Ready, Steady, Grow

It’s been a while but we made it back home to Amsterdam from our trip to Mexico. Five months of warm weather, nice hot food, lots of (new) family and traveling a bit. Most amazing of the country is the total differences between the places. From hot and humid, to desert and mountains, the country is rather big and highly diverse. And the people mostly nice and welcoming.

Back home things have been going steady and mostly gentle. The boy is growing fast, and is a happy biker with his little push-bike. Every day we are out to explore the neighborhood. He goes to a daycare two mornings a week so we can have some time for ourselves too. As a close family, you quickly forget that we also have lives on our own.

As such, I have been picking up on my online work a lot lately, which is bringing us a decent income now. Also in that sense I am very happy that we have been able to make the much needed transition from Casa-life to Family-life. From a freestyle, mostly donation based way of life, towards more structure and paying the bills ourselves. In other words: growing further, moving on. Transitioning all the way and happy as a family man.

Breastfeeding in public

A child on the breast is one of the most intimate and loving acts out there. It’s life itself passed on from one person to another, from mother to child. It’s a beautiful process to witness how energy and security is shared. We see how much a baby needs this, not just for nutritional need but also for the baby’s emotional development.

As a third-person you may think there isn’t much to do for you. Though, nothing less is true. Mothers who breastfeed need to feel supported. And that’s just as important as the act of breastfeeding itself. Without support a mother wouldn’t be able to do it.

Support includes, among other things, the security of housing and food, as well as warmth, time for breastfeeding and love. But it also includes full support for public breastfeeding. There is quite some men that do not support public breastfeeding. As a result (among other reasons) many women fear to feed their babies in public. They use a blanket to cover it up or stay home. Since many babies don’t like to be covered when older, many mothers stop breastfeeding much sooner than desired.

Therefore shame on us men! I know it’s hard to disassociate breasts from sex. We rather not see a woman’s breast out in the open feeding a baby; it makes many of us feel embarrassed. This is a real threat. Because of many men who are unable to support public breastfeeding, babies get less of it. And because we see less of it, we are less able to deal with it in a natural way. And that’s something that really could use more attention.

Hello Debian

I bought myself a new laptop, a Lenovo Edge E130. I have tried to work with one of my four old ones, but I had to give up on them one by one. It was no use trying to revive them anymore and I decided it was time to finally buy something new for myself. It was the first time since 2010.

But I didn’t want to buy a laptop and spend needless money. And with that I mean for example paying extra for a brand or for an operating system that I do not use. After searching for a while I found out you can buy laptops for pretty cheap in Germany. These laptops come without the Windows operating system. Hence you save around 80 euro, and even more compared to what I pay for the same laptop in my own country.

Next was deciding which operating system to install on it. I have been a GNU/Linux-user since 2003 and I have been attached to Arch Linux since 2008 or so. But I had grown tired of Arch as a rolling-release and having to update my system at least every week or else at some point you will have to fix stuff, while at the same time you are just to do something important with the computer. That sucks. I mean, why is it that the word deprecated is almost like the most used on the Archlinux website?

So I went for good old Debian. And it rocks! The installation went as a fly, I just needed to plug in an ethernet-cable to download the firmware for my wireless driver and after that it was all set.  Since that time I only have very few updates and my system has never failed on me. The only downside of running Debian is that you don’t always have the lastest software but this doesn’t kill me. The only software I really like to run the latest version is Firefox, and that’s easily to be solved through backports. So that’s it: from now on I will stick to Debian and will recommend it above anything else.

Life without Money

Living without money is a fun thing to do. It challenges you to live beyond the limits the current society imposes and it makes the best of you come out. How will you still eat, where will you sleep, how do you move around?

For a while now I am running a website in Dutch that covers these topics, and I provide examples of people living this way. The website is becoming a nice success, with around 5000 visitors a month.

For Kasper this was a clear sign he wanted to bring the website over the language border and make an English version of it. And so here it is: It is still fresh, and it isn’t as well covered as the Dutch version, but with every new article it will become a better guide on how to live a free live without money.

Flickr, seo and backlinks

There used to be a time I wasn’t aware of how valuable a link can be. Now I am. Since I got my head into SEO and started making money of my websites through advertisements, I recognize how much value a link is: it could mean a big difference in terms of income.

But not all links are equal. Some are really valuable while others are of less value. My links from my Flickr profile for example are of no value. Flickr censors the hyper links with a “no-follow” attribution. This means that search engines pay much less attention to those links. The pain for me is though that my photos are used quite a lot over the Internet, and hence I receive a lot of links to my profile. While those links technically belong to me, Flickr doesn’t share the value of those links with me.

So I have been thinking how I can still make use of all the value that sharing my photos on the Internet brings. And there is a way. I hunt down websites that use any of my photos and ask them kindly to change the back-link from Flickr to the photo-galleries on this website for example. Or if there are photos on it about Istanbul, to my Istanbul website. Like this I will build up a better ranking for those websites directly and sharing free content pays off directly.