Books

Game of Drones
And then there is a new comic book of Suske and Wiske” (or Spike and Suzy as they are called in English) again. This comic book has the catching name “Game of Drones” and I think that everyone will see where this title is taken from (“Game of Thrones”, for those that didn’t know). This is book 337 already again and it was released on 6 December 2016.

For those that didn’t know, I am collecting the comic books of Suske and Wiske. And I think that I can say that I have a nice collection of them. Around 250 books. So quite some, but not all of them, so still looking for those that I am missing. Although I don’t have the illusion to get them all. Some of the older ones are really collection items and because of that expensive.

The storyline of this album:
When Barabas lets his lab being remodelled by a contractor, he does not realize that this contractor is controlled by Krimson. This contractor places cameras and microphones everywhere and follows the comings and goings of the professor closely.
Barabas is working on a brand new invention. He has developed some kind of remote control that works on brain waves. It allows you to control all kind of devices remotely. That is why he builds drone versions of all its famous devices like the Gyronef, the Terranef and Vitamitje. The old Vitamitje doesn’t agree with this and chooses freedom.
But the brain waves device has apparently an affect on the person who wears it. And it is this that Krimson wants to make use of. He uses the brain waves on Jerom which promptly takes the side of evil …

If you wonder where I am tonight? I am on the couch with a bottle of beer and my new Suske and Wiske book.

Rob
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The Playboy… Oh yes!

by Miranda on

Also for me my first article on Rob’s weblog! And before you think that I will only write about cooking and related subjects… Wrong! Surely I will not avoid the subject, but there is so much more in life that is some attention worth!

But now I want to have it about The Playboy! And that in a positive way…

Wait a minute! A woman positive about the Playboy? She must a lesbian! Okay, guilty as charged! But apart from that, I really like the magazine.

Sure there very nice photo’s of good looking ladies in there. Oh wait again, as a lesbian I have to look at short haired bad dressed girls. Nonsense. I also like to see cute sexy well dressed girls (although forget the well dressed part related to Playboy *TONGUE* ). And some of the ladies in The Playboy are pretty, cute and sexy. And some are not (and when not, they are mostly overdone).
An example? Carly Lauren, the playmate of this months edition of Playboy, is very cute (“Google” her *SMILE* ). Even Jennifer sighed softly when I showed her the photo’s of Carly. And for those who don’t know, Jennifer is my soul mate and love of my life.

So it is about the photo’s in Playboy? No, there is a lot more to it!

I know it is the standard smirking statement about Playboy: “But there are good articles and interviews in it”, but it is actually a correct statement. In this month edition there is a very interesting article about Afghanistan “Afghanistans laatste kans” (“Afghanistan’s last change”). Or the article about Tantra. And there is even a nice recipe for egg benedict in it (darn, now I mentioned cooking after all *WHISTLE* ).

And I know I am not the only woman who enjoys the Playboy. Apart from Jennifer, I know that Marion also reads the Playboy when she is at Rob’s place.

The time that magazines as the Playboy are only for men are long gone and that is a good thing!

 

 


(Credit photo: Miranda)


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“Het omgekeerde land”

by Rob on

Today when I did my groceries I noticed that a new album of my favourite comic-hero’s Suske and Wiske was available. Of course I had to buy it. The title of this new album is “Het omgekeerde land” (in English: “The reverse land”) and it is issue 336 in the series (first print 6 September 2016).

The story…
Wiske is very jealous when Willy is having a new playmate. To blow off steam, she makes a long walk in the woods and there she meets a special bat. The bat suggest to make her a new playmate and t to itself to create a new boyfriend and takes her to Wonderland for this. It is there very gloomy and the fairy-tale characters do not seem to be themselves. Moreover, her new boyfriend, princess Elisa, seems to have two faces. She decides to keep Wiske forever with her.
And to make it al even worse, Wiske gets under the influence of the terrible curse that hangs over Wonderland…

Looking forward to read this album :-)


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“Wonderwaan”

by Rob on

Recently I received the book “Wonderwaan EdgeZero 2015” by mail (Amazon France for a Dutch book? Okay…).

“Wonderwaan” is a magazine about Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror written by Dutch writers. The magazine contains quirky themes and equally quirky editors who push writers to share the best of themselves with us.

“Wonderwaan” publishes fantastic stories, each release is about a different theme. Most stories are original Dutch and are carefully selected from a wide range of entries and award-winning stories.

“Wonderwaan” is published four times a year and has an average of 26,000 words (40 A4 pages with illustrations). Members of the NCSF (Nederlands Contact Centrum voor Science Fiction/Dutch Contact Center for Science Fiction, of which I am member) get Wonderwaan sent home in a paper version. As of 2016 Wonderwaan, a few months after the paper edition, as well as electronic publishing made available for free on most ebook platforms.

“Wonderwaan EdgeZero 2015” is a wonderful read. Once picked up I could hardly stop reading. The quality of the stories is great again. The jury that picked the stories for this edition did a great job.
The edition of “Wonderwaan” contain stories written by well-known and not that well-known writers, but all the stories are awesome and deserve all to be in this edition. The 15 stories in “Wonderwaan EdgeZero 2105” are written by Rik Raven, Marcel Orie, Jan J.B. Kuipers, Jorrit de Klerk, Mark J. Schlimazlnik, Ben Adriaanse, Jaap Boekestein, Frank Norberr Rieter, Mike Jansen, Killian McNiel, Tais Teng, Jeffrey Dionet, Peter Kaptein and Tom Thys.

I really recommend “Wonderwaan EdgeZero 2015” to anyone who has an interest in Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror…. (and who can read Dutch *EVIL* ).


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When we are going on a holiday we always take something to read along. A good book helps with the time in the plane, but it also very nice for a quiet moment in the evening. This year on our holiday back to Lesbos I took “The Ultimate Hitchhaker’s Guide to The Galaxy” by the late Douglas Adams along with me.

Years ago I read teh Dutch translation of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Over then I was already told that this book should be read in the not translated English version as many parts are just not possible to translate without losing the great content.

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author, scriptwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist. His most famous work was indeed “The Hitchhiker’s Guid to the Galaxy”. He also wrote, among other things, 3 stories for the TV series Dr. Who.
Adams was known as an advocate for environmentalism and conservation, as a lover of fast cars, cameras, technological innovation and the Apple Macintosh, and as a “devout atheist”.
Sadly on the age of 49 in 2001 he passed away by an heart attack. And 49 is indeed way too young.

So when packing for our holiday I added the “Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” to my things. Finally I wanted to read this book that I had already for some time. This book contains the next novels:
– The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy
– The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
– Life, the Universe and Everything
– So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
– Mostly Harmless

So during our stay on Lesvos, as the Greek call their island themselves, I spent now and then on the terrace of the bar or the terrace of our studio some time reading this wonderful book. Mostly with a good glass of beer to it (Mythos beer is awesome). I really enjoyed at times not to follow logic and playing words by Douglas Adams.
These novels should be on the “must read”-list of everyone!

BUT ABOVE ANYTHING…


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Some time ago I borrowed the book “This Perfect Day” (or “De Dag Der Dagen” as it is called in Dutch) by Ira Levin from a colleague. She and I had a discussion about what possibly the future of the world could/would be. She suggested to read this book and as I could not find it for sale on any Dutch webshop, she borrowed the book to me.

Ira Levin is known for his books “Rosemary’s Baby” (1967) and “The Boys from Brazil” (1976). “This Perfect Day”, the book I was reading, was written in 1970.

Yesterday I finished reading this book. And I have to say that I am impressed. A very well written book that keeps your attention and triggers you think and ponder about things.

In short, the books is about a soceity completely controled by the government (a supercomputer and a group of programmers, in this book). The citizen of this soceity get every month a treatment, which is a combination of drugs that makes them obedient. There is no crime or hate anymore, but there is also no love or friendship. All emoties are controlled by the drugs they get every month.
The main characters manage to skip this treatments and start to think and feel again. This leads to a rising against the government, which succeeds (of course) in the end.
This is the story in a nutshell. The book is very detailed and links all perfect together. Go read the book I would say!

The main question here is: Is such future possible to happen?

With a very persimistic look, I say yes, it could. Specially when I look at the country where I live. We Dutch call ourselves indendent, but we are not. A majority of the Dutch people would not mind to have camera’s on every corner if that would help against crime. I hear very regulary the famous, and easily to refute, “I don’t have anything to hide” (every human has something to hide). The care for privacy seems to be absent, until you make clear what privacy really involves. People are really not aware what privacy is and that it is about things very close to them.
The ““Those who would give up Freedom, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Freedom nor Safety” seems to be in place, because remember freedom and privacy are very related to each other. By the way, this qoute is said to be from Benjamin Franklin.

But I tend to go for the more optimistic view. I think what is going to happen the next two generations will be of big influence if such a future might happen. I see organizations as “Bits of Freedom” (The Netherlands) and the Chaos Computer Club (Germany) that make their stand on matters involving privacy and related matters. And with rather some success as well.
There are Internet providers that make a stand against the (illegal) data retension. Specially now it shows over and over again that it almost doesn’t help with fighting crime and terrorism.
Secret Services that were way too powerful are getting limited in their power and are getting strictly controlled.
The more I see people starting to realise that too much power and control with an goverment is not a good thing, the more I have hope for a brighter future.

Sadly specially my country seems to be lacking on this. We have a big mouth and are complaining about everything the government does…. and there it stays, we have become a country of complainers without the dare or care to really stand up…. and this was so different in the past. We had our share of demonstrations for labor rights, rights for women, against nuclair power, against discrimination. I hope that seeing that what starting to happen in the countries around us, will make the Dutch people wake up as well.

Anyway, it is all up to us….


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When I was doing some shopping today (I like it a lot that shops are open on Sunday) I noticed a new comic in the Suske & Wiske series. It is the 325th Suske & Wiske comic (within the official series) Of course I bought it :-).

The story is about a ghost, World War I and travelling back into the past. A very good comic book again.


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A Cookery Book with memories…

by Rob on

The book on the picture above is a cookery book and a rather old one. The book is called “Ik kan koken” (“I can cook”) and it belonged to my mother. I have known this book all my life and now it is standing between much modern books of Jamie Oliver, Pierre Wind and 24Kitchen (those are the more famous books, but I have some others that are rather nice).

As the book tells us it is “an illustrated manual for those who want to learn to cook and want to learn about the requirements for a good kitchen“.
It was printed in 1954 and it is the 15th revised edition. It seems that it was a very popular and sold very often.

When our friend Miranda, who is a chef cook by profession, was visiting us, she discovered this book. She had great fun with reading and studying it. As she told, she would loved to add this book to her collection of cookery books, but as she knew it belonged to my mother that I would rather keep it myself. Luckily, as said, the book was in the past very popular. And because of that it was not very hard to get one for Miranda through a website for old/used books.

Miranda already knew it, but this books showed how much cooking changed in around 60 years. Recipes mentioned in the book we don’t make any more or it is made in a complete different way. Many things that are nowadays very common to eat, you will not find in the book. And we prepare things nowadays really different. And not always for the better, according Miranda. Often we don’t want recipes ro take a lot of time to prepare any more and we have found all kind of tricks to shorten the preparation time. But some things just need a lot of time to be prepared in the best way possible. Sadly it seems that often people don’t want to take the time for that any more.

But the book also holds some other “secrets”. as the drawing of a mighty medieval castle that I draw on the inside of the cover long, long ago. If I remember correctly, my mother was not too happy about that (which I can imagine now I am older myself). It shows that even as a young boy I had an interest in fantasy and things alike.
Of the drawing I was fully aware that it was there in the book…

To my very surprise, I found a dried flower between pages 40 and 41. There was just one time in my life that I really did something with dried plant and even had my own herbarium. That was during my time at the primary school. So we are talking at least 40 years ago. It is very nice to realize that this dried flower has been there for so long without me knowing it. And then more then 40 years later and on the other side of the country I discover it there… Nice. Very nice.

And oh, I placed the dried plant back between page 40 and 41 of the cookery book. Maybe when I have a nice spot for it, I will place it in a frame and place it there.

 

(Credit photo’s: Rob)


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Lucifera… an old comic…

by Rob on

When I was young boy, about the ago of 13 or something, the was a comic series called “Lucifera, the minnares van de duivel” (“Lucifera, the Devil’s lover”). I have been reading some episodes of that series at that age. I think because my older brother owned some of them, but I have to be honest, I am not sure about that really.

Lucifera is the main character of the same name, originally Italian comics series, which takes place during the early Middle Ages. Lucifera is Satan’s most beloved devil, who is sent to earth to stop the good work of Dr. Faust. But things are not going as well as she falls (temporary) in love with Dr. Faust.

The series was published in Italy from 1971 to 1980 containing 170 episode. In The Netherlands and Belgium there were 144 episodes published from 1972 to 1982. It was an joined venture of the publishers “Vrijbuiters” and “Schorpioen”.
For the time the comic was published it was quite explicit because of it sexual content, which goes from adultery, homosexuality and such more. But when I look at it now (in 2014) I would call it soft erotic. Funny how things can change over time.

Anyway, some months ago I saw an episode of Lucifera on a second hand market and as it was just one euro I bought. I must admit that it was very amusing to read it. I can understand the some (religious) people may find it somehow offensive because it is about the devil and because of the sexual content. But well, I am not :-).

Well, after reading that Lucifera commic that I bought at that second hand market, the collector waked up in me and I started to collect those comics with the goal to get the complete series. And it is good better and faster as I expected. I have already half of the series. Yesterday I managed to get some of the very first episodes and those are rather rare and hard to get.

Now I already hear people say “Ohhh… he is reading those naughty and dirty comic! What would Marion not say about that…”. Well, Marion will say nothing about, because she reads these comics herself with a big grin and finds them amusing as well.


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