Month: May 2010

The task of hitting the ball out of the thick rough should be taken seriously and not be underestimated. The odds of making a disastrous missed swing are significant, and just one hit on what seemed like a relatively easy hole can end up killing your otherwise great score for the day.

The most important thing to realize is that you will most likely lose twenty to thirty yards distance and the accuracy of your shot will widen to a cone of error spanning a large chunk of property where you would prefer not to be.


Also realize that if the grass is growing in the direction of the hole and you just happen to hit the ball perfectly clean, it could even fly out of the tall grass like a rocket ship targeting that body of water way over the green.

I try to minimize error by hitting down onto the ball and thereby avoiding chopping through too much grass. Swing like you need to punch it low through the trees. By mentally preparing yourself for the thick greenness obstructing your swing, make a more powerful follow through without forcing your normal swing too much.

Do it right and you can get a respectable bogie, maybe even getting lucky with a following chip and one putt.

Do it wrong, and accept the resulting punishment of a triple bogie because you topped the ball to the right even deeper into the tall grass or hacked it left into the water.

I guess the really hardest part is to keep calm. Realize your limitations even when you are having a stellar round and start thinking you have acquired supernatural golfing powers and can do anything.

In order to illustrate these concepts better, here follows a true story. These are my actual thoughts:

"Alright, so if I hit it just right and chop through with an open club face the ball will fly through that small opening between the trees, fade just enough to the right and possibly even roll up to the front of the green for a possible birdie putt..."

Then it all happens before I have time to realize it. The next three shots occur in rapid sequence, no thinking involved. Oops, topped the ball. Next shot hits the tree on the right and drops straight down. Third rescue attempt and I shank it into the other fairway. And so on and so on.

On the eighteenth hole, a stellar round is blasted into nothingness by my extreme foolishness and utter disregard of reality. Better luck next time.

When I opened the latest issue of the Golf Weekly magazine, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that our team picture had been printed there.


"Hooge Bergsche Men 3 were the champions in pool H148 (reserve fifth class) and have been promoted. The team is one of the most international in all the competition: composed of 'an Englishman, an American, a Montenegrian, two Dutchmen, a Haguenar and an old colonel'. The names: Guy Skern, Teun B├╝chner, Bernhard Kordic, Danny Fiere, Boyd de Groot, Kiffin Gish and Lex Haak."

See it for yourself

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This morning I read an interesting newspaper article. In it scientists claim that their research indicates that the happiest period of our lives is between the ages of fifty and fifty-three.

Not sure sure that I believe this, but just in case, I guess I will have to live it up now while I can.

Assuming that the average age is eighty-years old, that's less than four percent of your total time on the planet. The window of opportunity is now my friends.

Might as well maximize one's potential for happiness, that three year sliver of time is too short and too precious.

(I still remember when I was about ten years old calculating how old I would be at the turn of the century: forty-two years old, that's sure hard to believe)

Such an easy shot and such an unpredictable finish. I'm feeling so excited about the potential birdie to go two under after only four holes. A simple chip shot, a couple bounces, nice run up to the the flag, short putt into the hole.

That's when disaster strikes. The flight of the ball is carrying it straight for that spot on the fringe that I am aiming for, an extra gust of wind, the ball swings wide, and then there is the splash. I can't believe it, that's impossible, I must be dreaming.


But it's true. I look at my partner as if I didn't see it go in, I still can't make sense of the shot, but he affirms my worst fears by telling me, 'Sorry, in the drink."

Just shake it off and drop the ball for the penalty. Address the ball like it were the very first time. Erase the disaster from your mind. Re-visualize that perfect shot you'd planned to execute so smoothly just moments before.

It takes some extra nerve, but I strike the ball pretty much exactly like the first disastrous time. Just a slight extra flick of my right wrist so that the ball will carry the water this time. That cross wind has died down enough, so the aim is truer than before.

A simple chip shot, a couple bounces, nice run up to the the flag, short putt into the hole for a bogie.

Could have been better, but it also could have been alot worse. Accept things as they are and just get on with your life. Next hole, please.

Seventy years ago to this day, the Rotterdam blitz took place. That must have been a nightmare, an unbelievable and surrealistic experience only a couple days after news of the German invasion across the eastern border of Holland.

Rotterdam after bombardment.

After invading Holland, the Germans shot up everything in sight, quickly making their way to the city of Rotterdam, where at the city's borders they were opposed by fierce resistance of the far inferior Dutch military forces.

Fearing the destruction of their historical city which they loved dearly, a peace treaty was signed. Ironically, due to chaotic miscommunication and the fact that the bomber squadron had already been launched and could not easily be recalled, the city center was completely flattened, razed to the ground. Around 800 innocent city occupants were decimated in the flash fires that ensued.

They say that the city center was as impressive as Amsterdam with all of its canals and gabled houses, but very little of it is left. What was once a romantic collection of houses and alleys built during the 1600's is no more.

Rotterdam today.

Rotterdam is about a twenty minute drive from my house. What I see now whenever I visit Rotterdam is a bunch of straight, wide roads, high rises and modern offices made of steel, wire and glass. An unusual site in Europe, where a modern-looking city seems like it has risen out of nowhere.

Risen from the ashes of war, hard to believe.

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Many if not most of my fellow golfers spend much of their time overly concerned about the technical details of their swing and how they might improve their game by focusing better on certain mechanical aspects.

Enough of this madness about grips, knees bending, hips twisting, follow-throughs extending. This is a thinking man's sport.

My tactic on the other hand is based more on not so much understanding why this or that works as much as how it feels just right or wrong.


I experience the groove when my swing is right, and the clean strike and straight flight of the ball provide me with the necessary positive feedback. My holistic bodily memory is reinforced so that I just know what to strive for the next time.

The moment I start trying to figure things out and concentrate on some defective mechanical motion of mine, that's when my game falls apart. Just get into the zone and stay there by concentrating on the groove.

If I hit a great chip that ends up close to the hole or a drive that duck hooks into the water, I experience the groove or defect in my body rhythm, thereby knowing what to repeat or what to avoid the next time around.

I've been struggled now for quite sometime trying to figure out how to get my stupid upside down webcam on my laptop back rightside up where it belongs but to no avail. Finally as of today, it works like it should.


For those interested, here's how I flipped it around.

$ wget
$ tar xvfz v4l-utils-0.7.92-test.tar.gz
$ cd v4l-utils-0.7.92-test/lib
$ make PREFIX=/usr
$ sudo make install PREFIX=/usr

After that I can fire up skype/cheese from the terminal like this:

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ skype|cheese

Or by editing the application launcher to include this as the command:

$ /bin/sh -c "LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ skype|cheese"

Thanks alot Hans de Goede for taking the time and fixing this for me, providing me with the tarball mentioned above.


21 October 2012: I discovered the following official Ubuntu link How to get your ASUS U36SD running Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

Basically, in order to get the camera to not be upside-down in Skype, you have to do the following:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libv4l
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install libv4l-0

Then run your application with LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ in front of it, e.g. to run skype:

$ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libv4l/ skype

The oriental guy sitting across from me was neatly dressed in his suit and tie, and he had opened up about the largest Gannt Chart I had ever seen.

Right there during rush hour in the middle of the cramped train was this poor soul with a panicked look on his face, unfolding and refolding the large chart this way and that, trying to make sense of the chaos with squinting eyes through thick lenses.

At the same time, he had a ruled notepad precariously balanced on his left knee, scribbling it with various arrows and boxes, despite the bumpy ride and the squeezed bodies around him, which resulted in jagged lines and oval, squiggly boxes.


On his other knee he had his laptop and a stapled file of technical specifications, which he had to refer to continuously in order to make sure that his Gannt Chart and the scribbles on the notepad and the complex thoughts inside of his head all made sense and matched up perfectly.

No cracks or other inconsistencies to be found, he hoped. His boss was known to be an abrasive character, and he would be demanding one hundred percent accuracy, bombarding him with a long list of difficult and prying questions.

This was definitely not the most conducive surroundings to make last-minute preparations for such an important meeting, indeed one prone to error and mismatches which could put the million dollar project at serious risk.

When the guy packed up and left the train, I wished him luck and thought positively for him. However, he could only afford me a nervous half smile as he disappeared off into the distance on his way to the his own personal fork in the road.

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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.