After spending too much time yesterday walking through the snow (hands up who sang that line), I elected to make more use of free public transport granted by the Stockholm Card. Today, I would check out one of the more impressive attractions in the city, the open air park (containing a zoo, aquarium, and working farms) called Skansen, which resides on the island of Djurgården (Google Translate tells me Djur = animal and gården = garden). I found a bus that can get me from Central Station to a stop called Djurgårdsbron. As the Swedish word bron = bridge, does Djurgårdsbron translate into “bridge to animal garden”? 1km later, I’m at the main entrance of Skansen.
Lillehammer 1994 (photo from BBC News)
Vancouver 2010 (in case you forgot, photo from BBC News)
Here are some of my photos from the 2013 Big Wow Comicfest in San Jose on Sunday. The official costume contest was on Saturday, so there were likely more costumes around. I mostly aimed to ask other apparent, non-exhibitor, con-goers in costume for a photo, as I supposed the professionals behind booth tables might be there for a job/promotion and might charge for photos (of them or with them). Sure, I could ask anyway, but they also tended to have loads of people hanging around, and taking a sneaky photo might be in poor form. As much as I prefer candid, non-posed photos, that won’t always work with hand-made costumes, since they want to show off their work. As a result, there were many photos I didn’t get. Some were busy in conversation, with a vendor, or posing for someone else and I didn’t want to interrupt. Others were out of reach as they walked around the crowded floor. I did manage to get photos of some well-known cosplayers. Read More…
One of the more endearing things about Australia is that they can have a laugh about themselves. Let’s briefly look at the mystery of Harold Holt. Mr Holt was the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, from January 1966-December 1967. His term ended when he disappeared while swimming off a Victorian beach and presumed drowned. How did Australia decide to honor one of its leaders? With the Harold Holt Swim Centre, a memorial in the form of a public swimming pool in Melbourne.
What is Sweden’s equivalent? I’ll nominate the Vasa. When construction was complete, it was one of the most powerful warships in the world, with two decks of heavy cannons. On its maiden voyage out of Stockholm in August 1628, a strong breeze caused the ship to lean once, then twice, then take on water through the open gun ports, then sink, in full view of hundreds of spectators. It had sailed less than one mile in total. Now they want to show it off in one of the most popular attractions in Stockholm. Read More…
Not all of us can bring an entourage with us wherever we go, not all of us care that much about our hair to spend loads of money on it. I prefer fast and/or cheap, preferably both. I recall an issue of Men’s Health magazine I read in college that had an article (with illustrations) by Dennis Rodman (who probably did not draw the cartoons) about how to choose a barber. The first step was “Look for the pole.” If it has a barber pole, it’s a barber shop, otherwise it’s a salon. Barbers typically cut men’s hair (ignoring their history as early surgeons), and so might have a better idea of what a man wants. That’s pretty much the only rule I follow when looking for a barber.
Of course, I have my regular guy (whom I visited yesterday), whose barber pole was destroyed by vandals years ago. He may have had a fake wooden or color printout for a while before giving up on that. You’d never know it was a barber shop if you drove by, you’d have to look intently through the shop window to see the barber chair. During my time in Bermuda, I found two different barber shops, and frequented one more than the other, because the other one was a singular guy who had a horrendously unpredictable schedule. Both were much more expensive than I would have liked. I don’t mind paying for quality, but I didn’t get it there, often deciding to wait until I flew home or somewhere else to find a barber shop.
While living in Bermuda, I made two separate trips to Boston, one year apart, and hoped to be able to get a haircut for cheaper (which I did). The first year, I found a barber shop outside Harvard University, the second year, I used the one inside the MIT Stratton Student Center (adjacent to the Coop Bookstore). I think I liked the cut from the MIT shop better. Before my last trip to Australia, I had spent nearly five weeks on a ship, and I was going to spend another three weeks in Australia, so it was time to find a barber shop somewhere. I ended up finding a training center in Sydney and had a cheap haircut, didn’t care too much for the result, as long as it was shorter and cleaned up.
For my 8 day trip to London and more recent 3 weeks in Europe, I planned the last haircut shortly before I left because I didn’t want to spend time looking for a barber shop. I spent about a day looking for one around Pittsburgh, but never saw the pole, so I gave up.
Today I fly to Long Beach to use up my JetBlue miles/points before they expire in a couple of weeks. The rest of the points were redeemed for magazine subscriptions. I thought I might try posting a live blog of the trip. Check back often for updates, if my phone doesn’t get stolen and I get internet access.
5:20am wake up and get ready to drive to airport
5:55am leave home
6:45am arrive at off-site parking lot
7:45am eat banana while waiting at gate, one hour until boarding, read saved newspaper comics
8:55am made it to my aisle seat
9:05am shut off phone
10:33am touchdown in Long Beach
10:55am waiting for bus with 3 ladies going to the port for a bachelorette party cruise
11:16am on bus 111 downtown
11:55am arrive at downtown transit center, walk towards aquarium
12:20pm entered Aquarium of the Pacific
12:34pm “The Usual” at an aquarium = fish & chips
3:00pm private screening of The Wonderful World of Penguins (I was the only one in the theater.)
5:30pm buy souvenir keychain, leave aquarium, look for dinner before returning to bus terminal and airport
6:04pm at bus terminal, must wait 36 minutes for my bus
6:42pm bus leaves terminal (bus arrived 13 minutes ago, but we weren’t allowed to board)
7:25pm arrive at LGB
7:37pm past security, now wait 76 minutes until flight
8:37pm seated on plane, after these boarding rounds – even more seating, rows 15-19, everyone else (that’s me)
10:06pm touchdown at SFO
10:25pm jet bridge delay/malfunction cancelled out our early arrival
10:37pm waiting curbside for shuttle to off-site parking
10:54pm in car and heading home
11:44pm home now, thanks for reading, bigger photos will show up eventually