Monday, February 21, 2011

More Melodifestival

We watched the 2nd and 3rd semi-final tonight. Eric Saade went through with a song a bit better than his catchy yet unfortunately titled "Manboy" from last year. Everything else was middle-of-the road except for Babsan, Sweden's answer to Dame Edna Everage.

The highlight for me was Lena Phillipson's interval performance in Linköping. I swear she looks better than I remember her from 1989.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Introduction IV

It's time for the fourth in a series of sort-of-yearly recaps and introductions. My last such update was about 9 months ago and lots has changed.
  • Sooz, Ollie and I have indeed moved back to the USA at the end of the year. We're now in the middle of resettling into our home in Texas after nearly 12 years away.
  • Grant is now a university student, happily settled into college life in North Carolina. (Perhaps too happily, but I digress).
  • Living 5000 miles from our stuga, as opposed to only 900 before, will necessitate some changes to how we live there. Long weekends are out, so we'll be there for a few weeks at a time when we go. Sooz plans to escape the Texas heat as much as possible this summer, for example.
  • I have a few projects still to complete. I want to put in a drop ceiling over the big deck, and to get a shed at last. But I think the focus of this blog will be moving away from building and more towards living in the archipelago.
I still plan to blog on Swedish culture, and of course posting will increase when we're all actually on-island. I may well post a bit on issues of repatriation, but I will keep the focus on island living. No need to worry about too many off-topic ramblings, promise.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Melodifestival is back!

The miracle of high-speed internet, along with hundreds of cable channels, makes it surprisingly easy to stay in touch with doings in Europe all the way from Texas.  However, I'm finding that the time change puts a big spin on things. For example, I watched the Manchester derby before sunrise with a cup of tea. (The result was sadly similar, though.)

It's not just the time change, it's the weather that is dislocating, too. Today was warm and sunny, not Melodifestival weather at all. But, as Margaret reminded me, back in Sweden, it is still cold and dark, perfect for six weekends of silly songs.

Sooz and I watched the first semi-final from Luleå tonight and it didn't disappoint. Jenny Silver is back again in much better form than last year.(Sadly, SVT doesn't allow linking of song videos while they're still in competition). The evening's winner was Swingfly, with a catchy yet insane three-way rap/dance number replete with drumming girls. My favorite part was the break by one of the drummers which went something like: "I'm so hot/you know you want some/I'm hotter than a fresh-baked bun/hotter than the sun/hotter than a smoking gun". Seriously.

I'll try to keep up with the competition's progress. There's some hum-dingers in store!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


We have a few radiators in our house; when we were there over Christmas, we had every one cranking to keep the place warm. After a day, it was actually quite toasty inside. When we left, I kept one running in the bathroom to keep the water and all of our perishables from freezing.

I am concerned, though, that I'm overheating the room, at great expense. All I really want it to be is 3 or 4°C (37-39°F), just to prevent freezing, nothing more. Without a having the benefit of being there to conduct a bit of trial and error on our radiator, I fearI'm turning it up higher than necessary.

I think I spotted the solution at Bauhaus over Christmas. Pictured here is a radiator with a full digital thermostat. All I need to do is type in 4°C, and I can be confident that temperature is maintained, and no more. I would be willing to bet I could pay for the radiator over just two winters in electricity savings. And we get the bonus of added warmth when we're at the house on cold days!

(I might buy one for our house in Texas, too. Frozen pipes are no fun.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

52 years ago today

I won't repeat my previous posts; click here for a reminder. The weather in the midwest is about as miserable as it was on the Winter Dance Party tour.

Now that I live in Texas, I might head out to Lubbock for a weekend. For now, however, if one wishes to remember the day, I'd recommend spending 99¢ here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


When I woke up in my new home, it was 10°F (-12°C) outside, as opposed to 37°F (3°C) in Stavsnäs. Most of my water pipes are frozen, and there's more ice in my street than there was in Aspö harbor at Christmas.

All of the things I worked to prevent in Sweden are coming to pass in Texas!