Sunday, December 24, 2006

Some maintenance and Blogger trouble

The past three, four days I had trouble logging in at Blogger. This is pretty annoying. The past weeks I hardly had time to post and now I have time I can't log in to post. I'll keep it short for now. You never know how long this will be working.

I did some maintenance on the template. I removed a banner on the right side, which was slowing down the loading time of the weblog very much. Instead of this banner I add banners from Neo counter and Neo earth. These banners show the flags of the countries of your visitors and the Neo Earth banner shows a map with the location of the city of your visitors. You have some flexibility to change the lay out of the banners. I think they look pretty nice.

To all my viewers/visitors I wish everybody a merry X-mas and for later of course a Happy, Healthy and prosperous New Year.

See you later!
Update: The problems still remain. I had to post from a different computer. Have no idea what the bottleneck is which cause this problem. Anti-virus/firewall software, provider, hardware (modem/router)?? I'll hope this will be solved soon.
Anyway, have a great New year celebration and see you back next year.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Advertising other websites/blogs

I didn't took much new pictures the past weeks and I also didn't scan much slides or negatives. So this time I would like to make some advertisement for two weblogs. I also added their URL's on the sidebar on the right.

The first one is a cartoonweblog made by my partner and future wife Noriko. I copied three images from her cartoonweblog. The rest of her cartoonweblog can be checked here. The story based on the daily life in Utrecht is in Japanese right now, but maybe there will be an English version in the near future.

The style of the comic is known as Manga, the Japanese word for comics or print cartoons.

This is just an example of three images of the cartoon. the rest of the cartoon can be seen here.

The second weblog is a photoweblog run by my mother in law in Tokyo.

I copied a few images to here but there are loads of pictures overthere, so if these copied pictures here made you curious, you can check the rest here.

There are some really nice pictures on my mother in law's photoweblog. Photography is one of her hobbies and I think she often has a good eye for things.

Christmas atmosphere in Tokyo, Japan.
I have no idea where this picture was taken, but I like it for some reason.
A gorgeous autumn view from Japan.
This one was taken at Lafayette a huge departmentstore in Paris.
This is Hana-chan a semi-straycat that's getting feed for some years now by my mother in law. In the beginning she was a bit frightened for people, but nowadays she is less shy.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hiroshima (2) - colour-pics

Here is serie 2 with this time a selection of colour pictures from Hiroshima shot during the same visit in 2000. These are all pictures scanned from an APS-film.

The first pic is from Shukkei-en, a Japanese style garden at Hiroshima and almost 400 years old, constructed at the
Edo-period. Maybe not the most gorgeous or most beautiful garden in Japan, but it sure is a nice and quiet place where you can escape for a while from the noisy and hasty city.
This pic hasn't been Photoshopped. It was shot directly with a red filter screwed on the lens.
Behind the older guy you see the memorial monument, the cenotaph for the A-bomb victims, where the annual remembrance service is held. People might have seen this monument on the news.
This is the Children's Peace Monument dedicated to a Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki from Hiroshima, who died in 1955 at the age of twelve from leukemia, caused by the atomic bomb, dropped 10 years earlier. You can check her touching story by clicking on her name. Sadako Sasaki became a leading symbol against the use of nuclear weapons. The monument was unveiled in 1958 three years after her death.
The colourful items around the monument are paper folded cranebirds, made by Japanese schoolchildren from all over Japan. This art of paperfolding is called origami in Japan.
The same teenagers from my former post, but this time in colour.
And from a bit further distance.
Two details from the same monument.
And finally a colour picture of the A-bomb Dome.
Here you can find a picture from the building before the bombing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My first scans - Hiroshima (1) - B/W-pics

I haven't figure out all the possibilities of my new Nikon Fimscanner, but the first results are promising. In this post I will show some black and white pics that I shot in 2000 in Japan at the city of Hiroshima, known as the first city in history that had the unfortunate and horrible honour to be bombed with an atomic bomb on August 6th 1945.

The pictures in this post are scans from a black and white APS-film shot with a Minolta Vectis S-1.

Most of the pics were shot in and around the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park where you find most of the monuments related to the victims of the A-bomb and also the Peace Memorial Museum. A visit to this museum won't leave nobody untouched, unless you are a cold-hearted insensitive brainless idiot. It sure is worthwhile to visit, but be prepared that it can ruin your day.

But despite it's horrible and tragic history Hiroshima is also a fun city to visit. It has an excellent nightlife, good food (speciality Okonomiyaki) and some good sightseeingplaces in and around the city. I like this city very much. From the 8 times that I visited Japan I visited Hiroshima 5 times.

My favorite pub is the "Mac Bar", a tiny place with a good mix of locals and foreigners and an astonishing collection of CD's. When you visit the first time, Mac the owner will ask you if you have any musicrequest. Big chance he might have it.

The first pictures are from the A-bomb Dome, the only original thing that reminds of the nuclear explosion, which hypocenter was just 150 metres away and it's the closest construction that withstood the explosion.
The lighttowers left of the A-bomb Dome are belonging to the baseballstadium of the Hiroshima Carps.
Some teenagers next to the river on the opposite side of the A-bomb Dome.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My newest acquisition

A Nikon Coolscan V ED Desktop filmscanner. Those dark winterdays may come now. Besides all the new photos that I will shoot with the digital camera I don't have to be afraid that I'll quickly run out of material. I guess I will post golden oldie material soon on a regular basis. My first project will be digitalizing the old slidecollection of my parents. After that I'll have lots of APS-films and 35mm films waiting to be digitalized.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More Forts (11) The final part (for this year)

The Fortsmonth came to an end more than one month ago and still didn't post the last part of the last fort that we visited on September 30th. The only excuse I have is that I was quite busy. The past weekend I went to the Dejima Japanese Film Festival in Amsterdam on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday to the Holland Animation Film Festival in my hometown Utrecht to see two Japanese animation films. I saw a total of 9 movies the past weekend. Not a bad average. In the weeks since my last post until Friday I was busy with all kinds of other stuff, which I'm not going to bore you with. Let's tell something about the fort.

The last fort we visited was Fort De Bilt. Although I found most forts interesting to visit I found Fort de Bilt together with Fort Rijnauwen, Fort Pampus and Fort Hinderdam (sorry only Dutch) the most interesting. During the German occupation at World War 2 a lot of forts were only used for storage purposes. But Fort Rijnauwen and Fort De Bilt were also used as an execution place were people from the resistance and other prisoners were shot. In both forts there are monuments that remind of the people who were shot by the Germans. In this post you can see the monument in pictures 9, 10, 11 and 12.

The monument was put on the actual executionplace. Next to the executionplace in picture 6, 7 and 8 you can see some details from the bunker were the unfortunate prisoners spend their last night before they were shot the next morning. You could go inside this bunker and it gave me a strange and weird feeling, wondering what all those people must have thought during their last night before they would face their firing squad. A total of 140 people were shot at this place. Their names are carved on the stone shown in picture 9. Among the victims there were also a few teenagers, only 18 years old. Every year
the day before Liberationday, on May 4th, our national memorial day for the people who got killed in World War 2 there is a short rememberance service at this monument, also at the monument at Fort Rijnauwen.

Short after the war the fort was used for a few years as prisoncamp for collaborators and members of the Dutch National Socialist Movement (NSB). A few years ago
a memorial centre for the future and for peace education was developed, especially for children. They organized a (more or less, I think) permanent interactive exhibition about prejudices, scapegoats, bullying and the resistance during the Second World War and present day.

If you look at the picture from Google Earth you see that the current fort is cross out by a road. The part on the top is the part of the fort that is open to visitors. The fort part below is now in use by the military police.

For now this is my last post for a while about the forts of the Hollandse Waterlinie (Dutch Waterline). But I'm pretty sure we will visit other forts next year. Enjoy the pics.
These are remains of the shooting rangeThis bunker is a memorial monument.
Inside there is nothing of any value.