Art · The Comfort Zone

Piet Mondriaan: Mill In The Sunlight 1908.

Molen Bij Zonlicht, 1908.

It's as if the painter can't trust his viewer to see what has been painted. But then, with the Dutch, who are a bone headed lot at the best of times, these painters might have had a point.
Piet Mondriaan: Molen Bij Zonlicht.
Collectie Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

I didn’t go to the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague on Saturday to see the Mondriaan exhibition; I went to see the paintings by Isaac Israel and his friend George Breitner. But to get to this exhibition I had to go through the Mondriaan exhibition and it stopped me in my tracks. The exhibition is entitled, “De Ontdekking Van Mondriaan” or ‘Discover Mondrian‘.

Continue reading “Piet Mondriaan: Mill In The Sunlight 1908.”

Reality · The Comfort Zone

Two Cats: My New Cat And Misho.

This does have downsides for the cat, in that they have to be constantly on the alert which means they get very little sleep.
This is Bolly, who now lives with me.

Bolly, my new cat, was a cat that my friend Hendrik couldn’t really look after. Bolly kept pestering his younger cat, Timmy, and Hendrik couldn’t bear the fights – such as they weren’t. It is the nature of a mature cat to be territorial, they need this because they have to ensure their supply of food. Their territorial instincts are drawn from this reality and maintain the cat’s future.

This does have downsides for the cat, in that they have to be constantly on the alert which means they get very little sleep. Indeed, Hendrik mentioned that he could only get any sleep when the two cats were in different rooms. It wasn’t so much that fur flew or that blood was drawn; the occasional hiss was enough to keep him awake.

So much for the reality of the situation.

Continue reading “Two Cats: My New Cat And Misho.”

A Sideways View · The Comfort Zone

A Sideways View Of Fences.

Please note that we are working inside the comfort zone here. Everything that is done fits in with how the bureaucrat sees the world – and in that he can't see anything else, nothing else can happen.
The bureaucrat’s answer to a pathway: something to block it. A fence. You can see where my path lay, there is a road in the background that leads to the allotments.

It was a good few years ago now that the council dug a tunnel under the motorway and railway to allow cyclists a quicker route from the north of our village to the south. This reduced my journey from over a kilometre to one that is a lot less. My allotment is within 300m of my home, it’s just that there’s a double track railway and a six lane highway in that space along with a minor road. Not the kind of thing one wants to cross on a dark night, even if it were possible what with all the barriers they’ve put up. Thus a tunnel was a welcome addition to our village.

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A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

The Unthinking Biochemist.

I was in conversation with a wannabe biochemist a few days ago. I say ‘wannabe’ because the gentleman in question is a retired electrical engineer. Well, you can imagine he knows a lot about electrons and a lot less about biochemistry.

That doesn’t stop him from believing in things – and the nature of belief is that it is unexplored and thus the belief is unfounded. In common parlance this is called an illusion. Continue reading “The Unthinking Biochemist.”

A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

Marking Exams In Holland.

My friend Hendrik and I were chatting, and he mentioned that his university had cut the time he would have to mark his exams. He said that they were only allowing him two weeks instead of three to hand in the results.

Naturally, being me, I asked him if three years ago, they’d told him that he’d only have three weeks to mark the exams instead of four?

All Hendrik could say was “how can you know that?”

Continue reading “Marking Exams In Holland.”

A Sideways View · The Comfort Zone

A Sideways Look At Permaculture.

It would be a month or so ago that my new neighbour moved in, we shook hands and all was merry. He said how nice my garden was – which given the amount of weeds growing in it, came as something of a surprise to me. Never mind, like it he did. He then went on to mention something about the Kraaijbeekerhof estate which is run on bio-dynamic principles. Well, it’s supposed to be, at least. I asked him if he was interested in bio-dynamics and he said he didn’t know anything about it because he was more interested in permaculture.

‘Oh,’ I thought to myself at the time. ‘Oh, dear.’

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Economics · The Comfort Zone

Reverse Engineering 80/20.

Otherwise Known As The Pareto Principle.

When I was still active on Linkedin, I quickly learned not to use the term ‘80/20’ because too many people dismissed the thought simply because of the term. I’d always approach the problem from the direction of the issue at hand – which, since I was a marketer in those days, usually involved business communications of one form or another. And business communication means making money; a business isn’t there to lose money – and there are all too many who, in the words of Perry Marshall, “you’re taping a $20 bill to every parcel you send out.” We’ll return to that later.

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