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Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
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.
FORTUNE TELLER | LIFE
Found this in the CD I bought: 'Songs From The Road' by Leonard Cohen. I guess Mr Cohen found this On The Road and wanted it to be shared; I will go along with that.
UPDATE: Leonard Cohen died 07Nov2016. See Blog 2016 Q4.
THE KILLING (FORBRYDELSEN) | TV CRIME SERIES
The storyline starts simple enough: Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last day as a detective with the Copenhagen Police department. She is supposed to move to Sweden with her fiancée, but everything changes when a 19-year-old girl, Nanna Birk Larsen, is found raped and brutally murdered.
LATTE ART | CULTURE
One can find culture and art in the most surprising places!
On our last day of shopping in Vancouver (B.C.), we crossed the road from HMV (formerly the Virgin Megastore I believe) on Burrard Street, to Blenz Coffee and ordered a medium-sized--double-dark-chocolate--Moccha.
Ivan Arzave did his magic: Art On Coffee!
Actually, Ivan was a little sad because that day he'd hoped to be present with a 'Coffee Art' contest in town; the winners would go to an even bigger contest (championship?) in Seattle and some serious money could be made. But Ivan hadn't registered in time.
Well, there is always next year.
AMERICAN SCARES | WORLD
A recent article I came across adressed the long tradition of fear and mass hysteria in the United States.
The article listed three nationwide scares in the 20th century.
Immediately after WW1 there was the Red Scare, especially directed against the immigrants from Russia, which had turned 'revolutionary'.
And shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor all Japanese immigrants were rounded up, many thousands of them.
During the early-1950s the fear for Communism there was another Red Scare when everybody followed Pied Piper McCarthy and fear was spread for anybody remotely suspect of sympathetic to communism, people were arrested, careers devastated. The FBI, CIA and politicians were all in cahoots on this.
And since 9/11 we have the Islam Scare in the US. Initially it wasn't so bad, but after the Financial- and Economic crisis the media and politicians sought a common enemy and found it in Islam.
The article did not mention the mass hysteria sweeping over the US after the radioplay 'War of the Worlds', narrated by Orson Welles (an adaptation of the H. G. Wells' novel 'The War of the Worlds').
Common denominator is ignorance, there is a lot of that in the US.
People who haven't a clue concerning Islam or the Koran do not hold back and speak with authority on these subjects. Even pointing to their President, believing the rumor he is a muslim.
Ignorance couldn't be made to look more frightening.
Sad to see a country once so admired, so much in decline in all aspects.
TAD HOULIHAN | BOOKS ABOUT SKYTRUCKS
The author was raised in a small town in northern California's Sierra Nevada mountains. He started flying during WWII and at the age of 19 became a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot.
NO DECEPTION | ZEN LESSONS
If in your speech and silence, in what you do and what you do not do, you can say of yourself that you do not deceive heaven above, do not deceive people outwardly and do not deceive your own mind within, this can be truly called an achievement.
Yet remaining careful about the hidden and the subtle when alone, if you find that there is ultimately no deception going on at all, then this can be called achievement.
[letter of reply to Wang Anshi]
Most people in most countries don't like paying taxes. In the US one hears their motivation: they don't want to pay for social insurances that are likely to end up in someone else's pockets and they don't like to pay for services by the government they don't need...
I for one am grateful for the social integrity of The Netherlands, with all its faults and inefficiencies of the governing bodies involved, as well as for the Public Services available here.
Such as perodic sweeping of streets, removing the fallen leaves.
We have trees here which shed blossom and seeds during the summer and obviously leaves during the autumn.
One sees a giant vacuum cleaner equipped with brushes at work here. The man did a good job, he had to move a few times up and down as normally my car is parked here, gathering leaves underneath and there was a considerable amount to sweep up.
The leaves impose a safety threat whereas when the street is wet the chances for skidding is obviously apparent. As I also drive a motorcycle I have learned to appreciate clean streets!
KEVIN BRIDGES | COMEDY
Kevin Bridges makes an unforgettable impression on Would I Lie To You?, buying a horse
GAVIN LYALL | WRITER
Browsing my bookcase I came across these paperbacks. I was very fond of Gavin Lyall's writing, esspecially 'The Wrong Side of the Sky' and 'Judas Country' about down and out pilots trying to stay afloat (pun intended!).
Wikipedia has him as: Gavin Tudor Lyall (9 May 1932 - 18 January 2003) was an English author of espionage thrillers. But those titles I just mentioned were of a different kind.
More by Wikipedia:
Lyall was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, as the son of a local accountant, and educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham. After completing his two years of National Service, 1951 to 1953, as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force, he went to Pembroke College, Cambridge University, graduating in 1956 with honours in English.
After graduating he worked briefly as a reporter for the Birmingham Gazette, Picture Post and Sunday Graphic newspapers and then as a film director for the BBC's Tonight program.
From 1959 to 1962 he was a newspaper reporter and the aviation correspondent for the Sunday Times. His first novel, The Wrong Side of the Sky, was published in 1961, drawing from his personal experiences in the Libyan Desert and in Greece. It was an immediate success.
Lyall's first seven novels in the 1960s and early 1970s were action thrillers with different settings around the world.
Lyall won the British Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger award in both 1964 and 1965. In 1966-67 he was Chairman of the British Crime Writers Association. Lyall was not a prolific author, attributing his slow pace to obsession with technical accuracy.
Up to the publication in 1975 of Judas Country, Lyall's work falls into two groups. The aviation thrillers (The Wrong Side Of The Sky, The Most Dangerous Game, Shooting Script, and Judas Country), and what might be called "Euro-thrillers" revolving around international crime in Europe (Midnight Plus One, Venus With Pistol, and Blame The Dead).
Despite the commercial success of his work, Lyall began to feel that he was falling into a predicable pattern, and abandoned both his earlier genres, and the first-person narrative, for his “Harry Maxim" series of espionage thrillers beginning with The Secret Servant published in 1980. This book, originally developed for a proposed BBC TV Series, featured Major Harry Maxim, an SAS officer assigned as a security adviser to 10 Downing Street, and was followed by three sequels with the same central cast of characters. In the 1990s Lyall changed literary direction once again, and wrote four semi-historical thrillers about the fledgling British secret service in the years leading up to World War I.
Lyall died of cancer in 2003.
RUSSELL HOWARD | COMEDY
He was one of several comedians picked as the best comedy talent from the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe that recorded 10–15-minute spots for the 'Edinburgh and Beyond show' which was aired on Paramount Comedy 1 in the autumn of 2006.
He is a regular on British topical panel show Mock the Week. He has also made appearances on 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You?, Live At The Apollo, The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008, Law of the Playground and Never Mind the Buzzcocks (Series 18, Episode 2 and Series 20, Episode 4).
Most recently I 've seen him on Russell Howard's Good News Show. I love his humor.
ONE GOOD TURN | KATE ATKINSON
After having read 'Case Histories' and 'Not The End Of The World' I again immensely enjoyed a book by Kate Atkinson!
Here funny prose, remarkable characters, come together in a loopy crime story. She certainly has a style of her own and what better compliment is there.
Her humorous writing makes this book another compelling read, but does not degrade it into an objectionable 'lightness'. Her characters are realistic, they get involved in crime, face unexpected events, some enjoy a happy ending (well, they get to live..) and others are to be mourned.
THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET | DAVID MITCHELL
Amazing to note how well a foreigner managed to document an era of Dutch history so well...
David Mitchell describes a small Dutch trading community, restricted to remain on the small island of Dejima (Deshima, Decima, Doshima), off the coast of Japan.
For two centuries the Dutch representatives of the VOC (NL Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie = EN United Eastindies Company) traded the goods delivered by regularly visiting ships, exchanging them for Japanese products such as copper and china, storing these goods in warehouses for the next ship out.
Jacob de Zoet, a bookkeeper, hopes to gain a fortune and return to Domburg in the Netherlands to marry his Anna. With a new Governor he is part of a group to look into dwindling profits and suspected fraud at Dejima. He is found to be of great integrity, Governor Vorstenbosch less so.
Jacob de Zoet falls in love with Orito, a Japanes mid-wife; the latter falls victim to abduction. Intrigue develops. The contrast between the Dutch and the mysterious Japanese is fascinating.
Jacob arrives in 1799 and his stay will number 17 years. During that stay, an English warship brings the news of the VOC bankruptcy as well as the occupation of the Netherlands by Napoleon's troops. Finally Jacob returns to Domburg.
Other characters are written in detail, such as physician Marinus, who is also an avid botanist. Doctor Marinus is partially based on a former Director Martinus van Marum of the Teyler Museum in Haarlem and the artifacts David Mitchell saw in this museum. The Teyler museum is the Netherlands' first and oldest museum, open to the public since 1784.
It is one of those books that make you realize that for a small price you can get so many hours
of pleasure! And the book is so well produced, that it will enrich my bookcase for many years to come.
CLIMATE CHANGES ?
Climate changes: we may disagree on the cause (human intervention or cycles endured by our planet) but it does seem that drier parts on this globe seem to get even less rain, storms are more violent and parts of this world who endure rains get often more than they can handle...
Above screenshots came from www.time.com, which offered excellent photography to capture the grimness of both disasters.
ANSEL ADAMS | PHOTOGRAPHY
Recently a trove of old glass negatives bought at a garage sale for $45 were authenticated as the lost work of famed nature photographer Ansel Adams. They were valued to be worth at least $200 million...
Ansel Adams must have been one of the first photographers I bought books of. Having been to California in the 1980s, seen the Seqoia trees, visited Yellowstone and Kings Canyon and did some black and white landscape photography on a Mamiya 645S, I was truly inspired by the (black and white) work of Ansel Adams.
Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist, best known for his black-and-white photographs of the American West, especially in Yosemite National Park. One of his most famous photographs was Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California.
With Fred Archer, Adams developed the Zone System as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. The resulting clarity and depth characterized his photographs and the work of those to whom he taught the system. Adams primarily used large-format cameras, despite their size, weight, setup time, and film cost, because their high resolution helped ensure sharpness in his images.
Adams founded the Group f/64 along with fellow photographers Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham, which in turn created the Museum of Modern Art's department of photography. Adams's timeless and visually stunning photographs are reproduced on calendars, posters, and in books, making his photographs widely recognizable.
The Ansel Adams Gallery: www.anseladams.com
INFLUENCE OF DUTCH LANGUAGE ON NORTH AMERICAN LANGUAGES
LOOK | DAVID BAILEY
Phaidon (www.phaidon.com) has produced a book written Jackie Higgens, titled 'LOOK', on David Bailey's photography.
It is a small gem! I had some of Bailey's work in my bookcase, dating from the 1980s or so and I am glad I got reacqainted with his work.
See also what I've written about him on my blog in Nov.2009.
ARENDSOOG | J.NOWEE + P.NOWEE
An essay in a newspaper I subscribe to, celebrated this year's 75th anniversary of Arendsoog ('Eagle eye'), the one and only ' Dutch cowboy'.
Sixtythree (63!) books were written featuring Arendsoog and his helper Witte Veder ('White Feather') and when I was a kid I devoured these books... When I stopped buying these books I had the series complete to number 43 or 44.
People still look for them on secondhand bookfairs.
Jan Nowee started writing his books on Arendsoog because in his opinion the Karl May books, about Old Shatterhand and Winnetou, were not suitable for young children.
The writer was born in 1901 and became a teacher. He started writing short stories; his first book was published in 1927. Other books, on a variety of subjects including educational matters, followed.
In 1935 'Arendsoog' was published. Followed by 'Witte Veder' the next year. No.3 was delayed by WW2 and was published in 1949.
When I read Arendsoog in the late 1960s I had no idea I was reading a book written before WW 2.
The first book was published in 1935.
Arendsoog, alias Bob Stanhope, lived in Arizona on te S Ranch, with his mother and his sister Ann. His father had been murdered and thus Arendsoog became the Avenger for Justice, fearless and fast on the draw. Witte Veder could follow any trail in the mountains or desert. Arendsoog's horse Lightfeet could outrun the horse of any outlaw.
The stories kept me captivated until the very last page and when I had finished a book I was always a little sad, knowing I had to wait a full year before a new title would become available.
In 1958 Jan Nowee died of cancer. Book no.20 had not been completed. By
permission of the family the publisher had it finished by another writer,
but it wasn't done in the proper style. It was decided not to publish it.
UPDATE 11-2018: The publishing rights are controlled by (a.o.) Annette Portegies, a grandchild of Jan Nowee and reprints rest anno 2018 with publisher Overamstel. The first edition of 'Arendsoog' has been made available again (€7,50), while the other 62 titles are available through 'printing on demand'.
INTO THE WILD | FILM
It is a good opportunity to quote some lines (in part) here by Loudon Wainwright III on his album RECOVERY:
GOING EVERYWHERE GOING NOWHERE
the road goes on forever
those winding roads
and the straight and narrow
the high road
over barren passes
and the low roads
with tunnels of darkness
enduring rough rocky roads
moaning and groaning
then find wheels whispering
on smooth shiny blacktop
sunrise in the mirror
sunset on the horizon
the road goes on forever
Some damage had been found on my house and I found among my insurance papers the service details including a 24/7 telephone number I could contact.
So I phoned them on the saturday. I got into a menu, which I so disgust, but I waited until I found my choice and got through to a person.
My question was simple: could she send me a form for claiming my costs of repair. Without any questions she told me I could find al the forms on a website...
I have been there before, where you go from one link to another, trying to find the right form, browsing through 'FAQs' etc. Spending hours.
So I asked here to send me a link for the right page, to save me the time of frustrated browsing.
She ended up giving me a telephone number of the insurance company, which I could call on monday, between 9 - 5.
So much for call centers. So much for services and promises.
KADER ABDOLAH | WRITER
Kader Abdollah is the penname of Hossein Sadjadi Ghaemmaghami Farahani. Both 'Kader' and 'Abdolah' were friends who were executed and the penname is a tribute.
THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS | BLUES MUSIC
Over the years I've accumulated 4 cd's (and 3 by co-founder and frontman Kim Wilson), this was my first cance to attend a life concert of them.
Unfortunately I was there too early, the ticket stated 20:00, I'd h...oped they would start at 20:30 but some kids played first. The Fab T'birds started at 22:00. By 23:00 my feet (sports injury) were killing me and had to leave.
I did not much care for the location, P60.
Harmonica player, songwriter, and singer Kim Wilson is the co-founder and frontman of the Fabulous Thunderbirds; he's one of the U.S.'s top harmonica players.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds were formed in 1974 by Jimmie Vaughan and Kim Wilson.
For more than 30 years, Kim Wilson and the ever-evolving membership of The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been busting out a unique hybrid of Americana music that is equal parts blues, rock and soul.
During the early '90s, the Fabulous Thunderbirds were in limbo, as Kim Wilson recorded a pair of solo albums -- Tigerman (1993) and That's Life (1994). Wilson re-assembled the band in late 1994 and the band recorded their ninth album, Roll of the Dice, which was released on Private Music in 1995. High Water followed in 1997 with a live album after that in 2001.
In 2004, Wilson reassembled the band yet again.
A song recorded during this concert, on my Canon SX20 photo camera, on YouTube
Photos on Flickr.com
HENNING MANKELL | WRITER
The tv-series Kurt Wallander, a Swedish policeman, made me start reading books by the author of these series.
Henning Mankell (born 3 February 1948) is a renowned Swedish crime writer, occasional children's author and dramatist, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most iconic creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander.