The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Random train rambling

Today my dad’s “comrade” was removed. Comrade here means the thing with all the chords and stuff going into his blood. His fluid diet was also cancelled, meaning he can more or less eat normal again. He can almost walk by himself again (currently with such a walker old people use) and just a few days ago he could barely pull up by himself. So everything’s going well.

My father, with the operation and everything hadn’t yet heard I switched to IO (Industrial Design/Industrieel Ontwerpen) and was very positive about the news, as was my mother earlier on.

This afternoon, together with my mom, I took care of changing my parents’ connection to “InternetPlusBellen” (Internet plus Calling), KPN’s new ADSL and telephony offering. You don’t have a normal telephone line anymore, but VoIP instead. Not that you’ll notice any difference in how you call as it’s compatible with old phones via the box which enables the stuff.

Further the internet will remain the same as it is, but the complete package will be € 34,95 per month, thus cheaper. Besides you can call for free to non-mobile numbers in the Netherlands in the weekend, which is not that interesting, but will presumably make a little difference for calling with some family which isn’t on Skype yet. It also includes compatibility with soon to come technology like video telephones and such, but I guess I’d prefer just to buy myself and my mom a cheap webcam and use Skype 2 for that and I doubt my mom would like a phone with all kinds of weird things.

Her own mobile phone she considers just fine and mine with camera and stuff she already considers over the top. Frankly I agree with her, but there are no phones with colour screen and other stuff I like without a camera in it anymore… and besides it has proven to be quite nice at times, although usually it’s just useless because of the low resolution.

So for my parents nothing will change, except that it’s slightly cheaper. A much bigger difference, also included in the package for free, is the WLAN which also comes with the box enabling all the technologies. Secured Wireless Internet Access at my parents, and I don’t have to put any work into it, nor do I or my parents have to pay anything for it since we ordered before the first of March. Can it get any better? 😉

Last Friday I watched Funny Business with Rowan Atkinson, a not too serious analysis of (slapstick) comedy techniques. Having acquired it from an American community of lovers of British comedy, I was surprised to find it was recorded from Dutch television, so Dutch subtitles were integrated in the movie itself. It’s illegal of course, but it’s not like it’s available on DVD or VHS, so my conscience simply enjoyed watching it as much as the rest of me.

Just a little while ago I watched 50 things to eat before you die, something I got from the same community. It was quite an interesting list, although (with some national pride perhaps) I’d say it lacked herring (Dutch style). On the other hand, with Sushi being at 9 and fresh fish at 1, one could argue it’s basically covered by that. On the other hand, I consider it as unique as octopus (Greek style) in a way.

The program got me really hungry so I ate some of my bread, but then somewhere in the 20’s of the list the American Breakfast came along. It certainly looked pretty good, but the one person portion looked like you could eat from it with six people, or perhaps even six third-world families. The mere sight made me feel completely filled.

Right now I’m finishing the remainder of my bread, most notably the parts I put Roquefort on. It’s certainly lacking from that list of 50 things (not specifically Roquefort, just cheese in general), but on the other hand it’s a British list, I’d assume we’d get a different list in the Netherlands.

Typing this on my laptop keyboard in the train I’m making more typos than usual, but Word seems to correct all of them automatically. It makes me wonder to what degree Microsoft is helping people in a habit of bad typing, for example to type “teh” without even noticing it.

Last Thursday I went to Nedtrain with a bunch of other Mechanical Engineering students (switching is no reason not to go on interesting excursions, now is it?) and I basically planned to spend my time in the train going to Nedtrain by talking to Thomas and Ivo. In the last minute however Thomas decided to bring “The World according to Clarkson” with him, which he lent from their “bathroom-library”. In the train however, it turned so that I couldn’t sit with Thomas and Ivo for lack of space and I nicked the book. I haven’t returned it yet and I will not either until I finished it.

That brings me to another interesting thing. Except for Lost and Die Hard, I’ve only been watching British programs over the past two weeks. I’ve mainly been listening to British music (Bowie, Pink Floyd, Stones) and now I’ve been reading a British book. Ah well, it doesn’t mean anything really as just a month ago I was only watching Friends, The Simpsons, reading Jack Vance and Kurt Vonnegut.

And of course I’ve been watching a lot of Dutch cabaret/theater, it’s just that my foreign “efforts” always seem to be so concentrated on one country.

I just noticed my writing is getting a little vague and less comprehensive. I’ve been going on without looking back for almost 30 minutes, so I guess it’s time to stop. I could easily continue typing for the other hour my train trip will last, but I’ll continue reading and listening to music instead.

But another thought entered my mind and I cannot yet stop typing. Since the late 90’s, more people than ever have been creating data, not only textual, but also in (often stupid) home-movies and photographs. Assuming this will continue, one is left to wonder what future generations will take with them from us, as opposed to what we know from the 17th century.

Meanwhile I switched from listening to Pink Floyd to David Bowie. Perhaps it’s time to buy some more Boudewijn de Groot and Doe Maar…

There are simply some more thoughts I have to share. This week’s Lost episode was great. Finally a reminder of why I watched the ending of season 1 in nearly one piece. It had been going downhill lately. Perhaps it’s a marketing scam. Couple of uninteresting episodes to make it all last longer and still get the public focussed by a cool episode now and then, so they’ll watch the ads.

Then some spokesman of the NS (the railways) made a statement about how 86% of the trains were in time to international norms (5 minutes late at most) and like 76% at their own (3 minutes late at most). Internationally it’s apperently still like the third best behind Japan and Switzerland. Like the fuck-ups elsewhere make the fuck-ups here any better. Anyway, that’s not the bad part. The bad part is that he said that he doesn’t get why anybody cares if the train is 3 minutes late. Well, big newsflash for mister moron who apperently does never travel by public transport himself. Nobody cares about those 3 minutes. Their connection which they miss because of those 3 minutes is what they care about. Because then you can usually wait 30 minutes (or 25 actually because you were late) until the next train, bus or tram arrives.

1 Comment

  1. A “support cart” is what I would call a walker.

    February 20, 2006 @ 14:16Permalink
    Ethan Poole

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