Layman's Lens

Life is beautiful.

Archive for June 2008

The Ikea Cult

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Tonya and I went to Ikea yesterday to buy curtains. We noticed they have special parking for hybrid vehicles. Tonya thought it was unfair that other fuel efficient cars don’t get the same privilege. Dale thinks Ikea did this because they are a cult.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Creative street performer

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Boulder balancing…this guy was on the Bloor just west of Spadina by the Dominion.

It was after taking these pictures I learned that the Sony Alpha can’t handle high ISOs very well. The pictures are a little grainy…oops.




Just Balanced

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 28, 2008 at 11:00 am

Hot Dog in Cold Weather

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This picture was from this past winter just after a sizable snowfall. Taken on St. George Street just south of Harbord.

Sometimes you really need a hotdog

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 27, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Posted in car, cold, hotdog, snow, winter

Demolition at Toronto Rehab

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This was the state of the demolition at Toronto Rehab last week…


Written by Tilak Dutta

June 26, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Butcher in India

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This is the butcher in my dad’s home town in India. We were buying so much meat the slaughtered a fresh goat just for us. It’s a whole different experience buying meat when you see the animal killed right in front of you.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 25, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Posted in butcher, chop, Daltonganj, food, goat, meat

Time stands still

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The clocks in the train station in the Netherlands do something strange…they pause for a few seconds each minute.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 24, 2008 at 2:11 pm

left behind…

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The only negative thing about the Netherlands is their wretched customer service. Two
incidents hightlighted this for us. The first was our boat tour of the Kinderdijk windmills.

Here’s what it says on the company website:

“Kinderdijk, as one of the cultural items on the United Nations world monument list, is definitely worth the visit. Here you will disembark, and have the opportunity to explore this unique site for more than an hour.”

Our boat was scheduled to depart at 10:45am on May 24, 2008. We didn’t leave the dock until 11:10. Upon arrival at Kinderdijk at 12:20, I specifically asked one of the staff when we needed to get back. The answer I got was “one hour”. Others remember this clearly as well.

So we were surprised to see the boat pulling away from the dock when we got back at 1:15. I shouted to the boat, “You said we had an hour”.

Incidentally, I could have jumped onto the boat at this point they were so close to the dock…maybe 5 feet away… it would have been trivial for them to have turned back to let the group of us on.

Not only did the boat not turn back to pick up the 15 people stranded on the dock, but the reply I got back was: “I said be back at 1:10…GET A WATCH!”

Not only did they leave 15 of us behind, they didn’t deliver the service we paid for – an hour to visit the windmills – due to their delay at the start of the tour.

To date, Rebus (the boat company operating the Nehalennia) has refuses to refund our tickets.

The windmills are a must see if you are going to be in Rotterdam. However, my advice is do not take the Kinderdijk boat tour. You do not have enough time. The better solution is to take transit. You save time and money getting there and you have all the time you want to explore.

From Centraal Station, take the subway to Rotterdam Zuidplein and then Bus 90 directly to Kinderdijk. Trip duration is around 45 minutes.

Incidentally, I’m not the only one with this opinion. Here someone else who feels the 45min they got at the windmills was too short.

“We didn’t return to on the boat because it only stays at the dock for 45 minutes before returning to Rotterdam. Forty-five minutes to tour Kinderdijk is an insufficient amount of time to allow us to take the canal boat tour, and then walk around the area and see the Visitor’s windmill; so, we took Bus No.90, from the Village, back to Centraal Station in Rotterdam.”


Written by Tilak Dutta

June 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm

When you gotta go, you gotta go…

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From Netherlands a…

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 17, 2008 at 3:11 am

Magic Bathroom Stall Door

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Amsterdam: This is the coolest bathroom stall I’ve ever experienced. The door changes from transparent to translucent when the door is locked.

Here are the instructions on the door:

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm


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Meet Atin…my grand nephew…sort of…


Written by Tilak Dutta

June 15, 2008 at 4:04 am

Posted in Atin, Baby, look

Cheese Market in Alkmaar

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This picture was taken on our trip to the Netherlands. The cheese market was the only reason for us going to Alkmaar. It was worth it. All the cheese you can eat!
Alkmaar Cheese Market

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm

GPS Netherlands

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So I finally posted our gps route. The pictures don’t line up properly. Will have to remember to check the time setting on the camera more carefully next time. Still neat to look at though.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 13, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Cheese Please!

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This is the Alkmaar cheese market we visited while in the Netherlands. The whole things is just a big show for tourists. No cheese is actually being bought or sold. Good show though.

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 11, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Go ducky go!

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We found these swans in a pond in Amsterdam. I’m such a negative nelly.

Baby swans from Tilak Dutta on Vimeo.

Written by Tilak Dutta

June 11, 2008 at 8:21 pm