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Sunday, August 5, 2001
Feeding Andy in the car
Today, we went to my sister to get
Annabel, who had been staying with her for a week.
While driving there by car, we decided to try to feed
Andy in the car while driving.
To our surprise he did not give much resistance. He
realized that it was something new, because he clapped
in his hands everytime when he finished a tube.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001
Yesterday, Li-Xia brought home
the book "What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child"
by Glenn Doman, which I had ordered some time ago.
Of course, I immediately started reading it which
much interest. Today, I decided to see if I could
find any critical materials about this book. And
indeed, I did. There are two I would like to
Both are extremely critical. Actually, they do affirm
some of my initial fears about Glenn Doman and his
ideas. On the other hand, I do have to admit that his
book sounds very convincing, and I simply cannot
believe that all the stories he presents are purely
made up. I suspect that the truth must be somewhere
in the middle.
Yesterday afternoon, we arrived at the Centerparcs park "Het Heiderbos". In the evening, I decided
to try out the wild water course again. But it was
very busy, and I did not find it as relaxing as last
During the night, Andy
got us awake, because he decided that he didn't want to
sleep any more after twelve. This morning we decided to go the
tropical swimming pool, called Aqua Mondo which is on
the park. I took a picture of Li-Xia with
Annabel and Andy together
in the pool.
This evening we went for a dinner Last nights dinner was not
a great success, because when the food arrived, Andy decided that
he didn't want to sit at the table anymore. He had been happily
playing with the spoons. So we had take turns driving
him arround in his buggy.
The Jungle Dome
This morning, we went rather early to the Jungle Dome.
It was shortly after they opened at ten that we arrived. There
was almost nobody there. All the birds and squirrels had come
out, because they were waiting for their food. This was rather
special, completely different from the last time, when it was
only after about an hour that I found out that there were
actually some special animals in the Jungle Dome. Last year
we had even trouble finding a place to put our coat because
it was so crowded.
This afternoon I went walking with Andy
in his buggy. I decided to walk to Cottage 636
where we stayed last November.
To my surprise, Andy recognized the cottage immediately
when we stood in front of it. So, he does have a good
memory. Some way, this cottage has a very special
meaning to both of us, because it is the place where
we saw my father (his grandfather)
for the last time alive.
Because dinner was not a great success yesterday, we decided not to
eat together this night. Around six Annabel and her grandmother
went to Harold's family restaurant to have dinner. At
the same time, Li-Xia and I walked
Andy around the park, and went to see cottage 636 again.
After Annabel and my mother had returned from their dinner,
and after Andy was in bed, Li-Xia
and I went to Harold's for a quiet dinner. We first had
some tomato soup and then Li-Xia had some dish with fish
and I had the Fajitas de Carne again.
Then afterwards we decided to go to Aqua Mondo and
we stayed in a hot tub for about twenty minutes until
they closed at ten. Li-Xia felt very relaxed afterwards.
Monday, August 13, 2001
After yesterday experience in the hot tub, we decided to go swimming
again while my mother was going to
go walking with Andy and feed the ducks.
Annabel went to the hot tub, and I decided to give
the wild water course a try again. I went down the first,
rather slow, part at least ten times, and finally,
after going down mindlessly, I began to enjoy it as much as
I did last year.
Andy upside down
This morning, when Li-Xia went into Andy's room,
she found him standing in
a very funny way. He stood with his head very close
to his feet with his bottom in the air and was
turning his head slowly. We have no idea how he
managed to get standing like this. Li-Xia really
had to laugh about it.
XML is a real hype at the moment and even Microsoft makes
any attempt to promote it. This afternoon, I read some
notice about Microsoft XQuert Languages (or XQL for short)
and went to a site dealing about it. This languages hasn't
been made into a standard yet, but it is clear that
Microsoft is promoting it. When I looked at the languages,
I got the strange feeling that something was wrong with it.
The languages did not look very clean to me, but rather
as a mix of all kinds of rather arbitrary language
constructs. Somehow this also pointed the finger at
some problems with XML itself. XML itself is not very
clean. It is really not what it pretends to be, namely
a way to convey self-contained structured data. One problem,
I think, is that it does not make any difference between
sets and lists. Also, it only has one basic data type, that
of the string. Another problem is that it does not
explicitely specify how internal reference are made.
Furthermore, it does not have any good motivation on
why attributes are needed, and when they should be
used. And as a last remark, I would like to add that
the notation is rather verbose for what it wants to
express. It seems that the very old S-expression of
LISP can do the same that XML can do, but with much
To be honest, XML seems not to be a good candidate for
an international standard for exchanging structured
data. I rightly admit it is better than SGML and HTML,
but I think it could have been much better yet.
(A good alternative and
Thoughts on software enginering.
XML in the Real World
and XML Alternatives.)
Thursday, August 16, 2001
When I stepped outside this morning, I saw a
partial rainbow to the North-West. I could see it almost all
the way to my office until the sun hid behind a cloud.
When I came close to my office, the sun reappeared and
it started to rain a little. On that moment I could
see a complete, but not very bright, rainbow.
A colleague of mine reported that he had seen a much
brighter rainbow while riding to the office.
Twenty minutes later it started to rain cats and dogs.
Saturday, August 18, 2001
The miraculous healing of Nita Edwards
Yesterday and today, I read through a book which
describes the story of a Sri-Lanka girl called Nita Edwards,
who was healed in a very special way. Today she is the director of
The book describes who she slowly became paralized from
an appearenly insignificant fall from some stairs as the
result of a spinal infection. Then one day, when she had
given up all hope of walking again, God spoke to her
that He would heal her on a specific day. Later He even
gave her the hour. And indeed at that specific day and
hour she was completely healed in matter of seconds.
This happened on February 11, 1977 at 3:30 PM in Colombo,
Just days before she met Anne van de Bijl, a famouse
Dutch Christian, director of an organisation for supporting
oppressed Christians all around the world. He was one of
the few who were informed about the miraculous healing
before it took place. In 1982 or 1983 Nita Edwards came
to the Netherlands and visited our church during one
evening. There I heard the story from her own mouth.
It was also around that time that I read the book for
the first time.
Friday, August 24, 2001
Contacting former colleagues
Today, I contacted my former colleagues again. I heard that my last bug
was solved, but I did not hear how. For the rest it seems
business as usual.
I have finally decided to make an attempt in materializing
all my ideas with respect to specification languages and
implementation languages as opposed to programming languages.
I have called this project "Meta-Meta"
just because I cannot come up with a better idea.
See my article "The Art of Programming"
for some of my ideas.
I haven't written out all of my ideas yet, but it seems that
I do have the following:
There are also still some unresolved issues:
- A mathematical model to define types with pointers based
on infinite values.
- A type specification languages which has a simple mapping
to the above mathematical model.
- Some good ideas about adding qualifiers to this language
to define an update model.
- Some good ideas for making an "ideal" implementation for
the representation of complex values and how to perform
updates on these values.
- An idea of how I could represent expression as values,
and how these expressions could be evaluated. (Very
similar to old LISP.)
Whenever you have a language, you need some parser.
To night, I have been thinking about how I could extend
an interpreting parser that I wrote some years ago, such
that it will be able to link all the identifers and such.
It actually comes down to adding some additional information
to the resulting structures, and running a relatively
simple tree walker, which will perform all the neccesary
stitching. I might have it return the representation
of expression that I talked about above. We will see!
- No formalisation of the update model.
- No proof that the "ideal" implementation is correct.
- Almost no ideas for an implementation languages.
- No tools.
Tuesday, August 28, 2001
While biking to my office, I read the first
chapter of the Gospel according to Mark, from
one of the little books that I bought some time
I found verse twentytwo the most striking,
where it says: for He taught them as one that
had authorithy, and not as the scribes.
Yes, it is easy to preach something from the
Bible, as it is a book full of interesting
stories, but to teach something with authority
is something completely different.
How could Jesus teach as someone with authority?
As it is a Jewish custom to study what we call
the Old Testament, it is not unlikely that Jesus,
now being around thirty years old, knew
large portions of the Scriptures by heart.
Even nowadays there are people who know large
parts of the Bible by heart. It is just a matter
of what occupies your heart. But still we do
not read anywhere that Jesus often spoke in
the synagogue before His public ministry
Earlier in the chapter we read that Jesus
was baptished by John the Baptists. It was
immediately following this that the Holy
Spirit descended on Him, and that there was
a voice from God out of the heavens saying:
Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased. Did Jesus not already know
that He was the Son of God? Why did He need
an audable voice? This raises the question
to which extend Jesus knew things. It also
raises questions about what it meant that
He was both God and man and the same time.
I think, He in His heart knew God, but at
the same time needed an external confirmation
of this, and the power of the Holy Spirit
to be equiped for His ministry.
And then, the first thing that the Spirit
did, was to lead Him into the wilderness
to be tempted. Only after this did He
began His ministry.
To sum it up, I think that His authority
was based on an inner conviction, which
was build on many years of studying the
Scriptures. Then this inner conviction
was affirmed by an external proclamation
and the annointing of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, it was being tested by a time
Friday, August 31, 2001
Annabel brought some bear
home this afternoon. She told me that it was "Beertje Pom"
(Beertje means young bear in Dutch). He was going to
stay with us. He had brought a little suitcase with
his pyjamas and his toothbrush. There was also a little
book with it telling about all his other adventures
staying with the children of the class. It seems that
every weekend and holiday, another child may take him
home to stay. A very good idea, I think.
I made a small home page for him
in Dutch. But if you cannot read Dutch, you can still
look at the pictures.
July 2001 |
September 2001 |