Hail to the Sleeper!

What an unparalleled viewing experience! I love to watch movies. I love to watch movies in the best possible circumstances. That’s why I stopped going to the theatres and installed a very good home cinema system. So goodbye to the distracting noises of nasty people around me.

Last night I watched ‘Black Hawk Down’, a 2001 war film directed by Ridley Scott, in UHD 4K Dolby Atmos. What a superior way to watch a movie. I was very impressed and didn’t lose focus for a second. But cats look at this in a completely different way…

Mr. Bowie didn’t like watching movies with me. He always disappeared after a few minutes and went to the studio or bedroom upstairs. Jimi prefers to keep me company and sit out the movie. Well, kinda…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding. 

Once a Year

This is not my beautiful house! (Reprise) Jimi was due for his second annual checkup today. Just like last year, all went well and Jimi’s in top condition. But unfortunately, Jimi was so, so stressed… I have mentioned before how Mr. Bowie enjoyed the car rides. What a contrast compared with Jimi, he’s so scared inside the car. Glad we’re back home and enjoying our treats in the garden on this warm summer day.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Daytime Job of a Cat

More rainy days. The summer of 2021 is already the wettest summer ever recorded in this part of the world. And it looks like it’s also one of the coolest. It makes me think about all the heatwaves in the previous summers and the ice cream we enjoyed in the garden. What is going wrong with the weather lately? All these extreme changes in weather conditions…

I’m spending more time in the studio because of all the heavy rainfall. Sir Jimi, the studio technician, keeps me company but always falls asleep on the job, just like my previous technician, Mr. Bowie. But there’s one big difference; Jimi stays in the studio while Mr. Bowie always left the building due to his ear problems and the effect of very high-frequency sounds of synths. Or maybe he just didn’t like my music.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Fallen Astronaut

Man in Space. Once a famous FBI agent, Dale Cooper, told me following wise words, “I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt in a men’s store, a cat nap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee.” I love getting advice from a spiritual seeker, an amateur philosopher, a loyal friend and a lover of coffee. So every day I’m giving myself a present, like an extra espresso or a chocolate cookie. Last week I was lucky to find and buy a beautiful numbered sculpture inside a blue acrylic block called ‘Fallen Astronaut’. Do I have to tell you I’m very happy with this gift? Jimi was more interested in the box but finally disappointed to find no ‘Cat in Space’ sculpture…

Fallen Astronaut is a 8.9 cm aluminium sculpture created by the Belgian painter and printmaker Paul Van Hoeydonck. It is a small stylised figure, meant to depict an astronaut in a spacesuit, intended to commemorate the astronauts and cosmonauts who have died in the advancement of space exploration. It was commissioned and placed on the Moon by the crew of Apollo 15 at Hadley Rille on August 1, 1971, next to a plaque listing the 14 men known who died. The statue lies horizontal on the ground among several footprints. The crew kept the memorial’s existence a secret until after completion of their mission. 

In January 2019, Van Hoeydonck and Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden announced the sale of a limited edition replica inside a blue acrylic block, as Van Hoeydonck originally intended, which would have allowed the statue to be placed upright on the Moon to “symbolize humanity rising” via space travel. NASA had rejected the acrylic enclosure’s inclusion on the flight as a fire hazard. A smaller number of enlarged sculptures are also to be sold. (From Wikipedia)

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

The Missing

Summer’s here! Late spring/summer finally arrived in this part of the world, after weeks/months of rainy and cold days. Temperatures are above 20° Celsius and everybody is so happy, especially from a mental point of view. Sunlight is often perceived as a cure to your health, however, because of risks of sunburn and skin cancer, we need to be careful how much sun we get. But it feels so good to have breakfast outside in the morning sun…

Unfortunately, there’s someone who’s going to miss the daily rainfall. Jimi went outside between the rain showers to drink fresh rainwater almost every day. Mr. Bowie also loved to do this, probably as most cats. 

Jimi stays outside the whole day and is still discovering all the special places in the garden. Some of his favourite spots were also the spots Mr. Bowie liked to stay for hours. I noticed he prefers to stay in the shadow from noon. One of my previous cats, Mrs. Jones, was a sun cat. She stayed in the sunshine, even on the hottest days during a heatwave. Jimi loves to disappear under the numerous bushes.

Finally, I just got the message I’m getting my Covid-19 vaccine next week. I should had it weeks ago but due to a human error or computer failure, my name was removed from the list in the local vaccination center. 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Chairman Part 2

Garden update. A few days ago, on a rainy day and Mr. Bowie’s birthday (he would have turned 12), a crew of technicians and workmen arrived at my home. They brought a lot of heavy duty material to install a construction covering the terrace outside my kitchen.

Lately, we’re having a lot of rainy days and I would love to stay outside having my coffee instead of running inside for shelter. I decided to use the same materials like the carport; dark grey painted posts made of aluminium and transparent polycarbonate panels. Can you spot Jimi in the photograph?

After the construction was finished we had some heavy rain showers but we could enjoy our coffees without running for shelter.

Jimi also likes this new place a lot. Immediately, the chairman picked his favourite spot on the wooden bench. It looks like I have to look for another spot…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

CIS

Feeling like a fraud? Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Like your friends are going to discover you’re a fraud? Research has shown that cats experience impostor feelings. Cat Impostor Syndrome (CIS) refers to an internal experience of believing that a cat is not as competent as other cats perceive the cat to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Snow On a Tuesday

And you may ask yourself, “Where is that beautiful spring?” Last week I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I was drinking coffee outside in the garden. Today I’m wearing winter clothes. It’s cold. It’s snowing. O Spring where art thou?

Jimi keeps checking out all the special places in the garden, just like Mr. Bowie did. While walking on this high gabion wall he can spy on the neighbours.

Meanwhile, I declared war on those pesky blackbirds. Each morning, they keep destroying our catnip plantation. Jimi’s also kind of in a foul mood. We need to take some action asap…

A few days ago I came across this remarkable phenomena of nature. This tree fungus is called Tonderzwam Fomes fomentarius. According to a specialised website this is lethal for the birch in a long term. I’m always enjoying my daily walks in the nature. There are always new things to discover. While walking is the most underrated form of exercise, it improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain. And when you get back home there’s always chocolate and an espresso waiting for you…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

A New Routine

‘What if I fall? Oh but my darling: what if you fly?’ – Erin Hanson

Life goes on. I feel that I am ready picking up where we left off then. My Dad passed away about a month ago. We had an intimate ceremony with only 15 people, due to the Covid-19 measures. But I received a lot of messages, phone calls, postcards of people paying respect to my Dad. He was loved by so many people… I still feel an emptiness in my life without him. And pain. Sorrow… But life goes on as normal, but quieter and greyer than usual.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments made me feel better and helped me get through these empty and sad days. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments. I guess I also missed some of your posts on your blogs. But I will try to catch up…

Jimi helped me to get through the dark days of January. Every day he took a few minutes to sit down by the photograph of my Dad. It made me feel good. But one day, Jimi was very disappointed because there were only vegetables and no shrimps (for him) on my sandwich.

There were also some good days last month. After waiting for 3 months, finally, a big box arrived from the U.S. of A. containing a Sequential Prophet-5 synthesizer. Just like I mentioned in an older post about the ARP 2600 synth, the Prophet-5 synth was also very high on my bucket list and I didn’t expect to get one. Sequential introduced new versions of the old model in 2020. The Prophet-5 is an analog synthesizer designed in 1978 by Dave Smith and John Bowen and was the first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer.

So yes, life goes on, it’s a cliché and it sounds trite. I will find a new routine and get used to it. But it will take some time. Please stay safe and healthy.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

‘Count your blessings. And if life is difficult, count them louder.’ – Roger Scruton

Real Happiness

Happiness is only real when we share (food). I love shrimp croquettes a lot, they are simultaneously crispy and soft. I prefer to eat them with French fries. Jimi is wild about shrimps too, it’s his favourite human food. So while I was having lunch, he was patiently waiting for his portion… And afterwards we had a delicious dessert…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Ice Ice Jimi

Looking for ice cream. A cat making eye contact can mean anything from “You don’t exist to me” to “I want food, human!”. What is the most intelligent way of responding to a cat who won’t stop giving you the mean Clint ‘Dirty Harry’ Eastwood stare? What is the best way to look confident and relaxed? Saying “no” is one thing, but getting the cat to listen is another. Just give your cat what he wants… and join him for ice cream. Even if it’s a dark and winter day.

I feel the ice cream move under my paws
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever ice cream’s around

“I Feel the Earth Move” – Carole King

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

About My Dad (and Jimi)

Update about my dad. My dad is living in a retirement home for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It was a very hard decision we had to make, especially in these Covid-19 times… He stayed one week in isolation and was tested twice for Covid-19. Thank goodness the results were negative. Since last week he can move around free in this home and have contact with other inhabitants. I moved some furniture, pictures and photographs from his apartment to his new room. It looks like he’s still living in his apartment. Right now it seems he’s happy in his new environment. The staff are wonderful and devoted people. I really believe and hope he’s going to have some good years ahead…

The evenings are very difficult for my dad, he doesn’t like darkness. I’m keeping a lot of lights on and keeps him company until it’s bedtime. We’re watching football (soccer) on tv and he really enjoys this time with me.

I know it’s a hard time for me, but I still feel like there’s a lot of good in this world. Professional people told me I need at least 3 weeks to get used to this new situation. For the first time in my life I’m having lunch and dinner alone by myself. Due to the Covid-19 measurers, I can’t invite family or friends to my home. But Jimi seems to be very happy now we’re sharing more time together. Yesterday, he was faced with a difficult choice to pick the right box.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments made me feel better and helped me get through these hard times. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

About My Dad

Update. As you probably noticed, it’s very quiet on the HoB blog. I won’t be posting a lot in the near future due to the health situation of my dad. Last weeks/months, his health has been deteriorating and his isolated way of living (due to the Covid-19 situation) aggravates dementia. Dad needs supervision 24 hours a day. We are doing everything to find good help and support but it’s very difficult because of the pandemic. I will keep you informed.  

Jimi is doing well but he misses me a lot because I’m spending a lot of time with my dad. A few days ago Jimi went AWOL because I didn’t close the front door. Thank goodness he returned back home after 5 hours.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 situation is even worse than during the first wave early this year. Our country is going in lockdown mode for at least six weeks. Thank you so much, you selfish idiots ignoring all the rules and instructions. Shame on you! 

One more thing… For my American friends and followers, please be wise and do the right thing.

Be safe, careful and take care, my friends.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

A Big, Big Box

Another odyssey. I went to Antwerp to pick up a big, very big box that contained an ARP 2600 synthesizer. Finally, after waiting for 8 months the synth arrived.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jimi’s Odyssey, the ARP 2600 was the last synth on my bucket list I really wanted to have in my studio set-up. The ARP 2600 is a semi-modular analog subtractive audio synthesizer, designed by Dennis Colin for Alan R Pearlman, and manufactured by his company, ARP Instruments, Inc. in 1972. Unfortunately, the company was declared bankruptcy in May 1981. In 2015, some ARP instruments were revived by Korg. On January 10, 2020, Korg Inc. of Japan reissued a one-time-only limited production run of the ARP 2600 as the ARP 2600 FS, a faithful reproduction of the original 1972 gray version. With a little luck and a lot of patience I was able to buy one.

Jimi (and especially his shadow) seemed to be interested in the big flight case that came with the synth. Maybe he can use it to build a fortified castle. It looks like we both will have a lot of fun the next days…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

PS: I hate hate hate the new WP Block editor!

This Is Not My Beautiful House!

Jimi’s check-up visit. Medical care is as essential for your cat as it is for you. It’s a good idea to get a checkup for your cat once a year. Jimi was due for his first annual checkup today. All went well. Jimi is in top condition – though the vet told me I got to keep an eye on his weight.

For many cats, a veterinary visit is a stressful experience. Mr. Bowie was always relaxed and enjoyed the car rides. But Jimi was so stressed, the poor boy. He was so happy to be back home.

And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

“Once In A Lifetime” – Talking Heads

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Older Bodies

Older bodies need longer to mend. I’m feeling a bit down lately. My right foot is healing well but very slowly. Unfortunately, my left foot is showing the same injury since a few days ago. It’s already 3 weeks I’m stuck in my house. It seems healing gets harder as we age. I’m trying to compensate it with daily fresh fruits and vegetables. I also added food supplements to my diet with extra vitamins and minerals. But I got to be patient and take it easy the next month. I’m happy to be still able to check out how my Dad is doing in these weird Covid-19 times. 

Thank goodness I can spend some time in the studio, although it’s very hot (no airco and having a heatwave). Jimi keeps asking me to play with him but that’s very difficult for me right now. I can only throw away some bouncing balls. 

I’m also very lucky to have Jimi by my side. He’s keeping an eye on me and counts the chocolates each day to see if I’m not taking an overdose. I have to pay him with extra yoghurt and vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Fracture

Bummer. Right now I’m the kid with the crutches. I spent some time in the hospital today due to some problems with my right foot. After a botscan they saw a stress fracture, tiny cracks in the bone. Most stress fractures are caused by overuse and repetitive activity. I need to take it easy the next 4 weeks so no more walks in the nature. That’s not a big problem; we’re still living in a lockdown (light) system and having another heatwave. So bring on the ice cream…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Lose Your Head

Lose (one’s) head. To lose one’s composure and act emotionally or irrationally.

Lose your head. COMMON If you lose your head, you panic and do not remain calm in a difficult situation.

Nah, I don’t think Jimi lost his head…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

 

CIA

CIA. Cat Intelligence-agency (C.I.A.) field offices have to find a delicate balance between blending in and providing adequate security for the humans. Jimi is very good in blending in while I’m reading the newspaper and having my morning espresso.

Meanwhile, this part of the world is going in the wrong direction due to the rising Covid-19 infections. The National Security Council closely monitor the situation and we’re looking at new reinforced measures. 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

SETI Part 2

Jimi’s preliminary conclusion. Only about 0.0000000000000000000042 percent of the universe contains any matter. The universe is a pretty empty place! Empty like the little pot of yoghurt from the human…

Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do.

“Space Oddity” – David Bowie

 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

SETI

Sweet investigator. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is a collective term for scientific searches for intelligent extraterrestrial life, for example, monitoring electromagnetic waves for signs of transmissions from civilisations on other planets. Many radio frequencies penetrate Earth’s atmosphere quite well, and this led to cats investigate the cosmos using large radio antennas. But often, the investigators fall asleep. This post is based on a Wikipedia article.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Jimi’s Odyssey

New toys! I had a secret “bucket list” for buying synthesizers I really wanted. Recently I could finish off the list with placing orders for the ARP 2600 and the ARP Odyssey. ARP Instruments, Inc. was an American manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, founded by Alan Robert Pearlman in 1969. Unfortunately, the company was declared bankruptcy in May 1981. In 2015, some ARP instruments were revived by Korg. 

The ARP Odyssey, an analog synthesizer introduced in 1972, arrived today at my home. There were several versions of the Odyssey over the years, and it was reissued by Korg in early 2015, in cooperation with the original designer and ARP co-founder, David Friend. As always, Jimi was very interested to see what was in the box. But he preferred to go for a walk outside in the garden and to the bedroom for a nap afterwards.

And introducing in the photograph, the new guardian of my electronic devices, a retro tin robot from a Berlin shop. I call him Metal Pete, in analogy to the classic John Foxx song ‘Metal Beat’ from his legendary 1980 album ‘Metamatic’. Metal Pete is very terrifying, he doesn’t feel anything, especially not mercy. It looks like nothing can stop Pete, except rust, perhaps.

Meanwhile, Jimi was grounded for a long time. He found several ways to break out of the garden (via espaliers, the roof of my pavilion, and various trees). The cat-friendly fence doesn’t seems to be working for him. Jimi managed to get back in my garden after wandering around in the gardens of my neighbours. Unfortunately, one day I got a call from one of my neighbours. Jimi was stuck in their garden and I had to catch him quick because they have 2 dogs; one is a mean big dog, from the breed that likes to hunt terrorists. This is such a shame. Mr. Bowie never tried to get out of the garden in 10 years time and was happy with the area he had to wander around. It shows that all cats are different. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to explain this new situation to Jimi (the adventurer & acrobat) and he doesn’t seems to be happy after going outside for 5 weeks. It was so great spending time outside with Mr. Bowie all those years. I’m afraid it’s going to be very difficult and unpleasant to do this without Jimi.

Oh, stop whining, you human! There are worse things in life; like queues for food in democratic and civilised countries, recurring police brutality and crazy lying politicians all over the world. Snap out of it, get yourself another espresso and watch some clips of the amazing Sarah Cooper! It’s a mad world out there…

Update: I’m letting Jimi out again with a new strategy. He can go for a walk in the morning (around 7 AM) before he gets his breakfast. After a while he comes back inside because he’s hungry. The rest of the day he has to stay inside. He seems to accept the new situation. Thank goodness.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments in the Teared Up A Little Bit post made me feel better and helped me get through this empty and sad day. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Peeping Tom Cat

Peeping Tom Cat. /ˌpiːpɪŋ ˈtɒm/kat, noun
A cat who derives pleasure from secretly watching humans in activity.

All that peeping is making me sleepy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Show Me the…

Show Me the Money! No, but show me the comments, please! It seems a lot of your comments don’t show up in the blog. It looks like they vanished into thin air. The WP Spam folder is empty. I get notifications in the Mail app on my iMac and I can find some comments in the WP My Home section. I reported this issue to WP but I’m still waiting for an answer. My apologies for this inconvenience.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Update from WP: The comment issue has been fixed. Unfortunately, any comments made from April 21st at 9AM UTC, until today at 2PM UTC will not ever reappear.

Extra update: WP fixed the problem thoroughly, all the missing comments are published.

Watching the Detective

What’s up, Doc? Cats seems to sense when something is wrong. Jimi noticed strange sounding noises in the neighbourhood and went outside to check it out. It appeared to be my neighbours working in their vegetable garden so everything was safe. Thank goodness there were no idiots, even some morons carrying heavy armer, outside protesting against COVID-19 measures like in other parts of the world.

We’re almost 2 months in lockdown modus. Up to last week my family and friends were all safe and healthy. Unfortunately, recently some friends got sick due to the Corona virus. And an elderly couple in my circle of friends passed away both, in one week time. This is hard and confrontational.

That night, to my surprise, I heard a certain idiot in the U.S. of A. saying his country is doing great compared with some countries in Europe, especially Belgium. Well here are some other facts. Public healthcare in Belgium scores well thanks to its combination of health insurance and social security contributions. Belgium didn’t need to deploy a 1,000-bed hospital ship or set up field hospitals in parks or convention centers. Even during the highest peak almost 50% of the hospital beds with respiratory equipment in the COVID-19 IC units were still available. Why is Belgiums death toll so high? According to Belgian authorities, that’s because the country has chosen a reporting system that differs from pretty much every other country’s method of counting.

Okay, sorry for talking politics. Next post will be about cats and a dead fish. And now if you’ll excuse me, I need an espresso and chocolate. Stay safe and healthy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

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