The war on piracy continues

14.06.2012 13:35

Early last month, we were told that the DVD piracy warning was being updated. And not for the better, mind you. Now, consumers are still being called criminals, even before they’ve done anything wrong.

The new FBI anti-piracy warning

With such a warning, I still feel just as violated, and I still have to sit through DVD content I can’t skip past, making the wait even longer before I can actually start watching the film itself. Not only that, from what I understand, you will now have to sit through two warnings; one from the FBI, and one from the National Intellectual Property Center.

The new National Intellectual Property Center warning

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

I understand that piracy is a crime, but I don’t need to be reminded of it every time I want to watch a DVD that I bought through legal channels. I feel like these organizations are basically punishing consumers for doing the legal thing.

Here’s a thought, though:

The illegal version of watching a movie: Download from an pirated source, watch the film immediately.

The legal version of watching a movie: Go buy a DVD and put it in the DVD player, watch the FBI notice, watch the anti-piracy movie (they’ll probably have that, too), watch the previews (trailers for other movies and/or special features, such as a commercial for Blu-ray), get to the DVD menu (wait for it to settle on or show the menu items), hit “play movie”. If you’re lucky, the film starts at this point. If you’re unlucky, you have to sit through yet another warning about piracy and public screenings of the DVD.

I mean, what’s the point? Just let us watch the film, already! When movie pirates copy a DVD, they don’t copy these warnings, they only copy the film itself, without all the extra junk (although, they usually don’t include the special features and extra material that some of us want to see).

I’ve also seen warnings that include street vendors who sell pirated DVDs. I mean, the majority of the movie, music and software piracy “industry” happen online these days. The people who rip a DVD for downloading are usually people who are sick and tired of having their cash flow through an outdated corporate scheme.

Those in the industry claim that piracy is the direct cause of monetary losses, but in my opinion, that’s only half true. If you’re going to account for losses, do they also account for how much money they’re wasting on lawyers, lawsuits against individuals (grandmothers, single mothers, and such) and torrent sites, and various DRM schemes?

I’m not saying they shouldn’t fight piracy, but I’m criticizing their current methods of fightin it. I feel that they should rather fight piracy with awareness campaigns, where they focus on why the legal path is good, and showing why you should support the industry. Plain and simple, make people make good about themselves when they spend their money on a DVD, Blu-ray, CD, legal download, books, merchandise, etc. And on the side, they can keep on with lawsuits against those who make large profits from piracy.

Last time I saw one of the few well-made “anti-piracy” warnings out there, was when I bought and fired up my DVD for The Adjustment Bureau. I had originally downloaded this movie illegally, which I usually do when I’m uncertain about the movie’s quality (in terms of story, directing and acting, that is). After seeing it as a pirated download version, I thought it was so good, I got the real version (I had it on my wishlist, and if I hadn’t gotten it for Christmas, I would’ve bought it myself). I’ve ripped the warning from my DVD here and put it up here (unlisted on YouTube, in case you wanted to go searching for it), just so you can see what I mean:

Short, simple, and it made me feel good about myself for buying the DVD and supporting the people who are in this business. This is the type of anti-piracy warning I want to see. With this, I feel like I’m contributing to the good part of the business, and not feeling like I should expect a lawsuit whenever possible.


Side note: The anti-piracy warning video is probably copyrighted, and I’m assuming Universal Studios has something to do with it, given that they’re the publisher of the DVD I got this from. I copied it from there for illustration purposes; please don’t sue me. If you’re reading this, and own the copyright to this, please either grant me a non-exclusive license to use this, or point me to some existing version of it online, so I can link to or embed it from my blog. I’ll put up a proper copyright notice if you want me to.

Recent stuff and vacation

05.06.2012 16:34

May is now a gone stage for this year, and summer is approaching. At least, that’s the general idea. We had some good weather a couple of weeks ago, but the return of the slightly cold weather does give way for some depressing thoughts. Not “suicide” depressing (or even on-the-brink-of-suicide-depressing), but more like “I-don’t-really-want-to-get-out-of-bed-where-it’s-warm” depressing. Some of you know what I mean.

In the past month, both my two-year-old niece and my mother had their birthdays (May 8 and 9, respectively), Constitution Day was on May 17 (in terms of what it means for Norway, and its celebration, you United-States-of-Americans can compare it to your July 4), and we had Pentacost (which is a public holiday in Norway, even though most of us don’t really celebrate it). And given that we had visitors from far away during Pentacost, such events are quite challenging for someone who’s trying to lose weight.

Then again, even with a minor setback last week (when I had gained 1 kg), my total weight loss since I started in January has now reached 22.2 kg (or almost 50 pounds to you non-metric people). My goal is still within reach. My even further challenge will come this summer, when the type of course I’m taking will be unavailable, which means I have to go through the summer on my own. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can manage it without any setbacks when the next course is available at the end of August.

In other news, I now have my vacation time nailed down. First, I’m taking one week of vacation time in mid-July, in hopes of warm weather that week. I’m not really going anywhere, but I plan to spend that week as a tourist in my hometown. I plan to see sights and visit tourist attractions I usually pass by on a daily basis, and really see what my little city has to offer. We often ignore all those special sights when we live in the area, and most of us don’t take the time to truly experience this. My vacation week is smack dab in the middle of the tourist season, and also the same week as the local annual boating festival (“Ålesund Båtfestival“). Not because I’m particulary interested in boats and boating, but more because of all the culture that surrounds such festivals, including the stream of tourists from all over (and the fact that there’s a big chance of sunny weather that week).

My next, and primary, vacation this year will be in October. The destination: Berlin, Germany. Given that weather is likely to be cold, windy, rainy and pretty much grim, I just had to put a vacation week in July to give it some balance.

The reason for travelling to Berlin in October? A Blue Man Group fan meet. The annual European fan meet, to be exact. Since I don’t have a budget for another USA trip this year, I decided to go for the next best thing; meeting up with fellow fans in Berlin to enjoy our common interest, Blue Man Group (since they already have a regular show in Berlin). I expect to meet some of the friends I made last summer once again, and I also hope for a tour backstage and meet with some of the people behind the show on the ay of the fan meet. If that falls into place, my day (and year) would be made.

The October trip will last me two weeks, flying out there Monday, October 15, and returning home on another Monday two weeks later. Flights have been booked, and so has a decent hotel (Fjord Hotel Berlin), so all I need now, is tickets to the show, and plan for additional activities. I’ve already invested in a couple of guide books for Berlin, to make sure I don’t miss out some of the more important sights. I just need to sit down with those books and plan an outline of which sights I want to see (categorized by how much I want to see those sights, and which ones I can visit if I have time left). I’ve already taken care of travel insurance, making sure my passport is up-to-date, and making sure my home is safe while I’m away.

For my Berlin trip (and most other vacation trips), I only plan what I’m going to see. I usually don’t plan out entire days, except for the attractions/sights that have limited opening hours, and for specific show I want to see. When I do plan, I also plan out which attractions/sights are geographically close (or bundled) together, and of those, in which order to visit them (based on their opening hours). I might get back to this one in a later post, though. We’ll see.

May-be an update…

05.05.2012 17:29

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.

New version of Experts Exchange

13.03.2012 14:22

Most of you might’ve caught that I’m a techie by now. In my day job, I work with computers and computer networks; my daily tasks consist of both system administration and project management (on a few software development projects in our company). Any way to find solutions to tasks I’m involved with does me a bit of good. I’m mostly partial to Google, but quite often, a site called Experts Exchange comes up in the search results.

Experts Exchange is a site where experts can get help from other experts with tech problems (and earn points for helping others), and I’m actually one of those who have asked for help and found it useful.

Recently, I discovered that they had given their site a major overhaul, and I have to admit that it looks even better now (it did look good before the upgrade, too).

If you’re in the computer tech industry, you might find it helpful as well. If you haven’t already give ’em a try. If you have, check out their new upgraded look.

The New Experts Exchange is Here! Experience EE v.10!

A leap ahead

29.02.2012 18:39

As most of you know, today’s a leap day, and I figured it was about time I updated the few readers I have with what’s been going on since my last update. Since before the cross-over into the new year, I’ve had a few things happen in my life.

iPad and external harddriveMy last update was back in late December, and that same week, I got the iPad 2 I was promised from my office (“day job”, so to speak), as a thanks for the big effort (and late working days) earlier in the year. I’ve previously mentioned my disgust for Apple, and that I wouldn’t go out and buy their products based on their policies and how the appear to treat customers and software developers on their platforms. That said, I wouldn’t pass up the chance of getting one of their products as a gift, which I did just before the new year arrived. It was especially appreciated that the iPad 2 I got was the 3G+WiFi edition with 64 GB storage. And during our annual dinner (with all of the colleagues), we all received an external 2 TB USB drive each, as a belated Christmas gift from our workplace (since this dinner was in mid-January).

Since that time, I’ve noticed that I’ve used my laptop and smartphone less, and transferred some of that time over to my new iPad. With it, I’ve played games, managed servers at work, read e-mail, looked up information I was looking for, viewed videos and updated myself on social media. This, to a much greater extent than what I found possible with my small smartphone screen. I noticed that I would do much of the same whether I got an iPad or an Android tablet device, as this fills a small need for having information on the go. With the iPad, I’ve also been promised a SIM card for mobile broadband (which I’m still waiting for), so I won’t be locked down to having a WiFi network nearby.

I also notice that this will be the perfect device to bring with me on vacation, instead of lugging around on a laptop.

Also new this year, I’ve started on a weight loss program back in January. This first round of 8 weekly meetings wrapped this past Monday, and I’m already enrolled in the next round, starting Monday next week. This particular program, called Roedemetoden (named after the founder, Grete Roede), focuses on losing weight slowly (to avoid health problems underway), and eating right (and healthy). It’s not only about how much you eat, but also about how you spread your meals across the day, and regular exercise (even a long walk counts as proper exercising). After doing some quick research, I suppose it’s similar to Weight Watchers (although not quite the same).

Over the last 8 weeks, I’ve lost a total of 8.5 kg (roughly 18.7 pounds), which is something I can live with. Since my BMI is still over 60 at this time, I’ve already come to grips with the fact that this will take time. Based on my current progress, calculations suggest that I would reach the goal of a normal weight at the end of next year.

And, almost two weeks ago, I turned 32. I had family over for dinner and dessert, and that was about it. It may not seem much, but it’s all I need, honestly. I’m just not that much of a party person, really.

All in all, I now have a much brighter outlook on life.

Super 8

21.02.2012 15:19

Riley Griffiths and Joel Courtney in the scene of Paramount Pictures' Super 8.

Back in late December (which was when I watched this, and started writing this review article), I received J.J. Abrams’ latest project Super 8 on DVD, which revolves around a group of early teenage filmmaking friends who witness, and almost get killed by, a derailing train in the middle of making a zombie film in the year 1979. Unknown to them in the moment, they also catch the event and aftermath on Super 8 film with the still-rolling camera. After the derailment, air force troops immediately appear to clean up the mess, while mysterious events happen in this small town. When the film roll is developed a few days later, the filmmaking friends discover what was really on that train, and they also find out the reason the military so desperately wants to keep it a secret.

I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d get myself into, given J.J. Abrams’ recent history with what I consider as both good (Alias, Mission: Impossible III) and not-so-good projects (Lost, Star Trek), and his endless love with gratuitous lens flares (a feature of Abrams’ films that may or may not have been turned into some sort of drinking game). Then again, he has also paired up with legend Steven Spielberg as the producer on this project, which would hopefully bring the quality up a few notches. I don’t believe Spielberg would go for just any project out there – I’d think he would know “good” when he sees it (or fully trust those he enters into partnership with).

Thankfully, the story itself comes across as good, and we follow the group of filmmaking friends more than external shots, meaning that we see the action more or less from their point of view, rather than being told from a distance. You can really immerse yourself into this story.

Both the special and visual effects are in the place they’re supposed to, and are only where necessary. There are also a few things hidden in the background, and you won’t notice these until you’ve seen this film a few times (I was actually made aware of this in the behind-the-scenes featurettes on the DVD, and I went back into the film afterwards just to confirm those sightings).

I did feel that there were a few missing plot points, and slightly silly antics that didn’t quite fit in (although they were very few), plus the unnecessary lens flares (yes, you can’t escape them in this one, either), which prevent me from giving this film a full score.

But, as a whole, a great film. Absolutely recommended for the sci-fi buff.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Another year over

29.12.2011 15:34

Christmas is more or less gone (at least the climax of it), and another year is almost over. I can’t help but wonder what 2012 will bring. New Year’s Eve usually has that effect on me, and I assume I’m not the only one who does.

As usual, this year’s Christmas catch was modest, and I don’t mind at all. This year, I got a large tea cup, two mugs, two small plates (which goes with several tea cups I already have with a similar design), some licorice/cinnamon tea (Pukka brand, not pictured) that was actually quite good, a small bath towel, a concrete @-sign decoration (which unfortunately broke the second after I had opened it due to bad packaging, also not pictured), a luxury soap with bath towel, a fleece hat, a scarf, and some DVDs. Out of DVDs, I got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2, Hodejegerne (a Norwegian thriller released earlier this year), Cars 2 (Blu-ray+DVD edition), and the two first seasons of NCIS. All of these DVDs were on my wishlist, but I’m going to exchange Cars 2 and one of the last Harry Potter films, since already got Cars 2 about a week or so before Christmas, and I got two out of Deathly Hallows part 2. No biggie, though, as they’re in “exchangeable” condition (sealed). And, as usual, I got another thing I wanted, which is on my list every year: Time spent with family.

I can’t help but notice a disgusting trend recently making rounds of well-deserved ridicule around the Internet, though. Namely, the high number of spoiled brats who complain about getting or not getting an iPhone/iPad/iPod, laptop/MacBook or even car, or getting the wrong one of these. I’m simply baffled that people can be that selfish and spoiled to feel depressed about something so materialistic when there are people in the world who don’t have a great life. People who don’t have a home, who don’t have a family, who don’t have enough food or clothes, who don’t have safety and security, who don’t get presents, or even a combination of these. And I’m not just talking about people in poor and/or war-torn countries in the so-called second or third world, but also domestically in the so-called Western civilization. There are people who spend Christmas alone, not because they choose to, or because that happened to be the case this year, but because they don’t have anyone to spend it with, even if they desperately want to. There are people who consider “a great Christmas” to be shelter and food for the day, or maybe even the whole week, and when I see people complain about such high-priced gifts, I feel like whacking them with a clue stick. I mean, at least you got something! If you don’t like it, you still have to option to exchange it for that other thing you might’ve wanted!

When it comes to helping those in need, I feel that organizations like the Salvation Army does help a lot. I may not agree with them in religious or political terms, but I do believe they do a lot of great work for the less fortunate people in the local community (in terms of food, heat, and to some degree, shelter). I did contribute my small share to their Christmas kettle in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It wasn’t much on the larger scale of things, but I did at least contribute something, and I hope they will keep doing the good work they do. And they do it without pushing religion onto those they help, which is a big reason I like their work.

To sum up, be thankful for what you have, be even more thankful for other things you get, and hope the new year only have good things in store for us. And to make my wish a little early: Happy New Year! 🙂

The time is here again!

21.12.2011 19:01

It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate Christmas. I may have said it before, but I’m not religious, but I respect those who are (and those who respect others with different religions and lifestyles). I’m not a believer in Jesus Christ as the great saviour of all, but I do believe he existed in history. There are other sources than the Bible that confirms that he existed, and that he was professing his religious beliefs.

To me, Christmas is a winter tradition. Jesus don’t really have that much to do with it, other than what people make of it. About one and a half millennia ago, the church decided that the birth of Jesus was to be celebrated in December, corresponding with the already-existing winter solstice festival (Yuletide). In fact, the Norwegian word for the Christmas time is “Jul” (pronounced roughly the same as the word “Yule”), and I stand by it. Like I said, it’s a winter tradition for me and my family, and I celebrate it with joy. Not the parts that have to do with Jesus (although I understand that some people might want to keep connecting this time of year to his birth), but with the togetherness, generosity, light and warmth that comes with this tradition.

On Christmas Eve, we go through the same ritual as ever; mellow out, eat candy, watch some traditional TV shows we always (and only) do on Christmas Eve, pay my respects to my gone grandparents (on my father’s side) at their grave, Christmas dinner with “svineribbe” (pork ribs) and “fåreribbe” (mutton ribs) together with my family, coffee/tea and Christmas cookies afterwards, relaxing together and finally, opening presents.

It’s only a few days away now, and my Christmas shopping is also at its end. I only have a few small gifts left to buy, and I’m still waiting for another item to arrive. All in all, I think I have a good handle on things. If not, I’ll be stressing out on Friday for that gift that’s supposed to be in the mail by now.

In any case, I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas! God Jul! Buorit Juovllat! ¡Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale! Joyeux Noël! Hyvää Joulua! Frohe Weihnachten! С Рождеством! Vrolijk Kerstfeest!

Bless You, Gabriel

02.12.2011 00:43

Earlier this week, I was on a brisk walk from my workplace to my doctor’s office. I was running about 10 minutes late (and since no taxi cab available for at least another 15 minutes, I had to walk), I was my doc’s last appointment for the day, and on the way, I was being stopped by some guy who made a quick comment about my yellow rain hat (it was raining and blowing, and as someone from Denmark, he seemed to want to know what it was called in Norwegian). He kept on talking, I was stressed out, and he casually mentioned that he was a monk (he didn’t look like it, but then again, it was cold), and was spreading the word of true yoga. I really didn’t have the time, so I had to cut him short if I wasn’t going to be too late for my appointment. The next day, I ran into him again, at the same location, and I was waiting for the bus onwards to work (it was another bad weather day, but at least it wasn’t raining). He started talking again, showed the book he was handing out, and again, finally asked for a donation of some coins (just so he could cover his travels). As the bus was arriving, and about to leave, I had to cut his speech short, but not before he handed me his book and kept badgering me for some money. I only had some small coins in my wallet, so I handed it off to him. Frankly, I was annoyed at him, I was the last passenger coming onto the bus, and this monk guy was holding me back.

Later in the day, after coming home, I tried finding out what the hell this thing was, and reading the inside cover (where the title, copyright and ISBN is listed), I found a reference to the Hare Krishna movement (by its offical name, ISKCON). I mean, if you found your religion, I’m fine with it, but please don’t go around pushing your agenda on random strangers like that. Most people find it annoying.

I’ll keep the book, though. It’s likely to collect dust at the back of my shelf, I might pull it out some time, just to get a more thorough understanding of that religion (which would be around the same time I get my own Bible and Koran for my bookshelf). I’m not taking the trouble to walk around with it, trying to find the guy again so I can return it, it’s just not worth the extra effort.

On the brighter side of this week, I just got the “Stand-Up Revolution” DVD (with Gabriel Iglesias, aka. “Fluffy”, and his friends) I ordered from two weeks ago.

It has 2 DVDs in it, has the complete  8 episodes of the show from Comedy Central, and has Fluffy himself, plus 18 of his stand-up comedy friends (according to the cover). While I’m writing this, I’m about half-way through the whole thing, and I’m enjoying every second of it!

If you ever come across Fluffy’s stuff, I can recommend it 100%. I’m just sorry I missed out while he was in Norway last month (it was in Bergen, and I found out about it only a few days before the show). I hope I’ll be able to meet him in person some day, though.

In other news, Christmas time is off to a start, and present shopping is officially well into it’s second lap. I already have two presents down, and several others to go.

I’ll get back with an update later, I guess.

99 Questions

30.11.2011 23:34

A few days ago, someone close to me posted a list of 99 questions on her blog, along with her own answers, and I figured it might be something I could do as well. The questions range from whimsical to personal, so I translated the questions (since the ones she posted were in Norwegian) so I wouldn’t have to limit myself to a Norwegian audience.

Also, the more perceptive of you would notice that this list only goes up to 95. That’s because that while I was going down the list, I found some numbers missing. If you want to pitch in your own questions, do let me know, either in the comments or on my contact page.

Anyway, here goes.

1. The last thing you drank: Red Bull from a can
2. The last person you called: A work colleague (on my way to work)
3. The last received SMS (text message): Lene (my oldest little sister).
4. The last song you listened to: Blue Man Group – Booty Shaker Finale from New York (at least that’s what I think it’s called)
5. The last time you danced: Monday, I think (if you can truly call it dancing)

6. Would you have a relationship with someone of the same gender as yourself: No (just not my kind of bag, babe)
7.  Have you ever cheated on your partner: Nope
8. Have you ever taken something from your parent(s) without them knowing: Yes
9. Have you ever eaten something poisonous: Yes (in the sense that I’ve eaten something that’s poisonous to me, aka. something I’m allergic to)

10. Dancing or singing: Singing
11. Coke or Pepsi: Yes, please
12. Strawberries or raspberries: Strawberries
13. Facebook or Myspace: Facebook
14. Black or white: Black

15. Have you made any new friends: Oh, yes. Thanks to the fan meet in New York. 🙂
16. Stopped falling in love: Not at all
17. Laughed until you cried: Oh, yes

18. Met someone who’s changed your life: Unfortunately, no
19. Found out who your real friends are: No
20. Found out that someone has been talking behind your back: No
21. Kissed someone from your top friends list: No

22. How many children would you like: 3
23. Do you have any pets: No
24. Do you want to change your name: Not really (but I wouldn’t mind adopting a stage name)
25. How did you celebrate your last birthday: At home with my family
26. When did you wake up this morning: Around 8:30
27. What were you doing at midnight last night: Taking a cab home from the office
28. Mention something you CANNOT wait for: The Christmas spirit, and the next paycheck
29. The last time you saw your dad: About a month ago
30. What would you change in your life: Where I live, and my bank account (the two go closer together than you’d actually realize…)
31. What are you listening to right now: The background noise from the server room at the office (server fans)
32. Have you ever talked to someone named Victoria: Yes, but that was a long time ago
33. What’s hitting your nerve right now: Not being able to leave work earlier than this
34. What is your real name: Look around, and you’ll figure it out eventually
35. Relationship status: Single, unfortunately
36. Sign: Aquarius
37. Boy or girl: Boy, sort of (“man” would be the technically correct answer, though)
38. Age: 31
39. High school: Skarbøvik Ungdomsskole (equivalent level to high school)
40. College: Fagerlia videregående skole, allmenne fag (equivalent level to college)
41. Hair color: Black (slightly brighter during the summer, though)
42. Long or short hair: Short
43. Height: 171 cm (or about 5 feet 7.5 inches)
44. Are you infatuated by someone: Yes, a little bit
45. Piercings: None
46. Tattoos: None
47. Left-handed or right-handed: Right-handed

48. Kiss a friend’s girlfriend: Nope, too much respect
49. Sleep alone under the open sky: Yes, but it depends on the weather
50. Dump a friend in front of your girlfriend: No (and it’s more hypothetical at this time)
51. Streak across the court at a sports event just to get on TV: No chance in hell
52. Spend a whole day shopping: No
53. Kiss someone of the same gender: I’d be fine with it
54. Touch the chest of someone of the same gender: I’d be fine with it
55. Exposed yourself to someone you love on the web: No
56. Named a child after yourself: No
57. Run 10 km (a little over 6 miles) just to see someone you love: No (at least not at my current health – I’d walk that same distance, though)

58. Eating: Nothing
59. Drinking: That same Red Bull I mentioned earlier
60. Going to: Go home from the office
61. Waiting for: A chance to stop working today
62. Listening to: Nothing special (aside from that background noise)

63. Want children: Oh, yes
64. Want to be married: Not necessary (but would be willing to if my future partner really wants it)

65. Lips or eyes: Eyes
66. Kiss or hug: Kiss
67. Taller or shorter: Shorter (but not that important)
68. Older or younger: Younger, or around the same age as myself
69. Romantic or spontaneous: A little bit of both
70. Nice tummy or nice arms: If I had to choose, the tummy
71. Tattoo or piercing: Not something too obvious or visible of either
72. Careless or careful: Somewhere in the middle, leaning towards careful
73. Relationship or just friends: Relationship if possible (but I’d rather have them as friends than not at all)
74. Troublemaker or holding back: Again, somewhere in the middle, leaning slightly towards holding back

75. Kissed a stranger: Yes
76. Drunken strong alcohol: Yep
77. Lost your glasses/lenses: Yes, but a long time ago (they were recovered, though)
78. Sex on the first date: Preferrably no, but if the mood between us is juuust right, I’d be up for it
79. Broken someone’s heart: Not that I know of
80. Had your heart broken: Not really
81. Been arrested: No
82. Declined an invitation to a date: No. Then again, I would have had to received an invitation to be able to decline it…
83. Cried when someone died: Oh yes (who doesn’t?)
84. Liked a friend who’s a girl: Yes

85. Yourself: Yes
86. Miracles: Not really
87. Angels: Nah
88. Heaven: In the biblical sense, no… in the afterlife, … umm… not really
89. Santa Claus: Nope
90. Kissing on the first date: Yes (if the conditions are right)
91. Love at first sight: Oh yes

92. Is there someone you’d like to be in a relationship with right now: Not someone in particular, no
93. Have you ever had more than one girlfriend at any given time: No, but I’ve never had one girlfriend at any given time, either (kindergarten doesn’t count)
94. Do you think it’s possible to be faithful forever: Possible, yes. But not everyone is cut out for it…
95. Do you dare answer all of these questions: Already have.