Quick memo to self re life goals

You cannot be a better person, but you can be a good person.

Coffee pads revisited

A while ago I discussed moving from making pots of coffee to making cups of coffee. My famous last words then were: “Still haven’t bought a Senseo, though.”

Well, the cups of coffee back then were made by making instant coffee, which sucks, because the flavour of instant sucks. I failed to notice that right away, but the difference with coffee drank at other places (coffee shops, friends, customers) was too big to remain unnoticed or unappreciated.

So… I bought a Senseo.

And here are the results of the Dutch jury: I went from 2 cups a day to 4 and sometimes more. Considering the industrial amounts of sugar I add to each cup, I would not necessarily consider this a good thing. (I have to admit, the creamy Senseo coffee needs less sugar to make the bitter go away.)

Senseo, good or bad? The jury’s still out, but I would not want to bet either way. Perhaps the transactional costs I saw looming over my head back in the day actually served a purpose.

Bicycle with basket against semi-frosted window

Hush, I’ll let the work speak for itself:

Amsterdam

It is true that even after all these years, the city and I don’t get along that well. But I am glad to be back, even if for only a few days a week. Zoetermeer is never more than a destination. Here I get to bike to work, maybe stopping at Simon Meijsen’s to buy a cinnamon bun, and I lunch at Cantarell where I eat their famous spicy chicken rolls.


Huddestraat.


The weather gods installed a new, temporary canal in this Amsterdam of the North, on the Sarphatistraat.


The entrance to the Pijp neighbourhood as shot from the Weteringcircuit is a favourite destination of British tourists.


A house on the Beethovenstraat.

Epic epidemic breakage

In the past three weeks four relatively new devices I own with a combined worth of well over 500 euro broke down, and there’s nothing I am going to do about it.

The IKEA alarm clock is probably still under warranty, but it will cost me the price of the damn thing alone to even get to IKEA to make use of the warranty, so I’ll skip that. This will teach me for not buying HEMA, I guess.

The Philips DVD-player cost me about 50 euro. Taking half a day off to turn it in and then another half day to pick it up may cost me more in lost turnover (depends on whether I can fit the pick-up moments into a quiet time). I guess I’ll just buy a new one.

The Samsung 19″-monitor has developed a nasty, vertical, 1-pixel wide, green line that is only visible in dark images (against white it disappears). I don’t know what I am going to do about this yet. Getting it fixed is worth my time: I don’t want the rare visiting client to see me working on broken equipment. That means reduced productivity while the monitor is in repair though. Getting a new one was on my agenda anyway, but that means spending time finding good 19″-screens for businesses. (Regular computer shops are aimed at consumers, and consumers seem not to buy 19″-screens anymore.)

Finally, the 3.5 year old Canon Powershot A620 camera that has led to many a photo on this website developed a fault in its shutter, which now refuses to open. The warranty has run out, but I am pretty sure I can have the store fix it for me, simply because a camera should not break down after only 3 years. That probably does mean that I will have to start a fight with a shop assistant during a humid Saturday afteroon, and I am not sure I want to waste my time that way. Since I needed a new pocket camera anyway (I wanted decent video, which the old one doesn’t provide), I bought a Canon Ixus 300 HS to replace the Powershot.

I know some readers are interested in buying a new camera, so I include a photo of some pigeons (taken at about a distance of 4 metres) with this post. Click on the photo for a 100% crop. The 300 HS has a zoom factor 4 starting from a 35-millimetre equivalent 28-mm focal length. In layman’s terms: it don’t zoom much.

Fixie

This, apparently, is the coolest thing in bike-land right now. Can you tell?

Surely being cool and rusty is reason enough to take up two parking spots.

Heron

This fellow let me get as close as two metres. No idea what had drawn him there.

Third camera and braai

It was time to get a new phone. Since I only make 40 euros worth of mobile phone calls each year (and not much more over the landline), getting a 240+ euro minimum plan made no sense. And the way mobile phones are financed (get a phone free with a plan) meant that I had to buy a phone rather than get one free.

I went for the cheapie Samsung Star S5230 which has a cheapie 3 MP on-board camera, which is just the ticket for me. If the photos fail it’s the camera’s fault, and if they succeed it’s due my craftsmanship. That is an arrangement I can get behind.

(Braai is Afrikaans for barbecue.)

Commenting open for every post

I moved this blog between systems at the end of 2005, and in the process commenting was switched off for old posts. Being unfamiliar with WordPress at the time I decided to switch comments back on by hand, something that proved to be rather a cumbersome task. The task subsequently ended up on the back-burner, what with not being very important in the first place.

Well, we’re five full years on and guess what? I went back to the posts from those heady days of 2005 when I still had a job of sorts, when I lived in a different apartment, when a cat still roamed the halls of said apartment, when I had yet to discover the delights of Zoetermeer, and so on and so on, and switched commenting back on for them.

In the grand scheme of things this is not very important. In fact it is so unimportant that none of you cared to mention it to me. But this feels tidy.

The spoils of 2010

Yesterday Queen’s Day. Grunt.

Comics:

  • Tangy & Laverdure, De verdwenen DC-8
  • De Blauwbloezen, De roos van Bantry

Books for the scanner:

  • Herman en Dorothea, Wolfgang von Goethe
  • De doorluchte vatenspoelster, Cervantes
  • Over toneel, Frans Mijnssen

Books for the Branko:

  • Momo, Michael Ende
  • Prodwitt’s Guide to Writing
  • Fotografie, Frans Naeff
  • Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis
  • Paddeltje, de scheepsjongen van Michiel de Ruyter, Joh. H. Been
  • Carpe Jugulum, Terry Pratchett
  • Meneer Foppe in zijn blootje, Wim de Bie
  • Een tafel vol vlinders, Tim Krabbé
  • A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
  • Kramer Versus Kramer, Avery Corman
  • Maigret en het lijk aan de kerkdeur, Georges Simenon
  • Twee verhalen van Yury Kazakov