Monday, June 05, 2006

The Hawk flies again! My ugly, fat, unbending finger works well enough to grab a clutch once in a while, at least. (Just don't anyone tell my doctor.)

We can now return to our regularly scheduled program of trying to die in exotic yet idiotic ways while traveling. Next up: Wales, for round two of the Mad Cow Diet. Details soon.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Ladies who lunch. This is at the fisksoppa restaurang inside Hotorgshallen, but we all broke tradition that day and did not get fisksoppa. The place is cool because you're surrounded by row after row of fish on ice, only slightly more fresh than the ones you're eating.

View of Stockholm from the bridge over to Djurgarden, the park island.

Sandwich cake. We ate this at mormor's birthday party. Yum!

Speaks for itself, really....

Random photos from Sweden

My friend Peter (on the left), demonstrating how to drink Swedish moonshine (plastic white jug), at his farm in Skane. Next to him is his neighbor, Borje, who drove us around at very high speeds on the sloppy gravel roads by the farm in his 1950s Ford.

Borje's Ford

An old-fashioned coffeehouse in Kalmar, with room after room after room of antique furniture. Notice the cool ceramic stove in the corner.

Coastline somewhere...let me just check my notes....

This fort is a youth hostel.

This seagull would not leave me alone. I think it was guarding the fort.

Here be herring (probably)

Fishing hut - here be herring too

The castle in Orebro

Typical Swedish town. Please note the price of gasoline -- that's 12.24 kronor per liter, at about 7.5 kronor to the dollar. Yikes! It cost me between $65 and $70 to fill my rental-car gas tank.

Cute little houses on stilts.

Cute little houses on a hillside. All cute little houses in Sweden, if they aren't just natural wood, are painted red. I don't think it's actually mandated by law, but it might as well be. Everywhere you look, it's green fields and little red houses.

Update, finally

Alright, I've had you look at these grody pictures long enough. Time for an update. I did eventually make it to Sweden, though I still have not shown any signs of Baltic herring poisoning. That could be because I don't know what the signs of Baltic herring poisoning are. It certainly isn't from lack of trying -- there were days I ate herring for brunch, dinner and snack. Mmm-mmm. Tasty.

Getting there was not part of the fun. When I left, I had just been stitched and pinned back together and was supposed to keep my left leg as straight as possible so as not to rip the stitches out. Had this huge leg brace, very gimpy. When I got to the airport I gimped up and asked them if I could have an aisle seat so I could stick my leg out and keep it straight. They happily gave me one -- too bad it was on the wrong side of the aisle. Thanks, folks! Oh well, at least it was only a 10-hour flight or so.

What with the brace and my hand splint, I attracted a lot of strange looks, not only at the security gates. (THAT was fun.) People kept asking me what had happened. I got bored of telling the truth, so after a while I started saying I'd been in a plane crash. Most of them quieted right down after that.

Tried to pick up my "reserved" rental car at the airport, but Avis decided to cancel it without telling me, since they didn't have any automatics available. Luckily, Hertz had some. I picked out the smallest, which was HUGE. Off I drove.

It very quickly became clear that driving, even an automatic, is pretty hard to do while keeping one leg totally straight. Ouch. I was set to drive a loop around the southern half of Sweden -- from Stockholm to Falun and Mora to Gothenburg and all the way down the coast, then back up to Stockholm. Hard to do on Vicodin. There were a few times when I was glad I was alone in the car so I could just scream and cry, but for the most part it went okay. I didn't dawdle, that's for sure. And by the end of the 10-day drive, my leg was magically bendable. It still killed when I sat still for very long, but I was no longer gimpy, except on stairs. Hooray!

Photos from the Sweden trip will be up soon.

The day after I got back to Portland, the docs took my stitches out. Awesome. They left the pins in for two more weeks. Not awesome. I couldn't get my hand to work right with the pins in -- it just wouldn't grip anything without catching the fingers on the little sticky-outy "ears" -- so I decided to skip the huge Memorial Day weekend ride all the boys went on. Damn. It snowed on them, but I bet they had fun anyway. Oh well -- next year!

Two weeks later -- May 31 -- the pins finally came out!! Yeay! They were only in for five weeks, but those were some LONG weeks. Best part: getting to wash my hand in actual running water. And showering without the plastic bag over it. Heaven.

Now I'm doing all the physical therapy stuff. Exercises once an hour, which is a LOT more often than it seems like it would be. Not sure how much progress I'm making, either. The thing is still fat and very reluctant to move. It won't bend much and won't straighten all the way. But I can type fairly normally. And I think I can ride -- off to find that out in a few minutes! :)

Pics and further Sweden stuff coming soon.