About how a picture of me at 12 got lost on the internet

Long time since I've blogged, I know.

So today I stumpled upon a group on facebook with a request for people born in year 2000 to put up pictures of themselves to be judged.
2000. That's 12 years old. Under the legal age of participating on facebook without parents consent I believe. There's a lot of "when I was 12" stories from people against this. Fact is, when I was 12 we didn't have free access to social media constantly, we were already concerned with our looks back then (albeit in a different manner perhaps) - if we had social media too, where things go out in an instant, things might have looked a lot different. 

Either way, I am sure you have opinions about this too, for or against. Either way, here's a story. A personal one.  

When I was 12, I had a friend who's father was quite trigger-happy on following the tech-front. Meaning that he had a computer and a digital camera. 
Me and my friend, we spent days chatting in kids (adult supervised) chat-rooms, flirting with boys, socializing without the stigma of my awkwardness. At the time, and I don't know if this is something kids still do, we got "internet-boyfriends." We talked a lot to these two guys and decided we'd send each other mails with our pictures in them. We decided on "snail mail", because we were romantics and wanted to write perfumed letters with kiss-marks and heart-stickers on. 

We thought about using the digital camera first. So we got dolled up, make-up on, a nice top, and sunglasses to top the look with the super-bright pink lipstick. We had lots of fun taking pictures of ourselves that day, we laughed and had a jolly good time. There was one picture where I had my hands on my hips, pouty lips and a ponytail. We thought it looked bad-ass. I'm pretty sure there was a Backstreet Boys-poster in the background.

At the time though, I was confused, unkissed and uncertain of myself. A little geeky already then - but I knew this picture wasn't "me", and more so - I was uncomfortable sending out a picture portraying me in such a manner. 

The nervousness of sending a picture got to me. I questioned everything about myself, didn't think I looked good enough, didn't think I looked right. My breasts were just starting to develop and the bumps were showing through my shirt. I felt really awkward about that. So I ended up sending a picture of myself in full snow-scooter gear from the family album instead.

Never heard from him again.

Anyway. Unfortunately the story doesn't end there. 

See, my friend wasn't that sure of herself either. So when she went on the chatrooms to talk to guys after her photoshoot, she sent off my picture, the one where I was all dolled up, saying it was her. I found out about this, of course - but couldn't stay mad at her too long as I quickly understood that the only reason she did it was because she thought I looked better then her. I didn't agree, but that was beside the point.

She came clean to (some of) the guys she had sent it to, admitting it was not her but her friend. I noticed how people had reacted to my photo and I was stunned. They said I was pretty. I don't think I had ever heard that from any guy before, so it struck me. And I was happy for a while, until I again came to the conclusion that the picture wasn't really "me". I didn't walk around looking like that.

Anyway, I quickly forgot about it and went on with my life. One chatroom disappeared and others appeared. ICQ took over, then IRC - and so on. The picture seemed lost, and I was happy about that.
When I was 14, I got a message from a friend. Ding!
"Hey, isn't that you?" with a link over IRC. I followed it. It led to a site where girls were rated after their looks. And there it was. The god damn picture. Rated #33 of 100 best. I was told to be "proud", I told them to fuck off - I was 12 in that picture, I never wanted it to be shown to people in the first place, it sure as hell was nothing to be proud of. 

I contacted a friend of mine who worked for a ISP-company, my knight in shining armor in whatever computer issues I had. He sent a threatening e-mail to the site demanding them to take away the photo, even if he couldn't actually do anything about it as the site didn't go through their company. Either way, it worked. And heck - they didn't just take away my picture, but the whole damn site.

At 18-19 it happened again. And again. and again. When I first found one page having this picture (Still!) I started looking for it at other places. I sent e-mail trying to get it removed. They never responded. For all I know it is still circulating.

Point being, pictures can end up places you never intended it to. The delete button doesn't take away a picture someone have saved. And if you're in some skank-database that some horn-dog have created, you're doomed to have it circulating still. Things don't disappear easily on the world wide web.

I am still appaled, because when I see that picture I see a 12 year old girl, awkward and scared, a child still. And the sites it ended up on were not ment for the eyes of 12-year olds. That is what concerns me about groups such as the one mentioned. Parents, please! Watch what your tweens are doing. 


Pictures from the Dream Theater Concert

No, I have no idea why I'm pointing.

I finally got to see Dream Theater when they visited Oslo the 26th Jan!
I've been saying for years that I wanted to see them live, and when a couple of friends of mine decided to take the trip from Hammerfest to Oslo to see them, I decided it was time for me to join in.

It was awesoooome.

Setlist according to Setlist.fm
Bridges in the Sky
Build me up, Break me down
The Root of all Evil
(Mangini showing off - Drum solo)
A Fortune in Lies
The Silent Man
Beneath the Surface
On the Back of Angels
War inside my head
The Test that Stumped them all
The Spirit Carries on
Breaking all Illusions
And finally Encore gave us Pull Me Under.

Although Im not entirely sure about this list.. Im pretty sure we got Home from Scenes of a Memory in there somewhere? Or maybe I was intoxicated. Maybe both. Quite possibly.

Right now on the games front...

Right now I've got sucked into Terraria. There's something about these graphics and mundane tasks that are so relaxing for the mind.

People usually choose their music dependent on moods. I do the same with games. If I want to just relax a bit, Ill fire up Terraria, or another Adventure-game. I play adventure-games when Im in the same mood as I would be to pick up a book and read. Relaxed, focused. At ease. I'd listen to Opeth's Windowpane-album and drink Lady Gray Tea with a spoonfull of honey.

Terraria is (as you probably know) created in a charming 2D that brings your mind back a good decade... But it still feels fresh.
Which is where the next thing on my current list comes in:

The Longest Journey (1999, Funcom)
I recently downloaded it on my Eee-Slate to play, and its working swell (despite some problems making it work with my stylus at first). This little gem is guaranteed the best thing to have ever come out of Norway's largest game-factory Funcom. Oh Ragnar, why can't you recreate this feeling? It was so genuine, the characters were marvelous, the story was great.

I won't say that games like those don't get made anymore, because honestly if you're one of those people who make such claims, you're suffering from one of two possible reasons:
1) You're overly sentimental to old games or
2) You're not playing a large enough scope of games.

But still, I too am sentimental over old games. And this gem is worth another play-through. Steam, 10 Euros.

By the way, did you know that The Longest Journey predicted Twitter?


The Result (Hogwarts in Gingerbread)

DIY Hogwarts in Gingerbread

I know I'm late doing this but anyway...
Our gingerbreadhouse-projects have gone from little lavvu's to gingerbread-robots. It's come to that point where people are waiting to see what becomes of our project at Christmas-time, and this year was no different. So we figured we'd WOW them.

So we set out to make Hogwarts, from Harry Potter. Its a huge project, and one that certainly have some challenges to it; the biggest one being the Hogwarts Tower, that is the trademark Hogwarts building. Its huge. And round. And we'd have to make it in gingerbread, because we're not on Cake Boss and we don't use non-edible parts.

Day 1: Made our own blueprint and template for the buildings. Lots of studying the photos, discussing the looks and the easiest way to do things (and the prettiest) some
mathematical equations... As my mom said it; "If you're still friends after this, I'm impressed". Turns out we're a pretty impressive lot! Jerry and Lise in picture.

Day 2: Cut out the pieces. Yeah. It took a day and "some kilos" of gingerbread-dough. Which
thankfully my mom have perfected through the
years! We left them to cool off in the hallway, where we kept the hallway-window open. I was so paranoid that some hungry crows would come peck at them, but thankfully they left us alone.
Of course the pieces for the different houses are sorted on each their paper. All the long "sticks" are the towers, in varying sizes.

Day 3: Assembly time! Now this is usually where we laugh, cry and hate ourselves and each other. But it went well. It was a very long day though, I think we worked on it for about 10 hours. Jerry got the daunting task of making the peak of the Hogwarts Tower which is too big for a Ice cream-cone to fit on. But it has to be edible (even if we'd never actually eat it), else its cheating. Solution? Ice cream-cone + marshmallows and Rice Crispies, glued together with melted sugar. We then coated all the rooftops with Marzipan colored to fit the Hogwarts roofs Green-blueish color.

Day 4: Decorating! Usually we have 1-2 units to decorate, so decoration usually becomes spectacular, if I may say so myself. I was a bit worried we'd be bored and sloppy at the end of this, but we were all so invested in the project that we managed to keep it together. In spite of some problems with the piping.
Admission: We did use ONE non-edible part. A Porcelain Button my mom had lying that had a clock printed on it. We thought it fit beautifully on the clock tower.

Day 5: Making of the Figurines. Gumpaste.

Day 6: Making it all come together! Making sure the light-fixtures fit. Icing the whole board that we used as support to make it look like snow. (Cotton's too main-stream, man!)

The result...? Next blogpost, please!


Corsair Vengeance k90

I got my new mechanical keyboard, the Corsair Vengeance K90. Here's my thoughts on it.

First of all, it just darn right looks sweet. The Brushed Aluminium looks sweet, and it feels sturdy and nice, not plasticy. But its still pretty light, which is kind of a suprisingly big deal when you, like me, often end up with the keyboard on the lap during long gaming sessions. Here's one thing I'm not used to though, the G-buttons. While I am a MMO gamer I've never felt the need for the Macro-buttons, so the added space on the side makes it a bit weird to balance it on the lap; but it's just something to get used to really.

Another thing to just get used to is actual typing. I bought the mechanical keyboard actually for that very reason, I wanted the Cherry MX Red switches so it'd be better for my silly fingers to type long articles and interviews (or blogposts for that matter..) like I do now and again. While the mechanical keyboards are great for gaming, that was actually second in priority for me. If it had been first priority, I'd look for Cherry MX Black or Browns.

However what I found when I started using it was that it felt weird typing on, but friggin fantastic to game on. You notice it so quickly. And if you don't feel it right away, the F-buttons are "regular" Rubber-domes, so clicking the mechanical vs the rubber domes, you really feel how much easier and comfortable the mechanical ones are.

The fact that its a bit strange typing on is probably just something I need to adapt to. The idea is that you're not supposed to push the buttons all the way down for the keystrokes to register, making the muscular movement much less. However since you're kind of stuck in a pattern when it comes to typing, its weird to re-do your habit all of a sudden. So that's something I'm still getting used to. While admittedly I do really enjoy the less stress when I really do go in for not pressing it all the way down, its taking me forever to type that way so I tend to jump back into my old habits.

For gaming though its a whole different ordeal. I jumped in Skyrim as soon as I got the keyboard, and it just feels really good to just gently push W to run, or resting my thumb on Alt to sprint. Here I really do feel the changes positively right off the bat.

The back-light is wonderful, I like that it's graded -and that its got its own button to switch the grades by. Its a nice cool blue that really lights up the beautiful brushed aluminium.
I love the Windows-Lock button, that's something I've missed on my last keyboard. The wrist-rest have a nice textured feel to it, the only minus is that its curving a bit too much downward, which makes my small hands wrist curve more then necessary in order to type on the rather tall keystrokes. I doubt this is a problem for the manly mans with normal to larger sized hands though. Its a problem I tend to run into quite often with my puny, pitiful hold.

There's also a USB port in the back of the keyboard so I don't have to crawl under the table to plug in my External HD or camera, which is great. Not that it's filthy under there or anything. Nooo...

There's a couple of things I'm missing after having switched from my old Logitech Wave to this, like the Calculator-button, which was great considering how bad at math I am. I've been using ergonomic curved or half-curved keyboards for years now, and going back to a "normal" one is something I notice quite fast in my wrists.
I'd also like the ability to change color of the back-light, but that's pure vanity. The blue is quite stylish as is.

Overall its a great keyboard! It doesn't feel the most ergonomically correct for me, but it might change when I learn to type properly on it. The benefits of the Cherry MX Red's might outweigh the problems with the "normal" design and the wrist-rest. The features on it are great, it feels very proper and I'd certainly recommend it.


Hardware Bonanza!

Alright so its that time of the year. One of my personally favorite times, because I can finally sit down and play with the toys I looted during the Xmas Riots. And what I wished for but didn't get... Well, I might have to buy those. But point intact; this is the time for testing it all out! Maybe Ill write some proper reviews. If I can unhook myself from Tamriel long enough.

Mouse Upgrade!
So, Santa delivered a couple of tech goodies this year. First up; a Cyborg R.A.T 9! (Thanks Mom!)

The R.A.T-series have been on my wishing list for a while now for the reason that my fingers are absolutely screwed. If you're a regular reader, you might have figured that out by now. But anyway, not only are my fingers riddled with inflammations, they're also very very small. Which doesn't really suit most of the gaming-gear presented these days. Most mice are too big, which leaves my fingers having to struggle to or simply fail at reaching some of the featured buttons and wheels.

Until now I've used the pretty featureless Logitech Performace Mouse MX, whom despite not being a gamer mouse, is pretty darn good. But it's curves are a bit too big, and the button is a bit rough to press (compared to Jerry's Razer Mamba) and I've missed a couple of features that is avaliable in the RAT9, such as the easy sensitivity switches. The pinky and thumb-rest of the RAT9 is certainly an added bonus, and the ability to change its weight is not just good for controlling it, but also for your wrist.

Might have to do a full review on it later!

Camera Level Up!
And no less then a Canon EOS 600D. (Best. Man. Ever.)

Last year we almost both bought each other a Wii. Even the same color one. This year, I asked him if we couldn't just skip that whole Christmas-gifts thing and buy ourselves a DSLR-camera instead? And then I saw his disapproving face and figured "Oh well, Ill save up for it myself". Little did I know about his plans. Evil Genius. My grandparents joined us for Christmas-dinner, and when my grampa brought out his brand new 600D I looked at it longingly, saying "Oh, that's the one I want...". I didn't see Jerry's huge grin behind my back.

Audio Upgrade!
Hopefully Ill get to play with my Christmas-gift to him as well, the wireless audiophile Sennheiser RS180. I'll have to unglue them from his head first though. Not sure how to manage that!

Keyboard Upgrade!
For a while now I've wanted a mechanical keyboard. As previously mentioned, my fingers are shite, and every little added comfort helps as much as I use the computer. The advantages of mechanical keyboards over the standard Membrane ones aren't just that every key has its own individual keyswitch mechanism, making the typing that more accurate. It is also a lot easier as a touch-typist, since you don't need to press down the button all the way -meaning reduced stress on the itsy bitsy finger-muscles. Yay!

The negative is of course that mechanical keyboards have a tendency of being louder (remember those old-school keyboards?) but the Cherry MX Red is supposed to be quite quiet. Mechanical keyboards are on full speed back into the the gaming-scene, led by Razer's Black Widow, whom uses Cherry MX Blue switches, which is strange considering Blue's are essentially a typing switch.

Eh, why am I explaining all of this? Better just get your butt over to overclock.net and check out their Mechanical Keyboard Guide. Know which switch would suit you best before buying a mechanical keyboard! Considering the costs of these badboys, looking into it might be worth it. And remember that Razer isn't the only company out there although their keyboard might be the most profiled one. (Not that their products doesn't do the trick, if I had larger hands I'd probably be using a Mamba too.)

So anyway, as a Xmas-present to myself, I just ordered Corsair's Vengeance K90 (pictured above), which uses Cherry MX Red. Its launched as a MMO/RTS Gaming Board, which explains the 18 Macro-keys on the side. I don't much care for them, although I am a MMO/RTS-gamer. The reason that I bought just that was because it's back-lit, got some nice features I wouldn't want to be without (Windows Lock button and Volume wheel), its sleek design - and well, it was on sale! Waiting for it to arrive in the mail, then I might write a proper review on that as well.

In other news, we bought my littlesister Skyrim. Yeah, she's lost.
And until next time: NO LOLLYGAGGING!

Skamta Clause


What Autumn looks like.

Im shit at updating my blog.

I know. I'm always (positively) surprised at how many actually read my blog when looking at my counter. Should have thought I'd feel the encouragement to write more often considering, but I admit I'm a lazy, plump ass geek who's easily distracted by OH SHINY other things.

Anyway, a update on my life. Alright. We've moved into our lovely little abode. We get a somewhat limited internet-connection here (a whooping 7 Mb/s) which is a bit displeasing, but we're working on that. Our house have become quite stylish. Maroon and light grey walls with black and copper accents in decorating. I just need to throw some pictures up and it'll all be jolly. Almost as if a grown-up lives there or something. HA!

I haven't really gotten around to doing much other then fixing with the house and our living arrangements. I've written a little story on the history of The Elder Scrolls over at pressfire.no (in Norwegian of course) which is the first I've written for them in a long, long while.
I've also played some Skyrim, Vindictus and Might and Magic Heroes 6. And boardgames; Talisman and Risk 2210 A.D. We really need more boardgames so we can change it up a bit more.

Anyway, things are calming down over here now that we're not so stressed out with the house. So maybe I'll write some more soon? No promises, but I'll try to be better at updating. Even if its nonsense. But what else is new? ;)

- H to the Anne.

Mass Effect Cosplay

Holyshit would you look at that?

I LOVE good cosplaying, and even more so when its from games I adore. I would kill for that Tali costume. Gallery of the Mass Effect Cosplay team here: http://fandom.memebase.com/2011/11/14/fanart-cosplay-these-costumes-are-massively-effective/