Once again, I have survived a whole year. Go me! For those of you who actually give a damn, here is the usual overly-wordy rundown of what happened and didn't happen.
WORK:As usual, much too much for too long, interspersed with calmer periods. For most of December it's actually been rather calm – worryingly so, in fact. We'll see what happens.
Also, in August Interverbum was bought out by the Finnish company AAC Global. The integration process is underway and will be finished in the first quarter of 2009. So far no one has been made redundant; on the contrary, AAC's old Stockholm office has moved into our office, and we're more people than ever.
No kickoff conference trip this year; the conference was held at a hotel in Solna, so instead of spending a couple of nights away I could just take the tube when we were done and be home in 15 minutes.
HOME:I've just spent my first whole calendar year in my new home. I still love this place – close, or at least much closer, to everything I need, well planned, and generally pleasant. I've dumped around 50 kgs of old magazines, bought a new bed and some new furniture, got rid of my old computer desk which just took a lot of space in storage, even when it was disassembled, and been much better at keeping things in order. One day I'll get good at it!
On the minus side, thette, kjn and hulda moved away in February, but on the other hand Eva bought their old flat and moved much closer.
FANDOM:A very low fanac year. I took part in Kontext for a day and skipped the next day; other than that, it's only been some online activity and a couple of pub meetings. I'm half gafiated already, and just waiting for something to either make me go all the way or rekindle my interest.
Oh, and I finally killfiled both the Loud Greek and the H-man.
As for media fandoms, I've watched Doctor Who a lot, sometimes in company. (One memorable Friday evening in early July, I had the Doctor, the Master, and the Doctor's Daughter (more known to the general public as thette, naye and hulda) in my sofa, watching The Curse of Fenric.)
I've also written some weird fanfic drabbles together with thette.
GEAR:There's been a bit of that, yes, some of it to replace older and bulkier equipment. I will lay low on this front in 2009 unless something breaks. Of course I have some long-term ideas for future acquisitions and upgrades, but more on that in another post some day. (Among other things, I'm researching various solutions for a surround system that doesn't require me to rearrange my whole living room around it.)
A cheapo Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li1718 laptop, as a spare computer for experimentation and emergencies. I am less than impressed with Vista and its annoying habit of not letting me bloody do anything, but maybe the more aggravating time lapses (like when the screen goes black for several seconds before a "Do you really want to do this" dialog pops up) are less noticeable on a faster machine.
I've installed Ubuntu on the second partition, which seems to be working well — when I don't have to reinstall the wireless driver manually every damn time I upgrade the kernel. I like Linux, but Ubuntu's reputation as the first really user-friendly distribution is somewhat exaggerated; if the hardware is just a tiny bit out of the ordinary, you're in for a fun time. I've been running under Vista since the upgrade to Intrepid Ibex, as I haven't had the time to recompile the drivers. Feh.
Hercules DJ Console Mk 2, a USB control device for DJ software. Possibly also useful as a MIDI controller for soft synths, but I haven't tried that yet.
Philips 15PFL4122/10 15" LCD TV, the last model with a 4:3 display ratio, and a cheap Samsung DVD-HD870 player, both for my bedroom. (The manual for the DVD player was badly enough translated for me to write a letter of complaint to Samsung's Swedish office.)
The new TV (which has HDMI, SCART, S-Video, component video, VGA, and antenna inputs, meaning I can hook up almost any hardware I own to it, with the possible exception of really old Macs) enabled me to get rid of my old 14" CRT TV and 19" CRT monitor, the latter of which I gave to darnia. It was worth the cost of the telly to free up all that space.
Numark PT-01 portable record player: built-in speaker, headphone jack, and RCA stereo output with RIAA amplifier, 33/45/78 RPM, runs on six type D batteries or AC adapter. Really neat, and might be fun on picnics; also means I can give one of my old players to sunjan, who needs a working turntable.
Terratec PhonoPreAmp iVinyl: a USB-connected RIAA amplifier, which gives a lot lower noise levels than the computer's built-in sound input. My project of digitising rare tapes and vinyls has taken huge steps forward with this little box. (I have also experimented with my father's old reel-to-reel tape recorder, but unfortunately it's not running at a constant speed: the drive belts seem to have dried.)
My Dell Inspiron 640m, which I bought in July 2006, stopped working without warning. I have six months left of the extended warranty, but I still haven't had the time to call their support line and go through the troubleshooting script with them. I intend to do the call on Friday this week.
BOOKS:After some soul-searching, I decided to count audio dramas as books. Which raised my book count tremendously, especially on long walks or journeys by bus or train.
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Miles Errant
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Memory
- Wolfgang Flür: Kraftwerk — I Was A Robot
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Komarr
- Lois McMaster Bujold: A Civil Campaign (partly as audiobook)
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Falling Free
- Lois McMaster Bujold: Diplomatic Immunity (partly as audiobook)
- Walter Tevis: The Man who Fell to Earth
- Steve Miller & Sharon Lee: Agent of Change
- Mike Tucker and Robert Perry: Loving the Alien
- Steve Miller & Sharon Lee: Two Tales of Korval
- Nick Walters: Dominion
- Kit Pedler: The Tenth Planet (audiobook)
- Juliet Hastings: White Rose Ensnared
- Bryan Talbot, adapted by Mark Wright: The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (audiobook)
- H.P. Lovecraft, adapted by Andrew Leman and Sean Branney: At the Mountains of Madness (audiobook)
- Eric Saward: Slipback (audiobook)
- Gary Hopkins: I, Davros: Part 1 — Innocence (audiobook)
- James Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown: I, Davros: Part 2 — Purity (audiobook)
- Lance Parkin: I, Davros: Part 3 — Corruption (audiobook)
- Scott Alan Woodard: I, Davros: Part 4 — Guilt (audiobook)
- Lance Parkin: Davros (audiobook)
- Nicholas Briggs: The Davros Mission (audiobook)
- Scott Alan Woodard: The Juggernauts (audiobook)
- Joseph Lidster: Terror Firma (audiobook)
- Keith Roberts: Pavane
- Fred Hoyle: The Black Cloud
- Clyde Allison: Go-Go Sadisto
- Ian Stuart Black: The Macra Terror (audiobook)
- Joseph Lidster: Torchwood: Lost Souls (audiobook)
- Phil Pascoe: ...Ish (audiobook)
- Marc Platt: Spare Parts (audiobook)
- H.P. Lovecraft: The Dunwich Horror (audiobook)
- Jacqueline Rayner: Doctor Who and the Pirates (audiobook)
- H.P. Lovecraft: The Shadow out of Time (audiobook)
MUSIC:2008 turned out to be a concert year rather than a record year: I have seen Jean-Michel Jarre, Einstürzende Neubauten, Yazoo, bob hund, Buzz, The Residents, and Ladytron. As for recorded music, I bought some stuff as downloads, some as physical records, and one album as both.
New releases bought this year:
- Absolute Body Control: Never Seen (download)
- Absolute Body Control: Wind[Re]Wind (download)
- Mylène Farmer: Point de Suture (download)
- Front 242: Moments (live) (CD, both the regular digipak and the 2CD limited box)
- Goldfrapp: Seventh Tree (download)
- Heaven 17: Naked As Advertised (download)
- Ladytron: Ghosts (single, download)
- Ladytron: Velocifero (download)
- Laibach: Laibachkunstderfuge (download and later, when it was released, CD)
- Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-IV (download)
- Nine Inch Nails: The Slip (free download)
- The Residents: The Bunny Boy (download)
- The Residents: Postcards from Patmos (CD, bought from the band's merchandise stand)
- Sébastien Tellier: Sexuality (download)
- Yazoo: In Your Room (box, CD)
- Yazoo: Nobody's Diary 2008 (download)
- Yazoo: Reconnected (download)
TRAVEL:Much more than usual!
Five days in Berlin together with my father.
Four days at our Gothenburg office for a training seminar for a new client. In late May, two days in Värnamo to visit thette, kjn and hulda, en route to Copenhagen.
Four days in Värnamo.
The downside was that I didn't have enough money after this to visit lundbomikent and Cirkux in Ramsgate. I will endeavour to save up enough for a trip this summer.
FAMILY:In the early morning of August 30, my maternal uncle Lasse died in his sleep, aged 43. That's bad enough in itself, but the aftermath has led to some family drama, which I'm a) not directly involved in (and have strived to keep out of) and b) not prepared to talk about in an open entry.
Apart from this sad incident (which didn't help to improve Grandma's condition), everyone is in reasonably good health. And my little niece Elvira is the cutest one-year-old girl on Earth!
LOVE AND RELATIONS:My hopes from last year were not fulfilled, but neither were they crushed. Things are still in a bit of limbo.
While my love life isn't as active as I could wish, I do have the best friends I can imagine. You make me happy. Thank you.
Also, I am happy for my new acquaintances (naye, Agnes, all my new co-workers). Thanks for being nice people!
Best wishes for 2009, everyone!