Spent the whole day from early this morning until late in the evening to finalize the official versions of the following documents (everything in Dutch):
- Ondernemingsplan (Business Plan)
- Financieel plan (Financial Plan)
If all goes according to plan, good ol' Gishtech (the reborn new and improved version of Gishteq) will be up and running again starting Monday, April 25.
"Gishtech levert best-of-breed diensten en advies op het gebied van geavanceerde software ontwikkeling, gereedschap, people en processen."
Last Saturday I played a practice round with the team. Just another normal day on the links with the goold old colleagues. Until we reached the eleventh hole that is. Jose started things off by chipping his ball in the hole from off of the green. Then from the fringe at the front of the green, Paul sank a winding twenty-footer uphill. Finally, Maurits rammed in his six-foot putt making it three birdies in a row. Could I do it as well? As the last remaining hero under tremendous pressure and all eyes watching me anxiously, I curled in my putt from three feet away. We all had birdies: 2-2-2-2 on the same hole. That was a pretty amazing golf moment! Don't think I've been so excited and screamed so loud and long in quite some time.
Although some people may not consider golf a "real" sport, it nonetheless requires that your body is in good condition and that certain muscles are well developed.
Since I started a more intensive workout program at the SportCity three months ago, I can really feel the difference.
My training focuses on the golf muscles as shown in the diagram above. Not that I need to develop giant muscles for extra distance, but rather well-toned upper legs, abdomen core, torso and arms to be able to hit the ball with a more stable and predictable swing, and above all with more confidence.
And yes, I can now also hit my drives straighter and about ten to twenty meters further. I am not sure whether or not this is all just psychological, but one thing is for sure and that's how good and healthy my body feels.
This is pretty funny. Some website about knuckle cracking gets re-launched and I get honorable mention on the front page. Internet can be scary sometimes, and the past can come back and bite you if you are not careful
The blog entry referred to is one titled Crackedty-crack which I wrote way back in 2002 and amazingly collected a record number of reactions.
Three generations of first sons:
Liam (2016), Lennart (1987) and me (1957).
Some interesting things I learned today on my road to a successful career in data science:
- Correlation does not imply causation.
- If X predicts Y it does not mean that X causes Y.
- Prediction is hard, especially about the future.
- Causal relationships are usually identified as average effects, but may not apply to every individual.
- The most important thing in data science is the question, the second most important is the data.
- Often the data will limit or enable the questions, but having data alone won't save you if you don't have a question.
- Beware of data dredging.
"The data may not contain the answer. The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data... no matter how big the data are."
I make my own sandwiches for lunch and like to slice my bread into nice uniform segments of equal thickness. Over time my cutting actions had acclimated well to the continuously dulling knife. It meant that gradually I had to cut imperceptibly just a little bit harder each day. I had become fond of that dull utensil and had developed a close relationship with that grip and sliding motion. There was balance between the forces of nature and my bodily movements.
So when I picked up the brand new knife that Thea had bought in some sale, I failed to register her comments. Or should I say warnings? She told me that it was a really great bargain for such a high quality knife which was as sharp as a razor blade. Then I watched the corrugated edge glisten in the light as I positioned it atop the bread ready to slice.
One slight push was more than enough, no need to press very hard nor initiate any cutting motion whatever. The super sharp knife went through that bread in an instant. The saying is like a hot knife through butter and that I the exact same sensation I felt. If it hadn't been for the top half of my forefinger blocking the way, it would have put a nice deep gash in the wooden cutting board.
I screamed although I felt nothing. In the same instant my hand shot up in the air. Blood started spurting out, and at first I thought that I had cut off my poor finger. The gouge was deep and clean, but my finger was still attached thank God. Thea came to the rescue and put her nursing skills to work by wrapping some gauze and bandages tightly around the wound. My life was saved and I would more likely survive.
The first thing that came to my mind was that I would never be able to play golf again. Not that I might bleed to death, but that having half of a finger would become an insurmountable obstacle for me at winning any future golf tournaments again. My days as a future famous golf pro were over.
One week later and it still hasn't healed completely, but things are improving nicely. In a couple more days I hope to be back on the golf course. I will use that little scar as a touch point from now on so that I can focus and play better golf.
The funny thing is that around the time that I cut myself, a number of articles appeared in the local newspapers about people complaining that these knives were way too sharp for normal folks. One woman even threatens to sue the store for neglecting to give sufficient warnings about the danger.
- Albert Heijn-messen te scherp
- Albert Heijn-messen voor sommigen te scherp
- AH-messen veel te scherp' (of kunnen we er gewoon niet mee omgaan?)
Is it possible to enjoy vacuuming the house? This weekly chore is definitely not my favorite activity. You take the apparatus and rub the end back and forth across the floor, and there's no real feeling of progress or satisfaction. When you paint, you immediately see the results and can feel good about it. With vacuuming however, you just seem to go through the actions without perceiving improvements. How much cleaner did the house get after expending so much energy over a period of so many minutes?
Today for some reason I actually enjoyed it. I stopped thinking about achieving results, comparing the present with the past, wondering how much longer it would take before I reached the bottom floor. I was in the zone, kind of meditating and not caring at all. My mind wandered a bit before disappearing into who knows where. When I realized that the last square meter of the kitchen floor had been reached, that was that.
Now it's time to continue the flow.
According to the newspapers, it is still officially January. Normally this would mean that we are smack dab in the middle of winter. Whenever the December climate seems to have been more temperature than expected, at the turn of the new year mother nature almost always gets back by blasting us with icy cold winds and lots of snow.
Not here though.
Believe it or not, today was the warmest 25th of January in recorded time. Namely the temperature peaked at 16,3 ℃ which is 61 ℉. I was never a fan of winter weather, so psychologically at least I felt much happier inside. I was definitely in the golfing mood which is a good sign.
The yellow flowers in the fields are blooming, the green buds are appearing on the trees, the birds are tweeting away and the insects are zooming around. Nature seems to be getting more and more confused as the years roll by.
Is this a fluke or caused by the carelessness of mankind?
When I finished reading The Rails Doctrine I felt re-inspired to continue what I am currently doing, and it gave me courage to move forward with what I believe is the best route for me to follow right now. Although the odds are probably not with me, and it's going to take alot of hard work and perseverance, it's all about programmer's happiness anyway.
Having had the privilege of being a (small) part of the wonderful world of software development, one of the most important things that I have learned is that in the long run it is NOT technology which is the limiting factor.
The possibilities of technology are pretty much limitless, meaning that in general one can achieve anything that is required. Given enough sweat and tears, creative thinking, time and labor. However, it is "human nature" which is the limiting factor, and if left unchecked it is humans and not machines which usually cause a new project or enthusiastic startup to fail.
People relate to one another in a very unpredictable way. Not only within an organization or the chaotic dynamics of the team. External relationships with the market, ever-changing government rules and regulations, public fickleness or an unexpected dip in the economy. The products are usually pretty good, but it is the brand which must be developed and the potential customers which have to be convinced that they really need what we are building.
To make matters even worse, the endless possibilities of technology can confuse us and lead to indecision and uncertainty. Choosing to pivot in one direction and then switching to the other is only too easy. One needs to be flexible and have the ability to switch but not too easily. Hesitation makes us miss the window of opportunity, while forcing premature decisions doesn't usually work either.
Buddha spoke of always taking the middle path, and wavering ever so slightly is not a bad thing either as long as you do not veer off of the road, e.g. at those sharp turns.
I am not pretending to be a wise person, because I do not know the right answers either. Every startup and new project is different, the constraints and people forming a unique mix of variables. Keep focused, prefer the long run to the short, and tackle the future challenges in a positive and confident manner.
If I had to guess the perfect mix of technology versus the human factor, I'd give it a twenty-to-seventy percent. The last ten percent needs to be reserved for good old serendipity.
Be very thankful for what you have and who you are.
Live one day at a time.
It's going to be a fantastic year, cannot wait.
Once a week every Wednesday evening, we have our golf training at the golf club. I always look forward to this activity very much, getting a chance to socialize with the team, hit buckets of balls, and most importantly get psyched up for next year's competition season.
You can imagine the disappointment I felt when I opened the trunk of my car and discovered that it was empty, except for a couple of spare "lucky" golfing caps which I always keep there just in case.
As it turns out, I had left my golfing equipment in the garage at home and forgotten to put them back in the car. I'll have to go again tomorrow afternoon and make up for the lost time.
I received yet another email alert from the Consulate General from which I quote certain relevant parts.
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats. Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da'esh), al-Qa'ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.
Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da'esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da'esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.
U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events. U.S. citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. Persons with specific safety concerns should contact local law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.
I do not think that even the most effective form of diligence is any good against a group of crazy folks carrying AK-47s and bomb vests.
Everyone around here is getting very worried. Rumor has it that Holland could easily be the next target. They say that it's inevitable that there will be an attack here, especially taking note that the Dutch Air Force is actively bombarding ISIS in Syria. It's best to avoid crowded places and large cities, but I guess it could happen anywhere when you think about it. There were a bunch of young students killed and even some Dutch people were injured at the concert and the other Paris attacks, so it all hits home that much more closely. I keep having nightmares that my children easily could have been there when it happened.
Brussels is indeed very close by, a little over an hour and a half drive from here. They've pretty much locked down the whole country in pursuit of the terrorists. Sporting and music events have been canceled, and the police and military are on extra alert. You'd rather not think about it and go on with your own life some how. Ironically I could care less about myself, but I am very much more concerned about the welfare of my children. Unfortunately, they need to travel by public transportation which means the busy train stations are unavoidable. As young students they also still go out to crowded concerts and busy restaurants, despite the boring parental warnings.
To make matters worse, millions of refugees are pouring in everywhere which is becoming a serious problem in Europe. Every day thousands of exhausted folks arrive here at the Amsterdam train station with nowhere to go. They just jump off of the train carrying their remaining belongings on their backs, children at their sides. It's quite a heart-breaking and emotional scene, many people get really sick and even die during the long trek. Winter is coming and there's nowhere for them to go. People are volunteering their homes and I just read that Ikea will donate some housing for them at three locations.
And then you have those conservationist racists who are against letting foreigners in and have violent protest marches demanding we close all the borders. Now with the terrorist attacks this might be the only possibility. Closing the European borders would be a disaster since one of the most basic tenets upon which all of the EU is based is an open border policy. Very messy situation indeed, wouldn't want to be entwined in the busy world affairs these days.
I'm sad to see that politicians like Trump are gaining in popularity, he is such an idiot. They don't know anything about the situation here, and it's so easy to rant and rave in order to win more votes. Crazy system, when will the people ever learn that that is very far away from what our founding fathers envisioned.
Just live one day at a time and see what comes our way. Enjoy the moment while it lasts and try not to get too upset about world affairs.
Looking around me, I can see millions of leaves all over the place. Not only heaped up in the rough and behind the greens, but also scattered thickly across the fairways. Where did all these leaves come from?! While part of nature and beautiful to see, they ruin my golf game. Even my best drives down the middle of the fairway risk getting lost and never found again. All it takes is a single willing leaf and the proper circumstances like wind and angle of entry, and the ball will roll underneath the yellowness and never be seen again. A good reason not to use your best balls, but I cannot play well with second-hand ugly balls (they have to be nearly brand-new). When I miss the fairway there's an even bigger chance that the ball disappears right in the middle of a heap of leaves. Kicking around endlessly with your feet is like looking for a needle in a haystack. In this case, a golf ball in a pile of leaves. Can't wait until next year Spring, but in the meantime I will just have to deal with it like a mature and accepting person.
Whenever my wife has a night shift, I get to take the dog out for a long walk in the evening. Now that she (my dog) is slowly getting older, we cannot go that far anymore. So I take it slow and easy, letting her sniff her way around and explore the grass. We are the perfect couple, man and beast.
This evening was no different from the others. For November the climate is quite agreeable. I can look around and breath in the fresh air. If you take the time to look closely enough around, you'd be amazed at the myriad of interesting things out there that are just waiting to be discovered.
The evening sky for example, what could be simpler? There's that subtle sliver of time when evening turns into night. I tried to capture the fleeting moment on film. Actually, using my phone camera. Not the best resolution, especially when it's getting dark. Still, it does have something important to tell us.
I have serious concerns that the so-called modern society is becoming overly protective when it comes to raising our children and fostering a perfect society which isn't so perfect.
Parents, friends, family and society tend to think that it's best to preserve at all costs a "pristine moral world" in order that our fragile future leaders are not put into harms way.
After all, we do NOT want to scar them psychologically for life and end up breeding drug addicts, wife-beaters and serial murderers.
The TRUTH of the matter is that REAL life is not a bed of roses. The earlier we realize this and learn to cope with disappointments and seemingly harmful experiences the better.
Goofing off and inadvertently doing stupid things is a freedom that youth should be able to enjoy fully. Parents are there only to correct and guide, provide a solid example, and certainly NOT to enforce with draconian rules and regulations.
Especially not to the degree of making a religious crusade out of it, because that is very hypocritical when you look in the mirror and realize that the imperfections of your earlier life are exactly what have made you the person you are today.
That is something each and every one of us can be proud of.
As honored members of the older generation, we have a moral responsibility to encourage youthful resistance to authority when appropriate.
For those instances where the border line is not so clearly defined or visible, our duty is to foster open dialog in a professional and honest manner from both sides of the fence, the younger versus the older, right versus wrong.
Nowadays society has become way too strict and brainwashed in its attitudes towards the moral fiber of those youthful thinkers (we once were). History is an endless repetition of this ridiculous we-are-better-than-you attitude. High time to abolish this.
Looking back on those days of the past and the things we did for fame and pleasure, according to today's mindless rules and regulations we might all still be in prison to this very day. Times are changing, but not always for the better.
Though in the long run we were somehow able to achieve relatively successful and respectful lives despite despite our many youthful shortcomings. So what difference does it really make?
We are not any better at all.
Had he still been alive today, he would have reached the ripe old age of ninety-nine years old. Still hard to believe that he passed away fifteen years ago.
The great thing about golf is that no matter how well you are playing, there is always some new personal record to be made. After hitting a couple of buckets on the driving range, and then chipping a bit, I head on up to the putting green. A bit drizzly and cold, but good climate for honing my short game. The goal is to complete one round of nine holes without a single three putt before being able to go home. Sometimes I make it through two rounds or two rounds and a bit before that disastrous three putt ends my dream of perfection. This afternoon was different, totally unexpected. Not two but three rounds without a single three putt, and a new world record to boot. When you think about it, that's quite a worthy accomplishment to feel proud about. Three times nine is twenty-seven holes times three balls per hole equals eighty-one attempts with only two putts and more often than not one putts. I didn't keep track of all of the one putts so not sure how many under I was but it was alot.
Commuting by train every morning used to be a social activity among fellow travelers who were cordial and polite. The early chit-chat of spontaneous conversation filled the air, variegated voices and motions creating a peaceful background for the high speed swoosh of the train's movement along the rails. Not uncommon was the occasional smile, a glancing stare, meeting eyes and a polite gesture of anticipation and offering.
Nowadays just sit together in a quiet bubble of unawareness completely isolated from the real world. Whatever that may be. People sit hunch-backed in their seats staring at smartphones, glued to the colorful movements on tiny displays. There is no conversation, limited gestures and pure silence. Swiping hands cannot get enough and fingers typing away erratically produce slivers of meaningless. No one looks up, not a soul.
For the older generation of passengers who have happy memories of the good old days of the old-fashioned commute, an eerie emptiness fills the train carriage. All those young folks and their lost souls. Even an accidental bump will not displace glaring eyes, for that other hidden world is too addictive.
No excuse me, no sorry eyes, just aggravation as if every single second glued to the device will never be enough.
Nowadays it's easy to buy new books, much too easy. Just click a button and then download. Oh yeah, and don't forget to fill in your credit card details. I've always been in love with books, the old-fashioned kind that you could hold, feel and smell. My more modern collection of ebooks is growing in leaps and bounds, and I'd be too embarrassed to admit the titles of the majority of books I have yet to read. I read a couple chapters of the one, and then I am distracted to purchase and download a couple more. Or even three or four more. Maybe it's a mania, an addiction or just plain craziness.
Do you like my hat?
I do not like that hat.
Where are those dogs going?
What is up there on top of that tree?
A dog party!
A big dog party!
And now do you like my hat?
I do. What a hat!
— Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman
All I had to do was remember that five digit number when I woke up. If I did, then something truly amazing was going to happen to me or my family or the world civilization maybe even the whole universe.
What this truly amazing something was, I can no longer remember. All that mattered was that I memorize the five digit number no matter what.
I kept on repeating the five digits over and over again. I had to make sure that by repeating it enough times, I could not possibly forget it.
In my excitement, I could feel the number slowly but surely fading away. I repeated the number out loud, louder and louder until I was shouting. Please do not let me forget it, please.
Of course when I woke up I forgot the number. Don't all dreams end that why?
However, I did remember very clearly that it was a "five digit" number, and I'm pretty sure now that it started with a two followed by a five. Though if I had to bet my life on it, I cannot be a hundred percent sure.
Too bad, no truly amazing something this time around. Will give it another try the next time and figure out a better trick to remember.