Henrik Carlsson's Blog

An iPhone without a headphone jack

There are strong rumors flying around the internet saying that the next iPhone will lack a traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack. If that is the case I will be sad. If Apple does this and keeps it up in the future, my next phone will likely be an iPhone SE (that has a headphone jack) and thereafter I’ll switch away from Apple. I don’t want to do that and since so far this is only a rumor, I don’t need to worry about it today.

Among the articles I’ve read on the topic, I think Jason Snell’s ”Searching for a good reason to remove the headphone jack” on Six Colors is the best.

I’d like to add extra emphasize to the way a (so far hypothetical) removal of the 3.5 mm jack would impact the audio and music business in a bad way. In recording studios all over the world, there are people connecting their phones to big, expensive mixing consoles. We do this for instance to be able to listen to reference material when making a recording. Same is true in the live sound world. In PAs everywhere there are phones connected to the Front-of-House mixers being used to play music that the engineer needs to calibrate the PA properly. So far this has been pretty straight forward, since every phone, every tablet and every laptop that I know of has a 3.5 mm jack.

So regardless of what (brand of) device people might use in your studio/PA, you can count on the 3.5 mm tele plug to be the simplest solution.

If Apple removes the headphone jack we will have a more stressful work-environment, with more crap to keep track of and more adapters to loose.

So please, say it isn’t so.

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I’m taking a break from Twitter

I’ve felt for a while now that it is time for me to step away from Twitter, maybe not forever but at least for a few months.

I don’t like what Twitter does to me. I obsessively check it at every available moment. That might in it self not be a problem, but the stuff that I read there doesn’t make me happy, doesn’t stimulate me and doesn’t in any way make my life better. It just makes me angry. I get angry about the things that I read and then I feel a need to make angry or sarcastic remarks about it and thereby feeding back into the toxic hell-stew.

I seem like a really grumpy guy on Twitter, and that is a role I’m not that comfortable to play at the moment. Therefore I deleted all Twitter apps on my phone last Thursday (June 30th).

The fact that I’ve been off Twitter for a few days might seem strange, particularly since you most likely are reading this because you followed a link on Twitter, posted days after June 30th. That’s because I have a cross-posting plugin on my blog. That plugin will continue to cross-post everything I blog to Twitter as well. Through the magic of Bridy, your replies to my posts will also keep being backfed to the blog. But I will not read my Twitter timeline at all during this break.

Instead, I will read more stuff via RSS and I will try to blog more and about more diverse things. I also want to post more microcasts. If I can get a reliable cross-posting mechanism working I’ll probably also get back into Anchor. You can also still find me on Instagram, at least for now.

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Ett svar till Christoffer (@c_vilander)

Three hours later, trying to figure out how (if even possible) to add a ’Action Segue: Show’ from a cell to a View Controller …

Christoffer Vilander (@c_vilander) on Twitter

Om jag förstår det du försöker göra rätt, och om jag minns rätt vilket inte är någon garanti, så ska du skapa en segue i dina storyboards från din UITableView till vyn som du vill visa. (Ctrl-dra från TableView till målet.) Sen ger din segue en ”identifier”.

Sen har jag inte koll på hur det ska se ut i Swift men i Objective-C så hade jag gjort så här i TableViewController.m:

Hoppas att det var svar på din fråga och att det hjälper.

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Jessica Jones

Ikväll började jag titta på Jessica Jones på Netflix. Har inte vetat nåt om vad det är eller vad jag ska förvänta mig men eftersom det sagts så mycket positivt om det så blev jag nyfiken.
Efter ett avsnitt tycker jag att det verkar vara riktigt bra. Spännande, coolt och till och med gripande.

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My frustration with Twitter, succinctly summarized by Dave Winer (and than commented way too rambly by me)

Yesterday Dave Winer made a harsh comment regarding twitter.

Everyone: When you ask ”Isn’t that what Twitter already does?” the answer is no. Twitter does nothing well because of the 140-char limit.

You might even say Twitter does nothing. The Seinfeld of social networks.The province of snorts and gusts. Miscreant sarcasm and trollery.

– Dave Winer on Twitter, 2016-05-13. (first paragraph, second paragraph)

At first this might sound like an oversimplification but it resonated with me. Twitter is making me increasingly frustrated these days. The 140 character limit might, might, have been a good thing to differentiate it at first but today I think that it’s one of the core problems of the service.

A hundred-and-forty character limit is actively harming nuanced discussions. Once you start tweeting directly to one person it gets even worse since precious characters are eaten up by the username of that person. So instead of discussion we get people screaming simplified messages into the void, we get Trump, we get people calling someone who tries to argue for something a racist, or a sexist, or a social justice warrior, a communist, a fascist, etc. Whatever name you find is properly insulting you use to smear the those who seems to not agree with you. When there’s not enough room to question or to debate you get name-calling.

I’m guilty of this as well. I’m also guilty of not speaking up and not questioning in a lot of cases. There have been so many times that I thought of something that I wanted to express, so many times that I wanted to ask follow-up questions to someone who wrote something that I didn’t agree with and so many of those times I chose not to. Because I couldn’t fit it within the limits of twitter without botching the message completely. So instead I kept shut.

So why do I keep using twitter? Probably because so many of my friends and people whose opinions I care about are there, and so much of the news that I read comes to me this way.

Fortunately the latter obstacle is not that much of a problem. I’m still an avid RSS user and I could replace a lot of my news sources on Twitter with various RSS feeds and readers. In part I am doing that already since I’ve more or less unfollowed every single account tweeting about Swedish politics or Swedish news. Instead I keep the RSS feed of some Swedish newspapers in my river of news.

Same thing goes for a lot of tech news as well.

The first problem, that so many of my friends and people who’s voices I care about is on Twitter is a bigger issue. I am actually after all these years contemplating joining Facebook. Maybe that would help me to keep up with my friends. In a way, I think it would be better for this than Twitter is.

As for the people who I’m not a real-life friend, who might not even follow and/or be interested in me, with but whose opinions matter to me, I think all of us – everyone who’s expressing strong opinions on the internet – should be better at expressing us on our own publishing space as well. More blogs, more of the indieweb.

This post got a lot more rambly than I planned. I’d actually only planned to quote Dave and to leave a sentence or two as a comment but things doesn’t always turn out the way we’ve planned.

So I have no great way of ending the post. No call to action for you, the reader or for myself. I guess I’ll get back on this topic.

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Using and AirPort Express as a wired extension to an AirPort Extreme

Part of moving into the new house off course involves setting up the wired and wireless network for the home. Since I have both an Apple AirPort Extreme and an Airport Express, and since the house is too big for the wireless network from one to cover all of it, I wanted to use the latter to extend the formers wifi. I’ve struggled with this previously and failed.

This time I decided not to quit until it worked. There’s just no way this can’t be done, right?

After some googling I found a webpage that helped me on the way, Airport Express as an extender. (Apple.com).

The way to do it is to connect a Cat5e/Cat6 wire between one of the ports of the Extreme and the port1 of the Express. So far, so good.

Then, and here’s the catch, you setup the Extreme as a wifi access point. Once it’s up and running you setup the Express and the important thing is to not set it up as an extension of an existing network. Instead you should set it up as a new network, give it a unique device name and then use the same network name and password as you did on the Extreme. Finally you set the Express to work in bridge mode.2

Is you do these steps it should work. Yay!

  1. I have the older Express that only has one Ethernet port. 
  2. Apple calls this ”roaming” and you can read more about it in the manual

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DC exhausting all possibilities

This is an old Los Angeles Times article about Batman Begins and with hindsight, this is an amazing quote from David S. Goyer, who wrote the screenplay:

”Batman Vs. Superman” is where you go when you admit to yourself that you’ve exhausted all possibilities,” says Goyer

Guess who wrote the screenplay for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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Ett svar till Emils svar till mitt svar

Min ursprungliga post – En kommentar till ”Refactoring Loops and Conditionals”

Emil svarade genom ett par tweets, som jag här satt samman till ett sammanhängande citat för tydlighetens skull.

Jag tycker han gör det rätt fram tills han blandar in collection. Även om collection är helt guld så blir det i det där fallet inte lättare att förstå. Men bort med switchen och in med en array istället. Helt klart.

och tredjepartslibraries är ju väldigt vanligt sedan Composer slog igenom. Om man inte utnyttjar det är man korkad. 🙂

Jag håller med om att det i det här fallet inte är något fel att byta ut ett Switch-statement mot en Array, så jag tror att vi är mer eller mindre överens.

Sen kan jag absolut se värdet av tredjepartsramverk. Dock medför de en högre tröskel för förståelse för den som läser koden i efterhand eftersom den förutsätter en förtrogenhet med det aktuella ramverket. Och visst, idag använder ”alla” Laravel men om två år är det något annat som ”alla” använder. Huvudproblemet här skulle jag säga är att PHP har så dåliga interna typer att man som utvecklare så lätt frestas att förlita sig på en tredjepart för något så grundläggande som en ”Collection”-klass.

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En kommentar till ”Refactoring Loops and Conditionals”

Min vän Emil twittrade nyss följande:

Dagens lunchfilm för dig som programmerar PHP.
Diskutera i grupp.

Emil Österlund, 2016-04-27

Jag fick en stor lust att, precis som Emil uppmanar till, diskutera det som visades i videon, och eftersom 140 tecken inte är en särskilt bra grogrund för nyanserad diskussion så tänkte jag blogga om det istället. (Just nu skriver jag på svenska för att i första hand diskutera med Emil. Eventuellt översätter jag det hela till engelska vid ett senare tillfälle om det visar sig vara intressant.)

Låt mig börja med att säga att jag är helt övertygad om att Adam Wathan som har gjort videon är en mycket mera kunnig PHP-utvecklare, och säkert programmerare i största allmänhet, än vad jag är. Jag är bara en glad amatör. Så jag vill inte påstå att han är okunnig, att hans lösning är idiotisk. Det är säkert jag som missförstått nåt men tills jag förstår mer så har jag några invändningar. Dessa kan sammanfattas under rubriken:


Varför denna refaktorisering1? Vad vinner vi på den? Blir koden mycket snabbare att exekvera? Blir den lättare att uppdatera?

Jag skulle påstå att den definitivt blir svårare att förstå. Kanske inte för den som redan programmerar på avancerad nivå, och visst ”det är lätt om en kan”, men omstruktureringen fick koden att gå från något som var fullt läsbart för den som är en nybörjare inom programmering till totalt obegripligt för den inte redan invigde.

”Switch”-statements och loopar kanske inte är så snygga att titta på men det är glasklart vad de gör. Jag skulle kunna visa den ursprungliga koden för de 12-åringar som vi (Emil, jag och andra) på fritiden undervisar i grundläggande programmering och annat och barnen skulle ha förstått allt redan under första lektionen. De refaktoriserade resultatet skulle kräva många lektioner för att förstå, inklusive en lektion i ett tredjepartsramverk eftersom den vanliga array-datatypen i PHP inte anses vara bra nog.2

Vi har bytt bort lättförståelig kod, så vad fick vi istället?3 Adam Wathan påstår att han gör koden mera ”simple” och ”clean” men jag förstår inte på vilket sätt det är sant. Det blev mindre kod men är det verkligen samma sak som ”simple” och ”clean”. Det är säkert Objective C-programmeraren i mig som talar men jag är ett fan av kod som är tydlig och lättförståelig, även om det innebär att den är längre och mera mångordig än vad som vore nödvändigt för samma funktion.

(Also linked from Twitter.)

  1. ”Internet” påstår att det här är rätt översättning. 
  2. Jag kan i och för sig hålla med om att ”Array” inom PHP är ett stort jävla mörker, vilket jag insåg när jag började med Objective C och såg hur vackert NSArray och NSDictionary fungerade där. Men PHP-kverulansen sparar jag till en annan dag. 
  3. Det är alltså en ärlig fråga, inte ett sarkastiskt uttalande. Jag vet inte vad vi vinner på den nya koden. 

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Första kvällen i huset

Nu är vi på plats i huset. ”Vi” är jag, Linn, Iris och min bror som är här och hjälper oss med flytten. Vi har kört ett rejält lass hit till huset idag så vi har allt vi behöver men just nu är det lite svårt att veta var någonting är. Fyrtio kartonger betyder att det finns gott om ställen att leta på. 🙂

Vi har även byggt ihop ett gäng möbler och har massor kvar och i morgon ska vi hämta ännu mer prylar och förhoppningsvis ska jag även få fart på det trådlösa nätverket i huset.

Det kan även vara så att vi så småningom får roa oss med att klättra på taket och sätta upp en tv-antenn. En av de många tjusningarna med ett helt nytt hus är ju att det inte finns några antenner eller nåt på det. Fiber finns draget in i huset och det är den vägen vi kommer konsumera merparten av den tv vi tittar på. Jag vill inte skaffa någon box och/eller något abonnemang från någon kabeltv-leverantör men jag vill att vi om möjligt ska kunna titta på sändningar från SVT och TV4, även om internetuppkopplingen av någon anledning slutar fungera. Så därav en vanlig tv-antenn för marksänd digital-tv. Stay tuned för mer av det äventyret. (I’ll see myself out.)

Hursomhelst så känns det väldigt, väldigt bra att sitta vid köksbordet, visserligen ett väldigt rörigt köksbord men ändå, i sitt eget hus och njuta av en öl och av tystnaden. Ingen vältrafikerad bilväg som stör, inga grannar som låter genom väggarna som vi delar. Ingen vändplan där raggarbilarna står och brötar ut bas. Bara värmepannan som surrar i bakgrunden. (Det kan vara så att jag behöver köpa en tjockare dörr till tvättstugan där pannan sitter, annars kanske jag så småningom blir sinnessjuk.)

Det är mycket kvar att göra innan allt är klart inne i huset och trädgården är en enda ler- och stenhög just nu men det känns att det kommer bli väldigt bra och jag trivs redan.

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Scrolling a UIView to keep the keyboard from obstructing the view of the current UITextField

Wow, that’s an unwieldy title!

Anyway, during some spare time today I’ve struggled with something in Objective C and Cocoa Touch that I’ve been struggling with before. When a UITextField in an iOS app becomes ”active”, allowing the user to enter text, almost half of the screen gets covered by the software keyboard. That’s all well and good, but that keyboard is likely to obstruct the view of something, maybe even of the UITextField in question and that’s not good.

To avoid this problem, I the developer am supposed to move or resize (or something) the view. There are multiple questions about this on StackOverflow and multiple answers. After some digging and a lot of trial and error I came up with a solution that differed at least somewhat from all other solutions that I could find. As far as I can tell my solution works and it’s pretty short in terms of code, which I like.

I don’t know, maybe it’s a bad solution. If so, please let me know.

The solution

First, embed all the views that need to move inside a UIScrollView.

In my case I have multiple UITextFields that needs to move so I placed them all inside a UIScrollView. I then added the following property to my ViewController:

This property is updated on textFieldShouldBeginEditing like so:

Then , in my viewDidLoad I added the following two observers:

These will trigger the methods keyboardDidShow and keyboardDidHide when the keyboard appears and disappears respectively. It is in those methods that ”the magic” happens:


As I said, this works but it’s very possible that it’s a bad solution. If you like the solution, feel free to use it. If you think it’s bad, please tell me so and why so that I can learn and become a better programmer.

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Det gör mig så ledsen

Jag mår så dåligt varje gång jag ser ett reportage om flyktingarna som förtvivlat försöker ta sig till Europa och jag hatar våra politiker som fokuserar på att göra det svårare för dem, istället för att fokusera på asylrätten och på att rädda liv.
Förhoppningsvis så kommer åtminstone historiens dom över dagens europeiska ledare bli stenhård.

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Apple vs The US Government, or I stand with Tim

As most of you probably know by now the FBI has demanded that Apple build a new version of iOS with a backdoor in place. This iOS version is ostensibly only meant to be used on an iPhone 5C owned by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

Tim Cook, Apples CEO, has publicly refused this.

First off, let me say that I agree with and fully support Cook in this. Good work Tim!

Second, if it wasn’t so serious it would be quite funny that suddenly private corporations go all in on defending civil liberties from the government. Should the government be the ones doing the defending of liberties?

This is a really important line in the sand than Cook is drawing. I’m not sure that Apple can uphold their stance in the long-run, but I hope I’m wrong and that they can.

As other people have said, the FBI has chosen this case wise to get the legal precedent they want. Nobody sympathizes with the San Bernardino terrorists so it’s easy to make a straw man argument about Apple being evil for being more interested in protecting terrorists than ”the American people”. But we need to realize that this is not about the San Bernardino case. This is about US federal agencies wanting the technical help and legal precedent to do whatever they want with the private data of whoever they want.

Where are the other tech giants? Why aren’t Microsoft, Facebook and Google lining up next to Apple? So far the only CEO that I’ve seen taking a firm stance on this is Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp

I have always admired Tim Cook for his stance on privacy and Apple’s efforts to protect user data and couldn’t agree more with everything said in their Customer Letter today. We must not allow this dangerous precedent to be set. Today our freedom and our liberty is at stake.

Some links

Here are some good articles on the topic:

Or just look at ”the front page” of Daring Fireball. John has collected a lot of good links and quotes.

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Please Anchor, be a good citizen of the open web

I’ve tried Anchor today. It’s a service that let’s its users post short audio posts, like Twitter but for audio. Or put more accurately, it allows its users to make short-form podcasts. I thought it was really fun to use, and discussing a topic on it with a friend seemed much more fruitful that doing the same thing on Twitter.

The setup procedure in the app was simple and as far as I know there are no easier way of recording a piece of audio and broadcasting it ”to the people”. (Note the quotes.)

However, there are quite enough silos around already and I really don’t like to lock myself into yet another one. I want to own the data – or content if you prefer – that I create. Therefore I’d like the following:

I also want to mix and match sources. I want to be able to consume similar content in one app, not having to constantly switch from one app to the other just because people lock their content in various silos.

As I said in the beginning, what Anchor does is provide a way to easily record short-form podcasts and publishing them to the people following you. There is nothing about this that is new from a podcasting perspective. What is new, is how easy they’ve made it. I love that! But since they are podcasts I want to treat them as such. I want people to be able to listen to the things I publish even if they don’t have, never have had, nor ever will get, an account on Anchor.

So I would like Anchor to provide a way for its users to use the content they – the users that is – create outside of the Anchor. The simplest way to do this, that almost certainly would require very little effort on Anchor’s part, is to have some sort of feed for each user of the service. Making those feeds RSS feeds with <enclosure> elements would make them compatible with pretty much all podcatchers that are currently in use.

That would make the service so much less of a silo. It would mean that other people could listen to my stuff outside of Anchor and I could interleave the ”Waves”1 of people on Anchor with other short- or long-form podcasts that I listen to. It would also mean that I could set up automation to cross-post my waves to my own site.

And it wouldn’t even have to be RSS/XML. Any kind of easily parseable feed available without authentication would do for me. Once upon a time even Twitter provided this function for its users tweets and it was great.

Sure, it would be nice to have a posting API for Anchor and it would be equally nice to have a way of using their app to post directly to another service, or to my own blog, but the simple act of adding feeds would take them so far along the way of becoming good citizens of the open web. And I want them to be that since I thought the app and service was great, but I don’t want to lock up my content.

One good thing about it is that there are more or less easily accessible URLs for each Wave. Unfortunately, those URLs are not easily crawlable for the media they are meant to display.

I’ve asked Anchor, both on Anchor and on Twitter, whether they are going to add feeds or not. So far I’ve not gotten a respons. If you who read this also finds this important, please ask them about it you too. (They are @anchor on Twitter.)

So please Anchor, please, be a part of the open web. In your Medium posts you claim to be ”the world’s first true public radio”. Make this real by actually making the content created by your users public. Embrace feeds, embrace the open web.

  1. A post on Anchor is called a wave

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So I have a question for Anchor…

Does the service have an API? Or a way to listen to peoples waves inside a regular pod catcher? Do the people behind Anchor intend to play nice with the open web or is this just another silo that want to usurp the web?

I’ve searched their help and found nothing regarding APIs or XML/RSS.

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More Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Iris and me have been watching Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales. I was really entertained by the first episode and found it hilarious at times. Unfortunately the rest of the episodes where not as great.

The plot of the show is just an excuse to let Threepio retell episodes I – VI. The retelling of The Phantom Menace was amazing. It managed to parody all the things that are silly in that movie. The other prequel-retelling was okay, but not as funny as Episode I and once the series started retelling the original trilogy I felt like the funny moments were fewer and further between. I guess the jokes in ”Droid Tales” are very cheap and a bit lazy, which works as long as the movies they riff on are so lazily written but once they face better movies it just starts seeming cheap, rather than fun.1

Anyway, watch an episode or two of ”Droid Tales” but if you find them losing their way a few episodes in it’s okay to stop. There are plenty of other things to watch on Netflix.

  1. Please note that I do not imply that episodes II and III are better than The Phantom Menace. I actually believe that Episode I is the least terrible of the prequels. 

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Building a WordPress plugin

Today I started working on a WordPress plugin (I’ll tell you more about it soon). To do that I needed to brush up a bit on my plugin-writing skills. I’ve always found making WordPress plugins unnecessary frustrating but as I searched for some articles about it today I found this:

Since WordPress 2.8, building widgets has been a matter of extending WordPress’ own widget class, WP_Widget, resulting in your custom widget only having to focus on 4 main functions:

  1. Initialisation (__construct) – handles actions to take when the widget is first created such as enqueueing specific javascript or stylesheets in the output
  2. Front-end display (widget) – handles the generation of the widget’s HTML output
  3. Back-end form (form) – handles the generation of the form controls that make up the widgets edit interface in the Admin interface
  4. Update (update) – handles the form submission from the back-end form, updating stored data as necessary

How To Build WordPress Widgets Like A Pro – WPMU DEV

I had completely missed this. In my mind plugins was still this boiler-plate filled bag of hurt. Instead all you got to do is subclassing WP_Widget and replacing a couple of methods. Wow!

As I took the approach suggested in the article and based my code on the sample code in it, I got up and running super-quick. A beta version of the plugin is actually running on my local machine already, after maybe an hours worth of work. The fact that it was so easy makes me very happy and gives me the urge to write more plugins.

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Gentlemen & Gangsters

Jag hade tänkt rekommendera tv-serien Gentlemen & Gangsters som sändes i SVT runt nyår men det verkar tyvärr som att tiden då den finns på svtplay har tagit slut. Så du får helt enkelt hitta den på andra sätt.

Gentlemen & Gangsters är en filmatisering av Klas Östergrens böcker Gentlemen och Gangsters. Två olika böcker som släpptes med tjugofem års mellanrum. Gentlemen släpptes som film sent 2014 och nu har den alltså klippts samman med Gangstersmaterialet och gjorts till en miniserie om totalt sex timmar.

Jag började läsa Gentlemen för många år sedan och det är en sådan bok som tog otroligt lång tid att slutföra, inte för att den var dålig eller tungläst utan tvärtom för att den var så intressant och förtjänade att ta tid. I slutänden fick jag ta till ljudboken inläst av Björn Kjellman för att ta mig i mål första december 2014. Det är en brokig rövarhistoria om författaren Klas Östergrens möte med, och skildring av, bröderna Henry och Leo Morgan och om Sverige från fyrtiotal hela vägen fram till sjuttiotalets slut. Det är en historia som tar väldiga turer och som är proppfull med bikaraktärer varav somliga aldrig riktigt får ett avslut. En fantastisk bok helt enkelt!

Jag såg tv-serien när den sändes och fastnade för historien igen. Jag misstänker att serien kan vara rörig för den som inte läst åtminstone en av böckerna, eftersom det är så otroligt mycket som ska klämmas in på kort tid. Men den är spännande och framförallt otroligt snygg och stämningsfull.

I och med tittandet på serien fick jag alltså uppleva Gangsters också. Den delen av historien har jag svårare att komma överens med och sättet på vilken den får läsaren/tittaren att totalt omvärdera Gentlemen på är inte bara bra. Men jag är nyfiken, nyfiken på hur berättelsen är i bokform. Så idag har jag börjat lyssna på en ljudboksversion av Gangsters, läst av Reine Brynolfsson. Hittills har jag inga åsikter om den men det ska bli spännande att uppleva den.

Just det, jag höll på att glömma. Det var fantastiskt att i serien äntligen få höra Europa, Vittrande fragment. Vackert.

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I saw The Force Awakens a second time, this time in IMAX 3D

Once again there will be spoilers for Star Wars, The Force Awakens.

A few weekends ago my brother, his girlfriend and me went to see The Force Awakens in the IMAX theater at ”Mall of Scandinavia” in Stockholm. It was an interesting experience since it’s the first feature film that I ever saw in iMax and also the first time I saw a whole movie in 3D.

I am nearsighted and ever since I started wearing glasses I think going to a movie in a theater lost something for me. I can easily start obsessing over almost non-existing smudge on my glasses, to the point that I loose focus on the movie. This problem has been solved since I stared using contact lenses.

Why do I tell you about this? Because the 3D makes this problem a problem again and in a big way. Not only am I wearing glasses again, I’m wearing glasses that has been used and smudged by someone else. Given the look of the glasses the person using them before me must have tried to wipe them clean using a potato chip. So the glasses were gross and that took me out of the movie from time to time.

Even disregarding that, the 3D didn’t do it for me at all. I think it made the movie seem less real, not more as I hope is the intent. It is something about when the depth of a shot, and size of a person in it doesn’t match the apparent distance to which he/she is standing from me that makes my brain cringe. In 2D a great movie can feel like I’m watching actual events unfold. In 3D The Force Awakens felt more like watching a video game from time to time.

Ignoring the 3D, rewatching the movie was great. I had been slightly worried that it would be as great the second time but I do think it was. Yes I laughed/gasped slightly less at somethings but I also feel like I appreciated the story and the whole of it more.

In my earlier review I criticized the movie for the Starkiller Base plot-point.

Which brings me to the Episode IV rehashing. The whole idea of this new super weapon (The ”Starkiller”) and the comparison between it and the Death Star felt silly. I think the plot didn’t need this. The search for the map to Luke Skywalker had been enough for me. That would probably also meant that the filmmaker had found a better way to get the story to the point of the meeting between him and Rey.

It felt really jarring when a super-weapon was suddenly fired after General Hux’s Hitler speech and felt the whole operation against it felt rushed. I felt a whole lot less of this is the second viewing. Now that I knew there would be a super-weapon the pacing of the movie around it felt much better. Because of that I do think that it should have been introduced in the opening crawl. Just a quick sentence about how the First Order is working on getting its super-weapon operational would have been enough for me, I think.

All in all the movie was just as great the second time around and I do want to watch it again and again, maybe even once more in the theater. But I do not recommend anyone to see it in IMAX 3D. Use the money from the expensive tickets to see it twice in a regular 2D theater instead.

Oh, one more thing. Something that I sort of missed the first time was how badly injured Kylo Ren is before his battle with Finn and Rey begins. Off course I didn’t missed the fact that Chewie shot him but on the first viewing I didn’t really think about how clear the movie makes it that Chewie’s bow-caster is a really, really powerful weapon. Everyone that’s being shot by it in this movie is not only dead but also literally blown away from the spot where they stood. Worth noting for those who think that Rey is ”overpowered” and that she should have been crushed by Ren.

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Frozen and Watchmen

At the very end of issue #4 of Watchmen Dr. Manhattan raises a castle from the dust and sand of Mars. The imagery is very powerful and it completes his journey toward solitude.

The scene in Frozen where Elsa creates her ice-castle is visually very similar to the Watchmen scene, at least to my eyes. I wonder if this is a deliberate reference from the creators of Frozen?

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Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales is great

In a way the headline says it all, but allow me to elaborate.

For the past week, and for the coming months, I’m on paternity leave with Iris. So far we’ve had a good week and I think things will only get better as I tie up a few loose ends from work and can devote even more of my energy to her.

I don’t know how much tv is appropriate or not for a one year old, but we do watch some tv everyday. Sometimes it’s something we do together while cuddling in the sofa, sometimes it’s something I use as a ”babysitter” while I got to do some house chores. And during this week we’ve found a show on Netflix that’s great for both of us.

Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales is basically Threepio retelling the various Star Wars movies in a kids-friendly way while also making it highly entertaining for someone like me who love the original trilogy, really liked The Force Awakens and hates the prequels.

We have not seen the whole show yet and I don’t know whether it’ll keep being as good as I think it is now but the first episode was simply amazing. I don’t want to spoil the funny moments but I can tell you that it starts the morning after the victory celebration on Endor and the scene where C-3PO is cleaning by using R2-D2 as both a garbage can and a vacuum cleaner is great.

Don’t take my word for it, just watch the first few minutes and hopefully you’ll laugh just as much as I did.

Side-note: We’re watching it with the Swedish dub, so I’m missing out on the original voice-actors but as I’ve seen in the ending credits, and as apparent from the trailer, it’s the one and only Anthony Daniels that’s doing the voice for Threepio. I guess I need to rewatch it by myself with the English dub. I love Daniels as Threepio. He gives so much life to the character.

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Föräldraledig dag 2

Idag tog Iris sina första stapplande steg på egen hand!

De senaste veckorna har jag försiktigt börjat hoppas på att hon skulle vänta tills jag var hemma med henne innan hon gjorde det. Det vore så kul att få vara med om en sån milstolpe. Så självklart gjorde hon det medan jag var ute på tomten i Sundborn så jag missade de allra första stegen. :/

Oh well, jag är glad och nöjd ändå och hon kunde göra om det när jag var hemma så jag fick också se henne gå. 🙂

Och anledningen till att jag var ute på tomten är att grundläggarna har börjat gräva idag. Nu är husbygget verkligen igång!

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Dag ett som hemmapappa

Första dagen hemma själv med Iris har gått bra. Det har varit full fart på henne och hon har varit väldigt busig, samtidigt som hon även varit väldigt trött mellan varven. Jag antar att helgens kalasande slet på henne.

Vi har hållit oss hemma idag. Jag vill få lite ordning på hennes och mina dagsrutiner, och beta av en del jobb som jag ligger efter med, innan vi ger oss ut på några stora äventyr.

En kort sväng under förmiddagen verkade det som att Iris började sakna Linn och därför letade efter henne. Hon skulle in i alla rum och titta och hon ställde sig vid ytterdörren, lutade sig mot den och bara väntade. Eftersom hon verkade leta efter något eller någon och eftersom det sista hon såg av Linn på morgonen var att hon gick ut genom ytterdörren så tror jag att hon letade efter henne. Vi facetimade med Linn en kort sväng på hennes lunch och då blev Iris jätteglad och hon blev superspeedad när Linn kom hem på eftermiddagen.

Men jag tror att hon haft en bra dag och för det mesta verkade det inte vara något konstigt att jag var hemma med henne.

Förutom att leka, läsa och öva på att gå så har vi tittat på ungefär halva Min granne Totoro. Jättebra film som vi sett en gång förut och som jag varmt rekommenderar för alla småbarnsföräldrar och även för alla vuxna som vill se en film som tar barn och deras värld på allvar, en film som får en att leva sig in i sagans värld.

Jag har hört mycket gott om Studio Ghibli, filmstudion bakom Totoro och många andra anime, från The Incomparable. Totoro är den första och hittills enda jag sett men Spirited Away ligger på hyllan och i väntan på att ses och jag beställde Kickis expressbud igår. Även om Iris inte har någon särskild koll på vad det är hon ser när hon ser på tv så gillar jag tanken på att hon ser kvalitetsfilmer.

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Iris fyller ett år och vi påbörjar ett nytt äventyr


Idag fyller min underbara dotter Iris Gullan Marie Ljungberg ett år. Det har varit ett underbart år och innan hon föddes hade jag aldrig kunnat föreställa mig hur mycket en person kunde utvecklas på ett år, och hur mycket personlighet även ett pyttelitet barn har.

Hon älskar sina böcker, vilket gör mig alldeles varm i hjärtat. Hennes favoritplats i lägenheten är framför bokhyllan där hennes pixiböcker finns. Där kan hon sitta länge själv och bläddra och plocka.

I morgon börjar min andra period som föräldraledig och den här gången ska Linn börja jobba igen, så nu är det bara Iris och jag. Ända fram till och med augusti. Det ska bli superspännande. Jag har sett fram emot det länge men det känns även väldigt läskigt. Hur kommer våra dagar se ut? Hur mycket kommer hon förändras under den här tiden? Kommer jag klara av att vara en bra pappa?

Det kommer bli ett äventyr.


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An introduction to the X-Files

I just finished listening to The Incomparable #284: She Scullys Herself, where Jason Snell, Erika Ensign, John Siracusa and David J. Loehr talks about the original X-files TV series. Great discussion about a show that I love very much.

I watched some of The X-files during its original tv run, even though I was probably too young and easily spooked for it, and it scared the s**t out of me from time to time. In fact yesterday when I took a shower after having listened to about half of the Incomparable episode, I started thinking about the episode Squeeze and got reminded of how much I feared Eugene Tooms. For a moment I almost expected him to crawl out of a hole in the wall and start eating my liver.

I didn’t watch the show all the way to the end when it first aired but almost ten years ago I bought the entire series on dvd and have watched it all the way through at least twice, and most of the episodes I’ve seen three or four times (or even more).

In the Incomparable episodes they talk about the show in aggregate but also focuses of four episodes that they rewatched for the podcast and while I agree that it’s four great episodes, they are all episodes that rely on you being intimately familiar with the X-files to appreciate. So it got me thinking, if I wanted to introduce the X-files to someone who has no previous relation to the show, which episodes would I pick and why.

I decided to limit myself to five episodes.

Which X-files episodes should I watch to get a taste of the show (and in what order)?

  1. The Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)
  2. Squeeze (Season 1, Episode 3)
  3. E.B.E. (Season 1, Episode 17)
  4. War of the Coprophages (Season 3, Episode 12)
  5. Duane Barry (Season 2, Episode 5)

(Yes, you should watch an episode from season three before one from season two.)


If you haven’t watched the X-files, or if you’ve just watched an episode or two a long time ago, and you’re curious about the show you should stop reading here and instead watch the episodes that I suggested, in the order I suggested. What follows now is my motivation for picking the episodes I did pick, so the rest of this post is mostly for those of you who are already fans of the show.

For starters, I wanted to limit this list to episodes from the earliest seasons. Remember, the list is not meant to summarize the X-files in its entirety, it’s a teaser for someone who hopefully will want more.

The Pilot

Well this one is sort of a given. The pilot establishes the characters, the setting and the tone of the show. It is far from the best episode but I think all X-files newcomers should start here.


For a list like this it’s hard to decide whether to focus on ”mythology” episodes, or ”Monster of the Week” episodes. Some people will get hooked by the former, some by the latter.

So the list needs at least one great Monster of the Week and this episode is really a perfect monster episode. To me there is no better monster than Tooms. He scared me in the nineties, and he still scares me now. The character is super creepy and the actor does a great job. It also showcases the arguments between Scully and Mulder and their different points of view.


This is a ”mythology” episode, but that’s not why I choose it. Instead it’s because it’s the introduction to The Lone Gunmen, the perfect side-kicks to our heroes. They’re also great as an example of how much worse Mulders paranoia and irrational believes could be.

The episodes also features Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat, one of the most important of the more minor characters during the first season. It will give the viewer a hint of the complicated relationship between Mulder and his source and it shows how hard it is to really trust Deep Throat.

And then there’s the biggest reason I choose this episode, the scene where Scully and Mulder realizes, after Scully has accused the Lone Gunmen of being paranoid, that they are in fact being monitored by someone.

War of the Coprophages

One of the great things about the X-files was its ability to play with its own premise and to tell genuinely comedic episodes, while still considering them canon and staying true to itself. Many of those episodes require that the viewer is well familiar with the show and its characters.

This one does not. It is funny and unexpected, especially if all you’ve seen this far is the other episodes on my list.

Duane Barry

And finally, Duane Barry. Maybe it’s cheating to put the first episode of a two-parter on the list but this is one truly great episode. It’s a tense one that keeps you on the edge of your seat and it features Krycek.

It is easy to get sucked into Duane Barry’s paranoia, but just as easy to listen to Scully and believing that it simply is paranoia. And then comes the great scenes near the end where Scully finds more and more evidens that suggests that Barry might actually be telling the truth, or some form of it.

Perhaps I should feature its sequel Ascension on the list as well, maybe on the expanse of War of the Coprophages, but I think that it makes sense to leave it off. Because if you show Ascension as well, you’ll also need to show One Breath since that is where this arc really ends. And One Breath is great and would be worthy of this list as well, but if I would put it on the list that would make three episodes that focuses heavily on the mythology.

So I find it best to just recommend Duane Barry. If the one watching finds it thrilling and gets sucked into the show she/he will eventually watch this arc in full as well.

(Also the reason to show War of the Coprophages before this one is to at least plant a small seed of doubt in the person that maybe something terrible happens to Scully, thereby hopefully making the person more eager to keep watching the show.)

So what do you think of my list? Let me know via e-mail or twitter.

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Celebrating my 30th birthday with Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens

I’ve loved Star Wars for twenty one years. That’s a lot shorter time than some other fans have but also a lot longer time that other fans. It is not meant as a metric of how much more or less a fan I am than other people, just a way of saying Star Wars and I go a long way back.

I first saw the original Star Wars movie on December 11th or 12th, 1994 just days before turning nine years old. From there on it’s been an ongoing love affair, even though my interest has had its ups and downs I’ve always loved the original movies whenever I’ve sat down to watch them. I was young enough for the prequels to not HATE them in the theater but also old enough to be able to look critically at them today and realize they’re pure and utter garbage. All of them.

So the stakes where quite high when I first heard about a seventh movie being made. The first teaser trailer looked okay but didn’t really say anything about the movie, except for the important fact that The Millennium Falcon would appear. I did not, however, get my internal hype-machine up and running. Then came the second teaser and I got really excited. I literarily (yes literarily, not figuratively) cried when Han and Chewie showed up.

”Chewie, we’re home.” Damn right you are! My friends are home and we’re about to go on another great adventure like we did when I was young and life was simple. That’s how it felt. So I started anticipating the movie. And when I saw it’s release date I got so happy I almost cried again. It actually had its world premier on my 30th birthday!

My experience (spoiler free)

The big day arrived. I had given myself a ticket to the three p.m. show, the earliest in the theater in Falun, as a birthday gift and I was ready. I had done my very best to avoid spoilers beyond the second teaser. I hadn’t seen the actual trailer and I looked away whenever anything Star Wars related appeared online. I was pumped and ready.

And the movie delivered. I had hoped to be entertained. I was. I had hoped to see some visually thrilling scenes. I did. I had hoped for believable characters and an exciting plot. I was given that. And I had almost dared to hoped to laugh, cry, be on the edge of my seat and in the end just be almost cathartically happy. I did all those thing.

In the end I sat in the theater as the closing credits rolled with a happy grin on my face. The movie had made me feel like I was a preteen again. Like I wasn’t as cynical as I am. It had taken me on an adventures with my old buddies again.

Was it a flawless movie? Far from it it. I’m counting on the next one being better and I’ll likely find more flaws when I rewatch The Force Awakens but on that day it was everything I could have hoped for. Since it was preceded by me playing with my daughter, not yet a year old, and since afterwards me and my fiancé was able to go out, just the two of us, for a nice sushi dinner it all added up to being the best 30th birthday I could ever ask for.

Digging deeper (spoiler alert)

I had originally planned to write a thorough scene by scene review but as time has passed (it’s over a month since I say it) the memories are fading and I need to be done with this text so I’ll go over the high points and my main criticism of the movie.

There will be spoilers. If you haven’t watched the movie, stop reading and go watch it!

So, highlights it is:

The opening crawl

Well, how can it not be? You have the ”Star Wars” logo, the star field and the iconic, yes iconic, music by John Williams. The first seconds of any Star Wars opening is enough to open the door to my inner child. So it really takes a putz to screw it up. That being said the prequels did manage to screw it up, especially in The Phantom Menace.

The Force Awakens did the crawl well. It let me know who the good guys where, who the bad guys where, that there was a MacGuffin and that we needed to find Luke, fast. And that’s really all I needed to know.

The blood on Finn’s stormtrooper mask

It’s really the start of his hero’s journey, but more importantly it’s a reminder that there are actual people inside these suits. People that can bleed, that can be killed, that can be happy or sad, than can mourn or be mourned.

I also see it as a clear message from the movie makers to me and people like me who feel like one of the (many) problems of the prequels were that there were no stakes in the big battles. Soulless droids fought agains soulless clones and the audience where always given the impression that both the droids and the clones where cannon fodder and that we shouldn’t care about any individual one. The blood on Finn’s mask is a clear message that we should care. That there are no cannon fodder. That the battles have ramifications.

Rey and the introduction of her

How can I not love Rey? Finally there’s another woman in a Star Wars movie as badass as Leia. The introduction of her is great. The way she works persistently in silence, the way her actions rather then her words tell us that she is tough, that she’s someone we can count on in a pinch, but also that she has a troubled past and that she really lacks any kind of friends.

Kylo Ren’s voice and face

Kylo Ren the character is not that interesting to me in this movie, at least not until Han and Leia talks about him and clearly states that yes, he is their son. But his physical appearances is cool and his crude lightsaber is great as a symbol for himself as this unfinished, frustrated thing that’ll blow up any second.

The thing that worried me as he made his entrance was his voice. The last time I saw a bad guy in a mask in the theater I got super-annoyed by his voice and the effect treatment of it. I think Kylo Ren’s voice was a positive surprise. It sounded menacing without being overdone and silly.

I also like the fact that when he removes his mask he is not horribly scared in anyway. He’s just a frustrated young adult with an unhealthy obsession for his grandfather ”The Great Darth Vader” and therefore he also want to look badass. And it works, both as a way for him to look badass and as a way for him to appear more insecure and out of control.


I don’t need to elaborate on this, do I?

Space/air battles

The ones involving The Millennium Falcon in particular. They look like the best parts of the battles from the original trilogy, only cooler. And the Falcon is just as much a ”hunk of junk” as before.

The references to the original movies

There were a lot of references for us old-time fans. And they walked the fine line between fun and tedious with grace.

The music*

This comes with an asterisk since I didn’t really notice the music during the movie. It was there, no doubt about it, but there were so many other things to focus on. But as I’m writing this I’m listening to the soundtrack on Spotify and it’s great. John Williams’ music is the one constant through all seven movies. It’s always been there, it’s always sounded like a genuine part of the Star Wars world and it’s always been amazing. It was one of the few bright spots of the prequels.

The lack of references to the prequels

This is certainly fanservice, but it’s hard to see this movie and not feel like the creative team wants us to know that they too hate the prequels and that they promise us that even though they may still be canon, let’s not speak of them again.

The special effects, both ”practical” and CGI

The movie looks great, as simple as that.

That Leia is old

We knew beforehand that Han would look like he spent the last thirty years being pulled behind a tractor on a corn field, having his face used as a plow (and looking amazing from it). We didn’t know what Leia would look like.

And I love the now old Leia. I love the idea that a woman is ”allowed”, for lack of a better word, to age in a similar way. She is wrinkled, her eyes are those of an old woman and her voice is filled with traces from Carrie Fisher’s own hard life. And all of that makes her more believable as a character.

As I’ve read the Expanded Universe books over the years it has felt like a given that Leia would end up president of ”The New Republic” but this movie proves how wrong I was in thinking that. Off course Leia won’t be a president sitting in her far away castle, she’ll be in the trenches, she’ll be digging the trenches. She’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder with Chewbacca and fight of impossible odds.

In a way I wish that she had been the main character, instead of Han, and that she had faced and been killed by Kylo Ren in the end. But maybe her confrontation with him will be all the more intense in a later movie. Now we know the stakes in such a confrontation. And we also know that Leia is a fighter and that she’ll be the last one standing regardless of the odds.

It’s also worth pointing out that the chemistry between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford is just as good as ever. You can clearly see that these are characters that love each other, that can’t live with or without each other, so to speak.

There’s probably a lot more worth pointing out and I’ll likely do that once I see the movie again. (I’ll see it in iMax this weekend.)

The less good parts

I won’t dwell on this for too long.

The poor treatment of Captain Phasma

(I hope I got the name right.)

The shiny stormtrooper in the teaser got me really curious and when I watched the movie and we where told that the character was a woman I was happy. Yes, a badass evil woman in a Star Wars movie. The happiness stopped there since her role in the movie was minuscule. She gets captured in the silliest way possible1 and gets knocked out by Chewbacca.

Here’s to hoping she’ll be back with a vengeance in Episode VIII.

The rehashing of Episode IV and the high pacing

It felt like JJ Abrams had so much he wanted to say that the second half of the film felt rushed in times. There were so much to do for the characters.

It’s a nice contrast to the endless scenes of people sitting around and doing nothing but talking that’s infested the prequels. It’s also nice to see a movie that crams more than enough stuff for two movies into one, instead of the usual modus operandi of todays movie studios where source material, such as a single book, gets turned into two or more movies even though it could just as easily have been one movie that in itself had been more interesting. That being said, I do think some things could have been cut from the movie making it feel less stressed.

Which brings me to the Episode IV rehashing. The whole idea of this new super weapon (The ”Starkiller”) and the comparison between it and the Death Star felt silly. I think the plot didn’t need this. The search for the map to Luke Skywalker had been enough for me. That would probably also meant that the filmmaker had found a better way to get the story to the point of the meeting between him and Rey.

I do like the fact that Luke was missing for 99,9% of the movie though.

Some character, especially Finn, could have used a few more minutes on their story arcs as well.

Finn using a lightsaber

No. Just no.

Lightsabers should be the privilege of jedi and other force-sensitive people. And please don’t make Finn a future jedi. Please.

Wrap up

I’m having a hard time deciding whether I like the very end of the movie or not. The part where Artoo comes back to life and provides our heroes with the final map to Luke seems like Deus ex machina. Or if it should be explained in the movie, it happened because either Luke sent some kind of remote signal to Artoo, or he was aware of what went on around him even in his powered down state (maybe there’s midichlorians in his engine oil). Regardless of how it happened, Artoo ”woke up” because the force had awakened in Rey and she was ready to meet Luke.

I think subsequent watchings of this movie, and even more its coming sequels, will help me make up my mind on this matter.

So as I said in the beginning, I really liked the movie. It’s without a doubt at least the forth best Star Wars movie. Sure, that bar is quite low to pass but it still passed it with flying colors. It’s close to the original trilogy in quality and a few more viewings might even convince me that it is as good as Return of the Jedi. It is not, however, a new The Empire Strikes Back.

I think the best way to sum it up is to quote the line that made me tear up the most, and I did tear and choke up quite a few times in this movie. It’s when Artoo finally comes back to life and Threepio says

My dear old friend, how I missed you.

It felt so good to hear that line. It reminded me again of the close relationship that these droids have to each other and also, like the ”we’re home” line, reminded me of all the adventure these characters had brought me along for as I grew up. And now they are here again and they will bring me on for so many more adventures. I’m ready to jump into my imaginary spaceship and go wherever the Falcon heads.

  1. Well, I’m sure Lucas would have come up with an even sillier and even worse scene, but hey… 

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Mario Kart 7

I’ve been playing Mario Kart 7 for 3DS lately. I’ve loved Mario Kart games since I first played it on the N64 a lot of years ago.

The 3DS game has been a lot of fun this far and today I finished first in all the cups of the the ”100 CC” difficulty. I’ve also played online for bit and found it to be entertaining. (It’s actually the first Mario Kart that I play online. I do own it on the Wii but I haven’t bothered connecting the Wii to the internet.)

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I did it! (Majora’s Mask)

Two days ago (on Monday) I did as planned, played Majora’s Mask and actually finished the game.

I tried to help Kafei retrieve the Sun’s Mask but I failed. I did not feel like retrying the whole thing so I headed straight for the Skull Kid and Majora.

The final boss battle was weird, like so many parts of the game has been weird. And I mean weird in a good way. I really like Majora’s Mask, and I think I’d place it among my favorite Zelda games.1 I do however think part of the reason I enjoyed is as much is because it’s different from previous Zelda games, and because I’ve played so many of those. I wouldn’t recommend Majora’s Mask to someone who’s looking to play his/her first Zelda game.

Incidentally, my brother bought a Nintendo 3DS for himself for christmas. He also bought Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora’s Mask 3D, The Spirit Tracks (a DS title) and A Link Between Worlds. My advice to him was to start with A Link Between Worlds. I think that it’s a great ”beginners Zelda game” while still being a really fun one for the experienced player.

As a side-note, I really couldn’t bring myself to just try the Anju/Kafei side quest and then do the final boss, I also had to help Romani and Cremia. I just love those character’s so much and the battle against the ”question marks”/”aliens” with Romani is so much quirky fun.

Also, I bought Tri Force Heroes for myself.

  1. My absolute favorite is probably Ocarina of Time and I think the second place would have to go to A Link To the Past

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Turning play into work

I think that by blogging about every step of my progress on ”Majora’s Mask and even more so committing to the idea of creating the perfect day in the game, I accidentally turned play into work because I haven’t played the game since conceiving that idea.

That’s a shame since I was so into the game a while ago and I really felt connected to the game world. So this needs to end.

The idea of the perfect day is dead, at least for now. Next time I’ll have an hour for leisure time I’ll play the game again and focus on reuniting Anju and Kafei. After I attempt that, whether I succeed or not, I’ll go for The Skull Kid.

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Trivial Things

I’ve written before about me wanting to blog more. I like the idea of myself being ”a blogger”, but the procrastination force is strong with me so I rarely do blog. Also I think I worry about not expressing myself eloquently enough and therefore I choose to not do it at all. Perfect is indeed the worst enemy of good.


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I watched Salmon Fishing in the Jemen tonight and I think it was a good movie. Not great but good. It was a funny, but not in a hysterically-laughing-out-loud kind of way, and heartwarming tale of fishing, love and faith.

It was a nice ending to the Christmas Holiday. Yes, I’m off from work until Monday but tonight was the last night with our relatives. Tomorrow we’ll be heading home to Falun. Both Linn, I and Iris have been suffering from a cold today, which has been a bit of a bummer. Hopefully Iris is better tomorrow and fit fot the trip home.

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Om bara några minuter är år 2015 slut och 2016 tar sin början. Året som gått har varit ett riktigt bra år.

I slutet av januari åkte Linn och jag in till förlossningen på Falu Lasarett och efter en lååång förlossning föddes Iris Gullan Marie den 31:a januari. Under de elva månader som har gått sedan dess har hon vuxit från ett litet hjälplöst knyte till en självständig bebis som gillar att knalla runt (med en vuxens händer som stöd) och titta på allt runt henne, gärna jaga släktingar, skratta, prata och busa. Just nu ligger hon i rummet bredvid mig och snarkar. Hon är troligen lite förkyld. 🙁

4x Iris

Under våren började vi även på allvar att fundera på att bygga hus, vilket slutade med att vi nu äger en tomt i Sundborn och väntar på att Älvsbyhus ska börja bygga ett ”Regin” åt oss. Så som tidsplanen ser ut nu så kommer vi kunna flytta in under april 2016.

I övrigt har det inte varit så mycket som hänt i livet, att ha hand om ett barn och bygga hus tar mycket tid. 🙂 Men jag har både hittat min gräns för vilken arbetsbörda jag klarar av på jobbet och även insett hur mycket rutin och erfarenhet jag har skaffat mig under mina år där, så nu vet jag hur lätt jag kan göra vissa saker för mig.

Just det, jag har fyllt 30 år. Det var en bra dag, som sammanföll med världspremiären för en ny Star Wars-film! Dessutom var det en bra film(!). (Jag kommer så småningom publicera en längre recension av ”The Force Awakens”.)

Gott Nytt År!

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Some awesome things

This is just at quick post to share some awesome robotics stuff on YouTube.

Yesterday I took a long walk with Iris and while she slept I listened to a whole bunch of episodes of the silly podcast Robot or Not?. It’s really silly, and funny, and great, and if you have any interest in the Incomparable and/or Jason Snell or John Siracusa you should listen to it!

Anyway, all their talk about robots got me thinking about BB-8 and the fact that I kind of want to put a BB-8 toy on the wish list for my 30th birthday. Still, it’s a really expensive toy considering that the main thing I’d probably have it do is patrol back and forth through my house. So instead I started thinking about building robots, which led me to YouTube.

First, I found this great of how the BB-8 toy works wherein a guy who build robots for fun, and who has built and R2-D2, takes a BB-8 toy apart and shows how it works.

Then I found a video of a guy who’s building his own BB-8 from a globe, and RC car and some other stuff. Inspiring idea, and I love how he walks us through his work.

I then took a closer look at the guy behind said video and he seems to be simply awesome! He builds all kinds of cool geeky stuff. How about an actual ion propulsion for a TIE Fighter toy? Check this guy out!

And finally, as I made my way out of the BB-8 hole and towards the Arduino based robots I’ve seen before I found this guy, Kid Robot Maker and his video about how to make a cheap Arduino robot. This kid is my new hero!

The robot he builds is excellent in its simplicity and I love how this kid, who seems to be really young, just throws himself out there to the world and sort of says ”hi, let me show you something awesome”. How come I, who are probably at least twice his age, never seems to be able to work up the courage to do a video like this of some simple but cool project.

Kid Robot Maker, you’re the man!

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Under september och oktober är jag pappaledig. Sen kommer jag jobba november till januari och sen i februari under nästa år och hela vägen fram till efter sommaren är jag ledig igen. Nu under höstens ledighet är Linn också hemma, så vi är två vuxna med Iris.

Det finns så mycket jag skulle kunna skriva om hur det är att vara hemma med Iris men jag vet inte var jag ska börja. Det är väldigt kul att kunna vara hemma och få vara med om all utveckling. Det har hänt så mycket med henne, under hela hennes liv så här långt och så mycket har hänt från sommaren och framåt. (Hon är drygt åtta månader gammal nu.) Medan jag har varit ledig har hon lärt sig att kravla vilket var väldigt häftigt att få uppleva. Medan jag jobbade så lärde hon sig sitta men även där har det hänt mycket under min ledighet.

Iris har så mycket vilja och nyfikenhet och visar detta så tydligt. Hon är glad för det mesta och väldigt förtjust i människor. Hon hoppar mycket och gärna när hon sitter i någons knä och vill helst vara med när det händer någonting någonstans. ”FOMO”, i allra högsta grad.

Det är lite jobbigt att tänka på att det nu bara är två veckor kvar på den här första perioden av pappaledighet. Risken är stor att jag kommer missa hennes första steg, särskilt eftersom jag kommer jobba väldigt mycket och hårt under november, december och januari. Men förhoppningsvis kommer jag få vara med om mycket kul, spännande och säkert en del mindre kul under våren. 🙂

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Dokumentär om ”The Eagles” på Netflix

Jag gillar bandet The Eagles riktigt mycket. Det har jag gjort i många år. Deras låtar är fantastiska och stämsången är från en annan värld.

Under hela tiden som jag har lyssnat på dem så har jag vetat att de splittrades i slutet på sjuttiotalet (egentligen 1980) och återförenades först 94. Däremot var jag länge inte särskilt intresserad av varför. För några år sedan läste jag gitarristen Don Felders bok Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001) och blev desto mera fascinerad av konflikterna inom bandet. Boken tar av naturliga själ Felders parti och beskriver hans syn på det hela. Den framställer Don Henley och, i ännu högre grad, Glenn Frey som riktiga rövhål.

Igår och idag har jag tittat på en dokumentär om Eagles kallad History of the Eagles. (Den finns in Netflix.) Det är en auktoriserad dokumentär, så den visar en annan bild än den som Felder berättar om. Nu är det de som fortfarande är med i bandet, framförallt Henley och Frey, som kommer till tals.

Jag är inte klar med hela än men så långt som jag sett (drygt två timmar av tre) så är den intressant. Jag kan rekommendera den om du är intresserad av The Eagles. Om du ser den så bör du även läsa Felders bok för att få det andra perspektivet också.

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Mera House of Cards

Efter någon veckas paus har Linn och jag nu börjat titta på House of Cards igen. Idag såg vi andra avsnittet på andra säsongen. Vi tycker att det är en spännande serie men den kräver verkligen engagemang från oss på ett sätt som många andra serier inte gör. Det går inte att låta tankarna flyga iväg till annat och det är både bra och dåligt. Det är bra att ”tvingas” släppa allt runt omkring ibland men ibland är det även bra att tvärt om låta tankarna flyga medan något utspelar sig på tvn framför. Men det är väl därför vi tittar på flera serier samtidigt. (Just nu är vår lättsamma tv-serie Modern Family som vi sett flera gånger förut.)

Idag fick vi båda känslan av att någonting är annorlunda från och med det här avsnittet jämfört med tidigare. Stilen känns annorlunda, kanske till följd av en annan regissör?

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Jag har nog inte skrivit om det här än men om du följer mig på instagram eller om du sett mina snapshots här på bloggen (”snapshots” är samma sak som mina instagram-bilder) så vet du nog att Linn och jag håller på att bygga ett hus.

Vi har köpt en tomt i Sundborn i utkanten av Falun och har beställt ett ”nyckelfärdig” hus från Älvsbyhus. Jag sätter nyckelfärdigt inom citationstecken eftersom det alltid är en del som ska göras för oss som köpare. Huset blir förhoppningsvis inflyttningsklart under våren 2016.

Idag har vi gjort klart våra val för tapeter och golv i huset och tidigare i veckan satt vi tillsammans med säljaren och bestämde vilka tillval vi vill ha. Så nu börjar det verkligen ta fart och kännas verkligt. Det ska bli så kul när huset börjar byggas och ännu roligare när det blir klart.

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My thoughts on Super Mario 3D Land

A little less than a month ago I bought Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) really finished my playing of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D yet but I felt like getting another game and rest from the Zelda world for a while. So I searched around for popular and critically acclaimed 3DS games and found Super Mario 3D Land.

I liked the idea of getting a Mario title since I’ve always loved the Mario games for the NES and SNES and I’ve spent an incredible amount of time and devotion to Super Mario Land on the GameBoy. (I do not, however, like Super Mario 64 very much.) It seemed like most players and critics agreed that ”3D Land” was a better game then New Super Mario Bros. and that it used the unique features of the 3DS better.

So far I like it a lot! The levels are fun, and early on in the game they’re very easy which helped me getting into the groove. Now, as I’ve made it into the Special Worlds, the difficulty has risen quite a bit but since I’ve come this far I will not give up, even if it sometimes frustrates me to fail the same jump over and over.

Super Mario 3D Land uses the 3D effect of the 3DS in a very interesting way. The game is sort of a hybrid between a ”traditional” 2D platform Mario game and a 3D game like Mario 64. Sometimes depth-perception is really important to making a particular jump or clearing an entire course.

If you own a 3DS and like Mario games you should definitely buy Super Mario 3D Land. If you feel like it’s too easy in the beginning, stick with it! You’ll get your skills challenged as the game progresses.

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Därför är jag försiktigt positiv till att Decemberöverenskommelsen är bruten. #svpol #DÖ

Bilden är gjort av I fablernas land och delad som Creative Commons.

Decemberöverenskommelsen är nu bruten. Vad det innebär rent praktiskt i närtid tvistar de lärde om men förmodligen är det inget dramatiskt nu. Höstens rödgröna budget kommer att gå igenom, även fast Alliansen inte längre är bunden av ”DÖ”. Allianspartierna har lagt fram sina egna separata budgetar och det finns ingen gemensam budget för Alliansen att rösta på. Så just nu blir det nog inte mycket till förändring. Däremot är det mera oklart vad som händer inför vårändringsbudgeten 2016, ännu mera osäkert inför hösten 2016 etc.

Det har diskuterats mycket hit och dit om Decemberöverenskommelsen i borgerliga kretsar ända sedan dess tillkomst så följaktligen har jag funderat mycket på den. Efter många om och men så känner jag ändå att det här är en positiv utveckling. Det är bra att Decemberöverenskommelsen inte längre finns.

Som det parlamentariska läget er ut just nu så finns det två block, de rödgröna respektive Alliansen, som båda saknar egen majoritet. Därutöver finns Sverigedemokraterna. Jag vill vara väldigt tydlig med att jag tycker att all form av samarbete med SD utom i specifika enskilda frågor som har noll och ingenting med invandring, integration eller flyktingar att är otänkbart. Det parti som ägnar sig åt sånt kommer inte få min röst igen. Hursomhelst, två minoritetsblock och ett vågmästarparti som ingen, med all rätt, vill samarbeta med. Eftersom regeringen i dagsläget består av Socialdemokraterna och Miljöpartiet medan Vänsterpartiet är förpassade till att vara stödparti så är regeringen ännu svagare i mandat än den vore om hela det rödgröna blocket vore en del av den.

I sådana här lägen, när regeringen är i minoritet, borde regeringen tvingas förhandla med och förlita sig på oppositionen. Politiken som förs borde vara en försiktig mittenpolitik. Så är dock inte alls fallet här. Budgetpropositionen visar väldigt tydligt att Vänsterpartiet har fått ett betydligt större inflytande än vad deras få mandat kan rättfärdiga.

Så genom att ingå i Decemberöverenskommelsen så har Alliansen alltså lyckats göra det lilla Vänsterpartiet till någon sorts märkligt vågmästarparti. De behövs som stöd till regeringen för att regeringen ska kunna få igenom sina budgetar. Självklart skulle vänstern aldrig rösta för Alliansens budget så regeringen borde kunna göra lite hur de vill men gissningsvis vågar de inte chans och följaktligen får alltså vänstern, likt ett vågmästarparti, vara med och diktera politiken betydligt mera än vad de har mandat för.

Detta leder i sin tur till min nästa invändning mot DÖ. När regeringen lade fram budgetpropositionen så kritiserade Alliansen denna rejält. Fullt förståligt eftersom det är en politik som står väldigt långt ifrån Alliansen och dess väljare. Men mitt i detta passionerade kritiserande så vet både politikerna och vi att det aldrig blir annat än gnäll och kritik. Det kommer aldrig gå över till handling eftersom hela idén med DÖ är att Alliansen faktiskt inte agerar som en opposition i riksdagen. De kan leva rövare bäst de vill på presskonferenser och i intervjuer och debattartiklar men när det väl gäller så kommer de finna sig i regeringens budget. Det får Alliansen att framstå som svag och falsk.

Vilket leder till sista invändningen. Tanken med Decemberöverenskommelsen var att SDs makt och inflytande skulle minska. Tvärtom verkar DÖ stärka dem eftersom de nu får kvitto på sitt påstående att de är det enda oppositionspartiet. Myten om ”sjuklövern” verkar mera sann när Alliansen har lovat att inte göra sitt jobb som opposition.

Så jag är försiktigt positiv till upprivandet av DÖ. Förhoppningsvis leder det till något bra. Min förhoppning är att högersossarna och de liberala falangerna inom MP får styra och förhandlar fråga för fråga med ett eller flera Allianspartier. Ett bättre, men mindre troligt, scenario vore att regeringen faller och att Alliansen och Miljöpartiet bildar en ny blågrön regering. Det tror jag skulle vara väldigt bra.

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Nintendo 3DS maintenance 

I’ve been fiddling around with my Nintendo 3DS today, not really playing any games but more like doing maintenance. I finally crawled a Nintendo Networj ID and linked my 3DS to that. Not quite sure about every possible ups and downs of that but at least now I can download free content from the eShop (demoes, game updates, etc.). 

The ”app store” and social networking parts of Nintendo is really confusing! For instance, why is my Nintendo Club ID and my Nintendo Network ID two separate things? Since they both use the same email and username, are they actually one and the same now?

And why, oh why, can I only download things either in the foreground and thereby blocking all access to other things during the download, or in the background while the 3DS is in sleep mode. Why is there no regular background downloading?

And what happens when I fill up my SD card? From what I’ve gathered online, changing SD card in a 3DS is not a smooth process.

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