Elf's Treehouse -> Archives -> 2004 -> January

Wireless New Year

2004-01-01 15:31:36 - 0 comments    |     Archives

What do you know, my first blog posting in 2004, and my first blog posting on my new wireless network at home. Yay!

Every year for the past 6 years I've been making a personal calendar that I send out as a present for friends and family. Every year I have a new theme and for 2004 I did a theme I've been wanting to do for quite some years. We have a fantastic view from our balcony and I've taken loads of pictures of it. I therefore decided to go for a minimalistic approach this year, one picture taken of the same view but in a different month throughout an entire year. Here's the result:

Psychic Drivel

2004-01-05 14:37:52 - 0 comments    |     Archives

Yesterday TV2 had a news item about a dog that had been found in a mining shaft after being reported as missing over six weeks ago. Someone had stolen the dog from a private dog pound and left it there to die. What could have been a positive item among all the airline disasters and earthquakes instead turned out to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

The reporter said that even though the dog's owners had plastered the town with pictures of it, no one had seen hide or hair of the canine creature. Except for a psychic person who had, over the phone, said that he could "see" the dog laying dead in a deep hole. In stead of ridiculing the psychic the reporter simply said: "Something that COULD have turned out to be true, hadn't it been for the fire squad coming to the rescue." Counting the hits, ignoring the misses...

Work Rules For Airport Employees

2004-01-06 23:06:30 - 0 comments    |     Archives

After my experience at Flesland Airport yesterday, I think I can conlude what set of guide lines the employees who handle the luggage have:

I'm sure you will all be glad to know that the luggage handlers at Flesland follow these guide lines to the letter.

Spellemannsprisfalitt

2004-01-08 00:27:10 - 1 comments    |     Archives

At folk tar Spellemannsprisen mindre og mindre seriøst for hvert år som går, det hjalp neppe å flytte den over til TV2, er noe de fleste har fått med seg. En kan egentlig skjønne det når en ser hva prisen etterhvert har blitt. En pris som deles ut til de som kan vise til størst mulig salgstall, uansett om kvaliteten på det de har levert er like verdiløst som brukt toalettpapir. Ved å dele ut priser til klassiske musikere som aldri har tid til å stikke innom for å hente dem og til jazz- og folkemusikere knapt noen utenfor vinnernes egen vennekrets har hørt om, har en prøvd å gjemme seg bak et alibi av seriøsitet. Problemet er bare et når akkurat disse prisene deles ut i tisse- og reklamepausen blir parodien fullkommen. Det vil si, jeg trodde den var fullkommen til jeg hørte at Kurts "She's so high" var nominert til årets låt.

Det er såkalte fagjuryer som velger ut hvem som skal nomineres, men årets låt blir nominert av Spellemanskomiteen. Hvis en går denne komiteen nøye etter i sømmene, vil en se at Lena Midtveidt sitter i årets utgave. Jepp, samme Lena Midtveidt som var dommer i Idol. Nå vil kanskje noen prøve å roe meg ned med å si at det var jo ikke hun som var med å stemme fram Kurt, det var det seerne som gjorde. Vel, selv om hun hjalp Kurt med å komme til det punktet at seerne kunne begynne å bestemme, så er ikke det hovedankepunktet mitt her. Lena Midtveidt er direktør i plateselskapet BMG. Hvilket plateselskap tror du gir ut skivene til Kurt og vil ha mest å tjene på en slik pris? Jeg skal la deg dra slutningen selv...

Noe annet jeg ikke skjønner er hvordan en coverlåt kan nomineres. Alt skal visstnok ha foregått innenfor reglementet, men da vil jeg på det sterkeste anmode om at dette reglementet endres på flekken, med tilbakevirkende kraft. Jeg har full forståelse for at årets låt bør ha vært en hit og på god vei til å bli folkeie, men da bør låten pokker meg også være en original komposisjon. Skal det være slik at en hvilken som helst coverlåt kan bli årets låt, eller dette en rettighet forbeholdt deltagere av talentkonkurranser? En annen mistanke som kryper inn hos meg er at Kurt ble nominert i hui og hast etter at han vant verdensfinalen.

Det finnes fullt av talentfulle norske musikere og artister som hadde hiter i fjor, og om de ikke var egenkomponerte så var de i hvert fall originallåter. Stort sett synes jeg de andre nominerte låtene er dårlige og at den ikke særlig upartiske juryen har gjort fantasiløse valg. Men låtene oppfyller i hvertfall det som burde vært kriteriene for en slik pris: De er originale og de har vært hiter.

The Bricks Are Falling Apart

2004-01-08 23:59:20 - 0 comments    |     Archives

As a Lego enthusiast, I was pretty upset when I saw on the news that Lego is laying with it's back broken. Lego has been struggling for years to gain back their market losses but last year they lost 25% of their market shares and reported today a negative result of 1.4 billion(!)* danish crowns. To tell the truth, I'm not surprised.

Lego has in the past ten years moved more and more away from what used to be the core idea of their products: Creation. You could buy a Lego model and build an unlimited number of things of the parts in the package in addition to the model you got when following the instructions included. Today most pieces are pre-fabricated and/or so specialiced that this is no longer an option.

It seems to me that Lego believe those who say that kids no longer have the patience to sit down and build, so in stead they have focused on the play part. The problem is that the models just doesn't look good anymore and since the parts are so big and specialiced, they don't hang well enough together to be played with much. My experience is that kids love to build with the basic bricks. They love to build houses, cars, planes and all sorts of everyday things in addition to space ships or whatever. What is Lego offering these days? War toys, film licenses and race cars. Long gone are the days of Legoland Town and complex models. A few years back it was even impossible to buy those buckets containing nothing but bricks. Thankfully they have returned in the form of Basic-boxes with generic parts.

To save their ass Lego has to get back to the building fun. They shouldn't try to look cool and must stop the nonsense with computer games, movies and clothes. There are other companies who do that much better than Lego does.

Remember the days when you could set up a large and complex Lego train layout with electric lights, remote controlled level crossings, signals and switch tracks? Bring back those days. We all know that even kids of today love that sort of thing. My son loves it and Andreas, who have just entered the dark ages **, loved it when he was younger.

Watching the news I got the impression tjat the executives at Lego agree with me. It's also great to see that Lego in the past years have finally acknowledged that a lot of us grown ups is a profitable market to explore. Therefore they released Lego Mindstorms, Expert Builder Sets and started the online shop with old classic models and realistically looking models with lotsa parts. These are all good signs, and I wish all the best for Lego and I'm really looking forward to seeing the building fun return.

* = 1,4 milliarder på norsk
** = The period lasting from when you think you're too old to play with lego to when you think you're old enough to play with Lego again

Folk(tm) Er Teite

2004-01-10 17:46:18 - 0 comments    |     Archives

Denne saken var førstesidesak i papirutgaven av VG i dag. Av alt som har skjedd i verden det siste døgnet er det altså en slik ikke-sak redaksjonen i norges mest leste avis kaster bort tiden på. Dette er en sak du forventer å finne på forsiden av kjerringblader som Hjemmet, Allers eller Norsk Ukeblad. Totalt ukritisk og så sensjanolistisk som mulig.

VG er Norges mest leste avis. Den eneste konklusjonen jeg kan dra er at folk er teite, evt kjøper de VG for å få seg en god latter i en ellers så trist hverdag.

80's Lyrics Quiz: People are What?

2004-01-12 23:28:16 - 4 comments    |     Archives

Well, I scored 52 on this test. I thought I knew my child hood lyrics better, but at least I scored on the ones the test claims no one gets right. How much did you score?

Thou Shalt Not...

2004-01-19 10:07:28 - 0 comments    |     Archives

A local politician from the Christian Democrats is in the news today. He is worried that if they put an ancient totem used for the worshipping of the God Frejia thousands of years ago back where it belongs, it will spur people to start worshipping her again.

We're talking about an ancient stone here. A piece of granite, an historical artifact wich will be placed in an area filled with fallos symbols and other signs of sacrificial worshipping. It's the oldest relic of it's kind in Norway. In short: An historical important document wich will be brought back to it's natural surroundings.

This is in Egersund, in the south of Norway and in the middle of the norwegian bible belt, so one shouldn't be too surprised to find christian extremists (read: idiots) making statements like this. What is worrying is that people like him are elected officials! He is supposed to solve problems, not create new and non existing ones. And what is his problem anyway? What if someone starts worshipping Frejia? Who does it hurt? His god's vanity?

If God really worries about such stuff, we're talking about a god with low self esteem. If this guy really believed in his god's almighty powers, he wouldn't be spending time worrying about trivial matters like this. To tell you the truth, I think he's more scared of himself than what this ancient totem will inspire others to do...

ATM Story

2004-01-22 00:50:21 - 0 comments    |     Archives

I was climbing over the river. Sweating, panting. I just couldn't understand where the knocking sound was coming from. The sound increased and I realised things were getting brighter as well. I looked around at the landscape wich were deserted yet filled with cahotic and hazy things at the same time. It was then I realised I had to open my eyes. It was a struggle getting my eye lids to move through a ton of sand. I had to use my hand to wipe them and I felt sweat all over my forehead. The knocking continued and I fell out of bed. More -->

Ford Fairlane

2004-01-23 10:42:26 - 1 comments    |     Archives

Respekt, du er... Ford Fairlane

I could've been a rock singer, if only I hadn't been banned from MTV. Long story. But anyway, I only know that one song. Well, I do a mean "Puff the Magic Dragon," but only in the nude. Longer story.

Finn deg sjæl her.

Friday Five

2004-01-23 23:39:56 - 0 comments    |     Archives

Well, well. I haven't done this in ages:

At this moment, what is your favorite...

1. ...song?
This is really impossible to answer since most of the songs I like are either not current or not well known outside the circles of connaiseures, and simply because it's impossible to pick one. Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys is the perfect pop song, though. When it comes to current commercial totp songs I think Hole in the Head with Sugarbabes is kinda cool.

2. ...food?
Freshly baked bread with liver patÚ. And fruit. Lotsa fruit.

3. ...tv show?
Six Feet Under. And as always, M*A*S*H of course...

4. ...scent?
Freshly grinded coffee.

5. ...quote?
Dreamer easy in the chair that really fits you

Man of the House Without Dessert

2004-01-26 18:25:08 - 0 comments    |     Archives

First of all I have to thank Stian and Jennifer for a wonderful meal last night. Line, Håkon and I were treated to the best dinner I've eaten in a long, long time. We were served the best lasagna I've ever tasted, and I ate my biggest meal in several weeks. Håkon also loved watching Monsters Inc. afterwards. Unfortunately I had to skip dessert, wich consisted of brownies and apple ice cream. I've been on a diet for a month now trying to get rid of my love handles and I'm in a bet wich won't allow to me eat such stuff before 12th of April. Sorry about that, Jennifer.

The dinner was a nice reward for me, though, since I felt I had been a real usefull guy this week-end. I'm not a handy man. Never have been and even though I'm slowly and painfully learning, I don't think I ever will be. But this week-end I really felt like the man of the house. Line and her father have been re-decorating Andreas' room in the past two weeks. Well, to be more specific, her father has done the decorating while Line has chosen the materials, the new furniture and where everything should placed in addition to cleaning Andreas' wardrobe and huge collection of junk. She's done great work.

Up until this week-end I hadn't done anything except helping with the odd lifting of heavy objects, simply because Line's father doesn't want my "help" and he's been doing it while we've been at work anyway. But on Friday I picked up the new furniture and carried it up to our apartment. Come Saturday morning (8 o'clock) Line's father and I were busy at work putting it all together. And this time I was a big help. Not only did I assist, I even put together stuff on my own and pointed out mistakes Line's father had made! Yeah, baby! I'm the man of the house! Finally...

It's a great feeling putting furniture together. I mean, it's quite a struggle. First it's heavy work carrying it up, then you have to unwrap it, and since the wrapping fills up the entire room afterwards, you have to get rid of it before getting any work done. Then comes the hard part: Deciphering the building instructions!

Who designs those instructions? Who are those people and what are they thinking? I mean, you have all the parts, nuts bolts and screws, so it should be pretty straight forward, right? Oh no. The instructions are so diffuse at times that you have to pray to the powers that be you're not gluing something together wrong only to discover on the 14th page that you have to take it apart because part HA doesn't fit with part XY now. And since the glue has dried, you've got a bigger chance of finding a non-cursing rap artist than not ruining the damn thing while trying to seperate it as gently as possible. Sometimes a part doesn't even look the same from one panel to the next. Yesterday we even discovered that panel 8 showed us the wrong way to put together a couple of crucial parts, because at panel 18 they were connected in a totally different way. I think a course from Lego on how to design instructions is in order. Maybe they want us to fuck up so that we have to order spare parts?

On Sunday I connected up the pc with a printer, a scanner, speakers, a wireless connection to the mouse and keyboard and a joystick hooked up to it. I also plugged in the Playstation 2, the N64, the Commodore 64 with disk and tape drive and joysticks, a VRC and a tv and placed it all in the same rack. I took great care when planning the wiring and it shows. You can't see a darn wire anywhere! It looks so nice and clean it hurts, and if I impress myself more I think I'll burst. God, I think I even got more hair on my chest today!

Magnetic Quaks Making Threats

2004-01-28 18:43:01 - 4 comments    |     Archives

A company called Nikken has probably made the mistake of their lives. They are making threats of lawsuits against people who have written critical articles about their products. Jarle Dahl Bergersen is one of them, and the other is Morten Wang. The latter has written a very good and unbiased article about his meeting with Nikken. More -->

Friday Five

2004-01-30 11:00:11 - 0 comments    |     Archives

The Friday Five tells me I've just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?
Not sure I would call anyone. I think I would've just kept my mouth shut and then surprised Line with a sudden trip to a very exotic destination for an extended holiday. When asked how I could afford it I would've just dropped hints. Guess I would have to tell my parents and the in-laws, though.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
First of all I would've gotten rid of my students loan. Then I'd buy a complete sound studio with a couple of huge computers for both music and animation. I'd also order all those movies and comic TPBs I've wanted to have for so long.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
I'd buy Line a Lord of the Rings gold ring and then used it when I proposed at that exotic place we went to.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
The Salvation Army would have received a gift and the same goes for The Norwegian Cancer Association and Save The Children.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
Yes, the studio would've been an investment and a career change for me. I would've put my struck of good luck to good use and begyn building my business empire. MUHAHAHAHA

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