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Dairy, June 2005


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Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Playing Go

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 have lost.

A clear No

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.

(follow-up)


Friday, June 3, 2005

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.

Little Darlings

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.


Sunday, June 5, 2005

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.


Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Playing Go

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.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

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.

Oil peak

Later on the day, I did read something about the oil peak, 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 self-supporting.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

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 monitor.

(follow-up)


Monday, June 13, 2005

Self sufficient

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.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Frogs

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.

Losing with 71 points

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 against Rudi.


Saturday, June 18, 2005

TFT monitor

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.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

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.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Madagascar

Through some friend we got two free tickets to go to the movie. This afternoon, Annabel went with a friend to Madagascar. 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.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Couch


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Enneagram

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.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Playing Go

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.


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