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.


Monday, 4 April 2016


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.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

In flight films

In Japan again, writing this from the visitor's room in the Nishina building at RIKEN. I watched a few films on the plane:

The Martian: No surprises here, it played out exactly as expected. The one thing that stood out was the gosh dang awful CG in the beginning. Overall it looked fine throughout the film, but the first few sequences shown before one of the antagonists, the proverbial, and in this case actually literal, storm, made its entry, looked like 3D modeler examples from the 90s (comma-o-rama!). More fun than the prettier Gravity and heavier Interstellar, but 2001, Apollo 13, and Cast Away did the really interesting bits better. It will take a long time before I watch it again.

Spectre: Again no surprises. I have to admit I'm one of the boring old gits who prefer the old style James Bond. Most probably the same problem as with the Nolan Batman films as my brother explained it, they try to be too serious about something rather silly. A secret agent with a licence to kill with a bunch of gadgets and an appetite, and a very rich orphan who fights crime while dressed up as a bat. The reverse would be to prepare a very intricate meal and then serving it on a paper plate, at least in my head.

Carnage: The most interesting film of the flight, although I cannot identify with many of the actions and reactions of the characters. Things are depicted in a way to make a lively film about a "mundane" situation, and even if it's rather forced at times I enjoyed it. Four regular people (except they're all famous actors) in an apartment for 1.5 hours.

For the rest of the journey I tried to sleep, and I'm still trying... Went to a party immediately after arriving, thought the drinks would make it easier to sleep, attempt failed. And NeuLAND is running quite ok after just 1.5 days of setting up.

Worked until 20:20 on a Saturday, time for dinner.

EDIT 2016-03-20: Some other things:
It took a little while for me to realize, which by the way is the best way for me to find my favourites in whatever topic, but Carpenter Brut's Trilogy is incredible. Perturbator is still nice and I cannot wait for the full version of Assault, but some of the compositions and melodies on Trilogy are really something else. 347, Roller, Trazy Tzu, Sexkiller, Hang 'em all, Paradise, are just some of all the songs I go back to and I tend to have only a few on every album I own... I'm so glad I bought the AH-D2000:s, but while in Japan I'll have to make do with my cheapo earbudsoe.
However, the best piece of music ever is Perlman playing BVW1004 from the "famous" BBC Radio 3 broadcast. Now a pair of Stax on that...
Also 7 days to die is some of the most fun I've had in a game for a very long time, it's too bad it's really badly made.

EDIT 2016-03-24: The sakura is about to explode all over Japan by now, I'm seeing the development live as I walk towards and from the RIKEN cantine. At lunch time one day, there were only a few buds slowly opening up, but at dinner I could see quite a lot of flowers. Transformation still in progress, me documenting with camera.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Behold, the cube

This is the only thing that's happened lately, took a tour today in the newly built Green Cube IT facility at GSI. Some random pics:

Oh right, I have a contract at the University from the 1st of March, which is kind of ironic. I hope.

And I'm going to Japan again, this time in spring! Cherry blossoms, here I come! Got quite a few things to work on over there though, so we'll see if I manage to squeeze any photos out of the trip.

Also, having a big talk next week. About things I don't really know about, so I've been reading up lately. Fun.

Almost 1/5th through Wohlfahrt. Hill dark rosin works very well, I have no need for anything else. The Götz fine tuner works a treat, and the Pirastro Gold E does sound pretty nice, even on my cheap student violin. Quite a bit further ahead in Sakurai. Slow but steady on all fronts.

Tried Taylor of Old Bond Street Rose shaving cream, man does that lather up fast. Going through a sampler pack of blades too, Feather is indeed very sharp compared to others.

Enough of this :)

Monday, 11 January 2016

Finally, another thing out of the way

Syberia 2. Played through most of Syberia 1 in front of a TV many years ago with a friend of mine at University, but I think I restarted some years later and finished it myself. Pretty sure I've mentioned this game in a previous post... Except for some ridiculous automatons, it's a nice puzzle game. Syberia 2 had a lot going for it, but was plagued heavily by incredibly silly situations and puzzles. I'm fine with silly puzzle games, but Syberia shouldn't have fallen into that. Ending was rather abrupt. Good, not great. But it feels good to have completed that story, it was enjoyable most of the time.

Been playing a lot more Grim Dawn recently, which I should, considering I Kickstarted the thing back in ancient times. It really is the best hacker slasher yet, and people are making some very interesting character builds. I managed to end Salazar right after the Warden with my Conjurer, although my toon must have contracted something bad from all the potions she had to chug. Might give Gutworm a try. Still, my all time favorite is Titan Quest. It felt so good to run out into the sunshine among the mountains, cross a bridge over a gorge only to stare into the eyes of a bull on fire. I don't understand why people need games to be all black and gothic, you anyhow have enemies who are happy to slice your guts open, and that's really the part that should set the mood, no? I just wish the song in Helos would be played more than only once...

Made nabe (Japanese pot) two days in a row during the weekend. Easy, healthy, inexpensive (if you can get inexpensive Japanese kombu). I'll probably make this quite often from now on, and buy a bit/lot more kombu next time I'm in Japan.

I suppose this post was to make up for the lack of posts during the late fall. Because this is all I have :p

EDIT a little later: I also watched the most recent and last film by Miyazaki and his team, The Wind Rises. Very different. His films tend to have a profound heavy subject, but in this case the heavy subjects were right in front of you. Still lovely, had all the details one would expect. I don't understand some of the criticism though, especially the complaints about the main protagonist designing fighter planes. Did they at all watch the film? But yes, very different.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Recap and outlook

Took a break.

So, 2015. I went to 4 business trips to Japan, I ordered a Gliga Gems 2 violin while I was on the 1st trip and started playing on the 17th of February when I set my foot in my apartment again, did my 1st half marathon in ~1:38 after three training sessions, listened to, watched, and had a few good heart attacks while Hilary Hahn blasted Beethoven's Opus 61 in Berlin, went to the US again to witness a very good friend getting tied down/up and I met some other very lovely people, finally built an ODAC+O2 combo, an epiphany about my life and the current job I have struck me right in my face during a meeting, and... I turned 30. Don't really care about that, but apparently it's a big deal to a lot of people, so I thought I'd mention it. Had way too much to drink at concentrated occasions. It was quite a good year.

Surprise, no hoverboards.

So, 2016. Keep violining. Keep running (actually I've only had one run since my vacations in summer...). Do something about my current life and work. Finish my current gamedev project. Drink much less when going out. Now, not considering how incredibly huge some of those points are (not the last one), I think I'll have a lot to do.

Oh, almost forgot, I hope everybody had a merry Christmas, and will have a happy 2016. Or zoib. The year of the zoib. Gonna go to bed, because tomorrow, I again leave cold, dark Sweden and go to not so cold, not so dark Germany.

Silly symphonies, eh, sorry, photos: