The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Archive for Photograpy

The blue toy

Today I will introduce you to possibly one of the coolest toys ever. Melantrys took it with her from this mythical place where she lives. She passed it on to me before we went to Brussels.

If you ask why she lives in a mythical place, I just ask you, can a place which is abbreviated to the sound a barking dog makes be real?

But enough of the chit-chat. On to the toy itself. It is blue. It is flexible. In a strange way it feels alive.

If you hold it in your hand you can caress it. Or you can throw it around like a ball. Do whatever you like.

You can squeeze it and then it will emit different psychedelic colours of light.

In short, it rocks. Thanks babe!

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Last Thursday, I set off on a trip which would eventually take me to Brussels. I spotted a rare fish in the sea.

  1. A submarine in the North Sea.
    I had never seen a submarine in the wild before. Only in harbors.

Much later, in a bus, only a few away minutes from my place, I got a phonecall. Instead of the expected four people joining dinner, I would have to cook for eight. My phone was scared to death after hearing that, but luckily giving it an electricity boost when I arrived made its heart beat again.

Our olive oil was all gone, so I did what I’d always do: use butter. However, my dear visitor happened to be a vegan. Mel only managed to stop me from throwing the rest of the vegan stuff in butter just in time, and the neighbors gently lent us some olive oil. Loes (my housemate) just told me that she discovered we also had some vegetable cooking butter. That night we watched Artificial Intelligence, which is not a movie I can recommend. Especially the ending was bad.

  1. Mel giving the finger.
    The next day we had to leave early. Too early. Three and a half hours later, when we arrived at Julien’s place (our host for the night), someone didn’t react very friendly to me taking a picture as you can see.
  2. Grinning evil moon thing.
    An interesting table-decoration at Julien’s place was this evil moon thing.
  3. Some guys playing with tools.
    We arrived at the venue a little while later. The Claws were just arriving around the same time. In the garden of the Botanique there were these guys preparing some kind of tent, probably for an event the next day or week. I found them amusing for some reason.
  4. An abandoned smoked cigarette.
    This cigarette represents one of my main impressions of Brussels. A damn lot of smokers.
  5. Some weird guys with weird hats.
    When we were walking back from the park we ran across a few weird guys looking for Manneken Pis. We didn’t actually encounter the little guy, but we did manage to take a few pictures of the weird guys checking out interesting accessoires.
  6. Bård wearing a funny hat.
    A front view should make clear that the weird guys were part of this band which goes by the name of Clawfinger. 😉 One minute later I made a movie of him saying tandenborstel, Dutch for toothbrush. Later on he also got us on the guestlist. Thumbs up.
  7. A non-smoking sign.
    Later that night, after the first band finished playing (featuring the man where we’d spend the night), I decided to take a picture of this sign. It’s funny because it says there’s some kind of non-smoking law since ‘91, but like 90% of the people were smoking inside (remember my earlier impression).
  8. A picture of a cellphone screen showing the provider BASE.
    I also took this picture to prove that I had “BASE” as a mobile phone provider in Belgium, which I thought sounded much more awesome than the Proteus (or something like that)Proximus which Mel had.
  9. Zak singing something.
    And then some sound reached our ears.
  10. Jocke in the background behind Zak playing a bit of guitar.
    Check the crazy guy in the background of the picture. 😛
  11. Someone taking a picture of Zak and Bård.
    My camera kicks the ass of yours mate. 😛
  12. André headbanging.
    André doing his thing.
  13. Zak showing his stomach.
    “I’ve got a personal trainer” (from Nothing Going On). Mel made a video of this, although it’s actually of the event right before it, Bård doing the duck walk.
  14. Bård playing guitar.
    And some more guitar action.
  15. Jocke doing the things he does.
    I thought I’d take a shot of the guys in the background, but the ones I made of Henka managed to fail.
  16. Now just for some pictures.
  17. Bård singing and playing guitar.
  18. Zak engaging the public while performing.
  19. André in one of his less headbanging moments.

And that’s it for today.

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Matrix photoshoot

This morning I decided I needed a few pictures of myself in Matrix-style, for usage on MSN and such. So here’s the result of the photoshoot.

What’s also important is how it looks as a finished picture, photoshopped and all. I will also do one with a gun, of course.

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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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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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How to look good as a plant 101

The sun was shining and the weather was lovely, so I went on a walk. There was a large number of birds and I saw a couple of hares running away. Spring is here and nature is alive once more. Therefore, if you are a plant, it’s important to look your best. You do want to attract as many mammals and other roaming animals as possible, don’t you? Otherwise, you may very well face extinction.

  1. A few Snowdrops.
    Snowdrops know how to do their thing while it’s still very cold. As usual they have proven their mastership over this part of the year and they were all over the place. There is nothing for you to learn here. It is worth noting, however, that the loveliest snowdrops inhabited our own trustworthy garden. Move over forest snowdrops. You have to live near stone to be truly interesting.
  2. Irises coming out.
    Alternatively, live in dark mud. Then, look fresh and green between all of the dead leaves and whatever else the mud consists off. Take an example from this yellow iris which is checking out the environment to see if winter has passed.
  3. Yellow crocuses in full glory.
    Hooray for crocuses. They kick ass. We planted this bunch a few years ago. I never realized it was so easy to create great looking photographs with these flowers. I used to enjoy crocus photographs at art exhibitions. I still think they are very nice, but now I will no longer respect the artist in the same way. Unless I have some kind of unnatural talent for photographing crocuses, it’s just too easy to create nice pictures like this. Anyway, if you’re a crocus you’re settled. Just make sure not to grow in places where you’re easily stepped upon.
  4. A boring trunk.
    Nature is always moving on, changing the old into new. Half-rotten trees always look neat for some reason. Be sure to have an agreement with some grass if you’re a tree. It will make your dead body look much better. If you’re grass there’s also much to win. You will look much greener next to this dark, rotting, former giant.

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