| Travel

Old hiking boots

While rummaging through my old stuff, I came across a pair of old hiking boots. These are the very same hiking boots that I wore more than forty-two years ago when I first came over to Europe as a travelling backpacker.

For more than three months of travel, these old hiking boots were the only footwear I owned. Very useful for walking long distance and climbing in the Alps, but fairly awkward walking in the hot southern countries along the beach or wherever.

My wife wants to get rid of them, she is not one to save old junk longer than absolutely necessary, and at first I was shocked. Being the sentimental person I insist on keeping everything to my dying day.

In the end, I decided that it was very logical to throw them away even though emotionally it feels very painful. That is why I first had to take this picture in order to keep some semblance around of my old hiking boots.

| Family and friends

KiffinFamily1995.jpg

| Computers and stuff

Time again for me to upgrade my laptop to the latest version. I realize that three years isn't such a long time, but I figured that I work hard and deserve the best tools of my trade in order to provide the most professional service possible.

ThinkPad-T14-Gen-3.png

The specifications are quite impressive.

  • Processor - Intel® Core™ i7-1270P-processor van de 12e generatie, met vPro® (E-cores tot 3,50 GHz en P-cores tot 4,80 GHz)
  • Operating System - Ubuntu 22.04
  • Memory - 48 GB (16 GB soldered + 32 GB SO-DIMM) DDR4 3200MHz
  • Storage - 1 TB SSD, M.2 2280, PCIe Gen4, TLC, OP
  • Monitor - 14-inch WQUXGA (3840 x 2400), IPS, ontspiegeld, vlekbestendig, antireflectie, touchscreen, 500 nits, weinig blauw licht, International Color Consortium
  • Color - Black
  • Graphic Card - NVIDIA GeForce® MX550, 2 GB, GDDR6
  • Camera - Hybride FHD IR/RGB-camera met microphone
  • Wireless - 11AX (2x2) & Bluetooth® 5.0 vPro®
| Health and happiness

Rhinotillexomania, the pathological habit of nose picking, is a condition that causes a person to compulsively pick their nose till they self-harm. Once considered merely as a bad habit, it is now recognized as a psychiatric disorder.

Some interesting articles:

| Golf

Since I've been playing better lately, I decided to reward myself with a new driver. The Callaway I have been using has been good to me, but in the five years since I first bought it, much has changed in terms of modern technology. I figured it was time to take advantage of the newest improvements and crank up my game another notch.

screenshot-www.titleist.com-2022.08.14-13_41_57.png

TSi3 Driver - Dynamic Distance. For players who create more consistent contact and require more precise control over CG placement. Features an Adjustable CG Track Design for advanced speed-tuned performance.

There are number of important differences with my previous driver, namely:

  • Higher loft (from 9 to 10 degrees).
  • Slightly more flexible shaft (between stiff and regular).
  • Lighter and more aerodynamic head for higher velocity.
  • Better feel and nicer sound on ball impact.
  • Distance increase of 20+ extra yards.

When I was younger one was taught to hit the ball lower, but nowadays if you really want to get more distance you need to let the ball fly high. Also, as I get older my swing speed has decreased and the measurements made showed that my swing speed was at the bottom of the stiff band. As I get older, the swing speed will eventually dip below into the regular stiff area, so now I can use a driver that will adapt better to my swing. I do notice by the way that a slightly more flexible shaft is tricky for me right now as I tend to swing too quickly and force the ball to the left. I can slow down slightly and become more consistent with straighter drives that in the end go just as far and even farther than when I swing too fast.

It's going to take some getting used to, I tend to pull the ball to the left, but when I let one go it can really fly! We will have to wait and see if it can make a difference in my game, but I suspect it will.

| Family and friends

Tante Rina passed away last night, she was ninety-three years old. She had a long and prolific life and during the final years did her best despite her waning health. I met her for the first time during family gatherings at Thea's parents' house when I first came to Holland. While she is not a real aunt, tradition in this country uses the family term aunt (tante) for all close women friends as well. The funeral was done very nicely, although since she was so old there weren't alot of people attending. They gave some speeches recounting her life and played classical music since that was her favorite. We once went together to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to enjoy some classical works, and had a nice lunch at her favorite place across the street.

The next day in the same hospital my oldest daughter gave birth to a perfect little boy. What an interesting coincidence, very beautiful when you think about it. Fading away into the inevitability of death and coming to light in perfection as a new little soul of energy.

| Golf

IMG-20220730-WA0007.png

It's been awhile, but I was finally able to do it again: win another golf tournament. I started out poorly on the front nine with a disastrous triple bogie on the eighth hole for a disappointing 42, but gathered myself together on the second nine to shoot a much needed 34. I even missed two short putts for birdie. On the last hole I pushed my ball out to the right and it looked like I'd have to take a penalty drop but at the last second my fellow player found it in the high rough, after which I pulled off a nice par at the clinch for the winning score of 76.

screenshot-opengolftour.nl-2022.08.14-13_10_20.png

See: Final results.

| Blogs etc.

Exactly twenty one years ago today, I wrote my very first entry for this future famous blog of mine. Since then, much has happened over the years and as of today no less than 2500 entries have arisen from my chaotic thoughts.

| Work and play

12th-floor-kpn-office-rotterdam.png

I work on the 12th floor at the KPN Rotterdam Office.

| Golf

Out of eighty plus players of all ages, I was one of the oldest there shooting an honorable old fart 42 + 41 + 43 = 126 which was 36th place.

On each of the nine holes, I managed to have one lousy hole that messed up my score, darn. A triple on the first nine holes, a double on the second, and on the last nine holes I was three over par until the second to last hole.

It was an easy par four and I was just short of the green about twenty feet from the flag. I proceeded to skull a routine chip which ran across the green, over the back and down the slope into the thick underbrush. From there it took me three shots to get out of the shrubbery (should have taken an unplayable lie, but was foolish and gave it a go), chip on the green and two putt.

| Work and play

rotterdam-suburban-art.png

Yesterday afternoon I took a look out of the Rotterdam office window, and this is the inspiring view that greeted me.

| Television

There is nothing wrong with your television set... Do not attempt to adjust the picture, we are controlling transmission... If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume... If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper... We will control the horizontal, we will control the vertical... We can roll the image, make it flutter... We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity... For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear... We repeat, there is nothing wrong with your television set... You are about to participate in a great adventure... You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to ...

THE OUTER LIMITS!


I remember very clearly when the first episode of the television series The Outer Limits came out. It was called The Galaxy Being and I was six years old (1963).

This episode was my very first contact with the genre of science fiction, and boy did it scare the holy moly out of me! That strange alien was something way beyond my youthful imagination, and it gave me nightmares for a very long time. Perhaps even subconsciously to this very day.

Downstairs in the cellar, we had an entertainment area which had white walls and a smooth linoleum floor. In front of the old-fashioned black and white television (back then we only had 3 stations), there was this fifties-design chair with thick cushions you could sink into.

However, when the alien first appeared with it's eerie metallic screeching voice, I jumped from the false comforts of that chair and hid behind it, peaking from the side, I stayed in that position for the rest of the show, and even thirty minutes after that before I had mustered up enough courage to go back upstairs. Mommy ... I'm so scared, the alien is coming!

Because it was evening, it was dark outside and for some reason the windows downstairs didn't have any curtains. This meant that should the alien come my way, it would be able to look inside and upon spotting my reclined body behind the chair, would dispose of me with it's heat x-rays, as he did to the other victims on the television.

At the end of the episode, the poor alien was forced to disintegrate itself in order to save humanity, although on his planet in another faraway solar system there was no such thing as death. As a child, I hadn't yet heard about this foreign concept called death, so I had to ponder about it for a few moments. Pure darkness and silence. Before disposing of himself, the alien gave some powerful words of advice to humanity, pleading everyone to avoid violence and love each other.

I felt very sorry for the poor alien when he disposed of himself in an explosion of sparks and smoke. Part of death I guessed.

The episode ends with everyone breathing a sigh of relief and going back to their daily lives as if nothing had happened.

Then the narrator fades back in and ends the show with the following reaction:

"The planet Earth is a speck of dust remote and alone in the void. There are powers in the universe inscrutable and profound. Fear cannot save us. Rage cannot help us. We must see the strange in a new light, the light of understanding. And to achieve this, we must begin to understand ourselves, and each other."


We now return control of your television set to you, until next week at this same time when the control voice will take you to ...

THE OUTER LIMITS!


screenshot-www.youtube.com-2022.05.10-19_26_11.png

"Adventurous radio station operator contacts a fellow experimenter in another galaxy. The operator locks in 3D communication, but a DJ who wants to impress his girlfriend with the station's range, boosts the signal all the way up, unknowingly sucking the alien, who's composed of electricity, into the remote desert town."

Watch The Galaxy Being.

| Nature and universe

Today I practiced my omnipotence by saving the life of a humble spider. The poor insect had been stuck in the corner of the ceiling behind the door, waiting patiently for days now in its little web for an unknowing fly to get snagged there.

The odds of ever catching food in that bare corner were pretty close to zero, so I decided to do him a favor. Or it might have been a her, I don't know.

I grabbed a chair and slid it underneath that corner of the room. Then I stood up on it and placed a glass carefully over the spider, shaking the glass slightly back and forth until the spider fell into it.

I put the palm of my other hand to cover the opening so that the panicky spider would not escape.

Then I walked to the balcony, turned the glass upside down, and then let gravity take care that the little spider fell and gently floated in the wind down into a the vegetation below.

The odds of survival have been increased drastically, and I feel very confident that the spider will find better prey amongst the branches and leaves.

You're very welcome little spider, let's keep in touch.

| Computers and stuff

My expensive Iiyama ProLite XB3270QS monitor got stuck and no matter which button I pressed, the stupid error message "OSD Locked" kept appearing and I could not adjust the settings any more.

This has been going on for days now, and I had finally accepted the fact that I would have to switch my two computers manually to the monitor by using separate HDMI cables, what a pain.

Turns out that the solution is pretty simple. According to the online manual, "The power switch lock will be deactivated by pressing the front buttons MENU and about 10 seconds."

Lo and behold, it works!

| Vacation

delphi-ruins-greece.png

We have been to Greece many times, but for the first time we decided to explore the more rugged terrain of the Peloponnese Region where many ancient ruins and wonderful little towns could be found. We did the so-called fly and drive routine which means that for a total package trip you rent a car and stay in fancy hotels on a pre-defined route along the coast and through the mountains. We preferred the serene countryside to the bustling and dusty city of Athens, but we experienced a good mix of various locations and scenic countrysides.

See the photo album 2022 April in Greece.

| Way of life

Why is it that older people get grumpier and more negative as they age? You see this happen all the time. They complain about this and that, usually about fairly trivial items having little importance in life and yet absorbing all their energy and focus. The bubble of awareness contracts more and more until the only thing that matters any more is their sorry selves and how they are victimized by outside forces beyond their sphere of control. They go on and on endlessly about their problems which are unfairly caused by this person who is either dishonest, stupid or careless beyond means. Mostly this seems to be caused by the changing society and their complete inability to adapt to change, ironically change for the better. The work floor modernizes, new technologies evolve and society comes up with newer and more efficient practices. These are all good improvements to the way of life, compared to the so-called good old days. Back when society was structured and predictable, almost to an extreme, comfortable but limiting. After sixty or so, it is high time to pause and reflect on the positive sides of life. Be very thankful for what you have. Do not thrive on gossip or feelings of distrust, hatred and isolation. In ten years, two years, a couple months from now, or even tomorrow, it will all end anyway. At that defining moment of truth, how much better would your final thoughts be were they to be happy, thankful and positive. Welcoming the end with open arms and total acceptance of what is or what isn't to come. That my friend is the true purpose of life, so good luck.

| Golf

2022-hr1-27-golf-team.png

The golf competition season has finally started again after waiting patiently two years for the corona pandemic to recede, and our Heren 1 (27 holes) team is looking pretty good. I am the short guy to the far left with the wrinkled pants, also known as the team captain. From right to left: Erik, Paul, Ed, Reinier, Jeroen and me.

| Family and friends

While rummaging through a bunch of old dusty boxes in the attic, I happened to come across this old picture. Hard to believe that it was taken nearly forty-two years ago. Much has happened since that wonderful year way back then, when existence was a romantic adventure and there was still so much to learn in life.

1980-thea-and-kiffin-snow-small.png

| Work and play

kpn-rotterdam.png

My latest assignment as full-stack developer is at the exclusive KPN Technologies high-rise office in Rotterdam, and the view of the Erasmus Bridge from my desk on the 12th floor is pretty amazing.

| Family and friends

escape-room-gouda.png

We finally celebrated my belated birthday gift which was delayed because of everything being closed due to the Corona lockdown. While it might not have been a world record, we were able to complete the Escape Room challenges in seventy minutes, the official limit was sixty but the guy was nice to us. Afterwards, we all went out and had a fancy dinner in town, and it was great fun for me to be with the whole family for fun and relaxation.

| Childhood

I remember in 4th grade we were goofing around, on this occasion tossing a little rubber ball around in the classroom behind the teacher's back. The ball bounced around between the desks, and rolled down the aisle right between me and my friend who was sitting at the desk to the right of me. Both of us grabbed for the ball at the same time. I had a sharpened pencil in my hand and accidentally stabbed my friend in the hand with it. The tip of the pencil broke off cleanly and remained deeply embedded in his palm. He had to go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot. I felt really sorry about that. Funny how we remember such minor details in life. I guess at the time it made quite an impression on me and stuck in my mind for nearly sixty years.

| Childhood

1976-El-Gabilan-Salinas-High-Year-Book.png

1976 El Gabilan Salinas High Year Book Golf Team.png

Have a look for yourself: El Gabilan 1975.

| World affairs

NYT-Ukraine-960x600.jpg

We try our best to get on with our lives, but the awful Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused everyone much stress and anxiety. For awhile there life seemed to be getting better, but then came this stupid war.

We are praying that the war will not spill over into other European countries, that someone will take care of (assassinate) Poetin before it is too late. He is an insane murderer with no regard for human life.

Millions of people have fled Ukraine so far, and all western countries including the Netherlands are doing their best to accommodate the masses of people crossing the border. Towns and cities are being blown away to smithereens and thousands of innocent people losing their lives, including children and babies.

Asides from some hefty sanctions, no one is doing much to help defend Ukraine. Everyone expresses their concerns. but we are all afraid of this madman Poetin, that if he is angered he will attach us or even worse start dropping atomic bombs on us.

Let's hope that there is peace again soon, but I am not getting my hopes up.

| Golf

One birdie, four bogies and the rest pars. Thirty-seven on the front and thirty-seven on the back. No double-bogies, no water balls, two saves out of the sand trap, and not a single lost ball. This is what playing golf is all about, once in awhile everything clicks, the long putts fall and you get lucky a couple times. My handicap has dropped from a 6.8 to a 6.3 in one sweep. Let's not allow this to go to my head, tomorrow is another day, so let's enjoy this great feeling while it lasts.

| World affairs

ik-geef.png

What's happening in Ukraine right now is an atrocious act of insanity by a complete idiot and needs to be stopped no matter what. Please donate right now by clicking on the image above.

| Internet

This blog is more than twenty years old, can you believe it? I was one of the first pioneers in those days who dared explore the rough seas of the emerging Internet by setting up my own personal website. In all that time, I have been able to sustain things just fine using an old version of Movable Type which back in those days was quite the hype and advanced tool.

Since then much has happened in the wonderful world of Internet, but I have never felt a need to change anything about this old-fashioned blogging tool. Built, configured and up and running. It's been working just fine, so why change it?

Famous last words. A couple weeks ago, my Internet savvy daughter warned me that this website was not safe. She noticed that the lock icon was missing. Still using plain vanilla http as it was meant to be back in the good old days. Now we have to be overly cautious and secure everything we do on the Internet, especially including websites.

I ignored her warnings (sorry Sabien) figuring that no one would want to hack such a boring website like this. But lo and behold, no more than two days later it happened, hacked and broken real good.

Okay I get the hint now, so it was high time to do something about it. The big bad world of Internet is going to pot.

Purchased and installed an SSL certificate, and as you can now see by the little lock in the url, the connection is secure and the certificate is valid:

safe-and-secure.png

I managed to find an old article (2010) explaining how to do this, which was very helpful. Without this archaic information, I'm sure that I never would have been able to figure it out on my own.

See: Secure the Back End of Movable Type 4 (or 5): SSL and Mod Rewrite.

| Philosophy and poetry

"All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone."

– Blaise Pascal

See: The Problem with People

| Computers and stuff

Some of you might have noticed that since November 16 this website has not been available. Turns out that somehow this blog was hacked. Took me awhile looking around for anomalies and searching through log files.

After a few late night hours, I finally figured it out. Somehow someone had breached my root directory and added an errant index.php file which blew everything up.

Don't ask me how this is possible, but it happened. I guess I should feel honored that some hacker out there took the time to mess around with my simple and insignificant blog. Better yet I spoofed him back which feels really good.

Take that you awful and scroungy fool of a fool!

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.

DSC02011.JPG

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

winners-jong-tegen-oud-2021.png

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.

winning-captain.png

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

Random entries

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

Recent Assets

  • hiking-boots.png
  • ThinkPad-T14-Gen-3.png
  • KiffinFamily1995.jpg
  • screenshot-www.titleist.com-2022.08.14-13_41_57.png
  • IMG-20220730-WA0007.png
  • screenshot-opengolftour.nl-2022.08.14-13_10_20.png
  • 12th-floor-kpn-office-rotterdam.png
  • rotterdam-suburban-art.png
  • screenshot-www.youtube.com-2022.05.10-19_26_11.png
  • delphi-ruins-greece.png
  • 2022-hr1-27-golf-team.png
  • 1980-thea-and-kiffin-snow-small.png

Recent Comments

  • Long time no see: I remember them, as well. I remember Donald was my ...
    - Charles
  • Bridge to the moon: Yes it was a drawing and my older brother told me ...
    - jpmcfarlane
  • Bridge to the moon: Wow, that's quite a coincidence that we both sent ...
    - Kiffin
  • Bridge to the moon: Hello I was in my teens when Gemini 4 went up that ...
    - jpmcfarlane
  • Back to work: Congratulations Kiffin, I hope it is something you ...
    - KathleenC

Golf Handicap

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 2458 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.