"stockholm by me"

Photo blogs are a dime a dozen these days. I was old enough to understand I wouldn't become rich or famous and yet I started a bunch of new ones. What drives me?

I like words. I like writing. I want to write. I need to write. I keep writing wherever I am. Ask any colleague and they could tell you about endless emails on all sorts of topics. Writing, that's me. So what could be better than publishing? The web log is perfect for that. Simple, cheap technology, available to anyone these days. Yes, a web log. (At least one!)

Words are what makes me tick. Doesn't have to be my own words. I love being an "editor". The person who brings stuff together from several contributors into a seamless flow, tries to put it all together into something appealing to the reader. And then provides feedback. "Hey folks, next week we need something about this." The unsung hero of publishing, the editor. I'd love to become one and I'll keep on training as long as my friends allow me to... ;)

Last but not least I want to learn about photography. Getting those photos every month in very different circumstances is good training. After all, I'm not a very good photographer. But I intend to become one. Stay tuned for that...
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"stockholm by us"

I'm not a very good photographer. That would take some talent and - besides - I got my first camera at age 39 so I consider myself junior in the area of photography. I do like snapping photos and given enough effort I'm able to find some nice shots once in a while. There are zillions of photo blogs in this world so one might wonder what would be the point of starting not just one but several new ones for Stockholm. Well, I wanted to and together with some friends I did.

First you need a topic which isn't already fully covered. Like Stockholm. There were a number of local photo blogs when we started in October 2005, some of them good but sometimes lacking in focus. They are mostly run by single individuals which means that when that person has other stuff to do the blog dies for a while (much like the one you're reading!) and when that person travels somewhere the blog is suddenly about an entirely different place. We wanted to "do" Stockholm, always Stockholm, very much of Stockholm and Stockholm in many different ways - since we're fortunate to be a team.

Then you have to find your niche. We noticed that many who publish their own photos put a lot of effort into the picture and then forget about the rest. Wouldn't it be nice with a caption, a comment, some clues on what went through the mind of the photographer? Yes, we said, and that would become our niche. Shouldn't be a novel but some words to go with the photo.

Spending many hours every week on this kind of a project requires a bit of motivation. I'll return to that topic another day.
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So I did get myself an autumn week in Scania after all. I deserved that! Beside delicious fish, warmer weather, more daylight and friendly people I got to see a bit of successful city planning. I'm talking about the railway station Svågertorp or Malmö South. Yes, it's a noisy and windy place but it's a commuter's paradise. At the intersection of two highways you have access to all sorts of regional train connections, be it to Kastrup or Lund, Gothenburg or Humlebaek. A thousand cars, maybe more, patiently wait for their respective owners who didn't have to drive into central Malmö for their train connections. Why can't we have decent satellite stations around Stockholm? Learn from Malmö and do it now, please!


going the extra mile

Sometimes you find yourself in the swim of things.

Scene 37, take 1:

Me in one lane. I'm doing fairly well. Slower than last year since I had to take a break for several months due to an injury but there's still hope. Back in the weekly routine now, sort of.

In the next lane, this guy. A bit faster. Not much but keeping a steady pace I can't follow. So what, he might give up after 500 meters like so many others, I think to myself. Oh no. He continues and swims the same distance I do. Same pace all the way. Ok, so he's a bit better but I'm improving too. He leaves the pool before me. Then I notice. This guy has only one leg.

Curtains, please.
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from Baghdad to Rotebro

-They’re still out there by Stockholmsvägen. Shall I drive the same way back again?

The bus driver is evidently shaken. Her bus has just been bombarded with stones by a gang of youngsters. One of the windows is merely a memory. The line ends at our commuter train station, she’s supposed to pick up passengers and drive the same route back. It’ll take about two minutes to reach the spot where the attack took place. Finally an answer on the radio:

-Drive the usual route. Call us if it happens again.

It’s a warm summer night, I might as well take a walk but if she has to go through this, so could I. During the two minute drive we talk about previous attacks, about how different windows in the bus are not equally resistant, about a passenger being injured on the same front seat where I'm sitting. When we reach the spot where stones were raining ten minutes ago the kids have fled or maybe they found another pastime.
Random violence has become routine. From Baghdad to Rotebro, evil is all around is.
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deadly cooperation

Remember that spider? Well, he’s still around. Nights are getting darker and he’s grown considerably during summer.

Quantum theory (at least the tiny portions I’ve been able to absorb) teaches us that one cannot observe the world without interfering with it. It turns out that my spider is a good illustration. Nights are getting darker and he knew exactly what he did establishing base camp outside my window. I turn on my lamp and the light attracts scores of flying-something’s out of which he usually grabs dinner as well as dessert. To be able to follow his activities better I turn on another lamp just beneath the net. And guess what? The light from this second lamp guides his dinner-to-be straight into the net. So it’s a deadly cooperation really. He provides the “entertainment” and I support his diet.
Incidentally, here are a couple of colleagues from last year.
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am I still here?

Yep, sure am.
I just don’t share the notion that bloggers have to keep writing constantly regardless of whether they have anything to say or not. Right now I’m happy writing, recording sound, snapping photos and editing our three blogs stockholm by... pixels, plenty and waves. Do check them out, won’t you?
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prime-time violence

Something is flickering and spinning outside my window. I try to ignore it. After all, I’m terribly occupied Doing Something Important. The flickering and spinning continues. There’s a frenzy of activity in a spider’s web out there. Reluctantly I take a closer look. A semi-small flying-something (well, you know my expertise in the field of insects) is entangled but moving. His (?) antennae are flickering wildly. He’s not alone out there. The Systems Administrator for this particular Web 2.0 is busy preparing and packaging his catch. All of a sudden the flickering ends. The spider climbs upwards out of my view but still very much in control because soon enough the package is being lifted, also out of sight. The flying-something is now officially someone’s dinner, ending this episode of prime-time violence. [...and now, the weather forecast]
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hooray … or something

They’re young. They’re good-looking. They’re noisy. Incredibly noisy, in fact. They own the streets or at least pretend they do. They’re celebrating. Did they pass any particular exam? Nope, those were abandoned decades ago. They’re celebrating that school’s out. In fact school’s out every year but now they’re done with the mandatory part. Ehm, well most kids celebrating were done with their mandatory studies two or three years earlier. Ok, so maybe they’re celebrating that they won’t be studying any more? Probably not - many will be heading directly to the University. So what’s the noise about really? I’m definitely getting old. Let’s just say it’s summer.
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What happened?

People change. We grow older, possibly slightly wiser although in many cases that’d be subject to debate. Our preferences change. What used to be a priority doesn’t even show up on the radar screen any more. What happened?

As an example, take yours truly and watching televised sports. A couple of decades ago I was totally absorbed by big sports events. I was even known to schedule vacations to fit the Olympics or Wimbledon. I spent hours upon hours watching those broadcasts, taking notes, speculating. I even rescheduled my daily life when there were time zone differences to handle.

In the early nineties I skipped most of the long live broadcasts and went directly for the daily summaries of what had taken place. Half an hour instead of several hours.

Then I stopped bothering about the early qualifying stages. But I still followed the finals; the most important stuff as long as it didn’t collide with other things.

And now? I might browse quickly through the sports pages in my daily paper. TV is off.

What happened?
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andra om TV


April in Smygehuk

Smygehuk in Scania, that’s it mate. If you want to go further south you’d have to leave Sweden because this lovely but windy little harbor is The End. Go see.


unidentified flying comrade

I don’t care much for insects. They’re great bird food and they probably do a lot of useful work but we have sort of a mutual agreement. I ignore them and they’re perfectly busy so they ignore me as well.

However, there is one exception. The first flying insect is solid (well) confirmation that winter is gone. Minutes ago a flying something bumped twice against the outside of my window. I guess that makes it officially spring. Minutes earlier the final series of this year’s ice hockey championship ended as well. And those green-and-white fellows won today.
Say no more!
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March in Växjö

The sun still a bit tentative, spring is in no hurry by Växjö Cathedral
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I drive, therefore I am. Well, not necessarily.

But I do drive occasionally. In the right lane. Given good visibility and fair weather I’d set the cruise control to 70 km/h if that’s the limit on this particular road. Some fellow drivers find this pace a bit too modest and choose to overtake me in the left lane. Come to think of it, most of them do. Evidently they’re all important people with better things to do than respecting whatever laws apply to the rest of us and with a limited interest in road safety. The left lane, that’s where the action is.
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voices and wings

World renowned clarinetist Martin Fröst and pianist Roland Pöntinen gave a remarkable performance in our Concert Hall tonight. Their music ranged from classics by Schumann to contemporary Hillborg. Add creative light, choreography and a background film on DVD and this was something special. Watching Fröst move across the stage performing a duet with himself (also moving!) on the screen behind was fascinating. What a concert!
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February in Karlstad

Go see.

Same excitement as always when it comes to qualifying for the ESC. Flags were waving all over town on a windy day by Klarälven..

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slow down

Without any insight into today’s bus crash north of Uppsala I obviously can’t shed any light on that fatal event and won’t try to comment. Having traveled extensively by bus through the years I’d still make the following general observation. Given the excessive speed, insufficient distance to preceding vehicle and apparent nonchalance from too many bus drivers I’m surprised that serious accidents are relatively few and far-between. Again, without hypothesizing on today’s crash – let’s slow down a bit. Now.
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weaker in Åre

In case anyone missed this there are World Championships in Alpine Skiing underway in Åre, Jämtland, Sweden, hooray hooray and Sweden has had more than its share of success and medals yada-yada.

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old something, can I just add the observation that the rules are biased in favor of small countries like… Sweden. How come? Elementary, Mr. Watson. There is a cap on the number of participants per country.

This doesn’t bother us, for obvious reasons we couldn’t send more than a handful of top skiers in any discipline. But suppose a country like Austria has ten or fifteen world class skiers for the downhill competition. In a regular World Cup race all ten could take part. When there is a World Championship (or indeed in the case of the Olympics) only a few are allowed to start. Therefore, by definition, the field is weaker in Åre than in an average World Cup event.

So beside good timing, the home crowd and a bit of luck there are other reasons why Anja Pärson has her best week of this winter.
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two years later

Still blogging. Not very focused recently but I keep writing just for the fun of it. Anyone brave enough to follow, let's see what new per spectives await.


dead serious

Some have sensed it for decades. Many realized this in recent years. Now everyone knows. There’s no denying anymore. We’ve got an environmental crisis on our hands which could threaten the life and wellbeing of people all over the globe. In fact, if we cannot turn the tide our planet could become unfit for human life within a couple of centuries.

It would be a fascinating experiment in maturity and compassion for generations to come. If it wasn’t for the fact that we’re all locked into the risk laboratory. The clock is ticking and it’s not a movie. It’s dead serious.


still standing

Paid a visit at the cottage again after three weeks and two major storms. No particular damage to be seen, apparently Dad did a good job building this some 40+ years ago. The only unpleasant surprise was that a valve had been literally pushed in through the cellar wall leaving a hole where the relative warmth of the cellar was rapidly escaping in these cold nights. A few more nights and we would have had frozen water pipes to deal with. Lucky timing.
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messy, indeed

New Year was reported to have been messy in parts of the country. Messy. What kind of word is that? My kitchen table is messy, to put it mildly. Here we’re talking assault, rape, drunkenness and arson. Messy, indeed.

January in Malmö

- My bike is the seventh in the third row.
Or was it the third in the seventh row?
Which one is yours?
Environmentally friendly parking lot by the Central Station in Malmö.
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