Take your time.

Stop rushing. Start watching.

“Let’s try to keep silent for a minute and enjoy the complete absence of traffic noise!” I yelled to my friends. We were standing on a sandy hill in the middle of national park “Hoge Veluwe”. One of our friends, a biologist, enticed us to help him identify animal tracks in the sand. I don’t know anything about even-toed ungulates, but I know a bit about the joy of discovery. “Great idea! Read More »

2017 in books

Pattern recognition in books

Goodreads presented me with a neat overview on my read books in 2017 you can also take a look at. The dull page statistics are of no interest to me, but the kind of books I’ve read do tell a story that might be worth sharing. When it comes to keeping track of what I read, Goodreads might be the best thing that happened to me yet. But I can’t say that I’m a consequent user of my own listage. Read More »

Inventing - for the worse?

Is inventing always a good thing?

People have an irresistible urge to create. But we often mistake productivity with creativity with really creating. Homo creativus. But is this always a good thing? The best inventions in the world bring great sorrow to millions of people today. Then I started wondering, what if… Electricity wasn’t invented? Mass production wouldn’t be possible. Everything you use, from your watch to your laptop, stove, to what you’re wearing wouldn’t be possible. Read More »

Noise

Getting rid of noise, part 2

The meanwhile common problem of noise in your head has not been solved just yet. In fact, it has only gotten worse. A lot worse. The garbage thinking problem spread like a disease, clinging onto everything in it’s way inside me. It has reached my ears and my mind. I’d like to make a distinction between “head” and “mind” as “head” might be a temporary problem, getting something to stick in your “mind” sounds a lot more definitive to me. Read More »

I'm jealous of my dog

Getting rid of garbage in your head

My dog, Miel (yes, like the French word for honey. It’s a Golden Retriever, get the link?), loves to walk. He also likes playing a lot, but as soon as I put on my shoes or get near the garden gate, he starts to freak out, thinking it’s that time again. Since I have no idea what is going on in is head, I said “thinking”, because we humans associate animals with our own behavior - because that’s what we’re familiar with. Read More »

A quick look at 6 fountain pens

A test drive from a drawing perspective

My recent addiction to fountain pens has reached new heights. I happened to talk about pens with a dear colleague and she asked if I also had pens with a flexible nib. Posing such a question usually requires some basic knowledge about types of nibs, and it turned out that her friend is another fountain pen enthusiast who owns a bunch of really neat looking (and writing) pens. I was very excited when she proposed to let me try some of his special nibs. Read More »

Journaling in practice

My guide to keeping a journal

If you’re wondering why you should journal in the first place, then maybe it’s a good idea to start reading here and here. There are hundreds of resources available on the Internet on how to journal, how to keep a bullet journal, how to index everything, how to getting things done and so forth. The following advice is something that works for me - it might not work for you at all. Read More »

Nuts about local nuts

A case for local food

Remembering David Lebovitz’ pine nut syndrome, I started to take a closer look at packages of food we buy at the local supermarket. It’s so easy to get completely focused on buying local vegetables but forgetting to look at the label when throwing something like pine nuts into the shopping cart. The worst thing is, most supermarkets don’t care and don’t offer an alternative. However, let’s not panic just yet: this is slowly changing (but reached a plateau). Read More »

Healing creative scars

My ultimate secret weapon for self improvement

Want to skip to the practical part? Are you aware of your problems? Once upon a time in a land not very far away (in fact, it’s the very same we live in), a small boy and his Gameboy grew up. He didn’t have many hobbies: gaming. He didn’t have many friends. Playing outside is okay as long as the 4 AA batteries are fully charged and the sun isn’t shining too bright and the playing is confined to one square meter. Read More »

A samurai learning mindset

Bushido and the ever learning spirit, techniques for 1600 and 2017?

After reading the famed books The Book of five rings By Miyamoto Musashi and the Life-giving sword By Yagyu Munenori, I started making connections between the teachings of the art of war and the teachings of any other craft. Yagyu clearly mentions the state of mind required to survive in battle can be used in any other profession to your advantage as well. The back of the book states that “every manager, seeker of life wisdom and practician of martial arts should use this”. Read More »