Month: February 2009

There's been a terrible crash today at the Schiphol Airport with a bunch of people killed and even more badly injured.

When I saw the pictures on television, including the closeups of the dead bodies lying next to the fuselage covered in white blankets, it made my stomach sink and I had this sick feeling most of the day.


How often have I sat in airplanes descending lower and lower along the very same path without thinking one second about it that something might happen?!

The pilots were killed on impact and so gave their lives to save as many passengers as possible by avoiding a neighborhood and finding a soft field to land in.

The idiot Turkish minister of information first said that no one survived and half an hour later said that everyone survived, and the truth is that at least nine people were killed. What a nightmare for the family and friends.

I feel relieved for the survivors and my heart goes out to the families of those who were less fortunate.

Getting laid off is never easy, look at me, it's the third time in my long and unpredictable career. This time however it's seems much worse than the other times, and I'm bracing myself for a long haul. No matter what happens, I'm confident that things will eventually pick up at some point in the future. It always has. So I just need to hang in there until that happens, busying myself in a productive and useful way.

So let's take something negative and transform it into something positive, alright? Just like a snake that must shed it's skin every once in awhile in order to grow, this is an opportunity to shed the past, move forward and re-energize myself with something new. Look at all those computer books I've collected and never had time to learn. Pick a subject, any subject and dive in. Play around with the new technology, explore the many possibilities and become an expert.

I've decided to hone my Java skills and become a J2EE expert, and on the side maybe even learn some Python. It will take some time, but if there's one thing I have alot of lately, then that's time. Get involved in an open source project, attend various seminars and congresses, and even volunteer to help out at some stands passing out folders and talking to people.

Then when the future comes I will be better prepared. Who knows, maybe by doing all this learning stuff I will somehow influence the future, subconsciously attracting the perfect job with the perfect kind of work. Hey, I can't wait.

Getting laid off is never easy, but let's make the best of it. It might even end up being kind of fun.
Interviewers decide to accept or reject a candidate within the first 3 or 4 minutes of the interview. The remainder of the interview time is spent seeking evidence to confirm their first impression.

With that in mind I am going to be a little more careful but still act like who I am.
I thought it'd be a great idea: I would not shave my beard until I got a new job. So far I've been growing a nice grubby beard now for almost a week,

Unfortunately, I forgot that I have to attend interviews and look respectable and professional. Since tomorrow is my next (fourth) interview, that means off with the beard.

Oh well.
Here is my personal review of "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer, which I just finished today.

This is not the easiest book to read. Some parts I really had to struggle through, but I must admit that the author uses some clever unorthodox ways of getting his points across. I only started understanding the plot fully when I was about half way through, and I believe that I would have enjoyed the first half better had I known in advance what the plot was about. The dual nature is of two disasters: one being the Dresden bombing during WWII and the other being the aftermath of losing a father during the 9/11 tragedy. There are two generations: a young boy named Oskar trying to make sense of things and finding a mysterious key by chance in a blue vase that he lets fall, and the grandparents immigrating after the war, the mute grandfather who for some reason left and the grandmother was has never forgiven him and becomes infatuated with the young boy. Better stop now so I do not give away too much. Read it for yourself and enjoy.
The following is an especially powerful excerpt from the book "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez which in beautiful prose describes the essence of the book and the theme around which the whole plot revolves.

"By the time she had emptied the teapot and he the coffeepot, they had both attempted and then broken off several topics of conversation, not so much because they were really interested in them but in order to avoid others that neither dared to broach. They were both intimidated, they could not understand what they were doing so far from their youth on a terrace with checkerboard tiles in a house that belonged to no one and that was still redolent of cemetery flowers. It was the first time in half a century that they had been so close and had enough time to look at each other with some serenity, and they had seen each other for what they were: two old people, ambushed by death, who had nothing in common except the memory of an ephemeral past that was no longer theirs but belonged to two young people who had vanished and who could have been their grandchildren. She thought that he would at last be convinced of the unreality of his dream, and that this would redeem his insolence."

Read it carefully once or twice until it rings true in your mind, and hopefully like me you will also be struck by the deep yet disturbing meaning.
Whenever you are feeling down, the best way to make yourself feel better is to order a bunch of books from Amazon.
One of the advantages of being unemployed is that there is tons of time left over to read, workout at the gym and play golf.

Unfortunately, it's still way too cold out there to play golf, so I'm going to have to be patient and wait a bit.

Why couldn't I have lost my job later in the year when it is warmer?
Why is it that whenever I finally get invited for an interview that it is at a company that is so far away? Up to now I've had interviews at the following places:

  • Hilversum (60 km)
  • Veenendaal (70 km)
  • Den Bosch (89 km)
Hopefully I can find a job which does not involve too long of a commute.
About a week ago Maarten hooked up again with some girl who was in the same class as he in elementary school. Her name is Robiena and she has blond, curly hair.

Now they are going steady, his first official girlfriend. Two days ago I went into the hobby room and caught them watching television holding hands. Rumor has it that he has even kissed her (on the cheek), but who knows for sure

Now he bought her a nice Valentine's present and went to her house this evening to give her the gift before she leaves for a one week vacation. There Maarten was in the shower for nearly an hour (c'mon you've been in there long enough get out), singing songs and laughing to himself, spraying tons of aftershave and cologne, putting gobs of gel in his hair and combing it just right. Clothes have to look perfect and then off he goes.

I never had a girlfriend at such an early age. Even when I had a crush on someone, I was too shy and preferred to study and read books all of the time.

Vicarious thrills through the daring endeavors of my masterful sons.
Speaking of leaders, isn't it kind of ironic that whenever a company has to lay off a bunch of people, none of the higher management loses their job and lots of valuable human capitol disappears forever, usually meaning the ship will sink even faster?
Had a dream that I missed my tee shot after waiting forever for the slow-poke goof-balls ahead of us to finally get out of range. In anger I took out a second ball tossed it into the air and swung at it wildly with my driver.

I somehow managed to connect with the ball and hit it way out there, about a hundred and fifty yards right down the middle of the fairway.

The only problem was that it hit the spot where the shaft meets the head causing an ugly cracked dent to appear. That's going to cost me a ton.

Fortunately this was just a dream, a nice warning I guess.
Last night I dreamed that I had the perfect job. Don't quite remember exactly what kind of job it was, but in the dream I felt really great. Guess that means there's still hope as long as I remain positive.
Yesterday evening just when Maarten is about to go to his favorite hangout called City-Life I call him over to wish him a fun time and tell him not to come home too late.

Oh by the way, here's some extra cash (5 euros) in case you meet up with a cute girl and want to impress her by buying her a drink.

Maarten is thankful and notes that when I was his age (14) I was a nerd and too shy and never dared to hang around with girls let alone dance with them and buy them drinks.

He remembers most of the things I tell him and is very alert, even if it is slightly painful for me to hear my own words repeated by my ever popular 14 year old pickup artist son.

U.S. unemployment rose by 598,000 to 7.6 per cent in January, Labor Dept. reports, the worst monthly job loss since 1974.

- CNN Breaking News

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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 2316 entries and as many as 1893 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.