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Diary, October 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  30  31

Sunday, October 1, 2000

Israel and China

To important countries had something to celebrate something important today. For Israel, it is new years day of the year 5761. It is a year of rest for the country, as it is every seven years. But it started with violent street fights that have not been seen in Israel for a long time.

In the People Ruplic of China, they celebrate the start of the new China. Also here there was trouble. Some people of a forbidden sect demonstrated on the Tianamen square and were arrested.

Monday, October 2, 2000

A liquid cup

A "liquid cup" within
my employer is a special cup to measure liquid samples inside an X-ray spectrometer. To get the best analytical performance, the cup should be as thin as possible. For this reason the bottom of the cup consists of a foil. For practical reasons you have the assemble the cups by yourself. You simply get two short tubes that fit inside each other. To make a cup you lay the foil on top of the larger tube, and push the foil to the bottom by inserting the smaller tube. This results in a cup with a very tight and smooth foil at the bottom.

If you blow against the bottom of a liquid cup it makes a funny noise. The tone lowers as the foil gets warmed-up by your breath, and then rises again when you blow softer. Blowing in the cup gives a different sound again.

Tuesday, October 3, 2000


I went out to count the mushrooms on the grass in the garden this morning. I counted 21 mushrooms, some of them as large as 3 inches. The caps are mostly a light yellow with a brown spot in the middle. It looks like it are the same mushrooms that were there last year.


QNX Demo

Today, I downloaded the QNX Demo floppy, containing the real time QNX operating system, a windowing system, a complete web browser, and all the neccesary stuff to connect to the Internet through a modem. All of this on a single bootable floppy. And it doesn't require a hard disk.

Wednesday, October 4, 2000


We were just outside Enschede driving to Almelo this morning when
Annabel started to cry, stating that we had forgotten to bring her "cuddling animal" along. Today it is world animal day, and because of this the children of her class were allowed to bring along one "cuddling animal". She demanded that we would return to get it. I was in no mood for returning, and also if we would return, it would definitely mean we would be too late for school and work. Finally, I agreed that she would be allowed to bring it tomorrow. But still she felt very terrible that she would be the one child without one.

Thursday, October 5, 2000

Wedding day

Tomorrow, it will be seven years ago that we got
married. I mentioned this to my colleages, and ask "Why is it always the man who is supposed to do something special for his wife?" The answer to this is rather simple if you think about it. A woman will never forget to remember the anniversity of her wedding day. The man will almost always forget it, if not reminded by her. I remember how my mother on that day would say something like: "O, if but he does not forget about it", and also how happy she was when some flowers were delivered at our home.


This afternoon when I came to the day care centre to pick-up Annabel and Andy, I found Andy having great joy while watching some children play a game of hide and seek in the hall. When he noticed me, he came to me, but then quickly went back. Lately, he has improved a lot. Before the summer, the experts still labeled him with a "autism related" development disorder. He indeed did not interact much with other children. Lately, he is much more communicative, also with others. Now it looks he also is getting interested in other children.

Saturday, October 7, 2000

Andy's third birthday

Of course, we had decorated the living room in honour of Andy's birthday. When he saw these he was happy. We sang "Lang zal ze leven" for him, and he clapped his hands. Then we gave him the presents. He was particularily happy with the cars he got.

In the afternoon, Dick Bruna, the creator of Miffy, visited a book shop in Enschede. An exhibition of his drawings was held in this bookshop, because of the childrens book week, which is held every year around this time. We went there, and bought two books (including "Ezelsoor", which he especially wrote for this years childrens book week) for Andy, and had Dick Bruna write something in it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Christmas cards

It has started again. Today we received an email saying: Last year, we received this messages for over five times.

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Complete double rainbow

While driving home just outside of Almelo on the highway, we saw the start of a rainbow. Quickly it grew into a full double rainbow.


Thursday, October 12, 2000

Het Instrument

"Het Instrument" is the Dutch anual exibtion about analytical instrument and industrial automation (organized by
FHI), which was held in Utrecht. I went there with some of my colleagues. Our company also had a stand with one of the instruments that use the software that we developed. Of course, this stand was the first one we visited. Then we looked at the stands of our competitors, and other companies making similar analytical instruments, just to get some ideas for where we should direct the development of our software.

In the afternoon, my colleagues started gadget hunting. The first thing we got was a Tangle toy from the Fieldbus Foundation. Then they noted some people walking around with the kind of flag which you put on children bikes such that they will be visible form behind cars. So at some points they handed me two such flags. Both of them also had two of these flags. When the exhibition was going to close, we decided to walk around in Utrecht and to have some dinner. There we noticed that many people watched the three of us walking with six flags. Of course, we went to "De Slegte" bookshop and later to another big bookshop. Then we started looking for a pizarria and walked around the city. Then I got some feeling that at some place there was one, as something deep from my subconsiousness. And indeed when we walked their, there was one in a cellar with just one door at street level. We did eat pizza there, and walked back to the central train station still with our flags in our hands. We just missed a train and decided to wait for the next one. But then we started talking with some people, when suddenly one of us realized that the next train was about to arrive. We ran down to the platform only to see the train leave. This ment we had to wait another half our.

(next visit to De Slegte)

Friday, October 13, 2000

Shipping of the first MagiX

This afternoon at 3 o'clock we had a little celebration with the first shipment of a MagiX spectrometer. Afterwards, all the people who had been involved received a black shirt saying "it's MagiX!" in red. Because I had to
leave early, I happened to be one of the first getting one of these shirts, and the very first to put it on. When later, I showed it to some of my colleagues in another group, one of them acted as if he had to vommit. Appearently, my enthousiasm is not always interpreted as such by every one.

Annabels sixth birthday party

This afternoon, Annabel had a birthday party for some children from her school. Tomorrow will be her sixth birthday party. She had been looking forward to this for many weeks. At this age, birthday parties are really great events. Because we live in Enschede and she goes to school in Almelo (where I work as well), we organized a party with McDonalds in Almelo. They had a great time.


Today, we received an "open letter" from
Dr. M. Rath, which happens to have his headquarters very close to my employer, the company I work for, about Numeco having bought Rexall-Sundown for 1.8 billion US dollar. The letter goes into great detail explaining the possible corrupt and criminal nature of Rexall-Sundown. More about this can be read on the Health-Through-Integrity web site. Our son Andy still used "Nutrison Paediatric Multi-fiber", which is produced by Nutricia, one of the companies that Numico consists of.

(Later, Dr. Rath was forced by court order
to withdraw these accusations.)

Monday, October 16, 2000

A day off

Today, I had a day off, because
Li-Xia had to go somewhere for the whole day, and Andy had to stay home in the afternoon. I also had an appointment for him to get his flue vaccination. There was some confusion about where I had to go, so I happen to walk into the local community center "De Helmer", where I saw some parents with their children sit and drink some tea and play around. I do not know why they were there, but I would have loved to join them. This made me realize how busy I am with all my work.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000

Complete rainbow

Again, we saw a rainbow at almost the same spot as last week. It surely is rainbow time.

Thursday, October 19, 2000

Steel factory

With some colleagues we went to visit a customer at a steel factory. This was my first visit to a steel factory. We did not see much of the factory, but the laboratorium that we had to visit was above the place where they bring away the slag from the steel furnaces. We were looking down from the fifth floor into the big pots full of very hot slag. So hot that you could clearly feel the heat radiation. At some points the slag glowed so strong that you could barely look into it, without getting spots on your eyes. It was a really impressive experience.

And then to realize that we are living on top layer of slag on an enourmous ball of molten iron.

Satursday, October 21, 2000

Curly kail hotchpotch

It was a very soft and warm day for this time of the year. Many people were sitting on the terraces in the center of the city. When I discovered that the curly kail season had started again, I did not hesitate to buy some immediately. So, we had curly kail hotchpotch this evening.


Satursday, October 28, 2000

Mushrooms in the front garden

When we went out for the city,
Annabel said she that there were some Mushroom in the front garden. And indeed, she was correct, there they were some on the small poles that border the garden from the pavement. They were not of the kind that were earlier this month on the grass in our back garden.


Sunday, October 29, 2000

Ralph Nader for President

If I would live in the U.S.A. then I would vote for Ralph Nader. Tonight, I saw a TV program about him. I have to agree with him on many points, but that is not so strange, because I live in a country where many of the things he goes for, have been implemented for many decades. And I agree, our system is not perfect as well. I think that a two party system as the one in the U.S.A., is not very democratic, not as democratic as a multi-party system, where non of the parties holds the majority of the votes.

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