Sunday, 22 June 2014

Blame it on the Martians!

There you have it, you can never really judge an author by any one book. Despite almost giving up on it a couple of months ago, I decided to finally make it all the way to the end of Stranger in a Strange Land. I'm not saying that I wont read another Heinlein again, 'cos that would be overly harsh, but...

It is just so completely different from the other two books I've read by him though! For the latter half of the book I kept being reminded of Atlas Shrugged and I deem that very unfortunate indeed. Oh the preachiness of it! If there even is such a word.

The concept might be entertaining enough, I grant you that, but by the last quarter of the book I probably had a rather pained expression on my face as I read :(. I suppose some of it might have to do with the gap of a couple of months in reading the first half, which I kinda enjoyed, and this last bit, but there's no denying that I'm definitely allergic to the reduction of a species to a collection of subjects of some grand experiment.

On to Greg Bear then!

Currently: sleepy
Listening to: Edward Shearmur - Constellatoin Lyra

Thursday, 19 June 2014

How would you feel about life..

.. if Death was your older sister?

Best back cover ever! :D With the parental units in town for a couple of weeks, it appears I finally have some time! Go figure. But between trips around the fjords and the World Cup and sundry other things, I did manage to get my eyes over The Sandman vol 1.

What madness!! What glorious insanity! I'm not saying that I didn't go a bit 'whaaaaaat?' every now and again, but this is Gaiman, so that's more or less par for the course. But as far as opening instalments go, I was mighty impressed!

Currently: unimpressed by Spain
Listening to: Thomas Newman - Kill them first

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Summertime madness!

There are orders of magnitude to cover everything on every scale I suppose. But every so often something so outrageously fantastic happens, as to be truly off the charts of awesomeness :). Our road trip to Åndalsnes, for example.

Four days of pure brilliance, and it began with a ten hour journey through landscape that was a constant reminder just how beautiful Norway can be! I hadn't actually been on a proper road trip in quite some time, and what a way to get back to it. The brilliant thing about driving here is that if you have the weather for it, there isn't a dull moment. I mean that in a good way :D.

500 kilometres is a long way to go, but it went by unnoticed, especially as the views got ever more spectacular as we neared our destination. The town is right on the edge of the fjord, but surrounded by precipitous ranges. We had planned on hiking along the ridge on top of one of these the next day, Romsdalseggen. The views, we expected, would be amazing.

Unfortunately, a sky blanketed by low clouds greeted us when we woke. It wasn't looking pretty, but we decided to go for it anyway. Climbing a good 1200 metres through damp clouds doesn't qualify as the definition of fun for most people, but we were egged on by a couple of people heading back down, with promises of sunshine further along the ridge.

I cannot say how glad I am that we kept going, as before long, we went clear through the clouds and could see the highest of the surrounding peaks piercing through a sea of white all around! The feeling was rather indescribable :). The following several hours were spent trying to find a proper vantage point (read highest spot in the vicinity) and hunting for views as the sun eventually burned off the clouds, revealing quite the vista.

It would have been difficult to beat that hike, but the drive down to Geiranger the next day came pretty close. Again, the weather started off overcast, especially the valley down from Trollstigen. To be honest though, I was entertained enough by the roads to mind too much, and anyway, things got way sunnier in the subsequent valleys, so all was good.

The final day brought the brightest morning, so we decided to explore the views a bit before heading homewards. I think we got a little carried away, but eventually managed to leave Åndalsnes by midday :). All that remained was another few hundred kilometres of twisting spectacular Norwegian B-roads before we were back in the now familiar crush of Sunday evening traffic converging on Oslo from all directions.

The hiking and driving had taken a bit of a toll, and my legs weren't very happy climbing down stairs for a few days, but by the time the next weekend rolled around (another long one) everything was feeling more or less ok. So what did I do? Ended up cycling over 100km in a day for the first time. What can I say, good weather here makes one do strange things :).

Currently: almost there!
Listening to: Craig Armstrong - Gentle piece