Month: September 2003

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So why did I continue cycling past the trees when I knew for a fact beforehand that one of them would fall over on me at the exact second that I passed it?

Strange when you think about it.

While I was certain that this was going to happen, at the same time my inherent sense of logical reasoning told me that this could not possibly happen, meaning that the chances were infinitesimally small. One chance in a million, a million million to be more exact.

I kept right on cycling anyway. Onward to destiny and further (at least that is what I had expected: further).

So when that tree which was already slightly bent over towards the path upon which I was cycling decided on its own to fall over completely, I was not quite expecting it. Well, I kind of was but in another way not really.

Creak, snap and crash. Splinters all over the place, and my poor skull bashed in and my brains smashed to smithereens. That is the sound of a falling tree, just before it hits home.

Too bad. I should have trusted my intuition better, but it is now too late.

Better luck in my next life, wouldn't you say?

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"For it is not death or hardship that is a fearful thing, but the fear of death and hardship."

- Epictetus.

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Here's a little something I created the other day just for fun. Maarten and I goofing around is all.

Passing the time together in a simple and fun way just making the best of good times while they last. Click around on the round colored buttons in order to operate the pseudo-advanced technical viewing console if you dare.

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Finally after all these years a new album...If I'd known then
If only I had known
What where or when
I would of kept you on the phone
Hindsight is tough
It's so obvious
Never enough for the two of us.

Pretenders
Loose Screw
I Should Of

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You might not realize it, but you should. Time is in the imagination but it is still passing us by at an amazingly fast rate. If you do not believe me, then have a look for yourself:

Just click on the object above to find out where you are at the exact moment of the here-and-now. Appreciate the peace and quiet for a moment before continuing on in life (by clicking it again). Hopefully you will learn to appreciate things better when you realize this.

By the way, I created this thing all by myself using the latest, fanciest, state-of-the-art version of SWiSHMax, like it?

If like me you also happen to be a proud owner of the most recent version of SWiSHMax, then you can download the SWiSH file and see for yourself how I created this near masterpiece.

Just for the fun of it, I decided to add a new SWiSH category for this blog where I can collect all my creations in one place.

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Sometimes it takes an unexpected flash of insight to realize that what you are doing might be wrong, but it takes tremendous courage to admit it and then do something about it.

Your turn.

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Right when I finally almost made it home in the car after a two hour drive back from Helmond, that is when I was struck by yet another amazing coincidence.

You see, the last turn-off is afrit 11. Can you believe that? In the Netherlands, all afritten are numbered which makes it much easier to give directions. Afrit means exit and afritten is the plural form.

Just go south on highway A12 and take afrit 11.

My favorite number is and always has been number 11, in case you were wondering. That was the day of the month I was born, the number on my baseball jersey, one half of the day Maarten was born, ad infinitum.

Funny how I have lived in Gouda now for more than ten years and only now do I realize that it is afrit 11.

Life is filled with these amazing coincidences, and by not paying attention we are missing out on daily miracles, amazing coincidences, and other near misses.

Pay better attention, will you?!

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The proper use of colors is an important if not vital aspect in bringing your web site to life in just the right way.

Natural Selections: Colors Found in Nature and Interface Design is an interesting article describing this.

Perhaps this could be a challenging area in which to develop my expertise.

Is the ability to use the right combination of colors a scientific activity, something inherent in human being, instinctive behavior, or (hopefully) for me, an art that one can learn through diligent study?

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The CD-box as I found it...On my way to the checkout counter at the local drugstore called Kruitvat I just happened to turn my head the right way at the right angle when I spotted it. All I wanted to buy was some shaving cream and deodorant, and then I caught it in the corner of my left eye.

The Shostakovich: Symphonies (Box Set), complete CD-collection of Shostakovich's symphonies 1-15 (WDR Sinfonieorchester, Rudolf Barshai) for only € 16!

So I bought the eleven CD-box and I was happy. In fact, I am listening to it now. I must admit that it is a rendition that I am not used to, less upbeat, slower and more extended, but it sounds really good.

Once in awhile you deserve a good deal in life, don't you think?

Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)
by far one of my most favorite composers of all-time.

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Today I had a really lousy Sunday if you don't mind me saying so (#@!%!!). Too bad if you do. These were the aggravating activities that kept me busy:

  • Vacuumed the whole house (60 mins).
  • Tried to transfer the vacation video from my camcorder to the VCR but failed miserably (140 mins).
  • Sawed, glued together and attached the white floor boards for the kitchen which I have been postponing now for about a year but they kept falling apart the whole time (110 mins).
  • Attempted to go running but had to stop after my left ribcage kept bothering me, I must have bruised it badly somehow and someplace (3 mins).
  • Had a really stupid argument with Thea about absolutely nothing (15 min).
  • Played tennis with the neighbors and won (60 mins).

Sorry if I am complaining too much, but I had to get it all out.

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Dad smiling...How could I have completely forgotten your birthday?! Sorry about that, but I still miss you as much as always. You would have been eighty-six years old.

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And then they were saying (nothing) at all. This was to be expected if you were thinking logically, but at the time I was not thinking very logically at all. So for me it was indeed quite a surprise. If you know what I mean.

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Here are the most recent top searches on the Cyber-Gish web site:

  • 3 switserland
  • 2 bag of bones
  • 2 etom
  • 2 mother treaser
  • 2 polls about nervousness
  • 2 timeline
  • 2 toilets
  • 1 beau
  • 1 beaucourt
  • 1 bugs
  • 1 comment leaders
  • 1 dhtml
  • 1 drinking cofee statistics
  • 1 grand mere
  • 1 gsus
  • 1 history of the origin the yellow rose of texas
  • 1 hp deskjet 720c software
  • 1 karssemeijer
  • 1 kathleen
  • 1 medieval total war

Special thanks goes to the fine folks at Atomz from whom I receive these search reports on a regular basis.

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"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."

- Albert Camus

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To think that there are so many people out there being creative without even realizing it is pretty amazing.

Especially when you compare this hidden wealth we can easily tap into with the tiny tip of the iceberg which is barely even visible.

Just go out and do it (even if it is barely visible).

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Alright here we go. The more exposure the better.

De volgende gegevens zijn toegevoegd op http://freelance-ict.pagina.nl:

| Rubriek: Zelfstandige ICT'ers
| Titel website: GishTeq
| URL/Webadres: http://www.gishteq.com

Dank voor je melding.
We stellen een link vanaf jullie site naar http://freelance-ict.pagina.nl zeer op prijs.

So tell me then, can you find it?

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Here's something I happened to read the other day in a Dutch periodical:

"De stijging van de werkloosheid houdt voorlopig nog niet op. Het Centraal Planbureau heeft beraamd dat in 2004 de werkloosheid op zal lopen naar zo'n 540 duizend mensen. Dit is een verdubbeling met het aantal van drie jaar geleden."

Translated into English the best I can:

"The increase in unemployment is still not abating. The Central Bureau of Statistics has estimated that in 2004 unemployment will increase up to around 540 thousand people. This is a doubling of the number three years ago."

Something to look forward to you could say. What now?

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You never would have known it had I not told you, right? Guess what then?

The new-and-improved version of SwishMax is finally out!

I just happened to discover this at random today, and I had to purchase and download it right away. Looks really cool.

I can recommend very highly to anyone who like me gets easily lost into these kind of technical gadget web design thingies.

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In order to become a true blue future famous e-business consultancy company, one of the main tasks is to acquire as much exposure as possible. This is not always as easy as one might expect, but it can be done nonetheless.

Just hang in there and keep on trying.

So you can imagine how pleased I am today when my company was put up on the Mondosoft Partner Page.

Have a look for yourself if you do not believe me.

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This was a short article I had written for the Contact Jong Bedrijven Rotterdam newsletter in which I reviewed the workshop "Klantegerichte Offertes Schrijven" which I attended on June 12th. In a somehwat comical and (hopefully) original way, I attempted to mix up English and Dutch idioms and expressions in order to make the article more appealing (and/or distracting). So as not to confuse the reader too much, I have "italicized" the Dutch words. Just place your mouse cursor over these words to see the translation into English. By "offer" I mean a said "quotation" for a given amount of work to be done.


--- KORT EN BONDIG IS NOT ENOUGH ---
As an American setting up his business in Holland, I was curious what the workshop "Offertes Schrijven" had to offer. You see, by nature Americans think they know it better, that they are the best at everything. I was pleasantly surprised during this gezellige avond to learn that the Dutch approach is net zo goed − if not better. Americans have a lot to learn. The Dutch weten precies what they are doing, and they do it pretty darn good: simpel, bondig en pakkend, met persoonlijke aandacht.

Take the wonderful "kunst der offertes" for instance...

Writing a half-decent offerte is veel moeilijker than you might expect. We aren't talking about your plain-vanilla offertes. You know, where a bunch of numbers and figures result in a totale prijs, alstublieft meneer klant de koning. We mean a pakkende, professionele offerte which completely bowls over the potential customer. One look at it and he chooses you right away, zonder twijfel. Een goede offerte is erg belangrijk, maar niet zo gemakkelijk te bedenken.

With much enthusiasm and spunk, Suzanne Meijles of ProTaal gave us an excellent avondcursus "Klantgerichte Offertes Schrijven" as part of the now famous CJB Rotterdam Workshop series. De opkomst was fantastisch! I counted more than 20 jonge ondernemers of various ages, backgrounds and areas of expertise. There was much to share. Met interactieve oefeningen, Suzanne helped us be brutal with heated kritiek, but she also guided us in a professional, stylish way to exchange courteous ideas and learn from each other. Dit is de ware kracht van de CJB Rotterdam Workshop series.

For some reason, one easily forgets how important a good offerte becomes. Often we hate doing it and put it off until the last possible minute. Zo veel tijd en energie has already been spent leading up to this important moment. So when you think about it logically, why not crown your efforts with a masterpiece of creativity, really make it happen, and with gusto?

That is exactly what we learned to do during the workshop. Je moet in de schoenen van de klant staan in order to understand him better. The price is not always the most important issue. Stijl, uiterlijk en presentatie can become the true success factors.

Here are just a few of the (honderden) hints and tips that we picked up:

The workshop was not about discovering the secrets to writing de perfecte offerte. In fact, there is NO such thing as de perfecte offerte, and there is no ONE way to create offertes. The most important message from the workshop, I think, is that writing offertes can be lots of fun if you do them right! By seeing it as a kreatief proces, like writing a book or an entertaining article, a way of expressing your business in a colorful and convincing way, you greatly increase your chances at catching de grote vis die de klant heet. Getting rich was never that easy, anyway.

At least now one American jonge ondernemer out there has learned a good lot during the gezellige avond from his Dutch compatriots. Bedankt, you guys.


I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I had fun writing it.

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Alright so this guy got up and came right over to where I was sitting, right where I am sitting now, this place here.

He looked like he was pretty spaced out, but the truth of the matter was that he was not.

At first he just kind of stared at me and said nothing, but then again I knew that he was thinking about one thing or another, like always.

That was when I recognized his cap, you know, the one that looked all the time like it was about to fall off but never did.

This guy raised his hand, he opened up his hand so that I could see his palm as clearly as could be, although it was kind of getting dark.

This is your future, he told me.

--- My future? ---

Yes, this is your future. Whether you believe it or not.

He moved his hand just a little bit closer, but not quite close enough that I could examine the palm very well.

--- Cough, sigh and whatever. ---

He paused and then went on. If you are not careful, he continued, this is what can happen to it. Your future.

The guy with the cap that looked like it was glued to his forehead closed his hand into a tight fist.

--- My future? ---

Too bad he died the other day.

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There's this guy out there and he wants to know everything. And I mean everything. Nothing more and nothing less. That is what he keeps telling me, what he has been telling me since I can remember. Way back then.

At first glance, this guy does not appear any bit out of the ordinary, except perhaps for the very slight limp he has on his left side. Or is it the right leg?

Well, there is also his long and untrimmed gray beard which is indeed out of the ordinary, so I am exaggerating a little if I fail to mention that also. Sorry about that. And that cap he is wearing which looks like it is about to fall off but never does. For some reason. Like it is glued to his forehead.

So this guy has to know everything. Everything, everything, everything. The only problem, and this is a very big problem depending on the way you view it, the annoying problem is that the process extends and then prevents.

Extends and prevents.

The process of knowing everything, the very process itself, extends the realm of information he needs in which to contain it all and thereby prevents the process of knowing from knowing everything. Get it? This is because the knowing part is not instantaneous, it takes time. With time flows more information which means that in the end it is impossible to know everything.

Like a balloon filling up with water but never bursting. Like the sky becoming bluer but never attaining the real blue of the sky as you would expect. Like that hissing sound over there which is a bunch of air escaping through a very small opening which does not.

Does not what? Just does not.

At least that is what I thought when this guy was trying to explain it all to me. How could I have been so very naive? He was right, and I should not have been so stubborn. Just ignoring him all of the time. Like that cap of his that would fall off any moment but never did.

So you see, the way it all really happens is a little different from what you would normally expect.

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Here's a short video clip of Lennart playing baseball for the Braves. He gets a hit and easily makes it to first base for a respectable single.


Just click on the play-button, please.

 

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Gotta go running, gotta go running, running, running. So what if it is raining a little bit? Now a little more and then later a little less. Sooner or later that is. A little bit more and a little bit less. Or not even. Moisture is good for the skin, and the smell of all that wetness inspires the mind, splatters droplets upon the way of thinking, and they even say that sometimes enough of that miraculous substance on your forehead can also stimulate hair growth. Do I really care? Now is the time to go for it, now or never. See you in a bit, a bit. As if I really need it.

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So they say that the weekend is a time for fun and relaxation. Even if the future remains uncertain and there are many unseen potholes in the road ahead, I must pull over once in awhile and think things out. In the end this means NOT thinking at all, if you know what I mean, just sitting around at the side of the road doing nothing particular.

I hope you do not mind.

The ultimate form of fun and relaxation means completely forsaking all resemblances of mental hocus-pocus for the sake of something which is ultimately better.

Or so they say.

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The room was jam-packed like an ocean of bobbing and staring heads, and there must have been around two hundred people present in that cramped and sweaty place. The spotlights were glaring down on me, and the television camera was recording every moment, every movement of my body, every facial expression I made, the sounds and facts of life. This was not my favorite activity, but since I had been invited nicely for the interview, I could not decline. He told me it would be a tremendous opportunity, opening all kinds of doors, a glimpse into the future.

I came anyway.

Every few months, the Chamber of Commerce in Rotterdam organizes an information workshop for all those kind folks out there who have been wondering and thinking about starting their own businesses. Should I do it or not? What are the risks? How much will it cost? Is it worth it? These evenings of discussion are meant to be informative gatherings during which the basic ins-and-outs of entrepreneurship are revealed right in front of your eyes and explained in outlined format. The truth of the matter is slowly exposed, and you the innocent bystander are shown what such a career change actually entails.

The good and the bad and all the stuff inbetween. Are you still sure?

So anyway, along with the three other young and dynamic future-famous starters, those fine young men and myself, I was invited to attend the part where they interviewed recent starters -- just like myself. So that the public could see and hear first-hand what it all really involves. Look at those guys sitting up there. Maybe some day if I work really hard I can be just like them.

Not that I am what you would call the perfect example of a successful starter. Indeed not, for honestly with such a stagnation of potential customers lately and worrying dearly each and every day about having to quit my life-long endeavor two months from now, there I was sitting at the table up on the podium with a microphone in my hand. Strange how I thought I would be so very nervous. I wasn't and I was not not shaking in my boots at all. Perfectly still and perfectly calm, words of wisdom flowing freely from my mouth. Flowing into the air above the bobbing heads and away into outer space.

I wanted to be honest, not sound overly positive but also not come across as a negative worried person. Afterall, a "true" business person is undaunted by the frustrations of life and knows for sure that one day or other he will overcome each and every obstacle in his never-ending pursuit of success and happiness (and lots of money).

The interview lasted more than thirty-minutes. While I was kind of nervous in the beginning, towards the last couple of questions he posed to me, I was lubricated and extremely talkative. On the edge of tangents, I stretched my long and winding sentences. I felt like I was not really there. It was an almost out of the body experience where my mind and mouth were disjointed in time, sliced at all angle just like in some Cubist painting. I even tried to pull off a couple of witty jokes -- now who was I kidding?

All in all, I felt relieved when it was over with. I had done my duty, explained who I was and what it was like to start an own business. It was now time to take the tour of the mosque in the deep bowels of which this meeting had taken place. That spiritual wandering tour which I had used as an attractive reward for myself if I had made it through the grueling interview unscathed. And I had survived.

I walked past the droves of people pushing and shoving for information brochures and headed out the back door. At the end of the long hall was the place I had to take off my shoes.

Allah was waiting for me.

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Mevlana Mosque Rotterdam where I was that day...The old guy in front of the mosque could not speak English very well, but he was doing his best nonetheless. He had something very important to tell me and wasn't about to let a trivial language barrier stand in the way.

"Allah is everywhere..." he was telling me. He motioned with his hands scanning the sky and the ground and everything else inbetween.

"...and we are nothing, nothing at all" he continued.

I guess that my surprised look of slight confusion (or that hint of hesitation) triggered him to start in the first place. He began pointing at his forehead.

"This is who we truly are, just this you know. The spirit inside of us, right here, and nothing else..."

Jabbing at his skin, as if in disgust, pinching and pulling at it like it was a piece of plastic or a blob of the most worthless substance imaginable, he continued, "...and this is nothing, nothing! When we die this nothingness disappears and then we continue, that is our spirit joins Allah again."

Nothing out of the ordinary, the soul joining the source all over again, not what you could call a revolutionary idea. But this person, this old guy scratching his grey beard, he thought it was the most important thing there ever was that would ever be. He was not going to let this bare-footed ignorant Westerner leave the mosque before converting him.

I just kept nodding my head agreeing totally with him. But there must have been this subtle look or something that gave him the idea that I was a non-believer. He had to convert me. I felt uncomfortable and impatient, what with all his enthusiasm, and I did not feel like being converted that day. Time to go, get out of there.

You see, I had already been converted ages ago. Maybe I was a Christian, maybe I was a Muslim, and maybe I would follow the footsteps of good old Buddha himself. I used to think I was Siddhartha reincarnated. I and my soul and my spirit and my body and all else was converted. Converted way back before I could even remember, the day I was born, or even before that. That was why I chose my parents in the first place.

When I put my shoes back on, I had to stop looking at him in order to look downward. That was good. That was when he stopped speaking. He scratched his beard and reminded me a little of that famous cleric person who had just been assassinated in Iraq. What was his name? Blown to bits along with a hundred other so-called believers. Is that a suspicious looking truck I see over there slowly approaching the front entrance?

Just thinking about that this and the other things made me feel pretty uncomfortable. I knew for sure it was time to go. See you later. Allah is great.

I was already a believer, and there was no reason to become converted again. Not again, not now.

Maybe another day, just for fun. Just for the heck of it.

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Here's some more javascript stuff which you too can use in order to achieve yet another truly amazing affect. Boggle the minds of your readers and make new friends. Just click on the following button to find out for yourself:

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Here is the famous quote that my French grand-mère used to make quite often, so often in fact that it has been carried on down to me via my French mother.

"Moins on en dit, mieux ça vaut." -- Grand-mère Beaucourt.

<strong>Moins en dit.</strong>

Is there anyone out there who can translate it for us?

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Today is the first day of September, which means that it was exactly one year ago today that I became unemployed. Bummer.

Back then I could have never imagined how quickly three hundred and sixty-five days could have passed me by. Even more difficult to comprehend would have been the fact that even after a whole year I have been unable to find work somewhere else. How is that possible?!

Could be my age, my experience, my outlook and/or a combination of these undesirable attributes.

Life is full of such historical moments, and it is important that we do not lose sight of them.

What next? It is high time to break out of this boring cycle, don't you think?

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2291 entries and as many as 1876 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.