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Diary, April 2006

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Sunday, April 2, 2006


Today, Li-Xia looked for our suitcases in the attic. When I came upstairs, I saw her brown suitcase, with the initials LXL. I made some remark about my green suitcase. But when I noticed a red suitcase, I concluded that it must have been red. We had promised Andy to go to the city in the afternoon, because he could not go to church as he had expected. It had started raining around noon. We did not know what to do. Li-Xia felt, I should go on my own, while I felt that we should take Andy with us as promised. Around half past two we left by car with the three of us. While driving into the city, we soon discovered that we were not the only ones having this idea. I decided to try another parking place on the other side of the city, only to discover that it was full and had a long line of cars waiting. We looked for some more places, and finally decided to park with the Park & Ride parking place and take the bus. When we arrive in the city we went to V&D to look at the suitcases that were on sale. We found a nice Samsonite suitcase. Li-Xia felt we should buy two, I thought that one was enough. In the end we bought one blue one and went back to the car.

At home, I discovered that the red suitcase was not the suitcase I had in mind. Li-Xia said that she already had seached the attic, and had not found any suitcase. It was getting late, and we quickly had to decide what to do. I was quite sure that we had a "green" suitcase. Li-Xia said she could not recall anything. I even made her phone her mother to ask if we did not let her take it home one of the times that she visited us. This was not the case. We both were a little annoyed about everything. After some time, Li-Xia came down with the messages that she had found some more suitcases and if I had a light. We went upstairs, but amongh the suitcases that I had in mind, was not the one I had in mind. Then suddenly, I found my suitcase in another corner that had been uncovered by Li-Xia taking away stuff. It was not green, but red. It was also a Samsonite, with exactly the same size as the one that we just bought.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Commercials echo

At the moment, Annabel is acting like a commercials echo, although echo is not the correct term, because usually she runs ahead a few seconds. Whenever there are commercials on TV she starts to echo them. She is remarkable good at it. Using the right intonation and often immitates the melodies as well. I think it is a typical thing for girls of her age to do this. I find it quite funny.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Nonogram solver

In the past weekend, I worked on another algorithm for solving the Nonogram. It did not meet my expectations. The Nonogram solver is still working on the 14x14 squares. At the moment is working on the square on the rows 74 to 87 and columns 59 to 72, which is the square highlighted in the image on the right. I am not sure how long it has been working on this square, but it might be more than a week.


Wednesday, April 5, 2006


Today, we went with the whole family to the Kidsday organized by Kans voor een kind (An opportunity for a child), which organizes activities for children who are suffering from a chronical disease and their family. Andy received an invitation for this because he is seen by a paediatrician of the hospital in Enschede.

When we left, I asked Andy to put on his coat. He first put on his shawl and next put his hands in the sleeves of his coat that was laying in front of him. My first thought was that it was not going to work, but with a swift move, he threw the coat over his head and had it on. To be honest, it really made me laugh to see him perform this little trick. I guess they taught him this in school.

We arrived around a quarter to two at the Expo Center Hengelo. When we went in, Andy received a nice sticker. It was already quite crowded. Food and drinks were for free. Annabel made apply use of this to eat all kinds of sweets. The show started about half an hour later, with the performances of Magic Unlimited and the girls group Kus. After a break, performances by 123 Kindershow, and Chipz. Andy is a great fan of Chipz, but when the finally came on stage, he was not very interested, probably because he was quite tired. The noise also seemed too much for him. At the end, I took Andy to the front and stayed close to the stage. Annabel was also there. Around five o'clock we went home. At first we had planned to go to MacD, but because we already had eaten so much food, we decided to skip this. It also took us much longer to get home because it was much busier on the road.

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel and I were the first to arrive at the university to play Go. Not much later Ton and the others arrived. I challenged Ton. Marcel played with Annabel. Ton gave me six stones ahead. We finished around a quarter to ten. A little to our surprise, it turned out that I had won with 18 points. I have to say that Rudi made some remarks that might have influenced my game play, and thus might have had a positive effect on the score. Annabel played two games with Marcel on a 13x13 board. She got five and seven stones ahead. Marcel feels that she is becoming stronger. Then I watched the game between Marcel and Rudi that they had started. We left around a quarter past ten.

Nonogram solver

This evening, I made some small improvements on the version of the Nonogram solver that I started to develop last weekend. (source). I tested it while we went to play Go. I came to the conlusion that it did not perform as well as I had expected.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hunters of Dune

I just read second chapter of Hunters of Dune. This chapter is less of an introduction chapter, like the first chapter, which was released about a month ago. This chapter contains some very clear inconsistencies with the previous book. As far as I remember, Duncan only erased the memory banks. He did not perform a new kind of space fold that would have brought them to an alternative universe. I also remember that there were stars visible after the first space folding, but that there were recognizable constilations. And then the introduction of the "Oracle of Time", a God like creature, using Duncan to bring the no-ship back to the "normal" universe. I find it very hard to believe that this was in the outline that Frank Herbert left behind.

Nonogram solver

Today, I aborted the Nonogram solver, which was still working on the same square as before. Yesterday evening, I modified the nonogram solver such that it now searches all squares and rectangles starting with those that have the least unknown positions. (source).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Playing Go

We arrived early at the university. I was quite busy on the parking lot. Later on the evening, there were many children walking around. I guess that this might have been some Eastern celebration of a school. Soon, Rudi and Ton arrived. When Taco arrived, he asked me to play a game of Go. Ton asked Annabel. He gave her five stones ahead on a 13x13 board. She won with 30 points, also because at the end she managed to beat some stones from Ton. He had hoped that she would not have seen it, but she did. I resigned after Taco managed to a second group of mine. Both of the groups I lost, because I made the wrong type of defense move.

Friday, April 14, 2006

IQ of 48

Today, we received the results of the psychologic test to determine the development level of Andy. The test was done on February 8 and 15. They started with the SON-R 5.5-17 Nonverbal Intelligence Test, but when it became clear that had problems with this, they continued with the SON-R 2.5-7 Nonverbal Intelligence Test. This test consists of six subtest, where three involve spatial insight and three call upon reasoning abilities. On the subtests involve spatial insight, he scored as follows: On the subtests calling upon reasoning abilities, he scored as follows: According to the test, his IQ on reasoning scale is 64, and on spatial insight scale is 50. His average development level is that of a four year old child. His average development age is four years. The report concludes that based on this IQ is 48.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Going on a date

This weekend, both Annabel and Andy are elsewhere. Annabel will return tomorrow, after church, and we have agree to catch Andy around eleven on Monday. Today, Li-Xia and I went into the city. Around one o'clock we had some donner kebab, falafel, and salad. We sat outside, because inside there were some people smoking, and the weather was nice enough to sit outside. We walked around the city and spend some time looking at external harddrives, digital cameras, memory cards, and digital video cameras. We still haven't made up out mind about what we are going to take with us to China this summer. After we bought some vegatables, including Curly Kail, we went home.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Digitizing videos

This weekend, I made some attempt to digitizing some home videos. Some week ago, I had reinstalled Studio 9 from Pinnacle Systems, during which I was informed I could upgrade to Studio 10. However, I could not find any way to upgrade to Studio 10, only to Studio Plus 10. Such an upgrade costs 49€ where a new version of Studio 10 costs 69€ against 99€ for Studio Plus 10. I would expect that an upgrade to Studio 10 from Studio 9 would cost about 20€, but it seems that that option is not available. I contacted customer support, but so far, I did not get an answer to my question. Yesterday, I started with the video of our wedding. I was a little disappointed about the abilities of Studio 9. Capturing worked okay, but the division in scenes does not work very well. While you can walk through the movie, frame-by-frame, it is not possible to simply to set a scene boarder to a certain frame. Also the restoration functions, do not work very well. Also there is a black border around the captured video. Creating a DVD took almost three hours. Today, I tried to capture some other videos. When I captured the first video of Annabel, it was dropping about one frame per second. I reasoned that this had to do with the MPEG compression taking too much time. The problem was gone when I selected highest quality. Which resulted in a 20 Gbyte AVI file for about 90 minutes of video. Today, I have been looking for some alternative software for restoring old analog videos. I played with the idea to write such software myself, but concluded that it probably would take too much time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Medical statement

Today, Li-Xia brought the form to the GP that he has to fill in about Andy as a medical statement with respect to flying with KLM. It is one of those small things that we have to arrange for trip to China. Next Friday we can get it, and I will have to contact KLM to ask where I can send it.


Being arrested

Today, Annabel was arrested by a policeman in school. Luckily, it was not for real. It was a policeman on the beat, Mr. Said Halimi, who visited the school for some instruction and needed a volunteer to show how someone is arrested. He is responsible for the Helmerhoek, and I regularly meet him on his bike when I bike to my work.

Winning and loosing

This evening, Annabel and I went to the University to play Go. Annabel played against Marcel and won with ten points on a 13x13 board with a six stone advance. Marcel is a 3 Dan player. Later he told me that she had left him no room to win. I played two games against Ton, both of which I lost. Especially the first game, we played very quick. It was one of those games where the board is divided quickly amongh the players, without any major fights. I got 79 points, he 88. I made some stupid mistake with respect to a monkey jump, otherwise the difference might have been smaller. The second game we played a little slower. I lost a group due to some stupid mistakes, but even if I would not have lost it, I might still have lost the game. I was about twenty points behind. But Ton says that it is becoming harder and harder for him to play agaist me.

On the way home, Annabel told me that she wanted to become an architect. Maybe this is related to playing with Sims 2. At least she has some motivation now to study hard at school. I explained that she would need to go to the university to become an architect.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

LaCie 250GB

This evening, I bought a LaCie 250GB external harddisk. I plan to use it for storing all the high resolution video captures that I want to make from our home videos.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Today has been a very nice day, and when I arrived at home, some of the flowers on the Magnolia in our backgarden had started to open a little. It is almost three weeks later than last year. So, Spring is indeed late this year.


Arrow maze

In the past days, I worked on an arrow maze that I made about 26 years ago. This evening, I finished recording all of the arrows that I made, in order to check the correctness of the maze.


Saturday, April 22, 2006


Today, I got an email from Marian Dvorsky, in which he points out that the paper NP-completeness results for NONOGRAM via parsimonious reductions shows a reduction from 3-Dimensional Matching to Nanogram, thus proving that Nanogram is NP complete. He also pointed me at the Nonogram solver by Mirek and Petr Olsák. I remember having a look at before, but I never tried the program.

Monday, April 24, 2006

First vaccinations

Some weeks ago we got an invitation for Andy to receive his last DTP and MMS vaccinations. He is supposed to get them next Wednesday. I realized that these vaccinations are rather close to the one that was scheduled for today ( last month). Yesterday, I searched the Internet to see if their is any danger with respect to ITP. There seems that there is a correlations between MMS vaccination and ITP. It is very small, but I think that in case of Andy's history, it might be considerable higher. He already got his first MMS shot about four years ago. When I do not know exactly. I do not think that the extra protection that he gets from this, do weight up to the dangers of getting ITP for a third time, also in the view that the complications of getting these diseases (such as becoming infertile) might be less relevant for him.

Today, I made some phone calls to get some more information. There is no problem if we want to skip MMS. But I also found out that organisation responsible for giving the ITP vaccination prefers that this happens at least two weeks after an Hepatitis A vaccination, the one that Andy is scheduled to get today. The doctor I talked with, was going to make some inquiries and phone me back later.

This afternoon, Li-Xia took Andy with her to the vaccination office. Andy was not very cooperative when they wanted to give him the Hepatitis A (Havrix junior 1) vaccination. Two people were asked to assist. Afterwards, Li-Xia gave him a car as a present, and then she took the wrong bus from the railway station. It had the right number, but it went in the wrong direction. Andy liked it very much. They arrived home around six o'clock. The vaccination costed 59 € in total, but some part is covered by our health insurance.

From the Dutch description of the Harvix junior vaccine, I understand that it is discouraged to give any living vaccine in two weeks after the vaccination. I understand that the MMS vaccine is a living vaccine. Another reason why he should not get it. The last time we got our traveling vaccinations, we got Hepatitis and DTP together. The description also mentions ITP as one of the possible side effects, although a definite connection has not been established.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

No DTP and MMS vaccination for Andy

Today, I was phoned by the doctor who I talked with yesterday. She told me that we should skip the DTP and MMS vaccinations for tomorrow, because he had the Hepatitis vaccination yesterday. She also said that there was no problem to wait till after the holiday with respect to DTP as his coverage should still be sufficient. She also suggested that we should discuss the matter with our pedeatrician.

First real spring day

The weather was very nice today. It was so warm, that I did not put on my coat when I biked home. All the flowers of the Magnolia (except a few) were open, and there were bees flying around it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

China trip

Li-Xia made several phone calls to China. She asked our sister-in-law to order some tickets for our flight from Beijing to Urumqi on July 24. (This sister-in-law, already had promised to help us with this.) Possible flights we could take are: It seems that Xinjiang Airlines has been taken over by China Southern Airlines in 2003. Xinjiang Airlines has been the safest Airline company of China for many years.

Li-Xia also went to our PG to get the medical declaration back. She already went there several times in the past days. This morning, he said he wanted to make an appointment to talk with us. Li-Xia scheduled an appointment for next Friday.

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel and I, went to the university to play Go. We were the first to arrive. Not much later Vincent arrived, and because we had brought a board and stones with me, I started a game against Vincent. I was given eight stones ahead. About twenty minutes later, the others had arrived. Annabel played two games against Marcel on a 13x13 board. The first game she was given five stones ahead, and she lost with 24. The second game she was given six stones ahead, and she won with 12 points. My game against Vincent lasted long. Rudi made some comments during the game, often encouraging me to think harder. In the end, I won with 28 points. Not too bad.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Medical declaration

This morning, Li-Xia and I went to visit our GP. Together with us, he filled in the medical declaration. We also discussed the posibility to administer some tranquelizer (Valium) to Andy during the flight. We decided to discuss this further with our pedeatrician with whom we have an appointment on May 10.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Queen's day

This year, Queen's day is on the 29th, because tomorrow is a Sunday. This morning, Annabel and I arrived around nine o'clock in the city. It was not never busy, probably because it was rather cold. We looked around and bought some Dalmatier dolls for Andy. Annabel bought some marbles for herself, and also a original Rubik cube and a Pyraminx.

Arrow maze

Today, I finished my "corrected version" of the arrow maze that I have been working on last week. I did some additional programming to check the corrections, and to verify the data on the page. For this I extended the program.

This months interesting links

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