Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reflecting Pool

I had fun in Stockholm.  I had fun in Washington D.C.  Trying to have fun in North Cuba.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well I am back in South Beach, sort of.  I actually live on 28th st. and South Beach technically stops around 23rd st. but who is really counting anyway.  Last year I lived on 7th st., so it all evens out for the time I'll be staying here in S0Be.  

School is going well so far, and I am enjoying my classes.  The weather here is perfect right now, and sometimes even gets a little bit chilly.  I don't mind it though, so there are no complaints on my end.  

On another note, my time visiting Adam in the D.C. area was great and I am really glad that I went.  I got the chance to visit quite a few museums while I was there.  One of the places that I remember liking as a kid was the air & space museum.  I went there once last year when I went to visit Adam, and twice this year.  I also visited the Museum of natural history, and it was pretty cool as well.  I got the chance to see an exhibit of live butterflies (2 moths)  that was really cool.  There were over 250 live butterflies in the exhibit, live flowers, feeders, and it was all enclosed into a greenhouse sort of area in the museum.  

I also got the chance to go to a Capitals hockey game while I was there, which you got to see earlier on the blog.  I was able to watch the WSU Cougar basketball games while I was there with quite a few alumni, and  got the chance to meet quite a few new people while I was up there, which was nice too.  

Overall I had a great time, and was bummed to leave.  Hopefully I get to go back up there soon.  Well, I have to go now.  Sorry that I haven't been posting too often lately, that has been my fault.  see ya.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

WSU has been taking their play to a new level this March.  I have been here in D.C. and it is great because I have been able to watch the games with quite a few other alumni.  Good times.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


So I went to my first NHL hockey game ever last night.  It was pretty exciting.  There was a goal within the first 25 seconds, as well as a goal with 12 seconds left in the game to cap off the victory for the Capitals.  I was really hoping to see a fight too, and it worked out in my favor.  

There was a real hockey fight, which was fairly standard, guys punching each other in the helmets, nothing too cool.  Then there was this guy sitting a few rows behind us that was yelling and being obnoxious throughout the whole game.  Finally one of the Calgary Flames fans had enough, and decided to take him out.  If you look closely at the picture, you can see the really large guy in the back has pulled the shirt over the head of some other guy, just like in a real hockey fight.  Classic.

Good times.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Made it back to the states safely.  I'm going to a Washington Capitols/Calgary Flames NHL hockey game tonight in D.C. with my buddy Adam.  Sweet.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Last Day

So it is my last morning here in Stockholm.  I have been here for about 2.3 months now, and it has been a pretty good trip.  I have seen tons of things I have never gotten to see before, and done quite a few things that I will never get to do again.  

After everything, Stockholm was great.  It had some of the coolest buildings I have seen, and it really had a lot more to it than I figured an old city could have.  It was a really great experience to get the chance to see it all, and take it in.

Well, I am getting ready to leave to go to the airport, and I don't want to forget anything, so I have to go.  I hope you all like what you've been seeing/reading from Stockholm.  This blog has been fun, and I'll try and keep it up.

Oh yeah, I was wrong about the Semla.  It is still around.  I'm enjoying my last Semla as I type.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Subway Set

So today I played a solo show at the Gamla Stan tunnelbana (subway) station here in Stockholm.  I had been planning it forever, and really wanted to do it before I left, so I finally did it.  I thought it was legal to play music inside the subway stations, as long as you were outside the "gated" area.  There are always people playing the saxophone or accordion, and occasionally someone with a guitar as well, but far less common.

I left the apartment around 11:45, and took off towards Gamla Stan (Old Town).  When I got there, nobody was playing in the tunnel, so I set up shop and began playing.  I played for a few minutes without getting any money, then I started to get some.  I ended up only playing for 20 minutes, because the subway officials came and kicked me out.  Apparently you cannot play in the subway.  You have to be completely off the subway property.  It was quite fun though.  I ended up getting about 20 crowns and 1 euro, which totals almost $5.  Not bad for 20 minutes of playing.  Wish I had some pictures, but it was a great time.  I really wish I had done it earlier, but this will work out for a good story.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sad news

To my faithful readers who know about Semla from a previous post, they are gone ( kindof ).  As I said earlier, Semla is a seasonal treat associated with lent, and even more so with Fat Tuesday.  Fat Tuesday is national Semla Day, and Semla is only served around a month or so.  I've been waiting for stores to start phasing Semla out, but they didn't.  One day it was just gone.  I couldn't find it anyway anymore.

Until today, I found a bakery that was selling them, (1 for the price of what I used to get 2 for) so I got one.  I haven't eaten it yet, I am actually writing this, then will probably eat it in the new few minutes.

Other than this lucky find, I will miss you Semla.  Semlor too.  Ha det bra.

Ha det bra, tack thomas, hej!

I only have three days left.  I'm getting ready today to go out on another solo mission to take pictures.  The weather is decent, but Sunday is supposed to be really bad weather, so I am making sure I get out again today at least.  I have gotten some good pictures while I am here, and have gotten a good experience.  While the administrators from my school are quite slow, and don't really know what they are doing, I guess it is good I came here to Stockholm.  I don't think I will ever get an experience like this again.  Hopefully I will, but at least I got this one.

Well the title of this post is more of an inside joke to me, but to anyone who speaks Swedish, it is commonplace.  When people get off the phone here, they have certain greeting or salutations, and sometimes they are the same as at the beginning of the conversation.  People usually start the conversation out with hej, which means hello.  they also end the conversaion with hej, which is short for hej da, which means goodbye.

So, it is funny for me when people say hej, blah blah blah, then go to ha det bra, tack Thomas, hej!,  which means hello, blah blah blah, have a good one, thanks tom, see ya later.  

too bad i couldn't have spent more time learning the language.  If i had a class before I came over, I think I would be speaking quite a bit of Svensk by now.  well, I have to go, losing daylight over here.  

Hat de bra, hej!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, I've been kinda busy.  Sorry, no photoshop on these pictures yet either, straight out of the camera.  Only having 6 days left in Sthlm, I am trying to get quite a few things done, as well as see as many sights and take as many pictures as I have time to squeeze in.

I only have time to post a few pictures right now, but I promise more will come.  Or, you can ask me about them later, and I'll show you all the one I have time to color correct.  I've taken quite a few pictures, but looking back, I wish I'd had the time to take a few more.  At least I wish I would have known as much about photography as I did when I got here.  Even though I haven't had any photography classes during the time I've been here, I've learned quite a bit about photography just from taking pictures.  

Seems logical.  Do something more often, learn how to do it better.

Well, hope you like the pics.  AND, I don't know how to post vertical pictures on this blog, and some of my best pictures are vertical.  So, look forward to those later, meaning the next time I see you.  Ask for Klevgrand alley, it is outstanding.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Green hat People

So I've been doing an internship for a company called Green hat People.  They are a company who creates games that can be played via your phone (spelas med mobilen), using Java applications.  They have a number of games.  Some are fast-paced and some are a bit slower.  Their games range from action games, team building, treasure hunts, to a tour of the Old Town (Gamla Stans Stadsvandring).

Their main target right now is corporations, selling their games to corporate companies as team building activities,  as well as for activities during corporate events or conventions.  The games they sell can be played by as few as 12 people, and up to as many as 1,000.  I think to date their biggest game was played by a group of 700.

Some of the games they sell are The Hunted (Spelet Jagad), The German Order (Spelet Tyska Orden),  Team Building : The Creative Mission (Teambuilding: Det Kreativa Uppgradet), Sigtuna Treasure Hunt (Sigtunaskatten), The Big Game (Stora Spelet), Old Town City Tour (Gamla Stans Stadsvandring), Find Me (Hitta Mig), as well as a few more.

I've been creating posters for them, helping them sell the games, as well as taking pictures for use in their games.  Today we finished up The Old Town City Tour (Gamla Stans Stadsvandring), and used 44 pictures that I took.  I've been helping out the main scriptwriter (Lars) for the tour, and we've gone on it together twice.  After taking a number of pictures, I did quite a bit of color correction, because Stockholm is usually pretty grey outside, to make them look fairly vibrant.  Then we edited them and gave them to the computer guy to upload to the application.  After that the game was a go. 

After all of that happened, the CEO, Pres. & Vice Pres. (Niklas, Alexis, & Erik) went out to take the tour.  They knew the basis of the questions and whatnot, but hadn't seen the finished product, so it was their first time taking the tour.  Lars and I followed behind with phones as well, "officially" taking the tour for the first time.  

There were a few bugs that we will have to fix, but that was part of the reason we tested it out.  All three of the guys loved it.  They had a few suggestions, but told us we did a really good job.   They said that the pictures really made the tour.  Lars deserves the vast majority of the credit, for scripting the game, but he also told me I did a great job with the pictures, and I'm glad I could help.

This internship is turning out to be pretty cool.  I have been able to create some cool posters, putting a creative spin on their pre-existing posters (actually flyers, not really posters), but giving them a much more exciting feel.  I even made my first "sale" today.  One of their new games I made a poster for, and today it sold for the first time.  They were pumped.

Well that is a little bit about what I have been doing here.  I only have 12 days left, so I am trying to make the most of them.  See some more sites, get some more work done.  All in all, it has been a good experience.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

All these came to life while we were there, just like in the movie Bedknobs & Broomsticks.  It was crazy.  Luckily they were on our side.  What do you think of those spurs in the last picture?  I don't think the horse liked them.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's good to be KING


Today was a beautiful day.  The weather report said it was going to be rainy and gross, but it turned out to be one of the most beautiful days yet.  That is why I never listen to meteorologists.  Today Tom and I went to the Royal Armory Museum, as well as the Nobel Museum. 

The armory was really cool, a fun trip into medieval times.  We saw swords, cross bows, maces, old school armor, guns, shields, spears, etc.  We also saw lots of really old clothes, books, paintings, and a number of the old Royal Carriages.  Those were really cool.  The armory allowed pictures, so we took quite a few pictures of old armor and whatnot.

In between the two museums we walked around Gamla Stan ( Old Town ) for a bit, and took some pictures.  We also went to the store and bought some food.  I had this sandwich on some sort of bread that was great.  All i can remember about the sandwich really is the bread.  It was so good.  The bread ( actually a roll ) was awesome.  It was really cheap too, less than $2 USD.  

The Nobel Museum however was somewhat disappointing.  Not really very cool at all, and I don't even have any stories about it.  They didn't allow pictures either.  But, I guess it is cool to say I went.  

After that we walked around and took a few more pictures.  Was a pretty good day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Afrika Afrika

Some Stockholm street art.  This picture is for my friend Laura Hoffman, "Afrika Afrika". You know it.

Smoking is for Girls

No, seriously, in Sweden smoking is for women.  Real men only use chewing Tobak.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ode to Me

It may be selfish, but it is my blog.  Here are a few pictures, I took all but one myself.  Which one do you think someone else took?  So, for your viewing pleasure, and to prove I am actually here in Stockholm, an ode to me.

Just hit comment, and leave your guess.  I'll be waiting.

Oh yeah, I guess I like to point at things.


Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden.  It wasn't the first incorporated town, but it is the oldest town still in existence.  The churches I have pictures of up there were built in the 13th century. The red one (marias kyrka) is still in use today, and is approaching it's 750th birthday.  

While this town is somewhat of a "tourist trap", I've been told that not that many tourists go and visit.  I thought it was a really cool town, and enjoyed my visit.  Reminded just a little bit of Leavonwerth, WA, but not that much.

Sigtuna has around 7,000 permanent residents, and as you can see in some of the pictures, has many buildings that are hundreds of years old that are still being used.  I went on this journey with two fellows from my internship (they actually work there, I work for free), and while they were setting up meeting, I went out exploring. 

I took about 350 pictures while I was there, and unfortunately I couldn't post them all here.  I tried to post more, but I got an error message, so I think 15 may be my limit.  I took my tripod along as well, so all the pictures of me were actually taken by me too.  Makes it a little tougher without someone to focus and all that, but after a few tries on each picture, I think I got what I was looking for.  

We went to lunch at this place called Farbor BlĂ„, or Uncle Blue, and it was pretty good.  I had the lamb burger, because there were only three option, lamb, fish, or salad.  I was skeptical at first, but after I got it I really enjoyed it.  It was basically like gyro meat in a patty w/ feta cheese and some sort of dressing.  Quite good.  It also came with steak fries, unlimited salad, unlimited bread and cheese, (well I hope it was unlimited or I wore out my welcome) and a glass of beer.  Overall I was completely satisfied.  And, the two waitresses were the two of the best looking girls I have seen in Sweden.

After lunch the guys had a few more meetings, so I was able to go out and get the pics where the sun was setting (The suns sets early over here).  It was a really good trip overall, and I think I covered the whole town.  I was quite tired after everything, and fell asleep on the car ride back home.

So, Sigtuna was a good experience, and I am really glad I went.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tracks To Nowhere

Look at these train tracks, they don't go anywhere.  Cool design, but not very useful.  I'm sure they were used for something way back when, but not much anymore.  Not nearly as cool as the stairs to nowhere on the campus of WWU though.  This picture was taken near Slussen, overlooking Sodermalm ( I think that translates to "South of the City" ).  

It was 0˚C today, but in reality much colder than that.  I spent most of the day near the water, and it really froze me through.  I had to go into Stockholms Stadsmuseum for awhile to thaw out.  It was a really cool museum with lots of exhibits about Stockholm's past.  It was free too, but unfortunately, no pictures were allowed.

Semla, The Scandinavian Treat

Semla is a great treat, I enjoy it a la mode.  Apparently is is a Scandinavian dessert associated with Lent, and has been around since the 1500's.  I've heard a few stories about it, but I don't know which ones are true.  It is only served for a few months out of the year, with Fat Tuesday being "National Semla Day."  I heard that is was originally made when the King told one of his bakers he wanted something new, or off with his head.  I don't know the real story, but read up on Semla with the following link.  While not as good as a cream puff in my opinion, I enjoyed the treat.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semla

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sweet Job

So I took this picture of this guy on a main street here in Sweden.  If I were to compare it to Miami Beach, this street would be Lincoln Rd.  In Anywhere,USA it is just a main tourist street with lots of cafes and shopping spots.  

I had to split the picture into two because blogger will not let me post vertical pictures.  Plus, if you have any photoshop skillz you can just paste them together with ease, if you please.

I just wanted to share with everyone that you probably do not have the worst job ever.  This guy probably doesn't either, but he is very close.  I can only think of a few worse jobs on the same pay scale ratio.  I'm sure digging up old outhouses is a far worse job, but it probably pays at least 4x better than this job.