Monday, November 28, 2005

Drinkin' at the Ritz

After staying with the lovely and talented pride of Germany, Svenja, for a few drunken days I'm now staying at the Ritz Hotel by Green Park. I know that makes me sound like a posh twat but I'm sleeping on a sofa bed. Personally, I would rather stay somewhere else, but I can't afford 100 pounds a night for my own room somewhere else. You see I'm crashing with the parents who are also in town. This is the irony of my life - I can't afford the Holiday Inn so I stay at the Ritz. The room is of course comped by my dad's company. You gotta love that. Half the reason the wealthy are wealthy is because they never pay for anything. That is just weird how life works.

Anyway, I've been out drinking for a few days now, and recently finished a review of the new Babyshambles album on Pax Acidus... and since you were obviously really bored if you were looking here for some entertainment you can read that instead. Love from Sloth. And if you're still bored after that you can see if you can break my new record of three bottles of wine in two hours... it's harder than it sounds. No puking though or you forfeit.

Winter Wonderland

Well Winter has been here a few months. We've had a few snows before this but its now been snowing all day and it just makes everything look so majestic. It's been years since a real snow storm that didn't melt away into mush after a few hours.

In fact the whole city looks spectacular with the advent candles and the kids sledding and the snow falling gently around the city.

I've been working my ass off on some IT projects, trying to get more clients, and drinking Jul-Öl (Christmas beer). Devendra Barnhart is on the stereo and I feel like a little child again (but I don't want to marry one).

I almost feel a little sad to be going to London for a week on Wednesday. It will be a tough week of seeing old friends and drinking ales all day in the pubs. And my parents will be there so they can take me shopping at Selfridges and out to eat at restaurants I can't afford, etc. Somebody's got to do it.

And after all, when I get back there will still be 4 months of Swedish Winter left.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Microsoft X-Box Group is Evil

Okay I know I know... nobody who reads this cares.


Here are some Xbox 360 statistics:

- There are over 1700 parts inside every Xbox 360. The unit is made in China where recently a river of toxic slime flowed into a city without warning.

- Some say Microsoft intentionally did not release enough units so they would create the kind of headline grabbing XBox violence that occurred in a middle America Walmart yesterday.

- Microsoft loses $126 with each Xbox 360 sale in an attempt to grab market share from its rivals. Last year the Xbox 360 division of MS lost over $300 million even though the console sold better than expectations.

- Microsoft has this money to burn because of illegal trade practices it has remained largely unpunished for, and of course a great marketing and legal team.

- Initial reports say that many of the new XBox 360 consoles are defective. Some reports say that the design of the unit has fundamental problems.

- Microsoft's main goal with the Xbox 360 is to be the brains of the world's living room. If MS gets its way, you will be able to play games, watch movies, order pizza, surf the web, etc from your couch. They expect to sell 3 million units this Christmas and 5.5 million units by July.

- Sony is not expected to release its competing product, Playstation 3, until the Spring of 2006. Chances are it will be a much higher quality unit with better games and worth the wait.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

WTF Revisited

I had another job interview yesterday. It was for a consultant position as an English teacher. Seems pretty mellow... it pays SEK 400 (US $60) per hour to teach Business and IT English. So it's right up my alley.

I don't know if you remember... but the last time I applied for a job like this I didn't get the position because the interviewer thought I was OVERQUALIFIED and would STEAL THE CLIENTS. The woman was an idiot, but in Sweden being overqualified is still generally a reason not to hire someone. Swedes have an instinctual feeling for social harmony.

In the USA I think we try to get the best people we can. I haven't heard of an applicant being overqualified since Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer. And that was a movie. And even he got the job after he explained the circumstances. In America if you can get a bargain because the labor market sucks you take it.

Well this is Sweden not America so I knew how to play the game this time. I dressed nice for the interview, smiled, and acted pretty unambitious. By the end of the interview I was asked, "So when can you start?"

Sheeple of the world, unite. A career in Sweden awaits thee.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Swedish Beer: Åbro Original

Many people, including my lovely Linda, often say to people that Spendrups or Pripps is the archetypical Swedish beer. I beg to differ. For me it's Åbro.

Why? Well, it's 5.2 percent, it's drinkable, and it's got a rather sweet malty taste that begs the question... can I have another?

I remember before even coming to Stockholm I was trapped in London watching an Eminemn DVD (okay I admit it I am a closet Eminem fan, shame on me, etc.) and he was doing a skit about a concert they had done in Stockholm where he pronounced the beer, "Eh, bro". So it was like,

Eminem: "Eh, bro."
D12: "What?"
Eminem: "No it's the name of the beer, Åbro!"

But Linda who is sometimes a poopy pants when it comes to making fun of the Swedish language and people was quick to but in that that he had bungled the pronunciation and that it should be pronounced "O-ah-bro" not "AY-bro".

Oh well. However you pronounce it, it's still better than sobriety.