Wednesday, December 18, 2013


When I was young - so much younger than today - all perfume was called in Dutch "Odeklonje". At high school I learned that 'Odeklonje' is derived from French 'Eau de Cologne'. Literally 'Water from Cologne'. Köln (French 'Cologne') is a city in Germany. Treasures like this made me the curious man I am today. Always curious what is hidden behind, above, underneath, in or ... - there must be more - ...

Another treasure: Dutch "romertof"  is derived from German 'Römertopf'. Literally 'Roman pot'.

Enjoy your Christmas.

P.S. For G: song

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On Days Like This

For me? Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out.

Other topic. Cabo Verde pictures:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


                                             What You See Is What You Get? Really?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Little Detail II

You can skip this blog! Not such a tasty topic.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power, corrupts absolutely. The 42 year reign of Muammar Gaddafi (1942-2011) in Libya proves this 'fact' one more time. He was sex-obsessed and committed an endless list of sexual crimes. No woman or man was safe in his country. Rape for 'fun'. Rape for punishing. Rape for lust. Rape for manipulation. Children. Teens. Woman. He even raped the woman and daughters of his generals. And if he had to the generals themselves too. 

Complaining in Libya? Tricky ... mostly it was a death warrant.

Who sodomized him after being captured (source)? Why? Will we ever know?

Who pulled the trigger that killed him (source)? Why? Will we ever know?

After reading Annick Cojean's 'Gaddafi's Harem: The Story of a Young Woman and the Abuses of Power in Libya' (2012) my conclusion is that it could be any Libyan - and a lot of people from other countries. He had many enemies. And there were a lot of (wo)men who had reasons to avenge and to restore their (family)honour.  Someone's father? Someone's brother? Something personal?

P.S. There is a special lemma on Kaddafi's death on Wikipedia: here. Inconclusive who did it! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To Be or to Do

Saterday I cried. I cried a lot of tears while reading the last pages of Robert Coram's book 'Boyd. The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War' (2002). Why? I can't really tell. I think because I liked John Boyd more and more and at the same time realizing that he was a loner and alone. He put service to truth and country ahead of everything else. He set an example of integrity - doing the hard right over the easy wrong - and morality that is rare in a Washington. He stuck to doing the right thing and still ended up being somebody.

You probably never heard of Robert Boyd (1927-1997). Have you?

40-Second Boyd. He earned the nickname "40-Second Boyd" as a result of a standing bet that he could manoeuver from a position of disadvantage (challenger on his tail) to advantage (positions reversed) in 40 seconds — or pay the challenger 40 dollars. In 6 years he never lost a bet.

Bible of Air Combat. He wrote - in his own time - 'Aerial Attack Study' (follow link to this study). For the first time aerial combat was documented, codified and illustrated. With the use of mathematics he formulated manoeuver and countermanoeuvers of dog-fighting. Fighter aviation was no longer a bag of tricks to be passed down from one generation of pilots to another.

Inventor Energy-manoeuverability (E-M) theory. With this theory he was able to compare flying characteristics of an existing fighter to those of another, say an American F-4 to a Soviet MiG-17. He discovered with this theory that the F-111 and B-1 were lame ducks. With this theory he was also able to design a truly superior fighter by developing a comprehensive trade-off process that systematically compared the performance of successive, marginally different designs. He was one of the founding fathers of the F-15 and F-16.

Operating inside an adversary's decision cycleHe thought that any conflict could be viewed as a duel wherein each adversary observes (O) his opponent's actions, orients (O) himself to the unfolding situation, decides (D) on the most appropriate response or counter-move, then acts (A). The competitor who moves through this OODA-loop cycle the fastest gains an inestimable advantage by disrupting his enemy's ability to respond effectively. Boyd's theory of operating inside an adversary's decision cycle — or OODA loop — and its relationship to conflict is a bold new conception. Hoose an enemy by destroying their orientation!

Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney used Boyd's ideas - they had secret meetings - when he overrode the Army's plan and insisted on the famous left hook into Kuwait (Gulf War 1990-1991).

Only a couple of months ago I discovered Boyd. I never heard of him before. The claim of being the most influential thinker about conflict since Sun Tzu's (544-496 BC) 'The Art of War' made me curious.

Boyd never wrote a book. He only made a couple of briefings. The most important one seems 'A Discourse on Winning and Losing' (or 'Green Book').  I've to check them out.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Con le Sarde a Mare

Funny people those Italians. The poor man's version of the recipe 'Pasta Con le Sarde' is called 'Pasta Con le Sarde a Mare'. Meaning 'Pasta with Sardines in the Sea'. Fish in the sea and not on your dish.

The same "funniness" can be applied to music bands, songs, love and money:
  • Music band on stage. Name of band 'The Band with Beauty at Home'
  • Singing Song. Title of song 'The Perfect Song with your Eyes, Nose and Ears Closed'
  • Love. A Happy Life with You Thousands of Miles Away
  • Money. Richest Man of Town with his Money on Atlantis Bank account
  • ... - there must be more

P.S. The strange thing about R.D.F. is that he sought and found his paradise on Puka-Puka. With the intention never to leave again. At the same time he wanted a proper education - not to be found on Puka-Puka -  for his kids and them not being locked up in a Pukapukan life. Strange isn't it?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hmmm (1)

I am looking for something like this. I want a big sky. Endless sea. Endless clouds. In colour. In a corner coconuts trees and beach.

Google seach by image didn't help me any further.

Best I could find are these two. Both from Island Aitutaki (Cook Islands)

The search for the perfect one-picture-tells-it-all image will continue ...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sign of the Times?

In 1929 Mahlon Blaine made this drawing in Robert Dean Frisbie's book 'The book of Puka-Puka':

Is there a direct relation between Mahlon Blaine (1894-1969) and Maurits Escher (1898-1972)? Look at Escher's pictures:

1938 Day and Night
1938 Sky and Water I
1938 Sky and Water II
1955 Depth

Coincidence? Or just a sign of the times?

Source pictures from Escher: here

Curtaining Clouds

More on R.D.F.'s book 'The book of Puka-Puka'. Every chapter starts with a song or chant in Pukapukan and English. The chant above is from chapter 'Little Sea'.

A couple of quotes: 

"I hunted long for this sanctuary. Now that I have found it, I have no intention, and certainly no desire, ever to leave it again."

On entering Puka-Puka for the first time:
"I was wondering all this while what the future might have in store for me at Puka-Puka. Would I find there the realization of my dreams of an island solitude? Already I had wandered far and wide over the Pacific, and the conviction grew upon me that the real glamour of the South Seas had been off for a hundred years. Men newly arrived among the islands often refuse to accept the fact that civilization, so called, has long since destroyed their charm."

In a letter to his brother:
"There is something about the tropics, brother, which you do not understand. There is a feeling of rest and comfort and contentment, which after all is one of the greatest things we can wish for, because after all what do we strive for in life if it is not a future chance for rest and comfort and contentment?"

On a trip with his wife and her niece:
"For two weeks we lived there, fishing, eating, swimming, sleeping, playing, loving, with torchlight expeditions at night for coconut crabs and sea birds; with long swims across the bay from one coral head to another where we could rest and eat raw 'paua' clams. Sometimes we did nothing at all, merely lying in the shade on the beach, sensuously enjoying the gifts of God."

Drawings from 'Mahlon Blaine', in this book, on how to catch a female turtle

... and on how to catch a male turtle

P.S. I'm looking for an one-picture-tells-it-all image of Puka-Puka. Sea, beach, coral, coconuts trees and beautiful clouds. I haven't found it yet.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Catch a Turtle?

With great pleasure I read last couple of weeks four Puka-Puka books:

Puka-Puka is one of the little Cook Islands. These islands belong to country New Zealand since 1901.
American Robert Dean Frisbie "Ropati" (1896-1948) joined the USA Army in WW I. In 1918 he was discharged as medically unfit. With the resulting 45-dollar-a-month pension from the Army he was able to travel to and through the sunny Pacific. The medics warned him in 1918 that he was unlikely to survive another North American winter. So he was in need for an eternal Summer. Frisbie lived four years - 1924-1928 - on Puka-Puka. In three months he learned  the pukapukan language. As a job he operated a trading store.  With his wife Nga(tokorua) - they met on Puka-Puka - he had five children. 

Robert Dean's book 'The book of Puka-Puka', about his four years on Puka-Puka, was published in 1929. Contents: his South Sea trade store. Easy life. Drinking with friends. Fishing. Making-love. Antropological interesting. The Puka-Puka community back then did not care or strive for much. They worked a little. For the biggest part of the days they slept, made love, fishing, eating, played games, swimming, singing and dancing. Nothing fancy. An easy life! Their metaphor was the coconut. The wood of the tree for fire and building houses. Coconuts for drinking and copra. The leaves of the tree for cooking.

In 1938 Nga died of tuberculosis. Robert Dean was alone with four children. (Son Charles remained on Rarotonga since his birth with a great aunt.) Robert Dean's daughter Florence "Johnny" Frisbie (born 1932) wrote two books about the life of her father and her family: 'Miss Ulysses from Puka-Puka' (1949) and 'The Frisbies of the South Seas' (1959). 

All three Frisbie books were interesting. Life on the Cook Islands after WW I. The easy life and how the money of the Americans changed all that during and after WW II. Filled with tips and tricks of how to survive on a Cook Island.

How to Catch a  female Turtle? You grasp the turtle by the skin and the nape of her neck, and then steer her ashore, riding on her back. Don't do this with a male turtle because your legs come too close to his tail. A male turtle can be caught by holding your right arm under his left front flipper; then, reaching up, you can catch hold of the front edge of his upper shell. Take care for the mouth! Take care for the tail! If not, you will drown.

Sources. Maps are from Lonely Planet travel guide. The five pictures are from The Frisbies of the South Seas.