Going through the rough mobile phone snap shots, I cam across a snapshot of one of the many wonderful ponds in Hagley Park and with some editing it turned out like this paint like snapshot.

How about leaving the thing (mobile phone) off?

Grace period over, police warn covert texters

Drivers are slipping back into “old habits” of using cellphones while driving and are now taking their eyes completely off the road to text covertly, police say.

Police have ended their grace period for drivers caught using a hand-held cellphone and are reporting a significant increase in the number of tickets being issued.

Although only 275 tickets were issued nationally in November, the month that driving while using a hand-held phone became illegal, Sergeant Scott Richardson of Christchurch expected it to be a lot higher now.

“When it came in we thought there would be tickets everywhere … but the compliance was awesome. But people fall back into old habits.”

Read the rest of the rest of the article here >>>


It may be me but would it not live a lot easier if we just leave the thing off or put it off before we go into the car or get into a conversation?

It has been less than a few decades ago that we did not use mobile phones simply because they were not there. And look at us now, I read articles about what the appropriate age is for kids to have a mobile phone about our continuous distraction and the risks associated with it especially when we are driving. When was the last time you were in a conversation where there was not some distraction because someone “just had to take this call” to find that apparently you conversation partner “had to talk about that movie or other program that was on tele last night” or otherwise matters that could simply have waited. Then coming back into the conversation there is the well known “where were we again.”

The police here is warning us about falling back into old habits, texting while we drive and since that is illegal now, we do it covertly. WHAT IS IT THAT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO RISK YOU OWN LIFE AND THAT OF OTHERS that needs to go into this text and could not wait until you were in a situation where you could do this safely? Just the other day, we almost got run over by someone that was actually leaving his premises and while backing out from his driveway was also busy texting, so busy in fact that he never saw the people at the end of the driveway. How sad is that?

My idea: just leave the thing off when you get behind the wheel. I know, I know, I am probably sounding like I am from another planet. But really, looking back at my own mobile history I know that while I was not that inclined to pick up the thing in the first place by myself, the tone of a message or a call coming in seemed irresistible. So, that problem was sorted quickly. And it had another advantage, it stopped using battery power especially important if your going through some of the no reception areas on the South Island.

And is it not the same  in social or business meetings. What is the message you are really conveying when you are letting yourself be distracted by those mobiles all the time. What are you telling the other side of your real time conversation if you are there sending texts messages while having a conversation? Imagine this: you are having a cup of coffee with a good friend and at some point he turns around with his or her back towards you to start another conversation, and from that moment on whenever you talk, you talk to your friends back. Well that in a way is what you are doing. I know I have been guilty of myself.

Always Connected… Come on?

With mobile connectivity came the myth that we needed to be connected and available wherever we are. And in all honesty it certainly has its advantages at times but, … at times. But most off all I cannot help but feeling that this continuous connectivity is nothing more than  a big distraction and mist of all another wake to fake you way to an impression of importance. And funnily those that really are usually have someone to take their calls when they are not there. And for the rest, “what’s up?” … “nothing much and twittering about it” … “how r u” … “here with guy pretending to be busy, pub @ 6?” …. In the meantime the person on the other side of the table is talking an you are NOT listening?

Seth Godin, I do not recall the specific of the where and when anymore, talked about how the social net is providing an opportunity for a lot of fake. I think the same applies to the mobile thingy for as far as the two can still be separated. Yet we are made to believe that this is essential. I remember some time ago in the Netherlands I had to get a mobile phone and entering the shop explaining that, the lady said:


Well duh for making phone calls or am I saying something strange here?

And true I have been using my mobile phone to take pictures for the reasons outlined in my world through a mobile phone post. But that was born out of an accident. What bothers me is that in all our ‘connectedness’ we do not seem to be realizing how it also created a ‘collective shallowness’, great for those that do coaching and consulting on how to have a meaningful conversation again as that is what we have apparently been losing as a craft.

I guess as far as I am concerned the answer is simple where it comes to step one in the program: DARE TO LEAVE THE THING OFF AT TIMES, so you can focus on what is really important at that time: your driving, your present conversation or meeting, enjoying your walk outside without distractions.

And those that see this not as an option I suggest make that one very important template that you can use to answer texts messages coming in:

“DROVE OFF A CLIFF (alternatively: against a tree) TRYING 2 ANSWER UR TXT. SEE U IN HOSPITAL OR HEAVEN.” A one button reply ready to go for when you mess up.


It turned out to be a nice and sunny early Spring day. I had a hard time not to leave everything and just go for a wander in the park, alas; work still comes for pleasure. My favorite time of the year where nature is awakening from its winter sleep and with the promise of  great weather and a beautiful Summer.

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The crocuses or a narcissus with its bright cheerful colors. Trees and plants showing signs of young fresh green that has a similar effect as the soft tones of a baby.

Somewhere a little bit further in the season, it will be the time when the blossom lights up against the blue skies.The whites and the reds that are so truly amazing and have over the centuries been an inspiration for many an artist.

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As it happens Spring is not just one of my favorite seasons. It is also one of my favorite songs.

Written by Rodgers & Heart this is actually a sad song with an otherwise cheerful and light melody.

Once there was a thing called spring
when the world was writing verses
like yours and mine.

All the lads and girls would sing
when we set a little tables
and drank May wine.

Now April May and June
are sadly out of tune
life has stuck the pin in the balloon.

Spring is here!
Why doesn’t my heart go dancing ?
Spring is here!
Why isn’t the waltz entrancing?
No desire, no ambition leads me,
Maybe it’s because nobody needs me.

Spring is here!
Why doesn’t the breeze delight me?
Stars appear,
Why doesn’t the night invite me?
Maybe it’s because nobody loves me.
Spring is here I hear.

I only have to look around and realize how lucky I am with my beautiful family. It gets extra good when this favorite is played by legendary pianist Bill Evans.

Enjoy the video and perhaps have a look at my Flickr Photostream at which you will find many more spring flowers but photographed with a camera that may get you in a cheerful spring mood as well even though it is Autumn where most of the readers of this blog live.


With a new desk for the the Renaissance Man I decided to have the WORLD THROUGH A MOBILE PHONE started again but in a different format. First of all, I (re)edit favorite pictures, initially posted in the gallery of my “old” RENAISSANCE MAN blog or not yet posted. Additionally, I noticed that while doing that, some specific ideas or thoughts came up as a result of looking at the picture or just working with it. So, instead of just posting the pictures they will be brought as illustrations of matters or thoughts posted here.

It all started on 1 January 2007. A beautiful day and we all decided that it good idea to go the beach in Sumner. In the recent years Sumner has been one of those spots that we all liked going to. A twenty minutes drive from where we live it is a very nice beach and its Esplanade for a walk that is more convenient if you don’t have an all terrain baby buggy. With three young boys it is not too hard to imagine why a beach works out great: sand, space, water, sun. Additionally and that seemed to have been a determining factor or the boys: you can buy chips and ice cream basically on the beach there. That day for some reason  I was more aware of the actually quite beautiful scenery.

The very first picture shot 1/1/2007 and redited more recently with Lightroom

I wished I had a camera with me. Walking on the Espanade I remembered; my mobile telephone (a Nokia) had a camera in it. Even though I had the phone for quite some time, I had never felt the urge to use the inbuilt camera. So I started taking some pictures and since it was too sunny to actually see how they had worked out, I would look at the results later in the car.

The pictures looked quite nice on the phone screen but after seeing these first pictures  on my computer screen I was initially disappointed by the quality. I realized that it was not the same as a normal camera but this was all quite grainy. The disappointed changed when I started editing the pictures to try and make them more presentable. I soon found out that the same low quality could actually be used to change the character of these pictures. Through editing you could actually give the pictures a different feel and as it turned out some of these pictures came out better than I ever hoped for. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.

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This was all about using your limitations to your advantage; MAKE YOUR LIMITATIONS/WEAKNESSES YOUR STRENGTH.  The concept seemed to further proven by the very positive reactions that came back and the unexpected questions by photographers/photography enthusiasts, about the techniques I had been using to create that effect of a painting.

That advantage became extra clear, some two an a half years later when I was introduced to Adobe Lightroom by my cousin Martyn de Jong, a gifted young professional photographer from the Netherlands.

What a convenience: I could  now shoot pictures without having to think about taking a camera with me.  More important probably, without the risk of leaving the camera somewhere because my wandering mind forgot to think about taking it along.

I have a reputation for losing sun glasses. How things changed over time. By now, I could not imagine myself leaving the house without a camera anymore.  Shooting and editing pictures has turned into a favorite pass time and some of the results can be seen on my Flickr Photostream. (A box with the latest uploads is located in the right hand side menu bar.)