Hi. I'm Erik.

Now that you know this, I suppose I should let you know that I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with this page yet, but surely it'll be mind-blowing, just like everything I've ever worked on before. Including shaving cows.

In all seriousness. To begin with, this appears to be turning into a random blog about whatever's on my mind right now. After thinking about it, I did realize nobody probably really cares about what's on my mind, but maybe the process of just writing it all will actually help me one way other other. My life isn't spectacularly interesting or anything, and if you've spent even one night drinking beer with me you'll have heard the only interesting details there are: I grew up with an Olympic Gold Medalist, I did fun stuff in the military. I have a friend who's a golf pro and another who almost flunked out of high school yet was hired to teach C++ programming right out of school despite that. I'm not going to write about those things. What I am going to write about may not really be of any interest, but it's possible it gets quite personal. I make no promises, so don't sue me if you feel I wasted your time.

erik@squiggle:~$ tail entry.blog blinky

Sunday, February 1

Ha. This is rather typical, isn't it? It's been two bloody months since my last update on this fine site. Truth is, I don't really have a valid excuse. Sure life's been nuts, but not nuts enough not to write at least a few lines of text. So what's going on these days? Well, nothing much aside from half my department going to new places, including my boss. I was close to leaving too before circumstances changed somewhat, right after Christmas. It was enough to no longer want a better paying job but with a much worse commute. Aside from that, I had a pretty crappy work week with struggling with test code before scrapping it and starting over. Not cool. I really need to just get to cranking this crap out now. It's taking way too much time. My biggest struggle by far is creating full-on mock objects that need other mock objects to function. There's so many co-dependencies that make it all worse, but it feels like it shouldn't be all that if I just learned to dig in and shut everything else out. This also seems like something that one should be able to automate. Left early on Friday because I wasn't feeling well, so I've been spending a bunch of today working to make up for lost time.

I also bought a few chisels and files for woodworking. I've long been inspired by Todd's stuff, and now it just seemed like it was time. I don't really have any large projects where I'm using them, but I think that's probably for the best so I can just get used to working with such tools again. Not at all unrelated, I also bought a compound miter saw with the help of a giftcard my brother gave me for Christmas. Now I want to cut everything.

Aside from that, it's Super Bowl Sunday, so obviously I'm going to watch... nope. I'm taking Niklas ice skating while hopefully everybody else is staying home. I think at this point, he'll learn a lot faster if I take him at least once a week on top of his skating lessons. A week apart seems to be too seldom for him to improve all that much in between each time. He's itching to play hockey, but he won't be able to actually play before he passes the first couple of skating classes, and I don't think he'll actually pass the one he's in this time around.

Tuesday, December 2

Welp. Still no real update on the history of my home, because quite frankly, I just haven't had an opportunity to finish off the book yet. In other news, we've leased a car, my garage door springs decided to break yesterday, and two of my other favorite co-workers have given their notice. I was really sad yesterday, but I wasn't exactly surprised. I decided that drinking would not be in my best interest, so I refrained. Todd and Dave, stay awesome. It's been a pleasure working with you.

Saturday, November 22

So a blog is kind of useless if you don't frequently update it, right? Well, it's technically less than a week ago since my last entry, so it's almost semi-frequent, at least! I had the week off and spent it drinking beer with my brother. We drank quite a bit of it, even though I didn't get to take him to even half of the breweries I had intended to. On the positive side, he's pretty much coming back every single year, so we'll catch a few more next fall.

Yesterday was Brennen's last day at SparkFun, and appropriately enough, half the company showed up at Asher to send him off. Good times were had, despite the sad undertones. I'm definitely glad I was able to be there.

History. So, lately I've started reading more about the history of the tiny place where I grew up, the village of Lerdala, situated in Västra Götaland, Sweden. When my mom was here visiting a few years ago, she gave me a book on Lerdala put together by a local historical society. As it turns out, there's quite a bit of history that can be compiled about a place where people have lived for a few thousand years. Sadly, there's pretty much zero surviving written records from before the Christian Church came along. I don't think anybody really knows whether there was anything really written down before then either, but it's clear that it has been a busy area for a long time.

One of the main things this book has made me realize is just how crappy things were for people on the bottom of the totem pole as recently as 150 years ago. If you were poor, you'd live in constant humiliation and people would essentially tell you how you were worthless just out of spite... even if you were only a 6-year old kid. While the parishes had a rotating schedule where different farms would give a small share of oats and barley to the local poor, it was typically rather bad quality and not nearly enough to truly stave off hunger. Clothing was obviously lacking in quality as well, so staying warm was a huge issue in the winter time.

I'm not even sure where I should start with the summary. I'm writing to create my own timeline in my mind, so it seems it should all start at the beginning - as far back as researchers have been able to go, at least. I guess that's where the next blog post will start. Thousands of years ago.

Sunday, November 16

I'm not gonna lie. It feels really strange writing things this way. It's 1996 all over again, though back then we didn't have fancy CSS things to help us attempt making things less ugly. We were provided a very convenient excuse. This excuse no longer exists. I suck at layouts. There. I don't think there's a single ounce of artistic intuition in my veins. I think this is why I hate Pictionary so much. That and being afraid of hurting somebody's feelings because I'm also terrible at guessing what somebody's drawing is supposed to be. Before I get sidetracked, though, just know that I'm going to actually try figuring out something that isn't so terrible to read. Not because I believe there are going to be many readers, but rather because improving in this particular area is probably not a bad idea, even if I'll never do that kind of work professionally (hopefully).

So what was I going to write about? I'm not even sure any longer. In general, things are kind of going awful right now in many areas of my life. I'm lucky to have an incredible spouse to lean on, a son who distracts me, and I suppose the knowledge that if things truly go south, there are options. That said, I have no business being as calm about all this as I am. This strength doesn't come from me. I'll expand on that later - or I'll just end up getting sidetracked even more.

I'm about to lose the one co-worker I've looked up to more than any person I've ever worked with before. It sucks. I don't think he realizes how much of an influence he's been on the rest of our department, or maybe he won't admit it to himself. I've seen people grow because of things he's articulated, because of challenges he's put people up to, and yes, because of a yelling match or three as well. I kind of hope that I'll see him from time to time after his time with the company is up, but honestly, our lives and interests are so incredibly different that I don't know how much that'll happen. At least we both enjoy drinking beer and eating food, so there's that much, at least.

Then there's the whole car issue. I've already spent $1,600 on Christine's car the past couple of weeks since things went really wrong after a messed up oil and fluid change. Turns out the engine's pretty much busted and needs some serious retooling - to the point of another $3,200+, unless we want to spend over seven grand replacing it. Considering the car is 12 years old, I guess this is the end of the road for it. We already didn't have the money for the initial repairs, but whatever. Guess we're going to have car payments now for the first time in... well... I've never had car payments before. Yay. We're looking at something efficient and much smaller. I might start riding the bus for a while, though we're not exactly in the best location for that either. Not that I mind walking a few miles a day. It's not going to hurt me. This is probably a gimme to everybody ever, but: don't let Wal-Mart change your oil.

As I read through this, I realize that it sounds quite self-centered. I'm not sure that's really the direction this blog will take, but then again, isn't that what a blog kind of is? An outlet for whatever you need to ramble about. It occurs to me that I didn't write about what I intended to at all this time. This was supposed to be about the history of the area where I grew up. Oh well... maybe next time.