In a World of My Own Design

Welcome to a piece of my mind I’m pretty sure you’d wish you didn’t know existed.

Imagine if the life that you thought you shared wasn’t really there. It was made up in your mind, could be anyone, anywhere. You’d be living in a world of your own design, undermined. In another place, other space and time.

So goes the first lines of Clean Bandit‘s Dust Clears, a track from their 2014 album New Eyes. The song continues:

Imagine if the friend that you thought you knew wasn’t really true. It just existed in your head, the reflection used wasn’t you.

Even though I listen to a lot of music, I don’t really listen very often. I prefer to work listening to music, and while it might not actually be the case, I imagine that it helps me concentrate. So the majority of the music I listen to is basically advanced background noise.

But sometimes I listen, and when I listened to Dust Clears, a really weird thought began to grind in the back of my mind.

Twenty Twenty

Anders Norén is back with another beautiful theme, Twenty Twenty.

In September last year, I redesigned this site using Anders Norén‘s lovely Hoffman theme. Not only did it give the site a new, fresh look, it also gave me a creative boost. Just days before I started using the new theme, I’d posted that I was about to take a writing hiatus, blaming a lack of joy maintaining this site.

After I started using Norén’s Hoffman theme, however, the steady stream of posts continued through the year. It might be a coincidence, of course, but I suspect that changing things up a bit visually every now and then is good for the old nugget.

As you might have noticed, I’ve now changed the site’s theme again. With the recent release of WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”, Automattic bundled a new default theme, Twenty Twenty.

And, lo and behold, Anders Norén made that theme as well!

Being me, I have made some slight changes to the original theme. But the vast majority of what you’re seeing is still what comes out of the box. I’ll continue to tweak it going forward, and if you spot any nasty bugs, please let me know.

Henri Prestes’ Haunting, Dark World

If you’ve been following this site for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of the Swedish painter Simon Stålenhag. His dystopian, alternative science fiction universes, the one set in 1980’s Sweden in particular, appeals to me in a way no other art do.

Recently I also discovered the works of Portuguese photographer Henri Prestes. From my perspective, I’d describe his style as Stålenhag sans the science fiction, but with a considerable addition of creepiness. Like Stålenhag, Prestes also use lighting to set the mood. But unlike Stålenhag, Prestes does all his work out in the field, with a camera.

Working mostly at night, the photographer roams Portuguese villages with his camera and his 35mm lens. Prestes only goes out in certain weather conditions, and fog and rain is his favorite working environment.

The Other Vegards on The Internet

I used to be the most popular Vegard on the internet. But times sure have changed.

Back in the days, the internet was a beautiful, innocent place. People were (mostly) friendly to each other. No one was manipulating elections. People didn’t deliberately spread lies and misinformation – they were just stupid. And president weren’t threatening nuclear war on Twitter.

It surely was a fine time to be alive. But best of all? I was the most popular Vegard on the internet. If you typed my name into any of the many search engines that was around at the time before the Googleopoly, I’d pop up as the number one search result. Lycos, Yahoo! Search, AltaVista, and WebCrawler, they all said the same: “You, Vegard, you are the most popular Vegard on the Internet!”

It felt good, I’ll tell you that. Even the King of Winter at the time, the Norwegian skier Vegard Ulvang, had nothing on me. But that has changed. Other Vegards have made a name for themselves on the internet. Social media profiles like Vegard Harm, and entertainers like Vegard Ylvisåker, have pushed me from my number one spot. These days I’m lucky if I appear on the first page.

Another reason for my fall from fame is that the internet has become saturated with other Vegards who have launched their own personal websites. And that made me curious! Who are these other non-famous Vegards who have found their way to the wast internet? Do they live as exciting and memorable lives as I do1?

It’s time for some good, old-fashioned internet, everyone!

American Truck Simulator – Utah Review

Here is my American Truck Simulator – Utah review.

SCS Software has just – as in two hours ago – released the fifth map expansion for their critically acclaimed trucking simulator, American Truck Simulator. But is it as good as the previous four expansions?

With both Euro Truck Simulator 2 and American Truck Simulator, SCS Software has released a steady stream of high quality map expansions. The latest expansion for American Truck Simulator, Utah, adds, as the name implies, the great state of Utah to the game. Here are some of the main features of the new map expansion:

  • 3.500 miles of road network
  • 10 major cities, like Salt Lake City, St. George, and Moab
  • New quarries and mines including the largest open excavation Kennecott Copper Mine
  • Expanded oil industry (oil mining sites, oil storage sites)
  • Improved agriculture production chain (country stores, feedmills)
  • Famous landmark sites: Great Salt Lake, Monument Valley, and the Virgin River Canyon
  • Over 260 recognizable natural and man-made landmarks
  • 12 well-known truck stops
  • New and improved process of landscape creation
  • Utah in-game achievements to unlock.