Alright, I guess I will have to give up and admit that winter is coming. Okay, it is finally time for me to fold up my summer attire and put it in storage until next year. This is very hard for me to admit, and each year it results in my own personal struggle against nature. Nature always wins, but not easily. I dislike winter but accept that it is inevitable. Not until the end though, and I try as long as possible to wear my summer clothes and short-sleeved shirts. If possible with the top three buttons of my shirt unbuttoned to expose the uppermost chest hairs to wave freely in the wind. Even during the summer months when the temperature dips to an uncomfortable low, or it is rainy, wet and cold, frost on the ground, I refuse to wrap myself in layers of cloth. Something inside of me that resists being bundled up. Must be the way I grew up, in the sweltering California sunshine, running around half-naked in the desert climate of the San Joaquin Valley. In my blood, even after all these years. My fingertips are tingling and I am shivering too much now. Besides, it is November already and winter is officially coming quickly. Thanks alot nature for reinvigorating me each year with your cycles and rites of repetition and rebirth. I look forward to spring again, but will enjoy the winter as it was meant to be enjoyed by all human beings including me.
It is hard to keep one's head raised during this period of violence, terror and war. Everything seems to be going wrong at the moment. What is a person supposed to do? Each day something comes up and reminds us that this is far from a perfect world. Nonetheless, it is vital to keep a positive frame of mind, to accept what has happened and do what we can despite the inherent limitations. "This is the best of all possible worlds", at least according to the famous philosopher Leibnitz. The universe is the direct result of a divine plan, well thought out well ahead of time. Leibniz's assertion, however, does not imply an unqualified optimism, since evil is a necessary ingredient in even the best of all possible worlds. Okay, black and white, good and evil, some kind of balance between the extremes. The pendulum does not hang still, but swings back and forth. And ironically enough, this is my horoscope for today: "Before complaining, think about how your life must look to someone with fewer privileges. Aspects of your reality are merely cultural illusions. Pay less attention to the ads and more to the editorials." Next, please...
Where we came from...
Well, wonder no more. Here follows a short description which "should" hopefully give you a slightly better idea. That is, if you can understand it.
"Service providers continue to urgently require well-automated operations processes whether they are incumbent providers or new entrants and whether communications service providers, application service providers, Internet service providers, etc. Service providers are faced with ever-increasing competition, a market experiencing dramatic change at an unprecedented rate, as well as an industry experiencing significant shakeup. Some are struggling with high growth from a start-up phase, others are struggling with the commoditization of key cash-cow services and, yet others are struggling to move from a manual-intensive, inconsistent, inflexible environment to one that provides significant improvement in customer focus, service quality, unit cost, and time to market. Service providers have to pervasively do business electronically with trading partners, suppliers and wholesale and retail customers. For the growing Mobile, Wireless and IP Services markets, these service providers are focused on quickly provisioning new customers and supporting service quality issues. For all service providers, the drive to introduce both new value-added services and dramatic improvements in customer support is intense. There is an increasing need for Service Providers to manage the integration required in mergers and acquisitions activity due to the consolidation trend the industry is now experiencing." - taken from eTOM Business Process Framework GB921v2.5.
That's pretty much the gist in a nutshell. For those of you more interested in the details, please point your favorite browser at one or both of the following Internet sites: Telemanagment Forum and/or TMFCentral.
Wow, it finally works. A scrolling marquee with random quotations. All of it programmed by yours truly using a CGI-script. Impressed? I am.
Hello, my name is Fiffin, F-I-F-F-I-N. Now this has to be another first in my life. Allow me to explain. Many moons ago I ordered new business cards which during visits to customer sites is a necessary item to exchange. Of course, these business cards, though they are very important, take forever to get ordered, printed and sent back to you again. So, when out of the blue my secretary called to say that my new business cards were finally ready, I anxiously went to pick them up. Yes. You can imagine my disappointment when I arrived back to my desk, opened the little white container, only to lay my eyes on the following text:
Oh well, that's life. I guess I will never get used to people mispronouncing and mispelling my name. That is what makes me special. Just call me Fiffy for short. Oh dear. Too bad that my boss found this episode so entertaining and hilarious that since then he has not stopped calling me Fiffin. Hey Fiffin. How are you doing Fiffin? See you later Fiffin. No, his name is Fiffin. Oh just go and ask Fiffin. Little does he realize hyow much this gets on my nerves. A sensitive subject.
Why are kids so difficult to get to school early in the morning? Seems like an amazing hassle for something so simple. Yet the amount of energy expended, repeating things a hundred times before it is done, bugging each other, fighting and wrangling. Put on your shoes, do not forget your lunch, take your coat, put on your shoes, hurry up you will be late, bring your books, put on your shoes... What a chaos. The older they get the better they behave, most of the time at least. Okay, that's a short scene from my life pretending to be a father in order to impress my kids. Next.
Scrape, scrape. Winter inititiation in the form of thin ice covering the windshield. Early this morning, I was greeted by this when I entered my car on the way to visit a customer in Den Haag (normally I go by bike). There is always a first time for each season, winter included, and the fact that I had to scrape the ice from the car windows is symbolic in that regard. In Dutch you have "afkrabben" which is the verb to scrape. If pronounced correctly "afkrabben" even sounds like the noise which is made. Scrape, scrape...
Why do I keep on biting the inside of my left cheek when I am sleeping? I have had this sore spot (sometimes more painful than other times) for a couple of years now, at least that long if not longer. It never goes away. What could I possibly be dreaming all the time that causes me to grind my teeth in such a way that I keep irritating this spot which is therefore never allowed to heal? Strange. Probably all my daily frustrations getting in the way and trying to express themselves at night. Grind, grind...
USS Meade DD-602
Now Marlies, Sabien and Maarten are all playing field hockey. All my kids except Lennart (the lazy computer whiz-kid still). Who would have ever thought that they would get involved so much in this typical Dutch sport? This morning I went to watch Marlies, like all good fathers in order to support the daughters. Of course, not too loudly as you can easily embarrass them. Even by doing nothing and just standing there. Well there they were running around, all those future young ladies. Such long and skinny legs they have, spindly creatures that seem so fragile. I think that most of them are seventy-five percent legs and the rest torso. Future wives who will hen-peck their boyfriends and/or husbands. Bosses of the world. When I look at Marlies and how distraught almost-to-tears she was at losing yet another game, this is hard to imagine. But it is true.
"What you don't have you don't need it now, what you don't know you can feel it somehow..." - U2, Beautiful Day.
The end of the Universe.
"It is through the world and ultimately through you that the Unmanifested knows itself. You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!"
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
After days of preparation and high expectations, my presentation took place yesterday evening. The idea was to explain the project for which I am responsible and what we have achieved since the start. I would say that things went fine. Around twenty-five people showed up, and there was lots of interaction. The audience was a mix of personalities which makes such an evening extra unpredictable. There are always those who are positive and there are always a couple of so-called experts that are more critical and act like they know everything better. To be honest, I am still fairly sensitive to negative criticism, especially when it is unreasonable. Positive comments are always nice, but critical interaction is necessary in order to share ideas fully and improve the project on which you are working. I am a consensus person and choose the middle path. That means sacrifice and compromise which for an egoist like myself is difficult to do. Oh well, as they say: "keep the door of your heart open for as long as you can."
Well it is finally about time that I do something useful with my life. Hey, wait a minute. That is exactly what I am doing at the moment. So what is the deal anyway? Take two. Well it is about time that I do something different with my life. Yes, I have heard that earlier, almost that is, something very similar but not quite. This time around instead of useful it has become different. If you know what I mean. Today I was on my way to the local SHOPPING MALL which here in Gouda they refer to as the WINKELCENTRUM, when there to my left the little white house had, it had, I cannot believe it, but but it was gone! How is that possible? Such a quaint little abode just perfect for your average everyday gnome or midget or other brand of small Dutch person. Yesterday a house and today just thin air. I am in a nonsense type of mood in case you have not noticed. Must be the cold air going to my brains. Now tell me then, where did that little house go? My brains. I do not believe that it was a figment of my imagination now or was it? Suppose that on the way back home I stop to gaze at the empty lot and someone notices. He or she asks me what I am looking at, and I answer with "the house that used to be over there", pointing with my finger. Hmmm, the person will probably remain polite and not say anything even though he and/or she is also aware of the fact that the house has disappeared. What house do you mean sir? Oh the one over there, I mean the one that used to be over there. Sorry, but I was wrong because the little white house was not on the left but on the right. Over there next to the water. Have a good day. Do you like my hat. I certainly do not, well have a nice day anyway, good-bye, good-bye. Do you like my hat? Go, dog. Go!
There's alot of this blogger journalism going around these days. More and more and more. I wonder why. I remember when in the good old days no one felt like writing anything, it was just too much damn trouble. All those books we had to read and essays and stuff. And now everywhere you look on and around the Internet there are hundreds, thousands and more of my fellow bloggers just like myself frantically trying to record their lives passing by before it is too late. Is that possible? A community geared towards honesty and frankness, just recording random thoughts as you want to without a concern in your life. No one is going to read it anyway. But it just might be possible that one day some lone surfer will come across your many words of wisdom. Just by accident, a coincidence, fate in disguise. And then he or she or it is affected and moved. Hmmm, tears and laughter. I did it at last. Okay, so you do not believe me that there are so many fellow bloggers out there. You asked for it. Here are some random blogs I will throw out at you: i am frequently asked questions, or howabout this one: cracks in the pavement, or howabout this one: joho the blog, or howabout this one: deranged miracles, ad infinitum. So why are we doing this to ourselves? Well, it is kinda fun. Yes, that's it. It is kinda fun.
Darkness settles in.
Wow, there sure is a lot of H-Y-P-E going around and fear being propagated on and around the Internet! The fear of fraud is one, hackers everywhere, evil forms ready to jump on your back when you are not looking. I believe in the freedom of speech, the right to express oneself without the fear of persecution. Isn't that the basis of the US constitution and what America is all about? Is this being threatened? I am sure that the Internet has opened this up and made journalistic freedom available to everyone worldwide. Sharing and exchanging ideas with each other, trying our best to make this world a better place in which to live, the best of all possible worlds. When new things appear, new technologies, quantum leaps in understanding and art forms etc, there are always going to be some evil forms of oppression taking advantage of us poor naive fools in some way or another. Another. I as well as the others are not going to succumb to some undefined threat like this. It will not survive in the end. The Internet community is for the average-everyday-joe person like myself. We will continue to prosper. About this I am one hundred percent positive. Want to place a bet on this?
If in the end I decide to publish anything then it will be limited to those simple surfers who are interested in (valuable) historical information and probably will not have that much to do with sensitive information anyway. Besides, who reads my homepage anyway?! Who gets past the front page? For anyone wanting to commit fraud, there are a million other more efficient ways on the Internet to make money illegally than reading some boring personal page like mine! Too bad there are so many so-called "weird" people in America and the rest of the world. If this is all true, and often I see it as a xenophobic hype to get everyone riled up and patriotic, then this is indeed very sad for Americans and the rest of the world. A sign that the American Dream is not that great after all?
I believe in freedom of speech, the right to express oneself without fear of persecution. Isn't that the basis of the US constitution and what America is all about? Is this being threatened over there? I am sure that the Internet has opened this up and made journalistic freedom available to everyone worldwide. Sharing and exchanging ideas with each other, trying our best to make this world a better place in which to live. When new things appear, new technologies etc, there are always going to be evil forms of oppression taking advantage in some way or other. I as well as the others, we are not going to succumb to some undefined threat. The Internet community is for the average everyday person like myself and we will continue to prosper. About this I am positive.
Joining blob webrings and trying to become famous. An interesting idea, indeed. To the right in the margin you will see a new table I have added with the blue caption of - - BLOG WEBRINGS - - . This table includes all the so-called rings of which I am now officially a member or in the process of becoming a member. Try it just for fun. Another way to surf randomly into the lives of others and back again. I told you that this form of journalism was really taking off. Round-and-round we go where we stop nobody knows.
Another grubby beard (enlarge).
"...Kiffin would like an assignment in which he can pursue an advisory role, based on his solid and broad technical background, preferably in a leadership role weighted with some responsibility. He likes to help customers think together and from within a team environment come up with creative solutions to complex problems with an international and company wide character. If necessary, he is willing to do more technical activities as long as there is the proper balance between the required personal and/or commercial aspects. Kiffin views himself as a diplomat driven to bringing people together and to finding the proper harmony between the technical and more human sides of information technology. He inspires himself through variations in type of work at different levels, and he enjoys working with people and sharing ideas. In view of his background, Kiffin’s preferences naturally lie in the telecom market, especially in the area of mobile services and applications. Project duration is at most six months to one year, no longer. He is convinced that the future of mobile telecommunications is a lucrative and exciting one, and he feels confident there are many new and exciting frontiers to explore in this unknown arena of technology..."
Wow. Now tell me, is this a realistic preference or an impossible dream? Some say you should set your sites pretty high, but this is aimed at the the planet Jupiter I would say.
Remember that? Long time ago. I once could even say it backwards when I was eight years old but I have forgotten how. This famous 34-letter word was invented specifically for Mary Poppins. It means “atoning for extremely delicate beauty while being highly educable.” Just in case you might be interested. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...
Still hanging around waiting for the right project to come around. Currently there is nothing available. Just hanging around trying to make the best of things work out, if you know what I mean. On idle since September and there is no end in site at the moment. I am a bit worried that our kind relation managers in desperation are throwing my resume around every which way hoping to land a job. Am I too old, too qualified, too expensive? I have decided not to shave until I find the right project. Actually, when you think about it logically, this is the perfect opportunity for me to expand my skill sets, do some extra training, meet people and interact. However, I was stupid enough to sign a temporary contract for one year. By then it might be a totally other story. A window washer could be an interesting and challenging alternative, don't you think?
Been chatting alot with Trudi in the evenings. Over the Internet that is, using AOL instant messaging. She is an acquaintance from the good old Salinas High School days. Idle chit-chat late in the evenings. Could this be what they mean by cyber-s#x? Probably not. She is a fine gal, positive and offers me kind words of inspiration. Just for fun. All the while listening to digitally imported trance music, great stuff blaring in my ears. Never too young.
Routine again. Every morning during the week, the same predictable series of events come and go. That is what is called routine, and there is unfortunately not much one can do to prevent it. That's pretty much how life goes, and it allows us to survive better if we know what has to be done next and what we will be accomplishing as the hour before work passes by. The trick is to let it come as it was always meant to be and not get overly stressed if you are running behind schedule (most of the time anyway, one extreme or the other). So what is this series of events? This is the timeline: wake up, get out of bed, open up the window for fresh air, shower and shave, eat breakfast with the kids, help Thea without getting too much in her way, go upstairs, fold my pyjamas and put them under the pillow, make the bed, collect my stuff, finish getting dressed, stare in the mirror, put on my dress shoes, straighten my tie, scratch the stubbles on my face, close the window, go down stairs again, remind the kids that they have to get ready, tie a shoe and/or put on another coat, wake up. I usually wake up by noon, or thereabouts.
Me in ten years.
[Middle English berd, from Old English beard. See bhardh-- in Indo-European Roots.]
Okay, that's pretty much it for beards right now. Getting carried away again. I will keep my readers updated on the future of my beard. Itch, itch.
Decided to start a new blog about dreams. Dreams, dreams and even more dreams as they come and go through the night. Have a look for yourself at: Kiffin's Dreams. Not much now, but it will grow and grow and grow, I am sure. Later, I will try to integrate the new dream blog (and others) into this blog to create a blog collage.
I cannot believe it, but just heard that George Harrison died today. He was the lead guitarist of the Beatles and died of cancer at the early age of 58. Just in case you do not know already. When I told my son, he asked me: who's that? When I mentioned the Beatles, he asked: who were they? But for millions of folks all over the world just like myself, his music will be long remembered. I remember playing at the swimming pool at the Stockton Golf and Country Club in sunny California during the summer of 1965. I was only eight years old back then. Someone's radio was blaring out the song "I wanna hold your hand". My parents kept saying what awful hair the Beatles had and that they should go to the barber. Can you believe that?! Their hair wasn't that bad at all.
George Harrison once said: "I think people who can live their life in music are telling the world: 'You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don't need them. Just take the music, the goodness, because it's the very best, and it's the part I give most willingly."
Life goes on and it is up to us the living to carry on the tradition of the dead.
Yesterday I happened to discover a wonderful tool for creating, updating and maintaining your own blogs. What they now refer to as a Personal Publishing System. This is amazing stuff, and I am convinced that products like these will redefine the Internet and how it is used by the average layperson like myself. It is from Movable Type and offers me the possibility of running my own blog on my site rather than one hosted by another site, for example Blogger. I have been very very pleased with Blogger up to now, but in a sense I have grown up on my way to becoming a big-boy professional Internet journalist guru type of person. Hmmmmm. Hope the few readers that make it this way like my new format. Anyway, I am impressed with how easily and quickly I was able to set this all up. A piece of cake, really. Shortly I will experiment a bit more with this fine product and create a fancy template with dazzling colors and graphics, etc.