WELL THAT WORKED OUT WELL

So the “great” result of the summit about global warming last week was… “keep on going as we’re going right now while we think about it some more, keep on polluting and praying for a technical breakthrough that’ll solve all our problems overnight”. And it took Canada a whole 2 days to say “if the biggest baddies of greenhouse emissions isn’t in, why should we?” which kinda makes sense. But as long as none of the leaders risk losing the next election because they agreed to some ridiculous demand that might help, then I guess all is fine and dandy.

It’s at times like this you want some global rule that no head of state should ever be able to be relected no matter what. ‘Cause that seems to be the only way for them to have balls. And speaking of balls, sweden sent Lena Ek to that summit. Might as well have sent Miss Piggy.

THE ENVIRONMENT AGAIN

Everyone who knows what’s going down in Durban right now raise your hands… anybody? …

Well all the worlds governments ministers in charge of environment are gathering to discuss what we can do about the state of the climate. Last time it was in Copenhagen and the only result of the meeting was all the jetfuel that was burnt up by all the planes there. It’s a bit sad when you have a conference to talk about lowering emissions and in comes a big ass jumbojet to deliver one person…

ANYWAY, I’m far from an expert at economics or the environment, but it seems to me pretty stupid. We have countries that doesn’t wanna be on the same side as other countries for various reasons. And we have some countries that feels that changing their ways will hurt their economy. And we have politicians that doesn’t wanna give in or take a bullet or anything because they wanna be reelected. Meanwhile we have a planet that’s drowning. It won’t be fun in 30-40 years is the sea level rises a few meters flooding the major cities around the world, it won’t even be fun watching those finances and borderes literally washed away.

As for me.. well I’m already taking the train and live in a modern low energy home and leasing a brand new little car that doesn’t consume much gas so I think I’m doing my part atleast.

IN WITH OLD

I’m finally done adding old updates to this blog! I started this blog way before blog was even a word, back in 1997. Unfortunately I don’t have those updates (and the internet archives only goes back that far) and let’s be honest, before 2002 there wasn’t that much interesting happening. But all the updates dating back to January 1st 2002 are now added to this place. How many blogs can say that? 🙂 So now you can read about all my travelling again and my sadness when I lost my best friend and the excitement when I met Helena 🙂

Also added it to Facebook so hopefully you’ll get a notice there when I update this place. Just hope that works as intended.

SNOW OR NO SNOW

So it’s December 1st today. And not many signs it is December at all. Still above 0 here, we had a little bit of snow Sunday night that melted fast and then nothing.

So now people start complaining about the lack of snow. And last year it was complaints abot too much. I don’t know which side I’m on. A lot of snow is good for a lot of reasons, most of all it’s a sign the weather is “normal”. And I also want it so my son can experience a white Christmas, seeing that he hardly remembers last Christmas. But then again I remember last year when I was out shoveling snow like a mad man. When it was hard to get the car out and slippery as hell on the roads and the electric bill made everyone turn down the heat a little bit. But still.. snow is snow so bring it on 🙂

O’LEARYS APPOLOGY

Just a small quick update regarding our visit to the new O’Learys restaurant the other day.

I mailed the HQ and got a very nice mail back tonight. He apologized very politely and even offered us a free evening off bowling and dinner which was really nice of him. Surprisingly nice. They could just have deleted the mail like most companies would and gotten on with their business but he not only read it but replied. I thought that was nice. Unfortunately me and Helena don’t have the luxury of going out much, we pretty much have to plan logistics one or two weeks ahead of time so when we do go out we want it to be something or someplace special. And it was on Sunday so not very likely to happen again anytime soon and when it happens we’re not likely to go there again. I think. Then again it is free… but as our old spam protection software said, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”…

O’LEARYS FAIL

When I left my job at Vinge my nice colleagues there got together and bought me two gifts. The first was a whisky that was really nice. And the second one was a gift certificate for 1.000 Swedish crowns (approximately $140) at O’Learys. They knew I liked going to O’Learys since I’ve gone there alot ever since my first Formula 1 at O’Learys experience in 1999. The gift certificate was for the newly opened restaurant in the north part of central Stockholm (Norrtull). And as this was the last race of the season, and it started at 5 pm in the afternoon it was a perfect time to use that certificate.
When we got there they made two things clear – alcohol wasn’t covered by the gift certificate and there was no refunds. That seemed Ok to me since we were 5 people I thought we’d eat for 1000 swedish crowns. The food was good (above average for O’Learys actually) but that was about it. They forgot our orders left and right, they never even asked us if we wanted desserts (which we definitely did) and at the end me and my brother Jocke was left waiting for our beers but we got tired of waiting for that so when the race was over and the soccer game was done we just wanted to pay and get out of there.

And this is where basic math skills actually outsmarted my drunken math skills. I’d like to think I got some advanced math skills but after 4 beers not so much. The tab ended up at 1250:- swedish crowns. So I had to tell this waitress that we had a gift certificate we handed in when we got here 3 hours ago so go sort that please. Which she did and came back with two tabs. One for 250:- since the certificate was only for 1000:-. And one tab for the alcohol for 500:-. Which meant we paid 750:- for a tab of 1250:- with a gift certificate of 1000:-. If we hadn’t wanted to get out of there so badly and if I didn’t have 4 beers in my system I would indeed have protested their math skills saying that we really should only pay for the beer since the way they counted we in practice paid for everything but the beer. So they ripped us off of 250:-.

That combined with the lack of service and the fact that I was sober by the time we got home (which wouldn’t have happened had we gotten that last orders of beer) makes me say “no more!”. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to honor that promise since there really is no other good way for me, my sister and brother to meet up and watch F1 while drinking beer and enjoying good food since we live too far apart, otherwise they could just come over to our place all the time for that 🙂

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

I’m a huge supporter of freedom of the press. And freedom of speech and all those other beautiful things that democracy brings. Even if they can be used for bad things like oh say starting wars and invading countries left and right. But all in all it does more good than bad. But one thing one has to know and think about is not trusting everything you read and instead ask “what’s their angle? what do they have to gain from this?”. Everyone knows Michael Moore’s documentaries that go into that grey area in between “telling the truth” and “not quite lying”.

Well for the past few weeks my new employer Carema have suffered the fate of having the media against them. And reading the headlines and articles in the newspapers/web in the morning while going to work and when I get to work I get “our” version of the truth and although they have the same facts, it’s just angled differently. And I don’t have access to any classified information, it’s all on the web. But most people aren’t interested in reading our side of the story since it’s much more fun / juicy / interesting to read the medias version than the other side of the story.

It’s all pretty frustrating – but still, huge supporter of freedom of the press. I just wish people would care more for finding out the truth than taking the headlines at face value.

GETTING USED TO BEING THE NOOB

If you wind the clock back 10 years I was just starting my career as “consultant” and driving around Stockholm doing all kinds of computer magic. Everything from installing a few PCs to travelling the world. But everytime I was either involed in how the computer system was built up and evolved or it was so well documented that I had it all under control. It didn’t happen that often that I got to a customer and had no clue what their computer environment looked like.

And when I was eomployed by Vinge full time I had more knowledge of their IT systems than the people who worked there since they had only worked there a year and I’d been there on and off for four years. And after 5 more years I knew the IT systems inside and out even though it changed a lot over a year and I often had to find that out myself!

But now I’m at a big company with hundreds of servers and systems and I have no clue what’s what or what server does what and most importantly where to look when something is broken! I’m doing all I can to learn it but it’s going slowly. Thing is I have no reference point that I can use to know if I’m learning things fast enough or if I’m looking like a total noob! … but it’s only day two!

Online identity

Saw a really good story yesterday on the TV4 News about abusing online identities, in this case for political purposes. It’s basically about two young “everyday” women who found out that someone have set up Facebook pages in their names, using their personal details and photos and joining political groups. And the person doing the story, Lena Sundström, got some first hand experience about this when someone set up a fake Twitter account in her name pretending to be her. Ofcourse there’s nothing new about fake Twitter/Facebook accounts, that’s a rather old story but using it for political purposes was a new angle for me! Especially with Lena Sundström (who’s from South Korea but raised in sweden since she was like 6 months) who have done numerous stories about Sverige Demokraterna, a political party in Sweden who wants to send all immigrants back home and it’s been interesting to see her meeting people and they having no idea she’s an immigrant until they meet her for the interview.

I’m pretty grateful that even though I’ve had an online presence since -98 when I set up my first website and started a blog nothing like this have happened to me. Maybe that’s because I’m too boring, I dunno…

A GOOD DAY TODAY

You may remember a few weeks ago I made a post that we were now “leasing” a car instead of owning it so we wouldn’t have to worry about stuff. Well what I forgot to mention was that we did have another car, a Volvo that has server us well. I bought it 2 1/2 years ago for 30k SEK (it really was 40k but I got 10k for handing in my old Mitsubishi) and it was the car on all our photos of when the house was built. It was the car we raced to the hospital in when H was going into labor. But it was also the car that last year cost us 10k SEK in spare parts alone (thanks to H’s brother the work was more or less free). And now was the time for it to go through the annual inspection. And the verdict was surprisingly good – green across the board! That’s only happened to me ONCE that my car went through on the first try and that was so many years ago I can’t even remember it!

And right after we got the all clear I called the car dealership where I bought it and asked if they wanted to buy it. They said “sure, bring it by and we’ll have a looksy”. We were expecting to get like 10k for it but asked for 15k.. and we actually got 15k! Well needed 15k! First thing we did was buy a sulky for Sam since our old stroller was a bit too cumbersome for the new car. But that too served us very well for these 17 months!

And then we went to Stinsen to blow some money on clothes and stuff and the rest I guess goes to our house account that’s bound to take a beating soon.

STEFAN LIV R.I.P

Just a small quick little “rest in peace”-note about Stefan Liv (1980-2011). Never knew the guy, but I saw him play a lot of hockey since it DIF played against HV71 alot back when he played in Sweden. And I never missed a game when Sweden was playing so saw him alot there. And even though they guy stopped DIF from winning the trophy at least once he did it in style and he did it with raw talent and skill. There was not much luck with that guy, he was simply the best goalie. And in 2006 he helped the Swedish team not only win the world championship but also the Olympics. And he always seemed like a nice guy in all the interviews.
And then he goes and board the wrong jet and dies.. such a damn tragedy. And after watching alooooot of “Air Crash Investigation” episodes on national Geographic I’m pretty sure that once the cause has been determined it will seem even more pointless.

Just sad when stuff like this happens and it reminds you of what really matters. So what if the train is 10 minutes late, atleast it didn’t crash…

THIS WEEKEND’S PLANS

So this weekend we’re going out fishing for crabs! Yeah, I know, I don’t even eat crabs, but what tha hell, I’ve never done it so here goes! Then on saturday we’re gonna have a gettogether with alot of our neighbours and eat those poor crabs (or in my case shrimps).  And then on sunday we have a relaxing day with Formula 1.

And Sam is spending the rest of today with my parents and tomorrow morning my sister AC takes over until we’re picking him up in the afternoon. We’ll see how long it takes us to really, really miss him and want him back. But we’ll probably have our hands full with crabs by then 🙂

Have a good one!

GETTING A NEW CAR

I’m not content changing jobs, I have to change car too!!

No seriously, what happened was that me and H (neither of which are very handy with cars) are just fed up with worrying about the car, if something’s gonna break, and most importantly what it’s going to cost us. And the annual road worthiness test is always something you worry about what they are gonna find and what that’s going to cost.

So we looked for options.. buying a new car? Sure that was a possibility but after 3 or so years we were back to worrying about something breaking and all those stuff. Sure we could buy a new car and sell it after 3 years and buy a new car again, but our limited experience selling cars isn’t anything positive at all.

So thankfully for us Volkswagen had a drive this august for consumer leasing a pretty spacious brand new Polo for only $300 per month for 36 months. “Are you mad, paying $300 per month for three years and you won’t even own the car or anything!?” – yeah sure, that may seem like an idiotic thing to do. But the way we see it is we don’t pay for the car itself or anything that can be measured physically. We’re paying for not having to worry about having car problems for 3 years. For 3 years we have the knowledge that no matter what happens with the car we’re not gonna pay for it. Either the insurance, warranty or service-deal will take care of any and all costs… that’s the theory anyway. I’m kinda skeptical so we’ll wait ’till after the first breakdown to say if it works in the real world.

GETTING A NEW JOB

You may remember I mentioned a few weeks ago that I there was something big going on. Well now it’s done. I have officially quit my job. Not before securing a new one ofcourse!

After I had been on parental leave for 8 months and came to work I started getting more and more frustrated over some issues at work and after coming home day after day being pissed off and bitter about things my wife told me to take the bull by the horn and if it wasn’t gonna get better I should try to find another job. And after landing an interview with a bank I informed my boss about my intentions and he kinda felt it coming and wished me luck. I didn’t get that first job but I got another interview and they liked me and I liked them and then it took some time for the paperwork because of all vacations but now the paperwork has gone through so from november 1st I’ll be working at Carema in Sundbyberg, which is alot close to home too. And it is a promotion of sorts since I’ll no longer be on first- or even second-line helpdesk so all is good.

And as I went to bed last night I realised that this is the first time I’ve ever quit a job! 🙂

ANOTHER 2 WEEKS OFF

I got another small vacation coming now! After working for 2 weeks I got 2 weeks off. The first one will be spent trying to keep Sam entertained and stimulated which is getting harder and harder all the time it seems. Can’t wait for him to become a slacking teenager lying in the couch watching bad TV… just like his old man!

And after that he’s gonna be starting kindergarten. And this time a real kindergarten! Not one made up of some barracks and people picked from here and there, no this is a real established kindergarten that’s a few hunder meters from the house. Which will make dropping him off and picking up a bit easier. I’ll be with him the first few days at the new kindergarten so he eases into it a bit and by thursday I’m counting on dropping him off at 9 and go home to just slack and slack all day for once! I am after all on vacation!

Unfortunately we’re in a bit of a Formula 1 drought because the crews needed a vacation too after two back-to-back races and just when it got interesting as Ferrari are getting their act together 🙂

ESKILSTUNA

Last weekend we went to Eskilstuna Zoo along with Helenas brother and his family. Last time I was there was over 20 years ago. And I hardly remember anything about the Zoo itself except the “Fantomen”-cave. But the memory I had of the theme park was that it was big. But I knew my memory had to be wrong since it’s too small of a town to have a big theme park like “Gröna Lund” in Stockholm or “Liseberg” in Göteborg.

And after a 1 1/2 hour drive in the heat (our AC in the car isn’t fixed yet) and with a screaming Sam we finally arrived. And as expected the theme park was really really small. Big enough for Sam for a few years I guess but not much for me. And the Zoo part? Well we didn’t see much interesting stuff, mostly stuff we’d already seen before. And Sam wasn’t at all interested in the animals. He has a weird fascinating in pushing things – the pram, chairs, cleaning carts or anything else with wheels. And as usual in places like this the prices are doubled for even a small cola!

But I still think it was totally worth the trip! Firstly it’s always good to get away for a day. And we got to meet Helenas brother and family again. And she had fun. So even though I missed the F1 qualifying (thank good for our digital recorder) it wasl totally worth it.

DOING GOOD

This week has been a good one for us I think. Except my throat being a bit soar we have all been healthy and well, especially Sam. And you can really tell the difference!!

But now he’s done with the temporary kindergarten! Now we have about 6 week vacation and then he’s off the the real kindergarten that’s just around the corner from where we live!

Today we went to my parents. We were supposed to be there last weekend but as I wasn’t feeling well we never made it. Anyway, good times, good food, good company and Sam had fun! Tomorrow off to see Transformers 3 at the movies with my sci-fi friends. Here’s hoping it’s better than the second one!

WEEKEND RECAP

Here’s a little recap of what went down last weekend.

We started the weekend off on friday evening with a nice dinner in front of the TV with wine and beer, some cookies and cheese but went to bed early since we knew what a big day we had ahead of us.

On saturday morning my sister AC arrived to take care of Sam for us. We love the little guy but to really relax we needed someone to “off-tank” him (all you Warcrafters now what I mean). We suited up, took some photos and headed into Stockholm. Since we didn’t know exactly where we were supposed to be (Stockholm’s city hall is a big building!) we went a bit early. After doing some recon we sat down for some coffee and a muffin and a nice lady at a table next to us wanted to take some photos of us with our camera since she thought we looked like the cutest couple ever. And then my dad called my to ask if they could stop by so we had to tell them that “nope, because we’re in Stockholm getting married” which they had no clue about. At first he wasn’t sure if I was being serious or not but soon realized I was.

After that I took some nice photos of Helena by the water with the wind all over her dress! Then we went in as instructed 15 minutes before the service and it was totally packed! We thought this is where people went that didn’t want to have a big wedding but we were wrong – almost everyone had their families with them, all dressed up and wedding dresses and tuxes, made us feel a bit under dressed. And when it was finally our turn it was over in 5 minutes. Just a quick “do you” and “do you” and some text that I don’t remember that much about. And fortunately one of the assistants helped us by taking some photos of us, even though she wasn’t that camera savvy so half the photos are out of focus.

After the ceremony we got into the car, texted all the people that should know we got married and then drove off into the sunset… or to Norrköping where we had booked a suite with their “Love”-packaged. Got champagne on ice and fruit and chocolate, that was really nice. After winding down and walking around the city for a bit it was time for dinner which was at their local pub. Not really the fanciest place to have a post-wedding dinner but it worked for us. Then enjoyed a drink in the bar and then bed time. Yeah, I know, we actually go to bed early nowadays. But we slept really late on Sunday 🙂

After we finally got up on Sunday Helena tried out their Jacuzzi while I was just l laming around just enjoying not being stressed or worried or entertaining Sam or anything, it was just us! After we checked out we went to Söderköping for our annual visit to the ice cream restaurant. Then we drove to Huddinge hospital to check up on a friend of Helenas that had a daughter a few weeks ago. She was tiny as hell but she was born way WAY premature so not surprising.

Then home again and take care of Sam so AC could get back to her real work.

So that was our weekend. Except for the mediocre dinner it was awesome!!!

Pictures are here by the way.

JUST MARRIED

Yeah, we finally got married!!!

After we’d built the house and we knew we were pregnant and agreed we’d go with it I knew this was the woman I was gonna spend the rest of my life with! Not only did we have a house together and a mortgage to go with it, not only because we were gonna bring a child into this world. Nope, it was really just love! I knew I was gonna love her no matter what because she’s just such an amazing person! So for me getting married was a given. We just needed to get some cash flow so we could have a party. But after being home for a while and doing the budget we realized that wasn’t gonna happen so we just agreed to do a normal ceremony at city hall in Stockholm because neither one of us is particular religious. For us the most important thing was to just be married with all the benefits and security that brings if something would happen to one of us. And Helena also wanted to have the same last name as her son. They had a 6 month waiting list and pushed it another month to wait for our tax return. We got my sister to take care of our son and made reservation at a hotel in Norrköping so we could swing by Söderköping for our annual visit to the ice cream restaurant.

So here we are after that amazing weekend! If you followed me on facebook you know how much fun we had and how glad and cute we looked all weekend 🙂

But I do feel bad about not throwing the party but we simply couldn’t afford it. I feel particularly bad for Henke and Markus who invited me to their wedding and I couldn’t return the favor. But after over a year of one of us staying home with Sam our economy is just recovering.

I’ll post something tomorrow about that awesome weekend but for now… I can’t believe she said yes!! 🙂

REALLY GREAT WEEKEND AHEAD OF US

To kick things off Helena got a new job at the telecommunicationscompany that she’s working for, so that’s a great start to the weekend! Exactly what this means is anyones guess but she wanted, she got it so I’m happy 🙂
Then tomorrow H’s brother, his wife and two kids are coming over to.. well celebrate my birthday is the official excuse, but it’s been a long time since they saw Sam and H so I’m not taking full credit for it. But good food, good company and good weather!

Then on sunday my sister with her kids are coming up late afternoon to enjoy pizza, the company and most of all the Formula 1 from Canada!

So all in all we’ve got a helluva good weekend ahead of us!