| Golf


Heren 1 - Hardelot Golf Pines.
Ed, Jeroen, Kiffin (captain), Ragnar, Paul, Eirikur and Carel.

| Books


In anticipation of the new Netflix series coming out soon, I decided to prepare myself better in advance by reading the now infamous trilogy by Cixin Liu.

Two weeks and 1695 pages later, I managed to saw through all three books, and I must say that although the books were a bit different than what I had expected, I thoroughly enjoyed the long read.

I am curious if the Netflix series will do the trilogy justice.

| Golf

Today was my first round of golf of the year, at the Leeuwenburgh Golfclub. I hadn't really played for more than a month, just practiced a bit, so I was curious how well I could play.

Not only did I have my first birdie of the year, which is normally the exciting highlight, but I managed to shoot two birdies in a row.

The first birdie was a longish 12 meter putt on the par three tenth, and the second one was on a par four where I made a long masterful shot from the fairway bunker and then sank the three foot putt.

The rest of the round was far from spectacular, with in total six pars, six bogies, three double bogies and a lousy triple bogie on the last hole for an 84.

Not a bad start for the year, and there will be plenty of fun challenges ahead.

| Health and happiness

My lucky number has always been the number eleven, and it will always be.

I was born on the eleventh of October (I'm not going to say which year), my little league uniform number was eleven (Ghent Motors, Salinas), when someone asks me to pick a number between one and ten I always say eleven, etc.

Most importantly, today marks the eleventh anniversary of becoming sober: 132 months which equals 4023 days. That's about 17% of my life.

Believe it or not, I have survived no less than eleven years without a single drop of that evil substance called alcohol. Each day I wake up I thank God for giving me the power to choose a full and happy life.

| Vacation

Being the boring procrastinator that I am, I've been putting it off now for nearly ten months, so many pictures and much work. However, I finally managed to get it finished at the last possible moment, just before the new year. Enjoy...

Vacation in Costa Rica 2023
Costa Rica

| Philosophy and poetry

CV-Ketel: How to Adjust the Water Temperature

  1. Turn off the CV-Ketel by pressing button (A) until lamp [1] is off.
  2. Hold down button (B) until lamp [2] is on.
  3. The CV-Ketel icon lamp should be on, if not press button (B) again.
  4. Press button (C) or (D) until desired temperature appears in display [4].
  5. Press button (B) so that the Waterkraan icon lamp is on.
  6. Press button (C) or (D) until desired temperature appears in display [4].
  7. Press and hold down button (G) until 'P' appears in display [7].
  8. Turn on the CV-Ketel by pressing button (A) until lamp [1] is off.

Congratulations, you did it!

| Life in Holland

I thought that my dentist appointment was at 11:20 but it turned out to be at 11:50 instead. That meant that I was way too early in the office and would just have to bide away my time in the waiting room thinking alot, looking out the window, trying not to stare too much at the other people waiting.

Some old man with a walking stick entered the room. He was accompanied by what looked like his son-in-law, and he took a seat right next to mine. He greeted the other visitors and started talking. As if we were eager to hear all he had to say. Society warns us that we have to respect older people and be patient with their many idiosyncrasies, even when they ramble on endlessly.

Tap, tap, tap ...

He began by telling us that he is not shy and people like to visit with him, although everyone also tells him that he talks too much. He was born before the war in 1936 (which puts him at 87 years old). The Germans were terrible and the war years had robbed him of his youth. Once he and his friends were playing in the fields, and someone whispered that the Germans were firing their weapons. Indeed, there they were a group of soldiers walking down the path nearby, spraying bullets from right to left. He could still hear it very plainly in his head, but as a small child at the time he didn't know what it meant. It all seemed very unreal and still doesn't make any sense today.

Tap, tap, tap ...

He paused briefly and began tapping his walking stick on the hard floor. In fact, throughout his long monologue, each short pause would be filled with the tapping sounds, as his variegated memories reformed and produced newer illusions. Right, his poor wife died when she was only 52 years old, which meant that he had to live the rest of his life alone. At the time, he had no work so ended up doing odd jobs, whatever he could find really.

Tap, tap, tap ...

There was this nice man who owned a ship, everyone in the town respected him. One day he saw him walking down the same road as he. So he asked him to help repair and build stuff in the shipyard. He knew absolutely nothing about ships, let alone building stuff. But he caught on very quickly and mastered the required skills. That was back when he was a young man, full of energy and his whole life was ahead of him.

Tap, tap, tap ...

His wife was good to him, that's for sure. It was a real shame that she had passed away so early. Together they had accomplished very much, but what a tragedy having to learn to live the rest of his life without her.

Mr Gish? The dentist assistant in her white coat stood at the opposite corner looking for the next patient, and that was me. I stood up, walked past the old man, turned the corner, and I never saw him again.

| Web Design

Have always wanted to delve more into the mysterious world of 3D graphics, so here I go...

Check it out yourself: Three.js Journey.

| Philosophy and poetry


Minds and machines is an introduction to philosophy of mind. We'll talk more about what philosophy is in general, and what philosophy of mind is in particular, in the first lecture. For now, here is a list of the kinds of questions you can expect to think about in this course:

  • Are you an "immaterial soul" , distinct from your brain and body?
  • Alternatively, are you simply a material or physical animal, living in an entirely physical world?
  • If we (somehow) made a brain that was a perfect molecule-for-molecule replica of your brain, and (somehow) kept it alive in a tank, would the tank-creature have the same mental life as you?
  • Do we see ordinary physical objects like lemons and iPhones? And assuming that we do see them at all, do we see them as they really are?
  • Can consciousness be given a scientific explanation?

See: Minds and machines

| Music


Back in the good old days when I was a young buck exploring the wonderful world ahead of me, I would muster up renewed courage by listening quite often to 10CC.

What a pleasure it was indeed to finally see them live after all these years, playing their best numbers and rocking the place out.

The concert was at the concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and we (Thea, Nelleke, Maarten and I) enjoyed our fantastic seats in the first row balcony right above them.

| Computers and stuff

My new laptop runs perfectly and I am very happy with it, except for the following problem.

Whenever I shutdown, the screen freezes at the Lenovo logo screen and fails to shutdown properly. Even after waiting several minutes, nothing happens. So in the end, I always have to hold in the power button for several seconds in order to get the laptop to complete the shutdown process properly.

I placed the following message in the Lenovo Support Forum.

I finally figured out what the problem was, I solved it by executing the following command:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-535 nvidia-dkms-535

See: Ubuntu Linux Install Nvidia Driver (Latest Proprietary Driver)

| Vacation


We had a fun and relaxing week exploring the southern region of Italy called Puglia. Forming the heel of the boot, the region is known for its whitewashed hill towns, centuries old farmland and hundreds of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline.

See: Photo Album.

| Golf


As tradition would have it, the end of the golfing season marks the yearly Jong Tegen Oud Matchplay Tournament. This is a long awaited for contest which pits the best of the youth against the finest seniors. The age divide being forty years old (kind of).

It is fine mix of young and old going at each other in the true spirit of golf. Having lost last years match, the team old had some serious grudges to deal with. Not really revenge, but close enough to it.

Consisting of two teams of fourteen each, we played greensomes in the morning followed by singles in the afternoon. Afterwards we had a good old "borrel" with prizes, capping off the festivities with a fun BBQ just joking around into the evening.

We were all very lucky this time around with the weather. For a few days before, it had been raining seriously (cats and dogs), and the golf course was even closed on the previous day.

Well come Sunday morning the sun came out, the sky presented a blanket of blue, and the slightly wet fairways dried out well by the afternoon. To make it fair, we allowed ourselves to bump the ball and clean it if needed. Gimme putts were up for grabs, gentlemen that we were.

This year was no different from previous contests. The young group of whipper snappers looked awesome striking their drives with intensity, right down the middle in what looked like a million miles down the fairway. Flexibility to its extreme and a swing speed beyond belief.

Team old remained undaunted (though a bit shaky). We know from years of experience that long drives alone are not enough. The thinking man has the advantage in the end. It is not about closing your eyes and whacking the ball as far as you can.

Besides, the older you get the better your short game (they say). That is exactly where we came out superior, sinking longish putts and recovering from behind the trees. Team young were tough as nails and put up a good fight. However, in the end team old pulled off a semi-convincing win.

So what if this time around team old was the winner? What really counts is the fun time we had together, sharing a mutual love for an amazing sport, feeling good by the synergy that bubbles forth when the young and the old get together.

In the end, we are all young at heart.


Nieuwsbrief 6 oktober 2023

| Golf


Second place bruto men with a 77 from the back tees, and they still insist on calling me Fred.

| Golf

It was raining pretty hard in the morning, and with a bogie on the first three holes, I wasn't feeling that confident. Despite the slow start, I kept my head and pulled off a 39 at the turn. With just three bogies on the back nine, I scored a 38, for an honorable 77 total from the back tees. One birdie, no doubles, no penalties, and no lost balls. My handicap went down to a 5.0, not bad for an old man. Breaking the 5.0 level mark might be tough, but it's definitely doable. In twelve years from now, I shouldn't have any problems shooting my age.

| Golf


Where's the %$#@&%$! hole?!

| Films


"I almost died but was reborn. The only thing that I've learned is that life is about suffering. There's no escaping from it. That's the truth. What's important is how we deal with suffering, how we deal with the truth."

Lagertha - The Vikings

| Family and friends


She lived her life of ninety-eight years to the fullest, and the time had come for her to leave us for a better place in another dimension. I am very thankful to her for being such a fantastic mother who raised her only child so well, loving and caring for her daughter who grew up and became my loving partner, mother of four children, three grandchildren, et al.

Dag mam, ik zal je missen. Take care.

| Miscellaneous

Awesome and incredible, two adjectives which have taken on a life of their own in the latest language cultural movement of social media.

Meaningless exaggerations to the extreme which have been normalized to muddle up the English language.

"Awesome, don't you think!"

"Pretty incredible, isn't it!"

According to the dictionary, the definition of awesome is "extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe," for example "the awesome power of the atomic bomb."

Likewise, the definition of incredible is "impossible to believe," as in "an almost incredible tale of triumph and tragedy."

Remember this when watching videos on the Internet where people are discussing boring subjects and trying to make them more interesting by peppering their monologues with such misplaced extravagant terms.

| Golf

My handicap has been going up for some time, and today I hit the seven handicap mark. This is not good, and I do not want to accept that growing older means that your handicap goes up and up while your motor skills deteriorate.

The sad thing is that all of those extra training and practicing sessions haven't helped me a single bit. In fact, my scores in tournaments are quite poor and I am feeling very frustrated. It seems that an unpredictable routine of bad luck and errant shots is unfairly destroying my game.

For example, in the club stroke championship I shot a 90, 84 and 85. In the senior stroke championship, I mucked around and shot an 85 and 84. Whatever happened to the good old days when I regularly shot in the seventies? Just keep on trying and hope it's merely a bad dream and goes away soon.

| Golf

This picture shows the results of a single chipping session from about twenty meters one late afternoon of training for a couple hours. Being able to chip and one putt provides a huge advantage on the golf course, especially for those holes where you just miss the green in regulation and have a challenging chip and putt left over.


In general the results are pretty good, a majority of chances to one putt which is the goal of this exercise.

However, if I were to improve my chipping skills, one notices two things: the ball tends to be to the right of the hole and the average distance is a bit too long.

A good golfer prefers the ball to be long as this means there is a better chance of chipping the ball in the hole, but too far past the hole is not good either.

I therefore have two simple goals for the next time, namely: chip more balls along the line of the hole (close my club face ever so slightly), and avoid chipping the ball too far past the hole (minimal decrease ball strike velocity).

| Golf

Hurrah, for the first time this year I finally did it: I completed eighteen holes without a single double-bogie, played the very same ball and to top things off I broke eighty.

38 + 38 = 76 (no birdies though).

Finally my handicap has stopped going up and is back down to a 6.4.

| Golf

Last month my golf game has been very sharp, and I have put in some pretty good rounds. However, starting two weeks ago disaster struck and I cannot figure out what I was doing differently with my swing that has impacted my golf game so negatively.

My woods and long irons were inconsistent, I was striking the club in the ground before the ball, I was rarely contacting well with the ball, and most of my shots were pulled or hooked off to the left.

In desperation I signed up for a one hour golf lesson. With a couple very simple changes the pro saved my life by tweaking my swing.

I noted down a number of key aspects that the pro observed and told me about. I printed out the following list and will carry it with me on the golf course for extra inspiration:

Golf lesson:
* Put hands forward.
* Feel club leading edge slightly open and right of target.
* Do NOT close the face!

Long irons and woods:
* Stand proud.
* Trust your tempo and don't swing too fast.
* Stay behind the ball, follow through and do not fall forward.
* Do NOT hang hands between the knees!

* Practice hitting draws with open club face.
| Nature and universe

For the last couple of decades, modern civilization has been very caught up in conserving energy and doing everything possible to avert inevitable ecological disaster. Global warming is getting worse by the year, so we better do something about it soon, or else.

So in our infinite wisdom and tremendous thirst for modern technologies, many factories are rolling out fully electric vehicles, solar panels, windmills, and a multitude of other crazy gadgets..

Since it has become a bit of a panic with time quickly running out, we are not thinking very much about the long term effects of our current decisions. Are these decisions really as sound as we hope? Could the long term effects negate the effects we are attempting to avoid right now?

One aspect of this hurried chaos is that in a few years time we will have an abundance of used and leaking batteries, solar panels, burned out turbines and broken blades. This nasty material will collect and we will end up with mountains of unprocessed man-made junk.

Ironically, in blind frenzy we are so overly focused on avoiding short term disaster that we have forgotten that the long term effects will be a hundred times worse.

Perhaps mother nature has already fated mankind to eventual extinction and there is nothing we can do about it. I hope not.

| Golf


Played at De Koepel golf course today in preparation of next week's big senior championship. About a two hour drive to get there, but it was worth it.

I think that I am finally starting to play better again. Shot an okay 37 + 41 = 78 with one birdie and two stupid double bogies. The back nine is much more difficult. Wish me luck next week.

| Old age

Whenever we visit my elderly relative in the care home, and the weather being suitable enough, we take her downstairs to have a nice cup of coffee out on the patio which has a pleasant view of the garden. She enjoys the sounds of birds and the beautifully colored flowers and plants.

There are a number of older folk living there with various levels of one or the other ailment. A large majority have to be pushed around in wheelchairs, and sometimes you see someone walking along slowly using a wheeled walker.

On this occasion, there was an older man scuffling along the garden path which is made of gravel and is circular in shape. The path takes you along the perimeter of the garden with a total length of some thirty meters.

For whatever reason, this older man kept moving faster and faster. As he picked up sufficient pace, his legs seems to go out of control, propelling him at a pretty significant running speed. Indeed, his body had acquired youthful energy, and he was jogging along like someone half of his age.

At first I just thought that he was exercising extra hard, after being cooped up all day inside of his room. But it soon became apparent that he could not keep up with his quickly shuffling legs, and he launched himself onto the patio about to hit a table. Fortunately there was another person sitting there and she caught him by the arm just in time. Whew, that was a close one. His right right arm was bleeding slightly due to his brushing violently along the bushes during the final lap.

I learned later that this behavior is a common syndrome of people suffering from Parkinson's disease. The trembling of extremities sometimes gets triggered and turns into more violent synchronized motions. In the case of the old man, his shaking legs went into turbo mode and sped him along like a unmanned projectile. Getting faster and faster until disaster was ready to strike.

Let's not forget to be thankful for our good health now. Appreciate life to its utmost while you can.

| Internet

How often in the past have ignorant ivory tower government officials tried to impose supposedly inane IT security measures, which on closer inspection are completely infeasible in terms of the existing technologies? Going overboard along a single front line of defense is not the right answer and is plainly insane. As even more draconian measures are imposed, following a just-in-case mentality, there remain much easier and less obvious means to hack into a given corporation. Remember the Maginot line which was simply bypassed by the Germans during the first world war? We should learn from our mistakes in the past and just get along with our work without unnecessary barbed wire, trenches and imaginary Maginot lines.

| Internet


Despite the huge hype about ChatGPT these days, I still entertain a negative feeling towards all of the so-called amazing promises that this wonderful new technology has to offer us.

However, before I go too far sticking my neck out spewing negativities, I figured it would be better if I first learn more details about what this new technology is under the hood and what it has really to offer. For me, for my surroundings and for the rest of society.

That's why I have signed up for for a course and am following it now.

ChatGPT - The Complete Guide to ChatGPT & OpenAI APIs

| Golf


What a great privilege it was for me to be the captain of such a fantastic team. Ending up second place is a great achievement, and I congratulate all our golfing heroes who made it happen. We will have to wait until next year to decide how to proceed further, but no matter what happens, the fun memories will last.

| Golf
From left to right: Eirikur, Reinier, Erik, Paul, Jeroen, Ed, Kiffin and Ragnar.

For the third year in a row I get to be the captain of our great golf team. So far this season, we have won the first two matches, but unfortunately got beaten pretty badly in the third match. We have one match to go where you can get revenge and prove that we are the best team this year.

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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 2510 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.