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 »

Development principles in cooking

A lot of people seem to think I’m the kind of chef who uses loads and loads of ingredients, combining and layering without thinking twice. We were having a discussion about what to cook for dinner this evening. It’s ‘donderdag veggiedag’, an initiative from the Belgian EVA VZW to eat a vegetarian meal each thursday, and since I’m a vegetarian, it’s generally accepted that I should know a lot of good recipes. Read More »

Are you handing over enough when inspiring someone?

What info to convey, when to stop?

The other day, I was having a discussion with a friend and colleague about reaching out to others. He had an idea on combining patterns learned from the enterprise software development world (clean code, TDD, domain driven design, you name it) with patterns learned from the gaming development world (rapid prototyping, getting stuff done, intensive usage of frameworks like Unity). An excellent idea if you ask me. But he was hesitant - others might not be that interested in taking time to write unit tests in their game. Read More »

How to teach kids to program

Usable tips also applyable to grownups?

Jessica Ellis gave a lot of great tips on how to teach kids to program at Techorama 2017 in Antwerp. She has ben an active teacher in the tkplabs.org society and introduced something clever called “barbecoding”. In an attempt to create an appealing programming camp for boys and girls, she successfully combined food and science. She shared her story in an hour and I did my best to extract the most important principles as I thought it might be a great idea to apply that to our team in my daily work as a software developer. Read More »

Drawing week 04 - Using the brain

Drawing at the right side of the brain

Also read Teaching yourself to draw. As I’m slowly getting a tiny bit better at drawing things I see, I still don’t have a fundamental basis to rely on. Until I’ve read “Drawing at the right side of the brian” from Betty Edwards. Everything I’ve read in there came as a complete revelation to me. She explains how you should “look” at things, what is important to look out for when realisticly drawing and how values/tones work. Read More »