An underwhelming recap

Right, so that recap from yesterday I sort of promised. Well, it was the official open day of the new office units I am taking part in so we’ve all gathered for drinks and BBQ. What can I say, we hung out in the sun and it was lovely. It’s probably not the recap you expected but I guess this is what it is. Nothing more nothing less.

I did shoot a bunch of photos and videos during the day that I’ll take a look at later this week. Whenever I feel like it again.

For now, I’m recharging the introvert in me by hanging around the house all day speaking to nobody and taking catnaps on the couch with the cats. I’m not the best at taking it slow but on days like these, I try to make the most of it.

Sleep tight, sleep tight.

I’m sleepy

I thought about it for a minute on the ride back home and I know the answer. I’ve burned through my extraversion these past few days. I need a good night sleep and I’ll be good for interpersonal contact again tomorrow. For now though, I’m just a little tired.

Endless Cycle to Utrecht, train back home?

I’m about to set off on a bike ride to Utrecht. It’s about 24K from my home, which takes about 1,5 hours according to Maps. I am not in a rush and plan to shoot a Do You Register on the way so I think 1,5 hours sounds fine.

I’m all prepared (I think) so let’s hit play on Endless Cycle and see how this ride feels.


Okay so I arrived! It took 1 hour and 7 minutes, including a pause to shoot that movie and a quick detour to peek across the plains of the old Soesterberg Airport1. Anyway, I’m already one beer deep so perhaps I’ll just take the train back home. We’ll see, we’ll see.

Oh, I shot one photo:

  1. I also forgot to turn off my Strava session but let’s not be picky now. ↩︎

We’re going to Spain. But not yet.

Just booked a flight to Spain for the 20th of September. An actual flight. Can you believe it? Fingers crossed we’ll be able to go there in a world that’s somewhat normal. It’s still a few months from now. Who knows?

Fingers crossed.
Fingers crossed.

In other news, did I mention I grabbed the domain name Didn’t I? Ah, well you can take a quick look to get a glimpse of what’s (hopefully) yet to come. It’s filled with dummy text and photos but there’s a general layout. A sneak peak of the thing that’s been bubbling for months now.

Yes, I know I’m being very vague but I can only go into depth when there is something more to share than vague ideas. I’ll probably shouldn’t be sharing this with y’all at all but I just can’t contain my excitement.

Okay okay, where were we? Ah Viewfinder Magazine. Let’s get back to it. See you tomorrow folks.

What do you do when you realize that none of it really matters?

What do you do when you realize that none of it really matters and the whole point is simply to enjoy yourself? What do you do when the sun continues to bless you with rays of warmth and happiness?

I guess you can do a multitude of things.

We specifically decided to spread our beds (read: towels) next to the water and read a book. Or at least give it a try. It didn’t take long before we were surrounded by groups of teenagers having the same idea as we had. Though they didn’t plan on reading any books (they were loud). Since my book of choice was one I once had to read for my psychology studies (which means it’s rather complicated and you need to keep your focus), I could only make it through a couple of pages. A vague memorie exists where I enjoyed reading the book, despite it being on a timer since I had other courses at the time as well. I thought it’d be fun to read the book on my own pace and with a few more years of experience under my belt. See what I think of it now.

Oh shit wait, the cats knocked something over…

Ah man, I left my glass of water unguarded for one minute to write this story and they knocked it down from the cabinet. Water everywhere and to pairs of guilty looking eyes staring at me. I guess I’ll better get back to the living room to keep an eye on my next glass. I’m talked out for today and none of it really matters anyway.

My earliest impressions of the Pergear 35mm F1.6

Okay so here we are. My first impressions of the Pergear 35mm F1.6. A lens I bought from Amazon for the insanely cheap price of 70(!) euros. There isn’t much else out there for your Fujifilm X-system that costs you less money.

While researching the lens online, I couldn’t find much out there that talks about the lens in depth so I’m considering writing a proper long-term review. It’s too soon for that now though so here are a few of my earliest impressions and thoughts:

  • It’s heavier than my 18mm f2 but also smaller
  • It’s also heavier than my XF35mm f2
  • The front element is very… spherical. Especially for a 35mm lens.
  • It focuses past infinity.

None of these observations are dealbreakers and perhaps some of them, like the weight, are actually a benefit? I’m not sure. It sure causes the lens to feel more premium in your hands.
The curvature of the front element was surprising as that’s mostly something you see with wide-angle lenses. The lens is so tiny though, I think Pergear couldn’t get around this almost circular front element to allow for a 35mm field of view. It’s a small miracle you don’t see the effects of that in the form of heavy distortion!
Finally, focussing past infinity is a lesser issue to me than not being able to achieve infinity at all.

Here are a few random shots I’ve taken in the one day I’ve had the lens in my possession:

50 words 1 sentence

I wanted to write about something today but I can’t because the thing that prerequisited the intent to write that thing only happened late in the day, therefore my thoughts weren’t granted the blessing of maturity at the time of this writing which means I’ll get back to you tomorrow.

An energy rollercoaster

I woke up this morning feeling rested for the first time this week. Perhaps it was the sudden heat we got to experience (and enjoy!) but my quality of sleep had been severely lacking. This morning though, I felt the clarity of mind that I’ve been searching for all week.

This sadly didn’t benefit my energy levels at all that afternoon. I could hardly keep my eyes open enough to stare out the window to the sunshine.

Thankfully (thankfully!) The moment my feet touched my bicycle pedals to ride home, I felt something. A resurgence of earlier moods. A deflection of the mind fog that had gained control of me up until then. My evening was lovely. As a matter of fact, it still is.

Now I’m out here on my balcony with my two cats, watching the rain roll into the city. Drinking a rose wine I got on a promotion that’s surprisingly well rounded. Blasting my favorite playlist. What more can I ask for?

The first hands on a new project

So eum… Viewfinder Magazine? Yeah I started working on it today. Here are the rules:

  • 13x20cm trade book
  • 24 pages (the minimum)
  • Go as crazy as possible with the page design
  • Just a few intro words. No large essays.
  • Keep it as cheap as possible
  • Give it away for free to whomever wants it

It’ll be a while before it’s finished though. I need to place testing orders which take time as well. In the meantime, I’ll be talking endlessly about One Two One so people know it’s real.

The amazing thing that is Poolside FM

I switched out my contactlenses for a fresh pair and it has been absolute bliss all day. Perhaps that’s why I could hardly keep my eyes open yesterday. But that’s not what I want to talk about right now.

In fact, I don’t have much at all to talk about.

except this one thing…

Are you guys familiar with Poolside FM? If you’re not, I urge you to take a look at it at your earliest convenience. Go ahead and do it right now, I’ll wait.

The first time it came across my radar, was a few years ago but I didn’t pay it many minds at that time. Sure, the design stands out immediately and the way it approaches user experience is interesting, to say the least. I didn’t see a need for it back then though.

This morning that changed as myself and the app crossed paths again and this time, oh boy this time, I couldn’t bring myself to close it after starting. At the start of the year I said Cocktail Hour on Sonos radio is always a solid vibe to tune into. This is the same, but then with a little dose of retro-throwback-hipsterism that I’m a true sucka for. I downloaded the app and I listened to it all day.

Maybe, if you’re up for it, you can try the same tomorrow. See what it does for your mood. It certainly benefited mine.

I was having trouble keeping my eyes open

I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. Perhaps it was the hayfever. Maybe it was because I didn’t sleep too well last night. Nevertheless, my day was filled with many appointments, which felt like hurdles to overcome at the time of my rising in the morning. All I wanted was to sit on my balcony, enjoying the sun.

Little did I know that didn’t happen. Not today.

After I finished work at 1 PM (technically 10 minutes earlier as I couldn’t sit inside any longer), my first appointment was around 3 PM to meet for drinks downtown. A simple ordeal, in theory, but my apparent exhaustion made it seem like a big deal in my head.

I was a fool for thinking that.

The outdoor air, the sunshine, the vibrancy of inner city life, some good company, it brought me back to life. After that wrapped up, I did some grocery shopping and received a text message:

Are you up for drinks after I finish work?

It was now 7:15 PM. How could I now say no?

So I drove over to Van Zanten to meet up again and sat down in the scorching hot afternoon sun. Ready to celebrate this Dutch summer as long as it lasts. Which was until I received another message:

I’m heading to that one bench right outside the city to celebrate this Dutch summer while it lasts, are you coming with?”

This man read my mind, of course I’m in! We quickly ordered a large bowl of nachos and cheese to down before getting up. This would eventually serve as my dinner. Not the dinner I preferred but the one I could last a few more hours on.

That lonely bench, removed from the city, proved itself to be the ultimate closer of a very fine day. A day I did not have in mind when I got up. A day that could only happen because I allowed it to happen. And now it’s over. I’m munching on some olives I had in the fridge while I’m typing this. It’s time for bed.

Or maybe… just one episode of New Girl on the beamer in the bedroom? That also counts as bed right? Sure it does.

The sun! Finally!

The sun! Finally!

As a true Dutchman I wasted no time firing up the ol’ barbecue. After a beautiful afternoon of basking in the much-too-late-in-the-year-first-showing-itself sunlight, I’m now patiently waiting for the coals to heat up to the perfect roasting temperature. I know it’s a Monday but a glass of thirst-quenching (an probably later thirst-inducing) white whine could not be missed. Charlotte whipped up a gorgeous couscous salad. Tonight we feast!

Everyday is a treasure.
Everyday is a treasure.
Everyday is a treasure.

Remember that.

The goal is to go far, not fast

Another ride today. Another quick one. And it’s a good thing I do these! The moment I drove off my chain fell off one of the tiny sprockets on the derailleur. Can you believe that? It never happened to me before.

I was a little confused what happened at first but noticed the culprit soon enough. I guess the combination of sprockets I chose caused it to fail. This probably means there’s too much room inside there but I didn’t have any issues further in the ride. Let’s treat is like an incident for now. The benefit of building up your own bike from scratch is that I now know pretty well how everything should function. Nevertheless, mechanics will do as they please so you have to keep a watchful eye.

Nevertheless, the ride was smooth again and I was feel good. I left the house in just a T-shirt, which felt like a mistake at first but I warmed up after 10 minutes on the bike. I did a little short of 15K in a little over 40 minutes this time. That’s perfectly fine to me. Eventually the goal is to go far, not fast.

I drove off in the wrong direction. On purpose.

I just had to do it, I couldn’t help myself. After a full day of staring at the first day of beautiful weather outside, I would never forgive myself if I didn’t enjoy it a little bit as well. So the moment I set foot outside the door, I drove off. In the wrong direction.

Without a clear plan or destination, I rode by newly restored bicycle through the sunny Dutch landscapes. A landscape I had seen many times before the past few years and grew familiar with. That didn’t appear to be enough for me though because as I was nearing the final crossroad, I paused. I looked right and saw the route I’ve taken many times before. I looked left and wasn’t quite sure where that route would lead me. A quick peek at my maps application taught me that going left had the potential of extending my trip a little.

My legs weren’t even warmed up yet and my head wasn’t even cleared from the day in the office so it’s no secret which option I chose. I snapped a quick photo over my shoulder and set off again.

The ride was smooth, the weather was soft, my endorphins were raging. Finally I’m out there again!

An added benefit from this quick ride was that I could more thoroughly test my bicycle before I take it out on longer rides. Which is just an excuse for saying that I need to test myself. I don’t even know where my bodily limits currently are and need to test the waters a little. I don’t want to be that guy who sets out for a long ride, only to have to take the train back home out of exhaustion.

Today was perfectly fine though. I got a better grasp of what a comfortable speed is for me and how much ground I can cover in what amount of time (12K in 30 minutes, ish). The only reason I broke a sweat is because I underestimated the afternoon warmth caused by the late-May sunshine. I guess that’s what you get when you have to stare at the beautiful weather from behind the glass all day.

As I’m typing this I’m enjoying the refreshment of a cold beer and feel the hunger creeping up on me. Time for dinner.

A quick ramble about a bunch of things

Yesterday was a pretty well thought out Monologue from my side. Accompanied by the third issue of Dialogue. It was a busy day. Today I feel like rambling a little and share some random thoughts. Here it goes.

I updated the fonts on the website (Lora and Open Sans). I sorta had to do that, as I want to keep a consistency between my online and my offline work. I plan on making the next few offline works through Blurb, which limits my options for the fonts I can use. Not all fonts work with their eBook conversions and I do want to make eBooks from my normal books as well. Which basically means it’s no longer offline work but I digress. I told you this would be a rambling right?

To elaborate a little more on my next offline work; I’m thinking about making something called Viewfinder magazine. I’m not sure if I talked about that before on here. Anyway, I’ve been shooting a bunch of random photos as I’m searching for interesting subject matter and I’ll probably keep doing that in the future. I decided to group those together under the name ‘Viewfinder’, which I think is pretty clever wordplay. Anyway (that’s twice now), I thought it’d be fun to make a small, very cheaply produced, magazine out of those photographs and give that away for free. You know, as a little marketing tool. Seems kinda fun, right?

Finally, I’m definitely making a book out of these Monologues. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that idea before on here. I mean, it’s the only writing I do that has some actual body to it when you add it all up. It’s all a bunch of nonsense sure, so if you’re reading this next year in the print version of the book: sorry, it probably doesn’t get any better! Being perfectly honest, I just want to make a book that has many pages. That way I can pretend to do many things and seem very important. But only when you judge that book by its cover. If you open it up and read the actual contents, you’ll find out soon this is all a bunch of rambling.

Talk to you tomorrow!

The point is to alienate as much people as possible

I feel kinda bad when people unfollow me online or tell me in real life they aren’t really into my stuff (though I prefer the second one). I know I shouldn’t care but sometimes I can’t help myself.

I work so hard on the things I put out and I truly believe in them. I do not think my work is the greatest (yet) but I do think my perspectives are at least worth checking out. Wether that’s written perspectives on a myriad of things (like this Monologue) or literal perspectives on the world that I capture with my camera (most people call this photography). I’m not entitled to anybody’s attention so when I don’t get it, that’s fine.

It’s when people actively decide they are no longer interested in what I do and leave me, it hurts a little. It’s a part of who I am to immediately question my actions and if I perhaps did something wrong to alienate that person. Perhaps it was something that I didn’t do that caused them to be bored. I will never know. These things are feeding my insecurity and might cause me to give up altogether.

I’m sending out the third issue of Dialogue tonight and I always feel so vulnerable when I do these things. I hear the voices in my head going: “Why do you ask for attention like this? Why should people read your emails? Why do you pretent like you matter to them? Your work is bland and corny, this is exactly how you lose interest from these people forever.”.

Despite those doubts and reservations, I choose to move forward with these things anyway. If I don’t allow myself to experiment and stumble, how can I grow? That’s why I know that even when my work isn’t the greatest, at least my efforts are definitely up there. Being honest throughout the process is scary, but at least I’m doing things that I enjoy. Things that I find important. Sharing a message that I believe is worth sharing.

Perhaps it’s actually the point to alienate people in that process. If I keep on pushing my capabilities, my vision and my output, it has to change. Hopefully for the better. This also means I can’t continue pleasing everybody that can be roughly regarded as my audience.1 I have to lose people along the way or otherwise my work probably isn’t sufficiently evolving.

In my eyes things can go either two ways: I keep all the members of my initial audience and remain stagnant in my work, I’m plateauing, or I push through and lose a few people along the way, only to gain more eyes for work that’s growing to be more interesting and meaningful everyday.

Which one it will be we will find out in the coming years.

  1. I don’t really have an audience audience but there are some people aware of what I do and even an audience of two counts, in my opinion. ↩︎

An office

An office. A proud tenant of one I am now! I’m sharing it with other people, sure. But that’s one of the features. An environment that breathes inspiration and creativity. A place to share ideas and get work done. A place to hang out.

This evening marked the initiation of a new era. Keys were exchanged. New doors were opened. Dimensions have been measured. All that remains to be done is filling these barren spaces with personality. Very soon. But tonight, I sleep a happy man.