Archive for the 'Scandinavia & Iceland' Category

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Yes, I haven’t posted in a while – I’ve been working on lyrics for my music, taking piano lessons, giving computer lessons in return for piano lessions, working part-time, trimming tree branches away from the house, helping my wife cope with her evil step-siblings who are bullying her mom, DJing on Second Life, DJing on, posting things on Twitter and Facebook, and last Friday I cooked a huge pot of my signature beef vegetable soup, as is traditional on the first cold weekend that I have time.

Eh, who am I kidding — I could have posted but I was just dragging butt.

And besides: Look over to the left of the page: my Twitter & posts show up in the sidebar, as well as on Facebook, so it’s just as good as blogging, except you don’t get to listen to me blather on at length about things of no importance.

Like for instance.

Come to think of it, that makes it BETTER than blogging.


I have emerged from semi-exile to wish Happy Birthday to two of my readers (which means, to about half of the reading audience that I have left): Former co-worker Todn8r, and longtime blogging friend in Norway, RennyBA

Hope you two make the best of your respective days!

Back to the Bjork

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It was about four years ago that I started becoming fascinated with Iceland in general, and that bizarre crazycakes entity known as Bjork in particular.

Today I remembered that SNL recently did a news segment with Her Wackness (played by Kristen Wiig) explaining Iceland’s economic crisis, and I realized I haven’t checked out Hulu in a long time, so hey: Two birds, one stone, no waiting:

The absolute bestest part: “Right now, Iceland gets all of its revenue from three sources: Fishing, dragons, and screaming.”

Ha ha ha haaaa! That’s pure comedy genius!

Because it’s Bjork all over.

Don’t believe me? here’s her “Bachelorette” video; discruminating film enthusiasts will detect Michel Gondry’s fingerprints all over it:

I’m Still Back!

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

I’m so thrilled to be able to blog again that I’m at it again after just five hours.

First of all I’d like to thank my friends Kim and Pam for already noticing I’m back without me even telling them, and to Renny, who didn’t know I was having problems, but who kept checking back anyway, and left two comments during the month while I couldn’t post anything.

And also a big thanks to Joni of WordPress forums for helping me troubleshoot and get back online.

I had more to post, but I have to go get ready for a job interview tomorrow (did I mention that?), so here’s what I don’t have time to talk about tonight: My adventures in Second Life, my music getting circulated around (I have my own ringtones! Woo-hoo!), developments in various shows, and my job interview tomorrow.

Bet you can’t wait.


Monday, March 17th, 2008

It turns out that the U.S. that goes all out for this Irish holiday: Our blogging friend Renny in Norway reports on the Oslo St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

After all, Norway’s Vikings founded Dublin, so they’re understandably proud, and want a little credit for themselves.

Bonus points: It’s an excuse for beer!

Anyway, check it out, and then check back here, because I think I’ve got a couple more posts in me …

Sunday night, quickly …

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Okay, I haven’t posted all weekend, I’ve been cooking. A LOT. Like blackened chicken tonight, and chili last night. I also started brownies tonight (no, not that kind of brownies, grow up), but my wife, who doesn’t even eat sugary things any more, supermanded my kitchen authority and insisted on cooking them herself, since, she argued, that it needed to be done right.

And who am I to argue?

At least I got brownies out of the deal.

I’ve also been listening to more of last year’s entries at the RPM Challenge; I’m particularly intrigued by a band called Bee Sting Proof Suit. Their recordings are very rough, but also very suited to late nights with the headphones on. They’re sort of like Sigur Ros, but less glacial.

Speaking of Sigur Ros, our Newcastle pal ILuvNUFC has rounded up some excellent S.R. music videos, so go check ’em out.

He also found some excellent games, one of which I hereby challenge The Spook to, he being trained in drafting/mechanical drawing from way back: Dupligon, a game where you’re shown a geometric figure, then have to draw it from memory.

But my original point here tonight, from which I have sorely digressed, is that I’ve been busy this weekend micro-crafting my resume for a job that sounds really cool, for a change: Working in a small office – a NON-CORPORATE environment! — sysopping the LAN and webmastering the website. I want it so bad I can taste it.

But then we shall just see, shan’t we?


We shan.

Calling Out the Troops

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Let’s see how many people we can mobilize.

Assuming you’re reading this today (Sunday, January 13), please go over to Santa’s Blog of the Day, and vote for our good blogging-friend, RennyBA.

(As a bonus, my site will show up as the source of the link, in a live traffic feed … So you’ll be helping me out too! Just make sure you click the link from here, not from Renny’s. Go to his site later, but click from here to go to Santa’s. Got it? Thanks!)

As I write this, the leader has 11 votes and Renny has 7 — a margin that can be easily surmountable! So please go over and vote (multiple times, if you have multiple computers), and help put a Friend of Mantra on the top of the heap!

My 5th Blogiversary, Part 3

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

It worked out so well on the previous two nights, so let’s continue celebrating my Five-Year Blogiversary by posting more random chatter:

Tomorrow is the day of the Iowa Caucuses. Someone who is not as civilized, polite or considerate as myself might say that tomorrow is the day that a bunch of bucktoothed cornshuckers tell the rest of the country who they can’t vote for.

But I wouldn’t say that, because I’m too nice.

Seriously though, you know that I love every creature on God’s green planet, and I have nothing against Iowa. But let’s face it: Every election year, after Iowa and New Hampshire get through voting, half of the candidates of both parties are dropping out before the most populous states like California and New York — and yes, Texas — get a chance to have a say in the matter.

Not that I would probably like the candidates that would be hand-picked by the Big Apple and Wackyfornia; and the candidate I was rooting for in 2000 actually won in New Hampshire.

But it’s the prinicple of the thing: People in 48 of the states have to watch their favorites get plucked out of the race like feathers off a dead chicken, and these limited choices are dictated by these two tiny states (population-wise, anyway) that aren’t representative of America (not that any states are a microcosm of the whole nation).

And I think that at least one of my blogging friends might agree with me, since her candidate has been about 2% in Iowa.

Anyway, I’ll have more to say when all this is over.

The late night talk shows are back! The writer’s strike isn’t over, but the shows have either struck private deals, or figured out how to work without writers.

Letterman did fine during the strike of 1988, using what he called “Network Time Killers”, like a fountain that he would fill with various liquids, like milk or Scope mouthwash; he called in The Dancing Waters, until he discovered that someone else was using the name, and he changed it to The Prancing Fluids. Another NTK was the Del Rubio Triplets.

Anyway, I mention Letterman so that I can also say: He has a beard, a big gray bushy beard, and it looks awful. He looks like he just climbed off a package of old-timey cough drops.

Leno is trying to make it without writers, and it’s going about as well as Letterman beard looks. It’s a total amateur hour.

But at least he had the new Jibjab cartoon, and his first guest is Iowa front-runner Mike Huckabee, and my wife is actually interested in a candidate in the first time in all the years I’ve known her.

Anway, it’s good to have the talk shows back with new material; I know we can’t be the only ones with this end-of-the-day ritual …

One day this past weekend, when it was fairly warm, I raked half the leaves in our back yard; I would have raked more but I had completely filled our trash tote plus a 30-gallon paper leaf sack, so I figured that would be a good place to stop.

There was better weather to rake in a month ago, but all the leaves hadn’t fallen yet.

And finally: I’d like to welcome the newest addition to my blogroll, Kristie from Norway, a friend (or at least a reader) of RennyBA’s blog.

Welcome to the insanity, Kristie!

Elves Have (Not) Left the Building

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

This time of year all you hear about is Santa, Santa, Santa — no love for the elves!

Well, almost none: NPR this afternoon did a report on something I had heard before: Most Icelanders believe in elves, so much so “that Icelanders halt construction projects or divert roads to avoid disturbing the mythical folk.”

They even have a national Elf School.

That’s what happens when your national liquor is given the nickname “The Black Death”.

Moving a bit further south: Did you know: In Dutch tradition, Santa doesn’t have the help of elves, he relies on the assistance of Black Pete.

You’re welcome.

But enough of this educational junk:

Check this out: Full Metal Elves. (Don’t let the scene from “Rudolph” fool you; there’s some rough language, some don’t play this with the kiddies around.)

Next: Skydiving elves!

And finally: Christmas Bohemian Rhapsody:

Lots of Unrelated Things in a Numbered List for Your Convenience

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

1. Renny has “tagged” me, to do some … “meme” … or other — something that’s supposed to introduce me to my readers. But seriously, now. I talk about myself already so much over the course of almost five years (!) my readers, if any, are probably trying to FORGET what they already know. But okay, okay, I’ll cobble something together in a couple of days.

2. Because my schedule is full, okay? We’ve got another certification audit (or something, I’m unclear) coming up in 10 days, so more weekend work is not out of the question.

3. Plus, my wife thinks we need a third dog, so we may be doing an adoption interview this weekend, with a puffy red Pommy, just like little sweet Schotzy was.

4. Still haven’t installed my 5-port USB card from last week.

5. I’m trying to gather my medical bills from last year, for a tax deduction. But I can’t find anything, fancy that, so I have to go to online credit card statements.

6. Pavarotti died today. I don’t have any thoughts on that, really, but Vickie was surprised I didn’t bring it up, so here it is.

7. Speaking of musical people, Kim has a new song, the first in a long time, go check it out!

8. Last week, two stories from sources near my hometown popped up on Fark in one day. The one in the Plainview paper isn’t showing up (it wasn’t about Plainview or even Texas anyway), but this one from Lubbock is. It’s about a stabbing and shootout between two employees at a Lubbock gun store.

Who woulda thought? Well, I would have, I guess …

9. One more thing: The new (R-rated!) trailer for Beowulf, co-starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Robert “Back to the Future/Forrest Gump” Zemeckis.

He’s come a long way, and in this case it’s not necessarily a good thing.

It looks like he tried to remake The 13th Warrior as 300, but he couldn’t afford enough lighting.

Anyway, here it is:

Okay, that’s more than enough, go get ready for the weekend …

Summer Music Sampler

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Want lots & lots of good free music?

Shut up, of course you do.

Indie label Labrador has released their 2007 Summer Sampler of a whopping 68 songs, and it’s really great.

You can download it here; I highly recommend it.

Don’t worry, even though the label is in Sweden, all the songs I’ve listened to so far (I’m about halfway through it) are in English, except for the first four, and they’re are very listenable, a nice mix of light alternative styles.

And, unlike some indie samplers where they feel obligated to throw in some rap or metal (and you know how those Scandinavians cherish their death metal), I haven’t come across any of that, so you can listen without fear.

I actually found out about this great sampler in an article on Techdirt, when they were making a point about how file-sharing can actually be used to help the music industry, contrary to the ridiculous claims made by the money-grubbing RIAA. Labrador actually asked people to upload/seed the files to Pirate Bay and other BitTorrent networks, to relieve some of the stress on their servers.

Most importantly, the company realizes that giving away generous numbers of samples is good for business, instead of making fans pay through the nose for every song.

Anyway, here’s the complete track list:

[Ingenting] – Här Kommer Solen
[Ingenting] – Julia
[ingenting] РPunkdr̦mmar
[Ingenting] – Släpp In Solen
Acid House Kings – Do What You Wanna Do
Acid House Kings – Say Yes If You Love Me
Acid House Kings – Sunday Morning
Acid House Kings – This And That
Acid House Kings – This Heart Is A Stone
Aerospace – Tenderness Is The Plight Of The Weakerthan
Aerospace – The Only Things We Share
Afraid of stairs – Not Today
Airliner – Everything That’s You
Chasing Dorotea – The Anchor Song
Club 8 – Love In December
Club 8 – Missing You
Club 8 – Saturday Night Engine
Club 8 – Spring Came, Rain Fell
Club 8 – Whatever you want
Corduroy Utd. – Daddy’s Boy
Corduroy Utd. – Here Comes The Summer
Douglas Heart – A Question Of Gender
Douglas Heart – Always no
Douglas Heart – Smoke Screen
Edson – On Last Song About You Know What
Edson – Sunday, Lovely Sunday
Edson – When the mind suffers, the body cries out
Irene – Baby I Love Your Way
Irene – Little Things (That Tear Us Apart)
Lasse Lindh – Bruised
Laurel Music – Dreams And Lies
Laurel Music – Sacred Heart
Leslies – Dear Friend
Loveninjas – I wanna be like Jonny C
Loveninjas – Keep Your Love
Mondial – Stand By Your Story
Pelle Carlberg – Go to Hell, Miss Rydell
Pelle Carlberg – I Love You You Imbecile
Pelle Carlberg – Riverbank
Ronderlin – Reflected
Sambassadeur – Between The Lines
Sambassadeur – Kate
Sambassadeur – New Moon
South Ambulance – Die 5 Times Times 5
South Ambulance – Hanging in a tie
Starlet – I’m Home
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Funeral Face
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Loop Duplicate My Heard
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Rent A Wreck
The Legends – Call It Ours
The Legends – He knows the sun
The Legends – Hide away
The Legends – Lucky Star
The Legends – Make It All Right
The Legends – Play it for today
The Legends – There And Back Again
The Mary Onettes – Lost
The Mary Onettes – Void
The Radio Dept. – The Worst Taste In Music
The Radio Dept. – Why Won’t You Talk About It?
Tribeca – Solitude
Tribeca – The Sun Always Shines On TV
Waltz For Debbie – He Loves Anna
Waltz For Debbie – Once Upon A Time
Wan Light – Landmarks And House
Wan Light – That Grim Reality
Wan Light – The Astronauts
Wan Light – Two Words Away

Those of you who know me personally can just hit me up for copies; for the rest of you poor saps, you definitely need to download these songs, if only to fill the sad, bitter vacuum in your life from not knowing me personally.

You’re welcome.