2. First 1/2 to 3/4 hour in the oven with high temperature (approx 220°C)
  3. Then 3 to 4 hrs at approx 170°C
  4. Finally you take the foil down and let it get crispy in 1/2 to 3/4 hr at approx 220°C again


The end result was fabulous again! Nice crispy and juicy! Thanks Delia. I wrote it into this blog to not forget your secrets next year.