Monday Sep 03, 2007

Off to present at Linux World Sweden -- Of Opera and Weightlifting

In a few hours I'm off to Stockholm and Linuxworld Open Solutions Summit Sweden, taking place this Wednesday.  Thanks to Patrick, the member of our team based in Sweden and I think the only Liverpudlian in Eskiltuna, I have one of the two keynote slots at the end of the day.  In fact I'll be the warm up act for Marten Mickos of MySQL who'll be the other keynote and final speaker of the day.

Its a small world after all 

What makes this trip particularly cool is a small world story that my Dad told me recently.  I told him I was going to be presenting in Stockholm and he told about how he almost became a Swedish opera star. 

 
Dad winning the gold at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952

In 1953, a year after the picture above was taken, my Dad was competing in the world weightlifting championships held in Stockholm.  He and a teammate were relaxing before the meet and singing operatic arias and duets and were overheard by a Swedish sportscaster named Bengt Grive.  Through a series of connections the sportscaster got them hooked up with a singing coach and booked for a week's run at the China Theatre, a very famous venue of its day. 

My dad asked me to keep a look out for the theater when I was there and see if it was still around, thinking that most likely it had been knocked down and turned into a parking garage.  If it was still around he wanted me to get a picture of it.

Well in chatting with the folks in Stockholm, not only is the theater still around but it turns out it is part of the same exact same complex where the summit is being held! 

When I'm there I'll definitely get pictures of the place and it will be interesting to see if they have any historical archives on site and Ill see if I can find any record of the event.

Turning his back on Stardom

Although the engagement went well and they cut a record (a 78 I think) due to obligations back home dad had to forgo stardom in Sweden.   He did return however in 1989 when Swedish television brought him back for a "This is your Life" type show for Bengt. 

Well this is my first trip to Sweden and who knows what fame and fortune await me! (I do know that given that I didn't inherit my Dad's voice,  it probably wont involve singing :)

Pau for now...

Tuesday Mar 20, 2007

The Other Three are...

In answer to Saturday's Bar Bet, the Patron Saints of Scotland, England and Wales are: Andrew, George and David.

    
 St Patrick - Ireland
 St Andrew - Scotland
 St George - England

St. David - Wales

 

Whats particularly interesting, which my boss Simon (I had to put in this glam shot ;-) turned me on to, is the fact that Union Jack (technically the Union Flag) is actually made up of the flags of the three of the four guys above:

Flag of St George + Flag of St Andrew + Flag of St Patrick = Union Jack

Turns out the reason St David didnt get his flag included is because Wales was a principality and not a kingdom.  Thats a bummer cause I think it would have been totaly cool to have a dragon right in the middle of the Union Jack! 

Pau for now...

About

I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.

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