torsdag, desember 14, 2006

Pictures from England

You can find pictures from the trip


The night before Christmas (festival)

We needed a few days to warm up to good festival spirits. So already on wednesday we landed at Saslisbury to check out the food and beer. It was my first time in the UK so it was exciting in several ways.

England is quite a nice place. Reminds me of Postman Pat on children television. People are friendly, beer is good and food is better.

Next day we started with a proper English breakfast. Then we went to see the Sailsbury Cathedral. Its not like I have a thing for these - I think I rather go for a castle. At least now I have seen the Magna Carta. Later same day we went to see Stonehedge, some stones gathered around. The weird things with these ruins is that they are placed in such a way it looks different form various angles. From the enterance it looks like really boring ruins, from the other side it looks like the full operational Stonehenge. Is this a trick or ?

Then of course it was time for the Stonehedge chocolate and lollipop. Huh huh
We slept over in Bath. We had a great pot roasted pheasant. Then moved into the family facilities of Butlins in Minehead.

Yes they have traffic lights for cows and warning signs for disabled people. It is just so cute.

Iggy put on a show like no other. He plays his concert like there is no tomorrow. Like it is his first concert ever. It is like he is saying: “I am Iggy and I am 19 years forever”

He points at the crowd and tries to convince us with “I am you” while he almost looses his pants and stagedives onto us. “I am you”

And so you think: “I wanna be like Iggy.” So you think how impressive it is to display a show like every one is the first. Like any other grand or small concert you have seen is actually just a boring copy, a rutine of the last one and the concert before there again.

And so you think: “I just wanna be your dog”

Sonic Youth also put on one of they’re best shows ever, two days in a row. And so we knew that this trip and this festival was all good. Everything was worth the trip. Sonic nurses and sonic noise have never been so good. Thank you Sonic Youth to let me see you again. I hope again some time that I will have the chance to redo that. ;)

While the Dinosaur Jr concert I went to see in Stockholm sucked big time, it was like the Swedish papers said: “It is like Gandalf and Frodo without an magic”, this time around it seems that the dinosaurs have gotten some of its old magic back and it feels like the pain of everyone.

Then I feel nothing.

The Dinosaurs are one of my favorite bands and seeing two overall good performances with them gave me hope back. They also played a new song – so maybe they are even releasing a new record?

Now if they just could be friends…

Other than that we saw a few lesser known bands like Gang of four and Six organs of admittance. We stood in queues a lot and we had our first “fish n chips” which I found really nice as well.

Looking forward to see England again. Pictures is to come...

Nils Petter Molvær (concert)

This was a silly concert. I do sometimes like to listen to jazz like this. Jazz that takes a piece of the mystic and traditional Norwegian soul and makes it into a journey. But to be honest seeing Nils live was a disappointment.

I rather listen to his CD. It Is a better experience in every way.

James Bond Casino Royale (film)

Every time there is a new James Bond there is a lot of tension in the first movie. It is usually like: if the movie fails the James Bond franchise is in danger.

Therefore they brought in the director from Goldeneye to ensure success.
Earlier there has also been similar attempts on creating a darker Bond more like the one in Ian Flemming’s books. Most noticeably the failure with George Lazenby.
This time however they have gone to the roots and made something of a Dr. No killer.

They step away from a lot of the Bondiness that was created for the films and is not from Ian Flemmings mind.

One shouldn’t be surprised that it works. It is just the fact that we have gotten used to something else? Truth is it works so well. With such an impact 2:24 seems like an hour and a half. Even when you see it second time.

It is really enjoyable to see that James Bond takes damage and has his face full of bruises. And the rest is just pure enjoyment as well. Best line is: “That's because you know what I can do with my little finger”

The weak point is that the story is totally weak as well as the end. But who cares. This is one of the best bond movies ever. You have a license to see it now.

Oooops, no winter…

Well I was wrong, winter is not here. It is soon Christmas and temperature is still high. No snow. And animal life is believing in a new summer. It is all weird – but I do think the snow will be here soon. But will it be in time for a white Christmas?

fredag, november 03, 2006

Winter is here again.

Snow is again around us in Oslo and winter is here again. It is kinda beatyful so its easy to forget all the trouble it causes for traffic (including one of Bruce Bringsteen’s trailers…) huh huh

Ill try to get some pictures on here one of the days…

Million Dollar Baby (movie)

I’ve been a big fan of Clint Eastwood as long as I can remember. His movies includes both a lot of classics as well as a few turkey ones. Unlike a lot of you I was deeply disappointed with Mystic River so I waited a long time before my sister “tricked” me into seeing this one.

But as It is said so many times: the one that waits – waits for something good.
And so it is that Million Dollar Babe is up there among Clint’s finest ever. It is obvious that Clint and Morgan is having an explended time while shooting this. And so is it that this movie is a fun, interesting movie that hits you where you need it.
In fact all the punches, all the violence that Cllint has given us on the big screen up till now has now been gathered into the fist of a girl. And what a fist – a million dollar fist – a million dollar babe.

Now this movie could easily been a great boxing movie and nothing more. And a lot of people I think would feel ok with that. But it is so that this movie is also deeper than the numerous punch lines.

And so Clint is taking the time to tell us some more in all the enjoyment.
Another one for everybody to watch.

Volver (movie)

A good movie is a pleasure – something that is oh so easy to forget because there is not really that many movies that are a pleasure. Volver is a gem – one of those moments when you forget yourself and just enjoy.

Not so that Volver is brainless. No way. In fact it puts it finger on some really important issues but at the same time its such an cute comedy. And as you understand in 99% of the times this wouldn’t be possible – to make a movie which is both deep, funny and cozy.

I don’t think I should say much more about this movie – as it is one that everybody should watch no matter what and you’ll understand what I mean.

tirsdag, september 12, 2006

Miami Vice (2006) (movie)

Michael Mann is back and tries to give new life to Miami Vice. When I was a child my mother had this idea that Miami Vice was bad for me to watch so she didn’t let me. I have therefore taken the time to watch and analyze some of the old episodes – to she what it all was about.

I am in fact impressed with what I see. While the action and the effects might be old the style, the plots, the filming and the easy and light attitude makes this one of the best made series made. It is here you see that masters of the big screen in work.

I can not say but that my mother (as usual) made a totally wrong decision here – when I had to watch Derrick storming around in the german underworld instead. What kind of impression does that not leave on a childs mind? Ha ha ;)

So does the winning receipt still work? Is it in Michaels power to recreate Miami Vice anno 2006?

Of course. It is a great movie. It has great camerawork – nice locations – good action – and is indeed very true in story and plot to the original series. But something is missing……..

One – Teamplay – yes there is a few scenes where the partners actually talk together – but there is really no interaction, fun or feelings between them. This is unfortunate as this is one of the key elements in the original Miami Vice.

Two – Dark – This is a very dark movie. We are brought to many great locations but the movie does not make much use of them – probably to keep the movie dark. I prefer Miami Vice to be little lighter.

The best part of the movie is of course the ending shootout as well as one of the erotic scenes earlier on (male faking… ;) )

As this movie deserves a second chance. I will see it again soon to finalize my impressions, hopefully it will be the extended version – as I feel to much essentials has been cut. And so should you... but where is the DVD box with the original series – remestered and complete with all kind of special features!!!!???

The Triangle (miniseries)

Long time ago there was a series on NRK that tried to solve the biggest mysteries in the world. Bermuda triangle was one of them. This series tries to take this mystery and milk it into 3 full time DVDs or as earlier, as miniseries on TV.

They have succeeded very well. In fact they manage to drive the show all the time – by expanding the influence of the Bermuda Triangle minute by minute so the watched is constantly in for a thrill and does not get time to think if what is presented is believable or not.

To keep someone thrilled for 4 and a half hour is indeed a masterpiece on its own. Even if the final solution might not be very realistic at all – and the story might indeed be thin as water – but you wont really notice until its all over – and you wont really care as well.

This is one to watch.

The Inside Man (Movie)

I don’t think I am alone when I say I have some kind of crush of the heist movies from the seventies. New heist movies like this one tries to catch some of the old and bring It on with high quality sound and picture and modern style filming. Often I find the result to be disappointing – but in fact:

The Inside man is quite enjoyable.

In fact one of the better ones I have watched in quite a while – despite it being a movie with almost no action at all – in fact the movie stands still almost all the time. All credits to the actors and the director for doing such! The shortcomings of this movie is of course that a few small things would in fact made this movie Top Noch – one to talk about – but it fails on these small parts.

What is very cozy though is that there is no losers in this movie – all the involved parts win in one way or another – just like in the best seventy heist movies…..

Granittrock 2006 (Festival)

Granittrock is a free festival and as we all know: Gratis is good. It is OBOS that is sponsoring this festival making it possible for lesser known band (again) to get a chance to show what they are made of.

Also Granittrock attracks some big main band like TNT and Dum Dum Boys (again). So of course it was time to get to see the closure of this years Dum Dum Boys tour. Again it is too bad they could not play a full concert because this show was maybe even better (or at least close to) the show they had last week in Hamar! “Takke Faen for det!”

This all means that I have gotten from zero(0) Dum Dum Boys concerts till 4 on one year. I think this qualifies for a Cuba Libre!

Øya 2006 (festival)

I remember my first Kalvøya festival when I saw Neil Young live. Jon Erik had tried to make me understand his music before – but of course – young as I was it totally passed me. But then he went on stage and Kalvøya became one of my finest festival memories. Not to mention that Neil came back next summer and made an even better concert.

The Kalvøya festival is now dead – but Øya lives on in its image (!?!) This year Øya actually start to attract some big international attention, but is it with stars like Beck and Twilight Singers bigger than Kalvøya? It would be a subjective answer – but I think the old Kalvøya was bigger – but Øya is on the way and it will be interesting to see how it progresses next year.

It started up on Wednesday with Øya night with some of the smaller band playing in clubs all over town. This is a good opportunity for the lesser known band to get some attraction and if they are good enough start on the road to fame.

First we saw Vom. A band of girls that are extremely interested in food??!! While not very interesting it had some effect that they barbecued food in front of the stage for some of us to eat. Thank you. Afterwards it was a quite good band playing but we had to leave for another concert.

Second we saw Rex Rudi known from the side-cartoon in Nemi. While the lead singer looks rockabilly they claim to play rock. But honestly it doesn’t sound like any of the two – but some kind of undefinable mass of noise. I would advise them to keep to the cartoon – while it might not be top noch it still is better. Highlight of the concert was the solos of guitar, drums and harpsichord. To bad nobody does this anymore. Maybe in some years they will manage to substance-size the music.

Third we saw a two small concerts with bands I unfortunately don’t know the name of, but especially the second band was really good, sounded a little like Led Zeppelin(!!)

Later we went downstairs and saw another band were I don’t know the name. While the band had some slow rock tunes reminding me of Neil Young (!) the lead singer’s voice was awful and it destroyed the whole band. A mission to all bands with lead singers whose voice suck? Find a new lead singer or make the one you have to work on his voice!

In fact it was such a downer that we went home

Thursday I didn’t go – but I saw some of it on Web-cast later. Motorpsycho (probably Norways best band, at least before Captain Gebhart left the wagon) delivered another great concert. The Cumshots famous from Quart opened up – but the music is not as good as the show I would say. Morrissey played but I don’t think it was more than par.

Friday came and again it was time to party! Black Debbath played a tribute to Ibsen – in their own pyro way – with the best being Motorhedda Gabler!

And I did get to see Twilight Singers – this was definitely the best part of the festival – too bad they didnt play longer than an hour and fifteen minutes (that’s a shame) – it was just about as good as seeing The Afghan Wigs a long time ago. I really would like to see a full length concert with them – anytime soon!

The Fall was strange – but totally ok, but not a band I will put any money in I think.

Then big star of the night was of course Dum Dum Boys! They delivered a great show – again only 1 hour and 15 minutes so to short to top the concert earlier this year in Rockefeller – but I feel that Dum Dum is getting in shape!!!

Saturday came. I didn’t manage to get there in time to Knutsen and Ludvigsen. Too bad. But I was in place a little later for KILL. A wild show but not much in it for me.

Hurra Torpedo is back in Norway after the imaginary USA tour. Seems like they have learned a few tricks on that tour, because they played Pixies ”Where is my mind” with the Devils voice(!!!) and for the rest – it was an awesome show. You just have to love a band that plays on kitchenware.

The Whitest boy alive proves that even if you are nerd you can make pretty good music. Not exepcional but quite enjoyable.

When Yoko Ono did her show, we had gotten admission to the VIP area. Not a really good VIP area though as most stars hid out in the backstage areas – probably to avoid Trond Giske. We did however see Kjartan and Co. And I had my new Dum Dum Boys T-shirt on (designed by myself) – we (and everybody else – all over the world) used the Onochord to flash the message out to the poeple: ”Lika du løøøøøv? Lika du sjokolade?” It is impressive to see such an old lady performing so lively on stage! It is still hope for The Rolling stones for another 5 albums – hah!

Finally Beck entered the scene with ”Looooooser” followed by ”Devils Haircut”. His new puppet show – showing everything happening on stage live on an alternate puppet show was pretty cool. But after a while all his tunes became of the lesser good ones and the puppet effect did also cool off – so I went home.

mandag, september 11, 2006

First Flower Died

Well as the summer is over – the life of this first flower also ended due to my incomplete skills as a gardener. But I am learning and there are new summers to come…. ;)

onsdag, august 16, 2006

Fly me to Prague

So we went to Prague for vacation. 6 days only – reasons told in an earlier blog. I had somehow thought of Prague being just another big city but I was wrong in many ways.
In fact Prague is such a lovely city and one of the most romantic places in the world – not beating Florence and Venice of course – but probably Paris.
The architecture is somewhat a clash between stiles and ages but blends lovely into your eyes as pleasure everywhere. In many ways it is cozy like a children tale – to be foolish it gives me a little of that feeling like Aalesund gives me. One other distinguish moment of this city is: they take art very seriously. Everywhere you go – wherever you are – you will see art – new as well as old – all styles. Many cities could learn something here.
We went to see a black light theater – a specialty of Czech Republic. It is some kind of special effects play with lights, darkness, colors and dance mixed into miming theatres without words. Very impressive – and I would like to see it again one day. We saw a play with a mad inventor that had made a massive door portal to the dream world (or so I think it was) and where one of the audience (pretending to be anyway) was the one reaching this world.

We also went to see Kutna Hora. A silver mining town – once almost as powerful as Prague – but once the mines were exhausted – the town was as well. It has an interesting ossuary – skeletons from before the black plague had been dug up to make space for all the fallen by pestilence. These skeletons were first put in pyramids. Later in 1870 one dude got the idea of use some of the pyramids as art. So he made some decorations and sculptures of skulls and bones – even the main lamp is a massive artwork consisting of dead peoples remains.

Another interesting place to see was Konopiste Castle. The Castle own by Franz Ferdinand. The guy that “hunted” 300.000 animals in his life. He was also presumably the first in Europe to install central heating, electricity and a modern bath – just like you and I have today. Then of course he did marry a low status girl against the emperors will – after all he was heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne. So he wasn’t allowed to bring his wife on official business – at least not in the beginning. Later on they were assassinated in Sarajevo – which in turn triggered the first world war. Franz has left us something else that is nice: his own beer. The brewery is fully operational today and it is some excellent fresh beer that gives you and us instant happiness. Way to go Franzie

Every place you go – take the boat trip. We did go for the jazz-boat. And even if I am no jazz fan, and they even played traditional jazz – I was impressed. The band played really well – but the food couldn’t match up.

Other than that it was extremely hot. And wasps was everywhere – very irritating when at all our meals (of course outside). A few wasps had to pay with their life.

I am also really impressed by the metro system in Prague (as well as bus and tram). In Norway they brag about that you only have to wait 5 minutes to the next one (which only applies for rush hours). In Prague you only wait 2 and a half minute for the next one – sometimes 3 minutes. Also the system is very easy built up and easy to understand even for retards.

The food? I am not all too impressed by Czech food or drinks. They have some really strange tastes. I did like the idea of having the Goulash soup served inside a bread. And I did enjoy the special duck they have there. So go for the duck! Also the honey wine is also ok.

One other night we did go for a folklore evening. This was kind of boring I would say as we do have mostly the same at home here in Norway – and the show including the food became to “tight”. I would probably have enjoyed a much more “local” (meaning – non tourism) folklore evening.

Video editing havoc

I’ve been editing videos for some time now. Just now I have been dealing with one from my vacation in Prague. I always seem to get the same shitty problems with video editing:
- Unstable software crashing at weird times
- Unsupported codecs
- Decoding is a nightmare
- Problems with audio synch
- Other instability problems
Now I have tried out most of the packages there is both on Windows as well as Mac OS X (I have to admit I have not tried any LinuX ones so if anyone know a LinuX video editing program that irons out these problems – let me know) and all of them more or less have these issues. It drives me crazy – how can companies charge 1000 buck for a program that doesn’t work properly?
If it was a car – you couldn’t.
I remember in the old C64 days that one could be working for ours and then you would lose all your work because saving it to floppy would fail – and yes we might have came a long way today – but still we have shitty problems.
I am not going to stop edit movies in the first – but I am really looking for something to stop all these problems

onsdag, juli 26, 2006

Star Wars – Empire at war (Game)

Expectations were high. Good reviews other places. The promise to control a full Star Wars campaign – from the big galactic picture – down to controlling every unit. Could it be? The Star Wars version of Total War?

No no no – what is this piece of shit? The earth warfare is a crippled RTS game – control waypoints – kill everything – weird control style – no involvement – no fun RTS. They don’t even try to make it feel like there is any point in what you are doing. The only cool thing is that is: It’s Star Wars. Then again so sad. The warfare in space is basically the same crippled game – using a 2D battlefield. Sorry, Star Trek Armada did this sooo much better.

And? Surprise. The overview campaign strategy is also some shitty halfwit without meaning. It is some kind of simplified blend of Civ and Galactic Civ game play, problem is it’s as playable as Yoda Desktop Adventures.

Empire at war is basically a game for small children and doesn’t deliver. What about truly making a Star Wars conversion of Total War?

Prey (Game)

Ahhh. If I remember right – this one has been in the owen for a long time... Can It be.. ten years or so? And finally it hit the streets. Built on the eminent Doom 3 engine. Looking a bit brighter than doom 3. Is it so that this is the game doom 3 should have been?
I main points I remember from Doom is – loads of killing (later given to us by the Serious Sam series – even if I wasn’t to happy with the sequel) and the scare – few games have managed to feel the adrenaline pump like that. Doom 3 did give the scare back to us with its dark – devious style – so I am quite content with it.
However Pray plays much more nice. The control system is so smooth and blends into the gfx , music and effects like a dream and is the most polished FPS’es I have played for a while. It is definitely not a Doom wannabe – but takes inspiration from other games.

The first Unreal games was one of the few games I finished – because it really was unreal and you got an unique feeling of discovering something unexplored. And the gfx just rocked. While the latter Unreal engines has become more real I find a lot of Unreal in Prey (in a competition engine) – the other big inspiration I find here is (believe it or not) the first Half Life game.

So basically you know it will be a killer game.

The effects with portals – even if it is just another way of doors – its pretty awesome and cool – and I hope we can see this being brought even further. The gravity thing when you run around floors and shit is also a new (?) and refreshing way of game play.

All the levels (even the dull ones) feel like they have been tried and tested to death – and everything is placed in the right (or perhaps wrong) spot. The spirit walk – even if it might be a little dull – is an entertaining way of making a few puzzles.

The games weak point is the story line. The opening sequence is the lowest end, only the worst games dares to honestly show this kind of shit – and since it is the first you see of the game – chances are you’ll just throw it away –


this time patience pays. The cut scenes later in the game are a bit better – but still low end. The scenes from the spirit world looks like someone tries to show off some outdoor scenes, and the story elements smell like old fish. The main characters voice seems to be done by multiple people (??) could this be?
But the rest of the game is pure gamming pleasure!

onsdag, juli 19, 2006


By mistake I just happen to play around with task manager. And what a surprise. Microsoft’s beloved Explorer creates approx 2 page faults a second. Wow – how far hasn’t the world come?

tirsdag, juli 04, 2006

Second flower died

In the relationship between me and flowers there are still a few grudges and my second flower died on me. The first one has tried to die a few times but is still going on. We will see what this leads too..


In the five years I lived in The Netherlands I only had 2 parking tickets, and that was because I gambled on not paying the parking fee. (Naughty??)
Anyway – back in Norway I get parking tickets all the time – and it’s because they make 440 million kroners a year on parking tickets (divide that on 4 million people and you see what I mean)
It is basically big business and so parking rules are so difficult that no one can ever apprehend them all – meaning you never know if you park legal or not – probably not.
Sometimes places that where legal yesterday has suddenly become “no parking” just to keep the money flowing in.
It’s not very much fun – but the option is to choose not to park at all.
Thank you Norway..
Also on the trip back from Kristiansand I noticed something strange – one gas station actually sold gas for 12.30 kroner and diesel for 12.60 – the first time ever I have seen it being more than gas.. Must have been a mistake.
Later I will probably write some shit about the speed cameras and all the shit that they create.

A few summer piccies

I havent been to busy with a camera but still - Here is a few pictures from summer so far.

Norwegian Wood - Saturday (Festival)

Norwegian Wood is an "exclusive" festival where they limit the numbers of visitors so its completely relaxed to sit and watch your favorite (?) band(s) playing. And it’s of course also fully possible to start the festival morning with the great bath.

Elvira Nikolaisen played better than expected and I was quite surprised actually. Looking forward to hear and see her perform again.
Richard Hawley performed ok, his music is a bit Frank Sinatra like – so one could say a tad too slow. Technically good performance though. The best part however was his in between jokes about his day out on the piss in Norway and the couple that decided to split up because they had the greatest sex ever but the rest 364 days of the year sucked.
Bigbang was quite entertaining. I don’t think they gave more than usual – but they have quite a few nice tunes that are hard to mess up – and brought up the mood of all of us.
Lou Reed tried to find a new musical expression which didn’t live up to the expectations – it’s just no fun listening to a 3 minutes song taking 15 minutes – but maybe he eventually will be able to put in enough elements to make it worthwhile. To many people’s disappointment he didn’t play “Perfect Day” (even when we have made a movie of this….) but make up for it – he did finish up with the “Free Jimmy” song!
All in all an ok night – but as we all know – Wednesday with Roger Waters would be King!

The Mjøswhale in Sweden

This is a picture from our Whale hunting safari in Sweden one weekend. The Mjøswhale followed us (because he is so lonely) all the way and we could hear his sad “Moooooaaaaa”’s all the way to the Swedish country side.

Unfortunately we still haven’t caught it.

During the hunt we also came across this smoke commercial – saying that there is no problem to keep good help and still enjoy a smoke…

tirsdag, juni 27, 2006

Microsoft Office 2007 beta 2 (software)

Microsoft Office 2007 beta 2

While one can say most things about Microsoft products and solutions: There is no office beater in the horizon – only the next version from Microsoft. This time around Microsoft wants to re-invent the way you use office. A swift and dangerous move from Microsoft because for the first time since the office suite was created you might be lost when trying to do something? Or maybe you where lost many times already – and now you will have to learn it all over again?

Yes, but for the good. Now we all can take the office introduction courses all over again? Now your average office application will look at you – with strange eyes on Monday morning. Most of all its new and fresh and you might just be inspired to do something in office again. Be inspired to discover all those silly things that you thought where funny in beginning of office.

You have a fresh look. A fresh UI that tries to work for you. The way you like to work. And make every day easier for you. So you can spend more time on playing some silly game or maybe watch the Soccer World Cup.

Will it be worth another upgrade? Of course!

Will it change your productivity? Probably.

Will it be loaded with irritating bug and security holes? No reason to think otherwise.

(he he)

The best part about it is however that Microsoft lets us test Office 2007 beta 2 for free for a year – and to be honest – that is a great deal!

mandag, juni 26, 2006

VG Lista Top 20 Show (Concert)

This is of course all 14 year olds wet dream but does it has anything to offer for anyone else?

Yes. The list of band and artists that perform was quite strong and even if we had to listen to a bit of brainless teenager music – we also had some quite entertaining moments. The only drawback of course was really that it was only 1-2 songs per artist/band.

Highlights was of course Dum Dum Boys (they also played a full concert for Bellona’s 20 years celebration same night) and Seigmen!

The crazy Finnish guys from the European Song Contest: Lordi came as well. ”Hardrock Halleluja” something to think of to all the people that thought/thinks that Rock is the work of evil – mohahaha

Aylar was singing (playback or not – it doesn’t make much of a difference) Sabrina’s ”Boys” - the whole thing is more for the looks than the music.

All in all the show was well compiled and most of us enjoyed it a lot. At the end it had more than 100.000 viewers – and about 80% of them didn’t want to leave at the end of the show until they had heard just a few more songs.

All in all – This annual summer happening seems to get bigger every year. And is a good preparty to a hell of a night on the piss..

torsdag, juni 22, 2006

Galactic Civilization 2 (game)

I am weak for turn based strategy. Reason why? Its your own pace. No rush. Hours of fun and building up your own empire and squash all enemies down. Down under your feets.

While Galactic Civilization 1 was a lot of fun. And there for a big hit – even if it wasnt that polished. In its second installation we do get more of the same. Poished to death.

And weeeeee: it workes like a charm. In fact – this games building system is far better than the one in Civilization 4. Each turn is a week – instead of a year. Which gives you a fantastic of 52 turns a year. A game that will get you building and building – frenzy for weeks and years all the long.

The tech three is endless. Endless. You keep researching and yet there are a neverending list of things to research. Extremely hard to find your way trough thech. But yet more fun and challenging. The so called diplomatics and other happenings happens at a better and less irritating pace than in Civilization 4.

The graphics are .... great enough to keep me happy. Way better than the first installation. And it is easy to keep an overview of what’s happening – even when you have a huge size galaxy to conquer.

The music is good. It sounds like these people have been playing HOMM 4 too much though. But all in all good quality and a little like in Age of Wonders (I) the music has a few ”not so well” hidden references to other stuff.

The final verdict is.. This is just an awsome game. A Civilization beater! Sid Meier – play this game and learn till the next Civilization game... Or maybe you can make us a new Colonization soon??

Psychonauts (game)

After numerous recommendations to this game – I finally decided to give it a try. Reason: Being stuck with rainy days on the south coast.

Ok first things first. This is not a new Grim Fandango – it can never be as Grim Fandango is a adventure game and Psychonauts is a platformer. While Grim Fandango is hilarious and will make you weep of laughter – Psychonauts will make you smile

Psychonauts is great game – and all of the crazy and humors elements are there. But there is just not the same room for laughter and gags in a platformer – even if they try.

It is a 3D platformer loaded with craziness and fun. Plenty of power-ups and humor. And all the things that make you go further and then some. So yes it is hilarious! It is great! One of the best platformers ever made – and that is a achievement to remember as there is some truly excellent platformers already made.

I am not gonna say to much about the world you are thrown into as its all a part of the fun to and joy of the game. Really. Its best to know as little as possible. Let the game surprise you.

I promise you : this is one to buy and you will never stop playing until its finished.

Heroes of might magic 5 (game)

To begin with: To be a bit crude: This is basically HOMM3 remade in 3D. Then again it is more.

First of: I don’t think HOMM4 is a bad game at all. It is different. When they created HOMM4 they listened to a lot of the community. Mostly the wrong people(?) The people that didn’t find HOMM3 challenging anymore. They had played other games like Age Of Wonders (I) and wanted a different game. They wanted an updated game, hence HOMM4 plays very differently than the other games in the Heroes of Might and Magic universe.

This makes HOMM4 a very different challenge. Ok – yes it had bugs and yes you can easily exploit them. But if you don’t – it is still a quite capable game. Only things I really mind are that the gfx is such 14 year girlish...

But of course HOMM4 flopped. As when all the people had theirs say in what they wanted: They basically wanted something that didn’t feel like Heroes anymore – and so – a winning formula was lost..

Or was it?

In the development of HOMM5 (by the same people that gave us the challenging Etherlords II) they tried to get back to the original formula that is so addictive from HOMM1-3. But yet make it a game that is up to today’s standards.

Believe me: transferring a 2D game like this into something that is playable in 3D is not an easy task. And except for a few times when its really hard to see some things on the map. It has been done flawlessly and beautiful.

Will the new 3D graphic demand too much from you PC? Well yes and no. If I put everything on low including resolution. I can play it on my laptop with a Radeon 9600 mobile. Of course it will put off a few lowest end systems – that can not play it. And that is always a bit dangerous as 2D games like this always has a lot of players on low end systems.

The music is updated of course and beautiful. Some inspiration from HOMM4 we still se here. But overall a much more complete music experience.

No more to the game. Even if the game play is a lot like HOMM3 there is actually plenty of new stuff going on under the hood. In fact almost everything had been reinvented. And this requires us to slowly interpret a new way of playing and new strategies.

Somehow everything that is new, is so carefully implemented that it feels like: this is how its always been and meant to be. In fact its like the magician that tells you that you have never seen before but assures you that he has been waiting for you: and asks you ”Why took you so long?”

The gfx engine is beautiful. Not top notch. But it gives you several smiles seeing your opponents getting it big time: Being crushed by your forces.

There is of course much more to say about it. But I think time will show if HOMM5 can become as popular as HOMM3. I think it is a superior game – but times have changed. When it comes to strategies and of course the AI’s new aggressive level: it will make this into an interesting journey. In fact I think the brilliant balancing of this new Heroes just might attract new players to the field.

Oh and... sleepless nights.. here I come...

fredag, juni 09, 2006

The Norwegian Military Tattoo

Oh well, as many of my pervious colleagues as well as superiors can verify: I am not a parade kind of guy. But hey – I had heard nice things about Norwegian Military Tattoo for a long time (again we are talking about years) and so when Svein asked me to join I knew it was time.

The Norwegian Military Tattoo is a fresh (??) entertainment mix of parades, weapon drill, music and other (fitting) entertainment from all over the globe.
And yes. It works. It entertains us. Amazes us. And keeps us thrilled.

And in the end.. The HM the Kings Guards Band and Drill Team comes out and puts everything we’ve seen so far all to shame. And these soldiers are conscripts! That’s really amazing. And it makes us feel a bit proud of being Norwegians, and we can almost shed a tear of patriotism – almost.

(I would really hate to be that soldier that dropped that rifle)

All in all a great night and possible I will do it again. Depends on how keen I will be on parades (huh huh) for all of you that missed it – it is possible to get the DVD (extended version).

søndag, mai 28, 2006


Since my friends at administration failed to transfer my vacation when I moved back to Norway and I am left with the amount of one (1) week of vacation I decided to post a picture from Spain last year.

Not a very sharp one, but its from my farewell party and last Nato exercise (so far). It was a great night with awesome steaks at the steak house and more booze as wells as kindersurprise eggs than most of you can handle.

This summer seems to become a great one… also for the ones that chooses to work. Mohahaha

Oh and since I am at it - I have added a spocked up picture from Latina 2004 as well.

mandag, mai 08, 2006

Dum Dum Boys (concert)

I have waited a long time for this. Many years. In fact all my life… and not in vain. Dum Dum Boys live is a pleasure, it’s a party it’s a feast.

Its all the good songs played even better than ever. Rocking you up. Leaving you with a taste for more. Teasing you.

Its when you hear Dum DUm Boys live – you understand what a magnificant band they are. And when they finish the 2nd extra number with a cover from Knutsen and Ludvigsen and the awesome “Idyll” then it’s a perfect consert.

Cant wait a long time to see them again.

Free Jimmy (Movie)

The world is a strange place. The honor to make the most expensive Norwegian movie goes to Christopher Nielsen, the brother of Joachim “Jokke” Nielsen – who was one of the 4 big ones in Norwegian Rock – the creator of the song “To fulle menn” – voted as the best Norwegian song ever made – Who became a victim of price dumping of Heroin in Oslo and instead of serving us with more years of happy drinking songs – died away from us in the grip of The White Lady as well as so many others.

Christopher did make the wild cartoon on Jokke’s albums as well as he made underground cartoons. And he has also made an animated feature before with “To trøtte typer”

Free Jimmy is the first full length feature movie from Christopher and includes all or at least most of his cartoon characters. The name Free Jimmy parodies the name “Free Willy” except that Jimmy is an animated drug addicted elephant and unlike Willy (who swam back to Norway) he only exists in a computer frame and can be set free.

It has taken an age to make this movie. It features some of the best animated tech there is – and uses it to create beautiful scenery over Christopher’s brutal universe. Where he takes the dark sides of Norwegian life and turns it into brutal comedy but at the same time – puts the finger on several important issues.

It’s a long time since I have enjoyed a movie like this. I just had a laugh all the way though. And in a way this is heritage to the great Flåklypa even with its much darker humor.

There are several references to other movies. The strongest and clearest one is probably the “Bambi” scenes with the Elk trying to help a shacking elephant on its feet.

The most funny scene is when they steal a car and it crashe - more I will not say about it - to spoil the fun.

I am looking forward to see it again with English voices. And again and again. This is the movie you go and see even you don’t want to see any movies. A must for everyone!

Second Flower

Well as I said. I went for another flower. But to be honest two is enough as I already have a hard time keeping them alive. I need some more gardening skills I suppose…

He he

tirsdag, april 25, 2006

Dum Dum Boys – Gravitasjon (Music Album)

Dum Dum Boys is the kind of music we used to listen to on the schoolbus on the way to Junior High. It’s one of the four great in Norwegian rock. It was their album “Pstereo” which was made for the movie classic “Death at Oslo S.

Then one day the adventure was over. Dum Dum Boys was over – until they reunion (again one of these bands—he he) and released the new album – “Gravitasjon”

So just like many other fans I like to get a hand on this album and see if it can live up to the old standard. Yes and no. A few songs – especially “Enhjørning” is totally the way we like it and at the same time – new and refreshing.

The overall sound of the album is rough – in many way it sounds more like the hobby project Racer. Of course the songs do include soundelements from all Dum Dum Boy’s albums. Its just the rough mastering that make all sounds kinda mix like porridge. The other things is that some of the songs seems a bit to little well done – to less produced and in fact: Unfinished.

So the verdict ?

A few nice and enjoyable songs but quite a few disappointments as well.

V for Vendetta (Film)

Of course I thought this would be a magnificent masterpiece of an actionflick.

But it turns out this is not an actionmovie at all. In fact it’s a theatrical drama to the extreme. V’s mask just puts it all in place.

Now I think I have said something about theatrical dramas – that I don’t really like it.

This does not apply for V for Vendetta. In fact its one of the best (and also important) movies I have seen for a long time.

Every scene is extremely well crafted. Even if V is wearing a mask the light, sound and speech is always full of feeling so we always know what emotions are displayed. It’s almost like the mask is changing faces as well – if this is the case or just imagination I don’t know – that’s something to look for at second view.

The dialogue is of course 100% theatrical as well and indeed a bit hard to follow at times.

The acting is again extremely well and that’s what to expect from a galactic princess (Natalie Portman) – huh huh. And the story is inspired of 1984ish tales – a totalitarian country where things have gone all wrong and everything is controlled and suppressed. And the revolution – the fight against it.

And so it turns out that this is a magnificent masterpiece!

tirsdag, april 18, 2006

Knutsen og Ludvigsen (concert)

I have been once at Knutsen og Ludvigsen before. This was when I was a little child and wandering the streets of Trondheim.

Knutsen og Ludvigsen in its core is children music. How come they now have a concert at Rockefeller with 18 years and beer serving?

Because it is cult. It is children music that hits the child in us all.

On stage they remind me (again) of the review that was made of the Dinosaur JR concert we went to in Stockholm. The fact is Knutsen og Ludvigsen is old by now and looks more like Gandalf and Frodo on stage.

Unlike Dinosaur JR the performance was lighting and probably just as good as in the golden years.

Everybody joined in on the songs. And the extras ended in a final with “Kanskje kommer Kongen” that hit the roof.

If you haven’t seen them yet: Pray for them to do another concert and go there!

Kaiser Chiefs (concert)

Oh well. Supposed to be the best live band in Britain. I don’t understand why. Must have been a mediocre night.

My sister. Up to date as she might be – invited us over for this concert.

The light show was extremely effective, but when you use it constantly it becomes a bore. Flashing lights that hurts you eye and you cant see what happens on stage. And for all epileptic people this must be the place to be.. Ha ha

Some good songs, but the performances were again as I said before – mediocre and uninspired and reminded me a bit of the Dinosaur JR concert I was at in Stockholm.

Maybe not the worst actually was that it lasted only for an hour. No in many ways that was a relief but still. I feel for the price of a ticket a band should play about 2 hours. (Yes Raga Rockers is excused here )

As you see it was a bummer….

My first flower

Believe it or not I actually got myself my first flower. I never liked to have flowers myself. But life changes and suddenly I find a
Stuck at my place.. he he. We will se how long I can keep it alive..

But the strangest thing is – I want more flowers…

More and more and more…

mandag, april 17, 2006

TPD - Pictorama

The Perfect Day (film)

Oh no, this is not another movie review. In fact this is the movie our film group made as a “exam” of Oslo Film School.

Against recommendations we opted for non specialized areas of responsibilities. Yes, we did choose Pernille as the Team Leader, as without one point of responsibility and co-ordination things would be pretty much chaos. For the rest the 5 of us swapped roles and participated as manus writers, directors, actors, camera, light, location, makeup, clothing etc.

But hey, there is more. We also defied recommended script length and number of locations… and so on and so on…

We “hired” two external actors for the price of…. Zero. As well as involved a few other people here and there.

This was the perfect cocktail for a perfect mess for the perfect day.

And so we all got to learn loads about directing, editing, light, sound, camera, manus writing, locations, managing, etc

We did tons of mistakes, but we learned how to best compensate them and correct them.

And a child was born…. And it was not Jesus. It was a short-movie of 17 minutes and 36 seconds.

A movie about girl-power. About men drinking beer and watching TV. About people cheating on the welfare system. About getting things right… and so on.

So again we went again recommendations and made a movie with not only one plot but a few underlying sub-pots.. huh huh huhh

And we are all quite happy about it. It was good fun, and a good school to go. Our actors did a magnificent job to portrait the role figures.

And so we finished it all in a almost legendary release party at Pernille's.

Now we are working on the Special Edition DVD with subtitles, better sound, better cut, the documentary and loads of other extras.

Definitely a movie you should see!

Easter is over

The best things to do after working night and day (dreaming about it, worrying) with a movie is vacation. Relaxing.

Bring the Easter on.

So I went to Skien for Easter. To enjoy days going by with good food and reading a book.
And of course loads of Crime Series and movies on TV.

It might not be too much skiing and Kvikk Lunch and oranges. But that just have to wait till next Easter.

So back home. And back to work..

Huh huh huh

onsdag, april 05, 2006

Oslo Filmschool is over

Finaly (??) Oslo filmschool is over. Has indeed been a busy time. Our movie The Perfect Day is finished and soon life can go back to normal (?).

I will give more updates when I have more time

- C