Trip to Turkey

It’s that time of the year again when we go on vacation to some family friendly resort and just relax for a week. Last year it was the Sunwing hotell on Rhodes in Greece and this year we went to Long Beach Resort outside of Alanya in Turkey.

2015-07-08 (15)We went with another couple who has a daughter that we know Sam likes and they play great together and we decided to go to this hotel because they had a .. well a long beach and some pools, some waterslides, they had a small amusement park, plenty of restaurants and just seemed like a place you could stay at for a week without having to leave the hotel much.

We were not disappointed!

The trip started with an evening flight to Antalya airport where the crew excused the poor tax free delivery due to poor IT switchover from the old IT system to the new. Although I have nothing to do with the IT system of our tax free service I still felt embarassed but that’s probably because of my occupasional pride than anything else.

When we landed in Antalya we proceeded to the luggage belts where my wife’s and son’s luggage arrived after waiting a while but after waiting for over an hour I ruled out that my luggage was going to arrive at all so I went to customer service to report it missing. After that we went to the Ving representative and asked where the taxi’s were because by now the transfer bus to the hotel had surely departed. But it hadn’t. So we boarded a buss full of people upset they had waited for over an hour – on me! Even though it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t want the bus to wait it did – somewhat embarassing compunded by the fact that I actually work for this company! Then the bus made a pitstop at some place they obviously get kickbacks from because we had to be there for 20 minutes aven though everyone just wanted to go to the hotel.

We got to the hotel in the middle of the night, checked in and got to the room that they hadn’t prepared for 2 adults + 1 child at all! So I had to call the reception to order more linen to make a bed for my son and then we had to wait an extra 15 minutes for them to actually come with our luggage, which wasn’t at all fun at 3 am!

2015-07-08 (17)I woke up the next day to a text saying “they found your luggage and will send it at 8 am so you should have it soon”. I’m down with that and so we went out to check out the hotel area and that took over a day to explore because it was HUGE!
They really did have a very long beach area by the sea but unfortunately the closest tunnel to get to it was closed and we had to walk quite far for the other tunnel so we got a lot of exercise from walking back and forth to the beach all week! They also really did have lots of waterslides and even a pirate ship which became Sam’s favorite place to hang out. What we didn’t realise was that you could rent gazebos by the beach and by the time we did realise that they were almost fully booked but we got one for three of the seven days we were there. It really helped alot to have a somewhat of a private “base of operation” when we were at the beach – which was pretty much everyday.

2015-07-05 (20)Then we had dinner at the buffé and it was great! Great food and service, nothing to complain about. And at 8 pm I finally got my luggage, only 12 hours later than promised but not a big deal for me. Then it was bed time since we were still lacking sleep from travelling.

The next day and all the other days pretty much followed that same pattern – get up, catch some breakfast, pack up for the beach, go to the beach, have fun, get tanned, go back, have dinner, relax with the couple we were there with and sleep. We really didn’t ever have to go off the reservation! We went a full 100 meter from the hotel to the bazar they had outside to do some shopping (my wife really wanted a *cough*genuine*cough* Michael Kors bag that I paid a full €30 for but other than that we were content being in the hotel. There were enough restaurants to keep us satisfied and enough to do to not get too bored.

2015-07-06 (30)But it wasn’t perfect. The buffé was the same in every restaurant every night. They only changed one thing that they barbecued there and then, but everything else was the same all the time which got boring quite fast. Did they ever hear of themes? And also that the tunnel under the main road on our side of the hotel was closed which forced us to walk, that wasn’t cool at all! And the level of english of the staff really left alot to be desired as well – sometimes I felt that they would have understood me better if I spoke russian because 90% of the people there were russians and some of the staff were also russian. Not that I mind russians, but I expect an international hotel of this size in Turkey to have staff that can understand english without having to draw them a picture (which I actually did once, but more on that later).

After a week of that it was time to go home – at night! Again the bus stopped at the some joint as before and forced people to go out to buy refreshments “as a service” when everyone just wanted to get to the airport. When we arrived to the airport I was apparently the first one to understand how security checkpoints work and information screens because for the first time in my life I was #1 in the queue to check in our luggage! Unfortunately that also meant that when the check in counter opened the guy behind it had alot of issues getting his computer to work with him and it took atleast 10 minutes for that – 10 minutes of the same people looking at me with annoyed eyes that had waited for me on the buss earlier. That was not cool but again not my fault! During all of this we had to keep our son awake since I know you have to walk through the next checkpoint on your own feet – you can’t carry your child though it, they have to walk. But 5 minutes after we had cleared that he was out for the entire night. So my wife asked me to get her some coffee and I ran around and only found a Starbucks and that’s when I purchased the most expensive coffee I’ve ever paid for – €25 for 2 normal cappucinos with vanilla syrup!! €25!!!

2015-07-06 (04)After that we got on the flight, had to be embarassed again when they excused the poor tax free with IT issues again, landed on Arlanda at 3:30am and when we stopped at the gate we had to wake Sam up. And he was sad that he slept through the “getting on the plane”-phase, the take off, the movie, the meal and the landing – basically everything he’s looking forward to about the actual travelling part of a vacation. Thankfully Helena’s mother met us at the airport at 4am so we went home, unpacked the essentials and hit the bed at 5am and slept until 9am.

So to sum up – we had a blast, especially Sam! Photos can be found here – login as “Gäst” and the short, Swedish name of my employer, with a capital first letter as the password.

I’ll post some other random thoughts about our week later.

Turning 40

2015-05-30 15.10.10Yeap, today is a day that has been in the making for 40 years. Today is the day I turn 40. And it doesn’t feel special in any way. I remember when I turned 30 it didn’t feel that special either, I had a headache for months I remember that and I remember setting my ass in a pub while all my friends dropped by to wish me happy birthday. But this feels really “same same and not at all different” than last week. Or the week before that. And not gonna have a big party either because I’m not too good at hosting parties. And with our two holiday trips planned can’t really afford it either.

 

2015-05-31 12.00.37

As always we go out to my parents place in Lyngsta to celebrate my father’s birthday, mother’s day and my bortiday on one and the same day. We had picked up 2 tickets to the Paul McCartney concert this July for my mother and that was certainly hitting it out of the park! Then my family had bought me a new BBQ with a smoker on the side so I’m all good on that front for a few years now. All in all, I’m doing quite fine.

But just wait till September when I’m sitting there on the bleechers in Monza rooting for whatever Ferrari that is leading the race, surrounded by the people I love and a Peroni, that’ll be kick ass! But before that we’re going to Turkey for some sun, sun, more sun and even more sun!

Yeap, life is good right now.

Life chugging Along

Lots of stuff happening, so much I barely have time to update here. Alot of people’s birthdays, not to mention my own. I turn 40 in about 3 weeks, not gonna make a big deal out of it but going to Italy in September. Other than that it’s full throttle at work still and doing work on the house. And as always wishing I had more time for gaming, and my wife, and my son… just more time basically. 24h simply isn’t enough, even when I only sleep 6 hours…

But on the plus side, finally ordered the “Battlestar Galactica” Bluray pack that I’ve wanted to buy for a while. It was on sale, at €30 it was hard to say no. Because that show was awesome!

That Plane That Crashed Into The Alps

I am an avid fan of aviation. Always have been, always will be. I, like any other boy, wanted to be a pilot but never worked hard enough to get the grades to get into that and not doing military service (which was obligatory in Sweden at the time) kinda ruled that out. So I wanted the next best thing, an air traffic controller. I got as far as the trialouts at Arlanda (Sweden’s biggest airport) but for reasons unknown to me they decided “I didn’t have the proper predisposition for this job. This decision is final and cannot be appealed”. That was the end of that dream and I got into computers instead which worked out pretty nice for me.

But I’m still interested in aviation. And I try to see every episode of “Air Crash Investigation” that I can and do my best to follow it when something happens. The bad side is that it takes months, sometimes several years, from a crash until the investigation can conclude something. Like that Air France plane from Brazil that dropped into the ocean, took them 2 years to find them (good job on that by the way).

And about 3 weeks ago I saw the “Air Crash Investigation Special” on the 1 year anniversary since the disappearence of MH370. In it they through the Sherlockian (I love making up words) method of eliminating everything they know didn’t happen come to the conclusion that one of the pilots, most likely the captain, sent away the co-pilot, locked the door, disabled the transponer and the ACARS (which really only a well trained pilot would know how to do), dropped the air preassure so everyone but him would lose consciousness and then he navigated around radar stations before setting a course for the antarctic. They never had a clue why anyone would do it but that’s the only theory that is NOT disputed by the available data.

And exactly 2 weeks after that airs, a Germanwings plane crashes into the alps killing everyone. I’m not going to say that “I knew it must have been a deliberate thing by a pilot” because I really didn’t. I think it was clear right away it was “human error” because the rate that they were loosing altitude couldn’t have been missed by anyone and the fact that they didn’t turn back or radio anyone suggested that what happened wasn’t a technical glitch. Unlike the Greek plane where everyone lost consciousness when a service engineer had forgotten to reset a switch, this plane crashed right away whereas the Greek plane kept on going for hours. So it couldn’t have been a technical reason for it, it had to have been caused by the human factor which is the case in a surprisingly amount of crashes. But I really didn’t think it was deliberately crashed but very quickly it was clear that that’s what happened. And I have to say I am very surprised that this amount of information have been released this soon. As I said these usually take months or years, this one was a few days. The full investigation, with the proper recommendations to the airline industry and regulatory institutions, will ofcourse take a few months but it’s really rare to see it being cleared up this quickly. And I think that’s a good thing, if not for the world to feel safer flying again (or do we?) then for the victim’s families that already this soon have answers. I like that.

I also can’t help but to feel that this isn’t entirely unrelated to the post about corporate greed in the airline industry that I posted a while back. This was a pilot that had mental issues he delt with but from all official channels was cleared to work. But he always had this cloud of uncertainty hanging over him because of the situation in the airline industry – and remember, the Lufthansa pilots have just been on a strike about their situation so it’s got to be serious for them. Not that I’m justifying his actions but I just want to raise the point that that might have been a small contributing factor that shouldn’t be ignored. I’ve been fortunate enough never to have been unemployed in my entire life, although I’ve been close 3 times and all of those times I’ve been extremely stressed out over it. Once I almost got an ulcer because of it so I think everyone can relate to a persons worry about his employment, especially if you’ve worked hard enough to reach the pilot seat.

Another point here is that I don’t think this is just an issue in aviation. This could just as easily have been a train driver that deliberately drives his train into Paddington station at full speed in rush hour, imagine the death toll on that. And the accident in Spain a few years back when a train driver wanted to challenge how fast he could take a curve proves that there aren’t safeguards there either. Did the train industry decide all of a sudden that there should be two people in the driver seat for trains? No, but they have on planes.

But still – you’re more likely to die on the way to the airport than on the plane!

 

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 🙁

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!!

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.

Schumacher

michael_schumacher_jumping_in_air_6945So the year is 1998. I’m sitting in my room in my parent’s house in Lyngsta on an idle Sunday and randomly ends up on the channel showing Formula 1. It’s the Belgium grand prix. At the first start there was a massive car pileup in the first corner. At the restart two more were taken out. And then Schumacher in the lead was about to pass Coulthard who slowed down and due to poor visibility Schumacher plowed right into the back of the McLaren. After they both came back to the pits, Schumacher was as red as his outfit and stormed into the McLaren garage to give Coulthard a piece of his mind. (highlights are here)

And I was hooked right there. Previously I’d watched F1 when I more or less accidentally flipped channels to it but now I really started following it and 15 years on I’m still hooked. And I’ve always been a Ferrari fan. I dunno why but I have a thing for Italy. The year after he had an accident on Silverstone and crashed into a wall and broke his leg. But he returned later that year and was better than before the accident. Then Ferrari went ahead and pretty much dominated the sport for 4 years. Then it’s been up and down. And then Shumacher retired from Ferrari which most of us feared would be the end of their dominance – which it unfortunately was. Kimi did a good job of it and brought home the title and Felippe was pretty damn good too and so close to winning the title but noone stood out as much as Schumacher. And when Massa had his accident and Ferrari called Schumi and asked if he could drive the remianing races it was so close but didn’t pan out. But he came out of retirement to help his buddy Brawn out with the Mercedes team for a few years and then calling it quits to just be with his family.

And what most people don’t know is everything he did beside drive Ferraris. He was a big force behind car safety, especially in F1 after being there for the fatal Senna-crash. And he was also big on charity, not just money but also events. He used to rally together enough people for charity football events all the time. And he was also a family man, not a player like some of F1’s stars.

So it’s a real tragedy that he’s injured like this, when out skiing with his family. I really hope he pulls through this as well! It’s also a reminder that life is damn dangerous! How he can drive a F1 car for almost 20 years and only break a leg, but has a lethal accident skiing.

Trip To Edinburgh

2013-11-29 (24)This year my sister AC turned 40. Like always we planned something special. And this is the story…

Due to scheduling conflicts we had to do it last weekend in November. And since my other sister Amy had to be present it had to be in Scotland. And since AC loves Edinburgh so much we decided that’s where we were going to go, much like we did when Amy turned 40 two years ago. But we couldn’t let AC know what was going on at all so we served up plenty of curveballs to keep her guessing. Then Ryan Air did what they do best – cause problems. Out of the blue the cancelled the flights to Edinburgh! Fortunately we got our money back but it still meant we had to look at options, and KLM it was. Unfortunately with KLM it means stopping by Amsterdam! And we’ve kept her in the dark all the time and even got her thinking she was going to Budapest. And we all lied that we were too busy to go and she was going all by herself. I actually didn’t have to lie – because we did have a mandatory kick off on the friday, and the kindergarten was closed and my wife had to attend a funeral and there was a sci-fi con that I was going to miss!

But on Wednesday the 27th my father Lars, brother Jocke, sister’s boyfriend Matte and my sister’s son Alex got into the car and drove not to Skavsta, where Ryan Air flies from, but to Arlanda. And to terminal 2 (which is for non Star Alliance flights). And then they boarded a flight to Amsterdam and she had no clue what was going on. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep it secret for long once they got to Amsterdam since she had to state her final destination to pass a checkpoint, so the cat was dragged out of the bag there. Meanwhile I was in Sweden working since I didn’t have enough paid vacation days to go. And it also kept her from thinking I wasn’t actually going. But on friday I had already a vacation day granted and my wife handled everything herself so I could actually go! Made the same trip as they did and when I arrived I just came into the pub with a bang and joined the fun!!

Most of the weekend was spent at pubs. Or walking around wondering where to eat – trying to find a place that can take 9 people spontaneously that vegetarians and non-vegetarians can eat at during Christmas shopping-days wasn’t easy! On Friday evening we found some place on George Street/Charlotte Square but that turned out to be really disappointing. Atleast for me – never had such a dull burger before. Then bed at 1 am for me. Up the morning after to enjoy a full english breakfast at a bakery on Rose Street. Then some shopping and a quick visit to a pub before we had to say good bye to my sister Amy and her daughters that had to go back home to Aberdeenshire. Then some more shopping before we ended up at KFC. Because we don’t have KFC in Sweden so we had to try it!

limbo_flamesThen one of the highlights and biggest surprises – “Limbo“! Matte had googled “what to do in Edinburgh” for that weekend and that was one of the things that popped up. So we dished out some money to go see it. It was a bit of a gamble. And man did it pay off! It was a great combination of circus acts, dancing, music, comedy and one or two magic tricks. But the most surpring thing was the energy and chemistry of the performers! It was just awesome! If you’re anywhere close to Edinburgh you have to go see it! And the bendy guy, Jonathan Nosan, is really active on Twitter so he’s a “+Follow” for sure!

After that we tried another pub but realised we’d be better off buying two 6 packs and going back to the hotel and talk about stuff. Then off to bed and up – at 3:30 am! The flight left at 5:50 am but we had luggage that needed to be checked in “an hour before the flight” so that’s the way it had to be done. Then stopping in Amsterdam and waiting for the flight home. As we boarded that flight I saw that Maria Montazami was on the same flight which was kinda fun, I like her. Also on the flight was the medical rescue team that flew from Sweden to the Philippines to help with what they could. And they had some stories to tell. I’m really glad we have people like that! When we got home it was ofcourse awesome to see my wife and son waiting for me in the arrival hall, it was one of those Hallmark moments!!

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 🙂

Too Much Happening

I haven’t made a post for a while, not that there hasn’t been anything to write about, quite the contrary. I’ve had so much to do that I haven’t had the time to write anything here. And now that I do, I can’t remember all the stuff I was too write. Totally my bad. But I’m pretty sure it’ll come back to me.

Right now I got a Sharepoint farm to get stable enough to work with which is, as always, easier said than done. But thanks to google and alot of blogs I’m getting there.

And tomorrow we have our annual kick-off, yay! I’d be glad about if it wasn’t so badly timed with the kindergarten being close and a funeral for my wifes grandfather – not to mention a party in Scotland I can’t attend… oh well.

Expectations

I’ve said this before but it can’t hurt a repeat – expectations are bad! There should be a class in high school called “lower your expectations” because in high school all you wanted was to be a grown up and look how that worked out. Another thing about managing expectations is very much related to the video above. Guys growing up expecting chicks to look like they do in the movies are so in for a disappointment, ’cause not even those chicks look like they do in the movies.

Is Money More Important Than The World

Sorry but I’m about to go very political and existential on your asses so buckle up!

I dunno if you heard, but Greenpeace did a pretty fancy job of taking a swing at Shell during their biggest PR event of the year, the Belgian Grand Prix. If you missed it, here’s the clip.

Also I recently saw the SG1 episode “Fallout” in which a planet with 3 major powers who never can agree on anything is about to blow up. The entire planet, yet they can’t get along even in the face of imminent wipeout. I also remember when the Kyoto Protocol was up for voting the US president said that they couldn’t agree with it because “it would hinder their economic growth”. And a few weeks ago, Vattenfall (the biggest producer of energy in Sweden) went on TV and answered the question “don’t you have a responsibility to invest more in greener energy sources?” with “we also have a responsibility to our shareholders to make a profit”.

Here’s a thought. You know that pandemic people seems to be convinced is coming, that will be majorly contagious and infectious, will kill people without prejudice and threaten mankind’s existence as the dominant species? Well I’m thinking it’s already here and it’s called “greed”.

I’m all for making a profit. But not at the expense of people’s life or the health of the planet! Ever since the industrial revolution we have poisoned this planet more and more and we can try to blame our parents or grandparents for it, but the difference is they probably didn’t know it was causing the damage it was. Well my generation has been brought up knowing we’re destroying the planet. And when people use the excuse of making money to defend the destruction of the planet I get upset- Because we know the effect our way of life is having yet we seem unable – or even worse, unwilling! – to change.

I wish I could make more of a difference, but I’m content with donating money to Greenpeace and voting for the Swedish environment party!

It’s Been More Than A While

Now I’m just slacking! Vacation and everything and not a single update?

Well surprisingly enough, now that I’m on vacation I have the least amount of time to care about this place. You see I have a wife that get’s worked up everytime I sit in front of the computer so I don’t have much opportunity to post things here from home. Yeah, you could call me whipped and you wouldn’t be wrong.

But now I’m back at work so now I have time to post things here. And I have time on the train to get through the rest of SG1 as well and all of that other stuff that I don’t have time to watch at home. And unfortunately F1 is on summer break, and besides, the Ferraris aren’t doing too well this year. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Most of my vacation was spent at home with my family. We tried to do things, we went to Gröna Lund and Skansen but in the end it just costs more than we can afford right now, especially since we bought new phones and we spent alot more money in Crete than we thought we would. “Don’t do the crime …” eh? But this week my parents will take Sam for a few days so we can get a slow weekend. “Slow” as in “celebrating my brothers 30th birtyday this friday”, let’s see how that turns out!

Other than that, I’m chugging along just fine!

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.