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Two weeks ago I went to Stockholm to take part of what an internet dictionary calls an estate inventory. An old SF fan who was very prominent in the 60s has died and bequeathed a large sum of money to, among others, one of the clubs I'm a member of, Club Cosmos. I went as representative of the board. We had anticipated some strife and litigation over the will but that didn't happen, everyone was calm and civilised and the Arne Sjögren Memorial Fund is go.

Afterwards we went to his flat. I'm just saying, before I die I'm gonna CLEAN and PURGE and not leave a mess like that... Also I will not start smoking. I snatched some books for the memorial fund prize collection, and then went home. Yes, another there-and-back-again day in Sthlm. Just as cold as always, too.

***

It took me two and a half days to read "Tinker Tailor" -- what a brilliant book! And what a tour de force performance by Alec Guinness! It's like le Carré wrote the book after watching him in the TV series. Then I watched the new movie again and found it sadly lacking. What other le Carré books should I read then? There's quite a lot of them.

***

I won't go to Eastercon this year (it's in two weeks) or Swecon in October (we're going to Southafrica that very weekend). So to make up for lost fannish activities, maybe I should go to Return of the Ring? They had a big ad in the latest SFX, a whole page full. I don't think anyone else from these parts is going.

***

Last, we went to see "John Carter of Mars" yesterday. The BBC called it "deadly dull" and that was very harsh of them. It actually was quite a lot of fun! Stunning landscapes, fun characters, fairytale kind of story (it IS a century old) and good actors. The only bad part was the 3D which was completely flat. Why do they insist on slapping on 3D when the movie is in 2D? Keep it flat then! Anyway, a rollicking good romp it was, and then we got out and looked up at red Mars glaring at us from the night sky.
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On Saturday I went to see "Götterdämmerung" with my Wagner-geek friend. It was totally awesome! What amazing singers! Six hours (with two imtermissions) of bombastic, strident music -- in the very best sense of the words -- and forceful singing. Brünnhilde is my new hero. Well heroine. And Jay Hunter Morris made his Siegfried act just like a brash 17yr-old, so cute. Not a word you usually associate with that character, I suppose. Oh, and Eric Owens's Alberich...

It was awesome!

Now to see how the New York critics blast this production, as they did with "Siegfried"...

***

I recently finished Umberto Eco's "The Prague Cemetery" or whatever it's called in English -- my first Swedish translation of one of his books. It's a novel about 19th century Europe and the hate movements running through it like bile-green threads. It's actually more like a collation of some of the wilder fantasies about Jews (also Freemasons and Jesuits, cause they're kinda like the Jews aren't they) and how they're about to ruin everything. The mind boggles at the utter lunacy these people got up to! Jaw-dropping! And of course, the "sequel" to this book is the Elders of Zion protocols, of much infamy.

Read it!

***

Last weekend the tolkienists had a small but cosy get-together with the theme C S Lewis. It was really cold and sunny, with sparkling, squeaking snow underfoot. It would have been just right to go out for a walk in the forest and find some lamp-post to gather round... but it was too cold. So we ate and talked and then watched the Moria scenes in LotR on bluray -- oooh, it's still a most impressive movie. Time to see them again, yes?

Speaking of tolkienists, there's the Scandinavian Sci-Fi Fair here on 1 April, where we should attend and spread PR and goodwill ahead of the Hobbit movie. Then there's a big happening in England in August that it would be great to attend, if it doesn't clash with our next school get-together. Also Eastercon, which isn't tolkienist but it's in England, and it's big. There won't be any "Doctor Who" season premiere this time, though, as that show is currently on hold. And I won't be able to watch it whenever it starts because of stupid FBI stupidly shutting down Megaupload and other services. Boooh. Catch some real criminals instead, FBI. What about the war on drugs?

***

Coming up on Lent, and time to do good deeds. I'm not very good at that but I'm going to repeat the collection we did here at work before Christmas, money for charities and stuff for the nearby charity shop. Also a good opportunity to maybe clear out some of my clutter. Not much hope for that, though, there's simply too much of it. Better not look at it, that way it doesn't bother me.

***

And last but far from least, I learn that one of my oldest friends is getting married. Congratulations, A and H! Live long and prosper!
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Boy, it's long since I wrote here! Indeed, it's long since I read my friends-page too, not since I visited [info]tommdroid last month, I think. Too much to do, too much laziness when not working -- or having fun.

There's been railroad inspections around Falun, and last week between Frövi and Skinnskatteberg (pronounced "Skinnsberg" by the locals). On Wednesday we go to Borlänge to inspect railroads around Mora and Malung and whatnot. Next week it's back to Skinnsberg-Fagersta-Avesta.

Inbetween there has been the ambulating Sci-Fi Fair, at which I represented Mithlond (at WCT's table), right next to Robert Englund in fact, although he was separated from us by a big partition. If there had been a whole in it I could have poked him. Two days of being friendly and representative, and buying two Daleks, one of them remote controlled. Yes, I now have a toy that can roll up to you and shout "Exterminate!" and several other offensive phrases!

Also there was Mithlond's big Autumn Feast, with lots of packing, washing-up and drinks. The Saturday started with delicious breakfast, immediately followed by chocolate tasting, whisky tasting and beer tasting. After that, time to be official, ha ha.

Finally some rest this weekend, with cats and parents. I slept till 1100hr on Saturday, I think I was very sleepy.

***

Skinnskatteberg -- I'm certain it was frequently on TV in my childhood. Something to do with workers' rights or women's lib or something generally sociological, probably. I've been meaning to look it up on the 'net but neglected it. Too much Wordfeud. Can anyone else remember?

***

While waiting for pizza in Falun I bought a copy of "Scientific American" to read, and I'm still reading it almost 3 weeks later... But in it there was an article about why bio-fuels won't supplant fossil fuels any time soon, or at all. Fr'instance, replacing fossil fuels consumed in America with corn fuels would take a farm 3 times the size of continental USA. Not feasible.

But I see a flaw in the reasoning: all estimates posit a level of consumption equal to today's. We must _not_, ever ever ever, cut down on our consuming and our spending! The very thought is blasphemous! All economic theories and prognoses need continued growth which equals increasing consumption of, well, everything.

Might it not be better to try to wean ourselves off oil, before the oil-based economy crashes and burns? Explodes, like the fireballs in a Roland Emmerich movie!
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This weekend I visited Beleriand, along with all of Mithlond, large parts of Forodrim, most of Bri, a bit of Angmar, some secret Fylkingar and faraway guests from Unquendor and DTG. Lots of work, far too much viruses, excellent food, much merriment. Vardamir gave us samples of Nick Perumov's new "LotR" sequel, due out in Swedish in a couple of weeks.

Christian from DTG spent the night here, and it was quite nice, we talked a lot and I made him watch "Doctor Who". Muahaha. When he left I entertained myself with all the laundry generated by partying and washing-up, making a Mithlond box with all the embassy gifts I have in my care, and going through the financial results from the shop I manned all weekend. Doing the Ferengi thing again!

Now I can relax with the Perumov thing and a copy of Hither Shore 6, as well as ABK 96, in preparation for tomorrow's course in contract law.

*hic*

Aug. 15th, 2010 12:19 am
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Whoa, dude, tolkienist party. Time to drink up all the beer and booze that will nominally go bad just about now and... ugh kolsyra! I've been watching a lot of "Futurama" with commentaries -- both are hilarious separately -- and I feel like doing a full-blown Bender Belch TM. Ugh, again.

Lots of jokes about Churchill; that's one of the benefits of having M in our society. Churchill is very soundbite-y, even outside the obvious and well-known speeches. Apparently there are half-formed plans of going back to Oxford, and this time visiting Blenheim Palace. More Churchill references!

Hey, I'm not drunk enough to mis-spell this much. It must be my nails, which have declined to break and necessitate all-out pruning, and so I now get stuck between keys. Oh bother!
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Partying with the Danes -- it's tougher than you'd think! I blame the tent and how cold it got at night, before it got too hot when we sun rose again at 0500. When I say "rose" I mean got above the trees and onto my tent. Also, that wood-pigeon must DIE!

Eight Danish tolkienists and me, for almost three days, having fun and games in the lovely weather, and the food, ooh wow. Then I negotiated the local train system, with a little help from my friends, and made it back home last night, so tired I just managed to watch the season finale of "Doctor Who".

Wow. The Big Bang.

Finally some real sleep, in my own bed without my legs cramping up from being tucked at awkward angles and being cold. It was a good tent, mind you, just not the right time for me to go camping out, at all. So this morning I overslept, dreaming about Roman Catholic hysterics. That's a new one for me.
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Train tickets to Denmark (well Malmö) and back? Check! Danish money? The foreign-money-box turned out to contain almost 300kr, so almost check! Gift to bring? No check, unless I find the thing I'm looking for today. Darn! It would have been so perfect!

Little box that goes "mooo" when you turn it over? Semi-check! since it says "baaaa" instead of "moooo". The sales person in the toy store asked if I wanted it wrapped, as if I wasn't buying it for myself. Those things are so much fun! I keep turning it over at home, going "baaaa" and *giggle*. My first plan was to bring it to work to relieve intermittent boredom, but I think my co-workers would get pretty fed up with it pretty damn pronto.

wheee

Oh, and there was a SF-convention in town last weekend. There was mid-level panic for two weeks prior, full-blown panic last week, and 1000% work on the weekend. With a loud-hailer. Muahaha. Noise. Also fire, see [info]egghunter.

As usual I never attended anything because I worked the whole time, well except for my own piece on geo-engineering -- a mini-lecture with audience participation. Plus of course the imprompty "Dr Who"-con on Saturday night, after I had dl:ed the latest episode right in front of the public prosecutor O_o. (She said she felt obliged to turn a blind eye a lot with the kind of friends she has -- otherwise there would be no friends!) Wow what a cliffhanger!

And I will miss the resolution because I will be in Denmark on Saturday, and I will _not_ bring my computer because I will be staying in a tent. Hooray!
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Today we rented canoes and took a tour on a lake system near where [info]egghunter lives.  I managed to drop my phone in the water but managed to retrieve it. Now it's drying out; if it doesn't make it that will be the third phone that's met a watery death...

There were many jokes on the water about Warp 6, Pirates on the port bow, and Attack pattern Delta! Lots of fun. We stopped at a wind shelter and bbq:ed food. I ate far too much, urgh. And now my arms and back will get stiff and sore when we go back to Motala on Tuesday. The woes!

After writing a lot of stuff for Condense, I watched the latest "Doctor Who". BBC said the net ep would be on the 18th so I didn't think there would be one now but there was! Joy! Only two more episodes to go now, grief!

Hmm, if I bring my computer to Condense, we might be able to watch the next episode there. I know at least one person who would be interested... and a whole bunch who would be annoyed! Muaha!
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Oops, only three weeks till the Danish tolkienist party. I really should order train tickets now, shouldn't I... and this time I make enough money that I don't have to choose the cheapest of the cheap departures, like I did last time. That meant a detour around Småland that took several hours, in smaller and smaller trains. I've already gone over those tracks at work, thank you!

Also after last time I visited Bri (not Briseis) I bought a big tent, or rather a regular-sized tent that I won't have to sleep in sideways. I haven't used it before -- until now! Bri rules!

More tolkienism on Saturday, when we will go canoeing nearby. As a Hobbit, I feel very dubious about the whole enterprise, but the promise of bbq and other foods should quell those doubts. I see that my neighbours have already started the mandatory bbq:ing out in the yard. The bbq-haze lies thick over Sweden between May and September...

Soon time to go check on the laundry. While it's been rotating in its drum I've tidied up like mad, filling old and new shelves with books and DVDs respectively. It almost looks neat now... just barely. And there is still some space left in the new shelving. (I say new but I put it up in November.)

Urgh, I really should get rid of at least half this stuff, but it's real difficult to choose. Also, this kind of project takes at least six months to mature, from idea to eventual execution. Quite literal execution, in this case.
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I have "Sherlock Holmes"! And I've just watched it again, muahaha, and laughed. Fun!

In fact I've watched a slew of Holmes movies recently. "A Study in Terror" was rather bad, but it _was_ from 1965. It showed. It's another Jack the Ripper story and a lot more lurid than later ones. A few days ago I watched "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" from 1970, which I liked a lot, even though Watson got rather annoying towards the end. Christopher Lee as Mycroft, how'bout that, and the Loch Ness monster no less! Plus if the Downey/Law movie is slashy, this one is more text than subtext...

Still got the Cyberman version with Dominic Keating to watch. But perhaps later. There's so much to watch! And to read!

Yesterday was the Big Book Exchange Day here, and the tolkienists had a small get-together at a central café to exchange books. I brought some to work too, and the net result was a decided minus for me, yay. That is to say, I took less books home than I brought out.

Speaking of tolkienists, I went to Sthlm on Saturday to their big Spring party there. Boy was it Spring! We left from 10C Gbg and arrived at 25C Sthlm... bringing clothes for chilly climates. Stifle! Sweat! But it was a fun party, maybe slightly because I consumed a whole bottle of red wine and quite a lot of whisky, plus Gimli gave me free drinks in the bar. Whee!

Just slightly tired the next day, which involved a seven-hour car journey home. Having to be funny, interesting and _social_ for seven hours... with someone who confessed to being infatuated with me, I slowly gathered after a while. Ugh. From now on I'll always go by train, it only takes three hours and you don't have to _talk_.

Work is slightly hysterical again, but what can one expect when two days a week are removed from proper working hours. Yesterday we had an interesting lecture day, about rock bolting and shotcrete, and today we went on a mini-conference to a spa hotel in Varberg. "Muscle harmony exercises" -- doesn't it sound a lot like slow, easy yoga? It's not, it's a full-blown gym session. Ow! But the saunas and bubble pools afterwards were very nice.

And the weather is still wonderful. Warm and sunny, with occasional explosive thunder storms. The bbqs are out today, as our shorts and t-shirts. Aah. Hopefully no heavy rainclouds on Sunday, when we're going on a picnic in Slottsskogen. But hey, that would be traditional so why not. "Picnic? Bring hip-waders!"
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Gosh, amazon claims they have shipped all those movies I ordered -- already. That means I might get them next Monday or summat. Oooooooh! *dies with anticipation*

***

Today I have assembled things to pack, and written a speech. Well, most of the speech is here already *), but I've _written_ it, in longhand, on a really long scroll. Hopefully it will look all sorts of impressive and pompous tomorrow when I unfurl it. That's at least the effect I'll be striving for when reading it aloud. (Yes, it's another tolkienist party, in Stockholm this time.)

Speaking (haha) of which, in the "Victory of the Daleks" Confidential episode Ian McNeice talks about how he did his Churchill. This was almost exactly the same method I used for giving Churchill/Middle-earth speeches. Haha! Great minds etc.

***

If you haven't already seen it, here's something funny. I came across the book at the Book Fair here last September, quite by accident. Funny clips. And the book is hilarious. Instantly familiar to anyone with cats.

Meow.




*) only now that I wrote it down did I realise the beginning is a paraphrase of the "Star Wars" opening crawl
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On Friday I slaved over presentations of financial data for the trekkers club -- beautiful charts that then actually couldn't be shown because of a) format incompatibility or b) wrong kind of cable. D'oh! But it was the last thing I did for WCT; at least I went out on a high note, with a really really good result. I've handed over most of the stuff to my successor on the treasury chair (she's the one who used to work for Wessex Archaeology, run by Phil on "Time Team") and now I am free -- FREE -- from all financial responsibilities.

Until Friday, ie, when I take over the cashbox of Club Cosmos. D'oh! again.

It has snowed quite a lot lately and yesterday I went out to look at it in the bright sunshine. Wow! Amazing! The whitescape is incredibly pretty, and at the right angle, the reflexions on the way-subzero snow looks like marengue frosting. Also the shades and shapes of drifts and sastrugi, especially in the cemetery with contrasting bits of ironworks and stuff. My camera said "charge batteries" far too soon.

There was a tolkienist event at the nearby old prison yesterday. It has been converted into a ... er, cultural house (kulturhus), with library and other services. I'm always amazed there are so many ppl in these places, they seem really popular. Our tiny event was try out handicraft techniques, quite nice. At the end of it, Jim called with disturbing news and then I went home and watched "Doctor Who".

P.S. Don't be a morally superior tidy person! This is a lesson I learned all-too-empirically yesterday, when the door I brushed clean of snow so it would close (and not let in riffraff) promptly froze and I couldn't get it open. Effectively locked out by my own stuck-up-ness!
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I'm reading the complete Sherlock Holmes stories -- and it's brilliant!

How long ago was it I read them? Ten years, twenty? Far too long, anyway! It's on a par with the latest brilliant-reads, like Fritz Leiber and Lord Dunsany. Much better to read that book than to watch TV. Well, that would be the Jeremy Brett "Holmes"...

No, I'm not entirely honest there. I happened to watch the start of a French action movie yesterday, "Banlieu 13", and couldn't stop watching. What fun! Ridiculously macho, like a Tarantino-Jackie Chan-parkour mashup. Haha.

Also "The Legend of the Seeker", guest-starring Ted Raimi. It is _so_ "Xena". The girl in it has a very nice coat-dress. Who is costume designer? Not Ngila Dickson surely, she must have gone on to the big things after "LotR". *and now the mp3-player plays music from "Xena", how appropriate*

After eating far too much yesterday, I went out to get some exercise on the icy streets of Göteborg, and to hunt for lace. I've been commissioned to design a "hushållsplutt", ie a badge for a tolkienist, and after much soul-searching have come to the conclusion that a classic is best: lace and leather (or soft skin), in the shape of a rose. So, where to find lace?

Thrift shops! called "fleasies" in Swedish (loppis). Or, since I couldn't find anything in the two local ones, our version of Oxfam (Myrorna). But I got rather more than I went out for, since there apparently is a steampunk ball at Eastercon. Mmm, too tight clothing in a vaguely 19th-century style...

Also Ahmad tea, Wil Wheaton's "Just A Geek" and the DVD "Dresden Files". Plus I got to talk to The Mighty Beard! What a day. Now I can relax and get into gear for tomorrow's tolkienist annual Big Meet.
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It's really difficult to read text with this, have to sort of squint sideways at it. Creeping up on it unawares and not looking straight at it, as it were, like you do with magpies. They never like it when you look directly at them.

So no reading "A Study in Scarlet" now. It's the boring bit about Mormons anyway.

Last night's meeting (tolkienists) went well, although no one ate any of the food I had bought. So I have to eat it myself and I am already eating far too much as it is. Oh woe. But I got at least one other person hooked on the Addict-a-ball, haha. It spreads like a plague!

Soon I'm off to the next meeting (trekkers), hopefully the last meeting in that club I ever have to attend. Not that the meetings are boring, they're actually the best bit about WCT. No, it's the rest of it that I'm fed up with. Especially doing all that book-keeping and having to contend with weird trekkers. They really _are_ weird!

Got to look up the trams and buses to see when I have to leave. Värsttrafik has "improved" its services so nowadays you can't look them up in a booklet, you have to turn on a machine and look them up on the internet. Clever, yeah?

no secrets

Dec. 20th, 2009 11:35 am
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Isn't that the anagram in "Sneakers"? Fantastic movie, that...

Anyway, yesterday's Grey Council meeting and christmas party was decidedly no-secrets. I really didn't want to know all that about the other members' sexual proclivities! BDSM R Us! Aaaagh! Lalalalala *clapping hands to ears* O_o Also gossip central, omg.

Had to leave early before the meeting degenerated completely. Sheesh. You'd never see regular SF geeks go on like that, at least they're _discrete_.
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Man, I'm tired!

Three days of physical labour and mental tension, plus socialising, laughter and a lot of food... I'm still dead beat. And here I am, back at the office staring at a computer screen. All I want to do is sleep!

This year's big tolkienist party felt, I don't know, slightly off. Maybe because all my carefully prepared props and games were put to hardly any use at all. But that's because of the atrocious weather: on Friday, sunshine and hardly a breeze. Today, sunshine and hardly a breeze. Saturday: continuous walls of water and galeforce winds, abating slightly on Sunday. Heeeeeeey....

Here's my dinner speech. Can you name the original version and who delivered it?

"Good evening. In less than an hour, filled cups from here will join others from around the tables. And you will be launching one of the loudest eglerios in the history of Mithlond.

Mithlond -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today.

We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.

We will be united in our common interests.

Perhaps it’s fate that today is a Saturday, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution -- but from too tight clothing.

We're fighting for our right to eat, to party.

And should we win the day, the Saturday will no longer be known as a Mithlond holiday, but as the day when the tolkienist world declared in one voice:

"We will not go quietly into the night!

We will not vanish without a bun fight!

We're going to party on!

We're going to shout eglerio!"

Today, we celebrate our Indulgence Day!"


At home now I have no sofa or coffe table or easy-chairs. They were sold off and carted away yesterday. Now the hunt for new furniture commences! A long sofa that I can stretch out on fully, aaah. I anticipate falling asleep to the TV even better than before. Maybe I'll even get that TV bench I planned for when I got the flat screen TV three years ago? Excitement!

*grins like the Doctor*
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... the guy who sold me a "Kapten Stofil"-album yesterday at the book fair asked me if I wanted it signed. Turned out to be Joakim Lindengren himself. Hah!

***

Most things are set for this weekend's big tolkienist do. Hopefully all my well-thought-out plans will work out in reality. Epic FAIL if they don't, like the käpphästar won't be mounted or something.

err...

***

In two weeks I'm going to Stockholm for railroad work. I'll be staying on Söder this time, but not at Alexandra Hotel (except during Imagicon). Boy were they stuck up and snide! Bastards!

The work stretches over two weeks. Hopefully I'll be done by then but apparently it's quite a lot of railroad-cuts to cover. Ten A4-pages of information to fill out for every cut! In other similar projects it's been one page, or just half a page, even. Sheesh. Here's the "bandel" where I'll be working.

***

I'm getting a new computer at work, hopefully one that doesn't take five minutes to open or close a document, and that doesn't send the mouse cursor flying all over the screen randomly. What on earth was the matter with it today? Perhaps it was my new external hard-drive that I plugged in to keep music and stuff on -- the brand name is ZAP.

How could I not choose such an item!
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Another pub night with Club Cosmos over and done with. Lots of people attended, even two trekkers! And a visiting Orc! Boy did it get really loud when the level of enthusiasm rose and rose. I ordered a funny dessert: deep-fried camembert cheese on cloudberry jam... and fried parsley on top. That looked really weird. And beer!

No photos this time. I've decided to purge all pictures of people, except the blurry ones or group shots where you can hardly see who is who anyway. But all the fun ones must go, they're too much of an invasion of privacy. It's a pity really, I wanted to share them, but it's not nice to the ppl in them. So, purgelipurge! And lock all albums!

Another event that won't be photo-journalled is when Mithlond goes to Skändla this evening. Today is the ninth day of the ninth month in th year '09, so we'll be celebrating the Fellowship by walking around a hill with lots of archaeology on it. It's a nice walk in the forest, with informative plaques about the history and prehistory of the place. The really interesting part, though, is getting there, with Värsttrafik... *looks it up* Hey, no one has registered the name varsttrafik.se yet!

Tomorrow our whole office, and our Stockholm colleagues, will go to the enormour metropolis Skövde for "team-building exercises". Sounds scary... but the dress code apparently doesn't prescribe gym clothes or outdoors gear. Perhaps I'll avoid the mountaineering, stafettlöpning and dirt-biking this time too! Hooray!

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