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Final announcement

This will be the last post from me on Livejournal. Please come see me on my active blog – and if you can't read Norwegian, ask me for a translation or use Google :)

Website defacing

My website has been defaced. Along with all the other sites on the server, it was totally ruined during last night. For security's sake, the system is disconnected. I reckon it will take some time to re-establish everything, including the email systems of many domains. I really, really can't understand the fun of doing stuff like this. Why ruin lots of effort and work for other people just because you can? 

Maybe I'll drop by here the next few days. And maybe I'll establish yet another system for my private site. We'll see. Just now I'm just going to slow my pulse with a beer or similar.

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I'm moving away

I've decided to move my blog to my own server, just to have a little more control over files, features, contents and looks. I also decided to start writing in Norwegian again, as I reckon I don't have many readers here - at least not that I know of. I've really enjoyed being here on LJ, and I might drop by occasionally.

If you'd like to visit my new site, please see http://grete.duna.no/blog and do leave me a message if you feel like it! Season's greetings and bye for now!
Why does some professions seem to have certified people educated to make promises and just don't keep them? I have now waited for days, weeks -- even months -- in vain for various craftspersons and specialists for tending to work which requires licensed skilled personnel. They all tend to say mañana or stop responding when I remind them of deadlines or the simple fact that I ordered their service because I needed something done.

The plumber, the excavator man, carpenters and the electrician all stood us up on one, two or several occasions. Now I'm starting to get worried, as we still don't have power in our cabin. And without power, we can not turn on the water supply because it needs electricity to heat the water and keep it frost free. The rest is somewhat in place, though the outside yard sure needs a lot of digging and filling. If the electrician doesn't show this week, I think I'll bring my Christmas dinner and my laundry and go to his house on Christmas eve. At least I'll threaten to do so...

As a bonus, we have an excavator standing on our doorstep. Maybe I'll buy some Christmas decorations to lighten it up a bit. It'll have to run on batteries, though.

Internet première

This is the very first time I use my computer online from my cabin. I installed a wlan router from ice.net yesterday, and it was almost disappointingly fast and easy to set up.Turn on -- go to web gui for the router -- set password -- restart. That was about it. But it works, and now we can enjoy a break every now and then without walking up to mum and dad's cabin for internet access.

Strangely enough, now that it's available, I haven't used the net much. But I do look forward to having it in-house when we spend longer periods here.

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Planning and shopping

In 9 days I start my Christmas vacation. This year I'll have more than two weeks off from work, and of course I'll spend the holidays at Solfang.

This requires quite some planning and shopping. A lot of stuff is "always" in the house at home, like various spices, flour, sugar, salt -- all kinds of dry food that can be stored for a long time. But at the cabin there's no such stock yet.

By now, my shopping list consists of 80 items. It might not sound too bad, considering the duration of the holidays and the fact that we will have the big family gathering most of the days. But the scary part of the not-too-long list is that I know I haven't thought through it all yet. The traditional holiday meals require more perfection in details than the everyday ones, and I wouldn't like to miss out on the rare once-a-year tastes just because I forgot something. So I write lists.

One big issue is the fact that we need to buy a big freeze/fridge for our technical room. The kitchen has a built-in refrigerator, which is nice and has enough space for a normal family weekend. But for longer stays and expanded family gatherings we need more. So I try to drag the man in the house out for some shopping -- before it's to late. If we don't have this extra space and freezer possibilities, we'll have to go shopping far more often than I would like during a holiday.

I now realize there's almost no more time left. I haven't done much with presents either. In fact, I've landed only four. And none of the really important ones. Which means I'm approaching the panic level. If you have any idea what I can get for my kids, please let me know. They have everything they need, far too much of most of it. They haven't made any wishes that gave me a clue to what would be nice. But I do wish to have presents for all of them, and hopefully something that makes them happy. Money is of course an easy way out, but no fun to give away at all...

The house is a mess, as it almost always is. We always pack for next weekend at the cabin, and unpack laundry after. Which means that during the weekends, while we're away, the place is actually not too bad. But we haven't done any decoration for Christmas, except a star and some nice light in the livingroom windows. I suspect this will be it. No angels or santas, no tree and no presents. But I do want to clean and tidy a bit more than else. I just have to find a little extra time.

No shopping today, or....?

A hard day's night

... or didn't this week have a weekend?

The past two weeks at work were filled with planning and shopping for a huge makeover in our main machine room in the basement. After seven years residing in this building, all the easy solutions and hurry, just make it work-stuff made it quite necessary to take some real action in tidying, re-organizing and re-structuring everything from hardware placement, network cabling, power supplies, router and switch configurations and walls, floor and racks.


This is how the room looked before we started. Though, some stuff is actually already removed before this was taken.

Some work was impossible to do while systems were running, and though we did a huge pre-tidying, we still had a lot on our task list when we started the job on Saturday morning. We had a car shuttling to and from the recycle/trash station and threw away more than 900 kg of outdated or destroyed hardware. It's insane to store so much trash over so many years.

The time we would need to complete the total renovation was estimated to approximately eight hours, though some even meant we would finish in two or three. After 10 hours we realized we were barely half way through. We were four persons (partly five some periods) working from 9 am until 5 am the next morning. We had to give in for a while then. But we started over again on Sunday, and managed to have all systems up and running on new cabling before the evening.

This morning we moved away surplus cables, a lot of trash and had the floor painted. After 25 intense work hours I am satisfied with the result. Adding the hours for the others I worked with, I guess we passed 100 hours this weekend.


Our "new" data center. No wonder I'm happy, eh?

We now have a small desk with space to work down there as well, some necessary tools, emergency lights and a new fire extinguisher. The new paint on the floor makes an entirely new impression when entering the room. I guess I'll be standing on watch post outside from now on, making sure no one enters without taking their shoes off first, no one moves or removes a cable or even add any...

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Documentation of a building process

During the entire period of building our cabin, I've taken pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. I initially had some plans to write a kind of building diary and make a book out of this. I should have been more devoted to the task, I can see now how fast I forget details. But I have produced a photo-book, a visual documentation of how we have progressed over the past 2 1/2 years. And I have made web-albums. So I guess it will be possible to see what we have done also in the future. (clickable picture)

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Now's the Season™

Yippee! December is here, at last.

Well, if you know me, you heard the dripping irony screaming from those few words. I have, for several years, felt December generally (and Christmas especially) quite annoying. The main reasons for this are of course:

a) I like light and summer more than dark and winter
and
b) Christmas is more and more about shopping and spending

But then again; this year I actually have sensed hints of positive anticipation, a tiny feeling of The Spirit™. And the main reasons for this are probably:

a) it hasn't been that cold all over
b) the snow came on the right day, not too much of it
c) the cabin is finished (or as close thereto as needed to use for holidays)
and
d) I know what to get people for Christmas

So this year it doesn't feel all that stressful to se the holidays coming, I will have two weeks off and really really relax and enjoy. I think.

Another terrible accident

Our neighbors through almost 18 years lost their beautiful daughter today after a disatrous car crash yesterday. May you rest in peace, Cathrine. All our thoughts go to your sister and your parents.