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Category: Quick Fix! (page 12 of 12)

1/2-floor Elevator


Homer Simpson is so confused by this

Muffins? What the…? You call these things muffins?


It’s picnic time

As an amateur picnic planner, fan of Swedish industrial design pioneer Sigvard Bernadotte, and resident of Stockholm, with access to all its classified ad websites, it was only inevitable that one day I would come home with this.

(Photo courtesy of the person I bought it from on Blocket)

Swedish people love being outside when the weather is nice and they take every opportunity to exploit the sunshine. I don’t think I’m exaggerating too much if I say that they are obsessed with the out of doors.

On super sunny and warm days, one could begin to wonder if there are actually people inside any of the buildings. Another question that comes to mind is: don’t these people have jobs?

So, mind you, a stroll past any park or tiny patch of grass on a sunny day will inevitably produce an incalculable number of picnickers. The moment you try to start counting is the moment you’ve booked the rest of your day.

Many of these are impromptu picnics, rather than your standard-issue red-and-white plaid blanket picnics. Lunch breaks become stationed in the grass as easily as coffee breaks and beer circles.

I feel like my ability to take advantage of the summer’s picnics will be all the more enhanced by the addition of this set of tools to my picnic arsenal.

Produced in the 1960’s by Husqvarna, this professional-grade picnic set is a major acquisition and will be instrumental in taking me from being a mere picnic hobbyist to a mid-level picnic enthusiast.

Sigvard Bernadotte, who I have written extensively about (see The Would-be King is Dead and The Design Prince of Sweden) is known for his special blend of style and functionality.

This picnic set is Scandinavian throughout. Refined but practical. Mass-produced yet beautiful. Vintage but modern.

I’ll say this is no sissy French picnic set: wine glasses nestled in a thatched basket with miniature cheese knives in different shapes for different types of cheese. (Mon dieu! Did he just use the Brie knife on the the chevre?)

Nor is it an extreme American setup: a metal cooler that holds 24 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon and has a gas-powered Coleman grill built into the top. (Pop open a cold one and fire up the grill, y’all!)

Indeed! There will be no such rogues gathered around my gentleman’s picnic set this summer.

I shall invite only gaggles of Swedish girls who braid their hair in the front, then clip it in the back, or wear crowns of flowers, or still think that tights are pants.

They can all come by and use me for my picnic set, but I’ll be the one taking it home at the end of the night. So you do the math.

Arab Spring = Summer Vacation!

These billboards are now up in the Stockholm subway system, inviting tourists to come back to Egypt and Tunisia.

The one for Tunisia advertises that they’re ready to welcome winter-frozen Swedes to their new country.

One part reads, “Culture and narture’s beauty are a part of our history, like the long road to democracy whose story lives in every breath.”

The ones for Egypt are simply images and the slogan, “Egypt: Everything begins there.”



Kind of expensive for a goof

Vintage phones are funny, but I don’t know. $275 is a lot of money to spend to make everyone laugh when pull out your phone. Twenty bucks maybe.


Beware of the cat

I’m not sure what else I can say about this. I mean, it’s just really important that you are wary of this cat.


Vintage punch card washing machine

This is a really old Swedish washing machine that uses metal punch cards. The various cards have different programs coded into them.

For instance, the yellow card on the top is for color wash with a normal level of dirtiness. As the cycle advances, the different holes trigger cogs in the top of the machine that flip internal switches.


The photo below shows how the cards are fed through the top of the machine.


The machine is apparently from around 1959 and is called an Osby Automat.

Osby is a town in southern Sweden where this “hålkortsmaskin” (literally “hole card machine”) was built.

Just what you want to see on your ATM

Windows 98. Nothing else exudes the confidence and secure feeling that says your money is safe.


Buy a snack with your phone

This vending machine – and hundreds like it in the Stockholm area – not only accepts coins and paper bills, but you can also send the machine a text message to buy an item.

Text the number on the machine then the code for the item you want to eat. The delicious snack is dispensed and the amount of your purchase is added to your phone bill.


The machine below is advertising an offer for a rebate. If you purchase five Cokes with your phone before Midsommar (June 21, the longest day of the year, is a big holiday in Sweden) they’ll give you a free purchase worth 20 kronor (about $3 US).

They can do this, you see, because the vending company’s computer knows how many Cokes you have bought and when and where.

Most machines also sell condoms in case, well, make up your own scenario.

These two photos also show the difference between the cameras on the iPhone 3G (above) and the iPhone 4 (below).


You barely like Julia Roberts

Possibly one or the most amazing and hilarious things I’ve ever seen in my life.

This 56-year-old dude Miljenko from Chile is such a big fan of Julia Roberts that he got a tattoo of her. Then another one. Then another one. I could go on, but just repeat that 79 more times.

Yes, this frickin’ South American dingdong has 82 tattoos of Julia Roberts. Why, that’s just plain loco.

But in your face, Lyle Lovett. No wonder it didn’t work out. Erin Brockovich needs a man who can show some dedication.


This story was reported in Stockholm’s Aftonbladet newspaper which is the world’s most reputable and trusted source for news about people with tons of Julia Roberts tattoos.

Nice of that guy to shave, take a shower and sober up before the guys from the newspaper came over.

What a bummer that he got all these tattoos before he saw “Sex and the City 2.” Now he’s gonna have to get all that sweet ink covered up with pictures of Miranda in a sexy burka.

I’m just kidding. I don’t even know who that is. Okay, well, I know that Miranda is a character from that show and that all girls love that show and that men don’t understand it and they wear ridiculously dated clothes that are supposed to be “high fashion” and that they made a two movies of it and the second one was apparently in such bad taste that they don’t even show it on the 25¢ TVs in the Greyhound bus station and Ferris Bueller’s wife is in it and she bears more than a passing resemblance to Seabiscuit.

Anyway, this guy loves Julia Roberts. Apparently.

You call yourself a fan? Of anything? Okay then, step up to the plate and let’s see 82 tattoos of it that you got when you were totally happy and sane. Like this guy.

Way to go, Miljenko! Making us all look like we hate Julia Roberts.

Kockens Tips

Huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh.


Okay, it basically just means “the chef’s specials.” The price, 99 kronor, is about $16 USD.

Kentucky Derby

Thanks to the nice people at, I was able to watch the Kentucky Derby live and in HD.

I tuned in just as thousands of happy people were singing “My Old Kentucky Home” at Churchill Downs. It was just after midnight Stockholm time.

Allmthe fun around Derby season is truly missed when you’re a Louisvillian living away from the city.



I survived the Swedish winter

It is 7:30 in the evening and it’s still light outside. It’s not “warm” but it’s nice enough to have the windows open and to be laying in bed after a long day at work.

I’m sure there will be other days of cold and rain before summer – maybe even more snow – but the light is at the end of the tunnel. I feel confident in saying that I survived the Swedish winter.


Tiny garbage collection truck

What can I say? This truck is very tiny and collects garbage from public trash cans on the sidewalks. Limited seating available for just one lonely garbage man.


Swedish people like wearing black

A crowded platform a Stockholm’s Centralstation shows clearly what the most popular clothing color is for Swedish people.

Sunset on March 27, 2011, 6:45 pm

Brilliant sunset over the Vasastan neighborhood in Stockholm on March 27, 2011.

The Sun and the Ground in the Same Picture!

The darkness of the Swedish winter is well-documented. Other than not seeing the sun – or even the clear sky itself because of all the clouds – one can go for months in Stockholm without actually setting foot on the ground.

Now that things are thawing out and the days are getting longer, I was excited to snap this photo a couple weeks ago, depicting one of the first times I saw the sun and the ground at the same time.

Below are some more images collected through the long winter, which we are all very happy is slowly coming to a close.

Snow piled up in Vasastan in January.

Now that can’t be good for the gears.

New Year’s Eve.

Walkway to the Pendeltåg commuter train.

Okay, we get it. There’s a lot of snow.

Icy cold metal sign on the platform at Handen.

Beneath all the snow is generally a super thick layer of ice which builds up through the winter. This picture is from last week. Even though all the snow is gone, the ice remains in a lot of places. Here, some workers have attempted to clear it from a children’s playground.

Chunks of the ice layer which have been removed from a sidewalk.

This headline on the front page of the December 20th edition of Aftonbladet is typical of their reasonable editorial style. It says “Total Chaos Everywhere.” You can’t really go any higher than that.

I suppose they didn’t consider that they might want to leave some room in case something crazier happens in the future. I mean, what are the chances that the Middle East would erupt into riots and revolutions at the same time a tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster hit Japan, while Elizabeth Taylor is dying and Charlie Sheen is winning? A lot of snow probably is the worst that could happen.

I especially enjoy how, even though the headline is declaring “Total Chaos Everywhere,” they’re still including the TV schedule for Christmas and New Year’s, as well as pop singer Carola’s tips for shopping. If you survive this insane, overwhelming chaos, and you can still breathe, and there is still electricity and standing buildings, and you’re not busy burying the dead, you might want to catch the Christmas episode of Svensson Svensson.

Now I must apologize for the subpar quality of this final image, but it simply needed to be taken and shown around.

Generally, when the snow is almost as high as the seats on the picnic table, we hold off a few days on having that picnic. Not this family.

“Goddammit, we’re going outside and we’re having a damn picnic whether you kids like it or not.”

“But daddy it’s snowing and the temperature is minus a million.”

“Right, so you better put your coat on and shut your mouth.”

25 Years Since Olof Palme’s Assassination

February 28, 2011, marks the 25th anniversary of the day that Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated.

In a moment that shattered the innocence in Sweden,  Palme was murdered on the sidewalk one night after leaving a movie with his wife.

Many days when I go to lunch, I walk past the place where this happened on the busy street called Sveavägen.

During the time around the anniversary, many people left flowers and lit candles on the spot, which is marked by a bronze memorial embedded into the sidewalk. It is mostly obscured in this photo.

The killer was never captured.

Dark and Snowy at 5:56 pm

Just before 6:00 pm on February 10, 2011, Stockholm is dark, cold and snowy.

Volvo police cars

Almost all the police cars in Stockholm are Volvo or Saab vehicles. Here are a couple Volvo V70 wagons on Götgatan on Stockholm’s Södermalm.

Off the right site of the picture is a Volkswagen police van. I guess there aren’t any Swedish auto makers building vans.

Things I’m listening to and watching

Mad Men

A Camp - Colonia

SÃ?Æ'Ã+âEUR(TM)Ã?âEUR?Ã,¤kert - SÃ?Æ'Ã+âEUR(TM)Ã?âEUR?Ã,¤kert!

Hello Saferide - More Modern Short Stories from Hello Saferide

Jerry Lee Lewis - Mean Old Man - Single - Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Let the Right One In

The Colbert Report - The Colbert Report


Curb Your Enthusiasm - Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry?s Top Picks

60 Minutes