Annabel and I went outside to
ignite all the crackers that she had found last year on
the first of January. After this we wished the neighbours a
happy new year, and watched all the fireworks that someone
at the end of the street was firing. Not the kind of fire
works you can legally buy here in the Netherlands. I heard
some rumours he bought them in Germany. Must have costed
him a small fortune. When we went inside again, we discovered
that Andy had woken-up.
Li-Xia told that she at first had
not heard that he was crying. But he soon became happy, and
when he saw some fireworks outside, he was excited.
Since some days now Andy has black
lips as a result of him peeling of some dry skin from his
lip. Around his bottom there are many red spots right under
the skin. I am getting the impression that the
platelet count is dropping further.
So, maybe, the idea from last
Monday about the positive effect of vitamin C, just
has been wishful thinking.
This morning, there was visitor to the New Year service in our
church that gave us a word from God. He prophesized that God
would start to do great things in the coming year. He compared
us to a catapillar in a cocoon that was at the point of breaking
out and becoming a butterfly. He told us that we should all
make ourselves ready for the blessing that God was going to
poured out. He also said that God was going to heal people,
release many from demon possession, and even raise people from
the death. He also said that we would have to start thinking
about a place where we could build a new church as we soon would
need one. He also encouraged us to seek God, that we would be
I have to admit that I am a little skeptical, yet on the other
hand, I also want to open my heart for what God wants to do,
and be ready to serve Him, when He is asking me.
This morning, the Pope was speaking about a new world order.
He said (English translation, I presume):
More than ever we need a new international order which draws on the
experience and results of the United Nations.
An order which is capable of finding adequate solutions to today's
problems, based on the dignity of human beings, on integrating all
society, on solidarity between rich and poor countries, on the sharing
of resources and the extraordinary results of scientific and technological
I do not know whether this is taken out of context, but
to me, this sounds more like a statement made by a humanist, then
by a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, real
peace will only come when Jesus Christ returns to reign on earth, and
that mankind will never be able to achieve peace on earth. But I have
to admit, that even I, often think as a humanist with respect to
solving the problems of the world. Although, I was born as a Roman
Catholic, I no longer recognize the Pope as the head of the world
wide church of Christ, as he sees himself. Actually, because I believe
that I am saved by grace alone, I already have been condemded to hell
by the Roman Catholic church, according to the
Council of Trent.
This morning, Andy's lips were bleeding
when we got him out of bed. It does not look like his condition
is improving at all. We were very worried and brought him to a
doctor, who felt that the situation was not very urgent. The
bleeding had stopped. We will have to wait till Monday before
any blood tests will be performed to affirm our deepest fears.
We already informed the elders of our church about his condition,
and I know that they already have been informing others, because
some friend phoned us asking for some more information.
This morning, I have been jumping and dancing in our church during
the service. I was sitting on one of the chairs in
front of the translation booth in the back of the church,
just in case someone would show up who needed translation.
Right in front of these chairs there is some space.
Annabel was sitting with some friend,
as she usually does. Li-Xia was
at home taking care for Andy, who looked
a little better this morning.
Last night in bed, Li-Xia and I shared our feelings, emotions
and thoughts about Andy's condition, and
we even talked about
our deepest fear, namely that he might die in the coming weeks.
The simple thought of him dying scares me. I know I would miss
him the rest of my life. It seems that losing a child is far
more terrible than losing a parent. In a sense,
I would not be very sad for him, because nevertheless all the
problems he has had, he seems to have had a happy life. I will
miss his joy and sheer enthousiasm most of all.
This morning, in church, I accepted the possibility of him
dying. Yesterday, I explained to Li-Xia, that he does not
understand why they have to take blood from him. He cries
every time. We as adults, we do not cry anymore, because we
know the reason behind it. Likewise, we will cry if he would
die, because we would not understand it. But God would know
the reason. And just as we suffer as parents when we see our
children suffer, likewise, God is suffering. God loves us
far more than we love our children. I simply have to trust
God, like Andy trusts us. I think that is what Jesus meant
when He said that we should have the faith of a child.
Twice during the service, we sang a song that always makes
me want to dance. And both times, I did exactly that. Yes,
you can express your faith by jumping in the air. Because
I was in the back of the church, and we have a concrete floor,
not many people noticed what I was doing. But I really do
not care what they would have thought about it. And besides
this, I was not the only one doing it. It is not something
I do every Sunday. Sometimes, I even don't have the desire
to stand up during the singing. But I was very encouraged
by what was shared during the services. I know, it will still
break my heart if Andy would die, and make me feel very
depressed, but I it seems I do at least have faith at the
moment, that I will be able to make it through, with the
help of God.
This afternoon,Annabel and I went to a concert by
"Het Orkest van het
Oosten" and directed by Jaap van Zweden.
I did enjoy the concert, but not as much as the singing
and dancing of this morning. I believe that God gave us
music so that we would be able to express our feelings
towards Him. It was ment for worshipping.
This morning, we got the news that the platelet count
of Andy has gone up to 34. That is more than double
the number of last Monday. Good news!!
We did not hear from our pediatrician, which means we just have to continue
In the past months our government has take many measurement to reduce spending,
but it seems that it is not that easy. For example, people who receive home care
because they are disabled now have to pay much more from the start of this year.
In the past days, thousands of people already have told their home care
organization that they want to quit home care, or at least reduce the number of
hours. They now have to ask help from neighbours and friends. You will see that
before the end of the month, home care organizations will have to fire some of
their employees, which than will receive unemployment benefits. Besides that an
increase in unemployment, reduces consumer spending, and thus slow downs the
economy, it is clear that the net reduction in spending is much lower than the
intended reduction. And this is just one of the many examples. It seems that
most people, including politicians, have a hard time believing that local cost
reductions produce global effects.
This morning, Li-Xia went to the hospital to reschedule
an appointment we had on next Monday for Andy, because at
that day his class will go to the Zoo
in Nordhorn. She met our pediatrician, who told her that we should stop the
Prednison by reducing it by 5 mg/d every three days. Li-Xia told him about that
we gave Andy vitamin C, to which he responded that he never heard of it having any
effect. But I did find
this protocol (in Dutch) from the academic
hospital, which includes vitamin C as part of the therapy. We will see how
it will go.
About every two minutes a low bang sound can be heard outside. Not knowing the
source of this sound is the most frustrating part of it. I still associate
these kind of noises with the fireworks disaster that took place
three years ago.
Last Wednesday, I recorded the movie "Magnolia" when it was shown on TV.
This evening, I watched the last two thirds of the movie together with
Li-Xia. I think it is a great movie. I downloaded
the Draft script
of "Magnolia" from the internet, and have been thinking presenting it in
such a way that you could untangle the many relationships in the movie,
by being able to follow each of the separate story lines. I am aware of the
fact that this draft script differs from the movie, where the greatest
difference is that the character "Worm" has been removed from the script.
I do not find the solution for "returning" the gun very convincing, but I
can imagine that removing this character is the best way for shortening
the movie to three hours and eight minutes.
When the "Magnolia" video tape was rewinding, we saw some program
about how parents deal with the sudden death of a child. It turns
out that parents (especially the mothers) have a strongly increased
chance of dying early. The chance increases when the death came
more sudden. It also did not matter at which age the child died.
Yesterday afternoon, Annabel borrowed the
book about programming for children with Flash MX. It contained
a CD with a 30 day try-out version of Flash MX. When we came home
we worked through the first four chapters. This is the result:
I reallize its potential for teaching children to program. Today, she
played with it during the afternoon. Just extending on the above sequence
with her own ideas. So far, we have not done any programming, but I will
try to work through the book with her. She is really attracted by the idea
that you can make animations with it, and loves to investigate all the
possibilities. It is a pity that Flash MX is so expensive. I still might
consider to buy it.
Yesterday afternoon, Li-Xia was making some
remarks to Andy about
how he should not mess-up his videos, when I heard him say "Sorry mom". He is
such a cute and intelligent boy notwithstanding his mental handicap, which gives
him a non-verbal IQ of only 50. His verbal IQ has never been tested, but I
suspect it to be around 70. There are certain things you cannot fool him with.
I just got the great news that the platelet count of
Andy has gone up to 109. That is very good news,
especially if you realize we have been reducing his medication since
last Thursday. Strange, but the last week, I have not
worried so much anymore about his recovering.
This afternoon, a teacher was shot through his head at the
Terra College by an
expelled student. This is first time this has happened in the Netherlands. Last
year a report has concluded that violence at school has not increased and that
extreme violence is rare.
Hans van Wieren, the 49
year old teacher that was shot yesterday, died from his wounds around ten
o'clock last night. The 17 year old Murat D. you shot him in the middle of the
canteen of the school, gave himself in just shortly after nine that same night.
Today, the three largest Dutch web logs
geenstijl are showing the same
black screen with picture and message for the whole day, because these sites are
visited by teenagers a lot. The messages ends with the sentence: "conflicts are
resolved by discussing them, not by using violence".
This morning, I noticed that there was some snow
on the car and on the grass. It must have snowed a little last night. Last
Tuesday, the temperature went up to 10 degrees Celsius during the day. It
is not really cold at the moment as well. The snow is bound to disappear
before the end of the day.
This evening, Annabel went to the syncro swimming
course for the first time. During the training they had to cross the
swimming pool in the length (25 meter) while swimming under water. Annabel
was the only one who managed to do this, although she did not really swim
under water for the last part, but she did not take a breath.
This morning, Li-Xia first took
Andy to the lab for getting
some blood from him. A quarter past nine we had a regular check-up appointment
with our pediatrician. For the first time, Andy wanted to stand on the scale all
by himself, and even seemed to look at the red numbers (his weight) being
displayed on it. Before we always had to carry him, while standing on the scale
and do calculate the difference. He was not very happy, especially when he saw
the instrument for looking into the ear, and did not like it when being
examined. Later when he had his clothes on, he walked to the doctor, and it even
looked like he wanted to kiss him, which he didn't. Li-Xia left to bring Andy to
school, and I talked with our pediatrician for almost half an hour. It has been
a long time ago we talked this long, and it made me happy. Of course, I also
told him about the genetic findings with respect to Kabuki. He did genetics
before he became a pediatrician. He also gave me the previous lab result printout
to keep as a memory, and I gave him a hand coloured black/white printout of the
graph I made with respect to the second ITP.
This evening, when I was heating some sliced tomatoes in the microwave, I noticed
some yellow light with some sparks. Two slice of tomato had black spots where
they were touching each other. It thought that only metal objects could produce
sparks. The pieces were laying in a circle. Apparently the tomatoes do conduct
electricity enough to create sparks.
Yesterday press images of the Spirit rover make mention of an alpha particle
X-ray spectrometer. I suppose that this instruments measures X-rays produced when a
sample is hit by alpha particles produced by a radio-active alpha source. I
guess that the peaks in these kind of spectrograms are the same as with XRF,
which used high energy X-rays to produce characteristic X-rays through
fluorescence. Makes me remember my time with Philips Analytical.
Around half past four, Li-Xia phoned me to tell me that
Annabel got an accident.
I understand that she was hit by a car. I do not exactly understand what her
condition was, except that one of her teeth (one of the ones that broke-off
had fallen out, or at least was very loose. Our own dentist was out of
office, so I had to find another one (through an emergency number), phone the
dentist, and explain Li-Xia how to get there. Spelling the street names was not
really working, and Li-Xia just decided to go and ask directions while going
there. So far no progress report. At the moment there is not much I can do,
except wait for further news.
16:12: Li-Xia phoned me to inform that they are going home. She will
phone me from home to tell the whole story. I am happy that they found the
dentist, and that he could do something.
17:19: It looks like it is not all too bad. It appears that the one of
the broken teeth broke-off again (partly) exactly on the old breaking line. As I
understand it the car came from the left, and the driver should have given way
to Annabel. Most lucky there was a witness who saw the whole thing happen. For
the rest it seems that there is no permanent damage. I wonder how our health
insurance is going to deal with this.
Up to now, the driver of the car who knocked down Annabel
has not identified himself. This morning, Annabel and I went back to the spot where it
all happened. According to the signs, she was allowed to bike on the bus-turn
loop, which if forbidden for all traffic except city busses and bikes. The car
was coming from the left, and driving on the middle of the road. She felt down
on the other side of the road. Her bike has not been damaged, except for the
cover of the handlebars. The strange thing is that the right side of the
handlebar is damaged, while her face is wounded on the left side. It looks like
she was hit on the back. The bus driver waiting with his bus at the bus stop,
opened his window and made shouted to the driver that he should have given her
way and that she was allowed to bike there. Somebody else who saw it happen,
said that the man should not drive so fast anymore. It is a 30 Kmph road, but
many people drive 50 Kmph. The driver brought Annabel home, and was saying it
was her fault, stating she was not allowed to bike on the bus-turn loop, which
is obviously not the case. He did not give his name or address, but said he
would return later to check on Annabel. So far, he has not contacted us, which
is a shame I think. He said he lived in the neighbourhood, so maybe we will be
able to locate him.
(I should remark that Annabel only discovered that her tooth was broken
after the driver had left. Later we found out that he got
the impression that Li-Xia had not wanted his name and address.)
License plate number
I was just phoned by
the bus driver who saw the accident. He wrote down the license plate of the car.
So, now we can track down the driver for sure, even if he would not live in our
This evening, when we came out of the swimming pool, Annabel (yes, she wanted to swim with her swollen lip and red cheek)
exclaimed that it was snowing. It looked liked
it just started, but it soon became stronger. When we arrived at the car (which
had rolled out of the parking lot, because I had forgotten to put it in gear) it
was covered with snow. It kept on snowing the whole way home. At one road we had
to stop because of a convoy of six gigantic silos being transported by trucks
and escorted by police.
(Later I found out that these were beer brewing tanks being transported
from the old Grolsch plant to the new.)
Yesterday evening, I wrote a long letter about the accident that Annabel got
two days ago. Today, Li-Xia brought it to our local
police office. They contacted the owner of the car and told him to go to us
and fill in a "European Accident Statement" form together with us.
This afternoon, we went with the whole company to
Bistro Navet in the
center of Deventer. I never had been in the center of Deventer,
and I was surprised about the large number of small "hobby" shops.
We first had two hour company meeting, and then we had a dinner
till eleven. We had the menu of the day, which was really good
for what it costed. It consisted of three main dishes, every time
a choice out of fish or meat dish. They served a different wine
with each of these dishes and we also got three mini-dishes, one
being a mango milkshake in a 30 ml glass.
Just before we wanted to go to the city this morning, it started
While we were in the city it continued, but the snow slowly changed into
rain. By the end of the day no snow was left. They have predicted some
substantial snow in the middle of next week.
There was a sale in the bookshop Broekhuis.
Many books were sold for half the usual price. Still to expensive for many
of the books I looked through. In one of the books I found a picture of
a painting by
François Morellet called 4 double tranes minces
(4 Double Meshes Thin Lines) that I once saw in Amsterdam (during the
summer of 1987?). It looks completely
irregular. Of course, my mathematical mind immediately asked the question
whether it was, and if so, if there would also be regular meshes, and
how many there would be. I remember that I answered both question the
same day, and that later I spend some time calculating the values for
many regular grids. I even remember copying a square mess on a number
of transparent sheets, and playing with them. Also wrote some PostScript
pages to print some of the regular meshes. We will see, if I can dig up
some of these things from the past.
This evening, I talked with the driver over the phone. I should make it clear
that he was not aware of the broken tooth of Annabel,
and was under the assumption that she only had minor injuries. And for the matter,
even a broken tooth can hardly be considered as major injury, except that the life
long costs that are involved tend to exceed the initial costs for "repairing" it by
far. He felt that he had done a quite good job of taking care for Annabel,
giving her his shirt to stop the bleeding, and walking with her to our home. He
was rather surprised that we only contacted him after three days, because he was
under the impression that Li-Xia didn't wanted his
address. Luckily, during the conversation we cleared all the misconceptions that
had arisen from the chain of events, and expressed our will to be cooperative in
dealing with this accident.
I wonder how this is going develop further, because there are now six
different parties involved with this one broken tooth, three families and three
insurance companies, all with their own interests that they want to defend. This
can take years before every thing is resolved.
It seems that many programs with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) are based on an
event oriented framework, which is user-interface oriented. This sometimes leads
to very unexpected chains of events. At the moment I am wrestling with a case where
a document is closed. This destruction of the data object representing the
document triggers one of the child windows of the Multi-Document Interface (MDI)
to be closed. As a result of the window manager (MS Windows in this case, but I
think it is a general problem) activates another window. This window happens to
be a view of the same data object that is in the process of being broken down.
The activation causes an selection event, which triggers one of the tools to
execute a query on the data object. The execution of this query finally results
in a run-time error.
This is not the first time that I have encountered such a strange chain of
events leading to a crash. And I think that everyone who has done some serious
programming in an event based environment has encountered these kind of strange
conditions. This really raises some serious doubts about how event based GUI
frameworks work. I am getting the bad feeling that many problems arise from the
fact that those frameworks are too much build around the hierarchy of visible
windows of the interface. Often problems arise when the user-interface is
updated while the data is still being updated. Not the user-interface should be
leading but the data structure. However, most frameworks are user-interface
oriented instead of being data oriented.
Because at the moment I am not in the position to develop a completely new
framework that does not have these kind of problems, I am afraid I will have to
implement a fix to prevent the chain of event to happen. This is going to be
very hard, because there are so many places where I could implement a cut, and
each cut could have unexpected side effects again.
When I encounter this kind of problems, I always wonder why we still
have not implemented frameworks in which they cannot occur. If you do not
implement a water-tide solution to a problem, you are going to encounter it over
and over again, and no temporary fix will solve the problem in the long run. I
am afraid that the problem with most water-tide solutions are that they degrade
performance too much. The bad thing is also that the not completely water-tide
solutions work 99.9% of the time. It is the 20/80 rule that pushes software
development projects in the wrong direction. Fundamental problems only become
visible when the system is pushed to its limits, and then it is often too late
to address them.
I am more and more becoming convinced that Prednisone has a positive effect on
Andy. Yesterday his teachers complained about his
behaviour becoming worse again. Sunday, I noticed that his walking has become
worse again. Today, I found information about the use of Prednisone in the treatment of Autism, which
makes mention of meyline. Might it be the case that Andy's adrenal glands
produces too less cortisone?
When we woke up this morning, there was a little layer of
snow. When I went outside to clean the car, it was still snowing, although
it felt like rain. There was some ice under the snow on the wind shields. The
weather report says that it is going to snow heavily at the end of the
afternoon. We will see.
This morning, the world was white with snow. It was
only yesterday evening late that it started to snow. The Dutch meteorology
service had announced a weather alarm for heavy snow. So far we got at most one
inch of snow. It were warned for 2 to 6 inches of snow falling in a relatively
short period. It seems the rest of the country got more snow, as this morning
there were a lot traffic jams. I am afraid that by the end of the day most snow
will be gone.
This evening, while Annabel was
taking her syncro swimming class, I decided to go swimming the recreational pool
of the Aquadrome, which has a connection
to open air. While I was swimming there it was snowing a little. Although there
was more snowing today, by the end of the day almost all had gone due to the
higher temperatures that we are having now.
De Slegte is already having their anual
book sale for some weeks. But today I noticed some very interesting book.
I bought two books: Het besturingssysteem Unix (a translation of
The design of the UNIX operating system) by Maurice J. Bach for
€ 1.50, and Quarks, Chaos en Christendom: Vragen over
wetenschap en religie (a translation of Quarks, Chaos &
Christianity - Questions to science and religion) by
for € 0.50. I bought these at 14:04 according to the ticket.
This evening, Li-Xia and I made a dish
with red kidney beans. We used two cans of red kidney beans,
one can of peeled tomato's, some unions, some leek and some
garlic. A very healthy and nice dish.
This months interesting links