December Pieces Of My Mind #1

My friend of many years Jonas Wikborg has designed ZZ Top’s next tour poster.
  • Before our recent fieldwork at Hassle in Glanshammar, only two pieces of Style I animal art (AD 450-540) were known from Närke province. We found three more and made Hassle the Style I capital of the province. This is what happens when you invite 25 detectorists for three days to the right field.
  • First pheasant in 12 years sighted around our house, a female.
  • Few people who show Powerpoint presentations on Zoom and Teams seem to understand whether they broadcast the audience view or the presenter view.
  • Suddenly recall being on the board of the local historical society for two years when I was 23-25 years old. It was kind of a drag. The board meetings were way too long for their content, because the chairman liked to talk and was in no hurry to finish the proceedings. He was a retired lawyer and used the society as a vehicle to protest plans for a traffic node miles from the edge of the society’s territory of interest. I have a lifelong aversion for inefficient meetings.
  • Googling myself, I find a forum thread where angry men argue over whether I should have called the person who directed the Aska mead-hall project a builder instead of an architect. Yay the Internet.
  • It’s cheering to see that not all of Poland is heading for Brown Shirt Land. In spring the Rector of Uni Łódź where I work made a public statement in support of LGBTQ staff and students. And just now I got a letter offering free online training in intercultural management. “The Intercultural Management classes have been designed so as to exclude unconscious setting of boundaries, to support integration and effective communication in the more culturally diverse environment of our university, and to meet the challenges faced by employees of a modern, multicultural university, who with this integration, communication they manage and work by co-creating new, well-functioning academic communities.” [Googe Translate]
  • Kumla in the 1620s: teenage girl Margareta Jonsdotter has ecstatic visions, poltergeist activity is noted, her home becomes a short-lived place of pilgrimage.
  • Movie: Big Fish (2003). Coming to terms with a mythomaniac absent dad. Grade: OK.
  • I’ve been annoyed over this for like 35 years: when they microwave the lighter fluid in Gremlins, why does it explode right when the oven timer reaches zero?
  • Wonder when covid-19 vaccination will become commercially available in Sweden and what the price will be at first. (Posting this on Facebook caused major political rage from fellow Social Democrats who somehow thought I had said ”I demand the option to buy vaccination immediately”.)
  • Felt bad because a year of off-and-on solo study has not put my Polish anywhere near the level of my French. Then remembered that I had six years of formal French lessons. Ahem.
  • “In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.” /D. Adams
  • In ch. 11 of his autobiography, Casanova (writing in the 1790s) states that many girls never have a hymen and that people who pay too much attention to it are foolish asses.
  • Librarians are a passionate and amorous tribe. I just saw a prime example of bed dreads untouched by the hair brush this morning.
  • Book about 18th century Italy: Ostiglia. Me: Osgiliath!?
  • Chapter 14 in Casanova’s autobiography opens with him complaining that his servant has thrown away the first draft of it.
  • April 1744. 19-y-o Casanova returns to Vrsar in Croatia after a year’s absence and the town medic is overjoyed: he has made a fortune from treating the gonorrhoea epidemic that Casanova caused last time, and now he hopes the young man will start a new one.

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

13 thoughts on “December Pieces Of My Mind #1”

  1. “Googling myself, I find a forum thread where angry men argue”

    If you have a time machine, travel back in time to various eras, utter the phrase above, note people’s reactions, and try to figure out what they think it means. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Wonder when covid-19 vaccination will become commercially available in Sweden and what the price will be at first. (Posting this on Facebook caused major political rage from fellow Social Democrats who somehow thought I had said ”I demand the option to buy vaccination immediately”.)”

    Do you mean that people in Sweden will have to pay for the vaccine, as opposed to it being covered by national health insurance?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, Sweden is offering the vaccine without any fee to the entire population. But first to at-risk demographics. So I wonder if I will be able to get it earlier by paying for a shot of another brand than the one bought in bulk by the EU. That way I could help dampen the pandemic and save the taxpayers some money without taking vaccine away from someone more vulnerable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trying to get my head around what you are saying. My understanding is that countries are having to prioritise vaccination of high risk groups first because the vaccine companies cannot produce enough doses fast enough to vaccinate everyone at the same time. I don’t see how being willing to pay for two shots will help – all of the doses that will be available early, and also later, have already been reserved in advance by governments.

        Something that made me feel a bit nauseous – Canada has reserved enough doses to vaccinate all of its citizens 9 times over. So, screw the poorer countries, it’s definitely Canada First x 9. Yeah, those Canadians are such nice people.

        China has made a point of undertaking to prioritise supplying the poorer countries in SE Asia and Africa, rather than allowing the rich countries to reserve all of its production capacity. But that doesn’t count, obviously, because China = bad, and Canada, EU, UK and USA are so morally superior.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It would certainly help me to avoid covid-19. But my Facebook entry was simply a question: “Wonder when covid-19 vaccination will become commercially available in Sweden and what the price will be at first.” One possible answer is that it won’t become commercially available until after everyone has had a chance to get the state-sponsored shots. A more likely answer, I guess, is that it will happen soon and be very expensive.


  4. I think most people in the EU should have been vaccinated (assuming they will accept it) by the middle of 2021, so you would probably gain little by paying some very high (black market?) price to get a couple of earlier shots (two shots per person required). To be clear, what I am saying is, based on what I have read (and I have been following it pretty closely, because I am in a high risk group) is that you should be able to expect to be vaccinated some time *within* the first half of next year, free of charge. That doesn’t sound too bad to me, but I’m not you. Could you get vaxxed much earlier than that by paying? No idea, but I don’t see how.

    I am feeling happy, because we just got some MUCH better news from the HK government – the first batch of 1 million doses of vaccine from the Chinese manufacturer Sinovac will arrive in HK in January. The priority will be 1. front line medical workers (no argument from me), 2. the elderly, 3. staff who work in elderly care homes. Most of the people who have died in HK have been elderly people in care homes, so that makes sense to me. Then the next batch of 1 million doses, from Pfizer (the weird mRNA vaccine that needs to be stored at minus 70C) will arrive some time during the first quarter of 2021, whatever that means. We have no details yet on how the first batch will be rolled out, but every district of HK has a public clinic, so I guess it will be done through those. And I presume people will need to test negative (probably multiple times) before they can be vaxxed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The other thought I had is that, before they get to vaccinating you, a fair proportion of the Swedish population should already have been vaccinated (given Sweden has an ageing population), and that should have a pretty major ‘braking’ effect on the spread of the virus (assuming that vaccinated people won’t be able to infect others, which I don’t know about – there was some talk that maybe they would, but it seems doubtful to me). So even before you get vaccinated, your risk of getting infected in Sweden should have fallen quite a bit.

    If you want to travel to Poland, that’s a different thing. Seems like you really will need to be vaxxed before you can do that.

    I don’t know what to think about Birger – I don’t know how they might classify him priority-wise. But even in his case, he should get some benefit from at least part of the population having been vaccinated, reducing his risk of getting infected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is entirely possible that the vaccine gives enough immunity that an infection won’t be able get enough of a foothold to cause symptoms, but not enough to have you transmission-free in a short while. It depends on many factors, but if it takes a while the immune system to spin up, I can totally see a few days of being a transmitter, but not having enough viral load for symptoms


      1. Makes sense. And not having enough viral load for symptoms should mean not being able to deliver a high viral dose to someone else.

        The worrying thing about the current wave of infections in HK is that 90% of all of the newly infected people are carrying a high viral load, which was not the case in previous waves. It’s not surprising that health officials are warning that this wave could be ‘explosive’. Plus there is a high proportion of cases that can’t be traced, i.e. they have not been able to determine how those people got infected, and the number of untraceable cases is not decreasing daily.

        The sooner they can get everyone vaxxed the better.

        There are some rumblings that people with ‘anti-Mainland’ sentiment will not want to receive the Sinovac vaccine, which is the first one we will receive. Well, no one is going to try to force them.


  6. I read the text as “spotted a peasant” as the Swedish name for the bird -fasan- is different from in english. I am reminded of ‘Allo ‘Allo where they kept arresting peasants, dressing up as peasants and -on one occasion- stand on a peasant (to reach the window of Rene’s prison cell).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really the same word: f and ph are the same, and other words it’s just a slightly different vowel. The missing t at the end in Swedish might be French influence.


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