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Monday, June 30, 2008

DIY: Dumb Is You

When making the aforementioned gazebo, I commited a small yet significant error:

DIY disaster with ladder and gazebo  

Please, refrain from laughing. I am a very sensitive man.

DIY disaster with ladder and gazebo  

No other option but to unscrew that beam again, wriggle the ladder out and screw it back on.

Posted by Bart at 9:29 PM
Edited on: Monday, June 30, 2008 9:31 PM
Categories: Framed, Home Improvement

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Crime Wave

I solved a crime! It all happened at a dark and dreary night. Well, it wasn't exactly at night. And it wasn't dreary either, the sun was shining very happily in fact. And I was equally happily hammering away in the garden, making a gazebo to keep the grape vines from becoming a giant entangled mess that flows over in the neigbours' gardens.

Behind our garden is a terrain with rows of garages. The garage boxes have to make place for a couple of brand new houses, so we'll have new neighbours in a while. But then of course, empty building sites are virtual crime magnets.

Suddenly – in crime nothing gradually builds up – a suspect car with an equally suspect trailer behind it drove up the small dirt track that leads to the terrain. Two suspiciously looking suspects got out of the car, after they'd parked it right next to the ruins of a derilict garage box. Without hesitation, they started to lift heavy bags out of the trailer and stack them next to a low stretch of wall.

'Body parts', I murmered to myself. But I was wrong, because one of them started to turn the bags over. It was old building materials, but I bet there was toxic waste mixed in between the dust.

After they'd finished unloading the trailer, they opened the trunk. It was then that they finally saw me standing on my ladder, watching their every move. They hesitated for a moment, I thought I saw one of them reaching for a gun tucked in behind his belt, but then they decided against turning me cold and quickly continued to unload the trunk of their car.

Moments later, the car with the trailer raced off, leaving a trail of dust. I, for one, didn't hesitate a minute and ran inside to inform the authorities, including my wife. I noted their licence plate number on a piece of timber, because I didn't have any paper on me.

An hour later, the police arrived to make an eye-witness report. I must say Mrs.B spoiled the whole thing, pretending that she saw the whole thing happening, just because she was at the other side of the house and saw the car race away from the dirt track. Incidently, the gang lords stopped a couple of houses down the road. Mrs.B speculated that they'd bought the house recently and were now refurbishing it. I wished she would have kept here imagination under control and kept to the facts. All evidence pointed to the clear conclusion that an international crime syndicate was trying to take control of the neighbourhood, waisting everyone that pokes his or her nose in their drugs trafficking scheme.

The police left, without mentioning my central role in their report. Which is just as well, because those killers will certainly want to take revenge and then it's better her than me, that's what I say. Later they (the two police officers) came back to report on the proceedings. They had identified the two men and went to their house. They had made a deal with them: clean up the terrain or face the consequences. What a lousy scam! They should have been arrested immediately, or executed on the spot! Now those hoodlums are certain to 'visit' us again and take their revenge.

I'm moving out of here, I need witness protection!

Posted by Bart at 1:05 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Brussels Central : 20.48

Old man waiting for his train (Brussels Central Station)  

Posted by Bart at 10:31 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:42 PM
Categories: Framed

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

First Fries

Today, my son became a true Belgian:

Wolf's first fries  

He ate his first fries. A true son of his father, he cried to get out of bed and when he discovered we were eating fries (or chips), there was no stopping him. After this tentative first fries, he continued to empty my plate. I can't tell you how proud I am.

And wait until he discovers mayonnaise!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blog Blogger Bloggest

Monday I had an excruciatingly boring day at the office, so remember me to describe it all in detail at some later time. But the evening brought the prospect of an international bloggers meet in Brussels. I'm not really the kind of person that enjoys mass venues, but after turning down the last fifteen or so invitations, it was really time to meet and greet some of the people whose blogs I read regularly – or not regularly – or never before.

Zoe and her much beloved Twat were there, but for the rest I hadn't met anyone before. For a moment I thought I really had a knack for the Liverpudlian dialect, but Scouse Doris was apparently born in a more posh part of town than the Beatles.

Some people came all the way from the Land of Brom, in a balloon! Of course, balloons are notoriously difficult to control and it's a miracle he arrived only an hour late. A number (equally to or less than one) of Spanish Goths invaded our lovely spot under the Old Oak tree, but in general they behaved. And then there was Joliet Jake (who has a hilarious blog).

I also got acquainted with Honey, full time disaster magnet and currently recovering from a veritable tidal wave of problems. So I'm glad we didn't get struck by lightning or attacked by Martians or something like that.

More and more people arrived, and more and more drinks, so understanding and remembering names became difficult. As the evening went on, I thought I wouldn't meet the person I was hoping to see the most. When we finally found out who it really was that we've been staring at for the last half hour, it was almost embarasing. But it was a great honour to finally meet Lady Daphne in person.

Sadly, time, tide and Belgian trains wait for no-one (although time and tide don't go on a strike every bloody four and a half days). So I had to rush to the train station for a two-hour-ride home. But I made a couple of new friends that I'll be seeing around on their respective blogs.

Posted by Bart at 9:25 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Choo Choo Too

More pictures of those stunning miniature trains.

Model railroad in Turnhout (Belgium)  

Look at that! If it weren't for the 'giants' in the back, you'd think it was the real thing.

Model railroad in Turnhout (Belgium)  

Model railroad in Turnhout (Belgium)  

They are fun to ride too. And the miniature train driver has to do all the things the 'grown-ups' have to do: add a drip of oil here, clean there, shovel coal, build up steam, clean out the ashes and so on. And then: wheeeeeeeee!

Posted by Bart at 9:38 PM
Categories: Being Belgian, Framed

Friday, June 06, 2008

Rethorical Question

How many holes can a man's underpants have

before he must throw them away?

The answer, my friend

Is blowing in the wind

The Answer

Is blowing in the wind

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Choo Choo

A couple of weeks ago, we were at my sister's to celebrate mother's day. She lives close to the park of her home town Turnhout, where right that day the annual Park Days were held. There's always a lot to do, including concerts, sports and games, and this:

Model railroad in Turnhout (Belgium)  

The park has its very own model railroad, courtesy of the local railfans. Each train you see here is handmade, a painstaking labour of love.

Model railroad in Turnhout (Belgium)  

Especially the models of old steam locomotives are stunning. Just look at that amount of detail, all built exactly to scale.

Model railroad in Turnhout (Belgium)  

Model railroad in Turnhout (Belgium)  

Even the magnificent station is a replica of the train station of Turnhout as it used to be. Turnhout is a city on the border between Belgium and Holland, and it used to be an important train hub. When the rail connection with the Netherlands was cut, the station went into decline and this magnificent structure ended on the scrap heap. But thanks to the modellers, the old glory relives in scale.

Posted by Bart at 8:52 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 8:54 PM
Categories: Being Belgian, Framed

Monday, June 02, 2008

It Never Rains But It Pours

It’s hot and it’s humid, the air is syrupy and heavy like a hot summer’s day on the speculated iron core of Jupiter. I feel like I’m taking a Finish sauna in the Amazonian rain forest. I’m sweaty and smelly and feel like all my energy drains away faster than the clock ticks towards the end of my working day.

Relief is under way. Dark thunder clouds appear at the horizon and suddenly bolts of lightning bring the promise of relief. Then that relief finally comes: the thunderclouds open their bomb hatches and drop buckets of water right on cue:

It’s time for me to walk to the train station.

Posted by Bart at 8:45 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 9:26 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous

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