Sunday, November 30, 2014

"The poet read his crooked rhyme / Holy, holy is his sacrament / Thirty dollars pays your rent / On Bleecker Street" P. Simon #QotD

Fog’s rollin’ off the East River Bank
Like a shroud, it covers Bleecker Street
Fills the alleys where men sleep
Hides the shepherd from the sheep

Voices leaking from a sad café
Smiling faces trying to understand
I saw a shadow touch a shadow’s hand
On Bleecker Street

The poet read his crooked rhyme
Holy, holy is his sacrament
Thirty dollars pays your rent
On Bleecker Street

I heard a church bell softly chime
In a melody sustainin’
It’s a long road to Canaan
On Bleecker Street

"Bleecker Street", Paul Simon

"Grabbed hold of a subway car / & after a rocking, reeling, rolling ride / I landed up on the downtown side / Greenwich Village" Dylan #QotD

Dropping by Greenwich Village, not as cold as Dylan's day!

I swung onto my old guitar
Grabbed hold of a subway car
And after a rocking, reeling, rolling ride
I landed up on the downtown side
Greenwich Village

I walked down there and ended up
In one of them coffee-houses on the block
Got on the stage to sing and play
Man there said, “Come back some other day
You sound like a hillbilly
We want folk singers here”

"Talkin' New York" by Bob Dylan

US Airways 2178: DCA to LGA

Gate 45

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant ..." #QotD #Thanksgiving

Yes, it's that time of year again ... time again to revisit the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre ... and yes, here it comes, it's coming around again ... here it is, sing along, because you know, if they see "Fifty people a day walking in singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and Walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement" and friend, I say friends, I do believe that we could use a movement about now so ... well, here it comes ....
"You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant" - Arlo Guthrie

100° to 0°! Happy birthday Anders Celsius #FamousScientists

2014.10.25-IMG_2252Anders Celsius, creator of Celsius/Centigrade scale of temperature, was born on this date in 1701 in Uppsala, Sweden.

In his original scale, Celsius had the scale go the opposite way (water boils at 0° and freezes at 100°), but another famous colleague of his at the University of Uppsala (a fellow we're familiar with, one Carl Linnaeus), swapped it around after Celsius' death.

When I was in Gamla Uppsala in October of 2014, I visited the church there (the original Swedish cathedral). His grave, unfortunately, is currently covered by flooring.

2014.10.25-IMG_2256 2014.10.25-IMG_2254

Defending my title as slowest man in my age group in the Arlington Turkey Trot #Thanksgiving

Find my results from last year here:
What will be the result this year!!!!

FINAL RESULT: 53:13 / 3,012 of 3,343 / 181 of 212 in age group

Sunday, November 02, 2014

@United 4372: EWR to DCA

Running 18 minutes late, hope the wind doesn't further delay the flight

Some passages on Stockholm from The land of Thor (1867) by J. Ross Browne

Some passages on Stockholm from The land of Thor (1867) by J. Ross Browne

2014.10.31-IMG_2644The main part of the city, embracing the King s Palace, the Bourse, the Church of St. Nicholas, the Barracks and public buildings, is built upon an island fronting the Baltic on the one side and the Malar Lake on the other. This is the most populous and interesting part, though the streets are narrow and irregular, and the houses generally old and dilapidated, with dark, gloomy fronts, and a very fishy and primitive expression of countenance. (p. 253)


The general aspect of the citizens of Stockholm is that of extreme plainness and simplicity. I take them to be an honest, substantial, and reliable people, well educated and intelligent ; satisfied with themselves and the world, and proud of their country and its history. Politeness is a national characteristic. Every person, of high and low degree, upon entering a shop, takes off his hat, and remains with uncovered head while making his purchase. Gentlemen who meet on the street knock the tops of their "tiles" against their knees, and continue to bow at each other long after they have passed. In feature and general appearance the Swedes are handsomer than the southern races of Europe, and for that reason wear a nearer resemblance to the Americans. I saw several men in Stockholm who would not have done discredit to California, in point of fine faces and commanding figures. The Swedish ladies are proverbially beautiful. (pp. 254-55)

2014.10.31-IMG_2611We visited the Museum, where there is an interesting assortment of Scandinavian antiquities, and the palace, and some half a dozen other places, all of which came in the regular routine of sight-seeing; but the fact is, I am getting dreadfully tired of this systematic way of lionizing the cities of Europe. I turn pale at the sight of a museum, shudder at a church, feel weak in the knees at the bare thought of a picture-gallery, and as for antiquities, they make my flesh creep. Between you and myself, dear reader, I wouldn't give a sou-markee for all the old bones gathered up during the last eighteen centuries, unless to start a bone-mill and sell the dust at a remunerative profit. (pp. 260-61)

2014.11.01-IMG_2719If you expect any very lively or striking pictures of Stockholm from a tourist like myself, whose besetting trouble in life is a constitutional melancholy, I am afraid you will be disappointed. It is beyond doubt one of the most agreeable cities in the North, and, so far as public institutions are concerned, affords a fine field of research for the antiquarian and the naturalist. (p. 262)

Some quotes on Stockholm from Things seen in Sweden (1915) by W. Barnes Steveni

Some quotes on Stockholm from Things seen in Sweden (1915) by W. Barnes Steveni

2014.10.31-IMG_2599Besides the old town, in which the Royal Castle, the Customs House, and many Government buildings stand, there are other islands of interest historically : the Riddarholmen, the island of the Knights, where their church is built; the Heligeandsholmen, the island of the Holy Ghost; the Blasie-holmen, Skepps-holmen (Ships' Isle), Kastell-holmen (Castle Island) all these are part of Old Stockholm. This is separated from the newer portion by the rapid Strom, crossed by the Norrbro (North Bridge). Opposite this bridge is the stately Royal Palace. The bridge was formerly crowded with shops and cafes, where the writer has spent many a happy hour. (p. 138)

2014.10.31-IMG_2599The Royal Palace, begun by Charles XII. near the site of the old Palace (the Three Crowns), which was destroyed by fire in 1697, and completed during the reigns of Gustavus III. and his successors, is in the Italian Renaissance style, and must be acknowledged as the grandest building in Stockholm. Here the Bernadottes, who have done so much to restore the fortunes of the country, dwell in peace, and rule according to the fundamental laws of the ancient kingdom. (p. 165)

United 69: ARN to EWR

Gate 17

So long Stockholm, from the Arlandra Express

Saturday, November 01, 2014

"Thank you for the music" / A visit to the site of the famed Polar Studios in Stockholm

2014.11.01-IMG_2663So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me
- "Thank You for the Music" - ABBA

Polar Studios was the home base for ABBA. Located at Sankt Eriksgatan 58-60 on Kungsholmen in Stockholm, Sweden, Polar Studios was founded by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA in 1977.

Many others used the studio, most notably Led Zeppelin (for their last album, In Through the Outdoor), Genesis (Duke), and Roxette (various albums). I had to drop by the location (as part of my musical tours!) and took that albums mentioned above (plus ABBA of course) along on the iPod. The studio moved to a new location in 2004.

A visit to August Strindberg's house and a passage from The Red Room (1879)

August #StockholmStrindberg was another reading choice for my trip to Stockholm, but I decided to read a novel instead of a play. The passage below is from The Red Room (1879).

I also passed by Strindberg's house in Stockholm, the museum wasn't open, however, at that time of the day.

"Doubtless there is not another street in Stockholm as ugly, and not another house as old, as dirty, and as gloomy. The entrance gate has the inviting appearance of a disused gallows. The rubble stones in the yard have moved more closely together in the course of time, so that a few small blades of grass have been able to shoot up."  August Strindberg, The Red Room (1879)

Some quotes from Delusions by Hjalmar Söderberg

2014.11.01-IMG_2698I picked up a couple of books by Hjalmar Söderberg before my trip to Stockholm, here are a few quotes from Delusions (1895) by Hjalmar Söderberg.

From Delusions (1895):

Sailing ships in the harbor rocked slowly as in a dream, their dark gray sails distended because it had rained during the night. The church clock struck nine. Thomas was already out. At a fruit stand at Hamngatan he bought some German pears in a bag, and he had every intention of eating them in the shade of a very old oak tree out in Djurgården.

He took the steam launch over to Gustav III's statue and walked up the hill to the palace. It took some time before he found the right on Svartmangatan in the spider web of streets around the town square. He crawled in through a door and up a flight of stairs, knocked on a door and heard a voice say, “Come in!”

“Is there a moral?” “Yes, of course. Anything aimed at ridiculing love has a moral.”

Some Stockholm quotes from Dr. Glas by Hjalmar Söderberg

2014.11.01-IMG_2696I picked up a couple of books by Hjalmar Söderberg before my trip to Stockholm, here are a few quotes from Dr. Glas (1905) by Hjalmar Söderberg. This was quite an excellent work by the way. Very much a Swedish predecessor of Albert Camus' The Stranger.

From Dr. Glas (1905):

I carried on my way. I came into the Old Town, up along Storkyrkobrinken, into the alleys. A muggy twilight in those narrow gaps between the buildings, and peculiar shadows along the walls, shadows we never see down in our part of town.

Twilight set in; a red evening light fell upon the soot-stained façade of the Royal Palace. People passed by on the pavement; I listened to their voices. There were skinny Americans with their slurred slang.

Among the cloud banks over Rosenbad a shaft of bright moonlight burst through, casting a pale silver light over the pilasters of the old Bonde building. Out over Mälaren a red-violet cloud slowly sailed alone, torn free from the others.

Then I recall my Uppsala moon. Never have I seen a moon with such a cold and remote countenance as that. Uppsala has a completely different climate from Stockholm’s — an inland climate, with drier and clearer air.

We passed the time with an aquavit, a couple of sardines and a few salted olives as we mustered our selection: potage à la chasseur, fillet of sole, quail, fruit; Chablis, Mumm’s extra dry, Manzanilla.

I often take a walk out onto Skeppsholmen, just because that’s where I last spoke to her. This evening I stood there by the church on the hill, watching the sun go down. It struck me how beautiful Stockholm is. I hadn’t thought much about it before. It’s always in the newspapers, how beautiful Stockholm is, so one doesn’t pay any attention to it.

En regnig morgon ut portalen för min båt hotell i Stockholm