Music meme

Jun. 20th, 2007 02:57 pm
johan: (orvars)
Got this from [ profile] dalmeny: "List seven songs you are into right now, no matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to."

Well, is my friend here.

1. David Grisman Quintet: "Blues for Vassar"
2. John Fahey: "In a Persian Market"
3. John Fahey: "Summertime"
4. Kirsty Maccoll: "They Don't Know"
5. Leigh Nash: "Stars in My Eyes"
6. The Decemberists: "Kingdom of Spain"
7. Bill Jones: "From My Window"

Tagging. Nah. Sorry.
johan: (Default)
So, jophan, your LiveJournal reveals...

You are... 6% unique
(blame, for example, your interest in snorfcon)
and 13% herdlike
(partly because you, like everyone else, enjoy tea).
When it comes to friends you are popular. In terms of the way you relate to people, you are keen to please.

Your writing style (based on a recent public entry) is conventional.

Your overall weirdness is: 40

(The average level of weirdness is: 27.
You are weirder than 82% of other LJers.)

Find out what your weirdness level is!

johan: (5 år)
I'll echo [ profile] darnia: Yes, that's a mostly correct description of me, but just like a horoscope it's pretty generic and will fit most people.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when everything is uncertain, one moment heaven... the next moment hell.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage something you've always wanted... though you haven't really thought about it.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.
johan: (dragon)
Swá hit gedéfe bið þæt mon his winedryhten wordum herge
ferhðum fréoge þonne hé forð scile of líchaman laéded weorðan
swá begnornodon Géata léode hláfordes hryre, heorðgenéatas:
cwaédon þæt hé waére wyruldcyning manna mildust ond monðwaérust
léodum líðost ond lofgeornost.

Yep, I'm done. Ding-dong, the King is dead.

I feel like I should get started both on Heaney's other œuvre and on other recordings of Germanic epics.
johan: (Default)
there was no Heorot, and Hroðgár was still not even a twinkle in his father's eye. By the time I got to work, the warriors of the Danish court were celebrating the son of Ecgthéow, praising his strength and the day he was born.

I am incredibly moved by this old poem and impressed with Heaney.


May. 28th, 2007 08:47 pm
johan: (5 år)
Thanks to a kind new friend of mine I have Seamus Heaney's recording of his Beowulf.

Thanks to a repair shop in Gothenburg, I have what seems to be a working ipod once more. (Isn't it wonderful? If your ipod breaks within a year, the repair is free. If it breaks after 14 months, they don't repair it even if you pay. Thank God there are unauthorized spare parts.)

So tomorrow I will at last be able to listen to Heaney's Beowulf on my ipod. I've wanted to hear this one since I heard it was recorded, and I've been without my ipod for a month.
johan: (orvars)
So why don't I use it? I've spent blood, sweat and tears (figuratively, at least, I have certainly not bled all over the keyboard that I can remember. I usually manage to cut myself mostly when cooking vegetarian food, which is always a nuisance, because getting blood on it makes it slightly less veggo) entering 5,691 items into this database, which incidentally started as a way for me to keep track of which editions I have of Shakespeare's plays, and I export a version to the web, and another one to my Palm Vx.

All this because I want to avoid having to buy duplicates. I used to buy up to a dozen duplicates a year. The books I buy can be divided into several categories; books I reeaalllly want to read NOW, books I've been looking for, and then books by good authors that I really ought to own, even if I don't entertain any immediate plans of reading them. The last category is very duplicate-prone.

However, with my flashy library database on the Palm I'm carrying around, I should really be able to reduce the number to zero in the long and proud local tradition of nollvisionen. But noooo, I'm too lazy too look each and every book up before I buy them. "I know I don't have this one," I think. The last book I thought that about (yesterday) was Claes Hylinger's Kvällarna på pärlan.

Any takers? It's yours, just raise your hand. I'm sure it's a good book or I wouldn't have bought it. Twice. Aaargh.
johan: (5 år)
...perhaps today John W. Campbell had been thought of as the most influential 20th C editor of the field of science fiction.

Just back from a very interesting talk by [ profile] fjm, which wasn't any the worse for being a bit rambling, on the need for some real fact-based literary research on the early sf magazines, challenging all the unspoken community consensus assumptions about what was good and what was bad. I really wish she'll get funding for this study. I'm sure you'll get the chance to hear a later, more mature version of this talk at cons in the future; take it.
johan: (Default)
So, all last week we had [ profile] natika here. We spent most of the week eating and playing games. Arkham Horror, Giro, The Great Khan Game, Schnarch, Schnarch, Unexploded Cow, Get Nifty and uhmm, can't think of anything more. And we did a traditional Last of April, with porridge breakfast, silly raft race, herring lunch, "caps on" ceremony, OD concert and then went to a couple of friends in the evening. Pictures here.


Apr. 26th, 2007 08:34 pm
johan: (orvars)
This must be the most hilarious report I've ever read if it's true: Lambs sold as poodles to unsuspecting Japanese customers.

Via Boing Boing.
johan: (Default)
I thought I would map out where I lived and went to school when I grew up, and created a Google map. While doing this, I realized that if I were ever to write my memoirs - bad idea, they would be of scant interest to others - I would probably use a map as a starting point. Poring over maps of places where I've lived or been to I remember all kinds of things I thought I had forgot. Interesting.
johan: (dragon)
Cúpla mí ó shin, the municipality announced that they were replacing the water meters in the area where we live, so would we please check that the valves were in working order so the water could be turned off. Well, I checked it and thought that the tap went dry when I turned the valve, but when the plumber came to replace the meter, the valve no longer worked and he had to leave the old meter in place as the water couldn't be turned off.

We were told to fix that valve within a couple of months and let them know, and this morning another plumber came, a personal friend of [ profile] jlms's, to replace first the valve and then the meter. After he was done, he switched on the water again, and immediately water started to flow onto the floor from a different place in the laundry room. He turned off the water again and investigated the leak. It was a welding seam on another pipe that was just bursting, completely unrelated to the work he had been doing. If turning the water off and then on again hadn't just provoked it to burst, it would probably had happened within a few days or at most weeks, flooding the entire house if we hadn't been at home.

It felt a bit like being hit by an ambulance. Phew.
johan: (Kuma nöjd)
This webcomic by [ profile] quasilie and her boyfriend really impressed me. Can't wait to read the coming episodes.
johan: (orvars)
The results came in this morning and [ profile] ang_grrr won with an overwhelming majority. I am of course a little bit of disappointed with not having won myself, but only very little. Realistically I never thought I had much of a chance when I learned who the other candidates were. But it was fun standing, I've been in the fannish limelight, and the winner is extremely deserving as far as I can tell.

And it rained the whole night and morning. Definitely needed, it's been far too dry here and the Walpurgis bonfires can't be lit on the 30th if it's too dry.
johan: (Default)
Marvellous weather yesterday. My diligent and never-ceasing production of carbon dioxide during 43 years paid off, and it was the hottest April day since they started keeping track. I was able to take the bike to work. It's a ten-mile (16 km) ride, so I don't like to do that when it's too cold or rainy. If it's cold I have to dress so that I won't freeze to death, and that will make me too hot during the ride, and I don't want to start my day in the office with a second shower.

But yesterday was perfect for this year's first bike ride to work. It takes about the same time as taking the bus, too, so the only drawback is I can't read. And today I will get the 6th edition Call of Cthulhu rules that [ profile] darnia bought on my behalf, so I can start planning the roleplaying campaign I'm going to launch in a couple of months. I have lots of ideas for it, let's hope I will manage to make something of them as well.

And I got my sf news blog Fanspan started again. Gosh, ain't I industrious?
johan: (dragon)
After the annual Gondor banquet that I wrote about a few weeks ago we always have a self-congratulatory Gosh-Aren't-We-Good! party to pat ourselves on the heads. (It's a tiring exercise, we have big heads.) I did the cooking this year and that was the best bouillabaisse I've ever made. I wonder what made it so kick-ass. Yum! With killer aioli.

Less cheerful was the news that the friend I wrote about some days later has been told that her case is hopeless. They will try to slow down the spread of her aggressive tumour to give her as many extra months that they can (provided the chemo doesn't destroy her quality of life, I assume), but they can't cure her. It will soon be game over. I don't know how many months they have given her. Fuck.
johan: (orvars)

Every ten years the Södermanlands-Nerikes student nation here in Uppsala stage In Madagascar, an opera spectacle from 1869. We saw it ten years ago, and it was magnificent. This year, they had modernized it a bit and the cast was smaller and less professional, which was noticeable. It was still fun, but not nearly as good as ten years ago. The student part of the audience had an excellent time and laughed a lot at what we thought were quite lame newly-inserted jokes, so I suppose the directors and writers had judged things correctly. We were probably not the target audience. Fair enough. The actors were decent, and a couple of them superb.

The story is thin, it's about two European travellers' encounter with cannibals in Madagascar, but the music and libretto are lovely. (One thing worked really well in the revised version: the new dances.)

More pictures:
You can listen to a recording from ten or 20 years ago at the record label's site: BIS records
johan: (5 år)
I wonder whether this simple parlour game would be any fun.

It uses a relative thick dictionary, which mustn't be too worn or well-used. (It's a bit like how there mustn't be any distinctive markings on a deck of cards.)

It goes like this:

One participant decides on a word, a target entry, and the first player must open the dictionary as close to that entry as possible. Count the number of pages from where he opens the dictionary to the target entry and write it down. Then this player decides on a new word for the next player, and so on, until everyone has had a go.

Play it a number of rounds decided in advance (three or five is probably suitable) and sum up the page count for each player. The lowest score wins.
johan: (5 år)
We got this ambitious and huge board game for our birthdays and yesterday it was time to take it out for a spin. Only myself and [ profile] jlms, and just testing it, not really playing.

Entry at BoardGameGeek:

The first review of the game you currently see on BoardGameGeek is highly positive (like most other reviews of the game) but contains warnings like "[i]f you prefer 45-60 minute games then Arkham is not for you as 2-3 hours is common and perhaps even up to 4 hours when learning", "you should expect to play the game anywhere up to 5 times before getting it perfectly right", "the game demands some pretty intelligent play." (Neil Thomson)

Actually, we spent four hours on it without getting to the endgame, but we were deliberately taking it slow, exploring the game. It's incredibly rich in features and variants. There are many, many hundreds of cards, some of which will never be brought into play during a specific session, and a specific combination of investigator characters and Big Evil Threat will probably never occur twice for a specific set of players. And the number of strategies or substrategies you can choose to pursue to win is difficult to get a handle on.

This is definitely my kind of game. I'm a sucker for games that are not just about clever game mechanics, de-coupled from the theme (like most modern so-called Euro games, or "German" games), but instead are simulations of some sort or deeply infused by the theme.

Each player plays one of 16 possible investigators (each with their own special abilities), taking up the fight against one of eight possible Ancient Ones. As an investigator, you walk (or drive on) the streets of Arkham, gathering allies, equipment and retainers, having occult encounters and fighting monsters while desperately trying to close and if possible seal the gates that open to other dimensions before all of Arkham is overrun and the Ancient One awakens for the final battle. Of course, the odds are stacked against you.

Now, we have to plan a real game session.
johan: (Default)
This is one of the coolest videos I've watched for a long time:

From [ profile] jessikast
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