Monday, April 30, 2012


The last day of April most Swedes enjoy bonfires and other merriment, but because we're still sick and contagious we had to turn down an invitation from my uncle to celebrate "Valborg" with him. Since the weather has been beautiful, we went outside for a little while after dinner, just enjoying the evening. 

A snail!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just chillin at the Clachan Inn

It's been pretty messy here while we've been sick, so it's a good thing we trained Inara to help us clean.

Here's even a video if the pictures weren't good enough:

What a good helper!

Also, I think Andrew and I have found a new hobby. If Andrew finds a job he thinks he might apply for, we google the name of the town (he's applying all over the world), find some facts (such as population, crime rates, etc.), then google earth it to street level and picture living there. You know, walking around, which house we might live in, where we would go eat. The last one was great. You may not have heard of St. John's Town of Dalry, located in the Scottish lowlands with a population of about 500, but I was already picturing becoming a regular at their only pub - The Clachan Inn. I would learn to say things like: "You're not from around these parts, are you?" in a thick Scottish brogue to the occasional lost traveler and claim to be the rightful owner to some castle. We also did this for Schenectity, NY. Not as pleasant, but educational. Who knew a town upstate would have a higher crime rate than NY City?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Sickly

We're all sick again, and just like last time, I was completely floored for a couple of days. I didn't use to get sick often, so it's made me realize that I probably need to start taking better care of myself, beginning with securing eight hours of sleep each night. We had been planning on working with Inara to get her to sleep all night without eating, but now our plans were interrupted by this illness. Would be nice though. I was looking back at some of the older blog posts, remembering how she actually used to sleep all night until she got to be about 5 months. Not sure if she got hungrier or maybe just realized that the world goes on after she's asleep and she's missing stuff. Not looking forward to trying to convince her otherwise. To you seasoned moms out there: Feel free to offer up any good advice!

These pictures were taken of Inara yesterday after she had just woke up and her dad tried to distract her with a music video on the ipod:



heck is that!
It's so difficult to say how children experience time and what it's like for them when someone is gone for a while. All I know is that Inara's eyes got huge when she saw Andrew sleeping on the couch the morning he came back. They stayed that big for a few minutes and then everything was back to normal. I shot this video later the same day (late upload on both videos because something's been wrong with youtube):

And lastly, this is what Inara has been doing since I last wrote about how she refuses to be fed anymore. Cleanup becomes a whole new ball game. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Inara is feeling a bit under the weather today from a measles shot last week, so she's pretty much been glued to me all day. Right now she's out cold in my arms, so I figured I would blog a little since it's impossible to do anything else. Although it's painful seeing her sick now, I think about how fortunate we are to have vaccines available to us. So many kids do not have this luxury. Another thing I think about, especially when Inara is sick, is how amazing it is that some parents raise their kids solo. They get absolutely no brakes and some don't even have family to help them. Single parents might actually deserve that "super" title that I mentioned a few days ago.

Here we are, enjoying a walk in the sun and feeling pretty darn lucky: 

Monday, April 23, 2012


I found this patch of spring flowers in the park and had to take some pictures of Inara.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Again I write a blog post.  I know you're thinking to yourselves, we are sooooo lucky!  Twice in one month?  What is the occasion?

Well this month has been a busy one for me, and I actually have things to talk about that people may be interested in.  Probably not, but maybe.  And if you aren't you really should be.

Any case, this past week I went to København, Danmark.  Yes I know, where is that on a map?  Cus seriously ø is a made up letter used to show non-smoking areas.  Well not in Danmark it isn't.  Along with the wacky æ, some sort of sick love child of the letters a and e.  An abomination if you will.  But i digress.

I went there to an EWEA (European Wind Energy Association) convention, in hopes of finding a potential employer.  Below you find my journey chronicled.

On Sunday morning I arose at 6ish.  No wait I didn't, it was more like 5:30ish.  Inara had a very bad night so I got maybe 5 hours of sleep.  Great start to a long day of traveling.  At 8 I boarded the ferry to the mainland and met my traveling companions.  Jacopo the Italian and Oliver the Irishman.  Both had been up to the wee hours of the morning and having had between them slept less than 4 hours.  They were also hungover.  Great traveling companions.  For the four hours that the crossing takes they both slept.  Once we got to the mainland we transferred to a bus to take us to Stockholm central station, on which they both slept.  Once we got to Stockholm we again transferred to another bus to take us to the airport, they slept.  At the airport they remained awake until we got on the airplane where they slept.

At 6 we arrived in København, more or less well rested.  We took the train to København central station and then walked to our hotel.  Within 50 meters of the entrance of the hotel were two strip clubs with very colorful and detailed photographs of their wares.  I was advised not to take pictures by my traveling companions due the risk of having my Ipod smashed by bouncers.  I saw no bouncers but figured it was not worth the risk.  Then at least.

Once in our hotel we found that the sliding shower door had thoughtfully, and permanently, been removed and placed at the back of the shower.  I also found this in the bathroom:

Miracle Gel
Like any high class hotel they had provided soap, shampoo and conditioner.  Only they had done so in one handy container!  Having used this miracle gel, I have to say it needed a few warnings, such as:

Do NOT place on or near lips, nose, eyes.  Product will cause intense burning sensation.
Do NOT place product on scalp.  Product will cause intense burning sensation.
Do NOT use product on unprotected areas of skin.  Product will cause intense burning sensation.
Severe dryness and fiery rashes mean product is working and YOU are clean.

Nice hotels have nice pictures stapled to the wall right?

This is me sitting on the bed.  The picture behind me made very little sense.  There were two naked women enjoying the weather whilst to very overdressed men were conversing happily.  Either someone in that picture is very warm or someone is very cold.

The first night we went out and grabbed some food.  København is expensive, and this was not repeated by me.  I grabbed these photos a little ways from our hotel:

I'm totally a great photographer.

This is a museum.  They had a trash exhibition I guess.
After returning to the hotel that night I looked up the sights in København to see what needed to be seen.  On the list was København's red light district, which normally wouldn't have been a draw except its address seemed familiar.  I then realized our hotel was already IN the red light district!  What luck!

Realizing this was an opportunity I gathered my sleep deprived comrades and ventured out into the night.  Here are some pictures.

Pictures didn't turn out, but hey what were you expecting?  The person in front of me is a prostitute!

Standing outside the hotel taking pictures of the strip clubs.  They seemed super high class places.

Can't say I was impressed.  Nothing that wasn't already on half the streets in Tacoma.  In fact it was probably cleaner than Tacoma.  My traveling companions also stated that the Parisian and Amsterdam districts were much nicer.  Ah well.  We returned to our hotel and went to bed, wanting to be fresh the next morning.

The convention was held at this place:

The Bella Center
There were 10,000+ people at the event, hundreds of companies, unlimited free coffee, bottled water, hot chocolates, Danish beers, back massages, and four bathrooms.  Make that four bathrooms for women, who were outnumbered 3:1.  Two bathrooms for men. The desperation in some eyes in line for the bathroom was heart breaking.  On the plus side they made the entrance to the bathrooms a carnival maze of mirrors.  The ceiling to floor mirrors made it look like there were three doors.  But there was only one.  I watched a man walk full speed into a mirror, mind clouded by urine.  Unfortunately the mirrors quickly became smudged from the repeated impacts of assorted nationalities.

The first day Oliver managed to block the only entrance to the event as the Danish prime minister and crown prince were forced to elbow past him.  Good times.  I'll spare you the boring bits and get straight to the point of the conference: Wind Power Good, Solar Okay, Other (non renewable) Power Bad.

After the first day we went to a place called the Glyptotek, where Rodan's Thinker is at, for a meet and great.  And food.  I've attached a picture of the food.  It was pretty... well...not tasty.  But it looked expensive so it probably was good.

The Water Mother statute.  Friggin' covered in babies.  Totally creepy.  It was like they were a pack of wolves and they'd wrestled her down and were going for the kill.  Pretty sure that's what the artist intended.

The food.
More of the creepy little monsters climbing her back.  I'm thinking if i got some red food coloring and sprayed this thing people would see it the way I do.

Syria room...

Egypt room

Hall of Statues

I got yelled at for putting my cup down on the base of the second statue from the right.  It was a 1700 year old Nero or something.  After that long a glass of water probably isn't going to break it folks.  Besides Nero was a jerk.

Death and a naked chick.  Just chillin'.

Tivoli, the 2nd oldest theme park in the world! Also expensive.

The second day there I talked to companies, the first day was just finding who i needed to talk to.  Here are some pictures of the event:

After Tuesday Oliver and I decided to go for a running tour of the city to see the sights.  Our route is mapped below:


Map killed the post so I got rid of it.  We ran about 15 km.  Look at a map of the city, then look at all the good sites.  That is where we ran.

Palace in the background.


The Little Mermaid.  This thing is a big deal in Danmark.  Based on the Little Mermaid by H.C. Andersen.  Not Disney.  The real one where she dies, sort of.  Is sea foam alive?  Anyhow just another example of how Disney messed up a classic.

This mermaid is about a km from the famous one is and is three times the size. Maria feels this mermaid is profane when compared to the other topless women/mythical sea creatures in this post.  Can YOU point out the more profane bits!
Any case the last couple of days I talked to more companies and gathered souvenirs.  I also got good at dodging bikes. The Danes love their bikes and H.C. Andersen.

So in closing, I managed to speak with several companies over the course of the event and got some contacts that will hopefully result in a job.  Either way I managed to appropriate enough swag and food to partially compensate myself for the trip.  And if I happen to win one of the three Ipads, two Ipods and car I entered to win all the better.