30.07.2003 Got a 50mm f/1.8 lens

I managed to get hold of a second hand Canon 50mm f/1.8 MK I lens, which is a lot better than the plastic toy Canon replaced it with many years ago. Someone had an advertisement for it on the web and after I contacted the seller, it turned out he almost literally lives around the corner.

I love the sharpness and bokeh of this lens, and the fact that you can get a very shallow Depth of Field. Here’s a quick portrait of me…

Hmmmmmm, shallow DoF

alex | 00:23 | fotografie
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29.07.2003 I love this picture, I need a larger version

photograph by Annie Leibowitz

Does anyone have a link to a larger version of this photo of the Sopranos by Annie Leibowitz? I love it and it would like to have it wallpaper sized, like 800px wide…

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alex | 13:55 | fotografie | verberg reacties
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Ik heb niet de poster, maar wel de DVD’s, season 1, 2, 3, 4… Nu nog effe een weekendje tijd vinden…

Ben - 10.04.2004 - 15:43

http://www.unflux.com/files/sopranos.jpg

Matias - 22.10.2006 - 00:49

27.07.2003 Dancing in the Arena

(That’s this Arena, not this one btw)

Arena

Arno, Rumy, some other friends and me went dancing. It had been quite a few years for most of us, and it turns out we had an excellent time. Of course, to make us not feel really old, we went to the Dance Classics Friday, so us (almost) 30+’ers had something to sing along with.

New (at least for me):

  • Red Bull Vodka

Scary:

  • guys wearing a suit with no tie who think that’s casual, especially when they go berserk on the dancefloor and hit on every girl there.
  • knowing the lyrics to Poison by Bel Biv Devoe after all these years

Good:

  • hearing When Doves Cry at maximum volume
  • going to sleep when the birds start to sing

alex | 01:44 | muziek
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23.07.2003 Goed idee voor de volgende vakantie

Ik vind dit net op mijnkopthee.nl:

klik voor popup!
klik voor de hele foto

Ik woon alleen op drie hoog, daar moet ik nog wat op vinden. :)

alex | 16:54 | links
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22.07.2003 Visited Rune & Sandra

We gave Nina a new toy.

fun with water

She seemed happy with it… :)

alex | 23:57 | algemeen geleuter
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22.07.2003 Updates to the site

As you may have noticed, the site is changing on a daily basis. I got rid of the calendar, I have real archives, a real category setup, I integrated the photography section (Gallery) with the rest of the site (Movable Type) so everything looks more homogenic. If something is broken, please let me know…

To do: random photo from the gallery on the front page

alex | 22:10 | geek
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22.07.2003 Assorted movie reviews

Two weeks notice: Just get one of the hundreds of scripts for romantic comedies they have lying on the shelf in Hollywood, have two expert actors in this field play in the movie, and then make a couple of million bucks. Romantic comedies, they’re like old comfy pants, you know exactly what you’re going to get, but that’s just ok. I don’t particularly like Sandra Bullock, nor Hugh Grant, but I just thought this movie was really funny… (Rating: 4/5)

Anger Management: After I had seen Punch Drunk Love I have renewed respect for Adam Sandler. Up to that movie I had no idea why people liked him and why he was getting movie roles in the first place. In Anger Management you get to see Adam like you know him from all of the other movies. Jack Nicholson does his usual thing as well, go and see About Schmidt if you want to see Nicholson at his best. This movie is pretty meh. (Rating: 2/5)

The Sweetest Thing: This movie made me feel old, like I lost touch with a younger generation. I did not get what was supposed to be funny about this. I didn’t even make it half way, this movie sucked really bad. I should have known what was coming after that penis song… (Rating: 1/5)

alex | 11:13 | film
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19.07.2003 Het Bureau

I’m going to write this in dutch since there is hardly any point in writing English for such a typical Dutch book.

De zeven delen in de boekenkast

De in zeven delen verschenen roman ‘Het Bureau’ van J.J. Voskuil heeft al jaren een prominente plaats in onze boekenkast. Anneke had al enkele malen voorgesteld dat ik het zou moeten lezen, maar ik was wat huiverig na de verhalen die ik er over gehoord had: ‘saai, gortdroog, er gebeurt hoegenaamd niets’.

In maart van dit jaar heb ik dan toch het eerste deel uit de kast gepakt en me voorgenomen om na 200 pagina’s te stoppen als ik het niets zou vinden. Ik werd echter direct gegrepen door de sfeer en de droge, maar vaak hilarische beschijvingen van het wel en wee van de vele personages. Gisteren heb ik de laatste pagina van deel zeven gelezen en met heel veel leesplezier dit monsterproject volbracht (ik vraag me ineens af hoeveel mensen Het Bureau op deze wijze, alles achter elkaar, gelezen hebben).

De noterende stijl van Voskuil behoeft wel enige gewenning, maar onder de eenvoudige beschrijvingen van de dagelijkse verhandelingen gaan zeer veel emoties en gedachten schuil. Voskuil komt er bijvoorbeeld mee weg om tijdens de beschrijving van zijn afscheid zeker drie keer in één alinea exact dezelfde zin ‘Frits maakte een foto.’ te schrijven. Voor de één het bewijs van een totaal gebrek aan vakmanschap, voor de ander een meesterlijke schrijfstijl. Wat me al met al het meest heeft aangesproken is de wijze waarop de collega’s van Maarten worden neergezet, wat een prachtig beeld geeft van de manier waarop er op Het Bureau met elkaar om wordt gegaan. Ik weet zeker dat vele lezers zichzelf en hun werkplek in deze beschrijvingen herkennen.

Omdat ‘Het Bureau’ autobiografisch is blijf ik wel met een hoop vragen zitten: ‘Hoe denken de collega’s van Voskuil over de manier waarop ze worden neegezet’, ‘Wat zou de vrouw van Voskuil gezegd hebben toen hij de Libris literatuurprijs ter waarde van fl. 100.000,- kreeg’ (om nog maar te zwijgen over de inkomsten van de verkoop van al die boeken) en ‘Doet het Meertens instituut nog steeds van die zinloze onderzoeken’ (en ja hoor)…

‘Het Bureau’ bevestigt voor mij iets wat ik me enkele jaren geleden gerealiseerd heb: werk is zinloos. Nu is dat wat kort door de bocht, maar ik kan me goed inleven in Maarten’s werkethiek. Je weet dat wat je doet weinig tot geen zin heeft, maar je verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel is te groot om er met de pet naar te gooien. De standaard die je voor jezelf zet is hoog, en je verwacht niet minder van je collega’s. Je kan het ook niet helpen dat je op een gegeven moment bevlogen raakt door het onderwerp waar je mee bezig bent, omdat je patronen en structuren ontdekt. Als uiteindelijk blijkt dat het werk waaraan je jarenlang hebt gewerkt, r?ºcksichtslos terzijde wordt geschoven, veroorzaakt dat toch triestheid en woede, ondanks het feit dat je jarenlang gezegd hebt dat het toch nutteloos is.

Waar veel boeken op mij dezelfde uitwerking hebben als een film, leuk vermaak en verder niets, gaat Het Bureau dieper. Het heeft in veel opzichten mijn kijk op het leven beïnvloed, zoals mijn werk, autorijders, ouder worden en het wonen in Amsterdam. ‘Het Bureau’ is prachtige literatuur, iedere Nederlander zou dit moeten lezen…

Deel 1, Meneer Beerta

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alex | 13:44 | boeken | verberg reacties
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Nou dat is goed om te weten. Ik heb Het Bureau 1 nu al bijna twee jaar ongelezen in huis (gekocht toen ik naar Boise ging met de gedachte het daar te lezen). Ik weet niet waarom ik het nog steeds niet gelezen heb… er zijn maar weinig boeken in mijn huis die ongelezen blijven. Misschien de titel?

Je geeft me hoop. Ik zal het maar weer proberen.

Rumy - 20.07.2003 - 16:49

Mijn vraag is dan weer wat eerst Bij Nader Inzien of gwoon er voor gaan ?

Ruud Kreeftmeijer - 19.09.2006 - 08:15

16.07.2003 Google loves me, it seems…

I was just looking though my site stats, and I noticed that 90% of all the keywords used on seach engines (read: Google) is ‘blijburg’. Now, that in itself it not so strange, since I have an album called Blijburg, but when I entered the keyword in Google to see how high my ranking is, I saw this:

how freaky!

Now that’s freaky, I’m even before blijburg.nl, which as far as I know is not normal behavior for Pagerank. I checked out both sites in IE with the Google Toolbar and it seems we both have a PageRank of 0/10, which maybe has something to do with it. Still, apart from the fact that I use the word Blijburg once and it’s in the <title> tag, I have everything against me. So I think Google just loves me.

And no, I did not mean bleiburg!

alex | 22:59 | geek
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16.07.2003 Some new pictures

I have sort through them all meticulously, but I already added four pictures to the Vondelpark and Museumplein albums. Basketball and inline skating: shooting fast moving sports is hard, especially at a max aperture of f/4.5 at full zoom… :P

I should make a wishlist like on other blogs…

1: Please, please, please, please, it’s all I want… ;)

btw, here’s one of them, it turned out pretty good I think:

street basketball rocks

alex | 00:51 | fotografie
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07.07.2003 Moose in backyard = I’m jealous…

Just when I think I have something exotic in my backyard, I read this hilarious story! Here’s a picture, there’s a movie too.

Moose in backyard

Ah well, one can always hope…

alex | 11:12 | links
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06.07.2003 Amsterdam, a tropical paradise

Normally we just hear pigeons, magpies, blackbirds, swallows and other run of the mill birds in our backyard. But for a couple of months now, the sounds have gotten a multi-cultural twist. It seems a couple of tropical parrots have been added to the mix, who have set up camp and decided to stay. I just caught them with my camera…

a parrot?!

yes... a parrot it is!

I’m stunned…

alex | 22:36 | algemeen geleuter
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06.07.2003 Some additions to the Calabria and Blijburg albums

I went through all the Blijburg and Calabria pictures again and decided to add some more to the albums. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this image earlier, I really like it…

alex | 12:54 | fotografie
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05.07.2003 Thoughts on the photo site

I’m still not sure what the best plan of attack is for the photo site. Initially I uploaded the full six megapixel files to the server and let Gallery resize them to thumbnails and 700x467 pixel images for decent web viewing. I realized this strategy has a couple of disadvantages: It takes quite long to upload, eventually it’ll take up quite some disk space, but most impotantly, the resize tool that runs on my Linux server, Netpbm, murders the sharpness of the images. I can hear all you graphics/Linux/photo guru’s screaming “use ImageMagick!”, but to be honest I don’t think that’ll do the trick either.

Anyway, because of these reasons, I decided to resize the images for the web in Photoshop and sharpen them individually. I’ve been trying to come up with some sort of standard sharpening so I can create an Action, but it seems to me every image needs it’s own amount of sharpening. Initially I created images of 700 pixels wide, but then I got some complaints that they were too small. So now I’m sort of set on 900x600 pixels. Gallery still creates the 700x467 pixels ‘sized’ version, which is still sucky quality, so I think I’ll just rip out that step. What I’m wondering about now is whether 200 to 300Kb per image is maybe a bit modem-unfriendly (think mom’n’dad).

Lastly, I’m wondering if Gallery is all that great. I have the feeling that no visitor will notice that I added images to the Tourism in Amsterdam folder, let alone a folder that is not on the first page. Maybe that question is a bit semantic, since I probably have no visitors to begin with. ;)

In any case, suggestions from all you readers out there are welcome. (Hello, is anybody out there?)

alex | 23:14 | algemeen geleuter | 1) print ("s"); } else { print("reageer"); } ?>
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alex | 23:14 | algemeen geleuter | verberg reacties
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(As you probably noticed) I don’t do any sharpening on my pics and resize all my pics in Photoshop to 550 wide, which gives me a size of 30 to 70 kb per image. I guess in your book that’d be sucky quality :-)
But I guess we don’t have the same goal. My pics are boring sucky family pics, mainly visited by family in France and Brazil with antique modems and computers…
You make pure art! I love your pictures! I’m especially impressed by the colours and the choice of your subjects.

Rumy - 06.07.2003 - 10:28
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02.07.2003 Ripley’s Game

I liked The Talented Mr. Ripley: good cast, good atmosphere, good story, maybe just a tad long. The whole warmish 50-ish Italian style of the movie gave it a very nice feel. So we decided to check out Ripley’s Game, also based on the book by Patricia Highsmith.

This movie tells the story of Jonathan Trevanny, who is forced into murdering someone by Tom Ripley. The fact that Jonathan suffers from terminal leukemia is used to pressure him into accepting the hitman job.

Although the location of the movie, based in Italy and Berlin, has a nice atmosphere, it doesn’t really come to life. Where the movie suffers the most is the lack of a decent part for the other actors, especially Ripley’s and Trevanny’s wives. The good performance of John Malkovich as Ripley saves the movie only to a certain extent. The storyline on the whole is strangly simplistic, and rather unbelievable.

I expected more, this movie was not very good. I like Malkovich better in that movie where he played that jewel thief.

alex | 14:29 | film
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02.07.2003 Coldplay, the best band in the world

A couple of days ago I got a call from a friend who had a spare ticket for the Nada Surf + Supergrass + Coldplay + Live concert in Nijmegen. Hours of fun in the open air with some excellent bands, just the recipe for a sunny summer day.

Of course, after a dry spell which turned the grass in front of my house yellow, the weather Gods decided to please us some rain during the concert. Torrent, cloudburst and downpour are the first words that come to mind, most of us reached a stage of “can’t-get-any-wetter” quite rapidly.

We missed Nada Surf because of traffic insanity, but after Popular from 1996 I hadn’t heard anything of them anyway. Supergrass was great, they can always get the crowd going at festivals.

Coldplay was stunning. They are, in my humble opinion, the best band in the world at the moment. Chris Martin knows how to work the crowd with his charm, energy and great voice. I loved his loose style, just having a laugh about some slip ups. All in all their songs are excellent and their live performance is amazing.

After such a great performance, I couldn’t really get into Live anymore. I own the Throwing Copper album, which was great at the time. But somehow the sound doesn’t work for me anymore. Live just seem pretentious and they take themselves too seriously. We left after the third song…

No pictures this time, cause no digital SLR’s with fat tele lenses allowed. :(

alex | 12:01 | muziek
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