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Friday, 30 January 2004
le combat de boules de neige

snowball fight

I took this picture yesterday, during lunchtime, of some colleagues having a snowball fight outside in the parking lot. It looked like fun. They asked me not to send the photos to everyone in the site.  It snowed a bit more today.

This evening carles, markus and myself went to see Lost in Translation (version Francaise). From my point of view, although it seemed like a good film, it was a bit of a disaster. It seems from reviews that a lot of the magic of the film lies in the conversations between the two leads. It is not much good if you can’t follow it! I really struggled with the French, especially that with “Japanese” accents.  So, another film that I will have to see the English version of!

But it is interesting to read the mixed reviews at the Internet Movie Database. (Spoiler warning: if you have not seen the film, you may not want to read the reviews). My own suggestion for this movie would not to have too high expectations when you go and see it - if you do you are likely to suffer some disappointment. I doubt it will be the best film you ever saw, or that will see in 2004.

Posted by bigblue on 30/01/2004 at 12:48 AM
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Thursday, 29 January 2004
a walk in the park(ing lot)

Parking Lot

Just about every day, come rain sun or snow, we do a little walk around the car park after lunch.  This is where we noticed Mr Robert Schoenn, and is also where I took my photos of the forest/trees, yesterday and on 7 Nov 2003. Today Carles snapped the above shot of some funnily dressed people starting the walk.  One of the things that impressed me about the photo is that the flag poles are dead vertical. I often notice that I have taken my own photos at a slight angle. Please note that this does not apply to the forest photos of the crooked trees - these really do lean at an angle in real life.

It snowed quite a bit today, but it is only sticking where it is already lying on the ground. This morning I had a about 15 cm of snow on the roof of my car. During the day this layer melted and slid off.

The Smack the Pingu game is doing the email rounds. You can find it here. My top score is 410.5. OK, beat that!  PS I really love penguins, promise! 
Edit: My new highest score is 489.8!
Edit: My new highest score is 574.3: I will stop there.

Posted by bigblue on 29/01/2004 at 12:19 AM
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Wednesday, 28 January 2004
feuilles d’hiver

Haguenau trees

The photo above, of the snow falling in Haguenau, shows the same trees as depicted in the picture of 7 Nov 2003.

More snow fell today, but it stopped in the evening and started melting due to warmer conditions. Still the roads were slushy tonight, and slippery in places.  We went bowling, and I even managed to beat “the Dutch”. Last week just Carles, Michael, Michaela and myself played. Tonight Martin and Guan joined us.

Last week we saw the movie 21 grammes (version Francais) at Pathé Brumath. We debated before-hand which movie to see: 21 grammes, or Kill Bill Vol 1. I remember arguing for 21 grammes on the basis that it was romantic. It’s not - it’s a drama.

I enjoyed it very much, and would now like to see the film in English at some stage. I don’t think that I missed anything crucial in the French version (except for what the argument outside the lift was about, but Michaela filled that in for us afterwards). But I am sure that there are some details that I missed.

The director of 21 grams (English title) is Alejandro González Iñárritu, a Mexican director and filmwriter. His last film was Amores Perros. The French movie title is d’Amours chiennes. The English translation would be Love is a bitch.  Both of these films seem to have some of the same themes, and Carles says that stylistically they are very similar, with flashbacks, merged/inter-weaved storylines, and the influences of the dogme school

I read a review on Amazon which says that

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s striking Amores Perros is the film Pulp Fiction might have been if Quentin Tarantino were as interested in people as movies.

A must-see movie then.

And, Carles says that Iñárritu is going to direct the third Harry Potter film, so that should be very interesting! I am sure that if he is given leeway, his movie will be better than the one Spielberg would have done. (I read somewhere that Spielberg asked for the job).

Posted by bigblue on 28/01/2004 at 03:13 AM
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Monday, 26 January 2004
Before study (le parterre de fleurs)

Haguenau flowerbed

The above picture consititutes a before study of a municipal flowerbed in Haguenau. I took the photo today. In a month, or maybe two, we will see what the municipalite de Haguenau can make of this space. Last year they planted a large wooden office desk in it.  The year before I seem to recall we had something along the lines of a donkey cart.

This afternoon it started to snow again. It was beautiful coming down - very thick - but this evening there were only a few centimetres on the ground because it is melting.

I have done another Similar Minds test. See the famous leader test of last week.  I did this test a few times, and managed to get some of the scores down, but it still comes up with the following faulty results.

Personality Disorder Test Results
Paranoid |||||| 22%
Schizoid |||||| 30%
Schizotypal |||||||||||| 50%
Antisocial |||||| 22%
Borderline |||| 14%
Histrionic |||||||||| 38%
Narcissistic |||||| 30%
Avoidant |||| 14%
Dependent || 10%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||| 34%
Take Free Personality Disorder Test

I know it’s only a beta version of the test, but if I continue to get disappointing results I might have to fill in the answers for somebody else.

Posted by bigblue on 26/01/2004 at 11:53 PM
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Sunday, 25 January 2004
Welcome Back

Welcome back to Scarlett.

Posted by bigblue on 25/01/2004 at 11:37 PM
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Le Meridien

Le Meridien

Across the River Thames
On a Sunday morning
The smell of the air
A tiny noise

Dark blades of grass
Trees and big clouds
Factory smokes
And plastic balloons

Moving around the Meridian Line
And hearing from there
Some silly jokes

Families stroll
Children circle
Couples kissing
And grandma’s sitting

Today there’s a frontier
A big white line
Today the season’s changing
What’s coming next?

Everything is in it’s right place
Today someone is missing
This is point blank

A little later
On a Sunday night
Sitting on a train
Under the sea

Lights are flashing
Speed and fat boys
Computer screens
Smoking second class

No troubles here
A safety place
Drinking coffee
In a plastic cup

Writing postcards
Nothing in mind
All is quiet
Under control

Tonight there’s a frontier
A big white line
Right on the middle
Of the channel

Tonight I’m back in France
What’s coming next?
Tonight someone’s missing
This is point blank

Le Meridian by Yann Tiersen.

The song is available on the albums C’Etait Ici and L’Absente.

Thiersen also composed the soundtrack of the film Amelie and the soundtrack of the film Goodbye Lenin.

Posted by bigblue on 25/01/2004 at 10:08 PM
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Back to Master Park

Master Park

Here is my Master Park photo for January. As I was hardly in England during December, I didn’t manage to take a Master Park photo last month. The last one was on 12 Nov 2003.

Today I took pinkie and three friends into London to celebrate her 13th birthday. There’s a milestone! First we went to London Bridge and visited the London Dungeon. From there we caught the riverside bus to Covent Garden. Pinkie and friends visited one of the shops, after which we made our way over to Picadilly Circus for lunch. My original idea was to walk there, but at this stage we had 5 hungry souls and 10 tired feet and headed for the Tube station. Of course the entrance to the underground station was closed, as it is want to be on a Saturday afternoon, due to dangers of overcrowding. Even though it is a mere 10 minute walk, we got a cab.

This was fortunate because there was a long wait at the Rainforest Cafe. We duly put our names down for a table, and then went for a walk outside - back up Shaftsbury Avenue, past Soho and towards Covent Garden for another 30 minute shopping spree. It was my first time as the Rainforest, and although it was not somewhere I would choose for myself, the girls enjoyed it. I thought my polenta portion was a bit small, but it may have been because it was quite late and we were getting closer to supper than lunch.  From the restaurant we made our way, by tube, to Oxford Street where the girls did some more shopping while I perused the books on sale at Borders.

That amounted to a very full day. The girls were exhuberant practically the whole day. If you were on the train back with us, my apologies, but hopefully you remember once being 13.

Posted by bigblue on 25/01/2004 at 12:54 AM
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Friday, 23 January 2004
Mont Sainte-Odile in Winter, part II

Mont Sainte Odile

Here’s my second picture of Mont Sainte-Odile in winter, of the tree on the far side of the North promontory.

Posted by bigblue on 23/01/2004 at 05:20 PM
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