Tuesday, January 31, 2012

drip graffiti on railroad bridge

Seen in Lambertville and part of the old Belvidere Delaware Railroad, abandoned for a long time.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bacon bits and pieces on the internet

Do you need a new wallet?  Check this one out.

If you just want the flavor, pop a tablet

Just want the smell, hang this, or the taste, lick this.

And, if you need to cut some bacon, this would be perfect, right? I want one of these.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Favorit i repris: Pine Barren gentian

Pine Barren gentian, originally uploaded by Vilseskogen.
Just a favorite because it is so enourmously gorgeous. Gentiana autumnalis, a rare species from the New Jersey Pine Barrens, in my hand one and a half years ago.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Poem by Candace Black: Mr. D Shops At Fausto’s Food Palace

This poem really brings back the previous times when locavore food (locally sourced food) was the normal. Can't you just imagine the fish counter in this little store after reading this?


American Life in Poetry: Column 356


Nothing brings a poem to life more quickly than the sense of smell, and Candace Black, who lives in Minnesota, gets hold of us immediately, in this poem about change, by putting us next to a dumpster.

Mr. D Shops At Fausto’s Food Palace

For years he lived close enough to smell
chicken and bananas rotting
in the trash bins, to surprise a cashier on break
smoking something suspicious when he walked

out the back gate. Did they have an account?
He can’t remember. Probably so, for all the milk
a large family went through, the last-minute
ingredients delivered by a smirking bag boy.

He liked to go himself, the parking lot’s
radiant heat erased once he got past the sweating
glass door, to troll the icy aisles in his slippers.
This was before high-end labels took over

shelf space, before baloney changed
its name to mortadella, before water
came in flavors, before fish
got flown in from somewhere else.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Candace Black, from her most recent book of poetry, Casa Marina, RopeWalk Press, 2010. Reprinted by permission of Candace Black and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2012 by The Poetry Foundation.

Reposted here with permission.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bits and pieces of winter, maybe

If you want to see a bird go sledding in the winter, check this out: LINK

One of the few things that stay bright green in winter are mosses.  Now you can grow them on your hands! LINK

The European tadpole shrimp, Triops, might have survived 300 million winters...  LINK

Monday, January 16, 2012

Swedish food: Blood pudding

black pudding, originally uploaded by lnairks.
Blood pudding actually have pig blood in it. It is not one of those foods that get a name after how it looks only.  If you grow up with it, then it is not too bad tasting, just unusual.

We had this a lot as children, and it was served in school too - at least once a month for 10 years. And school lunches in Sweden when I grew up had only one dish served, there were no options at all. Blood pudding or nothing. Boiled cod or nothing. Liver patties or nothing. Split pea soup or nothing.  Kids today have no clue how lucky they are! :) {At least the American ones that have cafeterias with options, I don't know how it is in Swedish schools anymore.)

You buy it in big chunks, round or half-round cylindershaped pieces encased in plastic. Cut off the plastic, slice it up about 1/4 inches thin (1 cm), and then fry it in a pan with butter. Quick and then it is done. Serve with lingonberry jam, and a glass of milk, and sometimes with sliced raw cabbage too. Black, red and white food.

I don't miss blood pudding, it is not one of those flavors that you think of as something you absolutely need from Sweden. I could still eat it though (unless it is the brand that puts soggy raisins into the pudding). I don't think many kids have salivated over the thought of blood pudding for lunch, quite the opposite. But it was a good way to take care of all parts of the animal in the old times and I bet it is very nutritious.

Photo: copyright Lars Niklasson on Flickr (he has also many other Swedish things on his Flickr stream)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wonderful comedian - George Carlin on Cats and Dogs

This is one of our absolute favorite stand-up comedians:

Enjoy! (And oh, this is not exactly appropriate for small children, just a warning, but it is hilarious!)

A sports quote and some ponderings

Football has the same relation to education that bullfighting has to agriculture.                                
           Robert Maynard Hutchins (President, University of Chicago)
This is of course about the crazy college sports that are going on here in the US.  Players that are like slaves, using their bodies for a few years, end up with injuries for the rest of their lives, and earn a lot for a short time, and then nothing maybe.  There are billions of dollars in college sports here in the US.  In Sweden the sports are private teams, unrelated to colleges, like other parts of Europe.  How did US sports come to be so associated with educational institutions?  There are students here in the US that pick their college based on how the football team is doing, not how good the academic programs are.  That is just crazy. 
Toothpaste for dinner shows it best in his cartoon, Sports Aren't News.  [OK readers, you may like sports, that is OK, I am not outlawing it, I just think it is ridiculous that more money and attention is spent on sports than making this a better world to live in for everybody.]


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stamp of the Day: Blue whale (Blåval)

Balaenoptera musculus - muscular indeed are these giants of the Earth.  I have never seen one, but I would love to.  This stamp is a joint issue between Sweden and Canada from 2010.  Very few whales reach Swedish waters, only some lost ones come in between Sweden and Denmark.  The Baltic See is too sweetwaterish (brackish) for most sea creatures to survive well there, so it is only along the West Coast of Sweden you can really see any small dolphins or smaller whales.  So Sweden weren't really in the whaling business. We stuck to herring, timber, and mechanical innovations like the ball bearings, dynamite, and gauge blocks. I wonder what whales are thinking when they swim in the ocean these days.... wouldn't it be interesting to know?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Swedish food: Falukorv

Inbäddad Falukorv, originally uploaded by Cayene.
In Sweden there is a long, light pink sausage called Falukorv encased in red plastic, and it is commonly used as a major dinner ingredient. It tastes kind of like bologna, and should be cooked before eaten (but I know several weekend campers who gave up trying to light a fire or camping stove and ate it raw without dying from it).

When I grew up we had this sausage made in three versions.
1) you slice it into 1/4 inch slices and panfry it, and serve with mashed potatoes and ketchup.
2) you cut it into 1/4 inch thick sticks and make something called 'sausage stroganoff' with it, including lots of ketchup and cream.
3) you keep it whole, but slice it 2/3rds through and put slices of apples, onions and cheese into the cuts, and then bake in the oven. Ketchup and more cheese is good on top!

Both 1 and 2 were served as lunch food in the public schools.

I don't really miss falukorv here in the US, and for me this is real childhood food. And yes, there was lots of ketchup when I grew up. Next week we will go on to another Swedish childhood food - blood pudding.

Photo 'Inbäddad Falukorv' =Embedded Falu Sausage (copyright Cayene on Flickr).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Birthday, AA!

All the living lobsters in the world wishes you happy birthday. And the salmon and scallops too. And from lettuces, spinach, and eeverything else that have helped you along so far, and every song Bob Dylan wrote, and all of us - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Now, here is the question for the day: "How does it feel..." (to be 18)? GRATTIS!

[Note to readers - we had salmon and scallops of early birthday dinner on Saturday, and today we boiled 4 delicious whole lobsters and ate them dipped in lemon butter. The lobsters were from Maine, of course...]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The December that didn't become winter, and a historic weather year

Last year, 2011, was weather-wise a not very wise year in New Jersey.

We had snow storms, ice storms, rain storms, hurricanes,

Result: The third warmest year on record, and the wettest year ever (since 1895).  In our township we had 71.92 inches of precipitation, that is 1826.768 mm (for you used to the more smart SI system, and I never really got into the inch-thing anyway). That explains all the horribly flooding, including the water in our basement.

Those of you that don't believe in global warming and that it might be influenced by your cars and living style - how about you spend some time in a flooded or icestuck place for a while?  It is real, it is here, it is happening right now! 

Here are some weather related photos from 2011... lets hope for a more 'lagom' year this year:

After Hurricane Irene - another tree down, silver maple

Snowstorm of October 2011, New Jersey

sugar maple in truck bed: Snowstorm of October 2011, New Jersey

tracks on road

ice on laundry rack

nasty road

Update: here is a good link to the warmest winter so far ever in the northern hemisphere.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ice Hockey Gold Medal to Sweden

The Junior Icehockey team from Sweden, with boys born 1992-95, defeated the russian team yesterday ( or today, swedish time). Last time a Swedish junior team got a gold medal was 1981.

I want to extend my big congratulations to the team and all of the Swedish fans. These guys are ice hockey heroes, and you will see them in the American NHL league in a couple of years.

The picture is a proposed stamp from a news paper in Sweden, Aftonbladet. If you are in Sweden, watch the game on svt.se/play.


Under sommaren och hösten har jag broderat två stycken kuddar efter att varit på en kurs i yllebroderi. Det har varit fantastiskt roligt och trivsamt att skapa dessa kuddar utan att använda ett färdigt mönster eller förlaga. Den övre är skapad av verkliga och fantasifulla fåglar och den undre visar mina motiv som jag upplevt den här sommaren, en upplevelse som jag delat med min dotter och hon har fått kudden. Yllegarnet som jag använt är mycket fintrådigt och lätt att arbeta med.

Translation by LS:  During the summer and fall I have embroidered two pillows after taken a course in crewel embroidery.  It has been a lot of fun and wonderful to create these without having to use a preset pattern or original to copy from.  The top pillow features real and imaginative birds, and the lower pillow shows some of the things I have experienced this summer with my daughter, and she was given that pillow as a gift.  The wool yarn I use is very thin and easy to work with. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new word learned: Linkrot

I just saw a new word, and one that makes immediate sense: LINKROT

This is when old web pages and other things online eventually have many non-working links because the pages it links to have changed through time.  The web is in flux, it is not a constant thing, like pages in a book.  So the links rot away, with time, like a dead tree in the forest. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, 2012!

Hout Bay sunset, originally uploaded by Vilseskogen.

Welcome 2012, I hope you will have calmer weather than 2011. Gott nytt år to all readers of this blog!

The photo is from Hout Bay in South Africa, where I was in 2008.