Back Up All The Things Everywhere!

2020 marks the 20th year of me writing incoherent babble on the internet. At least it’s the twenty year anniversary of recorded ramblings.

The first proper website I created was a collection of pictures of the South Korean Playboy model Sung-Hi Lee. I’m not entirely sure when, but I suspect it was in either 1996 or 1997. All I can remember is that I was still in high school. Thanks to some creative search engine manipulation, my humble compilation of nude photos of Ms. Lee – who turns 50 this year – made it all the way to the top three list of the most popular sites hosted by Norway’s largest ISP. Then the ISP nuked the website, and I departed for my year of mandatory military service.

My first personal website was called Central Park West for no other reason than that it sounded cool and classy. I’m not sure when it was launched, but I think it was during my first year at college, so either in 1998 or 1999. After Central Park West came a site on my first personal domain, SnuffCity.com. I have a very vivid memory of taking the name from a song title I saw on the back of a CD cover I had on the desk in my bedroom. The problem with the memory is that, according to the internet, no song with that title had been published at the time.

So where I got SnuffCity.com from, I don’t really know.

2019

It’s the last day of the year, and thus time for the annual bullet point recap.

In summary, MMXIX was the year that…

  • I published 99 posts, 19 more than last year. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t make it to One Hundred. But it’s still the most posts I’ve published in a year since 2012. Everything I’ve ever posted is available in the archive.
  • I managed to take A Picture A Day for the 7th year in a row. I’ve summarized the year of photos in a separate post.
  • The photos I posted got more personal, something I could do because I decided to limit access to the most personal A Picture A Day photos.
  • My plan to read A Book A Month failed. I only finished 11 books in 2019, but some of those books were more than 3 times the size of the ones I usually read. So in terms of number of pages read, 2019 was a raging success. I’ve summarized the year in books in a separate post.
  • I had my gallbladder removed, and had an interesting recovery.
  • The site got a visual overhaul, and I used the default WordPress theme for the first time. It looked awesome at first, but now I’m not that sure anymore.
  • I purchased a pair of Sony WH1000XM3 wireless Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones. They were freakishly expensive, but, man, I’m working in an open plan office, and now I have no idea how I managed to get anything done before I got them.
  • According to Endomondo, I spent too much time on my ass. I only ran 151 kilometer (~94 miles) on the treadmill, which is well under half the distance I covered in 2018. The main reason for this massive decline is that I sold the treadmill in August, and replaced it with a rowing machine. Unfortunately, I only managed around 66 kilometers (~41 miles) of rowing before that thing with the gallbladder surfaced.
  • I got to test drive a Test Model 3. It’s a very nice car, but it’s too small for us. Our next car will be an electric vehicle, though.
  • We had solar panels installed on the roof of our house. The production level was great during the summer, but it’s been absolutely terrible for the last couple of months. No big surprise, really, since there’s been virtually no direct sunlight on the panels because of clouds and snow.
  • I bought my first piece of art, which I haven’t manage to frame yet.
  • After a lot of discussion with local authorities and the private road association, we finally managed to get speed bumps installed on the road outside our house. The road is actually defined as a bicycle path, but drivers don’t give a crap about that. The speed bumps helped a lot, though. Hurray!
  • Our new lawn finally started to grow after last year’s drought.
  • New one-liners were added to the collection on the first of every month. It now holds well over two thousand curated, high-quality one-liners.
  • Was supposed to be The Year of The Concerts. I did go to two concerts, which is many times more than the previous years (0). But both concerts were with the same band, The Midnight, so I’m not sure if I’m ready to proclaim The Year of The Concerts wildly successful. Both The Wife and I (first concert) and Hans Olav and I (second concert) enjoyed ourselves, though.
  • The family spent the summer at the lovely Daftö resort.
  • I became pro-nuclear, tried to figure out exactly how carbon offsetting works, and wrote a long post about how Norway should use its dirty oil money.
  • After deleting my Facebook account (for the second time) in 2018, I deleted my Instagram account this year. You should, too, because Facebook is a threat to everyone in so many ways that you can’t even imagine.
  • I also deleted my Blizzard account because of the way they “handled” pro-Hong Kong activism. You should delete your Blizzard account, too.
  • I wrote two more posts in my narrative Let’s Play Cities: Skylines series about Springwood. Personally, I find the posts rather entertaining, but I fear most of you don’t share that sentiment. You can make up your own mind by reading The Rise of Springwood and The Fall of Springwood.
  • I also wrote a narrative Let’s Play RimWorld post, The Second Tale of a Doomed Colony. It’s totally ha-ha-funny. Seriously.
  • The decentralized web, FLOSS, and freedom of speech were topics I spent a lot of time pondering. Welcome to the Fediverse, Technology Won’t Save Us, and Free Speech & FLOSS vs the Alt-Right are just a few of the posts I wrote about the subjects.
  • I put quite a bit of time and effort into figuring out what my ultimate gaming rig is. In the end, I didn’t buy one, though.
  • Password managers were finally something I dived into. You should, too.
  • Many people, including me, started to get aware of how unethical our mobile phones are. So I decided my next one will be a Fairphone 3.

Looking back, 2019 was a surprisingly political year for me. I voted the Green Party in the Municipal and County Council Elections, we had the solar panels installed on the roof, I raved about freedom of speech, embraced the decentralized web, and even deleted some online accounts because of politics. If I was a little less shy of confrontations, I might have written even more about these topics. But there’s always a risk that people actually end up reading my incoherent ramblings, and start to talk back to me. Like that pilot did once.

All in all, 2019 wasn’t too bad. Here’s to an even better 2020.

Here are summaries from previous years: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

A Picture A Day 2019

As you’ve probably realized, ’tis the season not only to be jolly, but to sum up the year. How did my A Picture A Day project do in 2019?

2019 was another good year for the A Picture A Day project. I managed to post a picture every day, and that was my one and only goal.

This year, I’ve also added a new feature to the A Picture A Day project. Every now and then I post personal stuff, like a picture of the kids. Since I started the project in 2013, I’ve become a lot more privacy conscious. Facebook, Google, and all the other technical behemoths whose business is based solely on selling your most private secrets to the highest bidder, have thought me the value of tightening the control of what I share. Posting pictures of people online without their consent is also a major no-no. I could of course the my kids’ consent, but they don’t really understand what it means yet.

Because of all this, I’ve locked down the personal photos I post so that they are only available to those of you who have been granted access. The technical details if outlined in the post A More Private A Picture A Day. It’s quite simple, though. If you want access, just click on one of the pictures with a padlock on them, enter your e-mail address, and you’ll go through a not-so-thorough manual vetting process that might end up in you getting access.

A Gallbladder Update

It’s been a while now since my surgery, so I guess it’s time for an update. Be warned, though; this is going to be both detailed and messy.

The keyhole surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) went just fine. I laid down, was told to take a deep breath, and then I woke up again without my gallbladder, but with four surprisingly tiny bandages on my stomach. The gallstones they’d pulled out of the gallbladder was sitting neatly in a container on a table besides the bed. They ranged from pea to marble in shape and size, so there was no doubt about the cause of my stomach pains. The round shape of the gallstones has probably saved me from some pain. The same amount of gallstones in a more gravel like substance – which is common – would potentially have caused a lot more agony. Then again, less pain had allowed a chronic inflammation of the gallbladder to get a foothold.

Anyway.

This was not something that would go away by popping pills. Even though having had an internal organ removed feels pretty damn weird, I’m glad it’s out.

So the surgery went fine, but the recover phase has been a bit more interesting.

Gallbladder B Gone!

So, over the last six month, I’ve had increasing problems with my inner plumbing. Sometime, after meals, I’ve felt a weird pressure in my upper belly. Four or five times, particularly after eating a lot of food in the evening, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with a pretty severe bellyache. A couple of times it’s been so bad that going back to sleep hasn’t been an option, and I’ve spent a couple of hours of the night on the bathroom floor, waiting for the pain to go away.

When it became obvious that this wasn’t something that would go away by itself, I decided to go see my doctor. Based on what I told him, he did an ultrasound examination to check the liver and the gallbladder. The liver looked just fine, but the gallbladder didn’t appear on his office equipment.

So I was told to go to a clinic with better ultrasound equipment a week or so later, and the guy who examined me there found the missing gallbladder. He also found a ton of gallstones in the bladder1.