| Computers and stuff | 0 Comments

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I've been staring at this screen all day, it was supposed to be my day off. Trying to learn new stuff is really addictive sometimes. Especially when it's cold and raining outside, and I cannot play any golf.


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| Music | 0 Comments

Punish them all for they speak too much
Hate the world for what it did to us
Will I ever see heaven again?

Laura Marling


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| Words ad infinitum | 0 Comments

Every generation has it's own collection of fashionable sayings which tend to be overused. Through this overuse, their scope gets expanded to include a wide range of meaning, way beyond the initial definition.

I cannot count the number of times a day I hear people repeating the words "cool" and "awesome", as if the world around us is an absolutely amazing place. Awesome.

In my days we used to say "groovy" and "neat" once in awhile as our words of choice. Repeat: once in awhile, not all of the time like now. Some people I know say "cool" at least a hundred times an hour. I don't think I ever used "groovy" more than a few times in a whole day.

I'm sure that my parents couldn't figure it out although my peers and I were connected by these sayings. Cool.

In the same vein, I can kind of figure out what "cool" means, because it's similar to how "groovy" sounds. However, "awesome" is way off the board to me and too easily exaggerated these days.

Here, I brought you some donuts for breakfast. Awesome. Let's sit down together and discuss things in more detail. Cool.

I wonder what kind of newfangled lingo the next generation will come up with in order to embellish life's meanings even more.


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| Health and happiness | 0 Comments

This morning I had my appointment at Medinova Clinic which specializes in knee injuries in addition to a whole plethora of other sport-related problems.

They took several x-rays of my left knee: front, back, lying down, standing up, bent slightly. I wasn't that nervous until the female assistant asked me if I had been operated on before. Fortunately Marlies was there at my side and gave me comfort afterwards while we sat in the waiting room.

After nearly an hour, the orthopedic surgeon asked me into his office. He seemed like a nice guy and wanted to speak English to me (he thought I came from the UK). Turns out that there's 0.0% trace (nul comma nul) of any wear and tear. He showed me the x-rays and my bones looked perfectly sharp and smoothly formed, as if they had been created by a loving and perfect God only minutes before. What a relief.

He felt around my knee and made me move it around in various directions. Does this hurt? And this? How about if I do this? He was very quick and figured it out in no time. I think he had a very strong suspicion but was careful to give me the facts before there was proof.

Next step is to get an MRI scan done since the x-rays had not shown anything visible. It is more than likely an issue with the outside of my meniscus, some slight injury there which refuses to recover fully.

So what's the prognosis? The doctor couldn't say and needed more data from the scan. Probably arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus if possible. Something loose, a minute tear, who knows what.

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This is what Diclofenac looks like

For the time being, my daily dosage of Diclofenac will keep me going. It's a miracle drug which nearly kills off all pain completely.

Next week the MRI scan and the week after that the doctor's conclusion. Fortunately it's winter and freezing cold, so if I need to take a break from golf for a couple weeks it won't be such a sacrifice.


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| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

Minus-one-and-a-half.png

At least that is what the display in my car is telling me, although it feels much colder than that outside. Fortunately when I turn on the heater full blast, my car warms up within five minutes.


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| Golf | 0 Comments

This is the manly tale of those four fine souls who in search of some form of immortality spent the day at The Dutch fighting it out for LAST PLACE. Who could have ever predicted what would happen?!

The two Future-Famous-Americans (Michael and Kiffin) took up arms and made battle with the Double-Dutchies (Onno and Patrick). Nothing could have been more exciting. On the first tee, these golfing warriors were primed up to plug it out to the very end. To be remembered in the annals of golfing history, next to Ben Hogan and the rest.

After the first two holes it was all square just buddies with buddies, but after that all hell broke loose. Highlighted by an amazing birdie putt by Mike on the sixth hole, the streak of excellence put the American heroes at no less than six up after eight holes, and then five up at the turn. No problem though, just coasting along.

That's when Patrick started using those mental/abusive vocal tactics that have made him a notorious player in the past. He opened his mouth (again) and started rambling endlessly, on and on about the Zwarte Piet controversy which occupies Dutch newspapers and radio shows, how it's a fine tradition ad infinitum.

It has absolutely nothing to do with golf, I know. But seeing how emotional and irritated Kiffin had become (strongly against Zwarte Piet which is a colonial hangover that needs to be abolished immediately just like the royal family), Patrick kept saying it's okay to be racial by dressing blacked-faced idiots in crazy slave outfits, it's all in good taste for the kids so that's alright.

During important shots or difficult putts that Kiffin was put under pressure to make, Patrick blabbed out something like: it's just a children's game, they get black from chimney ash, it has nothing to do with slavery, in America they shoot blacks on the street, etc. Yes, his strategy was starting to work on the opponents who were unraveling. This Patrick guy is sneaky but clever!

By the fifteenth hole the Double-Dutchies had slowly but surely made an amazing comeback. They were all square with the (now) El-Sucko Americans. All dormie with only three holes to go, what were the chances? I mean really?! Hope Patrick doesn't mention Zwarte Piet again, he seems to have forgotten. The Dutchies win on sixteen and then they do the same on seventeen, getting pretty exciting. Dormie with only one more hole to go.

Last hole for the symbolic last stretch. Everyone pulls the ball left except for Kiffin who as "always" splits the fairway in half with an amazing drive heard round the world, 250 meters give or take. Michael then also knocks a sweet hybrid down the middle. Onno and Patrick hack and fumble their way forward from rough to sandtrap to rough again. Things do not look good for them at all. Like taking candy from a baby.

Ho hum, history is quite unpredictable in more ways than one. Forget about the annals of golfing history. Camera zooms in and the public is silent. Kiffin hits a five iron into the water, then Michael fluffs an easy wedge into the water again. Two measly looking splashes and they are on the green in seven. Patrick and Onno are on the green in five end up winning the hole with a double-bogie which is no match for the quadruple bogie.

All in all we are happy to announce that there is no absolute loser anymore, there never was and there never will be. We pulled off the impossible and are tied at 1-1. We proudly cherish our single point which no one can take away from us anymore!

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From left to right: Onno, Kiffin, Michael and Patrick.


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| Family and friends | 0 Comments

On my drive back home from work this afternoon, I was letting my thoughts ramble away as always and was struck by an interesting insight. Just came up with the idea that when my father was my age now, I was seventeen years old which is forty years ago. Doesn't seem like it was that long ago, but it was. Wouldn't it be even more interesting if forty years ago my father had had a similar insight while he was driving home? On closer inspection of my memory, I am disappointed to realize that this is not possible. My father's father died at the age of fifty years, before my father turned thirty and more than a decade before I was even born. However, it might still have been possible, if things had turned out differently.


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| Golf | 0 Comments


Hitting my hybrid on the driving range during evening practice.


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| Programming | 0 Comments

The future is uncertain, but I remain adamant and well-prepared for whatever might come my way.

That's why I decided to sharpen my programming skills further by refreshing my knowledge of Ruby, Rails and Ember. Lots of reading and practicing to do, great stuff to look forward to figuring out.

Long live convention over configuration.

I'm never too old to learn new stuff. Perhaps I should just retire early and become a gardener for fun and relaxation (not).


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| Golf | 0 Comments

aangeboden_door_k.png

A wooden bench where you can rest and prepare yourself mentally before hitting your drive on the most difficult twelfth hole of the golf course (how very appropriate I would think).


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| Web Design | 0 Comments

For some strange reason, my random banner image was not being refreshed. Indeed the first time my blog was fired up in the browser, the banner would be random, but after that every refresh displayed the same image. As it turns out, it was necessary to include the following headers in my HTTP response.

Cache-Control: max-age=0, no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate
Pragma: no-cache
Expires: Wed, 11 Jan 1984 05:00:00 GMT

Pretty simple, don't you think?


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| Art and culture | 0 Comments

monument-valley.png

Purchased this game for my tablet and I really like it, very peaceful and meditative, challenging enough to keep my mind sharp while at the same time making me feel more relaxed about life.


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| Family and friends | 0 Comments

Rex-A-Gish-MD-Navy-200x279-rounded.png

My father was in the navy during the second world war fighting in the Pacific.


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| Science and technology | 0 Comments

pia18877_descent_to_the_surface_of_a_comet.gif
Philae starts the journey down to Comet 67P.

I've been anxiously waiting for something like this to happen since I watched the first lunar landing many years ago

Philae's Landing Through Rosetta's Eye


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| Programming | 0 Comments

ember-mvc.png

This is the way that ember.js does it.


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| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

Slowly but surely it has been getting darker earlier, especially now that daylight savings has reverted to winter time just last weekend.

This means that when I drive to work it is still dark, and by the time I get to the driving range after my work, it is nearly dark.

In a few more weeks winter will have kicked in for good. Not really something for me to look forward to. Grin and bear it, and before long spring will be on its way,


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| Javascript | 0 Comments

A promise can either be fulfilled or it can be rejected.

var promise = fetchTheAnswer();

promise.then(fulfill, reject);

function fulfill(answer) {
  console.log("The answer is " + answer);
}

function reject(reason) {
  console.log("Broken promise! Reason: " + reason);
}

You can even chain promises together with .then() and run through a whole slew of asynchronous actions.

var promise = Ember.$.getJSON('/promise-me.json');

promise.then(doThis)
       .then(doThat)
       .then(doOtherStuff)
       .then(handleFulfill, handleReject);

A promise is a method with asynchronous behavior. It returns a "thennable" which is an object that reflects fulfillment (success) or unfulfillment (failure).

You attach handlers for these states using the then method. Each then returns yet another promise.

More about asynchronous routing.


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| Family and friends | 0 Comments

Hard to believe that it's been fourteen years ago today that my father passed away. Here is a picture of my Dad and me at the Nut Tree Inn way back in 1964. This was a favorite stop of ours when travelling from our house in Stockton to Giant's baseball games at Candlestick Park which was the old home stadium back in the good days of Willie Mays and company.


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| Golf | 0 Comments

Heren-1-2015.png

I'm honored and privileged to be part of this fine group of top-notch golfers again. We have a challenging golf season ahead of us. We will practice hard and put our utmost into being the best of the best winning as many matches as possible. The upcoming golf season will be a fun and exciting at the same time.


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| Life in Holland | 0 Comments


Riding a solex through the Dutch countryside.


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| World affairs | 0 Comments

I hope that I don't get Ebola. Imagine what it would be like if Ebola goes airborne and there is a worldwide epidemic? Who would die first and which ten percent of the population would survive? Most people carry on with their lives as if nothing is going to happen. The events so far are many thousands of miles away, so who cares? Or so it seems until it is too late. It won't be the first time that the human race has been caught unguarded by the whims of mother nature.

Breaking news (25-OCT-2014):
Ebola outbreak: Cases pass 10,000, WHO reports


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| Golf | 0 Comments

golf-is-a-science.png
Inspirational words hanging on the men's restroom wall at The Dutch.


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| History | 0 Comments

Last week I spent a couple of days in Gladbeck, Germany for some business gathering with our customers and partners. During the late afternoon we formed teams and competed against each other in this geocaching contest.

As we explored the area and zigzagged our way through the dense forest, we came upon this arena-like building in the middle of nowhere. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was an old and deteriorating monument. To commemorate all those pour souls who had lost their lives in the two world wars. Senseless losses were everywhere to be seen on the walls.

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Gedenkstätte für die Toten der Kriege von 1914-1918 und 1939-1945.

No one else in our group seemed to notice. They just went on with the game antics, laughing and shouting. Of course, being one who is sensitive to the surroundings and interested in history, I meandered around and took a closer look. I could see that the monument had been neglected for many years. I mentioned it later to a German person during dinner, and he explained that the Germans were not proud of their past, even embarrassed you could say. That's why such monuments were pretty much ignored, so that one was not reminded about the past too much.

On the walls completely around the whole circumference of this arena thousands of names were inscribed in stone (see picture). The passing of time had meant lots of erosion. Half of the names were faded and illegible, maybe more. That made me very sad. These poor folks had nothing left to give the world except for these inscriptions. As the letters faded away, no one would ever remember them again.

Here is the exact location.


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| Books | 0 Comments

Five thick volumes and 4273 pages later, I have finally finished A Song of Ice and Fire which I began a little more than a year ago.

Trying to remember the whole saga and history is impossible, and I could easily reread the whole thing all over again to refresh my memory. I am also sure that a second or even a third reading would reveal many secrets and interesting new twists that were hidden.

A constant reference companion for me was A Wiki of Ice and Fire which is a complete cross reference, including history, maps, chapter summaries and indexed character references.

Now that I've read it all, I can watch the videos series and enjoy it all much more.


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| Kiffin Rockwell | 0 Comments

Exactly ninety-eight years ago Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed during World War One.

That means that two years from now it will be exactly one hundred years, hard to believe. When I was born and named after him it was only forty-two years before.

I will have to venture down to his final resting place in Luxeuil-les-Bains for the third time and pay him tribute in person.

Better jot down a reminder in my agenda for two years hence so that I do not forget.


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| Golf | 0 Comments

With three lousy double bogies on the front nine, any hopes I might have had for winning this prestigious tournament went straight down the drain.

Not that I was playing that poorly. My ball striking was pretty good most of the time. Unfortunately, I had some bad luck at the worst possible moments on some of the easiest holes, ironically enough. The most difficult holes I parred. No birdies though. That's what golf is all about.

I ended up shooting: 45 + 38 = 83. I was 19th out of 55, better luck next year.


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| Zarafa | 0 Comments

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It was an honor and a privilege to be part of this year's Zarafa Tour. Many partners and customers showed up, and it was a great opportunity for me to meet new people and receive feedback from them regarding our products.

Of course, the big excitement centered around announcing our new products and giving rough dates when they would be available. We had some really great presentations and I assisted with a workshop about the new Python API we are trying to promote.


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| Health and happiness | 0 Comments

In a previous post I complained about knee problems. Since then it has only been getting worse and worse. Now I limp around like an old man, and the pain is becoming so unbearable that I am starting to have serious concerns.

Rather than walk up the stairs I have to climb up each step by lifting myself with my arms. Going down the stairs is even more difficult, only possible one small step at a time.

Tomorrow morning I will go to the doctor and let him have a look. Curious what he has to say. Hope I don't have to go to the hospital for an examination.

There are still three golf tournaments left this year that I would really like to play in. Not to mention the few times I'm invited to play with others. Out of precaution I bailed out of a fun tournament for this weekend.

Maybe I just need some rest, but it's difficult for me being weak and giving up. I'm worried that by not practicing enough my game will go down the tube. Putting and chipping shouldn't be a problem though.


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| Golf | 0 Comments

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The scoreboard.

I played for the fifth time in the Rijnmond Open. Made the cut and could play the final round with the 24 best players. In the end however I had my worst results ever: 86+86+82=254. Been looking forward to this tournament all year, and in the last week I practiced every single day. At one stage I even thought that I might have a pretty good chance at winning this event. Who was I kidding?!

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Maurits van der Linden, Steven Klinkenberg and me (18th Hole).

When I teed off I felt great and whacked the ball down the middle of the fairway and then on the green in two. Three putted for a bogey, when my misery and frustrations began. Don't know what went wrong after that. Although my swing felt good, I just couldn't get my act together. My putting was atrocious and even on the second day I three putted eight holes.

rijnmondopen-2014-thea-and-me.jpg
Thea was a fantastic caddie.


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| Golf | 0 Comments

I was putting really great the previous two weeks. However, when I saw Sergio Garcia on television shoot a 27 for nine holes with his fancy new Super Stroke grip, I had to get one too.

This was done on a stupid whim. I saw it in the drawer when the pro opened it. Why take the risk of changing when my putting had been amazingly good? I was regularly sinking ten meter plus putts and within four feet I never missed. I agree that twenty-two euros is a bit much for a piece of rubbery plastic, but what the heck. It looked good too.

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My new putting grip.

So it turns out that although I was all excited to try it out the next day, my putting was abominable. Not even close, I felt handicapped and I had lost all of my confidence. It was like I was yielding a baseball bat wearing thick woolen winter gloves, that's how much touch I had lost.

By nature I persevere and kept trying no matter what. If Sergio could do it then I could do it also. Day after day but no luck. My putting sucked.

Then I remembered something I had done when I was a young golfer. Back then I also had a ping putter, one of the originals. Once during a dry spell I was desperate for anything no matter how superstitious. I took some black tape and right at the center of gravity I wrapped a single turn of black tape around the shaft. Right where I could see it during every putt. It gave me focus and when I started sinking putts again I regained confidence.

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Black tape at the center of gravity.

That's what I did again. And believe it or not it works. My putting is back and I can strike the ball pure, sending it dead straight right into the hole. Not quite at the level I was before I put on the new grip, but I am getting there.


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Golf Handicap

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 2131 entries and as many as 1862 comments.

Important events

I started working at Zarafa 1-15-2014 ago.

This blog came into existence 7-21-2001 ago.

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

Thea and I first met 6-14-1980 ago.

I graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

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

I began my well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.