Saturday, 30 June 2007

Wow! A post!

Hello everyone who's still reading this!

Yes, I'm still alive, no, I'm not posting much, maybe, I'm sorry. Things are still fine, working hard, having a nice time in Edinburgh. Gee, what can I say that won't bore you to death?
Here's a silly story: (Sorry for the broken, incorrect English and poor grammar coming up. I'm quite tired, but I just wanted to write something)
I needed to get some cash, so I went over to a cash machine, inserted my card, and entered my pincode. Now, some of you may know this, but I'm a terribly unorganised person. This very blog is proof of that. Whenever I get a receipt, business card, etc., I just shove it into my wallet and forget about it. As a result, my wallet always looks like I've got more money than I can spend, or like it's just full of receipts and junk. Also, because I was already carrying around a lot of cards from Holland, I didn't have enough room for my new Scottish ones. Practical as I am, I just kept two cards in each designated pocket of my wallet. (You can see where this is going, can't ya?)
I was sure I entered the right one, so I took a look in my wallet to see if I had actually inserted the right card. That's when it hit me. I had inserted both my Scottish, as well as my Dutch debit card into the machine at the same time! I had lost a debit card to a machine before, so the prospect of losing two wasn't very pleasant to say the least. I decided that the only thing I could do, was just enter my Dutch pincode and hope for the best. It worked! At least, my Dutch card came out, as well as some cash! Then the machine started beeping... Oh no, bye card...
But wait! The beeping stopped and my card actually came out! Well, it was quite exciting when it all happened, I can assure you.
Oh, I've been to Glasgow with some collegues. It was quite nice. There was a parade that day, but we missed it. And we walked around and saw all kinds of stuff, like a cathedral, Glasgow's oldest house, a big graveyard and the world's largest terracotta fountain! Oh, and the museum of religious art. And this marketplace, where they sold bootleg DVD's and all kinds of other illegal stuff out in the open.
The weather's been really weird around here lately, it keeps going from really sunny and hot, to really cold and wet. Guess it keeps you on your toes... or something.

No great stories, but at least it keeps you informed. Until next time, same URL, same nonsense.


Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Month 2: The Revenge

Has it really been that long? Wow. What does one say at a time like this?

Well, everything's still going fine. Having lots of fun and working a lot. Still no internet at my house though. And it looks like it could still take a couple of weeks. They'll probably come install it right before I move back to Holland.
You see, in order to be provided with internet access, I had to get a phone line installed first. After a couple of attemps I finally became a customer of a certain telephone company. They gave me my very own phone number and would come round on Saturday the 19th to install the line. On Friday the 18th, while I was at work, I got a call from a mechanic from said phone company, who had come to install the phoneline. I explained to him that my appointment was on the 19th, but that was not what his schedule said. He said he'd try to squeeze me in on Saturday, but could make no guarantees. Of course the next day he didn't show up, so I had to make a new appointment. Fine. I called the phone company again, explained the situation, only to hear it wasn't that person's department and that she'd have to patch me through. About 30 minutes and ten pounds later (pounds as in: currency, I didn't experience any sudden rapid weight loss or anything) I finally got to talk to someone who told me there were thousands more customers like me and that they were working on it and that they'd get back to me in about ten working days. To be continued...

And now it's time for Marcel's movie reviews! "Pirates of the Carribbean 3: The Something of Someplace or Something". It's not very good.

So, I've finally picked up karate again, and my former fellow karatekas will be sad to hear that I've given up on Shotokan and have picked up Shukokai karate. (Anybody reading this who doesn't know what Shotokan or Shukokai means, just nod your head and say: "Why yes, that does sounds interesting!") Some of my former fellow karatekas from The Hague will be pleased to hear though, that this particular form of karate is a lot like the one we were taugh in The Hague, so it all works out.
As long as we're on sports, last Sunday I went rock climbing for the first time in my life. Well, it was indoor rock climbing, so there weren't any actual rocks. At first I didn't really know what all the fuss was about. Once you get up there it seems kind of pointless, because you'll have to make your way back down again, but I must say that it's actually kind of fun. In fact, I could be doing it right now and I really wanted to, but I could hardly squeeze the toothpaste out of its container this morning, due to aching forearms. (What do you call those things toothpaste comes in in English anyway?)
I'm also still playing squash, well, I've played it here once so far, but I wanna pick that up again too. The animators around here are an active lot I tell ya!

And on a cultural note: Two weeks ago (Has it really been that long? Yes! We've already gone through this!) I caught the last day of the local Pixar (animation studio) exhibit in the Royal Scottish Museum. If it's ever somewhere near you, go there! They've got loads of concept art and sculptures that yes, you can see in the "Art of" books, but now you can actually see it at its original size! Also, there was a so-called zoetrope which was just amazing. If you don't know what a zoetrope is, you can look it up, but I'll try to describe it to you as best as I can. It can be built in many ways, but basically, in this case, it's a big round disk on top of which several, three dimensional, characters are mounted, in sequential poses. The disk is spun at a certain speed, until it's hard to see the characters, because your eyes can't keep up and the picture becomes all blurry. A strobe light, that flickers a couple of times per second, (like the ones they use on dance floors and at concerts sometimes) breaks up the fast motion so the motion blur is gone and you can see the individual poses, one at a time, in rapid succesion, just like you would watch any other movie. That's about as clearly as I can say it. It just comes down to a big disk with a lot of characters from Toy Story "moving around" on it and it looks really cool.

If I can think of anything else to tell you, I'll let you know. For now, I bid you adieu. And that concludes the French part of this post.

Marcel (Yes, the Marcel)