Thursday, January 31, 2002

Happy birthday
I can just reach it : Happy birthday to our queen, Queen Beatrix of Holland. (never forget where you are coming from!)
New Vanilla Sky poll is here, please vote if you have seen the movie !
VanillaSky High expectations
I have seen the trailer for VanillaSky on every single channel on danish television the last week. And I tried to book a ticket for tomorrow but all is sold out. Not that I'm expecting to see a masterpiece. Normally the following rule applies : the longer the trailer the worse the movie is. The trailer of Vanilla Sky is quite long ... And Bogart, my filmguru's gave it only 2 hats out of 5, and that normally means waste of money and waste of time. Why do I want to see it then ? Mmm, Tom Cruise maybe ? I just saw "Jerry (Show me the money) Macquire" again, and he is great in that film. So, I give it the benefit of the doubt. But I will make a new poll for Vanilly sky though, it will be available this evening. I am wondering what you people out there think of this movie. And the Lord of the Rings poll is also becoming out of date.

My conga class is not really going to happen, I was the only one applying for it, so unfortunately my musical breakthrough has to wait ...

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

I'm rich !

See what I found in my mailbox today :

From : James Ntuli
TEL : +27-83-585-3890
FAX : +2783-941-8528
E-mail : jamesntuli@yahoo.com

ATTN : DIRECTOR / CEO

I am the manager of bills and Exchange at the foreign
Remittance Department of the First National Bank of
South Africa Ltd. I am writing following the
impressive information about you through the South
African Exchange.

In my department, we discovered and abandoned the sum
of US$34.8 Million in a non-resident account that
belongs to one foreign customer who died along with
his entire family in November 1998 in a ghastly plane
crash.

Since we got information about his death, we have been
expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his
money because we cannot release it unless somebody
applies for it as next Kin relation to the deceased as
indicated in our banking guidelines, but
unfortunately, we learnt that all his supposed next of
Kin or relatives died along with him at the plane
crash, leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is
therefore upon this discovery that I and other
Officials in the department decided to make business
with you and release the money to you as the next of
Kin or relative of the deceased for safety and
subsequently disbursement account as an unclaimed
bill. The banking law and guidelines here in South
Africa stipulates that if such money remained
unclaimed after five years, it will be transferred
into the State/Government accounts as unclaimed fund.

The request for a foreigner as the next of Kin in this
business is occasioned by the fact that the customer
was a foreigner and a South African cannot stand as
next kin to a foreigner. Meanwhile, we agree that 25%
of this money will be for your assistance as a foreign
partner. Thereafter, my colleagues and I will visit
your country for disbursement account to the
percentages as indicated.

Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer to you as
arranged, you must apply to the bank as a relative or
next of Kin to the deceased indicating your company’s
name and bank account and the location wherein this
money will be remitted upon receipt of your reply. Fax
the text of your application.

As soon as you receive this letter, you should contact
me immediately through the above stated TEL/FAX number
only and indicate your direct confidential TEL/FAX
number for effective communication required. This will
work out as soon as you reply.

Trusting to hear from you immediately
Yours faithfully.

Signature eligible

James Ntuli
Know your neighbours
Jish asked me to say HI! to my webloggers webring neighbours. That's maybe a funny idea, so here we go:
To the left of me:
Je Blog donc je suis by Patrice Fontaine in Canada. Unfortunately I cannot really read much of this blog, because it is in french. I can translate the title though : I blog so I am, and that's a nice thought.
To the right of me:
NadaBlog A tall glass of whup-ass. Uhh - funny name for a blog.

ooo

After having subscribed myself to the bongo/conga course, I also made a subscribtion to "Film science" (if you can call it that in english). This is a course held at the Folkeuniversity in Århus and you will learn the deeper meaning of films and how they are build up. I am looking forward to that course, I think it can be very interesting, especially for a film-a-holic like me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Library visit
I had a tour in the library today to pick up a cd I had ordered. Libraries are free in Denmark, it doesn't cost anything to be a member, and you can lent anything you like (books,cd,dvd,video's) for free, a good thing. Even better is that you can search the library on the internet, and make a reservation for the things you like to lent. Once it gets returned to the libaray, you'll receive an email and you can pick it up, now that's what i call service ! And customer-friendly too !

I came home with the following cd's:
Beegees - Their greatest hits 2CD, nice to hear some gold old classic disco!
Enya - Paint the sky with stars. Also a greatest album, nice to hear sometimes, but I have to be in the mood for Enya.
Lauryn Hill - The miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I haven't really heard this album yet, but do like the song Everything is Everything

The rest is danish, but not less interesting:
Marie Frank - Ancient Pleasures, Marie Frank comes from Århus, and had a lot of succes with this (english) album. You can hear most of her songs on her website, I like "Symptom of my time" best.

En kort en lang - Soundtrack The soundtrack to my absolute favourite film of 2001, En kort en lang. With the absolute smash hit : Vent på mig (Wait for me). On this soundtrack you also find a song from the new danish rockband Saybia. They sing in english, have just released their first cd, and they are a mixture between Travis and Radiohead. Very promising, you can hear their songs on their website.

Under Byen (Under the city) - Kyst (Coast) Under Byen is also coming from Århus, they sing in danish, and if I should compare them with something it would be Björk. "Their texts are not songlyrics, but small pieces of very beautiful poetry" is what their recordcompany is writing. There first cd was received with very positive critics, but I don't think it's music for a big public, but that doesn't make it less interesting, on the contrary. A last small detail : Under Byen's cd is hosted on the recordcompany Have a cigar, owned by .. yes tv-2. I told you before, they have taste over there ...

Monday, January 28, 2002

This could be me
I finally found the site where you can try to create a characters that looks like yourself. I have seen them around on some other blogs, and they look quite funny. After some attempts I came to this one, and I have to admit, there are certain points of recognisition.
Maybe it's me

Have a try yourself here !
Stormy weather over Denmark
Denmark is preparing for a big storm this night. The first trees have been fallen down. In Århus it will be worst around midnight. Hopefully it won't be as bad as in 1999 where the storm erased big parts of forests in the southern part of Denmark. Because of the eastern wind, a lot of cities on the westcoast are experiencing higher water levels.

The very big thing in Holland at the moment is the upcoming royal wedding between His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange Willem Alexander (Hollands crownprince) and Ms Máxima Zorreguieta on 2-2-2002 (what a date !). They will marry in Amsterdam. One spicy detail is that the father of Maxima has been a member of the Argentina regime, in the time of suppresion and disappearance of many people in Argentina. There has been decided that her father is not welcome at the wedding in Amsterdam.

Now to something completely different : I am going to start a course in playing conga's (you know those african drum things). It will start in the beginning of february, if all goes well.
Yahoo !
I just got a ticket to another Steffen Brandt performance in Horsens the 14th march 2002. I am very much looking forward to it.
Hackers - grrr
I took another trip in the cinema with my bikingclub yesterday, and saw Lord of the Rings for the second time. I am impressed by the scenery, special effects and camera shots, but they could have cut down a bit on the fighting scenes. I am still reading Harry Potter, but will start in LOTR part II after that, I never read all the books, but now I am a bit curious on how the story will continue. The end in the film is quite sudden.

A hacker had changed my guestbook so that it was redirecting to a porn site. I hope he had fun doing it, I think it's childish. They probably have nothing better to do. I have repaired it again, and took my precautions so that it can't happen again.

On tv I am following Rejseholdet with big interest. This danish drama serie covers the whereabouts of a special police taskforce, and it is a very big success in Denmark. It gets seen by over 2 million danes every sunday, and considering that Denmark only has 5.4 million citizens, this is a big part ! Yesterday's episode was shot in Århus (that's where I live), and it was a bit special to see the different scenes from around the city.

Saturday, January 26, 2002

The Beatles - who are they ?
I talked about music with Daouda, one of the people I met Senegal. He is a big Phil Collins fan, and had all his cassettes. Yes cassettes, cd's were not that widely spread (I haven't seen a single one) in the area's where we were visiting. And in stead of getting a golden record/cd when you sell a lot of music as an artist, in Senegal they still receive a golden cassette when they sell a lot. Those Phil Collins tapes were played on a casette player, powered by a sun collector (with solar cells). This form of energy is of course quite suitable for a country like Senegal. But it's very expensive to buy, and difficult to find peope who can maintain such a solar unit, so they are not used that much (yet). The one in Faoune (where Daouda lives) was quite unstable, sometimes there was electricity, sometime there wasn't. Think about that when you switch on you lights next time :-)

Anyway we talked about music, about Youssou N'Dour, a famous singer from Senegal, and I asked him if he had ever heard about the Beatles. No he had not. Well that surprised me a bit though, what does Phil Collins have that the Beatles don't have. They probably don't get played a lot on the Senegalese radio.

ooo

I just read on the Blogger site that there has come a pay version of Blogger. I hope that this will not incorporate the end of the free Blogger version ...

Friday, January 25, 2002

Amelie - A must see film
My first film in 2002 was a good one : Amelie, I would give it a 8.5 out of 10, and recommend you to see it if you get a chance. I know that Denmark has been very slow in releasing this film, so it probably already has run in most other countries. But this is such a film where you leave the cinema with a big smile. Nice !

My device harddisk problems (see yesterday) are nearly solved, I got a new pc, and didn't loose any data.
Have a nice weekend !

Thursday, January 24, 2002

The device, \Device\Harddisk0\DR0, has a bad block.
That's my day in a nutshell. This was what my pc was telling me this morning on work. For those not being an expert : this means trouble. I have to install a new pc from the start and that will probably take the rest of this day, and a part of tomorrow also. PC's are nice, as long as they work right !

By the way the D-Day I was talking about yesterday ; D-Day stands for "dåse day", which is can day in danish. And thanks Dennis for giving me the answer on the question "Why on earth sould we be starting using cans ?". Dennis' anwer : "Cans are easier to crush against your forehead." That must be it !! Why didn't I think of that before, I have to buy some cans this afternoon ... (especially after this pc crash I really like to crush something)

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

D-Day in Denmark
Sometimes I can't follow. Today it has become legal to sell sodawater and beer in cans. This hasn't been allowed in Denmark until now. It is allowed from now on, and you have to pay a deposit for each can, and will get that back when you return the can. Well done ! But why do we need cans in Denmark ? Sodawaters have been sold in plasticbottles (also with a deposit system) for ages, and beer has been sold in glass and plastic bottles. Supermarkeds are spending lots of machine to be able to handle the deposit for those cans. But -who needs those cans ? I really can't see the reason for this.

Another big item is that there seems to be a dane in the prisonercamps in Cuba. The government doesn't want to give any information about that, but there are rumours that he was a part of the Al-Qaida network.
On my way to get ill again ?
I have been ill for some days during my stay in Senegal. One day I was completely out of the world, and the 2 days after got used to recover from it again. It felt like I had a very intense cold/influenca kind of thing. I was getting better some days after, but right now I feel worse again. My stomach is having problems getting used to danish food habits. And I feel like I am going to get ill again. Maybe I should have a malaria check, just to be sure ... Even though I have taken malaria pills, they don''t protect for 100%. And I definetely got stuck lots of times, by mosquitos and other sticking insects. Looked like they had held a party on my arms and legs, I think there were more then 40 spots. My blood has to be delicious ! So - you have to offer a bit for such a trip to the tropics. Let me see how I feel tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Euro or not
Holland is slowly getting used to the Euro. My mother told me that all the prices in the supermarkets have been raised a lot, because they had to change the prices from dutch gulden to Euro, and they wanted to have round numbers ! So everything has been rounded up.
In the mean time : the danish opinion about the euro is changing. More people are ok with is now, and if they should held a folkeafstemning now, the Euro would probably come to Denmark. So let's enjoy the last period of coins with holes in them. I never really found out why there are holes in danish coines, but I like them.

PS Why do I feel like I need a holiday already after 2 days of work ..
Boring, boring, boring
Just a short break from work. I feel like I don't have so many interesting things to write at the moment so I will keep it short. I am not listening to any particulair music at the moment, just heard Tobias Trier (Sandheden om Brittina Castello)and now Radiohead (Kid A) is in my ears. I am reading Harry Potter (Part III) still, and am going to see Lord of the Rings for the second time on sunday. Other films on my to-see list : From Hell (with Johnny Depp), Spy Game (is probably not that great, but the cast is!), Vanilla Sky (with Tom Cruise), Erling (a norwegian film), Serendipity and Amelie fra Montmartre (should be an outrageous french movie).
I won't bore you reader any longer, I'll show up again when I have something more interesting to say.

Monday, January 21, 2002

Picture of Senegal/The Gambia are now online

If you are interested in the pictures I took on my trip to Senegal, they are available here :
Senegal pictures

Children in Bakau
Senegal/The Gambia
The flying trip I was fearing so much was nearly a piece of cake.Total traveltime was 9 hours, 5 hours from Copenhagen to Gran Canaria, and after 2,5 hours to Banjul - The Gambia. They were showing movies on the way, and Shrek, Bridget Jones, Moulin Rouge and What women want was a nice selection. Moulin Rouge was the only one I hadn't seen yet, and I was pleasantly surprised, nice well done film !

But now that I have broken the barrier of flying longer then 3 hours, the rest of the world is waiting to be discovered. I am already thinking about my next holiday. Greenland is a country I have to see one day, and New Zealand is also of big interest (now that's a long flying trip !).

One more picture from The Gambia:
The Gambia - Bakau beach
The Gambia - Bakau beach

The fact that they only have 5000 internet users in The Gambia (out of 1.4 million citizens) explains why it was difficult to find an internetconnection on the way ...
Back to work
It's weird being back on my work, after a month of holiday. I don't really remember what I was working on and I am not really motivated either. I have been trying to clean up and unpack my things, and washed all my dirty clothes from my trip to West Africa. I also had to wash a lot of black coloured clothes, and annoying enough one of my paper handkerchief ended in that wash. This resulted in all my black t-shirts being covered with small white pieces of handkerchief, it's pretty difficult to remove it again !

ooo

While I was away, Tobias Trier reacted on my writings about his concert and music. I am honoured! And will definetely write more about him, because he is going to perform in Århus again the 7th of march 2002. I am already looking forward to it.

ooo

For those remembering TDW (The disappearing Watch) I can tell that the story got a happy end after all. 4 months after I have send my watch to reparation I have it back. Surprisingly enough it had been send to the supermarked where I bought it a long time ago. Luckily they were smart enough to contact me and I collected it last friday! I had giving up seeing that watch again a long time ago, so this was a welcome surprise.

Sunday, January 20, 2002

Busy sorting out my pictures
I am currently trying to sort out my pictures taken in Senegal and The Gambia, and putting them online. This takes some time, because there are a lot of them. But I better do it now, now that I still can remember where which picture is taken, and I also try to write some text with it. So this blog has to wait just a little bit more.
In the mean time enjoy this one :
View over Senegal

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Gambia/Senegal Part I
I'm not going to write the whole tripstory here, first of all it's not finished yet, and secondly, I will add a section to my regular homepage with a selection of the pictures I took. The trip was a great experience, and we really got the chance to get in contact with the local people. We kept ourselves far away from the touristic places. Of course this has price : the toilets are a hole in the ground and the showers a bucket of water, and we slept in places with flees, mosquitos, rats and spiders. But all this made the experience even more unforgettable. I also quickly got used to have 12 hours of sunshine everyday, and the constant tempereature of 30 degrees was very nice. We did managed to bike some of the days, but the bikes were of various quality, it was nice to have a bikerepairman with us on the way.

I only met one internetcafe on the way, but they only had a regular telephone line, so the connection was so slow that it wasn't really usable. I managed to send one mail out to friends and family, but this Blog had to wait.

Cybercafe in Sedjou Senegal
The cybercafe in Sedjou - Senegal.

Friday, January 18, 2002

I'm back !
After a fantastic trip to Senegal and Gambia, I have returned to Denmark today. I have to get used to the cold weather up her after having 30 degrees sunshine every day ! I will return with the first pictures soon !

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

The last one - from Denmark :-)
Packed everything, and will be leaving for the 25 degrees sunshine in Senegal half an hour from now. This blog will not be updated in 2 weeks (unless I can find a internetcafe in Banjul - Gambia). Bye for now, I'll be back soon !

Winterpicture
Here the last picture of snow in Århus (Den Gamle By - The Old town), now everything is melting away.

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Back in Denmark : Happy 2002 !
Just returned home, to a half melting Århus. It is raining and the snow is disappearing. At least the airportbus could drive me faster home this time, the roads are free from snow. I could see on my thermometer that the record has been -11 C (12.2 F) while I was away, there have been some cold nights here in Denmark.

Now I have around 20 hours left to cleanup, unpack, and pack again for Senegal. A bit of stress, but it must be possible. So this is all for now!

PS I have started reading Harry Potter, and I really do like this book (I started in part III for some vague reason). I read them in english, they are not too difficult to understand, and it's a good way to brush up my english a bit.

PS2 I have to set my language switch to danish again. It always takes me some days to get 100% used to the danish language again, after some days in Holland. But also in Holland I can feel that my dutch is a bit rusty in the start

PS3 I did see Lord of the Rings. I am not really sure what to say about it, well done is appropiate I guess.