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Diary, November 2003


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  30


Saturday, November 1, 2003

42

Today, it is 42 years ago that I was born. This morning I was awaken by my family. The present that I got from them was the "Two towers" video. In the morning, I biked to the city center on my own and looked around. Just last Thursday a new shopping center had openend. When I went in I wondered whether we are really having a recession, or that this is just some idea of us. I also walked to the bookshop "De Slegte" seeing if there was a book that I could buy. It has been a long time ago that I bought a book. To my surprise, I came along the book Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and decided to buy it. I was especially charmed by some of the very detailed maps of the routes taken during some of the chasing scenes from the movie.

In the afternoon, my mother came to visit us. She stayed for dinner. In the evening, Li-Xia and I watched the "Two towers" movie without any breaks. She too was impressed by the performance and character of Gollum/Smeagol.


Monday, November 3, 2003

Flat tire

This morning, when I went through the tunnel under highway A35, I heard some hissing sound, and noticed a small spray of water on my front tire. The tire was not flat yet, so I decided to turn around and bike home. Just when I got out of the tunnel on the other side, I noticed a rainbow. I managed to get home biking. And then it really started to rain. So, there I was, standing in our shed, turning the bike upside down and locating the hole. I found it without problems, but I could not find the thing that had caused the hole. Often that means you will get a flat tire again in a few days. When I finished fixing the tire, the rain had stopped almost, and I saw some patches of clear sky appear again.


Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Thailand jails Machiel Kuijt for life

Thailand jails Dutchman for life. Last Friday, Machiel Kuijt was taken to an appeals court and despite his acquittal in March 2002, he was sentenced to life in prison on drugs charges. Neither his lawyer nor the Dutch embassy were informed about the court meeting, which was originally planned on November 17. Also no formal hearings took place since his acquittal. After his acquittal on March 11, 2002, Machiel Kuijt was held in prison waiting for a ruling of an appeals court, because the Dutch government didn't want to take the responsibility for guaranteeing that he would stay in Thailand, afraid of losing face if he would fled the country. The Dutch ambassador only visited him once, immediately after a news paper report about the terrible conditions in the Klong Prem prison.

Machiel was arrested mid-1997 with an Italian friend en route to the Bangkok airport after a vacation in the southeast Asian country. He was accused of co-involvement in the drugs trade after half a kilogram of heroin was found with his former Thai girlfriend and her brother. The ex-girlfriend later testified that Machiel had no involvement at all. She received a punishment of 33 years of imprisonment.

Meanwhile, if his life sentence remains in force, it will not be possible for him to serve out his time in a Dutch jail because the Netherlands and Thailand have not signed a treaty in relation to the transfer of prisoners. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner recently rejected calls for the nation to entry into such a treaty.


Thursday, November 6, 2003

The authority to bless

Yesterday evening, I joined the meeting of the cell group of our church that I belong to. During the evening, we arrived at the topic of blessing, and how this has worked in our lives. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are given the authority to bless others in the name of Jesus. This authority is not restricted to pastors and ministers as some want us to believe, but is given to all who have been born again. Blessing someone is not the same as praying that God may bless the person, but is speaking out a blessing (either aloud or silently) in the form of: "<insert name>, I bless you in the name of Jesus".

(More faith related entries)

Positive mutations

Some creationists argue that there are no positive mutations. However, there is a rare mutation that makes one live longer.


Friday, November 7, 2003

Smarties

Today, we read in the school notebook that Andy enjoys eating smarties (a kind of M&M). At home we also gave him some. It seems he is really getting an interest in eating new things now. Of course, he is also very much stimulated by the children around him at school.

Children of Dune

Yesterday evening, I watched an episode of the Children of Dune miniseries syncronized in German. (Annabel, who watched the first five minutes, remarked: "why do their lips not move with their voice".) Afterwards, I concluded that I watched the last episode. From what I remembered from the book, there seems to be many differences. This has prompted me to reread the book.


Saturday, November 8, 2003

Rule 30

Table 1
A B CX
0 0 00
0 0 11
0 1 01
0 1 11
1 0 01
1 0 10
1 1 00
1 1 10
Table 2
B C XA
0 0 00
0 0 11
0 1 01
0 1 10
1 0 01
1 0 10
1 1 01
1 1 10
Yesterday, I started thinking about use of Rule 30 for square tilings. This morning, I discovered that it is indeed possible to extend the pattern in the "backward" direction. The proof of it is rather simple (except if you have problems with reasoning about infinite sequences). Of course, I was first searching in the wrong direction, but that usually happens. Given a infinite sequence of zeros and ones, a new sequence in the "forward" direction can be constructed by taking each group of three digits from the sequence and produce a zero or one for the new sequence, making use of Table 1. In this table, A, B, and C represent the three digits from the original sequence, and X the digit of the new sequence. (If the digits under X are read as the binary number (00011110) then this is equal to decimal number 30, which explains why it is called Rule 30.)

In Table 2, I have simply shuffled around the columns such that the A digit stands apart, and I also sorted the rows on the values for C, B, and X. From this table you can see that for each combination of values for C, B, and X, it is possible to find a value for A. If we would try to set apart the columns C or B in the same manner, then it will turn out that there is not a row for each combination of values for A, B, and X, respectively, A, C, and X. If one wants to construct a sequence preceding a given infinite sequence, and one already has a partial solution consisting of a sequence (possibly infinite to the right, but not to the left), one can always extend it to the left using Table 2. In fact, the table shows that there is exactly one infinite extension to the left. But if the partial solution is not finite to the right, there is not a simple way to extend it to the right (because not each combination of values for A, B, and X occurs in Table 1). However, when one fails to extend a partial solution to the right, one can always correct this, by selecting a value that does work, and correct the whole sequence to the left. For an infinite sequence, one might have to do this an infinite number of times, but it will always work!

(follow-up on repeating patterns, follow-up on jigsaw pieces)

Curly kail hotchpotch

This evening, I cooked some curly kail hotchpotch. I used less potatoes than usual. About 1.5 kg. I also used only half of the pork cubes. But I did add one finely sliced union which I fried in some oil, and I also used some milk, which we specially bought for the occasion. Annabel is going to finish the rest of the milk in the coming days, she has said.


Sunday, November 9, 2003

Repeating Rule 30 patterns

Yesterday, I also discovered that there are many repeating patterns that one can make with Rule 30, if one starts with a infinitely repeating sequence. I also started writing a small C program for finding all such sequences. Today, I perfected this program, which can find all repeating patterns starting with sequences with a width of upto 30. See this page for the results. Above in the right corner is the 17x17 repeating pattern.

(follow-up)



Monday, November 10, 2003

Red morning skies

This morning it was 7 degrees Celsius when I wanted to leave. I decided to leave my gloves and cap at home. And indeed, they were not needed. The clouds above had all sorts of colours ranging from yellow, to orange, red and pink. The trees outside my office, now have lost all their leaves.


Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Say a lot with a few words

Andy, due to his low muscle tone and poor motor abilities, still is not speak much, but sometimes he says a lot with just a few words. This morning, Li-Xia encountered some difficulties with putting on his shoes, and he said "sorry". When they were finally on his feet he said: "better". And then he said "ready" and gave her some kisses.

Mysterious email

This morning, I received the following, rather mysterious email:

After reading several of your HTML-pages "i" can say
to you :you are clarified (glory to them who knows ,
becourse they will see God)
After this initiation (i and the father are one )on 24 mei 1979
''i''  hope you made your realisation.(I am Gabriel THAT
stands in the presence of GOD ).

''I'' (God knows)
made my realisation on 28 august 1992 in the
Soganli-valley (turkey)

Initiation comes alone,it only nocks on your door.
Realisation comes  when you know you are Gabriel .

In the evening, I send the following reply:

I am not impressed by this mysterious email
neither do I understand its purpose. Please do
not bother me with any ideas that do not have
a solid foundation in the Bible, for example,
are based on an onorthodox interpretation
of some verses. I take the Bible as the only
trustworthy revalation of Gods Word.

Frans

P.S. Although most of my web pages are in
     English, Dutch is still my first language.

(Yes, it should have read "revelation" instead of "revalation".) I added the P.S. because the email was sent from a Dutch domain. It could well be that the sender is not a native English speaker.

(follow-up)


Thursday, November 13, 2003

Random Memory

At 15:58, while coding, I had a random memory of Meindert and I going into the old "Schuttersveld" factory and walking around the empty buildings which were going to be demolished soon, and him taking a clock home. It must has been around 1985.


Saturday, November 15, 2003

Monastery

Last night, I received an email from the person that send me a mysterious email last Wednesday, requesting me to send him the address of a monastery close to Losser (a village outside of Enschede) which lies in Germany. This morning I looked at some map and concluded that it must be Kloster Bardel that he was refering to. ("Kloster" is German for monastery.) I emailed him the address and telephone number. I wonder whether he is a R.C. priest, and whether he wants to pay me a visit. We will see.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Losing weight

I am rather proud of my achievement with respect to losing some weight. When I started in May I was still around 84 kg. In the past weeks, my weight has dropped till around 78 kg. I have made a graph of my progress. The biggest change that I have made with respect to my diet, is to try to eat only vegetables during dinner time. Lately, I also have started eating (at least) one tomato per dinner.

(follow-up)


Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Dollar falling

This morning it was 12.0 degrees Celsius outside when I left for my office. The temperature almost remained stable through the night. This is a rather unusual condition. Outside my window there are some people taking away leaves. One person has a blowing device, the others are doing it in the old fashioned way. Whenever I see these kind of people working, I often realize that Andy might be walking outside and doing the same kind work in about twenty years.

It looks like the US Dollar is dropping. Yesterday, the Euro broke a new record since its introduction. The world has been lending the US incredible large amounts of money in the past decades, if that steady flow of money is going to be reversed, we could face a real recession, much worse than the one we are seeing now.

Fire

Hugo B., the man who caused the fire on November 20, last year, was sentensed with three years of imprisonment followed by compulsory psychological threatment. But because he has already been in detention awaiting his trail for one year, and because in the Netherlands criminals usually are release after twothirds of their imprisonment on good behaviour it is likely that he will be released after one year. He also can have the psychological threatment in a normal psychological ward, instead within a closed institution as it usually the case. It was concluded that his bad relationship with his parents played a major role in his deviating behaviour.


Friday, November , 2003

The Top Givers

One can say a lot about Bill Gates, but not that he is greedy. According to Business Week he and his wife are the Top Givers in the USA.

Moonlight sonata

This evening, I listened to a recording of the Moonlight sonata by Beethoven (Adagio sostenuto from Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2). And it made me think about analyzing it. So, I ripped it to my harddisk, looked at it in a wave editor, and began thinking about methods to analyze it. Is it really that hard to write a program which can determine the notes being played and the exact properties of these. I also concluded that you need about 50 msec in order to hear a tone being played.


Saturday, November 22, 2003

Clock and computer

This morning, I showed Annabel the digital clock that my brother once made. It uses four 5mm LED's for each segement. He never took the effort to build a case for it. The components were simply screwed on a piece of wood. Annabel said that she wanted to have it for her bedroom because you can read it at night without having to switch on the light. I looked around and found a red shoe box. And with some cutting and duct taping, I got it all into the box and working again (some wires were broken). A picture to proof it.

While being in the attic, I also decided to take apart our first PC named annabel and try to make it into a minimal configuration still being able to do something usefull. After about an hour the desk upstairs was filled with loosely connected parts that could be booted into Linux (version 1.1.59) and be operated from a terminal on the COM1-port.

(follow-up)

Für Elise

This afternoon when went to the library, Annabel and I looked upstairs for the music scores for Für Elise by Beethoven. I did find it in a collection of pieces from Beethoven. I thought that she should now be able to play it. But when we looked at home, I discovered that the left hand was too hard for here. And even the right hand did pose some troubles, as her hands are small and she is not yet good at making positioning her hands fast and accurate.


Sunday, November 23, 2003

Favourite preacher

I was waiting in the back of the church to see if there was any one needed translation, when the service started. There were still some empty seats in the front of the church. When I sat down, the speaker of today asked me if I would mind if he came to sit besides me. I said no, and immediately moved one seat further. Although he does not have much formal training, he used to be a carpenter, I consider him as one of the best speakers that I know. He is simply very much himself when he speaks, not afraid to make any mistake or to say or do something strange, ready to make fun of himself or remark about someone yawning (as he did this morning). He also always brings an object with him as an illustration for something, or as a starter. You might get the impression that he kind of clown, and indeed he usually makes you laugh several times during his preaching, but that is not the case. I think he is one of the best speakers I know because he has this rare ability to preach about a well know verse (one that you know almost by heart) and make it sound like it is the first time you read it. During our singing time, I saw him look through the three little sheets of paper containing his notes. At first I was surprised that he did have notes at all, because I never got the slighest idea that he was using notes. But maybe he does not look at his notes at all, but simply takes them with him in case he would need them. I also saw that he was going to preach about Revelation 2, and that while we just had someone last month preaching about that letter to the Ephesians, which seems to a favourite passage of many preachers. But again he managed to surprise us in his preaching about this passage.

Case Demoding

This afternoon, I decided to try to make some case for the computer parts that were laying on the desk in the attic. Please see the results of my Case Demoding on a separate page.

(follow-up


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Ways of thinking

I once passed the entrance test for Mensa, meaning that for one specific test, (which is said to be an accurate test for a certain mental skill) my score is higher than 98% of the general population. That entrance test consisted of three such tests. On the other two I scored much lower. Does that mean that I have an IQ of 140, and should be considered as a gifted person. In primary school, I did not perform exceptional. I was more of an average student, and with respect to reading and spelling even far below average. I was also not under-performing as many gifted people are said to be doing. I do remember that I was often bored, but I think my main problem was that I was dreaming away most of the time. I was even not very good at doing basic math, simply because I did not see the reason to do all those sums when I understood the theory behind it. I really wonder if I am that smarter than the average person. Maybe it is just that I have a different way of thinking. I am getting the impression that I have a rather diverting thinking styles and that often my head is filled with the most wildest ideas, and that is the reason why I am often day dreaming. I am often having a hard time concentrating on doing "boring" work, and that even during those times, my mind goes on generating random associations in the form of memories.

Yesterday evening, I talked with the teacher of Annabel about her progress. Although I am not in the position to assess her intelligence, I notice some of the same patterns with her. She too is not performing very well and often playing and dreaming away instead of finishing her work. Because of this she often needs to be corrected and hands in sloppy work. Of course, I do not want to be one of these parents complaining that their child is really an under-performing gifted person. (She did beat me twice with Go, just before I went of to see the teacher.) And, of course, it is very important for her to learn to concentrate on her work. I did talk with her afterwards, and we have decided to implement some changes.

(follow-up)

Cosmetic surgery

(As a follow-up to a discussion on the KSN_L group:) Personally, I feel that "extreme make-overs" and how these are displayed in the media are not praising God and actually rather judgmental with respect to our handicapped children, who by the standards of the world are even less perfect. That is why, I as a Christian, and as the father of a child with a serious mental handicap, have some moral and ethical problems with how cosmetic surgery is presented in the media. And I believe that we as Christians should collect treasures in heaven and not fix ourselves while our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world suffer hunger and are the subject of prosecutions.

Revealing complaint

According to an article in the Süddeutsche, the Munich police has been complaining that the episode "Im Visier" of the Tatort (Scene of the Crime) crime series is too realistic in the sense that it has revealed confidential information about how the police operates during an hostage case. A rather revealing complaint. If they would have kept their mouth, the viewers would probably have viewed it as fiction.


Thursday, November 27, 2003

Platelets

Yesterday evening, Andy suddenly had a blue lip. This morning, he had some red spots just under the skin, so, I took him to the hospital for a blood check, because we fear that his platelets count will be low, just like two years ago in December. It did not go very smooth, because they had trouble finding a vein, so finally they put the needle in his hand. Afterwards he was allowed to select a little present, as usual. He selected a ring and wanted it on his finger. He was very happy about it, and all the nurses were talking how the little ring made his day.

Prednison

Around half past twelve, I was phoned by Andy's teacher telling that he got more and more red spots. I contacted the hospital. The results of the blood test had arrived, and I was requested to bring Andy in as soon as possible. Around ten past twelve we arrived at the hospital. We heard that Andy's platelets count was 9 this morning. Indeed rather low, but not as low as the last time. Our pediatrician subscribed some Prednison. He did not have to stay in the hospital because he is not ill, and the other blood parameters were normal. Tomorrow his blood need to be checked again to see if the Prednison is working. I wonder how many rings Andy will bring home before the end of the year. The one he picked this morning, now lies on my keyboard.

(updated graph)


Friday, November 28, 2003

Still 9

This morning, Li-Xia took Andy to the hospital for another blood check. This afternoon, we heard that the platelets count is still on 9, the same as yesterday morning. But looking at his symptoms it looks like he has improved. It might have been the case that the count did get much lower yesterday morning, and that it actually has been on the rise since he started to take the Prednison yesterday afternoon. I wonder whether we will be phoned to have his blood checked gain tomorrow. It has to be checked again next Monday. I am not so worried about the count still being low, but that it will become a chronic condition.

(follow-up and updated graph)

Lootjestrekken

"Lootjestrekken" is Dutch for a procedure where a group of people draw lots for giving each other "surprise" gifts, most commonly used by teenagers who want to celebrate "Sinterklaas". The problem with this procedure is that there is always a chance that someone draws himself near the end of the process of drawing lots, in which case the whole procedure has to be done again, because otherwise you can figure out who has drawn you, and not knowing from whom the gifts is, is half of the fun. The surprise gifts usually are accomplished with a short poem making fun of the person receiving the gift. These poems have to be read aloud when the group is present. Now there is a site that helps you with the procedure and has the advantage that not all people need to be present during the execution of the procedure.


Sunday, November 30, 2003

Palindrome date

Yes, we got one again, if you write two digits for the year, and use the Dutch (or Chinese) way of writing down dates, you get 30-11-03 (or 03.11.30)


This months interesting links


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