This evening, I was a little late, and at first
there was nobody to play with, so I decided to
at the game that Martijn and Marcel was playing
trying to guess their next moves. I really enjoyed
watching there play, and I guessed many moves
correctly. The do not mind that I make remarks,
or that I ask questions about certain moves they
made. Then Taco arrived, and after he had joined
me watching the game for about 5 minutes, I asked
him if he wanted to play. So we played against
each other. He was given a nine stone handicap
and he won with about 28 points. Which is not so
bad if you realize that he a 3 Dan player. But
still it could have been much better, had I not
made some stupid moves allowing him to kill one
of my groups in the corner. And I made some other
small mistakes. Without these mistakes he would
The outcome of the referendum for the European
Constitution has become a clear no. After France, now the Dutch too have spoken against
a further political integration of Europe, at least for
the time being. A total of 62.8% of the people went to
vote, which is rather high rate, and of these 61.6% voted
against and 38.4% in favour of the European Constitution.
That means that of all the people 38.7% are against,
24.1% are in favour, and 37.2% are indifferent or don't
know what to vote.
The people are not always wise
Minister Zalm, our minister of finance is disappointed
with respect to the outcome of the referendum.
Yesterday he said that he respect that outcome of the referendum,
but that the people are not always wise. In a sense I do agree
with this statement. We live in an extremely complex society,
and there are but few people that understand all the forces
that work in our society. This is also one of the weaknesses of
democracy, that often the general public does not understand these
forces, and sometimes makes the wrong decision. However, as a minister
of a government that was chosen through a democratic process, he
should accept this weakness. It was his choice to become a minister.
By making such a statement, he is actually stating that he does not
believe in democracy as the means of government. Most people interpret
this as the arrogant attitude that creates the distance between the
politicians and the people. It is clear that this distance played
an important role with respect to the outcome of the referendum.
He also feels that the outcome of the referendum has weakened his
negotiation position with respect to reducing the relatively high
contribution of the Netherlands to the European Union. (We by far
have the highest net contribution per head of the population.)
He says that he is not looking forward to the next Ecofin meeting
next week. But again, I have to disagree with him, because it is
obvious that one of the reasons why the population voted against
the European Consititution is the fact that we constribute so much.
Again he is showing that he does not believe in democracy and that
the voice of the people has no value. Actually, I believe that his
position has become stronger. And even if he his position would
have become weaker, it is rather stupid to enter the negotiation
with a statement that you are not expecting to get the best result,
and blame it on the peoples decision that you were not able to
achieve the maximum result, as he did.
This evening, Li-Xia and I watched
the TV-show "Little Darlings", a TV-program about impossible children.
Really a very interesting program, because at the start of the program they
show this video fragments of children that you feel must have ADHD
or at least some serious behavioural problems. And then you hear
the comments of an expert pointing out all the small mistakes that
the parents are making, and soon you realize that the problem is
really with the parents and not the children. The parents then
receive some instruction and are given a plan that they have to
follow. Usually it is also followed by a coaching session where the
expert talks through an ear to one of the parent when they are dealing
with a problematic daily routine. It is really amazing how the children
change and how the parents who at the start of the program looked
close to a nervous breakdown, are now fully in control of the whole
situation and happy again.
Opportunity is free
This morning, I read that the Opportunity Mars Rover is free in the
Slashdot article "Mars Rover Breaks Free". That is great news.
It got stuck some time ago.
I am only a little surprised that this pictures did not show up on
the web sites that I usually us. Seems that I still haven't found
the original source of the pictures.
This evening, Annabel and I went to the
university to play Go. We were the first to
arrive. Annabel went outside, I found some mens magazines to look
through. Not that I did learn anything noteworthy. When the others
arrived, I played against Ton starting with six stones. Almost at
the end of the game, I gave up, after I he killed some of my stones
when I was not looking. Annabel played one game against Marcel on
the 19x19 board with nine stones ahead. She lost with 17 points.
Which is really not bad, especially because he would have lost if
he would not been able to kill a little group of her. It seems to
me that she played much better than me. Afterwards, Ton asked her
what she had learned. Of course, she was not able to consciousnessly
express what she had learned. Children learn in an intuitive manner
without internal verbalization.
Revenge of the Sith
This afternoon, Li-Xia, Annabel, and I went to see
Star Wars: Episode III -
Revenge of the Sith in the Alhambra movie theater. For me it was the second viewing. I
saw it on May 18 for the first time.
It again was in Room 3 with the digital projection. I enjoyed the
movie although it was my second viewing and I did know the story.
Later on the day, I did read something about the
which made me worry again about the future. It is not the first time
that my mind has dwelled on this subject, but now it looks like
it is so much closer than before, because the oil price has gone
up in the past half year. I started thinking about the possibility
to move to a small farm in the South of France and become fully
Computer monitor breaks down
This morning, our Highscreen MS 1460 P Monitor
suddenly broke down. Some weeks ago, I had seen some distortion of the
image, but that had gone away after I had switched it off and on again.
This time, the whole image wrapped to the top, and after I had switched it
off and on again, the image did not come back. It looks like some component
did fuse. It served us for more than 10 years, so I should not complain.
The monitor was attached to ester.
I decided to attach the our Philips Brilliance
15A monitor to it for the moment. We probably going to buy a 17 inch LCD
Today, I have thought a lot about becoming self sufficient. But there are many considerations. I have been doing
some searching on the Internet. It is all not as simple as it seems.
We could improve the energy efficiency of our house. Although we have a
standard house, I think it would be possible to make it almost energy
neutral with solar cells, a solar boiler and heat pumps, and of course
additional isolation and a heat-exchanger in our air circulation. That
would require some substantial modifications with a total cost of at
least 10.000 €. But then we would still depend on others with
respect to our food supply. Of course, we could build some green houses
and start growing some food. But I wonder whether I will be able to get
the required permits, especially because the local governments won't see
the need, and I probably also would need the support of my neighbours.
Also in the back of the garden we could create a green house. But the
problem is that it is mostly in the shade.
As an alternative, we could move to another European country (South half
of France, Spain, Portugal or Hunganry) and establish a self sufficient
home there. Temperatures will be higher in those countries, and there will
be more possibilities to grow fruit and vegetables.
I problem with becoming self sufficient is also that you cut yourself off
from healthcare. Because if you are not making any money, you will also
not be able to buy healthcare. And not to speak of the problem old age.
It simply means that you have to accept the fact that if you get serious
ill you are going to die. But if the global economic crisis hits, those
kind of services will be some of the first that will break down.
Just after dinner, I went to get Annabel who was
staying with some friends on the nearby camp site
Buytenplaets. She stayed
there for one night. She had got some taint from the sun and even got
a little burned from the sun. She also had won some badminton bats with
a bingo. And of course the had spend a lot of time catching frogs. They
used a fishing rod with a piece of wool at the end of the wire. They
simply dropped it near a frog and pulled it up as soon as the frog would
bite and make it fly through the air. Then they would run behind it and
try to catch the jumping frog. A lot of fun.
I arrived a little late at the Go club. Ton was playing
against Marcel while Martijn and Taco were analyzing a game from a Japanees
Go book because Martijn did not understand why black resigned. Rudi was also
there. We first watched the game that Martijn was showing, and then I played
against Rudi. I was not really in the mood, and almost resigned when I lost
a large group, not realizing that it was no longer alive after a cut. In the
end I lost with 71 points. But that was better than the last time I played
Today, I bought an Acer AL1913 TFT momitor
to replace the Highscreen MS 1460 P Monitor
that broke down last Sunday. It is a 19 inch monitor.
I thought I would do Li-Xia a favour.
I have attached it to ester
for the time being. I attached the Philips Brilliance 15A monitor again to lixia.
Winning with two points
To night, Annabel and I went to play Go the the club. The weather was nice, so we set outside till
about a quarter past ten when we left. I played against Ton where he got
a seven stone handicap. I won with just two points, but somewhere in the
middle of the game I was seventy stones ahead of him according to Martijn
who watched us parts of the game. He played a game against Annabel. She
resigned after she was about a hunderd points behind. She was not playing
very well, making many 30 Kyu moves he told me afterwards.
Through some friend we got two free tickets to go to the movie. This
afternoon, Annabel went with a friend to
Li-Xia brought them there after church,
and I went to get them. They watched the movie in Room 3 of the
Alhambra theather with the digital projector.
I did Dutch Enneagram test
and got the following score:
the investigator: 9,
the helper: 7,
the peacemaker: 6,
the loyalist: 6,
the reformer: 6,
the individualist: 2,
the enthusiast: 2,
the challenger: 1, and
the achiever: 0.
However, according to this test, my scores are:
the individualist: 6,
the loyalist: 6,
the helper: 5,
the achiever: 5,
the investigator: 5,
the peacemaker: 4,
the reformer: 3,
the enthusiast: 2, and
the challenger: 0.
I think that these results should not be taken so serious.
This evening, Annabel was allowed to
go with me to the university to play Go.
The building where we usually play was already closed due to the
holidays so we went to the room of the student library "De Belletrie"
and game playing club "Fanaat". The students watching over the
library were doing an inventory check, so we heard them call
numbers and codes the whole evening while playing. Annabel played
a game against Marcel that she lost with 38 points. Then she played
a little with cards (and even continued when one of the persons
suggested that they could switch on the game cube, if she wanted)
and then found some "Pipes" card game and asked Marcel if he was
willing to play it. She won the game. I played against Ton with
six stone ahead and won with ten points. Ton made a quite big
mistake early in the game, but I too made some mistakes. It is
clearly that I am getting stronger and that Ton can no longer
get away with making small mistakes.
May 2005 |