Year: 2006 (page 1 of 11)

Spending

I went to get a new Strippenkaart a short while ago, as I’m visiting my parent on Christmas and need one for the bus. Went into the small shop down the streets that sells them. Surprisingly it was quite crowded, which I’ve never seen happen there before. Apparently the amount of people buying tickets for the New Year’s Lottery had become so large, that all the electronic transactions in the country were suffering from delays. On the other hand our government is doing such a great job that food banks are popping up all over that place. Sigh. I’m quite shocked actually. Ignore me, it’s been one of those days.

Yearlist

Almost time for the new year, so that means it’s time for a list. This one shows my favourite releases of the past year.

  1. Tool – 10.000 Days
  2. Katatonia – The Great Cold Distance
  3. Amorphis – Eclipse
  4. My Dying Bride – A Line of Deathless Kings
  5. Agalloch – Ashes Against the Grain
  6. Novembre – Materia
  7. OSI – Free
  8. Green Carnation – The Acoustic Verses
  9. Moonspell – Memorial
  10. Iron Maiden – A Matter Of Life And Death

Bond

We finally picked a date to go see Babel, which had been on the to-see list for a while now. Despite heavy downpours we arrived at the cinema on time, bought the tickets and found a seat. What we took for previews (‘hey look, it’s Daniel Craig’) turned out to be Casino Royale, the new James Bond. We ended up in the wrong room. Sigh. We did end up staying, as this one too was -though much further down- on the aforementioned to-see list. And it was actually quite good. I’d been ignoring Bond for quite a number of years now, but this one kept me interested all the way through.

Oh, and happy birthday Saint Nicholas.

Iron Maiden

Took 2 hours off from work this morning, so I could have some extra sleep. Didn’t get home till about 2 last night, as I travelled all the way from ‘s-Hertogenbosch to see Iron Maiden play in the Brabanthallen.

Wasn’t all that impressed with the venue. The entrance was one huge bottleneck which everyone had to pass through to get near the stage. This meant it took so long for us to actually reach a spot where the stage was visible, we completly missed opening act Trivium. I’m not all that familiar with their work, but was hoping to catch a part of their performance. Another thing I missed was something called airconditioning. But I shouldn’t complain, it’s Iron Maiden!

When I first heard about the plans to play the new album, A Matter Of Life And Death in its entirety, I wasn’t really sure. But all in all it did work out better than I expected. The songs from the new album were followed by Fear Of The Dark, 2 Minutes To Midnight and Hallowed Be Thy Name respectively. The guys will be back in the summer to play a bunch of classics shows. Oh, and one thing that struck me, were have all the men with long hair gone?

Update: there’s a review to be found at metalfan.nl (in Dutch) or try this article at Decibel Magazine.

Music library

I fear I’m a bit of a slave to my current obsession at the moment. It’s my music/iTunes collection. After first spending way too much time getting all the ID3 tags right, I now discovered two bits of software to continue the refining process. First there’s MixMeister DJ Mixing Software, a free program you can use to determine the exact BPM (beats per minute) of any song. Which then allows you to create Smart Playlists based on those numbers. Groovy!

Then there’s Album Cover Art Downloader which helps find all those album covers, so you can fully appreciate iTunes 7 coverflow. Nice!

Elections

Just did my civic duty, I voted in the current elections. I wonder which way things will turn out.

Here’s an update from the following day.

The Dutch divided their votes between a government coalition that has been tough on immigration and probusiness, and socialists — led by the Labor Party — promoting a softer approach. No combination of left- or right-wing parties will easily muster full control of parliament, state-funded broadcaster NOS predicted after about 95 percent of the vote was counted. The vote could result in weeks, or months, of coalition haggling with smaller parties in a position to demand a heavy price for their support. Even if a coalition emerges, the result could be an unstable government that would have difficulty completing a four-year term.

So that should be fun. Find out more on Google News.

Tool

Maynard

It’s really true, one does need more sleep as one gets older. Went to see Tool in Ahoy Rotterdam last night. The second show in this year. What a treat! 🙂

I’m not really a big fan of Ahoy, the sound usually isn’t very good. Luckily we had a great spot right in the center, so the sound was actually pretty good. A bit louder than I would have preferred though. My ears were ringing for quit some time after the show. And when will they ban smoking at gatherings like this? Such a disgusting habit.

Opener Mastodon didn’t really impress. I’m not that familiar with their work, so everything sort of blended together. Also, the sound was way too loud for this one, so any detail that might have been there was lost on me. I wish I’d gotten earplugs about 30 shows ago.

Anyhow, on to the good stuff. The band played a little over 100 minutes. Afterwards, I heard rumors that the show might have been cancelled because Maynard was having problems with his voice. Glad they didn’t, I’d been looking forward to it for ages. If he was having problems, I hadn’t noticed. I was a bit dissapointed with the setlist, as I’d hoped they would play 10.000 days after not having played it in the HMH last time. But all in all definitely a great show. Also, they said they’d be back in the summer.

Setlist: Stinkfist, The Pot, Forty Six & 2, Jambi, Schism, Rosetta Stoned, Sober, Lateralus, Vicarious, Ænema. More on this show can be found at the toolnavy.com forum.

Television

Blatant consumerism today. The tv in my bedroom broke this weekend. I like to watch tv before turning in, so I ordered on almost as soon as I found out. This one, by Philips, was just delivered. Hurah.

Events

I was invited to join the Hyves network recently and, though more out of work-related interest, I did. Wow, I’m actually quite shocked something this slow and badly designed can still be a success. As it’s slightly related, check out Reader Poll: Are you burnt out on online sharing?

One thing I have become addicted to is Last.FM, but that’s more because I love music and like talking to other people who share a similar taste in music. The latest site updates added concert listings into the mix, which made Upcoming.org which I previously used a lot also, kind of redundant for me. The main disadvantage of both systems for me is the lack of moderation. On the upcoming.org site this meant people could add metros on incorrect levels. For example, the Dutch provinces are present, but someone still added Amsterdam on the same level. And even Aruba. On Last.FM you have similar situations were people add gigs that are already present in the listing. Not sure how to solve this, but it does annoy me.

Camera

I’ve been thinking about getting a new camera for a while now. With the release of the new EOS 400, the EOS 350D by Canon has become available at a lower price. My dad has this one, and I really like the way it handles. Hm. But I’m also quite charmed by the C-Lux 1 by Leica. Hm, tough decision.