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Friday, December 1, 2000
I was phoned by my sister in my office, and I immediately
understood what had happened: my father
had died. After the
call, I switched off my computer, went to the restrooms,
informed my boss, and my colleagues, and went to my parents
place after having made some arrangements for Annabel and
I arrive at my parents place. My three sisters and an aunt already
had arrived, and my brother was on his way. They were discussing
all the details with the mortician (undertaker). After he went
away, I went to look my father, who was laying on the bed.
My mother and my oldest
sister both being nurses had already layed him out.
Not much later, a coffin arrived, and the body was
put in the coffin placed in the guest room. My mother
wanted to keep my fathers corpse with her until the
Not much later, my brother arrived as well, and we had
to make the funeral card, which was not an easy job.
Finally, we faxed it to the office of the mortician,
and we started to collect addresses and write them
on the envelops. After we had checked the proof, which
was send by fax from the print shop, the cards were
printed, and brought to us at around half past five.
Quickly, we put all the cards
in the envelops. However,
we were too late to deliver them at the local post office,
so my brother had to deliver them at one of the central
mail sorting and distribution centers. Luckily, he
managed to do this without much problems.
Around half past eight, I went home. On the way back
I contemplated about a message to be given during the
funeral service. I was thinking about using scripture
portions from Acts 17 "the speech on the Areopagus"
and John 6 "I am the bread of life".
I arrive around ten o'clock and I saw the picture
that Annabel (the eldest
granddaughter of my father) had made with the
text "Voor Lieve Opa" (Dutch for: "to my dear grandpa").
Seeing this made me feel really sad for the first time
this day. She had lost her only grandfather left.
I sat down with my laptop and worked on the messages
for almost one and half hour.
Saturday, December 2, 2000
Andy says goodbey
When we arrived at my parents place, Andy
curiously looked around to see if he could spot his
grandfather, who died yesterday.
Later on the afternoon, Li-Xia carried
him upstairs to the room where the coffin was put up.
Andy reacted enthousiastic when he saw his grandfather through
the glass frame of the cover. He even touched the glass with his
fingers. My mother, my sister, Annabel,
and I were also present. We told Andy that we were going to say
goodbey. He waved to my father and said goodbey. It was very
touching to see him do this. I am very happy that Li-Xia took
him upstairs. I wonder what he will remember of this. Of course,
at his age, and with his handicaps, he does not understand at
all what has happened.
Tuesday, December 5, 2000
A short evening vigil for my father was
held in the R.C. church that he attended. It is a rather small
church, an almost square room with chairs placed around the altar.
The coffin was placed in the middle of the room with four candles
on each of the corners. The evening vergile consisted of the following
Afterwards, the people could condolate us with the loss of
my father. When this was over, my mother and us (her children
and some of her children-in-law)
gathered around the coffin in order to close it. Uptill now,
it had been covered with a removable cover which had a glass
frame in it. First the cover was removed. Then we talked
about him for some time. My mother made some remarks about
my father how he denied that he had slept when he had taken
a nap while sitting in the living room just before dinner.
These and some other remarks almost made me laugh. It seemed
as my mother had inherited the humor of my father. Then we
closed the lid, and together we screwed the nobs on the lid
to fix it.
- The song "Ik sta voor u" (I stand before you)
- Ceremony of the light
- Psalm prayer
- First scripture reading from
- The song "Heer onze Heer" (Lord our Lord)
- Second scripture reading from
- Intercessory prayer
- Our Father
- The song "Wonen overal" (living everywhere)
Wednesday, December 6, 2000
The funeral service consisted of:
- The song "God heeft het eerste woord" (God has the first word)
- Lighting the candles
- First scripture reading from
- The song "Het lied van alle zaad" (The song of all seeds)
- Second scripture reading from
- message (Dutch)
- Preparing of the table
- Table prayer
- Our Father
- Holy communion
- Final benediction
- The song "Wonen overal" (living everywhere)
Crematorium "Den en Rust"
I was surprised by the hall of the crematorium "Den en Rust".
At the end of the hall there are glass doors giving a view
to a lane of trees. Before these doors there is a grey marble
area on the floor. The coffin was placed on a segment of this
marble area that can sink into the floor.
Above the glass door there was a leaded window depicting a
man in white. At the top there was an Alpha and Omega symbol.
Especially, the view on the lane gave the hall a very special
dimension. A truely marvelous architectural design, I have to
admit. I suppose that the glass doors are opened in the summer
We as a family were seated on the first row. When we entered
the hall the Adagio of the Concert in D for violin and horn
by Bach was playing. After the music had finished, the M.C.
spoke a welcome, and asked if there was anyone wanting to
give a speech. There was none. Then the Panjus Angelicus was
played. On behave of my mother and the rest of the family,
I thanked every one for attending and showing sympathy.
Then again the Adagio was played, and the coffin sank into
Thursday, December 7, 2000
How to make your application look amateuristic
If you want your program look amateuristic, you could consider
to give it the following funny features:
Don't laught, I have seen an application being used in a commercial
environment that implemented all of these features.
- Disable the close button of the main form of your application.
- To close the application, create a menu with one drop down menu
called "Option", which has one menu option called "exit".
- Add a tab strip, and make it so that if you click one of the
tabs, a new window is opened.
- Make it so that before the user can enter some data, she first
has to press a button.
- Erase the input fields after the user has saved the data, so
that it looks like they are gone. Only display the data again
when the user retrieves the data again.
- Make it so that once the entered data has been saved, it can
only be changed by a user with special priviledges.
- Give one of the don't save buttons the side effect of minimizing
the main form of your application.
- Implement a selection list as a form on the main form. Of course, you
disable the the close button, but as a feature the user can move
the form around inside the main form of your application. She can
even move it outside the window of your application, and thus
making it invisible.
Friday, December 8, 2000
The weather is very soft for this time of the year. Until now, I
haven't needed to scratch my car a single time. This morning, when
I stepped outside, I was surprised by how high the temperature was.
More than 10 Co, I would guess. If this continues like
this, it will be a long time before we will see some snow.
While driving home, I thought about how to estimate
the area of a Cauliflower fractal.
I already knew for all solid Cauliflower fractals,
a2 + b2
is larger or equal than one.
At home I derived that the estimated area of a solid
Cauliflower fractal equals to the sum of the area of the two circles
Cg subtracted by 2 pi, and then divided
by the area of the intersection of these two circles and
multiplied with 2 pi.
An attempt to represent this as an expression of
b lead to
a horrible formula, which I am not going to present here.
A formula for calculating the size of the overlapping area
of two circles is given in my discussion about the
Even more accurate estimations are possible. But the fomulaes
for these do not fit on a single page. These need formulaes
for the unified area of three or more circles. The construction
of good estimation algorithms for the sequence of improving
estimations is not that complicated. Maybe, I will program
it one day.
Thursday, December 14, 2000
Dreaming about my father
This morning, I was having a silly dream about
my father, dreaming that he had not
died at all. As if he had been really dead
all the time. This was already the second time that I had
such a dream. When I told it Li-Xia,
she told me that she had had the same kind of dreams after
her father died, which is no more
than ten years ago.
Friday, December 15, 2000
Andy being ill
Andy has been ill for at least
three days now, suffering from a fever. Yesterday evening,
Li-Xia went with him to a doctor.
The doctor did not find anything to worry about. Today,
we had hoped that he would have recovered a little bit,
but again he refused to eat. He is already very slim for
his age, but it seems he did loose some weight again in
the past days. This evening he started to vommit again
as he used to do before. He only got about 600 ml of food
during the day. And as he does not drink anything besides
his food, that is also his about his water in take for
the day. We gave him some 80 ml of apple juice. Hope that
stays in. Him being ill, and me not feeling optimal,
really drives me crazy, especially, because this is
alreay the third day like this.
Tuesday, December 19, 2000
This morning, there was ice on the windows of the car for the
very first time this year. Really amazing. This is a record as
long as statistics have been kept. Annabel
was very happy when she saw it, and she immediately started to
search for the ice scrapers in the car. She resisted when I
claimed the first one she found. Quickly after she gave in
she found the other one. She ended up cleaning half of one
window, while I did the rest of the car.
This afternoon, when I wanted to go home, again the car had
a thin layer of ice. So, I had to scratch it again.
Saturday, December 23, 2000
This morning in the city, I happen to pass by a gift shop
which was having its final closing down sale. It was the
very last day, and posters were being sold for 75% of the
original price. I didn't hesitate to go inside. Soon, I
found some posters with reproductions from paitings by
Claude Monet. I picked one,
in English "The Magpie", and bought it for ten guilders.
This painting was painted in 1869 by Monet. Wildenstein
gave it number 133 in his Catalogue raisonné.
It was rejected by the Salon in 1896. Then Monet
contacted Latouche, and arranged that it was put
on display in the Rue de la Fayette. It is painted
near Etretat and currently owned by the Musée d'Orsay
in Paris. It measures 89 by 130 cm.
I walked through the city with the poster under my arm.
It was wrapped into a plastic bag together with a large
piece of carton. When I showed it to Li-Xia, she immediately suggested that I should
buy some more. So, I went back, and bought "Flowering Garden"
(no. 69) and some water lilies that I haven't been able to
When I looked out of the window, I saw that everything
was frozen over, as they had predicted last night. There
was black ice on the road. When we went outside, I warned
Annabel that the pavement was
sloppery, but before I could finish my warning, she had
felt on her bottom.
In the afternoon, Annabel played with some friend in
Hengelo, a nearby city. We met this friend and her family
in church this morning. Around five, I went to catch her.
On the way back it began to snow, but the snow barely stayed.
It was still too wet.
When we arrived at home, we noticed that a thin layer
of snow was on the pavement. During the evening it
kept on snowing.
Christmas day, December 25, 2000
A white Christmas
When I looked out of the window, everything was covered
with snow. There was about 5 cm (2 inches) of snow, even
on the plants and the trees.
Thursday, December 28, 2000
We are staying with my mother for a few days.
Yesterday, I went through all the old books and papers from
to see what should be done with them. One of my brothers-in-law
already had cleaned up my fathers room upstairs. He also cleaned
up his computer, and installed some games for the children to
play. My mother complained that my father always collected so
much "rubbish". Today, I concluded that he inherited this from
his father. When my grandfather died they found a large attick
filled with things which "might be of some use", including more
than 800 cans of food. This is not so strange, if you realize
that during his life the two World Wars took place. The Netherlands
was occupied during the World War II, of which the last winter
is known as the "famine winter".
It seems others descendants from my paternal grandfather are
also affected by this collecting habbit, although it is expressed
in different ways. My "Useless lists" is
certainly also an expression of this. From my father possessions
I took some of his maps, his old
study books, his writings, his genealogic notes,
and a Cannon BJC-250 inkjet printer.
Today, I was introduced to the game clickomania. This
puzzle game is even better
than the famouse Tetris, is my first impression. A game of
such simplicity, almost purely mathematical, yet far from
Today, I visited my cousin Frans
together with Annabel. On the way back
it started snowing. A little snow storm, I would say. Not at all
as bad as the ones that occured in Brittain and the U.S.A. these
days. Yesterday evening, it also snowed, but the temperatures here are
to high, which causes most of the snow to disappear again during
the day. I wonder how much snow there will be in Enschede, where
the temperatures are a little lower.
November 2000 |
January 2001 |