Hello from Olofström

This morning I awoke at 5 so that I could shower and have a bite to eat before catching a taxicab to the airport at 6. In my rush to pack a few last minute items for the trip, I neglected a couple of things that, in retrospect, would have been nice to have included:
  • a raincoat or umbrella
  • my camera
Because no picutres will be forthcoming, I'll have to make do with words.

The hour-long flight from Stockholm's Arlanda airport to Ronneby on the Southern coast of Sweden was smooth and uneventful. That is to say it was nice. The only annoyace was a stubborn windowshade that refused to close, relegating my left shoulder to constant sunlight the whole way. It was a bit too warm. I finally managed to force the shade down 10 minutes prior to landing in Ronneby.

The airport doubles as one of the few remaining bases of the Swedish Air Force. As we landed and taxied to the small terminal building, I saw seven of what I thought might be F16s parked on the tarmac. But on second thought, they were probably Saab JAS-39 Gripens.

I picked up my rental car, a Ford Focus Flexifuel, and drove the 50-odd kilometers West and then North to Olofström. The town of Olofström is quite small, with just one main street going through it. I'll be here for eight days to teach the TWS courses to some of the fine folks in Volvo's IT department. I have seen some familiar faces here. This morning, I recognized four people from a course I taught two years ago in Stockholm.

On the way back from lunch, it started to rain. A right downpour. As I began to type up this entry, I could hear the rain on the metal roof above my head. Then as abbruptly as it had begun, the rain stopped.

Aside from Volvo IT, a big part of Volvo's manufacturing is also done here. I haven't seen the factory floor yet, and I probably won't have call to do so; but I did see a warehouse full of dies for the metal press used to stamp out parts from sheet metal. Doors, hoods, fenders, you name it. These dies are the size of mide-size cars and weigh several tons each. A 20-ton gantry crane is parked — perched, really — over the end of the warehouse, waiting until it's needed.

This afternoon I'll set up the computers that we'll use for the course that begins tomorrow morning. With any luck the hotel will have internet access and I'll be able to post again tonight.

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