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Diary, September 2005

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Monday, September 5, 2005

Myst III Exile

Last weekend, I installed "Myst III: Exile" because I read that story "pupils learn through Myst game". I played it a little, but was afraid that it was a little boring for Annabel. Yesterday, we went to get her from my sister, after not having seen her for more than three weeks. This evening I sat down with her to play the game together with her. We played for about one and half hour and did solve some puzzles. I am afraid she is going to be hooked.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. I played against Rik with six stones ahead and lost with 15 points. He is a strong Kyu player. Annabel played some games with Martijn and also read a lot in an Zoop boek. (Zoop is a soap-opera playing in a zoo, and while it is usually pronounced like soup with a 'z', it sound like soap when pronounced according to the Dutch fonetic rules.)

Math comprehension

We also discussed the state of math education in the Netherlands, because one of the other Go players had been recently involved with taking a math comprehension test for freshmen. About ten years ago there has been a big reform in the Dutch highschool system. The seems that in an attempt to make math (and related subjects) more attractive, they have made it more concrete with the idea that students would also comprehend the more abstract aspect easier. The test showed that many freshmen had problems with such elementary things as fractions. The reason must be that they have become to reply on their graphical calculators too much. But still it is shocking especially if you realize that this is a university with predominant science majors. It would not surprise me if the reform by its emphesis on writing reports and working in groups is actually turning down the more mathematically oriented students. It seems that in the whole education system, social skills (being able to work in teams and make flashy presentations) is valued higher than being able to do science. No wonder that Asian countries are starting to become predominant in these areas.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Myst Exile: solving a riddle

This morning, one of my first thought was an idea for solving a riddle in the Myst Exile game that Annabel and I are playing right now. After I checked if the idea was correct, I woke up Annabel and told her that I knew the answer to it. Then she told me the answer as well. She had thought about it, yesterday evening at the University while playing a game of Go. It seems that we both had a similar experience of finding the answer to a riddle while not consciously thinking about it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Abunai 2005

Today, Annabel and I went to Abunai 2005 to help with the Go workshop. We stayed for about four ours and explained the Go rules to students attending the conference, and played some games amongh us (that is Rudi, Martijn, Rob, Annabel and I). Rudi had printed out some 9x9 boards on a picture he took from a wooden cubboard in his kitchen. It was interesting to see all the cosplay. We had a look at the dealerroom and the gamerroom. It looked like it were mostly students attending this conference. To me it looks like many still behave as teenagers, but maybe that is just because I am about twenty years older.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Playing against Ton

This evening, I went to the University to play Go. Because it has been a long time ago since I played against Ton, I decided to play against him. He gave me six stones ahead and I lost with twelve points. Not very good I feel. There was a new person, who seems to be about my strength. I probably will play against him next time. Because Ton and I were both by bike, we decided to bike home together some part. We had some good conversation about the things happening in our lives.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Myst III: Exile

Tonight, I finished Myst III: Exile. For solving one the Ages, I did make use of some hints from Universal Hint System, a very nice hints site.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


This morning, about 15 minutes in the church service, I discovered a rather large spider, about two chairs away from me. The spider looked more dead than alive. It did almost not move. But still I kept a watch on it all the time in case it would wake-up and run away. I did take two picture of it, but both turned out to be bad when I looked at them at home. When Annabel returned, she almost stept on it. Later she told me that she had seen it and stepped over it. She is totally not afraid of spiders. Then someone sitting behind me, picked it up to bring it outside. It did not move at all when he put it on his open bible. I do not know what happened with it.


This afternoon, Annabel finished Myst III: Exile as well. I had promised to install Riven, and so I did. Riven was quite a disappointment after having played Exile. It also crashes often, probably because it was not designed for Windows XP. When it crashes the mouse pointer disappears and it simply does not respond any more. It also seems that the puzzles in Riven seem to be far more obscure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Biking to play Go

This evening, Annabel and I biked to the university to play Go. We went by bike, because the main road from our home to the university has been closed, and taking the detour would probably take a long time. Annabel did not play any game, but she did look at some games of others, and read in "Zoop" and make a floor plan for a family hotel. I played agains Taco and lost with 15 points and getting nine stones ahead. Afterwards we talked about some of my mistakes. I also looked a little at a game between Rudi and Marcel. Annabel and I made some suggestion for Marcel, which he decided to follow.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Seventh Dutch Kabuki day

Today, the seventh Dutch Kabuki day was held. We dropped Annabel with my mother and then drove with Andy to "De Regenboog", an activity center in the village Maarn for people with a mental handicap.

There had been changes in the program, because Prof. Dr. C. Schrander-Stumpel and Dr. J. Schrander could not attend due to some unexpected circumstances. They both felt sorry that they could not attend. I think that about twenty families attended this day, of which about six for the first time. In total we had eighteen children with Kabuki Syndrome attending. We met with some new cute children with Kabuki syndrome. Some still rather weak. Two of them having a PEG. It also made me realize how long it ago it was, that Andy was like them.

After everyone had had a cup of coffee or tea with a piece of Limburg pie (from Multivlaai), we started with a presentation about "transition" by Lieke van den Hout, a student of Dr. J. Schrander. At one point, somewhere between 14 and 21 years, our children become too old to be seen by a paediatrician, but often still have to deal with complicated health issues. This means that some kind of transition has to be made to another doctor or team of doctors for adults. She explained us about the concept of a "case manager", someone that you can always connect for dealing with medical issues, and who can make the right appointments. She explained that at their hospital this was working nice, but experience learned that "transition" does not happen smoothly at all hospitals and that often the health care gets fragmented.

Then Dr. Titia Kan gave a talk about issues to deal with puberty and contraception. She is a physician for persons with intellectual disabilities (and a member of NVAVG). For people with mental handicaps, puberty is often a more than usual difficult time, because the physical development is often behind on their emotional development. Also the issue of sex education and sexual abuse was talked about.

Around one o'clock we started with the lunch which lasted about one and half hour. Then we talked about various issues that had been raised by different parents and shared our experiences. Then around four we had some tea with some left over pieces of Limburg pie. And then it was time to say goodbey and to do some cleaning-up. It was around half past five that we left. Before and after the activities, I talked with several of the new parents to hear about their stories and to give them some encouragement.

We also got printouts of two articles in which Andy is one of the cases. These are Kabuki Syndrome: Clinical Data in 20 Patients, Literature Review, and Further Guidelines for Preventive Management and Kabuki Syndrome Is Not Caused by an 8p Duplication: A Cytogenetic Study in 20 Patients both of which appeared in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, Volume 132A, Issue 3, 30 January 2005. The first paper has two supplements, namely: Synopsis of the medical features in Kabuki syndrome and Guidelines for preventive management.

(Sixth Dutch Kabuki day and Eight Dutch Kabuki day)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Finished 80% of Riven

This evening, I finished about 80% of Riven. I arrived at Gehn's Age, but without some important item, and I also went to visit Catherine. I have to admit that last week I already looked at a map, which gave me some idea about how to find the secret paths on the village island. Tonight, I also looked at Maps of Riven by Calyxa to verify the locations of the domes as I had found them, only to discover that I had marked down the wrong location for the dome at the prisoners island. I also read this walkthrough, which gives the answer to the animal riddle, but does not explain how it is found. In a certain sense, this walkthrough is broken, because it gives answers to puzzles that you could not have solved had you followed this walkthrough. I also read through UHS hints, only to discover that was completely going in the wrong direction with respect to solving the animal riddle. I tried not to remember the solution and see if I can find the clues by myself. I think, I solved about 80% of the puzzles by myself. (Maybe I should have kept a journal of all my searching, as JohnB did.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Playing Go

Annabel and I went to the University to play Go. We went by car and I took the route that I normally use when I bike to my work. That meant I had to drive mainly trough a 30 Km (20 mile) zone. When we arrived, Rudi and Marcel had just arrived. Because no others came, we decided that I would play against Marcel and Annabel against Rudi. About halfway some students looked over saying that they never had seen it before, and talked a little about the rules. I lost a large group when playing against Marcel. I lost with 53 stones while having got a nine stone advantage at the beginning of the game. But still that is not very bad, but worse than last week. When Rudi and Marcel started another game, I played a game against Annabel. Then I looked a little the game between Ton and Tace, who had arrived a little later than us. It was a quarter past ten that we went home.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nerds and geeks

Yesterday, Annabel when she saw the cover of this weeks edition of Intermediair that she knew some of the people on it. Then she pointed out that the guy in the blue t-shirt was still wearing the Abunai 2005 admission band, just like she is doing. The picture belongs to the cover story about nerds and geeks, which is partly based on the book Geek Chic, The Ultimate Guide to Geek Culture. The story also includes a picture of Bill Gates when he was in his early twenties.


Friday, September 30, 2005

Riven and Uru

Today, "Uru: Ages Beyond Myst", which I had bought last Monday on marktplaats, arrived. After Annabel and I finished playing "Riven" this evening, I decided to install it. At first it looked very interesting, but then lixia suddenly rebooted. And it kept on doing that, also after I downloaded the latest video drivers for my Radeon graphic card. This really frustrated me.


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