Guardians of the Galaxy

I rarely do movie reviews. Simply because I don’t feel that my taste can be applied to anyone else and also… everyone has an opinion, mine is no more special.

But last summer I saw the trailer for the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Both me and the wife kinda scoffed at is as kinda rediculous waste of time seeing that movie. We rarely have time to see movies so when we do they better be good. And the other day I saw it. And it was rediculously fun!!! It had the right amount of everything – right amound of action, right amount of humor, right amount of scifi, right amount of villain – everything was right (or “lagom” to use the famous Swedish word). It’s really great when you have low expections of a movie and end up loving it! Kinda like “Gravity” last year. And exactly like “Gravity” last year I went straight ahead and ordered the 3D Bluray. Not only because it was a good movie but because Sam is going to love it in a few years! I also loved the music in it but I feel like they should’ve have amped it up a bit – I mean “Hooked on a feeling” in a home cinema should really feel more than it did.

So no, it wasn’t a waste of time at all.

I Finally Made It – MCSE !

Wind back the clock some 17-18 years when I was working as a computer guy at Min Dator spending my days building computers and installing them for our customers. I thought I was pretty darn good at what I did and good with computers. But then we merged with a consultant firm and getting to know those guys with high certification levels made me realise I didn’t know a helluvalot. And then we merged with Pulsen and I tried being a consultant but I could never compete with those guys. And it didn’t help when the boss referred to me as a “resource filler” – that kinda killed my ambition. Then I worked at the lawfirm and it was the most secure employment I could ask for and I had no need or reason to get certifications. But as I was doing my two rounds of trying to get a job before and after the Carema disaster one question kept coming up during interviews. “You’ve done a few courses, do you have the certifications?” – which I didn’t. I never heard anyone say that was bad or that was the reason I didn’t get a job but it showed me that employers actually do care about that.

So when I got the job here I said I didn’t only want to take the courses I wanted to take the certifications too – and my employer said ok to take that expense (granted, it’s only €100-€150 each but still a nice gesture). And after I had the first course, studied for the exam and made it with flying colours I realised how easy it was for me. So my boss and I sat a goal for me (which we use for bonus calculations) to become MCSE – Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert.

MCSE_SharePoint_Blk (Custom)Now 2 years and 7 exams later I did it! It doesn’t change my salary, it doesn’t help me with the ladies, it doesn’t do much at work or at home at all – but it’s a personal achievement that has been in the making for quite a while but I never got the thumb out of my ass to do. It’s also something of a growing up thing – which is totally lame thing to say 3 months shy of being 40. But it is for me! I don’t expect anyone to really understands what it means to me since I’m the only “me” there is – but just respect the fact that for me it’s AWESOME! AND EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!! (yeah, we just saw The Lego Movie)

New Photo Album Application

I’ve tried alot of photo albums addon for WordPress but not really liking any of them. So I decided to use a feature in my NAS for this because it works pretty damn good. One feature that I’m working on is the ability to geotag photos so you can map out where we’ve been and the photos from that place (in the top right corner, simply choose “Map”). Unfortunately this means going through every picture and you know me and how retro I can be when I go down that path!
photo_map
Anyway here is the address for it : http://photos.kristoffer.com/photo/
The login is “Gäst” and the password is the Swedish, short name of my employer.

Aftermath of Sam’s Birthday Party

After Sam’s birthday party he immediately felt ill and was tucked down in the soffa for the rest of the weekend. And by Sunday evening I was feeling it a little bit too. So I called in “VAB” (Swedish phenomenen of telling your employer you’ll be home for the day with a sick child but still getting 80% of your salary thanks to our social welfare system). But by Monday afternoon I was out as well. My wife worked the night shift this week and by Tuesday morning she was feeling it a bit too.

And then we spent the entire week tucked down in bed with ~39-39.5 degree fever. And by Thursday Sam was feeling better and ready to play – but had noone to play with since we were both ill. So we took turns being “up and about” for an hour or two each. It was really rediculous. Then we spent the weekend getting better and by Monday I was back to work. Well almost, I was attending a SharePoint course and doing my best not to cough too much and spread the germs.

But that was one helluva week for the household!! Fortunately we’re all 100% back to normal now. Unlike the last time I got a bug like this which made my tinnitus worse :(

Sams 5th Birthday

IMAG0397So my son Sam is 5 already. That went pretty fast if you ask me! And this time we thought we needed two birthday parties for him – one with his friends from kindergarten and one with the family. Since so many of the kids in kindergarten have birthdays in January-February-March we set a date (Saturday Feb 21st) and announced it and got about 12 kids who wanted to come. Not a problem, right?

Well come February 21st and one after another called in sick thanks to some very contagious flu at the kindergarten. Half of them were out sick so it was only 6 kids but that was plenty to keep us busy. My wife had really gone the extra mile(s) to get things ready and fix games and “activity stations” for them so they wouldn’t get bored. And they never did – they kept going and going for 2 hours.

IMAG0401Then one after another went home and we noticed that Sam got a bit tired too and by 6 pm he was down and out, tucked down in the soffa watching Netflix. And this was only the start… To Be Continued

Images from the birthday party can be found here. (login as “Gäst” and the Swedish name of my employer)

Corporate Greed

Oh that never gets old, does it? Over the past month there has been alot of talk about how companies in the air line industry shuffle employees back and forth between companies more or less o for profit. And it’s nothing new really, Ryan Air have been using the practice of not actually employing pilot’s at all but rather have them start their own company and being hired on a flight-by-flight basis by them to not have to deal with the HR issues and costs.

But what’s got me riled up about this is how the management of for example Norwegian Air doesn’t see a problem with doing it this way. Or any other airliner seems to have an issue with it either seein as SAS are having issues in Denmark over the same thing – changing the corporate structure and where the people doing the actual work are actually employed. It seems to be total common practice in the airline industry now. In the IT industry it’s pretty common to ofcourse, when I was laid off from my job at Pulsen I almost started my own company as “just a computer guy”. But that would have been more profitable for me then what I actually did which was to look for a normal office job when I could have been paid double for doing the same work. But with these issues in the airline industry I don’t think anyone can ever argue it’s for anyone else than the company to do all this restructuring and reshuffling.

And what pissed me off was that when the strik was in full force and some flights still made it off the ground and everyone called foul and yelled “strikebreakers” – and the company didn’t know what they were talking about because this was a different company that they got the aircrew from. And they really didn’t get how that was just wrong. It’s like they are living in a different reality where you can get away by just having a big enough buffer of companies and sub-companies between you and the actual work.

And in the middle we have us, the consumers who don’t want to pay more than we have to to get from A to B even though their expenses are going up :(

A total disclaimer here – I have no insight at all of the structure of our own airline, we may be just as bad, I have no idea.

Geek Complaints Because Size Does Matter

If you’ve ever bought a harddrive you know that what is said about it’s size on the package doesn’t equal what Windows says the drive is. What I am really starting to hate is that now that the drives are so damn big I’d say it’s a fraud selling a harddrive as 3TB when in fact it’s only 2.7TB.

The geeky explanation why this has happened is : When 1 kilobyte was established it was with binary math as 2^10 = 1024 bytes. But with the next step, megabyte, math says that 2^20 = 1048576 bytes. But the manufactureres didn’t like that so they decided that 1MB = 1000KB. And now that we are talking TERABYTES this math has gone so wrong that an average disk sold as 1TB disk will in fact only be 931 megabytes (or 0.9TB) in Windows and any other OS or application. That’s almost 7% gone because the manufacturers are saying one thing when math says another.

Why is this bothering me now? Because now I have 5x3TB harddrives in a RAID5 at home. RAID5 means that 1/[number of disks] of space is wasted for parity so I can retain the data if one drive fails. In this case that’s 1/5, that’s 3TB, is gone for that. So 5*3-3 = 12TB. So I should have 12 beautifull TB of space. But I only have 10.8TB. That’s 1.2TB gone – 11% because manufacturers are taking the piss out of math. And it’s really starting to piss me off now that we’re talking about drives in the TB class!

Do you know any other market where a retailer sells you something and you totally accept to only get 89% of what you paid for becuase of math?!

And now you might start to realise … I can do clickbait to! :)

So Very Close

Just a little personal congratulations to myself for having passed 6 Microsoft exams now, and I’m just one little exam away from being a Microsoft Certified Solutions Engineer. I don’t know why that makes me gigly, not likes it’s going to go down well with the ladies but for me it’s a big deal. And it’s not going to give me a payraise nor going to stop my ear from peeping. So it’s just to boost my ego. If all goes we’ll I’ll be on the advanced Sharepoint 2013 course in one month and write the last exam after that for that glorious title.

Yay for me.

You Talking To Me?

As most of the people that knows me know I have tinnitus – an old war injury from a Moby concert in 2001 (but to be fair I believe the front band Röyksopp is more to blame for that!). As a result my hearing in my right ear is slightly off. And on the friday before Christmas I got a really bad cold. So bad that I was tucked in bed all weekend which totally sucked since we were going to host the Christmas dinner for both our families and my wife had to work double-time to get things ready. But the worst part was that the cold resulted in my hearing in the right ear was almost gone! Went to the doctor and ofcourse he said “this is totally normal with a bad infection after a cold, it’ll sort itself out, come back if it isn’t better in … 3 months?”. Yeah, 3 months! Even though the hearing is slowly coming back I still hear the old peep from the tinnitus but multiplied by 10. Before I only heard the peep when it was quiet, like lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Now I hear it even when I’m driving the car with the radio on. Really annoying!

But the worst part is the side effects of not hearing what people are saying! Normally some things are easy to explain away but when talking to a person at work and you have to say “come again?” three times they don’t really think you have some ailment, they think you’re just plain stupid! Like when everyone thought an acquaintance’s father got really forgetful and might have come down with Altzheimers. When they finally made him go to the doctor it turns out he was almost deaf. It wasn’t that he forgot things, he simply didn’t hear what people were saying! So not hearing what people are saying isn’t as socially acceptable as the other things I suffer from unfortunately. If I’m in a meeting and I can’t sit still I can just say “sorry, my RLS is acting up” and everyone understands. Or someone doesn’t know what RLS is and you get into a discussion about that. Or when I can’t stop itching I just say “sorry, my eczema is acting up” and people understand. But after saying “what?” again and again I’m an idiot :(

Really hope it goes away and it goes back to normal cause this beep and people thinking I’m an idiot can drive a person insane!!

Why Filesharing Won’t Go Away

I doubt you’ve read this article : http://torrentfreak.com/uk-users-need-27-services-to-get-most-popular-films-report-finds-141208/ . What it basically says is “if you want to watch the most popular movies the legal way online you have to have 27 subscriptions”. It doesn’t say how much they cost but in my case that is irrelevant. Or you can have one subscription to a good Torrent/Usenet site and get it that way.

It’s the same issue with having physical purchased Blurays versus digtal media files. With the digital media file you simply double click and the movie starts. With buying a physical purchased Bluray you insert the disc and sit through adverts, commercial, trailers, discailmers, copyright notices, sound checks and animated menus that fly back and forth and then the movie actually starts!

That’s why filesharing won’t go away – because it’s a way more convinient way of consuming media today! I’ve started using more of online webservices like Netflix & Viasat which are great but still some issues. They don’t have deals with all studios so they can’t have all the movies & TV series. And the TV shows don’t have the latest episodes shown in the states. So as long as the entertainment industry is set in their ways and don’t want us in Sweden to see the latest episodes/TV series, as long as they have their distribution strategies and insist on showing us trailers, disclaimers and stuff on our discs when all we want is to watch a movie then filesharing won’t go away. I’d gladly pay $50-$100 per month for a service where I could see -> everything <-. But I don’t want to pay $10 per service per month and still not get the latest stuff.

That’s what I think…

Another Microsoft Course

This week I’m on another 5 day Microsoft course. It’s a rather exciting one too – “Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 R2 Services”. Ok that doesn’t sound exciting but for me it actually is since it’s things that I deal with everyday. From NLB to failover clustering – it’s all good fun and usefull stuff. Because I have to admit, sometimes these courses do tend to talk about stuff you’ll never encounter in the real world!

But I am a bit confused. When we were doing the lab for Branch Caching I get a sense of deja vu and realised I know this stuff already thanks to the certification for the course prior to this one! I got so confused I even had to check my MCP status to make sure I didn’t accidentally write the “wrong” exam but nope. It seems MS are a bit confused what’s in the different courses. But I’m not complaining, can never get enough repition on this.

But I do wish MS would make it easier for us and actually license the virtual machines we use…

Just When I Thought I Was Out …

warlords-of-draenor-1920x1200
… they relase a new expansion that is really, really good! I know, I should and I wanted to quit World of Warcraft a long time ago. It’s a huge time sink and no matter how hard I try I can’t even come close to the level I played at 6-7 years ago! But this expansion is actually really, really good!

They’ve decreased the amount of spells, dropped atleast 2 digits on all item attributes and they’ve made the game much harder to play! When I played as healer I have to work pretty hard to keep the gang alive! And when I’m doing it as DPS I actually have to work hard to keep up the DPS as warlock which used to be easy mode.

And the new content, the new dungeons with some of the encounters (like the one on the train) are pretty awesome! UBRS is back and better than before. The one thing I really don’t like is that we can’t fly in the new zone – and they really do utilize altitude as an obstacle in some zones which is pissing me off riding around for 10 minutes to try to find how to get up a cliff!

So nope, will be a while more before I hang up the wizards hat…

F1 over for 2014. Bring on 2015!

hamiltonAnd so the Formula 1 season of 2014 is over with Hamilton & Mercedes taking home the titles this year. Has it been an exciting season? In my opinion … no. Because even though the title fight went down to the wire, to the very last race and alive and well a good 30 minute into the race until Rosberg’s engine started acting up, despite that I don’t think it was too exciting. And I don’t think it’s only because I’m a Ferrari fan, and Ferrari hardly even got a podium all year. I think it’s because one team was so dominant that it never really got exciting for me! It reminded me of 2009 when Brawn GP were so dominant that it never got exciting!

You could counter with all those years that Ferrari were dominant but as I said, I’m a Ferrari fan so how can I complain about that? But I do enjoy a good season where two people from different teams are contenders. Like those seasons with Schumi vs Hakkinen, Schumi vs Alonso, Hamilton vs Ferrari and Red Bull vs Alonso. Those were more exciting than this year. Sure, some great racing but I can’t say I’ve been sitting biting my nails off really.

Now I have to spend all winter getting warm to the idea of rooting for Vettel!! I’m always rooting for the Ferraris – no matter who’s driving them!

 

And Yet Again I Fail … & Office 365

I'm Actually On Office365
It seems everytime I say to myself “right, now I really have to get better at updating my blog” the worse I do. ‘Cause I really want to get better at it! But again I fail. It’s been way too long since my last update.

So what’s new here? Not alot really, life is chugging along nicely. Alot of drama and uncertainty at work but nothing compared to my short time at Carema.

But I’m also trying out Office 365 (Business pack) since it’s great value for money right now. For a mere $10 a month you get the full Office package to install on your computers, you get 1 TB of storage space, you get both an Exchange and Sharepoint instance in the cloud, and even if I really don’t need all of this it’s still great to have if nothing else for my work. And it is a great experience learning how Microsoft is thinking that the business of tomorrow should operate and setup. And if I ever were to startup a company I’d most definitely use it. Also trying to see if I can move my blog in some good way, but to be honest it doesn’t feel like Sharepoint Online is really made for blogging. And I still haven’t found any good way of backing it up and without that it’s a no go.

Have a few more updates planned in the week now that both the F1 season of 2014 is over and a Warcraft expansion etc so my hope is to update it more. Again.

The “Swedish Democrats” issue

The other fallout from the election in Sweden is that the independant party “Sverige Demokraterna” (“Swedish Democrats”) got 13%. They are a party with a very racists heritage. Their representatives, from local politicians to member of parliament are time and time again caught being very racists. Yet they got almost 13% of the votes. That’s 1 in 8 people that voted for them. Now everyone is asking if 13% of the voters are racists, or they voted on them to show discontent at the other established parties, or because they were charmed by their leader Jimmi Åkesson, or what was it. One of the best comments made during the election from the blue party was when Jan Björklund (leader of the blue FP party) said “you can’t simply dismiss their voters as disillusioned idiots or racists – you have to take the debate, you have to listen to them and argue with them and their arguments”. And that was before when we feared they would get over 10% – not when they actually got 13%! Personally I agree with their point that there is a problem that we are accepting too many immigrants compared to what our infrastructure and budget allows. Their opinion is that we should have a much harder policy on accepting immigrants. But one may also see the need to up our infrastructure instead. Start building and expanding!

Because unlike the image they (“SD”) want to project, immigrants don’t come here and just collect welfare. They do contribute alot, there’s no question about that. And the ones that don’t have jobs don’t necessarily don’t want jobs, I think quite the opposite – if given the chance they’d love to bring home the bacon. And that means taxes -> bigger budget for infrastucture.
Because if you think immigrants are only collecting welfare I dare you to run a hospital, the railway, hell even Stockholm without them!

So if the swedish government is guilty of anything it’s not accepting too many, it’s not keeping up with the flow and built the increased infrastructure!

That’s what I think anyway.

The Election

In case you missed it it was election time here in Sweden as is customary every 4th year. I don’t know if it’s a sign that I’m getting old or what, but I’m actually really following this. I say “following” because it’s not really done yet even though the voting is closed!

I have for the third time voted for the environmentalists. There is only one party that puts the environment over economic growth. We have one green party that says they put them on the same priority but as we in the western world should realise by now is that they are unfortunately mutually exclusive. In our global world you can’t produce anything 100% green and be competetive with say the chineese for example. There’s a reason 99% of all Apple products are produced in China. So for me there was really only one choice (or as my favorite saying goes “it’s not a choice, it’s a lack of options” (from “Armageddon”)). And unlike last election it seemed that the red-green block would win this election over the “blue” alliance which they ultimately did. But not by much. Actually they only won with “enough” to outvote them but not “enough” to have a majority on their own. Which has created alot of commotion in all the different parties and blocks trying to for a new alliance led by the reds, instead of the blues, but still consisting of some blues.

For me I want the green enviromental party to get a majority on their own so they don’t have to make compromises at all. But unfortunately we’re not there yet, maybe in the next 4 years the situation is so bad for mother Earth that they actually will get a majority – we don’t know. As one of their leaders said in the campaign which sums up my opinion – “we are the first generation that knows, have the hard facts, that indeed we are destroying the planet, yet we’re doing nothing about it. How can we defend that when our children asks ‘you knew, why didn’t you do anything about it?'”. But I’m not really a big fan of them ending up in a government with the previously mentioned blue-green party (“Centern”) since they’ve dropped the ball so hard on so many things, everything from the SAAB fiasco, the Nuon fuckup and Vattenfall investing in more coal-driven energy in Germany. So not a fan of that.

But the option that unfortunately isn’t too far away is for an extra election to be had when the budget proposals from the different blocks go head to head. If everyone goes 100% with what they are saying today it shouldn’t be a problem. The red-greens will get their budget voted through because they have more votes than they blues. And SD, the block-free “we don’t want no more immigrants but we’re not racists even though most of out representatives are caught again and again posting very racist things on different forums”-party, aren’t going to vote for the blue party since it’s too immigration-friendly. So the red-greens should get their budget through. But there’s still uncertainty in the air and politicians are knows for not keeping what they are saying. Which is actually a good thing that people can change their minds.

We’ll see how it goes later this year.

I started writing about that “not racists, but”-party “Sverige Demokraterna” but it got so long that I’ll save that post for tomorrow…

Religion In Movies

I’m no expert at religion. Far from it. I did go through that enter confirmation thing when I was a teenager but that’s pretty much it. But I am a big moviebuff. And alot of times when religion have been shown in movies it’s usually done pretty well. Some stuff, like Star Trek, try to stay clear of it and when they do deal with it it’s an alien religion. Then we have movies like “Schindler’s List” which really didn’t have the Jewish faith in the center of the story but it was still present. And it didn’t bug me.

What did bug me was when I recently saw “Mom’s Night Out”. I was under the impression it was a movie about a mother who just wanted a night out with the girls and it all went comically to hell (no pun intended). And that’s what a good 99% of the movie was about. And those 99% were pretty funny and got some laughs. But unfortunately it’s that 1 remaining percent that I’ll remember this movie for. How Christianity had helped some characters stay on the right path in their lifes and deal with life’s challenged. And that bugged me – alot! In my opinion it’s you who chose to stay on the right path and you that deal with life’s challenges, God or Jesus doesn’t have anything to do with it. It may be that your faith is keeping you strong but that’s still you! Don’t go giving someone else credit! This movie went very far from just having “faith” somewhere in the story to it being downright Christianity propoganda. ANd I hated that. Not because I hate Christianity, not all. But I hate propoganda like that, especially that cheesy. But if you can take that 1% I’d recommend that movie because it has so many “I totally do that!”-moments of being a parent!

The ALS challenge

As far as I know noone have challenged me for the ALS challenge.

So I did this instead:
als_donation
It’s a really horrible sickness to “get”. Anyone can get it at any time, it’s 100% mortality rate often within 2-3 years and the last months alive looks like hell. So I have no problem donating money for this research.

Election Time

It’s almost election time in Sweden. And the Facebook feed is full of people posting lists and carefully chosen statistics about how bad things will be if you vote this way or how terrible Sweden was when “the other guys” had the power – alot of that shit. And I get annoyed when I see that because when I load Facebook I actually prefer to see lighthearted stuff like baby-pictures or YouTube vids rather than politics. I hope my friends will tone that down so I don’t have to clean my friendslist!

Personally – well things haven’t changed much in the past 8 years. The planet is still in overconsumer mode (guilty!) completely disregarding the fact it can’t take it and mother nature is fighting back constantly yet there’s only one political party that thinks protecting the planet is more important than economic growth. And now that I have a son (that just started wathing a movie about a turtle going from here to there and seeing how humans are destroying the planet) I feel it’s even more important than ever for.

But that’s what I feel. It’s a free country and as long as it doesn’t get any worse I’m not going to force my opinion on anyone.

Husqvarna Automower 308

So we finally got ourselfes one of those robotic lawnmowers – a Husqvarna 308. There was a period in May that I had to mow twice a week so I gave up an ordered one.

This is how I mow the lawn nowadays with my Automower 308

This is how I mow the lawn nowadays with my Automower 308

This installation was anything but a breeze. Had to lay out a cable around the entire lawn as well as a “guide”-cable so it can find it’s way home again. And the cable and clamps that came along really wasn’t enough but fortunately I had already ordered extra everything since I assumed this would be needed. When that was all said and done I started it up and let it cut the grass I had saved up for a week. Big mistake! It took nearly two weeks for it to get the entire lawn cut when doing it that way! They recommend in the manual that you cut the grass before you start using it but I’m not big on following manuals.

Then I spent a few days of troubleshooting the lawn and everywhere that it got stuck. Had to change the wires a bit and fill up some holes and such but after that it’s been going like clock work all summer long. Surprisingly well as a matter of fact! Except that you still need to cut the edges of your lawn manually since this bounces of things (including the cable) and therefor doesn’t go all the way to the edge. And then I noticed that our grass looks more bent than cut and I checked the blades and they were completely worn down! They do recommend you to change them a few times but I didn’t think it’d be after only about 8 weeks!

Other than that the only issue I have is the surge protection that I bought for it (per Husqvarnas recommendation) that cuts the power a bit too easy, meaning the mower doesn’t start at all and it can be like that until I notice it’s off.

I do regret buying it a bit since the lawn hasn’t really improved at all. Yes, it’s been nice not having to cut the lawn every weekend this summer but I could have used the money more wisely than on this. But that’s the way it is.