Sunday, May 6, 2018

Build

Last year's big hole in the ground is now a six story apartment building. Not quite finished, but the main structure is there.

What surprised me is that they started building in concrete, for the parking garage and main floor, and then proceeded to put chip-wood apartments on top of that. It's almost as if the builder constructs a $40M garage with a million dollar worth of apartments on top. People told me this probably has to do with earthquake hazards. I guess a wooden structure is safer in this respect. I doubt it will last very long though. Only the bottom floor and the elevator shaft seem to have been built as solid structures, and cheap wood for the rest of it.

This is what it looks like today, photographed with my Fujifilm X100 and perspective corrected in Gimp.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Easel

My daughter wants an easel, so I decided to build one with her. What do you think? It's a table model. Not shown: hinge, chain.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The day I found a glitch in "The Matrix" and questioned Reality.

I am a level-headed guy, with immediate distrust of anything spiritual. This is a tale about the most spiritual thing that ever happened to me, and briefly caused me to rethink my existence.

It must have been roughly 15 years ago. I lived in Holland, alone, in a house. And I was doing work on a curtain rail in my bedroom.

The curtain rail looked very similar to the one shown above. Including the little plastic end-cap. After securely attaching the little end-cap onto the rail (it was fastened rock solid) I stepped down from a stool to switch out a tool. Two seconds later as I turned to the curtain rail again, that little end-cap was gone.

POOF... just like that.

Something that was there, two seconds ago, had disappeared into thin air! I knew for a fact it had not fallen, it was attached very tightly, and if it had, I would have heard it, or see it on the ground.

I tried to wrap my head around it. I was alone in the bedroom, alone in the house. Doors and windows locked. An object disappeared in the two seconds I turned my back on it. I had felt the objects with my own hands, seconds ago.

My mind raced for an explanation.

  • I knew for a fact it had not fallen off.
  • I had 100% faith in my mental state.
  • I have never used drugs. I hadn't consumed alcohol in a long time.
  • I was well rested.
  • I was 100% certain that I was not dreaming. I imagine I would have pinched myself.
  • My eyesight was perfect.
  • No pets nor people in the house, and even then: it was just 2 seconds that my back was turned.

At this freak moment, reality had behaved differently from what I had observed in a life-time. And after discounting all the plausible and implausible causes for this disappearance, my mind was left with only one explanation for this.

I concluded that Reality may not be what it seems. Did I just see a glitch in "The Matrix?" Did the simulated universe run into a bug?

Then my mind continued on its path. Ok, let's for a moment assume I observed a glitch, now what? And that thought scared me just as much as the freak-disappearance itself did. Would "the Matrix" care? Is there some pan-dimensional operator somewhere, sounding an alarm "SIMULANT BREACHED PROTOCOL! EMERGENCY INTERVENTION!" and press a red button?

Dazed, I looked up again to the ceiling and everything became clear again. There...... were...... two...... curtain-rails.

One curtain rail was mounted directly onto the concrete ceiling. There was a second curtain rail in the small window bay, 30 centimetres below it. One had a plastic cap, the other did not.

For all that racing that my mind did, it never for a moment considered the possibilities of having two rails. I had created a mental model of the room, with in it: me, my step stool, some tools and one mounted curtain rail. A completely wrong assumption, as there was one for a lace window in the window bay, and one for a heavier curtain on the ceiling.

Reality Restored! And that was quite a relief. Moral of the story? Freak occurrences? It's not supernatural. It's never supernatural. It's good old Reality, and it is reliable.