I’m Back!!! + Rando-List nano

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve done it!  I’ve managed to procrastinate blogging to the point that I don’t even remember what I last wrote about.  I had to read my own blog posting just to refresh my memory.  Pathetic, I know…

But today is a new day, and as my wife keeps kindly reminding me, I need to get back to blogging.  So here I am.  Let’s give this another shot!

At this point, I have no shortage of material to cover.  My last post was regarding our not-so-recent trip to Prague, almost three months ago.  Since then, we’ve been keeping up the travels in a big way.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be covering our recent trips to London, Paris, Venice, and the Greek Isles.

In regard to our lives here in Amsterdam, it appears that I haven’t had much to say since my last Rand0 List post back in FEBRUARY!!!  While the insanity of Amsterdam has in no way ceased, I have grown more accustomed to this fine city’s peculiar ways.  Because of this, I’ve not been doing such a great job at documenting the crazy things that go on here.  I suppose I’ll promise to do better with my daily documentation if at least one of you will promise to read about it…  Seems fair to me.

Ok, on the meat and potatoes, as one might say.  Let’s ease back into things with a little Rando-List, nano edition!

Rando Nano Header

1.  The weather here in the Lowlands has been pretty horrible for the majority of the now eight months that have passed since we moved to Amsterdam.  Cold, wet, and windy is the name of the game when it comes to Amsterdam weather.  That being said, the locals have informed me that this is a particularly terrible spring, even for The Netherlands.  Typically the weather in May is at least a bit warmer than usual, with the sun peaking through the clouds on most days.  This year, we have seen this:

Ahh.. Spring time in Amsterdam!  cold... wet... cloudy...

Ahh.. Spring time in Amsterdam! cold… wet… cloudy…

Now, being the “silver lining” type, I do have one positive note to mention.  As you may remember, the winters in Holland are not just cold and wet, but also extremely dark.  During the winter months, the sun barely manages to make an appearance before 9AM and is almost certainly gone by 4:30PM or so.  Terrible, I know.

Now that spring is here, we are experiencing a pretty fantastic reversal of this situation.  I can gladly report that I have no earthly idea as to when the sun show’s up in the morning.  For the last few weeks, I wake up, and the sun is always up.  It’s great!  At night, I can honestly say that we are already experiencing 10PM sunsets.  Just last night, I stepped outside to snap this photo of what a 10PM dusk looks like.

Note the time on the clock tower:  10:00 PM on the nose

Note the time on the clock tower: 10:00 PM on the nose

2.  I have been intending on writing a little post about the “Green” initiatives that are so prevalent in Dutch society.  I have clearly not done this yet, but I’m going to.  I promise!

In the meantime, here’s a nice little scene I captured as I was heading out to run some errands.  To me, this is a very “Dutch” scene.  It’s also a pretty damned cool one too, if one was to ask me!

Canal, Boats, Tesla Roadster getting a quick recharge at the local electric car charging station...  Gezellig!

Canal, Boats, Bikes, Bridges, and a Tesla Roadster getting a quick recharge at the local electric car charging station… Gezellig!

Well, friends, I think I should stop there, lest this become a full fleged Rando-List…  I just wanted to let you guys know that:

a) The Mogridges are still alive and well.


b) I still possess the power of protracted pontification.

I feel my job is done here.  I’ll be back… soon-ish


Rando-List 3.0: Mogridge’s Revenge

Fear not, my friends!  You have not been abandoned!  I am just lazy!  Things have been a little crazy recently here in Amsterdam, so I’ve been a tad negligent in my blogging duties.

Fear not, my friends, for I have returned!!!

So, without further ado, I present to you:  RANDO-LIST 3.0!!!

1.  First, let me start with a few things that my Facebook friends have already seen.  Check the image captions for more info and as always, click the image for a larger view.
2.  Our shower had a small leaking issue a few weeks ago.  Water was dripping through the walls and coming out of the lighting fixture above our dining room table.  Not fun!  Turns out that it was my fault for not cleaning a small filter that I was never told to clean (or that it even existed, for that matter).
Drip, drip, drip...

Drip, drip, drip…

3.  I was visiting with some friends here in Amsterdam when I suddenly found it necessary to use the restroom facilities.  I was not prepared for the utter awesomeness that I encountered in what can only be described as “The World’s Greatest Home Restroom”.

A quick look to the left and all seems normal.

A quick look to the left and all seems normal.

A quick look to the right and one quickly realizes that this is no ordinary home restroom.  Am I in Narnia?  What world is this?

A quick look to the right and one quickly realizes that this is no ordinary home restroom. Am I in Narnia?!? What world is this?!!?

Indeed!  Your eyes have not deceived you! A home restroom…  WITH A URINAL!
Not only convenient for the man, but a real marriage saver too!  Never again argue about keeping the restroom seat up or down!  Wondrous!

4.  I ran across another film premier at the Pathé Tuschinski.  This time it was for a Dutch film called Verliefd op Ibiza, a sequel to the 2001 film Costa!.  While I don’t know much about either film, I do know that they both share the common trait of never having been heard of outside of the Netherlands.

This premier was nowhere near the size of the Skyfall premier event we saw a few months ago.  There were perhaps 20 or so people taking pictures and that was about it.  It probably didn’t help that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced her abdication of the throne about 5 minutes after I took this photo.


Lame… I know.

5.  I found a new place to get a haircut!  At first, I was encouraged by the old school atmosphere, but I quickly learned that the hunt for my perfect Amsterdam haircut must continue:

6.  Our cat is transforming into some form of cave troll…  with laser vision.


7.  I found this odd vehicle parked outside of my apartment a day or two ago.  I’m not 100% positive about this, but I think it has something to do with nuts, sacks, and Gotye.  Then again, I did zero research to find out if I’m wrong.


De Nootzaak Gotjé delivery “truck”

8.  Finally a note about why I’ve been neglecting this little corner of the web:  I’m currently doing some photography and design work for a local eatery.  Here’s a taste of some of the things I’m doing for them:

Buisiness Card Front 1

Additionally, I’ll be updating my photography website in a few weeks with some of the photography work that I’m currently working on.

Look for more updates on this endeavor in the following weeks.  Keep your peepers peeled for the  de-de-details!

Alright!  That should do it for now.

Coming later this week/weekend:  Antwerp Beer Trip!

Rando-List II – The Return of Rando

It’s that time again!  No, I’m not talking about the desperate post-holiday race towards spring that we call January and February. I’m talking about RANDO-BLOG!  Now that the holidays are over, I have a few things rattling around the noggin that need to be set free before I finish my Munich series.

Things may slow down a bit in Amsterdam during the feestdagen, but the unremitting insanity of daily life in Amsterdam is not one of those things.  You all know how this works, so lets get started:

1.  On Christmas Eve, the wife and I decided to take a night time canal cruise to check out the sites and lights of Amsterdam during the Holidays.  This is what we returned home to:

Rando 1

Apparently, while we were out, a nice little wind storm picked up and blew over the Rembrandtplein Christmas tree, taking a few of it’s neighbors with it.  Here’s a quick “before” shot to refresh your memory:

photo 2-1

Such a shame; and on Christmas Eve no less.  Oh well, I’m sure those city employees didn’t want to be at home with their families anyway…

2.  I stepped outside my apartment yesterday morning and I saw a gentleman coming down the street wearing one of those big Russian fur hats.  You know the one:

It was JUST like this one, maybe slightly smaller...

It was JUST like this one… maybe slightly smaller.

Anyway, as this finely hatted gentleman got closer, something seemed amiss and I thought to myself, ” No…  It couldn’t be!  No.  Nooooo way!!!  Oh dear lord… He’s not wearing a hat!  That is his hair!  THAT IS HIS HAIR!!!!”  True story.  Same color as the pic above too!  I was in too much shock to snap a pic, but believe me when I say that it was amazing.

3.  Things are small in Europe.  I know that’s common knowledge, but every once in a while it gets shoved in your face.  I found this on the sidewalk one evening as I stepped out to dinner.

If you just give it a glance, it looks like I squished the picture.  Nope. Didn't.

Looks kinda squished, doesn’t it?

4.  Our local AKO magazine and book shop started the year off with a bang.  December 31: Open for business.  January 1: Closed FOREVER!  I can’t say I went there very often.  I got some envelopes there once.  Sign of the times, man.  Sign of the times.

Rando 4

NEWS FLASH!!! Another bookstore went out of business. Details at “no-one-seems-to-care” o’clock.

5.  Mail can take forever to get to the Netherlands from the US.  It’s not unusual for a package to take 2 or 3 weeks to make the big trip across the ocean.  Today, I learned that there are exceptions to this rule.  The wife and I got a wonderful Happy New Year card from one of our friends in the States.  Two interesting things here:

  1. It was postmarked on Dec 28, so it got here, with normal postage mind you, in 6 days.
  2. It was completely open when it got here.  No, not the “those bastards tampered with my mail” kind of open, but the “I think they forgot to seal this one” type of open.  I inspected the sticky part of the envelope, and it didn’t look like it had ever been licked or stuck.  I took a pic, so you tell me.
Rando 5

Why yes, I did just post a photo of a blank envelope.

Anyway, I’m now convinced that this piece of mail made it securely across the ocean from the US to Amsterdam in 6 days while being completely open.  SUPER MAIL!!!

Well, that’ll do it.  Always save the best for last, eh?  I really went out with a bang there, didn’t I?  Oh well, they can’t all be winners.   To make up for it, I offer, for your enjoyment, a video of a drunk guy singing Seal’s Grammy Award winning 1995 hit “Kiss from a Rose” to a cat.  You’re welcome.

Rando-List Episode 1

Sometimes I just have a bit of a random day here in Amsterdam.  Nothing particularly interesting happens, by Amsterdam standards, but just random odd experiences.  Not really enough for their own blog post, but too much for a simple Facebook update.  Because of this, I decided to start a new series of posts here at The Traveling Mogridges about random crap that I find slightly amusing about life in Amsterdam or wherever I happen to be.  I’ll keep a running tally of the random stuff and we’ll see where we are in a year.

1.  This is what 1:30 PM looked like today.

photo 2

Cold, rainy, and dark.  The wife says I complain too much about it.  She’s probably right.

2.  I decided to have fish for lunch today.  Paid a visit to the local fish stand for a nice Broodje Haring.  Its a small airy yeast roll, split open and filled with pickled raw herring, chopped onions, and sliced pickles.  Sounds gross.  Tastes great!  I guess it helps if you REALLY like fish.

photo 1

Pick your fishie!

They have other delicious options too!

They have other delicious options too!

Lunch is served.

Lunch is served.

3.  I finally made it back to the Tuschinski theater for another movie.  We went to an 11 AM showing of The Hobbit, so we had great seats this time.  I snapped a quick pano of the auditorium.  It really is a pretty amazing place to watch a film.

photo 1-1

4.  It’s Christmas time in Amsterdam, so lights are everywhere.  The city even gave us a nice tree right here in Rembrandtplein.  It compliments the mini-tree in our apartment quite well.

photo 2-1