oktober 31, 2007

Vad är det?

What is this?

Answer to last week: Denise was closest. Leo was wearing a harness so he could use something that can only be described as an industrial strength weed whacker. Insead of the plastic string that whips around to cut up weeds, there is a heavy-duty blade that can cut down small trees. It is too heavy to just carry around, so it clips onto and hangs from the harness so your shoulders bear the weight and your arms are only used for maneuvering.

Posted by ali at 02:19 FM | Comments (4)

oktober 29, 2007

Apparently, there is some crime in Sweden...

...and it is all directed at this poor Saab. I guess this family is tired of getting their car broken into. The rear window is made of soggy paper & tape. It was parked with the glove box open to show passers-by that there's no valuables in there.



"Hi & welcome to our car. There's nothing left to take. DON'T DESTROY ANYTHING ELSE! We don't have the time or money to fix it."

Posted by leo at 01:01 EM | Comments (0)

oktober 28, 2007

Does the millionth cyclist win something?

A couple of the bike paths have automatic counters. Ali was cyclist number 402 today, number 431847 this year on this stretch of road.


Posted by leo at 01:56 FM | Comments (0)

oktober 26, 2007

Who knew?!

So, are you supposed to choose one of these shampoos based on what you (think you) are, or what you want to become by using it?

Posted by ali at 10:16 FM | Comments (1)

oktober 24, 2007

Vad är det?

What in the world is Leo all geared up for?

Answer to last week: That is a close-up of a stud on a winter tire. They are required on all cars here between December 1 and March 31. We had just picked up ours the day that picture was taken. Here is a wider shot:

Posted by ali at 01:54 FM | Comments (7)

oktober 22, 2007

Say what?!

Here is a tongue-twister for you--basically the Susie sells sea shells of the Swedish language:

Sju sköna sjuksköterskor sköter sju sjösjuka sjömän.

I hope I spelled everything right.

Posted by ali at 03:41 EM | Comments (0)

oktober 21, 2007

Hello Flo

We got our new lease car, and decided to name her Flo, after her license plate. Flo is powered by a small diesel engine with a 6 speed manual gearbox.

Posted by leo at 11:42 FM | Comments (2)

oktober 19, 2007

I'd be angry too

What can I say about this one? (Spotted in Cologne, Germany)

Posted by leo at 12:31 EM | Comments (0)

oktober 17, 2007

Vad är det?

What is this?

Answer to last week: That simple, thin piece of plastic is the standard Swedish ice scraper (isskrapa) for car windows. In the states everyone has these fancy-schmancy tools, but they never work any better. These even fit nicely in the glove compartment or even a door pocket. We have already had a few mornings of heavy frost when Leo had to scrape his windows before heading to work, and so far this is the only thing I've seen anyone around here use. I'm sure they are for sale, but more likely than not people usually get them for free, so they tend to have advertisements on them.

Posted by ali at 01:02 FM | Comments (6)

oktober 15, 2007

Very amusing

Last night Ebba, Leo and I went to Liseberg, the local amusement park. We rode on Balder, one of those old-school style wooden roller coasters. In case you are wondering, I'm trying to keep my brain from rattling around inside my skull.

The last day of the season was closed out with fireworks. They didn't last very long, but I must say they were quite impressive. NYC could actually learn a thing or two.

Posted by ali at 03:34 EM | Comments (1)

oktober 14, 2007

Give me my money

In the US, there are ATMs everywhere so you never really stand in line for one. Here in Sweden, they're pretty much only at banks (never at gas stations, convenience store, shopping malls, etc...) so it isn't uncommon to see a (sometimes long) line. To make it more complex, people only want to use their own banks ATM, so two friends out in town who use different banks effectively wait in line twice. For us, it's bizarre to see people waiting in line to get their own money, and even more peculiar since almost every business takes cards. What do they do with the cash anyway?
Reminds me a bit of the Russians during the 1980s, waiting in line for bread & toilet paper.

Posted by leo at 03:07 FM | Comments (0)

oktober 12, 2007

Trouser Press

I always thought the Trouser Press in hotel rooms was there because if you're staying in a hotel, you've probably got a suitcase, and in that suitcase, you've probably got clean (but wrinkley) clothes. Turns out, the Trouser Press is to straighten out the wrinkles in the dirty clothes you showed up in so that you can wear them again tomorrow in the crowded & poorly ventilated meeting room with your colleagues.
This guy never even opened his suitcase.

Posted by leo at 12:07 EM | Comments (0)

oktober 10, 2007

Vad är det?

Here we go again. What is this a picture of?

Answer to last week: My mom is two for two, it was a svampkniv (aka mushroom knife) that Ebba was nice enough to provide for me. Here Leo is warming up, getting ready to face the ferocious svampar we are about to encounter:

Posted by ali at 01:01 FM | Comments (4)

oktober 08, 2007

Formel 1 Frukost

Every Formula 1 qualification & race is broadcast on basic cable. Due to the time difference, the Asian venues make for a cozy Sunday breakfast on the couch. Glory Halleluja, there ain't no Nascar or other silly redneck games to be found.

Posted by leo at 04:01 EM | Comments (0)

oktober 07, 2007

Doing our part...

...to contribute to global warming. Claes & Elizabeth are preparing to build a house, so it's time to clear the land.
tomten (1).jpg
How many Swedes does it take to start a fire?
tomten (2).jpg

Maybe they should consider a houseboat instead.

Posted by leo at 02:02 FM | Comments (0)

oktober 06, 2007

Doesn't happen in New York

The shop owners on a street (Danskavägen) in our neighborhood were celebrating their Fall evening hours by decorating with candles and giving out free apples.

We can think of a few reasons why this sort of thing wouldn't work in the US:
1. Everyone would be scared that somebody poisoned the apples.
1b. Somebody actually would poison the apples.
2. One moron would immediately take all the apples so that the street would be decorated with empty baskets.
2b. Another moron would then steal all the empty baskets.
3. Lawyers would not allow the open flames due to risk for personal injury.
3b. Someone would actually manage to burn themself (probably by parking their Hummer on top of the candles).
4. Someone would steal all the candles.
4b. The guy who stole the candles would burn himself and call a lawyer (ref. #3).
5. Kids would think it was fun to throw the hot wax at each other, at which point their parents (who ARE lawyers) would get involved.

Posted by leo at 03:28 FM | Comments (0)

oktober 05, 2007

Since when?!

I always thought we spoke English in America, but apparently we have our own language (see dictionaries below for proof). Who knew?

Posted by ali at 01:41 FM | Comments (0)

oktober 04, 2007

Does this answer your question, Veronica? While we didn't test any out ourselves, we suspect the chicken may have overindulged a bit.

Posted by ali at 01:14 FM | Comments (2)

oktober 03, 2007

Vad är det?

What is this a picture of? Please be more specific than "a tool with a knife at one end and brush on the other."

Answer to last week: One of my mom's guesses was right: it is a tool for putting out candles, as Leo is so marvelously demonstrating. It is called a ljussläckare, which translates as "candle extinguisher."

Posted by ali at 01:53 FM | Comments (5)

oktober 01, 2007

As big as your head

This is it. We've hit pay dirt, ladies and gentlemen: the mushroom that hungry wanderers have fantisized about for generations. Most hunter-gatherers will go to their graves only dreaming of a catch like this. Food to feed an entire platoon of starving soldiers. The king of the forest. The highly sought after 'karljohansvamp', also known as porcini. Wickipedia says: "The scientific name, Boletus, from the Latin stem bolet-, meaning "superior mushroom" and edulis, meaning edible, explains the species' culinary qualities." Thank you Wikipedia; you've said it well. And what a specimen it was.
karljohansvamp (1).JPG

After using a Caterpillar bulldozer and our chain saws to tear the karljohan from the earth, we split it open with a mighty ax and found kilos of fresh untouched meat. Not as single grub (or moose) had made it's home in our treasure.

The strongest (and cutest) soldier amongst us hauled the fallen beast to the slaughter using our most formidable wicker basket.

We prepared it over an open fire using the traditions handed down through the generations (and butter, salt & pepper).
karljohanb (1).JPG

Finally, fresh hot mushroom sandwiches for all the hungry, wet troops.

Posted by leo at 02:21 EM | Comments (4)