Month: December 2004

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Okay it's the last day of the year and there is a mad rush to get everything done in time before it is too late.

The ironic thing is that it can never be too late, because next year and then the next year and so on means that there will always be enough buffer pushed forward to make up for and absorb any extra lost time.

If only other matters did not also happen to arise when least expected.

In other words, enjoy the year while it lasts and have a fun and relaxing new year.

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How could such a terrible tragedy ever happen if there really is a kind God out there who is supposed to be taking care of us?

Thousands of poor souls who were born into this unforgiving world to struggle to survive only to be taken away just like that.

That sure doesn't make much sense to me.

(It is now feared that more Americans died in the tsunami than in the 9/11 attacks)

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When I opened the garage door, I heard a snake to the left hissing at me and instinct insisted that I jump about a meter to the right without thinking one millisecond.

As it turns out, it was merely my coat sleeve rubbing the side of the brick wall as I raised my arm to lift up the latch.

Good morning, time to wake up (quickly).

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Hey wait a minute. I shouldn't be sitting here behind the computer now.

Time to go downstairs again and be social. There's nothing better then fostering the holiday spirit. Besides, there are too many tasty treats down there just waiting for me to enjoy, not to mention those family members who deserve my attention and caring.

Whatever, I send a very merry Christmas greetings to all those who just might be reading this today.

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Having to work the day before Christmas is perhaps not the most productive way to get things done.

Still, it is a fun and relaxing anyway in a spiritual kind of productiveness.

Hope you get lots and lots of presents this year.

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Today marks the so-called shortest day of the year. We finally made it.

This afternoon at a quarter to four it was already dark enough that the streetlights went on.

Now it's downhill from here on. Too bad it first has to get colder before it starts to get warmer.

God does this on purpose in order that we mere mortals may appreciate better the coming of Spring, on a higher and much more enhanced level of awareness.

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There's no quicker way to wake up in the early morning than the ten minutes to cycle through the freezing cold dark bike path to the train station.

At the same time I cannot wait until it gets warmer in the Spring although that is now too many months away.

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If you have never seen a perfectly symmetrical cone of a Christmas tree, then perhaps you should drop by our house.

At first glance you would think it is a real tree, but I am telling you now that it is artificial.

Just measure the angle that the sloping side of the tree makes between the floor and the peak, and then compare this value to the angle on the other side.

They are exactly the same value.

In order to cover up this deception, we attempted to distribute the ornaments in a completely random way. This turned out so perfectly random that the casual observer might think that each and every item was placed at exactly the right position and orientation in relation to the other glittering objects.

The holiday season has become overly predictable in more ways than one. Human nature makes it that way but at the same time tries not to impose too much order.

From order comes chaos, and even the most random chaos portrays a predictable pattern in one way or other.

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Since Tante Rina was visiting today, I decided to leave work early so that I would be home in time to have dinner with her and my family.

The word 'Tante' is Dutch for 'Aunt', though this woman isn't really an official aunt of Thea in terms of being a blood relative.

She has always been a close friend of Thea's mother, which is good enough according to good old Dutch tradition to qualify one for aunthood.

You'd be amazed how people there are here who are called aunts and uncles but aren't really that.

Anyway, we had a good bite of dinner, stuffed ourselves with fine dessert that Thea had especially bought for the occasion, and then retired to the sitting room for a good old cup of coffee.

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There are a number of issues which still need to be handled properly before we can continue in good form. Or not?

Take for instance the third item on that list over there. At first glance, it may not appear to be a very important item, but as it turns out it is far from a trivial matter. In fact, whether or not we ignore it, it still has profound and tremendous impact on the longterm results. Or so we can only assume and hope and hope not.

Like that exotic butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon jungle, eventually causing giant tidal waves which flood the coasts of unknowing countries on the other side of the world.

We can ignore it and toss the dice hoping that all will go well. Indeed the chances are there, and they look good and they tell us that we may very well succeed. Even if we don't deserve it.

But are the risks really worth it? You will never know for sure. We are not in here for playing the grand old what-ifs game. We must go on.

That's it for now, so watch out but continue anyway.

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Alright then, after spending most of the day and evening staring at the monitor and pounding on the keyboard, I finally got my wireless card configured correctly.

ifconfig wi0 ssid gish wepmode on wepkey etc.

Now that I have the usual connection to the Internet again, I could finish off getting the Gnome Desktop working on my FreeBSD machine.

So far so good...

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Not until I was sitting in the tram did I sense that something was missing. Then I realized that I had left my laptop in the train.

I jumped out of the front exit of the tram like I was parachuting into morning nothingness, and I made a mad sprint for the front entrance of the train station. A man yelled at me twice and pointed to the ground where my nice winter scarf had fallen. In panic I retraced my steps and then kept on going again.

Would I be in time?

I ran as fast as I could back along the endless hallways of Centraal Station, dashed up the stairs and down the platform.

Boy was I sure relieved when I found it resting above my seat in the baggage rack where I had carefully placed it. At the time I had kept telling myself: don't forget it, don't forget.

Near disasters keep us alert, and as long as things turn out alright life will continue as if nothing had ever happened in the first place.

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The crescent of the moon hung directly in my path barely above the ground, or so it seemed.

What were the odds of this happening?

Clear morning sky, the direction of the bicycle path, the orientation of the earth and the moon and the sun, happening to look up and think about it, in awe and at the same time just moving along, and so forth.

Once in a lifetime, nothing less.

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Now that Marlies has finally had her braces removed after two years and two month, I have to say that I am very impressed how fantastic it has turned out.

As her father, I would not dare to embarrass her by staring directly at her face. However, while casting a quick glance from the corner of my eye, I see a young girl slowly but surely turning into a beautiful woman.

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Everyone is coughing, wheezing, hack and clearing their throats all around me.

Aren't you exaggerating a bit too much madam next to me?

One guy even sneezed three times in a row, not caring at all where he was casting the millions of microbes into the air.

Excuse me sir, but would you mind casting your microbes somewhere else?

At least I was not sick and hacking like all of the rest, nor was I planning on getting that way in the near future.

No thanks.

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Who could have guessed that it was not the middle of the night but rather seven in the morning? The day had already begun and I was moving through it even if I was only half awake.

The spokes of the front wheel sparkled as if showing off some kind of fireworks display for an unseen microcosm down there.

Actually, it was the light of the moon (and a little bit of the stars and perhaps even a lone planet) being reflected as the wheel rotated and I rolled along.

Such a clear night sky, I mean early morning.

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Alright so have a good look through these drugstore binoculars and tell me what you see.

Surprised, aren't you?

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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.