Fötter lämnar tyngdens avtryck i sanden,

fåror och linjer visar livets mot- och medgångar i handen,

men om ditt hjärtas sorg och glädje måste du själv berätta,
för det lämnar inget spår annat än i själen


Waiting for Santa

Sipping on my second tumbler of Bushmill’s (my favorite whiskey), something nice and warm begins to enclose me. Sure, it’s the booze you say; well, maybe the drink does its part, but I think it’s something else.. I’m beginning to realize how my parents (and mostly my mother in that case) felt, at 23:30, half an hour before the 24th of December (which is when most people celebrate Christmas in Sweden).

I’m the only one awake now; Janet, Alexander, Filip, and Janet’s mother (“mommo”) are all sound asleep. I can hear the sound of the dishwasher in the background. I’m done! I’m finished with all the things that felt staggering this morning. The tree, the ham, the gingerbread house, the toffee, the house cleaning, the last-minute-and-then-last-second-shopping.. and now it’s all done.. so I can sip some more Bushmill’s.

This is probably the best part of Christmas for me .. this, and seeing the face of my children when they open their gifts and see the mountains of candy (they don’t care much for ham and herring yet 🙂 )

Of course, I get to do it all again in 24 hours, when I’ve survived Christmas Eve, and sit back to sip on another tumbler with more Bushmill’s in it. Hooray! Thanks to Mark Kerr for showing me the way of Bushmill’s, and thanks to Colin Turner for doing the millenium thing.

I think I’ll take the next sip for my mother, who passed away much too young, at the beginning of December, 14 years ago. And then, one for my brother, my sister, my kids, my wife, Axl (both of them).. hmm.. I might need a refill 🙂

Almost forgot..


Filip and the Daily News

Filip has shown a talent for imitating people around him, to the point where I soon have enough material for a stand-up comedy show.

Seeing him, and listening to him, walking around the apartment with either his plastic Builder Bob telephone or my cellphone, pretending to “be on the phone” is hilarious. His morning routine also include pointing towards the Daily News (“Dagens Nyheter”) newspaper, and after having it placed in front of him on the table, he gladly (and loudly) sits and reads the paper.

Look, it’s a real idol

Daniel Lindström

We were walking around in “Gallerian” (something similar to a common mall) in Stockholm when Filip and I decided (well, I decided) to have a sit down for a cup of coffee. On our way to the coffee break, we walked paste a queue of people outside a store. Turns out it was Daniel Lindström, winner of the TV production Idol 2004, sitting there, signing records and what not. With a camera in the backpack, it’s hard to resist snapping a few 🙂

I normally really dislike TV shows like “Idol 2004”; but for once, they managed to turn out a real talent with some obvious potential. The only disappointment (if you can call it that) so far, is that his own album sounds .. well, there’s not enough “umpfh!” in it. Daniel has got some real vocal potential, none of which were obvious in the samplings I heard. I’d like to hear Daniel and Carola do a cover of “If I can dream” (Elvis Presley) or “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (Guns N’ Roses).

Go check it out for yourself:

The album

Move on over gramps, you’ll need a credit card for this gift!

I have a solution to Friday’s banking problem!

The next time the children’s grandmother (that’d be Janet’s mother in this case) comes over with a cash/coin gift, we’ll tell her we’re sorry, but she’ll need a credit card to deposit the gift into our credit card transaction piggybank machine.

I think this gadget could be something for ThinkGeek or other outfit selling similar useful apparel. We could be talking about next Christmas’ ultimate gift idea here!!!

Cash is king no more; the king has left the building

So it’s Friday, and Alexander has his day off from daycare. So me, myself, I, Filip, and Alexander decide to go on a road trip to deposit the big pile of coins coming from Alexander’s piggybank.

It would seem only one out of every 30 branch offices of the SEB bank is equipped with an automated coin counting machine. Two of them happen to be close to or around the city core of Stockholm. So we go to the first one, because we’ve always used that one when we empty a piggybank and end up with a lot of coins.

I ask the “customer service agent” why the machine has a piece of paper on it saying that it’s out of order and will soon be removed from the branch office; she calmly replies that these machines cost the bank too much money, “there’s a lot of service required to keep them running y’know”. I ask here if the bank is worried that these coin counters will eat into the billions of SEK (Swedish Krona) that the bank is making for profit every year (!); the service agent is way ahead of me (?) and says “Well, maybe our whole company is making that much money, but not this branch office”. No.. ? REALLY?! What dimwit moron put her in charge of customer service?

So I tell Alexander we have to go to another bank because this bank doesn’t want our money anymore. He looks at me with that look that children use to explain that the grown-up world sure seems like a weird place. I mean, who ever heard of a bank that didn’t want to handle money?!

We arrive at the city center office of SEB, where the machine is working; we deposit the coins into my salary account to make it easier to transfer. Of course, it’ll take at least three days before the money arrives into my account. I mean, somebody has to run with all the little coins and physically put them into the account.. or, wait.. no, that was a hundred years ago.. these days we have something called electronic wire transfers; we can transport any amount of state secrets across the world in a flash, but it takes three days for Alexander’s deposited coins to appear on my account.

What is wrong with these people?!

What’s worse, of course, is that we as consumers accept the banks’ lame excuses and their eager beaver attempts at reaping an even greater profit.

Another cup of tea? Changing the 10D for a 20D

Having become familiar with the Canon 10D digital camera, I was more than a little bit excited when I read the specs and announcement for the 20D-model some months ago. I had been reading up on the 300D, but was and remain convinced that it is more of a “budget SLR”, aimed at the masses. The 300D is “comparable” to the 10D, and I’m sure that Canon will soon release a companion “budget” variant of the 20D.

Yesterday, I took the plunge and finally converted from my 10D to a 20D (we’re still talking about the camera here folks). You will find more information about the two cameras here:

Canon 10D
Canon 20D

I’ve come to like the 28-135mm IS (image stabilizer) USM lens, for general use. So it’s now a part of my new 20D-system. The 18-55mm allround lens that came with the 20D is short, light, and useful (if a bit limited). The new addition in the camera bag is the 100mm USM Macro lens, I can’t wait to take it for a spin. While I was at it, I upgraded the 512MB CF-card I had for the 10D to a 1GB “write-accelerated” (yeah, right) WA CF-card, and a table tripod.

Some of the “news” in the 20D include eight megapixel and USB 2.0, both of which are welcome additions!

Down here on the farm

My turn to spend some time @ home (“down here on the farm”) with Filip! It’s weird.. not having to be stressed and run around like a headless chicken in the morning to get ready to go to work. Janet did good this morning though, I thought she’d be a bit more “hysterical” (she doesn’t get hysterical really).

Currently, Filip has spread a box of diapers all around the hallway, his toy synthesizer is playing the same loop since 40 minutes, and I’m trying to get him to read “Network & Communications” (a Swedish wanna-be computer communications industry magazine). What do you mean he’s not old enough?! You gotta start early!

We’ll be checking back here with the Filip-story from time to time 🙂