Thursday, December 31, 2015

Vasa!


In the early 17th Century, Sweden was at war with Poland. King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, decided to build a ship that was to be a game changer. Very few ships at this time had two decks of guns. He wanted that. He wanted a heavily armed ship that was fast. As you can tell by trying to push your hand through water palm-first or to the side with all fingers following in a line, a narrower ship is going to be easier to move through the water faster.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Boxing Day Update

Katla on the prowl.

On Christmas and Boxing Days we had some down time and enjoyed the cats we are sitting. One cat, Katla, is, oddly enough, allowed outside. Above is Katla prowling her domain.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Gamla Stan

The Christmas Market in the Stortorget Square in Gamla Stan.
Old Town is a fun place. Lots of old but well maintained buildings and delightful stores. Above is a view of the annual Christmas Market. Although we've been told (repeatedly) on the web that the Stockholm has some of the best markets, it didn't seem to be anything special. Compared to Vienna, it is small. The selection on Gamla Stan is very good, not extensive. Lots of toys and candy. Some choices of mulled wine and sausages, but these are more limited. Of course, compared to the gigantic "market" in Hyde Park, London, this is a backwater. The one in London is what it would look like in the US if we did such a thing - overdone, extensive, exhausting, wonderful, impressive, and expensive.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Exploring Stockholm

View of Gamla Stan (Old Town) from Södermalm.  Please note that this was taken near mid-day.
Stockholm is a beautiful city. In spite of the fact that the winters are dark and (typically) cold, people have been living here a long time - since at least the 6th Century BC. Wikipedia claims that the name first appeared in print about 1252. Today, Stockholm is a large city (about 2.2 million in the metro area), the largest in the Nordic region.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Beverly Street on a Saturday Night

Beverly Street on a Saturday night.
Just a little bit to add to the earlier post about the beginning of the holiday season. It seems we are getting carriage rides in town this December. As you can see above, the horse-drawn carriage is about to negotiate a turn. A delightful evening out.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Strangeness Abounds

I have been very careful to avoid politically charged posts so far. I'm at my limit.

The number of crazy things that are getting put out on the intertubes these days is just astounding. It is difficult to believe that real people in the US are saying these things in public. Perhaps it is really true that we have been invaded by the body snatchers and these aren't people who spout this shit. Maybe all these shows and movies about zombies are trying to tell us something. Maybe I should just take the hint.

Monday, December 07, 2015

'Tis the Season


Now that a) I have at least an interim solution to the image exporting issue, and b) it is now officially Christmas season, it is time for a post on enjoying the sights of the season.


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Time of Family and Friends



Every year we gather many friends with our family to enjoy the community in which we live. We gather for one of Elizabeth's fantastic signature meals and find that, just like Babette's Feast, it transforms us all as we eat and talk. We had about 20 people for our Thanksgiving meal, some were new friends. We all had a great time.

To top this off, on Friday we had another special meal, just with our family to capture the spirit of Babette's Feast. We followed as best we could (no turtle soup, no 1860 vintage wine, etc.) the spirit of the meal. Lots of wine and great food (again). Even with only five of us around the table, we found that openness and communion that all great meals generate. So, this year, we had two magical feasts to celebrate the season of thankfulness.

I hope your celebration were as transformative.

Normally, I would be posting photos of our turkey and some of the folks. However, I upgraded to El Capitan this week and now I can only export images from my photo software that are tinted green with pink highlights. Not good. Hopefully, this will get sorted out soon.