Monday, 6 January 2020

Great start, zozo?

Got woefully ill around the new year, been bed-ridden for a couple of days, even had to re-book my flight down the continent. Things are a lot better today, though I should care that I don't make anything dumb. Two friends with wives came my insignificant hometown for a visit, and I missed them both because I was ill. Drat.

Loving the Kobo Libra, and because I'm odd I took a white one even though everybody else told me to pick black. I thought the white would attract less smudges and white specks of dust. Still I was worried about how much a white bezel would affect my concentration while reading (I'm a pretty bad reader tbh, very little practice...), and it turns out I don't think about it one bit when engrossed. Phew, just need to find good books. Ploughed through the first Sherlock Holmes book, I found it for tree in the Kobo store. Reminded me of how superior the Jeremy Brett version was to all others, and how much better books are overall, the emotional payoff is a lot more meaningful. Then I started with the Hobbit, and truth be told it's a little disappointing. Not sure what I expected, but here's hoping the ring series is really better. Btw I finally know what's hiding in JRR. And on top of that I have some ~20 classical books (all in the public domain!) considered among the best ever, that'll be tough and inspiring. After that I'll consider getting a library card.

Nothing new except for that. Oh right, I forgot, happy 2020! Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about the number 2020... Perfect vision, thanks for reminding me of my rubbish eyes... Hmm, seems to be an exceptionally unremarkable number mathematically, so we'll just have to make it a cool year by other means!

EDIT a little later: A certain person's 250th birthday! Completely forgot... Also, Hobbit isn't really bad, it's better fantasy than any game in the genre (Dark Souls comes close, but it's so dark :p ), and I knew it's supposed to be suitable for children, but constant flashbacks to the films are really annoying. Shouldn't fault the book for that. Let's see, over half-way through!

EDIT even later: Coco started well, Pixar is pretty good with that. Then they have their usual slightly sugary first act which is always annoying, and the plot was not too hard to disentangle (although I never do that, it was just too clear this time). Then the film became really great for the second half. Best Pixar film in a long while. Could be due to some sentimental values from the great Grim Fandango... Still, personally I feel that the surreal emotional world in the best Japanese animated films is in a higher league, I'm still trying to figure out what it is. It's somehow akin to books, whereas Western media slams the emotion buttons at the right times. In any case, it's nice to feel.

Friday, 27 December 2019

Star Wars: Damage Control

I said I wouldn't pay for it, but I did... The things I do to cultivate my friendships.

So, better than I thought. Some character moments actually made an impact this time, but it's very much yet-another-cookie-cutter party. The most obvious arch in the film is how much fan criticism over TLJ was addressed, I really would prefer the title "Damage Control". Begs the question; what will the TLJ yay-sayers say about the toxic disgusting OT fan-base now that the new film catered to them? There's also a sense of there being nothing outside of what you see, just like in Super 8 that I watched yesterday, just a jumbled mess. If anything, this one might be the best of the new unholy trinity, but as the saying goes, that statement ain't worth much.

Here's how I'd summarize this new trolology:
- TFA = ANH, FX and numbers squared, characters square rooted, boring paint job, just watch ANH instead.
- TLJ = TESB + ROTJ/2, "kill the past", did new stuff, mostly indoctrinating rubbish, just watch TESB instead.
- TROS = ROTJ/2, tried to fix TLJ:s mistakes, do its own thing, reshape the original end, all in one film, just watch ROTJ instead.
I.e. I'll keep re-watching the OT thank you very much :) Too bad Disney's making so much from this, and I participated, ugh...

Ordered a white Kobo Libra last night, and I'm collecting free epub:s of what are considered all-time great works to "start out" with. I'll probably cancel my Netflix account early the coming year and just read instead. Somehow, the idea of having Netflix at hand is more enticing to me than actually using it, cannot say I got much out of the junk I've watched :p Let's see what junky books I'll read...

EDIT 2019-12-28: For a while I heard Rango was at most an ok film. Then I started hearing it was pretty good. It is pretty good. My faith in "new" films has been restored :p

So, EFAP has an almost 12h long review on Damage Control, and I'm enjoying and agreeing with a lot of it. I should just listen to those guys (with ads) and stop paying for trashy films.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

God Jul 2019!

I'm really 33 min too late to post this. But, some parts of the world celebrate the 25th, so I should be fine, I'm only bending the rules a little bit.

God Jul! A few days of discounts and then it's a wonderful new year! See you there.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Dan före dopparedan

Iiiih, so close! The childish excitement is not that tangible any more though, mainly looking forward to seeing my family opening their gifts.

The same time my parents picked me up, their kitchen tap started leaking just a little. It's some 30 years old, so we decided to replace the thing, and I tried to understand the vague descriptions of what to put where. Building a physics experiment is a bit different from plumbing, and the stakes are actually a lot higher at home. In the end I found the small pieces we needed, my dad and I paid with half our backs (wasn't that bad) and some cut thumbs to get rid of the old copper pipes in the old tap, and we now have a brand new Swedish made tap, packed with amazing features such as ceramic smooth closing, adjustable pipe limits, cold start, and more! Was a fun way to start the holidays, felt really nice when it was done.

Was at a party at the University the evening before I went home, I was thinking one beer should be enough. Ended up being involved in a drinking game record time, and I cleaned and packed at 2-3 in the night, went to bed at ~4, had an alarm for 6:30 in the morning, and had a relaxing trip all the way to the plane (unlike unprepared idiots who have to take shortcuts). Fortunately I don't get too affected the day after most of the time ("most of the time"...), but I've been thinking for some time that I should find some new friends who don't drink so much :D That's one good reason why I keep in touch with my friends in Sweden. It's nice to have holidays away from the indulgent continent for a bit.

Just had my first practice session on the old student violin from my childhood, intonation was all over the place because no violin is the same, but my mother told me I should start playing for others anyhow. Well, I'm getting there, I guess, but not quite yet! It has to be perfect :p Finally I noticed that my violin is in fact a lot nicer than the old one, so I'm at least that comfortable playing nowadays.

Thinking about a Kobo Libra (come on mellandagsrea, gimme!) and canceling Netflix, it was fun in the beginning but I haven't used it much recently. Could spend my time better reading books... What usually stopped me was I really don't like holding heavy unruly books and they take so much space. Tech ftw.

So people know now I'll take the week before the next beam time off. Let's see how that goes... Excited but also a bit worried...

Tomorrow! Gifts have been bought, so no need to be a nice kid any more (jk, be nice).

Friday, 15 November 2019

A big day

Remember the old Magic Eye pictures? They were a big thing when I was young, and they've been popping up here and there due to various 80s and 90s nostalgia. I never understood them, but had a go today.

And there it was, "I *heart* you" floating in mid-air!

I tried picture after picture, half of them were sharks, but also sightseeing views or exciting sports moments. Of course my mind started wandering and I had a try with animated gifs, then videos on youtube. One point on my bucket list done :D

Work-wise there's just too many things, but we'll have a group outing to Sinsheim tomorrow, so I should be in bed now...

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Knock knock

Joker is an excellent film, but I also understand the critique surrounding it. Probably not the best thing to watch if you're not sure what's going on with yourself. In this part of the world I'd say nearly everybody sees only the negative progression, which says more about the environment that the critics live in than the film itself, and that might even be one of the main points behind it? Taxi Driver is better overall, but the Joker might be the best prequel/origin-story film I've seen so far. Looking forward to seeing it again in a year or so when I can watch it at home.

It's a good thing the delivery time for a Nakaya is so long, that put me off for now. I already have a lovely 3776 that I should work harder with.

Getting close to beam time again! Let's see if people can figure out what we want to test and what goes where until very soon...

EDIT 2019-10-27: After the latest Spider Man film, people had another go at comparing the main three: Raimi, Sony, and, uhm, is is called the MCU? Anyway, as a kid I always thought the Raimi versions were cheesy, but I've heard some very solid arguments recently why Spider Man 2 is really good. And whaddaya know, after having grown up a bit, I agree that it's the best Spider Man ever was. I'm currently enjoying a nice post-watching state. The MCU versions are fun, but most MCU characters seem to me to feel their emotions way too fast or entirely dodge them with jokes. "2 seconds to gaze and contemplate, and then I gots to go and save the world! After that I'll have to go to the laundromat." I cannot get into that rhythm, it not only trivializes the super hero antics (Spider Man 2 had a lovely moment on the train), it gives me personally no time to understand what's going on with the characters. I mostly like Iron Man 1 and Captain America 1 because they take some time off a tight schedule. I also started my 4th or 5th viewing of The Wire some weeks ago, and, uh, yeah, king vs pawn.

On a similar note, after having seen the final Star Wars trailer, I decided I really won't watch it. Not just not pay for it, I just don't want to see it. And the recent Terminator film seems like a waste as well. Oh right, I haven't watched Terminator 1 and 2 in a good while, I'll have to look into that.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Foraging

Went out with co-workers to pick mushrooms yesterday. It's been many years since the last time I did that with my family. Funny how the parasol mushroom is regarded highly in Sweden, but down here it grows like weeds. Tried it today, was alright. The porcini is a lot nicer, found a few of those plus some of its bolete cousins. After the adventure in the woods we gathered at one couple's place and had dinner, drinks, and chatted for 11 hours straight until the first bus in the morning... It was a great day + evening, but the next day was tough. Cleaned the mushrooms today which is really boring, but boy is it worth it. I need to make sure I actually use the dried up mushrooms, I tend to keep things like that for too long.

BWV1001 Adagio is not as hard as I thought, and it's one of my favs. Next on my list!

EDIT: 2019-10-05: Made cinnamon rolls with co-workers this afternoon, they're really great straight out of the oven. Somehow we binged s1 of Silicon Valley too, I forgot how great that series is, and how wrong so many jokes are. Good stuff. Together with the IT crowd they are the only two nerdy series I really like.