As is our custom we went to the city. We parked
our car at a free parking place outside the inner
city and took the free shuttle to the city center.
I went into Xenos
with Andy, when Li-Xia wanted to look for show shoes for
Annabel. Xenos is really a
strange type of show. They already exist for more than
twenty years, and they kinds of things they sell have
remained the same, so the must be something attractive
about it. What makes the shop so strange, is the strange
combination of things they sell. They have quite a large
section of cheap cups, bowls, glasses and such. Then the
have a section of kitchen utensils. But they also sell
all kinds of (mostly wooden) furniture and lamps. We found
two types of eolian harps. One with aluminium pipes, and
one, much bigger, with bamboe pipes. Both costed a little
less than four Euro. But then they also sell all kinds of
exotic foods. I usually only go in to buy some nice
vanile sented tea. Today, my eyes were attracted to some
of the foods. We ended up buying pasta ("Pasta di semola
di Grano Duro") from Felicetti,
some tomato sauce ("i Sughi Rustici Napoletana") from
Cirio, and two packages
of Mexican Wraps. Then I also bought a bunch of herb teas
from Kniepp and from San Franciso Herb & Natural
Food Co. "Cola Tea".
This evening, we fried some green beans and leek, and mixed
it with the pasta and the tomato sauce we bought
this afternoon. Annabel liked it very much, so, I think
we will make it more often. Li-Xia felt we should have
added some more green beans.
When we came home, Annabel found a beach ball (a large
inflatable ball) in our garden. She immediately ran over
to the neighbours to ask them if it was theirs, but it
was not. The other neighbours were not home. The ball
was printed like a globe. When I asked Annabel if she
knew where the Netherlands could be found on the globe,
she could not find it. When I pointed at it, her immediate
reply was: "So small". She was visibly disappointed that
our country was just a little spot on the globe. I wonder
if she also realized the size of our Earth.
Between seven and eight this evening, I played Go with Annabel. We
have decided to play regularly again, since she played
last Saturday. I won the first
game that we played. She did not like this, so I decided to
give her three stones advance, and to play less agressively.
During this games, I often show her what are good moves and
give her the possibility to win. Still she was complaining
that she could not win from me, while she won all of the
remaining games. What she means is that I do not allow her
to kill large group of stones. When I mentioned that there
was a Go club here in Enschede she reacted enthousiasticly.
I know that there is one at the University (I suppose it is
still there), and they run beginner courses. Still I am not
sure if she could follow that. Yes, maybe the first evening,
she could still beat some of the new players, but after some
weeks that would be rather hard.
Cooling the house
I set my alarm at six o'clock. Luckily, I did not sleep through
it. I went downstairs to open the back door and some windows. It
was still 26 degrees Celsius inside. Outside it was about 17
degrees. For the coming weeks, a heat wave has been forcasted
with temperatures above 30 degress. When it is over 27 degrees in
home, I find it difficult to do anything useful in the house.
It looks like my brain is not working well enough to concentrate
on slightly complicated matters.
A few days ago, I had read that the Rijksmuseum Twenthe had a painting by Monet. This afternoon,
around half past three, Annabel and I
went to the museum. I had to pay € 4, while for Annabel
the enterance was free. We immediately walked into the modern section
of the museum, but we failed to discover the painting. We did look
at the 100 years 100 chairs exebition. At the enterance we asked
about the painting, and the man said that it was in room 18. We went
over there to check the room again, but could not discover the painting.
Finally, we had to conclude that the painting was temporarely not on
display. He could give me some information about the painting. He also
gave us a leaflet with a picture of the painting on it. At home I
looked it up in the Catalogue Raisonné. The painting has number 788, and the
catalog reported that it was currently in the possesion of the museum.
Today, Li-Xia, Annabel,
Andy, and I take the train to Gronau to visit
the LAGA garden festival. We took a lot of pictures. I also got a map for free.
This evening, I thought about giving Annabel
a puzzle to solve with respect to Go. I asked her to
make a group with the largest possible area with just twelve stones. She
came up with a rather stunning solution, which was not exactly correct.
What I had in mind was a rectangle of five by six stones, creating an
area of 30 places. She however, made a diagonal of nine stones, which
she protected with three stones. The solution was not completely correct,
because she had not thought about the connection on the edges, but by
moving the two stones at the edges one in, a group was formed with the
area of 31 places.
This evening, I saw the moon from the Kitchen window. I immediately,
got some camera lenses from upstairs.
I also got a pillow, and
connected the lens to our webcam,
just like I did some weeks ago in an attempt to photograph some ants.
I spend about half an hour focussing and trying to find the moon, and
at the time, we finally saw the first craters on the moon, it was moving
through some leaves of a tree outside. Because of the extremely short
focus depth the leaves were not really visibile on the pictures, but appeared as darkned areas.
Some time ago the Roman Catholic church announced that it
is against gay marriage. Almost at the same time president Bush
said that he was against it as well. Yesterday, the Episcopal Church
elected its first openly gay bishop: Will V. Gene Robinson. This
man claims to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. What surprises
me most is that people seem to have more problems with him
being gay, than the fact that he has been divorced from his wife
and two kids. Based on the first letter to Timothy, Chapter 3, one
could conclude that an overseer (bishop) cannot be divorced.
In the afternoon, we went swimming.
Around, half past six in the evening, the temperature sensor outside
was showing 33.7 degrees Celsius. Inside it was 28.4 degrees.
This is the third day with temperatures above 30 degrees, which is
the qualification for a heat wave here in the Netherlands. There is
a great chance that this summer wil be hotter than the summer of 1947,
which so far was the hottest summer ever measured here with respect
to the day and night average temperature.
I just heard that Andy did fine on his first day to school. Everything went okay.
He did not cause any problems with eating and drinking. I have to confess that I
did feel a little nervous about it. This is good news.
I got up at six this morning, to open the backdoor and the windows,
to let allow the house to cool a little. It was 20.2 degrees Celsius when I left
from home around half past seven. I was the first one to arrive at the office
and started with downloading the source files and performing a fresh build
(which is still running while I am writing this). Today is also the first
schoolday for Andy. I wonder how it will go and how
tired he will be at the end of the day.
Annabel beating me with Go
In the past weeks, Annabel has made some
progress with respect to playing go. We now play without any gift, except that
she may start with black. She usually wins now. But I have to say that often I
let her win, by pointing at mistakes she is going to make and making
suggestions. In rare cases, I just do some useless moves to allow her to secure
a hole or a weak group. She is developping some sense for strategy, but as soon
as I am getting a reasonable strong group, she start attacking it, hoping that
it will break down. She has a hard time seeing that some attacks are useless,
and that she should focus on more important moves. At the moment, I do not see a
way out of this.
CWnd::SetFocus is one of those MFC methods that can have unexpected
side effects, including obscure run-time errors. A call to this method will
produce a "set focus" event, usually followed by a "kill focus" event to the
control/window that currently holds the focus. Some controls/windows respond to
this by saving changes, which can lead to a myriad of windows being refreshed,
possibly including the one that issued the SetFocus event, or worse that
destroys the window on which the SetFocus method was called. Basically, this
means one cannot make any assumptions with pointers being valid. The real
problem is that often there is no way to discover if a pointer points to an
object that has just been deleted, except if memory is only allocated once and
marked deleted (by filling with 0xdd), which is okay during debugging, but not
during normal execution.
Taking pictures of the full moon
I woke up in the middle of the night, because of the heat.
Yesterday, was the seventh (and hopefully last) day with temperatures above 30
degrees Celsius, which is an all time record. When I looked outside, I saw the
full moon and just a little to the left Mars, which is very close to earth (and
soon will be closests in 60.000 years). I decided to go down an take some
pictures like I did before. I managed to take four
pictures from the moon with my 500 mm lens,
and put them together in a single 829x825 image (237 Kb JPEG). I did miss a
little part in the right top corner. (smaller version of the picture.)
Drop of the temperature
The temperatures have dropped, but the drought continues. The weather
forecast is not even reporting a chance for substantial amouths of rain
for the coming ten days. This means that some areas in the West of the
Netherlands will have to start using brackish water to keep the ground water
level up to an acceptable level. Otherwise there is a chance that former peat
areas will permanently drop or that foundations of buildings will start to rot.
Both of these will lead to substantial damage. The brackish water will cause
damage to plant and animal life.
This morning, I woke-up at 5:35 with terrible cramp in my right leg. I got out
of bed because it
would not make sense trying to fall asleep again. The outside temperature had
dropped below 14 degrees, but downstairs it was still 26 degrees Celsius. When I
left, just before eight, it was 15.3 degrees. Last night, I played
Igo Win for a long time. According to
this program, I am around 11 kyu. The program does not allow you take back
stupid moves. I noticed that at the end I started to make many stupid moves.
Rather frustrating, I would say.
I also came to the realization that one of the major success factors with
respect to eXtreme Programming (XP) is customer acceptation.
To me it seems that software
engineers have less trouble adapting to it than customers. I get the impression
that if your customer does not really trust you with respect to XP, he will seek
ways to build in guarantees with respect to what functionality will be included
in each release. And before you know it, you are writing specification and
performing tests, and the whole set of best-practices that make XP work, will
start to crumble down and collapse. Each best-pratices that is dropped will
cripple the effectiveness of the others. And before you know you are just
performing the old waterfall development methode again.
Dutch is a language that is spoken in both the Netherlands and the Northern half
of Belgium. In the Netherlands, the Dutch spoken in Belgium is often called
Flemish. Although it is considered as one language, there are many small
differences, especially with respect to the words used. The Flemish often avoid
the use of foreign words, especially, French words, because French is the other
language spoken in Belgium. For some examples, look at
This afternoon, we moved our
computer andy from downstairs to the bedroom of
Annabel. We also moved
the printer. I verified
that the network cable that I use to connect them, when needed,
can still be used.
When I left home, it was 17.9 degrees Celsius outside. Yesterday
evening we had a little rain, just enough to make the pavement
look wet, but not enough to compensate for the dryness of the
past weeks. This was the first rain we had in weeks. Spain and
Southern France have been hit by terrible raining, including hailstones
destroying cars, small tornados, and flooding. The Rhein (the major river
providing us with water) is at a historical low level. Some trees have been
reported to start dropping their leaves.
Yesterday, I saw a boy in church with a black t-shirt with white letters
Life is Short
Death is Sure
Sin is the Curse
Jesus is the Cure
U.S. not in control of Iraq
Yesterdays bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Bagdad killed Sergio Vieira
de Mello and at least sixteen others. This definitely is one of the most brutal
attacks in Iraq since the start of the war. One wonders who is behind it, and
who thinks to benefit from creating chaos in Iraq. Maybe some groups in Iraq
are seeing the U.N. as an extention of the U.S., nevertheless the fact that
de Mello was on the side of the Iraqi people and trying hard to give them more
On Dutch television there was an interview of a Dutch student who returned to
Iraq after having finished her studies to help to rebuild the country. She
clearly stated that the United States are not in control of the country and that
the effects of the curfew are small. She noted an increase in criminal
activities also happening during curfew. She also noted that many people are
hidding pictures of Saddam just in case he would return. There is much fear
among the common Iraqies, that in the end the United States will withdraw and
Saddam returns. Several Dutch experts reported that there is a downward spiral
This morning when I left from home it was 14.5 degrees. Temperatures have
clearly dropped, but the first real rain is only expected during or after
the weekend. Luckily the level of the Rhein has been going up due to some
substantial rain in the Southern part of Germany.
Zaai (Dutch for Boring)
is a television series about two friends, Irma and Ingrid, who meet everyday on a
fence along the route of postman Siemen. Siemen always has to work, but usually
he does have some time to give some comments and to come up with something
against the boredome of the two friends.
SCO's Las Vegas Slide Show
Analysis of SCO's
Las Vegas Slide Show by Bruce Perens. It more and more becomes obvious that
the claims that SCO makes, will not stand in court. It almost looks like the
lawyers of SCO do not understand copyright laws at all. But this does not seem
to be known to the general public. I wonder how long it will take before their
case will be ruled by a court decision.
When I left the office this night (due to some private
appointment in the morning, I decided to stay longer),
I noticed some rather dark clouds drifting overhead.
I was really looking at them, because it has been such
a long time ago seeing dark clouds drifting over, and
I was wondering whether I should expect some rain or
not. Then when I came to the main road, I noticed a
car with a blue blinking light. When it came closer,
I saw it was from the fire brigade. It stopped and
someone held some instrument outside. Suddenly, I realized
that those dark clouds were smoke from a nearby fire.
I decided to continue and a little further I met some
people standing in the street who told me that there
was a big fire at "Vredestein", a local tire producer.
While I biked on, I also noticed an orange glow at the
horizon flickering in a irregular pattern typical for
a large fire producing a lot of smoke.
When I came closer to the harbour (an industrial area
that is connected to the "Twente" canal), the sirenes
sounded, probably to warn the people to close their
windows. When I arrived at the harbour, I could see
the flames in the distance. A little further there was
a police bus with some civilians in it, stopping people
going into the harbour area (not a road that would lead
to the factory itself). These might have been employees
from the factory itself that were being instructed by
the police to stop the people. It was very busy at the
junction with people who were attracted by the fire.
They told the people to go home, so I just decided to
This evening, Annabel and I
were playing a
game of Go, when suddenly she pointed to a group of
stones of me, and stated the rethorical question:
"That group of stones is dead, isn't it?". To my dismay,
I had to admit that it indeed looked rather dead. When
I made an attempt to see if I could make it alive, she
killed it after a long fight.
She is really starting to develop some sense for groups
being dead or alive, but what it more important is that
it is useless to attack a group that looks rather dead.
I think I am still stronger than her with respect to
strategy, the problem however is that she is stronger
tactically which allows her to do me substantial damage,
enough to win many of the games that we play. I wonder
what our playing levels are at the moment. Coming Wednesday,
we plan to go to the Drienerlose Go Club.
Mars close to Earth
Tomorrow, Mars will be close to Earth. Closer than usual. But it is
still 55758006 km (measured from the gravity centers of both planets). With the
current media hype, I am afraid that some people might get the impression that
Mars is almost going to hit Earth. A really interesting question is when Mars
will be closest to a given position on Earth, and what the distance is from
surface to surface. Even if you ignore that Mars is not exactly spherical, it is
rather complicated, I would say. To find the place that will be the closests to
Mars, is not that difficult, because it is simply the location where Mars is
straight up in the sky when Mars is at it closest position. One can also easily
calculate the distance from surface-to-surface at that location will be 55739108
km. For all other locations, one has to know detailed information about the
trajectory of Mars and Earth.
This evening, Annabel and I played a real
looking Go game. I am not going to tell
who played which colour. (You might be able to figure
it out from the board position.) It is obvious that white
won the game, although black succeeded in killing a
group in the top-left corner of the board at the start
of the game.
(Actually, I wonder whether the game is really over
because it is not clear
whether the white group at the
top center may live, if black is to play next.)
The Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a
butter-fly that drinks nectar from flowers like a humming-bird. It has been
reported frequently here in the Netherlands during the last month. I haven't
seen one myself yet.
This evening, Annabel and I
went to the University of Twente to join the playing
evening of the Go club. We stayed for about an hour,
because Annabel has to go to school again. We did
play some games against others,
but didn't win a single game.
Summer is over
This morning it was 14.9 degrees Celsius when I went outside. We still
haven't had any substantia rain so far. Earlier this week there was some
flooding in a small village, which now seems to be caused by the dryness. A dike
along a canal over the length of about 50 meters was pushed a side. The
conclusion now is that the dike simply became too light due to dryness to stand
the force of the water in the canal. The dike contains a lot of turf. There is
some fear that more dikes could brake when we would get some substantial rain
the coming week.
This morning, I had to bike through the rain to my office. I don't like to bike
through the rain, but I should not complain, because it is only the first time
in many weeks. I always carry a Vision Poncho from
AGU with me. I prefer poncho's above rain
suits because they are easier to put on and take off.
This months interesting links
July 2003 |