Debating when it’s over


The very existence of your future dinner probably has very little to do with what politicians think about global warming. I’ll explain why.

The magazine The Economist (of which I generally hold a very high opinion) says in a recent article: “The stakes in the global-warming debate, however, could scarcely be higher. Scientific evidence that climate change is under way, is man-made, and is likely to continue happening forms the foundation for an edifice of policy which is intended to transform the world’s carbon-intensive economy into one which no longer spews greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A lot of money, and many reputations – both academic and political – are involved.” (The article may not be available for non-subscribers, but can also be found in its print issue for this week at your local library.)

I hear a lot of this, how important the global warming theories are for our economy. I disagree. This is a fairly uncommon thing between me and the highly respectable magazine, although our differences have increased somewhat in recent years as it has moved slightly to the left and I to the right, politically. Facts, however, ought to be facts. But if they were, we would not have that particular debate in the first place, would we?

My point however is that it matters little. The carbon economy is temporary in any case, and its decline is imminent, if it has not already begun. Certainly the seeds of its destruction is sprouting, and global warming is but one of them. Even if we actively wanted a warmer world, we would not be able to keep it up. There simply is not enough of our favorite fuels to sustain the current way of life.

Do you guys remember a couple years back, before the economy panicked? Do you remember the gas prices? And even then, the oil companies actually sold at a loss, to smooth out what they hoped were a temporary surge in crude oil prices, at times over $140 a barrel. Well, it was temporary, but this has brought no joy. If you know any of the Americans who were publicly praying to God for lower oil prices, today is a good time to go thank them. They sure got what they asked for, if not what they hoped for.

Technically, the recession has ended, at least in America, in the sense that there was nominally a small increase in GDP last quarter. But we all know that this was caused by government intervention that is not sustainable. On the contrary, the flow of money must at some point be reversed. And even with this, we just got a break in the fall. Obviously we are not back to the previous level of economic activity. Just ask the millions who are out of work. But this is also the reason why gas is cheap again. We simply use less of it, because we drive less.

Should the economy pick up again, to anything near its previous level, then we will face the same problem again: There just is not that much oil left for easy taking. And most of it is in one country, Saudi Arabia. The rest of the oil in the world is rather harder to get at, and the price reflects this. The reserves, as they are called, the oil that is not currently being tapped, are mostly even harder to get at. They are deep underwater, deep underground, or in the Arctic, or several of the above. In short, oil is getting expensive, and after that, scarce. We are not going to be driving gas-guzzlers in 2050, or even 2030. It is doubtful that most people will even be driving gas-powered cars by then.

Well, at least there is enough coal left for two centuries, right? Er… that’s what the major coal producers say. However, these fall into two categories. One is the nations of Russia and China, where the government in practice controls this resource. Strangely enough, their coal reserves have not changed at all for the last couple decades, despite pretty heavy mining. If they let on that they don’t have unlimited energy, the governments would lose prestige. In the western world, it is subtly different. If coal mining companies did not exaggerate their reserves, their stock would fall, and that can not be allowed.

An article in New Scientist a couple years ago estimated that the world’s coal reserves may only last two decades, not two centuries. That is probably exaggerated, but there is no real audit of these things and the official truth is completely in the hands of people whole livelihood depends on lying.

In any case, coal is not oil. It can be burned to produce electricity, but here it is facing competition from new technologies of renewable energy. Wind power has already reached the mass of industrial production. The technology is still improving a bit, but mainly it is now a matter of churning out more windmills and placing them in the terrain. This goes on every day. It is still a small fraction of our energy needs that are met this way, but it is growing steadily.

Solar power, meanwhile, is still in its infancy. Photovoltaic cells are, like most electronics, becoming increasingly smaller and more efficient. Each year they are a little better than last year. Meanwhile there are various forms of solar thermo being put in practical use. These use cheap metal mirrors to focus the sunshine on a container of liquid, heating it and producing steam like you would in a coal factory. Except that the sun is expected to not run out for another 5 billion years or so. By melting salt and using this to heat the water, solar plants can continue operating through the night, as the melted salt can be stored underground and lose very little heat until used. These technologies are slightly more expensive than coal, so currently tend to depend on government subsidies (or taxes on carbon). If however the recession ends, the price of coal will go up again. The price of sunshine will not.

This is the point: We have non-carbon technologies that either are competitive today or will be so whenever the recession ends. Even if it never ends, the easy reserves of fossil fuel will, and in a few years. Meanwhile competing technologies are becoming cheaper.

Even if we WANTED to heat the planet with carbon, we can’t afford to. It is that simple. Renewable energies will price carbon out of the market in 10-20 years. Mankind is suspended between the furnace of the sun and the furnace of Earth’s molten core, each of which could supply us with clean energy for billions of years if we manage to not kill each other in the meantime.

Last Freeday


Please be aware that each person has their own favorite food.

Today was the last day of my vacation, as in days off from work. I have the weekend off anyway, so I am not expected back until Monday. Even so, the ocean of time that lay before me at the beginning of the month has been emptied by the teaspoon of my hobbies.

I took a trip to the city again. Outside rush hours the bus is mostly empty, so there is much less risk of people coughing and sneezing at me. But before I got that far, the doorbell rang. This is strange for two reasons: One, as far as anyone knows who does not read my journal, I would have been at work. Two, I was not sleeping or using the bathroom when the doorbell rang. It turned out to be the chimney sweep (or the modern equivalent thereof, in case the English language has moved on since the age of Dickens.) I was surprised to see him, and he was surprised that I was surprised. He had left a note in my (physical) mailbox, so he expected to be expected. I had either not fetched my mail yesterday, or he had put the note in after I fetched it, I don’t know. Anyway, he wandered off without sweeping the chimney this year either, since I use electricity for heating except for getting rid of cardboard and milk cartons and used tissues (of which there are probably less than most of you imagine, luckily).

Thanks the this sudden interruption, I ran off without my cell phone and umbrella. I had originally planned to make a trip to the Mothhouse, seeing how this was the last chance to see it in daylight until I move there. (Well, I could go really early on Saturday morning, otherwise there are no buses going back. Well, unless I walk an hour or two again. The bus routes over Møll are squarely composed for the commuters, there are nearly no buses at any other time of day, much less night.) Anyway, as usual when I plan to go there, it didn’t happen. This time because I don’t want to go on any 6 hours adventure without my mobile phone. Or an umbrella, in the unstable weather we’ve had this week. It turned out I did not need it, but still.

The trip to the city was not all in vain, though. I knew of a shop selling sheets, pillows, duvets and similar stuff. I am running low on those, so I wanted to buy a little more. I am actually not sure this is the best time to buy anything that I already have above zero of, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. On my way there, however, I suddenly looked to the left and noticed another shop selling the same kind of stuff. And they had bed sets ridiculously cheap, like a quarter of normal price. So I bought a couple there instead. The shop is called Tornerose, which I believe roughly corresponds to your fairy tale of the Sleeping Beauty.

I also stopped by the office of the bus company and was told that I could upgrade my bus card, for less than a doubling of the price, to one that is valid for travels throughout the province of Vest-Agder. This should allow me to travel from Nodeland to Kristiansand in the morning, then to Møll after work, back to Kristiansand in the evening, and finally to Nodeland again for the night. I hope to do this pretty much every workday until I move, bringing with me various stuff from my old home to my new home. It probably won’t have much effect on the time and cost of the actual moving – there is just so much stuff, and so much big stuff – but it should cause me to gradually shift my attachment from the old home to the new. Getting used to thinking of the Mothhouse as home (for a while) and getting used to the fact that I am moving out of here.

Well, it worked last time. Except when I should finally move in, I couldn’t. Hopefully it will go better this time. Moving house is a stressful event even when it is voluntary. I read that it shaves 6 months off your life, although I am not sure it is that much when you are as relaxed regarding your material possessions as I am. Compared to the average American, of course. I am not exactly ready to leave it all and pass on, you know. At least I don’t feel that way.

In the evening I made the best meal in my life, I think. At least so far, but I am not sure I will ever be able to surpass it. Of course, that is the best meal for me, other people’s tastes will vary. My favorite meal is stir-fried pasta. I admit that does not sound like much, but over time I have experimented with a variety of pasta types, cheeses, herbs and other ingredients. Well, the details don’t need to bother you – you have your own favorite foods, I have mine. And for some reason, I got it just right. I was sure I had added too much basil this time, but in the end it worked out perfectly.

So that was a great end to my vacation at least! Now it is a year till next time, I guess, if ever. (For most of the years I can remember, I did not actually take vacation, except for a couple days now and then to visit my friend. I needed most as sick days. This only ended a very few years ago, seemingly at the time we got our new time registration software in which we keep track of our time ourselves without reporting through a middleman. Hmm. Of course it could have other reasons as well.)

Well, this entry has gone on long enough. Bye now!

So close, eh?


If a man has a wife or girlfriend, she will remind him of what to do in the house. If you are a Sim, your player will click on you and tell you what to do.  But what do you do if you are a supposedly real man and supposedly all alone in the supposedly real world?  Read and find out!

I had gone to bed early (lack of sleep last night) and was listening to LifeFlow 3 again, before drifting off to sleep.  Then suddenly the Invisible Hand clicked on me and put “take out garbage” in my action queue.  Well, something like that.  Somehow I suddenly remembered that it was Wednesday with an even week number. Thursday mornings on those weeks are the only times the garbage truck passes here.

What’s more, this is – if all goes well – the second to last time this happens while I live here.  Actually, if I don’t get the Swine Flu, I will start moving things over to the Mothhouse very soon.  Not sure if I am up to it tomorrow, given how I have felt today.  But as soon as I can.  And by then it will surely be obvious to me that there are more things I can throw away.  The garbage can will surely be full the next time.  Well, it was not quite full this time, but nearly so.  I took out some stuff that had been lying around for months.  Including the European version of Dark Age of Camelot and expansion packs.  It is not like I am ever going to play it again. I don’t even remember the account password, so I can’t sell it even if anyone would still buy it.  Still, it feels a bit strange.  There are probably many other games I could throw away, even after I threw away all I thought I could last time I moved.

Anyway, one more time to take out the trash.  One more time.  I am really moving. The end is near.  Hopefully only here in Nodeland!  But still.  It is for real now.

And a thank-you to the Invisible Hand / Voice in my Head for reminding me. I am not a very organized person, to say the least.  I rely on the Invisible Hand a lot.  This requires a little explanation if you are not an avid Sims player.  When you play these games (The Sims, The Sims 2 or The Sims 3) the little computer people have free will if you let them.  But they don’t always know what is best for them – they tend to take a pretty short perspective on things – so you have to click on them and give them orders to do things.  Some of them will compulsively take out the trash if there is any and they have a little time off, while others won’t do it unless you click on them.  Some wander off while the food is cooking and won’t return until the house is on fire unless you click on them.  That’s what I mean by the Invisible Hand in this case.  This seems to happen a lot to me. I wander off doing my own things and suddenly I am reminded to do something.  Like stop playing games and go get the pasta before it burns.  Or get up and take out the trash. Stuff like that.

That reminds me.  A few weeks ago I had recently started playing Itland the were-porcupine in City of Heroes, on the Virtue server.  He was still in Kings Row, the second zone for most of us.  Anyway, he was just coming out of a sewer and zoning into the Kings Row zone proper, when suddenly I had a weird feeling or experience.  As if my character was real, and I was really there, in Paragon City. But at the same time, I was aware of being my player, sitting in front of the computer in Nodeland.  But at the same time, I was aware of being yet another person, but only vaguely, as if an echo. The person who was playing Magnus Itland, but not on a computer (at least as we know them).  The one whose incarnation I am in this world.  But as I tried to put it into words or at least concepts, it faded, and I was only one of me again.

Itlandsen the Paladin of Camelot has taken his helmet off for the last time and logged out. But I’m still here.  Who will I be when I lay down my helmet and log off for the last time?  Who am I really without this flesh and these memories?  The truth is, I am in no hurry to find out.   Life is short enough as it is.

Some people find the game too tough,
And there are those who’ve simply had enough,
But I’m still here and I’m not giving up,
I’m going the distance;

Whatever it takes … I have to fight,
To build a better world … and make it right,
And when I am alone … it’s late at night,
I reach out and you’re right here by my side.

Chris de Burgh, By my Side


I went to sleep late at night (past 3AM) dog tired, and woke up a couple hours later sick as a dog. I have tried to throw up by putting a finger in my throat, but as usual it does not work. I wonder how people do it.  It is the only advice I have seen to throw up, and it seems to work for others.

My stomach feels painfully swollen, but it does not really look that bad from outside. I also briefly considered that it might be bowel obstruction, but that turned out not to be the case.  This has not removed the stomach symptoms though.

My temperature when I just got up was 36.5 C, which is in the low end but normal for me at the lowest point in my day rhythm, just before daybreak.  Over the hour that has passed,  it has gone up to 37.6, which is high for this time of day but still not fever.  The shivering (and shaking at first) has probably caused this heat.

After an hour and a half I am again dog tired, but still dog sick.  I managed to nap some minutes in my boss chair, half aware but watching random images passing by that I don’t remember afterwards.  Temperature up to 37.8, which is higher than I normally have at any point of the day, but still below official fever limit. Stomach hurts less than when I woke up, but is still uncomfortable.

After two hours, another round of shivering, queasiness, mild gut pain and running stool. Well, at least it was definitely not bowel obstruction. I could blame the gut problems on a diet of too much chocolate, dried dates, and some sugar-free chewing lozenges, all of which speed up digestion. (American readers should perhaps try this, since constipation seems to be the national pastime over there.) I supposed to stomach pain could come from acid reflux, which sometimes happens if I accidentally sleep on my right side instead of my left and my stomach is not completely empty (which it wasn’t tonight). A slight headache could come from lack of sleep. That still doesn’t explain the elevated temperature.

And yes, I updated the blog as the story progresses.  But now it is morning and things are a bit better.


It is now afternoon and I am feeling a lot better.  Late in the morning was scary with a bad cough and a raw throat.  But I thought the lack of sleep could have something to do with it.  So I meditated for 40 minutes with LifeFlow 3Hz  delta brainwave entrainment.  Naturally this left me very sleepy – delta waves are usually only found during deep sleep – so I napped for a while after that in my chair.   After this I felt much better.  I am still not fully recovered, neither the stomach nor the throat, but I am more optimistic now.   Won’t be any grilled cheese sandwiches tonight though!  More’s the pity, as I am starting to make them pretty good.  But my warm meals today are chicken soup.

Dentist and phone death

In Japan there is a stock expression that is usually translated “A lot of things happened”, but usually it really means “I don’t want to talk about it” or “it is too much to explain” or even sometimes “this is not what it looks like”.

A lot of things happened today, and I did want to tell you all about it. In fact, I did. I made you a long entry, but WordPress ated it.  Right now, I can’t be arsed to write it all over again.  Just take my word for it. A lot of things happened, but they were not THAT significant that I want to write them twice in the same day.

Here is the short list though:  I went to the dentist and got a new high-tech filling instead of the heavy metal filling that fell out last week.  Nobody coughed or sneezed at me either.

Ubuntu Linux 9.10 (the version that came out last month) has amazing support for wireless networks, something that was a bit of a complaint before.  For instance my 3 different brands of USB network connectors did not work on the machine with Xubuntu (a lightweight variant of Ubuntu) but now it works perfectly.  No need to install anything either.  Just plug in, and the computer tells you there are networks.  Pick one, give password, and you’re on.  I don’t see how it can get better unless it also washes your dishes!  And it is still free.

I lost Internet access and dial tone for a while though.  Some guy was working on top a phone pole nearby, but I don’t know if he caused the problem or just came to repair it.

Next month I will discontinue the landline anyway.  I won’t need it anymore.  I have had it for over 20 years, and known it even longer.  It belonged to Supergirl’s family before I got it.  I doubt I could get it with me as far as to Møll though, the first part of the number is actually an area code, although it is more flexible than before.  So it was time to let it go anyway.  I recommend you use e-mail or, failing that, my mobile phone to contact me.   (“Failing that” as in you don’t have a computer anywhere around and you have something urgently important to tell me.)

Leg cramp and baseball anime


Japanese school girls around 1985. For some reason nobody is cheering like that for me…

Such was my day.  I woke up early in the morning – really early – from a bad cramp in my left leg.  This is interesting because it was my first leg cramp that was not in summer, to the best of my knowledge.  In fact, the substitute doctor once aired the theory that they come from dehydration. I see on Wikipedia that there is still some support for that theory.  Also I get enough potassium from the milk in my diet.  And I even exercised twice yesterday, first a long brisk walk outside and before going to bed I spent some time on my exercise bike, so it is not lack of exercise either.  I even warmed up!  I seem to have reached the age when even my warm-ups need warm-ups.  But I did that too.  I did not stretch out afterwards though. Science has debunked that myth.

The reason for my sudden increase in aerobic exercise is my marathon viewing of an old baseball anime.  Baseball is for some reason really popular in Japan, but even so there are few anime dedicated to it.  There are two popular series, one from the 1980es (and it shows – actually the style looks ancient even for that, probably because it is based on an even older manga) and one that is still running, I think.  The old one is called Touch and is the one I am still working my way through (it is 101 TV episodes and five movies!).  It is about two boys and a girl and baseball, except one of the boys die during the series.  That does not make him less of a rival, though, quite the opposite. As one player says:  “It is impossible to win against a dead guy.”

The newer anime, which I only saw the beginning of so far, is called Cross Game.  It is about a boy and two girls and baseball, except one of the girls die.  The story is also like 25 years newer, and this shows, especially in the gender relations.  I don’t think you can really accuse the mangaka (the creator of the comics) of plagiarism anyway.  Not only because he develops the plot very differently, but also because it is the same guy. Somehow he has lived to make two immensely popular, high quality baseball-themed anime one generation apart.  That is really impressive.  Banzai! Banzai!

In case it wasn’t obvious, my novel writing has stalled.  Well, actually it has reached its logical conclusion.  There is a bit that is missing, but most of the content is in, and I have a good conclusion.  But it is not long enough for a novel, or even for the 50 000 words that is the goal for NaNoWriMo.   I could get that by developing a romance subplot, but I really suck at romance and besides it would detract from the story even if it was good.

So I am rounding out November by watching baseball anime.  Except it makes me want to exercise.  Seeing people run around has that effect on me.  Not sure why – most people seem to be content to sit in the couch and watch people run around, and evidently feel that this accomplishes something.  Me, I get the urge to move around myself when I see things like that.  I am probably not properly immunized by television.

And look what happens.   At least there won’t be any exercise today.  I don’t know about you, but my leg cramps leave the leg so tender and stiff that it can’t support my weight for some hours.  Even when I take non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (which also prevents stiffness) right after I get up, it still takes all day before I am pain-free and have nearly full strength back.  By then it is bedtime.

Vertical religion and Quality


Quantity vs Quality! The eternal battle!

Yesterday I mentioned a book by Huston Smith, who seems to be moderately famous but not to me. He is a scholar of comparative religion or some such, and evidently quite the spiritual offroader himself. Well, judging from the title of his autobiography, which comes quite late in his life as well, around the age of 90, and is titledTales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiography. That is quite an adventure, don’t you think?

But I had not heard about that, I bought the book Forgotten Truth because it supposedly claims that a multidimensional, vertical cosmos is the common thread of all the world’s great religions (and some not so great ones too, from what I gather).

As regular readers will know, I have taken an interest in the verticality of the universe for some time now. Obviously I don’t mean vertical in a literal sense, as the physical universe already has this dimension. But rather that there are other dimensions beyond those measured with a measuring tape and a stopwatch. These dimensions are qualitative rather than quantitative.

Take beauty, for instance. It is certainly hierarchical, in the sense that some things are more beautiful than others, but there is no obvious measuring unit for it. There are certainly cultural and even personal variations in the sense of beauty, but the existence of beauty is obvious to all who don’t have a desperate need to forget it. Even so, we cannot perform arithmetics on it. Or happiness. You can surely compare your happiness today with your happiness yesterday, and you can generally say when someone is happy or unhappy, but you cannot compare your happiness to your neighbor’s happiness and announce that you have 1.19 happyliter more happiness than he.

The world is full of such qualities, and they are clearly ordered, so that there is a higher and a lower degree of them, even though we cannot express it directly. This direction is it that we call vertical, in a metaphorical sense. A higher realm, such as a Heaven, would have more beauty and happiness and peace – not as in a greater number of pretty things, happy people etc, but these qualities would be in themselves more intensely present, more subtle, deeper.

I have still only read the beginning of the book, and I am not actually quoting it in the least. This is my view more or less at the time I bought the book, and I don’t expect it to change much from reading it. Although I do expect it to become more intensely present, more subtle and deeper… ^_^


Reading one of those early pages yesterday on the bus, I almost laughed out loud. And not in the mocking way of a drunk fratboy, but the unrestrainable glee of a toddler finding something shiny. The shiny in this case was a quick mention of “quality” as one of those non-Euclidian properties of the cosmos.

As I’ve mentioned a couple times, it is November, and for me that traditionally means National Novel Writing Month, a creative stampede in which writers good and bad (and good and evil) each try to write 50 000 words of one single work of a vaguely novel-like nature. And my attempt this year (which seems certain to fail, in part because I take it more seriously than usual) entails a man who crosses over to a different world, one in which Quality is a kind of magic that makes people and things go beyond the call of duty and do things normally not possible. For instance, a craftsman with a very high Quality may make a bed with a very high Quality, such that it not only restores your energy when you sleep in it, but also heals you to some small degree. The Quality of all things in the area influence each other. People in a high-Quality area make high-Quality products, but they also eat high-Quality food made from high-Quality plants etc.

Of course that is just a literary device. It is, as I call it, “like a spiritual journey without the spiritual part”. But of course I hope that some curious soul would set off on their own spiritual journey, whether chasing the wild Divine or merely fleeing the soul death within.

My novel sucks, though. I am not good at writing non-humor novels, and that’s a fact. If I get to live for decades more, I might actually become able to do it. But for now, I think I do a better job with non-fiction. Or perhaps not. Just because I understand what I write (to some degree at least!) does not mean that others do. But surely sooner or later someone vaguely similar to me will come across it. I know that happens to me. I come across someone who I have never heard of, and who is plagiarizing me, sometimes long before I was even born. Like this Huston Smith. Or the Buddha, or Lao-Tzu.

A rainy day

I took the bus to the city today, for the first time since I went to sign the lease.  I waited this long because of the two colds that came one after another.  Knowing how it feels to have people sneezing and coughing on the bus during a Babykilling Flu pandemic, I had no wish to give others the same offense without dire emergency.

Now that I was no longer sneezing, I went to get a couple errands out of the way. It rained pretty hard and just kept raining.  Kristiansand was on the fringe of the rainstorm, it had done some serious damage in the United Kingdom from what I understood on the radio (I only heard fragments).   The bureau of hydrology had sent out a warning for western Norway from Sogn & Fjordane (the province where I grew up) to Vest-Agder (the province where I live now) with warning of 5-year or even 10-year flood.

I am not sure if you use these same concepts in English, so let me elaborate.  It means that the rivers are expected to swell to a size that is on average seen only every 5 or 10 years.  There are even higher numbers, like 100 years flood, which is generally considered a risk to life and entire communities, while 5 or 10 year flooding only represent risk of minor property damage. (Well, unless you are foolhardy, which is not uncommon in Norway. Heroic Viking spirit and all that.)

I was tempted to go to Møll and look at the river that passes ten yards from the Moth-house.  But I doubt it would impress me.  By there, the river has more or less reached sea level already, so it is more of a strong current. And the riverbank is high enough not to worry, and the house even has no basement.  (Which was a disappointment, but not today.  And with the heat pump they are currently installing, I am not worried about the summer heat anymore.  So much for being energy conscious.)

Turned out I had not brought with me more money than I need for the errands, well not enough to go anywhere at least.  I could withdraw money from the bank, but that is something I try to minimize for the rest of the year.  I happened to find a few 1000-kr bills at home recently (that would be reasonably close to $200 each) so I think I will use those first.

Besides, I had not brought with me anything.  I want to make each trip count by bringing some object from Nodeland to the Moth-house. A bag of books, for instance, or clothes.   This also has the benefit that I can more easily see what I want to throw away – basically anything not worth carrying is not worth keeping (not counting furniture etc obviously).  I did this last time I moved, except I carried things to the apartment I did not move into.  Hopefully better luck this time!

In my carrying bag I found a book I had put there just before my vacation began: “Forgotten Truth” by Huston Smith.  I had put it in my bag and forgotten it.

Ordered fiber


Picture from Sims 3.

Got a mail today from the new landlord. He has a friend who works in Agder Breiband (Agder is the old Norse name for the south coast of Norway, and Breiband does mean broadband) and this friend had arranged it so that I could get fiberoptic cable in the farmhouse for kr 6000 (a bit over $1000.) So I called his friend and we made the deal. He said they would normally not do this and it would take at least three weeks before they get started, but it should be in place before Christmas.  Another reason for me to not move until December, then!

$1000 is a lot of money when you don’t have it, but the plan about the house was that I’ll live there for 5 years, possibly more (depending on the kid that will inherit it, I think).   Compared to 5 years, $1000 is barely noticeable.  I chose the cheapest connection speed, 10 megabit/second, but I can upgrade to 30 or 50 without a new install should the future move in that direction. I honestly can’t see any applications that would need that – I will probably not be an early adapter of full-body virtual reality suits – but at least the fiber is there, should the future end up different from what I expect.  (Has that ever happened before, you think?)

Thoughts before leaving a house


Out with the old – this is the house I am soon to leave, in Nodeland.  I am sure there will be pictures of the new if I move in there, hopefully later this year.

In a few weeks, I will have left this house forever.  Hopefully to go live in another, but even then there is a certain melancholy in leavetaking.  I have had almost four good years here, even though the lawns seemed nearly endless some summer days with the lawnmower.  It was my first house to live in all alone, and I enjoyed it immensely.  That is why I had a hard time convincing myself to creep back into a basement. Not that there is anything wrong with basements. But the peace and quiet of an empty house is something else again.

Truth be told, however, I did not really live in the whole house.  And I am not just talking about the basement, which was kept by the landlord except for the washing room. Or the attic, which was also off limit. Or the third bedroom likewise.  But the truth is that I mostly lived in the large bedroom that I made into my home office.  Oh, I did spend some time in the living room, but not much apart from when I used the stationary bike which stands there.  Most of the time I spent in front of my computers, as usual.

Actually this was not much different from where I lived before, the original Chaos Node where I lived for more than 20 years in a fairly large, modern basement apartment.  Most of the space was taken up by one large room, and when I had cleared it out to move away I noticed how huge it really was.  This was both my living room, my home office (on the west wall) and my kitchen (on the north wall).  There was a separate bedroom and a bathroom with space for washing machine, and a couple dark and cool storage rooms north of the living room.  But for the most part, there was just this one room that I spent all my waking time in.  So I guess I have kind of just continued that way.

The House of Moth has a smaller living room and a smaller home office.  I suspect the usage will continue much as before.  In fact, I don’t even have living room furniture anymore, as I threw away the old stuff (older than me, quite possibly) when I moved here.  The living room and most of the kitchen were furnished here so I never needed to buy anything for them.  So will I ever buy any living room furniture, when I know that I will almost never use it?  I don’t know.  The future is not ours to see.

I know I did experience some personality changes when I moved here. I believe that each location has its own ambience, what the ancients called the spirit of the place.  For instance, I used to have literally a ton of comics, and while superhero comics had been on the wane for a long time, I kept buying Japanese manga (black and white comics) until around the day I moved.  When I came here, I suddenly had no interest in them.  Like, at all.  I gave away almost all of them when I heard that I was moving again.  I also have barely looked at the comics that I kept, which I was sure I would want to read again.  When I came here, it was as if that part of my life was dead.

So who will I be if I move to the house I have rented at Møll? In theory some of the old me could come back, but probably not.  The house feels older and more similar to the house I grew up in, what with the bedrooms being upstairs from the rest of the house just like back there.  And the whole farm country ambiance certainly  could trigger some memories. I am not sure that would be a good thing. Actually I am pretty sure it would not.   The best outcome would be that I once again shed something – I am not sure what it would be this time – and live a simpler life.

One change is for sure.  I wonder if I am going to wake up in the deep of the night, suddenly wide awake and saying to myself: What was THAT?  Namely, the sound of the night train not thundering past.  Even though there are two houses and a road between here and the railroad, some of the trains in the night literally make the house shake.  I would probably not notice a genuine earthquake until things started falling down, so used am I to the house shaking from the roar of a hundred wheels on metal.  In contrast, the House of Moth lies on the edge of the broad, quiet river, not far above sea level. On the other side, green fields separate it from the road, which is straight as a ruler but not heavily trafficked.  I should be able to hear some cars passing by, but nothing like the earth-pounding roar here.

And there probably won’t be a portal to an alternate dimension in the bathroom.

No really, the bathroom here is a mystery.  It is a nice bathroom, with a small tub (albeit too short to be useful for me).  But the smells and sounds are truly baffling. And I don’t mean the smells and sounds I make.  No, when I come into the bathroom it may randomly smell of turpentine, or flowers, or some perfume I know I don’t have.  And sometimes when I am there, I hear voices outside. They sound like they come from the lawn right outside, but when I look out there is no one on the lawn or even in sight.   The voices definitely sound like they speak Norwegian, but I can never understand a single word.  It is just barely so distorted that I cannot hear what they say, but not so much that it could be any other language.  If I move to the kitchen, just one wall away, there are no voices outside, and no strange smells.  Only in the bathroom.

I am tempted to write a novel about a parallel world that exists behind our mirrors.  There is a big mirror in the bathroom after all.

Oh, and of course I accidentally predicted this before I even knew I would move here.  Just see this example from my very, very short-lived Chaos Node comic! Of course, it was prophetic in other ways too. Straddling different planes of reality is pretty much the order of the day for me now. Although hopefully in a more philosophical meaning, without actual voices from beyond.