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Daze of our lives...

All sorts of nonsense happens in the course of the day... good, bad, indifferent... whatever. Thoughts spring to mind, shit happens, things work out, but often don't... usually I have no idea of what's going to happen beforehand and perhaps its better that way. Anyway, just a little of what's going on and a way of clearing my mind... Read on at your own risk.

My Photo
Name:bart
Location:Hoorn, Netherlands

OK, not all that much to tell... just a slightly insane, very tired but reasonably perceptive guy who's life is filled with "why's" and never knowing why...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

They came from Oz

Following up on a query/comment by Zilla.


Be afraid, be very afraid...

Ou sont les neiges...

Beauty and simplicity, found yesterday while looking for something else...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Books to remember

Some books stay with you for life. Funny ones, sad ones, moving ones or stories just so silly that they leave an indelible imprint in your mind for the rest of your life. I have a whole list of books which have become intimate friends across the years, which I read, re-read and re-examine from time to time.


When I was at primary school, one of the books which we were read from was "Blinky Bill", a book written in the 1930's by Dorothy Wall of which I have an original copy here at home. It is a special book for me, a story about a little koala bear who could be as adventurous and as naughty as children might be, but displaying a heart of gold at all the right moments.


Today, surfing around at an odd moment and on a silly hunch, I came across the Project Gutenberg rendition of the book I love so much. I'd like to dedicate this post to all people who are still children at heart, those who have children themselves and those who enjoy reading for its own sake, but especially to Ange who is in need of comfort, companionship and a good laugh at the moment...

Take a look here, Blinky Bill online...

Keep well, read well and be good for yourselves and for your children...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Extreme sports (4)


Variations on a theme...


See also:
Extreme sports (3)
Extreme sports (2)
Extreme sports (1)
Extreme sports

The Power of Positive Thinking


You think I'm nuts, don't you?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Fluid forms

Part of an assignment to be made today...


Images used for business cards, for one of the local photographers.


Femininity in an aethereal water world.


Floating and free, actions, reactions and interactions...


Dreams within dreams, memories of the other world fading...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Voice from the void

For reasons known only to itself, the server on which my website and my blog reside has been extraordinarily difficult the last few weeks. The first symptoms some time ago were an occasional inability to publish my blog, after a short while it became more and more difficult to do what I'd like to do and since last week there has been a total refusal to co-operate in any sensible form or fashion.


It sucks. It appears that the server doesn't accept certain types of file transfers, amongst other those generated by Blogger which I use to publish my blog directly onto my own website. This evening I attempted a republish of a post I wrote on Monday, which thankfully worked for the first time in days hence this hurried and hopefully succesful attempt to explain the silence of the last week or two...


Hopefully this is the beginning of the end and not merely the end of the beginning...


Keep well...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mental meandering

How much of one's own life is truely one's own, and how much belongs to the people around us, those we care about and care for?


We need each other for support, for recognition and for companionship and yet we need to reconcile the need to be ourselves with the need to be part of a larger group.


Probably much of the turmoil going on in modern society is the conflict between these two modes of existence, the personal and the social which demand attention in different ways... being totally ourselves excludes ourselves from the group results in alienation and despair, submerging oneself into the group denies personal identity and self-respect...


A relationship is a small-scale reflection of the same phenomenon... partners needing to be themselves yet recognising the bonds of commitment and respect. The need for self-expression and self-realisation is just as great as the need to compromise and attempting to see the points of view of the "significant other".


Finding the balance can be painful, leaving behind much one depended upon and trusting the veracity of the others affections... love can be blind, but an inability to see allows disaster to rear its ugly head...


Badly introspective this evening... just hope my webhost is accomodating enough this evening to allow me to publish this...


Keep well..

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good morning

My day thus far... sigh...

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Socialist Party... partied..

Last Sunday (November 5th) the Dutch Socialist Party created a moment to remember for all members who deigned to be present... (hint, click on the images for an enlargement)





Good music, good company...











... well known faces and some new ones...







...a kind of improvised "meet and greet" with the leading members of the party...







...a natural approach...


...and lots of enthusiastic members...

A day to be remembered... keep well...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Halloween in retrospect

Halloween's not much of an event hier in the Netherlands. Usually we wait for the feast of Saint Maarten on November 11th, more or less the same thing but in a different way...

Just a few collected and disconnected glances back at the Halloween that was.




Keep well...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Where do you live?

Courtesy of Google Earth, a photo of our part of the suburb in which we live...


Click on the image for an enlargement

What does your town or locality look like? I'm curious...

Last year in November

Made close to where I live. A little late perhaps (or early), but better late than never :P

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Summers end

Last weekend the clocks were set back to standard time, after a long and eventful summer... just the small matter of getting my body back into a different rhythm.


I can't understand the logic of this switching of time every half year or so... supposedly its got someting to do with saving energy but somebody still has to point out how, where and in which ways this is done.


No matter, the mornings are brighter, the evenings are darker and the autumn leaves are scattered around, letting themselves be blown by the wind and going their own ways.


Nature is preparing to sleep, but still there's a nervous energy all around .. the shroud of darkness and decay opens the path to renewal and rebirth...


Keep well...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Innovation

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On revolutions

Today, amidst the confusion and clamour of our own daily doings, we stop to remember the people of Budapest during the uprising in 1956.


Sanity ceased to be relevant, the tanks did the talking.

I only became politically conscious in a strange, ephemeral way during the Prague Spring in 1968, when my childhood world was exploded by discrepancies and murmers from afar...


The statue of Joseph Stalin, the great tormentor of Europe,
lay in ruins on the streets

With a great amount of sympathy I reviewed the events that had passed, and saw what was happening in Eastern Europe... ever since childhood I have had strong socialist inclinations and yet I could see that something horribly wrong was taking place, over and over again with almost no means of escape from the Soviet madness that had engulfed the nations from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic, from the "Iron Curtain" to the Urals and the countries of Caucasia and beyond...


The man of steel, beheaded and vilified...

The people of Budapest stood up, let their voices be heard and suffered the consequences... Janosz Kadar and cohorts ruled the country afterwards with an iron hand for decades, yet in the 1980's when I visited Hungary several times the communist blindness had been replaced by a quietly resigned, almost deferential attempt to return the country to the mainstream of European consciousness...


The people rejoiced, but were in need..
they were betrayed...

The Communism of post World War II Europe became a cynical exercise in domination, control and subjugation, performed in the name of socialism but more in the name of personal opportunism, by those who would rule on their own terms...


"Workers of the world, you have nothing to lose but your chains..."
As written, promised and trampled afoot by Lenin himself...

When the going gets tough, the people react... Hungary is today, once again, the theatre of a cynical game of power, politics and self-interest. Once again the people demand their rights as citizens who need to be heard... the leaders are once again deaf, history repeats itself in uncomfortable ways but ultimately, the people are right in their convictions.

Keep well and be as revolting as you like ;-)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Motherland

Written by Mack, who's been through the terrors of an iniquitous war and is still trying to deal with it's aftermath...

I went to war
You stayed at home
I killed two men
You kissed auntie joan
I was called a hero
You bought a new car
I saw the dead and dying
You read the Daily Star
I prayed to see the dawn
You flicked to the racing page
I sqeezed out shit in sub zero temperatures
You thought George Micheal was all the rage
24 years on your the managing director
You've bought another new car
Yours wifes a whore
My wife has long gone
You view me with comtempt from afar
I went to war
You stayed at home
It was the right choice
Coz you drive a Rolls Royce.


Keep well and keep on thinking, feeling and being...
for yourself, for your own peace of mind and for those who need you.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Dreamtime

When I was a child, in the 1960's in Australia, I was so often fascinated by the art work of the original Aboriginal inhabitants of the continent. At the time it was a childishly intuitive fascination, fuelled by my own conviction that there was more going on than met the eye.


The Wandjina spirits, guardians of the sacred places.

Aboriginal art, a representation of a totally different way of viewing the world around us. The aboriginal people believed in a separate, parallel form of reality called the Dreamtime, in which the gods and spirits moved across the earth, acting and interacting with the daily doings of the creatures that inhabited the world. There's a stunning humility and perceptiveness in much of the ancient art, a reminder to all those who visited the sacred places of his/her place in the scheme of things.


The tragedy that started in 1788 is still so very real for the descendants of those who could not understand the European invasion. Their people still exist, dislocated in time and space, physically and mentally severed from the world which fed them and gave them meaning, unable to function in an ostensibly hostile society.


-----------------------

The Dead Heart

Midnight Oil / Diesel and Dust
(listen to the music) (4.8Mb WMA file)

We don't serve your country
Don't serve your king
Know your custom don't speak your tongue
White man came took everyone

We don't serve your country
Don't serve your king
White man listen to the songs we sing
White man came took everything


We carry in our hearts the true country
And that cannot be stolen
We follow in the steps of our ancestry
And that cannot be broken

We don't serve your country
Don't serve your king
Know your custom don't speak your tongue
White man came took everyone

We don't need protection
Don't need your land
Keep your promise on where we stand
We will listen we'll understand


We carry in our hearts the true country
And that cannot be stolen
We follow in the steps of our ancestry
And that cannot be broken

We carry in our hearts the true country
And that cannot be stolen
We follow in the steps of our ancestry
And that cannot be broken


Mining companies, pastoral companies
Uranium companies
Collected companies
Got more right than people
Got more say than people


Forty thousand years can make a difference to the state
of things
The dead heart lives here


The Snake Dreaming, representing one's ancestors
as part of the land and the social group.

-----------------------

Take a look at the site of the Aboriginal Art Museum in Utrecht.
A place of wonder and inspiration.

Keep well...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stop, think and think again before acting

One of the greatest challenges I face on a day to day basis, is recognising and accepting the fact that we people are so disturbingly different in so many ways. At moments I seem to be so very wrapped up in my own doings, I hardly take the time to think about what might be going on in somebody elses life, in ways that claim his or her attention that I have no idea about.

This morning was a case in point. It has happened occasionally in the past, but I was not in a particularly good mood and the moment overtook me before I realised what was going on.


I usually arrive early at the office, and take the moments of de-telephoned silence to get the daily agenda organised, pick up on the foul-ups of the day before and review some of the longer term objectives before the daily nonsense explodes around me. Whilst doing this, I usually have iTunes running some of the music I like, imported across the months from my own CD's and giving me the feeling that I'm just that little bit in control of my workplace for an hour or so.

One of my colleagues arrived, shortly before 8.30, came into the studio to hang up her coat and get herself organised, as well as turning on the radio at the same time which was predictibly running some of the popular blather-music and inane DJ commentary which accompanied it. I'd been out of the office for just a few minutes to pick up some stuff I'd printed and when I came back I was confronted with the noise I hadn't expected, from two different sources.

I was furious for a moment, feeling affronted and feeling as if my colleague was passing judgement on the music I was playing at the time, putting her wishes ahead of mine and making an unsaid statement which I should deal with.


The proverbial "keep breathing, count to ten and try to stop frothing at the mouth" routine kicked in, leaving me feeling resentful and hurt... and after ten minutes, I remembered that she was half deaf on her left side (which was on the side she passed by my computer coming in) and realised that the tracks running were very quiet, new-age kind of ambient music kind of stuff which you could hardly hear if you weren't in the immediate vicinity.


After having kicked myself mentally, I woke up to the fact that so much of what I see in daily life is an extension of my own assumptions and expectations which have nothing to do with what's happening in other peoples lives. I project my own needs and wishes on to others, expecting them to behave and react in ways I'd expect and understand. I unconsciously feel the need to keep control, in predictible situations in which events unfold in ways I can understand in my own field of reference, which "unfortunately" is only relevant to me and to nobody else on this planet.


One of the lessons I learned a very long time ago, was to give others the benefit of the doubt, no matter what happens because there are always causes and effects I have totally no idea of. And just as often I forget the lessons when the going gets rough and/or confused. I'm myself and what I think, want, need and do has nothing to do with anybody else in the first instance. All I need to do is recognise that others do exactly the same and from that moment on I should be trying to build bridges at every concievable opportunity.


I fail, often but will keep on trying. The concept of equality demands that every individual be recognised in his/her uniqueness and the consequent strengths and weaknesses which accompany this unicity. We are all equal in worth, we are all different and all worthy of equal consideration no matter what happens.


I need to sleep... my brain hurts... keep well...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Making a spectacle of myself

I've been having a lot of trouble with my eyes recently, causing a lot of tiredness and lack of focus at all the wrong times. Seems I have a slight distortion (in both eyes :P) which needs correcting badly.

I went to collect my new glasses yesterday. It was really strange in a couple of different ways. I can finally see properly into the distance, I can read small type again (and will probably end up wishing I couldn't) and I can already feel the lessened strain on my eyes by now, after one day.


Impression of the artist as a young man.

The strangest thing though, is the altered perspectives. When I'm outside, walking, it's like the earth seems to fall away under my feet and when I'm walking up (or down) steps I need to be careful because I can't quite place my extremities in relation to their surroundings.

Tomorrow's going to be the first real test of my glasses, at work. I'm curious to see how I react to a whole day wearing them in front of a monitor. As I said, I've put off buying these for a fair while, but I'm glad I did it :D

As they say, "the eyes have it..." ;-)

Keep well...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thought for the day

by Sogyal Rinpoche


We are so addicted to looking outside ourselves that we have lost access to our inner being almost completely. We are terrified to look inward, because our culture has given us no idea of what we will find. We may even think that if we do, we will be in danger of madness. This is one of the last and most resourceful ploys of ego to prevent us from discovering our real nature.

So we make our lives so hectic that we eliminate the slightest risk of looking into ourselves. Even the idea of meditation can scare people. When they hear the words egoless or emptiness, they think that experiencing those states will be like being thrown out the door of a spaceship to float forever in a dark, chilling void. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But in a world dedicated to distraction, silence and stillness terrify us; we protect ourselves from them with noise and frantic busyness. Looking into the nature of our mind is the last thing we would dare to do.

Hope this helps...

Hidden meanings

Seen recently near the Town Hall. I suspect we're looking at a signwriter with something Freudian (pay attention to the bicycles)...


Stadhuis = Town Hall
Raadzaal = Council Chambers
Vergadercentrum = Conference centre
Huwelijken = Marriages

The State of the Disunion

I've been too silent for too long a time and I once again have the feeling I've lost myself for a while. We're well into October, the days are shortening visibly, it's become a lot colder and the winter months darkness of the soul is starting to creep up on me, in the endless and well-known cycle I will never be able to get used to.


Despite my hesitance and some misgivings, my partner and I are still trying to make some sense of the desperate mess we've gotten ourselves into... some days we progress in exhilerating leaps and bounds, on others World War III erupts and leaves a wreckage which reverberates for days afterwards.


Some might say to just drop the whole matter as is, but I've put so much time, energy and promises into this relationship I feel duty-bound to carry on to any and every logical conclusion. I've made some insane mistakes along the way, in the assumption I would be able to navigate the rapids alone whilst persuing my own needs... more fool me for believing that the easy way out is way to be followed.


I haven't given up, but so much needs to be sorted out in both our minds, in some ways I'm respectful but not particularly hopeful any more... I've written this before but we always seem to need to cling to that last, little bit of hope despite all evidence to the contrary...


Will try to post oftener... keep well...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

As told by bunnies

Found today, a very silly site on which well-known films are parodied, with the assistance of a supporting cast of thousands ;-)


Take a look at the Angry Alien site, and judge for yourselves...

Keep well ;-)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Several thoughts, in passing

The following gave me a lot to think about...
(snipped from Time magazine

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez caused a stir this week during his visit to New York City, denouncing President Bush as "the devil" in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly and, during a visit to Harlem the following day, calling him an "alcoholic." In an exclusive interview with TIME's Tim Padgett, Chavez defended his controversial rhetoric as a necessary part of his leftwing revolution's effort to counter what he calls Bush's "global imperalism."

"Bush has called me worse things — tyrant, populist dictator, drug trafficker, to name a few," Chavez said. "I'm not attacking Bush; I'm simply counterattacking. Bush has been attacking the world, and not just with words — with bombs. I think the bombs he's unleashed on Baghdad or Lebanon do a lot more harm than any words spoken in the United Nations."

On the growing support in Latin America for his brand of "21st-century socialism," Chavez said: "After seeing the failure of Washington-backed capitalist reforms in Latin America, I no longer think a third way between capitalism and socialism is possible. Capitalism is the way of the devil and exploitation. If you really want to look at things through the eyes of Jesus Christ — who I think was the first socialist — only socialism can really create a genuine society."

Chavez expressed confidence that the U.N. will vote to give Venezuela a non-permanent seat in the Security Council next month. "It's because of the moment we're living right now, the need to block the cannons of the U.S. empire," he said. "The U.N.'s members believe we can have the most impact on that debate. The U.S. fears Venezuela's presence on the Council because it knows we'll be an independent vote for the Third World."

Chavez also had some pointed comments on his country's role as the hemisphere's largest oil producer. "Bush wanted Iraq's oil and I believe he wants Venezuela's oil," Chavez said. "But the blame for high oil prices lies in the consumer model of the U.S. Its reckless oil consumption is a form of suicide."


I've tried to avoid partisan commentary up to now, even though I honestly feel that the body language George W. Bush projects displays the utmost contempt for anybody and everybody outside the "inner circle" of the decision-making circuits in U.S. politics.... there is much to be changed in the land of "e pluribus unum" so that the people who are affected by policy also get to (audibly) say their piece and be considered in the decision-making process...

I feel so sad for the people who inhabit the greatest country on earth, whose rights have been compromised by corporate interest and political manoeuvering, who have little to say besides elect representatives who are subsequently sidelined, manipulated by party/corporate/military interests and who in the long run are unable to let the people who elected them be heard...

I despair for you people at moments, sincerely, but I can't do anything you can't or won't do for yourselves...

Keep well, sleep well, look around you, listen well and learn to the best of your ability... you are not alone, sincerely ;-)

Take care ;-)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Would you like to dance with me?


Hey, where did she go...?

Lost and found


An enlarged view can be found here.


The world is a strange place, our own minds and the depths of our own psyche even stranger and deeper, yet the search for the Grail continues in myriad forms and fashions... the treasures we seek may be before our eyes, yet unseen for whatever reasons...

Keep well...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Post 747

I was going to post a blathingly long post on personal commiserations, things that were bothering me, what's been happening and/or the absence thereof... things that suck but which aren't helpful in the long run...

In one moment, I see that this is my 747th post on my blog, which deserves a totally different twist to which I'd intended :P

When I was a child, the Boeing 747 was probably the summum of aviation technology... introduced at the end of the 1960's the airplane and its successors are still important forces on the aviation scene...


In Australia, the QANTAS people decided to give an added dimension to the 747 phenomenon... during the years, it had become fashionable to restyle the planes in whatever ways necessary for gratuitous national profiling and they decided to repaint three of their 747's to represent some of the core values of the Aboriginal population of Australia...


Wunala Dreaming

Varying themes and different colour schemes were used to promote the messages of the Dreamtime, the Aboriginal way of describing the different reality which exists alongside the perceived and accepted modes of daily existence.


Nalanji Dreaming

As a child, even though I was a child of the immigrant newcomers, I was brought up in a strictly Anglo-Saxon tradition and although I lived in a country where the native and traditional values were ridiculed when compared to "Modern Progress", I always sensed there was a value and a truth beneath the surface that we newcomers were unable or unwilling to understand.

We read the stories, but failed to comprehend, we learned of the traditions spanning millenia past but failed to see them for what they were worth because the messages passed on were of a world and time totally beyond our own.


Yananji Dreaming

The giants that rule the air, returning to remind of us of our own insignificance, redecorated in ways which we would do well to heed, to remember that we belong to the earth and that we have no claim to this planet of ours besides the fact that it gave birth to us and to which we will return in our own time...

It's sad, a message I need to keep on repeating to myself, lest I forget...

Keep well...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mathematical universes

Zilla and Loloma asked recently, how I managed to generate the images I've been planting in my blog.


The truth of the matter is that it's really quite simple, but it requires time (which I usually don't have), patience (which I do have, but which is usually compromised by the noise which accompanies adult life), some understanding of mathematical functions (yay :D ) and a willingness to trust one's intuitiveness... that, along with some sort of (mental) logbook of what you've been doing will lead you down a path to discover the most beautiful and the so very beautiful extremes of abstract harmony...


This is an image created by Dzeni, who inspired/inspires me and who is light years ahead of me in generating the most beautiful of fractal images...


Fractals in nature...

For the record, I use two different programmes... on my Mac I've got EasyFractal (version forgotten, it's at work) and on my PC at home I'm using Tierazon which (for me) is an interesting way of confronting confusion. In the future, I'll probably progress to other, better and different programmes but these offer me a open door to start my journey through the fractal freakiness which is part of all of us...

Keep well...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Reality check

Chickens of the world, unite... you have nothing to lose besides your illusions...


... and I suspect you humans don't either...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cows with Guns

Long, long time ago...
I can still remember
how the music used to make me smile...


(cough... sorry, wrong intro here... will try again...)

A good number of years ago, I heard a song which left me laughing my sad ass off at a moment I really needed it... a brilliant parody on much of what's going on in our dislocated western experience of reality, as well as just providing some good moosic as well :P


Take a look at Dana Lyons' home site, who as creator and perpetuator of the "Cows with Guns" phenomenon has provided so many of us with so much to laugh about... terrible puns, excruciating associations, totally silly approaches to the everyday nonsense around us... excellent...

Incidentally, I have absolutely no idea of who provided the animation on YouTube, but it's been done in such good taste and in total keeping with the song itself... whoever you are, thank you :D

Keep well...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Yet another quiz...

I nicked this one via the Mischievous Muse, a quiz I rather liked given my fascination for Nordic legends...


Which Norse God or Goddess are you most like?
created with QuizFarm.com

Aware


Click here for an enlargement


Fluttering to and fro in the light,
knowing but not comprehending,
seeing but not understanding...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The hands of the clock, tick tock...


Take a look at this site, an interesting variation on a well-worn theme, excellently done :D

Keep well...

Wake-up call


Does this sound familiar ( :P )?...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Gatekeeper

It's been a rather tiring couple of days with colleagues taking time off or claiming sick leave, with too few people to do ever so much in as short a time as possible... I'm feeling rather ragged but just wanted to fiddle around with fractals for a short while, they offer me a way of escape into mathematical and implied metaphysical jungles through which I can roam at my leisure...


One of this evenings better attempts which I instinctively called The Gatekeeper, because it looked so much like a moment in a dream I had a few months ago, the intensity of which left me puzzled but euphoric at the time...

Keep well...