Thursday May 08, 2008

The decay of the Swedish model

I just read a good blog entry about the decay of the Swedish model which touched on many subjects discussed during dinner today.

People here (in Sweden) seem to think the someone else will take care of it. It is not my problem, but someone ought to do something about it. Why isn't the government doing anything about it?

Why not do it yourself?

Monday Apr 07, 2008

Shopping list

I'm headed to California and Menlo Park on Friday, and my wife has as usual given me a shopping list :)

With the dollar as lows as it is, I'm going to do some shopping myself. I'm going to buy a Time Capsule, not that I really need an extra 1 TB disk, but the rest of my family (whom I've converted to Mac) never remember to turn on the external disk I've attached to their computer - so Time Machine is useless!

And for myself, I'm going to get two 1 TB disks for my Drobo, which is 97% full at the moment. I'm squirreling away too much, but it is hard to throw away stuff... I've even got things stashed away on other external disks, but that data isn't mirrored which I don't like.

Since I got a digital video camera, I never seem to have enough disk space. I can't wait until our house is built and I can set up my U40 as a file server - 8 \* 1 TB should last at least until the end of 2008 ;)

Friday Mar 28, 2008

Consumer terrorism

I'm going to war!

Unfortunately I can't blog about why, when and how yet, as I'm taking legal actions, but as soon as that is resolved I'll post it here.

Meanwhile, I'm looking for good info on consumer terrorism, like this book, and other ways to get back at the <beeeeeeeep> company that caused me considerable monetary damage and have wasted months of my time.

I've already registered a domain name where I'm going to push all information and documentation about this case, and I am thinking about typosquatting the company's site :)

Like my old boss said when I told him about it: Never pick on a pedantic security puke!

Wednesday Dec 05, 2007

Johann Lipowitz is back

Johann Lipowitz (David Armand) is back with two new hilarious mime acts:

Thursday Sep 20, 2007

S/Y Talalla

I'm a boat owner! Last week my brother and I bought a sailboat together, S/Y Talalla. She is a 25 foot (7.62 meters) folkbåt from 1969 built of pine oak.

This weekend we plan to sail from Ängelholm to Skillinge, a trip which should take about three days if things go according to plan. I'm really exited to go sailing, I haven't done that since I was a teenager. Hopefully it won't be too cold...

During the winter we plan to work on her and fix her up a bit, so she'll nice and shiny for spring. Then we plan to sail to Denmark on the weekends to buy beer :)

Tuesday Sep 18, 2007

Death by powerpoint

Unfortunately I have experienced many presentations like this...

Monday Sep 03, 2007

Movie suggestion: Cidade dos Homens

We went to the premiere of Cidade dos Homens (City of Men) the other day. Having seen all the episodes of the TV series with the same name, it was no question that I would see the movie.

For those of you who doesn't know anything about the TV series or the movie, it is about two boys, Acerola and Laranjinha, who grow up in a (fictitious) favela in Rio de Janeiro. Through the TV series you get to follow them from the early teens to their 18th birthday (in the movie), and how they try to stay out of trouble. The subjects ranges from things at school, girls, making a living to staying alive (and away from the drug dealers).

© O2 Filmes

The movie manages to combine humor and serious issues in a perfect blend, to make you feel for the main characters. It also shows the ugly side of Rio, with gang wars between the different favelas, where innocent people can get killed just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

You really should see it in a movie theatre, as the film is beautifully shot with stunning views of Rio from the top of the favelas, which will be lost if you see it on a TV.

© O2 Filmes

Once the movie is released (in your country) I highly recommend you to watch it. I'll see it once more with subtitles, as my portuguese isn't good enough to catch all nuances, and they use a lot of favela slang which I'm not used to.

Cidade dos Homens will leave you with a sad feeling but not with despair, and watching it will help to illuminate the problem.

Friday Aug 10, 2007

A walk down memory lane

A week ago my wife Paula and I went to an 80s part in Catete (an old part of Rio de Janeiro) together with some of her friends. At the beginning of the evening the DJ played US and UK music (and even Roxette who are Swedish), but at a certain point he switched to Brazilian music from the 80s - and then I really feel like a gringo :)

As soon as the intro was playing people would scream and the dance floor got flooded, while I would try to recognize the song (Paula has subjected me to a lot of local music), and then they started singing along. The music he played has no memories attached to them for me, while they got a misty look in their eyes of teenage flashbacks - sort of how I would feel if he had played Tainted Love by Soft Cell.

The last evenings I've been reading a book I gave Paula some time ago, called Almanaque Anos 80 It even has its own community on Orkut. The book has a chapter on music, so when I read it last night I decided to listen to some of the golden oldies today.

At the moment I'm blasting the office with 80s music:

While watching the old music videos above, I made an interesting discovery. Nena, who I thought was very beautiful when I was a teenager, looks very much like my wife! I'll let you be the judge of the likeness:

Wednesday Aug 08, 2007

The Foreigner's Guide to Living in Slovakia

One of my friends is now a published author! Mags has written a book about all you need to know to get by as a foreigner in Slovakia. It deals with everything from the tourist basics to information which is invaluable if you are going to live and work there.

It is called The Foreigner's Guide to Living in Slovakia and is available on Amazon but if you want to buy it you should do it from the web site for the book. Amazon uses on-demand printing and the pictures doesn't look as nice as they do in the real thing.

And yes, I've actually read the book. I got an advance copy of it when I visited in May :)

Sunday Aug 05, 2007

The difference between growing up in Sweden and Brazil during the 70s and 80s

It has been a rainy Sunday, so my wife and I spent the day indoors. We ended up discussing the difference between growing up in Sweden and Brazil (during the 70s and 80s), especially children's shows on TV. It was a huge difference, until 1985 Brazil was a dictatorship influenced by USA, while Sweden was far out on the left side with the socialists and communists running the country (by mandate of the voters though).

When I watched TV in Sweden the only thing available was, either socialist propaganda for kids or educational shows, but every once in a blue moon something normal appeared. I recall preferring to play with LEGO over watching TV, as most of the shows didn't stimulate me, but since they only had one or two things for kids per day, it wasn't a too long break from my constructions. Below are some samples of things I watched as a kid.

An educational series about food and the body called Maten och Kroppen

I love the collar of his shirt and his sweater, soooo 70s!

Here is the opening of socialistic propaganda show called Vilse i pankakan, where one of the main characters Storpotäten (the big potato) clearly is a "capitalist pig". This show is said to have ruined a whole generation who all had nightmares about Storpotäten who would "own you" (put you in his pocket).

While I was bombarded with propaganda and educational programs to make me a good citizen, my wife in Brazil got to watch foreign series, like Land of the Lost or the Japanese the Spectre men, all dubbed in Portuguese. They also had a bunch of shows produced in Brazil like, Xuxa and Picapau amarelo, where the first one is and the second one. One thing that struck me when we watched clips of Xuxa on YouTube was that she was very scantily clad for a children's show, at least with my brain-washed socialist eyes.

The opening of Picapau amarelo

Xuxa - compare the clothes of the first clip and the second, when they tried to launch her show in the US.

While they got to watch tons of cartoons in Brazil, we got to watch animated clay figures from Czechoslovakia. There was only two times a year they showed "real" cartoons on TV in Sweden, during Christmas and during the summer vacation, but only once a day mind you. I guess that didn't want us to become Americanized!

The opening of Trazan Apanson the show that aired cartoons once every morning during the summer. It was the only thing that could get me up at 0900 am!

One of the TV series I clearly remember is Galaxer i mina braxer, sa Kapten Zoom which depicts our post-industrial society with phenomenon like trade, corporations, environmental pollution and democracy. It had an anti-capitalist message which became very clear in the last episode. Unfortunately it isn't available on YouTube.

One of my favorite shows were Sant och sånt, which actually was recorded in the city I grew up, but that was not the reason I liked it. They managed to combine science with humor to show how things work without taking the seriousness out of science and without making the jokes boring.

I think this show is one of the reasons I grew up to be an engineer...

Monday Feb 05, 2007

Tag - I'm it!

I've just been tagged by Dave in the latest form of chain mail (not the kind you wear). I'm supposed to write five things you don't know about me, and tag five new people:

I'm a climate refugee

I grew up in Holmsund, a small, boring town in the north of Sweden, and even though I liked the winters - 6 months of snow it more than enough. I've had to open the kitchen window and jump out to dig out the front door, as it fell over one meter of snow during the night! So I moved south to get away from the long, dark and cold winter - and I've never regretted it a single day.

I've been to 6 continents

Since I like to travel I'm managed to go to Europe (duh), Asia, North America, Africa, Australia and South America - in that order. The only place I have left to go is Antarctica, which isn't going to happen anytime soon, but I'm heading back to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro during the Swedish summer, to visit my mother-in-law. We'll actually stay for about 3 months - I work just as well there as I do here.

I spent every evening during high school in the photo lab

I got my grandfathers photo gear when I started high school, and bought a book about how to become a photographer, and spend almost every evening for a year in the dark room. Luckily I realized that I was better at programming than taking pictures, so I started spending the evenings in the computer lab instead.

I used to play underwater rugby

This is a very obscure sport! It resembles rugby, but is played under water! The goal is between 3.5 and 5 meters down, and the ball is filled with saltwater so it slowly sinks and can be passed 2 to 3 meters.

I used to work as a bartender

Before I got a full time job as a computer geek, I used to be a bartender. It was fun for a while, but dealing with drunk and obnoxious people really isn't my thing...

So what victims\^Wfriends should I pick... I think these will do: Steve, J, Igor, Valerie and Joakim (only in Swedish).

Thursday Dec 28, 2006

Getting married!

I'm getting married! On Sunday the 14th of January 2007 at Karlaby Kro I'm tying the knots with Paula, the love of my life!

Picture taken on the 17th of December 2005 at our engagement in Brazil

For those of you who are bummed out that you haven't been invited I've got two things to say:
a) it will be a very small wedding with just the family, and
b) there will be a big party later when our house is ready, so we can bring all of Paula's family over, and then all of you who think you should have been invited will be

We have just spent 3 days in Malmö looking for the ring and an outfit. It is not the right season to look for something nice to wear - everything is black! I guess it is the New Year celebration which imposes those rules, but we finally managed to find something suitable to wear which wasn't black.

By the way, what do you think of the resemblance to my South Park picture?

Saturday Nov 11, 2006

Wear sunscreen!

Here's a column written by Mary Schimch which I found to be funny, witty and clever.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99.

Wear Sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year- olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Mayber you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody's else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Dont' be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will Look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Friday Sep 01, 2006

Weekend in Poland

This weekend my fiancé and I are going to spend at a spa in Poland, to celebreate my 0x25:th birthday. I'm looking forward to pamper myself for a few days and spend some quality time with the woman I love!

Me: What was that?
My fiancé: Your life.
Me: That was quick! Do I get another one?
My fiancé: Nope, sorry.

Thursday Aug 31, 2006

A loo with a view

A place for the needy...

This very modern looking toilet is supposed to be located in Houston.

Would you have the nerves to utilize this toilet?




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