Monday, December 13, 2010

Requiescat In Pace

Today my bike died. Living in The Netherlands where bikes are everywhere (there are more bicycles here than there are people) and not being able to stand the public transportation (mostly it's unreliable and limited here, I don't like being dependent on a system like that), I really can't live without a bike...

I'll just have to see how this story will continue and I will update this post when I know.

Update: so here's what we're at right now: some plans have formulated. One housemate of mine suggested that her father might have a new (secondhand) bike for me, so she's looking into that. Also, I borrowed the bike of another housemate of mine yesterday night, and because he has broken his leg, he decided that the bike could temporarily become a "house bike". At the very least that will alleviate some of the trouble.
Basically, I just can't stand the immobility of not having a bike.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The pen is on the paper

I wrote today.
I wrote some 1900 words today. Sure, that's not the 3333 words I was doing every day for half of November (or the 4000 words I did the last few days, or the 10000 words I did in the very first day), but still it's a milestone for me. That's because these 1900 words mark the very first time I worked on a NaNoWriMo piece of mine after the month was done.

In 2008, I didn't make the 50,000 and I didn't finish my book. Nevertheless, after November 2008 I have never touched the text again. It's still not done. It's gathering virtual dust.
By the way, this is the one story I wrote that I don't like. In rewriting, it would need drastic changes. The dialogue has become way too repetitive - basically all that's in the present sucks. In the mean time, the real story - which is what they are talking about in the now, but happened in the past - is decent at best.

In 2009, I fared better. I was ahead a day or so when I fell prey to the Mexican flue. Luckily, I didn't get too ill and I was on my feet after only two days, even though I was still not feeling too great and just so happened to be off for a weekend together with my parents. So basically, I had two days in which I didn't write a single word and then two more days in which I only wrote a couple hundred each. Afterwards I calculated my new daily targets and even finished a few days early. On top of that, just about as I reached the 50,000, my story was all done.
I am quite satisfied about what I have written in 2009, but that of course doesn't mean that there is no need for editing. So, it hasn't been as long as it has been for my 2008 novel, but nevertheless, this complete draft has been gathering virtual dust, even though it just needs the editing.

This year, things went a lot better. As I felt too confident about making the 50,000 words-goal set out by NaNoWriMo, I stepped up the pace and set myself a number of other goals. As I mentioned them earlier, I am not going to repeat them (if you're interested, use the tag feature of this blog to take a look at past NaNoWriMo posts), but it ended in me writing the double the amount of words and still finishing with a day to spare. However, this time my story wasn't done yet. On the contrary, after some 95,000 words, my main character finally told the reader his real name.
However, I just broke that curse that said I cannot work on my novels once November is through. I may not be at the editing phase just yet, but right now I am working on finishing my story. It's only the first 1900 words, but it's a virtual boundary that's been broken.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A thousand words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Then, how much words is a graph worth?
I don't know, but I bet there's still a couple hundred in there.

I am not claiming you will be able to find out much about these words, but they are in there. My soul is in there.

*disclaimer*: The graph is all about estimations and how well I remember things. I by no means claim it to be precise. The general ideas are all factual though. Oh, and note, the last dot isn't in there yet, simply because I didn't know how to score it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A few questions

Even though, a long time ago, I started this blog after realising that a blog was in fact the next generation of diaries, I am not really one to write openly about my feelings. Whenever I do write about my feelings, I always obfuscate so that it won't be all that easy to see what is going on.
Right now, there's a lot going on. However, I don't think I can obfuscate it properly - where properly means it's not just gibberish to anyone who reads it, while at the same time, it shouldn't be to clear to some who might read it. Nevertheless, I wanted to write something, so here goes.

What is happiness?
When is life good?
What do you consider important?
What do you want to do?

I haven't written much, but I think I have put more feeling into it than I wanted already. Well, what's written is written, but I am not going to write more. We'll just see where this boat is going to strand (for the second - and hopefully final - time that is, the first time we just fixed the boat and got back in the water...)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo is over!

Last month was amazing. It was tough and left me with little time to boot. I participated in the annual event called NaNoWriMo - or (Inter)National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that you- and over 150,000 other with you- write a book in a month. The goal is set at churning out some 50,000 words of your first draft.

Something got into my head, though, and I wrote 100,000 words instead. It was a ride, but what a ride...

Finally, it's over now. November has passed. Finally, I'll have time again. Finally, I can return to all those projects I abandoned in favor of writing a book.

My story isn't done yet. I'm 100,000 words into the story and it's far from done. It only happened somewhere in the last couple thousand words that my lead character revealed his name to the reader. He has some more traveling to do.
Both previous times I participated in the event I didn't touch my book after November had ended. Will this time be any different?
This time, there's at least one thing that's different. This time, I'm not sick of writing after hitting my target. I'm glad I don't have to write every day anymore, but I'm not through with writing.

On the contrary, I can't stop writing. It all started yesterday (red. this post was written a few days before it was published - on December 1). Yesterday, it was still November, but I had made my target a day before that and as such I was done. However, in class, I took my pen and paper and wrote a real personal (yet fictional) story. Originally, the idea was to put it up here, but it got too long and too personal for that. Maybe I will still publish it some day, but not right now.
Today, I'm in class again and again I was feeling the urge to write. So here I am. Don't get me wrong, though, I'm still paying just enough attention to my class (today, that is, it's not true for yesterday).

Does this perhaps mean that my blog is finally really going to live?

Who knows... who knows...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Becker S6E13

Recently I watched the very last episode of the tv series Becker. It was fabulous.

(Spoilers ahead - spoilers of the finale as well as of the general continuity. However, if you don't know this yet, you should really just go watch more Becker!)

It wasn't planned or anything, it was just on tv. On thing that meant was that before the show started, I didn't know it was going to be the series finale. However, I had the feeling it was going to be the series finale in the first few minutes.

Quite often series finales are quite recognizable. Often they have the "bigger than life" plots, the plots that are supposed to feel epic and awesome, the plots that break the status quo that had been held for very long - if not the entire series. Usually they try to tie up all the loose ends. An episode being a two-parter (or more-parter) is also a good sign that it might be a series (or season) finale, because tying up all the loose ends and being epic are two things that are a lot easier when you have more time to do so.
There are good reasons for a finale to do those things. First off, the finale is the last thing people are going to see of the show - thus an important thing to remember the show by, so they need to be awesome. Also, as you no longer need to maintain the status quo for the next episode, so this is a good chance for you to break it. Secondly, people don't want to be left with questions, so tying up the loose ends makes a lot of sense as well.

Becker did none of those things. Alright, the status quo was broken, but it was done subtly. Usually breaking the status quo means real changes - like in Becker, Reggie being replaced with Chris or the moment when Becker and Chris started dating. There was no such thing here - there was no status quo change in such a sense of the word.
The episode didn't have something awesome or bigger than normal happening to the cast. No, this was an episode that just had the normal parallel plot lines. Nothing bigger or more awesome than normal.
The episode tied up some loose ends, but not all that much. The most obvious loose end was one that had been introduced a few episodes earlier - which was a great use of continuity, by the way - which actually ended tying up another end as well, but this end had so far been under the table cloth, so it was actually a surprise that it ended up being tied up.

The thing that made this episode a real finale was something entirely different. In the first few minutes Becker actually asked Chris out.

*dramatic silence*

Even Chris replied with "You're actually asking me out without me asking you to ask me out?". It wasn't normal. From that moment on, it became clear that this just wasn't the normal bitter Becker, something about him was different. The story then went on about how Chris thought this was the moment Becker was going to dump her. A pretty simple storyline and very similar to other things they have done. And even though nobody told me, I just felt that Becker was sincere and was actually not going to dump Chris - there was just something about his attitude that made me feel that way. Finally, Becker was making some progress. Finally, he was getting over his midlife crisis.
The deal was of course sealed when Margaret convinced Jake to go study with the money his nana had left him. The Bob-replacement guy had his own storyline here, where he tried to find a job by padding his cv, and turned down a job because the person who matched the cv would actually be underpaid for the job. That too is tied up nicely as he gets to take over Jake's news stand.
The last thing was that Becker and Chris have their confrontation and Becker actually tells that he doesn't want to break up with her and that his strange behavior might be related to him actually thinking he might happy. Chris plays a very strong role as she is clearly glad with this fact, but is also here to support Becker through the emotional changes - even if for the better, emotional changes may well be hard. The episode then ends on a very strong note, as Becker shouts at a guy pissing on his doorstep. There may be a huge change in Becker, but it isn't going to be instant.

Anyway, a great episode *thanks to the entire staff of Becker* which provided me with some very satisfying comedy tv, but which also taught me a lot about series finales. Don't try to overachieve, but pick the right things. It was truly fabulous.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



The time to work your ass off on your projects - so you can finally make some decent progress on them. At least that's what it is for me right now. Oh, mind you, I am in the mean time getting more than enough relation, so don't worry.

However, I am currently working on YuGiOh Rebirth, but I have a lot of other projects going through my mind as well, projects that want to get out, that want to get worked on. The Website Project I mentioned last post is one of them and so is Prism. The website project really wants to get its first version online, even though a lot of work needs to be done before that is a possibility. Prism knows it won't be done any time soon, but it is begging for some attention, seeing that hasn't been worked on. In the mean time, a very crude idea for a story I have had for a while suddenly evolved itself into a really good and original series outline. My ideas for a Star Trek series (oh, I didn't mention, I had one? Well, I do.) have been laying low for the last few days, but all the same, they have been going from a series outline to an actual series draft in my head, and I haven't written any of it down yet. At the same time, the one world that I made up through (as always, involuntary, it just happens in my head) world building instead of just seeing the adventures of the world needs a some restoration, since I realized that the name I spontaneously came up with was probably unconsciously stolen from a tv series (which I started really watching since I made up that name) and the name was actually worked deeply into the ideas from there, so it's not just a simple matter of renaming it. All the work lying around, spooking through my head. So much to do...

Holidays, oh boy, do I love these times

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Content Made

Hi All!
How are you guys doing?

I just wanted to let you know I have just started making some content for one of my next big projects. I won't tell much about it, so I will just dub it the "website project" for now. I can't even tell you the name of the project yet as I don't have a domain name yet. I have an eye on one, but that one has an owner, so I hope I can get it without paying too much (it is kind of for sale).

I haven't really been working on the system yet, but I have been working on the Good Suit, which I intend to build the website on top of. However, what I am currently been making is something different entirely: it is the content for the website. The stuff that anyone should be able to provide, not just me. However, for now, it just resides in text files on my hard drive, ready to be submitted when I create the website. Once I get around to it, I bet that it's going to be a hit!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lost the finals, lost my faith

For any readers who don't know - I am Dutch. For the readers who read this at a time that does not match the one at which I wrote this The Netherlands just lost the finals of the FIFA Worldcup 2010 to Spain. Let me recap: nothing interesting (but a ton of yellow cards) in the first 90 minutes and then in the second extra period, a second yellow card given to a Dutch player as a Spanish players falls after not having been touched by the Dutch player. Alright, referees can make mistakes. It's ten vs eleven now, but if we con keep the score level for a few more minutes we will be on equal footing again in the penalty shootout. The penalty shootout never came - within those few more minutes the Spanish scored from an offside position. Alright, the final pass wasn't from an offside position, but the intercepted pass that lead to that pass was to a player that was offside by meters.

So alright, I am ticked off by the fact that we lost. But more so, I have lost my faith in the FIFA. Yeah, I am not objective, nobody is. However, many of the English have probably lost their faith the 28th of June, and so have many Mexicans. Actually, that day had the events that do make the objective spectators lose their faith in the FIFA. That day held the two blunders of the referees, but that wasn't the worst of it.

The worst of it came next: the FIFA almost denying the mistakes. The FIFA removed the English goal from the official summary of the game, the FIFA stopped showing offside lines when they were afraid that the referee made a wrong call, the FIFA continued giving press conferences with but a few changes - they lead into those press conference by saying they weren't going to answer questions about anything but their chosen subject and the majority of the question just ignored this subject and were about mistakes made by the referees anyway. But the worst came just now, after I had already decided to write this rant (well, I intend to actually go somewhere, so if you want you can classify this a little more positively). I was taking a look at what team was the one in the one at the short end of the offside-goal by Argentina my results included a youtube video and a few pages that included youtube videos, however, instead of getting shown the videos I was shown a message that the FIFA had taken down the video on copyright claims (Google deserves credit for telling us why these videos were removed). Nothing else was removed, just the wrong referee calls. Really, I can't understand it.

I am starting to believe the stories that call the FIFA the maFIFA, the FIFA that truly is a mafia. That's possibly just the patriot in me speaking that has just lost the finals. However, these guys dare to demand the presence of a 92 year old living legend that has had a grand child die less than two weeks ago (with the friend of another daughter being to blame for the lethal car accident). Let's just assume they are clean; there's still quite a few things that just aren't acceptable. Things need to change.

There is but one way to bring about these changes: another worldwide football organization. They would organize their own world cup - the details still elude me, but it would probably need to be at a time that does not conflict with any major football event right now in order to be successful. A possibility would be to take the free years between a world cup and a European cup, but it's easy to make a case for running in the same year as well - we would need to find a proper moment, though.

Now there is a lot of changes that this organization would incorporate, which coincide with the reasons for this new organizations:
  • A clean image
  • Being focused on the future, instead of on conservatism
  • Able to make their decisions on their own
  • A better structure that makes the employees care about fair games rather than getting higher up in the hierarchy
  • No embezzling evidence of mistakes - admitting them instead
  • Giving up any copyright claims to the video material (after all, this organization will have no need to manipulate it)
  • Willingness to make change
  • No claiming of judicial powers in hosting countries

Now it may seem like I want to run the FIFA out of business, but I don't. Competition is all that's needed. Competition is healthy and the current situation is brought on by the monopoly the FIFA currently has. If they run the risk of getting competed out of business, than they will change, and if it isn't for the better they will still run out of business. I want an organization that is able to start running equipment that makes it easier to be a good referee, and thus convince the world that that is the correct path to take, and eventually force the FIFA to follow suit. Revolutionize the market and counter stagnation by introducing a competing player - it's worked before. Simply look at the improvements Microsoft made to Internet Explorer in the past few years - from the terrible IE6 we went to decent IE8 in way less years than IE6 was the newest version of the browser. And all of that was instigated by them losing a large part of their market share.

It's probable that I am not only missing the funds for this plan but some other essential ingredients as well, but this is my idea:

Get an organization competing with the FIFA into big bussiness. An alternative organization that does things right instead of wrong. I call for the NAF (New Age Footall).

Edit: just after I wrote this I realized I had forgotten to mention something. Spain earned their victory. They were the better playing team. And a single attacker against only a the goalkeeper should never result in anything but a goal, yet it did (in an attack of Robben), showing that Orange (that's what we call out national team) wasn't all that tough here. However, the referee giving unjustly awarding a goal to Spain just isn't the way things should be. And even if we have a bad history on penalty shootouts (though our most recent and thus team most like that one was positive) that is the way a game without (legitimate) goals is decided according to the rules, so don't have them decided in some other strange way! And yes, I am willing to beat a better playing team through a penalty shootout - that's nothing but the rules.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

When the chapter finally closes

Sometimes dreams do come true.

However, your dreams may turn out to be something quite different from what you thought it to be.

As Mark Rosewatter once wrote: "infatuation is an important rite of adolescence". Now, by no means do I claim I am an adolescent as I write this - nor do I claim that how things happened to me is in any way similar to how they happen to most people, but this is a story about an infatuation.

It's been quite a while since I got to the stage where I was "over" the girl in question. That is, the point where I could honestly say I wasn't in love with her any longer. But that was not where it ended, that was not where this chapter closed.
Oh, believe me, I am not talking about a period in which I was lovesick or even thought about her. No that had indeed passed. However, I still saw the girl from time to time and also from time to time there was some tension - or at least there was tension from my point of view, this really doesn't mean it was also there from hers. I knew I was on thin ice. Saying that I carried a torch for her pretty much covered it.

One day, when I was thinking about how this chapter just had not closed yet for me, I realized when it would be closed. It would be closed when the time came that she asked me how I felt about her and I could tell her that some things best remain a mystery (or something less cheesy and obvious in the same vain). It was a stupid thing to think that such a conversation would come to pass - after all, that's just not how conversations work.

Sometimes dreams do come true.

And indeed no such conversation was ever held. Nevertheless, I recently had an encounter with the girl which makes me believe this chapter has finally closed. I saw her as an attractive girl - an attractive girl and no more than that. And we may not have had an explicit conversation about this, but I acted like that as well. And I knew this was no lie.

However, your dreams may turn out to be something quite different from what you thought it to be.

I knew this because inside of me there was absolutely no difference between her and another attractive girl that was there at the moment. It took a while before I realized, but this was the "conversation" I had dreamed about. The chapter had finally closed.
When you are a straight boy and someone else is an attractive girl there is a chance that something happens. I would consider this extremely unlikely to be the way things turn out. But I can have the peace of mind that if the universe pulls a joke on me and that is the way all of this turns out, it will be in a new chapter, not in the closing act of this one; that closing act has passed already.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

YuGiOh Rebirth

Have you ever played that YuGiOh game by Edo? (link)
If you have, you are in luck. While Edo stopped development of the game in 2007 and left us with a program that was far from done, I have decided to remake the game. Please visit and have a look!
If you have not, this is your chance to play the game... I can't be sure you like it, but if you like yugioh or cheesy storylines, there is a good chance that you will. This is not about competitive playing of the game, this is just for enjoying yourself and having some fun. And the cheesy storylines do really match the style of Yu-Gi-Oh!

Anyway, that's all I had to share with you at this very instant, so see you all later!