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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It’s the last day of 2017. Somehow time managed to move at a relatively steady pace for another year.

In summary, MMXVII was the year that…

  • I wrote the lowest number of post since the beginning of recorded history. With 39 published posts, I’m way below an average of a post a week, which is embarrassing. I started quite a few new posts that never saw the light of day, though. Currently, I have 21 different drafts from 2017 laying around. But what’s the point if I don’t manage to follow through and finish them? There are a lot of relatively good reasons for that, however, and they’ll become apparent as you make your way through the rest of this list.
  • The A Picture A Day project made it through the year. 365 shiny new photos added to the history of la familia and I.
  • I also managed to keep the A Book A Month project alive, and finished 13 books. Reading takes time, and this site suffered a bit because of that. I would have finished 14 if it wasn’t for the fact that December book turned out to such a drag. I wrote reviews of three of this year’s books. Any diligent reader would also have written a year-in-review post about the books he’d read, but no.
  • While we’re on the subject of reviews; I managed to cram out 12 new ones this year – roughly 1/3 of this year’s posts.
  • The one-liners collection continued to grow in size, with six new batches being added this year.
  • I spent more time gaming that I usually do this year. Stellaris and Euro Truck Simulator 2 got most of that gaming time. And this site suffered a bit because of that.
  • The bucket list got revised, and went from 100 to 87 items.
  • Our little family grew from three to four members. Hedda is 7 months old already, time sure flies. Having two kids sure takes a lot of time, and life becomes – if possible – even more characterized by routine and planning than with one kid. And this site suffered a bit because of that.
  • The whole family went to France this summer for the wedding of my sister-in-law and the French love of her life. Traveling with two tiny people who can’t take care of themselves was interesting.
  • While in France, we spent a week in a mold infested Airbnb. I wrote a damning review of the place! Of course I did.
  • I ran a few kilometers on the treadmill. Running takes time, and this site suffered a bit because of that. But I ran far from as much I’d have wanted. For that, too, I have loads of good excuses: With the birth of Hedda, normal life came to a halt. Then, as things normalized, it got too cold in the basement for the treadmill to work properly. When I finally managed to drag it into a room with heating, I came down with a long lasting cold. All good excuses.
  • Work started to clear out the jungle that took up most of our property. The plan is to make a proper garden next spring.
  • We discovered that there are tasty alternatives to meat.

All in all, 2017 was a good year. While nothing out of the ordinary happened, and historians won’t be writing many books about my year, I wouldn’t say it was uneventful. With two little kids, life is never uneventful. Or even remotely predictable even if we tried our best to make it so.

Here are summaries from previous years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

A Picture A Day 2017.

As we’re slowly edging closer to the end of the year, it’s time for another of the classic summaries: A Picture A Day 2017.

I started taking a picture every day on January 1st, 2013. By the end of 2017, I’ve posted 1461 pictures, but taken far more than that. From time to time, I’ve toyed with the idea of updating the A Picture A Day calendar to allow for multiple pictures to be posted on a single day. But I suspect that one glimpse into my life per day is more than enough for most people.

Like I do every year, I’d strongly recommend, nay, urge everyone of you to start taking a picture every day as well. Looking at the pictures is a great memory booster, and I often remember other events from the same day as well. Most of them are quite fond memories, which is perhaps why I go on about everyone having to take their own pictures every year.

But enough about that. Here are a few selected, and randomly ordered, highlights from 2017’s A Picture A Day:

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100 Things Revisited.

Let’s rewind to 2004. I’m sitting in a loft in Grünerløkka, Oslo’s hottest neighborhood for the city’s young, urban, up-and-commers. Together with two former colleagues I’ve just founded a startup, and like with many startups, work is all-consuming, leaving little time for other adventures. The only way for me to do other things is to set some goals. That’s when The List is born.

The List contains 100 things I want to do before I croak. Also known as a bucket list1, its items range from the most trivial things (#93: Write on a wall), to some more complicated endeavors (#60: Save a life). The List has gone through a few minor modifications since it’s inception. Some of the items on the original list were pretty far fetched, like the original #14: Rob a bank. Seriously? The original #56 wasn’t any better: Witness the production of porn in person. In my feeble defense, I was in my mid-twenties, heavily overworked, and desperately sex deprived.

The items on the list should be at least semi-realistic. It’s great to have ambitious goals, but as life changes, the odds that I will actually be able to check off some of the currently non-checked items on the list is pretty damn slim. That’s why, as I’m pushing 40, it’s time to have a good, long, hard look at The List again.

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I’m a Coward.

What do you do when you have a lot to say, but don’t dare to say it?

Right now I have 32 unfinished blog posts laying around – including this one. 32 incomplete gems in the making, screaming for my attention. Some of them are properly aged, with the most ancient draft being a long post I wrote late 2011 about how I reverse engineered the Tidal Android app. Back then, it was called WiMP, and annoyingly it lacked proper head phone audio control support. But that wasn’t something a little hacking couldn’t fix, right? On my way through the code, I discovered clear text API passwords, and other funky stuff that probably shouldn’t be made public. So the post was never left the drawing board. There are also a bunch of incomplete reviews in the sea of unfinished posts, seasoned with drafts that aren’t much more than quick notes I’ve made whenever an idea has tried to form in my head.

In the collection of neglected treasure, there are also about 10 opinion pieces. They are written on a variety of topics, from my thoughts on a proposed ban on porn sites, to science fiction-esque gene manipulation with CRISPR. Among the many drafts, these opinion posts are the ones I’d like to spend some time and energy to finish.

But it doesn’t just take effort to voice ones opinions, defending them can be outright exhausting. Particularly if you’re like me – an conflict adverse, unskilled debater.

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