WSP in Lillehammer, Day 3

Our last day in Norway was a truly eventful day and falling asleep with people partying on the floor above was no issue at all. It was a great day!

I think the morning activities were supposed to be a secret, but everyone was talking about it anyway. We were going to the Olympic Park for team building activities. Those activities included shooting with a paintball gun on a moving target, shooting with a bow and arrow, running around in a maze but also going on the bob! I didn’t think too much of it, but it was kind of a big deal. If I am not mistaking, we actually went in the real course that the Olympics did in 1994. In the summer the bobs have big rubber wheels and reaches speeds of 85km/h. But in the winter, they can go up to 130! I thought this was fast!

My group was last on going on the bob, everyone was laughing when they came down and I was really excited. It was fun! But it wasn’t so extreme as I thought it would be. Maybe I have been filled after going on Helix so many times. But it was fun and totally worth it. I think it would be more thrilling during the winter.

We had lunch at the Olympic Park and then we all divided. Some went to Hafjell to go downhill on mountainbikes. I am sure that would have been super fun, but it didn’t really feel like a good idea so I went with another van up to the very top of the mountain, to Pellestova. I didn’t really know what to expect because we hadn’t gotten any information about it more than that it was an easy trek. It was an easy hike, but I thought it was going to be really cold so I changed from my sneakers to Timbaland boots. Bad choice. I got so many blisters and it is still all wet from where the skin was scraped off of my heels. Real nasty! I wasn’t cold, so my sneakers would have been enough. Three layers on my legs and four layers up.

In total we walked approximately 7km both ways, one hour up and a little less down. The whole mountain looked like it was on fire with the leaves on the blueberry bushes (or whatever similar things it was) turning red. It was so pretty!!

Out in the distance we saw white mountain tops and there were many lakes up there. It was a really nice hike. If I hadn’t been stupid enough to wear those boots it would have been even nicer. Here is a 360 picture from the top.

After the hike, we drove around up on the mountain, going to the small community of Sjusoen. I had a cup of hot cocoa, well-needed. Even if I got kinda sweaty and warm, I got really cold as soon as I didn’t move, so in the car I started freezing.

Back at the cabin, I was exhausted to my bones. And cold. So I cuddled up on the couch for an hour under a blanket until it was time to start dinner.

Last night’s dinner was insane! We had the biggest bbq ever and everyone was helping. We had been divided into different teams, some had paella, some had chicken, some had iberico pork (pigs who only eat acorns), vegetarian stuff, entrecote. It was insane. And there was a slight miscalculation in the amounts. Since there were so many different things and meats, it probably wasn’t necessary to have 35 portions of everything, haha! But it was sooooo good. I had seconds, but was so full afterward.

The very last activity of this trip was a picture contest. Beforehand, everyone had sent a picture of themselves to the group arranging the activities in the cabin. We then had to guess who it was. It was so hard. I only guessed 10/36, haha! But super fun game!

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WSP in Lillehammer, Day 2

A long day lies behind me and an even longer is ahead of me tomorrow. Long days, with many fun activities equals time flies and this trip will be over in no time.

I had no idea what we were going to do today. On the agenda it said Maihaugen. Oh nice, I thought, that is probably up on one of the mountains and we will get a nice view. I don’t think I could have been more wrong, haha! Maihaugen is like an outdoor museum with old timber houses from like the 18th century and earlier. Super cute place!

I also, of course, took a 360 picture as I pretty much always do when I travel and the picture can be found on Google Maps.

Our next stop was the Olympic ski jump slope. Lillehammer was host of the Winter Olympics in 1994 and all the arenas and slopes and the torch man on the side of the mountain are still here. The slope was insane! We walked down and the vans picked us up at the bottom. My knees hurt after all those stairs down. I don’t really understand what goes through people’s mind who practices that sport. Crazy people!

Lunch at Peppe’s Pizza in downtown Lillehammer after. Delicious pizza!

The rest of the afternoon was spent on the cabin doing work-related stuff. Department meeting and then a game of WSP’s values and what we think is important and should go in our action plan for 2019. We had some hectic discussions in our group but came up with a nice suggestion to the plan in the end.

Catered dinner at 7pm, and then several games. Like charades, a communication game that was really fun and some other games. It was fun, but I got tired and as soon as we were done, I went down and sat down in the sauna for a bit. Sooooo nice!

I kinda feel that a skiing vacation would be really nice! Living in a timber house, always being rosy and cold and warm and being in the sauna every night. Drinking hot cocoa. Perhaps not going skiing? Just doing everything else, haha!

WSP in Lillehammer, day 1

In two days, so have already worked at WSP for a full year. I can’t believe it and time has flown and blaha blaha blaha. It is unbelievable and I still feel that I have found my place. It truly doesn’t feel like a full year though.

Another year, another conference trip. As long as we make enough money, the whole department goes away for a long weekend. Last year we went to Budapest, a really fun and rainy weekend. This year we went to Lillehammer in Norway. A very different type of trip, I think I can already say without having done anything just yet.

Last year we flew, this year we had big vans and drove up. Around 6-7 hours total? With a stop in Oslo around lunch. We ate at Olivia, an Italian restaurant which will open in Gothenburg eventually. After eating there today, I am really excited for the grand opening back home. The sallad before the “buffet” was so simple yet so good! The buffet was first pasta dishes that were shared among all the people around the table, so not a true buffet. And then we shared pizza. Everything, including the olive oil drenched bread was delicious!

A few from the WSP management office in Oslo joined us and gave us a short tour after lunch. We walked to the Opera House and watched all the millions of construction sites all around us. They are building even more there than back home. Cranes everywhere!

D

uring the ride from Oslo to Lillehammer, I fell asleep in the back of the van. Very uncomfortable, and I am sure I missed some views, but still nice!

A quick coffee break in Espa where I bought a Kvikklunsj. I thought it was like a Kexchoklad, but it was more like a KitKat. I have heard about it and thought it was worth a try.

At 6pm we arrived at Hafjell Lodge, the big cabin right in the middle of Hafjell. I realized that I was here 8 years ago. When it was white and I was skiing. A bit different of a trip now. Very pretty still!

We had dinner almost immediately, a game stew with mashed potatoes and tyttebær, lingonberries. Very good. I was still not hungry after the huge lunch, but it wasn’t too hard to eat.

After dinner the group of people arranging activities for our department, gave us the last piece of information for the last big math question from the quiz in the cars. All the cars competed against each other by solving rebuses, Gothenburg words, questions about beer and a car bingo by taking pictures of stuff on the way. By handing in the last question’s correct answer first, our team won! Woho! We won candy and when that rush had gone away I got so tired that I went to bed. It will be a luxury to sleep a full night without the cats waking me up. Not that they did last night, but still.

The next couple of days will be full of outdoor activities and I hope I brought warm enough clothes.

Review of “Up in Smoke” by Pittacus Lore

Title: Up in Smoke
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: The Legacy Chronicles #3
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 185
Published: 2018, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 ships

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

This is the third 100-page novella, continuing the exciting story of fan favorite characters Six and Sam. Following their dangerous battle in the mountains of Montana, the couple has now been ripped apart.

Sam is imprisoned aboard a ship that’s miles off the coast of Mexico. His Legacies have been taken away from him. He doesn’t have any back-up. And if he can’t find a way to free himself soon, he’s going to become a lab experiment.

Although safely recovering at the Human Garde Academy, Six has had her abilities stripped as well. Ignoring everyone’s warnings, though, she decides to mount a rescue mission with the help of Nine and her young charge Nemo. But it’s three of them versus who knows how many teens with Legacies who may be working for their enemy….

Six and Sam may no longer have their powers, but does it mean they’re truly powerless?

 

MY REVIEW

Interesting to have a full novella following Six and Sam, but both completely powerless. It is still as action-packed, still as funny and still as realistic as these stories all are. I find it very easy to relate to all the characters and am so impressed with the author who manages to create so real characters, the things they sare feel real and so easy and so right according to all the different personalities. How does he do it? I basically only have written about one person so far in my own book and I find that hard to make her belieavable. It will be tough when all the other characters around her should be as alive.

I really like this world that Pittacus Lore has painted. But I have to admit that the original story, following the Garde on Earth, trying to run for their lives from the Mogadorians, is better. Now the Mogs are dead and the bad guys are rogue Human Garde (teenagers with newly-developed Legacies) being controlled by manipulative adults who are grumpy because they couldn’t get a Legacy themselves. It is a good way to keep the story goind, for sure. But it doesn’t get it all the way up to a 5, I stop at a 4.

Review of “Mortal Coil” by Derek Landy

Title: Mortal Coil
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #45
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 604
Published: 2010, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 remnants

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Following the shocking revelations of DARK DAYS, get ready for the fifth instalment of the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series — guaranteed to contain at least 40% humour, 50% action, and 100% thrills!

The blonde girl with the black lips turned to Valkyrie. ‘We know,’ she said. ‘We’ve seen the future. We know you’re going to kill the world!’

Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back — just in time to see their whole world get turned upside down! While they struggle to protect a known killer from an unstoppable assassin, Valkyrie is on a secret mission of her own. This quest, to prevent her dark and murderous destiny, threatens to take her to the brink of death and beyond. And then the body-snatching Remnants get loose, thousands of twisted souls who possess the living like puppets, and they begin their search for a being powerful enough to lead them. Facing such insurmountable odds, Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Ghastly and Tanith can trust no one. Not even each other!

MY REVIEW

Not even halfway through this series and it is already going very very badly for everyone. How will it end?

It took me almost a month and a half to finish this. Perhaps I wasn’t in a reading mode this summer, or I actually might have gotten a little tired of it. I enjoyed it and I smiled widely at some remarks but I found it hard to concentrate. Was it too much action? Too much going on all the time? I generally feel that fighting scenes in books are hard for me to follow. And there were a lot of them in this fifth book in Skulduggery Pleasant series. I will take a break now from it because another book was just released and other books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while. But, Landy is so good at writing cliffhangers. It’s insane. The last one, in the fourth book, was intense and very surprising. And so was this, not as strong though.

Many people died and one thing that bothered me was that it was so casual. As a reader, I barely even noticed that they died. Some books have made me cry out in the open while reading about someone who almost died. But this, with characters I liked, nada. Neither did the characters left alive feel anything. It felt unreal.

Something Landy is really good at, is connecting everything. I didn’t really look for plot holes, but it is very obvious that he has put in a lot of thought into everything. Everything written has a meaning and that is very enjoyable. There most likely are some plot holes, but they are hidden and not very noticable.

I will take a short break in this series and read a couple or three other books. I hope I will have something more constructive to write about #6 when I haven’t almost straight-read all previous ones.

It gets a four out of five.

Review of “Dark Days” by Derek Landy

Title: Dark Days
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #4
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 419
Published: 2010, HarperCollins
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 villains

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Skulduggery Pleasant is lost on the other side of a portal, with only some evil gods for company. Can he possibly survive? (Yes, all right, he’s already dead. But still.)

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, sorcerer, warrior.

Oh yes. And dead.

Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension overrun by the Faceless Ones. If his bones haven’t already been turned to dust, chances are he’s insane, driven out of his mind by the horror of the ancient gods. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved rescue mission. There is no official plan to save him.

But Valkyrie’s never had much time for plans.

The problem is, even if she can get Skulduggery back, there might not be much left for him to return to. There’s a gang of villains bent on destroying the Sanctuary, there are some very powerful people who want Valkyrie dead, and as if all that wasn’t enough it looks very likely that a sorcerer named Darquesse is going to kill the world and everyone on it.

Skulduggery is gone. All our hopes rest with Valkyrie. The world’s weight is on her shoulders, and its fate is in her hands.

These are dark days indeed.

MY REVIEW

My general feeling about Dark Days is that this is mostly an in-between-book. That this book is only taking you from the previous and transporting you to the next. Som big reveals, recurring characters, but nothing really new.

I did really enjoy the first part, where Valkyrie tries to save Skulduggery in the dimension of The Faceless Ones. That was new and interesting and fun, after that it basically only felt lika a transportation from book 3 to book 5.

Still very entertaining and I smiled several times while reading. As usual.

Hacked Instagram account

”It never happens to me, it only happens to others.” That’s probably the one and only thought that got me into this mess. Last night my IG worked perfectly fine, but this morning when I wanted to scroll through it before thoroughly waking up, I was logged out. My password didn’t work and when I wanted to recover it, a notification box told me an email with password reset instructions had been sent to “k*******k@m****.ru”. Definitely not my email. So I decided to get it back.

There is a support site on Instagram’s webpage where you can tell them that your account has been hacked. Shortly after I sent the report in, I got an email from Facebook telling me what to do in order to verify my account.

The purpose of this post is to help others in the same situation, because I was very skeptical to Instagram’s way of verification.

 

Facebook <info++aazqgct4b5q55e@support.facebook.com>

Hi,

Thanks for contacting us. Before we can help, we need you to confirm that you own this account. 

Please reply to this email and attach a photo of yourself holding a hand-written copy of the code below.

XXXXX

Please make sure that the photo you send:

– Includes the above code hand-written on a clean sheet of paper, followed by your full name and username
– Includes both your hand that’s holding the sheet of paper and your entire face
– Is well-lit, and is not too small, dark or blurry
– Is attached to your reply as a JPEG file

Keep in mind that even if this account doesn’t include any pictures of you or is used to represent someone or something else, we won’t be able to help until we receive a photo that meets these requirements.

Thanks,
The Instagram Team

 

Very suspicious, right? The email address it was sent from, did not look like something official and I was not convinced that this was the real deal. But after some investigation, I changed my mind and did take that awful selfie with the clean sheet of paper with the code and my name and my username with my hand clearly visibly holding the piece of paper.

Only three hours later I received a response to my picture, from the exact same email asking me to give a brief description of my issue, write my email or phone number that I signed up with and any previous usernames I have had.

Only ten hours later I received another response, same weird email address, asking me to log out of my account everywhere and then click a link to recover my account. First, it only asked me to type in a new password twice. The next step asked me to verify my email address. And the email address that was in the box was “kuzmikow.tolik@mail.ru”, definitely not mine. After erasing it and writing my own email address, I once again had access to my 350 or so posts and 300 followers. Why would anyone even want to steal that account? I was honestly very afraid that my account would be deleted and everything permanently lost. So I am incredibly glad that I got it back. And I got it back real fast too!

 

So, for anyone who gets the same verification email from Facebook (which owns Instagram) asking for a selfie, do it! It’s legit. 🙂