The Lowlands of Holland are exceptionally notorious for the windy climate. This is especially evident while one is trying to ride a bike across the flatlands that are wide open and completely exposed. Ironically, no matter in which direction you are cycling nor given the time of day, it is a fact of life here that the wind is always blowing against you. This is strange but true, every Dutch person will admit it. However, this early Monday morning on my way to work, it proved to be a pleasant exception for me. Something I certainly deserved, now into my fifth week of biking back and forth to my place of employment. Unexpectedly, the smooth gusts of wind swept up behind me and blew me and my bicycle at exceptional speed along the bike path. What a relief. And it didn't even rain a single drop. This must be symbolic for the fine day ahead of me, so I will now take advantage of it. Yes, and good luck.
Discovered another interesting website called Collected Thoughts, a Website For Curious Minds. The site is an extensive and impressive showcase of great ideas from thinkers of our past, and a forum for the free discussion of those ideas. Much discussion, papers and many quotations which make one think. A typical such quotation is the following. "Scientists are used to this. We know that it is consistent to be able to live and not know. Some people say, 'How can you live without knowing?' I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know." - Richard Feynman. All done by a young buck psuedo-philosopher only twenty-six years old. I can highly recommend this site, so check it out.
The Cyber-Gish homepage keeps getting better and better, or so I hope. This project is taking up more and more of my time, and currently I am running the risk of getting completely engulfed in this amazing technology. I do not want to become fixated on making things better, but never good enough. My family is complaining even more that I sit behind the computer too much. The more I learn about the possibilities, the more about new and different technologies, scripts, protocols, ad infinitum in which I come in contact, the more accelerated this weird process becomes. In one way it borders on insanity, addiction, mental escape, or whatever you want to name it. The hard part is that I get so much satisfaction out of the Internet and everything related to it that I can better relate to the world around me. Or at least that is what I make myself believe. One still has to think about those around you, family members, the rest of society. Striving to follow the middle path is probably the best methodology to follow now. Or so I will try.
The magic number divisible by my favorite number divisible by no number is prime...
I am a little bit worried that I am turning into a lazy bum. During the day I do work hard, but in the evenings and weekends I tend to do very little. What energy I have left over is spent on the kids and the computer, and of course my wife. I hit the bed early (especially when Thea has an evening shift) and become glued to the television, flipping endlessly in order to become distracted. I go to sleep past midnight, and I get out of bed way too late the next morning. Never before seven thirty. Even during the week I have to be shaken awake so that I can hastily take a shower and cycle to work in time. I plan to improve myself shortly, but first...
For those of you who might happen to be reading my blog, this is a special thanks for the people who thought of me on my birthday. Thanks go to: my wife Thea and the kids, my mother, my sister Kathleen and Martine, my aunt Jeanine, my cousines Gail and Sue, my parents-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Karssemeijer, my new boss Wim Hofland, family friend and psuedo-aunt Tante Rina, Lennart's friend Sander Enderink, old Stanford buddy Kevin Kearney, and a friend Koosje van Laarhoven.
Are you often preoccupied with the past wondering what your life would be like now if things had happened differently? Certain events had not occurred at all or at a slightly earlier or later period of your life? Events which had never occurred for some reason but should have anyway but didnít? Trying to live in the now is that much more difficult because we are all carrying the baggage from the past along with us. By nature I tend to collect everything and refuse to throw anything away, even the most trivial and useless object that I have become sentimental about. This weight is heavy and unnecessary. However, unlike what seems to be the trend nowadays, I do not adhere to the new hype that we should only live in the present, forget about the past completely. This is impossible. We have become whom we are today because of what has been happening to us since the day we were born, even before. No use to look at this wonderful wealth of information, love and energy as some negative quality. Actually it is quite light, not heavy and burdensome at all. Then keep the past in good, balanced perspective and let such wisdom guide you in the following steps. The past, the present and the future form a triad with the self as the focal point, right exactly in the middle of the equilateral triangle. Perhaps I should have become a philosopher king had I been born at an earlier age and I had not decided to live my life as it has turned out. Crazy but true.
Eye in the sky.
Note: since this entry was written, a new page has been added to my homepage at Life changers.
"Once upon a time, I, Chuang-tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, flittering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly...suddenly I awoke... Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man."
- Chuang-tzu, Chinese philosopher
Exactly one year ago today my father passed away. Even after all this time to accept things as they really are, in my heart I am still not one hundred percent convinced that he is "really" dead. Where is he then? Strange but true. I will not dwell on the matter here, as I have spent enough time and energy collecting my thoughts on the death of my father. I just felt that a short entry in my blog was a necessary tribute to my father who still means alot to me.
So Maarten is now officially seven years old. Yesterday we celebrated his birthday in style, and after stuffing ourselves with lots of cake and letting the kids run around the house like complete maniacs, we drove to "de Sniep" which is a tropical swimming pool nearby. Where do those kids get all their energy from? Constantly moving, running, jumping, climbing. Non-stop. Thea and I just sat there calmly in our plastic chairs like good parents should, pretending to have the situation completely under control, at least being available for personal conflicts and other so-called emergencies. I figured that if one were to harness the energy from all the kids that afternoon, then you could probably have enough to light up the town of Gouda for a couple of days, at least. As adults we have lost much of this youthful spontaneity, carelessness, just being naive and unknowing. We are all just children of artless grace and simple goodness. To be more accurate, I should say that this is true only on the outside. Within each of us there still lives in one form or another that child we once were in the distant past. Some people are more sensitive to this presence than others.
This morning my proposal for a new service portfolio for IQUIP was approved by the committee assigned to oversee internal research and development projects. I wasn't that nervous, but having to present my views in front of the group was certainly not a very easy task.The name for the new service portfolio I wish to pursue is: "Dienstenpalet gebaseerd op eTOM." Translated into plain English, this means something like: "Service Portfolio based on eTOM." The eTOM model is a worldwide standard, a framework for describing business processes. Sound interesting? Basically it means going out to potential customers and offering to help them improve their business processes. For the last couple of years most companies like telecom operators have been very technology oriented, more interested in forcing the latest technological advances down the throats of the consumers without considering whether or not there is a market for such products. So much hype and cut-throat competition has brainwashed the world for some time now. But now with the lull in the economy and the ensuing crisis, these companies are realizing that they cannot serve the huge customer base they have unknowingly brought upon themselves very well. That's where I step in, introduce myself, slap a few faces, and reposition these poor souls so that they become customer-driven. Let's redefine the interfaces within your organization, check out the processes and work-flow management, ad infinitum. For a technical nerd like myself this is new and challenging ground to discover. I feel like a pioneer, but it is not easy groping ones way through the unknown.
Technology companies worldwide are laying off employees. Other companies are simply going broke or just closing up business. Of course, since this is such a sensitive subject, no one wants to talk about it hoping that by ignoring it that it will go away. Lots of questions and people wondering, getting upset and that type of thing. I have decided not to get worried and just see what happens. What I cannot figure out is why things either go super great or really bad, the pendulum swinging from one extreme to the next. Humanity never seems to learn from its mistakes. The Internet craze is another example of foolish fixation pushing things to the extreme. Wasn't it supposed to be some panacea making us all unbelievably rich? And thus happy. A Nirvana. Now look what is happening! Better to live one day at a time, and if I get laid off then let it be. Am I sounding too passive?
"When you repeat your triumph perfectly each time, it's more than just luck. Libra enjoys a heightened use of their essential skills. Accept praise without feeling vain. You deserve this, and you know it." So tell me then, where has the praise been for all these years?!
They say that when the father passes away he not only takes a piece of his son with him but he also leaves a piece of himself within his son. This is very true.
Sunset in Holland.