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Stumbling Through Life and (Cyber)Space
The Meanderings of a Curious Mind
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25th-Jul-2016 11:03 pm - Thursday
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Well I just thought I'd let everyone know that on Thursday I'm flying to Fargo. My best friend CM will not be picking me up because she was elected to represent ND at the Democratic Convention! She didn't know she'd be doing that when I bought the tickets in May but it doesn't really matter. Her husband the Prof will pick me up and then we'll pick her up the next day. Can't wait to hear what she witnessed at the Convention.
21st-Jun-2016 11:28 pm - Penny Dreadful
Just finished watching the "Penny Dreadful" finale and it was fairly dreadful. John Logan, the series creator, claims he meant for it to be just 3 seasons long but I seriously doubt that as there were several story lines that were brought to an awkward end. I also disliked that the main female character Vanessa Ives submitted to the idea she was meant to be with Dracula who apparently was the brother of Satan (why add him to the storyline if it was almost over?) and so she allowed herself be taken by him and then let herself be killed by the Wolf of God (who himself killed a lot of innocent people). Grr argh!

The other thing that bothered me was the introduction of Kaetaney, the Apache chief/werewolf. The Apache legends in the show were made up and as annoying as J. K. Rowling's version of Native American culture (see http://io9.gizmodo.com/j-k-rowlings-history-of-magic-in-north-america-was-a-t-1764311530). The show was full of possibilities that never came to pass *sigh*
15th-Jun-2016 02:42 pm - The Martian
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I just finished watching "The Martian" on HBO and it is now definitely my favorite SF movie. It is fairly scientifically accurate (yes I know storms are not that dangerous on Mars but something else could have left Watney stranded there). The movie featured adults behaving like grown ups without any mindless acts of senseless violence and it showed how immense space is and that it will take time to go from place to place - no idiotic "Earth to Vulcan in 3 minutes".
10th-Jun-2016 10:36 pm - Sweden Day 14
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Well I'm back in NYC.

Yesterday was my last day in Sweden. My cousin and I took her doggie for a walk in the woods near their apartment house then later we did a bit of shopping as she was preparing to go to Göteborg today with her husband on the same trainline I took from there as her son would be celebrating his 50th birthday tomorrow. Later that afternoon she drove me to Arlanda, the airport in Stockholm and said good-bye to me there. I didn't realize I missed having a family until I had a family to be missed *sigh*

It took a while to check-in and the security line was that I thought the one in JFK would be like but wasn't. Once inside I bought a few things to eat then waited to board the plane and eventually I did; I was lucky as I had a window seat and a tall gentleman sat on the aisle seat leaving the middle seat empty which gave us a bit more freedom of movement during the flight which I spent mostly drowsing. We actually landed earlier then expected but by the time I made it through customs and picked up my luggage it was pretty late.

 The past two weeks were probably the most amazing ones I've ever spent.
8th-Jun-2016 03:57 pm - Sweden Day 12 & 13
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Yesterday my cousin and I went to a Swedish Archive and discovered my parents had wed on March 28, 1948. They'd only been married 20 years when my mother passed on :(

Afterward we returned to their home and did the laundry. My friend in Fargo will be very pleased to find out that, like her, they like to dry the laundry on outdoor clotheslines.

The funny thing about the places my cousins live in is that during the night the noise heard is not that of traffic but of birds whistling and screeching at each other (it remains fairly light all through the night).

Today I took a train back to Stockholm which took 3 hours. I love the trains and buses in Sweden as the engines are so quiet. Later I went with my Stockholm cousin and her husband and doggie to a cafe to meet the son of another cousin and his young son who was sooo adorable.
7th-Jun-2016 03:35 am - Sweden Day 9, 10 & 11
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On Saturday my cousin introduced me once more to her daughter who I haven't seen in over half a century. She was a little girl back then and now she's a grown woman and I never would have recognized her. We went to the Göteborg Botanical Garden and had a lovely walk around it. We even climbed a rocky hill to get a terrific view of the city. Afterward we went to have lunch at Ahlströms, a restaurant in another part of the city. We walked around and took some buses so I saw quite a bit of lovely Göteborg.

On Sunday I was dropped off at the apartment of my cousin's daughter and her very significant other and we once again went walking around Göteborg, climbing a hill in a park to see another view then going to have lunch at a restaurant called MrP in Götaplatsen, then walking around the area a bit more before having coffee and tea (that's what I drink) and sharing some cakes and cookies at another restaurant called Ljunggrens.

Yesterday we all got into my cousin's car and drove to a ferry. We ended up on an island named Fotö where we climbed a lot of rocky hills to get to a place by the ocean with a ladder so we could take a dip. I was glad I did something similar in Stockholm because, though the day was sunny and warm, the water was cooold. Afterward we sat nearby and had a picnic. I was happy I wore my Skechers instead of my flip-flops and for many years had practiced maintaining my sense of balance as that was very necessary when doing the climbing...and the descending afterward. Later we drove back to my cousin's home where her son and grandson came to join us for dinner. I am meeting so many of my relatives but not all. I'm updating my family tree and the 7 cousins of my generation went on to have a total of 15 children who have gone on to have even more offspring.
4th-Jun-2016 04:35 pm - Sweden Day 6, 7 & 8
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On Wednesday we left the apartment and drove to the Arlanda airport in Stockholm to pick up another cousin. His plane arrived on time but had to circle a while as some idiot was flying a drone around the airport. He finally joined us about 15 minutes late and then we were off to the little village of Sysslebäck about 7 hours away. In the car was the cousin I was staying with, her husband and doggie, the newly arrived cousin and me. When we finallly arrived in Sysslebäck, the cousin from the airport and I were dropped off at still another cousin's cabin called Hagen while my Stockholm cousin, her husband and doggie drove to stay with yet another cousin at a friend's house.

You see my mother was one of 7 children who had 7 children. The siblings have passed on but the 7 cousins, of which I'm the youngest, are still all alive (and there are many grandchildren and even a few great grandchildren). The next day we went for a walk around
Sysslebäck passing by the small grocery store my grandfather ran (and is now a pizzeria), the houses my grandparents lived in and a couple of my aunts and walked back along the riverbank of Klarälven. In the early afternoon we drove to a small hotel called Strandås where the rest of the cousins were waiting for us. Now I'd been to Sweden when I was 2/3, 9 and 11 and had met them all one time or another but that was over half a century ago and I pretty much had forgotten them. Now we were all having lunch together along with some spouses. Two of the cousins lived in or around Sysslebäck but the other 4 lived elsewhere in Sweden and this was the first time we had all been together. We were 12 at the table and had a lovely 3 course lunch followed by a time where we looked at old photographs of our parents and grandparents. Later some of us gathered at the cousin's friend's house and shared some pizza for dinner on the patio. Southern Sweden is not exactly the land of the midnight sun but more like the 11 pm sun as it does finally set around then but the sky stays light all night.

On Friday I went with another cousin and her husband in their car to the city of Göteborg where they live. It took about the same amount of time to get there as it would have to go to Stockholm. I will now be there until Wednesday.
31st-May-2016 03:51 pm - Sweden Day 4 & 5
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This is the view from my cousin's balcony (their apartment is on the 4th floor):
0 Else"s balcony

Yesterday morning we walked along the road beside the waterway. On one side was a series of low level apartment buildings on the other it was like walking in the woods. After lunch we drove into Stockholm where I boarded a steamboat near the City Hall with my cousin's husband that would take us to Drottningholm Palace while she drove there with her dog. The boat ride was lovely and I could see all sorts of fascinating houses and apartment buildings along the waterway. The Palace was quite impressive and the Royals do live there. One can tour part of it but we merely stayed in the garden walking to the Chinese Pavillon.

Today we went on a picnic at the end of a nice walk from the apartment. Upon returning we took a dip in the waterway that you can see from the balcony. The weather was warm and the water cold but it was a lot of fun. Tomorrow we head to the little town of Sysslebäck which is where my mother grew up and I wll meet all my other cousins there (my mother was one of 7 children who had 7 children) as many are also travelling there to meet me. 
29th-May-2016 03:57 pm - Sweden Day 2 & 3
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I'm currently staying with one of my cousins and her husband. They have a lovely apartment in Täby, a suburb of Stockholm. Yesterday we drove a short distance then took a ferry to Vaxholms Castle where we walked around a bit and then had lunch. Later we dropped off the husband and her dog who'd been with us and drove to Ulriksdal Palace and walked around the grounds then stopped for a snack at a greenhouse. I still find it hard to believe I'm actually in Sweden.

Today my cousin and I took a train then a subway to an old section of Stockholm walking down narrow streets and past the Nobel Museum on our way to the ferry that would take us to Djurgården, an island with Skansen, Stockholm's wonderful museum/zoo. It's the world's first open-air museum where we walked around buildings many of them centuries old and were able to see farm animals plus a wolf, some mooses, a bear, a seal, a wolverine, and all around were birds like magpies, ducks, geese, a rooster who crowed even though it was late in the afternoon and a couple of male peacocks who walked around people showing off their gorgeousness (and away all by herself was a peahen who was ignored by most humans). As we left we even saw some lemurs (though obviously they are not Swedish animals). Tonight I cooked salmon for dinner and they really liked it - yay!!. Right now we're watching "Mamma Mia" (it's Mother's Day here in Sweden) and it's even funnier then I remember (we just heard "Money, Money, Money" with the lyric "It's a rich man's world" and I immediately thought of Donald tRump).

Speakin of the tRump, on our way to the restaurant Bla Porten I saw a couple of planters filled with some strange looking plants and I realized I found where tRump gets his weird hair from.

0 Trump"s hair
27th-May-2016 04:40 pm - Sweden
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Well I made it to Sweden. I was a bit worried about getting to JFK in the evening but the traffic wasn't too bad and we got there in good time. It took me just a few minutes to check into my airline and another few minutes to get through security which truly surprised me as there have been so many articles and TV segments on the length of time it now takes to get through security. Anyway I am now in Sweden enjoying the time with my cousin and her husband.
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