Month: August 2003

The annual labor day picnic sponsored by the Amsterdam American Business Club was a lot of fun for me and the family.

Not only was there fine food and lots to drink, but the kids could run around and play games like football, baseball and basketball.

For me it is a nice and familiar feeling hanging around fellow Americans and just reasserting my roots. Keeping touch with the way it used to be.

Once an American always an American, that's what they say.

This afternoon as father and son bicycling on our way to the center of town, I decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to start teaching Maarten to speak better English.

Since Maarten was also in a better mood (we were going to visit toy stores to see what he wanted for his upcoming birthday), he accepted this unilateral agreement of mine without the slightest hesitation. Good boy.

We (I mean I) decided that starting today I would teach him a few new English words each and every day until his vocabulary had become so nearly infinite that he could speak the English language fluently. Dream away young father.

As we slowly but surely approached our destination, I fixed my attention on a number of objects that we passed, and even thought up one adjective. These are the four words I taught him today:

  • Bridge
  • Tree
  • Crooked
  • Road
Unfortunately, Maarten like many Dutch folks struggling with new languages, has problems pronouncing the "R" sound, which comes out more like a "W" sound.

Bwidge, Twee, Cwooked, Wode....

But he is doing his best which is good enough for me. The other three kids always refused to learn English, so I felt honored that now I had deserved my first and final chance.

I wonder how long we can keep this study plan going and when Maarten's English will become so perfect that they think he was born and raised in sunny California.


Alright, so I get kind of bored once in awhile, so what? Everyone has those periods when all you feel like doing is doing nothing at all. Nothing at all like a good old bout with some amazing Javascript, that is.

Here is something I created this morning, something quite silly but still entertaining nonetheless. And to think that I did it all with some simple Javascript. Try it out please.

Speed:   Sleep:     

Kind of reminds me of that program called Life, remember it? A simulation of living objects based on the population, available food and number of neighbors and other predators. I guess I could enhance this simple creation to include some kind of intelligence, but that will have to wait until another day (sorry).

If worse comes to worse, I can always find a job somewhere as a Javascript programmer. Want to hire me?

Hope this made your day. It did mine.

When you think about it logically, expression is the key. Interaction with the surrounding world is a form of expression. Turning inward and contemplating all those spiritual concepts weaving complex patterns in your mind is another form of expression. Just going to the nearby grocery store to do your shopping is an expression.

Without one kind or other of expression, the human form becomes a non-entity.

Painting the "plinten" is more difficult than you might at first expect, as much patience and precision handwork is required. Undaunted by the present it is important that you continue up to and including completion.

Not only that, but stooping down and making the razor-sharp lateral motions back and forth without splattering unwanted drops of paint is a nearly impossible task. Hang in there.

Parallel lines never touch.

The perfectly straight line along the wall as well as along the floor must be followed without hesitation. Lost in thought and with automated motion matching the coordinated flexing of muscle and limb is one long intense activity.

So what are "plinten" exactly? Translated into English?

Well, for the life of me I was at first unable to make the translation, which is kind of strange when you think about it. Afterall, my mother tongue is English, so I should certainly know what "plinten" are shouldn't I?! Sure.

I wrestled with this mental conflict for several days. How would I ever be able to tell other English-speaking acquaintances what I had been doing the last couple of days? How could I prove to them that that activity was not only a necessary part of existence but a fun and relaxing form of meditation as well?

I broke down and had to look it up in the dictionary. There it was in good old plain English. Of course.

One of the first things I learned in Algebra was that a single point was dimensionless. Then I learned that exactly one and only one line can pass through two of these dimensionless objects called points. The most difficult for me was the concept of parallel lines. It was said that parallel lines run along forever and ever and will never intersect no matter what. This seemed impossible to me at the time, and indeed it was an awkward rule to master. That's what "plinten" do all day, don't they?

A molding covering the joint formed by a wall and the floor.


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The last time I was in Luxeuil-les-Bains, I visited the spot where Kiffin Yates Rockwell is buried. It was my second time there to give tribute to this fine hero after whom I am named. This time around I had brought my camcorder and took a short video. For those of you interested, here it is:

Where Kiffin Rockwell is buried.

The quality of this video is not the greatest, but it is good enough.

Hopefully this video is instructive, not too morbid and gives one a better impression of what it is really like to be there. The video can also be seen on my Kiffin Yates web page.

Sorry, but you need a half-decent connection and Windows Media Player in order to view this.


I finally figured out that problem that has been bugging the heck out of me for many months and months now.

You see, for some reason certain hyperlinks just would not work any more within the Internet Explorer browser. Completely dead links gone and turned to extreme nothingness. You click on them with the mouse and nothing happens! Which links exactly was impossible to predict.

This just popped up one day on my Windows XP Pro desktop. Everything was working just fine and dandy until then. If I am logged into it everything works just fine (of course, because I have administrator rights), but when anyone else is logged on or if the good old guest account is being used, the links just would not work (of course, because these accounts have limited user rights). Dead links deader than a dead door nail.

This has been a real drag, because ideally our desktops in the new room are used for browsing the Internet. In a mad attempt to seek out the problem and destroy it I tried everything imaginable. I tried reinstalling the latest browser versions and Windows patches, disabling the startup programs, unchecking the running services, uninstalling various suspicious programs, but nothing helped. Not a single darn thing.

So I did yet another search via Google, which I had already done a million times without any leads. But this time around I did a search for something ever so slightly different, like "my links do not work on internet explorer for some weird reason." Lo and behold I happened upon a question by some other poor fool who had the same problem. The very same problem. can you believe it!?

And you know what the cause of this problem is? The answer: a third-party downloader piece of junk called Star Downloader! Watch out and beware, remove move it immediately. This program has an option you can check to enable the so-called Internet Explorer integration. It runs ever so quietly in the background and secretly hooks into the links. You click and it sees if the link is a download link and then if it is it pulls this download event into its own program which fires up for you. Pretty neat, huh? As long as it works. Destroy that piece of junk.

Now everything works just fine and I fell pretty relieved. Really and really relieved. Like there is still hope out there. That the world can be saved in small and integral ways, bits and pieces. At least I am still capable of being productive once in awhile.

The use of hand-held devices like the Palm Pilot, screen readers, web-enabled cell phones and other text-mode browsers for the disabled is increasing drastically. Therefore, it is very important that your information remains accessible to this group of potential customers.

How does your web site deal with this? Does it degrade gracefully? Are you inadvertently denying the blind and the disabled?

To find out, just enter a URL in the entry field and click the submit button.


I added this utility on the GishTeq website the other day and am fairly pleased with how it is working. Check it out for yourself.

Watch out for these nanotechno thingies...It never ceases to amaze me when I keep hearing how nanotechnology has taken off. Folks used to consider it a worthless pursuit, but as of lately there have been many useful achievements. Development of this fine art is taking quantum leaps and who can even begin to imagine where it will lead to.

You might want to check out the New Scientist article titled Nanoparticles to pinpoint viruses in body scans to find out more.

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If you are really into ASP and want to learn more about Data Grids, Selecting DataRows in Data Grids, DataView Control, Database updates using the DataAdapter and Databinding in Dropdown Lists AND you can understand Dutch (sorry about that), then you will certainly be very in this interesting video training:

Instructie video's over het programmeren van webformulieren in ASP.NET

Reminds me an awful lot about the good old days when I was an expert Visual Basic programmer, alot still looks the same.

Great stuff Sjef!

"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life."

- Origin unknown.

The day will be well spent I am sure. I will be traveling to good old Amsterdam for the whole day in my never-ending pursuit to meet fellow e-business visionaries. Three different meetings spread out evenly over the whole day. Should be fun, I hope.

While this activity of traveling around all over the place may not lead to fantastic results (or "any" results for that matter I am afraid), nonetheless I still find it very stimulating to meet new folks like me and exchange ideas with one another in an informal and rewarding way.

Nothing like honing your presentation skills, communicating and keeping your mind sharp through provocative and curious conversation.

And I say: something better start picking up within two months, otherwise I will be in big financial problems. Bummer.

Isn't life tough? Sharp mind and then ... what?

There are no limits to the infinite possibilities of technology, except for the unfortunate fact that so-called technology often does not match reality very well. This is what the technology gap is all about, and it is my job to bridge this gap the best I can.

Take for instance the following.

I am looking into the possibilities of extending my product portfolio by including the Quadstream technology. Yesterday, I had a long and interesting meeting with the developer and founder of this engaging, young-buck enterprise. At first glance, this offering looks impressive, and provides a definite plus for marketing your stuff better through the Internet.

Improving the user experience is one of the important aspects that all web site designers should keep in mind. This product allows the potential buyer to view and interact with a 3d model, thereby greatly increasing the chances that the customer will actually carry through purchase (conversion). At least that is how the argument goes. I think that it is a good start in the right direction.

But in the end, will this state-of-the-art product help bridge the gap? I believe it can if it is positioned properly in light of what the customer "really" needs.

In the meantime, I have to consider how such a technical thing can be marketed better, e.g. bridging the huge gap between the infinite possibilities of Internet technology and the actual requirements of potential customers.

Does it really extend my product portfolio? That's the million dollar question right now.


One of the highlights of the year is the first day of school. Summer vacation has ended and it is time for the kids to return to the wonderful world of academia. Time to balance your life with the more important learning activities.

This morning I got up extra early so I would be prepared to escort Maarten and Sabien to their first school day. "So, are you excited to go back to school?" I asked in an overly enthusiastic tone. "Are you kidding," they screamed back in unison, "we hate school!"

We cycled the short distance, and the closer we approached the elementary school, the more excited the kids seemed to become. Despite the fact that they claimed they hate school so much.

When we arrived, the two kids had completely disappeared before I had a chance to park my bike. Running off to see old friends again, get the best seats in the classroom, recount vacation experiences and scope out the new teacher.

I entered the building and from the doorway of each classroom, I had a distant peek to make sure everything was going along to plan.

On the one hand, Maarten and Sabien hate school, but on the other hand they also kind of like it at the same time. Fortunately my kids are fairly normal then.

Click to watch the video...In this up-close-and-personal video, Marlies introduces herself by welcoming the viewer to her own personal web page and then panning her room to give one a better idea of who she is and where she lives.

We did it after only several retakes, the most difficult aspects being the (back-)lighting which was either too dark or too light, and speaking her lines of text without (too many) errors.

The end result is pretty good I believe, not bad after an hour's struggle and the fact that Marlies is by nature a perfectionist.

Check out the video called Marlies in her room for yourself.

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So I finally decided to get around to experimenting more with my Sony DCR-TRV19E camcorder and the Pinnacle Studio 8 Firewire DV system, which I have been putting off doing now for ages. There are too many other important things to do in life, but everyone is entitled to have some fun once in a while -- even good old me.

Not that I am fooling myself into believing that I am on my way to becoming an artistic director of some amazing video productions, but at least this is a good enough start as any other.

Depending on the Internet browser you are using, you hopefully should be able to view my video directly using the embedded Windows Media Player control below:

Just click on the start-button, please.

If not then I am sorry about that, but it works on my browser just great.

Otherwise you can check out the new video links I have provided for my blog at the top of the right margin here on this page. Under the heading with the title "video." See it? Depending on your system and what you have installed, you can choose between the Windows Media Player or the Real Player and a high-speed (hi) or a low-speed (lo) Internet connect.

This is only the beginning, and I plan to keep these videos coming, getting better and better by the day. Again and again something new and exciting I have to learn about and try to prove to myself that even an aging old fart like I can still figure these complicated technical things out. How much longer will it last?

I have to start (again) somewhere.

Having been born and raised in the fine state of California, I have many wonderful childhood memories of that place. However, that has been some time ago. More than thirty years to be exact.

Perhaps it is then the typical case of only remembering the good things and complaining about how much worse things have become now. Maybe not.

You see, this great state of California has become such a complete mess that I feel pretty bad about it, almost affronted in some personal deep-down kind of way. How could this have happened? It bugs the holy heck out of me to see all of this happening. What's going on?!

Well, I have a few theories. In reality, the causes of these kind of things are due to a complicated interaction of various factors, the one more subtle than the other. One of the most important factors I think is a loss of faith which has taken over by excessive greed. One loses touch with the past and the present and therefore also with oneself.

At least that is my theory.

Time to elaborate. People forget about the past, start ignoring the present, and they become fixated on the future. Getting better and better and better. Being the very best. The best there is as if this is such an important thing to achieve in the world. Strange but true.

And when we die, what happens to all that stuff we collected?

Collected material things and making tons of money has much to do with this. Why would one want to get even richer except to save up for the future? The future comes and then it goes and becomes the past once more.

Whatever happened to the present?

I realize that things will never be like they used to in good old California. That would be pretty boring if nothing changed. However, there are some pretty basic principles of life which should never be neglected. Perhaps people should stop a second and rethink a good solid moment. Once a day at least.

Living in the present, for example.

There are many reasons I can list right now as to why I like to write in my blog.

For instance, like how it allows me to sit back and think during a quiet evening in a attempt to translate my inner feelings or be philosophical or induce a state of higher spiritual awareness. That kind of thing.

However, probably one of the most important reasons I concoct crazy and unpredictable blog entries is because of the reaction it elicits from others (not me). Like the occasional response from a reader or a meaningful gesture which really makes me feel good. Reaching out and communicating with others, sharing ideas and just plainly making sure that the other person keeps on believing that in one way or the other it all still kind of makes sense.

Confused? Let me try to illustrate this by explaining what happened to me a couple of days ago.

You see, I arrived home to discover an enticing brown package had arrived for me in the mail that morning. My name and address were neatly printed on the label in bold: Mhr. Gish Kiffin. The return address was also printed neatly on a label: a person from elsewhere in Europe, his name being Brad.

Hmmm, do I know someone by that name from that country? Couldn't remember. The package obviously contained something solid and rectangular and not real thick, but thick enough that it would not bend. Unless of course I tried to force it. Didn't want to force it now to find out did I? Could be anything, but what?

Stop pondering young man. In a greedy and excited ripping movement of my two hands working back and forth, kind of in an uncontrolled jerkiness, I pulled off the flap on the back of the envelope, and then let the contents slip down through the elongated slit I had created. Turn, fall and make a flat plopping sound on a wooden surface.

I scoped out the situation and let my neurons fire a few electrical impulses and figure it all out in no less than three seconds. Three items (one item per second) fell out onto the table, and the exact order in which they fell out was:

  • a book called "Sweet Dreams."
  • a two-page hand-written letter.
  • a piece of cardboard to prevent bending.

Aha, I get it. At least I think I do. Or not? The cardboard to prevent unnecessary bending made perfect sense and was the finishing touch which put me more in touch with Brad. Nice touch Brad.

'Sweet Dreams' by Michael Frayn
The actual book Brad sent.
In the letter, this nice Brad person introduced himself as someone who was an occasional reader of my blog. He had read one of my reviews of a Michael Frayn book (A Landing on the Sun or Spies - he did not say which) and decided to send me his very own copy of "Sweet Dreams" which was a personal favorite of his.

And he goes on in his letter to explain that he is also an American residing on the outskirts of a large European city, and he is about the same age as I am, how he finds my blog interesting because he is also seriously considering staying as an expat after he retires, how he is married with children going to a foreign school, and on and on...

Wow. I'm impressed.

I was sure flattered and felt kind of embarrassed that some stranger would go so much out of his way to send me all of this. Hard to believe, but it made me feel really good. And I mean really really good. Made my day, my week, the rest of this unpredictable month.

There is still hope in the world, you see. I probably would have done the same thing had I been in the same situation. Perhaps?

Paths meander all over the place and somehow cross-over each other once in awhile. This was one example of such a miracle of modern times, winding threads coming close and then parting. The time of the Internet, blogging and the ability to communicate instantaneously to the whole wide world.

And also to hear back from one of the millions of souls once in a while. Touching.

Thanks alot Brad! I hope you don't mind me including this in my blog. Your kindness is greatly appreciated. By me but also by all of my readers. And the readers of those readers.

I am certainly going to read your book right away. Thanks and again thanks!


There is this truly amazing blog survey out there, and it is called Why is it that we blog and what do we understand about the blogging process?

Simple, powerful, down-to-earth and to the point. Completing the survey should take no more than 10 minutes (or less) of your valuable time.

I encourage every true-blue blog author out there to take part in this survey so we can help Roy Hornsby conduct research for his honours thesis at Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.

I took part and I was glad I did. For more information, check out a research weblog about weblogging.

Perhaps it might also be interesting to include a survey for those kind folks out there who actually "just read" blogs for their own late night entertainment (excluding actual blog authors that is).

Lots of luck Roy!

They've got this heatwave going on over here now for more days in a row than I would like to count, and it is taking its toll.

It is not just a tad of discomfort here and there, sweating some and feeling humid, it is much more. Water is running out, fires are burning all over the place, energy is becoming scarce, swimming is prohibited because of moss and blue algae, code yellow then code red, national crisis. Old people are dying all over the place, and in the large European cities like Paris, Milan, Lisbon, sometimes up to 50-100 poor souls have left this fine world already. Boy, I would sure hate to die that way.

When I was a kid, growing up in the sweltering heat of the San Joaquin Valley in good old arid California (those were the days), we always had this standard boring question we would occasionally ask each other, just for fun. It went something like this. "If you had a choice to die either by slowly freezing to death or slowly burning to death, which would you do?" Long philosophical discussions would inevitably ensue, and though we were a mere ten years old, we developed quite sophisticated arguments to support our views. I always went for the burning option, figuring that I would gradually adapt to the increasing temperature. I had been born and raised in the California sunshine along with the heat, and I felt confident that the heat death was the better way to go.

I think I was wrong, wouldn't mind slowly freezing to death right now.

This is getting kind of weirdly surreal, and it reminds me of an old SF film from my youth where the earth starts burning up because the sun is slowly getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, in twenty-four hours it will engulf our poor planet, growing and growing until...

Scientists around the world unite and save this poor planet! Before it melts away into non-existence. Please, help!

Just "thinking" about what I want to add to this blog entry makes me sweat profusely, and it is only a little past nine in the morning. All these intense and creative thoughts are causing big bad drops of sweat to come together on my forehead and coalesce, the added weight causing big fat droplets to fall and splatter on my keyboard. If you were to time the frequency of the drops hitting the black surface, you could in theory measure the intensity of my thoughts. I pause to relax.

You see, the normal Dutch abode does not include the luxuries of air-conditioning. Why include the additional expenses of some contraption that you might only use a couple days in a decade?

I do happen to have this ventilator type apparatus which stands vertically on the floor behind me. Not too close now, about three meters behind me. It is not a fan in the old-fashioned sense of a round twirling propeller like thing. Rather, it is an elongated vertical contraption which blows air while oscillating back and forth. There's even a timer on it so the thing turns off after say thirty minutes. Not as nice as air-conditioning, but it does offer some limited solace.

Jeez, this is getting pretty darn unbearable. Help.

At first everyone was so happy and gleeful that the sun was finally shining in an otherwise moist and overcast climate of this northern country below the sea. Everyone ran outside in bathing attire to lie in the sun and get a nice tan. That was more than ten days ago. They say that by the day after tomorrow things should be cooling down some.

I certainly hope so, but we will have to see.

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Having the flu is no fun. The best thing to do is accept the fact that you will be sick for awhile and then patiently wait for the recovery period to set in. See it as a perfect opportunity to reflect back on your life and what you have or have not achieved and contemplate about nothing else in particular. Once you start feeling better resist the temptation to speed things along. Just let it happen. When you feel like you can go back and work again wait a couple extra days. You will be glad, feel much better and will have learned much more than you would have ever expected from having the flu. See, even the most negative events can be turned around to reveal more positive tendencies.

"In an extreme view, the world can be seen as only connections, nothing else. We think of a dictionary as the repository of meaning, but it defines only in terms of other words. I liked the idea that a piece of information is really defined only by what it's related to, and how it's related. There really is little else to meaning. The structure is everything. There are billions of neurons in our brains, but what are neurons? Just cells. The brain has no knowledge until connections are made between neurons. All that we know, all that we are, comes from the way our neurons are connected."

- Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web), Weaving the Web.

If you too are into the power of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) as much as I am, then you will really appreciate this little gem I happened to discover. At least, if you are as much of a die-hard Internet design geek as I am.

Have a good close look at the following so-called images:

So what do you think, I mean are you impressed? If you thought they are really images, then you were wrong. Sorry about that, but the figures above were purely generated not using embedded images but good old plain-vanilla CSS instead. Hard to believe but true.

Impressed? Well you shouldn't be, because they were merely built using slants. Here is how you can also use slants to make your web site even more amazing..

Place the following style declaration somewhere in the header section:

<style type="text/css">
.s1 {
  border-color:yellow green blue red;

And then, place the following code where you want the figures to appear:

<div class="s1" style="margin:10px;float:left;border-width:25px;"></div>
<div class="s1" style="margin:10px;float:left;border-width:19px 25px 31px;"></div>
<div class="s1" style="margin:10px;float:left;border-width:12px 25px 38px;"></div>
<div class="s1" style="margin:10px;float:left;border-width:6px 25px 43px;"></div>
<div class="s1" style="margin:10px;float:left;border-width:0px 25px 50px;"></div>

(Find out more about slants.)

It is even possible to create a heart made of CSS by using slant technology.

Here's to the power of CSS and the infinite possibilities.

A power struggle erupts over a technology widely used to distribute Web logs, pitting blog pioneer Dave Winer against opponents at IBM, Google and others clamoring for a different format...

Read all about it.

Summer vacation is over with (sniff), and today is the first day back in the real world for me. That is, if you consider bumming around ten hours plus a day trying to get a non-existent business up-and-running "the real world" then that is what it is, has become, and will be becoming. Now with the heat wave running on to the fourth day in a row, the rising temperature in my attic room office will make me sweat at an ever increasing rate (at least giving me the impression that I am struggling even more to become a future famous entrepreneur). And I will succeed...


Hard to believe it, but this blog called Gibberations has just passed the 20,000 hits mark. Meaning that in the last two years there have been alot of visitors coming to read my web log (you can check out the hit-counter for yourself by looking at the bottom of the lefthand margin). Quite an accomplishment, I would say.

Kiffin Rockwell scored the first victory by a member of the Escadille Americaine when he shot down a German reconnaissance airplane.

The Rockwell brothers, Paul and Kiffin, were idealistic that summer of 1914 when Europe exploded into war and the might of the German war machine fell on France.

When Germany declared war on France on the first day of August and sent its juggernaut rolling into the French countryside, 21-year-old Kiffin Rockwell was a student at Virginia Military Institute, and Paul, his 25-year-old brother, was a reporter on The Atlanta Constitution.

For the summer, Kiffin was home in their huge frame house on Hillside Street. On Aug. 1, he spent the evening talking about volunteering to fight for France, explaining that Americans would be accepted in the French Foreign Legion. He was deadly serious.

He called Germany the aggressor nation and France our sister nation that needed immediate help. "We can't sit back," he said, "and let the Kaiser take over the world."

In late July, when Germany's threats hung over France like an axe, Kiffin and Paul, both of whom loved France, had discussed the possibility of going to war if France's fears of a German attack were fulfilled.

Kiffin wrote the French consul in New Orleans, offering both himself and his brother to fight with the Foreign Legion. The consul wrote directly back and accepted the services of the Rockwell brothers. They were to report immediately to New York for embarkation for France.

Paul took his leave from the Constitution and hurried home from Atlanta and after both said their goodbyes they took the train for New York, shipped out for France, and went to war.

Upon arrival in France, Kiffin and Paul were taken directly into the French Foreign Legion. By November they had finished training and were sent into the trenches.

Kiffin wrote home that they were looked upon as mercenaries, but they felt anything but mercenary when payday arrived and they received one sou per day, which was about one American penny. They were paid every ten days, and three sous were automatically deducted for a tobacco allotment whether they smoked or not.

That's how the Rockwell brothers became the first Americans to fight for France, which made them also the first Americans to enter the World War.

Just before Christmas, Paul was severely wounded in trench warfare and was judged unfit for further infantry duty. Because of his journalistic background and his fluent French, he offered himself during his recovery to the Section d'Information of the French Army as a combat correspondent, and was accepted. He spent the remainder of the war in the role of war correspondent.

Kiffin continued to fight. On May 9, 1915, during a bayonet charge at La Targette, a German infantryman ran his bayonet through Kiffin's thigh, ending his fighting from the trenches.

He found something else to do, however, for there was talk of forming an American squadron in the French Air Service. He applied and was accepted, and the remainder of the story is history. He became the first American to shoot down a German fighter plane, and he became an original member of the famed Lafayette Escadrille. His commander, Capt. Georges Thenault, said he could confirm ten kills by Kiffin in aerial combat.

On Sept. 23, 1916, Kiffin received a hit in the chest by an exploding German cannon shell, fired from an enemy plane, and was killed. Paul said many times later than the shell that killed his brother was an illegal weapon.

Paul survived the war and lived to an old age. One of the highlights of my own journalistic career was sitting numerous times in the parlor of Colonel Rockwell's home on Hillside, listening to the yarns he spun about the World War and the daring escapades of the brave young men of the Lafayette Escadrille.

Taken from the article Brothers Fight for France.

You might also be interested in the article Kiffin Rockwell blazed a hero's path in World War I from the same newsletter.

More information can be found on my Kiffin Rockwell tribute page.

Just returned from a wonderful 3 week vacation and thought I might want to "quickly" check out my email messages which had come while I was away.

Turns out I had 3573 messages waiting for me! Not that I am such a popular guy, because most of it was SPAM. Those idiots!

In the end it took my email client (Microsoft Outlook) more than 90 minutes to download it all, first filtering through my spam killer application, including the many errors which occurred because of the immense volume (resulting in timeouts and retries).

All in all, after filtering out all the junk I ended up with around 156 relevant messages, e.g. those meant for me and those I appreciate receiving.

Not that bad, I would think. I am still kind of a popular guy.

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Golf Handicap


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 2498 entries and as many as 1877 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.

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

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

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

My mother passed away 3-27-2018 ago.

Started Gishtech 04-25-2016 ago.