What makes good partners in a relationship

03 Aug 2023 09:43 | Geplaatst door Marcel

What kind of person makes a good partner. That is a question that has been bugging me for years. I will share some of my thoughts and observations about it. Most probably I will make some amendments in the future to this article (or I will delete this alltogether :) ). If you read this article, please give it some time to sink in and see if it has any merit to you.

Stubborn versus flexible

On the scale of stubborn to flexible you might prefer to have a partner that is similar in personality to yourself.

Flexible and faster thinking

Some people are flexible and can think quite fast. In a discussion they can view the situation from different sides and can easily flex with what other people bring in. Often they are good listeners. Together with fast thinking they can easily follow allong with all the flexing.

They don’t often use powerplay or even think in terms of powerplay, more often they are looking for solutions.
Often, these people are very talented. Some might choose to make safer choices in life.
A pitfall might be that they become arrogant and create the thought that they are better than others.

Flexible and slower thinking

Some people are flexible but at the same time slow in thinking. This seems like a contradiction, and it might be. They can flex with many different ideas and viewpoints, while not always being able to keep up with all the ideas.
This can make them easy targets to play around with. Just flush them with ideas and see how they cope.
I haven’t met many people in this category. They might be hiding from the nasty social situations in life :)
If you are part in this category, you might prefer people similar to you, but they are not easy to find. If you do find them, try to make them part of your life.

Stubborn, faster and slower thinking

To be honest, I haven’t yet met people who are stubborn and also faster thinking. Sure, it is all gradual and relative, but still.
And beware, fast talking doesn’t mean fast thinking. Using a stream of words might gain some time in the conversation, or even mask the slow thinking.

Stubborn people might not agree on the word stubborn, they might call it steady, steadfast, sticking around, long-term, not wandering about, etcetera. It’s often nice to use words for yourself that give a positive light.

I would want to point out that I believe most people fall into the stubborn group. In such a large group there will be many variations in people ofcourse. Some people might be very stubborn and get drawn to eachother even more. You might prefer someone with a similar stubbornness and slowness.

Thinking and communicating

Flexibility/Stubbornness and speed of thinking have influence on the way you think. Also on the way you “talk” to yourself and thus also on the way you talk with other people.
And when you meet someone who more or less thinks and talks like you do, you will notice that. Sometimes conciously, sometimes more as a general feeling of a click.

We don’t match, now what?!

Aha, interesting. You think you have a partner that is in a different group than you from the three groups mentioned above. It doesn’t have to be a problem, if you keep tabs on a few points a bit more than ususal.

  • Avoid drama. Again, avoid drama.
  • Make sure to be understanding towards eachother, even if you feel different.
  • If one moves slower or faster all the time, avoid irritation.
  • If one can only see one viewpoint at the time while you see many, avoid irritation (and vice-versa).

Other traits

Rough versus soft

A rough person might come accross as rude, maybe using curse words or strong language. A soft person might be offended by that. A soft person might prefer someone who is soft as well, thinking of a more empathic approach to other people.

Fear

Basic fear in life is about fear of death or fear of destruction. There might be different kinds of fear and different ways to deal with them.
According to the Stoics, fear is about something that might happen in the future, that you don’t want to happen.
Spinoza iterated on that, fear is choosing between two things that you don’t want.
Do you prefer to give people your trust from the start or only after getting to know them? Are you afraid of repercussions if you do something that is not liked by others? Do you try to ignore your own fear by overcompensating? People have different backgrounds in what kind of fear they have. I would reckon, some basic understanding towards eachother helps a lot here. No human lives without fear, but we all deal different with it.

Outgoing or homesitting

You might prefer someone who is doing this similar, else conflicts may arise. Personally, I think the healthiest behaviour here is a bit of both, but that may just be my preference.

Inward or outward virtues

My experience with Tinder is that most people there are about charisma and making an impression. If that is your cup of tea, than Tinder might not be a bad place looking for a longterm relationship. I prefer more the inner virtues, as long as I do find my partner physically attractive (she doesn’t have to be a goddess).
About impression, I once read: People who try to impress others, are often themselves easily impressed.

One trait out of the ordinary

And another thing, please bear with me :)
There are these photosets for aura photo’s. I really believe there are people mainly with red and people mainly with blue in these photo’s. People in a relationship might prefer the opposite color for a partner. And yes, maybe these aura photo’s are nonsense. But it can simply be a translation of other traits. I just haven’t found the right idea and words for those traits yet to explain it well.
And please understand that this is not about team days and all the team courses about colours and personal traits. I am trying to mean something that does have a deeper base.

What kind of person makes a good partner. That is a question that has been bugging me for years. I will share some of my thoughts and observations about it. Most probably I will make some amendments in the future…
Read more...

On holiday to the fifties

14 Jun 2023 15:46 | Geplaatst door Marcel

Since I have this Motobecane Cyclotouriste, I have been pondering about having a cycling trip with this bicycle. It was made for it, even though it is not fit for it.
After all the corona madness, this spring was the right time for it. For 6 days did I cycle in Belgium. Max distance was 70km a day, with this bicycle that is more than enough. The aim was to be a tourist in the places that I would be visiting.

By train I traveled to Roosendaal, to go to Antwerp by bicycle. The days after I went to Ghent, Brussels, Mechelen and again Antwerp and Roosendaal. The roads were bad, the people were nice. De hostels were excellent, the weather fantastic. Especially Brussels and Antwerp were beautiful cities that are worthwhile to visit for multiple days.

There were enough doubts as well, especially the first few days when I wondered if a cycling holiday is really something for me. But the days after were really fine for me. Unexpected was the catharsis-effect.

The bicycle was nervous and around tram rails somewhat frightening. Together with packing and bad roads it sometimes was a bit of a burden.

Since I have this Motobecane Cyclotouriste, I have been pondering about having a cycling trip with this bicycle. It was made for it, even though it is not fit for it. After all the corona madness, this spring was the…
Read more...

Motobecane Cyclotouriste from the fifties

07 Feb 2021 18:53 | Geplaatst door Marcel

Last January this Motobecane Cyclotouriste M.T.H.C was for sale on the Dutch website Marktplaats. I already have enough bicycles and don’t want to become a collector, a bicycle should be used. But I liked it that much that I could not resist picking it up.

It was told that the bicycle was bought about 8 years ago at the fair in Reims in France, there it was told that the bicycle was from 1960. That could be, but more probably it is from the fifties. The Huret rear derailer with 2-bolt-connection to the chainstay was used in 1957, in 1960 there was a Huret Allvit with parallellogram. In 1957 it came with light metal fenders, so this one must be from before that. The guidonnet brake levers made from a piece of aluminium were also used in the fifties by Motobecane, in the sixties they switched to forged guidonnet brake levers like those from Mafac and CLB.
The small nameplate at the stem is supposed to be from the French defense, so each soldier could find his own bicycle again.

I assumed this was a cheap bike when it was new, looking at the chrome rims and cottered cranks, but reading up on the internet it turned out to be not that cheap of a bicycle in the fifties. In those days cars were not affordable by Joe Sixpack and if you wanted to go on holiday, you bought a cyclotouriste like this to explore the French countryside.

The saddle is probably original, a Unic saddle with a big M stamped in for Motobecane. Dynamo and head light (yellow light) are still functional, but there is so little light, there is no use to it.
The handle bar tape is not original, as usual for French randonneur bars from that era. There should be a piece of plastic around the bottom and top part of the drop bar with plastic “tape”, where the middle part stays bare metal. When that is gone there is no other solution that to use regular taped bar tape.
The chain protector is gone and cannot be fitted again without welding at the frame parts. Visually slightly disappointing, but functionally no problem, since these French chain protectors do little, and your trousers still get dirty from the chain.
Brake pads for the French cantilevers are still available through Ebay for not too much money. After the first wear (with lots of noise) they now work okayish, for what it’s worth with chrome rims. The rims are Rigida Deco =std= which usually have a year stamped in, but unfortunately this set doesn’t.

It was nice to put a new chain on the bicycle, wonderfully enough it ran smooth on the old chain ring and sprockets. Chain ring might even be original with the panto from days gone by. Rear sprockets are aging as well, with a 4-speed freewheel with a bit of play on the bearings. Made to last :)

That Saturday it was lovely weather and after the sale in Leiden I biked to Rotterdam through the green heart of Zuid-Holland.

Update April 2022

Last autumn I built a new wheelset for this bicycle with Velo Orange Voyager rims. Now I can make miles again.

Last January this Motobecane Cyclotouriste M.T.H.C was for sale on the Dutch website Marktplaats. I already have enough bicycles and don’t want to become a collector, a bicycle should be used. But I liked it that much that I could…
Read more...

Review of Panasonic RP-HTX90 headphone

15 Dec 2020 13:35 | Geplaatst door Marcel

Judgement: Good set of headphones for not too much money.

Panasonic-RP-HTX90N

My use of headphones is mostly while traveling and I am not too happy to spend too much money on a set of headphones. I prefer to spare the better models of Sony a rough life. The price of this Panasonic HTX90 is still doable, and when sitting on top of them and they break down, the loss is manageable.
That is why the last decennium I lived with the cheaper Panasonic headsets of around 25 Euro with on-ear drivers. They offer a lively sound and the instruments get separated quite well, which I can enjoy a lot and also experience in my Denon amplifier with nice Elac speakers.
This time I wanted to start using active noise-cancelling.

What struck me the most is with drivers that are over-ear the passive noise-cancelling is already remarkably well. When I am sitting in the train and people next to me are talking loud, I don’t really need active NC.
I also notice that with the tightness of over-ear drivers, the audio quality is so much better than with on-ear drivers. In that context I experience the quality of Bluetooth already good enough for my use.
With both of these points I could have gone for the older model, the HTX80. The HTX90 has as extra features the active NC and the possibility to use a cable instead of only bluetooth.

The device has a nice way of using it. The Bluetooth button is on the front. Pairing my phone was easy, a Sony Xperia XA2 with Sailfish OS. An Apple iPhone SE (original SE) was easy to pair as well.
When connecting the cable it switches over to cable immediately and Bluetooth gets turned off.
The active NC can be enabled with a hardware switch at the back. It can be used when using a cable and when using Bluetooth, and also when no music is playing. That last point turned out to be pleasant, I don’t always have a need for music, but cancelling noise will still be a good usecase.

Biggest drawback of the headphones is that when active NC is enabled, the sound quality gets so much worse. In case Panasonic will release an update for the HTX90, this drawback is where the biggest improvement would be.
Personally I notice that passive NC is often good enough already.

There is also the option to turn up the bass. Panasonic doesn’t call this bass-boost nor loudness, but the effect is similar.
One thing that is slightly disappointing is that the bass doesn’t reach very low. With this price I would not want to complain about that any further.
In a review of the HTX80 I read that the mid-tones can sometimes be a bit sharp and irritating. With this HTX90 I don’t notice anything like that.
For the rest there are some buttons for higher/lower volume and next/previous song. I find this kind of small buttons an excercise in searching for the fingers and it’s not for me. I can imagine other people might appreciate these buttons.

I don’t often see headphones by Panasonic being reviewed and I think they are being under-valued, not just in this price-range, but also in the cheaper price-range around 25 Euro.

Plus:

  • Cable and bluetooth are both possible
  • Lively sound and good separation of instruments
  • Price/quality is fine
  • Nice retro design

Min:

  • Active NC decreases sound quality too much

Update april 2021:
I am still quite happy with this set of headphones. From the earlier text you can easily digest that I am already quite happy with the passive noise-cancelling that the big drivers give.
About the deep bass that I miss, I don’t experience that much now, especially when using a good quality DAC. With Bluetooth the internal DAC will be used and the bass does get distorted somewhat. At home I prefer using a cable, on the road the ease of use of Bluetooth is quite nice.

Judgement: Good set of headphones for not too much money. My use of headphones is mostly while traveling and I am not too happy to spend too much money on a set of headphones. I prefer to spare the better…
Read more...

WordPress theme Silverbird and updates (fork)

10 Dec 2020 20:38 | Geplaatst door Marcel

The WordPress theme Silverbird from WP3Layouts is in my opinion a nice, simple and rather clean theme. It was first released in 2018 and saw a few updates in the next few months. After that it dried up.
There is also a Pro version for sale, but I don’t really need features in a theme, that is what plugins are for.

I do use the theme myself, but saw that it didn’t work in WordPress 5.6 anymore, due to jQuery updates. It does work with PHP 8, which is quite nice.
I don’t expect any updates coming from the original author.
I forked the theme as Silverbird Lite, which is now available on Codeberg. I don’t intend to do much with it, just keep it in working state. I did remove a few things, like Google Fonts, since I don’t like my visitors being tracked by Google.

The first changelog looks like this:

  • = 1.1.0 =
  • 2020-12-10
  • Rename to Silverbird Lite.
  • Tested on WP 5.6 and PHP 8.
  • Fix preloader and disable it by default.
  • Update Bootstrap.js from 3.3.6 to 3.4.1.
  • Remove old modernizr 2.6.2.
  • Remove Support tab in Customizer.
  • Remove Google Fonts, there are plugins for that.
  • Remove Google Plus from social media links.
  • Remove Swipebox, you might prefer your own image modal.
The WordPress theme Silverbird from WP3Layouts is in my opinion a nice, simple and rather clean theme. It was first released in 2018 and saw a few updates in the next few months. After that it dried up. There is…
Read more...