Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.




I love reading my newspaper... Actually I read more than one and have two weekly news magazines; I noticed a series of remarkable news items in today's copy of Haarlems Dagblad (dutch)-
EU budgets deficits
While everybody seems to be fingerpointed to Greece, for the mess they got themselves in (by lying and cheating on their national budget for years), more countries have made a mess of things. Between the countries it was agreed not to exceed a national deficit of 3%...
Now look at the statistics above! Portugal and Spain, as well as Ireland, are in a real mess!
Politically Germany and France are the most powerful countries in the EU, but France is setting a bad example too. And small countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium can foot the bill

More news...
Worldwide, some 25 million suitcases got lost at the airports last year... This was reported by SITA, manufacturer of baggage systems. Fortunately, most bags seem to be recovered and delivered to the rightful owners.

Worldwide, over the last 10 years, a lesser percentage of forests have disappeared than in previous decade. This was reported by the Food- and Agricultural Organisation of the UN (FAO). But forests are still in decline: every year an area the size of Costa Rica (or 25 times the size of the Netherlands) are being deforrested.
Between 2000 - 2012 some 13 million acres were lost due to actions by mankind or by natural causes. The decade before that it was 16 million acres.
China, India and Vietnam were instrumental in the positive change, fighting the decline.

The ailing British newspaper 'The Independent' has been bought for 1 Pound Sterling (1.11 euro) by former KGB-agent and Russian entrepeneur Alexander Lebedev. Last year he bought the (British) 'Evening Standard', for the same amount.

In Belgium an elderly woman, Georgette van den Bosche, was billed by the city of Aalst for having bled on the street! She fell on her face, broke two fingers and her blood marked the spot. This was subsequently cleaned by the fire brigade and Mrs van den Bosche found a bill waiting at home when she was dismissed from hospital after 8 days, billing her for 250 euros (almost 335 us dollars).
The mayor confirmed this was standard procedure.



Elinor Smith
The Associated Press - March 24th, 2010 08:10 PM
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman considered to be an aviation pioneer has died.
The family of Elinor Smith says she died Friday in a nursing home in Palo Alto. She was 98.
Smith Elinor Smith soloed at 15, earned her flying license at 16 and was considered one of the youngest and most daring pilots in the 1920s, when she set a number of flying records.
Elinor Smith became an instant celebrity at the age of 17, when she flew under all four of New York's East River suspension bridges!
She also set the women's solo flying endurance record in 1929, during a 13 1/2 hour flight. She set an even longer mark three months later by flying solo for 26 1/2 hours...
Smith also set a women's altitude record by flying at a height of 32,576 feet in 1931.

More on this remarkable woman here: www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/smith_e.html



Elliott Murphy in Paradiso, Amsterdam The stage at the Paradiso (Amsterdam, Netherlands): Elliott Murphy, (guitar and vocals) and the Normandy All Stars: Olivier Durand (guitar), Laurent Pardo (bass) and Alan Fatras (drums).

Elliott James Murphy Jr., born 1949, grew up in nearby Garden City, started playing the guitar at 12 years old. He began writing songs while singing on the streets of Europe in 1971.
His music was post-Bob Dylan poetic rock heavily influenced by New York's Velvet Underground and propelled by Murphy's driving electric guitar, harmonica and,occasionally, keyboards.

After four albums on major labels Murphy was one of the first American artists to go independent (by both choice and necessity) with the release of the EP Affairs (1980) that sold well in Europe and set the stage for the successful Murph the Surf (1982).

Elliott moved to Paris in 1989, where he continues to live with his wife and son. Selling the Gold (1995) featured a duet with Bruce Springsteen, long-time friend, who often has invited him on stage during his European shows.

Murphy's 30th studio album, Notes from the Underground, came out in 2008 and received 4 stars on the prestigious All Music Guide, In fact, 18 of Murphy's albums have received 4 or 5 stars on All Music Guide.

More photos on Flickr.com



Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values is the first of Robert M. Pirsig's texts in which he explores his 'Metaphysics of Quality'...
Robert Pirsig
I started to read this as a classic tale of a roadtrip... And indeed, this (1974) book describes, in first person, a motorcycle journey across the United States by a man and his son Chris.
For the first part of the journey they travel with their friends, a married couple, named John and Sylvia. Sofar so good, but this is not what the book is about.
While driving, the narrator burrows deep in his thoughts and refers to a person (Phaedrus, a teacher), who went in search of concepts of Quality ((a term which he deems to be undefinable).
This thinking is being referred to by the author as Chautauquas. Wikipedia refers to this as "numerous philosophical discussions, referred to as by the author, on topics including epistemology, ethical emotivism and the philosophy of science."

In the books's introduction, Pirsig explains that, despite its title, "it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."
How the narrator relates to maintenance of his motorcycle, compared to his companion's (John) view, is being explained as different attitudes to life.

There is very little writing spent on the relation between father and son, compared to the Chautauquas. In fact, it pissed me off no end to read about the narrator going on within his own thoughts, while his son screams for attention (claiming stomach pains, being evasive in responses); dad is preoccupied and gives his son hardly the time of day, because after all his driving and thinking he is exhausted. What an asshole; so this is Zen?

After some 100 pages I began to flick the pages with the philosphical ramblings: yaaaawn, not interested! 400 more pages to go...
This guy Phaedrus, on his quest, becomes isolated and disfunctional. He has a family (wife and son), but only his quest and freefalling career is being detailed.
Phaedrus seems to run himself in the ground mentally.
The narrator refers to himself being declared insane at some point, confirming my suspicion that the he and Phaedrus are one and the same. The narrator dreams of a vision of his wife and son behind glass, being seperated by them and unable to reach out or communicate - probably when he was in a mental institution. He feels himself slipping away again and in the last pages contemplates suicide.

Well, I did make it to the end of the book, mostly interested in developments in the relation towards his son, Chris. And Phaedrus going mental, at some sitting in front of his students, not speaking a word.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was originally rejected by 121 (!) publishers, before a brave publisher accepted it and was rewarded to see it sell over 4 million copies in 27 languages and was described by the press as "the most widely read philosophy book, ever."
You'll have to grant him perseverence, I'd given up after 3 rejections...

After suffering a nervous breakdown, Robert Pirsig spent time in and out of mental hospitals from 1961 to 1963. After undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and clinical depression, and was treated with shock therapy.
The journey which the book refers to was actually made, in 1968. Photos made by Robert Pirsig during that trip can be found on this website: http://ww2.usca.edu/ResearchProjects/ProfessorGurr/gallery/albums.php

Robert Pirsig had married Nancy Ann James on 10May1954. They had two sons: Chris, born in 1956, and Theodore, born in 1958. After Pirsig was first hospitalized in 1961, his wife filed for divorce, which was finalized in 1978. Pirsig remarried.
Chris, his son, was stabbed to death during a mugging outside the San Francisco Zen Center.

In 1974, Pirsig was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to allow him to write a follow-up, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991), in which he elaborates and focuses on a value-based metaphysics, called 'Metaphysics of Quality', to replace the subject-object view of reality.
I think I'll pass on that one and admit defeat here!

Pirsig died 24Apr2017.




Symbolics.com is the first domain name ever registered on the Internet: March 15th, 1985...
This domain is used as the personal blog of Aron Meystedt, owner of XF.com and Symbolics.com.


At some point, in the early 1990s, I was driving home from work, late one evening, and a song on the radio caught my ear. I kept listening, spellbound, while I parked the car in front of the house. When I went inside, I switched on the radio, leaving my wife perplexed (she was watching a tv program). "Have to catch the name of this guy and the title of the song", I told her. She was flabbergasted & miffed, but before she could erupt I got what I wanted and the next day I bought that CD, the first of many...

That song was:

The moss hangs like witches hair from the big oak tree
And from across the swamp there comes riding on the breeze
The sound -- the sound -- Bi-Yo rhythm -- Bi-Yo rhythm

The rooster is born a fighter
Wears those surgeon blades on his legs
Hot blood, cold eyes
Headed for an early grave
He moves -- he moves with the sound
And he'll fight until they lay him in the ground
Bi-Yo rhythm -- Bi-Yo rhythm

The gator rides low in the water
But his eyes see everything
He watches the cities moving closer
Turning his home into a four lane
He moves -- he moves with the sound
He waits until it all comes down
Bi-Yo rhythm -- Bi-Yo rhythm

The index page of Mr White's website www.tonyjoewhite.com  shows the finest opening image:
Tony Joe White, website of the Swamp Fox

Tony Joe White was born one of seven children and raised on a cotton farm near the small town of Oak Grove, Louisiana. When Tony Joe was 16, Charles, the oldest of the White children, brought home a Lightnin' Hopkins album and started teaching blues guitar to his younger brother.
As a child he listened to not only local bluesmen and country singers but also to the distinctive cajun music of Louisiana, a hybrid of traditional musical styles introduced by French-Canadian settlers at the turn of the nineteenth century.
In 1967, White signed to Monument Records which operated from a recording studio in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and produced a variety of sounds, including Rock and Roll, Country and Western, and Rhythm and Blues. Billy Swan was his producer.
"Polk Salad Annie" had been released for nine months and written off as a failure by his record label when it finally entered the U.S. charts in July 1969. It climbed into the Top Ten by early August eventually reaching No. 8. It was the biggest hit Tony Joe White ever had.
Several more singles quickly followed, all minor hits, and White toured with Steppenwolf, Sly & the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other big rock acts of the 1970s, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and England.
"Rainy Night in Georgia" is a song written by Tony Joe White in 1962 and popularized by R&B vocalist Brook Benton in 1970. The song has been covered by a number of musicians, including Ray Charles, Otis Rush, Little Milton, Randy Crawford, Dolla, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Amos Garrett, Hank Williams, Jr., Shelby Lynne to name a few...
Between 1976 and 1983, White released three more albums, each on a different label. Trying to combine his own swamp-rock sound with the at the time popular disco music, the results were disappointing and White gave up his career as a singer and concentrated on writing songs.
In 1989, White produced Tina Turner's Foreign Affair album. Playing a variety of instruments on the album, he also wrote four songs, including the title song and the hit single "Steamy Windows".
1991's Closer to the Truth was a commercial success and put White back in the spotlight.
[Wikipedia, more...]

This is another favourite (to the point of actually visiting Tunica, Mississippi in 1993, just had to)


They say these are dangerous times
Got to be on guard
Bad news across the land
Rumors of war

And all along the border lines
You can feel the strain
And looking back through the years
Ain't nothing changed

They shook the redman's hand
And forever changed his destiny
Put him on some Godforsaken land
And took away his dignity

Now he floats in dreams where eagles fly
Sinking in the stream of wasted lives
They're just standing by
Until they reach the other side

Homeless people shuffle alone in the dark
With everything they own in a grocery cart
And still the lines are drawn between colours of skin
Just a broken wing that never mends

They took their heavy load
With discrimination on the run
Marching down the dusty roads
Singing we shall overcome

Standing up for all they believe was right
They knew that God was on their side
Will we ever see the light
Before we reach the other side

Far across the sea
Young people gather on the square
Trying to set their spirits free
There was revolution in the air

Singing songs of freedom through the night
Who could know they would have to lay down their lives
And never know the reason why
Until they reach the other side

TJW in Paradiso 2008
It was announced that a new live concert DVD is in the works. The DVD was filmed at his November 6, 2008 performance at Paradiso in Amsterdam. That is the one and only TJW gig I went to, but didn't bring my camera then... Hope I get a raincheck...!?

Photo courtesy www.tonyjoewhite.com



I was used to getting them from African countries, but this is the first time I got one from China...
I am Mr. Wang HongZhang, Chief Disciplinary Officer, People’s Bank of China (PBC). I got your email contact via the internet (Google search) and decided to contact you. I have an interesting/profitable business proposal of US$24.5million and this will be of immense benefit to both of us if only you are interested. Before the U.S and Iraqi war, a client of Bank of China, Mr. Khazeal Hamood Hasaab a Merchant, made a numbered fixed deposit valued at $24,500,000.00 (Twenty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars), for 18 calendar months, at Bank of China, Tower Branch, 1 Garden Road Hong Kong. Upon maturity several notices were sent to him, even during the war which began in 2003. Again, after the war another notification was sent, but still no response came from him. It was later found out that Mr Khazeal Hamood Hasaab, his wife and two sons had been killed during the war (Basra).
After further investigation, it was also discovered that Mr Khazeal did not declare any next of kin in his official papers, including the paperwork of his bank deposit. He also confided, in the Chief Risk Officer, Bank of China (BOCHK), that no one knew of his deposit in the bank. According to the laws of my country, at the expiration of 6years such funds are reverted to the Peoples Bank of China (PBC), where it will be deposited in the reserve of the Government, if nobody applies to claim it. Due to the fact that the fund has been in the bank for more than five years, provisions are being made for it to be reverted to my Bank (PBC). When the case was presented at my desk, I contacted the risk officer (BOCHK), who is a good friend of mine and gathered all the information that I have presented to you. Against this backdrop, I will like you, as a foreigner, to stand as next of kin to Khazeal Hamood Hasaab, so that we can receive his funds.
I will like to know if you will be interested in this project please. I will make more details available to you on receipt of a positive response from you.
My official lines and email address are not secure as they are periodically monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management Policy, do contact me only at my private email address: bladibla -AT- bladibladotcom
They write quite a story, don't they?


Watching the Martin Scorcese DVD-box 'The Blues' described below, I heard the name Joe Meek mentioned. The Joe Meek referred to here was a record producer in the 1960s, but not the one I want to refer to here...
The Joe Meek I want to refer to was a trapper, Indian fighter, pioneer of the west, peace officer and frontier politician! He travelled with other larger-than-life mountain men, Kit Carson and Jim Bridger.


Joem Meek, mountain man

Joe's life is described in this book by Stanley Vestal (Bison Book, 1963). The illustration on the front cover depicts "Trappers Starting for the Beaver Hunt" by A.J. Miller (courtesy Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore).

It was in 1829 that Joe Meek, 19 years of age, joined the Rocky Mountain Fur Company under the aegis of the Sublettes and Jededia Smith, heading west...
For the next 12 years, until the last Rendezvous in 1840, the Rockies rang with tales of Joe's wild exploits as trapper, jester, ladies' man...
When the beaver trade played out, he helped drive the first wagons to Oregon, served in the legislature of the provisional government and went to Washington as a special envoy to President Polk.

In 1849 he returned to Oregon with a commission as a U.S.Marshal and lived out his days defending and improving the community which he had helped to build.

I love books like these, I've collected several when in a period of my life I searched out the history of the US West, its pioneers and also visited many a ghost town. Below are two more books worthy of reading.

Mountain Men Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith



Recently I have been watching that fantastic Martin Scorcese DVD-box about 'The Blues'... Brilliant production, archiving American musical roots. The dvd 'Godfathers and Sons', tracing the electric blues in Chicago with Marshall Chess of Chess Records, has an interview and powerfull material by Koko Taylor.
Today I found she died last year. Here is a tribute, to her and The Blues.
Koko Taylor and the Blues

Grammy Award-winning blues legend Koko Taylor, 80, died on June 3, 2009 in her hometown of Chicago, IL, as a result of complications following her May 19 surgery to correct a gastrointestinal bleed. On May 7, 2009, the critically acclaimed Taylor, known worldwide as the “Queen of the Blues,” won her 29th Blues Music Award (for Traditional Female Blues Artist Of The Year), making her the recipient of more Blues Music Awards than any other artist. In 2004 she received the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award, which is among the highest honors given to an American artist. Her most recent CD, 2007’s ‘Old School’, was nominated for a Grammy (eight of her nine Alligator albums were Grammy-nominated). She won a Grammy in 1984 for her guest appearance on the compilation album ‘Blues Explosion’ on Atlantic.

Born Cora Walton on a sharecropper’s farm just outside Memphis, TN, on September 28, 1928, Koko, nicknamed for her love of chocolate, fell in love with music at an early age. Inspired by gospel music and WDIA blues disc jockeys B.B. King and Rufus Thomas, Taylor began belting the blues with her five brothers and sisters, accompanying themselves on their homemade instruments. In 1952, Taylor and her soon-to-be-husband, the late Robert “Pops” Taylor, traveled to Chicago with nothing but, in Koko’s words, “thirty-five cents and a box of Ritz Crackers.”

In Chicago, “Pops” worked for a packing company, and Koko cleaned houses. Together they frequented the city’s blues clubs nightly. Encouraged by her husband, Koko began to sit in with the city’s top blues bands, and soon she was in demand as a guest artist. One evening in 1962 Koko was approached by arranger/composer Willie Dixon. Overwhelmed by Koko’s performance, Dixon landed Koko a Chess Records recording contract, where he produced her several singles, two albums and penned her million-selling 1965 hit “Wang Dang Doodle,” which would become Taylor’s signature song.

After Chess Records was sold, Taylor found a home with the Chicago’s Alligator Records in 1975 and released the Grammy-nominated ‘I Got What It Takes’. She recorded eight more albums for Alligator between 1978 and 2007, received seven more Grammy nominations and made numerous guest appearances on various albums and tribute recordings. Koko appeared in the films ‘Wild At Heart’, ‘Mercury Rising’ and ‘Blues Brothers 2000′. She performed on ‘Late Night With David Letterman’, ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien’, CBS-TV’s ‘This Morning’, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, CBS-TV’s Early Edition, and numerous regional television programs. Over the course of her 40-plus-year career, Taylor received every award the blues world has to offer. On March 3, 1993, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley honored Taylor with a “Legend Of The Year” Award and declared “Koko Taylor Day” throughout Chicago. In 1997, she was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame. A year later, Chicago Magazine named her “Chicagoan Of The Year” and, in 1999, Taylor received the Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2009 Taylor performed in Washington, D.C. at The Kennedy Center Honors honoring Morgan Freeman. Koko Taylor was one of very few women who found success in the male-dominated blues world. She took her music from the tiny clubs of Chicago’s South Side to concert halls and major festivals all over the world. She shared stages with every major blues star, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy as well as rock icons Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

Taylor’s final performance was on May 7, 2009 in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards, where she sang “Wang Dang Doodle” after receiving her award for Traditional Blues Female Artist Of The Year.




Saw Chris Rea perform an excellent gig at the Heineken Music Hall (Amsterdam,NL) yesterday. The brilliant slide guitarist from Middlesborough,UK has said farewell to touring a number of times, due to failing health, but he likes it so on the road that once more he went out there...

Chris Rea
'Julia' and 'Stainsby Girl' really got the crowd going, and of course 'Road to Hell' was spine tinglingly brilliant too.. Pity he didn't play 'Steel River', but it is hard to choose from such a repertoire!
YouTube, partial recording of mine, 'Dancing Down the Stony Road'


Grayson Capps
Some magnificent music comes from the US Southern States... I am particularly interested in singer/songwriters. Americana, progressive country or alt.country... whatever. Grayson Capps sure hits the right note for me, love his music, seen him put up a brilliant performance (twice sofar) and his lyrics are quick-witted, talented, comical at times, a protest at times but enjoyable at all times!

Having drawn comparisons over his last few albums to the likes of Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt and Drive By Truckers, to name but a few, Rott ‘N’ Roll proves Grayson Capps an artist equally singular in vision as those to whom he’s compared. He doesn’t always paint the prettiest pictures or offer a gleamy white smile, but he does reach down deep to remind us of our own humanity. Grayson’s own words illuminate it best: “How many times must it be said? Though blood runs blue, you still think it’s red, because that’s how it appears when it hits oxygen. Our life is an illusion, and we create the confusion, so take a dose of seclusion to dilute the delusion. And hope that it’s not in vein that we look into the spheres of the fear-fruit bearing tree before we eat again.”




Flannery O'Conner
What a brilliant book, what amazing stories!
Thirty-one short stories, each of them a fascinating read.
The stories are mostly set in rural Georgia, Alabama but some in the Big City. Characters are written in fine detail, almost painted in where they live and you can feel the heat of the South while reading the slowly developing story.
Flannery O'Conner was born in Savannah,Georgia in 1925. When she died at the age of 39, she had made a monumental contribution to American fiction.
O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium", in 1946 while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa.
This book, 'The Complete Stories', has been arranged chronologically and shows her last story, "The Judgement Day", sent to her publisher shortly before her death, and is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of "The Geranium"...

Several stories reveal that O'Connor was familiar with some of the most sensitive contemporary issues that her liberal and fundamentalist characters might encounter. She addressed the Holocaust in her famous story "The Displaced Person," and racial integration in "Everything that Rises Must Converge."
O'Connor's fiction often included references to the problem of race in the South; occasionally, racial issues come to the forefront, as in "The Artificial Nigger," "Everything that Rises Must Converge," and "Judgment Day," her last short story and a drastically rewritten version of her first published story, "The Geranium."

In 1951 she was diagnosed with disseminated lupus, and subsequently returned to her ancestral farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville, Georgia. Although expected to live only five more years, she managed fourteen. At Andalusia, she raised and nurtured some 100 peafowl. Fascinated by birds of all kinds, she raised ducks, hens, geese, and any sort of exotic bird she could obtain, while incorporating images of peacocks into her books.

he was a friend of my papa's he used to drink and tell lies
praised Flannery O'Connor, smoked cigarettes and filosophied
so here I am at The Colonial Inn
me and Captain Long and my pretty girl-friend
he charmes her with a poem, then he brakes down and cries
smile a crooked smile, with his broken cheeck-bone side
tells about his life, now he's 63,
he looks me in the eyes, he says come and go with me
he could walk on water, walk on water
but you know you drown themselves and wine
god and a devil, god and a devil,
god and a devil along inside his mind
it's a love song, for Bobby Long
a love song, for Bobby Long

[ Love Song For Bobby Long Lyrics by Grayson Capps - on http://www.lyricsmania.com/ ]

Thanks to Alexander for this magnificent gift and making me aware of the lyrics!



Why do we do the things we do? Richard Mosse, a photographer from Ireland who roamed the earth and harvested fascinating fruits of photography, visited airplane wrecks which were often hard to get to. Such as below wreckage of a Curtiss C-46 Commando in Patagonia... Brilliant stuff !

THE FALL - C-46 plane wreck in Patagonia

Richard's exhibition/portfolio, called The Fall, features photographs of extremely remote airplane crash sites, with often partially dismantled or disintegrated wrecks disappearing into an uninhabited landscape; Mosse compares these structures to the Arctic shipwrecks and ruined forest abbeys of painter Caspar David Friedrich. The images were on display at New York's Jack Shainman Gallery, ending during Dec.2009.
Mosse: These photos are the result of months of online research, skimming forums, YouTube videos, Google Earth, Flickr, emailing wreck chasers, and cold-calling bush pilots. I'd even surf the web for jpegs of plane wrecks, then bring this information into Google Earth in the hopes of finding tiny silhouettes of downed planes. I was searching for accidents so disintegrated and remote to civilization that they only really exist in the virtual imagination of transient and anonymous online communities. Others had become landmarks, a destination for the intrepid to come and leave their trace...
Mosse: I met an extraordinary Dutchman (Hans Wiesman, see here.. - Webmaster)out in Thailand who is known in wreck-chasing circles as the Dakota Hunter. Once an advertising director for a cigarette company, the Dakota Hunter ventures into the world's remotest places to salvage the wingtips of C-47 Dakotas, which he then ships back to the Netherlands to be sandblasted and turned into luxury tables for boardrooms and executive offices.
Read more of Richard Mosse being interviewed by BLDGBLOG by THIS LINK or on Acrobat Reader .pdf document I saved.
Richard Mosse website www.richardmosse.com
Some of the wreck Richard visited, and more, can be seen documented on my webpage Abandoned Plane Wreck of the North and Mystery DC-3 Wreck in the Yukon



Influence of Dutch on North American English
In 1609, the first Dutch settlers arrived in America and established trading posts, small towns and forts up and down along what we now know as the Hudson River.
To this day, American children are taught the thrilling history of the transformation of this settlement, New Netherland, and its captial, New Amsterdam, from landmark port into present day New York State and the island of Manhattan.
But the Dutch legacy extended far beyond New York as this book titled Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops reveals...

Dutch place-names from the 17th century.
A number of street names in the city of New York remind us of the presence of Dutch settlers. Bowery Lane (Bouwerij), Bridge Street (Dutch=Brug Straat), Broadway (Breede Weg) and Wallstreet (Walstraat, there was a wall here to protect the city against attacks from Englishmen and Native Americans).

Some boroughs derive their origin from the Dutch settlers.
Brooklyn stems from the Dutch town Breukelen, Flushing from Vlissingen, Harlem from Haarlem, Gravesend probably from 's-Gravensande and New Utrecht from Utrecht.
Dutch names also lie at the roots of the islands Block Island (which was named after Dutch explorer Adriaen Block), Coney Island (after Dutch Conyne Eylandt, meaning rabbits' island!) Long Island stems from Lange Eylandt, Staten Island from Staaten Eylandt, so called in honor of the Dutch States General and Governors Island was named after the Dutch governor Wouter van Twiller, who bought the island -then called Noten Eylandt- from Native Americans.

Outside New York we see the same influence.
Cape May,NJ was named after the Dutch captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, who sailed past this point in the 17th century. Schuylkill,PA is a combination of schuilen, meaning to hide, and kil, meant here to be a stream; the reference meant here may refer to an incident whereby a Swedish vessel hid on this stream!

There are many more placenames, current and faded away, but perhaps more of interest is the fact that many of these names find their origin in reference to fields, brooks and suchlike...
Many names for bodies of water are formed using Dutch loanwords such as kill, binnacle, binnewater and fly... Also many new geographical names contain the elements bush, clove, cripple, dorp, gat and hook.
E.g Peekskill,NY refers to 'Peek's Stream'. Jan Peek was a Dutch trader who settled there around 1665.
Primehook,DE is from Dutch Pruimhoek, so called because wild plums (pruimen) used to grow on this corner of land (hoek, pronounced the same, is Dutch for corner).

I'll be quoting from this book more often, on interesting items, like "dollar" has a Dutch origin too!




Somewhere during the 1980s I made my first visit to Florida. I preferred the ruggedness of Western parts of USA, than the Eastcoast, and Florida with Disney and all the wrong sort of tourism was far beyond my interest. But for kids Disney and Sea World and all the other attractions are great of course, revisits were planned because of my growing interest in old propellor transports ('skytrucks', 1940s & 1950s vintage) still in commercial use or seized after being used for illegal drugs trafficking. So when I read my first book by Carl Hiaasen, it caught on as he provided an extra dimension.
Books by Carl Hiaasen
Hiaasen is Florida born and raised; he graduated in 1974 with a degree in journalism.
He was a reporter for Cocoa Today (Cocoa, Florida) for two years beginning in 1974, then was hired by the Miami Herald in 1976, where he still (as of 2009) works.
After becoming an investigative reporter, Hiaasen began to write novels.
Hiaasen's fiction mirrors his concerns as a journalist and Floridian. His novels have been classified as "environmental thrillers" and are usually found on the mystery shelves in bookshops, although they can just as well be read as mainstream reflections of contemporary life.
I like how he shows concern for the environment, but is realistic on the subject (many a time crooked politicians or ruthless project developers seem to get away with it). He mingles these serious subjects with a crime plot and has hilarious figures plodding through the story. Captivating and funny in the extreme!



I never realized prices would be readily advertised on the Net...
Then again, why not? I suppose you get a discount when you buy 20 or 50 of them !
Airplane Families 2008 $ in Millions
737 Family
737-600 51.5 -- 58.5
737-700 58.5 -- 69.5
737-800 72.5 -- 81.0
737-900ER 76.0 -- 87.0
747 Family
747-400/ -400ER 234.0 -- 266.5
747-400/ -400ER Freighter 238.0 -- 268.0
747-8 293.0 -- 308.0
747-8 Freighter 301.5 -- 304.5
767 Family
767-200ER 127.5 -- 139.0
767-300ER 144.5 -- 161.5
767-300 Freighter 155.0 -- 166.0
767-400ER 158.0 -- 173.0
777 Family
777-200ER 205.5 -- 231.0
777-200LR 237.5 -- 263.5
777-300ER 257.0 -- 286.5
777 Freighter 252.5 -- 260.5
787 Family
787-3 150.0 -- 155.5
787-8 161.0 -- 171.5
787-9 194.0 -- 205.5


Kodachrome slide film

When I started taking photos of aeroplanes during the 1970s, I could only afford Ilford black & white film. The 'big shots' had Kodachrome loaded in their cameras (Nikon, Canon but mostly Asahi Pentax and Olympus I seem to remember).
In later years I too upgraded to Kodachrome slide film, as Kodachrome was the standard plane spotters traded and expanded their collections. Orwo and Agfa were not accepted, though I tried them out of economic neccessity. Fuji arrived later at the scene. Kodachrome 25 was esspecially liked for its lack of grain and utter sharpness. I mostky used Kodachrome 64, as the sun was often lacking upon my visits to the nearby airbase.
With the advent of digital photography, the slide film rapidly lost its footing in the market, though many plane spotters continue to trade their Kodachrome slides on the internet and trade conventions.

Over its 74-year production, Kodachrome was produced in formats to suit various still and motion picture cameras, including 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, and 35mm for movies and 35mm, 120, 110, 126, 828, and large format for still photography. It was for many years used for professional color photography, especially for images intended for publication in print media.
Kodachrome requires complex processing that cannot practically be carried out by amateurs. The film is sold with processing included in the purchase price except in the United States, where a 1954 legal ruling prevents this.
On 22Jun09 Eastman Kodak Co. announced the end of Kodachrome production, citing declining demand.[4] Many Kodak and independent laboratories once processed Kodachrome, but only one Kodak certified facility remains: Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas, where existing film stock will be developed until the end of 2010.
[Wikipedia more...]

A nice website to explore is http://1000words.kodak.com/



It annoys me when I find upon purchase of a CD the lyrics are not included; since I am interested in singer / songwriters, I find it strange to see the lyrics not enclosed separately. And don't tell me to download them from the website!
After I bought Sonny Landreth's excellent CD 'from the Reach', I found him to set an magnificent example...
I'm gettin' a feelin' loud and clear
The time is now for gettin' out of here
A sure sign that I can't ignore
My feet start to walkin' Then I'm out the door

............................ WAY PAST LONG (in part)

The songbook includes some fantastic photography by Jack Spencer (click thumbnail)-
Sonny Landreth

Neil Young's cd 'Fork In The Road' offers great music, but I don't like the design; the lyrics are unreadable and you really have to make an effort to get the cd out of there. It's cheap and lousy.

Bad design



Specs are great, but they got their wires crossed here...


I bought my own mask, celebrating my visit to Venice,Italy in 2009, but my visit was not during the actual carnival days. I hope to go there one day. But I came across photos by Joe Marquez on PBase, he's been there more than one once, so go THERE or to his website THE SMOKING CAMERA, and stand in awe of these masks which seem surreal and real at the same time!
Masks Alive!


I came across this remarkable photography on Photo.net by 'Szincza Szincza'

szincza: scream


I have been fascinated by Warhammer since my son got involved with it, but I never had the time to indulge in this subject (he had to let go, too)
To briefly clarify this subject:
Warhammer 40,000 (informally known as Warhammer 40K or simply 40K) is a tabletop miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop, set in a science fantasy universe. Warhammer 40,000 was created by Rick Priestley in 1988 as the futuristic companion to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, sharing many game mechanics. Expansions for Warhammer 40,000 are released from time to time, often to facilitate a certain sort of game, such as Cities of Death, Planet Strike and Apocalypse, which give rules for urban, planetary siege and large-scale combat, respectively. The game is currently in its fifth edition. [Wikipedia, more...]

Today I stumbled (because I typed www.blur.com, instead of www.blurb.com while looking for something totally different...) on a link to a mindblowing, f*cking brilliant, trailer of WARHAMMER -

Warhammer - Age of Reckoning



I recently watched all 8 episodes of Billy's World Tour of Australia again, on dvd. What an outstanding man, larger than life, versatile, humerous and outspoken. I just had to write a few words here on him.
Billy Connolly

From Wikipedia:
Billy Connolly, CBE (born William Connolly, Jr. on 24 November 1942) is a Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin (The Big One).
His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder (specifically a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue being a folk singer in a pop/folk band and subsequently as a soloist.
In the early 1970s he made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to fully-fledged comedian, a role in which he continues. He also became an actor, and has appeared in a series of films.

I think I became aware of him when he presented some BBC series. We saw him in the streets of Vancouver,BC (2003 I think it was), but since he was engrossed in conversation with someone we did not walk up to him; our stay in Vancouver was too short to try to attend a show of his. Todate I have not had the pleasure of seeing him live on stage, unfortunately.

He has a fantastic website and I don't know who designed it for him, but it is so Billy Connolly...



In reference to my 01FEB10 posting, about Midsomer Murders, here is a list (alphabetically) of other British crime drama I very much enjoy, or have enjoyed, watching-

Bergerac (John Nettles)
Blue Murder (Caroline Quentin)
Dagliesh (Roy Marsden)
Dalziel and Pascoe (Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan)
Foyle's War (Michael Kitchen)
Frost (David Jason)
George Gently (Martin Shaw)
Inspector Alleyn Mysteries (Patrick Malahide)
Inspector Lynley Mysteries (Nathaniel Parker)
Inspector Morse (John Thaw)
Inspector Wexford (George Baker)
Jericho (Robert Lindsay)
Judge John Deed (Martin Shaw)
Lewis (Kevin Whately)
Miss Marple (when played by Joan Hickson)
Murder City (Amanda Donohoe)
Murder in Mind (various)
Murphy's Law (James Nesbitt)
New Tricks (Amanda Redman)
Prime Suspect (Dame Helen Mirren)
Rebus (John Hannah, later Ken Stott)
Silent Witness (Amanda Burton, later William Gaminara)
Spooks (Peter Firth)
Taggart (Mark McManus, later Alex Norton)
The Commander (Amanda Burton)
The Last Detective (Peter Davison)
Trial and Retribution (David Hayman)
Waking the Dead (Trevor Eve)
Whitechapel (Rupert Penry-Jones)
Wire In The Blood (Robson Green)
Wycliffe (Jack Shepherd)

For more on some of these, see Wikipedia
Another list: http://www.hjvanderwijk.nl/series/_series.htm


I very much enjoy watching British crime series; over the years I have come to the conclusion that US-produced crime series mostly have a predictable casting (always a 'senior' in charge, there must be a black man of course and the women are too young and gorgeous) and are crap. The last series I enjoyed was probably Colombo (Peter Falk) and the exception all this is Law and Order, though I have given up on that one too.
Anyway, back to the British crime scene...
Jan.2010 brought the news that actor John Nettles will be finishing Series 13 of Midsomer Murders and that will be the end for him, having played the role of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby since the start.
Midsomer Murders is a British tv (detective) drama that has aired on ITV1 since 1997. It focuses on the main character of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles, and his efforts to solve the numerous crimes that take place in the fictional English county of Midsomer. It is based on a series of crime novels by the author Caroline Graham and was previously adapted by Anthony Horowitz. [Wikipedia]

Principal Cast of Midsomer Murders
The cast (clockwise):
Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) & Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey)
DS Dan Scott (John Hopkins)
DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) & DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles)
Dr George Bullard (Barry Jackson)
Cully Barnaby (Laura Howard)
Joyce Barnaby (Jane Wymark)

Over the years, DCI Barnaby has been (consecutively) assisted by the Detective Sergeants Troy, Scott and Jones. George Bullard has the nasty task to examine the growing number of bodies up close.
Tom's wife Joyce is always there and his daughter Cully drops in every now and then. Joyce and Cully sometimes play a part in the plot, but mostly play an important role in the backdrop that is rural England (fairs, fetes, festivities, plays & parties). There are always manor houses, cottages, winding roads, farms and small villages in the frame. Casting is very diverse on characters and, to me, a big attraction of the series.
Causton and Midsomer County is fictional (a 'map'), but it 'exists'! I know because I've been 'there' many times (though no one, afaik, was murdered upon my visits!).
I was pleasantly surprised to see I visited a location which featured in various episodes: Amersham (see my photos on Flickr.com)

Helpful links:
Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

UPDATE: Actor Barry Jackson died 05Dec2013.
He was a part of the Midsomer cast for 14 years, from the pilot in 1997; he played pathologist Dr George Bullard with a real wit and style. R.I.P.
By 2013 the cast had been given a complete make over, those listed above were no longer part of the Midsomer Murder series.



A posse of geese roaming our streets, no doubt in search for food.
Geese on Patrol
This month statistics (www.weerstatistieken.nl) show that the average temperature in the Netherlands was below zero Celsius, quite unique.



Today I read in the newspaper that actor Pernell Roberts had died Jan 24th, aged 81. I remember him for playing the part of Adam, in the tv-series 'Bonanza'.
Bonanza would be the first Western on tv I've seen. My father had some movie reels of Hopalong Cassidy, of an even earlier date, but Bonanza was the first western series I saw regularly on tv; it was later later followed by Rawhide (with Clint Eastwood) and High Chaparral. I never took to Gunsmoke, but don't remember why not.
Pernell Roberts was the last surviving actor who played a member of the Cartwright family. Michael Landon, who played Little Joe, died in 1991, aged 54. Hoss, the gentle giant of the family, played by actor Dan Blocker, died in 1972 at the age of 43. The father role, Ben, was played by Lorne Greene; he died in 1987, aged 72.
The series ran from 1959 - 1972, ending upon the demise of Dan Blocker. Roberts had left the series long before, in 1965.


I hate present day airline service. I dislike short haul flights, my main dislike being redarded as a potential criminal by security, customs and immigration. Not to mention the attitude you get when you want to check in by a human being, who will look at you with the message in their eyes'why the fuck did you not check in through the internet; and what's with all the luggage?'
For long haul passenger flights you get all of the above, plus the discomforts on board the flight. And nobody describes it better than Lewis Black on YouTube



Last week I finally found myself in the opportunity to read this classic by J. D. Salinger. A lot of people know of the title, but many of them haven't actually read it. I quite liked it, it just rolls on in the rather chaotic mindset of main character Holden Caulfield and it kept me spellbound.
A few quotes that may illustrate the contents a little:
'About me, for Chrissake?'
'Yeah, I was defending your goddam honour. Stradlater said you had a lousy personality. I couldn't let him get away with that stuff.' (This is Holden talking - webmaster)
That got him excited. 'He did? No kidding? He did?'
I told him I was only kidding, and then I went over and laid down on Ely's bed. Boy, did I feel rotten. I felt so damn lonesome. (This is when Holden knows he is being expelled from school - again. - webmaster)
There was hardly anybody in the lobby any more. Even all the whorey-looking blondes weren't around anymore, and all off a sudden, I felt like getting the hell out of the place. It was so depressing. And I wasn't tired or anything. So I went up to my room and put on my coat. I also took a look out of the window to see if all the perverts were still in action, but the lights and all were out now. I went down in the elevator again and got a cab and told the driver to take me down to Ernie's.
Ernie's is this nightclub in Greenwich Village that my brother D.B. used to go to quite frequently before he went to Hollywood and prostituted himself. (Holden has returned to New York, roaming the streets restlessly, delaying the confrontation with his parents. - webmaster)
After old Sunny was gone, I sat in the chair for a while and smoked a couple of cigarettes. It was getting daylight outside. Boy, I felt miserable. I felt so depressed, you can't imagine. What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get depressed. I kept telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon's house. (Allie is Holden's younger brother, who died from leukemia, when Holden was thirteen- webmaster).
Old Phoebe said something then, but I couldn't hear her. She had the side of her mouth right smack on the pillow, and I couldn't hear her.
'What?' I said. 'Take your mouth away. I can't hear you with your mouth that way.'
'You don't like anything that's happening.'
It made me even more depressed when she said that.
'Yes, I do. Yes, I do. Sure I do. Don't say that. Why the hell do you say that?'
'Because you don't. You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't.'
'I do! That's where you're wrong - that's exactly where you are wrong! Why the hell do you have to say that?' I said. Boy, she was depressing me.
'Because you don't,' she said. 'Name one thing.'
'One thing? One thing I like?' I said. 'Okay.'
The trouble was, I couldn't concentrate too hot. Sometimes it's hard to concentrate. (This is Holden talking to his younger sister Phoebe - webmaster)
To learn Holden's answer to Phoebe, and learn about the explanation of the title, I recommend a visit to Wikipedia.

Update!!! When I read this book, and when I wrote the above, I did not know if Mr Salinger was dead or alive. The news tonight, 28JAN2010, reported J.D.Salinger's death.... what coincidence!

This is part of what Associated Press wrote today-
NEW YORK - J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose "The Catcher in the Rye" shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.
Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author's son said in a statement from Salinger's literary representative. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.
--Immortal anti-hero--
"The Catcher in the Rye," with its immortal teenage protagonist, the twisted, rebellious Holden Caulfield, came out in 1951, a time of anxious, Cold War conformity and the dawn of modern adolescence. The Book-of-the-Month Club, which made 'Catcher' a featured selection, advised that for 'anyone who has ever brought up a son' the novel will be 'a source of wonder and delight — and concern.'



A new year has broken and january is always a good months to make plans for destinations beyond the horizon...
Perhaps not this year, but I do hope to visit the Arctic Regions of Canada some day; last month I came across 2 routenet images of Canadian airlines: Canadian North (on which I travelled in 2006 to Yellowknife) and First Air. Maybe these will help your travelling plans!
Canadian North routes   First Air routes


A recent report procliamed that New Yorkers are the unhappiest people in the entire US...
New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and Indiana are the runners up.
On the other side of the spectrum are Hawaii, Louisiana, Colorado, Florida and Tennessee, which are filled with the happiest folks.
All in all 1.3 million people were surveyed over the course of four years, and the least miserable were those residing in states that do well in quality-of-life studies.


The paper used for this historical document was manufactured around the year 1770 and had been produced by people of the Zaanse Baptist community; more precise: by paper manufacturers Adriaan Rogge, Jacob Honig & Sons and D & C Blauw.
Of the ca. 200 copies, which were printed by John Dunlap in the night of 4/5th july 1776 by order of the US Congress, only 25 remain in existence in archives and libraries (mainly in the USA).
The 25th rediscovered copy has recently been actioned for $ 8 million dollar!

Last year, 2009, saw the celebration of 400 years of close relations between the Netherlands and the United States.
Four hundred years ago, a Dutch ship called the Half Moon with Captain Henry Hudson at the helm, arrived at the shores of what is now New York City. This led to the establishment of New Amsterdam and the New Netherland colony.
See www.ny400.org website.



je maintiendrai


Through centuries the Dutch have explored and traded the globe far and wide.
They chartered new territories, persons such as Abel Tasman (who mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands) and Peter Stuyvesant (whose accomplishments, as director-general, included a great expansion for the settlement of New Amsterdam -later renamed New York- beyond the southern tip of Manhattan).

The Dutch have known glorious days, esspecially in the 17th century, which is celebrated as the Golden Century; ships returned richly laden with rare commoditities and spices.

Here in lies the Dutch tradition of being open to other cultures, food prepared with exotic herbs, allowing other cultures to celebrate their traditions & religions within our own border. Even to a point where sometimes the accusation may be heard that the Dutch lack pride for their own nationality and national identity. Well, if you've seen the Dutch football supporters or those who cheer for the speed skaters, you know that accusation won't stand.

But I do agree we could have another look at our passport: the coat of arms bears the title JE MAINTIENDRAI (French, for I Will Stand Fast or I Will Maintain, e.g. maintain my principles).
The National Anthem of the Dutch is even bigger joke... The 1st verse of The Wilhelmus -one of the oldest national anthems in history- have the Dutch proudly proclaim them to be of German blood... The 2nd verse proclaims loyalty to... the King of Spain! To make sure, the 3 verse repeats it!
French, German, Spanish... no wonder the Dutch can be extremely critical of their own government and Royal Family: their loyalty has been directed across the border by the very same!



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Created: 29-Oct-2009