Friday, December 22, 2006

Bad browser lag?

Am I the only one whose Firefox started lagging pretty badly after the last minor update?

I am waiting several seconds for the menu drops to show - if they ever show at all. Maybe it's a broken add-on...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Second place, aiming high

Yesterday, I got turned down for a project manager position with Vestas - the world's largest maker of wind turbines.
I finished second which, on second thought (ha-ha), is fairly nice - considering that I have no immediate experience with that line of work. I was through a long process with Mercuri Urval with interviews and testing. I really learned a lot about myself from those events, so I'm confident that the characterization of myself in applications to come will be much much better.

It's quite a new thing to suddenly have to market myself and not the entity or field of work that I am a part of.

Work aside, we also got the final verdict on our housing project. It's been a while since I last described it but recent events made us aware that about half the roofing on the huge house is badly constructed. A few years ago, the owner had taken it upon himself to isolate the roof and did not do his homework properly, according to a carpenter we brought in as an expert. He said that there was a big risk of damp and related damage to the roof.

Naturally, this was not acceptable and we could foresee big trouble getting the insurance companies to cover future damages. So, after having provisionally signed the deal, we went back and demanded a further price cut - based on the carpenter's estimated costs. A whopping 550.000 Danish crowns.
So, yesterday the owner reacted by telling us to fuck off, once again. I was more or less certain of this outcome. He didn't bother to negotiate, he just cut off. Just like the last time we pointed to bad faults and asked for some compensation.

Time will show if he comes crawling back, again. As I've understood it, the real estate agent must tell other buyers of this roofing fault. The buyer may well need to comply in order to sell the house. But for now, we're trying hard to forget about it and get on with our lives.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Publicsquare launch

My buddy Lars Pind has launched his social web editing system, Publicsquare.

In short (as far as I know), it is a community-driven CMS that makes collaborative blogs and webzines easier to handle. Through various rating and voting functionalities your webzine automatically sifts and publishes posts and stories, freeing the authors to concentrate on the actual content.

I have no experience with it - but I talked to Lars a couple of weeks ago and it sounds intriguing. It's a social networking offspring but it's narrowed down and focused towards webzine editors. Looking forward to experimenting with this - if I only had a

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brilliant tagging concept

I love the tag cloud system they have implemented here.

They have superimposed a key word filtering process to the regular tag cloud. That way you can refine and incrementally expand your tag search. I think it's a stroke of genius.

Not only do you circumvent the inherent weakness of the tagging method (the subjective forest of tags pointing at similar things), you also exploit the whole logical, googlish search paradigm. When I do a good Google search - and in all modesty I feel that I am getting pretty good at that - I define whatever I am looking for in 2-5 different terms that either relate through syntax or semantics, preferably both. The syntactic coherence ensures that I hit articles/pages that mention the same word combinations or, if lucky, match on entire sentences - the semiotic coherence gives a better chance of hitting anything remotely similar to what I want. People speak in different terms, especially in English - so the ability to come up with 5 different names for the same concept is vital to googling.

I think the tag system above is a brilliant mash-up of mental tagging efficiency and logical search methods. It is itself a product of many subjects, but it provides the user with a logic tool to navigate through all this uncertainty. I can use my sense of semantics (not sure about the syntax yet) to find what I want much faster.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm bugged @ Threadless

I have a bit of spare time at the moment so I've been doing a few very basic t-shirt designs to put up on Threadless.

It's a fun concept - relies heavily on the social networking hype but has clearly been heavily commercialized. In fact, you might say they exploit people that do casual design by offering "only" the chance of prizes but gaining shitloads of creative ideas and making money off the most popular prints.
I don't mind at all...they're just smart...and I am happy to be able to channel my creativity a bit.

I've started a series of small iconic insect designs and submitted 4 so far. The ant got axed...which is wasn't all that good. The millipede was the first to get through, and the spider and wasp are still pending approval.
Go score the's not great art, but I sensed a niche in some more simple stuff. Other designs in there are really talented and complex. They, of course, deserve much more recognition :) Although I'm not sure I'd wear all of them....too boombastic, mon.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gogol Bordello, Voxhall

Wednesday evening. Place just about full. A very mixed audience - possibly because of the "NYC Live Band of the Year" predicate on the Voxhall flyer. Inspiring and energetic support band. Great DJ warm-up of house- and indie-coated gypsy music. Enter Gogol Bordello. People dancing, jumping, clapping all the way to the bar. Madman Hütz doing his thing - beating the crap out of his acoustic guitar. Manu Chao extra. 10+ crowd surfing youngsters during the show. An incredible 10, maybe 15 minute extra, most of it repeating one single verse - yet the crowd loves it and is determined to keep up.

All of this on Wednesday evening. I think I'll just skip Thursday and head straight into weekend mode.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Digestive masochism

Why is it that women have an obsessive craving for full-grain bread products?

I'm sure varied food is good and all, but I don't really care for mother-in-law's full-grain oatmeal buns, when they've been frozen to death and then re-heated for consumption in the early hours of what was supposed to be a good day. It's like eating dehydrated compost. Your tongue feels all swollen when the blood vessels succumb to oral osmosis. The coffee you desperately need to process it with turns back into its instant form and gets crunchy. The density is like that of pulverized lead.

I prefer my buns to be white, fluffy, crispy, and not craving more energy to consume than they provide.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When greedy execs claim the field

I can't say I'm crazy about this.

When you acquire a mobile phone and you enter into a customer relationship with Telia, you need to text them to get a password for the self service section of their homepage. There's something beautifully arrogant about that concept. I'm not even a customer but still pissed off at the sheer greed of such a demand.

In order to help yourself so we can save money, you must pay us.

It reminds me of the banking shams that are getting common, at least here in Denmark. Customers pay fees for services that have always been an inherent part of the banking trade, such as having a lending offer put together. It's like a grocer charging money for putting groceries on his own shelves.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

St. Stephen mimes the point

Seems Colbert has caught on to the same detail =)

We can only hope that the Democrats notice the trap before they stumble into it...or, rather, before they build it themselves and then dive into it.

Pulling an Arnold?

This morning I read a short transcipt of Dubya's statement following the complete pummelling the Republicans received in yesterday's election. He apparently emphasized bi-partizanship and nationwide collaboration as a desire expressed by the American public.

It reminded me, strongly, of a short documentary I saw on TV the other day which focused on Schwarzenegger and his efforts (past and present) in California. Arnie has been really sly and after receiving immense criticism and public outcries, he's made a complete policy U-turn the past 6 months or so. From being a hawkish rightwinger that wanted more powers and lower taxes, he's now described as more democrat than the Democrats themselves. He's made real efforts on educational, environmental and social issues - often sidelining parts of his own party.

The funny thing is, everyone loves him for it. As a piece of political strategy, it's a brilliant move when aiming for election day. And lo and behold, he got re-elected - basically because he stole and, more importantly, effected parts of the Democrat agenda. No doubt, he might have estranged several core Republicans in California. However, because he has attended the best interests of his own power, he now has 4 more years to appease them. I'm strangely fascinated and repulsed at the same time. It goes to show how shallow the political discourse and pride really is. It seems that when you have money enough, the next big prize is raw power. Regardless of actual policies.

I suspect that during the next two years we might see Bush try the same stunt. Certainly, Arnie has provided a very enticing template for it. Go along with the midfielders, do symbolic (and some practical) actions of collaboration, win back those 20% or more that always fluctuate between the wings. And do it all in time for the next presidential election when it really counts. In the meantime, the Democrats will have shot themselves in the foot trying to market themselves as the solution to the Iraq idiocy. Iraq is, at the very most, an acceptable failure. No solution will generate political favour by now.

The democrats are in danger of swapping their role as wartime realists in favour of a saviour-like rhetoric. If they do, the next Republican presidential candidate might have a field day pointing the finger at "the weaklings that thought they could fly".

On another but perhaps sadly related note, I went to see Borat yesterday with a bunch of friends. Cannot remember having laughed so hard and for so long. It is completely outrageous and a must see. I actually built up a mild headache and neck strain during the film because of my inability to stay calm. I won't put out spoilers already, but Borat's fat sidekick is involved in a scene that just blew me away in its mindblowing extremity. I'm chuckling right now, as I recall it. This film will get you through the winter, folks...

Americans, beware this man! Jagshemash!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Leading an interesting life

Here I am. It's now November and overnight the weather changed from crap to bollocks. And I still have not found a job. I haven't even been asked to an interview, save 1 which turned out to be a recruitment agency and didn't really count.

Although I have heard stories on how this is oh-so-perfectly normal it's beginning to bug me a little.

A few days ago I was turned down for a position that was so me. I reacted immediately (almost surprised myself) and called the HR consultant. He told me that it was a typical academic's application. That very instance, I knew he was right. He then proceeded to tell me about all the "errors" that I had made. Afterwards, I was hugely relieved...and quite angry at myself for having written at least 10 applications without ever calling back to get feedback.

You need a real person to comment your stuff later on. Reckon it must take 2-3 hours of designing and writing your resume and c.v. and then you're completely blind. Incapable of acknowledging structural mistakes. I've experienced the same thing when writing project proposals or lectures. So, although it still bugs me, at least now I know what to do for the next applications.

Apart from this, our big 3-family housing project suddenly came back on track yesterday, much to everyone's surprise. 3-4 weeks ago the seller basically told us to fuck off. I don't really see the sense in that insofar as the seller has now wasted loads of time (his and triple ours), and from now on he's not getting any easy discounts, the cunt.

Also, we had more or less trashed the idea of that house and had moved on. So, now we have to get used to it all over again. Dig up all the documents. Get ready for mortgage talks and sodomizingly mean banks. It's good, but it's also annoying. I had a plan going with a job posting in Bangladesh. Have to shelf that one now.

Ah well, it's ok - this project is really cool...and as the title of this post implies, it's all about leading an interesting life. Be that in the far east of just outside town in a cool house with fun people and comeradely activities. It's all good....I think. The past 2 years I've made (or postponed) more decisions than the entire 28 years before that. It's interesting but, dammit, sometimes you get so weary of being a grown-up. Think I'll go spin a bottle.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Just finished reading "The Algebraist" by Iain M. Banks.

Very recommendable.

I haven't read true sci-fi for a long time, not since I tried to restart my interest in Asimov's Foundation series. Although I love Asimov's fiction there's no getting past the fact that his literature feels a bit old-fashioned in this day and age. Especially if you're accustomed to reading cyberpunk where the settings are typically much more recognizable. "The Algebraist" feels a bit like a Neal Stephenson attempt at "advanced sci-fi". It's imaginative, action-packed, very witty and peppered with thought-provoking technological inventions (and cultural implications hereof). I love the Dwellers (a mysterious gas giant based alien species) and I really hope he comes back to this universe - although it seems like a stand-alone novel.
In the meantime, I might have a go at his trademark novels...supposedly taking place around a future society named "The Culture".

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What a slow site

In my attempts to land an interesting job (yes, I'm that picky), I've been looking at Mercuri Urval as a recruitment possibility. They should be quite professional - but Hell, is their webpage slow on searches and deeper links - both in IE and Firefox. I wonder why.

POPping your GMail

More as a note to self:
If you want to check your GMail on Thunderbird, be sure that Server Settings > Security Settings does not feature use secure authentication.

I had a bad delay on my GMail messages in Thunderbird - I think it was because of this. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Emotional yet objective

I like this political comment by a commentator named Keith Olbermann. Incredibly well-spoken, factually and logically coherent, and very emotional. I wish he were a politician.

I love his comment on "political hackery" which seems to be ever on the increase, both in America and here. I despise political hackery. Non-factual, rhetorical spewings that usually generalize isolated phenomena and produce false grounds for judgment. The Danish People's Party is by far the worst example here in Denmark. Although compare it to Austria's right-wing groupings at the moment, and the DPP looks like preschool.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Got my aunt's PC today - on the usual familiy-needs-my-digital-fingers quest. This time, the machine had all but closed down on her. And, when I got it jacked in to check myself, I was pretty taken aback by the magnitude of the problem, considering that she has had 2 adware-stoppers and one extensive virus guard installed all along.

Somehow, she manages to get her PC into trouble all the fucking time. If it's not the printer bugging out, it's her mail account - or the update services on Windows. I myself have only run rare occassional virus checks and adware purges - yet I have only had a problem once in 8 or 9 years.

Anyway, I confidently sat down and began deconstructing the problem. It was much harder than expected. I was up against an intelligent bug this time. Shy and stealthy, yet aggressive when taunted. First of all, the browser spawned ad-related windows constantly and the machine denied access to the anti-virus software already installed. It simply exited the applications. I have yet to understand why the AV program has not updated itself prior to infection and caught the bug, but since Auntie has only just had broadband installed, it may have been manually configured.

It quickly became clear that this was more or less impossible to solve elegantly. IE denied me access to all virus-related (free) websites (Kaspersky, Pandasoftware, AVG, you name them). It even shut down Google queries containing the word "virus" or "malware"..! Luckily, I remembered TrendMicro's Housecall - an online virus scanner that I have used regularly. Through Google the query provided a link that was the direct "start scan" link to the online scanner. Very lucky, since all other TrendMicro links were shut down immediately by the bug(s).

The scan resulted in something like 5 trojans, considered severe (all of the AdLoad type), and something like 20 different adware bugs, more or less icky. I felt lost and cornered by evil, hollow horses of wood. I asked Housecall to remove and/or quarantine the various bugs. Of course, this was not possible with several of them - and when Housecall seemed to stop responding to my panic-striken attempts to "force" the deletion, I was basically back to square one. When I rebooted the computer the bugs were still there and this time Housecall did not register anything wrong. My respect, albeit hostile, for the über-bug in question deepened. Apparently, it had managed to register the online scanning being made and then circumvented that same "engine" or whatever. Can they really do this? I'm getting scared, goddammit - I think I'll be keeping a closer lookout for my own machine from now on, since this is too much Asimov-come-Matrix for my liking...

Outcome: the PC is getting the FDISK axe, after I manage to export all the relevant data. Even if I solve the most annoying issue, I still have 25 other bugs that may still be lurking in the darkness of my Auntie's registry...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cleaning out the closet

Been with my Dad these past few days, hauling out an old stash that we have kept for years at a friend's house in Northern Jutland. The stash dates back to when my Danish childhood home was sold about 5 year ago - but a lot of the items date back to the 70s and 80s and early childhood. Our first cleaning only sifted so much away of old rubbish. This time around we were a lot more determined. I only got caught up in old books and memories Dad quickly kicked me out of it again.

Odd feeling, discarding books that you remember being fascinated with when you were 5-6 years old. A few of the most precious I have kept. Also there are several really old children's books and cooking books that were inherited from my grandparents. They are something like 100 years old and I don't know whether they are worth much but you simply cannot just tip them off at a dump site, knowing they will likely be burned.

I also found my old writing books from when I attended English International School in Doha, Qatar. I see now that I kept several journals in class, "My writing book", "Qatar topic book", "My maths book" and one or two others. I wonder if they do this anymore. When I read them today I can feel and almost remember the enthusiasm that these things were made with. I also se the teacher's comments now and again, like "Your writing can be much neater than this". Good discipline there! I'm fairly certain Danish 6-year-olds don't get that kind of direct message nowadays. It's all wrapped up in "Could you be so good as to kindly try to improve your 'A's a little bit, if you have the time and motivation, of course, Sir?"

A nice passage in the back of "My Writing Book" tells a bit about my state of mind at that time. Both my Dad and I laughed out loudly when we read it:
Today is saturday 25th June 1983. I am laeving for the summer but I am not coming back to Qatar. First I am going to Greece and I think I am going to Denmarck after that and after that I don't know Where we are going.

We travelled a lot in those days...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hammers swoop

Can't say that I am a West Ham fan per se, but I did gawk a bit when it was clear that they've bought Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano from Brazilian side Corinthians. Tevez is the butt-ugly forward that played some of the matches at the World Cup this past summer. He's brilliant, probably one of the best players in South America, and it's going to be great seeing him play the premiership. Perhaps the least likely club for those two to go to, since Mascherano was also one of Argentinas best players in the tournament. Wonder if the rest of the team will be able to feed them properly. It will either be a disaster or a huge succes, methinks.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ah, the joys of sequential thinking

Sometimes you see straight thorugh the workings of a particular webpage. I went to Excellent Match today to fill in a job application form. After 30 minutes of filling in more or less meaningless check boxes, I uploaded my C.V. and the application document...and then I didn't really feel satisfied when I was returned directly to the front page after having clicked "Submit". Sometimes you can just sense intuitively that something did not register properly.

So, I went to the website FAQ which stated, in its second last paragraph, that pop-up killers were a no-no. At this point I got fairly annoyed, since the application is a long process and although Firefox has a nice warning at the top of the browser, you rarely notice it when writing stuff. My conscience is evenly divided between keyboard and text fields, mostly.
I couldn't believe that this pop-up killer warning had not been issued before I was permitted to go into the application forms. So I navigated back to check and surely enough it was. And can you guess how?


Yes, that's right. In a pop-up window.

I have now received an e-mail confirming the registration. It was about an hour late...not too suave when direct feedback from the website does not precede it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The loneliest adobe

I feel a rant coming up.

Many months ago I was running Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 - and I never liked it because of long load times and such. I then tried out the real thing, Adobe Acrobat. This was even worse - apparently the professional editing program didn't even come with a quick PDF-viewing interface...I could almost see the little chunks of data running around in circles shouting "Why the bloody hell do we need to wake up the entire village just because a shoddy postcard needs reading?!!"
Anyway, after Adobe Reader 7.0 came out many have been over the moon about how efficient it is, how quickly it reads in PDFs, and how well it handles ActiveX viewing.

I beg to differ.

Back then I tried and now, for the past 2 hours, I've tried. Tried what, you ask? Tried to run the program..! I install and it just sits there...the first time you execute the Reader after installing it you hear the machine getting into gear...and then nothing happens. If you shoot directly from a PDF file, nothing happens. If you try to drag a PDF into a browser to witness the amazing efficiancy of version 7.08, nothing happens. The Task Manager shows the process "AcroRd32Info.exe" in action...for about 30 seconds at least...then it shuts down silently.

The weirdest thing is that almost nothing similar to this shows up when I do a search on Google. I usually pride myself on being quite good at digging out obscure online information that can get technical glitches eliminated - my technologically inept family have provided hours and hours of information-sifting fun. But this time...nothing. I find this fairly strange, since Acrobat Reader must be one of the top 5 installs worldwide (not counting the minions of Monopoly Microshaft).

Actually, I did find one nice match...but that was on Expert's Exchange, and I'm not paying $10 for advice that could very probably be useless. Why don't they do micro payments...that would bring in so many more customers and potential members.

The agony of looking at what might be a solution, yet not having access, drove me to find alternatives. There are several PDF viewers popping up out there. Still, it seems that they are somewhat emulator-like and need to carry their own interpretation of PDF. I finally chose Foxit, mostly because of its rating on - time will tell how well it performs. Their homepage looks awful but I guess that's the only real quality assurance you can get these days...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An offer not easily refused

On may way through this mornings job postings and industry news, I came across this company which has put up their demonstration machine, the "Stone & Steel Buster" for sale. Alledgedly, it's the world largest industrial hammer.
I might post this to's has some nerdy potential :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

New projects on the horizon

Well, so far I've released 4 job applications into the corporate ether....3 of which are directed at specific positions. One is a sort of web project manager position, one is more consultant-like and regards GIS planning, and one has to do with knowledge management and organizational development. I think I have a pretty good chance of an interview in all of them, especially the two latter. The first relies a lot on web development area I have tried to keep up with but that I am not very technically involved in. That might not be needed, difficult to say. It takes a good deal of mental exercise to throw away one's inhibition and boldly claim "I'm worth it..!" :)

Alongside all these applications (not boring yet, but close), my girlfriend, Thor, and I have been invited to be part of a real estate deal. Yes, an option to get out of this weary flat suddenly came along. One of my good mates has had a project concerning a huge house just outside Aarhus and now we are 3 couples trying to get a deal in order. The house is already divided into 3 seperate living quarters (thirds?) and the idea is to establish a fellowship that acts privately within the seperate apartments but shares and cooperates about most everything else. I have a good feeling about it. It's a monster house with a enormous basement that will be claimed and developed into a recreational theme park. That's what the guys want, anyway. Football tables, snooker, computer den...there is already a sauna. Unfortunately, the swimming pool has been covered and is now used for storage but we shan't despair. It's a great hideout if the in-laws decide to drop by.

Since I have nothing to do (!!!), I've been put in charge of contacting the credit providers that are going to lend us all the money to buy this mansion. It's a hell of a jungle when you're not used to it. Today I "woke up" at 3 p.m., realizing that I had sat the entire day and researched interest rates and mortgages on the web. The headache was building up. I hadn't even eaten anything, such was the combination of boyish excitement and frustrated anxiety. This stuff really ought to be part of basic public education - many words meant nothing to me and I was spinning around the same 3 sites trying to compare a gazillion different mortgage setups. Finally, I felt more or less ready and called the credit consultant in person. It helped a bit but there is still much I don't understand and have never been exposed to's interesting but energy consuming :)

I've been thinking about another idea for a consulting service that is not very common here in Denmark. Actually, it is probably not very common in Europe as a whole. It concerns the strategic and human resource-related application and use of new media. The applications of Web 2.0 and all the related social web services that are now being spewed out faster than one might say "relevance".
There is a research institute called The Gartner Group which has made an interesting assessment of 1900 different technologies and trends inside IT, around the globe. It's called the "Gartner 2006 Hype Cycles" and the one I was particularly interested in was the Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle. Everyone should read it, although it is a somewhat superficial introductory text, I think. However, I like the basic premise of a "hype cycle" that defines the way new stuff is being launched, bloated, and finally business-trimmed.

Anyway, my thought is to base a consulting service solely on the exploitment of these trends, in the right fashion, at the right time, for the right company. Three main areas might be sought out; customer-directed services and public sector systems, internal organization tools and services, visual feedback systems in development departments. The latter I have added myself, mainly because of my own background and knowledge of the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. The first area points at the usual e-shopping or mass-customization trends that are maturing in the States but have not yet really reached European consumers, and the second is targeting medium and large companies that have knowledge sharing difficulties regarding design-related or mechanical production.

I think there is real potential here and there will be a prime-mover advantage for at least one or two years to come. However, having experienced the way our first e-learning projects were actually ahead of their time in regards to business potential, I'm not sure Denmark is an easy place to start such an enterprise. The problem here is that you need big customers to get a firm foothold and Denmark does not have many big companies. Besides, those that exist may not want to go outside their regular consulting channels. Which leaves the option to offer these services as specialist consulting to other major consulting houses until the concept gains momentum and may carry its own. Alternatively, the first area bears another possibility in Denmark which is public sector self service systems. Denmark is ahead on this field and there might be opportunities in acquiring tasks for many Danish municipalities (these are being re-organized as I speak).

What do you think? :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Escher galore

There's a Escher remix competition going on at - and it's quite fun. Even better, I found an online gallery with quite a few of Escher's original works. Sweet.

The more I explore the gallery the more I realize I had not seen. Some of those things are incredible. All the mosaics with intertwining patterns and colours - I'm amazed at the patience and planning it must have taken.

Funny thing, I recognized the piece "Double Planetoid" from the brief time I spent at the airport in Billund this summer. Billund is the place of LEGO's HQ and the airport had a huge LEGO rendition of the piece on display. At that time I didn't know it was Escher.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm gonna catch that wabbit...

As of early last week I started my "full time" job hunt. Boy was it a pain to get going after the holidays but now I am into gear, it seems.
I've done my C.V. which you are welcome to look at, print out, comment on, or even distribute by aerial means should you have the resources to do so.
Actually, the more responses the better - so please give it a look and tell me what you think. It's probably a bit academic and I do a lot of explaining, partly because I need some length, partly because I need to give a clearer picture of competencies. I'm not exactly a cookie-cutter class..! :)

I've begun buying tactile newspapers which have huge job sections on Sundays. Jyllandsposten is more rewarding if I am to get anything close to here and I actually found 2-3 positions that might be relevant. It's tricky because my background and subsequent specialty with 3D and CAD-related stuff doesn't exactly draw a recognizable profile. At the same time, any larger company looking for generalists (as one might call Information Studies people) might not be willing to pay for the 2-3 years of "experimental activity", no matter how enlightening it's been. They might settle for a fresh graduate to brainwash more easily.

I picked up a sort of career manual magazine thing at Uni a month ago. It's called Target, supposedly links to It's quite good but of course aimed at aforesaid fresh graduates. However, because of this it has very good descriptions of different industries, job functions, and career paths. If only the universities and business schools actually taught these things in-house then I wouldn't have to spend weeks and months trying to figure out where I fit in. I would also avoid the classic Information Studies existential crisis that me and several of my co-students had halfway through the degree.
However, remembering the faint academic snobbery at the university, it would no doubt seem vastly un-academic to actually tutor people in these things. Especially in Denmark where there still reigns some kind of socialist panic anxiety over involving the private sector or even business-related information in public educational processes. The task is pretty much laid out to the student counsellors but, of course, noone ever attends a student counsellor unless they have a specific problem. Once you're nearing the end of your studies, it's the last person you seek out.

Oh well, I found a nice quote in Target regarding the concept of consultants which has always perplexed me. The word itself is maybe the most commonly used specifying word compared to the broadness of it potential meaning. "IT" would probably be another candidate - or "thing". Actually, "thing" probably takes the prize but consultant is not far behind. Conclusion being that a consultant is a "thing", only a bit more specific...

So, I've never fully understood the underlying logic that entitled one to be a consultant. The actual work involved is rarely specified along with the word. My own experience with consultants is limited. I know they often do specialist work and usually receive humongous undeserved pays for it. Which has always indicated that consultants are fairly intelligent.
Anyway, the Target quote finally provided the broad, acceptable explanation for the word:

Consultants aim to improve their clients' efficiency, profit-making ability or position in the market. The sector [i.e. "Consulting sector"] doesn't divide itself neatly into areas of work. Broadly speaking, there are "functions" (such as strategy, implementation, operations, HR and IT) and "industries" (anything from government agencies to automotive companies).

There. Why the hell hasn't anyone told me this 10.000 years ago? It's one of those words which academics and professionals use towards each other all the time - and you get the feeling that noone really has a clue what the hell is being said.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Holy crap

This Thai lady has done a stunning piece of vector artwork with Adobe Illustrator, see it here.

I am struck with awe. Insane gradient meshes...I think she mentions 42 layers for the body alone. I've only just gotten used to gradient meshes - the sheer ambition involved in starting such a project is way beyond me.

See the rest of her work here. There's a good rendition of Frodo Baggins as well =)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I think there's a Japanese word for it...

To break my usual habit of not blogging interesting things that I see, I needed to come and post this (courtesy of Lifehacker).

One thing is the actual knot which I just learned myself in 2 minutes. It'll save me a day or two by the time I am 75 - reminds me of the Japanese management trend about maximizing effectiveness in even the smallest details of activity (forgot the name for it).
Even greater is the webpage in its entirety...pure nerdy class.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Height of Summer vs. Weight of Unemployment

Back in Denmark after almost 2 weeks in Austria, visiting my Dad. He lives in Strobl bei Wolfgangssee in the area of Salzkammergut. Love those names.

We were there during the European Draught which is a fair title for the 3 weeks of high sunshine and almost unbearable temperatures all over the continent. Dad's balcony peaked at 36 degrees one afternoon - but at least you had a nice view of the mountains and 2 minutes walk to one of the cleanest lakes in Europe.

One weekend we did a get-away to the southern part of the country, on the border of Steiermark and Kärnten. We had booked 2 nights at the Seehotel Jägerwirt in the valley of Turracher Höhe. A small, quaint mountain valley at 1760 meters - by the lake of Turracher See.
The place is targeted at families with kids, and offers sublime facilities including extensive playgrounds, pool areas, wellness areas (3 saunas!) and deicious food buffets and evening menus. You can even put your kids into an in-house kindergarten if you need a break. That seemed a bit escapist to us, though. Hopefully, you're actually there to spend time with your kid(s) but I guess mountain treks might be a handful for smaller children.

Anyway, we relaxed and swam in the lake and went up a mountain lift, had a view of the southern mountain ranges, and came speeding down again on a little monorail rollercoaster. Great fun! I can only recommend the place and the concept of "kinderhotels" in general. This particular place was not the cheapest - there are many price ranges depending on access to facilities and hotel services.

Before this, I went 3 days to Copenhagen with Thor. Dragged him along like bagage - our first Dad/son trip. It was great fun and it meant a lot to me. To be on my own with the kid put more work my way, of course - but it definitly also made our interaction more deep and direct, which a dad can miss during the first year. I visited old friends Lars and Caroline and their cute baby, Flora. Lars will forgive me for calling him an insomniac Zombie - but I remember those nights of the Living Dead, vividly ;)

Other than that, I LAN'ed with a lot of the mates this weekend. The days of summer go by quickly so it was the only real chance to meet the guys. Of course, we played World of Warcraft (Darksorrow server, alliance) - much more fun in a real life social setting. We also ate and drank a lot..!

Today I'm pondering my moves. I'm almost halfway through my C.V. and it's looking fair. I need to work on this the next days, even if I still feel like I'm on holiday. Funds are drying up and I am getting excited about finding a good job, following the recent demise of the Sektor4 fellowship. My biggest concern is actually salary. I feel like I am worth at least 32k a month because of my experience and broad achievements the past years (bear in mind, these are Danish wages). Still, it will be a problem to find a position that can exploit my experience well enough to allow me that kind of starting pay. I feel fairly confident that I can argument it, though. I'm just not sure how well I will handle the bargaining process...I'm usually annoyingly generous. However, I'm getting sick of earning nothing so I need to be adamant! Any heavyweight arguments or similar experiences are welcome in the comment section!

Alongside the formal writings and application channels, I'm going to contact some of my past acquaintances and contacts. Usually, networking lands you the better deal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Life in a bubble

Got back from Roskilde 2 days ago - boy, what a venue this year. The weather was amazing, the music was amazing, the girls were amazing, everything was amazing.

Even the hangovers were amazing, especially on Saturday. But I pulled through and might mention the best musical experiences of this year: Veto, Gogol Bordello, Looptroop, Whomadewho, Tool, George Clinton, Arctic Monkeys, Coldcut, Franz Ferdinand. This is about two thirds of what I got to see - so the general quality has been very good this year, in my opinion.

First prize, however, goes to Roger Waters and his band - doing the Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" special show with quadrophonic sound system, multimedia imagery, and an intense presence. I was frequently struck with awe during that show.

Right now, I'm trying to get my hands on as much Pink Floyd as possible. That experience was very likely the best audiovisual venue I have experienced (maybe not the most dramatic or action-packed gig but by far the most beautiful).
The sound was astounding and several times I could just stare into the huge video screen showing more or less abstract images, thinking about why I never really heard any Pink Floyd before now.

I hope maybe to obtain the set list from the Roskilde Festival website...but from now on I'm lobbying for the thing that Depeche Mode's got going on their website, which offers the possibility of buying an exact copy of a specific local live recording (MP3 or CD). This ought to be possible at Roskilde, too - especially because the larger Roskilde venues are often specially tailored by the playing bands.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Comeback Kid

Leaving for Roskilde Festival within an hour or so. Going to be great - I missed out last year for the first time in 12 years, so it's been a big part of my life and I miss it.

Reports from the camp pioneers that left already on Saturday tell that the incomparable "Dige" (an old school friend of mine) was released from police custody Saturday morning after having spurred mayhem at a local midsummer's eve venue in or around Copenhagen. Apparently, he was convinced that several people were burning up inside the bonfire - and being very loud about it, he quickly drew the attention of police and rescue teams. Of course, it was all bollocks and probably hash-induced ravings...but seeing as the police and rescuers were there anyway, they opted to take him in and give him some sheltering for the night. Probably good form since he would have bunked in the bonfire himself, I'd bet.

Anyway, back from the pen, he proceeded to knock down the camping fence moments before the gates were opened Sunday morning. Seems this year's placement of our camp is second to none because of this great feat. Look forward to seeing him - apparently he's been running around naked most of the time.

I can't say that I'm anyway near the levels of this guy when I attend festivals - but I do enjoy such mad happenings immensely. Gives you a great chance to laugh at life and meet up with old buddys for once. The laughs I get from RF keeps me going the rest of the year!

The weather seems promising after a couple of heavy showers yesterday. Going to savour the tequilas at the Ballroom scene. ;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Computational art

Here is a nice gallery that sports algorithmic art. Some very cool images - it gets even better when you se how the final image evolves. Click the images and you'll be able to execute the apps (mostly implemented in Java or Flash).

It's also open source - the apps I accessed let you peep into their inner workings :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Cuteness personified

Woke up this morning with my son repeatedly kissing my shoulder. Although, as a (somewhat) responsible parent, I miss out on a few things, I feel sorry for a lot of people that really have no clue what they're missing out on.

About bloody time

Personally, I'd rather communicate with a Bulgarian clam fisherman through hand signs than run upon an American teenager talking like that.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Next venue, please

My trip to Depeche Mode here i Aarhus the other day really sparked my live act appetite. I'm really excited about Roskilde this year, probably because of my absence last year. It's hard to kick a habit.

About the concert, it was a great show. David Gahan is impressive on a stage, twisting and spinning - always in full control and mastering both the slow and the manic. Generally, I was satisifed but I left with a feeling that I needed another 10%. The duration of the actual DM gig was only about 1h50min...which is a bit tight in my book. Especially at a dedicated venue. At Roskilde Festival many larger acts play 2 hours, frequently more. Also, DM opted to play a slow quiet song as an extra - which was not well chosen. People wanted to jump, not slump.

That said, the quality was very high and I didn't feel the sound was too muddy. My favourite part was Gore doing "Home" about one third through the show. An unlikely candidate, since I was really waiting for "Personal Jesus" and "Never Let Me Down Again", but Gore did it with such feeling and grace that it was beauty unmatched.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In for a fashion update

Caught a bit ill today, after a fantastic weekend at my uncle's 50th celebration in Sweden - in the middle of the forest. Maybe I'll have some pictures of that soon.

Anyway, going to Depeche Mode this evening, here in Aarhus. Quite excited, although this bad throat annoys me. Been leeching old stuff...jesus, do these guys have many hits to play. The newest album is very solid, also. I feel well-prepared...I just hope the Atletion venue has good sound, despite all the concrete.

You can actually pre-order Depeche Mode concert recordings from every location on their tour. Now, that is embracing new media. I'm considering the Aarhus offer...but I think I'll wait till I hear the real thing. I suspect all the concrete at the stadium may give nasty eccoes. We shall see.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The future is now

Seems I went ahead of myself, talking about Google and free web hosting...and then again I did not. is not married to Google (yet) - Google was just used as a metaphor for the nature of That's actually interesting in itself....if you say "like Google", that means 20 different things by now - but people almost always understand you :)

Anyway, I found out that my GMail account is already linked directly to GooglePages which is, in effect, free web hosting. It is a bit sluggish because it is all web-based but I have 100Mb of free space associated with the webpage account. So I've just uploaded the Flylikeabrick resources and link to them from here. Neat.

Thinking of MySpace - it might be a good idea since I have 5-7 different kinds of free services active now on the web. Still, it means that I need to get into all that again. Can't really be bothered now this works. And I don't actually like the default MySpace setup that everyone uses. Looks too much like an online music shop, selling bad music.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Digitizational ramificationz

All this recent career drama has given me some time to get into the nuts and bolts of blogging again. I like that.

I recently attending a management strategy conference and it seems that blogging is finally getting through to the bizz-heads as well. :)
Kolind was very inspiring, by the way. People may know his achievements at Danish company Oticon - the case was part of my curriculum at Uni. A nice, seemingly gentle man - who nevertheless was quite focused on making money and lots of it. I knew they were out there somewhere...
I'm thinking of buying his book. He made it clear that his writings are quite non-scientific which is a sympathetic confession. I might kill my own reading experience with my over-academic perspective but I'll try to remind myself that this guy has probably made more money (and not least happy people) than 99% of the world's philosophers and scholars.

I still need to fix the image links and the sub-pages that were previously hosted on a now extinct web server. I'm not sure how to go about that since I have no hosting set up privately. I don't really feel like paying for this, since I discovered a myriad of free hosting solutions. So many that I got quite spooked, actually. I even came across Google's version as referred by this message. Does anyone have experience with this kinda stuff?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A new beginning?

Well, a brief return. After 5-6 years of working together, my company is splitting up. The shocking revelation came in on last Monday where two of us (not me) declared that they wanted to leave the company and seek new challenges.
It seemed a bit surreal, especially because we had - after a relatively long period of stress, bad morale, and business frustrations - finally begun to turn the tide in our favour. At least, this was my impression. Apparently not that of those two.

Times have been hard....almost 6 months of no substantial income has taken its toll. Also, we have had several cooperation problems, although many have been settled and people seemed willing to swallow some pride in the anticipation of future succes.

The worst thing, from my perspective, is the fact that our recent "sell more" campaign never got finished - that would have given all of us a clear indication of the company potential. The next worse thing is to have to disappoint a lot of people that we have started or contemplated projects with. This was my most recent field of work and I was really making headway and getting into the task of formulating and structuring public projects as a supplement to our main product development.

It really annoys my to leave these things hanging in the closet - some of them have fair potential, although that is always hard to judge in this IT/3D area.

The fact that two months ago we all agreed to transform into an actual company with legal bindings and all does not make the situation easier. Being assigned as CEO of a holding company means that I now have no right to social compensation - I have to sell my share to another before I have so little assets that I may regain my unemployment benefits. This was a really smart move by the renegades. To shake hands and establish debts and company structures 2 months prior to sudden departure. I guess some people didn't really analyze their options or ambitions sufficiently :P

I'm risking that they read this, although we have an agreement to stay friends. But then again I have a right to be pissed and express it. Besides, I'm not as annoyed as it may sound. Part of me is maybe relieved since it certainly has been a rough ride at times. Last year I had the same thoughts on the project but deliberately suppressed the urge to quit. I guess they just couldn't do that anymore, which is basically ok. Can't argue with feelings. The timing just sucks like a Nilfisk.

So, the next challenge is to find a real job, I guess. Not something I've been used to - but then again the past years of experience should amount to something. I've learned a helluva lot about business logic, strategy, design work, and creative projects. Not to mention the problems that come with all of those, especially when trying to communicate goals and procedures between peers.
I guess I am really quite confident after these experiences. I used to think that these things were infinitely complex but being in the midst of work life gives you the sudden realization that everyone is really as perplexed and uncertain as you are yourself. That's quite comforting. At Uni everything was deliberately made complex in order to impress the people in charge. Outside those walls people like it better if you keep it simple, at least on the basic level of business that we have been exposed to - I'm only just getting used to that. It's a useful beacon in my sometimes way too academic way of perceiving my surroundings.

I have at the very least acquired quite a large network of contacts that I should try to exploit in order to get ahead. We shall see. You have a job for me?