Sunday, October 26, 2008

A new life

Yesterday around noon-ish, our daughter Cato was born. She's a healthy daughter, weighing in at 3.730 kg, and measuring 52 cm.

We have a blog going at I apologize to all non-Dutch speakers: it's in Dutch. If you would like to know what's going on, drop me a line (either here or on Cato's blog) and I'll give a quick English transcript.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What would you do?

This question suddenly came to me today. It seems like a silly, trivial question, but I find it a very difficult one to answer.

Imagine you would be working in a hospital, and you would be responsible for distributing the patients' breakfast and for collecting the dishes afterwards. In this breakfast, a few slices of cheese or ham are included. Imagine that a patient doesn't eat all of his or her slices, and some of it is returned to you in the kitchen. What would you do with the remaining slices? Would you hand it out to the next patient, and risk spreading infection? Throw it away, and waste food? Eat it yourself to avoid either?

Imagine you would not be working in the kitchen of a hospital, where strict hygienic regulations are in order, but in that of a restaurant, or a boyscout campout, or in an industrial kitchen? What would you do then?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Return of the old me

The last two years have not been kind to my resistance against stress and pressure and my ability to see things in perspective. Not coincidentally, a lot of (albeit good) things happened to me these years: I moved to a new city, got a new job in the video games industry, raised a son, got married, and now we're expecting a second child.

Suffice to say that the extra responsibilities I gained for other people (of which I used to have almost none in the past) piled up a little too high for me. I was trying too hard to be the best husband, father, friend, employee, ... possible. I was losing sleep and spare time pretty fast, and I started taking things way too serious.

And then, about a week ago, I realized how far I've strayed from the path of inner peace. I need to get a grip on myself again, so now I'm trying to live by a few simple rules:

  • Accept what happens, and don't try to change it. You will only realize that you can't change all that much, which will only annoy and aggravate you. Don't fight the stream, let yourself get carried by it and enjoy the ride.
  • Forgive peoples' mistakes and admit your own.
  • Try to look at things in perspective. If something bad happens, try to see it in the big picture and realize that it's never as bad as you first think it was.
  • Don't let yourself get riled up by other people in traffic. Let speeders pass, take your time, hang back if necessary, and when some driver thinks he owns the road, just shake your head and forget about it.
  • Don't always play music, even if it should relax you; try to listen to and enjoy the silence every now and then.
  • Don't forget to breathe.
  • Look up at the sky more.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Go candy

It's kind of 'interesting' -- for lack of a better word -- to see how many people's very first reaction to a game of go is how the goishi (official japanese term for the playing stones) look like candy. In one form or another, more than 75% make that reference: "Oooh! Can I have a mint?", "Can you eat these?", or just put one between their teeth and pretend to bite it.

And it's not just in my environment, all my go-playing friends experience the same reactions and I'm sure other people get this as well.

It makes you wonder about human reaction to unknown or unfamiliar things. It seems to always be either humor to something non-threatening (example above), and anger to something possibly dangerous (e.g. spiders). This interests me, so I'm going to look for scientific studies on this.