NASA. Again.

K mår bättre än bra

Yeah, I don’t know why but NASA has a special place in my heart. Maybe cause I’m a tech nerd, a scifi geek or just like to have my shit together, or maybe it’s some visionary part of me I don’t know I have but I just love it. In everything from fictional NASA in “Contact” to proper NASA in “From the Earth to the Moon” it’s an inspiration. That’s one of the reasons I made a point at going to Kennedy Space Centre when I was in Florida and one of the reasons that trip was an awesome success to me. And one of the reasons I didn’t have a problem opening up my wallet in the gift shop!

And yesterday I saw the movie/documentary “Mission Control” – about those 20-something engineers that made up the mission control team. I really recommend catching it on Netflix or renting it on bluray cause it’s awesome. One of the things that surprised me was the interview with one of the engineers who was there in the trench for a lot of the Apollo missions, even the moon landing, that said he regretted doing it because of the toll it took on his family! I mean, it’s one of the things I can only dream of doing so hearing that makes you wonder what really is important – making a mark in history or being with your family.

Another NASA “merchandise” I can recommend is the book “View From Above” by austronaut and “photographer in space” Terry Virts. You can get it from Amazon or something but it’s well worth it. Not only because of the awesome pictures that makes you feel tiny and insignificant but also because of the stories he has to tell.

Visiting Kennedy Space Center

KFC monument för JFK

I’ve always been a NASA-fanboy. I’m the guy that won’t ever say no to seeing Apollo 13 for the 500th time, or will sit through “From the Earth to the Moon” over and over again. And as a Trekker I’m loving the “exploration” theme and drive over there. The very human need for exploration and need to know what’s out there. So when I planned the trip, going to Kennedy Space Center was one of the musts. Fortunately my traveling companion Michael shared that need so along with a few fellow IT nerds we rented two cars and sat out to drive over there.

SpaceX byggnad & launchpad

We went on the “explorer tour” which gave us a trip around the cape and the launch sites of missions past but also the SpaceX stuff going on there now. We had a great tourguide Kurt who was totally right man for the job! Perfect amount of geekiness but also wanting to share that geekiness everywhere. He was amazing!

After that 2 hour ride we were dropped of a the Saturn station (or whatever it was called) which was just this huge museum for the Apollo program! I completely geeked out there, running around photographing every mission banner there was and every little thing! After a quick lunch we set off back to the Visitor center where they had a Atlantis museum which was an awesome 3-stage display climaxing in a reveal of the actual space shuttle Atlantis! Completely geeked out again! Like a kid in a candy store on Christmas!! Then it got really emotional! I still don’t know why I get all somber up and even tear up at it, but at the end of the exhibit was the Challenger and Columbia memorials.

We spent a total of 7 hours there and I could’ve stayed a while longer! Absolutely one of the best experiences of my life. My only regret is that my wife and son wasn’t there to share it or see me get that excited about it.

Then we went to what these IT nerds who have been here a few times before thought was the greatest steakhouse ever – Morton’s. To sum it up and as my wife could say – I could’ve done more for less. I mean, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t all that and it was a pretty pretentious restaurant. But at least the company was good.

All in all a really great day!!

Globalization & The Brexit

So that happened – UK voted for leaving the EU. I, as a swede, shouldn’t bother too much, right? Well I do. A helluvalot!!

It’s not only because half of my family and a few friends are Brits or are currently living & working in the UK, although that’s a very good reason to care. It’s not only because I’m working for a company owned by Brits. No, it’s not that small, narrow minded, shortsighted or personal.

It’s a freaking issue of mankinds survival! Bare with me here!

The fact that we are overspending the resources on this planet isn’t even in question (“Earth Overshoot Day“). That we are poisoning it and overpopulating it like bunnies, those are all facts. So we need to grow as civilized & evolved creatures and let go of the archaic notion of nations, of mankind’s made-up stuff like borders and currency. To realise that when an earthquake hits it doesn’t stop because it crosses a border. When the ocean’s rise it’s not going to stop because this country signed a treaty! When a flood hits it’s not going to care about your economic growth!

We need to grow beyond thinking of “my country” & “my people” (I cringe everytime I hear the words “my people” in The 100 which Clarke says ALOT!). Every leader in the world is protecting their country and their people which noone can blame them for – but is it productive in the long run? I know it sounds like a “Star Trek” sci-fi fantasy but I wish the entire Earth was just one big country, with one currency and one interest – to save the planet, stop hunger, cure diseases and most of all reach for the stars! Because if we stop hunger and cure diseases we will need another planet pretty soon. And none of that is going to happen if people are only interested in looking after their country, their little piece on this Earth. And after the second world war when EU was created it was a good step towards globalization. This was a huge step back and I can only hope it stops with UK because if the EU falls apart there’s no telling how it’ll end up for mankind!

I Hate (not) Flying

IMAG0042I hate flying. Well not the actual flying part, but all the stuff that goes with it. Everytime I go flying I’m reminded how we as a civilization needs to come up with a transport-system! The saying “time is money” would indicate that there is a helluvalot of money to be made from such a patent, right?

Ryan Air used to fly to Edinburgh directly but now in time for Christmas they’ve cancelled that line so we had to go with KLM instead with a stop in Amsterdam. When flying home we started from our hotell at 4 am on sunday morning. I arrived home at 1:45pm. That’s almost 10 hours. Out of that only 4 hours were spent in the air!! First it was the taxi to the airport, got there early because we needed to check in 2 bags as luggage, then security checkpoint then wait…. and wait. And off to Amsterdam and after we landed it was atleast 10 minutes to the actual terminal, then another checkpoint. Then wait. And more wait. And then the next flight and we got home. And waited for the luggage. And then going home from the airport is another 30 minutes (which for Arlanda is pretty decent since we live on the “right side of town”, for the others it’s atleast a full hour.

That is such a waste of time! Not that I’m too important for this, not at all. It’s just .. a waste of time. 10 years ago when I was travelling to our embassies around the world I didn’t mind as much, probably because I got paid even when sitting at a pub on the airport. But now that it’s my spare time, I kinda mind. In this modern age where hours are important and your life is so stressfull, having a transporter to instantly beam you over to where you’re going instantly might be worth it. “What about all those transport accidents in Star Trek” you ask? Well what about all those air crashes in real life!? But considering how many gazillion people that work in logistics would get laid off I guess that’d be bad for employment figures, not to mention the airlines 🙂

It’s Ok Not To Like GTA

So there’s this huge game-release today. Namely Grand Theft Auto V. Now let me say this first – I haven’t played it. So I can’t say if it’s good or not. But I have played III and IV, both legally purchased. So even though this i V with alot more I’m pretty comfortable in saying that it’s really not my kind of game. I can see how some people can like it, going around being politically incorrect, robbing banks, driving over pedestrians, visit strip clubs and being all “gangsta”. And it may be good story, great music, whatever. And the only real thing I have to clamp down on is that it’s console only. But that’s not what this is about.

What this is about is that the default setting in the gaming world seems to be “it’s GTA so it’s getting 10/10 unless we find something really game-breaking or awful about the game”. And if you dare give it criticism you maybe just have a poll to get you fired – like Carolyn Petit at Gamespot. Or be ready to duck if you only give it a 9/10 like Jim Sterling at Desctructoid that gave it 9/10. What’s wrong that picture?! I mean, just because it’s GTA and let’s you be a gangsta even if you’re as white as they come living at home and all you got is your Xbox, that doesn’t make it the greatest game in the world. I could appreciate the status if it was a revolutionary game that did something that no other game in the world could do, but so far I haven’t seen anything in GTA that no other game has done. If I wanna rob banks I play Pay Day 2. If I wanna go to a strip club … I’ll just go to a strip club! I don’t get the craze at all! I really don’t get any craze at all that, as an observer, seems more like blindness following! I loved Dead Space 1 & 2 and I was psyched about 3 but I didn’t buy it and loved it because it was Dead Space! I loved Deus Ex : Human Revolution, but when “The Fall” came out I was just like “no”. I loved Diablo 1&2, but after playing the beta I was really sceptical and after playing the real game I wanted my money back.

See where I’m going with this? Blinded following is bad. It’s ok to be the one voice in a crowd saying “I’m different”. Usually I’m not that one person. But here I am – saying It’s Ok Not To Like GTA. That’s not a statement that the game is bad, just that it’s ok to have a different opinion. And that’s the good thing about being a Trekker – it’s ok not to like “the original series” from the 60’s, or “the new era” of movies coming out, and that’s totally fine. You don’t have to like it just because you’re a trekker!

That being said – can’t wait for Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. But it’d better be good because so far I’m not that impressed with “Revelations”! (yes, I’ve played through I, II and Brotherhood in less than two months, so far II was by far the best one)

Upgraded Image Gallery

I’ve finally upgraded my image gallery and imported it into WordPress with a cool addon. Took me about 3 days of work to get it sorted and adding comments and stuff but it’s been fun going down that memory lane again.

Here are some of my favorite galleries:

As usual the password what the company I work at is know as in Sweden.

Could’ve Been Better

So how was that weekend you wonder?
To start off, meeting up with my trekking buddies for a beer and burger, great! Always a pleasure. Then came the movie… well I don’t know why I still bother going to the movies actually. First I had to pay extra for the 3d glasses! They should also have offered earplugs because the sound was way too loud. And not “I can hear this through concrete walls”-loud because that I can enjoy. This was loud as in sharp hurting my tinnitus-ear, so I spent half the movie covering an ear. And who needs an AC when you have a thousand people watching a movie when we can make them sweat?! Why do I bother!?

Afterwards I went home (which took longer than it should) and spent a few hours playing computer games until I was tired enough to fall asleep. And I thought I’d be enjoying lying in bed and just not do nothing without having a son yelling at me to get up. But I didn’t, got up at 8 again and watched some TV, movies, Formula 1 and whatnot and playing games, just like I planned. What wasn’t a part of the plan was a phone call telling me that an acquaintance passed away during the night. He’s a guy I met every month at our Star Trek gatherings, a really nice and all around righteous dude. So that pretty much ended that day on a downer. On Sunday it was back to the same stuff and the F1 race from Barcelona with another Ferrari win! And by now the family was back home so it was back to normal life again.

So yeah, it could’ve been better, definitely. But it was still pretty good!

Upcoming Weekend of Awesomeness

As usual I hate to get my hopes and expectations up. Because it almost always leads to disappointment. But this time I can’t help it!

To start with, today is what’s called a “squeeze-day” in Sweden, which isn’t as cuddly as it sounds. It means it’s a workday between two non-workdays. And there’s the tradition that “squeeze-day” is a very unproductive day of slacking since most offices have a skeleton crew, including this one. So today will be a very slow day at work with no meetings and lots of labbing with Sharepoint 2013!

And you know I love my wife and son, right? But they’ll be away for the weekend, which means it’s just me me me. And the new Star Trek movie premiers tonight. Although I’ve already seen it but not in the full glory of 3D! And there’s an F1 race this weekend, Spain nonetheless which means Alonso will try extra hard. And I’ve got my Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer and Red Bulls in the fridge. And Diablo 3 just received a small overhaul. So yeah, I hate to get my hopes up but this weekend has a lot of ingredients to be a weekend of awesomeness!

George Takei

I really like George Takei. You know, that asian guy that played “Sulu” in the old Star Trek. I can’t say I either like or dislike his acting or whatever, but I am a huge fan of his facebook-page. It’s one of the big downsides to deactivating my account – I don’t get to see the funny pictures and clips and his posts that are always full of Zen-isms. And I loved his roast of William Shatner!!

And then the guy goes and does something like this…

It’s hilarious shit! I wish Hollywood had more people like that!!

RETRO ALL YEAR

You know I’m huge on retro, right? I’m a sucker for 80’s references and “the good old days”. So this year is looking to be quite extraordinary!

First we have the blu-ray release of “Star Trek The Next Generation”. Then we have tons of video-game remakes coming this year – Leisure Suit Larry, X-Com and Syndicate, all of which I played like mad “back in the day”. So I’ll get my share of retro this year 🙂

STAR TREK THE NEXT LEVEL

I usually don’t miss much Star Trek related. Or movie related. So when a friend of mine said “have you preordered the Blueray of The Next Generation?” and I’m all ????. I had no idea this was even happening so gimme a minute to handle it. It was just too good to be true!

The big problem is of course that like most TV shows between say 1970-2000 it was filmed with “normal” resolution cameras. Before, back in the days of the original Star Trek, it was filmed on 35 mm film which means taking it to bluray isn’t a big issue, they “only” had to redo the f/x like the “this is the Enterprise in orbit” cut scenes. And TV shows after 2000 was mostly filmed in HD anyway so not a big problem transferring to bluray. But all this TV inbetween there is stuck in DVD quality. Until some smart enthusiastic person got an OK to reprocess every single scene of “The Next Generation” to HD quality which is gonna take alot of time but as a teaser they released “The Next Level” this week which is 3 episodes (“Encounter at Farpoint”, “Sins of the Father” and my favorite “The Inner Light”). This is just meant as a teaser for us to see what is possible so we’ll preorder the bix boxes coming soon.
And it kinda worked!! Most scenes of “The Inner Light” was very very bright (which is part of the story) so alot of stuff in the background got very very grainy. I didn’t see that much of it in the other episodes. But apart from that, the f/x and everything made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Unfortunately I have two problems this time around that I didn’t have when “The Next Generation” was released on DVD – back then I could afford it and I had the time to watch it. Now I’m not sure I have either 🙁

TREKKING IN THE SUN

Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days of summer of the year here in Stockholm. So what does me and my friends do? Yeap, sitting in the dark watching Star Trek in Skarpnäck ofcourse!

It’s one of the few things from my old life as carefree single immature guy that I have left so I have to keep at it! Although back then I used to spend 10 hours there, this time it was barely 5 because me and H haven’t spent much time together this week at all, mostly because of work, sickness or something else. But now we have all sunday and monday together! 🙂

"STAR TREK"-DAY?

Maybe I should explain what a “Star Trek”-day is for those that don’t know. It’s when a bunch of us trekkers in Stockholm (also known as “Stockholm Trekkers“) get together in Skarpnäck and some of us watch “Star Trek” or some other science fiction and some of us just sit around talking about what’s new and happening and alot of talk about TV and movies and tech-stuff. It’s a great chance to catch up on what’s happening with alot of my friends that I don’t get to talk to as much as one should. And to see some old classic “Star Trek” episode. And to indulge because we usually end up eating pizza and candy, Coca-cola and alot of other sugary stuff!

And nowadays it’s also a chance for me to get away from home 🙂

ALL SET FOR A GREAT WEEKEND

This weekend has all the prerequisites to be a really great weekend!

We’re starting off tonight with tacos and hockeygame (Sweden vs France). Then tomorrow we have another Star Trek day in Skarpnäck. And on sunday we’ve got the Formula 1 from Turkey. And all the while the weather is supposed to be extremely good. And we’re gonna fix the concrete slabs for our greenhouse! Throw in some good sex in there and I can’t see hos we can fail to make ot great!!

To Absent Friends

Yesterday I finally got in the “Star Trek Online” beta! It’s an online roleplaying game in the Star Trek universe. And being a huge trekker and huge Warcraft geek I think I’ll like it. So far I love it! Some parts of the game feels like being in one of the episodes, really well made. Although it’s almost more than what my graphic card can handle!

When creating a character you have to chose name, which was relatively easy. Then you have to name your ship. Which was easier ’cause my first thought went to my best friend Eden who passed away almost 8 years ago. So if you’re in the game and see a ship named USS Eden pass by, that’ll be me 🙂

Most Awesome Weekend Ever

Ok so that weekend was the most awesome weekend in a long, long time!

On friday me and my girlfriend (I love typing that) went out on a pretty good couple’s dinner with my best friend Mats and his chick to Texas Longhorn. Just wanted to see how well they mixed since that’s pretty important to me, and it worked out just fine. And great steaks!!
On Saturday it was all Star Trek all day long and ended with the latest Battlestar Galactica episode from the states. That’s alot of sci fi for anyone!
On sunday me and my girlfriend (still love typing that) went to O’Learys to watch the Formula 1 race with my sister and her oldest son. Wanted to see how they mixed as well. No problem what so ever. Good times! Then home to her place and just chill out for the rest of the day (after I installed a wireless router for her so I could slack in the couch!). And then I woke up in her arms today and it was just a beautiful day.

Kick ass!!!

Only bad thing all weekend was my brother who once again proved what a big slacker he really is. He’d promised to be there at O’Learys, both to my sister and to me less than 12 hours before we were suppose to meet, yet he felt it was more important to catch up on some sleep. Pretty damn disappointing.

I’m Losing It

Weird weekend that was! On thursday I had a date (went pretty good), on friday I decided to try out jogging now that my bike is broken then got busy Warcrafting and then the new computer game Hellgate hit the stores. On saturday I squezed myself into a pair of 34″ waist jeans… two things about that that just makes me think I’m going nuts – first of all jeans. I haven’t worn jeans since the 80’s basically. So why now? Well quite a few women have said “now that you’ve lost all that weight, when are we gonna see you in jeans?” so I had to do it only to shut them up. And they were 34″ waist!! Back in may I was wearing 42″ !! That’s 8 inches gone in 4 months! (not counting the last month since I haven’t lost anything in the past weeks)!!
Then we hit the sci-fi convention that was in town over the weekend, followed that up by catching “1408” (slightly disappointing movie) and finished the weekend with even more Warcrafting and jogging. Man that was a busy weekend. And this week I didn’t have much planned at all. Now I got go-carting on thursday, dinner with friends on friday, probably date-dinner on saturday and home to my parents for father’s day on sunday. And I’m not even trying to keep busy, I just am!

Wanna Hear Something Sad?

Yesterday was a glorious swedish summer and how did I spend it? Inside a movie theater watching Star Trek. But that’s not the sad part, the sad part was that it was the last time we had our Star Trek event in that theater. We’ve been there once a month for 9 months per year for 9 years now! Seriously, it was 9 years since we had our first event there (and ofc I remember it like it was yesterday). ‘All good things must come to an end’ indeed…

And today was another glorious summer day and I spent around 1 hour of it slacking in the sun. Then played WoW for the rest of the day 🙂

RIP Michael Piller!

Almost two weeks without an update. It’s a combination of being busy and not having anything positive to write. The past few weeks have been pretty depressing. And Michael Piller, one of the best TV writers there was, died. And tons of stuff to do at work, a job I still don’t know if I’ll have in 2 months time. But I don’t like being that depressive guy. Realist maybe, but not depressing. I prefer trying to cheer people up and I do a pretty good job of it. But I suck at cheering myself up!

But today I went back home to my parent’s place to celebrate father’s day and my sisters birthday. And that really put me in a better mood. Except when my mother starts babbling about me not delivering any grandkids but I’ve learnt to live with that.

VIP Treatment

So what did you do last night? If you’re answer is anything less than “bought dinner for John Rhys-David and Marina Sirtis” I got you beat! You’d think I’d be most impressed with meeting Marina Sirtis since I’m a trekker, but I’ve always been impressed by John! He’s just an awesome actor and now I can even say that he’s a great guy. And deep too! We had a Q&A with them and one of the most interesting ideas he proposed was to teach everything in school through history. Math, geography, religion, science, everything. And he was fun to. Unfortunately he was exhausted so after the Q&A and dinner I took them back to their hotel. Great saturday for me!!