Birth Two Point Oh.

Are you ready for another personal story of a birth with Too Much Information written all over it? If not, you should bail out now. But if you are indeed ready, you’re more than welcome to continue reading.

Let’s turn back the clock to the middle of May last year. We’re closing in on the due date of our second born, Hedda. We’re also fast approaching the 3 year mark of the birth of her big sister, Vilde. Anniken was getting pretty nervous, not because of the upcoming birth, but because our second child might be born on the same date as the first. Sharing birthdays? What a nightmare! But thankfully, that faithful Sunday came and went.

Hedda had the common decency to wait a day, and Anniken didn’t go into labor until early Monday morning. Or at least it was labor-ish. The contractions were semi-regular, and not particularly intense. Still, we decided to head for the hospital to beat the morning rush hour traffic. It’s not uncommon that the second birth happens a lot faster than the first when it starts, and none of us were particularly happy about the thought of getting the baby on the freeway.

But as it turned out, you don’t simply beat rush hour traffic. It started way earlier than we thought. The scheduled one hour ride to the hospital took a little longer, but we were still only two people in the car when we got there. At the hospital, they did some routine checks, and we were given the all clear. Then followed hours upon hours of eating well, staying hydrated, and walking around the hospital. The contractions continued, but they didn’t become regular, neither in frequency nor length.

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“Storm Front” by Jim Butcher.

Writing a review of Storm Front 6 months after I finished the book is probably less than ideal. But this year I’m making an earnest effort to finish some of the 35+ post drafts I’ve got lying around. A half-finished review Jim Butcher’s urban fantasy novel is one of them.

The word “stormfront” isn’t something Joe Sixpack would normally associate with a book. When the word was used on the news last year, it was either because of really bad weather on the horizon, or when neo-Nazis plowed their cars through crowds of anti-fascists. But fantasy fans thankfully think of something a whole lot nicer when they hear the word. Storm Front is the name of the first book in the The Dresden Files, a series of urban fantasy/detective noir novels.

Storm Front is set in modern-day Chicago. The story’s protagonist, Harry Dresden, is a professional wizard who specialize in missing items, paranormal investigation, and consulting. But he doesn’t do love potions, or children’s parties. You have to draw the line somewhere, right? There are not many real wizards like Harry around. Still, business is slow, and he lives paycheck to paycheck.

Then a damsel in distress steps into his humble office. Monica Sells hires Harry to find her husband, and the scene is set for a fast paced adventure full of magic, spells, demons, faeries, drugs, vampires, love, and sex1.

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2017 in Music, Part Deux.

With the obvious risk of beating a dead horse, I return to last year’s music.

When I wrote the 2017 in Music summary post late last year, I made a point out of the lack of proper data from Last.fm. Now the data is finally here. Actually, the data has been available for over a month now, but thanks to my rather embarrassing posting frequency at the moment over the last year, I haven’t made the time to actually look at them until now.

First, let’s see what the Last.fm general listening summary says about 2017.

For some mysterious reason, I listened to less tracks than in 2016 before we went to France on summer vacation, and more tracks when we returned home. Why I don’t know. What I do know, and the Last.fm numbers make that very clear, is that I mainly listen to music while at work and while commuting. The wast majority of my listening happens during the work week, and between 6 AM and 4 PM, which are my usual commute-work-commute hours.

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February One-liners.

A new month means a couple of new one-liners added to the collection. Here are the new additions for February:

  • The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
  • “I find that people who believe we might be living in a computer simulation tend to be people who I could imagine being simulated most easily by a computer.” — Joi Ito
  • If you cannot explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it.
  • When someone asks me if I’m seeing anyone, I automatically assume they’re talking about a psychiatrist.
  • “There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.” — Mark Twain
  • “The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.” — Mark Twain
  • “Um.” — First horse that got ridden
  • A lot of people cry when they cut onions. The trick is not to form an emotional bond.
  • I wrote a song about a tortilla. Well actually, it’s more of a wrap.
  • My girlfriend and I often laugh about how competitive we are. But I laugh more.
  • Everything is edible, some things are only edible once.
  • Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.
  • Forget world peace. Visualize using your turn signal.
  • Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your mouth is moving.
  • “An escalator cannot break, it can only become stairs.” — Mitch Hedberg
  • “Race is just a pigment of the imagination.” — Glen Highland
  • “I have nothing to declare except my genius.” — Oscar Wilde
  • “I hate when I am about to hug someone really sexy and my face hits the mirror.” – Bill Murray
  • “Love is like a fart. If you have to force it, it’s probably shit.” — Stephen K. Amos
  • “I used to be addicted to swimming but I’m very proud to say I’ve been dry for six years.” — Alfie Moore
  • “How do people make new mates? Asking for a friend.” — Steve Bugeja
  • “People say I’ve got no willpower but I’ve quit smoking loads of times.” — Kai Humphries
  • “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.” — Woody Allen

Firewatch.

Campo Santo’s Firewatch made it to the top of quite a lot of Game of the Year lists back in 2016. As always, I’m a little late to the party, but here’s my quick and dirty Firewatch review.

Firewatch is a first person, mystery adventure game. Released in 2016 – like we’ve already established – it raised quite a few eyebrows, and developer Campo Santo got a lot of awards thrown their way for the effort. One of the things that made Firewatch stand out, was the stunning visuals. The game looks absolutely gorgeous, there’s not doubt about that.

The game sets the scene in the summer of 1989, and you play as Henry, a 40-something who takes a job as a fire lookout in Wyoming. Why would someone want to spend months in the middle of nowhere looking for smoke? In Henry’s case, it’s because he’s having some family issues at home. Reluctant to face these issues, he decides to escape into the woods instead. Very mature, Henry!

But he is not the only fire lookout in the area. On arrival in his tower, Henry is hailed on his walkie-talkie by Delilah, who is working in one of the other towers. They start talking, and after a few days it gets very friendly, as in “don’t-forget-that-you’re-married-Henry”-friendly. But what happens in the middle of the Wyoming wilderness stay in the Wyoming, right? Not when they discover someone is listening in on their conversations, writing down everything they’re saying.

Dum, dum, duuuuum!

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