Thursday, January 31, 2008

Logo Theft

In my friend Jeremy Straight's blog, he talks a little bit about idea theft in the EU.  There is some company called Gong Gong that is marketing a product that is basically SoBe.  After letting the coordinator know, the assignment was called off.  (pictures on his site)

I came across a bit of idea theft myself, well to be exact, logo theft.  I took this picture of a logo in a window (top), because it reminded me of the Westinghouse logo (bottom).   After getting home I looked up the Westinghouse logo, and sure enough it was almost exactly the same.  Flip it upside down, add some bells, take away the whistle, and you have it;  a professionally stolen logo.

I emailed them earlier about this issue ( so hopefully they will get back to me on the issue.  If they don't contact me by the end of the business day Feb. 5th, I told them that I will be contacting Westinghouse personally.  

They are probably just thinking tourist...   But I am thinking lawsuit.

1 month

I've been here for a month, and it has been going alright.  It is fairly expensive, but I've been getting along alright.  The apartment works, the weather is good.  It has been staying light quite a bit longer than when we first got here.  Been taking tons of pictures..

Haven't really eaten out at all, except for two subsidized lunches.  Other than that I've been eating everything here at home.  My body probably enjoys that, getting healthier food compared to the last two or three years.  Check that, ever since I moved out of my parent's house.

Tom and I are going to a concert next week.  We tried to go to a band called Iron & Wine a few weeks ago, but they were sold out.  So, we settled for a band called Jimmy Eat World.  It will be kind of a throwback concert, seeing as how I liked them my freshmen and sophomore year of college, but it should be good anyway.  Haven't really listened to them too much since then, but the songs I have i still like.  So it will be somewhat of a "re-discovery" concert, in the fact that I haven't heard their last two albums, so we will see how far they have come along.  

We could have also gone and seen MegaDeth, but decided against it.  Dave Mustaine is great and all, but I'm not really into him or his band.  On top of that, Metallica would be a better show.  Seeing as how once Dave was kicked out of the band he basically copied their style, but sells far less records from it.  

There are actually quite a few U.S. bands/artists coming through Stockholm in the next few months, but I probably won't get the chance to go see any more of them.  Unless it is a band I really like, I will probably just save my money.  Backstreet Boys are coming in April.  Luckily I'll be gone when that craze hits.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Coincidence ???

So I was browsing a bookstore, and I found this book, Svarens Bok.  I was curious what my last name meant in Swedish, so I asked the young man what this meant and he told me, "The Book of Answers."  I have no idea what "har du fagor, har finns svaren" means, but my best guess is something like, Do you have a question?  We have an answer.

It is funny that my last name means "The Answer."  Someone may have told me that before, but I really don't know.  It is also funny because when  was younger I always thought I had all of the answers.  However, I know that I don't have all the answers.  In fact, I wish I could read Swedish, then I could have picked this book up to get them.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Smart Car

Check out this sweet car.  I find it funny.

Friday, January 25, 2008

2 Bikes I'm glad I don't own.

I wonder who actually rides these bikes?  They were both locked up, so somebody must own them.  I have a picture in my mind of who rides the first one, but I'm stumped about the second one.  Whoever it is must be pretty cool though.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow, Time, Scarves, and the Swedish Kronor

So it hasn't really been snowing much, and in fact it hasn't really seemed like an arctic climate at all.  It has been around 4˚ celsius most of the time, 39-41˚ fahrenheit.  Today and yesterday it finally cooled down and snowed both days.  There hasn't been too much snow, but it has been really cold.  I was out taking pictures today and I had to come home because I got too cold.  I even had a thermal shirt on, my jacket, gloves, wool socks, and a beanie.  After taking a 20 minute break inside of Urban Outfitters, yes the same as in the US, I was still cold and decided to go home. 

I see it in 6˚ F in Pullman right now, so we are nowhere near that, but at least it seems to be sunny over there.  There have been a few sunny days this past week, in fact it has been sunny in the mornings, but becomes overcast by about noon or 13:00.  It is funny to me when people say they will be done at 16:40, or 18:45.  They think it is funny when Tom and I talk about 4:40 or 6:45 pm though.  SO, we have started playing along and refer to times in the 24-hour clock reference.

I always thought it was weird for guys to wear scarves, and thought it was more of a girl thing.  Over here that is not the case, and there are actually some pretty cool "male scarves."  I don't know if I will get one, but when that cold wind goes shooting down the back of my coat I envy every guy who has one.

The US dollar is going up in value compared to the Swedish Kronor.  When I moved here it was 1:6.54.  5 days ago it was at 1:6.3.  This morning it was up to 1:6.6, but fell back to 1:6.57.  Hopefully it goes up to 1:8, and I will take out loads of cash just incase it drops back down again.  I do not foresee this happening though, so it is just wishful thinking.  The Swedish crowns (literal translation of kronor) are very colorful though, much cooler than our green bills.  However, our bills are getting more creative, AND they are all the same size.  Whoever thought of bills having different sizes is crazy.  Half of the bills I get don't even fit into my wallet, and I have to fold them in half so they will fit.  

The coin system is also kind of annoying, I don't like carrying around a bunch of coins, and I especially don't like counting out 56 SEK in 1 kr coins.  It takes way to long.  But luckily, (I think it is unluckily), everything is so expensive that you can't really get anything for just coins anyway.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Moderna Museet

Today Tom and I went to the Moderna Museet (Modern Museum) to check out some artwork.  We took advantage of the student discount, so we got in for 60 SEK.  So this place has works from artists such as Picasso, Dali, Matisse, Warhol, Oppenheim, and many others.  Today they opened a brand new exhibit featuring artists from Rio de Janeiro which was pretty cool.  Over all there wasn't quite as much artwork as I thought there would be, but I am glad we went to check it out. 

You weren't allowed to take pictures, which I thought was weak sauce, so I could only use my camera outside.  I don't get it, you can take pictures in The Louvre, but not here?  Anyways, I lugged my camera around all day for just a few snapshots, but either way, it turned out to be a good trip.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pizza Pizza

So I went out for subsidized lunch today.  I had a pizza, probably about a 12 inch, and a Coke for 60 SEK.  Tom told me that I was supposed to pay extra for the Coke, but I didn't know that.  I think the guy would have mentioned something when I grabbed one out of the fridge.  But, I also think he offered me one.  Then again, I have no idea because he didn't speak English, and I don't speak Swedish.  Either way, I enjoyed the meal, but it was nowhere near the quality of Pizza Pipeline.  (They deliver more taste to your door.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Subsidized Lunch

So thanks to Tom's Lonely Planet Guide to Stockholm we found out that the government subsidizes lunch everywhere in the country.  They do this so as the keep workers happy throughout the day.  A good plate of food costs 125 SEK and up nearly everywhere, even rising to as much as 400-500 SEK for a meal $79 USD.  With the government subsidy, every restaurant is required to offer lunch at a price under 85 SEK.  

Brilliant.  Why doesn't the U.S do this as well?  Well, maybe because everything is outrageously priced in Sweden and in the U.S. we can get lunch for cheaper than that anyway.  Shoot, I can get dinner in the U.S. for under 85 SEK also.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Where I live.

Nobody seems to be able to find Bagarmossen on the map, so I've included some pictures. So I don't live right at the arrow, but I do live close.  I live on Byalsvagen, and it is about an 8 minute walk to the subway station.  However, the walk seems much shorter than that, and there is a playground with a zipline along the way that I hit up every now and then.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Swedish Fish

Swedish fish from Sweden are so much better than the Swedish fish they sell in the U.S.  These were off the hook.  I knew I was going to give in at one point, and I am glad I did.  They were 9.9 SEK per HG.  I don't know how much an HG is, but I only paid 22 SEK total $2.68 USD.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tempur-Wack Pillows

Well, our pillows were knock-offs and I had a stiff neck all day.  No wonder they were $free.99


I figured it out.  So here are some pics of the new pad.  Like I said earlier, it is HUGE compared to my old place.  Plus, we have multiple rooms, a balcony, and a couch that smells like cigarettes!  (Thanks previous tenants)  Anyone and everyone is welcome to send us a bottle of anti-microbial Febreze.  Can't seem to find any dryer sheets either, that also combats the cig butt smell.  Until next time...

hej hej.  here are some pics from our new apartment.  i can't post all of them in one post, or else i just don't know how to use this yet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tempur-Pedic Pillows

You know those really cool Swedish Tempur-Pedic memory foam pillows & beds that they sell in the U.S. for a fortune?  Well I bought one today for 19- SEK ($2.98 USD).  How do you like that?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

IKEA adventure

So Tom and I made a trip to the original IKEA store the other day.  We got off the tunnel-bana (subway) around 1 pm and tried to find our way to the store.  Considering the fact that all we had was a re-drawn google map on a piece of paper, and both of us are effectively illiterate, we are lucky we made it.  After about 15 minutes of wandering around, we finally found a street name that we recognized, and were on our way.  About 3 minutes later we saw it, and our adventure begun.

We began the stop at the IKEA restaurant.  We had heard about the restaurant from others, and were told we needed to give it a try.  So both of us ordered the meal with 15 swedish meatballs ( w/ gravy and cranberry sauce), potatoes, salad, a roll, chocolate mousse, and a drink for only 59- SEK.  Looking back this seems expensive ($9.26 USD), but looking forward, this meal was dirt cheap, and really, really good.  I haven't been able to find a restaurant here where you can get your entree ( not meal) for under 150- SEK, so relatively, this was a steal.  Because of this Tom and I have decided to go to IKEA every Wednesday for lunch while we are here in the country.

After we ate, we began the journey.  IKEA is 4 floors of madness.  If I were to describe it, I would have to say it was a madhouse.  We started out at the top, and began to make our way down.  The top three floors are mainly room setups ( kitchen, bed, bath, living) and you can't actually pick anything up on those floors.  If you want something you have to write the tag number down and get it later.  So, at this point I was getting frustrated because we had been walking around for 45 mins and didn't have anything in our bags.

Finally we made it to the lower level, the mecca of anything usable.  I had never seen so many household items in one place at one time in my entire life.  Costco who?  Wal-Mart what? This store is off the hook.  I really can't describe it other than everything you could ever want or need fro your house or apartment.  So, after walking through the mecca, Tom and I found what we were looking for, and were on our way out.  For only 318- SEK apiece, right about $50 USD, we felt like we made out like bandits.  I thought IKEA was cheap in the US, but this is a whole new level of cheap.  It seems like they were giving their stuff away, and everyone was willing to take it.  Basically, it was awesome.

So after paying, Tom and I made our way back to the tunnel-bana without a hitch and were on our way home.  We both bought Sony Ericsson Walkman cell phones (cheap for the features), and they were well worth it.  On the way home some drunk bum was either trying to get money from us, or just wanted to chat, but either way both of us put our headphones in as to tell him we weren't interested.  Worked out great.  The picture quality on the phone isn't so hot, as you can see from the pictures, but otherwise the phones are sweet.  Until next time...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Nordic Trek

So I finally moved out of North Cuba, and I am here in Stockholm.  I have only been here for a few days, but I like it much better than Miami.  I don't know exactly what it is yet, but it is quite possibly everything.  The only down side so far are the prices.  Everything is really, really expensive.  Our apartment isn't too expensive, and for the size and amenities, I think we got a pretty good deal.  My apartment in North Cuba was a studio ( with alcove) and was about 400 sq. ft.  The apartment here in Stockholm is around 1000 sq. ft, has 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, and a living room that is the size of my last apartment.  It is good to have a roommate again too.  Living by myself got kind of boring sometimes.  These next 3 months should be some of the best I've had.  I'm really looking forward to it.