Monday, November 23

the beauty of leaves

the beauty of leaves
I took this on Saturday, at the Atomium, in Bruxelles while on a photo-walk organized on

Friday, November 20

First Week

First week in a new place just finished and here are some impressions:

I would expect driving to Liege and back every day to be tiring, but (to my surprise) I look forward to it. Maybe it's the novelty; maybe it's the car; maybe I just have low standards ;)

Whatever it is, it's fun.

The guys in office are nice (yeah, most people are decent people and nice, each in their own way); they are nice people though and that's what matters. They speak french though, and I understand enough to figure what they're talking about, but not enough to get the jokes :(. I'm getting better at it, and I'm sure I'll get there ... eventually.

My tasks are OK also. I cleaned up some code these days and made it work (for some reason I enjoy making code work better, refactoring and all that jazz). I am also in that phase where everything is new and tasks that I usually don't like (like testing) are opportunities to find out something about the industry. At this point it's all good.

I also find a new sense of purpose for myself, that comes from keeping busy all day. It's nothing surprising (I was expecting it) but it's a welcome change.

There are the pros; the cons?

I am still getting used to the schedule (I'm tired), the car I got is a mess (and I'll be cleaning it tomorrow - thankfully) and I need to get myself some secondary activity on the way to Liege - either some good music, or some french lessons CDs (or something similar).

It's all good though.

Saturday, November 7

No substance / random update

Well, G, it seems I haven't posted anything of substance on this blog lately (that is, in the last year or so).

I figured it's high time I did something about it, started this post, then realized that this post will actually not increase the general noise-to-signal ratio on the blog (yeah, I'm full of myself).

Let's see:
  • I'm starting work in a week or so. It's a relatively large consulting umbrella company dispatching consultants to various clients.
  • I am moving forward with all this and I finally feel I'm making some progress (yeah, it's all subjective).
  • My focus shifted somewhat:
  • I'm no longer doing any shamanic work, reiki is at the moment suspended (I still watch my awareness from time to time though) but I started looking into more concrete and down-to-earth things (something that was missing in my oh-so-spiritual life).
  • I'm preparing for a trip to Thailand.
  • It's an idea that was taken at the wrong moment (or is that the right moment afterall? I can never tell) from a financial and organizational point of view, something that I jumped right into without thinking much. These kinds of decisions have their place I guess.
  • I am back into photography,
  • having taken the lead in organizing the photography meetups in Bruxelles.
  • I'd like to get into Aikido again,
  • but that's very much a matter of opportunity right now.

There's a bunch of other stuff going on, but I'll post some of that later on.


Tuesday, November 3

Best Food I've Ever Made

The Knoblauchcremesuppe (Austrian Garlic Cream Soup) is the best food I've ever made (just finished eating it).

Here's the recipe:

For the chicken stock (for vegetarians, the recipe can be made with vegetable stock instead):
- some chicken bones/pieces (approximately 2-300 grams)
- two bay leaves
- olive oil
- two tablespoons of salt
- one large onion
- 1 liter of water.

For the soup:
- eight large cloves of garlic
- one small onion
- one tablespoon of butter
- parsley
- two tablespoons of flour (though I think I should have added more)
- two slices of bread (for croûtons)

Making the chicken stock

Dice the onion, and cut the chicken to small (2cm) pieces.

Fry the onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes (stirring occasionally) over a medium/large fire until it starts to become brown; then, remove from the fire.

Fry the chicken pieces of chicken until the meat becomes white, then add the onion, cover, reduce to the smallest fire possible and leave to fry for 20 minutes.

Parallely, bring the water to boiling (start boiling the water when the chicken still has 5 minutes left).

When the chicken has been fried for 20 minutes, add it to the boiling water along with the salt and the bay leaves, then leave it boiling over a large fire for twenty minutes.

When finished, strain it to separate all solids (they are not needed). The liquid is apparently called chicken stock.

Making the soup

Chop the garlic and onion to very small pieces (alternately, the garlic can be crushed).

Melt the butter over small fire, then add the garlic and onion, and fry them over a very small fire (otherwise the garlic burns and the soup is ruined) for ten minutes.

Add the flour in very small doses with small quantities of milk (stirring continuously) so that the flour is mixed homogeneously, then add the chicken stock, the parsley and the rest of the milk and bring it to boiling.

While the soup boils, cut the bread to pieces and fry it to make the croûtons.

Then, enjoy!