Month: November 2005


I never figured that the solution would be so easy. Those bothersome question marks within black diamonds that were appearing occasionally on some of my older blog entries were driving me nuts.

All that I had to do was change the following:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;
   charset=utf-8" />

into this:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;
   charset=iso-8859-1" />

See the difference? Perhaps this is not the most elegant way to fix this, not internationally compatible with every known character set on the planet, but it works.

The ability to write concise and clear text that conveys your intentions without the slightest doubt is an art which should not be underestimated in today's society.

The eyes scan the page from left to right, top to bottom, they blink a couple times and then that sentence wrapped up in words is registered in the brain like a wedged thought which dissolves in an instant but never disappears.

They say that technical people are lousy writers, because one needs to be flexible and creative, but I tend to disagree.

You see, the technical folks are excellent at structuring things and providing a solid argument based on facts rather than appearances.

Sure the emotional element is just as important if not more important in getting your point across, but it is the balanced combination of these two sides of the coin that provides insight and convincing concepts.

For once and for all, let us please abandon the senseless jargon of corporations and express our webified thoughts from our hearts and souls.

Resurrect Your Writing, Redeem Your Soul

The website is called bmindful and its purpose is to make you more positive about life.

Based on the proven concept of affirmations, the site's purpose is fairly straight-forward. " are repeatedly telling yourself that you would like to feel or act a particular way or take on a certain character trait. This repetition subtly reminds you of this and you take steps in that direction. At first these steps are conscious however with time they become unconscious, hence affirmations are a way of reprogramming the unconscious mind."

The creator Lee Nutter has done an amazing job in making this happen. I can recommend this website very highly to just about everyone. Your only prerequisite is that you 'really' want to become a more positive person in life.

This is just what I needed, and I believe it is already working positively on me right this instant.

Alright then, here's my affirmation for the day: "Life is (much) better than it appears at first glance."

Good enough.

So I decided to splurge (again) in order to try to make myself feel better after a somewhat lousy week.

Like a little boy dashing off to the toy store to buy another model tank, I went to the computer clinic and upgraded my Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop from 512 / 266MHz to 1024 / 333MHz megabytes memory.

Also did an addiitonal low-level defrag using diskeeper to speed things up just a tad more.

Now my wonderful laptop has been reborn as a truly powerful, screaming machine, and that makes me pretty happy.

It would sure be nice if when we die we could bring our laptops with us. I don't know how I could survive without it.

By far the most addictive game I have ever played on my Palm Tungsten T3 is something called Pipe Frenzy. Last night I went early to bed figuring that I could finally sleep a bit more. But first a few challenging games to see if perhaps I could finally beat my world record. When I looked at the alarm clock it was already ten past one! And still no record, not even close.

| 1 Comment

This was what was written on the note. Curlicue female handwriting, dots that looked like oblong shapes dancing, the lines slightly slanted to the right. Taped at an angle on the back of the cash register for all customers to read and admire.

How much does the average person scroll per day? This is exactly what I happened to be wondering early this morning. As if there is nothing better to do, when in fact it is indeed an interesting question to pose, one whose proper calculated answer has certain unexpected implications on the way we manage our daily lives.

Speaking of usefulness, how useful is it spending days on end trying to get that vertical white rectangular support balk in the kitchen really smooth? So perfectly smooth that there is not a single ding, scratch, groove or imaginary unevenness visible any more?

A network's usefulness is proportional to the square of the number of its users, meaning that its value grows exponentially as the user population increases.

One equals one, two equals four, four equals sixteen, sixteen equals two hundred and fifty six, two hundred and fifty six equals sixty five thousand five hundred and thirty six, and so on.

This was due to the usual carelessness, an arm extending into unknown regions, and the finger pointing towards the coffee machine ready to flip the button on.

Not seeing the glint of metal and the edge standing upright like an eel ready to attack, the knife placed a fairly deep slice in my forefinger without the slightest effort.

Well it was fun while it lasted.

Too bad things had to end this way.

Now it is time to move on.

Great stuff, my favorite addictive strategy game of all time came out and it's called Civilization IV.

When the original version came out way back in 1991, I fell in love with it right away, spending many nights moving through one century to the next, trying to be the first one to get to Alpha Centauri.

Now this game has improved immensely and offers an amazing new world in which to immerse yourself completely. Technology, religion, diplomacy, cultural breakthroughs, wonders, prophets, mechanized armor, trade, catapults, and much much more.

Hope I survive.

I am an avid fan of the O'Reilly series of computer books, and during the last few years I have been able to increase my knowledge immensely thanks to this informative and entertaining literature.

In case you are interested, here is the alphabetical complete list of 25 books I currently own, more than half of which I have read at least two times over:

  • Advanced Perl Programming, 2nd Edition
  • Ambient Findability
  • Apache: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition
  • Asterisk: The Future of Telephony
  • BSD Hacks
  • CGI Programming with Perl, 2nd Edition
  • Essential CVS
  • Google Hacks
  • Hackers & Painters
  • Java Web Services
  • JavaScript and DHTML Cookbook
  • JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition
  • Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules
  • Learning UML
  • Perl & XML
  • Perl 6 Essentials
  • Perl Best Practices
  • Perl Cookbook
  • Perl Template Toolkit
  • Programming Perl, 3rd Edition
  • SQL Pocket Guide
  • Switching to VolP
  • The Complete FreeBSD, 4th Edition
  • Web Design in a Nutshell
  • XML in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition

Visit the O'Reilly Network on the Web at

"... en dank u nogmaals voor uw blijvende steun."

I'm not one to donate my hard-earned money on some humanitarian cause. Especially not to those boring folks who do nothing but pseudo pan-handling from door to door asking for money. They should be more creative, and then perhaps I would give it more thought.

However, one exception I take notice to is the NFGV which makes alot of sense.

The vital role that the 'geestelijke volksgezondheid' plays is not to be under estimated. Unfortunately, because there is often too little understanding and too much negativity in society, this gets pushed back in the closet, quickly forgotten and funds dry up.

Might as well help out with keeping a good thing going.

Linda Susan Boreman (a.k.a. Linda Lovelace) born in the Bronx, New York on January 10th 1949 ...When the film 'Deep Throat' came out, I must confess that I was a little disappointed. I had collected up enough courage and finally went to see it with my SAE fraternity brothers pushing each other nervously like a bunch of macho twits. I even had my leather cowboy hat and sunglasses on as part of the erotic celebration of boys coming of age in the seventies. And don't forget the fifth of good old Jim Beam whose purpose was to make things better than they really were or seemed.

After struggling for some time now, I finally got that [email me] link working (see the horizontal navigation toolbar above, just below the title banner).

And just to prove that it really works, I received within the first day an email message from someone who calls himself ventilator.

This is what he wrote:

Just thought you might be interested in a fresh dream blog. There's not as many of these out there as I'd expected, and maybe I should try and bring them all together. Enjoyed yours very much - thanks!

Thanks alot ventilator, and be sure to come back soon.

Finally gave in and decided to shave off fifteen years from my life. That beard of eleven plus days was becoming too unbearably scratchy with these ornery hairs protruding in my mouth.

Only one person at work has noticed, but my wife squeeled in delight. Why do women care so much?

"As the demand for voice, data and video applications increase, delivering higher bandwidth, lower cost and value-added services to the users becomes a major challenge to Internet Service Providers. Today, a brand new type of competition is emerging: Voice over IP (VoIP) has become the killer application for ISP to challenge established telecom operators. This not only means huge saving of communication cost to users, but also helps service providers to generate new revenue, new subscribers, and even gain a stronger position in the shuffling new market..."

Got my ZyXEL P-2602H-63/63C ADSL 2+ VoIP IAD1 over ISDN plugged in, installed and up-and-running in no time. Never thought it would be no hassle at all. Just tossed my current modem overboard, hooked in the new one, fiddled with a couple settings, and there it was.

This modem is known as a so-called Voice/Data Integrated Access Solution for Residential Users, including the following features:

  • ADSL, ADSL2/2+ support
  • SIP (RFC3261) Support with 2 phone ports for VoIP
  • Support QoS to prioritize voice and data traffics
  • Auto Provisioning for easy deployment

Telephone calling over the Internet could not be easier. So far the quality seems almost if not just as good as fixed line, even when the kids are chatting away with MSN Messenger and/or playing Battlefield 2 online.

1 Oh yeah, IAD stands for Integrated Access Device (in case you were wondering).

Last week I took my youngest girl out for a quaint father-and-daughter squash match in the evening. I started out easy on her, thinking that it would not be very nice as a father trying to prove how great I was.

However, by the end of the forty-five minutes she had completely whipped me: 3-1.

She's only fourteen years old, can you believe that?! I guess the fact that she is playing top level field-hockey here in The Netherlands, can hit a golf ball one hundred and fifty yards with a smooth fade, and aces me on occasion at the tennis court, improves her athletic abilities and eye-hand coordination.

Although I might have lost to someone thirty-four years my junior, I feel pleased to have been able to raise her to the stage where in certain regards she is already starting to pass me by.

Is that my little girl?

Ladies and gentlemen. Watch your luggage carefully. Don't leave your luggage unattended, not even in trains ready to depart. I repeat. Watch your luggage carefully. Don't leave your luggage unattended, not even in trains ready to depart.

A drone is not only an idle person who has no other purpose is life than to loaf off of others, but it is also a pilotless aircraft operated by remote control, a so-called unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

There was that Borg cube orbiting the Earth for awhile, but I am not sure if that qualifies as a real drone or not.

All those snobby buggers wearing three-piece suits, carrying fancy-looking laptops, and sitting so snugly in the first class train carriage, while I am packed in with the other poor normal folks in second, yeah those are first class drones that's for sure.

Drone was also the name of one of the Star Trek Voyager episodes.

Finally, there was that detective drone guy who popped up in many of the British crime novels during the last century.

I guess then that you can characterize a 'drone' as someone who has an irritating lack of manners and general decency.


Speaking of elegant ways to get something complicated done with a minimum amount of good-old perling, here's an interesting algorithm:

sub random_string
  my $max = shift;
  return join '', map { ('a'...'z', '0'...'9', 'A'..'Z', '0'...'9')[rand 72] } (1..$max);

In case you couldn't figure it out yourself, it takes a single integer as input and generates a string of that many characters made up of random upper- and lowercase letters and digits.

There's this older lady, I'd say that she is well into her seventies, who 'always' has to sit on the very same bike during the spinning trainings at the fitness center. It's the one over there at the very front left corner, and it belongs to her and no one else.

Random entries

Here are some random entries that you might be interested in:

Recent Comments

  • Long time no see: I remember them, as well. I remember Donald was my ...
    - Charles
  • Bridge to the moon: Yes it was a drawing and my older brother told me ...
    - jpmcfarlane
  • Bridge to the moon: Wow, that's quite a coincidence that we both sent ...
    - Kiffin
  • Bridge to the moon: Hello I was in my teens when Gemini 4 went up that ...
    - jpmcfarlane
  • Back to work: Congratulations Kiffin, I hope it is something you ...
    - KathleenC

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.