High-Entropy Home Decoration


Here are two snaps of my new home, taken just after breakfast today (the first bread I’ve baked in the house!). Both are taken toward the north: one from the kitchen door toward the dining room, the other standing just west of the dining room and looking down the length of the living room.



  • Many Swedes hang a star-shaped lamp in their windows during December. It harks back to the star of Bethlehem but is really just a feeble attempt to alleviate seasonal affective disorder (cf. our celebration of St. Lucy).
  • The semi-assembled book case ended up like that because I haven’t found the steel rod thingies that support the shelves. They’re probably in one of the kids’ boxes since the book case was in the nursery before the move.
  • As can be seen faintly through the dining room window, the building’s exterior is pale grey calcium silicate brick. This funny material was en vogue for a brief period around 1970 and is for reasons unknown to me called mexitegel, “Mexican brick”, though it was made in Nericia, Sweden. It’s not considered good taste, but it’s very robust, taking on a slight rusty tinge with time. I’m not sure if that’s because iron leaches out of the brick or if red algae form a biofilm on it.

In other news, today is my third anniversary as a blogger. In October of 2005 my lovely journalist wife started a pseudonymous blog. I followed suit in December, my first entry discussing rape statistics because that’s what said wife was reporting on at the time. Ever since, I have blogged about once a day, and it’s one of my main hobbies.


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    December 16, 2008

    Now, what is “blogoversary” in Swedish?

    God whatever-it-is, anyway!

  2. #2 Martin R
    December 16, 2008

    Thank you Bob! I like it when you call me God.

  3. #3 Kevin
    December 16, 2008

    Gratulere med blog-dagen (my butchered second-generation Norwegian, which I hope is at least approximate)! Your posts are one of the the best things about my mornings here in Seattle. I wish you and your family every happiness in your new home.

  4. #4 Thinker
    December 16, 2008

    May I humbly suggest “bloggileum” as a Sweish work for “blogoversary” and simultaneously wish Martin a very good one?

    Also, the loss of the little steel rods on an Ivar bookshelf is a classic. My trick is to put them into a ziploc plastic bag which is then taped firmly to the bookshelf upright… If not, you go to IKEA and get new ones for 2 SEK which go to the Red Cross!

    Finally, those who disdain maintenance-free “Mexitegel” probably do it out of envy after having to repaint their wooden houses! (Incidentally, you did have the flat roof of your new abode checked properly before buying, didn’t you?)

  5. #5 DianaGainer
    December 16, 2008

    We call that grayish pinkish stuff adobe and it’s very Mexican in look, if not in origin, even if there’s no real clay in it. Especially once it’s more pinkish than grayish. It has my Tex-Mex blessing whether it wants it or not. Felicitaciones (that’s Mexican or rather Spanish for congrats on your bloggo-versary).

  6. #6 Martin R
    December 17, 2008

    Thank you Kevin!

    Thinker, I found the girder thingumajigs. Emptying book boxes swiftly now. Yes, the roof has been checked. (-;

    Diana, aha, so the mexibrick is intended to look like adobe? How very Bronze Age Mesopotamia!

  7. #7 ArchAsa
    December 17, 2008

    Happy blogoversary i efterhand.
    Your pictures bring me back to the winter of 2006-7 when we moved and all our stuff was packed into these boxes all x-mas. We also have scarily similar objects. The same kitchen chairs (though we opted for black), the same book cases, the same yucca-palm, the same TV…

    Generation IKEA

  8. #8 Martin R
    December 17, 2008

    Imagine how stereotyped the furniture of our minds must be…

  9. #9 Mattias Meso
    December 22, 2008

    Yes, I too noticed the Mexitegel. Cool.

    Now, Martin: what altitude above sea-level? Are you Mesolithic, Neolithic or perhaps a poor Iron Age peasant?

    /Den glöggfryntlige Mattias

  10. #10 Martin R
    December 22, 2008

    I’m at 35-40 m a.s.l., Neolithic or later! Fisksätra has two known Viking Period burial sites, one of which is still partly extant behind the municipal ball sports building.

  11. #11 soy candles
    December 22, 2008

    Hey! Congratulations on your blog anniversary. And by the way, looks like you’ve got a whole load of decorating to do.

  12. #12 Mary Evelyn
    December 27, 2008

    Morning, you say?
    morning in the land of the pallid and gloomy?

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