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This morning Annabel was nagging for
a candy. Finally, I gave in, but made her promise she would
be sweet. First of all she came back with three candies, saying
that it was to dark in the supply closet. I sent her back, but
when she returned she refused to eat the candy to my surprise
but kept it in her hand.
I began to understand why, when we came outside. `Look, I have
a candy' Annabel yelled to our neighbour girl as soon as she
saw her. While biking to school, I encouraged Annabel to eat
the Candy, but without prevail.
When I had put of her coat off at school, she showed me the candy.
I told her to put it the pocket of her coat. She objected that
there was sand in the pocket. I wrapped the candy in a plastic bag,
and put it in the pocket. When we came in her classroom, she refused
to let me go. Finally, her teacher took her over, and I walked away.
Outside on the street, sitting on my bike, I waited until she
would wave to me through the window as she often does. Some other
mother noticed that I was standing outside, and pointed Annabel
to me. While we waved, I biked away.
This morning it happened again, I met a mysterious girl while
biking through the city. She had a smile on her face for
some reason. We biked along the same road, waited at the
same traffic lights. I wanted to ask her: `Tell me, why are
you happy', but I did not have the nerves to do so.
Johan Cruijf is Holland's most famous soccer player ever.
Everybody knows him, although he hasn't been playing for a
long time. Nowadays, he is famous for his commentaries which
he gives during the mid break of the game. It seems that
some people like his commentaries better than the game.
This morning, I read that a book has been published with
quotes from him. The article telling this suggested that
he might become the new management guru, as he sounds arrogant,
has some amount of self-mockery, and makes a lot of nonsense remarks,
such as: `coincidence is logical'.
Wrong post box slit
Dutch post boxes have two slits. This morning I dumped a letter
to my mother-in-law in the wrong slit. Recently, the Dutch postal
services (PTT Post)
have changed the slits. It used to be the case
that the left slit was intended for local mail (usually the city
you lived in), and the right slit for all other mail.
Mail put in the left slit did not leave town, because
they were sorted locally. All other mail was sent to one
of the big distribution centers to be sorted. If you put a letter
in the wrong slit, next day delivery is no longer guaranteed.
You can figure out why.
Recently, however, because of automation of the sorting process,
sorting mail for the local cities has become to expansive. The country
is no divided in a number of regions, and all mail goes to central
sorting center of the region it belongs to. Because of this change
in strategy, post boxes now got a slit for mail inside your own
region, and one for all other mail. Why not just one slit, you could
ask. The mail put in the slit for the whole country is sorted first,
and then send (during the night) to the right sorting center of the
region it should go to. As soon as this sorting is done, the sorting
of the mail for the region starts. While this is done, the mail
coming from all the other regions is arriving, and then sorted as
well. This strategy allows all mail to be delivered in one day.
Except, of course, if you make the mistake to put a letter which
was meant for another region in the slit for your own region.
Because the meaning of the slits had changed, the Dutch Postal Services,
decided to switch them. So, now the left slit is for all mail outside
your own region, and the right one is for the `local' mail. The idea
behind this was: lets make the change obvious!
I think it was not such a smart move. They should have used the left
slit for `local' mail, and the right one for mail for the rest
of the country. Now, if people drop the mail in the slit in which they
were used to drop it, it is delayed one day. Otherwise, this would not
have happened. Either they did not think about their choice, or we
have to conclude that there is much more mail sent to other regions,
than to inside your own region, but not to your own city.
I knew that the slits had changed, and yet I dropped my letter
in the wrong slit. Later on, I also realized that they did not
put the right kind of names above the slits. The slit for mail
with your region, has a text saying something like `Zip codes 7000-9999',
and the other one says `All other zip codes'.
No beep any more
How much hard disk space do you need to make your computer beep?
Application evermore require more memory and hard disk space.
This is almost true for all application. On IRIX 6.5 you now
need to install the whole sound system (more than 12 Mbytes)
in order to make your SGI machine produce a simple beep.
Not having a beep is a great handicap.
It was a confusing morning this morning. I had to scratch of
the ice from the car, which caused some delay in my scedule.
Then, at the last moment, I saw that the lunch box Annabel
takes with her was still empty, and started to make some
sandwich for her to take with her.
On the way brining her to school a weasel crossed the
bicycle path, just in from of us. At school I noticed that
there was no lunch box in her bag. I told her that I would
get it. But when I biked back to home, I suddenly realized
it was Wednesday, and that she will not have any lunch at
school. At home, I opened my bag, and discovered that I
had had the lunch box with me all the time. Out of frustration,
I threw the bread in the waste bin, thinking that Annabel
would not eat it anymore. But the first thing she asked
for when we came back in the evening, was for the bread.
She ended up making a new sandwidch for herself.
A typical case of cummulative stupid decisions.
I recently changed the route I bike in the evening, because
I have to catch Annabel. The new route leads through some
small streete where people still keep to the perculiar Dutch
custom of keeping the curtains open during the evening.
Some way, it is a strange sensation to look in all the
living rooms, and see what all these people are doing.
Some are watching TV, some play with the kids, and some are
It made me realize how many different people are living in
a city. If I had to visit all those homes, and to get to
know all these people.
Annabel vomitting and dreaming
In the middle of the night, I heard Annabel call for me, which
is a little strange, because usually she comes to our room if
she needs something. I found her standing in her room with
puke around her neck and on her sleeping bag. It was clear what
happened: she had vomitted while lying in bed. We had to wash
her hair because it was all dirty.
The rest of the night, I stayed with her. She throw up several
more times, but not as much as the first time. Then at the end
of the morning, she told me that she had dreamed. I asked her
`about what?', and she mentioned `De Vlinder' (which is the
day care center she went to), and said something about that
everybody had to go inside.
Post boxes (Cont'd)
Yesterday evening, I had to drop a letter, and came across a post box
which had the slits in the `old' order. I was very surprised.
My first thought was that the PTT had finally decided to swap the
slits. So, I immediately went to check another post box, only
to find out that it was still in the same order. But this left
me with the question why this one mail box had the slits in a different
order. Either it was installed `wrong' from the start, or someone
exchanged the labels later on.
Lately, I have been thinking about what is the smallest square
in which the squares with sizes 1 to n can be packed. The
theoretical size is given by ceil(root(n(n+1)(2n+1)/6))).
Below a table is given with some values I have found so far. The column
min gives the theoretical minimum, the column found gives
the minimum value found (so far), and the column left gives the
amouth of space that is left unused.
| n || min|| found || left |
| 1 || 1 || 1 || 0 |
| 2 || 3 || 3 || 4 |
| 3 || 4 || 5 || 11 |
| 4 || 6 || 7 || 19 |
| 5 || 8 || 9 || 26 |
| 6 || 10 || 11 || 30 |
| 7 || 12 || 13 || 29 |
| 8 || 15 || 15 || 21 |
| 9 || 17 || 18 || 39 |
| 10 || 20 || 21 || 56 |
| 11 || 23 || 24 || 70 |
| 12 || 26 || 27 || 79 |
| 13 || 29 || 30 || 81 |
| 14 || 32 || 33 || 74 |
| 15 || 36 || 36 || 56 |
| 16 || 39 || 39 || 25 |
| 17 || 43 || 43 || 64 |
| 18 || 46 || 47 || 100 |
| 19 || 50 || 51 || 131 |
| 20 || 54 || 55 || 155 |
| 21 || 58 || 58 || 53 |
| 22 || 62 || 63 || 174 |
| 23 || 66 || 67 || 165 |
| 24 || 70 || 71 || 141 |
| 25 || 75 || 76 || 251 |
When Li-Xia looked outside this morning to see
if there was any ice on the car, she remarked
that there was snow outside.
Indeed, everything was covered with a thin layer of snow, except for
some warm spots on the roofs of the houses.
Later on, when I went outside, it felt like it was raining, but
actually it was very thin snow melting on my face. It was a piece
of cake to clean the car.
Last Sunday, Annabel had written
Andy's name on top of a drawing, when we
asked to write her name as well on the sheet. She started with the
`A' in the right hand corner of the sheet, and then
wrote her name in mirror writing from right-to-left. She writes
her name in capitals. What surprised me most, is that she even
wrote the capital `N' in mirror. We had some guests, and some
people in the room at first did not recognize what she had written.
I remember that one person turned the sheet upside down. Some only
realized what she had done when they looked at the sheet from the
back holding it against the light.
Later, I heared from others that had seen children from her age
do the same. Apparently, mirroring is something natural to them.
It somehow proofs that they are not writting, but drawing figures.
Andy has Kabuki !?
This afternoon, I was phoned by a clinical geneticus who affirmed
to me that Andy has the Kabuki Syndrome. He concluded this from
the facial expression he saw on the slides that were taken in
August earlier this year. So, now it is official.
(follow-up: Or not?)
This morning, Annabel woke-up complaining that she
had dreamt about us leaving her behind while driving away with the car. She
says that this is the second time she has been dreaming. What does she mean
with this, I wonder? Has she really never dreamt before? Or is it only
now she can remember her dreams? What surprises me most is that she
calls is dreaming. How did she learn this word? How does she know that
what she is `doing' is dreaming?
Has Andy Kabuki Syndrome?
This afternoon, we visited another clinical geneticus, who after
seeing Andy felt that we should not yet label Andy as having the
Kabuki Syndrome. Andy does not have the typical eyse of a child
with the Kabuki Syndrome, something we also had concluded by ourselves.
He did agree that we should take it as a working hypothesis that
Andy quite likely does have the syndrome, but that this has to
be affirm in the future. He suggested that we contant
with him again a year from now.
September 1998 |