Street art

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I came across this amazing cartoon drawn in the dust on the truck in front of me. What a great way to start the day!

Transformers Collection Update

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Today I received my very own Masterpiece Megatron.

As proud owner of this exclusive toy marvel I’d like to share some pictures with you:

Masterpiece Megatron in Robot Mode

Here is the Masterpiece Megatron in all his robot glory

And here he is as the iconic Walther p38.

Masterpiece Megatron as a Walther P38

With this latest addition to my Transformers collection I now own the following:

  1. Optimus Prime (Masterpiece MP-04 edtion)
  2. Grimlock (Binaltech edition)
  3. Meister (Alternators edition)
  4. Optimus Prime (Alternators edition)
  5. Rollbar (Alternators edition)
  6. Ricochet (Alternators edition)
  7. Skids (Alternators edition)
  8. Tracks (Alternators edition)
  9. Dead End (Binaltech edition)
  10. Starscream (Masterpiece edition)
  11. Rumble (Alternators edition)
  12. Megatron (Masterpiece edition)

I had great fun transforming Megatron: it was probably one of the hardest in my collection.

The legs fold back 3 times, the arms need to be snapped really tightly to fit properly and getting the stock snapped onto the barrel can be real tricky.

Nonetheless, I had great fun with this figure and it really deserves its place in my display cabinet.

Props to Takara for an excellent piece of technology!

My Transformers Collection So Far

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I just wanted to share the current status of my Transformers collection.

* Ricochet (Alternators)* Grimlock (Binaltech)* Skids (Alternators)* Soundwave (G1 original)* Gundam Astray Red Frame (1/44 Bandai model)* Optimus Prime (Alternators)

As many of my friends and some colleagues know, I’ve recently started collecting new Transformers action figures ever since my interest in Transformers was re-awakened by the upcoming Transformers: The Movie directed by Michael Bay.

As of today, I currently own:

  1. Optimus Prime (Masterpiece MP-04 edtion)
  2. Grimlock (Binaltech edition)
  3. Meister (Alternators edition)
  4. Optimus Prime (Alternators edition)
  5. Rollbar (Alternators edition)
  6. Ricochet (Alternators edition)
  7. Skids (Alternators edition)
  8. Tracks (Alternators edition)

These toys for big boys are from from the simple toys of yesteryearbut rather highly detailed, ingeniously constructed pieces ofindustrial art.

My Transformers Display Cabinet Masterpiece Optimus Prime MP-04(with trailer). * Blaster (original G1)* Meister (Alternators)* Tracks (Alternators)* Rollbar (Alternators)

I can’t get enough of these and watch this space as I expand my collection!

Prinsengrachtconcert 2006

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Last saturday, I was in Amsterdam to attend the Prinsengrachtconcert.

This is a classical music concert held on an actual canal in the centre of Amsterdam. The atmosphere was fantastic, with lots of boats bunched up close together and many hundreds more people (there were some 1,500 in all) along the canal and on the bridges.

Prinsengracht06_02.jpg Prinsengracht06 Prinsengracht06

This year, the festival celibrated its 25th anniversary with theperformance of world-renowned pianist Lang Lang. He played extremelywell: there was such an amazing a mixture of ferrocity and gentleness and not tomention his incredible speed and accuracy. He just blew me away!

Portrait of Lang Lang

Earlierthat evening I also came across a rock band that was playing from ontop of their own 60’s Pontiac Bonneville cabrio. It turned out thatthey were playing for a wedding on. What a great location that was: onthe middle of a bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. Brilliant!

Prinsengracht06

Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to find out the name of the band; they were rockin’!

Anyway, Lang Lang played the following:

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano sonata KV 330, part 1
  • Nicolai Rimsky Korsakov: The flight of the bumble bee
  • Frededric Chopin: Nocturne in Des gr.t.
  • Franz Schubert: Marche Militaire, featuring Lucas Jussen (piano, 4 hands)
  • Franz Liszt: Liebestraum, S 541, number 3
  • ‘Horses’, arr. Lang Lang and Lang Guo-ren, featuring Lang Guo-ren on the erhu (video:quicktime 134kb)
  • Franz Liszt: Hungarian Raphsody, number 2 in cis kl.t. (arr. Horowitz) (video:quicktime 234kb)
  • Robert Schumann: Traumerei from Kinderszenen
  • Aan de Amsterdamse Grachten (video: quicktime 234kb)

Watch the Prinsengrachtconcert online! (controls in Dutch)

Forget the NSA, Flash is spying on you!

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Secret Cookie Stash in Adobe Flash Plug-In

I recently tidied up my "Documents and Settings" folder and came across some unusual files (*.sol).

It turns out that these are cookies placed by Flash movies which have run through the plug-in in a browser or through the stand alone player. This only happens in the newest version (v8) of the plug-in.

The nasty thing about these cookies is that I never realised that they were there!

Being an over-conscious web user, I occasionally check my browser cookies and delete the cookies I deem not welcome on my computer (cookies used for advertising, web-tracking, etc). But now it seems that Flash unobtrusively places cookies outside of the browser without letting you know!

Read on to see how you can take control of the situation.

Clean up

So how do you get rid of those nasty cookie crumbs?

You have a couple of options:

  1. Delete every *.sol file you find under your %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%Application DataMacromediaFlash Player folder (Windows only).
  2. Set up the Flash plug-in to globally deny the storing of cookies on your PC: [Link to Global Shared Object settings]
  3. Set up the Flash plug-in to specifically deny the storing of cookies by a particular site: [Link to Site-Specific Shared Object settings]
  4. Use the Flash Player settings manager to delete all cookies and shared objects from all the sites you have visited: [Link to Site-Specific Shared Object settings]

Normally I don’t mind too much: but with all those Flash banner ads on websites these days, I can’t help but wonder if some ad agency is tracking my surfing behaviour without my consent.

Seeing as I have no control over what happens to this data, and that it may contain material that could cause problems for me in the future (yes, I’m sometimes naughty on the interwebs); I’d rather block out these cookies than be harassed later on!