January 12, 2006

Kolb

Een leuk testje via de koebus. Zo ken ik mezelf: denken en dromen zoveel je wilt. Maar doén en beslissen, ho maar.

Update: Véél interessanter met de grafiek er ook echt bij.

Posted by tomk at 10:00 PM | Comments (2)

November 09, 2005

Leve de trein!

Een mens ziet zo nog eens wat, als ie de trein van Antwerpen naar Brussel pakt. Meer bekende gezichten dan verwacht verkiezen ook de trein.

Maar het beste was de aankomst in Brussel vandaag. Een vrouw, in het uniform van een broodjeszaak, komt uit de Panos met een zakje in haar hand. Aan haar broodjeszaak aangekomen, moffelt ze het zakje onder haar blouse en gaat binnen.

Het motto dat te binnen schiet: "do as I say, not as I do".

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November 08, 2005

Assimilatie

Een vreemde vaststelling: ik ben geboren en getogen in Turnhout, en heb gestudeerd in Leuven. Ik heb dus hoegenaamd geen binding met Antwerpen, noch met Gent (buiten dan het feit dat ik een paar jaar in een Antwerps-Gents bedrijfje gewerkt heb, en door allerlei omstandigheden nu in Wilrijk woon). En toch die impuls niet kunnen onderdrukken om de ambetante Antwerpenaar uit te hangen bij de Gentenaars. Heh :)

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November 07, 2005

Ex-roker

Het valt me net te binnen: zou de reflex om aan anti-auto-promotie te doen, vergelijkbaar zijn met de reflex van een ex-roker? Het is bekend dat niemand zich zo aan roken ergert als een ex-roker.

Vragen, vragen, ...

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November 02, 2005

I want to ride my ...

Vanochtend mijn abonnement Mechelen - Brussel-Noord voor één van Antwerpen-Berchem naar Brussel-Noord. Nieuwe reistijd: ca. 1u. Ik heb al dagen gehad dat het me een uur kostte om in Mechelen te geraken.

Alleszins zijn mijn beentjes weer content (en ook nog wel een beetje verrast).

Posted by tomk at 09:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

Kids

+1, gelijk ze zeggen. Voor zover ik het begrijp, is het dikwijls gewoon een economische kwestie: het aantal letters is nu eenmaal minder. Vooral televisieprogrammaondertitelaars durven dat wel eens fijn vinden.

Posted by tomk at 08:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 19, 2005

Vakantie

Oh, en ge hebt het gemerkt: het zit erop. Weer veel te kort, natuurlijk. En ik had het nodig. Vrees zelfs dat ik het nog altijd nodig heb. Edoch. Het was plezant, en life goes on.

Voor vandaag nog: focus op morgen. 'k Voel een slapeloos nachtje aankomen.

Posted by tomk at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2005

Vakantie

Dat ga ik doen! Dat ik het nodig heb! Tot binnen een paar weken!

Posted by tomk at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2005

Van baby's en peuters

Wij gingen voor de ene-achter-de-andere optie. Heeft altijd goed gewerkt, behalve in Planckendaelen en andere Zoos, waar de ene (van voor) wil stilstaan om naar de giraf te kijken, en de andere (van achter) in beweging moet blijven om niet wakker te worden uit zijn schoonheidsslaapje. Maar uitermate geschikt om mee door Inno's en andere Casa's te manoevreren.

Ondertussen is die periode ook weeral voorbij, en stappen ze allebei gewoon aan het handje. "Time fliesTempus fugit", zeggen ze dan, geloof ik.

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August 03, 2005

ThirtyGeek

Koebus gaat op zijn oude dag toch nog een geek worden: op een verlofdag om 7u30 bloggen, daar moet je al een rare kronkel voor hebben. Mij is het nog niet overkomen.

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April 09, 2005

Traffic and the Internet

My life consists of working on "the 'Net". My dream: worldwide connectivity, people working around the globe together on great and impressive projects, for the well-being of mankind. Reality: I spend 1 hour every morning to get to work. I get mails from people in India in 5 seconds, but getting to work takes me 1 hour. Usually, the commute back home takes about 30 minutes. So let's calculate: A day is 24 hours. You spend 8 hours (at least) at work. To be healthy, you need another 8 hours to sleep. That leaves you 8 hours of "your own time", in which you can do interesting stuff like eating, washing up, and whatnot. Of that 8 hours, 1 hour and a half is taken away from me. Every day. That is 20% of my "free" time. Let me repeat that: I spend one fifth of the time that is "my own" in traffic. And what for? To log on on the same Internet as I have at home. It is getting to me. I must be mad.

Another draft I found, authored on 1 October 2003. I switched jobs to somewhere I could commute on bicycle to on March 1, 2004.

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February 07, 2005

One picture a month ...

Stole some inspiration from Michel:

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January 20, 2005

Work vs. family

I totally recognize myself in this article: Men's New Attitudes About Work. The balance between the two gave me quite some gray hairs already. If anybody has the final answer -- feel free to mail me.

Posted by tomk at 04:42 PM | TrackBack

January 17, 2005

Muziek (Dutch)

Na Vincent wil nu ook Marc weten naar wat voor muziek ik luister. 'k Zal me er dus maar eens aan zetten.

Wat is de totale grootte aan muziekbestanden op je computer ?
11,05 GB
Wat is je laatst gekochte cd?
C-hoe? Geen idee. Sinds een doorsnee cd meer dan 800fr kost, ben ik ermee opgehouden.
Wat is letterlijk het laatst geluisterde nr voor je dit bericht las?
Self Control, Channel Zero, Channel Zero live
Geef 4 nrs door die je heel vaak luistert of die veel voor je betekenen.
Vreemd genoeg zijn de nummers die het meest betekenen voor mij, het minst representatief voor mijn muzikale smaak:
  • Creep, Radiohead
  • I alone, Live
Aan welke 3 (4 of 5 is te zot) personen geef jij het stokje door en waarom?
Laat ons eens een paar sukkelaars nemen die blijkbaar niet tot de "Vlaamse blogsfeer" behoren:

Bon, op naar de volgende meme.

Posted by tomk at 01:44 PM | TrackBack

December 24, 2004

(Dutch) Impressive...

How jong... dat ziet er sjiek uit. Via Jan

Posted by tomk at 09:22 AM | TrackBack

October 26, 2004

The nightmare

Imagine that, over 20 years or so, you say something like this:

The one mistake I'm really afraid to make.

Posted by tomk at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2004

Cocoon GT 2004

Heart bleeding. Ah well...

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September 06, 2004

Bicycle frustrations

Since I very strongly feel the need to vent my frustrations about the habits of car users towards bicyclists, and since I am very aware that 99,99% of the world is not interested to hear those, I will do my venting here (rss). Since cursing is so much more fun in Dutch, that's the language I'll use there.

Update: A new address already. Thanks, Vincent!

Posted by tomk at 09:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 23, 2004

Windshield vision

Ever heard of the term "windshield vision"? It's sometimes also referred to as "dashboard vision". It is most often used to describe the situation where traffic decision makers only look from the perspective behind the steering wheel of a car, when planning new roads, finetuning traffic lights, or deciding where to clear snow first. This, as you can imagine, gives some very fine results. When a bicycler wants to cross a road (just driving straight ahead), more often than not, he has to deviate from his line, so that he gets further away from the road where the cars drive (rationale: this gives cars that have to make a right turn, space to move away from the other cars that come from behind. Oversights: on slippery roads, making 2 consecutive 90 turns is neck-breaking; cars coming from the crossing road have enough excuse to block the bicycle path "otherwise they can't see the cars coming") Another fine example is that cross-road where a bicycle meets 2 red lights (and, as a result, has to wait at least for one of them, and often for both) just to drive straight ahead.

Well, that's just one explanation of the term. The other one is where car drivers use the excuse "I didn't see you coming" after you hit them when you had right-of-way. Even when you've been watching them for 30 seconds before they reached the crossroads. The reasoning? "The cars are only 5 meters further. Here are only bicyclers. I'm sure they'll stop for me. So I don't even need to watch out for them." Except that, well, I don't.

I'm good, thank you. That steam coming from my ears? It will stop soon, I hope.

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August 19, 2004

Exercise result

I finally took the time to replace my picture on the right (for the non-rss-feedreaders amongst you, that is). For your reference, this is the old version:

The new picture was cropped from this one:

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Speedy Gonzalez

If I would have been on a scooter, I would have been speeding: my maximum speed on a bicycle path this morning:

I have to admit, I might have had just the slightest downwind.

Posted by tomk at 03:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

I'm half the man I used to be

Well, that's not entirely true. "I'm 90% the man I used to be" is closer to the truth. The scales were official this morning. And that all thanks to this.

Posted by tomk at 10:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

Back

We've been on holiday for two weeks. We pretty much accomplished what we planned to do: as little as possible. Previous years, when we went to France, we saw every castle and every church (and even the odd museum) that was within a day's drive. This year, we got as far as the camping's swimming pool. And we hit the car 2 times: for animals, and for animals. Nothing as fulfilling of seeing a 2-year old's jaw drop when confronted with a giant turtle behind the window. Plans have already been made to relive the experience closer to home. (We already have year passes to the land animals next to our door).

To end a great fortnight, we gathered up with some life-long friends (as in: friends for over 10 years), along with their offspring, and paid a visit to one of the best attraction parks for small children. More jaws dropping in "Carnival Land" and, especially, "Fata Morgana".

When coming in on Monday, I was treated with the welcome message "you're moving all our code base from VSS to CVS the day after tomorrow. And by the way, you have to prepare the developers for this move in the mean time, too". Great. During the day, I heard a lot of news that came by surprise, and looks worrying and hopeful at the same time. We'll have to see how things work out. Quite a re-entry day.

The big move is planned for this evening (the developers have hopefully been prepared yesterday), so I've arranged for pizza at home to avoid a midnight cooking session. But I'm ready for it. Let the beast go!

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May 28, 2004

1K

Yesterday, I was so proud:

That's right, 1K kilometers on my bike.

This morning, I was up real early (see here), the sun was shining, so I decided to take the touristic route to work. I jumped on my bike and ... I heard "pfpfpfpfff" (or something alike). Flat tire. Damn.

Since this is the first time this happens, I didn't have a spare ready. So I drove to work by car. I'm feeling very weird now: my legs are actually aching from not doing anything this morning. Lunch break will be spent hunting for a new tire.

Posted by tomk at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2004

Speed

This morning's commute's speed. Yup, that's average speed, in km/h. Not including the time spent waiting for traffic lights, but including the time spent slowing down before and speeding up after a red light. If you would've told me this two months ago, I would've laughed at you in the face. Oh, yes, that's on a bicycle.

Posted by tomk at 04:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

23: my turn

Outer Web Thought Log: 23: I'm in!. My turn (now that I'm finally near a book :-/ ):

To be truly versatile, the EJB component design had to be smart.

Nobody defined the rule "the closest book you agree with"....

Enterprise JavaBeans, 3rd edition, Richard Monson-Haefel, O'Reilly

Posted by tomk at 12:12 PM | TrackBack

April 09, 2004

Kids...

... they make everything else seem so futile, even to the most avid coders: Andrew. Vincent. You're warned.

Meanwhile, he still seems to fight this feeling. We'll see how long it lasts...

Posted by tomk at 10:04 AM | TrackBack

March 24, 2004

Commute

Just 2 photos I wanted to share with you. Above: 26 February 2004. Below: 23 March 2004. Do you see the difference?

Posted by tomk at 10:41 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 21, 2004

The new job - details

Marc is asking me about my new job. Since he's the guy who hired me for my first job (regular readers should hear some bells ringing now -- "whiteboard" and "balloons"), I'll oblige.

First off, read the announcement, and, of course, my description of my ideal job. Add my personal view on time management, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what it is all about.

My official title (I think, I've not yet seen any business cards) is "I.T. Architect". I'm working in the "Architecture & Support" departement of a Java end-user. And that title pretty much describes my job: to help in the architecture of applications, and to support developers when they encounter problems. Other aspects are code reviews (thank God for PMD), guidelines, setting up development environments, selecting frameworks, etc etc. In short, "be supportive".

What I like about it? Especially the short bursts in which everything happens. You get a problem, you help solving it (my most favorite input: to be the cardboard engineer), and you're done. Onto the next problem. No "if I code a little faster today, I will probably have another piece of functionality ready by the end of next month." I happen to like variation.

No rants then? Of course there are. It's incredible how car drivers treat bicycle riders. When starting at a traffic light, they pass you at 10cm next to your steering wheel, just to ... see you ride by on the queue at the next traffic light. Yes, they do get my finger then.

Oh, and yesterday, I fell. Bruised knee and elbow. Damn those wet tram rails.

Posted by tomk at 12:08 AM | TrackBack

March 15, 2004

New job

Long time since the last blog. That, of course, has everything to do with my new job. A lot of new things to learn, and a lot of new people to get to know. So far, everything went good though. I even already worked a bit, between hopping from one training session to the next.

Having a member of the BeJUG steering committee as boss does have its advantages. I could already participate in the "Web Application workshop": one day of comparing the most hip and cool web application frameworks. Interesting to have everything digested into one day. Cocoon seems to finally make efforts to come out of its marketing isolation (yes people, perception is reality). Tapestry is becoming a mature platform, too.

Time to work today: 19 minutes. Average speed: 25 km/h. Max speed: 36 km/h. Yihaa!

Posted by tomk at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2004

The important things in life

Matthew writes:

Having to look after my kids in this intensive fashion for the past 3 months has certainly allowed me to take some reality-checks on what sort of stuff is important and what isn't.

People are awed these days when I tell them I turned down a "consultancy" job (read: big car, big money, bodyshopping, driving to Brussels every day) and choose a job with a "end-user" (less money and no car, but 7 km from home, with interesting job content and an interesting boss). It's all about putting things in perspective. If the only reason I need a big car is to stand in traffic with it, then I prefer not to have one. And play with the kids an the girlfriend instead.

All this is my way of finally relieving the suspense: this is it, starting Monday. Believe it or not, this brings my waste count almost down to zero (I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to completely loose those NPE's -- nor that I really want to).

Posted by tomk at 02:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 10, 2004

Ain't it the truth


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February 06, 2004

Identifying myself visually

It is always weird when somebody you apparently know, links to you, but doesn't provide her name. Now, what also is weird is when somebody does a good job at this (Wouter Vernaillen did), but you can't really remember his face. The name rings a bell, and even the story does, but I just can't remember his face. And if I'm right about who he is, we used to work only 2 desks apart. It's weird when old age gets to your memory.

So in order to help you remember my face, I put a picture on the main page of this blog. Not really art, and probably not the best picture either (I really need to get my hair cut more often), but at least you'll remember me. Or recognize me when we bump into each other while walking around in Antwerp. Or give me hair fashion advice.

Posted by tomk at 09:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 28, 2004

13 months ago...

... I described my ideal job. And now I've found it. Unbelievable. The best part is: I didn't remember this post until after I signed the contract. And rereading it, I became more and more confident that I made the right decision. I'll miss the people at my current position though. In the mean time: 67 traffic jams to go, and I'll bike to work!

Details coming as soon as I'm sure the legal issues are solved.

Posted by tomk at 10:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 14, 2004

A new star is born

Tuur Klaasen - 13 Januari 2004 - 16u30 - 3,740kg - 53cm

Photos coming soon.

Update: The first photo

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January 06, 2004

Please identify yourself

In dust we trust seems to know me. Looks like (s)he is an ex-collegue of mine, interested in Cocoon, living in Ghent, into techno, and has me in his/her blogroll. I can only come up with one such person, and he's blogging here. So dear Mr(s) Dust, who are you? You don't mention your name, or an email address...
Posted by tomk at 02:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 05, 2004

Life just got easier

I got one of these, as described here. Seems to work like a charm. My only worry is to remember to take it home when I finish my working day...
Posted by tomk at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

Social skills

In this light, Richard Saunders is intriguing:
Fortunately, I've determined that competency is usually less important than social skills.
and a little farther up:
On a side note, I've discovered that personal productivity is less important in a corporate environment than asking questions that allow others to seem the expert. Today I asked my boss to explain something rather trivial. Once he explained it, he actually thought I was smarter for asking. Oddly, he actually got it wrong, but I'll keep that to myself.
It also seems that he tricks people in explaining him stuff by pretending he's a complete idiot. Now I think he's smarter than he believes he is, but of course, that might be a trick of his too.
Posted by tomk at 11:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 05, 2003

People and Faces

All this blog and email stuff does you forget that the people you communicate with, often have faces. For example, this guy wonders whether we met on JavaPolis. I don't know. I've talked with a lot of people that I don't know, and I felt a bit awkward to turn their name labels to be able to read them (they weren't pinned onto your chest, put hung around your neck. And cords tend to twist.) So Wouter, this is me. Did we meet?
Posted by tomk at 04:03 PM | TrackBack

October 13, 2003

Musical OSS

I'm catching up on weblogs after a week of holiday, and the more I read about the GetTogether, like this (music to explain pipelines? How the hell did he do that?), the more I regret I wasn't there... More luck next year, I hope.
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Scenery

Markus shows us Ghent. Hmm, and to think that I've walked on that spot quite a few times, without noticing how beautiful it actually is. It takes a foreigner to point out the nice things in your country...

The same thing happened last Saturday in Antwerp, when I went shopping with the family. We saw a lot of tourists gazing at stuff, and only when we started wondering what was so interesting, we saw the beauty. Belgians are just not chauvinistic enough, I guess.

Posted by tomk at 12:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 15, 2003

INTP

Vincent sends me to yet another personality test. I came out "INTP", which is the architect. That sounds fairly right. Another description is here.

Just to tell you "If you think I'm arrogant, so be it, it's my nature. At least it's not vanity."

Posted by tomk at 02:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 31, 2003

Swing



First time on the swing. Should learn how light works.
Posted by tomk at 04:46 PM | TrackBack

July 09, 2003

New career

Vincent is offering me a sales job. Hmm, would that give me the right to tighten your guestimates? Accepted, then! ;-)
Posted by tomk at 11:33 AM | TrackBack

June 26, 2003

Back

One is now supposedly obliged to blog when he's back from vacation? Well, I am. 2 weeks of France. One week in the oven of the Provence (37C is not a laugh with a one-year-old), and one very nice week in the Jura region (Rougemont, which is "near" Besanon, which is "near" Dyon. Funny how distance is relative. I would never tell somebody that Brussels, Belgium is "near" Antwerp, Belgium, although the distance in kilometers is probably smaller than Rougemont-Besanon. Anyway...)

The little one has learnt to walk a few hundred meters holding hands, and crying "mjamjam" when he's hungry. Now we only have to teach him to say "Daddy, can I have a sandwich please?" to ease the communication a bit more. Well, maybe we should start in Dutch.

As for the future: we're going back to France in October. The west side this time (Marmande, "near" Bordeaux). We're looking forward to it. Not in the least because we'll stay in a house instead of a motorhome, which might maybe convince Lowie to keep sleeping when daddy turns around in bed, and thus gives us more than 6 hours sleep a night.

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May 25, 2003

Learnt young is done old

So you can't start teaching them soon enough!

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April 29, 2003

Re: dumb-ass

Seems like I have some explaining to do: Outer Web Thought Log: False modesty. I didn't say that I felt a dumb-ass, I only meant that by the other guy, and any occasional innocent bystanders for that matter, I must have been perceived that way. Moreover, the time nor the context didn't allow us to go into an intellectual arm-wrestling to see who actually was more knowing, it only went "Hmm, yeah, Cocoon was hard to learn in those days." "No it isn't." "Yeah it was." "No it isn't." "See ya."

Now is this "Java" or "Personal"? Or "XML"?

Later: Oops, almost forgot: Thanks for the compliment, Steven!

Posted by tomk at 03:55 PM | TrackBack

April 17, 2003

Mit

Another Bridge joins the world: Mit. Congratulations to you and your wife, Rik! Enjoy her as much as I do this little chap!
Posted by tomk at 09:48 AM | TrackBack

March 03, 2003

Belgian elections

Bruggen showed me the way to De Standaard's Poll advice. I was surprised. Apparently, I have a lot in common with the Spirit party, which I marked as 'irrelevant" (because too small and too dispersed internally), and I hardly agree with SP.A, while I was thinking about voting for Patrick Janssen (if he is electable).

This seems to indicate that I'm not as well-informed as I believed I was. However, my preference was maybe not inspired by the programmes, but by the persons. Spirit is a club of highly intellectual we-should-doers, while Mr. Janssen is more of a doer. This doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with everything SP.A does, but I do believe that the city of Antwerp needs a strong personality to lead the city, instead of a Mrs. nice grandmother. But there don't seem to be many strong personalities who are willing to take lead of our city.

Note to self: in a previous life, Mr. Janssen was head of an advertising firm. Maybe, just maybe, can that explain my perception of him.

Todo: inform self better before half May.

Later: the upcoming elections are for government, not for city counsel. This again demonstrates that I really should get started informing myself. Of course, some parties have only one programme point: "we want in!" (N-VA). Bellybutton staring like that hardly encourages me to get an informed opinion.

Posted by tomk at 10:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 27, 2003

Feathers

Outer Web Thought Log: Cluefull people get rewarded and It's happening: Bruno is about to become Apache committer. Outerthought now has one business analyst (aka "feature-spawner"), one architect (aka "modelisator") and one developer (aka "worker"), who are all committers. I guess that makes them the first single-company Apache waterfall ;-) Congrats, Bruno!

Posted by tomk at 11:25 AM | TrackBack

January 24, 2003

Warm, fuzzy feeling

The tags may be pointy, but mails like this make me feel fuzzy. Batteries are charging even more.
Posted by tomk at 10:11 AM | TrackBack

January 23, 2003

Jealousy

... is a sin, I know, but when reading Ovidiu Predescu's Weblog: The first week at Google, it's a feeling I can't suppress. Enjoy, Ovidiu! And I'll drink a Belgian beer today =)
Posted by tomk at 09:14 AM | TrackBack

January 22, 2003

What's a programmer?

IT Trends Blog - Citation du jour. Smile :-)
Posted by tomk at 09:48 AM | TrackBack

Blog danger

Sucking less, on a budget:
Certainly I recognize the irony that my musings about my fifteen minutes running out generated more email than my weekly amount of spam. Next time I get depressed, remind me to just talk to my cats.
Without comment.
Posted by tomk at 09:45 AM | TrackBack

January 12, 2003

Geek marriage

Andy Oliver asks
I am curious how many geeks marry inside the clan.
I didn't. My wife is a nurse in "neonatology", where they take care of the children that have been born too soon or with complications. I'm glad she isn't a geek: she drags me outside to see some sun from time to time. And it's great for relativising things. When I come home after a day's work, I grunt "goddamn, I've been busy whole day because the live site was down. We probably lost a lot of money." She: "We lost a twin today. Their lungs weren't capable of surviving."

We still could use a good bookkeeper though ;-)

Posted by tomk at 08:44 AM | TrackBack

January 11, 2003

Sh*t

Another reason for starting a mexican wave. Marc, I wouldn't feed him too much mexican food though. And you can be comfortable about the P&G guys: they're gonna be just fine. I'm sponsoring them now, and for quite some time to come.

(Now, does this belong under "General", "Entertainment", or "Technology"?)

Posted by tomk at 06:39 PM | TrackBack

January 05, 2003

Work vs hobby

Mr Roller:
However, if you spend too much time on the work and career side of things even as a hobby, you may regret it later. If you spend too much time with the people that you love, you'll have nothing to regret.
Cheers to that. I'm trying to get myself to live by this rule, too. (Now entering only my 3th computer hour on a Sunday. Hey, it's a start).

The hard thing is the dilemma I've already discovered when I had to choose a college study: if your hobby becomes your work, what do you do in your free time? Work, essentially... (of course, you can live your hobby at least 8 hours per working day. That's the other side of the same medal :) )

Posted by tomk at 03:24 PM | TrackBack

Programming vs development

Mr Roller:
I have to admit that the idea of a guy who sucks at programming doing analysis and design frightens the hell out of me. I hope Tom is just being self-deprecatingly modest.
Thanks for the addition of the last line :-) Rest assure that I feel the same: you can't be a good analyst without being an (at least) decent programmer. The "suck at" was a bit exaggerated, but I've accepted the fact that I will never be as good a programmer as the guys who drop an RSS feed implementation out of their sleeves in one night. On the other hand, if I wrote the RSS spec, it would be good. Those two things just require very different skills, but an analyst and a programmer have to have a bit of both.

Actually, when I finished college, I wanted to go in the analysis direction. I never understood those guys who were getting kicks in C by removing 2 CPU cycles out of their algorithm. But since I didn't (and don't) believe you can be a good analyst without knowing how to program, I started as a programmer ("Software Engineer" was the term at the time). And while working as a programmer, I've often had to work with analysts who didn't live to this rule. It wasn't them who suffered from this...

BTW, Steven seems to think I know Java. Perception is reality. He has been my boss for some time ;-)

Posted by tomk at 09:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 03, 2003

Greg again

Greg describes his first new-year-with-a-child.
Posted by tomk at 04:22 AM | TrackBack

January 02, 2003

Can't... resist.....

Steven again
  • An RSS feed with only the first few words of your post makes me just as sad as an RDF feed (which, by the way, shows up just the same in Aggie to me).
  • What's the metaphor for having a permalink on a timestamp? A # at least looks like something engraved in stone.
For the rest, all the best, don't take my remarks too heavily, "it's all about having fun", we all only have 2 hands and 25 hours in a day, etc etc.
Posted by tomk at 07:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stevenn

Steven has left Radio Userland, and is now residing on a Moveable Type. Two things that jumped to my eye:
  • Steven doesn't know the title of his own weblog (compare the new version with the old one).
  • Steven now has RDF instead of RSS. That makes me sad. Hopefully he just didn't find out how to provide an RSS feed yet.
One other thing: he finally has noticed that life is all about saying goodbye. (And why is there no permalink to this article on your main page, Steven?)
Posted by tomk at 04:24 AM | TrackBack

January 01, 2003

New Year

Following the masses: happy new year to all of you! May your wishes (whatever they might be) come true.

It was my first new year's eve with a child. We invited some friends over (including a couple who have a 2-month old daughter) and had an exquisite evening (although there was a lot of crying and milk involved). I think I had a better time than in the days when I "had" to go out and get drunk in some bar. People change.

Only one good intention: remember "it's all about having fun" more often.

Posted by tomk at 02:41 PM | TrackBack

December 26, 2002

Waste

The more frequent visitors of my blog may have noticed that I've been raving about some itches recently (and even not so recently). While writing all these, I thought I was feeling the constraints of time, being a young dad and all. But this morning, it hit me: I wasn't feeling a shortage of time, I was feeling Waste. Waste of time, yes, but also waste of energy, waste of opportunities, waste of happiness, etc etc.

Let's have a look at the more obvious subjects of my ravings:

  1. Traffic jams. They're not only a waste of time, they're also a waste of energy. Instead of being at work in 20 minutes, it takes me 1 hour. That's 40 minutes of my lifetime that basically has disappeared in void. Multiply that by 200 (about the number of days I work a year), and it makes you depressed. Moreover, it's also a waste of energy. While I know it's no use to be mad because the car before me leaves a gap of 100 meters, I can't help myself. Frustration overboiling. The waste of opportunities is pretty obvious (I can use this time for being with Lowie, my son, or Sandra, my girlfriend, or Dora, my cat, or Gonzalez, my PC ;) ) The waste of happiness is a consequence of all of the above.
  2. Linux. Well, maybe this is a bit too general. Linux is not a waste of time or anything else, if you want to learn how a computer works (or, as some like to say, how some computers work). However, if you want to learn something else, or just want to get other work done, it gets in your way. What gets in your way, has to be removed. If it's in your way, you'll feel unhappy about it, and no longer consider it as an opportunity but as a waste of time.
  3. "Community blockers". I like a good discussion. I enjoy a good discussion. In fact, a good discussion opens your mind, refreshes your view, learns you something. However, I despise a discussion for the sake of discussion. "Here's something I can bitch about, let's do it". This takes away so much time of the people that want to get things done, that they will get unhappy and turn away. And instead of a win-win situation (one offers advice, the other implements it), you now have a loose-loose situation (nothing gets implemented, and there even is nothing to bitch about anymore). For the sake of honesty, I have to admit that I have been tempted to do that in the past. That was before I realized that the people writing and reading those mails were real people. They're not part of your PC, you know, they are real living human beings, with good qualities, sensitive points, and everything else that constitutes a human being. If you think about this right before you press ctrl-enter, you won't press it in many cases. Stefano.
  4. Administration. I'm one of those "lazy" guys. If I'm going to program a string-reversion method, I don't think giving my project manager a detailed time planning for it is useful. If people know I'm in the office every day for 7h36m (overtime is not accounted for anyways), I don't know why I have to put that on a piece of paper every month and get it signed three times. If I want to contribute something to the better of the world, I don't know why I have to worry about GPL/APL/license of the day. Administration gets on my nerves. I want to take one step forward, and I have to take 3 others, totally unrelated ones in my view, in order to do so. This is a waste of energy, of time, of happiness, ... well, all the ones I mentioned already :-)
  5. NullPointerExceptions. If you're a Java programmer (or any other programmer, for that matter), you know what I'm talking about. Programming is fun. NullPointerExceptions aren't. While they're mostly your own fault, they are frustrating. They get on your nerves. They make you unhappy.
Life is supposed to be about having fun. Each and every point of the above is fun for some people (although I don't know about the traffic jams -- I suppose you have to be a bit masochistic for that). It's fun to learn the ins and outs of your pc. It's fun to have an open discussion with your peers. It's nice to have a clear idea of what you're doing and where you're going. It's fun to spend two weeks working on some code, and then finally have a sprite that moves across your screen. But I seem to have come in a point in my life where the downsides of all of them have become more obvious to me than the upsides. Time to stop moaning, and to find a solution. I have the feeling that the previous switch isn't going to be the only one.

A final note: don't forget that the title of this blog is not "Thought".

Posted by tomk at 03:23 AM | TrackBack

December 24, 2002

Son

People enjoy the same stuff everywhere: Greg's spent a day with his son. I did the same yesterday with mine, because he was sick. I just called to work to say I wouldn't come in, laid in the coach, put Lowie on my belly (that's his all-time favorite location), and just laid. And laid. It certainly was one of the finer moments of the past few months.

I'm one of those romantic guys who think that spending time with your family is important. If I could save 1 hour every day commuting, I could spend it on being with my son. One whole hour a day. Just me and my son. That beats "community"-based ranting and raving any time. A community is a place where people gather together to reach a common goal. It's not a market place where you just stand on a craddle and start insulting and discouraging other people. Alas, it's the second one that I see more and more going on. So expect me to spend more and more time on my son.

Hmm, this one seems to be a bit confused. I'll try to iron it out next time. I just wanted to mention Greg's good times anyways, but the rest just spilled the rim.

Posted by tomk at 03:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2002

Star Wars II

Saw ATOC yesterday. Just a quick note to tell you that I liked Yoda jumping around like a pinball. I thought it would be a bad move from George Lucas, but I enjoyed it.
Posted by tomk at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2002

Creche

It's been my son's first day at the creche today. I got to play the hearthless dad that leaves his child with some complete stranger, and my girlfriend was the loving mom that came to pick him up...

Anyways, time to put up his photo ;)

Posted by tomk at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2002

Who am I?

I forgot to tell you who I am. I think this page should give you a tiny idea already.
Posted by tomk at 09:25 AM | TrackBack