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Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

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.

Bless you!

17.02.2011 02:19

While on my lunch break today, I had a very interesting experience. I was approached by young, deeply Christian people, twice. Let me share the moments for a bit.

The first encounter was outside a grocery store (where I had just made some minor purchases). I was sitting down on a bench, enjoying the last few sips of some strawberry milk (no, I’m not making that up), when a Swedish girl asked to sit down with me to talk a little (she did bring a friend, but she kept very much in the background). She revealed that she was a Christian, with a deep faith in Jesus (you know, that guy from the second half of the Bible). She wanted me to know that God sees me, and will continue to protect me (no matter what I believed), and asked further what my faith was (agnostic – I’ll explain further down – as I also explained to her). My faith is very inclusive towards all/most religions, basically. She also asked if everything was alright, if I had any problems in particular, which I really don’t. We had some small talk for a few minutes before we said our goodbyes. The whole thing kinda put me off for a few minutes after that, but all in all, it was a slightly positive experience.

Later on, about 15-20 minutes after my first encounter, and on my way back to the office, I had a second encounter. This time, it was one guy (Norwegian, who sounded like he was from the Oslo area) and two girls (who the guy identified as being Canadian and American). I had noticed their faces a few minutes earlier, as I had just passed them about a block earlier, heading in the opposite direction, but they must’ve taken an interest and caught up with me inside a shopping mall. They, too, were Christian, and they asked if they could pray for me. Heck, I’m an open-minded guy, and thought that if it would make them happy, I’d just let them. They, too, asked if there were some problems in particular to pray for, which I really didn’t. They each put one hand on me and took a turn with their prayers, basically asking to protect me and praying for my continued kindness, each in their own words. The whole séance probably took about 5 minutes, with odd stares from people passing by. When they finished, they thanked me for the opportunity, and we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, leaving me with a strangely positive feeling of some strangers caring about me enough to do all that.

Yep, today, I was a Christian magnet! It was a particular “life is good” kinda day, too. My monthly pay rolled in the day before, and my 31st birthday is tomorrow (well, technically speaking “today” at the time I write this – it’s way too late in the evening/night, though).

Agnostic? What’s that?

Some of you might wonder about my stance towards faith and religion. I define myself as an agnostic, which means I’m in doubt.

I believe there’s something all around us, which is yet to be properly defined. I believe that religions world-wide have made efforts to define it by giving it names. Some call this feeling God, some call it Yahweh, some call it Allah, some call it The Force, some call it Mother Nature, some have even split it into several deities. In essence, I believe all of these are one and the same, only with different names.

I believe there is “one truth” for all of us, yet to be defined, and that this truth is somewhere in our common future, somewhat further down the line that any of us can see. In the meantime, it is not only correct, but essential to keep your current faith, as long as you respect the faith of others, even if it seems to differ from your own. The important thing is not what you believe in, but that you practice your belief respectfully and without resorting to violence.

OK, that’s probably enough words of wisdom for one day. I guess the idea of growing older is sneaking up on me today.

Oh-kay!

18.02.2010 02:28

Believe it or not, I actually got a reply from SAS Norway (airlines) via Twitter, as well as replies to my blog post about my airplane woes earlier this month. Apology was accepted, and I actually learned something new about air travel.

The few of you who actualy read my blog might notice that the comments to my blog post didn’t appear at once. That’s because I’ve set up the blog system to let me approve the first comments from someone (by which time their comments will be auto-approved). This is more to avoid comment spam, something which is (thankfully) due to a secondary system of the new blog system. I always approve comments that are not spam and not direct attacks on my person, just give me time.

Also,  the more perceptive of you might’ve noticed that I also just turned 30. I’m already done ranting about my life achievements, but the big day more or less came and went. I had an aunt and uncle over for coffee and cake (not originally planned), and I’ll have another aunt and uncle over tomorrow (Thursday). I’m having a larger family gathering on Friday (with dinner), and I might go clubbing on Saturday (I haven’t decided just yet). The clubbing run might include finding a special someone, but to avoid being disappointed, I’m not going to make that the primary goal.

I’m a man of very few friends (and many acquaintances), so the clubbing run will also be an alone run, as usual.

I don’t go out clubbing much, really, I go out rougly two or three times a year (not counting when I’m on vacations). I like going where people are (as long as it’s not overcrowded), but since I’m a shy guy, I have difficulty hooking up with anyone, even as basic as “just friends” (my list of actual close friends proves that).

My shyness seems to be my biggest hinder, both with gaining friends and finding a life partner, and I have no idea how to overcome that hinder. Just jumping in to the ocean of relationships is not an option, my shyness sees to that (in case any of you were going to suggest that).

Then again, a compliment I got from a pair of girls at the aforementioned singles party (after the matching cards had been given out) does suggest that I’m boyfriend material. They didn’t seem interested in me in particular, but they were trying to push me to go seek out my matches, as I seemed like a very nice guy who deserved it.

So apparently, I seem like a nice guy, and a safe bet, it’s just that there’s this wall of shyness (and appearance) blocking the view. I just never seem to catch a break, at least not good enough for someone to see the person inside the body fat.

Okay, I’m done now. I promised not to rant too much about my life goals, and yet I did. I guess I just don’t seem to get over it. Ah, the sad life of a loner.

Creeping birthdays

01.02.2010 21:03

Birthdays don't creep anymore - Garfield (reprin.... bah, you know the drill)

Yes, my 30th birthday is rapidly approaching (only a couple of weeks away), and I still haven’t made much of my life. This, of course puts some self-applied pressure on me, considering I haven’t achieved as much in life as I had hoped for at this point. I still live in my mother’s basement, I’m still single and unattached, and any sign of offspring is highly dependant on the previous two. I also haven’t reached as high career-wise as I had hoped for. All these thoughts don’t exactly help me keep my spirits up on a daily basis. What is it about decennial birthdays that brings on these kinds of thoughts?

This is the kind of thinking that pushed me to attending a large singles party in Oslo this coming weekend. Earlier this year, I noticed that one of the dating websites (Norwegian only) was hosting a grand event for singles in Oslo on Feb 6. From what I’ve read, this singles party is somewhat of a regular thing, and these usually have 500-1000 attendees, and usually only members of that dating website may attend (others may attend only by invitation from an existing member, something that also has to be authorized by the dating website). Once the party starts, matching cards with photos are handed out, and these include your best matches of the people at this party.

Three weeks ago, I made up my mind to attend this one (for the first time), so I ordered a ticket for myself (the party ain’t free, ya know), booked the flights and hotel (Oslo is a little under an hour flight in each direction), pre-paid for transportation from the airport to the hotel (and back), all completed and confirmed in less than 30 minutes (I had checked up on prices the week before, just to fuel my decision). Thank goodness for Travellink (a site similar to Expedia, both in pricing and concept – I used them for booking the flights from home to Orlando when I went to the US last summer) for making the flight and hotel booking simple and affordable (even for a 4 star hotel like Radisson Blu Scandinavia). Who can pass up such a great offer when it’s even smack dab in the middle of Oslo?

The flight leaves this Friday evening (liftoff at 8:25 pm from Ålesund, landing in Oslo at 9:20 pm), and the return flight is on Sunday evening (liftoff at 9:45 pm, landing in Ålesund 10:40 pm). The bus ride between the airport and the hotel in Oslo takes almost an hour, but at least that bus stops right outside the hotel entrance, so I won’t have far to walk (I’ll find something to pass time on the bus, don’t you worry). Transportation (bus, taxi, parents driving, whatnot) to and from the airport near Ålesund takes 15-20 minutes, so I won’t be home until it’s closer to 11-11:30 pm that Sunday. I deliberately wanted a late flight on Friday so I won’t have to miss work, and I sincerely hope I’ll get to check out late on Sunday (considering I have about 6 hours to kill after the usual checkout time until I head out to the airport). Like I did when I went on vacation alone to Copenhagen and to the USA, I’ve planned most of my trip down to the detail; I’ve pre-paid for and received a tram ticket (which was 25 NOK when pre-purchased on the web or at a convenience store in Oslo, but 40 NOK if paid to the tram driver/conductor) to use when travelling from the hotel to the party (the tram stops right around the corner from my hotel, and also stops under a city block from the party location); I’ve written down tram times (every 20 minutes, it takes 17 minutes from the hotel to the party); I’ve researched taxi companies and prices in Oslo (for the return trip to my hotel), and written down phone numbers for the 5 biggest. I’ve even saved map images around my hotel (walking route from the hotel to the tram stop) and around the party location (walking route from the end tram stop to the party) on my phone. All times (flight, party and return flight) have been plotted into my calendar and synced to my phone, and relevant info has been included in each of those calendar times.

Sometimes, I think I plan too much. Then again, planning is part of what makes it a safe trip, and leaves the remaining time (aside from the flights and the party itself) up for spontinaity.

The party may result in a girlfriend, or it may not. My goal for the party is to at the very least breach a boundary in me to go out and find love more actively (rather than spending time with my family and my introverted self – don’t get me wrong, I love the family time, I just want more than that).

Never having had a proper girlfriend does something to you (and I’m not counting “girlfriends” from kindergarten and grade school). However, I have made my observations on other couples, as well as reading into a lot of articles and forum posts on dating, romance (actual romance, not novel or fantasy romance), relationships, sexuality, conflicts and stuff like that. In short, as with sex, I have taken in all the theory I can get my hands on (which is, btw, a continuing quest for information), but I have yet to take all that theory into practice on a real live person. I now intend to do something more active to rid myself of my relationship virginity (of sorts). How that will actually play out, remains to see. I hope I don’t have to move away from Ålesund for it to happen, though (I just love my hometown in spite of all the cold weather – then again, what happens, happens).

Of course, my sister’s pregnancy and the pending arrival of my first niece in May does make me feel left out in a way. I may be putting too much pressure on myself, but being 3 years older than my sister, I had hoped to be close to 3 years ahead in life than her as well. That obviously didn’t happen. Instead, I’m left with a feeling of not having achieved anything significant in life at the entrance of my first 30 years as a human being.

That’s not to say I’m happy for my sister and her boyfriend, because I am. I just wished I had something like she has. And every time I catch myself in envy over my sister, I also feel ashamed for (in my mind) putting pressure on her (I’m only thinking about that pressure, though, I’m not actually putting any pressure on her).

Then again, I’m also still (relatively) young, and my seeds don’t t have the same expire date as a female’s eggs, but I’ve reached the point in life where I actually look forward to bringing a new life to the world, and perhaps even experience being a grandfather before it’s too late, in addition to having someone to grow old with. How’s that for a comfort level and sense of commitment? And that’s even before having someone to share it with!

I hope life still has something special in store for me, and I’m sure it does. It just isn’t happening soon enough!

Now, how’s that for a rant about life?