Yeap, we’ve been travelling again! This time to the UK! I would say “London” but I actually never sat foot in London. We we’re in Brighton, Farnborough, Croydon and alot of time at the Gatwick airport (thank you for that Norwegian Air!).
The point of the trip for me and Sam was to go to the Farnborough Air Show. My dad loves those air shows and I thought it was time to introduce Sam to them. Unfortunately it became too hot for him so he got tired and fell asleep and woke up just as the arrows we’re landing!
My sister had convinced my wife to tag along so they could spend all saturday in London, enjoying a good old English afternoon tea and some shopping at Harrod’s. Let’s just say things don’t always goes as planned!!
I’ve updated the photogallery with photos for 2014 – which include Sam’s 4th birthday, Adrian’s christening, H’s trip to Barcelona and our trip to Rhodes. Awesomeness ensues!
(as usual, the password is the short Swedish name of my current employer, with a capital first letter)
This time I have a perfectly valid reason for not posting stuff here. Not that nothing is happening, but I’ve actually been on vacation!! Ok, maybe that’s not a shocker considering where I work nowadays, but still pretty fun. Especially this time since it was my son Sam’s first time on an airplane!
We decided to go to our all inclusive, super family friend Sunwing hotel in Rhodes, Greece. “We” in this case wasn’t just me and my wife, but also included a couple that we are pretty good friends with who have a little girl. As it turns out that part was genius because they played with each other and had a great time and when they were apart they kept asking where the other one was so yeah, they enjoyed eachother’s company alot!
But us grown ups? .. Well I enjoy their company too but at the same time we spent pretty much all the time every day together which in hindsight wasn’t a good idea because me and my wife hardly spent any time together. We got a few hours when they took care of Sam, much like we took care of their girl one evening, but still it wasn’t much “us” time. Or maybe we just remember our time in Crete last year a bit too fondly when it was just the two of us!
Anyway, the hotel was great! Our room, which was more like a house, was awesome! We had some great views and it was spacious so it never got cramped. One issue though was the all inclusive. I mean, for our kids it was perfect – we never had to think “I wonder of they have anything for Sam?” or “maybe it’s time for us to find some place to eat” – the restaurant was always there and always had food for kids! But for us grownups it was kinda boring. Not that varied, not that good quality of the food, the service was so-so and the atmosphere was chaotic – the complete opposite of what you’re looking for when you go out!
We did manage to get to the á la carte restaurant once, and that was awesome by comparison. Then we got a recomendation of a small, family owned greek restaurant in Rhodes named “To Steno”. And it really was small! And the father in charge sat at our table half the time to ensure we were enjoying ourselfs. And we turned it into a meze with small dishes coming all the time, great fun!!
We also visited Lindos, which is an old village in the south part of the island. It’s really, REALLY, tourist focused so if you want the tourist thing, then you should really go. But it wasn’t much else there.
The biggest disappointment was actually the weather, which you can’t really blame anyone for. We knew we were travelling a bit early and would get the best weather, but we didn’t expect to have 2 really grey days, 2 rainy days and only 2 days of sunshine when we booked. But when the sun was out it was amazing
All in all a great week - most of all for Sam!!!
I remember when “Matrix” came out and pretty much everyone was blown away by the special effects in it and the “bullet-time” filming and kung-fu action sequences. Some of us were also very impressed by the story.
Well last weekend I had some time home alone and after seeing “Gravity” on bluray I noticed I hadn’t even take the plastic off of my “Matrix Trilogy” bluray pack. So I though “what tha hell” and saw them all in one sitting. And even though the story still holds, the special effects… well they really haven’t aged well!! Some of them look like a college project, atleast next to “Gravity”. It really didn’t look good at all and I think that bluray actually hurts them. For example the brawl scene in Matrix 2 where Neo fights off a thousand Smiths, in bluray it’s pretty silly when you clearly see how computer animated it is. Then you compare that to “Gravity” where they faked pretty much everything you see in the movie, except the faces (they even digitally removed and recreated a leg for Bullock during the “rebirth” scene in the airlock). I know it’s not a fair comparison given the 14 years between them, but still compare it to Contact that also faked alot of the stuff you see. The trademark of good special effects are the ones you never even see. But somehow when it comes to the “Matrix” I actually think they wanted you to see them because they were so obvious and fake.
So Plan A didn’t work. Those people over at Owncube promised 30 TB (or “unlimited” in the promo e-mail), but when I finally got the backup-routines in place (which included RAR-ing everything first) and the backups actually went through (after getting alot of disconnects) it halted after 600 gigs saying “not enough diskspace”. But when checking the interface is still said unlimited. At that point I couldn’t be bothered with them anymore and decided to go with plan B. So now I have a double-drive USB case hooked up at work with enough storage to take backups of all my stuff at home. The only downside compared to the other alternative is that I will have to prioritize what to backup from home to here because the storage won’t be enough for both. At first. But when I’m not in savings mode anymore (i.e after the summer) I can buy new drives for it so that it’ll have more storage.
So now I can finally change my raid at home from 10 to 0, and go from “only” having 6 terabytes of storage to 12. As anyone with tech knowledge will tell you, raid 0 is suicide redundancy wise but if I have everything backuped up here at work I don’t see the problem. Plus – now the house can burn down and I won’t have lost my “Star Trek” collection!!
This is what happens when I take my work home with me!! Not quite the same with my wife though, her’s is cheaper but it stinks up the entire house with the small of burnt popcorn!
One of the things I am good at is finding and eliminating “single points of failure”. When I see a process or procedure I look at it and check for weakest link. Ever since my first job when my boss told me “if you’re hit by a buss on the way home, the company needs to live on” I’ve done a good job of making sure I’m not it. And when “ITIL” comes along there’s the Matrix organizations that’s all about spreading information, responsiblities and risk I felt it was totally natural and a given. And here at Thomas Cook we hate single points of failure in the IT organization and work to eliminate them constantly. Much like the lawfirm we have 2 datacenters to run from so we can lose an entire building and the IT would still work!
(now I’m going to go all computer tech on you!)
So … I took my job home again. When we got the annual bonus I bought stuff to have a 6×3 terabyte RAID 10 in my server for storing all the digital stuff I have. Everything from documents to images and the DVD/Bluray backups I have, they all need to be stored somewhere, but I’ve always felt like “if I lose this harddrive what will I do!?” – but with a RAID 10 I could easily lose one drive (actually 3 – if they are the “right” ones) and it wouldn’t affect anything… but the next level was “what if the house burns down to the ground”? In such a scenario I’m pretty sure I’ll have bigger issues to deal with than “oh no I lost all my Star Trek boxes and the digital backups of them!”, but I still wanted to make sure that’s not an added headache if it were to happen. One solution was to buy a 2 drive USB case and 2 4TB drives in a RAID0 and get a safety deposit box and once every 3 months take it home, back it all up and put it back again. That was actually looking like the most practical & cost efficient way of doing it…
Until OwnCube offered me a deal to store 30 TB of data as long as their company exists for a one time fee of €150! Done! So now I’m set to once every .. does 3 months sound enough?… zip everything I have to encrypted files and send it up to their datacenters for storage! Even though I only have a 100 mbit upstream connection which means this is gonna take over a week I can’t say I’m in much of a rush since it’s automated and running in the background.
So now the house can burn down and I’ll still have all my Star Trek episodes
Really sorry again about neglecting my duties here. It’s just very hectic at work.
Mostly for me the past 6 weeks have been about upgrading Sharepoint from 2010 to 2013 with all the issues that comes with it and all weird phenomenons that only Sharepoint can produce. Right now it’s all done and I’m “only” cleaning up and trying to be friendly with the users who are pissed off, and rightly so!, over features that are no longer available. But not my fault if Microsoft decided to do away with features they think noone is using.
And we’re also being dragged into an outsourcing project. Yeah, you can hear the “*sigh*” already right? The story of me and outsourcing goes back over 10 years and I think it very, very rarely is a good think in the long run unless you only want to save money and don’t want to care about IT issues. But if you have IT as a core for the business it’s a bad idea and Thomas Cook here in Northern Europe is all about IT and selling our products online so we shouldn’t be outsourcing in my opinion. But orders are orders so we’re going down that path and let’s see where it takes us.
But unlike the Carema outsourcing, this time they’ve guaranteed me I won’t lose my job. My problem is will I still want my job when they are done? It’s still about 2 years away from being “said and done” so still a long way to go and a lot of things to be decided. So I’m patiently waiting to see what happens with this, what else can I do? I love my job so much and I don’t want to quit because I think it may not be as a great 2 years from now…
I saw Gravity the other day. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it so expectations were high although I was a bit sceptical – I mean a movie with only two actors portraying 2 doomed astronauts falling from space towards earth, how good can it be?
Well it was. It was definitely the best movie I’ve seen .. maybe all century!
Why? Well the story was pretty damn good. The acting was top notch. The laws of physics was respected (mostly). The f/x were awesome, never could I imagine space destruction could be so beautiful! The music maybe a bit too epic. But there was something else, something I’ve realised only I and Paul Buchman appreciate (mail me if you get the reference!!) – the mind blowing cinematography!!
Ever since Cameron’s groundbreaking The Abyss I’ve always had the idea of “how are they filming this?” in my head when I see movies. That’s why I put Contact and Forrest Gump on very high pedastals, and why I even remember movies like Bonfire of Vanities (with the very long uncut opening scene). And this movie pretty much made those other look like college projects. Granted computer effects have come a long way since those movies. But the opening shot that never seemed to end (was it 13 consecutive minutes?) , the way they got inside her helmet, the way the camera moved during the dialogue in the capsule (that should’ve been impossible given the cramped space), it was all just a mind blowing experience for me !! And usually I’m only this impressed with epic movies, but this, 2 actors and the voices of 2 other actors, can you get a smaller cast !?
The only one complaint I have is that Sandra Bullock have lost so much weight that it was worrying …
So go see it, totally worth it!!
I’m going to praise my employer today as much as I dissed my employer 6 months ago!
6 months ago I wasn’t very happy since I hadn’t gotten a raise that I thought I really, really deserved and felt let down, again. And I was pretty bitter about it. But there are other upsides than just salary to working here so I overcame that and kept on trucking.
And last week I had one of those weeks that makes me love my employer. The week began with 2 days training in Microsofts datawarehouse solution, PDW. Not alot of people know about it, let alone have gotten education on it and the datawarehouse segment is growing fast, so I felt quite privilidged to have gotten it for free. Then on wednesday I wrote the exam (and passed) for a Sharepoint 2013 certification, paid by my employer. There’s no reason really for them to pay for it since me having a certification gives them nothing and makes me more attractive to headhunters. And on Thursday I got to work from home which was very relaxing, and then I worked thursday night to apply patches and fixes to our servers. That was about 6 hours work and except the overtime pay I also got all of friday off. So really, that was an awesome week at work! And this week I’m also bound to get the annual bonus which will more than compensate for that lack of raise.
So I’m pretty happy working here!!
So 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.
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!
Then 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 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
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.
You simply can’t go wrong with a Ferrari …
But deep down I really hope this is fake.
What’s with the new Facebook app permissions!?
I got my HTC phone back after being sent to the shop for taking really blurry photos. They didn’t bother to fix it so they gave me a new One (see what I did there )
So I promptly proceeded to install all the apps that I’m used to having. Everything went smooth right up until I got to the Facebook app. It requires pretty much every permission you can give an app, everything from making phonecalls to writing to other apps. Seriously, why does it need all that? If I want to call a friend I won’t use Facebook for it! I really don’t get it, why can’t they have an explanation side of the permission requirements to explain why they need it ’cause to me it doesn’t make sense. But I’m no Android expert so I wouldn’t know but it just seems weird!
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.
It was time for a facelift on this blog so I got this theme which I think looks pretty ok. Not “great” but it’ll do for now.
Other than that I’m dropping Dropbox (see what I did there?) for GoodSync ’cause $200 per year is more than we can afford right now in these days of next-gen consoles, Christmas and everyone’s birthday is coming up. I think November is gonna be a killer month for my credit rating.
Haven’t written anything here in a while, pretty much because all is good at the moment. The son had a little surgery so we had to deal with him being down and out for a few days. Could have written a post about the reacent ruling in the second highest courts in Sweden that said that 6 guys cornering a girl in a dark room after a party and having sex with her again and again wasn’t rape, but it feels like I’ve beaten that horse a few times already.
But I finally got around to uploading some new photos to my 2013 album. Enjoy!
Sometimes I really wonder how normal mortal humans manage their online safety?! I got a pretty good grip on IT security and have strong passwords on almost all the places I can and 2 step authentication (that is a double check that I’m who I say I am) on the ones that offer it. But there was one chink in the armor – my Twitter. Because Twitter don’t offer 2 step authentication with Telenor in Sweden I can’t activate it and pure lazyness from when I first set up that account led to me having a pretty week password there. “Week” as in 7 random characters & numberals. Yet that’s how someone got me yesterday. Managed to log into my Twitter and send bullshit links to the few followers I had, which are mostly friends of mine so pretty quickly I got a message saying “Hacked? Or do you really think I need diet-pills?”. Another chink in the armor is my Android phone. I’m pretty relaxed about installing stuff on my phone as long as it comes from the Play Store but it wouldn’t be hard for anyone to sneak something in there to hijack the phone. I knew there was one dubious app on the phone already so as a precaution I wiped the phone today and started from scratch. Really no point to restore it from backup, is there ?
But it lead me to wonder how mortal humans do it? Mortal humans who might not know what 2 step authentication is, let alone have it activated? Or people who can’t memorise random passwords?
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)