Days 121 and 122 — Visit from an old friend

We were greeted this morning just before 8:00 by a visit from a friend we had not seen in a while: the sun.

It has been overcast for days and, with the sun setting around 4:00 now, dark. So it was really nice to get a cloudless, windless, bright, bright, bright sunshiny day. Like I say, by 4:00 p.m. it was pretty much over.

We are in somewhat of a drought here it seems. Mariette used to scare me with stories about November in Halmstad with heavy rains and wind blowing so hard that the rain was horizontal. We have not had rain in over two weeks, I think and the 10 prognosis has none then either. The summer was kind of cool and wet, so that often portends a mild winter. Temperatures have been about 10 degrees F. warmer than normal for this time of year.

Could be Sweden will become the new California. They are both long narrow lands, have lots of high tech industry and thriving film industries, beautiful nature, progressive. Sweden’s economy is in much better shape than California’s at the moment, however.

My brother sent me a link to an interesting article about how Sweden has weathered the current global economic crisis which I will share here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-09/sweden-prime-minister-proving-tough-love-of-banks-a-model-for-debt-crisis.html

Definitely worth reading. One of the banks mentioned in the article, Nordea, came under fire recently when the bank president used about $4 million of the bank’s profits to buy a fancy apartment. The government’s finance minister blasted him and advised customers to change their bank if they don’t like their current one. Imagine Timothy Geithner saying anything vaguely that strong. It happens here all the time. Another story is the fact that eldercare companies, which are private, are showing too much profit. To be making too much money from servicing the society’s senior citizens is bad form in Sweden.

I can’t end this without some photos of my new favorite sport that I just saw on one of the sports channels: three man foot volleyball. It is big in Southeast Asia and played with a ball made of wood or tree bark or something and the play it using only their feet. These people are incredible. A bicycle kick in a soccer game is noteworthy. Here it happens every 30 seconds. It’s called Sepak Takraw or kick volleyball.

They have women’s and men’s teams, three to a side. Most of these pictures are just people apparently standing around but you can find some amazing stuff on YouTube, I am sure.

Finally, on another channel they were showing the world weightlifting championships from Paris and a Chinese guy weight 170 pounds lifter 446 pounds over his head in the clean and jerk. Lest my mother think all I do all day is flip between sports channels, I also walked the dog, got some exercise, went to Swedish class, did some work, wrote this blog entry and enjoyed another day in this wonderful country.

 

 

 

 

 

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