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Diary, February 2000

   Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
             1   2   3   4   5
     6   7   8   9  10  11  12
    13  14  15  16  17  18  19
    20  21  22  23  24  25  26
    27  28  29

Saturday, February 5, 2000

Year of the Dragon, 4697

Happy (Chinese) New year.

Spring weather

This afternoon, the weather was so nice, it almost felt like spring. Exactly the right weather for the first day of the Chinese Spring Festival.

Wednesday, February 16, 2000


A very sunny day today. Our room became hot. Reason to open a window. Suddenly, the sun disappeared and some white things came falling down. Was it snow? A little to small. Then the wind started to blow, and we saw it fly by. It really was snow. Wet snow.

We haven't had much snow this winter, and it doesn't look like will get some more. Maybe this was the last snow of this winter.

Yuji's farewell party

This evening we went to Japanese restaurant to celebrate Yuji's farewell party. At the end of the month he will go back to Japan, after having been here for about three years. The dinner consisted of the following dishes: The two cooks prepared the dishes before our eyes.


The whole evening it had snowed, and when we came outside there was about one inch of snow. I still had to drive about 30 km home through the snow. On the highway I did not dare to drive faster than 80 km/h, because of the snow.

Friday, February 18, 2000

Go prodigy

Today, I read a story about the Go prodigy Liao Xingwen, who will become six this month, but he already plays at an astonisching high level. He would wipe me off the board completely, if I would ever play against him.

This made me think about my attempts to play the game of Go with Annabel. It was last November that I started teaching her the game. We play it about once a week, and she only likes it when I let her win. She has some basic understanding of life-and-death, and she does not like it when she sees some group of mine which is alife. She wants me fill the eyes, so she can kill it. Often she put down stones that I can beat immediately. In order not to discourage her too much, I refrain from beating them immediately. One thing is for sure, she is definitely not a Go prodigy. Isn't it true that all parents dream that there child will be some kind of prodigy. How difficult it can be to discover that your child is less than average.


Friday, February 25, 2000

Out of petrol

Less then one mile from my home, suddenly, the engine stopped. I tried to restart it, but it did not start again. Then I noticed that the petrol indicator said that there was no petrol anymore. I could not believe this, as I always get some petrol on Saturday morning. But then I realized I must have forgotten it, because last Saturday we had to run to a G.P. because Andy was having some fever.

At first, I did not know what I should do. I phoned Li-Xia to inform her about what happened. Then I remembered I was not far from some gas station. I was happy, I hadn't run out of petrol on the highway. First I pushed the car backwards, because the car had stopped just before road crossing. And then Annabel and I set out to the gas station. At the gas station I could borrow a jerry can, and I bought some petrol. There was a taxi driver who offered us a lift, which I gladly accepted. But just before he wanted to drop us of, he asked if I did have a funnel. No, I did not. But I felt I would find some way to get the petrol in.

So there we were, standing besides our car, with some petrol but without a funnel. I looked for something I could use, and found some bread bags, bags in which a loaf of bread is packed when you buy them, and which I reuse for taking bread to my work. I took one of the bags, and cut some part of, to make it into a tube. Then I fixed it inside the petrol tank, and I started pouring the petrol inside. It did work except that I spilled some petrol, because I poured too fast. Only later I released that there was a small lid on the inside of the tank opening, which is only opened when you put in the hose.

After I did some cleaning, we could finally drive home. We arrived about three quaters of an hour later than planned.

Sunday, February 27, 2000

Teaching Annabel Go (Cont'd)

This evening, when I played a game of Go with Annabel, after the game was finished she said: "You win when you have the biggest garden, not when you beat the most stones". Yes, the goal of the game is to get the largest terrotrium, which I explain as "garden" to her. It is not easy to teach a child a complicated game. If I do not let her win, she loses interest. I have to careful not to play too strong, but at the same time, I have to teach her all the little tricks. Often I feel like balancing on a wire.


Tuesday, February 29, 2000

An exception on an exception on an exception of the rule

The rule is that February has 28 days. A leap year is an exception to this rule. An exception to this rule is that each last year of a centrury is not a leap year, but the exception to that rule, is that each multiply of 400 is a leap year again. So this is a very exceptional day. Suprisingly, there are not many people celebrating it.

Discussing this fact, we talked about how often a leap seconds occurs.

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