augusti 31, 2007

It's here

A big box showed up on our rainy doorstep today.

Here's the nifty apparatus for dropping it to street level.

We've got some work to do, but at least our place is no longer empty!

Posted by leo at 03:31 EM | Comments (0)

augusti 30, 2007

Göteborg Walk of Fame?

Göteborg has an amuseument park, Liseberg, and in the sidewalk in front of the entrance there are stars in the pavement, just like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Most of them seem to be Swedish names I didn't recognize, except for, of course, ABBA:

But there was a rather eclectic group of non-Swedish names as well:
I thought they were all music related, until I saw Albert Eistein.

Posted by ali at 02:38 FM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday!

Hope it is a relaxing one, Katrina!

Posted by ali at 02:37 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 29, 2007

Vad är det?

Here we go again. What is this a picture of?
Answer to last week: That was a piskställning. Literal translation: whipping/beating place. No, no, not a torture device; people hang rugs on them in order to beat them clean. I've never actually seen anyone doing it, but these contraptions are located outside of just about every apartment building around, and it isn't surprising to find one in the backyard of a house.

Posted by ali at 02:40 FM | Comments (5)

augusti 28, 2007

One of my favorite things

Kanelbullar, aka cinnamon rolls. We found a good bakery down the street. Yum!

Posted by ali at 11:45 FM | Comments (1)

augusti 27, 2007

Did I do that?

We've been out exploring everyday and there is quite a bit to see in the neighborhood. One thing we didn't expect to find was the World's Strongest Dog. Don't let that cute little face fool you; he was throwing that concrete lion around like a rag doll. I think next time, the owner better tie him to a spårvagn.

Posted by leo at 03:19 EM | Comments (0)

augusti 25, 2007

Wake up, Jones!

It's your birthday! Hope you have a happy one.

Posted by ali at 02:53 FM | Comments (2)

Awww, nuts!

The container full of our stuff has been delayed, so the place is still empty. We've only got this one borrowed chair.

Posted by ali at 02:51 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 24, 2007

Some perspective

For those of you who may be dismayed at US gas prices, just remember it could be worse. Fuel prices here are well over the equivalent of $5 per gallon.

Posted by ali at 04:02 FM | Comments (1)

augusti 23, 2007

Kräftor galore

Crayfish are considered something of a delicacy here in Sweden. We had the good fortune of seeing how they are caught when we stayed with some friends out in the countryside a couple of weekends ago. Crayfish are to be trapped the night before the big feast. Here is how they do it...

First, you bait the traps with fish parts.

Next, close up the traps.

Pile the traps in the boat and row around, strategically placing the traps in the water. The traps are attached to strings, which are attached to floating wooden blocks so you know were to find them in the morning.

After collecting the traps in the morning, each crayfish must be measured (we caught almost 150 with 30 traps).

Those larger than 10cm are kept (we had 86 keepers); smaller than 10cm are released.

Don't they look appetizing?

When the water is boiling, in they go.

After being cooked and cooled, it is dinnertime.

Leo even tried a tiny bite.

Posted by ali at 03:15 FM | Comments (3)

augusti 22, 2007

Vad är det?

Time for another one. What is this a picture of?
Answer to last week: Good guesses, everyone! But the picture was of cages used to trap kräftor (crayfish). I'll post pictures of the entire process soon...

Posted by ali at 02:27 FM | Comments (5)

augusti 20, 2007

Strange Fruit

Göteborg had a culture festival this past weekend, kulturkalas, and here was one act from Australia featuring people moving around on top of bendy poles:

Posted by ali at 02:34 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 19, 2007

60 years in The Promised Land & still going strong

Today, father Hans has been in the US of A sixty years. Here he is rowing in Central Park in 1947, soon after his arrival. Congratulations pop!

Posted by leo at 06:16 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 18, 2007

Spårvagn revisited

You can still ride on a vintage tram that was used when the first electrified ones were introduced in 1902.

Posted by ali at 02:19 FM | Comments (1)

augusti 17, 2007

Another year...

Happy Birthday, pop!

Posted by ali at 03:43 FM | Comments (0)

Do they ask for directions?

Even the clouds here seem to follow the highways:

Posted by ali at 03:39 FM | Comments (1)

augusti 16, 2007

One of the best things

Almost every street here has dedicated bicycle and walking lanes. Love it!

Posted by ali at 04:24 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 15, 2007

Vad är det?

Time to guess again. What is this a picture of?
Answer to last week: That picture was a cluster of some kind of algae covered bivalve attached to a concrete pier in the ocean. It was too cold to go swimming that day, but water was clear and otherwise quite inviting!

Posted by ali at 02:44 FM | Comments (5)

Instead of earthworms

We've been pretty lucky with the weather so far--mostly warm, sunny, bright blue days. For the past couple of days we've gotten the occasional rain shower, which brings out the slugs and snails.

These guys are about 4 inches--I mean 10.2 centimeters--long. They look like dog poo, and are just about as annoying to avoid stepping on.

The snails are prettier, but can also be easy to step on.

Posted by ali at 02:03 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 14, 2007

Berry delicious

We have raspberry, gooseberry, red currant and white currant bushes growing in our backyard. Yum!

Posted by ali at 04:57 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 13, 2007


Happy Birthday, brother Sam!

Posted by ali at 03:53 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 12, 2007

Such a hard life

We spent this weekend relaxing in the Swedish countryside.

Here is the little stuga we stayed in, just big enough for two:

Here are a couple of the other stugor, plus the nicest utedass (outhouse) on the planet:

Here is the main house on the property:

Thank you, Noréns!

Posted by ali at 03:06 EM | Comments (0)

augusti 09, 2007

How Corny

We had to fill up our FlexiFuel car for the first time today. We put E85 in it; that's 15% gasoline from dead dinosaurs and 85% ethanol from fast growing Paulownia trees. Look for the blue handle and fill it up.



Posted by ali at 03:10 EM | Comments (1)

augusti 08, 2007

Vad är det?

I am introducing a new game. What do you think this picture is?

Posted by ali at 04:23 EM | Comments (7)


This is the control panel for our washer/dryer combo unit. One should not need to be a rocket scientist to be able to clean one's skivvies. The clothes did come out smelling better than when they went in, so I guess I'm doing something right.

Posted by ali at 04:19 EM | Comments (1)

augusti 06, 2007


We went swimming at a local lake this evening. Leo learned the hard way that one ought to pay attention to the signs that forbid diving into shallow waters with rocky bottoms.

Posted by ali at 03:17 EM | Comments (2)

Happy Birthday!

Greetings from your motherland!

Posted by ali at 11:58 FM | Comments (1)

augusti 05, 2007

Grocery shopping expedition

We've already been to two IKEAs and four Home Depot/Lowes equivalent stores, but our first trip to the grocery store yesterday was the most exhausting and entertaining. Here are a couple of highlights:

How many Americans does it take to make each bottle?

This was in the international aisle. Of all things they could import...Marshmallow fluff?!

Of course I like cheese, but I'm not so sure about having it mixed with ham, bacon, shrip, or crayfish and squirted out of a tube...

Posted by ali at 11:32 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 04, 2007

How many years now?

Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mary Anne!

Posted by ali at 03:57 EM | Comments (0)


Yesterday morning I woke up, looked out the window, and thought I saw a dog walking very strangely, until I realized it was this huge hare just walking down the middle of the street. Then in the evening there goes a mama and baby deer walking down the other street. I wonder if this kind of thing will be a regular occurance?


Posted by ali at 03:51 EM | Comments (0)

augusti 03, 2007


The tram has been running in Gothenburg since 1879. Originally horse driven, later electrified, it's still the prefered method of transport around the city.

Ali went for her first ride yesterday.
Spårvagn #3 and #5 stop just down the block from our place, so we can zip around the city lickity split. They're clean, fast, airy, convenient and easy to jump on and off of. Each ride costs about 2 bucks.

One more thing: You can pay via text message (SMS) using your cell phone: It's true!

Posted by leo at 09:56 FM | Comments (0)

augusti 02, 2007

I have a personnummer, therefore I am.

We visited the tax office today and received the almighty personnummer (kind of like our SSN). It's used in every way to identify yourself (taxes, benefits, salary, credit, healthcare, banking, etc...) so you don't exist in Sweden until you have one. Now we're no longer individuals, we're just a couple of numbers in the socialist machine.


Posted by ali at 02:29 EM | Comments (4)

augusti 01, 2007

We finally made it!

We got a very warm welcome to Sweden from little Tim. It was nice to hang out with someone who knows the Swedish language on about the same level as I do.

Posted by ali at 03:49 EM | Comments (4)