May-be an update…

Now this is a new way of doing things….

One, I realized I had been silent on my blog for over a month, so I thought I’d catch up a little. Two, I’m typing the entirety of this blog entry on my iPad at a local diner, and using a Logitech keyboard specifically designed for use with the iPad. I’ve been using my ‘pad quite often recently, as I also mentioned here earlier this year, and I have to admit, a tablet PC was definitely something I needed. It’s just perfect for those tasks that a regular smartphone can do in a pinch, but is not powerful enough to do that task very efficiently while I’m on the move, and where booting up my regular Windows laptop just takes too long. With the tablet, I just pull it out of the bag, unlock the screen, and it’s ready to do what I want.

Granted, the iPad wasn’t my first choice, but since I got one as a thank-you gift from work, I felt I might as well go for it. If I hadn’t gotten it at work, and had to use my own money to buy one, I would’ve most likely gone for an Android tablet. Not because Android is so much better (quality-wise, both Android-powered and iOS-powered devices measure up quite equally), but because Apple’s usage policies and tight lock-down of their devices and software are so rigid and twisted, Apple products in general are never part of my first choice for anything. Sure, Apple stuff have their strengths when it comes to graphics design and video editing, but aside from that, the price for what you get is simply too much to rank higher on my list of product choices.

Anyway, I’ll repeat what I said back in February: Next vacation, I’m leaving my laptop at home, and will be using my iPad paired with the external keyboard instead.

To change the subject, we have recently crossed the line into the month of May, and with that, summer is leaping closer. Even so, I woke up today to see that it was snowing outside, despite having warmer weather for the last month or so. I was not happy, to say the least. My optimism hasn’t been shattered, though, since the temperature is also at around 3-4 degrees Celsius (about 38 Fahrenheit, for you slackers who still use that 😉 ), so the snow had a chance to melt again the moment it hit the ground. With the temperature this “high” above the freezing point, it simply won’t last long. I just hope there won’t be any snow or rain on Constitution Day, which is May 17 (for you Americans, this is our July 4 – imagine this day raining away, and you get my slight pessimism).

Of course, there are also more important things in life. Back in late March, I became an uncle for the second time. My nephew Oliver is now a little over 1 month old, and my niece Ebba celebrates her second birthday this Sunday (her actual birthday is this coming Tuesday, but the we usually move the celebration party to the closest weekend). It’s amazing how productive my sister can be once she puts her mind to it! 🙂

Sure, the fact that my three years younger sister has gotten this far ahead in her life (boyfriend, children and a home for themselves, of course), keeps reminding my that I still haven’t gotten my own life properly started the way I want it to be. I’m annoyed that at the age of 32, I haven’t gotten my ass in gear to get things going (if “get (your) ass in gear” seems like an odd expression to you, I assure you it translates to an actual saying in Norway – “få ræva i gir”, or more delicately put, “get a move on!”).

I do have things moving properly in my life, though. The more perceptive of you might’ve realized I’m quite the heavy guy. Several hundred pounds worth, and I’m not talking about British money here. I said earlier that I had lost 8.5 kg in the first 8 weeks, and I just started a third course at Grete Roede earlier this week. At this point, I’ve lost a total of 17.1 kg (about 37.7 lbs) since I started my first course back in January. My first milestone of losing 25 kg (55 lbs) before the summer properly starts is well within reach, and based on my calculations (ie. worst-case scenario of losing “only” an average of 1 kg per week), I’ll reach a satisfying weight around September next year. It’s going to be a long and tough road ahead, but I’m confident I can make it, no matter how long it takes. It’s going to be expensive to reach that goal (using the Grete Roede method as a guide and motivator), but it’s well worth it in the long run.

On a more depressing note, some of you might’ve caught the news of the trial of the Norwegian terrorist started this past month. This was the asshole (to use a mild word for him) who performed the acts of terrorism back in July last year, and we’re now about to find out what his penalty will be. Thankfully, we don’t have a death sentence here in Norway, since that would be taking the easy way out. Besides, killing him off would only make him a martyr for those who strangely enough agree with him, and we just don’t need that. Also, the Norwegian maximum sentence of 21 years in jail is too mild on a crime such as this. To be honest, the proper sentence for this guy is an isolation cell for the rest of his life, and be forced to watch the Norwegian community’s solidarity towards eachother (as most of us have responded to these acts of terrorism and extremist views) and the way we continue to include people regardless of ethnic origin or religious background. This is something that this guy wanted to remove from our society, and we need to show him that we will not give in to his “demands” of adjusting our society to his views. I genuinely believe that our compassion towards our fellow human beings, including Muslims and those who follow other religions, is something that pains him, and this is the type of torture I feel I can condone with a good conscience.

I’m usually very accepting and patient with people who don’t share my opinions, even those who have the exact opposite opinion as myself, as it gives me more of a challenge to try to discuss my way into making them change their opinion. What I don’t accept, however, is when someone expresses their opinion by way of murder, violence, or severe damage of property, either by performing these types of acts themselves, or by condoning or suggesting such acts. I also have no respect for opinions that express hatred or discrimination towards fellow human beings purely based on ethnicity (“race”), gender, religion, disabilities (mental or physical) and/or sexual preference. Sure, people of today can attempt to avoid such hatred by converting to another religion, have gender reassignment treatment (I’m not talking about those who choose this path because they feel they are of a different gender in their hearts), or pretend to be someone they’re not (usually gay and bisexual people who try to act exclusively heterosexual and “normal”), but that does nothing change society around you to accept you as you are. People who express such hateful or discriminating opinions (even expressing them at a more unconscious level) are the ones who need to change, not the ones who are experiencing the hateful end of such opinions. There are an alarming increase of people in small groups who speak out about the so-called “Islamification” of our society, where even more Muslims are being accepted into our communities. Such people believe that Islam will “take over” society, and that we’ll lose our Christianity, and in all of these cases, I believe these opinions are both misguided and factually wrong. Look, if you consider yourself to be Christian, no level of presence from the Islamic community can convince you to convert to Islam, can it?

On a happier note, I plan to attend the Blue Man Group fan meet in Berlin this coming October. Sure, it will delay my summer vacation until after the summer has officially ended, but it is something to look forward to nonetheless. I haven’t made any specific plans yet, such as booking flights and hotel, but I plan to do so once my paycheck arrives in a little more than a week (the 15th). So far, I’ve only decided to actually attend, so once again, this year’s vacation will be centered around attending Blue Man Group shows. I never thought I’d be this much of a fan of, well, anything at all, but such is life. And what a great life it is.

Sitting here at the Egon diner, I just realized that I’ve spent way more than an hour writing this blog post. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re on a roll.

Anyway, until next time, this is NeonNero, signing off. I’m going for a walk.