Archive for november, 2011

November’s Bookshelf

November. I doubt we’ve had such a great autumn in Sweden for quite some time. Autumn is my favourite time of year, with all its colours it’s really inspirational. This month I’ve read several books in several different genres. I’ve read an amazing historical biography by James Wyllie, an inspirational read on leadership and industry businesses by Percy Barnevik..and I also started anew on Margit Sandemo’s beloved romantic series: ”Legend of the Ice People”.


Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World is written by Yang Erche Namu, a Chinese pop singer. Sorry to say, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. To me it felt bland, and missing of the essence that makes the words come alive.


The Best Technology Writing 2010 put together by Julian Dibbel.


The Warlord and the Renegade by James Wyllie tells of the Goering brothers and their distinctive traits, goals, and hopes while telling of their special relationship with each other. Hermann has always fascinated me the most out of all the ”big” nazi generals/figures. Why? I can’t say, but reading this book really convinced me that Hermann was more interested in the miliraty itself rather than the nazi ideology – and the fact that he hated communists above all else, is no secret, not to him, not to anyone. James Wyllie writes a great book with focus on Hermann’s actions and thoughts in relationship to his brother Albert. A brother who did everything he could to save jews from the growing hands of the Third Reich, but also actively working against war manufacturing and support of the German war ”machine”. Truly recommended read – follow the link and you can read two of the most memorable quotes from this book.


Jag vill förändra världen, an autobiography by Percy Barnevik. Percy Barnevik is a big name in the industry world. I found his book a very interesting read, very much due to the historical re-telling of his time at Asea/ABB. I very much appreciated and enjoyed reading about his moments with many successful people, from Wallenberg to George W. Bush.


Legend of the Ice People, #1-6, an almost legendary, or at least well-known, series written by Scandinavian author Margit Sandemo in the 1980′s. A series in historical romance, Legend of the Ice People begins with a young woman, Silje Arngrimsdotter, who lost her entire family in the plague rushing through Norway in the 1500′s. While on the brink of life in the cold outside the city walls of Trondheim, Silje meets with a dark, intimidating creature with unnatural sharp shoulders, and there the story begins…

During the course of November, I’ve read the first six novels out of 47 in the series. They are an easy read, 3-4 hours/book, but the story is captivating (!) – Margit Sandemo is clearly an exception in my reading genres, Legend of the Ice People is one of the few romantic novels that I can barely put down once opened.

The biggest problem with agreeing something in a group is that someone always have to compromise. And if that someone doesn’t know this useful ”skill” it always ends up worse for everybody else involved. I remember a conversation I had with my neighbour a while ago when we accidently fell on the subject of politics – oh, this sensitive area of discussion – politics is like walking on thin ice, luckily we ended up having quite a decent conversation of it all, she told me this:

How should I choose which party to give my vote..? What if I agree with 9 out of 10 things that a party promotes, but that last thing is something I really don’t like [...] – I can’t lay my vote on something that I don’t agree with to 100 %.

I told her that she would never find a party that agreed with everything she thought, and that everyone needs to compromise. You take the best of what you get – can’t eat the whole cake on your own, you gotta share.

ABB . Learning the Story

Since February I’ve been a full-time employee of ABB’s HVDC company. It has been an amazing learning experience and everyday there’s something new. Like with all my ”projects”, and everything that I engage myself in, I give 110 %. Sometimes it is frustrating, because things don’t always turn out the way you expect. But being firm in what you want, is always the best step forward.

What I found fascinating about HVDC and ABB during my working periods while studying, was that not many people knew about Sweden actually still having great industry, even less so a high technology frontier like HVDC-technology. Because that is what it is. I truly believe HVDC is a thing for the future.

I remember my first time spent in Ludvika. This was by the department who assembles the thyristor and IGBT valves. There was a man there named Glenn. He had been working at ABB (ASEA) for all his life, and he shared many stories with me. History is a subject warm to my heart, I read a lot of historical books, both fiction and non-fiction… so in a way it is natural that I searched for a read of the history of the company at which I spend my days.

So when Percy Barnevik, entreprenaur and long time industry leader and manager of ABB had his memoirs published in the middle of October, I just had to read it. It is a great read, where you learn not only of ASEA, the fusion with bbc, and the hard times due to the acquisition of ce (Combustion Engineering, US), but also about Barnevik himself, his thoughts about life and the people he met. I’m only half way through yet. But I’m learning the story from the man who sat in the very centre.

Google Translate

Now I can finally announce the addition of Google Translate onto this blog. You find it on the right at the very top of the columns. Everything to make your reading easier.


It has been an eventful November so far. At work we are in the middle of changing into a new document database system – something that is not entirely easy on many points. It is not only the fact that it does not share many things with the old system, but it also has its problems – problems that must be solved before we leave the old. Among other things, we are still discussing how to best implement the concept of generic documents in the new database system hence it seems its an issue that none has yet thought of. Until the last couple of weeks.

Other than that, I’ve been in the works of cataloging my department’s many documents that up until now has only been present in 12 year old printed files with handwritten comments. This is easier said than done, but at least making up a thorough list of things will hopefully give the overall handling of documentation at the department more structure. Wish me luck.

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