Sunday 30 of January 2011

I have been doing some iceskating the last couple of years and I have been fortunate to not go through the ice, even though Sten has done his best to see to it happening :) So when GLSK (the ice-skating club here in Göteborg) announced that they arranged a course where you get the chance to experience how it is to go through the ice I decided that it probably would be a good idea to attend. Just because something probably is good for you it doesn't mean that one has to appreciate it. The course was held at the outlet of Aspen. Arriving to the place and seeing the solid ice covering the lake and then the open water as the lake exits by a more rapid stream I was starting to have my doubts about getting into the water. Standing on solid ground dressed in warm and dry clothes, then the ice and cold water doesn't look so appealing. It took a while before the leaders of course arrived, so I had the opportunity to take the first short tour on the skates for this year. Eventually the leaders arrived and we were told about the procedure, which was that it wasn't only about getting in the water and then as quickly as possible get up again. We would take our time to try out the equipment and find our balance in the water before attempting getting back up on the ice. We were then divided into pairs so that we could help each other with the process of changing into dry clothes once we would have been in the water.

I had an extra jacket on me that I decided to take off and went to put it away and when I came back the first victim was already on his way to the edge of the ice. The further out he went the thinner the ice became and eventually the ice was to thin to carry his weight so he went through. He seemed to cope rather well with the whole experience and he after not to long he was up on the ice and headed away to change his clothes. At this point one of the leaders was starting to look for the next victim and for some reason I had ended up closest to the open water so he started pointing at me. I thought that if I'm going to go through with this I can as well do it as soon as possible so that it is done. So I get secured to the line they have in case I wouldn't be able to get out of the water myself and then I'm heading out towards open water. I don't know the English term for it but you have a kind of a rod that you hit the ice with to check its thickness. As I was getting closer to the edge I was checking the thickness and at about 20 cm for the edge I see a line in the ice and when I check the thickness outside the line I realize that the ice is to thin to carry me. I then basically know that as long as I stay on this side of the line I will be able to stand on the ice but as soon as I move past that line I will go through the ice, which is the whole point of the exercise. I start to slowly move towards the edge and as I am about halfway across the line to much of my weight is on the thin ice and I hear it starts cracking and a few seconds later I'm in the water.

The first 10-20 seconds the breathing becomes rapid as the cold water rushes inside my clothes and the Gore-Tex jacket that I'm wearing. After that I start to calm down and the breathing becomes more normal and I try to find my balance while standing in the water. The backpack functions as a floating device and the dry-bag with all my clothes seem to have the right amount of air in it to give me a good balance in the water. I'm then asked to blow the whistle and to throw the security line that is also part of my personal equipment. At this point I actually start to feel almost warm and is not bothered at all by the cold water. I have a discussion with the leader who tells me that 10 years ago no one would be reacting the way I am and that it is the progress in the clothes that made the difference. Thinking about it I guess that when I first enter the water it found its way inside my jacket but once it got filled there was no (or at least not much) exchange of water so my body heat warmed the water that was trapped inside my jacket and I felt quite comfortable as I was lying there in the water. It was then time to try to get up on the ice. The first attempt didn't go so well as I contracted my stomach muscles to much which had the effect that my legs moved down and in under the ice, making it impossible to get up. On the second try it went better as I also made some swim strokes with my legs.

Once up on the ice it is time to undress and get a new set of dry clothes on. I couldn't have wished for better weather as it was about zero degrees, sunny, and no wind. These conditions made the whole experience pretty enjoyable. Once I changed into my dry clothes (the dry bag hadn't leaked) I concluded that the whole experience wasn't worse than if I would have had another set of dry clothes I could have done it again.

Sunday 05 of December 2010

Madde was telling me that she was making saffron biscuits this Friday, which I thought was a great idea for a glögg party. So except from doing the dishes I have been baking a double batch of biscuits. Turned out that the temperature for the oven seems to be bit high, but the more paranoid version of me always checks on what ever is in the oven ahead of time. So I managed to save them before geting burned. They came out a little darker than what I can recall they where last year. But the right taste is there.

Saturday 04 of December 2010

Had Jennifer and Magnus over for dinner tonight. Always nice to have friends over, especially so when I haven't seen them for quite some time.

The main course was risotto and duck breast. I haven't made risotto that many times so I checked a few recipes and they mentioned that it would take 20-25 minutes to cock. I found that to be a little fast but thought that it made the whole process of having the duck ready at the time the duck would be finished. Turns out that it doesn't take 25 minutes to cock it, it is more like at least twice that amount of time. Luckily I waited a little with the duck so it didn't get over cocked. If I would have redone it I would have had it a little bit more bloody than it came out, but it tasted fine as it was.
I also tried a version of sweet potato salad that I made after some inspiration I got from the New Orleans trip where I the last day had a very tasty sweet potato salad with rasins and pecans. I have added the recipe that I tried and I find it to be quite nice.

Friday 03 of December 2010

Have been shopping groceries for tomorrow and spent some time making creme brulee (yes I know it is spelled with all kinds of characters but I don't feel like finding the HTML version of them all). It is always exciting to see the result when doing something that I haven't made in a long time. Think I only tried to make creme brulee once before and then I had some problem with burning the sugar on top. I will know tomorrow if it goes better this time, only made the custard today.

Wednesday 01 of December 2010

I had the fortune to go to Sjömagasinet today for dinner. The downside is that it is the time of the year when everybody goes out for Christmas buffet so the restaurant was paced with people and a large party arrived just before us. So had to spend something like 20 minutes standing in the foaje before being shown to the table. We were expecting some more people to show up so we took some time before placing the orders so we were not ideal customers but we waited for 45 minutes before the appetizers were served. I had a terrine on duck and veal liver that was very tasty, I wasn't as fortunate with the main course though. The halibut was overdone and if I would try to describe it what comes to mind is the frozen square blocks of cod that one can by at any supermarket. They were nice though and offered to bring a new plate but since we had been waiting for quite a long time to receive the food in the first place i declined. They then removed it from the bill, which was a nice gesture.

To conclude I would say that if you will be going to Sjömagasinet in December I highly recommend that you go for the Christmas buffet.

Tuesday 30 of November 2010

One more attempt. Lets see if it will be more than one entry this time.

First off I need to complain a bit about how crappy RedHat is. Normally I would stay away as far as possible from RedHat, but since most comercial companies releases their software for RedHat (such as Tilera and National Instruments) one has two options: Either give in and install RedHat and be satisfied with that or try to get the tools working on another Linux distro. This has resulted in that I have a machine with RedHat, Ubuntu, and Fedora installed. Anyway, the reason I find RedHat so outdated is that they don't have a package system that is worth mentioning. Instead it is a hassel every time something new needs to be installed in the system. Feels like one is back in last century where everything needed to be manually configured and compiled.

Made a second batch of Swedish "knäck" since the batch from yesterday didn't get cocked enough so it is semi liquid.

Thursday 04 of December 2008

It is long between the occasions when I actually do any updates of these pages. Today I started out with the idea to add a few recipes. It didn't turn out to be as simple as that. First I had to fix a few bugs with the character sets and the admin scripts. At the end I managed to add at least two new recipes. Lets see how long it takes before I get around to add some more.
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