| Vacation | 0 Comments

Took a quick dip in the Adriatic Sea this afternoon and loved every minute of it. The temperature was perfect, and I could float endlessly in the salty water bobbing up and down ever so slightly like a baby in a bath. At one point I imagined myself far out to sea with not a single worry in the world.

| Meaning of life | 0 Comments

You know that you are getting older when you completely forget that it is your wedding anniversary.

By arrangement it was also the very same day we first lay eyes on each other.

Thea and I met each other for the first time in Balestrand, Norway exactly thirty-nine years ago to the day.

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Hard to believe but true.

| Golf | 0 Comments

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Great first round, so so second round. Thanks to Thea for letting me play on her 60th birthday.

| Miscellaneous | 0 Comments

A person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible.

Dirty dog, git, puke, rotter, scum bag, skunk, so-and-so, stinker, bum, crumb, rat.

"Only a lowlife would steal money from his own child..."

| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

While strolling through the streets of Rotterdam one day, my eyes feasted upon this nice mural. Had to take a picture of it on the spot.

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| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

So what's so interesting about the weather? It's not what one would consider the most fascinating subject to write about. However, when it comes to "Het weer" as Dutch folks call it, the topic takes on new dimensions of excitement. If you plan on visiting this fine country, living here for awhile or you are just passing through, there's some important weather details you should know about ahead of time. Please hang on to your "Paraplu" (more about this later).

In the good old days before the effects of global warming wrecked the climate, weather in Holland was fairly predictable. As expected, you had the usual four seasons, each one with it's own particular character. You only had to look outside to see which season it was without having to refer to your smartphone. During the spring it rained much of the time, the summers were pleasant, and the winter was cold and it snowed often. The very famous "Elfstedentocht" would take place when the ice was thick enough.

Turn back the clock to 1980 when I first came here with my backpack and book "Let's Go to Europe on $5 a Day." Born and raised in sunny California, I was accustomed to calm and predictable weather. My mind and body had never been challenged by the inclement fantasies of mother nature. In fact, I was so spoiled that when the first raindrops hit the window pane, I fell into a deep depression. If there were too many clouds obscuring the sun rays, I became quite irritable, fearing I'd lose that beach-boy tan I'd spent days working on at the beach.

Imagine the shock my mind and body received upon experiencing my first winter in The Netherlands. That was back in my post hippie days, so walking around in leather sandals and wearing only a flimsy tie-dye shirt didn't work out well. Especially when my ears started pounding and my fingers froze off. I wondered: how could western civilization ever have migrated so far north, leaving the balmy warm beaches of the Mediterranean, for this? It was all about freedom back then, and a drastic drop in temperature was not enough to keep those seekers of truth from coming north. During the Dutch Golden Era this area of Europe was a sanctuary where the right to free and creative expression formed the core of the new society. Who could then care less about the weather?

In the glory days of 1980 the weather was a predictable cycle from warm to cool to cold to warm again. The advice was simple: buy a thick coat for winter, light clothes for the summer and two umbrellas in case it rains. Why two umbrellas? Think about what makes Holland famous: windmills! These amazing mechanical works of art use the wind to generate lots of energy. There is lots of wind in Holland, and it can blow as hard as "Stormkracht 10" or more. Your poor umbrella is inverted and mangled to pieces. An extra umbrella will definitely come in handy some day.

This applies equally well today, fast forward back to the present. As far as the two umbrella principle is concerned, better make it three just in case. Due to the climate changes, storms have taken on a more sinister expression. Mother nature's mood can become quite inclement, she's upset and wants to punish us for our bad deeds. So have yet another extra aerodynamic umbrella on hand, one shaped like the wing of a supersonic jet: the senz umbrella. Naturally, this newfangled contraption was invented by a Dutch person. You can purchase one at every street corner the whole year round.

Remember the predictable cycle of yearly seasons we used to have? Well, that has all changed now. In winter it never freezes any more and there hasn't been an "Elfstedentocht" since 1997. In general the winter temperature is lower than in summer, so keep that thick coat on hand just in case. Then there are the summer heat waves. On the first day, all your neighbors will rush to the balcony and get sunning. Then afterwards you will boil two to three weeks at a time. Unlike other civilized countries, houses here do not have air-conditioning for some mysterious reason. An extra umbrella will not help very much.

A good old Dutch heatwave is the time to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful surroundings here. There is so much green nature, and all that water reflecting the sunlight in your face. I feel that beach boy tan coming back and it feels pretty good. Time to put on that tie-die shirt again. Whatever the weather may be, no matter how bad it gets, never forget that good old Dutch saying: "Achter de wolken schijnt de zon."

| Golf | 0 Comments

The game of golf is an unpredictable sport. Not only can your scores differ greatly from week to week or even day to day, but if you are not careful suffering scattered results within a single round is not uncommon.

Very frustrating to say the least, but that's often what the wonderful game of golf is all about. You against mother nature and her inclement moods.

So with that introduction, let me try and explain what happened to me this afternoon. The stormy weather, high winds and gusts of hard rain pellets stinging my face surely didn't make life easier. This is how the erratic nine holes went:

Double, eagle, double, par, par, birdie, bogie, triple and double for an unimpressive forty-three.

Wow, an eagle on hole two. That was a nice surprise.

On my second shot, I lofted a nine iron to the left of the flag to compensate for the wind blowing from left to right. Indeed, the ball came down drifting to the right as expected and landed right next to the flag. Since the green is elevated I could not see where the ball had stopped, but I knew that it was very close.

Turns out it actually rolled nicely into the hole without me seeing it, which after the awful double on the first hole put me at even par.

Seven wet and windy holes later, I was putting on the ninth green. It started to hail so hard that I missed my bouncing putt for my noble efforts.

That's when I decided to call it a day and walk back up to the clubhouse for a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream as a reward for my suffering.

| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

"Zacht geluid van door elkaar klinkende stemmen."

Voorbeeld: "Bij prikkelende beelden in de film ontstond geroezemoes in de zaal."

Synoniemen: gebrom, gemurmel.

This is one of the many Dutch words that when pronounced correctly sounds exactly like what it describes.

| Golf | 0 Comments

I haven't played any serious golf since September of last year. Sure I hit balls a couple of times and practiced putting and chipping a bit, but I had become so distraught with my lousy game last year, that I decided to put gold on hold for awhile. Maybe even give up the stupid sport for the rest of my life.

It being winter and too cold outside, I was even less inspired to continue honing my golfing skills so things just went along fine as long as I didn't try to play golf.

Yesterday I played at the Leeuwenbergh Golf Course with a couple friends (Reinier, Vanessa and Maurits), accepting that this would be purely for fun and relaxation since I'd surely hack around and make a joke of myself.

For the first time in two month I hit a half a bucket of balls, and I was even surprised how good it went.

Then everything magically came together. A nice par followed by a birdie on the first two holes. One under par after two holes, are you kidding me? So then I bogied the next two holes to go one over, part of the game. Parred my way to the turn, and continued parring down the stretch for twelve holes in a row (that must be some kind of record). Knocked the ball in the left-hand trap on 17 and scrambled for a bogie, and ended up with a par on the final par 5 hole.

Final result: 37 + 36 = 73 (two over par).

Last year I had played so poorly that I had accepted the painful fact that I may never be able to play a decent round of golf again, maybe not even breaking eighty the rest of my life. Out of the blue and totally unexpected, I manage to pull off this miracle. Dear God thank you for blessing me with such a fantastic day on the golf course. Yes, there is still hope so never give up.

I guess I still have it inside of me, somewhere deep yet accessible. It's a great feeling knowing that I am still capable of pulling it off. If I put my mind to it and get a little bit lucky along the way.

| Vacation | 0 Comments
| Health and happiness | 0 Comments
| Vacation | 0 Comments

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Here we are in the middle of nowhere having a fun and relaxing week away from the world of chaos.

| Work and play | 0 Comments

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With more than a year of preparations under our belts, the devops team managed to pull off a successful launch of our state-of-the-art telecom platform. This is a great accomplishment of which we can all be very proud.

| Miscellaneous | 0 Comments

After a few weeks postponing it, I finally got around to fixing the toilet. It's one of my least favorite activities, and I tend to put it off way too long. Ironically, when I finally came around to repairing the toilet, it only took me around five minutes.

| Books | 0 Comments

"In this sense, the protagonists of 1914 were sleepwalkers, watchful but unseeing, haunted by dreams, yet blind to the reality of the horror they were about to bring into the world."

It took me awhile, but I finally got around to finishing the thick book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark.

Being both fascinating and heart-rending, the book renders quite well and in detail the impossible situation humanity had gotten itself into and it's inability to avoid a terrible war resulting in massive destruction and costing millions of deaths.

For all the sacrifices, it would unfortunately turn out not to be the war to end wars.

| Music | 0 Comments

I finally got to see Aurora sing in person and she was absolutely fantastic.

She sang most of the numbers from her new album, and although when I first listened to it I had my doubts, now after hearing it again and again and now with her on stage it all just blew me away.

I might have been one of the oldest people in the crowd, I would say that the average age was between twenty-five and thirty, in my heart at least I felt young and very energetic.

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| Life in Holland | 0 Comments

Here I am in the middle of nowhere, or not?

| Meaning of life | 0 Comments

Lately, things seem to be slipping out of my grip more often, mostly without major consequences. This time around, however, the result was not what I had been hoping for.

While preparing my daily peanut butter and jam sandwich for lunch, I inadvertently let slip the jam and it fell to the floor in one swift swoop. It landed bottom first and exploded upon contact, shards of glass and blobs of jam flying every which way. It made a muffled sound when it hit the ground, and the splatters thudded on surfaces in a five meter radius from ground zero.

Amazingly, I thought nothing of this tremendous mess. Calmly I spent the following half hour vacuuming up the glass which had flown to every distant corner of the house, cleaning the cabinets and walls of the reddish stuff, and then mopping the floor until it glowed.

You would have never guessed that only moments earlier a natural disaster had nearly knocked over the place.

With age one gets less stressed out and accepts change with open arms, it's all a new adventure in learning.

| Mind and matter | 0 Comments

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Is this reality, or is there something behind it which I had better be aware of? Looking through it you are transformed and reflected in another unrelated direction.

| Meaning of life | 0 Comments

As things turn out this time around, I have to admit that it's not that bad at all turning 61 years old, although thirty years ago I might have thought otherwise. To have been able to be a part of everything is something for which I can be thankful for the rest of my life.

| Work and play | 0 Comments

COIN is growing quickly. You are a qualified senior full stack developer who wants to take the lead building our new state-of-the-art cloud platform. If you are interested I can tell you more!

Senior Full Stack Developer

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| Golf | 0 Comments

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The defending champion and hunch-backed golfing legend (far right) manages to get third place at the club stroke play championship with a not-so-blistering 81, 87 (ouch) and 81. Better luck next year.

| World affairs | 0 Comments

Today our dear president Mr. Trump tweeted the following message to Iran:

"You will suffer consequences the likes of which few have ever suffered before."

Is this guy for real?

| Golf | 0 Comments

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I know that I am a power hitter, but this time I got a little carried away and hit the ball a bit too far. Oops, sorry about that.

| Golf | 0 Comments

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Too bad for that lousy double-bogey. Those par fives were not on my side this morning. They are normally easy birdie chances for me, but I flubbed three of the four par five holes choking up four strokes. Oh well, better luck next time.

| Family and friends | 0 Comments

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Goodbye dear mother, I will miss you very much. You have meant very much to me and played a very important role in my life. Thanks to you and the way you raised me, I am the person I turned out to be sixty plus years since you brought me into existence. Someday we will meet again, and until that day comes I will carry on life's torch that you handed over to me.

| Books | 0 Comments

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High time to read something more down to earth and relaxing rather than all of those computer books which are starting to muddle my brain.

| Golf | 0 Comments

For the first time this year I managed to break eighty by shooting a 41+38=79. It was also the first time in a long while that I had a double-bogey free round. So maybe I was playing from the regular tees, but still it feels to me like a nice accomplishment anyway. All that hard work training makes it worthwhile and good to know that I'm still capable of playing a respectable round of golf.

| Work and play | 0 Comments

The other day I organized an inhouse workshop for my company in order to introduce my colleagues to the scrum methodology and the role of the product owner. Hopefully, the people picked up on the ideas and concepts I explained and how we should work more closely with the stakeholders in building products that they will love.

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One of the slides.

| Nature and universe | 0 Comments

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Beware of falling trees, traffic signs flying around and other dangerous debris which could end your life in an instant. It's getting pretty blustery out there so be careful.

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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 2349 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.

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

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

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