Friday, May 26, 2006


Well, it took 3 months but I finally got my first paycheck from my new consulting gig at the big gambling company. My official title is "Senior Consultant" but I don't use that on my email .sig file. Not because it makes me sound pretentious but because it makes me sound old. I go with 'Web Developer'. That makes me sound younger and cooler like I used to be.

I am not well paid by senior consultant standards. After the preliminary round of self-employment taxes and bribes, I was left with almost 56,000 SEK for salary in the month of March. But that is still some pretty good moolah for Sweden. The average Swede makes about 20,000 SEK per month. The bad news is that this is Sweden and the government will take a big chunk of that in income tax and I will have about 40,000 SEK, which I will spend most of on publishing more of my books, video games, clothes, and traveling.

The past year was very spotty on the income front. Some months when I couldn't get clients I drank on credit cards, checks from Daddy Chocolatebucks and savings. I feel very lucky to be working in an English speaking company in one my favorite towns with cool young people.

But despite all the glee in my bank account, I must say a new sadness has arisen. It appears that happiness is the enemy of Art. Over the past 3 months I have nothing to complain about except allergies (the pollen count here sucks) and I have written nary a word on my blog, websites, novels, short stories, or other personal projects. Zero inspiration. I need some conflict in my life to spark my creativity. You know, take it out on somebody who deserves it. I need to get beat up by a communist or a Nazi or something.

Bush is too easy a target. Ditto Blair. But let's get them anyway. And Sweden. There is not nearly enough making fun of Swedes on this blog. Because the real enemy of the people is not politics but of course ennui. Thank Jesus only the poor and unenlightened are willing to die for their country...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Kids... Stay in School

As I sit taking a break from my job making new online gambling games I read an article about John Daly who has reportedly lost 60 million dollars playing slot machines. Wow. When I told people at work they couldn't believe that anyone could do that... slots are so boring and unsexy. Then I showed them a picture of him and they understood.

Michael Jordan, seemingly the winner of winners, has also lost millions gambling. What is the attraction?

People, if you are going to be addicted to something, don't make it sex, drugs, gambling, or food. Make it something healthy like demonstrating against the War in Iraq. The war was created by oil execs to raise oil prices. How many billionaires were created by this? Is it a coincidence that these are all Bush's friends? Even if it isn't, let's assume it is.

When supposedly educated democracies like The USA elect conservatives into office the effect is copied throughout the world. That's why we have a wave of conservatism spreading throughout the world. To lead the world... you have to be a leader. Westerners, you have to show the world that we are not would-be tyrants who only use democracy and freedom as a marketing tool to seize record profits and buy new yachts.

Oh yeah. And kids... stay in school. In fact, stay in school and study computer science. I could use some help over here.