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Almost a year of my life

Apparently there’s been an even longer time since my last update now, than when I posted last time. Been almost a year… Time passes way too fast.

Since my last post, I:

  • Went to Easter Camp
  • Visited Finland with the church youth group (I seem to recall us having a city exploration game, unfortunately it was raining rather badly…)
  • Went to Jenny and Martin’s wedding
  • Went to Tromsø on a work conference, visited some friends while I was there
  • Went to Summer Camp
  • Hung out with friends and visitors during summer vacation
  • Went to William and Marita’s wedding
  • Went to Enoch and Monica’s wedding the weekend after that
  • Went on a cabin trip with the church youth group (apparently there’s a difference between cabins and cottages. The correct term for what the Norwegians traditionally call “hytte” would be cabin or log cabin, because it’s usually built mainly with wood and is also usually located in the woods.)

    Tradional Norwegian cabin

    Old-style Norwegian cabin found at the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo.

  • Went to Copenhagen on another work conference, visited the Tivoli amusement park and The National Museum of Denmark.
  • Started playing Dungeons & Dragons with some friends. So far we have found that we might be somewhat lacking in imagination, and generally only know how to rush dungeons and try to beat up everyone. Also we have the worst luck with dice rolls.
  • Went to the “Films From the South Festival” (watched mostly anime and Asian movies)
  • Went to Boda Borg in Sweden, it was quite fun!

    Boda Borg introduction

    Boda Borg introduction, the place is not as scary as this photo might suggest.

  • Went to Hong Kong and Malaysia with my family. And went to my cousin’s wedding in Hong Kong.
    Malaysia, being one of the tropical countries, was quite hot and I’m glad that the tour guide that took us around sightseeing had a car with great air conditioning.
  • Tried out curling. Found out I suck at it as with most competitive sports and games.

Apparently I went to a total of five weddings throughout 2015. I was invited to Wenny’s wedding too, but in the end I decided not to go since I was already going to two other weddings in that same month. Sorry Wenny. If I count the two weddings I went to in Final Fantasy XIV, the count would go up to seven weddings, but I guess those two probably don’t count.

I’ve mostly lost track of the video games I play. I feel like I don’t get around to play as much as I really want, because a lot of evenings after work and Saturdays I end up surfing the net/Reddit and doing some chores and reading webcomics and random stuff and I might really only play games a few hours or so. Still I have played through at least a few games. In no particular order:

  • Undertale (it won the “Best Game Ever” poll on GameFAQs for 2015 in a hilarious tale of Undertale fans rallying each other to vote for the game on a web site they don’t usually visit, while grumpy fans for other games were complaining that Undertale fans were ruining the poll)
  • Batman Arkham Origins and also the companion game Arkham Origins: Blackgate
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (got it quite a while ago, but didn’t get around to beat it before lately)
  • Teslagrad (Norwegian metroidvania style indie game)
  • Murdered: Soul Suspect (it was, uh, OK)
  • Her Story (fascinating game where you have to find out the truth by watching old videos)
  • Portal Stories: Mel (fan-made mod to the original Portal games with voice acting, quite amazing)
  • Deadlight (2.5D almost metroidvania-style platform game with zombies)
  • Amphora (a mix between a puzzle game and picture storybook, also made by a Norwegian indie company)
  • almost finished The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, just trying to find all the secrets now
  • played both Lara Croft top down shooter games with my brothers (Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris)
  • The Swapper (another metroidvania style game, in space, kinda horrorish, amazing atmosphere and story)
  • The Novelist (an indie game about despair and depression. Nah I hear it’s possible to get a perfectly happy ending, though I didn’t want to play through it again to try for it)
  • Corpse Party: Blood Drive (the final chapter in the Corpse Party horror game series, was cool to see the characters again, but felt somewhat underwhelming compared to the first two games)

Currently I’m supposed to be planning an activity for the youth group next Saturday, so I should get back to it. Might very well post about it here after it’s done!

 

Posted by on 2016-02-05 in Uncategorized

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I’ve Been To Japan!

Fan with water sprayLast week I was in Japan with my family. First time we’ve been there! It was hot, but it was bearable. All the hotels we stayed at had air conditioning, and whenever the heat outside got too bad, we could cool down in some random store or mall, so it was not too bad. I like to think that my portable fan with water spray did help, I kept spraying water on my face and arms whenever we were out for more than an hour or so.

We had a Japan Rail Pass and traveled to Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Nagoya. Spent only a few days in each city (half a day in Osaka), so we didn’t really get time to see much or even do as much shopping as I wanted to. We went to Edo-Tokyo Museum, Sensoji Temple, Tokyo DisneySea, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Hiroshima Peace Site, Hiroshima CastleNagoya City Science Museum and Port of Nagoya. Unfortunately the tickets for Ghibli Museum reserved for sale in Norway were already sold out, it was the place I wanted to go the most! Oh well, maybe next time…

Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea

I think I must say that of the places we went, DisneySea was the most fun, though Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall was the most thought-provoking. Especially hearing the stories from the kids who experienced the bombing was quite heartbreaking. (Found the video here, English subtitles.) The Science Museum was kinda fun, but many of the exhibits didn’t have explanations in English. And when we went to Port of Nagoya, there was a festival going on, so it was chock-full of people. We did get to see a parade and lots of people in kimono, which was interesting, but we decided to leave early so we wouldn’t get stuck in traffic back when everybody else was leaving.

School kids around Japan sends in origami cranes to Children's Peace Monument in memory of Sadako who died from leukemia because of the radiation from the bomb.

School kids around Japan sends in origami cranes to Children’s Peace Monument in memory of Sadako who died from leukemia because of the radiation from the bomb.

Before that we were at NCCC‘s yearly summer camp. It was great weather all through the camp! Had a great time talking with friends, and the sermons this year were interesting. Next year apparently the junior/youth/young adults camp will be held in a separate location from the main camp, wonder how that will work out…

Seaside at Sjöviks Folkhögskola

Seaside at Sjöviks Folkhögskola

Other than that, the last three months I went travelling a few other times. I went Easter Camp, to Stavanger to go up Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock), and to some friends’ wedding in Sweden. A few friends also visited me in Oslo.

I really enjoyed Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and hopefully without spoiling anything, I must say that the ending/resolution was truly Professor Layton-like. Bastion‘s story is incredibly melancholic. Evoland had a fun gimmick and it was kind of fun seeing parodies of various games, but the whole parody thing made the story rather bland. Among The Sleep was sufficiently creepy without being full of jump scares and gore, and the ending there did surprise me (it is sad, but explains the game so well!) The last chapter of The Wolf Amongst Us had some difficult choices for you to make. The story in To The Moon was definitely memorable, though the game itself doesn’t really have much “gameplay”, besides walking around to pick up items, plus a small puzzle between each level/chapter. Just played The Walking Dead  Season 2: Episode 4 a few days ago, it ended on a rather big cliffhanger! Looking forward to the next/last chapter.

Summer is still quite hot in Oslo, which is positive, but both my house and my office doesn’t really have good air conditioning so it gets quite hot inside. Hopefully it’ll get cooler soon.

A final note: They played “Let It Go” everywhere in Japan! (In all electronics/movie/game stores, at least.) Got the song stuck in my head for a while. It’s not a bad song, but dang, gimme a break.

 

Posted by on 2014-07-26 in Uncategorized

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New computer!

In May I finally built myself a new computer. I ended up buying a GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, even though it was actually crazy expensive. I just figured that for once, I’d like to indulge myself a little when buying a computer… I also bought a 27” NVidia 3D monitor. Even though a lot of people say that they get dizzy or uncomfortable watching 3D, I’ve never had that problem to a large degree. Playing Diablo 3 in 3D is amazingly awesome! Like watching little toy figurines run around and kill things. I also bought Battlefield 3 so I could have a modern FPS to test in 3D mode. Only tried a little so far, but it does seem to work quite smoothly in 3D even at full resolution and details! Look forward to playing more.

Besides gaming, it feels really great to have a computer that runs smoothly with barely any lag or delays! I think it takes around half a minute to boot it up even when it’s completely off.

2012-05-30 21.08.57
I like the shiny GeForce text. Though I don’t see it much since my computer is on the floor now.

The parts I bought for my computer:

  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO
  • CPU: Core i7 3770K
  • Graphics card: Gainward GeForce GTX 690 4GB
  • Optical drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray Writer iHBS112
  • RAM: 2 x Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz 8GB
  • Main hard drive: Intel 520 Series SSD 240GB
  • Data drive: 2 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB in RAID1
  • Case: Corsair Obsidian 550D
  • Monitor: Asus 27” 3D LED monitor VG278H

 

As I mentioned I’ve been playing Diablo 3, and for whatever reason I’ve managed to get myself to Hell difficulty and level 55 now, even though I originally only intended to play through the story mode once in Normal difficulty. I probably wanted to get to level 60 just because people on my friends list are level 60 already. But I just don’t seem to have enough time to play that much, and by now my friends don’t even seem to play Diablo as much either anyways. So most likely I’ll give it up and play all the other games I wanted to try out on my new computer.

I also finished Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Gravity Rush. Amnesia was quite scary at first, but after getting used to dying a few times, it just started feeling annoying because I disliked having to stop and hide and wait before I could keep going. Since I was trying to finish it quickly.

gravity_rush
Awesome Gravity Rush concept art

I really liked Gravity Rush, even though I found the story and dialogue to be quite “simplistic”, for a lack of a better word. While there are a couple of more complex ideas in the story, the game doesn’t really delve any deeper into those parts. And the game ends before (slight spoiler alert) answering many of the questions raised during the game. Still, the story is interesting enough that I want to know more about the main character and the world in the game! I do hope there will be a sequel or DLC which tries to explain more, but even if they do not, I would probably buy them anyways. Already bought the currently available DLC after seeing that it actually does have some story missions (missions with dialogues and cutscenes, though not really plot-important stories), will probably buy the rest when they are out.

I started playing Assassin’s Creed 2 before building my new computer, but after I finished building it I’ve mostly been playing computer games (mainly Diablo 3). Maybe once I convince myself to stop playing Diablo I will go back to try and finish Assassin’s Creed 2, though I must say that I am quite a bit less interested in console gaming now that I have a great gaming computer, and tons of games I’ve yet to play on it.

In June, besides gaming, I‘ve been to the amusement park Tusenfryd, gone barbequing a few times, made sushi and tempura, watched Prometheus, played mahjong with some friends, and preparing for summer camp (mostly working on the camp booklet and the booklet web app that I wanted to try making!)

2012-06-10 15.43.31
Made sushi and tempura with my brothers and some friends

At Tusenfryd I tried out the SkyCoaster with Tore and Elizabeth, though it was honestly slightly disappointing. You only got a kick out of it the first second or so when you are in free fall, but as soon as you start swinging and feel the grip of the equipment you’re wearing, it doesn’t really feel that different from f.ex. SpinSpider. Considering you have to pay 150NOK-195NOK to try it, I don’t really think it’s quite worth it. The other big disappointment was that Nightmare was closed due to technical problems, I really wanted to try it. Oh well…

SpinSpider_2
The SpinSpider ride was quite fun!

Oh, a tips for those going to Tusenfryd, you get cheaper tickets if you buy online before you go there, and if you have a VISA card you can get a 20% discount. When we bought it the price was 279NOK instead of 369NOK, quite a difference!

Also Pastor Ivy and her husband Glen from Toronto came to Oslo to visit us! Though because I have been busy with summer camp work and she has been busy with church activities with the adults, we haven’t met as often as last time she visited. Though she’ll be here for a few weeks after camp too, so we will probably meet up at least a few times then.

Well then, time to head for bed. Next time for sure I will blog before a month has passed! Maybe.

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Posted by on 2012-07-02 in Uncategorized

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