Category Archives: I never

I have never bitten a tea bag

Quick post today, about the I never I should have written a week ago. I wanted to do a post about going jogging every day for a week, but that turned out not to be a great idea.

So last Saturday at 2 am, Lena and I were tired and goofing around and we both bit a tea bag. There’s a video and I’m not sharing it.

On an unrelated note, here’s what’s left of my garden:

Out of the 12 I planted, only 4 survived. To be fair, only 4 of the plants that perished could be blamed on me. The rest simply didn’t sprout.

Right, I’m gonna put some more effort into this month’s I Never again.

I have never planted a kitchen garden

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With our trip to Turkey so recently, it was tricky to find an actual I Never subject for March. Lena and I are working on something, but we determined it wouldn’t be completed this month (and perhaps we’ll delay it until May (ooh, exciting!)).

So I had to improvise. Now, where we live, spring has come very definitively this past week, and our local supermarket The Albert Heijn has, like the previous two years, started giving out DIY fruits, vegetables and herbs. We haven’t gotten any of them yet this year, but we did have a dozen left over from last year, just sitting in the windowsill, waiting to be brought to life.

Today I finally took some time to plant them. Have some pictures!

Can’t do gardening without a glass of wine!

First steps. By now I realized it took very long for the dirt to dampen, and I was starting to doubt my methods.

Figured it would be better to continue at the kitchen counter. Lena came downstairs and thought I needed to have a picture with the wine.

I’ll spare you Lena’s comments on what this resembles.

Using Medley’s bottle to measure the amount of water needed for my dirt.

The result! Three times arugula, two broccoli and red beets, and one thyme, spinach, cress, basil and watermelon.

And now we wait… Check back later to follow my plants’ progress!

I have never played in a Pokémon tournament

Somewhere near the end of last year, before going to Melanie and Diederik to make sushi, Lena and I quickly went by the Gamemania games store, where we could get some Pokémon merchandise with a discount. It was there that we came to conclusion that the both of us really wanted to play the card game, but never had anyone to play against. Somehow it never occurred to us that we could play together.

And so it came to be that we dug up our old cards, bought some new ones and started building some decks. Lena played all kinds of Eevee decks, and I tried to continuously improve a Squirtle deck.

Having heard of our recently-refreshed hobby, Melanie and Diederik invited us to the Alolan pre-release tournament, which we happily joined.

Simply put, the pre-release tournament was a promotional event to get people familiarized with the new set of cards about to be released. Everyone got a random set of cards, from which we were given twenty minutes to build a deck. After that, we played three rounds against others to see who built the best deck. And unlike regular tournaments, there were no prizes, aside from everyone getting to keep the deck they played with.

I lost two battles and won one, but all-in-all, it was a fun event in a friendly setting. I got some reasonable cards (unlike Lena who managed to get both legendary cards), but it’s a decent deck.

Anyway, Lena and I are spreading the Pokémon love to our friends and a local tabletop community, so perhaps I’ll be able to post some more Pokémon soon!

I have never made sushi

It’s only a little over two years that I had sushi for the very first time in my life, when the Hearth’s Warming Con committee went out for dinner in Amsterdam. Even though I don’t like fish, I enjoyed it a lot. Since then, we’ve taken plenty of opportunities for a sushi dinner.

This month, we got an opportunity to make sushi. Melanie and Diederik invited us over and guided us through the steps.

It was a lot of fun (and very tasty!), but there’s not much of a story to wrap around it (unlike the seaweed of the sushi), so have a bunch of pictures.

I have never skated on ice

Just like eating a raw herring well over a year ago, Lena has often reprimanded me for being a poor Dutchman for never having skated on ice.

Near the end of last month, we were having a few days of anniversary fun with the Albert Heijn discount on activities. On one of the days, we decided to go ice skating at De Scheg, a swimming pool, kart track and ice skating course just a short walk from our home. There, I had my first experience on the irons.

It was a bit scary at first. I had imagined that it would take me fifty falls before I would even be able to stand up. But it turned out much easier and before I knew it, we were going around on the skate course.

I’d say it was a decent work-out and I did fall once, but I fell into the inflatable railing around the course, so nothing really major. But above all, it was a lot of fun. And to think it’s so close to our house. We definitely want to go again!

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I have never played with VR goggles

Wow. Just wow.

A little background on this: a few weeks ago, Lena and I were invited to a weekend in Center Parks with the committee of Hearth’s Warming Con 2016. In general, it was very fun, especially to see Opaque from Denmark again!

But one of the activities of the weekend was particularly awesome. For a long time, Lena and I have been wanting to try out VR goggles. It just so happened that our friends Melanie and Diederik recently bought the VR goggles for Playstation 4 and brought it along for our weekend.

So last Friday, we had a shot at playing actual VR games! And it was awesome!

It’s everything you can expect from it and more. I started off in a sort of demo room where you could look around at all the things going on. The weirdest thing was being able to actually move closer to the little characters while the game actually zoomed in on them. It was so immersive, I wanted to touch them!

I also played a strange game where I was a dinosaur wrecking a city with my head (yes, by head-banging!), and a shooting game demo where I had to manually reload. I loved it.

This is definitely something we both want to get. Now we just have to wait for it to become affordable (after we get Nintendo Switch!)

Here’s a bonus gif of me shooting:

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I have never crossed the Afsluitdijk

Last month, I promised something big going to happen this month. Unfortunately, due to temporal and financial constraints, the thing that we had planned for this month had to be postponed. However, this month has plenty of opportunity for things I’ve never done.

Lena’s mother had offered us to watch over Medley for the weekend, which meant that Lena and I had some time for ourselves. We didn’t have anything in particular planned, so we decided to spend the day hunting for Pokémon, as we usually do with our spare time.

We were considering going to Kijkduin, the Pokémon capital of the Netherlands, where legends foretold would reside numerous wonders like Blastoise and Lapras. However, we also feared that parking would be a problem, and we were unable to obtain cheap train tickets in time, so our plans were moved to Hoorn instead, which was suggested in some comment on some website somewhere.

As we were staying at Lena’s mother for the night (Friday-Saturday), this decision lead us to cross the Afsluitdijk, a 32 km connection between Friesland and North Holland, which forms a barrier between the North Sea and the man-made IJsselmeer.

It wasn’t quite what I had expected. I knew of the existence of this crossing, but in my mind it looked like the bicycle bridge from the Pokémon anime. Instead, it was actual land with a road on it, and even a few stops to the left and right. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the North Sea, but the IJsselmeer was quite a sight too. And though I expected this to be the case, the Afsluitdijk can also be crossed by bike: something I’ll definitely do!

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Sightings!

Ok, so onward to Hoorn. Our research found a place to park for free not too far off the center. However, our search in town was very disappointing. We managed to grab a few Pokéstops, but aside from the Ratata-Pidgey junk we find at home, nothing valuable showed up.

So, we made the best decision we could make that day: we decided to drive to Kijkduin and just gun it. After our second hour-and-a-half drive, we found that the parking problems were grossly exaggerated and we found a spot without effort.

As we walked towards the promised land, the first signs of success were already showing: Voltorb appeared in the sightings list, shortly followed by Electrode. And before we even made it to the Deltaplein, the hotspot of Pokémon Go the Netherlands, we encountered and caught both of them.

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Feast yer eyes on this!

The hotspot itself was beyond anything I could have imagined: a small center with five Pokéstops , with at least 15 more stops in the near vicinity, with at least 7 or 8 lures active at any given moment. There was not a single time that there weren’t any Pokémon to catch. The sightings list couldn’t even keep up with the amount of Pokémon. And the people! There must’ve been at least a hundred of them.

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I saw pictures of twice the amount of people from someone who went the day after.

The Pokémon that spawned here were also of the rarest kind. The regular Pidgeys and Ratatas have been replaced by hordes of Voltorbs, Magnemites and their evolutions. Every once in a while, a very good Pokémon would spawn. We managed to catch Jolteon, Omanyte, Kabuto, Hitmonlee, Muk (though it ran away for Lena), and even an Aerodactyl (we were leaving and decided to do one more round when it spawned).

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Mwahahaha. I have an Aerodactyl!

But there are more stories about the place, and I have found them to hold some level of truth as well. People living in the surrounding area complain about the noise coming from the gathering of trainers. Aside from the occasional children yelling, the people present were not that loud, but the sheer number of them caused a constant humming of conversations, which I can imagine is very audible for the nearby flats. It’s not something you can blame a specific person for, but the collective group still brings that about. I hope it won’t cause repercussions against the spot though, as we will certainly come back to this place!

P.S. I would have loved to write an I Never about watching the sun set behind the horizon, but a layer of clouds prevented us from seeing it. Another reason to come back and try again!

I have never mixed cider and rose wine

A few days ago, I realized that because we had been so busy with our new car and my birthday, I had not done an I Never yet. But we also started working with a tighter budget this month, which meant that I couldn’t do anything too expensive. That’s why this month’s I Never is sponsored by the people who left cider and rose wine in our fridge after my birthday party last weekend. I mixed them. It tasted horrible. The end.

That’s three kind of meek I Nevers in a row. Next month we have something better planned, so stick tight!

I have never had a horror movie night

Though Lena and I have a lot in common when it comes to what we like, there are also big differences. The biggest difference is probably that Lena loves watching horror movies, and I don’t care for them at all. So, in light of doing things I don’t usually do, we decided to watch the first three Saw movies in a row last Friday.

Before we started on it, I wasn’t very much looking forward to it. Friday a week ago, I called in sick for work. Over the weekend, I started feeling a lot better, but after working a full day on Monday, I felt horrible. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I called in sick again, instead staying at home with high fever and general miserableness. On Thursday, I wasn’t fully recovered, yet I got back to work. I did work from home to take care of Lena, who by now also was sick, and Medley (and also to prevent disease from spreading at the office).

After a week like that, I wasn’t really interested in spending all night watching movies I wasn’t at all in to. But, we did do it.

Warning: spoilers and poorly written reviews ahead.

The first movie was written pretty decently. Two men are locked in an old and dirty shower room with no clue as to why they are there and how to get out. With the help of clues around the room, they slowly puzzle themselves towards a hopeful release. While going through the game, a series of flashbacks shares what the prisoners know about their captor, a serial killer/kidnapper called Jigsaw, and why they specifically were selected. Meanwhile, an ex-cop obsessed with the case of this serial killer slowly zones in on the truth of the matter. The story converges to a chase scene where the ex-cop meets an unfortunate ending. However, the two captives do manage to overpower and kill their captor, only to find out that he was as much a victim as they were. The real Jigsaw, who had been pretending to be a victim who committed suicide before the start of the movie, stood up and left the two men for dead.

I enjoyed most of this movie. The setting of the imprisoned men was created very nicely, and the flashbacks were a good way of filling in the details from before this ordeal. However, the scenes with the ex-cop were somewhat frustrating to watch, as there were plenty of moments where I as a viewer was certain he could have easily taken control of the situation, but each time he just messed it up. Of course, the person he was chasing turned out not to be the actual serial killer, but still. Anyway, this movie has an amazingly executed ending, where pretty much everything we were lead to believe turned out to be completely different. I can’t say I saw any of that coming, so kudos for that. In the end, this movie was well worth my time.

The second installment was similar but different. The confinement of two men in a small room has been replaced with a group of 6-7 stuck in a mansion. The setup this time: the prisoners have about 2 hours until the toxic fumes in the house will kill them, but there are antidotes spread across the mansion which will allow them to walk away safely. This time however, the evil mastermind has practically invited the police over to watch his schemes unfold on a set of monitors, following the prisoners. The father of one of the captives, detective Matthews, eventually manages to “convince” the kidnapper to take him to the place. As with the first movie, nothing turns out to be what it seems, as it is shown that the monitors the police were following are actually recordings, meaning they never had any chance to prevent what they were watching from happening. Furthermore, one of the prisoners, Amanda, was actually conspiring with the serial killer. She overpowers detective Matthews as he searches the building for his son and leaves him there instead.

The first movie was brilliant in the simplicity of the setting: two men in only one room. This sequel expands on that, making it feel similar to the Cube movies, where a group of like-fated individuals navigate through a series of rooms and corridors. Unfortunately, I feel some elegance and uniqueness were lost in this change. Nevertheless, just as had happened in the first movie, this movie saves everything with some amazing twists right before the end. Though not as enjoyable as the first one, this movie was also well worth my time.

Then came the third movie, with again a different setup. It starts by cleaning up some of the loose ends from the last movie: detective Matthews freeing himself from his chains by pretty much fracturing his foot and a researcher who knows too much about Jigsaw ending up in his grip and not making it out. We are then brought to the main story of the movie, again consisting of the path of a prisoner through a series of challenges and his captors watching on monitors. The victim in this case is Jeff, who lost his son to a drunk driver and has his mind set to vengeance. His challenges bring him to meet a witness who did not testify, the judge in the case and the driver himself. Unlike the previous movies, Jeff is at little risk himself, but it’s up to him to forgive and save the other victims. He tried for all three, but only manages to save the judge, who he later accidentally kills by triggering a trap while it was aimed at him. Meanwhile, Jigsaw is dying of cancer. Amanda has kidnapped a surgeon Lynn, who she made to wear a necklace that will blow up the moment Jigsaw’s heart rate flatlines. Lynn manages to keep him alive, but Amanda chooses to shoot her anyway, leading to the plot twist of Jeff being the surgeon’s husband, and he in turn kills Amanda. Not knowing of the bomb necklace, he also kills Jigsaw, which in turn kills his already-dying wife. The movie ends with Jigsaw revealing he also captured their daughter, which should probably be a good setup to the next movie.

While the first two movies were pretty enjoyable, this one was often a pain to watch. Even the pretty decent plot twist did not manage to save the hour and a half leading up to it. The biggest problem I have with it is that it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do. It had to tie up some loose ends from movie 2, but doesn’t seem to build on that. There were a lot of flashbacks to things that lead up to the first two movies, but they did nothing to support the plot in the current one. And the plot of movie 3 had a far greater divide between what was going on inside the game and outside of it, making both stories feel really short. Not to mention Amanda, who was written to be some kind of attention-desperate wannabe Jigsaw, made each scene with her in it feel like a major drag. The first two movies were solid, this one felt like a scrapheap of stories.

In retrospect, though we had a good night, I don’t entirely feel like I did a horror movie night. The Saw movies in my opinion are more like thrillers with some pretty gory scenes, so I’m not sure whether this should activity qualifies as completed. However, it was a very enjoyable night, which is much better than I had expected at the start of it. I might continue the series, though I don’t have really high hopes after the last one. I might also one day do a proper horror night, but we’ll see when the time calls for it.

For now, I’m done writing this review. Good night!

I have never made lemonade with sparkly water

This is one of those I Never posts that’s partially about something I never did before, but mostly about all kinds of things that are going on.

You see, for this I Never I originally planned to write about visiting the Deventer op Stelten festival. Deventer op Stelten (Deventer on stilts), being one of the largest events in Deventer, is one of the things I should attend at least once in my life. So, Lena and I planned to go there on Saturday a week ago. Medley was staying at Carolyn’s, so we were free to do as we pleased.

But before going to the event, we decided to grab a movie. We noticed a lot of good movies about to be released, so we both got a Vue Movie Pass, which means unlimited movies (as long as we can find a baby-sitter) and a discount on movie snacks (so come with us to the movies)! Anyway, we went to The Legend of Tarzan. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a major mistake, as it was one of the most boring experiences of our lives. Wouldn’t recommend at all.

So we left during the break. However, this left us with the problem that it was way too early to go to Deventer op Stelten. And, only a few days earlier, we got hooked on a new game: Stardew Valley.

So we decided to switch up our plans and do what we wanted to do most: enjoy an evening of gaming without having to deal with a crying baby all the time.

Which brings me to this simple I Never. Not a big experiment, but something I did wonder about for a while: what does lemonade taste like if made with sparkly water. The answer: not too special, but a refreshing change nonetheless. I’ll definitely try this with different flavors as well.

Anyway, that’s it for this month. Nothing huge, but I can’t only do huge projects.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my farm is waiting.