I det militära

Mycket ung officer – blöjtnant.
Officer i Musikkåren – flöjtnant.
Maskerad officer – slöjtnant.
Lat officer – lojtnant.
Bonde och reservofficer – plöjtnant.
Skojfrisk officer – plojtnant.
Tramsig ung officer – blajtnant.


Finished model 2012-I

Ulf thought I needed to build more ships, so donated me the Fujimi 1/700 waterline model of USS Saratoga. I’ve been struggling with it for quite a while, but now I decided to call it finished even though I’m not exactly happy with it. One of the difficulties I encountered was that I really don’t have a very good feeling for what’s what on a ship, so I couldn’t always tell if parts were misshapen or were actually supposed to be like that. But the absolutely worst obstacle was Fujumi’s building instructions. I have later been able to compare with their other ship models and they consistently suggest constructing the kit in exactly the opposite order of what would make best sense, i e they suggest first making the fiddly bits, then putting them together with all the superstructure and only in the final step adding them to the hull. This in fact makes it almost impossible to paint the ship with any success and almost guarantees that masts and the like will get broken in the process. (And no, it’s not that I can’t read Japanese instructions—I will at least for the moment assume that even the Japanese count from 1 and upwards.)

What I should have done is:
Paint all parts on the sprue.
Assemble the hull with flight deck, putty and paint as needed. (It’s a waterline model, i e, there’s a huge seam all along the bottom which is well-nigh impossible to get right.)
Assemble the superstructure, paint each level before adding the next.
Finally, add masts, aerials, guns and aircraft.

Anyway, the model is painted as Saratoga would have looked c 1943, in Measure 21. (The US Navy seems to have spent considerable time during the war repainting their ships in ever new camouflage systems.)

There is a small assortment of aircraft included, Wildcats, Dauntlesses and Avengers. They are moulded in clear plastic with the idea that with proper masking you will automatically get a clear canopy. Alas, I haven’t figured out how to effectively mask such a small nubbin. I tried with Maskol, but as usual found it to be useless. There were decals supplied for national insignia in pre- and post-1942 styles. They seemed to me to be too few, but eventually I realised there were exactly as many stars as would be carried on the wing topsides; underside and fuselage insignia had been skipped. In the event, these decals turned out to be the absolutely worst I’ve ever tried: they refused to leave the backing paper, and usually ended up shattering into little flakes, thus being available for even fewer aircraft.

So, in the end I was rather unhappy with the results, but I have now built an aircraft carrier and have a little better idea of how to attack a ship should I try to do another one.


Drained and inspected

As mentioned earlier, I was due for a proper medical diagnosis of my suspected cœliac disease. To my confused delight, six weeks of eating gluten again had rather improved the state of my stomach. Now, being enteroscoped introduced some other restrictions: starting a week before the examination date I had to go on a low-fibre diet and fast completely the last day, combined with a “gut flushing” powder. Well, a lot of flushing was involved… I was also forbidden to even drink anything for several hours before the examination. The reason for this was made clear as I found myself desperately retching with a gastroscopy tube down my throat—there was nothing to throw up no matter how much my reflexes wanted to. Thankfully the gastro-enterologist was skilled and had his biopsy done in a few minutes. The coloscopy was a rather longer procedure but nowhere as painful. Nothing obvious was visible to the naked eye, but in another month we shall have the lab results back and consider where to go from here.


Vi spadar

The breakfast eaters look like a herd of strangely-patterned zebras as they throng around norimaki, croissants and scrambled eggs. Yasuragi Hasseludden encourage their guests to wear the signature navy-and-white yukata at all times, but whether this does confuse any hunting lions hiding behind the string curtains is unclear.

We had arrived the afternoon before, and as is our habit, we drop on the beds and sleep until dinnertime, when we don our yukata uniforms and find our way to Restaurant Tokyo where a cheery waitress, not dressed in yukata, takes our orders. Neither risotto nor reindeer fillet feels very Japanese, but it’s all very good and dessert is absolutely divine—Honeybuns orders the sampler plate with one of each offering. There are several other parties having dinner at the same time as we, but, whether thanks to the bathrobes or the string curtains hanging here and there, the place never becomes noisy.

Finally we head for the pools. It is no longer as cold as it was the week before, but we shiver when we step outside and quickly dive into the hot water. Steam rises from the water surface and obscures the other bathers sitting just a few metres away, creating private presence bubbles. We half-float in the water and watch the stars—the sparse lighting by the pool is still enough to blot out all but the brightest stars. Honeybuns tells how Stjärnhuset made her fear the violent Orion. Clearly not all childhood trauma is Staffan Westerberg’s fault.

Next morning after breakfast we return to the outdoor pool. Considerably more people are up and about now than the evening before, but somehow the pool never gets crowded. Hot water soothes all that ails me, though Honeybuns grows impatient while I with placid interest watch a sheet of ice slowly sliding down a glass pane.

Thanks Mom for the excellent present.


A year since last

After 1300 work units.


Word of the week: irrelephant

Even if there is a large animal nearby it might not be of immediate interest to you—it’s irrelephant.

Angry and disgusted

I’ve been tangentially involved in consumer aspects on what’s known as the Internet of Things, so when SICS announced the Internet of Things Day 2012 I thought it was interesting enough that I took the day off to attend the presentations.

Professor Kia Höök, whom I otherwise much respect, argued in her introductory presentation that applications for the Internet of Things need to be emotionally attractive and to function in everyday life. However, “everyday life” turned out to specifically mean “leisure activities of affluent Westerners”. At some point I’ve had it deeply embedded in me that my task as an engineer is to make the world a better place and at the end of the day I don’t think computer games are a high priority in that respect. In fact, as far as I could tell, the proposed applications were explicitly geared towards increased consumption, probably with the assumption that Expanding the Economy is a Good Thing.

Interestingly enough, the more technical presentations in the afternoon session did demonstrate e g environment-monitoring applications, but the wrap-up presentation introduced a training aid for the Swedish national ski team and it was obvious that a corresponding body posture monitoring program for, say, cleaning staff, hospital orderlies, or garbage collectors had never been and would never be even reflected on even though it would affect a lot more people who would be more likely to get longer-term benefits from such help.

Back in the day, when the students’ union was still organised along party lines, Socialistisk Kårfront (the Socialist Student Front) had a slogan like “Technical development for the working class”. I thought it was rather silly sloganeering at the time, but technical development that automatically excludes the working class is never going to be user-centred in my mind.

Professor Höök also spoke about making “desirable” applications, which I find even more insidious. One of the keynotes was delivered by a Chinese official and I reflected that while dictatorships may use various means in order to coerce desired behaviour on part of the population, it is usually clear that this is imposed from the outside, whereas marketers manipulating our emotions make us believe that it is we ourselves that want to behave in the prescribed manner, making it that much harder to break free.



I’m not quite sure what it’s about, but it’s atmospheric.


Veckans ord: avlidigt

Somliga områden har en högre dödlighet än andra, det är väldigt avlidigt där.