This afternoon, Annabel stayed
with one of her friends from church. Around four o'clock
we went to catch her, but of course, she did not have
much interest in going home with us. We had some tea with
the parents, and then Andy was
very much attracted by the little swimming pool, just
standing besides us. He had a great time going into the
pool, and after some twenty minutes wanted to go out as
The head, not the tail
Yesterday evening, I attended the sunday evening prayer
meeting at my church. We were with twelve people. During
these prayer meetings, we just do what we feel the Lord
leads us to do. We usually start with worship. At some
point during the meeting it was decided that the "old"
should pray for the "young". After some discussion about
what is "old" and "young", the age limit was set at 50.
When it was my turn, someone quoted a part of
Deut. 28:13 where it says: The Lord shall
make you the head and not the tail, and you only shall
be above, and you shall not be underneath. Now, that
is definitely one of the wierdest verses that I have been
given. But no word from the Lord should be taken lightly!!
Of course, as with almost all promises found in the Bible,
there is also a condition attached to it.
If I look up from my computer screen, I can see
the street outside the building. Through one of the windows (the blinds
of the other are usually closed), I can see two bus stops (through
I notice that I often look up for a few second when there
are people walking and biking on the roads that can be seen,
or when the busses pass by, which happens every fifteen
minutes or so.
When doing a google search on "premature optimalisation" and
"root of all evil", I found just
one single page, which contained part of an interesting
discussion about how to deal with unexperienced software
engineers. The above statement is a famous statement by
Coming Saturday, there will be flee market at the school
Annabel is attending. This evening
were were busy collecting some items we could donate. I went
to my bookshelves, and found some (mainly Christian) books
that I didn't think I would ever read again. But while doing
this I also came across many PhD thesis and technical reports,
which I had collected over the years.
Looking at all these reports made me dazzle. So much research
has be done, and it seems to have had so less effect on how
we develop software. I am more and more coming to the conclusion
that Computer Science is one of the hardest applied sciences.
Winnie the Pooh
This morning, when we drove home from church,
Li-Xia had opened the window near Andy
a little, and he was visibly enjoying the wind blowing through his
This afternoon, when we went to catch Annabel
(who was playing with some friend again, like last Sunday),
Li-Xia put Andy in the car, and while I put my bag in the back of the
car, I saw him playing with a Winnie the Pooh doll Annabel once got
with a Happy Meal, and presuming that his window was closed, I thought
that there would be no danger of him trowing Winnie the Pooh out of
the window. However, when we were about half way, Li-Xia remarked how
quietly Andy was looking out of the window. When I watched him, I
sudddenly noticed that his window was open, and I started to ask him
where Winnie the Pooh was. Of course, he did not give an anwer. When
we stopped at the first opportunity and searched the car, we did not
find a Winnie the Pooh. I also started to doubt that it was the Winnie
the Pooh he had been playing with. When we asked him, he did say something
that seemed to indicate that he indeed dropped it out of the window,
but with his limited speaking abilities you never can take things for
granted with him.
When we drove home, I watched the opposite side of the road, but did
not see anything yellow that resembled the form of a little Winnie the
Pooh doll. Also when we searched at home, we could not find it. We did
find the Tiger disguish that came with it.
Winnie the Pooh (Cont'd)
Today, I discovered that the kind of Winnie the Pooh doll
Andy threw out of the window
yesterday are for sale at
Cornelia Bears. The whole set of four animals with the
original boxes, cost € 35. Because I find that
too much money, I asked them what a single Winnie the Pooh
doll would cost.
Piercings and tattoos
In the Washington Post an
article appeared with the title Despite Their Increasing
Popularity, Tattoos and Piercings Are Linked to Bad Behavior.
Not many people know that the Old Testament strongly speaks
against body modifications such as piercings.
A Pattern Language
My boss brought his copy of A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander which he got from
the author on the OOPSLA'96 conference. It does not have the authors autograph.
I did look through it. Some ideas are really
interesting. The Intimacy Gradient pattern (number 127 in the book)
made me remember a story that I worked on a very long time ago,
in which a people appeared with a very strong developed concept
of privacy. And as so often with ideas you get, it turns out that
it already occurs in some culture in the world.
On the other hand, I also have to say that it contains a lot
of ideology and is describing some kind op utopia for the world.
It is far less about architecture than one would think on first
sight. It is one of the few books widely known outside architecture.
Especially, in recent Computer Science books, it is often quoted
and refered to. One of the first books doing so was "Design Patterns"
by Gamma e.t., which is often refered to as the "Gang of Four" [GoF]
This morning, I asked Andy
what day of the week it was. He did not answer anything,
but when I asked him whether it was Monday, he gave
a difinite no. So, I continued with the other days,
and when I came to Friday, he said "Vrijdag" (the Dutch
word for Friday). So, he knows the days of the week now.
They do practive it every day at the day center that he
Today, there was some news about some Jupiter like exoplanet
being found. In the media these kind of discoveries are
always linked with the possibility of extra-terrestical life
in our galaxy. However, it is clear that either highly
developed extra-terrestical life is rather scarces or
inter-planetary travel is very difficult. Otherwise, we would
already have met with some extra-terrestical life form.
Personally, I believe that inter-planetary travel is not
really feasable, as the distances are simply too large to
be bridged by any complex life form that has sufficient
intelligence to even consider building a space craft.
Annabel saw a neighbour girl
break off one of the flowers that we seeded earlier
this year in the front garden.
She was very sad about it, and we went to
complain. The girl denied she had broken it off saying
that it fell of by itself. But her father did warn
her, that he didn't want her to see breaking off flowers.
What made Annabel particulary sad was that it was the
only orange flower. She wanted me to take a picture of
it. When I did not immediately do this, she started to
scream, saying that I did not want to listen about it.
Finally, I did take a picture with our
and spend some time, turning it into a
image with a transparent background.
Pattern 105: South facing outdoors
Just the title of this pattern suggest that the
author has a strong Northern centered view
of the world. On the South hemisphere, the
sunny side is on the North. The title should
have been: Sun facing outdoors.
The back garden of our house is on
the shadow side and we like it very much, because it gives
a shadow area close to the house.
One time, when we were looking for houses,
I considered one of the big disadvantages of the
house the fact that the back garden was on the
South. I do not feel very comfortable sitting in
the sun. I rather sit in the shade on a warm sunny
day, the only kinds of days I consider sitting
outdoors. Sitting in the sun for long periods is
a known risc factor for skin cancer. Furthermore
it is known that too much sun ages the skin.
There is not much you can do while sitting in the
sun, then sunbathing. Did you ever try to read a
book while sitting in the sun without dark sun
glasses? It is impossible. Even having a
converstation with some others is hard. I think
most people like to sit in the shade, under a
tree, for example, where they can see enjoy looking
at the sunny areas.
Utrecht: De Slegte
I happend to follow a course
organized by the company I work for,
which was held in Utrecht. At the end of the day, I had some time
left, and took the opportunity to go into the city and pay a short
visit to the bookshop "De Slegte"
I did not have much time to look around, but could not stop walking
through this facinating bookshop.
The last time I visited it, was on
Thursday, October 12, 2000. I did not have much time to look
around, but I did noticed that they still had the book about the
Dutch "Monet", of which I saw the last copy
in Enschede earlier this year. I did take some
This pattern very much suggests that bathing should be
a regular (almost daily) social activity where several
people stay for some time together in a bath. Personally,
I do not feel any need for this. Especially, when you
have young children, there is not much room for such
activities. (He does not discus the design implications
with respect to little children.) Also, I do not think
there is a pressing need for taking a bath or shower on
a daily basis. It is only in wealthy countries that people
have this priveledge.
He suggests that the bath itself should be large enough for
two or three people to be used at the same time. But that
would require quite a large bath. Large bath use a lot of
water that needs to be heated to a comfortable temperature,
which uses a lot of resources in a cold climate.
I also do not understand that he does not suggest the
possibility of having a separate toilet accessible from
the public part of the house, which can be used by both
visitors and members of the family, thus keeping the
bathing room part of the private realm of the family.
To me this seems to be a violation of the Intimacy gradient (127) pattern. I do not feel that
a simple curtain is enough to provide intimacy. Also,
I do not know many people who feel comfortable using
a toilet when there are others around (using the bath).
With respect to the positioning of the toilet there
might also be a conflict with the Compost (178) pattern.
Waterlilies by Monet
Today, I heard that
a painting from Claude Monet
(Wilderstein number 1685) was sold for
€ 21.4 milion (13481650 GBP to be precise)
I immediately decided to use a image of this painting
as the background of the computer I use in my office.
This evening, I also finished reading the literary thriller
Verlies written by the couple
Nicci French and
translated to Dutch by Molly van Gelder and Eelco Vijzelaar.
I got this book for free when I bought the book .Net Framework Gids on June 15.
At the end of this pattern, he mentions two difficulties
that need to be overcome. The solution that he suggest
does not cover all aspects of these difficulties, nor is
any evaluation given of the cost compared to the suggested
benefits. It would be rather expensive (bridges and tunnels
for cars, bikes and people) to construct an aphalt-free
system of movement for just animals. I am not a pet lover,
and have never felt the need to have a pet.
May 2002 |
July 2002 |