Obdormio.com Unwasted Hours

30 April, 2012

Elegy for Øre

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

As of tomorrow, the 50 øre coin is no longer legal tender in Norway.

50 øre coin

Not to scale.

The Norwegian krone is divided into 100 øre, but the 50 øre coin is the last physical representation of this. It’ll still be possible, as far as I know, to pay a bill at the bank with a sum including øre, but when using cash, the concept is effectively gone.

And I can see why, much as I am a nostalgic fart trapped in my own rosy vision of the past. I never use the damn things myself. Tiny little coins taking up place in my wallet, to be ditched at the first possible opportunity, which is rarely when making a purchase. Most of them probably ended up in various charity collections, cheap-ass as that is. A coin that doesn’t circulate is a waste, and getting rid of it makes sense. Even so, it feels a bit like we’re losing something, with the øre disappearing.

I am just old enough to remember the 10 øre coin, which was discontinued when I was six. My grandmother had an old tin piggy bank which consisted of two halves joined at the middle; to open it you pulled the whole thing apart. That thing was filled to the rim with 10 øre coins, stored up over time as that coin, too, ceased to have a use in circulation. As a child, i would empty them all into a big pile and then reassemble the pig and put them all back in one by one.

In hindsight, perhaps my parents should have had me tested.

Anyway, the point is, I have a lot of nostalgia tied up in the øre, and now it’s disappearing. There’s something about the phrase “kroner og øre” that fills me with the same kind of pleasure as the term “pound sterling”. Not just “pounds”, mind you, it needs the “sterling”. It is nostalgia, but somehow not just nostalgia. I don’t know how to explain it. It hits just the right spots in my brain.

Yeah, I probably won’t miss the coin. It’s a stupid coin, you cannot buy anything with it. But I’ll miss the concept of the øre as a tangible thing.

5 April, 2012

A Post without Any Myst at All, except in the Title

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

We have previously established that I am a huge pokémon nerd. We also established that I’m a generation or two behind everyone else when it comes to actually playing the games. During a recent trip to England, I came across a copy of Pokémon Black at a discounted price, and as the full price was already a good bit less than the Norwegian one, this was a bargain I jumped on. The reason it was discounted was probably the not too recent announcement that Black and White 2 are coming, so I am still behind the curve, but I might actually catch up with it before the next release.

I haven’t played too much yet; only now that Easter is approaching did I really have time to sit down with it. I don’t feel ready to do a full review, and don’t see that one would be needed in any case. If you’ve played any pokémon game, you know the gist of it. Travel around, kidnap random, possibly sentient, creatures, and force them to battle each other in gladiatorial blood sports for your amusement and social advancement. There’s a lot of them, and you should capture one of each, for reasons of scientific curiosity. Beyond that, it’s all bells and whistles – but important ones, to be sure.

In lieu of a review, then, have some random thoughts about the game instead.

1. Having to hold B down to run is a step backwards.

In SoulSilver there was a simple toggle switch, always available on the touch screen, which was a much better solution.

2. The touch screen is filled with the damn C-gear.

I get that the C-gear is cool and all, but I play with a DS Lite, which is terrible at the whole connecting to the Internet thing, and I don’t know anybody else who plays, so I very rarely need it. I would much rather have the more often used menu items readily available here, like in SoulSilver.

3. The L key no longer acts like the A key.

Wah, wah, everything was better in SoulSilver, wah.

4. The graphics are great.

Generation IV looked good. This looks great.

5. Snivy is adorable.

Lookit that face! I know grass type isn’t the greatest, but this one looked too cool to pick anything else (see also: Bulbasaur). I named mine McSnooty.

6. The Team Plasma storyline is interesting

Storyline isn’t the strong suit of Pokémon, but in this game the villainous team’s objective seems to be to liberate all pokémon from captivity by trainers. After really dodging the whole blood sports thing for however many games, it’s interesting to see it actually engaged with. I suspect it’ll turn out the Plasmas have hefty ulterior motives, though.

7. Team Plasma has a kick-ass battle theme.

I get so pleased every time I get to battle a Plasma grunt. Just listen to this thing!

Pumped!

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