The following text originally comes from an entry in my Blog. Later on I decided to transport
it here to its very own web page, mainly because I found it was too
long for a simple web diary. Also, I figured that the statements were
so strong and meaningful that I would be better off dedicating it to
a more central spot on my homepage. Life-changers seemed to me as
good a name as possible. The events I have listed here were and still
are indeed the most important things that changed my life. By putting
it here, it can better be updated and extended as time sees fit. That
is, when I am in the mood to make it even better and better. The list
is far from complete, but it is good enough for now.
Eye in the sky.
Everyone has experienced one or more events that have completely
changed ones attitude about life. For myself there are a number of
happenings, some major and some quite trivial, that have effected my
way of thinking as well as my approach to the way I live. A slight
jolt, an insight, or just plainly some loving words. Actually as I am
such a sentimental person always drawing truth from past experiences,
I can recount a myriad of such events. But for the sake of avoiding
endless rambling and due to the natural limitations of space and
time, I will only jot down the most important. Just so I will not
bore away the last remaining fans that wait anxiously for my next
entry in the ever-growing diary of mine. Okay, here they are in no
Division in mathematics. Discovering for the first time what
math division really was. In 2nd grade, I had this really nice
teacher whose name was Miss Bell. She motivated me greatly and was
a fine coach for a curious boy. I had enthusiastically skipped
through the math workbook and came to the final chapter. There I
came in contact with a new and bizarre symbol, which looked like
this: (÷). Yikes, what could that possibly be?! Miss Bell
just smiled and explained that it was the division symbol. It could
be used to chop up numbers into an equal amount of other smaller
numbers. Hmmm, fascinating.
Metaphors in literature. In high school we had to read the
book "The Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. Boring
for most people, but of course I was a real geek and found it a
challenge discovering new literature. We had this really strict
teacher whose name was Mrs. Lukavich. She got angry alot, but she
taught quite effectively. I will never forget the day she asked us
all if anyone knew what a "metaphor" was. Of course, no
one had the slightest idea, not even I. Then she explained it:
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily
designates one thing is used to designate another; making an
implicit comparison, as in "All the world's a stage"
by Shakespeare; one thing conceived as representing another; a
symbol. I became engrossed with such a concept, how the human
mind could be so creative in processing thoughts in such an
abstract and wonderful way. That is when I got hooked on reading
books. From that day onward I I have remained an avid reader of
books, all kinds of books, piles and piles of books.
President Kennedy has been shot. For those of you alive at
the time, who can ever forget where they were when they first heard
about this awful news. I was six years old on the day sitting in
the classroom. It was a gloomy day. All of a sudden, the principal
came on the PR-system and said, "Our president has been
shot." We were all excused from school and everything seemed
dark and sad. The black-and-white scenes on the television set of
the burial procession with the US flag draped over a wooden casket
with wheels pulled by a horse are about the clearest memories of my
Meeting Thea for the very first time. Seeing this
attractive blond-haired Dutch gal for the first time in Balestrand,
Norway. What can I say, except that this random rendezvous
changed my life forever. Starting all over again in Holland,
building up my life from scratch all over again. And all for the
sake of love. Despite the many impossible obstacles, it has turned
out to be a relationship that has lasted. I hope it stays that way.
Dearest Thea, thank you so very much for having entered my life.
Was it a coincidence, a quirk of fate, or something deeper? For
more details, please click here.
First man sets foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong
stepping on the moon's surface as the first man on the moon.
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. I was sitting
in the back seat with my sisters, my parents driving back home from
a visit at Jeanine's I think. We were at the fly-overs right
before San Jose when this was announced on the radio. I felt like
mankind had pulled off a miraculous achievement, and when I grew up
I would like to be a part of it. Wow. Now every evening I could
gaze up at the moon and think that someone had actually been there.
Getting accepted to Stanford. Accepted by Stanford University, hurrah!
The rest of my life was taken care of, or at least that is what I
thought. Boy, was I ecstatic at the time, with the whole wide world
open to me. I would become a future-famous brain surgeon some day.
So much to learn, so much to experience within those four short
years. I still often dream about this time in my life, which goes
to show you how much this phase has influenced me, subconsciously.
For more details, please click here.
Reality is an illusion. Does reality really exist or is it
all an illusion? In reality there is no way to prove or disprove
this. The mind might be creating reality or just dreaming or
observing a bunch of mechanical robots. That tree over there? This
person I am talking to about whether or not reality is an illusion,
a book. Actually, it was my mother who brought up this tantalizing
concept one evening. Probably a casual sentence to trigger me into
thinking. It worked. I am still thinking about it. Hopefully in a
couple years I will come up with the answer.
Lennart was born. The birth of my first child, listening to
Mahler's 2nd Symphony in the car on the way to register his
birth at the town hall in Amsterdam with tears in my eyes. I had
become a father for the first time in my life. Time to become
Object-oriented programming. This method was a quantum leap
for us low-level frustrated programmers. But it was certainly not
easy to figure it out. Rather than thinking in a linear fashion and
trying to include all of the millions of possibilities peppered
every where in a chaos of coding and lots of growing spaghetti,
things become more natural. Or so they insisted. Everything was
suddenly an object, and just like in the everyday world, each of
these objects had properties as well as actions action. The
weirdest part was that the computer operating system did most of
the dirty work for you, handing out an ordered queue of events
which were triggers to do something. This was fantastic! Nothing
has been the same since.
There is much more, but it is nearing midnight, time to go to bed. I
will come back and continue this off another time, I hope. Perhaps
this could be an interesting theme for yet another web page? We will