Comment from a reader

This blog apparently has a wider readership than I thought. I made a crack in my last post about chemtrails and it drew a comment from an interesting source today. Here is a screenshot of the comment:

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Someone by the name of Ariel, with a logo no less, took issue with my chemtrails crack and purports to show me the error of my humor. Hmmmm. That logo looked familiar. Sure enough, Ariel is a brand of laundry detergent here in Sweden. In fact we have two boxes of it sitting in our bathroom/laundry room right this moment.

I have no idea why a laundry manufacturer is reading my blog in the first place. In the second place why is “Ariel” referring me to a link that supposedly explains why some people think chemtrails are just a different form of contrails. From a purely logic standpoint, this information is coming from a wrong source. It should not be coming from a washing powder manufacturer but more appropriately from the Ministry of Jet Exhaust here in Sweden. (They have a ministry of gender equality here, why not one for jet exhaust equality too.)

Ariel provides a link with some interesting information about contrails which I checked out and whoever wrote it gives a compelling explanation for why some contrails disappear in a minute while others last all day. For anyone interested, the link is: http://contrailscience.com/why-do-some-planes-leave-long-trails-but-others-dont/.

Again, more fallacious logic from Ariel. The writer of the link fails to address the notion that while the information given in his article may be perfectly valid, his argument does not close the door on the possibility that there might be other things in the sky coming out of airplanes as well. Nor does the link address this little goody that is all over the internet: a purported USAF chemistry manual from 1990 on the subject of, you guessed it, chemtrails. Here is a sceenshot of the cover:

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Now, if this is a bogus manual, I still have to give the people who put it together applause for duplicating the design sense of the U.S: military circa 1990. This thing looks like the catalogue where I used to buy rockets when I was a kid from Estes Industries in Colorado. Anyway, this manual looks and reads like the real deal, all about chemistry with charts, tables and formulas. Here is the link so anyone interested can download the manual and break out your basement lab equipment: http://beforeitsnews.com/chemtrails/2013/03/breaking-air-force-chemtrails-manual-available-for-download-2-2430684.html.

You can read both links and make up your own mind. I personally don’t know what to think but these things are appearing in our skies more and more frequently and I have heard no plausible explanation. I have not even heard a debate about the subject, but I nor anyone else I know ever saw these chemtrails before the 1990s, it might be interesting to know just what is going on in our skies.

Thanks for your comment, Ariel. You make a good laundry detergent!

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America’s contributions to Sweden

I went to my first “real” football game today in Sweden.  Not “association football” but the real thing, from an American perspective at least. Yes, they play American football in Sweden and the sport does have some popularity in the country. It probably ranks somewhere below curling but above (maybe) darts. 

Anyway I found out about this one day during my Swedish classes when, on a break, I was wandering around outside the school and saw an office for the Halmstad Eagles with football helmets in the window. The office remained closed for the duration of my classes but my curiosity was piqued and I discovered that, yes, they do play football here and yes, Halmstad had a team. It was founded in 1986 but closed down a number of years ago due to lack of funding but started back up again just recently.

There are actually two American football leagues in Sweden, an upper and lower league. Halmstad is in the lower league, having just started back up a year ago. A guy I talked to told me that the Gothenburg team once had a running back who once played for the Detroit Lions and they just gave him the ball on every play and let him do the rest. I also read that one of the teams on Stockholm had a quarterback this year who played in the NFL briefly. There are leagues in Germany at least plus the NFL Europe league, so the sport does have some following throughout the continent. NFL games are televised on Sundays and Mondays throughout the season but college games will be hard to find now that ESPN America folded its tent n August.

Mariette’s mother is an avid sports photographer and we made a date to check out the action of this season’s last home game against the Hässleholm Hurricanes. 

ImageThe game took place on another really, really nice day. The weather has been great since the beginning of May, going on FOUR MONTHS now, unheard of by anyone I have asked. The Eagles, in green, scored first and kicked off. It was pretty much all Hässleholm for the rest of the afternoon, unfortunately. 

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The players come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the linemen look like NFL players, big guts and all though I did not see any 300 pounders. The quality of play is about the level of a middling high school team, though there were several good pops throughout the game.

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The passing game for both teams was decidedly second-rate and that is being charitable. 

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The home crowd. A guy was calling the game over a PA system and between plays there was hard rock/heavy metal music playing all game long. The lingo is a mix of Swedish and English (“incomplete pass,” “touchdown,” “extra point,” “tight end”).

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Six officials called the game and did a passable job, I thought.

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Throughout the game I noticed another American contribution to Swedish society and by the 4th quarter it was hard to ignore any longer.

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I am talking, of course, about chemtrails. The planes were out spraying much of the day. I noticed it this morning while out walking the dogs and by late in the afternoon it was looking pretty bad. I never noticed these in Sweden until around 4 or 5 years ago but since we moved here two years ago they are becoming more frequent. More and more people are becoming aware of them but there is no debate about them, which makes them a perfect theme for my next art exhibition, “Our Beautiful Skies.” Here’s one painting of several I have completed so far:

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This is a beautiful view near our house. 

Anyhow, the game was fun. Mariette’s mom got some good shots, her dad did some funny sketches, the crowd had a good time, the players played hard and Halmstad got waxed about 41-12. I talked to an American who has lived in Halmstad since 1970 and supports the team. He said that when he moved here Sweden was without question the best country in the world and thought it has slipped since then it is still pretty damn good. I agree.

The season ends next week and begins again next spring. I’ll plan to be a more frequent spectator. They are just getting back into the game so they will improve and it will be fun to watch their progress. 

All in all, a really enjoyable afternoon. Go, Eagles!

 

 

Museum Day, but that’s not the half of it

Every year all the little country museums (and there are quite a few) hold open houses on the same day, usually the first Sunday in August. I’m not sure if it is the entire country or just this region but they draw a lot of visitors and it helps keep traditional Swedish culture alive.

Years ago, Mariette’s paternal grandfather started collecting artifacts from 19th and early 20th Century Swedish home and farm life. As a builder he often renovated or built new homes for people and began saving the “junk” other people no longer wanted. It became a passion and he collected literally tons of stuff. An antique dealer from the U.S. would go nuts if let loose in the museum he established.

Mariette’s paternal grandmother had the idea to create a foundation to run the museum, not only to make the artifacts available for people to appreciate but also to keep the family together, since all five of their children are the museum trustees today.

We have been to a few of these now and today was especially wonderful for a number of reasons. The least of these was the (again) perfect summer weather. It is 3 months and counting of spectacular weather throughout much of the country but especially here on the west coast. The bigger reason was getting together with many members of Mariette’s family who are truly a special bunch. Anyway, photo time.

ImageImageThat’s the museum. It was once where Mariette’s grandparents lived before they build another house on the property and turned this place into the museum.

But before Swedes do anything, they chow down, especially when the family gets together.

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The star of the proceedings was the newest member of the family, 4 week old Lucas Braggins. The parents toyed with giving him the middle name Bilbo but wisely decided better.

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Here is new Mom Helena and her cousin Elin holding Lucas.

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Now that I look at Lucas a little closer, he does have a potential hobbit ear going there. But what do I know. He will probably grow out of it and just become a normal happy Swede. His mom is one of the sweetest people I have ever known and his dad is a New Zealand transplant, newly emigrated here and also a fabulous guy. This is one lucky kid.

Here is Daddy Craig and me chatting it up.

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Anyway, after a great meal it is time to throw open the museum doors. Not so fast. What about desert?

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This is a roll cake filled with currant jam or something and topped with whipped cream and wineberries (aka currants). I couldn’t believe how good my first helping  was so I had to verify it several more times. So did Craig.

Okay, now we can go inside.

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I have posted photos of the place before so today I took some different shots. Also, the family put out other items that I had not seen before. They probably have enough stuff to fill out a space two or three times the size of the current space.

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Animal traps.

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The museum has around 800 oil prints which were very popular in the 19th Century and they have been loaning them out to museums in Gothenburg and Malmö.

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This one of the polar bear preparing lunch for her cubs is one of my favorites.

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This figure is of Mariette’s great grandfather done by the sculptor who did the other figures you have seen.

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These are some really old phonograph players and radios. Mariette’s Uncle Ejve used to own an electronics repair business until he bought a forest and became a lumberjack.

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When he is not chopping wood he plays some fine Swedish folk music on the fiddle. And did I mention that he can eat more than anyone I have ever known? He is the Swedish Kobiyashi (of hot dog eating contest fame). He and his wife Gunilla have entertained us on Midsommar celebrations with their traditional costumes, folk dancing and music. They recently went to Germany with their choir and performed there. Evje must 70 and Gunilla just retired, but for many Swedes retirement simply means getting more active in life.

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One of the visitors drove up in this sweet old Volvo.

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Cousin Elin work for H&M in Gothenburg and likes her ink.

Image It must have been two hours since we ate, so that means it is time for fika, i.e., coffee and cakes.

The open house wound down around 5:00 and we headed back to Halmstad (about 25 miles to the south). To top off the day we went for Italian ice cream at Riccardo’s which is right next to a nature preserve in the middle of nowhere. People come from all over for some really, really good ice cream, us included.

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And finally, for no other reason than it happened one evening when I was out walking the dogs on the golf course, a mama moose and her mooslings getting a drink from the water hazard on #3.

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And finally, finally, a shot from a recent trip with Mariette’s dad to the Mjellby art museum, also in the middle of nowhere (but which gets some really fine shows because the founder of the museum is very well connected).

Image  If you are getting the idea that it has been a really good summer, you’d be right. (The water temperature a couple days ago was 77 F. but that’s another story.)