Kos

| Vacation

Thea and I had a fantastic time on the Greek island of Kos. The resort we stayed at was super deluxe and we even had our own private jacuzzi. Since we were there outside of the tourist season, most places were pretty peaceful and relaxing.

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We had rented a small car so could travel around the island, seeing pretty much most of the important small villages and other attractions. We loved the beaches and nature and took a number of extended strolls so that we deserved fancy dinners when we got back.

The weather was pretty good, mostly sunny and sometimes a bit on the cool side, although we did have a couple days stormy weather and one evening even an impressive lightning storm in the distance (we sat in bubbling in the jacuzzi watching it from a safe distance.

See photo album

| Golf

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As the proud captain of team Old (Oud), I am pleased to announce that finally after three years we beat team Young (Jong) in the traditional yearly match-play championship.

The young whipper-snappers were cocky and with their massively long drives they felt confident that they would win hands down yet another time, but we pulled it off with our wits and perseverance.

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Above, the winning captain giving the celebration speech, I could not have ever done it without such a great team of old farts behind me.

Here is the entertaining article I wrote for the club magazine:

Jong tegen Oud 2021

Every year in September, the generation gap is celebrated for a day when the young bucks and the older folks come together for the annual Jong tegen Oud matchplay championship. Over the years this contest has grown into a fun-filled tradition, and for the first time due to the popularity the team size was increased to twelve against twelve.

On the last Sunday of the month, it was a fun and challenging time where the two teams conduct a friendly battle for the much coveted trophy. After the wake up call and early morning coffee, the nine holes greensome match takes place, and after lunch the afternoon singles eighteen holes is launched, followed at the end of the day with the traditional borrel, celebration BBQ and prizes.

Team Jong was lead by Ralf Mulder who did an excellent job as captain bringing the team together into a fortified unit, inspiring them to take the challenge with renewed energy and confidence.

The young whipper-snappers were cocky and with their massively long drives they felt confident that they would win hands down for the fourth year in a row. Well no matter, the older and wiser folks managed to pull off the win with a unique combination of skill, perseverance and lots of lucky breaks.

Sure, being able to drive the ball three hundred plus meters looks impressive and can be intimidating, but in the true tradition of golf the match play format is a true equalizer. The short game from bunkers, chipping from off of the green, recovery shots from behind the trees, and sinking long birdie putts was the name of the game. Yes indeed, the Team Oud had their act together in that regard.

Though slightly disappointed, the Team Jong displayed the true spirit of golf by accepting their loss gracefully, and were not the least daunted in calling for a re-match next year to win back the trophy.

As the winning captain, I want to thank everyone for making this a great success and look forward to continuing this fine tradition next year. We will not make it easy for the youngins, that's for sure. Let luck be on our sides again.

- Kiffin

| Golf

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Chipping went really great this afternoon, from ten feet off of the green most of my balls ended up within a meter or two of the hole. Sure, playing an actual round of golf is a completely different story, but knowing at least that I can chip well makes me feel more confident out on the course.

| Computers and stuff

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Purchased a new video card and installed it in my gaming computer. There is currently a huge shortage of video cards on the market, meaning that they are over-priced. The base price is quoted at €495, but I was desperate for some reason and bought one anyway via an online scalper for €600.

See: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Graphics

| Health and happiness

That's how far in kilometres that I have driven in my car. That's more than five and a half times around the world, or more than half way to the moon. Of course, that may sound pretty impressive, but it took around 12 years travelling time to accomplish such as amazing feat. At this rate, I should finally arrive on the moon in about 11 more years. That'll be interesting.

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The car I own is an Open Astra Station Wagon, and except for a few small scratches and a couple minor dents, it has held out pretty well. Perhaps I may look like an old geezer driving slowly on the highway in the right lane: honk, honk. But as long as it gets me safely in one piece to the golf courses and back, I will keep on going.

| Golf

Played nine holes today for the first time at a golf course called Midden Brabant. On the first hole I chipped in from 50 yards for a birdie, and on the ninth hole I made another birdie by sinking a massive putt from one side of the green to the other. Too bad for the double-bogie, trying to hit over a tree that was too close for comfort. Ended up with a thirty-nine which is nice.

| Dreams

There are many people out there with various phobias and fears. This can effect their quality of life significantly. I'm a firm believer in confronting fears head on, bear it out and get over it quickly. Not the slow poke take it gradually from afar and one small step at a time until who knows when, maybe never. The cure is simple, put that spider in your hand and let it creep up you arm and under your shirt. Let it wiggle around touching you, and after about five minutes of this you should be cured.

| Games

Started playing around with kaboom.js which is an elegant yet simple javascript game engine, and it's loads of fun.

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| Life in Holland

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We met each other exactly 41 years ago in Norway, and married exactly five years later. For our wedding anniversary we went to Drenthe which is a province in the east of Holland. This is where Thea's mother grew up and most of the relatives on that side of the family have stayed there. So on the one hand it was a kind of family reunion and on the other it was a romantic couple days alone cycling and walking through the countryside, relaxing at a quaint little hotel in the middle of nowhere.

| Golf

I was hoping to break eighty during the monthly medal tournament this morning. With only one hole to go, all I had to do was shoot a bogie for a seventy-nine. Instead, I three putted for a double-bogie and ended up with a round of eighty. The only other bad hole was number eight where I choked with a triple bogey after hitting my drive into the water. Not necessary, the putt was only a couple of feet uphill. You could look at it more positively and say that I only had two bad holes out of eighteen. But those lousy two holes cost me five undeserved extra shots. Better luck next time, and when I break eighty I will be even happier than before.

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| Meaning of life

During my daily walks through the countryside, I come across natural wonders which catch my attention. Sometimes the object results in a fleeting thought or a mental distraction, and other times I become frozen in time philosophizing about the this and the that.

Take for example that small stone at the side of the road. Until now it has been enjoying a relatively peaceful existence minding its own business. As I approach the small inanimate object, I wonder if I should let it continue lying there motionless for years to come with no will of its own, or better yet release my free will in such a manner as to disrupt the future as it could have been.

From one instant to the next, I decide to express my will power and disrupt time. With a perfectly placed kick of my toe, I send the small stone sliding across the pavement where it hits a slight upramp of the road at the edge of the canal, whereupon the rock is launched into the air, flies several meters and splashes in the exact middle of the water. A miniature splash sends it its way to the depths of the canal, settling to the bottom to remain there for the next thousands of years.

All of this was triggered by some random thoughts in my mind and the laws of nature took over. Here we are, again.

| Stanford

I was Jeff's freshman roommate at Stanford, and although I was the goof off he was a serious and well-mannered student from the very beginning. While we never became super close as some roommates do, I remember being very impressed by his excellent performances and despite our differences he was always very kind to me. He had The Starry Night poster hanging above his bed, which got me interested in modern art in general and in van Gogh in particular. I feel sad to hear that Jeff passed away, but I am happy at the same time to hear that he led a well-deserved successful life after graduating from Stanford. We crossed paths briefly, went our own separate ways, and then many years later crossed paths again, but only fleetingly

Dignity Memorial

| Health and happiness

Finally got vaccinated for Covid. I received my first injection and at the beginning of July, I will receive my second and final injection. I barely felt the shot at all, not even near as bad as a bee sting. The day went along just fine until the evening. That is when I started getting the shakes, developed a high fever and felt like I had the flu. One day in bed and I was feeling better, but still weak. Now a couple days later, I am back to full strength again. Time to go out and shoot a stellar round on the golf course.

| Computers and stuff

So why spend tons of extra money on a fancy new Linux computer when with a little extra research and energy you can build your own machine for half the price?

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For awhile I was looking for a new laptop, but considering the computational intensive configuration I required, and the fact that I also wanted a machine that could handle most modern games, I was looking at minimally three thousand euros.

I found a great video link AMD Linux PC Build for computation intensive tasks, and I studied this article How to build a PC: A step-by-step guide which led me to purchase the following components:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT Processor (without cooler)
  • GPU: PowerColor Radeon RX580 Red Dragon V2 8GB
  • RAM: Corsair 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3200MHz
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II
  • Cooler: Noctua NH-U12A BF19
  • ARCTIC MX-2 (4 Grams) - Thermal Compound Paste
  • SSD: Corsair MP510 NVMe M.2 960GB
  • SSD: Samsung 860 Evo 1000GB 2.5"
  • HDD: Seagate Barracuda 4TB 5400RPM SATA 3.5"
  • Power: Corsair RM750X V2 750W or Corsair RM650X V2 650W
  • Case: Fractal Design Define Mini C Solid Side Panel Black
  • Inateck SSD Mounting Bracket, 2.5 to 3.5 Hard Drive Adapter
  • Inateck SATA Data Cable and SATA Power Splitter Cable

Total cost: € 1625.84

Most of the items I bought through Amazon.nl, but a couple items that were either cheaper or had a faster delivery time, I purchased instead through a local distributor called Max-ICT. Within five days of ordering, I had received everything at home.

I am a little daunted with the number of components, all of the cables and how exactly to put things together without blowing everything up. That's why I invited Lennart over this evening to help me out and make sure I do not do anything stupid.

Yet another fun father son activity.

| Miscellaneous

It's puzzle time again, please read the following short blurbs and see if you can figure out who it is.

  • Sputnik is in my stars.
  • My namesake was shot through the heart.
  • Demi is my other half.
  • Close shave at Tarawa Island.
  • Broke fibula playing football.
  • Grandpère took a taxi to fight the Bosche.
  • Thanks to a Cola machine I am here.
| Health and happiness

I finally get to have my shot in only two weeks, and I am very excited and relieved at the same time. Hopefully things will turn back to normal very soon.

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| Dreams

I really need to stop chewing on the side of my thumb like that. It has become worse lately and turned into an awful habit. My family and friends keep warning me to stop before it is too late. I am in denial and I have been ignoring their many pleas to quit, not thinking that it is really such a big deal. Actually, it has gotten out of hand, but I'd rather not think about it. Sure, bad habits are hard to break, and I keep promising myself that some day I will stop, but not yet. That is when to my sudden dismay, I realize a large portion of my thumb is missing. I had been gnawing pretty hard into the skin I realize, and there is this gaping wound where my teeth had been chewing. An open hole had appeared and this stringy whitish meat was hanging out loose like slightly cooked chicken. Half of my thumb was gone, and panicking I tried to pull the two sides of skin together to cover it up. But that didn't help at all. The first thing I did when I woke up was to double-check the damage just in case, but to my relieve it had disappeared and my life was back to normal again.

| Family and friends

Exactly three years ago to this day you passed away, and I miss you still. You helped make me the person I am today, and I am thankful for that. I guess that I should be thinking about you more often. However, as the years go by I tend to forget the memories more often as they fade with time. No matter, you are now in good hands dear mother, and that makes me feel much better.

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| Games

This new game has been keeping me so very busy now for several hours every evening that it is making me crazy, I guess you are never too old to play computer games in order to pass the time and make yourself feel useful.

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Loop Hero.

| Internet

Not too long ago the buying price was only around $1000, and at the time I found it way too expensive. Even offered first $50 and then $200, but to no avail. Now the price has sky-rocketed for some strange reason, the going price exploding to more than $32,000. What am I supposed to do now?

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Ironically, this domain name was originally owned by some old guy named Gilbert who lived in North Virginia at the time. He had a minimalist website dedicated to none other than Kiffin Rockwell. The website consisted of two pages, a landing page stating that this website was dedicated to Kiffin Rockwell, with a single link to the About page which was blank.

I contacted him on several occasions explaining that my name is Kiffin and that I had dedicated a whole section to Kiffin Rockwell on my website. Would it be possible to purchase the domain name kiffin.com from him? No no, he was not willing to do that. He gave me the same no answer each time I tried to explain things. Now I am pretty sure that he has passed away and my chance at ever-lasting fame has gone up in smoke. Which is all kind of ironic, considering that his so-called dedication to Kiffin Rockwell was a sick joke in comparison to the loads of information and links I had researched and collected on my KYR webpage.

Life swings from one extreme to the other without taking good guys into account, and I will just have to accept this and get on with my life.

| Golf

If my memory serves me right, I think that this article dates way back to 1973 when I was sixteen years old. That would make my father fifty-six, which is seven years younger than I am today. I remember that sunny day very well and how happy I felt holding that trophy in my hands.

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What a fantastic round of golf that was. My father and I complemented each other perfectly. We made amazing recoveries, drove long drives straight down the middle, shot chips landing next to the hole, and sunk many a long putt for birdie. Beyond recalling the feelings of excitement and being pumped up with adrenaline, I don't really remember that many exact details. One episode though that does remain clear in my mind is the following.

The 17th hole was a par 3 and my father had a long uphill birdie putt from the front of the green. I was attending the flag and hoping that he would putt it close enough for an easy par. When he struck the ball too hard and realized that it would end up rolling much too far past the hole, he screamed "Step on it, stop it!" When I ignored his cursing he repeated it with such aggressiveness and furious anger that I began to tremble doubting whether or not he was serious and if he was directing his anger at me. I hesitated but held my ground doing my best to ignore him. Then at the top of his lungs, he hollered "Step on it!" one last time. Despite the rules of golf, the fact that we were playing in a very important club championship, and to make things worse we were leading with a fantastic score, I acted like the good and obedient son that I was. Not wanting to go against my father's wishes, worried about the possible repercussions of ignoring his orders, believe it or not, I actually stepped on that ball and stopped it dead in it's tracks.

I guess after that embarrassing display of poor sportsmanship, we should have been either disqualified from the tournament or given the usual hefty penalty of two strokes. We were playing with Bill Chapman and his father, and they were so kind to look the other way, let us place the ball about where it would have ended up, and allowed us play on as if nothing had happened. Just a small glitch, and it was after all a friendly good old club match. We had played an amazing round of golf (despite a bogey on that hole), truly a stellar performance, so in a way we still deserved to win that trophy.

I really had never ever thought about it, not even at the time of holding that trophy as the winners, the memory had been erased from my mind in the joy of that moment. Not until thirty years on when I met up again with my former golfing buddies Craig, Danny and Bill. When Bill recounted the scene in excruciating and embarrassing detail, we couldn't stop laughing and rolling on the ground. Strange how a long lost memory can be rekindled and brought back to life again in that way.

| Nature and universe

So you may be wondering what makes the number e so special. Well, e is the only number where the result of the function e to the power of x remains unchanged as you calculate its derivative, and the derivative of the derivative of that, the derivative of the derivative of the derivative of that, indefinitely.

Taking the function f(x) = power(e, x) that raises e to the power of x, d/dx of f(x) = f(x) for (d/dx)(d/dx) ... (d/dx). You can plot the value of x to measure the distance traveled, the tangent of the change of distance (velocity) and the tangent of the change of the velocity (acceleration), ad infinitum. Lo and behold, the value of the tangent will always be the same, that is it will remain equal to e to the power of x.

For me this rates high on my list as one of the most amazing insights of mathematics, as it applies to nature and the universe. The number e forms a fundamental concept in physics and appears endlessly in most of literature, especially quantum physics.

You might also be interested (but have probably guessed already) to know that the number e is an irrational number, meaning that there are no two integers p and q where p/q = e.

For those interested, please see: A proof that e is irrational.

| Family and friends

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I just happened to find this obituary randomly one day when I felt reminiscent and searched the Internet for clues from the past. This is one of my half-brothers from my father's first marriage. As a child, I met him only a few times and those memories of our brief meetings are vague. Later when I was around twenty years old, I drove up with my father to visit him in Menlo Park. He worked in a local gas station and his passionate hobby was fishing. All his fishing gear was leaning up against the wall of his one-room apartment, and he slept on a simple mattress on the floor. One thing that struck me was the portrait of his mother lying on the floor next to his bed, whose maiden name was Maureen Carpenter. It was one of those black and white pictures with her posing in a manner typical of the early forties. My young father was off to war and she stared bravely into the distance. That was the very first (and last) time I had seen what my father's first wife looked like. Just a quick glance really, nothing more. She was very pretty and looked like a nice person, despite many negative things I had heard about her while growing up. With Max, there wasn't really that much to talk about besides fishing and other simple chit-chat, but that was okay because in some mysterious way I felt happy being with him while I could. Bonding with the past and wondering how things could have been, how things had turned out. In a small way he had played a minor role in my life, so I felt a bit saddened when I found out that he had passed away two years ago and I hadn't even known it. That last afternoon I spent at his one-room apartment was meaningful in a spiritual way, and when we parted little did I realize that that would be the very last time I would ever seen him again. Bye Max, may you rest in peace and God bless you.

Oh yeah, one thing I should mention that is pretty important in context of this story is the following. Max was named in honor of my father's little brother who as a child accidentally shot and killed himself in the chest with a gun he had found lying around and probably thought was a toy. My father was fourteen at the time. According to the Kansas Lawrence Daily Journal World dated May 30, 1932, title Wound Kills Boy:

"Max Gish, 10-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gish, formerly of this city, was found dead in the bathroom of his home at Junction City yesterday with a small calibre pistol at his side. Members of the family believed Max was playing with the weapon when it was accidentally discharged. The only other person in the house at the time was the boy's aged grandfather, who said he did not hear the shot. Max was the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Gish. Mr. Gish operated the Stadium barber shop, 1033 Massachusetts street, for about eleven years."

You see, my father's father (the grandfather I had never met because he die when he was fifty) who was a barber by profession, had fought in the Great War. He was a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. 1114th cavalry. At the time I can imagine there being weapons lying around in unsafe places that a curious child might find climbing a high cupboard or some secret drawer.

A few years after that my father lost his older brother to cancer. Those awful events combined with the atrocities that he witness as a soldier in the second world war were plenty of hurtful memories which I believe (almost) broke him.

| Way of life

Exactly eight years ago to the day, I gave up drinking for good. In all that time I have not had a single drop of alcohol. It was not easy, especially in the beginning, but I somehow managed to remain strong by simply living one day at a time. Stopping drinking has been one of the best decisions of my life, and it has made me a much better person. I thank the lord for giving me the strength and wisdom to make such a transformation and keep to my promise for so many years.

| Nature and universe

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Jupiter and Saturn are almost kissing.

They use the term great conjunction to describe meetings of Jupiter and Saturn, which are the two biggest worlds in our solar system. Though the two planets will appear spectacularly close together on the sky's dome now, Jupiter and Saturn are actually 456 million miles apart.

That's no less than 734 million kilometers which is pretty far. How far is that really? Let's say that you get in your car and drive at an average speed of 120 kilometers an hour non stop.

Better bring alot of food and some extra clothing just in case, because your trip will last a long time, namely 254861 days or nearly 700 years. Hopefully we can find enough gas stations along the way.

In Holst's masterpiece orchestral suite The Planets, one movement is dedicated to Jupiter the "bringer of jollity" and another movement to Saturn the "bringer of old age."

That's from Roman mythology. In Greek mythology Jupiter is called Zeus, the god of the sky, lightning and thunder, and ruler of all the gods on Mount Olympus. Saturn on the other hand comes from the Titan Cronus, who was known as the god of time.

If I had to choose which god I would like to be I think that I would choose Chronus over Zeus any day.

| Health and happiness

My many fans have indicated that I have failed to write a blog entry in quite some time, sorry about that. Therefore, I will pen a few sentences now in order to keep them happy for the time being. In the meanwhile I can ponder some more and think up something creative and entertaining for a future blog entry, whenever that may be.

I am now thinking up something creative, hope you will like it.

| Science and technology

We all know what it means to be able to unlock the unknown, but this is exactly the opposite. Locking the known forever and ever

"Multilinear maps are a key element of the new approach to the powerful cryptographic protocol called indistinguishability obfuscation (iO). These maps act like a polynomial calculating machine with a system of secret lockers containing the values of variables."

See: Computer Scientists Achieve 'Crown Jewel' of Cryptography.

| Way of life

- . -

| Work and play

Life at a startup is fun and challenging, although the future is unpredictable and success is the ultimate goal of all we do, I am having a wonderful time working here.

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Check it out for yourself

| Health and happiness

Slowly but surely it has become harder for me to hear what people are saying, especially in groups when everyone is talking at the same time. The Dutch language at which I have become fairly fluent at is becoming a bit of a nightmare for me trying to discern certain subtle differences between sounds common in that language. It can be stressful struggling to understand. One can ask "what did you say?" only a certain number of times before it gets irritating. Not understanding can cause you to make embarrassing mistakes and people complain about your poor communication skills, as if it is your fault.

Initial tests indicate that at higher frequencies my hearing becomes poorer. All letters consist of a range of frequencies from high to low, the distribution of which allows the human ear to distinguish which combination of characters a person is speaking. This is known as the acoustic property of consonants and vowels. Some letters have a larger ratio of higher to lower frequencies, and those are the ones that I especially have difficulty discerning.

Some letters are harder for me to distinguish, like between 'k' and 't' or 'sh' and 'f'. In Dutch for example, 'v' sounds very similar to 'w' and 'p' is nearly the same as 'b'. Which makes it only worse since a given word might take on a completely different meaning than that intended. This throws you off of the course of conversation and prevents you from active participation. Sometimes you can just throw in the towel and give up, but that is not good.

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Hearing drops sharply at higher frequencies.

Getting a good hearing aid is a viable option for me. At first I was in complete denial and refused to believe that it was my hearing. The others were mumbling, talking too softly or too quickly, speaking in the opposite direction so I could not hear them, or so I thought.

Next week I will go to the hospital and have a professional analysis done. We will discuss what the possibilities are for correcting this impediment and I will make the appropriate decision.

Random entries

Here are some random entries that you might be interested in:

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Recent Comments

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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 2430 entries and as many as 1877 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.