For the past 27 years I’ve been making mistakes, learning from them (occasionally), and generally doing the same thing over again. I’ve expressed my opinion, spoken the truth even when a lie would’ve been so much easier for all parties involved, caught a liar, listened to unspoken words, understood a person by listening, tried my best to be honest, fair, loyal, reasonable and forgiving, and pressured others on occasion to the same. And, of course, I’ve also done the opposite of all the aforementioned, maybe more often than not.

When I look at what I am, who I am, my failures and how I’ve dealt with them, my successes and what I’ve learned from them, I can’t help but see my parents’ involvement in each and every part of this. For this, I am, was and always will be grateful. For them, I am writing this letter. A thank you — nay, a thank you.

Today, thirteen thousand, five hundred and fourteen days ago, my parents said “I do” to each other, perhaps not even realising fully the power those two words would have (or, one, or, five, depending on what words they actually chose to say. Contrary to what age my “old soul” may indicate, I wasn’t around to witness this in-person just yet). Thirty seven years together, on this very day. In a way, a number that is hard to fathom for someone who’s been wobbling about only two-thirds of this time they’ve lived, yelled, laughed and held hands together.

And, yes, five children. They’re surprisingly Christian, for people who are not Christian.

I’ve seen my parents get through many a thing. Some things simply devastating, others slowly and methodically tried to break them, hurt them deeply, wound them. But they’ve gotten through it all, and then some. Whenever I feel down, weak, hopeless or simply awful, I reminisce, think about the many moments they must’ve felt the same or, probably, worse, and how they got through. Their strength and perseverance, their hope, and their thirty seven years of togetherness have given me the strength to carry on, to find hope where at times I thought none existed. They are, without a shadow of a doubt, my role models and my pride.

I’ve been living in Korea for nearly five years now. The day I left Holland I felt very similar to my father who, at a young age, did the same thing when he left for New Zealand by boat. six months on a boat, and six more months actually in New Zealand later, he was on his way back, to where my mom was. His and my journey started in similar ways, though they’ve since gone rather different routes. I’ve managed to find a girl half-way across the globe who somehow has some very striking similarities with my mother (I CANNOT ESCAPE YOU LEAVE ME ALO– ahem, pardon.), and I am here, being more and more like my father in a country filled with people who would very much prefer I wasn’t.

And that, as they say, is the beauty of life. The growing similarities between you and your parents, the growing realisations that while, yes, you are more similar, you too are very much not the same just yet. Next time I’ll do better, dad.

I love you, mom and dad. Happy thirty seventh anniversary.

- Your proud and lucky to have you as parents middle son.

Today I’m happy to introduce you to version thirteen of my website. I can’t believe it’s already been through thirteen (-ish) iterations, but here we are.

I see this new version more as a natural evolvement from the previous one. While Twelve served me quite well, it became more and more apparent that I use my personal blog more as a photo-blog than anything. Over time the tiny size of images in Twelve increasingly bothered me, and this is something Thirteen will definitely solve, as you might have noticed already.

With Thirteen I now fully embraced my purpose of this blog; to capture and share moments of life, the way I see it.

To some, the photos might look a little bit oversized. All photos are now 1024px wide, whether they’r portrait or landscape style photos. While this might look too big on smaller screens, I feel it allows you to view and understand what I saw in that moment I made that photo.

I’ll probably make some tweaks in the near future, but for now, it is my honor and privilege to welcome you to Thirteen; my old, new home.

Finally went out and bought another record player. The one I’ve been using so far wasn’t really meant for casual listening (it’s a portable turntable with pre-amp and amp built in – it’s biggest problem in a living room setup, really). I now have the record player hooked up to my amplifier using the DJPreII phono amplifier. My speakers, amp and record player are all from Inkel, a Korean brand apparently rather famous locally, at least to those a few generations older (it seems nowadays they only really do some studio audio stuff).

The album playing is Nat “King” Cole’s Just One Of Those Things. Wonderful album!

A few more to further my tiny collection. This time I went for a few jazzy records, a truly great genre for vinyl listening. Big names like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and the (very) odd man out; John Denver. I picked that one up mostly for the memories I have, my parents enjoy his voice quite a bit.

(Recorded with my mobile phone, hence the shitty quality. Apologies for that.)

After closing my Google+ account, Google asked me why I did so. Here is what I have written to them to answer their question.

A constant stream of totally-unknown-to-me 40+ year old Korean men keep following me for no apparent reason, short of the fact that I live in Korea I guess. With all the privacy-related options, the most irritating part of G+ to me was the requirement that all profiles are public, making it very easy for spammers, bored people and other kinds of pointless folk to add me, leaving me with a useless notification box that tramples on any kind of actual notification I might have to see and making it more of a bother to visit google.com with the “oh god, 10 more folks are hogging my stream” button I have to click on before it stops screaming red red RED CLICK ME DAMMIT.

$0.02: You had (and still have, nice choice of words with your “we’ll *try* to remove all your personal, viagra-to-our-ad-boner info”) all my personal info, why oh why did you have to force our profiles to be public. The reason Facebook works is because you are together with your friends, family, acquaintances and Mark (he needs friends), nobody else but those you are actually interested in. G+ started out as a great alternative (the Facebook without it being Facebook©), but soon ended in a shit-fest of people who thought they ran away from MyFaceTwitterBookSpace but ended up merely using G+ to “follow” total strangers and bitch about what things they didn’t like about G+.

$0.01 (My tip): If you want to create a social network; let it be social. Don’t launch and run away doing whatever it is you’re working on now. I’m telling you, with the way you’re launching services that could’ve been bloody brilliant (I’m looking at you, misunderstood and crappily explained Wave.. I miss you), you’re like a retard kid with ADHD. Dedicate yourself, focus, launch something and stick with it, for crying out loud.

Oh, look, a bird!

-Dave

At the end of the day, everything is but a mere memory in creation.

Yours truly.

I finally found some nice speakers for in my living room. So far I used my Soundstick IIs connected to my iMac which is not bad at all, but especially when I want to put up a record is a major hassle. I have to lug around my turntable and change cables and what-not.

These are Inkel –a Korean brand– speakers with an amplifier of the same brand. The amp is bit overkill for my needs (with two microphone inputs in the front and a battery of sound-tweaking knobs, it’s designed for a karaoke room more than living room), but it works, so I’m happy.

The song I played on my iTouch for some quick testing was Carry Me Ohio, from Sun Kil Moon. Great track!