- Had friends over to play some Abalone, Hell Rail and Balderdash. 11-y-o Junior often joins our board-game sessions these days.
- Bought ski boots for Junior and went skiing with him and the Rundkvist ladies.
- Watched Where the Wild Things Are. Nice visuals, but the movie unexpectedly turned out mainly to explore the complicated personal relationships between a group of monsters. They all behave like a cross between small children and old junkies and are pretty annoying.
- Celebrated Chinese New Year’s Eve at an unassuming suburban restaurant that made my wife nostalgic through its genuine tacky first-wave Chinese restaurant in Sweden dÃ©cor. Happy new Year of the Wooden Tiger!
- Went skating with Juniorette & her tiny buddy who takes hockey classes and skates like a demon. I type this upon returning from the ice rink.
- For Sunday night, I was invited to a friend’s place to try my hand at Dominion for the first time.
And you, Dear Reader? What did you do for fun this past weekend?
- Took a walk and photographed two buildings for Wikipedia.
- Went skiing on the golf course.
- Had friends over, played a game of Scotland Yard and a game of Power Grid.
- Painted three walls in the bedroom. This was sort of a chore, but not in fact boring, and having a nice-looking bedroom is fun. The fourth wall is destined for some faux-Japanese cherry-branch wallpaper on pale grey that looks like something out of a William Gibson novel.
- Had family over for a fine Korean dinner cooked by two Chinese sisters.
One piece of fun that I missed out on was Midlake’s Stockholm gig. It was sold out. Anyway, I haven’t heard their new album, and I usually don’t enjoy gigs much when I haven’t heard the songs before. So I might as well put some of that concert-ticket money into a CD instead.
And you, Dear Reader? Tell us about your weekend fun!
Had a lot of fun this weekend:
- Went skating twice, once with each of my kids.
- Went skiing with my wife.
- Got beaten at Pitch Car four times by my kids.
- Took the kids to a birthday party for a charming friend of mine, populated largely by former physics engineers who are now programmers.
- Took my son to a concert with 50s and 60s pop tunes performed by a choir and solists.
- Had post-concert dinner with friends & son.
And you, Dear Reader?
Here’s what I did for fun this past weekend.
- Watched Avatar.
- Had a dim sum dinner.
- Chucked out the Christmas tree, lopped off the branches and kept the trunk to bring to my dad’s place for firewood. (This doesn’t sound like fun? Well, my life consists of fun, work and chores, and anything related to Christmas trees has to be sorted under “fun”.)
- Went skiing on the golf course.
- Had friends over for dinner and a game of Power Grid.
And you, Dear Reader?
In other news, Chris O’Brien at Northstate Science has resumed blogging after a long hiatus. Chris is a zooarchaeologist (i.e. animal osteologist) and an outspoken atheist who writes a lot about US creationism. Check him out!
I just had to swap two hours of daytime work for two hours of evening free time and get out on Lake LundsjÃ¶n with my skis. It’s amazing, seeing the cliffs where we sim and sun bathe in the summers, but from an otherwise unreachable vantage point two meters above the water’s surface!
I’ve had this decent idea for a post popping up in my mind twice and then dropping out of it before I had a chance to write myself a note. It’s something about fragments, about beginnings of stories stacked onto each other like a collage. Or so I seem to remember. Maybe it will come back to me.
So, instead, here are some random jottings about my Christmas.
- We have a lot of snow and I have been shoveling selected bits away from the yard and the outdoors stairs using a shovel that the previous owner of the house left for us in the garage.
- I also had to shovel a track to the compost container. Trucking compostable waste to a garbage incineration plant is just stupid.
- We haven’t had any sunshine, so I have taken walks with my mp3 player instead of going skiing on the golf course. I am unhappy with the quality of recent Skepticality episodes and I consider Dr. William Meller to be a Palaeolithic romantic and a Zen hippie muddlehead. In other words, I am skeptical of his claims.
- My dad gave me a book of fancy bread recipes and complained about the bread I bake every two weeks or so. My non-fancy bread takes about 2:15 h to make from start to finish. Looking at the first recipe in the book, the basic levain, I found that it takes about 6:00 h to make — provided that you have already prepared a yeast culture some days beforehand by dunking raisins in water and leaving in out on the countertop to ferment.
- My kids have the flu, poor tykes.
- I’ve read Shea & Wilson’s first Illuminatus! book and found it mildly entertaining. Its paranoid pattern-seeking then turned up in another book, Fredrik Strage’s Fans, in the thinking of a schizophrenic woman who believed an old celebrated poet communicated with her through ads and headlines in newspapers. I also read Jincy Willett’s 2003 novel Winner of the National Book Award and liked it though it has a poorly crafted fizzle ending. Now I’m reading J-K. Huysmans’s Against Nature.
- I watched bits of The Wizard of Oz with my daughter and noted that some of the actors play double roles, both in Kansas and in Oz. I don’t remember getting that when I saw it as a kid. The same device of course occurs in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (By the way, what is that spooky cartoon show my daughter watches where one of the characters is an unabashed ripoff of Riff-raff?)
- My son and his mom gave me the Fleet Foxes album, and what little I’ve heard so far is great! Reminds me a lot of the Midlake album I bought at the recommendation of a Dear Reader.
What about you guys? Let’s hear something interesting about your Christmases!
[More blog entries about Sweden, photography, manor; NÃ¤rke, Askersund, foto, herrgÃ¥rd.]
I was headed for a lonely November weekend with wife & daughter abroad and son with his mom. So I rounded up three friends (though Paddy K was kept from coming along at the last minute by a big meltdown at work), loaded my best board games and a couple of grocery bags into the family car, and drove to Stjernsund manor in NÃ¤rke.
Our way there was kind of interesting. I plotted a course that would be as close to a straight line as possible yet largely follow major highways. This meant that we spent two hours at about 110 km/h from Stockholm to NorrkÃ¶ping and thence to FinspÃ¥ng and onward a bit to the northwest – and then we spent an hour at about 70 km/h crossing the wooded and thinly populated highlands of Tiveden in complete darkness on small roads that are for some part not even asphalt. But Swedepat drove that bit without a hitch.
Our stay at Stjernsund was just as good as I had hoped. We took walks, we played board games, we read, we went geocaching, we cooked fine meals and me & Tor sung harmony to celebrate Swedepat’s birthday. I also had the good fortune to catch an incredible sunrise yesterday with camera in hand.
The fish sculpture below consists of auto parts, has the witty name Soppatorsk and was created by comic artist Joakim Lindengren!
And you Dear Reader? What did you do for fun this past weekend?
Friday night, I made tacos and chocolate chip cookies with my kids. Saturday, I attended the Imagicon 2 speculative fiction conference, chairing a panel on time travel and forming part of a panel on legal aspects of interstellar empires without faster-than-light travel. I also talked to loads of people and bought a 70s paperback edition of Shea & Wilson’s Illuminatus books, which I haven’t read before.
Today I finished and submitted a review essay, which is sort of work but fun too, especially since it’s the first time I’ve been commissioned by a major newspaper to write something. And as I type these words I have just sent off an audio file to Dr. Isis with the song she won by making comment no 10,000. Recording it was super fun, so when I was done I wrote to the editor of Escape Pod and offered my services as a narrator.
And you, Dear Reader? What did you do for fun this weekend?
I took Friday off from work and drove with my friend Anders to Avesta, an industrial town in Dalecarlia, where our friend PÃ¤r and his lovely wife, both teachers, have recently settled. We spent the afternoon and evening walking in the sunshine, admiring their house, eating like kings, listening to some pretty far-out and eclectic music (including Earth, Heino, Om, Demis Roussos and Sunn) and playing the Swedish 70s board game Marinattack. It’s notable for coming with an electronic device that replaces dice and outcome tables. They kicked my ass five games in a row. The shame!
Then on Saturday Anders and I returned to Stockholm where my son and I went to the Retro Gathering vintage video gaming event. (He made me take him to it!) There was a surprisingly large number of attendees and a surprisingly large percentage of them were women. I ran into my friendly one-time editor Jonas Svensson that I hadn’t seen in almost 15 years. During the early 90s I made some extra money writing reviews and making translations for a couple of video game magazines, Nintendo Magazinet and Super Power. My perspective on the games — being an archaeologist and a non-video-gamer — was a bit strange. For instance, when reviewing a 1991 Defender clone for the SNES, Darius Twin, I remember explaining who Darius the Persian king was and informing my 12-y-o readers that he was actually named DÄrayavahush.
As I write this I have two Spotted Dicks steaming on the stove and two loaves of bread in the oven. Tomorrow the two most beautiful girls in the world are coming home from China. Tonight, though, is gaming night. And we are not playing Marinattack.
[More blog entries about nintendo, snes, games, boardgames; nintendo, snes, spel, brÃ¤dspel, Avesta.]