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Diary, June 1999

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Tuesday, June 8, 1999

A stone

Last Friday,
Annabel had got a note from her teacher which requested whether the mothers could let there children bring a stone of about 8 by 10 cm. Although it did not mention the purpose of this, I immediately understood what I was going to get on Father day, the 20th of this month. Both LiXia and I, did not have any idea how to find a stone like this, when we walked into the building where we work. And right there under the staircase in the entrance were hundreds of white stones fitting the requirements. When I remarked 'there is the solution of our problem' we both had to smile.


Wednesday, June 9, 1999

On squares in rectangles

Before I wrote about squares inside rectangles, and squares in squares. When, I checked The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences on the results I found so far, I discovered that better results are known. The sequence A005842 gives `Smallest squares that contain all squares of side 1,..,n'. This sequence is from a book by Martin Gardner. The sequence A038666 gives `Minimum area rectangle into which squares of sizes 1,..,n can be packed', which is: 1, 6, 15, 35, 60, 99, 140, 204. It looks to me that more values of this sequence can be calculated.

Thursday, June 10, 1999

A real stone

When I checked Annabel her bag, just before I brought her to school, I noticed that it contained something wrapped in paper. She immediately told me that it was a secret. Then I remembered how she and LiXia went looking for a stone yesterday evening. Although I did not look inside, from the form I guessed that there was a tile inside, not a stone.

When we arrived home, my parents were visiting us. And when they heard about it, and that a tile was not ago, they suggested that we should go to a gardening centre. So, Annabel went away with her grandfather to buy a stone. They came back with quite a big one, which only costed 45 Dutch cents.

Saturday, June 12, 1999

A painting

Almost every Saturday, I walk through a small street together with Annabel, where there is an art gallery by the name
'Beeld en Aambeeld'. Today, I could not resist to have a good look at a painting that I had seen hanging there for several weeks. It is a painting by Billy Foley from Ireland, made on February 6, 1999, measuring 160 by 177 cm. It is an abstract painting, mostly white with black irregular lines going over it. For some reason it looks very bright. I looked at the price: 5600 Dfl (about 3000 dollars). It sounds strange, but I almost bought it, knowing deep in my heart that this painting once will be a very famous painting. It would hardly fit in our living room though.

Tuesday, June 15, 1999

A badge

Today, after
having worked with my current employer for more than two months, I received my official badge. On the front it has my picture, name, the letters 'ALM', and the number 2001. On the back, it says that it is valid till March 31, 2001. It also gives my salary number: 39429903.

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Smart questions

Annabel starts to ask smart questions. Last Wednesday, when driving home from the day care centre she suddenly asked: How does a telephone work outside? She was referring to a mobile or wireless phone, which she had seen outside the day care centre. Then last Saturday, she asked how I make money with a computer. And just this evening, she asked: how can you make a lamp? Yes, how do you answer such questions to a four year old girl.

Friday, June 25, 1999

9530 gram and eating a cookie

Andy was weighted in the hospital yesterday, he weighted 9530 gram, and his length was 80 cm. This means he is on the 10 percentile line again (according to the feeding requirements for boys), meaning that of each 10 boys of his age, he is the smallest and the lightest. This is much better, than half a year ago.

This morning Andy saw me eating a cookie, and I gave it to him. To our surprise he immediately put the cookie in his mouth when I gave it to him. But when he bit on it, and the crumbs came into his mouth, his immediate reaction was to spit it out, and start vommitting. Luckily, we did had not given him any food through the tube, otherwise, he would have spitten it out all of it.

It seems to me that his food refusal is complete now. Half a year ago, I still found it rather bizarre to hear that there were children who could not even bear the smallest crumb of food in their mouth. Now it seems Andy is becoming like one of these.

Still, he is one of the loveliest boys I know.

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