Weekend Fun

Sunset seen to the NW from the birthday party

  • Made huntun (wonton) with my wife & kids, "good to eat and fun to make", as the song about cookies that Junior likes goes.
  • Watched The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with wife & son. It's a mid-quality Terry Gilliam film, better than the dreary Brothers Grimm that preceded it but not on a par with excellent films like Brazil or 12 Monkeys. Dr. P is beautiful though, and I'm sorry I didn't watch it on the big screen.
  • Made a mix CD for a birthday boy.
  • Went to birthday party with the kids, though I had gotten the wrong coordinates and first spent half an hour needlessly driving around a labyrinthine summer-house area in the woods.
  • Cleaned three roofs and their gutters of pine needles, moss, lichen, a bird's nest and a couple of bones at my mom's summer house. It was a chore, but the sun was shining and I listened to podcasts, so I didn't mind.
  • Had the traditional August crayfish dinner.
  • What about you, Dear Reader? What did you do for fun this weekend?

    Moonrise seen to the SE from the birthday party: same place, same time

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Is the body of water the Kattegatt? As for weekend activities, I spent some time on an activity you seem to perceive as a waste of time: Swedish genealogy. In this case, though, it was from the ethnological point of view. Hope I can be forgiven for that. :)

By Bob Carlson (not verified) on 22 Aug 2010 #permalink

I never knew that crawdads were so popular in Sweden. Do you catch them locally and boil them?

By CherryBomb (not verified) on 22 Aug 2010 #permalink

Friday night I made some deviled eggs and spaghetti sauce. Saturday morning cleaned a little preparing for out of town company. Saturday afternoon went to the beach then came home and ate the spaghetti. After dinner we set up the whoosh bottle (5 gal plastic carboy with 50cc isopropyl alcohol) and fired it a couple of times. Sunday got up and played with making various amalgams. A friend dropped by with a fillet of fresh ocean caught coho salmon which we cooked this evening. All in all a full weekend.

By Eric Juve (not verified) on 22 Aug 2010 #permalink

Friday went to a concert with Amanda Jensen. I had only seen her on TV before, and was then not very impressed -- she is a lot better live!

Saturday stuff around the house, then the annual street dinner party where I live: everybody brings a table and their own food out instead of sitting in their own little place. It's a great and simple way to keep in touch with neighbors, without too much planning or work involved, which means it actually happens.

Sunday met up with my sister and brother-in-law, who live abroad; they've been here for the summer and are now going back home.

@CherryBomb: yes, crayfish are very popular here, and are eaten this time of year, steamed with salt and dill, then chilled and enjoyed cold together with toast and strong Västerbotten cheese. Most us will drink beer and aquavit (vodka flavored with caraway, fennel and anisseed) and sing lots of drinking songs...

Bob, that's Baggensfjärden, a body of open water near the inner edge of the Stockholm archipelago: in other words, the Baltic.

Our crayfish were Chinese and tasted lovely.

Eric, are you an amateur chemist? What sort of amalgams?

Thinker, that sounds like a nice party concept.

Saturday was the last day with an old university friend visiting, so we sat around all day drinking coffee to begin with and cider later, having the sort of weird conversations that only make sense to someone who's known you well for years (except when I did my charity shop shift in the afternoon, when I made her try on some clothes). I don't recall eating, although I'm sure we must have had something besides breakfast. Sunday another friend came round for tea, and we made pizza. In fact, I failed to measure the dough ingredients, so I made pizza dough for about 10 people instead of three. I'll be eating pizza all week. That friend didn't like real, dry cider, although her face when she tried it was cute.
(For anyone who knows me IRL, these are two of the only three non-relatives I'm comfortable socialising with, so this was an unbelievably sociable weekend for me.)

By stripey_cat (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Let me know if any interesting board games turn up in your charity shop! I can send customers your way via Boardgamegeek.com. (-;

Voted in the Australian federal election.

My daughter voted for the first time. Voting in Australia is compulsory for everyone aged 18 and over - if you don't vote, you have to pay a fine. But she did it because she wanted to, she has very strong opinions about who she thinks should be running the country. Come to think of it, she has very strong opinions about everything. :)

It was the closest election in history, and it looks like we will have the first hung parliament since 1940, which is good for nobody.

Does Junior know the Wiggles are Australian? I will have to ask our Prime Minister to make him an honorary Australian - erm, just as soon as we know who the Prime Minister will be. That could take a while.

By Sandgroper (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Like Sandgroper, I voted. Probably unlike Sandgroper, I did so with three young kids in tow, two of whom were asking questions about what we were doing and why. Oldest kids are 7 and 6, so old enough to be wondering what everything is all about. Showed them the ballot papers and how we have to mark them. We had had a long discussion with them Friday night about what an election is, and how some idiots want to run the country.
Then drove 2 1/2 hours to my brother-in-law's place, the other side of Melbourne for a barbeque lunch for my nephew's birthday.
We got home about 9pm, tucked the kids into bed and I sat up far too late watching the election results online.
Sunday I got some housework done and had an afternoon nap.

By eleanora. (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Oh and Martin, the atheist lady seems to be pandering to the churches even more than her christian predecessors. The media are suggesting that she's having to overcompensate to try to keep their vote.

Nonetheless, she's way better than Mr misogynistic "my daughters won't be having the HPV vaccine because they won't be having sex til they're married, and while we're at it let's ban abortion" budgie smugglers Abbott.

By eleanora. (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

"sat up far too late watching the election results online"

LOL! Snap!!! What a wasted night that was. Eleanora, that Senate ballot paper was like dunny paper, wasn't it? I've never seen anything like it, having been away for a while.

"Hey, hope you guys get to keep that atheist lady!"

Yes, Brother, so does Baby Sandgroper.

Older Sandgropers don't admit to anything, but you can probably guess - we don't like wingnuts too much. Plus Baby Sandgroper had to explain to her Mother in Cantonese how to fill in the ballot papers, which pretty much gives it away -"You put this number in this box, Mum". Right.

By Sandgroper (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

"fair-skinned furriners are OK!"

Yeah, but who counts as fair-skinned depends on who you ask.

Our preferred shopping centre is frequented by African refugees from Sudan and Somalia, among numerous others - it's not up-market, but it's refreshingly diverse, and friendly. It's fun.

The African ladies walk to the supermarket, and walk home wheeling the supermarket trolley.

But that's OK. They are honest, they wheel the empty supermarket trolley back again the next time they go shopping. Well, they have no use for an empty supermarket trolley anyway, but at least they are honest enough to wheel it all the way back instead of abandoning it by the roadside somewhere.

The problem is that sometimes they wheel it back to the wrong supermarket. Ah, now that's trouble.

By Sandgroper (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Our crayfish were Chinese and tasted lovely.

Curiosity caused me to look at the crayfish Wikipedia:

Crayfish is a popular dish in Scandinavia, and is by tradition primarily consumed during the fishing season in August. The boil is typically flavored with salt, sugar, ale, and large quantities of the flowers of the dill plant. While most Americans eat them warm, the Swedish and Finnish normally eat them cold.[19] The catch of domestic freshwater crayfish, Astacus astacus, and even of a transplanted American species, Pacifastacus leniusculus, is very limited and to satisfy demand the majority of what is consumed has to be imported. Sales depended on imports from Turkey for several decades, but after a decline in supply, China and the United States are today the biggest sources of import.

But I also see from that site that crayfish began to get popular in China around 1990, so I wonder how long Swedes will be able to rely on China as a source

By Bob Carlson (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

I went with my girlfriend up to Dalarna from Scania, along the center of Sweden, and as an archeological rookie I was focused on all marked historical sites along that trip.

Part of Leksand's chuch is from the 11:th century and around Siljan is a mineral rich part of Sweden that probably caught interest before that.

By Thomas Ivarsson (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Leksand churchyard is a really interesting archaeological site, with 11th century furnished Christian burials. The congregation seems to have included a lot of Slavic speakers from modern-day Poland or East Germany, judging from their burial rite and certain jewellery types.

Went to 90th Birthday party. Family thing. Love the old man, don't think he recognized me. Understand, though. Rest of family? Some OK, some... ugh.

Made a few nice images.


Since here in the US, the farther north you go the less crawfish people eat, I just had it in my mind that they must not be able to live in cold places. But don't you worry about the supply, East Texas and Louisiana has plenty to spare. Now we just need to teach you how to cook 'em.

By CherryBomb (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

Martin@12: Unfortunantly we have a political party whose main policy is exactly that. Ironically they're called One Nation.

Sandgroper@11: Loo paper is a good description. There was one some years back that was at least 1.5 times the length - and that time I voted below the line 'cos a friend was running as an independant. This time there were 2 parties I liked, so I checked where they were giving their preferences and voted above the line for the one whose preferences I liked. Trying to number 60 boxes is insane.

To quote a friend "we have the choice of a gingernut, a wingnut or a gumnut".

By eleanora. (not verified) on 24 Aug 2010 #permalink

Sat with my hands over my face in order to avoid seeing the tactical situation as my husband's character commited messy, inadvertant suicide, involving manymanymanymany bombs and phosporus grenades (with my character just within the blast radius), and ultimately leaving a sizable crater.

There wasn't enough left of "Mr. Ground Zero" to sop up with a sponge.

Woah, what game was that? The only time I've seen anything like it was when we played Call of Cthulhu and one character packed dynamite. He got eaten by a dhole. Booom.

We're playing Shadowrun.

Oooh, and I forgot my new, favorite catchphrase (originally spoken over the smoking corpse of the opposition leader): "Would it have killed you to just let him keep the damned minigun?"

Gilliam made a wonderful movie in between Grimm and Parnassus. Have you seen Tideland? A low-budget indie he shot while Grimm was in production, that some love and some hate. I think it's a vastly underappreciated movie, myself -- quite possibly among his very best.

I found out about it just the other day! It's the only Gilliam feature film I haven't seen. I've put it into my Netflix queue. Glad to hear it's worthwhile.

Off-topic: Holy sh*t! The Incas had a decimal system like our own!
"Unearthed 400-year-old document shows how Peruvian natives used numbers"
-Why do people read the crap spawned by the likes of von Däniken when reality is so much cooler?

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 24 Aug 2010 #permalink

But the Inca were evil people who needed to be saved from themselves by the Spanish Catholics.

Mel Gibson made a whole movie about it, costing umpteen gazillion dollars, so it must be true.

By Sandgroper (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

But to more important matters, it seems like this freshwater crayfish plague is a big deal.

There is obviously only one rational solution - import marron from the birthplace of my humble self, at huge cost, naturally.


By Sandgroper (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

Sandgroper, we could keep it in the country but change coasts and bemuse Martin with Morton Bay Bugs.

By eleanora. (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

Martin, 'budgie smugglers' are small tight fitting racing bathers, like Speedos or whatever - when worn by a male who has just emerged from the water, from the front it looks like he is trying to smuggle a budgerigar inside his swimming trunks.

Mr Abbott is, among other things, an aspiring triathlete, and so occasionally appears in public wearing the offending garment. Red ones. It is not a pretty sight.

I prefer to call him Wingnut, which is a reference both to the shape of his ears, and to his mental state.

By Sandgoper (not verified) on 30 Aug 2010 #permalink

Ha! And I thought and y wife insisted I as the only one listening to podcasts during household chores.

question: how do you listed to it, Headphones? I myself bought a handy little speaker (XMINI) to go with my ipod.

Yep, headphones. Speakers don't work with vacuuming, and besides I don't want to force the rest of the family to listen to my podcasts. They wear headphones so I won't have to listen to their TV shows.

Agree on not bothering the family, and as I have a bluetooth headset I'm all in favor of the no-cable luxury listening. I'm just considered about my hearing, and my glasses (it sometimes presses a lot - or at least gives the impression).