Hobbies

I'm glad I have many hobbies, otherwise I'd be a hopeless workoholic. All I have to do is call it "hobby" and then, voilà, people think I'm "having a life" instead :o)

Here is a list of my hobbies, ordered by frequency....

Music

Music is my most active hobby, it takes up quite a lot of my "free" time. Luckily my wife Sophia is into that stuff too, so our house is completely littered with instruments and other music equipment - piano, trumpet, alto sax, electric bass, drums, cello, keyboard, a few acoustic guitars, an electric guitar, pan flute, a few recorders, kazoo, didgeridoo, and some other assorted weird instruments. All in all I'm glad we don't have any wall-to-wall neighbours...

During my younger days I did alot of home recordings, alone and sometimes together with friends (some of this material is available on the homemade music page). My favorite style is funk-fusion-jazz-blues-soul and, lately, latin styles such as salsa, samba, and bossa nova.

During the past few years I haven't had so much time for home recordings, but I've had all the more time for live gigs. I'm involved in several bands and orchestras playing bass or piano, with gigs about once per month on average, everywhere from jazz clubs to weddings to private parties to outdoor festivals.  Great fun!

I used to play saxophone (even drums, once!) in local "spex" (comedy theatre group orchestras at KTH), and I did quite a few arrangements for the orchestras as well. I still do play with them sometimes, but then mostly playing bass - saxophone requires a lot of practice and since I'm not so disciplined about that I find myself never really improving on sax, which is a turn-off.  Orchestral arrangements are very fun to make, but it takes a &%¤# of a long time, especially because I'm inexperienced with it and have to fight the scoring programs before I get it right.

Here is my proud spex track record:

  • Dataspelet '93 "Ada": played alto saxophone, made arrangements.
  • Fysikalen '94 "Billy the Kid": played alto saxophone, made arrangements.
  • Kårspexet '94 "Tsaren": played electric bass, made arrangements
  • Kårspexet '95 "Einstein": made arrangements
  • Dataspelet '95 "Chicago": played alto saxophone, made arrangements
  • Kårspexet '96 "Rockefeller": made arrangements
  • Fysikalen '96 "Gandhi": played drums
  • Kårspexet '97 "Maria Stuart": made arrangements
  • Dataspelet '97 "Sherlock Holmes": played electric bass
  • Fysikalen '98 "Jeanne d'Arc": made arrangements
  • Dataspelet '99 "Hermans Historia": played bass and made arrangements
  • Until recently I was involved in 3 bands but now I've decided to calm down a bit so I'm only involved in two: The ones I dropped were: In addition I do a lot of stand-ins. So if you need a stand-in bassist or pianist (and you are near Stockholm...) then contact me, I enjoy playing with new people.

    Gaming

    As long as I can remember, I've always loved games. Especially games that involve elements of strategy and roleplaying. Me an Mattias played all sorts of home made roleplaying games when we were only 10. In high school we played role playing games based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and, later, Harnmaster rule systems.

    Now a days I don't have time to play role playing games as much (roleplaying is only fun if you can get involved really deeply), in fact I haven't done any roleplaying at all for several years.  Instead I've been playing games that don't take quite as long time, for example board games and computer games.

    One of my all-time favorite board games is Warrior Knights, an all-weekend game which combines roleplaying, feudal politics, and warfare.

    I'm also into Go, a Japanese chess-like game. I haven't played so much lately, though, so if you are a good player then I probably don't have a chance.  Here is a good site for learning how to play go and practice on people over the net: http://igs.joyjoy.net/

    Chess is a game that I'd like to learn properly, but right now I'm not that good at it.

    As for computer games, during the past year I've become a great fan of Age of Empires.  I challenge you to a match over the net any day!  My user name in Microsoft Gaming Zone is "HenrikKniberg". Sometimes we gather up a bunch of people at my house (8 people last time!), hook up our computers, and play Age of Empires the whole weekend! Now that is fun!

    Here's a list of other fun games that I've tried and enjoyed, all are multi-player:

  • Stars!
  • Civilization II
  • Ultima Online
  • Sailing

    Every year I try to go sailing for at least a week or two. My family owns an Albin Express, a convenient 8-meter sailing boat with space for four to live aboard. The Stockholm Archipelago is incredibly beautiful and the best way to enjoy is to sail around, casually island hopping with a few friends, lots of good food, and a guitar.

    By the way, that dog up there in the photograph is Quincy, he has his own fan club:

    Skiing

    Ever since I was a tiny kid I've been into skiing. Not a complete fanatic, but at least some kind of ski trip once per year.

    Skiing is an old hobby of mine - I've been skiing about once a year ever since I was a tiny kid.  Once, in October 1996, I decided that I wanted to go skiing in the Austrian Alps. At that time I hadn't done any serious skiing for some time, and had never skied in any "cool" places with reai slopes.  So I convinced Mattias and a bunch of other friends to join, and off we went to Bad Hofgastein in Austria.

    We had such a great time that we didn't have any choice but to do it again next year. This time we were a few more people, and went to Sierra Nevada in Spain instead. Another great trip!  That time we brought a digital camera and a portable computer, and documented the trip on a daily basis.

    Needless to say, we were even more hooked now so we had to go the next year as well. So, early 1999 we all packed off again - this time back to the original scene of the crime.  Bad Hofgastein.  This time we had two digital cameras...

    In 2001 we went to Avoriaz in France, also documented online!

    ... so, I bring to you the official skigang site - www.skigang.org - full of silly pictures and jokes from our trips!

    Here's a highlight from the site - a video cap of the skigang swooshing along together and then suddenly tumbling together in a mass of arms, legs, and skipoles! Just click on the picture (the size is 200k)

    The burst of laughter behind the camera is Stefan...

    Windsurfing

    Surfing is a new hobby! I'm a total amateur, but I'm learning fast cuz I have a great teacher - Sophia. I'm lucky enough to live 100 meters from a beach, so I really don't have any excuse not to learn.  Well, I guess the climate is a reasonably good excuse - it is unsurfable here (from my point of view) at least 60% of the year!

    Anyway I can stay on the danged board even in pretty strong winds. I'm not so very good at turning yet though, but that's not so important is it?

    Scubadiving

    I used to scubadive about once per year a while ago, but then it became once every other year, and now - well... not so often at all. Hobbies take time, and money. I don't own any scuba-gear so I have to rent stuff every time I want to dive (once the gear broke and all the oxygen disappeared while I was diving... not so fun!  That's why you dive in pairs...).

    Having grown up in Japan I was also quite spoiled with nice diving places like Malaysia, Saipan, Thailand, Australia (the great barrier reef is a must-see). Warm, crystal clear blue tropical waters. Now that I live in Sweden I must confess that I'm not really too excited about diving here. The visibility is no good and the water is cold. Go ahead, call me a wimp :o)

    Now I probably wouldn't even remember how to put the damn gear together...