Category Archives: Personal

My Year in Books

Another year is over, and it is time to look back and review my reading habit. Last year my goal was to read 40 books. Not because I was anywhere near to reach that number in 2022, but because I happen to turn forty (years) in 2023, and I thought it would be an interesting challenge.

Picture of 3 of the books I read in 2023: How to kill your family, Spare and The Book Theif.
3 of the books I read in 2023

Now, I’m going to be honest and upfront: I did not achieve the goal of 40 books. Not even close. I ended up reading just 25 books. Meaning 25 new books. Re-reading books, blogs, and articles are not counted.

According to Goodreads, I read 9,661 pages, although I would take that with a grain of salt, and that the average book length was 386 pages. Again, grain of salt.

Looking back at last year’s post I see that I had not finished Barack Obamas brick of a book, “A Promised Land”, and this still rings true. Maybe this year I will be able to pick it up and finish it.

Of the 25 books that I did manage to finish, I would like to mention the following five that I really enjoyed reading, in no particular order.

How to Kill Your Family – by Bella Mackie

A sharp and witty book about killing family members. It sounds bad, but it is not. It is funny, sharp and witty. Highly recommended.

The Book Thief – by Markus Zusak

This book is unusual in that it is narrated by death. It tells a captivating story about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany and the following war. She also learns to read and steels a few books along the way.

Spare – by Prince Harry

Prince Harry tells his story about how it was like growing up in the royal family, sometimes referred to as “the firm”, and how ruthless the British media can be. He writes honest, as far as I can tell. In the end, as we know, he chose to leave the royal family to create and protect his own family.

Doom Guy: Life in First Person – by John Romero

Co-founder of Id Software, the company that created games such as Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D and most notably Doom and Quake, writes about his childhood years and how that formed him, and follows up with how work as affected his personal life, and how his personal life has affected his work.

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman – by Richard P. Feynman

This is a book with anecdotes from Mr. Feynman life, the Nobel prize winning physicist. Reading these stories, you would never have guessed that this guy worked on the Manhattan Project (the atomic bomb) during the war. He is one witty person.

The Easter Detox

I’ve been doing my digital detox again this Easter. Although, truth be told, it is probably also a people detox. A noise detox. A get away-from-it-all detox. But it works. The solitude was…enriching.

Still, I kind of crave more of it. More away-from-it-all. To just disappear. Completely.

Maybe someday.

The activities this Easter was as follows: eating, sleeping, reading and kayaking.

A picture of Ryvarden lighthouse as seen from a kayak.

I highly recommend getting away from it all. Just be prepared that you probably will experience withdraws when your trusty old phone is turned of and hidden away. Luckily this ain’t my first rodeo, and I am perfectly fine letting my streak on Wordle wither away.

Having said that; it was nice with a shower after 5 days.

For better or worse, I own my content

I stumbled upon this post by Jose Gilgardo called “own your work“. In a nutshell it argues that, sooner or later, a platform owned by someone else will kick the bucket. GeoCities and MySpace is a good example.

The solution seems simple: own the data, own the entry point. And it is simple.

Own the data

Own the data is easy. Make sure you always have a copy at your place. That is, do not just write your work directly in Medium, Facebook, Blogger or whatever. Keep a copy at your local device. Preferably in a format that open and easy to upload somewhere else.

Own the entry point

Get a domain, point it at your data. If you need to move your data, update your domain accordingly. This way your data will always be associated with your domain name, and not the current provider that hosts your data.

Cost of ownership (and why it isn’t that high)

The cost associated with this is slightly higher than the alternative. But that is the price of owning, rather than giving it away for free. Actually, in most cases you are actually paying for giving away your data. You just don’t know it.

Writing a post on Facebook is free. You don’t pay for it directly. But you pay for it in terms of viewing ads and giving away personal data, which Facebook and their parent company Meta in turn sells to the highest bidder.

I host my own domain on my own server at my own house. Ergo, I own my own content. It may not be good, but it is mine. And if I move, I have the data, I have the entry point (given I continue to pay for the domain name.)

The part about “my own server at my own house” is the “or worse” part in the title. If there is a power failure or a disk failure or the internet connection for some reason goes down, my content is unavailable. I still own it, but you won’t see it.

Actually, this happened this week. For some reason my router stopped working. It took a few reboots for it to work again. And this was only two weeks after I enabled IPv6. So my blog was not only IPv6 in-accessible, it was IPv4 in-accessible as well. And as I feared, I got a new IPv6 block once my router started working again.

Time waits for no man

In other words: Norway has entered summer time, also known as UTC+2. And while time itself had nothing to do with it, everyone else acts as if it has. I myself will wait till tomorrow and turn the clock one hour ahead during a meeting. Maybe I’ll do it twice. Once before lunch and once again after.

I’ll correct any mistakes when I get home after work.

Actually, I suspect I will keep on making new mistakes, but hopefully not the same ones. Because I don’t have time for that (pun intended, you may slow clap.)

Unrelated. I think it’s time to get rid of Windows 11. Again, this is unrelated to the UTC+2 changes, but it certainly didn’t help either. I’ve been looking at openSUSE, which seems to be enjoying growth as of late. I have come so far as to download the installation, but not far enough to have put it onto a bootable USB drive. Also, I have misplaced the USB drive altogether. But I know where it is, and once I get it back it is “go time.”

Many, many years ago. A bit more. No, not that far. Anyway, somewhere back in time, I used to have Linux as my main operating system. And as time goes, I feel more and more that I should move back. The only thing keeping me back these days are Adobe Lightroom, and possibly Steam. But I don’t play my games, so it seems like a silly excuse. Then again, you haven’t heard my other excuses, so this one may actually be one of the more reasonable ones.

Well. Times up. I have books to read. Hooray!

Anxiety is the part of me that never gives up

Anxiety is the part of me that never gives up. Sometimes it leaves me for a while, but it always comes back to give me a hug when I need it the most. Ignoring the fact that I need it from another human being.

When I want to run and hide. Anxiety runs with me. Not to hide, but to remind me how pointless it is.

When I want to be alone. Anxiety tells me I am not good enough. Not worthy of love. Not even from myself.

When I want quietness. Anxiety plays the drums and shout at the top of its lungs. Always to a tune I cannot stand.

When I want to sleep. Anxiety asks me—with a grin on its face—about the mistakes I have made in my life.

Anxiety is a part of me, and it will never give me up for someone else. Someone better.