Saturday, January 17, 2009


I've been trying to get a picture of this sign all week, and I finally did, but Yan's is better so I'm using his. Its tricky because its about half way up the huge escalator in the subway.

I don't speak or read Swedish. Sometimes its better that way....for instance, I interpret this as 'Somone is selling blondes for 60 kronor' (that's about CDN$ 9.00). While the idea intrigues me, I have several questions:

1) Who do I call?
2) Is there a catalog so I can pick, or do I get what I get?
3) Are there volume discounts?
4) Is shipping and handling extra?
5) If so, whose going to be 'handling' my blondes and how?
6) What does it typically cost (per blonde) to maintain them?
7) Do I need an export license from Sweden to take them home?
8) If friends of mine back home want some blondes am I allowed to charge them extra?

I love this I said, lots of interesting signs..... :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Walking Around Stockholm

I've been too busy working to do any real sightseeing yet, but the office I spend most of my time at this trip (so far) is within easy walking distance of my hotel, so I've been taking advantage of the opportunity to get some exercise.

The sun has shined three days in a row so far, this is a huge improvement over the previous trip, and I've actually seen the sun (not just the reflected light) each day. It still gets dark early, but the days are getting longer.

I took this picture on the way to work. And yes, I stood in the middle of the street to take it. Most streets (this one included) have a little pedestrian safety zone in the middle, so I wasn't in danger of getting run over (OK, not much danger). I liked the light reflecting off the building in contrast with the deep shadows.

There is construction everywhere, hence the scaffolding.
It was colder the other day. Wind chill made it fill like -9, which made the walk to work a tad brisk (I walked faster). I'm taking the subway back tonight, not just because of the cold, but there's another sign I want a picture of (more on that later).

Sweden is full of interesting signs, like this one that I found yesterday. No mother in laws...... :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Frankfurt and Beyond

The flight to Frankfurt was uneventful. Security there was tight....tighter than last time. I got a a very thorough going over, but made it to the gate in time to board.

They made me check one of my bags. The self important clerk at the counter decided my tiny camera case counted as a third carry on bag (thought that might happen) and so I checked the rolling bag in at the gate. Forgot that had my other two lenses in it, but they appear to have survived the ordeal intact. I tested them out when I got to Stockholm.

I'm at a different hotel this trip. The rooms are nicer, and bigger. When I get a few minutes I'll post some pictures. After an hour or so to clean up, get changed, and get online, we went into the client's office, where we stayed for five hours or so before heading out to eat. Got back to the hotel around 1am local time, so I was pretty wiped at that point.

Sweden Round II

Montreal here I come. I know, that sounds backwards, but I fly from Halifax to Montreal, Montreal to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Stockholm. Three flights in less than 24 hours.

Since I have a lot of time to kill here, no internet connection, and I don't really feel like reading, I thought I'd take some time to blog a little bit about my latest trip to Sweden.

The flight in from Halifax was largely uneventful. The plane was a CRA 100 regional jet, very tiny. I did get a brief visit from my good friend Klaus T.R. Phobia. Klaus and I are old friends. He doesn't usually visit me unless I'm in a very confined space. I had a window seat, the guy next to me was huge, and my carry on suitcase just fit under the seat, not leaving much room for my long legs, while the cabin roof was brushing the top of my head.....gulp.... :)

I was better when the air came on. As I waited for us to roll out to the runway I closed my eyes and thought good thoughts until I felt the plane move. I love take off. As we started to roll I could feel the engines spool up to speed, and a little voice in my head said 'kick it'.....they did, and we lifted off without incident.

The skies were very clear, and I stared out the window while we flew over Nova Scotia, and then out over the Bay of Fundy. Looking down I was able to see Cape Split clearly, which I haven't climbed in a while (far too long) and then the eastern shore of New Brunswick. After the fasten seatbelt sign went off I took a couple Advil Cold & Sinus, put the seat back, and did my best sleeping impersonation. I didn't sleep, but it was somewhat restful.

Roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes later we landed in Montreal. I had just a twinge of pain on the right side of my face, but it didn't last long. That's what the Advil is for. Without it pain, if it comes (its highly unpredictable) could range from downright annoying to the point where I'd be very afraid that I was NOT going to die. Yeah, it can get that bad, and when that happens it lasts for days, so to have that happen on the first of three landings I'm doing in the next 24 hours would be double plus ungood.....double double plus plus.....

They made us get off on the tarmac, and walk to the terminal. Kept my jacket off because I was warm, and it was a short walk. The cold air felt nice, and by the time I got inside the pain had subsided. Just a little bit of pressure there now, almost unnoticeable, which is a very good sign. Next landing tomorrow morning in Frankfurt, so that's good. Time between landings helps.

I have quite a bit of time to kill here. About four hours between flights. I'd have to pay for an internet connection here (unlike Halifax) so I'm writing this 'offline'. Maybe the next post will be on the perils of being offline. :) I'll probably write something on the plane (maybe a couple somethings, had an idea), we'll see.

I'm sitting in the restaurant, staring at what I believe is the plane I'm taking to Frankfurt. It is, an Airbus 333. A great big giant tube with wings. Klaus doesn't tend to visit me on those, so this is very good.....

I had a steak and fries for supper. Really didn't need the fries, but I haven't eaten much yet today, and something is better than nothing. The steak looked suspiciously as though it had been pre-grilled, flash frozen, and then nuked by the famous chef Francois Le Poof. I wish I could take credit for his creation, but he's the creation of whoever masterminded a series of brilliant local radio commercials for a great Halifax resturant named Dofsky's (

No pictures with these travel posts. I carry a digital SLR, and while security here seems fairly tolerant of picture taking, I have no wish to attract their attention. They have the ability to make Dante's 9th ring of hell look like a summer picnic with friends. Besides, there's not that much to take pictures of here. The moon is beautiful, big and fat and low in the sky, but its just above one of those walkway thingys, I'd have to shoot through glass at an angle.

I'm getting more interested in candid street photography than I've been in the past. Quietly catching people in public from so far away they have no idea they're being watched, and then posting that online might provide some entertainment for both myself and you my readers. We'll see. Last night there was a lady at the Rainman basketball game who looked a lot like Caribou Barbie.

There are a lot of gate change announcements flying over my head. Must make sure I don't get too distracted.

Still no sign of my co-workers. I was pretty sure they were on the same flight that I'm on, but maybe they're arriving here in Montreal with less time to spare than I have, or maybe they found a better place to hang out than a seat at the gate. (They got in later, and eventually appeared).