A rantbox by Michiel Scholten

Life's tricks

Life is fun. Even pessimists know life can be fun, if only for having a great girlfriend and being able to having good times with her. But life can play it's tricks upon us.

Enter the younger brother of my gf and his own girlfriend. They are both 19 years old and quite fond of each other. She had finally decided what study she wanted to do and had just started her first year following it's classes. Last week they had something to tell us. She is pregnant. Completely unplanned [little bit in conflict with her study too...], and having a huge impact on their lifes. We where baffled. Thankfully their respective parents wheren't angry [or at least not for long], and started helping with finding solutions immediately, because they already had decided to keep it.

So, basically, I'm going to be uncle. From a couple that's about three years younger than me. At the one side this is great [I guess children are cool, besides being quite a hassle for their parents], but at the other side there is a very challenging time ahead of us all, and especially the two young parents. Now I only hope everything goes well. I at least wish them all the luck in the world.

Then there's the other side of life. Last Wednesday Richard Stallman was at our University for a speech about software patents. Quite interesting [I already knew most of the points however], and quite fun to see "mister GNU" in real life. Then the next day the following news message came along: Hans Bakker, who held the chair during the ne2000 event died in a car crash that morning in Paris. Together with two others he had brought Richard Stallman to Paris only to get involved in a fatal car crash on the way back. May his soul rest in peace.

I didn't know this guy before this message came along, but I'm quite touched by the dead of this young man. He was a geek, like me, only a better known one. He was about my age [I guess a bit older], had a girlfriend and was a Free software fan, just like me. I know people are dying all the time, but this comes a bit closer to home. Life is a bitch. My thoughts go out to his girlfriend and his other kin.

For Dutch speaking/reading people, here's an article from webwereld.nl about the accident.

So, in an otherwise average, yet somewhat busy week, such incidents make you think. Life is so relative. You expect life to behave a certain way for the foreseeable future, but it may just turn into a completely unexpected road. The trick is to make the best of it I guess.