Previous Up Next

Diary, November 2001

   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

Friday, November 2, 2001

An Ezra Fast

Some people called for an Ezra Fast for the eight Christians that are held by the Taliban in Kabul, and that many Pastu will come to know the Lord. Earlier this years there have been revelations suggesting that God might bring a large revival under the Pastu and take away the dark clouds that have been above Afghanistan for so many decades.

I decided to join in with this fast and not to eat anything. It was only after noon that I started to feel a little light in my head due to low blood sugar levels. When I went home the desire for eating became very strong. Biking home was not easy. But it was also then that I realized the focusing power of a fasting. It is impossible to forget the reason that you have decided to fast for.

In the evening, I joined a prayer meeting at our church. At the end of the evening I really felt weak. Sometimes my stomach would hurt from the hunger, but then at other times would not feel anything at all.

(previous and next)

Saturday, November 3, 2001

In the city

I woke up at 5:41 this morning. After I drank some water, I felt much better. In the afternoon, I was really doubting whether I should continue or not. I decided to go into the city with the rest of the family, but that I should not have done. At one point I felt very week, and I decided to eat some raisin buns. If I would have stayed home in bed, I might have continued. In a certain way, I felt like a failure, because I had intended to fast till tomorrow afternoon. But on the other hand I did learn some lessons. First of all that a fast should not be taken lightly. I also realized that it is not easy to fast on your own. I should have contacted others joining in this fasting. (At least, I did enjoy the curly kail hotchpotch that we ate in the evening.)

Sunday, November 4, 2001

Outcast Hindus

Three hundred million Outcast Hindus, tired of being outcasts, are considering to change religions. Today there seems to be a meeting where representatives from several religions to present their fate to a large group of Outcast Hindu leaders.

Tuesday, November 6, 2001


The SGP is one of the oldest political parties in the Netherlands. At the moment it is under attack, because they do not allow women to become a member of their party. They are not against women voting, but they feel women should not be candidates for political positions. Even some organisation of the United Nations has declared that this is violating the human rights for women. Surely, this is not the case, as they are not saying that no woman may be a member of any party. There are enough other parties women could become a member of, if they wished. And really, what is the point, currently only a very small fraction of the population is member of a political party.

The GSP bases their opinion on the Bible. During a news program, they showed the verse in Ephesians which starts with "For the husband is the head of the wife". But they did not show the rest of the verse, nor any of the following verses. They did not quote: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it". Yes, you could conclude that wifes should submit unto their husbands, but then you should also conclude that husbands should be ready to sacrifice themselves for their wifes.



In the same news program, there was also an item about Kabul in the seventies, before the sovjets waged war against it. There were pictures of women in colourful skirts. Kabul used to be such a beautiful city with roses everywhere in the parks. Afghanistan was a country with religious freedom were woman studied medicine and worked as doctors.

(previous and next)

Thursday, November 8, 2001

First wet snow

Octomber was the warmest month ever recorded in the Dutch history since the begining of the seventeenth century. I think it was also the first time that the month of October was warmer than September. (World wide it was also warmest October on record.) Today, the warm weather is gone for sure. It was a rainy day with some hail and wet snow. Some people reported even having seen some wet snow on cars. In the middle of the country it seems that there was even some more snow. I personaly did not see much of it.

Saturday, November 10, 2001


Today, is a again palindrome date according to the day-month-year date notation used in the Netherlands, and some other countries as well. The Chinese write this date as 01.11.10.


Monday, November 12, 2001

Bin Laden admits his involvement

The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that there circulates a video among the followers of Bin Laden in which he states the WTC was a legitemate target. There also are reports with links to Iraq.

(previous and next)

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

The Talibal retreat from Kabul

Last night, the Talibal unexpectedly retreated from Kabul, but they took the eight foreign aid workers with them.
(Full story by CNN)


Today, it was announced that the U.N. thinks sending a peace keeping force to Afghanistan consisting of troups from Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey. I also received a message through another channel, that right at this moment a group of 50,000 Christians in Central Sulawesi are surrounded by heavily armoured Jihad fighters in Indonesia who are treating them with masacar. Why is Indonesia allowed to help with a peace keeping operation in Afghanistan, when it cannot even control the same kind of fundamentalistic forces in its own country. Why is the Indonesia government allowing Jihad fighters to go from island to island killing peace loving Christians? Why is the U.N. not doing anything about this?

(previous, next of Afghanistan, and next of Indonesia)

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Curly kail hotchpotch

I arrive a little late home this evening. But I was happily surprised to see that Li-Xia and her mother had perpared some curly kail hotchpotch, one of my favourite dishes. It looks like Li-Xia's mother also does like it.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Report on Andy

Today, we talked with some people from the specialized day care center that Andy is attending during the weekdays. Last week we already received a report about some test that was performed on him. The test showed that Andy now has a development level of 22 months. I found it quite shocking when I read it. But, they told us that they were very happy about Andy's progress, and that they have decided to put him in another group as soon as their is place in that group. For the moment he will be attending some sessions in that group throughout the week. They told us that Andy does meet all the requirements to make more progress. He is open to others, has a strong desire to make himself understood, although he does not speak yet. He also adapts easy to changing social settings. If a child lakes these abilities, it can not develop any further. At this moment, Andy's most important handicap is the fact that he cannot speak well, although he tries hard. Luckily his language understanding is good. He also is getting better at relating pictograms with pictures, and important requirement for being able to read. Altogether it was good news.

National leaf dropping day

When I went into the back garden to get my bike to work, I noticed that some of leaves of our Magnolia were all covered with frost. Of course, I mediately took some pictures.


Then when biked to my office, I noticed that everywhere leafs were dropping from the trees. At some of the frost covered lawns there were yellow circles of leafs around the tree trunks. It seems as if many trees lost many (or nor most) of their leafs this morning. I think we should celebrate National leaf dropping day, although it is maybe not a happy thing to celebrate.

The eight have been released

Today, I heard the great news that the eight Christian aid workers have been released. Actually, it seems that they simply have been left behind by the Talibal in some prison when they were on the run from the Northern Alliance on the road to Kandahar. Some Talibal spokesman said that they had released them in exchange for something. Which to me seems just another piece of propaganda.

(previous and next)

Chestnut tree

Today, a local newspaper reported that a chestnut tree in the center of the city collapsed after a light storm. If I am not mistaken, it is the tree from which the first chestnut dropped that I walked around with.

Friday, November 16, 2001


In my search for more information about myelination, I found an interesting page explaining the nerve system with all its different cells. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to have a positive effect on myelination.


Sunday, November 18, 2001

Sending Annabel to China

In the afternoon, we discussed the possibility of sending Annabel to China to stay with Li-Xia's mother and family for the summer holidays. But as soon as Annabel realized that she had to speak Chinese all the time, she did not want to go anymore. She said that she liked to go, just for a few night. Maybe she changes her mind after Li-Xia's mother has gone back to China.

Monday, November 19, 2001

Divorce within a day

With the new marriage law that became effective on April first this year, it now also seems to be possible to arrange a divorce within a day. You can change your marriage into a registered partnership by simply going to the town hall. Then the same day you can undo this registered partnership with a public notary. There are already notary offices specializing in this kind of very fast divorces. Again it seems that the status of marriage is being devaluated, if it can be terminated as a formality simalar to buying a house. Some Christian parties have urged the parlement to change the law to avoid this unwanted side effect. Some even want to make it more difficult for parents with young children to divorce until the children are 12 years old. Seems to be a good idea, but I think it will be very difficult to enforce in practice.


When, I came home, there was a small surprise for me waiting. Suddenly, this afternoon, Andy started to walk freely by himself bridging the open spaces between the furniture. It made us very happy. We both feel that we have to contribute this to the omega-3 fatty acids we have been giving him since October 9.


Tuesday, November 20, 2001

In Pursuit of Simplicity

I found a wonderful page with the title "In Pursuit of Simplicity", which contains many manuscripts by the hand of Edsger W. Dijkstra. And when it says manuscript, it literally means manuscripts, because the page contains scans of many of his handwritten articles and notes. Very worth looking at, if it where only to enjoy his clear and expressive handwriting.


Susan Stepneys

I stumbled across some other interesting pages. It all started with a page about big numbers. To my surprise, I discovered the page was written by a woman, and when I read more about her, I became a little impressed. It appears that we have many common interests, including eXtreme Programming, Acorn computers, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, formal methods, SF (although I did not find Dune being mentioned), fractals, compiler construction, and, last but not least, maintaining an extensive web site.

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Drugs prices

It seems that the prices of drugs are dropping in the Netherlands. A Ducth policeman explained that the reason behind this, is that the Northern Alliance is dumping their opium stocks to finance their war. It's not the Taliban, as some wants us to believe.

(previous and next)

Friday, November 23, 2001

SGP (Cont'd)

Now, also some women from the Dutch congress are asking the government to take action against the SGP because of their rules with respect to women. The women were from all major political parties, including the CDA, a Christian Democratic party. They wrote a letter to minister Korthals (of the department of Justice) and secretary of state Verstand (of the department of emancipation) asking if they could force the party to allow women to become members.

The secretary of state, Mr. Verstand, replied that he would not do so, because it would imply that he had to forbid the SGP. Something that he considered to be undemocratic. The women found this a rather weak reply, and said that they considered it far more undemocratic that the party excludes women from becoming active members.


Monday, November 26, 2001

Arriving home

Heather Mercer, 24, and Dayna Curry, 30, who were among the eight Christians held by the Taliban, arrived home yesterday. They were abandoned by their captors in a prison in Ghazni, a town en route to Kandahar. Locals and Northern Alliance forces discovered them on November 15, and U.S. special forces shuttled them to safety in Pakistan.

Mercer said the group passed the time in captivity singing worship songs and praying. "That's how we got through," she said. "We hope this whole situation brings awareness to Afghanistan," Mercer said. "We hope that out of this Afghanistan can be rebuilt. We hope the people can have a season of peace."

(previous and next)

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Old man

When I went to boil some water for my tea this afternoon, I looked out the window facing the street, and saw an old man walking behind a rolator. He was walking slowly, step-by-step, holding onto his rolator, his click-on sun glasses flipped up, watching straight ahead. Probably walking his daily round, not because he likes it, but because it is good for his hearth. For a moment, I saw myself walking there in about thirty years, no longer thinking, just watching the cars pass by as they come and go,

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

A questionair

I received a questionair from Katrina Martincic with some questions about writing an online diary. I thought it a good idea to include the questions and answers here:

  1. When did you start your Internet journal?
    The first entry is of Monday, February 20, 1995. (You could have looked that up yourself).
  2. Have you kept typical notebook journals before or was an Internet diary your first attempt at journaling?
    No, I started writing a personal journal on December 5th, 1975. (That answer could also be found on my web site)
  3. Why do you put your journal online for the world wide web community to read?
    As away to share my thought, my observations, my comments, my ideas, my compassions. But also to record all these small things that happened in my life, that mean a lot to me.
  4. Would you suggest Internet journaling to others?
    Depends on who the person is. It takes a lot of time, and you should be aware that you may be talking to a large audience. Both friends and foes.
  5. Any words of advice or caution to new Internet diarists?
    Do not write just to fill space. Think clearly about what you write. If you make links, be carefull to check them. Do not simply repeat (or quote) what you have read elsewhere. Never write anything that you might regret ten years from now. (Your writings may be archived for eternity. See
  6. What does putting your diary on the Web do for you (spiritually, mentally, personally, etc)?
    It has become part of my life. I think the title of my web pages says it all "I write, therefore I am". More and more, I come to the realization that the act of writing is one of the key ways of expressing myself.
  7. Do you think the phenomenon of Web diaries will quit anytime soon?
    No! There will always be people willing to share their thoughts to the world.
  8. How did you get the idea of putting your diary online?
    First of all, it is not my personal diary. I make a clear distinction between my paper diaries and my online diary. It all started very natural, when I started to make my first web pages in 1995. Especially at first it was more of a log of what I found while searching the web, then a diary.
  9. Is there anything you don't put online in you journal?
    Or do you treat your Web diary like a personal journal?
    No. They a clearly separated. In my online diary I only write what I like to tell to others. In my personal diary, I write about my personal feelings and thoughts.
  10. Any other comments you can give on the subject would be very much appreciated.
    Would you object, if I put these questions and anwers in my online diary? Are you going to publish your findings on the Internet? If, so, can I make a link?

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Indonesia (Cont'd)

Today, I received the following email:

Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 09:21:05 +0800

Dear Friends

I am in Indonesia and have received first hand information from Central Sulawesi (Poso and Tentena). There are 63,000 Christians who are in grave danger. I am appealing to the Church worldwide to begin to pray for miracle of protection for these our brothers and sisters in Christ. These Christians have only 35 police to protect them from daily attacks against their region. There is a force of about 15,000 well armed Jihad terrorists who have surrounded the Christian villages. Entire villages have been burned and people are being shot everyday. They are fleeing to other villages in hopes of safety.

The Indonesian military have pulled out. The Police have only a few weapons. The roads have been blocked by the Jihad terrorists. The supply of food is dangerously low. These brave Christians have been the target of the anger of the Jihad terrorist. The terrorists have publically announced that they will make December a "month of blood" and by Christmas they will have eliminated the "cross bearers" from this region.

The attention of the world has been on Afganistan. This crisis in Indonesia may be the most serious threat to innocent people on earth at this time. The terrorists have proclaimed they are followers of Osama Bin Laden.

This is an urgent prayer request. Please send this to every praying believer you know. The threat is real. These people have no voice of their own. Please pray for our loving Father in Heaven to show His mighty hand to protect.

Hebrews 13:3

(previous and next)

Friday, November 30, 2001

Bear no fruit

And that which fell among thorns are they,
which, when they have heard, go forth,
and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life,
and bring no fruit to perfection.
Luke 8:14 KJV

George Harrison

Just some quotes: However, we should interpret the above with the following quote in mind:


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Two Australian aid workers said Friday they held no grudge against Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers who kept them in detention for three months on charges of promoting Christianity. "I feel sorry that many of the Taliban are dying," Diana Thomas told reporters in the western Australian city of Perth. "That's a bit upsetting ... the Taliban treated us very nicely. They were very kind to us really," she added. Peter Bunch said: "We don't hold anything against them."

(previous and next)

Home | October 2001 | December 2001