Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back online again (II)

We are back from a 10-day, 3,000 km road trip to Lapland, and - having slept in the car - we can confirm that there are mosquitoes in Lapland.

The sun started blistering at 02:00 so I cut up my expensive midgie-proof one-person mosquito net and fixed it over the windows as an emergency measure.

A change in my antibiotic regimen has paid off: I was able to do brisk 20-km walks (no stops due to the insanely agressive mosquitoes and NOT having used DEET..)

We ended up in a national reserve that was Sweden's "bear-centre" (not in Lapland) and walked a rarely-trodden trail, to end up in a sparsely-populated-with-trees area bears love and sat down. My hope had been a close encounter with a bear (I have had intimate encounters with them before and I do not consider them /too/ dangerous), but what happened was nevertheless wonderful: A huge reindeer passed us by and we saw how they get rid of those pesky bloodsucking flies: They vibrate the muscles in their hindquarters to dislodge them and run away to get rid of them completely.

A similar scenario would play itself out a few times more on lake shores and even the highway.

I returned to a 700 USD speeding ticket for going 9 mph (17 km/h) over the speed limit. My car needed an expensive repair on the way, so now I'm near-bankrupt :) I had forgotten what the limit was because I had come off a gas station, and there was no repeat of the sign. Norway regulates speed limits in increments of 10 km and literally every few hundred m they increment or decrement by 10 km/h, followed by a new sign or a "previous sign not valid any more" sign. After a while your head spins, and especially if you are confused on which kind of road you are or after you spent a while at a gas station, you can't avoid getting fined. Those camera's are placed where the road gets wider and downhill and the situation maximally affords going fast, so that if you forget to break you're toast. This tiny country of 4.5 mio people makes at least a billion USD/year in speeding fines, but there is no money to improve the abysmal roads because corrupt municipalities spend the money earmarked for maintenance on more sexy projects.

Anyway. One of my biggest priorities right now is to fix a remaining memory leak in Moyo Go, and then I'll continue with say 75% Tsumego development and 25% debugging + miscellaneous new development. Due to the horrendous fine there won't be any more holiday for us.