Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The highs and the lows

Haven't blogged in a while. There have been a numer of highs and lows worth mentioning lately.

The weather has been really nice the last two weeks. My first barbeque of the year was this weekend, followed by a day of surfing and tanning at the beach. Last week I and a friend had a great evening out dining with LaserDavid and his friend who were visiting SFO for a convention.

My car suddenly stopped running while driving on the highway two weeks ago. Naturally this was shortly after my ceiling fell in. It's also stalling sometimes when stopping at a red light. Very annoying. I have to turn the key three or four times before it starts up again. I left it at my local mechanic and of course they couldn't reproduce the problem. So I got it back, and of course it soon started to act up on me again. Now it's back in the shop for a second attempt at identifying the fault. I've investigated the problem and done a lot of searching on the net for that kind of problem with Volvos of that model and year. It could be pretty much anything from a rare short circuit ($) to a broken ignition control computer ($$$) to a worn out fuel pump ($$). Either the mechanic can repro it and replace the part, or I have to live with the issue until the car starts bailing on me with such a high frequency that's it’s impossible to miss it. *Sigh* My car is a wonderful piece of machinery otherwise.

This coming weeking I'm going skiing, hoping that my bad luck qouta takes some time to replenish itself. I'm the one with least experience with winter sports in my social group, so it's likely going to be a hard weekend of learning.
I am learning to surf right now and so far that has only cost me a new pair of glasses. Despite having security straps for them, a wave hit me so hard that they disappeared with straps and all. Luckily I didn't have to drive all the way home without them, and I needed new ones anyway.

Some weeks ago, me and a bunch of colleges, friends and friends of friends rented a limo and took an 8 hour ride around the wine country in Napa Valley: Wine tasting, picnicking in the sun and listening to trivia about wine. You get pretty dizzy after such a trip but it's certainly worth it, not having to drive around the valley yourself with a bored sober driver, or no sober drivers at all. In California, you can drive if you have a blood-alcohol level of less then 0.08 percent (0.8 parts per thousand, "promille"). That's crazy in the mind of a Swede (we have 0.0). It's my ambition to try not to take advantage of such freedom.

Otherwise I have pretty much worked 60 hours a week the last few weeks. I guess it’s a matter of “You work hard, you party hard”. Speaking of work and party, I got my hands on the movie “Riot On” last weekend. It’s a crazy movie about a Finnish tech company that got a lot of VC in 2000 and crashed as IT went down two years later. It has been around for a while but I noticed that I could get the DVD from Amazon just recently. Anyway these guys blow a lot of money on building a company image, recruiting relatives and partying like crazy. If you have ever worked at a startup, been though a "high-tide" with crazy inflated expectations in industry, or worked at an IT company you should see this. It takes a bunch of Finnish guys to make a movie about that time. Like they weren't good at partying anyways. I can just hope the age of wonders is not over yet.

Robert


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