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Kareina
03 December 2016 @ 04:43 pm
Today we went out to the Jul Marknad på Hägnan (Christmas market at Hägnan). It was a lovely day for it, crisp, clear, and -15 C. We have had some snow recently (not much, but enough to turn things white) and the couple of warm (+ 2 C) days we had last week didn't melt much of the snow, and with the drop in temps the trees are nice and white, so it was really pretty.

We only stopped at one of the booths to purchase anything. The Cheese booth from Vuollerim at which a friend of ours was working (as she does every year). We stopped by her first, bought a handful of their fresh cheeses for home, a packet of their skabramost for the house, and a bunch more packets for C.'s friends and family down south who haven't had a chance to try this cheese yet (since it is only produced at the Arctic Circle). Then we did a walk around the rest of the market and kidnapped our friend from her booth to head across the street to the gillestuga for some waffles with jam and whipped cream before she returned to duty and we three went home.

I enjoyed the chance to wear my nice fur-lined hood and muff I made for SCA events in another setting where the warmth is welcome.

After coming home we had time to eat, do yoga, and check in on line, but in another 15 minutes we will head to town and watch a movie. This might be the second I have seen this year in a theater.
 
 
Kareina
01 December 2016 @ 09:34 pm
It has been a very long time since I posted a "learn Swedish one song at a time" post. I thought I had long since shared the one our choir wrote a couple of years ago, but when I went looking just now it turns out that I never had. This one is a filk to a classic Swedish spring song, "Nu Grönskar det", which I have posted about". Our version, of course, sings the praises of winter here in the north, and will feature in our Choir's Lucia performance on the 13th of December, as it did last year.

Nu mörknar det

Nu mörknar det i dalens djup, nu nalkas snö och is.
Kom med, kom med över frusen sjö i vinterns friska bris!
Var kväll av norrsken lyses upp, och natten den är lång.
Så mys min vän, i stjärnors sken, och lyss till bjällrans sång.

Långt bort från stadens gråa hus vi glatt vår kosa styr,
och följer vägens vita band mot snöiga äventyr.
Med öppna ögon låt oss se de gnistrande viddernas land.
Genom snö som virvlar överallt vi vandra hand i hand!


Which more or less means:

Now it becomes dark in the depth of the valley, now the snow and ice approach.
Come along, come along, over the frozen lake in the brisk winter's breeze
Our evening shines with the northern lights, and the night it is long.
So enjoy coziness my friend, in the light of the stars, and listen to the song of the bells.

Far away from the city's grey houses we happily guide our course
and follow the white band of the road towards snowy adventure.
With open eyes let us gaze upon the glittering winter's land.
Through snow which whirls everywhere we wander hand in hand.


If any of you clicked through to the original version, you will note that some lines are only slightly changed to bring it to the better season, while others needed complete re-writing. If anyone wants a copy of the sheet music and lyrics (arranged for four voices) leave me a comment and I will happily send it to you as a pdf.
 
 
Kareina
30 November 2016 @ 07:28 pm
Edited to add: it turns out that if I had created an account with the publisher there would have been a button to push to send the book direct to my kindle app. So, if I hadn't been too lazy to fill in the form, it wouldn't have been that difficult. Read several chapters last night. Worth the frustrations trying to get it.

I just tried to buy hrj's newest book. Or, rather, it has been paid for, I just can't read it. I decided that there would be some value in buying directly from her publisher. The publisher's web page says that if one buys the e-book in mobi format, and has it sent to an email address which is on one's "Send to Kindle email address" list then it should work. I followed the instructions on that web page to make certain the email address I used in my order is on that list. However, the book isn't showing up in my list of Kindle content on the web page, nor on my phone. I can open the email to which they sent the download link, but when I downloaded it to my phone, even though the email says it will be a "mobi" format ebook, the file name has an .prc extension, and when I try opening the file with Kindle or a pdf reader both tools say it is an unsupported file type. I have tried forwarding that file to the same email address, on the off chance that for Kindle to notice it it needs to be an attachment, not a link in the body of the message, but that didn't help either. I have no idea what I need to do to get Kindle's attention that the book has been purchased. I guess the next step is to try emailing the publisher and see if they can help.
 
 
Kareina
I finally had the time today to sit down and take care of the financial paperwork for Norrskensfesten. We had 100 people registered, of whom 75 were SCA members. The numbers have been sent in to the Shire Exchequer and Seneschal, and I will likely get a refund for the cash I fronted soon.

However, a problem* I have been having with my home computer for a couple of weeks (months?) now did complicate things--it was necessary to use the computer to send the financial report email from my work email to my gmail address, then use my phone to forward (actually copy-paste) that message from my SCA gmail address to the people who needed it.

Part of the reason the event paperwork took till today to finish is that it was a particularly busy week at work. We had a short course on Thursday and Friday for using iolite, which was really useful. This was actually the second time I attended a course on this program--the last time was in Prague. This time, however, we flew the teacher here, and he gave a focused lesson to just those parts of the program that we will need. I learned a number of new things, and my two Master's students, who will be using the laser, were both very happy with what they learned in the course and looking forward to starting their research after Christmas break.

In other news, it has finally snowed! only 10 to 15 cm, but the world looks much better, and I did some shoveling yesterday. Sadly, my phone predicts that it will be warm again in the next few days, so we run the risk of losing this snow, too. I hope it won't be another one of those winters.



*weird computer problem: google products are broken on my home computer. All other web pages work perfectly, but while I can sometimes open my gmail or google calendar on this computer, I can't actually do anything with them. Any attempt to actually read or send a message or add a new item to the calender results in a "something's not right" error message. So I have been resorting to using my phone or my work computer to do things in these web services. Do any of you know how I can solve this?
I already tried (back when the problem first appeared) clearing the cash and re-installing the browser I used to use (Chrome), and it didn't help, and then I tried changing browsers--it fixed it for a couple of hours, but now Opal has the same problem, and I haven't had time to try anything else to fix it.
 
 
 
Kareina
23 November 2016 @ 10:54 am
This past weekend was Norrskensfesten, Frostheim's annual big event, and it was the second annual Norrskensbard competition. I was the autocrat again this year, and again used the format inspired by the Mists Bardic Competition event, with an all day feast interspersed with bardic competition rounds and other entertainment.

I had originally planned to head to site around mid-day on Friday, so I would have time to do a liesurily set-up and cooking dinner, and then would have time after people arrived to do things like sew the new Norrsken tablet-woven band onto the Norrskensbards cloak. However, the car we bought this summer for carrying stuff to SCA events had been showing a warning light and not sounding quite right, so we have been avoiding moving it till it could be looked at, and we booked an appointment with the shop he has been using for many years. However, the shop has been quite busy, and the earliest appointment we were able to get was for Thursday before the event. Then, during that week they called us to say that some other repairs had gone way over time and offset their schedule, so they had called in a favour with another shop and transferred our booking to them for the same time. This turned out to be a good thing, as the other shop is only a 20 minute walk from my office, so I was able to bring the car in and then just walk to work (the original shop is a 20 minute drive from my office, which means taking two cars and driving one back).

Thursday afternoon they called to say they had found the problem, that they had one of the needed parts in house, but the other wouldn't arrive till the following morning, but they still hoped to be done with the job by noon on Friday. Thursday evening was Frostheim's craft night, during which I helped one of our new guys sew together the costume we had cut out the previous week (he drove the machine, I pinned the pieces together and handed them ready to sew). Then O. and I stayed up later than we should have talking, as we hadn't had a chance to do so earlier in the week, after which I got like four hours of sleep and he went home to do some school work, because he was inspired to do so.

Friday morning I got up and finished the last of the packing and had everything ready to go by the time my friend Å. arrived at mid-day (he picked up O. on the way in, since O. had just missed his bus. Then we took Å's car to the shop, where I picked up my car, returned home, and the three of us loaded everything up into both cars (which meant that I could see out of the back window a bit). Then, after a quick second lunch, I went straight to site, and the boys went to fetch V. and L.

This gave me time to unload all of my stuff, set up my nest in the corner back-stage with a movable shelf to enclose my space and organize my stuff, get the foods out, and start work on dinner before the second car arrived. Then I whipped the cream into butter, used the butter milk to make reiska (a fairly quick flat-baked Finnish bread that, these days, is often done with baking powder in either oat or rye flour, but my grandmother always did it with yeast, and often mixed the oats with wheat flour--I opted for a mix of four grains (wheat, spelt, rye, and oat) for this weekend's version), and put L., R., and A. (who had arrived just after Å.'s car full) to work making the soup. By the time we had people looking for food the soup (veg and bean) was ready, the bread baked and the sausage cut up. It was a bit later than I would have preferred to have eaten (18:30), but everyone else was happy. After I ate I made a second batch of bread, as the first was going fast.

Once I had eaten and gotten the kitchen clean and ready for H. to start his pre-cooking for the feast I had thought to start sewing the trim onto the cloak, but instead I never really got a chance to sit down the rest of the evening, as people kept coming to me with questions. The fencers had a candle lit fencing tournament in the hall, the hot tub was enjoyed by some people, others worked on projects, and/or sang songs. As it got close to midnight a couple of the musicians started playing Swedish folk music, so I, and the girlfriend of one of them, danced for a while, neither of us caring that the music and dance style is a few centuries out of period, it is still fun. Then I did my yoga for the day, followed by some acroyoga practice with E., and managed to get to bed around 01:00. By then I was totally exhausted, yet had problems falling asleep as my legs were aching/cramping up a bit, since I had been on my feet pretty much non stop (other than the yoga and acroyoga poses in which my feet leave the ground) since arriving on site sometime after 15:00. O., on the other hand, opted to stay up late talking with people, and didn't join me in bed till around 04:00, and he reports that he couldn't really sleep either, as he found the bed both too warm and too small.

I got up at 06:30 on Saturday, so I would have time to do my morning situps before getting up and starting breakfast, which involved more fresh-churned butter and reiska, hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, apples, etc. I managed to get the breakfast mess in the kitchen cleaned up before H. arrived to start the feast cooking. Around that time the fighters went outside to do their morning tournamnet, and we started setting up tables in the hall for the feast. Before the tournament the Crown Prince told me that he intended to keep fighting for as long as he could talk people into playing with him after the tourney, so if he wasn't ready yet when the feast started we should start without him. So we did.

The hall we were using is decent sized, and there was no problems last year just setting the tables in a horse-shoe ring around the edge of the hall leaving an open place in the middle for dancing and performances. However, last year there were only 70 people registered for the event, and this year we were 100. Therefore, in order to keep that open space in the middle I placed three tables on the stage for high table. Their Royal Highnesses and the outgoing Norrskensbard sat in the middle table, and we six competitors sat on the two side tables. My household was well represented at high table. My table included me, my apprentice A., and lord_kjar, and my minion sat at the other table with the other two entrants (and the small son of one of them, since his wife had charge of their other child at one of the tables on the floor).

The sequence of events went: serve the food, slight pause to give everyone a chance to at least taste their food, then a round of the competition, followed immediately by a long-dance (farendole style), which lead the dancers to the voting station. Each entrant had a glass jar covered with paper and their name written on it, and after each round people would drop one of the beans they had received when they checked in into the jar of their choice (the gold bean was for round 1: period piece, the silver for round 2: piece in a period style, the blue bean for round 3: on the theme of nature, and the white bean for the three words out of a hat). After voting there was a short break before the next round of food. This pattern was for the first, second, fourth, and fifth courses of the banquet. To break the day up after third course we had a performance by the musician of Luleå Nycklehearpa plus all the other musicians on site who were able to join in on the songs, during which I called dancing. We hadn't taken any time to teach, just jumped in, and even though there were a few people who didn't already know the dances, it went really well. After that musical interlude their Royal Highnesses had a short court, where they distributed the scrolls that hadn't made it north when the Crown was up here this summer presenting awards, and they also gave tokens of welcome to the new members. I was grateful for that break, as I actually wound up drifting on the edge of sleep during the court, which gave me enough energy to continue participating in the competition.

I was really happy with the competition--it seemed like all six of us were better prepared than were the four of us who entered last year, and the overall quality of performances was better. I got some good feedback on my poems and presentation, and my wonderful apprentice Astrid won, which made me very proud. (There was an additional proud moment when it was revealed that each of the four rounds had a different winner, and the winners were the four of us in the contest from my household, especially as one of the other entrants has an amazing voice and is able to do Kulning (the distinctive loud, musical, calls women did to call the cows home).

For my period piece I opted to just play Turdion on the dulcimer, since I could do that, and I ran out of time to actually learn the 12th century sestina I had hoped to use. For my piece in a period style I used the Prolouge to the Canturbury tales (my last-year's period piece) as the inspiration for a Prologue to Double Wars poem. This was the round I won, which didn't surprise me, as I had won the period piece the year before. My singing is now passable, after years of singing in choir, but it isn't impressive. On the other hand, compared to the other entrants, I am better at recitation, with good projecting, vocal variety, body language, etc. My piece on the theme of nature was my song "Winter time it has arrived" (to the tune of Summer is acumin in), which would have gone better if I had made more time to learn the new verse I wrote the week before the event, since I forgot a line and needed to pause and start that bit over. My three words out of a hat were ever so much fun. Before we drew our words the Crown Prince had commented to me "none of the words will be shorter than 'trebuchet'". So, of course, I had to use it.

I had planned to do a song for my 3 words piece, and had chosen Bacche, bene, venies as the tune to use. However, I wound up drawing Bacchus as one of my three words, and just couldn't bring myself to use that tune, as it would have felt like cheating. Though, in hind sight, I suppose I could have just written a new verse and used the original chorus, but at the time it seemed unacceptable to do that. So, instead, I wrote a quick, very silly, story in iambic pentameter (these things happen when that is the form one used for one's piece in a period style), using as many odd words as I could toss in (including trebuchet), so that people would have it harder to guess the three words.

Towards the end of the feast E. and I did our acroyoga performance. We opted for only a slight variation on previous acroyoga performances, due to pretty much no time to plan or practice before the event, but stil got some good feedback, and at least two different Phire members commented to me about liking the fact that we added in some new stuff, so, clearly, doing the changes was a good thing.

After the feast there was a workshop in playing the Finnish This past weekend was Norrskensfesten, Frostheim's annual big event, and it was the second annual Norrskensbard competition. I was the autocrat again this year, and again used the format inspired by the Mists Bardic Competition event, with an all day feast interspersed with bardic competition rounds and other entertainment.

I had originally planned to head to site around mid-day on Friday, so I would have time to do a liesurily set-up and cooking dinner, and then would have time after people arrived to do things like sew the new Norrsken tablet-woven band onto the Norrskensbards cloak. However, the car we bought this summer for carrying stuff to SCA events had been showing a warning light and not sounding quite right, so we have been avoiding moving it till it could be looked at, and we booked an appointment with the shop he has been using for many years. However, the shop has been quite busy, and the earliest appointment we were able to get was for Thursday before the event. Then, during that week they called us to say that some other repairs had gone way over time and offset their schedule, so they had called in a favour with another shop and transferred our booking to them for the same time. This turned out to be a good thing, as the other shop is only a 20 minute walk from my office, so I was able to bring the car in and then just walk to work (the original shop is a 20 minute drive from my office, which means taking two cars and driving one back).

Thursday afternoon they called to say they had found the problem, that they had one of the needed parts in house, but the other wouldn't arrive till the following morning, but they still hoped to be done with the job by noon on Friday. Thursday evening was Frostheim's craft night, during which I helped one of our new guys sew together the costume we had cut out the previous week (he drove the machine, I pinned the pieces together and handed them ready to sew). Then O. and I stayed up later than we should have talking, as we hadn't had a chance to do so earlier in the week, after which I got like four hours of sleep and he went home to do some school work, because he was inspired to do so.

Friday morning I got up and finished the last of the packing and had everything ready to go by the time my friend Å. arrived at mid-day (he picked up O. on the way in, since O. had just missed his bus. Then we took Å's car to the shop, where I picked up my car, returned home, and the three of us loaded everything up into both cars (which meant that I could see out of the back window a bit). Then, after a quick second lunch, I went straight to site, and the boys went to fetch V. and L.

This gave me time to unload all of my stuff, set up my nest in the corner back-stage with a movable shelf to enclose my space and organize my stuff, get the foods out, and start work on dinner before the second car arrived. Then I whipped the cream into butter, used the butter milk to make reiska (a fairly quick flat-baked Finnish bread that, these days, is often done with baking powder in either oat or rye flour, but my grandmother always did it with yeast, and often mixed the oats with wheat flour--I opted for a mix of four grains (wheat, spelt, rye, and oat) for this weekend's version), and put L., R., and A. (who had arrived just after Å.'s car full) to work making the soup. By the time we had people looking for food the soup (veg and bean) was ready, the bread baked and the sausage cut up. It was a bit later than I would have preferred to have eaten (18:30), but everyone else was happy. After I ate I made a second batch of bread, as the first was going fast.

Once I had eaten and gotten the kitchen clean and ready for H. to start his pre-cooking for the feast I had thought to start sewing the trim onto the cloak, but instead I never really got a chance to sit down the rest of the evening, as people kept coming to me with questions. The fencers had a candle lit fencing tournament in the hall, the hot tub was enjoyed by some people, others worked on projects, and/or sang songs. As it got close to midnight a couple of the musicians started playing Swedish folk music, so I, and the girlfriend of one of them, danced for a while, neither of us caring that the music and dance style is a few centuries out of period, it is still fun. Then I did my yoga for the day, followed by some acroyoga practice with E., and managed to get to bed around 01:00. By then I was totally exhausted, yet had problems falling asleep as my legs were aching/cramping up a bit, since I had been on my feet pretty much non stop (other than the yoga and acroyoga poses in which my feet leave the ground) since arriving on site sometime after 15:00. O., on the other hand, opted to stay up late talking with people, and didn't join me in bed till around 04:00, and he reports that he couldn't really sleep either, as he found the bed both too warm and too small.

I got up at 06:30 on Saturday, so I would have time to do my morning situps before getting up and starting breakfast, which involved more fresh-churned butter and reiska, hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, apples, etc. I managed to get the breakfast mess in the kitchen cleaned up before H. arrived to start the feast cooking. Around that time the fighters went outside to do their morning tournamnet, and we started setting up tables in the hall for the feast. Before the tournament the Crown Prince told me that he intended to keep fighting for as long as he could talk people into playing with him after the tourney, so if he wasn't ready yet when the feast started we should start without him. So we did.

The hall we were using is decent sized, and there was no problems last year just setting the tables in a horse-shoe ring around the edge of the hall leaving an open place in the middle for dancing and performances. However, last year there were only 70 people registered for the event, and this year we were 100. Therefore, in order to keep that open space in the middle I placed three tables on the stage for high table. Their Royal Highnesses and the outgoing Norrskensbard sat in the middle table, and we six competitors sat on the two side tables. My household was well represented at high table. My table included me, my apprentice A., and lord_kjar, and my minion sat at the other table with the other two entrants (and the small son of one of them, since his wife had charge of their other child at one of the tables on the floor).

The sequence of events went: serve the food, slight pause to give everyone a chance to at least taste their food, then a round of the competition, followed immediately by a long-dance (farendole style), which lead the dancers to the voting station. Each entrant had a glass jar covered with paper and their name written on it, and after each round people would drop one of the beans they had received when they checked in into the jar of their choice (the gold bean was for round 1: period piece, the silver for round 2: piece in a period style, the blue bean for round 3: on the theme of nature, and the white bean for the three words out of a hat). After voting there was a short break before the next round of food. This pattern was for the first, second, fourth, and fifth courses of the banquet. To break the day up after third course we had a performance by the musician of Luleå Nycklehearpa plus all the other musicians on site who were able to join in on the songs, during which I called dancing. We hadn't taken any time to teach, just jumped in, and even though there were a few people who didn't already know the dances, it went really well. After that musical interlude their Royal Highnesses had a short court, where they distributed the scrolls that hadn't made it north when the Crown was up here this summer presenting awards, and they also gave tokens of welcome to the new members. I was grateful for that break, as I actually wound up drifting on the edge of sleep during the court, which gave me enough energy to continue participating in the competition.

I was really happy with the competition--it seemed like all six of us were better prepared than were the four of us who entered last year, and the overall quality of performances was better. I got some good feedback on my poems and presentation, and my wonderful apprentice Astrid won, which made me very proud. (There was an additional proud moment when it was revealed that each of the four rounds had a different winner, and the winners were the four of us in the contest from my household, especially as one of the other entrants has an amazing voice and is able to do Kulning (the distinctive loud, musical, calls women did to call the cows home).

For my period piece I opted to just play Turdion on the dulcimer, since I could do that, and I ran out of time to actually learn the 12th century sestina I had hoped to use. For my piece in a period style I used the Prolouge to the Canturbury tales (my last-year's period piece) as the inspiration for a Prologue to Double Wars poem. This was the round I won, which didn't surprise me, as I had won the period piece the year before. My singing is now passable, after years of singing in choir, but it isn't impressive. On the other hand, compared to the other entrants, I am better at recitation, with good projecting, vocal variety, body language, etc. My piece on the theme of nature was my song "Winter time it has arrived" (to the tune of Summer is acumin in), which would have gone better if I had made more time to learn the new verse I wrote the week before the event, since I forgot a line and needed to pause and start that bit over. My three words out of a hat were ever so much fun. Before we drew our words the Crown Prince had commented to me "none of the words will be shorter than 'trebuchet'", so, of course, it was necessary for me to use that word.

I had planned to write a song for my three words, and had selected bacce benne venies as the tune. However, I drew "Baccus" as my first word, and just couldn't bring myself to use that tune. Yes, I could have kept the original chorus and done a new verse, but that would have felt like cheating, so instead I just wrote a poem in the same iambic pentameter I used for the piece in a period style. It was a short, very silly story, into which I squeezed as many odd words as possible to make it harder for the audience to guess which words were compulsory.

Towards the end of the evening E. and I did an acroyoga performance. We opted for only a slight variation on previous acroyoga performances, due to pretty much no time to plan or practice before the event, but stil got some good feedback, and at least two different Phire members commented to me about liking the fact that we added in some new stuff, so, clearly, doing the changes was a good thing. We are now working on yet more variations for a performance at my 50th birthday party next month.

After the feast there was a workshop in playing the Finish Kantele, which seemed to be well attended (I so didn't have the energy to participate), and was mostly full of musicians, so the teacher really enjoyed the class, and I suspect that she will come over from Finland for our events again. After that workshop Master S., who had missed the feast due to staying home with a sick child, and then came out to site after his wife and daughter went home, called people to come listen to some of his stories, and he had quite a circle of people at his feet. I didn't have the energy at that point to concentrate on understanding the Swedish, so I did my yoga in the corner and enjoyed listening to the rhythm of what he was saying. His storytelling continued longer than did my yoga, and I was feeling really sleepy, so I went out to the hot tub to see if a bit of hot water would keep my legs from cramping up when I slept. Sadly, the tub was only about 36 C, which feels pleasantly hot when one gets in, but isn't quite hot enough to make the muscles truly relax, so while it helped, it wasn't a total cure.

After my soak I went to bed (just before midnight), and slept in to 07:30 before getting up to make breakfast (including more fresh churned butter and reiska) for people. Then I started on cleaning and organizing to head home. interspersed with pauses to visit with people coming over to say farewell. Enough people pitched in to help that I managed to leave site sometime between 14:00 and 15:00, and then went home to curl up with a book and a bowl of popcorn before putting away more than half of the stuff. Then I did my yoga and went to bed really early (20:15!).

Monday after work I managed to photograph all of the lost and found, and put away a few more things, but Tuesday was Phire practice and Choir after work, and I went to bed straight after getting home, so today will be the rest of the event recovery.
 
 
Kareina
17 November 2016 @ 03:39 pm
I have been quite busy with getting ready for Norrkskensfesten this weekend, getting a new computer at work (which always takes a week or two to get the new one looking right and able to run all the needed programs), helping some of the new members make their first costumes, and even making time for some good conversations about relationships with my loved ones.

Sadly, it warmed up and rained this week, totally melting all of the snow we had had. But there was a bit of snow coming down when the sun was setting this afternoon, so if I am very lucky we will get more and it will cool down enough to keep it. But I am not holding my breath.

The schedule for today and tomorrow is complicated a bit due to the need to take the larger of our two cars to the shop today. They figured out one problem that it has, and say that they can have it fixed by noon tomorrow. If all goes well that problem will turn out to be all that it is wrong with it, and it will be ready to go on time. If it is I will pick up the car, load it full of event stuff and head out to site to set up. If not one of my friends who lives north of here will be driving me and as much as we can load into his car for the first trip to the site. It would have been nice to have the car tonight, too, since I will be attending the Frostheim social night to help a few more people with their first costumes, but lord_kjar needs to use his car to drive the shire hot tub out to the site, which process will take a long time, since the tub can't go faster than 40 kph when being towed. (Site is 20 minutes away if one drives the speed limit, which gets up to 100 kph on the highway.) With luck someone else will be able to drive me and the project supplies home this evening.

Now to go bake those cookies before heading to the project night...
 
 
Kareina
12 November 2016 @ 12:38 am
We have had enough snow that I am finally willing to call it "winter", and so very grateful I am, after a couple of years of no snow till late November or early December. However, I watch the forecast and see that it is supposed to go back up above freezing, and I worry if it will be another of those winters where the temps oscillate back and forth over freezing so that what snow we have melts and refreezes into a thin crust. This strikes me as a much better thing to worry about than politics, though not any easier to solve.

Work has been going well, I had my annual meeting to discuss how I am doing with the job, and thus what amount my annual wage will be, and the review went well. Not only do I love my job, but my colleagues are happy with me and the work I am doing. We have several grant proposals out or in the works that could result in my getting more hours, so that is all good.

Norrskensfesten is next weekend, and I am pretty much on top of what needs doing (though I should have emailed the event schedule by now, so had better do that this weekend). We are at 99 registered just now, and I am good with that. I think it will be a really fun event.

I am currently reading a book in English, despite my "no fiction in English" rule. I had been checking Katherine Kurtz's web page fairly regularly, to see if she had written the final Childe Morgan book, but each time I did there was still no word. Then I forgot to check for a while, and didn't look again till this week. The book is done, and was published in 2014. Oops. I guess "a while" is longer than I thought. However, life has been so busy I have been reading it in small doses, rather than all at once like I used to do. I love having so many hobbies, but my 20-something self wouldn't believe it. However, I hope I can get it done this week, because then I will break that rule again by reading hrj's new book, which is poised to come out, and, since she is good about promoting her book in places I see (like here), I know about it, and will get it straight away. I wonder why none of Katherine's fans bothered to mention it on the email list. Just because no one has posted there in ages is no reason not to mention the book there.

Tonight, after Phire practice we had a fun excursion. Those of us who are new to the group since the last time they had one of these were blindfolded and led from the practice site to the snowy banks of the lake (which isn't quite frozen solid enough to trust it to hold a large group of us, yet), and they welcomed us to the group with a small ceremony, including a dubbing with a fire sword. Then we got to play with the burning toys. Fun. Afterwards we retired to the nearby home of one of the members for pizza and socializing. We played a game wherein we each, in turn told a fact about ourselves which we thought made us unique in the group. Those whose facts were, in fact, unique, got to do another round. I think I could have done quite a few more rounds before I ran out of ways in which I am unique. I was the only one present with three passports, who has lived in 8 different countries (and 6 US states), who has never been drunk, who can remember the moon landing (ok, that was cheating, I was the only one present who was alive then). I was also the only one present with a PhD, but I didn't bother to use that one. However, unlike some of the others, I have never built an electric guitar from scratch (nor any other instrument), I have never crawled under the barb wire to get into a relocation camp, I have no odd growths of bone sticking out from my shoulders where one would expect smooth collarbones, never lived on an Indian Reservation, nor in India. It was an interesting and fun game. Made slightly more challenging as we spoke Swedish most of the evening.
 
 
Kareina
Some time back one of you (I think it was hrj) shared some of the signs of fall in her area, and asked what were the signs of fall where the rest of us are. I didn't reply, as it happened to be on a day I didn't have time, but when she asked we had already lost most of our leaves, and some nights were dipping below freezing, and then warming back up to a few degrees above during the day. In the weeks since winter has crept gradually closer, and for the past several days we have enjoyed temperatures which stay below 0 C. When I got home from Finland we had had our first snow--a cute little dusting just enough to fill much of the space between the blades of grass, but not actually hide all of it. This, of course made me happy, as I love snow.

This weekend lord_kjar and C. did the 2.5 hour drive down to Bureå to attend a party at his little brother's house, but I stayed home, as the trip to Finland was quite enough time away from home for me for one week, so instead O. and I worked on some projects. However, when they got home they told me that in Bureå there is half a meeter of snow, and now I am so jealous. Why did that cloud have to drop it all down there, why couldn't it have moved just a bit further north? Why didn't I go along (and bring snow pants) so that I could play in it. Not that I didn't enjoy being at home, of course I did, and it was nice to make progress on projects.
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Kareina
02 November 2016 @ 06:36 pm
It is lightly snowing in Helsinki today, so I allowed more time than typically needed to get to the airport. Despite traffic slowing to a full stop at one point on the highway, still made it to my gate with more than an hour to spare. However, the plane itself wasn't so fortunate.

They tell me that I have to wait for them to de-ice the plane in Stockholm, fly here, pick me up and fly back. Then, unless something has also gone very bad with the timing of my flight to Luleå, they will give me a hotel room for the night and I can take a morning flight home.