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I write, therefore I am

With this variation on a famous statement by the philosopher Descartes, I would like to express that the act of writing about what happens in my life is important to me.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Funeral of Li-Xia

The funeral service for Li-Xia started at 9:30 (in the morning) at the crematorium in Usselo. We only invited family and friends (of Li-Xia) who had taken the effort to visit her in the carehome where she stayed in the past years. Of course, Annabel, Andy, and my mother were present. And also our long time friends Bert and Cornelise. Because, Li-Xia's family could not be present, a recording was made of the service. We asked a professional photographer to take picture before, during and after the service.


Because of the extreme warm temperature of the last days (Wednesday 24.1°C, Thursday 24.2°C, Friday 24°C, Saturday 27.7°C, Sunday 25.8°C, and today 24.4°C), I decided to get an icecream in the center of the city. I continued to TETEM art space, where I saw the exhibition Do It Together Neighborhood (for the first time) and Bits, bots and brains (again). From the last exhibition, I liked the works drawn by Maria Smigielska and Les Colchiques.

At 17:38, I bought the book Duin messias (the Dutch translation by M.K. Stuyter SJ of the English Dune Messiah), written by Frank Herbert, published by Meulenhoff in 1986, ISBN:9029008857, from charity shop Het Goed for € 1.95.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Moleskin daily planner

At 17:02:29, I bought a Moleskin daily planner for 2019 from Bookshop Broekhuis for € 21.99.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Death of Li-Xia

At 5:30 (in the morning), Li-Xia died in the presence of some people taking care for her. She died rather quickly and peacefully, while being held asleep for medical reasons.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Palingdrom date

Today is a palindrome date when written according to the (D)D-(M)M-(YYY)Y format: 8-10-2018. The previous such date was October 7, 2014 and the next will be October 9, 2019.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Silver Wedding day

Today it is 25 years ago that Li-Xia and I got married. This morning, I published a 'love letter' in Dutch on social media. The English translation of this letter is:

    Dear Li-Xia,

    today we are married for 25 years and we celebrate our silver wedding. For a long time it was uncertain whether you would still be physically present at this day. Despite the fact that you are no longer able to conscientiously experience this day, I still want to celebrate it with our children (in a simple way). You are a very special woman and I am glad that I got to know you and that we were married 25 years ago. We did not have an easy marriage. Our characters often clashed (especially in the early years). Such a clash often ended in a deep sense of how much we loved each other and that we would never let each other down. In the past year I realized that we have experienced a form of intimacy that very few couples experience. Perhaps we would never have achieved that without all the difficulties we encountered on our path. When I told our story a few months ago, a woman who came from America, she concluded that we were 'soul mates' in her eyes. I had never looked at it like that before, but I think she is right about it. You are and will remain my wife and the mother of our two children, which I am very proud of. I am still very proud of you, as I was when we were just dating.

    I love your!

In the evening, I took Annabel and Andy to a wok restaurant to have a dinner together to celebrate this. The following picture was taken there:

Monday, October 1, 2018


Today, I started working with a new company. At 11:42, I thought I saw part of the top a rainbow. I had some doubts because of the time of the day. At home I verified with SunCalc.org that at given time and location the sun was 30.6° above the horizon, which means that a rainbow can be seen, where the top is at about 11° above the horizon. This matches my observation.

Sunday, September 30, 2018


Two years ago, I got a new pair of glasses to be used behind the computer. Just like everyone else, I suffer from presbyopia due to a reduced ability of my eyes to accomodate because I am getting older. I have been near-sighted all my life with a high myopia of about 8 dioptre. It is easier to work with dioptre when calculating the effect of combining lenses (at short distances), than to work with focal distances. For a long time, I had been able to correct my presbyopia by moving my glasses a little away from my eyes by placing them at a lower point at my nose. But at some point, it required to tilt my head backwards to look at a computer monitor, which was causing strain. The pair of glasses I got two years ago, had a correction of +0.75 dioptre with respect to my standard prescription. Although, these glasses were intended to be used behind the computer, I noticed that I could also use them for biking around and I began to use them all the time. While riding a car, I often used a pair of sunglasses with no correction. Only when going to the movies, I used my old glasses. I got the impression that my nearsightness had become less.

In the past half year, I noticed that I was moving my glasses down my nose again. So about a month ago, I went back to have my eyes examined. It turned out that my nearsightness had remain the same. The optometrist who checked my eyes, suggested that I should have a correction of +1 dioptre. Because of the small difference and the prices of the glasses, I decided to give it some second thoughts, also thinking that maybe I was confused about how often I lowered my glasses. On Friday, September 21, I went back to have a second look. I talked with another optimetrist who gave me a pair of test glasses and after some experimentation we agreed on correction of +1.25 dioptre. When I suggested that we also should test +1.5 dioptre, I got the remark that I should not make my eyes lazy. Although I tried to keep the test glasses as close as possible to my eyes, I still had some doubts about the measurement method, because I know that moving my glasses but a few mm, will have a dramatic effect on the focal distances and the correction lenses where the furthers away from my eyes. Yesterday, I went to collect the glasses. I already noticed that I was still able to see sharp at quite some distance. In the evening, with poorer lighting conditions, I suddenly noticed that I was wearing my glasses in the same way as before. It seems that the extra +0.5 dioptre did not have much effect at all. In the evening, your pupils open further and by doing so reduce the range at which you can see sharp. I started looking at some websites for more information and also started to some calculations. At my age, the average correction for reading glasses is +2.25 dioptre. The prescription is measured at about a distance of about 10m, which is equal to 0.1 dioptre. For reading at 30cm, which equals to about 3 dioptre, you need a correction of 3.1 if you would have no accomodation at all. And indeed, at a high age, the correction for reading glasses is +3 dioptre. When I work behind the computer, the distance is between 60 and 70 cm. With my new glasses at daylight, I need about 110 cm to see sharp. When at that distance, I put my pair of glasses the furthers away from my eyes, and then test at which distance, I can still see sharp, I can get as close as 55 cm. This is equivalent with about 0.9 dioptre accomodation, which is about the average value on my age. I have done some calculations, and it seems that with a correction at +2.25 dioptre, my range becomes 53 cm to 99 cm with an ideal looking distance of 68 cm.

Friday, September 28, 2018


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Escape room: The Time Machine

As part of my farewell party, we had some dinner in the city and also played some escape rooms. Together with five others, I played The Time Machine escape room. For all of us, it was the first time we did it. We did not make use of any hints, but did get one hint, because we did not realize that the piece of paper behind which a key was hidden, actually was an envelop with instructions inside. We did not finish the escape room within the set time limit of an hour. We failed to complete the last three puzzles. But we still were proud of our achievement, because it was the first time and we finished some of the puzzles rather quick according to the game master. We also had a lot of fun and we worked as a team, I think. As a farewell gift, I was given a framed poster which contained a compination of a picture of myself and the work CONW54 TGCOL 1 by Peter Struycken. The poster was made by one of colleagues.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

LED Matrix

This afternoon, I went to the TkkrLab space to compile and test the first version of a program to use the LED Matrix in the space. The LED Matrix is controlled through (a slightly relaxed version of) the the Art-Net protocol. I am thinking about at least add another class between the classes UDPSocket and LEDMatrix to implement the Art-Net protocol, as there are some other devices in the space that can be controlled with the Art-Net protocol.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Computers old and new

I have decided to do some system adminstration work on my old and new computers. Yesterday, I bought a Seagate Expansion+ 2TB external harddrive to backup the contents of some harddrives.

I first started lixia. I discovered that the new external harddrive still needed to be formatted. When I removed it lixia rebooted. I started copying the D drive, but it looked like the PC locked-up, and I switched it off after some time. I tried it again with a batch file with XCOPY commands. That seemed to work better.

I tried to start up the OptiPlex 755, but it not seem to work. The attached monitor did not register a VGA signal. I opened it to see what was inside. (Later on the day, I removed the clock battery, and put it into johan to resolve the issue with the internal clock.) Next, I switched on the Lenovo Thinkcentre Edge72 to discover that it had a fresh install of Windows 7. But I guess, I do not have a valid licence key, meaning that I can only use it while not connecting to the internet. Anyway, I had promised that I would install Linux on it. I tried to install Debian 9 with a USB stick created with UNetBootin, but after the installation, the BIOS reported that no operating system was found. I tried some other tools for putting an ISO image on an USB stick, but in the end I used the Cygwin dd command to copy the debian-9.5.0-amd64-netinst.iso image. When I started the install, I did not get the question to choose for the UEFI install as I did the first time. However, the second time, I did get the option to install GRUB. And this time, the installed worked.

LED Matrix

At TkkrLab, I first helped someone with the first lesson of our Arduino course (in Dutch). Next, I worked a little on a program for the Irregular Chocolate Bar problem. When I was about to leave, someone showed the clock display he had developed for the 17 by 10 LED Matrix in the space. Someone else suggested that more people should start writing software for the LED Matrix. I decided to give it a try, and with some searching on the internet, hacked a small C++ program together. First thing I did, was setting the colour #FFAA5E on all the LED's. I plan on writing a small C++ library for controlling the LED Matrix.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Dutch Kabuki Day

Andy and I went to the Dutch Kabuki day. In the morning there was a general meeting with some presentation. Connie Strumpel gave a short introduction with recent developments. Next, a presentation of the use of growth hormone. About 75% of children with Kabuki Syndrome have a short stature, which develops after they are born. High frequence in KMT2D (MLL2) mutation. The cause of the short stature is unknown. In the literature there is but one growth curve available. Based on questionairs in the Netherlands, growth curves have been made. There is also a clear tendancy of obesitas, especially with the girls starting from around six years, The average length of adult males is 161cm and females is 149cm. A growth spurt has not been observed. Also the development of the puberty is not clear (due to lack of information). Five of the 20 individuals in the study were eligable for growth hormone therapy. At the start of the study the average standard deviation of the length was -2.4. After two years, the average standard deviation had increased with 1.1. This is a good result. If the growth hormone thrapy is stopped after one year, the standard deviation drops again. This suggest that the therapy should be continues after the desired effect has been achieved. There are also clear indications that the metabolic rate of children with Kabuki Syndrome is lower than normal. Growth hormone therapy increases this to almost normal. The low metabolic rate could also explain the obesitas. The hormone therapy has not been found to have any averse effects. With respect to hypermobility. With Kabuki Syndrome there is a higher hypermobility with both boys and girls about the same. It seems that this is stronger with some joints. The growth hormone therapy also has a positive effect on hypermobility especially with those joints where it was worse. It seems that the therapy has a positive effect on the connective tissue.

The second presentation was about genes and behaviour. Neuro psychology covers more than just intelligence. It also has to do with memory and executive functions, for example. These can be even further divided. Social cognition is another important area: recognizing emotions. The research program included two different rare syndromes and the general group of people with a mental handicap. One of the research question was if there are specific problem areas with respect to Kabuki Syndrome. The study involved 13 female and 15 male individuals. Not everyone was able to do all the tests. The conclusion is that the development age is lower and stops earlier. With respect to intelligence there was a great variation. Individuals were worse with remembering visual information, while they are better with verbal information. This also has an effect on the executive functions. In the behaviour area there were problems with attention or with social interaction, but these seems not worse compared with similar syndromes and could be explained with lower development age. Auditive memory is good. There are behaviour problems but these are not very specific. (To me it seems that this findings are compatible with the delayed myelination hypothesis.)

In the afternoon, there was a short documentary about one of the young women with Kabuki Syndrome. There was also a presentation an organisation dealing about rare diseases and conditions. Rare means less in 1 in 2000. Often it takes a long time before a rare disease or condition is diagnosed. About one in seventeen people have a rare disease or condition. There are now 400 expert centres in the various academical hospitals in the Netherlands. A GP sees most rare disease or conditions at most once in their practice. They now want to combine all information with respect ot Kabiki Syndrome into one document, both for medical specialists as for the parents.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Kröller-Müller Museum

We went to the Kröller-Müller Museum. (At the entrance of the park, the visiting friend bought a map for me.) We first went into the Van Gogh wing and later walked through the sculpture garden. The works I found worth mentioning are:
  • Au café, Auguste Renoir, 1877.
  • Le clown musical, Auguste Renoir, 1868.
  • Mata Hari, Isaac Israels, 1916.
  • Fabrieksmeisjes, George Breitner, 1898.
  • De windstoot, George Breitner, c1900.
  • Entrée du port de Marseille, Paul Signac, 1898.
  • Port-en-Bessin, La Valleuse, Paul Signac, 1884.
  • Straat met bomen, Kalmthout, Henry van de Velde, 1990-1991.
  • Roze perzikbomen, Vincent van Gogh, March 30, 1888.
  • Herfstlandschap, Vincent van Gogh, November 1885.
  • Meisje in het bos, Vincent van Gogh, August 1882.
  • Populierenlaan bij zonsondergang, Vincent van Gogh, October 1884.
  • De aardappeleters, Vincent van Gogh, April - May 1885.
  • La Berceuse, Vincent van Gogh, December 1988 - January 1889.
  • Vier uitgebloeide zonnebloemen, Vincent van Gogh, August - October 1887.
  • Treurende oude man, Vincent van Gogh, May 1890.
  • Het ommuurde korenveld met opkomende zon, Vincent van Gogh, May 1889.
  • De barmhartige Samaritaan, Vincent van Gogh, May 1890.
  • Moulin de la Galette, Vincent van Gogh, October 1886.
  • Mand met citroenen en fles, Vincent van Gogh, May 1988.
  • Caféterras bij nacht, Vincent van Gogh, about September 16, 1888.
  • Korenschelf onder wolkenlucht, Vincent van Gogh, June 12-13, 1888.
  • Landweg in de Provence bij nacht, Vincent van Gogh, May 12-15, 1990.
  • Cipressen met twee figuren, Vincent van Gogh, June 1889 - February 1990.
  • Olijfgaard, Vincent van Gogh, June 1889.
  • Brug te Aries, Vincent van Gogh, March 1888.
  • Compositie met rood, geel, blauw, Piet Mondraan, .
  • Compositie met raster 5: ruit, compositie met kleuren, Piet Mondraan, 1919.
  • Compositie met raster 6: ruit, compositie met kleuren, Piet Mondraan, 1919.
  • Compositie in kleur A, Piet Mondraan, 1917.
  • Zelfportret, Charley Toorop, 1953-1954
  • Compositie in kleur b, Piet Mondraan, 1917.
  • Tableau no. 1, Piet Mondraan, 1913.
  • Endegeest, Floris Verster, 1893.
  • En juillet-avant midi of Le vergen, Théo van Rysselbergh, 1890.
  • Le 'Per-kiridy' à marée haute, Théo van Rysselbergh, 1889.
  • L'Arc-en-ciel, Pntoise, Camillo Pissarro, 1877.
  • Février, soleil levant, Bazincourt, Camillo Pissarro, 1893.
  • La Briquetterie, Alfred Sisley, 1880.
  • Il vient de loin, Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriël, about 1887.
  • Cavallo e cavaliere, Marino Marini, 1951-1955
  • Needle tower, Kenneth Snelson, 1968.
  • Accu voor vijf vingers, Jan van Munster, 1995,
  • Femme accroupie, Auguste Rodin.

The SAPA Project

My result of taking the free personality test from The SAPA Project

With respect to the big five personality traits, my percentile ranks according to the test are: 16 for Extraversion, 66 for Openness, 42 for Conscientiousness, 54 for Neuroticism, and 50 for Agreeableness. It seems I do not fit in any of the four personality types identified in the paper A robust data-driven approach identifies four personality types across four large data sets. I also scored 99 on cognition, but that was only based on eight questions, and consisted of some tests that I have done many times and are known to be good at. There were also no time constraints and I took time to figure out the answers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Group generation

This evening, I finished a first version of my program for generating the elments of a mathematical group from a generation expression. I have tested this on some of the generation expressions given on Small finite groups and Cayley tables. It seems that the algorithm works for most of them. With some of the generation expressions, the algorithm found shorter identity sequences than the ones given in the generation expression. Maybe these generation expressions are incorrect.

Monday, September 17, 2018


October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
Alzheimer's Disease
Trip to China 2010
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