Wednesday, 30 April 2008


Crowds gathered on Beukenplein to celebrate Queensday. Multitudes thronged the streets and square. Mobs ruled on the access streets whilst police tried to stay in control of the wild masses.

Thousands of people gathered on Krugerplein to celebrate Queensday.

Shopkeepers and market stall owners were completely orangified.

Even the grocer across the road had painted his oranges orange...

more google

This was the masthead today on


...Egnahc a rof enigne hcraes siht yrt

what laptop is balmer using?

Are you curious about what laptop Microsoft's CEO Steve Balmer uses for presentations?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

not so boring

If you'd experience one of these scenes it would not be boring at all. Brilliant photography

boring day

Today was the wellknown national holiday "Boring Day". This is always followed by Queensday, which is equally boring and is even more orange coloured...

I spent a good portion of the day trying to eradicate a bug from the phpBB forum software. It turned out not to be a bug in phpBB, but in the configuration of the mailserver (which wasn't running on the same box). I've found a temporary solution, but have to see if there's a permanent one. For now it works.

stitch 'n bitch

I was up early for the glucose-level bloodtest this morning.

The OLVG hospital.

On the way I wished Nicole and the fashion police were in town.

Fashion police desperately needed.

I met Collins at the terrace of the St. James' Gate for bitterballen and dinner.

Collins had a bitterbal.

Instead of Mulligans I went to the Jaren where the Stitch 'n Bitch were meeting.

Why call it 'Stitch' when they're all knitting?

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Chapeau in Maxwell

A quiet day today; I managed to run four loads through the washing machine before it was time to retreat to the Maxwell terrace. The sun was shining and Ed's band 'Chapeau' was going to play at 16:00.

Chapeau; Ed is in the back with the white shirt.

Ed's wive Margôt joined Ali who came over for a drink.

Ali and Margôt.

Kimber is one of the cute waitresses in Maxwell's. They have a talent there for hiring nice girls. I have a talent for spotting them...


I left early since I've got to go to the hospital tomorrow morning for my three-monthly glucose-level bloodtest. No food and drink 12 hours before the tests...

BTW, more photos of Chapeau are in my Flickr set.


I was reading an article over on Wired about Japanese Curry when I noticed the word multi-culti in the article. I always thought that it was a purely Dutch word, but a quick Google shows that the Merriam-Webster dictionary has had an entry for it since 1991. However, if you look at the number of Google hits, you'll find a total of about 469,000 hits world-wide of which about 173,000 are from Dutch pages. More than one-third of all entries are from Dutch pages! Are we more multi-culti than other countries?

Saturday, 26 April 2008

a very long url

The website lurking at has nice graphics by Jennifer Daniel; it also has a nice url...

T-shirt origami

I found this via Gerrit's blog, where he had a Japanese version. This one is in English and step-by-step, so folks like myself can follow what's happening. update @ 12:37 I just went upstairs, grabbed a t-shirt and tried it, and it actually works.

Friday, 25 April 2008

olive oil soap

I walked past the East-German Soyuz sculpture this morning and noticed it has an access gate. I wondered why you would want to get near or why somebody would want to close it off.


The Military Police (Marechaussee) barracks on Kruislaan had a cherry tree in blossom.

KM cherry tree.

Cherry tree close-up.

The cherry tree is only 100 meters from where I had left the yellow bike yesterday, so I got on the contraption and drove it to work. I had fortified myself for the ordeal by taking 400 mg of Ibuprofin last night and the same amount again this morning. As a result I had no pain whatsoever. If I keep cycling I'll probably end up hooked to painkillers, so —as I already told Vincent— the next bicycle I'll find myself on will be the one that carries my coffin after all fossil fuel is used up.

It was a quiet day at the office.

Even the cosmic ray detection set-up seemed to have died. The red cosmic ray track never moved.

Science porn.

I left early and, since the sun was out in full force, went to the Dapperstraat market to buy sunglasses.


Walking through the Oosterpark I saw the ice-cream pyramid had opened. This is the first time this year I've seen it open.

The pyramid.

This guy was singing songs to someone buried in the park.

Stop singing and dig me out!.

Dinner at Thaicoon. I had Nua Yang Cheun-Chim (BBQ beef slices served on a bed of lettuce with chilli sauce). Very spicy and very good.

Nua Yang Cheun-Chim.

At the Ekodis supermarket I wanted to buy Dr. Bronner's soap, but they didn't have any. I bought a 250 gr. piece of olive oil soap from Aleppo (Syria) instead. This stuff has been handmade by Arab child-slave labour for over a 1000 years and smells really nice.

Olive oil soap.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Colours of the Watergraafmeer

The weather wasn't very good this morning; overcast and a threat of rain. I walked down Retiefstraat, and turned right at Steve Bikoplein towards the Ringvaart.

Walking down Retiefstraat.

In Laings Nekstraat somebody didn't like someone else's mother.

public announcement.

When you look across the Ringvaart you can clearly see the difference in level between Amsterdam proper and the Watergraafsmeer (minus 4 m).

Looking across the Ringvaart into Watergraafsmeer.

I turned right onto the Middenweg, where I caught the #41 bus to the Kruislaan.

The Middenweg.

On Kruislaan 300 there's a nice little farmhouse, St. Anna's Hoeve. It is now being remodelled as a visitor centre for the new Beta Sciences Faculty of the University of Amsterdam

Kruislaan farm.

The Beta Science building is right next to the farm, and across from where I work.

UvA Beta Sciences Faculty.

Nicole seems to like science porn, so here goes...

For Nicole.

All the walking I've done over the last week has taken its toll on my left ankle and foot. It hurts like mad. A few people (and a medical doctor) said to me "why don't you take the bicycle? It gives less stress on the foot and ankle."

So I borrowed one of the two Nikhef bicycles to take home today, just to see what the effect would be.

I made it to the corner of Kruislaan and Middenweg. 1500 meters... My heart was pounding in my chest, my balls ached from the crummy saddle and the calves of my legs were burning. The bike had ripped off one of the straps of my Crocs and I'd cut my finger on a sharp piece of metal somewhere. I gave up and parked the bike at the bus stop, sat down for about 15 minutes, got my breath back and then walked home. I'll pick the bike up tomorrow morning, but I might walk it in...

Indeed, less stress on foot and ankle, but lots more stress on the rest of my anatomy!

The yellow Nikhef bike. This is the girly bike since the saddle on the men's bike was too high for me. The bell doesn't work either.

At the other side of the Ringvaart there are a few nice looking restaurants which I might try one of these days.

Along the Ringdijk.

Crossing the bridge coming out of the Watergraafsmeer I noticed the weird colours and tried to make a photo of it. I think I succeeded.

Colours of the Watergraafsmeer.

Next to the Hema on Linnaeusstraat there's an Indonesian take away toko. I bought portions of Gado-gado, Babi Ketjap, tempeh and mihoen noodles. Enough for two days.

Toko Sukabumi.

Around 22:00 I went for a little whiskey at Maxwell's.

The Maxwell tap, mirror polished.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

giving blood

All photos on Flickr are now geotagged, so you can see on the map where they're taken.

The weather was great this morning, so I did some (desperately needed) washing which I could hang outside to dry. I just hate the smell of washing detergent coming from a drying rack in my livingroom. It gives me a headache.

The view from my window, direction Beukenplein.

After lunch at 13:00 I left home to go the bloodtransfusion service. I'm a donor, but I hadn't given any blood lately since I was diagnosed with diabetes II. Now that I'm more or less regulated as far as medication is concerned I went again to have a talk with their doctor to see if I could give blood again.

I decided to walk through Oosterpark to catch the #22 bus to the Scheepvaartmuseum.

Lovers in Oosterpark.

Once I got off of the bus, I saw this cruise ship at the Passenger Terminal. These things are immense!

Cruise ship at the Passenger Terminal.

The Red Cross (Sanguin) building.

After the normal pulse counting and bloodtests I had a talk with the doctor. She was happy to let me give blood. And so I did.

Dripping ABPOS.

After the vampire trick I walked to Waterlooplein, had a look around the flea market and then crossed the bridge to Staalstraat.

Looking into Staalstraat.

Looking towards Mulligans on the Amstel.

I walked through the Binnengasthuis area, over Grimburgwal towards the Spui.

Kalverstraat wasn't very busy.

I made a quick visit to the Begijnhof, thinking I could sit down for a few minutes but the area is now closed off for non-resident and tourist scum.

Slegts vir ouwe vrouwlike blankes.

So, instead of basking in the sun in the Begijnhof I bought some books at the ABC bookstore on Spui, and then crossed the road to say hello to Siard at Hampe's music store.

Siard in his natural habitat.

I made my way to Rembrandtplein, where I sat on the James' Gate terrace and read in one of my newly acquired books. When the sky was getting a bit grey I decided it was time to go home, so I walked down Utrechtsestraat towards the Frederiksplein.


At Frederiksplein my foot started to hurt, tram #7 arrived and it started to rain all at the same time, so I hopped on the #7 and got off at the OLVG. When I walked towards home it was just a drop here and there.

Maritzstraat looking towards Krugerplein.

I managed to get the dry laundry inside before the rain really started, which was about a minute after I had closed the balcony door behind me... Dinnertime had arrived as well, so I had a nice Teriyaki Beef Salad.

Beef teriyaki salad.

Total distance walked today: 5.5 km. But it took me all afternoon...

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

the allotments

Photos are now located at my Flickr account, which means that downloads should be faster and larger sizes are under the thumbnail for those who have bad eyesight.

I walked part of the way to work again this morning. Around the corner the street was dug up for -what I hope- is the fibre optics they'll be connecting to the home. Once that's done I'll be able to get up/download speeds of 100 Mb/s symmetrical. A better deal than the 10/1 Mb/s ADSL service I have now.

fibre to the home?

The water around the Watergraafsmeer had a leaden quality with the sun still low.


At the corner of Hugo de Vrieslaan and the Nobelweg there's an artwork in the water. It was probably bought from a scrapdealer in East Germany after the wall came down...


Maxwellstraat looks like a peaceful place to live in. Looks deceive, though, since it is one the busiest streets in the 'hood for cars going from Amstelstation to Middenweg.


One of the houses on Maxwellstraat has a wireframe flowerbasket of Santa's reindeer complete with sled. I've never seen any flowers in it.

Rudolph in wireframe

Traffic started to get heavier at the corner of Middenweg and Kruislaan. This is where I stopped walking and took the bus for the remaining trip. It is roughly 2 km from home to here, and I've noticed that this about the maximum distance I can walk now before my foot starts to hurt. Hopefully I'll be able to drive that distance up in the future with more practice. If not, I'll have to talk to an orthopedic surgeon to see what they can do; maybe take the remaining ironworks out of the foot?

the buck stopped here.

The entrance to work. The copper thing in the corner is a leftover from an old experiment.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

On the way back from work I walked a bit again. This is the 'volkstuinen' (allotments) at Frankendael. It looks very bucolic, but is in the middle of Amsterdam.

Bob Ross: maybe there's a little tree living there...

One of the allotment sheds on Frankendael. The owner wrote something philosofical on the side. It is a quote from a poem by Bert Schierbeek.

Hoe, als je je met zorgeloosheid kon omringen, en dat dat je ruimte was.
How, if you could surround yourself with unconcern and that that would be your space.

Another allotment shed on Frankendael. The builder here didn't believe in using a level.

Try hanging a painting on that wall.

After all the walking today I was hungry. Actually so hungry my hands were shaking while I was preparing dinner. Luckily it was an easy meal: sushi and a smoked mackerel salad.