Monday, 24 October 2016


Took a good chunk out of the sour apple and paid up for yet another violin rosin. Which turned out to be a great buy, and whoever cannot make out any difference between rosins must be an old-school banging-hammer-against-anvil smith or a Paul Bunyan. So, I now have the Hill Dark for aggressive grip, and the new Bernardel when I need to be soft and swift. Quite a bit stickier than the Hidersine 3V that came with my violin outfit still. Buying this was really only painful when I hit the Confirmation button, rosins aren't so expensive considering how incredibly long they last, I still have some... Actually, I still have a lot of blank spots on the top of my Hill cake. And now I should have all the rosins I'll ever need for my entire life.

I also ordered a new set of Corelli New Crystal strings since they're known for being cheap, warm, and have very quiet projection, plus a Spector mute which takes away the most shrill high overtones which is perfect for practice. The heavy duty practice mutes that cover the entire bridge really kills a lot of flair, but playing without any mute at all will damage the ears. A little thing like the Spector & co makes long-term sessions a little mellower and sweeter. Fyi, I've noticed that the heavy duty rubber mutes tend to kill certain notes/strings a lot more than the metal ones, the latter are a lot more consistent. Too bad they dent the bridge.

Days or even weeks (months have happened, usually correlated with price) of researching things is rather painful, but in the end, one tends to end up with pretty solid purchases.

Dark Souls is an incredibly beautiful game btw, thought I should remind myself so I don't forget. Too bad it's known only for being ridonculously difficult.

Currently reorganizing some stagnant ugly code at work to support some new (old new) stuff. Generalizing code is like an intervention; very painful, but in the end it's usually worth it.

Just before the weekend, I realized I had never roasted a whole chicken before. Somewhat embarrassed of this life long void, I bought one and fed myself for the full weekend. I should cook more.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

All this traveling

Went to St Petersburg for a collaboration meeting some weeks ago. Rather nice city, a tad too much gold, which seems like an absurd thing to say... Proof:

Nice to look at still.

And now I'm in Japan again, chomping down on the best food in the world. Had another all-nighter last night, which started with a lot of yakiniku in Shinjuku. The name server in the cave is anyhow down after the power-switch cut yesterday morning, so one particular computer cannot boot. Going back the coming week, then I'll go yet again in three weeks for three experiments... Hence the title.

Waiting for my pre-ordered copy of the Violent Sleep of Reason lying somewhere in my apartment in Germany. What I've heard so far sounds great. Seems like they've started looking at what their offspring has offered, which is not the good part, they have some proper Meshuggah stuff. I wonder what the lead guitarist is working on.

Bowing away when I can. Been thinking a bit about the form for my hands recently, looked into non-playing practices. Never liked them, they tend to do my head in, but they help in the end.

Gotta get back to being tired.

Monday, 29 August 2016


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


... 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.