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  January 1st 2002

Well, there's so much that has entered my mind here that I wanted to say here, that I'm afraid of leaving things out. So let's just get the most important announcement out of the way first:

The Gallery Is Back Up

I finally managed to get hold of Lex (which wasn't too hard, given that all that was needed was to e-mail her), who explained that the reason that I could not use the space on ninja-turtles.org (note the dash! I made that mistake myself.) was because ninja-turtles.org was moved to a new server, with associated technical difficulties. I now have access to that space though, and using it. Now, this means that the site is currently in a rather curious situation: it has been split in two and spread over two servers:
  • users.ninja-turtles.org: here the entire gallery is kept, all 13.8MB of it.
  • members.ams.chello.nl: my own ISP's server. The rest of the site is kept here. All 4MB of it.
You will see now why the Gallery had to suffer.

You will find some minor differences between sections of the site that are on different servers. There may be a change in speed, or one of the servers may be down... Visually, the pages stored on ninja-turtles.org may be destinguished but the following picture at the top of the page:

Image (c) Angie McClellend

Along with the image credit will be given where it is due. Credit for the image itself, of course, goes to Jessie, who whipped this one up with amazing speed.

An unwanted side-effect of the whole move would be that it is possible that not all links are in working order. Here and there the site was rather interconnected, and splitting it in two entirely seperate parts was impossible. Should you come accross a non-working link or broken picture, I would very much appreciate hearing about it.
A broken link at members.ams.chello.nl would look like this. A broken link at ninja-turtles.org, on the other hand, looks like this. Cute, no?

What remains is a thank you to Lex of the Miniclan for providing me with the space to keep my site operational. Thanks, Lex!

Texas Arsonist Caught After Thrilling Police Chase

After a thrilling and time-consuming chase, police have recently apprehended notorious arsonist Christy Smith Hayden, also known in certain online circles as 'Spike'. Having let her slip through their fingers on several occasions, the State Highway Patrol did not take any chances this time. A Police Spokesman has stated that while ms. Hayden was apprehended carrying incriminating evidence, she maintains that it was, in fact, an Olympic torch. Upon being asked why she would be carrying the Olympic flame, the mother of two told reporters that she had, in fact, won an essay contest to nominate her brother for the honour of carrying the Olympic flame. As a, winner, she stated, both herself and her brother were to carry the torch for a small part of its journey to its final destination. The Police spokesman expressed serious doubt over the Texan mother's story, though small online circles report the story to be true, and refer to the alledged arsonist's website at www.therockaway.com for proof.
The IOC has so far been unavailable for comment.

Congratulations, Spike. ;)

The New Year

Finally, it is the start of a new year. For some people it is a time to look back at the last year and gaze forward into the future. I have never really had these sentiments myself. There are better times for these things. You can recognise these moments immediately, and if not immediately, then at least very soon after. Take, for instance, september 11th 2001.
But I didn't write anything back then either. Because everyone had an opinion, everyone posted it down everywhere, but in the end, it does not really make a difference. History goes on, with or without me or my opinion. No one asked me anything when they steered those planes towards the twin towers either. And besides, I'd just updated my site three days before.
Predictably, the American attack on Afghanistan started about a month later, if I recall correctly. I haven't written anything about that either. Everyone already had an opinion, history goes on, no one asked me and besides, I had updated the site only a few days before. Frankly, updating my site seemed to turn into a very dangerous thing to do.

So why now? And where's my point?
A few days before christmas I entered our living room. Now, I don't know what the tradition in other countries here is, but over here in The Netherlands, employers are expected to give something to their employees for christmas. Not something as base as money, no, something as base as a box full of food and drink. There is the obligatory bottle of wine, several types of food that could last you through a nuclear winter (they apparently start packing in october) and, often, something not food. A small token. A cheap token too, of course. It is also more or less customary to send these boxes to employees who retired, or, after their death, to their widow(er)s. This is how the christmas CD from the box for my my late grandfather ended up in our home.
The music on this CD was pretty standard. When I entered the room a man and a woman were singing about a partridge in a pear tree, for instance. To me, these songs were typically American. Don't get me wrong, I could be entirely mistaken, but that is not the point right now. In my head, the happy, cheerful christmas belongs in America. Not surprisingly so, as over here we already have another day for giving people gifts: december 5th. That is the day all the kids go nuts over. Christmas is more laid back, probably slightly more in touch, or rather, slightly less not in touch with its origins. And it occured to me at that moment, that the Americans would probably be feeling a lot less happy and cheerful this christmas. It must be a lot harder to be carefree these days, even for a few days.
To me, the world hasn't changed. It's the word which comes from America, but it still seems like the same old world to me. But whether the world has changed, or simply shown its face more clearly, makes little difference in the end. Things are as they are, and they cast a shadow over the future, and over people's happiness.

I actually snapped out of my musings when the obligatory "And so this is Christmas" song was playing for a change. I don't know if I heard the verse right or not, I never did pay much attention to the song. I will repeat what I heard.

A very merry christmas,
And a Happy New Year.
Let's hope it's a good one,
Without any fear.

I am too late for christmas, but I think this is the new year I'd like to wish my American friends.

Happy New Year!