Sunday, 31 August 2008


Yesterday I went to the 'Uitmarkt', the opening of the cultural season in Amsterdam, the Public Library OBA and Artis Zoo; all in one day…

I took over 300 photos and it took me all evening to sort them out into 'keepers' and 'shredders'. I won't bore you with the whole lot that I eventually selected —that's stil about 50! From those 50 I made another selection which I put on Flickr and here I'll show an even smaller group.

I saw too many things to write everything in an extensive blog post, so you'll have to make do with just the pictures and the captions.

red, white and blue (shipyard on Hoogte Kadijk)

don't panic! (Amsterdam galleon)

saxaphone player (Public Library OBA)

colour (windows of the Amsterdam Conservatory CvA)

resting your feet (IJ harbour near Muziekgebouw)

ant farm (Muziekgebouw)

sluuurrrppp... (Marion, dinner break in the OBA)

now where did she go? (Lemurland in Artis Zoo)

Friday, 29 August 2008

dead duck

A good start in the morning today; I walked to Amstel Station where I caught the #40 bus to work. When I tried to get off the bus I had to jump sideways so I wouldn't step on a duck whose 'best-before' date had come and gone.


In the morning I had a meeting with the LSC/VIRGO conference organisation, printed an A0-size poster for the Einstein Graviational Wave Detector and updated some stuff on the website. The afternoon was filled with some changes in the financial section of the 9 M€ report and adding some tables to the EU report on astroparticle physics. Thrilling.

I talked to prof. J about visiting VIRGO at Pisa to make photos and he said it would be best to go the week after next as our colleague Th. will be there and can show me around. The later in the year I would go the less access I would have since they are commissioning the detectors right now. I'll have to see if I can get that organised.

I walked back home through 2e Oosterparkstraat where on the corner of Linnaeusstraat I saw a bicycle with a flowerbasket. It was an ad for the craft shop further down the street.

2e oosterparkstraat

In Vrolikstraat some guerilla gardener had planted all sorts of green stuff around a tree. There was also a sign with a quote by Jan Wolkers: "Hey, there goes a heap of earth on a walk-about".

walking mountain

I got a mozarella salad from the AH and had fruit for desert.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

the biscuit tin

I walked to work via the Ringdijk, past the Wethouder Verheij sports hall. It is almost completely gone by now.

verheij sports hal

The coot that lives on the floating board opposite the sports hal is still there. The nest is gone, though.

coot and dragline

They still haven't started on the demolition of the asylum; maybe it will be spared and renovated even though I wouldn't have a clou what you could use the building for.

animal asylum

In the morning I attended a meeting for webeditors who have to work with our new CMS, Typo3. In the afternoon I worked with M on the (hopefully) final version of the M€ 9 report.

I took the bus to Amstel Station and walked along the Amstel towards the Oosterparkstraat.


On the corner of Graaf Florisstraat there's a wall painting of a crankshaft and piston.

crankshaft and piston

I walked into a little alley and found myself on a hidden part of Oetgensstraat. If you don't know it's there you'll never find it. The houses are strangely modern, i.e. they look funny. Maybe that's why they're hidden. Maybe they're not pretty enough. One house had a floating circular staircase from the first floor to the top of the building. If you stand right underneath it, it looks like a shell.


I walked through Oosterparkstraat and made a stop in the 'kringloopwinkel', the thrift shop. I saw a biscuit tin from the 1930s which was only &euro 1.00, so I bought it for Juf Jo. She lives around the corner here so I visited her. She liked the biscuit tin. She also liked the way I had lost weight. I even tried on some of the 1940s men's jackets she has for sale and one of them fit. This is the first time I've fitted into an original 1940s suit jacket. People were a lot smaller then…

As Juf Jo was packing for an event in Germany this weekend I didn't hold her up too long and went to the sushi shop for a take-away. Four nigiri, an inside-out roll and some maki. Yum.

juf jo in her natural habitat

After blogging this I'm thinking of going to Mulligans; Danny Guinan is playing tonight.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

in angulo cum libro

When I got up this morning my headache was gone, but my feet hurt. It seems that the gods have ordered that there should always be a part of my body that hurts. One of these days I'm going to have a serious conversation with the gods to tell them I'm fed up with this.

I stayed at home all day, reading. Therefore there are no illustrations that I made to go with my prose today.

I'll leave you with a picture I've found on Flickr. It's made by a guy from Zurich and I think it is brilliant.

ballet, by _Beat_【ツ】

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

a dog with no name

When I got up this morning I had a bursting headache. Yesterday I had taken 3x600 mg ibuprofen and I've experienced before that too much ibuprofen gives me headaches. I needed it yesterday to be able to walk, though.

Today I did without; the headache lasted all day, but surprisingly my feet didn't hurt very much when I did my shopping. On the (short) shopping walk I saw only a few interesting things; I didn't really pay too much attention to the world.

relatively new bike with ancient lock

In Oosterparkstraat I saw this 'bakfiets' with dog passenger. I asked the driver if I could make a photo and he obligingly stopped. He even told me the name of the dog so I could call him. I've forgotten already what the name was.

dog with no name

For dinner I had the other half of yesterday's Thai meal.

Monday, 25 August 2008

cockroachzilla strikes again

I was on my way to Muiderpoort Station when I decided to walk down the Polderweg instead. School was starting again and I just had to follow the herds of children going to the Montessori school on Polderweg.

school has started again

The flying saucer shape of the Wethouder Verheij sports hall is now a broken saucer shape; half of it has gone in the last week.

the flying saucer is half gone now

On MacGillavrylaan work on the pavement is still in progress; don't follow the yellow signs though if you want to get to work. It points towards the front door of the 'Castle', which has no exit at the back nor a path going anywhere.

don't follow the yellow sign

In the morning I worked on the big mesh canvas we want to have installed. I'm still looking for a photo with enough resolution to fill 150 m2. I think there are now three or four people working on the canvas. It would be nice if everybody knew what the others were doing. I always CC my emails to the guilty interested parties; if everybody did that we'd all know what was happening. I guess communication is difficult for a communication department.

I also did some work on the EC astroparticle report. The Spanish had sent me a picture of their funding structure which was totally useless for the report. Rather than waiting for them to send me something usable, I remade it in Illustrator.

In the afternoon M came by with the penultimate comments on the M€ 9 request. It's starting to look better and better.

I walked home through Jerusalem; a nice and quiet walk mostly on the foot paths between the streets.


Some people in Jerusalem have too much pink paint. The colour of this chair made my teeth ache.

acute tooth ache

I walked past my house and past the OLVG hospital. The hallway of some of the houses opposite the OLVG have murals; the bottom part is the same in every hall but the top part is different.


The reson for walking past the OLVG is that I wanted to talk to the gym's trainer, Marcel. I told him the bursitis in my shoulders was coming back and that after taking 3x600 mg ibuprofen today my feet still hurt. Did he know of something I could do in the gym without ending up in traction or in a wheelchair? He said that the stationary bike was probably the only thing I'd be able to to do. He also suggested I should take up swimming.

Marcel said that the best thing I could do was to listen to my body and if the gym was too heavy: quit. He would ask the USC management if I could either put my three-month subscription on hold or get my money back. Decent of him.

Walking out of the gym the twisted rebar on the corner of the demolished tax building on Wibautstraat made me think of a Japanese film monster insect; Cockroachzilla takes over the world…

breaking news: cockroachzilla wrecks building

In Camperstraat I stopped and took a few shots of a transport trike, a 'bakfiets'. When I walked on, the guy from the bikeshop came running after me asking why I made a photo of the wheel of his bakfiets. I told him I thought it made a pretty picture with the rusty textures. He then told me a convoluted story about thow he had done something special to the bearings on which the wheel turns and how he thought that I had seen that immediately. He wanted to talk to me because he thought I was a bakfiets guru…

bakfiets guru observations

I got a Kai Pad med Mamuang take-away from the ThaiCoon of which I will eat half tomorrow. David, the co-owner of the ThaiCoon told me he had read my blog; he'd done a ThaiCoon 'ego' search on Google and my blog came up. He recognised me from the avatar. Hi David! The food is good as usual!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

a day at the beach

Today I went to a meeting of the Amsterdam Flickr group. We took the hydrofoil from Central Station to IJmuiden and from there a bus to the beach. The hydrofoil takes about half an hour and so does the bus for the last 5 km.

bus stop at the beach

We walked around the marina taking pictures. There's quite a lot to see, from flying kites to boats and strange textures. Everybody was snapping away.

do kites need a pilot?

There' only a small collection of the photos that I took on today's blog. A larger collection is on my Flickr page and an even larger collection on my hard disk.

dog shit?

Ijmuiden beach is full of contradictions; you have a nice, wide beach which isn't too crowded and right behind it you've got the Corus Steelworks. Maybe that's why it's not too crowded…

a nice day at the beach

We had a meal in one of the beach clubs and afterwards took the bus back to the hydrofoil jetty. When we got there, there wasn't a hydrofoil, and it wasn't arriving anytime soon either, according to the time table which was valid from tomorrow on. We persuaded the driver on the #82 bus, which was going to Amsterdam Marnixstraat, to take us along on our hydrofoil tickets. The hydrofoil is run by Connexxion, as is the bus.

150 meters after the bus had pulled away from the stop we saw the hydrofoil arriving. We stayed on the bus. Half of the Flickr crowd got off the bus at Sloterdijk Station and the other half at the end stop in Marnixstraat. I got off there too and took the #7 tram home.

All in all an enjoyable day with nice people.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

cute girls and strong coffee

the morning walk

It was shopping time again, but instead of going directly to Hartog's bakery I walked the other way, into Pretoriusstraat. The bike shop around the corner had received a new Gazelle Cabby 'bakfiets'. This is a transport bike where you can either collapse the box for easier storage or remove it all together. On the 'bakfiets' group at Flickr all the non-Dutch are drooling over the first photo I took of such a bike last week and are wondering when it will come to their country.


I walked down the east-side of Oosterpark. In one of the front gardens is a semi-permanent exhibition of blackboards in half-finished frames. Every couple of days there's something new written on the blackboards. It is probably an expression of art.

"Ever since Duchamp, the artist is the author of a definition"

I turned left at Tropen museum and followed the Mauritskade.

alexanderkade, muiderpoort behind the trees

When I got to Wibautstraat, I turned left again for Hartog's bakery. I got my half loaf of whole wheat and then had a coffee in Hartog's Boterham next door. It's a nice way to start a Saturday. The walk wakes you up and then you get a coffee served by a cute girl. I've had worse things happening to me.

cute girls and good coffee

I also got some meat at the butcher in Oosterparkstraat, cheese from Erik's Deli on Beukenplein and fruit and veg at the AH.

the afternoon walk

I walked to Amstel Station where the metros were running again. I took one to Central Station and went to the ferry jetty where I got on the ferry to IJplein.

ferry to ijplein

Walking along Noordwal you have an excellent view of the harbour. There was a cruise ship moored at the Passenger Terminal.

cruise ship at passenger terminal

The Wilhemina Dok bar and restaurant was looking very colourful in the sun light. The terrace was full of people having drinks and looking at the ships passing in the harbour. I didn't stop, but thought it would be nice to come back here one of these days for a drink.

wilhemina dok

I finally made it past the bow of the cruise ship and turned left at the Motorwal.

spot the third boat

At the end of Motorwal is a Dirk vd Broek supermarket. Three employees, one girl and two guys, were having a cigarette break. The girl spotted my camera and shouted to me to make a photo, but when I pointed the camera at her she got shy and fled into the shop. The guys just laughed and posed.

dirk vd broek on meeuwenlaan / motorwal

I took a left turn at Meeuwenlaan and then a right at Havikslaan. I crossed the IJ-tunnel road, turned left again and found myself on Buiksloterweg.


I followed Buiksloterweg to the end, where I got the ferry back to Central Station.

looking at the city

I took the #9 tram to Tropen Museum and walked back home through Oosterpark. By the time I got out of the tram my left foot was completely locked up. It took about 50 meters before I could walk again instead of hop. Still, not bad for only one ibuprofen in the morning.

Friday, 22 August 2008

leave your glasses

Short report today due to lack of time. At work I was busy working on the 9 M€ report. After work I walked to Mulligans.

amstel 100

I was meeting Anna. We're were going to the Bangkok Thai restaurant for dinner.


Anna had vegetables in red curry; I had the kai pad med mamuang, Vincent's favourite. I had never eaten it here and it was completely different from what I was used to. It tasted very good, though!

vegetables in red curry and kai pad med mamuang #94

Collins dropped in after dinner when Anna and I were back in Mulligans. There's a sign by the door for the smokers that go outside and Collins had a brainwave.

new sign in mulligans; photo was collins' idea.

I left Mulligans around 21:15 since I had drunk my single whiskey and Anna and Collins were going somewhere else to talk business. I walked home along the Amstel.

walking home past magere brug

When I was near the Amstel Hotel, Danny sms'ed me to ask if I was going to Mulligans...

Thursday, 21 August 2008

the phototrackr

This morning I followed the Tugelaweg to Muiderpoort Station. I walked on the path next to the railway instead of the pavements along the houses. You're not allowed to walk your dog here (there's another path provided for that excercise) so I didn't have to pay too much attention to where I walked.


When I came out of the tunnel at Muiderpoort Station I saw a learner's tram parked at the tram stop. When I stood there taking this photo the learner driver began to slowly drive my way. I found that a bit intimidating, so I flagged him down. He stopped. I took the photo and walked to my bus.

learner's tram

Walking past the LHC-tunnel photo at work I took a photo of the finished product. It looks nice, but the photo wasn't done the way I wanted it: the woman in the photo should be 'life' sized; she's now too big. Still, better than nothing.

LHC tunnel finished

Nothing is what we might get on the mesh cloth we want to stick on the outside wall of the workshop. A 10x15 meter mesh cloth. You need a BIG photo for such an area. The one we wanted was taken a few years ago with what was then a top of the line professional camera. A Nikon D1X with 5.3 million pixels. Your webcam today might be better…

The people in the printshop had done one small part of the 150 m2 and decided to stop right there and send it to us for evaluation. They thought it would be theft in broad daylight to continue and sell it to us.

They were right; the resolution was too low. We'd get only about 5 dpi out of that photo. I found a programme on the net that could upscale photos with s-splines and gave it a try. The result didn't look too bad. We'll have to do more testing and talking tomorrow. Maybe we have to go for another, higher resolution, photo.

I always geotag my photos so you can find them on the Flickr map. This takes about an hour every day doing it by hand. Yesterday I bought a little GPS data logger called PhotoTrackr. It was delivered today at work and all photo below are tagged with this machine.

When I left the sky was full of those typical Dutch fluffy clouds.

fluffy clouds over anna's hoeve

I walked to Frankendael and saw that all the builder's cars and trucks had left the grounds. The gate was open so I walked in for a look.


At the back of the house is a formal garden. It was very quiet since nobody knows yet that the gardens were open to the public.

frankendael's formal garden

I walked out the back gate and found myself in the 'wild' garden where they have samples of all the sorts of biotope in the Netherlands. This was even more quiet than the formal garden; little pathways between tiny creeks.

wild garden

I walked out of the park via the school allotments where the sunflowers were blooming.

sunflowers in the school allotments

I didn't go to the gym today; yesterday and today I didn't take my ibuprofen to see what exactly would hurt in my body. Now I know: my feet, my hips and my shoulder joints. Feet and hips are known, but the shoulder joints worry me. I've had a bursitis in both shoulders and I don't want that to come back through the use of resistance training in the gym. I'll go and talk to the trainer on Monday to see what we can do.

In the evening I worked on getting the software for the PhotoTrackr to work. They sold it as Macintosh compatible, but to do what I wanted to do (get the photos out of the camera and stick latitude and logitude in the EXIF part of the photo) I would have to buy the 'pro' version for $25. I found freeware that could do the trick. Much better user interace too. I later saw on the manufacturer's forum that all Mac users had complained about the software and basically only wanted the same thing as I did.

Instead of the bloated and unusable software that came with the data logger I now use two perl scripts, one to get the data from the logger and one to change the data into a GPX file. I then feed the GPX file into a freeware programme together with the photos and they're nicely tagged. Upload the lot to Flickr, which recognizes the geotag, and I don't have to go clickety-click on the Flickr map anymore. It took me all evening to get to this point but in the future it'll save me an hour every day.