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Week 41 - A Plane Week

Honey, Where Are You? Ah, you're in Riga! Alrighty then. Better get up early. Take the car to the bus. Catch the bus. Get to the airport. Board a plane. Read a magazine. Land. Stand in a ten minute queue to the way too small but otherwise pretty luxury bathrooms at Riga International. Get into the city. Buy six packs of pollen, some wax, some honey bread, some honey, some Black Balsam and green tea, get back late night and ride the commuter train tired, lights white and bright, memories from a brief visit that almost seem like a dream flickering through my mind. Have I really been abroad at all?

It didn't take much longer to get to Latvia than it usually takes me to get to work, and just a little longer on the way back, in a small SAS 2x2 seats/row plane.

In Latvia the sights were bright and wonderful - blue skies and sun away from this week's unbreakable barrier of cotton-gray cloud here in Sweden. We toured the Old City, the parks, a bridge covered in padlocks, ate raw food at a new school cafe, visited the market, and supermarkets, and barely managed a quick dinner at the airport - mozzarella sticks, fries and beer-brewed onion rings before our departure. Not as cheap as city-food, but good!

They had some Black Current ice cream bars too. Interesting fish. Huge watermelons. The people were humble and serious, and seemed to have lived a harsh life without much English education. I hadn't learned much Latvian either. Communication was... interesting.

I bought a dice made out of amber as my one souvenir and potential lucky charm for the future. The city was nice - with old, pompous, but somewhat rundown buildings. Masterful architectural remnants from the Russian occupation looming in the distance, along with modern skyscrapers in shimmering metal and glass. Quite a contrast.

I didn't really expect it to be so much fun to travel, but I hope and look forward to going back to Riga again. Maybe for more than a day next time. Maybe with a bit better lingual skills in the Latvian language too. As it was, the only thing I could remember was Bez Glutena (without gluten). I should've memorized Baldies at least. Thank you. Had to look up that word after each awkward conversation, and the next time... Placebo? Please? Labile? What was that word?! I ran through my phrases-to-remember the day after the trip (the trip was Tuesday btw), and plan to go through them again in a week. Repetition on day 1, 2 and 7 days (or was it 14?) is supposed to be a surefire way to commit something to mind. Pondering getting an audio guide too.

Needless to say though, though I've said it already: it was a good trip! We took a minibus to and from the airport - which is just half an hour outside the city, and didn't stray too far from the city center - admired the view over the river, and then headed back. The weather's been hella gray and depressing all of this week in Sweden, so it was really the right time for a trip! Here's a few photos:

The Park

Read on...

Week 40 - The Sweet Week

I went to Choklad & Bakfestivalen this week, a fair for all those who share in the culinary arts and passions of chocolate and goodstuff. There were plenty of samples. Fudge, ice cream, drinks, and of course tons of chocolate. Mostly 65% or higher, plenty of 70 and 85%; even some bitter hundreds.

Arla was there to showcase their acidified cream, Riktig Glass (Real Icecream) offered some unusually healthy spoonfuls - with cane sugar the only unwanted additive. Honey and Saffron was heavenly. And speaking of which: Heavenly and Beriksson are a couple of other brands that stick to mind. The personnel of the latter served their samples clad top hats and tuxes - very polite and friendly, and the former just had really tasty chocolate, though there were more exhibits there than I've kept track of, and more delicacies than we were able to taste, and a few shows we missed coming in after work as we did.

They served plenty of licorice, chocolate-coated coffee beans, hot sauce, ecological soda from Italy, whisky and liquor if you were willing to pay a bit extra (I'm not that type of connoisseur), etc. I tasted some sea salt with roasted birch, champagne fudge, RAW food candy, and plenty of not-nameless-but-not-remembered regular bits of cocoa brick. It was great, though I couldn't sleep for shit the night after. Chocolate fair before bedtime = not a good idea!

The fair was housed in the same building as another one for home-owners btw, so we toured that one as well a while. Nice showcases of different-type decor and super-expensive bubble baths, pools and saunas. Can't say I contemplated buying one, but I do dream...

(Sample price: 85,000 SEK for a 2x2m hot tub.)

Otherwise it's been a busy week again... though aren't all? I had some troubles with the site migration that took a bit of time earlier this week, but that's all detailed in last week's post. I've been catching up with Project 2016 posts this weekend, and I'm almost done with it! The weather's been cold. Orange leaves swirl around. Some days the sun came through, though this weekend's been all rain and no trip to Vaxholm as we pondered. Next weekend maybe! And before that, a quick one-day trip to Riga. Btw, I was featured in an interview... sort of. :)

On the blog I've posted 6 reviews, this this this this and this. Until next time you tune in for the CDB Weeklies! Or before then - to some other posting boasting less or most pens. Until then. It's been a pretty sweet week.

Week 39 - Madness! And Moves

I went to a couple of concerts this week - the last two of the year at the sköna Gröna Lund venue: Refused and Madness!

Both were amazing, and on that final one the crowd was huge.

Apart from the increase in crowd, you really notice the difference in professionalism when it comes to international bands compared to the somewhat less famous ones too. They're appreciative, but not as humble. They're energetic, but they don't have as much to lose. They're surprisingly coordinated and comfortable on stage, though maybe that's not strange for a band that's been together forty years. Damn that's a long time. I'm looking forward to attending as many concerts as I can next year, and hoping to post a recap on this years rooster soon, along with relevant music videos and what-not. It's been a blast.

All in all, even without the concerts, this was a busy week, and this weekend my parents drove down from the summerplace with a car packed full of berries and variable greenery. We've packed the freezers, fridges and filing cabinets, and started to settle down somewhat. I should've been settled in since a long time now, but after a month of solo housing it's a big lifestyle change for everyone.

The site's been migrated to a new server too. Did I mention that last week? And that server move didn't go at all as it was supposed to.

The move itself went smoothly, but I kept logging into the old panel - not knowing it was still stationed on the old server, and made a bunch of updates that were removed entirely after the transitioning phase was complete. One morning the changes just weren't there!

I had a recent backup, fortunately - taken right before the move began, and was able to restore the recent weekly dose of reviews and musical content, but I hadn't backed up the late-night changes I'd made on those posts after posting them, at a time when I thought the server move had been completed (which it should have been - I'd been notified that it was!). So that was a bunch of extra work.

Next morning my domains weren't responding.

Logging onto my account I noticed my dedicated IP had been replaced with a shared one, and after a day of going back and forth with support I was finally issued a new one. By this time I'd changed my domain entries to point to the shared IP, but when I was issued a new IP (without prior warning) they all stop working again. Come the next morning I changed the entries one final time, and since then... my functions.php file wouldn't work! But that's another story, for a guide I already posted.

I did an attempt at a quick fix on that problem by cutting out a comment-related script first - after which the comments stopped displaying, and then realized I'd made no backup of the file before I made the change!! So comments were down for a day... until I realized I did have a backup. On the server. So I restored it; it should all be back to normal now.

Restoring those posts I'd posted to the wrong server was a mess too. I had to clear my database and import the old one, and guess what? Things stopped working. And I had to go to work and work on other things, so for a few days this site really wasn't working as it should have been!! Hopefully it's all looking better now, and I'm starting to find enough motivation again so that maybe I may go through those old posts I'd revised that one late night before all changes were vanquished... and right some wrongs again. It's never fun losing progress. Especially when you felt like you'd formulated things better than you did the first time, and then don't remember what those perfect formulations were.

Oh well... material things are a fickle thing! Even if they're not material. Like blog posts. Keep track of your backups people.

On the blog I've posted this this and this, a diverse bunch of guides, some other music, some other music, 6 reviews and here's last week. I'll see you soon with the next one.

Week 38 - Snakes On A Plain

I saw two snakes this week. Tuesday, I think. One was brown, the other was black. One was small; the other was big. One was shy, the other was angry. One slithered about and seemed to wonder "where is he?", while the other just coiled up and hissed at me... before they both slowly slithered their way away into the grass. If you wonder why this choice of headline: snakes aren't that common a sight here, cute slithery critters as they are! Not even on a plain.

Otherwise? It's all work and no play. No time for games. At least no time for medal games. I gave Bombshell a try yesterday and was disappointed - probably won't be finishing that one. I gave Mini Doom a try before that and was all but disappointed, but I'll play and post more of that later on. I skimmed through the games I had installed before summer and realized I'm not really that interested in them anymore, so I uninstalled a bunch. Before summer I would have had to force myself to take such drastic initiative, even though some of them are outplayed since many years, but now it came easy. Their time is passed; I'm moving on. There's other plays on my platter now. Except for Oni. Oni's an exception. Of some games you can just never get too much...

I went to a Dada Life concert this Friday with my buddy bear. He claimed a spot in the front of the crowd and went haywire; I crept backwards when push came to shove a bit too much. House music. Crazy. The crowd really went bananas, and I did get sucked into the energy eventually, even if it isn't my style of music. Not really. The hooks are good - the rest is monotone, but I can see the appeal of it once you get into that crazy energetic trance.

Very little musical talent required though, and very little actual performance. Out of the concerts I've been to thus far I have to say these guys were definitely my least favorite, and probably a lot because of their attitude. Or their tone. The message was: peace and love and party. The tone: fuck shit up. Maybe a few years ago that would been just my style, though. Strange how times change...

Otherwise hmm... I've worked. Picked apples and stuff. Kept up my 2x/week jogging routine - the one I started last week. Watched a few movies. Did some stuff. You know.

In site news: apparently I'm getting moved to a new server. Faster, stronger and better everything! Though it's happening tomorrow, so any changes I make today might not be backed up for the move. So I'll just post this, and if it disappears during the transition I have it backed up myself. If you post a comment though, be wary that it might disappear and be like it was never there. Everything should be back to normal on Tuesday.

On the blog I've posted 6 movie reviews, 11 double-edition musicalish posts (pretty much all the good stuff I missed this summer! And some Bo Kaspers), and here's last two weeks.. The one big task that still remains is porting all the poetry I wrote up North, but I'm getting there. Two months down; one to go! Ciao for now.

Week 36 & 37 - Summer Recap

So... Gone in a Flash is gone, and another two weeks passed by in a flash! The first one I sold a book, helped a buddy move a bed (to his apartment, from IKEA, with a shopping cart), worked four out of five week days, spent the night of the fourth at a Bo Kaspers Orkester concert (awesome), and took a plane up North on a way-too-early Saturday morning for one last weekend in the stunning summer wonder before the wonder runs away and bummer all is gray!

It was a great trip. Short but full of I'd-like-to-say-sunshine-but-mostly-clouds, yet we didn't stall each day: we woke up tall and walked till our walls were waves. We went out on the lake, cycled, dug, hammered, chopped, scraped, hopped, dipped, picked, packed, prepped, ate fresh fish and took a trip into Överkalix for a final gaze at the town and late day shopping, ran around and did things, and took photos, and Tuesday night the next week we were back in Stockholm again; back to work.

Since then I've been trying to catch up on all that which I didn't catch up on before the second leave, and I think I'm finally getting there! I went to a Backyard Babies concert last Friday too, and it was awesome, albeit a bit less packed than the previous two. The energy levels were not quite so high as they were the previous two weeks, despite way higher music. The drums were so loud they bounced off my chest like a second heartbeat, and the bass shook the ground. A while after the show I was afraid I might've permanently damaged my hearing - sounds were dim and distant, but it came back. I just posted a Musicalish for them, btw, and here's a couple more for Mando Diao. Bo Kaspers edition coming soon.

On Sunday I was ready to embark on a trip to Vaxholm (it's a beautiful island in the Stockholm archipelago with a rich cultural heritage), but the buddy who suggested the trip couldn't make it so... I did some work at home. Watched some movies. Posted 6 reviews. I have a bundle of those coming up soon, but as for the things I've been catching up on - all those important worldly events and other wonders, let me recap real quick:

Tech N9ne is coming out with a storm, Andrew Huang made an album with an iPhone 3G, China Mac put out a quick mixtape you can find here or here, Harambe's dead, Karmin's new album Leo Rising is out, Nigahiga made a movie, and I missed /img/4/Tech-N9ne-Warrior-Built.jpg">this thing! Damn!!

There's tons of music I've been catching up on too. A massive Summer's Batch of Musicalish is in the making. Oh, and there's a new Watsky album! Have you checked out the new Nintendo Mini? Episode 472 of Naruto was just so sad goddammnit. Skylar Gray is coming out with a new album soon. Mac Lethal, Bernz, Grouplove and Meatloaf dropped theirs this summer, and I think Snow Tha Product has something going on too. So far I'm really enjoying Bernz solo debute, and Watsky's music videos have me expecting something out of this world for x Infinity.

What else? This is old, but I was going to jog for Sverige På Fötter and I missed the date entirely. It's been a week now. Too long. Not sure what I was doing at 5 PM on the 14th of June, but it's marked as a free day on my calender so... maybe I was doing something worthwhile? Hope I was participating without even knowing it. And in unrelated wordplay, there's an ice cream brand called Diplom Ice. I'd rather get a diploma for ice cream instead. And I've been picking apples, plums, blackberries and tons of (edible) flowers. Summer's not out of here yet!

Here's a kickstarter due in a couple of weeks you might want to check out, and here's last week. On the blog I've posted 6 reviews, 3 Musicalish (above) and this (referenced at start of post). Ciao for now!

Week 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 & 35 - Summer!

Well that went too fast! I thought I'd post a few blog posts during the course of those hazy summer days, as I usually do, but then I thought... well no, why not enjoy the time I have to the fullest and post a recap when I get back? So eight weeks later... here I am (and I wish I'd managed to post this on Sunday so it really would've been two months exactly)!

I'm back in Stockholm again, in Bro, slowly but certainly catching up on all these worldly and other events that have been passing by unnoticed during my leave. Elections. Other... stuff. What have I missed? I'm totally oblivious to any potential international incidents that may have occurred during these past two months, and I'm nowhere near caught up on my YouTube subscriptions either. Skimming through the list a lot of the things I was hooked to before summer no longer seem that important. It's good to get away every once in a while and get your priorities straightened out; perspective changed.

Up North it's been a blast of blissful happens. We've swum in the lake, soaked in sun and dirt and shed curtains of sweat on summer work. We've plowed up aisles in the garden, and spent hours on our knees pulling out weeds, and watered, canoed, fished, walked, jogged, run, reconnoitered the forests in search for berries, played games on rainy days, built a couple of small bridges, repaired, rummaged, gathered together and celebrated our birthdays and special events, tanned, trimmed, shopped, stopped, laughed, smiled, and the days they passed us by.

In late July we finally started to drag crops out of the ground, with fresh salad, carrots and turnips as complementarities to our dandelion leafs and weeds. We stopped buying local tomatoes and cucumbers and feasting on our own instead, and soon fresh potatoes with butter and onion, and pike with buttered horseradish, and we sat around the fire and roasted our fish for the first time in too long. Then came berry-picking season, and we went through the cycle: cloudberries, blueberries, red currents, black currents, lingonberries, crowberries, gooseberries aaand that was that. Each grand endeavour was often followed by a swim and an afternoon slice of black bean chocolate cake and cup of tea in the garden, and a steamy sauna session each night - especially when the days grew shorter and the nights pitch black and cold. We put out our solar-powered lights and read until they turned dim, and started waking up to the sunrise when it arrived as late as we woke. And then I flew back to Stockholm with a backpack packed with sugarsnaps, and a case full of berries and greens, and here I am.

It's been a great set of days! I'll see what pictures I can dig up for a more visual recap later on. This is the summerized recap. The fifty thousand word version is coming soon (a picture tells a thousand words you know). For now I'm digging my way through a long todo list of tasks, most of them digital, that await. I started my main part-time job again at the end of last week, my minor part-time job at the start of this one, and next weekend I'm traveling back North for just a few more days. One last glimpse of that wild freedom I love, before it's buried under a blanket of snow for the winter. And that'll make it just over two months of summer this year. It's never enough, but I know I'm fortunate to have this much still! And more to come...

I've been picking apples this weekend. Southern specialties. Slowly settling down. Contemplating how I'll make best use of this winter without gaining (too many) pounds. Hmm... and then there's that much awaited return to sound! I've been away, but I've come around. I'm going up, then it's going down! And I went to a pretty amazing Mando Diao concert last weekend too. If you're wondering what unheard band they might be, let me present you with one two three short clips that hopefully give you a proper first impression, because Google does a horrible job with this one. They're a band that's been through a bunch of styles during the latter ten years or so, and though I barely knew anything about them before I went to their concert, it feels like they brought their best selection to this one show. The energy was all over the place, and skimming through music videos it looks like they're one of those few bands that are better on a stage than in a studio too.

It's been a blast! Both summer and these few days into the past; here's last week.

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