Reorganized my home office, again

Reorganized my home office, again. This time though, I sort of got it to a point where I can also do some work while standing up. Admittely, it does involve placing my keyboard on a little stand that makes the whole thing kind of awkward but you will hear no complains from me. At least I have the option now.

Using the mouse requires me to bend over, not very ergonomic, but we’ll find out soon how well I know my keyboard shortcuts. I also should not look behind me. Some stuff could not find a place after the reorganization so it’s just sitting randomly on the floor. The desk space is now at it’s max coziness though. Totally worth it.

The Great Divide is not for me

You can not go on a protest to call for unity. Your protest is inherently pushing for the opposite. But what do I know? We are in the early stages of The Great Divide and there’s not much we can do about it. We all like to engage in futile battles to extract some identity from. Just so we can have a sense of belonging and purpose.

I rather just stick to my long walks and shooting my photos. If nobody cares to stop and smell the flowers anymore, then I will do nothing but exactly that.

December 4th

December 4th. Jay-Z’s birthday. I don’t know why I know that but I just do. For some reason I think about it every years since gaining that knowledge. I do the same with other random birthdays as well. For example, there’s this guy that I went to high school with that I got along with pretty well. We no longer speak since leaving high school, though we’re still friendly when we run into each other somewhere. I still know his birthday is January 16th. I don’t need to remember that, it’s not like I’m going to congratulate him every year, but somehow I can’t forget it as well.

At the same time, I can’t remember birthdays of more important people in my life. People that I still see regularly and would therefore appreciate it if I send them a message on their birthday. So I need a birthday calendar to remember those birthdays but somehow I always remember Jay-Z’s. I have yet to figure out the significance of all this.

What is significant though, is that I’ll continue my Grebbeliniepad walk today. It’ll require a short bus ride to Woudenberg, Pothbrug and then I can walk about 10 KM until I reach another busstop which is serviced by the same bus line. I then simply hop back on the bus and ride it in the other direction back to my starting point. It sounds like a solid plan in theory but we’ll find out how this works in practice.

Busses are generally pretty reliable in The Netherlands but nevertheless I’m wary of getting stranded on some random provincial road in December when darkness sets in early. The cold of the past few days only increases my wariness so I’ll make sure I won’t have to take the final bus of the day. Because if that happens, it might be my final bus, period… (kidding, of course).

The things I do for my craft

The wind was blowing so hard, drops from the water reached all the way up to the few uncovered parts of my face. Though it might’ve been a light rain as well. It’s December in the Netherlands alright and I cursed myself for not wearing any gloves. Instead, my hands were firmly tucked away in the deep pockets of my puffer jacket. My camera slung across my body, hiding in the safe space between my right arm and my torso.

You can call me many things but at least one of them has to be a promise-keeper. Because I promised to do a ferry to ferry walk in Amsterdam North and walking it I did today. The weather was as bad as it was last Saturday but again that didn’t stop me. Burning those calories, collecting that GPS data, shooting those photos I will. The plan was to take the ferry from Amsterdam Central Station straight across to the Buiksloterweg and then weave my way through the quickly developing area until I reached the NDSM wharf.

The walk was a lot shorter than it looked on the map so once I realized that I took a detour here and there. Nothing fancy, just making sure to increase the length of the walk by taking in more of the scenery. Nevertheless, returning to the area won’t be boring as there is still much more to explore.

Typing this with slowly warming fingers In the train back is perhaps my biggest reward. Though the drinks waiting in my refrigerator back home will do me well too. Before I can indulge though, there’s a bike ride home that I’m not looking forward to. Over to the mental preparations.

Verbs, verbing, verbalizing

Finishing the image licensing page. For now. Looking at the changing colours in the sky. Further tagging and categorising the photos in my online archive. Staring in the distance and thinking about nothing. Feeling the need to pee but ignoring it for just a little longer. Drafting up some cover ideas for the Monologue book. Looking at potential costs and possible dimensions for the book on the Blurb website. Realising this is going to be a hella expensive book. Still worth it though. That’s a year of my thoughts in a bundle. Always nice to have a reminder. Really needing to pee now. Pausing the music. Writing the last sentence for today’s Monologue.

Working out image licensing

I’ve been planning to setup a proper structure to license my images to companies, brands and anybody else who cares. Today I came up with a first version of the information page, while also enhancing the navigation of my archive website. I thought it’d be fun to share the text of the info page here as well for future reference. I assume things will change (hopefully for the better) a lot and it’s always good to look back and see where you came from.

So here it goes:

Need images for your website, email newsletter, social media, magazine, book, promotional banner? And do you need them fast? Well then I have some good news: all the images from my online archive are available for licensing.

With clear pricing, based on your requirements, you can have my best images at your disposal today. Yes, that’s a sales pitch but it’s also the truth. It’s simply an amazing deal that allows you to keep your project moving without interference.

How does it work?

  1. Browse over 3000 photos from my archive.
  2. Select the images you wish to use for your company or brand.
  3. Send me an email with the list of images (just collect the URLs).
  4. We discuss the usage of the images and agree on a price.

You receive:

  1. Instant access to the selected images
  2. A private download link that’s accessible for the length of the licensing agreement.
  3. An invoice so you can register your costs as business expenses.

So browse my online archive and search for your images using the search function on the top of the page or simply go through the folders below. I have appropriately tagged all images to make things as easy as possible for you. If you need a little help, you can also reach out. I know my archive pretty well!

The pandemic is a big distraction of our real issues and we’re all too dumb to notice

Rainy day. Sad, rainy day. One of those days that serve as a reminder you are living on the top half of the globe, where daylight sometimes has no power. A day on which, despite my best efforts, not even I was crazy enough to go our for a walk. No outdoor activities for me today.

Instead, it’s way easier and more comfortable to lose yourself in all the different media and technologies we have. Though be careful not to look too long at any of the news platforms. It seems like there is no positive story to tell these days. Can’t blame the news outlets, they just report on what happens. At least that’s what I still choose to believe in.

Yes, much of the media is creating bitesized content that’s focussed on generating clicks, comments and interactions. All in the name of ad revenue. But that’s just a by-product of the world we all created. Just as the news is merely reporting on actual events. That’s always been the order in which things happen and I choose to believe they still do. Though don’t get me wrong, I see how things can be different as well.

But oh man, there is so much stuff happening now. News doesn’t even have to be fabricated anymore. Everything is already outrageously sensational anyway. I mean, we are still living in a pandemic and there are no clear signs it’s slowing down soon. Can you believe that? It has to be a full-blown war for anything to be more disruptive than the current situation. Is that too much to say? I don’t think it is.

All the regular people around you suddenly feel the need to get political. People are done with the whole ordeal and therefore opinionated. It’s not like things will change because of the protests, but the noise can be heard anywhere. It’s all very interesting and far from boring but also a little scary and perhaps boring wasn’t so bad after all.

If you ask me though, this whole pandemic thing isn’t even our biggest problem. I think the rapidly changing climate is something we need to worry about much, much more. That’s something that can erase our whole species. All of humankind will be gone. And what are we doing? Even with a common enemy like the virus that controls our lives right now, we are stuck fighting amongst each other. Listen: we are already fighting each other. This virus thing isn’t even the final boss yet, we are going in loops fighting a level three enemy when the level ten boss, the climate we’re destroying, is looming in the darkness. Just waiting to unleash it’s final wrath upon us.

But back to this pandemic thing. Damn. It’s so weird to me that when an external influence messes with your life, you still look at your next of kin and blame them for all the things that are wrong. It’s like we can’t seem to grasp the idea of being fickle little beings that have no real significance, and therefore control, in the universe and instead anxiously resort to trying to control something we think we do understand. Even if that means bringing down your own kind. Why are we debating about basic science when in the meantime we are getting closer and closer to our untimely demise? Why does any random person suddenly think they know how to ‘do research’ to ‘gain all the answers’ but then instead look at YouTube videos all day to further brainwash themselves? Why don’t we collectively agree this is madness?

But aahhhh, hey man. I don’t have the answers. I’m just venting right now. Maybe I should go out and do something about it, if it all bothers me so much. And if I can’t be bothered to do something, maybe I should just shut my damn mouth. Which I usually do, trust me. But not today. Today I wanted to vent a little on my own blog. Can I live? God, I hope so.

Mondays are for working

Mondays are for working. Office working. Not the most inspirational of tasks, but definitely a necessary one. Also not one I dislike. Not at all. But definitely one that makes me tired. So Mondays also the days where I feel mentally drained and motivated to work at the same time.

Anxiously trying to get something done for myself is usually done in vain. It’s better to simply sit back, unwind and get back at it again tomorrow. Which is exactly my plan for the next few hours until it’s bed time.

Finishing up business in the north

I admit, I felt like a mad man when I looked out the window this morning. At the same time, I haven’t let that stop me before — why would today be the first time? Sure, there was water pouring out of the sky, perhaps intermingled with the tiniest hints of snow (and I’m not exaggerating to prove a point). Despite that, I still went out. Of course I went out! All the way up north to a place they call Bunschoten-Spakenburg.

Situated on the water’s edge of het Nijkerkernauw, Bunschoten-Spakenburg is a sleepy village that’s mainly known for its fishing history. You can still see obvious remnants of that when you traverse the streets. The, admittedly still nice looking, old harbour being the most obvious one. For me, this marked the start of what would be a 21.5KM walk over country roads, muddy paths and endless Dutch plains.

Some of the sections are more interesting than they might seem, if you were to judge only by its appearance on a map. Other sections are exactly as boring and repetitive as you expect them to be. None of that mattered to me. I was walking it all. I promised myself to walk the entirety of the Grebbelinie and walking it I will. Did I feel strangely self-aware on these footpath-less roads that usually only vehicles are on? Heck yeah.

But part of the fun of a challenge like this, is doing things no other people do. Things people would declare you a mad man for doing. Luckily for them, I already agreed with them so there was a lot of non-verbal, proverbial, shaking of hands when I came across people on and in vehicles. Each time our eyes met, I greeted them with a jovial ‘good afternoon!’, while simultaneously acknowledging with all my energy radiations that, yes indeed, I am walking here and I know it’s as odd as it looks.

Now that my images are importing into Lightroom and I am typing these words, I can appreciate my accomplishment to its fullest. I wasn’t sure my body was trained enough to walk this distance, certainly not in this weather, but I have made it. And I have never felt more energised before.

It’s 3 am and I keep tossing and turning

It’s 3 am and I keep tossing and turning. Can’t seem to fall into a deep sleep. Vivid dreams flashing through my head. Shards of experiences I have had through the day on repeat. I can’t figure out why.

And then it hits me.

I forgot to hit send on my Monologue yesterday. Well, I guess this still counts as I will now try to continue my dreams. It might be past midnight but only now is my day fully completed. Hopefully my dreams will calm down now that I’ve completed my tasks.

It was very necessary

It is very necessary. Especially after the way I have been pumping myself up all morning. Will I take a bus all the way up to Spakenburg and then walk back home — essentially completing the northern half of the Grebbeline? Nah, that’s an almost 25km walk. Too much for a quick afternoon stroll so I should save that for when I have a full day.

Perhaps I then take a bus down to Scherpenzeel and walk another section of the southern half of the Grebbeline. Though that would require me to be at the central station in 15 minutes from now. Otherwise it will be too late before I start and then too dark before I finish. Also not a good idea.

In the meantime, I’m working on a bunch of little things for De Ontluiking. Nothing is taking shape though. There are too many things halfway done and I lack the inspiration to finish any of them. I’m just too restless inside. I should stick to my initial plan and do that walk. I can’t sit still behind a computer after I’ve decided to go out.

Oh but wait! I still need to connect the the northern and the southern halves to each other. That would be a nice 5km-ish loop for today. Yes, let’s do that.

We all secretly want to be cats, don’t we?

The way this cat is laying down all relaxed right now, I wish I was a cat. But I think most of us has had that wish before, haven’t we? It’s one of the most universal wishes I’ve heard in my almost 30 years wandering around on this planet.

This guy just walks up to any place, at any time of the day, and lays down in an immediate state of ultimate relaxation. I can’t understand how he does it. And if you move him? Doesn’t matter. He just repositions and is comfortable again within no time. I wish I could do that.

Mentally closing the year prematurely

To be honest, I’m already working my way towards closing the year. It’s strange, because 2021 has passed by so quickly, I can hardly believe it’s already the end of November. At the same time, I’m not unhappy the year is almost over. A small reason for that is that I am ready to focus on other things than these Monologues. There is no other reason. Ha!

I’m already subconsciously going over the lessons I’ve learned this year. Trying to figure out what these Monologues have brought me. I can think of a dozen things but I’ll save those for my unavoidable end of year update. In line with that, I have also taken a quick peek at the list of goals I set for myself this year. Some of them have not happened as I hoped they would. Others I have done twice over and then some. No small accomplishment! I can’t wait to make a new list for 2022.

The spirit of winter

Winter is not officially here but its spirits are certainly felt already. The changes in light immediately draw me back to black and white photos. I feel like it can be a waste to loose the extra layer of information color can hold during summer, so I can’t bring myself to black and white photography as much at those times.

In winter though, the whole world looses its color for the most part and a colorless shot can underline that reality so well. When even the trees decide to present themselves in their skeleton form, who am I to color in those lines? Nature demands to be monotonous and reduced to its essentials — the peacock feathers are tucked away safely, signaling: don’t mind me right now, please.

Even when you do spot a hint of color somewhere in a little corner that hasn’t endured the full raw force of the cold, the shades are muted and numbing. It’s unrealistic to draw inspiration from a perishing life. So I won’t. I will abide by the boundaries our solar system imposes. Which means, winter is a spectrum of many shades of grey and black and white are its extremes.

Hello kids and people older than that

Hello kids and people older than that. I’m happy to report I have not walked strenuous amounts today. My legs are already very noticeably displaying their presence by presenting me with a constant feeling of soreness. Not the type that inhibits you from walking but certainly enough to remind me of the almost 30km I’ve walked the past few days. Good to know the walking is doing something.

I also didn’t sit down behind the computer all day instead. Which is my default behaviour when I’m not outside. Happy! Nice! More or this! Tomorrow.

Poetic justice and angry feet

Don’t you think it’s poetic that the wrapper or the roll of bin bags is the first item to be discarded? Reduced to the contents of the object is was so carefully protecting from unraveling. Maybe that’s just me.

In other news, I walked 11KM again today and my feet are really starting to hurt. You will not find me walking this distance again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll cycle. Maybe I will just read a book for once. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.