Today I bought a new coffee maker to replace the old one I inherited from Lotta. I bought a Braun KF 550. It cost more than twice what it would have cost in the U.S., but obviously a 110 volt model would not work here. In order to fit all my breakfast appliances onto the top of my rolling mini-table, I had to place the toaster along the back of the tabletop. I think all of the appliances go well together.

Here's another view of the North wall of my kitchen. I also purchased a coffee mill so that I can grind my own coffee beans. It's sitting on the left side of the top shelf.

Grinding coffee by hand is time-consuming and exhausting work! I just might start shopping around for an electric coffee grinder.

After having a cup of coffee brewed in the new machine, I went down to Fridhemsplan to pick up my iPod. It had been in for repair. I snapped this self-portrait in the reflection of a glass pane in the subway station.

Flemminggatan tonight.


It has been wet and rainy here in Stockholm. After the lovely summer, I guess we have to pay our dues.

I had lunch the other day with Daniel L. and Jens at the restaurant at Pampas Marina.

The food was okay, but a bit pricey at 90 SEK for lunch.

There are lots of boats being taken out of the water in preparation for winter.

This time of year tends to be cold, wet, and gray in Stockholm. So it's a perfect time of year to leave this part of the world and spend a bit of time some place warmer. Texas, for example. :)

Monday evening, Daniel gave me a ride to Martin Olsson. I took a few photos there. It basically like a smaller verision of Costco.

The loot.


Weekend activities.

This past weekend was busy and fun. On Saturday, Matt, Lisa and I went biking in Järvafältet, and then met some of Matt's friends at a boule pub on Söder. Then on Sunday we went biking again, this time in the woods around the ski hill in Flottsbro.

Tonight I went with Daniel L. and Jenny to Martin Olsson, a big wholesale store similar to Costco. I bought lots of stuff, including some things for this weekend's party. Daniel gave me a ride home so I could drop off all my acquisitions. He and Jenny then came upstairs and joined me for a bite to eat before they returned home.

Later this evening, I had a brief chat with my brother Ethan. I'm really looking forward to seeing him and the rest of my family when I go to Texas on vacation next week.


New toaster

On the way to my dance lesson last night, I stopped briefly at an applicance store there. I bought the last Braun MultiToast HT-550 they had in stock. In fact, it was the one on display, so I got it for onlt 420 SEK instead of 500. I've been looking around for this particular toaster but had not been able to find a retailer in Sweden that carried it; so I was glad to find it. That I found it without making a special trip was even better.

I've already toasted a few slices of bread in the new toaster, and I can confirm that it works well. Plus, it matches my black Braun hot water pot.


Movie night

Tonight I went with Lotta to the new Woody Allen Film, Scoop.

On the subway there, I got bored so I took this self-portrait.

Outside the concert house on Hötorget is a statue of Orpheus.

We saw the film at Filmstaden Sergel. It was a good film: quite engaging and amusing. However, I do tire of Woddy Allens frenetic rants.

At Östermalmstorg subway station, I was bored again, so I took a photo of my hat. The woman next to me on the bench laughed at the absurdity of a man taking a picture of his hat. I had to laugh too, because I must admit that it was rather silly. We chatted while we waited for the subway, and then chatted a bit more on the way the KTH station, where she got off the train. Her name was Brigitta, and she lives on Waxholm, an island a bit out into the archipelago.

And finally, here is one more self-portait taken in the elevator mirror. Oh, that reminds me: I must get a replacement cap for the flash sync terminal on my camera.

BloggerBot is still cutting photos in half

BloggerBot is my primary method of posting to my blogs, but recently it has become unreliable.

Lately, BloggerBot has been cutting photos in half when I post them. I find that I must re-post photos before the they appear intact on the blog. Sometimes, even 5 or 6 attempts to upload the same image results in the image being cut off at exactly the same place each time. Every time an image upload fails, this results in wasted time for me, and wasted storage space on photos1.blogger.com.

That's not all though. It gets worse. Because there's no way add a new blog entry as a draft when posting via BloggerBot, the corrupted photos go straight to the blog without my having any chance to review the post to check for completeness first. There's no way to know if a photo was posted successfully before the potentially corrupt photos are already on the blog. Only once I refresh the blog do I know if one of the photos is corrupt; and by that time, the eyesore is already visible on my blog for the whole world to see.

Furthermore, often the thumbnail image visible on the blog is complete, but the full-size image linked to by the thumbnail is corrupt. There's no way to tell which full-size images are corrupt without clicking on each thumbnail image individually.

The problem can happen any time photos are posted via Hello and BloggerBot, regardless of whether the photos are sent to Hello from Picasa. Therefore, the problem is not likely to be the result of the recent Picasa update. Hello has not been updated in many months, so it seems equally unlikely that the problem lies with Hello. I get the impression that BloggerBot is the source of the problem.

BloggerBot, once a great time-saver, is now making the task of posting to a blog too time conuming to be worth the effort.

I posted a message describing the problem to the online Picasa forum a week ago, and since then others have reported the same problem.

Hey Blogger guys: please fix this!

Update 18 October 2006: The fine folks at Blogger have identified and fixed the problem. Thanks!


I went downstairs this morning to take a look at the newly-completed laundry room. It has been under renovation for about a month.

Here's my humble abode.

And here's the view of the playground just East of the building. As you can see, the leaves are turning.

And a quick self-portai in the elevator. :)

Here are some recent scenes from Kista.

I had lunch with Matt at the Electrum building on Monday. I think I had some sort of chicken in a light curry sauce. Not particularly spicy, but tasty nonetheless. Here's a scene from the walk back to IBM.

The Tele2 building.

The runestone on Oddegatan.

On Wednesday I had lunch in Kista with colleagues. We took a side-trip to Systemet to peruse the assortment of libations.

Kista Gallerian's Food Court.

Danne H. and Danne L. checking out the latest video games.


Stockholm Beer Fest, 2006

Tonight I went to the 2006 Stockholm Beer Fest. It was a lot of fun, and I tasted many excellent and interesting beers!

I posted eighty-one photos from the Beer Fest on Flickr.

I now have a complete set of Stockholm Beer Fest glasses for the years from 2000 through 2006. Look closely and you can see that in 2000, the festival was called the Stockholm Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival, and that the festival celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2001, only 9 years after the festival was established in 1992.


Yesterday it rained most of the day. However, it wasn't heavy rain, and the sun came out occassionally. I snapped this shot from my office window.


Great climbing tonight

I joined Matt & Lisa at Klättercentret tonight for a few hours of climbing. After a somewhat slow start, I began to make some progress. I conquered a bouldering problem that had vexed me last week.

This is the first black-rated bouldering problem that I have managed to complete. More photos of tonight's climbing session can be found on my climbing blog, Hit the Rock.


The congestion tax is dead. Long live the congestion tax!

It didn't take long for the liberal alliance to backtrack on the Stockholm congestion tax.

After first saying the the desires of the residents of surrounding counties would be honored, the liberal alliance has now declared its intention to go forward with the Stockholm road charging system.

Tobbe observed today that Stockholm's mayor Kristina Axén Olin has attempted to redefine the tax in terms of where the money will go. “It's not a congestion tax,” she said. “It's the ability to finance the ring highway around the city.” Axén Olin made these comments during an interview on a morning television news program.

Somehow I doubt that the vast majority of people who voted against the tax are pursuaded by her verbal legerdemain.

Certainly, if the road charging system goes forward, it's better that the funds collected are earmarked for expenditures related to making transportation — and in particular, road transportation — better in the Stockholm area. Residents of Stockholm's suburbs will pay the lion's share of the fees, so it's only fair that they benefit the most.

I'm very disappointed that the liberal alliance lacks the courage to put the question up for a new county-wide referendum.

The government wants to call it a fee instead of a tax, and to earmark the funds for a particular highway project. If the people think that these changes make the road charging system more palateable, they'll vote for it. If not, then the fees shouldn't be forced on an unwilling populace. Or can the voters not be trusted make the right decision?

Pulsen Education's office in Bergshamra

Here's the old villa where I'm holding a course this week. This building houses the new offices of Pulsen Education.

The back of the building has a very nice view of Brunnsviken.

The inside of the building is very modern.

This is the corner where we have our fika breaks, with a nice automatic machine that can make all kinds of hot coffee-based beverages.

And here's the hall and the classroom where the class is being held. It's a lovely facility. Plus, the people working at Pulsen are very competent and friendly. I look forward to teaching here again soon.

Sunday with Lisa & Matt

Sunday I joined Lisa and Matt in the Old City, Gamla Stan, where we sat outside at a cafe.

We had a nice view of Stortoget.

Stockholm was founded by Germans, and traces of the city's German heritage can be seen on many of the buildings.

Skomakargatan (probably not coincidentally) is the street leading up to the building where the cafe resides. The cafe bears the name Schumacher on this wroght iron sign. Skomakar and Schumacher are the Swedish and German forms of the English name Shoemaker.

Lisa took this nice photo of me.

She also smiled for this photo.

Matt put on a more skeptical face. :)

When the hot chocolate arrived, he cheered up though!

We took a walk around Gamla Stan. Here is the German Church.

The sun is setting earlier every day; so even at half past three in the afternoon, the sun cast long shadows on the cobblestone streets of the Old City.

I like the way the light of the setting sun falls upon the sides of the buildings.

The cobblestones shone in the sunlight.

Despite the relatively warm and sunny weather, there were not many tourists or locals about. The weather forecast had called for overcast skies and rain, so perhaps people stayed home rather than walking outside and checking the weather for themselves.

We attended a free concert at Tyska Kyrkan.

This was my first time in the old church. It's quite lovely inside.

Looking Southwest from Gamla Stan toward Södermälarstrand.

Walking up the hill on Södermalm.

Gamla Stan as seen from the cliffs above Södermälarstrand.

Lisa & Matt.

Yours truly, looking pensive.

And one more slightly less posed shot.

Norrmälarstrand, across the lake on Kungsholmen.

More sunlit buildings.

Walking across Götgatan.

The second Lamborghini Murcielago I've seen in Stockholm recently.

It was parked around the corner from Mossebacke, where I took Ethan for his first beer in the city when he visited me a couple of Summers ago.

Matt, Lisa & I had a drink there too.

Then we went back to Solna and did some grocery shopping so that Matt could make us some authentic shepherd's pie.

This cute collie was standing outside the ICA, patiently waiting for his owner to finish shopping.

At Lisa's place, we all helped with fix the meal, Matt's excellent shepherd's pie.

The first time I can remember having shepherd's pie was when I was five years old. It was served quite often at the preschool I attended at First English Lutheran church near the University in Austin.

Lisa opened a raspberry-flavored Belgian beer to accompany the meal. It was sweet — almost like a soft drink.

Smaklig måltid!