Yesterday after four years and three months I turned my back to CMG Wireless Data Solutions and said farewell. Strange. I will not miss my work particularly, however I regret leaving many of my fine colleagues. I have learned alot at that company and worked on many challenging projects, but it was time to go. The marriage just never worked. Shaking hands and that was that. Time to go home and start a new life. I am reborn and my mind is blank again. On Monday I will begin working at IQUIP Reeuwijk which specializes in the so-called e-business. So what is e-business anway? I found the following definition on the Internet:
"E-business (electronic business), derived from such terms as "e-mail" and "e-commerce," is the conduct of business on the Internet, not only buying and selling but also servicing customers and collaborating with business partners. One of the first to use the term was IBM, when, in October, 1997, it launched a thematic campaign built around the term. Today, major corporations are rethinking their businesses in terms of the Internet and its new culture and capabilities. Companies are using the Web to buy parts and supplies from other companies, to collaborate on sales promotions, and to do joint research. Exploiting the convenience, availability, and world-wide reach of the Internet, many companies, such as Amazon.com, the book sellers, have already discovered how to use the Internet successfully."
Whatever this e-business deal is, I will be continuing in the forever-challenging world of telecom, hopefully in the arena of wireless technology which is my background and expertise. We'll just have to see. First the weekend.
Einzelgänger - What does that German word mean? The reason why I am asking this is because during my farewell lunch with my boss, he was kind enough to give me some advice, eg. words of wisdom for me to carry along with me to my new job. He said that I was an Einzelgänger. So of course I had to look it up, and here are the translations into English:
Time to change my life again, for the umpteenth time. First day on the new job. In less than one hour I am off for a three day introduction training. Shouldn't be that difficult, meet people and take it easy. I was planning to take my bike, but it is pouring down rain! So I will take the car for the short (but dry) trip. Don't want to start my first day as a wet rat -- wouldn't impress my future colleagues at all. Wish me luck.
"Once upon a time, on the edge of a distant galaxy, was a planet called Earth. On this planet lived an exceptionally gifted species: Man." "Quel sera votre message?" The KEO satellite was initially to be launched in 2001. KEO's calling is to carry along individual messages representative of today entire manking. To date, although KEO has received messages from more than 120 countries in 56 languages, the wide variety of peoples of our planet is not yet duly represented. If you are interested in making yourself in one small way known to other life forms or whatever, check out: Keo adventure. Originally a French project, one can also choose for an English version.
Okay, so finally after three days I decided to rough it and bike my way across the Dutch countryside to my new employer IQUIP just around the corner. Actually I had planned to cycle starting from the very first day, but as usual it has been pouring down endlessly. Thea surprised me yesterday with a fancy, sporty rain-gear so I did not have an excuse any more. Off I went, departing at exactly 8.13 for an appointment at eight-thirty. A bit longer than the so-called ten minutes I had claimed it would be. Couple of raindrops, good early morning workout, slightly sweating, wind blowing through my hair (stubbles), eighteen non-grueling minutes. Not bad. On the way back however there was alot of wind, pumping with my legs up and down, acclimating my mind to the new future ahead of me, think and thinking.
You know, I felt like I was getting pretty good at this web design stuff. Things were improving nicely, slowly but surely, but I was making pretty good progress -- I thought. However, the last couple of weeks I have been trying to get a darned hit-counter installed on my site by using a CGI-script. Really trivial for most folks, but for me it just refuses to work! What am I doing wrong?! If it ever starts working (you see them all over the place) then it will indicate how many visitors have made it to my page, looking something like the following:
I hope I can figure it out within the not so distant future or else I will drive myself crazy. Stop fixating myself on useless goals in life, but I cannot resist a challenging puzzle!
Breaking news from Monterey, California - Hollister homicide suspect in stand-off with police on I-5. Merced (12:45 p.m.) - Hollister police say a suicidal man who led authorities on a lengthy, high-speed chase this morning is in a stand-off with them on I-5 near Merced. The man is wanted for the murder of two of his family members in June. ''He's wanted for shooting his wife and 15-year-old son,'' Hollister police spokesman Joanna Martin Delcampo said. ''The other children witnessed the shooting.'' Joaquin Gutierrez was first spotted by Milpitas police heading north on Interstate Highway 680 at about 6 this morning. He then led two police units on a chase that stretched over several counties and reached speeds of 110 miles an hour, according to the California Highway Patrol. The CHP says officers entered the pursuit when Gutierrez approached the northbound Interstate 680 to eastbound Interstate 580 interchange. The chase ended about at about 7 a.m. in Merced, according to the CHP, and as of 8 a.m. the man was still not in police custody. He is reportedly threatening suicide. ''The vehicle is disabled and (the suspect) is refusing to surrender,'' CHP Officer Rich Parman said. ''He has a gun in his possession and occasionally points it at his chest. We have negotiators on scene trying to get him to surrender.'' Parman says officers are hoping for a positive outcome to the scary situation. ''Hopefully he will surrender and go to jail and no one will get hurt,'' he said. Traffic is backed up in both directions from the spot where the car is sitting parked sideways across the north-south two-lane freeway. CHP officer Ralph Caggiano says police from nearby Newman and Gustine are also on the scene...
To think that I grew up in this area long long ago. Things have changed since those good old days of youthful naivety I am afraid.
This is a message from IQUIP...hi there all you folks in the real world.
Hard to believe that my first week at my new employer has gone by, so quickly. The first three days involved an introduction and training, whose purpose was to get familiarized with the company, its organization, policies etc. Lots of presentations, talks by the directors and managers, that kind of thing. It was also an opportunity to get to know my fellow colleagues, as well as the newcomers. My initial impressions are positive, but of course those are always superficial and based on gut-feeling. I was pleased to discover that the company was better organized and professional than I had expected. Everything was done nicely and we had an informal introduction. I had expected more junior, inexperienced folks just out of school, but there were enough older consultant like myself (though I was the oldest in the group by at least a couple of years -- but not the baldest). Seems that there is lots of room for more growing into leadership type roles, so that could be a definite possibility for me. After having survived the three days of sitting alot and listening the whole time, I talked in more detail with my new boss, the so-called "Unit Manager" of the department called Supporting Processes. The company mainly does projects in the world of e-business, and if you are more interested in a complete definition, then I refer you to a previous entry in this Blogger. My supervisor seems like an okay person, friendly enough, but also driven with enthusiasm for what he does -- though, as he admits, a bit on the workaholic side. My position has not yet crystallized, but I have the flexibility to define that myself. Right now it is not going that well in the telecom market, which means projects will more than likely be in other areas for now. In two years it could be different. A sorry twist for my career as my expertise lies in the mobile telecommunications area. Oh well. I spent the last two days of the week getting familiar with the department, where the coffee and Xerox machines are, meeting the people, looking through the company Intranet for information. Also I had to enter all my information in a knowledge database, a sort of resume made up of freehand text as well as specific keywords which can be looked up. That way they can match you better to potential customers and your own personal preferences, eg. type of work, maximum driving time, etc. But that was very boring work -- I already had alot in electronic form at home thanks to all the places I have been applying to, however it had to be translated to Dutch, yuk. In comparison to CMG which is very international, this company is geared more towards the Dutch market, but they are looking into the possibilities of expansion -- first within Europe and then worldwide. If I were to compare CMG with IQUIP, I would say that CMG did more of the technical and engineering work, say the hands and feet for installing and fine-tuning computer systems, whereas IQUIP is more of a pure advice and consultation bureau where its employees use their knowledge and specific skills creatively to help customers redefine company processes and infrastructure. Following me? During the training, alot of attention was given to customer relations, listening and understanding. So far so good I would say.
The following dilemma keeps following me around. There is an "infinite" amount of new knowledge to pursue out there in the so-called real world, and the more I learn the more I want to learn, it never ends. There is something inside of me that gets exciting whenever something new and challenging pokes its way in front of me, or even if I just happen to see it from the corner of my eyes. Putting on the breaks is difficult, and sometimes I need a break. Right now I have my new working surroundings, a millions books I want to read, my Internet Homepage which keeps needing to be improved. Hard to know where and when to stop. Is knowledge really the truth or is it an easy, comfortable object I am used to chasing around? As one gets older one should stop being interested in technical complicated stuff, at least that is what I hear all the time:
Oh yes, I forgot. I finally (finally) got my hit counter to work like it should! For your late night entertainment have a look at the bottom of my homepage hitcounter or go to my earlier blog entry at [9/5/2001 9:36:22 PM | Kiffin Gish]. Aren't you impressed?
I had another bizarre dream last night. This dream was more than likely triggered subconsciously by an email from my mother in which she discussed some entries my father had written in his war diary. This is how the dream went, or at least the parts I can still remember while in this (more limited) awakened state:
"My father is about to die and he is lying in bed in my old bedroom where I grew up. He does not look as bad as when I really saw him during those final days on his death bed last year. His face is more similar to when I last visited two years ago. In tears and sobbing, my poor father confesses to me that all those stories he told me about his war experiences are fabricated, that he had been lying to me. He had never been in the Pacific during WWII on the USS Meade, all of it having been an elaborate fabrication. Why? Because he had wanted so dearly to fullfill his image to me as a father figure hero personality. In the dream, I was not only shocked but very very upset. However, because he is dying and it is probably the last time I will see him, I cover up my distress, comforting him that it does not really matter. I am pleased he has confessed this to me and he should feel better about releasing all these pent-up guilt feelings. At least we will be able to depart by having been cleansed from the past."
What does this all mean? Not that I have never trusted my father or suspected him of lying. I think this dream represents a subconscious manifestation of the gut-feeling I still have: that while he is logically no longer present in any physical sense, I still have not completely accepted it on an emotional level. Almost, but not yet completely. That is the lie within me which is slowly fading away, and the dream is a tool to help me deal with it better.
Today is a very very sad day in American history, as a cowardly terrorist attack has completely destroyed both of the World Trade Center buildings as well as a large section of the Pentagon. This horrific deed sickens me to my stomach, and my heart goes out to all those innocent victims, their families and anyone involved in any way. I was so shocked upon hearing the news that I felt nauseous, almost on the verge of hatred for such insane, crazy fools that could perpetuate such an inhuman and cowardly act. How is this possible? What kind of world is this becoming? And how can I ever explain this to my children? Life must go on, and hopefully in the end we will survive as stronger individuals more intent on pursuing love and peace everywhere. May God protect us all and lead us to truth.
My mother has just confirmed it via email as proven in the entries of my father's war diary. He was indeed on the USS Meade with the hull number DD602, as I had already announced on my homepage. My father went aboard on August 22, 1943. He lists all the officers on the ship on the first page of his diary. The captain was named John Mumholland. My father relieved an R.J. Lovett. During his voyages at sea he visited the Fiji Islands, New Zealand, Tarawa, etc. He also later served on the USS Cogswell which he boarded on January 11, 1944, continuing his mission to the Marshall Islands, Saipan, etc.
It's kind of funny how time passes by without any concern for what is happening nor what we as humans are experiencing. One second follows another, a minute, day, month, year, ad infinitum. The flow of time is not something we can influence at all, despite all of the scientific theories which have been developed recently and attest to the contrary. The worst tragedies and disasters can take place, buildings falling down and killing thousands of innocent human beings, while half way around the world another tragedy of different proportions takes place without a single human being even knowing about it. A butterfly caught in a spider web, a shark attack on a dolphin, single-celled organisms disappearing altogether, a million light-years away a collapsing star ready to gasp into silence and the void. Why is all of this happening and what are we expected to do? In desperation we search for answers, but perhaps we should give more effort and attention to acceptance, pure acceptance with the way things are. Without using the intellect nor reacting logically to certain triggers, thinking that these are the consequences over which we have little control. Let it be.
Riding on my bike to work every morning is a perfect opportunity to prepare myself mentally for the upcoming day. As I slowly wake up with the wind blowing across my face, the green pastures to my left, I think about life in general and what has been happening to me recently. If it is raining (which it does most of the time) then I am distracted somewhat as I am all bundled up like a cocoon in my rain-gear.
He would have been eighty-four (84) years old had he still been alive. Happy birthday Dad.
Today is Kiffin Yates Rockwell's birthday. He would have been one hundred and nine (109) years old had he not been shot down during WWI nearly eight-five years ago, and he had still been alive. Had this been the case (he not being shot down and killed) my first name would have more than likely been something completely different, perhaps even Pierre. If you are more interested in the story of this fine American hero called Kiffin, then please feel free to have a look at my detailed Kiffin Yates web page. Happy birthday Kiffin.
One of the most difficult dilemmas of parenthood (at least it is for me) is watching your children grow up while at the same time trying to hold on to them. For loving and overly protective parents like myself, you want to remain close to them while the child wants to become independent and distant. This is of course a necessary and essential part of the whole process of maturation. One loses contact, communication becomes strained and at times totally nonexistent, and irritation arises. The child wants to become himself and considers attention from the parents as encroachments on their privacy. “How was school today?” “Grumble…” “What did you do?” “Moan…” “What’s on your mind?” “Nothing…” “And…” “Just leave me alone!” The best thing to do is respect them as adults, let them be, and have the trust and confidence that all will in the end turn out all right. There is nothing else you can do as a parent, except perhaps guide and coach them ever so carefully from a distance and be there when they need you in difficult times. I am sure that this has happened a million times over throughout the history of mankind, but I have to experience it for myself.
Wandering aimlessly across the Internet, as usual in search for even more meaning in life, I just happened to come across the following trivial information on the Kabalarian Philosophy home page, under the male section for baby names. The Kabalarian Philosophy teaches "constructive living based on principles of right thinking, right breathing, and right eating. These principles provide the key to understanding how to control life to bring into reality the happiness, mental freedom, and personal success that everyone seeks." Hmmm. Believe it or not, my name was actually present. I have taken the liberty to quote the full desciption below. Or you can jump directly to this page by clicking here. Alot of the items agree amazingly well with my personality, but there are others which are questionable. Can you find the differences? Read it carefully and hopefully I can provide a short analysis at the end for your entertainment.
"Your name of Kiffin has given you an idealistic nature with a desire to help others. Your initiative often causes you to be the first to act when you see a need. Since you are impressionable and receptive, you feel the misfortunes of others very keenly. However, this name makes it awkward for you to express your deeper thoughts and feelings with finesse and diplomacy to the extent that your candid, sometimes blunt, manner of speaking creates misunderstandings with others. Being somewhat self-centred, you learn through your own experiences, as you rarely take advice from others. Yet, you are sensitive and very easily hurt and offended. You long for praise and appreciation for your efforts, but others find it difficult to understand you. You dislike monotony and system and enjoy being creative in an inventive way whether it be in interior decorating, music, art, crafts, or other endeavours that require versatility and skill. You are imaginative and visionary, somewhat of a perfectionist, yet the results of your efforts often fall short of your high expectations. A leadership position appeals to you because you would enjoy directing others rather than being directed. Your feelings are strong and you tend to react intensely to situations. Because of your sensitive nervous system, over-stress and extreme tiredness could cause nervous disorders, seizures, fainting, or dizziness. You could also experience head tension such as headaches, weak eyes, or throat problems."
There is no time for analysis now, so I will leave that over to the kind reader who probably can make a more objective judgement concerning the description above. Good luck. Interested in other names? Click on any of the following links to jump directly to the Kabalarian Philosophy analysis: Rex, Colette, Jeanine, Kiffin, Kathleen, Martine, Clint, Lennart, Marlies, Sabien, Maarten. Of course, if you want to go directly to the search page and look up your own name, just click here.