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This seems to become a yearly tradition now. Every time the pear tree gives fruit, about half of it gets turned into a cake. It's actually just the recipe for a traditional apple pie, but with the apples replaced by pears. Very tasty though! I'm not so adventurous with this kind of stuff, so I love doing the same thing over. Simple and straightforward. 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Rosemary O'Neill · 8/15/17 7:13 AM)

I didn't mess up the title right? Haha, anyway, I'd like to wish all my buddies and everyone else reading this a merry christmas and a great 2017! I guess it's on to more food, drinks, games, and trips. Just to name a few of the good things the new year is sure to bring! For now though, let's end this year accompanied with family & friends and again, best wishes to you all!

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Slaz · 12/27/16 1:37 PM)

So, as you probably expected, I'm playing a lot of Pokémon GO at the moment like the other half of the population. So what's better than to take it outside and try catching different mons on areas you didn't visit before? So, of course I tried the app during my vacation in Winterberg last week. I also tried the Incense Middle of Nowhere method and it truly works. Even though my phone's signal was nearly out of reach in the deepest part of the forest, I did catch some rarer Pokémon like Ghastlies and Eevee's that usually don't spawn by an Insence.

 

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For some more appealing photos of that vacation, see the previous blogposts. For the 'Pokénerds', here are some AR photos below.

 
 
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Lori · 10/3/16 11:21 AM)

So, last week I went on a family trip to Winterberg, Germany. A little town with surrounding wintersports area, which is of course lacking snow and any activity at the moment. Though we went for the hiking, food, and of course beer! We also visitited a local brewery in Willingen (I think their beer 'Willinger' doesn't get exported making it a local treat, but I'm not sure). Until next time! 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Lori · 10/3/16 11:20 AM)

This was the third beer brewery I visited in my life. This time the somewhat well known out of German beers 'Bitburger'. Of course they have their own bar with fresh beer, and gotta love the warm pretzel! Also, the area near this place surrounding the river 'La Moselle' is nice to explore, with it's fresh mountain-ish air.

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Slaz · 3/24/16 12:33 PM)

Here are 2 videos showing my favorite leisure activity during my trip to Japan, arcade games! If you're not particularly interested in games, then I suggest watching the first video where you can finally see my face, something that rarely happens after I closed my Facebook account long ago. 

 

All of the stuff in the other video are shoot 'em ups by CAVE, which were found in 2 different arcades in Kyoto and Osaka. I also visited a few different ones in Akihabara (in Tokyo) where mostly modern stuff was found. I didn't took any interesting photos there (though some pictures of that neighborhood are in my big blogpost). Enjoy and until next time!

 

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

Here's a video with some smartphone footage of the Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka. Because everything worth viewing in aquariums is behind glass, taking photos can be a challenging task. I rarely take videos but in this case it was so much easier to let the camera autofocus behind the glass. Anyway, my favorite part has to be the divers blowing bubbles around 3:32 in, I still wonder how they do that!

 

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Slaz · 2/11/16 5:41 PM)

As promised here is a picture log of my vacation to Japan. I know it's been several weeks since my return but I never found the time to sort out the pictures worth showing while preventing this blog from becoming too long. Also, there are some 'geeky' pictures too showing about 3 arcade trips that I may post in a different blog, as they don't represent Japan as a location.

 

So we arrived in Tokyo in a neighborhood called Tamashi. It's known for it's 'international offices' from overseas companies. But since public transport is so well organized in Japanese cities, we easely got to see the Ginza shopping district, Ueno park (where it looks like all of Tokyo's families are on Sundays!), Akihabara (entertainment and electronics district) and the artificial island Odaiba. The first and best hotel we stayed at, called JAL City Hotel, was the best one of the whole trip with a bath that I actually fit in (the average Japanese person is smaller than western average)! 

 

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Next are some random pictures from Odaiba. This artificial island was made around WW2 as an extra defense line for Tokyo, but was turned into a shopping/family district when peace was restored. The Joypolis pic shows an in-door amusement park complete with wild-water ride, and the balcony view shows the well-known Fuji-TV main office (the building with a ball-shaped room). Also shown are traditional meals and western McDonalds, though it has some Japanese variations too such as a Teriyaki burger.

 

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Kamakura is a small town that merged in with Tokyo over the years, but is something of it's own if you ask me. We had easely spent an entire day here! There are a lot of old buildings and buddhist temples, and a good view on the great ocean. A lot of people are surfing here.

 

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Next we moved out of Tokyo by bus, into the mountains of the main island. Our destination was Matsumoto, a smaller somewhat more traditional city known for it's national treasure Matsumoto Castle. Along the way we got a view of Mount Fuji (in the back of the first 2 pics), which is kind of special as a Japanese woman said it was only visible for about 30% of the year. Before heading directly to Matsumoto, we got to see the Daio Wasabi Farm, one of the larger suppliers of this spicy root that grows near water.

 

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Next up is Kyoto, the former capital. This is well known for old buildings merged in with new ones, giving a weird unique view. Most well known is the 'Golden Pavillon' temple, which is easely recognizable by it's gold plating reflecting sunlight.

 

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Then there's a one day trip to Shirakawago, a town left untouched from the moment it became recognized as a world heritage site. The town used to thrive due to it's clean and ready to use river water. One of the above pictures shows bottles of tea cooled by this water. The rest are old traditional homes (some are habited, and some aren't but will be kept in good condition) blended in with nature!

 

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Next up is Nara and the nearby town Inari. Nara is known for the deer that walk freely and the 'Great Buddha Hall' with huge monument centralizing buddhism in Japan. Also noticable is how well the Japanese take care of their gardens. Inari centralizes around the Shinto religion, and is known for these red shrines shown in one of the pictures and the statues of foxes near it's entrance gate. On the way to the main shrine on the mountain, there are about 2000 small gates (called torii) that form a tunnel, all good for a hour+ walk!

 

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Next we moved to Koyasan. Basically the Buddhist center of Japan, where the cementary buried hundreds of monks throughout the years, even the one who brought buddhism from China to Japan is still honored there! Best thing there was the hotel that took traditional style very serious, with floor 'Futon' instead of beds, and the sliding doors that separate rooms. They also served traditional food (which is all vegetarian because it's made by monks) and good tea. Don't mind the picture of the sky, haha. 

 

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And finally, we ended our trip at Osaka. The biggest truly modern city Japan has. It is mainly offices, making the day population way larger than at night. However, they try to bring that up by offering more and more entertainment to make people stay for the night. Best thing here may've been the Aquarium, which is apparently one of the more beautiful ones in the world. That may be something for another blog post someday, but for now you can see the halloween cakes (yes, the Japanese like to celebrate halloween nowadays) obviously served at the aquarium. Sorry for te lack of pictures here, I just noticed 3 of the 4 were food, haha. It was mostly entertainment stuff here, so most of Osaka may better be for another blog too.

 

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So there you have it, my farthest vacation trip so far. There may be a lack of good pictures, but I'm one of those that doesn't like viewing an entire trip through the lens, I want to view it with my own eyes! Some stuff I missed might be on 1 or 2 themed blogs sometime, but for now, enjoy and have a great day! 

 
 
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Slaz · 12/12/15 11:23 AM)

Hi all! Just want to note that I'm going on vacation to Japan for 15 days, starting today. It's a trip from Tokyo to Osaka with direct flights, showing both tourist hotspots and calm hiking areas. I'll make sure to take pictures along the trip and post them here! 

 
 

A while back I noticed my October 2013 post showing a pear pie I baked. Well, the pear tree in our garden spawned even more pears this year and earlier too! So I decided to follow the same recipe and bake it again. This time however, I made the pears a little more tender by cookies them in hot water with some sugar for about 15 minutes before finishing it for baking. I sure love the result!

 

It's amazing that this:

 

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Is turned into this:

 

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In about a few hours. There are still some pears growing on that tree that, when ready to harvest, I'd just eat by hand or maybe stew.

 
 
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 5 (Last: Lori · 9/18/15 5:42 PM)

Yes, I like oriental foods. Not just the usual takeout stuff, but especially the stuff you'll order at a restaurant. This night I visited a local one again, so much that the chinese owner starts to recognize my last name.. Anyway, these were the most special dishes of the night, kind of strange looking stewfried pork pastries and a children's ice cream, because yeah, I never grew over the sugar sparkles somehow.

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Slaz · 8/4/15 4:02 AM)

As you may or may not have heard, I was away for a week to visit the German eiffel region. A low mountain area somewhat near the Dutch and Belgian border. I've hiked around a lot, took a swim every now and then, and of course drank lots of beer in the local bars! But instead of producing a wall of text, let's leave most of the talking to the pictures!

 

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On the left is how typical German architecture looks. These houses are not too modern nor classic, it's fairly standard. On the right is a monumental 'castle' that supposedly used to house stuff for waterworks.

 

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The left shows a view from somewhere up high. Well, it's not that high, but compared to Dutch standards it sort of is, haha. The right shows the same river from below. I love that little stone bridge!

 

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The pic on the left, well, I don't know what kind of animal that is.. Probably some kind of deer. They were both shy and curious (for food of course). On the right is apfelstrudel, the real deal! 

 
 
 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 3 (Last: Lori · 3/30/15 8:14 AM)

I just found this Ferrari F355 Challenge arcade game by SEGA while on vacation in the German Eiffel region. It was in an empty-feeling room right next to a beer café (and you know I enjoy drinking local beers everywhere I go). Sadly, the game didn't work. I plugged it in, then it tried to connect both players 'seats' for versus play but apparently they couldn't negotiate. Maybe someone pulled a plug connecting them? Well, I have the habit of blogging about arcade and public amusement games wherever I find this dying breed of entertainment, so I pictured this broking thing anyway. I'll probably post some nature-related images tomorrow, as the German Eiffel region sure is pretty to see in early spring! 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 5 (Last: MaryB · 3/30/15 3:30 PM)

A little late, but I hope you all had a wonderful christmas and have a nice 2015 with everyone you know and love! Now, I'm looking forward to what this year will bring. 

 
 

As I told in my last post here, last month I went on vacation for a midweek to the Dutch island Texel. I forgot to take good pictures since I walked the dog a lot, nothing I took is relevant enough to post here. I did however notice that the lighthouse in one of the pictures I did took was in one of the standard wallpapers from Windows 7. I took the photo from a slightly different angle and, sadly, the weather was way more gloomy. I don't know when the Windows 7 photo was made, but there are some noticable differences between then and now. So I made this fun pic: 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: Slaz · 11/14/14 9:37 AM)

Just a small note that I'm on vacation to Texel (Dutch island) for a week. I'll check the internet from time to time, but nothing excessive. See you all on or after 26-9 for more ramblings and such! 

 
 

Yesterday I went to a bowling alley and arcade called 'Taurus' as part of a trip. This particular venue is known for it's flashy lights and loud music, which makes it a popular party spot for the younger audience. We did a 1-hour bowling game and spend around $20 on several arcade games thereafter, some of which are pretty rare finds here in NL, such as Mario Kart ArcadeGP and F-Zero AX. Not shown in the picture, but also played by me were House of the Dead and Tekken 5. Taurus' motto is 'Fun, Food, and Fantasy' so we also ate a healthy Pizza and french fries afterwards. 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 2 (Last: Slaz · 9/9/14 3:40 AM)

I got to visit the Dutch beer brewery from Hertog Jan in Arcen for a guided tour. Anyone reading this blog might know that I'm very familiar with this brand of beer. Basically, the brewers here showed the common process of how to brew beer from start to finish, as well as how changes to the ingredients and the brewing process reflect the color and taste of the final product. It was a rainy day with not a single ray of sunlight reaching the surface, so I hope you can live with the greyish tone in the picture. 

 

Of course we can't get enough of this golden liquid (I'm no alcoholic, stay calm ), so it's good to exactly know how it's made in order to enjoy it even more. This brewery is also the only one in Europe to have a 'beer pipe' that directly transports the goods to the nearest bar (as shown in the picture). How convenient! 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0

Lately I've been really into the latest edition of Mario Kart, part 8 on the Wii U! Instead of writing an unnecessarely long review, I'll just get to the point and tell you what the fuzz is all about. 

 

As always, the game is of the 'funracer' subgenre of racing games. Which means it's based on having a good time with friends (and by yourself) rather than copying realistic racing physics. The controls are as simple as always, there's gas, brakes, steering left & right, use item, and drift.

 

The game contains 16 new tracks and 16 recycled tracks updated to include this game's new mechanics. I'm rarely amazed by new video games but the graphical details and track design that went into the new tracks sure took my breath away for a while! There's also more diversity than ever in the vehicles, as there are the usual karts and bikes to choose from, but also some new triads and quads which is fun to race with once in a while! 

 

A good improvement concerning items is the Super Horn. Basically, a toot from this horn will destroy any obstacle like shells and banana peels that block your road, even the flying blue shell! You get more change to get this item when you move up the ranks during a race, so the previously unavoidable finally becomes avoidable! Another good addition is the improved online mode. Yes, this was in Mario Kart 7 too, but here we can join online races with 2 players on the couch! 

 

So if you happen to own a Wii U, or know someone who has. I suggest you give this funracer a try. It's fun for the whole family, while hobbyists like me have enough skill to show off too!

 
 
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 4 (Last: Slaz · 8/29/14 6:16 AM)

Right now, I'm at a family member's 50th birthday party at a mini camping's cantina. That means more chit-chatting, beer, and foods. I also found this teared down children climbing-thing that was so shaky, I actually risked my life to take the 2nd picture.. 

 

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Blog Entry CommentsComments: 0
 
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