The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Archive for March, 2006

What happens in a week?

Today Sushubh wrote:

abhitux: I just write in because it makes me sane
Sushubh: ur stealing my dialogue now

It might be true, considering that my weblog is quite insane now and then. However, I think it’s more a reflection of myself than a part of me I try to surpress.

Regardless of all of this, there are other ways to prevail your sanity. Wether it was to prevail mine I don’t know, but I embraced myself in a few of those activities in this week of vacation, which I spent at my parents’ place.

  1. The evening I arrived, I installed the router/phone “Experia Box”, which comes with the InternetPlusBellen (InternetPlusCalling) subscription through which you call via VoIP and get ADSL internet (same speed my parents already had). It’s cheaper and you get wireless internet on top of that. My main personal motivation was wireless internet, but fooling around with the wires (some of which was quite tricky) was quite fun in retrospect.
  2. The next day I had to go out and photograph some nature in our garden.

  3. Some other crocuses than last time had emerged in the meantime.
  4. There were two old computer doing absolutely nothing in my old room. This was no surprise considering their old age, after all the oldest was a 286 IMB PS/2 (from 1991 I think, perhaps earlier) and the other one a p100 from 1996.

    They both served their purpose in the past, the 286 as the first computer in my dad’s office and the p100 as our first computer at home. Therefore it taught me a lot about computers in general, although I never accessed the internet from it. But now they were just rusting away, so I decided to clear some space by throwing them away. My mom has been awaiting this moment for years.

    The other things you see on the picture are a Philips VCR which is broken and an Epson Stylus C84 printer which is also broken. I kept the Philips VCR around in the past to see if I could repair it, but nowadays I consider VHS an old and dead technology. Recording to harddisk and then burning to CD or DVD if really interesting is my way of preserving things now.

  5. My parents bought a new piece of furniture for their television. Therefore a sucky, quite small television, which only works after you bang on it a couple of times, has now been upgraded to a real Jan des Bouvries piece of television furniture. If you think the tv looks quite nice, you only have to ask yourself why it’s still in my old room at my parents’ and not at my place.

  6. Of course I went out to shoot some more photographs. I bought my camera to use it for more than illustrational shots on my weblog after all. Homemade desktop backgrounds are my main goal. 😛

  7. This was lying hidden on the ground and I barely noticed it. Then I picked up the branch and managed to take a few nice pictures.
  8. figcaption>Roses may be red, but not in this time of the year.

  9. Willows are probably not associated with The Netherlands as much as mills, but they form a much greater part of our countryside. Willow catkins such as these are quite neat to put in a vase.

  10. I mowed quite a lot of grass. Partly because my father, who would normally do it, is still recovering. Partly because it’s simply refreshingly mindless and a fairly good excercise for your arms (the sides of the field anyway, the middle is just boring). After long and exhausting usage for both man and machine, both are indeed quite hot.

  11. And last, but not least, a picture of some old alder catkins.


Rest in Peace, Flokkie

In the night of 22 to 23 March 2006, Flokkie, rabbit, housemate and friend, passed away. While the exact cause of death remains unsure, we found him in the pond on the morning of Thursday the 23rd. The theories are wild, from a sudden spasm which made him fall in while having a drink, to a suicidal jump in the pond, to murder by JW, who would then have pushed him in while drinking. One thing is certain. The sight of the poor rabbit with all the ice still on him was not a pretty one.

After having breakfast and complaints about the album Low by David Bowie I put on quite loudly (tracks like Warszawa are on the sad side), we decided to create a nice grave for Flokkie. This is a picture from the funeral procession we did to the grave.

Stefan gave a speech on the life of the rabbit, expressing our deepest feelings.

I gave a speech as well.

But the emotion overcame me. 😉

One by one we threw a hand of sand on the coffin (carton). Ashes to ashes, dust to dust (we actually say “dust you were and dust you shall be”).

The grave in its finished from was certainly all a rabbit could ever wish in a grave.

The closeup shows that we didn’t know his date of birth. His age was estimated at 9 or 10 years if I’m not mistaken.

For a few more pictures and higher resolution, check the folder dedicated to Flokkie’s burial on our flatsite.

I removed two pictures. It wasn’t really my idea in the first place (although I took them) and a few MSN conversations convinced me that including them was wrong in the first place.

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Microsoft and bug reports

I’ve dealt with reporting bugs to Opera and WordPress. Also to some PHP projects and other things where I usually know the developers personally, or have nice chat/mail conversation with them (further unrelated to the bug as they all happened to use trac).

Apperently submitting a bug report to Microsoft is a whole lot harder.

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100 questions to answer if you wish to enter the Netherlands

Today published 100 questions about The Netherlands one has to answer if you wish to come here by marrying someone who already lives here.

I don’t know how many questions you should answer correctly, but the sixth question, Wat betekent Nederland?, or in English, What does The Netherlands mean? already gave me trouble. I was thinking about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of sexual orientation, Harry Potter for minister-president and things like that. As it turns out, the answer was as simple as low lands.

I doubt how answering those questions correctly will make anybody a better (Dutch) citizen. Especially the knowledge that many cyclists in traffic is something typically Dutch (question 22) seems quite useless to me… I know it is so, but I couldn’t think of an answer to the question nevertheless when I read it.

However, they do get some kind of teachings-package thing they can study before they have to answer the questions, so that would make it a lot easier. I suppose that if the questions are in Dutch, at least it’s a test to wether they can speak enough Dutch to understand and make themselves understandable or not.

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Seen today. Someone using walla instead of voila. The horror.

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Breaking news!

Breaking news! JW photographed cleaning himself!

This afternoon, your star photographer took a picture to prove that JW never cleaned himself while Flokkie does so all day.

Who can imagine his imagination (haha) when about one hour later, JW started to clean himself!

However, he quit soon after he started and got back to his usual lazy behaviour.

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We have two rabbits running, eating and shitting around on our patio. Their names are Flokkie and Johnny Walker. Their lives are coloured with tragedy.

A little less than two years ago, when I first came here, there were two rabbits doing their thing. One of them was called Whiskey, the other had the name of Flokkie. About half a year later, Leonie came to live here. She somehow managed to let her teckel lose and not much later Whiskey was history.

To compensate for the loss, she bought a new rabbit. After a short consideration period we decided to call him Johnny Walker, in general speech JW (pronounced something like jayway). As you probably guessed, he is named Johnny Walker in honour of his predecessor, Whiskey.

As laserlight so rightly pointed out, JW looks like a sort of a cross-breed between a dog and a cat. We already made fun of his ears from day one. But on top of that, he’s absolutely allergic to being either caressed or picked up! If you try it he runs away like he saw the devil. Therefore he is quite useless as a rabbit. After all, why else do you have one? I do however find a strange kind of sadistic pleasure in picking him up anyway and forcing him to enjoy caressing. Or perhaps I am completely wrong about the rabbit and in that case he enjoys it much more than I do.

Flokkie is the oldest and most photogenic of the two. He is about nine years old. Old age is beginning to take its toll and sometimes you can hear him panting after running a bit.

Unlike JW, Flokkie either enjoys being picked up, or is indifferent towards it. If he is hungry, he has a demanding pose where he’ll stand on his lower legs, looking somewhat like a squirrel. He also sits like that if he’s cleaning himself. Since you seldomly see JW cleaning himself, I assume Flokkie is a lot cleaner.

Both of the rabbits are a joy to roof-tourists (you can walk over the roof) and visitors. Especially the girls will usually utter statements like “wow, look at the cute rabbits!”

While JW was growing up, there were a lot of conflicts with Flokkie over their rank. Meanwhile, presumably mainly during the summer, Flokkie clearly established himself as the leader of the stack, despite JW’s bigger size and presumably greater physical power.

Neither of them likes to pose for the camera much. Nevertheless, I think these pictures capture their spirits. Of course, they do not beat my intelligent cactus, but they’re pretty cool.

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Good bye

Mick moved away to the city. He just left with his last belongings. You could say it hasn’t really dawned upon me yet, but on the other hand, he’ll change from a flatmate to a good friend. I guess it’s not that different all in all.

Yesterday Gerard, who moved away a few months earlier, came by for dinner. Interestingly enough, it seemed like he still lived here. And we still have to do a Christmas dinner. Crappy lack of time.

The weather is great, but I haven’t been able to do anything I wanted to do today for some reason. Call it lazy if you want. I think it’s more a matter that my general feeling is “do it good, or don’t do it at all”. I felt that today I wouldn’t have done it good. Still, it would be better if I had done it quite good than not at all. But how to force yourself to do that, that’s the problem.

JW is the strangest rabbit ever. If you give him a kick at his arse (accidently, who expects the stupid animal to sit right in front of your door?), he just sits there pretending nothing happened. If you feed him from your hand and try to caress him, he acts like he saw the devil and seeks some hideout.

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What do you do with insane amounts of computational (graphical) power?

Originally posted by Irda Ranger:
This may be a stupid question: but what would you even do with dual Opterons and quad-SLI 7900GTX’s?? Nuclear weapons research? Re-render a Pixar movie?

Run Vista. 😛


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The danger of SMS

Imagine. You SMS someone, some girl standing next to you happens to notice the name of whom you’re sending it to and then two of them look disappointed. On one hand it was funny, on the other really sad.

Was that the most interesting thing that happened? I think not, but my plan to call everything hardcore failed (I forgot all about it) and my philosophical babble is not that interesting.

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