Month: March 2009

My first official day out on the golf course meant that I could play the back side. Not a bad nine holes, but the highlight came on the par four sixteenth. Fired a four iron straight as an arrow down the middle of the fairway. Hit cleanly a magical six iron that had a slight draw, barely cleared the front trap and finally bounced just off the left edge of the green. Tapped a six footer slightly to the right and it curved nicely right into the hole. My first birdie this year.
Don't you just hate it when you really have the urge to yawn and no matter what you do you cannot manage to yawn completely? Like you inhale deeply, open your mouth and almost get there but just quite. You try and concentrate but get distracted for some reason. After two or three tries you give up. And then out of the blue a spontaneous yawn catches you unguarded and it continue all the way to completion. What a relief. I wonder why that happens.
That's how long it took from the moment I lost my previous job until I found another one. Sixty-two days of living on the dole, looking around and hoping that some day in the not so distant future I would be able to land something new and challenging.

Starting in Amsterdam, zig-zagging all over the Netherlands and even into a number of other European countries and then back to good old Amsterdam again. There's just something mysterious about that place that keeps calling me back.


I survived the ordeal by accepting the way things are, regaining control of my life, and remaining positive throughout the whole disappointing and very frustrating ordeal.

Considering how bad the economy is right now and the steadily rising unemployment rates worldwide, I feel very fortunate and am thankful to God for having sought me out and revealed to me this new opportunity in life.

Thanks alot God, maybe I can treat you to a nice lunch in Amsterdam someday soon, just the two of us?

"Seek out danger, tackle risks early before they come back to attack you, embrace change which is inevitable anyway, and don't forget about God."


Luca just loves it when we take her to the Reeuwijkse Plassen and she never seems to tire of fetching the yellow tennis ball no matter how far we throw it into the distance, again and again and again.
Parsing is the action of splitting up a data set into smaller, more meaningful units in order to uncover some form of meaningful structure from a sequence of these units.

Pro Perl Parsing
The skin all over my body was covered with small pins sticking into it, some going straight in and others at a more obtuse angle so that the sharp points came out the other side.

The process of extracting them was painful and time consuming, but the most frustrating thing was that for every pin I took out a bunch of others appeared elsewhere.

When I tried to ignore them I kept inadvertently bumping edges of tables, door knobs and various other objects which made the pain even worse.

People around me seemed to accept this as some kind of known disease and they all treated me very politely. I knew that underneath they felt very sorry for me, but this prevented them from coming close or taking me seriously.

When the opportunities arose I would sneak into the bathroom or behind a tree and continue trying to extract these awful pins hastily, but it was to no avail.

Maybe that is why I am having a rough time finding work.
Today I managed to hit three buckets of balls without a single shank. One shot came kind of close and it went slightly to the right, but nothing near to the terrible shots I've been making the previous few days. Looks like I've finally shaken the shanks out of my system. In the meantime I will be keeping my fingers crossed.

Fix the Golf Shanks

Spent the whole afternoon cleaning all of the windows in the house from top to bottom and don't really notice any difference.

However, the water in the bucket was slightly brown after every floor so I guess that that means my effort was worth it.

Another year and it will be spring cleaning again.
"Online therapy offers many advantages over face-to-face therapy. Interapy includes psycho-education, screening, effect measures, and a protocol-driven treatment via the Internet for people suffering from post-traumatic stress. The present article reports the results of a controlled trial on the Internet-driven treatment of post-traumatic stress and grief in a group of people who manifested mild to relatively severe trauma symptoms. Participants in the treatment condition (n=69) improved significantly more than participants in the waiting-list control condition (n=32) on trauma-related symptoms and general psychopathology. The effect sizes were large. On most sub-scales, more than 50% of the treated participants showed reliable change and clinically significant improvement, with the highest percentages being found for depression and avoidance."

Interapy: A Controlled Randomized Trial of the Standardized Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Through the Internet.

Interapy: hype of wondermiddel?
Finally after a long cold winter the climate has improved enough for me to head out to the golf course.

As expected, my golf swing was a little rusty but I could make pretty good contact with the ball.

I did have the tendency to pull the ball to the left and whenever I try to correct this I overcompensate and shank the ball.

After a number of adjustments and trying combinations, my successful tactic is to swing back lightly more inwards than I am used to, slow down my swing, and make sure that I follow through and end up with my hands high in the air and pointing to the target.

Indeed I am going to have to do alot of practicing before the real golf season begins if I want to do well in the tournaments.
Decided to splurge and went out to the nearby computer store and bought myself an MSI U100 Wind Notebook. Had to fork out 399 big ones but it was worth it. The first thing I did was throw the stupid default Windows XP overboard and replace it with good old Xubuntu. Since the notebook does not have a CD drive, I had to figure out an alternative way to get that Xubuntu installed. Then I tried to create a bootable USB stick using my other laptop by choosing System > Administration > Create a USB startup disk, but the stupid program kept hanging for some reason. On the Internet I discovered an even easier way which is called the Wubi Ubuntu Installer. All you got to do is go to and click on the download button. Please wait while the required files are retrieved and prepared, now only 378.4 MB (54%) of 698.8 MB @ 74 KiB/s (1:13:34 remaining) so this could take awhile. Why it is so slow I do not know, but I will just have to be patient. Will keep you updated later on.


Give or take one hour later the file download completed. The installation went without a hitch. However, it created a dual boot system and installed Ubuntu by default (didn't even ask me if I wanted Xubuntu instead). Still gotta figure out how to remove Windows and replace Ubuntu with the lighter Xubuntu instead.

Here's someone else who claims they got it fixed:

Finally got my wireless connection to work properly. To see how I did it check out the following link:

In a nutshell this is what you have to do:
  • Go to the download page for rt2860-source_1.8.0.0-3_all.deb and download the correct version from one of the listed mirrors
  • Make sure that you have the debhelper and module-assistant utilities installed by running 'sudo aptitude install debhelper module-assistant'
  • Build a binary package of the driver by running 'sudo m-a a-i rt2860' and module-assistant will do the rest for you.
  • Run 'sudo modprobe rt2860sta'and you should be able to connect to a network with Network Manager. If not then you'll have to reboot.
  • Finally run 'sudo gedit /etc/modules' and on the bottom you append a new line with 'rt2860sta' so that the driver will be loaded automatically whenever the machine is booted.
"The Sea of Thunder" by Evan Thomas is a very engaging book from beginning to end. It explores not only all of the historical facts but also does a good job in presenting the personalities of four commanders and how their decisions made a permanent mark on history. By far the most interesting character was that of Admiral William Halsey in which circumstances led him right up to the largest sea battle in history. However, due to a complex chain of events combined with the tricky strategy of the enemy he made the decision to go northwards away from immediate confrontation. I had to feel real sorry for him because like Ismael's lifelong search for Moby Dick, Halsey was fixated with meeting the Japanese in battle, causing him at the wrong moment to sail north where he thought the enemy was coming when if he'd only waited a little longer he would have met and destroyed his nemesis in one sweeping amazing sea battle which was never going to happen.


Review International Herald Tribune
Is this financial crisis for real or is it just another conspiracy created by some secret society of rich jerks just wanting to get even richer and watch the rest of the world suffer?
  1. I was born when Sputnik 1 was orbiting the earth making that infamous bleep
  2. My father was a navy doctor on a destroyer during world war two. He witnessed the battles of Tarawa, Iowa Jima and Leyte Gulf. Once his ship sunk a japanese submarine and there was just one survivor who was pulled aboard. My father saved his life by amputating the poor guys leg
  3. I met my wife in Balestrand, Norway and fell in love with her instantly. After a romantic few days it was time for me to leave forever, but I couldn't bear leaving her. I asked her what I should do and she said just to leave, it was fun while it lasted, just leave. Feeling bummed I packed up my belongings and went down to the port. When it was time for the ferry to leave, I hesitated and at the last second jumped back onshore. Since then we've been together for twenty-eight years
  4. I've been living in Holland since 1981 and still wonder to this day what my life would have been like had I decided to stay in the States. Was it the right decision, did I make a mistake?
  5. I was named after Kiffin Yates Rockwell, a famous world war one volunteer pilot with the lafayette escadrille who gave his life for freedom fighting the germans. He is buried in Luxeuil-les-bains France and I've paid tribute to his final resting place twice, the first time with tears in my eyes
  6. As a teenager I used to be a one handicap golfer and thought I'd become a golf pro someday. I would have played on the university team except that I was afraid I couldn't play golf and get straight A's at the same time. The ironic thing is that I gave up golf for medical school which I never even attended
  7. My mother was born in Paris and came to America after the war. That makes me half American and half French. When I went to kindergarten no one could understand me because I had this thick French accent. After many sessions with a logopedist I finally learned to pronounce the 'th' and 'h' sounds. Even to this day some people say I talk kind of funny
  8. My favorite subjects at school were always math and science. In second grade I went through the class workbook so quickly that my teacher Miss Bell introduced me to the fascinating world of long division. I looked at the divide symbol and went crazy
  9. I bought the first TI calculator that could do square roots and a fun game for me was taking random numbers and seeing how close I could guess what the square root would be
  10. During my algebra class in high school I was always very disappointed when the bell went off
  11. I almost drowned once while on vacation in northern Crete. I wanted to show off to my wife what an athletic swimmer I was and dove into the stormy waters, not seeing the line of red warning flags. The tide pulled me under water and I thought I was going to die. I remember vividly seeing my wife in the distance and me waving my hand trying to holler help
  12. As a kid when I went to bed I could close my eyes and make my bed float and spin every which way by just thinking about it
  13. Even though I've played golf my whole life I still have not had a single hole-in-one
  14. I once attended a concert with Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers and Boston, and from then on I became completely infatuated with Stevie Nicks
  15. The first time I got drunk was when I shared a fifth of Jack Daniels with a friend, ran outside and jumped into the university fountain, and being completely sopping wet slogged through the freshman library in search of the girl I had a crush on. I must have really made a great impression on her
  16. I attended a Stanford vs. USC football game with my father and afterwards got O.J. Simpson's autograph. I was just a kid and he towered over me
  17. I was in the car with my sisters and mother driving south on highway 101 when it was announced on the radio that Niel Amstrong had stepped on the moon
  18. After having graduated from a university two times I vowed never ever to study again. Since then my life has been nothing but one study after the other non-stop
  19. I originally wanted five children but after the fourth my wife had had enough
  20. I keep dreaming about Stanford almost every night. In the dream it's my nth year there and I still haven't graduated after so many years
  21. After having built up a career in computer technology and having assumed various positions and roles, I still have the most fun when I get to develop and debug computer programs
  22. I first started to get bald when I was twenty, I looked in the mirror and panicked. Fortunately it still took thirty years after that before my baldness really is starting to show through
  23. I started biting my nails and cracking my knuckles when I was six and haven't been able to break those habits since then
  24. One late evening I wasn't paying attention and my car started swerving out of control, spinning around two or three times and finally skidding into the other lane. If another car had been coming from the other direction I probably would have been killed
  25. When I grow up I still want to become an astronaut
My old laptop has survived nearly four years without a hitch, not once infected by any virus, working smoothly and always to my satisfaction.

Since I got a new laptop, I decided to pass on my old one to the kids, let them have yet another computer to play on.

Now it is infected with a virus, after only a couple months of use, something to do with a buffer overflow warning message that McAfee keeps popping up. Tried to fix it but things slowly got worse, until the laptop refuses to startup at all.

So now I'm reinstalling Windows XP (they didn't want Ubuntu, believe it or not) which will take awhile, but the machine will be clean and free of junk.

Hopefully it'll stay that way for some time.
At ten o'clock this morning I was about to take an early morning shower, when the kids barged in front of me saying desperately that they had to take a shower first in order to be ready for work in time.

One after the other it lasted on and on and now it is nearly twelve thirty. After two and a half hours I can finally take my shower.

Sometimes as a father of four kids it's important you have alot of patience.
I received this amazing job offer email in the morning, so you can imagine how excited I felt upon reading it:

Wobbits Service is currently hiring for the position of Mailing Assistant. If you feel that you are a self-motivated and career-oriented person, we highly encourage you to spare a minute and learn more about our current openings.
Primary job requirements:

* Basic knowledge of the computer
* Ability to print and scan documents
* Knowledge of such programs as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Office
* Ability to pick up packages weighing up to 30lbs.

I often complain about the second-rate quality of these recruitment agencies that spam me all day with their wonderful job matches, but this one definitely takes the cake!

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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.