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Listening to this again - over and over again - I feel like musicians have somehow become the new martyrs. They keep trying to spread their message. They keep trying to change the world. They keep trying to battle their darkest, deepest fears and realities - reflecting our own demons, and circumstances, and they keep dying. Young. One after the other.

Music's meant to be our salvation. Our cure. How did it turn into such a placebo? Can't the artisans of hope ever craft a medicine so strong it cures themselves?

They'll live forever in our minds, and in their music, but they deserve to live forever. They deserve to lead us! To not only inspire us but take us under their wings and keep us on the right path.

If politicians today weren't so deaf to the voice of reason maybe they would hear this too - the melody of betterment. The human voice. The songs that'll change the world, one mind at a time.

For the record just let me say: Let the record play.

The Six Day Trip

I just came back from a quick tour up North! Solo time - a time for true contemplation and peace but also quite extensive and intense garden plotting and shovel-turning that left me totally sapped of energy the last day - despite consistent and heavy vitamin-rich pine sprout chewing.

I really tried to do things, but ended up just hanging in my old one-floor tree house (no roof), lounging in the sun, singing songs to the birds; unable to get any real work done until my inevitable leave... and now I'm back.

I had to get up 4:55 to hitch a ride (thanks again Andreas!) to the bus, to the bus to the airport, to the plane that was initially an hour and a half delayed - but flew in roughly half of that time, and then take the bus to the train straight to work to the train back home to a postponed Mother's Day celebration (it was the 27th - I called then, but here I brought the gifts and card) and with that I just want to say: I'm tired, so I've decided to throw up a quick dose of pictures and let them speak for the trip. Basically it was...

The First Day Room

The Sprouts We Chew

The Land That Waits

The Cuddle Critter Of The Grass

The Earth Beyond The Gate

The Late Sunshine Shadows...

...but with a lot of sun I amazingly managed to never catch on camera. Except in that last one... when it was receding behind the trees.

Actually these pictures don't sum up my stay properly at all.

I did so much more! I took a swim in the icy floodwater. I soaked in the sauna every day. I sat by the fireplace. I fixed the bikes and biked to our nearest neighbor a few kilometers away - collecting leftover delineators and putting up the mailbox on the way. I pulled up water from the well by hand until I learned how to prepare the pump, and washed some clothes to clear the water for drinking, and brought out all the water barrels and benches and ladders and furniture and stuff, fried up scrambled eggs with onions and cream for lunch and dinner - or canned mackerel and kale, and cleared the chimney after a first freezing night in a dusty room (arrived after midnight) - and on that note cleaned up the house a bit, and oiled in old machinery, cut the grass, knocked up the raspberry (that's seriously what Google Translate tells me tying plants to wooden poles with suitable lengths of string is called in English), trimmed the black current patch, fixed the fence, cleared the greenhouse, turned half the garden plot (that's what rendered me totally devoid of energy on the last day), planted a couple of rows and a few growth-boosting boxes in the greenhouse, and meditated in the simmering spring sun during sessions of well-deserved rest.

I (hopefully) fended off a horse ant invasion too. They came out of nowhere the second to last day - usually they're much later. Unfortunately for them they love old wooden houses too - but like to eat them before they live in them - so we don't treat them kindly.

Overall it's been a blast, tiring yet inspiring, and the next trip - the big one - waits just over a month away. After a quick weekend tour to a place I've never been this coming weekend...

Maybe I'll have some badly selected, taken and collected, pictures to show then too.

Also this was really more like five days and two nights, and the first and final ones were somewhat sleepless - but all in all six days is what it makes. Daisies what if waits.

Exciting Times!

I saw a deer during lunch a couple of days ago. It strolled casually over the path I was walking on, and disappeared into the brush on the other side. I'm not sure it saw me, but considering deer have eyes on both sides of their heads and it was facing straight ahead I think it should have. It moved so casually though! Seems like they might be getting kind of tame.

That was a nice surprise anyway, though we have yet to see any of the usual Spring-signifying snakes. Spring is the time they wake from their winter slumber and drowsily slither into the warmth - and thus the time you can actually stumble upon one just soaking in the sunshine on a gravel path. But we might have missed them.

We might have missed Spring! The birch sprouts are already drying up and there's not much to eat on the other trees either. Everything's green. The heat came with the wave and spring seemed to bounce right by. It usually does, but this year it seemed faster than usual. Up North the snow is all gone already, and the water a meter higher than usual.

I took a trip to Östersund last weekend, and they had some floods there too (though it's not all that far). It was a great time though.

The main events were probably my brother's car breaking down right after we'd fixed an oil leak (the alternator belt shredded), and a 320 km road trip to buy a chair, during which we saw a dead waterfall (known as The Dead Fall), dams with open floodgates bursting with water - which is rare, a Thai pavilion the emperor there (King? Prime Minister?) decided to gift the people one time when he randomly visited a little town somewhere out there (he gave them two elephants too but they're housed at an animal park now), and walked around a bit in Sollefteå for the first time ever. It was a nice trip, a warm day, and regarding the car that was a different day.

It was also my first time sort of working with a car so it was a real learning experience, and otherwise fun, and the belt was already in bad shape apparently so that wasn't me... or my brother. Shit happens. At the time of writing it's fixed again.

We also fixed a floor for his balcony, played some billiard, took a tour of both my brother's and nephew's offices (the latter skipped a year of school and is now making movies - in a pretty luxurious office to boot), helped him with site-related stuff, took a tour of the city and ganged up with some of their friends for a session of Eurovision Song Contest Lisbon 2018.

I've never watched the full show before, much less any of the local contests leading up to it. It took 4 hours (excluding the introductory chat). I still had that infernal cold (the flight went alright though - air-pressurizing ear plugs work), was getting a headache, hadn't slept too well the night before and was avoiding sugar to get better faster so I couldn't eat any of the good stuff they'd piled up... but it was actually pretty exciting. Great company (sorry I wasn't more social) and great music too - most of it. I think I'll post a dose of videos of my favorites later on.

When it was over we drove home in fog so thick you couldn't see the edges of the road - which went slower than it might have otherwise since my brother's fog lights are currently busted, and I kept falling asleep in the car, but that night I slept so good! I didn't even check NG before bed, just stumbled to the kitchen for water, to the bathroom for the bathroom and then... blissful sleep. Can't remember the last time I slept so deep.

We ate food too. Socialized. Cleaned the apartment a bit whenever we did not. I brought those rapidly packed presents for my nephew's now long-passed birthday that he finally had time to open on the third day, we cheered in the refurbished balcony and spent some time sitting there too, and by the end of the four-day trip my cold seemed to be subsiding!

Five days later it's still here, but it's a minor grievance now. Sniffles.

Did I mention I timed in the trip so well (that's sarcasm) that the train tracks were closed off for maintenance on the day I left? I met up with a buddy at the station to take a bus instead - but the bus stopped at the wrong station and the next one was half an hour away, so we took the commuter train as far as it went (Jakobsberg), took bus 178 to Akalla, took the subway to Solna Centrum, took a bus there to Voltavägen, and then another bus there to the airport! All of these stops with minutes to spare since they were all delayed - except for the final one. I arrived at the airport with just enough time left to check in, go through security and board a few minutes later.

Since my brother's car broke down the day before my leave I had to take the bus to the airport there too. It was a real adventure from start to finish.

Coming home that night I was made aware I'd won third place in this contest, had received an unexpectedly high bid for an auction I'd put out, and had a package stuck in customs that I had to pay to get out (and another a few days later - they just started with this crap).

Apart from the customs thing that was pretty awesome news! Contest win in particular. At that moment I felt like things somehow fell into place and the future is now shining brightly. It starts with the little things, no?

This is where the post unofficially ends, but I was also going to mention that I know I've been using a superfluous smileys in my comments - I'm cutting down on those now, and for a few days in a row I remembered all my dreams, which was cool, so I wrote them down three days in a row. I've had a couple more since then but no time to write upon waking, and alas they were then lost in the memory fog... maybe they'll come again.

Also: for some reason all the programs on my phone are listed as taking up 518MB. Why 518? What is up with my phone?

Moving on I'm working on a preloader, my voice act thing still isn't out (I'm still excited), and our privacy policy just doubled in size. Maybe tripled?

It's not that I've started doing any shady things, I've just added a bit more details - and justifications. I'm not sure I'm really affected by the GDPR as I'm not a company, but it seems like in one way or another it's affecting everyone so I'm in good company. WordPress recently put out an update introducing tons of privacy-related tweaks too - one of them a privacy policy guide with detailed information regarding what cookies they use, and other stuff they log, so I thought I might as well put that in there.

I'm still not taking this too seriously though, which might show in the policy. Hopefully that won't be to our disadvantage in the future. I plan to add some privacy info by the comment form (already did with the contact form), and maybe revise them a bit later on, but I don't want to put too much time into this, and I don't want to clutter the site. In difference from a lot of other places CDB really does care about user integrity - those who know me know I really am a huge advocate of free speech, rights, and all that shizzle, but I feel like elaborating on every possible aspect of how we handle data won't really make things better for the visitor. And does everything have to be justified? Is this how freedom works now?

GDPR was devised to make things better for the individual - to enforce their rights, but I feel like it's also going to make all of us get bombarded with cookie notices and privacy-related information on all pages that potentially deal with anything that has anything to do with you that we might not really be interested in knowing. I'll probably be putting up one of those cookie notices too. At least on the pages that save cookies. Plenty of sites I trusted have had simple and streamlined policies before, with only the essentials, but that's all about to change now...

I'm dealing with this stuff at work too. So much GDPR, and so much of it a gray area too. I like the idea, but really... this is annoying.

Maybe more importantly: I'm taking my first Northerly trip this year next weekend! I'm heading up myself this time since my parents unfortunately didn't feel like going as early as they usually do. It'll be interesting to have the land to myself for a few days, but there's also a lot of work to do and only one me. Plantation season's starting and: nobody's done anything yet.

How to get from the airport to our place (which is in the middle of nowhere) was a bit of a pickle too, but thankfully a good buddy stepped in and saved the day! Really appreciate it. The trip back is easier, but the day I arrive it was after the last bus (I had assumed I'd get picked up), and hotels are expensive, as is renting a car. Would've been fun to do the latter but I'd rather save that money for two additional trips. Flights. Back and fourth. And that's the rental price without insurance.

Now's the time to sigh a sigh of deep relief though, and deep breath (cause it's good for you), and I'm excited about the trip. Busy times ahead, but good times too! I'll see you in a few.

Musicalish #251

Another dose of music! Here goes deceptive detective flows.


This Infernal Cold!

I got another one! It started in my throat, this Sunday, and took over my body with a fever until it gave in and withdrew up into my sinuses. After three days of intensive rest and curing I got back to work yesterday, thinking it was just about over, yet today I'm sniveling like there's no tomorrow and tomorrow I'm flying up to visit my Big Bro & Co in Östersund.

Emphasis on flying. I wonder how this will go...

My bags are in the process of being packed as I type this - I took a pause for procrastinational reasons, as are presents for my nephew who just hit 18 y last week. For the off chance my head isn't all cleared up tomorrow I have a pair of air-pressurizing ear plugs a la 'EarPlanes' with me too. It's a different brand, but hopefully they work just as well (as they say).

I've had them for a few years, since a time when I was also booked for a spring trip up to Östersund and just so happened to fall with my bike and get the worst cold ever (except for that one summer one where I was in bed for a month), and not only that but maybe some fracture around my thigh because I could barely walk for the week that followed. It went away though, but that time I canceled the flight, and so I've yet to see if these air-pressurizing ear plugs actually work. Sincerely hope they do.

I'm stocked with gum and invigorating essential oils too, but it'd be really fantastic if tomorrow all of this has just blown over and there was no need to worry after all. I'm taking the trip to have a good time after all. Won't be much good if I just swap the setting and keep the cold. Really hope this blows over. It blows. Over. Overthinking stuff blows too.

Suitable music here. Just swap out a word.



Just gotta spread this awareness. Stay humble! Source.

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