Friday, March 20, 2009

Oh! I forgot

Somewhere between "Finished The Terror" and "Noticed the girl had cleaned the entire apartment": Headbanged in the elevator to Pantera.

Grown ups are quirky creatures, full of quirks and secrets

My day, in short.

Woke up. Had myself a turbo morning. Went to work. Had meetings from eight until four. Lunch during a meeting. A chicken sallad. Wrote a Change Request for our statistics system. Finished a Commercial Description for a new project. Took the train home. Finished The Terror by Dan Simmons. Excellent, excellent book. Noticed the girl had cleaned the entire apartment. Squeaky. Fucking. Clean. Smile. Ate hamburger. Watched The Others. Scary-ass movie. Cuddled in the couch. Watched Eddie Izzard's Circle. Laughed. Soon sleep. A good day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

If I thought for one second that you were betraying me, I'd be forced to suspend you head first in the Bog of Eternal Stench

Today they're using the cleaning product that smells like vomit at work. Mmm, good.

Why oh why would you even consider manufacturing a cleaning product that smells like vomit? How hard can it be to add something that makes it smell better? Hell, I'd settle for urine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ignorance is lack of knowledge, whereas faith is rejection of it

My dear friend the Pope managed to say that condoms will make the AIDS epidemic in Africa worse, not better. Well done, you Palpatine clone you. Yet another reason to carpet bomb the Vatican.

No energy to keep on ranting, so I'll let someone else do it for me.

Thou shalt not kill. Murder. The fifth commandment. But if you think about it … if you think about it, religion has never really had a problem with murder. Not really. No, more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason. All you have to do … all you have to do is look at slavery, the Middle East, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and the World Trade Center, and you'll see how seriously the religious folks take "Thou Shalt Not Kill". The more devout they are … the more devout they are, the more they see murder as negotiable … it's negotiable. It depends, you know? It depends, it depends on who's doing the killing and who's getting killed.
- George Carlin

Monday, March 16, 2009

Travel is glamorous only in retrospect

I walked outside at half past five this morning. The sky was already a lighter shade of blue. Pink in the east. Cold. Winter's last hurrah. In the parking lot where cars burn now and then, people were scraping the frost off their car windows.

Spring was in the air yesterday. "This is the first day that doesn't smell like winter", a friend said. It was true. And we all felt it. Spring in the air became spring in our souls.

This afternoon, in a car going to our pitstop for the night in Gothenburg, spring felt very far away. A landscape drenched in fog and rain, dotted with farms and ten foot milk cartons spread out around us. Endless traffic. Two people crammed into the backseat with me, and I'm not a skinny guy.

Now I'm sprawled on a hotel bed, the TV on, laptop on my lap (hence the name), and a book within easy reach. The backseat boys are trying to lure me down to the hotel bar with promises of beer, but the way things look now, I'll stay right here and go to bed early. Spring is very far from both soul and body right now.

I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit

Click the pic. Read the error message. Laugh.

It's springtime, for Beardo, and Germany

0550. Flemingsberg. Light in the sky.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?

I rarely remember my dreams. And if I do they're often nightmares. Whoever wired my brain messed it up something good. Thanks, evolution.

Last night I had a dream the doorbell rang. I walked from the bedroom and opened the door. Outside stood Indiana Jones. And not the Harrison Ford nor the Sean Patrick Flanery incarnation, no no no. That wouldn't be weird enough. Outside stood Lego Indiana Jones.

For some reason he reached to about my waist. Without a word he pushed by me, ran into the living room and started destroying furniture to get Lego studs. Which, of course, is what you do when you're Lego Indiana Jones.

There he is, fedora and all

As he was working his way through the dinner table and chairs, Mah Girl came running from the bedroom, screaming “Noooo! Not the couch!”. Then I woke up.

I wonder what Freud would make of that... My guess is he would say “Stop playing video games!”.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter

I'm psychic. And sore.

This old man
He played once
He played knick-knack
On my drums

And so on and so forth.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm gonna be sore tomorrow

Today a full-length day with the team I work in. Talk of strategy, product development, the future. Fairly interesting and thought provoking. Afterwards, we played curling. Curling! Boule on ice. Or maybe chess on ice. Whatever. It was fun, and more exhausting than I thought. Now, chili and beer. Sweet. Oh, the pic is good beer, bad beer.

Monday, March 9, 2009

You talk to God, you're religious. God talks to you, you're psychotic

Nothing can piss me off faster than religion. And I do mean nothing. My guess is I was seething visibly as I sat on the subway after I read Metro's short article referencing this story this morning.

So "the abortion, the elimination of an innocent life, was more serious" than the repeated rape of a nine year-old girl? Fuck you. Fuck you and the pathetic excuse for a world view you call religion.

I know, I know, I should be making detailed arguments here, not resorting to cursing, but I can't help myself. This is the kind of asinine bullshit that renders rational arguments obsolete. To quote Doctor House:

Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise there would be no religious people.

I can understand the fascination with religion, I really can. The need to find some sense and order in the world is easily satisfied that way, and you can go to sleep with a smile on your face, safe in the knowledge that if something bad happens to you or someone you love, you can always rationalize it with “'twas God's will”. I call it the easy way out.

Some people I know, rational, intelligent, fantastic people, are religious. I have yet to discuss the intricacies of their faith with them, because I know I'm running a very real risk of escalating the discussion to a level where I'll say something I shouldn't. But I will have to, at some point. I need to understand. I need to understand why these rational, intelligent, fantastic people have chosen religion.

For now, I remain upset. Angry. Unable to understand how someone can still let standards set in the Dark Ages dictate the way they should tell others to live their lives. If there's anywhere in the civilized world (which is a stretch, considering the subject matter) that is in need of a bloody revolution, it's the Vatican. Let them taste a bit of that fire and brimstone, and see how they feel.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

There were pretty songs

Apart from the walk down to the local sunkhak to buy pizza, I haven't moved more than ten feet from the couch today. Last night was fairly subdued, but we didn't get to bed until two thirty, and I feel the lack of sleep. So, a string of episodes of Spaced, and fatty foods, in the company of two excellent friends. My kind of day.

The anticipation last night was brutal. I've been a fan of Wintersleep since 2003, when I read a review at ThePRP and then found a fragment of an mp3 of “Orca”, that we listened to over and over and over. Since I'm the CD buying type, I tried finding the CD, but it was impossible. The only place I found it only shipped within Canada.

An email to the band led to contact with then bassist Jud, who was kind enough to send me the CD. Now that there is concern for a fan. We emailed a bit, and Mah Girl and I translated their bio to Swedish, since they had for some reason decided to have it in as many languages as possible on their homepage.

When their second CD came out, I ordered it, a tee and a few other CDs directly from their label, which was run by the band. The package took weeks to arrive, traveling as it did by boat across the Atlantic (and quite possibly sherpa and llama before that from the depths of Canada's wilderness). When the package arrived, there was a tire track straight across it. No kidding, an actual tire track. I can understand a package being dropped, but dropped and then run over? Unlikely.

A few CD cases were damaged, and the disc from the singer's other band, Kary, was broken. The email explaining it all was met with a short “Dude, that's harsh. New stuff is in the mail”. This time via air mail. So now I have two copies of the second Wintersleep CD; one in a damaged case, the second one still wrapped in plastic.

The third CD, I sort of missed. It was released last year, and I didn't get it until a few months ago. There's no reasonable explanation for it, it just sort of happened. Which is weird, since I love the first two. Whatever. By that point I had given up on seeing the band in Sweden. They'd been in Europe a few times, but never close enough to just go see.

So last night was the culmination of a six year long wait. Seeing a band I love live is as close to a religious experience as I can ever get, and there have been many extreme highlights over the years. Wintersleep didn't rank among the best, for a few reasons (too short a gig, not enough songs from the older albums, kind of an anticlimax at the end, and the vocals were too low in the mix at times), but it was still a great show.

As we walked out, a few of the band members were outside, smoking. I walked over, told them what a great show it was and explained I was the guy who translated their bio. They were mildly surprised, to say the least.

So. Full circle. Now they need to come here again and play for two hours, and play more old songs. I'm such a fan boy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This calls for a delicate blend of psychology and extreme violence

Very Metal, to quote Vyvyan Basterd.

Thanks to Matthias for the link. You metal nerd, you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wish there was something real

NIN: Wish live with Ben & Greg from The Dillinger Escape Plan - Adelaide, 2.28.09 [HD] from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.

Not quite the total chaos that is the Dillinger Escape Plan live, but a fantastic combo nonetheless. And nobody got their eye poked out.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time

I've never been much for planning ahead. This is where everyone I know go “Liar!” but we're talking about two different things. When it comes to my day to day life, meeting up with friends, etc, I do plan ahead. A lot. In fact, I'm a real control freak. If I leave the office for lunch and don't have at least an idea of where I'll be eating, I become a nuisance. A pain in the ass. A never ending tirade of questions about where, when, how, why.

When I say I don't plan ahead, I'm instead referring to life. To the bigger issues. Work, for example. I never planned on being where I am today, as product manager at Sweden's second largest telecom company. It's all circumstances that have brought me here, circumstances and knowing the right people at the right time.

I don't really have a goal when it comes to my working life. And long-term, I usually don't have goals when it comes to other aspects of my life either. I'm very much a go with the flow kind of guy, in that respect.

And so it is with writing as well. On some level I have aspirations of being published, but I think I never really considered it as a viable option, until a guy in my writing class got a book deal a year and a half ago (I think it was). However, work and life in general has, as many of you know, been getting in the way of my writing, and I haven't taken any significant steps forward in a long time.

This is about to change. I now have a very specific goal with my writing. On February 20th 2010, I need to have two freakin' perfect short stories, of 2500 – 6000 words each, ready and polished and tweaked. I am applying to a six week long writing sci fi/horror/fantasy writing workshop in the US, and need them for the application.

To put this in perspective, the longest story I've completed and feel content with, is 683 words... I do have longer things written, but not finished and certainly not good enough to send away.

So. I have a goal. And my work cut out for me.