Articles about life

Baruco 2013

I don't go to many conferences - I am pleased that Baruco is one of them.

I really enjoyed the conference. It was well organized with a stellar lineup of speakers. I've returned home from Barcelona with things to ponder, things to try out, and a list of books to read.

Import MTS video clips to iMovie

My parents have a digital camcorder. A week long vacation with said camcorder, my parents, and their only grandchild produces a fair amount of raw footage. Before we headed back home after the vacation I wisely snapped up all the footage from their camera hoping to eventually run it through iMovie.

Turns out their camcorder stores its clips in MTS/AVCHD format, and I didn't grab all the fluff^Wnecessary files. As a result iMovie '11 cannot import the MTS video clips.

Hvad bruges pengene til?

(Post in danish - english summary below)

Undrer du dig også af og til over, hvad alle dine hårdt tjente penge rent faktisk bliver brugt til, efter de er havnet i Skattefars store, sorte sæk?

Det gjorde jeg. Og da jeg er nørd med hang til at lave små enkeltside-websites var der ikke langt fra tanke til hvadbrugespengenetil.dk.

Screenshot af hvadbrugespengenetil.dk

Tak til Danmarks Statistik

Tallene er baseret på data fra Danmarks Statistik - statistikbanken.dk.

Andre år

Jeg har også lavet en demo med tal for 2011 - baseret på tal fra finansloven.

Det er dog ikke helt så brugervenligt, da der primært bare er tale om en masse ministerier, der modtager penge. Derudover er jeg ikke helt sikker på, at tallene faktisk stemmer, da der ikke er taget højde for at en del af dine skattekroner ikke går til staten.

English summary

Denmark is known for its high taxes. I've often wondered exactly what my money are used for after I've paid them to the government.

Thanks to data from Statistics Denmark - statbank.dk I've been able to put together a single-serve website that calculates exactly that: What my tax money is used on

"Anything I know?"

“Oh, you make websites, have you made anything I know?” he asks, immediately after my telling him I build web applications for a living.

At this point in the conversation, I’d love my next response to be “Perhaps… You know Google? Yeah, I built that. All by myself. With my hands tied.”

Instead, I am left fumbling around for something in my portfolio with just a sliver of hope of recognition from the average Joe in front of me. Usually I fail, leaving Joe feeling uninterested, and me feeling unsuccessful.

Thing is, there are a bajillion websites and unless you live and breathe internet, you probably don’t know more than a few of those. And while I have been at it for more than a decade, in the grand scheme of things, I have only built a few websites. Guess what, my few are highly unlike to be the few you know.

The irony is that most the projects I’ve been involved with have been successful in their own right. Most are successful businesses with people making a living from them. All of this without any being a top 10 internet site or even well known.

So no, I haven’t built anything you know. By the way, what do you do for a living? Oh, you repair cars – anyone I’ve owned?

My first website

The end of a year is traditionally the time for introspection, and looking back at the moments that have passed.

I have done just that, with the difference that I’ve stumbled upon some ancient files and have looked all the way back to 1996 where I published my first website. And boy, is it a beauty…

My comic feeds

I was asked on Twitter what feeds I have in my Comics/Humor category in my feed reader. Since 140 characters isn’t enough, the list goes here instead:

Freelance focus

Being self-employed is hard. Having no one around to tell you what to do brings up a slew of problems, one is that of focus.

Should I start another personal project, learn a new technology, create a (well, another) small game, start working on a long overdue redesign of mentalized.net, build an iApp (what is the common denominator for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad apps?), write a blog post, something else?

And that list doesn’t even include the important stuff like relax in front of the X-Box, watch a movie, take a walk through the forest with the wife, play with the dog, or make my son laugh.

How does one stay focused in that environment?

Quick productivity hacks/tips

Over the last weeks or so, I’ve implemented a few productivity hacks in my daily workflow. While I don’t actually /know/ if any of them improved my productivity, they sure made me feel more productive. In my book, that’s enough.

URL ABC

Generally speaking, I am always late to memes – this one is no different.

The concept is simple, started by Tim van Damme:

A simple game: Go to the address bar in your favorite browser, and type one letter. Start with

Side job versus dayjob

I have been moonlighting as a freelance webdeveloper for the last couple of years. The first year, I was using my spare evenings and weekends until I began having trouble finding enough time to dedicate to new projects.

My reaction was to cut down on my dayjob, leaving me with more time to focus on my own clients (and less time to focus on BiQ, forcing us to hire another developer).

Rails Camp DK 2008

Take 12 attendees (one from Italy, way to go, Fransesco!), 11 Apple laptops (and one Windows one, I believe), 1 wifi hotspot, mix it all together in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, sprinkle it with a tad of Ruby, Git, and *jour and let is stew for 2 days and 2 nights.

What you get is a Rails Camp, and the above recipe was cooked with great success last weekend. Thomas Watson has a bunch of pictures from the event.

Podcast recommendations

I am a big fan of podcasts. I have roughly one hour of daily bicycling to and from work, and roughly the same amount of walking the dog, both of which are perfect time to listen to podcasts.

My brother recently asked me for podcast recommendations and I figured I might as well share my podcast playlist with him, you, and the rest of the world.

Audio only

General tech

Business stuff

Development/programming

Humour

Video

Some time ago we bought a Mac Mini for our living room, and since then, video podcasts have been one of – if not the – main source of media intake in our daily lives. The stuff we see:

Your recommendations

Please, let me know in the comments if there are any obvious podcasts I am missing.

BarCamp Copenhagen

I am going to BarCamp Copenhagen on Friday. This being my first encounter with the BarCamp concept I have pretty much no clue what I am going into, and I am both excited and a tad nervous – I mean, it’s not every day one looses ones BarCamp virginity.

Looking over the list of attendees I can’t help but notice that quite a few Ruby developers – many from the jolly Copenhagen Ruby Brigade crew – are attending; we’re making up 10% of the attendees.

I probably won’t be giving a talk there unless I am hit by a massive amount of inspiration particles before then, but seeing that Casper is presenting I am sure the good word of Ruby will be spread. I will make sure to contribute in some other way at the event, though – in accordance with the rules of BarCamp

I am looking forward to it – and it’s probably a good idea to read up on the whole concept before Friday.

Inbox Zero - two months later

A few months ago I made a public commitment to practicing Inbox Zero for a month. I cleaned out my inbox daily for a month, I still am, and I intend to continue doing so.

It has made my inbox a happy place instead of a guilt-inducer. I feel I am more responsive – and I hope people who have emailed feel that way as well – and in particular no people should be slipping through the cracks and be ignored.

Now, I must admit that I do cheat on occassion. A few times an email that I simply couldn’t be bothered dealing with at the time – or that I knew I would be dealing with in a short while – have been allowed to stay in my inbox. But other than those few times I have gone to sleep with an empty email inbox.

An empty, non-work inbox, that is. I still haven’t tackled my email inbox at work. The primary reason for this, is the fact that I haven’t yet set up a to do list that I can forward my emails to. For my personal and freelance stuff, I use GooToDo, but that unfortunately throws everything into one huge list, meaning my work tasks would be mixed with my private stuff which I don’t want.

I hearthily recommend you read Merlin Manns introduction to Inbox Zero and try it out for a while if you feel opening your email client has become a burden. Email is meant to make communication easier, not to bog you down.

A month of Inbox Zero

Putting this into the open to force myself to follow through: For the next month, I am going to practice Inbox Zero.

Yes, this is (off course) largely inspired by Merlin Mann’s recent talk at Google, which has caused a fair few ripples around the internet with people realizing the need to keep their inbox clean.

So far, my personal email inbox is clean. I still have to work on my work one, but I believe that to be doable as well.

A spammer pipes up

I received an email from a spammer over the weekend. There’s nothing special about that, I receive several hundred of those daily.

However this one appeared to have been sent directly to me, it contained nothing that looked like it was actually promoting anything, no links, nothing but a simple message:

“Anti-spammers are lamers”

Signed by “a spammer”.

Oh wow, such an amazing display of wits. How can we possibly imagine to ever defeat the scumbags when they have such dazzling argumentative powers aided by a strong belief in publically standing by their own actions?

2006 in retrospect

It’s a new year, and of course, this calls for looking back at the year that passed. The short version: 2006 has been a great year for me on several levels.

Professionally

Career wise 2006 has been coloured primarily by Ruby on Rails.

I founded my freelance web application development shop in January and started having fun building Rails stuff for clients (with the launches of Pluggd and MedBillManager being the highlights).

On the day job, my boss finally caved in after hearing me evangelize and rave about Ruby, and in March we started looking at the possibility of Rails as our new platform.

The final decision, which was luckily a go, came in July and the actual rewrite began making my dayjob ever so more interesting.

On the more social side of Ruby and Rails, 2006 also became the birth year of the Copenhagen Ruby Brigade. By now we hold (almost) montly meetings usually with around 20 smart and fun participants, healthy discussions and unhealthy fast food.

Virtually

The life of mentalized has been a exciting ride throughout 2006 as well.

The year was kickstarted when my satirical Building your very own web2.0 layout reached the Digg hordes in February and became the most visited page on mentalized in 2006 with 175K pageviews.

The runner ups in the category “top content of 2006” are my free AJAX progress indicator images with 107K pageviews. These are still going strong and getting a fair amount of hits every day.

Third place goes to this entry – wonder why…

Honorable mentions go to some of my Rails related tutorials: No such file to load — mkmf and Putting Debian on Ruby rails.

It looks like the advice I can take away from 2006 is that writing jokes, giving stuff away for free, and posting images of scantily clad women are great ways to increase your pageview statistics…

My iTunes is messed up

Podcast syncing in my iTunes Jukebox (or whatever the name Apple wants us to use for it) is broken.

I’ve it set to “Sync all unplayed episodes of all podcasts”. iTunes reports that I currently have 11 unplayed podcasts in my iTunes library. However, the iPod holds only 5 podcasts after updating.

At least it’s better now. After the first update today my iPod held only one podcast.

There’s plenty of free space on the iPod, and I can’t tell if there’s some switch somewhere that I need to flick. Piece of buggy software.

What other, easy to use podcasting clients are available? I’m also missing the ability to add non-podcast files to my podcast queue, say in the case of presentations where I don’t have a feed, but only the direct download.

What's going on around here

It’s been pretty quiet around these parts lately – if you ignore the posts about Copenhagen.rb meetings at least. That’s primarily because I am having tons of fun at work, which for some reason doesn’t leave me much time for blogging. Not that I would ever think of blogging at work, no siree…

Anyways, here are some tidbits about what’s be going around my life recently:

Stray thought about my computers

Over the last month I have turned on my Windows PC a minimal amount of times. And every time it has been for one of three reasons:

  • Playing World of Warcraft
  • Listening to music
  • The Girl is using the iBook

Last I checked, Mac OS X was able to handle all of the above scenarios just fine. Can it really be that I no longer have a reason to own a Windows PC for personal use?

The company obviously needs to be able to check websites in IE still, so I won’t get rid of the PC, but I’m finding it hard to come up with an argument for upgrading it instead of buying a new Mac. Hmm…

"Mr. Skjerning, buy my stock options, thankyou very much"

Here in Denmark almost all phone sales are against the law. There are a few expections, but in general you’ll never (or at least rarely) get an annoying sales person on the phone.

Imagine my surprise when I got a call from an Indonesian sales lady today. What the F!?. She had my name and phone number (probably gleamed from looking up whois information), and was trying (I think, her Engrish was less than prefect, yes) to sell me some kind of stock options in some shady business in some dubiuos country.

When I clearly told her I didn’t have the 10 minutes she ensured me was all it’d take to hear this offer of a lifetime, she continued to extol the virtues of the offer. I had to cut her off. I hate being rude like that, but I hate people wasting my time even more.

Man, I’m glad we live in a country that outlaws that behaviour, now to get the rest of the world to follow suit. Fat chance, eh?

Interesting. Less than an hour after posting this entry, it received a “nice site” comment linking to a Pakistani “stock guide”, which seems to nothing but an Ad site. Could there be a connection, or just a mindless spambot scouring the internet for “stock” references?

The woes of online vacation booking

Rejsefeber. I might have praised your website last year, but this year you blew it.

Remembering our pleasant experience from last year we actually went to your site first when trying to book our vacation for the summer. And we had bought from you, if it hadn’t been for the fact that your booking system kept changing our room preference to a different – and more expensive – choice.

Okay, I’m a developer, I know bugs can occur, so you got the benefit of a doubt and a kind email detailing what we did and what error we got. The kind of email that I’d like to receive when bugs occur.

This entry was posted with High importance

I loathe the “High importance” flag in Outlook. I especially loathe that the sender can set it: “My email is much, much more important than whatever other puny stuff you’ve received”. How arrogant is that?

“This message was sent with High Importance”. Oh really? Guess what, I couldn’t care less. I prioritize my email and tasks myself, thank you very much.

Oh, and you, miss “I am so important the world collapses if I don’t get access to your site right now”, just got flagged low importance.

A little about drawings

From Reuters

Denmark warned its citizens on Monday to avoid Saudi Arabia, and gunmen in Gaza said any Scandinavians there risked attack, as Muslim fury mounted over newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

I wish I understood the mentality that makes someone feel it is proper to physically assault an innocent human being based on the actions of someone else.

I wish I understood the logic behind holding someone responsible for laws that don’t adhere to that person, and the logic that leads to expecting someone to follow a personal belief that the person doesn’t share.

I wish people would get a grip.

If everybody in the world loved everybody in the world, what a glorious world it could be.
- Stylophonic, If Everybody in the World. Quote snatched from Thomas

Fare well David

Last night a bunch of people said goodbye to David, all while trying to prive whatever information we could from that impressive (and loud) mind of his.

Selected highlights from David’s emigration speech/presentation/keynote/whachamacallit:

  • Danish mediocricy-loving and taxes pushed him towards the states.
  • Open sourcing Rails was a fantastic idea.
  • “Reality PR” requires a thick hide and bombastic opinions.
  • We ain’t seen the best of Rails yet.

Thanks bundles to Lars Pind, Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, Martin von Haller, Nikolaj Nyholm, and Guan Yang for organizing that little shindig. Oh, and thanks to Gert from "

Way to go, Bahne and OBH

Some time ago I pretty much destroyed our OBH hand mixer. It suddently gave up living and went quiet. The mixer is 1½ year old and to be brutally honest I probably wasn’t using it entirely the way I was supposed to at the time of death. Nevertheless we went to the store to ask about getting it replaced or fixed.

The clerk at the store looked at the burnt out mixer, asked me what was wrong (to which I replied; “it died”), then went to the shelf to pick out a brand new one and handed it to us. He never questioned my explanation or even cared to look at our receipt (the latter I imagine was an oversight on his behalf, though).

We went away from Bahne mildly bewildered (“what the heck just happened there?”) having expected an uphill battle trying to argue that it was a defect to be covered under the warranty. Instead we got a new, off-the-shelf mixer and an examplary experience with the clerk telling us that “these things practically never break down, so when they do, we have a policy of simply replacing them”.

Thumbs up to Bahne and OBH Nordica, excellent job of keeping your customers happy.

Katrina

The following reached me through my old EverQuest guilds messageboard from someone on the outskirts of the Katrina disaster zone:

  • People are dying in N.O. due to lack of medical supplies.
  • Hospitals in N.O. are working without power or water moving patients up one story at a time.
  • Sharks have been spotted swimming in the streets
  • Out lying parishes are allowing people to register thier children for the local schools
  • Jefferson parish is going to allow people with ID to go home and collect what they can on Monday, but then they must leave for at least 1 month.
  • Orleans parish will not be allowed to even do that.
  • 30% of the US oil production was impacted
  • Major refineries have been shutdown
  • Current expectation is that water levels in N.O. will be 3 ft more than the Gulf.
  • Prisoner have taken hostages
  • Police have been shot attempting to control looting
  • Looters are taking firearms and firing on police stations
  • Gas lines are ruptured and there are burning fountains bubbling up out of the water
  • The body count has not even started
    • Doomsday estimates from worst case were 20-30 thousand.
    • Unofficially they expect this to be more than 9/11…hopefully no where near the above.
  • People are jumping from the top sections of the Superdome in despair
  • There are no hotel rooms available in La. Dallas (500 miles away) is the closest available.
  • Biloxi and Gulfport are almost completely gone
  • Major interstate bridges were destroyed
  • How are the displaced people going to pay bills or even recieve them?
  • In Iraq and Indonesia, no matter how bad those were, communications still existed…not here.
  • People are calling on cell phones to media outlets begging for rescue.
  • Phone communications is spotty at best…911 is out.
  • Cell phone towers are running out of battery power
  • Officials estimate that N.O. will take 6 weeks just to finish rescue and repair levees.
  • It is unknown how long to drain.
  • Private individuals are being asked to bring boats and volunteer to help rescue.
  • People are dying in shelters because they have no medicine or prescription information to get items refilled.
  • Parents have just lost everything they ever worked for.
  • Children are sleeping on concrete.

American Red Cross – Together we can save a life

"Can I touch it?"

“Can I touch it?”

“Uhm, huh?”, the guy in front of me replied as intelligently as he could.

“Can I touch it?” I repeated my question, elaborating; “I just want to feel how it is”

He looked at me with eyes that clearly said, “Dude, you’re weird”, but he kept his cool and his mouth said “err, okay, I guess”, and he led me to the back of the room.

One should think he never before had a customer actually want to try out a new keyboard prior to buying it.

My IKEA experience

This Saturday was spent mulling around the local IKEA store, picking out the furniture that’ll transform my bachelor pad into a couples home. Monday the furniture was delivered and carried (under much complaining and whining by yours truly) the 2 stories up to my flat.

Alas, it turns out the dining table is the wrong color. Now this shouldn’t be a problem, since we obviously know we ordered the table we wanted, the guy who took our order simply must’ve entered the wrong number in their system.

The return of reality

Aaah! During the last 1½ week I’ve kicked back, enjoyed good food and cold beer in sunny Budapest with great friends and – ofcourse – the Girl, followed by a weekend of more sun, more beers, more friends and good music back in Denmark.

Alas, Monday has now kicked in, reality has returned, and I’ve finally gotten through 1½ hours email backlog. Now it’s time to work through the last weeks happenings in the blogosphere or whatever the word for it is these days.

FeedDemon is overflowing with unread entries so expect bundles of Quicklinks today.

Back from Rome

Saturday the girl and I landed in Copenhagen after a weeklong trip to Rome. We had an excellent time, sucking up the Roman atmosphere, marvelling at buildings and historical sights. Rome is a fantastic city, ranging from impressive monument and buildings to small, twisting streets littered with cozy cafes and restaurants, We thoroughly enjoyed it, even though the autumn weather wasn’t the best we could’ve asked for (hooray for umbrellas).

Notably is that the trip was an Internet success story. It was found and bought online, the hotel researched online, the direction to the hotel found online, and tickets were nothing but sparkles in electrons until we checked in at the airport. And everything worked out smoothly without a single glitch.

Now I am still trying to catch up with mails and blogs and boards – figures the blogging sphere wakes up (and starts discussing web standards and validation of all things) when I am unable to check my feeds, heh. Hooray for spam filters or the task of checking emails would’ve been horrible.

Anyways, I am back and rejuvenated, and trying to survive the drab, danish autumn.

Typical Monday

::Groan:: It seems today is going to be “one of those days”:

  • Got up way too late
  • Dropped my cereal all over the kitchen floor
  • One of our nightly jobs at work hadn’t run properly
  • Poured coffee into my glass of water
  • Dropped a Post-It pad into my glass of water
  • A tool we use regularly decided to start crashing every time we did a routine task using it
  • I spilled coffee on my desk and keyboard

And the time hasn’t even passed 10:30 yet.

Yay for me

28 years. Sunshine. ICQ messages from people I can’t recognize. Bowling. Presents. Egostroking.

Seemingly unrelated things, however today they aren’t. Congratulations to me on my birthday :)

Cellphone switching

Switching phonesAfter having lived with a primitive brick of a cellphone for years I have finally invested in and switched to a sleek, hi-tech (well, higher-tech at least) Sony Ericsson T610. So far I am very satisified, now where do I get games for it…

Update: Oh, and when I am done playing games on it, I will call all my friends on their cellphones. Together we will try to figure out exactly how us paying for phones with money we’ve earned by working makes us spoiled. Then we’ll figure out what 5 year old trend we will follow next…

F*** it

I had the distinct displeasure of hearing the censored version of Eamon’s “Fuck it (I don’t want you back)” the other day. And by censored I mean chopped up, chewed up and spit out again. All the apparently naughty words was basically removed, but it just seems like an excersize in futility.

I mean, does anybody seriously believe that the 2 people who haven’t heard the original lyrics can’t guess what the real wording of “F*** you, you h**, I don’t want you back” is supposed to be?

Do the grand old men of censorship believe that if we just don’t say fuck, that immoral indecensy will automatically go away? What is the point of censoring words if not to pretend they don’t exist? And is this really different from an ostrich sticking it’s head in a bush when it feels threatened?

Whatever. Or as Eamon puts it now:

F*** what I said, it dont mean s*** now

Page 23

Keith told me to:

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 23.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

From “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug:

But from the dog’s point of view, all he’s saying is “blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah GINGER blah blah blah.”

What the f...

fuck; [Middle English, attested in pseudo-Latin fuccant, (they) fuck, deciphered from gxddbov.]

Word History: The obscenity fuck is a very old word and has been considered shocking from the first, though it is seen in print much more often now than in the past. Its first known occurrence, in code because of its unacceptability, is in a poem composed in a mixture of Latin and English sometime before 1500. [...] The line that contains fuck reads "Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk." The Latin words "Non sunt in coeli, quia," mean "they [the friars] are not in heaven, since." The code "gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk" is easily broken [...]. This yields "fvccant [a fake Latin form] vvivys of heli." The whole thus reads in translation: "They are not in heaven because they fuck wives of Ely [a town near Cambridge]."

And here I thought the word was reasonably new, live and learn.

Childhood evolution

When I was a kid, one of the things we occasionally did was play Convenient Store. We’d take a bunch of old boxes and empty jars and line them up on a desk with a teller. One would then be the owner and the rest would come buy from him with monopoly money and if we got bored we’d rob the store.

When we grew a bit older and started caring about money, we’d setup a garage sale with old junk found in the attic, selling our parents precious items for a lollypop and 2 pieces of string.

Nowadays kids sell popcorn in an online store accepting payment through PayPal.

That’s evolution for you.

Wipe the slate clean

One good thing about the tourist season is the influx of open-minded, untainted opinions that tourists bring with them. It is refreshing to ride the bus or walk down the street and overhearing two tourists get excited over some mundane detail of the house you pass every day. That boring signalpost you don’t notice as part of your daily routine becomes a point of interest to people seeing it with fresh eyes and a clean slate.

Wipe the slate clean, then take a walk through your town. Notice the things you usually don’t.

And I am back!

2 weeks of (nearly) complete unplugging in sunny Turkey at the coast of the Mediterranean Sea is rejuvenating to say the least. Not having to worry about what the time is or what you are going to do in 5 minutes is a great feeling. One of the evenings while enjoying a good meal and some beers at one of the many local restaurants, my travelmate looked at me and said, “Do you realize we have done absolutely nothing today? Doesn’t it feel great?”

But now I am back. 812 emails waiting to be dealt with (damn mailinglists), I am betting a similar number of blog posts, and the regular messageboards are overflowing with posts. Bring ‘em on, I’m back, tanned and ready.

Chat tidbits

Once in a while "life" on IRC gets just a tad too weird:

[15:35] <Allyra> omg morning [16:00] <Dragan> omg ally! [16:05] <Allyra> omg pastry! [16:10] <CLyne> omg ally! [16:10] <Allyra> omg CL! [16:14] <Dragan> omg CL! [16:15] <CLyne> omg pastry! [16:15] * Allyra laughs [16:15] <Dragan> omg omgs! [16:16] <CLyne> wtf? [17:27] <raph> omfg

And so my birthday came to pass

Saturday was my birthday. 27 years ago I entered the world with a hair-do much like the one I have been sporting the last few years.

It is sort of funny how little my birthday means to me nowadays. I think I would have forgotten about it if my mother hadn’t invited me home to celebrate the day with half the family. It was quite a nice day, seeing some of the loved familymembers I so rarely get to see, while eating way too much of mama’s meals.

Oddly enough, I don’t feel much older today even though I am an entire year older today than I was before the weekend started. Perhaps I won’t start noticing until I turn 30, who knows.

About rain

I hate rain. Not the rain itself, but the fact that when it rains, everybody gets out their umbrellas the size of circus tents. It makes it impossible for me to move around on the sidewalks without getting my eyes poked out. Damn rain.

I love rain. Not the rain itself, but that freshness in the air after a good shower. Taking a walk after it has rained is a rejuvenating experience, you can practically smell the city having been cleaned. If I could bottle that freshness I’d make a fortune.

Music ala Apple is sexy

iPods have always been sexy - period. 3rd generation iPods are even sexier: Smaller, with more storage space (up to 30GB, drool) and now with easily usable play-control buttons and a kinky docking station. Somehow I think it's a good idea my bankaccount isn't bulging with unspent cash or I'd end up buying one of those babies.

Playful living

You can do what you do seriously, because you must do it, because you must survive to the end, and you are afraid of dying and other consequences. Or, you can do everything you do playfully, always knowing you have a choice, having no need to survive the way you are, allowing every element of the play to transform you, taking pleasure in every surprise you meet.

From Finite and Infinite Games

A world gone mad

Received this in my inbox this morning:

You know the world has gone mad when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the USA of arrogance and the Germans don't want to go to war.

Top annoyances at work

  • People including totally unrelated text or links in e-mails, ie when replying to an old mail instead of starting a new one or when forwarding mails.
  • People thinking that 10°C is warm enough to open half the windows for hours on end.
  • People taking the last coffee and having the nerve to not brew a new pot. We can develop software for cellphones that's good enough to be used by airline pilots, but can't work a manual mr. coffee...

100th post anniversary

This post is number 100. Considering I originally didn’t want to have a blog, that is quite an accomplishment. Next milestone: When the amount of comments exceeds the amount of posts.

And so christmas came to pass

Christmas is over for now, and as usual I celebrated the festivities in the safety of my familys embrace. 3 days of eating, drinking and talking to people I spend too little time with during the rest of the year. To me that is what christmas is all about; Spending time with loved ones, allowing yourself to get fat and tired and generally getting away from the daily routines we are so accustomed to for the rest of the year. Luckily the children in my family are now so old, that the christmaspresent frenzy has faded, giving the rest of plenty of time to finish the desert, drink the last glass of wine and put the last word into a heated debate, before we have to move to traditional singing of songs around the christmas tree. The evening ends with everybody, mainly the younger cousins robbing the christmas tree of the treasures hidden beneath it in colorful paper. By now, the religious subtones of our christmas celebrations have carefully been weeded out, turning the christian worshipping of a distant, so-called son of God, into a far more enjoyable celebration of family and companionship. Merry christmas.

Someday we'll find it

"Who said that every wish would be heard and answered when wished on the morning star? Somebody thought of that. And someone believed it. Look what it's done so far. What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing and what do we think we might see?"

For the sake of tradition

There's no denying it anymore, christmas is drawing near. For us danes at least, this means that every single social group you are a part of is going to hold one of the traditional "christmas lunches", where everybody eats and drinks too much. Friday night I went to one, where the organizers had decided we should have some so-called fun, so we each had to buy and bring 3 cheap presents. At some point after eating we engaged in a lengthy game of dice-rolling that decided who got which presents. In the end we wound up having bought 3 presents we didn't want to buy and winning a bunch of presents we didn't want to get. At least we looked like enjoying ourselves while trying to win them - all in the good name of tradition.

Police: 1 - Jakob: 546

Of all the intersections in all the towns in all the world, the police had to stand at the one where I decided to skip the red light riding my bicycle to work this morning. That's worth 500DKK in case you're wondering. Oh well, I can't really complain. I am fully aware that it's illegal, perhaps even reckless (although I'd like to be the judge of that). I made the choice and was unlucky. Besides, the score is still in my favor.

Rock'n'rolling...

Combine a scooter with inline skates and a pair of skis, and you get Trikke with the added bonus of looking ridiculous while riding it (or rock'n'rolling in Trikke-lingo). Looking at their tricks video it can even do outrageous tricks like turning, going down a hill and lifting the rear wheels one at a time!

Very civilized

Denmark might not be the largest country in the world. We might not have the fastest athletes or the strongest army. Our nature might not be particular interesting. But who cares, when this is what people know us by? I know I don't.

HELLO

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing Moby's newest music video in its full length. The tune is as always from Moby spacey and nicely chilling, and the video itself is a blast. I love those tiny aliens and their perseverence. I even think they might be on to something; sometimes all you need is a bigger sign.

Sometimes...

Sometimes I hate arguing. Here I come with what I found to be wellthought arguments based in studies made by leading experts and my boss comes with a "yeah, but I don't like it". Guess who "won"?

Metro ranting

Since everybody else seem to be commenting on the newly opened Copenhagen metro, I might as well give my eurocents worth of comments: To me as an individual the Metro is useless. There are no stations near where I live, nor does it run on any route that I'd regularly travel. Furthermore there are no plans to expand the Metro-net to my neighbourhood. So yes, I probably am biased when looking at the Metro as a whole. To me as a citizen of Copenhagen the Metro seems like a waste of money. With it's very limited amount of stops it accomodates a select few of the people in the city - too few to justify a train every third minute. The Metro may turn out to be a great addition to he city, if the "Cityring" is established. The Metro people estimate this to happen not until at least 2010. With their trackrecord of estimating we're looking at a cityring and subsequent usable Metro in 2020. That's if it happens at all, and that's a pretty big if.

No more savings

Yesterday the daylight savings period ended as it does every year. I managed to mess it up as I do every year. This year I failed to set my alarm clock, resulting in me coming to work an hour early dammit! Apart from the fun we get from people like me messing up, I wonder why exactly do we employ this daylight savings system? Could we not simply decide to put the time in between the two timeframes (so we would have put our clocks back half an hour this time) and leave it there?

It's been a year...

...now move along. Yesterday was simply too much. Every single newspaper, TV channel and website related to the media felt they had to dwell on the attacks; documentaries of what happened, how sad people are, "experts" trying to guess what will happen in the world etc. Even I created a tacky piece of "In Memoriam"-graphic, which I nearly posted, even though I have no direct relation to any victims of the attack. Fine, the media has now had their chance to show how compassionate and caring they are. We've had a year to reflect on the "new world". The US has had a chance to enforce their justice. Now we have a chance to wake up and realize that life is moving on.

Train blogging

I am currently sitting in a train with my laptop doing my Travelling Businessman Impression. Outside the window the danish countryside with its colorful cropfields and lush, green forests is rushing by, providing a sharp contrast to the sounds of the new Eminem album filling my ears. Last night I went to a party with some of my cousins and it got quite late before we emptied our last beers and headed for home. As a result, I got way too little sleep before I had to get up in order to catch this train, naturally resulting in me falling asleep on the train. If there is one thing you can be certain of when sleeping in any sort of public transportation, it is that you have looked immensely stupid doing so, your head tilted back, mouth wide open with a little drool down your chin - pure Homer-style. At least I didn't snore... I think.

Reporting live...

Woo, Internet-access from a public library in California - long live the information highway ;) We have arrived safely at LAX and spent the first couple of days in Los Angeles, doing all the standard tourist-stuff like visiting the walk of the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, Venice Beach, and ofcourse visiting Universal Pictures (that place is awesome). We then headed south towards the Mexican border and stayed right outside San Diego with a day-long trip to Sea World, watching the famous dolphin- and killerwhale shows. Now we're getting ready to head through the Mojave Desert on our way to Las Vegas. So far, I'm liking it a lot - great weather, not one single boring moment (apart from the 12 hour flight here) and always something new to see and do. Stay tuned, more info coming at a later point. NB: I apparently messed up when I left, and I cannot access my email address. However, any mails sent to jakob@dailyrush.dk instead has a remote chance of being read and answered - if God and public libraries will ;)

Time to leave

Right, the last bag is almost packed, and I think I am ready to take the journey to California. Few hours from now, I'll be sitting in a Boeing 747 enroute to L.A. and I won't return for about 4 weeks. Damn, I'm looking forward to this vacation, and damn, I feel entitled to it :) So long, and thanks for all the fish

Bad, bad blogger

I have been a bad blogger - No updates from me in ages, and just as the masses of readers started pouring in. ;) The reason for this is simply that I haven't had the energy lately to write anything, not even something partly intelligent. My work has sucked me dry, but luckily there is hope in the future. My vacation is hastily approaching - the first longer vacation for me in 2 years, and I am so looking forward to it. My dear parents have invited me on a 4 week trip to USA, California primarily, starting next month - 4 weeks of seeing new sights, meeting new people and not thinking about deadlines, schedules, testcases, search-algorithms and whatnot, aaaaaaah... wish we were leaving tomorrow.

It sure is white

I have been fooling around a bit with various layouts for the site and finally ended up deciding to use the one you are currently looking at. In a month I'll probably throw something else together because my mood changes, but until then, enjoy.

Backtripping

My recent addiction of Tony Hawks Pro Skating 3 has made my current playlist take a step back in time - approximatly 10 years, leaving me at a time of my life where I wore a cap backwards and thought I was fly. Artists like Run DMC (trying to steer clear of the Jason Nevin remixes), Methodman, Del The Funky Homosapien, McEjnar, Ozomati, Krs-1 and Xzibit currently grace my playlist.

Traditional fools

Well, yesterday was the 1st of april. This meant virtually every single website, every news-service and every other daily media went out of their way to publish more or less ridiculous stories: What a hoot (ok, some of these are actually hilarious).

Have website, need graphics skills

Recently I have found myself spending more and more time on various graphics/design-sites going over their tutorials, desperatly trying to mimick their looks, feels and styles. I've followed tutorial after tutorial, studied one wallpaper after the other and I still can't get things to look the way I want them to. Dammit! This site really needs a graphical overhaul - I am far from contend with the current looks.

Handling prank calls

I have just now had the pleasure of being the victim of a prank call. I was sitting comfortably in my couch, watching a movie (Gladiator) on maximum volume, while eating some of the best food I've made for a long while, when my cellphone rings. The display on it revealed the caller as using a hidden number, nevertheless I answered. I was met by silence at first. Then I could hear some incomprehensible voices in the background, there was the sound of somebody scratching the microphone in the other end and at a point the caller pressed some keys on his phone. Wow, I wish I was able to think up fun pranks like that. I didn't really have the patience to wait and see when the fun would end, so I figured I could turn the prank in my favour. I put the phone down and went back to watching the movie again. Apparently it took the caller a couple of minutes to realize, that the sound of swords against armours and from my fork against my plate was a clear indication that I was not listening. He hung up, didn't call me back.

I suppose I should...

Hm, I have nothing to post really (I still need to get used to simply writing), so I'll just update people on what is happening in my lack of life currently:
  • Being sick and tired of working 60-70 hours per week
  • Bought a sleek, new Pentium 4 Northwood 1.8Ghz CPU, 512MB RAM, installed Windows XP and love it all
  • My Everquest-guild has changed name and direction (interesting eh?)
  • Released a new version of my J-Uptime-plugin - the first bug was found 5 minutes later :)
  • Started looking into playing a bit with RSS - I bet it is useful for something
  • I really need to do the dishes - can't see my kitchen table anymore