Thursday, May 31, 2007

Drunken Belgian hits 220 on the A2

Two Royal Marechaussee officers on motorcycle arrested a motorcycle rider who was under the influence of alcohol and driving 220 km/hr on the A2 near Maastricht on Monday, the police reported on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old man from Liege was passing cars on the right and a breathalyser test showed he had twice the permitted level of alcohol in his blood.
The Belgian's motorcycle and driver's license were confiscated.

Coffee shops to fingerprint smokers

Coffee shops licensed to sell marijuana in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht will begin fingerprinting customers and scanning their IDs this summer, a spokesman for the shops said Wednesday. The measures are aimed at ensuring the rules of the Netherlands famed tolerance policy are not violated, which could lead to shops being closed, said Marc Josemans, chairman of the Union of Maastricht's Coffee Shops.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Day of Remembrance

Mary McHugh visited the grave of her fiancé, Sgt. James J. Regan, who was killed in Iraq in February. He is buried in the new Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery for those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was a graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York and attended Duke University, where he played for the lacrosse team.
Regan was engaged and intended to go to graduate school. Friends and family said he could have had a career on Wall Street but decided to serve his country instead.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Click here if you need a virus

HELSINKI: Computer specialist Didier Stevens put up a simple text advertisement on the Internet offering downloads of a computer virus for people who did not have any.
Surprisingly, he found as many as 409 people clicking on the ad saying "Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!" during a 6-month advertising campaign on Google's Adword, said the IT security expert.
"Some of them must have clicked on it by mistake. Some must have been curious or stupid," said Mikko Hypponen, head of research at data security firm F-Secure.
There was no virus involved, it was an experiment aiming to show these kind of advertising systems can be used for malicious intent, Stevens said.

We Don't Need no Stinkin Badges!

"Dilbeek police don't speak French"

More hilarity from our local language police. The local police in Dilbeek were called this weekend by a woman who reported that her mother had been struck several times during a domestic dispute.
When the officers arrived on the scene and ascertained that no one at the address spoke Dutch they left and told the victim to call another local police department.
No action was taken or report filed against the perpetrator who was on the scene as well.

Downtown Golf

You'd like to try your hand at golf but don't have time to get to the outskirts of Brussels to test your swing on one of the existing courses. No problem, the "Hole In The City" operation is starting at the Jeux d'Hiver right in the middle of the Bois de la Cambre.

A complete outdoor golf set-up will be installed next June 7th, 8th and 9th. A giant net, a putting green and some garden practice facilities will be at your disposal. There will also be some clubs available, and the latest innovations in terms of equipment.

Access is entirely free and open to all on Friday the 8th from 11.00 to 20.00 and on Saturday the 9th from 10.00 to 18.00. To bring the day to a splendid close, the Belgian French-Speaking Golf Association will be running a Golfers' Evening at the Jeux d'Hiver on Friday the 8th. A meal and an evening's entertainment are on the menu.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day All

This Memorial Day we did something very special. We visited one of the three American Cemeteries in Belgium. The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery is a World War II cemetery where many of the 7,989 soldiers buried there lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge from 1944 - 1945.

We attended the Memorial Day Service which began with a Fly-over of F-16s flying in the Missing Man Formation, tributes from high-ranking officials in both French and English, a wreath laying ceremony, a tribute to the WWII veterans and families in the audience, a 21-gun salute, Taps, and ended with both the Belgian and American National Anthems.

This was a great experience and walking through the almost 8000 white cross headstones was very moving.

Enjoy the photos here and have a great Memorial Day

Michele and Dave

Football Riots in Brussels

Four members of the Brussels local police force sustained heavy injuries in riots ahead of yesterday evening's Cup Final between Club Brugge and Standard. 14 punters were apprehended.
In the Brussels suburb of Laken, Bruges rioters threw stones and traffic signs at the police. "Ten police inspectors suffered light injuries, but four sustained heavy injuries.""They had to be taken to hospital with fractures and neck problems." 14 hooligans were taken in for questioning.
Charges included assault and battery and drug possession. A total number of 50 fans were injured, but 35 of them got help at first-aid posts around the stadium.

28,000 take part in 20 km race in Brussels

Normally, only 25,000 can take part but organisers allowed extra participants as many were running for a good cause. Some participated only to guide blind athletes or athletes with a poor view.

Some Guys Have All the Luck

Drive fast and Turn Left

Some guys have all the luck. It's not enough that he's married to Ashley Judd. Dario Franchitti wins the Indianapolis 500, with a little help from the rain.

Have A Great Memorial Day

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Goodbye John, we are going to miss you

John Fermoile

John Fermoile passed away this weekend very unexpectedly, although probably very weakened from his heart condition.
The closest thing we probably had to a "Godfather" of the STUDS group, simply because he has been in Brussels for such a long time and seemed to know everyone past and present.
John was truly one of the "good" guys, who was always there to help you out if he could. I never heard him utter a bad word about anybody, nor did I ever hear someone try and discredit him. We will miss him.

John's funeral will be Thursday May 31st at 10am
St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church
Avenue des Anciens Combattants 25
1950 Kraainem

Please leave your comments or any stories you would like to share about John in the comments section. I'm sure the rest of the group would enjoy your sharing them.


For those of you wishing to make a charitable contribution in memory of John Fermoile, Martina has provided me with the following information:

Fondation pour la Chirurgie CardiaqueCompte no. 310-0333527-30
Be sure to mention "John Fermoile" on the transfer form.
STUDS living in the US can wait for the Memorial Service which will be held in August in Lockport, there will also be a possibility to donate without having to pay excessive international banking fees.
Martina asked me to pass on her thanks for the comments on the Studs' website. She found them "heartwarming and a big consolation".

I'll see a lot of you tomorrow at the service.


Dave Hutcheson

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Belgian Beer gaining popularity in the US

HOLD ONTO your frites, Philly, we've got another batch of Brussels sprouting.
Already home to four Belgian-style taverns, the city will see another three, plus two more in the near 'burbs, by the end of the summer.
If you haven't been paying attention, what's happening is a perfect storm of three trends:
Belgium is producing the most exciting, flavorful and exotic ales in the import market. READ MORE FROM JOE SIXPACK

Friday, May 25, 2007

"GUY TALK" Article on STUDS in the latest Bulletin

Lisa Bradshaw who writes "Talk of the Town", wrote a nice little article on us in the latest Bulletin. Get out and buy a copy if you haven't already.
For you guys who aren't in the country click here and read the scan.
It's in jpeg format, in fairly small print, so you might have to save it first, and then enlarge it on your viewer, so you can see the text. Hope I didn't lose too many of you there...Swinscoe, you still with me?

European football exhibition opens in Brussels

An exhibition retracing the evolution of European football and the European Union has just opened as part of the ongoing celebrations taking place in Brussels this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Organised in conjunction with UEFA, and supported by Lilian Thuram of FC Barcelona, Only a Game? will run until 26 August at the Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire located at the Parc du Cinquantenaire.

The exhibition presents rare artefacts from the Köln Olympic Museum, the Preston Football Museum, the National Museum of French Sports and UEFA, including a George Best shirt from 1971, a Spitting Image puppet of Eric Cantona, the football used in the 1998 World Cup final, Franz Beckenbauer’s 1974 world championship shoes, a Peter Schmeichel Manchester United shirt, one of Zidane’s jerseys and a 1930’s flag from Dick, Kerr’s Ladies of Preston, the most famous early women’s football team. READ MORE

She's a Grandma


Newsr News

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Hope You Guys Are Keeping Your Appointments

Hotmarijke, an Antwerp hooker, is posting the names of all the punters who don't turn up for their appointments, on the Internet.

Hotmarijke gets a little angry if you don't show up. With all those advanced math classes she took, she figures you are cutting into her income, because she could have been cleaning someone elses pipes.
Hotmarijke operates what the paper describes as “a very explicit and widely visited website". So before you begin a mad dash to look it up, I'll save you the trouble. (not safe for work)
"Anybody who files a complaint is admitting that he visits working girls" the prostitute told Het Laatste Nieuws. READ MORE

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Making it Easier to get a Loan

European Union governments backed a proposal Monday to intensify competition among lenders by setting common consumer protection rules, making it easier for borrowers to shop around the region for credit.

The push for uniform rules, for example, on how interest rates are advertised, would throw open borders in the EU's €884 billion, or $1.2 trillion, market for credit cards, car loans, purchase finance and other loans, excluding mortgages. Some of Europe's largest banks have blamed different regulations across the 27 EU member states for curbing lending and mergers across borders. READ MORE

American Country Music Festival Axed in Paris

An American country music festival in Paris has been postponed after the organisers received several anti-American threats.
The festival, called Three Days in America, was supposed to take place next weekend in the Parc St Cloud, in a suburb to the west of Paris. An international event, which last year drew more than 15,000 people, the festival celebrates the American lifestyle with a mixture of live gospel and country music, line-dancing, tributes to Elvis Presley, exhibitions of American cars and spectacular fireworks.
Chantal Tenot, a spokeswoman for the event, said: "We don't know who is behind it, and we can't be sure of a motive but it could just as much be an expression against [President Nicolas] Sarkozy as against America. Some people think that if you like America you must also like Sarkozy.
"Our chief concern is to not let security issues ruin this great event. The letter contained threats to the families of the organisers, we couldn't ignore it."
The threats came as a surprise to many Americans living in France, such as Clare Pickett. She said: "I'm really surprised and saddened by this. When I studied here in 2004 I found there was a really palpable anti-American feeling. Of course, the war in Iraq really stirred people up, but I thought it had died down."

40th anniversary of devastating blaze at INNO store

40 years ago a fire at the INNO Department Store, on Rue Neuve in Brussels, took the lives of 323 people, many of them children and women. The most deadly fire in Belgian history. READ MORE

The New Antwerp High Speed Train

Antwerp has put so much emphasis on claiming space for public transport that owning a car has become a nightmare. This ancient city was never built to accommodate the 100,000 commuter cars that daily cause gridlock on her surrounding 5 lane highways. While the happy few speed towards Paris and Amsterdam in the new airconditioned HST at 300 km/h, the locals are trying to get to the shopping mall through streets of a city that has long come to a grinding halt. READ MORE

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Best Reason To Buy MIlk

The Brussels European Film Festival

The Brussels European Film Festival will be organized this year for the fifth time from June 29 until July 7, 2007. The Festival will mainly present first or second feature films from European directors. Thanks to the cooperation with the Belgian Royal Filmarchive, the Festival also presents a worldwide filmselection.

Within a casual and summer atmosphere, the public will discover the latest films in avant-première. Directors, actors and producers will attend the festival and take part to the party.
Every evening, free open air screenings are organised in front of the theatre. The evening continues with free concerts or DJ sets until late in the night. PROGRAM

Monday, May 21, 2007

Geekism is Alive and Well in Belgium

Old geeks never die, they just use the money they should have spent on dating to buy balloons and drift away. I assume that they try to land near Star Wars conventions in Ceroux, Belgium.
A Belgian inventor named Benoit Lambert, who, according to, received permission from Lucasfilm to build the balloon as long as it was used for non-commercial activities. It can carry two passengers and a pilot. There's no indication of when Lambert will build a lighter-than-air Death Star.
The balloon, in the shape of the helmet of the legendary Star Wars villain, was the brainchild of Belgian Star Wars fans and cost “in the region of $US135,000 ($164,000)” to build and operate, organisers said.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Leading” Belgian senatorial candidate Tania Derveaux, seems to have become much more enthusiastic for the global attention she has been getting that she’s now not only offering 400,000 jobs, but also 40,000 blowjobs
Word is that Bill Clinton has been begging for the campaign manager job. I'm not sure if Tania is bullshitting us, but the only way to know is to hit and fill out Tania’s Blowjob Request Form, carefully read the Fellatio Terms of Service, and cross your fingers and hope that one sunshiny day Tania indeed would appear at your doorstep.

It's almost election time in Belgium and NEE (Dutch for "No") is an actual party, their focus is to bring attention to the idiocracy of politicians and political parties' outlandish claims.
The country’s largest party (VLD)announced last week that it promises 200.000 jobs, shortly after that another prominent party (SP.a) states that it is aiming for 260.000 jobs. And now, Belgium’s newest and controversial party NEE promises 400.000 jobs and goes completely naked in the press and in their campaign images. Interesting strategy.

As far as the BJ's....pretty good if you are number 1, but if you are
39, 498....not so much. At any rate, it should keep your attention away from getting screwed by the elected politicians.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wisconsin Festival Sells Deep-Fried Testicles

Everyone had a ball!

Around here, it may be tough to pass up anything deep-fried.
Wisconsinites have deep-fried cheese curds, candy bars and Twinkies. They now have deep-fried livestock testicles, too.
More than 300 people paid $5 for all-you-can-eat goat, lamb and bull testicles Saturday at the ninth annual Testicle Festival at Mama's Place Bar and Grill in Elderon in central Wisconsin.
"Once you get over the mental (aspect) of what you're eating, it's just like eating any other food, and it tastes good," Buster Hoffman said.
Festival founder Nancy Fenske said the festival grew out of her late husband Roger's birthday party 12 years ago. They decided to have "a nut fry" at Mama's Place after bringing back lamb fries from a trip to Montana.
The event grew every year and now they fry up to 100 pounds of testicles, she said.
"What else can you do in a small town?" Fenske said.
Butch Joubert, 58, likes the parts sandwiched between bread with tartar sauce. They're not so different from regular meatballs also served at the festival, he said.
"After a few beers, you can't really tell the difference," Joubert said.

Must be a Business Opportunity here Somewhere

Although medical tourism is nothing new, it was kind of funny to see an NBC news report about Americans actually coming to Belgium for things like hip replacement. Some of the insurance companies are even offering to pay for it. This guy had his hip replaced in Belgium for $16,000 versus the $47,000 he would have paid in the US.

watch the video

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shameless Plug for Joe's Buddy

Guys, something here that might be useful for you. It's already been handy for me. A rather creative friend of mine started a site called The idea is that you plug in a few key dates--wife's birthday, anniversary, mother's day, etc.--and before that date comes around, the site e-mails you a reminder to get her something. It also includes a few gift suggestions based on the woman's interest. It's easy to register, and they won't share your e-mail address with anyone (so no spam--only the reminders you asked for).
What little money they make on the site comes from advertising the gifts from Amazon, Overstock, etc. Visit the Website
Sorry for the shameless plug for my buddy, but you've got to admit it's a slick idea.

Brussels Jazz Festival

Jazz fans can enjoy modern and trad jazz, blues and Latin, indoors and out during the annual Brussels Jazz Marathon. Local and international groups and artists fill the main squares, streets, bars and theatres of the Belgian capital.
Over 50 venues take part in the musical celebrations, which draw crowds from all over Belgium and beyond. An incredible 125 concerts are given by around 450 artists. Outdoor gigs are held on the three public squares: the Grand Place, Place du Grand Sablon and the Place Sainte-Catherine.New this year is a "European Jazz @ Brussels" stage on the Place d'Espagne, where you can discover groups from Hungary, Spain, Italy, Estonia, Holland, France and Bulgaria!

visit the website

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Can you speak European?

Signs pointing to the entrance at European Parliament. I'm sure it took years of bureaucracy, to debate the ascending order of the languages.

NFL to add games in Europe

American expatriates who also happen to be NFL fans could be in store for an unexpected treat.
The league is in the early stages of planning a setup that would add a 17th game to each team's regular-season schedule, that would be played in Europe

Here are some bone crushing tackles to wet your appetite. FOX sports top fifty hits of all time.

The Beer Launcher

A STUDS marketing project, courtesy of Dave Z. A robotic beer launching mini-fridge that will toss a beer to you---the best thing for couch potatoes since the recliner was invented. The engineer who invented the device will build one for you for $1500. Just don't use it for soda.

Video of a violent robbery in the Brussels metro

Extremely violent robbery in Brussels metro at the end of April. The victim is brain dead and not expected to recover. There was quite a bit of controversy for broadcasting this image on the Flemish news.

On the camera images you can see youths making the man fall. The victim, 48-year old Daniel Fonteyn, is kicked several times in the face. One of the youth runs away, the others kick the victim until he doesn't react anymore. Then one of the them takes the man's wallet. One of them drags the man to the middle of the corridor. He keeps kicking the victim's body. Then he jumps on the man's back. The youths in the background watch but don't do anything. They see how their accomplice keeps kicking. For a while it seems that the attacker leaves but then he returns and kicks the victim again and again.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

From Brussels, with love (and cash) Your tax money at work.

Here's a new take on buying off a politician.... slip your hand in their pocket for once!

Some European officials who joined a matchmaking agency have apparently been targeted by suitors who were not after their hearts - but their cash.

Bernard van Pouche, a divorcee, says his own wallet has been cleared out more than once (more than once?...the power of the "other" brain) after he was courted by female newcomers to EuroSingles, but then found out he was left to foot the bill for all the wining and dining that followed.

Dumb enough to let it happen more than once, and dumber, to publicly admit it!

Cool Belgium

Cool Belgica: Tour Brussels
Brussels struggles to be cool, and only occasionally succeeds. The city -- which, as the home of the European Union institutions, fancies itself the "capital of Europe" -- doesn't overwhelm you with the unrelenting beauty of Paris, the all-business bustle of London or the black-turtlenecked, horn-rimmed self-confidence of Berlin. Rather, Brussels unveils its charms to you slowly. For some -- business travelers or relatives visiting for the weekend, say -- far too slowly.
Sprinkled here and there in the city, however, are hot spots of trendiness, certain street corners or squares with a unique sense of style that seems to defy the city's bureaucratic and insular character. READ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL'S TOUR OF THE CAPITAL

Friday, May 11, 2007

Brussels not popular with Flemings

The number of Flemings living in Brussels continues to fall. The fact that the population of Brussels continues to rise is largely due to the immigrant community.

In 2004 over half of all Brussels new inhabitants came from outside the country.11,000 people moved to Brussels from Flanders, but a larger number, 18,000, quit the capital. READ ON

So you think life in Belgium is dull?

It’s spring in Belgium. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the flowers blooming, the fields and forests are green with new growth. It’s a time to embrace optimism and a positive attitude—unless of course you want to leave your neighborhood, in which case it’s a time to buckle up, grit your teeth, and abandon all hope of arriving at your destination on time.
Yes, the popular way to prove your mettle here is to barrel around blind curves, tailgate, invent your own passing maneuvers, and speed like a German on the autobahn. Driving is the unofficial national sport and the Belgians want to see who triumphs in the end: you, the other driver, or the Grim Reaper. READ ON

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Belgian French-language newspapers were back on Google on Thursday after agreeing that the search engine can link to their Web sites, the first signs of a thaw in a bitter copyright dispute. But neither has so far settled on a key part of the dispute: the use of newspaper story links used on Google News.
In February, Google Inc. lost a lawsuit filed by the newspapers that forced it to remove headlines and links to news stories posted on its Google News service and stored in its search engine's cache without the copyright owners' permission.
Google had earlier removed all reference to the newspapers to avoid legal trouble, meaning that a search for even the name of Belgian daily "Le Soir" would not bring up the publication's Web site.