| Meaning of life | 0 Comments

I was making my way to the gym today, when I suddenly heard a faint voice calling in my direction. "Mister, mister, can you please help me?" On the other side of a street stood an elderly lady bent over her walker. "Please help me, it is very important."

I crossed the street and approached her. She looked about eighty years old but could have been older. "I need to mail these letters, but I am out of breath I can't make it any further." She reached into her purse and pulled out two envelopes with handwritten addresses on them. "Would you be so kind as to mail them for me?"

It really touched me that she was trusting some total stranger. At the same time, I felt blessed to have become the chosen one who fate had decided to put there. It was a fortunate twist of the elements. I could have been any uninterested passerby who'd just end up throwing the letters into the ditch not wanting to be hassled.

So here is what I did. Although my destination was in the opposite direction, I made the detour to the nearest mailbox, and when the time came I lovingly pushed the two envelopes into the mailbox. Indeed, they would reach their destination in a day or tow. Thanks to me, and know one would ever know it.

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This is what I learned about life on this planet. We are a tight-knit society of randomly placed human beings, and we depend on one another to do the right things. In times of need, we should not be afraid to reach out to the random passerby for help. It is a complicated fabric of society which holds us together, and what makes it strong and durable is our trust and love of each other.

| History | 0 Comments

Suddenly this morning when I woke up it struck me, something clicked inside of my mind and it made perfect sense. I am now convinced that Trump is a secret Russian spy whose mission is to destroy the American democracy once and for all. Now that he realizes he will more than likely lose the upcoming election, he is doing his utmost to disrupt society while he still can, by spreading confusion and instigating chaos. He will go to any extreme to disrupt the lives of innocent Americans. Just like other dictators have done in the past, he is willing to take down the rest of the country with his own demise no matter what it takes. Hopefully in the end civilization will survive and life on Earth will become better again.

| Stanford | 0 Comments

Last night I joined an online video session with my old bros from the SAE fraternity, and it was a blast. Most of these folks I hadn't seen in more than forty years, so what a treat it was talking and laughing about the old times long gone. Joking about the past and all the crazy things we did and catching up on news from the last four decades.

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Since there were nearly forty attendees present, each of us had only one minute air time to say whatever we wanted to say. I am sure that if we had more time, we could have rambled on endlessly for who knows how long. There were so many funny memories to share and so little time. It struck me at how much older we all looked, a bunch of old men blabbing nonsense, some looking older than others, myself included. However, when each person spoke, I was transported instantly back in time and could see through the surface into the essence of who we really are. Our souls have been only slightly tinged by time and the essence has remained untouched. Funny how not much has really changed in that regard.

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In preparation I had taken some notes and put on paper the most important things I wanted to say. Of course, I diverted from the script but was able to cover much territory in the limited time slot. Here is what I wrote down and attempted to read off:


"Having to condense four decades of life after Stanford and SAE within one minute is an impossible challenge, but I'm up to it. I have my trusty notes at hand in order to keep me focused, so here I go.

After Stanford, I found myself in a bit of a depressing limbo. Not getting into medical school, despite an honorable 3.65 grade point average, made me feel like a failure, and in the eyes of my parents I was a big disappointment I am sure. I lived at home and worked hard for a year saving up some money. Having been prepped for adventure at SAE, I decided to do something with my life, expand my horizon by travelling to Europe, discover my soul and my true purpose in life. With my grubby backpack and "Let's Go to Europe on $5 a day" book, I went to Europe and traveled around. While in Europe, I eventually hooked up with my good friend Kevin, and we traveled north. That is where I met my wonderful Dutch wife in Norway. The rest is history.

Currently I live in The Netherlands, more popularly known as Holland, in a city called Gouda. That's the same place where the famous cheese comes from. Gouda is located just east of Rotterdam and about an hour's drive south of Amsterdam. Together with my amazing wife we raised four beautiful children: two boys and two girls ranging in ages from 26 to 33. They've since flown the coop, so it is pretty peaceful at home now. My wife is a nurse and she's good at it. With the pandemic and all it might not be the funnest job in the world, but she's an amazing woman in that regard.

When the kids were older, I took up golf again and really love it. I play as much as possible, practice regularly, and take part in tournaments, including the Dutch senior amateur tour which is great fun. Around eight years ago. I realized how important it is to be healthy in the later years. I gave up alcohol, fatty foods and meat, and in addition to golf I work out at the local gym two to three times a week.

So I've been living in Holland since 1981 and have a dual citizenship. I ended up going to a university again and graduated with a degree in Physics and Computer Science, after which I started my long career in the wonderful world of software development. Most recently I've worked in the fields of telecom and Internet. Right at the point when I was seriously considering early retirement, I met up with some medical professionals with a startup in healthcare and joined the team to work on their product platform. It keeps me occupied and challenges my brain which is good.

The pandemic here in Europe really sucks and has severely impacted everyone's lives. People are urged to stay at home and only travel when absolutely necessary. I work mostly from home, and once in awhile go to the office for the change so I can talk face to face. Masks must be worn inside stores, on public transportation and in crowded public places. Unlike in the States where many people make a big deal about wearing masks, here in the Netherlands people generally adhere to the rules that the prime minister lays down. As this is a small country, people feel more close-knit and concerned about the collective well-being of the general population."

Check out the video Stanford University - Sigma Alpha Epsilon ("SAE") - Virtual Party

| Games | 0 Comments

I like to play simulation and strategy games on my computer. The more complicated the better, having to be creative and puzzle your way through challenging scenarios is time consuming but fun at the same time.

So this time around I really went all out by purchasing one of the more intense grand strategy games called Crusader Kings III.

I completed the tutorial twice in order to understand the basics. There is so much depth to this simulation engine that it'll take me forever to figure it out. I guess then it's good that at least I get my money's worth in terms of total playing time.

In the olden days a ten minute round of pinball cost you a quarter. Using that as an example and not taking inflation into account, that means I will have to play this new game at least thirty-three hours before I break even.

| Work and play | 0 Comments

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We make clinical knowledge accessible. Medicine is a knowledge industry. By bringing the latest scientific insights into practice doctor can provide patients with the best possible care.

| Golf | 0 Comments

This year around I had trained hard and was psyched up to win the senior championship.

On the first day I played pretty well, and things looked very hopeful. With four birdies and two double-bogies, I was tied for first with a 76.

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On the second day I fell apart for some strange reason. No birdies, three double-bogies and a disastrous quadruple bogey on the 12th hole (back-to-back drives out of bounds).

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The final tally resulted in a fourth place finish for me. Oh well, better luck next year.

| Golf | 0 Comments

This afternoon I played nine holes in the searing heat. Things went quite well at the beginning, but after six holes disaster struck.

Here's how it went: par, par, par, par, par, par, triple bogie, bogie and bogie.

In general golf can be a fun sport, but it can also be very painful sometimes.

| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

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In the train on my way to work.

| Meaning of life | 0 Comments

Forget about the past, and forget about the future. Live life fully in the present and make the best of it as each second ticks by.

By following these simple guidelines, the demons of the past will eventually fade away into nothingness, and the future will in the end take care of itself. Or so that is what the wise philosophers of the past have promised us.

It is up to each and every one of us to decide our self whether or not we should pursue this path. Our reckoning will be the day of our death when the final conscious thoughts reveal if we have taken the correct decisions and followed the proper path.

Spoiler alert: the answer will always be yes.

| Work and play | 0 Comments

I will be starting a new job tomorrow at a small startup in Utrecht, and I am very excited to join this young company as employee #6.

As senior frontend developer, I will be crafting new and interesting features, honing my user design skills to new levels, and helping them to professionalize their web platform.

The best part though is that I will be an active member of a very enthusiastic team with various backgrounds in the health sciences.

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The platform to create better medical protocols and guidelines.

"It is our mission to help hospitals structure the medical knowledge their specialists need and create easy-to-use protocols that can be integrated in the EHR. The use of flowcharts and prediction models makes it possible to deliver personalized health care. With the structure to keep protocols in sync with the latest publications and guidelines, we ensure that you keep knowledge at the heart of your care organization."

I always claim that you are never too old to learn new stuff, and I feel very privileged to be able to pursue this variegated path of new knowledge wherever it might lead me. See you around ...

| Meaning of life | 0 Comments

I had just crossed the bridge next to the hockey field, turning left on my last leg of the journey back home. That's when a white hockey ball flew right past my head missing it by only a couple of inches.

On the other side of the wire fence about ten yards away stood a husky twelve year old girl leaning nonchalantly on her hockey stick. She had severely misjudged the height of the goal and had launched the hockey ball over the net, over the fence, through the highest tree branches, and at an obtuse angle onto the asphalt path leading back to the bridge.

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The hockey ball is a good bit larger than a baseball, weighs about 5.5 ounces and has a diameter of nearly 3 inches. It is harder than hard. At that velocity, it easily qualifies as a deadly projectile. It slammed into the wooden bridge with a loud thud, ricocheted off of the metal railing, took another bounce in the opposite direction and then splashed into the water. Forever lost to the depths of non-existence.

The young girl seemed completely oblivious to the fact that she had nearly killed an innocent bystander. Then she broke her posed stance and continued running around as if nothing had happened. I can imagine that she felt pretty embarrassed about making such a bad shot and didn't want any of her fellow team players to notice her gaff. Indeed, peer pressure can be pretty bad these days, especially at that tender age, when even near death episodes are irrelevant.

How ironic it is nowadays when everyone is so completely preoccupied by the dangers of catching and dying from the corona virus. Little do they realize that an other completely random event could just as swiftly end your life right here and now.

If I had been walking a fraction faster or had tilted my head a bit more to the left, I would not have made it back home in time to write this interesting and philosophical blog entry. Thanks God for saving my life.

| Music | 0 Comments

Well, I used to be a folk singer
Keeping managers alive,
When you saw me on a corner
And told me I was jive.
So I unlocked your mind, you know
To see what I could see.
If you guarantee the postage,
I'll mail you back the key.
Well I woke up in the morning
With an arrow through my nose
There was an Indian in the corner
Tryin' on my clothes.

- Neil Young

| Javascript | 0 Comments

Seems like only yesterday that I discovered this strange yet exciting new language for the web. Boy, have we come a very long way since that crude beginning twenty years ago! Thank you so very much for making my life a more enjoyable adventure into the unknown.

"Originally just a sidekick scripting language for Java, created at Netscape in a ten-day hack, it was shipped first as a de facto Web standard and eventually became the world's most widely used programming language..."

"...In 2020, the World Wide Web is ubiquitous with over a billion websites accessible from billions of Web-connected devices. Each of those devices runs a Web browser or similar program which is able to process and display pages from those sites. The majority of those pages embed or load source code written in the JavaScript programming language..."

"...In 2020, JavaScript is arguably the world's most broadly deployed programming language."

Read more about it here: JavaScript: The First 20 Years.

| Rust | 0 Comments

I am very excited to announce that I will be giving the following talk at the next Rust Berlin Meetup:

"Embedding Rust in NodeJS applications"

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Hope to see you all there!

| Meaning of life | 0 Comments

Every challenge can show you who you are and what you're capable of. The good and the bad.

Not all challenges are desirable, but not all are optional either. Many of them are forced upon us. When they are, we can choose to learn from them.

by Dan Pedersen

| Rust | 0 Comments

Now that I have successfully completed all of the exercises of the Rustlings Course, I'm now well on my way to becoming a happy and proud rustacean.

| Golf | 0 Comments

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It has been a long time coming, but I can finally play golf again starting next week. First only nine holes at a time, and hopefully in the not too distant future, a full eighteen holes again.

Cannot touch the flag, ball washers or bunker rakes, the holes have been made shallow so that you can more easily pick out the ball in a hygienic manner, keep social distancing of one and a half meters in place, no padding on the shoulders or shaking hands, and once the round is finished you are expected to go back home immediately.

Stupid coronavirus.

| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

When in doubt just remember that you were always meant to be what you ended up becoming.

If we fail to focus on who we are on the inside, we risk external disintegration from the outside.

Taking a peaceful walk through the Dutch countryside always helps to reset your mind.

At least that sure helps me out a lot.

| World affairs | 0 Comments

Been stuck at home now for three weeks, making the best of things, hoping that this invisible disease will get bored and go away. Each day of the lock down I get to think a lot and try to make some sense out of this. Once a day a nice brisk walk in order to re-organize my thoughts and be one with mother nature.

This afternoon I took a long walk through the countryside, and the world looked just fine to me. At least from a distance. In times of desperation we learn to value life and appreciate the ultimate powers of nature.

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Can you spot the coronavirus in this picture?

Nature can be very cruel if required. She is cleansing out the weak in an overpopulated world. As a result, there is also much less pollution, because everyone is staying home and travel has been restricted. Maybe this is a last ditch attempt of nature to save herself. We have reached some kind of tipping point, and this whole virus cleansing will become a more frequent action required to settle things down.

| World affairs | 0 Comments

This extremely dangerous virus has gone airborne and has been officially deemed a pandemic. Life has been disrupted and now the waiting game has taken over our lives. The worse is still to come and we are bracing ourselves for harder times ahead.

The world as we know it has grounded down to a standstill, and one wonders if when the huge wave hits us whether or not the health system will be able to cope with such a surge.

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This is the current situation.

| Computers and stuff | 0 Comments

I never thought that it could ever happen to me but it did. Some evil hacker had somehow compromised a public service website of mine, deleted the database making the website unusable and left the following message for me:

"To recover your lost Database and avoid leaking it: Send us X.XX Bitcoin (BTC) to our Bitcoin address XXXXX and contact us by Email with your Server IP or Domain name and a Proof of Payment. If you are unsure if we have your data, contact us and we will send you a proof. Your Database is downloaded and backed up on our servers. Backups that we have right now: DB1, DB2, DB3, DB4 . If we dont receive your payment in the next 10 Days, we will make your database public or use them otherwise."

Fortunately I made daily backups and could recover the deleted database by restoring the most recently saved data. Also battened down the hatches by replacing all related credentials with very secure encrypted passwords.

That's why in this day and age it's vital to your survival to make backups and have a dependable emergency recovery protocol in place in case disaster strikes.

| Psychology | 0 Comments

According to Jung, an individual's true goal in life is NOT about trying to achieve some kind of unattainable perfection, but rather striving for a wholeness of being.

"Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed. The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist."

- Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion

The path to a greater character, to a more effectual approach to life, lies in integrating those elements of our psyche that for too long have been repressed and denied, our unconscious shadow side.

There is nothing wrong with ignoring this taboo of society, acknowledging it's presence within, exposing it for what it is and balancing your life accordingly.

How to Integrate Your Shadow

| Nature and universe | 0 Comments

Modern and environmentally friendly, that's what we have become. Today the people came and installed our new zonnepanelen, which has become quite the rage in The Netherlands. In total twelve panels pointed at the sun. Not a bad deal, partially subsidized by the government, and even pays for itself back within a few years.

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| Games | 0 Comments

On my way to becoming a future famous game developer, lots of cool stuff to play around with.

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| Philosophy and poetry | 0 Comments

As we live our lives day by day, it becomes obvious that there are some things we control, and there are many other things we have no control over.

"The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own."

-- Epictetus, Discourses, 2.5.4-5

So the secret to achieving true happiness is to focus on what you control and then make the best of that despite all of the other things happening around you.

| History | 0 Comments

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The life and times of Napoleon is a fascinating story. Having nearly completed the book, I have enjoyed learning about his life and accomplishments both good and bad.

Sometimes all of the nitty gritty war details about this and that battle can be cumbersome to read. The who, when and where are time consuming and sometimes a bit boring to read through.

During that period of history, the casualties of war were terrible. Many battles resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, sometimes the majority of fatalities resulting from disease, infections, starvation or even freezing to death.

With less than one hundred pages of the in total eight hundred page book remaining, I have only two chapters to go: Waterloo and St.Helena.

The actual Waterloo battle grounds are not far from where I live, only 180 kilometers, and I will most certainly be making a visit sometime soon to witness the area in person.

| Rust | 0 Comments

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| Computers and stuff | 0 Comments

My laptop runs on Ubuntu 18.04 and is hooked up to the monitor via the ultra-dock docking station's hdmi displayport.

Normally I have been very pleased with this, but when watching video trainings I often need to pause the video to try things out and then restart the video.

The problem with my setup was that there was always a pause of 2-3 seconds before the audio became enabled again. A real pain in the butt.

The fix is very simple in my case, and this is how I achieved it.

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| Programming | 0 Comments

Okay, so you are never too old to follow yet another dream. Time to become a future famous game developer, and this is a great way to start.

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My goal is to design a truly amazing golf game which will attract droves of eager followers and in the process make me happier.

| Programming | 0 Comments

Looks like Ruby 2.7.0 has now been officially released.

There are many new improvements in this version, but here's one that I really like.

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2400 entries and as many as 1878 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

My mother passed away 3-27-2018 ago.

Started Gishtech 04-25-2016 ago.