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Koawboays 'n Injuns

Puzzled About Breasts

On Probation

Tyl is out of hospital since Tuesday. The question is how long he will stay out of hospital, because this morning he had a 39°C fever. Mrs.B stuffed him full of pain killer and took him to the doctor. Luckily, he wasn't re-admitted to hospital and this evening the fever was gone.

Always keeps you on your toes, this little one.

In Hospital

I'm writing this live from the Saint-Augustine hospital in Antwerp, tapping as lightly as I can on the keyboard because Tyl is sleeping right next to me. There's not much room here, in fact the two of us share a small aquarium. He's a happy little fish in his little bed, but if I stretch so much as a fin I bump into a wall.

Tyl is doing better, I think his gastroenteritis is as good as over. But he still is his usual skinny self; at seven and a half kilos he's too light for his age. So the doctors decided to keep him in for the weekend and give him the foie gras treatment. He has a tube going down his nose to force-feed him at regular intervals. I on the other hand give him lots of biscuits and puddings and so on. Puddings WITH super-nutrient powder added.

We'll have to watch him, before you know it he'll be overweight for the rest of his life.

In Memoriam

Today 15 years ago, one of the godfathers of Belgian comics passed away. André Franquin must have inspired the large majority of comic book artists in Belgium and France ever since his first drawings appeared in Spirou magazine in the late 1940s. I've been a very big fan of his work from the moment I laid my hands on an album of Gaston Lagaffe, the lazy, accident-prone, inventive anti-hero that supposedly worked for Spirou magazine.

André Franquin

I believe this was the very first Gaston Lagaffe (or Guust Flater) album in my collection. I currently have them all, most of them even two times in different versions.

Franquin also had a dark side. Towards the end of his life, he suffered more and more from depressions, which prevented him from doing any more work. But he also managed to turn this dark ideas into something creative, in the form of the 'Idées Noires' (Dutch: 'Zwartkijken') albums.

In short: if you don't know Franquin yet and you understand half a word of French or Dutch, drop everything and run to your comics dealer and ask - nay demand - every single album you can get your hands on.

 

And A Good Health To You - The Sequel

Tyl is in hospital. For the second year in a row. By that I mean we had to rush him at hospital last year too, in the middle of the night. This year the circumstances were less dramatical, he went in today for a routine check-up. He hadn't been his usual energetic self the last couple of days. He slept a lot and did a mega-puke once. And because he's already very thin for his age, it doesn't take much for him to get seriously under-weight. So the doctor decided to keep him in hospital.

That means that Mrs.B will spend the night with him, as she did last year (for a full week). But then she was still breast-feeding him, so she had no choice but to stay over. At least this time we can take turns.

And so 2012 begins...

Pas De Deux

Wolf in action, together with his mum. He loved it; not only did he step around a bit, they even did a trot and then went on to galloping!

Then it was Tyl's turn...

But that was less of a success...

Poor little guy. It really wasn't his day, because he wasn't feeling too well.

Party All Night Long

We thought we'd have a quiet New Year's celebration. You know, just with our little family, have a nice meal and stare at dumb eighties re-runs (thank you Flemish television for THAT crap, we'd almost forgotten what kind of stupid shite we'd had to watch before cable finally conquered Belgium).

So after staring at the fireworks displays - both the official and amateur ones - I gulped down the last of the white wine and went to bed. Mrs.B had nested herself under the duvet since before long, just waking up for a couple of minutes to yawn 'Happy New Year' and then retreating again. So all was quiet.

And then some morons started to shoot fireworks again after 2 o'clock. Tyl had been whimpering all evening long, but now he got infuriated. He would have none of it, and he'd protest until everyone would get the message. And with 'everyone' I mean the general population of the greater Antwerp area.

He was inconsolable. A simple drink of water didn't suffice. We took him into our bed, but he continued to cry and kick and scream. Every time he calmed down, the idiots down the street fired up a new weapon of doom, and Tyl would counterstrike without hesitation. This went on until four in the morning, then Tyl had finally calmed down and fallen asleep.

I didn't dare to produce a sigh of relief, I was so cramped up with fear that the slightest sound would alarm him again. And then, as if they'd picked up the very thought, those mad criminals would detonate one last charge. I went through the roof, but luckily Tyl was too exhausted to react.

So finally I lay my head to rest... only to be woken up a couple of hours later by Wolf. He'd gone to the toilet, and he needed someone to clean his bottom. So he shouted for me... I veered out of bed like I had a very large piece of firework fired from between my buttocks. By the time I'd reached Wolf - all hushing and shushing - he'd yelled out three more times. Fortunately, Tyl still slept like a baby rose.

Wolf wouldn't return to bed, so being a good parent I parked him behind the TV with a bunch of biscuits and a large glass of apple juice. Then I crawled back to bed, for a bit of a nap - until noon. Anyway...

Happy New Year to everyone!

Consumerism

It's Christmas, a time to reflect about the things you haven't bought yet, and remember the Holy Message of Jesus Christ: 'Buy! Buy! Buy!'

So daddy bought himself a new PC, mainly because I don't have the purchasing power to still my mid-life crisis with a Harley Davidson, a sports car or a business jet. After spending a couple of evenings on the internet, I ordered:

  • An AMD FX-6100 processor, with the new Bulldozer 8-core architecture. It's not quite as fast as Intel's Core I7, but as I said I'm not quite a millionaire. And I've been an AMD fan for years.
  • An Asus M5A99X EVO motherboard, a very complete AM3+ board.
  • 16 gigabite of KINGSTON HyperX memory
  • One MSI R6850 Cyclone graphics card. I'm not really a gamer, I just looked for a card with decent performance on photo and video editing. It can handle three monitors, and has a nice big (= silent) fan.
  • OCZ Vertex-2 Solid State Disk of 120GB, which I'm going to use as a system drive to really speed things up. It's got a write speed of 275MB/s and a reading speed of 285MB/s. Any heavy files I'll be working on (such as HD video) will also be temporarily parked on this disk.
  • A Western Digital 2TB running at 7200RPM, with a whopping 64MB cache and like the Vertex-2 with a SATA III connection. This will be my storage disk, but it's still quite fast for a traditional hard disk.
  • To wrap it all up, I invested in a new MIDI tower: the Antec Sonata Elite. I've had a full tower for years, which I bought when extension cards still could be quite large.
  • The Sonata Elite doesn't come with it's own power pack, so I also ordered a BeQuiet Pure Power L7-530W 12cm. I'm hoping that it holds up to its name, because my current computer makes as much noise as a military jet engine on full afterburner.
  • A Samsung S23A350H Syncmaster monitor. It's a 23 inch - I'm currently working on a 17 inch CRT monitor at home, so it'll be a bit of a change.

The operating system on my current computer still is Windows XP. I thoroughly hate Windows Vista, which is what is on Mrs.B's laptop. As a consequence, it runs like a steam train on Windows Millennium Edition (Microsoft's previous blunder). But Windows 7 seems all-right, so I ordered a copy.

So now I'm eagerly waiting for my goodies to arrive. The graphics card arrived on the second day after my internet buying spree, but I expect the rest will only land on my doorstep during the first week of the new year.

A final necessary purchase was an economy pack of pain-killers, which I really needed when Mrs.B discovered how much I'd spent on one evening...

Season's Greetings

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