Archive for November, 2008

The Julkalendern

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Having kids and living outside of sweden has made me more protective of swedish (and polish) traditions than I probably would have been had I stayed in Sweden. Therefore, I’m especially excited every year when christmas time comes around and I get to see the swedish Julkalendern (The swedes have a kids show every day leading up to christmas, starting on the 1st of Dec, to go along with opening  a ‘window’ in the Advent calendar).

Last year’s show was excellent and was available online, but the site or our connection didn’t seem to be able to handle streaming it, which resulted in me having to go through various illegal channels to get my hands on the show. It ended up working just fine, aside from the fact that it made me an outlaw.

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The Imperial coolness factor

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Calm down, I’m not talking about Star Wars. I’m talking about the Imperial units.

Like most people that moved to the US I have the  utmost hatred for the Imperial units. It’s beyond me that this system is still being used by any civilized country on the planet. Did you know that there are about 3 noses to an armpit? Yards, feet, elbows, whatever. It makes no sense.  Ask anyone on the street, citizen or alien, and they won’t be able to tell you how many yards to a mile (1760, and I had to look it up).

I’ve actually had people here ask me how many meters to a kilometer. Are you kidding me?! Sorry, the conversions are just killing me. Miles/gallon to lit/mil, sqft to m². I’ve had several home improvement project where I’ve had to measure stuff, and had I not been extremely careful about what I say around my kids, they would have been damaged for all eternity (Dad, where the f*#$& are you? Can you come and read this f*#$& book to me?).

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Going to concert, feeling old

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Yesterday I went to a concert at a local venue close to where I live. My good friend suggested I should see this band called Wintersleep that he really likes, so I thought I’d stop by and check it out. I prepped hardcore by listening to their latest album on repeat about 10 times, making sure I could sing along, or at least recognize some of the songs.

Finally, after work, I was somewhat pumped. I got to the place way ahead of time, not really knowing when Wintersleep was going to play and as it turned out they were the opening act, before two other bands. Excellent! There would be no need to stick around if the other bands happened to suck.

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Glögg making fool

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Today we made Glögg for the first time. In all my years living in Sweden I have never actually made it myself, but since it’s not sold over here, and we ran out of our imported-by-parent-or-swedish-friend bottles of Blossa, the wife finally conviced me we need to make our own.

It turns out that it’s not that hard to make, and we’re pretty close to the final product and it tasts mighty good. Why haven’t we tried this before? Has easy access to store-bought Glögg killed our desire to experiment in the past? Probably.

In any case, I’m pretty happy about keeping the tradition alive….

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Price of gas

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

We do a lot of driving here in the US, and in the last couple of months, as most of you know, the price of gas has plummeted. Probably not as much in Europe as it has over here due to the dollar having gained in value against other currencies lately, but I figured it out, and it has fallen about 55% or so from when it was at its peak. Even though it’s not going to stay this low for long, I’m enjoying not spending a fortune at the pump these days.

The downside of this is of course, that more people might feel that the renewable energy issue isn’t as critical anymore… I don’t know who those people are, but I’m sure they exist. In Alaska maybe?

Anyway, that was my deep thought for the day.

Liberate yourself from an old email address

Monday, November 17th, 2008

I’m sure I’m not the only one with 433423 different email addresses, trying to keep track whom I’ve given out what address. Below is a wired.com article describing a pretty good way of cutting your ties.

Back in the 1990s, you were an early adopter. You got yourself an Aol.com address or a Hotmail address. Or, you were issued an e-mail address when you signed up for your residential internet access, which you handed out to everyone as a badge of honor.

Times have changed, and that old address is a black hole for spam. You never check it, and you don’t want to. But your stupid ISP, your stubborn family members and high school buddies insist on sending you important things there….

Read the rest of the article here.

Han shot first

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Yesterday my daughter got all 6 of the Star Wars movies for her birthday from a couple of our friends. She was ecstatic, and to be honest, so was I. Once I looked closer at the original trilogy covers, I also noticed that the bonus discs contain the Original Theatrical versions of the movies. I didn’t even think they existed anymore, with the possible exception of someones old and worn out VHS tapes. I was definitely not expecting them to be bundled with the newer versions.

So, this morning I enjoyed Han shooting first again, for the first time in years.

Free penis? WTF?!

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Sweden amuses me sometimes….. I’m glad the tax money is well spent.

Swedish health authorities have sparked controversy with their decision to supply free prosthetic penises that are not fully functional to transsexual men.

Ottar, a monthly magazine published by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, said the prosthetics will be available to women seeking to undergo a sex change operation starting Jan. 1, 2009, The Local reported Thursday.

The move was designed to promote equality due to the publicly funded wigs, breast implants and hair removal operations available for transsexual women.

Read the rest of the article here…

If the other party wins

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Looks like we’re screwed either way….

A little bit of the good ol’ crazy

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Election is tomorrow. Finally. What we also vote for here in the US besides the candidate for the presidency and representatives for congress are different Propositions. Propositions are basically issues that have gained enough support publicly, but not received any attention by various politicians in power. In any case, it’s pretty much the closest for of direct democracy we have here in the US. They get put on the ballot and voted on.

The proposition that has, by far, gained the most attention is Proposition 8. A ‘yes‘ on 8 would mean a ban on gay marriage that would be written into the Constitution and a ‘no‘ would leave things as is. Meaning that gay marriage would continue to be allowed and recognized under California law.

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