Gibberations by Kiffin Gish...
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:: February / 2002 ::
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Friday / February 1st / 2002
Splash and remain afloat...

Don't get too wet now...People tend to behave in a very irrational and unpredictable manner when put in stressful situations.

This is especially the case when the consequences are potentially life-threatening. For example, scoring an important assignment and bringing in a lucrative project for the company. Big bucks in a time of insecurity and economic stagnation. Panic mode brings out the worse in us and colleagues come under mental strain. The team threatens to break apart because of slight differences in opinions that in the end are so trivial as not to make the slightest difference in the outcome. But reactions to these differences become exaggerated, and all of a sudden it is like everyone is drowning.

Splash, splash and grab the nearest object to remain afloat even if it happens to be a fellow team member.

Better yet would be to combine strengths and prepare a logical no-nonsense approach at solving the predicament. Unite as one in order to remain afloat. Thinking logically is pretty difficult, especially on stormy seas where waves are crashing down on top of you.

Crashing down on top of you.

In the long run, those that unite for a common purpose will win out. However, survival today is first priority in order to make it past the first steps towards this long-term adventure. A combination of the two would be nice, the perfect balance, the middle path. As the logical visionary it is my duty to bring this about through respect, determination and conviction.

Don't get too wet now.

~ Posted at 08:03 AM | Permalink | Work and play | any comments?
Saturday / February 2nd / 2002
Máxima Z...

Today was the big day for Holland with Kroonprins Willem Alexander marrying Máxima Zorreguieta of Argentina. What a spectacle and the whole country had their eyes glued to the television set all day. Having grown up in America where such a formality called royalty is foreign, I have found it very difficult to understand why people get so caught up with this kind of fairy tale stuff. Queen Beatrix and her exotic hats, all the gossip around the royal family, hard-core societies who follow and worship this like they are some kind of super heroes.

Well, not for me. Not exactly. But with the very nice ceremonies, first at the town hall and then at the cathedral in Amerstand, I could feel a little inside the emotions other more enthusiastic Dutch folks share. Propbably because I am by nature a very sentimental type of guy. They quoted out of the Bible and used symbolic speeches to initiate this brave couple into the world of leadership which would be a necessary burden held intact through the power of their love for each other. Okay, so I have to admit that at one point my eyes welled up when the soprano sung so meaningfully and with vibrant energy the Ave Maria of Frans Schubert. Wow.

My less interesting life goes on, and I will carry on with my daily, perhaps somewhat less spectacular chores, activities and fatherly responsibilities as they were meant to be.

~ Posted at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Life in Holland | any comments?
Sunday / February 3rd / 2002
Don't sneeze...

Just don't fight it... I happened to come across this quote the other day, and it really started to make me think: "If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die."

So the next time you get the urge to sneeze, try to hold it in. Or else.

But then again, I always learned when I was little that you could very well blow a blood vessel by actually "holding back" the urge to sneeze. Let the sneeze come naturally, otherwise it explodes outwards and causes more collateral damage than is necessary. You can only suppress a sneeze for so long, and the act of resisting does not help.

Can you imagine dying from something so seemingly innocuous as a sneeze, no matter how mighty a sneeze it could be? Sudden, involuntary, explosive death, instantly and without remorse.

How embarrassing. "He succumbed unexpectedly from a hefty sneeze" would appear in your obituary. Or better yet, the following last words would be etched on your tombstone: "Achooo..."

So please tell me then, why do we sneeze in the first place?

Suddenly it comes, natural forces pushing through the artificial man-made obstacle of clenched fist pressing hard, germ particles, mucous and other unpleasant speckled wetness covering a radius of at least ten feet around you.

So who is right now, anyway? Don't fight it.

~ Posted at 11:35 AM | Permalink | World affairs | 14 comments
Monday / February 4th / 2002
Non-neighbor humanoids...

Even neighbors, I mean "especially" neighbors, can be unreasonable creatures. Humanoids. We have these people that live in the house directly behind us, and for the last three years we have not even exchanged a single word or gesture. In the beginning, I thought I would not let such behavior inhibit my naturally positive demeanor, and I would wave or say hello to them nonetheless. After months of absolutely no reaction from them in return, I just gave up. So why am I taking valuable time now to write about them? Well, just be patient and read the following please.

Try and visualize a nice, typical street alongside my house and the neighbors who live behind us. In the evenings during the week, people tend to get lazy and park their cars all over the place, often on the side of the road where they do not belong. Not very social but I have never let it get to me. However, these non-neighbors of ours, the ones I was talking about in the previous paragraph, they had had enough at a given moment. So what they did was make this cheap-looking no parking sign: a thick cylindrical stick with a flimsy round sign affixed to the top with no less than a lousy thumbtack! Now really, is there anyone out there in their right mind who would see this and take it seriously? Of course not, I say.

So about every other day I see that the sign has been torn off and tossed someplace, and sometimes even the stick pulled out of the ground. No matter how often this occurs, these neighbors of ours quickly replace it to its original state and position, an endless circle of frustration. This has been going on now for about three weeks. Put it back, it gets ripped out, put it back again, for the tenth time it gets ripped out and thrown.

The other day, my seven year-old son Maarten and his two little friends were playing on the street. They just happened to be standing next to that feeble torn-apart sign staring at the pond where the round no-parking disc was floating when that non-neighbor guy spotted them. No sooner had he dashed out to scold these innocent boys than he dashed back inside, hiding away from reality as best as he could. The seven-years olds remained standing undaunted by such weird gestures and mumbling sounds.

Maarten told me about it that evening, almost apologizing for something he had not done. He said, "I am sorry, but I never did it. We were just standing there."

I felt like getting mad, but didn't. It was merely a comedy, something to laugh about. I felt sorry for those people and the way they had to live. But it was their own choice after all, to heck with them. Let’s try not to be too negative about our fellow humanoids now, okay? This is very difficult if not most of the time. But we must remember that we are all unique manifestations of the very same primordial form.

~ Posted at 05:42 PM | Permalink | Life in Holland | any comments?
Tuesday / February 5th / 2002
Much too busy...

 This is what one of those fancy handsets look like... I am much too busy to write a good blog for today.

Must finish off an important presentation I am going to give at an important telecom company tomorrow.

This fine company is a large mobile operator in Europe, and they are preparing all kinds of interesting stuff for the upcoming launch of a new generation network based on GPRS.

If my company can land this assignment then I will have proven myself worthy.

I will do my best to make this work.

~ Posted at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Work and play | any comments?
Wednesday / February 6th / 2002
Rat race irony...

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Mexican.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

Note: I received this from my mother as an attachment and took the liberty to include it in my blog without knowing the source. With this I give the unknown author full credit, whoever he or she might be.

~ Posted at 08:45 AM | Permalink | World affairs | 1 comment
Thursday / February 7th / 2002

Hot sticky scenes you know what I mean
Like a desert sun that burns my skin
I've been waiting for her so long
Open the sky (and let her come down)
Here comes the rain I love the rain
Here she comes again

The Cult

~ Posted at 07:54 AM | Permalink | Music | any comments?
Teenager number two...

It is now official: Marlies is now thirteen years old, meaning that she qualifies as a full-fledged teenager in and out. A very happy moment in time that we have celebrated in true style the whole day.

That means that half my children have grown up already to become real live future adults. Makes me feel good as a proud parent, but at the same time thinking twice about how quickly the time of youth is flying by. Vicarious youth. It is important to give them sufficient attention. Believe me, I do that perhaps in an extreme manner, because I am by nature an overly sentimental person. At then same time, you do not want to smother them too much. Just give them enough breathing room, and let them go.

Someday, someday soon. Mentally this becomes a difficult exercise in surrender.

Enjoy things while they last.

~ Posted at 09:07 PM | Permalink | Family and friends | any comments?
Friday / February 8th / 2002
Activate your web pages...

When I arrived home I was so very excited to receive my latest order from that my heart started beating wildly. I ripped open the box and let out a gleeful shout. The reason:

Javascript, The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan.

Yes, yes, yes. As if there is still even more to learn. Haven't I learned enough? This weekend I plan to saw through the exciting thickness and learn as much as I can about javascript this wonderful programming language for the web.

At heart I guess I remain quite an Internet geek.

~ Posted at 04:33 PM | Permalink | Javascript | any comments?
Joe turns forty-five...

Believe it or not, today is Joe's birthday. He will turn forty-five years old. All I can say is: Happy Birthday dear Joe! Don't forget that forty-five is a nice round number and it adds up to nine. Think about and enjoy the new present as our two paths continue almost to cross. If you know what I mean. Who is this Joe character you may be asking? Well, just put it this way. He is an old Stanford buddy from days past whose existence still echoes mine. Later man.

~ Posted at 04:56 PM | Permalink | Family and friends | any comments?
Saturday / February 9th / 2002
Bloggers forum flops...

I guess I can come to the conclusion that my forum Bloggers Galore is nothing more than a complete flop.

Very few visitors and even fewer members signed up. Oh well, at least I gave it a good attempt. With a positive and open mind. Maybe I should wait until I am even more famous before trying it again. Takes alot of time anyway to maintain such a forum and update it. No time now.

But how do you get famous nowadays? Do you need to get famous? How do you attract other bloggers? Distinguish yourself from the millions of other bloggers out there, many of whom produce even better blogs than I? Hard to believe, but it is true. Or is it even that important afterall?


Here is what I will do. I will just leave the forum in place as it is. Slowly but surely more people might discover it. At least the limited entries up to now could offer some guidance, inspiration or whatever.

~ Posted at 03:08 PM | Permalink | Blogs etc. | 2 comments
Sunday / February 10th / 2002
Swaying trees singing...

 There was not much time left. Time left. Left at all... There they were again off in the distance. A long row of trees swaying ever so slightly in harmony with the wind that was blowing them tossing them back and forth. A kind of synchronized inactivity with the leaves and branches and falling twigs, all of it singing. Purposely to grab my attention. Some kind of message and they were talking to me. A secret message that I had to untangle and figure out for myself. But how? Indeed there were a number of subtle hints in the way the twigs struck the ground or the leaves flapped their wings or the swaying took on a clearly mysterious and exotically serious motion. Why did they keep on sending me these secret messages? When I decided to keep on walking down the path to who knows where and left those swaying beings off in the distance where they belonged in the first place, that question kept on nagging me. Again and again and again. I was tired of these messages, these subtle melodies, these motions that I just missed and did not quite understand. Actually when I thought about it logically it did not make sense my overly concerned and worried attitude about such things that in the end were not that important at all. At least not that important to the rest of the world who could absolutely care less anyway. Only to me was it important, utterly important, more important than important, more important than finding the Holy Grail, discovering the true purpose of life, having eternal youth, finding a cure for cancer, ending of all wars, bringing peace on earth forever and ever, I thought. To me. Ironically, I knew for sure that in order to prevent a complete disaster, not to let down mankind and have them remember me as someone who failed, I had to decipher all of this. Do not want to fail miserably now do we? No. There was not much time left. Time left. Left at all. Twigs spelled backwards is sgiwt which sounds a lot like squid which lives in the ocean very deep where everything is dark and uncanny. And trees spelled backwards with the tee truncated away into oblivion results in seer who is a person with special gifts of the mind and can either predict the future or feel from within that something is not quite right. Right, "I am a seer" and have been that way since the moment I entered the light and took my first breath. Finally, leaves without the ess sounds like Eve who was the first female causing us to be the way we are now. The ultimate animus. I kept on walking farther and farther away, furthering myself the best I could from the swaying trees, thinking about all of this. Stream of consciousness, falling leaves, sticks and twigs. The wind and a kind of harmony. Sumina.

Seer of things to come. Be with me from now on. Collect the sticks and twigs and other things. Time to go on.

~ Posted at 08:57 AM | Permalink | Short fiction | any comments?
Monday / February 11th / 2002
Chewing meta-candy...

I was sitting down on a park bench enjoying the scenery. It was a sunny and crisp late afternoon in early spring. In my lap I had a medium-sized plastic bag of the most exquisite soft pieces of roundish candy that you could have ever imagined. Delicious. What was unbelievably luscious, melting almost instantly under my tongue, after only a couple of simple chewing motions of the jawbone? An unusual taste produced totally and completely seductive, ecstatic electrical activity of the mind.

When I woke up, I could feel the soft object in my mouth stuck on my left side between upper and lower rows of molars. Soft but not sticky as in my dream and the taste reminded me of plastic or glue or some kind of wax-like substance. Clenched in my left hand was an earplug, coming more than likely from, having popped out of, one of my recently slumbering ears. As I could then hear perfectly well through both ears, I gathered that the other earplug had dropped out also. Think and think. That object in my mouth was that very same earplug, a pinkish and malleable substance of round wax I was at that very moment chewing on.

Dreams can be very strange at times, especially when the spiritual thoughts of movement are matched in sync with the less real bodily motions. Dreaming about meta-candy and chewing on it at the same time, whatever earthly substance out of which it had been made.

~ Posted at 08:45 AM | Permalink | Dreams | any comments?
Tuesday / February 12th / 2002
Somewhere not quite...

Heaven is inside of your head. Somewhere not quite in the mind. Try to find out where that is. Make a note of that place, and do not forget that your heart is where it "really" belongs.

~ Posted at 08:37 AM | Permalink | Mind and matter | any comments?
Wednesday / February 13th / 2002
I am not insane...

What am I talking about? This disease of the brain is one of the most disabling and emotionally devastating illnesses known to man. I am not insane.

Why am I talking about this? Misunderstood for so long, this mental illness has received relatively little attention and its victims have been undeservingly stigmatized. Forget about "split personality" but rather think of it as another rare and very different type of disorder. I am insane.

Like cancer and diabetes, it has a biological basis; it is not caused by bad parenting or personal weakness. In fact it is a relatively common disease, with an estimated 1-1.5% of the U.S. population being diagnosed with it over the course of their lives. While there is no known cure, it is a very treatable disease. Most of those afflicted by this disease respond in some way to drug therapy. Many are able to lead productive and fulfilling lives. I am not insane.

Any idea about what I am talking about? Click here for more information.

My father, who was a psychiatrist and himself very fascinated with these kinds of disorders always told me the following:

"If you think you are crazy then that means that you are not crazy."

I am not insane. And if I insist that I am NOT insane, then what does that mean then according to my father's theory? Well, while you are carefully ruminating about that dilemma, please have a look at the following links which I think may be of interest to you:

By the way, I am now reading the book "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar (Faber and Faber; ISBN: 0571197183). So far I have read the first two chapters and it is pretty good. After I finish the book, I will go and see the movie.

My half-brother suffered from some form of schizophrenia so I guess that means that it kind of runs in the family.

So I am part mental magician.

~ Posted at 09:06 PM | Permalink | Mind and matter | any comments?
Thursday / February 14th / 2002
Parallel cracks...

 crisscrossing back and forth and everywhere... Parallel universes do exist. At each infinitesimal fraction of a second, the current universe splinters into an infinite number of new universes. And then at the next infinitesimal fraction of a second each of these universe pathways split off again into an infinite number of new branches of existence. These branches continue to spread out forever and forever until every single dimension imaginable has almost been covered.

Just at the moment when the very last dimensional line of existence is approached, it too cracks open and splinters off into a new countless number of fissures that spin away into nothingness. This starts the whole process all over again and the endless cycle continues.

So which path am I following? How many of me is out there splitting off? Who is the real me? Will I ever accidentally cross paths with another me out there somewhere and sometime?

There is an energy coming together because it is flying apart. It will never end. Millions and millions and millions of me crisscrossing back and forth and everywhere. I am here and everywhere at the same time.

~ Posted at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Nature and universe | 2 comments
Friday / February 15th / 2002
A flash of creativity...

Don't feel like writing down much today. Started out okay, got rolling really well, things picked up speed nicely and it was looking real good, really good, fantastically good. You know, I know that what I am doing is the right thing. But... boom, crash, bang and all the rest. I thought that what I was doing was a great idea, a flash of creativity, the winning goal at the last second, we won! Too bad, got reprimanded in the end by folks who know these things better than I. They just cannot get it, as if I am communicating on a completely other wavelength, spitting words and effort into nothingness. Just another bump in the road towards success, wherever that is. Success? Who needs it anyway. Shit. A flash of creativity goes down the drain, but it is weekend.

I am very  confused... ...

~ Posted at 09:00 PM | Permalink | Work and play | 2 comments
Saturday / February 16th / 2002
Looking for carpet...

Now that the new room above our garage has been completed, the real work for us has just begun. This means alot of painting, wallpapering and that sort of thing. But it also means looking through zillions of catalogues for furniture, lamps, carpet, ad infinitum. Not really my favorite activity, but that is the next step in life.

This morning we drove up to Utrecht to a couple of stores: Carpetland and IKEA. Now for me, walking through a carpet store is nothing less than pure torture. I think I would rather go to the dentist and have five cavities filled. There really isn't that much variety in carpets as far as I am concerned, except for the differing colors and thicknesses. Here we have two measurable parameters with which to combine and play around. Simple, don’t you agree?

Well, Thea is a real stickler and wants to get everything just right, e.g. perfect!

"So how about this carpet sir?" and "How do you find this color?"

Thea hesitated and could not decide.

I use logic because I am a boring and predictable person. Forgetting about the price (which is much more important for Thea by the way), the new carpet had to be not too dark and not too light and not too thick and not too thin. For the price it also had to look nice, not cheap. I hate things that look cheap, even things that do not look that cheap but were cheap in the first place. The carpet has to be tough enough to withstand four wild-and-crazy kids running and/or walking back and forth for at least five years.

Thea still could not decide, but we had narrowed it down to two possibilities.

"Okay then," I said, "it will be..." I hesitated for just over three nanoseconds, but no one notices, and said with verve "...THIS one." And it was.

Thea does the general selection and filters out the number of choices down to the top two and then I have to make the final decision using logical mental dice throwing in my head.

"I am so glad you came along," Thea mentioned to me in IKEA where we were looking for a desk, lamps, couch and chairs, "because I just cannot make that final choice."

Makes me feel like a real man, I guess. So powerful, assertive and dauntless in his perseverance, don't you think?

"But..." Thea interrupted my day-dreaming about how great and wonderful I was, "are you sure that maybe we should have picked out the other one instead?" I just listened and continued on my journey through the meandering halls of IKEA, realizing that we would never know with one hundred percent certainty whether or not we had made the correct decision. Ninety per cent is also good with me.

Man and wife are meant to be together as one in order to get through life with the fewest bruises and scratches.

I am very  satisfied... ...

~ Posted at 02:33 PM | Permalink | Life in Holland | 1 comment
Sunday / February 17th / 2002
A good critical faculty...

After having read my blog Looking for carpet, my aunt Jeanine emailed me a nice message.

She brought it to my attention that she found it interesting that I was the one to make the final decision, because Libras are supposed to keep deliberating back and forth and have trouble choosing.

My answer to that is this. Sure I agree that on the dark side one of the weaknesses of Libra is that he/she is "indecisive and changeable, gullible and easily infuenced."

However, if I concentrate my efforts on the more positive side of Libra, then he/she has "a good critical faculty and are able to stand back and look impartially at matters which call for an impartial judgment to be made on them."

Okay, thanks alot Jeanine.

~ Posted at 03:38 PM | Permalink | Life in Holland | any comments?
Monday / February 18th / 2002
Slumbering curlicues...

Lately I have been having a slew of frustrating and comical dreams for some reason. Here is a summary of some of these slumbering curlicues:

  1. I am stuck somewhere faraway in an exotic country, in or near China. The only flight back home takes off once a week. I first have to take the train to get to the airport which is around a thousand miles away. But I do not know where the train station is. Of course, no one can speak a word of English and it is impossible for me to figure out any of their Chinese mutterings and pointing gestures. In the end, I miss the flight back and have to wait yet another week in that country of unfamiliar surroundings.

  2. I am in a hurry to get to work because I didn't hear the alarm and woke up way too late. Digging through my drawers for a pair of underwear, all I can find are Thea's underwear. One after the other. For each pair of her underwear I throw aside, more appear to collect in a pile in the drawer. Finally in desperation, I figure what the heck and try them on for size. A little tight but they will do for today.

  3. I have to take an exam tomorrow, but I have not even opened up a single study book. On the one hand, I should cram all night and hope that I can pass the test with some luck. Instead, I choose not to do a single thing! Who cares anyway? I am too old afterall, and I do not feel like letting the world of academia rule my life. A stage in life I have passed long ago, no need to have to relive it again and again. However, even if on the outside I have presented a convincing front of indifference, I am still nervous about it. What will everyone think if I fail this so-called important exam?

~ Posted at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Dreams | any comments?
Tuesday / February 19th / 2002
Mosaic mind...

 The pieces of the mosaic are broken and reformed... The mosaic mind is a funny thing, a (religious) poem really. While the darkness enters and then leaves again, the mind mosaic keeps on running, running and running. Some chips and blocks and other funny shapes, floating and emanating, scintillating around. Oh dearest mind ever so mosaic, it leads the way. Mosaic is the mind that splinters and swells and opens up. There are a bunch of images which pop up all of the time, most of them fading away as quickly as they came. Other images and thoughts and stuff the very few only worth it remain and dazzle and provide warmth in mosaic forms. They foster the intertwining shapes, aha. Look for smoothness, roughness, with sharpened edges, and broken glass. Cutting inside and reshaping. The pieces of the mosaic are broken and reformed. Funny thing, yes, it is indeed a very funny thing. Something of a poem really. But it does not stop right there or here or where you might expect it to, not just yet. Continue and then continue some more. To the end. It is time to go. Going is time to it. Time it to going is. To time is going to. Words rearranged and put back together again, like the thoughts, of the evasive actions and purposes of the thing called the mosaic mind. This was a (religious) poem.

~ Posted at 07:58 AM | Permalink | Mind and matter | any comments?
Wednesday / February 20th / 2002
From now on...

Alright, I am going to have to restrain myself from writing too much gibberish and other insane ramblings. People are already starting to question my sanity and whispering to each other behind my back. About that character over there who really does not know what he is doing nor does he understand what the world is all about. Do not want that to happen. From now on.

So then I have to write down something more earthly and mundane. Need to get my fans back by getting myself first back in shape. Okay. What now? Rewind, refresh and start from the very beginning. Howabout the following?

  • When I woke up it took me about ten seconds or so to realize that I was not dreaming anymore.

  • Or better yet, that by awakening to another day I was geared up for an episode of dreaming again in the so-called real world which is not that real at all.

  • Crammed down two pieces of brown bread with half the jar of jam spread out in a blob of sweetness inbetween.

  • With the last swallow still oozing its way down my esophagus, ran upstairs and took a shower, drinking my coffee at the same time.

  • Shave, hack, shave and brush my teeth.

  • Dry myself, put on my clothes, throw my wadded tie in the bag, crumpled again.

  • Cycle to work with the strong wind at my back, little effort and so fast!

  • Meeting, emails emails more emails, meeting, lunch and more.

  • Yet another meeting, some compliments, emails and review two very important documents, very important.

  • Time to go, escape from my work get back home that is, no more wind and a little drizzle.

  • That ever so slight moistness "attaches" itself to my facial contours, oozing down almost erotically past my lips with the pull of gravity.

  • Dinner, television with the kids, instant decaf, quiet please I cannot hear the news!

  • Maarten in bed, Sabien in bed, helping Lennart massage his web graphics to produce really cool effects.

  • And then Marlies chatting on the Internet and chatting with whoever.

  • Thea stays downstairs glued to the television hoping that the Dutch will win yet another gold medal. They just skate and skate in circles which is not very thrilling for me.

  • In about two hours I will go to bed with a good book: first "A Beautiful Mind" and then "Javascript: The Definitive Guide" to put me into a deep very deep sleep.

  • What an adventure. And then it will start all over again. All over again.

Was that normal enough or was it too boring?

~ Posted at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Meaning of life | 11 comments
Thursday / February 21st / 2002
Rapid monkey chatter...

 Rapid chatter like that of monkeys... Alright, so it is time to do something really useful again. After the tremendous response from my previous entry, I am even more inspired to pursue yet another quantum leap in awareness. Let's go folks.

Here is everything I could find about the word Gibberish, which is an "official" word that gets as close as one can get to the title of this blog without getting caught.


  1. Unintelligible or nonsensical talk or writing.

  2. Highly technical or esoteric language.
  3. Rapid chatter like that of monkeys.
  4. Unnecessarily pretentious or vague language.
  5. Rapid and inarticulate talk; unintelligible language; unmeaning words; jargon.


Nonsense, gibberish; jargon, jabber, mere words, hocus-pocus, fustian, rant, bombast, balderdash, palaver, flummery, verbiage, babble, baverdage, baragouin, platitude, niaiserie; inanity; flapdoodle; rigmarole, rodomontade; truism; nugae canorae; twaddle, twattle, fudge, trash; poppy-cock [U.S.]; stuff, stuff and nonsense; bosh, rubbish, moonshine, wish-wash, fiddle-faddle; absurdity; vagueness (unintelligibility)...


  1. Gibber.
  2. Gibbered.
  3. Gibbering.
  4. Gibbers.

Extracting the most essential terms from above which appeal to me the most, the best of all possible summaries for my blog is: "highly technical, esoteric, rapid monkey chatter."

Ayone else out there who would like to take a stab at an even better and more creative description?

~ Posted at 07:37 AM | Permalink | Words ad infinitum | 2 comments
Friday / February 22nd / 2002
I know everything better...

I have the very annoying habit of thinking that I always know everything better.

Knowing everything better can be a real handicap during discussions, and on many occasions during my life, such a trait has placed unnecessary obstacles in my path. I do not know if I was just born that way or that I somehow was raised by society and my parents to believe it. More than likely it was a combination of the two. American culture demands that you are the best, that you are a winner and that you strive for first place and nothing less. Also, because I was such a nerd and did so well at school with straight A's all the time, they kept telling me that I was some kind of genius. Boy were they mistaken!

Also, I was always busying myself with other people's business, because I thought I was more qualified to do the job right. Certainly they could not do it. Here, just let me do it (take it completely over) for you. My sisters would joke about this attitude of mine. They were right when they needled me with their saying that I was "always trying to make things better but making them worse."

Here is an interesting example. My father was a doctor and inspired me alot. He was pretty smart and knew everything there was to know about medicine. On a technical level at least he had a mind like a steel trap, remembering everything, and I mean everything. There I was reading his medical texts and other study books, building models of the human body and drawing detailed schemas of various dissected organs and that sort of thing. Who was I kidding? I had models of the human brain, the eye, the inner ear, etc. I even built this mechanical heart that pumped blood-colored liquid to the various parts of the body. I tried to improve the pumping mechanism, but of course it didn't work that well any more and leaked all over the furniture. Always trying to make things better but making them worse. My favorite one was called the "Visible Man" anatomy model which showed all of the organs of the body. My sisters kept infuriating me by calling it the "Invisible Man" which it wasn't. I had memorized all of the organs by heart and could dislocate the various parts in my mind and section them all back together in my sleep. In fourth grade at the Turlock Elementary School (in California way back in 1967), the teacher decided we would learn more about the human body as a theme for Health class. Oh no, how dare they! I knew infinitely more than anyone else, even the teacher. I even brought my "Visible Man" model to school the next day before class started and had it all open. Each organ was laid out on my desk with the appropriate label for my classmates to see when they came in. Do you think they cared? Did I really think that they cared? I guess I did back then, when other things in life are important to you as a child.

Phew, what a pressure it must be to have to think all the time that you know everything better, when this is by definition an impossible task. So much weight of responsibility on my frail shoulders. To think that consciously and/or subconsciously I have carried this weight with me for so many years and well into adulthood.

Now what does all of this have to do with me right now? Well, I figure that while I have lost most of the intensity of that moment back then, I have still managed to retain a water-downed version of this know-it-all attitude. Trying to make things better but making them worse. In discussions that approach dangerously close to my realm of expertise, I tend too quickly to doubt the opinions of others. I resent the fact that they may be creating useful and creative ideas. Remaining open and not closing up too prematurely for valuable input is necessary for survival. I think that this potential shortcoming inherent to my personality is something that I should be aware of in order to improve myself. Listen and accept, forgive and forget. Life continues.

I do not want to know everything better anymore.

~ Posted at 08:29 AM | Permalink | Childhood | 2 comments
Saturday / February 23rd / 2002
Infinite knowledge...

Right now I am reading a bunch of books simultaneously in my never-ending attempt to acquire infinite knowledge. Nine books all in a row, to be more precise. Depending on my mood at a given instant, I will jump from the one book to the other. Sometimes smack dab in the middle of a chapter, I will close the book I am currently reading and open up another book. Some reading sessions consist of switching books five or six times an hour. I suffer from an insecure feeling that perhaps I am not increasing my knowledge as productively as I should. That what I am reading at the moment is not valuable enough in the sense that I am suffering an acute shortage by not improving my life sufficiently and quickly enough! This can be very frustrating. The innocent pleasures of reading suffer in that regard which is ironic to say the least. There is this endless source of interesting information out there, and there is absolutely no way I can absorb it all in the limited span of my lifetime. By nature I have an addictive tendency, a proclivity which bends me in fixations. Especially when it is in any way remotely related to the esoteric acquisition of knowledge. So why bother in the first place? Infinite knowledge is preferable, of course. Unfortunately one cannot attain this by reading, even if one could have enough time to read every single book in every possible language that has ever been written in the history of civilization. In order to give my readers a hint of how far along this reading adventure I have come, here is a list of books that currently lie on the reading table next to my bedside. The order is from bottom to top, or since I am by nature symetrical and neat, from the widest (usually the thickest, but now always) in decreasing order:

  • Programming Perl, Third Edition by Larry Wall et al.
  • Javascript, The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
  • Essential CSS & DHTML for Web Professionals by Dan Livingston.
  • Web Design in a Nutshell by Jennifer Niederst.
  • Cascading Style Sheets 2.0 Programmer's Reference by Eric A. Meyer.
  • A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar.
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
  • Caesar by Colleen McCullough.
As you can see from the list I am pretty much obsessed with Web-related stuff at the moment. However, I try my best to balance this with other non-Web stuff. Reading one book at a time would probably be much more efficient, but I am too impatient. For the sake of simplicity, let's just say that I am about half-way along the pursuit of infinite knowledge.

~ Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Books | 6 comments
Sunday / February 24th / 2002
But first...

Ripping out the old pinkish carpet from the stairs started out pretty well early this morning. Within ten minutes I had already torn away most of the major pieces all the way from the attic to the bottom floor. Stripped away the thick slabs of carpet and tossed them down to a heap at the bottom of the stairs. It felt good, like I was making lots of progress, going fast.

But first.

That's when things slowed down, slowed down to the opposite extreme. You see, there was all this old adhesive compound underneath the carpet I had torn loose, a hardened reddish glue which also had to be removed. I bent down, took a closer look, scraped, gashed, chipped and cussed alot. But the darned compound would not give way very easily. I went to the store and bought this so-called carpet glue remover, and I applied the thick goo the best I could. The fumes nearly made me pass out, and when the remover touched the skin of my hands or arms or legs or bare feet, the burning sensation was unbearable. To make matters even worse, the so-called carpet glue remover did not help much at all except to make the reddish hardened glue nothing more than "wet and mushy" reddish hardened glue. By then most of my nostril hairs had dissipated, my eyelashes were no more, and I was flying somewhere above the house on my way to the lakes. Boy it was beautiful, next turn to the right planet Pluto.

But first.

When I realized that I was no longer flying, that I had passed the planet Pluto nearly thirty million miles before, I opened my eyes ever so slowly and looked in front of me. There was this white screen flickering before my eyes. My fingers were alive and nimbly pounding the keyboard, creating all kinds of amazing sounds and words and sentences. My blog, my blog. It is time to finish another blog.

But first.

~ Posted at 09:24 PM | Permalink | Work and play | 1 comment
Monday / February 25th / 2002
Protrusions of sorts...

There was this older guy on the news this evening, and it got me thinking. Some ancient politician of one sort or other was trying to explain some economic quagmire to the public without putting them to sleep. Completely lost with where he was trying to get at, my mind wandered and I watched the motions of his facial musculature. I couldn't stop noticing the various warts covering his face (about five of various sizes and shapes) that were moving while he spoke. There was also a globular bump atop his bald scalp looking like a volcano ready to erupt.

How come older people who have these big awful-looking warts and other protruding bumps on their faces never get such tasteless masses removed? Are they attached (pun not intended) to these life-long friends? Or after years of ever so gradual a growth rate has it never caught their attention that these little friends have sprung into existence? Because they have slowly grown and therefore never been noticed? Or could it be that by hacking these cellular masses the old folks would feel like they were tearing off a vital part of themselves, some piece of their being, an extension of their inner selves?

All right, let me be objective about it all. I will now try and understand their predicaments in a more rational way, I hope. Take my nice-looking nose of which I am very proud. Beautiful isn't it? Assume that my beautiful nose were to grow at an average rate of approximately 0.137 millimeters per day. Now that is hardly noticeable, not even a slice of a cell width so small it is. Assume also that this growth rate, while ever so minute, is constant over a good portion of my life, say about fifty years. I would barely notice it, and if you were sitting in front of me for all those years, I doubt that you too would even notice it. But after fifty years my nose would be two and a half centimeters longer (50 yrs x 365 days x .000137 centimeters = 2.5 centimeters). The law of physics which states that the distance travelled is equal to the velocity times the rate: d=vt. That’s the same as one and a quarter inches! Now, would I want to cut off that extra protrusion? I think not. My case has been proved and it is now officially closed. QED.

The moral of this story is do not become fixated on the protrusions of sorts of others while they are discussing interesting matters which my just well change the course of history. Another moral might be to treat those with warts and other protrusions like you would treat yourself if your nose too were growing at a rate of approximately 0.137 millimeters per day or thereabouts.

I feel really really creative today. Can you tell?

~ Posted at 09:45 PM | Permalink | Miscellaneous | 3 comments
Tuesday / February 26th / 2002
Nested list syle images...

Learning Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is not always that easy, but it can be fun and rewarding at times. For a couple of weeks now, I have been struggling with a problem concerning the use of nested lists together with the list-images. An intellectual problem (kinda) demanding intense concentration and perserverence (yeah sure).

What I wanted to do was have nested lists with a different bulleted image depending on how deep the given list was located. Say a red square, followed by a blue square, followed by a yellow square, and so forth. For the sake of simplicity, and avoiding my never-ending tendency to go into repetitive cycles into nested infinities, stop after three levels deep. Okay. Until now, due mainly to my ignorance of CSS, I had clumsily implemented complicated tables, cells and images with offsets and awkward justifications. If you know what I mean.

Hmmm, there must be a better way, I always thought.

And there was! This could be done by using the so-called child relationships defined in CSS. How? Well look at the following code example which needs to be placed within the style-tags:

OL LI { list-style-image : none; }
UL LI, LI { list-style-image : url(/Blogger/archives//image_1.gif); }
UL UL LI { list-style-image : url(.../image_2gif); }
UL UL UL LI { list-style-image : url(/Blogger/archives//image_3.gif); }

This results in the given desired effect. At long last. Is this an amazing discovery or what?! The very first line is required in order to retain numbering in ordered lists. And this is the result:

I am pretty pleased with this, and it makes my life as a future famous web designer alot easier. I suggest you have a look at my site map for an example of this nice use of nested lists.

~ Posted at 06:06 PM | Permalink | Blogs etc. | any comments?
Wednesday / February 27th / 2002
Zware storm...

 Mother nature can be awesome and disturbingly powerful... 'Takkeweer, zegt u? Welnee!'

Nederland ging gisteren gebukt onder een zware storm. De een ondervond zware last, de ander kon zijn plezier niet op.

As explained in an article in the Dutch newspaper to which we are subscribed called Algemeen Dagblad.

I thought this picture was pretty impressive showing how amazingly powerful and dangerous nature can be on the North Sea. It shows "een boot van het loodswezen in Vlissingen vaart uit bij windkracht 9." That's Dutch and means: "a sea-faring vessel leaving the port of Vlissingen at wind gale-force nine." Cool.

Boy, what a storm we have been having the last couple of days. I am glad my feet are firmly attached to terra firma and I am not tumbling around on the high seas now.

~ Posted at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Life in Holland | 2 comments
Thursday / February 28th / 2002
Telecom blues...

Telecom is a lucrative business?I like to brag about myself and tell people that I am an IT professional specializing in telecom, my area of expertise being mobile telecommunications. If you do not believe me then have a look at my curriculum vitae and judge for yourself. That is, if you can read inbetween the lines and discover my true knowledge and experience in this area.

The problem nowadays is that the world of telecom has been stagnating the last year or so, and it has become impossible for me to land an interesting assignment. I was hired at IQUIP in order to gear the company activities more in the direction of mobile telecom, e.g. mobile Internet and that kind of stuff. Too bad that the moment I walked in the front door of the office, things were going unbelievably bad.

So what is a so-called professional like myself doing in a place like this and what am I planning to do? I am an "expert" in something that is paper-thin at the moment. Paper thin in the sense that what used to be thick and wonderful and everywhere has now become a cellophane unreality. An unreality through which I am going to have to break in order to take the next logical steps in my (successful) career. And of course I am also feeling increasingly uneasy about my future. I have a family to think about, and their future is just as important if not more important than mine. Where will I be in a year from now?

During my life I have overcome similar obstacles and things have in the end always "appeared" to have turned out just fine. At least that is how I adapted to the new situations, trying to be flexible and open and willing to surrender. I am positive and I seek challenges. I visualize success the best I can in order to increase the chances of it actually turning out that way. I try not to forget that each of us creates to a large extent the world around us.

So what next? Today is the very last day of the month of February in the year of 2002. We are one-sixth of the way through the year, and there is still so much more to come. Telecom blues will come and they will go. Drift with the stream of things, surrender to the current, and let it all go. That's what I say.

If you are interested in exploring more about telecom and the areas I happen to pursue myself, then I can recommend the following sites: wireless newsfactor and wireless developer network. Check them out and find out all the wonderful things that are and will be happening.

~ Posted at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Work and play | 3 comments
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