Diablo Time!

A week ago Blizzard finally released “Diablo 3”!! If you wind back the clock to 2001 I actually took 2 weeks off from work to play “Diablo II – Lord of Destruction” so you can imagine how much I’ve been looking forward to this game! The biggest difference though isn’t in the game itself, rather that I’m a husband, father and homeowner now. That doesn’t give me much time for playing computer games! Fortunately for me I have the best wife in the world and she’s given me a lot of time to play in the past week because she knows how much I’ve been looking forward to the game and love gaming, so although she doesn’t like it when I go into my crypt, boot up the computer and put on my headphones she still respects it.

But the game is just so addictive and the “just a little more” and “I just wanna try this as a different class” feelings are all over the place so no matter how much time my wife gives me it’s never gonna be enough for me to do all the things I want to do in the game. But I’ll survive. After all, at the end of the day it’s her that I wanna fall asleep with and wake up next to.

Oh, and the game kicks ass! .. too bad Blizzard is screwing it up so hard with all these server issues, which you kinda saw coming when they said “no offline mode”.

Deja Vu

Oh shit it’s happening again!!

About one month before I started working for Carema there was alot of reporting about how Carema was making so much money on the expense of the little guy. I didn’t really care that much about it at the time but it kept growing in November and December and I can safely say I wasn’t bragging about working for Carema then.

Well now it’s exactly one week until I’ll start working at Thomas Cook here in Sweden. Which owns the Swedish travel agency called “Ving”. And ofcourse the media is starting to write bad things about them now as well! Already last week I saw a small little article but today they have another article and how people travelling on their dream vacation only to be disappointed and ripped off.

What are the odds that AGAIN exactly when I’m supposed to start a job that company is having bad things written about them in the media!? I don’t know the truth about all the stories but I just don’t wanna be embarrassed that I work for Ving the same way as with Carema! But judging from what their PR rep is saying in the media, unlike Carema that mostly didn’t say anything about nothing, it’s not gonna be bad. Because I am really excited about starting my work there. And I’m not just saying that, I actually am!!

Car Fixed

Today I took the car to the shop again this morning. As I expected they didn’t have a car for me to borrow during the day but instead they decided to fix it while I waited. So after an hour I got my keys back and off I went. Didn’t have to pay anything because of the earlier fuckups so happy about that. Now that I don’t have to worry about that or getting a new job I guess I’ll just have to worry about global peace.

Car Problems (!)

Remember a while back when I was just hating on car mechanics in general? Well that was after some bad experience with them and after all of that shit me and my wife decided that we’d prefer to have a set monthly cost for a car no matter what happens (almost). And that is called leasing. And Volkswagen was having a drive (no pun intended) on their smaller models at the time so we signed up for that. Since then we pay a fix amount and we don’t have to care about the car making a strange noise or anything. And it’s not cheap either but we get full service from their repair shop.

So you’d think that would solve all that? … well, nope. Cause mechanics are humans and humans fucks up. Sometimes twice per day! We had a chip on the front screen and we heard a weird noise a few weeks back from a wheel so we called them, set a date for me to come in with the car, we’d get a spare car over the day while they fix it, we didn’t have to pay nothing. So on Friday I drove it to the shop and got a spare car and drove to work. After about 40 minutes they called me. I’d gotten the wrong spare car! So they sent a mechanic over with the right car and we just switched. And then they called me again. It seems that as of a few weeks they don’t fix chipped windows anymore, they are using a third party for those repairs. So there was nothing they could do about that! So I went back to change cars again and the customer service guy I talked to thought that all sounded weird so he double checked it. And yes indeed the mechanic was wrong, they are suppose to fix those cars for people like us that have this special deal. So they asked me to come back with the car this week and they would definitely fix it. We didn’t set a date or anything so I’m thinking I’m gonna take the car there and be met with “but we don’t have a spare car for you today, can you come back tomorrow?” and that’s when the only downside to having a leased car kicks in – limited mileage. We’re only allowed to drive 1500 metric miles per year with it (or rather 4500 during the 3 year lease period). And we’re up to 1250 and 4 months to go so trying to be as efficient as possible there. And all these trips to and from the shop ads up.

So yeah, even though we’re leasing a car and paying a shitton per month for something we’re not even gonna own isn’t solving all the problems that we’d hope for. ‘Cause mechanics are still fucking us over.

Nothing Is Perfect

After having talked to my boss to be, my teamleader to be and a woman from HR I’m very hopeful that my new job at Tomas Cook will kick ass. Because it’s a job that I really enjoy doing and do well. It’s webrelated but I also get to explore the business intelligence side of Sharepoint which I haven’t really done that much earlier. I get a small salary increase, I liked the offices and I like the people. So everything felt awesome when I went there to sign the papers.

That’s when “I knew there was a catch!” kicked in. They have a strict cell phone policy. Namely … iPhones only! I can totally go onboard and support a decision to only have one type of phones to make it easier for everyone’s jobs. At the lawfirm we had Blackberrys only – for security reasons. If you bought your own phone that was OK but don’t expect to get your mail on it. At Carema we had HTC only, but if you bought your own phone you got no official support for it but you could still use it. But here it’s strictly iPhone. I felt like a sell out accepting that but I really wanted the job. And it’s not like I haven’t had an iPhone before. But now I have to pay for apps again and shit like that. And having invested in Navigon for Android you can guess how happy I am about that!

The only other downside is their location. Their office is in Stockholm, but not in the centre but a bit off (Marieberg) so I’ll be 5-10 minutes late every morning since I drop off Sam at kindergarten. And I’ll need to go like 10 minutes earlier to make it home earlier than 6:30 and considering Sam goes to bed between 7-8 that’s pretty important to me!

But still, this feels like it could be one kick ass job!

Things Are Looking Better

By the end of today I should have a new job signed and done. Although in sweden you have a 6 month grace period when it comes to employments and during that period the employer as well as the employee have full legal right to just say “nope, it’s not working out” and you’re off the legal hook. So as fark as “signed and done” goes there’s still no guarantee. We’ll see later today.

But Sam has really adapted quickly to life without a pacifier. It takes a bit longer for him to realize that he’s suppose to go to sleep now without it but once he does there’s no problem at all. Even at kindergarten it’s working out nicely. So all good on that front too.

Time for F1 again!

It’s finally time for Formula 1 again! As usual it kicks off in Australia again. And as usual me, my sister AC and brother Jocke are picking up something that we started 10 years ago – they come over to my place on saturday evening, we eat, drink, watch movies and try to stay awake all night (with varying degrees of success) and watch the race in the morning. Ofcourse this was easier when they started the race at 2 pm local time which was like 5 am here in Sweden but for capitalistic reasons they are now started 4 pm local time which is 7 am here so we’re gonna have to stay awake even longer. Or we’ll just go to sleep at 2. I dunno. We’ll see what happens.

But it’s good to keep up with tradition πŸ™‚

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!!

Regarding Carema

Sweet –Β http://www.svd.se/opinion/brannpunkt/carema-foljde-de-etiska-riktlinjerna_6911371.svd

It’s basically the findings of an investigation into how Carema have handled the care of elderly and they can’t find nothing wrong that Carema isn’t fixing and they also go as far as saying that the media was in some cases totally outright lying. πŸ™‚

Business Idea

Wanna hear a great business idea? Start a shady company with multiple company names and addresses, sell incredibly cumbersome items like say a couch for $2500, offer to have it delivered to your doorstep for only $100 more and say “it’ll be here in 8 weeks, we’ll call you when it’s ready for delivery”. Then 3 weeks later call the customer and say “it’s here already so you can pick it up yourself if you want, or wait 5 weeks because that’s when we’re suppose to deliver it, your choice but if you chose to pick it up yourself you won’t get any money back”.

Oh wait… Masku / Finnlandia / LΓ€derinvest AB is already doing that πŸ™

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 πŸ™‚

ECZEMA

So it seems that my worries wasn’t in vain – my son has indeed inherited my eczema. It’s not a huge surprise since it’s in the genes on my side. And on every checkup I’ve made it a point to tell them I’m concerned he’s inherited it and that the dry red hardened patch on his throat may not only be dry skin but actually eczema and everytime I’ve been told it’s normal. As late 6 weeks ago we were told it’s normal by the pediatrician. 2 1/2 weeks ago we were told it’s not normal but probably a result of the tonsillitis. And now after 10 days of penicillin it’s still bad and we saw a doctor on tuesday who said “no this is definitely eczema, I’ll send you to a specialist”. And I got the “no shit Sherlock”-feeling I hate.

And then it gets worst when I tell people it’s eczema and we’re going to see a specialist, I’ve always gotten a “well good it’s nothing bad/worse than that”! It’s like people don’t know what it means! It’s a life long suffering with itching and scratching and bleeding and creams!! I’m really happy it almost went away when I hit puberty but it’s come back in the past few years, so yeah, I still have to use prescribed creams and stuff all the time. So you bet your ass I hoped it was something else like chicken pox or something like that that would be bad for a week or two and then it’s over, or even something else that there’s a cure or treatment for, but eczema, you’re never gonna get a treatment for that (unless there is some huge advances in genetics!) so that’s a life long issue to deal with, one I hoped my son wouldn’t.

Don’t know when we’ll get an appointment to see the specialist or even when we’ll be able to test his allergies. Worst case is that he’s as allergic to fur as I was and we’ll have to get rid of the cats.

SOFFA

When we moved into our house 2 1/2 years ago we spent a fortune on furniture and interior decorating. One of those things was a soffa from Ikea for about 10.000 Swedish crowns.Now, after our cats and son have done his part we’re totally in agreement that we need a new one and this one in leather. Hopefully the hair from the cats won’t build up like a massive core and everything our son spills will just clean right up.

So we spent last weekend looking around on the web and this weekend we spent going to all the furniture stores we could get to without Sam throwing a complete fit. It wasn’t easy but eventually we found a soffa in leather that felt good and was big enough for us to lie in comfortably. And it cost us about 20.000 Swedish crowns. !!! I know, right!

I just hope that in 3 years time we’re not back at this problem having to buy another soffa for 20.000 or more again!!

ANOTHER "I HATE"-POST

Wanna know what I hate? People on trains / busses with backpacks!!

Somehow when strapping on a backpack just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it aint there! Hardly a day goes by that a guy (and this is almost only guys!) backs into me with his backpack or stands in the way of the door not thinking that his backpack is sticking out another 10 inches. And since you can’t give it a small nudge because the person carrying it can’t feel anything smaller than a good push!

And then it gets even worse when it’s jampacked! The other day one train never showed up so the next train was jampacked and ofcourse people had their backpacks and was standing in the way left and right. One was standing so badly that one person on each side wanted to get off the train and not seeing the other one they squeezed his backpack between them and more or less carried him off the train. It was fun to see but pretty scary for the person with the backpack!

So please, if you’re gonna go on a train or buss or something with alot of people and have a backpack – don’t have it on the back! Take it off and carry it in your hand where you can see it and stop it from being such a bloody obstacle!

THAT’S MY 2 SICKDAYS FOR THE YEAR OVER AND DONE WITH

I very rarely stay home sick from work. Usually some cortison-based lotion, pill or spray helps with most things that go wrong with me. Last year when I had the shingles I still went to work, had to pop some Iprens towards the end but went to work regardless. But last week I got hit by a really nasty cold and woke up very early thursday morning and not only a soar throat – a really aching throat. Some Vicks and painkillers, an hour sleep and I then gave up on the idea of going to work. Took the son to kindergarten and went back to bed. And it was goooooooood! I stayed home on friday as well because I wasn’t fully operational and maybe even contagious (have you seen Contagion yet? πŸ™‚ ) and got a lot of gaming done and just enjoying 8 hours off from work, wife and son.. well as much as you can while sneezing and wiping your nose all the time!

But now my 2 sickdays for the year are over and done with. I hope. ‘Cause I think over the past 10 years that should be my annual average.

MOVIES AND EVEN MORE MOVIES

Me and H (which is what I write when I don’t wanna write her full name, but I’m talking about my wife Helena, just for future reference) have really been plowing through lots of movies in the past few days!!

So small short reviews: “Killer Elite”, too long and too many twists to be even bother thinking about. “Real Steel”, I didn’t know it was such a kids movie when we started to watch it but combining the robots and Hugh Jackman taking off his shirt all the time and it’s clear that I wasn’t the target audience here. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, I didn’t expect much since the last “Planet of the Apes” was so very sucky but this one was actually pretty good. Only thing to complain about was James Franco which just haven’t got much acting depth to him. “Darkest Hour 3D” – yeah we actually went out to the movies to watch a 3D movie and boy did we regret that! The movie was “meh…” at best and for once the 3D didn’t help, it was actually a downside since both our eyes were sore afterwards. So no more 3D for us I think.

But the biggest surprise was “What’s Your Number”… Yeah I know, of all those previously mentioned action and/or sci-fi movies the movie we’ve watched that I’d rate the highest was a chic flic!! But it was actually quite good, funny and warm and modern. The huge downside to having that theme to a movie (which basically is “how many have you slept with?”) is it makes for really uncomfortable talk afterwards! Cause imagine it, you’re on a date with a beautiful woman and you take the bullet and go see a romantic film and the first thing she says afterwards is “so how many have you slept with?”, woooops! But me and H actually didn’t fall into that trap. Maybe because we really don’t care about what we did before …

BELATED HAPPY NEW YEAR

I moved my blog here because it made it easier to update – I could simply send an e-mail to the blog and it’d be posted right away. Yet I didn’t make a “happy new year” post.

The reason is because we (as in me and my wife) were totally stressed out during new years eve because we had a 3 course dinner to serve to 8 people and making sure they are happy (or atleast content). It kinda made me miss the good old days of being single in my apartment – not having to worry about nothing πŸ™‚ (I kid ofcourse) Fortunately the guests took care of Sam for us more or less but it’s still enough to make me forget about those little things.

But I still had a good new years eve and yesterday we were just slacking, watching TV and not doing much at all. Which kinda annoyed the hell out of our son that bores easily πŸ™‚

WHAT DID I GET FOR MY WIFE

The question was raised by a friend of mine “what did you get your wife” so here’s the answer to that.
I got her one of those Qube games with the “luxury” theme (cause she likes that stuff), a Nespresso-machine (she wanted one for work but she’s not really likely to bring it to work since it makes sooooo good coffee!) and pods for 500 crowns – that was alot of coffee! πŸ™‚

So she was pretty much happier than I was about the presents – and she was even happier when her secret santa had bought a little Nespresso-glasscube for the pods!

MERRY CHRISTMAS INDEED

So did you have a merry Christmas? .. I certainly did! I really love Christmases like this!
First we had a small little present opening at home and I got an electric toothbrush from my lovely wife! The story behind that is that I’ve always prefered electric ones, it just feels better afterwards. But during our very nice romantic weekend after we got married I lost mine. And I never really put a high priority on it (the Samsung Tab was much more important!!) but now I got one again!

Then we got into the car and drove 3 hours to her brother’s place and celebrated Christmas with his family. Lots of people, lots of food, lots of fun and lots of presents (with 3 small kids there it was plenty of toys!)! And that’s when my wife surprised me again! Not only did she remember me saying “I want that for Christmas!” when I saw the TV trailer for “Uncharted 3” – but she went above and beyond and got me the special edition of it!!

The day after we had some breakfast and that’s when the only bad thing that happened all week happened – Helena got some food poisoning with all bad stuff that comes with that. And then we got into the car to drive 3 hours to my parent’s place, stopping every 30 minutes when H felt a bit queasy.

But when we finally got there she slept for 2 hours and it was all good. Then it was the same story, lots of people, lots of food, lots of fun and… ok maybe not lots of presents since we had agreed to play the Secret Santa game. I don’t know who was my Santa but that person bought me two whisky glasses, really nice so thank you for that! Then it was time to play some games… first it was the social version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and that didn’t work out since we improvised the rules because the rules that comes with it only applies when playing 2 people and we were four. But I still think it should have been “last man standing” (which ofcourse was me) but nope. So then we moved on to Scrabble and on the second word we got into an argument about the rules. And when it was really close towards the end we got into an argument what happens when challening someone that puts down tiles that make 3 words at the same time.. but in the end I won again. I have really no clue why I win Scrabble so often (in english)!

Anyway, then we stayed the day and after breakfast (without the food poisoning) we got into the car and drove 1 1/2 hour home to calm down, get organized and start putting batteries in everything our son got… oh the noise!!!

PLAYING JACK BAUER

So did you hear about the Swedish police and DA playing Jack Bauer last week? The story, as reported by our media, is that some woman claims she overheard a man talking Arabic (which wasn’t her primary language) on his cell phone talking about blowing up a shopping mall in Gothenburg. She reported it to the Swedish police who realized they didn’t have all the time in the world to investigate everything and after getting the logs from the closest cell phone station they narrowed it down to the 4 palistinians. And they were promptly arrested.
That far I can’t really blame them. They couldn’t risk this women being wrong or risk an actual bomb in the most crowded place in Gothenburg. So I totally understand them borrowing the pages from “24” and shooting from the hips. I can actually applaud them for having the balls to make the call. ‘Cause if it had been a real threat and they had hesitated it’d been far worse.

Unfortunately though they weren’t just arrested, the police brutally stormed their houses/apartments with little respect to anything else than getting these guys arrested. And everything after this seems to have been one fuck up after another. After checking one piece of evidence after another they should have realized they fucked up and just dropped it and owed up to it. But here we are a year afterwards and all the so called evidence is just wrong and this woman that reported it have turned out to be far from a reliable witness and so far no one is even close to saying “we were wrong”. And the problem that really bites me is that until someone owes up to the fact that they made a mistake, they (as in our justice system) won’t learn anything from it or change how they work. And that’ll lead to this might actually happen again! Cause the only way to improve something is finding the problem and fixing it. If everyone keeps on saying, and god forbid actually believing, that everything they did was correct, then I’m really kinda worried.

But I can’t say I envy the guy who has to make the call – arrest four people on vague evidence or risk a bomb going off killing countless civilians. When Jack Bauer makes the call he’s the tough guy and it’s entertaining. Difference is, when Jack is wrong, which happens from time to time, he doesn’t go hiding.