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Diary, November 2006

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006


Today was my birthday. This morning, I got two stone dogs from Andy and Annabel. In the afternoon, Bert and his two children, Timon and Macy, visited us. They brought presents for Annabel and Andy. From Bert I got two bottles of fruit juice, one with apple juice called Appeleare and one with pear juice called Pereleare. I also received a card from the weekly magazine Intermediair, informing me that now that I am 45, I will no longer receive the magazine for free. It costs € 129.90 per year, but they offer me a € 45 reduction for the first year, if I enlist myself within two months. I will also receive a € 20 book token. Last night we had the first storm of this winter, and behind this storm cold air is flowing into the country.

Playing Go

In the evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. When we arrived, Araldo, Rudi, Joeri, Marcel, and Taco were already there, and shortly after us, Rob and Edze arrived. I had brought a package of cookies with me, and it turned out there were exactly enough in the package for everyone. Araldo invited me for a game. I started with an eight stone advance. Quite early in the game, I made a big mistake, but nevertheless, the game went up about equal. At the end, I lost one of my groups in the corner, and realizing that I had no change to win, I resigned. It was getting near ten o'clock anyway. There was nobody for Annabel to play with, so she played with her DS light.

Friday, November 3, 2006


This morning, I came across an email in our spam box, which was an advertisement from Dutch quality shop De Bijenkorf. It contained the picture of this pretty, but also rather slim, young lady.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Death penalty for Saddam Hussein

I am against the death penalty. Even in the case of Saddam Hussein. The man is probably a psychopath and should be locked up in a mental home for the rest of his life. It is probably also better to give him a life long sentense instead of the death penalty, with respect to the tensions between the Sunni and Shi'a populations in Iraq.

I am also worried how some leaders in the world view this judgement. A quote from a BBC article:

Our Prime Minister declared that he feels that the death penality fits the manner by which Saddam Hussein has treated the people of Iraq. He added that the Netherlands is against the death penalty. Also the Dutch Minister of Foreign was satisfied with the verdict. He declared that although the Netherlands is against the death penalty, he understands that the capital punishment has been given in case of such serious crimes. Hans van Baalen, member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, said that it was the only proper punishment for someone that has caused so many deaths. He also said that in principle he is against the death penalty, but that in exceptional cases there is no other option.

The sad fact is that in the past four years many more innocent people have been killed in Iraq, than have been killed during the reign of Saddam Hussein. And, just to play the devils advocate, was it not the case that Saddam Hussein fought a war against terroristic elements in his country that wanted to kill him?

Monday, November 6, 2006

Old furniture

Tomorrow, we will get new furniture in the office. This meant that after lunch many people started to empty the cupboards. One of my colleagues at one point shouted to me: "Here I found a paper with the name of your wife on it." He was correct. Many years ago, she followed some course that was given by two people from our company, and the papers belonged to that course. A lot of old things were thrown away and some people came to move all the old furniture away. We were allowed to take some furniture home. I took my chair and my desk home.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

New furniture

I arrived around noon at my office and found my room full with new tables. But the tables had different colours. When I made a remark about it, I was told that the right tables had not arrived yet. Later I understood that only the table tops need to be replaced.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

A feeling for direction

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. Araldo challenged Annabel for a game. I waited to see if Ton would arrived, but 35 minutes past eight, Edze asked me for a game. I started with eight stones ahead. Araldo made some mistakes against Annabel. First he let her beat six stones, and next she captured one of his groups. But he still won with 32 points. But actually that is not a very bad score for Annabel. I too encountered some bad trouble when playing against Edze. At one point I was just playing to quick, and I lost one group. But earlier on, I had already lost a group of stones that were not lost at all, had I played the right moves. I finally lost with something like 84 points. Edze suggested to give me some advice and we replayed about half of the game. He also pointed out how some of my moves at the start of the game, caused me to lose the game. He said that although he does not always the right move, he has a quite good feeling for direction, and that I should also work on this.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

"Deventer" murder trial (Cont'd)

Today, some judge decided that grave of Mrs. Wittenberg should be examined to check if there is a knife inside. This afternoon, this was done. Around three o'clock the big stone from the top of the grave was lifted. In the evening I heard that no knife was found, but that some metal objects were found.


Small Chinese Wooden Puzzle

In the past few day, I spend some time solving what I call the Small Chinese Wooden Puzzle. This puzzle is made by taking one piece of each color from what I call the Chinese Wooden Puzzle, which I described on July 29. With the use of some programs I wrote earlier with respect to Discrete Piece Fitting puzzles, it was not that hard. Today, I spend some time, presenting the results in nice way, for trying to fit the pieces in a 3 by 10 rectangle and in a 5 by 6 rectangle. The numbers found here, also say something about the lower bound of number of ways the five sets of pieces of the Chinese Wooden Puzzle (without additional restrictions) can be fit in the 15 by 10 rectangle. The number of ways a 3 by 10 rectangle can be filled is 1640 and the number of ways a 5 by 6 rectangle cen be filled is 3496. If we combine all the ways these can be combined into a 15 by 10 rectangle we get: 962,444,349,067,755,520.


Beauty and the Nerd

This evening, Annabel and I watched the first episode of the Dutch "Beauty and the Nerd". Last Tuesday, we watched the second half of the second episode. We are fans of the twins Erik and Arjan, because they are from Enschede. They are the same two guys that appeared on the cover of Intermediair in September last year.


Woensday, November 15, 2006

Playing against Edze again

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. We were rather late and when we arrived Marcel was playing against Juri and Rudi against Taco. Edze was also there, but because we played against each other last week we decided to wait and see if anybody else was coming. I watched the game between Marcel and Juri trying to guess their moves. It was Marcel who resigned and then Edze asked me to play against him because nobody had come. I started with an eight stone advance. At one point I realized that a could lose a number of stones if I would not make a connecting move, but I thought it might be better to first play some other move that Edze would have to response to. But somehow, I lost the initiave, and Edze could capture the stones. In the end he won with 69 against 52 points. He commented that all my stones were connected and that he had four groups. He complemented me with my "connection" strategy and how it had resulted in a much better result than last week.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Extremely soft weather

Today, the weather was extremly soft for the time of the year. Here in Twente the highest temperature was 17.5 degrees Celsius. Look at this graph for the temperature during the whole day.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bonus interest points

Today, I got a letter from my bank telling that I had many bonus interest points and that with these points I could use these points for half of the price of the products from their online shop. The worth of the points is the same as the amouth of interest you have got. If you want to use all your bonus points, it means that you have to spend your interest points in there online shop. Okay, you buy things for half of the official price, but that means that in most cases they are still making a profit. But all together I find it ridiculous. I am not asking for my bank to open a shop. I rather want them to pay me interest.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beauty and the Nerd

This evening, we watched the Dutch version of "Beauty and the Nerd" again. The girls had to collect some objects in a French speaking village to test their knowledge of French, and the boys had to cook a flambéed crêpe. With the girls, Rachel, the partner of Erik, won. Erik told that he was afraid that he would have to face his brother Arjan in the finals, and came up with the idea of selecting his brother and send him home through the shout-out. But after the winners made their selection known, he regretted his choice and told him that he would win the shout-out. Arjan was quite sure that he and his partner Debby would win the shout-out against Christophe and Fanny, but they lost because Debby gave one wrong answer. Arjan had written a goodbey letter telling that he did not blame anyone in case he would lose, which was read by Erik to the others, and Debby made the final remark that she had discovered that many boys that look nice on the outside or not nice on the inside, and that she had discovered in the past days that boys that do not look nice on the outside can be very nice on the inside.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Election day

Today, there are general elections in the Netherlands. The votes I casted for Li-Xia and myself were the 11th and 12th in our polling station.

Playing Go

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. When we arrived, Juri was waiting for us. Not much later, Taco and Edze arrived. I suggested that we could play Atari-Go, with pen and paper. I first played a game against Taco on a 5x5 board, and next one on a 7x7 board. With the you-cannot-pass rule, he won the first game and I the second. When Rudi and a little later Marcel arrived with the stones and boards, Marcel started to play against Rudi and Taco played against Juri. Edze invited Annabel to play some games of speed Go. They played three games on the 13x13 board within ten minutes and then proceeded with a game on the 19x19 board. I bought them some drinks and got €.30 from Juri to buy myself a cup of tea. Finally, I played against Edze. I was doing quite well, until I got myself into a complicated situation for which there were several possible exits, but I missed them all. I resigned after my position became hopeless. Edze felt that my sense of direction, which he talked about two week ago, had improved.

Friday, November 24, 2006

27 rubber band

This morning, while biking to work, my eye caught some rubber bands. Before I could brake, I saw some more, and when I had stopped, I noticed that they were everywhere. I parked my bike and started to collect them. And while collecting, I noticed some more. When I was ready, I counted 25 rubber bands, but when I got on my bike, I noticed two more. That resulted in a total of 27 rubber bands. I have never found so many at one place.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Again extremely soft weather

Today, the weather was again extremly soft for the time of the year. Here in Twente the highest temperature was 17.5 degrees Celsius. Look at this graph for the temperature during the whole day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rock bands

This evening, Annabel and I went to the university to play Go. We did bring a playing set with us. When we arrived Juri was waiting, and I invited him for a game. We decided on a seven stone advance, because the last time he had to resign with a nine stone advance. Soon, the music started. The student organisation for cultural activities called Apollo had organized an Apollo Open Podium evening. According to this page the following bands played during the evening: Planetary Sounds, Let's Call it a Day, Paper Jam!, CupSizeD, The Hullies, Thocke, Drienerlalala, and Duck 4 Cover. I do not know which of these bands played while we were there, but some of them made a lot of noise. Edze en Annabel started with a game on paper, and after the others had arrived, continued playing on a board, but they continued using a piece of paper to "talk" with each other. Juri tricked me in responding to a ladder-breaker. If I would have ignored it, and played the right move, he would have resigned. But after I realized my mistake, we continued playing and he won with 57 over 28 points. Nevertheless, Juri told me that I did play quite strong, except for some mistakes.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Warmest Fall in 300 years

During the past three months the average temperature in the Netherlands was 13.6 degrees Celsius. This is the highest in the past 300 years. Last year the average temperature over the same period was 12.0 degrees Celsius, which itself was already a record for the past hunderd years, and probably also in past 300 years. There are three factors that contributed to this exceptional high average temperature, and each of this factors made about an equal contribution. The first factor was the hot summer we had, which caused the seawater temperature of the Nordsea to become much higher than normal. The second cause was the fact that the wind direction was predominantly South, bring us lots of warm air from the South. The third factor was the global rise of the average temperature.

This months interesting links

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