Monday, 29 August 2016

WinX

Finally tested Windows 8.1 Pro with my super-old key, and immediately upgraded to Windows 10. The upgrade was rather nice except for the creepy black screens and the slowly fading text messages. The big "but" came after having installed a few things and accidentally going into sleep mode while installing Visual Studio Community 2015; I got the chance to experience the dreaded automatic repair loop of infinity. No advanced options or online advice worked. Now, Microsoft has been learning, so I could simply pop in a Windows 10 USB and install it with my Windows 8.1 Pro key, lovely. Installed one thing, rebooted, installed the next thing, rebooted, and so on. Now it's running. Rather well in fact. Quite happy. At last they have flat, solid backgrounds with simple text and borders, and it looks almost as good as hwm, my own X11/XCB window manager...

Another finally: I'm beyond etüde 30 in Wohlfahrt! The 30th is quite weird, the 31th is a bunch of scales in the 3rd position which is a lot more fun. Strange how for two days last week, I couldn't play at all. Then I took two days off, and since then I've been playing like a god (humbly speaking). It's a good feeling to know that years of practice actually works... Vibrato is still a pain in the whatnot, as is Bach.

As a young programmer, I never understood the point with UML. To be honest, I still don't really, but what I do like these days is making little Graphviz dot files, and splitting up projects that way. Even starting out becomes much easier once you have the dependencies of various parts of a project straightened out. And testing surfaces are a lot more obvious this way too. Still wondering why my texture synthesizing project got off track, I'd love to get that going properly...

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Bourne again and cartoons

I'm surprised they haven't gone for that title yet. Just another big budget ridiculous trashing fest disguised as a modern action movie. The first one will forever be the magical one. They tried to play the theme a few times, but that just doesn't work if nothing else feels like the first movie.

I saw a "40 90s cartoon intros in Swedish" plus "another 30" in the recommended sidebar on youtube, and some of my most peculiar childhood memories popped up. Here's a list of things I recall the most vividly, generally with a mix of fascination, mystery, and fear:

  • Windwagon Smith by Disney. Hauntingly beautiful.
  • What's opera, Doc? aka Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit! The second half simply scared the crap out of me.
  • Asterix vs Caesar, when Asterix almost drowns in the basement.
  • Superman, the Mummy Strikes! Brilliant mummy scare.
  • Dunderklumpen. I never understood any of it, but I loved the word "dunderklumpen". I think I have it mixed up with a clip from something similar where they did some magic with perforated cylinders and scarfs.
  • Skrotnisse. Freaky Swedish series with dolls, I still don't know how it ends. "Ture Björkman blir apa." The Dark Eye is nothing compared to this.
  • The Trap Door. Never understood any of it, didn't scare me, but I always wanted more of that skull. Just watched some of it, I remember it a bit differently.
I shall update this list as I recall others. Thinking about these things, one starts to understand how little one has noticed of how much has changed... Life's not forever. "Never grow up, never surrender!" was my motto, I must embrace it again!

EDIT 2016-08-20: Added The Trap Door. And no more Banshee... At least we got one decent fight at the end.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Godzilla

... from 2014 is crap. I'll try Toho's recently released version at some point.

It seems like I have started a tradition of folding something every time I'm at home, so photos:

That one book by Tomoko Fuse that my parents bought decades ago is amazing.

I also saw a complete double rainbow the other day, didn't go out and take photos of it though. Must be a good summer. And tomorrow is the last day of my vacation, at least I'll have my new violin again.

Btw, the Yamaha THR10X is an amazing amp.

A lot less programming jargon these days, huh?

EDIT 2016-08-08: Shin Gojira looks amazing, that guy is already on my desktop. If I would be there now, I would watch it, in full IMAX glory. But I'll have to wait.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Swedish summer

A "cool" Swedish summer, when I'm the most efficient and useful. The occasional hot day with lots of sun and with nothing to do is also nice, but I always preferred "doing" stuff. Heat doesn't help then.

My next important step in getting better at the violin is playing every combination of double stops in the first position in various scales, while still calibrating against open strings. Just under 30 in Wohlfahrt, it took a little while getting used to my old family student violin, and besides, the beam time kept me away. But I finally see the big difference between the two violins. The old student violin is sturdier, has steel strings, and keeps the intonation for years. My new one is more airy and has synthetic strings, but the intonation goes off 100% every day. Some pros are better than some cons though, my new violin is a lot nicer to play with.

It's funny how carbohydrates get a bad name when it comes to food, but the super old generation on Okinawa eats a lot of carbohydrates, plus a lot of vegetables and a little fish. I never really understood the concept of modern "fitness", but isn't a long life a better indication of fitness than how much your veins pop out of your skin? Personally, I try to listen to my belly whether what I'm eating is good for me or not. Too often though, I think "bah, quiet you" :p Time to change that.

I've picked up some Japanese studies again as well. It seems like when I try something for a short while, let it grow somewhere in the back of my head, and then come back to it, I progress a lot easier and faster. That's why you read (good) books twice, once fast, once slow. Change the verb and noun accordingly, and apply to most everything in life.

I'll also try to run a little more regularly, and perhaps not 13 km every time. Pumping blood is one of the best ways of keeping one's brain in shape, so why not? I like running, I think there's an old post of me mentioning the wonderful feeling of looking to the side, seeing fields and houses bouncing away with every step.

Some not so great news too, but there are people in this world devoted to making it a better place. I'd like to as well, only my way will not be quite as direct and obvious. It's about time to

When I get back, I'll start planning my huge origami project. My apartment will look weird for some time, folding 2x 2x1 m^2 pieces of paper on the floor will required some modifications.

And boy is getting to Russia a big ordeal, the only reason I go there is for work to be honest. I've added a few days for sight-seeing with some young co-workers, as I probably won't go back for some time.

Because of no photos for some time, here are some shots from Bergtempelstigen up to Taberg, I forced my older brother to join me:

Time for violin practice in the living room!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Twin peaks

So, I got into a Lynchian mood lately. After the joke that was the U, Xe, and will be C beam time (I blame myself somewhat for not staring over people's shoulders half a year in advance, but they're adult physicists so whatever, although I still help them late evenings and weekends while they leave work and enjoy "life", whatever that is), I needed a shot and decided to watch Eraserhead. Puzzled and intrigued, I continued with Twin Peaks, and I'm enjoying it a bunch. I don't know what to think or feel, it's one of those things that will take some take to at all understand. Loving it. Also, I had been wondering for so long where that bass + tremolo line came from, hearing it in the Twin Peaks pilot allowed the white spots on my maxillary central incisors (my upper front teeth) to blind a welder. One mystery solved. About a hundred unfolded. For some, it's a burden, for some others, a chance to ponder more, and for yet some others, it shows how we read into things. I want to watch Eraserhead again, but I'll need some new real life experiences before I do.

Almost half-way through Wolhfahrt by now, playing the late 20:s, and at around 30 I'll have to go up the neck. Already tried scales up there myself, so I'm ready! Oh yeah, woke up today, picked up my violin with a D string way out of tune, increased the tension, *snap*. Almost died. I thought about going to Crucius downtown, but since I'm paranoid about everything outside my door (and careless about most things inside), I browsed for music stores nearby and noticed they're about to close. Found Arnold, which even has a violin builder, biked there through rain, and bought a Pirastro Wondertone Solo D string. Remarkably more metallic than the somewhat tame Corelli Crystals that came with the violin, very nice. And man, violin strings are expensive, one can get 3-4 full sets of super e-guitar strings for the price of one violin string. Playing the guitar is a lot easier and "fun", but playing the violin makes me happier. I always was a violin player I think, I play the guitar like I wish I could play the violin. Nothing else takes me out of the darkness faster or better. Now if only I was good at it...

This strange post was fueled by my new-found interest in experimental visual media, finally a good bottle of red wine I found at the local supermarket, a bottle of beer, and way too strong homemade Swedish glögg that I diluted in the fine wine with a little sugar. I don't like the after effects, but the past two beams and the one to come up have taken quite a toll. And I know I will have a beautiful cleansing bowl of oatmeal next morning, plus some more violin practice with a shiny new string.

It's funny how differently one thinks as one gets older. I shall finish this post with that.

Monday, 16 May 2016

So, Doom 4

I suddenly noticed yt was flooded with Doom 4 videos (yeah that's right, Doom 4, not Doom), that's how I learnt about its release... I was always skeptical, and after having watched quite a bit of it, still am. Now, it looks like an incredibly fun and good-looking way of increasing your blood pressure and I'd love to try, but it reminds me more of Q2/4 than Doom. Quake 2 was the unholy merger of flesh and machine, Doom and Quake were foremost fleshy and strange with a few robotic limbs later on. And they really went for that stupid Cyberdemon design. The Spider Mastermind is just a touch better, but it's all still rather Blizzardy, cuddly, and silly. Where's the bleakness, horror, and twisted things? Why do games have to be either red hot orange or stone cold blue? It's very gory, but it's not sick. I've probably watched too much trash since I played Doom when I was a kid. Anyway, whenever the price goes down a bit, I'll have a blast and I think I'll love it. It's just not Doom :p

Bought white and green asparagus straight from the fields for my weekend. Or rather, from the farm shop close to my workplace. I prefer just a small amount of melted butter to Hollandaise sauce, it's lighter somehow if that makes any sense... But the greens are still my favorite. Also tried my homemade sauerkraut today, which is surprisingly easy to make. Every day I was fearing the return of the killer mold, but the sauerkraut held its own in its glass jar. I'll make a little more next time, and let it sour up quite a bit more as well.

Beam time soon. Will be busy busy, didn't get to do what I was supposed to do the last few weeks because of general stupid.

Learning to play the violin takes time. I get better at things, slowly, but man, does it take time... I'm looking at my overall progress rather than the set of insignificant tunes that I can at all render, since I already know my main goal. Most importantly, when it goes well, it's amazing, and that's why I keep at it.

Sleepiteesleep.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Sakura

Time is moving slowly here. And I do not mind.

So, the development of sakura, in chronological order (although I tended to photograph the "bloomiest" trees throughout):

And of course the food is spot on like usual.

In other news, I rewrote my hconf C auto-confing thing. I tried to make it more simple and transparent at the expense of some ease of use, each hconf:d file presenting its own separate results. A properly setup Makefile runs quite a bit faster than the previous config blob method. I'm still partial to the old method, but I should move on.