The Orgins

I figure since the blog felt dead for 24 hours… I would tell about the circumstances in which this communique of mine was born:

The year was around 2000 and I was busy playing horn for OCG, working on my bachelors, and plotting a move to France for a semester or so. I’d been an internaut since the early nineties, so it only made sense that I have some kind of website that Geocities provided, where I would throw up some photos I scanned in the WPU art department computer lab, and then I’d rant about world news for a few paragraphs. When I did this, I was thinking of myself as a sort-of columnist for my own little newspaper. I tried to write in a very “i know everything” manner, because when it came to world affairs, I probably believed I knew everything.

So I’d update my little website every week or so, and put up a new, what I called, Communiqué for my readership of 5 or so. Many of those original 5 still come here daily! (I do love you for your courage and dedication!)

Eventually this wasn’t good enough. It was just after Sept.11th and I had moved to Lisbon; Chavez was overthrown for 24 hours, Israel was shooting up churches in Bethlehem, and fascist patriotism had taken over the United States. I needed a better outlet for my rants, and I felt like newspapers had too many gatekeepers who wouldn’t accept my work. But I hadn’t heard about blogs, so I kept on writing articles for my site, more and more.

And then I moved to Amsterdam right around this date in 2002, and I discovered blogger, and I purchased bicyclemark.org, because I had often been called that name, and I wanted to express my dedication to people and progress by making it a .org instead of a .com .

The rest is history, especially in 2004 when this thing began to really bloom. And I made tons of fellow blog friends as well as reader friends. Many of them are still going today, like brian, tony, and the wonderful bronwyn. So as my blog birthday approaches, I just wanted to share and remember how and when it all started. Thanks for reading, and you can bet- I’ve only just begun.

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No Relief

You might think this is a repeat of my report about the raging fires in Portugal, earlier this month, but it’s not. The situation has actually gotten worse, if that could be possible. Some 400 incidents reported over the weekend, the country is in terrible shape.

For some reason, only now has the country appealed to the European Union under some civil defence clause, that allows them to receive help for combatting the fires that are completely out of control across the nation. Germany is sending helicopters, France is sending water-dropping-planes. Even Spain, who has had some bad fires this summer as well, is sending those famous Canadair firefighting planes.

I found myself fascinated by the pathetic nature of politicians who habitually act as if they know what’s going on in times of crises, as I watched the Prime Minister sit with Portuguese firefighting commanders as they examined maps and talked strategy. As if the man has anything useful to add to the meeting. Its just like when GWBush went down to 9/11 to hang out with firefighters, its not like he had ever fought a fire in his life. Yet that’s part of their job. Career politicians, who go around pretending they know about the environment, world history, science, economics.. you know, all the subjects they probably slept through during their days at university.

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Back in 00

The year was 2000, the season was spring, and the journey was from Marseille, France (my place of residence at the time) to Amsterdam, NL to visit the D-Rock. (as he was residing in the dam then) It was pretty luxurious for a student, TGV to Lille, Eurostar to Brussels (stopover to see family), and this same international train to Amsterdam. It was a long and wonderous journey filled with plenty of young, worldy, and often good-looking backpackers to befriend.

I mention this because its been 5 years and I still feel that journey in my bones. Those backpackers are still on the train. Speaking their spanish or italian or australian english. I even noticed an Indonesian family doing some backpacking today. I glance over at them often and when its not too creepy, I offer help in the form of directions. They’re defensive but thankful, of course, as right they should be — lots of psychos with blogs out there.

Its crazy to think of myself now, an amsterdammer of about 3 years, to then – when all I wanted to do was visit my friend for a few days and head back to France. Little did I know. Little do we ever know the odd paths we later take.

Other news: Tim and his Radio Clash are in Spin Magazine. While xtx and her infamous cleavage are having a birthday! Oh and I mustn’t forget another birthday girl — FashionSloerie.

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Grass is Greener

At the fishtank today, I sat down to lunch with mrs toronto’s greatest chef in exile. The man himself was doing his thing in the kitchen. He feeds the fish all summer long. But the conversation at lunch today was one that I immediately thought to bring on the communique.

Frisbeee

At one point we were discussing how many Dutch people complain about how everything is “boring” here. Trams run on time, pay checks are decent, things generally work… which apparently gets annoying. You’ll often hear them plotting to move to Spain or Italy, where they believe the laid back pace is the perfect way to life.
On the other hand, I mentioned, many if not most people in Portugal get utterly fed up with buses not showing up on time, crap salaries, and generally how things don’t work. They talk of moving to richer countries, like the UK or France.

Grass is greener on the other side? I don’t think so… I think some people just don’t appreciate how good they’ve got it while the rest of the world dreams of having such a situation.

Hmm.. no linkage today…. thats rare.

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