Friday, February 29, 2008

Science Simplicity

I did two Blogthings tests that I had seen on a few other blogs. One was to simply enter one's name and they would tell you all about you. Fiddlesticks! Who is this person you see before you? A schizophrenic?! How can you be all these things simultaneously. Talk about split personality. Or is it just because I don't have an English name? Maybe they haven't worked their way through all existing names yet, which is understandable, and just concocted something from various basic personalities, with a rather amusing result. I have changed to red what I do not agree with. Not much left is there?

What Anders Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident,
authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination.
You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.
People can see you as stubborn and headstrong.
You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times,
you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are the total package - suave, sexy(? [my question mark]), smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

Then there is the "Tell us five things and we'll tell you what kind of learner you are!" What a crude instrument! As you can see I am classed as an Auditory Learner, and I always thought I was a Visual Learner. To be fair, most of what it says about me seems to fit the picture quite well anyway, but there is more to me, I hope!

BTW since I strive for perfection (apparently) and I am quite visual (I would make a very good proofreader) I can't help but notice the grammatical mistake in the title below; the indefinite article should be "an" not "a". Oooops!

You Are a Auditory Learner

You tend to remember what you hear, and you have a knack for speaking well.

You excel at debating, foreign languages, and music.

You would be an excellent diplomat - or rock star!

French February Holiday Continued

Like I promised in an earlier post I would take you on a walk along a beautiful river. There is a particularly beautiful stretch of the river Mayenne just south of the town with the same name. It is about a forty-minute drive from where we are, and we have been there quite a few times in the seven years we have had the house. Either end of this walk there is a very good restaurant, only to add to the possibilities of personal enjoyment and indulgence, dare I say. Remember this is in February, so you will understand how even more of a feast for the eye it is when fully dressed in green and other spectacular colours.

Press the button and enjoy this gentle walk along the river Mayenne, south of the town of Mayenne, in the department of Mayenne. (They like to keep it simple! ;-) ).

Click to play French River Walk
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First Blogger Anniversary

Exactly a year ago I posted for the first time to this blog. Although I had registered the blog in September 2005, it lay dormant and almost forgotten out in the blogosphere all that time.

In this first year I have got to know online blogger friends, exchanged ideas, opinions and information. Sometimes I feel guilty about the time I spend in the blogosphere, but then again, I honestly am a very moderate user of this parallel universe. Some people must be spending most of their time there, judging by the number of posts they produce. You know who you are! ;-) However it genuinely is a great way of getting to know other parts of the world, looking into other people’s lives through this online keyhole and also to share some of your own life with relatives, friends and the accidental visitor.

To celebrate this I give you this YouTube clip (my sister emailed it to me) with a 4-year-old drummer! I have tried to look for evidence it is a fake, that it is not this little kid playing, but I have not been able to. Look at his face how the drumming is reflected there. Sound and picture seem to be in synch, and it seems to be a proper, home-made video, without any sophistication. See what you think. Is it genuine?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

French February Holiday

We had not been to our French house since the summer, so we were really looking forward to all the country pleasures - sleeping, eating, reading and walking. Sounds good, doesn't it? We had glorious weather for the first half of the week and then it clouded over but got a little warmer as well. There was plenty of firewood in the shed to keep the house cosy and we had a lot of literature to enjoy.

After the usual late breakfast we went for a walk most of the days. The countryside around us offers a wonderful walk any time, but a warm winter sun makes it even more pleasurable. So I have put together a slide show for you to enjoy. It takes us somewhere between one and two hours to do this walk, but it will only take you a little over two minutes to watch it, unless you choose to pause it to take a closer look at a particular picture of course.

Let me take you for a stroll in the French countryside; just hit the button!

Click to play French Country Walk
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Personal DNA

I have had this online test on the back burner for a while, so I do not remember which blogger(s) I have to thank for it. It is always fun to have a go to see how accurately they read one’s answers. I believe I am more imaginative than the test claimed, but otherwise it is quite close to how I see myself. Apparently I am a Benevolent Leader, which suits me fine as a teacher, don’t you think?

If you would like to explore your own on-line personal DNA and you have a good thirty minutes to spare, then do the test. Like the trusting person I am, I publicise the results here (Mouse over any part of the box to learn more about the traits that the colours represent.) :

You are a Leader

Your solid grounding in the practicalities of life, along with your self-assuredness and your willingness to appreciate new things make you a LEADER.

You're in touch with what is going on around you and adept at remaining down-to-earth and logical.

Although you're detail-oriented, this doesn't mean that you lose the big picture.

You tend to find beauty in form and efficiency, as opposed to finding it in broad-based, abstract concepts.

Never one to pass on an adventure, you're consistently seeking and finding new things, even in your immediate surroundings.

Because of this eagerness to pursue new experiences, you've learned a lot; your attention to detail means that you gain a great deal from your adventures.

The intellectual curiosity that drives you leads you to seek out causes of and reasons behind things.

Your confidence gives you the potential to take your general awareness and channel it into leadership.

You're not set on one way of doing things, and you often have the skills and persistence to find innovative ways of facing challenges.

You are well-attuned to your talents, and can deal with most problems that you face.

You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

You do your own thing when it comes to clothing, guided more by practical concerns than by other people's notions of style.

Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

You are Benevolent

You are a great person to interact with—understanding, giving, and trusting—in a word, BENEVOLENT

You don't mind being in social situations, as you feel comfortable enough with people to be yourself.

Your caring nature goes beyond a basic concern: you take the time to understand the nuances of people's situations before passing any sort of judgment.

You're a good listener, and even better at offering advice.

You're concerned with others at both an individual and societal level—you sympathize with the plights of troubled groups, and you can care about people you've never met.

Considering many different perspectives is something at which you excel, and you appreciate that quality in others.

Other people's feelings are important to you, and you're good at mediating disputes.

Because of your understanding and patience, you tend to bring out the best in people.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spring Feelings

The sun is shining, birds are singing and snowdrops fill the flower beds, all of which makes me feel hopeful again after a gloomy winter. This picture makes an excellent desktop background! (Feel free to copy it.)

This cheered me up so much I went on YouTube to listen to some music. Quite by coincidence I stumbled upon these female trombonists playing “Stars and Stripes”. Aren't they good? Fantastic!

If these young women practise a lot, they might become as versatile and virtuoso as Nils Landgren, a Swedish jazz trombonist, who plays “Ack Värmeland Du Sköna”, a beautiful folk song many Swedes would like to call their national anthem. He improvises and even manages to slip into “Smoke On The Water” at one stage, but just wait until you see how he treats his instrument. I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Check him out!

Friday, February 08, 2008

TAGGED: Open Book

Traveller One has tagged me for this little meme, ‘Open Book’. These were the instructions:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open it at page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence/ phrase.
4. Blog the next four sentences/ phrases together with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig your shelves for that very special or intellectual book.
6. Pass it forward to six friends

My slight problem is that, sitting at my desk, I have mostly dictionaries, and books in Swedish behind me. I thought it be a bit unfair, and not particularly interesting to most people, to quote a book in a language spoken by a little over ten million people (taking into account the Swedish-speaking part of the Finnish population). So I stretched a little further along my books and picked the first one I could find in English. That book happened to be the first one my wife gave me after just having met thirteen years ago, so it holds a special place in my heart. (Was that too sentimental? Never mind.)

It is not exactly fiction, but a book you read through initially and then use like an encyclopaedia. It is called ‘Revolution In The Head’ (by Ian MacDonald), a detailed description of all the Beatles’ recordings. It tells you all the relevant facts, where and when, who, how etc. There is also a small chronology section at the end of the book with the columns: The Beatles – UK Pop – Current Affairs – Culture, useful source of reference when you cannot remember ‘when’.

Page 123 deals with ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’ from the album ‘Help!’ (in the US ‘Rubber Soul’) released in 1965, with Paul McCartney doing the vocal.

So here are sentences 6-9:

Because his [Paul McCartney’s] Auntie Gin liked it, the tune was shortlisted as ‘Auntie Gin’s Theme’ until McCartney added the love-at-first-sight lyric which, with its tumbling internal rhymes and gasping lack of breathing spaces, complements the music perfectly. Taped in six takes, without frills or second thoughts, the song grabbed Capitol’s A&R department so firmly that they pulled it off the American version of Help! and turned it into the opening track of the American version of Rubber Soul, thus conspiring to give the US public the impression that the latter was ‘The Beatles’ Folk Rock Album’ (see [56]). As with [59] YESTERDAY, there is no doubt that had I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE been ready three months earlier, it would have featured in the film. As it was, it lifted the later stages of the Help! album with its quickfire freshness – a pop parallel to the fast-cutting impressionism of contemporary Swinging London movies like Richard Lester’s The Knack, John Schlesinger’s Darling, and John Borman’s Catch Us If You Can.

Let's play tag. The recipients of my tags will be these fortunate people:

1 Matthew
2 Green Haddock
3 Christina
4 Christina G
5 Rositta
6 Eric

It is supposedly a quick and easy one! What’s on YOUR shelf?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Looking Out My Kitchen Window

Lynda at Lulu's Bay had put up a picture of the view from her kitchen window in Cairo, and asked her readers to do the same. So here is mine, the result of an earlier attempt to stitch photos together with my camera. Let's see how Blogger handles this kind of picture. (Click on it to enlarge!)

So what do you see from your kitchen window? Post and link!

Monday, February 04, 2008

German Carnival

Who said that Germans cannot enjoy themselves? Rubbish! They seem to always have a public holiday, a party or some festivity coming up. Now is time for Karneval, or Fasching in southern Germany. Yesterday in Düsseldorf I took these shots and 15-sec video. Click on pictures to enlarge!

Shops and banks were boarded up.

Police were keeping an eye on things.

A new version of the German “Tankstelle”!

Or you could have a beer-mobile.

Or be a BeerBuster!

How’s this for an afro?

Badge Man

Batman and Pippi Langstrumpf

A more natural-looking Longstocking


Watch that spout!

Weird or what?

This is not a toilet, thank you very much!

Bare necessities.

The aftermath

15 seconds of elephant dance. (Check out the guy on the left when the lady comes up to him!)