Sunday 7 May 2000

In the forest

Pic of the day: Magnus unplugged.

Magnus unplugged

When I was a little boy, there was an electric organ sold here in Norway and it was called "Magnus orgel". (Yes, we Norwegians have been smart enough to have a separate name for the musical instrument, as opposed to body parts. This spares us a lot of confusion, though some of the confusion can be funny.) Despite the name, Magnus-orgel was profiled as cheap and family friendly. They always used the same advertisement, which I'm not likely to forget in a lifetime. But not for the reason they intended. You see, the ad was built around a photo of a child sitting at the organ as if playing, while the family stood around, all smiling broadly. As well they should... you could see from the picture that the power plug was not connected!

A Magnus that didn't give off sound was a rare event, in those years. My humble self may have been small and weak, but not in terms of voice. I would talk incessantly - thinking was talking, for me - and when in the company of others, I would talk so much louder to come out on top. It should count my parents as a deed of courage that they did not throw me out with the bathwater. -Not that nature wasn't closer to doing that, as I bathed in the river and the fjord all summer. But mercy prevailed, and I grew up. Sort of.

Being unable to talk to myself was quite painful. When I moved out from home at the age of 15, I was still childish in many ways. And I was used to talking to myself a lot. Suddenly living in a much more densely populated area, I had to cut down on the talking. Eventually I was successful. These days I talk so little that I am unable to keep up talking for long when I need to. On the rare occasions that I have to talk a lot - typically while teaching - my voice gives out pretty soon. If I had not been humming and singing at home, I guess it would have been even worse. I don't say many dozen words on an average day. Actually, I probably write quite a bit more in one diary entry than I say during a workday, unless there is something big going on.


Depression in men, says Psychology Today (and no, they don't pay me to recommend them or anything, I don't even get the magazine for free) - depression in men does not show the same symptoms as in women. This may be the reason why it is more rarely diagnosed correctly in men. Instead, depressed men feel disconnected.

I know that feeling! It's when you log on to exchange mail, read news and upload your diary, and you just can't get through. The modem pips and screeches but eventually gives up, because the parameters for the exchange does not match. You know you use the same settings that you've always used, so it must be on the other end of the line that they've changed stuff and not told you. Or perhaps they are otherwise engaged. And there's not a thing you can do about it. All you wanted to know, all you wanted to say, is denied you. Disconnected.

Man, depression must suck royally.


I'm a bit disconnected right now - the mail account is out of the loop. That's the one that I wave around everywhere on my web site, so I guess any comments on it are being piled up in the pipelines. If I haven't replied to your mail, this could just be the reason. I'm sorry to praise a former monopoly, but Telenor's subsidiary has performed better both in terms of stability and bandwidth. Then again, they are paid for it. Netcom is free. You have to wonder what's driving them. Anyway, it seems not to be driving them too hard this weekend. :)

On the much brighter side, I've finally logged into the Norwegian bank DnB's netbank. Yes, I did stick with them: They dropped their prices and made the thing a lot more accessible. It is now quite competitive. Of course, they have taken a much brighter view of non-corporate customers now that these customers (that would be me) do all the work for them. They still take a tiny fee for each transaction (kr 1.50 = ca 17 cent) which is for all purposes money for nothing. (I suppose they already had a web server.) No wonder they are magnanimously dropping the entry fees ...

So I spent the Sunday after-lunch lazing hour paying bills on the Net. Well, actually piling up bills to be paid after the pay comes in on May 12. It's not a whole heap of gold there right now. (I, being me, bought a couple of nice clothes earlier this month, clothes I have not yet come around to wear. But they did look good. Also I paid the bills this month that I did not pay last month because of the events chronicled then.) Anyway, I eventually found myself sifting through likely hiding places in search of more bills, because it was so fun to pay them over the Net. Ah, the excitement of being connected!

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