October 28, 2005


Well, I've been hearing some good lines lately, so I thought I share some with the world...

Homer Simpson:
>> If it takes efford, it is not worth doing...
>> Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to all of live's problems
>> In a world gone mad, only a lunatic is truly insane
>> Trying is the first step towards failure
>> No beer, no couch, no TV.... I am so alone...

Ofcourse there are more... These are from "Serenity"...

Operative [seeing a whole fleet of Reaver ships coming at him]: "Will someone just fire!!!"

Jayne Cobb: "Hell, I'll kill a man in a fair fight, or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight, or if he bothers me, or if there's a woman, or if I'm gettin paid; mostly only when I'm gettin paid?"

Dr. Simon Tam [in the middle of a fire fight]: "In all that time on the ship... I've always regretted... not being with you."
Kaylee Frye: "With me? You mean to say...... as in.... sex?"
Dr. Simon Tam: "Yes..."
Kaylee Frye: "To Hell with this. I'm gonna live!"

Kaylee Frye [to Simon who wasn't on the mission that the captain and others just got back from]: "Are you ok? "
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: "Is HE ok???"

Hoban 'Wash' Washburn: "...This is gonna get pretty interesting..."
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: "Define "interesting"..."
Hoban 'Wash' Washburn: [deadpan] "Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die...?"

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds [Over the ship's intercom]: "This is the captain speaking. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight... turbulence... and then explode..."

Jayne Cobb: "We're gonna explode??? I don't wanna explode!"

The Operative [to Mal]: "You are fooling yourself, Captain. Nothing is what it seems. You are not the plucky hero, the Alliance is not an evil empire, and this is not the grand arena."
Inara Serra [Pointing to a bomb she has lit]: "And that's not incense."

Hoban 'Wash' Washburn [about to crash the ship]: "I am a leaf on the wind - watch how I soar."

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds [shouting down into the vault]: "We're coming down to empty the vault now!"
Vault Guard [calling back up]: "You'll have to give me your authorization password!"
[Jayne fires a burst from his automatic rifle]
Vault Guard: "...Okay!"

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: "Do you want to run this ship?"
Jayne Cobb: "Yes!"
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds [caught off guard]: "Well... you can't..."

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: "Dear Buddha, I would like a pony and a plastic rocket."

Hoban 'Wash' Washburn: "Can we start with the part where Jayne gets beat up by a 90 pound girl? Because that's *never* getting old."

The Operative: "Do you know what your sin is?"
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: "Hell, I'm a fan of all seven... but right now, I'm gonna have to go with wrath."

Zoƫ Warren: "How much ammo we got left?"
Jayne Cobb: "Three full mags, and my swinging cod!"

Some quotes from Star Wars:

Obi Wan [seeing Anakin jump off a speeder at dazzling heights]: "Damn it! I hate it when he does that..."

Obi-Wan [just caught by anakin with a speeder]: "What took you so long?"
Anakin: "Well, you know, Master, I couldn't find a speeder that I really liked..."

Darth Vader: "leave them to me. I will deal with them myself"

Darth Vader: "You have failed me for the last time admiral..."

Bar customer [notices Obi-Wan arriving at the bar]: "You wanna buy some death sticks?"
Obi-Wan [using a Jedi mind trick]: "You don't want to sell me death sticks."
Bar customer: "I don't want to sell you death sticks."
Obi-Wan: "You want to go home and rethink your life."
Bar customer: "I want to go home and rethink my life."

Obi-Wan: "I was beginning to wonder if you'd got my message."
Anakin: "I retransmitted it to Coruscant, just as you'd requested, Master... Then we decided to come and rescue you."
Obi-Wan [looks at his handcuffed hands]: "Good job!"

Obi-Wan [to Anakin]: "Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me..."

[R2-D2 is pulling C-3PO's head back towards his body]
C-3PO: "This is such a drag..."

[In the speeder, while chasing the assassin]
Obi-Wan: "You know I don't like it when you do that."
Anakin: "Sorry, master. I forgot that you don't like flying."
Obi-Wan: "I don't mind flying, but what you're doing is suicide...!"

[With head stuck on a battle droid's body]
C-3PO: "DIE, Jedi dogs!!!.... Oh... what did I say? "

Anakin: "You call this a diplomatic solution?"
Padme: "No, I call it an aggressive negotiation."

October 23, 2005

Finally some images

Well, I finally found some time to rework my images, so here they are...


Here is a wet leaf. I took this photo in Taipei ZOO. Some plants were continuously irrigated by some water jets that were spraying a mist of water particles onto the plants. I saw the glittering in the sun and thought it make a good shot, and I am not disappointed.


This photo has some history (the subject that is...). It is a memorial shrine in Tarokko Gorge in Hualien county Taiwan. The Tarokko Gorge is a very popular attraction, and if you visit it you can see why. It is indeed a lovely place. One of the reasons Tarokko is so well known, is because some 50 years ago, the Taiwanese build the central cross country highway. That led them through the gorge. It sadly cost the lives of 500 workers to build the highway in the gorge. They build this temple to remember their sacrifice. The temple had to be rebuild several times afterwards due to land slides and earth quakes.


This is a bridge that ran next to the memorial temple. I thought it was pretty interesting. It led to a tunnel where you could take a food path to the temple, but that was off limits due to the risk of falling rocks, something not uncommon.


At the end of the tour through Tarokko Gorge we arrived here. Whilst most of the tourists in our group went buying souvenirs and having coffee, I walked up the steep stairs to visit the buddhist temple. They were just restoring the damage done by one of the typhoons that had hit the area not too long ago. Little did they know that the same evening another typhoon, force 3, would sweep the land...
The temple featured this golden buddha statue. There was also a nice pagoda of which I also took some photos. I may show that one some other time.


This photo is of a fishing boat on Green Island, another popular tourist location in Taiwan. Green Island is very small and it is best to book your trip well in advance. ALthough they fly on Green Island, they use VFR, so if the weather is slightly off, you can count on all flights being cancelled. There is still a boat though. We took the boat on the way up, which was in the middle of a small typhoon, so you can imagine that almost everyone on board got pretty ill. Luckily I kept everything in. Tina insisted on taking a flight back.


Taipei 101, for now the tallest building in the world, shaped like a bamboo tree.
The photo you see here is the interior of this little orifice of 500+ meters. It is part of the construction that keeps a counter weight suspended in mid air. Several hydraulic dampers dampen the movement of this massive ball, that acts as a buffer for any movements caused by earth quakes and typhoons. A clever gadget if you tell me...


Martyr's shrine. This place is a huge shrine where they honour those that gave their lives during the endless wars over the past millenia. It is mostly oriented to those who gave their lives in their fight against communism and the second world war. The guard change is quite impressive and always managed to get a crowd of people attending. The soldiers twist and whirl their rifles in a well practised routine. If you are visiting, note the yellow/brown stripes on the pavement, worn by army boots marching every day multiple times per day. SInce the guards have to stand still perfectly in the blistering heat, they have awhole crew that waters them, dabs their sweaty foreheads, tug their uniforms, etc etc.


I think this is a little memorial that was constructed for the women that lost their husbands during the construction of the central cross island highway in Tarokko Gorge. I don't know the exact details because we didn't really have the time to stop and have a look.


Taipei MRT at peak hours...


"...yeah, I'm gonna have to work late darling, so don't wait up for me."


The railing on Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.


I can't remember the name of the shopping mall where I took this shot. The mall is huge though! It contains a cinema as well where we watched Deuce Bigalow does Amsterdam. They have stuff for everyone. Mind you, it is not as crazy as Ximen Ding, a shopping mall Japan style, fashion shopping!


The mountains of Hualien County. Actually quite impressive! The landscape in Taiwan can be really gorgeous. The day we took this train from Taipei to Hualien was gorgeous as you can see. Too bad that many a factory poluted the view as well as teh environment. When you want to go swimming on the coast of Taiwan, make sure you check if you can. Treacherous currents and dubious sea creatures are not the only dangers that lure in the water.

October 17, 2005

I want one!!!

Ok, I have decided...In the past few years I managed to gather quite a few cameras, mostly film.However, Canon recently introduced their EOS 5D. I know, another next generation camera, and why would I upgrade my 10D when I have a Large Format Camera, which should beat any digital SLR in image quality. I considered this and weighed it up against the benefits of having a 5D.And boy, am I sold!!! A 13MP camera with 2,5" LCD screen, improved ergonomics, spot metering and B&W images! Woah, I finally have my reason to upgrade my 10D.I'll sell the 10D, the EOS 1N, the EOS 1V and the Shen Hao with panoramic back. I'll also sell my Tokina F2.6 28-70mm That should get me enough money to buy this new EOS 5D. I might sell my 17-40 f4 as well and replace it with the new 24-105 f4 IS as the 5D also is a full frame sensor camera! I think 24mm on a full frame sensor is good enough for me.

Well, x-mas is approach as well, but before that there is Sinterklaas! I need to get my dad to buy me some pepernoten and spekulaas and marsepein!
I already booked my flight for x-mas. Tina is about to do the same. Now what we need to do is to find some places we can stay. I probably will not bring any photo equipment and I have to be economical with my luggage as well if we are to stay over with, well, everyone...

I want to do mor epeople photography. Flickr showed me some really good shots of some ladies, so I got an apetite to broaden my field of subjects (currently limited to landscape and related subjects)

October 12, 2005

Two typhoons and an earthquake...

Well, I managed to survive 2 typhoons and 1 earthquake in Taiwan...

The first Typhoon reached us when we were in Taitung. We were planning to first go to Orchid Island and then to Green Island. Although we managed to fly into Taitung, we couldn't fly on to Orchid Island due to the weather. The Typhoon had hit Taiwan and they only fly VFR to those islands, so no luck there.
At first we were stuck in Taitung so we went to the hotel we were to use later that weekend. We got the Honeymoon suite, but believe me, if that was the honeymoon suite, I don't want to know what the cheapest suite was in that place. The weather was miserable and it seemed like we couldn't go anywhere. Tina got really upset about it. After making some calls we found out that there were still boats to Green Island. Green Island is only about 55 minutes away by boat so that wouldn't be too bad. Tina was a little afraid that the sea was rough so she took some motion sickness tablets. Although I have a bit more sea legs (maybe because of my time with the sea scouts, or perhaps due to my flying experience), I decided to take some as well; after all there was a typhoon at large (though it was just a small one...).
The man that sorted our trip was very kind and helpful. He picked us up from the harbour (we were a bit early) and he gave us the motion sickness tablets.
After a while we were lead to the boat. There were 3 small but powerful ferries rocking on the calm waves in the protected harbour.
After we got on board and all passengers were loaded up, we set sail for Green Island.
When we left the protective shelter of the harbour, we hit the ocean with full force. The boat was rocking like a play toy in hands of the gods! Waves were big and rough. As it happened we had to sail into the wind and into the waves, making the trip extra rough. During the first 5 or 10 minutes, everyone on board went "ohh", and "Ahhh", and "Woo!" as it seemed like a rollercoaster. After those 10 minutes the expressions diminished somewhat and it became a little quieter. After 20 minutes the first people started to make those horrible sounds of throwing up. Ofcourse this affects other people who are desperately trying to keep their lunch inside, and hear the hurling of others didn't really help. Tina got sick as well.
Although I didn't feel too good either, I did manage to keep everything inside, despite having to throw away Tina's recycled lunch, which I really didn't want to see or smell. I guess those high G exercises during my PPL times did pay off...
A few other guys seemed to get through the ordeal without fouling the boat as well.
I have to say, I admire the little stubby sailor that was handing out the bags to dump your recycled lunch in. He seemed totally unaffected by all of it. Then again, he probably had been doing the job for quite a few years...
When we got to the Island Tina said that she was going to take a flight back. She didn't care about how long she had to wait for the weather to clear or how much it would cost, but she rather died than go through that ordeal again. The next morning the weather had cleared up completely and the lady at our hotel said that the boat back should be much better than when we came, because the sea was completely calm. Plus we would be moving with the waves this time. But Tina still insisted with the flight, which is fine with me because I love flying and I got to add a new plane to my list of planes I travelled on!

The second typhoon hit us on the last night we were in Hualien, a popular destination, known for its marble exploitations. Although the first typhoon was nothing more than a serious storm, this second typhoon was the real thing! It was strength 3, so "just " a medium sized typhoon, but it was still the business! The winds started picking up early in the evening and the typhoon hit us at full force around 2 or 3 o'clock at night. As it happened the typhoon hit Hualien dead on and the centre passed over us. Tina suggested to take a train earlier in the morning but I told her that the centre would have already passed by then, so a later train would actually improve out chances of getting one (the trains are subject to delays when a typhoon hits). She wanted to leave at 7 in the morning (originally the train would go at 11) but at that time things would probably be worse. I told her if she wanted to prevent being stuck there the next morning we would have to leave at that very moment. We didn't and the next day the trains were delayed until 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon. During the night the winds picked up quite a bit, and the whole building was rocking on the force of the typhoon. For me this was quite a new experience, quite interesting actually.
At some point the electricity failed and the emergency lights came on. Ofcourse they ran out of power soon as well, leaving us in total darkness, but worse: without TV as well!!! Anyway, the next morning we noticed power was still out. As it happened the whole town was without electricity and it took 12 hours, until 2 in the afternoon, before power was restored. With Taiwanese temperatures and humidity that isn't exactly comfortable as there is no airco either...
At 3 in the afternoon we finally got our train and managed to get to Taipei in one piece, and we didn't even have to stand up for 4 hours!

The earthquake went like this: We were in Taipei and I was sitting on the side of the bed, watching some TV, whilst Tina was lying on bed reading something I believe. At some point Tina jumps up and excitedly calls out "did you feel that???" I asked "feel what?". "There was an earthquake!" She replied. I asked her when and she said "just now!". Well, me and my fat ass didn't feel a thing, so I guess it wasn't that strong.

Anyway, At least I can say that I have experienced and survived 2 typhoons and one earthquake...