News

Traveling Off to Morocco Monday 27 April 2009
We're off to Morocco today. As always I'll be updating the home front here. I've finally done some preparing the last two days and I want to do the following things:
  • Tetouan
  • Chefchaouen
  • Fez
  • Meknes
  • Volubilis
  • desert trip
  • hike in the Dades and/or Tondra gorges
  • A 3 to 4 day trek in the high Atlas
  • Marrakech
  • Casablanca
I haven't counted how many days all that would take but probably more than we have. When time's up we can quickly get to Casablanca from anywhere though so no worries.
Photos Safari photos Tuesday 21 April 2009
I put up part 7 of my East Africa report, about our three-day safari in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater. There are more than 100 pictures of lions, hippos, giraffes, wildebeests etc, as well as a few clips, and thanks to my new album editor it was fun and easy to make :)
Site News Online album editor Saturday 18 April 2009
I've written the online album editor and am very pleased with it (and with myself and most of all with jQuery). From now on I just have to upload pictures and then the website makes thumbnails, lets me drag them around the album page and add and edit blocks of texts, headers, youtube movies or anything else between them, resulting in a photo report made directly in the browser.

To try it out I'm making part 6 of my East-Africa travel report (20 months late), here are two screenshots of the editor in action...

Update: you can now read part 6 of my East Africa report with 42 photos and 2 clips, though it's all mostly about painful bus rides. The next part will be much better, about the Serengeti safari! I'll try to finish that this week.

There are temporarily two PHOTOS links in the menu, the right one is for the new reports (only Africa atm). Later I'll make one link for the big travel reports and one for all other pictures.
Site News Welcome CakePHP, goodbye Rails Tuesday 7 April 2009
Well that went quickly, all code's been redone in CakePHP and jQuery instead of Rails and Prototype+scriptaculous. You won't see any difference since I kept all the content and design, but you'll notice that this site is much quicker now.

So now I'm gonna make a new photo album system that'll work both for simple galleries and for travel reports. When I get back from Morocco in late May, I want to put up the pictures within a week, and then I'll start catching up on the East-Africa and South-East Asia trips.
Site News Site remake Thursday 2 April 2009
I've started reprogramming this whole site. I'm keeping the layout and the database though, just replacing Ruby on Rails with CakePHP. That will make this site a lot faster, and it'll allow me to make something to upload travel photos more quickly. At some point this site will probably be down for a few days.
Traveling Morocco Tuesday 17 February 2009
It's official: we're going to Morocco. We fly to Tanger in late April and return from Casablanca 21 days later. The tickets cost us only 187 euro p.p.!

This will be the first time since my Egypt trip in 2003 that I'm going to one country only :) And we don't even intend to see it all, firstly because we want to take it easy, secondly because it's so cheap to fly to Morocco that we want to save some of it for city trips or short treks.
Site News Lotte's new site Sunday 15 February 2009
I finally finished and released Lotte's new site. Definitely my best effort yet in web design, and quite a good effort if you consider that I have absolutely no talent for web design.

So that's one project of the list, which now looks like this:
  • Develop forums for antwerps.be
  • Remake this site in CakePHP and develop a system to let me create travel reports effortlessly
  • Design, develop and fill vlaamsetaal.be - this is my next project, a site about Flemish language
  • Design and develop a political discussion site - I'm full of ideas for this but it'll be long before I get here
  • Stop creating web sites and start writing

Life's too short :(
Photos South East Asia photos Friday 9 January 2009
Some 180 pictures of my South East Asia trip are now on my Facebook account.
About me Update Monday 29 December 2008
Since the summer I've been spending most of my free time on Antwerps.be, and currently I'm spending it on Lotte's new jewelry site. That is gonna be my magnus opus - of web design at least.

I'm not updating this site anymore but I still wanna keep it for my travel reports and pictures. I intend to remake it for that purpose when I find the time. Creating gallery scripts for Lotte's site (with automatic thumbnails and drag&drop sorting) has made me realise how much easier I could make things for myself.

Speaking of traveling, we're thinking of Morocco for our next destination. We want to keep it short (two weeks) so the flight shouldn't be too long.
World News Corporate bullying Wednesday 3 September 2008
Just the kind of story that makes my blood boil: a guy whose last name is Nissan starts a business in 1980 and calls it Nissan, and in 1994 he registers nissan.com. From 1999 to the present, he's had to fight off continous attempts by Nissan Motor Corporation to bankrupt him through expensive lawsuits claiming trademark infringement, all because he wants to keep the domain name that is also his last name. Ironically, back in 1980 Nissan Motor was still called Datsun. Well, glad I picked the Alfa and not the Nissan Qashqai.
Photos Sold a photo Thursday 21 August 2008
A picture I made was spotted on this site by National Geographic and will be printed in the October issue of their Traveler magazine! I'm even getting paid for it, so I feel like a hotshot photographer now.

Ironically, after I've traveled all the continents and made tens of thousands of pictures along the way, the picture they wanted was one I made in Tongeren, a Belgian town. Here it is...
Those are the shadows of Lotte and me on the bottom left btw, but maybe they'll cut the left part of the picture, we'll see.

Speaking of pictures, a photo report of our South East Asia trip is coming but I won't start until late September. In the middle of September I'll be giving workshops "How to write Antverpian" as part of the offical "dialect week" of the city of Antwerp, so I'll be busy with that.
Traveling Last update from Bangkok Sunday 3 August 2008
I decided to make a day trip to Ayuthaya today, one of the destinations we canceled earlier when we came straight to Bangkok from Sukothai. Tbh I only went because I wanted to put another UNESCO World Heritage Site under my belt, but it turned out to be a good decision, Ayuthaya has some really nice monuments, more so than Sukothai. It's still nothing compared to Angkor though :)

Yesterday we walked around China town. When I got bored with all the markets we went into a random hotel to get an icecream. We ended up in a revolving restaurant on the top floor with an amazing 360 degree panorama of Bangkok around us. I made a movie walking around the whole place, we were the only customers anyway :)

Tomorrow at midnight we're taking a plane home, so this is the last update. I think we'll be spending most of the day figuring out how we're going to get all our souvenirs home. We'll have to make our hand luggage very heavy in any case :) When we're home we're gonna put all of them together and make a picture.

This evening I still wanna go to Swensen's, a chain of ice cream bars which we first discovered in a mall in Phnom Penh. They have luscious ice creams which I've been craving for ever since...

I've uploaded some pics of Thailand...

Thailand 2008
Traveling Cicatrix on TV Friday 1 August 2008
We saw two of the top three temples today, Wat Pho and Wat Aroun, and both were amazing. Wat Pho has a statue of a reclining Buddha that is 43m long and 16m high, pretty much fills the whole temple.

We were back in the hotel by 5pm so today I could watch the game show on NOW TV (see below) and sure enough this time it was a Cicatrix match. It was a match I didn't play in but I got shown and mentioned as the team captain so I count that as being on TV :) I watched the whole match, was fun seeing my team play on TV for once instead of on a computer monitor.

Here's a pic of one of my new T-shirts...

Thailand 2008
Traveling Update Thursday 31 July 2008
Hi again! Today was another long day on which we only managed to do half of what we intended. Maybe a week in Bangkok isn't enough :) Did a lot of souvenir shopping and ended in a bar with a great live band. I got four funny T-shirts for myself and also spent 80 euro on one single thing for our home, the most I ever spent on a souvenir. You'll have to come see what it is :)

Meanwhile it seems my work on the Antwerp language is getting mentioned in all the newspapers at home (or their websites at least) and the webstats for antwerps.be are through the roof; it's time I can get back to work on that :)

Another very cool thing is that it turns out I am on TV here in Bangkok, regularly even. I kid you not! About 7 years ago me and my team Cicatrix played in a computer league for an Asian satelite station called NOW (Network of the World). We never got to see the matches and the show around them ourselves, but guess what, we get that station on the TV of our hotel room here in Bangkok, and amazingly they are rebroadcasting those matches from 7 years ago every day at 5pm!

I haven't actually seen a match with my team yet (we're usually out all afternoon and evening) but they show Cicatrix in the ranking at the end of every episode and since we were one of the top teams in the league our matches are surely getting broadcasted all the time. If I just stayed in the hotel I would get to see myself - as the 3D character Godsmurf that is - on TV, how cool is that? Well, Lotte thinks it's not cool at all because it's "just a stupid game", bah :(
Traveling Bangkok Wednesday 30 July 2008
Today we visited the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Royal Palace, the main attractions of Bangkok. It was very impressive, though I liked their equivalents in Phnom Penh better. Afterwards we went to Siam Square where a series of huge malls are grouped together. We were going to go to Siam Ocean World but since they doubled the price we didn't fel like it anymore. Instead we watched the new Batman movie on an Imax screen. Impressive to watch, but the movie was too long and got boring imo.


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