Sunday, February 28, 2010


Due to recent events I'm not going to write about the last planned topic...

Chile is situated along a seismic zone, so earthquakes happen frequently, in different parts of the territory. I had experienced strong earthquakes before, so I am always ready with an emergency lamp and a transistor radio.

Last Friday was a horrible day. In the morning, I was fired "due to the company's necessities" --a eufemism to fire an employee who has done work well, but he/she is unwanted.
Could things get worse? I went to sleep thinking in a positive way, but my dreams were very short...
At 3:30 am, my wife woke me up. I noticed the shaking, still with my eyes closed, but I thought "it's just a small quake, it will be gone quickly". But it didn't stop. The quake increased in intensity, and objects like glass, plates and books started to fall and break. Electric power went out and intensity increased again. I tried to stay calm, but my wife was very frightened. We have never experienced an earthquake in an apartment building before.

When the quake finished, I went for my portable emergency lamp, because I couldn't see anything and there were a lot of objects broken on the floor (glass and ceramic stuff). I checked the apartment and I didn't see structural damage.
Outside the apartment, in the corridor, people were screaming. I opened the door and saw a panicked scene, people were going to the stairs, trying to reach the ground floor (I live on the 3rd floor and the building has eleven). My first reaction was to stay inside, but then, I smelled an odor of gas in the corridor (the quake caused damage to the pipelines) and I thought we were in a high risk of gas explosions --and fire. In some apartments, the frames in the entrance doors were deformed and people inside couldn't go out and suffered panic attacks due to the gas leak, so other residents kicked and broke the blocked doors.
Fortunately the janitor cut off the main gas supply quickly and the blast danger vanished.
We stayed outside between one and two hours. Then the electric power was restored, and we returned to the apartment and stayed there. I couldn't sleep again until the next night. I called my mother and family (phone lines were not affected). Thank God all were fine and safe.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Zaanse Schans

The previous picture was taken on a trip to the Netherlands in 2008. This place is called Zaanse Schans (a neighborhood near Amsterdam), and it has some old but well preserved windmills (and nice houses). An excellent location for taking pictures.

In the next post, I'm going to write more about this trip to Europe.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Photoshopping" pictures

Usually I take a lot of pictures, but I don't like to retouch them. Editing just one photograph could take hours of work, and I think it is better spending a few minutes or seconds setting up the camera. Besides, some picture errors are impossible to correct in Photoshop.
Nevertheless, there is some kind of photography that requires a digital laboratory. One of them is the classic black & white.

About the picture on the left: It was taken (by me) in The Netherlands in 2008, and now is processed in B&W.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

FJ's murse

This time I'm going to write about a more personal topic. I'm not sure if this could be interesting for other people, but my blog is an experiment in many ways, so let's see what happens.

When I was young, I carried some of my belongings (wallet, keys) in any pocket. But often I lost my keys or I didn't remember in which pocket my precious money was. Also, my portable belongings started to grow in number. And really, who wants bulky pants or jackets? (At least, not me.)
So I decided to use a small bag to carry all my personal stuff.

I didn't know if this type of bag has a special name in English, and I found a portmanteau word: a murse, that is, a male purse. Well, I'm not sure if my bag could be called a murse, because definitely it is NOT fashionable --it's just a useful grey bag.

Now my dear readers, I leave to you this question. What's in FJ's murse? LOL

I'm thinking of a (pretty) prize for the best answer :-)