aug 31 2007

Sick bay today: 2 colds, 2 bluetongues

The sickbay at my house is getting quite extensive.

Had to get up about 5 times this night because Daan is having a terrible cold, and only after giving him aerosol with Ventolin at 4AM this morning did he become quieter in his breathing and managed to get a few hours of uninterrrupted sleep.
This morning turns out that Maud also seems to have a cold and was quite feverish. If it’s the same cold as Daan, this’ll get much worse before it starts getting better.

Bad as it is, these are not the most worrysome sicko’s: it’s these two:

Sheep with bluetongue. Photo on Flickr

They were getting more and more lackluster the last week, and now Trui’s condition (she’s on the left) is getting worse and worse: not eating anymore, difficulty swallowing, not moving about anymore, drooling. And Trees (on the right) is also showing the first signs of that decline.

They probably have bluetongue! The contaminations with this viral disease seems to be taking big proportions here in Belgium, and the center of the spread is in the South-East of Oost-Vlaanderen. And I live smack-dab in the middle of that…

Spread of the disease in Belgium. Photo on Flickr

Cases of bluetongue in Belgium in 2007 (up till 28 aug).
Red dots=sheep. Blue dots=bovines.
Balegem: yellow dot, the arrow point to it.
Source: FAVV

The vet is coming in later today, but besides a bit of pain-killers, seems there’s nothing much that he’ll be able to do against the virus: just hoping that after 6 to 8 days of getting sicker and sicker, they’ll slowly start to recover. Statistics say they have a chance of about 90% of doing that. Else they die ;-(

aug 27 2007

Photo: Scharnierplant

Scharnierplant = Physostegia, more commonly known as Obedience Plant or False Dragonhead

aug 23 2007

Photo: Maud eats a magnet


She’s 10 months old by now

aug 22 2007

Photo: Hogweed flower

Flies visiting the flowers of a hogweed (Latin: heracleum, Nederlands: bereklauw, berenklauw).
Avoid contact with the sap of this plant, as it will cause burns on the skin exposed to the sun (phototoxic).
Although definitely a weed: still beautiful!

aug 22 2007

Photo: wooden tractor

Tractor gekocht op de rommelmarkt in Grammene op 18 augustus 2007. Prijs: 70 cent.

aug 22 2007

Foto: Daan speelt

Daan luistert naar wat muziek van Maud’s speeltje
Leeftijd hier: 2 jaar, 7 maand.

mei 21 2007

Some Ecards

Wow: what a bit of clipart & a (un)healthy dose of cynicism and sexual innuendo can do to a monday morning! has some funny shit going on.

Sorry my web browser history scared you

Let's regroup to determine which coworker we want to sleep with

I'm looking forward to your visit being over

Many more on the site …

Kinda makes your cross your fingers, hoping that you’ll never get a card from someone through that service …

mei 4 2007

Link-o-rama (2)

Quote of the month: “Twitter … is the latest evidence of the Paris Hiltoning of America. Twitter is always on, always looked at, and at a 140 character limit, doesnt have the capacity to be either deep or meaningful.” (from the article “Twitter Nation, nobody cares what you’re doing“)

Wakoopa, might be an interesting way to discover interesting software. The principle: you share information about the programs running on your computer every 15 minutes.

WEBoggle, a version of the word-finding game Boggle that has been very well ported to the net. Just enter a nick and join a 4×4 or 5×5 game. The words are instantly checked on the grid and against a dictionary and after the game you get a neat overview of the words that you (or everybody else) missed.

Eat this, Koen Fillet … The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei, spiritual athletes redefine the term “ultrarunner.” artikel in Trail Runner Magazine

Must … read … up … on microformats. Must … read … up … on microformats.

apr 20 2007

A "Quick" intro to Belgium

While “savouring” a fine junk food meal this afternoon, it dawned on me that this thing was a great allegory for Belgium, the homeground of this here blog.

Belgium is a federal state,

(see it as as a a bunch of concession holders who together from a junk food chain. The franchise-holders can decide where they put the napkins and the garbage cans independently, as long as they serve the same kind of food and pay their taxes)

… with Flemish, Walloon & German people in it, …

(the first tribe orders “Een giant menu”, the second ethnic group does this with “Un menu Giant” and the third reich commands “Ein Giant menu”. After which the fluently trilingual employees reply them respectivily “medium of maxi?”, “medium ou maxi?” or “medium oder maxi?”. A true tower of Babel in the making! (insert irony mark here).

… who don’t give a fuck about each other…

(it used to be different, but it seems nowadays nobody cleans up their trays from the tables after they finish)

… and have practically nothing in common but the monarchy and soccer (both of which are in a apalling state right now)

(Everybody sits at their own table, hardly looking each other in the eye. I wished I had my Ipod with me).

… which leads many to believe this whole country will be history in a few years time

(Separatism is like the two buns of the hamburger going their own seperate ways, after having a fight over who gets what part of the meat + lettuce + tomato. Most likely outcome: the meat + lettuce + tomato will end up torn and unsavoury, the buns drained and lifeless).

… The highlights of Belgium include the historical cities,

(where a Quick or a McDonalds are never more than a block away)

… the culinary culture

(Quick is in French hands, and they claim their burgers are “much tastier” than the bland American junk-foodish McDonalds)

… beer

(which you can have even in the junk food restaurants, but only if you order a full meal)

… and surreal painters …

(E.g. nowhere do you get more food info on what you’re eating than in a junk food restaurant. Oh, the horror: junk food! American imperialism against refined European taste! While next door, nobody’s telling you what you get when ordering Belgium’s typical snack: greasy french fries splattered with mayonaise, or Kebab. Or where the more upscale restaurants serve you a kettle-full of moules-frites, or where they’re savouring “steak tartare” (which is a raw hamburger, with a raw egg yoke  on top of it) … )

Nobody loves it, but still it’s chockfull of people who won’t go away (heck, even resent that others are coming in).

(there’s no junk food like our junk food, and we want to stay rich enough to afford eating it)

… It’s a place full of wealth

(one hour of begging on the sidewalk will easily get you a 3� value meal: cheeseburger, maxi-fries �nd a  small drink. 15 minutes more might even get you the extra euro to include a milkshake with that!)

… and happiness

(Happy meals for the kids!)

… in the heart of Europe.

(neighbours are the British (fish ’n chips, anyone?), the Dutch (broodje kroket, anyone?), the Germans (knackwurst anyone?) and the French (frog legs, anyone?). People from Luxemburg (Luxemburgians? Luxemburgers?) don’t eat snacks, they spend all their money on cheap sigarettes & petrol).

apr 19 2007

Talk to the hand

Oh, what would I be without the wonders of the net (in this case Dailymotion – a better, european youtube – and the “highly influential” blogger Michel Vuijlsteke who spotted the film there): I totally would’ve missed the television highlight of the year: Gringo from VT4’s Temptation Island!

High on something really good (the same thing Ellen Feiss got before her famous Apple-ad, methinks), he receives the news of his girlfriend fooling around by changing his language (he switches from his usual West-Flemish accent to an even stranger-sounding Dutch) and by telling his girlfriend that she now “can climb up the highest coconut tree and pick nuts like a monkey” and that when he’ll meet her again he’ll tell her “talk to the hands cause the face don’t won’t to hear it anymore”, that he “from now on is single, and his number is 0473 xxxxxx”.

Talk to the hand(s)” is used here of course in a reference to Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element”, not with the Jerry Springer trash talk most would think. Just look at the synopsis of this film : “Every five millennia, when three planets are in eclipse, evil is embodied and attempts to turn all light to darkness and all life to death. The weapon against this evil is is activated by bringing together the five elements of the universe: the first four are water, fire, earth, and air, and the fifth element is love, embodied in a Perfect Being.” And that’s what El Gringo just has lost. Deep. Deep…

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