Monday, December 26, 2005

A Merry Christmas

As some of you may recall I tend to do a write up of trips as I head home on the flight. This time is no different than previous times, however there is one big difference in that I will be able to post this one while I'm still in flight. The flight I'm on right now actually has internet access while flying. According to the advertisement thingy in the seat in front of me SAS is the first airline in the world to offer this. Either way, it's the coolest thing ever.

I'm just on my way back to the States after having made a quick visit home to surprise my parents on Christmas. I left from Los Angeles on the 21:st (Worst birthday ever) and am now going home on the 26:th.

The trip back home to Sweden turned out to be a real nightmare experience. I arrived at the airport a little bit less than 2 hours before the flight was supposed to leave which I though was ample time to check in. Especially since I had no luggage (I wonder how many travel from LAX to Europe with only a cabin bag).

First of all the shuttle driver from the long term parking lets me off on the wrong terminal. I was supposed to go to terminal 7, he left me off on terminal 4. If you know LAX you know it is layed out in a horse shoe shape so terminal 4 is actually as far from terminal 7 as you can possibly get.

After being moved from line to line a couple of times I end up in the longest one at least in that terminal. I pretty soon realized that there was no way in hell that I was going to make my flight. At one point there was one person servicing the check-in counter for a line of several hundred people. It ended up taking two and a half hours until I finally made it up to the check-in counter. At that time my plane had already departed 30 minutes ago. It was a strangely serene feeling to stand in the line and simply know that there is no way in hell you will make your flight. I didn't feel stressed out at all after I realized it.

After a quick check that there was no way that I would be able to catch up to my connecting flight out of Newark they had to delegate me to line number 2 at the ticketing desk. This one was nowhere near as long though so that probably only took 30 minutes to get to the counter. After hearing some discouraging mutterings from the person on the other side of the counter like "Let's see if there is anything tomorrrow...", they actually found me a flight that would take me through LAX-Wahington-Munich-Stockholm. Perfect I thought, and I would only end up in Stockholm a couple of hours later than originally intended. The only problem was that when I left the counter with my new ticket I had 10 minutes to go through security and get to the gate. The gate turned out to be around a mile away and after I managed to convince security to let me jump the line a mad dash ensued.

As I arrive to the gate a flight attendant ushers me immediately onto the jet way, but as I get halfway out it I can see them close the door to the aircraft. I kid you not, another 5 seconds and I would have made but no such luck. After this the one attendant left on my side of the gate started trying to find me another way home and managed to find a flight going LAX-Chicago-Frankfurt-Stockholm. But unfortunately before she was completely done with this ticket she had to leave and she said that I should talk to someone at gate 71A (Or that's what I thought at least). She didn't in any way indicate to me that I was in a hurry so I started walking back through the walkways I had ran through minutes earlier. At gate 71A there is nobody there, but there is a service desk right next to it so I start standing in line there for them to help me. As I stand there I hear someone calling for me on the PA that I should go to gate 71A again, and now there is someone there.

The person there has no idea why I had been called to that desk though and after going through my increasing stack of tickets and boarding cards she deduced that I should go to gate 70A, not 71A. Unfortunately by now that gate was empty and the airplane had just departed from there too. Downtrodden I resort to go back to the service desk I was standing in line at before and she actually manages to find another flight to Chicago so I can catch my connection to Frankfurt. Unfortunately it is only a stand-by seat, but by this time I was willing to clutch at any straw they were willing to extend me. And I actually managed to get on that flight to get to Chicago and from there to Frankfurt.

In Frankfurt I had for some reason gotten a 5 hour wait for the next flight even though there is a flight that leaves in about 1.5h. I set out trying to change my ticket and after having been passed around a couple of times I end up once again at the United Airlines ticketing desk. One of the first things I ask is if they can also check me in if I have no luggage but unfortunately that was not possible since it was for a flight operated by a different airline. They do manage to change my ticket though for the sooner flight, but by the time they start getting ready (I can see my tickets being printed out) I only have 45 minutes left before the flight leaves, and I still have the problem of checking in (The check in line in Frankfurt looked just as bad the one in LAX, but I hoped that I could find the people I had harassed earlier and be able to skip the line).

But then all of a sudden the nice women helping me with my tickets asks me for my passport. I was a bit perplexed since I didn't think you needed that to just get your tickets, especially traveling within the EU. After she gets the passport she just wanders off... She is gone at least 5 minutes (Which to me seemed at least like an hour and I can see me going back and needing to do this again just to get back to the flight I was originally on). But lo and behold when she returns it turns out she had wandered off and checked me in. I could almost have kissed her right there.

After managed to get through a very crowded security check in I actually made the flight and in the end I landed in Stockholm at around 2:30pm which was only about 8 hours later than I was supposed to have been there. And with the party that I was going to with a bunch of people not starting until 7 I actually managed to get a couple of hours sleep in at Johansson's before we went out and hit the town until 4:30 in the morning (Ending it with a thin-bread-roll).

The day after I went home to my parents and after having waited a little bit more than an hour for them to return from shopping managed to completely surprise them by just ringing the doorbell and saying hello. I don't think I've ever seen them as surprised as when they saw who rang the doorbell.

After this I spent a few pretty uneventful days just hanging out with my parents and some more friends that happened to be in Karlskoga at the time.

This morning I got up at 3:30am and took to the car and ended up driving for 3 hours through a blizzard to get to Arlanda in ample time for my flight (I wasn't about to miss it again after what I went through on the way here). In the end I was at the checkin counter almost 4 hours before the flight was to depart and off course there was no line at all so I just had to sit there for 3 hours in the end. At least I got to get some tax free shopping done. Which leads to me sitting here demonstrating the completely awesome features available when flying SAS. Hope you have all had a Merry Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Getting ready for christmas

And to get in the mood here are the pictures from the now annual Laguna Beach christmas party.

Thanks everybody for a great night. It was a huge success (So great that the cops even came by and gave us a visit somewhere around 1am).

Today I'm ending with a quote that I made up myself a couple of days ago at another christmas party (With much better food than I provided).

"I generally dislike people from continents starting with the letter A"

Merry Christmas people!

Friday, December 9, 2005

Stuck in Chicago

Here is a quick update on what I've been up to the last month or so. I'm writing this from a hotel room that I'm pretty much snowed into in a suburb of Chicago where I have been spending the week helping people at the Quest office here. The entire week it has been below 0 (Fahrenheit, which is ~ -15 Celsius). It has been a nice reminder of one of the main big reasons why living in southern California is so nice. It is a little bit depressing because it's been so cold that I don't feel the slightest inclination to go into Chicago and check the town out. I'm sure I'll be back soon and the weather will be better so I'll just leave that till next time (I know I'm pathetic).

A couple of weeks ago I went bungee jumping from "the bridge to nowhere". It was a pretty fun all day event in where you actually have to hike for 2 hours to get to a bridge over a canyon which literally goes from one side of the cliff to the other. There is no road on either side of the bridge. Apparently a failed road construction from the thirties. All the rest of the remnants of the road has been washed away by floods since then. I have yet to get a copy of the pictures that were taken during the jump, but it was as last time I did it one of the biggest adrenaline rushes I've ever had (Beats parashoot jumping hands down). This time also in difference to last time in New Zeeland I did three jumps instead of just one. I definitely recommend it to anybody who likes a rush.

After that I went to Mammoth Mountain for skiing over thanksgiving. Unfortunately the weather sort of sucked in that there wasn't nearly enough snow and not much of the mountain was open for skiing so I left there a little disappointed, even though skiing is always fun. It was nowhere near the awesome experience I had when I was there last year. Just goes to show you not to rush these things. Next year I will no to wait a little bit later in the season before I go.

In conclusion I've also met a new girlfriend. Her name is Kaitlin, and she has just recently moved to LA from Tulsa. You can see a picture here, and she is also in a lot of the pictures in this folder of the photo album.

That's it for the updates now. I'm just preparing for a new hopefully yearly Christmas party that will take place this saturday assuming that I manage to leave Chicago with this blizzard currently going on. I'm leaving with a quote as I often do, this time from an unknown source.

"Which age would you be if you didn't know how old you were"

Sunday, November 6, 2005

First real Halloween celebration

Got some pictures up from my first Halloween party that I partook in. Don't remember what I did last year, but I know I didn't dress up. This year I went dressed as a redneck. The pictures are here.

I generally think that guys seemed to show a little bit creativity with their costumes while most of the girls costumes I saw were basically a variant of some skimpy vixen outfit. That said, I can't say I complain about it (The more skin the better).

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Googling yourself

I just tried googling (Searching on Google) myself. I'm pleased to announce that my homepage scores around place 30 if searching for "Henrik". But even cooler, searching for my full name "Henrik Johnson" will yeild stuff that is mine for the first 23 entries. Nice to know one has managed to make at least some impression on the web. What do you score with your names?

Monday, October 31, 2005

First review of Toad for DB2

Just had to share this review of one of the products I am working on (Original review)

"Worth Using?

In a word: yes. A command line processor is not without its charms. But when you have to work fast and the nostalgia of typing line by line has worn off, nothing beats a solid GUI.

But Toad is a prince of an interface. It helps me accomplish everything I might need and a few things I didn't think about. The application runs fast, it's fairly intuitive, it has extensive context-sensitive documentation, and it makes cool croaking sounds when you start it up. What else can I say? I love it, warts and all. I'll kiss this Toad anytime. It leapfrogs over other database tools I've seen. And best of all, with a name like Toad, writers can make cheesy cliches for days."

Friday, October 21, 2005

Fun times

Finally done with the release of the Toad for DB2 which is the last release for a while. Usually the way it works when you do software development is that the most fun period of work is right after a release. Because that is the time when you can tear stuff up and write new stuff at a furious pace, so from the developers standpoint that is definitely the most interesting time.

Because of the DB2 release which was finished this Tuesday there has been a ridiculous amount of work lately. But I can still mostly do it from home so it's not so bad. And off course, as always I still find this being one of the most interesting things to do.

Apart from that I've also been out partying quite a lot lately so all in all there hasn't been that much time for sleeping so I think I'm going to take it easy for a few weeks now.

As some times before I'm going to end off with a quote. This time it's from George of Seinfeld.

"Kramer goes to a fantasy camp. His whole life is a fantasy camp. People should plunk down $2000 to live like him for a week. Do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money... and have sex without dating. Thats a fantasy camp."

Monday, September 26, 2005

Random tidbits

Just some random updates on what I'm up to here. I've been working like crazy lately because of two products that I'm working on are going RTM (Release to management). The first one is Toad for SqlServer and the second one Toad for DB2. Because I'm involved a lot in the framework that we are building all these products on I tend to get swamped when anything approaches released. Hopefully it should slow down a bit in a few weeks.

I've also heard two different tidbits about life in Laguna here. The first one is about me leaving for home for two weeks and managing to forget to lock the front door of my house. My neighbour found it unlocked and later told that she thought "Wow, he must feel really safe in this neighbourhood". Needless to say, I don't feel that safe and I guess it was just a case of temporary insanity at 4am in the morning as I left.

The second one is that I heard from a friend of mine that he got robbed at knifepoint here in Laguna Beach outside the Stop and Go just half a mile from where I live. I honestly didn't think that kind of stuff happend at this place. At least not often enough so that I would actually meet someone it had happened to. He is ok though, and he only lost a couple of bucks.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Conservatism and liberalism

I have realized something interesting regarding American politics. The two biggest parties in America being Republicans saying they are conservative and Democrats who are mostly liberals. Interesting enough if you look at the two ideologies of these two movements they really have nothing to do with what the American politicians say it means. I'll start off with a description of the two (Mostly gotten from the excellent site Wikipedia).


Conservatism is a universal ideology or philosophy: conservatives consider their values to be valid for all persons, not just for themselves. Consequently, there is no great tradition of conservative separatism, and conservatism is a political force, seeking to implement policy. Since not everyone is a conservative, now or in the past, conservatism is historically associated with repression of non-conservatives. In Europe the catholic-nationalist-conservative regimes of Salazar and Franco are notorious examples. The Franco regime came to power in the Spanish Civil War and executed thousands of its political opponents, tortured and persecuted many others, imposed rigid censorship, and promoted a mono cultural Spanish identity.

Conservatives have a strong orientation to values, which they consider universal. Consequently, they tend to reject the validity of other political ideologies. Conservatives don't see anarchism, for instance, as different: they see it as wrong. The formal presumption of ideological neutrality, in liberal-democracies, is a source of friction with conservative groups, who believe that their values precede or override the political process. Conservatives often claim that their values are the 'national values' or 'community values', which are beyond political discussion and must be enforced. This belief in shared, and inherently necessary, constitutive values is a feature of communitarianism, but that is not a synonym for conservatism.

Different forms of conservatism emphasize different values, including among others these value preferences

  • Order over chaos
  • Orientation toward the past rather than the future
  • The rural over the urban
  • Unity and homogeneity, over discord and fragmentation
  • The natural over the artificial and technological
  • Existence over possibility
  • Slow and incremental change over Utopian projects
  • Hierarchy over egalitarianism
  • Acceptance of inequality over redistribution


Under liberal principles, the form of society is determined by the outcome of competitive processes in a defined framework. The state, according to liberal ideology, should guarantee the process, but not interfere with the outcome: most liberals therefore see a limited role for government. However, liberal political parties also seek to use the state to impose liberal principles on non-liberals, for instance by liberalization of economic policy. In the economic sphere, liberalism advocates the free market as the ordering principle, and the production of goods and services by competing entrepreneurs. Liberal societies assign social status and advantage, by competition among talents. In politics, the early liberal principles of free expression and religious tolerance have evolved into the liberal-democratic principle of competitive multi-party political pluralism. Pluralism, in this context, is restricted to those who respect democracy and human rights. The rise of militant Islamism in western Europe - which often rejects both - illustrated the limits to liberal pluralism.

Liberalism is inevitably in conflict with non-liberal philosophies and ideologies, and to a certain extent with non-liberal societies. Most liberals believe that liberal democracy is superior to all other systems, and consider illiberal governments "unfree". The liberal idea of freedom is usually expressed in the form of fundamental rights, although it can be expressed directly as liberties. Some liberals think that no person can be free in a non-liberal society, and that there is a moral imperative for global 'liberalization'. Early European liberalism was a revolutionary movement, which sometimes brutally repressed its opponents, especially the Roman Catholic Church. The revolutionary liberal tradition - sometimes referred to as neo-Jacobin - never disappeared in Europe, and has recently re-emerged to confront Islamism. Liberal revolutions, however, are now primarily expected in non-western countries, in the form of concurrent regime change, democratization and liberalization. Some liberal thinkers see a historically inevitable global triumph of liberalism - the end of history thesis.

So what's wrong with this picture

Let's start with conservatism. It seems strange that such a huge part of the biggest democracy in the world would prefer "Unity and homogeneity, over discord and fragmentation", especial since the US is such a very heterogenous country. The ideal of the "The natural over the artificial and technological" also seems to cling very strange for the ruling party of such a dynamic and high tech country in as the US. But on the other hand, you do have the natural human instinct of always fearing any kind of change which is probably why this has always been so popular pretty much everywhere in the world.

Then we come to liberalism. Interestingly enough here you have the phrase "Bleeding heart liberals" which is usually used to refer to people who want to raise taxes and improve social services here. Nothing could be further from liberalism. Liberalism taking to its extreme means that the goverment only have one thing to do: They should excercise a monopoly of using violence to implement its laws and politics. That's it. You can't get a smaller government than what liberalism states. Here in the states Republicans are suposedly the party for small government (Even though it has never increased at a more breakneck speed than since George Bush took office, but that's a different issue), and nobody preaches bigger government than the suposed Liberals (Well, the Socialists would be even bigger but they are so marginalised they hardly even count.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

There and Back Again (A Swedes' Tale)

I'm sitting on the last lap of the flight back from my visit from Sweden and what better time to try to write up my experiences coming back for this time around. This was my first visit for almost exactly one year (And then only for around 2 weeks) and I have to say this is the first time I at least partially felt like it isn't exactly home anymore. Let's start with the simple stuff that I have gotten used to that is different between Sweden and the US.

  • I can't shop in a supermarket anymore since I never ever remember that I need to buy bags until I have already paid for all my stuff. In the US bags are always free (Even though they are completely useless and break if you ever try to put anything heavy in them), and the even pack the stuff for you (Poorly usually, what you wanted your eggs on top of the milk carton?).
  • The right on red traffic rule is scarily easy to get used to which almost caused me to go against a red light a couple of times. Also different is the fact that you almost never need to over take anybody in the passing line in the States, which you do all the time in Sweden.
  • Not really a US thing, but an Orange County vs Stockholm thing. I miss the big city. At one point I could distinctly hear at least 6 different languages being spoken in a subway car on my way home from town during this trip, you never hear anything except english and spanish in OC. Even though Los Angeles is a really, really big city it has no real pulse and no city center with a little bit of charisma. On the other hand when I go back to Stockholm I also miss the beach so you can never be completely satisfied I guess.
  • One thing I also miss a little bit is that I no longer have my own language in which to speak with close to reckless abandon as to who might be listening. Not that I ever really have anything secret to say it's still nice.
  • A lot of things have also changed over the year in Stockholm. As always all the clubs change name and place with a fearsome pace and it's really hard to keep track if you're not there anymore (I could hardly keep up when I lived there). That was an interesting thing when I first moved to Stockholm that everyone described places with what used to be there before (Buddha, you know where Biblos used to be). I was just starting to experience the second "generation" of names as I left and soon I will be completely left in the dust again.
  • And finally one thing I don't miss about Sweden... The mosquitos. I had almost completely forgotten about them since last time.
I don't remember if I mentioned this last year I was home, but it is really hard to come home like this since everyone takes time to see you and there is always something fun going on non stop for the entire visit which makes it seem even better than when you lived there (I have even had good fortune with the Swedish weather for petes sake). I did also completely pork away on really crappy food for most of the trip. I think it is that good food is pretty much the same everywhere in the world, but the crappy food is way more different. I'm talking about Kebab, Sibylla (Hamburger and thin bread roll, always with shrimp sallad off course), pizza with sirloin and Bearneaisse sauce and that kind of stuff. I've also stocked up on some of the foods that are not perishable that will come in handy in the year to come.

Someone during the trip also asked me a question that I found intreaging, but didn't really have a good answer which I think is telling in itself: "What do you like least about living in the States?". The more I think of it I realize that there really isn't anything that I can complain too much about in my current setup. The minute I manage to think something up that is a bit annoying I realize that if that is my main concern I really shouldn't complain about anything.

Anyway, I know I recently sent another mail so I'll try to keep this at least not too long so I'll cut this short here. I would like to thank everyone for making the week awesome and hope to see you all not too far off in the future. If all else fails I guess I'll turn up around this time next year as usual. I would like to round up with a quote that I for some reason am thinking of right now (Though not really connected to anything I've said):

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Going home

I'm sitting in the airport in Houston where I have a 6 hour wait until the flight continues to Amsterdam from which I'm then on to Stockholm. I'm ok thought, because I have access to one of the lounches so I have internet access and power (Plus a bunch of DVD:s and of course a laptop).

I thought I'd take some time to put down a short bullet list of the stuff that has happened since the last mail as well as I remember it. So here goes.

  • Finally been to the Gaslight District in San Diego. Probably the most famous part of this town.
  • Finally been out partying in down town Los Angeles. For some reason I had never been there before. It's not really a nice part of town so why would you go there? I went there for a concert and had a great time.
  • Got arrested. It's a long story (Too long to recount in full here). Basically I got drugged, robbed and then the police picked me up for public intoxication. I'm ok though and I only lost a watch, some credit card and around $40. I had the chance to go to court though (Where I got off). All in all an interesting experience which I would be happy never to go through again.

That's pretty much all I can think of for now. Another interesting note is that previously while I was in the LAX lounge I sat next to the first famous person that I know of since I moved here. It was Kevin Bacon. I think I know why I never see anybody too now because even though he was sitting 3 feet away from me for about an hour I didn't realize who it was until around 3 people had come over to ask for autographs.

Hope to see you all in a couple of days (If you are in Sweden).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

American Values

I'm taking a few moments to write about something different than what I am up to and just thought I'd share a few thoughts about my perception of some controversial US subjects who as usual I can't really understand what the whole hoopla is about.

Burning of the American flag

There has been a lot of discussion about making it illegal to burn an American flag here in the United States.

First of all it is interesting to note that according to the U.S. Flag Code the correct way to dispose of a flag is, and I quote: "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning".

Jokes aside, the case for making it illegal is that the American flag is the most important symbol of American values (Being the freedom and pursuit of happiness). I can understand how some people can find it offensive that someone so blatantly express their displeasure and disrespect of something that most people here (Me included most of the time) agrees with.

However, I find it interesting that in order to protect the symbol of American values they think it is ok to betray those values (In this case limit freedom). In short the way I see it, the people who are for making it illegal to burn the American flag find that the symbol itself is more important than the values it represent.

The US strategy of preemption

With this I mean the new way that America has decided that it has the right to go to war in the world. That is basically if it feels threatened by any other state it has the right to go after that state, regardless of if any other country in the world agrees with the US or not.

To start off and to set the record straight, I was for the war in Iraq (Although not the way America went about to do it). The way Saddam Hussein behaved before the war was just so bizarre if he did not possess weapons of mass destruction I just couldn't understand why he behaved the way he did. With that I mean that he cooperated so badly with the UN inspectors even though he apparently had no WMD:s.

I just find it this new way of thinking very dangerous. To explain why I think so I would like to start out with claiming that I think pretty much every country in the world think that it is righteous (I'm going to intentionally leave out North Korea, because Kim Jong Il just seems to behave so erratically).

To illustrate my point I'm going to choose the country of Iran. I am fairly certain that the people who rule Iran are convinced that they are working as a force for good (Something you usually get from very religious people). Let us assume that Iran adopted the same foreign policy as the US. That is if they feel they are in danger of being attacked by another forreign country they have the right to preemptively strike at that country, what would they do? And before we even go there take a moment to think of who is in the most danger of being attacked by the other Iran or the USA. My bet is that Iran has a lot bigger chance of being attacked (And much more severely) than USA. So according to the same reasoning as the US used to attack Iraq (I'm not going to include Afghanistan because in that case they actually did strike first, and I seem to recall that the US did have UN approval for that), Iraq would be just as justified (Or even more because I seriosly think the US could do a lot more damage in Iran than vice verse) to preemptively attack the United States.

That is the reason that in the past a country usually had to go to the UN Securities Council and convince them that they were in the right. And thus by doing this the country in question could go forward with the good eye of the international community (And usually their considerable support, remember Gulf War 1). When each country can decide by them self it is OK to go and invade another country is just very dangerous. The only reason the US got away with it is that they are the "biggest bully in the schoolyard", regardless if they were in the right to invade a country (Which I agree with that they were in the case of Iraq) or if they weren't.

That's it for this time. I have more to say on this subject with the whole "non combatant issue", but I don't have the energy for it right now. Mayby in a future post.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A really depressing Midsummer

I've just lived through my second Midsummer and this year was a big disappointment. The main reason was that I came down with a cold in the end of the week and have thus spent the 5 days in my apartment doing absolutely nothing. I'm so completely sick of the walls in the apartment that I can't wait to get out of here.

I've also done some more work on the restaurant guide I mentioned in the earlier posting. First of all I've hooked it up to Google Ads so I will hopefully at least make the hosting cost back. It's $40 a year, I've made $2 already so it shouldn't be a problem (But don't forget to click on the ads if you check it out). Another thing is I have hooked it up to a really cool Google Maps hack so check out the Interactive Map part of the sight which I at least thing is really cool. It works best in Firefox browsers, but is at least functional in Internet explorer even though there are some formatting that looks a little bit weird.

Finally I am as I am writing this enjoying my first Oboj like beverage since I moved here. It's ok, even though it's a little bit too sweet so I think that is something that will need to be imported (Or is it exported) here from Sweden next time I go and visit.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Experienced my first earthquake

I have now experienced my first earthquake here in California. Also earlier in the week there was a Tsunami warning. Things are moving and shaking here in a way I am not entirely comfortable with.

On another note I have started a new website at It's basically a site where I will put up reviews of all the restaurants that I go to down here. Hopefully someone will find it usefull and I had fun doing it. Last time I was trying something even remotely like this was when I started the SJ anti fan club (Which I have now discontinued because I really cant be hasled about it anymore from the fanatic pro and con people that kept contacting me about it and just generally taking it way to serious).

Monday, June 13, 2005

Finally been down to San Diego for the weekend

I've finally taken the time to go down and party in San Diego (I've been there before, but only for football and never to actually check the place out). Actually I was in Solana Beach. Really fun place to party in. According to John this is the place where all the mobsters on the east coast move to retire, although I don't know how true that could be because the people down there didn't seem to know anything about it.

On another note my personal email is currently not working (I'm sure they will get it working soon). I feel so alone and isolated. I'm planning on moving to somewhere where I know the people who work there (Now that all my peeps have quit from Bahnhof), so much easier fixing problems when you have a phone number to call where you dont have to spend 30 minutes in a phone queue.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

It's official. I live in vacation paradise

For those of you who have still not visited me I have some more indications that I am really living in vacation paradise as Laguna Beach has been voted Best Beach Town 2005 by Discovery's Travel Channel.

I guess this happened before the news during the last days was being dominated by the big landslide that happened. You can see collections for "Laguna Relief" everywhere. I have a little bit of problem to feel too sad about people who owned houses that at least before the landslides were worth around 2 million dollars and upwards. I'm not saying I don't feel sympathy for the people who were affected but in comparison to a lot of other stuff going on around the world I'm pretty sure these people will land on their feet.

Also I know that my place is standing on solid rock and not mud which was the case where the landslide happened, so I'm not that worried that the same fate will happen to me (Knock on wood).

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Still here

If anyone is reading the news that there have been a pretty big landslide here in Laguna Beach I just want to let people know that it wasn't my place and I'm still here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

St. Thomas adventure

I'm sitting on the flight from Newark to LAX back from a week long trip to St Thomas and I thought I would write down the impressions of the trip to make the time go faster. The trip has been great. However before I get into that I will start with what truly sucked. This trip is the first time in my life that I used the airline Continental Airways, lets say that it will hopefully be the last time. First of all as we arrived in St. Thomas my bag wasn't there. I know that given the amount I have traveled in my life so far and this being the first time I've ever lost my bag it is only what should be expected. Not only that, but one of my travel companions Heather also lost her luggage (Different ticket, but still Continental).

First the people of the Continental desk seemed more or less clueless what the procedure is (Strange since it seemed so common, there were 5 bags missing on just my plane) and it took forever to process the claim. I can continue to enlighten people who have yet to loose a bag what the reimbursement you get from the airline when they loose a bag. You get $25 a day (Starting after 24 hours of reported lost bag) and if they never found the bag you get only up to $640 in reimbursement if you have no other insurance, as my friend Heather said "I have shoes that costs more than that in the bag". Also, since St. Thomas is such a minuscule airport it was actually closed the day after we arrived so there was no hope of getting the bags then. We did call them though and was greeted by a cheerful voice saying that one of the bags were still in Newark and the other bag is "safely in Santa Domingo" (Too bad that we weren't there, we really should have known better so I guess it really was our fault ;) ). The next day (When the airport was opened again even though nobody ever answered the phone) we first got the message that our bags were there at the airport so we went there (Heather was missing her bag a little bit more than me, I would probably have waited). When we got there only one bag was there (Heathers fortunately), my bag would arrive at 3pm though so they would ship it to my hotel and I would have it as I got back that night. Well, needless to say no bag showed up that day. The next day I started calling at 9:30 and was asked to call back at 10:00 when St Thomas baggage claim opened. At 10:00 I was told to call back at 10:45. At 10:45 I was told to call back in 30 minutes. But, lo and behold when I called then they actually had my bag at the airport and would ship it to the hotel (And this time it actually did show up).

My trouble with Continental did not end there though. When I left Newark the yanked my I94 (The thing they stamp in your passport as you enter the US) and I didn't think of it since I thought I was leaving the states. Now as I am heading home immigration tells me that I have actually not left the states so I can't get a new one (You should always have one in your passport if you don't have a green card when in the states) so now I am no longer an entirely legal immigrant in the US. According to the people I have talked to at Continental and Immigration it should be fairly easy to fix, but I only had 30 minutes for my connecting flight so I couldn't work on it more. It still bugs the hell out of me though because I know it's going to be a mess fixing it (Contact with authorities always are, here or in Sweden doesn't really matter) and it's all the f*cking airlines fault for yanking it out of my passport when they shouldn't have. To top it of at Newark we were stuck at the arrival gate for 20 minutes because immigration had arranged the gate for international arrival when it wasn't (The irony, if it only was the whole I-94 mess would have gone away). Waiting for 20 minutes at the gate before being able to leave the plane when you have 30 minutes to begin with before the next departure is very stressful.

While I'm on the topic of problems I failed to convince Cingular, my cell phone operator, to enable international roaming on my account (I find it amazing that it is so difficult to convince them to take my money). So I have been without a phone all week except that I got to borrow Ceci:s phone so I could get in touch with the other people. It was kind of nice though to be completely unreachable for a week. I also managed to not check my email all week and that was actually not bad.

Ok, that was the bad part. Appart from this as I said before the trip was awesome. It was me and 3 friends (Heather, Sasha and Ceci) that went. I stayed at a different hotel than them because when I checked their hotell was booked. By an amazing stroke of luck the hotel that I booked had a 5 star PADI dive center on the premise which was great since I had planned on doing some diving. I haven't been doing it at all since the trip to Egypt a year and a half ago. I managed to get 8 dives in and also get an Advanced Open Water certification. The weather wasn't spectacular but it was still warm and I didn't mind that the sun wasn't always showing. It just helped with me not wearing any sunscreen (I was the only person who didn't managed to get sunburned of my entire group). Saw a bunch of colourful fish, turtles (Bigger than me in some cases) and a bunch of different rays. There was also a bunch of large (About 1 meter long) iguanas running around everywhere.

Other adventures of the trip was that we went out driving dingies to go snorkling (Especially when going out on the Atlantic side of the island where the waves were bigger and you really got to bounce around). I went riding on a wave runner (Which basically is a big jet ski) which was also totally awesome. Went kayaking one day to from my hotell too. Also, the food was excellent almost everywhere (I had the best lobster I've ever had in my life only to be superseded with an even better lobster dish a couple of days later). They also had a bunch of interesting and really good drinks starting with the more or less standard Strawberry Daquiry to the Chocalate Bushwacker. Another cool thing I did was hitchhike for the first time in my life which basically means sitting in the back of a pickup truck and knocking on the side when you want to get off (This seemed the preferred mode of transportation to a lot of locals) and it was completely legal (One time we were even followed by a police car).

I also encountered something called a pour it yourself bar. The concept were that you asked the bartender for a drink (Him being incredibly obnoxious and totally uninterested to serve pretty much anyone, he was awesome) and then he puts a glass and the stuff needed to mix it in front of you and you get to mix it yourself. We were 5 people drinking for 2 hours and our tab was $21 (A lot less than anywhere else we went where a drink was usually at least $5 or more. The shopping was also great and I picked up an Omega diving watch (I'm really happy with myself because I actually managed to haggle the price down almost $200), also picked up a 32 year old scotch that seemed really nice. Finally I cant help thinking of the rather mean quote regarding most of the discussions during the trip by the "hens" (As I started referring to my travel mates as retaliation for them starting to calling me Hank). The quote is "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people"... I will leave it up to the imagination of what the usual topic of the discussion was.

The pictures from the trip are available here. As usual I sucked at taking pictures so these are all from the other people on the trip.

That in short pretty much what happened on the trip. I had a fairly interesting week before the trip too. David Christian had a brother in town so they were going out quite a lot and I joined them most days and in the beginning of the week I managed to leave my cellphone in a bar (IE I lost it). Later during the week I also managed to leave my MP3 player and headphones in the washing machine and apparently neither of them were made for that so I have had to make do with a backup to use during my trip. Fortunately I had one on hand. Finally before the trip I picked up one of the new Sony PSP gadgets (Portable game console). Totally awesome little machine, I love it so far (So much more capturing than the Nintendo GBA SP I had before). I've also almost finished expanding my home stereo system to 8.25 TB of disk storage (Before raid, a little bit over 7TB usable storage though). I'm planning on making all my DVD:s available directly without needing to flip through a bunch of discs. It will be fantabulous!

Monday, May 2, 2005

A very Southern California saturday

Yesterday I woke up in the morning and went skiing in Mount Baldy. The place is 1 hour and 10 minutes from where I live (Door to parkinglot). The skiing was awesome for being so close to where I live, although they pretty much only had red and black (Diamond for Americans) slopes. After it closed at 4 in the afternoon I went home in time to host a barbeque with some friends at which a friend of mine had a testing of Jello shots for us.

Great being able to go skiing just over the day, and next season I will definitely be better at taking advantage of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Mammoth skiing was awesome

I've just come home yesterday from skiing on Mammoth Mountain which was totally awesome. I wouldn't say it compared to skiing in the Alps, but definately better than anything I've tried anywhere in Sweden.

While there I also met up with anothe bunch of Swedes who came from San Diego so now I'm on a mailing list for Swedes who live in Southern California who likes skiing. I met them by sporting cleverly suddle clues to my origin (Like having a Peak Performance ski jacket and a Tandådalen lift ticket holder).

I also manage to completely screw up my sunblock (Well, actually I didn't use any) so today I'm hurting... A lot. So I've got some kind of aloe gel that they recommended in the pharmacy when you got bad sun burns.

It seems that my last post regarding going RTM was kind of premature. Even though it seemed a sure thing when I wrote it a bunch of last minute bugs crept up plus we suffered some "drive by management" which was close to cancelling the entire project at the end of the second to last day (Or at least postponing it for 6 months) due to the fact that we were needed on another project that needed help keeping another dateline. It's interesting how sometime the project priorities can change on a day to day basis. Anyway, we did manage to get the release done last friday though so all is well that ends well.

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Went RTM with my first product today

I went RTM today. If you don't know what it means, don't worry about it I didn't know it before I started at Quest either. It means either "Release To Marketing" or "Release To Management" or "Release To Market". Anyway, it basically means that we ship our product. I've done it once before, but that was just an adaptation of TOra (The product I sold to Quest) and it was never a commercial product, only a free offering.

So the plan is going drinking tonight and going to Mammoth skiing during the weekend.

Welcome to my new website

Welcome to the newest feature of my webpage, a blog. Due to the fact that all my friends who until recently worked at Bahnhof Internet have quit I have decided to move my hosting to a new location and in the process I have take the opportunity to also include a complete overhaul of the entire site.

For the tech savvy reader I've decided that since I update my webpage about once or twice a decade I've tried to keep it as platform agnostic as posible. Removing all ties to databases (The MySQL support broke the old homepage in the end). I'm also removing the annoying parts of the website that generated traffic, most specifically the "Anti SJ site". I also removed the Swedish language because it is simply too much hastle to maintain a two language site, and everyone I hang out speak english at least passingly.

New on the personal front is the fact that I have booked a trip to St Thomas in May for a week and a half with a bunch of friends. I have also more or less pinned down the dates for my vacation back home in Sweden to the 18:th of August all the way through to the 29:th of the same month.

I'm also hoping to be able to make a quick trip to Mammoth Lakes for skiing for an extended weekend relatively soon. So in short I have the whole vacation thing down for a while now.

Also new is the fact that I am selling my appartment back home in Stockholm. The reason for that is that first of all Stefan Rindeskär has bought a house and will be moving out. Also given the fact that I think it is pretty good times to sell, coupled with the fact that I am pretty sure that when I get home I will want to have a bigger appartment (It's easy to get used to the 1000+ square feet I have now).

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Happy 1 year anniversity

Well, today it's been exactly one year since I moved to the states and there been a lot of stuff that has happened since the last post and as usual I don't really have time for a really thorough read through, but I'll do some bullet points as last time.

  • Got the Jacuzzi and it is working beautifully (Great way to relax after going out on the town or after a workout). I had pictures, but due to a mishap I lost them... I'll do better for next time.
  • Had a very successful Christmas party.
  • Had my parents visiting for 2 weeks over christmas and went up to San Francisco via Highway 1. Also have some really pretty pictures from us hiking behind my house.
  • Had Stefan Rindeskär over for a visit. Among others went to the only NFL Chargers playoff game.
  • Had Stefan Lundmark over for a visit. Went to a NBA game with the Clippers.
  • Got a girlfriend. Her name is Emma and she is ironically from London but lives in Newport Beach.
  • Got to see the Superbowl the way it was intended (With all the really cool ads in it).
  • Went to the bank today for some other stuff and just asked them what my credit rating was (Not having had any credit at all last year).

Apparently I have excellent credit now (To the point where they really, really wanted to add credit for my card). Well, that's it. I'm heading out for a dinner with most of my friends from the year past tonight at "The Belgian Place" which is my new local hangout place, don't know if I've mentioned it before. Anyway, hope you are all alright and I'll try to be better with the updates in the future... But given the fact that I more and more seem to actually get a life over here it's not looking good.