Thursday, March 27, 2008

phone go bye-bye

There I was in Chicago walking around downtown with Evelyn and someone else from the conference. We had visited the Mac Mothership store where I bought a new iPod, and a replacement power cord for the one I left in Sweden. Well, it was frayed and I had meant to buy a new one anyway. We were crossing the State Street bridge (just next to Marina City - the twin corncobs) going south.

One of my irrationalities is a fear of heights. I have made it to the top of the Washington Monument and looked out through the windows, but I was bodily leaning inwards the whole time, just to make sure the offset weight didn't topple the structure. Yes, I know it's irrational. So crossing a drawbridge isn't as bad, but I'm thinking "okay, I'm just walking, nothing dangerous here, don't look down, don't think about it."

While distracted that way I didn't think of the fact that I was, indeed, walking across a bridge. I pulled my phone out of my pocket to see what time it was. I dropped it. It clattered on the sidewalk and over directly into the gap in the middle. I'm thinking that perhaps it was stuck some place where I could reach it ... moved over to look down through the gap ... which framed the splash very nicely. I wonder if the phone-using fishes know enough Swedish to figure it out.

Looks like I've ruined another phone. My first two went bye-bye in the wash. Not the same wash. I didn't learn the first time. I had a rest-of-the-world phone, a Nokia 1100 which was a great little phone. It's designed for developing countries, and also for people who don't use the phone much. But it was stolen from my house in Santa Fe. Good luck thieves - it don't work in the US. I got rid of my old Motorola when I left the US. And now this one. So a MTBF of about 2 years per phone. Not so good.

Better than my record with PDAs.

The phone I dropped in the Chicago river was a cheapish one, and one I didn't like. It has a color screen that's almost impossible to read in daylight - luckily not a big problem in Sweden - and no flashlight. I miss that Nokia flashlight. I also got a pay-as-you-go SIM card that I never registered, so I've also lost my phone number, the saved numbers of my friends, and the $40 or so of time on the account. I think I'll get a real account when I return to Sweden.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

more Swedish in my dreams

Just before waking up this morning I had more dreams with Swedish in them. Strange dreams too. It started in the switching yard of some railroad, and I forgot the details of that. I remember waking up in my dream to talk about a book I had which had 4 sections. One section was a translation of Latin terms as used in English, into Swedish. I think that came from a dinner we had last week after tango, where one of they guys, who is a professor, said something like "blah blah blah, ergo, blah blah blah." I was quite taken by the "ergo", since it's part of the cultural heritage of Rome, 2,000 years old, shining through both our languages.

After a while in the dream I was a soldier, walking away from the switching yard around a bend in the tracks carrying a big square box. The box looked like something from Zelda64. Obviously computer graphics, low resolution cube about 1m on a side, light blue. The box had a name, "plikt", which is Swedish for "duty" or "obligation."

I went over to Gudrun's for brunch and she enjoyed trying to interpret some deeper meaning. There was a small party here in January when Zoi came back from visiting her beau in Iceland. Gudrun was there as well and learned that I have a bottle of real maple syrup in the fridge, so she had a shot of syrup. It seems she really likes it.

So for brunch I made American-style pancakes (quite thick compared to Swedish ones, and I pour out a large pancake instead of small "silver dollar" sized ones; interesting how old coinage stays tied to a food), with syrup. I also bought a pineapple so it would be a real brunch. Yeah, it's weird what I think needs to be part of brunch vs. breakfast.

We chatted for a while. My Swedish is indeed getting better. I really ought to read and talk more in Swedish. I've been saying that for a while now. :)

New company!

I totally forgot to mention this here. I started my Swedish company two weeks ago. It's "Dalke Scientific, AB". The "AB" is Swedish for "Inc." It means "aktiebolag", which is a company with shares. My company in the US is "Dalke Scientific Software, LLC". Through experience I found that I rarely used the "Software" part of the name, and my domain name is "".

I'd been putting off starting the company for a while now. I first looked into it last summer. I wanted to get new clients before I started one up, since I figured that would be essential to being allowed to renew my temporary residency permit. I did some work for Caran early this year, and a couple days of work for OpenEye, going up to Stockholm for that one. In a week or so I'll start doing some work for AstraZeneca. I haven't done anything for them since September. I'm scheduled for about 18 days over the next few months.

In a couple weeks (the 12th of March) I head over to Chicago for PyCon, the Python conference. I'll get there a day early so I can do some shopping in Chicago. It will be nice to have clothing marked in sizes I understand, and I hope to find some new tango shoes. Mmm, and deep dish pizza!

That conference ends midday Sunday. I take the afternoon direct flight to Albuquerque then up to Santa Fe for OpenEye's CUP conference. I used to live in Santa Fe and I plan to stay there for a total of two weeks for the conference and visit with friends. I'm looking forward to some private dance lessons with Luren, one of the tango teachers I had there.

Then back here. I hope to have a kitchen. The one in this new place is being remodeled. The owner had hoped to finish it when I moved in last month, but it's been ... slow. As of last week the water in the sink is working. Perhaps by the time I move out it will be ready? I hope to do that in mid-summer, which would mean having more clients so I can get the income to prove to me and the bank loan that I can afford the loan to buy an apartment.