Month: October 2008

I'd call that a bargain
The best I ever had.

who (1971)
At this rate it will soon be too dark for me to play golf in the afternoons anymore.

Just a few weeks ago, I could make it to the ninth hole although the low-setting sun made my approach to the green slightly difficult.

Last week, the sun had just set behind the trees but I could see the ball on the fairway just enough to whack a nice approach to the green.

Today after the seventh hole it became hopelessly dark, and my drive off of the ninth tee felt like it went down the middle of the fairway, but I was never able to find it.

Tonight at two in the morning winter time will take effect, so perhaps next week I'll have a slight extra crack of light before the winter darkness ruins altogether my late afternoon golf sessions.
Driving home again on the highway, that big billboard on the side of the road always catches my attention. There it is as always with those big bold black letters superimposed on a perfectly white background:


Nothing more and nothing less. This is a very powerful statement and always causes me to gulp slightly and think things over. How should I deal with this eternal truth and what can I do to improve my life?

Who could have ever imagined that these three simple words could have such an impact on my thinking?

(Taken from Dutch, God is Liefde can be translated to God is Love)
My father passed away exactly eight years ago today. Eight years may seem like a long time ago, but lately these huge chunks of time can fly by in no time.

So let's see then, since my father was always exactly forty years older than I was, that would have made him ninety-one years old had he survived to this day. Ninety-one, that sounds pretty darn old I'd say.

Although I did not feel that way at the time, in the long run it's probably better that he passed away when he did. Nature had planned it that way.

That torch he had passed over to me way back then is still being held high, and because of this meaningful gift, I am able to carry on to this very day.

When Another Player is addressing the ball. There are only two things that every other player should be doing when a player is addressing the ball: standing absolutely still and watching the player hit. Movement is unacceptable. Talking is unacceptable. Fussing with equipment is unacceptable. Looking around is unacceptable. Stand still and watch the shot. If you can't render this simple courtesy, then you do not belong on a golf course.

You'd be very surprised how many people forget about this very basic rule.
I installed VirtualBox on my Ubuntu laptop and now can run Windows XP as a virtual operating system within its own window. This is much better than having a dual boot system and on startup always having to choose one or the other.


I was hoping to do the same with favorite good old FreeBSD. However, it will not install correctly because it cannot find the boot loader for some weird reason. I tried it with FreeBSD 6.4, 7.0 and 7.1 beta but none of the worked.
Fall is nice when it comes to the transition of seasons, the trees losing their leaves, the air becoming colder, the late afternoons getting darker along with the prolonging of shadows and the sun setting low on the horizon.

For the avid golfer, this subtle change of nature can become a bit of a disaster. There are so many leaves lying on the ground, that it is very easy to lose a golf ball here and there.

Even the finest drive hit smack down the middle of the fairway runs the risk of rolling and stopping right under a large brownish leave that happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Good-bye golf ball, no hope ever finding you again unless I just happen to peak under the right leave, one chance in a thousand maybe even a million, it's hard to say exactly.

Sometimes one of those green-keepers comes along with his giant leaf blower which slightly alleviates this aggravation, but only as long as you keep the ball on the fairway.

The slightest fade or draw causes the ball to bounce and disappear into one of those massive piles of leaves, half a foot deep and spanning tens of meters of a crumpled brown expanse.

Also the fall means that the sun is lower on the horizon, and more than one longish par four poses quite a challenge pointing you directly into the sunlight. You hit the ball just fine, or so it felt like it, but where did the ball land exactly? Much to my surprise there it is right next to the flag, buried in the bunker, over there behind a tree, or never to be found again.

The game of golf remains a true and honorable challenge despite the different ways that nature tries to make life more difficult.

See also Autumn Rules for an entertaining account about bazillions of leaves.

I've completely had it up to here with Windows Vista. So this evening I decided to remove it completely from my hard disk and replace it with Ubuntu.

To prove to myself that I am daring and adventurous, meaning one who gleefully lives on the bleeding edge of all things pleasant and demanding, I installed Ubuntu 8.10 beta version (Intrepid Ibex).

If worse comes to worse I can always run Windows Vista using VirtualBox.

What especially appealed to me about the following book excerpt was the part about the saving rope being lowered from above, as if just by reaching up and holding onto it one is whisked away from the mundaness of the everyday world in which we sluggishly push along.

"But for me it was enough if, in my own bed, my sleep was so heavy as completely to relax my consciousness; for then I lost all sense of the place in which I had gone to sleep, and when I awoke at midnight, not knowing where I was, I could not be sure at first who I was; I had only the most rudimentary sense of existence, such as may lurk and flicker in the depths of an animal's consciousness; I was more destitute of human qualities than the cave-dweller; but then the memory, not yet of the place in which I was, but of various other places where I had lived, and might now very possibly be, would come like a rope let down from heaven to draw me up out of the abyss of not-being, from which I could never have escaped by myself: in a flash I would traverse and surmount centuries of civilisation, and out of a half-visualised succession of oil-lamps, followed by shirts with turned-down collars, would put together by degrees the component parts of my ego."

Remembrance of Things Past: Swann's Way - Marcel Proust
Rumor has it that I've decided to become some kind of Linux expert. So who am I trying to kid?!

At least I was happy when I came home today and discovered the big box from Amazon lying on the cabinet in the hallway entrance.

New challenges on the horizon are:

  • Understanding the Linux Kernel by Bovet & Cesati
  • Linux Device Drivers by Corbet, Rubini and Kroah-Hartman
By the way, there was also a more "normal" book as part of the shipment, namely:

  • A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
Two days ago I finished his first book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which I really liked.

On my way home yesterday, I stopped at the bookstore at the train station and purchased the following two paperbacks:

  • Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Shadowplay by Tad Williams
When I realized I'd inadvertently bought book two I quickly went to and ordered book one:

  • Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
Am I getting overly addicted to buying books or what? No matter, I've got lots of time to read it all in the train, about two hours per day which is ten hours per week (or about one good novel a week).
I was having so many problems getting my fancy new ASUS laptop working properly on Ubuntu that I decided to upgrade.

Now everything works perfectly well and very fast indeed. I've got sound, I've got an ethernet card that's recognized properly, and the wifi minicard works like a charm.

Thanks alot Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex!
When the train is overly crowded, like it was again this morning, I'm always relieved when I find an unoccupied seat over there.

I try to squeeze myself ever so politely next to the kind fellow passenger without disrupting things too much.

What really bothers me are those few uncaring folks who do not move a single iota to the left nor to the right in order to give you some extra wiggle room.

Their left leg remains extended outward with the bony knee jabbing your outer calf, and a misplaced elbow pokes into your side.

Not even a subtle cough or poking back with your shoulder seems to help, in fact the immovable form becomes even more resistant to your unwanted presence.
I am sitting in the train on my way to work reading the book "The Curious Incident" by Mark Haddon.

When I finish the next chapter I look up and gaze out of the window reviewing in my mind all the stuff I just read.

Over to my left sitting next to the window, I see a younger well-dressed man who is also reading a book. Realizing unconsciously that some other stranger is gazing in his direction, he stops reading a looks back at me.

That is when I avert my glance, but just ever so slightly so that out of curiosity I can have a peek at the book he is reading. I'm always really curious what kind of books, magazines or whatever the other fellow passengers are reading.

Then to my surprise I discover that he is reading the very same book I am. It's a slightly larger edition than the copy I'm holding in my hand, but it is nonetheless the identical book. It also looks like he has read the same amount that I have, about three eighths of the book.

I wonder what the odds are that I am sitting across from someone who is reading the very same book that I am. The odds of winning the lottery are probably much better, so this is a unique moment that I should appreciate as long as possible.
The interesting challenge at the company at which I work is that everything depends on keeping pace with the latest the greatest technology.

Developing really great software products means that one has to sit down with other top notch software engineers and figure out how to roll up one's sleeves and just get the job done, no matter what.

The latest the greatest technology changes all the time, even as we speak, so one has to aim slightly ahead of the moving target.

Ever so slightly, take aim, one, two three, fire.

This weekend they were having this big 25% computer sale at Media Markt, so I went there and decided to splurge on an ASUS X59SL-AP275C for my upcoming birthday.

Although it comes pre-installed with Windows Vista, the first thing I'm going to do is remove it and replace it with the latest version of my favorite operating system.

I'll go for the bleeding edge version FreeBSD 7.1-BETA and recompile the kernel with the new and vastly improved ULE scheduler.

$ cd /usr/src/sys/i386/conf

There are two things to change in this file then we can move to compiling and installing the new and improved kernel.

ident      LAPTOP
options    SCHED_ULE

That's all there is to it. I certainly hope that it works.

Millions of poor souls are glued to the displays of their mobile telephones. Such unfortunate folks who cannot live a single minute of their lives without seeking refuge by staring into that small flat screen in search of who knows what.

Some of the younger victims are even worse off though they do not seem to realize it. They become entwined to these modern gadgets with thumbs nimbly tapping the minuscule keyboard, searching for answers, hoping to receive some meaningful reaction, new ways of reorganizing and improving their lives.

This all reminds me of nervousness all around, no one can look you straight in the eyes anymore, insecure aversion to glance back down at the display where all is neatly defined and safe again.

Some people brave the day by putting these gadgets in a pocket or purse or some other place of safe keeping. Until the ringing starts, first softly and then getting louder and louder. They cannot find the ringing gadget quickly enough, it's pure panic, groping around and hoping to answer before it is too late.

That's a good reason why I turn off my mobile phone in order to enjoy life as it was really meant to b e.

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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.