This morning I took the tram to Marion. I had promised to drop off the gear that Nantko had left for her at my place. I also brought Marion the reindeer skin I had promised her. Since I had my hands full I didn't make any photos of the trip.
Marion made me a cup of coffee and then unwrapped the reindeer from the binliners I had put around it. After she laid it on the floor she put her cat Ayla on it. Ayla imediately started to chase the loose hairs the reindeer was shedding. She then proceeded to roll around on the skin. Marion's first idea was to put the skin in the bed room, but on further contemplation it will probably stay in the living room since it is more amusing to see the cat play with the reindeer. When I left Ayla was still sitting on it. My photo of her is out-of-focus, but you can probably find some sharper ones on Marion's blog later in the day.
I had swapped the phototracker GPS system I had bought a while ago for a different model. I had big problems reading the data from the device. The new one mounts on the computer as a USB drive and you just drag-and-drop the data files. Much easier to work with. That is, when you have data. The thing takes an awful long time to sync with the satellites. When I left Marion's I walked down the length of Ceintuurbaan and it didn't acquire signal until I got to the Amstel!
One of the reasons I've bought a phototracker is to put the exact place where a photo was taken in the photo's meta-data. One of my (don't ask) stranger hobbies is making photos of transport bikes. I put those on the appropriate groups on Flickr and every now and then people ask me (from countries as far away as Japan!) on what spot the photo was taken. To put a stop to having to read Japanese questions about 'baka fietsen' I needed a tracker. I just need to get it to work now. Maybe I'm doing something wrong; the documentation is in a Taiwanese dialect of Chinglish and I have a slightly different firmware version to the one described in the docs…
On Ceintuurbaan I spotted this restaurant across the road: Thai Deum. I wonder if the name is a pun on Te Deum Laudamus (We praise You, Lord) or if they just thought it sounded nice.
When I got home I started to collect the bits and pieces for my upcoming trip to Pisa. I had borrowed a tripod from work, but that's a very big Manfrotto that weighs a ton and is not easy to carry around. So I picked up my little travel tripod, dropped it accidently and it broke. Bummer. I went to Foto Fransen around the corner and got myself a new travel tripod. It's a much nicer one and it costs much more than the old one, too: €149.00. When I got home I googled the brand and type and saw the same tripod for sale at Foto Booms in van Woustraat for €109.00. Maybe I should learn to google before running out the door. This is the second time that I've noticed Fransen being a lot more expensive than others. The first time was with the Slingshot bag.
I went out again near dinner time and, just after the railroad bridge, noticed a crowd of people standing around a man who was laying on the ground in what seemed to be a coma. He was wearing a backpack and holding on to the leash of a little dog. I asked the bystanders if anybody had called police and/or ambulance. In this day of constantly ringing mobile phones you'd expect somebody to actually use the thing. Nobody had. Maybe you're not allowed to phone emergency services during Ramadan, or maybe the crowd were more brain dead than the guy on the ground.
So I checked for a pulse (OK), pinched the guy in the back of the hand (remembered from first aid lessons 30 years ago; if they don't react they're unconsious. He was), checked if there was anything obstructing his mouth (also learned at first aid; nothing there) and called the emergency services. I stayed with the guy until police arrived after which I continued to the ThaiCoon for a take-away. When I walked back from the ThaiCoon the ambulance personnel was just wheeling him into the car.
I ate half of the take-way and had the rest of yesterday's fruit salad for dessert.