Saturday, September 13, 2008

Swedish woman throws up on live TV

You would never see this on QVC back in the States. For those who don't speak Swedish, she blames her on-air vomiting on PMS...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Primal Scream and Spiritualized Coming To Stockholm

Just when I thought Stockholm was hopeless in terms of music, we are getting Primal Scream and Spiritualized playing within a month of each other... at the awesome venue Berns no less.

Hope to see you there... it will give me an opportunity to jump around like an idiot and celebrate how much I love life. Until the next morning of course.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Swedish Chef is a Real Guy, Bork Bork

Okay we all know it's funny although we don't always know why. The Swedish Chef is one of America's most beloved muppets, even though it remains a total mystery to the average Swede.

I was recently surprised to find out that the Swedish Chef is based on a real guy.

Here is the story:

Lars "Kuprik" Bäckman
is the real-world chef who, rumor has it, served as the inspiration for the popular Swedish Chef character in The Muppets. (This story is however denied by Jerry Juhl, writer on The Muppet Show.) He lives in Leksand, Sweden.

Bäckman was brought up in the Swedish town of Rättvik, where as a child he helped out in his parents' hotel. His interest for food led him to attend restaurant training, after which he worked in numerous restaurants around Sweden.

When he was 21 years old, he left for the United States to help his friend start a restaurant called "Viking Horn" and known informally as "the horny Viking". It was situated in the outskirts of Beverly Hills. After the "Viking Horn" he became head chef of a Holiday Inn hotel and later, head chef at 20th Century Fox.

Bäckman was asked to do a commercial for Swedish food in a show that was later to be turned into Good Morning America. It was to be a live show, where he cooked and explained his cooking to a program host who was supposed to ask questions and guide the process along. However, the host never showed up and Bäckman had to attempt the taping on his own. In his words:

"I was so nervous. I was shaking and didn't know what to do. And all the time I was mumbling strange words. At first the audience was surprised of the idiot that, sweating like a pig, stood before them. But after a while they started to laugh."

It is said that Bäckman was contacted by Jim Henson, who wondered if he could buy the rights for the recorded performance. The chef was paid USD 80 for the material. Henson transformed the characteristics of Bäckman into one of his puppets and the Swedish chef came into being. This is, as said, denied by Muppet Show writer Jerry Juhl.

Currently, Bäckman is travelling around Sweden while cooking, telling jokes and singing in shopping malls, at company parties and similar arrangements. He is also recording TV-commercials for Siljan Food, and working on his own logotype. Bäckman also does promotions with IKEA in the United Kingdom.

The Real Swedish Chef's Homepage

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yummy Kopparberg Cider

We beat Greece yesterday 2-0. Time for some cider!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Party in Sweden's Pants

Many people complain that Sweden is one of the most boring countries in the world.

I am not going to argue. You can't score here to save your life, a mixed drink with 4cl of alcohol costs $15, and between September and June there is no one on the streets after 8:00 pm (except Friday nights where everyone binge drinks and then throws up in the sidewalk).

At least some people have a sense of humor about it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

MacBook Air ENVY...ENVY...ENVY!

Yes Steve Jobs looks more and more like a monkey every year...but he makes awesome laptops. I've often wondered why PC designs lag so far behind Mac designs. There must be 100 PC laptop manufacturers and their offerings look terrible in comparison. And many include some deal-killing stupid feature that no one would ever want (fingerprint readers, glossy screens, Vista, etc).

Dell? Sony? Acer? Lenovo? Hello? These are big companies with huge resources. Their competing models all terrible in comparison to a MacBook Air or even a normal MacBook. The only good thing with the Dell is that you can get insurance against breaking or even losing the thing (which is a good thing if you are me). But fuck it I will just have to be careful.

I would have a MacBook Air by now except in the great land of Sweden they cost $3,000 bucks which is twice what they cost in the USA. YOU CAN FLY TO THE USA AND BUY ONE AND ITS STILL CHEAPER! So that's what I'll do.

Plus if you buy one here you have to deal with the Swedish keyboard layout... which if you read my last post you will know I am not that excited about.

I haven't been this enthusiastic about a product since ColecoVision came out in 1982. ENVY...ENVY...ENVY!

Monday, February 25, 2008


I hate the Swedish alphabet.

Who do they think they are to fuck with a perfectly good English alphabet?

I hate the Swedish alphabet.

It causes havoc whenever I try to make a website in Swedish. All the weird characters end up looking like insane chicken scratch or ?'s

I hate the Swedish alphabet.

I still like the girls still, though.

I hate the Swedish alphabet.

My last name begins with a 'Z'. I got used to being last. Now Magnus Österberg is last.

I hate the Swedish alphabet.

They didn't officially add the 'W' until 2005! It's only in the name of yer own country for chrissakes!

I hate the Swedish government.

Ooops I meant to say 'alphabet'.

I hate the occasional Freudian slip.

But not as much as I hate the Swedish alphabet.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Swedish Woman Dies Fishing for Chickens

If you think your life is pointless, then check out this Swedish woman's death...

"A 63-year-old woman died on Saturday night after falling down a well while trying to fish out a dead chicken. The accident occurred near Ed in Dalsland in western Sweden. "

Read the whole article at The Local.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Smokem' if you got 'em

BERLIN (Reuters) - The owner of a small German computer company has fired three non-smoking workers because they were threatening to disturb the peace after they requested a smoke-free environment.

The manager of the 10-person IT company in Buesum, named Thomas J., told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper he had fired the trio because their non-smoking was causing disruptions.

Germany introduced non-smoking rules in pubs and restaurants on January 1, but Germans working in small offices are still allowed to smoke.

"I can't be bothered with trouble-makers," Thomas was quoted saying. "We're on the phone all the time and it's just easier to work while smoking. Everyone picks on smokers these days. It's time for revenge. I'm only going to hire smokers from now on."

(Reporting by Sarah Roberts; editing by Giles Elgood)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

David Byrne and Wikipedia on IKEA Names

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I fucking love the Talking Heads and I used to worship David Byrne as a god back in 1984 when I was 13.

Over the years I have developed my musical taste to include all styles, but there is still something fascinating about Talking Heads and especially lead singer David Byrne. He is one person I would love to meet... even though I've heard he is not that personable. He did, after all, pen the lyrics: "They say compassion is a virtue, but I don't have the time."

Anyway, I swear the man is a genius. On par with Shaun William Ryder even. Here is an excerpt from his blog... about IKEA names.

"Why does everything have weird names? Every container, shelf, cabinet or appliance had some odd name, as if people from Planet Sweden anthropomorphized these objects, naming each one they encountered as best they could**:


Yes David, everything at IKEA is named funny. And you can buy pickled herring there, and Marabou chocolate, lingonberry jam, meatballs, and even Bilar... and those things are wonderful. It's no suprise you would write about a trip to IKEA in your blog. You've been to Sweden... I know... I visited a very strange art exhibit you built in Liljeholmen a few years back.

But how the hell does IKEA name there furniture? A quick trip to Wikipedia will tell you...

Product names

IKEA products are identified by single word names. Most of the names are either Swedish, Danish, Finnish or Norwegian in origin. Although there are some notable exceptions, most product names are based on a special naming system developed by IKEA.[2]

* Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames (for example: Klippan)
* Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian place names
* Dining tables and chairs: Finnish place names
* Bookcase ranges: Occupations
* Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays
* Kitchens: grammatical terms, sometimes also other names
* Chairs, desks: men's names
* Materials, curtains: women's names
* Garden furniture: Swedish islands
* Carpets: Danish place names
* Lighting: terms from music, chemistry, meteorology, measures, weights, seasons, months, days, boats, nautical terms
* Bedlinen, bed covers, pillows/cushions: flowers, plants, precious stones; words related to sleep, comfort, and cuddling
* Children's items: mammals, birds, adjectives
* Curtain accessories: mathematical and geometrical terms
* Kitchen utensils: foreign words, spices, herbs, fish, mushrooms, fruits or berries, functional descriptions
* Boxes, wall decoration, pictures and frames, clocks: colloquial expressions, also Swedish placenames

Still... no word on where Jerker fits into all of this.